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Ayya Vaikundar a different Revolutionist.
   An Initiative of Nadar Family Welfare Centre, Trivandrum - 1

Political Vision
Vaikunda Nather raised a slogan – Unity of Untouchable Communities - first in the history. He insisted them to live together.
He advised that all human beings are equal and proclaimed the famous slogan ONE CASTE, ONE RELIGION, ONE CLAN, ONE WORLD , ONE GOD .According to him Nature has neither caste distinction nor any kind of differentiation on man.
 
During those days, casteism was so rigid that each caste had separate wells. No person from different caste was allowed to draw water from the well. The Socialist vision of Ayya Vaikundar fought against this evil practice and he constructed a community well. It was named as MUTHERAI KINARU (The well blessed by Ayya) and was open to all. This was the first well in this part of the country where people from different castes came together and took the water.
In those days, lower caste people were not allowed to enter the temple premises. As we can see even now the Poojaris (Preists) throwing the sacred ash and sandal-paste to devotees, instead of applying it reverentially. The most revolutionary act on this by Ayya Vaikundar was THOTTU NAMAM PODUNGAL (Namam Charthal) ,a practice of applying sacred Namam by bring the fore finger and the first finger together to apply it on the forehead of devotees. He taught the world there is no difference between a devotee and a priest.Both are same creation of God. Ayya Vaikundar advised the Gurus, to follow the practice of Thottu Namam Podungal in every NIZHAL THANGALS.
During those days wearing a turban was a matter of social respect. There were rules restricting the lower castes from wearing a turban and dressing like that of the higher castes. The lower castes were not permitted to wear dhoti extending below their knees from waist. Ayya Vaikundar wanted to eradicate this discrimination from the society and uphold the self-respect of the lower castes.
Previously, Urumal Kettu was a ritual in the lower caste homes. A turban was ceremoniously worn on a boy’s head when he attain the age of sixteen and it was celebrated in a grand manner. This practice was discontinued due to the harassment of the upper caste people. The lower caste people were not allowed to wear dress covering the upper part of the body. They were not permitted to wear a towel even on their shoulders. They could wear the towel only around their waist. They were not allowed to wear a turban even while carrying head loads. They were only permitted to have a Chummad made of paddy straw, palmyrah leaf or plantain leaf.
Ayya Vaikundar asked those people who came to him to wear a turban and a dhoti up to the toes. Ayya practiced this democratic theory to bring equality among the downtrodden.
In those days ,the Nadars and other low cast people had to pay a large amount as tax.There were taxes for breasts to banyan trees.Taxes were levied for palmyra trees also. Major portion of the money they earned was to be given as taxes.They were not able to fulfill their daily needs with the balance. Many people fled from the Kingdom of Travancore because of their inability to pay all such taxes.But the realatives were compelled to pay taxes for those who fled.
The taxation ( PAARI ) was legally and illegally done by the state and high caste.The tax collectors were high caste hindus. The lower castes were compelled to satisfy these tax collectors by obeying all errands. They had to offer palmyra products at free of cost. Further they had to work for high caste hindus without any wages. This was known as OOZHIYAM.
Ayya Vaikunder called not to give paari tax. In his own words , ‘AVARAVAR THEDUM MUTHAL, AVARAVAR VAI THAN IDUNGO’. ( The earnings of each are to be put in to the mouth of themselves). This proclamation had an electrifying influence among the lower castes. He advised the people to ask wages for the work they do and inspired them not to be afraid of anybody. The people totally stood against paari. They revolted against the exploitation of the high caste hindus and rulers. This resulted in the habit of saving among the low castes . The people saved a part of their earnings for their future. The paari (tax ) came to an end.
Before and during the period of Ayya Vaikundar, Hindu religion was in the grip of Brahmins. They conducted poojas and marriages in Sanskrit which no common people understood the meaning of. Ayya introduced a marriage system where the marriage ceremony was performed using the local language (Tamil) and no Brahmin or Sanskrit mantra was involved. The local Guru recites slogans in the local language and the bridegroom ties the mangala sutra around bride's neck. These customs are followed even today.
There are numerous prophecies foretold by Ayya Vaikundar dealing with local surroundings as well as for the whole world. All these can be found in Arul-Nool and Akilathirattu when he is describing the effect of kali-yuga before the next yuga starts. Ayya's prophecies have been accurate for whatever is happening and for what has happened. Only a handful of them are presented here.
Ayya Vaikundar foretold that Kings would not be ruling the country. He also said that people would be involved in administration and running governments. These are all repeatedly happening today as he foretold.
In Akilathirattu, Ayya Vaikundar states that the power to rule the state will be given to women. We are seeing this happening in the whole world.
In Akilathirattu, Ayya Vaikundar states that the forests will be constantly shrinking and will become living places to satisfy the greedy needs of the human.
In Arul-Nool, Ayya Vaikundar states that the Ayodhya city (Rama Janma Bhoomi) would be destroyed.
In those days, traveling was done by horseback or chariots. Ayya told that due to material advancements, roads and transportation will make the distance very short.
Ayya told that the cows and sheeps will be greatly reduced as normal household animals. However, he also stated that there will not be any shortage for milk. (This indicates the onset of commercial establishments instead of having them as household animals).
Desire of sex will be the one and only reason of marriage between a man and women. No other value will be considered and will cause family breakups. They will have no understanding about the purpose of life....
He prophesied that foreigners will leave India and the country will become free. All local Kingdoms will unite and the symbol of India will be with the face of lion.
Even though Ayya Vaikunder was brutally criticized and opposed by high caste authorities and the rulers of the Kingdom while he was alive, the events in the later period proved ha Ayya was right.The well known Indian monk and social reformer Swamy Vivekanandaji visited Swamithoppu during his visit to Kanyakumari .He set off his journey to Chicago via Madras from here. His historical speech may got influenced by the principles of Ayya Vaikunder.
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