Posts Tagged ‘caste’

h1

“தமிழகத்தின் பால் தாக்கரே” சீமான்

May 25, 2011

இந்த தமிழ் மொழியானது காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி என்று நான் ஏன் சொல்கிறேன்? எதனால் சொல்லுகிறேன்? என்று இன்று கோபித்து கொள்ளும் யோக்கியர்கள் ஒருவர் கூட சிந்தித்து பேசுவதில்லை. “வாய் இருக்கிறது எதையாவது பேசி வயிறு வளர்ப்போம்” என்பதை தவிர அறிவையோ, மானத்தையோ, ஒழுக்கத்தையோ பற்றி சிறிது கூட சிந்திக்காமல் பேசிவருகிறார்கள். இப்படிப்பட்ட இவர்கள் போக்குபடியே சிந்தித்தாலும் ‘தமிழ்மொழி 3000-4000 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முந்தி ஏற்பட்ட மொழி’ என்பதை தமிழின் பெருமைக்கு சாதனமாக கொண்டு பேசுகிறார்கள். நானும் தமிழ் காட்டுமிராண்டி மொழி என்பதற்கு அதைத்தானே முக்கிய காரணமாய் சொல்லுகிறேன்.அய்யா தந்தை பெரியார்

அனைத்து இந்திய லாரி உரிமையாளர்கள் சங்கம், அனைத்து இந்திய அந்த சங்கம் இந்த சங்கம் என்று இருக்கும். அதில் எல்லாம் மாநிலம், மாவட்டம், மாநகரம் என்று ஒவ்வொரு குழு அடங்கும். அது போல தேவர் குழு, செட்டியார் குழு, முதலியார் குழு, நாடார் குழு, பிள்ளை குழு என்று எல்லாம் சேர்ந்து நாம் தமிழர் என்று ஒரு சங்கம் அமைத்து உள்ளது. சரி எதுக்கு இந்த சங்கமுன்னு கேட்டா எல்லாரையும் ஒன்று இன்னைத்த பிறகு எல்லாருக்கும் அறிவுரை கூறி ஜாதி பற்றை அல்லது வெறியை கைவிட செஞ்சுடுவாங்கலாம். ‘இவன்’ என்ற பார்த்திபன் படம் நினைவுக்கு வருது. அதுல மிஸ்டர் பார்த்திபன் என்ன செய்வாருன்னா எல்லா வில்லன்களை கடத்தி பேசியே திறித்திடுவாறு. நல்ல தமாஷா இருக்கும். அதே வித்தையை நம்ம தன்மான சிங்..ச்சி புலி சீமான் செஞ்சினு இருக்காறு. ஏதோ அவவன் தேவை இல்லாம தேவனாகவும், வெட்டியா வன்னியனாகவும், சும்மனாச்சுக்கும் செட்டியாகவும், டைம் பாஸ்சுக்கு தலித் ஆகவும் இருக்கான் ரெண்டு நல்ல வார்த்தை சொல்லி திறுதருதற்கு. இந்த கூத்துக்கு பின்னாடி ஒரு கூம்பல் வாங்க தமிழரே கொள்கை தேவையில்லை, கூட்டம் தான் தேவை, கட்சி தான் தேவை. வீரம் தான் தேவை என்று இயேசு அழைக்கிறார் கும்பல் கூச்சப்படும் அளவிற்கு சகட்டு மேனிக்கு பிரச்சாரம் செய்கிறார்கள். எல்லா ஜாதிக்காரனும் (சுத்ரவாள்) செந்துக்குன்னு தலித் மக்களை வேற வாங்க தமிழரே என்று தீடீர் பாசம் செலுத்துறான்(ராம ஜன்மபூமி நினைவிற்கு வருது). சும்மா வாங்க பிரச்சனைய அப்புறம் பார்த்துப்போம் என்று எத கேட்டாலும் இப்போ ஈழம் தான் ஒரே பிரச்சனைன்னு ஜார்ஜ் புஷ் 9/11 போல அரச்ச மாவையே அரைக்கிறான். ஈழ போர் ஏன் இப்படி ஆச்சின்னு மட்டும் கேட்டோம் காங்கிரஸ், சோனியா, கருணாநிதி, இளங்கோவன், அசின், விவேக் ஒபரோய் என்று எல்லாரையும் இழுத்து ஒரு கலட்சபம் நடத்திடுவாங்க. சரி இப்ப என்ன செய்யலாம் என்றால் அ.தி.மு.க விற்கு வோட்டு , கனிமொழிக்கு சிறை, மோடி போன்ற ஆட்சி என்று தே.மு.தி.க வின் அடிமட்ட தொண்டனுக்கு உள்ள அரசியல் சமூக அறிவை வியக்கும் அளவிற்கு பேசுவார்கள்.

