Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy has created a lot of hurt among the ‘liberal’ brahmins while the hardcore are threatening twitter to apologise. A privileged brahmin journalist wrote that it has become a norm to ‘blame’ brahmins who are a ‘minority’ community. She compared attacking brahmanism to Nazi treatment to jews during Hitler’s regime. If I am not wrong, Hitler was never an idol for the Bahujan samaj but I have heard stories of how Hitler have influenced India’s powerful brahmins who ‘hegemonised’ everything about India right from its culture to politics. Apart from Nagpur, another Hindu Hridaya Samrat in Mumbai known for speaking violently against Muslims as well as South Indians, was too fond of Hitler. It is not for unknown reasons that after 2014, Hitler’s Mein Kampf became available everywhere.
I am not amazed to see the brahmanical backlash at the twitter claiming victimhood. In the last one decade the powerful savarna lobby enjoying all the privileges of being a minority in the western world actually hate to speak for the rights of minorities and marginalised in India. It is this group, which has been consistent in its approach to support the forces of rabid Hinduta in India We all know how twitter became a factory of Hindutva hatemongers, threatening and intimidating with all those who disagreed. We know very well how every one else who disagreed became anti-national and the level of debate in our media went to gutter level.
Smashing brahmanical patriarchy or White Supremacy or caste forces or racist forces amount to the same thing but it is also important that when we speak of brahmanical patriarchy is not mere brahmins but all those who believe in varnashram dharma which the brahmins are the founders and torch bearer. A Thakur, a Bania, a Yadav or Kayastha, a Bhumihar or any one else could be a person of brahmanical patriarchy who carry the hatred and contempt for woman. What we termed Hinduism today was actually known as Brahman dharma or varnashram dharma so it can not happen when you claim everything for all the good things but not want to take the criticism.
Yesterday, there was a big story in The Hindu of how two lovers were killed. It was killed because the boy was a Dalit while the girl belonged to Vanniayar community, an OBC. The Vanniyars have been at the forefront of demanding scrapping of the SC-ST Act. Many of the OBC leaders in the past have demanded that because much of the violence unleashed on Dalits today are OBCs and that is why Baba Saheb Ambedkar called them gatekeepers of brahmanism. All this is brahmanism and yet those who do it cant always take shelter by abusing the brahmanism while remaining a part of it. Baba Saheb Ambedkar gave us a path of Buddha’s enlightenment which was essential for annihilation of castes.
A friend wrote that why should the Dalit OBC’s break the caste. It is the brahmins who created and hence they should annihilate the caste. He meant that annihilation of caste slogan was not meant for the Dalits and OBCs but for the brahmins. The problem with such jumlebaazi is that they take us nowhere. They ask all of us to continue behaving in casteist way and ultimately take escape in blaming the brahmins all the time. Brahmins created our structures of justifications of caste and caste based discrimination but those have been exposed by our forefathers like Baba Saheb, Joti Ba Phule, EVR Periyar and others.
The fact is that caste system has given the savarnas particularly the brahmins absolute privilege without being accountable. Despite the facts that most of the Kings and emperors did not hail from brahmin community yet it was they who enjoyed all the patronage of power. The Brahmin power in India actually came after independence as they occupied all the major centers of power right from political power to judiciary, academia, media and even the sports, apart from unchallenged supreme social status.
I agree with those who say brahmins are minority. Yes all the Savaranas are minority but got disproportionate power. Find out the castes of the officers in the Prime Minister’s Office. Look at who are heading our academia, media and judiciary. Look out at our armed forces, our sports, our advertising world, and the world of cinema in India. They all are ‘den’ of brahmanism and not merely brahmins. Caste system operate in each of these institutions in different ways. All the powerful temples of India are one hundred percent control of brahmins and savarnas. All the gutters of India are left at the hands of ‘sanitation workers’ or Swachchkar samaj.
With these privileges, I am sure, annihilation of caste wont be possible by those who are enjoying the privileges of power. Baba Saheb knew it very well and that is why he gave a call to all those who believed that these power structures must go, to embrace Buddhism and work for Prabuddha Bharat. Yes, that Prabuddha Bharat call was not meant for the untouchables alone but for all Indians who wanted to make India stronger and a nation which can be proud of its cultural heritage.
We know not every one has taken Baba Saheb’s call. The Bahujan communities have yet to respond because as long as they are part of this structures, the caste system will flourish and brahmanical supremacy would continue. The caste based killing will continue. It is not merely brahmins but the Thakurs, bhumihars, Yadavas, Reddy’s Thevars, Jats, Gujjars every one will act and kill to innocent couples as long as they challenge their caste structure. The young couple marrying beyond their castes will continue to face it unless our families become enlightened or we leave them and create our new world. The meaning of brahmanical sysem is those who believe in supremacy and sanctity of caste and its hierarchies. Many of the enlightened whose parents might have been brahmins but they smashed it. We cant ignore the great work of Rahul Sankrityayan as well as M N Roy in this regard, both born as brahmins yet exposed brahmanism completely.
The solution to these issues is not making everyone feel guilty. None can be harassed on the basis of their birth but it is a fact that in India caste is birth based and it gives you absolute privilege. We can not decide our birth. We can not chose our parents but we can decide our present and future action. We can politely accept the dangers of hierarchical society as it is dangerous for all. It will destroy India. We need an enlightened India and it will not be possible without destroying birth based hierarchies and privileges.
The problem is that the wider debate on these issues are polarised and every one speak in their ‘confined’ circles. Youngsters are not groomed to accept diverse thoughts and hence any dissent of their popular belief is considered as sacrilege. No society can grow if they feel hurt on every small issue which challenges the popular notion. One thing is clear, that we can stop the march of the communities denied justice historically. Their assertion of their caste identities can not termed as ‘casteism’. The Dalit assertion today and the brahmin supremacy are two different terms and can not be equated. But beyond these things should a realisation that every one has a space and each person should be provided justice. It will not be possible unless historical injustices are not acknowledged and diversity is not placed in our academia, media, judiciary and bureaucracy.
Caste system is the biggest crime imposed on people of India. We know as the world become too small and accessible to all, these things will also get exposed. Those who claim victimhood from the ‘colonial’ masters actually remain the biggest power people and victimised communities in a much worst way than their colonial masters. We must admit that caste discrimination and untouchability are crime as equivalent to racial discrimination. When the world can join hand and feel offended on anything that has racial connotations, then, we in India we do not feel offended by caste discrimination and violence in the name of it. How has India tolerated untouchability which is nothing but hidden apartheid.
Issues are serious but it will only get resolved when the Savarnas in India genuinely feel that certain communities have been historically wronged and denied justice. It will pave the way for reconciliation and nation building but that has a lot to do with voluntarily resigning from your privileges which gave them enormous power socially as well as politically. Will Indian Parliament ever discuss this and apologise to its Dalit Adivasi communities for historical wrong done to them ? A reconciliation is only possible if the powerful and those who enjoyed fruits of the system offer their hand, admit and proceed to build a new future. There is no winner here accept humanity but will the caste mind rise and condemn the system of their privilege ?
Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter @freetohumanity Email: email@example.com