The politics of burning effigies in 2016 by the Congress cons, Dravidian dons and JNU junkies!
Dravidar Kazhagam’s racial approach continues even in 2016: The misguided Dravidar Kazhagam, of various banners still, believes in Aryan-Dravidian racial hypotheses and theories” and work emotionally with raid radicalism. The day after Dussera was celebrated with the burning of effigies of King Raavan in many parts of the country on 12-10-2016, as announced, about 40 members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam [TPDK] landed at the Sanskrit College at Mylapore in Chennai on 13-10-2016 Wednesday to burn effigies of Ram, Sita and Lakshmanan. The group had originally planned to hold the event outside the Madras Sanskrit College of Chennai to protest against the institution’s version of the Ramayana, but it was later shifted to a spot about a kilometre away due to police intervention. While 11 of them were remanded under Section 285 of Indian Penal Code, 12 members of a Hindu group were detained near Sanskrit college in Mylapore. Thus, the media differed in reporting the event.
PDK’s attempt to hold Ravan Leela flops: Deccan Chronicle reported wth this caption. The attempt by Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam members to celebrate the Ravan leela deifying the demon king and projecting him as Dravidian stalwart, while belittling Lord Ram, turned into a fiasco with the police taking 55 persons of PDK into custody on Wednesday. Even before the members could assemble and burn an effigy in front of Sanskrit College, Mylapore, in the city on Wednesday evening, the police pre-empted their move and arrested 55 persons. The PDK had announced to stage Ravan leela as the outfit believed that Ravan was a Dravidian and burning his image during Dusshera celebrations in many parts of India amounted to “mocking” the Dravidians. “This is only a bid to stoke controversy and is intended to insult the Hindu gods and hurt the sentiments of the believers,” Hindu Makkal Katchi state president Arjun Sampath said reacting to the development. The staunch Hindu outfit has demanded the police to detain the PDK members under NSA and prevent such incidents in future. “The PDK is taking things a bit too far. The attempt to hold Ravan leela is an assault on our culture and it is highly condemnable,” Mr Sampath said.
Why Ravan leela? – the racist question asked by modernists!: The pro-Muslim media “Scroll.in” reported differently. This was the Periyarist group’s answer to Ram Leela – Ravanan Leela to demonstrate their opposition to the Ram Leela celebrations that depict the victory of King Ram over Raavan, who, according to Indian mythology, had kidnapped Ram’s wife Sita. Amidst tight security, and all efforts of the police to stall the event, the members of the fringe group did manage to burn a few effigies, including that of Lord Ram. Kumaran / Tinker Kumaron, a member of the TDPK said, “Every year, in North India, Ram Leela is celebrated by burning effigies of Raavan, This is being done to insult South Indians. We consider Raavan to be a Dravidian….As per our plan we broke the police chain around us and burned the effigy. 11 persons who were involved in burning effigies have been remanded by police.”
Why is the President participating in Ram leela programme?: Speaking to The Hindu, G. Ramakrishnan, general secretary, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, said that the act was a reaction to the celebration of Ram Leela as a part of Dusshera celebrations across North India, a festival in which the effigy of mythological character Ravanan is set on fire symbolically to represent victory of Lord Ram over Ravanan. “To us, Ramayana, though a mythological story, was a Aryan-Dravidian conflict where Lord Ram was shown to have won against Ravanan, who we consider as a Dravidian. The epic represents Ram as a God and Ravanan as a monster. This is the basis of our opposition,” he said. Criticising the recent celebrations at the Red Fort lawns, which was attended by several high-profile dignitaries including President Pranab Mukherjee, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Ramakrishnan wondered if India really was a secular country. “Why is the President participating in such a programme? He is the president to whole of India,” he said. It is evident that these people are behaving in this way, knowing the truth that the whole country has been celebrating for many years. Even hundreds years back, it was celebrated in Asfganistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries.
Belief in race, racism and racialism: Condemning Ramayana’s ‘racist portrayal’ of ‘Dravidians as demons’, the TPDK said that the Ravanan Leela was their way of protesting against Hindu cultural hegemony. “It does not matter that ‘Ram Leela’ is not celebrated in Tamil Nadu. In Delhi, effigies of Ravanan and his two brothers are burnt, we believe that they are Dravidians and burning their effigies is mocking us. So to stop that, we have decided to celebrate ‘Ravana Leela’ in which we will be burning the effigies of Ram, Sita and Lakshman,” S Kumaran, another TDPL leader had told TNM earlier. He also added that they had written a letter to Prime Minister asking him to stop Ram Leela in Delhi but they did not get any response from his office. “It is clearly proven once again that the rulers of India will never care to respect the feelings of the Southerners,” said the group. “If they have cared so, then they would not have ventured to burn the effigies of the three choicest heroes of the Dravidian race in the guise of honouring a hero of religious epic.” Kumaron said that this protest against Ram Leela celebrations gathered momentum in 1974, when the group sent a letter to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi demanding a stop to the festivities. But at that time too, they received no reply. Over the next few decades, there have been at least three instances when the group has burnt effigies of Ram, and and been arrested for this.
Splinter groups playing dangerous games: Veeramani and “Viduthalai” Rajendran had a break and Rajendran started “The Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam” in 2012, claiming that they would follow the teachings of social activist and politician EV Ramaswami Naicker or Periyar, who had also questioned the portrayal of Raavan in the popular version of the Ramayana. As reported in Outlook, some of the questions posed by Periyar were, “Isn’t it true that Ravaan abducted Sita as an honourable revenge for the insult heaped upon his sister? Isn’t it a Brahminical ploy to give the colour of lust to a most honourable kidnapping?” The DK spinter groups have always been attacking the soft target – the Brahmins! They cruelly cut a poor Brahmin at West Mambalam some years ago with aruval (study sword), and another Brahmin in Mylapore last year (April 2015).
