The New India – Deliberate Provocation or Government Inaction?

The ecosystem believed BJP is a passing phase. So, it was silent for the first five years. But, by winning with an even bigger mandate, BJP clearly asserted it’s here to stay. What will the reaction be, if you are seeing your world slipping beneath your feet? After it became clear that BJP is coming back to power, there is a sudden rise of communal violence in India. The pattern is simple. Provoke, invite a reaction, use counter-force to crush them. If you are not able to, cry victim. Let me take two examples.
Jharkhand. It was forest land onto which the Muslims encroached upon. They were attacked by the tribals which resulted in some fatalities. What’s the situation now? The tribals who attacked are arrested. How did the media respond? Outrage on attacking the Muslims.
Delhi. A few ruffians were asked not to drink. They went back and brought back a mob which destroyed the local temple. How did this become a religious issue? Or is it a new trend? How did the media respond to this? Deafening silence. And what happened there? The local Muslim community offered to reconstruct the temple.
Looking at this, there are three different ways in which things are happening –
1. Attack and subdue
2. Provoke, invite a reaction, cry victim
3. Provoke, invite a reaction, use devastating force to counter it
Why is this becoming brazenly open and more violent? It’s the usual four major things – provocation, inaction, publicity and support.
It is an undeniable fact that the government broke the back of illegal funding and tried to contain demographic invasions – especially in Kashmir, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The repercussions are felt elsewhere – repeated provocations and government inaction in handling high visibility crime. With a media ready to bury all the crime and the political ecosystem looking at it as a unified vote bank, we are in a situation where there is deliberate provocation on one side and whitewashing on the other side.
The more dangerous aspect of the game is not law and order breakdown but whitewashing of crimes of certain communities and demonizing some other, leading to a slow and steady poisoning of communal harmony. A crime is to be looked from the angle of the crime. Why are we looking at it from the religion of the criminal? The recent Jharkhand lynching. Why did the media call him a Muslim and not a thief? Same thing from Rajasthan. Is he a Muslim first or is he a repeated cow-thief first? We are seeing a repeated trend here – if the culprit is a Muslim or a christian, stay silent. Even if staying silent is not sufficient, project it as a secular crime – Someone did Something – no religion, no magnitude of the crime whatsoever. But, if a Hindu does something, make a hue and cry all over the world. Isn’t it a fact that India was established as the rape capital of the world with faulty data? Isn’t it a fact that India is projected as a country where minorities are not safe? Isn’t it a fact that Pakistan used Indian media reports to support it’s stand at ICJ? Isn’t it a fact that this selective reporting is polarizing the society even further? Who benefits by this?
Indian Govt is stuck in such sort of a situation where inaction invites the ire of it’s supporters and action invites the ire of the world. And who are these cheerleaders who project India in the bad light? Not foreigners, but Indian media and intelligentsia. And that means the government can’t go all guns blazing into a fight. It needs to plan it’s act properly and it should also note the patience of it’s supporters is also not eternal.
Shivaji’s dealing with Afzal Khan gives us a good lesson to us here. Afzal Khan, a very good commander was sent with one of the finest armies Bijapur can field to tackle Shivaji. Shivaji understood he can’t fight Afzal Khan and retreated into the hills. To entice Shivaji, Afzal Khan desecrated the temple of Goddess Tulja Bhavani. Shivaji didn’t act. People goaded him, people cursed him, he didn’t act. Afzal Khan continued his destruction till he reached Pratapgad where he called for a meeting with Shivaji. In a game of mutual subfertege, Afzal Khan was killed and his army was destroyed – the story is well known. It is said that Shivaji buried Afzal Khan’s head at the feet of Goddess Tulja Bhavani, thus avenging the desecration. Whatever the truth in it, the message to be conveyed is that how much people insulted him, Shivaji never forgot the insult and waited for the right time.
With a government biding for it’s time amidst repeated provocations, there is only a little the supporters of the government can do – demonization of the support ecosystem which is presenting this warped narrative.
1. Create a ranking scale for everything which calls itself a news outlet with scoring at article level for reliability, anti-Indian bias, narrative of appeasement, readability, importance of the news article – aggregated at the news outlet and journalist level.
2. Question the intellectual capabilities of their giants. Irfan Habib presents an interesting case – the stature he had, twitter demolished it by revealing his bias. Audrey Truschke, Devdutt Patnaik and many were demolished thus. What is needed is more publicity on their mistakes and biases.
3. Frequent seminars and other gatherings just to demonize those supporting the narrative/gatecrash their seminars to raise unpalatable questions.
4. Unbiased reporting calling a spade a spade. This has started only in the last two-three years and there is much scope for this to expand.
The fight here is between upholding the idea of India on one side and vested interests – angry over lost funding, conversion ecosystem and political opposition, that too, at the expense of India. It’s time for us to pick our sides wisely.

