Sub Caste Rivalry Is A Creation Of BSO
Dalit and Harijan
Our editor told us that, [VTR-Gandhi & Ambedkar, p.24, DSA, 1989] it was a Gujarati Brahmin poet, Narsi Mehta, who "invented" the name harijan for fatherless children of Devadasis. But Gandhi applied this name to SCs. If it was somebody else not knowing the language, life and literature of Narsi Mehta, there might have been some excuse. But Gandhi was well conversant.
There is a struggle going on for centuries between two ideologies in this country since times immemorial. They assumed various names and forms in the past. The present day protagonists of these are Phuley, Shahu and Ambedkar on one side and Tilak, Gandhi and Golwalkar on the other. Those who understood Phuley, Shahu, Ambedkar and Periyar are the Dalits, others are harijans Thanks to the work of "Dalit Voice", the word "Dalit", which literally means only 'depressed', has by now acquired a world wide connotation to describe SCs who revolt against oppression. A Dalit in not merely a SC. More one tries to depress him, more he bounces back like a foot ball, harijan is one who meekly surrenders and follows the BSO.
DV (July 1-15) makes one wonder whether we are dealing with an Inter-Dalit controversy, or harijan - Dalit controversy? Even if it is the latter, it is our duty to convert the harijans to Dalits. It should be our intention to patch up the differences and not increase the rift.
Article by G. Gopala Rao [Ibid. p.6] says, "... But in Andhra Pradesh, except the Malas, no other Untouchable community, with few exceptions, is paying respects to Babasaheb. Madigas in AP with minor exceptions, not merely dislike Babasaheb, but hate him. Why? The Chamars and Madigas hate Mahars and Malas. Why? ..." Nowhere in the article, G. Gopal Rao mentions, "Babasaheb is leader of both.", contrary to the heading. Your correspondent also reports [Ibid, p.7] that some tribals are also demanding categorization. One must consider these developments as unfortunate. Letters from V.V.S.N.Murthy, M. Premkumar, and G. Saddharma [Ibid p.16 ff.] narrate the tale of conflict among the sub castes among the Dalits. It all makes a sad reading about the conflict.
What is our duty?
I only like to invite your attention to letter by N.G.Uke [Ibid. p.19]. Brother Uke is one of the senior most retired technocrats, educated in U.K. and is an active Ambedkarite. He rightly avers that only the enemies of SCs would rejoice the division and fragmentation of SCs, says it is tragedy that DV is propagating caste wise reservations and wishes that DV should play a constructive and corrective role in future. Each and every word of his letter deserves serious consideration.
It is true that inter-caste rivalry is pushing SCs to hindutwavadi parties. We see that in Maharashtra also many SCs are elected on their tickets on the support of non-dalit votes. This phenomenon of dummies, i.e. chamachas is not new. It started after the Poona Pact. As a result, we find, even hundreds of MPs are insulted by refusing an interview with the President, and strange it may seem, none had guts even to protest. These dummy seats are lost to the Ambedkarite cause. The remedy is Separate electorates, for which people like our editor are struggling. So why not motivate various castes for separate Electorates rather than fragmentation of SCs?
Problems of Reservations
The problem of Political reservations, is to be considered as an integral part of Constitution making of free India. It has many problems, but not the problem of categorization. Mr. Naik, a member of Mandal Commission had asked for dividing OBCs into two categories. But this was not agreed upon by the Commission. If it is not suitable for OBCs, there is all the more reason to discard it for SCs and STs. In the question of Reservations in the services and education, the problems, according to me, are:-
1. Remove 50 percent limit.
These problems can be solved only through political power. When these problems will be solved, we, the 85 percent people, will be in a position of being givers of reservations rather than beggars.
Kanshiram and Mayavati's work
Whatever little is achieved in North India politically, is not because of strengthening of any perticular caste, but due to cooperation of all the various small castes. You only have to see the caste structure of seats of MPs contested by Kanshiram during last Loksabha elections, or for that matter even in recent Vidhansabha elections. Kanshiram and Mayavati have not tried to strengthen only chamar caste, as is presumed. About, the report of Indian express [DV June 1-15,97, p.5], Firstly, it should be considered as mischievous and an instigation for the savarnas against Mayavati, the cunningness of this report should be understood. Secondly, if MLAs of BSP have dared to append their jati names to their names, it is an effect of political power achieved by unity of all small castes and not the cause of it. One must not confuse effect for the cause. And thirdly, the very fact that Bahujans under Mayavati can organize inter caste hockey matches shows the affinity created by Mayavati among those castes and not the rivalry. All this indicates that Kanshiram and Mayavati have asked to strengthen all bahujans to come together and work for common good of all bahujans including dalits.
