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(It is a known fact Thanthai Periyar E V Ramasami had to quit Congress in 1925, as the Brahmin dominated Tamil Nadu Congress Committee refused to accept the principle of Communal representation for Dravidian Race in Public Services. Till his last breath, he safeguarded the reservation policy. His writings in “Kudi Arasu” “Viduthalai” and birthday souvenirs about the need to implement the reservation policy for all communities are given below in a nutshell)


Communal representation is the accredited right of every 

Section of the Dravidian people of this nation and its government. It is the common right of all citizens belonging to every community. The main motive of the principle of communal representation is to eradicate the unequal status amongst the citizens. Communal representation is a ‘boon’ to create a society of equals. When there are communities which are forward and progressive hampering the well being of all the other communities, there is no other go but to resort to the system of communal representation. It is by this way the suffering communities could begin to heave a sigh of relief. The need for the prolongation of the system of communal representation will automatically cease, and it will be found absolutely unnecessary to continue the policy any longer when all the communities have become equals.

periyar 451Excepting the Brahmin community, all other communities started to demand for communal representation soon after the talk of representation of Indians in governance began. For a long time, except the Brahmin community, all other communities carried on agitation urging the government to implement the policy of communal representation.

The Brahmins, particularly the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu, resorted to many ways to put hurdles and create obstacles against the implementation of the policy of communal representation. They pursued cunning methods and conspired many times against the communal representation policy, which was a boon to all downtrodden Dravidian communities.

One could understand the Brahmins opposing the communal representation policy if at all, they had openly come forward to list out the evils of uplifting the downtrodden people. All those who oppose simply said ‘no’ and no one explained why? So far, no one has clearly listed out the reasons for opposing the policy of reservation. What is wrong in making all people equals? What is wrong in giving equal opportunities for all? If there is nothing wrong in creating a Socialist society, and if it is undeniable that the present society composed of unequal should be made progressive, what else can be done without creating reservations based on the population through the communal representation policy? Could it be denied that there are weaker sections in society?

Moreover, when we have allowed the classification of the society based on religion, caste and community, we cannot stand in the way of the people demanding special rights, based on religion, caste and community. There is nothing wrong on their part or of any community in safeguarding their interests. I don’t see anything dishonest in that.

The casteism made the people to go backward. Castes spell more and more ruination. Castes have made us low and have-nots. Till all these evils are eradicated, and everyone attains an equal status in life, the proportional representation policy based on population is indispensable. Many communities have entered the field of education only recently. All should be enabled to study and attain a civilised stage. Our people should get an education and study well. Our people should get their due share in the public services and in all other fields according to their percentage in the total population.

In this country out of 100 people, only three are Brahmins. Sixteen percent of the populations are Adi Dravidas. 72 percent of the population are Non-Brahmins. Should not the jobs be given to all in proportion to the population?

Merit and Efficiency 

You find merit and efficiency among all people. All communities urge for concessions today. It is ensured to them by law. Even in the matter of merit of downtrodden are given concessions. Because of this concession given to the Backward and Scheduled caste people, you do not see any danger. It cannot be said that the standard of administration has fallen only on account of concession extended. It cannot be argued that a good trait of humanity as honesty had deteriorated. No community is discriminated. All communities are treated equally. By the reservation policy based proportionately on the total population, all the communities derive their legitimate share.

When a student passes the (S.S.L.C.) Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination, it is clearly stamped that he is eligible for a college course. The educational authorities declare that he is fit for a college course. But when he puts up the application for admission to any college, once against his merit is judged by a separate test. Marks are taken into account to judge the merit. Higher authorities in the education department send orders to the principals not to admit students indiscriminately. Is there any meaning in all these? Who created this? Is it not the Brahmins.? When once a student is declared as eligible for college courses, it is the duty of the government to give him admission, without any difficulty. Is it not to make the other community people get disgusted with education and ruin their future prospects that all these cumbersome, unjust and unwanted practices were created by the Brahmins?

By all these, the future of Backward and Scheduled castes is doomed. In the matters of education, they are buried fathoms deep by these cunning Brahmin mechanisation. The Brahmins are able to detain even those students who have a thorough knowledge of the lessons. Similarly, they are able to detain even the few students who manage to get a pass by these tests and selections.

I am accustomed to watch closely the merit, ability and standard of all people all along. My considered opinion on all these matters is also known to you by my writings, speeches and publications. I am one who is dedicated to work for the welfare of the Backward and Scheduled caste people of Dravidian Race. That is the main reason why I strongly oppose the theory of merit and efficiency. Why should you talk of merit and efficiency when once a student has passed a particular examination? What for such a thing? Is there any sense in doing so?

