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E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker – Called Periyar Or EVR


By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Periyar is an honorofic meaning great. It was conferred on him by his doting acolytes in TamilNadu. Ramaswamy Naicker (1879 – 1973) was born into a Kannada family living in Erode when Karnataka, Andhra, subsequently created Kerala, recently carved out Telengana and TamilNadu together composed the Madras Presidency previously. His formal education was up to Grade 5 and he was married at an early age. He was said to speak Kannadam and Telugu. 

Tamil was Mleccha Bhasha to Periyar

Tendentious reports say that he was proficient in Tamil. With what degree of scholarship?  Perhaps sufficient enough to call Tamil a primitive language. Not satisfied with such a canard, he went further to deride Tamil as a mleccha Bhasha. The adjective had barbaric  overtones. Swami Vivekananda who above all was a very great scholar has said, the degeneracy of India came when the word mleccha was coined. The reason he attributed being the aspersions it cast on non-Indians and the degree to which such imputations hurt their sensitivities. May be Periyar too much elated by the accolade, was not mindful of refined discourse. 

Denigrating Thirukkural

The public media has it that Periyar was eulogistic about Thirukkural. The readership is too discreet and discriminating to swallow such fabrications. What did he really say? Thirukkural is no different from excrement placed on a silver platter. If this assertion is erudition, what is stupidity? Bharathy said if there be classy erudition, foreigners must pay obeisance to it. Dr. G.U. Pope from Oxford has extended his reverence by translating the work with a worthwhile Introduction in English. Prime Minister of India Modi, has placed a target of translating Thirukkural into 100 languages. TamilNadu has conveyed her thanks for the munificence of the poet in gifting 1330 stanzas in 133 chapters, with a lofty granite statue 133 feet tall in Kanniya Kumari.

The touchstone of a person’s greatness or pettiness is one’s actions. – Thirukkural 

When viewed through this critical prism, does one see greatness in this counterfeit personage, miscalled Periyar? Was he born great? No evidence. Did he achieve greatness? Never acclaimed. In reality the Tamil word Periyar (The Great) is a misnomer. To conceal fake greatness, the title was unwittingly thrust upon him. Subramania Bharathy in his inimitable poetic style said “If the heart is truly illumined, words springing therefrom will emit a sparkle”. Has the learned Tamil community seen an illumined heart or words of sparkle in this synthesized great?

Example of Fraudulence

Urge for damage control propels fabrication. The public media shed light on a concoction. “In 2021, the Madurai Bench of the Madurai High Court directed the State Government to remove a false information from school and college syllabus that claimed that the UNESCO had conferred the title “Socrates of South-East Asia” on Periyar. The culprit? U NO WHO.

“Criminal, Lunatic and Perverted Mind”- Nehru

An assessment of low report or high esteem can stem only from the learned, is another Tamil quote. Who can be better than Jawaharlal Nehru to talk about Ramaswamy Naicker. The world knows of Nehru’s high level of education, culture and refinement. Yet to Place the truth for all to know, he did not desist from using such words as ”Criminal, Lunatic and Perverted Mind” to describe Periyar. What was the occasion? EVR Had given a call for 1,000 Tamil Brahmins to be killed. What for? To eradicate caste.

How was Periyar Different from Authentic Stalin

To ensure peace in Europe, the victors of WWII met at the Yalta Conference in1945. There Stalin called for the shooting of 50,000 German officers, who were POWs, Geneva Convention notwithstanding. Churchill to show his abhorrence walked out of the meeting. How was Periyar different from Stalin in his proclivity to blood-letting?

Nehru, in a communication dated October 23, 1957 addressed to Kamaraj Nadar sent along with a press cutting, in which EVR is supposed to have called upon his followers to kill brahmins and set fire to their houses.

Source: Selected Works Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol. 39 Page 383

In a subsequent communication to Kamaraj Nadar dated November 5, 1957 Nehru wrote as follows. I find that EVR is going on saying the same thing again and calling upon people at the right time to start stabbing and killing. What he utters can only be said by a criminal or a lunatic…Let him be put in a lunatic asylum and his perverted mind treated there…The law is often very foolish but it is not so foolish as to permit a campaign of incitement to murder”. 

Source: Selected Works Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol. 40  

Tagore and Mahatma

Rabindranath Tagore, an acknowledged great of India and the world, called Gandhi a Mahatma. The appellation which has lasted ever since will live till eternity. Who called EVR, Periyar? His retinue of Tamil votaries. What reverence did Periyar accord to the Tamil language? He treated it as a Milecha language, undeveloped and uncouth, not to be spoken in polite circles. He however made a concession: the right to ’Reasonable Use of Tamil’ by upper class Tamil ladies for talking in Tamil to ‘Servants Only’.  

Bharath is ancient and great with none to compare sang Bharathy. To a nation replete with greatness do we need more from the ‘Dravidian Model’?

The post E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker – Called Periyar Or EVR appeared first on Colombo Telegraph.

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