In what language should we chant mantra in temples?

In what language should we do archanai in temples?  This has been one of the core issues raised by Dravidian Gangs and recently by Tamil Dhesiam Gangs.  The common argument put forth by these people is “Why should archanai be done in a language that is NOT understood by the devotees?”.

The Hindu intellectual groups in tamilnadu utterly failed in countering this question, and almost lost to dravidian propoganda.  Many Fake mutts originated claiming to propogate tamil worship in temples and have attempted tamil kumbabishegam in many vedic shiva & vishnu temples.  So far they have miserably failed, partly because, the dharma karthas who invited them faced severe consequences in their personal life.  And also partly because the brahmin priests doing agamic kumbabishekam were strong and popular.

Tamil worship is based on Christianity:

The demand for tamil worship in temples is based on the pretext that christian churches conduct their prayers in tamil language and hence hindu temples should also imitate them.  This is an absurd argument for following reasons.

1. Christian prayer in church is different from Mantra Chanting in hindu temples.  Prayer is NOT same as archanai.

2. Hindu temple is NOT same as church.  Temple is abode of GOD, whereas church is ONLY a congregating place.

3. In the church, the father prays on behalf of the assembled people, mostly begging things from their god.  So they have necessity to do prayer in

Whereas in Hindu Temples, pooja or archanai is done for maintaining divine energy in the garbagraha, and also in praise of GOD.  There is no begging as it is done in churches.

4. Hindu Temple pooja rituals have to adhere to strict agamic rules.  Whereas, Christian churches have no such standards, except for the standardised bible.

5. Mantra chanting is Just one part of the elaborate pooja rituals in hindu temples.  Other preparatory rituals are more important than mantra chanting.  for eg, there are strict rules on the materials used for pooja, series of steps done, abhishekam process etc.  So if we are to follow those pooja rituals strictly, then common sense tells that mantra chanting also should be followed strictly, as per prescribed agama rules.

Christian churches do not have such necessity.

6. The main focus of christianity is to keep their flock together.  So they have the necessity to speak in a language that has to be understood by the assembled people.  Whereas the main focus of hindu temple poojas is to maintain the sanctity of the temple, irrespective of number of people attending it.  Thats why we focus on lighting deepam in temple and NOT in organising prasangam there for people.

7.  Temple poojas are / have to be done even if no people attends it.  The priests simply performs the pooja, chanting mantras.  Whereas in christian churches, the father do not do conduct mass prayer if there is no people attending there.

8.  Our temple pooja rituals are time oriented, based on planetory positions (nakshatra, thithi etc) and has to be done at specific time, as evolved in that temple tradition.  Whereas christian churches have no such necessity.

Namavali archanai is nothing but Christianisation of Hindu Temples:

Our temple poojas are always focussed on common good, and NOT for individual appeasement.  The king funds the resources for the temple, in order to maintain the divinity in his rajyam.  But during colonial rule, the kings were disposed off by the britishers and hence lost the support system.   So in order to sustain itself, the temple is left to whims and fancies of the donors from public, and hence the namavali archanai evolved in order to please them.   This is moulded on the pattern of christian fathers doing private services to his church member.   Brutal degradation of our temple poojas.

Just like this namavali archanai, every aspect of our temples are christianised.  Like opening temple to everyone irrespective of whether the person is a scoundrel or criminal. Allowing any one to manage it.  and the latest demands of allowing anyone one to enter garba graha and perform pooja.  All based on christian practices in churches.

No Hindu Intellectuals or Hindu Organisations attempted to counter this, due to lack of understanding of purposes of temples and poojas.  They have been effectively incapacitated and immobilised.  They remain defeated even till this date, while the scoundrels had been running a free hand devastating each of our temples.

Hinduism and Hindutva made a self-goal:

I have been saying that the formation of Hinduism as a religion is the single most blow to our dharma.  We were never a religious society, but the colonial forces had theorized the diverse cultures of our land in to homogenous religious identity called Hinduism similar to that of christianity.  Temples were brought under this religious compartmentalization, effectively leading to its christianisation.

Temples which were seen as abode of GOD, had now been converted in to a religious place.  Which means, all aspects of christianity is imposed triggering the corruption from within.

The arguments of Tamil Chauvinist gangs were always based on this universalisation of temples done by Hinduism.  Their argument was that people are able to worship GOD in tamil in christian churches, but Hinduism does not allow.

Just Look at the argument built on this artificial compartmentalisation called Hinduism.

What is the solution?

So how do we counter the tamil worship propoganda?  Should we allow tamil worship in all temples as they are demanding?  If NOT, how do we justify our stance of NOT allowing?  For that, we need to ask a counter question.

For whom are the mantras chanted in temples?  Is it for GOD or is it for people coming to temple?  If it is for GOD, then there should be no issue for anyone, because GOD understands sanskrit :) .  I bet, No communist or dravidian crooks could reply to this.

Another argument we can make is that sanskrit is used ONLY in agamic temples, and in all kula devata temples and grama devata temples, tamil is the medium of worship.  We have to remember that Temple is NOT homogenous entity.  The tamil groups should be satisfied with this and have no business in interfering with agamic temples.

Freedom of Bhakthas (Devotees):

The dravidian and tamil groups (backed by communists) make another argument.  The people are prevented from praying in their own language.  That is outright bullshit lie.

The devotees has every right to personally pray in any language of his choice in the temples.  They can sing devarams, thiruvasagam inside the temples.  The archaka’s role is only in doing pooja as laid out in agama tradition.  That cannot be stopped or disturbed.

How does the people receive benefit?  By merely chanting or by pooja rituals?

There is a wrong perspective and impression, that people will get benefit only if they go inside temple and pray in their language they understand.  This is again a christian attitude. In the church, everyone prays to GOD for wanting of something. (Its questionable whether they get what they prayed or not).

But are temples meant for extracting personal benefit?  NO.

Temples are abode of GOD.  which means, its a place where the divine energy of a region is amplified by adhering to strict agama based pooja rituals.  Here, people derive benefit NOT by personal prayer, but by maintenance of sanctity of the temples.  Whether they pray or not, they always derive the outcome of the elaborate pooja done by the archaka.  SO it should never matter, whether the pooja is done in sanskrit or tamil.  The outcome is more important.

I would like to refer this interesting discussion in tamil brahmin forum regarding tamil worship.

http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/general-discussions/1914-case-tamil-archanai.html

They failed to strongly put forth the point that “Mantras are for GOD and NOT for devotees”.

Time To Dechristianise our temples

The first step towards de-christianisation of temples is to stop going to temple for personal prayers.  Rather, focus on maintaining the sanctity of the temples.  Stop the practice of giving names to archakas for namavali archanai.  That is plain stupid thing.  This is the most corrupt practice under the influence of christianity.

