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Recently there was a competition at Madras between Pandit Malaviya and the South Indian Shastris in discussing whether untouchability can be removed, whether the “untouchables” can be allowed temple entry and whether they are entitled to have “Manthra Deeksha”. Both parties quoted slokas of their shastras as their authority during the debate. Mr. Malaviya argued that untouchability can be removed and that untouchables can be given temple entry and Manthra Deeksha, quoting several slokas from the Sastras in his favour. In return, the South Indian Shastris also quoted any number of slokas in their favour and argued that the above things cannot be allowed at all. The fun of it was that most of the slokas quoted by the Shastris were quite new to the North Indian Pandit’s ears. So he asked for their printed edition. The Shastri at once sent for those books and exhibited them before the Pandit. Mr. Malaviya personally believes in the validity of the shastras with due estimation and regard for them. So he had to bow his head in consent even though he had not come across any of those slokas, even once in this life.Thus he was forced to comply with the Madras Pandits view and fail miserably in the debate.

pandit malaviyaThen Mr. Malaviya began to argue with the Madras Shastris on the point of mercy. Taking pity upon the poor untouchables Mr. Malaviya requested the Shastris to grant them temple entry and ‘Manthra Deeksha’.

Again our Shastris defeated Pandit Malaviya by arguing that since the shastras clearly prohibit them from allowing the untouchables the above said favours. They would be really doing them harm under the impression that they are doing well to the untouchables out of mercy. Those who admit the divinity of the shastras are naturally forced to recognize the Madras Shastris views upon this issue.

We are to learn much from this Madras competitive examination. It is clear that these Hindus yet have the audacity to believe that every bit of the world’s structure is responsible to their slokas. If anybody goes for a reform it seems that he should quote slokas in his favour. When we feel the necessity for a reform it does not count much if there are slokas in favour or against the reform. If the slokams do not side with the reforms it simply means that they are absurd.

They are really wonderful people who wrote the slokam that, “The world depends upon God; God depends upon Manthrams, Manthrams depends upon Brahmins. Hence the Brahmin is the God of God.”

We are forced to wonder when we see these wonderful beings yet struggling to effect their tricks even in these advanced times.We should make them clearly understand that it is high time for them to shelve all their slokams, made only to condemn humanity and to exploit the poor at large. Among the Non Brahmins too there are some men who think much of these slokams. Otherwise these Brahmins would not have dared to disgrace India reciting their foolish slokams.

When a Miss Mayo writes some thing about the nonsense discussed by our revered Malaviyas and Madras Shastris, what a hubbub our “Desa Bhakthas” make! As long as India possesses leaders like Malaviya standing and learning to bow their heads shamelessly in submission when a couple of Shastris come and quote some outworn slokas against the very legitimate and elementary rights of seven crores of Indians, thousands of “Mother Indias” would not suffice.

Mr. Malaviya knows well that if the supposed Brahmins do not willingly grant some liberties to the “Untouchables” now, just to conjure them and keep them inside the Hindu fold, they will one day revolt at a stroke and destroy every bit of supremacy the Brahmins have at present. That is why Mr. Malaviya pleads for the removal of untouchability.

When we examine our Malaviyas and the Madras Shastris in the light of their own shastras we are compelled to call them ‘pure chandalas’. If the Brahmins do not live up to the ideals of their shastras, i.e. their “Jathy Dharma” they are worse chandalas than the born chandalas, says the shastras. Does the Brahmin live up to his “Jathy Dharma”? Does Mr. Malaviya live up to his shastric ideals? The Madras Shastris proved that Mr. Malaviya went against the shastras by his arguing against them. Then what about the Brahmins who are hotel keepers, toddy shop owners, excise officers, brokers and of other descriptions who do not live up to their “Jathy Dharma?” The rest of the Brahmins who mingle with the above said Brahmins in inter-marriages and inter- dining are also out of the way. Likewise if we go on with the shastras before us we are to call all the Brahmins “chandalas” up from Pandit Malaviya down to the Kutty Pattar (C. Rajagopachari – editors). None need misunderstand us when we call Mr. Malaviya and others Chandalas that we mean that they are all low men. Because they demand us to acknowledge the authority of their shastras we have to judge them according to their own Shastras.

Respect towards the shastras is good and necessary shastras mean Right Knowledge. The right knowledge about each subject is its Shastra. The present Hindu shastras were written with the best knowledge available then, when they had their origin. Therefore it was quite natural that the people of those days adored them with due regard. After that the world proceeded outwards only. The standard of knowledge in every subject has gone up marvelously than that of the bygone days. So the best up to date knowledge available now in the world is the Shastra of the present day. With the development of knowledge the old shastras naturally became invalid. It is ridiculous if we say that all shastras are as good as before. All religions believe that their respective Vedas are true to the very core. It is a mere superstition.

The developed knowledge of present day has proved that no one can find out any other books than the Vedas of different religions, which are full of absurd blunders, obscene and childish ideas. It is a pity if are to cling to the same old Vedas believing blindly in their divine origin. We should not discard the real shastras. Every book does not deserve to be implicitly followed just because it is an old one. Only “Right Knowledge” – it does not matter when it emanates – should be treated as real shastra. Such knowledge may come at any moment through anybody from any corner of the world. Shastras, we should not forget, are the outcome of human thoughts.We shall be saved to a great extent if we can rid ourselves of the blind belief that the Vedas and Shastras are written by Gods, deputies of Gods, and big men of supernatural knowledge and ability. The day of “The Search Light” has set in. Is it not wise to throw away the castor- oil lamp?

(Revolt, 30 June 1929)

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