Libmonster ID: IN-1377
Author(s) of the publication: I. P. GLUSHKOVA


The material for this article was accumulated during my trips to India and an analysis of the Indian press from 1986 to 2002: The Times of India, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Telegraph, and some other English-language dailies. as well as the English-language weeklies India Today, Outlook, The Week and Frontline; the Hindi daily Navbharat Times, Amar Ujala and the Marathi daily Loksatta, Maharashtra Times and Sakal. Different versions of the English-language newspapers The Times of India, The Hindu and The Indian Express were also used: Bombay/Delhi, Delhi/Madras and Poon/Madurai, respectively, which not only did not repeat each other, but also significantly differed in the selection and interpretation of information.

The main body of examples illustrates the situation with non-religious use of mythologems that has developed in the Hindu-speaking area of India (the Capital Territory of Delhi, the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh), and above all in the historical area of mesopotamia on the Delhi-Varanasi vertical. Here, the god Krishna and the positive characters of the Mahabharata are "in demand", but Rama and his entourage became the undisputed leader. A small number of these examples relate to the goddess Durga, which is more popular in West Bengal (Bengali) and Bihar (Maithili and Hindi), and the god Ganesha, which has long been "privatized" in Marathi-speaking Maharashtra (the protests against the "incorrect" use of the image of Ganesha, which were described earlier, were held by Shiv senators, members of a party that grew out of the regional Maharashtra party). In the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala, popular mythologems in the north of the country are used not metaphorically, but as components of religious rites. That is why my conclusions will be based on the main body that allows us to determine the principles of extra-religious use of Hindu mythologies and identify its system.

The Indian epics "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana" were always popular and before the preparation of critical editions existed in different editions and versions, having, along with the general basis, many distinctive details. Both epics were perceived as a common Indian heritage belonging to all regions and faiths. ,

Ending. For the beginning, see: East (Oriens). 2004. N 1. p. 5-27.

1 In Tamilnadu, for example, among the researchers of the Ramayana by the great Tamil poet of the 12th century. Kamban, which has never become a fact of religious life, is especially popular among Muslims, and they actively participate in festivals dedicated to the poet [Narayanan, 2001, p. 169-170].

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but they were most actively used by Hindus: "If anyone wants to discover literary sources of the Hindu nationalist imagination, they should first turn to the Mahabharata and Ramayana" [van der Veer, 1999, p. 118].

The Ramayana was famous for its "politicized" text even before modern times: "Hardly any other South Asian text has ever provided so many idioms or lists of concepts for the political imagination that were even approximately comparable in longevity, frequency, scope, and effectiveness [to what the Ramayana gave]" [Pollock, 1993, p. 262]. At the same time, the rise of Rama as a cult figure did not begin until the 12th century, when the king and royal power in India, first metaphorically, and then literally, began to equate with the figure of Rama and his ram-rajya [Pollock, p. 265]. Writing new "Ramayanas" in the royal/princely courts, with their saturation with local flavor, became the rule when a new ruler ascended to the throne, being in fact a legitimization of claims to power - so mythology turned into ideology. Over time, the epic became "retargeted": The new versions increasingly reflected the historical context at the time of the new text's creation and, while being binarily clear about dharma and a-dharma, soon responded to the strengthening of the Muslim rulers ' positions by depicting them as asuras and asuras. this innovation even permeated the later commentaries on Valmiki's original Ramayana (Pollock, p. 287), thus cementing the symbolism in the depiction of "friends" and "strangers" 2 . At the same time, the Persian translation of the Ramayana was accompanied by illustrations depicting the Mughal Emperor Akbar as Rama, the righteous ruler [Pollock, p. 287], and a great number of regional Ramayanas, created in almost all languages of India since the twelfth century, still remained a fact of literature.

A different fate befell the North Indian version - "Ramacharitamanasa", transferred in the XVI century to the colloquial dialects of the region - Braj and Avadhi (genetically related to the Hindi language) with some Sanskrit inclusions by Brahman Tulsidas. Initially rejected by the orthodox Brahmanism of Varanasi, where, according to legends, this voluminous work was completed, the Ramacharitamanasa, which proclaimed the ideas of bhakti-personal devotion to God, i.e. Rama, gradually acquired the status of a sacred text, and then the title of the "Bible of Northern India" [van der Veer, 1997, p. 80]. Its popularity was promoted both by the triumphal procession of Bhakti, which reached Northern India, and by the perception of the text as "one of our own" -not only created in understandable dialects of mesopotamia, but also asserting native symbols of faith against the background of the beginning of the collapse of the Mughal Empire and the revival of Hindu principalities. The national liberation movement already in the XX century also did not do without the participation of mythological figures. "When Mahatma Gandhi talked about his political ideal of ram-rajya, the ideal social structure of the god Rama in Ayodhya, he always used the language of Tulsidasa. Gandhi constantly quoted "Ramacharitamanas", known to most literate Indians, to support his political views. < ... > There can be little doubt that, at least in Northern India, Gandhi's constant appeal to Rama and his just rule-ram-rajya-had an almost universal impact on the Hindu population" [van der Veer, 2000, p. 174].

2 In the seventeenth century, for example, when the militant Marathi preacher Ramdas adapted the Ramayana to fit the founder of the Marathi State, Shivaji (of course, Rama), the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was depicted as Ravana; the court poet Bhushan, in a similar vein, transformed Aurangzeb into the ugly Kumbhakarna, Ravana's giant brother.