Focus on the quality of pooja material used in temples, right from milk, sandal, ghee, oil etc.  These are the ways we strive to maintain the sanctity of the temple.

Dont rush in to the temples for seeing garba graha.  Moolavar is NOT museum for everyone to see.  Its enough if we just land in to the temple premises.  GOD is NOT some dictator to give boons ONLY if you stand before him.

Similarly, the practice of showing arati and offering vibhooti (or kumkum) at any time of the day is an evil practice. This makes the ARCHAKA a slave. The usual time for prayer is the agama stipulated 6 kala pooja and all devotees should be present at one of such poojas. Now, the HR & CE has almost made it mandatory for all the devotees to be served prasadam at anytime they chooseto walk in.

Posted in Culture, Hinduism | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Sharmalan Thevar – Blogger with excellent insights

I came across this blogger recently.  He seems to be based out of malaysia.   Most of his views are almost correct (validated from my own understanding.. not just bcoz he reflects my views.. but based on his own way of analysis)  ..  I am learning a lot from his blog..

Readers can benefit more from his blog.

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg

 

Some articles that i wanted to highlight.

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2014/08/breaking-tamil-nadu.html

he has correctly decoded tamil jathi setup.. but he is unable to connect jathi-varna link..

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2013/01/the-indian-confusion-race-caste-clan.html

 

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2014/07/woman-on-period-hindu-rituals.html

 

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2014/07/indian-malaysian-gangsters-historical.html

 

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2014/07/my-hindraf-experience.html

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2014/11/descendants-of-ancient-pallavas.html

http://sharmalanthevar.blogspot.sg/2013/06/muniswaran-worship.html

 

 

 

Posted in History, Interesting..., Other Interesting Blogs | 1 Comment

Inter Caste Marriage is a rape of society

How do we define the concept of Chastity?  Is it mere physical, or mental state or combination of both?  Its a delicate & sensitive subject to explore.  The common known explanation of chastity is to NOT indulge in sexual activity outside marriage setup. It cannot be empirically defined or proved.  Its a value system that exists in mental plane and upon which the bodily life is lived. Its a question of mental resolve on how to live a moral life, that nurtures our soul and body.   It ensures the psychological integrity of a girl both before and after marriage.

Chastity leads to another aspect called legitimacy which is the basis of Family system.   How do we define legitimacy?  Its an acceptance of norms established either by authority or inherited by history & tradition.  In Most societies, sex within marriage is the established norms which gives legitimacy to the children born out of family system.

Any children born outside this family system are illegitimate, because there is no sanctity of this birth, and becomes ambiguous?  If a woman indulges in sex before marriage, how does the society knows for whom does the child is born?

The feminist morons will cry “Why are ONLY woman expected to be chaste, and why NOT men”.  The answer is very simple.  It is the women who begets the child, and hence expected to be chaste to ensure the legitimacy of the father of that child.   The society cannot recognise the father of a child born to Sluts and whores.  Ok. This is off-topic.

Just like chastity represents a set of value system of individuals, there are set of value system that are followed by the society as a whole.  In Bharathiya society, each jathi has their own set of rules and regulations that form the moral compass of the jathi collectively. These set of codes are nothing but the acharams and the sampradayas of that jathi.  Acharams ensure the individual commitment of each person within the jathi, and the sampradayas ensure a collective moral system of that jathi.  I call this as the Chastity of that jathi.

In every jathi, there is legitimate system of marriage norms that has been followed for millenia.  Unlike the western society which is mostly tribal, bharathiya society is highly structured and self-organised around jathis.  We have unique system of Kula-Gothras, which is not found outside bharath.  People in each gothra are descendants of common ancestor, and are brothers and sisters.  Within each jathi, there are group of gothras, that constitutes the Kulam.  I will write more on this aspect in future.

In such jathi setup, marriage alliance is made ONLY within those set of gothras. (The readers can just ask their elders on which all gothras their forefathers married.)  Any marriage outside these setup of gothras is shunned and vehemantly opposed.  Just like family system defines legitimacy of a couple, these strict marital norms of each jathi defines its legitimacy.   That is why, almost all jathis dont accept inter-caste marriage, inspite of all the nonsensical malicious propogandas by the liberal-communist propoganda and other secret anti-national forces.

But most of the hindus are unable to comprehend this dharmic truth, and often fall prey to the vicious anti-caste propoganda.

Why is Inter-Caste marriage wrong?

If i ask “Why is sex outside marriage wrong”, what will be your answer?  There can be lot of justifications for both for and against extra-marital sex.  But the society at large had preserved the sanctity of the marriage.

In the same way, we need to recognise the sanctity of the jathi setups, which has been the foundation of our dharmic civilization of bharath.  When almost all jathis of bharath do not want to have marital relations with other jathis (even dalit jathis dont want this), why should they be forced upon by the govt and other ?  

Such kind of forcing is nothing but rape of our society.

We cannot allow a micro-minority of perverted individuals to dictate morality for 100 crore people.

What happens in Inter-Caste marriage?

Again i will answer with this simple question.  What happens to a raped / molested girl ? While we cannot imagine the trauma they undergo, i can say the kind of stress and trauma that a family undergoes when intercaste marriage happens is more or less similar to a rape/molested girl.  Some symptoms are:

1. Sense of Loss of Legitimacy.  –  By ending up in a situation of breaking millenia old jathi norms, the family members feel enormous loss of legitimacy.  This is one of the reason why many parents commit suicide when their children do inter-caste marriage.

2. Sense of Isolation – Unable to freely move with their jathi members.  Unable to participate in any maangalya functions in their relationship circles.

3. Loss of social respect – unable to take leadership in community gatherings.  If the family had already held any community leadership roles like dharmakarthas or conflict resolution (jathi panchayat), they choose to step down due to moral conflict.

4. Loss of purpose of Life – Most parents earn and run their family only for propogation of their vamsam and prosperity of their gothra & kulam.  With inter-caste marriage, this very fundamental purpose of life itself is lost

5. Loss of self-confidence – self explanatory

6. Loss of Social Security  – self explanatory 

All these emotions can be easily understood by a normal unbiased person.  NOT by the ideologically warped minds.

The most important casuality in inter-caste marriage is LOSS of sense of belonging.  and this is exactly what the enemies of our society wants.

I have seen few of my friends whose parents are from different jathi, having an identity crisis.

One prominent business person in south TN, who had married a malayali, now desperate to marry off his daughter to his parent jathi. He had earned enormous wealth, but could not earn the social recognition, eventhough he has good status in the CLASS based urban society.

Every jathi is a world in itself, like every family is a world in itself.  A person is strongly bonded to his kiths & kin, where he feels comfortable.

