PERIYAR’S CRITIQUE OF BRHAMINICAL HINDUISM



PERIYAR’S CRITIQUE OF BRHAMINICAL HINDUISM

 Periyar’s acquaintance with Brahminic Hinduism convinced him that, religion was responsible for all the evils in the society.  At the out set it must be remembered that, Periyar defined religion on the basis of his knowledge about Brahminic Hinduism.  Periyar did not touch upon the philosophical aspects of Hinduism in his definition.  All his reflections were the result of his observation of popular Hindu scriptures, religious practices-rituals, ceremonies, festivals and caste system.  It is thus very interesting to note how Periyar had viewed other religions and some concepts, in the light of his understanding of Brahminical Hinduism.

15.1 Religion
To understand Periyar’s idea of religion, one needs to take note of the two common dimensions of religion – Social and Spiritual.  For him, the Social dimension of religion accepts religion as a way of life at the exclusion of any divine or supernatural elements. Periyar is in line with this dimension, while the spiritual dimension of religion consists of beliefs and practices of a religion.

15.1.1. Social Dimension of Religion
Periyar traces the origin of religion to the uncivilized age.  According to him “when human beings were savages without the ability to think deeply about anything, the ideas that were propagated by some for the benefit of society came to be known as religion.”[1]  It is further emphasized that “… religion is a set of rules and ideas framed for the life and conduct of man and help him to achieve his ideal.”[2]  It is obvious that, the very purpose of religion is the well-being of humanity.  Periyar states that, “… any religion however great it may be was founded by one who had at heart the good of public and not by one who had the grace of God or quality of God.”[3]  Periyar always stressed the need of religion as a way of life in this world.  This social value of religion is further emphasized when he says that “a religion should be for fostering love.  It should induce one to be helpful to others.  It should make everyone respect truth.”[4]  Here truth is not an otherworldly affair, but what is right and useful in this world.  Beyond doubt it can be said that for Periyar religion is a way of life.  In other words “it is money and propaganda that gives life to religions.  There is no divinity or super qualities that keep the torch or religion bright and burning.”[5]

15.1.2 Spiritual Dimension of Religion
It is surmised that, as religion progressed, the social dimension of religion was neglected and religionists began to add more importance to the spiritual dimension. God, scriptures, rituals, and tradition were thus created to establish the spiritual dimension of religion.  As the spiritual dimension gathered strength, the social dimension, which is the basis of religion, was deserted.  To strengthen further the spiritual dimension of religion, many human-made religious stories were created.  That is why Periyar said “Religion is made of falsehoods and lies.”[6]  However, for Periyar, this type of religion was very helpful to three groups of people.  They were priests (religionists), rulers and the rich.  They joined together in using religion as a pretext to retain their position, power and prestige.  For this purpose caste system was created and each caste was assigned with fixed duties.  To stabilize the caste system, divine origin was attributed to it.  This was the kind of religion that Periyar opposed.  In the words of Anita Diehl “the religion that Periyar repudiates is the religion which according to him, upholds and gives sanction to religious, social and economic injustice.”[7]
As the spiritual dimension of religion gained concrete ground, people forgot the social dimension.  This situation became very convenient for the so called religionists to exercise their crafts in the name of religion.  If their crafts were questioned, they would nullify the questions by saying, ‘religion says so’ or ‘scripture says so’.  Thus religion became the store-house of all evils and wickedness.[8]
Anita Diehl, after analyzing many anti-religious sayings of Periyar, states the position of Periyar as “Religion is the main root of social injustice, exploitation and suppression.”[9]  While condemning the supernatural elements in the religion Periyar says “the activities connected with all religions are generally contrary to nature.”[10]  Also “no religion offers any practicable and generally acceptable principle to human beings.”[11] Still further “generally speaking, it may be said that religion makes people stupid.”[12]  It is clear that Periyar condemned the spiritual dimension of religion, which he felt was of no use to life.[13]
The general impression that one can derive from Periyar’s writings is that, he favours a kind of religion which respects all people equally and concerns itself with human welfare as a whole, beyond any discriminations.  He himself claimed that, he was not an atheist, but people called him an atheist.  It was always implied in his writings that, his main aim was not to oppose religion or God, but to protest against the evils inflicted on the people in the name of religion and God.

