Pankaj Kumar Naik
Dear Self-Proclaimed Pandits and Descendants of Manu,
Greetings from Trivandrum, the soul of supposedly God's Own Country, since the Asura king Mahavali is yet to resurrect from the grave to see broad daylight!
I am writing this to you both with immense pleasure and pain. Pleasure, because you proved my 'conviction' regarding you and Manuvad right, yet again. Pain, because despite reaching the zenith of civilisation you still seem to behave like a reckless asses – 'consistent' ones!
Now, I will explain to you what I mean by all this:
Let us begin from scratch. Let us talk about your take on 'reservation', let us discuss about the 'efficiency' hypothesis. What you scramble now and then to talk about reservation are not merely attempts to camouflage the inscribed greedy ethos of the Brahmin (I am sad that the word 'Brahmins' would appear often in this letter, and it must be generalized with some caution), but also an utterly orthodox casteist take on issues pertaining to the Bahujans. It has been your standard argument that Bahujans don't have 'talent' and they live on the alms of the government; that Bahujans are not 'efficient' hence would succumb to the 'market' forces once they are 'unleashed' from the benefits. This buzz is age old and not only going on among the 'mediocre' Pandits, but even among the acclaimed scholars of Manu's clan.
From this line of your arguments I derive the strength to write this letter to you. Since, some way or other it is an insult to my identity as a Bahujan. If I had not written this letter it would have proved all my years of education futile. Please, do bear a Bahujan's blasphemy! So, here it goes.
At the outset, let me educate you with concrete historical facts instead of blowing some rhetoric that I am confident you and your people can't withstand. The word 'reservation', apolitically 'representation', is not alms given to the Bahujans. It is a 'symbolic' assertion, gained by fighting against powerful elite castes like yours – against Hindu orthodoxy. Why was representation considered at all? Because, historically, there has been no-representation of SCs, STs, and OBCs, in whatsoever institutions this country had, despite the fact that this group together constituted more than 80 odd percentage of the population, at any given point of time. Something that is still prevalent in this land. Don't you think that they do have a share in this country? Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar didn't need any 'reservation' to prove his credentials; he was worth tens of thousands of Brahmins (read the Constituent Assembly debates). When Dr. Ambedkar placed his proposal for 'communal representation', Brahmins including Mr. Gandhi, the great Mahatma, (torchbearer of Sanatan Dharm) got furious, used 'violent non-violence', and went on a 'fast unto death'!
Despite all these developments, however, Babasaheb single-handedly won the battle of 'representation', nay 'reservation', for the Bahujans. The Constituent Assembly's (comprising of people of your mentality) consideration of 'representation' was a symbolic bow to Dr.Ambedkar's assertion of 'liberty, equality and fraternity'; to ideals of justice and democracy – which, India never had before and still continues to grapple with. The Parliament's walls still echo it, I have heard it from a distance. Hey, seriously! They do. The echo in Lutyens' Delhi goes: Sau Brahman ka, aur ek Mahar ka.
Do you remember all that history (how could you since it is no longer to be found in our curriculum, Brahmin sires)? If you have any sense of it, or if you do not, please do ask your learned 'General' scholars, who managed to get admission through 'tight' competition than through reserved quota. Do ask them how their mothers, wives, and daughters, were liberated by the Bahujan leaders? Mahatma (a true one, unlike Gandhi) Phule, the first modern social reformer and educationist, opened schools for your great-grandmothers so they could learn how to live a dignified life. That was something denied to them since centuries despite Goddess Saraswati (mind the gender) being 'Education Minister'. Help yourself by learning about Lord William Bentinck's contribution to Indian society, how he saved your women from dying on their husbands' graves. 'Sati Pratha', the grave inhuman rite that women were subjected to, was practiced by your ancestors. You ask the so-called fathers of modern India, how Babasaheb fought for your women's rights, their well-being, and for liberation against your male 'chauvinist' pigs1. Can you name a few revolutionaries or reformers from your breed, of that caliber? Seriously, I mean no offense.
All these Bahujan luminaries did what they had to do in order to do what they wanted to do. Because, we believe that it is our duty and responsibility to reform your institutions and your nihilism. Sorry for being so harsh on you and your ancestors, but I can't cease from doing this. They have to take the blame!
Now, let me shift the spotlight to you and your pseudo claims on 'reservation'. You often mention that Bahujans don't know good English. May I ask the same question to you, may I tell you that how stupid you sound with your arguments? For God's sake, don't bring the quality question! Since, in a relative sense neither you nor I will stand in front of a more learned scholar. We must acknowledge our limitations and learn to work on them. That is what a true man does, he keeps learning from the cradle to the grave! But, yes, one thing I can say with profound conviction: had you come from, literally, the tribal hinterland and adverse socio-political-economic conditions, I affirm you couldn't have stood on your own feet, which we do so convincingly. Hence, you must respect our disadvantages and our need for representation as 'legitimate'.
