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The people of a country must be hale, hearty, strong, robust, bold, intelligent and self-respecting. The parents must be able to take care of the young ones by giving them a nutritious diet and proper education. They should always be happy and unaware of mental worries. If the children are to be brought up on these lines, the parents should consider their ability and resources deeply and restrict their issues accordingly.

If the parents do not think and control themselves, they will have to bear the burden and undergo sufferings and miseries. It is the children of such parents who become weak in health and undergo the strain of lack of facilities. As they become aged, they make the country poor and weak. On account of them, others in society are also made to suffer.

When we consider our own country, we see the population increases day by day. Most of them are unemployed. They have inadequate means of living. Yet, they go on giving birth to more and more children. They are unable to feed, clothe and educate their children. We see many parents ever in poverty and sorrow. We see these conditions prevailing in large and small families.

Why is Birth-Control needed?

As the parents go on giving birth to more and more children, their own comforts and facilities are reduced. Similarly, in a country, if the population goes on increasing, that nation is bound to face famine, poverty and a dearth of essentials for an average life. Diseases also spread and render society sick and sorrowful.

periyar 414Its fair name is tarnished. Its progress is hampered. It loses its self-respect.

The so-called reformers and economists who have sponsored many development schemes aimed at the economic growth of the nation met with dismal failure. They became dejected at the disappointing fruits of their pains. Why did it so happen? They have failed to understand the truth, that it is absolutely wrong to allow parents to give birth to children as they like. A nation that forgets this truth is bound to be hated by other nations.

Such people blame others; they become envious of others who are happy.

Very recently, a few experts have studied this problem from its true perspective and brought out the realities.

They are of the view that people should not be permitted to go on giving birth to children. They advocate a check on the growth of the population.

Their views were further considered by the learned people, social workers, economists as the correct view. They further probed into the problem and found out the most progressive ways to be followed.

In Western Countries

Many wise people have already come forward to adopt those ways in life. In Western countries, the educated people are adopting various means to avoid pregnancy. Many scientific methods and contrivances are publicly advertised and propagated. But the poor people are not in a position to understand and enjoy the benefits. In fact, it is the poor people who should, first of all, realize the need for family planning. Unfortunately, the poor people here consider it indecent and uncivilized even to talk about these things. There are others who have a strong blind belief in religion and God, who dislike the control of birth as anti-religious and against God. They deem it sinful. Naturally, the ignorant people are also misled by them.

Opposition to family planning is not new or peculiar to our people. It was also there in Western countries. But there, doctors and educated people boldly faced the opposition. Today family planning has become a very common thing there. Moreover, there are a number of clinics. These clinics tender advice and guidance to those who consult them regarding family control. Appliances and drugs to control birth are being sold in the medical shops. 

Because family planning has been recognized as vital by experts and social workers there, no one thinks it an illegal thing or sinful thing. Our people should be educated to realize the importance of family planning. Family planning is not harmful to anyone. It does not cause pain or dissatisfaction to anyone.

Scientists have invented the means to control birth mainly in the interests of society and nation. There are other benefits also.

Pains of Pregnant Woman

It is very difficult for pregnant women to give birth to babies if they have ill health if they conceive soon after marriage when their body is weak. To illustrate further, ladies suffering from T.B. and Blood Pressure are found to have very feeble wombs. If they become pregnant, there is bound to be a lot of difficulties in the matter of delivering the child. Such women become very weak after delivery. They lose strength and become feeble. A woman should provide her milk to the baby for its proper growth. If she conceives again before the child is properly grown up with mother's milk, the first child suffers from weakness. A woman should recoup her health before she conceives again. If she does not mind her health and the health of the first child, then she naturally becomes very weak to bear the next child.

Further, if the woman who has not attained 22 years of age and a man who has not attained 25 years of age marry and bring forth a child, that child is bound to be very weak in health. If a family is very poor, the children born become a burden and the family is thrust into eternal wants and worries. The newly married couples lose the pleasures of life if the wife conceives soon after marriage.

So this pregnancy is more misfortune to women for their independent way of life. By nature, man alone is responsible for the pregnancy. His work ends there. The women shoulder by nature greater responsibility. From the moment they become pregnant, they shoulder a heavy burden till delivery and even afterwards. The labour pain and the dangers connected with it are to be borne by women only. It is the woman who gives her blood as milk to the baby.

