Monday, May 07, 2007

Movie Review - Periyar

There was a man... a rebel, who could not tolerate a lot of idiotic customs followed in society. He fought against society, won some lost some and could gather a tremendous following. Just like any successful leader, he realized very early in life, to target one part of society, that was purportedly superior to the rest and play the politics of separation to gain the afforementioned following.

This man's agenda was simple. Even in 1930s, when the Brahmin population in Thamizh Nadu was only 3 percent, he made broad claims that they controlled all of society's wealth. What he comfortably neglected to talk about was the percentage of educated public that was brahmin.

What is also comfortably neglected was that he directly asked for 50 percent reservation in government jobs and doctors without understanding whether there were enough doctors and educated people to fill government jobs. What was interesting is that he never started any schools which could teach the downtrodden, but directly demanded jobs for the downtrodden.

How things further played into his hands was the stupidity of Rajaji to have created the Kula Kalvi Thittam, almost as a chariot for Periyar to ride on.

What was more criminal on Periyar's side was that he would shamelessly combine Brahmin bashing with Hindu hatred, inspite of the rest of the 97 percent of the population following the same 'stupid' Hindu religious superstitions.

What was even more criminal on Periyar's part was the fact that he would hit the idols of the gods with slippers, something that he himself had been beaten with as a child. The slipper is something of an underlying theme in the movie.

What completely exposed Periyar for the blackguard he is, was when he proclaimed August 15 as a day of mourning because only Brahmins would rule India.

What was shameful on Periyar's part would be his usage of Brahmin wealth and means to propagate anti-Brahmin thoughts and fervour.

What is most criminal is the way the movie has been made portraying Periyar as a great thinker with only noble intentions in mind. Great leader he was, but most of his thoughts were short sighted and most of intentons suitable only for the sewage.

What is extremely heartwarming is that the Chennai audience understood the shameless propaganda that goes on in this movie and hence have carefully avoided it. This movie is suited for people who still think it was the Brahmins who made the state the way it is now. This movie is a vessel for inebriated college guys who could not get a job because of their own stupidity to gloat over and blame their inefficacy on 'corrupt' Brahmins. This movie is basically for people who have no intelligence but yet do not want to take the blame for it.

29 comments:

infinity said...

wow, never knew this side of Periyar (I guess being in TN and not interacting with the right people barred me)

Pavan

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yes... just imagine it this way... if it were not for guys like Periyar, we might not have had movies like indian... if you catch my drift.

Suresh said...

And the fact that you are brahmin has nothing whatsoever to do with your views?

Escape.... Great Escape said...

the same way that the fact that youa re non brahmin has noting to do with yours.

nan said...

The fact is, Periyar was against Brahminism and not against Brahmins per se. While non-brahmins like Dalits have every reason to bash brahmins for the discrimination they have suffered. That is not the case with Brahmins, so vAya pOthindu irundA nanA irukum!

Escape.... Great Escape said...

oh really ? And pray who told you Periyar had nothing against brahmins ? So why are his followers against brahmins ?

And if he was against brahminism... why wasnt he against Thevarism, Kounderism and Chettiarism who also to a large extent played their part in Dalit segregation?

And please do not take anything i said persoanlly. I hae nothign against non-brahmins :-). Both off us are equally caught in the bog that is TN politics.

Karthik said...

isnt it fascinating that today when brahmins are in the minority, people still are flogging them verbally like they would a dead horse, just because it still gets a rise out of people!!

no wonder india is still a developing country! people are still stuck in a past and are wearing blinkers about the outrages/practices carried out by other sectors in the society!

Escape.... Great Escape said...

You are correct karthik. People still believe they can offend brahmins if they speak in the brahmin language :-). Some brahmins even get offended !!!

People are not stuck in the past... they would like to move on... but i feel it is movies like these that make us more retrograde.

nan said...

I am not against Brahmins. But if not for Periyar and others, I wouldn't be typing this. If you guys don't realise how much he meant to people who benefitted from him, then so be it. I am not blaming 'brahmins', I am praising the man who had some part to do, in my life! You guys don't realise that. I shouldn't have used that basha. Sorry, but please I'm not sorry for what I said about Periyar. He means a lot to me. The movie embellishes his humanity and not just brahmin bashing like what your review says.


why wasnt he against Thevarism, Kounderism and Chettiarism who also to a large extent played their part in Dalit segregation?

