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Food Habits 

Our people, who are said to be endowed with rational thinking abilities, are today faced with a number of problems. They are in the midst of worries and troubles. They have more and more grievances. Of all such pinching problems, the scarcity of food is today the most important problem. It is really a foolish thing to worry about the shortage of food. I would say that we are ourselves to be blamed for this unnecessary worry about food. Why do I say so?

periyar05In my opinion, the dependence on rice by our people is condemnable. It is not right to say that rice alone is needed for appeasing our hunger. Rice is not at all necessary. It is not really useful to us. All our fields came to be ploughed and cultivated for growing rice only a thousand or two thousand years ago.

The human beings were originally accustomed to eat meat and the flesh of other living beings. It is only later on that people gave up non-vegetarianism. The change made to vegetarianism and the consumption of vegetables is a bad practice. It is only after the advent of rice cultivation that vegetarianism came into vogue.

When people have acquired the habit of drinking coffee, there is a scarcity for sugar and milk, and it has become an eternal problem yet to be solved. Naturally, sugarcane is grown in fertile lands, which were used for cultivating rice all these years. Because of the fact that milk is being utilised mostly for preparing coffee, our children are unable to ger a nutritious diet and they are weak, slim and unhealthy. Moreover, all are not able to consume adequate quantities of curd, buttermilk, cheese and ghee. Ninety percent of the produce of sugar is being utilised by the people for preparing sweets and coffee. On account of this, most of the fertile lands which were growing paddy are being converted to produce sugarcane. How ever much we go on increasing the production of sugar, the scarcity continues. The scarcity of milk is also like this. 

It is also going on the increase. We still go on depending on foreign countries for tinned milk and milk powder to overcome the shortage.

Many of us have no other go than to consume ordinary vegetables which lack in nutritious ingredients. We have created this practice unnecessarily. Our agriculture has become unhelpful to us. Unnecessary things are grown. With a result, we have a shortage of rice. Moreover, these have resulted in a two-fold increase in expenditure for our food. Inevitably, the cost of living has spiralled up.

Change Necessary

It is not an easy thing to bring in a change in this matter. It is as difficult as we experience in the case of god, religion and Vedas.

The Brahmins and Saivites abstain from consuming non-vegetarian dishes. By this, they have created a high status for themselves. They are indifferent towards others. They don’t stop with that. They talk ill of non- vegetarians (who are accustomed to eat meat, fish etc.,). They call non- vegetarians as low and inferior to them.

There are ample evidences in the Vedas, Shastras (Hindu doctrines) and religious scriptures to vouchsafe the fact that the so-called Brahmins were originally non-vegetarians. They not only ate mutton and beef but also the flesh of pigs, asses, and horses, as is authentically stated in their own scriptures. Forgetting this, they indulge in heckling non-vegetarians now.

So, it is absolutely essential to change our food habits, at least in the interests of the “lower” class of people.

First of all, the habit of drinking coffee should be prohibited by law. For growing vegetables, there should be a licensing system to control the production of vegetables. It is enough if vegetables are grown to the extent needed to satisfy the demands of the Brahmins and Saivites who proclaim to be vegetarians. 

More Non-Vegetarians 

Non-vegetarians who consume mutton and chicken should be induced to cultivate the habit of beef-eating. And the cost of beef should be pegged down in order to enable a large number of people to consume beef. Even as you see a large number of cattle farms in Western countries, our government should come forward to create more and more cattle farms. Cows should be maintained for the purpose of milk. In foreign countries, cattle are not utilised for cultivating lands. There you find only machines. Similarly, we should introduce machines in the field of agriculture and see that the animals are used only for other useful purposes.

Our food habits and diet systems were also laid down by those who led a carefree life at the expense of the toiling masses. Our food habits are made in the manner of increasing our burdens. We are now accustomed to take a variety of dishes for our dinner. With rice, we take curry, pepper-water, butter-milk or curd along with other dishes as fried vegetables.

In the morning, we take Idly, Dosai, Uppuma - all made out of rice-flour with Coffee or Tea.

In the night, we consume anything we like. Even in those families which have only very low income, you find these food habits only. In many poor families, they are forced to give up eating either in the morning or in the evening. It is all due to poverty and helplessness.

North-Indians are not like us, as they have simplified their food habits. They have either ‘chappati’ or ‘poori’ along with only one dish. The North Indians who can afford, consume sweets in addition.

