The Land Without Atheism

The Land Without Atheism

Tamil Nadu is perhaps the only land where there is no atheism! This divine land sports tens of thousands of ancient Temples (44,121 belonging to different time periods, according to government figures) and many other later-day ones. It encompasses eventful places of the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. It is the historical hub of many a spiritual phenomenon. It is the birthplace of sixty-three Nayanmars and twelve Azhwars, who spearheaded what we now refer to as the Bakthi Movement, and carried Bhakthi to every nook and cranny. It is also the land of Ramana Maharishi, Shri Ramanujar, and Siddars. Likewise, there are innumerable forms of theistic insignia to glorify this land. Nevertheless, any presumption that the absence of atheism is attributable to any of those theistic highlights might be misleading because, on the basis of belief in God, the people here could be classified into two broad categories — the the  ists and the pseudo-atheists.

This pseudo-atheism lends itself smoothly to a variety of distortions; no matter how much, or how many times, or in how many ways it is bent, it never breaks! It is probably this trait that makes it all the easier to embrace. Formulated by E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker (EVR), and promptly embraced by prominent leaders like M. Karunanithi, K. Veeramani, and others, it censures all the sanctified ideals of the land, and celebrates the imported, or foisted ones, without so much as a question. In other words, all its repulsive pronouncements are directed squarely at Hinduism, while all other religions remain recipients of its adulatory affirmations. Interestingly, the ideals which the Dravidian intellectuals vilify are the selfsame ideals which their own ancestors have venerated for generations, right down to the immediately preceding one. This pseudo-atheism and “discerning intellect,” which purports to eradicate superstition, constitute the bedrock of the Dravidian ideology, built upon falsification and hatred.

To do justice to EVR, one must acknowledge his accomplishments as a multifaceted personality!

* As an atheist, he prided himself on blaspheming Hindu deities, rituals, scriptures, observances, and practices. He basked in breaking Lord Ganesh idols, and organizing Ravanleela.

* As a social reformer, he kept flirting with harlots, and while on his overseas tours, he attended the nudist club.

* As a liberator of women, he traumatized his wife from going to temples by having a group of philanderers accost her inside a Temple. Further, he coerced his wife into supplying food for his band of harlots and fellow philanderers whenever they were out on their lecherous expeditions. He unabashedly advocated adultery and debauchery. Not to stop with that, he passed a party resolution demanding that such acts be legitimized under the constitution. He reviled the “Thali” (Mangal Suthra) calling it a “symbol of women enslavement,” and demanded the repeal of this custom. Thali-snapping conventions are being organized even today (by Veeramani and others) from time to time. However, they snap the Thali of only the other women, never of their own women folk! To top it all, EVR married his foster daughter, Maniammai, younger by nearly 40 years, an outrage which raised hackles even along the party lines.

* As a caste-eradicator, he called for the eradication of Brahmins, and displayed uncovered apathy toward Dalits. When around 44 Dalits, including women and children, were burnt alive by feudal landlords, near Nagapattinam, in 1968, instead of condemning the act, or at least expressing condolence, he criticized the victims for demanding higher wages saying, “They should learn to live within their means.” If those landlords had been Brahmins, or if the victims had not been Dalits, he would have probably reversed his stand, and put the criticism and compassion in their right places. He is often compared with Dr. Ambedkar. But at the rudimentary level, his views and those of Ambedkar’s are like parallel lines that never meet. In one instance, he even alleged that Dr. Ambedkar had received a bribe from Brahmins during the negotiations for reservations — one shot, two birds.

* As an economist, he observed, “Cloth price has gone up because the Pariah-caste women have started wearing jackets.” And as an educationist, he warned, “If Dalits become literates, unemployment will rise.”

* As a patriot, he owed allegiance to the British, and wanted the British rule to continue. When that was not to be, he implored the British Queen to rule India from England. Anyway, the last thing he would tolerate was a free India, with Tamil Nadu being a part of it. Therefore, as a freedom fighter, he fought for a sovereign Dravidanadu. To this end, he exhorted the British and sought the help of Mohammed Ali Jinnah only to be snubbed by both. Even to this day, the idea of a separate dominion lies entrenched in the Dravidian ranks, and keeps creating ruckus, now and then, in various forms.

* Finally, as a way to self-appeasement, in separate instances, he passed a party resolution demanding the abrogation of the Supreme Court and made a clarion call for declaring August 15 as a “Day of Mourning!”

