Our ‘Parivar’ friends often say that ‘everything is there in our Vedas’. Some months ago, our ‘neta’, himself part of the ‘Parivar’, while inaugurating a hospital, stated that our ancients performed even head transplantations. The other day I got curious to know what is there in the Vedas and started exploring some literature on the scriptures. In their propensity to selectively quote only certain things from Hindu scriptural literature that seem to be beneficial to them, the members of Parivar often ignore to mention many other important things in our Vedas, and one of them is rampant cronyism.
In this twenty-first century if you want to grow, you need a patron. But it is not very easy to find a patron. For that you need to perform a ritual called ‘sacrifice’ to please your patron, which in turn sows the seeds of cronyism. In most of the cases the cronyism is a two-way thing, a quid pro quo. ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ style. If you feel that cronyism is only a twenty-first century phenomenon, you are thoroughly mistaken. It was there even in our revered Vedas.
There are countless hymns in the Rig Veda referring to the institution of sacrifice as a means of material exchange between the ruling Aryans and their gods. For instance, a hymn to a Vedic God Indra clearly refers to the system of exchange:
‘O Indra, drink this sacred Soma. Let the intoxicating soma juice give you ecstasy. Let it satisfy you by filling your belly. O Indra, we are intelligent…We are performing this sacrifice in the hope of getting rewards from you for our act. We are showering praises on you in order to be favored by you, and to be treated as fit objects for receiving wealth from you…O Indra, give us houses. Give us friends. Give us power like that of the wind gods. Do not bestow wealth on anyone before us. We, our sons and grandsons will continue to offer praises and prayers to you.’ (RV, 2/11/11-15)
It is very clear from the above hymn that Indra, one of Vedic Gods, was habituated to hedonistic life style. He relished the luscious horse and ox meet and Soma Rasa, and cherished the company of Apsaras. So the 3Ms – Madya, Mamsa and Maithuna were close to Indra’s heart. The Aryans, being aware of their God’s weaknesses, would supply an abundance of the 3Ms to Indra, and in return they would get him to bestow wealth on them and also destroy Asuras, their sworn enemies. After reading these hymns it struck me that the current day society is no different from the Vedic period except that the things that are offered as part of the sacrifices changed.
Assume that our modern day rulers are the very embodiment of ‘Indra’, the lords of the big capital are the ‘Aryans’ and all the underprivileged and voiceless working class are all the ‘Asuras’. Then what do our modern day Aryans and their Indras want? Indras no longer want the 3Ms as they are abundantly available and therefore lost their appeal as sacrificial offerings. Now they only want Singhasans and once they attain them they want to be glued to them for a long time. Now, it is a well-known fact that though the Aryans and Asuras co-exist in every country they always suspect each other. Ironically, in this sinful Kaliyuga the godly Aryans, instead of going down, have reached the commanding heights and marginalized the Asuras with the patronage of Indras.
Our own Aryans no longer want cattle and grains from our Indra, and they no longer want him to kill the Asuras with his thunderbolt. They want ‘ease of doing business’ in the form of bailouts, deregulation and tax cuts, and also want the social sector spending to be salami-sliced in the name of fiscal rectitude a.k.a austerity so that their sworn enemies don’t derive any benefit. To achieve their dream they carry out a sacrificial ritual, where they offer an unlimited amount of donations that too anonymously to help Indra run his political campaigns to hoodwink the Asuras through his rousing speeches and cleverly coined slogans. Because the Asuras, who assiduously queue up in front of polling booths for every five years have the capacity to upset Indra’s applecart. And Indra, pleased with the offering, grants them the ‘ease of doing business’. And when Indra does all these things, the trinity WB (World Bank), IMF (International Monetary Fund) and CRAs (Credit Rating Agencies), who are the custodians of the godly Aryans, grant boons to Indra in the form of rank increases and rating upgrades. And Indra basks in the glory of increased acceptance and starts aspiring for a ‘gold standard rating’, which will further undermine the status of Asuras. Meanwhile, the Asuras… I mean the working class, after toiling in factories, farms and offices, which is akin to the ‘Ksheera Sagara Madhanam’, feel fully tired and stay in the expectation that they would get their just share. However, they remain oblivious to the fact that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had distributed all the elixir only to the Aryans, thoroughly deceiving them.
Our astute Indra, sensing how the world runs, is busy trying hard to be in the good books of the Supreme Personality of Godhead of the capitalist world, who is none other than Uncle Sam. Because Uncle Sam is omnipresent and omniscient. He makes his presence felt through his numerous offspring – WB, IMF, MNCs, CRAs and many more. And he, along with his Zionist disciples, produces and disseminates the ‘Gyan’ through the Aryan-backed experts, media and universities. And the sages allegiant to the Godhead in the Silicon Valley are working hard to produce Internet of Things (IoT) enabled and Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered humanoids as part of their efforts to help the Aryans do ‘Pratisrushti’ so that they can permanently get rid of the menace of the Asuras and replace them with humanoid robots. Because the Aryans expect that once they get rid of the emotion-afflicted and union-infested Asuras, they can save further on their labour cost, which will enable them to indulge in shareholder wealth maximization. Thereafter, they can sell infinite quantities of sheaths, baby food packets and nappies to the humanoids, the only ‘people’ who will have purchasing power, from whose proceeds they can procure the things that are closest to their hearts – private jets, yachts and mansions… I mean ‘Antilias’.
In a way our own Indra got enlightened long ago and as a result he knows that his salvation lies in the holy precincts of the neo-liberal temple, where laissez faire-shaped Uncle Sam is the presiding deity. And all the Asuras, I mean the working class commoners, who are left patronless and voiceless, are doomed and appear to be destined to an eternal damnation.
But being an Asura myself, I somehow am optimistic that there will be a day when Indras won’t be able to hide behind their neoliberal peacock feathers and the Aryan ‘lords of big capital’, as a great philosopher had predicted, will end up digging their own grave.
Jayantanuja, B. (2012). Class and Religion in Ancient India. 1st ed. Delhi: Anthem Press, pp.23-24.