Activities of Dravidar Kazhagam after Periyar
under Annai Maniammai
On 6th January 1974,
the Central Committee of Dravidar Kazhagam elected Mrs.
Maniammai as the President of the movement. Mr.K.Veeramani
continued to be the General Secretary. All the members
and the office bearers took the pledge to carry on Periyar's
work following the way he had laid without yielding to any
kind of temptation.
Maniammaiyar protested against the celebration of Ramlila
in Delhi as it degraded the original inhabitants of India
as Rakshasas (demons), monkeys etc., and also gave a distorted
view of history. As her protest fell on deaf ears, she celebrated
'Ravana Lila' in Chennai. This lead to her arrest. Mr. K.Veeramani
and other members of the movement were also detained.
Under Maniammaiyar's leadership,
the agitation announced by Periyar to gain equal opportunities
to enter into the Sanctum Sanctorum was continued in the
form of picketing before the post offices and showing black
flags to Union Ministers.
General Secretary of Dravidar Kazhagam, Mr. K.Veeramani,
hundreds of office bearers and members were put behind bars
under MISA immediately after Tamil Nadu was brought under
President's rule during emergency dismissing the DMK Government
on 31st January 1976. Mr. K.Veeramani was brutally beaten
in Chennai Central Jail when he protested against the assault
on the co-prisoners belonging to DMK.
The Governor and his advisers had ruled Tamil Nadu. Public
meetings were not allowed. As in the case of other newspapers,
the Tamil daily, "Viduthalai" was put to severe
censorship. Under these trying circumstances, Maniammaiyar
toured various parts of Tamil Nadu and met the members of
the movement in indoor meetings. They exchanged views. Her
advice and encouragement acted as a tonic in those days.
The Government did not allow even celebrating the birthday
of Periyar in the headquarters at Chennai. When Maniammaiyar
showed determination, the ailing lady was arrested and detained
for a few days!
The Government of Indira Gandhi, responsible for the emergency
rule, was defeated in the general elections held in March
1977. When she came to Chennai, Dravidar Kazhagam showed
black flags against her. Maniammaiyar, along with other
members, were imprisoned. While he was in prison, Mr.K.Veeramani
lost his father, C.S.Krishnasamy.
Mrs. Maniammaiyar who steered the ship of the movement with
courage, skill and tact during the crisis of emergency died
on 16th March 1978. She would ever be remembered for her
devoted service to Periyar, which prolonged his life, and
also for the leadership qualities she showed during the
brief stint she directed the movement. Her simplicity, strong
will, real concern for the welfare of the common men all
women, and the zeal to work for their progress were a real
asset to Dravidar Kazhagam, a unique social revolutionary
Periyar and Maniammai
After quitting congress party
in 1925, Periyar started Self-Respect Movement.
This is a people's movement that was started by a leader
who had day-to-day contact with the people. No one could
point out a parallel or a superior social revolutionary
movement to this one.
The basic requirement to
reform people is to break the chains put on their brains
(Le. the faculty of thinking). This is a movement, which
has dedicated itself to a unique service to society shunning
self-interest, family welfare, party interest etc and it
has not indulged in any violent agitation so far.
The ideology and the principles of this movement are not
meant for oratorical flourishes or written embellishment.
It is a movement meant for action, action and action. It
has won laurels Only by actions.
As a people's movement it has faced many a hurdle and earned
support from outside only sparingly. Those who were benefited
by this movement have today joined hands with the enemies
and throw slur on the movement. Yet the movement goes on
as ever lit by the selfless sacrifices of the "black
candles".(" Black candles" figuratively refers
to the members of Dravidar Kazhagam, who wear black clothes
and serve the public unmindful of personal hardships.)
The movement has brought about social changes of historical
significance. The target of its reasoning is not to do any
research or to get a better placement in society but to
render service for the betterment of the people as a whole.
This movement is a repertoir of human rights.