Biological angle:

From a biological perspective, every living being on this planet nurtures and promotes ONLY its own offspring.  The lions dont accept the cubs of the lioness born to other lion.  No Man in this world can accept the children of his wife born to another man.  These are the hard realities of nature.

Every jathi is made up of birth based relations.  They cannot be asked to accept an unrelated person in to its fold in the name of marriage.  Forcing them to accept is nothing but a rape.

What about those inter-caste married families:

A lot of persons in urban centers had done inter-caste marriages, and i dont have any issues with them.  Beextrecause they live their own life without interfering in others NOR do they take any ideological stance like destroy jathi.   I have spoken to few of them, and they are very clear that its up to individuals to decide on this.  We have to respect their sensitivities.  They have never been problem, even though many of them have been facing many problems for lack of social support.  They realise the value of jathi based social support system.

The problem is with the anti-social forces in various ideological leanings like communists, liberals, Dravidar Kalagam and hindutva groups, who openly call for destruction.

Jathis are immobilised and raped:

For all these years, the attack on jathi is always external.  The economy & occupation of each jathi was systematically destroyed, and native administration system which supported jathi was dismantled.  Having immobilised jathis to some extent, the anti-national forces has now started keeping their hands on the women folks of each jathi, in the name of women empowerment.  No self-respecting social group can accept this.

This is the reason when the entire society erupted in violence in dharmapuri.  People from almost all jathi protested against the death of the vanniyar father whose daughter was seduced by a member of particular dalit party.  (But almost all media had suppressed this news).   But these protests were brutally suppressed.

This dalit love jihad has been going on for last 10 years on rapid scale.  Many wealthy business families were systematically targetted by these dalit political outfits.  As per some estimate, more than 10,000 girls were affected because of their activities all over tamilnadu.  While big jathis like vanniyars could fight back, the weaker and minority jathis like brahmins, chettiyars, and other jathis could not do anything and silently bear these rapacious abuses on them.

Its time to raise against these brutal rape of our society by hostile forces.  Those who want to protect the legitimacy of their jathi and their traditions, should come out openly and become assertive in their jathi identity.   How long are we going to be silent bearer of all these abuses?

Posted in caste system, personal thoughts | Tagged | 22 Comments

India is a Colonial Entity – Quote from maharishi Mahesh Yogi

I got this mail from RM discussion group.  I wonder what the urban indians has to say about this.

While Maharishi had used the term India, i would like to discard this colonial term altogether.   Our 5000 year old civilization is bharath and India is a 200 year old Colonial Corporation.  ( To be short, india is another name for British East India Company, with its beurocracy intact )

In a 2001 publication called ‘Ideal India, the Lighthouse of Peace on Earth’, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi wrote the following:

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Those people who are holding the reins of Indian administration should know their administration is not of Indian origin. The Indian Constitution, promoted by Jawaharlal Nehru, is non-Indian because it does not nourish the life of either Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, or Shudras; it is only suited to Varn Shankar Shrisht – it is not suited for the survival and evolution of pure life.

 

It does not cater for the natural specialties of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, or Shudras; it does not even suit the requirements of Brahmachari, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, or Sanyas – it does not cater for the Varn Prasht Vyavastha - it is a copy of non-Indian ideals of life, which have resulted from thousands of years of slavery of foreign powers in India.

Through Devata Yagya and Anusthan, Bhakti, and Vedant, we are trying to bless the world from the ancient Indian heritage – the Vedic Heritage; but the Government of India is suppressing the reality of Indian life through its laws.

We strongly condemn the word “secular’ and the meaning of secularism that governs the administration of the Government of India, and which dismisses the scientific reality of Devatas and Yagyas and has put these most fundamental fields of intelligence out of government policy.

For India to be ideal, it has to rise to invincibility through the wisdom of the Veda; through devotion to Devatas and Yagyas and through the performance of Yagya and Anusthan for the individual to rise to his Cosmic Potential.

The deep roots of Dharma have been cruelly invaded by the British, American, and German Christian-oriented philosophy of life. It is a shame for Indians, living in the Land of the Veda, to allow the fundamentals of their Vedic Knowledge to be invaded and virtually crucified by the shallow and very superficial principles of Christendom – baseless principles of life in the name of national unity.

Posted in India, indian History | Tagged , , | 60 Comments

Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu is an Inquisition

My Article in Vijayvaani against the SC ban on jallikattu.   When i went through the contents of the judgement while writing this article, i felt it was so atrocious and outragious, that the tone of the judgement does not look like judgement, but another version of Goa Inquistion.  Full text of judgement available in this link.

Some lawyers opined that this judgement does not seem to be written by judges, but by some one else.  I too feel the same, bcoz i have read many other SC judgements, and know the way a judgement is pronounced which deals with both sides of argument.  But in this judgement, the views of the opposition parties is ignored, and entire judgement focusses on utopian animal right laws and western ideological bullshits like speciesm, etc.

Clearly there seems to be heavy lobbying from Vested Interests and also heavy bribing.

- Senthil

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 http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3232

The ban on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court seems more in the nature an inquisition rather than a judgment. The religious, social, and cultural festival of Jallikattu, followed for thousands of years throughout Tamil Nadu, has been banned for allegedly violating provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, written in the 1960s. This is comparable to the Goa Inquisition where native Hindu traditions were banned by the ruling Portuguese Catholics because their faith could not tolerate the existence of another. The Supreme Court has similarly brutalised a huge segment of native society in order to conform to laws made by urban elites with little knowledge, empathy or tolerance for others’ way of life.
The judgment reflects a disconnect between rural and urban India. The Indian Government and its institutions have a colonial origin, and even laws enacted after 1947 are based on colonial perspectives and elitism. The PCA Act is one such. The Supreme Court judgment on Jallikattu, based on this PCA Act, has a heavy colonial bias as it assumes that rural people are implicitly barbaric and need to be controlled by urban enlightened (sic) India.

 

PCA Act and its amendment

 

The PCA Act was first introduced by the British in 1890 to prevent exploitation of domesticated animals and captured animals in municipalities. This was sensible, considering the fact that bullock carts were a prominent medium of transportation in cities and there were instances of the bulls not being properly cared for. It also applied to captured animals used in circuses for entertainment purposes. The colonial rulers did not apply it to any of the native traditions, even though the entire Tamil Nadu was under their direct rule.

 

In 1960, the Act was amended to cover all types of animals and has been indiscriminately applied to all, which does not make any sense. The native religious and socio-cultural traditions of the rural people were not considered by the urban elites headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, though India was 90 per cent rural (meaning traditional and native). The PCA Act was amended and enacted by 10 per cent urban elites without consultation with the majority population.

