It is a known fact Thanthai Periyar E V Ramasami had to quit Congress in 1925, as the Brahmin dominated Tamil Nadu Congress Committee refused to accpet the principle of Communal representation for Dravidians. Till his last breath he safeguarded the reservation policy. His writings in “Kudi Arasu”, “Viduthalai” and birthday souverniors widely cover the need to frame and implement the reservation policy.
Communal representation is the accredited right of every section of the Dravidian people of this nation and its government. It is the common right of all citizens belonging to every community. The main motive of the principle of communal representation is to eradicate the unequal status amongst the citizens. Communal representation is a ‘boon’ to create a society of equals. When there are communities which are forward and progressive hampering the well being of all the other communities, there is no other go but to resort to the system of communal representation. It is by this way the suffering communities could begin to heave a sigh of relief. The need for the prolongation of the system of communal representation will automatically cease and it will be found absolutely unnecessary to continue the policy any longer, when all the communities have become equals.
Excepting the Brahmin community all other communities started to demand for communal representation soon after the talk of representation of Indians in governance began. For a long time, except the Brahmin community all other communities carried on agitation urging the government to implement the policy of communal representation.
The Brahmins, particularly the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu, resorted to many ways to put hurdles and create obstacles against the implementation of the policy of communal representation. They pursued cunning methods and conspired many times against the communal representation policy, which was a boon to all downtrodden Dravidian communities.
One could understand the Brahmins opposing the communal representation policy, if at all they had openly come forward to list out the evils of uplifting the downtrodden people. All those who oppose simply said ‘no’ and no one explained why? So far no one has clearly listed out the reasons for opposing the policy of reservation. What is wrong in making all people equals? What is wrong in giving equal opportunities for all? If there is nothing wrong in creating a Socialist society, and if it is undeniable that the present society composed of unequal should be made progressive, what else can be done without creating reservations based on population through the communal representation policy? Could it be denied that there are weaker sections in the society?
Moreover, when we have allowed the classification of the society based on religion, caste and community, we cannot stand in the way of the people demanding special rights, based on religion, caste and community. There is nothing wrong on their part or of any community in safeguarding their interests. I don’t see anything dishonest in that.
The caste system made the people to go backward. Castes spell more and more ruination. Castes have made us low and have-nots. Till all these evils are eradicated and everyone attains an equal status in life, the proportional representation policy based on population is indispensable. Many communities have entered the field of education only recently. All should be enabled to study and attain a civilized stage. Our people should get education and study well. Our people should get their due share in the public services and in all other fields according to their percentage in the total population.
In this country out of 100 people, only three are Brahmins. Sixteen percent of the populations are Adi Dravidas. 72 per cent of the population are Non-Brahmins. Should not the jobs be given to all in proportion to the population?
Merit and Efficiency
You find merit and efficiency among all people. All communities urge for concessions today. It is ensured to them by law. Even in the matter of merit of downtrodden are given concessions. Because of this concession given to the Backward and Scheduled caste people you do not see any danger. It cannot be said that the standard of administration has fallen only on account of concession extended. It cannot be argued that good trait of humanity as honesty had deteriorated. No community is discriminated. All communities are treated equally. By the reservation policy based proportionately on the total population, all the communities derive their legitimate share.
When a student passes the (S.S.L.C.) Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination, it is clearly stamped that he is eligible for college course. The educational authorities declare that he is fit for college course. But when he puts up the application for admission to any college, once again his merit is judged by a separate test. Marks are taken into account to judge the merit. Higher authorities in the education department send orders to the principals not to admit students indiscriminately. Is there any meaning in all these? Who created this? Is it not the Brahmins.? When once a student is declared as eligible for college courses, it is the duty of the government to give him admission, without any difficulty. Is it not to make the other community people get disgusted with education and ruin their future prospects that all these cumbersome, unjust and unwanted practices were created by the Brahmins?
By all these the future of Backward and Scheduled castes is doomed. In the matters of education they are buried fathoms deep by these cunning Brahmin mechanisation. The Brahmins are able to detain even those students who have a thorough knowledge of the lessons. Similarly they are able to detain even the few students who manage to get a pass by these tests and selections.
I am accustomed to watch closely the merit, ability and standard of all people all along. My considered opinion on all these matters is also known to you through my writings, speeches and publications. I am one who is dedicated to work for the welfare of the Backward and Scheduled caste people of Dravidian Race. That is the main reason why I strongly oppose the theory of merit and efficiency. Why should you talk of merit and efficiency when once a student has passed a particular examination? What for such a thing? Is there any sense in doing so?
What are the benefits we have gained by the ministers composed of men with merit and efficiency? Is there anything to be proud of? Think over!
Similarly what have we lost by the rule of those who are said to be inefficient and beneath the standard. Tell me.
So, I proclaim that there should be no place for merit and efficiency in the realms of government.
He who does not want rights for his community must be one who does not know the oppression of his community by the Brahmins. Otherwise he must be a suspect to the community he belongs. If a particular community demands certain rights for the said community, the vested interests condemn the community as unpatriotic and anti-national. I would say that anyone doing so is a nomad not belonging to any nation or community. Our people have failed to assert their legitimate rights. It is on account of this serious draw back that we find only nomads (Aryans) over-riding us. When we become conscious of our rights, we can easily put an end to the domination of the nomads.
There are others who go to the extent of condemning us as job hunters. I don’t deny it. I am not ashamed of seeking jobs. What is there shameful in seeking jobs? What do the Brahmins of Aryan Race do? Are they not seeking jobs? Are they not job hunters? Who are they? If they have the right to claim for jobs, how ironical it is to call us as job hunters? Please think over. Who really has the legitimate right to seek jobs. I would say that our people alone have the right to hunt for jobs.
If any Dravidian community neglects to seek jobs I would say that the community is an irresponsible community. I would condemn them as unpatriotic and anti social. They are traitors to the country.
Not only that. If any particular community is differentiated or ignored it will be disastrous to the society. If it is objected that jobs should not be given to a particular community based on its proportion to the total population that would amount to putting that community to disgrace and injustice. No community would be willing to continue as cowards devoid of self-respect forever. Any community that fails to assert for its legitimate share in the field of employment will be considered as degraded and shameless community.
(Kudi Arasu, 30.11.1934)
Source: Collected Works of PERIYAR E.V.R. Published by The Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution, Vepery, Chennai-7