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

I Did NOT vote

I Did NOT vote today.. and my entire family did not vote.. my friend questioned me on this..

I asked him “what is the proof you have for your vote”.. he told he has gone to voting booth and pressed a button for his party of choice..

i asked him “But where is the physical proof of your vote.. your vote now lies only as some electronic signal.. which can be changed to any way instantly, if one wants”..

he agreed and asked what is the solution.. i told him, we have to return to ballot papers..

he then ridiculed me “You are asking for return to trunk call, in an era of smart phone.. we have to adopt the latest technology “..

“I told him, that it is an era of smart phone viruses too.. its an era of advanced hacking.. Even Germany did not use EVM.. they use ballot papers.. Is India more advanced than them? ” i asked..

he could not answer again..

i then continued..

“the duty of democracy (as he believes) does not end with voting alone.. the real duty is in understanding the voting process and ensuring that your vote is secured and not manipulated.. you are in IT field, and you are NOT aware of these possibilities of manipulation.. all electronic machines can be electronically controlled in this technologically advanced world .. and EVM s can be controlled and manipulated from america through satellite.. “..

My friend was taken back and escaped saying “I should not have asked you this question..” he is not even able to understand what i am saying..

In the nation of idiots, only foxes and scoundrels rule..

Posted in corruption, Personal Views, Politics | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

what should be the role of Hindu Identity?

What should be the role of Hindu Identity?

Should Hindu identity be the one which replaces or suppresses all other jathi and regional identity?

or Should Hindu identity be a base on which all other regional and jathi identities flourish and grow?

Most urban hindus and a large section of hindutvavadis are dreaming for a hindu unity where people discard all existing jathi identities and identify as hindus first.   These people doesnt understand that this will only lead to homogenisation of our society rather than unity.

Some section of people, want all people to put hindu identity before their jathi identity.  They want hindu identity to be top cover for all other identities.

What i am demanding is that every jathi be seen as a branch of the larger tree, and let Hindu identity be the fertile based in which all these regional identities thrive.  Which means, we all will identify ourselves based on our jathi, and be united at sub-conscious level through the hindu identity. Here, all other identities are allowed to get prominance and hindu identity as fertilse base for them to grow.

This is what happening today.  Most of the jathis identify themselves as hindus, but want their jathi identity to be retained.  Whereas the urban folks want these jathi identities to be destroyed.   Thus there is a hostility b/w these two different sections of our society.  Its time that we have to end this conflict and constitutionally recognise jathi as part of our hindu society.

I prepared this chart in one of the debate i participated recently, .  Hope, it conveys my message.

Role of Hindu Identity

Posted in caste system, Hinduism | Tagged | 123 Comments

Telengana – the continuing debate

My previous article on telengana had evoked a mixed response from lot of people.  I am compiling all my responses in this post.

Lakshman’s counter article:

Lakshman PST has written a detailed article opposing my concept of separate telengana.  Although this needs a detailed answer, i am giving a short response here.

He has provided some details about social composition of andhra.  But he made a self goal in his article.  Because, his listing of Niyogi Brahmins itself, supports my point that telengana was a separate cultural region.  Have a look at his statement.

We have marriage alliances with all Niyogi jaatis of the state like Golkonda Vyaapaarulu, Telaganya Niyogi, KaranaKamma Niyogi, Velanati Niyogi, Pakanati Niyogi, Dravida Niyogi etc.

There is a separate caste called Telangana Niyogi, which means, those Niyogi community who hails from Telengana Region.  This itself is a proof for  telengana.

Many other points raised by him are important but requires detailed analysis.  If time permits, will post my detailed response in future.

Response to @Nyaya:

Commenter @nyaya was vigorously opposing my article, based on his “United Andhra” concept.  He was dragging so many issues like language, urduisation, conversion, mini-pakistan, and many other issues.  Let me deal with those issues here.

Telengana – a separate dhesam from mahabharatha times:

I gave the following links on mahabharatha that refer telengana in different names.  In Bhisma Parva, the dhesams of bharatha varsha is listed down.  In that, the talavahanas were mentioned as people living b/w andhra and kalinga.