Advertisements

Keezhadi – Is there a controversy, first of all?

I was looking into Keezhadi excavations and it looks as if the whole controversy created around it is just a controversy and nothing more. A quick reading tells that this is presented as a Brahminical conspiracy to suppress the glorious Tamil civilization and a whole narrative is built around it. First of all, a few important finds regarding Keezhadi
1. An advanced city dating to around 300 BC is unearthed at Keezhadi, raising the speculation that this is the Pandyan capital city. The finding of artifacts with Tamil Brahmi script on them further confirms the date as to be between 300 BC and 100 BC.
2. Idols are not found. That is contused by the Tamil lobby as that of something very different from Brahminic Aryan religions. However, the important point to note here is, idols of prayer that old are rare to find anywhere in India.
3. The argument that Tamil Civilization is as advanced as SSC/IVC and hence the Brahminic lobby doesn’t want the data to be revealed – SSC/IVC is not the only civilization in India. There are many contemporareous ones in India – Kashmir Valley, Painted Greyware in Ganga Belt, Ahir Culture in Rajasthan, Narmada Valley Civilization and others. Instead of seeing two civilizations separated by 2000 km, we are seeing urban/rural/pastoral agglomerations everywhere. How exactly is finding a fully developed city somewhere in Tamil Nadu harm the interests of someone? The only someones whose interests are harmed are the Leftist lobby of Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib and the others whose careers depend on the legitimacy of Aryan Invasion Theory.
“The Hindu extremists currently in power portray India as the land of Vedas and Vedic culture as the Indian culture, shoving their Aryan brahmanical culture upon the people. But, prior to the Aryans there were Dravidians, who were more advanced as a society, in arts, literature and culture, living in this land. This is already well established from the linguistic research by Caldwell and others, from the Sangam literature and from Indus valley excavations.
Recently the ongoing excavations at Keezhadi has also given us proof for this statement, by confirming the existence of a pre-vedic urban civilization in Tamil Nadu as described in the Sangam literature. Trying to suppress this important finding which goes against the false stories spun by Hindu fundamentalists, the central government run by the RSS-BJP had tried to block this excavation. After this skulduggery by the central government was condemned by intellectuals, political parties, democratic forces and many others in Tamil Nadu, the centre backtracked saying that the excavation in Keezhadi will continue.”
All the court cases and everything is just publicity tomtoming BJP-RSS(not India) doesn’t want the glory of Tamil Civilization to be noticed by the world.
And here comes the ringleader in person.
“In the Indian History Congreess held last December at Thiruvananthapuram, a resolution was passed that the excavation at Keezhadi should continue. The renowned historian Romila Thapar who presided over that session has said that Keezhadi is a very important discovery in Tamil Nadu and that this excavation calls for a rewriting of Tamil Nadu’s history.”
And rhetoric with no proof.
“It is to be noted that none of the artefacts found at Keezhadi till now has any religious connection. The ancient Tamil culture was based on ancestor worship and Nadukal (hero stone) worship and religions were only a later phenomenon.” The earliest Hero Stone found is actually no older than 500-600 AD and is NOT a Tamil tradition. The earliest are seen in Kongunadu which was under the Ganga rule and not under any Tamil kingdoms.
And the blind hatred is seen again and again.
“While the saffron forces running the government spend crores and crores of money to find the non-existent Saraswati river claiming that it was the origin of Indus valley civilization, it looks at the scientifically happening excavations happening at Keezhadi with disregard. Whereas 151 crore rupeess is alloted for Ramayana museum at Ayodhi by the central government for its own political agenda, it allotted just 1 lakh rupees to spend on sending samples from Keezhadi for carbon dating.”
From a different article.
“Last September when the ASI decided to take Keeladi antiquities to Mysore, Progressive forces in Tamilnadu objected to it strongly. When they went to court to stop the shift to Mysore, the court allowed the shift to Dehradun. They asked the Tamilnadu government to safeguard them in Tamilnadu itself by creating a museum and protecting them, to continue the dig and thus spread the greatness of Tamil antiquity worldwide. But, the corrupt government of Jaya-Sasi-OPS-ADMK disregarded them. There is no doubt that the antiquities once taken to Dehradun or Mysore will be put aside unceremoniously and left to rot. The digs that were happening at the site were ground to halt by Modi’s government on purpose.”
But, this is what Mafoi Pandiarajan, Tamil Language Minister said.
“Over 39 excavations have been done in Tamil Nadu post independence. There is no substance to the claim that the Centre is withholding funds”
