Finding God for votes: Tamil Nadu's atheist leaders re-discover religious identity

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Vishwarupa, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Finding God for votes: Tamil Nadu's atheist leaders re-discover religious identity

    The gods must be going crazy! Especially when self-proclaimed atheists, agnostics and theists alike throng to their abodes across the southern state of Tamil Nadu, in an attempt to woo young voters ahead of 2016.

    If ministers, MLAs and MPs of the ruling party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), thronged temples in prayerful submission, pleading for the release of their leader Jayalalithaa from jail in October and November last year, they are now campaigning for victory outside temples.

    While distributing pamphlets outside the Vadapalani Murugan temple in Chennai last week, District Secretary of the AIADMK Youth Brigade, Murali Krishnaprasad explained to Firstpost why such temple campaigns are so important: all the parties are vying for the votes of the younger voters.

    “The youth of today have a mind of their own. Nobody is able to force any ideology on them. It is a very interesting situation now. There are many youth who believe in God and many who don’t. We cannot emphasise any particular concept of living on them now. Ideologies will not work on the youth of today,” he said.

    [​IMG]
    DMK heir apparent Stalin during his recent tour of the state visited a temple.

    The AIADMK had, en masse, conducted frenetic prayers across temples, churches and mosques in the state last year when their leader Jayalalithaa was jailed for 21 days in a disproportionate assets case. Ministers ensured that they were photographed in displays of extreme religious fervour – carrying ‘kavadi’ (a form of worship of the deity Murugan), lighting thousands of lamps and feeding the poor. Stand-in Chief Minister O Panneerselvam grew himself a lush beard, shaving it off and tonsuring his head only once ‘Amma’ was back in the CM’s seat. That, of course, was for a different god – invoking a higher God for the sycophantic worship of their ‘Amma’.

    The AIADMK, since its inception though has never shied away from accepting and displaying religious fervour, unlike the party it was born from, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

    “In the AIADMK, we have a secular concept,” said Krishnaprasad. “Whoever wants to believe in God is free to be a believer. Those who don’t believe in God simply don’t. Obviously most people believe in God so they go to temples,” he added.

    Party chief Jayalalithaa herself has, in the past, participated in various religious festivals and conducted prayers in prominent temples, including at the famous Mahamaham near Trichy, on the banks of the river Cauvery.

    Compulsions of a changing political landscape has meant that the atheism of the DMK has also undergone a change. In March this year, DMK chief M Karunanidhi declared he was penning the script for a teleserial on the life of Hindu saint Ramanujar.

    “Ramanujar propagated that in God’s creation, all are equal,” said Karunanidhi at an event in June.

    “He advocated a society without discrimination. Every youth should take an oath to strive for a society without discrimination based on creed and caste. Youngsters should shed their selfishness to enter political life,” he said.

    His son, and DMK heir apparent, MK Stalin set tongues wagging when he visited the Ramanujar temple in Ramanathapuram district last month as part of his Namakku Namey (We For Us) campaign across the state.

    In an exclusive interview to Firstpost, Stalin hinted at a sea change in the DMK’s traditional atheist and rationalist propaganda.

    “90-95 percent of DMK workers are Hindus,” argued Stalin. “Their families go to temples, even my own wife frequents temples. I do not stop her. The reason I went to this Ramanujar temple is that Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) has written a script for a series on Ramanujar which is being aired on Kalaignar TV.

    "I liked Ramanujar’s ideology a lot. He has used the words “Om Namo Narayana” to establish that all castes and creeds are one. He had organised large protests for this cause in his time. So I felt I should go and see the place where all of this happened and I did so,” he said, adding that it was a great experience.

    A source within Stalin’s team insists that there is no change in the party's ideological stance.

    “Stalin has always been moderate,” explained a source in his team who did not wish to be named. “He is not saying he believes in God or that he prays to God. He is saying he respects others’ beliefs. He has visited temples during the 2014 campaign too, whenever he was invited inside.”

    The party is keenly aware of the change in the political scenario.

    "The youth of today is more God-fearing. If DMK is seen as pro-minority, the youth are asking to be treated equally. Tamil Nadu’s youth is more spiritual and secular today, and asking to be treated equally; and that is evident in social media,” he said.

    Rise of Hindu spirituality?

    A telling account of the mood in Tamil Nadu, especially in the Western belt of the state, is that of the protests against Tamil author Perumal Murugan in January this year. His novel Madhorubagan (One Part Woman) published in 2010 and set in the temple town of Tiruchengode, was suddenly at the centre of a controversy.

