HISTORICALLY FIRST SOCIAL MISSION TO ANOTHER NATION FROM INDIA
MOMENTUM ON GLOBALISATION OF PERIYAR
Periyar International, United States of America, by way of commemorating the 91st Anniversary of Self-Respect Movement, founded in 1926, organized the International Conference on Periyar Self-Respect Movement at Cologne, Germany on 27, 28 & 29 July 2017. The three day conference proceedings were held at University of Cologne, ‘Alte Botanik’ Gyrhofstr. 15 Horsaa XXXI.
Inauguration – 27th July 2017
On 27th July 2017, the inaugural session of the conference commenced by 4.30 p.m. The session was presided over by Dr. K. Veeramani, Chancellor, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. The conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble Michael Selvanayagam, Deputy Mayor, London Borough of Croydon, England. Prof. Dr. Ulrike Niklas, Chairperson, Periyar International, Germany Chapter, welcomed the delegates, observers and other audience.
Book – Release
The significant part of the conference viz. Book-Release was held in the inaugural session. Of the FIVE books released TWO were in German language viz. Gott und Mensch (Translation of the Tamil version of ‘God and Man’ by Thanthai Periyar) and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy – Eine Kurz biographie (Translation of Periyar E.V. Ramasamy – Biographical Sketch) and THREE books in English viz. ‘Periyar Self-Respect’ by Prof. A. Ayyasamy, ‘Inscriptions at Periyar Memorial’ and ‘Periyar Self-Respect Movement’– Compilation of Articles, published in ‘Revolt’ (1928 & 1929). The German version of God and Man was released by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Niklas and the first copy of it was received by Ph.D. research scholar Christian Kothe and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy-Biographical Sketch (German Version) was released by Dr. K. Veeramani and the first copy was received by Dr. Peter Schalk, Professor of Uppsala University, Sweden. The English book, ‘Inscription at Periyar Memorial’ was released by Dr. S. Prinuthal Selvi, Treasurer, Dravidar Kazhagam and received by Dr. Christine Unrau, Co-Head of Research Unit 2 “Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Co-operation”, Centre of Global Co-operation Research, Duisburg, Germany. Poet Kali. Poonkundran released the book, ‘Periyar Self-Respect’ which was received by Prof. emeritus Dr. Dieter B. Kapp of University of Cologne and Dr. Wolfgang Leidhold, Chair of Political Theory and History of Ideas, Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne. The book ‘Periyar Self-Respect Movement’ was released by Dr. Siddhanandam Sadhasivam, Maryland, USA, and received by the Self-Respect Marriage couple Ragulan-Olivia.
The German Versions – ‘God and Man’ was translated by Ms. Cludia Weber and ‘Periyar E.V. Ramasamy – Biographical Sketch’ was translated by Mr. Sven Wortmann. Both the translators were felicitated by Dr. K. Veeramani.
Subsequent to the book release, Dr. Soma Ilangovan, President, Periyar International, USA, under whose auspices the conference was organized spoke. Dr. Siddhanandam Sadhasivam, Maryland, USA delivered his lecture. With that the first day proceedings of the conference were over.
Second Day – 28th July 2017
The second day proceedings were commenced with the research paper presentation, which was held in FIVE sessions. The first session was moderated by Dr. K.Veeramani, Chancellor, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur, India. Dr. S.S.Sundaram, Professor and Head of the Department of Indian History, Madras University, presented the Paper, ‘Self-Respect – A unique and great tool of Social and Human Liberation – A Historical Analysis.’
Dr. Peter Schalk, Professor, History of Religions, Uppsala University, Sweden presented his paper, ‘Cuyamariyatai’ – A Link to Ilattamil Resistance Movement? The paper ‘The Emperor is naked. – Considerations on Rationality, Critique and Political Activism’ was presented by Dr. Christine Unrau, Co-Head of Research, Unit-2, ‘Global Cultural Conflicts and Transcultural Co-operation’, Duisburg, Germany.
The second session of paper presentation was moderated by Dr. Soma Ilangovan, Director, Periyar International, United States of America. Mr. Sven Wortmann, Institute for Indology and Tamil Studies, University of Cologne, presented the paper ‘Rationalism in India through the Ages’. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Leidhold, Chair of Political Theory & History of Ideas, University of Cologne, Germany presented his paper, ‘The Constitution of the Body Politic – An Essay on the Spirit of European and Political Ideas’. Rev. Fr. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel presented a paper on ‘Self Respect and Humanity’, Dr. D. Jeyakumar , Assistant Professor, Centre for Excellence of Periyar Thought, Periyar Maniammai University presented his research paper, ‘Doctrine of Self-Respect – Humanist Outlook of Periyar’.
In the afternoon, Paper Session –III was moderated by Dr. Lakshman Tamil, Dallas, Texas, USA. Dr. Saroja Ilangovan from United States of America presented a paper on Periyar and Women Empowerment. Prof. Dr. S. Devadoss, Department of Management Studies and Humanities Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur, India presented his paper, ‘Periyar Self-Respect Movement – The Instrument for Social Change’ Mr. V.Kumaresan, Secretary – External Relations, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Department of Management Studies, Periyar Maniammai University, Thanjavur, presented his comparative study, ‘Atheist Philosophers: F. Nietzsche and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy – A Comparative Analysis’.
