I remember our history teacher in 10th Standard. I loved her classes. I still remember her explaining Ramayana in a whole new light, which I find relevant in present context.
Rama with Sita & Laxmana was exiled to Dandakaranya. We can presume it to be along the Vindhyas, in present Madhya Pradesh and adjoining regions.
If we look from North, beyond the Vindhyas, lay the land of the Dravidians, a civilization assumed to be predating the Aryan Vedic civilization in the North.
Rama was a Kshatriya, so, undoubtedly an Aryan or Aryaputra.
Now, let us get into the Anthropology. Pardon me if I sound racist, but my sole intention is to explain it in simplest words.
As per Sir Herbert Hope Risley’s anthropological categorization of the ancient Indian population, we can know
“He identified three principal racial types in India viz. The Dravidian, the Indo-Aryan and the Mongoloid”
How did the Indo-Aryans look like? Since they have a Persian origin, so, tall built, wide-shouldered, and a fair skin tone.
“The people are of tall stature with a fair complexion, dark eyes, and plentiful hair on face and body. They also possess predominant long head (dolichocephalic), narrow and long (leptorrhine) nose.”
How did the Dravidians look like?
“The stature of these people is short or below medium. The complexion is dark, approaching black. The hair is similarly dark and plentiful with an occasional tendency to curl. The eye colour is also dark. The head is long and the nose is very broad, sometimes depressed at the root.”
Let’s think logically now.
Ravana abducts Sita. Rama, and Laxmana journeys south to save her. They come across what we know as Bali & Sugrib and the Banar Sena.
A duo of immensely proud KSHATRIYA brothers, as all Aryans were (and are) proud of their physical appearance and strength – have never seen the Dravidian population. To them, the short-statured, dark-skinned and hairy Dravidian population find a derogatory familiarisation with apes.
Topped with the composer’s imagination, behold, we get the Banar Sena.
The irony is, a major group of shamelessly and baselessly proud Bhakts who still jump up and about flaunting their fair skin and tall height, and racially demean the South Indian population as per their appearance, and devoutly worship Hanuman as their Ultimate God, do not realize this contradiction. Though I doubt they have the brains to understand history, even though it’s racist, still the irony makes me smirk.
Recently I came across an article claiming that Hanuman was born of an illegitimate affair between Shiva and Vishnu in his disguise as a woman – Mohini, which gives Hanuman an Aryan lineage. This is blatantly false even as per popular mythology, as the child of Shiva and Mohini is Ayappan who is being worshipped in Tamil Nadu for centuries (check the Wiki link). It seems a desperate propaganda by the Bhakts to vehemently deny a Non-Aryan origin to their favourite God and spread false information among the general public, with the basic aim of re-establishing a dead Aryan supremacy.
And as for Ravana, he has been portrayed as a Rakshasa, monster. Even according to the mythology, a person who abducts someone’s wife to avenge his sister but still doesn’t lay a finger on her, a person who has been blessed with immortality by the Gods, was he truly fit to be a “monster” in the general sense of the term. Now one may say that Rakshasas are a tribe of Sri Lanka (yes I have heard that explanation and never deny it completely) but the general idea among the majority of North Indians is that Ravana is a monster, a bloodthirsty cannibal with a monster army. That’s another point I wish to highlight. However, let’s shelf that for another day.