‘Rashid Alvi mocks the Hindu god Yama’

published on April 6, 2013

Rashid Alvi the Congress parliamentarian is reputed to use courteous language against opponents, but alas in this case he slipped badly. The mask has fallen off. In referring to Rahul Gandhi’s reference to a man riding on a horse to save the country (which many took as a reference to Shri Narenda Modi) he corrected this impression. No, said our parliamentarian, if Rahul was referring to Narendra Modi he would not have used the word ‘horse’. He would have said ‘buffalo’, and we know what that refers to, said our parliamentarian with a leering smile.

Alvi, according to newspaper reports was referring to Yama the Hindu god of death whose vahana is the water buffalo. There was some giggling and snickering from his listeners, since this was supposedly Alvi’s reference to Modi’s alleged involvement with the riots of 2002 in Gujarat. In effect he was bestowing the name Yama on Modi.

Would a Hindu have made such a mocking reference, not so much to Shri Modi, but to the god Yama, who was first mentioned in the Rig Veda ? But then how would Rashid Alvi know this or the reverence with which Hindus hold their gods and goddesses ? It was not so long ago that his compatriot painted obscene pictures of  Hindu goddesses under the guise of freedom of artistic expression.

The god Yama is not only the god of Death but the god of Justice who measures out rewards and punishments according to the individual’s conduct in his/her lifetime. Yama is often referred to as Kala or Time since Death is inevitable. Hence Yama is also called Dharma. In the Mahabharata the hero Yudhistira is described as the son of Dharma, and hence is Dharma Raja and so on.

Further, the depictions of Yama sometimes show him seated on a bull and is multicoloured. How would Mr. Alvi know all this ? How would he as an Urdu writer (reputedly) know the Sanskrit word vahana ? How would he know that in describing Shri Modi as riding on a water buffalo he is tacitly comparing him to Dharma Raja ?

It is ofcourse, not merely his background and religious identity which makes Alvi insensitive to Hindus and Hinduism. It is an extension of the Congress tradition. India’s first Prime Minister had scant respect for Hindus and anecdotes abound of his contemptuous treatment of even noted Hindu colleagues such as Sardar Patel. It is well known that he tried to prevent President Rajendra Prasad from attending the ceremonies connected with the rebuilding of the Somnatha temple. His leadership of the Congress movement was built on the shoulders of many Hindus, but his respect for them was minimal and opportunistic.

Today’s motley crew of Congress wallahs in that tradition  is best represented by the frumpish Mani Shankar Iyer who scowls and is abusive when in the presence of authentic Hindus as for instance the sadhu who maintained that the Ram temple is important for Hindus (Iyer’s taste evidently is in Pakistani foreign ministers whom he wined and dined, according to his own account). His open abuse of Shri Narendra Modi is in reality a continuation of his master’s contempt for Hindu colleagues. It is surprising that national television channels allow his unseemly abuse.

Then ofcourse, there is the  eminence grise herself who throws stones while living in a very glassy glass house ! In 2007 she called Narendra Modi  a very bad name, no doubt because she was psychologically haunted by the shocking words of her own husband at the death of 4000 plus Sikhs in 1984 during his watch ! While Gujarat in the last decade or so has remained free of riots the Congress cannot forget its own iniquity. Gujarat’s peaceful development is the very opposite of Congress degeneracy.

Rashid Alvi seems to have embarked on his own career of Hindu baiting.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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