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Self respect movement

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Nara

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Dear brother,

I do not want the other thread to get side-tracked into a discussion of EVR, so I am starting this one. I welcome all my brothers and sisters to participate in a reasoned discussion. I am under no illusion that anybody is going to fundamentally change his/her POV, but we may learn something new that we didn't know before. Since this is a very volatile topic with strong negative views, it is particularly important for all of us to be civil to each other, to keep our emotions in check. I request Shri KRS to keep this thread clean so to speak, as he has done everywhere else.

In this post I wish to respond to some of the citations given by Shri KRS, and also express my understanding of EVR's rhetoric. I apoligize for the length of this post. I will keep my future posts short.

I know you admire EVR as a great man.
Yes, I do admire EVR for what he stood for and achieved. Let me give some more names of people whom I admire, MLK, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahakavi Bharathi, Arundati Roy, to name just a few. While I admire these individuals for various reasons, I do not necessarily agree with all their view. For example, I strongly disagree with MLK's religiosity.

Here are two instances, where the famous statement attributed to EVR are made (there are others, but these two will do to illustrate my point):
I know this statement is attributed to him. I have looked long and hard, but I have never seen a verifiable source for it. Even the links you have cited only say this is attributed to him. In fact, the first link you provided also says this:

"... he seems to have said such things largely to shock. In several places he claimed he hated not individual Brahmins but brhaminism as an institution. In a somewhat similar spirit, in an article for The Hindu, while maintaining that "Aryan" and Dravidian" are two distinct groups, he commented: "My desire is not to perpetuate this difference but to unify the two opposing elements in society.



This gives a more complete picture of EVR than what is widely believed even among many NBs.

The second link again only cites the same claim without any verifiable source. This attribution is like an echo chamber, everybody cites each other as reference, never is there any verifiable text or voice recording.

BTW, the Dalits today are frustrated with the Dravidian movement because their oppression still continues, only now it is at the hands of dominant NB caste. In fact they refer to these perpetrators as neo-brahmins or something to that effect, not very complementary of Brahmins! I am fully in sync with their legitimate frustration, but that does not mean they reject EVR and his thoughts in total.

So, just because something was not recorded as a first person saying it, does not mean it was not said.
This is a problem, but not mine. If EVR is supposed to have repeated this very frequently, surely there is some written text or recording. Absence of such evidence calls into question the authenticity of this attribution. In any case, at the very least, one must admit it is attributed to EVR, but no verifiable evidence exists.

In this context we must note that when an attempt was made on Rajaji's life by a DK member, EVR strongly condemned this criminal act and urged his followers not to resort to any kind of violence and that their goals must be achieved by peaceful means only.


Here is what he says:
Only if the Brahmin is destroyed, caste will be destroyed. The Brahmin is a snake entangled in our feet. He will bite. If you take off your leg, that’s all. Don’t leave. Brahmin is not able to dominate because power is in the hand of the Tamilian.
[Viduthalai, 30-07-1957]
This is what a good citation is, exact words (in translation), specific date, and publication. This kind of citation will carry lot of weight.

Let me start with one Manu Dharmashasthra verse:

"4.135. Let him who desires prosperity, indeed, never despise a Kshatriya, a snake, and a learned Brahmana, be they ever so feeble.
"


EVR is not the first to make this snake comparison! Please note, there is no mention of killing the Brahmin "snake" by EVR. When there is a text available it is devoid of the most incendiary part.

Anyway, I think this kind of rhetoric crosses a line, I certainly do not condone it, but I understand where he is coming from, more about this later.

You somehow downplay the violence his sayings played against the brahmins. His particular tirade against the tufts that brahmins wore, in my opinion instigated many a forceful cutting of those (I have personal knowledge).
These kinds of acts must be condemned, and of course I do condemn them. But, these are isolated incidences by overzealous youngsters. For all the anti-Brahmin rhetoric of EVR, Brahmins in fact flourished in Tamil Nadu. I grew up in Erode district, the very epicenter of DK movement. In school there were many DK teachers, my own class master was a DK member. My experience is, for what it is worth, I never felt isolated. My friends used to make fun of me, but they were my friends, we played together, studied together got into trouble together, got whupped by the teacher together. The DK teachers never treated me differently.

EVR had such a sway among the masses that he could have made life a lot more difficult to Brahmins if his intent was to eradicate Brahmins, that too in a violent way. But the facts belie such a charge. Today, the Dravidian governments, DMK or ADMK, provide police bandobast to Brahminical matams. Whenever the matam-head travels they provide police escort. They get free pass at all the tolls. Is this the way the Dravidian movement was going to eliminate Brahmins from Tamil Nadu?

I just can not support putting down an entire group of folks and encouragement to perpetrate violence, however just one's cause is.
This is completely false. The heated rhetoric of EVR may be convenient to make it appear this charge of encouragement is valid, but if we take real events on the grounds into account we will see this is not true at all. There was only one recorded instance of serious violence when a DK member attempted to assasinate Rajaji and EVR roundly condemned it and acts of violence in general. Other acts such a cutting poonal/kudumi were (a) though condemnable, relatively mild and (b) isolated. In other words, the rhetoric was meant to shock, not to carry out violent acts, and were understood in that way only.

Much of the hatred directed towards EVR is due to his harsh rhetoric no doubt, but also due to misinformation and oft repeated exaggerations. Acts of actual physical violence are very isolated. If EVR's heated rhetoric was the cause these isolated instances of mild violence (cutting kudumi is violence, but not like killing or trashing property) then we must have seen widespread violence against Brahmins like what we witnessed in the Balkans some 20 years ago.

Yes, EVR's rhetoric was very heated, and could very well be construed by Brahmins as hateful. I certainly see that. I don't approve of it, I don't admire EVR for this, but I can understand what he was trying to do with such rhetoric.

To understand this, one must think back and see what sort of society we lived in up until the 60s when DMK came to power. There was wide spread officially permitted segregation in public places. I have seen restaurants that openly displayed signs like ப்ராமிணர்கள் சாப்பிடும் இடம். I have seen public eating places where only Brahmins are allowed, Gandhi talks about this in one of the Congress national meetings.
Low caste NB and Dalits were routinely treated like dirt, I have seen these with my own eyes. Brahmins in the most part were idling class supported by the physical labor of NBs and Dalits.

EVR was a product of this environment. He saw all this and his priority was to shake the Tamil population up, wake them up from this stupor and instil some self-respect. People may agree or disagree with EVR's assessment, but this is what he set out to do.

EVR wanted to drill it into each and every NB of all stripes that B's are not gods on this earth, that they were no less a human being than the Brahmins. A calm academic lecture couldn't achieve this. Fierce political speech sprinkled with humor was needed. EVR gave them such speeches and the public ate it up with delight and wanted more. He didn't disappoint them.

