Thursday, 25 October 2018

Representation to Kerala CM: Existential Crisis of Kerala - Entry of Women in Sabarimala Temple


R.B.Sreekumar, I.P.S, (Retd),
Former DGP.  Gujarat.
Plot №-193,
‘Sreelekshmideepam’,Sector-8, Gandhinagar-382007,Gujarat.
Phone: 079-23247876
Mob: 9428016117
Tel:- 079-23247876,
Mob:- 09428016117
№-RBS/CM/KER/ST/21/2018
Date: 21st October 2018.
To,
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala,
Room No. 141, 3rd Floor, North Block,
Government Secretariat,
Thiruvanathapuram – 695 001.

                    Subject:   Existential crisis of Kerala – Measures to counter retrogressive agitation to oppose entry of women in Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple.

Respected Chief Minister Sir,
The ill-motivated and well contrived agitation spearheaded by retrogressive forces of patriarchy and de-spiritualized Hindu priestocracy have dismayed progressive Keralites everywhere. The image of Kerala society that assimilated and concretized a collective mindset of modernism received an irreparable setback due to the extreme unruly behavior of those resorting to violence, intimidation and obstruction of young women devotees, who proceeded to Sabarimala Temple, with a faith on the efficacy of the Apex Court verdict and diligence of the State Administration. This scenario displays an existential crisis to the people of Kerala, giving fillip to those analysts, doubting the depth and impact of Kerala Renaissance of the 19th century.
2.                  Champions of Brahminical casteism – varna vyavastha, being disillusioned by LDF government’s decision to appoint eligible Hindus of all castes in priestly assignments in government administered temples, are now endeavoring to divinize all obscurant traditions and practices contrary to the letter, spirit and ethos of the Constitution of India, enshrined in the Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties. This move is prejudicial to the metaphysics of Sanathana Dharma of Vedic Hinduism revealed in the Vedas, Brahmasutra, Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita. Effective counteraction, at grass-root level, by enlightening and alerting Ayyappa devotees, misled by status-quoist casteist reactionaries, impervious to the ideals of Modern Indian Renaissance of the 18th Century and its Kerala phase, pioneered by Ayyaswami, Ayyankali, Chattambi Swami, Sri Narayana Guru, Vaghbadhananda, so on, is necessary.
3.                  The Sangh Parivar and its base body – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been relentlessly and steadily indoctrinating through disinformation, gullible Hindus reluctant to comprehend cardinal axioms of Hinduism, about the alleged neglect of exclusivist Hindu communal interests in the Constitution of India. Mainstream secular parties have been accused of minority appeasement, for amplifying their political and electoral capital. Myopic move of pan-Islamic forces of Wahabism, Qutabism, Salafism and Mehdoodism, propelled, financed and sustained by western imperialism have launched many micro-level programmes for Arabisation of Muslim population in India and their alienation from local culture and heritage. These trends had also boosted the morale of the Hindu fundamentalist groups focusing on the re-invigoration of Brahminical casteist order and drive towards the installation of the theocratic Hindu Rashtra in India.
4.                  The following therapeutic measures to be initiated at governmental and non-governmental levels, encompassing socio-cultural and educational dimensions are proposed.
                     a) A massive educational campaign through social media and other means of communication about the concept of equality being imperative to the method of God realisation through devotion, - Bhaktiyoga – elaborated in Narada Bhaktisutra, Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ, Holy Quran and Hadith and Zendavesta of Zoroastrianism be launched.
                     b) Hindu scriptures grant right to liberation and spiritual enlightenment to all living beings by following the methods of pursuit of knowledge (gnana), righteous action (karma) and selfless devotion (bhakti). Instance of a kite bird – Jathayu – getting moksha, narrated in Ramayana is illustrative.

                     c) Bhagavad Gita, the most popular scripture of Hindus asserts, in its Chapter V, Shloka 18 thus, “Men of self knowledge are same-sighted on a Brahmana imbued with learning and humility, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcaste”. Most popular treatise on devotion authored by the father of Malayalam Literature, Thunchat Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, categorically declares, in “Harinama Kirtanam”, 20th Shloka, thus.

“Rithuvaya penninnu mirappavannum dahakannum,
Pathithannum Agni yajanam cheyytha bhoo surannum,
Har nama keerthanam ithoru nalu markku mudan,
Aruthathalla, hari narayanaya nama.”