15.2 Hinduism
Periyar was of the opinion that, in fact there was no religion as Hinduism. He says, “the worst untruth that is in circulation is the claim that there is a religion called Hinduism.”[14]  For him the term Hindu originally means Indians, and not a religion.[15]  As to the emergence of Hinduism, Periyar says “it is a religion forced on the people with the primary intention of hood-winking the people.”[16]  About this M. M. Thomas remarks that, “for him (Periyar), Hinduism is founded by Brahmins for their own power interests; they built on ignorance, illiteracy and poverty of the people and exploited them.”[17]
Periyar goes still further and maintains that, the degraded situation of the non-Brahmins in India is wholly the result of their accepting Hinduism.  Because of that they are considered as slaves.[18]  This idea is again brought out by S. Manickam, when he discusses the differences between slavery in India and in other countries. He writes “but slavery in India, which is closely related to caste and untouchability, is primarily based on religion, i.e. Hinduism.”[19]  Periyar went to the extent of saying that, sati, child marriage, polygamy, superstitions, rituals and ceremonies, the obscenity in Sanskrit literature and on temple walls and towers, the devadasi system, women’s slavery, are all the products of the Hindu religion which is stated to be God-given.[20]  He was also of the opinion that, no other religion in the world has such evil practices. 

15.3 Brahminical Hinduism
To understand, what is Brahaminical Hinduism, first of all, it is necessary to know what is Brahminism.  According to Swami Dharma Theertha, “it may be defined as a system of socio-religious domination and exploitation of the Hindus based on caste, priest-craft and false philosophy, - caste representing the scheme of domination, priest-craft the means of exploitation, and false philosophy a justification of both caste and priest-craft.”[21]
P. D. Devanandan has rightly defined, what Brahminism meant to Periyar.  According to him ‘Brahminism describe the strategy which Brahmins had used from the early days of the Aryan expansion in India in order to bring the entire religious and social life of Hindu India under their domination’.[22]  Brahminic Hinduism, specifically implies the ways in which Brahmins used and interpreted Hindu scriptures, religious practices and caste system to accomplish their own ends.  It is popular Hinduism, the religion of the common people.  This is the religion that Periyar critiqued.

15.3.1 Popular Hindu Scriptures
As Periyar viewed religion from the point of popular Hinduism, his critique of Brahminical Hinduism does not include the entire Hindu scriptures.  He has focused mainly on Manu, the two great Epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana) and the Puranas.

15.3.1.1 Manu Dharma Sastra
Manu Darma Sastra serves the purpose of a law book or code, inclusive of socio, religious and political affairs.  But the design of the book seems dangerous.  According to Benjamin Walker “the chief design of the code seems to have been to give divine sanction to the institution of caste, to make caste supreme in India and the Brahmins supreme among the castes.”[23]  He is also of the view that “the position assigned to Brahmins in the laws of Manu was not that which they held in early Indo-Aryan society, but what they claimed for themselves by the early centuries of the Christian era.”[24]  In the same vein, Periyar assigned two motives to Manu. They are “first of all this enables the Brahmins to call themselves high and superior to other and lead a happy life without doing any work… The second motive is to render injustice to all as stipulated in the Manu law.”[25]  Paulraj has further emphasized the point by saying “these laws were not only essentially unjust, but they were totally inhuman and dehumanizing.”[26]  For Anita Diehl, it is to preserve inequality.[27]
Periyar said, Manu’s authorship is attributed to Brahma, who was immoral and characterless.[28]  In turn, Periyar in his criticism quoted passages from Manu, which sanctions, discrimination by birth, higher status to Brahmins, degradation of non-Brahmins, unclean jobs to Sudras, maximum punishment to the Sudras, no rights to Sudras and ill-treatment of women.[29]  This he did with the view to create awareness among the non-Brahmins about the danger of accepting Manu as a divine law and to indicate the lurking danger of Brahminism in Manu Dharma Sastra.

