One of the constant debates over the past few years has been the secessionist tendencies of the South. Every time that parties such as the BJP, which are ascribed to be Hindu-nationalist parties, win in a state in the north and lose in the south, various varieties of jibes are used to degrade Hindus and our culture. There is debate over migration, the rise of Hindutva politics and more often than not, Hinduism comes under fire, rather than specific political parties whose ideals some may not conform to.
The North, often seen as the Hindu bastion, becomes an object of enmity for many who conform to these secessionist ideals. The problem with this mindset is that it has been ingrained into the minds of many living in Southern Bharat over centuries.
For hundreds of years now, the South has faced a very different kind of an invasion than the North of Bharat. Seldom have large armies walked into the South and waged wars, by virtue of which, most temples in the South still bask in ancient glory, as compared with the estimated 42,000 temples demolished in the North by foreign invaders.
The invasion that the Southern part of Bharat has faced has been ideological in nature: a battle of consciousnesses.
Christian missionaries (Missionary) have, since even before the British colonial rule in Bharat, been working in Bharat, sometimes openly, other times in a disguised manner, to spread the gospel and earn converts. (Read Mother Teresa: The Untold Story by Aroup Chatterjee)
The Christian missionary work in the Southern part of Bharat has been especially more concentrated than the North, with a three-fold reason. It is undeniable that there is an emotional connection to the South of Bharat with the history of Saint Thomas spreading the gospel there.
The other, more obscure, reason is that after the Mid-Eastern invasions in Bharat, the North was already in tatters in many areas: sacred temples had been destroyed, forceful Islamic conversions were already happening at the pointed-ends of swords, and Christian missionaries were already working on, what they understood from their colonial-lens were, backward castes. The Sourthern part of Bharat, however, was still concentrated with Hindus (relatively having many more brahmins in particular) and still followed Hindu practice and rituals.
Additionally, after breaking away from Vatican and with the rise of Protestantism in the British Empire, the missionary activity in India saw Brahminism as another form of control over religion like it had once seen the Vatican. With this view, and with the knowledge that the brahmins stood as the strongholds for the preservation of Hindu rituals and that it was difficult to convert Hindus as long as a wedge was not driven between brahmins and the other varnas, the missionary activity was conducted in the South with full force.
It were these reasons due to which the South became a hotbed for Christian missionary activity.
In fact, other than this take-away, one would realize two more aspects of the Christian missionary work: (i) that the Western-coloniality had begun to seep in, in its true form, with an object to change the consciousness of the land, even before the establishment of the Raj and (ii) that the application of colonial lens over the jati and varna concepts led to solidification of caste and tribes in the form that Bharat suffers from today.
With the establishment of the Raj in India with the view of fulfilling the white man’s burden, this work only intensified. The first list of castes was officially published under the British and using this, the work of making certain varnas feel inferior and discriminated against began to drive the anti-Brahminism agenda.
In fact, there is no such inherent inferiority in the Hindu dharma. The shudra, who are seen as the victims of caste hierarchy, only became victims on the intensification of the above-mentioned missionary work.
With such intense diatribe against the Brahmins and such intense missionary work, India saw the rise of Dravidianism which believed that the South is racially different from the North as a result of the Aryan Invasion theory and sought to disassociate with the North that had remained Hindu even after Mid-Eastern and Western invasions. Even after scientific proof to the contrary, new proof was manufactured to keep up the falsities propagated by the theory.
One of its main propagators, E.V. Ramaswami was described by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the following manner in his letter to K. Kamaraj on November 5, 1957:
‘I find that Ramaswami Naicker is going on saying the same thing again and calling upon people at the right time to start stabbing and killing. What he says can only be said by a criminal or a lunatic… Let him be put in a lunatic asylum and his perverted mind treated there.’ [Emphasis added]
At a DK party meet organized under Ramaswami, a resolution was passed giving 15 days’ notice to the Government to delete the provisions in the Constitution of India dealing with religious freedom, failing which copies of the Constitution would be burnt, and portraits and statues of Mohandas Gandhi would be removed and broken. If it produced no results, the Dravida Kazhagam members would be asked to kill Brahmins and burn their residential localities.
The Dravidian movement furthered the caste solidification and discrimination theory that had been propagated by Christian missionaries up till then. Ramaswami organised a padyatra to carry naked idols of Ram and Sita and garlanded them with slippers to protest against the same. This outrage however, was limited to only Hindus, as if castes and divisions didn’t exist elsewhere. History was largely rewritten by the Justice Party to propagate this theory of discrimination. It was told that the brahmins did not let non-brahmins study in schools that they went to and took up most of the jobs. The truth in the matter is as follows:
With this rise in anti-Brahminism and the theory that the people of the Southern part of Bharat were different from the north, the view that saw North as the Hindu bastion was strengthened and furthered extensively.
From then to now, not much has changed in this situation, unfortunately. Dravidianist parties still hold all the power in Southern states and actively further this theory.
Temples that were some of the most important strongholds for the preservation of the Hindu culture now stand controlled by these Divasom boards that comprise of Dravidianists and lefitists who see religion as the opium of the masses. They actively dictate terms on how the temple is to function and, many a times, appoint non-Hindus on the board of temples.
These Divasom boards feel comfortable in actively withdrawing temple money not only for development projects of the state but also for furthering other religions.
Even after this, they feel comfortable in instructing the police to perform a lathi-charge if the crowd of devotees is too large. The recent incident of devotees being beaten up in the inner sanctum of a temple to the point of death and children being separated and herded into vans while they cry their parents’ names, as if to be taken to ghettos, only form part of this shameful, long history.
Hinduism is seen as a disease associated with the North and forms an active part of the conversation against the North, which, as mentioned earlier, is seen as a conformist to the religion, in the negative connotation of the word. Thus, anti-Hindu became anti-North itself.
Media channels are owned by a few parties directly that shape the truth. Remarks calling for the eradication of Sanatan Dharma, diatribe against movies like the ‘Kerala Story’ that bring the problem of extremism and indoctrination in the south to light and stories of people of the northern part of Bharat migrating to the south for jobs are actively propagated to further the Dravidianist agenda. As mentioned earlier, tirades against the ideologies of certain parties or against the Sanskrit and Hindi languages, that are associated with Sanatan culture, are used to consolidate vote-banks and to further the anti-North agenda.
It should, thus, not come as a surprise that the rise of Dravidianism, after the work of the Christian missionaries, complements, or rather actively pushes, the secessionist agenda between the northern and the southern parts of India and seeks to carve out Bharatiya land for its purposes.
This agenda is spreading at an alarming rate that should be a concern for every Bharatiya. What was conducted first in papers and then spilled over to news channels can now be heard in the halls of parliament itself with a DMK MP calling the northern states ‘gaumutra states’.
Gandhi said that a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. One can hide history and muddle facts but years of tyranny have not been able to wipe out Bharatiya culture and divide its followers. It would be akin to bowing down to the colonizers were we to succumb to their agendas, systematically buried within our consciousness, now.
The reader must be disillusioned as to the true purposes of this North-South secessionist agenda and, while reading its history, wonder whether Bharat is to part with more than it already has. Lastly, ‘bhaichaara’ must not be a fancy term uttered every now and then but something brought into actual practice to combat this nefarious colonial agenda.