Leaders! Comrades! Today, I am happy to see you all as such a big crowd. Why together you all came here in this hard summer days. What you all looking forward in this conference is to change your worst condition as such you have been converted from Hindu religion, because you want to resist the discrimination which you all have faced as Hindu; but now even after converted to Christianity you are been treated as untouchable , this made you to organize this conference. But for many of you think, giving furiously speech and taking extreme resolution in this conference will bring a big change? If we look forward to it we can guess it was not happening. Because, taking resolutions and delivering furious speeches are continues for a longer period. But these all ignored and disdained by the higher caste people.
Your clergy knows well that you don’t have self-respect, because of your madness (addiction) towards religion. They know well that you won’t do anything against their control. You never confess to demolish the actual cause instead of keep on tolerating these difficulties and untouchability for your religion and god, and only giving furious speeches.
If you want true freedom, you must have the guts to eradicate the origin which makes you as untouchables and slave. That guts should be capable of breaking any restrictions and beliefs. If not so, it was insane to consider, through delivering furious speech and resolutions in papers will enable to achieve something. To consider you as lower caste, untouchables, not to treat equally and marginalizing through any religion, practices, sastra or act of god is not true.
There is no connection between the above mentioned things and your position of lower caste. If we say the true reason, you will get over them and tear them off therefore they are using distracting reasons like god, religion, practices to disappoint you. Who follows God’s religious commands and practices culture? Everyone disobeys the cultural practices, god’s religious commands to personally handle their situations. But, there are benefits using these mantras to rule others and to enslave others.
Why should there be a section as lower caste? It will be easy to eradicate it, by finding the secret that whose creation is this.
Please look at philosophy behind the lower caste and higher caste. If we ask to compare a Paarpan and a Paraiyar, we can able to find, how the concept of lower and higher caste exist, we can able to find that higher caste person as lazy who depends on labour of common people; lower caste person is one who works hard and leaves all his fruit of labour to others and lives without house, cloths, food, education, lives in the condition which is worst then that of animals. Therefore, people who born in lower caste should leave the idea that we born to serve the others and to take resolution that our labour should not be utilised by others who never works, someone who stand against the lazy group with conviction that we don’t have any difference from our birth by comparing others, they will be the one who eligible to remove their degradation.
Leave the above mentioned fact, a person who respects religious commands and clergy’s words should have to obey. A person, who has faith in god, has to agree that “god is the reason for his current status”. A slave, a lower caste person will never get freedom and development, by believing religious command and god. Religious commands and faith in god will benefit only higher caste people, clergy men and capitalists. Poor and lower caste people are living in this country for more than thousands of year. Till date they all have faith in god and religious command. And pray to eradicate their difficulties and degradation they were spending their money and time. Is there any decline in the number of poor? Is there any decline in the number of lower caste people? Or else did their difficulties get ridden? Think about it.
In this world, there are lots of wonders, miracles, developments happening continuously day-by-day which changing the apt work style and machine facilities, it will increased one rupee into hundreds, which benefits rich who has lakh to gain ten lakh, rich who has ten lakh to gain crores; but your conditions remains the same then and now. You are being like a living machine. Machine will work until it has fuel, like the machine you work and die relying on given food.
For you, how much your stomach needs for your survival? Even if it was decided before thousands of years, that the food given to you is to keep you alive. To stop you from asking more, it was decided to consider you as untouchables and categories you as Paraiyar and Chakkiliyar, and made your brothers as “slave”, “paarpaanin vaipaatti magan (Paarpan’s illegitimate children)” “Shudras” and categorised as lower castes.
Do not think that they are giving wage to you because of their mercy. It is mostly like the owner feeding cows for its milk if he won’t feed it won’t give milk; alike, if they would not give you even this amount of food you will die, after that nobody will be there to work for higher caste people, therefore it was given to you with a selfish agenda. Giving wages(food) to you is like feeding a cow, they just considering your labour.
Your duty is to change this condition instead of thinking to get rid the title paraiyar. To be allowed inside the temple, it is enough to take away the divider (kind of iron grill like gate was kept to divide upper caste and lower caste people inside church), need not to worry about anything else. Irrespective of the divider even without the title of paraiyar caste, there are thousands of people allowed inside the temple; they have right to pray and thousands of people who don’t even have kanji (porridge), lives under the trees shade using their hands or stones as pillow. What is the reason behind it?
Therefore, your agitations have to focus on the fact that you need to avoid being deceived and exploited by others economically. Therein lies your liberation. No God, no priest can do this for you.
All your religions and gods will be like “wait! Wait!” “Don’t be hurry!” if you tolerate all these worries and worst conditions, God will give you its fruits in your next janmam (birth) after your death. You all are waiting for thousands of years listening to this advice, “next birth you will get a good birth; if one has patience today will rule this world tomorrow” as a result till now you are being patience, getting worse, facing difficulties and reaching god(dying) earlier to get reward.
Therefore, instead of assuming the myth and selfish tactic upadesam(advice) that after death, in heaven (mel logaththil) or in the next birth to get some benefit, do something in this birth itself to change your worst situation and difficulties before your death. People who thought about it, stood courageously in the front row; are living as humans without worries, considering the whole country as one family and considering all of them like brothers who born for one mother (universal brotherhood); now they were not lives in some corner of this world as slaves, wage-labourers, lower caste and poor.
Note: Speech delivered on 23.04.1933, at Lalgudi Taluk Adi-Dravida Christian Conference, Kalaththil Vendran Pettai Village.
Translated by, J.Kayalvizhi
Comrade Periyar, Kudi Arasu – 07.05.1933