In many government offices April 14, Birth Date of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, is declared as public holiday in order to mark respect and homage to him as father of our constitution which is egalitarian in ethos. Being a office of public utility rarely we get public holidays. Just to enquire about whether 14th will be a Holiday or not I asked a clerk of my office who keep pre-information of holidays. He denied. It was not a matter, but what he said few seconds afterwards was something to take pity on him and his wisdom. He uttered ‘there is no holiday for ambedkar- fambedkar ’ to himself… Caste/Varna of the person as per Hindu Social order doesn’t need to be mentioned.
Apathy of the clerk for Dr. Ambedkar could well be understood by observing efforts made by Dr. Ambedkar in ensuring egalitarian Indian Social Structure by breaking domination of Brahmana’s System of Varna/Caste Social Hierarchy. He was the person who advocated for equal social status not only for Shudras in Hindu Varna System but also for women of India. He shattered Brahmana’s and Kshatriya domination by introducing reservation system in Indian Constitution itself. He tried to bring social justice to socially backward community who were subjugated and subjected to coercively serve community of upper varnas. He tried to provide them fundamental freedom in a free India with all dignity and rights.
Through Vedic, post Vedic, Ancient, Medieval and Modern ages Hindu Brahmana had made all effort to maintain their domination and acknowledge themselves as supreme in the social hierarchy. The method had been through discriminatory religious texts and literature specially Puranas, Manu-Smriti and other Dharma-Shastras. Breaking of Social Order of Varna system has been described by them as sin of highest order which will lead to advent of Kaliyuga; and whoever breaks such order will face severe consequences in Naraka. Even Bhagvad Gita has been used to ask Hindu follower to protect their Dharma by performing their duties as per their Varnas.
In history their source of livelihood has been fees/rent for performing religious rituals. To ensure their monopoly in performing ritual practices they had authorised Kshatriya Community as preserver of Social Order. They even didn’t hesitated in acknowledging a ruler as lineage or descent of god. This practice established legitimacy to the ruling dynasty and they were accepted as patron of the population. Vaishya were assigned productive role and as tax payers while Shudra were to serve other three as labourers. By the time of Gupta period there emerged a fifth category of community who were acknowledged as untouchable and were assigned menial works and were outcasted from the society. They had to live on outer fringes of the village and even their shadow was thought of as inauspicious.
For various state religious rituals and Vedic sacrifices Brahamana were given land grants and other rewards by the King/ruler. This made them land lords and later on freedom were given to them to rule over the rewarded territory and maintain law and order. They were free to punish as per their whims and fancies, brunt of which fell upon people who wanted to overcome this Brahmanical domination. Religion of Buddhism and Jainism emerged as rescue for them from this domination but intolerance policy and persecution of followers of these religions by Ruler of Shunga, Gauda and other Hindu dynasties failed their effort. These religion are now concentrated in few pockets of India and hardly population of their followers crosses mark of Crores. Though Buddhism had flourished well and adopted by people of Japan, South Korea, South East Asia, China, Central Asia but in India their population is negligible. All credit goes to intolerant attitude of Brahamanised Hinduism.
With respect to women, Manu-smriti, DharmaShastra etc regard women as property of men and women have to follow men as per men’s wish. Hindu religious laws had called that a perfect wife is the one who serve her husband as slave and on his death follow him to death through practice of Sati. Education, learning of Vedic Texts etc were clearly denied to women. Rather they were property in the hand of men and not a human. Even today dictates of religious texts are used to subjugate women in patriarchal society. It was effort of Dr. Ambedkar in promulgating Reformed Hindu Codes as nation wide legislation through Indian Parliament which enhanced position of women in India as equal to men in almost every social aspects.
These were menaces of Brahmanised Hindu Religion and society which Dr. Ambedkar tried to eradicate through our constitution. This caste system is something very peculiar to Hinduism and had harshly affected progress and development of the society as a whole.
Even in this secular India which is thriving on modern scientific temper all effort is being made all around to maintain this social order and distinctions and discriminations based on this order. This could well be observed if we minutely observe the current trend of nationalism which enforces Hinduism or rather say Brahmanised aspect of Hinduism which acknowledge their supremacy over society.