There is only one speculative refernece to Telingas in the epic Mahabharata. During the southern millitary campaign of the Pandava general Sahadeva he is mentioned as defeating a tribe called Talavanas, between Andhras and Kalingas. This reference is belived to be of the Telingas.

The main contention of @nyaya is that how can we take talavahanas as Telinga, as the name is NOT used.

My point is that the location of Talavahanas match the Telengana region as existing today. Look at the map below.

Telangana-Map

Uttara Andhra is Kalinga Dhesam:

@nyaya doesnt accept that uttara andhra is kalinga.  In turn he says that Orissa is the kalinga dhesam.   He did not give any logical reason NOR any substantiation.

Orissa was originally the Odra dhesa, and is self evident from the website of Orissa government.  Pls refer the below links.

http://orissa.gov.in/e-magazine/Orissareview/2008/april-2008/engpdf/25-26.pdf

Origin of Name of Orissa

I am reproducing the Quote from the above links.

In the Mahabharata the Odras are mentioned along with the Paundras, Utkals, Mekalas, Kalingas and Andhras, while according to Manu the Odras are associated with the Paundrakas, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas, Paradas, Pallhavas, Chinas, Kiratas and Khasas.

So it is very clear that kalinga dhesa is different from Odra Dhesa from above.  Also, why should Kalinga dhesa be named “Orissa”?

In our areas, there is a separate caste called “Oddars”.  The very name itself denotes their ethnic roots.

The current linguistic state was created by Britishers in 1936.  Why should we take this colonial creation of orissa as legimate?

The reality is that the southern part of orissa and northern part of andhra (called Uttara andhra), and few border areas of chatisgarh state constitute kalinga dhesam.  The Northern Orissa is the actual Odra Dhesam.

If @nyaya doesnt agree this, he should substantiate with appropriate logical reasoning or facts.  Blunt denial is not a right way.

Culture vs Kulachar

My contention is that the term “culture” comes from our indic root “Kulachar” (as of now, i could not find any material to substantiate.  Willing to change if proved wrong ).

Kulachar means the strict life code of a particular “Kulam” (or Jathi).  The classical meaning of the term “culture” also more or less meant the same.  However, the usage became changed in later days, where culture was used to denote all type of fancy things.

The Urban Indians, educated in western system, sees our culture as some thing fancy and fashion, and see it in a cinematic way.  For them, culture is about delicious foods, colourful dress, joyous festival, and all other aspects of “Loukika Life”.

Whereas in traditional bharath, KulaChara means the jathi restriction, dos and donts.  So every jathi had their own “Acharam” to follow, according to the area they live in and the occupation they do.

For eg, a brahmin, who has to do vedic rites, has to maintain highest acharams..  whereas a farmer has some relaxation.  A leather working community, may not be able follow the “acharam” of other communities, but have their own set of acharams.

This is what our original value system was.

This extreme difference of perception of culture, has led to distorted understanding of our history and society.

@nyaya and @surya, do not accept my contention and in turn say “Culture” means “Samskriti”.  Whereas my stand is that Samskrit means Refined, and NOT cultured.  It is the Kulachara that can be equated to culture.

Is Language More Important Than culture?

@nyaya says Language is a medium where people understand their culture and hence it is more important.

Whereas my stance is that our “Kulachara” is based on what people follow in their life and NOT based on reading of any textbook.  Language is used by different jathis of our society for mere communication, and NOT for any intellectual work.  Since every jathi occupation was hereditary, people learn their occupation by practice and NOT from classrooms (as it happens today).  Hence importance of language was secondary.

Language was needed to impart “Neethi” and NOT “acharam”.  For eg, my grandfather was taught about “Neethi” in schools, while he acquired achara from family tradition.

The reason why @nyaya feels language is important is because of his westernised perception of Fanciful “Culture”.  This is the problem with most urban indians, who are stripped of their “Kula Acharams” by macaulay education.

