Monday, November 19, 2012


Rajeep Sardesai (CNN-IBN)
Prannoy Roy (NDTV)

Dear Rajdeep,

As you are aware I am a Hindu from the diaspora. I am a regular viewer of both your channel and NDTV since they are the leading national channels in English. I am copying this email to NDTV also. The programs are usually good, the anchors competent, often excellent. I particularly like watching both Sagarika Ghosh and Karan Thapar. Hence, I sat down to watch 'FTN Is  the legend of Ram the most enduring in India ?' with some expectations.

70% of the voters said yes. This was quite informative. One does not therefore despair of Bharat.

The program began upbeat, with Sagarika looking very elated and smiling (ofcourse, she usually smiles). It was the eve of Deepavali, when the story of Rama returning to Ayodhya after defeating the asuric forces, is celebrated all over India and indeed the world now. The speaker at the beginning pointed out that Rama belongs to the satvik traditions of Hinduism. In my opinion he is indeed the satvik hero who also upheld the injunction given by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, that Dharma should be upheld. That is a difficult task only aided by the recognition of what is satvik and what is asuric. 

The particpants made interesting contributions to the topic with Dr. Ashis Nandy offering interesting observations on Rama the epic hero , and the nature of epic heroes. The bombshell came with Kancha Ilaiah. Now, we are all familiar with Kancha's writings. But it was SHOCKING to see him  call Rama a murderer and killer on national television ! He did this repeatedly and ofcourse many of his arguments were confused. The other participants tried their best to bring a semblance of balance to the discussion.

My own recommendation is that the anchor should on such occasions INTERVENE and remind the discussant to be moderate in his/her comments. The anchor has such a right and it should be exercised. Either Sagarika was taken aback by the fury of his onslaught or she just did not think it was proper to make an intervention. Either way, she allowed him to continue unchecked.

By now perhaps the national audience is used to such extreme statements from Kancha. Neverthless, he had blatantly insulted the sentiments of the majority of the Hindu population. One wonders what would happen if similar statements were made about Jesus and Mohammed
(whom Kancha thinks are perfect)and about whom recent scholarship has written about in less than complimentary terms. Their angularities need no elaboration here.

All hell would have broken loose ! 

This brings me to the related topic of the exaggerated appeasement of the minority communities in India under the rubric of democracy. It seems as if the minority can say and do what they want with impunity, but whenever there is a corresponding Hindu response, this is described by the liberal press as 'communal'.

I hope this bias (quite noticeable) does not continue in Bharat's national channels. I was gratified to read that in Kerala while there was a celebration to commemorate the Temple Entry Proclamation (1936) by His Highness Chittira Thirunal the ruler of Travancore  the Muslim League which had organised a protest near the temple (quite irrationally it seems !) was chased away by the Hindus. Seeing the overwhelming response of the Hindus the police withdrew the permission given to the League for holding a demonstration. It is, ofcourse, not clear why the League should have protested, unless it was to show some muscle, which they are currently exhibiting because of the support by Muslim MLAs to the Congress government. It is high time that the Hindus of India woke up from the misleading soporofics adminstered to them under various labels and took a firm stand against such nonsense !

Here is the draft of the Temple Entry Proclamation :

" Profoundly convinced of the truth and validity our religion, believing that it is based on divine guidance and all comprehending toleration, knowing that in its practice it has throughout the centuries, adapted itself to the needs of changing times, solicitous that none of our Hindu subjects should, by reason of birth or caste or community, be denied the consolation and the solace of of the Hindu faith, we have decided and hereby declare, ordain and command that, subject to such rules and conditions as may be laid down and imposed by us for preserving their proper atmosphere and maintaining these rituals and observances, there should henceforth be no restrictions placed on any Hindu by birth or religion on entering or worshipping at temples controlled by us and our government."

Wishing you and the channels a happy Deepavali !


Dr. Vijaya Rajiva

No comments:

Post a Comment