It was C Sankaran Nair who was the first to make noise and slogans against Brahmins in Tamil Nadu way back in 1903. The anger was justifiable because Brahmins were the dominant community then in administration and in power. Subsequent to the cry of C Sankaran Nair, Natesa Mudaliar in 1912 formed an association called ‘Non Brahmin Dravidian Association and brought out two books – Dravidian worthiness and Non Brahmin letters. However such effort settled down immediately like a little storm in tea cup.
Later South Indian Liberal Federation was started and in 1916, TM Nair and Theagaraya Chettiyar started three newspapers namely Justice in English, Dravidian in Tamil and Andhra Prakasik in Telugu.
The Justice Party was formed and the main aim of the Justice party was to neutralize the Home Rule. A non-Brahmin manifesto was issued by the then member of the legislative council P Kesava Pillai. In 1917, August 19, TA Ramalinga Chetty organized the conference of Justice Party in Coimbatore. In the conference, Justice Party adopted to co-operate and work with British. Prior to that, the Depressed Classes Society held a conference to highlight their problems and state of affairs that was the stage where depressed class had agreed to work with non-Brahmin movement of Justice Party with the assurance that Justice Party would end inequality and oppression against the depressed class.
With support of the depressed class, Justice Party got elected unopposed in the year 1920 and came to power. Justice Party passed Hindu Religious Endowment Act. However Justice Party put all the promises in dust bin in had made to the depressed class. The depressed class really felt cheated for the fact that the upper caste non Brahmins used the depressed class as a tool to mobilise their political clout to come to power and did nothing to the depressed class and their status remains the same despite Justice Party came to power.
Justice Party abolished Labour Department and the prominent leader and the architect of Justice Party Theagaraya Chettyar refused to support “Anti-Untouchability Law in 1922”.
The above stand thoroughly exposed the Justice Party that the depressed class was exploited and used as a mean by ‘Chetty, Naidu, Reddy and Pillai’ to come to power and to remove Brahmins, only to occupy the same space to continue to discriminate, discredit and suppress the depressed class. This had led to the no-confidence motion that was being brought by the depressed class in 1923 but it was defeated by the dominant upper caste non-Brahmin lobby.
Justice Party did nothing to bring housing scheme for the depressed class, providing economic help and free education scheme or land distribution. The Justice Party rulers not even visited the villages of the depressed class to understand the real pitiable conditions of their life. Although Simon Commission rejected separate electorate for the depressed class, agreed to nominate BM Ambedkar and R Srinivasan to represent the depressed class.
Justice Party actually lead to the division of different communities such as “High Caste Non-Brahmins”, “Backward Non-Brahmins” and “Untouchables”. This obvious caste ploy of Justice Party caused the erosion of its credibility and it had lost its identity. During the active phase of Justice Party in 1919, EV Ramasamy Naicker was a member of Indian National Congress and he left the party in 1925 and became the Head of Justice Party in 1939. In 1944 EVR changed its name as Dravidar Kazhagam which gave birth to DMK in 1949.
By the time it appears, the DNA of Justice Party as it stands more for upper caste non-Brahmins and backward non-Brahmins than for untouchables got modified to carry the tag- Dravidian identity, may be to mask the identity of non-Tamil people as they were in power those days, at the expense of Tamil people. Further, the Telugu speaking people may want their non-Tamil identity not to be questioned. The only way such situation can be stopped was to rename the Tamil identity with Dravidian so that the alien Dravidian tag would distract the Tamil people from differentiating all those foxes in goat skin.
From hate politics, Justice Party came to power and did justice mostly to itself than to the depressed class as it promised. But smartly the Justice Party used the depressed class to conquer power and which then gave birth to another Dravidian party to transform Tamil Nadu politics into politics of dynasty and family rule.
If Tamil Nadu has to march towards development and sab ka vikas, Dravidian brand politics of hatred, negativity, anti-Hindu, anti-Hindi, anti-God must end and the sacred rule of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi must come. The vision of MGR and Amma with the guidance and support of PM Modi alone can transform Tamil Nadu and not the dynastic rule.