Brahminical Genesis of Hindutva and Left Politics in India

 

Shubhi

 “The Brahmins form the vanguard of the movement for political reform, and in some cases also of economic reform. But they are not to be found even as camp-followers in the army raised to break down the barricades of Caste. Is there any hope of the Brahmins ever talking up a lead in the future in this matter? I say no. It is useless to make distinction between the secular Brahmins and priestly Brahmins. Both are kith and kin. They are two arms of the same body, one is bound to fight for the existence of the other”. ~Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar in Annihilation of Caste,1936.

Bapsa poster rajesh

 Brahminism and the Brahmin in India have survived through different labels (state, government, seculars, liberals, left, ruling class, capitalist, class, ‘Indian nationalists’, Hindutva, feminism, colonialism, ‘elite nationalism’, Congress, BJP, Indian academics, social scientists etc), and as a result has been able to hide its Hindu religious core. Left politics in India has masked its Brahminical face in the name of critiquing Hindutva thus concealing its complicity in upholding Brahminism. Hindutva due to its extremely violent tendencies in the name of the nation, nationalism has almost created an illusion of Hindu religion as benign. Hindutva has basically done service to Brahminism making people believe that Hindu religion is their personal faith and has nothing to do with the violence that Hindutva endorses. But this is a myth; it is this personal Hindu faith or religion which endorses caste dictated purity-pollution norms which is horrifically oppressive to lower castes. Hindu religious texts are filled with horrific violence and bloodshed of Bahujans. This division of Hindu religion being different from Hindutva has masked the exploitative nature of Hindu religion apart from other factors. Hindutva masked Hinduism. Hindutva originators are none other than Brahmins like V.D. Savarkar, Hedgewar and M.S Golwalkar.

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Graded Solidarity: An Interview with Ambedkarite Rapper Sumeet Samos

 

Tejaswini Tabhane

"Revising our past time and again.
It drives me insane,
Like a stream of current flowing through my vein,
Squeezing out all the gray matters of my brain.
I see too many patches of caste slavery stains.
In this very lane,
We will blow up Manu's kingdom no one us can restrain.
We busting all your myths, learn from us how to be humane.
Yo this is us Children of Counter Culture,
Counter Culture, this is us."

sumeetThese are the powerful rhymes of resistance of a charming young man who raps about caste-based oppression and exclusion. Music, poetry and dance are certainly not new to Dalit struggle, but rapping is. It is very courageous of Sumeet to introduce this completely new form of dissent to the movement when he had and continues have no supporting structures.

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Brahminism in India: Decoding the Politics of Universalism and Marxism in Jawaharlal Nehru University

.
Jitendra Suna

 
jitendra sunaMarxism and Universalism are always associated with progressivism in politics everywhere across the world. However, this so called Universalism can be detrimental in a specific spatial, geographic location. In the case of India, Marxism becomes the tool in the hand of Brahmins and upper castes, which has been used by them to preserve their caste capital and power. In order to maintain their long historical hegemony and social capital, upper castes use Marxism and Universalism as a tool to hide their Brahminical oppressive face under the banner of ideology.

The ideology of Brahminism and its logic is constantly changing. Ambedkarites are consistently challenging this hereditary disease i.e. Brahminism of Hindus which traditionally inherited thousands of years of history. This hereditary transmitted disease can be found in each and every walk of Indian life. Universities campuses are not free from it.

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Dilip Kumar: A Baghbaan of Pasmanda Movement

 

Abhijit Anand

abhijitBollywood and Society

We love, eat and pray Bollywood. Celebrities are celebrated beyond boundaries. Bollywood actors and actresses capture huge space of mind and they influence us the audience beyond the space confined by the cinema-hall walls. We carry stars in our lives and at times live stars' reel lives in our own real lives. So, it becomes pertinent that we discuss their influence that ruptures the society's discourses and the society at large. Unfortunately, Bollywood celebrities have faced a lot of criticism for their silences and mute performances when they were required to go beyond the call of their duty. This is not quite true in other countries in the spaces of art and culture, especially in Hollywood. A celebrity's advocacy for social causes is a norm and it reflects the maturity of the society at large.

George Clooney launched Enough Project; Akon, the Lighting Africa; and Meryl Streep, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), for instance. Meryl Streep's passionate speech at a fundraising gala for HRC, a national LGBT group at Golden Globes award ceremony, needs a special mention. She had not only won the Golden Globe award but also million hearts for heartfelt criticism of Donald Trump.

A celebrity's lack of interest in social causes and larger politics could be a matter of debate, yet we can safely posit that Indian celebrities have selfishly received from society and have failed to give back in return.

dilip kumar6

(Various shades of the superstar) Source: @TheDilipKumar (official Twitter handle of Dilip Saheb)

Dilip Kumar: An exception

Was this always the case? I am not sure, but there comes to my mind an exception to this general rule. And this exception is the exceptionally talented superstar and most loved tragedy king of all times, the first Khan among the Khans, Dilip Kumar aka Yusuf Khan. Very few people know that Dilip Saheb has participated extensively in the struggles of marginalized among the Muslim community, despite coming from an upper caste and having achieved an elite status among the elites of the country. This is quite rare and an exceptional feat. The thespian has spent a substantial time of his late working life off the stage, participating with activists of All India Muslim OBC Organization (AIMOBCO) for the rights of Pasmandas in Maharashtra.

