A lot happened in just 48 hours that Minister for External Affairs Ms Sushma Swaraj returned from her tour abroad. Starting with a major goof up by avoidable intervention in respect of Issuing a Passport to a couple (wrongly called Inter-faith couple), and punishing a honest officer who did his job diligently, pointing out to glaring discrepancies (could easily be a security issue in wrong hands). When called out by Tweeps, she resorted to playing Victim by focusing on some abusive handles (miniscule numbers) but overlooking a far larger no of tweeps raising legitimate questions in more civil manner than her response just to divert the major goof up. It was juvenile response from a Senior Minister of her standing, to say the least. Firstly, dangerously concedes that she has no clue what happens in her ministry during her absence – Leadership? And then like a Nursery School spat, “Liking”/ RTing abusive tweets along with ardent supporters civil but legitimate questions.
(Click on the picture below for original tweet, which is available at the time of writing this piece)
She compromised publicly strong advocates of the Government and supporter clubbing them with abusive handles in her unique way – blocking some of them – unblocking known Anti-Government baiters. No one but her know what this weird approach sought to achieve. You can read experience of one of the affected tweep, Shefali Vaidya in this piece
It was downhill ever since. To justify whatever nonsensical procedural lapses happened, she embarked on even more ridiculous exercise in the name of easing the procedures of applying for a passport. Probably not related but timing makes the whole exercise suspect. Two things were in gross violation by the said applicant and both surprisingly are the issues that finds a work-around in the new policy she announced.
A brief background (details are here and here) of the case to help you place it in perspective: One Tanvi Seth (@TanviAnas on Twitter) and Shadiya Anas Siddiqui in various documents applied for passport in in PSK under Lucknow RPO. Reviewing Officer Mr Vikas Mishra upon perusal of documents sought endorsement of name as found in the documents submitted and the one she sought in the application – a legitimate requirement, in fact his job as an officer. And this lady goes ballistic trying to play minority card, female victimhood, crying so much that she choked to death almost, had to use inhaler blah blah, the Officer was abusive, asked husband to convert – All denied by the officer and the eyewitness. She took to Twitter to publicise and express her misplaced grievance – as as is her wont, things moved breakneck speed.
RPO tweets it will be enquired into, and next day with media in attendance RPO personally hands over the passport with no due processes followed and brazenly Tweets those pictures. Address was not verified which in retrospect was found wrong and in violation of the rules.
Nothing about this seem to be right. Tanvi Anas brought it upon herself with the help of a Muslim Journalist working with ToI as per her profile (Specifying Muslim, because her timeline on twitter was nothing to do with Journalism but all about Islam and Muslim people). To top it all, the officer who did his job honestly was shunted out. Furore on Twitter forced the authorities to do a post check on the application and Police Verification of address came back with an adverse report saying applicant did not stay in the address indicated and stayed in Noida. Rule clearly specifies that if the applicant was not resident in the address for the previous year, previous address also should be indicated. Also if there are any name changes or if applicant was known by any other names the same had to be indicated.
At the time of writing this, the status of her passport application and proceedings due to violation is not known. But the minister comes out with amendment to the process. Exactly covering both the above issues. It may not even be applicable retrospectively (but considering the cover up and damage control that is being done, we cannot rule this out) since rules that apply at the time of application applies, but hurried manner in which two of the rules were relaxed raises suspicions.
Address part is already covered by many on various forums. If the applicant has temporarily moved to a different location, application can still be submitted in a PSK or RPO closer to this temporary residence, but with actual address in the application. However, the address verification would be done in the address provided in the application (It sounds illogical, because in this scenario, the current location/address is not required at all) – Granting it is a convenience, let us discuss the next change.