The total population of the world is estimated to be 350 crores (perhaps in 1940). Out of it, only 15 crores of people are vegetarians.

Solution 

We could reduce the area of the land now being cultivated. We could considerably reduce the hard labour involved in cultivation. Suppose we are able to save half the area and labour, we could concentrate on developing the goats, bulls, bullocks, cocks and hens, pigs and fish. If we increase our cattle- wealth and that of other living beings we consume as food, I do not think there will be any need to fear about food scarcity. There will be no shortage of food for any one.

Man has become a slave to the coffee-on account of modern civilisation. This habit leads to an increase in our cost of living. Similarly, our addiction to the practice of consuming rice as a modern civilised way of living has also contributed to the rise in the cost of living. We have neglected valuable other grains as ragi, millet and maize, and increased the cost of living by solely depending on the rice. The main cause for the loss of working hours and the half- hearted labour of the working classes is due to our addiction to non-nutritious food varieties.

So, I insist on a thorough change in our food habits. Instead of solely depending on rice, we have to find some other means to get the energy needed for doing work with the help of other valuable nutritious ingredients. In the beginning, we depended on steam to operate machines. We had to light the coal and prepare the fire to boil water, and get steam for operating the machines. Later on, we used crude oil and then petrol for the same purpose. Now, we use electricity. According to the changing times, we adjusted ourselves and brought in numerous changes. Similarly, to keep all parts of the body intact, to carry out their respective work, we should find out energetic nutritious varieties of food, which could be consumed in small quantities as pills or tablets. Consuming large quantities of food to maintain the body and do the work must be changed. It will, of course, take a long time to effect the change. Yet, it is possible to produce now itself adequate stocks of bread and rear the required number of goats, oxen, pigs and so on at cheaper cost, to enable all the people to have food. No one need to starve. I know some people would repel at what l say. I like to request them to look at what is going on in other countries. They should look at the people living there.

Dress-styles 

If we are to eradicate the various differences in society and build up unity, we should fundamentally change our dress habit, which is the major reason for the unwanted classifications in society. Realising this fact, the “Hero of Turkey”, Kamal Pasha, brought in a revolutionary change. He ordered that everyone should wear the same type of dress irrespective of sex. By this revolutionary change, a small and insignificant one, Turkey was able to become a great powerful nation in the world.

In the matter of appearance, dress and behaviour, foreigners are well disciplined. We do not seem to have any realisation of all these changes. On account of this, some of our people take pride. They think it suited to our nature and tradition. Not only that, they do not want to think about the need to change. That is their view.

So far as our country of India is concerned, changes are very difficult to be effected. The change may be necessary. It may be absolutely correct. It may herald a lot of advantages. Yet, the faith in the old traditions prompts our people to oppose such meaningful changes. Faith in blind beliefs makes our people reactionaries. They oppose and carry on propaganda against changes. They search for ways to find fault with the changes unnecessarily. As a result, you find the people of this country alone remain backward. They are degraded. They are jealous. This continues for many centuries, resulting in our people becoming slaves to old customs. I tried my best to find out a way and l pleaded for many changes, including our dress habits boldly.

Same dress for Males and Females 

Our males and females should wear ‘Lungi’ and ‘Jibba’ uniformly. My wife Mrs.Nagammai, wore like that for one and half months. But she felt shy to go out of the house freely.

There should not be one type of dress for males separately and another type of dress for females separately. The dress should be worn in such a way that it must not be possible to distinguish the sex easily. Parents should not call their daughters as a girl. They must be addressed as boys. Even in christening names, the girls should be called by the names of males. 

Our ladies take a fancy to grow long hairs. It is not the civilised way to grow hair six feet long. It is unnecessary. Moreover, it is a burden. It is an inconvenient and wasteful act. Ladies should crop their hairs as gents.

In appearance, dress and behaviour, ladies and gents should maintain a uniform standard. This change is entirely indispensable. This change is essential for liberating our women from slavery. I regret very much to state that our ladies moving about with pomp and show itself is a clear indication of their low status in society. When l say that the dress should be the same for ladies and gents, it goes without saying that spending money lavishly for artificial beauty and false prestige also should go. My desire is that ladies should develop themselves on a par with gents. The main impediments to the progress of our womenfolk are the sarees, ornaments and other articles of fashion and luxury.

Our ladies should realise this great drawback withholding their progress. Please do not mistake me as though l am against decency and cleanliness.

