“The backward classes have come to realise that after all education is the greatest material benefit for which they can fight….’
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
(EDUCATION: THE ONLY KEY TO DALIT PROGRESS By Bhalchandra Mungekar, , Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai www.ambedkar.org )
Past few years have seen the rise of many ‘educated’ persons supporting statements of politicians who propagate irrational and/ or unscientific ideas. Whether ‘pushpak vimaan’ being discovered long before present planes or ‘Rama setu’ bridge, despite questionable scientific explanation, many academicians and scientists have been supporting and trying to ‘logically’ prove their correctness in every way possible.
A sad joke
Hindu right has made a virtue of anti- intellectualism, ignorance, and fake news/ propaganda in the last 5 years…. (Why the joke is not on Modi but on his ‘ educated supporters, by K. M. Rakesh and G. S. Mudur, published on 14-5-19, telegraphindia.com) . Quoting the tweet on the matter by Nissim Mannathukkaren, department chair, associate professor, development studies,Dalhousie University, Canada, “…. The joke is on the ‘ educated’ elite/ middle – class supporters of Modi who have made idiocy and ignorance fashionable ,” the article further cites his explanation , “Rather than reduce this to the personality of Modi or his lack of knowledge, I am more interested in the fact …….. and how people have been asked to believe the most illogical irrational, untruthful statements coming out, especially from the PM”. He also elaborates on the Balakot strikes and Modi’s cloud theory. The article analyses how the mainstream media is propagating such absurd statements
Why are the elites/ intellectuals supporting? One reason may be that right wing party is essentially a pro- rich, pro- upper caste party and these ‘educated’ persons expect to derive some additional benefits. Though there may be some persons from backward classes, dalits, marginalised sections, muslim and christians, women, etc joining the group supporting bjp, large chunk of upper castes, specially brahminical castes feel secure in the right- wing rule ( backed by hindutva forces) rather than a ‘secular ‘ party leaning towards left or having a soft corner for poor.
Another reason could be the availability of technology. Rich and middle class have the access of modern gadgets like smartphones, laptops, computers, etc. These elites feel insecure as assertion by dalits, marginalised sections, SCs, STs, Muslims, etc increases and they express their disapproval by supporting absurd statements which indirectly help in maintaining existing brahminical status quo which is on the verge of falling out.
Poorer sections rarely have access to modern technology. The domestic workers, servants, farmers, small artisans, etc have little money to purchase as they are concerned with their daily bread earning jobs. Hence, their voice is not heard as widely as the elites.
A major reason is shutting up of logical and truthful thinking. In these five years, most of the institutions have been placed in the hand of right wing hindutva intellectuals who are adept in completely muzzling expression of counter- ideas and questioning. The entry of marginalised section into premier institution s is made tough and mostly difficult so that power of upper castes is not diluted.
Drastic change necessary
In this situation, the oppressed and exploited are being pushed further back. There is an invisible undercurrent of promoting old idea of brahminism and suppressing lower castes in this scheme of things. A drastic change in the system is necessary. The so- called educated persons absurdity should be countered by consistent rebuttals by giving quick responses. Both technical devices like computers, smartphones, etc should be used to stop social media spreading lies and false unscientific ideas, as well as mass movement campaigns should be held in nook and corner of the country.
There are many indications of hindutva forces gaining power after elections. They do not hesitate to manipulate any situation and even electoral machines. They have the backing of powerful rich brahminical class to assist. Therefore, dalits, backward classes, muslims and other minorities should join hands to thwart hindutva fascist forces by proactive movement towards alternative politics which transfers economic and political power from upper caste/ class to the poor and downtrodden.
Sheshu Babu is a political commentator