15.3.1.2 Mahabharata
Although Periyar did not speak exclusively about Mahabharata, he has deemed as the work of Brahmins to impose their will and wish upon the non-Brahmins. In this context, A. L. Basham has pointed out that, Mahabharata was initially a secular story.  Probably just before the Christian era, when religious interpolation is evident it was looked as sacred.[30]  According to Periyar, Brahmins pay high regard to Gita as part of Maha Bharata as it gives prestigious status to them.  It was also criticized for preserving the caste system.[31]

15.3.1.3 Ramayana
Ramayana was secular in origin.  It was a popular story that prevailed in ancient days.  At a later stage, it was given a divine tinge.[32]  Periyar believed that “in order to establish Brahminism, the Aryan poets imported Brahminic ideas in to the old stories and made avatars of Rama and Krishna.”[33]  He says, “the Aryans, when they invaded the ancient land of Dravidas, maltreated and dishonored the latter and had written a false and coloured history wholly fallacious.  It is this they call Ramayan where Rama and his accomplices are styled as Aryas, Ravana as Rakshasa and Hanuman, Sugriva, Vali and others as monkeys.”[34] For Periyar “the story is neither religious nor rational.”[35] 
Periyar in fact, raised his voice against the traditional notion of Ramayana and said ‘Ramayana is an imaginary-story’.[36] Paulraj highlights the perception of Periyar as “…Rama and Sita were base characters unworthy to be imitated or admired and that Ravana on the other hand, was Dravidian of excellent character.”[37]  As Periyar was speaking from the context of Tamils he sees Ramayana as a war between the Northerners (Brahmins) and Southerners (Dravidians).
About Dasaratha, Periyar said, even though he was old, he was crazy after children.  As he was not at the age of begetting children he went for Aswamedha Yaga (Horse Sacrifice).  For Periyar Aswamedha yaga of Darsaratha was nothing, but offering his wives to the Brahmin priests.  This is explained in impolite terms.  Periyar wanted to show that, Rama was not righteous even by birth.  Periyar says, Rama had many wives, he had no respect for his father, he was always after sexual pleasure, and he deliberately provoked Ravana into war.  On that pretext he entered Ravana’s territory.[38]
About Sita, Periyar maintained that, she had illicit relation with Ravana.  Having loved Ravana, she went after him willingly.  Ravana did not carry her forcefully.  She was impregnated by Ravana.  Even after her return from Lanka which is Ravana’s kingdom, she had affection towards him and could not forget him at all.[39]  There is no divine quality in Sita.  She is inferior to other virtuous women. 
Periyar narrated the character of Ravana as that of a righteous king and ruler.  He was learned, saintly, master of scriptures, dutiful ruler, brave man, chivalrous soldier, pious man, beloved son of God and recipient of many boons.  He carried Sita as a revenge for the insult inflicted upon his sister.  He had no interest to seduce another man’s wife.[40]  Other characters of Ramayana are also interpreted similarly.

15.3.1.4 Puranas
Paulraj says “Naicker openly ridiculed the Puranas (popular Hindu religious literature) and called them imaginary, irrational and grossly immoral fairy tales.”[41]  Periyar was annoyed because Puranas were used by the Brahmins to perpetuate the evil of caste system which was responsible for all social inequalities. 

15.3.1.5 Rationale behind the Critique
Periyar often said that these scriptures should be burnt as ‘they are not helpful in any manner’.[42]  In a wider sense he said “it is because of these Puranas and Ithihasas that we are slaves to the Aryans.”[43]  He was convinced that Brahmins used these scriptures to exploit and suppress the non-Brahmins.[44]  From the moral point of view they are to be stories of “indiscipline, prostitution and things devoid of self respect galore in this epics.”[45]  It is said, ‘those smritis and epics contained neither moral maxims nor political ideas’.[46]  According to Periyar the reason for such immoral ideas in these scriptures, is that the Brahmin writers had no regard for women and therefore they have written such things.[47]  Periyar also gives another reason for the emergence of Ramayana and Mahabharata.  According to him, both were written in view of subduing the non-Brahmin kings who opposed the Brahmins.[48] 

15.3.2 Religious Practices
As Periyar did not attribute any significance to the spiritual dimension of religion, he found no meaning in religious rituals, practices and festivals.  He found them all as the crafty work of Brahmins to maintain their standard of life at the cost of non-Brahmins.  