They are quite essential. But they should not be attained by wasting a lot of money. Such artificial beauty and appearance are not at all required. Being gaudy and glamorous is not good. One can lead a simple life, curtailing all these expenses, and yet look decent, civilised and simple.

Common Kitchen 

The term Hotel connotes even eating houses. In our society, everyone builds a house for himself, with a kitchen for cooking his food. If people desire to lead a happy life, they should avoid unnecessary troubles and worries. What do we see in foreign countries? Most of the people live there happily in the rooms attached to eating houses. They order their requirements, and the restaurants supply them the needs to their satisfaction. The restaurants in those countries are able to look after the needs of thousands of people.

There, the husband and the wife go out for work. They simply come to the restaurant for taking their food. They easily walk into their room for rest. 

In this way, they have avoided unnecessary troubles. They have no burden to go to the market for purchasing articles of food. They have no need to worry about storing things and taking care of them.

What do we see here? 

For two people to reside and lead their life, you find a new big building built at a huge cost of many lakhs of rupees. Is this not a waste? It will be a blessing to us if restaurants with rooms are built here on a large scale as you find abroad. The government should volunteer to extend its support in all possible ways. The owners of such establishments should not run them for mere profit. They should think that they serve society. They should not think that their establishments are commercial institutions, motivated to earn profit alone. The interests of the common people should be their motive. Service to society must be their aim.

When l had been to Russia, l was taken out to see a common kitchen. About twenty-six thousand people were supplied with food in it. Some doctors were there to supervise the functioning of the work. They prepare all varieties of diet needed for so many people. Such things must be done in our country also.

The thought of having a big house for every individual and a kitchen separately for preparing his meals should not arise. If we create restaurants like those in foreign countries, we will be free from unnecessary troubles. The government should consider the matter seriously and concentrate on creating such restaurants. They should run many (common kitchens) as far as possible. By this, you can free a large number of people from their worries and family troubles. Whatever others may think of me, l venture to explicitly reveal my opinions.

If the ideal of co-operation takes deep roots in our country and functions in the right way properly, there will be no need for anyone to face any sort of worry. There will be an end to troubles and difficulties. There will be no cause for any anxiety. There will be perfect peace and happiness. Everyone could live with full contentment and with eternal delight. 

Selfishness 

In our country whenever a new organisation is started our people take into consideration that the new organisation would be an asset for their personal gains and they become members and take part in the activities. This is a very serious drawback amongst us. We don’t think about the interests of the general public and the world at large. They completely ignore their duties and responsibilities to society. Supposing a man owns a cart drawn by a horse, he does not go out in the cart all the time. He may make use of the vehicle for two or three hours only. But he feeds the animal to the brim throughout the day. For many hours the cart remains idle. Say out of ten hours, the cart is used only for three hours. The rest of the seven hours is wasted. I mentioned only one instance. There are many things like this.

Our people waste money and time in many ways. That is why you find society static, in spite of the fact that there is an increase in national production and advancement in all fields of techniques. The selfishness and the feeling of enjoying things for oneself is the cause. So it is essential that we should get rid of the feeling of self and selfishness. A worthy life lies in making everyman live peacefully and happily. Everyone should be devoid of worries. For all these, it is essential that the spirit of co-operation pervades all over.

Co-operation 

One day or other, the cooperative spirit will reign supreme, making the society march on towards progress. It is not necessary that communism should be fostered for that. Without talking a word about communism, you can make society progressive with the help of mere co-operation.

You find crores of rupees locked up in the Banks. Many crores remain idle. Yet the tiller of the soil, if he needs money for cultivation, goes to the private individuals or money lenders for loans at the abnormal rate of interest, sometimes to the tune of ten percent. What a tragedy it is? In Russia, there is no right given to any private individual to live by lending money on interest. Even if one receives a trivial amount from another, it is condemned as theft. 

If you ask what is wrong in helping a man in difficulties; they retort and the question “How could there be dangers and difficulties?”

So Cooperative movement is the only panacea to make society get rid of worries and difficulties. A cooperative system is the best for all. Our people must get accustomed to it. Give up selfishness completely. Plunge into a new life for the good of all.