In Minister’s words : “Married men and women complained that their marriage certificates are required at passport office, we scrapped the rule. Some divorced women complained that they are required to fill the name of ex-husband and their children of their estranged father. So we changed the rule,”
Now the risks/gaps in this process. In case of renewal/reissue currently there are documentary evidences that are called for in case of name changes or changes in entry of spouse names:
Changes to Spouse names in the new passport due to following reasons
Entering Spouse name due to marriage (Addition of Spouse name)
Change/Delete Spouse name in the event of:
Divorce (spouse name to be deleted)
Remarriage (current spouse name delete and new spouse name to be added)
Death of Spouse (spouse name to be deleted)
At the time of writing this piece, documentation requirements are listed here (screenshot of the same is reproduced too)
As clear from the same, it called for producing Attested copies of Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Remarriage or Death Certificate as the case maybe. Now as per the changes announced in the Press conference, you can simply add, change or delete for the same without any documentary evidence and will be accepted as true in good faith? Has the legal implication of this thought through? It can end up in legal complication since parties end up in possession of a Legally acceptable Identity and relationshipdocument. What if some applicant falsely gets a spouse name entered in the passport or legitimate spouse name deleted and claim relationship? Also, these documents provided additional assistance for law enforcement authorities to trace criminals or those on the run. If it can be allowed in this case, why seek evidences for Date of Birth or Address. Accept that in good faith too. Excerpt of the FAQ available on the Official website
At the time of writing despite a mail and tweet sent to Passport authorities, there was no clarification received. Will update as and when it is received.
Without addressing these concerns, thoughtless changes under the guise of Reforms or easing processes is DANGEROUS!
Honb’le EA Minister’s Private Secretary was very well in the loop and all actions taken were after Sri Vijay Dwivedi marked Dr Mulay. Did Secretary act independently without concurrence of the EAM? I am also attaching the tweet thread (where one anonymous tweep even threatens of campaign, even before the truth surfaced) He has not responded to any tweets after the truth emerged.
(As expected, RPO Bengaluru – one of the best and most responsive Passport Offices in the Country clarifies). Click on the image for source tweet (if it is still available)
As feared, this indeed is waived off. Hence anyone can claim and make changes to entry under spouse name without any documentary backup. There are lot of legal implications in this change. Succession right, Property rights etc – Even without the named person knowing someone could have declared that person as a spouse and offer these documents as evidence. It may be proven wrong in court, but imagine the grind one has to go through
Since there is a huge debate on what actually transpired, My two penny take away from the episode. Thanks to a couple of my friends who summarized an Eventful day.
Red lines are my Two-penny opinion
Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji ’s approach
Souhard se dono samuday paas aye. Mandir bhi bane aur masjid bhi bane thodi door.
On why Ram Mandir should be built:
Ayodhya is not place of faith for Muslims. Islam does not allow worship at a disputed site. We cannot make Lord Rama to be born in another place. This is a golden opportunity for communities to cement their good relationship. Some people are opposing. They want this problem to be alive. We don’t want one more conflict. Sensible people agree on this. In the 10 lakh temples of the country, all the Imams could be invited and honored. Similarly they would honour the priests,
Isn’t this vision of Sri Sri, the core of Sanatana Dharma?Isn’t Sri Sri is creating space and opportunity for both communities to celebrate.
On why Sri Sri is mediating: Every responsible citizen should be involved in the issue which concerns the society, why should a spiritual leader like Sri Sri not be involved? He is respected as a neutral party by ppl on all sides. He has no vested interest but only the interest of nation at heart. If any one can, it is only Towering personality like Him who can.
The court said that you sit together and move the issue, which was sidelined. I am not looking for any credit, I am ok to put those who are looking for credit in the forefront. I am not here for credit or for insult. I don’t need political support in this, because i am speaking with people. The judiciary would be the happiest if the issue is solved out of court, its a burden for them to solve this issue in court. kisi ne mujhe ye nahi kaha AOL shuru karo. Waise hi ye bhi apni prerna se kar rahe hain
On creating common buildings like hospitals
ASI has proved that this is Birth place of lord Ram. The disputed site has no religious significance for the other people. By and large The Muslim community is large hearted and they have supported Sri Sri’s initiative in large numbers. For the sake of peace and unity in the country lets work to make a win win situation for all.
On possible future scenarios
Land goes to Hindus, Muslims will feel defeated and their faith in judicial system will be shaken. Bitterness will increase. (Hasn’t this been proven so many time over – Shaking of faith is the minimum, on the contrary there would be hatred and opposition to the implementation too – Shah Bano,, Triple Talaq etc are proof enough)
Land goes to Muslims, there will not be any peace. Do you think they will allow Ram Lalla to be taken from the premises? Do you think such a judgement will be implemented? Quran injunction says, no Namaaz can be offered at a place of conflict. So nobody will offer prayers there. Will it not be a case where I relish denial of a facility to someone even if I don’t get it?
