Author Archives: surenderknt

Pope denies St. Thomas evangelised South India – Ishwar Sharan

Pope Benedict XVI’s statement on September 27, 2006 during a public audience, that the apostle St. Thomas only reached as far as North-West India—today’s Pakistan—was factually correct and reflected the statements of the Early Church Fathers and the geography of the Acts of Thomas. That the Pope’s minders changed his statement the next day on the Vatican website, to include South India in Thomas’s travels, is no surprise to us. Telling lies for Jesus and his Vicar in Rome are also very much part of Catholic Church tradition and history. – Ishwar Sharan

On 27 September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI made a speech in St. Peter’s Square at Vatican City in which he recalled an ancient St. Thomas tradition. He said that “Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia and then penetrated as far as western India, from where Christianity also reached South India”.[1] This statement greatly upset the Indian bishops in Kerala, and as it was perceived to be a direct violation of the beliefs of many Indian Christians, it was brought to the attention of the Pope’s editors and amended the next day on the Vatican’s website to read that St. Thomas himself had reached South India. G. Ananthakrishnan’s article “Thomas’s visit under doubt” in the Times of India, 26 December 2006, reads:

His reluctance to believe what fellow disciples said about Jesus Christ’s resurrection earned him the name Doubting Thomas. Centuries later, St Thomas—believed to be the man who brought Christianity to India—finds himself in the shadow of ‘doubt’ with none other than the Pope contradicting his evangelical trek in the country, only to modify it a few days later. But far from dousing the fire, the Pope has rekindled a debate and given critics an issue on the platter.

Pope Benedict XVI made the statement at the Vatican on September 27, 2006. Addressing the faithful during the Wednesday catechises, he recalled that St. Thomas first evangelised Syria and Persia, and went on to western India from where Christianity reached Southern India. The import of the statement was that St. Thomas never travelled to south India, but rather evangelised the western front, mostly comprising today’s Pakistan.

Knowingly or unknowingly, he had in one stroke challenged the basis of Christianity in India and demolished long-held views of the Church here that St Thomas landed in Kerala, where he spread the gospel among Hindus. The comments were especially a letdown for the Syrian Christians of Kerala, who proudly trace their ancestry to upper-caste Hindus said to have been evangelized by St Thomas upon his arrival in 52 AD.

The comments went unnoticed until Sathya-Deepam, the official mouthpiece of the Syro-Malabar church, picked it up. Writing in it, George Nedungat, a member of the Oriental Pontifical Institute of Rome, conveyed the community’s anguish and claimed that previous popes had recognised St. Thomas’s work in south India.

The Pope’s original statement given out at St. Peter’s, before it was amended on the Vatican website, was factually correct and reflected the geography of the Acts of Thomas, i.e. Syria, Parthia (Persia/Iran) and Gandhara (Afghanistan, North-West Pakistan). There is no historical evidence to support the tradition that St. Thomas came to South India, and on 13 November 1952 Vatican officials sent a message to Kerala Christians stating that the landing of St. Thomas at Muziris (Cranganore now Kodungallur) on 21 November 52 AD was “unverified”. When this writer sought confirmation of the 1952 Vatican statement in 1996, the Vatican’s reply was disingenuous and non-committal. The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints said that he needed more information and that the life of St. Thomas was the object of historical research and not within his congregation’s competence.[2]

Earlier, in 1729, the Bishop of Madras-Mylapore had doubted whether the tomb in San Thome Cathedral was that of St. Thomas and wrote to the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Rome for clarification. Rome’s reply was never published and we may assume it was a negative reply. Again, in 1871 the Roman Catholic authorities at Madras were “strong in disparagement of the special sanctity of the localities [viz. San Thome, Little Mount, and Big Mount identified by the Portuguese after 1517] and the whole story connecting St. Thomas with Mailapur.” However, in 1886 Pope Leo XIII stated in an apostolic letter that St. Thomas “travelled to Ethiopia, Persia, Hyrcania and finally to the Peninsula beyond the Indus”, and in 1923 Pope Pius XI quoted Pope Leo’s letter and identified St. Thomas with “India”. These papal statements also reflect the geography of the Acts of Thomas, as does Pope Benedict’s statement, and make no reference to South India. In fact, the India they refer to is now Pakistan.

Pope John Paul II visited India twice in 1986 and 1999 and prayed at the alleged tomb of St. Thomas in San Thome Cathedral, but, like St. Francis Xavier before him, he had nothing to say about St. Thomas’s visit to South India or Mylapore in the first century. This is a curious omission on the Pope’s part in that he was an ardent missionary who openly promoted the evangelising of India and Asia, and a statement from him confirming a visit by St. Thomas to South India would have certainly supported his agenda and that of his Indian bishops.

1. As quoted in Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, of 23 November 2006, under the title “Pope angers Christians in Kerala”.