One indisputable legacy of EVR is, today, no B can demand separate eating area in any restaurant anywhere in Tamil Nadu. No B can force an NB to take off muNdasu and wrap it around his waist with folded hands. The old practice of even a B child using the language of வாடா, போடா even to elderly NBs will be tolerated today. EVR's sometimes over the top rhetoric shook the psyche of the Tamil people, in the case of B's to accept changes, and in the case of NBs to assert these changes. EVR is the one who taught self respect is a basic human right. This is what admire about the man. In this process, a few of his overzealous followers surely went too far, and such acts are condemnable, were condemned, I condemn them as well.

If this does not bother you, then in my opinion, you are not a universal humanist. Sorry.
Even if I think I am an universal humanist I will be one on paper only. I have not put my life on the line like so many others have done for a higher ideal.

There are a lot of things that bother me. It bothers me that even now we have cheris outside villages where Dalits are restricted. It bothers me that Dalit students are made to clean toilets. It bothers me that Adivasees are robbed blind by international corporations with government protection. Yes, it bothers me that the kudumi of some Brahmins are cut. In the grand scheme of suffering that is visited on powerless humansbeings, Brahmin victims of DK violence are way down the list.

To me, EVR's over the top rhetoric was just that, rhetoric, it was never a call to action. If it was a call to action our history would be very different. Personally, I wish he had not used such rhetoric, but I understand that he may not have been successful in instilling self-respect otherwise.

EVR surely is a much reviled individual in this forum where Brahmins congregate. I undersatand that. But EVR's thoughts were not only about Brahmins. I am going to post some of EVR's thoughts in this thread. This may not change your views of EVR, but at least you may learn a thing or two about what the man try to teach his people.

Cheers!
 
EVR was way ahead of his time when it comes to equal rights for women. In this day and age there are folks who talk about hen pecked husbands who might one day wake up and beat some sense into his wife, and the wife had it coming, what a pity.

Just the other day I happened to get a glimpse of a program called Kalyana Malai and I was horrified that a boy was seeking a girl who will serve his parents. Please do not get me wrong, I hope a daughter-in-law will serve the man's parents because she loves them, because they loved the girl as their own daughter. I myself expect my DIL to love me as her own dad. But, that is something we parents must earn by showing the girl unconditional love. To put down a condition that the girl must serve his parents is not a very wise, or even sensible way, to start a marriage.

Here is something from EVR on this subject.

The boy and the girl are matched before marriage, not on a consideration of compatibility in appearance, mutual affection, proper understanding and similar education, but on whether the girl will be obedient and be a good slave to the boy, much in the same manner as we do when we buy cattle.

The implication of the sacred knot is that from the time it is tied, the boy accepts the girl as his slave, and she also agrees to be a slave to him. Thus, the husband can treat his wife in whatever manner he likes, and none has the right to question him, nor is there punishment for him if he misbehaves.

The women of today, despite their education, wealth, sophisticated knowledge, dignified relatives and a comfortable life, behave in a very conventional and backward manner, even worse than rustic girls and this causes us pain. How can there be human dignity in the children that are born to these women and brought - up by them?

Our women should change from considering themselves as slaves by birth.


When I see that EVR said these things more than a half century ago and yet in 2012 we are talking about an hen pecked husband resorting to violence against his own wife, I am in total amazement.

This is one of the reasons I admire EVR!!

Cheers!
 
I often get confused over the word Self respect...

SELF is supposed to be the Jeevaatma which is supposed to be identical with Paramaatma isnt it?

So I often wonder how does a person who doesnt acknowledge this fact define self respect?

I guess he/she is just respecting his/her Ahankar.
 
My own experience of EVR is that he created a group of thugs who used to belittle brahmins, wine & dine...Had a good sprinkling of Christians & Muslims....I was shocked by their presence in the Hostel in Annamalai University while studing Engineering in the early 80's...They used to riducule the I year Brahmins students in the name of ragging --about their poonool (sacred thread) about the culture in front of other community members...Finally I ran away from the college fed up by the groups behavior...By putting up a EVR statue in a Brahmin locality or in front of the Kanchi Sankara Mutt they have not got anything...I felt that the Ezhava movement of Kerala or the Lohia movement of North has achieved much more for the Non Brahmins....Further this movement has alienated a large chunk of non brahmins living in non tamil communities in other parts of India & they could not mix well with the main stream...Also vilification of brahmins practised by the EVR group has had the blessings of the DMK to further its political ambitions
 
namaste everyone.

M.Venkatesan published a book titled, E.vE.rAmasAmi ~nAyakkarin maRupakkam in Nov.2004. The second edition of the book came in Mar.2005. This book has been serialized here:
http://www.tamilhindu.com/2009/11/periyar_marubakkam_part20/

Other serials about EVR are also in this Website:
Search Results periyar |

Reading the articles could help a person understand the celebrity in the right perspective, and weigh for himself/herself, the positive and negative traits of the man.
 
.They used to riducule the I year Brahmins students in the name of ragging --about their poonool (sacred thread) about the culture in front of other community members...Finally I ran away from the college fed up by the groups behavior.....I felt that the Ezhava movement of Kerala or the Lohia movement of North has achieved much more for the Non Brahmins...
Dear vgane, I submit to you, EVR's thoughts are a lot wider than mere anti-Brahmin sentiment. I encourage you to read his essays and understand what he stood for.

It is unfortunate that Brahmins look only at his anti-Brahmin rhetoric and jump to irrational and hateful stand against EVR as a whole. But just stop for a moment and think about it, he was an elementary school drop out, didn't have any formal education, yet UNESCO awarded a citation in 1970 that reads as follows:

“Periyar, the prophet of New age, the Socrates of south East Asia, Father of the social reform movement and arch enemy of ignorance, superstitions, meaningless customs and baseless manners.”



For all his intellectual might, this elementary school dropout was, and still is, a beloved public figure of the masses, theists and atheists alike. Only Brahmins and a few politically inspired Hindutva types hate him, and they do so based on a misreading of what he advocated.

Did EVR dupe such a large cross section of Tamil people, not to mention non-Tamils, who are mostly confirmed theists, in spite of his flamboyant atheistic rhetoric like கடவுளை நம்புவன் முட்டாள்?

Come on people, think about it. Whatever may be your personal opinion about EVR, you have got to admit, EVR struck a chord with a vast majority of Tamil people. All I am asking is to think about it seriously. How come he found resonance with most of the Tamil people even though he openly insulted them with statements like Tamil is a காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி?

Please, don't jump to conclusions because of what you have heard, or what some over zealous and ignorant college student may have done to a well meaning Brahmin student. Take a look at what the man advocated. Reflect upon it. After all that if you still think he was an evil man, then I respectfully disagree with you.

I know I am a loner here in this forum talking about EVR. Barbs will come from all directions. Some will cite Hindutva web sites, like my brother Saidevo, as though that is the last word on EVR's legacy. Some others may decant their sectarian bias as though that will bring some balance, it will not, hate on one side and rational analysis of EVR's legacy on the other are not equivalent and can never bring balance.

Let me end this post with a couple quotes from EVR.