Theirs hegemony is of millennia, establishment of order of equality and equity will take its own course; effort must not be diminished.
“Raju, 25, and Mala, 22, eloped in New Delhi and caused their parents so much grief they tried to have them arrested. Raju is a Dalit, while Mala belongs to a higher caste, which made things even harder. The couple was detained and taken to court — which said they could live together because the law was silent on the issue.”
If the anti-Romeo Squad would had been in existence with early days such things wouldn’t had happened; parents wouldn’t had to be in grief. The Squad is a perfect set-up to teach moral lesson to wandering couple. How these fanatic love birds roam hand in hand spoiling the ancient culture of the land. They are just spoiling our culture and society is ashamed of them…
But, why the society is not ashamed of Mr. Krishna and Ms. Radha and worship this divine couple. Didn’t we know that they were not married and used to move deep into forest on the bank of Yamuna and did whatever they wished… How shameful they were!!! There needed to be a similar squad in vrindavan, hope Mama Kans would had been active. They had ashamed our culture. But, then one thinks which culture.. Was any culture evolved at that time or was it in the process of evolution? Don’t know! But people make culture, community make culture and society make culture.
The phrase ‘Larka Larki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’ fades away in context of another phase ‘dusre jaati ke larka larki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’. The words of later phrase is being made meaningful by we and us. Our Neo-culture is ensuring that the structure of caste perpetuates and equally perpetuate discriminations based on these caste system.
Politically, administratively and societally sanctioned Anti-Romeo Squad is nothing but a set-up in women security get-up to ensure perpetuation of these caste distinctions. Love knows no boundary but in our society caste system has a line or limit or in mythological word Lakshman Rekha. Community need to ensure that no one crosses this Rekha. Love duo are in their divinity of togetherness, affection, care, love moving up the caste and many times religion boundary. But our cultural society didn’t accept such liberal movement. There is nothing like human love rights, all is about honour of community and society.
There is one more dimension to this Anti-Romeo Squad. How a girl in this patriarchal society dare to move free with a guy to whom she is not married and that too in a dress which doesn’t align with traditional ethnic wear; and if its 7 PM then surely she is not a good girl and something mischievous is going to happen… Let the street lights go off. She must be harassed enough that she didn’t take daring step to roam into male’s arena after 7 PM.
Yes, scepticism of the CM could be understood because its our fault not to be cognizable enough to know the Lakshman Rekha of consent and control. In absence of these two attributes we often act to indignify a woman, no matter how much she have trust on us. The Lakshman Rekha of acceptance and force get diminished. This is again a problem of patriarchal society which believes that only men have control over sexuality of women and they can’t flaunt it without men’s consent and agreement. We are entrenched in such biased thought that the problem doesn’t lies with formation and activities of Anti-Romeo Squad but with the attitude of whole society towards female members. More than better half they are an entity to be controlled according to will, wish, whims and fancies of other half.
We need to go to ancient of India much before the era of Kama-Sutra when there was freedom to movement of female and they were free to chose their partner and elope with them. When more than the bondage of marriage it was bondage of love, affection and care. We need to discard Manu-Smriti outrightly, which is a brahmanical texts to subjugate women to men and denigrate them.
To person like me there always exists qualm to know how our religion evolved, why people have such immense faith and why are there certain practices in one’s religion and they differ with others significantly. Faith and belief of people to their religion even surpass their duty and liability towards their motherland and nation. Pointing to recent tragic incidence of Kedarnath flood and Bodh Gaya blast we find that even possibility of occurrence of such incidence didn’t reduce fervor of people to visit their shrine though there may be a momentarily pause. Within limited space I am trying to touch just the silver line of answer. Hope I succeed without hurting feelings of anyone!
Indian civilization is one the oldest dating back to 4000-5000 years. It has over the time assimilated many culture, customs, religions, faith and belief. This urged our leaders to declare India a secular state. I am discussing over here keeping Hinduism in centre and very much consent the same for other religions.