Salutations to Lord Narayana who is Hari,
The singing of the names of Hari, Is never banned any time,
For the lady who is in her periods, For the one who begs,
For the one who observes an unclean time, For the debased human being, And for the Brahmin doing fire sacrifice.
                     d) Rig Veda asserts “Earth is upheld by truth, while the heaven is upheld by the Sun” (10-85-1). “May the universe, an abode of truth” (3-30-2-6). Mahatma Gandhi commenced his spiritual life by deeming that God is Truth and matured to the realization that Truth is God. In fact, those opposing entry of women in Sabarimala Temple, are indulging in blind denial of biological truth about female physiology. How can the occurrence of menstruation be impure and sinful in comparison to wet dreams and night emissions that may be happening to testosterone-propelled young healthy men, during their stay in Sabarimala and anti-natural celibacy period of 41 days restriction (Vratam)? If all phenomenon of nature are expressions of God’s will, so is the menstrual cycle in women that enables her to become Mother. Holding this as a ground for not allowing young women to have the bliss of Ayyappa darshan (direct vision) is an act of gross injustice, perpetuating male dominance over divinity.
                     e) How can a deity, adhering to the concept of eternal celibacy be tempted by the presence of young women, while Hindu virgin deities (Goddess of Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu and Vaishno Devi in Jammu & Kashmir, have no objection in half naked young men of productive age worshipping in these temples. So it has to be presumed that apprehension is about the young women devotees becoming objects of erotic allurement to male worshippers due to their feeble will power and inadequate devotion to Lord Ayyappa. The objection cannot be from Lord Ayyappa, who is in a state of Moksha / Nirvana or self realization viz. beyond the tantalizing seduction of five senses, mind, intellect and ego. In case any male devotee is nurturing unholy thoughts in Sabarimala, he is ineligible and unfit to visit Lord Ayyappa’s shrine. Categorically, it is not the women devotees, but those un-pious men to be restrained from nurturing baser thoughts in the blessed premises of Sabarimala.
                     f) “Tantra Samuchayam” – a monograph and manual of worship (puja) procedure compiled by Chennas Narayanan Nambudiripad (published by Panchagam Pusthakashala, Kunnamkulam) does not stipulate that young women should not attend worship ceremony or have darshan of Lord Dharma Shastha.
                     g) Are women inferior to men in the eyes of the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God Almighty? History does not testify to such a contention.
                     h) Pure and ideal Hinduism, as explained in the Vedas and Upanishads, as opposed to the condemnable lop-sided sub-scriptures of Smritis by Manu, Parasara, Yajnavalka, Shankara and so on and the Epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, have no incompatibility with post European Renaissance generated modern values of democracy, liberalism, equality, fraternity, dignity and human rights. Hinduism allows its followers to choose any God and accepts that there could be multiple paths, all equally divine, leading to God. In fact, the brigands who demolished Babri Masjid in 1992 had indulged in a sacrilegious un-Hindu crime.

i) The methodology of pursuit of knowledge (Gnana Yoga) paths of self–less action (Karma Yoga) and deep devotion by sacrificing ones ego (Bhakti Yoga) are tools for self-realisation. Many women have proved their merit in all these fields. Avvyar (2nd Century BCE in Tamil Nadu), Akka Mahadevi (12th Century CE, Karnataka), Meerabai (Rajasthan) Mata Amrutananda May (Kerala) etc are illustrative instances. The perversions of present day Hinduism emanates from the exclusivist, pseudo-fundamentalist radical fringe elements, acting as foot-soldiers of the Sangh Parivar and subverting the quintessential Hindus spiritualism, through unethical and even violent means, for achieving their commercial objectives and power politics.
j) The human physico-mental personality, in the ascending order, is categorized by Bhagavad Gita, as. (i) Body, (ii) Five Senses, (iii) Mind-centre of emotions, (iv) Intellect and (v) the Atma (Soul). Bhagavad Gita, Shloka 42 of chapter-3 says “The senses are said to be superior to the body; the mind is superior to the senses, the intellect is superior to the mind; and what is superior to the intellect is Atma.” So the body condition of a devotee is not relevant for his/her seeking self-realisation or divine grace through visits to the temple or any of three yogas.
l) Misplaced sensitivity displayed by sexist, misogynist Hindu orthodox groups, stressing on self-created, ill-founded unscientific menstrual taboos, for preventing women visiting Sabarimala temple is in total violation of the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita.
m) No ban has been imposed on the entry of menstruating animals near the shrine of Sabarimala.
n) In a Mother Goddess temple in Kerala – Chenganoor/ Alleppy District – as well as in Kamakhya temple (Assam), red spots appear once a year on the robes of the Goddess to this date. So when Mother Goddess, in all her physical disposition is worshipped, by what logic and scriptural or religious authority, can women in a similar condition, be deprived of their inalienable right to worship before the Sabarimala shrine?
o) Significantly in “Tripura Sundari Ashtakam”, an invocation of Mother Goddess, authored by Adi Shankaracharya, the deity is portrayed as a menstruating woman. The website of Sri Kamakoti Mandali ( www.kamakotimandali.com ) interpreted the 6th Shloka of this Ashtakam as follows “The Devi is described as being habituated in a blue sari with red spots, as the first menstrual flow, shows itself when a woman is ready to bear, so on the blue welkin (sky or heaven), the Devi’s raiment (clothing), signs appear, heralding creation”.