2. Our letter to the Prefect, Sacred Congregation of Rites, Vatican City, dated 26 August 1996, read: “I am doing research on St. Thomas in India and have learned that your office issued a letter on November 13, 1952 which stated that the landing of St. Thomas at Cranganore in 53 AD is unverified. I would like to know if in fact the said letter was issued and, if that is not the case, whether you can confirm that St. Thomas was martyred and buried in Madras. I would be most grateful if you could direct me to any authentic evidence supporting the story of St. Thomas in India.” The reply from the Prefect, Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Rome, dated 11 September 1996, read: “This Congregation for the Causes of Saints has received your letter of 26th August last in which you have asked for information regarding Saint Thomas’ presence in India. We have not found in our Archives the letter supposedly written by this Congregation on 13th November 1952, of which you speak, because of a lack of more precise data (Diocese, destination, etc.). Nor do we have other data regarding Saint Thomas since this Archive was begun in 1588. His life is the object of the research of historians which is not the particular competence of this Congregation.” This reply was a brush off. The Prefect knew what we were asking for and could have located the 1952 Vatican letter in a few minutes if he wished to.

Courtes: www.ishwarsharan.com

For more details read this book…

Sanatana dharma: Concept of Trimata

– By Sriramakrishna Turaga

Can you explain me in simple language on the concept of dvaita, visishtadvia and adviata? This is my friends question. I believe many people have this question in their mind.

There are many religions within the fold of sanatana dharma. The more popular of these are the three religions of Dvaita, Advaita and Vishishtadvaita.

Dvaitam: Dvaita sindhanta is initiated by Shri Madhvacharya and hence it is also known as Madhva matam. (13th century)

Visishtadvaitam: Vishishtadvaitam was founded by Sri Ramanujacharya. (11th century)

Advaitam: Advaita sindhanta originates from teachings of Shri Shankaracharya (8th century)

Let us try to briefly understand each of these concepts.

Dvaitam:
Dvaita sidhanta believes that both the soul and the paramatman are separate. Everything visible to the eye in creation is dependent on the invisible Paramatman Vasudeva, who is the originator of this creation.Shri Madhvacharya proposed “स्वतन्त्र्यमस्व्यंच द्ववववधम् तत्वममष्यमि” meaning Swatantram and Asvatrantram are two tatvas of this creation.

According to this, the world we see is real and so is the God who created it. They are two separate things. Almighty God is Swatantra (free of all bindings), the embodiment of Satchidananda, Sarvagnya (omniscient), sarvashaktishali (omnipotent) and sarvavyapi (omnipresent). He created the world out of joy with his leela.

While God is Swatantra, the jeevatma or soul created by him is not, but, lost is the leela of the paramatman, the Jeevatma is immersed in the notion that he is free. When the Jeevatma realizes that he is not independent and performs his Karma in complete submission to paramatman, such karma becomes nishkama karma. The fruit of such karma is not attributed to the jeevatma. Moksha can only be attained by the devotion of the jeevatma to the paramatma after attaining this self-realization.

Visishtadvaitam:
Sri Ramanujacharya in this Vedanta philosophy proposed that the jeevatma, prakruti (nature) and the paramatman are the three truths. The Paramatma (Srimannarayana) exists in conjunction with the jeevatma called ‘Chit’ and the prakruti called ‘Achit’. Jeevatam suffers the bhavabhandam (trap of materialistic world) due to its ignorance but by the grace of a sadhguru and God, the jeevatma can get closer to God and attain moksha.

Advaita:
In Advaita sidhanta, Shri Shankara Bhagavatpada proposes the concept of “ब्रह्म सत्यम् जगन्न्त्रमथ्य”. As the name suggests, that which is not Dvaita is Advaita. Sri Shankaracharya suggests that there is only one padartha (substance) in this jagat and that is the Bhrahma and the rest of the world is a myth. Moksha is when we can come out of that myth and know the Brahma padartha.

The question that arises after briefly reading about concepts of these three sidhantas is whether the Gurus rejected the teachings of the others when they proposed their respective religions? Did they not at the time know of each other’s sidhantas?

It would be wrong to say that the Gurus have rejected each other’s teachings. This is clear when we examine the respective teachings in light of the chronological timelines and prevailing situations when each of these sidhantams was conceptualised.

In 8th Century the society was mature where Vaidik knowledge was more prevalent. Hence Sri Shankaracharya introduced the direct concept of Advaita. By 11th Century the society was riddled with rigidity and not capable of appreciating high concepts and Sri Ramanujacharya introduced Visishtadvaitam. He explained that the paramatma residing in all of us and nature is same padharta. By 13th Century the society has become even more rigid and ignorant. That is when Sri Madhvacharya conceptualized the Dvaita Sidhanta to lead the society on the path of Dharma. He simplified bhakti by telling people to walk on the path of nishkama karma to reach paramatma which is separate from jeevatma. In other words, all the concepts were introduced as per the prevalent situation in the society.

The fundamental principle of the sanatana dharma are “एकं सत् ववप्राः बहुदर वदन्न्त्रत ” [meaning The truth is the same but Viprah (sages) define it in different ways or call it by different names] and “आनो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्त्रतु ववश्वताः” [meaning Let the knowledge surround us from all directions].