To keep the child free from certain diseases, it is the mother who has to take care of her body and health. It is the woman who has to carry the baby on the lap and bosom to caress and protect. That is why many women become vexed with life after giving birth to more children.

Generally, a woman becomes a slave to the husband and to the family soon after giving birth to the child. She is naturally forced to forego her desires and facilities for the proper care of the newborn baby. A male is able to marry any number of women he likes. But a woman is not able to do so because she only bears the child. Because of this, she has to risk her freedom, self-respect and wisdom. As a slave, a woman is made a machine for producing children.

So, I deem it absolutely necessary to impart sound knowledge on family planning to all womenfolk.

Periyar wrote thus in 1931 itself.

It has taken many decades to realize the importance of family planning. If Periyar's views were properly heeded in 1931 itself, the problem of population control would not have become a tough task. Moreover, society would have been very much forward and progressive.

Doctors Discussion with Periyar

On 18-8-1972, the Director of Family Planning Dr. Venugopal and other doctors met Periyar at the Vellore Traveller's Bungalow and discussed with him matters related to family planning.

Doctor: We come from the Family Planning department. You are speaking many rationalist views to the people. The people of Tamil-Nadu are much benefited by your propaganda. You are aware that Family Planning is very seriously propagated nowadays. We request you to strongly support it and thus encourage us.

Periyar: I started it in 1929 itself. Now a days I find some response to family planning. People today feel that the family should be small. If we are to be more practical, mere propaganda is not enough. The government must impose compulsory schemes. The marriage age of a girl should be raised to 22 years. Today we see girls bear three or four children by the time they attain the age of 22.

Secondly, even as the Communal G.O. (Government Order) is strictly followed for giving jobs, we must give jobs to women proportionately. This should be followed in giving jobs in all fields. If they are engaged in work, there will be a good change. Today the only pleasure they derive is leading the life and a husband and a wife. They have only one work, namely, producing children. Further, the government should boldly say that a man or a woman will not be given a job if they produce more children. This view I have expressed already many times. For those in service, if they do not restrict birth after the second child, their promotions to higher posts should be stopped. There is nothing wrong with this. By nature, we are endowed with wisdom. Pardon me! If you have six children and your salary is Rs. 250 per month, how can I expect you to be honest and sincere in the discharge of your duties? What can you do with too many children? Would you keep your children uneducated? No. If at all world is pestered with bad elements, it is on account of these thoughtless parents.

Are all paid sumptuously? Say Rs. 800, 1000 so on. Now people get only Rs. 150, 200, 250 per month on an average. If he has 4,5, or 6, children how could he abstain from stealing. The government alone has the powers to control the people and check the bad elements. If we pursue these lines, we will be solving the problem to a greater extent, and the result would be a man living as a man!

Preference to Women in Jobs 

Those who have more children would simply say that no one can go against fate. But those who are now bachelors would not say so. They will try to live economically as Romans do in Rome. So the government should take up such measures. First, it should give preference to women in giving jobs. Some of the jobs should be exclusively reserved for women only. For example, the teaching profession up to the high school standard might be reserved only for ladies. In that case, they will be engaged in teaching and preparing lessons. This must be the policy of the government. The percentage should be made sensible and practicable. All these things I have plainly spoken. People must be made to have a thoroughly new concept of family. The thought that a woman has to assume the role of a faithful servant to a man must be changed. She can be the lover of a man. The thought of slavery and responsibility should cease.

Further, people derive the thought of compulsorily having a child because of ownership of property. We have given the right to own property. The property needs legal heirs. Many people are worried about children to safeguard property. Even if they have no children, they seek others and "adopt" children as their own. So we must seriously think of measures to restrict the ownership of property. We do not impart any knowledge to the people of the nation. Today people are always thinking of sacred shrines, tanks, rivers and their own castes and duties. We should try to change it. The spirit of public service seriously lacks in our people. We should induce all in our society to think of the general welfare.