"If a man realizes that he is equal to all other men and that he has the right to equality with all other men then he becomes a self-respecting person"

"Cruel religions and laws which force women to put up with the brutal behavior of the husband for the sake of chastity must die out. The wickedness of society which, in the name of chastity, force a woman to suppress her real feelings of love and live with a man who has neither love nor kindness for her, should go.
"



More later ....

Cheers!
 
Mr. Nara,

This is in reply to your opening post. Long winding OPs require longwinding replies.

I do not want the other thread to get side-tracked into a discussion of EVR, so I am starting this one. I welcome all my brothers and sisters to participate in a reasoned discussion. I am under no illusion that anybody is going to fundamentally change his/her POV, but we may learn something new that we didn't know before. Since this is a very volatile topic with strong negative views, it is particularly important for all of us to be civil to each other, to keep our emotions in check. I request Shri KRS to keep this thread clean so to speak, as he has done everywhere else

(1)Yes Let us discuss this topic keeping our discussion civl. Using derisive terms such as week-end brahmins, wannabe brahmins, ungainly kachcham wearing brahmins, tuft displaying brahmins, pundram wearing brahmins (They are only wearing on their own foreheads and not applying it on others foreheads which many NB politicians do!!) and similar terms for this purpose will have to be treated as uncivil epithets. As long as there is no attempt to deride brahmins as a community for whatever practices they follow collectively or individually, my responses and views posted here will be civil.

(2) I have nothing personal against any one here in this forum. I do not know any one personally. Whatever I say here is all about the ideas of people only. While others in their effort to be very nice to people go out of the way to package what they say with a lot of verbiage I desist from that because I have little time for that. I believe if we beat around the bush the thrust of our arguments is invariably lost. So I say things bluntly. While I would reiterate that hurting any body is not my intention, I can’t help if an individual is so strongly wedded to his ideas that he is unable to separate himself from his ideas and so feels hurt. If the by now familiar method of complaining to the moderator with imaginery grievances is resorted to I will just withdraw from the engagement.

(3) Let us try to understand the counter views also.

I know this statement is attributed to him. I have looked long and hard, but I have never seen a verifiable source for it

This is some thing which I have argued no end earlier with another member in this forum. Please see whether this meets your standards of proof though I am not sanguine about the prospects. 1. Please refer to the book written by Rani Mainthan. Title-Rajaram-60, Publishers- Mona Publications, 113, 2nd street, A.I.Block, Annanagar, Chennai. Yr. of publication 1986. The author Rani Mainthan has credited in that book Viduthalai Sambantham with guidance and help in writing that book. Viduthalai Sambantham was the classmate of Mr. Rajaram, who was a DMK minister in Tamilnadu. In that book Ranimainthan claims that EVR brought up these two new rallying calls in the salem district Conference of DK: 1) If you see a brahmin and a snake beat the brahmin first. 2) Any one who gives even a glass of water to any DMK cadre will be considered as a below par dravidian by me.(DMK had been formed just then)
2. I heard with my own ears in a public meeting in Tuticorin in which EVR was credited with these incendiary remarks by his own cadres and he never objected to it or dis-owned it though he was present in that meeting on the stage. What more, when he took the mic he continued in the same vein.


"... he seems to have said such things largely to shock. In several places he claimed he hated not individual Brahmins but brhaminism as an institution. In a somewhat similar spirit, in an article for The Hindu, while maintaining that "Aryan" and Dravidian" are two distinct groups, he commented: "My desire is not to perpetuate this difference but to unify the two opposing elements in society.
This gives a more complete picture of EVR than what is widely believed even among many NBs.


This is an attempt to paper over a serious matter. An attempt to push under the carpet inconvenient facts which stare at your face. By the same argument I can make some outrageous comments about a member here and then say that whatever I said here was largely to shock while claiming in “many places” elsewhere that I criticise only the idea and not the person. People here, this includes you, are sensitive to this argument and have rejected outright such claims.

Let me start with one Manu Dharmashasthra verse:"4.135. Let him who desires prosperity, indeed, never despise a Kshatriya, a snake, and a learned Brahmana, be they ever so feeble."EVR is not the first to make this snake comparison! Please note, there is no mention of killing the Brahmin "snake" by EVR. When there is a text available it is devoid of the most incendiary part

Manu Dharma Shastra may say so many things. MDS says and so EVR also says is not an argument that will wash. For it to be accepted you should be in a binary world where you are EVR and others are all manuvadis which is not the case here. EVR can not escape responsibility for what he said by your quoting MDS. Moreover what do you mean by the words “devoid of the most incendiary part”? If your case is that the sentence “If you take off your leg, that’s all. Don’t leave.” does not have the sentence “So kill him”, then it is a pathetic attempt at obfuscation. The whole English transalation has its roots in the Tamil saying “kaalai chutrina pambu kadikkaamal vidathu. Enave atthai konraal pavamillai”. Now please read again to see whether incendiary words are implied or not.

Anyway, I think this kind of rhetoric crosses a line, I certainly do not condone it, but I understand where he is coming from

Where is he coming from? From a panchaman family? He could never have been a paanchaman because panchamans can never produce political turncoat like EVR.


These kinds of acts must be condemned, and of course I do condemn them

Do you? This equivocation indicates the opposite.

But, these are isolated incidences by overzealous youngsters. For all the anti-Brahmin rhetoric of EVR, Brahmins in fact flourished in Tamil Nadu


Wow!! What a patronising statement! So brahmins will have to be ever thankful to EVR for that? You have presumed EVR is Tamilnadu and Tamilnadu is EVR which is far from truth. If brahmins flourished it is due to two reasons. 1) They are made of much stronger material 2)The majority of Tamilnadu never thought EVR to be a leader who should be listened to. He, at best, had a limited following and nuisance value for the powerful middle castes. They used him well politically.

EVR had such a sway among the masses that he could have made life a lot more difficult to Brahmins if his intent was to eradicate Brahmins, that too in a violent way.

This is just what you fondly believe. That is all. I come from a southern district and there was no following worth the name for EVR even during his hey days in my district. The people of southern districts brought DMK to power because of the charisma of MGR, oratory skills of Anna and the pig headedness of the congress regime then. No credits to EVR or his brand of atheism/anti brahmin hatred masala.

Today, the Dravidian governments, DMK or ADMK, provide police bandobast to Brahminical matams. Whenever the matam-head travels they provide police escort. They get free pass at all the tolls

Any Government in power has a duty to protect its citizens and they just do that. The protection given is directly proportionate to the threat perception

Other acts such a cutting poonal/kudumi were (a) though condemnable, relatively mild
What do you mean by the word mild? Cutting a poonool or cutting a kudumi is not cutting the throat and so is mild and this is what you mean? Great logic indeed. Do you know what is the meaning of “minority rights” or human rights? Please refresh your position on human rights. I have seen the fear and the helplessness in the eyes of that purohit on a city bus in Srirangam when he was spat on his face by a blackshirt volunteer of DK. I had been a personal witness to the fear of the women folk of Pudugramam of Turicorin when the marauding crowds of DK came and knocked at their doors and threatened to break them open. You have not seen any of these and so you say these are mild. I do not see any difference between those animals in Germany who put elderly men, women and children, all jews, into a motor vehicle and sent them straight to the burial ground (because the vehicles were designed in such a way that the exhaust of the engines will emit the deadly poisonous exhaust fumes into the hold of the vehicle and so the passengers will be dead and be ready for burial by the time the vehicles reach their destination)and the goons who molested the women in Turicorin.


