SAMVAD

Phalgun Purnima, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: 1 March 2018


1. FESTIVALS: Ram Navami

2. Unite to fulfill bharat’s destined duty: SARASanghachalak ji

3. Collective effort must be made to change the destiny of Bharat - Dr. Mohan Bhagwat

4. Women Development to Women-led Development

5.  UP INVESTORS' SUMMIT 2018

6. KANCHI SHANKARACHARYA JAYENDRA SARASWATHI PASSES AWAY

7. Samarasata Kumbh a great show of Hindu solidarity in Raisen

8. RESTORING BHARAT IN CINEMA

9.  MK Shah Oshwal Philanthropist of the year 2017-2018

10. Government announces funding of $160,000 for Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple

11. Chandrayaan-1 and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that water is widely distributed on the moon's surface

12. BHARATIYA ORIGIN PROFESSOR GETS $6,00,000 GRANT TO DEVELOP LUPUS CURE

13. Incredible! DRDO successfully flew ‘Made in bharat’ Rustom-2 drone 14. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN & FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Articles:

 

I.    A DOCTOR WITH A DIFFERENCE

II.  OVERPOWERING SHADOWS OF HISTORY

III. JAYENDRA SARASWATHI: AN ACHARYA WITH A DIFFERENCE


1. FESTIVALS: Ram Navami, the nineth day of Chaitra Shukla Paksha corresponding to March 25 this year, is the day when Bhagwan Ram was born in Ayodhya millions of years ago. It is one of the Hindu festivals that is celebrated by the Hindu diaspora with roots in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and South Bharat. The descendants of Bharatiya indentured servants, for example, who arrived in colonial South Africa before 1910 to work in British owned plantations and mines, thereafter lived through the South African apartheid regime, continued to celebrate Ram Navami by reciting Ramayana, and by singing bhajans of Tyagaraja and Bhadrachala Ramdas. The tradition continues in contemporary times in the Hindu temples of Durban every year. Similarly in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, and many other countries Hindu descendants of colonial era indentured workers brought by the British government from Bharat have continued to observe Ram Navami along with their other traditional festivals. It is also celebrated by Hindus in Fiji, and those Fiji Hindus who have re-migrated elsewhere.  -GoTop

 

2. Unite to fulfill bharat's destined duty: SARASanghachalak ji: Addressing the biggest ever gathering of Swayamsevaks in ganavesh in Merath, Uttar Pradesh on February 25, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat appealed to the Hindu society to become a member of RSS to enable Bharat accomplish its destined duty of spreading high moral values for the humanity. Speaking at mammoth "Rashtrodaya" program attended by over three lakh RSS swayamsevaks drawn at Merath, Bhagwat said that Hindus have only Bharat as their own and it is their responsibility to make it great. Therefore, "say with pride we you are Hindu". Dr. Bhagwat further said that the diversity we experience around is nothing but the varied expressions of the inherent unity and it is the duty of Hindus to make the entire humanity experience that unity. Appealing to the Hindus to become more resolute and uncompromising in respect of values, he said more we become hardliners more will we respect and celebrate the diversity. It is no wrong to be strong; Bhagwat said explaining that this gathering is not a show of strength. Strength is visible, it need not be exhibited, he said it is visible when it is there. -GoTop

 

3. Collective effort must be made to change the destiny of Bharat - Dr. Mohan Bhagwat: RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat said that the Sanatan tradition in our culture has been existing since time immemorial. We have given the world a distinct culture, civilization, knowledge and science. That is why there is a feeling of respect towards Bharat across the world. He said RSS gatherings are organized not to assemble the crowd but to organize people for a definite aim. It is not meant to show off strength, but to achieve a goal.

Addressing the gathering of RSS swayamsevaks on the ground of Sampoornanandd Sanskrit University in Kashi on February 18, Dr. Mohan Bhagwat Ji said our aim is to organize the entire society. It does not mean we want to assemble any crowd. The Sangh has been organized not in any compulsion, but it is the result of sacrifice and penance of the swayamsevaks.

He alerted the swayamsevaks not to let people lose the trust that people have reposed in the Sangh. He exhorted them to maintain and uphold purity in their personal, family, professional and social life. He underlined that our eternal tradition has been unity in diversity.

