E. V. Ramasami, is today behind the bars, and millions
of our countrymen are pained at the very thought. He
is four-score years old, and the Sessions Judge has
stated, "he shivers when answering questions"
—but legal luminaries would say that law will have to
take its course.
It is not a new experience for Periyar— and as he has
stated, it is the 'price' that he pays for the realisation
of an ideal dear and near to him.
The very fact that he did not attempt at any 'defence'
is enough proof to show, that he is endowed with a stout
heart, and refuses to escape through loop holes.
In fact, on the eve of the day of judgement, addressing
an audience at Madras, (it is reported) he stated categorically,
that caste cannot be annihilated by killing some Brahmins,
or burning some Agraharams.
That statement ought to have dispelled any small doubt,
which the party in power had entertained about the motive
behind the agitation organised by Periyar Ramasami.
But having invoked Law, the party in power, had to keep
mum, and Periyar has been sentenced to six months imprisonment.
Law, having taken its course, it is now high time for
the government, to take stock of the situation and act
in a manner that would be conducive for the growth of
a healthy political climate.
Anybody with an amount of political acumen should study
the situation at ever stage.
There are certainly some who heave a sigh of relief,
at the sight of Periyar behind the bars—they are men
with little minds, for they know not that they are but
exhibiting the jungle instinct.
There are still others who, blinded by anger, born out
of prejudice and defeatism, are able to muster meanness
enough to think and even say, that the sentence was
not as severe as it ought to have been. Savagery in
thought does not and cannot attain nobility, though
attempts are made to couch it in coy terms and cunning
There are others too who think that this incident having
driven the Mudukulathur affair into the back-ground,
has been of some positive help too! Machiavelli has
not written his 'polities' in vain! There are many,
who have shaped their politics on that 'model'—and the
most curious part of it is, some of them had not had
even the benefit of having read the 'Prince'—it simply
and naturally took possession of them.
The 'Up-country' bosses are perhaps happy in the thought
that they have put down a 'rebel' and hence could snore
But, everyone of them forgets, that millions here, are
pained at the very sight of finding such a venerable
old man, confined in the prison—even after his outspoken
remarks at the Madras meeting.
Call it a confession, an exposition, or explanation—he
has stated categorically enough, that his intention
is not violence, and he has expressed in very clear
terms, that his object, the annihilation of caste, cannot
be achieved by killing Brahmins or burning their abodes.
Legal luminaries may be mightily interested in sections
and interpretations, but the people shape their sentiments
on the explanations offered by leaders, for their actions.
And Periyar's explanation, has been received with much
satisfaction by all but the 'prejudiced'—and they argue,
that after such an explanation, and a strong denial
of any intention about violence, Periyar and his followers,
should be released forthwith unconditionally.
We would urge the government to respect the wishes of
the people, and release forthwith Periyar and his followers.
He has stated categorically that the 'Constitution-burning'
is not to be continued - in fact it was but a token
- a day's affair! He has also given an assurance as
it were, that he is not intent upon inciting his followers
to violence. He has gone further and stated that caste
cannot be annihilated by killing Brahmins and setting
fire to their abodes.
That Periyar has given expression to such sentiments,
is to be welcomed and decency demands that the government
should show a gesture of statesmanship by releasing
Periyar along with those young men and women, who chose
to defy the law, not because of wickedness, but simply
because, they thought that they were contributing their
mite, for a laudable object, the annihilation of caste.
If however the party in power fails to note, to take
the cue, then, it would but be adding fuel to the flame.
The public are bound to raise their voice of protest
against the adamant policy of the government. The voice
of the people may not be respected in a court of law,
but their feelings are bound to have a bearing on the
situation in the country.
By keeping Periyar and his followers inside the prison,
the Government, is but creating a situation, which could
not be termed as happy or fruitful. People are apt to
think and talk, that the grand old man has been sent
to prison, just because some persons of the Brahmin
community, raised a hue and cry that their lives were
in danger! Now, that would not result in communal concord.
