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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60 Responses to Toilets, Temples, Modi & Development.

  1. samir says:

    Thanks Senthil for this brilliant article. No one could have put these thoughts better. This is the precise reason I feel so called right-wing Hindutva groups are so hopeless for real revival of Indian ethos and culture and that their utility is limited to reacting the opposing civilization forces in the current milieu.

    • senthil says:

      Thanks samir.. Hindutva itself is a colonial creation.. while the intention of the hindutva people may be good, their ideology is certainly abrahamic.. its time that we move away from that, and focus on our ancient social setup..

      The first step is to look inwards.. everyone can first look at the culture, history, internal organisation and region of their own jathi and explore it..

  2. Anon says:

    Excellent presentation!

  3. Zed says:

    Nice presentation. Thanks!
    You distinguish between the toilet and taking a bath.

    Once we get away from colonial mindset, the stories from childhood of older times makes sense, where women of the village would go together to defecate and use that time for social networking too.

    Maybe this method also explains why India had less prevalence of mass communicable diseases associated with hygiene over hundreds of years compared to europe.

    • senthil says:

      @zed,

      /** Once we get away from colonial mindset, the stories from childhood of older times makes sense, where women of the village would go together to defecate and use that time for social networking too.
      **/

      Exactly.. i some how missed this point in my article.. till now, women in our village goes together to defecate in a separate place they had reserved for themselves.. the only problem is that those place is now being made as patta land, as the local village governance has no control over their lands..

  4. Surya Ramachandran says:

    Very nice Senthil. I appreciate your efforts. You have done fabulous work ! Keep it up. I liked this post a lot.

  5. ruralbharath says:

    No body is against Modi building toilets. But bringing temple into the issue is totally uncalled for. Will he do the same comment against a Mosque or Church?

    • senthil says:

      @ruralbharath
      many Hindutva people have such distorted view of dharma, where they feel, everything is OK, as long as temple and sentiments are NOT touched.. the attitude is like “i dont care, if all those toilets built result in polluting the river, but i care only if some says anything about temple”.. they dont understand that many of our temples are located on the banks of river, and gets polluted by these sewage.. we are forgetting the link b/w nature and our temples..

      this indicates, how the hindutva ideology had transformed our society in to nature oriented dharmic one in to western kind of religious society..

      • Zed says:

        So now you went from urban or western colonialism to hindutva ideology as the villain ? Who next?
        hindutva ideology barely got a chance to rule the country yet and you & vijayavani folks are already lining up to stab it in the back.

        Your article raised some good points, criticized what Modi said etc and it was well received. But now you go one bit further and make the claim that hindutva ideology had already transformed our society when in fact it barely got the chance. Doesn’t it bother you before you make such obviously false assertions?

        I actually had a question about your article. It is a good presentation and very original at that. The question is: how did people defecate in Nagaras? I can understand that in villages and given our tropical weather, outdoor is the best and makes most sense. But how was it done in the nagaras?

        Most people forget that while the soul of Bharat is in its villages, the Nagaras were themselves some of the huge cities on the planet at that time. Even so if we were to restrict ourselves to cities just in South India. Wonder how they dealt with the toilet there.

        One reference I have from Burton’s book is that the rulers of Vijayanagara used the portugese engineers and their plumbing techniques for the city of Hampi but it is not clear if this was for water lines or sewage lines.

        • senthil says:

          /** hindutva ideology barely got a chance to rule the country yet and you & vijayavani folks are already lining up to stab it in the back.
          **/

          1. An ideology cannot and should NOT rule a country..

          2. If any one has to rule, he has to know how to rule.. Hindutva as an ideology (and perhaps every ideology) doesnt have any perception or idea of ruling..

          My criticism was for the comment by @ruralbharath, that building toilet is NOT an issue, whereas dragging temples is.. this narrow mindedness has cost our country a lot.. you can understand this only when you make a detailed study of our traditional institutions and economic setup..

          Our focus should be ON dharma alone, and NOT on personality or ON ideology..

          /** The question is: how did people defecate in Nagaras? **/

          For that we need to understand what a nagara is, and how may people lived there, and how it was designed.. In my view, Tiruvananthapuram of 1930s can be a best example, to analyse, bcoz it was ruled by princely state in traditional administrative model.. (hope, many elders in kerala would be remembering the old life style.. any keralites can throw some light on this..)