Sri Shankaracharya, Sri Ramanujacharya and Sri Madhvacharya were the virtuous gurus whose purpose was to guide the society on the path of dharma and they imparted teachings based on society’s maturity and ability to understand and implement. At the outset, their teaching may look different but, there is no change in their practical effect. In other words, their teaching emphasize on how one should follow the dharma marga from the time one wakes up in the morning till he falls asleep at night. The devotee may choose any of the paths laid out but once the practice matures all these paths lead to moksha.

Only a Sadguru can lead us to the path of bhakti and not the person who only claims to be a Guru. As a poet once said, if you surrender and become a disciple showing desire to learn, your yearning will show you path to knowledge and lead you to the Guru who can guide you. Swami Vivekananda’s yearning for knowledge lead him to his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

When a person realizes that he is different from his Guru and he needs to obtain knowledge from his Guru, he is in the state of Dwaita. That is to say he realizes his yearning to obtain knowledge. (ज्ञातुं)

Once a person realizes his need for knowledge and identifies the Guru who can impart the knowledge to him, he is in state of Vishishtadwaitam. (द्ष्टुम्) Knowledge cannot be attained by realizing the need for it or by identifying the Guru. The person must put to practice the teachings of the Guru, i.e. he must become the Guru. This is the stage of Advaita where there is no difference between the disciple and the Guru (प्रवेष्टुम् ).

For Moksha also we should first realise the lack of bhakti (dwaita) and search for a Guru (Vishihstadwaita), then attain Guru and become one with Guru (Adwaitam). We should grow from the state of Dvaita and join Vishishtadvaitam and then Advaitam to finally merge in Paramatma.

Do we really need to understand all the three or any of these three for moksha? Definitely not necessary. That is why even have stories of an elephant, spider, a snake attaining moksha without any of these understandings but just by pure bhakti. Ofcourse, understanding them might guide us to choose the right path for mokha but not the necessary condition. So bhakti is more important than understanding these concepts.

This is what Lord Krishna says in the Gita.

नरहं वेदैनन तपिर न दरनेन न चेज्ययर।
शक्य एवंववधो द्ष्टुं दृष्टवरनमि मरं यथर।।11.53।।
भक्त्यर त्वनन्त्रययर शक्यमहमेवंववधोऽजुनन।
ज्ञरतुं दृष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुम् च परंतप।।11.54।।

It is not possible for anyone to see my form as you are now seeing , by Vedapathanam, by tapas, by dana or by yajnya karma.But O’ Parantapa! Arjuna! Only absolute devotion can lead to knowing me (ज्ञातुं), attaining tatvajnyanam, seeing my true from (द्ष्टुम्) and becoming one with me (प्रवेष्टुम्).

Finally, you may ask which of these three practices is the best?

Some people may believe only one of them is right and other two are wrong, or since i believe in one of them will not follow the other two. Well we can leave it to their personal choice, but it negates fundamental rule of sanatan dharma

आकाशात् पतितं तोयं यथा गच्छति सागरम् |
सर्वदेवनमस्कार: केशवं प्रति गच्छति ||

Just as all the water falling from the sky goes into sea, similarly salutations offered to all devata goes to kesava

As pointed by a learned person, to be able to evaluate a 5th class examination papers, you must have passed 5th class at the least. Similarly, if you want to evaluate a graduation level paper you should have even higher qualifications. Myself and people like me who are miles away from the very first step of Bhakti Marga, are incapable and unqualified to pass judgement on which is the last step of Bhakti Marga leading to moksha. Bhakti marga is the only means of reaching paramatma. Once we embark on this journey and reach the last step we will know for ourselves as to what is the suitable sindhamta. It would be foolish to not follow the bhakti marga just because we do not have clarity on these sidhantas, which are the final levels of this journey.

It is not our place to discuss the capabilities of the sadgurus or evaluate their teachings. The point is not to denigrate anyone, but to say that any person who tries to evaluate the sindhantas has not reached the level of gnyanam. In my view, a person who has attained the gnyanam would understand that all three Sidhantas teach the same truth and find it pointless to compare and debate on them.

By Sriramakrishna Turaga

Declaring tribals as non Hindus shows lack of understanding of Bharat

-Dr Manmohan Vaidya

It is not mere coincidence that Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh that are at the epicentre of the activities which form the subject matter of this write-up, have been hotspots of conversion activities.

The Jharkhand state government recently passed a bill with majority that deems Sarana Dharma followers as non-Hindu and claims “Sarana” to be a separate religion. At around the same time Andhra Pradesh government declared that with the view that the members of Scheduled Tribes are non-Hindu they will be listed as just “Scheduled Tribe” in the 2021 census. These developments are an indicator of a lack of realisation of Bharat and correct understanding of Hindutva (Hinduness), which is combined with an insatiable hunger for political power on the part of these decision-makers.  Hindutva is not some religion. Even the honourable Supreme Court of the country honoured and established the fact that it is a view of life. One hallmark of this view of life is that it is based in spirituality. Notwithstanding language and worship-related differences, countless lineages of people born in the Bharatiya sub-continent have identified themselves as Hindu from time immemorial. Deep identification with this view of life has led to a distinct outlook and personal character of these people.

