A PIL: Mahabali vs. Indian (Brahmin-Bania) State
By Karthick RM
03 October, 2010
Honorable your Honour
I recently read the judgment of your colleagues on the Babri Masjid… ooops… the Ramjanmabhoomi issue. I should say that I was thrilled. Since legal bodies of our great modern country have extended their jurisdiction to the unknown past to settle real or imagined religious disputes, I make an appeal for my client with great confidence in your rational-legal authority.
Since in the RJB judgment, ‘Lord’ Rama is accepted as a historical character, I would like you to the consider the case of my client, King Mahabali. Since you have managed to map out Ram lalla’s birth to a specific geographic region, we hope you would pay due regard to our argument of the Kerala origins of Mahabali. Sir, we want to bring to light the historical and religious injustice done to Mahabali and his followers.
Mahabali was a righteous king who hailed from that section whom you call in legal terms as ‘backward castes’. He was to the oppressed sections what ‘Lord’ Rama was to the upper castes. In case you need more information on his historical significance, I would suggest that you read Mahatma Phule’s works, in case thy most knowledgeable self has not already. His rule was considered to be one where there was a just treatment of all sections of the population. However, jealous with the virtuous rule of this backward caste king, Vishnu, in the guise of a brahmin dwarf (Vamana), duped Mahabali and pushed him into the underworld. (I think a case of impersonation can also be filed against Vishnu).
Anyway, what happened over the years was that my client was denied his place in history by the brahminical ruling classes and they also crafted stories to justify his predicament, thereby legitimizing their own rule. Result was disastrous for his people, the backward castes, who comprise the majority of the population. Not only did they lose a politico-spiritual symbol, it also meant material losses. Thanks to Mr. Vishnu, they lost their wealth, their lands and above all, their self-worth, being stigmatized and dehumanized for well over a millennium. I am sure your honour understands the social and historical significance of all this.
Thus, keeping the Allahabad verdict on RJB in mind, we would like you to consider the following
1. That Kerala was the kingdom of Mahabali (if you go by Mahatma Phule, it was much larger. But we are content with Kerala as of now) which was unjustly usurped by the brahmins with the help of Mr. Vamana, an alias of Mr. Vishnu.
2. That since Kerala is the birthplace of Mahabali lalla, we want 2/3rd of the land to go to his descendants, that is, the backward castes - yes, even after Namboodripad’s much talked of land reforms, the brahmins still have enormous land-holdings in the state.
3. That an Archaeological Survey of India research team must constituted to do a study of all brahminical temples in Kerala. If evidence showing that they have been built over backward caste temples is arrived at, steps for their demolition and the rebuilding of the original temples should begin in earnest.
To be filed in any high court in Indian Territory
Karthick RM is a student-activist based in JNU, pursuing his Masters in History.He is associated with the Delhi Tamil Students Union, a Periyarite-Marxist group