Does small states means Mini-Pakistan??

@nyaya says that telengana will lead to Muslims getting more powerful. Let us look at the demographics of Current United Andhra & Separate Telengana

Muslim Population in Current United Andhra Pradesh = 9.2 %  (88.88% Hindu )

Muslim population in Separate Telengana = 12.4 % (84% Hindu ).

There is not much change in Demography due to creation of Telengana.

However, the power of muslims will be drastically reduced in telengana state because of the native telengana people will regain their dominance and ownership of polity, economy and land.   To understand how this will happen, we need to understand the relation b/w social network of people and their geographical coverage.

In traditional bharathiya society, the matrimonial alliance was done based on geography and Kulam.  So people settling in different dhesams marry only within the geographical boundaries and among their jathi.  Even 20 years before, people will not give brides across rivers, for variety of reasons.   Even today, those who work in IT sector still chooses bride/groom only from their native areas.

Considering this angle, the social network thru matrimonial relations are confined within the cultural regions (andhra, seema,  telengana and kalinga).  In United Andhra state, none of these four different social groups would be able to dominate the polity or economy. There will be a stalemate.  The muslim and christians will derive their power ONLY in such stalemate, where by shifting their small vote bloc to political parties, they derive dis-proportional leverage.

Whereas, if we divide the state in to four, each region will be dominated by their own native people, and will be able to assert their historical ownership and rights.  The power & influence of muslims and christians will be reduced against the collective cultural consolidation of native people.

Will telengana lead to Christian Domination?

The population of Christians in telengana is very negligible. (again another proof on how christianity wont work in traditional society).  Although officially christians in andhra are said to be 1.5%, in reality they may be around 10-18%, due to large scale conversions in past 10 years.

@nyaya is saying christians will get more powerful if we divide large state in to smaller ones.  But in reality, it is in the United Andhra pradesh, the christian conversion was at highest.  He doesnt answer this point, which was raised by @vyasa too.

The issue was NOT about bigger or smaller states.  The issue was about centralisation of power.  In current United AP, all the control was wrested with Hyderabad, and all the four cultural regions, were powerless, and every decision was taken at the capital.  So the christians who were able to capture the power thru YSR (& Congress ) were able to acquire unlimited power and destroy all four regions.

Whereas if we had smaller states, even if christians capture one region, the other three regions will be spared.

The main anti-dote to christian assault is decentralisation of power.  My stance is that even in separate telengana, the power should be decentralised based on our ancient native administrative systems.

Come out of Christian and Muslim Phobias:

Most of the arguments by @nyaya is based on fear psychosis of “Christian & Muslim Domination”.  His argument goes like this – “If we do this, muslims will get powerful.  If we do that, christians will get powerful”.  This is nothing but Phobia out of imagination of fear (the fear may be real or apparent).  We cannot fight a war, if we shiver just by thought of it.

The Urban Indians are plagued by this Abrahamo-Phobias, because they are struggling with an identity crisis.  Most urban hindus are atomised individuals, working in some corporate companies.  They dont have any ownership of the resources in urban centers, NOR do they have any collective conscience.   Also they are totally dis-connected from the traditional society of bharath.   In such situation, their phobias are understandable.

Our thinking and planning should be based on our own strengths and weaknesses.  If we are always obsessed with what enemy is doing, our defeat would be certain.  While we should be aware of enemy’s strengths & moves, our actions and strategy should be based on our own capabilities.

My strategy is that by splitting Andhra pradhesh in to 4 regions, we would be saving majority of areas by isolating influence of christians to particular region.   Even in that particular region, the local consolidation of native hindu population (based on culture)  will be an effective checkmate.  (For eg, in goa, eventhough christians are majority, they could not fully dominate).

Instead of whining out of phobias, we have to play our own game, and wage our own battle.  Fearing about losses are cowardly.

