P V Vijay Kumar
3000 years back, one day a Brahmin said to himself, before he went to sleep “How do I protect my livelihood and retain all the luxuries I am enjoying today. I am scared…I don’t want to rule dynasties and run a risk of dying in a war for enjoying my life. I have an option, to be wealthy, of doing a good business, but that is again another risky affair. My priest’s job and my representative role of Gods is too good. I have to sustain this. But , can I retain this only for me ?……Naaa…people will alienate me!..I need to portray myself as altruist. I have an option to protect myself in a group. Let me talk to my co-priests and see what can I do…”
Can you imagine the kind of grotesque thoughts that would have come to the brahmin, which generalised his individual problem and turned it into a social phenomenon? Can you imagine how imaginative and cunning one should be to superimpose one’s personal problems across of society? Can one imagine that even “skin pigmentation”, as a basis, can be used to drive the selfish agenda of a group?
Having taken this country through the path of painful polarizing politics for ages, the conscience of so many Brahminical forces in the country was pricked by Rohith’s death. It has been seen, for decades, that there is a wide condemnation of attacks on Dalits in Keelvenmani, Karamchedu, Chunduru, Kanchikacherla etc. by brahminical forces, as it directly questions the feigned democratic nature of brahminism. But the fact remains, the liberal brahminists remain in utter silence about the kind of circumstances that forced Rohith’s death, but choose to moan about the death alone, in isolation.
Consider these facts – the mission of Sangh Parivar, more or less, is to cleanse the education system and judiciary system is stabilised. Yesteryear’s softcore hindutvavadis are replaced with ideologically committed brahminical forces, which would take care of keeping a check on anti-brahminism creeping up in these institutions. Existing judges like Pratibha Rani get more teeth and they can portray all their manipulative skills, given a chance, to please the Govt. and their brahminical instincts. While this is so – dormant student forces like ABVP gets devil’s energy to go on rampage in Indian universities everywhere. As they get on a rampage, it is difficult to balance Dalits, left, ultra-left, revisionist left, dogmatic left etc., as the course of action they are embarking is complicated in education and cultural segments. In the course of the process of raising the Brahminist flag, which has been midlly saddled all along, it is difficult for the Sangh Parivar to differentiate pro-state and anti-state forces, meaning softcore brahminists too need to get sabotaged, at this point.
Exactly, this is the moment, a highly challenging climate is created against them and it is none other than Rohith who puts a strong question forward, “Can we ignore the atrocious nature of Sangh Parivar’s brahminism and its attitude to revamp education and cultural segments in India?”. It was a totally unexpected blow and also a totally unanticipated move from the dalit forces. Added to this, Rohith’s move also garnered support from mild brahminist liberals too, weakening the collective bargaining power of brahminism in India, for a while, especially when they were consolidating all the forces from all angles. This seemed appalling for the brahminical forces. Rohith’s self-immolation exposed the grotesque brahminism internationally and the winds of opinions on functioning and credibility of the brahminists came under severe questioning.
Consider another aspect – voices from educated minority sections like Umar Khalid are gathering momentum in Universities. Universities like JNU have been hubs for some or the other political debates, which have been purely academic in nature. The students wont see themselves align with rural masses of dalits and backward castes any time, which was once a visible trend, especially prior to liberalisation. The debates actually limited to students only speaking out their minds loudly at a gathering or a chai group, with a degree of emotions, obviously.
Now we have to mull over certain aspects here. When it is a common phenomenon of all stray debates happening at Ganga Dhabha or some place in JNU, why ABVP got mandated to activate its intelligence service so urgently and gathered police and brahminical media there? The action of ABVP is not a general in nature but specifically invoked in the context of the excellently and systematically shaping up of disapproval for the kind of attitude BJP showed in case of Rohith.
As usual, they invoked the old drama of patriotism and nationalism and indicted a softcore brahminist student union AISF, which is affiliated to CPI. The agenda of BJP is not to put another serious and stronger case like Umar Khalid in the forefront but to manipulate the context. The Sangh Parivar knew very well CPI and CPM were never real threats to their existence nor are they anti-establishment in the real sense. Had BJP put Umar Khalid’s case in the forefront, probably, the victory it obtained in case of Rohith, maneuvering diversion of attention and attenuating the problem during the Parliamentary session, would have been offset by bringing the issue of minority sections in educational institutions into limelight and would have augmented the problem of damaging its image more. As such, they needed a ‘not-so-materially pertinent’ anti-brahminical force for this rather than the case of Umar Khalid.