Kshetra Sanghchalak Virendra Prakramaditya, Vibhag Sanghchalak Dr. Jay prakash Lal were also present on the stage.-GoTop

 

4. Women Development to Women-led Development: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi said in his monthly Akashvani address Mann ki Baat on February 25 that the country was moving from women development to women-led development and emphasized that the dream of New Bharat was where women were empowered, strong and an equal partner in the nation's overall development. Quoting Swami Vivekanand, Pradhan Mantri said that the idea of a perfect womanhood was perfect independence; Modi said the dream of "New Bharat" was where the women were empowered.

"Today, woman power has shown inner fortitude and self-confidence, has made herself self-reliant. Not only has she advanced herself but has carried forward the country and society to newer heights. After all, our dream of 'New India' is the one where women are strong and empowered and are equal partners in the development of the country," he said.

He mentioned the current budget in which an emphasis has been laid on turning 'waste to wealth' and 'waste to energy' through biogas. He also urged women to create self-help groups for the GOBAR DHAN initiative which may become a source of income for the rural population. -GoTop

 

5.  UP INVESTORS' SUMMIT 2018 was inaugurated by Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on the 21st of February in Lucknow. Industry leaders such as Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, KM Birla and many other prominent industrialists, along with Heads of the States, Kendriya Mantri Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, as well as seasoned policy makers, scholarly persons and executives of International Institutions from across the globe were present at investors’ summit. They were interested to invest towards the growth of "New" Uttar Pradesh, thus, paving way for economic development and employment opportunities in the state.

The aim of the investment summit was to provide a common platform for various stakeholders from corporate conglomerates to Head of States to come together and contribute towards the development of the state.

The Summit concluded on February 22 with Rashtrapati Ram Nath Kovind saying the progress of the state should make the investors invest emotionally as well economically in it and chief minister Yogi Adityanath informing the gathering that the investors had also shown interest in making an additional investment of Rs 4 lakh crore. This figure was apart from the MoUs already signed for implementing projects to the tune of Rs 4.28 lakh crore, Adityanath said. -GoTop

 

6. KANCHI SHANKARACHARYA JAYENDRA SARASWATHI PASSES AWAY: Kanchi acharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th head of the centuries old mutt, passed away in Kancheepuram on 28th February. He was 82. Born in Irulneeki, a village in Tiruvarur district in 1935 as Subramania Mahadevan, Jayendra became a pontiff of the Kanchi Mutt in 1954 and was guided by Paramacharya Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi.

RSS Sarsanghachalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat expressed deep condolences over this sad demise and Sarkaryavaha Bhayya ji Joshi attended the cremation ceremony at Kanchi. -GoTop

 

7. Samarasata Kumbh a great show of Hindu solidarity in Raisen: The Hindus of Raisen district in Madhya Pradesh created a sort of history on February 21 by putting up a grand show of solidarity at the historic Dashahara Maidan. Hindus of all sects, castes, men and women, young and old alike from all over the district thronged to participate in the Samarasata Kumbh.

Addressing this massive gathering RSS Sah-Sarkaryawaah Suresh Soni said that the word Kumbh is not new to the Hindus. Kumbh Melas are held in different parts of the country where people from all castes, sects, and languages participate without any discrimination. He urged the Hindus to forget all the differences of castes, sects and stand as a strong, vibrant and solid block of Hindu society to make Bharat a great nation. -GoTop

 

8. RESTORING BHARAT IN CINEMA: It is with the objective of motivating filmmakers to restore Bharat, Bharatiya culture and Bharatiya values in Bharatiya cinema that the Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana started organising Chitra Bharati Film Festival in 2016 from Indore. The second film festival was held in New Delhi's SIRI Fort Auditorium from Feb. 19 to 21.The festival was graced by the presence of 'Dream Girl' Hema Malini, noted film makers Subhash Ghai, Madhur Bhandarkar and Priyadarshan, Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi, leading stars Arjun Rampal, Victor Banerjee, film director Sudipto Sen, Marathi film director Raj Dutt, Manju Bora from north-east, leading script writer Dr KV Vijayendra Prasad, play back singer Babul Supriyo,  UV Krishnan Raju, Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, etc.  Soochana evam Prasaran Mantri Smt Smriti Irani, Haryana Mukhya Mantri Manohar Lal, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Dr Manmohan Vaidya, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh Narendra Thakur, convener Prajna Pravah J. Nandakumar and many others joined the festival in different sessions.