In fact, we charge some of the stalwarts in the Brahmin
community, of gross negligence of their duty towards
public zeal; they ought to have created an atmosphere
of goodwill and trust, by contact, consultation, explanation
- that does not mean submission to threat and intimidation
as some are apt to think - but an effort superb and
We are not mincing matters, nor is it advisable. Did
not, Mr.C.Rajagopalachariar, get into contact with leaders
of various and diverse political parties, to discuss
the Hindi problem? Was not Periyar Ramasami there, to
give his unstinted support to the move? What was the
attitude shown by Periyar, on that historic occasion?
He was all smiles, all affection, towards, C.R.
If, C.R. could muster together such diverse elements
for a specific cause, is it beyond his ability to contact
Periyar, and create a feeling of sympathy and trust?
Is C.R.going to plead that it is beyond his province,
or power? If he refuses to shoulder the responsibility
of understanding Periyar, who else can? Aged as he is,
C.R. certainly has not lost his agility - and in spite
of so much of bickerings, we are sure, that they have
still the highest regard for each other.
Instead of attempting such a 'Summit Talk', forces which
are of an inferior variety, are let loose, and when
the situation becomes ugly, then the ugliness itself
is shown as a cause for either indifference or antagonism.
The awkwardness much in sight now, could be done away
with, if men like C.R., along with others who are entitled
to plead for the Brahmin community, or for communal
concord as a whole, come forward with confidence and
determination, to probe into the problem, by consultations,
discussions, with Periyar, and arriving at a workable
scheme of action for the annihilation of caste. For
surely, none of C.R.'s eminence can argue that caste
should remain—possibly it is natural that they are afraid
of the jolts, the shocks, that might arise in the process
of annihilation of castes - that can be avoided, if
a scheme based on mutual understanding is formulated.
Persons with forethought would not and should not, leave
this as a sort of 'hunting ground' for the enraged and
infuriateds. This is a problem, wherein, cool and clam,
but sympathetic and rational thought is needed in abundance
and that urgently.
This is not to be left as a problem, to be settled either
by the sword or by Magisterial pronouncements. Neither
are reliable and permanent solutions. Perhaps they but
generate a spirit of vendetta, all around. This is not
a problem at all between two communities.
Two sets of forces are unleashed - the pent up fury
of the down-trodden is aflame, and vested interest is
attempting to hold its own! No amount of railleries,
satires, caricatures and cartoons, are going to solve
the problem - in fact they but aggravate the situation.
Nor could the force of the rod, put down the 'upsurge'
This is a problem demanding the pooling of the good-will
still in abundance, with a view to find out rational
and lasting solution. It is not beyond the capacity
of anyone of us; and certainly men who have shouldered
heavier responsibilities should not now evade from the
In the fragile frame of C.R., dwelt, a stoutness of
heart, keenness of intellect, foresight, during those
days, when the raging and tearing problem was, Pakistan,
and he came forward to offer his services, and succeeded
remarkably well. We are confident that C.R., is endowed
still with that agility, sobriety and keenness. And
hence, his attitude of supreme indifference or active
antagonism, does credit neither to his goodself nor
to the country as a whole.
He is not burdened with any office, hence he is eminently
fitted to take up this task - of understanding his friend
and colleague! It he refuses to work towards this end,
people have got every right to come to the conclusion,
that C.R., is not for the annihilation of caste.
Periyar is behind the bars, but very many others are
today facing the bar of public opinion, and it is up
to them to come out with flying colours, as champions
of the people's cause. No better beginning could there
be, than this one - all of them should demand for the
release of Periyar and his followers - in as much as
he has categorically denied the intentions attributed
to him. And having realised the first objective - release
of Periyar - there should begin a series of Round Table
Conferences, for much of the heat could be converted
into light, if all come together, around a table, with
the intention of ending a strife.
Only by comig out of the catacombs and conclaves can
we catch a glimpse of the Dawn—and we invite all those
interested to join hands, for this noble task of enthroning
Man, once more and permanently.