Secularism will die a natural death in Cultural States:

Another important point to note is that secularism will become obsolete and meaningless in telengana (or in any cultural states).  Because the secular & liberal morons will not have any place in cultural regions.  So far, these people were able to control their discourse, through the centralised state machinery, by enacting laws against our society, and also by using the centralised police force.  They would not be able to do that any more.  Secularism always had effect ONLY in metros where the power was concentrated and among uprooted urban populations.

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I have consolidated all my responses in this article.  Would like to know the responses of the readers.

Posted in bharath, caste system, Culture, History, Religion | Tagged , , | 169 Comments

Toilets, Temples, Modi & Development.

My article published in vijayvaani, that counters modi’ speech on “toilets first temples later”.

This time, i have created a powerpoint presentation to explain key points in this article.  Had included this at the end of this article.

Note:

The Urban Coteria deciding modi’s agenda has to answer who is going to clean all those toilets that he intends to build?

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http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=2970

Some months ago, this writer met a regional co-ordinator of an NGO which focuses on sanitation in rural areas. During the course of a casual conversation, he complained that each village family spends more than Rs. 10,000 for festivals annually, but is not ready to spend Rs. 3000 for building a toilet. The writer felt outraged at this linking of toilets and the celebration of divinities.

Anyway, one asked if the toilet system his NGO was promoting was water intensive, and if so, how were village people to manage the water, when they had to struggle daily to get their drinking water from public taps. The gentleman had no answer.

Most NGOs and persons who speak on the issue of sanitation operate on the basis of urban stereotypes, without any real understanding of our society or the issues it faces. More importantly, running NGOs is an easy way to build a career and it is rewarding to continue upholding the stereotypes rather than to seek genuine solutions.

But when a prime ministerial candidate speaks the same stereotypes, it is a matter of grave concern. At the finale of a youth gathering, Manthan, in Delhi recently, Narendra Modi stated that we (Indians) have to build toilets first and then temples later. As reported in the media, he said, “I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit to say so, but I dare to say. My real thought is – pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya” (toilet first, temple later).

The statement sent tremors of dismay all over what may be regarded as Narendra Modi’s “natural constituency”. The utterly cavalier fashion in which the Gujarat Chief Minister juxtaposed toilets with temples with an eye to score secular brownie points, shook the confidence of all who hoped he would shatter the tentacles of the entrenched anti-Hindu ethos of the Nehruvian State system. Instead, he played along.

Clearly, Narendra Modi does not understand either the concept of temples or the concept of personal hygiene (sauch) in our civilisation. He seems to have surrendered himself completely to the Western framework of sanitation, as programmes in Gujarat suggest.

True, the pressure of population, growing urbanization, and the absence of open spaces has made and is now making toilets a rural imperative. But before we move to condemn a whole nation, we must understand the system we are trying to overturn. Are we merely trying to ape the West, or counter criticism from the West, or are we interested in improving the quality of life of our people in conformity with the new social reality of their lives?

In the West, society wants people to dress properly, regardless of whether or not they have taken a bath. But in our dharmic civilisation, personal hygiene, cleanliness, mental purity, and kula acharams are the parameters within which a person must function. Here, the need to maintain personal cleanliness is more important than personal comfort. Hence, traditionally, people preferred to perform their ablutions in places far away from home, even if it involved discomfort. The toilet system has long been alien to rural India; people hated defecating in confined spaces, having to bear the bad smell.

The sastras prescribed strict rules on how to defecate. Manu Smriti says one has to roll out his sacred threads and put them on the right ear, and look at the sky while defecating. Manu Smriti Vishnu Purana gives guidelines regarding the distance to be maintained from a water source, a river, a temple, while urinating or defecating. There are several rules regarding the direction to look, and how to clean oneself after defecation. While rules may differ in different sastras, the core idea is same – defecation has to be done in the open, and far away from home, temple, rivers and water source.

Scientifically, it has been established that toilets are breeding place of germs, more than any other part of the house. The toilet tap has the highest concentration of germs.

