Of all leaders from the North who have been making trips to Tamil Nadu no one has stayed here for months like Vinoba Bhave. Why, there is not a single leader from the North who has chosen to stay here on their own and go round the State. Great leaders like Gandhi and Patel of the past, Pandit Nehru and Rajendra Prasad of today, always fly to Tamil Nadu, fly round the State and fly back in a day or two.
It is not their fault they can do only that much. That is why they babble fiction and falsehood when they speak of the Tamils, their culture and their ambition. When Pandit Nehru comes here he has got time only to call on singer M.S. Subbulakshmi. He cannot find time to enter a temple, a slum, or even an agraharam (Brahmin’s habitat)
But Vinoba has had the opportunity for seeing in person at least a few facts which have not been observed by the others. And it is commendable that he reveals them openly.
He said, the Brahmins of today are not real Brahmins. They are spurious, like a painted clay banana. “Non believers who are engaged in social service are superior to believers who do not do social service”
He had a hit at Rajagopalachari when he said, “There is no need for anyone to protect god. He is capable of protecting himself.”
“Hereafter I am going to be in the forefront for the eradication of castes.”
“It is a grievous sin to pour on stone idol milk that had better be fed to children.”
“Donating lands to temples will convert temples into landowners.”
“Since Ramayana is fiction there are many errors and contradictions in it. Anyone can change it as per his fancy. Ramayana of Tulsidas is one such corrected version.”
That a Marathi Brahmin has removed his caste – thread and is indulging in such propaganda, gives a boost to the anti- Aryan sentiment prevalent in Tamil Nadu. When the Aryan press realized this, they have started blacking out news regarding Vinoba’s tours and talks. Formerly, not a day passed without his portrait being flashed in the papers. But at present one has to find out his whereabouts from the office of the Congress Committee.
The same fate awaits anyone who denounces Aryan domination. Have they not pushed Nandanar and Ramalinga Vallalar of Vadalur into fire and burnt them? Have they not shot Gandhi to death?
Yet, Vinoba has the courage and the integrity to express openly all his reaction and observation, and we admire him for it.
On October 29, Vinoba has thrown a bombshell while speaking at Palayamkottai. He has said, “I am for Periyar’s struggle against superstition and blind and senseless tradition. I am also proceeding in the same direction. I am teaching that devotion does not consist in worshipping idols but in serving the poor.”
Vinoba is the only Congress leader who openly admits that idol worship is a superstition. It is because he is not after electoral offices or their profits. Even Nehru cannot be so forthright; he covets position.
Periyar is able to express all his thoughts frankly and boldly as he is never after power or patronage. The parasites who were once set on the road to popularity by Periyar are now shuddering even to speak against or expose Aryan gods, religion or Aryans themselves because they are craving for power. These people, who once spat fire have now become the boot lickers of Aryans, solely because they are after crumbs of votes.
Though Vinoba has decried idol worship he does not agree with idol breaking agitation. He wants people’s ignorance to be removed through propaganda of reason and a kindly approach. We put it up to Vinoba that we are resorting to moves like breaking of Ganesh idols and burning of Rama’s image only after intense propaganda for the past thirty years. These moves are not at all meant to hurt the feelings of the believers. They are meant to prove to people that this breaking and burring will not affect god in any way since idols and images are not god.
Referring to Deepawali Vinoba says that killing of Narakasura by Krishna is just mythological folklore. It is just a figurative representation of the fact that light dispels darkness.
We only ask whether just to understand a figure of speech, poor people should waste their money in crackers liquor and overeating? Should it not be prevented?
So many religious fanatics celebrate festivals all over the world. Do they burn money like this?
We appreciate Vinoba’s frankness in admitting that the story of Deepawali is mere fiction. But, is there a single Brahmin in Tamil Nadu who displays the same frankness? Starting from Rajagopalachari down to a temple priest, everyone denounces Periyar’s words. Can they be reformed at all?
It is only because Periyar has realised that these people are beyond reform that he has come to the conclusion that they must be driven out. Even the propaganda of a thousand Vinobas cannot reform the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu. In all humility we ask the wise old man whether it is possible at all to wake up a person who is already awake?
Source : Editorial, Viduthalai, 01-11-1956
Translated by Prof A.Ayyasamy