His excellency Thiru. K.Sankaranarayanan presents K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice to Hon’ble Thiru Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister, Government of Maharashtra
Periyar International based at the United States of America has instituted ‘K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice’ for its periodical presentation to the great statesmen who serve for the cause of Social Justice.
For the first time, the Award was conferred in the year1996 and it has been presented every year to the stalwarts of social justice, belonging to various countries in the world. Many of the awardees are from India and it also includes the stalwarts from countries like Dubai (UAE), Singapore, Myanmar etc.
For the year 2013, ‘K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice ‘was presented to Hon’ble Thiru Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister, State Government of Maharashtra,India. The Award was presented by His Excellency Thiru K. Sankaranarayanan, Governor of Maharashtra in a function with a mammoth public participation , organized in Mumbai.
The Award conferring function was held on 11th January 2014 at Ravindra Natya Mandir, situated in Sayani Marg, Prabha devi, Mumbai. The chair person was His Excellency Thiru K. Sankaranarayana , Governor of Maharashtra. Dr. Soma Ilangovan, Director of Periyar International, USA, welcomed the dignitaries and the audience.
Dr. K. Veeramani, Premier of Periyar Movement on whose name, the award is instituted, delivered the inaugural address. The celebrity address was given by Thiru. Chhagan Bhujbal, Hon’ble Minister of Maharashtra, the recipient of the Award. Dr. P. Anbalagan IAS, Additional Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, proposed vote of thanks.
Tributes to the Social Justice Revolutionaries
The function commenced with paying respect by the dignities to the Social Justice Revolutionaries of the country viz. Chatrapati Shivaji, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Sri Narayana Guru, Sahu Maharaj, Periyar E.V. Ramasamy and Baha Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, by placing floral petals to their portraits displayed on the dais.
Release of the Book in Marathi “Periyar E.V. Ramasamy – Charitra Aathmak Aalek”
The translated version in Marathi of, ‘Life Sketch of Periyar
His excellency Thiru. K.Sankaranarayanan Governor releases the Marathi book, ‘Periyar E..V.Ramasamy – Charitra Aathmak Aalek’
E.V. Ramasamy’, under the title, ‘Periyar E.V.Ramasamy – Charitra Aathmak Aalek’ was released by His Excellency Thiru K. Sankaranarayanan, Governor, State of Maharashtra. The first copy of the book was received by Thiru Chhagan Bhujbal. Other dignitaries viz. Pankaj Bhujbal, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, Sonur Bhujbal, Member of the Parliament. Dr.Kamod Kailash, former Chairman of Other Backward Classes Corporation , Babu Saheb Bhujbal Former President of Maharashtra Mahamandal OBC Corporation also received the released the book. The book is published by the Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution (PSRPI), founded Periyar E.V.Ramasamy in the year 1952 to propagate the rationalist ideals. Dr.K.Veeramani continues the mission as the Secretary of the PSRPI.
Welcome – Dr. Soma Ilangovan
The Director of Periyar International, Dr. Soma Ilangovan welcomed the gathering:
Social Justice is akin to Mother’s Love. Can a mother dislike her children? The ancient Tamil literature, Thirukkural says “All are equal by living”. Can a Motherland discriminate its people? No; it should love her citizens equally . But in reality, certain sections of the people are socially under-nourished.
Can such people be considered on par with other people who are hale and healthy? The under – privileged masses have to be discriminated from others through compensatory measures. To bring equality among the people of the land , the social revolutionaries like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Sri Narayana Guru, Sahu Maharaj, Periyar E.V.Ramasamy and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar toiled through out their lives.
Periyar International has instituted ‘K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice’ in the name of Dr. K. Veeramani, the ideological disciple of Periyar EVR, to honour the stalwarts who serve for the cause of Social Justice. For the year 2013, we derive immense pleasure and get a sense of pride in presenting the Award to the Hon’ble Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister, State Government of Maharashtra. We welcome all the dignitaries and the respectable gatherings, assembled on this historic occasion.
Inaugural Speech -Dr. K. Veeramani
Dr. K. Veeramani, Premier of Periyar Movement , in the inaugural speech, narrated the historic background of the Social Justice path.
On this historic occasion, I remain humbly as a student with the missionary zeal to propagate the philosophical advocacy of the social revolutionary, Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. Periyar did not toil in his public life, merely for the transfer of political power. He liberated the oppressed masses of the country so that the political authority encourages them for their meaningful participation in the governance of the nation. Periyar continues to remain a pivotal force to bring such social transformation.
Maharashtra is the birth place of the great brave king Chatrapati Shivaji. It is the land, wherein Mahatma Jyotiba Phule lived, fighting against the social injustice that prevailed then. History has never witnessed the type of social injustice inflicted on Chatrapati Shivaji while enthroning the kingdom after the brave battle won by him.