“Truth is one, but the wise call it by different names.” This shloka from the Rig Veda means the truth or god is one but there may be many paths to its realization and all paths are equal. This tenet of the Hindu view of life was well-ingrained in the Hindu psyche and the people here have been practising this for long. Jews, Parsis and Syrian Christians fleeing religious persecution and conversion in their countries of origin sought asylum in different kingdoms of Bharat, at various points in time. The itinerants, though ethnically, religiously and linguistically alien here, the treatment given by the kings or the locals who granted them asylum were equally liberal and respectful. They were welcomed, accepted and nurtured within each of those geographies.  This behaviour was an outcome of their adherence to the Hindu view of life. To see unity in diversity is the hallmark of this view of life. We’ve held that one Spirit (Chaitanya) manifests in different life forms and therefore the ability to see the underlying oneness among seemingly apparent diversities is the default view of Bharat. This is why diversity is not perceived as differences here. Bharat has the unmatched capacity to take all the apparently diverse expressions together while protecting the uniqueness of each of those units while assimilating them into one cohesive whole. The third uniqueness of Bharat is the recognition of the fact that every soul (man or woman) is potentially divine. The very goal of human life is to manifest the divinity within to ultimately merge with the Supreme Divinity. Different people may walk different paths to manifest their divinity and each of those paths may be called their religion or faith. The body of thought with an amalgamation of these unique qualities has been popularly perceived as “Hindutva” around the world. Whether someone refers to it as Bharatiya, Sanatan, Indic or any other name, the essence is the same.

Now the question is which among these unique features is un-relatable or offensive to the Sarana people or other Scheduled Tribes?

The first President of independent Bharat, Dr S. Radhakrishnan referred to Hindutva as “Commonwealth of All Religions”. Swami Vivekananda in his 1893 Chicago address at the World Parliament of Religions described Hindutva as the “Mother of all religions”.

The view that sees diverse people as one, that accepts and assimilates different paths and faiths is what Hindutva is. This civilisation that predates 10,000 years has seen people worship different deities at varied points in time. To be able to keep pace with evolving faith-based norms and to accept changes is what Hindutva is all about. Swami Vivekananda propounded this very fact by reciting this shloka in his famous 1893 Chicago address.

Meaning: O Almighty! Innumerable paths lead one to you—Sankhya, Vaishnav, Shaiva, Vedic ways of life, etc. As per their orientation people choose any one path, but like many rivers eventually converge into one sea, all these paths lead to the same, Eternal Truth. It is true that regardless of the path we choose we can all realise the Divine.

The beauty of this Bharatiya view of life is that it recognises the fact that in tandem with man’s continuous evolution he is sure to discover and worship newer deities. Nurturing the old while making space for newer deities is Hindutva.

Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur explicitly stated: “To experience unity in diversity and to establish unity amongst variety—this is the inherent Dharma (the spirit) of Bharat. Bharatvarsh never interpreted diversities as hostility and, neither considers the outsider as an enemy. Thus, without sacrificing our own, without destroying others, Bharat aspires to assign a distinct place to everyone in one vast ecosystem. Thus, it is willing to accept all ways of life, and acknowledges the greatness of each in its own way.

“As Bharatvarsh possesses this trait, we would never get frightened by visualising any society as our opponent. With every new dissension, we inevitably will grow. The Hindu, Bauddha, Muslim and Christian would not fight with each other and die in Bharat. Rather they would find a balance, a meeting point here. This balance will not be non-Hindu, but very specifically Hindu. However foreign may be its body parts, its life and spirit will of Bharat.”

This holistic approach and assimilation are intrinsic to the Hindu view of life. Given this definition, what deems Sarana and Scheduled Tribe members as radically distinct from Hindutva is a mystery. Because Hindutva does not emphasise on the Almighty to be one definitive form, rather appreciating the common thread underlying all manifestations of the Divine is Hindutva.

Some years ago, a survey was conducted in North-Eastern states in the Assam region that has a sizable population of the Scheduled Tribes. Representatives of 18 Scheduled Tribes present at the conference expounded their responses over: 1. Their concept of God. 2. Their view of Earth. 3. What do they pray for? 4. Their concepts of virtue and sin. 5. Their opinion over faith-based practices of those from other religions. And lastly, 6. If they wish to compel followers of other faiths and religions to forcefully convert to their religion.

Their responses were consistent with the views of a common Hindu living elsewhere in the country. It was surprising for the surveyors to note that despite apparent language differences their beliefs are more or less similar and reflective of the age-old spiritual tenets of the Hindu belief system. That which unifies the diverse religious and faith-based beliefs and practices of this geo-cultural unit of Bharat is Hindutva and our spirituality-centric holistic, unifying and all-encompassing Hindu view of life.