It swing against the current of reactionary pasts towards
dignity and enhightenment. Its training to its volunteers
and followers has been exemplary. It is too tough for others
to emulate. With pride Periyar said, "My followers
render yeoman service to the movement spending money out
of their pockets and eating out of their hands. Actually
they do a thankless job Sans respite and sans respect.
The movement has a two edged weapon of war. They are (i)
Propaganda and (ii) agitations. Both of them are going on
alternating like the movement of a pendulum in a clock without
The movement has been on its undaunted march for more since
1925 and in its long march it has seen to it that many of
its plans and resolutions have as materialized laws and
Acts passed by the State and the Central Governments. They
are all milestones in the progress of our society.
Many years have elapsed since Thanthai Periyar's long journey
ended on 24 December 1973. In the long period after him,
Periyar's fame and his ideals have spread all over the world.
Revolutionary poet Bharathidasan sang about
A ripe old fruit in rendering service
His white beard rolls on his chest
The world salutes, the fountainhead of his thoughts
A leopard leaps out from his heart
Look! He is Periyar! Yes, he is Periyar!
His words have come true today. People
in countries like Canada and the U.S.A admire the thoughts
of Periyar, which enlightened the ignorant and opened
the eyes of the tradition bound people of the country
to see the changes taking place in the Age of science
In the year 1972, UNESCO conferred on Periyar (while he
was alive) a special honour which was presented by the
Central Government Minister for Education Hon'ble Trigunasen
at a function held in Chennai.
Periyar was eulogized as an incomparable achiever in the
last one thousand years by great thinkers and intellectuals.
Today his ideals and thoughts are traveling faster all
over the world. The propaganda of his ideals has grown
so strong that' opposition to his ideals disappear like
dew drops as the sun rises.
Those who are ignorant of these developments ask (many
with good intention and some with a sarcastic derision)
why the propaganda of Periyar's ideals has grown weaker
than what it was while Periyar was alive.
This is contrary to truth. This is a baseless accusation
made without listening to Dravidar Kazhagam's propaganda,
without reading our journals and without listening to
what we speak in the meetings and gatherings.
Agitations by the Dravidar Kazhagam are being launched
whenever there is a need for them. No hesitation is shown
nor compromises made. The quality and intensity of the
agitations are decided depending on the need of the hour
The basic principles
of the movement are the same and are inviolable. Only the
ways of executing those principles will vary to suit the
needs of the time. It is like a journey. The mode of journey
may be by car, train or aeroplane, but the destination is
determined and fixed.
I would like to make one thing clear.
The Dravidian movement is to be judged by the activities
of the Dravidar Kazhagam alone. To judge the movement on
the basis of thecompromising stance adopted by the political
parties which got separated from the movement or by those
splinter groups which deviated from the Movement craving
for an identity of their own is beside the point.
Periyar's ideals will never get diluted nor defiled. The
true Periyarists will never allow it to happen.
Iron can never be eaten away by rats.
Has Dravidar Kazhagam ever deviated from the path laid by
Has it ever indulged in entertainments and merry making
neglecting its duties to society?
Is it not the vow
taken under the leadership of Annai Maniammaiar on January
6, 1974 after the demise of Thanthai Periyar that has bound
us to carry on the war begun by Periyar regardless of the
sacrifices we have to make for the our society? This task
has been carried on ever since without any lacuna, or lack
The activities carried on by Dravidar Kazhagam are listed
below. Kindly go through them and make a judgement of your
own. This movement was founded on the rock basis of realizing
a new society where no inequalities exist among the people
in the name of birth, caste, gender, education or pelf.
It was founded to create a brave new world where equal rights
and equal opportunities exist.
Fronts of Propagation
The President is on the propagation tour
not less than 15 days in a month. Everyday he addresses
several gatherings. The propaganda reverberates in all
directions of Tamil Nadu one day or another.
