“If you love your mother, how will you prove it?” — Kanhaiya Kumar on vapid sloganeering of Jai Shri Ram!
All the existence does not end up as ‘One’. I am standing here as a person of ‘One’, but how it’s made possible? My father and mother, the two different people made this possible. — Kanhaiya Kumar at the event ‘Youth at crossroads’ on 11th Aug 2019 answering to a question on what he represents. (The video is available at the end of this article)
You are claiming India as one nation and one country. We aren’t dubious about it. I am not denying, India is one country and her constitution is one. The constitution is one, but there are more than three hundred provisions in the constitution. The Parliament that governs the country is One. But we have two houses — Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The people of this country elect 545 members for the Parliament — Not just ‘One’.
I see what you say as ‘The One’ — our Oneness — Integrity. It really represents our pluralism. We call it ‘Unity in Diversity’.
You ask us to say, Jai Sriram. Aren’t Ram and Sita Inseparable? Why don’t you ask us to say ‘Jai Sita Ram’. Why you haven’t given a thought about it?
Say Jai Sriram, You have the freedom to say. Whatever you want to say, say it. Our Constitution gives us the freedom to do so. We have the freedom of speech granted by the constitution to say what we wish.
So, What I am pleading is, say ‘Hail Constitution’ moreover and more often, because the freedom to chant is also given by the constitution.
I want to tell you one thing. I was born in Mithila. If you visit Mithila, you will observe some interesting things. The bridegroom procession comes from Ayodhya in the month of Agrahan(November-December) in our town. Young people come as brides. They would be dressed as Ram-Lakshmanan. Ram-Sita’s marriage will take place at Ram-Janaki Temple.
The interesting thing is that the people of Mithila would be scolding Ram. Mithila is the father-in-law’s home to Ram. They ridicule Ram in that context. It is our culture, it’s been through the ages. That is, in our town you will see a thing that people ridicule or scold to welcome Ram, just as the other people praise to worship Ram. This is our tradition; Part of our culture. Can you blame this? We cannot see any singular God in the culture we grew up. We can’t even see God in the kind of the ‘one’ you portrait. In the culture we follow, Ram is inseparable with Sita and Radha is always seen with Krish. This is our tradition.
You said you are a youth, I hope you will do Ph.D. If you do so, I have a request for you. Please do a thesis on Ramayan. Ramayan is not a One Ramayan. In India, there are more than 300 variations of Ramayana’s told.
When I went to Himachal Pradesh, I went to Triloknath temple. There is a Buddha statue. The face of Shiva is embossed on the head of the statue of Buddha. First, the Hindu priests come and solemnize. Then Buddhist monks come and worship. This is a unique feature you will only find in India.
Lahauli is spoken in the district where the temple is situated. Do you know the story of Ramayana told there? Ravan did not kidnap Sita. Ravan, on the contrary, is Sita’s father. Ram fell in love with Sita and marries her. Ravan did not like the marriage, his anger is the war against Ram.
Thus, many things that you think as ‘One’ and same, bear many forms. It is indeed our pride.
Take a look around this country. The country has more pride than you can imagine. You will often encounter moments that make you feel negligible in front of this country. I don’t know who imposed such stuff in your brain. But I want to tell you one thing. There can be no greater glory for anyone born in this country.
Whatever it is, if you go to Himachal, you can feel like being in Switzerland. If you are staying in Mangalore or Goa, you can feel like being in Miami Beach. Walking across the vast lands of this country can feel like walking on the green grounds of the United States. If you go around the plateaus of the south — especially around the Chota Nagpur area you will find plenty of minerals. As such, our nation as a whole has embraced all the global differences.
Let me tell you again. This country is yours. This country belongs to you just as your mother owns you. If you have affection for your mother it is very natural. Your personal thing.
Assume that a crowd comes to you waving a flag and chanting a slogan, let it be Inquilab Zindabad or Jai Sriram. How do you feel if they say to you “If you love your mother, prove it” How would you answer?
And so do all of us. This is our country. We love this. Love is not something that is put on display. We feel pride in our hearts.
That is how we love our country and carry that love in our hearts
Originally transcribed by Shahjahan R in Tamil.