Marxists as museum pieces

· Date:August 1, 2011

Marxists as museum pieces

High profile Marxist academicians of Kerala have been taking very keen interest in the sensitive issue of the new findings in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. Most of the party leaders have been prudently reticent, obviously for fear of public anger. What the intellectual giants want is to keep all the valuable articles found in the temple vaults in a state museum, for public exhibition. There is nothing unexpected about this, because for them religion, temple and spirituality are all meaningless and dangerous superstitions. Of course the large followers of the party are not with them in this anti-religious attitude. But the intellectuals are a different class. They hardly communicate with the masses, as they still live in an ivory tower of irrelevant theories and obsolete ideologies.

This is neither a new phenomenon nor something peculiar to Kerala or Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. This is inherent in the communist psyche all over the world. They have put in practice this ideology which prescribes places of worship and religious and devotional items to be exhibited as artefacts in museums. This has happened in the Soviet Union and communist China (both in the mainland and in Tibet). But, in the twists and turns of history in the communist countries the entire process has been since reversed and instead of sacred places turning into museums the party itself has become a big museum, while temples and churches have emerged more powerful than ever.

Herbert Genzmer in his catalogue of world famous holy places published in 2010 considers the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Sergiyev Posad as not only one of the biggest and wealthiest monastic enclaves in Europe but as also the spiritual apex of Russian Orthodox Christianity. After the 1917 October Revolution the communist regime declared that the treasures of the monastery had to be preserved. The monastery was converted into a museum. During the World War II, Russia was threatened by Nazi Germany and communism was immune and incapable to arouse the national consciousness. The Orthodox Church proved to be a catalyst for linking the Tsarist legacy of Russia with Orthodox Christianity for awakening the nation. In 1945 Joseph Stalin returned the monastery to the church and in April 16 1946 service was conducted in the cathedral. But much of its treasures was lost.

This was not an isolated incident of communist regimes annexing wealthy institutions using state machinery and transforming them into museums. The Alexander Nevsky monastery at St Petersburg was famous for its treasures. The communist government demanded that the treasures have to be preserved in a museum. The monastery was transformed into a museum, government office and storeroom. Huge shares of its priceless antiquities were looted according to Richard Cavendish in his UNESCO report on World Heritage Sites published in 2008. After the fall of the communist government in Russia all these monasteries have been declared heritage sites by the UNESCO. But the question is who shall replace the looted treasures from these sites placed in museums in the name of preservation?

On a descriptive study on Buddhism published by the Oxford University in 2003, Damien Keown describes that the cultural revolution of communist China proved a catastrophe for Buddhism. The Red Guards destroyed Buddhist temples and looted enormous treasures. The Chinese Buddhist Association was founded by the People’s Republic of China on 1953, which promoted a revisionist interpretation of Buddhism according to Marxism Leninism, insisted the monks to be loyal to the communist party. According to a study by John Powers in 2006, in 1959, 6,000 Buddhist monasteries were destroyed in Tibet by communist China and enormous treasures were robbed under the pretext of keeping them in museums. The treasures of the famous Sakya and Lithang monasteries were looted and then bombed. Numerous historic documents on Buddhism were destroyed.

When a team of Tibetans visited China in 1982-83 to retrieve Tibetan artefacts a Chinese official told them in Beijing that most of the statues were destroyed and those of pure gold and silver were taken away. Those of gilded copper, bell metal, red copper brass were ferried to Luyun from where they were eventually sold to foundries in Shanghai, Sichuan, Tai Yun, Beijing and Tianjin. The foundry called Xi-you Qing-shu (precious metal foundry) situated five kilometres to the east of Beijing, alone purchased 600 tons of Tibetan crafted metals. The team found that almost all artefacts taken by other foundries had already been melted down. Religious texts were burnt and mixed with field manure and sacred Mani stones were used for making toilets and pavements. (1996 Official Report of Central Tibetan Administration)

The Marxist ideologues and historians have kept an eye on artistically rich and wealthy institutions as a worksite for ideological digging. The setting up of museums was politically motivated to interpret the preserved antiquities in accordance with Marxism Leninism rather than their archaeological and historical context. Vladimir Radyuhin, has pointed out that Russia is witnessing the revival of the Orthodox Church and its gradual establishment as state religion. Radyuhin perceives that the Kremlin promotes the Orthodox Church in order to fill the ideological vacuum that the collapse of communism has created. The steady growth of the church can be comprehended from how the mayor of the Moscow was compelled to withdraw the land offered to ISKON fair construction of a temple following protest from the church. Indeed the government has helped to build new and restore thousands of churches including the cathedral of Christ the Savior near Kremlin, the largest Orthodox Church in the world. As observed by Radyuhin the cathedral stands as a symbol of orthodoxy replacing Marxism Leninism.

President Medvedev has emerged as an ardent supporter of the church and was instrumental in giving orthodox theological schools the same status as secular universities. Following the approval in December of a controversial law to restore religious organisations property and assets seized by the communist regime, museums and archives have been compelled to vacate church premises and surrender religious artefacts.

Indian communism, which once held promises of being the alternative to the Congress — remember the slogan ‘After Nehru, Namboodiripad’ — now shows signs of taking the Soviet and east European route to dissolution and disappearance except as skeletons in the museum of history.

