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After Periyar

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 movement.

After 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 a pause!

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 Periyar thus:

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 and technology.

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 and circumstances.

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 Thanthai Periyar?

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 of spirit.

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

1.

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.

Party Platforms

Weddings

General Functions

Interviews

Statements

Publications

Books

Articles

These are the different fronts on which propagation flourishes.


2.

Besides the President, other propagators and speakers of the movement participate in a number of functions, meetings and gatherings big and small.

1. Street corner propagation

2. Activities of the Rationalists' Fora and

3. The multi-pronged propagation by different wings of the
Party,

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 his ideals.
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.


3.
Rationalist Propagation 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 breaks.

Cudgels against Casteism and Communalism

4.
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.

5.
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 novel?

6.
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 movement.

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 Today.

subscriptions are collectedly kazhagam workers without any lapse.

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.

7. 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 and achievements.

8.
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 Arasu" and"Rationalist".

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.

9.
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.

10.

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 elements.

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 train.

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.


11.
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.

12.

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 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.

II I vow to keep myself away from the ills of god, religion, caste, movies, drinks, drugs and superstitious beliefs.

III 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.

IV 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.
V 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 do.

VI Instead of keeping on sending applications for jobs, I will strive hard to stand on my own feet and come up in life.

VII I will adopt simplicity, economy and a tendency to be friendly with others.

VIII I will ever be a field worker to revive my race that has been deprived of its cultural identity by the alien invasions.

IX I will consider youth an opportunity to serve the society and not to further my own self-interest.

X 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."

13. 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 of December.

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

14. 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 feet.

15. 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 speeches.
Street Plays

16. 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 acting.

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.

17. 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.

18. 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 beating Propaganda.
(2) Exploring the frauds of god men and godwomen by Drum beating Propaganda.
(3) Agitations demanding a solution to the Cauvery Water Issue.
(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.


19. Graffiti Writing is a unique propaganda methodof Dravidar Kazhagam.

Cauvery Water Issue

20.

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)
21.

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 revolution.

(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.


22.
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, Thanjavur.

Periyar Community College of Continuing Education, Periyar Nagar, Vallam, Thanjavur.

Periyar Bio-technological and Biosphere Research Bureau, Vallam, Thanjavur.

Periyar Women's Pharmacological College, Trichy

Periyar Commercial Training Centre, Periyar Nagar, Vallam,Thanjavur.

Periyar Rural non-conventional energy Research Institute Vallam Thanjavur.

Periyar Computer College, Trichy Periyar Computer Centre, Trichy

Nagammai Childeren's Home, Trichy

Periyar Centenary Kindergarten School, Trichy

Periyar - Maniammai Girl's Higher Secondary School, Trichy

Periyar Centenary Memorial Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Trichy

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

23.

Humanitarian services-Is not medical care a humanitarian service? Periyar Endowments have been running six hospitals, one each at Chennai, sholinganallur (Thiruvarur), Vallam, (Thanjavur), Trichy and Salem.

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 day.

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 the family.


24.
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.

25. Computer Institutes like 'VIBGYOR' are rendering help and support to our charity work.

26.
Periyar Organization 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.

27.
Periyar Biotechnology "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.

28.

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

29.
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 Kazhagam

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.

Agitation

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, though partially.

Reservation for women

31.
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

32.
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

33.
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

34. Every year periyar's Rationalists Diary & Calendar are published by Kazhagam

Periyar Social Guards Wing

35. 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.

Services Abroad

36. 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.