If one is to describe P. Parameswaran, then perhaps, it should be thus — a Parasurama whose Parasu or axe was his pen.
He wielded it the way Parasurama wielded his axe and fell before it powers that distorted history and intellectual discourse in this country.
The kids of the 1970s and the 1980s would have encountered in their school days ‘Book Exhibition’ – stalls opened by Soviet books and related sales of Marxist literature.
Among the books sold was a book on Swami Vivekananda. The Marxist exercise was to contain Vivekananda within the Marxist framework and prove that at best, he was only a petty Bourgeois.
Marxists excel in doing this. They try their best to reduce every Hindu spiritual phenomenon to fit into their framework. When Soviet Union was alive, these works usually had the support of not only the masters in that Mecca of Marxism – Moscow, but also Macaulay-Nehruvian Indian establishment, which in its core, harboured the colonial inherited self-hatred for anything Hindu.
With such a staunch establishment set against Hindu Dharma and nation, in 1986 appeared a book in Kerala – the very state where the entire intellectual life has been like the Yamuna, terrorized by Kaalinga serpent — called Marx and Vivekananda: A Comparative Study.
The book made a comparative study of Marx and Swami Vivekananda from a refreshingly holistic point of view. Consider the following passage:
Within a short period of over a hundred years after Marx’s death there are about 25 states on the face of the earth calling themselves Marxist. …. No such imposing list of conquered territories could be credited to Swami Vivekananda’s account. His followers do not hold sway over political empires nor do they command legions with any striking power. … If the one appears spectacular and the other not so, there is a reason for that. The phenomenal spread of Marxism into so many countries has to be understood in proper perspective. It is not that the people of these countries have voluntarily chosen the Marxist regimes for themselves. … Swami Vivekananda’s impact is not comparable to that of Karl Marx. … It has influenced thinkers and writers, poets and artists, leaders and administrators and is slowly bringing about a silent spiritual transformation.
Today, almost 34 years after these words have been written, there is no Soviet Union. China has transformed itself more into a cheap slave labour-providing oligarchy for the West while still harbouring its expansionist plans more like a capitalist imperial state than anything even remotely socialistic.
In India, Marxism is today confined to Kerala and the unemployables of JNU. The person who wrote it was P. Parameswaran (1927-2020) – a seer-warrior in the intellectual battlefield of the nation for Dharma.
If one is to describe Parameswaran, then perhaps, it should be thus — a Parasurama whose Parasu or axe was his pen. He wielded it the way Parasurama wielded his axe and fell before it powers that distorted history and intellectual discourse in this country.
A highly spiritual person whose spirituality sharpened his fighting vigour in his fight for the nation, and his chosen field of action was the intellectual domain.
The magnificence of simplicity was an ever-present aura around him. An old school Swayamsevak in the long line of lions of Vedantic humanists which include Deendayal Upadhyaya and Nanaji Deshmukh as strong and brilliant as his words, his life itself served as an inspiring example for those around him.
Transparent and clean like the Ganga right at its glacier source, his life was in itself an offering into the havan of nation-building.
His love for Hindu Dharma took him to the Sangh Shakhas and Sri Ramakrishna Math. When Nanaji Deshmukh established ‘Deendayal Research Institute’ (DRI) for four years he was its director in Delhi. He was in charge of the famous quarterly magazine Manthan.
He was then in Delhi. In 1982, he came back to Trivandrum where the intellectual life was in the stranglehold of Marxists and cultural life was getting increasingly appropriated by the expansionist monopolistic religious cults like Christian evangelism and Islamism.
He realised the deep nexus between all the three anti-Hindu forces even if they seemed on the surface to be against each other.
He founded the ‘Bharatiya Vichar Kendra’ in 1982. Since then, it has become a centre of great intellectual renaissance for national thinking. He also became the President of Vivekananda Kendra and Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari.
His articles that appeared in Yuva Bharati, the youth magazine of Vivekananda Kendra, were highly thought provoking – making the readers, mostly youths, see the news in right perspective.
Whether it is the Maoist take over of Nepal or the way Indian media treated the death of the Pope and the samadhi of Swami Ranganathananda – he always exposed the anti-Hindu bias in the media and polity that was gradually taking a steady suicidal tendency for the Hindu society at large.
His editorials in Yuva Bharati compiled under the name ‘Heartbeats of a Hindu Nation’ should be a must read for each and every patriotic youth.
Even in his trenchant criticism, he would never abuse the person or concern himself with the personal life details of the person whose views he attacks.
A case in point was when K.R. Narayanan, then Vice-President, made a remark that Adi Sankara’s Advaita was because of the influence of Islam.
Parameswaran took him to task for this utterly baseless statement that too from a high office. He showed how Islamic monotheism and the Advaita of Adi Sankara are actually incompatible and mutually exclusive.
Nevertheless, Advaita could accommodate diverse elements into it provided they themselves touch and harmonize themselves with the soul of oneness.
Influenced by Swami Vivekananda, Maharishi Sri Aurobindo, Swami Ranganathananda, Guruji Golwalkar and Nanaji Deshmukh, he carried on their tradition of fighting for Dharma. Till the end, he was fighting falsehoods whether it is St. Thomas’ hoax, government interference in temples, Maoist threat to national integrity and so on.
Old age created its own hurdles, but the Dharmic spirit in him was ever young. Today, the movement in which he served all his life, as a soldier-commander ever in the battle field and never resting, is in the seat of power.
And temporal power is only a tool in the cause of Dharma and Rashtra.
The sacred memory of Parameswaran will always guide each one of us, from Pradhan Sevak Narendra Modi to every Swayamsevak in every village of India, towards serving Dharma.