Jignesh Mevani, The Meltdown of Modi-Men and Dadhichi’s Bones

[ This post is based on updates posted by me on my Facebook wall ]

Jignesh Mevani. Photograph by Siddharaj Solanki, HT (Hindustan Times) File Photo, accessed from the HT website

A great kerfuffle has ensued ever since the recently elected independent MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat and Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch activist Jignesh Mevani gave an interview in which he had some choice things to say about the Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi. Mr. Mevani made some positive and gentle suggestions, to the effect that because Mr. Modi has stopped being relevant, has not delivered on even one of the promises made by him, he should retire, proceed towards the Himalayas, and in the phrase that has caused the greatest commotion, ‘melt his bones’.

Predictably, Mr. Modi’s personal broadcasting service, known as Republic TV has kicked up the greatest fuss. Arnab Goswami has been especially indignant, and he was joined in his rage by BJP spokesperson, the orotund television commentator and historical photo-shop scam artist, Mr. Sambit Patra. Mr. Mevani offered a robust and dignified  refusal to apologize for what he said about Mr. Modi, when Republic TV demanded that he do so.https://youtu.be/ys0GRWCsQBg

Arnab Goswami in particular has implied that the phrase ‘हड्डी गलाना’ (melting bones) is particularly insulting, especially when deployed to imply (as done by Mr. Mevani) the appropriate fate of a prime minister who is now past his ‘sell by date’.

Bone Cells, disintegrating (‘melting’) under pressure, as seen under a microscope

ttle scratching around for the precise import and context of the phrase ‘हड्डी गलाना’ (melting bones) suggests quite a different sense from that which has so incensed the guardians of the righteous republic (TV).

With due respect to Republic TV, its editorial and research team, and its star anchor, I offer for their consideration  the fact that the phrase ‘haddi galaana’ / ‘हड्डी गलाना’ (melting bones), for which Jignesh Mevani is currently being excoriated, was used to suggest the notion of an ‘honourable sacrifice’ by none other than a bad poet and worse prime minister called Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who also happened to be the BJP’s founder and leader. This was done, in what I suppose may be described as the ‘inspirational’ poem titled –  ‘आओ फिर से दिया जलाएं’ / ‘Aao Fir Se Diya Jalayein’/’Come Let Us Light Lamps Again’, which should not be unknown to BJP activists across the length and breadth, at least of the Hindi-Hindu-Heartland. Here is the exact citation :

आहुतिबाकीयज्ञअधूरा

अपनोंकेविघ्नोंनेघेरा

नव दधीचि हड्डियां गलाएं

अंतिमजयकावज़्रबनाने

आओफिरसेदियाजलाएं

A rough and ready translation of this fragment in English could read as follows –

the offering remains, the sacrifice is incomplete,

we are surrounded by our enemies,

to make the thunderbolt-weapon (vajra) for the final victory

new Dadhichis must melt their bones

come let us light lamps again

Vajpayee and Dadhichi

In this fragment, Vajpayee, like Mevani, is offering an exhortation to become ‘new Dadhichis’ (Dadhichi is the sage in the Sanskrit canon who saved the gods by melting his bones into the weapon that could be wielded by Indra) by ‘melting bones’ (नव दधीचि हड्डियां गलाएं) so that the ‘offerings’ or आहुति in the ‘sacrifice’ (यज्ञ) be completed. Whatever I may think of Vajpayee’s poetry or politics, I have no hesitation in saying that he knew his Puranic references. So does JIgnesh Mevani. Neither Arnab Goswami, nor Sambit Patra have the cultural anchorage, or even a sense of their own history (as in a knowledge of Vajpayee’s poetry) or traditions, to do that.

Here is a link to the complete poem on kavitakosh.org Incidentally, the great Gujarati city of Ahmedabad, has an area called ‘Dudheshwara’ on the banks of the Sabarmati, which is supposed to have been (in some mythic time, according to a ‘sthala purana’) the site of the ashrama of Dadhichi. Similar distinction is also claimed for the town of Misrikh Neemsar, in the Sitapur district of Yogi Adityanath ruled Uttar Pradesh, which is supposedly site of the puranic Naimisharanya, where the sage Dadhichi had his ashram. People who talk a lot about ‘sanatan sanskriti’, the greatness of the puranic tradition, and Gujarati ‘asmita’ usually have very little idea of what they are talking about.

If they did, then Modi, Adityanath and their followers, and their lapdogs in (Banana) Republic TV would be honored, rather than insulted, that Jignesh Mevani has given them such a great deal of respect by associating them with the bones of Dadhichi. Mr. Mevani clearly knows what he is doing. As usual, the real question is, why are ignoramuses like Arnab Goswami and Sambit Patra still in the business of fooling the public.

The ‘Bones of Dadhichi’ Design on the Param Vir Chakra Medal

It may also be noted, in passing, that a representation of ’Dadhichi’s Bones’ features as a heraldic ornament on the Param Vir Chakra medal which the Indian military gives as a decoration to those it considers to be brave warriors. Indian nationalists of the Hindutva persuasion should be proud of being referred to as ‘auto-osteo melters’, ala Dadhichi. But maybe that is expecting too much, as they have yet to produce evidence that their crania contain any matter other than bone.

5 thoughts on “Jignesh Mevani, The Meltdown of Modi-Men and Dadhichi’s Bones

  1. Anupama

    Was delighted to watch Jignesh Mevani’s interview – even if my Hindi is pretty basic, the body language and facial expressions of this truly passionate young man assured me that it was he who spoke sense. BTW did not watch it on the highly repugnant RTV but caught it in another local lady’s interview with him the same day. Feel really good after a very long time to read this article that goes into the history or should I say puranic history behind the words uttered by Jignesh Mevani that our dear rabble raising friends who are supposed to be saviours of Hinduism have no inkling of. Permit me to add a remotely related puranic input – all the way from Tamil Nadu – if anything, Jignesh Mevani’s advice to Modiji was “thanthaikku upadesam seitha Siva Bala” – “the son of Lord Shiva who lectured/ adviced his father” – please take good notes of this all Hindutvavadis – for the very next line of that song says ” Sura samharam seitha, sulayudha kumara” ” the one holding the weapon to vanquish the evil Asura” – but rest assured the only weapon he seems to have is the passion to serve the people really really down under…

  2. Prabhu

    SHUDDHA fabulous this is just too much… Quoting vajpayee takes the cake.. Please I hope jignesh gets the full allusion… And of course also Modi… Bravo

  3. Aalok

    Arnab Goswami (Republic) and Times Now habitually indulge in libel and slander. No one seems to have the courage to take them on.

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