Mahabharata

Pattanaik is quick to seize on the “Suitable Boy” kiss: But Khajuraho analogy doesn’t fit

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

Devdutt Pattanaik has again pulled a fast one. His twitter timeline has an image of a sculpture, most likely from Khajuraho, where a kiss is being performed. He followed it with another one such image. He taunts “Hindutva” and he mocks saffron warriors including True Indology.

Pattanaik has done so in response to the Netflix serial “The Suitable Boy” being in crosshairs for showing a kiss inside a temple. His import is Hindu Dharma has always been nonchalant about such activities, that sex was a part of life and openly exhibited in public view. That the Hindu dharma today is hostage to Hindutva extremists. And that the right-wing Hindu governments is fuelling it. He kills the other bird with one stone in dragging saffron warriors and True Indology. Who’s the boss here now?

The misinformation is deliberate. It hides that temples like Khajuraho were built when Buddhism was the flavour. When Hindu dharma was in retreat. So, a show had to be put on devdasis and apsaras. Shringara too which was one of the Navrasas. Such images were put on exteriors of temples so visitors don’t lose sight of their roots. People still kept their padukas outside the temple. Inside was still sacred. Pious and devotional thoughts were still encouraged. Epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata still ran around the four corners.

Temples of past must be seen in their contexts. Cities came around temples and not the other way round. Temples were where artisans, writers, sculptors, poets could earn their living. The donation from the Kings and Rich kept the tradition, the folklore, the civilization alive. Music were performed. Debates happened. People gathered. The heritage received a fresh coat. Temples were more than just Gods.

But they were not Lodhi gardens or venue of sex escapades. They were still essentially abode of Gods. A place where a pure mind and a pure body could meet divinity. You were encouraged to wash yourself clean. Yogis did tapasayas, people took vows, sought forgiveness from the residents of heavens.  A Menaka was seen a temptation to break the sadhana of a Vishwamitra.

So it’s facile on Pattanaik’s part to spin a story which could show Hindutva as no different from Crusaders or Jihadis. Hindutva was a word coined by Veer Savarkar. He was an atheist and used it to define all who lived in India. This was to counter the assertion of Muslim fundamentalists of his times. “Hindutva” was a pamphlet published in 1923 when the Khilafat movement was at its peak and had gripped Mahatma Gandhi. Hindutva to him implied Hinduness of its people. It didn’t have religious connotations. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also doesn’t use it in a theological sense.

Men like Pattanaik and Shashi Tharoor know how to please their masters. The narrative that India is in grip of religious extremism and Narendra Modi’s BJP is fuelling it. That Hindutva is the raging fire which would burn up Muslim homes, rape its women and leave its children destitute. That ultimately it would break up India in dozens.

The stance on “Suitable Boy”, if anything has come late. Netflix has been begging for censure for some years now. It surely is good business for Netflix to stoke controversy and there is no better way than to show Hindu extremism. Everyone watches the show, money keeps raining and those who promote Netflix—Left-Liberal moneybags of course—have their hands full with bounty.

Pattanaiks surely help in confusing Hindus. To sow division in ranks. To earn one more invitation to Indian consulate in Canada (never mind he would never praise Modi government for this show of Liberalism). One more pre-order of a million on next book.

So folks, no kissing in temple for me. No overlooking the agenda. No public relations exercise from Hindus. We would scream and we would exhort for that’s the only way we could throw off the weight of centuries. To strain every sinew of ours, to exert every vocal cord at our command. If we look bad, too bad.

 

Yechury calls Hindus violent and we must all thank him

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

All Hindus, millions abroad and many times over in India, must stand up and applaud Communist leader Sitaram Yechury for stating that their epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are ample proof that Hindus have been violent in the past.

Angry? Don’t be for Yechury has hacked the very tree of his vicious ideology which swears by atheism, negates religion and treats Hindus reverence of their past as nothing better than mythology.  So the logical and rational Communists are now treating Hindu’s past as real. Isn’t it a matter of celebration?

Of course a snake doesn’t let go an opportunity to inject his venom. Yechury calls out Hindus for being violent in a bid to justify the “Saffron terror” narrative which the Congress-Communist combine have worked so hard to build since independence and which now is returning in waves to create a watery grave for the peddlers.

An average Hindu is gullible to propaganda. The vicious do it as a strategy so Hindus suffer from guilt, fail to unite and thus lack pride. Hindus without identity are easier to crush. The trophy of controlling or breaking India then goes to peddlers. That’s why I try to puncture this narrative as often as I can so these peddlers are nailed.  If Hindus regain their pride, these peddlers would run out of lies.  Then the Big Game is over—happily for India and its majority.

In last 48 hours, two such attempts have been made—one by Sitaram Yechury and the other by Bollywood writer Javed Akhtar. Most of my Hindu friends have found themselves tongue-tied in countering them. Yechury and Akhtar have mocked Hindus who, because of their gullibility. I give you the words my brethren Hindus to stuff their filth back into their throats.

Yechury says that Ramayana and Mahabharata prove that Hindus have been violent. That it’s RSS which has tried to militarize Hindus in an ideology which is similar to fascist Mussolini (I also include similar analogy Yechury has drawn in the past between RSS-Hitler). Javed Akhtar, in response to Sri Lanka ban on veils following massive Easter Sunday suicide-bombings, mockingly tweeted that don’t leave out “ghoonghat” (head-cover of Hindus) too.

