Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (2)

January 12, 2018

The World Atheist Conference 2018 conducted on January 5th to 7th 2018 at Trichy (2)

WAC, Trichy - second day, paper presenters

The First Day paper reading session (05-01-2018): The WAC organizers kept the paper reading session inside and the public meetings open. The first day (05-01-2018) paper reading proceedings were held at Periyar Maniammai University campus, Vallam. On the theme, “Atheism – Hope for Humanity”, Three parallel sessions were held, where, 38 delegates participated and presented 28 papers. Of which 13 were taken for discussion.

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-bald, looks north Indian

In first session, was conducted with Balwinder Barnala, Tarkkaasila Sangha, as chair-person and , Dr Samarasam, Vijyawada Atheist Centre, as moderator.

Kadesh Godherao, Maharastra Antastrata Nirmulam Samiti, read a paper on the topic, “Atheism is for the Progress of Humanity”.

Kumanarajan, editor of “Tamil Lemuria”, Mumbai presented a paper on “Threats of religious fundamentalism, Problems and Solutions.”

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-gold-spec-nald-white

In the second session was chaired by Prof Ilakkuvan, Director, Periyar Centre, USA and P. Sabasiva Rao, Treasurer, Telengana-Hyderabad Manava Vikasha Vedika, moderated.

Prof Sam George, American College, spoke on, “Atheism – Way of Life.” M. Govindasamy, Malaysia Dravidar Sangam, Kulalampur spoke on, “Dravidian Movement in Malaysia”.

Dr R. Gauthaman, Periyar Medical Mission, spoke on “Medicine and Atheism.”

However, most of the papers were of generalized, rehashing the already known details and targeting Hindu religion for superstition and so on. Emphasis was given for in between Peiyar and Dravidian movement. The atheist arguments had been against ontological, teleological, cosmological points, but, they could not put forward any new points. The age-old theist-atheist arguments on these lines have been too well-known to be repeated here.

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- looks Tamilian, with coat

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- looks Tamilian, with white coat.

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, bald, white

Vijayan

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, bald

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- old man, spec, grey hair

paper presenter

WAC, Trichy - paper presenters- Sikh

Balwinder Barnala

WAC, Trichy - paper presenter-spec, shirt-half-coat

paper presenter

DK opposing Rajini-

Atheism versus Spirituality – debate started: Speakers propagating atheist philosophy slammed religious beliefs, especially in Hinduism, at the World Atheist Conference here on Friday (05-01-2018). The concept of spiritual politics espoused by superstar Rajinikanth also came in for sharp criticism. It is not known as to why Rajni’s politics should be attacked and criticized in the “World Atheist Conference”. Evidently, as Trichy has been strong base of Rajini’s fans and his political ambitions would erode the Dravidian polity and as well as the prospects of DMK, the WAC has been exploited to attack Rajini politics.  Though Rajini’s concept was much debated over the past few days, some speakers found it nascent and lacking clarity. However, Dravida Kazhagam leader K. Veeramani aid that people propagating ideology of spiritual politics would be exposed sooner than later. Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, he said spiritual politics was nothing but a tool that might be used to deceive people. Politics was in no way related to spirituality. Spiritual politics stressed on the existence of spirit which was called ‘Atma’. The aim of the conference was to counter the very existence of spirit through philosophical arguments. Those trying to mislead people in the name of spirit would be exposed soon, he said. Ironically, even the atheist religions like Jainism and Buddhism believed “Atma”, rebirth, etc.

