The book, ‘Needamangalam – Casteist Atrocity and Dravidian Movement’ was released by Dr. K. Veeramani and received by Thol. Thirumavalavan. Justice D. Hariparanthaman, Prof. A.R.Venkatachalapathy,
Prof. A. Thiruneelakandan (author) are on the dais along with the organizers.
“CASTE DIRECTLY LINKED TO POWER AND AUTHORITY!”
The Casteist atrocities, that took place in 1930s in Tamil Nadu has been researched and a part of it has been published in the form of a book. The book, ‘Needamangalam Casteist Atrocity and Dravidian Movement’ (Needamangalam – Sathi Kodumayum Dravida Iyakkamum in Tamil) release was held on 22nd September 2017, at Periyar Thidal, Chennai.
The book-release function was presided over by Prof. Dr. A.R.Venkatachalapathy, a historian of Dravidian Movement. The book was released by Dr.K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam, parental organization of Dravidian Movement. Justice D. Hariparanthaman received the first copy. Thol. Thirumavalavan, Founder President of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi spoke about the contents of the book and correlated the current happenings on the implication of casteist atrocities. The author of the book, Prof. A. Thiruneelakandan, narrated the pain and hardships, he had undertaken and experiences in collecting evidences on the happenings that took place in 1937. All the victims of the casteist atrocity are no more. One of the main victims, Arumugam – his son A. Rajendran participated in the meeting and he was felicitated. The book release function was organized by Periyar Library Readers’ Circle, Chennai.
Excerpts from the speeches:
Thol.Thirumavalavan: Endorsing the worship of Murugan by claiming that he is a Tamil god will indirectly help Hindutva forces. Same will be the result when some Dalit castes demand that they be taken out of the Scheduled Castes list and call themselves upper caste. It will only delay the annihilation of castes.Caste is directly related to power and authority. Dalits can challenge the caste hegemony only when they attain power.
Isolating Dalits from various aspects of social life is the power that upper castes wield. The fight is to be included in the mainstream.
A.Thiruneelakandan: The book’s focus is on how Dravidar Kazhagam’s rationalist newspapers Viduthalai and Kudi Arasu wrote in detail about how Dalits were humiliated in the conference held by the Congress in south Thanjavur in 1937. “The two newspapers and Dravidar Kazhagam led by Periyar took the care of 20 Dalits who were publicly humiliated for eating in a common place along with other castes. As a result, the Dravidar Kazhagam had to fight defamation cases filed by T.K.P.S. Udayar.
Call to strengthen ties
It is time to strengthen ties between the Dalit movement and the Dravidar Kazhagam.
Some Dalit leaders take a critical and contradictory view of Periyar and DK. And Hindutva forces are trying to appropriate Ambedkar for their cause. It is time to strengthen the ties between Dalits and the Dravidar Kazhagam.
Dr. K. Veeramani pointed out that the advocate who argued against T.K.P.S. Udayar was also from the same community.
“If you are a Periyarist, you have to be self-critical of your caste. Unless you leave your caste and wear the black shirt, you cannot be a part of the Periyarist movement. Viduthalai is not a mere newspaper. It is a weapon,” he said.
Justice D. Hariparanthaman: Periyar had no issues collaborating with those whose views were diametrically opposite to him as long they too desired the annihilation of caste. What brought together Adigalar and Periyar, despite their having opposite views, was that they were both united in their opposition to caste.
With inputs from ‘The Hindu’