Periyar’s birth anniversary to be celebrated as Day of Social Justice in TN, Who was EV Periyar?

Tamil Nadu govt has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of E V Ramasamy Periyar on September 17 every year as the Day of Social Justice. Know all you need to know about E V Ramasamy Periyar.

Created On: Sep 8, 2021 16:10 IST
E V Ramasamy Periyar statue, Source: ANI
E V Ramasamy Periyar statue, Source: ANI

Day of Social Justice: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on September 6, 2021, announced that the Tamil Nadu government has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of reformist leader E V Ramasamy Periyar on September 17 every year as the Day of Social Justice. The state government will celebrate the Periyar’s birth anniversary every year as a symbolic reinforcement of his ideology and egalitarian principles. The ideology of Periyar was based on social justice, rationalism and equality, and self-respect.

Stalin made the announcement under Rule 110 in the Assembly. All political parties in the House welcomed Stalin’s announcement. Stalin while paying tributes to Periyar said that the two primary principles of the reformer were equality of men and women and abolition of caste.  Stalin also recalled the instrumental role of Periyar in Tamil society.

How will birth anniversary of EV Periyar be celebrated as Day of Social Justice?

Now onwards every year, September 17 will be celebrated as Social Justice Day, announced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin. On September 17 every year, all government offices and employees including the State Secretariat would take pledges to follow values based on the ideology of Periyar such as brotherhood, self-respect, equality, and rationalism.

Who was E V Ramasamy Periyar?

EV Periyar was born on September 17, 1879. He was an Indian social activist, social reformer, and politician who began the Self-Respect Movement and founded the Dravidar Kazhagam. Periyar fought against Brahminical dominance and gender and caste inequality in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar had joined the Indian National Congress in 1919 but left it upon realizing that the part served only in the interests of Brahmins. In 1939, he became the head of the Justice Party which he later renamed Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944. The same party later split. One group led by C N Annadurai became the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 1949.

Periyar died on December 24, 1973, at the age of 94 in Tamil Nadu.

Contributions of EV Ramasamy Periyar

Periyar stood for causes of social equality, self-respect, cultural and gender inequalities, and questioned matters of gender and tradition. As a social reformer, he contributed largely towards the social transformation of Tamil Nadu. He insisted that women need to be independent and be allowed an equal share in employment. He sanctioned property as well as divorce rights for women.

In 1925, Periyar had also launched the Self-Respect Movement in Tamil Nadu. It is referred to as an egalitarian movement that aimed to break down the Brahmanical dominance, securing equal rights for the women and backward classes in the society, promoting inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, performing weddings without a Brahman priest.

Periyar played an instrumental role in the implementation of the first Constitutional Amendment Act that safeguarded reservation for backward classes. He was also known as the ‘Father of the Dravidian Movement’ who founded the Dravidar Kazhagam.


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