The linking of Pattinam(which was supposed to be identified with Muziris) and Keezhadi was supposed to serve the purpose of a sea based civilization which is not a part of Indian narrative. It is interested to note that the lobby which tried to stop the transfer of Amarnath Ramakrishna, which is nothing more than an administrative exercise also demanded that the artifacts found in Keezhadi shouldn’t be taken out of Tamil Nadu in spite of the fact that report writing facilities are available only at Bangalore.
The below snippet summarizes the whole issue succinctly.
” In 2015, a team of archeologists from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), a body under the culture ministry in the central government, began excavations at a coconut-tree farm at Keezhadi, near Madurai, in southern Tamil Nadu. Over the subsequent two years, the archeologists found over 5,500 artefacts. The team found upon investigation that the artefacts were dated to the Sangam era—a period between 400 BCE and 200 CE, which is widely as the crowning point of Tamil art and literature. The discoveries were the first-ever evidence of an urban civilisation from the Sangam era. But the project has been mired in controversy—at first, a tussle between the ASI and political parties in the state took place, with the latter demanding that the former not take any objects from the site to Karnataka for observation, as they belonged to the state. Then, in October 2016, when approvals and funding for the upcoming year was expected to be granted, the central government withheld approval for a third season of excavation at the Keezhadi site. This prompted severe criticism from within Tamil Nadu. Members of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam raised the issue in parliament, and G Ramakrishnan, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the state, alleged that the move was a result of “political design”—that it was in the interest of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and favourable to the ideology it espouses to prevent details of an independent Tamil culture from surfacing. The excavation was subsequently given the green light in February 2017.
In late March 2017, a few weeks before the third phase was due to begin, the ASI issued a transfer order to Amarnath Ramakrishna, the superintendent archeologist at the site. The transfer did not find favour with experts and politicians in Tamil Nadu, who expressed concern that the order would affect the work at the site. “Such transfers are not generally made during ongoing excavations, particularly in the initial phases,” an archeologist told The Hindu.”
From an interview given by Amarnath Ramakrishna
“The existence of burnt brick structures is an important factor to define an urban civilisation. Here in Keezhadi, we have found continuous constructed walls of 10 to 15 metres in length. We haven’t found such lengthy walls in any other site in Tamil Nadu. We have also found structures of open and closed drainage network, which are clear indications of the prevalence of an urban civilisation. Also present at the site were six furnaces, which indicate the possibility of an industrial site—again an evidence to prove urban civilisation. We have also found square and rectangle tanks for which no inlets and outlets can be seen. More excavations will help us find out more evidences. The carbon dating of samples collected from the site has placed it at 200 BC. Only two out of the 20 samples selected were sent to US for carbon dating, though I have written numerous times [to the central government] seeking approval for all 20 samples.”
Why were the samples sent to America when National Physical Laboratory, Ahmedabad is considered one of the top most radio carbon labs in South Asia?
“I wrote for the extension of the excavation even during the month of May [2016]. The approval was expected in October, along with the approval of other sites [in India] where excavation was being carried out simultaneously. But Keezhadi wasn’t [approved]. I met the director general [of the ASI] in November, seeking extension, and explaining the importance of the site. But I was asked to submit a report on the site [to the ASI]. Usually, a report on a site is submitted only at the end of excavation or when substantial work has been done. Anyway, I submitted a preliminary report in the month of January [2017]. But I was told the report didn’t have enough details. So, I gave an interim report in February. The approval was given in March, and a fund of Rs 50 lakh has been alloted. But no such report was warranted for the other sites for which permission was granted in October. “
This is no case basis for a conspiracy. But it is considered as such.
“Twenty-five officers including me were transferred according to a newly introduced policy—which said that field officers who have been working for more than two years need to be transferred. But even that policy was not adhered to strictly. There are officers [working on the site] with less than two years’ experience who have been transferred, and also there are those working in a site for more than two years who have not been transferred. We are a research team and not an administrative team.”
Again, this is no conspiracy. Why exactly should centre create an elaborate country level policy to suppress a single excavation?
The article below presents a background over the people and what happened with regard to KCHR’s excavations at Pattanam and why the conduct of both Amarnath Ramakrishna and R Sivanantham who headed Keezhadi excavations is subject to discussion.
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4857

