Nagpur: “For hundreds of years, Brahmins of India survived by eating Cow meat, the sacred thread they wear was originally made from cow’s intestines;have they forgotten their history? ” Asked Proff. Jogendra Kawade, President of PRP in a hard hitting speech given on the occasion of Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmoolan Samiti’s (MANS) state wide conference for Youth. The meet was co sponsored by Rashtra Sant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Rashtriya Seva Yojana. The topic was ‘how should the youth of today choose a life partner judiciously?’
Speaking as the chief guest of the seminar, Kawade minced no words in castigating traditional Hindutva organization like RSS for spreading hatred against Minorities, Dalit and liberal and rational minded people.
“Do they not know that their own very venerated Veer Sawarkar called Cow an animal of utility and not an object to be worshipped?” he asked.
He advised the young men and women who were attending the conference in large numbers to go in for inter-caste, inter- state and even inter- religion love marriages to unify the nation. India is the only country where people of every religion and every class and creed can be found. Instead of weaving a beautiful bouquet out of this diversity, forces of orthodox Hindus are trying to divide the country by their divisionary tactics, Jogendra Kawade rued.
“Do not forget that martyrdom of Ashfaqullah Khan and Maulana Azad along with Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sakhdev got us our precious independence. Their mothers were proud that their sons had been sacrificed at the altar of freedom. Thus Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus have all contributed to our independence; let us not betray their memory by now dividing the country on lines of religion” he pleaded.
Scoffing at theories like ‘Love Jihad’ he said, let lovers be. “Pyar ko pyar hee rehne do koi naam na do!”
He concluded his talk by challenging the youth to fight another war of independence if need be to rid the country of the scourge of Communalism.
He quoted this couplet to describe the atmosphere of the country today-
“Ajeeb sa manzar nazar aata hai, Har katara samandar nazar aata hai,
Kaha banau sheeshe ke ghar apna, har aadmi ke haath me paththar nazar aata hai”. (Where shall I build my house of glass when every man is ready to hurl stones at it?)
Speaking before him, Mahesh Mhatre, Editor of IBN-Lokmat counselled the large youth of India to chose wisely when getting into a relationship like marriage. Whether it is an arranged marriage or love marriage, it should be for keeps, not a momentary and hasty decision.
Speaking about the Social revolutionaries of India, Mahesh said “I have not seen Mahatma Phule, Shahu Maharaj or Ambedkar, but I am fortunate to have seen and met Dabholkar. He was always targeted and threatened by orthodox and backward forces but he did not relent.” But youth these days do not know how to filter the tremendous inflow of information that is thrown at them by the internet said Mhatre. This is the ‘google generation’ where Facebook can make and break marriages. He said Facebook was responsible for 3 out of 10 marriages breaking up in USA while in India the proportion now stood at 1.3%.
“It is the age of the Market economy which follows the principle of Use and Throw. In this age even people have become commodities” Mhatre said.
He said society in India was plagued by two big ills – Anna Kshudha (Food problem) where 40 crore Indians go hungry everyday and Kama Kshudha (unchecked sex drive) where prematurely aroused sex drive has seen a horrendous increase in sex crimes. He said he had heard from a sexologist a very telling statement “Every woman needs one man to fulfill her every need; Men need all women to fulfill their ONE wish”.
Use discretion, think before you act, was the crux of his advise.
Starting the ball rolling, the first speaker at the conference was Nagraj Manjule, renowned Director of National award winning Marathi film Fandry, with which Nagraj made his debut into films. Nagraj is a Marathi short filmmaker and poet as an auteur who is to watch out for. His film Fandry is a charming love story set against the backdrop of a poor village in arid Maharashtra. Who better then to advise youth about how to choose their life partner? (Nagraj is not yet married himself!)
He said in the village he grew up in, he could not understand the logic behind how a life partner was chosen by parents for their children. “I had good friends of every caste whom I liked very much” said Nagraj. “When it was time to get my younger sister married I could not understand why she could not marry one of them, rather than some unknown youth from some far away place who no one knew”.
Marriage is a miracle, he said sarcastically, like jumping into a deep well without knowing swimming well.”Yet people give lavish lunch and dinner parties for people they hardly know. Men, women and kids even dance on streets disturbing traffic. What’s all this fuss for? Huge loans are taken to do all this…”
He said the only rational for getting married should be Love. And any religion that opposed love is bad for human kind.
Manjule said he was amazed to read that some temples in India collect so much by way of donations that if this money was made a national property all Indians could drive their vehicles without paying for fuel for 100 years out of this money! But what use such temples and such religions which divide man on the basis of caste and religion. He imagined an idyllic situation where women, who suffer most from orthodoxy, throw off these shackles and decide to set themselves free.
“They should free themselves first of all from this 6 meter saree, which is impossible and impractical attire. You cannot drive a two wheeler or even a car well wearing this. Why bind up yourself? Wear sarees only for select occasions, not everyday” he pleaded.
You are the prisoner, you are also the jailer, until you let blind traditions weigh you down he explained to the attentive youth. Love is sacred, yet love is scarce while Hatred is prevalent, he lamented.
Nagraj Manjule also said tongue in cheek that it was his first visit to Nagpur, and given his name ‘Nagraj’ he felt at home in it and really loved it. He only felt bad that many other snakes of a different hue also lived here!
Avinash Patil, current working President of MANS also addressed the gathering and recounted how his organization conducts mass marriages for youth who choose to defy customs and go in for inter caste weddings. The conference was organized by Nagpur MANS volunteer Chandrashekhar Shrikhande.