Tamil Nadu to celebrate what Thanthai Periyar fought for: MK Stalin makes major announcement!

Tamil Nadu from now on will celebrate the birth anniversary of Thanthai Periyar as 'Social Justice Day'. Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Monday made a major announcement in the assembly, honouring the father of the Dravidian movement to remember him with what he fought for. Through the announcement, the state will mark Social Justice Day on September 17 every year and his announcement has come in line with honouring the stalwarts of Tamil Nadu as recently, MK Stalin has said that a memorial will be built for Iyothee Thass, a prominent Tamil anti-caste activist. 

Speaking at the assembly on Monday after declaring Periyar's birthday as the 'Social Justice Day', the Chief Minister said that Thanthai Periyar had fought for social justice till the age of 95 and his struggles are irreplaceable. He stated, "It will need at least 10 days to talk about his struggles and implementation of reforms and his birthday that falls on September 17 will be celebrated as 'Social Justice Day'. His announcement has drawn major attention across the state and several Dravidian leaders and activists had welcomed the move of celebrating Periyar when there have been signs of social justice in the state. 

EV Ramasamy, commonly known as Periyar, is been considered the Father of the Dravidian Movement and he was the founder of Dravidar Kazhagam. As a social activist, he had staunchly fought against Brahminical dominance and gender and caste inequality in Tamil Nadu. Born in Erode, Tamil Nadu, Periyar had advocated and promoted the principles of rationalism, self-respect, women's rights, and eradication of caste. He initially had political affiliation with the Congress party. 

However, he quitted the party in 1925, six years after joining and in 1939, he became the head of the Justice Party and in 1944, he had changed its name to Dravidar Kazhagam. Periyar was one of the instrumental political figures in Tamil Nadu and his advocacy and campaign towards ending caste were one of his initiatives that sown the need to annihilate the caste system and Periyar had also played a pivotal role in the enactment of the first Constitutional Amendment Act that safeguarded the reservation for backward classes. 

The contemporary Dravidian outfits had enshrined his ideologies and besides Tamil Nadu, Periyar has a wider prominence in Kerala from where he participated in non-violent agitation in 1924. During his campaign, Periyar had held ties with BR Ambedkar, who is the father of the Indian Constitution. Periyar's wave has incessantly been stronger on the Dravidian land despite there had been incidents of vandalizing his statues in Tamil Nadu. Honouring Periyar, the Indian government has released a postal stamp in 2009 and he has been influencing Tamil Nadu politics for many decades. 

Nationally, Periyar is the main ideological icon for Uttar Pradesh-based Bahujan Samaj Party and its founder Kanshi Ram. After four months of returning to power, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced that Periyar's birth anniversary will be celebrated as 'Social Justice Day'. The Chief Minister further said that on that day every year, employees in all government offices including the State Secretariat would take pledges to follow values based on Periyar's principles including equality, self-respect, and rationalism. 

MK Stalin's announcement has come days after Tamil Nadu had significantly exhibited the signs of social justice as the state government has championed a major accomplishment of social justice- allowing the priests of all castes to conduct poojas in the temples that fall under the government's jurisdiction. MK Stalin took to social media on Monday to share the announcement and ever since he made the announcement, the hashtag #SocialJusticeDay has been going viral on social media.