My wife and I were visiting the grave of my father, more than a year ago, during Ramzan time. Graveyard of the local mosque, Poruvazhy village .I saw someone diligently following us; he left once we reached the grave. On our way back I saw him busy making the kanji (rice gruel with umpteen herbs) for the Iftar. On a massive vessel, on a makeshift hearth on the front yard of the mosque.
I wasn’t really happy that he was following us, so I started a conversation with him. I asked his name. He said Bhaskaran. “I was not sure who you were, but once you reached the grave I knew who you were. I regularly water the jasmine plant you have planted there’, he said. We had a conversation about the Kanji and I tried to give him a gift. He refused, saying ‘your brother gives me money’. I later asked my brother about Bhaskaran. He belongs to the Dalit caste, my brother also tries to give him money but he wouldn’t take.
I was so happy about a mosque where the food is made by a cheerful Dalit.
Now a story about the nearby Dargah, called Mayyathumkara. Kunjikkuty was a great storyteller in our childhood. She would occasionally come to our house- with a lot of stories and songs. A Paraya (Dalit) lady, single, with great skill in making bamboo articles and she would stay with us for a few days before she disappeared, often to Mandakkadu temple.
Some 4-5 years ago I saw her on the road, aged but healthy. I asked her about her welfare. She said she was doing the caretaking of the Darga; she sweeps, cleans, puts the money devotees give in the contribution box, and so on..(incidentally, most of the devotees are Hindus) .Then she complained that the manager was not paying her well. I told her to bargain hard, and in the meantime not to put all the money in the contribution box, only after she had taken her due share. She said, no I will never do that. She didn’t take my argument that God doesn’t need money.
I wanted to ask her to sing an old song but didn’t ask fearing that her memory would be failing. I haven’t seen Kunjikkuty after that, nor did I stop there to ask. A Dalit woman caretaker of a Muslim place of worship.
These are the ordinary stories of Kerala. The Sangh Parivar story is something to fool the gullible fanatics, a political project like the Nazis of Germany. Part of the ongoing project to brainwash. This will go on- love jihad, halal jehad, land jehad, upsc jehad, spitting on food, new and new stories will appear and get circulated using the media/political power.But one day soon the country and the society will detoxify itself of such elements and their fake stories.
Dr. S. Faizi , is a renowned ecologist and this is taken from his Facebook Page.