After terming Mahishasura a hero during Dasara festivities, Dalit scholars of Osmania University have now outraged orthodox Hindus by lionising Narakasura, whose killing by Lord Krishna is celebrated as Diwali.
These scholars contend that Narakasura, the son of the earth goddess Bhudevi, was no demon but a king who was defeated in battle by Lord Krishna and Satyabhama in a deceitful manner.
As people celebrated Naraka Chaturdasi on Thursday, a group of Dalits in the Osmania University observed it as vardhanti (death anniversary).
They also offered floral tributes to a picture of Narakasura in the Arts College Campus raising hackles among conservative Hindus.
The scholars asked people not to celebrate Diwali and claimed that Dalits belonged to the lineage of Narakasura and other so called “demon” kings who they say have been portrayed as evil by upper castes.
OU SC, ST, BC and minorities students also organised a seminar ‘Narakasurudu — Raakshasuda (demon) or Rakshasuda (protector)?” wherein participants claimed that history has been distorted to project all those who lost wars as demons.
“We are observing Narakachardashi as vardhanti (death anniversary),” said Mr Visarvardhan, a research scholar. “It is not an occasion to celebrate. We are trying to set right the facts. Narakasura is amaraveerdu (martyr) and not a womaniser.”
“Nowhere in the world does anyone celebrate a death,” said the Dalit scholar, Prof. Kancha Ilaiah. “Nowhere in the world have Gods killed people except in India.”
However, the BJP spokesperson, Mr N.V.S.S. Prabhakar, disagreed with Dalit views and said Diwali symbolised the victory of good over evil and was not related to the death of any individual