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18 Sep, 2013

Who is the right Hindu and who is the wrong one – Hindustan Times

By Sitaram Yechury

This column is being filed on Onam, the universal festival of all Keralites. The Aryavarta tradition informs us that Mahabali is the king of the Asuras, whose elimination was necessary for humans to survive. Hence, Vishnu descends as Vamana avatar to the audience of king Mahabali. The guest is accorded the warmest of welcomes and asked to seek any gift he wishes. Vamana seeks ‘three feet of land’. His wish being granted, Vishnu assumes the form of ‘Viswa roopa darsana’ and places one foot on ‘swarga loka’ (heaven), one on ‘bhoo loka’ (earth) and then asks Mahabali where to place the third! With Mahabali’s head alone remaining unoccupied, he places his foot there and pushes him down to ‘patala loka’ (under world) thus killing him. Realising that he has been cheated, Mahabali asks Vishnu to allow him to return to his people for a day every year. That day is Onam. For one set of Hindus, therefore, the death of Mahabali is the occasion to celebrate, and for others, it is his resurrection!

Will the RSS/BJP decree who is the right Hindu and who is the wrong one?

Read the rest: One size does not fit all – Hindustan Times.