Monday, August 10, 2020
Was Ravana a Tamilian? (My speech in Desiya Siragugal)
On the day the Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi conducted the Bhumi Puja for the construction of Ram temple at the birth place of Rama, a swarm of tweets trended the micro blogging site with the hash tag #LandofRavana #TamilPrideRavana and #LandOfRavanan claiming that Ravana was a Tamil king who was wronged by Rama.
It was clear that this absurd war of tweets was the only way that certain elements in Tamil Nadu inimical to the BJP government could think of as a means of disapproval for the Ram temple coming up at Ayodhya. At the bottom of it lies the hatred for all Hindus and a plan to promote an idea that Tamils are not Hindus. For this they had taken up Ravana as an identity of Tamil people while completely forgetting the Brahmin origin of Ravana.
In this backdrop, I have given a short speech in a private YouTube Channel, Deisya Siragugal addressing four issues raised by the inimical forces.
After highlighting the fact that the hatred for Rama stems from the hatred for Hindus, I went onto to describe how this hatred was justified on the logic of “enemy’s enemy is a friend’. Since Hindus are treated as enemies, Rama, their God becomes the enemy of these elements. So Rama’s enemy Ravana got qualified to be their friend whom they defended against all sensibilities.
To name the oft repeated issues,
# they eulogized Ravana as a gentleman for not touching Sita without her ‘permission’.
# they condemned the ‘treatment’ to Shurpanakha of chopping her nose.
# they abused Rama for killing Vaali ‘unjustly’.
# they faulted Rama for forcing Sita to enter fire.
All these were in defense of Ravana, the Brahmin, by the same people whose hatred for Brahmins finds no limits.
I have replied to all these in the light of the question whether Ravana can be truly considered as a Tamil person. For this I have taken up Tirukkural as the sacred text of Tamils that they often invoke in support of Tamil culture.
I raised the question:
‘Does one become a Tamilian by speaking Tamil or by following Tamil culture expounded by Tirukkural?’
There is no evidence to say that Ravana spoke Tamil while on the contrary there are evidences to say that Sita and Rama spoke Tamil.
Ravana didn’t live up to the culture emphasized by Tirukkural.
Tirukkural admonishes one who desires another man’s wife; Ravana did just that – by desiring Sita. Vaali also did the same by desiring his brother’s wife.
Tirukkural condemns meat eating; Ravana and Shurpanakha were man-eaters.
Tirukkural extols the virtue of living blemish-free life; it is for this reason Sita on her own decided to walk on the fire. The same was done by Draupadi too at the end of Mahabharata war which finds a continuous resonance till date as fire-walking ceremony in Draupadi temples.
Finally I have given the family tree of Ravana on both paternal and maternal side to prove the fact that he was not a Tamilian by birth or by location. Even Lanka was not his own, but snatched by him from Kubera, his half-brother.
The video can be watched here: