2016, May 17
DMK was expecting a victory from a general election concluded a month ago. There were merely two days left for legislative election results to be announced, but the ridiculous toxic propaganda and demeaning caste-based attacks on the DMK during the election campaign had disturbed me deeply.
With the help of the union government, precursory blessings of Prime Minister Modi, and through calculative scheming to form alliances that were nearly impossible, the opposition party grabbed power in the state. The scars from that day still remain unhealed and fresh in the hearts of the party cadres. It was the day the very purpose of people-led politics and democracy was shattered beyond belief.
On the other hand, even before this had happened I was of the strong conviction that the Dravidian ideology was not something that should be confined to the borders of the state of Tamilnadu but should be the guiding light and driving force throughout the nation. I have inscribed this idea through my numerous writings over the years.
The malicious social media campaign of Tamil nationalist brokers, ignorant -NGOs, and organic farming agents had become rampant, and messages intended to trigger the religious divide had found their way into the minds of the common man.
The strategy of defaming DMK over the Srilankan issue was widespread. I felt grieved and alarmed. I pondered if my days would end defending DMK without an opportunity to see my beloved party and ideology in action. I understood it wouldn’t be enough if the Dravidian ideology is propagated only in the state language, Tamil.
Since I had the opportunity to travel across the globe and India, and have had the opportunity to speak and understand several other languages across the nation. I developed a strong urge to present the principles of Dravidam to people across India in their languages to assert the value of Dravidian principles.
That one single discourse of Aringar Anna at the parliament was enough to infuse in me the unwavering faith in Dravidian ideology and with that strength, I derived from the Dravidian principles, and the time I confronted the general manager of a firm I worked for in Mumbai leaving him at loss for words. From that moment when I, a village-bred novice found the courage to battle and win over the capitalist fascist ideas with an ideology, I began to believe in its greatness, the greatness of Dravidian ideology. I wanted to give the modern-day educated youth outside Tamilnadu who have hung onto their communist philosophy, a glimpse of this greatness.
It was not different from what Periyar and Aringar Anna did in the 1940s and it was the same thing Kalaignar did in the 1990s but then again the time, place, and people have changed. There had been a lag in these efforts in the recent past.
I had witnessed the youth of North India unconsciously drown in religious fanaticism even in the late 1960s.
I wanted to sow the seeds of Dravidian principles in the minds of these youth. The seed will grow and the Dravidian seed with an extra ounce of momentum, I strongly believed.
The third defeat of DMK was ensured by the full-time strenuous joint efforts of Tamil nationalists and the saffron factions and their supercilious attitude was being celebrated with much jubilance and impudence. “The Dravidians“ slowly and steadily became their mope.
On 17th May 2016, I started the We Dravidians page and registered the first like myself! I shared one of Mr. Don Ashok’s posts translated into English. It took more than a year to get the first 1000 likes but later we witnessed a massive growth in the reach and the volume of the audience. At one point, we were able to add 5000 subscribers in a single day. We grew from 1000 subscribers in 2016 to 10,000 in 2017, and by 2018 – 2019 we have 50,000 subscribers.
The page was pulled down for 30 days when we campaigned aggressively during the 2019 elections against the BJP alliance. We then started the We Dravidians page in four languages and appointed voluntary administrators in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam languages.
The launch of these pages with the signature of the DMK Supremo MK Stalin is a great memory & We have received a recognition from DK Supremo Asiriyar K.Veeramani recently. Both moments I and the team We Dravidians would cherish for my lifetime.
The Marathi and Bengali language pages of We Dravidians were started in 2020.
We Dravidians TV and Puthiya Dravidam youtube channels were started and for the first time, Dr. Jayaranjan’s interview in English was uploaded. The interviews of several eminent personalities were uploaded including that of Dr.Arul Molizh, Dr.Elilan, and Kartikeya Sivasenathipathi to name a few. Videos in Kanada, Bengali, and Bhojpuri had also been published.
