Caste Conferences

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As an advantage of our country’s little growth in political rights and political insurgency have awakened every caste group which has been lacking in education, governmental jobs, and establishments. The caste assemblies began to ask the government to give them their share (rights), with the intention to develop like them, by seeing those who are advanced in education, holding titles and positions. It is only fair to demand and fight for all classes the power, title and status in a nation which holds many classes– here classes mean castes.

It is for these reasons that even in the time of the commencement of caste conferences, the minority Brahmins those who have progressed in everything, who dominated the country and kept their class as higher caste and kept other castes as the lowest castes, has denounced these conferences. Some people who believed in the talk (idea) of the non-brahmins denounced these conferences. They (some non-brahmins) campaigned on the idea that organising caste conferences was treasonous, promoting casteism, and hostile to national unity.

periyar 28But no caste has ever seen this propaganda as a selfish propaganda that a party dominated by a government that seized power, titles and positions would not be harmed by their dominance. Therefore, they would not disappoint with such propaganda, but they are concerned with the progress of their class and organized the conferences and propagated them to develop like other higher castes in education, knowledge and discipline.

As a result of these efforts, every class has awakened and started to rebel and demand civil rights in all matters. All those non-brahmins who claimed that caste-conferences were hostile to national unity have now begun to support it and concerns about their caste’s progress. Brahmins said caste conference organizers are anti-nationals and urges for strong rebel, however, it is because they acknowledged the risk that they have enjoyed the monopoly, to maintain the dominance and to safeguard they were organising Brahmin conferences, Varnasrama conferences and Sanatana dharma conferences. In short we can say that, today in our country there are no politicians who have no ‘caste’ preference.

The Indian delegates, who visited the recent round table conference, went with the caste and religion consideration and kept these things in mind, that is, to ensure the proper safeguards to their caste and religion. No one can deny that they attended with this motive.

All castes should progress in education, knowledge and civilization and to attain equity. All castes should advance to get equal share (representation) in Government office posts and honorary positions. Caste lives on the top of the mountain, caste lives in the middle of the mountain, castes lives in the mountain caves, castes lives in the mountain slopes, castes lives in the foothills of the mountain, if  they all come together to a common place, to get uniform civilization, to get equal freedom and discipline, then we can slowly separate them from the differences of their caste, their policy to form equal brotherhood, this is the prime idea for us to organize caste conference from the early period.

We support the caste conferences with the aim of eliminating caste by trying to achieve equal freedom for every caste. In a nation of countless castes and countless ideologies, it would be wise to agree that this is the best way to unite them. If not so, by higher caste Brahmins equipped tricks so called patriotic saying exist like that there should not be communalism, no caste conferences, caste based representation was useless; it will always dominate, always keep enslaving the oppressed lower-caste. We can say it as not genuine and justifiable propaganda.

Therefore abolishment of separate caste practices (jathi acharangal), religious principles, even dropping the principle of organizing caste conferences is to brought freedom that nobody is superior to anyone and nobody is inferior to anyone; old caste practices will renew itself at that point to organize conference to have separate community will lead country to a state of slavery, not being united without any other benefit.

But now, in all the caste conferences in our country, there are often reform talks and resolutions were made. In every caste conferences both men and women of  all caste should be compulsorily educated, caste sub-division should be  abolished in their caste, and to encourage inter caste marriage, to encourage equal dining (samabanthi bojanam), decisions have been made to address women’s rights, property rights, the right to marry, and to reduce expenditure of weddings and rituals. The above resolutions are being fulfilled in most all the major cities except for some caste councils which are convened by some religious and caste leaders. The reason why such resolutions are implemented in caste conferences is because of our self-respect movement.

But we are not supposed to denounce some visionary actions and discourses which taking place in some caste conferences. That is, in some caste conferences, those caste people never miss talk about their caste pride. They call themselves ‘kshatiriya’, ‘Vaisya’ and ‘Brahmin’, and they speak to the government to accept their castes and make resolutions. They show the myths which were created by Tamil scholars who thought that the civilization of the Aryans was greater due their connections between them and but Aryans, who had dominated the caste religions and divided the people into a separate class. They claim that their caste has their own deities, they have their own flags, and they are inclined to worship them, to do pooja, to conduct festivals and so on. Can these castes be able to stand equally with other castes? We are questioning this.

What is the use of making the people foolish and to make the poor people to spend their labour (money) worthlessly to worship gods and goddesses by forcing them? Till now much did our country people spend on deities, festivals and poojas? We urge these irrationals people to consider that, what did we gain from this? We warn the communities that seek to adopt such policies, remain the same as they have been marginalized, oppressed and isolated.

Therefore, leaders who organize caste conferences and seek true advancement of their caste must have a broad purpose, a good policy and a sense of self-respect. The aim is to create common practices that are capable of achieving world brotherhood by abolishing individual caste and ideology. They should remove the mindset of their caste that we are under higher caste and some caste inferior to our caste.

We should demolish the rigid notion that we should not leave our caste-based-occupation which our previous generations engaged, to abolish this superstition and stubbornness of the people, and to do jobs which suits their own education, knowledge, ability and convenience, our people must be convinced that their caste should be embraced by the principle of their own education, knowledge, ability and convenience.

These policies and determined thoughts by leaders who organize caste conferences help in development. We are confident that you can live a peaceful life by participating in the egalitarian race.

Therefore, ​​orthodox caste leaders may have an idea of saving their religion’s old customs, occupation and getting freedom should realize it was useless thought; leaders who are stubborn enough to recognize the change in accordance with the time, to adjust all caste by retreating, it will lead to eradicate caste and religious atrocities. It is only through the efforts of these leaders that we can unite our country. Therefore we request the caste conference organizers to refuse using the above mentioned irrational practices and speeches in their respective caste conferences.

Translated by, J.Kayalvizhi

Comrade Periyar, Kudi Arasu – 24.01.1932

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