P.S. Krishnan: How I began to detest the caste system

‘It was from Dr Ambedkar that I learnt that a community in human society was considered untouchable. Narayanaguru and Ayyankali made me anti-caste. Vivekananda taught me to detest caste.’ P.S. Krishnan tells us all this and more in response to Vasanthi Devi’s question

Social Justice (SJ) centring around Dalits [Scheduled Castes (SCs)], Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEdBCs/BCs) and Adivasis/Scheduled Tribes (STs), leading to social equality, has been the golden thread that links my life from end to end, from my pre-teenage till now, including the period of my service in the IAS from early 1956 to 1990-end. Others have also asked me the question of how I came to the path of social justice and espoused it passionately. In fact, friends have been asking me to write my autobiography. Soon after my recovery from a serious illness that lasted from September 2015 to March 2016, Sri K. Madhava Rao (the third direct recruit Dalit officer of the Andhra Pradesh Cadre, who retired as Chief Secretary) frantically rang me up, reminded me of his long-standing plea to me to write my autobiography and urged me not to lose any more time in doing so, describing my life and work as “the rarest of the rare”. He and some other friends have been expressing the view that my early life, the ways in which, during the period of my service from 1956 to 1990 and after my retirement, I secured certain results important to Dalits and other deprived classes, issues in respect of which my efforts could not secure final results and which, therefore, remain to be pursued, the trials and tribulations and persecutions that I have encountered in this journey and how I faced them, will be of help and guidance to younger generations in government as well as in other professions, social work and other fields.

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