WAC, Trichy, Kanimozhi

During public session, Rajinikantha’s “Spiritual Politics” attacked: Lakshman Tamil from Periyar International, USA said that those thinking about starting a political party in the state could not ignore Periyar or Dravidian movement for their brand value. He said that one could become popular in the state by invoking the name of Periyar. Lakshman recalled how his father had told him to be honest also when he expressed his wish to become an atheist like Thanthai periyar. Periyar had set high standards to be an atheist, he said. aking a jibe at Rajini, Dravidian Tamil Federation general secretary Suba Veerapandian said that a person had recently visited Gopalapuram (the residence of DMK leader M Karunanidhi) to seek his blessings[1]. But little did he know that he could only get rationalist lessons from the leader and not his blessings[2]. Rationalists and atheists had been criticising the actor for giving his political move a religious colour. Though Rajinikanth had come out in the open with a statement clarifying his stand, not many seemed to be convinced.

WAC-3, Times of India

“Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva”: Untouchability is the worst tyranny any part of the world has ever seen. So is the caste system. And these are practiced in the name of God, said Dravida Kazhagam leader K Veeramani here on Friday (05-01-2018). Speaking at the World Atheism Conference 2018 in Trichy, Veeramani said India is land of atheism, not temples. Atheism is not just the denial of religion, but denial of all superstitions associated with it too. He said atheism dated back to 1500 CE in our country. Lakshman Tamil, Periyar International, USA, said caste system is the bane of India and society cannot progress as long as this Vedic system exists. Hinduism cannot claim that it is all-encompassing until it disowns the Vedas, he said. Buddhism and Jainism moved away from people and lost their relevance[3]. The Dravidar Kazhagam has created a populous atheist movement and it is the true Shramana movement of the modern time in terms of the core philosophy of atheism, he said. Terming Periyar’s atheism the most relevant, Lakshman Tamil said it is also a populous movement. Its multifaceted nature has also contributed to its popularity. “Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva. People have to choose between Hindutva, which is a Vedic tradition that is based on hate and segregates people in the name of caste, and Dravidian philosophy, which preaches self-respect,” said Lakshman Tamil[4].

WAC-3, Times of India- attacking Rajini

2G-Raja spoke on his atheism in Tihar and outside: Former Union telecom minister A Raja started off by thanking the CBI and the CAG for making him popular worldwide in the 2G spectrum case. “Being an atheist since teenage, his belief in atheism strengthened further during his imprisonment in the Tihar jail when he saw prisoners, who included rapists and murderers, making a beeline to offer oil to a figure of Saturn (Shani). Hinduism was used as a tool by upper caste people to keep a majority section poor by denying them education. This is a country where people are divided in terms caste. And this notion is created by religion”, he said. As many as 500 papers on atheism are going to be presented in the conference that is going to last for 3 days.

WAC-3, The Hindu, 06-01-2016

The Second Day paper reading session (06-01-2018): The seconday paper reading session was held in Einstein Auditorium, for which K. Veeramani chaired and  Narendra Naik, President, Indian Federation of Rationalist Associations acted as moderator. Devadoss welcomed the speakers and delegates. Elizabeth O’ Cassey delivered a special lecture.

Thaneswar Sahu, Philosopher professor and President of Odhisha Rationalist Association spoke on “Science, Scientific thinking – A Perspective.”

  1. Raja Kennedy, Rationalist Teachers Forum, spoke on, “Encouraging Scientific temper amomg the children”.
  2. Ramasamy, Professor and Rationalist from Madurai, spoke on “Atheist-Humanist Fighters Periyar and Gora”.

Suvinnila, Vice-President, Rationalist Association gave vote of thanks. Here, also, the speakers had repeated the points. They always tried to take “Science” as weapon against religious beliefs and dub them as “Superstition,” but, they could not tackle the issue of “Scientific superstition,” prevalent exploiting the public under forced propaganda, dubious advertisements and aggressive marketing.