Krimikantha Chola

Even in Srirangam, Vaikhanasa was the norm and Pancharatra was treated as a heresy. While Vaikhanasa is based on lineage(a person born in a Vaikhanasa lineage is ordained automatically), Pancharatra says, if qualified, anyone can become the priest. Obviously, it’s treated as a heresy. Yamunacharya is the first noted one who gave a scriptural backing for Pancharatra. In this background, let’s go to the happenings inside Srirangam Temple. Srirangam is managed by five Kottus(groups of people) led by religious heads. Enter Ramanuja as a successor of Yamunacharya. Though he would have entered Srirangam in 1040s, he would have taken up temple administration only by 1050s or 1060s. What did he do? He brought in his own people – Srivaishnavas from outside(they are casteless) and put them in all major positions in the temple. When he failed to take appoint his person as the temple accountant, he created an overseer post for that. And then, he introduced Pancharatra. Many were angry – the traditional religious heads who were toppled from power, those who were managing the temple from before, the Vaikhanasas. But, he had the support of Rajamahendra Chola. There is nothing much they can do. Rajamahendra Chola was the heir apparent of Rajendra Chola II. Both father and son were not heard after the Battle of Kudalasangama and Virarajendra becomes the king. Clearly, it’s a hint that Rajamahendra was removed from picture. Assassinated, may be? There was a riot in Kanchi where a Chola Prince was killed. Who was he? When did that happen? May be, he was put under house arrest and a riot was engineered to kill him? Now, let’s go to the other Chola prince Rajendra Chalukya of Vengi. Rajendra Chola II, the father of Rajamahendra already bought him off by marrying his daughter Madhurantaki to Rajendra Chalukya. Rajendra Chalukya was happily passing time with his father, wherever he was – either in Vengi when on throne or in Gangaikondacholapuram when ejected from kingdom. As usual, his father was toppled from throne by his uncle Vijayaditya. But, sensing that his brother is in his last days, out of deference, he left the throne for Rajaraja Narendra under the understanding that Vijayaditya or Vijayaditya’s son Saktivarman will succeed him. Rajendra Chalukya was sent out of the kingdom to the North – he was busy in Bastar and Gadchiroli area. Suddenly, news came that both father and son are assassinated in Gangaikondacholapuram by Rajendra Chola’s brother Virarajendra, who ascended the throne under that name. Rajendra Chalukya understood his head is next in line. When Virarajendra made him the king of Vengi and ordered him to come to Gangaikondacholapuram, he didn’t bother. Luckily, his uncle supported him. Virarajendra was obviously angry – he invaded Vengi and the king Saktivarman is killed. The old Vijayaditya had to become the king again. And Vijayaditya swore revenge. To hem Rajendra Chalukya even further, he married his daughter to Rajaraja, the Ganga king. Seeing him cornered and because he is a rebel for the Cholas now, Rajendra cultivated terms with Someswara, the Chalukyan crown prince, who was already facing trouble from his brother. As a matter of providence, his brother married the daughter of Virarajendra. Providentially, Virarajendra died at that time and his son Adhirajendra became the king with the support of Chalukya Vikramaditya. Cholas were not happy. And Rajendra Chalukya saw his chance. He marched South with the Army of Vengi, with contingents joining all along. Adhirajendra is murdered and Rajendra Chalukya decided to make Kanchi his base, not Gangaikondacholapuram. In a hard fought battle with Rajendra Chalukya and Someswara on one side and Vikramaditya on the other side, Vikramaditya wins the war but is powerless to stop Rajendra Chalukya from becoming the king. But he topples his brother and becomes the Chalukya Emperor. Now, let’s go back to Srirangam. What’s happening