However, in his living days, EVR had much stronger opposition than support. He was severely criticized by every single prominent leader of his day; Karunanithi — until he became or was close to becoming the Chief Minister — was far from prominence. Even among the masses, EVR’s thin line of followers were only those who would flock to him in spite of his despicable views, in spite of his habitual tantrums, and in spite of his trademark announcement, “I want only fools!” Whatever fame he is credited with, is but a posthumous attribution, which he owes to his disciples, idolizers, and hagiographers — mostly to Karunanithi, less to Veeramani, and still less to a bunch of attention seekers. Being highly insightful and equally insensitive, they spoke and wrote volumes of eulogy shot through with downright lies, unfounded claims, and contaminated truth (more dangerous) to popularize EVR, and his Dravidianism. Karunanithi ensured the preponderance of these written accounts in all the state libraries. In many libraries, hardly a material could be seen on Tamil Nadu bereft of Dravidianism. Further, all this was thrust into the mainstream education of the Tamil Nadu state syllabus. Every question paper prepared by the state would mandatorily contain questions on this section; from the students’ angle, focusing on this section would mean a sure shot at marks. Thus, the young, impressionable minds were indoctrinated with this Dravidian delusion. Even the TNPSC exams could not escape such questions. By this, they made it impossible for the students to get out of this delusion even after they come out of school or college. Besides all this, they made the most out of newspapers, magazines, banners, posters, stage plays, movies, and whatnot to drag into their fold, the young and the old, the literate and the illiterate — people from all walks of life!

Further, they have the uncanny knack of lifting the credit for others’ sweat, blood, and toil. For instance, Avinashi Lingam, the former Education Minister, and Kamarajar, the former Chief Minister were instrumental in making education accessible to the under-privileged children. But later the DMK, with power in hand, promptly put the Dravidian label on it. To this day, there is a large group of people who are living under the grateful impression that it was because of the Dravidian movement that they were privileged to some decent education which gave them some decent standard of living, all of which would have otherwise been stymied by the Brahmins! If the educated ones could be conned into such thoughts, what kind of glowing thoughts would the rest be prone to? The one thing that the real benefactors failed to do was give themselves airs. In a public meeting, when a subordinate uttered a couple of words in praise of Kamarajar, he at once thundered, “Enough, cut it out I said; come straight to the point!” Those leaders and benefactors — not only Kamarajar or Avinashi Lingam, but also the others like Kakkan or Rajaji, for instance — belonged to the old school of taught that strictures even accepting praise, leave alone asking for it. Morally lofty but politically inane, this bent of mind of theirs came as a blessing in disguise to the Dravidian leaders. Thus, when it came to publicity, it was not a tussle at all, but a mutually complementary interplay between self-effacing humility and all-absorbing rapacity!

In the absence of, or in addition to the other things with which to make their presence felt, the Dravidians have always taken to pseudo-atheism like duck to water. They would spread scurrilous propaganda against Sacred Scriptures, and Brahmins. To give just an outline without any exaggeration, they would reject Lord Shri Ram as a fictitious character invented by Brahmins but would hail Ravan as a great Tamil king of the past, who was martyred by the “Sanskrit-speaking, wicked” Raman! On similar lines, Lord Shri Krishna was a fiction, or a promiscuous character while Khamsa and the others were real-life martyrs! Those are only some random samples of the “intellectual” propaganda, while the profanities are too egregious to describe. They would stage plays with indescribably profaned versions of the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. Those playwrights would be felicitated, among themselves (not by any university), with coveted titles as poets and literary geniuses. And there would be a rat race for such titles — the more profane the script, the quicker and the higher the recognition. The hypnotized audience would be tricked into taking their version as true over whatever it had learnt perchance through hearsay and would obviously become infuriated against the Brahmins who had “twisted the tale!” Further, as a novel way to slight Brahmins, they would convene a gathering, perform a mock ceremony, and confer the Sacred Thread upon a pig. However, such ceremonies fizzled out following the retort, “Is it a proclamation of their own identities, since it is the father who performs the Sacred Thread ceremony for his son?”

