As part of the yearlong celebrations of the Justice Party, the centenary commencement of Proclamation of Non-brahmin Manifesto (20th December 1916) was celebrated on 20th December 2015 at Periyar Thidal, Chennai.
Non-Brahmin Manifesto was proclaimed by Sir Pitti.Theagarayar, narrating the social conditions of non-brahmins in the erstwhile Madras Presidency and the unreasonable monopoly of Brahmins in the education and employment areas. Non –brahmin Manifesto was the first document, and the facts and figures provided in it created a lot of awareness among the non-brahmins to be emancipated and to reap their rightful share in the public domain.
Non – Brahmin Manifesto may sound communal. In a society where majority of the people have been denied their due share in social, economic and political participation based on their identity on communal basis as non-brahmin, such neglected section had to liberate themselves and progress further only with such identity.
Non–Brahmin Manifesto is not based on the origin of races. It is the effect on the cause, already existed in the society, discriminating people based on their birth in a particular community. Non-brahmin Manifesto was the first statute which enabled due provisions in the Indian Constitution to include social justice in independent India. Non-brahmin Manifesto is historically important equating itself with the Magna Carta (1215) the United Kingdom which curtailed the enormous rights vested with the Royal King, an undesirable feature in democratic polity.
During the Centenary of Non Brahmin Manifesto Proclamation, many eminent persons who claimed in the social and governance ladder due to the labourious contributions of the Dravidian Movement were felicitated.
Justice V.Ramaswami, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice S.Ratnavel Pandian, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Mr.S.V.Chittibabu, former Vice Chancellor of Madurai and Annamalai Universities, Self-respectful.G.Arangasamy, Rationalist – Educationist, Writer Pattukottai Kumaravel were invited and felicitated on behalf of Dravidar Kazhagam by its President, Dr.K.Veeramani. Dr.A.Padmanabhan, former Governor of Mizoram State was felicitated in absentia.
While felicitating, Dr.K.Veeramani proudly said, “the dignitaries are the products of the labourious contributions of the Dravidian Movement. While they were in their respective career, they were dutiful and sincere to the cause of the Dravidian Movement. They had strengthened the journey of the Movement in their own way to achieve the ideals setforth by the founders of the Movement. The presence of such dignitaries at the centenary celebration is emotional to us and emulative to the present generation and the posterity.
As a gesture of acknowledgement the felicitated dignitaries spoke as follows:
Justice V.Ramaswami, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India
Social Justice – Reservation is vital for the uplift of the downtrodden who were oppressed socially for so many centuries. Reservation is the core strategic approach adopted by the Dravidian Movement to ensure the proper dispensation of Social Justice to the enslaved masses. I have committed myself to the cause of Social Justice which is close very much to the ideology of Thanthai Periyar.
During my service in the higher judiciary, I delivered many judgments enabling dispensation of Social Justice through the means of reservation, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. When I served as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, I implemented the reservation policy for the first time in the appointment of Judges and other judiciary staff in those States. My functioning in the higher judiciary was commended by the former union law minister late Sankaranand for the cause of Social Justice.
Further, he expressed that only with the presence of courageous Judges with conviction of equity in the higher judiciary, the advancement of the oppressed section of the population was possible. In that way I feel myself as part and parcel of the Dravidian Movement.
Justice S.Ratnavel Pandian, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India
I was a member of Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) in 1948 and participated in many progressive agitations convened by DK. I was dutiful to Thanthai Periyar’s ideology of Social Justice. During my judicial service, I met Thanthai Periyar many times to seek his blessings and wishes. Periyar felt happy in the elevation of people like me, who hail from the most backward community.
When I was one among the nine Judges of Supreme Court Constitutional Bench, formed to deal Indra Sawhney Vs Union of India, popularly known as Mandal Recommendation Implementation case. In my judgment I have mentioned Thanthai Periyar and his contributions in ensuring Social Justice to the oppressed people. The incorporation of Periyar and his contributions to the society in the judgment will remain indelible forever. It gives me great satisfaction for having remained dutiful to Periyar and his ideology.
Mr.S.V.Chittibabu, former Vice Chancellor of Madurai and Annamalai Universities
I hail from Justice Party family. My father was a functionary in Justice Party and got elected as Counsellor in the Madras Corporation. I have met Thanthai Periyar many times to seek his blessings. Whenever I got elevation in my career I used to come to Periyar Thidal, showed the relevant order of elevation to Periyar. Periyar blessed me to come up in the career ladder further and told, “You have to design your future in the career. Be bold at the hours of crisis without any wavering.” This piece of advice-wish of Periyar still remains greenish in me.
Periyar lived as an example to the ideals emphasized in the Kural couplet.
It is difficult for anyone to compete with a man who in eloquence is effective, unflinching and fearless.
Periyar was the embodiment of these three qualities and I derived inspiration from him to become successful both in personal life and career.
Seminar on “What did Justice Party achieve?”
Next to the felicitation session seminar on “What did Justice Party achieve?” was held. Prof. Dr.A.Ramaswamy, former Vice Chairman of Higher Education Council, Government of Tamil Nadu and President of Dravidian Historical Research Centre (DHRC) presided over the seminar. Prof.P.Jagadeesan, former Vice Chancellor and Vice President of DHRC spoke on “Why was Justice Party formed?”. Prof A.Karunanandan, Secretary of DHRC spoke on “Social Justice achievements of Justice Party”.
Self Respectful S.Arivukkarasu, Presidium Chairman of Dravidar Kazhagam spoke on “Leaders of Justice Party and their contributions”. Prof Dr.D.Janaki, former Vice Chancellor welcomed the audience. The concluding address was delivered by Dr.K.Veeramani, Patron of Dravidian Historical Research Centre.