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

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.