These are the different fronts on which
Besides the President,
other propagators and speakers of the movement participate
in a number of functions, meetings and gatherings big
1. Street corner propagation
2. Activities of the Rationalists' Fora and
3. The multi-pronged propagation by different wings
These are some of the
cornerstones of the Kazhagam's Propaganda Machinery.
For instance the youth wing, the students' wing, the
women's' wing, the labourers' wing, the farmers' wing
etc. propagate Periyar's ideals and carry out the tasks
set by Thanthai Periyar with ever surging enthusiasm.
In places like Tiruttani, Rameswaram. Gummidipoondi,
Ponneri, Usilampatti, Andipatti, Bodi, Cumbum, Gudalur,
Varsanadu and parts of Nilgiris, which were not touched
by Periyar's ideology, are now being inundated with
Propagation based on reasoning and discipline has weaned
away many a student studying in High schools, Higher
Secondary Schools and Colleges from drug addiction and
other bad habits and this service has claimed accolades
from eminent educationists. Even the heads of institutions
run by religious bodies have been struck with amazement
by the change we have brought about among students.
This type of propagation has been adopted to immunise
the student community against the noxious influence
of vote seeking politicians, to enable them to think
on their own and to be independent, wise, bold, honest,
and involved in their studies.
is in full swing throughout the year in rural areas.
In every district the office bearers have arranged for
a well-trained team of propagators to travel in a van
carrying the message of Thanthai Periyar to every nook
and cranny of the district.
This kind of propagation has completed covering many
areas. Not a single day has elapsed without propagation
against casteism, communalism and superstitious beliefs.
Rationalist books and pamphlets have been sold and distributed
in villages at an affordable price that in many cases
does not cover even cost.
In the forty-seven Kazhagam districts of Tamil Nadu
this kind of propagation is going on simultaneously
at the rate of two districts at a time. It has reached
thousands of rural folk in Tamilnadu with occasional
Cudgels against Casteism and Communalism
Since the beginning
of 1992 cudgels against casteism and communalism have
been taken with the slogan "Raze down communalism,
rear up Humanism". We find today this slogan being
echoed by different parties, organizations and movements.
When Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992, Dravidar
Kazhagam launched the burning of "saffron flag"
as an act of unmasking the diabolical deed of the Hindutva.
In 1998-99 when communal carnage and bomb blasts shook
the textiles city of Kovai (Coimnbatore) , it was Dravidar
Kazhagam which dared to bell the cat by organizing a
mammoth rally and a mega conference insisting on the
indispensability of humanism to restore peace and normalcy
in the riot ridden city.
In 1997 caste clashes erupted in the southern districts
and the normal life of the people went awry. At that
juncture Dravidar Kazhagam set in motion a long march
against caste from 'Vaikom' in Kerala with the slogan
"Let us do away with caste and don with equality".
Who went to the affected areas and propagated the panacea
of humanism to the ills of casteism? Was it not Dravidar
kazhagam? That is how the Kazhagam gained the support
of other parties and organizations.
To instil an awakening
among the urbanites with regard to the evils of superstition,
casteism, communalism and subjugation of women, an all
women propaganda committee was constituted and it went
on its mission starting from Kanyakumari and ending
in Chennai. Its mission is still going on successfully.
Women conducted even events like "Magic or Deceit?"
exposing hte tricks of socalled godmen. Is it not something
Today our movement
stands as a popular one despite the deadlock of the
press and media neglect. It is because of the Kazhagam's
daily 'Viduthalai', the only rationalist journal started
by Thanthai Periyar far back in 1935, our propagation
goes on uninterrupted against all odds.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union's President,
Levi Fragal, proudly pointed out while declaring open
the Periyar Centre at New Delhi that the only Rationalist
Daily in the world is 'Viduthalai' run by Periyar's
The subscriptions to and the circulation of 'Viduthalai'
have increased substantially. It is no wonder that a
journal without the alluring cinema news, 'what your
star tells' and similar other misleading and tickling
items will find less reception.