The urgent need of the hour is to raise the marriageable age of woman to 22. Then only women would be able to gain some useful knowledge about society. Today women are quite ignorant of many things in the world. They know only their family life. Some of the educated girls hold diplomas. But they have no job. As things stand today, such girls want to earn. They must be provided with a job sooner they finish their educational career. Then only they will not be longing for husbands. Even if the life of a married woman is unpleasant, she bears the cruelly of the husband, as she has no other way open to her. So I feel every woman must know a trade. If every woman is given sufficient training in one or more trades, they will have more confidence and try to lead the life of a wife with honour, merit and self-respect.

Forcible Family Control

Doctor: May we have your views on the operation method? 

Periyar: There is nothing wrong with that. Till all people gain sufficient knowledge, it has got to be followed. If there is nothing wrong in doing so on medical grounds, it can be freely pursued.

Doctor: There are many peoples as coolies and casual labourers. What is your advice to them? Some people do not believe in family planning. Unless you tell them, they won't believe it.

Periyar: They must be forced, I have been telling it from 1929, the operation must be strictly enforced.

There is nothing wrong in teaching these things to our boys and girls in the schools. Teachers should be made to carry on intensive propaganda. People should realize that no government would be able to provide all facilities to everyone if the population increases fast. An over-populated country means a number of miserable families and worried parents. Today people think that government compels them for something. Those who observe family control are misunderstood as being tempted for mere money. That is bad. So even women should be engaged to preach the importance of family planning. Then we will be successful in the matter.

* * *

[This report of what Periyar talked to the learned doctors clearly reveals that Periyar is perhaps the first social reformer who thought in India over the most difficult problem even during the days of the British domination. His progressive outlook, his sincere love towards humanity are seen in his talks.]

* * *

Periyar's opinions continue 

Many people were actually shocked at the views I expressed about family planning, But, of late, it has become a very ordinary subject talked about everywhere. It is gaining its importance gradually. Those who are holding high posts are seen talking about it. Even in the Legislative Assembly, we find the elected representatives pressing for propaganda on birth control. 

But there is much difference between us and others regarding the causes listed for the urgency of Birth Control. We deem it necessary to control the population. Others want birth control to safeguard the health of women. Some others want it for the country's healthy economy and in the interests of property ownership. Even the learned men in Western countries say the same reasons. But our views are quite different, even though we do not differ much from them. Our emphasis is on a much more important reason. We want the womenfolk to be liberated. We are for their freedom and equality. It is because women bring forth more children, men are also losing their freedom and virtuous qualities. You could have heard of what men and women talk about when they are confronted with difficulties.

Men usually say, "If I am all alone, I won't leave it; I won't keep quiet. I would fight against injustice." I have four or five children. I have to maintain them. I have no other go than to live as others tell me." Women say, "If I am all alone, I would silently go away anywhere or else I would die in a river or tank. I won't tolerate this sort of life even a minute. But what am I to do with these children. Where can I go? What can I do?"

That is why I say that more children usurp the freedom and pleasures of men and women. Today people have to bestow their knowledge and manual labour to eke out their livelihood. They forfeit their self-respect and work like slaves because of more children. It is mainly because they shoulder the responsibility to protect their too many children. It is generally found to be true in our country in most cases. It is more applicable to our womenfolk; why? Our women have no property rights, no trade or avocation and no specific regular income. They have to depend on their livelihood to bring up their children. That is why we say that women should control births. This pregnancy is the root cause of premature deaths. We find Brahmacharis (Bachelors), Sanyasis (Saints), Sankaracharis (Brahmin Heads of Hindu Monasteries), Thambirans, Pandara Sannadhis amongst men. They lead a very happy and prosperous life with freedom. They lord over crores of rupees. They are much revered by men and women. But do you think that a woman can ever attain that status? No. it is all on account of this pregnancy. Whatever might be the difference in approaching the problem of family planning, we are glad that the motive behind is same in all namely, restricting child birth.