 
p) At the entrance of Sabarimala temple, the Upanishadic dictum “Tat Twam Asi – That Art Thou – one of the four Mahavakyas of Hinduism – is prominently displayed. These words from Chandogya Upanishad (6-8-7) tells the devotee that “what you are seeking is within yourself” in the form of Atma (Soul). This also would establish the senselessness in giving any importance to the bodily condition of a devotee, though there are no regulations in fixing the standards of physical hygiene, clothings etc (all within individual control) as a condition for appearing before the deity.
q) Inexorably, the sole imperative attribute of a true devotee is the purity of the heart, as testified by Rig Veda thus, “If the heart is impure and malicious, then the God’s worship will also be unfruitful. Therefore God’s worship must be carried out with a ‘nishpap’ (sinless) heart. “VIII/61/11) Jesus Christ in his Sermon on the Mount declares” Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! (Bible, St. Mathew 5-8)

r) The famous Sanskrit aphorism, Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktayae, (True knowledge liberates) was adopted by Mahatma Gandhi, as motto of the Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad. Kerala temple managers should opt for liberating women from ‘spiritual slavery’ imposed by male chauvinism for perpetuation of male domination.
s) History recorded that the advocates of traditions (Acharams) due to their incompatibility with modern ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity and dignity of individuals were violently opposed to the abolition of, widow burning in the funeral pyre of their husbands (Sati), widow remarriage, un-touchability, dowry, Devadasi system and all reforms towards proper justice delivery to those outside varna vyavasta. Those agitating against the Apex Court order on Sabarimala, represent those Satanic forces.
t) Perhaps, Bhagavad Gita is the only scripture of a major religion (Hinduism) permitting its followers to critically analyze religious wisdom and act as per one’s own choice. In Chapter 18, Shloka-63, Lord Krishna advises “Thus has wisdom more profound than all profundities been declared to you (Arjuna) by Me (Lord Krishna). Reflect upon it and act as you choose”. So those who oppose to the entry of women for worship in Sabarimala have no valid authority in the religious perspective also to prevent women from exercising their religious rights guaranteed both by the Constitution of India and Hindu scriptures.
u) Even a cursory study of 11 major religions of the world confirm that both the God – centric theist religions of Vedic Hinduism, Sikhism, Abrahamite faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Zoroastrianism of Persia and Shintoism of Japan and atheistic persuasions of Jainism, Buddhism, Chinese philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism, emphatically exhort their followers to make the best of human life gifted to them by God/ Nature through empowerment of body, enlightenment of mind, creative rejuvenation of intellect and ennoblement of the spirit / self through various means. Simultaneously, they should resort to similar action to enhance the position of others and outside world. Ethical Code of Conduct of all religions are identical. But in India, today we have the paradox of having the highest number of religious centers – temples, churches, mosques, dargahs, gurudwaras, ashrams, monasteries and religious congregational centers – proportionate to the population in comparison to other nations. But the integrity status of people remains at the lowest levels in comparison to many nations in Sub-Saharan African and highly atheistic Scandinavian countries, who have no lofty civilizational legacy. Have we become skillful hypocrites? Recently a study in Kozhikode city brought out the bitter truth of nearly 4 lakh educated people obtaining BPL ration cards and other facilities by submitting false information about their economic status. The Mathrubhoomi daily had written an editorial in this matter. One may feel that the struggle against entry of women in Sabarimala is suggestive of ill-natured duplicity of a few self-appointed elite acting as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (characters in R. L. Stevenson’s novel) at the same time. Is the self assumed ritualistic purity of ceremonies more superior to achieving honesty and integrity and purity of conscience? Amazingly mainstream leadership of institutionalized religions of India are focusing on peripheral issues like blocking entry of women in temples (Hinduism), retaining of polygamy and halala nikah (Islam), subordination of women in eclesiastical church order (Christianity). How could one explain reduction in sale of liquor in Muslim dominated areas during Ramadan period and Hindu areas during Sabarimala pilgrimage period in Kerala?
v) Treating sex as a sin is an unscientific dogma of Abrahamite religions. Christianity preaches about original sin and project Jesus Christ as a redeemer. Such a perception is conspicuously absent in Vedic religion, Sikhism and also in logical faiths of Jainism and Buddhism – all originated in India.
w) The gruesome mob violence perpetuated against young women devotees from different places by criminal enthusiasts of Ayyappa cult since 17th October, 2018, will go down in history as an ugly assertion of the Hindu variety  of Kerala sub-nationalism, drawing a parallel to the violence in Tamilnadu in support of Jallikettu. This is symptomatic of a counter revolution against the philosophy, preachings, ground work and way of life of reformists like Sri Narayana Guru and other masters of Kerala Renaissance. Just like Hindus in general, have drained their claims about heritage of tolerance, with the anti-Sikh riots in 1984, demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 and anti-minority violence in Gujarat in 2002, people of Kerala has disinherited the glorious legacy and image of being an enlightened society with high degree of literacy, appreciable modern standard of life, impressive art forms and political enlightenment of conferring power to Communists through the peaceful means of electoral process.
x) The above delineated scriptural ethos does not sanction, support or justify any ban on women of productive age from the worship of Lord Ayyappa in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple. Further, the Constitution of India in Article 13, declared illegal all laws including Ordinances, customs, usage, rule, regulation, order and notification, which are inconsistent with the provisions of Part III (Fundamental Rights). Article 25 of the Constitution of India has specified “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” is subject to other provisions of Part-III – Article 12 to 13.




