Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (1879-1973), a great humanist of unique rationalist approach fought for the equality and equal opportunity for all. All are equal. Birth based discriminations are baseless. Humanism is the core essence of his ideology.
To ensure humanism in every aspect of human life, Periyar founded ‘Self Respect Movement’.
Self – respect is the exclusive trait of every human. In order to ensure self respect, he had to strategically oppose god and religion which discriminate people on the basis of birth.
Strategically he was an atheist and ideologically, a humanist. His rationalist approach and formation of mass movement to propagate the humanist ideology made him distinct from other social revolutionaries.
He lived up to 94 years and many of his reformative advocacies became reality with the legislative sanction of the State during his life time itself. The humanist ideology propagated acclaimed international prominence due to the follow up, initiative and organisational activities led by his ideological disciple, Dr.K.Veeramani.
The ideology of Periyar, framed as Periyarism is becoming popular throughout the world to eliminate the inequalities that exist among human beings. Humans must be treated with benevolence and dignity in all aspects.
Human outlook must prevail predominantly eliminating the discriminative tactics and practices that are perpetuated by the vested interests. Periyarism is getting globalised steadfastly. The Birthday of Periyar is celebrated in different countries, cutting across the different political boundaries.
Celebration of the Birthday is nothing but propagating the ideologies of Periyar. On September 17, 2012, Periyar’s 134th Birthday was celebrated by various humanist organisations, rationalists at different places.
Globalisation of Periyar is gaining momentum. A brief picture of Periyar’s 134th Birthday celebrations is presented as propaganda deeds of Periyar’s ideology.
Tamil Nadu – Erode
Erode is the birth place of Periyar. The birthday celebrations were conducted as propaganda conference by Dravidar Kazhagam (DK). Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam along with thousands of its black shirt cadres garlanded the statue of Periyar and paid obeisances.
The full day conference was signified with the release of ‘Viduthalai Malar’ (Annual Souvenir), a usual propaganda document on every birthday of Periyar. The souvenir covers the activities of Periyar Movement during the past one year and narrates the future plan.
The journal ‘Kudi Arasu’ published by Periyar from 1925-1949 is being compiled as compendium. Its concluding Volumes 41 and 42, covering the year 1949 were released. A book on ‘Comrade E.V.R.Nagammai’, Periyar’s deceased wife written by Prof. Dr.N.K.Mangala Murugesan was released.
134th birthday of Periyar falls during the Centenary Year of Dravidian Movement ( 1912-2012). The series of tele-lectures on Dravidian Movement delivered by Dr.K.Veeramani were released as DVDs.
Periyar Thidal, Chennai
The Women’s Wing of Dravidar Kazhagam and other functionaries of D.K. paid respect at Periyar Memorial at Periyar Thidal, Chennai, Headquarters of Periyar Movement. A seminar on ‘The Necessity of Periyarism Today’ was conducted under the Presidentship of Prof. Dr.V.Arasu, Madras University. Many prominent luminaries in public life participated in the seminar.
Periyar Centenary Educational Campus, Trichy
The teachers and students of all the educational institutions situated at Periyar Centenary Educational Campus, Trichy celebrated the Birthday with cultural programmes.
Periyar Maniammai University, Vallam, Thanjavur
Periyar Maniammai University, popularly called People’s University celebrated the Birthday with tree planting. The Vice-Chancellor, the teaching staff, administrative staff and students participated. Blood Donation Camp wasorganised at the Campus.
Besides, almost in every town, village, municipal corporation, Periyar’s 134th Birthday was celebrated. The Government of Tamil Nadu paid respect to Periyar. The Ministers of the Government garlanded the statue of Periyar at Chennai. The leaders of many political parties, service organisations paid their respects to Periyar.
‘Periyar International’ organises the Birthday celebrations of Periyar every year in United States of America.134th Birthday of Periyar was celebrated in an elaborate way. On September 15, 2012, the celebration took place at Public Library, Elkridge, Maryland.
The celebration was signified with the participation of the American Atheist, Ms.Margaret Downey- President, Free Thought and Tamil poet Kaviko Va.Mu.Sethurman. Renowned atheist Prof. Dr.N.Inniah welcomed the gathering.
Ms. Margaret elaborated on the similarity of thoughts between Periyar and Robert G.Ingersoll. Prof. Dr. A.Krishna Kumaran delivered a lecture on ‘Science, religion and ideologies’. The features of ‘Bhagavat Geetha’ that are contradictory to science were revealed. Dr. Prabakaran quoted ancient Tamil literature, describing the non existence of birth based caste system in the ancient Tamil society.
15 year old girl rationalist, Pooja Selvan sang songs about Periyar. Nanjil Peter emphasised the documentation of Periyar’s thoughts through the popular writers.
Dr. Soma Ilangovan Director, Periyar International, arranged and co-ordinated the celebrations and he spoke on the commonalities between Periyar and Ingersoll in opposing the religious identity and symbols.
Mrs. Prabakaran, Drs. Sankarapandi and Jeyanthi, Mrs.Nanjil Peter. Drs.Arasu and Meena, Siva Paramasivam , Drand Mrs. Ramasamy , Grace Pushparani, Dr.Saroja Ilangovan, Sundar Kuppusamy, R.Panneerselvam, Senthamil Selvi and many rationalists from Pensylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey participated in the celebration with their family members.
Accra, Ghana (Africa)
An Indian foundation titled, ‘Periyar African Foundation ’(PAF) was launched on September 16, 2012 at Accra, Ghana. The Foundation aims at empowering the rural community by providing financial and technical assistance to farmers to help bridge the poverty gap between the urban and the rural communities in Ghana. Periyar’s Birthday was celebrated. Mr.S.S.Bhattal, Patron PAF, cut the birthday cake.
