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Thursday, September 29, 2022

“Maratha Empire was drowned by Peshwas”: INC minister Nitin Raut on Ram Mandir ceremony

Yet another ‘secular’ politician from Maharashtra has mocked Hindus for the upcoming Ram Mandir bhumi pujan (ground-breaking or ground worship) ceremony. After NCP supremo Sharad Pawar asked whether building Ram Mandir would drive Corona away, a Congress MLA decided to bash Brahmins and distort history to deliver a similar Hinduphobic message.

Anti-Brahmanism seems to be the latest virus affecting Maharashtra’s politicians and the political discourse in recent times has been laced with hatred directed towards Brahmins, particularly from the ruling MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government parties.

Taking the lead in fomenting hatred for Brahmins is the Indian National Congress (INC), which has always made known its contempt for Hindus in general. Therefore, the statement from Maharashtra government’s Energy minister and Nagpur’s guardian minister Nitin Raut comes as no surprise. Ironically, Nagpur is the headquarters of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), an organization INC accuses of fostering casteism hatred; talk about hypocrisy!

In a recent tweet, Raut alleged that the Maratha Empire established by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by giving his sweat and blood was ‘brought to an end/drowned in ritual tumblers (panchpatra)’ by the Peshwas (who were Brahmins). He says that this is a ‘historical fact’, without providing any proof to back up his claims as always.

His tweet has been made in the context of a news article giving details about the Ayodhya Ram Mandir foundation stone ceremony scheduled for the 5th of August. While the connection between the two is not clear, the jibe appears aimed at Hindus who practise their religion by celebrating a mandir, comparing it to how ‘ritualistic’ Brahmins i.e. Peshwas lost an empire. One thing is clear – this is a bigoted and historically incorrect claim aimed at painting the Brahmin Peshwas as losers and villains.

For a party which kept shouting from the roof-tops that “Rahul Gandhi is a janeudhari Brahmin” and who’s on and off president Rahul kept declaring a ‘Kashmiri Brahmin of the Kaul Dattatreya gotra’, it is really surprising that Raut should harbour anti-Brahmin sentiments, much less express it publicly.

But Raut, who incidentally happens to be the Chairman of Congress’ Schedule Caste department, has always been known to make anti-Brahmin statement. Hindupost had earlier exposed Raut’s mindset when he had spoken in an anti-CAA rally in Nagpur.

Back then, Raut had said “Brahmins, who themselves came from abroad, will teach us about common sense? They will ask us to furnish (identity) certificates? I will never let this happen.” The idea that Brahmins and other ‘upper caste’ Hindus are ‘Aryans’ who invaded Bharat to subjugate the original inhabitants i.e. ‘lower castes’ and Dravidians, has been mainstreamed by the now debunked colonial-era Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT).

His past statement and recent tweet are proof enough that Raut has absolutely no knowledge of history – the AIT stands discredited in the wake of several studies, archaeological, linguistic and genetic, and the history of Marathas shows that the Peshwas were loyal to the crown and had saved as well as increased the Maratha Empire despite threats from various directions. What small, bigoted minds cannot understand is that any empire or civilisation grows incrementally – with new generations building on the foundation laid by their ancestors. The first Peshwa was appointed by Chattrapati Shivaji himself, and it was under Peshwas like Baji Rao I (undefeated in 41 battles), Balaji Bajirao, Madhav Rao II that the Maratha empire grew to be the pre-eminent empire in Bharat till 1800, even defeating the British in the first Maratha-Anglo war of 1775-1782.

But when the agenda is anti-Brahmin propaganda, do facts matter?

On the face of it, this seems like anti-Brahmin propaganda, however, the real target here is Hindu Dharma itself which Hindu haters have often baselessly labelled as ‘Brahminical religion’. Such line of thought has seeped into the political discourse in Maharashtra in recent times and the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin narrative is being time and again reinforced in the public sphere.

Recently, a Professor Vilas Kharat had also issued a statement calling for the annihilation of Hindus in general and Brahmins in particular. He had labelled Brahmins as ‘invaders, conspirators and foreigners’. Vilas Kharat is a member of BAMCEF (All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation) and in charge of Native Indian Journalism Association. He is also national in-charge of National Minority Front.

The toxic anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu narrative is nothing but an attempt to sow seeds of discord in the society. INC has always been double-faced; be it the temple run of ‘janeudhari Brahmin’ Rahul Gandhi or the vote-seeking tactics of wearing a rudraksha mala while in UP by his sister Priyanka.

Party workers walk the path of hypocrisy like their leader and hence we often see monkey balancing acts by various Congress leaders. From the looks of it, though, nothing except Hindu unity can change this mindset. In the meanwhile, it is advisable that politicians like Raut brush up on their knowledge of history before passing off opinions soaked in caste hatred as ‘facts’.

(Featured Image Source: Sakal)

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