WAc,Kanimozhi speaks

Rationalists attacked, women treated badly by all religions- Kanimozhi: The evening seession was held at Puthur Periyar auditorium, Trichy as a public meeting, in which Kanimozhi, Tirumavalavan, C. Vijayan (Director, Vijayawada Rationalist Centre) spoke. Atheist and rationalists all around the world are under threat, said Rajya Sabha MP K Kanimozhi on the second day of the World Atheist Conference, organised by Dravidar Kazhagam in Trichy on Saturday (06-01-2018)[5]. She hoped the believers or religious minded attending the conference see the “………….true light of Periyar. The people who have congregated here are already atheist. Even then why we have gathered? Why do we have to preach ourselves when we have already converted? But we have to come together to show that we are together and what humanity means to the world ……. said no religion treats women equal to a man in every aspect, be it Hinduism, Christianity or Islam……………All religion says a woman has to obey a man. Women have been denied their rights in every religion. That was the reason Periyar denied all religion…………..There are reformers and feminist around the world who are fighting for women’s rights. I respect all of them, but there is one true feminist in this world and that is Periyar……………Religion is nothing but fear. How much blood has been shed, how many wars have been fought in this world because of religion?…………..God has never killed anyone for their wrongdoing and has remained a spectator. He would never act or react………….There is a threat for all atheists and rationalists around the world. To show our strength, we all should stand united and fight against hatred. Atheism and humanism are the only truths,” she said[6]. The Scroll.in just reproduced that TOI reported[7]. Irony that their correspondents, colunists or reporters could not add more than that TOI published[8].

© Vedaprakash

10-01-2018

WAC-3, Veeramani, Raja, Elizabeth

[1] Times of India, Atheists slam Rajinikanth’s spiritual politics, K Sambath Kumar| TNN | Jan 6, 2018, 08:37 IST

[2] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/atheists-slam-rajinikanths-spiritual-politics/articleshow/62385950.cms

[3] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/dravidian-philosophy-is-the-only-alternative-to-hindutva/articleshow/62386831.cms

[4] Times of India, ‘Dravidian philosophy is the only alternative to Hindutva’, TNN | Updated: Jan 6, 2018, 00:18 IST.

[5] Times of India, Rationalists under threat all over the world: Kanimozhi, TNN | Jan 7, 2018, 08:25 IST.

[6] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/rationalists-under-threat-all-over-the-world-kanimozhi/articleshow/62397776.cms

[7] Scroll.in, Atheists and rationalists all over the world are under threat: DMK MP Kanimozhi, by  Scroll Staff, Published 07-01-2018, · 10:49 am

[8] https://scroll.in/latest/864115/atheists-and-rationalists-all-over-the-world-are-under-threat-dmk-mp-kanimozhi

Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar (3)

July 28, 2017

Dr B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017 – Quest for Equity  – Reclaiming Social Justice, Revisiting Ambedkar (3)

K Raju and Bhalachandra Mungekar

The second day [22-07-2017] proceedings: The security was tight as before and the delegates / speakers had pass through separate entrance. The first plenary session was chaired by K. Raju and there were three speakers – Lord Bhiku Parekh, S. K. Thorat and Samuel Myers between 9.30 to 11.00 am at the main auditorium.

Parik speaking 22-07-2017

What Lord Bhiku spoke: Parekh Like how Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was just not a Baniya, the mercantile caste into which he was born, B.R. Ambedkar was not just a Dalit, but a national leader and a nationalist, noted political scholar Bhikhu Parekh has said. “Like Mahatma Gandhi was not just a Baniya, Rabindranath Tagore was not just a Bengali, Dr. Ambedkar was not just a spokesperson of Dalits. He was an Indian and a nationalist,” said Parekh, while delivering a lecture on the second day of the three-day international conference on B.R. Ambedkar, sponsored by the Congress-ruled Karnataka government here on Saturday [22-07-2017][1]. Recently BJP president Amit Shah’s statement calling Mahatma Gandhi a “Chatur Baniya” drew flak from scholars across the country. Parekh, an acclaimed author of several books on politics and political theory, said that by calling Ambedkar a Dalit leader and a spokesperson, we were reducing the significance of his contribution to the nation[2].

