(17.09.1879 to 24.12.1973) may read this article.
- I express,
plainly and openly, thoughts which occur to me, and which strike me as
right. This may embarrass a few; to some this may be distasteful; and a
few others may even be irritated; however, all that I utter are proven truths
and not lies.
- Not that all the
people of the world should act according to my wish, but that come what
may, surely in politics and in public life, human justice alone not
justice as prescribed by any epoch or religion. Should be imposed; such is
- As far as I am
concerned, I was never a party man. I have always been a man of
- Till the end of my
life, I shall never canvas for a vote. I shall not even expect a word of
praise from any quarter.
- I am under no
necessity to permanently support anyone for gaining selfish ends. I see no
wrong at all in supporting that person who does good to us, Who strives
for the removal of our social degradation even if he is a foreigner.
- Decide for
yourselves as to what you should thing of those who say there is God, that
He is a the Preserver of Justice and that He is the Protector of All, even
after seeing that the practice of Untouchablity in the form of man being
banned from human sight and contact, from walking into the streets, from
entering the temples and drawing water from a tank, is rampant in the land
and yet that land is spared from being razed by an earthquake, burnt by
the fiery lava of a volcano, engulfed in a deluge from the ocean,
submerged in the chasm of the earth, or fragmented by thunder-storm.
- Why is it
that a foreigner is required to find out the height of Himalays, while we
claim to have discovered the Seven Worlds, above and the Seven more below;
why is that when we claim to have the ability expound Lord Nataraja's
Cosmic Dance, the construction of this simple loud speaker in front of us
is an enigma; we should really contemplate on these aspects. You should
come forward to use reason to enlarge your general knowledge.
- Man is
considered superior to other beings in this world, because he has
limitless capacity for knowledge; People in other lands have advanced
greatly, utilizing this knowledge. But our countrymen owing to lack of use
of this knowledge are abjectly deteriorating. Stating that ours is a land
of enlightenment, we build tanks and temples; in other lands, men fly in space
and amaze the whole world.
- What we
need today is growth of knowledge, in order to advance in every field.
Knowledge should have its sway.
- It is
through rationality that man's longevity has been increased and his
mortality has been significantly reduced.
- We are fit
to think of `Self-Respect' only when the notion of superior and inferior
caste is banished from our land.
- He who does
not care for dignity, is no better than to a prostitute, however highly
educated he is. His education will only endanger those that care for
- The aim of
genuine Self-respect movement is to change whatever appears to be adverse
to man's feelings of self-respect.
- Man must
remove by himself his feelings of inferiority, the feeling that he is
lesser born than other beings, and attain self-confidence and
- Man must
hold his personal respect and dignity as precious as his life.
- To discard
what is unwanted, and to retain what is needed, is what reform means.
reform cannot stand apart from politics, nor can politics stand apart from
social reform. politics exists only for human society. Every political
activity is only for social good. Constitutional law and defence are made
only for society and in accordance with social good.
and superficial changes here and there, in the same name of social reform,
will not bear fruit. The present social set-up should be destroyed as its
very base, and a new social order, free from caste and class, should be created.
I love and hate, my principle is the same. That is, the educated, the rich
and the administrators should not suck the blood of the poor.
- The proper
task of social reform is to remove poverty from society and to ensure that
people do not sell their conscience to make a living.
- Look at the
enormous change in our life today. Our comforts in daily life have vastly
improved. Formerly, we had only the bullock cart. Now we have such modern
comforts as the locomotive, the motorcar and aeroplane. We struck flints
to make a fire, but now, the pressing of a button makes a thousand
electric lights burn. Our people understanding, despite so much change in
life, remains just as it was a thousand years ago!.
- Even those,
who some time ago beloved all the stories about God, that is who believed
that divine power exist, have now come to be so ashamed of their own
belief, that hiding there ignorance, they are now struggling heard to
prove those stories as scientifically true.
- He who
first created fire with the help of flints, was the "Edition" of
those days. Thereafter, we advanced step by step and we now have fire
through electricity. Thus, change is natural and inevitable, and no can
one stop it.