5.                  The self appointed champions of Hinduism indulging in condemnable violence against women devotees should comprehend the import of concluding part of Rigveda, codified as “Sangathan Sutras” as delineated below.
 “Come together, all of you, speak in one voice, know with one mind, even like the Gods, who, of yore knew with one mind and together had their share of enjoyment”.

“Together may they utter the mantra, may they unite together, may their mind be one and their consciousness mingle. I utter the same mantra with you all, ‘with you all equally I make the offering.”
“May your yearning be one, may your heart be one, may your mind be one, so that your union may be perfect. (Rig Veda X – 191-2-4)
6.                  The Sangh Parivar and Hindu orthodoxy hold Manusmriti in high esteem. They should at least recognize, respect and actualize the words of wisdom, in Chapter III, Shloka 56 of this smriti.

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः
यत्रैतास्तु पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफलाः क्रियाः ५६

yatra nāryastu pūjyante ramante tatra devatāḥ |
yatraitāstu na pūjyante sarvāstatrāphalāḥ kriyāḥ || 56 ||

“Where women are honoured, there the gods rejoice; where, on the other hand, they are not honoured, there all rites are fruitless.”

7.                  The following innovative actions are suggested to counter forces adopting the strategy of mobocratic mobilization to reverse, neutralize and nullify the verdict of the Apex Court on Sabarimala.
                     a) The LDF Government should not go slow or subvert the enforcement of the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala. Possibly, masters of electoral strategy would mount pressure on LDF leadership to be in tune with the tone, tenor and mood of those Hindus opposing the court verdict, particularly in the context of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
                     b) Appointment of eligible women as priests in at least temples of female deities like those in Aatukaal in Thiruvanathapuram, Chotanikkara in Kochi and Kodungallur in Trisshur and so on.
                     c) A suitable monument should be built to commemorate the brave lady, Nangeli, who severed and thrown her breasts before Travancore State Government officials, who intimidated her for paying breast tax (Mulakaram). She is a pioneer in women liberation movement in Kerala. Reportedly, her husband Cheerukandan, had committed suicide in her funeral pyre, when she died due to hemorrhage. Perhaps, it is the only case of a husband committing Sati. A memorial should be made for the couple.
                     d) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of India, had done deeper studies on various facets in the evolution of Indian socio-cultural life. The gist of Ambedkarism containing values of European Enlightenment, Modernism and Indian legacy, particularly the heritage of Buddhism, be included in the school syllabi from 6th to 10th standard.
                     e) B.A and M.A courses be instituted in Universities. Ambedkar had produced over 5000 pages-long creative material containing his incisive observations and remedial suggestions towards the emancipation of downtrodden marginalized Indians.
                     f) B.R. Ambedkar’s epoch making book – Anhillation of Caste - written in 1930s, being still relevant, be introduced as a non detailed text book in the SSLC course.
8.                  I had submitted a representation captioned, “Actualisation of the vision of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and implementation of Ambedkarism” dated 12th September 2017, to the Chief Minister of Kerala. Further action in this representation may kindly be initiated. (Copy of the representation in enclosed).
9.                  A reversal of the Apex Court decision permitting women in Sabarimala Temple would amount to effacement of advancements made in socio-cultural evolution achieved through sacrifices of great reformists and leftist movement in Kerala, since early years of the 20th Century. I sincerely hope that the LDF Government headed by you will not facilitate such a reversal process and create an existential crisis to the State.


Yours faithfully,
(R.B.Sreekumar)
                                                                                            
Copy with complements to:
  1. Shri. Ramesh Chennithala,
    Leader of opposition in Kerala Assembly.
Office Address
Indira Bhavan, Trivandrum-10

Residence Address
“Sargam”, EVRA 226, Krishnavilasom Road, Vazhuthacaud Trivandrum- 695014

  1. Shri. Loknath Behera (IPS),
    DGP and State Police Chief
    Police Head Quarters
    Vazhuthacaud, Sasthamangalam PO,9
    Thiruvanathapuram – 695010


NB: Enclosure: -
  • Representation on “Actualisation of the vision of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and implementation of Ambedkarism”


===================== ANNEXURE ====================



R.B.SREEKUMAR IPS (Retd)
Former DGP, Gujarat.
“Sreelakshmideepam”
Plot No 193,Sector 8,
Gandhingar-382007.
Gujarat.
Tel® 079-23247876.
(M)09428016117
Letter No.RBS/CM/Kerala/12/2017
Dated the 12th September, 2017.

To,
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala,
Room No. 141, 3rd floor, North Block,
Government Secretariat,
Thiruvananthapuram-695 001.

          Sub :-  Actualization of the vision of Dr. Bhimrao
  Ramji Ambedkar and implementation of
  Ambedkarism.