Short films produced by various budding filmmakers were screened at the film festival on topics like Bharatiya culture and values, national and social awakening, constructive work, folk art, environment, social harmony, women and Bharatiya family system. The jury which selected the films for awards included KG Suresh, Sudipto Sen, Udia Shankar Pani, Vinod Ganatra, Advaita Kala, Asit Kumar Garg, Parvati Menon, Ujjwal Chatterjee, Shanti Prasad Agrawal, Atul Gangwar, Kuldip Sinha, Yudu Vijay Krishnan, Ritu Bhardwaj, Meenakshi Sheron and Chitra Singh.

Inaugurating the festival on February 19, Smt Smriti Irani said Chitra Bharati film festival has high significance as it connects the cinema with the Bharatiya roots adding that the short filmmakers should study the Bharatiya novels and culture deeply, because the traditional Bharatiya literature reflects the very soul of Bharat. Hema Malini said cinema has played a key role in spreading Hindi and Bharatiya culture across the world. Arjun Rampal expressed concern that Bharat produces largest number of movies in the world, but none finds a place in the Oscars. Madhur Bhandarkar congratulated Chitra Bharati for bringing filmmakers of all Bharatiya languages at one platform. Priyadarshan assured full support to the Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana and the budding filmmakers. Raj Dutt recalled the time when the Bharatiya movies used to teach through laughter, which is missing now. Smt Manju Bora said Bharat must find prominent place in Bharatiya cinema. Haryana Mukhya Mantri Manohar Lal applauded the role of Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana in  restoring Bharatiyaness in films. The Last Monk fame director Shri Sudipto Sen taught script writing to film students and apprised them of the various secrets of film making.

On day two i.e. on February 20, some cinema stalwarts taught practical aspects of filmmaking to the budding filmmakers and students. In his Master Class, noted film director Madhur Bhandarkar stressed on budget before starting work on any movie. Manoj Tiwari told the budding stars to keep in mind that no role is small or big. Noted film director, producer and educationist Subhash Ghai advised not to develop misconception of being master of the cinema after getting some experience, as one learns throughout the life.

The film festival concluded on February 21 with the distribution of prizes to the winning films by Subhash Ghai, Chairman CBFC Prasoon Joshi, Babul Supriyo, Victor Banerjee, KV Vijayendra Prasad, UV Krishnam Raju, Manoj Tiwari and chairman of Spice Jet Ajay Singh.

Marathi film Anahut produced by Umesh Mohan Bagade was honoured as the best short film. Soldiers Our Super Heroes was honoured as the best animation film, while 'I'M Jeeja' was felicitated as the best documentary film. Umesh Mohan was felicitated as the Best Director for Anahut.

Addressing the concluding ceremony Subhash Ghai said the films connected with the country, culture and mother tongue are the identity of the nation. Victor Banerjee stressed that we should be proud of our mother tongue and the feel of our culture and roots should reflect in our work. Rebecca Changkija Naga, filmmaker from Nagaland, said our film makers seem to be mad after shooting their films at foreign soils, whereas the North-East Bharat and many other parts of our own country provide better locations than the foreign countries. -GoTop 

 

9.  MK Shah Oshwal Philanthropist of the year 2017-2018: Manshukhlal Keshavji Shah of Hindu Religion and Service Centre (HRSC) has been instrumental and a pioneer member of HRSC which continues to touch millions of lives across the nation of Kenya through various service projects undertaken for many years. With his team, School Feeding Program, which has been operational for the last 8 years, operates in 65 schools in the poorest locations in Kenya serving hot lunch daily to 21,000 needy primary school children, translating into 4 million meals a year. His team is also providing text books & stationery, setting up libraries, and 31 schools have been helped by planting 100 Fruit trees. HRSC has helped thousands of students by donating sanitary pads, shoes and wheel chairs to handicap children.  HRSC has helped hundreds of people by providing solar lamps to bring light in their dark nights.  Mansukhlal was a committee member of famine relief projects undertaken during the severe drought period in 2017 providing food rations to 7000 families in the badly hit Kitui County. He is also part of the HRSC Tree Planting Team which helped planting a total of 115450 trees at different locations of the country with the survival rate of 85%. -GoTop

 

10. Government announces funding of $160,000 for Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple: Victorian Government on February 16 announced it will provide more than $160,000 to the Hindu Society of Victoria to upgrade its Cultural and Heritage Centre, also known as the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple. Minister for Multraicultural Affairs Robin Scott and Member for Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny joined the Bharatiya community to make the announcement. The Hindu Society of Victoria was established in 1982 and advocates for the cultural and spiritual needs of Victoria’s Hindu community.  Consecrated in 1994, the Society’s spiritual and cultural precinct, the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, is now largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere. -GoTop

