Dravidian Terrorism is a standout. If terrorism of any kind, any place, any time, is deplorable, this is one of a kind which beggars description! It does not stop with whatever thoughts the mention of the term terrorism could spontaneously evoke, but goes way beyond to employ a whole range subtler tactics from stifling of educational and employment opportunities, stunting of professional/occupational growth to economic oppression, and emotional torture by hurting religious, ritualistic sentiments. Unlike most other forms of terrorism, it targets not aliens, nor the majority in a nation, but a small helpless cross section of the indigenous population which constitutes an infinitesimal minority — The Brahmins.
The Dravidian movement, which estranged the Brahmin community, started in the early twentieth century, crept through Tamilnadu, and grabbed some mass support by the sheer power of propaganda; parties were formed, leaders declared, supporters amassed. Notable parties of the early period were the Justice Party (நீதிக்கட்சி) and the Self-Respect Movement (சுயமரியாதை இயக்கம்). Later came the Dravida Kazhagam (D.K.), founded out of those parties in 1944, by E.V. Ramasamy Naicker (E.V.R.). Five years since, in 1949, another party — the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (D.M.K.) — splintered off, as its founder C.N. Annadurai (Anna) dissented from several of the views of E.V.R., especially his views on faith in God, and religious practices. Even as Anna openly propounded his monotheism, and the oneness of the human species as a global community, “Community is one, so is God.” (ஒன்றே குலம் ஒருவனே தேவன்), E.V.R., continued to advocate his pseudo-atheism, of which the primary objective was to malign and harm Brahmins, and slander the faith and practices of Hinduism, in the name of “atheism” and “discerning intellect” — pagutharivu — the handy Dravidian contraption which purports to eradicate superstition.
It was election time in 1967 and the D.M.K., entered the fray. Even as the chances of D.M.K., winning were being hotly debated, Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari (Rajaji), freedom fighter and senior statesman, who had held distinctive positions as the last Governor General of India, Chief Minister of Madras State, Minister of Home Affairs, Governor of West Bengal, Minister of Education threw his weight behind the D.M.K., which catapulted the party to power. Not too long after, this good-intentioned act of Rajaji’s turned out to be something which he himself had to regret for the rest of his life. With D.M.K., rising to power, its founder Anna became the Chief Minister. But his short-lived tenure, relatively placid, came to an end with his demise in 1969. He was succeeded as the Chief Minister by another Dravidian leader M. Karunanithi. Unlike his predecessor, Karunanithi had a strong inclination toward E.V.R’s pseudo-atheistic views, and as the field was clear, the new, power-laden Chief Minister wasted no time in realizing the long-cherished dream of his mentor E.V.R., another front runner K.Veeramani (who later became the head of D.K.), and the like, and incidentally that of his own — reign of terror against the target group.
Brazen acts of violence were staged against Brahmins, setting off a bloody saga in Tamilnadu. Scores of Brahmin families were ruthlessly savaged, and their homes plundered. Unsuspecting Brahmins were brutally dragged to the streets, abused, humiliated, their identity back hair locks cut off, and their Sacred Threads snapped, after which they were pushed to the ground, dragged by ropes tied to their feet, and literally bludgeoned or hacked to death. Some of these helpless victims even had their mouths peed into when they were screaming for a sip of water at the moment of their miserable, horrendous death. Even children, women and the elderly were not spared. Ravages of unimaginable proportions were inflicted upon innocent Brahmins, just because they were Brahmins: that is to say that they had no idea as to what was happening, or why it was happening, as they had nothing to do with politics. Many Brahmin families had to flee their domiciles, never to return. Name boards of shops, restaurants, and other private establishments which bore Brahminical surnames were targeted, and the surnames were tarred out, if not, the boards themselves smashed. Anything that was even remotely connected with Brahmins was vandalized. In short, it was vile, ignoble, unprovoked draconianism let loose. And the mercenaries, hooligans, and thugs who showcased it “in style” were hailed as heroes. Even the police personnel were on their side, some of them out of volition, and the others out of coercion, or supplication to power. Such was the tyranny that the conscientious and daring police officers who repulsed at the outrages could do nothing more than merely say: “Our hands are tied; please take care of yourselves.”
