140 days Total count of Gandhi’s fasts
21 days Gandhi’s three longest fasts
Periyar E.V. Ramasamy must easily be one of the most controversial political personalities of 20th-century India. A people’s man, he spent the last 50 years of his long life practically on the move, haranguing at street corners, frequently getting abused and having stones thrown at him. The Tamils are rightly proud of him because he was one of his kind. Periyar was a proud person, but never selfish. His love for the Tamil people and the underprivileged was unquestionable. He did not know how to mince words and often went overboard. He truly detested religion, God, caste, social discrimination, Brahmins, the ideas of Gandhi and the very idea of India.
Of the three major leaders who stoutly opposed Gandhi, two, Jinnah and Ambedkar, are well-known and their works are available in English. The third, Periyar, is familiar to non-Tamils only through a minuscule, translated portion of his enormous output and some adulatory...