Hindu religion has 2 epics, 4 vedas, 108 Upnishads, 18 puranas and many other sacred writings evolved over centuries. Trend of Struti and Smriti was equally significant. Struti refers to sacred stories which passed over generations just as story heard, perceived and revealed. While smriti refers to struti which were noted down in physical form. But much had changed, modified, excluded as well as included in sacred stories passed over as struti before they were inscribed as smriti or even in smriti when they were translated in other language.
I am not invalidating existence of any of the divine being. They existed. They may have been king or spirituals and I very much respect that. But believe that they had divine power I disagree to it.
When Struti were passed on they were deciphered and delivered according to perception of narrator. Sarcastic modification of struti can’t be denied. Even in today world when we narrate some incidence we try to modify it a bit by our perception or become judgemental of the matter. Observing Mughal era in medieval period we can well notice the paintings of Mughals in which divine aura is shown around face of mughal emperors. Artists were devoted to the wisdom of emperor and compared them with divine. If these same paintings had been deep buried and excavated after thousands of years I think everyone would had considered mughal emperors as deity. Similar thing had happened in ancient India. Stories of kings had been modified and many times sarcastically. Sometimes narrator was motivated to do so to integrate and bind the society with fear of god/goddess and define code of conduct for every person based on those tales while other times they had so much respect that they perceived them creator of nature and also deciphered the same with their peers group. Contrasting in present era we can find many spiritual leaders and their followers who are highly devoted to them and many times think of them as their god. Existence of television and race of ‘TRP’ has further added to this sham as producer had indulged in adding visual effects and technology to present to viewers bogus actions of lord in many activities. Over time this has created visual perception of god and goddess to their worshipper who then merge to belief of existence of such unnatural power.
In our Hindu mythological tales we had always discussed Raakshasa and turmoil between them and God. I would like to make you aware that there was no such person as Raakshasa, they were simple tribal or so called low caste people who were often termed as Raakshasa by the then high caste society. And whenever high caste society encroached forest they were attacked by these tribals. This social evil of caste and class can be noticed even in Ramayana and Mahabharata; Tale of Shabri and her Berry in Ramayana, Ekalavya in Mahabharat and such more. We know Hidimba in Mahabharat who is said to be Raakshasa. Indra belonged to high caste and is said to be king of god and has protected gods from devils or Rakshasa.
In simple, high caste Brahmana were the main who used to narrate tale of Deity and over the years they had sarcastically narrated high caste king as divine and low caste or tribal forest dwellers as rakhshas. Even in Manusmriti (so called legal writing of Hindu religion) we can find how it has made woman a subject of rule by man; it has restricted liberty of woman while man has all the liberty. It has endorsed patriarchal system of society. We can openly say Manusmriti were written by scholars who felt insecure of offering equal status of women in the society or they feared of takeover of the society by women; such men even exists today.
In the moving point it would be an opportunity to add that many of great person were said to be divine and few of them incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This was chiefly done by followers of Vaishnavism ideology and they all had patronage of great kings of the time. This trend can be contrasted broadly in South India even in era of Medieval India. Southern kings built monumental temple to show their greatness and acknowledged their pupils that they have been directly blessed with divinity by Lord Vishnu and sent as messenger to rule the kingdom. In this kingdom who would dare to raise voice against validity of such divine blessing. And who ever had courage to question divinity must have been termed as Raakshasa. We know such culture because by that time technology of inscription was in world and almost everything was recorded. Had this tradition been narrated over tales it had been significantly modified as per wish of scholars and we would had one more deity.
Similar is the case with other religion. In every religion there was a trio of Messenger-Emperor-Follower. Messenger was having some ideology to propagate, he was having patronage of emperor to do so and followers, with the fear of emperor and well being of himself, had to follow the messenger and his faith.
In this long history of India and its religion we forgot the belief in humanity and moral. Fear of god/goddess/divinity/deity had been created to rule over us and till now we are inundated with those fear and many times fool them with our faith and belief. We pray to deity in fear for our well being. Sometime our respect moulds our faith and belief. Once nationalism has been ideology and every emperor strived to expand it many called that ideology religion. Till now we have same trend but somewhat in different way – That was period of emperor this is era of democracy; Religion always existed – then it was as nation now they are in a nation. Long way to go before nationalism becomes one’s religion.