Our society needs revolutionary policies. Rationalist propaganda should be geared up. With that noble object, we start Rationalists’ Forums and Associations. There may be people who would condemn such rationalist associations springing up. They would raise the false cry that our movement is against something or someone. I tell you very plainly, whether we are really against such things or not. We are never against justice or opposed to reason. We call our organisation as Rationalists’ Forum. It is for you to think over yourself. That is what we expect and that alone would be the right thing to do. See what other persons are doing. They join with others and behave as brutes. They start Varnashrama Dharma Associations. It is to protect castes. They form Sanatanist Associations to protect the old order. They talk high of what Ram did, or Krishna preached and such other nonsense. For all these they claim rights. They don’t allow you to think independently. You have no right to think about what all is said about god, religion, spiritual heads and other things. They mistake that our propaganda is against their god, religion and shastras. They raise the cry that our propaganda hurts their feelings. What does it matter to us? Let them go to dogs!
How long can we tolerate the disgrace of our being called as Sudras? I am worried about my people. How long are we to submit to all sorts of insults and humiliations? How long are we to blindly believe what all Brahmins say? What is the use of our brains? We see people fly in the air. Are we to be contented by washing the feet of the Brahmins and drinking the same? Why should we care at all, when they say that they feel hurt by our propaganda? Their heart is not greater than ours. We do our duty. We know that we will have to face dangers and difficulties. We are ready to risk even our lives. Any day death is going to come! We will no longer remain silent. Because we continued to be meek and submissive in the past, there was no progress. The educated Dravidian people were also lethargic, with the result the hirelings and rowdy elements safeguarded religions. Otherwise there would have been a great advancement. When we say one thing, the Christians come to attack us. When we say something else, the Muslims protest. When we leave them and talk about our religion, it is only the Brahmins who protest. But they don’t directly come to the picture. Persons who still agree to be called as sons of concubines and others, who adorn their foreheads with ashes and ‘Namams’ chanting ‘Siva-Siva’ and ‘Rama-Rama’, come to quarrel with us.
I do not want to say anything about the case against me in the Court. No Brahmin went to the court, when I shoed the picture of god Rama at Salem. It is only our people, who filed a case against me. They complain that my action wounded their hearts. I received the summons from the court. You might have read about it in newspapers. Unless we treat this as a deadly disease and perform a major operation, I do not think we can solve the problem. The disease has become a chronic one. That is why I go to the root of the problem. Mere talks will not yield fruits. We have started this Rationalists’ Forum to propagate certain revolutionary thoughts. If we accept ourselves as low, inferior and degraded and if we accept the term Hindu, we must accept the Shastras, rituals, god and orthodox prescription, and act accordingly.
Should we not ask as to who called us, as Shudras meaning sons of prostitutes? Is it your god Krishna? If so where did he say? If it is in Gita, should we not take our sandals and beat Krishna and Gita? If you are afraid, then you live as a Shudra. What if, we beat Rama with sandals? He says that we are Shudras. He killed Shudras. As Sambukan was a Shudra he was beaten and murdered. His limbs were cut into pieces, because he worshipped god instead of the Brahmin. Shudras have no right to pray to god. They must worship the Brahmins. That is what Rama says. It was cunningly concocted that a Brahmin died because a Shudra prayed to god and the dead body of the Brahmin was laid before Rama.
I ask you how a Brahmin could die like this? He has to go to Heaven only! What if a Brahmin is dead?
In the story, it is said that the Brahmin died because all sorts of unjust things (Adharma) took place under Rama’s rule. Rama asked where the injustice was done. What wrong was going on, Rama asked. The Brahmins did not give a convincing reply. They asked Rama to go out and find out himself. Accordingly he went out. He found Sambuka doing penance. “What are you doing?” asked Rama. He replied, “I am worshipping god!” – Rama became angry. He shouted ‘You Shudra fellow! You should worship only the Brahmins. Instead of doing that, how dare you worship god? This is ‘adharma’. You must be cut into pieces”. Like a butcher, Rama killed Sambuka.
Imagine what these Brahmins would do, if we are not here. Don’t you think that the Brahmins would go on killing even all those who worship god? Won’t they accuse our people? They would cry that Shudras are defamed by us. Already they are accusing the rulers for not strictly implementing the Varnashrama Dharma (Caste system).
