Skip to main content

Mahishasur martyrdom day at JNU "misuse" of freedom of speech? HRD minister Smriti Irani triggers hornet's nest

BJP MP Udit Raj at 2013 JNU Mahishasur martyrdom function 
By Our Representative
Union human resources minister Smriti Irani may have triggered hornet’s nest by declaring in Parliament on February 24 that celebrating Mahishasura martyrdom day in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on October 4, 2014 was misuse of the “freedom of speech”. From early indications, reactions are likely to be sharp, especially among Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Wanting to know “who wants to have this discussion”, she called the event a reflection of “depraved mentality”, reading out even as reading out from a JNU pamphlet, which called “Mahishasura a brave self-respecting leader”.
Human rights portal www.indiaresists.com has reproduced an article by multimedia journal Pramod Ranjan, appearing in e-journal www.forwardpress.in, pointing towards the tradition of Mahishasur prevailing across India.
Involved in editing a book, “Mahishasur Movement: Debrahmanising a Myth”, Ranjan says, citing historian DD Kosambi, says Mahishasur’s “realm” exists in Mahoba in Bundelkhand, where he went on October 2 last year to find that “Mahishasur’s memories still survive in the folk traditions here.”
Ranjan says, Mahishasur is also “known as Maikasur, Kaaras Dev, Gwal Baba, etc. in this area”, adding, “Almost every village in Mahoba has a place for him. There are no idols of Mahishasur, only raised platforms made of clay. Unlike in the Brahmanical tradition, Mahishasur does not live in temples. He lives on clay platforms under the open sky.”
Ranjan points out, “Traditions related to Mahishasur are alive in almost all parts of the country. For the past few years, Bahujans are attempting to revive their myths and traditions. This year, writers and intellectuals came together in Mysore to begin a campaign for restoring Mahishasur’s lost honour.”
Mahishasur temple, Kulpahad, Lucknow district, UP
Ranjan says there is a “Mahishasur temple at Chauka Sora village, about 70 km from Mahoba in Bundelkhand”, which is under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protection.” It is quite a different thing that, he adds, ASI has “not yet determined the period of its construction.”
Ranjan provides several legends prevailing about Mahishasur in the region – at Keerat Sagar, near Mahoba, where there is a “sthan” of Mahishasur, the legend has it that Mahishasur cures sick animals. “When an animal starts giving milk, it is first offered to Mahishasur”, he says, adding, “The pastoral and agricultural castes of Mahoba regard Mahishasur as their ancestor.”
Ranjan also found “sthan “of Mahishasur at Mohari village, as Gokhaar Pahad, at Ramnagar in Charkhari, even as pointing out that, following a handful of JNU students celebrating on October 25, 2011 “the movement would spread like wildfire.”
He says, “In just four years, these events have not only created a nationwide stir but have provided a common basis for unity between Tribals, OBCs and Dalits”, adding, in 2015, it was “celebrated at more than 300 locations in the country”, especially in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. crossing the “country’s borders and reached Nepal.”
“The size of the events, which went unnoticed by the mainstream media, ranged from 10-15 enthusiastic youths holding placards to huge public meetings attended by 1,000-20,000 people. These events clearly show that through them, the Dalit identities of India are writing their new cultural history”, he adds.
Ranjan notes, “Those who celebrate Mahishasur Day say it was a battle between the Aryans and the non-Aryans, and as non-Aryans, Mahishasur is their ancestor and hero.” He calls Mahishasur the “mythical hero and god of the tribals”, considered “a martyr by members of the deprived Bahujan communities like Yadav, Kushwaha, Kumhar, Kurmi, Nishad, Manjhi, Rajak and Ravidas.”

Comments

Vishwa said…
I think foreign powers are ruling India still. The whole point of Smriti was not to oppose Mahishasur. But her pride was hurt when on that day "students" depicted Durga in a demeaning manner. Actually that demeaning story was put forth by neither students nor the politicians, its some christian magazine (nothing to do with Hinduism). Her concern was 2 points:
1. Why did you promote demeaning Durga? Do you have proof that Durga was a under cover agent who is sent to Kill Mahishasur and flirts and lures him?
2. Why a student say that? Obvious he is fed with such ideologies. Who does so
in a campus? Why cant you feed a more moral and powerful thoughts in students than this silly shit?

Ultimately its 2 dogs fighting (one pro Hindu and other anti nationals here in todays discussion) and some forign power is feedings stories on either sides through magazines with a strategy to divide them..... realize at least now!!

TRENDING

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

How US is using Tibetans to provoke conflict with China 'ignoring' India

By Lobsang Tenzin*  On July 12, US President Joe Biden signed the Resolve Tibet Act, and Tibetans cheered for it, believing that the law promotes a resolution of the dispute between Tibet and China. Is this true? First, let's look at the issue of the ownership of Tibet. 

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".

Maharashtra govt's proposed bill may be used against 'dissenting' journalists, writers, filmmakers, artists

Counterview Desk  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, strongly objecting to what it calls “repressive and unconstitutional” Maharashtra Special Public Security Bill 2024, has demanded the proposed law be scrapped in its entirety. In its Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill, PUCL noted,  the broad and non-descript label of ‘urban naxal’ has been used, which is actually a “common slur used for any citizen who expresses their opposition to state policy or is not aligned with right-wing majoritarian views."