In the history of social revolution of India, more so of Tamil Nadu, the contributions of the Self-Respect Movement, the fore-runner organization of Dravidar Kazhagam, founded by Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (1873-1979) would occupy much of its space both directly and indirectly. The First State Conference of Self-Respect Movement of Madras Presidency held at Chengalpattu in 1929 and the resolutions it passed had changed the direction of the social history of this land more meaningfully. Despite, the translation of much of the resolutions, passed at the 1929 conference in various stages by the political rulers of this land during the pre as well as post independent periods, still there are many social areas wherein the impacts of the Conference resolutions have to reach qualitatively and quantitatively to adequate extent. Any one who analyses the social history of India cannot ignore the proceedings of the Conference held in 1929.
From then onwards, the Social Revolutionary Movement of Periyar and its latest organization, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) (1944) has conducted many Conferences under the ideological heritage of the 1929 Conference. All these Conferences have focused to the attention of the public and the political rulers of the State and the Centre and have given directions original as well as corrective to decide the destiny of the population of the land. Such Conferences of DK have stimulated a lot of turbulations to the rulers who remained as strong impediments, restraining the social and cultural progress and prosperity of the country, There are instances to quote the significance of the emphasis, realized by the political rulers of the land after meeting political debacles owing to the non heeding of the appeals, made through such conferences. The analytical research of the various resolutions passed at DK’s Conference would become a document of social conditions prevailing in this land, infected with the social malady and the consequential remedy provided to improve the conditions.
With such historical background of organizing conferences, DK convened its latest State Conference for 2 days on 19th and 20th March 2016 at Periyar World situated at Siruganur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu. The theme of the Conference was oriented on two vital agenda of the social liberation and progress of the country. The first day Conference was on the theme, Eradication of Caste-Untouchability and the second day’s was on Social Justice.
First Day Conference Theme
‘Eradication of Caste – Untouchability’
The first day Conference commenced with DK’s flag hosting by Dr.Pirainuthal Selvi, Treasurer, DK amidst the thousands of the black shirt cadres. A photo exhibition, depicting the history of Justice Party and Self-Respect Movement under the single banner of Dravidian Movement and the achievements made by it was organised. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Justice P.R.Gokulakrishnan, former Chief Justice of High Court of Gujarat. Self Respectful V.Anburaj, General Secretary welcomed all the dignitaries, the cadres and the public. The first day Conference was inaugurated by Self – Respectful S.Arivukkarasu, Presidium Chairman, DK. Poet Kali.Poonkundran, Vice – President presided over the proceedings.
Unveiling the Portraits of Stalwarts of Dravidian Movement
The portraits of the pioneer as well as the prominent stalwarts of Dravidian Movement were unveiled. The portraits of Thanthai Periyar was unveiled by Self-Respectful R.Athiaman (President, Federation of Adhi Tamils), Annai Nagammaiar – Maniammaiar’s by Self-Respectful Pothanur K.Shanmugam (President, The Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution), Arignar Anna by Thiru K.N.Nehru (District Secretary, DMK and Former Minister, Government of Tamil Nadu) and the Leading Stalwarts by Self Respectful Rajagiri G.Thangarasu (Member, Chief Executive Council, DK)
The Chief Guest, Prof. Dr.Ulrike Niklas, Periyar International – Germany delivered the special address.
In the noon session seminar on the title, ‘Let us Repudiate Caste and Religious Fanaticism! Let the Flag of Social Justice Fly High’ with the participation of university students’ leaders was held.
Self-Respectful Prince Ennares Periyar, Secretary, State Students’ Wing, DK presided over the seminar. Thiru Ananda Krishnaraj (Research Scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) Thiru.K.Ramesh (Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, IIT-M, Chennai), Thiru.K.Harisankar Nachimuthu (President, Students’ Union, Pune) Selvi.T.Agnes Amala (Research Scholar, Central University of Hyderabad, Telangana), Thiru G.Prasad (Co-ordinator, Students’ Science Forum, Andhra-Telangana) and Thiru.Siva Sankar – Archaka Trainee of Agamas participated in the seminar and addressed.
In the afternoon ‘Resolutions Passing’ was held. Self Respectful V.Kumaresan, Secretary-External Relations, DK presided over the session.
Self Respectful Manjai Vasanthan, State Secretary, Periyar Rationalist Cultural – Literary Wing welcomed. 18 resolutions proposed and seconded by the functionaries of DK and its wings were passed unanimously.
