The Tamil serials these days are full of the images and icons of Shaivism.
An aficionado tells me this is a recent thing.
This is a lazy blog-post in a spare moment. I don’t have the energy to insert the links, but google the Tamil serials, Nandini, Nagini, Mahamayi, Ganga, Keladi Kanmani, and several others whose names elude me.
Cobras slither through them and morph into human beings…usually gorgeous women who do battle with evil.
[Note that in Jewish lore, the female spirit/demon Lilith, supposedly the mate of Adam before Eve, is associated with a half-woman, half-serpent lamia-like figure.]
Goddesses named Amman (mother) abound in contemporary Tamil Nadu cinema.
The trappings of Shaivism from the trishul (trident) to the horizontal ash on the forehead appear everywhere, as well as images of Shiva himself.
Besides Kashmir, Tamil Nadu is the great center of Shaivite worship.
The serials play up the idolatrous, superstitious side of it….presenting it seductively… Black magic abounds.
The sudden appearance of such imagery this year, along with the (Shiva) bull-centric Jallikattu riots, makes me wonder.
Hollywood has always been a favorite venue for propaganda and the subliminal insertion of memes and imagery into the public consciousness.
There’s nothing to say the same thing is not going on here in TN, where cinema has such a potent hold on the minds of millions of people.
Christianity too has its Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who infused occult and pagan imagery into Christian themes.
But this goes beyond that.
This is more akin to Dungeons and Dragons or Harry Potter.
It is magic for its own sake.
It is an attack on the sober, agamic Hinduism of the aam admi that stresses moral duty.