periyar 414            In a school run by ‘Tirupathi Devasthanam Funds”, Tirupathi, the authorities have refused permission for non-brahmin students to study Sanskrit literature in the class. When the public brought this to the notice of Mahat, the Devasthanam official, he said that he did not know about it. When Miss Mayo, in ‘Mother India’ book wrote that Brahmins were responsible for illiteracy in India, ‘Nationalist Leader’ Satyamurthi pointing out that referred to Panagal Raja as ‘betrayer’ of society and nation. Another national leader referred Miss Mayo as “Rubbish gatherer”.

            We want to know what attitude they will take towards Tirupathi school incident.

            Sanskrit is the language of the Gods, common language, and knowledge for intelligence—, a school is founded from the funds collected from the non-brahmins. But if a non-brahmin student wants to learn Sanskrit, he is refused permission. We want to know whether any nationalist leader came forth to abolish this piece of rascality or to condemn it.

            We also want to ask, ‘Desiya Veera Muzhakkam” (National Heroic Call), which fears brahmin smile, always kisses brahmin feet, as to where it has gone on hiding?

            Like beating a dead snake and talking of Simon Commission Boycott –‘is dead, funeral over, ashes immersed in river and the final rituals over for it’—this crowd with great


cunningness and conspiracy, dominated by brahmin authority is ever eager to fill up its stomachs with shouts about nationalism. Has any one from that come forward to express concern over these developments? That is what we ask.

            According to them the sudras, the non-brahmins—children of women of easy virtue and servants of brahmins—should not read vedas; now to say that they should not even study Sanskrit literature, I would say that I don’t have to explain, this as the height of rascality. Why should the money of non-brahmins be used for promoting a study not to be had by non-brahmins, is the question we raise. Also we want to know if this crowd had an iota of sense of shame, self-respect and if in its veins pure blood runs, whether it could do such a thing.

            We want to ask whether at least hereafter, the government or religious endowment boards or public would interfere in this matter and take adequate care to ensure prevention of public funds from being utilised for the selfish interests of a group. They should not blink at what is self-respect (movement): they should not be pretending to sleep over the matter. They must understand what self-respect is.

Translated by Prof.T.Marx

(‘Republic’ ( kudiarasu) Essay .19.8.1928)

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"பார்ப்பான், சூத்திரன், பறையன் என்கிற ஜாதி அமைப்பு இருக்கிற வரையில் இந்த நாட்டில் ஒரு இஞ்ச் அளவுகூட முன்னேற்றம் காண முடியாது என்று உறுதியாகக் கூறுவேன்" - பெரியார்


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