You are aware that nobody who is invited to address Manavar Kazhagam fails to heap praise on you. Student life is not permanent. Human beings are not always the same. You were children till yesterday and you are pursuing your studies today. Tomorrow you will be grown up and will be living in the society. In the unsteady period of the present, you cannot easily decide what is good for you. I cannot believe that students are capable of thinking and planning useful deed and carrying it on to the finish. All the same I feel that I can make use of them for carrying out many useful deeds. For that they should hand over all their collective energy to well meaning leaders.
You should not get upset with me for what I am telling you. Students are capable of putting into action the mandate given to them by their leaders and learning what they are taught. They should never get the idea that they know everything. Only those who think like that will be generating uncontrollable anarchic tendencies. Hence they must be cautious in their thinking. To the best of their judgment they must find good leaders to lead them. They should get hold of great men who have the same affection towards the students as the students have for them and must have the concern to lead them in the proper path. We on our part have won the confidence of a small section of the students who repose faith in our principle. We consider them as our valuable assets.
The Real Worth of Students
Students are good soldiers, not good generals. Good warriors, not good commanders.
Self Examination before Taking up Social Service
Before taking up social service, students must make an assessment whether they are capable of that. They must be prepared to forget their own welfare and forego it. They must find out if they are ready not to think highly of their position or their education and to consider themselves as no more than average human beings. They must also modify their lifestyle to that of an ordinary human being.
Just as parents take utmost care of their girl children so that they do not get spoilt by the outside world, students must be careful and not squander their physical and intellectual talents.
You must think of yourselves as common men. You must minimize your physical comforts. You must be very humble. You must be utterly selfless. Only such students can do something useful. You must not be pleasure seekers. If you allow pleasure seekers to enter the Movement they will make use of the Movement for their personal gains and will desert it when their personal life is affected. They might work against the organisation or play into the hands of the opponents. Students must protect the Movement from such black sheep getting into it.
Those Unfit for Service
Those who think very highly of themselves as soon as they get into public life and those who expect undue recognition and protection are incapable of remaining in any movement.
A social activist should have humility. He should never have ego. He must have the forbearance to withstand disappointments. There is one more malaise affecting the students. If they get on the platform just once or twice and receive applause, or they get their writings published in magazines, they start thinking that they are great leaders and preachers and expect respect from others. This is a dangerous trend. Then any movement with any principle will give them up. He will get fed up with public life and become unfit for it.
I have been a student. I have been a conceited vagabond. I have been a tyrannical rogue. But once I came to public life I have given up all that. I used to consider myself a common man and wait in the background until someone called me. That is why I am able to continue in public life without getting fed up or disappointed. I have never been disappointed that I failed to get recognition.
It was 1916 or 1917. I was the chairman of Erode Municipality. Then I owned a big horse drawn coach. Some VIPs visited my house. All of us had to go somewhere to condole a death. I made all of them get seated in the vehicle. There was no room for me. If the vehicle had to return for a second trip it would take a long time. Without hesitation I told the vehicle to be started and seated myself near the coachman. Those inside the vehicle did not know this. After reaching the destination, when they saw me seated in the front they were all shocked. From that day their respect for me grew higher. The zamindar who was one of them would bow down before me and call me a prophet. I would make fun of him in return. They realized that I did not think it beneath my dignity to be seated near the coachmen, and also how ready I was to forego my comforts for the sake of my guests and started thinking high of me.
Even when I was in the Congress, I used to travel only in the III class. C. Rajagopalachari and Thiru.Vi.Ka used to travel II class. Thiru.Vi.Ka used to feel ashamed of it. I used to console him reminding him of his health condition.
Like this, students must make their needs very simple from very early days. They must be satisfied with simple food. While being the President of the Congress Party I used to argue a lot. But while working I would follow only their advice. I was generous in sacrificing my needs and respecting the others. In the same way you must always be prepared to sacrifice your needs for others.
The Movement Belongs to Students
The principles of Dravida Kazhagam are difficult to follow. Even the activities will be hard. But all these must be performed only by the students, taking into account the future generation. They must be more enthusiastic than the elders.
Non violence is the Symbol of Wisdom
Students must have faith in non violence, not for earning good Karma, but because violence hurts everyone. We have wisdom; therefore we must get things done through non violence. While we have wisdom, why should we use brutality? Non violence is an indispensable part of humanism.
As we are in the majority in the country, the violence engendered by us will hurt only us. You must all realize this. If you learn to follow a life of simplicity, your life will be comfortable and pleasant. Above everything, you must have a lot of patience, humility, and obedience.
[From a speech delivered in the Dravidian Students’ Conference in Trichy on 02.12.1948. From ‘Kudi Arasu’ 03.04.1948]
Translated by Prof. A. Ayyasamy
CASTE AFFILIATIONS IN INDIAN CORPORATE DECISIONS
The corporates, flourished with capitalist ideology are influenced by caste affiliations for their decision making in Indian environment. The capitalist oriented corporates, mainly concerned for profit making have been proved contrary with empirical evidence. It is so while making corporate decisions of formalizing merger and amalgamation (M&A) exercise. The role of caste affiliation plays a vital role during such decision making processes.
‘While making decisions of M&A, not only is information shared more smoothly between caste-proximate firms, their directors tend to place a higher value on the outcome of such a merger. To those who see business as a caste neutral meritocracy, this finding is an eye-opener.
The conclusion has been arrived as such in a research study titled, “Firms of A Feather Merge Together : Cultural Proximity and Firms Outcome” conducted by the scholars of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and Pomona College, Claremont, California, USA. The study was conducted in 1200 M&A deals in the country for analysis and delves into the mechanism that makes endogamous deals more likely.’ The factors, other than the caste proximity are subservient while making the decisions.
When voices for the implementation of reservation policy based on caste deprivation are raised, the corporate bodies and its votaries oppose it stating that private sector corporates are oriented on caste-neutral meritocracy. When the question of decision making comes, the corporate bodies are fond of prioritizing caste-proximate deals. When manpower recruitment comes, they favor only caste-distant views. What a double standards of corporate bodies predominated by the upper castes!