Children should be taken as State Property 

I was very much disappointed to find the Health Minister opposing the family planning propaganda in the State Assembly. Dr. (Mrs.) Muthulakshmi Reddi also endorsed the views of the minister. (She was a member of the Legislative Council of the composite Madras Province in late 1925.) If the children born are taken up as the State property, and if the government had the responsibility to provide all means to children till they attain the major age, the minister would not have attacked the family planning scheme. Such a state of affairs is not prevalent now. Somebody gives birth to children. Somebody loses self-respect. Somebody suffers. That is why our Health Minister decries family planning! It is a pity that the woman member, who is herself a doctor, and the minister have forgotten to realize that for us to become a healthy state, we have no other go than to control births. To the public, I appeal very sincerely to adopt family planning, whatever might be the ways of our government.

So far as I am concerned, I would say that family planning propaganda should be given priority. We should give the utmost importance to it. It is more important than the propaganda against the spread of infectious diseases. We would deal with the problem of Birth Control first and foremost. That is my firm view.

I appeal to the people to create a separate organization for this purpose. That body has to publish notices, small pamphlets, books etc., on the need for family planning. They should be published in many languages. Such literature is available in foreign countries like England. We could translate them and educate the public.

I appeal to those in the Drama and Film industry to insert effective scenes to propagate the importance of family planning.

It is only when we do all these things we will be able to see more and more people realize the importance of Birth Control and family planning.

Dear readers, in the above passages, you find the lethargic irresponsible attitude of the responsible minister of the government and the reactionary attitude of the elected members of the Assembly. It has taken a number of years for the government to understand Periyar. It would have been a great blissful benefit to humanity if the leaders were more responsible in this vital matter.

Discussion of Central Minister with Periyar

On 9-3-1970, Dr. Chandrasekar the Union Minister for Family planning met Periyar. He discussed the Family Planning problem.

Doctor: You are the first person to show the way in the matter of family planning. If I am right, I think you wrote about it in 1928. Please let us know what prompted you to do so.

Periyar: I had the unique privilege of moving with all people from my boyhood days. Whatever I felt, I used to say boldly. Whatever I felt wrong, I would condemn. To be short, I was considered a very talkative boy. As my family was very respectable, people used to come and tell about their family difficulties. I realized the difficulties people undergo when their family is big. The husband and wife were not cordial on account of too many children in the family. I had to think about all these seriously.

Once a neighbour at Erode beat his wife black and blue. I went and asked him why he was so beastly. He simply told me not to interfere in his personal matter. The way in which he behaved with me wounded his wife. I was very much moved by her words and tears. She told me that she bore the torturous life for the sake of her children. She was not for committing suicide. When I asked her why she bore so many children, she simply said that it is all God's creation. This incident prompted me to write and tell my views first to the people. At that time, I read the news about the advancement in Western countries in the matter of Birth control. I translated important details and started propagating Family planning. 

After my marrying Nagammai, she gave birth to a child, and it died after living for five months. I do not remember to have seen the child. After that, I told my mother that no one needs to worry about it. I thought that child is a nuisance for public life. In the course of time, it became deep-rooted.

Doctor: Was there any opposition to Family planning in those days.

Periyar: The people used to say that I supported Birth control just because I had no children.

Doctor: Our Family planning programme is the biggest in the world. What is your opinion about it?

Periyar: It is good the government has taken it up seriously. It will help people, in the long run, to live happily.

One thing more must be done. We should induce women to carry on this propaganda. You know generally, our ladies are very fond of children. We have to educate them through women propagandists. We should make good and respectable women do the propaganda work. Moreover, we should see that the propagandists, whether they are males or females, have no fanaticism about God or religion. Rationalist outlook should be deemed as a qualification for carrying on Family planning propaganda.

Doctor: it will be a very difficult task for us to find such people. May I know your views on the marriageable age of women

Periyar: Unless you fix now 22 years as the age for marriage to girls, we may not gain much. My suggestion will help the womenfolk in many ways. They will be able to improve their status. They will be able to study more and learn things. They will gain knowledge of some trade. The more we raise the age, say to 22, the much would be the benefit.

Nowadays, a girl becomes a mother of two or three children by the time she attains the age of 20. They are likely to be spoilt. We can avoid these if we raise the age to 20 or 22. 

Doctor: We are gradually restricting the number of children. Now we propagate that only two should be the limit. But when both are girls, the parents crave for a male. How are we to convince them.

Periyar: I will tell you. Reserve 50 percent of jobs for ladies in all departments. If you make it compulsory, the parents will not feel sorry at all, even if they have no male child.

