Why Periyar Married Maniammai? Rumours and Truths about Periyar

Why Periyar Married Maniammai? Rumours and Truths about Periyar

There is a lot of fake news in social media about Periyar. We are going to see the rumours and truths about Periyar and Periyar thoughts in this article. The above picture shows Periyar Maniammai. 

Before going into fact checking, We will give a small introduction about periyar. Which will be useful to those who don’t know who Periyar is.

WHO IS PERIYAR?

Periyar or Thanthai Periyar is an indian social activist. He was born at Erode in Tamilnadu and his father name is venkatappa naidu and mother name is chinna thayammal. His original name is Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy (EVR). People shortly call him E.V. Ramasamy. 

Because of his excellent work on social justice, self respect, women’s empowerment etc, people call him Periyar. He started his own movement called Justice party, later renamed as Dravidar Kalagam.

PERIYAR MEANING

Periyar means one who is elder and guides us to go in the correct direction.

CLAIM

Periyar married his own daughter maniyammai.

FACT CHECK

Did Periyar Marry his own daughter?. The answer is NO. Maniammai ( Maniyammai  ) was the adopted daughter of Periyar. Maniammai’s original name was Gandhimathi. She is the daughter of kanagasabai mudaliyar who was also a member of the justice party.

She became Periyar’s most trusted follower, later became a personal assistant for him.   

He had his own party, assets and also he was getting old. So he needed someone to take care of him and lead the party. Because he did not believe anyone other than maniammai. Initially Annadurai was the foremost choice of Periyar to hand over his party to lead, but later there was some misunderstanding between them.

In 1949, we could transfer our own property to one who was in our bloodline or adopted male. There was no law to adopt the girl. If the husband died, then all his property would go to his wife as default. So Periyar thought of this and got married to maniammai. In India, the girl child adoption act was introduced only in 1956.

CLAIM

Periyar married his adopted child for lust

FACT CHECK

There is a lot of fake news on social media over Periyar marriage. 

Did Periyar marry his adopted daughter Maniammai?. The answer is YES. 

Periyar married to maniammai in 1949, at that time, his age was around 70 as he was born in 1879 Sep 17 and maniammai’s age was around 32 as she was born around 1917. 

The first fake news we saw on social media is Periyar married a child for lust.

First of all, Maniyammai was not a child at the time of marriage as we mentioned she was around 32 year old. Also periyar’s complete focus on inequality in the society. He had written the book “Pen Yen Adimaiyanal ?” (Why did women become slaves?)

Periyar was the one who would say do not be a slave for anyone, even if he is your husband. It was not necessary for him to marry someone for lust.

Hence proved that this claim is completely false.

CLAIM

Periyar said that  “If you see Brahmin and snake, kill Brahmin and leave the snake”

FACT CHECK

No where periyar said like this and No proof we have that he said this statement. He hated Brahmins’ ideology of Sanatana dharma / Manu dharma, not Brahmins. 

Few half baked blind people use these words against brahmins to defame Periyar. Definitely he will not be a true periyar follower. This is strictly not acceptable. As per periyar thoughts, we all are human beings as there should not be any hierarchy, inequality in the society. He wanted everyone to respect others as human beings.

Hence proved that this claim is completely false.

CLAIM

Periyar said that “Tamil is a barbarian language (Kattu Mirandi Mozhi)”?

FACT CHECK

Yes, he said that and he admitted himself to that. But nobody is talking about the complete context of his speech. They took just one part of Periyar’s speech and circulated the fake news. 

In 1970’s speech, he said that “Tamil is such an old language which had to be improved, no one listened to his words, so he said if we do not change the language according to the time, then that language will become barbarian language”. 

The same he had written in 1943 itself in one of his write ups. He believed that any language should be flexible and improved periodically.

Hence proved that this is also misleading news.

CLAIM

Periyar opposed only Hindu religion.

FACT CHECK

Periyar focused mostly on Self respect, Equality, Education, Justice for innocents and Women empowerment. Religion was the barrier to achieve all these factors. 

In 1936 at Kochi, Periyar said that “ Most people in India followed the Hindu religion. There were many obstacles for certain caste people like untouchability, restrictions on entering into the temple, restriction for education. 

There was an abundance of inequality among the people. Indeed, along with that there were several mis-beliefs in the society in the name of caste, religion and god. To break all these unethical things I had to oppose Hindu religion. So I criticised the rules followed in hindu religion more. “

In one of periyar books named “Vedangalin Vandavalangal”, he had written separate chapters where he criticized Quran and Bible as well. Periyar strongly believed that religion can not make any progress in society.

Hence proved that this claim is also false.

CLAIM

Periyar criticized only Brahmin.

FACT CHECK

In 1963 at the Royapettah Rally, Periyar said that “ I am not against any set of people until they treat others equally. If any group of people who dominate others in the name of power, caste, religion and gender, then definitely I will criticise them. 

I could see that there is more dominance of Brahmins in the society. They believe that they are superior to all other caste people and they have power in almost all the positions in the society. So I am against their ideology and criticizing them more.”

Also he criticized intermediate caste people in their caste based meetings as they were showing dominance on the lower people in the caste system. 

Hence it is proved that this claim is also false.

CLAIM

Periyar Supported Kamaraj, but not DMK in the 1967 election.

FACT CHECK

Yes, he supported the congress when Kamaraj was lead in Tamilnadu 1967 election. The reason was Periyar did not believe in Vote bank politics as he liked movement based politics. After Annadurai started the DMK party he did not like that. 

Even though he opposed congress, he believed in Kamaraj. Because Kamaraj was the one who wanted to make an educated society. So he showed his support to Kamaraj led congress in the 1967 election.

Hence it is proved that Periyar supported Kamaraj in the 1967 election.

CLAIM

Periyar broken statue of Lord Ganesh

FACT CHECK

Periyar did not go to any temple to break the statue of Ganesh. In 1953, he bought Ganesh statue on his own money and he broke it. 

The case was filed against him, he was in court. The Judge Raman asked him why did you break the Ganesh statue, he replied that “I bought the statue and broke it, you can punish me. But In Ganesh Chaturthi, people are also dissolving the statue of Ganesh in water, If you punish them, then you can punish me”. The judge was shocked and released him. 

The reason behind his action was, he believed that the idea of statue dissolving was Brahmanical ideology which did not make any sense at all. So he opposed it. This is how the intellectuals think and raise the question of superstitions in society. 

Hence proved that he broke the statue and he admitted it. Because He believed the dissolving Ganesh statue in water bodies was stupidity.

CONCLUSION

Overall, most of the thoughts of Periyar are required and correct for social justice and society development. Periyar was an intellectual person who believed in intellectuals rather than Religion, God and Caste. 

Periyar’s thoughts were intellectuals like him. He insisted everyone ask the question if someone asks you to follow a certain habitual practice, if even it was him.

In the name of Periyar, some political parties like DMK and ADMK are doing unwanted things and they are taking advantage of that. To wash out these two political parties, the BJP and its right wing parties and its IT cell guys mostly spread these kinds of fake news on social media. 

At any cost, most of Periyar’s thoughts are not at all wrong, because of his supporters’ actions.

 

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Comments

  1. The guy is reverted in Tamil Nadu hence all sorts of justification will be given. But fact if the matter remains that he did marry his adopted girl. Spurious justifications are just too uphold his y’all reputation..!

  2. Great article. I come from the land of social reformer called maharashtra. Reformer like shahu,phule, Ambedkar , Periyar, etc were far ahead of the century . Thanks to all for their sacrifice.

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