If Allahabad Court decision is repeated, then a Hindu temple and Mosque will be built. This is continue the fear of conflict forever. After 50 and 100 years, there will still be a chance for conflict
On opposition to his mediation:
Kehne wale bohot kuch kahenge. Bohot logon ka astitva sangharsh par hai. Kuch log bhadkaav bhashan pe hi vishwas karte hain. Unpe desh nahi chal sakta. Desh aman chahta hai.
Gurudev ko kichad uchalne walon ki parva nahi karni chahiye.
Always there will be some people who would like to create disturbance in the country. There are just a few people who do not see sense, or even they see sense they are not agreeing because of their personal gains.
Here is what Pujya Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi ji says about Ayodhya Ram Temple Resolution. Out of court is the only way – Any solution from the Political Class or throught courts will end up in difficulties for both sides
For the records – Here are the Tweet clarifications from Gurudev Sri Sri (Personally I felt it is not required, because either way they would twist) Click on the screenshot to read the original tweet on Twitter.
Guru Saakshaat Para Brahma Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha||
Shruti Smriti Puranam Alayam Karunalayam |
Namami Bhagavadpadam Shankaram Lokashankaram”
My humble Pranaams at the Lotus Feet of Jagadguru Shankaracharya 69th Mathadhipati of Kanchi Math.
His departure to His Destination – The Shiva Loka was as sudden as it was shocking. For a person who is from a different philosophical school, the impact he had on me and my family was profound. Rewinding back 2003 when my job forced me to shift base to Chennai. Coincidentally, at the same time my manasik sister, Vidya and her family (Kalyana Kumar & children Roshni and Adharsh) also had to move to Chennai from Bengaluru. Looking back even this had a purpose and was not a coincidence at all. It was Divine will for a purpose. We used to regularly drive every weekend to various temples and other spots from Chennai. I vividly remember that August day when we decided to visit Sri Yoga Narasimha Temple in Sholingur (around 100 kms from Chennai). On our return trip from Sholingur after praying at Sri Yoga Narasimha Temple, when Kalyanakumar made an invaluable (with benefit of hindsight) suggestion of taking a detour and visit Sri Kanchi Matha and Darshan of Kanchi Kamakshi. What a decision it turned out to be!!!
We also had a wonderful darshan of Kanchi Kamakshi and landed up in Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. To our utter surprise, it wasn’t crowded at all and We had the time of our lives. We had a Darshan and got blessings of Balaperiyavaa Pujya Vijayendra Saraswathi ji and thereafter came for Darshan of Pujya Jayendra Saraswathi AVL. We were simply stunned and stood speechless in His Powerful Presence – Even today it gives me goosebumps to recollect those moments. With our sashtaanga pranayama and namaskaarams rendered, he found we were yet to get over that Divine Stupor and he made us comfortable by talking to us in Kannada. In a loving manner He addressed my wife, Aparna and asked her the place she hails from and then it opened a floodgate of emotions. Everyone had TEARS OF BLISS!!! Absolute BLISS and He turned His attention to the kids. Akhila (my daughter), Roshni (my Niece) and Adharsh (Nephew). Son, Ashrit was too small to realize the import of what this experience means. Lucky Kids! I envied the attention Pujya Swamiji was showering on them. He then asked them if they know any chants and Aparna and Vidya unanimously suggested Totakashtakam. The kids began in unison and Pujya Swamiji joining them in a childlike manner, swinging and swaying rhythmically to the chant was a sight to behold. Since we thought were were taking too much of His precious time, we hinted to the kids to stop after 3 stanzas… And Swamiji asked what happened! You know it completely, Finish it. (We are still wondering how did He know that kids knew the entire Totakashtakam) and it continued. After blissful 1 hour or so, almost for ourselves – it was time to take leave and with a heavy heart moved away from magnetic charm of Pujya Swamiji Jayendra Saraswathi AVL.