Doctor: Won't the males oppose?

Periyar: No! Parents want a male child because they think that he will support them after studying and securing a job. If you give 50 percent of the jobs to ladies, that feeling will disappear. Equalize jobs between males and females. Sister, daughter, etc, in a family, would work, and support the family. Naturally, males would be happy.

Periyar's warning at Trichy Meeting

In a striking speech at Tiruchy, Periyar emphatically warned the people that one who does not care to limit his family would one day repent. He said:

"Of all the living beings, man alone is endowed with rationalism. It is rationalism that makes him think about the good and bad. It gives him knowledge of better ways of life. Man alone could think and act with freedom. He alone could keep away from worries and lead a happy life.

But what do we see today? He is worse than beasts. He has lost his freedom. He has become a mere slave. He is immoral. He is rid of the virtues.

With his treasure of rationalism, he could live peacefully. He need not stoop to immorality and degradation. Is there a man who is now free from worries? No, would be the answer. What made him like that? Think over.

First and foremost, he has lost self-confidence. He thinks that he cannot do anything. He thinks that he is a slave to destiny. He thinks God alone is the doer of all things. 

But in practice, man does everything. Man does not leave anything for God to do. He does not keep quiet and see God doing things. Yet people believe that God alone does everything. See how foolish our people are. That is why I say that even though man is the only rational being, he is deprived of using it. More than 90 to 95 percent of people are found to face a miserable life. Not only that, they are not the least worried about honesty or morality. Most of them are not able to lead a life of freedom. They are dependent on others. What is the cause for all these? Why should man be subjected to these evils? When we begin to think, we see that of all the reasons, people suffer mostly on account of not restricting births.

Generally, people suffer mostly on account of their big family. People even forget themselves. They are always worried about their children. How to feed, clothe, educate and bring up children? These thoughts always pester human beings. Elders are worried to amass wealth for their children. This thought of children in the mind of people naturally leads them to sufferings and miseries. It prompts them to venture boldly on evil deeds. Because our men are in the majority, no one is really ashamed of it. Even rich men are in the majority. No one is really ashamed of it. Even rich men fail to assert their rights if they have three or four children. These are the disadvantages of giving birth to more children.

Why should man seek to have children? I ask only five or ten percent of the husbands would have the motive of the people having a child, as he is engaged with his wife. It is the natural instinct in human beings that makes them have intercourse. Even though everyone is aware of this fact, when we ask a man why he goes on producing so many children, he simply says, "Am I responsible for it?" This answer is given by educated people, graduates and doctors also. Even great luminaries in the field of science reply that man is not to be blamed. You know why they say so. Their motive is to keep away certain unfavourable factors. They want to keep away from the blame. For his foolish act, he does not want to own up responsibility. He evades with a motive to escape from the blame. He only dupes himself.

The population is a serious problem 

There were days when we were worried about the population. It was not a problem then. But today, people are more intelligent. The population has become a problem to be seriously attended to. Bringing forth children is today an unwarranted work for humanity.

1000 years ago, bringing forth children was not a foolish thing. More births meant more deaths. But if we think of our future, advancement in science has increased longevity and curtailed the death rate. We have modern medicines for almost all diseases. Diseases cannot claim deaths as they did in the past. We could not say as in the past 'god gave children – god has taken them back' Care of children is made easier nowadays. Parents need not struggle as in the past. People are aware of the precautionary measures and are provided with suitable medical aid now a days. The talk of God's work has become out of date. That is the reason for the fast population growth.

We must thank the Britishers. When they ruled us, they introduced modern medical treatment. They gave us some wisdom. It is difficult to die now a days. Everyone lives a long life. Death is not an easy matter these days.

Our population has increased abnormally in a short period. If the Britishers had not come, our birth rate and death rate would have been almost proportionate. People would have deemed it God's work.

Today (in 1973), the average life of a citizen is 50 years. People easily get treated by doctors. The fact is killing diseases like Cholera, and Small Pox are almost controlled. There were days when people were afraid of God punishing them for getting medical treatment.

