The Wellington Cantonment Board in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district has suspended anti-caste activist Kausalya for allegedly criticising India in an interview to a news channel, The Indian Express reported on Sunday. She is a clerk at the cantonment board.
Kausalya’s first husband, who was from the Dalit community, was murdered in a caste-killing incident in March 2016. Kausalya is from the Thevar community, a dominant caste in South India. In December 2017, six people, including Kausalya’s father, were sentenced to death by a trial court for the murder.
“According to the Constitution, India has been considered a union, not a nation,” Kausalya said in a recent interview, according to The Times of India. “In that sense, how can this be called a nation? Also, in the same regard, I cannot accept Tamil Nadu as a state. And Tamil Nadu has been neglected on all fronts by India.”
Wellington Cantonment Board Executive Officer Harish Varma alleged that Kausalya’s views constituted hate speech. “The board decided to suspend her from her duties till an inquiry is over,” he added. “She has been asked to submit an explanation in this regard to the board.”
Varma said that while Kausalya gave the interview in the first week of January, the board came to know of it only on Thursday. She was served the order the following day. According to The Hindu, the suspension order stipulates that Kausalya cannot work for three months.
“Above all, she should have been aware of service rules,” another board official told The Indian Express. “Further review of her suspension may lead to her termination from service too.”
Kausalya has not responded to the accusations yet and the Indian Express’ attempts to contact her were unsuccessful. This story will be updated when she responds.