The caste system has always been based on collusion between multiple hegemonic forces. Periyar failed to recognise that.
In the land of Periyar, speaking out against religion and God led to the killing of 31-year-old Farook Hameed.
For those in contemporary India who agonise over the place of electoral politics in their quest for reform and justice – Irom Sharmila ,Anna Hazare or Aruna Roy, for example – the career of the great Tamil reformer holds many lessons.
Half of the electorate in Periyar’s land face brutal violence every day; women are now demanding an end to fear, beatings and rape.