The obscurantist ideologue of NSS

via Dr. Babu Suseelan published on January 5, 2006

Kerala, the land of Sri Sankaracharya, Sri Narayana Guru, Swami Chatambi Swamigal, Mata Amritananda Mai, Swami Chinmayanada, and blessed by Guruvayoorappan, Swami Ayappan, and Sri Padmanabha Swami, is in an age of continual change and transition. Hindu society in Kerala has shifted from a culturally stable and orderly state to a rapid, chaotic change driven world that is unpredictable and turbulent. Hindus face discrimination, uprooting, social, political, economic and cultural oppression. At this time, Hindus in Kerala are in need of Hindu unity, reaffirmation, and resurgence in the wake of Jihadi terrorism, Christian fundamentalism, communist menace and political powerlessness. Our adaptability and survival depend on our ability to analyze our present political, social, economic and cultural system with Hindu unity and purpose.


The secular Hindus and their paid and unpaid buddies are continuing their campaign to eliminate Hindus from the social, cultural, political map of kerala.


At this time, the statement issued by the Nair Service Society (NSS) General Secretary Narayana Panickar to stop appointment of non-Brahmins priests to the temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) was unwise, and is simply based on factual ignorance and lack of enlightenment. It is against the spirit of Hindu Dharma, and violates the Supreme Court judgment. The Supreme Court has ruled that non-Brahmins can also perform religious ceremonies and work as temple priests as long as they are well versed with the relevant rituals and rites. Resolving a dispute over the appointment of a non-Malayalee Brahmin as the priest of an ancient temple managed by the Travancore devasom Board, the Supreme Court held that it was not essential that only a Brahmin who was not qualified nor versed with the rituals could become the priest of the temple. The Supreme Court stated, “Hinduism is far more than a mere form of theism resting on Brahmanism”. The Court also reaffirmed to Article 17 of the Constitution, which abolishes unsociability and recalled revelations made in the Bhagavat Gita and Mahatma Gandhi’s dream that all distinctions based on castes and creed must be abolished and “man must be known and recognized by his actions, irrespective of the caste to which he may on account of his birth belong”. The court also said “no doubt only a qualified person well versed and properly trained for the purposes alone can perform poojas in the temple since he has not only enter into the sanctum sanctorum but also touch the idol installed there”.


RSS, VHP, Hindu Ayikkya Vedi, Kshetra Samrakshana Samithi, SNDP, BJP and a host of other Hindu Organizations protested against the obscurantist position of Narayana Panickar. His obscurantist statement is naively ignorant, and has not been born on a cognitive reflection of the moral principles of Hinduism and the social reality of Kerala. Panickar may be moved by instinct and emotion, but his betrayal of Hindu sentiments is devoid of intellectual creativity and is based on negative social inferences. NSS General Secretary’s unwise statement is based on a panicky fear, of fright, suspicion and mistrust. Is he afraid of Hindu unity? Is he suffering from a pathological distress? What is the reason for his mistrust and suspiciousness? Is he absorbed with an impending danger of Hindu unity? As an obscurantist, Panickar is bereft of the capacity for free and objective thinking, and it reflects NSS’ reactionary trend. It is unfortunate that Panickar and the NSS fell into the trap of the present political parties, the nihilists, and the Communists who are fearful of free thought, Hindu unity, and the creativity of our spiritual culture. The exclusive absorption in the sole idea of salvation of Hindus through caste based organization, and the fear of Hindu unity, is what makes for the contribution of his negative statement.


The behavior of the NSS General Secretary clearly reveals a rejection of himself as a Hindu and an unconscious acquiescence to the image, which our enemies seek to project on him. It is a most pernicious form of defeatism. For all Hindus reacted in the same pervasive way seeking to identify themselves, with the oppressor, Hindu identity and unity would be impossible. Panickar’s statement is dogmatic and orthodox oriented and is not connected with Hindu ideals. It is impossible to deny, that his obscurantist mindset has played a role in issuing such a dangerous statement.


NSS’ statement is against the principles of Mannath Padmanabhan, the founding father of NSS who led the Vaikkam sathyagraha and worked tirelessly for the social progress of all segments of Hindu society. Panickar’s present ideas are against Chattambi Swamigal, Sri Narayana Guru, SNDP, RSS, BJP, VHP, Hindu Aiyakka Vedi, Kshetra Samrakshna Samithi and the majority of Hindus. NSS is aware of the need for Hindu unity, and the present social, cultural, economic oppression of Hindus. Instead of joining with Hindu organizations (RSS, VHP, Hindu Aiykkavedi), NSS make clumsy and ineffective pronouncements. By issuing a statement opposing qualified non-Brahmins to become Temple poojaris, NSS leaders are joining with inimical forces that want to reduce the presence of Hindus in Kerala to zero. NSS, it seems care less for their fellow Hindus than for the ball game. NSS stand on this issue is destructive of Hindu Dharma, plurality, and religious institutions and spaces that enable every Hindus to keep alive their spiritual growth and fulfillment.


Hinduism is not an organized religion, and has no organized priesthood. Our eternal Hindu values are clear “that a Brahmin is not someone who is to be identified by birth but distinguished by a set of personal attributes, qualities, and that anyone can and should be able to become a Brahmin by acquiring the requisite qualities”. Hindu history is replete with Mahatmas, Rishis and Sadhus who have traditionally renounced material pleasures of life. They are our Gurus who have nourished our Santana Dharma; they are our tutors and mentors.  Vyasa, Valkimi, Swami vivekananda, Swami Paramahamsa, Sri Narayan Guru, Chattambi Swamigal, Swami Chinmayanda, Mata Amrtanada Mai, and Swami Agamanda were not born as Brahmins. They are the shining light of humanity with their saintly qualities and spiritual contributions.


Doctor Hegdawar, the founding father of RSS said, “Moral weakness is most disastrous of its kind and that has been our major problem. If we do get down to work for the Sanathana in the faith that we are strong then our strength will transform into a major force. There will be nothing beyond our reach. However, the fact remains that despite having in ourselves such strength, we tend to forget that we have it”.


Doctorji was an idealist and a realist. Realists are at their best when they work hard to achieve what can be achieved in the real world. Hindutva is a fact of life and the enduring reality of our culture and the immutable character. These types of people are the ones who, throughout history, most often inspire others to reach higher goals. Inspired by Doctorji’s ideals, RSS leader Madhavji has established a Tantra Vidya Peetam at Alwaye to train Hindus from all castes in Tantra, Mantra, temple rituals, Sanskrit, and Puja kriya. They are working as Pujaris in different temples in kerala and around the world.


It is time for NSS to absorb the practical idealism and accomplish Hindu unity with determination and conviction. It is time to ignite Hindus. It’s time to celebrate our Dharma again. It’s time to wake up our citizens so they can practice their culture, enjoy their spiritual values and promote universal Hindu values without caste barriers. At this juncture in our history, it is for the interest of our Hindu civilization, our nation, Hindu organizations like NSS should join together and declare commitment for Hindu nationalism and play a role in building a new India for tomorrow.

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