On Thursday, Congress celebrated the birth anniversary of Periyar, a social activist who is considered the father of the Dravidian movement. Incidentally, Periyar was a member of the Congress but quit because he felt the party only promoted Brahmins.
He had famously said: “Caste will be destroyed only if the Brahmin is DESTROYED. Brahmin is a snake entangled in our feet.”
And also: "If you see a snake and a Brahmin on the road, KILL the Brahmin first." -
INC shared the tweet saying: “Founder of Self-Respect Movement & the Father of the Dravidian Movement, #Periyar was one of the strongest proponents against caste & gender inequality & discrimination. A beacon of rationalism & self-respect, he inspires countless struggles against marginalisation even today.”This led many Twitter users to wonder if the Congress was now officially an ‘anti-Hindu’ party given Periyar’s radical views.
Periyar is considered the father of the Dravidian movement. He had joined Congress in 1919 but resigned in 1925 as he felt they only served the interests of Brahmins. Periyar’s views have often caused consternation in other parts of the country and he reportedly told Ambedkar the only way out of caste was to convert to Islam.
Incidentally, his grandson recently joined BJP.
He built his own party called the Dravidar Kazhagam party, which is called to be the inspiration behind most political parties crusading the Tamilian pride movement.
The Periyar used a strong voice to criticize the Hinduism structure, saying it favours the Brahmins. He believed the conversion of Dalits to Islam and Christianity was the only way to escape the institutionalized and religious casteism of Brahminical oppression. Ramasamy's thoughts also did not align with Mahatma Gandhi. He criticised Gandhi for not actively cracking down on the Brahminical structure and privileges.
Periyar has led several movements in his lifetime for the betterment of Dalit communities and the systematic oppression of Brahmins. He instigated the self-respect movement for Dalits and lowers caste people to generate pride and respect in themselves and the community. He fought for the rights of Dalits to enter temples in Kerela.
The movement that gained nationwide uproar was his rejection of Hindu idols. He infamously led the movement to demolish and break Hindu religious idols. He is credited as the starter of the anti-Hindi movement. He recognized to be one of the instruments of the Brahmins to exert their privileges over Dalits.
Ramasamy is considered as an unforgiving and radical icon of the anti-caste movement and Tamilian Pride movement. His actions have led the fight for self-respect and pride amongst Tamilians across the world. In recent times, the online voices speaking against the imposition of Hindi as one national language is strong and resonates the pride he instilled in Tamil Nadu.