Who is to bring in co-operation, the government or the people is the question? Many have doubts about it. I would say that those doubting Thomases are like those who ask whether “fate” is powerful or wisdom? When such a controversy arises, he who has the gift for gab could naturally triumph. I would say that the people are the government, and the government is the people. You should all realise this. Would we keep quiet when our government is faced with difficulties! Our common interest should be like that. Never forget that there is no government without people. Would we feel that it is no concern to us if one of our limbs is injured? Our outlook towards the general public should also be similar. You get the pearl when the raindrop falls into the shell of an oyster. Similarly, we should control our senses and keep everything ready for change. When we are prepared to do, the change will take place definitely. Our opinion is the opinion of the people. With that belief, go ahead with your life. Do not allow your nerves and blood to go astray. Inject into your body the feeling of co-operation.

Property Right 

Today, one of the major problems causing inconvenience to society is the existence of property in the name of individuals. On account of this, unnecessary quarrels and bickerings take place. In some cases, it ends in murders. A man will not grumble much if he has adequate quantities of food. But if one has more and another less or nothing, it leads to conflicts.

o you find one rich man at least free from worries. No. In order to evade taxes and conceal his wealth, he secretly conspires to cheat the government. He worries about manipulating his account. He stoops to fraudulent means. Apart from all these, if he owns a lakh of rupees and sees another person having two or three lakhs, he soon becomes worried and thinks of the ways to become one like him by somehow earning two or more lakhs of rupees. Naturally, he has to raise the standard of living of his family and earn more to protect his children and other members of the family. To his new status, he has to educate his children, secure suitable jobs for them and then try by all means to secure promotion. There are other new responsibilities for him to maintain a new status and dignity. His worries go on increasing because of his desire to amass wealth.

The poor and the working class people are very jealous of their owners. So, if there is to be an end to all these unwanted desires and unnecessary worries, society must be gradually carved out on socialist ideals. We should create a society in which everyone is able to share the joys and sorrows equally. For creating a socialist state or society, the existence of the right to own property is an impediment. There can be no socialism with property rights. All things must belong to the government. Nationalisation policy must be seriously implemented. Then only people will be able to love as equals.

The cause of worries in the society comes out from the various socio-economic differences. Troubles crop up because of the unequal status of the people. The only solution lies in making all things for all people.

The terms “Moksha” (Heaven) and “Mukthi” (Salvation) mean the end of worries and the beginning of pleasures. The way to end the worries lies in communism. The only way to crush down all drawbacks in society lies in communism.

Worries in life are of two kinds. When one feels that what he gets is insufficient, it leads to worry. That is, supposing one needs a measure of rice and gets only half of what he needs, it causes him to worry. There is another type in which one gets worried to have more than what is needed to him. Supposing one lives in one room, he likes to live in two rooms. You should understand that desires are the cause for troubles and worries.

All worries you get out of desires and out of wants, you do not find in a communist society.

When the available stocks of food grains are equally distributed to all, there is no need to worry. No one would feel that he got less. He will not worry at all when all are treated equally. Such a state of life will not give room for competition, jealousy and bad thoughts. Rid of all worries, the people would feel equally happy.

When individuals are not allowed to own property, when private ownership is prohibited, there is no place for god or religion or shastras divine doctrines. The only thing needed is right thinking or wisdom. There is no question of one being respected as high and another despised as low. No labour would be considered as mean. All become equals. All have the same standard of living. All enjoy the same facilities in life, even if they do different types of work. In those Socialist countries, what is meant by high post is that it carries heavy responsibilities.

Communism is different from common rights. Communism means equal share. Common rights represent common enjoyment. In this country (India), the Brahmins have created low castes. These low caste - people do not have common rights. Even blind people are aware of this. Because of this, their property is dwindling, and they still lack in wisdom. They have not gained anything by experience.

You see a lot of people amongst the Non-Brahmin community as lakhiers and millionaires. But they do not have the common rights, which an ordinary mendicant Brahmin enjoys. But it is not so with a Brahmin. However poor he may be, he enjoys everything. He has no drawback in life. He is able to make his son I.A.S. (High officer of Indian Administrative Service) or District Collector or District Judge or High Court Judge or a Sankarachari or Jeer. Why is it so? Is it not because of the special rights prevalent in our society? A Brahmin is able to thrive because he has distinct individual rights. He needs no money like others for his prosperity. He lives without doing any hard work because of the special rights he has got. Under these peculiar circumstances, if we are able to abolish special rights, communism would dawn and take deep roots. There can be no scope for communism in a country where there is an absence of common ownership and rights. If attempts are made to bring in communism in a country, which does not have common ownership and rights, it will only give room for those who already enjoy more rights to reap the benefits of communism. That is the lesson we have to learn from the doctrine of communism.