    • kumar says:

      both mosques and churches do have toilets built in. even water taps are missing in temples, to wash the feet !
      -kumaraswamy vullaganti

  6. vyas says:

    Senthil – Fantastic presentation. I already read your article in Vijayvaani but saw your presentation only now. Very good effort. But you have only kept the problem in the table. What solution do you offer? Our population is expected to grow to 1.7billion by 2050. The ancient toilet systems in open lands worked perfectly well when population was only a few million for the whole nation. Is it really possible to motivate the 1.7billion population to defecate in the open in the future? Do we really have that much land space in our country to encourage a village based lifestyle?

    • senthil says:

      Even today, 70% of our population lives in villages.. around 8-10% are tribal people who lives in forests.. its only the 20-30% people of urban centers, who have this problem of toilet..

      So its NOT a problem of population, but a problem with design of our cities and design of our land area..

      It is the media and the capitalists who project a consolidated view of total population, for their propoganda material.. we need to come out of that mindset..

      Also think from this angle.. the current form of toilet system always leads to sewages, which ends in rivers, and pollutes water sources and seas.. and look at the current level of pollution by just 30% of the urban population.. if we increase that to 60%, what will happen?

      Before the current colonial government came, our forefathers, utilised every slopes, streams, terrains & low lying lands, for building lakes, ponds, so that water during rainy season automatically flows in to these ponds, and improve water table..
      Today, every such streams, slopes are being used as means to drain sewage away from home.. look at the extreme degradation & selfishness in our mindset created due to totalatarian government, which took everything under its control..

      • vyas says:

        Senthil – All the problems you mentioned has now been resolved in the West using modern technology. Even India will try to rely on technology to resolve such issues. In the West I don’t think they are polluting the rivers with the sewage water anymore. While I totally agree with you on the amount of water being wasted for toilets, there are solutions for that too with dry toilets. One day we may implement dry toilets to address the water wastage. Human race, going forward will always resort to technology for addressing any such issues until the time it completely fails upon us. At the moment there are researches being carried out in the West to dump earth’s garbage onto other distant planets. Who knows, 50/100 years from now we may use moon/mars as our dumping place. Unless technology completely fails upon us, man will always seek for such so-called innovative solutions. The ancient toilet system (defecating in the open) is simply not suitable for the current lifestyle atleast for the urban crowd. The policy makers are fast working to urbanize the entire nation out of pressure from the UN. The UN’s ultimate goal is to urbanize the entire World by 2050. Our leaders are simply spineless to tackle this pressure from the UN.

        //Even today, 70% of our population lives in villages.. around 8-10% are tribal people who lives in forests.. its only the 20-30% people of urban centers, who have this problem of toilet..//

        True, their lifestyle is not contradictory at all to such environments but the urban lifestyle is. The real is problem is neither about grama nor nagara. It’s with the lifestyle and the individualization of human society. Unless we stop globalization no solution will work.

        • senthil says:

          /** The ancient toilet system (defecating in the open) is simply not suitable for the current lifestyle atleast for the urban crowd.
          **/

          I did not want urban people to defecate in open.. let them do what is comfortable to them.. I am only opposing their attempt to force/coerce villagers to build toilets in the name of sanitation.. also i am pointing out, that their toilet system had polluted our rivers to extreme level..

          I am questioning the established propoganda, and the current unsustainable urban system which is being projected as utopian standard of development..

  7. poovannan73 says:

    WoW senthil has hit a sixer with shit making hindutva lovers of hindutva poster boy looking constipated as shit has spit the hindutva lovers right in the middle
    There exists tribals in andaman ,brazil and few parts of the world who follow the style of shitting propogated by senthil but their numbers are dwindling very fast and they are on the verge of extinction.Does he want the same to happen here.Open defecation is a health disaster and most communicable diseases which kill more in under developed and developing countries are courtesy open defecation.Massive outbreaks of waterborne diseases are seen mostly in areas where people defecate in the open
    The usage of more water in closed latrines in comparison with open defecation is amusing.What do they do for washing in the villages.Do they use stones or tissue paper or they go to the wells,water sources of lakes,rivers to clean themselves.The exposure to snake bites and other insect bites due to open defecation too causes quiet a bit of fatalities apart from various fungal and bacterial infections due poor washing of the genital areas after defecating in the open.People defecating in the open have a very high % of gluteal abscesses and fungal infecttions in comparison to those who do it in bathrooms in the houses and its a major problem of the poor who doesnt have toilets

