He joined the Congress Party      in 1919, but resigned in 1925 when he
toured British Malaya, Europe, and Russia, which influenced him. In 1939
he became the head of the Justice Party and later in 1944 changed its name
to Dravidar Kazhagam. The party later split and one group led by CN
Annadurai formed the DMK in 1949. While continuing the Self-Respect
Movement, he advocated for an independent Dravida Nadu.
    He propagated the principles of rationalism, self-respect, and
eradication of caste. His work has greatly revolutionised the Tamil society
and has significantly removed caste-based discrimination. He is also
responsible for bringing new changes to the Tamil alphabet. The citation
awarded by the UNESCO described him as “the prophet of the new age,
the Socrates of South East Asia, father of social reform movement and
arch enemy of ignorance, superstitions, meaningless customs and base
manners.”
Social Reforms: Periyar made great efforts towards eradication of caste
and other social reforms. He wanted the government and political parties
along with social workers to identify the evils in society and boldly adopt
steps to remove them. His philosophy did not discriminate between
political service and social service. He felt that first and foremost the duty
of government is to efficiently run the social organization, and that the
philosophy of religion was to arrange social system. He strongly believed
that the Muslims and Christians were abiding by this role, but Hindu
religion remained unsuitable for progress in society.
    One of the major areas of Periyar focuses on upliftment of rural
population. In a booklet known as Village he pleaded for rural reform. He
also wanted to eradicate the idea of "village" as a differentiating word
among places, just as idea of "outcast" among social groups. Further, he
also encouraged for urbanization of villages by providing public facilities
like schools, libraries, radio stations, roads, transport and police stations.
    Periyar felt that a tiny number of cunning people created caste
differences to dominate the society. Hence he also emphasized the view
that people must look to develop self-respect and rationality. He explained
that caste system in South India was due to Indo-Aryan influence linked
with the arrival of Brahmins from the north. Ancient Tamil land, which is
actually a part of Tamilakkam, had a different stratification of society in
five regions, determined by natural      surrounding and also adequate means