Journal article / ‘Malai pandaram’ migrants in Kerala

27 Dec 2019
Andrew Michael S. Experience of exclusion – A Case study of Tamil Migrants in Kerala.
Social Glance : Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 6(1&2) : 1-19, 2017.
Abstract: When discussing or planning development, what is envisaged is ‘progress’, i.e. a change that improves the overall wellbeing of a community. Unfortunately, during this progress what emerges is the biased impact of the growth of only one section of a society, while certain sections of the society are deliberately ignored or pushed out of existence leading to marginalisation.
Hence this paper deals with one such marginalised community in Kerala, the ‘malai pandaram’, also known as ‘poopandaram’ meaning flower sellers. Originally they are migrants from the district of Thenkasi, in Tamil Nadu, and the community has been struggling to gain a caste identity after having lived in Kerala for many generations.
However, the predicament lies in the fact that neither the Government of Kerala nor the Government of Tamil Nadu has recognized or categorized them under a designated caste. Hence, this paper acknowledging the imperative to belong to a community in the Indian economic and political context, analyses the implications of being denied a caste identity.
Additionally, this paper suggests government measures to restore the livelihood and dignity of the malai pandaram community by granting them the status of Schedule Caste (SC).
Editor’s note : This journal issue was released in 2019.

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