 

Misconceptions on Jallikattu

 

Jallikattu is not the Spanish bull fight. The Macaulay mindset always sees native traditions through a Western cultural and social prism, which has proved fatal in many cases and Jallikattu is the latest example. It is being compared to the Spanish bull fight, where the bulls are killed at the end of the event. But this is nowhere near the Indian reality.

 

To begin with, Jallikattu is not a fight between bulls and humans, but a game where the players are required to embrace the running bulls by hanging on to their hump for as long as possible. The players are unarmed; the bulls are freed of the nose rope before letting into the arena, and led away by the owners afterwards. The bulls are trained not to let the village youth clamber on to their humps. In no case is the bull injured or killed later on, in sharp contrast to the Spanish bull fight where the players insert a sword into the spine of the bull and inflict a slow and painful death.Bull-Tamers-in-Bull-Taming-Festival-in-Tamilnadu-2014

 

Jallikattu is a socio-religious festival, and not entertainment, though it has come to be seen as an entertainment sport by urban people who have started witnessing the event in recent years due to exposure by the media. But it is essentially a religious tradition. The Tamil people conduct this festival as an offering / commitment to their grama devata; they believe that conducting this festival brings a good harvest and negates bad omens.

 

In Alanganallur, Jallikattu is conducted for the Muniyandi and the first bull which runs off in the arena is the divine bull (dedicated to the temple) which no player touches. Only subsequent bulls can be embraced by the players. This native tradition has been converted into a tourist sport only by the Tamil Nadu Government, just as it converted every temple into a tourist spot. This has led to the urban (mis)perception of Jallikattu as some kind of entertainment sport, but Tamil society is in no way responsible for this.

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The Madurai Nayaks, who started ruling Madurai independently, elevated Jallikattu into a martial sport to boost the bravery of its army men. They announced a price tag (hence the name Jallikattu). Their army was made up of pastoral communities (of Andhra, like Gollas) who had a natural affinity to this bull festival. Brave men who successfully embraced the bull were appointed army chiefs. Even today, many Jallikattu players are police men.

 

The judgment reflects the stark disconnect between an anglicized India and a native Bharat. Urban Indians exposed to European culture tend to view our native systems and festivals from a western cultural prism. They still operate from a legal system based on European perspective; hence, instead of viewing Jallikattu from our own historical perspective, they interpret it as the Spanish bull fight!

 

Overview of the judgment

 

The judgment starts with a summary of the case; the arguments from both sides; the behaviour of the bulls and a description of Jallikattu. It quotes the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) investigation on January 2013 Jallikattu, but this report is not an investigative report but an inquisitive report, because it was prepared with the pre-conceived notion that bulls are tortured in Jallikattu; there was no study to find out if the bulls are indeed tortured or not. Many conclusions are ridiculous, as we shall see.

 

This AWBI report comprises of welfare implications and violations of laws; cruel practices and violations of law based on AWBI report; and a conclusion which is an interpretation. It explains the Jallikattu arena at three locations (Alanganallur, Avaniyapuram, Palamedu) and how bulls are tortured in each arena. Terms like “brutally beaten”, “tortured” are used freely, along with vague phrases like “several bulls, many bulls”, to manipulate the incident.

 

There is mention of the bullock cart race in Maharashtra, which also is projected as cruel. The judgment quotes the Maharashtra executive order banning the race, which was opposed in the High Court, which issued judgment in favour of the Government.

 

The judicial evaluation of the PCA Act is a lecture on how the Court has a moral duty to prevent cruelty; it concludes that Jallikattu organisers are depriving the rights of animals and accuses the organisers as sadist and perverts. DM Broom of the University of Cambridge is quoted to maintain that the pain experienced by bulls is the same as the pain felt by humans.

 

Ironically, the judgment upholds the killing of animals for food by the doctrine of necessity and killing for religion as necessity. The judgment upholds animal rights and dignity and says that all living creatures have inherent dignity and a right to live peacefully and right to protect their well-being which encompasses protection from beating, kicking, over-driving, over-loading, tortures, pain and suffering etc. It compares bulls with performing animals like those in a circus and concludes that bulls are performing animals. The organisers protested that no tickets were sold and hence Jallikattu and the bulls used in these festivals could not be termed performing animals, but the Court rejected this.

 

AWBI calls Jallikattu extremely cruel and barbaric. It says the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act only deals with culture and tradition and not with religion; that Tamil culture does not approve of the infliction of pain and hence does not approve of Jallikattu in the present tradition. The PCA Act is defended on grounds that the Act does away with evil practices and Jallikattu is one such evil. The Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare and World Society for the Protection of Animals and the World Health Organisation of Animal Health are quoted approvingly, and Jallikattu is declared a non-essential activity. The Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act is held to be repugnant to the PCA Act, and in this manner the State Government is denied the right to regulate its own traditions! More pertinently, the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act was specifically meant to regulate Jallikattu and is not in conflict with the PCA Act.

 

The description of bull ethology (behaviour) in the judgment is theoretical and idealistic, with little relation to ground realities and no understanding of the dynamics of human-cow relationship. There are three kinds of cattle in our country. [1] The cattle of forests which include forest cows that graze on their own and are not maintained by humans, for instance, in mountain regions and dense forests and in remote rural areas adjacent to forests. They roam free but are attached to tribals who have a symbiotic relationship with them. These cattle or bulls are not used for Jallikattu.

 

[2] Semi-domesticated cattle include cows and bulls reared by pastoral communities (Konar in Tamil Nadu, Golla of Andhra, Yadav of north India etc) as herds. These cows are always mobile, grazing on pastoral lands and travel over a long area. The pastoral community looking after these cows lives a nomadic life and moves along with the animals.

cow herds

 

[3] Fully domesticated cattle are reared by the farming community. These cows and bulls are not allowed to roam freely as they would graze on farm crops, but are fed with fodder by the farmers.

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Jallikattu is conducted predominantly by the pastoral communities. Since the bulls in their herds are untied and roam freely, they have to tame the bulls whenever they go out of control. The Konar community has the tradition of marrying daughters to youth who successfully control the bull (part of their occupational requirement). It is they who conduct this festival every year in their respective villages.

 

Tamil literature contains references to Krishna taming seven bulls to marry Nappinnai, a Konar bride. Indeed, Tamil literature has many references to the Konar (also called Idaiyar, or Aayar) and their bull festival, “Yeru Thaluvuthal” (bull embracing). All these qualify the bull festival to be recognised as a bio-cultural community protocol as defined by the United Nations’ Bio-Cultural Community Protocols

[http://www.unep.org/communityprotocols/PDF/communityprotocols.pdf

http://www.unep.org/communityprotocols/]

 

The Supreme Court judgment has failed to appreciate these ground realities and cultural and historic perspective and confined itself to some idealistic ‘scientific’ theories. The bulls are ferocious animals, always ready for a fight; they do not flee on seeing humans but try to attack anyone who comes before them. That is why (the bulls maintained by farmers) are tied with two ropes on both sides of their face by the bull owners (though not the bulls in pastoral herds). The un-castrated bulls become extremely uncontrollable and aggressive if not regularly mated with cows.