 

11. Chandrayaan-1 and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that water is widely distributed on the moon's surface: A new analysis of data from Bharat's Chandrayaan-1 mission and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter suggests that Moon's water may be widely distributed across the surface, not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it was not necessarily easily accessible, according to the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The findings could help researchers understand the origin of the Moon's water and how easy it would be to use as a resource. For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper spectrometer onboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft. They came up with a new way to incorporate important temperature information, creating a detailed model from measurements made by the Diviner instrument on NASA's at Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. -GoTop

 

12. BHARATIYA ORIGIN PROFESSOR GETS $6,00,000 GRANT TO DEVELOP LUPUS CURE: Chandra Mohan, endowed professor in the University of Houston's biomedical engineering department, and his research team members Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranzhave got a $6,00,000 private grant for their path-breaking research to develop a new treatment for lupus. The Target Identification in Lupus grant from the Lupus Research Alliance has been given to Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that is difficult to diagnose, treat and defeat. Only one treatment has been approved in nearly 60 years.

"Lupus nephritis (kidney disease) is one of the most serious complications of lupus. With the TIL grant support, Chandra Mohan will build on his existing discoveries. -GoTop

  

13. Incredible! DRDO successfully flew ‘Made in bharat’ Rustom-2 drone: Getting a massive breakthrough, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on February 25 successfully flew its Rustom 2 at its Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chalakere at Chitradurga. Rustom 2 is a 'Made in Bharat' unmanned combat air vehicle based on Rustom-H model which is often compared with Predator drones. DRDO in a press statement said, "DRDO successfully flew its Rustom 2 today at its Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chalakere at Chitradurga. This flight assumes significance due to the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with higher power engine. All parameters were normal."

A medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, Rustom-2 is comparable to the American made Predator drone and can fly for 24 hours at stretch. It can conduct sustained surveillance and can carry weapons along with surveillance equipment.-GoTop

 

14. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Saumitra Gokhae Vishwa Vibhag samyojak will return to USA. Dr Ram Vaidya, sahsamyojak return to UK after the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha baithak. Visitors:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: "Wherever four Hindus live, Ram and Sita will be there" so said Swami Vivekanand. The reverse also is true "Wherever Ram and Sita live, the people there will remain and live as Hindus". - H V Sheshadri, former RSS Sarakaryavah. -GoTop

JAI SHREE RAM

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A DOCTOR WITH A DIFFERENCE

 

This is a humble tribute to late Dr Krishna Purushottam Hardas on his first death anniversary falling on February 27, 2018. He did his MBBS in 1954 from Government Medical College, Nagpur. Later he became lecturer in the same college in Anatomy department and was every popular among students. Later he went to London and finished his FRCS examination in the very first attempt, a rare feat.

A full fledged FRCS thus got a good salaried job and so plunged into the mission of Hindu Constitution in the UK so as to establish Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS UK) in 1966 with the help of other like minded friends. He toured the entire UK in his own car; buring his own petrol, clocking about 75,000 miles, to spread the wings of organisation.

Thereafter with the guidance of Late Shri S.S. Alias Dadasaheb Apte, founder Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), he along with others founded VHP (UK) chapter on the auspicious “Akshay Tritiya” day in 1971 and remained as its Founder Trustee till he left UK for good to return to Bharat in October 1996. Then followed his association with Kalyanashram Trust, UK chapter (KATUK). This Trust is affiliated to Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Bharat, dedicated to welfare and all round progress of Vanawasis in Bharat.

His finest golden moment came in 1976-77 when Bharat was reeling under atrocious emergency and DrHardas, Jagdish ji Sood and other formed an organisation “Friends of India Society International” (FISI) to counter myths dished out by supporters of emergency and he was appointed as International Secretary General of FISI and came out with a booklet “Smugglers of Truth” and the world was shocked to know the ugly reality of Bharat under emergency.

Thereafter urgent need was felt in BJP circles with the initiative of Shri L K Advani to have an International Forum of Overseas Sympathisers and Friends of BJP of which Dr. K.P. Hardas was the natural choice as founding President duty assented by late Shri Bhaurao Deoras. Later Dr. Hardas associated himself with ‘Go Mutra Anusandhan Kendra’, Deolapar and started treating cancer patients free of cost. He was outspoken and fearless in his views and an ardent defender of Hindu Dharma and fiery orator. Very knowledgeable and skilled presenter, he represented Sangh on many public platforms and media. While very painful at his departure, we are proud to be associated with such a great personality. – by Sharad Hardas, Nagpur -GoTop

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OVERPOWERING SHADOWS OF HISTORY

A Surya Prakash

 

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi recently played host to a unique conference organised by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) on  Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh — The Tale of two Brothers and also an exhibition on the lives of these two individuals.

