There might not be anything as complex as and dirtier than Indian Politics. The current controversy over ‘Ram-Sethu‘ and ‘Existence of Ram‘ might just be one testimony to the fact.
When Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) filed an affidavit in the court stating ‘there isn’t scientific evidence to prove the existence of Ram…‘, it created a deep sense of unrest, not just among the people in the Sangh Parivar but also among those Hindus for whom Ram is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There was a great deal of dissatisfaction against the move by the Congress led UPA Government for almost twenty-four hours after which the Congress made a complete ‘U’ Turn to reinstate Ram in the Indian Pantheon. All the spot lights were then on Sonia Gandhi and was presented as a ‘Champion of a Hindu cause‘ by our media. But was she? Certainly not! Though she took the cognisance of Hindu feelings, she did nothing to stop the destruction of Ram-Sethu. It was, to be frank, a smart move by the Congress to devour BJP of its core agenda – Ram. This they did at the time when there were, and is, too much of uncertainties over the Party’s leadership in the next Loksabha elections.
ASI, which had filed the affidavit, is a part of Cultural Ministry headed by Congress’s leader Ambika Soni, who is a Christian by faith and not Hindu as many assume. Some rumours, it seems were spread by the party itself, that Soni had fallen apart with Sonia. H R Bharadwaj’s, union law minister’s, statement in clarification to the Congress’s stand on the whole issue indirectly suggested that ‘it was‘ perhaps ‘a ploy by a piqued loyalist to show the boss by embarrassing the government.‘
But could it be? Given the fact that ‘Soni is not going to leave the party’; the assumption of her challenging Sonia falls flat. So did Sonia and Congress’s win? Yes, certainly! But for a very short time! Thanks to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s (MK) statement they were bailed out, almost instantaneously.
‘Some say there was a person over 17 lakh years ago. His name was Ramar. Do not touch the bridge (Ram Sethu) constructed by him, they are saying. But then, from which engineering college had he graduated? Is there a proof for this?‘ said Karunanidhi, an atheist himself, in a public rally. The statement was enough for the Hindutva brigade to make the charge and demand from him an apology. But MK was reluctant and forged further on his remarks to add ‘…neither Valmiki nor Ram is here now (to touch for claims of Ram’s existence). There is only a group of people that think of people as fools. They will be proved wrong.‘ This won him a deep friendship with the Communist who offered him their full support, isolating the congress almost completely.
‘I dare him to challenge the heads of other faith‘ said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad. But that was not to catch anyone’s attention, let alone MK’s. There was further drama when Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) leader, and former Bharatiya Janata Party MP, Ramvilas Vendanti issued a death sentence, what media dubbed with Islamic ‘Fatwa‘, against Karunanidhi on September 21.
The media got their favourite whipping boy, VHP, and diverted their total concentration on them. VHP were perhaps ‘forced‘ to take such extreme steps when MK went on records to say that ‘Ram was drunkard according to Valmiki…’ For people to whom Ram ‘had set the highest example of righteousness, as a obedient son, caring husband, great citizen, king and a warrior par excellence‘ the statement was no less than blasphemous an ‘intentional effort to hurt their religious sentiment‘. Their patience was perhaps tested to the extreme by now, for no wrong reason of theirs. Writes, in this regard, noted Hindutva writer Tarun Vijay: ‘One Diwali our Shankaracharya was arrested and then Muslims were given reservations in job and educational institutions. No one ever, not even once, has shown concern for Kashmiri Hindu Refugees; rather Illegal Migrants Detention Act was brought and when Supreme Court struck it down was brought through the back door.‘
But while there was so much of coverage, in detail, on the whole episode starting from Ram Sethu to the existence of Ram himself, the media failed to find the reason as to Why is Karunanidhi questioning the existence of Ram? It was not an instantaneous response from the aging leader. It has a deep root in the history of Tamil Nadu and dates back to 1914 when Dr. C. Nadesan Mudaliar started the Dravida Association with objective of ‘helping Dravidian People in the south‘.
The association was inherent in its doctrine ‘for the separation of the Aryan North and Dravidian South; and the destruction of the southern Brahmins were necessary because they were the true agents of the Aryan North.‘ In Tamil Nadu Ravana is seen as a South Indian prince and his defeat by Rama is interpreted by the Tamils as the ‘subjugation of a nationalist‘, not the downfall of a demon. Perhaps this was the reason why Ramayana was burnt in this part of the world once. What MK is doing, or better put trying to do, is to revoke the past, of which he was one of the champions.
He and his party Dravida Munnetara Kazagham (DMK), is based on its uncanny belief on the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory‘ propounded by a few European Historians, then, in order to prove the supremacy of Christianity, and to serve the purpose: ‘Divide and Conquer the Hindus‘. After the departure of British, Communist Historians like Romila Thapar, Satish Chandra, K M Pannicker, R S Sharma, D N Jha and Irfan Habib spread and advocated this myth with insane insights and misinterpretations. Thanks, also, to the lunacy of our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, this thought was even hailed by him in his book ‘Discovery of India‘ because of which this myth was further forged.
Dravidian pride or nationalism need not depend upon the Aryan Invasion Theory or denigrating the culture of North India. The, so called, Dravidians have long been one of the most important peoples of India and have been the preservers of Vedic Culture itself. The best Vedic Sanskrit, rituals and traditions can be found only in the Indian South.
Importantly the word ‘Arya‘ in Sanskrit was never a racial term, but a title for respect. Even Dravidian king, for MK’s information, named themselves Aryan. Hence to place Aryans against Dravidians as a term is a misuse of language, being done by MK’s party for over decades now.
Be that as it may, the Aryan and Dravidian divide by itself has failed to prove itself. Then it is certainly a good question to ask Karunanidhi: as to why is he still hanging on to his Dravidian thoughts? That too when the belief by itself has no basis? Given the fact ‘Biologically both Aryans and Dravidians are of the same Caucasian type, only when closer to equator the skin gets darker.‘ is a strong evidence for MK to come out of his lunatic Dravidian thoughts and legacy. But will he ever disown it? I think he should, along with his communist friends, after all, all that they need is a scientific proof. Are you listening Mr. MK? Are you there Mr. Prakash Karat? Hello!
U Mahesh Prabhu | 23 September 2007 | firstname.lastname@example.org