About an year later in Nov 2004, we heard the worst news of our lives – that Police arrested both Shankaracharyas of Kanchi Math. It was A BLACK DEEPAVALI for us (and millions of followers) – a Deepavali we would never want to remember again. What was worse – they were stopped from the Anushtanams midway and arrested. A set of volunteers from the Art of Living from Chennai drove down to Kanchipuram next day – had a Satsang in a hall and took out a protest march (After we got back to Chennai we were told that it was such a risk considering the fact that cops were hounding supporters of Swamijis – Thankfully and blissfully we were unaware of the viciousness of the TN Police at that time) It was a black period for our Dharma but never once our Faith in Swamijis were shaken. We knew there was an agenda by the powers that be and also enemies within. Karma has its way of getting things of even keel. After the trial and tribulations, insults by the forces inimical to these Divine Souls, they were acquitted by the courts. But who would pay for the hurt and pain that the Devotees went through. Swamijis who were Divine were forgiving but ordinary mortals like us were hurt deep. Eulogies of Swamijis and reasons are in two posts that follow (which I don’t wish to repeat – the purpose of this MAXI-POST.
We will miss your jovial yet intellectually and spiritually stimulating presence and invaluable Guidance Pujya Swamiji Jayendra Saraswathi ji. WE WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER ONE LIKE YOU. Prayers to you to continue to shower your Blessings on all the Followers!
I reproduce two tributes that were in public domain and leaving it to readers to judge! One is by much respected Sri Gurumurthy ji. The other by an anonymous devotee which I received by Whatsapp (The author can revert to me to attribute to him/her).
Sri S. Gurumurthy – Article in The New Indian Express
Reproducing the content (as at the time of publishing this piece) verbatim for easier readability (Click on the Headline to read the article in original)
Jayendra Saraswathi, the direct disciple of the Mahaswami, was particularly distinct from his predecessor in almost every respect. Being more contemporary than traditional, he often tested the limits of orthodoxy and extended the areas of the Math’s reach and influence
Jayendra Saraswathi Swami, the 69th Shankaracharya of the famous Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, who attained samadhi on Wednesday was an Acharya different in comparison to his peers in the pantheon of Shankaracharyas. He was particularly distinct from his predecessor and Guru, Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi, popularly known as the Kanchi Mahaswami, in almost every respect. Jayendra Saraswathi was even controversial because of the risky territories he traversed that were never unravelled to him in the training he had received in the innocent surroundings at the Math.
The Kanchi Math, rebuilt from scratch by the Mahaswami, attained the most revered status among all Maths in the country and the Mahaswami was revered as the walking Divinity. An epitome of modesty and simplicity, his calmness and silence attracted millions to him. The tallest intellectuals, the mightiest leaders and the most respected men and women from all walks of life queued up for his darshan and to hear his profound words. Even his detractors were silenced by the power of his calmness and quietude. The Math reached its pinnacle under his stewardship. Jayendra Saraswathi, the direct disciple of the Mahaswami, was almost a contrast.
If the Mahaswami was silent, Jayendra was outspoken. If his Guru was inner directed, Jayendra was outgoing. If the Mahaswami walked, Jayendra motored, even flew. If the Guru avoided fame, the disciple enjoyed it. If the Mahaswami immersed in contemplation with self, Jayendra involved in conversation with the world. This contrast did create a situation in 1988, when Jayendra Saraswathi, piqued by some in the Math not accepting the culture change he was bringing about, left the Math without informing anyone suddenly. It shook the Math and its millions of followers. Though he returned after calming himself, the incident demonstrated his trans-traditional impulses.
The calm, quiet and inward-looking Math and its grammar changed into one of high pulse and activity under Jayendra Saraswathi’s leadership after the Mahaswami attained siddhi in 1994. Being more contemporary than traditional, Jayendra Saraswathi often tested the limits of orthodoxy and extended the areas of the Math’s reach and influence beyond its traditional adherents even as he explored areas of social thrust. He was instrumental in the Kanchi Math expanding directly into people’s service and not remaining merely a spiritual fountainhead as it was under the Mahaswami.
Today, the Kanchi Math runs a deemed university and dozens of schools and hospitals — territories previously not in the reach of Math — besides over 50 traditional Vedic schools and temples. Jayendra broke the restraining rules of the Math and reached out to the downtrodden. He went to Harijan bastis and attracted thousands of new followers and devotees. He transformed a spiritual and ritualistic Math into a socially vibrant one. This brought him high popularity and also into interaction with a multitude of social and political leaders in the country. It had had its pluses and minuses.