The conference and exhibition brought out the huge divergence in the lives of these two sons of Shah Jahan and sought to drive home the point that some course-correction was necessary in our understanding of these two medieval characters. The conference dwelt on the distinct life styles of the brothers and the sharp difference in their approach to Islam and Hinduism. As regards to Aurangzeb, the following points were highlighted: Aurangzeb issued an order to his Governors on April 9, 1669, to demolish the schools and temples of the Hindus leading to the destruction of hundreds of temples, including the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Benaras, the Krishna Temple at Mathura and the Somnath Temple. Following the destruction of the temple at Mathura, he built a lofty Masjid at that site. The idols were brought to Agra and buried under the steps of the mosque of begum sahib “in order to be continually trodden upon”.

Ten years later, on April 2, 1679, he imposed jizya — a tax that the Hindus had to pay in order to continue to practice their faith. Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of Sikh places of worship, imprisoned Guru Tegh Bahadur and beheaded him after torturing him for many days because he refused to convert to Islam. He continued the assault on Sikhism during the tenure of Guru Gobind Singh and killed four of his sons.

Aurangzeb’s brother, Dara Shikoh was an ardent student of religion. He studied the Talmud and the New Testament, the Hindu Vedanta and the writings of the Muslim Sufis. He took the help of Hindu pundits and wrote a Persian version of the Upanishads. He learnt at the feet of Lal Das, a Hindu yogi and a Muslim teacher called Faqir Sarmad to develop his philosophy. One of his works was titled Majmua-ul- Bahrain (the mingling of two oceans) and it aimed at finding a meeting point between Hinduism and Islam.

Dara Shikoh’s scholarly and philosophical pursuits match well with our Constitutional goal of ensuring equity and equality and unity in diversity.

The conference and exhibition organized by Fran├žois Gautier, the force behind FACT, constitute yet another important step in Bharat’s transition from the pseudo-secular to the secular and from the medieval to the modern. ( abridged).(The writer is Chairman, Prasar Bharat, Daily Pioneer 27th February 2018) -GoTop

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JAYENDRA SARASWATHI: AN ACHARYA WITH A DIFFERENCE

S Gurumurthy    |

 

Jayendra Saraswathi, the direct disciple of the Mahaswami, was particularly distinct from his predecessor in almost every respect. Being more contemporary than traditional, he often tested the limits of orthodoxy and extended the areas of the Math’s reach and influence

Jayendra Saraswathi Swami, the 69th Shankaracharya of the famous Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, who attained samadhi on 28th February was an Acharya different in comparison to his peers in the pantheon of Shankaracharyas. He was particularly distinct from his predecessor and Guru, Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi, popularly known as the Kanchi Mahaswami, in almost every respect. Jayendra Saraswathi was even controversial because of the risky territories he traversed that were never unravelled to him in the training he had received in the innocent surroundings at the Math.

Guru-Sishya contrast

The Kanchi Math, rebuilt from scratch by the Mahaswami, attained the most revered status among all Maths in the country and the Mahaswami was revered as the walking Divinity. An epitome of modesty and simplicity, his calmness and silence attracted millions to him. The tallest intellectuals, the mightiest leaders and the most respected men and women from all walks of life queued up for his darshan and to hear his profound words. Even his detractors were silenced by the power of his calmness and quietude. The Math reached its pinnacle under his stewardship. Jayendra Saraswathi, the direct disciple of the Mahaswami, was almost a contrast.

If the Mahaswami was silent, Jayendra was outspoken. If his Guru was inner directed, Jayendra was outgoing. If the Mahaswami walked, Jayendra motored, even flew. If the Guru avoided fame, the disciple enjoyed it. If the Mahaswami immersed in contemplation with self, Jayendra involved in conversation with the world. This contrast did create a situation in 1988, when Jayendra Saraswathi, piqued by some in the Math not accepting the culture change he was bringing about, left the Math without informing anyone suddenly. It shook the Math and its millions of followers. Though he returned after calming himself, the incident demonstrated his trans-traditional impulses.

