A+| A| A-

Learning from Vivekananda

The article “Being ‘Hindu’ and Being ‘Secular’: Tamil ‘Secularism’ and Caste Politics” by M S S Pandian (EPW, 4 August 2012) is well written and provides useful information on the efforts of rationalists and the Dravidian parties in regard to, among other issues, caste-based discrimination and the tyranny of the priesthood. Rationalists have, for a long time, claimed credit for their role in these matters. But a reading of Swami Vivekananda’s complete works will open our eyes to his pioneering work in these areas.

It was Vivekananda who gave a modern definition to the word “atheist” as someone who does not believe in “himself”; not the conventional non-believer of god. He repeatedly stressed that service to the poor, downtrodden and weakest sections of society regardless of caste, creed, religion, gender or nationality, is service of god.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top