Respected Chief Minister Sir,
          All major political parties of India have been appreciatingly acknowledging the unique and laudable position of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar among makers of modern India.  The multi-faceted contribution of Ambedkar towards (1) emancipation, empowerment and enlightenment of India’s historically enslaved and depressed people, and (2) conception, configuration and creation of the Constitution of India, will be an evergreen spring of inspiration to all patriotic Indians of the present times and future.  Media have, often, reported about your dedication for designing and implementing programmes and projects for providing empowerment and value-addition in the standard and quality of lives of under-privileged have-nots.  For achieving this objective, government of Kerala have to envisage specific schemes to comprehend and actualize salient features of Ambedkarism delineated in his writings and speeches, like     (1) Annihilation of Caste, (2) Buddha and his dharma, (3)  Rise and fall of Hindu Women, (4) Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah, (5) States and minorities, (6) Who were the Shudras, (7) Riddles of Hinduism, (8) Untouchables, (9)  What Congress and Gandhi have done to the untouchables, (10) The Revolution and Counter Revolutions in India, (11)  Buddha and Karl Marx and (12) Speeches in the Constituent Assembly. 
2.       A few proposals are listed below for your government’s consideration and necessary action towards purposeful Ambedkarism implementation:-


(A)    Ambedkarism in the educational syllabi :
          Quintessential ideals of Ambedkarism should be incorporated in the curriculum of all schools at Middle and High School levels in Kerala.  Earlier, reportedly, the State governments of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, have included concepts from the Hindu scripture – Bhagvad Gita, in schools’ syllabi though this Hindu scripture divinises caste system (Varna Vyavastha).  So, it will be quite relevant to make students aware of Ambedkar’s ideas on Indian conditions and his futuristic vision.
(B)     “The Annihilation of Caste” as a Text Book  :
          Normally, for students learning for Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC), a Secondary text book is prescribed for their language papers, i.e.; English, regional languages or Hindi.  The autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, books by Rabindranath Tagore, Prem Chand (Hindi), Umashankar Joshi (Gujarati), Thakazhi Shivashankara Pillai (Malayalam), Tiruvalluvar (Tamil), Ananda Murthy (Kannada), Sharat Chandra Chatterjee (Bengali), Kalidas (Sanskrit) etc. are illustrative cases.  Instead of mere Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations, his epoch-making and incisive book “Annihilation of Caste” (1936), re-published by Navayana Publications, New Delhi in 2014, be introduced as an additional text book for all SSLC students in Kerala.
(C)     Graduate and Post-Graduate courses on Ambedkarism in
Universities :
          In Kerala State Universities, BA and MA courses on Ambedkarism should be introduced.  Course materials should also include theoretical concepts and practical skill training in social welfare, gender justice, awareness creation on social legislations on dowry, child labour, civil rights, drug addiction etc., empowerment of the marginalized, qualitative up-gradation in delivery of socio-economic welfare schemes for the targeted people etc.   This would make the students, who hold degrees on Ambedkarism, objectively skillful for employment in implementation of government’s welfare programmes.  In the subject of Ambedkarism, the following papers can be designed for BA/MA courses :-
(1)             Life, basic work and evolution of Ambedkar,
(2)             Ambedkar’s views on origin and evil of Caste system in India,
(3)             Ambedkar’s jurisprudence,
(4)             Ambedkar’s ideas on welfare economics,
(5)             Ambedkar’s contribution in the making of the Constitution and other legislations.
(6)             Relevance of Ambedkar’s ideas for Social upliftment and enlightenment,
(7)             Ambedkar’s ideas on Science, Technology, Development and Distributive justice.
(8)             Ambedkar’s political ideology,
(9)             Ambedkar’s vision of India’s future,
(10)         Interface of Ambedkar with his contemporaries in public life,
(11)         Ambedkar’s views on Buddhism and Marxism,
(12)         Critical study of Ambedkar’s book, ‘The Riddles of Hinduism’.
(13)         Relevance and applicability of Ambedkarism in today’s India.
Madurai Kamraj University in Tamilnadu is conducting Graduate and Post-Graduate courses on Gandhian Thought, since last 10 years.
(D)    Total effacement of manual scavenging in India :
          A famous social health care analyst, Anurudh Lalit Jain, in his article in Hindu Daily on 14-4-2013 captioned “Let’s help realize the vision of Ambedkar for Dalits” – ‘Action, not just offering flowers, will be the real tribute’,wrote :-
“A depressing fact as revealed in the 2011 census data on households is that an estimated 8 lakh people are traditionally engaged in manual removal of night soil – a great embarrassment to the State governments that are still in denial mode”.  Dr. Ambedkar is considered the Messiah for his efforts to bring equal opportunity and social justice to the marginalized communities.  A real tribute to the great leader would be to continue with his efforts of empowering the Scheduled Caste and helping them overcome the vicious hurdle of caste and cultural barrier, rather than merely offering flowers to his statue on his birth and death anniversaries”.