(b) isolated. In other words, the rhetoric was meant to shock, not to carry out violent acts, and were understood in that way only.


For a young and energetic kazhagamite on the street that was not the way to understand EVR’s commands.


If EVR's heated rhetoric was the cause these isolated instances of mild violence (cutting kudumi is violence, but not like killing or trashing property) then we must have seen widespread violence against Brahmins like what we witnessed in the Balkans some 20 years ago

A perfect ‘strawman’.


one must think back and see what sort of society we lived in up until the 60s when DMK came to power. There was wide spread officially permitted segregation in public places. I have seen restaurants that openly displayed signs like ப்ராமிணர்கள் சாப்பிடும் இடம். I have seen public eating places where only Brahmins are allowed, Gandhi talks about this in one of the Congress national meetings.



This is not worse than the two tumbler system which is still in existence in Tamilnadu practised by all the dominent castes. This two tumbler system was in existence even in those days when “bramanarkal saappidum idam” was there. But EVR’s ire was directed selectively against the brahmins and not against the dominent castes for obvious reasons (he did not want to shoot himself on his legs). If you have seen only the “bramanarkal saappidumidam” in restaurants, I have seen more than that. I have seen not only the restaurants in the towns but also the ordinary “chaayaakkadai” in the village street corner where panchamans were served tea in a coconut shell.

EVR wanted to drill it into each and every NB of all stripes that B's are not gods on this earth, that they were no less a human being than the Brahmins

Very true. But when it came to relation with panchamans NB’s were certainly Gods of a special variety- A god who went to war with brahmins riding on the panchaman on the one hand and exploited to the hilt the panchamans treating them as worse than vermin on the otherhand- without even thinking so much about it.

One indisputable legacy of EVR is, today, no B can demand separate eating area in any restaurant anywhere in Tamil Nadu

And no panchaman can drink tea from the same glass which is used for a thevar.

No B can force an NB to take off muNdasu and wrap it around his waist with folded hands

Yes but Pillais of Uththapuram will carefully preserve their purity by building walls around their locality to prevent panchamans polluting them. And Naidus of Venmani will roast dalit women and children in the embers of their own burnt huts if they had the gumption to ask for wage increase for farm labour. This is not some thing that happened in 1950s but right now in the current decade.

The old practice of even a B child using the language of வாடா, போடா even to elderly NBs will be tolerated today

Even today dalit is subjected to this torture in villages. If you are interested please let me know. I will take you to villages and show you.

EVR's sometimes over the top rhetoric shook the psyche of the Tamil people, in the case of B's to accept changes, and in the case of NBs to assert these changes. EVR is the one who taught self respect is a basic human right

Yes selectively to NBs only to the exclusion of dalits. EVR was worse than Hitler.

In this process, a few of his overzealous followers surely went too far, and such acts are condemnable, were condemned, I condemn them as well

Yes but only after trying to justify the condemnable behavior and equivocating. Finally a half hearted condemnation is what comes out


There are a lot of things that bother me. It bothers me that even now we have cheris outside villages where Dalits are restricted. It bothers me that Dalit students are made to clean toilets. It bothers me that Adivasees are robbed blind by international corporations with government protection. Yes, it bothers me that the kudumi of some Brahmins are cut. In the grand scheme of suffering that is visited on powerless humansbeings, Brahmin victims of DK violence are way down the list

Will you please check up your list and let us know which one comes first and which one later among the following:1. Dalits being treated specially with two tumbler system in the innumerable village tea stalls and 2)Dominent castes being told that there is a special enclosure where brahmins only sit and eat. That will be quite revealing. Are you aware that No 2 is not a reality today while No1 is still the fact of life? It is obviously not even there in your consciousness to be included in your list. Some human rights this!!

The repeated attempts to eulogise EVR as a social revolutionary, ignore his hatred for brahmins as just a rhetoric, cover up the poison that he injected into the Tamil Society, the attempt to blow up his sway over people beyond its true level, bring in foreign citation as proof of his greatness(whiteman never gives any thing without a secret agenda) are all whiplashes you are inflicting on the brahmins who have suffered in Tamilnadu. Please stop this. I am sending an appeal to the moderator separately by a PM. I do not intend to write any more about this topic because I believe this only helps people with sadistic tendencies to have a high by repeatedly eulogising a brahmin basher in this forum which is visited by brahmins. I do not want to add any more respectability to their views by arguing any more. Enough is enough.

Cheers.
 
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Dear Mr. Nara,
I did not want to write any more about this subject. But I am posting this one because I had prepared this reply earlier to my posting post #7. Moreover you have threatened that more will come later. Now you have the field free for you. Best wishes.
Here is something from EVR on this subject.
The boy and the girl are matched before marriage, not on a consideration of compatibility in appearance, mutual affection, proper understanding and similar education, but on whether the girl will be obedient and be a good slave to the boy, much in the same manner as we do when we buy cattle. The implication of the sacred knot is that from the time it is tied, the boy accepts the girl as his slave, and she also agrees to be a slave to him. Thus, the husband can treat his wife in whatever manner he likes, and none has the right to question him, nor is there punishment for him if he misbehaves. The women of today, despite their education, wealth, sophisticated knowledge, dignified relatives and a comfortable life, behave in a very conventional and backward manner, even worse than rustic girls and this causes us pain. How can there be human dignity in the children that are born to these women and brought - up by them? Our women should change from considering themselves as slaves by birth.
When I see that EVR said these things more than a half century ago and yet in 2012 we are talking about an hen pecked husband resorting to violence against his own wife, I am in total amazement. This is one of the reasons I admire EVR!!

After lecturing to his followers so eloquently, EVR who was 72 years old married a girl by name Maniyammai who was just 26 years old. I have read about EVR’s views on not only women’s rights but also about rights of women sexuality also. EVR at 72 did to Maniyammai at26 the same injustic which he ranted against in his lectures. This was EVR the hypocrate. Even knowing this if one is to get goosepimples about his revolutionary thinking then there is something seriously wrong somewhere which I do not want to elaborate.

For all his intellectual might, this elementary school dropout was, and still is, a beloved public figure of the masses, theists and atheists alike. Only Brahmins and a few politically inspired Hindutva types hate him, and they do so based on a misreading of what he advocated.