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An open letter to Hon’ble Minister Mr. Ramdas Athawale

 

Raju Chalwadi

raju chalwadi 1This letter has been written in keeping with the philosophy that critical self-evaluation and accountability of the movement and leaders itself is necessary and a pre-condition for it to succeed.

 Dalit politics has reached a critical stage; the decline of BSP and co-optation of prominent Dalit leaders by the current establishment has put the entire project of Social Justice in limbo.

I hope the readers while reading this letter would consider me as someone who is concerned with the current stage of Ambedkarite politics and not as someone who is anti-reservationist or anti-Dalit leaders.

An open letter to Hon'ble Minister Mr. Ramdas Athawale

Respected Sir,

I am writing this letter to express my concern with regards to the situation of Dalits in "New India." This letter is specifically written to you because as you have been the only person in the current right wing establishment who has come from an 'Ambedkarite' tradition. A tradition which strongly resists discrimination in any forms. You not only represent a section of radical and educated Ambedkarite masses but also the Republican Party of India (a faction) which was envisaged by Dr. BR Ambedkar. How important the dream was for him to establish the RPI can be ascertained from the fact that despite being ill in his final stages of life he was busy in arranging meetings with leaders to finalize the structure of RPI. He wrote a letter to Ram Manohar Lohia on 24th Nov 1956 for the meet but Lohia responded to him by asking Ambedkar to focus on his health instead. But, he was not concerned about his health; he wrote two more letters on the night of 5th December 1956 just a few hours before his death; one to SM Joshi and another to Acharya Atre regarding the RPI. Such was his eagerness to establish the party which he thought would fight for the masses.

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Ganesh, Gandhi, Goumutra: The many scams of Brahminism

 

Obed Manwatkar

obed manwatkar"Hinduism  is not a religion, it's a disease." ~ Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

On 9th November 2014, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, a senior Journalist of the so-called 'mainstream electronic media' tweeted to the world that Mr. Manohar Parrikar and Mr. Suresh Prabhu were elected as full cabinet ministers. He proclaimed his 'Saraswat Pride' in that tweet.

Now what is this Saraswat all about? It is a caste-group of Brahmins.

Citing from Wikipedia,"The Saraswat Brahmins believe themselves to be named after the mythical Saraswati river, which was thought to arise in the Himalayas and flow through the present Punjab and Rajasthan region to the western sea near Dwaraka, in Gujarat. Saraswat Brahmins are mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhavishya Purana. The Saraswati river of Rigvedic and Vedic texts has been historically identified with parts of watercourses near Lake Pushkar in Rajasthan, Sidhpur in Northern Gujarat and Somnath in Saurashtra, Gujarat".[1]

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Save democracy from VVPAT

 

S. Kumar

The potential manipulation of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was demonstrated by Mr Hari Prasad in 2010. He published research papers with US Scientist and demonstrated on a TV show that EVMs can be hacked. Mr. Hari Prasad was jailed for his incredible work.

vvapt

Senior political leaders like Mr. Waman Meshram and others filed multiple petitions in the Supreme Court and campaigned against EVM for a long time. In 2013, the Supreme Court agreed that EVM can be hacked and ordered that the VVPAT method to be implemented by 2019.

However, even though the Supreme Court never said that EVMs can continue, the Election Commission continued the election process with EVM. In recent UP elections, charismatic leader Mayawati blamed the results on EVM manipulation. Many Maharashtra politicians could not get even a single vote (not even their own vote) in the local elections completed using EVM receently. Further, one instance of live demonstration of EVM machine with printer was captured on camera in Madhya Pradesh, showing votes were polled in favor of BJP even when votes were cast for another party. The polling officer even threatened the people present there with filing police cases if they they leaked the information.

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Toilet: Ek Prem Katha - Women's Liberation through the Manusmriti?

 

Obed Manwatkar

obed manwatkarToilet: Ek Prem Katha is a movie produced by Reliance Entertainment owned by Mr. Ambani, one of the main corporate sponsors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The theme of the movie is fine, since toilets are everyone's need, but the problem occurs when it gives illogical solutions.

In this film, Akshay Kumar plays the character Keshav, a modern Brahmin man who knows the Manusmriti (the law book of Hinduism/Brahminism) by heart. Keshav's father is also a staunch Brahminical mind, who believes that his son's marriage to a black buffalo would help improve his fortunes.