 

The Supreme Court judgment rests on several misinterpretations. It says, “People, in the earlier time, used to fight to get at the money placed around the bulls’ horns which depicted as an act of bravery. Later, it became a sport conducted for entertainment and was called “Yeruthu Kattu”, in which a fast moving bull was corralled with ropes around its neck”.

 

This is wrong. The Jallikattu was conducted in the same manner as during the pre-British period, with minor change. The vadi vasal and religious festival remains the same. It has always been a socio-religious festival conducted as part of Pongal celebrations, only urban westernised society began to see it as some kind of entertainment like the Spanish bull fight. The State Government promoted this as tourism and the people had no say in the matter. The media too commercialised the event for money making.

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Jallikattu, however, was only a festival involving bulls, with people of different regions and different villages conducting their own festival according to their local tradition. The Jallikattu of Alanganallur is not the same as Manju Virattu of other regions, where the bulls are allowed to run freely and people just chase them. Neither the bulls nor the people are injured. Some pastoral communities maintain divine bulls in each village, the “Saami Maadu” or oormadu (bulls of villages). The apex court did not take cognizance of the various local traditions. Instead, it accepted the AWBI report without scrutiny and delivered the judgment solely on the basis of this report, without heeding the opposite viewpoint.

15jalikattu3

As AWBI was sent as an observer, it should have documented the happenings as they took place. But it took a biased view and submitted a report with pre-conceived notions that the bulls are tortured.

 

Critical analysis of AWBI report

 

The AWBI report consists of two sections, one on welfare implications, and the second on Cruel Practices. Instead of finding out if there is any harm to animals in the event, the AWBI seemed to be seeking reasons to ban the event. For instance, it charged that 80 per cent of the bulls had their ear pinna cut. The organisers say this is true but the figure given is wrong and anyway was drastically reduced after the 2008 regulations, and that the reason is that normally, the cows and bulls of the pastoral communities (called pattimadu), are herded in the forests and could be attacked by forest animals (like foxes) from behind. Hence, the pastoral communities would cut the lower part of the ear so that the cows/bulls could have a backward vision, which normally would be blocked by the ear pinna. For cows, the ear pinna would be torn where the lower part will be hanging. For bulls which participate in Jallikattu, it is completely removed as there is danger of this lower part getting torn down. This is not done for cows or bulls reared by farmers on their farms. As Jallikattu bulls are from these pastoral communities, their ear pinna is seen cut. The ear pinna is also cut for castrated bulls used for transport, and is thus not specific to Jallikattu, as AWBI tries to project.

 

Yet the AWBI report used words like “mutilation”, deliberating manipulating the context. The ear pinna is a soft tissue and does not cause any psychological and behavioural change as claimed. Moreover, the ear cutting is done at the calf stage; there is no neuro-endocrine change in the animals, as alleged. Nor is there any proof of this allegation; all bulls participating in the Jallikattu are perfectly healthy and did not have any behavioral changes.

 

A ridiculous aspect of the judgment is the claim that bulls are made to stand on their own faeces, and exposes the mischief by AWBI. They used the term “faeces” to alter the context as the term “dung” is considered sacred in our society and is used traditionally for laying the floors of houses and temples. But AWBI raised fake concerns stating, “No sanitation facilities were made available, and bulls were forced to stand together in the accumulated faeces and urine for hours. The accumulated waste attracts flies that bother the animals and cause them discomfort. The eggs laid by the flies may lead to maggot infestation of any wounds the bulls may have”.

 

In reality, the animals do not stand for long enough to catch any infection and infected animals do not enter the race. If AWBI report is taken seriously, the entire rural India would be surrounded with flies and suffer from maggot infestation, as cow dung is used for laying floors in every household and temple. Can the dung and urine, which are used as an effective dis-infectant and anti-bacterial agent by our traditional society, harm Jallikattu bulls alone? An observer noted that farm animals standing in their dung have no maggot infestation in their hoofs; but this is not true of animals that stand on concrete floors in urban areas.

cow-dung-gobar DSC04228 pb-110131-india-dung-whalen-02.photoblog900

The AWBI report further says, “Many bulls suffered from dislocated or even amputated tails caused by deliberate pulling and twisting”. Bull-owners say that some bulls have bended tails, but that did not happen in Jallikattu, but at the pastoral communities’ cow pen (patti) itself. As the bulls grow as herds, there are occasions that their tails are tramped upon by other animals, leading to dislocation of tail bones. This is has no relevance to Jallikattu, as projected. Nor does the AWBI report mention how many bulls suffered from this problem, or provide evidence of the same. The usage of the term “many” is deliberately done to mislead the court and the people.

 

The organisers say that every bull is registered before participating in the Jallikattu, that hardly one or two animals have bended tails, and challenge the AWBI or PETA to substantiate their allegations with the bull’s registration number(s).

 

Injuries and Deaths

 

The AWBI could highlight ONLY injuries caused to the bulls after coming out of the arena and none before or inside the arena. So these injuries have no relevance to the Jallikattu event. The AWBI report deliberately ignored the fact that the injured bulls are taken care of by the bull owners themselves from their own money and these accidents are beyond the control of the organisers and are an exception rather than rule. Out of 600 bulls participating in an event, barely a few are affected by such accidents; the AWBI could cite only one bull which died due to accident with a truck (bringing urban visitors to the venue), and few other bulls which got injured.

 

The district administration should make arrangements for the event by diverting traffic for this important Pongal festival. The Government supports urban-centric sports with all facilities, but traditional festivals of historic importance are neglected. Fifty years ago, the vaadi vaasal (forest area) was uncongested, with enough free lands. But the State Government allowed uncontrolled settlements without caring about local cultural aspects. The government should have allocated enough space for Jallikattu festival so that the local culture was not affected by infrastructure projects. This kind of development is destroying local communities.

 

Other allegations, like forcing bulls to drink liquor, may have existed before 2008, but not after the Tamil Nadu Government enforced strict regulations. Bulls cannot be maintained without nose ropes, as anyone with knowledge of the subject would know, and slightly twisting the tail to make the animal move forward cannot be misrepresented as cruelty, when it is also a standard practice in dairy farming.

