Today, there is a false propaganda that the views of E.V. Ramasamy (a) Periyar and Babasaheb Ambedkar are one and the same which is not only being spread in Tamil Nadu but all over India. They are trying to portray Periyar as Ambedkar of the North and Ambedkar as the Periyar of the South among the people. In universities and colleges, Periyar – Ambedkar study circles are being set up trying to give the common attributes to both of them.
Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar is in no way comparable to E.V.R. The two were at odds over any field of study, be it education, social thought, national unity, foreign policy, or economic policy. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a scholar and intellectual genius who had learned many texts. When you read his book it contains footnotes, sources, quotes from various scholars, everything sufficiently. But E.V.R was not a scholar. He was not a person who had read too many texts. From time to time, he spread the thoughts that came to his mind. He changed it too and changed it to suit the situation.
E.V.R has been involved in prostitution in prostitute homes for 40 years. He had not cared about society until then. But Ambedkar was involved in education throughout his youth and filed petitions for his community. Just as it is unacceptable to compare the mountain and the pond together, it would be injustice that we do to Ambedkar if we compare both – E.V.R and Ambedkar.
The Theory of Racism: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
There is no alternative to E.V.R Periyar being a racist and one who accepted the racist ideology. He spread Aryan-Dravidian racism throughout Tamil Nadu. He was a staunch proponent of racist ideology to cause division among the people. He campaigned that Aryans were foreigners and they were those who invaded the country and destroyed the indigenous people. Thereby he used his campaign of hate to destroy solidarity. E.V.R sought to divide the Indian people through racist ideology. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who completely rejected the Aryan racist doctrine. Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar rejected the theory that Aryan racism should go to the trash. He never accepted the doctrine of racism since he was a humanist who loved human beings.
Dalits: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
E.V.R encouraged all Dalits and backward classes to convert. In the process, he proposed Islam for conversion. He continued to propagate that Islam was the antidote to conversion and that all people should convert to Islam. It is not that Periyar had said this after serious studies and research. In contrast, Babasaheb Ambedkar proposed Buddhism for their conversion. According to him, Islam will never give equality; Ambedkar is confident that it will not give fraternity either. This belief did not occur casually. He came to this conclusion after an in-depth study of Islam and other religions. He was the one who rejected the call to give crores of rupees and college on conversion to Islam. He said nationalism would change if religion was converted to Islam and Christianity. Ambedkar urged all, including the Dalits, to accept Buddhism, believing that only Buddhism could bring equality. E.V.R, who told everyone to convert, remained a Hindu until the end. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism as he had preached.
E.V.R always excluded the Dalits. He unequivocally declared that he was fighting for the Sudras. E.V.R never waged a struggle for the rights of the Dalits in Tamil Nadu. E.V.R never led any struggle in Tamil Nadu for Dalits to walk on the road, walk on the street or fetch water from a pond or to enter the temple. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who led the struggle to get water in the Mahat pool and to enter the Kalaram temple.
E.V.R opposes the integration of Dalits with another caste Hindus:
E.V.Ramasamy Nayakar said, “Does the elimination of untouchability involve just the entry to the temple and the inclusion of the Sudra to the Parayans? If the lower caste of Parayan is not changed then should the Sudra be added to Parayan for that? The Sudras, who had hitherto had been the middle caste, have now been made the lower caste which we should not allow”. (Thread: History of Vaikkam struggle – Veeramani)
E.V.R has always been against the Dalits. Despite the Muthukulathur riots and the Kizhvenmani massacre, E.V.R acted against the Dalits. When 44 Dalits were burnt to death in Kizhvenmani, the report by E.V.R says:
“The Communist comrades are trying to cause unrest and revolution in the country without telling you how the workers should live in the economy available to them, and today they are trying to overthrow this regime, right-wing, left-wing, and far-right communists. I ask that the comrades of agriculture and other working friends should not give place to it. The Communist Party instigated the riot in Nagai taluka. 42 people died due to it. The government did not stop at saying that the Communist Party was the party that cooperated with us. The government is taking the necessary action. (Vidudhalai 20-1-1969)
E.V.R says there is no need for a wage struggle. Employers do not have the intention to raise wages despite their rising profits. E.V.R pierces the spear into the burn without even realizing by saying that that it has to be obtained through protest. E.V.R supports the assassination, saying that it would be a rebellion if it fought for higher wages. He did not stand on the side of the affected Dalits but expressed his views in support of those involved in the riots. On the contrary, Ambedkar brought various laws not only for the Dalits but for all the backward people. He continued to fight for their rights.
