On one hand DMK and its assorted organisations try hard to establish that Pongal/Makarasankranti is a ‘secular festival’ exclusive to Tamils. They celebrate ‘Equality Pongal’ with church fathers and sometimes imams. On the other hand DMK’s ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) party leader Shah Nawas has expressed displeasure about the Hindu aspects of Pongal celebration and asked for them to be dropped. In a video going viral on social media he can be seen saying that Hindu customs and practices being followed during Pongal celebration ‘hurt the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims’.
DMK's alliance partner says that "Hindu prayers & rituals during Pongal are hurting the unity and religious sentiments of Muslims & Christians, So stop praying to the sun, cow etc and keep it free from all rituals and prayers" #இந்துவே_விழித்திடு pic.twitter.com/Bfy0KGbHgL
— Vishwatma 🇮🇳 (@HLKodo) January 12, 2021
After speaking like this, as if he has any rights to dictate how others should celebrate their festivals, he demands that Hindu customs be dropped from Pongal so that Abrahamics can peacefully celebrate it as Tamils. He has the gall to call for stopping the worship of Surya Bhagwan and Gau Mata during Pongal. Pongal is celebrated for three days in Tamilnadu. First day, it is to thank Surya Bhagwan and Bhuma Devi for rewarding a plentiful harvest. Second day, cows and bulls that helped till the land are worshipped and it is celebrated as Maatu Pongal. The third day is celebrated as Kanu Pongal or Uzhavar Thirunal(Farmers Day) when everyone cooks delicacies and go out to meet their relatives, a day the farmer can enjoy a break from his profession.
Shah Nawas in his video message has expressed displeasure that as a result of the majority Hindus celebrating Pongal by offering the harvest and Pongal to Surya Bhagwan and cows and worshipping them, atheists, Christians and Muslims who follow the One True God principle are facing difficulties in accepting Pongal. He further says, “If it had stopped at being celebrated as a Tamil festival or a festival of worshipping the nature or just a matter of revering the farmers it wouldn’t have been a problem. But as it gives importance to a particular religion it becomes problematic.”
So he went on to demand that Pongal be rid of Hindu customs and identified only as a Tamil festival in order to save ‘Tamil Unity’ and not be a hindrance for Abrahamics to celebrate the festival. He rues that if Hindu practices and customs are used in Pongal, Tamil unity will be spoiled.
Curiously in another video the same Shah Nawas warns fellow Muslims of falling for the propaganda that Pongal is a Tamil festival. In this video he says that this propaganda is peddled in order to get the Muslims to celebrate it as they won’t celebrate a Hindu or Christian festival.
He explains that cooking Pongal in open space in early morning as a tribute to Surya bhagwan and worshipping him is the point of the festival, and Muslims cook Pongal on the day of festival in ignorance of these facts. “Government is organising Equality Pongal in public places and government offices. Whatever name they give, it is Shirk (not permissible) for Muslims to celebrate the festival” he warns. He says that it’s a sin as it would mean worshipping in a way that their god (Allah) doesn’t like, that worship of something created by god enrages Him.
The two contrasting views makes one wonder what changed in between? The theory that Abrahamic religions try to rename and redefine indigenous religions and cultures constricting them to a specific region, language, race etc comes alive in the background of such instances. It would be easy to convert Hindus once their culture and traditions are stripped off Dharma.
(Featured Image Courtesy : Twitter)
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