 

Questioning the fundamentals

 

The judgment is thus flawed as it is based on wrong fundamentals, misconstrued idealism and an ideological prism. Bulls are powerful animals and cannot be tamed without some use of force, which is not the same as cruelty. The same Supreme Court quotes the PCA Act for the doctrine of necessity which states that slaughtering bulls for food is necessary, slaughtering bulls for religion (for minorities) is necessary, but using bulls for a traditional festival is not necessary. This is a weird logic. Since Jallikattu is also an intrinsic part of local religion and culture, it deserves the same respect.

India-Bull-Taming-Real-Pictures-1024x665

The judgment equates speciesm to racism and casteism which is absurd. Cows and bulls are part of the family in our traditional society. The concept of Speciesm does not apply here, and is a product of industrialisation in western countries, where the industrial forces started colonising every living and non-living entity.

 

All accusations by PETA refer to the period before 2008, when the festival was conducted spontaneously. Thereafter the Government laid down strict guidelines under Court order, but PETA persisted with its false accusations. The organisers claim that the photographs and videos given by PETA were taken before 2008, but the Court failed to take cognisance of the same. Instead, it struck down the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act on grounds that it contradicts the PCA Act, whereas in reality, TNRJ has been complementary to the PCA Act, aiming to reduce the hardships of both bulls and players. The suspicion arises that Jallikattu has been banned just because it is not an elite sport.

 

The festivals of traditional society have to be seen against the backdrop of their lifestyle and social customs. The pastoral and farming communities spend the whole year rearing their herds and organise the bull embracing festival once in a year, where they cherish playing with the bulls. This is not mere entertainment, but a social gathering of rural people, and they are passionate about it. Banning native traditions conveys the message that rural people cannot have any fun or activity that is not liked by urban people. It is a modern form of colonial slavery.

 

The legal persecution of Jallikattu is the work of the American-funded PETA and its desi supporters. The organisers of Jallikattu formed an organisation to protect native martial sports and successfully thwarted the malicious attempts of these dubious animal rights activists in the lower courts. The State Government, realising the historic and cultural importance of this festival, formed Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Regulation Act to correct some deficiencies in the festival, which PETA used as argument to ban it, even though Jallikattu was streamlined and successfully conducted without any major incident. But the Court struck down the TNRJ Act itself.

 

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The Jallikattu ban is a tragedy and must be reviewed

Excellent article i found ..  many thanks to the author of this article for writing such a powerful retaliation to supreme court’s unjust and atrocious ban on jallikattu..

http://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-jallikattu-ban-is-a-tragedy-and-must-be-reviewed/

republished in centreright india

http://centreright.in/2014/05/a-great-tragedy-has-befallen-innocent-jallikattu-bulls-in-india/

 

Copyrights belong to owners

A great tragedy has befallen innocent Jallikattu bulls in India.

WARNING. NOT AN EASY READ. 

Egged on by juvenile animal rights activists, their enthusiasm captured and curated by  vested interests, and finally condemned by an incoherent judgment with strange reasoning. Innocent, magnificent, indigenous  bulls who have been the most pampered beasts in India for the past 1000+ years now have no reason to live. Their raison-d-etre’ has been snatched away. This is a great example of legal activism gone spectacularly awry. This is my 471st post on this blog, and the most difficult one for me to write.

A backgrounder of Jallikattu

For those who have no idea what this event is. Stop right here and read my 2008 blog on it. “On Jallikattu” and some misconceptions in this comment. I had blogged about it again in 2009 following another  SC ban.  Have you read the post? If you’ve read it, all you need to take away for the rest of this article is the following : The bull isnt killed or injured at the end of the event. Set aside the “torment” during the event itself for now. We will get to it after we analyze the judgment.

May 07 2014, a black day for the bulls. Supreme Court bans the sport (Judgment)

A 2 judge panel of the 30 judge  Supreme Court of India on May 7 essentially declared Jallikattu to be illegal. The actual “legalese” isn’t that important but for completeness lets see what that is.

  • For the past few years,  Jallikattu was allowed under the Tamilnadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act 2009 (TNRJ) which prescribed elaborate rules for conduct of the event. This included mandatory presence of veternarians, videographing, requirements for barricades,. involvement of NGOs, permission from the collector, registration of the bulls, etc.
  • The other act set up as a conflict is the PCA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1982). The operative pieces are Sec 11 (1) (a) which proscribes such catch all things as “kicking, beating, ..” and Sec 11 (1)  (m) which proscribes fighting for entertainment.
  • The judgment essentially says – the PCA when it comes to Jallikattu is of such an absolute nature that no amount of regulation (TNRJ) can possibly assuage it.  Therefore the state legislation, TNRJ, has to be killed and the widest possible reading of PCA must be applied to this particular event.

The most frustrating part of the argument is the incoherence and multiple lines of attack each unable to stand on its own. The two winners are

  • CHARGE: Jallikattu has no cultural or historical significance to Tamils at all (AWBI pp4) BUT LOOK even if you prove otherwise it doesnt matter because PCA is a welfare legislation by parliament and can squish culture and religious traditions of this community.
  • CHARGE: Jallikattu bulls are subjected to great torture and physical  injury BUT LOOK  dont bother proving this to be false. Our objection is now on the basis of “Speciesism” – Bulls cannot be humiliated and mentally tortured in this manner.

So these charges are just distractions. You can spend all your effort demolishing these strawmen, it is of no use to the final outcome.   One of the critical points is the following – the duration of the event. One would expect that a searching scrutiny would necessarily take into account these facts.

  • Whatever you think about the biting, pushing, kicking, punching of the bull. No one contests that the actual event lasts only a few minutes.
  • The pre Jallikattu confinement of the bull could last a couple of hours as each bull takes its turn exiting the opening (Vadivaasal)  The post Jallikattu harassment lasts a few minutes until the owner/trainer is able to lasso the bull and secure it.
  • No one disputes that the rest of the year  364 days, the bulls lead a kings life.
  • Here is the courts response to this. Look at the standard here – it is no longer about physical injury or even temporary mental stress due to fight/flight responses.

Mental Torture
Physical abuse is not the only kind of injury that is illegal and hurtful. Mental abuse is also amongst the worst kind of abuse as it leaves a lifelong mark on the mind. It is a known fact that victims of accident, crime or disasters recover from their physical injuries in certain time but mental injuries remain etched for decades, play havoc in day to day life. Animals, irrespective of the fact whether they can express it or not, in this particular case were seen going through the same shock and terror as a person goes into in a hostage situation. 

If you unravel the judgment for the most plausible standalone reason for the ban, it is found in PP 59 – It is called “Speciesism” – this elevates animals rights to that of humans.

 Speciesism is also described as the widespread discrimination that is practised by man against the other species, that is a prejudice or attitude of bias towards the interest of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.  peciesism as a concept used to be compared with Racism and Sexism on the ground that all those refer to discrimination that tend to promote or encourage domination and exploitation of members of one group by another. 

