A2B restaurant owner is crediting EVR for “opening up” the field of veg hotel business to all comms which was supposedly “gatekept” by Iyers. Really? A2B was a small sweet shop started in late 70s or early 80s and expanded rapidly in the last decade. EVR passed away in 1973, supposedly laying the foundation for non-TBs to enter this business?
An interview video clip of Adyar Ananda Bhavan group owner KT Srinivasa Raja is viral on social media now. This video is shared with the caption “A2B restaurant owner is crediting EVR for “opening up” the field of veg hotel business to all comms which was supposedly “gatekept” by Iyers”.
A2B restaurant owner is crediting EVR for "opening up" the field of veg hotel business to all comms which was supposedly "gatekept" by Iyers.
— Tamil Labs 2.0 (@labstamil) October 20, 2023
The post further stated, “A2B was a small sweet shop started in late 70s or early 80s and expanded rapidly in the last decade. EVR passed away in 1973, supposedly laying the foundation for non-TBs to enter this business?” This video of him is being shared by multiple right-wing supporters with the hashtags to boycott A2B. Some of such posts can be seen here and here.
What is the Truth?
When searching for the full video of A2B owner KT Srinivasa Raja’s interview, we found a total of four videos in four parts and the question seen in the viral video is found in the third part of the interview as a promo for the fourth video. However, this part where he answered is not found in the fourth part of the video.
When watching the viral video carefully we found their conversation as follows:
Host: Once, the hotel industry, to be specific vegetarian hotels was in control of Iyers. Then the situation slowly changed. How did it evolve?
KT Srinivasa Raja: Anyone can do it. The main reason we can say is Thanthai Periyar. He is also one among those who changed the Kulathozhil (family-based traditional business). Anyone can do any business as time changes. The Government/bank also supports businesses by providing loans. Once a business done by a specific community can now be done by any, like, anyone can go fishing in the sea. Since the situation has changed like this, all are doing it (hotel business) now.
KT Srinivasa Raja is seen answering generally by quoting an example of fishing to say that the situation of family-based traditional business has changed now. Moreover, he mentioned EV Ramasamy (Thanthai Periyar) as one of the reasons for such change in society.
It is to be noted that he did not credit Periyar for his family to enter the hotel business. And he also did not say that ‘Iyers’ gatekept the hotel industry for other communities.
The Weekend Leader covered the success story of Adyar Ananda Bhavan. The article reported that it all started for the family with a sweet shop named ‘Guru Sweets’ in Rajapalayam in 1960. Then KT Srinivasa Raja’s father Thirupathi Raja moved to Bangalore and started a sweet shop ‘Srinivasa Sweets’ in Bangalore’s Sriramapuram in mid mid-1970s.
The family then shifted to Chennai in 1979 and started ‘Sri Ananda Bhavan’ in Washermanpet. Srinivasa Raja was left behind in Bangalore to take care of ‘Srinivasa Sweets’ till they closed it in 1988. The second outlet in Chennai was opened in 1988 in Adyar after which ‘Sri Ananda Bhavan’ changed to ‘Adyar Ananda Bhavan’. And the first A2B restaurant was started in Pondicherry in 2000.
It is found that the Adyar Ananda Bhavan group owner KT Srinivasa Raja did not credit Periyar for his family to enter the hotel industry. But the speech of him crediting Periyar as one of the people in changing the situation of family-based traditional business is being shared with misleading claims by the right-wing supporters with ‘boycott a2b’ hashtags.