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Hans T. Bakker convincingly proved that the fictional Ayodhya of the Sanskrit Ramayana was identified with the important North Indian city of Saketa, located on the Sarayu River, during the Gupta rule in the fifth century AD (van der Veer, 1997, p. II) .3 Here, in Ayodhya, in the XV-XVI centuries, a powerful community of paramilitary ascetics-ramanandis, who perceive the world as lila - the divine game of Rama and Sita, was formed. It was in Ayodhya that Tulsidas is said to have started creating Ramacharitamanas. The mechanism of religious expansion-the discovery and appropriation of places "lost" in previous yugas - was triggered and accompanied by an increase in worship of the ready-to-fight Hanuman and, of course, Rama himself ,which " reflected the reaction of the elite of Northern and Central India to the changing political and cultural context caused by the Muslim invasion... "[Lutgendorf, 1994, p. 234]. In the 18th century, already under the British rule, Ayodhya, freed from the Nawab rule, began to turn into an important center of pilgrimage [van der Veer, 1997, p. 37]. The conflict between local groups - various Hindus who held competing sacred sites in their hands, and Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities (the latter were still at war with each other) - which had been simmering in the city since the mid-19th century, escalated by the mid-20th century into a struggle for the construction of the birth of Rama temple on the site that was supposed to be it occupied the Babur Mosque, but remained local. It was only in 1984 that the relative calm of Ayodhya was disrupted by the campaign "for the liberation of the birthplace of the God Rama", initiated not by local rival structures, but from the outside! - from the communalist-nationalist VCP, strongly supported by the global Hindu diaspora [van der Veer, 2000, p. XI].

In 1987-1988, the Ramayana gained a foothold on the blue screen, finally establishing in the Indian mindset the iconographic image of a muscular god holding a bow and arrow at the ready, and " although the sectarian explosion and civil unrest were not special goals <...>, the screening of the Ramayana inadvertently gave an impetus to the imagery associated with Rama, and was easily adopted by Hindu nationalist leaders from the Sangha family [RSS], especially L. K. Advani" [Farmer, 1999, p. 102]. In 1989, under the auspices of the VCP, ramshiels4 were assembled and sent to Ayodhya for the construction of the future temple, and in 1990, L. K. Advani led the already mentioned "chariot procession" from Somnath, intending to bring it to Ayodhya, thus "appropriating" the space outlined by the circular route. Finally, on December 6, 1992, thugs from communal Hindu organizations destroyed the Babur Mosque, beginning a period of open confrontation with non-Hindu faiths.

Simultaneous participation in intellectual and moral experiences while watching the grand national epic together on television, according to the Center's plan, would have integrated the country into a kind of "imagined community" (Anderson, 1983), but the result was different, although predictable. "It is difficult to say," wrote political commentator Tawlin Singh as early as 1987, " whether the government was right or wrong in encouraging the Ramayana to become a global TV epic, soon to be followed by the Mahabharata, but it is indisputable that this has led to a wave of religiosity "[Indian Express, 25.12.1987]. At the same time, Tawlin Singh recommended banning the state-run channel Durdarshan from covering religious holidays and stopping the public participation of leaders of the INC (at that time the ruling party) in religious rituals. Many voices in different parts of India expressed strong protest against the TV screening of the Ramayana itself, and against the "standard" that it has become.

3 Many years of meticulous research by the Dutch religious historian and Sanskrit scholar H. T. Bakker are described in the extensive work "The History of Ayodhya from the 17th Century B.C. to the Middle of the 18th Century" (The History of Ayodhya from the 17th Century B.C. to the Middle of the 18th Century). Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1986), to which I cannot make direct references due to its absence in Russian libraries.

Ram-shila 4-a brick with Rama's name written on it, sent or taken to Ayodhya as an individual contribution to future construction.

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The epic is traditionally open to pluralistic interpretations. American scholars Sumathi Ramaswamy and Rich Freeman, who study Tamilnadu and Kerala respectively, in a letter to me dated March 7, 2003, summarized the attitude of the Indian South towards the Ramayana display as follows: "The South resisted in three directions - linguistic ('Hindu-language imperialism'), cultural ('Sanskrit imperialism') and ethnic ('demonization of Dravidians')."

The oldest extant regional Ramayana is the 12th - century Tamil version. Kambana, the court poet at the Chola court, along with the ideal image of Rama, offers the ideal image of Ravana - a great hero and powerful ruler, a connoisseur of music and a connoisseur of the Vedas. His love for Sita is also ideal: rejected by her, he patiently waits for the return feeling and "drives away the dry season, because his heart is already drying up with sadness" (Bychikhina, 1989, p. 59). High-caste Tamils are proud of this literary monument as a national treasure, but its new interpretation has taken root in the Indian south and has led to a qualitative change in the perception of the heroes and anti-heroes of the epic. E. V. Ramaswamy (Naiker), the leader of the anti-Brahmin movement, who founded the Dravida Kazhagam Party (DC, Dravidian Federation) in 1944 and demanded He considered Valmiki's original Ramayana as a political text justifying the expansion of the Aryans to the south of Hindustan and the establishment of a North Indian tyranny in the Dravidian-populated region. Ramaswamy laid out about fifty claims against Rama in two pamphlets, which are still being reprinted, including in English and Hindi, where he paid special attention to the episode when Rama, who has already reigned in Ayodhya, kills Shudra Shambuka in order to resurrect a Brahmin offspring. Since about 60% of the population of Tamilnadu is considered a shudra, the situation where the killing of a shudra is justified by the restoration of the broken dharma has received a harsh anti-Brahmin interpretation in the demythologized polemic of E. V. Ramaswamy. As a result, he regarded Rama as a hypocrite, and Ravana, the ruler of a highly civilized state, as a valiant defender of Dravidian values. That is why E. V. Ramaswamy initiated the burning of the Ramayana (1922) and the images of Rama (1956), reproducing in an inverted way the semiotics of daser and ram-lil, during which the burning of effigies of Ravana symbolizes the final victory of dharma over a-dharma.

Followers of E. V. Ramaswamy, having adopted his anti-Brahmin rhetoric about the Aryan North's oppression of the Dravidian South, created another structure-the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK, Progressive Dravidian Federation), which, with alternating success competing with the VIADMK (All India Annadurai DMK), continues to influence the political climate of the leading South Indian state [Richman, 1991(2), p. 175-201]. In 1974, during the Ram-lila celebration, about five thousand DC members, in the presence of some DMK representatives, held their own ravan-lila, during which they burned images of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana [Klyuev, 1978, p. 230].