Instead of feeling ashamed of what your ancestors have done and what they have been doing to this country, you are drawing immense pleasure and honour from their work. Brahmins wrecked this country, tore it apart into pieces; the inhuman caste-system is their gift to society. Your ancestor, revered Savarkar, founder of pseudo-Hinduism, a Brahmin by birth, with the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) (a superior cultural wing of Brahmins that dictates slavery on the masses and runs the 'shadow cabinet' in Modi's Government) and his colleague Mr. Godse, killed Mr. Gandhi. RSS (synonymous with Brahmins) is still involved in many terror cases: the Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid blast, Ajmer blast and the Samjhauta Express blast, to name a few (a PIL has been filed against right wing groups, see, http://whokilledkarkare.com/). The recent Muzzafarnagar riots (in Uttar Pradesh) is your kin's contribution to India (watch this documentary, Muzzafarnagar Abhi Baaki Hai)2. Orissa's infamous Kandhamal episode,where more than 50,000 people were displaced from their livelihoods, more than a thousand got killed, raped and raped till their last breath, burnt to death - the victims were Tribals. And, you feel that they don't need reservation. What did the Brahmin Guru Swami Lakshmanananda3 give to the Tribals and Dalits of Kandhamal? Only humiliation and a vague conflict of interest, pitting one against other. Go and exhume the bodies that succumbed in the 'Godhra Riot', they still scream for help!
Is this the contribution you are cheering about?! Believe me friends, if this is what you call 'meritocracy' and 'efficiency', then we don't wish to beat you here. We can't dream of conducting riots, communal oppression and fascism. Neither could we think of appropriating religion and scholars to substantiate our vested agenda. Even the infamous Hitler had drawn motivation from your ancestor's spiritual text, Manusmriti, the divine law of Manu (read Nietzsche, if you need to be convinced). It proves that your forefathers set the ground for Hitler's fascism, and, now they are doing the same in India.
I lament, Brahmins have been bigger fascists than Hitler. As historian Irfan Habib puts it: "Here we are dealing with perhaps not the actual fascist power, but the power ambitious of being fascist". Golwalkar, RSS ideologue, praised Hitler for executing Jews. We just need to replace Jew with the Muslim and the same history will follow. You follow William Lynch's virtue: Don't kill them but put the fear of the God in them, for they can be useful for future breeding. You spare the body but take the mind. You try to remind us every now and then that we are 'less-human' than you. These are more severe crimes than what Hitler did. You have passively killed millions, and will continue to kill if due action is not taken. Hence, we, the Bahujans need 'representation' through reservation to counteract your treachery! Of course, it means, we will expose you, remind you of your cruelty, and gag you publicly! For that not to happen you have to 'fight against reservation'. That you are doing, you're on the right path, on par with your ancestors!
I never wanted to write this to you. But, your casteist taunts have left no room for further endurance.
Let us talk about your pantheon. Of course, not all!
Do we look like – in your eyes – a culturally inferior group? If so, let me give you a ride through our cultural heritage. You must have heard about the Buddha, symbol of enlightenment for all mankind, a founding philosopher of ethics and morality. He was a man who fought against 'caste hegemony'. We take pride in belonging to his path and being legatees of his virtues. We believe in 'peaceful transition' of civilization; this point is clearly expressed in Dr. Ambedkar's work 'Buddha or Karl Marx'. Employing violent means is opposed to our morality. Else, repeating the Mahars' history of bravery and courage (in Koregaon), it would not have taken much time to achieve our ends. In return, what did the Brahmins do? Brahmins portrayed Buddha as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In the very process, they obliterated Buddhism itself. Do you know that the Lord Jagannath that you so possessively celebrate was and belongs to the Tribals of Odisha? And, what you made out of it – a cultural 'juggernaut'4 (even Karl Marx has acknowledged this word in his 'Capital')! It was reported in the newspapers that now Puri 'Pandas' are going to debar SCs and STs from entering into the temple. Your ancestors looted everything from us and 'became successful in hijacking away the alternatives into oblivion'.5 What a shame! Bhim Bhoi, the tribal leader who fought against the 'Jagannath Cult', accused you and your people of the serious crimes of bigotry and pillage. Could you help us to correct this historical injustice? Could you, you Manuvadi?
Reservation is meant for that, because you snatched our very Gods from us.
We need Reservation for that, to fight against you inhuman morons! You are no different from your ancestors, a devil indeed!
On the 'reservation' question, who says that Brahmins and other Savarnas don't take reservation? Oh, yes! They do. Vaishya, the Bania, and Brahmins, take reservation in setting up industries and plants. They have been given interest free loans from the government (SEZs are a good example) and subsidies, you agree? You will not, I know, allow me to continue. Why do they get benefits from the government? A study has shown that if all corporate subsidies had been diverted to the poor people, then India would have achieved a tag of 'poverty-free-nation' within a year6. But, we consider your need for such reservation with generosity. Because, we know that you can't compete with the world capitalists despite your enormous 'talents' and possession of wealth. Why do your business houses take these 'reservations', if they are so competitive? It is because you try to use the 'infant industry' arguments so well. If your industrial houses couldn't learn to compete with world capital despite all supportive measures, then, how would you expect that we Bahujans can, in such a short period? On top of it, you have enjoyed residual reservation of more than 50% since independence in disguise, let's now talk about that. You have reservation in temples too. How lucky you imbeciles are. Unlike you, we were freed from the cages of your suppression just sixty odd years ago and within this short tenure we have outperformed you on many parameters. This poses serious challenges to your hegemony.