Arrest and vicious atmosphere
Jayendra Saraswathi’s independent course provoked some elements in the Math to fault him for deviating from the celebrated traditions. This led to an uncomplimentary campaign against him and the murder of one of the dissenters. In a state where Hinduism has borne the burden of unjust assault at the hands of the Dravida Kazhagam and its offshoots, political parties and others found it opportune to attack Jayendra, finally leading his arrest.
This sparked a nationwide uproar, but in Tamil Nadu, a vicious campaign was carried by political parties, intellectuals, activists and even the media against the Math and the Acharya. The New Indian Express alone gave the other side view and carried five counter-investigation articles [authored by me]. The first article titled As the Shankaracharya stands like Abhimanyu [NIE 23.11.2004] captured how the Dravidian political and secular media in the state were hounding the hapless Acharya, who was stung and stunned by the heinous charge against him. The third one titled The case is dead. Who’ll do the funeral, and when, exposed the frivolous prosecution. An angry government ordered my arrest and even the bail available to any accused was denied to the Acharya by the Magistrate and Sessions Court and by the Madras High Court. Finally, he had to get bail from the Supreme Court! Even the junior Acharya was arrested.
The final article titled Will the Secular Media Heed Justice Reddy’s Warning? [Jan 14, 2005] was on the judgment of Justice Narasimha Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, who condemned the unprecedented process of denigration of the ancient, prestigious and glorious Math with almost 2,500-year history by “not only individuals, but also a section of the institutions, such as the State and the Press”. Noting the stoic silence of the proponents of human rights, fair play and dignity, the judge said “a powerful section is celebrating or watching with indifference” the “perfidy against the Math” that had shocked the nation and beyond”. Pointing to the “amount of disrepute and sacrilege inflicted on Jayendra Saraswathi that had no comparables, Justice Reddy pointed out that harshest possible words were used directly or in innuendo against him”. Finally he declared, “today he is subjected to similar treatment as was Draupati in the Court of Kauravas.”
Later, the Principal Sessions Court in Puducherry acquitted Jayendra Saraswathi, Vijayendra Saraswathi and all others. The judgment almost echoed the third counter investigation article in The New Indian Express which opened thus: “On counter investigation, we found the case against the Shankaracharya not just slippery, but actually groundless from day one. Not just that. It involves a bit of fabrication too. Yes the fabrication to fix the Acharya. The police are running for cover. They may not give up yet and may fabricate more to put the case, which is dead, on life support system. But the case is irretrievably lost. The dramatic turn came on Wednesday in the Kancheepuram Magistrate court. The two criminals on whom the police had exclusively relied to name the Shankaracharya as an accused in the case have actually turned to accuse the police as the fabricators of the case itself.”
Within two weeks of the Acharyas’ arrest, The New Indian Express had called the prosecution’s bluff. The judgment acquitting the Acharyas pretty much said the same thing. But that was after nine years of intense pain and humiliation the Acharya underwent, having been declared a criminal even before a chargesheet was filed against him.
Jayendra Saraswathi is no more and the pain inflicted on him has died with him. But the pain the Math and the millions of peaceful devotees underwent at the hands of a hostile state, egged on by the media and watched by the proponents of human rights, as Justice Reddy had said, will remain a permanent scar in the political, judicial and media history of Tamil Nadu. Jayendra Saraswathi’s demise may be an occasion for all those who hounded him for a decade and more to introspect so that they don’t repeat it ever.
Here is a touching tribute – Straight from the heart Tribute by Devotee (Received it on Whatsapp without any attribution). I would be glad to credit the author if I am informed.
Reproducing verbatim except for fixing Typos.
An era has just ended in the hoary history of the Kanch Kamakoti Math, with the Maha Samadhi of Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th Peetadhipathi of the Kamakoti Peetam. There is an overwhelming sense of loss and despair amongst the devotees of the math and the Acharya. It is even more significant if one dispassionately considers the deep impact that Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal had left on every aspect of the math functioning.