More pertinently, the western toilet system is water intensive and totally unsustainable in the Indian reality. Each flushing of the toilet takes at least 10 litres of water. An average person thus consumes around 50 litres of water for toilet alone. A family of four needs around 200 litres of water daily for toilets alone. For 25 crore families of India, one would 50 billion litres of water daily. Does India have it?

Already in villages, there is water scarcity. In my own village, people buy water for drinking and cooking in summer, when the bore wells go dry.

More pertinently, the water used in toilets is flushed into septic tanks, where it remains stagnant for years and become poisonous. When the tank is full, the water and solid waste are drained into the rivers and water sources. Toilet water forms the bulk of sewage discharged by major cities and towns. Is this sanitation? Our holy rivers, the Ganga and Yamuna, are virtually sewage dumps today, and if there is no fresh water from the Himalayas, all these wastes would stagnate there and devastate the metros.

Septic tanks are one of the largest breeding grounds of mosquitoes, leading to spread of germs. They also emit greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming. Imagine, crores of such systems emitting methane on a daily basis.

A major question which none of those who advocate the toilet system will answer is – who will clean all the toilets being built?

 Construction and NGO lobbies are using the sanitation propaganda for their own interests. NGOs in particular are using this route to dump foreign funding in India for all manner of purposes, one of which is conversion.

 Urbanisation

 Urbanisation is destroying our dharmic civilisation. After 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru who claimed to be last Englishman to rule India, unleashed a massive westernisation programme, of which urbanisation was a part. Most Hindu intellectuals mistakenly believe that as Indian civilisation also had Nagaras in the past, urbanisation is not wrong. But the urban system of the west is not same as the Nagara of our civilisation, and villages of the west are not the same as the Gramas of our country. The wrongful equation of western concepts with Indian concepts has led to the devastation of our dharmic society.

Grama is the permanent living place in our traditional society. Nagara is an administrative capital, and people come to the nagara on a temporary basis for trade and not for permanent settlement. A typical grama had all the facilities needed for the people, and even today we can find at least a dozen different jatis living in a grama practicing different occupations.

The nagara and grama are not an ever-expanding entity. The Nagara is designed within a fixed boundary. Protective deities (usually male gods, eg Karuppanar and Muneeswaran in Tamil Nadu) are installed at the borders of the grama and nagara and other temples at the center. In our civilisation, these gods protect the people living there and these gods are still worshipped as kula devata.

Within a nagara and grama, different jatis live in their own colony, with their own god or goddess which they worship regularly. The King would build a magnificent temple (Shiva temple, Vishnu temple and the temple for the king’s kula devata) at the center of nagara. When the population increases, new gramas & nagaras are created rather than mindlessly expanding the current one, as we are doing today.

These indigenous civilisational designs are completely ignored by the policy designers of our country. Our Hindu Intellectuals utterly failed to understand these aspects, and there has been no indigenous research on any of our civilisational designs.

For six decades, the western urban system has been indiscriminately built over our well designed Indian nagaras and gramas, continuously expanding by destroying and engulfing the villages in the periphery. The protective border deities, and the gods of each jati settlement (Sthana Devata) and the grama devata all become unwanted street temples in the new westernised urban center. Later, in the name of development, these street temples are demolished on the order of the Indian Judiciary. (When Modi destroyed more than 300 temples in Gandhinagar in the name of development, there is high possibility that those deities were once the protective gods of villages destroyed for urban expansion.

(See Radha Rajan http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=1528 &

http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=1535)

 Open Spaces

Open defecation is never a problem in a typical grama environment. People go to nearby fields and the waste is automatically decomposed within a day or two. Traditionally, the villagers dig pit in the fields, defecate and close them with soil. The problem arises only when this grama structure is destroyed to expand the city, and all open space is colonised for commercial purposes.

As in all propaganda against our dharmic society, here too, the victim is accused by the perpetrator. Urban India which accuses villagers of being unhygienic, ignores the fact that it has colonised the villagers’ land.

Another reason for the problem of defecation is the collapse of the traditional Grama Panchayat, which regulated the daily administration of villages. Before 1947, every grama was a self-governing autonomous entity, with rights to regulate their own land. They religiously protected the forest land within and around their villages through collective decisions.