We can also learn from his speech how vile E.V.R thinks about people of the scheduled community. E.V.R says:-
“Ambedkar is a little bit emotional. He asked me. ‘What do you do for your people?’ I gave him a lot of details. He started talking about it. The Brahmins immediately paid the price for him. That is, where he [Ambedkar] asked for 10 out of 100 his people to get the educational facility, and job facility, he [Brahmins] said ‘take it as 15’! He [Brahmins] knew that even if he [lower caste] was given 25 seats, not even three or four of them would come. He [Ambedkar] signed the law written by the Brahmins. He doesn’t care about the company of others. (Vidudhalai 11.11.1957)
Dalits in Pakistan: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
Dalits were persecuted in Pakistan during the partition of Pakistan. Thousands were massacred. Without rendering any feelings for the situation, E.V.R supported Pakistan and Muslims without condemning the massacre. But Babasaheb Ambedkar sent the Makar Regiment to save the oppressed Dalits in Pakistan. He issued a statement saying that Dalits in Pakistan should not convert to Islam. Similarly, Ambedkar gave full cooperation to the annexation of the Indian princely states. Ambedkar issued a public statement saying that none of the lower caste there should support the Hyderabad Nizam who refuses to connect with India.
Indian Independence: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
E.V.R Periyar was against Indian independence. A resolution was brought with the blessings of E.V.R at the Dravidar League Conference held at Salem on 27-08-44. In the resolution,
“The conference concludes that the main policy of the Dravidar League is to include the name Dravida Nadu as the first policy of our Chennai Province to be divided into a separate (state) country which is not dominated by the Central Government administration and is directly under the administration of the British Secretary of State.”
Not only this, E.V.R also declared Independence Day as a day of mourning. He continued to spread the demand that Whites should rule here. But Ambedkar never took any action against national liberation. No statement was issued in support of the White government by Ambedkar. He has strongly documented the demand for India’s independence at the London Round Table Conference and beyond. He once said that I am more patriotic than the other Congress leaders.
E.V.R was at the forefront of disrupting Indian unity. Part of India was demanded by E.V.R as a separate Dravidastan. He also waged various struggles to separate the Dravidian country from India. Similarly, the leader of the Muslim League, Jinnah, asked Pakistan. The British government and many others demanded that Ambedkar should ask for a separate Dalitistan for the Dalits. But Ambedkar never heeded to it. He did not agree with the Dalitistanisation of India. So he cut the request at the very start and threw it away. If not, the Dalits would have split from India just as Pakistan did.
Hindi and Sanskrit: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
E.V.R had a lasting anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit attitude. He held anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit conferences and protests. He incited linguistic hatred and disrupted Indian unity. But Ambedkar said they needed Hindi for national unity. He spoke in Parliament that Sanskrit should be the national official language. Yet Ambedkar never provoked language fanaticism.
Communism: E.V.R vs Ambedkar
E.V.R had a deep attachment to so-called communism. After his visit to Russia, he actively spread the policy of common wealth in Tamil Nadu. But Babasaheb Ambedkar was against communism throughout his life. He said that communism was based on violence and if ever he considered someone as his enemy, it was communism. Ambedkar did not even have an electoral relationship with the Communists. He proposed Buddhism as an alternative to communism for the Dalit people.
It is the firm opinion of Ambedkar that India should not have relations with China and Russia even in foreign policy. He prophesised that China would one day invade us, that is, India. That happened in 1962.
Religion: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
According to E.V.R, humans do not need religion. E.V.R view was that religion fools man. But Ambedkar says religion is a necessity for man. He says that the good qualities he possesses are due to religion. Ambedkar opposed the statement that religion is opium and explained why religion is important to man.
Only country: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
E.V.R said there is no such thing as one country called India. He said that India is a mixture of several national races. He also campaigned that India has never been a single country. But Ambedkar clearly wrote that India has been a single country for thousands of years in terms of its spiritual culture.
Indian Unity: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar
E.V.R was not interested in Indian unity. E.V.R wanted India to secede. But Ambedkar had unconditional love for Indian unity. He was also clear that India should not be enslaved again. His speech in the Constituent Assembly will make us aware of this.
” What worried me the most is that India has lost its independence many times due to the betrayal and treachery of the Indian people. When Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sindh, the army commanders of King Tagir of Sindh refused to fight for their king with the help of Muhammad bin Qasim’s henchmen. Jayachandran invited Mohammad Gori to invade India and to fight against Prithviraj. He promised to help him and the Solanki Kings. While Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of the Hindus, other Maratha leaders and Rajput kings sided with the Mughals and fought against him.
When the British fought against the Sikh kings, the commander-in-chief of the Sikhs was inactive. He did not help to defend the Sikh state. During the freedom struggle against the British in 1857, the Sikhs were having fun doing nothing. Will history repeat …?
It is even more worrying that a number of parties with different and opposing policies are now emerging with old hostile forces such as castes and religions. The people of India must carefully monitor the parties who are striving for the interest of their party rather than the interest of the country. If not, the independence of the country will be in jeopardy for the second time. It may become irreversible. We should ensure that our freedom is upheld until the last drop of blood.”
Ambedkar was responding to the third round of debate on the Constitution on November 25, 1949. This call of Ambedkar is a call for Indian nationalism. We need to understand that the call is driven by a sense of nationalism – a passion that the Indian nation should never be distorted again.
E.V.R and Ambedkar were at odds over whichever field we take and study. They have been campaigning for the comparison of Ambedkar and E.V.R in order to draw the people, mainly the Dalits, to their side. This is great injustice to Ambedkar.