Sunday, March 29, 2009

Meena Kandasamy on "Rise of Hindutva in Tamil Nadu" - VII

Meena Kandasamy
is the emerging face of Indian literature. She is from Chennai. She is basically a teacher and teaches college students about the nuances of poetry and literature. She is an established poetess now. Besides she is a social activist, writer, blogger, peace activist and a fine human being with a heart that beats. She likes to describe herself as a woman writer who is obsessed with revolutionary Dr.Ambedkar’s message of caste annihilation. Below it we present one of her article published in

Doing It Everyday – 7

Threatened Existence

“Everything now is Maha. Mahaaarati (which launches mass murders of Muslims), Mahashivaratri (heralds temple terror in Ayodhya), Mahajanmashtami (violence), Maharamnavami (viciousness), Mahajalabhishek (villainy), etc. These are Hindu Taliban nomenclatures. They are farthest from the Hindu festivals that were known, in an age gone by, as Aarati, Shivaratri, Janmashtami, Ramnavami. So, this new appellation Maha denotes death and hatred, violence and degeneracy. Poles away from any religiosity of yore. How willingly and rapidly the "Hindus" were converted to this cultist perfidy and sectarian sordidness is a thing of extreme anguish and amazement.

But, since wonder, anger, and inquiry are now dead or verboten, here is an explanation. Just as the ugly and burdensome garlands (Mahamala) meant for today's leaders aren't for wearing, similarly these are not festivals any more. These are communal mobilization events. They lost their popular appeal and religious significance long ago because of this sacrilege.

This is the age of Mahabrahmans. They are the ruling clique. That is why there is so much death, destruction, violence, vice, deprivation and darkness, without respite, scarring and ravaging the land, bleeding it bone white. Today, it may be a term of honor. But in the recent past, as far as memory stretches, it was not so honorable or desirable a profession or title.

Mahabrahmans presided over obsequies, a funeral rite or ceremony, and collected offerings to the dead ones. Our Mahabrahmans are doing no less. What was limited to Hindus has now been extended to the whole of Bharat. This is Bharatising (read,brutalizing) India, the Hindutva way. Another feather in the Hindu Taliban cap: The earlier Mahabrahman collected the harvest of death once in a while, and on individuals. The latter day Mahabrahmans are presiding over the death of a nation and collecting the tribute to Yama hourly and in a thousand ways.”

This is precisely what happened in Gujarat. Hindutvaization activities complemented hate campaigns. Modi, whose government connived with the carnage, sends out email invitations to whoever he can find to join the Navratri celebrations. There are the gory dances of destruction. The screams of the dying shakes the skies and the Gods wake up just to receive the dead. Remember, this is the age of the Mahabrahmans.

Singing “Let it be, Let it be” in the Beatles style might be a quick-fix, but an approach of complacence is akin to digging our own graves. And the secular state is always celebrating Hindutva too: every super-weapon of mass destruction, the surface-to-air missiles, and other phallic aggressive weapons have a Hindu religious connotation: Agni, Trishul, et al. Everything about the Hindutva project is designed in terms of death, so its final victory will be our collective holocaust.

Globalization and the blood-sucking capitalism wouldn’t be faraway too. One system of exploitation sends out the luncheon cards to another. Before long it is a merry party with merrier handshakes. One thing leads to another, but let us forget that. We, end up not with, but as, leftovers. And the espousers of the Hindu Rashtra fatten up, almost like on beef, and rise their strength from 2 to 182 in the Parliament in the period that exactly coincides with the coming of liberalization and globalization. Their India shines, shimmers, and sparkles like rhinestone, cousin to glass but akin to diamond. In her must-read work on Globalization and Hindutva, Marika Vicziany boldly remarks:

“Until now India has been a poor, developing country evolving in the context of a secular democratic political system. Persistent poverty has always been made more palatable by the fact of free elections, a free press and a free judiciary. Now India faces the risk of persistent poverty within the political framework of hindutva, the successes of which in 2002 were based on murder, pillage, rape, a new politics of anti-Muslim hatred and a political and media system that connived with violence.”

If this shocks you, here’s the bad news: We cannot look up to the state for support. The doors have been slammed shut against our eager, anxious faces. State terrorism is as entrenched as the other terrorisms. State machinery has long since trashed the obligations it owes the people. Neera Chandoke observes in her article Security in the Times of Hindutva,

“…[T]oday members of religious groups in an India that happens to be marked by the ascendancy of Hindutva, suffer multiple injustices, multiple deprivation, and multiple insecurity, simply because they happen to belong to a minority. This is more than evident in the aftermath of the Gujarat carnage. […] Such multiple injustices are unbearable if dominant groups in civil society terrorize religious minorities. But they are even more unbearable when they bear the imprimatur of the state. There can be no greater insecurity than when states that are supposed to deliver security practice discrimination against their own citizens simply because they happen to be in a minority.”

Stop for a minute and think of the most recent terror that invaded us, that exterminated our minorities. Think of Gujarat that celebrated Hindutva every passing second, the consequent crimes, the complacence and the silence of the State. History isn’t a solace, it is a sore reminder of the horror that once was, and now awaits us. Fundamentalism has won, so far. And it is being replicated, mass produced, the formula rigorously applied everywhere. I tremble to think of the directions it would take. Of the coming nights of knives. Of the plunder between the thighs. Of the possible partitions of human bodies. Of the vengeful invasion of inner, and sacred spaces. Of the strong men reduced to brittle burnt bones. Of the infants dying before they learn of death. Of the loss of all that is deeply loved. Of the tragedy, that in the end, every irredeemable loss of ours shall be a mere number, every carnage and pogrom an incident, to be looked over, flippantly. Of the mad justifications for the bloodbaths. Of the rush of the fanatic oppressors, to narrate their made-up stories of victimhood, amidst our mutilated, decaying corpses. And greatly, of planned, state-sponsored genocide that will be made to resemble a carnival of sheer hate—yes, the terror of the Hindutva doing it everyday.


Anonymous said...

i read your article ...its not limited to Tamilnad alone ...but more of what sangh parivar does all over India and less of what it does in Tamilnad ....

Nevertheless ...i have a question it not good if steps are taken to bridge the divide ....why is that some people always want casteism to exists OR for that matter the North-south divide to exist .....especially the Dravidian Parties ....and all their supporters ??

RSS in my opinion is trying to brigde that divide the end of the day ....there is lot of common ground in this diverse India of ours ......

I am a Tamilian myself ....i have heard people saying ...our culture is different ....then they talk of Kannagi ....Murugan is Tamil god on and so forth ...Recently the CM changed TN new yr to Pongal ...which is again a Hindu festival ....but according to him its a Tamil festival ....trying to propagate a ideology which is full of contracdictions ....has to stop ...its easy to digest contracdictions in religion than those in Periyar's teachings

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