GENESIS OF SELF – RESPECT MOVEMENT: The collected works of Periyar E.V.R start from the beginning of the ‘Self – Respect Movement’ in 1925. When Mr. Periyar was young he had no feeling about caste or religion, but he was force by the circumstances to pretend to observe it. He remember that he was warned not to eat or drink in the house of other caste in his childhood day, at the age of 6 (six) he has experienced the ‘caste fanaticism’ even in sharing of drinking water and eating food in their society. When he grow older, he have a keen interest in discussing the ‘Puranas’ (mythologies) and he asked many question to the religious preachers but most of the ‘Pundits’ gave different explanations to him. He started to thinks rationally and this thought lead him to lose in caste, religions, God, and Hindu doctrine. When he acted as the secretary and president of the Devasthana committee, his interest grew to resolve toward the eradication the evil of caste and religions, and his aim was to works for the welfare of the society. There-by he started the “Self – Respect Movement” to end the Caste hatred in the society. Periyar says, the doctrine and the means of ‘Self Respect Movement’ as “before doing anything, one should think whether it is right or wrong, see the causes, analyze things, do research, and respect the truths.” The Hinduism society has many division in term of caste, religion, and the Brahmin is enjoying all the facilities and freedom in the socio-economic field. We are rational being, we know that there is no caste among the animals, we also know that the religion like Christian and Muslim belief in one God but the Hindu has many god created by Brahmins. So, some intellects realized that gods, religions, and caste make the Brahmin more strong to exploit others caste and lead to happy life. And waste so many wealth in the name of religion in offering, marriage, festival and building temples. The Brahmin are the dominating caste in the congress party and Indian political system. The author want to bring socio-political change through ‘Self – Respect Movement’ by using the ideas of rationalist thoughts.
RATIONALIST THOUGHTS: Mr. Periyar stated, human are rational being, and he want us to live rationally. The rationalist don’t talk about anything based on god, religion, Hinduism doctrine, custom and so on, but they talk about the fact and the truth which can be seen and touch based on evidenced and experience. Human have more sense comparing to other animals, because we are rational being, we can thinks what is wrong and right, we should not follow blindly to any philosophy nor religious doctrines. We can’t achieve anything because of our traditional blind belief in god, religion, shastras, vedas, dharma, and mahan. Eg; Shudras means the son of a prostitute, why should Rama kill the shutras? Why the shudras worship Rama as their God? And they were discriminated in the society in the name of caste and religion by other higher caste. Therefore, when we thinks logically; it is not compulsory to worship the god who kills us, or to follow or belief the caste or religion who oppressed us. The rationalist thoughts will never support this social evil and superstition. Because shudras belief to spiritual leaders and their teaching without rationalist thoughts. The Brahmins familiarized the god after the Vedic ages in the past 3000 years and they says, God has super – natural power, god is powerful, god can’t be seen, god has no shape, the god is pure, kind, honest and unbiased. However, the creator of god is salient when the rationalist asked the question logically about their historical creation of god. Eg; why they gave with many shape to god, having many hand and head when they have no shape? If the god is kind, pure and unbiased then why the god need many wives, why god have knives, sword, spears, bows, arrow and other weapon in their hand, are the hindu gods deceits , robbers, plunderers, and murderer? If gods are unbiased why the god divided the society into different caste? All these story of Hindu god is creation of the Brahmin. So, if we have any self-respect we should destroyed all this superstition and non-sense, and apply our rational thoughts to live a happy life with equal right in the society.
Critically appreciation on Pariyar collected works: the works of the Mr. Pariyar E.V.R is very challenging and it is mainly emphasized on “Self – Respect Movement” and his propaganda of “Rationalist Thoughts”. In the genesis of Self – Respect Movement, he talk about an experiences of the evil-practice of the caste in his life in Hindu society. The Hinduism doctrine can be question in many ways when we studies in a rationalist thoughts. I really admires the way he articulate the question in a logical way. Eg; god is unbiased, but why there is social inequality? And if the god has no shape, then why there are some gods having many hand and hand holding fearful weapons on their hand, and kills many peoples. He don’t belief in god, religion, custom and Hinduism doctrine. So, he started the “Self – Respect Movement” to enlighten common people, and trying to bring social reform movement through rationalist thoughts to end the evil practices of caste in the society. However he belief that all the caste, religion, god and traditional are the creation of man; the imagination of Brahmins created the Hindu god for their benefit, which are doubtful. I do belief that all these caste system, traditional, custom and religion doctrine are human creation or socially constructed is true. However, I totally opposed the denying the existence of God. Because there is God who has a super – natural power who has more powerful to human is true. The God is our creator, human have body and soul. He is the creator of the earth and the universe and give us free will power and the rational thought to rule the universe. I do agree that to serve god is to serve humanity, I do belief in self- respect movement and to end the evil practice of the caste, I do belief to work for the welfare of the society, I respect to all the religions equally even if I don’t belief in religions (like, Hindu, Muslim and Christian) but I belief that there is God, and everyone is equal, before the eyes of God. Thereby, I vehemently opposed Mr. Pariyar for denying the existence of God. No doubt that he is a great rationalist..