there? The attempts to reform Srirangam made many enemies to Ramanuja and he had to stay in a different place for three years. Besides, the Periya Koil Nambi was not ready to support Ramanuja. Because of that, Ramanuja left to Kanchi and waited for his time. As a matter of providence, Periya Koil Nambi’s mother passed away and probably instigated by Ramanuja, no one came to officiate the death ceremony. Kuruttalavan, Ramanuja’s point man in Srirangam officiated it and got the control of the temple in return. Blackmail? We will never know. And Ramanuja is back, running the temple. Rajendra Chalukya took the name of Kulottunga in the meanwhile, clearly hinting that it’s a Vengi Chalukya on the Chola throne, not a Chola. He somehow stopped Vikramaditya but is not sure what will happen. He desperately needed the support of the landed gentry around the Chola heartlands. But, they are offended by Ramanuja. And besides, there are Saivite-Vaishnavite riots happening everywhere. He is in a fix now. He need to pacify both the traditional Gentry and Saivites. There is merit in Ramanuja’s arguments, but he knows that Ramanuja’s actions in Srikurmam, Simhachalam, Tirumala and Jambukeshwaram has made the Saivites very angry. So, he decided to remove Ramanuja from the picture – punish him for some reason or the other and exile him. When the soldiers came to pick Ramanuja, Kuruttalavan sensed something is amiss and placed himself as Ramanuja. The king wanted an excuse. He wrote There is nothing greater than Siva and asked the one whom he is thinking as Ramanuja to write it again. But, he didn’t expect the answer – the answer he saw was, Siva is big, but Drona is bigger – Kuruttalavan changed the meaning of the word Siva from the Supreme Lord to Siva, a vessel. How dare he mock the king of the area? Doesn’t Vaikhanasa and even Pancharatra tell that king is the personification of Lord Vishnu on earth? In anger, he ordered both Kuruttalavan and Periya Nambi, who accompanied him to be blinded. The old Periya Nambi died of the injuries. May be, he took back the harsh order and ordered their banishment from Srirangam? Periya Nambi died of fatigue and was cremated. Ramanuja got a whiff of this but didn’t know what happened. He decided to cross the border. Kulottunga didn’t want Ramanuja’s blood on his hands – Ramanuja left his kingdom on his own accord, that’s more than enough. As a bargain for Ramanuja leaving, he asked for repair of Rajamahendra Chaturvedi Mangalam which the local nobles refused because it’s a Pancharatra temple. Kulottunga forgot about Ramanuja in due time. But, Ramanuja was not to forget him or his kingdom. When Melukote Selvanarayana idol was found, Ramanuja wanted a priest from Srirangam. He asked Hoyasala Vishnuvardhana to send an embassy to Kulottunga for this. Though an enemy, he had to do it for his teacher. An embassy went and Kulottunga sent a priest. Two things happened – Kulottunga remembered Ramanuja and decided to crush the lobby opposing him. Ramanuja learnt of what happened to Kuruttalavan and Periya Nambi. He swore revenge and prayed to Lord Narasimha. Kulottunga started to fall ill and sensed his end is near. He decided to settle his affairs. When his uncle Vijayaditya passed away, Kulottunga appointed Vikrama to the throne of Vengi. Vikrama was brought back and a major coronation ceremony was arranged for him. The king of Kanyakubja attended the ceremony, the king of Kamboja sent a precious gift. It was pomp and gaiety everywhere. Ramanuja was recalled. May be, Lord Narasimha was benevolent enough on Kulottunga. Kulottunga’s line ended in his kingdom Vengi, meaning what Tyagesa heard in Srikurmam over end of kingdom was not wrong. Kulottunga was cured because he didn’t torment Ramanuja deliberately. But, he entered the annals as Krimikantha. Kulottunga personally gave control of Srirangam to Ramanuja. He slowly turned a recluse and passed away some ten years after that.

