Journalist Saswat Panigrahi has highlighted a disturbing trend among left-leaning Odia poets, many of whom are state and national level award, winners. In numerous poems and statements, some of these so-called ‘intellectuals’ seem to be peddling blatant Hinduphobia, and a smear campaign against Hindu gods and goddesses.
In one of his Facebook posts on Ram Navami, Sahitya Academy award winner poet Rajendra Kishore Panda had written on Maa Sita, “In Ashok Vana, you were desirous of being raped by Ravana, and yet you cleared the Agni Pariksha easily, you cannot be trusted.”
Another poet Pradip Kumar Panda wrote a poem titled ‘Ram Navami’. With a lot of poverty porn and a cunning usage of issues of untouchability and lack of education, the poem depicted abject sexualisation and objectification of women in the Hindu goddess’ name, a theme often used by leftists to present their creations as ‘intellectual’.
Panda’s poem above can be translated as follows: “Sita, you could have been my classmate in school but alas, it never happened. Not because you were the mother of three healthy sons and four fair and beautiful daughters, but because of the fact that going to school was ‘not allowed in Puranas’. And because of the fact that it was your (Sita’s) job to collect leftover food, dead puppies and soiled nappies in the village”.
The poem further reads, “Some dogs in the village always follow Sita to her hut outside the village. The dogs were not lusting after her plump, undulating buttocks, but after the leftover food she carried in a mud pot on her head.”
Another such ‘intellectual’ poem by poet Subhashree Subhasmita Mishra reads, “She lives the life of a prostitute. For a selfish husband like Ram, who keeps on demanding Agni Parikhsha as the evidence of her good character, that too from her body. She climbs down to the pyre and smiles looking back at the world, mocking it. She lives the life of a prostitute, keeps serving her husband, keeps birthing children for him, nurtures them and writes poems in the midnight. Yes, she lives the life of a prostitute indeed.”
It is notable here that after the so-called poem by the above mentioned poet Pradip Panda received some backlash on social media, another poet Kedar Mishra shared a justification, asking the critics, “Are poets the contractors of your political emotions?”. Mishra then added, “Your political emotions are not based on Valmiki or Vyasa. Your Ram and Sita are the characters of politics and TV serials. There are many variations of the characters of Ram and Sita, available in the multiple adaptations of Ramayana.”
Mishra then brings in the ‘intellectual’ argument. He claims that the Sita of Valmiki and Sita of Balram Das, Bhanja, (Odia poets who had written grand poems on Ramayana which are celebrated in Odisha) are different. However, Mishra failed to mention that neither Balram Das nor Upendra Bhanja has ever tried to smear or disrespect Sita’s character. Their literary works are venerated in Odia households and are a part of Odia lifestyle because of the simple, poetic and emotional depictions of the stories of Ramayana. He went on to claim that the poems are metaphorical and the depictions are based on different interpretations of the epics.
Saswat Panigraphi had further informed that he had dared the poets to write posts on similar ‘interpretations’ and ‘metaphors’ of other religions. But was promptly blocked by them. He has further informed that police complaints have been registered against poets Rajendra Panda and Subhashree Subhasmita Mishra for hurting religious sentiments.
It is notable here that defence analyst Abhijit Iyer Mitra was jailed for over 40 days by the Naveen Pattnaik government in 2018 for hurting religious sentiments when he had mocked the sculptures at the Konark Sun Temple for erotic poses. It is painful to see that such blatant hatred against Hindu gods and cheap sexualisation of Hindu scriptures is being peddled as poetry in the name of freedom of expression and intellectualism.
Leftists have always ridiculed, insulted and peddled hatred against Hindu traditions, scriptures and Gods in the name of ‘intellectualism’. What is indeed saddening is that the same leftists have never dared to hold up their defences of freedom, bravery and intellectualism in their works when it comes to other religions. It is always the Hindus, Hindu gods and Hindu customs and rituals which are their targets.