Self-Respect (Rationalist) Movement
What is the doctrine of the Self-Respect (Rationalist) Movement? It is to seek the real causes, which have made us all degraded. It is to find out the factors, which have made us disgraceful. Since we find the creation of god as one of the reasons we want to destroy god. We find the Congress party also as one of the factors which is responsible for our degradation. So we want to destroy Congress. We find Mr. M.K.Gandhi working against our interests. So we want to be rid of his influence. Similarly we find the Brahmin also as a vital force that has brought in our ruination. So we are against them. We find religion as an evil to the society. So we want to destroy religion. The Self-Respect Movement is against all these five evil forces. In short the Self-Respect Movement shoulders the responsibility to crusade against god, religion, Congress, Gandhi and Brahmins. It is these five forces, which propagated pernicious ideas and made our people victims. Our people are made slaves. Unless we destroy these five forces, we cannot make our people better their deteriorating conditions in social life. We are for redeeming the self-respect of the people.
By this I do not mean that we should plunge into politics. Self-Respect Movement is not a political organisation. It is purely a social reform movement. But when these forces stand in the way of our progress, we will have no other go than to oppose them. You just think over what the policy of the Congress party is. Congress is wedded to the policy of safeguarding Gandhi, religion, caste and the status of Brahmins. The Brahmins sought Gandhi’s help for their selfish interest. Because Gandhi talked of reactionary ideas, they made him “Mahatma”. Gandhi responded to the call of Brahmins.
Like a drunken mad man he always talked about god, Shastras, Varnashrama Dharma, Hindu religion and Rama. His propaganda gained some importance. Today all the journals are under the Brahmin monopoly. We don’t have any powerful magazine. Our people are lured by their propaganda. The moment you mention the name of a Brahmin, our people pay respect. That is why we are pledged to expunge Brahminism out of the society. God and religion should be ousted from the society. Gandhi who upholds Varuna Dharma must be opposed. The government which is strongly supporting them with laws must be removed. The Brahmin who is the backbone for the intolerable atrocities perpetrated must be taught a bitter lesson. Things are going on in this shameful manner.
You please think over whether what I say is right or not. Do not blindly believe what I say. I don’t base my views on any shastra or Veda. I simply say what strikes to my mind. You too have the sense of reasoning. Think over. If you find that there is any truth in what I say, take it. Otherwise you can leave it. I do not compel anyone to blindly believe me. I do not want to impose my thoughts on the unwilling people. I am not having any intention to hoodwink anyone. I only remind you that you are also capable of reasoning. You have the powers to analyse matters and assess the good and bad. I would like to stress the fact that you have all become unthinking slaves because of the disastrous machinations of the Brahmins. That is why I stress the importance of reforming the society. Many leaders have chosen some other better walks of life. They are selfish. I stand stubborn in this respect.
-Speech delivered by Periyar E.V.Ramasamy
on 22nd June 1971 at Mettupalayam, while inaugurating The Rationalists’ Forum
When we have electric light in our Pooja Room, Why should we light an oil lamp?
Why should we do things blindly, without thinking. Lighting oil lamp is one such thing.
Before electri-city came to our country, we had no choice, than to light an oil lamp in our Pooja room. Generally, our Pooja Rooms are built without windows. Hence, the room will be dark. We can not see the deities, clearly, without a lamp, even during day time. Hene, lighting of oil lamp in the pooja room was being done. When we have electric light, where is the need for an oil lamp, in the pooja room?The oil lamp only makes the pooja room messy. We are lighting the oil lamp, more as a ritual, than with any other purpose or meaning. More over, lighting of oil lamp, as well as burning of camphor, generates, black soot. The black soot, thus generated, darkens the pooja room walls and the roof. Hence, let us think rationally, before we light the oil lamp or burn camphor, inside the pooja room.
We can easily, understand the reason for lighting oil lamp in olden days. At present, where is the need for the oil lamp. Like wise, for burning camphor, at the end of pooja, there might have been a reason, in olden days. At present, there is no reason. Burning camphor, produces lot of black soot inside the pooja room. Apart from spoiling the room walls, it is not good, on health point of view. Hence, it is better not to burn camphor at the end of pooja.
Also, there is risk of fire accidents, when we burn camphor inside pooja room. At least I know one case, where the Managing Director of a Company, got burnt, due to accidental fire, on account of burning camphor, inside the pooja room. He was an ardent devotee of God, and always used to put vibhoodhi and kumkum on his forehead. It was unfortunate, that this has happened to him. But this fatal accident took place, in his house itself, few years ago.
So, whatever we do as devotion to God, should not be done, blindly.