            The Kerala government should launch a special drive to stamp out this sadistic, barbarous, mentally and physically hazardous vocation or debilitating profession imposed on dalits for their economic subsistence, sanctified by the quagmire of Hindu caste system. Cleaning of human waste from underground pits is still done by Dalits, without equipped by modern safety kits, in Kerala.  There are many instances of death of those engaged in this work, by inhalation of toxic gases.  An award-winning film, “Manhole” by Ms. Vinu Vincent, depicts the appalling conditions of manual scavengers. A well-planned socio-economic rehabilitation and re-settlement programme for those cursed to do the perilous job of manual scavenging, be introduced, by imparting them alternative skills to take up any other productive and healthy employment, with sufficient financial package.
          The Kerala State Special Branch (Intelligence Wing of State Police), having State-wise competent and ingenious information gathering material and human resources, should be tasked to conduct State-wide secret survey about prevalence of manual scavenging and provide adequate relevant inputs for launching a long term, durable and permanent rehabilitation programme through alternative employment opportunities.
(E)     Creation of cadre of priests from all castes among Hindus, in government administered temples :
          Altitude of a caste in hierarchy of Hindu Caste order is, generally, proportionate to the physical contiguity of those belonging to that caste to the worshiping idols (Murti) in temples.  Persons, who are religiously entitled and scripturally eligible to conduct devotional and sacramental rites and theological ceremonies in the sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Gruha), i.e.; Agnihotri, Tantri, Vajpayee, Namboothiri etc. are installed in the highest pedestal of Hindu caste pecking order.  Those engaged in the miscellaneous and auxiliary temple duties like preparing items for worship (Pooja) and deity’s ceremonial food (prasadam) do occupy the next grade to the priest.  The security providers stand next in the line.  Unfortunately, in temples administered by Kerala government, this illegal, unethical, unjust and anachronistic system violating basic foundational ideals of the Constitution, viz.; concepts of equality, fraternity and reservation in government services are prevalent throughout Kerala. (A separate proposal for creation of Kerala Temple Service (KTS) for making all Hindus eligible for appointment as priests, tantris and auxiliary temple servants is being submitted). 
3.       I humbly submit that acceptance and execution, by Kerala government, of my proposals in this representation, would be a great leap forward towards realization of Ambedkar’s vision about future of India, echoed in his concluding speech in the Constituent Assembly, after adoption of the Constitution on 25th November, 1949 – “Political Democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it, social democracy, i.e.; a way of life, which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as principles of life.  They form a union or trinity.  Without equality, liberty would produce supremacy of the few over the many.  Equality without liberty would kill individual initiative.  Without fraternity, liberty and equality could not become a natural course of things……..We have a society based on the principle of graded inequality, means elevation of some and degradation of others.  We are entering into a life of contradictions.   We have political equality; but in social and economic life, we will have inequality.  In politics, we follow one man, one vote and one vote one value.  In society and economics, we deny principle of one man, one value…… Those who suffer from inequality, will blow up the structure of democracy……Fraternity envisages a common brotherhood of all Indians – being one people – giving unity and solidarity to social life.  The castes are anti-national, they bring about separation in life, generate jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste.  Without fraternity, equality and liberty, will be no deeper than coats of paint……Many in India are beasts of burden, but also beasts of prey.  The down-trodden classes are tired of being governed.  People are tired of government by the people.  They are prepared to have government for the people and are indifferent whether it is government of the people and by the people.  If we wish to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principles of government of the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in the recognition of evils that lie across our path and which induce people to prefer government for the people, to government by the people, nor to be weak in our initiative to remove them.  That is the only way to serve the country, I know of no better”.
4.       Actualization of my proposals, would also largely facilitate and empower the under-priviledged people of Kerala to comprehend the central message of Ambedkarism, exemplified through his ideals, precepts, practices and way of life.  An invigorated awareness about the life and the numerous services of Ambedkar to our motherland would inspire and motivate people to initiate purposeful action towards redressal of their socio-economic grievances, besides securing qualitatively better service and justice delivery from the functionaries of the Kerala State.  Through absorption and concretization of Ambedkarism, in Indian public life, the country’s elite, can liberate themselves from their self-chosen retrogressive status-quoism, as envisaged in the Vedic prayer -
“Oh Lord! We have fallen in a dark cave.  In this severe darkness, many demons are harassing us.  We pray to you to destroy this darkness and bless us with donation of brightness, so that we can be liberated from these enemies”. (Rigveda, Mandala-1, Sukta-86, Sloka-10)
5.       I respectfully request you to kindly favour me with a reply about receipt of my representation and the follow-up action by your government at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully,