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  1. Bij Sharma Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Communist Threats
    Communism is a disease and only cure is to ban them from earth! To be a communist or socialist one need a sick mind, to claim others wealth to be distributed by any means. I am glad in USA we don’t have communists and their evil designs. Most communists in Kerala are nothing but inhuman criminals, and now looking to loot and destroy Hindus temples and culture. Communism grouped with religious fanatics from so called minorities are curently distroying the very fabric of Hinduism and need constant vigil and defence to save Hindus from ellimination. We need strong leaders to stop the threats, and elliminate so called minority clubs and their special rights, stop attack on Hindu wealth and culture, stop missionary conversions, and insults, along with Jihadi operations. 5

  2. comrade sukesh Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Timely changes required
    Marxism has many short falls and they are accountable for countless cruelities in many societies. This cant be used as an excuse to discount the contribution Marxists have done to the kerala society, the single ‘Land reforms’ proposal made it possible the abolition of Janmi-kudiyan transactions in kerala, the kudiyans mostly from the backward classes became owners of the land they tilled and was able to climb the social lader in kerala.
    The marxist policies are one of the reason for
    the unmatched progress kerala made interms of the human developement indicators.Atleast the beneficiaries of that wont forget the facts and Marxist roots will ever remain in kerala


  3. rajesh Reply

    August 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    i am not agree with cammunist idolagy but i belive the cammunism , isalm and chistianity in india especsailly in kerala helps or compelled hindu idologist and organisation to change the out dated cast systems and try to input a deep and strong thinking of hidus. 5

  4. gokul menon Reply

    August 2, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Communism is nothing but capitalism minus profit focus. Both the C’s are materialistic isms. If communism had remained focussed on sharing material things equally amongst all they may still have survived. But it is their focus on looting and usurping forcefully from other non communist beings that has resulted in their downfall. In any case communism is actually a western tool used by the church to initially make a human being desperate and then convert to xianity. It is after all a reactionary project work by an individual without any macro view of humanity akin to arabian religious thoughtlessness. Im ok you’re not ok syndrome is the basis for western and desert religious thought as opposed to eastern philosophy of all are ok.

    It is also prudent to point out that all western thoughts and inventions are nature invasive and nature predatory ,be it the car ( burns fueal and pollutes the air), be it the mobile ( causes radiation related problems in humans), be it the TV ( makes a mess of human relations) or communism or capitalism ( destroys and feeds on nature)
    It is high time that people realised the good effects of Sanathana Dharma and focussed on building on the good values of this great dharma and karma centric way of life.

    Good Luck

  5. Siddarth Reply

    August 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Saviours of the masses of kerala
    Agree with com Sukesh, if lakhs of Ezhavs(thiyas), pulayas etc has grown socialy at par with the rest of communities ,marxists defenitely have a claim on that. They are the prime force behind the dismantlement of a structure driven by slavery , superstitions confirmed and approved through certain thelogy 5

  6. Ghatotkacha Nair Reply

    August 3, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Fake claims of Communist Land Reforms
    Comrade Sukesh in his ignorance parrots mindlessly the Communist party propaganda on the Land Reforms.
    Please see my rejoinder to the false claims of the commies in my blog. 5

  7. Archpagan Reply

    August 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    To Comrades
    1000 year long Muslim-Christian domination was solely responsible for economic backwardness of the lower caste Hindus. Casteism benefited all sections of society. Among the rural population Bramhans were as poor as the SC’s. C P I (M) actually stands for Criminal Party of India (Murder).

    After going through the article I am reminded of the following nursery rhyme by Rabindranath
    Punthi kata oi poka
    Manush se jane boke,
    Boi keno se je chibiye khai na
    Ei lage tar dhonka.
    (The worm thinks it is strange and foolish that man does not eat his books.) 5

  8. Dr.Deepak Das Reply

    May 30, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Resolve of the Year 2013
    Dear All,
    Take a vow “I’ll mouse-click to send this message to at least 10 persons”.
    Dear Friends,
    Our mother land Bharat is seized by foreign forces and now it’s almost out of our hands.
    Our enemies are M8.
    1. M: Missionaries: Foreign funded NGOs are backing them.
    2. M: Maulavies: Saudi Arab’s petro-dollar and Pakistani ISI’s logistic support.
    3. M: Maoists-Marxists: Again Foreign NGOs are providing fund support.
    4. M: Maino Sonia Gandhi–Led Congress Government: Anti-Hindu: Vatican Pope inspired “Breaking India” and looting India agendas of this millennium.
    5. M: Maya-Mulayam-Mamata: Pseudo-secularist-Power hungry-politicians.
    6. Macaulay’s children: Hindu-name bearing-Pseudo-secularist-English-speaking Intellectuals like Mahashweta Devi-Arundhati Roy-Nirmala Deshpande.
    7.M:Mass Media[TV,Newspaper,Radio]:Burkha Datt;Arnab Goswami,Rajdeep Sardeshai;Karan Thapar;Kushwant Singh are only few to name. They have chosen prosperous career of Hindu-bashing and attached to Hindu-Hating machinery.
    8.MP,MLA,MLC:They are the pot-bellied, power hungry politicians. They can sale their mothers, sisters and daughters to foreign forces just for personal petty gain. But they don’t know the story of Jogesh Mondal,the only Hindu Schedule Caste Minister of Muslim League during the partition and had to run away from Pakistan to take refuge again in West Bengal. So these politicians will be butchered by these Muslims after the goal is achieved by them.
    Now, India is sold to them. It’s no more a land of Hindus. What Mohd.Ghori and East India Company could not do despite their utmost efforts over 1200 years; these alien forces easily and subtly could do the same thing in just by 65 years.
    Read the following lines below and know where you are:
    Sinister efforts and designs are underway to selectively appoint the Christians and Muslims in sensitive and powerful positions within the administration. Here are only a few glaring examples of it:
    1. Chairperson of the co

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