Half a Century as Editor – VIDUTHALAI A Rationalist and Humanist Tamil daily

‘Viduthalai’, the Rationalist and Humanist  Tamil daily was founded  in  1935 and it has been successful in the  mission of its 78th year of continuous publication. ‘Viduthalai’ is the ideological torch for the social well being  of everyone who has been deprived historically in the name of god and religion.

It is  the functional tool to the cadres of Periyar Movement. The ultimate objective of ‘Viduthalai’ is to ensure to   humans, the human benevolence in all aspects. ‘Viduthalai’ is the official organ of  Dravidar Kazhagam, a humanist movement ,founded by Periyar. Many scholars and prominent leaders  became popular owing to their office as Editor of ‘Viduthalai’.

At present Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam is the Editor of ‘Viduthalai’. The Editorship of ‘Viduthalai ’was entrusted to Dr. K.Veeramani in the year 1962. He had to wind up his lucrative lawyer profession and shouldered the responsibility of Editorship as per the wishes and expectations of Periyar.

Commencing from the year 1962 till date , the ideological commitment and concern in Viduthalai’s steadfast growth both in content , presentation and circulation have been ascending abundantly as a boon to uplift the downtrodden and the depressed population in Tamil Nadu, other States in India and abroad.

It spreads the humanist ideals of self-respect, free thinking and dignified human life. ‘Viduthalai’ is the only Rationalist and Humanist Tamil daily of the world. Half a Century as Editor has no parallel anywhere in the press  world. 50 years as Editor of a daily is unique.

As a mark of commemoration of 50 years as Editor of a rationalist daily and as propaganda of the humanist ideals , Dr. K.Veeramani was felicitated. A felicitation function was organised on 25th August 2012 at Periyar Thidal, Chennai, India,  as a whole day event. Many persons of public eminence from judiciary, rationalist fraternity, journalistic family and friends from popular  mass media participated and felicitated Dr. K.Veeramani.

Inaugural Session

Dr M.Nannan, Rationalist Tamil Scholar : Periyar entrusted the Editorship  as well as the entire estate of ‘Viduthalai’ to Dr. K.Veeramani. Periyar did not repose faith and confidence in others. Asiriyar K.Veeramani was groomed as ideological heir by Periyar .The title, ‘Asiriyar’ means in Tamil , ‘ Teacher’ as well as ‘Editor’. 

The title of ‘Asiriyar’ is not adorned by any other leader in public life. The leadership acumen of Periyar lies in the selection of his organisational leadership in Asiriyar Veeramani. The health of ‘Asiriyar’ is not the concern of an individual or family but it is a matter of concern  of the entire population of the vast society.

The welfare and advancement of the society is ensured by the longer and healthy life of Asiriyar Veeramani.

Justice S.Mohan, Former Judge of the  Supreme Court of India : It is a pleasant occasion for me. Asiriyar Veeramani is a marvellous student of mine during his days of studies at Chennai Law College. Asiriyar Veeramani is the ‘ treasure‘ for  up-keeping the social welfare of Tamil Nadu.

Had he not assumed the Editorship of ‘Viduthalai’, he would have ascended to prime position in the apex judiciary of the country. But , today he remains beyond such position owing to his sustained contribution to the humanity.

Justice AR.Lakshmanan, Former Judge of the  Supreme Court of India : If Periyar had not emerged in the public life,where could we  have been ? Could  we have acquired prominent official position ?

Periodical meeting of the masses , reading and writing for the cause , public addressing to enlighten and liberate the oppressed masses and able administration of educational institutions are the functional style of Asiriyar Veeramani. Would he  get time to sleep and take rest? ‘Viduthalai’ means ‘Liberty’; but for the Editor of ‘Viduthalai’ there is no liberation from the shouldered responsibilities.

Valedictory Session

The great personality who participated  in the valedictory session was Dr.Kalignar M.Karunanidhi, President of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a political offshoot of Dravidian Movement.. He held the Chief Ministership of Tamil Nadu  and governed the State for five terms. He is the elderly leader groomed by Periyar.

Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi felicitated  Dr. K. Veeramani as follows : ‘Viduthalai’ has excelled from the level of the official organ of Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) with its varietal and value added contents . World affairs, health care tips., sports news are  abundant in Viduthalai for wider readership.

  At the same time ‘Viduthalai’ still remains as the social revolutionary  daily carrying the  ideals advocated by Periyar. DMK’s official organ, ‘Murasoli’ has got its limitation in propagating all the rationalist ideals due its taking up of political path. Such a constraint is not there for ‘Viduthalai’.

It is a full fledged  Rationalist daily carrying out frontal attack over religious fundamentalism, atrocities of  the religious heads by propagating the rationalist ideals. ‘Viduthalai’ is the social revolutionary daily  portraying the cautioning appeal and committed action  of rationalist significance.

As Editor of ‘Viduthalai’, Asiriyar Veeramani, my younger brother has contributed  enormously to the cause. 50 years as Editor of a daily is a very remarkable landmark in the annals of journalism. Asiriyar Veeramani is in the mission of protecting all the estates of Periyar including his rationalist ideals. Long Live Asiriyar Veeramani! I will continue to lend myself for the cause shouldered by him during the remaining period of life. Asiriyar Veeramani must live longer!

 Com. Ponneelan, President, Forum of Progressive Arts and Literature:  The editorials of ‘Viduthalai’ are informative, progressive and laudable. I got shocked by reading one of its editorials which quoted the statement of the Head of  Sringeri Mutt:

“ Whatever be the high quality of soap ,probably applied while taking bath by the masses of scheduled castes, the inherent dirt and the untouchable dint in them can not be washed out”.

‘Viduthalai’ has been fighting for the cause of equality among the humans. The Editor of ‘Viduthalai’, Asiriyar Veeramani must live longer to propagate the ideals of Periyar , thereby protecting the rights of the  oppressed section of the society.

Prof.Jagmohan Singh Verma, Stalwart of Social Justice: The pioneering movement  of Social Justice is Periyar Movement. Its present leader Dr. K.Veeramani is the guiding force for the cause of Social Justice for the entire country. Such a great leader is discharging his service as Editor of ‘Viduthalai’ for the past 50 years . We wish Dr.K.Veeramani to continue the mission in future.

Mr. A.S.Panneerselvan, Freelance journalist and Mr. Ramesh Prabha , Chairman , Kalaignar TV felicitated.

Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani while delivering his address said : It is not apt to mention that I was made available to Periyar ; but in fact Periyar and his rationalist ideals were  accessible to me during the initial periods of my Editorship of ‘Viduthalai’.

Periyar is always the  guiding ideological icon for me and the Movement. 50 years Editorship is not the achievement of an individual. It is the collective responsibility shouldered by the entire team members  who serve  ‘Viduthalai’ not as employees but as cadres of the Movement  with dedicated commitment.

‘Viduthalai’ is the valiant ideological arm in the Centenary Year of Dravidian Movement. I will continue the mission true to the  trust reposed by you on me and render service  in furtherance. Thank you  all.

The function was organised by Dravidar Kazhagam, the Rationalists’ Forum and Periyar Library Readers’ Circle. The leading functionaries of the Movement Manamigu G.Samidurai-Treasurer, Poet Kali.Poonkundran-Vice President, S.Arivukkarasu-Executive President, V.Anburaj,

Durai Chandrasekaran, Dr. Pirainuthal Selvi and R. Jeyakumar- General Secretaries, DK, V.Nehru-President and V.Kumaresan-General Secretary – The Rationalists’ Forum and K. Mylai Krishnan-President, Periyar Library Readers’ Circle and other functionaries organised and participated in the function. A large  number of other functionaries and cadres of Periyar  Movement and the public persons attended the historical event.

A report – nietzsche

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