Top 20 Periyar Quotes Everyone Must Read

E V Ramaswamy Periyar Quotes

Best Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy Periyar Quotes

Before we read the best quotes by Periyarm, let’s also know a little bit more about him.

Who was Thanthai Periyar?

Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy (17 September 1879 – 24 December 1973), often revered as Periyar or Thanthai Periyar, was a Great Indian social activist and politician who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam. He is popularly known as the ‘Father of the Dravidian movement’. He fought against Brahminical dominance and gender and caste inequality in Tamil Nadu. He was often called ‘A Man Ahead of his Time’.

Since 2021, the Indian state of Tamil Nadu celebrates his birth anniversary as ‘Social Justice Day’

Our team has carefully compliled the best Periyar quotes for all of you to read and learn something meaningful.

Periyar Quotes in English

“As long as we give room for domination and the dominators, there will be worries and worried people. Poverty and pestilence will live eternally in the country.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“A male has the right to wander about as he pleases. He has the right to marry any number of girls. This practice has led to prostitution.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Wisdom lies in thinking. The spear-head of thinking is rationalism.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Any opposition not based on rationalism or science or experience will one day or another, reveal fraud, selfishness, lies and conspiracies.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“You cannot expect any rational thought from a religious man. He is like a rocking log in water.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Even if I were to live in a place where I would have to experience much worse sufferings than those of a hellish life, I would consider it a pleasanter life than this mean, caste-ridden existence, if only I were respected as a man there.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Capitalists control the machineries. They create difficulties to the workers. Consequently rationalism, which has to lead the way for peaceful life to all, has resulted in causing poverty and worries to the people because of dominating forces.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“Because our ladies mostly attend Kalatshepams, (Religious discourses) they have fallen prey to the superstitions, blind beliefs, and immorality by the false and fictitious propaganda of the Brahmins.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“Brahmins cannot hope to claim a high and superior status forever. Times are changing. They have to come down. Then only they could survive with dignity. Otherwise they will one day be forfeiting their high status. It will not be by force. It will be just laws of the land and the people.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“As there was no open opposition to Aryanism from the beginning, it grew in stages and degraded us” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“By helping the poor, we must be able to remove their poverty. By extending help to one here and one there in the form of providing food will not remove poverty.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“Foreigners are sending messages to the planets. We are sending rice and cereals to our dead fore-father through the Brahmins. It is a wise deed?” – Best Periyar Quotes


“I am a plain person. I have merely spoken out my mind. I do not say you should believe what I have said because it alone is certain. Accept such ideas as can be accepted, with the help of your reason, after a sound inquiry. Reject the rest.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“I express, plainly and openly, thoughts which occur to me, and which strike me as right. This may embarrass a few; to some this may be distasteful; and a few others may even be irritated; however, all that I utter are proven truths and not lies.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“If god is the root cause for our degradation, destroy that god. If it is religion, destroy it. If it is Manu Darma, Gita, or any other Mythology (Purana), burn them to ashes. If it is a temple, tank, or festival, boycott them. Finally if it is our politics, come forward to declare it openly.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“Everyone has the right to refute any opinion. But no one has the right to prevent its expression.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


“I want to say a word to the Brahmins, “In the name of God, religion, sastras you have duped us. We were the ruling people. Stop this life of cheating us from this year. Give room for rationalism and humanism.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“I want the Brahmins to realize that the Dravidian people today are very much hate those who cunningly cheated them with absurdities. They are now aware of the particular community making a living by spreading foolishness. People have begun to hate god, religion, caste, mythologies (puranas) and so on..” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“If we have a girl at home who has attained puberty, someone should come and ask for an alliance. Otherwise the girl will have to remain a virgin only. But in a Brahmin’s house if there is a girl who has attained puberty the Brahmin will go from door to door seeking a bridegroom. This is the difference between the Aryan and the Dravidian customs.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“If one is to be considered high, some one should show some just reason. Brahmin calls himself high and superior. In what respects is he superior to others? Are there not Brahmins who are connected with all the trades in the world, good and bad? Do we not see them eating all things as others?” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


