Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy, better known by his honorific title, Periyar - the man who taught South Indians self respect. Periyar's ideas of rationalism, social equality and feminism lay the foundations of Dravidian politics, even after 43 years since he breathed his last. Periyar's critique of Brahmanism has been the most radical in history. He wrote, "While all men are born as equals, to say that Brahmins alone are the highest and all others are low as Pariah (the Untouchables) or Panchama is sheer nonsense. It is roguish to say so. It is a big hoax played on us".
Celebrating the 140th birth anniversary of Periyar today, the Casteless Collective uploaded a song in tribute to Periyar. Casteless Collective is a multicultural music band run by director Pa Ranjtih. The song titled 'the Revolutionary Periyar' takes you through the ideas of Periyar and what Periyar means to the downtrodden. The song speaks about the equality Periyar taught us. Periyar has been a the light for a just society and his battle still goes on. The song is written and sung Arivu from the collective. The translation of few lines of the song reads,
"The rational path is yours
You treated the men equal
In a mindless society where
Touching was a crime
Who is the one who freed the oppressed
Who kicked the rituals
Defended Human thought
Who spoke equality
Periyar ideated a Dravida homeland - Dravida Nadu and spoke on what Brahmanism has done to the Dravidians. "I want the Brahmins to realize that the Dravidian people today are very much hating those who cunningly cheated them with absurdities. They are now aware of the particular community making a living by spreading the foolishness. People have begun to hate god, religion, caste, mythologies (puranas) and so on” Said Periyar. The BJP felt the people's wrath few months back when the party leader H Raja’s made a contemptuous remark on Periyar, once again proved the love for the iconic figure in Tamil Nadu beyond.