(R. B. Sreekumar)
Copy with compliments for information and necessary action to:-
Shri Ramesh Chennithala,
Leader of Opposition,
Government of Kerala,
Thiruvananthapuram-695 001.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Practicing Seven Sins Assailed by Mahatma Gandhi and Plight of India




                                                                                        

Mahatma Gandhi cautioned all citizens about 7 evil tendencies or sins increasingly enfeebling ideals of Indian culture and ethos.   These sins are
1.       Education without character.
2.       Pleasure without conscience.
3.       Worship without sacrifice.
4.       Wealth without work
5.       Service without humanity
6.       Commerce without morality
7.       Politics without Principles
          Lofty universally acceptable ideas have been generated by Indian Civilization from Vedic days in 1500 years, Before Christian Era (BCE).   But due to dialectics of human psychology, trends countering the values of truth, justice, liberty, equality, fraternity and human dignity were germinated in course of time.  Factors of in-born inclination (Vasana) acquired culture (Samskara) and Socio – Economic ambience had propelled humans towards both altruism and selfish pursuit of evil as well.  In the perspective of modern psychology negative traits have emerged during the existence of homo-sapiens in the pre-society, and pre-state period of primitive life, when the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest was the normative order.  Apprehension about danger from fellow humans and nature evoked extreme complex of fear and concomitant mind set of insecurity,  fear, belligerency, hatred, excessive greedy acquisition of wealth and sexual partners, domination and subjugation of others and so on.  Unlike in the animal world, a minority of humans developed positive response and attitude to counter negativity and had endeavoured to pursue motto of “accepting noble thoughts from everywhere” (Rig Veda Sukta).  They had also asserted that “truth upholds the Earth” Satyanathabhita Bhumi (Rig Veds 10-85-1).  Resultantly, prevalence of peace, sanity, order, multifaceted evolution of collective human consciousness, in a given period of time, was proportionate to the intrinsic adherence of people to spiritual, ethical and intellectually elevating experience and exhortations of great men/women of wisdom, through their teachings and deeds.
          Historically India had witnessed struggle between forces of self-centred, un-empathetic, power/pleasure seekers on the one side and champions of righteousness and justice from the dawn of civilization, on the other.  The cycle of rise and spread of inclusive, equalitarian, ennobling spiritual concepts was followed by the operation of the law of diminishing merit of all renaissance and enlightening movements.  Once the Satanic forces push society to the bottom of evil and degradation, the Nature/God set in motion the counter  trend through philosophers, self-less saints and reformers. When Vedic enlightenment declined by the 9th to 7th centuries of BCE, the Buddhist, Jaina, Ajivika and  Lokatana movements emerged. Their impact generated the Sangham literature in Tamil language in early centuries of CE. Tirukural by Tiruvalluvar, the best book in all Indian literature, is its creation. The Bhakti movement commenced in the 15th  to 16th centuries of CE was another upheaval propelling Indian society towards civilisational progress, by stressing on accessibility of God to all, irrespective of one’s political, social, cultural, economic and gender status and conferring the right of liberation (moksha) to everybody.
          The modern India is the product of the Indian Renaissance started in Bengal by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and others in the 18th century. Rabindranath Tagore was its rising sun and Mahatma Gandhi was its midday sun. But steady retrogressive counter action started from the post –Nehru period that culminated in the Emergency of 1975. Perhaps, India is now in the night of this modern Indian Renaissance and the nation is imperatively in need of another enlightenment movement to neutralise commodification of human beings and commercialisation of human relations.  In fact these tendencies have degenerated into the 7 sins cautioned by Mahatma Gandhi.  Widely practiced hypocrisy by Indian elite by behaving like Dr. Jycall and Mr. Hyde in R.L. Stevenson’s novel bearing the same title, had thrown up many paradoxes.
          Some illustrations are obvious.  India has the highest number of religious and out worldly spiritual centres – temples, ashrams, dargas, churches, mosques, gurudwaras and congregational centres of all religions – proportionate to the population, in the whole world.     But the level of corruption, low quality of justice and  service delivery, poor adherence to the Rule of Law and so on are much below the rank of nations in sub – Saharan African countries and many nations who do not have any long, lofty and elevating civilisational    heritage.  World contemptuously ridicules tall  claims of Hindutwavadis  tom toing glory of India by ignoring rigours of religion-sanctified   slavery of graded inequality of Varnavyavasta (caste system), practiced for 3000 years, custom of widow burning (Sati), untouchability etc.    We have an instance of senior politicians, bureaucrats and Army Generals misappropriating land and houses meant for widows of Kargil War.  (Reference in Bible, ST Luke 20-46/47).
          Present Indian Education system did not exorcise the ills of colonial days viz bureaucratism, failure to evoke the sprint of enquiry and urge for truth, coupled with the educated remaining empathy – deficient  and integrity proof.  None of the Indian Universities is in the list of 100 excellent institutions in the world - case of education without character.
          Despite rampant poverty, malnutrition, multiple types of deprivation of nearly 35% of Indian people, the elite in the helm of affairs in all fields indulge in nauseating extravaganza   and often pursue and take care of the greed of those in the top of the social pyramid -- reversal of Gandhian ideal of Antyodaya  and  focus on Aadyotaya.  Case of pleasure without conscience.
          Religious institutions are extensively de-spiritualized, politicised and in some cases criminalized.  Most of them are in pursuant of competitive communalism and sensuous pleasures, boasting in superfluous, extravagant ceremonies for impressing people with their clot in politics and segments of Administration.  Practices of inflicting bodily pain though injurious  rites like mutilation of male and female sex organs, suspending infants in contrivances above ground level ( Tukam in Devi Temples) piercing iron rods (Trishul) in body etc. are rampant.  How can inflicting pain in body by a devotee, without following  spiritual and ethical discipline prescribed, result in grant of Gods’ grace? Bhagavad Gita Shloka 19 of Chapter 17 condemns such austerity. Thousands are deprived of basic necessities due to corruption, mis-management and neglect of service delivery, by those who indulge in showmanship of devotion.   Such are instances of worship without sacrifice.