This is the false picture that interested EVR followers want to paint about him. He was an elementary school drop out with a mind and maturity befitting that drop out. He was not a figure of the masses as is made out here. He was a leader of a leader of a sundry political outfit which had a small following in the Tamil land. He was neither loved by the masses the way Gandhi or Tilak or MGR was loved nor was he a darling of the theists with his antics like chappal garland for the Vinayaka etc., This is hiding not only the pooshanikkai (pumpkin) in a heap of rice but also the man eating the pumpkin. I am rather amused watching all the pirouetting done here to make EVR a hero of the people.

Come on people, think about it. Whatever may be your personal opinion about EVR, you have got to admit, EVR struck a chord with a vast majority of Tamil people. All I am asking is to think about it seriously. How come he found resonance with most of the Tamil people even though he openly insulted them with statements like Tamil is a காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி?

No body believes he found resonance with most of the tamil people. If DK forms this “most of the tamil people” it may be true. Unfortunately that is not the case.


I know I am a loner here in this forum talking about EVR. Barbs will come from all directions. Some will cite Hindutva web sites, like my brother Saidevo, as though that is the last word on EVR's legacy. Some others may decant their sectarian bias as though that will bring some balance, it will not, hate on one side and rational analysis of EVR's legacy on the other are not equivalent and can never bring balance.

What is said is that the member has discounted in advance all the counter views that may come his way. This is nothing but “my way is highway”.

Let me end this post with a couple quotes from EVR.
"Cruel religions and laws which force women to put up with the brutal behavior of the husband for the sake of chastity must die out. The wickedness of society which, in the name of chastity, force a woman to suppress her real feelings of love and live with a man who has neither love nor kindness for her, should go."More later ....
What he left unsaid was this: What ever is said here is all for only my followers and not applicable to me. For me the rules are totally different and no one should question me because I am beyond all this.
 
Raju, Thank you for your response. Most of it is your opinion, which I am sure is shared by many in this forum. It is obvious I do not agree, but I don't think anything meaningful can come out of a point by point response to your opinions. However, I am going to continmue posting EVR's written words that show a more complete picture of the man, if the moderators would permit me to do so. Even if you hate the man, nothing terrible will result in reading some of what he actually wrote.

Just a couple comments in the following:

... In that book Ranimainthan claims that EVR brought up these two new rallying calls in the salem district Conference of DK: 1) If you see a brahmin and a snake beat the brahmin first. 2) Any one who gives even a glass of water to any DMK cadre will be considered as a below par dravidian by me.(DMK had been formed just then)

2. I heard with my own ears in a public meeting in Tuticorin in which EVR was credited with these incendiary remarks by his own cadres and he never objected to it or dis-owned it though he was present in that meeting on the stage. What more, when he took the mic he continued in the same vein.
What you have cited are unverifiable attributions, hearsay, neither is EVR's own written or spoken words. Those who wish to believe this are obviously free to do so. But, these citations are insufficient to claim the charge is irrefutable fact.


... You have not seen any of these and so you say these are mild. I do not see any difference between those animals in Germany who put elderly men, women and children, all jews, into a motor vehicle ....

Yes selectively to NBs only to the exclusion of dalits. EVR was worse than Hitler.
This is very unfortunate. Leaving the pretensions to victim hood aside, this kind of grotesque comparison trivializes the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis, and the holocaust. We have cut poonal and kudumi by overzelous youth on one side and the systematic murder of 6 million jews on the other, go figure!!

Cheers!
 
Shri Nara is like a stopped clock. It will show correct time at least 2 times in a day. People including dalits, have always been suffering for one reason or the other. Instead of pitting people against people unwittingly, we can nurture goodwill between each other. I do not misunderstand Shri Nara or his views but I am afraid this will only widen the cleft between humans.
 
சுமரியாதை இயக்கத்தை சார்ந்த எந்த இயக்கமாக இருந்தாலும் சரி அவர்கள் கொள்கையில் நிரந்தரமாக கடைபிடித்தது கிடயாது...

அடைந்தால் திராவிட நாடு.... இல்லயேல் சுடுகாடு.... என்றார்கள்.. இவர்கள் திராவிட நாட்டையும் அடைந்ததுஇல்லை... சுடுகாட்டுக்கும் சென்றதில்லை..... ( அதாவது இந்தியாவிலிருந்து பிரிந்து தனி திராவிட நாடு பிரகடனம் செய்யவேண்டும் என்பது இவர்கள் கொள்கையாக இருந்தது...)

( முதலில் ஆந்திரா,கர்னாடகா,கேரளா மற்றும் தமிழகம் சேர்ந்தது திராவிட நாடு ).. தமிழகம் தவிற இவர்கள் கும்பலுக்கு மற்ற மானிலங்களில் ஆள் இல்லை என்பது உண்மை...

உடனே ஆட்சிக்கு வந்ததும் தமிழ் நாடு என்று பெயர் சூட்டி மகிழ்ந்தார்கள்.

கடவுள் மறுப்பு கொள்கையில் தீவிரமாக கடைபிடிப்பதாக காட்டிக்கொண்டார்கள்... நாளடைவில் ஒன்றெ குலம் ஒருவனே தேவன் என்று வசதியாக மாற்றிக்கொண்டார்கள்...

தமிழ்.... தமிழ் என்று ஏதோ இவர்களை விட்டால் தமிழை காப்பாற்ற ஆளில்லை என்று இவர்களாகவே இவர்களுக்கு தமிழின காவலர் என்று தங்களுக்கு தாங்களே மகுடம் சூட்டிக்கொண்டார்கள்.

அந்தக்காலத்து பிராமணர்கள் வயதானகாலத்தில் திருமணம் செய்துகொள்கிறார்கள் என்று மேடைக்கு மேடை கிண்டல் செய்தார்கள். ஆனால் ஈ.வே.ரா மட்டும் தன்னைவிட சுமர்ர் 30 வயது குறைவான மணியம்மயாரை திருமணம் செய்துகொண்டார்.அப்போது மட்டும் வாயை மூடிக்கொண்டார்கள்.

பாம்பையும் பாப்பானையும் கண்டால் பாம்பை விடு பாப்பானை அடி என்றார்கள். ஆனால் தனக்கு தேவையான ஆடிட்டர்,டாக்டர்,வக்கீல் போன்ற முக்கியமானவர்கள் பாப்பானாக வைத்து கொண்டார்கள்..

கோவிலை தாக்கினேன் கோவில் கூடாதுஎன்பதற்காக அல்ல...கோவில் கொடியவர்களின் கூடாரமாகிவிடகூடாது என்பதற்காக....

பூசாரியை தாக்கினேன் அவன் பக்தன் என்பதற்காக அல்ல... அவன் பக்தி பகல்வேஷமாகிவிட்டதற்காக....என்று எல்லாம் பராசக்தி படத்தில் வசனம் எழுதினார் கருணாநிதி....

ஆனால் அவர் ஆட்சிக்கு வந்தபின் தான் அயோக்கியனின் கூடாரமாகிவிட்டது அற நிலயத்துறை...

அத்தனை கோவில் சொத்துகளையும் தி.மு.க வினர் கொள்ளைஅடித்தார்கள்...
 
