Global Ambedkarites

Rebuttal to claims made by anti –Periyarists and Ambedkar in, ‘Why TamBrahmins hate Periyar and love Dr. Ambedkar?

Rebuttal to claims made by anti –Periyarists and Ambedkar in, ‘Why TamBrahmins hate Periyar and love Dr. Ambedkar?

Rebuttal to claims made by anti –Periyarists and Ambedkar in, ‘Why TamBrahmins hate Periyar and love Dr. Ambedkar?

Rebuttal to claims made by anti –Periyarists and Ambedkar in, ‘Why TamBrahmins hate Periyar and love Dr. Ambedkar?

Rebuttal to claims made by anti –Periyarists and Ambedkar in, ‘Why TamBrahmins hate Periyar and love Dr. Ambedkar?

By default, it is extremely difficult if not impossible for Tamil Brahmins to accept either of the two greats, Dr.Ambedkar or Periyar.

This question is a deliberate attempt to saffronise Dr.Ambedkar and vilify Periyar.

Most of the other answers to this questions are misleading the reader because the stated facts are either distorted or manufactured. Consider this answer as a rebuttal to their claims. It is clear from the ideology of Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar that they both stood for the same ideals and principles.

 “My ideology has been preached by Periyar too. There is no difference.” -Dr. Ambedkar


Periyar hardly did anything for dalits, while Ambedkar himself being a dalit, felt that his community was not given a fair chance to come up. Periyar’s fight was not for the lowest castes and downtrodden, but for the powerful landholding castes to return to power.

Periyar contributed emormously towardsthe welfare of the untouchables.

Periyar talks passionately about jati and untouchability, in favour of the Avarna untouchables, in almost every page of the 27 publihsed volumes of his writings and speeches.

A key principle of the Dravidian movement is this:

To destroy the categories of the Pariah and the Brahman, the high caste and the low caste, the shudra and the panchama in our country, to implement in practice the principle that all of us belong to one race and to one community
– Kudi Arasu, in 1947

Periyar agreed with Dr. Ambedkar that not all slaves are equal in statues. He observed that casteism practiced by non Brahmin castes against the Avarna untouchables was much more cruel than what the Brahmins practiced. So he strongly ended up believing that communal representation for the Avarna untouchables was much more needed that it was for the Shudras.


When ancestor calling of education was implemented, Periyar opposed it tooth and nail and ensured it’s cancellation. This made education accessible to the untouchables. If people from traditionally down-trodden caste in Tamil Nadu are today becoming doctors, lawyers, scientist etc, it is mainly due to Periyar’s efforts. Had he not opposed, most would have continued in their ancestor’s vocations likes barbers, sweepers and manual scavengers etc.

NOTE: Dr. Ambedkar opposed any word, such as Harijan or Dalit, that would categorizes a section of society on basis of caste or untouchability.

It must also be noted that the exact meaning of the adjective “DALIT” is ‘ground down’ or ‘broken to pieces’ in the Hindi language and is not a noun to describe people belonging to a particular caste.

What is the exact meaning of the Hindi word “Dalit”?

Hence Dr. Ambedkar was not a dalit, he sprang from an “untouchable” community who became touchable by leaving the Hindu fold and by embracing Buddhism.


Periyar used to say that the one who believes in God is a fool. So I feel a bit surprised that he supported non-Brahmin priests in temples. While I’m not against non-Brahmin priests in temple, I find Periyar to be a hypocrite for supporting that cause

The Brahmins had 100% reservation in temples and were treated as a gods, even if one had committed murder and was corrupted in all ways. Why should he alone have such reservation rights in temples?. It was because of this Periyar demanded that people of all caste should be allowed to become priests. This was not something new. Dr. Ambedkar too proposed a similar idea that priesthood should be based on exams and should be thrown open to all castes.

There is no rule which states an atheist like Periyar should remain blind to atrocities committed in the name of religion inside temples.


Periyar considered Sanskrit to be a ‘Brahmin-Language’, so he was against it. For Periyar, Hindi is another version of Sanskrit and hence he opposed that too. But Ambedkar was pro-Sanskrit. Ambedkar was a supporter of Hindi and wanted it to be taught throughout India.