These are not the only precedents of this kind. Thus, in neighboring Telugu-speaking (Dravidian) Andhra Pradesh, despite the traditional recognition of Valmiki Ramayana by the upper castes, many anti-Tamayanas were created, reflecting the local anti-Brahmin and anti-Aryan attitude [Rao, 2000, p. 159-185]. Tripuraneri Ramaswami Chaudhary became famous as the author of the plays The Murder of Shambuka (1920) and The Suta Purana (1924) ("The Tale [narrated] by Suta (a non - Brahmana bard from the Mahabharata. - I. G.) [about Rama]"). In a Telugu author, Shambuka is called not just a sudra, but a Dravidian, ruined by Rama at the instigation of Brahmin ministers who feared a Dravidian revolt against the Aryan government; "The legend..." He also describes the just rule of the Dravidian king Ravana, who opposes the brahmans who came from the north, who light bonfires and sacrifice sacred cows .5 However, T. R. Chaudhary scrupulously followed the traditional poetic meters,

5 Velcheru N. Rao is convinced that T. R. Chaudhary was ahead of E. V. Ramaswamy's similar activities. He does not know whether there were any contacts between them or not [Rao, 2000, p. 383].

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he also gained respect among the brahmins. Instead, the brahmin Gudipati Venkata Chalam launched an attack on the patriarchal male chauvinism that permeates the epic: in the play Entering the Fire (1935), he focused on the famous episode of Sita's trial by fire, which Rama demanded to make sure that his wife was clean. Outraged by his distrust, Sita replies, "Ravana loved me. Even your sharp arrows didn't kill that love. And your love ended the moment you suspected that another man might have loved me.<...> Ravana loved me, knowing that I would not return his love... And I wish I'd answered." Sita then tells Rama that she must purge herself of the contamination she has received from reciting his (Rama's)name. Then he throws himself into the funeral fire where Ravana's corpse is cremated, i.e. he performs sati as a true pativrata in the name of the latter.

Ravana became a " personal hero "of some militant groups of Mahars (Dalits), the untouchable caste of Maharashtra, and a number of Dravidian tribes scattered throughout South and Central India; he is enthusiastically described in the" labor " women's songs of non-Brahmin castes of Andhra Pradesh [Rao, 1991, 132]. In Tamilnadu, the low-caste Nadars trace their lineage back to Mahodara, the chief minister of Ravana's court, and celebrate the day of Sita's abduction by Ravana as a religious holiday [Richman, 1991 (1), p. 15, 21], and the untouchable dancing caste of northern Kerala has deified Bali (Valin), the real monkey king treacherously killed by Rama of the Indian Empire. This made him the hero of a ritual dance, during which Bali takes possession of the performer (Freeman, 2000, p. 187-220). The lower the status of the caste, the more its members admire Ravana and other characters, often unjustly offended by Rama, preferring not to remember the declared Brahmanism of Ravana in the epic, which later forced kshatriya Rama to be cleansed from the most terrible sin according to the canons of orthodox Hinduism - killing a brahmana.

Thus, for a number of reasons (including the limited popularity of the religious cult of Rama, since in southern India Vishnu is worshipped as Venkateswara in Tirupati and Ranganatha in Srirangam), the South Indian states have remained "immune to hysteria about Rama"over the past decades. In Kerala, for example, with a fairly large percentage of the Christian population, the lowest ratings were recorded during the screening of Ramayana [Narayanan, 2001, p. 167-168]. In a television series that actively asserts North Indian hegemony, according to one observer (a high-caste Hindu from South India), South Indian realities and practices were used to characterize the monkey army and its generals, who are allied with Rama, but subordinate to him, and the Marxist Sitaram Yechuri noted: "Our consciousness learns that throughout the Ramayana, any king south of Vindhya is an animal" [Mitra, 1993, p. 154]. Famous documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan from Maharashtra, located between the North and South, made a video called " We are not your monkeys!", in which Rama was addressed with the song of the same name created by Dalits themselves dolits, protesting against the systematic oppression and violation of fundamental human rights under the banner of religion and mythology.

However, an inverted value assessment of "good" and "evil" and different characteristics of characters than in the Hindu-speaking area, or indifference to Rama and his exploits are found in different geographical and social strata of India.

One of the earliest regional versions, Kritibash's 15th - century Bengali Ramayana, constantly hints that the real bearer of the dharma was not Rama, but his father Dasharatha; Rama is first killed in battle with his own sons, Lava and Kusha,and then mercifully revived by Valmiki and enthroned by the sons who were born in the temple. true dharma recipients who can atone for their father's sins [Stewart and Dimock, 2000, p. 243-264].

In the same West Bengal, Michael Modhushudon Dotto's poem "The Death of Meghanad" (1861), which tells about the heroic death of Ravana's son, who defended his homeland from invading enemies, is also appreciated as a wonderful poetic example. Author

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he did not hide his position: "Here they grumble that the poet's sympathies in the Meghanada are on the side of the Rakshasas. And this is the real truth. I despise Rama and the rabble around him, but the thought of Ravana excites and ignites my imagination: he was a wonderful guy" [Seely Klin, 1991, p. 137].

In Mithila (Bihar), which is considered the birthplace of Sita, daughters are not married in the month of margshirsh, so that they do not repeat the fate of the unfortunate Sita, who was married at the same time; they do not accept suitors from Auda (the historical district where modern Ayodhya is located) and do not call Rama by name in wedding songs. Temples to Lady Janaki (patronym of Sita) are being built in those parts, where Rama and Lakshmana are present as minor deities [Kishwar, 2000, pp. 296-297]. In Maharashtra, where Vishnu-Krishna is recognized as a Vithal (Vithoba) from Pandharpur, while campaigning for economic rights for peasant women in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Shetkari Sanghatna (Farmers 'Union) leader Sharad Zoshi, a native of the Brahmin caste, explained to the crowd at village rallies that there was no such thing as a "no - go" system. The dharma could not justify Rama's monstrous cruelty to Sita, and encouraged the peasants to treat their wives with respect [Kishwar, p. 300 - 302]. Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, the north-eastern states (Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, etc.), Orissa (where Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Jagannath), most of Rajasthan and until recently Gujarat are indifferent to the figure of Rama, being focused on their own cultural symbols, verified over the centuries, etc. value orientations, which are used to turn public space into "your own". All the more indifferent to Vishnu symbols is the population of those parts of India that are characterized as "Shaivite" or "Shakti" and where they worship Shiva and Devi (the Goddess) and develop public space with the help of appropriate symbols.

