Feature Article

Theravada Buddhism worse than Brahmanism in language replacement

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 23:54 GMT]
Pali-based Theravada Buddhism, especially its Sinhala version, is historically worse than Sanskritic Brahmanism in language replacement and denial of linguistic rights of peoples in their religious pursuits. Tamils in their long civilization have seen all the religions through their language, and from time to time have been rebelling against all kinds of oppression coming through them. In this respect the atheist Dravidian movement set an example to entire South Asia and the Tamil militant struggle upheld the legacy. Tamils will come out with fitting answer to genocide coming through religion and to the international paradigms harping on religions in the game for world monopoly, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics responding to the Nayinaa-theevu question.

A demand that came from genocidal Colombo in the South Africa–Singapore talks was that Tamils should accept the pre-eminence of Buddhism in the island.

How this Buddhism would operate could now be seen in the move to create Nagadipa in Nayinaa-theevu.

Like all institutionalised religions, Buddhism didn’t come to the island through piety. It came as a show of the Mauryan Empire.

How this shade of religion differed from the others was that it replaced the language of the Sinhala people, making them linguistically different from the rest of southern South Asia. It instilled a tendency to do so forever. The seeds of genocidal tendency lay in there.

Buddhism tried that in Tamil Nadu too. A few surviving literatures in Tamil are exceptions. Kaanchipuram-born ‘Tamil Buddhists’ carried Pali texts to Korea, Japan and China. There they were prepared to preach in those languages. They also in their mind took with them the Tamil ideas of nature and interior landscape. But they wrote nothing in Tamil. Kerala-born Adi Sankara writing everything in Sanskrit is a parallel.

Tamils seeking religious experience and expression in their own language, and rebelling against the establishments and the Sanghas of that time, came out with the Saiva and Vaishnava devotional movement.

Brahmanism compromised, but the ones who were exclusive were rejected.

800 years of Islam didn’t replace the language of Tamils, Malayalis, Bengalis, Malays or even the language of the tiny Maldives, which became 100 per cent Islamic.

Tamil was the first language in South Asia to receive Christianity in print in the 16th century itself. Christianity didn’t replace the language, despite coming with the backing of powerful empires.

* * *

The contrasting attitude of the Sinhala Theravada Buddhist establishment in the island has to be understood with larger historical perspectives. The talk of Tamil Buddhism is not the answer.

The deliberate failure of certain world dadas in not recognising genocide in the island has given a new impetus to old tendencies.

In a world bogged down into a cultivated religious crisis, the atheist Dravidian movement of Tamils was pioneering in leading humanity to the next progressive stage. Secularism put forth by them was with real spirit compared to the paper secularism of New Delhi. All shades of Eezham Tamil militancy adopted it, but the so-called ‘international community’ never appreciated it. Because, the paradigm of the world culprits was to use religion in leading the world into chaos, confusion and paranoia, in order to achieve the ‘world order’ in their mind.

When the chronic question in the island was in fact between two nations, the concerned powers after engineering the genocide, were talking of four religions.

If the NPC of their ‘solution’ has been reduced to the level of fighting for a place name, even for which it doesn’t have powers, the salutes should certainly go to the cons of Washington.

Of course, there is another one, insisting on the virtues of 13A, which may readily come with a supply of ‘bull flags’ to hoist in temples, including folk temples, to ‘compensate’ the genocidal Buddhist onslaught, or will come with the talk of Vivekananda and his relationship with Anagariga Dharmapala. Beware of them. That is not the answer either.

* * *

In recent days, the Mumbai-based, Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) is orchestrating a signature campaign of historians, social scientists, artists, scientists, academics and scholars, against what the BJP polity is now doing in India. Most of the signatories are either in India or in the USA. A glance of the names will tell their social and regional background. Where were all of them when the previous regime was partnering the first ever genocide in the region, and where was the EPW at that time, is the question.

“Irresponsible statements by political leaders, declaring that India is finally free from eight hundred or one thousand years of slavery, and that the glory of the Hindu nation will shine anew, are creating a sense of fear among millions of citizens now being defined as outsiders. What the present regime seems to be promoting, as our colleagues in India note, is a legislated account of the past, glorifying a homogenized and inflexible “Hindu” tradition. This denies the very inheritance that made the tradition exceptional: ongoing debate, a remarkable range of accepted beliefs and practices, and the necessity of change over time. Such a monolithic and flattened view of India’s history is not supported by the sources, or by any serious historical inquiry,” said a statement appeared in the EPW, coming from international Indian academics mostly from the USA.

Why couldn’t they tell this to Sinhala-Buddhist genocidal Sri Lanka, when Sonia Congress New Delhi was partnering with it in setting the paradigm for the entire region?

The list of Historians, headed by ‘Preceptor’ Romila Thapar and joined mostly by JNU products, worrying about their history books under the current New Delhi regime is laughable through the back.

Genocidal Sri Lanka was doing worse for decades. But shortly after the Mu’l’livaaykkaal genocide, Preceptor Romila Thapar had ‘friends’ in the Rajapaksa regime to run to Colombo to preach Buddhism and save the image of the State and regime. Historical morality differs for her between India and ‘Sri Lanka’. This was a mistake Indian intellectuals, attached to establishments, power centres, institutions and foundations, have made.

“It is easy to trample them down, but it is important to remember that it will take too long and will be beyond the capacity of those who are currently at the helm of affairs, to rebuild it once it is destroyed,” the historians said on the values and traditions of plurality in India.

Do they have the capacity to undo the genocide and ongoing genocide against Eezham Tamils that was partnered by India in the island, on which the ‘historians’ kept quiet, and some of them even went to bailout Colombo?

If Tamils have to trust anyone, trust the grassroot and alternative intelligentsia in bringing out an awareness of the genocidal demon that is fostered and pampered in the island endangering the entire region.

Tamil civilization has the potentiality of teaching a lesson in non-violent ways to corporate, geopolitical, imperialist and pseudo intellectual greed that are riding on religion, language, caste, tribe and genocide in the region. But whether the Tamil politicians and activists are capable of enlightening themselves first, in order to enlighten the alternative world and to lead the masses, is the question of the civilization.

There are people who argue that the West should not be ‘troubled’ at this juncture by criticism. In fact, this is the right juncture to tell the so-called international community to its face on what Colombo is doing through its patronage and the un-acceptability of that State to Tamils.

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External Links:
EPW: Historians Issue Statement: Government Should Value Centuries of Tolerance
EPW: Academics and Scholars Protest against Assault on Academic and Constitutional Freedom
EPW: Artists' Statement on Growing Political and Religious Intolerance
EPW: Scientists Issue Statement Against Intolerance and Rejection of Reason
EPW: Statement to Maintain Tolerance and Ensure Justice



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