Yes, I hope he did. Actually he was against the whole segregation.

we might not have had movies like indian... if you catch my drift.

I don't get the drift.

isnt it fascinating that today when brahmins are in the minority, people still are flogging them verbally like they would a dead horse, just because it still gets a rise out of people!!

no wonder india is still a developing country! people are still stuck in a past and are wearing blinkers about the outrages/practices carried out by other sectors in the society!


You have no idea of what you're talking about. Go to different villages in southern parts of TN (let me avoid names here). Brahmins, Kounders, etc are racist and bigoted. Few years back, I went to one such 'periya manusan' veedu. Avaa aathu pomanaati yenna tumbler yenaku thani koodukalaamnu yosichutu irundaa. She could have kept her volume low when she asked her servant 'anda stainless steel tumbler yeduthutu vaadi' and made it look obvious. Enough said.

Escape.... Great Escape said...

You have been personally targetted... and so the 'baashai'... I would not say your anger is justified.. because you targetted it at me... you do not even know me :-)...

So... well why don't you think of the 'tumbler' incident as an offshoot of how Periyar treated the brahmins... probably they were irritated too that Periyar would target their ilk... and they just offloaded on you... pretty much the same way you offloaded on me.

I do not want to explain my 'Indian' comment. Most jokes are lost the moment they are explained.

Escape.... Great Escape said...

I felt this comment in an article by a 'Dr Surya' a TamBram, is worth repeating and reading.

This was a comment posted by Dr Surya to an article written about the 'movie' Periyar. I wish I could write like this... He has some amazing points.



Mel Gibsons shockingly intense and painful drama Apocalypto begins with these words of W. Durant,

“ A great Civilisation is not conquered from without until it has completely destroyed itself from within”.

India ( Tamilnadu in particular) is fast heading down this self destruct mode and nothing is a stark reminder of this than the state sponsored apartheid in the name of reservations.
Nowhere in civilized world has any nation ignored and insulted, rebuffed and destroyed hopes and lives and futures of millions of meritorious students and job aspirants in the name of reservations.

The write up about periyar ( what a misnomer for a man of small cheap political ideology) E.V.R. and the interview with a hitherto unkown IAS Officer on rediff, whose only claim to fame is a shoddy film being produced with Satyaraj and Kushboo as the lead pair in a biopic called Periyar got me thinking. Some one had to give the viewpoint of Brahmins however unwanted and controversial it might sound. So here it goes….

About the film, the less spoken about the lead pair Kushboo and Satyaraj the better. They would put practitioners of the oldest profession in the world to shame with their personal life stories.

Now let’s look into the interview this IAS Officer gives.

Periyar was not against God but against misuse of Gods name. Periyar was not against Brahmins but against Brahminism.

After reading this I actually managed my best to stop puking and going into a spell of convulsions before I could actually sit down and pen this write up.
Im sure the N Rams and Gail Omvedt types and the “secular” know all types out there would cry for my blood after reading this write up but Im fed up of hearing fake stories being put up by the secular media to support the disgusting activities of the anti Brahmin lobby that someone had the spit the truth on these peoples faces.

Firstly a lie is a lie is a lie…. How many times you repeat it the lie doesn’t become true.

EVR was a scheming opportunist whose only single point agenda like Karunanidhis agenda is the decimation and destruction of the entire Brahmin race.

Lets look back at history not the history that NCERT Books written by communists in Delhi tell you but the disgusting facts of Tamil Nadu polity.

The anti Brahminism in Tamilnadu dates back to 1950s when India had just become an independent state and the real selfless freedom fighters made the biggest mistake of their lives. After driving out the Brits these selfless fighters stood back and said their job was done. Many Brahmins who were part of the freedom struggle who lost everything including family live and every penny they had rejoiced in the fact that India was a free state and they stood back to let vultures like Periyar, Annadurai, Karunanidhi and his goons to share the spoils amongst themselves. The fact that Brahmins were smarter and more cultured as a race didn’t help issues. This only fuelled the jealousies and insecurities of the likes of Periyar and Karunanidhis.

