Tag Archives: Periyar

Periyar on the Constitution

As a follow up to the earlier piece, here is a translation of excerpts from Periyar’s speech on the constitution soon after it was framed.

Here there is a need for a note on how we can read these historic documents. This is not a call to burn the constitution (Figuratively maybe a little bit but not literally. That would be a waste of paper. We’d rather recycle it en masse as a symbolic gesture! ). The purpose is to break down into details, this ‘nation’ that we often use as a default construct. We know it has a history and a not so long one. We also know that it has been contested by many from its very inception. Independence day should also be observed as ‘partition into india and pakistan day’ for starters. There have always been challenges ranging from debates over secession of regional kings when independence was declared, to demands for a separate nation that always existed and continue to do so. Continue reading Periyar on the Constitution

Periyar on ‘independence’

It is hard to introduce E.V.R.Periyar. A good sign of the fact that his thoughts are broad based and radical is the way in which they can be used in different contexts. With each context, the description of the person also changes. For the purposes of this piece one may say, ‘he was a radical thinker who sought to question many aspects of the ‘nation’ that are taken for granted such as democracy, freedom, unity, integrity and so on’. This critique took many shapes and forms throughout his career based on his position in tamilnadu and the particularities of that history. In 1972, he reflects on the nation as it is today. And disheartening for us and even to him as he wrote these words, he stands by what he said the moment india got ‘independence’ in 1947. Continue reading Periyar on ‘independence’