But westernised urban India paralyzed the functioning of the traditional grama panchayats and deprived rural people of the power to regulate themselves. Thus open space within the grama became prone to occupation by both insiders and outsiders. Dharampal, in his book “Panchayat Raj”, explains the existence of two kind of panchayats in the gramas of Rajasthan during the 1960s. One, the Sarkar Panchayat, which is run for name’s sake, and the other the traditional Panchayat where all important decisions are taken. This latter is now most probably extinct, thanks to the tsunami of globalisation.

UN standards

 The present sanitation programme is not designed by Indians for Indian needs, but defined by the United Nations as a Universal Standard of development, which is being foisted on every nation. An illusion is created that if there is no toilet, there is no sanitation. A casual analysis of current toilet system, however, shows it is the most unhygienic entity in the world, and spreads germs and diseases rather than open defecation.

Toilet and Women

An emotional point raised by Narendra Modi in support of the toilet system is that it is humiliating to women to defecate in public. His concerns are right, but his understanding of the issue is wrong. The issue here is about privacy for women and not about the toilet system.  Women in villages have no issues with open defecation as long as they have a private space. That calls for an appropriate village design. And it is cheaper and healthier than forcing them to build individual toilets.

 Open defecation is not suitable to the European climate, where decomposition is not easy. Hence they need to build toilets for protection from the weather and for sanitation. Our traditional system was based on our environmental situation.

 Indus Valley Civilisation

 Many urban Hindus often cite the Indus valley civilisation to claim we had toilets in that remote era, but there is no proper substantiation for this. The photographs available indicate only bathrooms and not toilets. If indeed toilets were part of the Indus Valley civilisation, why were they not present in latter day nagaras? Kautilya in Arthasastra provides a detailed account of how a nagara should be designed, but never mentions toilets there. Similarly, all major nagaras of the pre-Islamic period, had no toilet system.

Nor do we find references to toilets in our Itihasas like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Our gods Rama and Sita did not build toilets in forests; nor they build toilets in their palaces. Our people who built magnificent temples, did not build magnificent toilets. Why?

The entire history of the world has been written on the basis of the western thought framework. Civilisation is also defined according to the western paradigm. Big buildings, drainages, sewages, and other infrastructure are the benchmarks of this definition. In contrast, in our dharmic system, personal hygiene, conduct, and simple living are the benchmarks of civilisation. The term kalacharam itself denotes the “Acharams” that everyone follows, and not the buildings or palaces. But urban India which inherited unlimited absolute power from the British, sees everything from the western perspective and frames policies that are hostile to our traditional life style.

 Toilets or Temples

 Now we come to the core question. Which is important for us – toilet, as urban Indians demand, or temples that traditional society gives priority to?

Again, it is a matter of perspective. Urban Indians see temples as a place of worship at par with a church or mosque. But Indian tradition views the temple as the place where the Deva / Devi resides. The whole grama / Nagara belongs to the Deva and Devi who protects the people living in her place. In the Ramayana, when Hanuman lands in Lanka, it is the Lankadevi who fights him and is defeated by him. Even in our recent history, the Travancore ruler announced that his entire kingdom belongs to Sri Padmanabha Swami.

There is an inherent consciousness in our traditional society that the deity of the grama and nagara is supreme and hence it is a foremost duty to conduct the poojas and rituals to the grama devata as per established schedule. This consciousness was undermined by the colonial administration which introduced the concept of private land ownership 200 years ago. Hence the urban centres consider land as private entity, and urban Indians think toilets are more important than temples or divinities.

 Modi’s attitude more damaging than his words

 Whether Narendra Modi has insulted Hindu sentiments is not the issue. But the attitude he conveys is a matter of concern. Modi is conveying a message that human comfort is supreme and gods and temples are secondary and take second place. This is a western capitalistic mindset that is very dangerous. It creeps into the mind insidiously and destroys society and nation from within.

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