Right outside Chidambaram Natarajar temple stands this black hoarding – Kadavul illai illave illai. Kadavulai vendubavan muttal. Kadavulai vendubavan kaatu mirandi – loosely translated it means – There is no God. Only a fool prays to God. Only a barbaric idiot prays to God. What rights does an atheist have in critising the beliefs of a believer. He might have his opinion but when he says Im a fool and a barbaric idiot he steps out and interferes in my personal fundamental right.

Can these rationalists put the same board outside Jumma Masjid? So much so for rationalism and atheism. All this barking only against spineless Hindus. Arent muslims and Christians believers? Why not put up such boards outside churches and dargas? The next day these Periyars and Karunanidhis would be hunted on the streets like stray dogs. And the secular media will demand their head. So much so for their double standards. Their rationalism and atheism is pure anti Brahminism anti Hinduism in disguise.

Basic human jealousy is the cause of all evil. Periyar and Annadurai weren’t Rajajis friends. This is a blatant lie.The trusth was just the opposite. They were terribly insecure and jealous of the statesman that Rajaji was. Neither did they have the education or finesse of Rajaji and when Rajaji returned to Chennai after his stint in Delhi people just cudnt stand him.

The only way they could sideline Rajaji was by bringing in the caste factor. The violent Anti Brahmin protests in 70s spear headed by Karunanidhi is worse than the Gujarat riots of today. The media was terrorized in not reporting what had happened. Brahmins were looted, abused, their hair forcibly tonsured and women raped and killed. Not a single case of FIR was booked. Some Brahmin preists were beaten to death inside temple premises.

All this to ensure total obliteration of Brahmins in the social life of TN. Being the educated and so called elitist crowd Brahmins did the mistake of suffering in silence. And the reservation policy ensured the best brains in the state was refused entry in any educational institution of repute. These days Karunanidhis grandson and Arcot Veerasamis grandson study in Anna University. Their only merit being family members of the ruling goon clan.

About the unfounded oft repeated lie that Brahmins are perpetrators of Casteism in TN and that Brahmins have robbed other castes of their position in governmental jobs, just look around. For 50 years we have had anti Brahmin Governments ruling TN. How have they managed to make social life in TN better? Have caste conflicts lessened? They have infact worsened and we have caste outfits headed by Ramdoss and Thirumavalavan virtually behaving like mafia dons in caste ridden pockets of TN. What have you achieved by such state sponsored apartheid?

If the Government in 2007 is doing what Brahmins have been accused of doing several hundreds of years ago, then the government needs to be treated with the same contempt with which those casteist Brahmins of yesteryears need to be condemned. If the Government justifies this action, then what’s the difference between a racist criminal Brahmins and the Government?

Even after 60 years of Indian Independence we still hear spine chilling stories of Takurs and Jats raping and burning SCs and STs and Koundars and Vanniyars in Tamilnadu burning down SC and ST hamlest and vice versa. So have the governments succeeded in weeding out casteism after the systematic rape of Brahmins over the years? Now who will take revenge for the present day state and how many more years of reservation do we need?

The desperate barrage of lies shelled out by this IAS Officer is at times humorous. He calls Periyar a good friend of Rajaji. Periyar started anti Brahminism to achieve his personal goal of self flagellation. Anti Brahminism of Karunanidhi and Periyar is just a public front to settle scores with their enemies. Periyar silenced Rajaji with this and Karunanidhi has silenced Jayalalitha with this tool. Though Jayalalitha deserves to be hanged in public for being the most spiteful vengeful and disgusting CM we ever had is another issue. Lets not even compare Rajaji to Jaya and degrade the statesman. The only thing they both have in common is that they had very cunning political enemies who used the anti Brahmin card to ensure their hold on state power politics.

It is said Periyar started hating Brahminism and not Brahmins because a Brahmin refused to feed him in Varanasi. Firstly no one knows if this cheap story is true. Even if it were to be true, how is it justified that you start hating an entire race based on what a Brahmin did in Varanasi years ago? Will a state decide its education policy based on what a Brahmin did to one old rotting casteist politician? In what way are these scumbags better than Hitler?