    Tissue paper saves quiet a bit of water.Is senthil advising that to save water

    • Surya Ramachandran says:

      /** Open defecation is a health disaster and most communicable diseases which kill more in under developed and developing countries are courtesy open defecation. Massive outbreaks of waterborne diseases are seen mostly in areas where people defecate in the open**/
      Who said this ? What are these diseases ? We have told you that there have been NO massive outbreak of diseases in the past in INDIA.

      /** Do they use stones or tissue paper or they go to the wells,water sources of lakes,rivers to clean themselves. **/
      Since when did washing clothes, and taking bath start causing pollution. You are trying to minimize your guilt of polluting rivers with sewage by this.

      /** People defecating in the open have a very high % of gluteal abscesses and fungal infecttions in comparison to those who do it in bathrooms in the houses and its a major problem of the poor who doesnt have toilets **/
      What proof do you have for this ? It could be because of modernization, if such studies are indeed true.

      /** Tissue paper saves quiet a bit of water. **/
      Stupid argument. So you do not want humans to stay clean.

      • poovannan says:

        I am all for tissue paper usage followed by water in tropical climates like India where fecal matter doesnt get contaminated in the finger tips.

        How the people defecating in the open wash themselves was my question.They used to contaminate the water sources or carry very little water insufficient for cleaning their anal area and hands post washing resulting in infections.This is still seen in large number of areas where people practise open defecation even now

        There existed pots for defecation for the lederly,children,women and no lady from the royal family was defecating in the open.Few of the the various styles of shitting pots used by them are across various centuries are preserved in museums across the country

        What where they doing with children below 5,newborn who defecate several times a day etc.There used to be open defecation areas behind every house which was used by the women,elderly,children if they didnt have the pots system and there existed practise of carrying this shit to villages by the downtrodden to be used as fertiliser.

        It was tribal lifestyle where one shits in the open and organised groups which started placing restrictions on women had several type of arrangements for their women near their homes.

        • vyas says:

          I’m with Ponvannan on this issue. He has raised some valid questions here. Unless we get clarity on how the mucus of small children and elderly was cleansed in those days we simply cannot vouch for that system. If defecating in a toilet inside homes is unhygienic according to Senthil, then allowing infants to defecate inside the house is unhygienic too. In addition to this, sick people cannot go outside to defecate in the open very often. I used to remember my grand parents house which too had toilets but they were far behind the house. In those days, each house in the villages had enough space in the backyard which helped them to defecate there. People would create small mud holes and defecate inside it. When done, they seal those holes with mud. Whatever said and done, these solutions are simply not scalable for modern times in my opinion. At the same time there is no second opinion that the western toiletry system that we use right now needs to be reinvented to use less water (or no water at all) and improve hygiene.

        • senthil says:

          /** .There used to be open defecation areas behind every house which was used by the women,elderly,children if they didnt have the pots system and there existed practise of carrying this shit to villages by the downtrodden to be used as fertiliser.
          **/

          this is an example of how you shamelessly twist your argument.. you say there existed separate open-defecation areas for women, and you also drag the muslim POT system in to it..

          /** How the people defecating in the open wash themselves was my question.They used to contaminate the water sources or carry very little water insufficient for cleaning their anal area and hands post washing resulting in infections.This is still seen in large number of areas where people practise open defecation even now
          **/

          After defecation, people clean their anus with small stones / pebbles, and hence there is NOT much water needed for cleaning anus..

          /** Unless we get clarity on how the mucus of small children and elderly was cleansed in those days we simply cannot vouch for that system. If defecating in a toilet inside homes is unhygienic according to Senthil, then allowing infants to defecate inside the house is unhygienic too. In addition to this, sick people cannot go outside to defecate in the open very often.
          **/

          People can ask their elderly grandmas on how they handled infants.. NOT just infants.. even for aged people at death bed, they defecate in their own place and family members clean it.. ( NOT the “aayaahs” as employed by the urban indians)

  8. poovannan73 says:

    Its great to know that even shitting can be a useful tool to know about the migration of brahmins across the country. I had a chaturvedi roommate and recently in train my copassenger from madhyapradesh too was putting his sacred thread around the ears when he came out of the train toilet like my roommate
    Nice to know that people downsouth too do the same ritual indicating their oneness and common origin apart from rishi gothras.