In the evening, seminar on ‘Eradication of Caste – Untouchability’ was presided over by Dr.Durai Chandrasekaran, General Secretary DK, Self Respectful Thanjai R.Jayakumar, General Secretary welcomed. The prominent speakers and functionaries spoke at the seminar: Advocate S.Kumaradevan on ‘Protection to Caste in Indian Constitution’, Dr.K.Anbalagan on ‘Right of Appointment of Archakas of all Castes’, Self Respectful Rama Anbalagan on ‘The imprint of DK on Eradication of Caste’, Advocate Poovai, Pulikesi on ‘Brahminical hegemony – BJP & Sangh Parivar’ and Self Respectful Thanjai R.Periyar Selvan on ‘Caste Politics’.
The valedictory session was addressed by Saivathiru M.P.Sathyavel Muruganar, who had impleaded himself in the appeal case on the appointment of archakas of all castes (in favour of the duly trained archakas) filed at Supreme Court of India. Thiru.V.V.Swaminathan, Former Minister of Hindu Religious and Charity Endowments, Government of Tamil Nadu) spoke for the appointment of duly trained archakas of all castes.
The valedictory address of the first day Conference was delivered by Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam elaborately, covering the contents of the resolutions, passed which do bear direct relevance to the societal needs.
The Conference proceedings were intermittent with cultural programmes like dance, drama, song singing by the various teams depicting the progressive ideology of DK.
Second Day Conference Theme
The Conference on ‘Social Justice’ was presided over by Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani. The Conference was inaugurated by Prof.K.M.Kader Mohaideen, President, Indian Union Muslim League, Tamil Nadu.
The portraits of the Revolutionary Ambedkar was unveiled by Justice D.Hariparanthaman, former Judge of High Court of Madras, the portraits of Mahatma Jotiba Phule – Savitribai Phule by Prof. Dr.P.Kalimuthu, Education Philanthropist Kamaraj by Bishop Rev. Ezra Sargunam.
The Chief Guest was the fifth generation grand daughter of Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Ms.Neetatai Hole Phule (President, Mahatma Phule Social Institute, Pune) and she addressed.
Next was the seminar on ‘Let us achieve Social Justice’. Journalist Punitha Pandian (Editor, Dalit Murasu), Writer V.Mathimaran, Self Respectful Sankar (President, Nirangal – an organization of transgenders), Dr.T.M.N.Deepak (President, December 3 Movement), Self-Respectful S.Kumana Rajan (Chief Editor, Tamil Lemuria, Mumbai) and Nagai Jeeva addressed at the seminar.
Session on ‘Resolutions-Passing’ was presided over by Advocate A.Arulmozhi, Propaganda Secretary, DK. 25 resolutions covering the current aspect of Social Justice and its dispensation in future were proposed and seconded by the functionaries and cadres of DK.
In the valedictory session 3 Tamil books were released on Periyar’s Thoughts, Speeches of Dr.K.Veeramani, Achievements of Justice Party and one in English ‘Periyar and Ambedkar’.
The valedictory session was addressed by the popular leaders of political and public eminence. Thiru V.Hanumantha Rao, M.P., Convenor, OBC MPs’ Forum, Thiru Gopanna, Press Relations Functionary, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, Prof.Suba.Veerapandian, General Secretary, Federation of Dravidian Tamils, and Thiru.Pazha.Karuppiah, writer and
Message of Greetings
The elderly statesman of the country and President of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Kalaignar Dr.M.Karunanidhi, Respectful Leader Thiru. Rahul Gandhi, Vice President, Indian National Congress, Hon’ble Thiru. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, Respectful Thiru. Sharad Yadav M.P., President, National President , Janata Dal (United) Party, Respectful Thiru.K.C.Tyagi M.P., Secretary General, Janata Dal (United Party) sent their Message of Greetings to the State Conference of DK and the messages were read at the conference.
The special address of Social Justice Conference was delivered by Thalapathi M.K.Stalin, Tresurer, DMK.
Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani, who leads the Periyar Movement delivered elaborate address covering all the aspects of Social Justice towards which the entire mission has to march ahead.
The two day Conference was attended by thousands of blackshirt cadres as families from the entire parts Tamil Nadu and other States. The grandeur of the DK’s Conference proved its mettle, reminding its core role and responsibility for the social liberation and progress of the toiling population who were enslaved for so many centuries in the name of god and religion. The Conference, became historic in the annals of social revolution of the country. `