Unlike the other run-of-the mill type of dailies, Viduthalai
treads a different path catalysing political changes,
social/ changes and economical changes. It is rather
a daily of views than a daily of news. It is being printed
at a costlier multi-coloured offset printing press.
Further 'Viduthalai' is the first Tamil daily to get
published on the Internet.
The monthly 'Unmai', which was started in 1970 by Thanthai
Periyar, grew up into a bi-monthly when Annai Maniammai
took on the mantle of Thanthai Periyar. It has had a
wide reception all over the world carrying gems of thoughts.
The English monthly 'The Modern Rationalist' has been
spreading Periyarism to different corners of the world
since its inception on 1.9.1971.
All the journals cited have been made available at website,
"www.viduthalai.com, www.unmaionline.com, the www.themronline.com"
for anyone's reach in the world.
Propagation of Periyarism has become a global phenomenon
subscriptions are collectedly kazhagam workers without
News about the Periyar Educational Institutions reach
the _parents and the students in the form of 'News Letters'
that serve as a means of communication. "Periyar
Pinchu" a tiny magazine to cater for the needs
of young children is published _ once in every month
furnishing useful information to them.
||A separate website has been provided in
the Internet for those all over the world who want to
know all about the history of the Kazhagam, its ideals
Thanthai Periyar set
about his Self-Respect Movement's propaganda with his
journal "Kudi Arasu" started in the year_
1925. He also brought out books of research and pamphlets
of propaganda as low-priced publications of "Kudi
He also got the history of great revolutions that shook
the world and the contributions of great thinkers behind
those revolutions translated into Tamil.
This type of work has expanded now. More than 250 books,
both re-prints of old ones and new publications, are
being sold out in lakhs. Books in Tamil, English and
Hindi are brought out every now and then.
Periyar mobile Book
Fair takes these books to every' nook and cranny of
Tamilnadu and thousands of books are sold out wherever
the van moves. The vehicle built by Leyland Company
is a three in one functioning as a book - shop, library
and a propaganda dais fitted with a TV Set.
A Periyar Centre was
built in Delhi in 1999 and went on smoothly rendering
its service to the neighbourhood. When the,centre was
demolished on 3rd December 2001, against law but by
that evil event, the north Indians came to know of the
services of Thanthai Periyar.
Now an acre of land at the value of two crores of rupees
has been allotted to raise a new structure in and interior
an_ busy institutional area.
The former Central Minister Chandrajit Yadhav has been
of great help in making the north Indian leaders understand
thanthai Periyar and his services in perspective.
Former President of India late Mr. Zail Singh invited
K.Veeramani to Delhi and celebrated Periyar's birthday
in a grand manner. "Periyar Mela" was celebrated
in Andhra Pradesh in 2000 A.D by Dravidar Kazhagam.
Mr. Kanshiram, the founder- leader of Bahujan Samaj
Party celebrated "Periyar Mela" presided over
by the then U.P. Chief Minister Ms. Mayawathi at Lucknow
in the face of protests and disturbances of the hindutva
Eight special trains
had rought the admirers of Thanthai Periyar from different
parts of the country to Lucknow. Dravidar Kazhagam journeyed
with more than 2000 members from Tamil Nadu by a special
Similarly in the year 2000 a special train was arranged
to go to Delhi on the occasion of the inaugural function
of Periyar Centre. That trip itself served as a propaganda
trip of Periyarism.
Our great teacher Thanthai
Periyar had expressed a wish of his during his last
days that the humbug of the Bhagavat Gita should be
exposed. His wish has been fulfilled with the release
of a research work entitled, "The Other Side of
the Gita". The book has spread all over the world
and no Brahmin has uttered a word to gainsay the contents
of the book. The book release functions held in various
parts of Tamilnadu were in themselves a propaganda.
As the humbugs of the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha and
the Puranas were exposed at the time of Thanthai Periyar,
the humbug of "The Gita" is also exposed now.