In short, species-ism is like racism. Would you allow whites to chase blacks, or upper castes to chase tribals, in this manner for even a few minutes ? It is quite astounding that this extreme standard, is sought to be applied to Jallikattu.  Even if you grant this to be the new judicial standard for animals, this is sought to be subjugated by the “Doctrine of Necessity”. I’ve been researching  on animals rights for a few months now – one of the cornerstones of speciesism is non-slaughter and its main proponents are vegan activists. The only exception for killing an animal under the doctrine of necessity is in self defence. Exactly the same as the doctrine of necessity as applied to humans.  So somewhere there is a misunderstanding of the core concept of species-ism.

It is no ones case that taking a bull to Kerala in a packed truck and slitting its throat and eating beef fry  is necessary to live . So if you can work through the arguments, you will find an incoherent position that is at odds with other laws and practices. An anomalous situation has emerged where you have a mixture of standards – extreme cruelty tolerated under the same body of laws that trumpets “species-ism” as the standard for other kinds of activities.

Facts – just for the record

As I have stated above, there is little use debating the facts of PETA and AWBI  because they are strawmen. Even if we demolish the misinformation campaign, which is childs play, we still cant get over the speciesism standard. But for completeness and to help in a review petition – let me address the facts.

Cruelty to animals 

Man and beast have intricate and diverse relationships especially in India.  There is no one correct way to connect with an animal.  Dont ever, ever, ever, pretend that you even understand to 1% the emotional bond between a Jallikattu bull and its owner.  Dont ever, ever consider your urban westernized boundaries are superior to his rural Hindu Tamil ones.  Dont ever, ever, think that your bond to your dogs Tommy, Julie, or Bobby are more “proper” than his bonds with his bulls Mayandi, Karuppu, or Thalai.

Urban, recently westernized Indians,  may never understand what it is to rub your face against the head of a bull, while you can feel its power rippling through its muscles. I certainly dont, but the difference is I acknowledge that the other people do.  Pinching, poking, pulling the tail can appear to be offensive, and yes can cause pain. But that isnt the whole picture now is it? You have to consider the whole life of how the bull, from when it was a cute little bully calf has been treated and prepared for this day.  So what should a court do when two parties have dramatically  divergent views of acceptable conduct. There has to be a way to minimize the subjectivity of the situation.  I suggest that we should use a black box approach for a more logical way to resolve the dispute.

Bulls In —->  [[ BLACK BOX  W CHARGES]] —–> Bulls Out

You take the sum total of all the charges , twisting, pulling, biting, punching, shouting, putting liquour, smearing lemon, etc and put in in a black box. Then you observe the bulls that come out. If they come out tattered, covered in blood , missing a horn, broken hooves – you have a case to look deeper. In this case, the bulls come out shining ! A fair number of bulls, the most aggressive ones, literally have no hands laid on them. So the logical conclusion of such an empirical analysis is obvious – there is no evidence of physical harm – mental agony is hard to measure in humans, let alone bovines. So you err on the side of freedom and let the event pass.

Now lets turn to the facts presented by AWBI.

Incidents of biting tail, twisting, poking with stick, irritants. These are used to incite the bull and get it out into the arena. What % of bulls were bitten ? Were bulls bitten as a custom or only when they refused to enter the arena? How deep were the bites ? As a result of the twisting how many bulls had their tails broken? These are critical facts that havent been presented.  They have just documented existence of these practices.

Roping, making bulls stand, move sideways, denial of shade.  Once again go back to my points in the last section. Is this the judicial standard ? In slaughter shandies bulls stand in the sun for hours before being selected by an agent. Every single cow and bull is roped in India.  Bovines graze in the sun and rain naturally too. This is just silly.

Death and injury to bulls Should be the clincher, yet stunningly  little has been offered here. Two, I repeat just two bulls. out of 500+ participants were said to be injured by falling into a agricultural well.  They have only documented ONE incident of a bull getting killed . But the details reveal that post the event in Alaganallur, the bull ran through the town and collided with a bus. This is in no way connected to the event itself.

The point is none of the offenses are integral to the event itself and are therefore open to regulation.

We can go further  into the facts – but it is a futile exercise.

Slaughter vs Speciesism – is coherence possible ?

The judgment is incoherent because the speciesism standard will fail spectacularly in almost all other judicial cases involving interactions with animals.  But nowhere is it starker than the issue of slaughter.  The activists  are nowhere to be found when it turns out that post banning of Jallikattu some bulls are loaded onto trucks to the kill floors of Kerala.

This is May 2014 – the next Jallikattu is seven months away. Even if you plead guilty to all of the charges brought forth by the activists and upheld by the court. Here is the truth. If this ban wasnt in force, some of these bulls would have lived a kings life for a full seven months before the “fateful day where they will be pulled and punched it for a few minutes“.  Slaughter is also a game. The outcome is pre-determined. Once a bull gets on that truck to KL there is no escape from the blade.  These activists are squarely responsible for the murder of these animals.

Animal activists in India, probably due to ignorance, young age, or imitation are misguided. They do not recognize the completely different connection between the Hindu and the animal kingdom.  This is not America. We have much to be proud of in the way we treat our animals.  Our livestock may roam the streets, perhaps in squalor in solidarity with their human counterparts, but we do not do feedlots and veal crates. A majority of our cows are still impregnated by sex with real bulls not by a long steel tube like in the west. Our milk procurement still depends on milking by hand, not in giant rotary parlours.

No cow or calf or bull, and  I do mean not a single bovine  in the USA will ever be touched by a  human nor know a single moment of human kindness in its entire (but brief) life. Tell me, is this the case with Jallikattu? Every one of these bulls have names – they respond to their owners like your kids do. The owners give them the best food, take them running, give them swimming training, teach them to dig in their heels and work the ground with their horns.  This pop activism has unfortunately taken advantage of a weak  jurisprudence and caused tremendous damage.

Why is slaughter regulated ? Should we not ban it applying the speciesism test?

In the spirit of the judgment, has anyone talked to a bull in one of the trucks that go to the slaughterhouses in Kerala?  There is a giant corpus of photo and video evidence about the most inhuman practice of cattle transport in India. To anyone with a few brain cells, it is obvious that the PCA Slaughter and Transportation Regulation  is completely ignored and is a total failure . We mostly rely on private enforcement – where folks like the Superstar BJP MLA from Hyderabad Mr T Raja Singh and Dawn Williams team in Chennai chase and trap these trucks  under  great personal danger.