How India became “Republic”, though Nehru opposed: “We have to revisit Ambedkar to reclaim justice” to the marginalised sections of society, he added. Noting that Ambedkar fought for social and economic democracy, he took on Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhai Patel to ensure social and economic justice to the downtrodden and marginalised sections of society. The father of the Indian Constitution fought for inclusion of the word “Republic” in the preamble of the Constitution. For Ambedkar, democracy confined only to political rights, while the “Republic” guaranteed political, economic, and social rights. He recollected about the condition of India soon after Independence. He said that at the time of framing the Constitution, Jawaharlal Nehru did not include the word ‘Republic’ in the first draft[3]. When asked, Nehru said that the word ‘Democracy had included Republic’. In the second draft, Republic was included while the word Democracy was not[4].

Ambedkar and Jewish people

What Ambedkar told about Jews: Dr Ambedkar was interviewed by Glora Becher, Council of Israel in Bombay. His views were published in “Praja bandhu” and then, included in his complete works[5]. “I believe that just as there was a land of promise for the Jews, so the Depressed Classes must be destined to have their land of promise. I trust that just as the Jews reached their land of promise, so will be the Depressed Classes in the end reach their land of promise.”….“I see in the present day condition of the Depressed Classes of India a parallel to the Jews in their captivity in Egypt. In Moses I see a leader whose infinite love for his people has given undaunted courage to face hardships and bear calumny.”…………“I confess that if any thing sustains me in my efforts to emancipate the Depressed Classes, it is the story of Moses undertaking the thankless but noble task of leading Jews out of their captivity.”……..It is only natural that the Jewish people have always looked at Dr. Ambedkar and his life’s work with absolute admiration. His struggle for the weakest sector of society has found an echo in the hearts of those who for many hundreds of years since their expulsion from their “Promised land”—Israel—were suffering from discrimination and persecution just becasue of being different from the majority around. We in Israel are till today proud of Dr. Ambedkar’s support in our struggle for rebuilding our national home in Israel. (Courtesy : News from Israel)[6].”

S K Thorat speaks

Separate settlements for SCs and they should migrate there – S. K. Thorat: Former UGC chairman and present ICSSR chairman S.K. Thorat noted that a large number of Dalit graduates remained unemployed owing to withdrawal of the State following liberal economic policies. He said privatisation of public sector enterprises and contracting out services to the private in the public and government sectors led to the erosion of reservation of jobs to the Scheduled Castes. Reservation had “eroded from the backdoor” by contracting out services. Unemployment was 13 to 14% among Dalits, he said. Under the guise of Liberalization-Privatization-Globalization, reservation is denied to SCs. Therefore, the reservation policy should be like that of Ireland. Though, the Untouchability Act was amended in 1950, 1985 and 2010, the violations are not booked, action taken and punished. To overcome such discrimination, separate settlements should be provided to them and they should migrate to such places.

Samuel Myers speaks

Samuel Myers’s comparison of the Dalits and the blacks: Samuel Myers tried to compare the discrimination acting against the Dallits and the blacks under market and non-market factors. The market factors are identified as  like earnings, employment, housing, education, opportunities, credit, lending and access to wealth. The non-market factors are – sexual assault, victims of hate crimes, …. Some of the audience questioned such comparison, as the controlling factors of the two groups have been totally different, operating at various levels.

Prof G Hargopal

Afternoon plenary session: The afternoon session 2 to 3.30 pm was chaired by the Social scientist G. Haragopal, professor at the National Law School of India University, and the speakers were –

  1. Dalit intellectual Anand Teltumbde[7].
  2. Bronislaw Czarnocha[8]
  3. Marxist economist Prof. Prabhat Patnaik
  4. Hargopal said 2019 would be a critical point in the country’s history, with the Constitution of India “at stake”[9]. “The Congress should look at the growing inequalities in income; it is a matter of concern. India’s richest 1% holds about 58% of the country’s wealth and this phenomenon has only increased under the Modi regime. The Congress should start talking about minimizing inequalities in income as wealth should sub-serve the common good.” Haragopal pointed out how the BJP government has become the favourite of global capitalists[10]. He said the spread of fascism was turning out to be a threat to the Indian Constitution. “The country will reach a critical point in 2019 (when parliamentary polls are scheduled) and we have to be cautious. The minorities are suffering from insecurity and the Congress has a responsibility to protect the Constitution.”