Since the beginning, the Dravidian leaders had contrived various forms of vicious plans. First, they created a divide within the Hindu community. They projected Tamilnadu as the land of Dravidians, and Brahmins as Aryan intruders into their land, who were grabbing job opportunities, and robbing the natives of their rightful livelihood, and who would, one day, drive them away, empty handed, from their domiciles. Further, they picked up a few unacceptable practices and rituals which were unfortunately prevalent in the society at large, but which were strongly criticized by Brahmins themselves, and called the hodgepodge of such practices and rituals, “Brahminism.” Thus, they spread the unwarranted fear of, and undeserved hatred against Brahmins and “Brahminism”, and sought to rope in the rest of the Hindu community as a united front, and pit it, against Brahmins. “If you were to see a Brahmin and a snake at the same place, spare the snake, but kill the Brahmin.”: this is just a mild sample of their motivational speeches — “mild” because instant killing is much more humane than meting out lasting torture!
Next, they tactfully equated this unfairly tarnished Brahminism with Hinduism, so as to create a window through which to thrust their pseudo-atheism dubbed as atheism. This pseudo-atheism and discerning intellect are inseparable twins forming the core of Dravidian ideology, and ably complementing each other’s endeavors to inspire followers. “Those who do not subscribe to this ideology are but backward-looking, superstitious morons!”: with such thoughts indoctrinated into their heads, the gullible followers made a headlong rush to the “proud” ranks of “discerning intellectuals” because their ideology was new, or different, or unheard of, or hitherto unpropounded, and also because it ripped away the shameful mantle of “superstitious moron”, and in its place, conferred upon them, the newfound glory as an “intellectual”, no matter of what kind, but they ultimately did so in the chimerical hope that it would transmogrify their destinies.
As for their propaganda, these farsighted Dravidian leaders were trend setters to use multifaceted means, in Tamilnadu. That is, even at a time when public speeches, newspapers, magazines, and the radio were the only means of mass communication, they not only made the most out of all those, but also transformed the drama stage, and the movie theatre, even when the Indian movie was in its infancy, from harmless enclaves of entertainment into efficacious instruments of public outreach, so as to deliver their malicious message to thousands in no time. Ironically, Brahmins too coughed up their money and thronged to watch those movies, which they thought were nothing more than entertainment.
However, the majority of the gullible, Dravidian loyalists lured by the non-existent prospect of transmogrification, and the otherwise unattainable glory as a “discerning intellectual” ended up playing stooge to their enticers, the Dravidian leaders, who in stead of reciprocating their loyalty, exploited it in numerous ways, without giving their stooges a whiff about the exploitation.
An anglophile, and a proponent of the British rule, E.V.R., was opposed to Indian independence, and is noted for his vociferous views in favour of anti-Nationalism and separatism; in his own words, for instance, “This is a country which is incapable of making even safety pins. Does it deserve independence?” E.V.R., and his band saw Brahmins as the face of Hinduism, and of Nationalism too (as of Hindusthan/Bharath), and therefore the primary target of their organized destruction of the Hindu and National Spirit that was guiding the freedom movement. In situations where they themselves could not flaunt their hatred of Brahmins, they sang a different tune, “We are not against Brahmins, but against Brahminism.” But in effect, they were not only against Brahmins and whatever they meant by Brahminism, but also against Hinduism and Nationalism. Through the unfairly tarnished image of Brahminism, they associated every bit of social injustice to Hinduism, and extended it to Nationalism. However, when Independence looked “imminent”, E.V.R., set his eyes on a sovereign state — Dravidanadu (the Land of Dravidians). To this end, he tried to persuade the British, but failed. As the British would not budge, he turned to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who was clamouring for a break-away Pakistan, and tried to court him saying he was ready to support Jinnah’s cause in return for Jinnah’s support for his. However, his exertions in this connection were later touted, by some of his idolizers, as his gallant contribution to the Indian National Freedom Struggle, and he was himself raised to the status of a selfless freedom fighter of the ranks of the Mahathma, when in reality, all that he struggled for, was a Dravidanadu — free from India, preferably free of Brahmins.
