Edited by Dr.K.Veeramani, Published by Dravidar Kazhagam (Movement) Publications, Periyar Thidal, 84/1(50), E.V.K. Sampath Salai, Vepery, Chennai – 600 007. Price : Rs.210/- Pages : 327
‘Worth of a person is known after death’. This is more evident and meaningful to great personalities who dedicated their lives in the service of mankind. This book in Tamil with the title equivalent to, ‘Periyar is dead; Long live Periyar’ is the compilation of the tributes and eulogies paid to the social revolutionary Thanthai Periyar E.V.Ramasamy, who sacrificed his life for the cause of the people who were treated as social slaves for many centuries. The compilation includes not only accolades from the persons who had moved with Periyar with love, respect and admiration but also the messages from his ideological critics. Besides, the editorial, news coverage which appeared in all the leading dailies, periodicals on his demise remain a pertinent history. During the earlier days of public life Periyar was in the Freedom Movement of the country fighting the British. Later he gave priority to the opposition and struggle to liberate the major section of the society from the clutches of the indigenous oppressors.
The book covers the news of State Honours at the time of his demise and the funeral, given to Periyar, who had not occupied any chair of Government. The replica of the Commemorative Stamp released by Government of India on his Birth Centenary in 1979 and Special Postal Envelope, released on the 125th Birthday in 2003 are found in it. The news of publication of the ‘Revolutionary Sayings of Periyar’ in Tamil by the Government of Tamil Nadu and News Bulletin (Film) showed the admiration and gratitude for the ideological grooming of the then ruler of the State of Tamil Nadu viz., D.M.K., by Periyar. The news of the Award of UNESCO to Periyar with pertinent citation exhibits the international significance of Periyar for the cause of mankind. The news of G.O. on the implementation of reformed script of Tamil language issued by Government of Tamil Nadu shows the impact of Periyar’s contribution for convenient adherence in the usage of Tamil.
Among the toiling masses, agriculturists form the one category who are not duly rewarded in proportion to their contribution to the fellow human population and naturally their happiness is a rare phenomenon but a real, full-fledged and meaningful as well. ‘Periyar’s happiness is like that of an agriculturist’. This tribute paid by Dr.A.Rajasekaran, a renowned nephrologist is deep and reflects the inequity in the living condition of agriculturists.
The perception of the medical professionals attending on earlier and at the final phase of his hospitalization, projects the special trait of Periyar, like ‘Periyar never bothered about his demise’. ‘Periyar did not lose his mental stability even during the last hours’. ‘Periyar exceeded positively the normal human qualities and behavior of humans’.
The compilation is not a mere record of past events but remains as a document how Periyar is alive through his rationalist – humanist ideology with his innumerous social transformations that took place after his demise.
The real magnitude of his revolutionary preaching is brought out very clearly even by those who were not very agreeable to his views or friendly with him. The actual stature of this monumental figure is effectively brought out in many of the interesting events and anecdotes.
Major part of this book picturesquely narrates the emotional details relating to the unfathomable pathos of the death and the funeral of Periyar. This book is a monumental compilation , brought out by his ideological disciple Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam. The book is very absorbing and informative and so it is a book that should find a place in the collections of all those who care for mankind and history.