15.3.2.1 Rituals
It is surmised that all rituals are designed in such a way that, all material benefits go to the priests.  To obtain periodical benefits, they have even framed rituals that are to be observed from the cradle to the grave.  As different rituals are prescribed to different castes, rituals also in a way preserve the caste system. 

15.3.2.2 Ceremonies
Periyar held the view that all religious ceremonies are the result of superstitious beliefs.  Moreover, people are greedy after superficial blessings.  This greed and superstitious beliefs help three groups of people.  They are astrologers, magicians and the priests.[49]  T. Dayanandan Francis while writing about Ramalinga Swamy, maintains “Ramalinga condemns superstitious beliefs entertained in the established religion.”[50]  Periyar, went to the extent of ignoring all religious ceremonies and suggested for priestless ceremonies.  This is evident of his stand that anything that does not help human beings needs to be abandoned, particularly, things that are said to be divine.

15.3.2.3 Festivals
Periyar had his own way of interpreting festivals.  Besides all the usual stories associated with every festival, Periyar had his own stories about them.  He would say that, festivals are nothing, but the mere construct of priest-craft.  Periyar often mentioned that festivals are good opportunities for exploitation and entertainment for young boys and girls and prostitutes.[51]  During festivals, a lot of money is simply wasted while millions of people die without food and other basic materials.  Festivals are seasons for spreading cholera because devotees from different places come together, bathe together, and live unhygeinically.
It is unfortunate that Periya failed to consider the social dimension of the festivals.  It is important, because festivals are occasions when people come together, share their joy, exchange gifts etc.  These kinds of elements, at least, can be positively considered. 



15.3.3 Caste System
Johnkumar maintains that, according to Periyar, the caste system is reinforced by Hindu religion.[52]  Anita Diehl says, “Periyar… became convinced that casteism and Hinduism were one and the same.”[53]  Periyar said “truly my endeavor is primarily intended to abolish caste.  But this matter of abolishing castes has made me speak about the abolition of God, religion, shastras and Brahmins as far as this country is concerned.  Castes will go only after these four disappeared.”[54]  Periyar had rightly discerned that, since religion is the source of caste it should be liquidated.  Ramalinga Swamy had also affirmed that caste is sheer myth.[55]

15.3.3.1 Need for Abolishing Caste
In this context, it is said that, M. M. Thomas is of the view that caste cannot be abolished without destroying the religious sanctions behind it.[56]  Ambedkar too affirmed the same.[57]  The same point is dramatically expressed by Periyar that, “when we meet a Brahmin we must greet him ‘come on you Bastard!’  If he asks you why you say so, ask him why he used the term Shudra in the Sastras and Statute books.”[58] 

15.3.4 Method of Communication
To exhibit his antagonism toward the spiritual dimension of religion, Periyar adopted the following strategy.  During 1927-28, he campaigned for burning Manu Dharma Sastra and in 1942 for burning Ramayana and Periya Puranam.[59]  In 1953 he broke images of Vinayaka (Ganesha).[60]  Periyar and his followers burned parts of the Indian Constitution in 1957,  because it encourages the caste system.[61]  The same year there was a great attempt to remove the title “Brahmin” from the hotel name boards too.  In 1960 Periyar burned pictures of Rama.  In 1971 he organized a superstition eradication conference in Salem.  In this conference Rama’s image was taken in the procession and was beaten by sandals.  In turn, Hindu deities were obscenely portrayed,[62] and the effigy of Rama was burned publicly.  Posters revealing the lust of and birth of Hindu deities were found everywhere in Salem.  For example “a Salem poster portrayed Brahmin priests standing around Siva, looking as though, they were masturbating him while Parvathi, Siva’s wife, held her hand out.”[63]  Many other photos depicted naked idols and erotic scenes from mythology. 
In order to counter Hindu marriage restrictions, Periyar arranged remarriage of his niece when her husband died at an early age.  He even, asked the people to denounce puranic Hinduism, religious ceremonies and priestly service.  He asked women to beat the Constitution with brooms because it degrades non-Brahmins and women.
Periyar also organized self-respect marriages which were devoid of any Brahmin involvement.  Without the aid of Brahmins, Periyar gave names to children.  He even tried to cut the tuft from Brahmin’s heads.  He also effectively protested against Temple prostitution.  To propagate his ideas Periyar started to publish journals.[64]