Naam Thamizhar

"தமிழகத்தின் பால் தாக்கரே" சீமான்


தேசியவாதம் அயோக்கியனின் உறைவிடம். எப்படி இந்திய தேசியத்திற்கு கண்மூடித்தனமாய் ஒரு பாகிஸ்தான் தேவைப்படுகிறதோ அதே போல் தமிழ் தேசியத்திற்கு சிங்களம் தேவைப்படுகிறது. சிங்களம் இல்ல விட்டால் வேறு ஒரு தேசியம் எதிரியாக சித்தரிக்கபடும். ராஜபக்சேவும் சிங்கள இனவாதிகளும் எதை எதிர்பார்க்கிறகளோ அதையே இவர்களும் செய்கிறார்கள். கார்கில் பொழுது நம்ப அம்பி அரவிந்த்சாமி ஒரு விளம்பரத்துல சொல்லுவாறு ‘இந்துஸ்தானம் எழுந்தால் எந்த ஸ்தனமும் மிஞ்சாது’ அதே போல் நம்ம சுத்திர குட்டி சீமான் சிங்களவனை அழிச்சிடிவோம் என்று உதார் விடறாரு. பாமர சிங்கள மக்களை இதை சொல்லியே பயமுருத்திவிடுவார்கள் சிங்கள குண்டர்கள்.
எதோ தேசியவாதம் ஜாதி நல்லிணக்கம் பேசுறீங்க சரி, பெரியாரை ஏன் சீண்டனும். பெரியார் தேசியத்தை வெறுத்தவர், ஜாதி ஒழிப்பில் காலமெல்லாம் உறுதியாய் இருந்தவர், பார்பனீயம் அல்லது இந்து மதத்தை வேரறுக்க முற்பட்டவர், அடிப்படைவாதத்தை எதிர்த்தவர் என்று எதையெல்லாம் செய்தாரோ அதற்கு நேர் மாறாக செயல் படுகிறது சீமானின் நாம் தமிழர். வீரமணி பெரியார் பெயரை கெடுத்தது பத்தாது என்று இன்று சீமானும் நாம் தமிழரும் உலா வருகிறார்கள். அம்பேத்கருக்கும் முதுராமலிங்கதிற்கும் மாலை அன்னிவிச்சு ஹிந்து பாசிஸ்டுகள் ரேஞ்சில் அம்பேத்கரை ஜாதி தலைவர் ஆக்கிவிட்டார் சீமான். இதற்கு சப்பை கட்டு கட்டும் முற்போக்காளர்கள் வேறு. அப்போ போய் காஞ்சி பெரியவாளுக்கும் மாலை சாத்துங்கோ என்ற எண்ணம் எழும் முன்பே மோடி புகழை திவ்யமாய் பாடும் சீமான். ஈழத்தில் இஸ்லாமியர்களை வதைத்தார்கள் விடுதலை புலிகள் இப்போ எதிரிக்கு எதிரிக்கு நண்பன் என்ற முறையில் மோடி போலும். வறட்டு தமிழ் தேசியவாதம், ஜாதி சமரசம், கண்மூடி தனமான தொண்டர் கூட்டம் எல்லாம் சேர்த்து தமிழகத்தில் ஒரு பால் தக்கரே உருவாகிவிட்டார். வெளி மாநிலத்தவரை அடிக்காமல் இருப்பது தான் ஒரு குறை.
ரஜினி ரசிகர் போல் தலைவன் வேணும், வழி காட்டனும் என்று சொல்லாமல், சீமான் போன்ற அரசியல் சமூக சந்தர்பவாதிகள் பின் செல்லாமல் பெரியார் அம்பேத்கர் பாதையில் தனி மனித ஒழுக்கத்தினால் ஜாதியை ஒழித்து மதங்களை கடந்து தமிழராய் இல்லை மனிதனாய், உழைக்கும் மக்களாய் ஒன்று சேர்வோம்.

Advertisements
h1

Inter-Caste Marriages: A sham?

January 4, 2010

A recent episode of the talk show ‘Neeya Naana’ had an interesting topic. As most Tamil television viewers would be aware, Neeya Naana is a weekly talk show being telecast on Vijay TV. Each week, a topic is introduced by the show’s host, Gopinath and people argue for and against the given topic. The topics mostly range from being silly to plain ludicrous. But now and then, some interesting topics get discussed as well. These give us a good snapshot of the current society’s opinions and thoughts. This week was one such.

The subject of discussion this time around was people who had inter-caste/ inter-religious ‘love’ marriages. The moderator discussed various aspects starting from how the people found their spouses’ caste to how they faced their parents’ ire when they married and most crucially, the belief system under which they bring up their children. The opinions voiced by the audience make us wonder if the whole concept of inter-caste marriages has had any impact at all on curbing the impact of caste on the society.