I would like to present some excerpts from a speech EVR gave to a teacher's conference in Polur on April 24, 1927. A copy of this speech is available at this site.

......சாதாரணமாக ஆரம்ப ஆசிரியர்கள் என்ற பெயரையே யாருக்கு உபயோகப்படுத்தலாம் என்றால், முதலில் நமது பெண் மக்களுக்
குத்தான் உபயோகப்படுத்தலாம்.... ஆனால், அப்பேர்ப்பட்ட ஆரம்ப ஆசிரியர்களாகிய பெண்களோ நமது நாட்டில் பிள்ளை பெறும் இயந்திரங்களாக இருக்கின்றனர்.


[How much has this changed, may be some change among the India9% as Y would say, but, I think most people will agree that India90% is just as much "us"]

கல்வி என்பதுவயிற்றுப் பிழைப்புக்காக மாத்திரமல்ல, அது அறிவுக்காகவும் ஏற்பட்டது என்பதாக நாம் எ
டுத்துக்கொண்டால், மக்கள் சுயமரியாதையோடும், சுதந்திரத்தோடும், மற்ற மக்களுக்கு இன்னல் விளைவிக்காமலும், அன்பு, பரோபகாரம் முதலியவைகளோடும் கண்ணியமாய் உலக வாழ்க்கையை நடத்தத் தகுந்த ஞானமும் உண்டாகத்தக்கதாக இருக்கவேண்டும். இவைகளை அறிந்தே வள்ளுவரும் -- உலகத்தோடு ஒட்ட ஒழுகல் பலகற்றும் கல்லார் அறிவிலாதார் -- என்றும் -- தாம் இன்புறுவது உலகின்புறக் கண்டு காமுறுவர் கற்றறிந்தார் -- என்றும் -- ஒத்தறிவான் உயிர்வாழ்வான் மற்றையான் செத்தாருள் வைக்கப்படும் -- என்றும் சொல்லி இருக்கின்றார்.


[This is so true even today, in fact more true today. Education has become nothing more than training for a good paying job -- வயிற்றுப் பிழைப்பு alone.]

நீங்கள் முதலில் மக்களுக்குச் சுயமரியாதை இன்னதென்பதைக் கற்றுக் கொடுக்கவேண்டும். மானம், ஆண்மை இன்னதென்பதைக் கற்றுக் கொடுக்கவேண்டும். தேசாபிமானத்தைக் கற்றுக் கொடுக்கவேண்டும்.



.... more to come
 
Dear vgane, I submit to you, EVR's thoughts are a lot wider than mere anti-Brahmin sentiment. I encourage you to read his essays and understand what he stood for.

It is unfortunate that Brahmins look only at his anti-Brahmin rhetoric and jump to irrational and hateful stand against EVR as a whole. But just stop for a moment and think about it, he was an elementary school drop out, didn't have any formal education, yet UNESCO awarded a citation in 1970 that reads as follows:

“Periyar, the prophet of New age, the Socrates of south East Asia, Father of the social reform movement and arch enemy of ignorance, superstitions, meaningless customs and baseless manners.”



For all his intellectual might, this elementary school dropout was, and still is, a beloved public figure of the masses, theists and atheists alike. Only Brahmins and a few politically inspired Hindutva types hate him, and they do so based on a misreading of what he advocated.

Did EVR dupe such a large cross section of Tamil people, not to mention non-Tamils, who are mostly confirmed theists, in spite of his flamboyant atheistic rhetoric like கடவுளை நம்புவன் முட்டாள்?

Come on people, think about it. Whatever may be your personal opinion about EVR, you have got to admit, EVR struck a chord with a vast majority of Tamil people. All I am asking is to think about it seriously. How come he found resonance with most of the Tamil people even though he openly insulted them with statements like Tamil is a காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி?

Please, don't jump to conclusions because of what you have heard, or what some over zealous and ignorant college student may have done to a well meaning Brahmin student. Take a look at what the man advocated. Reflect upon it. After all that if you still think he was an evil man, then I respectfully disagree with you.

I know I am a loner here in this forum talking about EVR. Barbs will come from all directions. Some will cite Hindutva web sites, like my brother Saidevo, as though that is the last word on EVR's legacy. Some others may decant their sectarian bias as though that will bring some balance, it will not, hate on one side and rational analysis of EVR's legacy on the other are not equivalent and can never bring balance.

Let me end this post with a couple quotes from EVR.

"If a man realizes that he is equal to all other men and that he has the right to equality with all other men then he becomes a self-respecting person"

"Cruel religions and laws which force women to put up with the brutal behavior of the husband for the sake of chastity must die out. The wickedness of society which, in the name of chastity, force a woman to suppress her real feelings of love and live with a man who has neither love nor kindness for her, should go.
"



More later ....

Cheers!

The incident quoted by me did not just happen to me...It happened to all Brahmins who were staying in the hostel...Do you consider this as isolated?.
DK's meetings created so much revulsion even in Chennai & it was supported by the Muslim & Christian business men to a large extent...Also in DK's meetings they never talked about superstitions, customs & traditions of Christians & Muslims...That showed his mean and cunning nature....It is a ruffian group for ruffians & run by ruffians
 
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The incident quoted by me did noty just happen to me...It happened to all Brahmins who were staying in the hostel...Do you quote this as isolated.
DK's meeting created so much revulsion even in Chennai & it was supported by the Muslim & Christian business men to a large extent...Also in DK's meetings they never talked about superstitions, customs & traditions of Christians & Muslims...That showed his mean and cunning nature....It is a ruffian group for ruffians & run by ruffians

As far as I know this EVR person would have never ever dared to garland any Non Hindu form of divinity the same way he did with the Lord Rama idol.

Most such revolutionist only dare wag their tails with Hindus cos they know only a Hindu will not decapitate such an offender.

I have no problems if anyone wants to improve social standing for the downtrodden but if you want to uplift society one must be fair to all.

Suppressing one community is never going to improve society..it will only sow seeds of hatred.

Each community should be given equal opportunity to succeed in life by providing extra incentives for those who are economically and socially backward without pulling the rug beneath the feet of those who are advanced in socio economic status.Cos when anyone falls he injures society too.

And for those who are socio economically advanced they should not look down upon their backward brothers and sisters but instead try to lend a helping hand to them so that the state and country will prosper.

After all Manava Seva isnt something alien to our Hindu culture.
The problem starts when people start thinking one is superior to the other.
One can still maintain his/her identity without feeling superior.
 
Post # 13:

These are all harmless holy-nothings mouthed by EVR. I am waiting for the incendiary B oriented venom to come here. If and when it comes we will see. Cheers.
 
A.........
Most such revolutionist only dare wag their tails with Hindus cos they know only a Hindu will not decapitate such an offender.......
What Renu says is very true! I remember one incident in SingArach Chennai, a few years back. When JJ was in power,

she was depicted as Hindu Goddess and there was no hue and cry. But when she was depicted as Virgin Mary
we all know what happened!! :brick:
 
Celebrating the birthday of a person who announced 'தமிழ் ஒரு காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி' is one of the holy jobs for Tamilians.