Heirs

It is a lie to say that a man lives with a woman to derive natural pleasure; I would say that a man lives with his wife out of necessity. That is, he wants a legal heir for himself and his wife. Because man has the right to own property and because he has earned a lot bit by bit by his own toilsome efforts, he gets worried as to who should enjoy his property after his death. He wants his own heirs and that too his own children to inherit his property. This thought is not the outcome of nature.

Orthodoxy 

There are also other reasons for the desire to beget children, particularly of the male sex. Already it is made as a necessity to bring forth children to inherit the property. The Brahmins, who are traditionally against the poor enjoying property, have brought in certain arrangements in the name of god, religion, heaven and hell. Their interests are safe by all such arrangements, and they earn and become rich by all these. They have tactfully created the impression that he, who does not have children, has no right to go to heaven after death. They made the people believe that only a son could perform the rituals at the ceremonies to the deceased parents and forefathers. By this arrangement, the Brahmin gets raw rice, dhal, plantain leaves, ghee, clothes and cash as ‘Dhkshina’ (Prayer Fee) for every kind of ceremonial rites.

Begetting children for inheriting the property is made a duty for the people. Begetting a son is made a necessity by the orthodoxy.

If everything is made the property of the government, most of people would not worry very much to beget children. That desire would not be a source of worry.

If individuals are denied the right to own property, there is no need for heirs to enjoy the property after one’s death. Inheritance and rights also cease, even as everything found buried under the earth in the form of cash and metals belong only to the government. The government should look after all children. No parent should have any worry to protect the children or educate them or secure them a job.

Family Partnership

A male and a female like each other and desire to become partners in life. So they resolve to become husband and wife, and this is called the life partnership deed.

In any business, if the partners fail to make an agreement before starting the business, they are bound to face troubles and disappointment. Generally, agreements precede in all kinds of business.

It is quite natural on the part of partners to think over and chalk out a plan before investing in the business. Such an arrangement should be ratified by an agreement. I would say that this is essential and acceptable to the common sense of everyone.

Similarly, wedded life is like a business. Even as you need money and labour for business, you need a man and a woman for the prolongation of life business. Their mutual love and mutual bondage count much for success in life.

For making this life partnership agreement, there are many essential things needed. Their mental calibre, their love towards one another, their experiences, their vision of future life are some of the important factors which lead to success in wedded life. If the married couple happens to meet with a confrontation in fulfilling the terms of the agreement, it must be taken that the agreement does not remain valid any more. 

We find today that when once a male and a female resolve to become husband and wife, it is treated as final. There can be no change in it normally. If anything against it happens and the married couple, either the male or the female, develops love towards a different person, there can be no love at all. It is called prostitution. Under no circumstances it could be accepted as an act of true love. Somehow it is now made compulsory on the part of a husband and wife to live together. This sort of compulsion yields peculiar results. This is the state of affairs in society. Those who force the husband and wife to be eternally united even under humiliating circumstances do not understand the nature of human beings. They lack in experience. They are ignorant of the natural instincts. Otherwise, l think such people are like that, knowing pretty well everything, only with a concealed motive.

The aims, habits, behaviours, and status of the couple may be identical when they start their life as partners. But these traits of the couple may not remain constant forever. They are subjected to changes at any time. It is quite natural that under the changed circumstance, the partners turn out to be unequal partners in life. As they have no other go, they pretend to live together. But their life is not happy. They are submerged in the ocean of misery.

If we are to openly and boldly state using our experience about human behaviour, natural instincts and so on, it must be recognised that a male or a female chooses a partner according to one’s own will and pleasure. It is just like going to a hotel of one’s taste and desire. I would say it is purely a private matter of the individuals. According to the individual’s personal instinct and nature, one attains maximum satisfaction.

In Russia, where no individual has the right to own property (Before the liquidation of the Communist Soviet Union), a male and a female do not call themselves as husband and wife. They live as lovers or as mere friends. It is called as free love there. There is no marriage system. They are at perfect liberty to lead their life with their chosen partners. It is because we have property rights and inheritance rights, we are forced to lead a family life with strict rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations in family life are considered as unwanted and unnecessary in a country like Russia, where you do not have the right to own property.