They never worked for "separate but equal" castes. Neither Dr. Ambedkar, nor Shahu, nor Phuley worked on these lines. They always worked to bring all together, demolishing walls among the castes, never ever, they advocated salvation of any individual caste or that of an individual person within a caste. A letter by Dr. Ambedkar to a mang youth is proof thereof. (DV. June 1-15,1997) In addition to that, I give here a direct evidence of speech of Dr. Ambedkar.
Views of Dr. Ambedkar
On his way to Matang Conference, Dr. Ambedkar delivered a speech at Karkam dist. Sholapur on 31.12.1937 (published in "Janata" 8.1.38) [Ed. M.F..Ganjare, vol III., pp. 130 ff.] As it is in Marathi, is not well known outside Maharashtra. I translate an extract from it. :
"... First, it is a misfortune of all of us that there is no unity among the various castes such as mahar, chambhar, bhangi etc. prevailing among the untouchables. The real reason for absence of this unity is the existence of caste distinction (jatibhed) in the Hindu society. Mahars, Mangs, Chambhars or Bhangis are not responsible for this caste discrimination. Caste discrimination is the gutter of dirty water (gataar gangaa) coming flowing to us from above. This is the shit (narak) flowing towards us. And because of this, we have to face the bitter fruits and its consequences. The painful part of it is that, Hindus, not only do not remove the caste discrimination among themselves, but on the contrary, they strive for strengthening the differences among the untouchables, taking undue advantage of their ignorance. They support Mangs and raise them against Mahars; They support Chambhars and raise them against Mahars and Mangs. They spread their policy of discrimination among us and thus prevent our unity. But though the original responsibility of the caste distinction is on Hindu society, for us, to forget our responsibility would be suicidal. It is our foremost duty to remove the caste distinctions among ourselves and prevent the entry of policy of discrimination among us. Unless we achieve this, we would never prosper. We must completely abolish the ban on inter dining and inter marriage among the Mahars and Mangs etc. If every caste sticks to its own caste for its pride, if Mahars remain Mahar and Mangs remain Mang, we would not be able to fight the injustice against us. What is there so great about the names Mahar and Mang, that you should feel proud of it? What bright history comes in front of your eyes by uttering these names, so that you should strive for preserving old traditions? All society is considering these names contemptible. Today you have no value even equal to that of garbage in the rubbish junk. So you must not have any pride for these names. You should understand that both our societies are getting crushed under one common grinding stone, and work unitedly. Talking about Mahars, about this, they are not willing to follow any caste distinction. They are ready to have inter-dinning and inter- marrying with Mangs, Chambhars or Bhangis. And if they are hesitant, I undertake that I will compel them for it. "
Our editors's Hypothesis
It is a favourite hypotheses of our editor that if the castes are consolidated then it would mean an end of the Brahmanism. This hypotheses is repeated by him so many times and in so many different ways, that he seems to be obsessed by it. It can be said that this hypotheses, though honest, is rather naive.
Are the castes not very consolidated at the moment? What more consolidation shall be expected or can be made to occour? What would be stages of destruction of Brahmanism? There have been times in the history of India when Brahmnism was on wane, was there any consolidation of Caste at that time? In any case, what exactly is meant by consolidation of Caste? How does fragmented reservation consolidate Caste and how exactly does it destroy Brahmanism? In the course of history, who were the dignitaries who consolidated caste during last 2500 years, and how was Brahmanism weakened during their times? There were many revolutionaries who tried to fight against the BSO in last 2500 years, was consolidation of Caste one of the weapons used by them? During last 150 years many fought against BSO, did any of them used this method? Has any body who has actually fought the philosophy of Brahmnism, ever advocated to strengthen the individual Caste? What is logic of this hypothesis? What are the sayings of old dignitaries, revolutionaries and men of vision, religious or social or political on this subjects? These and many other questions will have to answered, without resorting to polemics, on the established rules of logic and deduction, before such an hypothesis can be considered.
On the face of it, it seems wrong. Only in one case, it might work, as I put forward in my first article. That is, if the castes consolidate and ask for their share from the 15% walas, but as it appears, they are not bothered about who have grabbed their share, they are more worried about the crumbs and left overs. They wish to fight for that. They go to the extent of joining hands with the enemies of Ambedkarism. It is more important for them that the other sub caste should not get more seats in service and educational institutes. They do not mind if these seats are grabbed by the higher castes. Such is the mentality. How does this hypothesis becomes workable under such conditions?
