ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Karthick Ram Manoharan

Sudras and the Nation: Periyarist Explorations

The sudra question is a complicated one in Indian sociology, history and politics, but it had an impact on a significant period of the Dravidian movement. Periyar E.V. Ramasamy referred to the non-Brahmin castes of South India, who did not belong to the ‘untouchable’ communities, as sudras, the lowest varna in the Hindu social order. He used the inferiorized identity of ‘sudra’ not in assertion or pride, but as a social critique of brahminism. Acknowledging the existence of multiple jatis within the sudra varna, Periyar criticized their notions of hierarchy towards each other and especially towards the Dalits. He sought to consistently remind the sudras of their place within brahminism and the need to challenge caste as a system. This paper discusses how Periyar’s ‘sudra critique’ also contained within it an alternative approach to the nation-state.

M Karunanidhi: The Dravidian Sun Sets

When Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief and five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi passed away on 7 August 2018, he had outlived most of his friends and all of his rivals. “Kalaignar,” as he was popularly known among the Tamil people, left behind an active political life of 80 years, six decades of which were spent as a legislator.