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If Vedas Had Plastic Surgery, They Also Had Crony Capitalism

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Our ‘Parivar’ friends often say that ‘everything is there in our Vedas’. In 2014, our ‘neta’, himself part of the ‘Parivar’, while rededicating a hospital, stated that our ancients performed even head transplants. The other day I got curious to know what there is 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 might benefit them, the members of the Parivar often ignore 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 cases, 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, consider this hymn to the Vedic God Indra:

“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 the Vedic gods, was habituated to a hedonistic lifestyle. He relished the meat of bulls 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 have 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 have 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 marginalised 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, where he hoodwinks 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’.

When Indra does all these things, the trinity of  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 better ranks and rating upgrades. 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 Asura (I mean the working class), after toiling in factories, farms and offices, which is akin to the ‘Ksheera Sagara Madhanam’ (Hindu mythological churning of the oceans), 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. He, along with his Zionist disciples, produces and disseminates the gyaan through the Aryan-backed experts, media, and universities. And the sages pledged to the Godhead in the Silicon Valley are working hard to produce humanoids enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) and powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of their efforts to help the Aryans do ‘Pratisrushti’ (second creation) so that they can permanently get rid of the menace of the Asuras and replace them with humanoid robots.

This is because the Aryans expect that once they get rid of the emotion-afflicted and union-infested Asuras, they can cut down on their labour cost, which will enable them to indulge in shareholder wealth maximisation. 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 these proceeds they can procure the things that are closest to their hearts – private jets, yachts and mansions such as ‘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, they will end up digging their own grave.

A version of this post was first published here.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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