What does the history of last century prove? Were there no harijans who submitted memoranda against Ambedkar to Simon Commission? Were there no harijans who claimed that they did not want Separate electorates? Were there no harijans who foiled the political progress after Poona pact in what ever little was obtained for all by Ambedkar? Were there no harijans who opposed Ambedkar and defeated him in elections, siding with BSO? Were there no harjans who deserted Ambedkar and opposed him on the issue of religious conversion calling it a 'political stunt'? Were all of them not consolidated in their own caste? If so, how did all these activities of these harijans weaken the BSO?
All these and other related issues need to be answered with a cool head.
All said and done the question remains, why should some castes rely on the others for their upliftment. Visibly they see that the competitor for them in jobs etc. is a person from other sub caste whose caste fellows are already in service. He is the only fellow from his caste but can not be selected as he is weaker that the other competitor. Then he likes to have a reservation for his own caste. This is the scenario at the present time.
The question of reservation is linked with participation in the governance of the country. Two types of reservations are in vogue. Political reservations are as per Constitution are time bound. They are being renewed every ten years. These are being demanded by the Dalit leaders to be scrapped out, but BSO is bent upon continuing them. Why? Because it gives them an opportunity to recruit the stooges who can raise their hands in support of their resolutions in Parliament and Assemblies. These seats are total loss to the Ambedkarite cause as there is no separate electorates.
The reservations in services and educational institutions are according to different Art. , and have no time limit. There is a heartache among the savarnas about these, and repeated attacks made on these some times openly and many times in guise of some pretext or the other.
What should be the Governing principal? This is the main question. without any hesitation it must be understood that the guiding principle is Ambedkarism. The leadership crisis should not crop up. Usual tendency in this country is that people follow only the leader of their own caste. We have to create a culture where person should not be important. It should be the principle. The people should be willing to vote for candidates of other castes, higher or lower, and people should be willing to follow the leadership of other caste person if he is preaching the principle of Ambedkarism. This is an essential feature of avoiding caste rivalries in the mission. All must be willing to accept Bahujanvaad. That is the need of the day.
We can find this kind of situation in modern Uttar Pradesh. The workers of BSP, of all the different castes follow their Dalit leader and voters of BSP, vote for candidates of any caste as oreders, and the top leaders follow the principle of 'jiski jitni sankhya bhari uski utni bhagidari' during the distribution of seats. This balance is not easy to achieve and it shows the adeptness of the leaders.
What is the gist of Brahmanism
We have been using various words like brahmanism, brahmanya, brahman vaad, manuvaad, sanatanism, orthodoxy etc. Now a days all these words are replaced by hindutwa or some new terms like bharatyatwa or rastriyatwa or national and so on so forth. Unfortunately each author uses the term ina sense known to or understood by him only and his interpretation is either unknown to the masses in general or unaccepted by them. Under these circumstances, it becomes imperative to depict the exact meaning of the word.
The cardinal tenets of Hindutwa are as follows:
1. Chaturvarna This is the main feature. The society must be divided into four water tight compartments called brahmin, kstriya, vyaishya and sudra. These must be watet tight in the sense that the entry to them is only through birth. It is like a tower with four floors without any stair case to the tower. There are many coceptions for this system. It is a devinely ordained system, it was made by god. It is the duty of human beings to follow this system without expecting any returns from it. Your duty is only to do the karmas, ie. the deeds related to following the chaturvarna. This is the devinely ordained dharma. When this dharma is becomes dormant god takes birth to puninish the evil who distrbed the dharma and preserve those who are sadhus who follow this dharma. It must not be confused with the division of labour. This is not the division of labour but division of labourers. Under this system you are allowed to marry within your own caste or varna. You are also required to follow the calling of your ancesters, how so ever it may be fearsome. It is better to die in the calling of your ancester than to follow others' prfession. Because it is alwys better to die in your own dharma than others dharma which is always fearsome. It means the daughter of a prostitute must become a prostitute and son of a pimp must become a pimp. You may take education and become a doctor but you must earn your living not by working as a physician but must earn your livelihood by scavenging. Only you must become an expert in scavenging. This is the summary of Chaturvarna. Even now there are supprters to this theory.
