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      periyar 389      We have been saying for a long time that Hindu religion means Aryan religion and Hindus are Aryans. Therefore, we have been telling that we Dravidians should not call ourselves as Hindus nor say we belong to Hinduism. Accordingly, in 1940 in the Justice Party’s provincial conference, under my (Periar) chairmanship, a resolution was passed deciding that we Dravidians should not call ourselves as Hindus and should not state that we belong to Hinduism. I had even then explained why we decided like that. Still as there are some who say that we are Hindus and we should not leave Hindu religion, we would like to elaborate on this point.

            Hindu was the name given to Aryans living in Hindusthan by people of other countries. There is no suitable explanation for the word Hindu. There is also no authority or proof to say that there is such a thing as a Hindu religion. All that can be said is that people who lived in Hindusthan and practised a religion were referred to as Hindus and Hinduism respectively, by the foreigners. In the dictionaries also it is given that the meaning of the word Hindu is one who lives in Hindusthan. This word now is understood to denote people who oppose Islam and believe in and support Brahminism. Also it is stated that the word means people who adhere to sanatana dharma (ancient code of righteousness). Besides, it is said that in Persian language the word Hindu means a thief.

 

            So in whatever way you look at it, it is clear that the word Hindu has no proper meaning. Also it just referred to a set of people, and the religion that they followed. We do not have to (specially) mention which community it refers to and what religion it indicates. Foreigners referred to Aryan community as such. This is because history shows that only after the coming of the Aryans, foreigners invaded or occupied India.

            Those who came to Indian sub-continent in the past, came through some specific routes and not through the sea-routes. They must have come through some routes in the north-west and north-east directions. We can also learn from history that the first ones to colonise and settle came via north-west passes. The Aryans were such first people. If people who came later on, referred to the people in the sub-continent as Hindus, it is easy to infer even by the common people, as to who they would have referred to and the religion the earlier ones followed.

            I do not think it is necessary to explain even today, in detail, what type of people these Aryans were and what type of religion they followed

If today we live in these conditions, and are subject to the control of the foreigners, what is the reason? Is this not a result of the seeds sown by the Aryans? People of our land had lived under the philosophy that everyone belonged to one society and that all are brethren; who is responsible for creating four varnas (divisions) and hundreds of caste distinctions that ruined the unity of the people and ravaged the country? Was that not done by the Aryans? By creating these varnas and distinctions of castes and by stressing that different castes would not have contact with other castes, each caste should attend to its work and duty; have not they perpetuated disunity? Is that not the reason our people did not worry or care about the country and other people in general? Therefore, it became easy for invaders and those who wanted to colonise this sub-continent. It is no exaggeration to say that we, who ruled over this land, evoking fear in others, we who taught culture and civilisation to the rest of the world, have ourselves lost our cities, country, sense of shame and intelligence as well and have become slaves to Aryans and foreigners.

            If really this sub-continent should become independent, people here should live in freedom, must we not think in terms of throwing away people who brought us down to this level. That is why we stress that we who are Dravidians should not call ourselves as Hindus, should not follow Hindu codes or practise Hindu religion. If the Dravidian community were to progress, should live as men with self-respect, people would only come to such conclusion.

            That is why on 4.1.1945, when Dr.Ambedkar inaugurated People’s Herald, a weekly journal of the depressed people at Calcutta, stated with great heart burn, “Hindus are parasites. We work hard, they suck the fruits of our labour. When Independence could perpetuate this exploitation, whether it comes or not, it does not make any difference.”

The crowd which sucks the blood of others, lived without even getting dust on its nails, with the capital of torn almanac and dry dharba grass leading a life (of ease and pleasure), will boil with anger and seeth with outrage. I also won’t be surprised at that reaction. For thousands of years, people who treated us as frogs and degraded us, and on that account having led a comfortable life, it is not easy to leave such a life behind, or tolerate others’ criticising their life-style. Therefore, they will get angry, try to control us, seek the help of authorities in power and indulge in abusive language. We do not have to worry about it. It is only natural.