15.3.5 Analyzing Other Religions and Concepts through the Critique of
            Brahminical Hinduism
Periyar critiqued Brahminical Hinduism from the perspective of Human life or Human welfare.  His critique of Brahminical Hinduism was the result of his observation of popular Hindu Scriptures, religious practices, rituals, ceremonies, festivals and caste system, as practiced and interpreted by the Brahmins.  Through his critique he made his point clear that, what is important is human life – dignity, respect, freedom, equality, well-being, etc. (Self – Respect) in this world.  He also made it clear that religion (Brahminical Hinduism) had always been misused by some people for their selfish interests, at the cost of other people’s Self-respect.  Such religions, therefore, should be abandoned.
It is very clear that Periyar saw other religions also from the point  of “Human life in this world”. Similarly he developed his own ideas (concepts) of God, Soul, Sin, Heaven and Hell, in the light of Brahminical Hinduism.  They were also developed in view of analyzing their validity for human life in this world.

15.3.5.1 Other Religions
Periyar again analyzed Buddhism, Christianity and Islam in the light of Brahminical Hinduism from the perspective of human life (welfare) in this world.

15.3.5.1.1 Buddhism
Periyar was of the opinion that, Buddhism was not a religion, but it stood to recognize what is agreeable to reason.  It had a historical background.  Buddha emphasized very much on human concerns and not on God, Heaven and Hell.[65]  Both Buddha and Periyar stood for “reason”.  Regarding the stand of Buddha on reason, Salai Ilanthirian says, “he considered that whatever is said to be beyond the perception and understanding of man is only a means to confuse human thought.”[66]  Further it was maintained that, “it is only here that Periyar E. V. Ramasami agrees with the Buddha.”[67]  Another point of comparison is that, both were against Brahminism.  Periyar’s liking for Buddhism diminished when Buddha’s followers made Buddha as God. 

15.3.5.1.2 Christianity
Periyar rightly remarked that Christianity has a historical founder.  He has ecognized that, Christianity is more in line with the scientific development of the world.[68]  Having seen the caste system at work and other similar practices of discrimination in Christianity, Periyar considered Christianity in India to be another Brahminical religion.[69] 


15.3.5.1.3 Islam
Like other religions, Periyar considered the historical validity of Islam.  He also recognized that in Islam there is no caste discrimination or inequalities.  His major argument was that Islam was established later than Buddhism and Christianity and therefore it should be more relevant to the people than the earlier religions.  In this case, Periyar failed to recognize the limitation of all religions.  Of course what Periyar intended was, to replace Brahminical Hinduism with some other religion.  For this purpose he preferred Islam.  Even, he advocated his people to accept Islam as their religion.  However, in later years he did not recommend conversation to any religion.

15.3.5.2 Some Concepts
As said earlier, Periyar was protesting against the spiritual dimension of religion, thinking that it is of no use for human beings and for their survival.  This idea is further concretized by establishing the notion that, God, Soul, Sin, Heaven and Hell are not true, as these are fashioned after the interests of human beings. 