Observe this -Kanhaiya got bail, which was also anticipated if someone has basic common sense of legal process in India. But, what is forgotten is (i) it is an interim bail; (ii) it is conditional; (iii) and judgment pronounced is just imbecile which, perhaps, stands as one of the most uncommon blatant tones of Brahminism a judge ccould pronounce, bringing out Army Vs Students issue (Army is a paid employee section – Right? Army does rapes of Adivasis in Bastar – Right? Army does resort to fake encounters in Kashmir – Right? Army is run by Govt. but does not act on its own – Right? Army does not have a specific philosophy for itself – Right?), Nationalism (nothing but Brahminical imperialism) etc.
Unlike the students vested with the CPI persona, Umar Khalid did not have class or caste capital. He has been a long time target for Delhi police and ABVP forces. The over-glamourisation of Kanhaiya’s bail, which is actually a step backward by the progressives and democrats in waging legal battles, has successfully overshadowed the Umar Khalid issue. Umar Khalid is reliably learnt to be tormented by Police. Umar Khalid is, finally, reduced to his immediate identity (as said by Rohith Vemula and as admitted by Umar Khalid).
In the midst of joy and pandemonium over the false victory of the conditional interim- bail for Kanhaiya, brahminical ideology and apologist behaviour flowed like a river under the carpet. His brother quoted from Mundaka Upanishad “Satyameva Jayate “, which is the same language that the Sangh Parivar speaks, after all, and all social-media and electronic media went all out with this brahminical slogan as usual, as this is what they have been looking to propagate, the so-called Indian culture. Kanhaiya’s ideology could let him convey a convenient revisionist tone hurriedly disowning Afzal Guru. His apologetic tone went viral again, and, this is what Indian upper caste liberals were looking for, solace needed for backing him up. Kanhaiya’s revisionist Brahminism could immediately lay its hands on the same. And, very funnily, you can observe, the same brahminical cunning tone of pitting Rohith Vemula against Afzal Guru (Though he had taken a stand against Afzal Guru, still, if you can consider pardoning him, at least, we need to look for what he has broached on the kind of injustice done to Afzal Guru, which is absent ). Kanhaiya repeatedly reassured his faith in the constitution, in many words, and, after all, the same apologetic tone and toned down aggression is what Brahminical forces wanted to happen (the ‘ Azadi’ slogans are normal and there is nothing one can consider so emotional about the slogans).
Brahminism during the last couple of weeks successfully maneuvered to dimnish the intensity of Rohith’s issue and despite having adequate experience of Brahminical cunning, we, you and me and everyone, failed to foresee this move and caution ourselves. ( Let us realise that the Sangh Parivar, before next elections, might not prefer to go for communal riots but instigate a caste riot, which is more acceptable form of polarisation and let us keep a check on anti-reservation movement picking up at some parts of the country).
Umar Khalid and SAR Geelani were the real victims who have been targeted for a long time to get tormented at an appropriate time and Kanhaiya’s arrest drama has done more good to them than bad. SAR Geelani’s daughther came out publicly and said “I stand with JNU. And would JNU stand with my father?” Kanhaiya & co., might have got support of brahminical conscience because of apologetic tone adopted for anti-Afzal Guru tendencies. Would there be same reciprocation for Geelani?
This write-up does not intend to totally vilify Kanhaiya & co., but would like to bring out the style and fashion of operation of Brahminism at the ground level. Kanhaiya is just a tool used and, no doubt, we will see another Yechury in him in coming days, having given a face lift for revisionist and brahminist CPI in electoral politics space.
Simultaneously, we need to have a conscious understanding of Kanhaiya’s case in the wake of Rohith, Umar Khalid and SAR Geelani who are the real threats to, and victims of Brahminism. This is not intended to lead to a question – do we have to seriously wage a battle against opposing Kanhaiya’s arrest? All Dalit fraternity should consider these times as challenging and arm themselves and foresee how Brahminism can come up with various tactics and strategies. The Sangh Parivar tried to create another wound to lessen the intensity of the pain of one wound, but the Dalit fraternity, carrying age old wounds all along their bodies, should be ready for the battle to ram down brahminism in this country.
P Victor Vijay Kumar is working as a CFO of a large infrastructure company in Hyderabad; he is into literature and writings on various issues, mainly encompassing Dalit issues and opposing Hindu fundamentalism.