(Satish Kumar, Diksha, Kanagaraj and Bhupati)
Bans and appropriation have been prominent strategies of brahmanical forces to maintain caste hierarchy for thousands of years. They have sustained their hegemony by positing resistance cultures as illegitimate or immoral. This culture of banning is evident through the denial of access to Vedas for the Shudras and Ati-shudras or through processes of appropriation: as in the case of including Buddha, the social revolutionary who struggled against the brahmanical supremacy, into the Hindutva rubric by positioning him as the eleventh avatar of Maha Vishnu.
The BJP continues this brahmanical legacy, smeared with capitalist exploitation, with its agenda of banning cultures that question the supremacy, immorality and undemocratic nature of brahmanical system and assert the identity of the oppressed of the country: SC, ST, OBC and Minorities. This is evident in the recent Act passed by the Maharashtra government prohibiting and penalizing the consumption and possession of beef.
This heinous act deprives the oppressed of the country, comprising majority of the population from their cheap source of nutritious food as well as their cultural identity. This further reinforces the brahmanical agenda of constructing ‘Hindu nationalism’ based on hegemonic and hierarchical values. This is contrary to the Indian nationalism envisioned by Dr.B.R. Ambedkar which was founded on the principles of secularism, socialism and democracy. By this Act the ruling elite of the country are sending a clear message that the ‘nation’ will be built on repressive principles of exclusion where the majority of the beef eating population that includes religious minorities, SC, ST and OBCs are further alienated.
Globalization has been an effective tool for the dominant casteist Hindu culture in engulfing indigenous dalit, adivasi, and bahujan cultures. This process of expanding and homogenizing the myth of a monolithical Hindu culture is at odds with the resistance posed by the food culture of the adivasi, dalits and bahujans. This Act gives further impetus to the process of Hinduization by criminalizing alternative food cultures as illegal, redundant and thus nullifying and erasing them from the peoples memory and the democratic public sphere at large.
This will adversely affect the working people residing in Mumbai and Maharashtra, in terms of economy and nutrition. Standing next only to Brazil, India is the second largest exporter of beef. Not only will this adversely affect the employment opportunities of the poor people and also the removal of the cheap and protein rich supplement that beef is, from their daily diet, they lose on both sides. In this context of reigning Hindu fascism, let’s all join and fight against this act for upholding the democratic values.
Let’s join the struggle against Hindu Fascism!
Let’s strive for a Secular Democratic Socialist nation!
Let’s uproot the Caste System!