A FEW days back I noted this status update on my Facebook account:
Jindagi to Brahmin jiya kartein hain (It is the Brahmins who enjoy all in life). Jo diggajon ko pachad kar raj kiya kartein hain (who defeats and rule over Kshatriyas and all other powerful people). Kaun rakhta hai kisi ke sir pe taj (Brahmins do not concede victory to non-Brahmins). Brahmin to apna rajtilak swayam kiya kartein hain (Brahmins are self-styled and they declare themselves winner). Hum mrityu ka varan karne wale jab hathiyar uthathein hain (we who kiss the death as we take up the arms). Tab pani se nahin shoneet se apni pyas bujhate hain (then we satisfy our thirst by the blood of our enemy and not by empty water). Hum Brahmin veron ka soya abhimaan jaagta hai (Whence the pride of we the Brahmin heroes awakens).Tab mahakaal bhe charno mein pranon ki bheek mangata hai (then even the lord of death begs before us for his life).
Moreover, Hindus worship a lot many Gods and Goddesses who do not fall in the domain of history. In addition, Brahmins have distributed a lot to other castes; in specific, Holi is theoretically the festival of lower castes and Deepawali the festival of Vish. Therefore, Brahmins need to have one exclusive day for themselves.
But the record should go straight. The fact is that Parsurama is not the savior of Brahmins. Hindus, till they were fighting a battle with Buddhism and Jainism, were invoking Gita and other sacred texts for their defense. It is the Brahminism combined with ritualism which defeated the two competing ideologies. During the most turbulent years in Hindus’ history; during the Islamic rule, it is the Gita combined with the Ramayana which saved Hindus from the onslaught of Islamic rulers’ brutalities.
Krishna biggest contribution to Hinduism is that he preached Brahminism in the most sophisticated way and mixed it with spirituality and philosophy in a manner that his preaching of Gita appears cosmopolitan and egalitarian. This is not possible for anybody in Hindu history; neither for great genius sage Vyas nor for puritan people with penname Manu. Parsurama even if considered real could never.
Rama’s biggest contribution lies in laying down the foundation of first Indian state based on the principles of Sanatana Dharma. He exported Brahminism and Vaishnavinism to the South and made India integrated in ancient time. But Rama was forgotten Ishvara who was rediscovered during Islamic rule. This is the two of them; Rama and Krishna, who should be considered as the savior of Hindus, particularly those of Brahmins. The caste of both Rama and Krishna should be considered as Brahmin-Kshatriya.
But then this is the internet-based high consciousness era where in India Hindus, particularly of the North, would ignore that they were the subject and simultaneously and contradictorily remember that they were denied their dues and were brutalized. Muslims would plead not guilty on behalf of medieval rulers. The consciousness and its distributions do not allow equilibrium to reach in social-political lives till the absolute equality is achieved which is impossible in any of the societies, but definitely in India.
This conflicting consciousness could be very dangerous for a diverse and multi-ethnic society like India. In India people interpret the same events in such a different way that Churchill’s criticism of India relegating it to useless geography appears sometimes real. There is additional problem of language: English is a very positive language for equal societies or societies which were formally equal but it could become divisive for heterogeneous society like India.
The ever-increasing conflicts could create new conflicts, like worshipping and praising Parsurama beyond a point. After all, Kshatriyas are the second caste among Hindus and they were never so bad that they be killed. Basing one’s opinion and beliefs which could not have any scientific bases could be very dangerous for Brahmins, more so, that they are the first caste. People should be careful about nostalgia and nationalism based on that. In my state Uttar Pradesh, Parsurama’s birthday; Akshya tritya, is a holiday for past few years.