I am a ‘Hindu’. I work like an ant from 9:00 AM in the morning to 6:00 PM in the evening, sometimes even beyond that. I firmly believe that this work is going to salvage me from the chakra of birth and death.
I have an extremely enriching and spiritually elevating recreational and social life that involves going to fancy places to eat, buying overpriced tickets to sit in air conditioned halls to watch how much enjoyment some privileged adults had on their last holiday and at times playing snooker.
Frequently, I converse on topics of national interest, about which, I of course have an in-depth knowledge. That perhaps is the the only kind of life that remains socially acceptable. Also, you must note that it is extremely important to be socially acceptable, since not being so would adversely affect my career, my income, my stability and my status quo. This stability and status quo are so essential to my remarkable life that they almost define it.
The twitter feed tells me everything these days, what to be angry about, what to be really angry about and what to outrage at. It is such a relief to have it all sorted out for you, considering the kind of taxing professional life that one has these days. I can barely imagine how exhausting it could be to pause for a second to ponder upon how does a certain incident really makes one feel.
However, I think I know a few people who still indulge in such exhausting exercises in frivolity. One of them is that odd guy who sits near the window; I have seen him wear a Tilak on his forehead at times. Though he says the strangest things, they still have an air about them that makes one suspect that they might be true.
He makes me uneasy sometimes and I always try my best not be seen with him. After all, my professional life is of utmost importance and should not be harmed on account of people taking me to be one of those irrational, superstitious people. I might have forgotten to mention that I work in science.
It is Friday afternoon and we have a team dinner in the evening. Therefore, I will be using all my bathroom breaks to find out things to be angry about from Twitter. There is a lot of talk about a movie. Some people claim that the movie twists history. Others say that those claiming the above are suppressing freedom of expression. But I know precisely what to believe, since I have a direct relation to the controversy.
It is not often that one has a compelling relation to a controversy and when one has, it must be exploited to the fullest to have all attention on oneself at the team dinner. I must firmly believe that Padmavati is the first and the most aggressive instance of erasure of history, paralleled by none other in the history of independent India.
I however do have some hazy memories of reading about how the glorious Mughals tamed the timid Rajputs in a few boring afternoon classes. But then, I was sleepy through most of them and how much could books being read by children with impressionable minds matter? The case of Padmavati on the other hand is very critical and I seek the suppression of this act of toying with history in the most aggressive way possible. It is a matter of my ‘Rajput Pride’. This is a matter of protecting my ‘Sanskriti’, whose language I do not comprehend. (I have a small beginner’s Sanskrit book buried deep inside by drawer though.)
I am a Rajput. I am the blunted sword of Kshatriya bravery and Brahmin wisdom. I am the mace of tradition that I burden myself with, only to use it to hurt myself. I often say I am hurt, but I am deeply wounded and my wounds make me terrifying to look at. I want to feel whole again but I do not know how to. I am Karni Sena. I am you. I am her. I am all of us. I am also Padmavati controversy.
The pretense of Dharma is not going to save us. Rather than trying to save our Sanatan Dharma, we would do ourselves a big favor by allowing it to save us. Longevity of Dharma is determined by the strength and firmness of those who practice it. The act of being a true Dharmic, unashamed of it, convinced of it with complete understanding is the ultimate rebellion.