He was chosen as the successor to the Paramacharya (as his predecessor Sri Sri Chandrasekarendhra Saraswathi was known to all) at the young age of 20 and for almost four decades lived under shadow of the towering Paramacharya. It is a very difficult thing in any human activity to be the second in command, while the number one is in absolute control and is a larger than life kind of personality, which the Paramacharya was, very deserving of course. He was a very disciplined deputy and was known for his total devotion to the Paramacharya., a fact that those closely linked to the Math can vouch for.
The four decades that he was with his senior, were very difficult times for the Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism if one were to use a contemporary terminology), as this state had often had elected governments, where the ruling party was inimical to the faith in general and to the math and its followers in particular. Caste based politics and the resultant bitterness was far too obvious to escape the notice of even a casual traveler to the state. The math had to break out of its traditional moorings and reach out to the people at large, as missionaries of the Abrahamic faiths were creating havoc in the coastal and southern districts of the state of TN, causing great level of anxiety to the people and the government. Unfortunately, the successive state governments did precious little to stem the rot and were almost mute spectators to the gross misuse of religious freedom enshrined in the constitution.
It was in these circumstances that Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi decides to break the perceived shackles of Sanyas and enter the social world to put a brake on the large scale conversions that were taking place resulting in levels of social unrest hitherto unseen and unheard of. This decision necessitated even his ignoring instructions to the contrary perhaps even from the Paramacharya himself. He realized at the very beginning that the only way we can stop this was to shed the faith of the caste based discrimination and erase the dividing line between the math and the Hindus of so called lower castes. This strategy, expectedly, met with stiff resistance and derisive comments not only from within the math but also from Hindus outside, especially the upper caste Hindus (more importantly a section of the Brahmin community). What was not observed correctly and appreciated by most commentators was that in breaking the caste based discrimination and uniting the Hindus under one identity, he had inevitably invited the wrath of the minority missionaries and the so called secular brigade.
Unmindful of all this, Sri Sri Jaydendra went about his tasks of uniting the Hindus through service, through such organizations like Jan Kalyan, Jan Jagran etc. He was given unconditional support by the RSS, Hindu Munnani and Viswa Hindu Parishad etc., making it even more uncomfortable for the minority outfits. Given the source of limitless funds and other resources, the minority institutions could play havoc with the hapless Math and the Acharya, which they did with aplomb.
Meanwhile, Sri Sri Jayendra initiated multifarious activities like revival of old dilapidated temples, revision of wages for poojaris/archakas of small village temples, educational institutions for the economically weaker sections, health care through numerous hospitals etc. The last two were going to earn him bigger enemies who were raking in crores through their own private institutions in these fields. Here again the minority community question was inevitably linked, especially the Christian lobby. That’s what finally landed him in the mess that was Sankara Raman murder case. He touched those areas that were invariably linked to the minority-politician nexus which has an unimaginably huge muscle power in our country, especially in states like TN, where anti-Hindu parties have been in power for long.
What am I talking about?? Yes, a Hindu seer dared to stand up to this nexus and refused to budge and paid with his reputation, dignity, health and the overall image of the Math and himself. Here comes the irony. In this hour of despair he didn’t have anyone of substance backing him unconditionally, something unthinkable in other faiths. Those avowed devotees of the Math were more than ready of believe the media’s concocted stories. The political class was seeing what was politically convenient and taking such a stance. BJP and RSS with the other Hindu outfits were the only ones which were even prepared to consider getting to the truth.
The Hindu community in TN should have risen as one and resisted the media’s preplanned character assassination of the seer and forced the powers that be to behave. They failed him collectively. More blatant was the Brahmin community’s response.A whole lot of them were ready to believe the media than see the opposite side’s version. That some of the worst detractors of the Math and Sri Sri Jayendra, at that time, were people from the community itself, is the most bitter fact. This attitude comes from their appointing themselves judges of how the Acharyas should conduct themselves and how the Math should be administered. This is from a community wherein not even 10% of the people observe their daily chores as stipulated in the shastras (nithyakarma anushtaanam), a good percentage take alcoholic beverages regularly, consume non-vegetarian food, a vast majority skip offerings to their ancestors via tharpanam, shrardham etc.