And Karunanidhi ridicules Hindus and Brahmins at any given opportunity. As elected Head of Tamil Nadu isn’t he the Chief Minister of Brahmins of TN? Can he disown the entire Brahmin race? Arent we not entitled to a life in TN? You shamelessly solicit votes during elections but with such racist mentality can you openly declare that you are not our CM? Isn’t this untouchability practiced by the state? EVR Periyar started this culture of hate. Annadurai and Karunanidhi perfected it. Jayalalitha ( of unknown parentage who calls herself a Brahmin ) enjoys the spoils of this. This is TN politics for you.

However just look at TN today. Inspite of 60 years of hate, the best software brains and best neurosurgeons, the best businessmen, the best beauty queens all are Brahmins. The Brahmin race is very similar to the Jewish population. They are hated by everyone but the more the world tries to put them down the more they grow.

Inspite of Periyars and Karunanidhis we have grown and will continue to grow, the anti Brahminism in TN and India at large might have unsettled us from our place of birth but it has only made our lives better and more prosperous. In the end God ensures that life is a big equalizer. You might get a medical seat in All India Institute of Medical Sciences due to reservation but it doesn’t make you a great doctor. Our attitude is what determines our altitude and inspite of such casteist scoundrels we will continue to thrive.

nan said...

I have nothing to say because it would be deleted eventually. Of course, Brahmins are fast becoming the victims due to the reservations, etc. But as much as Tamil politics is finger pointed now, Brahmins deserve some finger pointing for the past. Dr.Sridhar should watch his words. If not for people like Periyar, Brahmins would eat us alive. Sridhar is an epitome of such hatred and bigotry.

However just look at TN today. Inspite of 60 years of hate, the best software brains and best neurosurgeons, the best businessmen, the best beauty queens all are Brahmins. The Brahmin race is very similar to the Jewish population. They are hated by everyone but the more the world tries to put them down the more they grow.

Brahmanism Chauvinism VaazhgA!!!
Vaazhge Bhaaratham. mika nandri sir.

Nandri Vanakkam, Goodbye!

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Have I deleted anything of what you typed so far however illogical it might be? By preempting that I would do something even before I have even thought about it... are you following the footsteps of Periyar... when he callously said only Brahmins will rule India on independence ?

Brahmins are usually vegetarian... so they dont eat meat. So you guys can sleep safely.

and Nan.. who wants to remain 'anonymous'... it is Dr Surya... whoever he might be has a few significant points. Not all of them. So you can pick and choose. I do not want to squabble either.

If your attitude is what is possessed by others of your ilk... I am not surprised that you guys still point fingers to 50 - 60 years in the past to blame for your 'current' plight. I feel the last paragraph I wrote in the review applies to you too.

Plus there is nothing wrong in taking pride in being a Brahmin... just as Dr Surya did. If that is contrued as 'brahmin chauvinism' by you, all I can do is just ask you to put your grey cells to better use than just idiotic conjectures.

nishpeak said...

Hi gang,

I have been silently watching this thread for some time, here is my 2 cents about this issue.

The first thing about humans, "evolved apes" as I would say is to form a group. The group provides
them a sense of security and togetherness from the day we were hunters and gatherers. The groups
could be based on race, religion, skin color, caste, region,language, etc. No wonder we continue it even today.

Point 1. I went to a college run by minorities in the state of TN, the majority of the staff in the college is from the community which runs the college. Think of a situation where some staff
belonging to some other community wants to climb the hierarchy. No matter how much talented this
person is the fear of being led by 'x' from another group will trigger in the group and will not let that person progress (You could interpret this is as jealousy). This will lead to unhappiness and
anger in that talented person he has two choices "Wait for a situation and settle the score" or
"Ignore it and move to a place where he will not be discriminated ". Isn't the second reason cause of so many people leaving india (FCs exodus in 1960s-1970s).

Point 2. I believe only 20% of population is fair at any time (Yes, I made up this statistic). Not all men are made equal. Even in the jewish state of israel, there is discrimination among jews. I am sure once a group secures a position they will need someone else to suppress (Hierarchy has to be created, if there is none). Think of it affluent 'x' community person dominating the economically weaker section of 'x' community. If he has to do a favor for 'x' or 'y' community person he would choose 'x'. He or she believes the group factor will benefit him one day. Isn't this the reason person of 'x' community helping the person from same community.

