“THE REEAL CONQUERING WORLD CAN BE DONE NOT BY ARMS BUT BY IDEAS”
Both on ideology and methodology, the contribution of Periyar remains unique. The ideology of Periyar is simple, relevant and applicable to the whole humanity viz. Self-Respect and Rationalism. No one can dispute the ideology being not relevant to them. With the advocacy of realising the self-respect and possessing rationalistic approach, all sorts of contradictions – social, economic and political, could be exposed. The aggrieved section of humanity could strive for the elimination of their permanent subjugation and objective equality in social life. For the practice of the progressive ideas like other pioneer, Periyar had to choose the rendition in the local context. It does not mean the relevance of the ideas is confined locally. The success derived locally through the practice could be propagated to the rest of the world for due utility for the benefit of the society. The global malady of inequality of humans could be culled out only with the remedial ideas of global perspective. Periyar did not confine himself to the advocacy of his ideas locally. During his life he visited many countries, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar in Asia and Egypt, Greece, Russia (then U.S.S.R), Germany, Britain which facilitated him to carve out his ideological spread globally.
The mission of Periyar is sustained by the organization, founded by Periyar viz. Dravidar Kazhagam, under the present leadership, that was identified by Periyar during his lifetime itself. The organizational functioning of Periyar Mission has taken different routes globally. Periyar International based in U.S.A. with its Chapters in Germany, London (United Kingdom), Singapore, Periyar Community Service Centre in Singapore, Periyar African Foundation in Ghana (Africa), Periyar Library in Kuwait, Periyar – Ambedkar Study Circle in Tokyo (Japan). All these functional wings of Periyar Mission have been established by committed Periyarists in association with the local population of the respective countries. At the initiatives of the missionary activities, 139th birthday of Periyar (Sept 17) was celebrated globally. The birthday celebration is not for mere jubilation but with the main purpose of propagating the humanistic ideals of Periyar.
Global Celebration of 139th Birthday of Periyar
United States of America:
The 139th Birthday of Periyar was celebrated in many places by associating the various organizations striving for the cause of humanity.
California: The celebration was organised on 17th September by Periyar International, California Chapter, B.R. Ambedkar – Sikh Foundation, Organization for Minorities of India, Ambedkar – King Study Circle. The function was held at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library of San Jose University. Lectures on topics ‘Periyar Self Respect Movement’ and ‘Humanism’ were delivered. The functionaries of the humanist organizations along with their family members participated. All India Backward Classes Federation and BAMCEF coordinated the celebration.
Michigan: Periyar – Ambedkar Study Circle organised the celebration at Abborn Hills. Elocution Competition on Periyar’s ideas was conducted for school students. Lectures were delivered on ‘Who is Periyar’, ‘I, Periyar speak Social Revolution’, ‘Periyar Feminism’, etc.
New Jersey: Periyar – Ambedkar Study Circle conducted the celebration. Seminar was organised. Lectures were delivered on ‘Periyar & Tamil language’, ‘Periyar & opposition to Religion’, ‘Periyar and Caste Eradication’ and ‘Periyar and Rationalism’.
Connecticut: Periyar International organised on 30th October 2017 Periyar birthday celebration. Quiz competitions were conducted on the principles and practices of Periyar. Winners were distributed with prizes.
Washington: The Tamil families celebrated Periyars’ birthday with special invitees from Tamil Nadu. Periyar International Organised for the celebration on 17th September 2017. The occasion was celebrated as ‘Family Festival’ with the participation ranging from senior citizens to children.
Chicago: The celebration was conducted at ‘Prospect Height’ by Thanthai Periyar International. Arignar Anna’s birthday celebration was also combined. Periyar’s ideas on ‘Equality and Equal Rights for Women’ were propagated.
Gana: Periyar African Foundation (PAF) conducted workshop on ‘Education and Empowerment’ for the rural youth in Ankara. In collaboration with SRM University, Amaravathy, Andhra Pradesh, PAF propagates on ‘Unity in Diversity’.
Japan: Periyar – Ambedkar Study Circle was inaugurated at Kawasaki, near Tokyo. The celebration was organised by ‘Full Moon Trust’. Video conferencing was arranged with eminent writers from Tamil Nadu.
Malaysia: Malaysia Dravidar Kazhagam (MDK) resolved to celebrate Periyar’s birthday in the various States of Malaysia Federation throughout the year. In the first phase, MDK conducted in Pinang, Malakka, Selangor States. Poetry, Essay competition were conducted for students. Leading personalities from different fields participated in the celebration. Bagang: On 1st October 2017, in Bagang, Periyar Festival was conducted.
Many senior Periyarists participated. Students’ competition on ‘Periyar’ was arranged and prizes / certificates were distributed to them.
Singapore: Periyar Community Service Centre (PCSS) organised for the celebration. Special debate, exclusively with the students’ participation, on the relevance of Periyar in today’s context was arranged. Research scholars / activists were honoured at the celebration.
Myanmar: Since, 1961, Periyar Birthday has been celebrated by the Tamil Community involving the local dignitaries. 139th birthday was also celebrated.
Oil and National Gas Commission, India : Periyar 139th birthday celebration was conducted at the Offices of Oil and Natural Gas Commission, an Undertaking of Government of India throughout the country. The employees and executives of ONGC participated in the celebration, organised at New Delhi, Mumbai, Rajahmundry (Andhra), Ahmedabad, Tripura, Ankleshwar, Kanbha, Vadodara, Meshana (Gujarat), Bokaro (Jharkhand), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Jorhat, Silchar (Assam), Karaikkal (Puducherry) and Kolkata. All India ONGC OBC & MOBC Employees’ Welfare Association co-ordinated the celebration.
Both indigenous history and international history have witnessed conquering the geographical territory through battles with the aid of arms resulting in unimaginable and uncountable human loss. But, for the progress of humanity alternative mode of conquering is in practice. Yes; it is through ideas without any armed violence and human loss.
Periyar conquers the world through the humanistic ideas, applicable to the whole humanity. Let Peace and Progress of humanity come forth by the ideals of Periyar.
Compiled by : V. Kumaresan