    Significant number of Wars have been won by organising troops to practise organised closed defecation in the same pit where the fecal matter gets covered with sand and troops use dry latrine models where big pits are dug and soldiers shit there from the top and cover the shit with mud and wash themselves at a different place.There is a ratio for the number of pits based on the number of soldiers and NCC camps conducted for school and college children still follow the dry latrine models.

    • Surya Ramachandran says:

      Similarlity in value system does not mean similarity in race, cant you get even this ? The thread is sacred right, you yourself have mentioned, so it is sensible to raise it up before shitting. So you have to keep it high, so do you have any other solution other than keeping in the ear.

      • poovannan says:

        Did the practise of wearing sacred thread started on its own across thousands of kilometers without spread.
        Other groups tried to imitate sacred thread,gothras etc but the brahmins where very strict in rejecting people who tried that except under circumstances where there was no alternative.Do we have any similarities of rituals between a gujjar or naadar or pallar
        Do you mean to say that kashyapa/bharatwaja gothra of a kaul from kashmir and iyengar from kanyakumari are accidental co incidences due to intervention of god and not by spread or migration

        • Surya Ramachandran says:

          You need go get rid of this Brahmin race. Read Ambedkar himself
          http://rajeev2004.blogspot.in/2008/05/ambedkar-debunks-aryan-invasion.html

          That the theory of the Aryan race set up by Western writers falls to the ground at every point goes without saying. This is somewhat surprising since Western scholarship is usually associated with thorough research and careful analysis. Why has the theory failed? … Anyone who cares to scrutinise the theory will find that it suffers from a double infection. In the first place, the theory is based on nothing but pleasing assumptions and inferences based on such assumptions. In the second place, the theory is a perversion of scientific investigation. It is not allowed to evolve out of facts. On the contrary the theory is preconceived and facts are selected to prove it.

          /* Did the practise of wearing sacred thread started on its own across thousands of kilometers without spread. ** /
          Who said that ? Practise would have started some where and it would have been initiated to many across different regions.

          When caste based societies were formed, some castes were given the opportunity to wear the sacred thread. This was sanctioned by the kings. Once this is done the tradition continued and Brahmin identity was formed. Therefore, it was not acceptable once the Brahmin identity was formed across all regions.

          Similarity of rituals are NOT there among Brahmins themselves. Most of these ritual Mantras that you are seeing come from Shankaracharya/Madhwacharya.

          Still there are similarity in practises, eg. open-space defaction in the early morning. This is common between gujjar or nadar or pallar.

          /** Do you mean to say that kashyapa/bharatwaja gothra of a kaul from kashmir and iyengar from kanyakumari are accidental co incidences due to intervention of god and not by spread or migration **/
          These gotras would have been formed when Brahmin caste spread across different regions.

  9. “When the population increases, new gramas & nagaras are created rather than mindlessly expanding the current one, as we are doing today.’

    Except that as showed already, the population of India was almost stable at 100 million for over 2 thousand years and there was atmost migration. The gramas and the nagaras you boast of never had to contend with a 100% increase in population in 44 years (from 1947 to 1991) as we faced. So, stop living in a dreamland which we don’t have. If India has Scandinavian population, even our cities will be extraordinarily good..

    “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.”

    Comfort? Man, children are getting diseases and dying here due to open defecation due to diarrhea, hepatitis etc. and you talk about comfort and building temples? Many girls don’t go to schools due to lack of toilet facilities and Modi is wrong to address this? Hope there are not many casteists who have your opinion. Otherwise this country is doomed..

  10. “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.”

    The fact that you compare Modi’s point to a Secular point itself proves that you have no idea what he targets.. This is more of a governance issue than secular or communal. Just by saying temple, he did not affect the sentiments of Hindus who are sane. Some Insane ones like you may be, but that’s a mullah-attitude which most Hindus don’t have..

  11. “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.”

    Your entire blabbering revolves around this statement. Where is the comparison of toilets and open defecation? Instead, you are comparing other parts of the house with toilets..