People who have self respect should not garland any God / Goddess but the one who said, 'கடவுளை நம்புபவன் முட்டாள்!' :hail:
 
கடவுளை நம்புகிறவன் முட்டாள்...கடவுளை கற்பித்தவன் அயோக்கியன்...
கடவுளை கற்பித்தவன் காட்டுமிராண்டி....

இது தான் பெரியாரின் தத்துவம்...
 
Celebrating the birthday of a person who announced 'தமிழ் ஒரு காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி' is one of the holy jobs for Tamilians.

People who have self respect should not garland any God / Goddess but the one who said, 'கடவுளை நம்புபவன் முட்டாள்!'
et tu Mrs. RR? :) just kidding, I welcome your comments and of others as well with whom a civil and reasoned discussion is possible.

I don't know the exact context in which EVR said 'தமிழ் ஒரு காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி'. The Wiki article on EVR has the following with respect to this comment: Anita Diehl (source: ISBN 91-24-27645-6) explains that Periyar made these remarks on Tamil because it had no respective feminine verbal forms. You may take this for whatever worth you may see in it.

If you look a little deeper you would see a more complete picture. I give you another statement attributed to EVR:

The love of one’s tongue is the foremost of all loves that are required of the people born in our nation. He that has no love for his tongue certainly has no love for his nation. A nation functions on the basis of the love for one’s language. So it is my wish that Tamil’s love for their mother-tongue should grow.




EVR was critical of Sanskritized Tamil, the over emphasis of Bhakti, and even the over zealous deification of Tamil language itself which was done by his own people. He wanted to modernize the language. He introduced several changes to the Tamil script that have become standard Tamil script today.

Next, I agree there is a certain level of deifying of EVR among his followers that the man himself would have condemned. But, many, or even most, of his followers are theists, they are not non-believers. Further, why garlanding by itself is forbidden for those who value self-respect? Self-respect only means refusing to be disrespected or being forced into disrespecting oneself, not allowing others to rob one's own dignity. A self-respecting person can very well show respect to others whom they respect, surely! This may include garlanding the person when they are alive and garlanding a statue when the person is gone.

EVR was certainly anti-Brahmin, but, if his written words, his actions, and what others who have researched his life say, are to be believed, he was not anti-Brahmin on a personal level. In other words, he hated Brahminism and Brahmins who would insist on it, but not individual bramins. I give some excerpts of an interview by reddif of Gnana Rajasekharan, the director of the movie Periyar.

No, I am not a follower of Periyar. But I am a very great admirer of Periyar. You cannot make a film on him without admiring him. I may not be following his ideas in toto but I value his contributions to society and original thinking. Now let me go back to your first question where you gave so many descriptions to Periyar. I am making this film because he was misinterpreted. I feel the greatness of Periyar will not be gauged by such interpretations.



He also differentiated between Brahmin and Brahminism. He had an excellent relationship with Rajaji who was a Brahmin but he was vehemently against Brahminism.


One more thing to note is that not only EVR considered Rajaji his friend, Rajaji claimed EVR as his friend. It was Rajaji that EVR consulted before deciding to marry Maniyammai. During his time as a congressman EVR worked with many Brahmins. When some of them died EVR wrote gracious and admiring eulogies in his Kudi Arasu. He became increasingly anti-Brahmin later in his years and I think that is because most Brahmins he came across in Congress and elsewhere put jAti solidarity ahead of social reform -- people are free to disagree with me on this point.

Marrying Maniyammai is an easy target to mock EVR, but then again, it only reveals a deep seated hatred for the man. I have no problem with people disagreeing with EVR, criticizing him, even hating him, but citing this case to mock him as a hypocrite is completely beyond the pale.

First, it was Maniyammai who came to EVR and refused to leave. She dedicated her life to taking care of EVR because she adored him. Many credit her care of EVR for hm living into his 90s. There came a time when EVR was concerned about her future after he was gone. EVR himself openly declared that he was not marrying her for conjugal pleasure. If you believe EVR, and I think even some of his ardent enemies will agree that he was a plain spoken fellow, not afraid to speak his mind, they only had a platonic relationship.

Dear Mrs. RR, I know your comment was only about a couple of things, but I tried to answer many more questions that have been raised. I am sorry if I am bringing you into this discussion that you don't want to get into. Please feel free to not respond if you wish to stay out of it. However, if you choose to respond I will only value your comments.

Cheers!
 
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Dear Sister Srimathi Renuka Ji,

You said:
After all Manava Seva isnt something alien to our Hindu culture.
The problem starts when people start thinking one is superior to the other.
One can still maintain his/her identity without feeling superior.​

Nice post.

While I agree with the above as a 'mission statement' and an objective, feeling 'superior' vis-a-vis some others is a natural human state for some of the humans. This can be traced to the source of the humans being social animals and thus seek status among the fellow human beings. I would say, a lot of us are mature enough to find a equilibrium in life without looking down upon others, but a lot of us (around the globe) feel that we can only find that equilibrium by looking down on others as inherently they feel inferior.

Usually, prejudices of all kinds stem from this and lack of proper human education is the cause of this. And, this is a universal phenomenon across the globe.

So, to blame one community of practicing this is not correct. As you can see, the new 'brahmins' in power still think superior to their fellow downtrodden brethren, this too in modern times, in modern India where discrimination on the basis of birth is not legal. I also reject the idea that there was 'institutionalized discrimination' in Hinduism. Yes, there are birth based castes and it worked well in the pre modern era, especially in India where community means living in villages even now. The word 'discrimination' came about only after the post industrialization and the resulting concepts of individualism and enhanced humanism because of individualism and individual rights.

Despite now odious parts of Manu Shastras, in the past, even the Dalits were accommodated to pursue their trades (unlike the savagery of the past history of the rest of the world), in spite of their origins within our society. So, to judge one small community, which till recently as six generations ago, was living without any riches and was the only one who was praying for the welfare of the whole community around them (including the Dalits), in terms of today's mores is absurd and illogical. This is what the people who coined the term 'Brahminism' and evoke hatred against not only that, but also against the whole community fail to understand. They can only see history in terms of today's sufferings of some communities and link it to past 'atrocities', but not in terms where routinely there are winners and losers in human kind, not based on anything except for accidents in history.

This is why I reject all of these hatred filled ideologies and people like EVR, whose convenient based racist outlook have already been proved useless in making the 'Tamilians' a reason based godless society. It always takes people with megalomania to decide what is 'good' for the society and figure out, chillingly as to how to achieve a 'just' society.

Sorry for the long response. But I wanted to take this opportunity to address this issue of EVR.

Regards,
KRS
 
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Dear brother Nara Ji,

You said above in post #1 above:
To me, EVR's over the top rhetoric was just that, rhetoric, it was never a call to action. If it was a call to action our history would be very different. Personally, I wish he had not used such rhetoric, but I understand that he may not have been successful in instilling self-respect otherwise.