T. K. Stewart and E. S. Dimok recall W. L. Smith's statement that the seventh and final book of the Ramayana is often omitted in regional versions, because it portrays Rama in a bad light (he casts a pregnant Sita into the forest, kills Shambuka, demands Sita's second trial by fire, etc., as a result of which Rama is often cast out of the forest). the final separation of spouses), but they believe that it is for this reason that it is much more often included, reflecting the perception of people who have never been fully integrated into the ideology that dominates in the "traditional Bharat", i.e. in the narrow space between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers [Stewart and Dimock, 2000, p. 260]. Listing the epochs of various governments that Bengal "endured" - Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, the East India Company, the British Crown, Inc., the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - the authors conclude: "Perhaps in Bengal, which has been harassed by many, resistance to power has become innate, as rulers come and go, and cynicism about the possibility of really good power has become a way of survival" (Stewart and Dimock, 2000, p. 264). Perhaps virtually every region outside the Hindu-speaking belt would find words to explain the reserved feelings about Rama. Even in central government structures, such as the Indian Parliament," defectors "who leave one party and join another are often referred to as" Ram came, Ram went " 6 !!! [Klyuev, 2000, p. 121].

The Mahabaharata, which is eight times the size of both the Odyssey and the Iliad combined, and has been retold in all the regional languages of India, has for thousands of years been an inexhaustible source of metaphor, as well as ethical and aesthetic arguments. The Pandava protagonists, each in their own way, have always served as role models, and it is rare for a court bard to resist matching his patron with the brilliant five, and more often with Yudhishthira, who bears the epithet "King of Dharma": The raja went to the tirtha-yatra and called many of his protectors.! Like Yudhishthira of the glorious work, taking with him the sages who are gods (I, 34) - so described in

6 " Ram " - New Indo-Aryan, without the final "a", a variant of the name of Rama.

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panegyric on the departure from Thanjavur of the local Prince Serfoji II (the first third of the XIX century), going on a pilgrimage (Tristhali, 1951). VHP invariably decorates its brochures with images of Arjuna's chariot, thus establishing continuity between the uncompromising nature of the most charming of the Pandavas and its activities.

The TV "Mahabharata" was generally stylized as a historical panel depicting Hindu India-Bharat, the core of which is religion. Mythological TV heroes looked like relatives to many, because they looked like characters of "bazaar art", but not silently looking at their admirers, but tirelessly fighting for the restoration of dharma, real "Hindu macho" [Mitra, 1993, p. 7]. The unhurried narrative of the 92 episodes of the Mahabharata was replete with carefully written Hindu rituals: coronation, wedding, various blessings, etc. In some episodes, for example, the camera zoomed in on Krishna giving the blessing, excluding the recipient/addressee of the blessing from the frame: In this way, Krsna appeared to be in direct contact with the viewer sitting in front of the TV, i.e., he penetrated into the private sphere, turning it into "his own". Tirelessly reproducing and replicating Hindu religiosity through a multi-part TV movie, Durdarshan TV channel singled out and presented it as the main cultural practice of India, thereby unifying rituals and turning other traditions into marginal ones [Mitra, 1993, p. 66, 94, 147].

The language of the Hindu Mahabharata, which is widespread throughout polylinguistic and multi-confessional India, like the Ramayana, has become refined Hindi: not the one that everyone understands, Hirdu (a mixture of Hindi and Urdu) of Bollywood cinema, but sanitized from extraneous impurities, saturated with heavy Sanskritisms, characteristic of the narrow Brahman stratum between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Ananda Mitra, a Bengali, identifies tele-Hastinapura, the capital of the Kauravas, as a North Indian city within the Gangetic Valley. This is exactly India, which is considered the birthplace of Rama and Krishna, and that geographical part of it, which is characterized as the Hindi-Hindu belt - "Hindu-speaking Hindu belt". It is this northern part that is reproduced as historical India, India in general, which is Bharat. The same is confirmed by the costumes - ordinary people are dressed as residents of the North Indian villages of the Ganges region: for example, a Hastinapur peasant wears a dhoti, and the clothes of the nobility are cut in the likeness of outfits from ancient drawings of the north of the country. The daily life of the Pandavas was also modeled on that of certain social groups in Northern India, and female characters were seen as the producers of dharma or a-dharma champions. As a result, each episode of the film adaptation relentlessly sent the same North Indian (despite the diversity that exists and is postulated in the well - known slogan in the country) ethnic message, supported by the nature of the accompanying music, dance and, of course, language [Mitra, 1993, p.105, 108, 111, 136]. "The Bengali version of the Mahabharata would be different," concludes A. Mitra, expressing the position of other eastern regions of India [Mitra, 1993, p. 129].

A similar conclusion in a more harsh form could be heard (and certainly was) in the statements of representatives of the Dravidian South, who are traditionally in cultural confrontation with the "alien" Aryan North and adamantly reject the "alien" Hindi imposed on them as the language of state or interethnic communication. As V. K. Madhavan Kutty, a native of Kerala who has lived in the Indian capital for 40 years, remarked: "I feel like an Indian in New York or London. In Delhi, I am constantly reminded that I am mala yali." 24.08.1998, p. 71].

The "cultural product" that followed the Ramayana film adaptation of the Mahabharata also consisted of selected and selected variants, the combination of which led to promotion throughout the heterogeneous space-

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the" ideal national image " of India and its reference heroes. An invariant made up of Pan-Indian mythological values on the one hand, and rooted in the ethnography, geography, religion, and language of the narrow North Indian region, the political center of modern India, on the other, helped legitimize the established order of things - the hegemony of the Hindu - speaking Hindu bloc. Both epics "were not only recorded, but also distributed by all possible means of mass communication, whether printed publications, audio recordings, TV projects or films. <...> These [means] have a unifying power in the sense that they force a large number of people to watch and listen to the same thing. This, however, does not mean that those who watch the same thing see the same thing" [van der Veer, 1999, p. 121]. To this observation of P. van der Fier, we can add that there is also something in common, guessed by those who "watched the same thing" - this is the awareness of deliberate cultivation, the general reaction to which was expressed by Khushwant Singh back in 1991: "Just look at how the government media is used to spread myths and miracles, similar to episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Let a mother tell her children stories from the Ramayana, but to show them for a year on Durdarshan is really putting illiterate and semi-illiterate people to sleep." by: Mitra, 1993, p. 149].


