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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”