I propose below how an astute Hindu must reply to the likes of Yechury and Javed Akhtar not only to counter but also to regain their own convictions. That’s how you should shape your reply:

Mr Yechury, you say Hindus have been violent in the past. But is being violent the same as spreading “saffron terror”? You could be violent in wars, which is a matter of dharma (righteousness), but killing innocent people in suicide bomb attacks is terror. Please name any Hindu suicide-bomber from our entire history, failing which stuff your mouth.

You claim that RSS follows the Fascism/Nazism ideology. But RSS has never given a call for genocide. Fascist Mussolini left League of Nations; RSS supported it. If RSS were adherents of Nazism and Hitler, did they give a call that Muslims must not hold public office; or inter-marriages must not happen, or that “Pogroms of Muslims” was the answer? Did they ask for Muslim professors to be removed from universities after the Partition?

Further, Mr Yechury what would you say of your “God” Karl Marx who echoed Hitler’s ideology describing Jews as “arch-exploiters”? Or John F. Kennedy who praised Fascism-for-Italy and Nazism-for-Germany in the 1930s? Or our own Pandit Nehru who swore by socialism even as millions were being massacred by your ideologue grandparent (Stalin) in Russia? And if RSS isfascists/nazists, how would you describe the Quran and Sharia?

Subhas Chandra Bose was hailed in India even though he had joined hands with Japan, an ally of fascist-nazist forces. Do you condemn millions of Hindus for supporting Subhas Bose? I dare you Mr Yechury to give us your opinion on Subhas Bose.

And lastly on Javed Akhtar. A burqa can be a security threat—not a “ghoonghat”. So please don’t draw a false, mocking analogy. I can cite you dozens of example where burqas were used to enact terrorism acts. Why go far, let me give you a Bollywood analogy itself, easier to for you to recall. Did you see “Dil Se”? How do you think Manisha Koirala was trying to blow up the Republic Day parade?

And please do let us know when you’ve found a “terror” act being carried out under the guise of a “ghoonghat.” The fact is you can’t. So where do you think Hindus should shove your comments back in you?

Both Yechury and Akhtar lose no opportunity to insult Hindus. It’s for the Hindus to stand up to such inimical forces. The crux for Hindus is: Know your history and facts. Regain your pride. It would do good to you and the future of your children and grandchildren.

India won’t mind either.

Lord Rama was not a fictional character

Devadatta Ramakrishna Bhandarkar died this week—May 13—in 1950. One of India’s greatest archaeologist, Bhandarkar unearthed the entire city of Nagari in Chittorgarh district in 1915-1916. But we remember him as a man who told us that Ramayana and Mahabharata are not all fiction. Myths abound but to term the epics as make-believe would be an utter folly, according to Bhandarkar.

Three lectures of Bhandarkar In Calcutta University in 1918 were later published as a book “Lectures on the Ancient History of India.” Much is known about the Mauryan and Gupta empires but anything further back is wrapped up in a mystery. Bhandarkar’s lectures focussed on the history of India from 650 BC to 325 BC and is a seminal book on India’s past. It provides fascinating details about the life, culture and society of that forgotten era.

Bhandarkar was able to shed light on the mystery of ancient India. His lectures were path-breaking in that he showed that Ancient India was far more advanced in relation to the rest of the world. The great educationalist, Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee termed him as the “pathfinder in trackless regions of the boundless field of Indian antiquarian research.”

Bhandarkar, during his illustrious career, pinned down an important fact—that Lord Rama was not fictional. In Ramayana, Lord Rama is said to belong to Ikshvaku clan and Bhandarkar was able to quote three sources on its authenticity. Inscriptions from the third century told him about the reign of King Madhariputra Sri Virapurushadatta of the Ikshvaku family. The Buddhist texts tell us that Buddha too had belonged to Ikshvaku clan. And then there is Ramayana of course.

Bhandarkar was also able to establish the veracity of Brahim sage, Agstya. The sage has been mentioned in the Ramayana as among the first to have crossed the Vindhya mountains. It was this sage who is admitted by all Tamil grammarians as the founder of the Tamil Language. Bhandarkar also points that in Robert Caldwell’s “Grammar of the Dravidian or South Indian family of languages”, there is a mention of a hill where Agastya retired after setting up the Tamil language. The hill called Gastier (Agastya’s Hill) can still be found in the Tinnevelly district of Tamil Nadu.

In Mahabharata, and its important appendix, Hamivamsa, there is mention of a Kshatriya clan Bhoja. This clan, Bhandarkar proved, was also mentioned in Kautilya’s Arthashastra, a great work on statecraft, which preceded Niccolo Machiavelli’s, The Prince, by a good 1600 years.

The City of Ayodhya as mentioned in the epic, including Ashok Vatika in Sri Lanka and Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh (where Jatayu was greatly injured by Ravana while trying to save Sita) have all been authenticated.

The NASA Shuttle released images of a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka as mentioned in the Ramayana. It has confirmed half submerged path of rocks between Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, through the Mannar islands and up to Northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The evidence suggests that the bridge was manmade and the timeline of Ramayana matches the one of the bridge. Medicinal herbs in Sri Lanka, the finding of footsteps of Hanuman, have surfaced.

Bhandarkar had little doubt that Ramayana and Mahabharata acquired a mythical proportion over centuries. “However it would be a mistake to suppose that legends teach us nothing historical,” stated Bhandarkar who lived all of 74 years.