For, one good turn deserves another and another

Mysore, it was, that was the first province in the country to introduce caste-based reservations three-quarters of a century ago. And Mysore, it is, that is at the vanguard of ushering in a caste-free movement in what is easily one of India’s most caste-ridden States.

Or so it seems.

Last week, Sri Vishvesha Teertha swamiji of the Pejawar Mutt, took out a padayatra in Dalit colonies in the City, even lighting a lamp at a Dalit home to underline the fact that we are all cut from the same cloth.

On Tuesday, a Brahmin in Vidyaranyapuram did pada pooja to the Dalit seer, Sri Madara Channaiah swamiji. The swamiji will halt in the Brahmin’s residence tonight.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Dinesh Amin Mattoo‘s open letter to Visvesha Teertha swamiji

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16 Responses to “For, one good turn deserves another and another”

  1. Narayana Says:

    All this pada puja is bull shit. Whether done by Dalith or Brahmin to Dalit or Brahmin.

    It denigrates individual liberty and spawns of culture of servitude that effectively throws out rationality.

    If we did not have pada puja mentality we could have solved lingering problems of India long time back.

  2. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Sanyasis have no caste. To refer to the swami as a “Dalit seer” is ignorant.

    Yet, in an Orwellian sense, it seems quite futile to try to shed caste altogether… So, while some sadhus, even as they shed caste upon taking the vows of sanyasa, may join a sect or ashrama that identifies with particular social groups… as the swamis Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra and Sri Balagangadhara seem to have done.

  3. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    There ends Jagadguru Chennayya’s plan to stir trouble.

  4. M Vijapurkar Says:

    ‘Dalit seer’? Moment a man casts away the worldly, material belongings and dons the ashes, he loses his caste – so goes the belief. But we seem to continue to stick the caste labels to them. Unfair.

  5. div Says:

    In my opinion, India would be a truly casteless society when caste is absolutely not a factor in arranged marriages. That will be when people understand the cultural differences but accept them and respect them.

  6. Mysore Peshva Says:


    I don’t know if you’re married, but you may want to hold out with your strong language until your marriage day (– when the bride’s father offers you pada puja) :P

  7. Abhi Says:

    Well said Narayana. Pada puja is the living example of our subservient culture.

    Mysore Peshva – I got married recently and refused to undergo pada puja from bride’s parents (along with 101 other nonsensical traditions)

  8. Anshuman Patel Says:

    I second Narayana. Padapooja is not the way to go.

    However, I would commend these initiatives by Madara Channaiah and Vishwesha Teertha. If these can reduce the strife in the society so be it. But I only wish they get new symbols of assimilation and acceptance than padapooja.

    Our problem has been the unquestioning submission to our native rituals and customs while we rail against the desert or Abrahamic faiths and want them to change with times. Change they must and so should we when the current sensibilities warrant it.

  9. Narayana Says:

    Mysore Peshva :-)
    Oh really.. I am married but since ours was a love marriage I did not know that pada puja existed…

    Anyway..its time we stopped these rituals and started listening to reason rather than tradition. Problem with these rituals is that they condition neural reflexes to accept anything elders say without questioning

  10. armugam Says:

    do you know this madara swamiji was given 2 crores by yeddy government. why wouldn’t he celebrate the RSS?

  11. Mysore Peshva Says:


    Hmm… I am curious why you wouldn’t consider marriage itself as one of those “101 nonsensical traditions…” :P

    Sociologists (including Mysore’s own M.N. Srinivas) have long established that traditions not only reflect culture, they create it. From that standpoint, there is no inherent value in traditions — there’s nothing like a “sensible” tradition or a “nonsensical” tradition. Traditions are a sign of pattern-recognition, which is a function of basic intelligence. All culture is born out of tradition — even science is a function of tradition (of empiricism), and so is music. Of course, nobody needs to accept any of those traditions in his/her own personal life, but it helps to do so if one is trying to be part of a culture…


    I agree with you that we should start listening to “reason” but I would not contrast reason with tradition. That would be like saying, “I intend to only use my right hand… Doctor, please amputate my left hand!” Since you speak of reason, I assume you are aware that even Voltaire, whose activism against the Roman Catholic Church and the French king in the 18th century produced what some historians term an “Age of Reason” — even Voltaire supported traditions that were anti-Semitic, not because he thought the Jews murdered Christ or that they threatened Christian children, but because they were the folks that had made Christianity even possible! Voltaire once is said to have quipped, quoting some Italian politician, that “Jews have never had more than one good institution: a horror of virginity.”

    That’s just one example. The historical fact is that Voltaire, the father of reason, was a deep traditionalist… He loved social traditions of the non-Christian sort. Another example of his “reasonable” position is evident in his supporting the tradition of marriage. To Voltaire, “the more married men you have, the less crime there will be…. Marriage makes man wiser and more virtuous.” Of course none of those claims were empirically supported any better than opposing claims…

  12. Abhi Says:

    Mysore Peshva – leaving aside all your eloquent arguments (not convincing though, if I understood it), what remains to be answered is whether you like a 60 year old bride’s father washing your legs. Please do not give another page answer, yes or no would suffice.

    Science is tradition (of empiricism or whatever). Whatever that means, 1 thing I know about science is no one says – do not question a scientific theory because we have been following it for years. Which is the very definition of tradition – question not.

  13. Mysore Peshva Says:


    Well, my response is “no” but a yes/no does not, and should not, answer your question. I had hoped you wouldn’t be simplistic. The tradition in science lies in its method. Not its subject. One may pursue any question, verify any finding, but the method must conform. One may purchase any brand of car, but they must all have an IC engine and a steering mechanism and a transmission. That is the tradition that creates the automobile. It seems absurd to see any inherent value in that tradition, in a way of “sense” or “nonsense,” unless you seek to judge the automobile itself. That was the point I was trying to make.

  14. Vapus Says:

    “One may pursue any question, verify any finding, but the method must conform. ”

    Don’t agree. If the “method” is found wrong or inadequate it is discarded. it happens all the time. The term “scientific method” merely means the procedure is logical.

    Tradition is OK, as long as it does not impinge on basic human dignity. “Padapuja” does not qualify..sorry.

  15. JC Moola Says:

    Respect and treatment of individual with measured and just dignity/ respect is different than casteism. Losing the behavior/ ethics of treating a person with dignity/ respect is act of incompetency/ cruelty which stems from lack of confidence. Ridiculing everything native to India is an act of incompetent person who is a failure in every sphere of life and who is habitual to blaming someone else for failures.

    The current coverage is a good and great story and should go a long way to defeat Missionary and Mulla Liars who are failure in all spheres of life, including spirituality

  16. MS Says:

    What JC Moola has commented is just. hats off to you sir.

    You have rightly put across what I feel about this coverage. i suggest Abhi and Narayana pay heed to his comments.

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