India, which came to state integration essentially after achieving independence in 1947 [Vanina, 2000, pp. 34-38], remains a country of regions in national terms, cementing its unity with the well-known slogan "unity in diversity". However, " It is quite easy to imagine India as a geographical, economic and administrative unity. The same cannot be said about its cultural and socio-political unity " [Klyuev, 2000, p. 123].

A complex historical process, as a result of which an individual realizes his belonging to a particular community, requires both a long time and a naturally developing mutual disposition when recognizing a certain role for artificial manipulation. This manifests itself in the development/appropriation of a common-pluralistic-space and endowing it with a selected / selected set of features that claim to be universal. With such an offensive unification ("antagonism is usually one of the most important mechanisms of integration" [van der Veer, 2000, p. 123]), imagined community is able to achieve the following goals: Anderson's scientific idiom reverts to its literal meaning - "imaginary community", i.e. one where Hindi is spoken, Rama and Krishna are revered in the form that they acquired as TV personalities, representatives of" bazaar art "and heroes of" comics", and dream of building a temple in Ayodhya. In this way, the main questions that a person asks in search of their own identity are solved.: "Who am I?" and "What should I do?", as a result of which he begins to recognize himself as a member of the community.

At the same time - as a by-product-a new construction of Hinduism is being created, 7 based on imaginary values: the inviolability and absolute polarity of dharma and a-dharma, and the perfect carriers of dharma-Rama (with his Sita, Hanuman, and ram-rajya) and Krishna (of course, the wise adviser from the Mahabharata, and not the mischievous cowherd girl from the Bhagavad-purana, with his support

7 The rise of Indian gods (Ganesha, Jagannath, Vitthal, etc.) is always directly related to "their relationship" with the ruling dynasty: a god "favored" by the ruler becomes a popular favorite, i.e. the government directly creates a religion, controlling its spiritual support and cult practice. See, for example: [Glushkova, 1999 (1), 1999 (2); Kulke, 1999 et al.].

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The Pandavas). The same construction becomes a "carrier" in the understanding of who is a real Indian: as a manifestation of symbolic unity with India, Muslims living on its territory, for example, must accept the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Rama and Krishna (and ultimately abandon Arabic names and Muslim private law) [Wright, 2001, p. 17].

VHP Secretary General Pravin Togadia, speaking at a rally in a Gujarati village, said:: "Since the ancestors of [Indian] Muslims are Hindus, where does their Arab blood come from? I advise all Muslims to check themselves for Hindu origin. I ask all Indian Muslims to examine their genes. Their blood will not be the blood of the Prophet Muhammad, but the blood of God Rama and God Krishna " [ The Indian Express, 21.10.2002].

In any case, Rama is actively called under the flags of communalist Hindu organizations, especially where the presence of "strangers"is felt. In the run-up to legislative elections in the predominantly Muslim state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is also on the "line of control" separating it from Pakistan (and is therefore constantly under terrorist attack), the VHP said it would "continue to recruit and train thousands of followers of Rama (ram sadhak)." [in this state] to promote a nationwide movement for [obtaining rights to] the land where Rama was born, in order to polarize the nation on this issue " [The Times of India. 13.7.2002]. This statement was made in the context of pre-election campaigning for votes in already blood-soaked Jammu and Kashmir.

By the way, there is no reliable information about how Muslims reacted to the demonstration of "Ramayana" or "Mahabharata". P. van der Fier shares only a casual observation (regarding the Ramayana, shown in 1987-1988, i.e. before the destruction of the Babur Mosque in 1992): "Many of my Muslim friends watched the epic as ardently as their Hindu neighbors. If I may make a very general comment, I was surprised that my Muslim acquaintances knew relatively little about the epic and considered the show a wonderful way to get to know it better. Often they were excited by what they saw and were completely absorbed in it, but at the same time distanced themselves from what was happening on the screen with phrases like: "How can Hindus believe in all this?"" [van der Veer, 2000, p. 123].

The idea of common Hindu unity, which has its roots in the mythological past-in the blessed times of Bharat, Kritayuga, Tretayuga and dvapara8and the codification-outside of critical editions-of the epic narrative become the basis for fundamentalism, which previously had no clearly defined "foundation" 9 . And the metaphors from the inexhaustible source of both epics, describing not just physical competition, but wars waged to the bitter end, do not even subconsciously imply consensus.

After the destruction of the Babur Mosque in Ayodhya, the VHP stated, " We expect others to respect the Hindu belief that the God Rama was born on the site where the [previous] building stood. Questions of faith are beyond the jurisdiction of the courts, the acceptance of historians, or the approval of government agencies." by: Pollock, 1993, p. 289]. By the way,

8 Epochs of universal prosperity and the triumph of virtue preceding the present kaliyuga.

9 In the novel Rampage, Shashi Tharoor recreated the setting of the agitation period for sending sheelbricks to Ayodhya in 1989 and put the following words in the mouth of one of the characters:: "Actually, it is somewhat strange to talk about 'Hindu fundamentalism', because Hinduism is a religion without foundations: there is no organized church, there is no obligatory [set of] ideas or ritual of worship, there is no single holy book." And then: "The vast, eclectic, all-inclusive Hinduism that I know recognizes that faith is a matter of hearts and souls, not bricks and stones. The Hindu is instructed to create Rama in his heart, and if Rama is inside, it will not matter where else he is or where else he is not" [Tharoor, 2001, p. 143, 145].

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being only a public organization, the VHP independently assumed a number of "cultural registration" functions, which often turn into acts of vandalism. For example, in the Buddhist Dasaratha Jataka, the Buddha himself is born in the form of Rama and goes into exile in the forest, accompanied by his sister Sita and brother Lakshmana. Considered one of the oldest, this version in the last decade began to attract dissatisfaction with the unorthodox interpretation of the VCP and related organizations - in August 1993, they destroyed an exhibition on the occasion of the 56th anniversary of India's independence, which among other exhibits showed a Buddhist text. This was followed by a lawsuit filed by members of the BJP against the organizers of the exhibition, accusing them of "criminal conspiracy" in connection with the image of Rama and Sita as brother and sister [Richman, 2000, p. 1-2].