- A big
change should come about in our country on the food front. We must
certainly discover a chemical product as substitute for rice. We first
used steam power, with the help of fire, to drive an engine. Then kerosene,
crude oil, petrol, electricity for power. In a like manner, the human
engine, without being driven by huge intake of food, can be activated by
and made to subsist on some fine source of energy, similar to electricity.
even human birth will be rare. Similarly death rate also will decrease.
Man can easily live for a hundred years on an average, no one will have
more than two children. There will be no correlation between sexual
relationship and child-birth.
education self-respect and rational qualities will uplift the
- It is
dangerous for people to support scriptural pundits as using burning stick
to scratch an itching scalp; they have no alternative means of livelihood;
and therefore we should be ever watchful in out contact with these
- Why should
anyone, in the name of caste, be considered lowly or be made to do a mean
job?. If all in the country are given education, can there exist a caste
for doing mean work?. It is not because of lack of education that those
people are constrained to do contemptible work and are considered lowly?
- Edit the
poems of Bharathidasan, and prescribe them as texts, as suited to each
class at school. Knowledge that can normally be gained in five years can
be had in a year, by reading them.
should not waste their Scholl life, as it is very, very precious. Their
mind should not be distracted by any event outside. Particularly, students
should not participate in agitations.
The Tamil Language
- The love of
one's tongue is the foremost of all loves that are required of the people
born in our land. He that has no love for his tongue certainly has no love
for his land. A nation functions on the basis of the love for one's
language. So it is my prayer that Tamil's love for their mother-tongue
- I affirm
again and again that the love of the mother-tongue is a must for those
born in TamilNadu. The Bengalis love Bengali. The Maharashtrians love the
Marathi language. The Andhras love the Telgu language. But the tamils have
no love for the Tamil-tongue. The Tamils will never progress unless they
bestow love on their mother-tongue.
- If I
consider that my country will not serve my ideals, will not help to foster
them, I shall forthwith quit it. Similarly, if the language is not
conducive to my ideals, or to the advancement of my people, or to their
living self-respect, I will promptly discard it and follow what is useful.
- As I am
aware of disadvantages of another language being imposed on our country. I
am intolerant of it oppose it, I do not resist it merely because it is new
or it belong to another land.
- Writing in
Tamil about the Arts are useful to the people in their life and which
foster knowledge, talent and courage, and propagating them among the
masses, there by enlightening the people and enriching the language; this
alone can be regarded as zeal for Tamil.
Literature that concerns itself with knowledge of Nature, which is common
to all, and is for remove from religion and God, and a literature that is
to do with irrefutable science only by these can a language and its
Letters be enriched and only by these can people become enlightened.
importance of a book depends only on its measure of usefulness and not on
its creator or and its divine quality and wonderful nature or on its
literary or grammatical dimensions.
should nurture culture and inculcate noble qualities in the people.
- What is
literature for? How should literature be? What can be called literature? Why
should it exist? My view is that it should not only help man to live, but
also be conducive to the progress of society.
- Our thoughts
of literary renaissance should always centre themselves and the removal superstition,
meanness, indignity and ignorance.
praise the tirukural but in practice they cherish the Gita which is
directly opposed to it !
- Those who
study the kural deeply will certainly attain a consciousness of
self-respect. Knowledge of politics and knowledge of economics are all
embedded in it.
- It is
better to read ten kurals for knowledge, than a hundred songs of Kamba
Ramayana or two hundred songs of Periyapurana, or Kanda Purana.
- In the
Kural there is a chapter on invocation to God. But there is no place in it
for principle of idol worship.
- The Kural
is a treasure house of knowledge. It is a work bound of reason.
- Tamil Nadu
countenances even those who have the audacity to declare from rostrums
that its foolish to demand that Tamil songs should be sung and that there
should be Tamil Music in Tamil Nadu, and who ridicule those who demand
- Songs in
good Tamil, bringing out the beauties of Nature, the courage, the
compassion and the dignified and egalitarian life of the Tamil, their history,
fairness, code of justice, patriotism, zeal for language, unity and
discipline, should alone be sung.
- There are
two kinds of dramas. One is music drama and the other is prose-dram.