In the evening an interactive session was held, the deliberations of which were bilingual – Tamil and English. The topic of interaction was ‘Social Revolution – Transformation of Resolutions – First Madras Provincial Self-Respect Conference since 1929’. The session was presided over by Dr. Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam. The interactive session was initiated by Kavignar Kali. Poonkundran, Vice President Dravidar Kazhagam. Many delegates interacted. Poet Latharani, Periyar Library, Kuwait spoke.
Third Day 29th July 2017
The fourth session of paper presentation was moderated by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Niklas, Chair person, Periyar International, Germany Chapter. Advocate A. Arulmozhi, Propaganda Secretary of Dravidar Kazhagam presented the paper, ‘Periyar and Self-Respect – An Indomitable Impact in Indian History’.
M. Vijayanand, Ph.D. Research Scholar, Centre for Excellence of Periyar Thought, Periyar Maniammai University presented the paper, ‘Impact of Self-Respect Movement in South India.’
The final session of paper presentation was moderated by Mr. Michael Selvanayagam, Deputy Mayor of London Borough of Croydon, England. Ms. Latharani Poongavanan, Ph.D. Research Scholar of Madras University, presented her paper, ‘Gender Exploitation in South India and the Rise of the Self-Respect Movement’. Mr. P. Kalaiselvan, retired Head Master of Government Higher Secondary Schools, Tamil Nadu presented the paper, ‘Students and Self Respect’.
In every paper presentation, the audience raised questions and sought clarifications on the paper, presented. All the paper presentation sessions were signified by the interaction between the presenter and the audience and deliberations took place effectively which made the sessions interesting and informative. Overall review of all the papers took place, the summation of which were compiled.
International Essay Competition
Periyar International, USA, conducted an International Essay Competition for youths while organizing the conference. Essays were invited on one of the topics Women Empowerment, Self-Respect Movement and The Benefits Realised and Periyar Humanism and the Future of Humanity and youngsters in the age group of 14-32 years were allowed to contribute their essays. Cash award of USD 500 for the First Prize, USD 300 for the Second prize and USD 200 for the Third Prize were announced at the initial stage itself.
Nearly 35 essays were received from all the states of India. Essays were scrutinized and winners were selected.
Announcement of the Winners
The Winners of the competition were announced by Dr. Soma Ilangovan, President, Periyar International, USA. Dr. Priyadharshini Rajendran, Medical practitioner Tamil Nadu won the first prize (USD 500). S. Udayakumar, Software Engineer, Madras secured the second prize (USD 300) and a Student of Periyar College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bhavadharini, was selected for third prize (USD 200). Besides, a student from Delhi, Diya Chauhan who is studying VIII Standard was awarded the Consolation Prize of USD 100. The prize amounts were sent to the respective winners. Besides, certificates were also sent to the winners. Rest of the competitors were issued with Certificate of Participation along with a momento of the book ‘Collected works of PERIYAR E.V.R’. The winners of the competition were announced and their photographs were projected at the conference. The list of all the competitors were read out.
The following resolution was passed at the conference.
While there is wide realization that Periyar Thoughts have become a humanist, Self-Respect way of living. We resolve to globalize this philosophy for living with dignity and equality.
This conference unanimously decides to implement the stated resolution by organizing Biennial International Conferences in different parts of the world.
The next conference will be held in the United States of America in 2019.
The three day conference concluded with the addresses of the dignitaries and delegates. All the student audience and observers were given opportunities to speak on Periyar, the outcome of the conference and the future contributions to be made by them for the cause of ‘Globalization of Periyar’. The valedictory address was delivered by Dr. K. Veeramani, who leads the Self-Respect and Rationalist Movement founded by Periyar, facing the challenges ahead and tackling them with the strategic approach. When the historic international conference on Periyar Self-Respect Movement was concluded all the dignitaries, delegates and observers were energized with inputs to continue their services as propagandists for the noble cause of Globalization of Periyar.
Conferment of K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice
Periyar International, USA, instituted a social justice award in 1996 and named it after Dr. K. Veeramani. K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice is being conferred every year to a social, political service leader who contributes significantly for the cause of Social Justice. The function for the conferment of K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice for the year 2016 was held at the Universityof Cologne, Germany on 29th August 2017.
The award was presented by Dr. Soma.Ilangovan, President, Periyar International, USA, to Hon’ble Michael Selvanayagam. Dr. Soma Ilangovan delivered felicitation address after the conferment of the Award. Mr. Michael Selvanayagam delivered the benevolent address after being conferred with the Award. Dr. K. Veeramani felicitated the Awardee and Mrs. MohanaVeeramani presented a momento. Dr. K. Veeramani delivered a lecture on Social Justice and the challenges which were tackled during the past and to be faced in the future.
The award conferment function was held for the fourth time outside India next to Republic of Singapore, Kuwait (United Arab Emirates) and Rangoon (Myanmar). For the year 2016, the Award was conferred at Germany and the Awardee belongs to England. This varied holding of Award conferment reveals the global perspective on the institution of the Award for the cause of Social Justice.
Compiled by : Nietzsche