Periyar E.V.Ramasamy (aka. Periyar, EVK, Thanthai Periyar) was a businessman, politician, freedom fighter, social activist and the convener of Dravida Kazhagam party in Tamil Nadu. He was the founder of the self-respect movement in Tamil Nadu. He spread the ideals of rationalism, self-respect and women’s rights. He opposed the caste system, religious rituals and exploitation of lower-castes. He opposed the imposition/compulsory learning of Hindi in South India.
Basically, he was a reformer. He decided not to join in vote-bank politics, but both the mainstream parties in TN (DMK and the AIADMK) were a spin-off from his party. You can guess how influential this person should have been, during his days. Ref: Wikipedia page on Periyar.
I went to the Periyar memorial (Behind Thina Thanthi office in Ponamallee High Road, Chennai) recently. I saw a Periyar Library and Periyar Museum also, in the premises. Since Periyar Museum was under renovation, I was not able to visit it on that day. I would like to share some pictures and a video taken at the Periyar Memorial. Before that, I would like to present some quotes engraved in stones inside the memorial.
“Showing gratitude is a duty of the beneficiaries. If benefactors expect gratitude, it is nothing but mean-mindedness”
“One should behave towards others in the same manner as he would expect others to behave towards him. And this is my definition of ‘morality’ “
“The discrimination based on the system of dividing the producers as ‘laborers’ and ‘capitalists’ should not exist. It is nothing but slavery for the workers to be mere wage-earners, instead of being equal partners”