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  • Periyar first published the manifesto of the communist party in Tamil.
  • In the preface of that book, he had mentioned that India was predominantly affected by caste discrimination than class discrimination.
  • In 1931, at the Virudhunagar conference, Periyar announced that socialism was our goal, and he passed a resolution for the first time that religions should be abated.
  • Periyar participated in the Russian May day parade along with the Russian prime minister in May 1932.
  • Periyar participated in the conference organized by the labor party, which was held in England and criticized its policies with great audacity.

Part 2 - Periyar Stressed to Oppose Congenital Dominance & Dominance of Affluent People

MCPI(U) Marxist party has given a controversial statement that Marxists in Tamil Nadu did not perceive Periyarism properly. Following this, the party has announced its policies, and it cites that “the party has felt the complete need of Periyar and Ambedkar significantly in the present where caste and religious divisions are strengthening.” This symposium was organized based on this. The discourse of Kolathur Mani is as follows:

Periyar in RussiaPeriyar started to write several articles based on communism in his magazine ‘Kudi Arasu’ before 1930 itself.

Periyar first published the translated version of the book ‘The principles of communism’, written by Fredrick Engels, in his ‘Kudi Arasu’ magazine. Following this, he published the Communist Manifesto in his ‘Kudi Arasu’ magazine under the name of Socialist manifesto as it didn’t reach all people. The Communist Manifesto had not come in any Indian languages as English was prevalent during that time.

It should be noted that it was not published before in Tamil. Nobody has translated and published it in Tamil. But Periyar translated and published in his ‘Kudi Arasu’ magazine continuously since 1931.

He was putting forth some information’s in the preface of that translation. He asked, “who knew before that a revolution would break out in the name of socialism and communism in some places in Russia and Spain where people are being ruled by a monarchy. Though history states that Germans had a socialist tendency predominantly, and the conference was held in London, and revolution first broke out in France, the socialist principle was first functionalized only in Russia. Even though it is surprising, it has its own reasons to come into practice.

The reason for this is, usually, revolution will break out in places where injustice is at its peak. As per history, Russia’s Tsar government was a very tyrant one among other governments in the world. And so, it was essential to bring out the socialist movement in practice. As per this just, it should have dawned in India before Russia.

But some people in India cunningly outwit the other people by restraining them from getting an education, acquiring world knowledge, and the spirit of self-respect. They also fooled people in the name of God and religion and made them barbarians. They also preached that enslavement would lead them to attain moksha, and they were often let to invade and exploit by inviting rulers from another kingdom. So, this socialist movement must have broken out in India much before in Russia”.

“But as revolution broke out in every other part of the world, it created a necessity of occurrence in India too. And that is how it popped up in India. But there is one striking difference between India and other nations. That is, the discrimination between the working class and the ruling class, rich and poor, is primarily concerned in other nations.

But in India, upper class and lower-class phenomena chiefly dominate. It fortifies the convictions of rich and poor and protects it”.

Periyar not only stated casteism is prevalent, but he used the diction ‘predominant’.

It is said a Principle contradiction in Marxist rhetoric’s. As casteism is predominant and prevalent, it protects the phenomena of rich and poor like a bulwark.

 Periyar said that “I felt to unfurl these problems so that people would understand, and so I chose to translate the policies of socialism and published it”.

A conference was held in Virudhunagar in August 1931. Periyar posed a resolution before publishing the Communist Manifesto.

In that resolution, he put forth a determination that Socialism would be the only resolution for this country. The resolution of annihilation of religion was propounded for the first time. Though he had spoken about the denial of God before, he was pushed to propose annihilation of religion because the doctrine of God and religion hinders the implementation of all other resolutions. So, he voiced out to abolish religion and resolved to strive to achieve his determination.

Then comes his journey to Russia. We can profess that Periyar was one of the leaders who went to Russia in earlier times. He started his journey to Russia in 1931. Meanwhile, he visited Greece, Turkey, Egypt before going to Russia. He reached Russia in 1932 February. He stayed there until the end of May. He was introduced to the people of Russia in May day celebrations. He participated along with the Russian president, and he was welcomed and introduced as an atheist leader from India.

S. Ramanathan, who went with Periyar, spoke with Trotskyists secretly. As the intelligence agents found that he had come with Periyar, the Russian government ordered them to leave immediately. And they left the place.

Then Periyar travelled to England, Germany, France and then reached Tamil Nadu via Sri Lanka in the month of November. He toured around the world for nearly nine months and visited countries like Spain where revolution took place and visited countries where communism was blossoming. He met the people of those countries.

When he visited England, he met Saklatvala, who was an Indian and he was the MP of the communist party in England. Periyar also spoke at a conference organized by the labor party.

We will be amazed if we have listened to his speech then. The conference was held under the leadership of Lansbury, leader of the labor party. As Periyar went there, they invited Periyar to speak at that conference.

Periyar spoke at that conference. He asserted that ‘people in this labor party may disparage Indians; but I see this labor party is more disparaged than us, the fellow Indians’.

We will be wondering if we would have listened to that speech of Periyar.  How can a foreigner speak with such audacity among the natives of the country, and it had gained fame as ‘E.V.Ra’s discourse in England’.

Periyar stated that ‘I profess that British people may subject Indians to mockery but we Indians subject your labor party not less than that of travesty’. With these lines, Periyar began his speech in front of the leader of the labor party.

What he was telling is, ‘I heard that, comrade Lansbury is more concerned about Indians, and so he expressed his discontent when Indians shot, or murdered or put to prison’.

‘But the cabinet government of comrade Lansbury has put nearly 80,000 Indian men and women in jail. Thousands of people were shot. He raised a question to him that what was he doing then. Mining laborers were striving for the betterment then. A struggle for the rise of four paisa in wage.’

Periyar asked a question, ‘whether they know that people work for five paisa in India. But here, you people are struggling for the hike of four paisa.’ And Periyar satirized that this party bears the name as labor party. I could not even think who will have this courage to speak like this.

Because Periyar spoke at a conference where a leader from the ruling party was presiding over the meeting. Periyar ironically criticized that they have nothing to speak meaningful being labelled as labor party.

He concluded his speech by saying that “fellow workers! Instead of listening to this humbug party and its policies, look forward for the independence of human society, freedom, equality and unity of labors around the world.”

Periyar has spoken against the labor party urging the people to revolt in the conference organized by labor party, that too in England.

(to be continued)

Kolathur Mani, the leader of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam

Translated by Maruvarthini P.

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