Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
To most of the people of Orissa, Rama is known for the misfortune of Sita. In my childhood days, I remember, when a shankhachila –a kite having a white colored neck–was spotted in the sky of my native village: Tigiria, I was often joining my classmates in shouting “sankhachila mahabira dhavadhavalia paskhi, Ramachandra sain sina Sita bada duskhi”, meaning, Rama’s Godhood notwithstanding, Sita was an unfortunate woman. Time has passed, but not the feeling.
Like that of Sita, India’s present fate is also affected by Rama. A communal quagmire over the controversy relating to his birthplace is threatening our very existence as a constitutional nation. If we put premium on our nation, we ought to look at Rama with utmost impassion.
He can be of two types. Either a God or a man. But he cannot be both in one.
As a Hindu, I place him in the category of Gods. Gods were characters created by our ancient writers for propagation of their respective viewpoints. Therefore, they were “Aja”: unborn. If Rama is accepted as a God, then he can not be said to have ever been born. He was clearly created by the sage Valmiki as the main character of his epic for propagation of his social viewpoints penned therein. Had there been no Valmiki, there would never have been any Rama. In other words, Rama was created by Valmiki in the sphere of imagination and projected as a God for propagation of his preferred social order.Therefore, Rama was not born in the physical world.
` If we are bound to accept that he was born at Ayodhya in U.P., then he can not be a God. He must be a man. If he was a man,he must be evaluated as a man,must be accepted or rejected as a man.
As a man his eventful life started with death of a tribal woman called Tadaka and ended with the death of his wife Sita. Both these deaths were premature and unnatural. The first was homicidal and the last was suicidal. Rama had perpetrated the first and precipitated the last.
He killed the tribal woman Tadaka in order to help spread of authority of the Brahminic order.He subjected Sita to such social humiliation that she committed suicide.In between these two deaths, he had executed such activities that no civil society would normally accept. Two of such activities may be cited as examples. One, he killed the Kiskinda king Bali from behind in blatant contravention of the civilized principle of warfare. It was a vested interest action meant to please Sugriva whose help was essential for locating Sita. And, two,he beheaded a sage of lower caste in order to please the Brahmins to whom elevation of the lower caste people to socio-religious echelon was not acceptable and on whose social authority he was depending as a king. As such, Rama , as a man , was a tormentor of the weak: the women and the men of lower castes.
He can not be accepted as a paragon of virtues as a man. Those who insist that he was born in Ayodhya should bear this in mind. The nation should extricate itself from the socio-political quagmire over preservation of the alleged place of birth of a man who had perpetrated such violation of human rights.