When his separatist strategem fell flat, he fell back on his famed pseudo-atheism and discerning intellect preoccupying himself with convening public meetings, conferences, processions and rallies casting profanities on Hindu Deities, Scriptures and defiling Hindu practices. Breaking of Lord Ganesh Idols, (108 idols, a number venerated in the Hindu faith), as a counter ritual to the breaking of coconuts before Ganesh Idols highlighted these rallies taken out across the state, with much fanfare and the usual profanities, obscenities, swearwords, and what not. Probably not satisfied with all that, in 1971, he organized a massive two-day conference — Superstition Eradication Conference (மூடநம்பிக்கை ஒழிப்பு மாநாடு) — at a place called Salem in Tamilmadu. In the conference, Hindu Deities portrayed naked, with garlands made of sandals (chappals) worn on them were held aloft and carried along in a procession, beaten all along, with chappals. Ravanleela, a counter to Ramleela, marked the culmination of the procession, in which a ten feet tall effigy of Lord Shri Ram, with a chappal garland around the neck, was set ablaze.
To wrap up the aforesaid two-day conference, the top brass of the Dravida Kazhagam met under the stewardship of E.V.R., and passed some ten crucial party resolutions — the English version of these resolutions, originally published in Tamil, in the official publication of Dravida Kazhagam — “Viduthalai” (Independence) Issue dated 25 January 1971:
1. There shall be no punishment for hurting religious sentiments.
2. There shall be no governmental protection for God/religion.
3. If the wife of one man wishes for another man, she shall not be convicted.
4. There shall be no affinity for God, religion, caste, language, or nation among people.
5. The supreme court shall be abolished.
6. Brahmins shall not be referred to as Brahmins (பிராமணர் — a reverential term) but as “Parpanar” (பார்பணர் — a derogatory term).
7. Tamils shall confiscate all Brahmin publications.
8. Hinduism is not a religion.
9. We are not Hindus; we shall declare that we are not Hindus in the forthcoming census.
10. Eliminating casteism means abominating Brahmins.
These egregious resolutions are but a mitigated revelation, or confession (since they came out in their own publication) of the mindset of, and the driving force behind the Dravidian ideology, which as evidenced from the above, stood for debauchery and adultery, in terms of morality and culture; for rebellion and anarchy, in terms of nationhood and patriotism, and for anti-Brahminism and anti-Hinduism, in terms of faith and religion.
Following the demise of E.V.R. in 1973, the leadership of D.K. perched briefly on his wife Maniammai, and setteled eventually on K. Veeramani, a close associate of E.V.R. Then, Karunanithi and Veeramani pledged to keep alive, the legacy left behind by E.V.R., but in a way, they took it to new heights.
Criticizing idol worship, day in and day out, they erected statues of their departed icon E.V.R., across the state. Not to mention, some of the statues of this iconoclast of Hinduism, were positioned, in front of Temples, and Mutts — places so insightfully chosen. Further, on the walls of the Temples, and at other eye-catchy spots around, they left graffiti of E.V.R’s “golden nuggets of ‘discerning intellect'” like “There is no God; those who believe in God are uncivilized brutes.” The “intellectual” leaders, and partymen perform such rituals to those statues as the “superstitious” Hindus would perform to the idols of their Deities.
True to their “pseudo” hallmark, they preach from the rooftops, but choose where to practice because when it comes to practice, it is often one thing in the open, and another, in the hideouts. They reprimand those of their own followers who deviate from the “enlightened” path of “discerning intellect”, but with their own families and friends, they shut their eyes and ears, and allow or even encourage, with open hearts, practices that are directly antithetical to their own avowed ideals. Some even take part in such practices behind the screen, perhaps with greater devotion than that of most theists themselves! They vilify Brahmins, but invite Brahmin Priests to their homes to perform Poojas for their well being. They repel Sanskrit, demand that Sanskrit be replaced with Tamil in Temples, but insist on Sanskrit Manthras in functions at their homes, and in the laying of cornerstones for their buildings. Those in the film industry never initiate a movie shooting without Brahmins performing Invocatory rituals in Sanskrit.