The famous Indian artist M. F. Hussain, a Muslim, caused even more rage among the guardians of authentic Hinduism than the freedom of Buddhists. His sketches "Saraswati" (1976) and "Saved Sita" (1984) were the targets of widespread vandalism by members of the Bajrang Dal in 1996 (an art gallery in Ahmedabad) and in 1998 (the Bombay residence of M. F. Hussain). In the first case, the artist was charged with having dared to depict a Hindu goddess naked (the initiator of the pogrom action caught the eye of a book about M. F. Hussein with reproductions of his paintings), in the second case - the same thing, along with the statement that Sita sitting on the tail of Hanuman saving her looks more than ambiguous. Since both canvases depicted conventional silhouettes made in the spirit of "tradition + Art Nouveau", nudity was nowhere to be seen, and besides, traditional sculptural images of Saraswati (in particular) and Sita, according to leading Indian art historians, usually had no signs of clothing, at least until the waist part, then soon one of the most popular artists in the world did not show any signs of clothing. The Bajrang Dal leader stated, "Hindus can worship Saraswati whether she is naked or not, as long as the object of worship is commercialized" [India's National Magazine. 23.5 - 5.6.1998]. When performing any action, members of the Bajrang Dal invariably support themselves with the battle cry " Jai Sri Ram!" ("Victory to Rama!").

However, judiciously verified - in the spirit of the times - interpretations of "Amar chitra Katha", including or excluding certain episodes, do not cause complaints from voluntary censors. Based on Valmiki's Sanskrit Ramayana, the comic book version (N 10001) does not imply that Sita was forced to seek refuge with her mother Earth and was swallowed up by her: here Sita safely passes the test of fire, after which her and Rama's happy life in Ayodhya begins: "Rama ruled his kingdom wisely and wisely. strictly adhered to the path of dharma. People followed his example, and each performed his own duties. Universal happiness reigned during the reign of Rama" [McLain, 2001, p. 137]. The comic book version based on Tulsidas 'Ramacharitamanas (N 504) is even more direct: immediately after the victory in Lanka, Rama and Sita return to Ayodhya and, without demanding any proof of her purity, he simply tells her:" Sita, my dear, the days of our misery are over!"[Pai, 2001]. Both comics, while concealing the story of Shambuki's murder, do not hurt the feelings of the low-caste population. By the way, in his TV series, director Ramanand Sagar did not adhere to textual fidelity to either Valmiki's Ramayana or the North Indian Bible: his Sita herself begs Rama to send her into exile, which naturally removes doubts about the merits of Rama and ram-rajya.

An important factor in the development/appropriation of public space is the question of language, since it is the primary basis for the unity of community members. Since unifying mythological initiatives originated from the Center and many of them were distributed through State television, the state language of India, Hindi, became the natural means of their manifestation. Unlike other Indian languages, which are designated as "official state languages" in annex VIII to the Constitution of India, Hindi does not have an unambiguous relationship with either the ethnic group for which it would be a native language, or with a specific language.-

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a new territory. So, Tamil is spoken by Tamils from Tamilnadu, Bengali by Bengalis living in West Bengal: the former has a continuous line of development since the beginning of AD, the second-since the tenth century. Hindi is the language spoken everywhere [in Northern India], ... unless they say " Bengali, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarati" [Cit. by: Dalmia, 2001, p. 198] and other languages and dialects of other languages. Lexeme "Hindi", etymologically related to the word "Hindu" in its first-localizing-meaning " living [on the other side] Indus "(rather than religious - "Hindu"), was established quite late-probably in the early 19th century, as a name for a linguistic construct that was created by the parallel (but not coordinated) efforts of teachers at Fort William College in Calcutta, 10 English missionaries, compilers of school textbooks and-later-the first Hindu nationalists, those who still lived in the same "historical core" of mesopotamia: the codification of Hindi, carried out through a number of grammars and dictionaries, occurs in the 1860s-1870s [see: Dalmia, 2001, p. 146-221]. The earlier term Hindawi was used primarily as a demarcation feature, meaning "all other dialects except Farsi", and combined different - often unrelated-dialects and dialects of Northern India, among which were the Braj of the Delhi-Agra region, the Avadhi of the Ayodhya-Varanasi region, and others with a literary tradition. Khari boli (literally, "vertical, erect", i.e. a standardized language), a different dialect from Braja, used in the Delhi-Meerut area.

Simultaneously with the process of grammatical and phonetic formation of Hindi, its purposeful breeding with non - confessional Hindustani (also a "geographical" derivative) was carried out, within which it existed together with Urdu as lingua franca, and the formation of a lexical fund based on the "own", i.e. "Aryan", language-Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hindus. A special contribution to the modeling of Hindi was made by the nationalist - minded Indian elite of Allahabad and Varanasi, and first of all by the famous educator Bharatendu Harishchandra (1850-1885), who founded several Hindi magazines, through which he popularized this language, while continuing, however, to create poetic works exclusively in Braja. When faced with difficulties in spreading Hindi, he was disappointed to note: "Basically, people say that there is no such language as Hindi. I get upset when I hear this." by: Dalmia, 2001, p. 193]. His sadness was understandable - in the houses of mesopotamia, indeed, they did not speak Kharin, but in a variety of dialects, while in official instances Farsi was given the place of Hindustani (Urdu) and later English. Б. Harishchandra was not wrong when, in the face of incredible polylingualism, he believed that a common language draws together and creates a sense of community. Public space, the impact on which distinguishes a social and political leader, is most naturally created precisely because of a common language. The ability to communicate with the human collective through a common language (and share a common symbolism) includes a person in the community of "their" and suggests the answer to the questions " Who am I?" and "What should I do?", in other words, allows a person to deal with their identity.

B. Harishchandra appealed to the "Aryan brothers", who, of course, lived in "Bharat", and not in Hindustan, and lamenting the fate of Hindi - " aria bhasha "("Aryan language"), together with his colleagues actively participated in the retrospective process of linking Hindi with the ancient Indian classical heritage and masterpieces sredneveko-

10 Fort William College was founded in 1800 in Calcutta to train young Englishmen for service with the East India Company.

