Topic– The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
1) Explain how the Justice Party in Madras became the stepping stone for political empowerment of non-Brahmins?(250 words)
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to first highlight the lack of political empowerment of non Brahmins and thereafter, examine the role of Justice party in political empowerment of non Brahmins in Madras.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Mention that even as India was fighting British, there was another India fighting for liberation from perhaps an equally vicious hegemony within in South India.
- Highlight the poor literacy, political representation etc of the non Brahmins in Madras presidency. fighting the humiliation of not being allowed entry into public spaces including buses and hotels. It was fighting for its rightful space in administrative services and other job opportunities. It was fighting to find its voice in a political climate dominated by Brahmins. The opposition to Brahmin hegemony perhaps became more organized as a movement and later a political party for the first time in Tamil Nadu, in the form of Justice party and Justice movement.
- Explain that in 1916, around 30 prominent non-Brahmin leaders including Dr Natesa Mudaliyar, Sir PT Theyagaraya Chetty, TM Nair and a woman Alamelu Mangai Thayarammal came together to form South Indian Liberation Federation (SILF) which would popularly be called as Justice Party after the ‘Justice’ newspaper it launched to propagate the ideals of the movement.
- Explain how they helped in political empowerment
- Justice Party released its non-Brahmin manifesto in December 1916. The manifesto became an important document that would shape the rise of Dravidian movement later. But at the time of its release, it received widespread criticism
- Tamil Nadu’s legacy of social justice owes its existence to the formative years of Justice Party in power. The party introduced what is called as communal G.O to legislate reservations. Incidentally, Periyar quit the Congress after the party failed to pass the communal G.O. Women were given voting rights and noon-meal scheme was introduced when Justice Party was in power.
- party also played a vital role in allowing women to contest elections paving way for Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy to become the first woman legislator in India. The pioneering efforts of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy saw the abolition of Devadasi system when the Justice party was in power. Etc
Conclusion – Comment on the significance of the impact of the movement.