This book analyses the movement from its beginning at the end of the nineteenth century to Periyar E. Ramasamy Naicker-s Self-Respect Movement of the late twenties and the thirties. It lets the non-brahmin and the adi-dravida - the authors- preferred term for the dalit - speak, recording their testimonies from 1890-1937, translated for the first time into English.
The book not only portrays what the non-brahmins were saying about themselves but also reveals the sensibility of the Tamil Brahmin in the early twentieth century. It presents forgotten texts and voices, especially of early, pioneering adi-dravida - Buddhist scholars. It notes the observations of women Self-Respecters who wrote and debated a range of issues from the uses of Non Cooperation to the politics of housework. It includes the wonderfully carnivalesque denunciations of caste, brahmin priesthood and the nation by youthful Self-Respecters.
About the Author
V. Geetha writes in Tamil and in English on contemporary Tamil history, culture and Society and on gender.
S. V. Rajadurai (pseudonym for K. Manoharan ) is a well-known Tamil writer and translator who has long been involved with the radical Left. He has also been and continues to be, active in the civil liberties movement.