Periyar Thoughts and Sayings 

“In other lands, knowledge alone is respected and trusted and held as the basis of everything, but in this country, men believe only in rituals and ceremonies, in God, in religion and such other rubbish.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“In the Kural there is a chapter on invocation to God. But there is no place in it for the principle of idol worship.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“It gave me extraordinary pleasure to fling at the pundits their own contradictions and Thus perplex Them. It also gave me the reputation, among our neighbours, of being a clever speaker. I believe that it was this experience which deprived me of faith in castes and communities, in religion, in “puranas”, in “sastras” and in god.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“It is absurd to quote religion or God or religious doctrines to render the people as lowest castes.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Man treats women as his own property and not as capable of feelings, like himself. The way man treats women is much worse than the way landlords treat servants and the high-caste treat the low-caste. These treat them so demeaningly only in situations mutually affecting them; but men treat them cruelly and as slaves, from their birth till death.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Man is equal to man. There should not be exploitation. One should help the other. No one should harm anybody. Generally there should be no room for grievance or complaint from anybody. Everyone should live and let others live, with a national spirit.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Everyone has the right to refute any opinion. But no one has the right to prevent its expression.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Man does not grow by merely accepting whatever others have said. However, do listen to others, but later think with the help of your reason. Accept and try to follow what appears right to you.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“What is marriage? It is to unite a man and a woman to enjoy a natural life with happiness. It is to find solace after hard work. Most of the people do not realize that marriages are for sharing pleasures of the wedded life.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Money lending is a horrible profession. If we are to call it otherwise it is lawful plundering.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Religious devotion is for the individual. Character is for all. There is no loss if there is no devotion. Everything is lost if there is no character.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Marriages should culminate on account of the wishes of the couple. It is their knitting of the hearts that should lead to marriages.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Only education, self-respect and rational qualities will uplift the down-trodden.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Our thoughts of literary renaissance should always center themselves on the removal of superstition, meanness, indignity and ignorance.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy Quotes


“Politics does not concern itself with who should rule us. It is about what kind of rule people should have.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Our country would be considered to have gained independence only when the villagers are completely rid of god, religion, castes, and blind beliefs. South India is quite different from the North in many respects. It is a distinct and separate State of Dravidian race.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“There is no use of simply acquiring titles or amassing wealth if one has no self-respect and scientific knowledge.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


Top Periyar Quotes on Education, Marriage, Love, Women Empowerment and Inequality

“The proper task of social reform is to remove poverty from society and to ensure that people do not sell their conscience to make a living.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“That which enslaves you to customs of the world to orthodoxy, to the rigours of religion, contrary to your rationality and awareness of truths of experience, is what I shall describe as antagonistic to self-respect.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“The word ‘Sudra’ which means ‘Son of prostitute’ should not find a place even in the history hereafter. We will not allow it to find a place in the dictionary or encycl” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

E V Ramaswamy Periyar Quotes

“The number of those who do selfless public service and those who serve without expecting any return, should increase. Their sterling qualities should show the way to the people at large. Their life would be a model to show how man should conduct himself in public life.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Whomsoever I love and hate, my principle is the same. That is, the educated, the rich and the administrators should not suck the blood of the poor.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“The way man treats women is much worse than the way landlords treat servants and the high-caste treat the low-caste. These treat them so demeaningly only in situations mutually affecting them; but men treat women cruelly and as slaves, from their birth till death.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“There is no god, there is no god, there is no god at all. He who invented god is a fool. He who propagates god is a scoundrel. He who worships god is a barbarian.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“There’s no god. He who created god was a fool; he who spreads his name is a scoundrel and he who worships him is a barbarian.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Those who still believe the Brahmins should take a serious note of the changing times and start leading an awakened life.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Till the end of my life, I shall never canvas for a vote. I shall not even expect a word of praise from any quarter.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“Village reform is not merely cleaning the roads, constructing schools and worshipping monasteries. It is not a mere celebration of festivals.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“While all men are born as equals, to say that Brahmins alone are the highest and all others are low as Pariah (the Untouchables) or Panchama is sheer nonsense. It is roguish to say so. It is a big hoax played on us.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“We do not need to explain how the Aryans entered and settled in the Dravidian country, and subjugated and oppressed the Dravidians. Nor do we need to explain how before the Aryans entered the Dravidian country, the Dravidian country had a civilization and arts of the highest rank.” – Periyar Quotes

“To discard what is unwanted, and to retain what is needed, is what reform means.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

“I have not talked of anything to despise the Brahmins, just because they are born as Brahmins.” – Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

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