We also occasionally see news reports of some leader or other of some caste/community calling their members to worship rAvaNa instead of rAma.
1. Worshiping kings serves no purpose, if they were only humans (of history). They can never protect or save individuals, communities and societies from invasions by foreigners. For example, India was plundered by numerous invaders, over centuries. Neither rAma nor rAvaNa saved the Indians. The real difference was the fire-power (guns and mortors), a strong urge to kill people and plunder villagers, which Indians lacked. Though, NOT PLUNDERING or NOT INVADING are noble qualities, this world does not respect noble nations or races.
Question: How to measure worship-worthiness?
Ans: Worship of rAma is based on his proceeding to forest, to fulfill his father daSaratha's desire. For this relinquishment, rAma will probably deserve respect and not worship as God. We have thousands of freedom-fighters in India, who have suffered greater hardships, than those suffered by rAma. e.g. bhagat singh, khudirAm bOse, chandrasekhar Azad, rAj guru, to name a few. Then, there were soldiers who laid down their lives in the First War of Indian Independence, India's War with China, Pakisthan. If rAma was the incarnation of Lord VishNu, whose incarnations were bhagat singh and khudiram bose?
Why temples are built for Shirdi Sai Baba all over India and no temples are built for bhagat singh?
Ans: People worship Gods/goddesses of all religions, and humans whom the people treat as Gods/goddesses, simply because they expect satisfaction of desires and perception of protection and security from the Gods and saints. People believe that Shirdi Sai Baba can satisfy their wants, while bhagat singh cannot satisfy. This satisfaction of wants should take place WITHOUT DELAY. The people are prepared to pay a monetary price for it, apart from prayers and worship, by themselves, as well as through the proxies i.e. priests. Even VATican wants proof of miracles, before beatifying a person. If no such proof is available, it will have to be contrived by those who want to spread the cult. rAma's feet touch a stone in Sage gautama's hermitage, and it gets converted into a woman, gautama's wife ahalya.
Does rAvaNa represent dalits or tribals or some other oppressed class?
Ans: It is very difficult to answer this question, in the absence of adequate evidence, in either direction. We can only say that battles took between/among invader races/tribes and native races/tribes. Thereafter, even intermingling and intermarriages took place, out of necessity. Thus, we are left with mixed breeds all over the country. We cannot say with 100% certainty, who is who and who is NOT who. Of course invader races/tribes tried to stop hybrid-izations and interpolations, by enforcing caste system and vilOma marriages. They succeeded in oppressing the defeated castes and tribes, but could not succeed in preventing hybridisations and interpolations.
In the light of this background, and in the context of the 21st Century imperative problems of India (poverty, hunger, disparities of income and wealth etc.), it will be more apt for Indians not to give undue importance to birth. We must realise that inheritance is the root cause of most of our problems. These inheritances are worse than the proverbial ten heads of rAvaNa :
Ten heads of modern rAvaNa 1. inheritance of political power
2. inheritance of income and wealth
3. inheritance of lazy occupations
4. inheritance of unduly large chunks of land
5. inheritance of sport careers
6. inheritance of filmy careers
7. inheritance of drudgery and slavery occupations
8. inheritance of corrupt, garbage and junk beliefs and knowledge
9. inheritance of rude behaviors
10. inheritance of greed for possessions and satiation of insatiable desires.
summary: We should live our own lives. Why should we worship somebody?
(To continue and revise, if any reader says his sentiments are hurt). सशेष. సశేషం.