A Madurai resident moved to the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court seeking directions to withdraw the false information in the class IX Tamil Samacheer Kalvi (uniform education method) book stating that UNESCO had bestowed the “Socrates of South Asia” title on Erode Venkatappa Ramaswamy aka EVR and popularly known as Periyar.
Advocate I Mohammed Razvi of Madurai filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) claiming that no such title was conferred on Periyar and blamed the DMK for the misinformation. The petition said that this misinformation had been printed in the IX Tamil Textbook and also in college textbooks in Tamil Nadu. He said such false information would lead to confusion among the students. ‘Hence it needs to be rectified and wanted the court to issue a direction to the state government to remove the false information in the class IX Tamil book”.
The petition came up before a bench comprising Justices M M Sundresh and S Ananthi. After hearing both sides, the bench directed the authorities to consider the representation sent by the petition and pass appropriate orders. Earlier, special government pleader told the court that there was an education committee already in place to look into such false narratives.
Organizer weekly in July last year had carried a detailed article on the false glorification of Periyar. He is called “Father of the Dravidian movement’’ in the south. That is how the DK and its offshoot DMK, Dravidian chauvinists have been fooling the people. They also claimed that Periyar was awarded “Socrates of South Asia” by UNESCO.
The UNESCO citation reads “ Periyar, the prophet of New age, Socrates of South Asia, Father of the Social Reform Movement, Enemy of Ignorance, Superstitions, meaningless customs and base manner. He did a notable work against Brahminical dominance, gender and caste inequality in Tamil Nadu”. While taking a close look at the citation, we can see ‘UNESO Mandram’ and not UNESCO. The award was presented to Periyar by none other than his follower M Karunanidhi. It has nothing to do with UNESCO.
DK general secretary K Veeramani even penned a book over this fake misinformation campaign titled “Thanthai Periyar from the sight of UNECO (Father Periyar in the eyes of UNECO).” A fact check revealed on January 20, 2019… ‘destruction catalyzed on a vibrant culture and so the Christian dominated UNECO honoured EVR with an award in 1970 turning nelsons eye to the fact that racism was banned by UN. It has sent a strong signal to the party that it can no longer sell Periyar as a rationalist, or a reformer, or as someone who fought for women liberation, empowerment or even as a Tamil activist”. There have been false claims by his followers that he led Vaikom satyagraha for temple entry of the depressed classes during 1924-25. But actually, it was journalist T K Madhavan who was the original architect behind the movement along with Sree Narayana Guru, Mannathu Padmanabhan, Kelappan and others. In 1973 the ‘Periyar statue committee was set up with government funds for an individual which installed statues of the Hindu phobic Periyar all over Tamil Nadu and in Vaikom in a piece of land bought by the government. With the oratory skills of DK leaders, these fake ideologies for political gains were propelled. They manufactured and churned out a lot of white lies to further goals.
Following an objection by Jagannathan Srinivasan on his Facebook page with proof, Wikipedia removed the reference on 'UNESCO Mandram' from the page regarding EV Ramaswamy. There have been demands from various corners to remove all the statues of Ramaswamy from the state. DK has been fooling the people for the past 30 years about the UNESCO award which has now turned out to be a white lie. It is a big fraud.
In 2019, the Madras High Court division bench comprising justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad dismissed a petition filed by Dr M Deivanayagam seeking issuance of Writ of Mandamus, directing the TN Chief Secretary to remove all the inscriptions below the Periyar Statues across the state having offensive languages and against the universal God. “ There is no God, No God, No God. Those who preached God is a fool. Those who spread God Rogue and Those who pray God are Barbarians” are the inscriptions found below the Periyar statues. They are installed mainly in front of Hindu temples and not near Mosques or Churches.
CBSE, in an attempt to rationalize the syllabus in last July, removed lessons from Class IX Tamil textbook on Periyar and Tamil scholar MP Sivagnanam aka Ma Po Si ignoring objections from a section of people in the state.