The worse is most of them compare Sri Sri Jayendra with his predecessor the Paramacharya and make derisive comments against the former. First, the comparison itself is completely unfair to both and is completely lacking in common sense as they both were working on different planes and at different times and very, very different set of circumstances. The efforts of Sri Sri Jayendra in getting all Hindus (okay, a majority if not all) to identify with the Math as a representative of the Hindu faith, are incomparable. His contribution in getting rid of the Math’s Brahmin Tag, was singularly responsible for people of all communities identifying with the Math. It is the result of his efforts that brought a vast cross section of the Hindu society to oppose the activities of DK, DMK and other Anti-Hindu activists, whenever the latter crossed the boundaries of decent politics and were bordering on selective outrage.
Their animosity towards him multiplied when political leaders and religious scholars from across the nation consulted him on the Ayodhya issue which he offered to help resolve. While many Muslim organization from UP as well as TN welcomed his efforts and offered to accept his recommendations, the Anti-Hindu political outfits in TN were systematically instigating an opposition to his effort, with clearly a vote bank mindset.
In a nutshell, one can see clearly, how the forces opposed to national interest could use the media and the powers that be to malign an important religious head of the majority community and thereby weaken the faith’s popular support thereby aiding in conversion. It is an irony that the so called forward castes failed to see this and instead put him on the accused stand and made him stand the trial by media.
Despite my great hesitation, I have to give a piece of my mind to my Brahmin friends, many of whom had declared him guilty even before the case was in court, just going by the media outrage.Many disgruntled elements within this community, who had either disagreement with the Math in general or with the seer in particular, exploited this opportunity and poured venom in the guise of writing commentary. And of late, there are many who go around claiming to be great devotes of the Paramacharya (the numbers have grown exponentially after his Maha Samadhi), which is good if they restrict to expressing their devotion to him. The unkindest cut of all that Sri Sri Jayendra had to stomach was that good percentage of these so called devotes of the Paramacharya were great critics of Sri Sri Jayendra and were almost dismissive of him.
To them, I ask, “Who are you to judge him? What is your qualification to do so? Do you know the kind of positive transformation he had brought about in the way the Math was perceived by the common Hindu outside the so called devotee crowd that you make up? How many of you live the way the Shastras recommend? Have you ever cared to go to the institutions run by the Math and learnt how they are administered and how the funds are made available? Have you ever gone to any of those hospitals run by the Math and found out for yourselves as to how patient care is offered there and how the beneficiaries perceive these?? Many of you may not have any answers to these questions, because, you go by what the media vomits as news and sit in your living room and pass judgements against a man who dared to challenge those very forces and showed he could succeed.
It is the quirk of fate or irony of justice in this country that he had to go through the worst for daring to oppose those forces and his greatest failing was that he thought he had us behind him. For sure, we were behind him, but not to support, but to push him down.
We are ungrateful people who never deserved a Jayendra Saraswathi. We did not respect his sincere efforts at bringing in the changes that were desperately needed. We did not have the guts to stand by him when forces inimical to our national interest were hounding him out. We now shed crocodile tears at his passing away.Shame on us for our hypocrisy.
He must be giving his famous disarming smile looking down at us from wherever he is now. At least from now on, let us carry on the good work started by him and compensate for all the dishonor and insults that we have heaped on him. I would dare say that, no single Acharya from the Shankara lineage could have contributed so extensively in critical social areas as His Holiness Sri Sri Jayendra had done in the last three decades (or longer). More than ever before, we needed him now as the forces inimical to the nation and Hindu religion are gathering great strength and momentum to give one last shot at denying this nation its Hindu identity. We have to defeat this at all costs and for that we need a few more Jayendras.
Jaya Jaya Sankara…!
Look at the glaring difference in the tributes! One is too cerebral and other one is Emotional. Leaving it to readers of this piece to make your own conclusion.
Signing off with Two Part Videos of very Touching Anugraha Bhashana of Pujya Shankaracharya Vijayendra Saraswati AVL (3 yrs back) on the occasion of Peetarohana Jayanti celebrations of HH Pujya Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji (Overwhelming and each time I watch this… tears just flow). I am sure the readers will be moved too.
UPDATE: 6TH MARCH 2018
Some comments that I received on Twitter/Facebook that I found is worth sharing with readers (Click on the image to read the Original tweet on Twitter (available at the time of updating this)