E.Ahmed’s order : An agenda to destroy Indian culture

via Pradeep Ayroor published on June 21, 2009

KOCHI : If Mr. E.Ahmed, Central Minister, has his way, that would be the beginning of a cultural tirade against the very idea of “India” or “Bharat.”  Mr.Ahmed, in charge of the Railway Ministry has ordained that symbolic rituals like lighting the traditional lamp or “nilavilakku” and breaking coconuts or performing the traditional homas during the inaugural functions of Indian Railways should be done away with.  As an observer of Kerala politics and the pressure groups involved in controlling the Muslim League party, this writer can understand the compulsions of Mr.Ahmed in making such jarring utterances.  But in the wider context of Indian society and its cultural moorings any Indian would take Mr. Ahmed’s directives with a pinch of salt.


If the orders of the minister are implemented, in not-so-distant future, we would see – secular renaming of the weaponry of the Indian armed forces; ban on the very mention of Gandhi’s dream welfare state, “Ramrajya” as it may sound politically incorrect; a ban on sporting bindi etc.  The distasteful renaming of many things that have been part and parcel of independent India would sound quite unpleasant for the average Indian.  In short, the can of worms would be huge.  No doubt, this would be an attack on the Indian psyche.  Generations of Indians have kept those symbols and names close to their heart and it would be cruel to the countrymen in general to start rename and reorganize in a politically correct and seemingly secular (?) way.


Saying “Namaste” also would be a definite anathema to the champions of modern Indian (pseudo)secularism.  So we can see Indian Communist leaders and some other leaders flinching from folding their palms politely – they rather choose to wave their arms in the air!.  Just as I was penning down these lines the Microsoft word Thesaurus prompted me that it is “Namaste” and not “namaste”!   When I referred the meaning in MS Word Thesaurus, the meaning given is – “Indian way of greeting.”  Of course, there is another meaning as a Hindu religious custom, but then, the roots of Indian culture is intrinsically interwoven with the broad traditions of Hinduism.  So the Western people and outside world has no problems with accepting the wider traditions of Hinduism as Indian traditions and customs – the problem is with the politicians and their core constituencies whom they need to cheer up to keep their business going.


The new UPA regime would do well to rein in elements like Mr.Ahmed, or else the inherent Indian pride that has been permeating every single sand particle of the great nation that is India for thousands of years would shudder up in anger and no government would be able to control such reactions.

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