People prefer only prose-plays.
- It is of
little profits to the Tamils, if Literature, Music and Drama do not serve
to foster in them self-respect, to enhance their knowledge and to help
them to attain human qualities. This applies to arts presented in any
language of the world.
- Whatever art
it is, it should be conducive to superstition and improper behaviour.
- The aim of
co-operation is to serve and help others.
- Who do
spend wastefully, without thought. If we carry on our life through
co-operative means, only one eighth of our present expenditure will be incurred.
What remains can be helpful to seven more persons. If the conditions of
our nation are not changed, it is certain that our life will soon come to
- The earlier
principle of individualism should give place to that of co-operation.
- Man, by
virtue of his reason, has drawn up many plans for social co-operation.
These cannot be executed by an individual. Necessarily, there must be help
- If the
principle of co-operation established in a proper manner in our country,
then society will be free from the cares and anxieties of the morrow and
will be enabled to live a life of peace, joy and contentment.
- Many crores
of rupees are squandered in this country by way offering gratitude to God
and bribing Him to gain greater and greater wealth.
- It is of
equal importance that people should be freed from social as well as
- If I were a
king, even for a short While, I would first of all make a law, imposing
the death sentence for squandering wealth weddings. I will say that the
wasting of wealth is a major disease that affects India.
- Wealth is
the common property of the world. All the people have a right of enjoy it,
as their own. They have a common right to it, as long as they live; so
also they have a responsibility to preserve it.
- Day by day,
mankind is going towards a climate in which people are devoid of the good
traits of decent conduct, honesty and a commitment to fairness. The
abolition of the right to property is the only remedy
- What should
be done, If everyone is to have enough food?
- Though my
aim is to demand economic equality, I believe that coveting other people's
properties is an act that is worse than economic inequality. Therefore, It
is the Government that should divide equitably by Law.
- A single
person should not have a vast-accumulated position of land. A time will
come when land will be distributed equally to all. If we cannot bring
about the time soon we should remain as path-finders in this.
should be destroyed at the root, if the cares and worries of the workers
are to be put an end to.
- The aim of
offering succor to poor is only to help to eradicator poverty from
society, and not to create sluggards, by the offer of alms to one here,
and another there.
conduct is that which gives no pain to anyone.
- Those who are guilty of misconduct, fraud and knavery, under the
guise of public life should never be spared.
- If a nation is to prosper, her people should have good character.
- Only during his student life can conduct easily inculcated in man.
- We should conduct ourselves with others, in accordance with what we
expect of others in this regard; what we think others should do unto us
and what kind of conduct towards us that we look for from others. That
alone is good character.
- Man treats
woman as his own property and not as being capable of feelings, like himself.
- The way man treats women is much worse than the way landlords treat
servants and the high-caste treat the low-caste. These treat them so demandingly
only in situations mutually affecting them; but men treat cruelly and as
slaves, from their birth till death.
- Women in India experience much wrose suffering, humiliation and
slavery in all spheres than even the untouchables.
- To give man freedom of sexual selection, and to permit him to take
as many wives as he like, gives rise to promiscuity.
- If the man has the right to claim a woman, then a woman also should
have right to claim a man. If conditions are imposed for the worship of
man by woman, let there be conditions imposed for the worship of woman by
couple should behave to each other like bosom friends. In any matter, the
bridegroom should not have the vanity that he is the husband. The bride
also should behave in such a manner as not to think of herself as her
husband's slave and cook.
- Married couple should not be hasty in bringing forth children. It
will be good if children are born at least three years after the marriage.
- The terms `Husband' and `Wife' are inappropriate. They are only companion’s
ad partners. One does not slave for other. They both have equal status.
- It is enough, if the man and woman sign and declare at the
Register's Office that they have become `companions for life'. Such a
wedding on the basis of a mere signature has more dignity, advantage and
- Marriage does not concern the wedding couple only. It is linked
with the progress of the nation.
- The Youth
are like children. They are captivated by the immediacy of a situation.
They are not aware of what is to come in the future. They are attracted by
what is see. Wherever there are drawn to them, and when these disappear,
they simply forget them.
