Periyar E.V Ramasamy’s 142nd birthday is being celebrated not only in India but also in other countries in the West as well as in the East. The birthday is not a ritual but a resurgence – social! He calls himself not a reformist but revolutionary; He is not an individual but an era, a turning point in the history of the awakening the depressed and the downtrodden.
Throughout his public life he never aspired for any public office. He was not even keen in fame and was on the other hand he carried on his mission swimming against current of opposition. His life mission was to inculcate self respect in the minds of the dehumanised people for centuries together.
He believed in destruction of cruel system of caste and varna dharma and construct of ‘New Social Order’ of equality and equal opportunities to all. He was a great humanist who fought for the rights of the disadvantaged majority treated as ‘dehumans’.
His vision and mission is nothing but humanisation of the dumb and the dehumanised majority, invoking gods, religion and shastras, karmas etc.
His rational approach brought out a sea of change in the outlook of the people and also the outcome in the society. Because of it, Tamil Nadu is now a land of social justice, a land of women’s liberty and empowerment. He was pioneer in the fight for their liberty and equality.
He never treated the symptoms of the social disease; but went deep into the root cause and educated the masses by his incessant intermittent speeches, writings and agitations.
His selfless sacrifices are monumental; His munificence are exemplary; His incarcerations are historical.
He is a great visionary ahead of his times. As rightly observed by the ‘UNESCO Mandram – ‘as a prophet of the new age’.
He is relevant even today – for our deliverance of his mission is not for transfer of power but transformation of power to the denied lot.
Still there are new challenges to social justice, secularism, democracy, scientific temper and rationalism. Hence Periyar’s ideology is the only weapon to fight and to fight effectively to win the war. Even though there are many accolades and achieves for the battles he won, the war is not yet over. We still need his undoubted spirit and commitment to win the war of social independence!
Periyar’s birthday is nothing but a rededication of our pledge to fulfil his dreams into a stark reality in this 21st century that is why ‘Periyar’ is a global phenomenon.
Let us carry forward the torch and accomplish the task ahead!