On April 26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length about the contributions and teachings of a historic figure, Shri Narayan Guru as he was inaugurating the year-long celebrations of 90the anniversary of the Sivagiri pilgrimage and the golden jubilee of Brahma Vidyalaya. The Sivagiri mutt was established by the spiritual leader and social reformer at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram.
Recalling the Guru by comparing his government’s policies and its relation to his teachings, the Prime Minister said that Guru used to create an environment in the society that the society itself used to get in the direction of self-improvement with the right rationale. ‘When we walk on this path of reforming the society, then a power of self-improvement is also awakened in the society. Guru gave the example of social adoption of the campaign of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in recent times where the situation improved with speed as the government was able to create the right environment.’’
However, India today doesn’t represent the ideologies which Narayana Guru preached about. First, let’s understand his important teachings and why has it lost their meaning in the current discourse prevalent at the moment.
“Religion is only a means of becoming God, the religion is not God.”
The recent developments in many parts of India have affected the fundamentals of India as a concept. The growing communal violence in India is an example of people in India not only considering religion as their God but also using it as a weapon to demonstrate their power in society.
In a report in The Guardian, this recent surge in communal tensions across the country can be related to the growing power of the right-wing ideology. The country is increasingly seen divided into the lines of Hindus-Muslim. The reason has been directed at the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by the prime minister, Narendra Modi. The BJP is seen as responsible for overseeing a religiously divisive agenda and emboldening hostility toward India’s 200m Muslims. The reason for the correlation has been the power given to the Hindu vigilante groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad
to operate freely and have increasingly begun to take the law into their own hands.
The reasons can be argued and disagreed upon but the secular fabric of India has been torn apart in the past few months something that needs to sink in.
“This world is in the truth, so don’t lie. Only tell the truth.”
India is in the clasp of an increasing number of fake news. The information and broadcasting minister today informed that there will be further strict actions against media entities peddling fake news. This manipulated content is being used to further polarise the country. The advent of social media platforms had made it easier for these crafted lies to reach a wider audience.
Applications like Bulli-Bai and Sulli deals are used to humiliate women from the Muslim community trying to character assassinate these women’s images by creating a false web of lies. Some of the arrested individuals have gotten their bail. The judicial system collapses in font of a well-orchestrated move to target women in the most shameful way possible.
“Farming is the backbone of life.” “Whichever the religion, It suffices, If it makes a better man.”
India witnessed the world’s largest democratic protest as thousands of farmers came out and camped on the roads opposing the farm laws that were passed in an arbitrary way. In India, a farmer’s image is associated with debts, poverty and not prosperity.
In Maharashtra 2498 died by suicide in the 11-month period from January to November 2021, according to RTI as per a report in the Times of India.
In 2020, 2547 farmers in debt had killed themselves. The data of the revenue department indicates that despite loan waiver schemes of the government, farmers are still taking their lives as the financial situation farmers are in dire conditions and they can’t pay back their loans.
“Ask not, Say not Think not caste”
Shri Narayana Guru was known for his stand against caste based oppression and his role in uplifting the backward Ezhava community in Kerala. But the leaders who hail him often conveniently forget the presence of caste and related oppression which have not declined rather increased in these many years.
The Nationcal Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows that the caste base violence increased by 9.3 per cent during the pandemic. Caste based oppression is a reality in India where a Dalit is killed for having a moustache or riding a horse in a wedding.
Also Checkout: The tragic police-public relations in the country