India- like Nepal, where President Bhandari and Prime Minister Oli have both recently performed rituals at the Pashupatinath Temple- is a country where Communist Ministers justify their performance of Hindu rituals by saying that it will help destroy 'those who blacken the Red Flag'.
CPI (M) Party Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, 'is widely believed to have had his wife and son perform the ‘Shatrusamhaara puja’, a ritual whose objective is to neutralise an enemy, if not entirely annihilate him, at a famous temple while he held the home portfolio in the V S Achuthanandan government. However, more recently, another Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, has publicly offered prayers at the Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple in Thrissur district on the auspicious day of Ashtami Rohini on 12 September. He was shown on television channels as performing pushpanjali (offering flowers to God) and praying with folded hands at the sacred steps during his day-long visit to the famed temple. Temple officials said he had also contributed money for annadhanam, a long-held, sacred tradition followed by the temple of offering food.'
This has sparked of some debate among Leftist intellectuals but will have no impact on voters. All they care about is that the Communists provide meritorious candidates- like Shailaja, the Health Minister who has won international accolades for her handling of the Nipah and Covid outbreaks.
Still, it is curious that J Reghu and Shaj Mohan, who are both from Kerala, have written an article for Caravan magazine (along with Divya Dwiwedi) in which they take objection to Narendra Modi, who isn't a Communist, participating in a Hindu religious ceremony.
TODAY, IN INDIA, nearly all media have been co-opted into “Hindu nationalism,” which appears to be virtually the only permissible perspective on politics.
This is nonsense. There are plenty of Christian and Muslim and Communist magazines and TV channels. But, where Hindus are the majority, Hindus will be catered to more capaciously.
According to this perspective, “Hindu” is both an ancient religion and an ethnic group mythically born with it, thus making “Hindus” the eternal natives of India.
Since religion is heritable it is perfectly sensible to align ethnicity with religion- more particularly because this is what the historical record confirms. However, no one has claimed that all Hindus have the same ethnicity or that all Muslims or Christians belong to the same race. It is obvious that a Sindhi is of different language and ethnicity to a Tamil or Manipuri. Moreover there are now African and European converts to Hinduism.
This political project seeks to return India to an ahistorical past in which Hindus were supposedly free of external “mlechcha,” or impure, mixtures—from the ancient Greeks to the European colonial powers.`
This is a pure invention on the part of the authors. Converts to Hinduism have been welcomed more particularly where they, quite visibly, belong to a different race. But this is true of all Religions. It is an affirmation of the universal validity and soteriological power of the sect to see that it attracts converts from far off places.
The authors however believe that Hinduism is not a religion like Christianity or Islam. It is a 'hoax'.
less has been written about the hoax of Hinduism. The definition of “Hindu” lacks objective reality
'Hindu' is well defined for all legal and soteriological purposes. 'Christian' is not well defined but 'Catholic' or 'Anglican' etc. are well defined.
The fact is Hindus exist in Bali and Nepal and so forth. It can't be a 'hoax' perpetrated a hundred years ago by some seditious Indian barristers.
and runs contrary to recent scholarship in various disciplines.
There is no such scholarship as opposed to paranoid ranting.
The religion has been used to suppress and control the political aspiration of the oppressed castes, who were slipped into the Hindu religious category in the last century without consultation
This is the crux of the matter. The authors want Dalits to vote against the BJP. The problem here is that the BJP is meritocratic and enables Dalits to rise up purely on the basis of their personal qualities and achievements. The Communists in Kerala are quite meritocratic but, in Bengal, they were casteist. All that the Dalits want is that they be able to rise on merit. They want Justice not paranoid ranting about hoaxes which assume that their ancestors were stupid and easily misled. It is interesting that Dr. Ambedkar never denied that he and his ancestors were born into Hinduism- though he suggested that they may have originally been Buddhists. Thus, these authors are saying 'Ambedkar was not a scholar. He was a fool. He fell for a high caste hoax. Don't listen to Ambedkar, listen to us.' Yet Dr. Ambedkar was far better academically qualified than these cretins. He was a great lawyer, a great politician as well as being a profound scholar with two Doctorates- one from Columbia and the other from the LSE.
By contrast, whatever pedagogy Dwiwedi and Mohan can offer is a shameless hoax upon their students.