The 5 questions: VCK MP D Ravikumar: ‘Burning grounds, crematoriums should have policies so there’s no discrimination.’ 

D Ravikumar, VCK MP, says a national policy on burial and cremation grounds would prevent caste-based discrimination.

In Zero Hour today, what was the issue you raised?

Caste-based discrimination has been outlawed in every sphere of life, but burial grounds and crematoriums still segregate along caste lines…

How did you want the government to respond?

Crematoriums are being built with government help. Untouchability is encouraged. Constitutionally, it’s illegal. Crematoriums and burial grounds should have a national policy…

Is it a serious problem?

After they tried to bury the bodies, it became a law and order issue. People from SC and ST communities bury bodies somewhere else when the land isn’t available. Conflicts and social problems result. It’s still hard for the SC/ST community to get land to live on and bury their dead.

You’re from Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK. Have you contacted the state government?

As an MLA, I raised the issue. There have been no solar crematoriums set up in rural areas that I have requested.

Have you tried any other forums?

The Madras High Court has addressed this issue in multiple judgments and caste-based burial grounds and crematoriums have been abolished.

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