Low priced editions of the book are sold continually
in large numbers.
The youth are joining
Dravidar Kazhgam in hundreds and thousands. Their arrival
to the party makes the other parties wonder what gravitates
these youth towards the Kazhagam despite the strict
rules of discipline the Kazhagam impose on them.
The older generation
of the movement is pleased with this sight of the younger
generation flowing into the mainstream of the party.
The rules of discipline imposed on the youth are many. Ten
of the vows administered to them are as follows:
||I will prefer intercaste marriage, widow
remarriage, or marriage of a divorcee. I know that demanding
a dowry is against self-respect and amounts to selling
oneself and hence I vow never to sell myself.
||I vow to keep myself away from the ills
of god, religion, caste, movies, drinks, drugs and superstitious
||I will convert myself into a social worker
and do my best to keep the environment free from pollution,
to protect the public properties and to maintain law and
order for the good of the people.
||I realize that a sound mind is nourished
in a sound body, and I vow to dedicate myself to the service
of humanity to sustain the welfare of the society and
the world at large.
||I will follow the tenet of Thanthai Periyar
"Forget God; think of humans" as the guiding
principle in my life and live as a humanist of self-respect
and service. I will do what I say and say what I will
||Instead of keeping on sending applications
for jobs, I will strive hard to stand on my own feet and
come up in life.
||I will adopt simplicity, economy and a
tendency to be friendly with others.
||I will ever be a field worker to revive
my race that has been deprived of its cultural identity
by the alien invasions.
||I will consider youth an opportunity to
serve the society and not to further my own self-interest.
||I vow to observe the words of Thanthai
Periyar, "Behave with others as you would expect
them to behave with you-and that is discipline good conduct"
and be one of the architects in creating a brave new world.
The youth have realized that Periyarism
is a discipline of life and Periyar's path is free from
harmful evils of life.
Training camps for the youth have been conducted in many
places to give them instructions in Periyar's ideology and
train them on the lines of his ideals. The camps have been
held successfully in the following centres in years; coonoor,
Madurai, Pallapatti., Keeramangalam, Velankanni, Thiruvarur,
Maruthur, Senthurai, Thiruvaiyaru, Pullampadi, Elagiri and
Chennai. The camp at Courtallam celebrated its silver Jubilee
in the year.
These young men are not agents recruited to canvass votes
nor have they been gravitated with the lure of power or
pelf. They are the heirs of Thanthai Periyar with an unwavering
conviction that "What cannot be achieved by others
could be achieved by us. What we cannot achieve could never
be achieved by others."
||Periyar Reading Rooms, libraries and book-
shops for selling rationalist publications are being opened
all over the state at a forced pace.
Our target is to open 125 reading rooms all over Tamilnadu
by September of this year. Even if the target falls short
of a few numbers the target will be reached by the end
Construction of new buildings
Renovation of old buildings
Collecting contributions from new donors for construction
of new buildings
These are what we will achieve as our goal and drive away
ignorance lighting up knowledge.
Periyarism Training College
||Periyarism Training College started at
Trichy in 1998 has been conducting training programmes
in Periyarism every year in summer. It is to he noted
that the trainees have also been given instructions in
computer and tailoring to make them stand on their own
||Video, audio cassettes, speeches, songs
and publications keep on the Propaganda reverberating
throughout the country. Volumes of good old green wrapper
"Kudi Arasu" numbers and Periyar encyclopedia
are being converted into computer discs in order to keep
update the propaganda in tune with the modern technological
developments. A separate wing is engaged in this task.