Ambedkar activist - Anand Teltumbde

Anand Teltumbde observed: What he noted…………that the country was living in “de facto fascism” and de jure fascism was just two or three years away. while wealth in the hands of the country’s richest 1% had grown from 53% to 58% after Modi took over and this development is a pointer to the fact that Dalits are at the receiving end. “The ruling classes have been fooling all and there is massive inequality in the country. The VVIP syndrome keeps mocking at the common man and social activists have no space as they are imprisoned or attacked. The concepts of equality, liberty and fraternity have remained mere rhetoric and the poor continue to suffer.” Teltumbde said the Congress has to transform itself with the focus on Ambedkar and fight the Hindutva juggernaut to stop de jure fascism from becoming a reality in the country.

Prof Prabhat Patnaik

Prabhat Patnaik – says openly in 2019 Modi should be defeated: Responding to a statement by former MP Balchandra Mungekar that progressive forces needed to unite with the Congress in 2019, Prabhat Patnaik said[11]: “We are ready to align with the Congress if the Congress also reforms itself.” “With neo-liberalism reaching a dead-end under the Modi regime, a counter-revolution is staring at us. A new vision of India is required and it is important to think of giving economic rights to the people along with political rights.” Patnaik outlined the economic rights as[12]: right to food, right to employment, right to free healthcare, right to quality education and right to free pension for elderly and the disabled. The total cost for providing these rights will be not more than 10% of the Gross Domestic Product, he said, adding: “Through this, we can carry forward the notion of development as envisioned by Ambedkar.”

© Vedaprakash

28-07-2017

Ambedkar conference - Bangalore- Blue

[1] The Hindu, Ambedkar not a Dali icon, but a national leader, Nagesh Prabhu, Bengaluru, July 22, 2017 23:39 IST; Updated: July 22, 2017 23:39 IST.

[2] http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/ambedkar-not-just-a-dalit-icon-but-a-national-leader/article19333852.ece

[3] Indian Express, Dalits must reclaim their human dignity: Lord Parekh, By Express News Service  |   Published: 23rd July 2017 02:11 AM  |  Last Updated: 23rd July 2017 12:06 PM

[4] http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2017/jul/23/dalits-must-reclaim-their-human-dignity-lord-parekh-1632387.html

[5]Dr Ambedkar,  Dr Ambedkar aand the Jewish People, Chapter.31, pp.342-344, Vol.17, 2003 edition.

[6] Praja bandhu, dated 30th December 1991.

[7] Anand Teltumbde is a management professional, writer, civil rights activist, and political analyst. He has authored many books (translated widely in most Indian languages) on various issues relating to Peoples’ movement with particular emphasis on Left and Dalits and is a noted scholar on the subject. He has extensively written in English and Marathi in popular newspapers and magazines commenting on contemporary issues. He is a regular contributor to magazines like Outlook India, Tehelka Mainstream, Seminar, Frontier, and Economic & Political Weekly in which he writes a regular column ‘Margin Speak’.

[8] Bronislaw Czarnocha interest in Bisociative Revolution started in 1982 while analyzing the process of Revolution of Solidarity, when the bisociativity of that revolution became apparent as the simultaneous class struggle of the workers and the national liberation movement spearheaded by the intellectuals of the movement.His interest in the Dalit struggles for annihilation of the cast arose through 8 years of collaboration with the Arunthathiyars of Tamil Nadu where he saw the divide between the Marxist left and the Dalits directly on the ground. The tragedy of the Rohith Vermula in 2016 and the results of American elections the same year motivated him to undertake full process of exploration and formulation of the principle of Bisociative revolution.