Today, many people are of the opinion that caste is not as prevalent in towns and cities as in villages. With people moving to new places in search of greener pastures, it is widely believed that the different castes have truly amalgamated in the hustle and bustle of the city’s busy lifestyle. Nothing can be more far from the truth. In comparison to the open practising methods followed in villages, the folks in towns and cities adopt a more contemporary approach in establishing their hegemony. Theirs is an approach of making selective compromises that would make their life easier in a big city but not any that would affect their caste pride. In this way, they create an impression of having amicable relationship with others in the community but also retain the respect of their caste brethren. This is probably more sinister than the practices adopted in villages as the hatred is concealed in the guise of co-existence.

One of the main occasions when this caste pride comes to the fore is during marriages. All hell breaks loose when a boy or girl chooses to marry someone from a different caste. But nowadays, it seems like the people who get into these kinds of inter-caste relationships themselves know where to draw the line. This was quite evident from the opinions of the audience in the program. Just to give a glimpse, there was this woman who wanted her lover to either to be from the BC or the MBC category. Then there was this lady who went through her future partner’s certificates to figure out which caste he belonged to. Another woman told of how she knew of her partner’s caste even during her schooldays and the time when her parents threatened to kill him on knowing that he was from a different caste. This lady and many others apologised to their parents on the show for the grief the parents had been put through. The fact that those parents were prepared to kill another human being just to keep caste honour didn’t seem to bother these women. It was indeed sad to note that there wasn’t a single person who said they loathed the very system called caste and wanted to prove a point by marrying someone from a different community.

Another aspect which comes to our attention is how the offsprings of these relationships are brought up. In most inter-caste marriages, the lifestyle adopted by the couple will mostly adhere to the higher caste amongst those from which they hail from. This was also evident from the opinions voiced in the show. Examples such as the lady belonging to the Mudaliar caste giving her son a Brahmin upbringing (‘We have even performed the Poonool ceremony for him’, she said) and the Christian woman who converted to being a Hindu after marriage prove this point. Interestingly, it was mostly women who had made the compromises. It seems like the only instance where the couples make an exception is when they get a community certificate for their children!

Caste is definitely a social evil which needs to be exterminated. What’s required is a change in mindset of the society and awareness about the negative impact it has had on people’s lives. Marrying someone from another caste doesn’t serve any purpose unless there is a concrete effort to change one’s opinions about the evils of the system. Until this happens, these marriages would be no more than mere sham exercises which only serve to help programs like Neeya Naana garner more TRPs.

h1

Maestro of Opportunism

December 20, 2009

Ilayaraja – A name synonymous with the Tamil music industry. An incomparable genius who totally transformed the role played by music in films and the perception of people towards film music.

The mid 1970s. It was during this time that Rasaiyya aka Ilayaraja entered films. It was the period when listening to Hindi film songs was considered fashionable and tamil film music was looked down upon. The fate of tamil folk music was even more worse. It was virtually non existent in tamil movies. Only Carnatic music was considered to be ‘quality’ music. Ilayaraja would forever change this trend. His style rediscovered tamil folk music and experimented with nuances of music which were totally unheard of till then. The purists who initially dismissed his music as worthless had to eat their own words. Today, his music has reached a stage where his contemporaries pale in comparison.

Raja has always had an interesting relationship with the ‘elite’ of the tamil society. His eagerness to be in their good books is a known secret to anyone that has followed him over the years. In this light, the recent conferring of the ‘Isai Gnana Mani’ award on him by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam gains interest. The award was given away by the Jayandera Saraswati who is currently on bail for murder charges. It was apparently in recognition of Raja’s Thiruvasagam and his services to tamil music. During his acceptance speech, Raja revealed that he was asked by Chandrasekaran (Jayandera’s predecessor, now deceased) to work on the Thiruvasagam album. This is an interesting comment considering the fact that the gurus of the Kanchi mutt have never considered tamil to be a ‘pure’ language. They have gone to the extent of branding it as ‘neesa baashai’ (the language of the shudras). Also, the Kanchi Mutt follows the Vaishanavite approach of the Hindu religion and doesn’t approve the Saivite way to which Thiruvasagam belongs. All this is relatively unimportant. Our main point of concern is why would a genius like Raja stoop so low time and again.