Comrade D.M. Periyarsamy is compiling Thanthai Periyar's
||Street plays are performed in short periods
with the minimum make-up and cost of production. The artists
are the young graduates who expose the day-to-day burning
social problems to the public, and make them think over
those problems with their down to earth presentation and
On cultural side the Trichy "Kalai Kaveri" troupe
under the supervision of Reverend Father George is rendering
a tremendous service by projecting Periyar's life history
on the stage for three hours. This troupe has successfully
staged the drama under the title "The Morning Music
of a New Era" in Trichy and Chennai. It has proved
to be an impressive propagation of Periyar's humanism.
||Periyar T.V. is a future target. It is
to be achieved after collecting several crores of rupees.
Rationalist Propaganda had already been on popular T.V.slots
but it was dropped because of the success of the rationalist
movie "Puratchikkaran" ("The Revolutionary")
which scraped through the objections of the Censor Board.
The film exposed the blind beliefs of the people and the
frauds of godmen practised on them in the name of God,
caste and religion. Efforts are being made to revive the
slots for wider coverageof Tamilnadu.
||Agitations and demonstrations were launched
against superstitions and Communal atrocities as and when
needed as follows:
(1) Exposing the fraud of elephant
headed deity Vinayaka (Ganesha) drinking milk by drum
(2) Exploring the frauds of god men and godwomen by
Drum beating Propaganda.
(3) Agitations demanding a solution to the Cauvery
(4) Making Royalty to Neyveli lignite and Narimanam
petrol available to Tamilnadu Govt.
(5) Launching agitations against privatisation of
Salem Steel Plant.
(6) Launching agitations against Privatisation of
Neyveli Lignite Corporation.
||Graffiti Writing is a unique propaganda
methodof Dravidar Kazhagam.
Cauvery Water Issue
|Tamilnadu is continually being cheated in Cauvery water
issue since 1994. Dravidar Kazhagam has been struggling
incessantly to get the due share of Cauvery water to Tamilnadu
. It has been conducting all party meets, picketings and
relay propaganda in this regard. It was Dravidar Kazhagam
which put forward the idea of constituting a panel of
judges to resolve the issue.
Thanthai Periyar Muththamizh Manram
(a Forum for the three-fold Tamil)
In order to activate
the propaganda of the kazhagam, it was decided to introduce
cultural and rationalist programmes and accordingly
the following wings have been started.
(i) Thanthai Periyar Mutthamizh Mandram is a registered
trust. This forum has been conducting different. Cultural
programmes every year to sow the seeds for a cultural
(ii) Periyar Rationalists'
Literary Forum has been striving to introduce reforms
in the alphabet of Tamil and make Tamil a language fit
for the advancement of science and technology.
This is to be done on
the lines of Thanthai Periyar's thoughts with the help
of linguistic experts and rationalists.
Thanthai Periyar had
realised that Education was very important to bring
about any change in society. He tried to make education
a public property so that all sections of society could
have a claim to it and he succeeded in his endeavour.
He set an example to others by opening a few educational
institutions in Trichy. They are as follows:
1. Periyar Teachers' Training School
2. Nagammai Teachers' Training School for Women
3. Periyar Primary (Middle) School
4. Periyar Maniammai Higher Secondary School (conceived
by Periyar and executed by Maniammai)
In the post Periyar period they have grown up and branched
off into several educational institutions, namely:
Periyar Maniyammai Engineering College for Women, Periyar
Nagar, Vallam - Thanjavur (the first Engineering College
in the world exclusively for women)
Periyar Centenary Women's Polytechnic, Periyar Nagar,Vallam,
Periyar Community College of Continuing Education, Periyar
Nagar, Vallam, Thanjavur.
Periyar Bio-technological and Biosphere Research Bureau,
Periyar Women's Pharmacological College, Trichy
Periyar Commercial Training Centre, Periyar Nagar, Vallam,Thanjavur.
Periyar Rural non-conventional energy Research Institute
Periyar Computer College, Trichy Periyar Computer Centre,
Nagammai Childeren's Home, Trichy
Periyar Centenary Kindergarten School, Trichy
Periyar - Maniammai Girl's Higher Secondary School,
Periyar Centenary Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary
Nagammai Women's Teacher Training Institute, Trichy
Periyar Men's Teacher Training Institute, Trichy. Periyar
Computer Research Academy, Chennai
Periyar Coaching Centre for Entrance Examination, Chennai
Periyar Institute of English, Chennai
not medical care a humanitarian service? Periyar Endowments
have been running six hospitals, one each at Chennai,
sholinganallur (Thiruvarur), Vallam, (Thanjavur), Trichy
Nagammai Children's Home started at Trichy by Periyar
is taking care of abandoned female children, giving
them education, and 28 of them have got married till
The Kaivalyam Home for
the aged started at Trichy offering shelter and care
to the aged who have been abandoned with no heirs to
look after them due to poverty or other problems in
For the benefit of
the public and the party workers two benefit funds have
been instituted. They are functioning effectively and
successfully for the past 10 and 6 years in Chennai
and Thanjavur respectively governed by the rules and
regulations of the government of India.
||Computer Institutes like 'VIBGYOR' are
rendering help and support to our charity work.
for Women's Empowerment and Renaissance(Power) has been
instituted for the economic uplift of rural womenfolk
and destitute widows. It offers them opportunities to
start their own small scale enterprises that would fetch
them additional income and produce women enterprenuers
from among them.
"Probe" has adopted 64 villages and is developing
them as model villages to live in.
Periyar's dream that the differences between the villages
and towns should be removed is being realized gradually.
A separate organization called IMPRESSO is striving
to create an awakening among the youth and provide
them job opportunities.
Are not these organizations, institutions and wings
propagating Periyar's ideals on different fronts?
Propagation of Periyarism
Noted advocate Geethalayan
alias Sukumar at Kudanthai has turned a full-time Periyarist
and he has arranged for a series of lectures to be delivered
on every Sunday under the title "Periyar Speaks"
,._to propogate'Periyarism. Similar lectures are being
arrangein' other places too
In Chennai I have been delivering a series of lectures
at Periyar Library Readers Forum collecting material
from journals like the old green cover "Kudi Arasu",
"Viduthalai", "Pagutharivu" "and
"Nagara Thoothan" and different books. A number
of new members keep attending the lectures regularly.
I have delivered 55 lectures so far and my target is
a hundred lectures.
Most of these lectures get printed as books and sold
out in large numbers.
Contribution of Kazhagam to Social Justice
On the demise of Maniammaiyar, when the
mantle fell on my shoulders to steer Dravidar Kazhagflm,
M.G.R. was about to harm social justice by imposing a limit
to Rs. 9000/- as the annual income for extending concessions
to the backward classes. Dravidar Kazhagam initiated an
agitation against the heinous act with the support of friendly
parties like D.M.K., CPl., Indian union Muslim-League, Congress,
Janatha party etc. and got the act nullified.
M.G.R. met a crushing defeat in the election for the Parliament
in 1980. Realizing his mistake, M.G.R enhanced reservation
for backward classes from 31 percent to 50 percent. Later
the total reservation became 68 percent. As the Supreme
Court in a judgement ordered 1 percent reservation for the
scheduled tribes the figure rose up to 69 percent.
Ambasankar Commission and Dravidar
Dravidar Kazhagam had been responsible
for the constitution of the Second Backward Classes Commission
under the chairmanship of Ambashankar. As Dravidar Kazhagam
found the recommendations of the chairman of the commission
against the welfare of the backward class tobe, it convened
a conference and raised an alarm against the harmful recommendations
of the commission. This made M.G.R., the then Chief Minister
of Tamilnadu to issue a new order confirming the 68 percentage
of reservation. This facilitated the next move of the government
to set apart 30 perent for the back ward classes and 20
percent for the Most Backward Classes.
When the Supreme court judges passed an
interim order against-the Act passed by the Tamilnadu Govt.
it was Dravidar Kazhagam which launched an agitation burning
the judges' interim order and their effigies. The Kazhagam
cadres were arrested and imprisoned by the then D.M.K govt
for the democratic expression of the Kazhagam's resent.
