BJP leader H Raja apologised for his controversial remarks in a Facebook post threatening to “bring down” statues of Dravidian icon E V Ramasamy ‘Periyar’, even as he questioned the relevance of the erstwhile Communist leader Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov ‘Lenin’ in India.
In Tripura’s extreme south, a statue of Communist icon Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, stood at the centre of College Square for the last five years. 48 hours after the assembly election results were announced, celebrating BJP workers and supporters brought it down with the help of a JCB amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki jai’’ after this incidence Senior BJP leader H Raja is facing backlash for putting up the post on Facebook, where he calls Periyar "casteist" and called for the reformist's statue to be "destroyed".
Who is Periyar?
- Erode Venkata Ramasamy (17 September 1879 – 24 December 1973), was commonly known as Periyar also referred to as E. Ve. Ra. or Thanthai Periyar, was a social activist, and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam.
- E.V. Ramasamy joined the Indian National Congress in 1919, but resigned in 1925 when he felt that the party was only serving the interests of the Brahmins.
- He questioned the subjugation of Dravidians as the Brahmins enjoyed gifts and donations from them but opposed and discriminated them in cultural and religious matters.
- In 1924, E.V. Ramasamy participated in a non-violent agitation (satyagraha) in Vaikom, Kerala. From 1929 to 1932 Ramasamy toured British Malaya, Europe, and Russia, which had an influence on him.
- In 1939, E.V. Ramasamy became the head of the Justice Party, and in 1944, he changed its name to Dravidar Kazhagam. The party later split and one group led by C. N. Annadurai formed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 1949. While continuing the Self-Respect Movement, he advocated for an independent Dravida Nadu (land of the Dravidians). and he is the first one to raise slogan Tamilnadu tamilurukae(Tamil Nation)
- E.V. Ramasamy propagated the principles of rationalism, self-respect, women’s rights and eradication of caste. He opposed the exploitation and marginalisation of the non-Brahmin Dravidian people of South India and the imposition of what he considered Indo-Aryan India.