cicero in his classic work De Republica, De Legibus wrote for all time that, ‘it can truly be said that the Magistrate is a speaking law, and the law a silent agistrate’.
Most of our politically-tuned and legally-dead High Court and Supreme Court Judges seem to be subscribing to this day-to-day working philosophy: ‘It can truly be said that any Judge is a speaking politician and the law a silent politician’. These thoughts came to my mind when it was brought to my notice that the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in a recent case relating to a textbook controversy
relating to Delhi University put this question to the advocate for the petitioners:
‘Have you read the Ramayana of Periyar?’This question raised by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court has hurt the religious feelings and sentiments of millions and millions of Hindus in India and abroad. The accepted axiom is that the ignorance of law on the part of any citizen cannot be an excuse for violation of the law. If that be so, blatant ignorance of known facts about Periyar cannot also be conceded as an inherent and vested legal right on the part of Judges at any level dealing with public cases.
Periyar was well known for his anti-Hindu, anti-Aryan, anti-Rama, anti-Ramayana and anti-Brahmin writings and political propaganda for nearly five decades from 1920 to 1970.
In 1958 (AIR 1958 SC 1032), the Supreme Court of India, in a case relating to Veerabathra Chettiar Vs. E.V.Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar), ruled that Periyar had grossly violated the provisions of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code when he broke a Vinayaka Vigraha (idol). The Supreme Court also ruled that it did not matter whether the statue broken was from a temple or whether puja was being done to the Vigraha (idol). Periyar was punished by the Supreme Court of India under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). When Periyar was punished, he was 79 years old and not a young man of uncontrolled or uncontrollable impulses. In other words, he was indulging in a deliberate criminal act to wound the religious feelings of the Hindus of India and he was duly punished by the Supreme Court. What does Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) state or say? Indian Penal Code states:
IPC Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs’Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of 2 [citizens of India], 3 [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 4 [three years], or with fine, or with both.’ In the light of this analysis, it should be clear that Periyar’s Ramayana (known as Keemayana) will attract Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and to the best of my lowly knowledge as a private citizen, neither the High Court of Delhi nor for that matter any other High Court in India, has been vested with the Constitutional right to overlook or ignore the provisions of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
The controversial anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana article of A.K.Ramanujan has been prescribed as a textbook by Delhi University in violation of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code. And yet the Delhi High Court has chosen to uphold the stand of Delhi University. This Article formed a part of a book titled Many Ramayanas (The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia) edited by Paula Richman. I had written about her anti-Hindu and anti-Rama propaganda in these columns yesterday. In the same book there is an article titled E.V.Ramasami’s (Periyar) ‘Reading of the Ramayana’ by Paula Richman.
How Periyar led his followers in burning pictures of Lord Rama on 1st of August 1956 on the Marina Beach has been described by Paula Richman in this Article: ‘On the 1st day of August in 1956, E.V.Ramasami (Periyar) set out for the Madras Marina to lead his followers in burning pictures of Lord Rama, Hero of the Ramayana. This symbolic action would represent a reversal of the culmination of North Indian performances of the Ramayana, in which the images of the epic’s villain, Ravana, are put to the flames as spectators watch in delight. Rejecting Rama as hypocritical and weak, worthy only of scorn, E.V.Ramasami (Periyar) saw Ravana as the true Hero of the tale. E.V.Ramasami’s (EVR) iconoclastic reading comprised more than just another exegesis of a religious text, however. It was the centerpiece of his campaign against Brahmincal Hinduism, conducted in the context of his assertion of Dravidian, that is, South Indian, identity…. EVR’s Rama-burning campaign was neither an isolated incident nor a stunt of some prankster. From the late 1920s through to the end of his life, he developed as a serious and thorough critic of the characters of the Ramayana, of which the 1956 agitation was simply one manifestation. EVR (Periyar) reads the Ramayana as a text of political domination’. Thus we can see that Paula Richman, A.K.Ramanujan and other so-called scholars who have contributed articles to the book Many Ramayanas already referred to above, are all intellectual gangsters belonging to an anti-Hindu, anti-Rama and anti-Ramayana brigade with a clear political and evangelical agenda. The University of Delhi is also part of this brigade. They are guilty of violation of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code. This simple fact has been ignored by the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court showed greater consideration towards Periyar’s political Ramayana than towards Valmiki’s sacred Ramayana and this has caused grievous hurt to the religious feelings of all the Hindus of India.
Periyar was very proud of his Himalayan ignorance about the Ramayana (which he called Keemayana), an ignorance that was rooted in his unabashed arrogance. The simplest example to prove how he embraced ignorance with his characteristic Dravidian fervour and ferocity is this: He thought that Lord Rama was a Brahmin and Ravana was a Sudra. The real truth of the matter is Lord Rama was a Kshatriya and Ravana was an orthodox Brahmin. This fact known for ages cannot be ignored by any Court of Law in India today (excepting perhaps the Delhi High Court!) Justice Holmes said, ‘To a clear judicial eye, the smallest fact is a window through which the Infinite may be seen’. The Delhi High Court should have been able to see through the political games of Paula Richman, A.K.Ramanujan and Periyar.
Moreover no publicly responsible Court of Law in India can fail to take note of the following barbarous sayings of Periyar. Here are a few flashes of wisdom and knowledge from the armory of Periyaraana:
‘Tamil is a barbarous language and Tamilians are barbarians’
‘15th August 1947 is a day of national mourning and sorrow and not freedom’ (Periyar and his party observed the day of our Independence on 15th August 1947 as a day of mourning)
‘King Dasaratha married his own sister Kausalya, mother of Lord Rama’.
‘There is no harm whatsoever in any father marrying his own daughter’.
‘There is no harm whatsoever in any man marrying his own younger or elder sister’.
‘Married women indulging in extra marital relations, is the starting point of Women’s freedom and emancipation’.
‘Anybody who worships any God is a fool’.
‘I don’t say that you should not worship any God or Gods. All that I am saying is that you should do it as a Christian or as a Muslim and not as a superstitious Hindu’. (This brings out that Periyar was a true anti-Hindu communal racist)
The Delhi High Court ought to have been aware of the savage anti-Hindu and anti-national ravings and rantings of Periyar cited above. The Chief Justice put this question to the advocate for one of the petitioners in the case under review: Have you read Periyar’s Ramayana? Perhaps the Delhi High Court was under the impression that Periyar is one of the greatest intellectual giants like Bertrand Russell or Karl Marx in the history of mankind. When I mentioned this episode to a former retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, he told me that the question raised by Delhi High Court can be likened only to a question that was put by a Judge to a woman who had come up before his Court with a petition for divorce against her husband for his extra-marital faithlessness. The Judge even before hearing the woman’s complaint asked with great solemnity ‘Have you read Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra or Havelock Ellis’s treatise on Sex?’ All the helpless Hindus of India are feeling like this divorced woman today.
(To be contd...)(The writer is a retired IAS officer)e-mail the writer firstname.lastname@example.org