How come the TN Regulation of Jallikattu is struck down but it is considered to okay the  PCA Slaughter rules ? This is what the judgment has to say :

P 31 : Clause
(e) to Section 11(3) permits killing of animals as food for mankind, of
course, without inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering, which clause is
also incorporated ‘out of necessity’. Experimenting on animals and eating
their flesh are stated to be two major forms of speciesism in our society.
Over and above, the Legislature, by virtue of Section 28, has favoured
killing of animals in a manner required by the religion of any community

There is a feeling that this  talk of speciesism just applies to one type of cultural tradition. Other  communities are simply allowed to tie the four legs of an animal and slit its throat while it twitches to death. This is certainly not the doctrine of necessity.

Finally the judgment quotes Ms Temple Grandin – the famous American factory farm slaughterhouse designer.

“The single worst thing you can do to an animal emotionally is
to make it feel afraid. Fear is so bad for animals I think it is
worse than pain. I always get surprised looks when I say this. If
you gave most people a choice between intense pain and intense fear,
they’d probably pick fear.”

Scroll to the top and look at the picture on the left of buffaloes jam packed enroute to crude slaughter in Kerala  – then look at the bull on the right. Which has fear ? Which has majesty and honour intact ? 

 

What next ?

A review petition can be filed stating these facts. The PCA Act can be amended to either specifically elevate and exempt Hindu traditions to the same level as minorities or to bring parity by extending the doctrine of necessity to ban all slaughter. Unlike the UPA  the new Modi govt is supposed to be receptive to Hindu interests. We cant blame others anymore.

Posted in Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Recalling Dharmapal Now – on india vs bharath

I read this article long back (around 7 yrs back).  That was the time my intellectual quest on understanding india started.  Coming across dharampal’s books was a game changer in my pursuit of our history.

Now with BJP winning absolute majority, i feel, posting this article now would be very appropriate.  What kind of nation is BJP going to build?   Dharampal’s life would be an answer.

I am reproducing only part of the article which is relevant.  Please read the full article at the below URL.

http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/t_es/t_es_agraw_dharampal_frameset.htm

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Dharampal’s own description of his initiation into Indian historiography is so fascinating it must be recounted in some detail. Soon after he got associated with the Quit India movement in 1942, he became attracted to the idea of the village community. Perhaps this was partly due to his being with Mirabehn in a small ashram community in a rural area in the Roorkee-Haridwar region from 1944 onwards. But when in 1948, he heard of the Jewish Kibbutzim in Palestine, this interest was evoked again and he visited them in late 1949 for some two weeks. He came away from the visit, however, with the feeling that the Kibbutzim model was not something that could be replicated in India. Later, along with other friends, he did attempt to launch a small village near Rishikesh in which all families had an equal share of the land, etc. The village, however, could not mould itself into a community: it lacked homogeneity. It also had practically no resources at all when it began. Later, in 1960 Dharampal got to know of village communities in Rajasthan which had Bees Biswa village panchayats, and some Sasana villages near Jagannath Puri in Orissa, which were established some 700 years earlier and were still prosperous and functional in the early 1960s.

An encounter, which affected Dharampal greatly in this context, is best recounted here in his own words:

Around 1960, I was travelling from Gwalior to Delhi by a day train, a 6 or 7 hour journey in a 3rd class compartment when I met a group of people and I think in a way that meeting gave me a view of India, the larger India. The train was crowded. Some people however made a place for me. And there was this group of people, about twelve of them, some three or four women and seven or eight men. I asked them where they were coming from. They said that they had been on a pilgrimage, three months long, up to Rameshwaram, among other places. They came from two different villages north of Lucknow. They had various bundles of things and some earthen pots with them.

I asked, what did they have in those pots. They said that they had taken their own food from home. They had taken all the necessities for their food-atta, ghee, sugar – with them, and some amounts of these were still left over. The women didn’t seem to mind much people trampling over them in the crowded compartment, but they did feel unhappy if someone touched their bundles and pots of food with their feet.

And then I said they must all be from one jati, from a single caste group. They said, ‘No, no! We are not from one jati, we are from several jatis.’ I said, how could that be? They said that there was no jati on a yatra-not on a pilgrimage. I didn’t know that. I was around 38 years old, and like many others in this country who know little about the ways of the ordinary Indian-the peasants, artisans and other village folks.

And then I said, ‘Did you go to Madras? Did you go to Bombay?’ ‘Yes! We passed through those places,’ ‘Did you see anything there?’ ‘No, we did not have any time!’ It went on like that. I mentioned various important places of modern India. They had passed through most, but had not cared to visit any.

Then I said, ‘You are going to Delhi now?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘You will stop in Delhi?’ ‘No, we only have to change trains there. We’re going to Haridwar!’ I said, ‘This is the capital of free India. Won’t you see it?’ I meant it. I was not joking. They said, ‘No! We don’t have time. May be some other day. Not now. We have to go to Haridwar. And then we have to get back home.’

We talked perhaps 5 or 6 hours. At the end of it I began to wonder, who is going to look after this India? , India are we talking about? This India, the glorious] of the modem age, built by Jawaharlal Nehru and c people, these modem temples, universities, places of scholarship! For whom are we building them? Those people their pilgrimage were not interested in any of this. And were representative of India. More representative of II than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ever was. Or I and most us could ever be.

The encounter shook Dharampal then, as much as memory of it bothers him even today. This particular experience more than any other, drove him to look for the causes of the profound alienation of India’s new leaders from the preoccupations of the common people and to investigate whether this had always been so.

Similarly, fascinated by the largely intact and functioning Bees Biswa and Sasana village communities, he wished to know what it was that had kept these aspects of Indian civilization so far alive and ticking (in contrast to some of the disintegrated and pauperised communities we encounter in the present), assumed that if the basis of these hitherto vibrant communities were understood, it might assist Indian society – particularly its intellectuals and political leaders – to divest itself of its present state of depression and disinterest with its surroundings and perhaps become lively again. The inquiry had to focus on how India had functioned before the onset of the debilitating British and European dominance. When he began, he had no clear direction in which to look. Even after he had found what he was looking for, the utter significance of it would dawn on him only late

It is important for the reader to know that till about 1964 Dharampal merely had a layman’s knowledge of archives and the records and material they generally held. His first acquaintance with the archival record on India began at Chennai (previously Madras) during 1964-65 but expanded and deepened over the years. He discovered that most of the material dated from around 1700 AD and owed its creation largely to British needs, even when these archives held some Indian language materials on paper or palm leaves. (The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the various European Christian as well as commercial institutions which began to come to India from the mid-16th century also maintained similar archives relating to their encounter with India but these were smaller.)

To read the full article, click here

To know about dharampal, visit his website at

http://samanvaya.com/dharampal/

 

Posted in History, indian History | Tagged | 33 Comments