What are the benefits we have gained by the ministers composed of men with merit and efficiency? Is there anything to be proud of? Think over!

Similarly, what have we lost by the rule of those who are said to be inefficient and beneath the standard? Tell me.

So, I proclaim that there should be no place for merit and efficiency in the realms of government.

He who does not want rights for his community must be one who does not know the oppression of his community by the Brahmins. Otherwise, he must be a suspect to the community he belongs to. If a particular community demands certain rights for the said community, the vested interests condemn the community as unpatriotic and anti-national. I would say that anyone doing so is a nomad not belonging to any nation or community. Our people have failed to assert their legitimate rights. It is on account of this serious drawback that we find only nomads (Aryans) over-riding us. When we become conscious of our rights, we can easily put an end to the domination of the nomads.

Job Hunters 

There are others who go to the extent of condemning us as job hunters. I don’t deny it. I am not ashamed of seeking jobs. What is there shameful in seeking jobs? What do the Brahmins of Aryan Race do? Are they not seeking jobs? Are they not job hunters? Who are they? If they have the right to claim for jobs, how ironical it is to call us as job hunters? Please think over. Who really has the legitimate right to seek jobs. I would say that our people alone have the right to hunt for jobs.

If any Dravidian community neglects to seek jobs, I would say that the community is an irresponsible community. I would condemn them as unpatriotic and anti-social. They are traitors to the country.

Not only that. If any particular community is differentiated or ignored, it will be disastrous to society. If it is objected that jobs should not be given to a particular community based on its proportion to the total population that would amount to putting that community to disgrace and injustice. No community would be willing to continue as cowards devoid of self-respect forever. Any community that fails to assert for its legitimate share in the field of employment will be considered as a degraded and shameless community.

(Kudi Arasu, 30.11.1934) 

In a country with various caste distinctions, if opportunities are denied for every caste to get education, jobs and representation in the administration according to their legitimate share-based proportionately on the population, there will be no end to the enmity, vengeance and fraudulent activities in the society.

(89th Birthday Souvenir of Periyar – 1967)

As a measure to put an end to the evils of caste in India, particularly in South India, it is absolutely essential to get things done by proper legislation. It is necessary to agitate for claiming Communal representation in the legislatures through the government. I deem this noble task as a part of the revolution for the dawn of Socialism.

(Kudi Arasu, 18-08-1935)

The communal tensions and cleavages are day by day, increasing due to many factors. There is no mutual trust between one community and the other. There is increasing hatred amongst communities. One community wants to dominate over the other. The community that has somehow become dominant does not like to compromise. Those who enjoy more rights are not willing to forego anything. They are adamant in their attitude towards the downtrodden sections with the result. You find more and more bitterness amongst communities.

(Kudi Arasu 19-07-1936)

Please think over whether there are any fairness and justice on the part of those who have gained a lot in the name of their community, passing scathing remarks on others as communalists. They lost their legitimate share by their community identity.

(Kudi Arasu 19-7-1936)

On one side, attempts are made to safeguard the Hindu religion, castes and communities. On the other side, the demand for proportional representation in the name of religion, castes, and communities is condemned as unfair, unjust, ridiculous. I would say that it is one thousand times unfair and unjust to say so. It only reveals the low standard and vendetta against the traditionally exploited communities.

(Kudi Arasu – 8-11-1931)

The government, which proclaims to root out communalism should have made the practice of putting caste marks as Namam on the foreheads as an offence and imprisoned the offender for one year. Similarly, a law should have been passed to imprison for two years those who wear the thread (Poonul). Are not these symbols indicative of the distinct communities? A government determined to eradicate castes ought to have given scissors to the policemen to cut away the tufts and Poonul. Simply saying that the government is not communal and yet permit the wearing of poonul, keeping tufts, chanting mantras (hymns), declare holidays for the birthdays of gods is condemnable. Under these circumstances, one cannot but condemn the government for upholding the communalism of Brahmins.

In the story of Ramayana, it is said that Vali would acquire half of the strength of all those who opposed him. I say to those who oppose the communal representation policy, that they would only be strengthening the demand for communal representation by all their actions. The more and more they oppose, the more and more would be the demand for communal representation. The demand will go on gaining momentum. That is what is going on now.

(Kudi Arasu – 1.09.1935)

I might have changed my views many times in politics. But so far as my social life is concerned, I continue to be opposed to Brahmins. My hatred towards Brahmins is always constant. I became a rationalist and an atheist by this. To my dream of social reform, I strongly insist on crushing the Brahmin monopoly in public services. I deem it as the very first step for social revolution. It is the ABCD of social reform. Because of this, I am criticised as a communalist. I continue to be the embodiment of communalism of a peculiar nature.

