My Mission: Abolishing Disgrace and Degradation
The Modern Rationalist|August 2020
Excerpts from Thanthai Periyar’s speech on December 23, 1954 on the occasion of a hospitality cum dinner-meet held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kudi Arasu

Dear Comrades,

The purpose of my visit to Kuala Lumpur is neither money-lending business nor collection of funds. The times of protest and hostility have changed. I find an amicable ambience here. I have come to meet the Tamil people and elucidate my principles and practices.

I am not bound by any exclusive religion or god. To relieve Dravidians from disgrace and to abolish their degradation is my chief principle and objective. This is my vision and mission.

I was once attached to the Congress party and offered my services but I quit it when I found caste-based discriminations and religious fanaticism in that party. I could not tolerate racism and disparity. So I made a graceful exit. I felt I was the right man at a wrong place.

During my days in that period I did try to influence the minds of people who had given up their Hindu religion and converted themselves as Christians. On second thoughts, I avoided transforming them because I found numerous obnoxious concepts and intolerable elements in the Hindu religion itself. I started spreading rationalism and fine-tune the lifestyle of our people. I have been doing it for several decades.

Dravidians have derived no benefits from politics or religions. Scriptures and propaganda of religion have not led to their emancipation and advancement in life. I realised all these when I was a leader in the Congress party. After my entry in it and association with the people concerned, I understood that freedom was absolutely deceptive. I felt that our people are still in shackles. I sensed great disillusionment.

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