Tamil Nadu: The Cultural Illiteracy Of His Holiness Mr Adheenam

The Cultural Illiteracy Of His Holiness Mr Adheenam

by Aravindan Neelakandan - Thursday, December 22, 2022 03:58 PM IST
The Cultural Illiteracy Of His Holiness Mr AdheenamSurya Naiynar Kovil Sivakara Yogikal Mutt Mahalinga Desika Paramacharya Swamigal at a Christmas function
  • Christmas celebrations organised by the DMK or those that see the participation of DMK leaders, also become platforms for attacking Hinduism.

    In this task, the Dravidianists have found allies in some of the Adheenams of the state.

Christmas celebrations in Tamil Nadu are fast becoming informal-but-important political functions. It is almost an unwritten rule that every political party or political alliance would have its Christmas function on a public platform.

Apart from the de-Hinduised Pongal, no other festival-related function in Tamil Nadu sees such a traction. Even Pongal, when celebrated by political parties, does not become a platform for voicing communal politics though.

In that context, what has become of Christmas celebrations in the state shows a significant victory of Dravidianist-Evangelist nexus. Today, denominations of Christianity compete with each other to appear on such public platforms and to share the dais with political power-heads. The politicians in turn use the occasion to woo the proselytising forces.

The encouragement of a powerful proselytising agenda, in the name of secularism, against a national culture, traditional and spirituality, is dangerous for a democracy and can lead to disastrous anti-secular, anti-democratic consequences.

It took the moral courage of a truly spiritual patriot, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, to stop the Iftar parties at the official home of the President. One prays for the same secular will power and spiritual patriotism in Tamil Nadu to stop the political display of communal power that happens in the name of Christmas celebrations.

Usually, these Christmas celebrations, particularly those organised by the DMK or those that see the participation of DMK leaders, also become platforms for attacking Hinduism.

For this purpose, in truly Dravidianist fashion, it is usually those wearing outwardly Saivite attire who are used.

And for 2022 it has been a prize catch indeed - His Holiness Surya Naiynar Kovil Sivakara Yogikal Mutt Mahalinga Desika Paramacharya Swamigal.

The speech His Holiness made with the three minutes given to him at a recent Christmas function was not only an epitome of cultural illiteracy but it is hard to find a more submissive posturing towards Evangelist powers than what His Holiness Mr Adheenam showed there.

He spoke of northern Indian culture as 'Hare Krishna Hare Rama' culture and then, with a grin, declared that the carriers of such a culture are stopped by Dravidianism in Tamil Nadu and by Communism in Kerala.

Encouraged by the ensuing applause of the audience, His Holiness Mr Adheenam tried to ratchet up the rhetoric: only option for the Tamils are the two political parties and 'they have to piggy back on them'.

Then, he made a request to the Christian religious heads—practice your religion vigorously and people will come to you and convert.

At this point it is appropriate to remember that His Holiness Mr Adheenam is actually only a symptom of a deeper and more wide-spread malaise.

Another prominent Adheenam in fact, His Holiness Ponnambalam Swamigal, wrote an endorsement for the Tamil translation of Zakir Naik's Islamist propaganda.

Adheenams in Tamil Nadu have steadily become glorified real estate managers and caste leaders. (This is also true for all traditional heads.) Adheenams are supposed to protect the Saiva Dharma. The Saiva spiritual tradition is, by its very definition, Vedic. Dravidianism is anti-Vedic.

Dravidianism uses the pretence of egalitarianism to attack Vedic Saivism. It wants to nurture in its place a Dravidianist pseudo-Saivism that is more an intermediary form to be replaced by Christianity. It seems that many Adheenams are more than happy to comply and help with this project.

What is true for most Adheenams is also true for most Dharmacharyas. Add to this the attempt to capture the temples of one Sampradaya by another through manufactured personality cults and the pathway to doom is complete and perfect.

The internal strife within the Adheenams is legendary, what with attempts to murder and pending law suits.

An institutionally stronger Christian network of denominations which includes the massive transnational Catholic Church along with determinedly anti-Hindu Dravidianist political parties, is an ever-increasing threat to Hindu society and culture in Tamil Nadu.

That is why the urgent and immediate need of the Hindu society, particularly in Tamil Nadu, is of more Sangathanacharyas than Sampradhacharyas.

Aravindan is a contributing editor at Swarajya.

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