An Article written by “Sujatha” Rangarajan in Tamil on 19.04.1998. This was part of the book “Sujathoughts” published by Vikatan press. This is a translation of the article
The Unemployed Youth from Pondicherry engaged in a Novel Protest expressing their anguish against the State Budget as it did not have any allocation for them. They painted a “Naamam” on their forehead and sat in protest in front of some obscure building. (The Naamam is the sign that Vaishnavites sport on their forehead).
That the “Naamam” has become a symbol of ridicule has been painful. It is a sacred symbol of the Vaishnavites. It represents the feet of Shri Vishnu and the Conch and Chakra that he carries. It is also a outward symbol that the vaishnavite sports to tell the world his religion.
Puttur Swami Shri Krishnaswamy Iyengar had written to many Tamil News paper not to publisgh such items or jokes that ridicule the Vaishnavites. But to his chagrin, the news papers failed to publish the letters and finally he had to publish his laments in his own magazine “Shri Vaishnava Sudarshanam”.
To quote Shri Krishnaswamy: “No one dares to criticise the Crescent of the Muslim or the Cross of the Christian or the Vibuthi worn by the Shaivaite . The circulation of papers / magazines is never affected when they insult the numerically insignificant vaishnavites. On the other hand, circulation increases when they appeal to such base instincts. This is why Papers publish such cheap letters that use words like “111” but would never publish decent letters that protest such indecent language.” This is something that we should retrospect. They do not hesitate to write crap about even Gita. (Such articles are mostly written by Hindus themselves)
Kamal Hassan’s latest film ‘Kadhala Kadhala’ has a few scenes that ridicule Lord Muruga. No body seems to take that seriously. When a few like-minded friends get together they exchange their mutual hurt. But if minorities are involved, rivers of blood flow. Buses are burnt. Road Rokhos are done. Because of the general poor economic conditions and to exploit the minorities and gain some concessions from the Government, the leaders outrage at any perceived slight. The main reason for this is the general insecurity that permeates the minorities.
Vaishnavites do not outrage over the insults to them but keep away from trouble. They move to other states (from Tamil Nadu) or other Countries where they do not suffer such insults. They neither have the guts to face such insults, nor do they have the time. They are also not so poor that they can get on the roads and show their outrage. This is the unfortunate reality. This will not last for ever. The retaliation would be similar to meddling with a sleeping tiger. The tiger would one day wake up from its slothful slumber and hit back. The Nation would not be able to face it.
Was reminded of this when a spoof account of Vijay Mallya had the Handle Vijay_Malllya.