“As the name shows Kavadi is a miniature representation of the Kavu itself with an arched horse shoe like Ajanta Chaitya Vatayana motif. Kumbham and Kutam are both miniature motifs and key icons resembling the Stupa’s global or spherical structure. Both these processions are of Buddhist origin when we analyse the semiotics and cultural significations. But after the middle ages ritual mutilations also crept into this Kumbodam tradition in the form of Sulam Kutu or body piercing using metallic little lancers as a result of Hinduization and its violent sado-masochist Himsa cults in the frenzy of Bhakti. Now the ritual is dwindling. In earlier days it was mostly the Avarna who were the performers in Paravai, Tookkam and Kumbodam. Velan, Viswakarma and Ezhava performers were there in Kottayam.
[…] Since the Tookkam was barbaric and was misused by the caste Hindu hegemonic forces as a ritual re-enacting the symbolic submission and ritualistic mutilation of the Avarna before the Hinduized deity, especially Kali in violent and bloody form; it was banned in places like Ilavoor in the north of Ernakulam. Most of these Kali temples are altered Mahamaya sacred grove shrines or Kavus of Buddhism, violently taken over and modified into Hindu Kali temples.
[…] This ridiculous and absurd story of a blood sucking Kali Mata is a cunning articulation of the demonization and then extermination of the south Indian Buddhists by the henchmen of Brahmanism and then the ritualistic re-enactment of the holocaust and the bloody pogrom in the yearly festivities at the shrine as a re-establishment of the caste Hindu order and hegemony over the Avarna or the former Buddhists.”
The ritual is not dwindling in Mauritius (and Malaysia) of course and this sheds a lot of light on the origins which were always a mystery. We were told it’s mixed with tribal practices of the era people came as indentured labour.
I wish I’d known this blog or similar sources 15 years ago when my flatmates who were North Indian Mauritian Hindus were asking me why my culture has such barbaric practices. The answer shoulda been “it is your Hinduism that made it barbaric – take, for example, the rape culture inherent in your Holi festival”.
So I shared this privately, mostly, last year. I find her tone* triggering as fuck so I never did get more timestamps. I never shared it with one of the people I credited, who today was giving her praise and publicity. Someone who basically doesn’t ask herself why, in her view, only a Brahmin should be on her shortlist of activists for media exposure.
Instead of making a post, I hit search and found this whole other incident.
Maybe I need more context before I say so. However, I’m still triggered by Joshi’s tone, almost a year later, and it does seem to be that. It is ironic to have people like her allegedly condemning what they actively promote and partake in, what protects them in the Hindustan they are so fond of. Do they ever criticise the Indian police or sexual violence on the most vulnerable women?
‘Women’ bc there has always been a movement of Adivasi, Adi and bahujan women alongside queer and trans folks of these castes or castelessness, Muslims, Buddhists, religious minorities, Kashmiris.
*To the new reader or someone who doesn’t read the linked content: the Brahminical tone is triggering af for those of us who have regularly been oppressed by them.
“The Battle of Bhima Koregao.. An unsung Saga or Bravery and Courage which dismantled the Brahmnical Peshwa Rule.
History of India is nothing but the struggle between untouchables and so called upper castes. However the Indian historians have always misled us by not showing the true face of Indian History.
The glorious victory of few hundred untouchable soldiers over numerically superior Peshwas army in the battle of Koregaon, fought on 1st January, 1818, is one such chapter in Indian history whose significance has been carefully hidden.
On that day, when many were busy celebrating the new year, a small force of 500 mahar (an untouchable caste in Maharashtra) soldiers in the British army were preparing for a war against the most brutal Indian state of that times – Brahmin Peshwa rulers of Pune, Maharashtra.
In the history books, this battle is considered an important one and is known as second Anglo-Maratha war that resulted in the total destruction of Peshwa kingdom and sealed the victory of British Empire in India. However, there is a different historical dimension to this war that all of us need to be aware of.
This war was also between the Indian untouchables (who were condemned to live a life so miserable that you might not find any parallels in the world history) and Brahminism (manifested through brahmin rulers from Pune).
For mahar soldiers, this was not just another battle but it was their battle for self-respect, dignity and against the supremacy of Manusmriti. And these soldiers, just 500 of them, defeated the Peshwa army of over 30,000 in just one day. Their victory against a mighty force is perhaps unparallel in Indian history.
On this and every New Year eve, rather than indulging ourselves in mindless revelry let all of us pay rich tributes to our heroic forefathers who, through their bravery and courage, tore down the powerful Peshwai and brought freedom for untouchables from the fanatic brahmin rulers who ruled the land according to the diktat from Manusmriti. It is also a powerful occasion for all of us to become little more aware towards our rich history.”
On 1st January 1848, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule opened the 1st school for girls in India.
Happy arbitrarily marked completion of one Earth’s solar orbit, as denoted by an artificial euro-centric numbering system. But it is the solar anniversary of these victories for Adivasi and Dalit-Bahujan. That is what fireworks celebrate in parts of India and that is probably why Indian channels broadcast a 2015 film whose protagonist is Brahmin ruler Bajirao Peshwa?
Our collective and individual liberation lies in that of the Dalits (and Adivasi), the so-called untouchables but the influential and powerful Indians (in diasporas too) are against that, they are post-caste, as others are post-racial (here on my island, they are both in fact).
I am worried for Chagossians and my marginalised and disabled friends on Turtle Island, where I never set foot and had never planned to.
Some soothing words:
but they will fail to ally. It has started already, in the disabled community, no less, with the erasure of refugee crises in Africa as well as issues by poor Black disabled folks. White South Africans will come out in numbers to support white USians pleading as if their country has been bombed by the US or Israel for months.
I am sorry white supremacy won again big time. It’s winning even in places I see disappointed whites complaining. Maybe this is how it creates a positive reinforcement so that it wins ultimately.
Let’s not forget another supremacy. Modi fans, the Hindu American Foundation and the like were supporting the election of Donald Trump, I’ve said that a lot in the past months. Simplistically encompassing all POC doesn’t work when it comes to South Asians. Some count as white, it’s not about skin colour.
Just as how Ambedkar put it regarding caste, I realised today that maybe whiteness ‘is a state of mind’, besides being systemic etc. Some mixed-race and allegedly mixed race white South Africans by money (and white privilege) or by birth, are either felicitating a rapist in an elaborate and nauseating and callous manner (when a ‘bravo’ or ‘good luck’ would’ve sufficed to keep one’s level of white privilege if one hangs out with Republicans or whatever the eff; I’ve seen ‘friends’ writing at length about how great this is bc (positive thinking) it brings change and that it will make America great again or others looking at their self-interest or other white interest, first and foremost.
People whom I call alleged mixed-race bc I don’t fucking get how one can analogise anti-disability with anti-blackness then in the end come out and say, “actually most Afrikaaners come from this one Khoisan woman”. Then change it to “actually, one of my parents was a bit darker than other whites”. Then demand intellectual and emotional labour from a disabled brown person to sift through one’s shit when one isn’t even doing that. It’s like the 1/16th First Nations who are not only white passing but pro-white and the only link I could find with one woman was that she sold Native American jewellery.