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vya. Thus, along with other famous works, Tulsidas ' Ramacharitamanas was also recognized as a Hindi language, and when linguistic criteria were replaced by ideological ones, and Hindi acquired a new genealogy, 11 a concrete step was taken to turn Hindi into the language of the Hindus of Northern India - the territory that was associated with the still undivided Hindustani, the Delhi Sultanate (XIII-XV centuries) and the core of the Mughal Empire (XVI-XVIII centuries). As a result, Hindi has become a value correlated with the word "Hindu" in its second meaning - "Hindu" (Dalmia, 2001, p. 217).

B. I. Klyuev's observation that" there is probably no other language in India that is so exposed to extralinguistic factors and so closely connected with politics as Hindi " (Klyuev, 1978, p.47) remains relevant in today's reality. In 1926, at the annual congress of the INC in Cawnpore, a resolution was passed that the language of activity of the congress organizations should no longer be English, but Hindustani (i.e. Hindi + Urdu). However, in the 1930s, at the peak of the national liberation movement, another idea was put forward-the consolidation of the dialects of Hindi - Janapada Andolan [Klyuev, 1978, p. 53-54]; at the same time, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, seeing the mixed nature of Hindustani as its strength, proposed it as the national language [Taylor, 1979, p. 263], which, by the way, led to a negative explosion of emotions in the south of the country: in the cities of Tamilnadu, for example, posters were hung on which The northerners "Duryodhana" and "Duhshasana" tore off their clothes from the Tamil speech depicted as Draupadi [Ramaswami, 1997, p. 78-79]. The events that followed in the 1930s and 1940s, which led to the "recognition of the existence of two nations" and the partition of India as a condition for the elimination of colonial status, finally made efforts to cultivate Hindustani completely meaningless. The official self-name of the new state was "Bharat", and the language was Hindi, although there were proposals to rename the language to" Bharati", which, by the way, could later lead to the" invention " of the 12 ethnos of the same name.

As a result of this course of history, the question " What is Hindi? The language of which ethnohistorical community is Hindi-a nation, a nation, or a nation forming into a nation?" [Klyuev, 1978, p. 47]. At one time, the proposed derivative "Hindustans", i.e. those living in Hindu stan and speaking Hindustani, could never be considered successful: for the inhabitants of Northern India, "Hindustan" meant all of India, and for other Indians-only its northern part; now this education has completely lost the "imaginary" basis on which it could be based. would have leaned earlier. The question that scientists are struggling with, residents of Hindu-speaking regions will answer by naming "their state, historical region, nearest city, and even caste or community" [Klyuev, 1978, p. 50], i.e., they will demonstrate the absence of a common self-name, which led B. I. Klyuev to use the streamlined phrase " ethno-social community, which is represented by the population of the Hindustan region " [Klyuev, 1978, p. 68], which formation, in fact, did not remain by the beginning of the 3rd millennium.

To the questions formulated by B. I. Klyuev, to this day, another one is inevitably added, which is raised by all linguists studying South Asia: what to include in the object of description called "Hindi" - a standard language that is widely used in the world.-

11 An extremely ideologized approach, in the spirit of ardent Hindu nationalism of the XIX century, to the question of the origin of Hindi is demonstrated by P. A. Barannikov's monograph "Problems of Hindi as a national Language", where Hindi is divided into "ancient" Hindi (Vedic and Sanskrit), "middle" Hindi (various Prakrit) and" new " Hindi (dingal, braj, maithili, etc.) [Barannikov, 1972, p. 13 et seq.].

12 Here, " invention "(art) is used as the term proposed by E. Hobsbawm [Hobsbawm, 1995, p. 1-14].

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distributed by the Durdarshan TV channel, All India Radio, and some mainstream publications in Hindi, or a real-world language that still splits into many dialects? Linguist Helmut Nepital summarizes that " the number of people who recognize standard Hindi as their main and only Indian language (whether they use English as a second language or not) is very limited. They mostly belong to families who have lived for several generations in large cities, are educated and belong to the middle class. The vast majority of Hindi-speaking countries...> is made up of those whose main language is a regional-urban or rural - dialect of Hindi. Out of the total number, only a minority, i.e. educated people, are bilingual in the sense that they speak both their own dialect and standard Hindi, while the majority speak only their own dialect, or their own dialect and some kind of non-standard or only partially standard Hindi " [Nespital, 1990, p. 4] 13 .

Not only linguistically and ethnically, but also historically, the Hindu-speaking belt of India did not represent a socio-cultural and administrative unity: after the existence of the mythical country "Bharat" in these parts, the power of one or another dynasty briefly reigned (Maurya - IV-II centuries BC, Gupta - IV-V centuries etc.). in the period before the Muslim conquest, small regional states periodically emerged and disappeared in this territory [Alaev, 2003, pp. 45-48; Vanina, 2000, pp. 12, 18; Istoriya..., 1968, p. 69-90] and the most" long-term " formations here were all the same Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire interspersed with small vassal units (Orchha, Datia, etc.). During the colonial period, in the enclaves of the North-Western and Central provinces that more or less corresponded to the current "Hindu-speaking belt", many formally independent principalities (Oud, Gwalior, Indore, etc.) continued to exist, maintaining their way of life and adherence to their collective values: local gods and local cults, sacred texts and historical figures. Despite the elimination of these principalities after the country achieved independence, the descendants of princely families, who cherish the traditions of their ancestors, still retain social and ritual authority. They often become representatives of a particular historical area as part of an electoral unit in the central government structures.

Yet the existence of not only a distinct, though dissected by the administrative boundaries of modern states, but also separated by the "imagination" of the rest of India, a "Hindu-speaking region" remains an indisputable confirmation that the region as a mental construct can also be created by political movements that exaggerate or invent its common symbols. Indeed, while it is very difficult to describe a Hindu-speaking region as an ethnolinguistic and/or historical-administrative and/or socio - cultural extension of 14 - whether viewed from the outside or from the inside-in contrast to almost all modern states created on the basis of an ethnolinguistic criterion, there is strong evidence from recent decades that allows us to describe a Hindu-speaking region as an ethnolinguistic and / or historical-administrative and / or socio-cultural extension. I'll detect it-

13 The question of which dialects are absorbed by Hindi in its modern modification remains completely open due to the debatable nature of the question of the relationship between language and dialect and other extralinguistic criteria that create the basis for the existence of modern Hindi.