EVR, Ramadoss, MK, Thiruma, etc all have a good propaganda mechanism running for their causes. They
have exploited people of the state in the past and will continue in the future. You and may be in
the 'Fair' 20% but you can't decide the mandate for the remaining 80% in the state. Power corrupts.

Peace
-/\/ishanth

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Point 1. Yes I agree with you Nishant. What i found incredulous was that Periyar and his followers seemed to target only brahmins... I do not find Chettiars being killed because of 'superior caste hatred'... It was the Brahmins who bore the brunt of hatred meekly.

I also find it interesting that the minorities are not targetted at all. I mean there was a plan to have Periyar statues outside 108 temples (the 108 once again is a religious thingy... ). But not one outside a mosque, or a church... I find that incredulous.

Even the people who call themselves 'rationalists' and who are against 'discrimination', now discriminate on the basis of religion even to target their hatred.

Point 2. I suppose jealousy is everywhere and is the deadliest of the seven sins. Once jealousy has the advantage of numbers, it becomes even more dangerous. It takes the form of revenge.

Now I agree the discrimination against the dalits had been going on for centuries. It explains some of the comments on the blog, but it still does not justify the way in which justice was meted out.

Karthik said...

let us look at it this way...ange thottu, inge thottu, kadaisiyil periyare kovil vaasillil vandu ninnuthare! ;-)

i think that some form of jealousy/insecurity still runs deep within the psyche of the brahmin haters and that overrides everything else. the state can be going to the dogs, reverse segregation/casteism can be perpetuated, all of it does not matter when the anti-brahmin tag can be used as a smokescreen.

its funny how these people want to eradicate casteism by propagating it through various measures. a reservation system built on casteism is touted to help eradicate the educational negatives created by casteism in the past!!

its sad that ppl trapped in their own baseless fears/beliefs remain blinded to the fact that its their own sect/caste that is raping them by using the system against them.

Karthi said...

i think i like the comment section rather than the post itself :-)... i just would like to state that i agree with karthik on the "its funny how these people want to eradicate casteism by propagating it through various measures. a reservation system built on casteism is touted to help eradicate the educational negatives created by casteism in the past!!"

and Nan... dont take it emotionally, think rationally and act. Before you make judgements blindly on the facts presented to you from the yester years, do some research for yourself and find out.

At last i got to say this, i am not expecting TN to change drastically for good,... and I hope that people realize this sooner and put a stop it it.

Escape.... Great Escape said...

I feel Nan too had a point. He felt great that Periyar had burnt brahmin houses and killed a few brahmins in quest for social justice.

He had also felt it was great that such things were not shown in the movie... because it wanted to be too suave.

I am really looking forward to another movie by the same director. Whose actions is he now going to justify 'suavely' ?

S.Ganesh Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Escape.... Great Escape said...

And why have I blasted teh 'wrong man' ? Periyar was equally responsible for some of the atrocities.

nishpeak said...

Found a nice article today
http://in.rediff.com/news/2007/may/16francois.htm

S.Ganesh Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Escape.... Great Escape said...

"Thappana manishan"? To a few. He is no better than Mu Ka and their ilk. There is nothing wrong in being opportunists. But there is nothing noble about being an opportunist either. I wish the movie had not glorified him and had been a tad more truthful.

S.Ganesh Kumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Escape.... Great Escape said...

Ah yes. Is ok :-). To err is human. I will not talk about aetheists and sexual perversion... i know a lot of atheists who are perfectly honourable individuals.

and there are people like Teeyar and SJ Suryah who are definitely not aetheists, but their movies cannot get more perverted.

Yes. Periyar was an opportunist who bred a whole new breed of opportunists.

Ravi said...

Good review ! I will avoid the movie even in pirated VCD's.

Periyar no doubt was an opportunist.

Yugesh said...

Good review man!!
Honest and brave..

Kaushik said...

I had recommended my friend, Karthik to read this post, esp. the comments section [:D]. He was so enthused he ended up writing a new post partially inspired by this one, you might find it interesting -
http://karthrags.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/periyar-controversy/

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yeah.. whoever that guy was.. wrote a great comment. Thanks..