The recent debate about whether Onam festival of Kerala relates to Mahabaliraja coming back to bless people and crops or is it related to Vamana, the Brahmin dwarf-a so called Avatara of Vishnu—who killed Bali by violating the moral contract between them. It has brought out the cultural mindset of Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The RSS chief of Kerala K Unnikrishnan Namboothiri — Brahmin himself– wrote in their Malayalam organ called Kesari that Onam festival must be celebrated as Vamana’s birth day. Not only that the Shudra king Baliraja was described by him as Demon. Historically all those Shudras who asserted for their rights have been constructed as demons by the Brahmin writers.
Quite ironically the BJP national president also asked people to celebrate Vamana’s birth day. What is the socio-spiritual morality that RSS and BJP want to spread and sustain in the country? A generous Shudra ruler, who gave whatever that dwarf asked for was brutally killed for giving gifts. Instead of being loyal to him he killed him with all the deceptive methods. Nowhere in the world such a thing could happen. Why do the RSS and the BJP want to project that killer as god? Why do they ask the nation to celebrate his birthday but not the resurrection of the murdered Bali?
The Bali and Vamana story is good example how Brahminism wants to sustain negative values and immorality as divinity and generosity and truthfulness as unworthy assets of the Indian society. They first write a story that whatever a Brahmin asks should be given. Otherwise the Brahmin would curse him/her which results in more dangers than giving what the Brahmin asks. If whatever asked is given, they encounter the fate of Bali. Even now innocent Shudras, repeat what Bali did, though they lose everything. This is a repeating narrative of the Indian history.
Why a Kerala Brahmin wants to reverse the Onama narrative now? Is there no central RSS approval to that view? May be it is also the opinion of Mohan Bhagwat ? They have not yet clarified.. The president of BJP asks the whole country to celebrate Vamana’s deceptive character. Is it an indication to Narendra Modi, who declared himself a Shudra OBC and ruling the nation that he too should remember the story of Bali?
It is not that the Kerala RSS unit does not know that the Modi, as PM candidate owned his Shudra background in his Kerala meeting only. They also know that Mahabali is very sentimentally owned by the Nairs and Menons, though support the Kerala brahminic system for long time. It was/is Onam festival that changed the social status of Shudras in Kerla vis-a-vis the cruel brahminism of the region.
No morally sensitive organization, leave alone a political party, that goes to the majority Shudras for votes would think that Vamana’s character impresses them. The RSS and BJP thought that Vamana’s character could be sold even these days. In the very same Kerala where Modi declared, while participating in a programme of Ayyankali before election, a Dalit leader, said that if he becomes the Prime Minister, his rule will be that of the Dalits and OBCs. Now a Namboothiri wants to change the whole Shudra festival—Onam- into a Brahmin festival by attributing it to immoral Vamana, who embodies immoral violence.
This was the king that Mahatama Phule, eulogized. There is a rumour that Modi mooted an idea that Mahatma Phule should be given Bharat Ratna during his period. Definitely that would give him lot of credibility. The Brahminic forces, within the RSS and the BJP hate that idea. They want to promote Vamana, Dronacharya, who took away the thumb of Ekalavya and Parushurama, who killed his own mother and all the Ksatriyas of his times. They do not want any change in the moral framework of India. Whatever a Brahmin does is worthy of worship, is their thinking.
Brahminism prevailed during the entire Congress rule in different modes. The RSS and the BJP were/are more Brahminic. In the 2014 election they gave a different impression. But its real character is asserting in the BJP rule in the form of Vamana’s values of crushing a Shudra who has given them everything. Modi may become Baliraja if he does not go by the advice of the RSS in every respect. Their cow protection politics have done that damage and he had to say “kill me, but not my Dalit brothers”.
The Kerala unit did not take this stand of reversing the Onam narrative without the consent of their high command at Nagpur. And Amit Shah would not direct its cadres to celebrate Vamana Jayanthi without direction of that high command. There is new message to the nation now. The Shudras, including the OBCs have to accept the authority of the Brahmins in every respect. This is a dangerous signal. In Balraja –Vamana story narrative the social justice and the moral contract between two individuals—Balirja and Vamana– has destroyed by an immoral man, resulting in the tragic death of a great ruler.
Here is national ruling party that upholds that immorality. If the contract between Bali and Vaman was moral, how could he kill him with a deceptive might? The BJP is upholding such immoral man who has not only killed a just man but wants to construct the martyr as Demon. Further, the ruthless killer of that generous and truthful and kind Shudra is being projected as god. Even the mass media treats him that way. That means no moral science can grow in India.
In this sociopolitical atmosphere there is a negative lesson for the Shudras and Dalitss in Bali’s surrender to the immoral Brahminism. The Indian Shudras and Dalits must realize that no Vamana type immoral being should be honoured with a social or spiritual contract. The Shudra forces have lost everything, including the spiritual equality for millennia by respecting the inheritors of Vamana. The contract between any truthful divine agency and human being should be just and life preserving. In the contract between Baliraja and Vamana is self-destructive on the part of Baliraja. Even the contemporary Brahmins working in the Sangh Parivar want to re-invoke it. But the only way is to protect the Shudra-Dalit survival is to reject to enter into any contract with such deceptive forces.
In that sense Baliraja and Ekalvya represent the Dalitbahujan foolishness and self destructiveness but not wisdom and truthfulness. As a Shudra I do not want to be Baliraja nor I would like any Shudra, including Narendra Modi, to enter into such a contract with them. A time has come to keep them at arm’s length and conduct our own affairs with absolute confidence.