Splinter DK groups attack Brahmins following the path of Periyar: MT Saju writes that in the 1970s too, Periyarists conducted Ravanan Leelas. He reminds us that after Periyar died, his wife Maniyammai burnt the effigy of Ram at Periyar Thidal in 1974. But since then, it has not been a popular event. Thus, for some reason, some people want to create ruckus now. Dravidian movement analyst K Thirunavukarrasu said that this anti-Ram sentiment has existed since the beginning of the Dravidian movement in the 1920s. The 1940s saw the publication of works such as Raavana Kaviyam (Raavana Epic) by Pulavar Kuzhandhai and Iranyan Allathu Inayatra Veeran(Hiranya or the Unparalleled Warrior) by Bharatidasan, which eulogised the characters Raavan and Hiranyakashyap, who had been depicted as asuras in popular versions of Indian mythological stories. “The asuras have been depicted in these stories in a manner that denigrates Dravidians,” said Thirunavukarrasu. As Periyar used to say, “If you see a snake and Brahmin, leave snake but kill Brahmin”, these goons are following such bloody method.
Dravidian King Ravana was a Brahmin: The atheist Dravidian ideologists do not believe Puranas, yet, they believe them for their myth-making. As they believe Aryan-Dravidian race theories, at one side they claim that Ravana was a Brahmin! “The intention of the Dravidian movement is to oppose the depiction of Dravidas as asuras in all these plays.” Tamil writer D Ravikumar said that according to the version of the Ramayana written by medieval Tamil poet Kambar, Raavan was not a Dravidian King but a Brahmin. “If you look at this from the lens of Kambar’s Ramayana, it is hard to say how he came to be associated with Dravidian identity,” said Ravikumar. Ravikumar said that around the 1960s, Tamil Nadu politics was based on antagonism towards North India, Brahminism, Aryans and Hindi. The protest against Ram Leelas rode on this sentiment, he said. But in the 1970s and 1980s, the issue became irrelevant. When the main parties in power were all Dravidian parties, it was no longer a vote-catching subject. “Now, this has been revived by some groups after the BJP has come to power,” said Ravikumar. “Raavan acts as an anti-BJP symbol. But we don’t know how successful it will be.”
Karunanidhi playing Ravana (1998): On October 1, 1998, Anoor Jagadeesan, president of PDK and 16 others were arrested when they tried to burn the effigies of Rama and Lakshmana in Chennai. On October 18, 1998, Karunanidhi asserted that, “….if you insult Ravana, you are insulting me”. In Ramasethu issue also, he passed remarks asking “In which engineering college Rama studied” (so that he could build a bridge). Even, Kamal Hasan also used to utter that he came from Ravan geneology or something like that!
Ilangeswaran vs Ravana Leela: R. S. Manohar (1925-2006) used to portray all Asuras as heroes – Surapadman, Sisupalan, Narakasuran, Indrajit, Sukrachariyar etc., in his characteristic projection in his dramas, which were successful in 1970-80s. He too projected Ravana as “Ilankeswaran”, the Lord of Lanka, but, not the Dravidian way of contempt, hatred and blasphemy. In fact, he followed the Puranic narration and other hagiographical details. Understandably, he was never supported or honoured by the Dravidian leaders or even Periyar for his donning Asuras! And now, the fringe elements have started the old game, when the Dravidian CM, that too, a lady has been ailing in hospital.
Modi effigy burned by the Congress and JNU students: A group of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 11-10-2016 Tuesday burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief chief Amit Shah, Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse and others to mark the “victory of truth over falsehood” on the occasion of Dussehra. Members of the Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) on Tuesday night celebrated Dussehra by burning the effigy of Modi and others to protest against the growing interference of the Centre in universities and attacks on Dalits.“We celebrated the victory of truth over falsehood in a modern and democratic country by burning effigies. For us Modi and RSS are symbol of untruth,” said Sunny Diman, an NSUI member. So, the Congress party too has taken such method of politics of burning effigies exploiting the occasion of “Viyayadasami”. Ironically, the Congress leaders have been questioning the successful surgical operations on these days at one side and indulging in such cheap and vulgar activities at another side.
 The News Minute, Dravidian Ravanan Leela: Periyarists burn Ram effigy even as police try to stop them, by TNM Staff, Thursday, October 13, 2016 – 11:31.
 Scroll.in, Why a Dravidian fringe group burnt effigies of Ram and Sita in Chennai this year, by Vinita Govindarajan. October 13, 2016, 8 pm.
 The Hindu, TPDK Cadres arrested in chennai for burning effigy of Lord Ram, Chennai 13, 2016, Updated: October 13, 2016 07:23 IST
 Deccan Chronicle, PDK’s attempt to hold Ravan Leela flops, Published Oct 13, 2016, 7:00 am IST, Updated Oct 13, 2016, 7:01 am IST
 Ajith Pillai and A. S. Paneerselvan, Good Or Evil? The Politics Of Ravana, Outlook, Novemver.2, 1998.
 The Hindustan Times, Delhi: Students burn effigy of Modi, Shah, Godse at JNU campus on Dussehra, HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Updated: Oct 13, 2016 10:08 IST