          Indian economic scenario is abysmally obnoxious due to a minority of influential  people practicing crony, predatory and  incestuous capitalism. Democratically elected governments are supporting plutocracy and clyptocracy.    This is unlike western capitalism which by following the tenets of Liberalisation, Privatisation at Globalisation (LPG) in positive manner, often produces new products through research and inventing purposeful skills in science and technology and many new goods are manufactured for reducing rigours of human life.  In India all political parties support ecologically damaging developmental pursuits through injurious  projects and abusing natural resources.  Without disciplining polluting industries, Central Government is projecting reduction in public defection as a great achievement.  Last year national capital was inoperative for five days due to low quality air and not due to  inadequacy of toilets and  wash rooms.  Plenty are instances of the rape of mountains of Aravalli, Western Ghats and Himalayas.  Even in making new products by utilising the science of Ayurveda and patenting of these, India is much behind the Western nations and China.  Many value added products from Indian spices are patented by foreign countries.  These are cases of wealth without work.  
          Indian Scientific research have seldom evolved products for helping the toiling Indians, in the perspective of improving their working conditions, particularly, in rural areas.  Unscientific use of insecticides had debilitated health of many in areas like Kasaragod district (Endosulphan toxification) – science without humanity.
          Pursuit of wealth creation through unrighteous means is explicit in commercial dealings in India, even in comparison with under developed neighbouring countries.  So India is assessed by international agencies as more corrupt than Bangladesh,  Sree Lanka and many African and Lain American nations.  No country in the world who adopted modern capitalism has seen the tragedy of 5 lakh farmers committing suicide due to  un-viability of agriculture as a means of livelihood. The undue favours showered on industries (who can provide larger donation to political parties) created this precarious situation. Amazingly even religious centers like Tirupati and Sabarimala temples, Dargah of Ajmer Sharif and rich Catholic Church did not evolve any scheme to provide interest free loans to even devotees of respective religions, among the   farmers. Social cost of females in families, who lost their bread winners (in suicide), forcing to indulge in immoral survival means is not yet fully assessed. Drama of worshipping female deities as custodians of knowledge, wealth and power is enacted every year in Navaratri celebrations. Political patronage to Mafiacracy strengthened organised social vices like, illicit trade in fire arms, liquor, narcotics, prostitution, gambling, hawala, human trafficking and so on. Lakhs of educated and ineligible  Indians filed false affidavits to secure BPL ration cards, concessions under Right to Education Act, sanction of loan etc – all illustrative of commerce without morality.
Politics in India have been depoliticized.  Communalism and Casteism are ruling the roost. We have proclaimed communal parties like BJP, Akalidal, IUML etc but most of the secular parties conveniently adopt opportunistic communalism, appeasing to sectarian agenda of religious groups for electoral dividends. One can witness the strange scenario of a political leader defecting to its rival party getting declared as a paragon of virtue by his new party. Corruption –free good governance is not the intrinsic agenda of any political party. Infact, practically all developmental projects launched from Panchayats to National level are over assessed for making ill gotten money. There is consensus among political parties on taking bribes and often those who take economic ventures proportionately pay to all parties as per their mischief value and vote bank potential. Mafias operating in fields of forest, sand, timber, drinking water, stone quarry operations etc. have a system of making regular payments to all political parties, bureaucrats, police and even social groups. They provide money and muscle power and for practicing mobocratic operations like, 1984 anti-Sikh massacre, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, 2002 Gujarat pogrom, mobs often assaulting police stations and liberating criminals in police custody and so on are illustrative instances.
          Solution to neutralize the ill-effects of practioners of Gandhiji’s seven sins lies in citizens, honest social groups and activists coming together and invoking their innate residual sovereignty. After all, the Constitution of India is the product of Indian people –“We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India” (Preamble of the Constitution). The Executive wing of Central and State Govts have largely failed to live up to the lowest levels of expectations of the people’s (there are  brilliant exceptions) social contract, in the Constitution of India.  Legislature and the Fourth Estate (media) is under stress of Big money, and organized vested interest groups and so often underperform. People should take up any violation of the Rule of Law through legal, non-violent and demonstrative action at grass root mycro level. Success of anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazarae  was a laudable venture. Such moves will reduce, if not totally eliminate the intentional deviant acts by creamy  layer of the elite at the helm of affairs in political, economic, social, religious  and cultural fields, enveloping all facets of Indian life. This well focused positive action can be the commencement of a new Renaissance and Enlightenment movement. The situation is similar to disrobing of Draupati in the Court of Kauravas by Dusshasana, on the orders of Duryodhana. The guardians of law and morality like Maharathis – Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Vidhura – did not effectively intervene and stop the atrocity on a helpless woman. They did not want to incur the wrath of Duryodhana and lose their position and power. Will the real Indian citizens courageously initiate action for actualizing the core values of Indian heritage enshrined in the foundational, unalterable  structure of  the Constitution of India? Whoever proceeds on such a road map  will emerge as morning stars of post-modern Indian Renaissance.  

R. B. Sreekumar     
Former DGP, Gujarat

Dated : 27-09-2018.