Efficiency and Examinations: 

For anything and everything, the Brahmins are insisting on Merit and Efficiency. It is an invention of the Brahmins as the “Mohini Avataram” in the epics. The only motive of the Brahmins is to spoil the prospects of the Non-Brahmin communities, who are now only at the threshold of progress.

In the days of the Britishers and during the days of the Justice Party rule in the Pre-independence days, jobs were given to all qualified persons. Then mere degrees were not considered as the stamp of merit and efficiency by Brahmins. People were trained before giving them jobs. The Brahmins do not now take their fitness as a stamp of merit and efficiency. The only thing emphasised as the stamp of merit and efficiency is the highest marks scored in examinations. He, who obtains the highest marks gets the job, on the basis of merit and efficiency. However, intelligent one may be, however, experienced one might be, he will not be considered as one with merit and efficiency, if he gets the marks for a pass. I like to point out how foolish and mischievous the doctrine of merit and efficiency is.

Is there any record to show that those selected on the basis of merit and efficiency have exhibited their talents in their work with merit and efficiency?

Are there any means to find out how the employees belonging to Backward Class execute the work entrusted to them? Is there any such record to show that those who acquired very high marks in the examination alone were able to execute the work efficiently in a diligent manner? This is the way in which the merit and efficiency policy is being worked. Many people are holding posts as though they alone have the merit and efficiency in doing the work.


Take the case of teachers. You find many teachers appointed on merit and efficiency basis. Is there any system to assess their work based on the number of students passing an examination and the marks secured by the students? Do we have any means to judge the merit and efficiency of teachers on any basis after appointing them? Is it so in the case of other professions as doctors, engineers, judges, collectors and so on? Is there any means to assess their merit and efficiency while they are in service.?

If it is said that securing very high marks in the examination alone is the determining factor and if we agree that only those who have succeeded in getting high marks are to be given high posts, I would like to ask one thing: Are the Presidents, Governors and Chief-ministers posts are given to those people taking into consideration any high marks they have secured in any examination?

There is another lacuna in this bogus merit and efficiency theory. If a particular person had secured very high marks in a particular field or subject, is he given a high post in the same field or subject? Do the high marks secured in a particular subject help him in the job he undertakes.? Is there any relevance or relation between these two things? Are the selections of candidates made by considering the subject in which one is proficient or the subject he has to deal with in service?

Children are sent to schools and colleges to acquire knowledge. What is the fun of admitting them after considering their merit and efficiency? This is absurd. It is not right to talk of merit and efficiency even for admitting students to various courses of study. I would say it is meaningless, unwanted and highly objectionable.

(17.09.1965 Periyar’s Birthday Souvenir)

Brahmin Monopoly 

Really speaking, the people who have very few posts in the government services – the communities which have low representation in the government services – those castes which are enjoying only a few posts in the government services, should be treated as the minorities. They should be given adequate protection by the government. Special concessions should be extended to these minorities in the services.

How does India look like? It looks like a thick forest of various castes. Naturally, the legislatures and offices too are flooded with castes. The State Assemblies and the Parliament also present the same look. But what about the staff in the State and Central Government offices? And that too what is cognisable, particularly in the Central Government offices, which has very many high salaried posts?

If you take pains to analyse closely, you will find out very easily that the Brahmin community alone is monopolising almost all the posts in the States and the Centre. This may be tolerable when other communities were not keen on claiming the posts. It might have been acceptable when other communities were not adequately qualified for holding posts. No one would criticise the Brahmins under such circumstances. But things have changed.

The Backward and Scheduled Castes of Dravidian Race are today adequately qualified like the Brahmins to hold any post equally. They are demanding their legitimate share in all the fields. They demand their share in proportion to their percentage in the population. What should the Brahmin monopolists do under these changed circumstances? Should they not silently yield to the reasonable demands of the Backward and Scheduled Castes? Instead of behaving in a just and reasonable manner, they are raising loud cries, and indulge in threats. What do we understand from this? Is there any reason or meaning in their behaviour?

Freedom for Whom? 

What for did we wage a bitter struggle to drive away the British imperialists? Is it to give the right exclusively for the Brahmin Community to get the posts held by the Britishers? Unless we enable all communities to take part in the governance of the country, we can not really have a representative government for all the people.

It is unjust to provide all the jobs to the Brahmin community. How could one particular community alone be the inheritors of all the benefits of the government? Today many communities are deprived of their share. Similarly, many people belonging to other religions are also ignored. Is not India a land of many religions and communities?