    “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.’

    Technology is already being tried..

    http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/bio-toilets-will-help-solve-indias-open-defecation-problem-pm-398480.html

    “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.”

    Again, you use the same trick again and again of using the bad governance in India as an example of deriding the entire system. The western countries all have very good sanitation systems. There is even a tour of Paris’s sewer system. I agree that our politicians have failed this country miserably, but taking that as an example of the system to suit your propaganda is a cheap tactic.

    • senthil says:

      @IndianFirst,

      /** Your entire blabbering revolves around this statement. Where is the comparison of toilets and open defecation? Instead, you are comparing other parts of the house with toilets..
      **/

      Your urban people claim toilet give sanitation, and i exposed the hollowness of such argument.. toilets breeds germs, right inside the home, because of the ever present moisture there.. whereas open-defecation is done far away from homes, and it degrades within one or two days..

      You first answer this basic question, and then we can decide who is blabbering..

      /** Technology is already being tried.. **/

      First answer for your urban india’s crime of polluting all the rivers of india, by draining the sewages in to it..

      and open-defecation is NEVER a problem.. it is the sanitation system which drains all the shits in to rivers and seas, which is the actual problem..

      /** Again, you use the same trick again and again of using the bad governance in India as an example of deriding the entire system.
      **/

      I am actually exposing the Rapacious Colonial Government of your bloody urban india, which has destroyed the native governance system which was far superior.. and now the same rapacious indians are lecturing the enslaved traditional bharath on how to build toilets..

      • “toilets breeds germs, right inside the home, because of the ever present moisture there.. whereas open-defecation is done far away from homes, and it degrades within one or two days..”

        What Modi talked about is public toilets. The open defecation problems in India are there not because it’s done in far away places but near the household. Hence the need for toilets to be safer.

        BTW, It’s been proved that Kitchen sinks are even worse than toilets in terms of germs. Did ancient Indians not wash dishes inside homes too?

        • senthil says:

          Even if you defecated in open near your house, it will decompose in the soil within a day or two.. the main point is why should you urbanites worry about how a rural villager defecate? Give back the village autonomy you people forcibly took over, and the village people will collectively decide how to plan for their life style..

          Regarding kitchens, traditional people washed their utensils outside their homes.. and they used natural products to clean it.. they did not pour all nasty things in the washing area like urban people do.. also the germs found in kitchen is different from those in stools..

          • “Even if you defecated in open near your house, it will decompose in the soil within a day or two..”

            Nonsense.. There are a hell a lot of diseases spreading before it decomposes and that’s the main thing..

            “the main point is why should you urbanites worry about how a rural villager defecate?”
            Because children are dying of diseases and so many other problems.. Only morons like you can think of urban-rural thing in these times..

          • senthil says:

            another stupidity based on imagined stories.. people are dying of polluted rivers, polluted waters, polluted air caused by your urban system and NOT by open defecations.. the fisherman communities in chennai lived in a healthy environment surrounded by forests, and fresh water once flowed in cooum and adyar river.. it is your urban india who converted it in to sewages.. probably your moronic logic will conclude that polluting river will NOT spread diseases..

      • “I am actually exposing the Rapacious Colonial Government of your bloody urban india, ”

        No, you are taking the corrupt systems in our country as examples of how there’s some conspiracy by people living in urban India to destroy rural India when the truth is totally different.. you are taking a 65 year old Independent India of which urbanization is only 25 years old and comparing that with systems developed over thousands of years for a 100 times less population. You are comparing apples and onions..

        • senthil says:

          Just blind denial is of no use.. it is your urban indians who inherited this corrupt colonial beurocracy and destroyed rural india.. being unable to face this reality, you are trying denial mode..

          Whether there is conspiracy or not is different.. it is the brutal fact that you urban indians had destroyed the native administrative system, polluted all rivers, exploited all natural resources, and forced people to migrate out of villages and live in inhuman conditions..

          What i could understand from your reply is that you could NOT understand your own system, NOR could not understand the traditional systems.. on the other hand, i had lived in traditional system and also in your so called modern urban system, and had clarity in my understanding..

          Rather than justifying your urban system, have honesty and analyse the damages caused by it..

          • “being unable to face this reality, you are trying denial mode..”