The Semitic basis of Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam prevents those religions from having a similar view of human life. In fact those religions divide the human race into binaries, which cannot coexist in harmony. It is for the same reason that these religions have a bloody, violent, deceptive and greed-ridden history of conversion. Among the tribals of the North-Eastern states of Bharat also the Christian Church propaganda to impose the view that those tribes are non-Hindu has been underway for a long time now, first with the support of the British colonial ruler and later by those in power after our Independence. This is the direct cause of the emergence and strengthening of separatist militant groups in the region. As part of their agenda, they lured the people of the land with the temptation of a new and separate identity and uprooted their cultural roots to start “soul harvesting”. But the tribals of the region have understood that this barter with the Christian missionaries may be too costly. It can lead to a complete disappearance and annihilation of the rich, faith-based realisations of their ancestors. They also realise assimilating with the Hindu society will prevent such a fate and in this way they can preserve and pass on their unique customs and traditions to the future generations. This belief is taking a firm hold over their consciousness with each passing day and has resulted in the emergence of indigenous faith movements like “Donyi Polo” and “Seng Khasi” in those areas. Leaders of groups like the Sarana and other Scheduled Tribes must learn from the experiences of the organisers of these indigenous faith movements reconnecting to their roots so as to preserve their unique cultural and faith-based practices and further enrich their culture and people.

With “ ” meaning, “the entire creation is habitated/dwelled by the Supreme Spirit or Isha” as the basis of faith mankind invoked, venerated and worshipped the formless Divine Truth even at the time when gods and goddesses hadn’t yet been personified. Thereafter that same truth began to be pursued by the means of worship of various gods with a definite form. However, the worship of nature and that of the five basic elements is eternal. Many self-realised men or so-called Avatars added newer paths to the list of faiths, yet the worship of nature in the form of worship of earth, water, fire, air and space continued. Therefore, nature-worship is eternal, only newer practices and dimensions emerged with the march of time. Nature worship also features in several forms in the Hindu culture. It is for this reason that Hindu society sees itself as one with those who strictly worship only nature. But certain elements are bent on projecting the variations in practices as differences and disillusioning people.

In fact it is not only true of the Sarana or the Scheduled Tribes. For the last several years, organised drives to brainwash members of many communities are underway across Bharat into believing that they are not Hindu. Operations to splinter Hindu society are being carried out at an international level by  distorting and erasing from people’s memory the propensity of Hindutva to appreciate oneness in diversity, and instead highlighting and misrepresenting the diversities among different faiths as differences among people. If Hindus remain united, society remains united and hence the country remains united. And the country will progress only if it is united. All those elements who have a vested interest in preventing the country from progressing are engrossed in the fragmentation of Bharat.

Several fact-based, well-researched books that illuminate the details about such efforts (breaking India forces) and drives are available in the market. One key player in that scheme is the Christian church. Their aim—to increase the number of believers in Bharat by converting more people—finds an explicit mention on the websites of all their proselytising agencies. Some agencies that have assumed fake identities are working to first create disillusion, then opposition and then fragmentation in the society, which would ultimately result in separatism. They connote conversion as “harvesting”. These organised efforts of “harvesting” have been ongoing since the British era. But Bharat’s cultural roots run deep and are strong. Many ascetics and enlightened people took to reigniting the spiritual and cultural conscience of our society from time-to-time. No tribe or caste is devoid of the inheritance of such knowledge, as such ascetics were born in every tribe and caste that ever lived on this land to share the nectar of their realisations. It is for this reason that the conversion efforts of missionaries have been comparatively less fruitful in Bharat, thus compelling those agencies to adopt newer tactics to fulfil their agenda. The elements that aim to fragment Bharat work closely and cohesively to actualise each of their agendas. Incessant efforts of the ascetics and social reformers to facilitate socio-religious and spiritual and cultural enlightenment, generation-after-generation, has resulted in a firm cultural foundation of the society. Therefore, successful conversion requires uprooting the deep religio-cultural roots of the potential converts. Where the foundation is weak and roots bared loose, harvesting is easier. Therefore, brainwashing drives wherein false and unreasonable claims are being concocted. We will all have to remain alert and aware of these dangers.

Famous Bharatiya poet, Prasoon Joshi, writes in one of his poems:

“Gather the soil around you, oh tree,

Else you will wither.

The deeper your roots,

Greener your leaves will be.” It is not mere coincidence that the two states that are at the epicentre of the activities which form the subject matter of this write-up have been hotspots of conversion activities. Uprooting is imperative for harvesting. If we see and analyse the forces working on this agenda and their funding sources, one can understand that creating such misconceptions for uprooting various groups from their cultural moorings is part of a larger conspiracy hatched over a period of time.

Dr Manmohan Vaidya is Sah Sarkaryawah (Joint General Secretary), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Courtesy: The Sunday Guardian

After Opposing the Farm Laws, KCR Govt Now Says Can’t Procure All Crops At MSP

By Ch. Narendra

Four months after launching a broadside on the three new farm laws, TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have remained one of the strongest opponents of these laws claiming that they are not in the farmers’ interests.

However, KCR has said something recently which appears to completely contradict his earlier stand on the farm laws. On December 27, he said,

“There is no need for the state government to purchase the agriculture produce as the new farm laws were being implemented across the country, allowing the farmers to sell their crop anywhere.”

