Pandit Patwardhan's Jai Bhim Comrade: A Case Study in Brahminism

 

Dhurwa R.

Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade is one of the best examples of how brahminical powerplay makes a farce out of the most hard fought battles put up by Dalits, and does that rather patronizingly. Before I even watched the film, the title itself (and the media hype with one of its first screenings planned in Ramabai Nagar) had raised doubts in my mind. That perhaps it would be another attempt by a left Brahmin to rally Dalits towards the communists since Jai Bhim is a revolutionary assertion of Dalit identity and it almost always causes unease among non-Dalits, especially Brahmins/savarnas. Patwardhan has very cleverly used it as an attempt to deceive or mislead Dalits by adding the suffix - Comrade, a word used typically by the indian left lost in their imagined revolution. One can also see that this is perhaps the earlier seed for the strange mantra and highly misleading slogan of ‘Jai Bhim - Lal Salam’, fashionable among indian leftists of late.

JAI HANUMAN COMRADE 1

Artwork by Pinak Banik

The racist generalisations of brahmin media/academia

This documentary may give one a feeling that events are unfolding themselves and that it is a telling commentary on the turn of the events (explained later in this article). However, there’s enough commentary and judgments by Patwardhan that appear in English along with the subtitles which makes it amply clear that this is a premeditated attempt at belittling Dalits and to create suspicion among them towards each other. For example, on the backdrop of a rally by Republican Party of India his judgement appears/reads on the screen as: “The co-option of Dalits into the project of Hindutva has yielded rich dividends nationally for the BJP but as yet in Maharashtra the legacy of Dr Ambedkar acts as a shield against bigotry”. So essentially Dalits, except for those belonging to Maharashtra are getting “hinduised” according to Patwardhan. This judgement comes from Patwardhan around the year 2010-11 when his film would most likely have been in the final editing/post-production phase (the film released towards the end of 2011). This, he is commenting around the time when a Dalit woman, Mayawati, the chief minister of the India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, is completing her five year term with an unprecedented control over law and order of a state that was most infamous for terror and caste violence prior to her reign. So would ‘hinduised’ Dalits bring a Dalit woman to power with an overwhelming majority, who in her previous brief stints as a chief minister had named several Universities and districts after events/people related to Ambedkar and Buddhsim? She was also recognised by the international media around the time of her government as one of the most influential women of the world.

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JNUSU Elections- Three ideas of Nation

 

Vivek Singh

vivek singhJNU has been in the limelight since 9th February, when supposedly “anti-national and seditious” slogans were raised in the campus (the matter is sub judice). In this scenario, many eyes were turned towards the JNU Students Union elections which happened this September. What was also evident is that the idea of nation and nationalism would be important grounds of consideration during this election.

In the election, we saw a competition between three strong ideological forces– the right (ABVP), the left (AISA-SFI ‘Left Unity’ alliance supported by other left organizations) and the Ambedkarite (BAPSA). In this context, I would like to argue that three different ideas of nation emerged from these three positions.[i]

The Right’s Idea of Nation: “Only Right is Right”

The ABVP, associated with the RSS, believes in the idea of the ‘Hindu Nation’. According to it, the right's way is the only right way to think of the nation. Their idea of nation is based on unity (ekta) and not on equality (samta)[ii] and any dissent is seen as a threat to the nation. This right wing force defines nation mostly by pointing to the anti-national. Like the leaders of BJP who have several times asked people to ‘go to Pakistan’, the ABVP has taken it upon itself to give certificates of nationalism. Thus, a vast majority of people are excluded from their idea of nation – people who wear the ‘wrong’ kind of clothes, people who eat the ‘wrong’ kind of food, who fight against Brahmanism and patriarchy, who raise questions about capital punishment, who raise questions on the rights of Adivasis or even those who work in NGOs. The resignation of many Dalit members from the JNU unit of ABVP clearly indicates the growing disillusionment with their idea of nation based on the Manusmriti.

