Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Exposing the Saffron Scheme: A Popular outline-ll

BJP’s gameplan behind turning Ram, the mythical hero, into a national hero

Comrade Vinod Mishra

The popular epics, Valmiki’s Ramayana and Tulsidas’ Ram Charit Manas symbolise the victory of good over evil in a typical fashion, elevating Ram, the popular mythical figure, to the rank of an incarnation of God. Thus Ram belongs to the spiritual and religious domain for Hindu masses. Integrity of his character, Maryada Purushottam, and the standards of his rule, the Ram Rajya, are often invoked in popular parlance to emphasize moral virtues and social justice. None has ever thought of turning Ram into a national hero till the advent of modern Hinduism.

Savarkar, the founding father of the ideology of Hindutva, in his desperate search for a symbol of Hindu India, wrote, "Some of us worship Ram as an incarnation, some admire him as a hero and a warrior, all love him as the most illustrious representative monarch of our race." Since then, advocates of Hindutva have been harping on the theme of this ‘most illustrious representative monarch of our race’. Vijaya Dashami was chosen as the day for launching of RSS in 1927. The saffron flag, supposed to be the flag of Ram, was chosen as the flag of RSS.

Finally, Babri Masjid, supposedly built after demolishing a Ram temple, provided the Sangh Parivar with the perfect mix where Ram was pitted against Babar. The transformation of Ram from a cultural, religious-mythical figure to a national hero with arrows targeted against Muslim ‘invaders’ was thus complete.

If, Ravana of Ram Katha imprisoned Sita, the Ravanas of Sangh Parivar have imprisoned Ram himself for their political manipulation. Ram has to be freed from their clutches to restore him to the spiritual-religious domain of his worshippers.

The RSS repeatedly exhorts Muslims to look upon Ram as their hero and assures them that all problems would then be over. But this demand is not only highly arrogant and ridiculous in that it asks Muslims to renounce their faith and revert to idol worship — because in no other way can Muslims look upon Ram as their hero — it is also a retrogressive demand, particularly when several Hindu trends have advanced towards monotheism, looking at God in abstraction.

While, in contrast to other mythical figures, the epic of a dispossessed Ram sharing his life with otherwise inferior castes and defeating Ravana, the Brahmin king, with their help evokes a popular identification with him among the common masses, his appeal is still not uniform even among Hindus of different sects and regions. Some segments of Hindus, particularly from among dalits, are even critical of some of his actions which they feel smack of an upper caste syndrome.

Hindus and Muslims quite rightly look upon the heroes of first independence war in 1857 as well as the martyrs of anti-British struggles as their national heroes. The demand should be made upon the Sangh Parivar to exhibit the same spirit because despite Golwalkar Indian nationalism had its origins only in anti-British struggles.


1 comment:

BFL 24 week - said...

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