Unchartered territories

The calm, quiet and inward-looking Math and its grammar changed into one of high pulse and activity under Jayendra Saraswathi’s leadership after the Mahaswami attained siddhi in 1994. Being more contemporary than traditional, Jayendra Saraswathi often tested the limits of orthodoxy and extended the areas of the Math’s reach and influence beyond its traditional adherents even as he explored areas of social thrust. He was instrumental in the Kanchi Math expanding directly into people’s service and not remaining merely a spiritual fountainhead as it was under the Mahaswami.

Today, the Kanchi Math runs a deemed university and dozens of schools and hospitals — territories previously not in the reach of Math — besides over 50 traditional Vedic schools and temples. Jayendra broke the restraining rules of the Math and reached out to the downtrodden. He went to Harijan bastis and attracted thousands of new followers and devotees. He transformed a spiritual and ritualistic Math into a socially vibrant one. This brought him high popularity and also into interaction with a multitude of social and political leaders in the country. It had had its pluses and minuses.

Arrest and vicious atmosphere

Jayendra Saraswathi’s independent course provoked some elements in the Math to fault him for deviating from the celebrated traditions. This led to an uncomplimentary campaign against him and the murder of one of the dissenters. In a state where Hinduism has borne the burden of unjust assault at the hands of the Dravida Kazhagam and its offshoots, political parties and others found it opportune to attack Jayendra, finally leading his arrest.

This sparked a nationwide uproar, but in Tamil Nadu, a vicious campaign was carried by political parties, intellectuals, activists and even the media against the Math and the Acharya. The New Indian Express alone gave the other side view and carried five counter-investigation articles [authored by me]. The first article titled As the Shankaracharya stands like Abhimanyu [NIE 23.11.2004] captured how the Dravidian political and secular media in the state were hounding the hapless Acharya, who was stung and stunned by the heinous charge against him. The third one titled The case is dead. Who’ll do the funeral, and when, exposed the frivolous prosecution. An angry government ordered my arrest and even the bail available to any accused was denied to the Acharya by the Magistrate and Sessions Court and by the Madras High Court. Finally, he had to get bail from the Supreme Court! Even the junior Acharya was arrested.

The final article titled Will the Secular Media Heed Justice Reddy’s Warning? [Jan 14, 2005] was on the judgment of Justice Narasimha Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, who condemned the unprecedented process of denigration of the ancient, prestigious and glorious Math with almost 2,500-year history by “not only individuals, but also a section of the institutions, such as the State and the Press”. Noting the stoic silence of the proponents of human rights, fair play and dignity, the judge said “a powerful section is celebrating or watching with indifference” the “perfidy against the Math” that had shocked the nation and beyond”. Pointing to the “amount of disrepute and sacrilege inflicted on Jayendra Saraswathi that had no comparables, Justice Reddy pointed out that harshest possible words were used directly or in innuendo against him”. Finally he declared, “today he is subjected to similar treatment as was Draupati in the Court of Kauravas.”

Acquittal

Later, the Principal Sessions Court in Puducherry acquitted Jayendra Saraswathi, Vijayendra Saraswathi and all others. The judgment almost echoed the third counter investigation article in The New Indian Express which opened thus: “On counter investigation, we found the case against the Shankaracharya not just slippery, but actually groundless from day one. Not just that. It involves a bit of fabrication too. Yes the fabrication to fix the Acharya. The police are running for cover. They may not give up yet and may fabricate more to put the case, which is dead, on life support system. But the case is irretrievably lost. The dramatic turn came on Wednesday in the Kancheepuram Magistrate court. The two criminals on whom the police had exclusively relied to name the Shankaracharya as an accused in the case have actually turned to accuse the police as the fabricators of the case itself.”

Within two weeks of the Acharyas’ arrest, The New Indian Express had called the prosecution’s bluff. The judgment acquitting the Acharyas pretty much said the same thing. But that was after nine years of intense pain and humiliation the Acharya underwent, having been declared a criminal even before a chargesheet was filed against him.

Jayendra Saraswathi is no more and the pain inflicted on him has died with him. But the pain the Math and the millions of peaceful devotees underwent at the hands of a hostile state, egged on by the media and watched by the proponents of human rights, as Justice Reddy had said, will remain a permanent scar in the political, judicial and media history of Tamil Nadu. Jayendra Saraswathi’s demise may be an occasion for all those who hounded him for a decade and more to introspect so that they don’t repeat it ever. (The author is a well-known commentator on social, political and economic issues. The New Indian Express, 1st March 2018) -GoTop


SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN vishwav@bol.net.in www.shrivishwaniketan@blogspot.com