            If you call a thief, a thief, certainly he will be angry. If you call a prostitute, a prostitute, she will also jump in outrage. Similarly, if you call the set of people who, when others work hard, sucked their blood like leeches, as parasites, they will be turbulent. What can we say about these people? Should we sympathise with their ignorance, or call them thick-skinned people or people without a sense of shame and just leave things like that? Because we allowed things to remain like that, all the upsurge against the Aryans in this sub-continent had subsided, were contained or simply suppressed. Today we could see in the world war, similar conditions repeating.

            Nations which are fighting against others resort to the tactics of creating in the land where they invade a cadre to support them and rise against the local government. Same thing is happening here too. Whey they see that opposition to Aryans is strengthened and efforts are taken to destroy it, an opposing group is created and through them destroy those who originally rose against them. We should never show sympathy for such people and leave things like this.

In this fight—fight against Aryanism—if people who oppose Aryans are to emerge successful, before gathering people to oppose Aryans, before such a plan even, such “quislings” must be first removed, corrected. If you cannot correct them, till all people become free from the shackles of Aryanism, these must be ostracised. Otherwise all our efforts would go in vain.

            If a pot has holes, no amount of efforts to fill it would be successful. If the pot is to have full of water, the holes must be filled up or a different pot must be had. That is what sensible people would do. We must also do the same thing.

            The reason for our stressing on this is clear. Dr. Ambhedkar has stated that the reasons for the depressed class coming to that level and living a degraded life is due to Hindu religion; in order that one is to be known as Hindu, he should believe in Arya Vedas, puranas, ithihasa, (myths and history) and support them. If you don’t believe in or follow them, you will not be called Hindus. Is it not so? In that case the caste distinctions, sub-sects in religion and varna differences will become ineffective or disappear. Will not the society make progress in economy and politics? That is why Dr.Ambedkar stresses that the depressed class people should not call themselves Hindus; also, vedas, puranas, ithihas etc. which had created so much havoc in society and disunity among people and ruined the country must be destroyed.

            But in South India, people who claim that they too are the leaders of depressed people, like Muniswamy Pillai and Sivashanmugam say:

            “Harijans (depressed people) should not heed to the propaganda against Hinduism by Dr.Ambedkar in Chennai recently. They must observe their duties according to the code of righteousness, as enshrined in Hindu scriptures.”

            Also,

            “We do not have to take into account what Dr.Ambedkar has said about Hindu religion.”

General public must ponder over the fact whether these people had uttered these ideas after taking into consideration the position of their society in the past, its sordid history and present circumstances. If a few people in their community have got ministerial posts and titles like Rao Bahadur and Diwan Bahadur, will that be enough? What is the general condition of the community. Will it be enough if some people had become economically well-off? What is their economic base?

Even a blind fool would say that they would not have uttered what they said if they had carefully considered, whether from the existing order. plans would effectively come forth to bring changes in their living conditions. If they speak in this vein, on the understanding that blessings of a few people and appreciation from a few would be enough, even if it is temporary, and that claps and garlands would be enough for a while, then future historians would condemn them, and people in future would laugh at what they have done.

So, instead of being carried off by petty fame and blessings from some quarters today, instead of considering their welfare alone, if they think deeply about people’s welfare and what could be done to uplift them, what sacrifices are needed, how to oppose vested interets obstructing the progres of the people, people who are interested in the welfare of society must ostracise them, atleast for some time. Then alone this community and race will improve.

            These people also must ponder over why is Dr.Ambedkar was critical of Hindu religion amd why did he call the Hindus as Parasites? If you look at the history of this land, at the puranas, Manu (Needhi) sastras, or study deeply any work of Aryans, you will find that the Aryans—Hindus—lived without working hard, lived like parasites on others’ work and continue to do so even now.Whatever book you take, you will find that they are written depicting that Aryans lived comfortably and others lived at their behest. Who will not have a heart-burn, if they see this? They must awaken to the truth after hearing words coming out from harrowing position of burning hearts instead of merely burying them.

(‘Republic’ ( kudiarasu) ‘Editorial’ 6.01.1945)

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