They simply need a partner for pleasure. They desire a partner to spend their leisure time with joy. They seek a partner to satisfy their natural instincts. They live as friends. This is the relationship between a man and a woman there.

They exchange kisses before going to work. If they dislike each other, they simply write on a card and place it on the dining table. In it will be written, “we willingly lived together happily till today. I do not wish to be so hereafter. Let us part away”. They get separated without any hitch or trouble. There you cannot find a man who is in love with the wife of someone else. There is no talk on molesting or raping, or eloping. Force is not used for love affairs.

This sort of relationship between a man and a woman ensures individuals freedom. Everyone derives perfect contentment. Is this not suitable for the advancement of human society?

There is no justification for the prevalence of prostitution in such a state because there is no necessity to take to immoral life for the sake of money or food or for any article. When everyone aspires to lead a good life with self-respect, there will be no need for an overlord. It is not possible. No one needs to be at the mercy of others. Without mutual love and consent, no one would live with the partner. In the matter of education, everyone could become a learned man with profound knowledge of worldly affairs. That is why there is perfect amity amongst the couples in Communist countries. They don’t fancy for a change in search of new pleasures, very often. They are aware of the importance of maintaining their health conditions. They realise that it is beneath their self-respect to impose love on the unwilling. If the partner rejects and repels, everyone becomes conscious of self-respect. The sense of self-respect reigns supreme amongst males and females. There is no slavery of women. There is no domination by males. There is no trace of force or compulsion. Without injuring anyone’s health, the partners share pleasure.

Marriage

Marriage came into vogue in the days of the barbarians, say some five thousand years ago. Why should we still maintain it? I would say that marriages take place to make a woman slave to a man. Even as animals are butchered (sacrificed) for the sake of gods, a woman is treated in these marriages.

Why should women, who form nearly half of the total population, be ill-treated like this. Marriages are for selfish ends. They are not for the general welfare. By these marriages, the wife protects the husband, and the husband safeguards the wife. When children are born, they are looked after by both. There is no benefit to society.

Our people do not worry even if the neighbour’s house is burning. He may give a bucket of water to safeguard his own house from fire.

Our people should learn and understand the various scientific advancements going on in the world. Without this, what is the use of simply living separately and having a separate kitchen for the husband and wife? They are devoid of any sense of public responsibility.

If the world is to prosper and if humanity should aspire to be happy and progressive, marriage should be made a criminal offence by law. Such a state would come into being, if not today, at least in the future. What all l said are taking place. So l urge now for a change in the system of marriage. It is atrocious to subject women who form 50 per cent of the population in the society to such tyranny.

Parents should provide education to their daughters up to the age of 22 years. After education, the girls should be provided with jobs. Then only, the thought of marriage and a suitable life partner should arise. That too, the girl herself should be permitted to choose her life partner. The parents should, on no account, interfere in this marriage affair.

Children

Pregnancy is the enemy of women for leading an independent life. It stands in the way of their liberation. I feel that ladies should completely give up begetting children. Not only women but even men also lose their independence and freedom when they go on producing more and more children. For bringing up the children, the parents are forced to lead an indecent, selfish and dishonest life. Indiscipline is the result of more children to the parents.

In the world, people forego their independence and work hard as slaves to eke out their livelihood. When the burden is increased furthermore on account of begetting more children, how could there be a place for freedom and liberty?

Not only that, because of shouldering the responsibility of safeguarding children, our womenfolk become sick and weak. They get the symptoms of old age much earlier than men. My feeling is that propaganda should be made not to desire for more children. This propaganda is more important than the propaganda for the eradication of contagious diseases.

People must be made to realise that it is in every respect a hazardous thing to give birth to children when the parents are quite unable to find adequate resources to protect the children. It is foolish to argue that the growth of the population in the world will be affected by stopping the evil of bringing forth more children. When the couples indulge in sexual life beyond the limits as mere beasts, many diseases overtake them, and it also affects the health of children. Except the human beings, no other living beings have intercourse in a crude manner and that too with the objective of begetting young ones. Man takes pride to call himself a rational being, and yet he is immersed in a lot of foolish notions and indulges in many acts foolishly. He craves to have children as his property and as a means to go to Heaven. Ultimately he is faced with unwanted worries. He becomes a source of trouble for society. There is no other gain!

