On 5th March 2018 in Belonia town, a few people who were wearing BJP caps and Chanting “Bharat mata ki jai” along with a JCB demolishing a statue of Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. This week BJP ended the 25 year old communist rule in Tripura and is now ready to make a government in the state. Tripura which has pre-dominantly been a pro-left state, voted against the CPM led, Left front government.
The Statue Showdown
This demolition saw a big outburst from the people on social media and News channels reported it widely. Although the BJP had to officially condemn the act by it’s supporters, some BJP leader were openly supporting it on Twitter. The left however called it an act of cowardliness and blamed BJP carders for this. The left also called it an act of intellectual bankruptcy. Left supporters on Social media defended Lenin and how vandalizing his statue won’t affect his ideas. Though, in an act of revenge, a few people in Bengal vandalised the statue of Jan Sangh leader Shyama prashad Mukharjee. The Bengal government took strong and firm stand against it.
On Thursday, we also experienced such inscidents in Tamin Nadu and Kerala. Some people vandalised the statue of Ambedkar and Gandhi in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively.
They Didn’t Spare Periyar
This event led to a great debate; both the Left and right wing blamed each other for the politics of intolerance. Even sadder news came on Tuesday night from Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, where two goons vandalised a statue of social reformer E.V Ramasamy AKA Periyar. One of them was the Town Secretary of the BJP.
All of this happened after the Facebook post of BJP leader H.Raja. The post was later taken down by Mr. Raja. Many leaders including the serving chief of the DMK, M.K Stalin and other leaders from PMK, CPI(M) and the MDMK have demanded jail for the BJP leader. MDMK leader Vaiko even threatened to cut the hands of anyone who tries to touch or look towards Periyar with an evil intention.
BJP National president Mr. Amit shah in his tweet took a firm stand and asked his party supporters and workers to stay away from these acts; failing to which the party might take strong actions against them .
Periyar’s Important In Tamil Politics?
Periyar is founder of Dravidar Kazhagam and openly speake against the caste system, Religion and other social evils. His works include, Why are Women enslaved, Periyar on Budhhism etc. Religion plays an important role in India. It was Periyar who took a strong stand against the oppressive nature of Religions.
“There is no god,
and no god at all,
he who created god was a fool,
he who propagates god is a scoundrel
and he who worships god is a barbarian”. – Periyar
Periyar was against Brahminical ideas since his childhood. He questioned the subjugation of Dravidians. Brahmins enjoyed gifts and donations from them; but opposed and discriminated against them in cultural and religious matters.
Periyar promoted the idea of rationalism and self-respect all his life. He was one of the early supporters of Dravida nadu (a separate sovereign state for people from Tamil Nadu and other South Indian states).
He became active in politics by joining the Congress party in 1919. Later he started the self-respect movement and left the congress. He went on world tour where he learnt a lot about contemporary issues and movements of that time.
Periyar was also a supporter of regional autonomy and gave first priority to regional cultures and languages. He was against the imposition to Hindi language on the people of Tamil Nadu and other Non-Hindi speaking states and region.
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Role of Periyar against caste eradication and women liberty
Periyar, like Ambedkar was against oppression of any kind. They both were strong supporters of a caste-less society based on equal human rights to all human beings.
Both Ambedkar and Periyar were against oppression of women and talked about women empowerment.
I measure the progress of a society by the degree which it’s women have achieved. – Ambedkar
Man treats woman as his own property and not as being capable of feelings, like himself. The way man treats women is much worse than the way landlords treat servants and the high-caste treat the low-caste. These treat them so demeaningly only in situations mutually affecting them; but men treat cruelly and as slaves, from their birth till death – Periyar
Periyar And Ambedkar’s Contribution To Contemporary Movements
Today, a lot of movements around the country draw there inspiration from Periyar and Ambedkar and both equally important as Gandhi. After the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohit vemula in January 2016, where he was continuously discriminated against by the administration on the basis of his caste, to the recent anti-caste oppression movements in Gujarat, The duo have been a source of inspiration for youths in this country. Women right movements or anti-caste movements, these two flag bearers of social justice have been and will continue to inspire people who fight for an equal or just society.
Edited by: Himesh Saraf