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Religion is the fundamental basis on which Indian civilization was created. The Aryan invasion took place along with it all the oppressed tribes of our own country became more bound to follow them, yet what stood the same for both of them is the belief of a/many superior power/s. The politics of India has been running on the spine of religion right from the time of the Vedas. It cannot be denied that even the most secular preachers of India played the card of religion to garner votes from minority and majority. From the angry Hanuman to the divisive ideology of a cynical Rama, every time we see communities dividing we can only blame it on the men and women who believed the game of religion is detached from politics.

During the pre independence era, the country stood on a dividing platform with Hindus and Muslims believing some bigots, who took the charge to divide India, involved in the freedom movement. The most influential man has been Savarkar along with the Hindu Mahasabha, who stood firmly for a Hindu nation. Even before that, the movement of freedom saw some cracks on it for not being led by leaders with good idea of the soul of this nation, we now call as the base of humanity and our society. We then saw the evolution of a merciful Rama of Gandhi with peace as the main objective. Some may find that the involvement of religious deity in the movement became the inception of religious hatred, but that would be wrong. India has its tradition and culture rooted in its diverse religion. Gandhi understood it and he sang “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram”, to unite the masses with a Rama who believes in unity, mercy, peace and harmony. The soft spoken Gandhi established the Rama who was sung by a Moslem. His Rama had the essence of truth and freedom in him. I do believe that Rama should not be followed but we cannot deny that religion and its epics are just good pieces of literature and it is on us about how we mould its characters to reach the masses.

Gandhi was a man of the masses, for the masses and made by the masses. His Rama does not stand for lynching or to hate the non Hindus. His Rama does not stand against love. It is strange how the root is so pure yet the branches are so sickly bigoted. When Amjad Ali Khan plays “Vaishnav Jana To”, the Vaishnava in it does not stand against all the non Vaishnavas. When Bismillah Khan declared “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” as the soul of musical India, the Rama in it did not call him an anti national. Rama is the character of an excellent piece of Indian literature which we now call an epic. He is not real, yet he is worshipped. He did not live in Ayodhya, or he never wanted a Ram Mandir. It depends on us about how we want Ram to be. For us, he can be the most hate filled master who’s responsible for the death of Moslems, or he can be the Rama of Gandhi who accepted people of every religion to equally participate in the struggle for freedom. An Abul Kalam Azad ate from the same plate Gandhi had lunch upon. Yes, he is an elite or he belongs from the richly powerful upper section of Indian society, but here’s a man who sacrificed his desires to have a reformation of the nation ruled by a colonial force.

The Ram we know today has crossed all the limits of hatred. His followers have nothing to be sorry about. They lynch, murder, rob, rape, force in the name of the lord they believe supports them. We do say that the country should have complete eradication of religion, I too believe that, but it isn’t possible when the soul itself is deeply religious and that too in a progressive manner. We have Kama Sutra which preaches sexuality, Vedas which does not stop anyone from being an omnivore and doesn’t teach the Brahminian philosophy, Upanishads which call for being a questioning individual, all of them are molecules of the deeply rich culture we are so proud of. The nation has endured all the invasions with the philosophy the country stores in it. Here, Gandhi didn’t play the card of religion to rule over the masses, rather he made them understand how the same religion teaches the philosophy of peace.

The ones from the Hindutva believing community have ruined the Hinduism the country forever preserved in it. I agree Rama was an Aryan and the Asura hatred is deeply conjuring and should be modified. But how well we think about the difference between the Ram of Gandhi and Hindu Mahasabha? It is easy to call Gandhi a Fascist or to see Ram of Gandhi as the root of bigotry because the progressive ones hardly know India in its most pure essence. It is essential to find Rama , who believed in peace and harmony. He can be anywhere, in any corner, in any person without any kind of indication of being there, we just have to understand by having him among us. Gandhi was killed by Godse, for being secular. His Ram too was a secular. It is time to have a clear idea about what we want. Gandhi didn’t fight for a mandir or masjid. He didn’t give order to his followers to lynch anyone who eats beef or is by birth or choice a non Hindu. The idea of India is what we see in the idea of Gandhi. We just have to add our own ideas like pepper. Secularism should prevail. Gandhi should not die with his Ram being manhandled by the rightists. Ram wasn’t a good husband. Neither Gandhi was. Everyone knows that. But to say the Ram of Gandhi is the root of fascism is the indication to read Gandhi more than ever.

Kabir Deb is a published writer and poet. Born in Haflong and completed his Masters on Life Sciences from Assam University. His work has been published from different national and international magazine like Different bTruths, Counter Currents, Reviews, Cafe Dissensus, Spillwords magazine and his works rely on political activisvm. He recently won the Reuel International Poetry Prize in 2019. His debut book is now available in stores.


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One Comment

  1. Nice explanations.

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