Black shirts of India (Periyar and the black shirt)

Karthick Nambi
3 min readJul 12, 2019

What if there is a relationship between Fascist Benito Mussolini, Nazi party and a prominent Indian political party on the color black

The Start

Periyar, founder of the Dravidian movement during his visit to Italy had a chance to see the making of the Fascist party under Benito Mussolini. He was fascinated by the famous black shirt guards of the Fascist party. This fascination has impacted even now in Indian politics

Dravidian movement

Dravidian movement is a political movement started in Madras Presidency, India. Its purpose was to create a separate country from British India. The separate Dravidian country was gaining momentum due to the rise of the Dravidian party called Dravida Kalagam.


Dravida Kalagam was started and organized by Periyar. Periyar once supported the Congress of India and was in a close relationship with Gandhi. His liberal thoughts brought him to a crossroad with may senior Congress leader and he left Congress

Periyar under the banner of Dravida Kalagam fought for the downtrodden in Indian Society. His fight was more focussed on casteism. The Indian caste system assigns people a specific caste based on their birth. This caste system came into existence based on the day to day work done by people. On the long term, certain jobs became downtrodden and people doing those jobs became untouchables

For people belonging to some castes entry to many public places are restricted including Public ponds, Roads, Temples. Even in public places these people were not allowed to wear slippers and should walk with bare legs. Periyar took up the upliftment of downtrodden caste and marched into temples with them defying the ban

When independence for India was announced Periyar declared it as a black day. He stated that the British were considerate with the abolishing the caste issue. The new Indian government with people from the upper caste occupying high post this won’t be possible.