How I have been living Periyar’s vision

Trying to reclaim lost identities will not lead to any progress, says Thamarai Kannan, a Tamil Nadu-based Periyarist and publisher of ‘Kaattaru’, a Dravidian cultural weekly magazine. He says progress lies in heeding Periyar’s call to adopt an alternative culture

All discriminations and social injustice in India can be traced to the Hindu religion. Both Periyar and Ambedkar thought alike – that Hinduism was the root cause of all cruelty. Periyar considered eradicating Hinduism his prime duty. Ambedkar said, “I was born a Hindu but I shall not die a Hindu,” and in 1956, with a lakh followers, adopted Buddhism. However, adopting another religion like Christianity, Islam or Buddhism won’t help us achieve our goal of eradicating Hinduism. All the festivals, rituals, ceremonies have come from Hinduism. Hindu culture dominates all our family institutions, castes, festivals and rituals. Periyar came up with the idea of an alternative culture that would scientifically replace the Hindu culture. It could be adopted over a period of time and changed whenever it was outdated. As a Periyarist, my role is to execute Periyar’s ideas and spread the alternative culture that he pioneered.

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