Mr.K.C.Ezhilarasan, Chairman, PAF and Ms. Saalai Manickam Secretary, PAF, narrated the objective of the PAF and the action plan of it. They told after the successful implementation of the developmental activities, in course of time, the PAF will spread its mission in Africa beyond Ghana.
The contributions made by Periyar on human rights and equality among the humans were narrated. Ms.Clavenda Bright Parker, Ambassador of Liberia and Mr. Bentum Williams, former Ambassador of Ghana to India participated in the celebration and felicitated.
Periyar’s Birthday is celebrated every year by Periyar Community Service Centre of Singapore. On September 17, 2012, Periyar’s 134th Birthday was celebrated by publishing greetings message in the Tamil daily ‘Singapore Tamil Murasu’. On September 23rd , Periyar’s Birthday was celebrated as a family Get-together at Hotel Ananda Bhavan, Little India, Singapore.
The celebration was presided over by V.Kalaiselvam, Chairman, Periyar Community Service Centre of Singapore. All the speakers expressed their gratitude for their current social status and economic well being, acquired due to the sacrifices and contributions made by Periyar.
As a periodical service, the members of the Centre visited ‘Sun Love Home’ a Chinese old age home in August 2012 and donated the financial assistance, mobilised through the sale of Thirukkural books. It was proposed to conduct ‘Blood Donation Camp’ in co-ordination with the Alumni Association of Periyar Maniammai University.
M.Mathiarasan-Vice-President, K.Boobalan- Secretary, M.Maran-Treasurer of the Centre and the members – Malai Arasi, Kavitha Maran, Rajarajan, Tamil Selvi, Inia Nila, Vanathi, Valavan, Parveen Banu, Rajakumari, Prasanthi, Manohar, Prema, Palani, Athivetti Jothi, Mathialagan, Sankar, Rajappa, Ramesh, Karthikayini, and many of their family members participated in the celebrations.
Delhi Periyar Centre, New Delhi
Periyar’s 134th Birthday was celebrated at Delhi Periyar Centre, New Delhi on 17th September. The teaching faculties, students, administrative staff and inmates of the centre assembled and the Periyar bust size statue was garlanded.
Sweets and cakes were distributed to the gathering. The social contributions of Periyar were remembered with a brief narration about them to the knowledge of the younger generation.
Mumbai Dravidar Kazhagam (MDK) celebrated Periyar’s Birthday on September 17th in Dharavi area.
Manamigu E.Anthony, Secretary of Mumbai Dravidar Kazhagam commenced the celebration with the slogan raising of ‘No god . ..’ Manamigu P.Ganesan, President MDK, garlanded the photo of Periyar and presided over the function.
Er.S.Kumana Raja, Editor of the Tamil monthly ‘Tamil Lemuria’ cut the cake and distributed them to the assembled gathering. The hardship underwent and the sacrifices made by Periyar for the cause of caste eradication was recollected by him.
Mr.Anumantha Nanda Palli-former councillor, Mumbai Municipal Corporation, A. Ravichandran-Organiser, Mumbai Rationalists’ Forum, Irai.S.Rajendran-Secretary ‘Save Tamil’, N.Radhakrishnan-President, Thiruvalluvar Welfare Movement, I.Wilson, Deputy Secretary MDK, addressed. The posters depicting the 134th Birthday of Periyar were displayed through out the area.
Bangaluru Visaravathi Sangam celebrated 134th Birthday of Periyar on September 17, 2012 at Bangaluru. The popular writer and former President of Kannada Sahithya Parishat, Chandrasekaran Patel was honoured with ‘Periyar Award’. While addressing , Patel exposed the Brahminical tactics of bringing the ignorant population under their dogmatic fold and the need to defeat the saffron groups.
All the non-brahminical forces have to get united to defeat them and their deeds. The ideological clarity possessed by Periyar and its awareness would lead for the success of the cause. A.K.Subbiah, former M.L.A., Lalith Nayak, former Minister of Karnataka Government and former Chairman of Karnataka State Backward Class Commission addressed the meeting, reminding the audience to possess rationalist outlook in their thought and action.
Visakapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
Periyar Asaya Sangam (PAS) celebrated Periyar’s 134th Birth day on 17th September by garlanding the statue of Periyar located at R.K.Beach Road, Visakapatnam. Dr. Jayagopal, President, PAS highlighted the contributions made by Periyar to break the social clutches, to liberate the oppressed section of the society and to liberate the women.
Mr.P.Subba Rao reminded the follow up work to be carried out left by Periyar. Prof. K.P.Subba Rao, Andhra University narrated the revolutionary struggle led by Periyar for women liberation. Y.Nagaraj, Ajay, Ravi and other cadres of the Sangam participated in the celebrations.
Karim Nagar (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh)
Praja Nasthiga Samajam arranged the Periyar’s 134th Birthday celebration meeting at Karim Nagar. The founder President G.D.Saraya presided the celebration. The chief guest, Poet Dr.Malaya Sree praised the spirit of enquiry outlook, and the questioning gesture of the revolutionary leader Periyar.
To liberate the downtrodden from the Brahminical hegemony, Periyar’s ideals are appropriate. Dr.G.Lachayya, praised Periyar as the leader who propagated humanism and cultivated it in human minds.
Mr.Kumarasamy, a Ph.D. research scholar shared his experiences, sufferings and hurdles, created by the upper caste officials to pursue the study asbout Periyar. For the enlightened living of the next generation, the life history of Periyar must be taught to the present generation. Many leaders representing the leading political parties, service organisations participated in the celebrations.