Periyar (September 17, 1879–December 24, 1973), literally meaning ‘The Great Man’, was a renowned rationalist, atheist, freedom fighter and activist, from Tamil Nadu. He was the founder of Dravidar Kazhagam and the Self-Respect Movement. Periyar is also known by the names: E.V. Ramasami, EVR, Thanthai Periyar and Periyar Ramasami. Even though he was born in an upper caste (Naicker), he fought against untouchability practiced by the Brahmins
and the rituals of Hinduism
and the caste system. Periyar played a significant role in the ‘Vaikom Satyagraha’. When he was once imprisoned, a women's conference in Madras (Chennai
) passed a resolution to refer to E.V.Ramasamy always as Periyaar.
Periyar was honored during his 119th birth anniversary by forming a university named Periyar University, in 1997. Thanthai Periyar Transport Corporation Limited at Viluppuram and Thanthai Periyar Govt Institute of Technology at Bagayam also fames his name.
[Source all india (80) 27-Mar-05]