The behaviour of the Brahmins in opposing the reservation is inhuman and unfair. I like to cite an example.

Imagine that the thieves have entered and robbed the valuables of the dwellers in the house. The owners of the stolen property lodged a complaint with the police. The police traced the robbers and restored the stolen properties to the real owners. Supposing the robbers raise a cry and protest with threats, what would any sensible man think? Are not the Brahmins like those robbers?

There is an adage that the beggar, who came for alms had become the son-in-law of the house. Are all the Government departments rightfully reserved to the Brahmins alone? How is it right to allow the Brahmins alone to occupy almost all the high salaried posts? From whose money are they paid? Could it be denied that the majority of the taxpayers are the Backward and Scheduled Caste people as Gounders, Vanniyas, Makkulathors, Naidus, Pillais, Pariahs and Chakkilis?

Why are we demanding our legitimate share in the government services? In India, if a job in the government ends with mere salary and bribes, the Backwards and the Scheduled Caste people would quietly go on with their own traditional work. They would be disinterested in government jobs.

They would remain content with their own usual occupation. But all posts in the government carry with them specific powers. Even an ordinary small job carries with it some power. Don’t you think such powers would be exploited by the individual to safeguard and enrich his own community?

After all, Government employees are also human beings. Naturally, they would look after the interests of their own community. No one could claim that they are more than human beings.

If every community and caste is able to share the posts and powers in proportion to the entire population, the chances of serving their own community would be abundant.

What factors lead us to determine whether the country has advanced or not? How to say that people are civilised? How are we to come to the conclusion that wisdom, discipline, honesty are being developed? To determine all these things, there must be equality, i.e., equal shares, equality in possession, equality before the law, similar outlook, understanding and experience amongst all sections or communities in the society in all spheres. We should create such a State, and it must be done. Don’t you think it absolutely indispensable to attain the goal of creating an ideal socialist state?

What is the nature of our country? You have Brahmins, Sudras (the heirs of prostitutes) and Panchamas (the Untouchables) as different and distinct communities.

Take into consideration religions. You find three different and distinct religions viz., Hindu, Islam and Christianity. Under no circumstances will these three divisions come together as belonging to only one community or nation. Look at their behaviour in society.

When the actual facts are like these, wisdom lies in determining the legitimate share for each and every community in the field of politics, public life, posts and education, failing which they will have no other go than to lead the life of a dog and a cat. There will be a lack of mutual trust and understanding. There will be scope only to wreak vengeance. One would try to suppress the others. One would defraud the others. One would cheat the others.

In the matter of appointments and in the mater of extending concessions, the total number of people in every community should be awarded their due share, based proportionately on the population of the country. Merit and efficiency is a common feature in all castes and religions. As such, whoever is separated under a particular caste or religion or community must be assured of his right to claim posts based proportionately on the population.

When I say that the Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes should be given posts in the government services, I do not mean that any Tom, Dick and Harry walking in the street should be recruited for government services.

For every post minimum educational qualification is fixed. If that qualification is there, I insist that the jobs should be given to the downtrodden people.

After having prescribed the minimum qualification for the posts, there is no need to choose the candidates on any other basis as merit and efficiency.

It cannot be proved with facts and figures that those selected on the basis of merit and efficiency alone are efficient, diligent, brilliant, and honest in the discharge of duties. At the same time, there are no records in evidence to prove that those who were given jobs by reservation are dishonest and inefficient in the discharge of duties.

If we just take the pains to analyse we come to know that it is the so-called high caste persons of the forward community, which is monopolising the high posts in the government, which are found to be dishonest in their dealings, particularly the Brahmin minority community holding the majority of posts.

Their dishonest dealings and corrupt actions are generally hushed up because of caste feelings. The accused and the High Court judge or senior official belong to one and the same caste invariably. There is scope for pressure through recommendations and chances to seek concession. That is why many mal-practices are not let known to the public.

If every community is adequately represented in the government services, it will bring to light all the malpractices and maladministration. Reservation is a must for improving the standard of administration. Reservation is a must to counteract the malpractices by the monopolists in all the spheres of activities of the government.

Proportional representation of all communities of Dravidian and Aryan Races in the government service is the only solution for achieving social and communal justice in the society.

The talk of merit and efficiency is a bogus one. It is a hoax played by Brahmins on the innocent people. Not only that; it is a big fraud to deter the Backward and Scheduled Castes from achieving any progress, peace and happiness.

(From 'Collected Works of Periyar E.V.R.', compiled by Dr. K. Veeramani, published by 'The Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution')

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