Through print & audiovisual media, we now reach out to people in seven languages. In 2019 strategies to scuttle the page’s visibility officially and unofficially were put in place. Shadowbanning by facebook ensured reduced visibility and removal from the recommendation algorithm.
During the 2021 elections, they had threatened to shut down the page. We raised our concern to the DMK president and IT wing secretary PTR. Our letter was published in the party’s web magazine.
We brought down the page voluntarily and started creating a backup and launched the website www.wedravidians.com with our hard-earned money. We celebrated Periyar week and Anna week in September and arranged for a telecast of more than 50 discourses in various languages on NEET, Anna, Periyar Dravidian ideology, etc
We published the books Hindi Vs Marathi, ManuNEETi, The DMK Dream Manifesto and Why do we need MKS as PM of India?through Dravidam for India Movement Publications owned by the page. In 2019 we released the Kalainger 96 song on his birthday.
Apart from these,
the establishment of the Dravidian University located at Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, helped reintroduce the Dravidian ideologies to the youth, we renamed the day commemorating the Language Crusade Martyrs to Dravidian Languages day and to celebrate this we invited We are South Indian foundation members and introduced them at the Periyar auditorium. We also petitioned the embassies of America and other countries in our state to stop celebrating Hindi day.
There was a considerable drop in followers of that page after it was pulled down in 2019. The followers had come down considerably. It took two years to touch 60000 followers but we never gave up.
In 2021, We released more than 100 videos and more than 1000 articles as part of the 2021 election campaign. We worked tirelessly. Several independent youtube channels, pages, and people supported us on social media. The collective and selfless hard work finally paid off. DMK registered a monumental victory in the elections.
While we have been tirelessly campaigning for the cause of Dravidian ideology for India for the past six years. We have been putting forward several petitions such as
- The DMK party must be launched in all states
- The DMK party must contest in the UP elections
- A federation of South Indian states must be started
- A second national capital must be established
- A branch of the supreme court must be established in South India
- Hon. CM MK Stalin must become the Prime minister of the nation
Out of these, MK Stalin has now announced the Federation for social justice. We consider this a major victory for the We Dravidians movement and we believe all the requests will soon become a reality.
We had a friend come all the way from UP to have a DMK contest in the UP elections and he had a strong backup established in UP. We made him meet the DMK president but we couldn’t take the mission forward due to the unconducive environment created by the spread of corona across the nation, but we still believe the future holds better opportunities.
The approach of the Facebook administration after the victory of DMK has changed considerably. We do not receive threats or false violation notifications anymore. We have witnessed a considerable increase in the number of followers and we have reached up to 70,000 followers in the last six months.
This is how we achieved the milestone of one crore followers last month. We reached one crore viewers in 28 days and we reached 80 lakh viewers in the last month.
According to this calculation, we could say approximately 10 lakh viewers each month. We could have reached six to ten crore viewers in the last six months. This data suggests that about 50 percent of Facebook users may have visited our page apart from the other social media handles.
We used to clock three million viewes very easily, but then in 2019 we faced several hurdles and we have just bounced back in 2021- 22.
We have hundreds of original content and lakhs of views but then we have never monetized this. Facebook hasn’t paid us anything to this day because there are many third-party videos.
We cannot ensure fair and free participation on a political page without the contribution of other people hence we did not indulge in monetizing the page for a few dollars.
The page was started with just one like and has grown to reach 70000 likes and one crore viewers and this I view as a victorious milestone. It gives me hope that we will keep growing to great heights and that social media platforms can be launchpads of change and that we can create social change through them.
It has always been our friends and only friends who have supported and stood by us in this journey. If we were to thank anyone else it would be our adversaries. The saffornists increased the visibility and reputation of the page by bawling with us and criticizing us, making our journey interesting. Thank you dear saffornists for giving us this triumph.
Requesting your love and support to continue this journey forward!
From the Admin Desk
Translated & Edited by Team We Dravidians