15.3.5.2.1 God
Periyar asserted that “it is nothing but the existence of desires and unfulfilled wants that is responsible for the faith in God.”[70]  Thus humans created God.  Again fear of death created in humanity the idea of God.[71]  Periyar developed a few simple arguments to disprove the existence of God.  For instance, “if it is true, God cannot be seen or touched, is there any meaning in offering food for him and that too six times a day.”[72]  If all are created by God, why does one kill the other, or why is there difference in the creation of same beings.  His famous anti-God sloka was:
There is no god, no god at all
He who invented god was fool
He who propagated god was a scoundrel
He who worships god is a barbarian.[73]

In fact Periyar’s main aim was not anti-god, but to reform the religion of its superstitious and irrational divine elements.  What provoked him to such an effort is the way in which Brahmins presented God to the people.  He said while the world is speaking about one God, we speak about thousands of gods.  Other religions say God is formless, Brahmins have given different shape to gods.  In order to terrify the people, gods are portrayed with dreadful weapons.  They have created different gods for different purposes.  In the name of God, prostitution, untouchability, child marriage, restrictions to education and discriminations in all realms of life are nurtured.[74]  This provoked Periyar.[75]  In the name of such gods people bear all kinds of discrimination in the society.[76]  Periyar did not want the people to have faith on such gods.  He, therefore, described gods as unworthy of reverence. 

15.3.5.2.2 Soul and Sin
Periyar asserted that the idea of soul[77]  was developed to maintain the doctrine of rebirth, as the idea of rebirth is the best means to preserve caste.  Periyar criticized the rebirth theory, by saying, if the same souls are born again, how is it possible that the population increases?  It can also be argued that, if some souls are saved, the population should dwindle.  But it is not so. So, the concept must be wrong.

15.3.5.2.3 Heaven and Hell
According to Periyar, Heaven and Hell are imaginary worlds of Brahmins to swindle money.  Heaven is described as the most pleasant place and hell is described as the most unpleasant place. For Periyar, Heaven is nothing but a place to live a moral life, help fellow people and not taking more than what is required.  The way to send people to Heaven is to protect the people from violating these principles.  It is necessary to note that, Periyar’s dream of Heaven reflects his core of thinking.  His aim was to establish an egalitarian society, which is based on Secular Humanism.



[1] Periyar, Man and Religion, trans. By R. Sundaraju, (Madras: Rationalist publication, 1993), p. 3. 
Hence forth this book will be cited as Man and Religion.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Periyar E. V. R., Philosophy, trans. By A. Sundaramurthy, (Bangalore: Karnataka Dravidian
Association Publications, 1959) , p. 7.
[4] Collected works of Periyar EVR., 2nd revised ed., Vol.1( Madras:The Periyar Self-Respect
propaganda Institution, “Periyar Thidal”, 50, EVK Sampath Salai), p, 328.  Hence forth
 this book will be cited as collected works, Vol.1.
[5] Ibid., p.328.
[6] Ibid., p. 135.
[7] Anita Diehl, Periyar E. V. Ramasami: A Study of the Influence of a Personality in Contemporary
                South India (New Delhi: B. J. Publications, 54. Janpath, 1978), p.49.
[8] Thanthai Periyar Materialism or Prakritivatham, 5th ed. (Madras: Periyar Self-Respect
Propaganda Institution, 1984), p. 18.
[9] Anita Diehl, Periyar E. V. Ramasami: A Study of the Influence of a Personality in Contemporary
                South India, p. 40.
[10] Periyar, Man and Religion, p.4.
[11] Ibid.,p.6.
[12] Ibid., p.8.
[13] Ibid., p.9.
[14] Ibid., p.17.
[15] Periyar Kalangiyam, Vol. 3, p. 39.
[16] Collected works Vol. 1, p. 13.
[17] M. M. Thomas, The Secular Ideologies of India and the Secular Meanings of Christ,
(Madras:C.L.S.,  1976), p. 128.