    The reason for the sudden outburst was rather ironic. The Singapore-based brother of a man who owned a business called Saravana Press in Tiruchengode chanced upon a copy of the book and read it since he too hailed from Tiruchengode. The shocked Singapore resident then informed his brother in Tiruchengode about the book and sent across a copy. As more copies were bought and shared the controversy grew.

    Claiming that the novel insulted the women of Tiruchengode and demeaned Hinduism, large protests were organised in Tiruchengode by various groups including pro-Hindu outfits and groups with dominant caste-affiliations. For the first ever time in the temple town, a call for total shutdown was almost fully successful.

    "People may have been in any political party but they all came together for the temple," M Subramanian, Namakkal district president of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Tiruchengode, said.

    "Women who conceive after a long time usually refer to their children here as ‘Samy kodutha pillai’ (God given child). These women felt insulted and demeaned by the book," he said.

    [​IMG]
    M Subramanian, Namakkal district president of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Tiruchengode. image courtesy: Sandhya Ravishankar

    "The protest against Madhorubagan was not orchestrated by any organisation," explained M Sabarinathan, district head of the Youth Wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

    "People spontaneously came together because they were angry at their temple being targeted," he said.

    Riding on the back of increasing spirituality, the RSS has become more active and popular in the past two years. Now there are 40 shakhas in the Namakkal district that have been set up within just two years. There are now 50 full-time volunteers who hold office-bearer positions in the organisation, along with hundreds of other volunteers.

    "There is support for the RSS amongst the people who know about it," Subramanian said.

    The sentiment finds echoes in the entire Western belt of the state, like the Kongunadu area comprising of Coimbatore, Tirupur, Namakkal and Salem. Even in Erode, the birthplace of Periyar EV Ramasamy Naicker, the firebrand revolutionary who founded the Dravidian ideology, Hindu spirituality is on the rise, say experts.

    “The common man is deeply religious, especially in the face of socio-economic challenges,” political analyst Stalin Rajangam said. “Political parties are behaving in a manner that people want them to behave in. Political parties definitely want power – they will always look at finding easy ways in which to appeal to the people... 50 years back people came into politics wanting to change things in society. But today it is not about societal change, it is only about votes,” he said.

    Hindu outfits like the RSS and smaller groups like the Indhu Makkal Katchi (Hindu People’s Party) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Forum) are now working hard on the ground to draw youngsters into their fold. “A lot of youngsters are religious now,” said N Sadagopan, media coordinator for the RSS in Chennai. “In fact a lot of people are now openly religious. You must see the Hindu festivals in the villages. It is youngsters who organise and conduct these festivals energetically,” he said.

    Leaders of fringe pro-Hindu outfits like Arjun Sampath of the Indhu Makkal Katchi are making calls for Hindus to unite and throw the Dravidian parties out of Tamil Nadu.

    "The only alternative for Dravidianism is Hindutva,” said Sampath in Tirupur.

    "We are going to the people ahead of elections with the slogan ‘Hindu renaissance is Tamil Nadu’s development’," he said.

    The Indhu Makkal Katchi plans to hold a large rally in the temple town of Palani on 1 November.

    Experts say that this obvious change in political rhetoric of all parties is due to Dravidian ideology struggling to keep itself together as a result of its inherent flaws.

    "The Dravidian movement clubbed all local Gods under Brahminism and alienated a large section of people," explained analyst Stalin Rajangam.

    "This was a problem with the Dravidian ideology. Dravidian movement did not give an alternate cultural ideology or religion. So when people were desperate, they simply went back to the Gods that they were used to, the so-called Brahmin gods. It is quite right that politicians like Stalin are taking different paths. He does not have the baggage of Periyar which Karunanidhi had. He needs to break with the traditional Dravidian ideology in order to get votes today. Stalin can only be Karunanidhi’s political heir and not his ideological heir,” he said.

    Tamil Nadu’s youth is in demand ahead of 2016. With over 60 lakh first-time voters, who are making their ideas clear on social media, political parties are having to shed much of their old ways in order to connect with the youth. The game is on.

    http://www.firstpost.com/politics/f...s-re-discover-religious-identity-2482412.html
     
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  3. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Christian party Khangress launching a book about Rama.:pound::pound:

    So they are learning the hard way, now they are showing respect to Majority Hindus. Hope Hindus do not fall into this trapp.
     
