The Self Respect Movement

self respect movement

The Self Respect Movement was a social reform movement that emerged in South India in the early 20th century. The movement was led by E.V. Ramasamy, who was also known as Periyar, and sought to challenge the caste system and promote social equality and justice.

Periyar was a social reformer, politician, and thinker who was deeply critical of the caste system and the discrimination that it engendered. He advocated for the idea of self-respect and the rejection of Brahminical traditions and practices, which he believed were responsible for perpetuating caste-based discrimination and inequality in Indian society.

The Self Respect Movement promoted the idea of a casteless society, and sought to promote education and social reform among the lower castes in South India. The movement also sought to promote unity and solidarity among different castes and religions, and to promote the idea of social harmony and peaceful coexistence.

The movement was not without controversy, however. Its leaders were often criticized by more conservative elements in society for their radical ideas and their rejection of traditional norms and customs. Nevertheless, the Self Respect Movement was an important precursor to the Dravidian movement and helped to lay the foundation for the social and cultural reforms that would shape South India in the years to come.

Today, the Self Respect Movement continues to exist as a social and cultural organization, working to promote the values of social justice, equality, and education. The organization has been instrumental in the fight against discrimination and social inequalities in South India, and remains an important force for social reform and progress in the region.