Moreover, after condemning the central farm laws – allegedly removing Minimum Support Price (MSP), the Telangana government has now declined to procure all crops at MSP.

KCR vs. Farm Bills

In September, when the legislation for farm reforms was introduced in Parliament, the KCR instructed his party MPs to vote against the bills. He had called the bills a “sugar-coated pill,” claiming that the bills, instead of serving the farmers by allowing them to sell anywhere in India, will encourage corporate lobbying by facilitating the traders to buy freely.

KCR’s dissent even extended to the Dubbaka assembly by-election, where the laws became a major issue. However, this seemed to backfire when TRS suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of BJP candidate M Raghunandana Rao in a town regarded as the KCR family’s fortress.

On December 8, the Telangana government also supported the Bharat Bandh against the Central farm laws by keeping the offices closed and ministers, including KCR’s son KT Rama Rao, staging protests on roads.

Source: Telangana Today

A Sudden Change of Heart or A Bullet Dodged?

Issue of Procurement: One of the decisions taken by the KCR government that has sparked controversy is to stop the purchase of paddy and other crops at the village level. On Sunday, the Telangana CM announced that the state would not set purchase centres in villages from the next year.

He claimed that it was a one-time deal due to COVID-19 to help the agrarians as the new central law permits farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

What’s interesting here is that KCR attributed this move to central agricultural laws.

He said:

“As the new agriculture laws of the Central government permit farmers to sell their crop anywhere in the country, the State government need not set up purchasing centres in villages.”

As per the officials, ever since its formation in 2014, Telangana has suffered losses up to ₹7,500 crores due to the purchase of paddy, sorghum, maize, red gram, Bengal gram, and sunflower. The reason is, after procuring these crops at MSP, the government had to sell them at lower prices in the market, as there was no demand for these crops.

However, he added that the state would continue to provide financial assistance to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.

Regulated farming debacle: Another major decision taken on Sunday was to nix regulate cropping, which till now was one of KCR’s major policy initiatives aimed at making the farm sector more profitable by scientific cultivation. Telangana government has now decided to let farmers choose whatever they want to cultivate.

The reason cited for this was – government’s inability to provide a bonus to superfine rice farmers on account of Food Corporation of India (FCI) norms.

“The government cannot do it any more. It is not a business organization or trader. It is not a rice miller or a dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up a purchasing centre in the village from next year onwards,” said the official statement.

Telangana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed this move while reprimanding KCR for not paying heed to their advice earlier.

State BJP President Bandi Sanjay Kumar demanded a public apology from the CM to farmers for bringing such a regulated cropping policy in the first place.

He said:

“Farmers must have a free hand to choose what they want to grow. But the dictatorial CM did not pay attention to our requests.”

Bandi further claimed, “After Narendra Modi came into power, the centre gave funds to conduct soil tests in each acre to choose suitable crops for the agricultural lands. But the funds were diverted. We demand that the State government conduct soil tests and bring reforms to make agriculture profitable.”

The State BJP chief also asked the state government to connect market yards with the E-NAM system to ensure better prices for farmers.

These facts indicate that KCR has potentially made the above-mentioned changes in the interest of his government. Continuing purchase centres would have drained the state budget, and regulated farming has also not worked as planned. However, by shifting the blame on the central government, the TRS leader here appears to be dodging the bullet.

Looking at his trajectory through farm law opposition, KCR could seem to be having a bigger picture in mind.

KCR’s Big Aspirations

KCR’s opposition has not resulted in the repealing of farm laws, but in retrospect, it has fetched him the golden opportunity to evolve as a national leader. This was probably an attempt to provide a 3rd alternative to the public apart from BJP and Congress – a ‘Federal Front’ as has termed it.

The TRS chief also declared earlier that he would hold a national conclave in the 3rd week of December in Hyderabad itself and invite all anti-BJP forces to protest the anti-farmer and anti-labour policies of the government. KCR conveyed that he would build a nationwide consensus against new agriculture laws.

In a 360° turn, however, KCR’s attitude towards the central farm laws and Modi-government, in particular, appears to have changed.

For instance, a former TRS MP holding a key position now quoted, “We cannot afford to get into a confrontation with the Centre at present because it will affect the state’s interests,”

Notably, this change has been visible after the Telangana CM’s visit to Delhi on December 13, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Source: NDTV

The visit came immediately after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, where the BJP did remarkably well. Apparently, Dubbaka by-poll and GHMC polls established to KCR that BJP is swiftly emerging as an alternate political force in Telangana and gearing up for a power grab in 2023 assembly polls.

Ch. Narendra

Ch. Narendra is Hyderabad based freelance journalist.formerly worked with New Indian Express group and a human rights activist

Courtesy: https://the-pulse.in

Don’t compare E.V. Ramasamy (a) Periyar with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Venkatesan

Today, there is a false propaganda that the views of E.V. Ramasamy (a) Periyar and Babasaheb Ambedkar are one and the same which is not only being spread in Tamil Nadu but all over India. They are trying to portray   Periyar as Ambedkar  of the North and Ambedkar as the Periyar of the South among  the people. In universities and colleges, Periyar – Ambedkar study circles are being set up trying to give the common attributes to both of them.

Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar is in no way comparable to E.V.R. The two were at odds over any field of study, be it education, social thought, national unity, foreign policy, or economic policy. Babasaheb Ambedkar was a scholar and intellectual genius who had learnt many texts. When you read his book it contains footnotes, sources, quotes from various scholars, everything sufficiently. But E.V.R was not a scholar. He was not a person who had read too many texts. From time to time, he spread the thoughts whatever came to his mind. He changed it too and changed it to suit the situation.

E.V.R has been involved in prostitution in prostitute homes for 40 years. He had not cared about the society until then. But Ambedkar was involved in education throughout his youth and filed petitions for his community. Just as it is unacceptable to compare the mountain and the pond together, it would be injustice that we do to Ambedkar if we compare both – E.V.R and Ambedkar.

The Theory of Racism: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

There is no alternative to E.V.R Periyar being a racist and one who accepted the racist ideology. He spread Aryan-Dravidian racism throughout Tamil Nadu. He was a staunch proponent of racist ideology to cause division among the people. He campaigned that Aryans were foreigners and they were those who invaded the country and destroyed the indigenous people. Thereby he used his campaign of hate to destroy solidarity. E.V.R sought to divide the Indian people through racist ideology. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who completely rejected the Aryan racist doctrine. Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar rejected the theory that Aryan racism should go to the trash. He never accepted the doctrine of racism since he was a humanist who loved human beings.

Dalits: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R encouraged all Dalits and backward classes to convert. In the process, he proposed Islam for conversion. He continued to propagate that Islam was the antidote to conversion and that all people should convert to Islam. It is not that Periyar had said this after serious studies and research. In contrast, Babasaheb Ambedkar proposed Buddhism for their conversion. According to him, Islam will never give equality; Ambedkar is confident that it will not give fraternity either. This belief did not occur casually. He came to this conclusion after an in-depth study of Islam and other religions. He was the one who rejected the call to give crores of rupees and college on conversion to Islam. He said nationalism would change if religion was converted to Islam and Christianity. Ambedkar urged all, including the Dalits, to accept Buddhism, believing that only Buddhism could bring equality. E.V.R, who told everyone to convert, remained a Hindu until the end. Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism as he had preached.

E.V.R always excluded the Dalits. He unequivocally declared that he was fighting for the Sudras. E.V.R never waged a struggle for the rights of the Dalits in Tamil Nadu. E.V.R never led any struggle in Tamil Nadu for Dalits to walk on the road, walk on the street or fetch water from a pond or to enter the temple. But Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was the one who led the struggle to get water in the Mahat pool and to enter the Kalaram temple.

E.V.R opposes the integration of Dalits with other caste Hindus:

E.V.Ramasamy Nayakar said, “Does the elimination of untouchability involve just the entry to the temple and the inclusion of the Sudra to the Parayans? If the lower caste of Parayan is not changed then should the Sudra be added to Parayan for that? The Sudras, who had hitherto had been the middle caste, have now been made the lower caste which we should not allow”. (Thread: History of Vaikkam struggle – Veeramani)

E.V.R has always been against the Dalits. Despite the Muthukulathur riots and the Kizhvenmani massacre, E.V.R acted against the Dalits. When 44 Dalits were burnt to death in Kizhvenmani, the report by E.V.R says:

“The Communist comrades are trying to cause unrest and revolution in the country without telling you how the workers should live in the economy available to them, and today they are trying to overthrow this regime, right-wing, left-wing and far-right communists. I ask that the comrades of agriculture and other working friends should not give place to it. The Communist Party instigated the riot in Nagai taluka. 42 people died due to it. The government did not stop at saying that the Communist Party was the party that cooperated with us. Government is taking the necessary action.  (Vidudhalai 20-1-1969)

E.V.R says there is no need for a wage struggle. Employers do not have the intention to raise wages despite their rising profits. E.V.R pierces the spear into the burn without even realizing by saying that that it has to be obtained through protest. E.V.R supports the assassination, saying that it would be rebellion if it fought for higher wages. He did not stand on the side of the affected Dalits but expressed his views in support of those involved in the riots. On the contrary Ambedkar brought various laws not only for the Dalits but for all the backward people. He continued to fight for their rights.

We can also learn from his speech how vile E.V.R thinks about people of the scheduled community. E.V.R says:-

“Ambedkar is a little bit emotional. He asked me. ‘What do you do for your people?’ I gave him a lot of details. He started talking about. The Brahmins immediately paid the price for him. That is, where he  [Ambedkar] asked for 10 out of 100 his people to get the educational facility, and job facility, he [Brahmins] said ‘take it as 15’! He [Brahmins] knew that even if he [lower caste] was given 25 seats, not even three or four of them would come. He [Ambedkar] signed the law written by the Brahmins. He doesn’t care about the company of others.  (Vidudhalai 11.11.1957)

Dalits in Pakistan: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

Dalits were persecuted in Pakistan during the partition of Pakistan. Thousands were massacred. Without rendering any feelings for the situation, E.V.R supported Pakistan and Muslims without condemning the massacre. But Babasaheb Ambedkar sent the Makar Regiment to save the oppressed Dalits in Pakistan. He issued a statement saying that Dalits in Pakistan should not convert to Islam. Similarly, Ambedkar gave full cooperation to the annexation of the Indian princely states. Ambedkar issued a public statement saying that none of the lower caste there should support the Hyderabad Nizam who refuses to connect with India.