Ilayaraja was born as Gnanadesikan (but known as Rasaiyya) in a Dalit Christian family. During his early years he was exposed to communist ideals by his elder brother ‘Paavalar’ Varadarajan who was involved with the Communist party. As a budding music composer, he assisted his brother during propaganda tours where music was used as a mode of protest. But once he started making attempts to enter the film music industry all this started to change gradually. Raja found it pretty hard to make an impression in an industry which was dominated by influences of Carnatic music. The purists refused to accept his style of music, branding him as ‘thavil party’. Needless to say, the fact that he came from a lower class background also added to this dismissal. Steadily Raja did begin to make progress and was accepted by the general public. But in order to be accepted by the so called custodians of music, he was rather compelled to change his personality. The mid 80s to early 90s saw the gradual shift of Raja towards the ideals of Hindutva. You can see this change in a lot of songs he composed during that period. A notable example is the ‘Janani Janani’ song among others. His personality also took a sharp change with the constant shaved head and beads around his neck and what not. He started doing concerts to collect funds to donate to the temple at Srirangam. It is a pity that he failed to notice that his fellowmen were still struggling to enter the very same temple! This change in attitude of his has been written about by many. A excerpt from an article about him in the Outlook magazine:

‘…despite his achievements, Ilayaraja is uncomfortable with the truth of his origins. When K.A. Gunasekaran wrote Isaimozhiyum Ilayarajavum (The Language of Music and Ilayaraja) in 2002, the composer was offended by the fact that Gunasekaran had discussed his Dalit origins. Ilayaraja sued the publisher and author for defamation. He has tried ceaselessly to merge himself into all that Hinduism holds in high regard. He is an ardent devotee of Ramanan of Thiruvannamalai and also planned to start a music research centre with the aid of the Kanchi Mutt’

It is a widely known fact that inspite of his generous donation to the temple at Tiruvannamalai, he was barred entry into the temple’s sanctum sanctorum during the religious ceremony held there.

As a composer, Raja has undeniably revolutionised music. But as an individual, he has completely failed in many respects. Why he tries to ape a group which has for centuries subjugated his own fellow beings is a mystery only he can answer. He may be excused for doing so during his initial days, but to do it till this day just baffles our understanding. Is this a case of sheer opportunism gone too far?

h1

India and its Patriots

August 15, 2009

India is a peculiar country and her nationalists and patriots are a peculiar people. A patriot and a nationalist in India is one who sees with open eyes his fellowmen treated as being less than men. But his humanity does not rise in protest. He knows that men and women for no cause are denied their human rights. But it does not prick his civic sense to helpful action. He finds whole class of people shut out from public employment. But it does not rouse his sense of justice and fair play. Hundreds of evil practices that injure man and society are perceived by him. But they do not sicken him with disgust. The patriot’s one cry is power and more power for him and for his class. I am glad I do not belong to that class of patriots. I belong to that class which takes its stand on democracy and which seeks to destroy monopoly in every shape and form. Our aim is to realise in practice our ideal of one man one value in all walks of life, political, economic and social. It is because representative government is one means to that end that the Depressed Classes attach to it as great a value and it is because of its value to us that I have urged upon you the necessity of making your declaration subject to its fulfilment. You may tell me that the Depressed Classes have your sympathy. My reply is, for a stricken people what is wanted is something more concrete, something more defined. You may despise me for being unduly apprehensive. My reply is it is better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions; rather than be ruined by too confident a security.
-Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar, 19th January 1931 at the RTC in London

h1

Religious ‘freedom’ in India

August 14, 2009

It is a known fact that in Hindu majority India, minorities have always had it hard. Among the people who convert to other religions, mostly it is the dalits who form a significant percentage. The main reason they do so is to escape the oppression they face from the so called upper castes who refuse to treat them even as humans let alone as equals. But even this doesn’t seem to have alleviated their situation. From anti-conversion laws in TN to genocides in Gujarat and Orissa the obstacles they face is beyond words. A recent report from U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has confirmed this.

Excerpt

“It is extremely disappointing that India, which has a multitude of religious communities, has done so little to protect and bring justice to its religious minorities under siege”

The report has only reiterated only what most of us know already.As expected, the Indian government has termed the report ‘regrettable’. This is not the first time the Indian Govt has turned a deaf ear to such findings. When the issue of caste based discrimination came up at a anti-racism conference in South Africa some years ago, India refused to accept that the caste system was a form of racism and went on to proclaim that the practice was fast declining when the actual facts showed exactly the opposite. The first step to rectify any issue is to accept the fact that there is an issue. It seems like the Indian goverment is totally oblivious to this fact.All it wants to do is to paint a rosy picture of its multilingual, mulitcultural heritage, conveniently ignoring the travails faced by millions of its own citizens.

h1

‘India Shining’

August 1, 2009

‘Why care about these ppl…lets build more nuclear submarines and show the world what a powerful country India is…BTW, don’t forget to ask these guys to make sure our shithouses are clean – bharat mata ke jai’