Today (in 1973), the population of Madras is 30 lakhs. If there is an outbreak of cholera, the health officer would be called for an explanation. He cannot reply that goddess Amman claimed 8 deaths last week. He will be taken to task if he does not take steps to control. It is his duty to prevent the disease. He will have to report that there is no death due to cholera. He cannot bring in God or anything to his rescue. It is because of this change in life that deaths are prevented.

I purchased one lakh square feet of land at the rate of Rupee one per square foot. Today the taxation authorities estimate the cost as Rs.70 per square foot. Even if anyone is to offer this rate, I will not sell because the land is needed for our work. As the population increases, there will be a dearth of land, and the value would spiral up.

Not only that, My father told me that 8 full measures of rice were sold for one rupee in his days. Even for that, people had no money. Today one measure of rice itself costs two rupees. Today the production has also increased 3 or 4 times more.

As the population has increased so much, all efforts to increase production has made the society suffer more. Where lies the mistake? Are we to blame God or people? They have blindly continued to produce children. None is worried about it. Only today, some people have come forward to pay heed to the wholesome Family planning scheme. In those days, it was not so. People freely produced children. They believed that God gave them Children. How is it right for people to go on like that now? As the death rate goes on decreasing if the birth rate is not kept under check, naturally the population would quickly increase. In the days to come no man would die easily of any disease.

Take my case itself; I should have died 40 years ago. Most of my friends are no more. They all died at the age of 40, 42 and 50. I am now aged 94 years. (Periyar died on 24 Dec 1973. when he was aged 94 years, three months and seven days) I am well off. It is all due to the medical aid I received. Doctors make me a fine, hale and hearty person. Today people go to the doctor frequently. They check up on their health.

As such, facilities and medical aid, and amenities are easily available, people live longer. More and more medicines newly made are available to people. For good health, you have various nutritive, energetic tonics, tablets and injections. So please think about what the future would be? The population would go on increasing. What to do about that? We should think over it.

Periyar's first book on Birth-Control 

Every man needs a house for shelter, an avocation to earn. He needs food, clothing, education for his family. How is it possible without birth control? If everyone realizes he could restrict the birth to one or two, then he will be able to bring up his children well. The mother would also maintain her good health. She will also feel it a pleasure to have two children. Both the children could be well fed, clothed and educated. The government will not feel a burden when the population is controlled. A welfare state could be practically realized. It is for these reasons that the government is taking so many pains regarding family planning.

As the population was not a threatening problem, there was no need for the government to implement Family planning schemes in the past. I think that the idea struck me first. I wrote a book on Birth control some 30 years back – When I first propagated the necessity to control birth, many people were irritated. I was accused of blabbering some nonsense. Religious fanatics, including Christians and Muslims, slandered me. I was not worried at all. I continued to warn the people about the future. No one understood me till 1950. Everyone turned a deaf ear. Even now, they are only gradually realizing the importance of family planning.

If we do not control the population, it will be distress for us in the future. People cannot live with peace or with integrity and honesty. Poverty will increase. It is not possible to pay higher salary or wages according to the increase in the number of children. Whether you have two children or eight children, your pay or income will be the same. Your difficulties will go on mounting if you go on adding children. You will have to depend on others more and more.

When a person is transferred to a different place, he is unwilling to go. He says, "I have so many children. How can I go all of a sudden! My wife is pregnant. How could I go! If I go, my family will get spoilt." They say so so many things. Is the government responsible for all these? 

Yet, they blame the government. So it is wrong to go on bringing forth children recklessly. Such people court difficulties, worries, hardships and become slaves to others, losing self-respect and tolerating all insults. We should blame our foolishness.

People crave for a male child so that his dead body could be lit by his son. They want a son so that they may perform certain foolish rites after his death. Those who have no children are discarded in certain castes as sinners. It is said that it is sinful even to eat in a house where there are no children. How roguish these things are! Some people hoodwink the public saying that a man without a child goes to hell. It is all because of these irrational thoughts that society is immersed in eternal worries.

All these issues have been discussed in my first book on Birth-Control.

Does God Help Earning?

Only a few people above want. It may not be even 20 percent of the population. The majority of the people have a hand to mouth existence by working on wages, drawing carts, pulling loads carrying weights. Soon after marriage, people go on bringing forth children every year. They have no idea of their future life. They say that is all God's desire.

