Continuation from the previous issue…
Similar dress for Males and Females
Our males and females should wear ‘Lungi’ and ‘Jibba’ uniformly. My wife Mrs.Nagammai wore like that for one and half months. But she felt shy to go out of the house freely.
There should not be one type of dress for males separately and another type of dress for females separately. The dress should be worn in such way that it must not be possible to distinguish the sex easily. Parents should not call their daughters as a girl. They must be addressed as boys. Even in christening names, the girls should be called by the names of males.
Our ladies take a fancy to grow long hairs. It is not the civilised way to grow hair six feet long. It is unnecessary. Moreover it is a burden. It is an inconvenient and a wasteful act. Ladies should crop their hairs as gents.
In appearance, dress and behaviour, ladies and gents should maintain a uniform standard. This change is entirely indispensable. This change is essential for liberating our women from slavery. I regret very much to state that our ladies moving about with pomp and show itself is a clear indication of their low status in the society. When l say that the dress should be similar for ladies and gents, it goes without saying that spending money lavishly for artificial beauty and false prestige also should go. My desire is that ladies should develop themselves on par with gents. The main impediments to the progress of our womenfolk are the sarees, ornaments and other articles of fashion and luxury.
Our ladies should realise this great drawback withholding their progress.
Please do not mistake me as though l am against decency and cleanliness. They are quite essential. But they should not be attained by wasting a lot of money. Such artificial beauty and appearance is not at all required. Being gaudy and glamorous is not good. One can lead a simple life, curtailing, all these expenses, and yet look decent, civilised and simple.
The term Hotel connotes even eating houses. In our society everyone builds a house for himself, with a kitchen for cooking his food. If the people desire to lead a happy life they should avoid unnecessary troubles and worries. What do we see in foreign countries? Most of the people live there happily in the rooms attached to eating houses. They order their requirements and the restaurants supply them the needs to their satisfaction. The restaurants in those countries are able to look after the needs of thousands of people.
There, the husband and the wife go out for work. They simply come to the restaurant for taking their food. They easily walk into their room for rest. In this way they have avoided unnecessary troubles. They have no burden to go to the market for purchasing articles of food. They have no need to worry about storing things and taking care of them.
What do we see here?
For two people to reside and lead their life, you find a new big building built at a huge cost of many lakhs of rupees. Is this not a waste? It will be a blessing to us if restaurants with rooms are built here on a large scale as you find abroad. The government should volunteer to extend its support in all the possible ways. The owners of such establishments should not run them for mere profit. They should think that they serve the society. They should not think that their establishments are commercial institutions, motivated to earn profit alone. The interests of the common people should be their motive. Service to society must be their aim.
When l had been to Russia, l was taken out to see a common kitchen. About twenty six thousand people were supplied with food in it. Some doctors were there to supervise the functioning of the work. They prepare all varieties of diet needed for so many people. Such things must be done in our country also.
The thought of having a big house for every individual and a kitchen separately for preparing his meals should not arise. If we create restaurants like those in foreign countries, we will be free from unnecessary troubles. The government should consider the matter seriously and concentrate on creating such restaurants. They should run many (common kitchens) as far as possible. By this you can free a large number of people, from their worries and family troubles. Whatever other may think of me, l venture to explicitly reveal my opinions.
If the ideal of co-operation takes deep roots in our country and functions in the right way properly there will be no need for anyone to face any sort of worry. There will be an end to troubles and difficulties. There will be no cause for any anxiety. There will be perfect peace and happiness. Everyone could live with full contentment and with eternal delight.
In our country whenever a new organisation is started our people take into consideration that the new organisation would be an asset for their personal gains and they become members and take part in the activities. This is a very serious drawback amongst us. We don’t think about the interests of the general public and the world at large. They completely ignore their duties and responsibilities to the society. Supposing a man owns a cart drawn by a horse, he does not go out in the cart all the time. He may make use of the vehicle for two or three hours only. But he feeds the animal to the brim throughout the day. For many hours the cart remains idle. Say out of ten hours the cart is used only for three hours. The rest of the seven hours is wasted. I mentioned only one instance. There are many things like this.
Our people waste the money and time in many ways. That is why you find the society static, inspite of the fact that there is increase in national production and advancement in all fields of techniques. The selfishness and the feeling of enjoying things for oneself is the cause. So it is essential that we should get rid of the feeling of self and selfishness. A worthy life lies in making everyman live peacefully and happily. Everyone should be devoid of worries. For all these, it is essential that the spirit of co-operation pervades all over.
to be continued
Source: Collected Works of PERIYAR E.V.R.,
published by The Periyar Self Respect Propaganda Institution, Vepery, Chennai-7.