“If anthropometry is a science which can be depended upon to determine the race of a people, then the result obtained by the application of anthropometry to the various strata of Hindu society disprove that the Untouchables belong to a race different from the Aryans and the Dravidians. The measurements establish that the Brahmin and the Untouchables belong to the same race. From this it follows that if the Brahmins are Aryans the Untouchables are also Aryans. If the Brahmins are Dravidians the Untouchables are also Dravidians. If the Brahmins are Nagas, the Untouchables are also Nagas. Such being the facts, the theory propounded by Mr. Rice (of Aryan Invasion and racial explanation of untouchability) must be said to be based on a false foundation.” – Dr Babasaheb B R Ambedkar, Who were the Shudras? In Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 7, Government of Maharashtra, 1990. p. 302
The new Dravidian dynast of the Karunanidhi family, Udhayanidhi Stalin, through his rant against the Sanatan Dharma, has created a recent controversy. Though this is nothing new for Dravidian politics, the organisation of the Abolition of the Sanatana Conclave was the first official pronouncement of the real intent of the Marxist-Missionary conglomerate, influenced by the colonial construct and using the mascot of Dravidianism. Congress and other allies of the Dravidian party got unsettled with the remarks and found it challenging to do the damage control. Still, the justifications and more vociferous attacks on the Sanatan Dharma in a more crude language continue unabated. As the spell is on the foundation of our nationhood, their arguments on Sanatan, Hindutva and Bharat require deeper scrutiny.
The so-called Progressive Writers’ Association of Tamil Nadu have been preparing for this conference, a continuation of Dismantling Global Hindutva and Cutting South initiatives of the anti-Bharat brigade. Equating Sanatan Dharma to caste-based discrimination is their favourite intellectual pastime. They forget that the word Sanatana, literally means eternal, represents the values and mission of this ancient civilisation. Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti (Truth is one, Sages explain them differently), Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (Let All be Happy) and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Whole world is one family) are the foundational principles of this civilisation. This civilisation is our collective journey of continuous unfoldment. Yes, due to wrong interpretations of the scriptures and incessant invasions from outside, certain evil practices crept into our social psyche, like untouchability and caste-based discrimination. Against that also, there has been a continuous process of reforms and refinement. From Bhagwan Buddha, many Saintly figures and reformists, including Dr Ambedkar, followed the same path of refinement. Hence, Dr Ambedkar could say: “The Hindus wanted the Vedas and they sent for Vyasa who was not a caste Hindu. The Hindus wanted an Epic and they sent for Valmiki who was an Untouchable. The Hindus wanted a Constitution, and they sent for me.”
The convenient explanation to avoid the outrage is to target Hindutva (Hinduness). Again, in the name of social justice, denouncing the Hindu way of life is the mainstay of Marxist-Missionary ideology. Hindutva is nothing but a worldview based on the Sanatan values; spiritual democracy, meaning equal acceptance and respect for all ways of worship, is its philosophical basis. Hindutva resists and exposes the forces that believe in imposed monotheism and evangelism. Omnitheism (a belief that the same spirit exists in every living and non-living thing) and its manifestation in various deities is the strength of our society and not a weakness. The forces that failed to impose their monotheistic ideas after centuries of colonial projects have been using Dravidianism, sometimes even the name of Bhagwan Buddha and other reformists, to further their agenda. Udhayanidhi’s utterance is part of the same.
Bharat is the sacred geography where Sanatan flourished and has been practised as Hindutva. ‘India’ is a colonial name. Our Constitution permits equivalent use of both Bharat and India. The Constituent Assembly debate and the judicial interpretation of the same ratify the same. The idea of Bharat represents the eternity and continuity of the Hindu worldview, which is now recognised globally in the form of Yoga, Ayurveda or Vaccine Maitri.
Dr Ambedkar rejected the racial origin of untouchability and called the Aryan Invasion theory ‘mere speculation’ by the British colonial anthropologists. Are the dynastic politicians of Tamil Nadu ready to get rid of their fake notion of the Aryan-Dravidian divide as the faithful followers of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar? Similarly, Dr Ambedkar believed more in the union than the federation and rejected the idea of regionalism and secessionism. Hatred and language of abolition would not make one a proponent of social justice envisaged by Dr Ambedkar; equality and fraternity for national unity would.