Spurious Remarks about Ramcharitmanas : An agenda of Divisive Politics
There has rightly been an uproar after Bihar’s Education Minister Chandrashekhair’s controversial statement on holy Scripture Remcharitmanas. From saints to Political leaders have opened a front against Chandrashekhar. What is the Conspiracy hatched by Chiefminister of Bihar Nitesh Kumar and ‘Grand Alliance’ for 2024 behind the spurious remarks about Ramcharitmanas. It seems that once already failed project- the project of caste-based politics has again been taken up by the opposition to defeat Narendra Modi. To understand the whole agenda, it needs to be investigated from two perspectives-first, how lies are being spread about Lord Rama and second, how the politics of 2024 is being executed by spreading lies.
Ramcharitmanas, a holy Scripture, a store house of the faith of crores of Hindus has been degraded to the book of hatred. Bihar Education Minister Chandrashekhar Singh has mentioned three quatrains of Uttarkand of Ramcharit Manas. The First stanza in the quatrain is- “Pujhi Vipra Sakal Gun Heena, Shudra na Pujhu Ved Praveena”. The Minister’s interpretation of the line was that the lower strata people are not worshippable even if they are educated. Further, he interpreted the lines, ‘Je Barnadham Teli Kumhara, Swapach Kirit Kil Kalwara; Vidya Paayee bhayahu yatha ahi milk paayee’ that Teli, Kumhar, Kahar, Kol Kalwara, Adivasi, Dalit all are ‘adham’ and lowly and the persons of low caste become poisonous like a snake after getting knowledge. The correct quatrain, however, is as given below-
Sapat, tadhat purush Kahanta Vipra Pujya as gaavhi santa
Pooja vipra seal guna heena, Sudra na Gun Gun Gyan Praveena.
What the Minister recited manifests that either he did not know the whole chaupai or he intentionally narrated half of it. The Chaupai is not a part of Uttarkand but Aranyakand. The meaning of the Chaupai is that “if a person does not do good deeds even after being a Brahmin by birth, he is a Shudra and hence not worshippable.” On the basis of the three Gunas – Satoguna, Rajoguna, Tamoguna-as explained to Arjuna by Lord Krishna, many Ramkatha vachaks interpret the chaupai as “That Brahmin is worshippable who is virtuous and who has risen above all the three gunas. Besides, a person becomes either a Shudra or a Brahmin by ‘Karma (deeds) that he does, and not by the caste that he belongs to.
Chandrashekhar Singh recited only half of another chaupai from Uttarkand. He did it deliberately, otherwise his agenda of divisive politics would not have worked. He told the audience that the meaning of Chaupai is that a person of low caste becomes poisonous like snake after getting knowledge. The Chaupai is actually a dialogue between Garuda Dev and Kak Bhusundi. Here Kak Bhusundi uses the word ‘Adham’ for himself. He calls himself a sinner because Bhusundi was cursed and as a result he became a crow.
There is another Chaupai(used by the divisive politicking) which narrates that Dhol, Gawar, Sudra, animal, woman are entitled to gross chastisement is forwarded by the politicking to divide the Hindu society. This however, is wrongly interpreted. In Manas, this chaupai comes in the form of a dialogue between Lord Rama and the Sea. When the Sea did not give way to Lord Rama to go to Lanka, Lord Ram got angry and decided to dry up the Sea. The Famous Katha Vachak Rambhadracharya explains the Chaupai as” it is good that you (Lord Ram) taught me; besides you have also maintained the dignity for all the objects of nature and the living beings. It is our duty to recognize the nature of every object. If one is not able to recognize the tone of the dholak (drum) it will play distantly, likewise you should know how to talk to an illiterate person. The meaning of Shudra here is an employee; the abilities of an employee be identified and he should be given work according to his abilities. Similarly, the behavior of animal (a mindless creature) should not be considered bad and hence summarily rejected. In the same way, the rights of women are to be taken care of and they should be accorded respect, otherwise there shall b e an atmosphere of violence and tension.
The Word ‘Chastisment’, a derivative of the word ‘chastise’ not only means “to reprimand” or “to beat”. It also means to “guess”,” to judge”, “to understand”. Lord Ram is the person who respects his mother Kaikeyi even after her conspiracy. He does everything to protect the rights of his wife Sita and eats the berries tasted by Sabri. He Kills Bali to return the honour of Sugriva’s wife. After having killed Ravana, he seeks an apology from Ravana’s wife Mandodari. The Ram whom Tulsidas ji has depicted as a great man respecting women and so called, lowly people (Nishad, Sabri, etc.), would never write of beating or assaulting them.
By Prof. Suresh Kumar Agrawal
(The writer is Professor & Head, Department of English, Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner.)
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