[9] The Hindu, Scholars call for unity against ‘Hindutva juggernaut’, STAFF REPORTER, BENGALURU, JULY 23, 2017 23:40 IST; UPDATED: JULY 23, 2017 23:40 ISTUPDATED: JULY 23, 2017 23:40 IST

[10] Times of India, Revisit Ambedkar to stop fascism from becoming reality: Analyst, Rakesh Prakash| Jul 24, 2017, 06:19 AM IST.

[11] http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/scholars-call-for-unity-against-hindutva-juggernaut/article19337978.ece

[12] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/revisit-ambedkar-to-stop-fascism-from-becoming-reality-analyst/articleshow/59730783.cms

“Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” by Champakalakshmi: A Marxist interpretation!

April 7, 2011

“Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” by Champakalakshmi: A Marxist interpretation!


South India‘s cultural past not confined to one religion: Prof. Champakalakshmi[1]: The Hindu reports, “The empirical pre-eminence in the study of history in inscription-rich Tamil Nadu and a modern outlook on historiography combine to provide a fresh understanding of the past in a book launched here on Tuesday (05-04-2011). Religion, Tradition and Ideology: Pre-colonial South India” (Oxford University Press) is a collection of essays by historian R. Champakalakshmi, discussing the origins and development of multiple religious traditions and their role in the evolution of a rich and complex socio-religious matrix in pre-colonial south India. Champakalakshmi, who retired as professor of the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has debunked the usual simplistic continuities between Vedic times and the present day that is the staple of the conventional historian’s approach, and attempted to show how conflicting, even irreconcilable beliefs and practices, were incorporated into the Sanskritic tradition”.

From “Indologist to historian and social scientist”: The report goes on to say, “As history is dying in schools and colleges, and he history teachers have been loosing their jobs, they have started crying wolf with changed roles. Thus, it is reported that “the work, which is the consummation of almost five decades of research during which the author “transformed from an Indologist to historian and social scientist,” sketches the emergence of Brahminism as a dominant tradition and the marginalisation of the “sramanic” religions — Jainism and Buddhism — in the socio-economic and political context”. N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, launched the book by handing over the first copy to Iravatham Mahadevan, an expert on Indus and Tamil-Brahmi scripts. Describing the publication as “rich in its material and many-sided in its historical offerings,” Mr. Ram said one of the notable aspects was the nuanced treatment of the interaction between the Brahminical and “sramanic” religions. The author’s approach to caste and community was a breakthrough contribution in understanding caste and its changing dynamics with the community as was her bold treatment of the hegemony of one religion in an otherwise pluralistic tradition, Mr. Ram said”.

There existed no Vedic linkage to the term Hindu which first originated during the Vijayanagara period of the 14th century: The report goes on, “Mr. Mahadevan said the author in her role of historian was “a bridge between tradition and modernity,” a product of the University of Madras who held on to conservative values and yet blossomed to expand her perspective in the JNU milieu. Professor Champakalakshmi was someone who, while being rooted in tradition, brought to historiography the searchlight of modernity, he said. Professor. Champakalakshmi said her over 55 years of research and teaching had been “an eventful and fascinating journey” that took her through many untrodden avenues of India‘s historical past. Noting that south India’s cultural past was not confined to one religion — in fact, there existed no Vedic linkage to the term Hindu which first originated during the Vijayanagara period of the 14th century — Professor Champakalakshmi said she had studied counter-traditions (such as Jainism) to understand the historical processes that led to the dominance of Brahminism. Shashank Sinha, OUP senior commissioning manager, said the book was another illustration of south India‘s emergence as an important component of the publishing programme that ranges across performing arts, music and literature”.