            It’s you who is in denial mode about casteism and the animalistic attitude that caste has inculcated among the people in our society that leads to killing and torturing of people in the name of caste.. I never denied that there are problems in Urban India but the solution is not going back 2000 years but adapting and improving governance.

            “it is the brutal fact that you urban indians had destroyed the native administrative system, polluted all rivers, exploited all natural resources, and forced people to migrate out of villages and live in inhuman conditions..”

            Most of today’s urban Indians are those whose parents have migrated to the Urban areas 20 or so years before in search of opportunities. This is a simple fact you ignore. There are so many reasons for migration, the chief being economics, which we have discussed many times before. All your claims of resources, migration etc. are a direct consequence of population explosion, not somebody’s conspiracy. If you understand this basic thing, rest of the things will fall in place.

            “What i could understand from your reply is that you could NOT understand your own system, NOR could not understand the traditional systems.. on the other hand, i had lived in traditional system and also in your so called modern urban system, and had clarity in my understanding..”

            I too had lived in both systems and have been lucky to escape the brutality of the casteists because of my father. But I have seen my friends struggle, tortured and beaten to submission by the caste morons in the towns and villages. Unlike you, my experience of the evils of caste is real-time and not bookish documentation of people like Dharampal.

            I again bet you: show your blog to lower castes and women. Take a survey of how many agree with your opinion. Let’s see the stats.

          • senthil says:

            @IndianFirst,

            You are again repeating The same old abuses on caste system.. you never responded for the crimes of urban india, destroying villages, and colonising their lands.. you never responded for your urban india polluting all the major rivers and converting chennai rivers in to sewages.. you are just blabbering illogical argument of migration, which happens because of destruction of village administration by your urban india , which i again pointed you many times..

  12. Zed says:

    talking about urban india, many middle class folks are disgusted by the open defecation practiced by the slum dwellers near parks and train tracks. Where do they expect them to shit? These people do not even let their servants use the bathroom in their house. And will not pay for their servants to live in a decent place, so the only place they got to live in is the slums.

    Senthil does have a point (maybe half a point). The sheer hypocrisy of the urban middle classes is staggering.

    • senthil says:

      @zed,

      There is no use in targetting people.. we need to understand the system that is imposed upon us.. the traditional bharath functions in a native administrative system, whereas the urban metro indians live in westernised systems..

      The problem today is that expanding this western system is being projected as development, and villages are projected as spreading poverty.. people are carried away by this propoganda, without ever thinking..

      The slum people were actually the native people of chennai.. it is the outsiders who colonised every vacant land there and pushed them to slums.. and the same colonisers are now accusing the victim for open-defecation..

  13. pp_chn says:

    Heard that in japanese schools there are no janitors. May be urbanites should request schools to have such a system, so they learn to clean their own mess.

    • senthil says:

      Why should we emulate japan? we have to plan for our own life style.. but the urban uprooted ppl dont have any life of their own.. so they could not plan anything for themselves.. they need corporates to provide them everything they need as business service..

      • poovannan73 says:

        http://www.hindu.com/2003/09/20/stories/2003092000862000.htm

        In the hierarchical society of Japan — it was so at least until a few decades ago — the Burakus were engaged in handling animal carcasses and scavenging. They were sub-divided into the “eta” (filthy) and the “hinim” (inhuman).

        “Though we are natives of Japan, we were discriminated against in various forms. And the discrimination continues even now, in subtler forms,” says Isao Takeuchi, secretary-general of the Miyoto council of the Buraku Liberation League. He heads a four-member Buraku delegation which is on a visit to Tamil Nadu.

  14. swami says:

    @senthil and all,

    hough i understand the concerns of water scarcity and pollution, i think its more on lack of management of water resources. If we manage rain water better and cut down industrial waste, i think we will have enough water to cater defacation in house itself.

    Moreover, we cannot blatently blame the west for inventing “in house toilets”. We need to consider their geographical area where it snows most of the time. How can they do open defacation in their georgaphy? SO this need justifies their invention of toilets.

    Only thing that can be blamed is we took the western model without any debate or discussion.
    Neither have we updated ourselves with changes that the west has adapted in terms of water management or hygine etc. They use hand sanitisers everytime when people come out of restrooms.we dont do any of that often in india. We are feudal in mindset but western in outlook and thats creating the tension. Either we have to go back or go forward by upgrading the process that west has done but tailor it to indian needs and do it in a dharmic way.
    In this matter, i would prefer the later.