The orthodox priestly kingpins protested against Chatrapathi Shivaji enthroning of kingdom by pointing out his social sect, based on his birth. He had to appease the priestly class to assume the political throne and to rule the kingdom. Later these events were written in a dramatic version in Tamil as ‘The Hindu Empire envisaged by Shivaji’ by the late, lamented C.N. Annadurai affectionately called ‘Anna’, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who hailed from Dravidian Movement, led by Periyar. The drama had aroused the subjugated masses in Tamil Nadu for their social and political emancipation through awareness and to get their due share in the social entitlement.
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was the First MAHATMA, this nation had witnessed. The Awardee , Hon’ble Chhagan Bhujpal hails from the area of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, as the field fighter to translate the ideals of social justice into reality. Social revolutionaries from different parts of this country remain as the various sides of the same coin i.e. Social Justice.
For the cause of Social Justice, we have fought so many battles. But one thing is definite. We have won many battles but the war still continues. ‘All rights to everyone’ is the core principle of Social Justice. What we are fighting for in the path of social justice is not extra-constitutional ; but it is well within the provisions of the Indian Constitution. To get the remedy through the provisions , enunciated in the Constitution, we have to struggle hard. That is the precarious social situation, prevailing in the country. That is the attitude of the political rulers of this land.
The alliance – not the political alliance but the social justice alliance that has occupied the dais today is not territory confined . The alliance is signified with national orientation with international bearing.
We are not adhoc functionaries but are the functionaries backed with philosophical basis of social justice. Vigilant functioning, the ever strategic approach must prevail in us. Eternal Vigilance is the price, we have to pay for the freedom backed with social justice. Let us march on the social justice path, laid down by the social revolutionaries – Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Sri Narayana Guru, Sahu Maharaj. Periyar E.V.Ramasamy and Baba Saheb Ambedkar!
Presentation of ‘K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice’
For the year 2013, His Excellency Thiru. K.Sankaranaryanan, Governor of Maharashtra presented ‘K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice’ to Hon’ble Thiru. Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister for Public Works Department and Tourism, Government of Maharashtra. The Award comprises of the citation and Cash Award of Rs. 1 lakh. Thousands of soldiers of social justice , who got assembled on the occasion applauded at the event as the expression of greetings and happiness.
Awardee Address- Hon’ble Chhagan Bhujbal
The Recipient of ‘K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice’, Hon’ble Thiru.Chhagan Bhujbal addressed thus:
Today, I have acquired the pride of having received ‘K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice’ as the first person in the State of Maharashtra. I consider this Award , as an honour to me not as an individual but in fact as an honour for the continuous struggle for social justice carried on by the stalwarts – Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Sahu Maharaj and Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Periyar and the social justice stalwarts of Maharashtra fought against the social discrimination that prevailed in the society, causing social inequality. The path, those leaders treaded through, was not a normal one or a routine one.
His excellency Thiru K.Sankaranarayanan, Governor, pays recpect to the social revolutionaries
They boldly faced the turbulent opposition from the oppressive forces . The social benefits which resulted due to their arduous efforts are being enjoyed by us at present. Still we have to bear the social justice torch and march on to tread in further to reach the destination , which remains farther. The present path has been carved out by the leaders – Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar. The Award Presented to me will motivate me further to fight for the cause of social justice. I dedicate this honour to the dalits, adivasis and women sects in the society.
I commenced my movement at in the year 1992, with the ideals advocated by my respectful Guru, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. Immediately after commencing the movement, I faced many opposition due to which I had to quit the political party which I associated with, then. Opposition came to me to the level of eliminating me from the political career.
I could visualize, the onerous hardship and opposition , Baba Saheb Ambedkar might have faced in his public life. Despite the opposition , we continue and conduct the movement and it has developed a lot. Yes; it has developed to the extent of being honoured with the Social Justice Award, instituted by Periyar International, USA. I consider this honour as a certification for my public life for the cause of social justice.
Social discrimination has been prevailing in the society for more than 2000 years. Can we assemble like today as a social family , at least 100 years back? Nay! Our social oppressors would not have allowed us to get assembled. Educating all the people was considered by the suppressive forces as social evil. From that stage, the suppressed masses have been provided with opportunities to get educated. The process is not over. Still it continues.
The relevance of the revolutionaries like Periyar continues even now. The oppressed masses have been segregated by the suppressive forces, thereby the segregated sects are fighting with each other., inflicting social injuries to themselves. Here the Brahmincal forces do not come in the open directly.
But their embedded agenda of subjugating others socially , rule the reign. We have to identify , expose the contradictory forces which curtail our path and journey of social justice.
In such a journey, the Periyar Movement which has been leading in the South of the country under the leadership of Dr.K.Veeramani has encouraged us . Let myself and our movement jointly function in a co-ordinated manner with enlightened enthusiasm. Let me thank all those who are responsible for the joint efforts and endeavours for the cause of social justice.
Dr. P. Anbalagan IAS, Additional Secretary , Government of Maharashtra proposed vote of thanks.
The Awarding function signaled a new chapter in the direction of social justice in the State of Maharashtra. The multitude of soldier–gathering of social justice , turned up on the occasion evidenced the new path.
Compiled by V.Kumaresan