In the July-7, 1929 issue of ‘Kudi Arasu’, Thanthai Periyar’s editorial described various problems faced by non-brahmin students in the sphere of education and condemned strongly the atrocities of brahmin teachers. The content in nutshell was as follows:
Time and again we come across atrocities committed by Brahmin teachers which are inexplicable and disgusting. Though the minister for education in the present governance is a non-brahmin, the grievance of non-brahmin students has not been redressed so far. Several offices related to the ministry of education are headed by non-brahmins. Many private school administrators are also non-brahmins. And yet, the problems of non-brahmin students remain unsolved. There is no sign even of slight relief.
This is because most of the executives related to education-affairs are brahmins and controllers of examinations are also brahmins. The teachers and headmasters deriving benefits and special favours from those administrators also happen to be brahmins.
No other reason could be cited for this deplorable condition. To speak our mind, we shall say that brahmins must not occupy the positions of administrative officers in the department of education. Similarly, Brahmins should not be appointed as teachers at any cost.
It would be better to shut down educational institutions rather than educating people through brahmins. We dare stress this. Every brahmin in this country considers himself as an upper-caste individual according to the varnashrama and labels others as ‘Sudras’. Brahmins do not want Sudras to acquire education through them. They believe that their ‘varna dharma’ would be defiled if a ‘Sudra’ individual becomes literate and that it would be detrimental to Brahmins. Certain segments of brahminical scriptures prove that brahmins had an inherent fear that they would be roasted alive in hell if they educate a ‘Sudra’ learner.
Would any Brahmin teacher come forward to allow a non-brahmin student acquire education? They would never ever do so if they believe such codes of conduct prescribed in ‘Varnashrama dharma’. Even if non-brahmin students get admitted by any chance, would the Brahmin teachers award them marks and enable them to pass in their exams? I urge upon my readers to mull over this moot point and come to a conclusion.
Most of us are not aware of the strategies and smart tactics prevailing in the field of education. If takes 22 to 24 years for non-brahmin students to pass B.A. degree exams. But Brahmin learners pass B.A. degree exams between the age of 18 and 20. Do our people know the truth behind this?
Most of our people would simply answer that non-brahmin students are dullards and so they are slow learners, whereas Brahmin students are too sharp and that they learn fast, since their minds operate on a higher level of intellect.
Even if our students keep moving from one class to another without any break, by the time they clear B.A. exams, they are 22 years old. If there is a break of one or two years, they complete only when they are 24. If the break is of three years, they are 25 years old when they get their B.A. degree. That makes them ineligible for jobs in government establishments.
In the case of Brahmin students, even if there is a break of one or two years in their studies because of failures, they complete B.A. degree course by the time they are 20 or 21. What exactly is the secret? Our children are admitted too late. They join the primary school only when they are 7 years old. So even if our boy passes every class, he is able to write his B.A. exams only when he is 22 year old.
One needs a period of 15 years between the elementary class and clearance of B.A. exams. But brahmin parents make their children learn from home when they (the children) are 5 years old. When the children are 6 or 7 years old, they admit them in the first-form class (6th Std) directly. As the headmasters are also brahmins, they ask the brahmin students one or two simple questions in maths and the meanings for a couple of words in English. After this very simple test, they certify that those Brahmin students are eligible for admission into “first-form class”. They are spared from five years of learning in class rooms. They save a large sum which would have been spent on five years of education.
Since students below 14 years of age are not eligible for S.S.L.C. exams, brahmins cleverly admit their children directly in the first-form. If there is no such condition, they may admit them directly even in the third-form class.
Moreover, Brahmin students easily get a period of five or six years to seek good employment, since they pass their B.A. degree course by the time they are 18 or 19 years old. By some hanky-panky tricks, Brahmin graduates succeed in getting placement by this advantage. When we approach headmasters to admit our children they deliberately cause a delay by some evasive excuses. They try to convince us that the children are too young to be admitted and that it is torture to force them join.
In case we pester the headmasters to admit our kids, they dump them in a lower class though they are fit for a higher class. Besides, they try their best to detain our kids in the same class, preventing their passing.
These Brahmin headmasters and teachers ridicule our children and dampen their learning spirit. They discourage our children by these mockeries: “You can never learn anything. Better seek a job” – “Do not waste money in learning. You are not meant to be learned” – “You are actually paying rent for your bench” – etc.
Since teachers have the power to send students for government exams they try to block our students using loop-holes in law. By hook or crook, they hinder the entry of our students. Even if our children appear at government exams smashing all the stumble-blocks, the hall-invigilators, examiners and the registrars, who are all brahmins, smartly place various obstacles. By the time our children pass such government exams facing all challenges, they are too old to apply for the government jobs. Sometimes our helpless students land up in third-rate jobs for survival. If they fail to clear those government exams, the result is disastrous. They are forced to work for small people on big chairs. Other than all these, there are numerous atrocities of Brahmin academicians in the world of education.
In brief, the world of education today is in a deplorable condition. People who call themselves public-servants must chalk-out remedial measures by raising this issue in the legislative assembly. An exclusive committee could be constituted to bring out the truth.
Many of our non-brahmin students have been submitting written complaints to us describing the injustice meted out to them. We urge upon them all to form an association of students and fight collectively for redressal of their grievance. They should pass and adopt relevant resolutions and send them to the officers concerned. This is our advice to them. We shall discuss and explain various other atrocities suffered by our students at another point of time.
Courtesy: ‘Kudi Arasu’ 7th July 1929
Translated by : M.R. Manohar