EVR surely is a much reviled individual in this forum where Brahmins congregate. I undersatand that. But EVR's thoughts were not only about Brahmins. I am going to post some of EVR's thoughts in this thread. This may not change your views of EVR, but at least you may learn a thing or two about what the man try to teach his people.

I have posted my thoughts about EVR and his hate filled ideology in my response to Srimathi Renuka Ji above.

however, I want to make some points here, to put emphasis on my overall thinking about EVR:

1. His saying about Brahmins and the snake are universally and anecdotally accepted by almost all EVR knowledgeable people, including as careful a writer as V.S. Naipaul in his famous. 'Million Mutinies Now'. It does not matter whether he said it or not (I still think one can turn up the evidence from one of his numerous speeches), but rather it is what his followers believe, even today. So, I don't think your defense of EVR about not saying this carries any practical implication.

2. In my mind, there is no difference between 'rhetoric' and 'exhortation'. The only difference is that, instead of one assassination attempt, there would have been many. Again in this, I fundamentally appreciate the inherent culture of Tamil folks, who, till EVR came along accepted Tam Brahms as the part of Tamil culture. By attacking them as 'foreign Aryans' this guy put the seeds of poison in the society that unscrupulous people use for political ends, even today. In my opinion, he did not write more hateful things about Brahmins because he was afraid to go to jail.

3. Saying that he was against 'Brahminism' and not against 'some' Brahmins is like saying again, he was half pregnant. Brahminism or not, he hated the Brahmins, right from his trip North. Let us not sugar coat the sayings of this hate monger. By the way, him being 'friends' with the likes of Rajaji, reminds of a few prejudice folks who exclaimed, on knowing my wife's ethnicity, 'Oh, are you jewish? Gosh, you are not like one of them!'.

4. I do not care what other 'wonderful' things he has said. It all gets nullified in my mind, because of his unfettered hate towards a community. There are various ways to increase a community's self respect without attacking the alleged enemy. Mahatma successfully showed this. And he used Truth and Love for this transformation of all Indians. Not the Lies and Hate EVR used. This is why he will always be regulated to the foot note or the dust bin of history. This is also, more importantly, why he has virtually no following in India, except in a few self styled 'intellectual circles'.

By the way of the three you admire, I definitely agree with MLK, because he used love towards his enemy. AR is a seditious, self styled, attention grabber for her own selfish reasons. Yet, to me she is irrelevant. You already know my views about EVR.

Regards,
KRS
 
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Dear brother KRS,

As I stated at the very beginning, I am under no illusion of changing anybody's mind. All I hope is that there may be some who are willing to see past the only thing brahmins see in EVR, namely, brahmin hatred. Even among them I only wish they have a more nuanced understanding of this great social reformer who released the so called Shudras and Panchamas from the yoke of self-imposed inferiority.

....1. So, I don't think your defense of EVR about not saying this carries any practical implication.
Fair enough, often perception is reality. This possible attribution is believed to be true by not only Brahmins but NBs as well. You are correct if you say my point is a technical one, but it being a technical point does not take away the significance of my objection.

2. ....I fundamentally appreciate the inherent culture of Tamil folks, who, till EVR came along accepted Tam Brahms as the part of Tamil culture.
This betrays a level of unawareness of Tamil culture. Anti-brahmin sentiments are expressed as far back as Manimekalai by Seethalai Sathanar. Before that was the rule of Kalapirars, a time when Brahmins did not have any influence to bother about, much like the present time.

Then we have Kapilar Agaval from 16th century CE in which the author excoriated the Brahmin ideology of birth based supremacy. In more recent times we have the followers of Tamil Saiva Sddhanta, a whole host of them virulently anti-brahmin. Among them were Marai Malai Adigal, V. Kanagasapabathy Pillai, K.N. Sivaraja Pillai, P. Sundaram Pillai, and many others. All of these people were as much against Brahminism and the Brahmins for whom their ism is sacrosanct, as EVR was. The only differences were (a) EVR was an atheist and (b) EVR connected with the common people and was much beloved.

Let me cite a small comment made by one these Saiva Siddantha followers about EVR:

"I participate in both Saiva Siddhata meetings abd Self-respect meetings. .... I have my ideological disagreements with Periyar, ... Periyar was born to oppose the selfish gang which has enslaved Tamil language and the Tamil people. If Periyar had not come on the scene, we'd have been the most derogatory state, calling ourselves "shudras" without any shame. -- A Varadananjayya Pillai (1949)

Source: Dravidian Movement and Saivites, A.R. Venkatachalapathy, Economic and Political Weekly, April 1995.



EVR was not one to invent anti-Brahminism, he just gave voice to the latent feelings among the masses for a long period of time. I agree, the Tamil people are decent folks. They accepted the Brahmins as one among them only to be trodden upon as "Shudras" by them.

One more important point to note is the aparent tranquility one may observe on the surface. For instance, during the time of slavery, a treveller from outside U.S. would have found the southern states of the U.S. to be peaceful and the slaves to be generally well fed and happy. The violence of the system, both physical and mental, would not be out in the open for anyone to observe, even to the average white folks living in close proximity who were in all probabality decent and humane people. But, all this cannot be cited againt those who rose up against the system. All revolutuionaries are not going to be MLKs, there will be some who are more like Malocom X. The oppressors don't have the right to approve who is acceptable and who is not.


By the way, him being 'friends' with the likes of Rajaji, reminds of a few prejudice folks who exclaimed, on knowing my wife's ethnicity, 'Oh, are you jewish? Gosh, you are not like one of them!'.
How I wish you did not bring your wife into this. BTW, the Jews have what is called Reform Juadaism, is there an equivalent among the Brahmins who wish to practice Brahminism? Why not? Please note, it was not only EVR who considered Rajaji his friend, but Rajaji thought of EVR as his life-long friend. The difference is between somebody telling your wife she was not like other jews and your wife telling others that this guy is not anti-jewish, hope you see the difference. (A million sincere pardons to make a comment based on your dear parted wife.)

Anyway, dear brother KRS, all I can do is to request you not to reject EVR outright because of his virulent anti-Brahmin stand. Take a look at his motivations, what he did, what he achieved, and what he represents to most of the Tamil people. The rest is up to history. BTW, contrary to what you predict, EVR will be remembered as a shining light of modernity and rationalism after many of the acharayas, rishis, maharishis, and godmen/godwomen are long forgotten.

Cheers!
 
BTW, contrary to what you predict, EVR will be remembered as a shining light of modernity and rationalism after many of the acharayas, rishis, maharishis, and godmen/godwomen are long forgotten.

Cheers!


Try asking anyone these days about EVR and we would only hear "EVR??WHO??"

Tell them Shah Rukh Khan and they will be" Oh yes Thats my Ra One!!"(cos now SRK is ruling)

Everyone gets forgotten by Time eventually..people even forget God so what about us lesser mortals?
 
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