Is Tamil Nadu Capital of Casteism in South India?

Tamil Nadu is a social justice fighter all over the country, leading the Dravidian model in South India. But is this true? Is Periyar’s land really a progressive society with Dravidian values?
I think Tamil Nadu is hiding its regressive society and social injustice behind Periyar’s extraordinary legacy.
Periyar’s aim was to establish a society that would bring down the Brahmins, who were considered to be the upper castes, from their seats and make them equal. However, it was the Vellalars, Thevars, and other backward castes who took control of the seat. Despite using Periyar’s name, they completely dismantled his theories and ignored them. In Tamil Nadu, new Brahmins and caste chauvinism are being propagated in various models.
On the one hand, periyarism is being used to fight against hindutva forces and Brahminical supremacy, while at the same time, periyar is being forgotten while committing atrocities against Dalits. There are many such incidents of honor killings, practicing untouchability, restricting temple entry, building walls, blocking roads, and so on.
In January 2024, two major incidents were recorded, which reflected the ‘caste arrogance’ rooted in the state, and surprisingly, it was much worse and more dangerous than in north India.
In January 2024, 19-year-old Aishwarya (non-Dalit) was murdered by her family members for marrying a Dalit boy. Both of them got married at the police station as they were majors. However, in violation of the Supreme Court’s 2018 guidelines on inter-caste marriages, the police did not produce the girl in court and handed her over to her family members. The entire village seems to be in favor of this honor killing by silently watching Aishwarya’s body being carried by his family members on the roads for more than a kilometer. Aishwarya married Naveen (a Dalit) on December 31, 2023; she was brought back by the police on January 2, 2024, and murdered on January 3, 2024.
Though all have been arrested in the case, there is a big threat to the lives of Naveen and his family members in the coming days.
In another case, a 24-year-old Dalit youth and his dog were brutally murdered by relatives of the girl he loved.
There have been several incidents where Dalits have been prevented from entering the Ram temple. In some incidents, dalits were fined Rs 60,000 for entering the temple.
Tamil Nadu is adopting a new approach to uphold the caste system. In schools, children wear color bands on their wrists (indicating their caste), while women wear blouses of different colors (again referring to their caste). In some villages, large walls were constructed, separating the houses of Dalits and others. There are still provisions imposed by the oppressors that Dalits should not walk in front of their homes or roads wearing shoes or slippers.
Though the DMK has been labeled as the leader of the Dravidian movement, its own leaders were recently caught abusing Dalit children, but there is no sound coming from the party. Actor-turned-politician Udhayanidhi starred in an anti-caste film, but he never condemned, controlled, or cleaned up the casteist nature of his party members and the DMK IT cell. Numerous Dalit activists are being harassed online every single day.
Many such incidents have taken place across Tamil Nadu. Factories, language fanaticism, struggle with north India, or central political parties cannot be defined as a progressive or Dravidian model unless you eradicate the Caste pride.
Only surnames were gone but the caste pride remained same. Nowadays many people have already started adding casteist surnames to their kids and there are numerous Social media groups created to bring back the caste system.