Periyar was just critical of the Tamil language and its glorification of Tamil history  as he was of Hindi and Sanskrit which he rejected for their lack of democratic and liberating potential. He criticized Tamil purists and their classical texts for not being generous in their use of respectable words for women and the oppressed classes. On occasions, he encouraged greater use of the English language instead of Tamil. In academia, Periyar was for a truly transforming language that had the potential to reduce oppressive conditions to a minimum.

Yes, Periyar opposed Hindi and had sound reasons for doing so. In those days education was not available to all castes. The 1950’s too witnessed ancestor calling of education and closing of several schools. Children who’s ancestors had not entered the gates of schools for millennia, were required to pass their respective subjects and then, on top, a foreign language such as English. This had already created a big burden on them. In this situation, implementation of another language, Hindi was being opposed. It is senseless to impose on children artificial hurdles that could eventually lead to disillusionment in studies, resulting in quitting. That’s why Periyar opposed Hindi.

Periyar thought imposition of Hindi as a tool to devoid the lower caste of higher education. The government which imposed Hindi did not guarantee that learning Hindi would land them jobs after completing education. What use would Hindi be for such students of communities who were entering schools for the first time in millennia? Periyar propounded that if the government is ready to guarantee jobs for learning Hindi, he is ready to accept their proposal.

This is the result of opposing imposition of Hindi: Tamils who opposed Hindi imposition, have ranked high in jobs, topped in most other fields, developed more than most other states. Can anyone deny the fact that English is the language which helps to secure good jobs. English is the language which helps when we are not in India.

  • Periyar considered Sanskrit to be a ‘Brahmin-Language: Yes and he was right in doing so, else why should there be a need to use only Sanskrit to chant mantras. Even today, most people visiting temples do not understand Sanskrit. So they end up paying money to the Brahmin for poojas they don’t understand. Doesn’t this sound like a lucrative business possible only because learning Sanskrit was deprived to the masses since time immemorial?
  • Ambedkar was pro-Sanskrit: Dr. Ambedkar was NEVER pro-Sanskrit. Sanskrit was included as it had always been a forbidden language for the under privileged. He being a practical genius would never favour a practically useless language over commonly spoken modern languages.
  • Ambedkar was a supporter of Hindi : Dr. Ambedkar ensured English as the official language in which laws are to be made. It was also to be used in interstate and central government inter departmental communication. Hindi was not the priority but could not be ignored due to great demand by the then Hindi speaking majority of politicians


Periyar’s movement was not about ‘self-respect’ or ‘women empowerment’.

This is a ridiculous claim, Periyar is famous for his self-respect movement. Remember the Vaikom satyagraha which Dr. Ambedkar considered as motivation to start the Mahad Satyagraha. What about self respect marriages?

It is claimed that Periyar did not stand for women empowerment. If so, why would he write a book called “why womens are enslaved?” Even today the country is engulfed with orthodox traditions. Periyar, in those days advocated womens to be like men. Today women in Tamil Nadu are enjoying greater freedom mainly because of Periyar. Periyar revolted against use of derogatory words for women eg prostitute. He revolted against the devadasi system.

“Women should develop physical strength like men. They must take exercise and get training in the use of weapons”- Kudi Arasu, 1932.

“Others advocate birth-control, with a view of preserving the health of women and conserving family property; but we advocate it for the liberation of women”- Kudi Arasu

I can confidently say that even today, there is no outspoken male like Periyar to have such vision of women empowerment as he did.


A lot of Periyar’s followers wrongly attribute high literacy rate and women’s safety to Periyar’s movement. Women’s safety and literacy rates are better in Tamil Nadu because of government’s focus on girls’ education.

Yes, high literacy rate and women safety is mainly because of Periyar’s efforts. Reasons cited above.


Ambedkar was a Dalit or SC/ST who was discriminated by all sections of society. He naturally had the inclination to ask for self respect and be treated as a fellow human. However, EVR aka Periyar is a modern day OBC or erstwhile Nayakars who were once land owners and belonged to the royal lineage of Nayaka kings.