    By the way, the powerpoint presentation method seems to convey the message better than long passages.

    • senthil says:

      /** We need to consider their geographical area where it snows most of the time. How can they do open defacation in their georgaphy? SO this need justifies their invention of toilets.
      **/

      How did our elders live on those days in the cold regions? our forefathers had all technology, but they did not build toilets.. why?

      My ONLY and ONLY mantra.. learn from your own forefathers.. NOT from those capitalistc morons who do everything for their business.. the toilet lobby is one of the big one by construction industry..

      • swami says:

        Senthil,

        i was talking about west. regions like Europe etc where it snows most of the time. That justifies why west invented toilets.

        but i do agree it need not be imported to indian subcontinient. But now that it has been, i dont think it can be reversed so easily. But when there is water crisis, the reality will bite if not the snake will (as mentioned by poovannan :) )

        • senthil says:

          /** but i do agree it need not be imported to indian subcontinient. But now that it has been, i dont think it can be reversed so easily.
          **/

          Whether it can be reversed or NOT is the question.. the real issue is the false propoganda of urban indians that Toilets bring hygiene, and forcing it on Rural India.. that can be stopped .. right?

  15. KP says:

    mmm…your research says if you defacte inside a toilet and it’s stored in a septic tank, it breeds germs. But if hundreds of people defacate openly everyday (as per your theory there’s a place for all people to defacte) at a single place it doesn’t breed germ. What an innovation!!! Had you been there to such defacting places(or close to that places) during rainy season?

    I already know you’re a hypocrite. Do you still urinate and defacete(in open places) according to Manusmriti or whatever? Let me guess, you’re defacting in A/C toilet but write such articles. Go ask the need of the toilet to people who have been defacating in open for long.

    As ever this article too doesn’t make any sense.

    • senthil says:

      Let me accept your view point that open defecation is NOT hygiene.. NOW tell me, whether building toilets and draining the soiled water in to rivers, seas and ponds, a hygienic practice? You urban people have polluted every possible water source in india, and now lecturing the rural people without any iota of guilt feeling..

      Atleast in open defecation, it degrades by natural process..

      • KP says:

        Thanks for agreeing something with me eventually. Of course, I have no different view on polluting water bodies across India. It’s bad and should be stopped. Instead of talking against toilet, we should encourage govt and others to find a way to build a toilet that’s water conservative. And, we need to make sure the basic sanitation is provided to all the people.

        Hey, for the very first time, I really liked your article on this blog. Unlike your other article, it had a lot of facts to support your theory. And, it was enlightening too.

        PS: It doesn’t mean I agree with your other articles/views on this blog. In fact I hated all of them except this one.

        • senthil says:

          /** Instead of talking against toilet, we should encourage govt and others to find a way to build a toilet that’s water conservative. And, we need to make sure the basic sanitation is provided to all the people.
          **/

          Till you invent that technology, and till you clean up your current pollution in urban areas, the urban indians dont have any moral legitimacy to advocate toilets for the rural india..

          To enforce Toilets as Universal Sanitation system is an Intolerant ideology.. the urban indians are so Abrahamised that they could not tolerate anything other than what they are indoctrinated..

          /** Hey, for the very first time, I really liked your article on this blog. Unlike your other article, it had a lot of facts to support your theory. And, it was enlightening too.
          **/

          Thanks.. i just write my own view point, which may not be acceptable to others.. its quite natural.. the challenge you posed in this blog, is very beneficial, because that brings us more clarity on the subject..

  16. kumar says:

    Very good article based on years of reading. Thanks senthil.
    1. In Arthasastra, kautilya tells to open up the (filthy ?) water channels after a big rain. And to punish those who do not open after rain and those who open them (to canals of nagara) when there is no rain :-) So there may be a system of keeping the filth for some time, without polluting the city roads and rivers.
    2. Even the west realized that water based toilets are most in-efficient and researching on dry toilets with peat-mass.
    3. Here is a personal experience.. i visited a remote village in search to see some lands.. the path to the land passes through a place with ‘gachcha bushes’ we felt foul smell.. the place was used by public for excreting… just by the air, we got an attack of dysentery after returning…(wonder whether it can spread by air !… even we had open toilets in childhood in our village.. The city dwellers are not immune to certain bactiria.. while the villagers might have developed resistance.
    4. BJP guys may be sanatans, but not all that religious to their faith. A xtian or ‘slim politician invokes the god they believe, even from the stage, before their speeches, but none of the bjp’s ! They seems to be prachchanna commies :-)
    -k