Karunanithi, the obedient disciple of EVR, and five-non-successive-term Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu reveled and abetted in all his Mentor’s convulsions. No sooner had he risen to power, than he started unleashing terror on Brahmins. Thuggery or hooliganism, to these Dravidian mercenaries, is not the last resort, but the first, and they do not know of a second! Tamil Nadu became a spectacle of lynching of Brahmins, and depredation of Brahmin homes and properties. In short, Karunanithi became the pioneer to promote state-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan would be better off learning from this great master! He introduced the liquor culture in Tamil Nadu, squashing the earnest pleas of Rajaji, with whose support the DMK first tasted power. Along with prohibition, he lifted the erstwhile stigma on drinking, and elevated it from a lowly, shameful status to one of pride and style. Since then, the prime attraction to the public meetings of the Dravidian outfits, attended by huge throngs, has been liquor, biriyani, and some cash. On special occasions, these will be supplemented with dance performances of skimpily clad “beauties!”

Subsequent to the demise of EVR, he raised statues of his mentor in front of Temples and Mutts, besides other places. While his mentor was always brash in his traducements of Hinduism, this disciple was both brash and subtle, yet always incisive. When the proposition of providing electric supply for temples came up under his chiefministership, he inquired, “Why do you need electric lamps? Will the halo of your gods not provide illumination to the temples?” In the Ram Sethu issue, he argued, “Who is this Raman? Where is the proof that he built a bridge? Was he a civil engineer? Which university did he graduate from?” He scandalized Sacred Scriptures. He kept calling Lord Shri Krishna a lecher and a womaniser. However, he would inveigle himself into the affections of Muslims and Christians. This “atheist” would take part in Ramadan celebrations, wear the Islamic cap, and drink the porridge. He would openly applaud Islamic and Christian theistic practices. He would lavish greetings during their festive occasions but would never move his lips except to lambast during Hindu festivals. “Holiday Greetings” has become a get-away catch phrase for his descendants and followers today, to say something perfunctorily, but not give greetings to Hindus. Speaking at an Islamic wedding, his son Stalin commented that unlike in Islamic weddings, in Hindu weddings, people shed tears (jibing at Homam). Karunanithi’s daughter Kanimozhi wondered why they need security guards around the Hundial (the receptacle for offerings) in the Thirumala Temple, “Can the Lord not protect it?”

Besides the religious tantrums they keep throwing, the mental makeup of the DK and the DMK can be seen to reflect in all the words and actions of both the leaders and the followers. On one occasion, Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, made an official trip to Sri Lanka, to hold bilateral discussions with Sirimovo Bandaranaike, his Sri Lankan counterpart. This event attracted the comment, “He (Nehru) is a widower, and she (Bandaranaike) is a widow. They both shut themselves in a room for two hours. Imagine what should have happened!” Such a comment was shot not by just an anonymous, demented party fanatic, but by the intellectual Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Karunanithi himself. On another occasion, when Indira Gandhi was seen with blood stains due to some injury on her forehead, as a result of some mob violence during her visit to Tamil Nadu, the same Chief Minister blurted out that it must be menstrual blood…. These are just a few glimpses of the kind of thought process, and the quality of expression that identify the Dravidian lot. If the leader of the party and the head of the state, or their publications are capable of making such statements, what will a follower at the street level not be capable of doing? That is the class of people they are. Their vitriolic tirades on Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and the other national and Tamil Nadu leaders seem to outweigh the ones stated above in every respect. For all this, they claim to possess political refinement, and criticize their opponents for the lack of it! These Dravidians constitute a cult of moral turpitude and social degeneration gleefully oblivious to dignity, culture, civility, morality, and every single virtuous ideal? On the top of it, they criticize the Brahmins for vitiating the Tamil culture; they claim Tamil Nadu to be the land of EVR. Is this the Sacred Tamil culture? By what standards can this Dravidian model designed by EVR, and glorified and diversified by his disciples be called any culture at all? If this model were to be passed off as the Tamil culture, what impression would an outsider get of this venerable land? Is it not a crying shame? Leave alone what they do to Brahmins, are they not doing criminal injustice to the entire Tamil community? Are these Dravidian spearheads not burying alive, the true, timeless Tamil culture known for its rectitude, uprightness, morality, selflessness, sacrifice, self-restraint, spirituality, and suchlike ethereal virtues preserved and nurtured by generations after generations of the highly civilised Tamil societies? This Dravidianism is a curse which has held Tamil Nadu under its crushing spell for nearly 70 years. The real Tamil Nadu can manifest itself with all its pristine glory and splendour only when this curse is lifted from the memories of the land. Jai Hind!

Featured Image: The Hindu

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