Intellectual Dishonesty and Lost Arguments – A Discussion over Non-Vegetarianism and How it Spun Off into a Caste Based Atrocity Narrative

I was having an interesting discussion yesterday, which, being unpalatable to the person with whom I was discussing, led to me being blocked by her on Twitter. That, this discussion is still on her mind can be seen from this single tweet. As is my practice, I will shade out all the names except mine.

image001

And what’s the necessity to put this as an article? There are two main reasons

  1. Information
  2. Intellectual dishonesty of tagging a person whom you have blocked and selectively quoting him

So how do these discussions go, generally?
They post something, you counter them, and when you are winning the argument, simply block. No. There is no acceptance of defeat. Just block.
Now, what was this all about?
The discussion was all about extolling the virtues of having non-vegetarian food. I will be giving the screenshots on and off, but this is the general direction of the discussion –

X: West is nutritious because they eat non-vegetarian. Let’s not impose vegetarianism on our kids.
Myself: Somalia, Pakistan and South Sudan have more access to non-vegetarian than India. Does that make their children more healthy than Indian?

image002

X: Wanting to eat vs not being able to eat vs not allowed to eat. India is all about not being able to eat and not allowed to eat.
Myself: How have you decided that a majority of Indians eat meat? Can you get me statistics on these parameters?

image004image006

X: There are NIN and other reports which say meat is better.
Myself: Consider the below NIN report. Meat is not mandatory. Where do we stand, then?
There is one pet peeve. X is angry Akshaya Patra refused to include eggs into it’s menu.

image008

The desperation to prove the validity of the argument.

image010

And then, the eventuality. Notice, the sentence starts with lower case.

image011

And blocked.

image013

Parallel Track:
An evangelist this time, who decided to join the discussion.
My original tweet: Vegetarians get their energy from dal and rice
X: Who produces them? Those who produce give these better quality things to others to eat
Myself: Not all of them are non vegetarian. There are vegetarian farmers and diary farmers as well. Whether he is a farmer or a teacher, everyone has his role to play.
And the atrocity narrative starts.
X: There is no division of labour. What we have is lack of dignity and discrimination. Check with the producers if you want to know more.(and a parallel track over communism).
Myself: Caste atrocity, what you want to call is present in all the religions, whatever it is.
X: There are 3 rape attempts against Dalit women already in India.
Myself: Which religion Dalits are they? And rape happened because of caste or just that you included caste into that?
X shares a case of Devadasi exploitation
I share a case of exploitation of nuns. Technically, they are no different than any Devadasi. And then, I share the troubles Dalit priests are facing in church.
X is unhinged.
X: But, why are you bringing religion into this?
Myself: The reality is you don’t want to accept caste is a problem in every religion. Try to give a holistic solution, don’t look for caste or religion into this. The two main reasons for reconversion from christianity into Hinduism is Tithe and Caste atrocities.

image015image017image018

Selected Quotes:

image019

image020

image022

The only sensible thing in the whole discussion was this little bit.

image024

This is the outcome of the discussion

  1. Is non-vegetarian food mandatory? No
  2. Is govt able to address the nutritional issues with vegetarian food in community meals? Yes
  3. Is a private individual banned from eating food of his choice(within legal permits)? No
  4. Is caste unique to Hinduism? No
  5. Is there caste hierarchy and atrocity in other religions? Yes

These sort of narratives commonly fail due to two reasons –

  1. When you are armed with data and are ready to challenge
  2. When the problems which are projected as unique to Hinduism are commonly seen in other religions as well.

Honorary Mentions:

Discussion:

image025

Selected Quote:

image032

Actual discussion:

I have just replied Brahmins exist even in Christianity.

image033

Context: Origin of Caste System in India(linking to an older tweet thread)

Question:

image028

Reply:

image030