SNDP Yogam’s present attempt to orchestrate the Hindu unity in truck with the Sangh Parivar organisations has nothing queer in it when set against Kerala’s history of social renaissance. True, the Renaissance Movement social reformers like Sri Narayana Guru launched still guides the cultural ethos of Keralites. But how much such a statement is relevant to the Leftist movement we may look into a bit later.
Interestingly, the SNDP leadership, like the Guru, stressed the Hindu identity of the Ezhava community. It is to be noticed that the Guru, Nanubhakta as he was called in youth was a pure Vedantin right from his early days. The author of Advaitadeepika and Darsanamala was by all standards a practical Vedantin who throughout his writings stressed to develop a perfect man. Man was the core of his religion.
India’s religion unlike the western ideologies, including those enunciated by Marx, Mussolini and Hitler which either deemed man a sinner or just a granule on the body of the corporate state, was in fact man making. The Guru’s religion too fell in line with this.
Whatever, might have been the atrocities the Caste Hindus hurled at his community and those below, the Guru was not prepared to part with the Darsana he deemed fit for man making. The Siva, he silently declared, was no Brahmin monopoly. It belonged to the Ezhavas too and hence he coined ‘Ezhava Siva’. Otherwise, what was there as non-Dalit or anti-Dalit in Hindu thought with all its sublime aspects having been developed by the Dalits?
Vedas with their hymns composed by casteless seers do not speak of caste-based differences. Lying at random, they were later collected, compiled and classified by Vyasa, the son of a fisher woman, to use modern jargon, a Dalit. Ratnakara, the forest dweller - another Dalit - was the author of Ramayana, the first ever Dalit literature of the world. Sri Krishna - the author of the Gita.
Born into the Yadava Community of cowherds - now a scheduled group - he mastered all the then existing knowledge systems, became king of Dwaraka and the King maker of Kurukshetra. Belonging to the line of Vedantins, he was not ready to part with the Vedic tradition and the bliss - the Sivam . “Whichever is the religion, it should help make a perfect man,” he said. Otherwise why that he did not herd his people to the non-Hindu religions?
One may recall the meeting between Swami Vivekananda and Dr Palpu at Mysore. Vivekananda disparaged Kerala a lunatic asylum not just because of the existence of caste here. He observed: “Was there ever a sillier thing than what I saw in Malabar? The poor Pariah is not allowed to pass through the same street as the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to a hodge-podge English name; or to a Mohammedan name, it is all right.”
And he cautioned the Caste Hindus, “... one-half of your Madras people will become Christians if you do not take care.” It was this defence of the Hindu religion Guru Sri Narayana took up. And even when later there was a mass thinking among the Ezhavas to escape from Brahminic supremacy, it was only to take the path of the Buddha, the sage of Kapilavatsu who proclaimed the philosophy of freedom and equality. They would not go to any non-Hindu religions.
The SNDP Yogam and the Ezhavas do have the right to carry the torch of Hindu renaissance and don the mantle of the defenders of faith. Hence the desirability of an SNDP-RSS tie-up. Besides, the Guru has been right from the founding of RSS a votary of the Swayamsevaks’ worship.
Then, come to the Leftist eligibility to bank upon the Hindu-Ezhava votes. It was the poor Hindus, irrespective of caste difference that sustained this group. But what did the Left return to these poor ones? Through the decades-long policy of communal appeasement in their effort to get on to the saddles of power, deep crevasses were dug and Kerala society irreparably segmented. In their scramble for power the Left and the Right played many shameless dramas. It is known how a new district itself was carved out in north Kerala for communal appeasement. What did these people gain from their political activity blotted with communal appeasement.
What did they gain from having tried to torpedo the Mahatma’s Quit India movement disparaging him a bourgeoisie, from having supported the British when Gandhiji was leading India’s pilgrimage to freedom, from having pooh-poohed Netaji Bose “boot licker of the Japanese” and cartooned him as the donkey carrying Japanese Premier Tojo, from having celebrated “Pakistan Days” in 1947 or from having organised the “pro-peeking rally” declaring solidarity with the Chinese invasion of 1962 against India?
Interestingly, even the CPI realised that the Hindus are becoming minority in Kerala. When would light dawn upon its big brother?
Author is vice-president of (Kerala unit), College Adhyapaka Sangh. The views expressed are his personal rejoinder to Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan’s views on the SNDP-Sangh Parivar ties)