In recent days, Tamil Hindus and particularly Vaishnavaites have been up in arms. It finally looks like the Hindu patience is beginning to wear. Hinduism and its various streams have been a perpetual attack from the past at least 1000 years. If the Islamic invasion brutally attacked and physically exterminated Hindus in their bloody 800-year reign, colonialism was more insidious and stealthy in the way they targeted Hindu faith.
Indology, the discipline started during colonial times for the westerner to study India using a missionary/Marxist/Abrahamic lens is still alive and kicking today. The havoc Indological theories have caused in India are visible in the rampant deracination of Hindus thereby making them ready for harvest by soul vultures or desert cultures. Hindu gods, seers, sages, customs, traditions and rituals have been under sustained attack by these Indological experts and Hindus have been more or less either ignoring them or getting co-opted into their narrative.
It looks like finally there is change blowing in the wind. The insults have been one too many and Hindus in Tamil Nadu are finally beginning to say enough is enough.
The proverbial last straw which broke the camel’s back seems to have been the proclamation by noted Tamil film music lyricist Sri. Vairamuthu that the revered Vaishnavaite saint Andal was a prostitute (devadasi).
This most vile comment has served to unify Hindus across the spectrum in Tamil Nadu and they are beginning to register their protest in various places. The prominent gurus and matthadipatis have also registered their strong protest against this unfair portrayal of a revered and venerated figure and in fact are leading the peaceful protests in various places.
Vairamuthu, when confronted for this most offensive and disgraceful comment quickly, shifted the onus on to academia stating that he was only reiterating what was stated in a book from “Indiana University” in the US. Indiana University has put out a statement saying that they have never written on the subject. It has come to the notice of many that the work Vairamuthu was referring to is an Edited volume from Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Despite the disclaimer from Indiana University, there has been no retraction of the statement Vairamuthu made.
In a very recent video, a bhakta has decided to delve deeper into this book that Vairamuthu is referring to. The book referred to by Vairamuthu is Indian Movements: Some Aspects of Dissent Protest and Reform edited by S C Malik and published by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. This book calls Andal as a devadasi in a paper titled Bhakti Movement in South India written by Prof. M G S Narayanan and Prof. Veluthat Kesavan, professors at Calicut University, Kerala. These authors have in turn claimed in the paper that they have referred to another older writing for this calling of Andal a “devadasi”. The work that they say they have got their reference from is an article named The History of Sri Vaishnavas written by one T A Gopinatha Rao in 1923. When one searches for the said book, it seems that this book is available in the University of Chicago library. In this article, Gopinatha Rao states that Andal refused to marry anyone except the god Ranganatha at Srirangam temple when she reached a marriageable age and that her father Periyalwar acquiesced to her wishes. At no place has Gopinatha Rao mentioned the word “devadasi”. It is the handwork of the two professors from Calicut University to have translated the above to mean that Andal was a devadasi. This in turn has been picked up by Vairamuthu to make his very offensive statement.
Hope this is a turning point in the psyche of the Tamil Hindu and that from here onwards, Hindus will actively work to protect their artifacts from distortion by globally led vested interests interested in breaking the spine of Hindus.
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