When we ask them whether God is aware of their income and whether God would give more, would he show you some other good way to earn more, some people throw the blame on their wives. Some people blame the mother-in-laws. These are all things we should be ashamed of. Is there any benefit to society and the world on account of the abnormal increase in population? Overpopulated counties are backward. People suffer from difficulties in life.

If the society is to be well off, the only way is to control the population. People should not think about having more children. People should realize the welfare of society and the nation. By intensive propaganda, we should effectively educate the people before making laws. We must not show any sympathy to anyone who brings forth a third child.

Moreover, in the matter of marriages, there is no government control over society. Marriages take place, and the production of children too goes on unrestricted. The government should forbid girls from getting married before they attain 22 years of age. This will help to tackle the problem of overpopulation. This will pave the way for the brilliant person to do something useful to himself, his family, and the country. It will give scope for the womenfolk to enter into various fields. Our women know only to bring forth children, cook food and look after the needs of their husband. By these, our progress has been hampered. Most of them do not know anything about the outside world.

People should be rid of the thought that God alone is capable of doing all things and that man is merely a slave to God. Man is empowered to act with wisdom. To those who believe that man is not responsible for what is taking place, I would like to say one thing. These are days that children are brought forth by keeping the semen of a male and the egg of a female in a test tube. Such is the fast advancement in science. The scientists may even find out a way for life without intercourse. I wrote about all these in 1938 itself. The semen of the select males with robust health and intelligence may be injected into the womb of select women.

Rationalist Movement Gaining Momentum

We must take steps to educate the people. This problem of illiteracy keeps our people in darkness. If our people are to gain knowledge of what is going on in the outside world, we must educate them. Somehow our people are having sound knowledge of so many gods, their births, their families and their wonderful stories. These have made the people blind. We should crusade against all blind beliefs. People must be made to realize that God is not all-powerful. They must realize that it is foolish to depend on God for help or guidance. There is no such god that answers to the call of people. It is sheer idiocracy to trust God. Fellows who have created so many gods have not created even a single god that is helpful to humanity. They only created religions, institutions, absurd literature and meaningless rituals, only for their own survival. If any god is good to us, we may welcome it. Why should we accept a god for the sake of mere belief? 

If anyone asks anything or raises a doubt, he is dubbed as an atheist. This tendency has created a blind following. That is why man is not freed from blind notions. Only now there is a little awakening. Men are coming forward to question. Rational outlook has begun to glow. Our Rationalist Movement is opened to all. It has gained momentum.

I do not say that people should believe what I say. Think. If one is satisfied that what I have said is true and believable, then only you should accept my views.

I do not want anyone to follow me blindly. You are all rational beings.

You can think and seek the truth.

We must make our people realize that family planning is a necessity. Unless our population is checked, we will never see a welfare state. We must enlist the co-operation of all people for birth control by imparting adequate knowledge to all the illiterate sections in society.

God is the creation of very, very ancient man 

When, why and how I got the courage to oppose and dispose God, religion, divine doctrines, saying of our ancestors, etc.? These were things that originated some two thousand to three thousand years back when human civilization was nothing short of barbarism. That period lacked any scientific knowledge. Not only that, people were ignorant of the very sense of growth and development.

The epics, mythologies and other religious stories and scriptures bear witness to this. Even today, this trash of religious ignorance is being believed by 90 percent of the population; the majority of the pundits, language teachers, the so-called scholars who have got B.A., M.A., and even Doctorate degrees. They believe in and practice these in their lives.

Devotion is nothing but believing this imagination of the barbarian times and instituting, celebrating and propagating shrines, festivals and holy days in accordance with that imaginary God. When such is the condition of the present day religion and religious people, how barbarous those ancient people would have been!

(Translated By A.S. Venu)

[Thiru A.S. Venu was a good writer, and he edited many journals in the Dravidian Movement. As a great disciple of PERIYAR and follower of ANNA, he served in the Editorial Board of 'The Modern Rationalist' - English Monthly run by our Institution.]

(From 'Collected Works of Periyar E.V.R.', compiled by Dr. K. Veeramani, published by 'The Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution')

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