Burying Ballad Boosting Bali? Vaman (Dwarf) Idea!
Unnikrishnan Namboothiri from Kerala has stirred an hornet’s nest with his article in the Onam Special edition of Kesari, the RSS Magazine. He is not only doubting the importance of King Mahabali in the Onam festival, but also working to re-position Onam as
Vamana Jayanthi. Questioning the relevance of Bali to Onam or Kerala may appear boorish to all but Namboothiri. The cunning one-upmanship of the brave and charitable Bali at the behest of the scared demi-gods (Indra and his ilk) is not something that Lord Vishnu (as the Vaman) would wish to be proud of.
Unnikrishnan and Amit Shah, however seem to revel in the idea. It is surprising that the master strategist, Shah is pushing Vamana Jayanthi. Is he hoping to cruise towards more Hindutva votes. He must also be aware that this new turn crudely crushes the ‘development’ positioning. The platform that Modi and he have painstakingly built for ‘Brand BJP’ over the past few years.
Accepting History and learning from it!
Conflict has been the typical ingredient in the infancy and initial growth phase of most major belief systems in the world. Hinduism or Vedism in the ancient ages have been no different. The remote past is full of clashes between the sons of two sisters. Diti (mother of the Daityas/Demons) and Aditi (mother of the Adityas or Devas/Demi-gods) were both wives of Kashyapa. They could have co-existed, but chose conflict over co-operation. Hinduism, over centuries has evolved with universal and egalitarian value systems thus encouraging plurality and accommodating diversity.
We have so much to rejoice about and seek solace from and also much to celebrate. Such is the beauty of the rainbow that is our nation. Forget the spectrum of religions that India is proudly home to. Even within Hinduism there are many traditions that, both enrich and are responsible for the wealth of wisdom. The kind of treasure that the world is slowly beginning to see more meaning in.
Are Unni and Shah doing Hinduism a big dis-favour with these manoeuvres? We only hope better sense prevails and the Dwarf Idea of Vamana Jayanthi is buried. Let Mahabali and other ‘vanquished’ traditions ‘surface’ and flourish. Let us give the victim of the victor’s story the space he/she deserves.