PERIYAR E.V. RAMASAMY
at Erode town in Tamil Nadu State - India
A popular rich merchant;
Ardent devotee of Hindu religion. (A Vaishnavite)
[Age - 06]
was sent to a small primary school normally run at a House
- pial in those days.
school career ended within 5 years.
[Age - 12]
entered his fatherís trade.
|He used to hear
Tamil Vaishnav religious Gurus talks on mythologies at
his house, enjoying hospitability of his parents. As a
boy, he started questioning the contradictions and absurdities
in the fables of Hindu deities spread by the Arya Race
ie., Brahmins for subjugating Dravidian Race.
Blossoming of rationalism and atheism slowly in the mind
of this youth - Ramasamy.
|He married NAGAMMAL, aged
He reformed his orthadox wife and sowed rationalistic
views in her mind.
|He became the father of a female - child
which expired within 5 months and thereafter had no children.
| He undertook "renunciation"
of family because of the harsh reprimand of his father.
He went first to Vijayawada in Andhra State. Then he proceeded
to Hyderabad and Kolkatta.
INSULT AT KAASI ENLIGHTENS HIS RATIONALISM
reached Kaasi (Varanasi), a noted sacred town of Hindu
pilgrimage on the bank of the River Ganges. There he could
not get free meals easily at choultries which exclusively
fed Brahmins forbidding other Hindu castes.
Having starved severely for some days, this handsome young
man Ramasamy found no other better way than to enter a
choultry with the appearance of a Brahmin wearing a thread
on his bare chest. But his moustache betrayed him. So
the gate-keeper not only prevented his entry but also
pushed him rudely to the street.
At that moment, as the feast was over inside the choultry,
the leaves with food left over were thrown at the street.
The unbearable burning hunger for the past few days forced
Ramasamy to compete with the street - dogs in eating the
remnants of food in the leaves.
While eating that food, the eyes of Ramasamy looked at
the letters carved on the front wall of the building.
They revealed the truth that the choultry exclusively
occupied by the highest caste viz., Brahmins, had been
built only by a wealthy merchant of Dravidian Race from
in the mind of this young man, some questions could have
sparked such as:
"Why and how the Brahmins can obstruct the Dravidians
from taking meals in the choultry although the choultry
was built with the money of a Dravidian Philanthropist?
Why the Brahmins behaved so mercilessly and fanatically
as to push the communities of the Dravidian race even
to starvation - death by adamantly enforcing their evil
No justifiable answers came to convince the judicious
thinking of Periyar on the above questions.
The disgrace inflicted by the Brahmins at KAASI upon him
without the least mercy, made a deep wound in the heart
of Periyar and it inflamed intense hatred towards that
Aryan race and their creation of innumerable Gods.
Though Kasi (Varanasi) has been acclaimed as the most
"sacred town" by the Brahmins, the worst ugly
scenes of immoral activities, prostitution, cheating,
looting, begging crowds for alms, floating dead bodies
on the River Ganges turned Periyar to abhor that so-called
holy-town. Consequently, a re-thinking on his renunciation
led him to return to his family life.
On returning to Erode - his father delegated all his trade
rights to this second son and renamed his major commercial
concern under the title: "E.V. Ramasamy Naicker Mandi"
onwards : SELFLESS
|Besides being a well-known wealthy businessman
in Erode Mr. E.V.R. entered into public life by rendering
social services selflessly.
noteworthy instance: Once the dreadful contagious disease
plague attacked Erode. Hundreds of people died and thousands
fled for saving their life. But this noble man did not
desert his native town like other rich merchants. He himself
carried the dead bodies to the cremation ground while
even the close kith and kin did not touch them for last
rites due to the fear of the contagion of the plague disease.
He commanded enormous influence over other traders in
the bazaar street of Erode. He mediated and solved many
disputes among the businessmen with neutrality and uprightness.
In his youthful years he was attracted by the Tamil scholar
Pandithamani Ayothidhaasar who vehemently condemned the
caste - system and Hindu religion of Brahmins with the
principles of rationalism and Buddhism.
Despite his intense hatred towards the Hindu religion
and its caste - system - particularly the cruel 'Untouchability'
imposed by the Brahmins to supress the Dravidian race
- the executive efficiency and the unshakable honesty
of E.V.R. fetched the awards of many posts in various
Periyar was made Honorary Magistrate by the British Government.
He held many honorary positions like the President, the
Secretary, Vice-President etc., in various public institutions
numbering 29 such as - District Board, Taluk Board, Urban
Bank, Davasthanam (Religious Trust), Public Library, War
Recruitment Committee, Association of Agriculturists,
Association of Merchants, Mahajana School Committee...
FRIENDSHIP OF TAMIL SCHOLARS
|There was a Tamil Scholar by name: Pulavar
Marudhaiya Pillai at Karur. His logical arguments and
daring condemnation of Hindu religion, caste-system, deceptive
myths in the epics and Vedic sasthras spread by the Brahmins,
had attracted admiration of even the ordinary rural people
in the areas around Erode and Karur.
His bosom - friendship played a major role in inculcating
atheism firmly in the mind of Periyar and in moulding
the latter as a probing rational thinker.
Intimacy of another Tamil Scholar Sage KAIVALYAM had also
enriched the rational intuition of Periyar.
Many higher officials and learned persons like Engineer
P.V. MANICKA NAICKER befriended this Erode Beacon, because
of his progressive views.
|Unyielding to stiff protest of orthodox
family members, Periyar arranged the remarriage of his
sister's daughter who became a child widow at the age