2. Supremacy of god As this theory is put forward by god almighty himself, it can not be challenged. Afterall god is the one who has created the universe. Nothing moves in this word wothout his wish. Not even a leaf of a tree moves without his wish. How is his put to action. Ofcourse according to the deeds of the past life's deeds. If you have folloewd the chaturvarna in the last life, you have accumulated enough virtue to make you, that is your atma, to have a body of a higher varna. Afterall, you are of no consequence. It is your atma that is the thing of great importance. It is your atma which is real you. It is separate from your body. Though you are your atma, the karmas that is the deeds of chaturvarna have to be followed by the body. It is very simple theory.When you die, it is the body that dies. The atma goes to another body, just like you change your shirt, atma changes its garment. This atma does not die, it can not be cut by weapons, it con not be burned by fire, it can not be desicated by wind. What ever physical birth you are having now is due to your deeds in previous birth. If you did good things meaning respecting caste rules, you would be born in higher varna, otherwise you would be born in lower caste. The idea is that you must not grumble about your present situation, it is all arrbged by the god himself taking into consideration the deeds of your previous birth.
3. Belief in Infaliability of Sastras It is very essential to make this rule so that God and Chaturvarna could be supported.
4. Belief in visit to holy places Also neccesary to keep the supply line provisions to piestly class
and 5. Bath in Ganga washes all sins Very essential to power to priests to lure masses to visit the tirthas.
These were the mehanisms used by the Brahmins to dominate the Bahujans. And these were the very things opposed by the Buddhists
Why support anti-Ambedkarites?
Editor says, "jati identity is democratic. Who are we to insist that one has to be an Ambedkarite to support ones nationality urges. Kashmeris, Nagas, Sikhs Bodos Jharkhandis and many others have been supported by DV. The main point to understand is though they might not be Ambedkarite in the usual sense of the word, if their struggle is for equality, liberty and eternity, they are in the lineage of Ambedkarism. As long as they are against the Manuvad or Brahmanvad or Hindutwa or whatever you like to call it, they deserve the support of DV.
What should be done ?
Important thing is that mere Dalit unity is of no use. Even if you assemble all the Dalits of all the shades and colours under one banner, it can not make any dent to BSO. What is necessary is the participation of the backward classes, the OBCs. That is the back bone of the Bahujan movement. Dr. Ambedkar had in mind such a unity. That is the reason, why he formed Independent Labour party. But when BSO conspired and the Scrips did not accept the Ambedkar's plea and refused to hear him as the representatives of the SCs and Sts, he had to form the Scheduled Castes Federation. That was a brahmnic conspiracy against the Dalits, which is not properly realized by the Dalit leaders. Even then he appealed for unity of OBCs as the speech addressed by him:
Read his speech in Oppressed Indian
The same theme was propounded by him just a day after the great conversion. The present author had an occasion to be present at that tea party. The speech is also reported in Janata of next month and also by H.L.Kosare. in his great monograph.
The second thing is that this SC, ST and OBC unity must include the converts to Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam and Christianity but should exclude the higher caste converts, as has been demanded by many readers of DV.
What does Kanshiram say? 1. The hisory of India is the history of struggle between higher and lower castes since centuries. All the tensions among the society is the result of graded inequality of hindu society. To get relief from the oppression from the savarna dominance, the only remedy is political power. What is the meaning of Independence? To the multitude of masses it means the relief from the savarna oppression. The economic emancipation is definitely a part of aim in the struggle. But the crux of thee matter is mainly the social aspect. One must make a d+ifferentiation between social justice and social transformation.
Only by comprehension of brahmanism one can understand the past history of this country. Brahmanism is the social system of graded inequality but is supported and justified on the basis of religion. The majority of masses, the bahujans, donot understand this and they become meek supporters of oppresive social system in the name of religion. There two strong weapons in the hands of brahmanism to oppress the bahujans. They are the concepts of destiny and god. The false ideas of hell and heaven denies the bahujans the achievements of this world, they become inactive and get oppressed by the BSO. The brahmanic system has made the original inhabitant of this land the most depressed and reduced them to a deplorable condition by breaking them into innumerable small castes and depreved them of all wealth, prospirity, human dignity and happiness.
Brahmanis has a vast canvas and it is seen in all speheres of human activity but more prominent in political sphere. The politics of this country is run on the Manu's constitution since centuries. It is important to understand that the kings and emperors of ancient and mediaveal India did not have any legislative powers. They were only executives of the so called divine laws made by the priestly class, at most they might have had the revenue powers. The wars they fought were for defending the laws of the Manu.