Periyar was a Shudra, an OBC (other backward classes), the lowest of the four Varnas. Shudras cannot partake in “Upanayana” ceremony meant only for the so called “Twice Born”. It should be noted that the Brahmins refused to serve food to Periyar in Kasi and he fed on leftover food. His Kasi visit paved the way to mould his career against caste oppression. Duty of a Shudra is to remain illiterate and serve the upper three varanas. Periyar (and his ancestors at one stage) broke the barriers like Ambedkar and became the “hands that gave” instead of the “hands that begged”


Periyar hated Hinduism blindly like a mad man for no reason. Periyar hated Brahmins from the bottom of his heart without rationality and reasoning. Ambedkar could distinguish between Brahminism and Brahmins. It was a Brahmin teacher who helped Ambedkar to come up in life. Twice Ambedkar married Brahmins.

The 2012 (IHDS) IndianHuman Development Survey showed that the largest percentage (52%) of households practicing untouchability  was found in the Brahmin community. Today, there are no signs of improvement as caste hierarchy is maintained due to such practices.

Doesn’t this show that Periyar had sound reasons to fight against Brahmins Hegemony in the1930’s when untouchability must have been worse than in 2012?

Periyar had reasons to hate Hindusim. He knew that Hinduism is just a graded version of casteism and Brahmins, holding the highest position, exploited the masses for their benefit. He was the first person to publish Dr. Ambedkar’s “Annihilation of Caste”. Would you say such person is blindly attacking Hinduism?

Dr. Ambedkar too, was highly anti Brahmin ideology.

India is the only country where the intellectual class, namely, the Brahmins, not only made education their monopoly but declared acquisition of education by the lower classes, a crime punishable by cutting off of the tongue or by the pouring of molten lead in the ear of the offender. …
There is no social evil and no social wrong to which the Brahmin does not give his support. Man’s inhumanity to man, such as the feeling of caste, untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability is a religion to him. It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that only the wrongs of man are a religion to him. For the Brahmin has given his support to the worst wrongs that women have suffered from in any part of the world. Widows were burnt alive as sattees. The Brahmin gave his fullest support to Sattee, the burning alive of a widow. Widows were not allowed to remarry. The Brahmin upheld the doctrine. Girls were required to be married before 8 and the husband had the right to consummate the marriage at any time thereafter, whether she had reached puberty or not did not matter. The Brahmin gave the doctrine his strongest support.

The record of the Brahmins as law givers for the Shudras, for the Untouchables and for women is the blackest as compared with the record of the intellectual classes in other parts of the world. For no intellectual class has prostituted its intelligence to invent a philosophy to keep his uneducated countrymen in a perpetual state of ignorance and poverty as the Brahmins have done in India. Every Brahmin today believes in this philosophy of Brahmanism propounded by his forefathers. He is an alien element in the Hindu Society. The Brahmin vis-a-vis Shudras and the Untouchables as foreign as the German is to the French, as the Jew is to the Gentile or as the White is to the Negro. There is a real gulf between him and the lower classes of Shudras and Untouchables. He is not only alien to them but he is also hostile to them. In relationship with them, there is no room for conscience and there is no call for justice.
B.R. Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, vol. 9, (215- 216)

It must also be remembered that Periyar’s demand for proportional representation in education and employment was inclusive of the Brahmins and never meant to deny them their socially just share.


Periyar was an anti-Hindu who wouldn’t speak against Muslim and Christians.

Just like Dr. Ambedkar, Periyar was anti all blindly religious fanatics but his campaign was targeted against Hinduism as it religiously acknowledged caste practices. In the following quote, Periyar mentions “religion” and not specifically “Hinduism”.

(TRANSLATION: Religion makes a man beast, Jati (caste) makes a men stink)


Periyar created no change in the caste system:

Correct, nor did Dr. Ambedkar. How could they?. The jati system cannot be changed. It can only be annihilated by the individual willing to go casteless (Varnaless / jatiless) by leaving the Hindu-fold.

Has removal of jati based surnames, making education available to all jatis,  abolishing ancestor calling of education, allowing temple entry to untouchable not  made a dent in the caste system?

Periyar vehemently promoted the removal of jati based surnames.

Furthermore, there is no state, other than Tamil Nadu, that has managed to remove caste surnames, thanks to Periyar’s efforts.


Karma Veerar  K. Kamaraj was a success because he provided education and that is the difference.

