Self Respect Movement
The self respect Movement is a political movement started by Periyar, in Tamil Nadu, earlier known as Madras Presidency in 1925, with the aim of achieving equal rights for oppressed castes, and rights for women.
This movement is a political and social movement aimed at destroying age-old Hindu customs and superstitious activity. Also, it creates new social order, promotes rational thinking, and fights for the rights of women.
For initiating this social movement, E.V. Ramasamy, or Periyar is known as the Father of Self Respect Movement and this movement is also called Dravidian Movement.
The first conference for this movement was held in 1929 at Chengalpattu. In 1937, Justice Party has declined a lot because they Won the election by the majority, and C. Rajagopalachari, went on to become Chief Minister.
Against Hindi in Schools
C. Rajagopalachari, Chief Minister of Madras, introduced Hindia as a compulsory language in schools. Periyar agitated against Hindi as a compulsory subject. Also, huge numbers of students participated in the agitations.
In 1925, the Communist party was started and did various political movements for the labor community.
M.Singaravelu and his associates part of the communist party were impressed by the Self Respect Movement. They extended their support to this movement and worked on a common plan called the Erode Plan.
Objectives of Self Respect Movement
The main objective of this movement is to make the Dravidian community a truly rational society. Other objectives are:
- To save Dravidian culture from the domination of Aryan culture,
- To teach Tamil civilization,
- To reform the native religion by eliminating the brahmin influence.
- To eliminate superstitious practices,
- To restore the Dravidian culture and glory,
- To promote self-respect marriage, marriage with the absence of brahmin priesthood.,
- To promote intercaste marriage and widow remarriage,
- Removal of caste surnames,
- Not to employ the services of the Brahmins in any social events.
The above are some of the principles of the self-respect movement. Also, a number of political parties formed based on this movement such as DMK, AIADMK, DMDK, MDMK, etc.
Achievement of Self Respect Movement
- The movement played an important role in the socio-political and religious life of the people of south Indian especially Tamil Nadu. Also, it inspired Tamil Nationalism and a sense of oneness among Tamil people.
- The Brahmins slowly lost the monopoly and influence due to Periyar’s propaganda against orthodoxy.
- This movement inspired Backward caste, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled tribes, women, and also upper caste orthodox women, filled with a sense of dignity, and confidence to fight social injustice in the name of religion.
- This movement promoted inter-caste and inter-religious marriages. Also made the legalization of marriages without a Brahmin priest.
The Self-respect Movement started by Periyar in Madras Presidency, aimed to destroy orthodox and evil social customs such as caste, oppression, women’s slavery, etc. Also aimed to create a new social order, with rational thinking and also demanded equal rights for lower and backward caste people, and also focussed on women’s rights.