The Chota Gandhi – periyar

The Chota Gandhi – periyar

The Chota Gandhi

Mr. C. Rajagopalachari in his address at the Srivilliputur Taluk Conference, has unfolded some strange and shrewd things. Speaking on the Self-respect movement, he says, “For years I have wanted to see all artificial and imaginary differences between man and man abolished and a homogeneous nation established in our land…There is no one who more earnestly wishes people to be free from superstitions than myself ”. Weighty words indeed! What a radical reformer Mr. C. R. has turned into! Can we imagine a greater freethinker than our Chota Gandhi? Let us see what he says further.

“We must bring about reform of customs”, says the ideal reformer, “as rapidly as we can, but let us not imagine that our forefathers were one set all fools and another set all rogues. Their children could not be very wise or good if such were the case”. This logic of Mr. C.R. plainly shows that he is a believer in the law of varnashram. He is of the opinion that fools and rogues cannot beget wise and good people. Apart from the loss to know why the descendants of the Rishis are reduced to the necessity of keeping coffee hotels and laundries without indulging in divine communication with the omnipotent God, as their forefathers are said to have done.

Mr. C.R. is more funny when he suggests the remedy for ‘establishing a homogenous nation’. “I want every one of you who believe in God” says he, “to resolve that from this day forward, every morning, the first thing to do on waking up is to pray that hatred between caste and caste, may disappear and that in beautiful South India the atmosphere of love and patriotism may again nourish us to life. I believe in silent, fervent daily prayer. Our evils are of our own making and prayer purifies us and reaches God”.

We strongly advise him to adopt the same step in his Khadi and Temperance propaganda. Let him not waste his slender frame by straining himself in composing his two lined mottos and undertaking long tours. We ‘pray’, meanwhile for the long life of the most radical reformer. Om! Santhi! Santhi!

– Revolt, 3 November 1929

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