As an African proverb has it: "Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." You, the Pandit, are the hunter; and, we, the Bahujans, the Lion. Don't mistake that you are good at competition. However, I would not hesitate to tell you that you people are good at cheating. You don't have anything of your own. All ideas are borrowed and 'cut-pasted' without any regret, including your sacred texts and scriptures. You people are copycats of the West.
To prove this point, let me put forth some simple reasoning. In India, prior to the British invasion ("The British came too late and left too early", writes Chandra Bhan Prasad, a Dalit Scholar)7 why could no scientific temperament be developed, why was women's education not addressed, why were Bahujans not allowed to touch books and why did they have no access to schools and public institutions? Why couldn't Brahmins develop all these modern institutions in India with their immense knowledge and power? Why was there no social reform by Brahmins, for Brahmins? Why... Why... and, now you scream, why?
I have often heard that Brahmins, thousands of years ago, had developed technology and medicine, and pioneered in setting up modern civilization. That, medicines, 'cloning-technology' (this is how Draupadi bore more than a hundred children, you say!), and 'plastic surgery' are your gifts to the world. Lord Ram, the engineer, with the help of Hanuman, had constructed an over-bridge to Lanka! So on and so forth. To your credit, we also have the Pushpak Viman that could move people like a modern day airplane! In your sticking to a certain narrative in the mythology this is where you committed a logical mistake; the 'Flying machine' belonged to 'Ravana', the Asura King, and not to the Brahmins. For the time being let us see if your claims are true. If they were true, why did the Brahmins fail to erect a single monument of world repute, like the Mughals and others did (Taj Mahal, Qutb Minar etc), why couldn't they discover or invent any technology? Many of today's temples with beautiful monuments were Buddhist structures, originally. It is evident that you have been 'uncompetitive' throughout history!
History proves you wrong. History proves your covetousness!
Now, let me take you to deep rhetoric! I had mentioned your 'infant industry' arguments to support your inefficiency, and seek sops from the government. Now, would you ask all 'general'industrialists to not seek alms from the government? Will you? If all these corporates, industrialists, priests etc. stop taking reservation from the State, then, I avow, I will ask the Bahujans and myself, to stop claiming reservation. Will you and your people stop 'replacing history with mythology', a common feature that you share with Hitler's Germany? Will you ask your people to 'not kill reason' and 'scientific temperament'? Will you 'annihilate' your caste? If you will, I will debar myself from the all affirmative 'entitlements'!
Will you still claim that you don't take reservation? I request, please don't do that, or I will have to write a bigger piece than this, quoting your meritorious scholars and mine too.
Mark Twain writes: "If gods have several avatars and many moods, man has many faces, and identities. Thus to expect consistency, firmness of character, and persistence of characteristics previously shown in men is, akin to expecting dependability in a god." If we dig into the history of mankind and search for a 'consistent ass', I don't think we will find one better than you. This is for you, a reply from Dr. Ambedkar to the people like you, it reads:
Emerson has said that consistency is the virtue of an ass and I don't wish to make an ass of myself. No thinking human being can be tied down to a view once expressed in the name of consistency. More important than consistency is responsibility. A responsible person must learn to unlearn what he has learned. (Preface to Thoughts on Linguistic States, 1955)
As you nationalists8 want reparations from the Britishers who did greater good to you than bad, we want reparation from you, you only did woeful wrongs. Will you make reparations to us?
Reservation is a small token which the Constituent Assembly considered under the stewardship of Babasaheb.
Now, you must have understood what I meant by an ass, a 'consistent' one!
. Brahmin with a tuft of hair (choti) is portrayed in this cartoon by legendary cartoonist Shankar Pillai. It is an exposition from a supposedly privileged caste man about Brahmin's attitude towards women. Hope, it will serve the purpose [Via: Unnamati Syama Sundar's Facebook page]:
. Watch, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UYPYBmpp7E
. See, Kanungo, Pralay (2014): "Shift from Syncretism to Communalism", EPW.
. Extension of Jagannath, the form of Krishna worshipped in Puri Orissa, where his image is dragged through the streets in an annual festival. A massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way.(Oxford Dictionary).
. As quoted in Mishra, Banikanta (2010): "Agriculture, Industry and Mining in Orissa in the Post-Liberalisation Era: An Inter-District and Inter-State Panel Analysis". EPW.Vol. XLV (20).Research is aplenty on this subject, just Google it.
. On rhetoric of 'reparation', read: http://www.tehelka.com/2015/08/why-claim-reparations-only-from-the-british/
. Recently, Shashi Tharoor's 'reparation debate' drew wide attention among politicians and scholars, and it got inflated by media. It shows the kind of 'nationalism' which this hegemony adhered to sans 'equality'. See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5PnVkZTKbw