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‘Swabhiman Anaandola Ka Janak-Periyar Ramaswamy Naiker’ (Father of Self-Respect Movement- Periyar Ramaswamy Naiker)

Booklet: ‘Swabhiman Anaandola Ka Janak-Periyar Ramaswamy Naiker’ (Father of Self-Respect Movement- Periyar Ramaswamy Naiker)
Author: S.Murti
Publication: Cultural Publishers, Lucknow
Edition: 2nd 1996
Price: Rs. 25/-
Pages: 62

Periyar Ramaswamy Naiker was born in an orthodox, prosperous Hindu family in 1879 at Erode near Madras. His empathy for untouchables led to his abandonment of education based on Brahmanized contents and pedagogy. He devoted himself to the family business and social activities. On Rajagopalichari’s invitation, he joined the Congress party in 1916. During this period Narayan Guru was leading anti-Brahminical movement in Kerala. Naiker joined this, earning the soubriquet of Periyar (Great Man). Disillusioned with Gandhi, he left the Congress and joined Justice Party constituted for the amelioration of Dalits. As its president, he invited Ambedkar to its meeting. In 1958, he whetted the agitation against Brahminism burning copies of the Indian constitution. He propounded a socialism in which bonded labourers, marginal farmers, and women had freedom, and pleaded for a new epistemology negating God, religion, Gandhi, and the Congress. His book on the Ramayana was banned in Uttar Pradesh. Against Hindi, he championed the cause of the Dravadian languages namely, Tamil and Malayalam for education. His efforts led to the dismantling of the Congress in Madras in 1966. He died on December 24, 1973.

 

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