Indian Independence: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R Periyar was against Indian independence. A resolution was brought with the blessings of E.V.R at the Dravidar League Conference held at Salem on 27-08-44. In the resolution,

“The conference concludes that the main policy of the Dravidar League is to include the name Dravida Nadu as the first policy of our Chennai Province to be divided into a separate (state) country which is not dominated by the Central Government administration and is directly under the administration of the British Secretary of State.”

Not only this, E.V.R also declared Independence Day as a day of mourning. He continued to spread the demand that Whites should rule here. But Ambedkar never took any action against national liberation. No statement was issued in support of the White government by Ambedkar. He has strongly documented the demand for India’s independence at the London Round Table Conference and beyond. He once said that I am more patriotic than the other Congress leaders.

E.V.R was at the forefront of disrupting Indian unity. Part of India was demanded by E.V.R as a separate Dravidastan. He also waged various struggles to separate the Dravidian country from India. Similarly, the leader of the Muslim League, Jinnah, asked Pakistan. The British government and many others demanded that Ambedkar should ask for a separate Dalitistan for the Dalits. But Ambedkar never heeded to it. He did not agree with the Dalitistanisation of India. So he cut the request at the very start and threw it away. If not, the Dalits would have split from India just as Pakistan did.

Hindi and Sanskrit: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R had a lasting anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit attitude. He held anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit conferences and protests. He incited linguistic hatred and disrupted Indian unity. But Ambedkar said they needed Hindi for national unity. He spoke in Parliament that Sanskrit should be the national official language. Yet Ambedkar never provoked language fanaticism.

Communism: E.V.R vs Ambedkar

E.V.R had a deep attachment to so-called communism. After his visit to Russia, he actively spread the policy of common wealth in Tamil Nadu. But Babasaheb Ambedkar was against communism throughout his life. He said that communism was based on violence and if ever he considered someone as his enemy, it was communism. Ambedkar did not even have an electoral relationship with the Communists. He proposed Buddhism as an alternative to communism for the Dalit people.

It is the firm opinion of Ambedkar that India should not have relations with China and Russia even in foreign policy. He prophesised that China would one day invade us, that is, India. That happened in 1962.

Religion: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

According to E.V.R, humans do not need religion. E.V.R view was that religion fools man. But Ambedkar says religion is a necessity for man. He says that the good qualities he possesses are due to religion. Ambedkar opposed the statement that religion is an opium and explained why religion is important to man.

Only country: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R said there is no such thing as one country called India. He said that India is a mixture of several national races. He also campaigned that India has never been a single country. But Ambedkar clearly wrote that India has been a single country for thousands of years in terms of its spiritual culture.

Indian Unity: E.V.R vs. Ambedkar

E.V.R was not interested in Indian unity. E.V.R wanted India to secede. But Ambedkar had an unconditional love for Indian unity. He was also clear that India should not be enslaved again. His speech in the Constituent Assembly will make us aware of this.

Ambedkar speaks:

” What worried me the most is that India has lost its that India has lost its independence many times due to the betrayal and treachery of the Indian people. When Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sindh, the army commanders of King Tagir of Sindh refused to fight for their king with the help of Muhammad bin Qasim’s henchmen. Jayachandran invited Mohammad Gori to invade India and to fight against Prithviraj. He promised to help him and the Solanki kings. While Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of the Hindus, other Maratha leaders and Rajput kings sided with the Mughals and fought against him.

When the British fought against the Sikh kings, the commander-in-chief of the Sikhs was inactive. He did not help to defend the Sikh state. During the freedom struggle against the British in 1857, the Sikhs were having fun doing nothing. Will history repeat …?

It is even more worrying that a number of parties with different and opposing policies are now emerging with old hostile forces such as castes and religions.The people of India must carefully monitor the parties who are striving for the interest of their party rather than the interest of the country. If not, the independence of the country will be in jeopardy for the second time. It may become irreversible. We should ensure that our freedom is upheld until the last drop of blood.”

Ambedkar was responding to a third round of debate on the Constitution on November 25, 1949. This call of Ambedkar is a call for Indian nationalism. We need to understand that the call is driven by a sense of nationalism – a passion that the Indian nation should never be distorted again.

E.V.R and Ambedkar were at odds over whichever field we take and study. They have been campaigning for the comparison of Ambedkar and E.V.R in order to draw the people, mainly the Dalits, to their side. This is great injustice to Ambedkar.

About the Writer:

Author is Member of BJP National Council, Chennai and served as State President, BJP SC Morcha, Tamilnadu. He wrote a book named ‘Hindutva Ambedkar’. He can be contacted at venkiambeth@gmail.com