14 This type of research is carried out on the example of some Indian regions, including E. Y. Vanina, who reconstructed the image of Maharashtra in the view of the rest of India [Vanina, manuscript], and I, who described the system of symbols that affect the mentality of the Marathi people [(Glushkova, 2000 (1), 2002 (2)].

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live in this region with a single political profile 15 . At the international conference "Indian Regions and Regional Consciousness", held in December 2001 in Pune (Maharashtra) jointly by the University of Pune and Arizona State University (USA), about 40 reports were presented, of which only one (!) - the report of R. Vora" The Hindu - speaking core as a political region " - addressed the issue of the development of the Russian language. regionalism on the example of the Hindu-speaking states of India. Having analyzed the results of central government elections over the past 35 years (from the late 1960s to the present) and the composition of governments formed, Rajendra Vora demonstrated that " the political behavior of the Hindu-speaking heartland differs significantly and constantly from the political behavior of the electorate in almost all other parts of India. < ... > Since most of the Northern states are Hindu-speaking the North and the Hindu-speaking belt have come to mean the same thing. " 16 And the legitimation of the political claims of the North is precisely what the characters of Pan - Indian (and not local-alien to other regions) mythology are called upon to carry out, and first of all Krishna and Rama (just as more and more "Ramayans" legitimized more and more new rulers of the Middle Ages).

The figure of the ideal God-man, as far as possible freed from compromising, from the point of view of modern morality, actions (Krishna - from pranks with cowherd girls, Rama - from prejudice against his own wife and sudras), besides a reliable defender of the dharma that guarantees a just world order, turned into a high-raised banner. Fluttering over the Hindu-speaking North, this banner outlines a certain public space, giving it the appearance of a cultural region with its own ordered symbolism, and the inhabitants of this region learn to answer the question " Who am I?" And "What should I do?" in what has become, at least in its literary form, almost sacred Hindi, that is, they acquire their own identity. On August 15, 2002, in an address on Independence Day, the country's Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Sushma Swaraj, 17 called on the producers of Durdarshan to take the old series Ramayana and Mahabharata as models for future programs [The Asian Age. 16.09.2002].

It cannot be said that the North's consistent expropriation of Pan - Indian symbols and their pragmatic use over the past 20-30 years18 does not cause rejection and rejection in other parts of the country. So, at one of the demonstrations in Bombay, protesting against the 1990 Advani rath-yatra initiated by L. K.

15 I am not inclined to consider Bihar as a full-fledged component of the "Hindi-language belt", firstly, because of its cultural appearance, which tends to the eastern-Bengali-type, and secondly, because of the strong language substrate in the form of Maithili, which received the status of an independent literary language in 1965. Bihar's model of political behavior also distances it from the Hindu-speaking states.

16 We disagree with him on which states should be united into a "single whole" - R. Vora in his analysis relies, among other things, on Bihar and Rajasthan, which I exclude from a single "cultivated" space due to the presence of their own regional identification in both. However, R. Vora is undoubtedly right when he points out that Madhya Pradesh is located in Central, not Northern, India, which, in my opinion, does not prevent its inclusion in the "North" as an ethno-cultural construct. I do not agree with R. Vora's opinion that " because Uttar Pradesh and parts of other states are the core of what was considered Aryavarta-the core of Indo-Aryan civilization, their inhabitants do not feel the need to understand themselves within the narrow limits of the region." It is precisely their cultural chauvinism that makes it so easy for them to appropriate and redraw Pan-Indian mythological symbols.

17 Since February 2003 - Minister of Health of India.

18 Anglo-Pakistani historian Akbar S. Ahmed believes that the use of Hindu symbols became part of state policy during Indira Gandhi's tenure as Prime Minister (1966-1977 and 1980-1984). In those years and in Pakistan, Indira was depicted on posters as Kali, the goddess of vengeance, thirsting for the blood of her enemies [Ahmed, 1997, p.223].

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From Somnath to Ayodhya, a poster of Rama demanded: "Leave me alone!" [Davis, 1999, p.54]. During Ram Navami and Janma Ashtami celebrations, riots often occur that are not related to the religious nature of the events, and therefore increased security measures are taken. The weekly "Outlook" expressed its attitude to the current practice in verse form: rhyme: Mirror, mirror on the wall,/Who is the worst - tell me:/ Daoud-mafioso or Osama/Or the hypocrite who says, " Rama!"? (translated by E. Yu. Vanina) [Outlook. 7.10.2002, p. 14]. At the three - day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Forum of Indian Immigrants) held in Delhi from January 9 to 11, 2003, one of the distinguished guests, Lord Navnit Dholakia, a member of the British House of Lords, used a famous story from the Ramayana about Hanuman tearing his chest to prove that the images of the Indian immigrant community were not true. The Ramas and Sitas were permanently lodged in his heart. Developing this metaphor, N. Dholakia said: "Similarly, the image of India is preserved in the breast of any Indian living abroad." Then Deputy Prime Minister of India L. K. Advani expressed satisfaction with the metaphor found by N. Dholakia, illustrating the complete loyalty of expatriate Indians to their historical homeland, which caused indignation of Nadira Naipaul. The wife of Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul, an Anglo - Trinidadian Indian, asked the Deputy Prime Minister from the spot whether he considered the use of a purely Hindu metaphor appropriate in a mixed forum where Muslims, Christians and representatives of other religious minorities are also present. [, sify news (16.1.2003)].

However, the Northerners traditionally in power in the center do not intend to give up their positions, continuing to reassure others: "We are of the same blood, the blood of Krishna and Rama, we are one community." And the gods, in the difficult time of kaliyuga, finding themselves on earth-as if in a public space, tirelessly remind: Whenever in this world/there is a decline of the dharma, / when blatantly vice triumphs,/I give birth to myself.

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I. P. GLUSHKOVA, GODS HERE AND NOW: HINDU MYTHOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR CREATING A NORTH INDIAN IDENTITY. Myth and culture. // Delhi: India (ELIB.ORG.IN). Updated: 26.06.2024. URL: (date of access: 21.07.2024).

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