There is much hullabaloo everywhere these days over the temple-entry allowed to the Panchamas, the lowest in the caste hierarchy. I would like to ask all those who are creating furore – What is the real motive behind this? Do you want the Panchama individual to reach heaven for salvation? If you are really kind enough to send him there, why don’t you allow him to ring the temple bells too? You have been doing it for ages! Why can’t you let him enjoy ringing those bells? You would not allow him because it would infuriate your god. If your God vanishes, you just cannot survive. Is it not your fear? Would you ever allow him to perform normal temple services?
You are free to commit all sorts of atrocities but I am denied the right to question – Why am I called ‘Sudra’? You stifle my voice calling me a revolt and a rebel. Your enslavement has made you spineless and insensitive. We have been tolerating you since we are left with no option. No dignified and sensible person would endure this degradation and suffer silently. Can we find Sudras and Panchamas in any other country in this world? As long as caste – based segregation and inequality prevail, can this country ever become a land of wisdom? These are my questions posed to all those who raise an uproar, as if they have done a great favour to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
– Thanthai Periyar,
‘Kudi Arasu’ – 05.05.1948