Rahul Easwar (Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook) has always been a mystery to me. I have never met him but I do see him on TV often, he seems to be the go to guy for anything to do with Hindu society. Often defending, in my opinion, the indefensible. He is young and articulate in both Malayalam and English, perhaps there are only few like him on his side of the spectrum. He is popularly referred to as activist but he prefers the label, “Reasonable, Responsible Right of Centre Position in Political Spectrum”.
I decided to ask him on Facebook if he would answers some questions for us. This interview was conducted over email. If you have followup questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.
Over several appearances over the years on television debates, you have repeatedly stated that homosexuality is a psychological problem. Have these views changed over time or do you still hold on to them?
Homosexuality is not a disease but a deviation in sexual behavior. Human beings basically belong to the animal kingdom. There has been reported instances of homosexuality among animals too, but it is such a less percentage that it can be termed a deviation or ‘non normal’ behaviour. Purposefully avoided using the word abnormal.
I wholeheartedly agree to the Supreme Court’s verdict and position that social acceptance should come before legal acceptance.
[Edit: Some videos and links provided by Rahul]
Al Jazeera English where I even openly differed with Sri Subrahmanyam Swamy calling it a disease:
We need not be homophobic – Times Now.
Supreme Court’s position is the reasonable view on this – Mathrubhumi TV
In the last 10 years, there has been a steady decline for the Left space in Kerala. Why do you think this is so? If there is no Left in Kerala, who do you think will benefit?
Yes, the Left is shrinking, they need to reinvent themselves.
As a proud Keralite; the Left is somewhere in the soul of every Malayali. Both my wife and I were Kairali’s anchors for long and my father was a card holding communist party member who held party positions when he was young.
But even though I am Left hearted, I am Right minded. Realistic enough to understand the changing world, but to channelize that growth combining with distribution for holistic development.
The Left needs to reinvent and adapt to modern times It is quoted about Karl Marx, the only thing without change is change. We live in a world where even change is changing. Incidentally my company, Thoughts Academy’’s tagline is even change is changing.
It will benefit whoever fills that space, whoever is intelligent, fast, accommodative enough of that space, they will win it.
I have noticed several times, again only on television and social media, it is men who are very aggressive against you. I can understand this might be on account of jealousy but how do you deal with it?
I am neither good enough or big enough to be a target of jealousy.
I think the people who get aggressive with me, beyond gender, genuinely believes what they believe, a Left or Far Left position. It is their conviction that they fight a Right of Centre position. My respect for that. But I think they are dogmatic. They are more sincere and committed than a Far Right, careless, socially irresponsible person. But the base paradigm of Left is being destabilized. It is time to move to a new paradigm.
Their ship is sinking. I have nostalgia for that ship but that ship has damages beyond saving. So let us take the people on that ship on board. Honour the memory of a ship (the Left) that we Malayalis had been sailing for past 70 years.
Do you really feel that MF Husain insulted Hindus? Perhaps that was his way of showing how much is was fond of the religion? If he was a Hindu painter, do you think the reaction would have been the same?
MF Hussain-ji is a good man and a good painter. We are not against the painter but some of his paintings.
I wrote a blog post in 2007 and went to the Kerala High Court where Justice HL Dattu (present Supreme Court Chief Justice, the then Kerala High Court Chief Justice) gave us a favorable verdict and stopped the Kerala Govt’s decision (MA Baby Sir’s) to give Raja Ravi Varma Award to MF Hussain.
I’m sure you will be surprised to hear that Sri MF Hussain officially signed the petition to Indian Government not to promote Raja Ravi Varma in 1992, (Illustrated Weekly).
I was the secretary of youth wing of Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) Thiruvanathapuram and we have carried a protest of silent march against the distorted depiction of Jesus Christ in Da Vinci Code. I admire the movie, wonderful. Saw it two days ago on HBO I think. But unfair to present Da vinci code as factual history.
Our groups were one of the first to file a petition against hate movie Innocence of Muslims which abuses Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and is a hate movie against our Muslim brothers. When I was in London, I was privileged to work with Muslim groups in protecting their sensitivity against Draw and insult Prophet Mohammed. If they don’t like him being painted, let us leave him and them. I was one of the faces and voices as being a Indian and Hindu. I can voice a moderate Muslim sensitivity better without being branded a Muslim extremist.
I had to privilege to meet Hussain-ji twice, once in Dubai and once in London. I was honoured to have a cup of tea with him. He asked me, are you against me, I replied “Sir, I’m against labelling your picture as Rape of India.”
Who would you call secular Jacob-ji? Sri MF Hussain who filed a petition against promoting Raja Ravi Varma and left India for Qatar when he had a good offer? Remember he is a millionaire, he could have easily employed an advocate to fight legally but choose not to. Or Me? Who believes in Intellectual criticism of all Religions sparing no one but caring for sensitivities of everyone?
Are you still the joint convener of Hindu Parliament and the ‘Vishala Hindu Aikyam’? Isn’t being Indian more than being Hindu?
The Hindus in Kerala are imploding from within. Kerala has one of the highest percentages of suicide, depression, divorce, drug abuse, old age issues in India. As DGP Dr Siby Mathews discovers in his PhD Thesis, approximately 50 percent of Kerala’s population is Hindu and 80 percent is the suicide rate in this 50 percent. (Reference – Malayali Engane Marikkano, DC Books).
Please do watch this when your time permits – 700% increase in collapse of family and help us create awareness.
The Hindu society is in chaos. It may not be possible to entirely structure it like Christian, Islamic communities. But our goal is a semi structured Hindu society with preserving freedom and better bonding between each other.
Regarding the question of Indian and Hindu, see video:
Always, as I told to Taslima-ji once, for me, an Indian Muslim is more important than a Bangladeshi Hindu.
Do you think girls going out, visiting pubs, talking to boys, or wearing modern clothes are against Hinduism or Hindu culture?
Girls are as free as boys. But should be careful about sexploitation, exploitation masking itself as freedom.
The Centre Left is falling for the market conspiracy by Far Right in alcohol issue:
Do you support a beef ban in Kerala?
No need for any ban but it is advisable that in a nation like India some regulation & some adjustments are made for all communities.
Cow protection is a constitutional value. Article 48, and also enshrined in Directive Principles of State Policy.
Cow protection was dear to Mahatma Gandhi, Vivekananda, Sri Narayana Guru. Even though one need not be too obsessed about cow protection, we shouldn’t forget that slaughter of these have more punishment in communist cuba and Islamist Iran!. History and culture of a land and her sensitivities also play a role in protection of cows and animal rights.
Do you see yourself formally joining the BJP?
Man is a political animal – misquoting aristotle 🙂
I have a Right of Centre Paradigm and Position. Sometimes one has to be a bit extra loud to be heard and nuanced positions with surgical precisions wouldn’t always be a winnable proposition. I wouldn’t shy away from opportunities to serve my motherland and her people.