It is the reflection of level of democracy in India that we are reducing to the level whether somebody is wearing a Janeu ( sacred thread) or not. The sacred thread which the brahmanical leadership of this country if proud of flaunting today is nothing but a mischief by the priestly class. Though it is the fundamental right of an individual to visit temples but it seems the Hindutva party has been terribly upset with Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the temples. When you are Neta in India, you have to do all the dramas to keep the people faithful to you. People should know that there have been social movements to break the Janeu culture which is the exclusive domain of the brahmanical elite of swarana Hindus. It is a symbol of oppression and discrimination in India and must be discarded.
Rahul Gandhi is not Jawahar Lal Nehru and today’s time is not of that of 1950s when the young nation was waiting to get into the modern world leaving aside the small differences on the basis of their castes. The leaders, even if they were in opposition, actually were respectful and civilised in their debates. Today, with criminalisation of politics, corruption everywhere and the PR men masquerading as journalists, the scenario is bleak and disturbing.
After independence, Sardar Patel wanted Somnath temple to be made on state exchequer and was equally supported by the then President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad but the Prime Minister Nehru opposed the move on the ground that religion is a personal matter and state should not get indulged into it. So when Somnath temple was being built on state exchequer, it was not an appeasement. Now government doing so much to appease the Janeudharis yet that is not called as appeasement of the Savarnas.
Frankly speaking, Congressés media managers are or those who are guiding Rahul Gandhi are out of the modernity. Rahul Gandhi may not know all these rituals like any one of us who dont believe in them but to project him a very religious Hindu is a dangerous ploy. If Janeu or ‘sacred thread’ is the only quality of being a Hindu then a majority of its population have no rights to wear it. It is the rights of the ‘twice born” or Dwijas only and non-dwijas have got no right to wear it. The Dwijas, twice born or Savarnas amount to less than 5% of India’s population. I dont know why these parties are so conscious of the thread issue which must be discarded. It is symbolic to the discrimination based on birth of the varnashram dharma.
We know well that the Hindutva protagonists would always come back to their favorite topic of religion in Gujarat. When development failed then rake up the religious issues. You are unable to bring Pakistan so far or Islamic terror so bring the appeal of Archbishop in Gujarat who asked people to vote for secular candidates unlike the shameless way Swaminarayan temple priests asked to vote for Narendra Modi and BJP. The election commission so far has not made its credible by issuing notice to Swaminarayan temple spiritual leader but were quick to send notice to the Archbishop.
The problem with Gujarat is over religiosity of people. As Gujarat will get polarised on the basis of caste identities, the upper caste dominance will be threatened. The caste forces have used these tricks always so even if BJP lose or Congress comes to power, they must remain under pressure to anoint an upper caste leader as the leader of the Assembly or Chief Minister.
BJP’s desperations are visible and they are told to shout loud and communalise the atmosphere everywhere. Dont allow others to speak at the discussions and other programmes. For Ram mandir, tell the world, the courts dont matter or if any judgement has to come, it has to ‘respect’ Hindu sentiments. Congress is ill equipped to deal with it. Rahul Gandhi’s brahmanical advisers are unable to put the people’s agenda to them and asking questions. They should have continue to speak on developmental issues asking difficult questions. Visiting temples was not that important but we can understand the compulsions of politics but that is not a great idea. Gandhis are under attack for their religiosity or Hinduness. It would stupid for any one to think that they were not brahmins or Hindus. Sanghis must realise that Indian media, bureaucracy and perhaps public mindset is still brahmanical and therefore Nehru’s being Brahmin became an asset for his assuming leadership of India. This country will always be used by the caste Hindus and their different strategies unless we get counter narratives.
The controversy related to Somnath temple visit of Rahul Gandhi shows BJP’s desperate attempt to communalise the voters. At the end of the day, the Hindutva people are now propagating unashamedly that India’s top leadership will only come from the Hindus and that too the Dwija or Janeudhari variety. It has a clear message that the Dalit, OBCs, Adivasis, Muslims, Christians and others cant claim to the top position in India even if they have been naturalised Indian citizens.
Just a few days back Canadian Prime Minister apoligised to the Indigenous people of his country for histroic wrongs. Yesterday, Justin Trudeau was making statement in Parliament on LGBT rights and again saying sorry to them shows how the western world grew up. It has the capacity to integrate the things and say sorry. The arrogant brahmanical leadership, the twice born Janeudharis have perpetuated enormous harm and humiliation to India’s indigenous people such as Adivasis, Dalits and shudras and yet their shame and arrogance growing each day for all the misdeeds of the past and justifying their vilifying acts. Congress party will not be able to get the support of these wider sections who have been socially ostracised and isolated by the imported Dwija culture of the twice born. Mr Rahul Gandhi, please understand, there is no need to wear the sacred or secret thread as it is only worn by the twice born who are a miniscule minority. Even if you wanted to flaunt your Hinduness, Janeu is not the right thing. It symbolise the caste and discriminatory culture of the priestly class that oppressed and humiliated the vast Bahujan masses of India.
In the meanwhile, we hope the people of Gujarat will vote according to ‘developmental’ agenda and not fall in the vicious trap of Mandir, Masjid, Janue, Choti or skull cap. Politics need to move beyond symbolism and face the realities of lives.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: email@example.com