Caste based reservations in education and employment in the government sectors are nothing new to India. The D.M.K., and the D.K., leapt up a step further to demand such reservations in the private sector too, more to stifle the opportunities for the forward community, particularly Brahmins, than to alleviate the suffering of any group. Speaking of caste, they reinforce casteism. E.V.R., often touted as the eliminator of casteism, remarked, “Dalits could never become the head of Dravida Kazhagam.” That is, after roping in all non-Brahmins into one group, they would make groups within groups, divisions within divisions. One fallout of this incessant grouping and divisioning is the formation of several outfits, sharing the same ideology.
There has always been a stiff competition among these various Dravidian outfits to show who is closer to the minorities. Karunanithi would never let go of an opportunity to glorify the minorities and snub the majority. For instance, the “sworn atheist” would take pride in posing himself with the Islamic traditional cap on his head, drinking the Ramadan porridge, and celebrating Ramadan with the Islamic community. According to him, Ramadan fasting is “beneficial to health”, while Hindu practices like fasting, or fire walking are but “Barbarism.” He made his famous scorn, which raised hackles even among his party men, when one of them showed up with Kumkum on his forehead: “His forehead is bleeding, take care….” Further, in their rat race to woo Muslims, these parties would stop at nothing, even if it means jeopardising national security. What else can one make out of parties vying with one another to pick up the cudgel on behalf of Rohindia infiltrators, or to revolt against the CAA?
The self-styled custodians of the Tamil language, Karunanithi and his minions, probably forgot all about their “atheism” when they suddenly woke up to some centuries-old tradition, and started lobbying for Sanskrit to be replaced with Tamil for Archanai/Poojas in Temples. It must be noted that worship in Sanskrit was very much entertained even by the legendary Tamil emperors of yore who built those Temples. Of course, Tamil worship was also present. Anyway, after much wrangling, Sanskrit was retained with a ruling that a parallel Tamil version would also be made available for those devotees who opt for it. Further, they wanted non-Brahmins as Priests in Temples. They saw Priesthood as a purely commercial enterprise (rather than a divine occupation) with which, they proclaimed, Brahmins were “minting money.” Then they presented themselves as champions of caste equality who were battling to make a fair distribution of employment opportunities, among castes, by making non-Brahmins, Priests. The truth is that so many of the Brahmin Priests were and are struggling to make ends meet. Further, those self-proclaimed champions sought to find gratification in violating a sacred Hindu tradition, when the truth is that even by tradition, there are so many Temples in Tamilnadu with non-Brahmins as Priests, who occupy the position by virtue of lineage, which means that their position cannot be challenged by anybody else, “even” Brahmins. Further, the ancient Temples, which come under the stranglehold of The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board, were installed with display boards and wall writings which urge devotees to “Drop their offerings in the Hundial (the ‘official’ receptacle for offerings).” On the surface, it is a message intended to ensure the use of the Hundial offerings for the upkeep of these Temples. But deep inside, it is one intended to stymie any voluntary offering to the Brahmin Priests, and divert even small offerings into the Hundial. Last but not least, what happens to Temple wealth, controlled by the Endowment Board, let alone the Hundial offerings, is common knowledge. On the whole, they were bent on converting Temples into crass commercial establishments, stripped of sanctity. However, after all this, even as the question what business an atheist has in a Temple remains unanswered, the Dravidian think tank keeps inventing newer and finer methods of Hindu sacrilege and looting of Temple wealth. By taking lessons from the Dravidian think tank, the British could probably better their “Divide-and-Rule” policy, and the historic Moghul rulers, their desecration and looting of Hindu Temples, torture and decimation of Hindu sticklers, and hurting of the Hindu faith and sentiment.
Featured Image: The Hans India