Skip to main content

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.
Morari Bapu is a resident of Mahua in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. In his village temple Morari Bapu has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman and Hanuman without their weapons. Morari Bapu argues that the concept of future God will be one who will not require any weapons. As human beings have evolved Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi have become the ideals of society who have not just advocated values of non-violence, truth and love and also lived them.
Ram has been described as virtuous superhuman. Before the advent of Ram Janambhoomi movement picture of Ram Darbar in which Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman were there was popular. Lone pictures or statues of Ram were rare. A common greeting was 'Jai Siyaram' in which Sita's name was also taken along with Ram's.
However, ever since Lal Krishna Advani launched his Rath Yatra, an aggressive picture of Ram with his arrow ready to shoot from his bow, his hairs flowing back has been repeatedly presented to people. Greeting 'Jai Siyaram' transformed to slogan 'Jai Shri Ram.' The affection in Jai Siyram was replaced by aggression of Jai Shri Ram. But common Hindu believes that her/his religion is peaceful. Hence s(he) has to decide which is a true representative of her/his religion -- Ram of Ram Darbar and greeting of Jai Siyram or the aggressive posture of Ram and slogan Jai Shri Ram.
The Hindutva organisations inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ideology have damaged the reputation of Hindu religion by trying to change people's perception about it. If Hinduism is alive today it is because of its value of tolerance which has accommodated foreigners along with their ideologies and co-existed with them. 
The Indian culture is a syncretic culture with an amalgamation of cultures with varied character which allows people to have their individual beliefs while respecting the sensibilities of others. The common human being wants to live peacefully and in harmony with others in society. 
However, organisations adhering to Hindutva ideology want to give Hindiusm a radical colour imitating religions which have appeared much later in history. It is a matter of introspection whether Hinduism will benefit or suffer from such an approach. The invaders have probably not harmed Hindusim to the extent that Hindtuva organisations are doning now.
At a time when Hindusim faces danger from Hindtuva ideology Morari Bapu is trying to highlight its tolerant value. In Mahua at his Ashram every year a two day event Sadbhavana Parva is organised to celebrate the culture of communal harmony in our country. 
In probably the most communally polarised state of the country, Morari Bapu has, this year, by awarding Faisal Khan from Delhi who has revived Khudai Khidmatgat, an organisation originally founded by famous freedom fighter Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, and Dr. Mehrunnisa Desai, who is working for promoting the cause of higher education in Ahmedabad, has sent a clear message in favour of strengthening the syncretic culture of this country.
Now by inviting sex workers from Mumbai to his Ram Katha in Ayodhya Morari Bapu has not only displayed moral courage but also given a message that he respects even the people on margins of society equally. By including sex workers, for whose exploitation directly or indirectly the entire society is responsible, among the mainstream audience of his Ram Katha he has tried to control the damage done to the image of Hinduism by its hard-line proponents. 
It is also clear that he is not merely a commercial Ram story teller but has a reformist agenda as well. By donating Rs. 11 lakhs to sex workers he has encouraged people to think about their problems and help them in fighting their exploitation.
People who are claiming that Ayodhya has become impure by the arrival of these sex workers from Mumbai should reflect whether any sinner, howsoever serious his crime may be, is not allowed to wash his sins in Ganga and sex workers have not even committed any sin. Most of them have been forced into the trade against their will. Who would like to become a sex worker by choice compromising their dignity? The society has to take the blame for it. We should in fact apologise to the sex workers for keeping them in inimical conditions.
The tolerance of Hinduism teaches us to respect all individuals equally. Mahatma Gandhi lived this philosophy and now Morari Bapu is doing it. How many people have the courage to invite sex workers to a public event? Morari Bapu at this time is the true representative of Hinduism as he is strengthening its inclusive character. 
Supporters of Babri Masjid demolition and construction of a Ram temple at any cost at the disputed site will never understand this. They are also the one who are opposing the entry of women of child bearing age from entry to Sabarimala temple in Kerala. They are taking society backward. Morari Bapu's approach is progressive.
---
*Well-known Magsaysay Award winning social activist

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

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.

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.

Noteban: Harvard, Goldman Sachs scholars bemoan lack of "authentic" growth data

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp observation, scholars of a recent high-profile study, "Cash and the Economy: Evidence from India's Demonetization", whose results have been widely reported, have bemoaned: That there is lack of authentic official data on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the Government of India, forcing them to use “nightlights data”, a methodology usually adopted by top international scholars to assess socio-economic growth in highly underdeveloped countries of East Africa and parts of Asia, where no authentic ground level surveys are available to assess development.