When the senior cadres of Dravider Kazhgam in Tuticorin
were handcuffed and taken to prison, Kazhagam faced the
trial with aplomb.
It is Dravidar Kazhagam which was responsible to upgrade
the percentage of reservation from 49 percent during Periyar's
time to 69 percent after Periyar. When a bolt from the supreme
court fell on the 69 percent reservation, Dravidar Kazhagam
prepared a draft bill which was accepted by the Tamilnadu
Legislature and it was made an Act under rule 31 C by the
then Chief Minister Ms. J.Jayalalitha It was again Dravidar
Kazhagam which pointed out the way to safeguard the Act
by getting it included in schedule 9 of the constitution
as per the 76th Amendment. In no other slate Social Justice
has been made secure in such a foolproof way.
In 1980s Dravidar Kazhagam clamoured for
social justice in the appointment of Judges to the High
Court. Only thereafter candidates from backward classes
and scheduled castes came to be appointed as High Court
Judges. During M.G.R's regime a central govt. minister questioned
the propriety of such appointments. A Tamilnadu Govt minister
answered that it was the psychology of the soil and then
only such appointments were confirmed.
In 2001 Dravidar Kazhagam launched an agitation in Kahchipuram
against favourtism shown to the brahmin boys and the lopsided
treatment given to the non-brahmin boys in the hostels of
the educational institutions run by the Kanchi mutt.
Since 1980 the Central Govt had been refusing
to implement the Mandal Commission Report which recommended
reservation for backward classes. In order to educate the
ignorant, the educated and the politicians on the need of
the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report, Dravidar
Kazhagam organized 42 conferences and launched 16 agitations
and finally succeeded in getting the recommendation implemented,
Reservation for women
Dravidar Kazhagam has
been moulding the idea of 50 percent reservation for
women in education and employment opportunities while
continuing its stress on 33 percent reservation for
women in Parliament and state Legislatures.
In 1989-90 the D.M.K Govt passed a bill in the state
legislature to confer the right of equal share in property
for women. The then President of India. K. Venkataraman
hesitated to give his consent to the bill. The Women's
wing of Dravidar Kazhagam organized massive demonstration
and the Bill was signed and the Act was finally passed.
Reservation in Private Sector
Though the demand for
reservation in private sector has gained momentum at
present, Dravidar Kazhagam has been clear in its stand
since 1983. It has also made it known to the world that
this is one of the recommendations made by Mandai in
his Report. Dravidar Kazhagam continues to lay stress
on reservation in all departments including judiciary.
The issue of Srilanka Tamils and Dravidar Kazhagam
Atrocities on Sri Lankan
Tamils have been there for a very long time. When they
reached the peak in 1980's, Dravidar Kazhagam, plunged
into action by organising conferences, rallies, marches,
publishing pamphlets and launching demostrations and
agitations. Dravidar Kazhagam has been the central force
in making the issue felt strongly in Tamilnadu.
Periyar Diary & Calendar
||Every year periyar's Rationalists Diary
& Calendar are published by Kazhagam
Periyar Social Guards Wing
||The youth of both the sexes are given
uniforms and trained to take commands in Tamil and parade
like soldiers. They are reared with social responsibilities
and individual discipline on Periyar lines. Whenever needed
their services are available for the public to maintain
law and order.
||A periyar centre was started in Chicago
(U.S.A) on 3.11.1994 with the objective of propagating
periyar's thoughts and ideology abroad. The scope has
widened embracing the whole world with the participation
of Kazhagam in the International Humanist Ethical Union
(IHEU) in 1994.
Dear Friends, now tell us if Dravidar Kazhagam has lost
its verve and vigour. It is those who have distorted vision
and deranged thoughts would say so. We are sure that those
who know the facts would stand by us in our unparalleled
service to humanity.