Is there any doubt that Rama Rajya is here? One by one, all the promises made by the ruling party are being fulfilled. The acquittal of the Ayodhya rioters is the acknowledgement of the Service to Rama’s cause, along with a blessing by the arbiters of divine justice. Territorial unification is rapidly progressing. Caste-policing is regaining its heights. Welcome to the largest modern theocratic state, where the Constitution is no barrier to the Rama Rajya, but is even turned into its service. If at all they decide to do away with the Constitution, it would only be an arrogantly symbolic act, atypical of the current Hindu revival.
This is something even the great Dr. Ambedkar got wrong. He thought burning texts would be a show of resistance against the Hindus. The Hindus, however, have no respect for texts. Adherence to the written Word is a Middle Eastern tradition, exported to Europe through the Greeks, and formalized in the way we know it today through the Semitic religions. It never gripped our subcontinent in a significant way until the colonial rule. The subcontinental people are driven by collective memories, distorted by collective psychological falsifications and defence mechanisms, a people who willingly remained insane for centuries, who showed only contempt for structured reasoning.
Manusmriti was never a Bible for the Brahmins. Brahmins or any other ruling class in the subcontinent never had a Bible. It was one among many political-philosophical texts produced by ancient Brahmin intellectuals, and coincidentally the one text which attracted the attention of the bloodthirsty, half-medieval half-modern Aryan imperialists who “discovered” India in their global rampage, because it reflected their fantasy of the world they wished to shape.
The brutal, slave-run, genocidal apartheid described in the Manusmriti was the way Manu envisioned his Brahmin utopia.
That utopia is dated. Today’s Hindu imperialists – led by sections of Brahmin-Baniyas and supported by Kshatriya revival – are champions of the Modern Nation-State as opposed to the explicit class-state advocated by Manu; they are well versed in the intricacies of constitutional democracy, they trust a Party instead of a monarch, they have their own well-developed theories of power, they run a massive civil militia organized using Leninist principles of democratic centralism, they are in alliance with the official army, the national judiciary – the various higher courts, special courts and tribunals – willingly becomes their vanguard, they run a network of Gestapo agenices (but are smart enough not to name them “Secret Police” as the overconfident Nazis did), they have centralized treasury flows and created for themselves an ability to choke the resources of any region, they have successfully infiltrated all levels of the bureaucracy, they have the full backing of the national bourgeoisie and of several rural bourgeoisies, landlord classes, and comprador castes; and they have engineered multiple swords (even guns and cannons) of Damocles hanging above dissenting states.
This is a far more sophisticated regime than the dull, repressive Brahmin-Kshatriya state imagined by Manu.
But the Manuvian logic remains. Differential rights for the ruling classes and their lackeys, and dehumanization of all excluded classes is the trademark of the Aryans. In the subcontinent, we do not believe in putting it in writing and announcing it. We are content with altering the practice. That is exactly what today’s verdict does.
If the political and civil opposition to this regime is waiting for a formal acceptance of Manusmriti, it will never come. For the Hindus, Manu is not even as much an icon as Che is to the Marxists, or Hassan-Hussain are to the Muslims, let alone Marx and Muhammed. Manu will stay in front of the Rajasthan High Court, or at best be content with a few more statues. He will never match the stature of Vallabhai Patel – the astute General who pulled off the breakneck conquests of 1947-50, to which numerous princely states fell – for whom the largest known monument for a historical personage among the Hindus was built.
Lastly, western theories of Fascism aren’t going to help us much. The English language paranoia around Fascism is an Anglo-Saxon paranoia, supplemented by exports of chest-thumping Soviet theory and German and Italian shame. Frantz Fanon famously dismissed it, curtly referring to Fascism as “colonialism turned inwards”. The English paranoia around Fascism is the result of the colonialists conveniently forgetting their own barbarism, and subsequently being shocked to rediscover it when they themselves fell victim to it.
For us in the Indian subcontinent, our entire history is a string of Fascist rules. The two great Jewish philosophers, Marx and Benjamin, warned the Europeans of the horrific Aryan excesses, who still missed it due to their Aryan pride. In India, any conscious Dalit will tell you the same thing. It is just that we don’t have a traditional Dalit philosophy, so we don’t have a longstanding theory for it; luminant ideas may be found among dissenting Shudras.
Today’s Fascism is the latest, the most widespread and the most powerful. To mistake it for past Hindu empires is sure to be disastrous. The inventors of Fascism are rebuilding it, and they would hardly be content with imitating the German and Italian imitators. Our Fascism should be studied as an original phenomenon, according to its own immanent reasons. It is the Actual that is the Rational, not the Potential.
Arjun is a student of Mass Communication at AJK MCRC, Jamia Milia Islamia.
Courtesy: The Compass online