K. Veeramani's


Mr. K. Veeramani, the author of the book, "The Other Side of the Gita," is a "Periarist" par excellence. With his mind steeped in "Rationalism", enriched by a spirit of inquiry and scientific temper", and sharpened by legal acumen, he examines the other side (the darker side) of the Gita which is supposed to be a universal scripture, a book for mankind.

His approach to the Gita is not that of a "devotee" or a "Baktha" who is supposed to uphold the Gita and not to probe or reason out the so called truth enshrined in it.

The author being the foremost torchbearer of Periyarism-puts to reason the tall and dubious claims of the Gita being the book of mankind. He ably and convincingly exposes the fallacies and contradictions galore in the Gita.

He proves beyond any doubt, that the Gita is neither "holy" nor "supreme" or arcane made by the Sanathanists like the Sankaracharyas. It is quite common, and mundane like any other literature of mankind that could arise anywhere or everywhere.

The arguments adduced, and the documents quoted to establish his thesis are unassailable and invincible. It is a book clearly conceived, logically reasoned, well written and elaborately documented fit to be called a doctoral dissertation. It is the fruit of his 2 years monumental labour of research and patience in the spread of Periyarism.

It is highly readable and is "put downable " only after you finish it; it is a pleasure to go through the book. All rationalists and all those who champion the cause of the deprived and the depressed sections of society should read it. It is bound to enrich their minds and enable them to pursue their task of emancipation of mankind more valiantly and vigorously.

The author has quoted at length the views of eminent persons like Swami Vivekananda, Tilak, Bharathy, Gandhi and Vinoba on the Gita. He examines them in the light of reason, i.e. Periyarism, and comes to the inevitable and inescapable conclusion that they are "hesitant" to come out boldly and frankly _ although they are aware of the fallacies, absurdities, contradictions and limitations of the Gita.

It needs courage and conviction to speak the truth honestly. This intellectual honesty pervades in the book "The Other Side of the Gita." The author points out that the apostle of peace and non-violence Gandhi and his assassin Godse, a Maratha Brahmin, drew their inspiration from the same Gita! Can there be a better illustration than this to prove that the Gita is full of contradictions?

Nurtured in the school of Periyarism and inheriting the legacy of Thanthai Periyar, the author has made a signal contribution to the cause of Rationalism, by exposing the diabolic design of the Gita imposing the outmoded and obscurantist Brahmin hegemony on the Indian Society.

The so called Hinduism (the modern version of it is called `Hindutva') is nothing but "Sanathana Dharma" or the ancient path of Orthodox Brahmins. It is just a bundle of rituals and ceremonies from the cradle to the grave to enrich the Brahmins and to impoverish and enslave the Sudras.

The Brahmin is supreme because he knows the Brahman, the Supreme, the Absolute and the Reality. This knowledge of "Brahman" is supposed to be the greatest achievement, "the rarest of the rare". So it was closely guarded as a secret and the monopoly of the Brahmins. The others were prevented from knowing it. It became inaccessible to them.

This supremacy of the Brahmins was effectively and successfully challenged by the Kshatriyas like Mahavir and Gautama Buddha. Jainism and Buddhism were a revolt against Sanathanism or Brahminism. They had shown a new path of Renunciation through sacrifice and service.

During the era of the Guptas the "Imperial and Golden age of Hinduism" Sanathanism was revived and revitalized to challenge and undermine the reigning Jainism and Buddhism. It was then that the Gita was conceived and composed as a powerful weapon of Brahmin orthodoxy. It did succeed in its strategem and design.

The Women, the Vaisyas (the trading community) and the Sudras who were emancipated and flocked to Buddhism were "sinners"-born of unholy wombs" (ch 9 couplet 32), says the Gita.

It is the purpose of the Gita to preach that the Brahmins alone are holy-divine (_called the `Devas') and the others are unholy and despicable sinners- condemned to eternal darkness and slavery.

That is why Lord Krishna in his Gita says "I am the author of the four `Varnas' or castes; I preserve them: they are inmutable and eternal ". (ch.4 couplet 13).

How can any sane person, with any sense of self-respect, accept such a despicable and dastardly claim or human doctrine or dogma that some are `divine' like the Brahmins and the others are "bovine"(mere cattle). Yaga and Yoga are meant for the Brahmins only. Surrender and servility are meant for the other castes.

"Bojan and Bajan", i.e. the feasting and the revelry, are the privileges of the Brahmins (Devas). Karma, the unjustified and unquestioned slavery and drudgery are the lots of women and the Sudras (Dasyus). It is their "fate" (Karma and Dharma) to worship the Brahmins and to be eternally subservient to them. Karma Yoga is meant for the poor, the deprived and the downtrodden . This is the philosophy and the message of the Gita in a nut-shell. How can any intelligent human being accept this in an age of Reason and scientific analysis?

Under the onslaught of Reason and Buddhism-Jainism, ancient Ritualism of the Brahmins suffered a major set back and it was revived only after the Gita was composed for resurrecting and resuscitating the hated Brahmin orthodoxy. The period of Buddhism was identified with the liberation of the Sudras. Similarly during the 20th century, under the banner of Periyarism, there was again a revolt against the Brahmin hegemony. The Sudras were enthused and empowered and enabled to successfully fight and put down Sanathamism. It largely succeeded in the South. It even swept through the great Gangetic and Godavari valleys-the great bastions of orthodoxy and obscurantism . The Sudras rose to power, position and pelf.

Soon after the demise of Periyar, the vanquished orthodoxy is successfully attempting to stage a come back everywhere in the South and the North. There is nothing in the name of "Hindutva", which talks of one nation, one people ,one party, and one book i.e the Gita. It is rather meant to enslave and impovereish the awakened "Sudra Power" once again.

Unless and until the Sudras remain vigilant and wary they may again be consigned to the dustbin of history to suffer eternal darkness and human bondage.

What the Sudras need today is education, free, universal and liberal. It is only education that can give them reason and courage to stand up and challenge Brahminism. And it is exactly for this reason that `Hindutva' talks of "Indianising, nationalising and spiritualsing" education. It also talks of reviving the study of Sanskrit.

These diabolic attempts to Sanskiritsing and Safronising education must not be allowed at any cost. It can be fought against effectively only with the weapon of Periyarism. And Mr. K.Veeramani's book "The Other Side of the Gita" is meant for this very purpose.

- V.C. Munusamy M.A., M.Ed.

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