It was Periyar who encouraged Mr. Kamaraj to stand in his own constituency and helped him to win. If it wasn’t for Periyar, Mr. Kamaraj would probably have remained unknown. It was Periyar who pushed Mr. Kamaraj to open schools that were closed by congress.


Periyar lives due to exaggerated propaganda by political groups.

Does a person who had 30 crore worth in assets and desperately wanted by the congress to use for their political agenda, live merely by propaganda?

Periyar was highly influential. That is why the congress snd Mr. Gandhi depended on him (Vaikom Satyagraha).


Ramaswamy Naicker, who is wrongly called Periyar, was an anti national who wanted British to rule Tamil Nadu and a coward who chose only soft targets for his twisted agenda. He had no basis of any scholarship or intelligence.

Based on this claim and what Dr. Ambedkar said about swaraj, would make Dr. Ambedkar an anti-national too.

On this analysis, Swaraj would make Hindus more powerful and Untouchables more helpless and it is quite possible that having regard to the economic advantages which it gives to the Hindus, Swaraj, instead of putting an end to Untouchability, may extend its life.” (Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, vol. 9, pg. 198). He warns again: “one may ask what really can happen if India does become a sovereign and an independent state? One thing is certain. The governing class will not disappear by the magic wand of Swaraj. It will remain as it is and having been freed from the incubus of British Imperialism will acquire greater strength and vigour

B.R. Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, vol. 9 ( pg. 212)

Periyar  foresaw that independent India would be worse for all classes except the Brahmins. He also argued that the colonizers looted India and collaborated with the dominant castes to strengthen them but at the same time, gave credit to the native elite for using colonial institutions and bureaucracy to their own advantage.

Also remember. it was not the British who denied road access, water access and education access to the marginalized communities. Do remember that it was the British who passed laws such as the right to education for the lower caste. It was the British who abolished many draconian customs imposed by the uppers.

Puratchi was not launched to destroy the White master and install the Black master. Puratchi was not launched to end White government and bring in Black government. Nor was Puratchi launched to abolish Hinduism and propagate Islam or Christianity.
Puratchi was born to make a revolution to end the rule of all capitalist classes and all religions, to ensure that all people live with self-respect and that there is universal equality between the male and female genders. Periyar’s introduction to Puratchi (Revolution), a paper of the self-respect movement launched in November 1933. While he did believe in decolonisation, he saw the colonial structure as something that would be thrown away sooner rather than later, whereas caste structure was an old and potent form of oppression that would gain new vigour in a modern state.

  • Wrongly called Periyar: Tamil Nadu today stands on his achievements and there is nothing wrong if his followers refer to him as Periyar.If such a person does not deserve that title then who does?
  • No intelligence: It was his magazine “Kudi arasu” that sowed the seeds of intelligence in the Tamils. It made them realize their rights. How many intellectuals dared to revive Thirukkural? Even for that a school drop out like Periyar was needed. 

It can said that even today there are no known intellectuals or academics who are standing for women empowerment and anti-caste practices like Periyar did. Is great intellectual capacity even required for what Periyar stood for (i.e) to fight against caste system? Let us know the names of of those “brilliant” Harvard graduates, who can stand up against the caste system like Periyar did.


Ambedkar was thoroughly disappointed with caste Hindus and only as a last resort converted his followers to Buddhism. However, he didn’t abuse Hinduism and Hindus like EVR did.

Is the following quote by Dr. Ambedkar not as critical of Hinduism as any of Periyar’s quotes?

Dr. Ambedkar announced that he would leave the Hindu fold as early as in the year 1935. Please read the information in the following links to know what Dr Ambedkar really thought of Hinduism:

Why did Dr. B. R. Ambedkar convert to Buddhism? What makes it so special?

Why did  Dr. B. R Ambedkar hate Hinduism?


Many famous Tamils didn’t have caste surnames. Somebody mentioned that we don’t keep surnames because of Periyar. Quite false. Most Tamils never really had surnames.

Really? Then why did a great many anti caste crusaders struggle to remove caste based surnames? Even today, a great number of Tamil leaders have caste based surnames. Anti-Periyarists still today add to his name the caste surname he himself gave up.