  4. TODELU

    TODELU Regular Member

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    They learned after so long? It is said Karunanidhi was Raja Raja Chola in previous birth,.Once he was enlightened of this, he was in a dilemma to become spiritual or be atheist as Periyar said.That is being destroyed now..His first wife is very very spiritual. Second one don't know about her.
     
  5. avknight1408

    avknight1408 Regular Member

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    The dravidian parties should be thrown out. DMK should be banned.
     
  6. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    :lol: you aren't serious, are you?
     
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  7. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    They wanted to grab Temple Gold to fuel the "Indian Economy" and to repay Debt. Imbeciles.
     
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  8. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    I feel this is the right time for Rajanikanth to join BJP, he should be made the CM candidate by BJP in the coming TN election.

    BJP may or may not form the government but certainly DMK & other ANTI Hindu parties will be a closed chapter in TN politics. If BJP, RSS, Hindu outfits & Rajanikanth plans well they can come close to winning the election.
     
  9. TODELU

    TODELU Regular Member

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    According to Nadi grantha shastra astrology he was Raja Raja Chola in previous birth and many seers have said it. Stark difference in this birth isn't it?
    Back then he fought for religion and now he fights against it:biggrin2:
     
  10. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    What kind of BS is this? It seems you are serious and people actually believe that rubbish. How much intelligent one has to be to see that DMK manipulated and most probably bribed the astrologers to spread that rumour?
     
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  11. TODELU

    TODELU Regular Member

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    Maybe he bribed them.But he can't bribe all the Nadi shashtra astrologers all over the country.Anyways its upto one to believe it or not.
     
  12. OneGrimPilgrim

    OneGrimPilgrim Senior Member Senior Member

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    whr invaders hv been eulogised, heroes binned!!
    @thethinker - what you had written regarding media; similar here.

    'g***d par padi laat, aaye twarit Bhagwan yaad!'

    (dedicated to all born-again Dhaarmics like dickkie-raja & khangress advocating anti cow-slaughter laws, the stalin-sena in TN visiting Temples, commies in Kerala speaking good about Hindus and professing their own Hindu lineages, 'eminent padha-likhaas' like romila thapar taking detour from their early 'theories', etc.)
     
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  13. thethinker

    thethinker Senior Member Senior Member

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    For such bazaaru people with no morals or loyalty, self preservation triumphs over everything.

    Don't be surprised if same people would touch the feet of PM Modi and sing praises about Hindutva if they see a clear and sustainable benefit for themselves in long run.

    Fortunately, due to social media, common people have a really long memory. :)
     
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  14. OneGrimPilgrim

    OneGrimPilgrim Senior Member Senior Member

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    whr invaders hv been eulogised, heroes binned!!
    and its the same instinct of 'self-preservation' that makes them run helter-skelter looking for their despised chaddis/sainiks & the saffron terrorists when/if get stuck amidst cries of 'naara-e-takbeer'. (an experience of someone witness to this).

    Sent from my P9070 using Tapatalk
     
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  15. k murali

    k murali Regular Member

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    What is your problem with Dravidian parties? nanoo, nanoo, nanoo
     
  16. archie

    archie Regular Member

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    What is not a problem with these Dravidian Parties?? Both have conspired and destroyed Tamil Nadu.. For starters ..When was the last time you heard about Madurai Epics and Tamil Sangam ... All of which are centred around Meenakshi Amman Temple..

    Dravidian Parties are a Disgrace to Tamil Nadu.
     
  17. Keshav Murali

    Keshav Murali Back to studies :( Senior Member

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    As a TN dude, this thing is very true.

    Disgusting chameleons. Especially Karunanidhi's reversal in the past two years.
     
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  18. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Atheist bast**** in Tamil Nadu are the most filthy beings in the world.
    They corrupted the entire society and looted a lot of money this way.
    Ask any of them to say there is no Allah or Jesus, the bast**** won't say.
    These daughter sellers must be crushed at any cost.
     
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  19. TODELU

    TODELU Regular Member

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    #GharWapsi for him:biggrin2:,he has 2 wives his first wife is a very staunch Bhakt of Lord Shiva.
    His Children got cured of Cancer,
    The only thing he is continuing to lead is because of his past Good Karma.
    In past he was Sri RajaRaja Chola!
     
  20. Ancient Indian

    Ancient Indian Unplugged Version Senior Member

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    Come on dude, even I am not that crazy.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. k murali

    k murali Regular Member

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    Dravidian parties are the saviours of Tamil people, culture and language. Without them Hindians will be overwhelming Tamil Nadu. At least for now there is some breaks put by DMK and AIADMK
     

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