Are my ideas admired or rejected? Are they considered lofty or low? I do not bother. My life’s aim is that my views, however bitter they are to others, should only express truth.
From my tenth year onwards, (as far as I can remember), I have been an atheist. I have no faith in caste or rituals. In matters of public conduct, I am aware that others should not be pained or troubled; apart from this, I have little regard for proper conduct. Even though I am covetous of money and materials, I have earned them only through my resourcefulness and not by pecuniary dishonesty, or by betrayal of trust. I have never attempted to cheat anyone, even in the smallest matter. Even though I may have told lies in business deals, I have not told lies in public – life, or consciously expressed opposing views. Why should a person like me carry enmity or ill will to a particular community? I am one who ardently wishes to bring our land and society on a par with the character and culture of England. I consider, rightly or wrongly, that the Brahmin community is a stumbling block to this.
Should not the Brahimins then demonstrate that such is not the case? ? In fact, if only I had the support of the Brahmins, I would have found it possible to a large extent to bring about the advancement of our country.
I am one who lives just to see that the whole world is suffused with atheistic rationality.
My only goal is the welfare of the people.
I am no passionate seeker after power. Only, I have a fierce social consciousness. For the sake of the welfare of society, I am prepared in the days to come to give up anything.
I devote myself to service only for the reason that our people should gain in knowledge and live on a par with the peoples of the world.
With me, there is never anything like ‘my money ‘. As I had endowed all my money and property in the name of the Movement when I entered public service, I do everything, even eating, from out of the funds of the Movement. It is your money, and not mine at all, that I donated to a College, and a Hospital. After out what was appropriate for the public goods, I spent out of the Movement’s General Funds.
If I know that any individual is devoted to Tamil, I shall certainly become a slave to him. If he is cultured, I shall indeed be his bosom-friend. Otherwise, I would look upon him as anon-entity.
I, E. V. Ramaswamy, have taken upon myself the task of reforming Dravidian society so that it shall be comparable to other societies of the world, in esteem and enlightenment, and I am solely devoted to that service.
Whether I am competent to do that service or not, I have taken the task upon myself because no one else in the country has come forward to do so.
Because I configure plans and principles on the basis of reason and because I have no other attachments, I consider myself qualified to do that service. For one who does social service, this will do, I believe.
Even as a pipe must needs be played, and a drum beaten, I must perforce talk or lecture, as long as I have a throat and a voice.
Our people seem to take pride in cherishing antiquity. But I am one who detests this craze for tradition. This is why many hate me. But I am confident that those who know will soon go over to my side.
I consider myself a rationalist. I am not averse to anything that is in tune with reason and I am not in agreement that is irrational. This sums up my attitude.
I believe that conducting oneself properly and adhering to honesty in everything without concealing truth, give one a unique strength.
I do not cite any precedent to explain my principles and utterances. The effort of those that run after what others have said does not accord with good sense. I may point out that others support my ideas, but I should not indicate that such persons have said thus and thus, and therefore I also say, after them.
Rationalist that I am, I have no attachment whatsoever to God, religion, literature or language. I shall talk only of that which is acceptable to intelligence; that which does well to people and that which enlightens them.
Some even asked me: ‘You are a Kannadiga; how can you be a leader of Tamils?’ I countered; ‘ Dear fellow! No Tamil has qualified himself to lead! This is because one Tamil does by no means tolerate the rise of another Tamil to a position of leadership ‘.
I am aware that I am friendly with people owing only to a Movement, and not because of other worldly ties. I say so because, in many areas, by expressing opposing views, I swim against the current of popular opining. This is the fate of all those that conduct themselves thus.
My life is like a shorn -off tree. If a fruit bearing tree, it must be protected from others throwing stones at it. But I do not think of so protecting myself. As I do not care for anything. I do not fear anyone; nor do I desire to gain favours from anyone
As regards speech, some deliver it with an eye for elegance; some for ornateness; some others to make people laugh or to win their approbation; a few others speak just to exhibit their learning; and some to express their ideas. I belong to the category.
Give a fair hearing and though t to all that I say. If it is acceptable to your intelligence, follow it accordingly; otherwise, reject it. I shall not compel to do what I say, by telling you that I am an incarnation of God, or that God speaks to you from within me, or that I am a leader.
Even as a mother, bound by natural instincts, tends all her offspring, to give them an equal experience, so it is with me as regards my relationship with people. Also, as the same mother tries to feed her lean and weak child with more food than what she offers the rest of her children, to make him equal to them, so I show greater sympathy to the weak and the backward; and likewise I exhibit my feelings towards Brahmins and the other communities.
I am an ascetic. To an ascetic, an emperor is chaff, it is said. To me not only the emperor, but, so is God, scriptures, caste and politics; nay, I consider them the filtered essence of can’t and hypocrisy.
You Decide for Yourselves
Decide for yourselves as to what you should think of those who say there is God, that He is the preserver of Justice and that He is the Protector of All, even after seeing that the practice of Unsociability, in the form of man being banned from human sight and contact, from walking in the street, from entering the temples and from drawing water from a tank, is rampant in a land and yet that land is spared from being razed by an earthquake, burnt by the fiery lava of a volcano, engulfed in a deluge from the occan , submerged in the chasm of the earth , or fragmented by a thunder – storm .
-Comrade Periyar – Original source: Dravidarkazhagam (www.periyar.org)