Hinduism under the pretext of Valmiki Jayanti

Valmiki Jayanti

The Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh’s saffron party has decided to celebrate Valmiki-Jayanti (31 October) at the government level in each district to compensate for the political loss caused by the Hathras incident. The order issued by the state government’s chief secretary, RK Tiwari to the divisional commissioners and district officials, states that along with other programs at sites and temples related to Maharishi Valmiki, lamp lighting, lamp-donation and continuous eight , Twelve or twenty four hours recitation of Valmiki-Ramayana and a program of bhajan etc. should also be done. Surely it is such a vicious trick to woo Valmikis, who shoots two targets with one stone. The first target is that the Adi poet Valmiki, who is regarded as a cleaning worker or a scavenger community as his god, though it has been imposed on him by the RSS itself, will be happy with the decision of the Yogi government that the government should give so much respect to their god It has been, while this government had ended Valmiki-Jayanti holiday. The second goal is that through this event, the work of scavengers will be linked to RSS Hindutva. The text of Ramayana means the recitation of the story of Rama and Ravana, that is, to tell that Vishnu himself was born as Rama and killed the anti-religious Ravana and other Rakshas (demons). Then they will be told that the scavenger community is the protector of religion, the protector of society and the protector of the nation. They will not be told that the scavenger community should also come into the mainstream of development by becoming doctors, engineers and professors, and for this they need to leave the dirty profession of scavenging and become well educated.

Yogi knows very well what is the situation in the education of Valmiki community? They also know that in the name of government job, only the post of scavenging worker in municipalities is for them. The broom itself has been their destiny. Are they for this destiny? Do they not have the right to be highly educated? The BJP provided a separate reservation for them, because by doing this it cleverly separated the scavenging workers from the Dalits who are Ambedkarites, so that they too do not become Ambedkarites. But the BJP government did not take any step towards the development of their education. But why? When they will not have education, is the provision of separate reservation not to fool them?

What are the unbroken recitations and hymns of the Ramayana? What do they mean? Is this not the same type of ‘hang’ as in the decades after independence, Brahmins created a new hang called ‘Kirtan’ to strengthen the roots of their religion, i.e. Brahmanism. I remember, this kirtan was also done in our colony. My age was ten or twelve years old then. It was an uneducated colony, so I also liked kirtan. Yesterday, in the house of Jagdish, today in our house, then this kirtan used to happen in Ramlal’s house the day before. Why did this happen? It was not my age to know the implications of this. But when I read Chandrikaprasad Jigyasu’s book ‘Ishwar and His Guddes’ in 1975, I understood why the Brahmins took the hang of this Kirtan? If there is a revolution against Brahminism in any of the constituents of the Dalit classes, then Brahminism becomes restless and immediately starts a counter-revolution to suppress it. At that time, the Brahmins feared that there would be no revolution of Dr. Ambedkar among the Dalit-backward classes, so they took the hang of the Kirtan and started an undertaking to add the Dalit classes to Hinduism. Jigyasu wrote – “There is a boom of kirtan in the whole country. City-to-city, village-to-village, home-to-home kirtan-mandalis continue from one end of the country to the other. The custom of Ghar-Ghar Kirtan and Akhand Kirtan is going on. And by making Hare Rama Hare Krishna’s rote, the shaken roots of the Brahmanshahi religious empire are strengthened by making the innocent people blind devotees of the Gudde gods of Brahmins.

However, in order to keep the Valmiki community connected with Hindutva, many RSS organizations like Bharatiya Valmiki Dharma Samaj (Bhavadhas) and Adi Dharma Samaj (Adhas) are doing equal work among them, which is working in the spirit of RSS, but some Ambedkarite organizations are also working among them, who are motivating them to give up their dirty scavenging profession, teach children and join the ideology of Dr. Ambedkar. They also teach them that Maharishi Valmiki was a Brahmin, who was a feudal poet, he has no connection with the scavenger society. They explain to them that as long as you keep Valmiki as your God, there will be no upliftment of you, so the sooner you leave Valmiki, become an Ambedkarite. Valmiki does not ask you to be educated, they just ask you to follow in the footsteps of Shri Ram, who protects Brahmins. But Dr. Ambedkar asks you to educate, agitate and organise  for their rights. As a result of this, a parallel revolution is also going on in the Mehtar community against the so-called religion being run in the name of Valmiki. After the Hathras-scandal, this Ambedkarite stream strongly polarized against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Mehtar community, which alerted the RSS, and since then became active in undertaking to keep the sweeper community connected to Hinduism. In Uttar Pradesh, celebrating Valmiki-Jayanti at government expenses in Mehtar settlements on 31 October and doing a unbroken recitation of Ramayana is under the same undertaking.

There is no objection in assuming that there should be a recitation of Valmiki’s Ramayana on Valmiki-Jayanti. But the objection is on why the recitation of Ramayana should be in the Mehtar settlements itself. Why is this recitation not happening in the Hindu colonies of the upper castes? Is it only the scavenger community that needs Ramayana recitation? There are many other castes among the Dalits, but what is the reason that the Dalit love of the RSS and the BJP is manifesting on the sweepers? Is it because other Dalit castes do not consider Valmiki as God? Or because they don’t do the scavenging occupation? Obviously, upper caste Hindus need scavengers, to clean toilets, to clear roads, and to clean sewers and gutters? India is the only country in the world, where cleaning of gutters is done by scavengers, the way they enter and clean them is life-threatening and till now several hundred people have died by entering the gutter. In other countries, gutter cleaning is done by machines, but in India, scavengers are made to work because the machine is expensive, while the scavenger is a very cheap labour, whose death is not even the responsibility of the government. Therefore, it is very important for the Caste-Hindus to remain uneducated and poor of the Mehtar community, because they can get out of the Hindu fold by being educated.

It is time for introspection for the people of our Valmiki community, especially the educated. Does the recitation of Ramayana need them? Will listening to the recitation of Ramayana solve their social and economic problems? How long will they ignore their problems? Do they want to be scavengers for generation to generation? If not, think about what they need for a better future — broom or education? If they want to make a better future for themselves and their future generations, then abandon the broom, and adopt education. In every situation, teach your children, do not put them in dirty profession.

I will also appeal to my Dalit brothers to stop going to the Shakhas’ of the RSS. This is not your friendly organization, but an organization that ruins you and your future. It is an organization of Brahmins, working to establish a Hindu state in India. The aim of this organization is to strengthen the Brahmin religion based on Varna-system and destroy its opponents. Its opponents are Christians and Muslims, against whom it incites hatred among Dalits. People come out of the Sangh Shakhas not as humans, but as communal goons attacking against Christians and Muslims. It is also important to keep in mind that the RSS is also primarily an anti-Dalit organization. It is strongly opposed to the education of Dalits, their reservation and their economic uplift. As long as Valmiki society is not free from the net of RSS, it cannot develop itself independently.

Kanwal Bharati is a political commentator



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