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Periyar Self-Respect Movement

Periyar Self-Respect Movement

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Periyar Self-Respect Movement’ is a compilation of resolutions, articles and excerpts connected with the First Provincial Self-Respect Conference, 1929, excellently documented in ‘Revolt’ an English weekly published by Periyar.

It appropriately opens with Periyar’s address, wherein Periyar asserts with his characteristic forthrightness that social reform as it is talked about would be of little use to the society which has degenerated into an abyss, in a system which nurtures evil in the name of god and religion.  He cites a number of reformists who appeared on the scene throughout history and achieved very little despite their best intention and dedicated work.  Periyar is emphatic that to succeed under the circumstances the paramount duty of the social reformers is to abolish and destroy the religion which have caused the downfall of man.

The draft constitution of the Self-Respect League (as it was called in the beginning) says that one who becomes a member thereof should not hold or exercise religious, social or political privileges attached to birth, and he should not be “a priest not born in a priestly community.”

The write up on ‘Work Ahead’ presents an exhaustive and demanding agenda which, if implemented, would bring about appreciable transformation in the social, political and economical texture of the country.

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