    • senthil says:

      @kumar,

      /** In Arthasastra, kautilya tells to open up the (filthy ?) water channels after a big rain. **/

      That is water channels.. NOT filty sewages…

      /** the path to the land passes through a place with ‘gachcha bushes’ we felt foul smell **/

      Such place existed in almost all villages.. in tamilnadu it would be called “Mandhai”.. the village administration has collapsed for past 50-100 years.. what we need is a proper re-organisation of village administration, in its original form.. If villagers are comfortable in going far away for defecation, the village administration has to facilitate that.. they should NOT force toilets on them..

      What modi is doing is convert villages in to mini urban centers.. that’s totally destructive.. will there be any culture left in village, if all people there adopt urban life style??

      • vyas says:

        //If villagers are comfortable in going far away for defecation, the village administration has to facilitate that.. they should NOT force toilets on them..//

        Senthil – How do you know that villagers are comfortable defecating outside even today? Do you have any data to prove that they are satisfied with defecating outside? In fact in many areas it is the villagers who are protesting against the govt to build toilets for them. If water wastage is your problem (indeed it is) with modern toilets then let’s invent new solutions for it. Dry toilets are already becoming successful. What’s your problem if we build a dry toilet at the backyard or a few such toilets at the outskirts common for the whole village? It’s the villagers who need to decide that and not you or me.

        • senthil says:

          /** How do you know that villagers are comfortable defecating outside even today?
          **/

          because i see them daily in my neighbour hood, going in groups for morning defecation..

          /** What’s your problem if we build a dry toilet at the backyard or a few such toilets at the outskirts common for the whole village? It’s the villagers who need to decide that and not you or me.
          **/

          That’s what i am saying.. allow villagers to decide what they want.. but the indian govt is imposing the UN millenium goals to build western toilet system that is unsuitable for us, and that creates more and more sewages and pollutes the river and water bodies..

          Why unleash psychological and propoganda attack on those open defecators?

  17. K Raka Sudhakar Rao says:

    Sir, May I ask you how do you defecate? In a washroom inside your bedroom or out in the open?

  18. Tatasya koopoya miti bruvananaam… khsaram jalam kaapurusham pibanti

  19. gk says:

    @senthil
    But these things are considerable .
    1. when you go to a village at early morning . Does the scene along the both sides of road make you feel good ?
    2. A number of women who go to defecate early in the morning or in the evening in the fields become victims of the lust . This is the problem of past 10 years with thousands of cases across india.
    3. I heard a comedy show in my language . It was
    ‘how to tell in the dark that there is the village in sight ? By seeing the lights .
    how to tell in the dark that we are near a village ? When we require to put handkerchief on our noses ( you know why )’
    4. When you walk on the village road , you have to check constantly whether you are walking on the sh*t .
    5. We have mobile phones almost equal to our population but have only two third toilets .
    6. You say having a toilet in the house increases the germ build up in the house. True. But instead of using germ killers are you suggesting to defecate in the jungle or on the roads.
    7. But you are too poor and you don’t afford the toilet . Then it is good practice to cover the poop by soil so it doesn’t pollute the nature and the soil absorbs it . But how many follow this rule ?
    We again want cholera ?
    8. Once at the time of indira gandhi ,a foreign political personall (I don’t remember name) had said ,’india is a huge toilet ‘. What about our self pride ?
    9. And final you have written the about shastras . But how many of the people going outside know this ? How many people follow the shastras ? To whom you are defending ?
    Regards,
    Gk

  20. p says:

    In our area, 5 toilets were built under TN gov for Rs. 60 lakhs. Now they are all locke due to prostitution and filthiness + gambling. Most toilets are in Porambokes, an become haunts for anti-socials. Police has to posted in each one

    • senthil says:

      Exactly.. in all villages this is the same.. public toilets are NOT owned by any one and people who use it dont care to clean their shits, and make it unusable for others..

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