- Mere enthusiasm, courage and a sense of sacrifice alone will not do
in the youth. The youth can be of service only when they have capacity to
discriminate the good from bad, the possible from the impossible, and to
reflect and ponder dispassionately.
- The period of youth is a dangerous and a highly inflammable one,
and so it should be carefully safeguarded.
- Young man should be bent upon putting an end to all the religious
and superstitions and fraud.
- Members of
the Assembly should consider the Government as a structure for social
good, and as a true spokesman and representative of the people, and not as
a means for power, or occupying positions of honour.
- Politics does not concern itself who should rule us. It is about
what kind of rule people should have.
- Whatever form of politics is introduced today in our country, it
should be conducive to the creation of social equality and unity.
- For the sake of welfare of people, any Government repressive
measures. A Government that lacks is these measures in a chaotic,
atrociously uncivilized, anarchist Government.
- As long as the rich and the poor exist, practices like bribery and
beggary will never cease.
- The number of those
who do selfless public service and those who serve without expecting any return
should increase. Their sterling qualities should show the way to the
people at large. Their life would be a model to show how man should
conduct himself in public life.
- Since birth and
death are natural, people should conduct themselves in praiseworthy manner
during their span of life. People do not praise anyone for nothing. We
should so act as to be worthy of praise from others.
- To do all the good
to others that one wishes to be done form himself, is culture. Towards
that end our work should be directed.
- All that I request
is that you should serve the people in order to contribute to reason and
knowledge. If not, man will begin to walk on all fours, forgetting the
real function of his fore limbs.
- Those in public
life should have more than fair measure of honesty, discipline,
determination and spirit of service.
- If our people do
not consent to bring about reforms in caste, religion, habits and customs,
in what other way can freedom, excellence and self-respect be ushered in?
- In a land of
freedom, can the citizens be SUDRAS? Can there be religions, epics and
laws that consider the citizens untouchables, salves, sinners and menials?
Think and act!
- The caste-system
that teaches notions of superiority, inferiority, high and low, depending
on birth, should be scotched at the very base.
- The constitution
at present is not conducive to eradication of caste. It deems it as
contrary to fundamental right, at the same time, it also prohibits
communal ratio as it considers it class-hatred. To say that caste can
exist but not the privilege on the basis of caste, is the worst of all
- The very word,
`caste', `Jathi', is from Sanskrit. In Tamil there is no word to describe
caste. It is customary in Tamil, to ask for one's `sect', or `class'.
Birth is not conditioned by caste distinctions and caste marks. There
cannot be any caste among mankind. To speak of `caste', differences among
us who are of the same country, is sheer mischief.
- Why should
the divine power of God disappear if the image of God is seen by some? Why
should God and temple be defiled if some go there? Why should God die if
some touch His image? Why should God, with the same name and image, have
different powers, according to the places where He is?
- The image
of God in such places as Banares, Puri and Pandaripuram do not 'die' when
touched by anyone. Those who go to these temples offer worship by doing
all the ceremonies themselves. But why do the same-Gods 'die' only in
Tamilnadu, if they are touched? Thus, why do the powers of Gods and their
lives, and the reputation of temples vary from place to place?
- Only he who
spends according to his means, without borrowing, will be a rich man.
- A good
family is that which does not spend beyond its means. Its expenses should
be carefully husbanded. Such a family is a dignified family.
- He who
serves by adopting the principle of being useful to others in this worldly
life, and causes no pain to anyone else, does not need a separate
- Character is more
indispensable in social life than devotion to religion. To act as you speak
and to speak as you act, is the criterion for character.
- Religious devotion
is for the individual. Character is for all. There is no loss if there is
no devotion. Everything is lost if there is no character.
labourer-employee system should go. The system whereby a worker remains a
wage-earner in a job, instead of being a partner is slavery.
- The duty and the
responsibility of a rationalist is to thoughtfully and promptly carry out
his actions, in fraternal affection, without considering country,
language, God, religion and caste.
- Without any reason
or basis, untouchability has been created as a result of caste. It is
foolish to think of abolishing untouchability, in the face of the
continuance of caste.