Translated by Vamanan
‘The same technique (of appointing yes men to Congress party positions), is being followed today,’ I said. In this manner, after speaking about a variety of subjects, I rose to take leave of Periyar.
He got up hastily and entered a room. I followed him. He opened an almirah and picked up three oranges and a mango. He put them into the bag that hung from my shoulder, plunging me into utter astonishment.
There was a drum full of thinned paint, beside his bed. ‘‘Why have you kept this here? It is giving out a strong odour,’’ I said.
‘‘What do you know of my headache! If I keep the dissolved paint any where else, the fellows will steal much of it,’’ he said. His comment caused me no surprise. I got down the steps to go my way.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The close association between me and Naicker began at the start of 1923. I had returned to Coimbatore just then after living in Rangoon for a year. In Coimbatore, I, my friend Shubri and Chettipalayam Ayyasami Gounder were engaged in intense propaganda for the Congress. We would often go to many villages and towns with Naicker. We would also take Khadi along with us and sell it. At the time, Naicker was the president of the Tamil Nadu Khadi Board. One day, Chettipalayam Ayyyasami Gounder and I asked for Khadi for Rs. 500/- on credit. He refused, saying that unless we paid the money in cash he would not give it to us. We offered to give a promissory note. But he rejected that offer too. Finally, we somehow paid the money and took the Khadi products.
(From Naan Kanda Periyar by Kovai Ayyamuthu)