A suit that has created some sensation among the Thiyyas and the Vannans or washermen in South Malabar is now pending disposal before the District Munsiff of Manjeri. The suit arose out of the refusal of Vannans to go to the houses of Thiyyas and to remove the clothes used by Thiyya women on the occasion of child birth, etc. The main point at issue was whether Thiyyas could compel the Vannans to do the same. The plaintiff Thiyya has claimed damages from the Vannans for breach of their duty. At the final hearing of the suit on Thursday last [July 11], the Vannans pleaded that social customs and usages were not enforceable at law, that even according to ancient usage, they made a distinction between the Thiyyas and superior castes, that while they removed dirty clothes from the houses of Navaras and Brahmins, the Thiyya women had to carry the clothes themselves to the place of washing and that they were not bound to wash them unless they were as brought. The Munsiff has reserved judgment.
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