Periyar E. V. Ramasamy And Women's Rights
Indian politics • Anti-Hindi agitations • Tamil Nadu politics • Social reform •
Periyar E. V. Ramasamy (Tamil: பெரியார், Kannada: ಪೆರಿಯಾರ್ ) (September 17, 1879 – December 24, 1973), also known as Ramaswami, EVR, Thanthai Periyar, or Periyar, was a Dravidian social reformer and politician from India, who founded the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam. He advocated for the rights of women and was considered ahead of his time as well as controversial. Throughout the Indian sub-continent today, women continue to be marginalized in various ethnic and religious groups. During the early part of the twentieth century there have been many agitations against British rule (external) and injustices committed amongst the people of the sub-continent (internal). With all this, women's rights have been left in the dark. Periyar stated that, "political reformers are agitating that the privilege of administering "India" should go to "Indians". Social reformers are agitating that communal divisions and differences should be done away with. But nobody takes notice of the great hardship suffered by one section of women. Intelligent people will agree that the creator has not endowed men and women with different faculties. There are, in both men and women, intellectuals, courageous people, as well as stupid and cowardly people. While this is the case, it is unfair and wicked on the part of the haughty male population to continue to denigrate and enslave the female population.
Periyar has explained that it is extremely cruel on the part of the Hindu brethren to witness the gradual destruction suffered by one half of their society, without taking any action. This apart, men and women are both human beings. The difference in physical features will not change the human quality. The difference in intellect and physical strength which we find among men can be found among women also. Practice improves the position equally in both men and women. Just as there are foolish people, weaklings and people with bad qualities among men, among women also there are likely to be people belonging to these categories.
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