Our women become timid and behave as slaves, as they falsely think that it is their onerous responsibility to give birth to children and take care of them. While the lot of our women is deplorable and while we find the problem of unemployment increasing and causing grave concern to the troubled society, I think the family planning scheme (limiting the number of children) is absolutely indispensable. It is the right solution for making people live happily.

This birth of children compels a widower to marry another woman he likes. Similarly, a window with children is denied the right to marry another man she likes. Women forego their honour, freedom and intellect because of children. She becomes a mere child producing machine.

In future, the birth of children will be reduced considerably. Similarly, deaths would be rare. Now a man can live for hundred years easily. Everyone would limit children to two only. No one should be permitted to exceed the limit of two. Sexual relation will not be for bringing forth children. In the new world, all citizens would be hale and hearty. They would be strong, intelligent and free. The scientific advancement would be such that the semen (sperm) extracted from healthy individuals would be made quite enough for any lady to conceive. This we see now in the case of cattle. You will find strong and good babies born (what Periyar said 50 years ago has become a reality. Now we read about test-tube babies often). So l am of the firm conviction that society would be free from the worry of giving birth to children. Society would be free from the trouble of protecting children. Parents would not bother to amass wealth for children. What for man is endowed with wisdom? Is it only to pray to god and beget children? What do we see around us in the world? Should we not go forward and sharpen our intellectual calibre? We could no longer go on thinking about richness and poverty, worries and troubles.

The misconceptions about childbirth should be given up. No man should eternally worry about children. Our people must be freed from such out-moded thoughts.

What I Preach

What strikes my mind as most important is the complete destruction of the caste system based on birth which has created high and low discriminations, as well as superior and inferior status in the society.

The temples as they are should be made as common halls. There should be no idol of any god.

There should be no place for a mutt-guru (Monastery Teacher) or mutt- leader (Monastery Head). The temple property and the Hindu Monastery property should be taken over by the government.

Temple festivals should be stopped, and in their place, exhibitions should be conducted.

We should see that all men and women wear a uniform dress and put up a common appearance. Excepting the buildings of factories in the cities, all other houses in the cities must be brought under a wise scheme for housing the people properly. It should be rationally built to save space. We should reduce the cost of building houses. The words used to call individuals with disrespect and disgrace should be given up.

We should allow all men and women to exercise their individual right to choose their life partner.

Elementary education must be imparted to all children before the age of ten. A pass in S.S.L.C. (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) examination should be deemed as quite sufficient for getting any post in Government public services. The discriminatory fixation of scales of pay should be revised.

Providing facilities for unwanted things should be rectified. Profit level must be specifically brought down.

No one should be allowed to wear or possess jewels beyond a particular ceiling limit.

Private individuals should not be permitted to carry on money lending business.

Civil supplies, textile stores should be brought under the control of the local boards or co-operatives or the Government. 

Production may be entrusted to lessees and the produce taken over by Government. Manufactured products from factories might be taken over by the government.

In the teaching profession, 75 percent should be reserved for ladies only.

If the husband of a lady teacher is also a teacher, he may be given special preference to work together with his wife in the same place.

The government should build and own as many houses as possible. For that sake, a separate department may be created with adequate budget allocations running to lakhs of rupees.

Training should be given to more and more masons and carpenters. In the forests, trees should be cut only according to the required size.

If machinery is introduced in the carpentry work, 500 carpenters could prepare 1000 windows and 1000 doors in a day. A machine is able to cut and shape wood frames in a shorter time, without the need for hard manual labour. Carpenters’ work is made light. They have to simply join the bits and fix the frames.

Similarly, even in the field of construction of a building by introducing modern, we can easily build a lot of houses.

In ten years we can solve the problem of housing easily.

Similarly, the government could undertake to manufacture water pumps, motors, oil engines and hire them out for agriculture and other purposes. If we plan to create a separate department for everything, we will not be having food scarcity or dress shortage or housing shortage.

By all these, we could eradicate the unequal status prevailing in society. There will be no worry about any scarcity or shortage.

You will find the evils in society mitigated. Jealousy, disgust and hatred would be considerably checked in the society.

Contentment, happiness, unity and love, would be pervading society gradually. Anti-social acts as plunder, robbery, cheating, betrayal, vengeance and other harmful things in society would begin to disappear.

You may give any name to that sort of society l wish to see.

All that l would say is that no rational human being could tolerate the present state of affairs. It is a disgrace if we do not try to bring in a new social order.

(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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