Periyar was rude, had no soft corner:

Periyar was soft enough to have opened children’s hospitals and educational institutes


E.V. Ramasamy was no Democrat, Ambedkar was. Ambedkar never wanted complete assimilation of Kashmir to India.

Dr. Ambedkar preferred a clear border with the area with Muslims majority going to Pakistan and the area with Buddhist & Hindu majority going to India, just as the rest of British India was being split. Onthe Kashmir issue, Dr. Ambedkar supported plebiscite.

How is Periyar, the man who said that people of Kashmir should decide their own future, not a democract?

From the above quote, it is evident that Periyar was just as much a Democrat as Dr. Ambedkar.


Secessionist bashing Periyar, E.V. Ramasamy Was Anti-Indian. Ambedkar Deeply Believed In India’s Cultural Unity, Periyar is a unity destroyer, Dr. Ambedkar is a nation builder.

Would Periyar have agreed with the following quote of Dr Ambedkar? Wouldn’t his agreements put both these greats In the same camp?

Hindu society as such does not exist. It is only a collection of castes. Indeed the ideal Hindu must be like a rat living in his own hole refusing to have any contact with others. There is no Hindu consciousness of kind. In every Hindu the consciousness that exists is the consciousness of his caste. That is the reason why the Hindus cannot be said to form a society or a nation. There are however many Indians whose patriotism does not permit them to admit that Indians are not a nation, that they are only an amorphous mass of people.”

If these words were uttered by Periyar, he would have been quoted by anti-Periyarists to prove him to be an anti-national. Anti Hindu does not mean anti national.

Dr. Ambedkar in his  masterpiece, ‘The Annihilation of Caste’, had dismissed the concept of nation when people are divided into thousands of castes .

Periyar, also took the same stand of Dr. Ambedkar

The Hindu in 1950: “I am not a believer in the race theory as propounded by the late Nazi leader of Germany. None can divide the South Indian people into two races by means of any blood test. It is not only suicidal but most reactionary.” In an earlier piece in his party paper Kudiarasu, he had accused the ruling Congress party of running an Adolf Hitler-like government, with the suppression of trade union activities and imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speakers. In fact, he used the Dravidian identity as an umbrella identity for all victims of social and economic oppression across the world. In one instance, he refers to the Palestinians as Arab Dravidas. To accuse someone who abhorred the use of physical violence, who routinely questioned structural violence, who engaged with those holding opposing views through dialogue and debate, and who did not aim to limit his politics to rigid notions of race or nation, of being fascist reveals a lot more about the accuser than the accused.

Do remember that Periyar was the one who published martyrdoms of Bhagat Singh and Co in his article the Kudi Arasu and hailed their martyrdom.


Periyar was influenced by Communism and sold Communism as Dravidianism inside TN.

Periyar would say, “that is a strict no no”


Periyar is a failure!


Periyar is not just a man, he is a phenomena, a guiding serene ray of light, symbol of simplicity, crusader for women rights, rationalist, iconoclast,one of the most modern youths India ever witnessed .Even after his death, the principles he propagated act as shields to protect the suppressed, guiding the masses on to the path: of annihilation of caste.. JUST LIKE AMBEDKAR but in his own unique style.


Where does this need to vilify Periyar and celebrate Dr. Ambedkar as a national icon come from? ‘Divide and rule’ has been a long-term strategy of the Indian governing classes. It also has to do with the fact that, for them, upholding Dr. Ambedkar is essential as it allows them access to a massive vote bank, the real key being their utilitarian strategy to accommodate untouchables into their fold, whereas Periyar offers them no such political capital.

Periyar’s works span over 40 volumes. One could easily take his words, in isolation and out of context, to falsely portray him as a Nazi, a colonial apologist, a feudal lord and what-not. Quoting out of context, both textual and historical and (mis)interpreting on that basis can be done for any great thinker.

If anyone is against Periyar, it can quite confidently be said that she/he must either be anti women’s rights or a casteist who is proud of their caste identity.The same can be said for anti Ambedkarites

Its that simple.

Dr. Ambedkar was the only leader whom Periyar himself had acknowledged as his leader. (Who is the only person Periyar himself have accepted as his leader?)

I thank Mr. Shekhar Bodhakar for providing me with information to write this rebuttal