Hinduism to become the dominant tradition and ideology after its development and reworking: Under “Description”, the publishers give the following[2]: “This book discusses the multiple facets, dominant characteristics, and historical trajectories of religious traditions in pre-colonial south India. It explores how Hinduism, primarily the Brahmanical tradition, developed and reworked itself in the context of challenges posed by Buddhism and Jainism to become the dominant tradition and ideology in south Indian society and polity. Examining the linkages between religion and politics, the volume also investigates alternative vernacular traditions, rituals and practices, temple architecture, iconography and other representational art forms that evolved as symbols of power. A detailed introduction weaves together the different aspects and introduces new questions for further research”.

Religion is for the believers, as the ideology is for the Marxist historians: 55 years journey cannot compel the 5500 years old believers with their established belief system, that has already been tested many-many times. The branding of “Bhrahmanical” religion is a myth, as such gabblers never talk about “Khastriya  religion”, “Vaisya religion”, and “Sudra religion”. In fact, they do not explain such “Varna system” existing in other religions. By interpreting the divisions of a society by caste, community by denomination, people by ethnos, or by any other expression the existing vertical or horizontal, social stratifications, or structural arrangements cannot be ignored or suppressed. Therefore, hegemonic interpretation alone cannot be used for such forced conclusion. Days, years, decades and even millenniums have been passing on and in such a milieu, the Hindu religion or the religion of Indians have been no doubt changing, but not ideologically. The question of ideological interpretation of Hindu religion, in the pre-colonial context, cannot take away the facts of underlying[3] the so-called “Shramanic religions”[4].  That Buddhism and Jainism to play crucial role during the Vijayanagara to Colonial period, they had to be resurrected and brought.

Conflicting, even irreconcilable beliefs and practices, were incorporated into the Sanskritic tradition: In religion, that too, followed by millions of people at time and place naturally exhibit differences. In performing rites, rituals, ceremonies, festivals, the regional variance would be there in physical forms depending upon the natural differences. Whenever, any material required for performing rites, rituals, ceremonies, festivals, etc., are not available, substitutes are taken. Such practices, might be opposed by the traditionalists and conservatives initially, but, slowly reconciled, understanding the practical difficulties. This is just like Siva having moustache and beard or without them, as depicted in pictures and sculptures. But, Parvati never claim any “immaculate conception” to have Subramanya / Karttikeya like Mary! Krishna might be in blacks and blues, but, devotees love and like him like Radha and Meera.  They would not preach ahimsa killing and eating animals like Buddhists. Even children or atheists know that “Ramarajya” is talked about by all ideologists and not about “Ravana rajya”! Even during the medieval and pre-colonial period, the other counter-traditions or anti-cultures had to thrive only on such “myths”, if at all, they disbelieve such “greater traditions and bigger heritages”.

Ideological historians never demythologize other religions to present facts: The ideological historians can very well demythologize non-Indian, non-Bharatiya, colonial, Semitic religions to present facts behind the fundamental tenets, as they interpret Hindu religion. Why the Mohamedans issued coins with “Rama” or the British incorporated “Ramrajya” would not be discussed by these historians.  Romila Thapar would not appear then and there and threaten with going on appeal against the Supreme Court judgments as in the case of Temple-mosque disputes.  That is why believers or common people remember Rama’s bridge without caring for the engineer or the college where such engineer studied. In other words, instead of Rama, the Mohammedan and colonial forces must have issued coins with Ravana. “Shramanic” unbelievers or anti-Vedic followers would not have incorporated Lakshmi and other Goddesses for their profits. However, they would discuss about Hindus believers to copy from the Mohammedans to learn Advaita; to adopt syncretism incorporating Mohammedan philosophy; and so on without any conflict, contradiction or reconcilable accommodation.

Vedaprakash

07-04-2011


[3] JG Jennings, The Vedantic Buddhism of the Buddha, A collection of historical texts translated from the original Pāli and edited by J. G. Jennings, Geoffrey Cumberlege,  Oxford University Press, 1947.

[4] Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism, Philosophical Library, New York, 1943. 2011 edition by Golden Eixir Press.