[18] Periyar Kalangiyam, Vol.3, p.4.
[19] S. Manickam, Slavery In the Tamil Country A Historical Over-view, 2nd enlarged and revised ed.
(Madras: C.L.S.,1993), p.3.
[20] K. Veeramani “Builder of Astheism in Tamil Nadu: Periyar E. V. Ramasami”, Periyar An
Anthology, (Madras: Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institute, 1992), pp.117-118.
[21] Swami Dharma Theertha, History of Hindu Imperialism, 5th ed. (Kerala: Babasaheb Ambedkar
Foundation, 1992), pp. 6-7.
[22] P. D. Devanandan, The Dravida Kazhagam A Revolt Against Brahminism, (Bangalore: CISRS,
1959), pp.6-7.
[23] Benjamin Walker, Hindu World, Vol. II, (Munshiram Monoharlal Publishers, 1983), p.28.
[24] Ibid., p.29.
[25] Collected works Vol. 1, p.43.
[26] Paulraj, op. cit., p.113.
[27] Anita Diehl, op. cit., p.31.
[28] Collected works Vol. 1, pp.44-45.
[29] Ibid., pp. 49-57.
[30] A.L. Basham The Wonder that was India, (New York: Grove Press, JNC, 1954), p.229.
[31] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Rationalist Thinking, Op. cit., p.17.
[32] A.L. Bashma, op. cit., p.299.
[33] Collected works Vol. 1, p.305.
[34] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, The Ramayana A True Reading, 2nd ed. (Trichy: Periyar Self-Respect
Propoganda Institution Publications, 1972), p.3.
[35] Ibid., p.5.
[36] Kudi Arasu, 5-1-1964.
[37] Paulraj, op. cit., p.96.
[38]  Periyar E V. Ramasami, The Ramayana A True Reading, op. cit., pp. 15-29.
[39]Ibid.,
[40] Ibid., 40-41.
[41] Paulraj, op. cit., p92.
[42] Collected works Vol. 1, p.84.
[43] Ibid., p.91.
[44] Nambi Arooran, op. cit., p.164.
[45] Ibid., p.85.
[46] V. Anaimuthu, Contribution of Periyar E.V.R. To the Progress of Atheism, (Madras: Periyar Nul
Veliyittakam, 1980), p.6.
[47] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Declaration of war on Brahminism, trans. By A. S. Venu, (Madras:The
Dravidar Kazhagam Publication, 1987) ,p.27.
[48] Thanthai Periyar, Purattu – Imalaya Purattu, 4th ed. (Madras: Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda
Institution, 1983) , p.57.
[49] Collected works Vol. 1, p.231.
[50] T. Dayanandan Francis, The Mission and Message of Ramalinga Swamy, (Delhi: Motilal
Banarisidass  Publishers, 1990), p.65.
[51] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Rationalist Thinking, op. cit., pp. 42-43.
[52] Johnkumar, S.J., op. cit., p.72.
[53] Anita Diehl, op. cit., p.13.
[54] An Admirer, op. cit., p.103.
[55]  T. Dayanandan Francis, Op. cit., p.64.
[56] M.M. Thomas, op. cit., p.125.
[57]  A.M. Raja Sekhariah, B.R. Ambedkar, The Quest for Social Justice, (New Delhi: Uppal
Publishing House, 1989), p. 240.
[58] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Declaration of war on Bhraminism, Op. cit, p.  30.
[59] Nambi Arooran, op. cit., p.165.
[60] Charles Ryerson, op. cit., p.89.
[61] Periyar An Anthology, op. cit., p.119.
[62] Charles Ryerson, op. cit., p.91.
[63] Ibid., p.178.
[64] P. D. Devanandan, op. cit., p.7.
[65] Cf. Periyar Kalangiyam, Vol.4. pp. 226-27 and 238-41.
[66] Salai Ilanthirian, “Contribution of Periyar E. V. Ramasami to Buddhist Revival”, Buddhist
Themes in Modern Indian Literature, ed by Dr. J. Parthasarathi, (Madras: Institute of Asian Studies, 1992), pp.43-44.
[67] Ibid.
[68] Periyar Kalangiyam, Vol.5,p.259.
[69] Periyar Kalangiyam, Vol.3,p.186.
[70] Collected works, Vol.1, p.11.
[71] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Kataul, Kudi Arasu Pathipakkam Erode, 1960, pp. 4-5.
[72] Periyar E.V. Ramasami, Rationalist Thinking, op. cit., p.25.
[73] An Admirer, op. cit., p.70.
[74] Kudi Arasu 15-4-28.
[75] Collected works, Vol. 1, p. 65.
[76] Viduthali 9-1-50.
[77] Periyar E.V.R., Philosophy, op. cit., p. 24.

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