Keshav meets Jaya Joshi (Bhumi Pednekar), a Brahmin woman who belongs to a family that believes in Gandhism and the Bhagwad Gita, and falls in love with her. He eventually convinces her to marry him, but according to Keshav's father, Keshav's horoscope implies that he should only marry a girl who has two thumbs on one of her hands. Since Jaya does not fulfill this requirement, Keshav gets an artificial thumb made and gives it to Jaya, who wears it as a ring on her thumb. Keshav's unsuspecting father agrees to their marriage.

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The Importance Of Having An Ambedkarite Family

 

Tejaswini Tabhane

tejaswini tabhaneLast month I read an article "Some of us will have to fight all our lives: Anoop Kumar"1 on Round Table India where Anoop Sir talked about how students from marginalized sections of our society are asked many uncomfortable questions about their identity in higher educational institutions and how growing up in an Ambedkarite family can help them to tackle this identity crisis. Coming from an Ambedkarite family of Nagpur, Maharashtra and studying at this prestigious Delhi University, this topic is something I can relate to and this article is a small attempt to share my personal experiences and thoughts on it.

Some of you would ask why I am writing now about an article which was published almost a month ago. Today, something happened with me that evoked many thoughts in my mind and the only words reverberating in my ears was that of Anoop Sir's from that article. I attended a seminar on "Social Exclusion and Discrimination in India" organized by my college. When you discuss social exclusion the topic of Affirmative Actions or Reservation comes in. And you always have a heated debate on it. Here also, the debate was no different from any other space with lots of arguments being made against reservation by the audience which is no surprise. I was listening to all of them silently. I am otherwise a very introverted and shy student who will not speak even in my own classroom. And the name of reservation is enough to make us feel more uncomfortable.

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India and its contradictions

 

Raju Chalwadi

raju chalwadi 1This August 15th marked the completion of 70 years of Independence. The preamble of the constitution way back in 1950 defined India as a place where Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity will prevail and more specifically a place where oppressed sections will live a life with dignity. But, looking at the current condition any learned person can say that we have failed terribly in attaining the goal of just society. Why did we not become a land of equality as envisaged by our founding fathers?

The answer is clear: The governing class who historically constitutes the 'morally superior' group did not consider "others" as worthy of living a dignified life. The basic principle on which the social relationships of people of India are based is "Caste." Repulsion is the principle behind caste relations. Hence, by its very nature, i.e., antagonistic relationship defines one's thoughts and actions against 'others.' With this relation in mind, we can say that the progress of one social group morally hurts the others. Hence, providing equal opportunity to all is not in our psychology. And it is this 'psychology of getting hurt' that we have not yet been successful in creating a just society.

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Forging the New Indian 'Genius': the RSS roadmap

 

N. Sukumar and Shailaja Menon

I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity ~  B.R. Ambedkar

The RSS-BJP combine has fine tuned its political strategy and chameleon like forge their words to suit different occasions. Apparently the conductor of the grand orchestra is located in Nagpur. In his public utterances, PM Modi sticks to the goal of development, bringing in mothers and sisters along with soldiers as extremely valuable for nation building. He never invokes the guiding spirits of the RSS in his public addresses. In his 71st Independence Day speech, he appealed to the values derived from sudharshan chakradhari Mohan to charkhadhari Mohan. The 'nation' anyways is aware about the other 'Mohan' who is the soul force behind the 'cultural awakening' of Hindu India.

janeu terrorist

The alter ego of the prime minister, Amit Shah never minces his words about the ultimate agenda of his party. "It is only in India that mutts and religious institutions work along with the government and even more than the government for the welfare of society" (The Indian Express, Delhi, Monday Aug 14 2017, p-7) If religious institutions are better than the state why do we need the state at all? He dismissed very smoothly the entire ethos of constitutional morality, the democratic and secular country for which thousands braved the gallows and prisons in their fight against colonial rule. The RSS and its cronies were never part of this struggle and hence will not understand the price that ordinary Indians paid for achieving freedom, equality and justice. Their only icon- V.D. Savarkar cravenly begged the British to release him from Cellular Jail.

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Muslim and Pasmanda education: Affirmative Action issues

 

Naaz Khair

naazMuslim population (172 million) is the second largest in the Country, followed by Christian (27 million) and Sikh (20 million) populations (see Table 1).

Muslim literacy rates and levels of education from the latest census (Census 2011) have been analyzed to present the status of Muslim education in this article.

While Jains have the highest literacy rate (94.9%) with the least gender gap (difference between its male and female literacy rates is 3.9%), Muslims have the lowest literacy rate (68.5%) with the gender gap in its literacy rate almost three times (12.7 %) that of the Jains. Among major religions, only Muslim literacy rate is below the national average (73.3%). (see Table 2)

Muslim literacy rate when disaggregated by states and union territories presents a picture of wide inter-state/UT variations (see the map below). Kerala has the highest Muslim literacy rate (93%) and Haryana the lowest (53%). There is, thus, a huge difference (of 40 points) between the top and the bottom state. The map marks states and union territories that have Muslim literacy rate greater than the corresponding state/union territory average.

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