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ಭಾರತದ ಮೊದಲ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಮಾತೆ ಸಾವಿತ್ರಿಬಾಯಿ ಫುಲೆ

 

ಸವಿತಾ ಹೊಸಮನಿ (Savita Hosamani)

 

savita hosamaniಭಾರತದ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರಷ್ಟೇ ಶೋಷಣೆಗೆ ಒಳಗಾದ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ವರ್ಗವೆಂದರೆ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು. ಮನುಸಂವಿಧಾನದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಮಹಿಳೆ ವಿದ್ಯೆ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಅರ್ಹಳಲ್ಲ. ಮಹಿಳೆಯರ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ ಹರಣದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಭಾಗ ವಿದ್ಯೆಯೇ ಆಗಿತ್ತೆನ್ನಬಹುದು. ಯಾಕೆಂದರೆ ಮಹಿಳೆ ಯಾವತ್ತಿಗೂ ಅಡಿಯಾಳಾಗಿಯೇ ಇರಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಮನುವಿನ ಮಸಲತ್ತಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಬಾಲ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದೆಯ, ಯೌವ್ವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಗಂಡನ ಮತ್ತು ಮುಪ್ಪಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಗ ಅವಳನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಮನುಶಾಸನವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಹೆಣ್ಣನ್ನು ಅಬಲೆ ಎಂಬ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಳನ್ನು ಗುಲಾಮಗಿರಿಗೆ ನೂಕಲಾಗಿತ್ತು.

ವೇದಕಾಲದಿಂದಲೂ ವಿದ್ಯೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಕೆಲವೇ ಜನರ ಸೊತ್ತಾಗಿತ್ತು. ವಿದ್ಯೆಯಿಂದ ವಂಚಿತರಾದ ಶೂದ್ರರು ಮತ್ತು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು ಗುಲಾಮರಂತೆ ಬದುಕಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೆ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೊಟ್ಟ ಮೊದಲ ಬಾರಿಗೆ ಅಸ್ಪೃಶ್ಯರು ಮತ್ತು ಮಹಿಳೆಯರಿಗೆ ವಿದ್ಯೆಯ ಬಾಗಿಲನ್ನು ತೆರೆದವರು ಮಹಾತ್ಮಾ ಜ್ಯೋತಿಬಾ ಫುಲೆ. ಮೊದಲ ಮಹಿಳಾ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಅವರ ಧರ್ಮಪತ್ನಿ ಮಾತೆ ಸಾವಿತ್ರಿಬಾಯಿ ಫುಲೆ (1831-1897).

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Scaling silvery mountains: Merit in the ghettos

 

Gurram Seetaramulu

gurram seetaramuluOf late, PV Sindhu's name has been at the forefront of discussions in social media and other platforms. When people all over the world were taken aback by her sporting capabilities, many Telugu people were busy 'googling' her caste, thus giving a glimpse of their culture, traditions and their 'broad-mindedness'. Two years prior to this, a tribal girl Malavath Poorna became the youngest girl in the world to successfully climb the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest. The mainstream media which took cognizance of this news attentively, let it disappear into oblivion with the same speed. Two years later, the Telugu society once again bestowed laurels and praise on Venkata Sindhu for winning the prestigious Olympic Silver. In fact, she deserves every bit of it. As someone on whom there were not much expectations, Sindhu's game, apart from being a treat to watch for many also generated considerable interest about her caste.

Some people who were seen next to her in the road-show in Hyderabad went to the extent of claiming that this medal was only possible because of them! While these people waved their hands endlessly till they pained, they made sure that even Sindhu doesn't get a break from waving her hands. In the meantime, both the Chief Ministers – satirically known to the outside world as 'iddaru chandrulu' ('Two moons', literally; refers to K Chandrashekar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu, chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively)  – competed with each other to felicitate Sindhu while driving her across the city in an open-top van showering flowers all through the way.

A tale of two champions from different communities

Both Poorna and Sindhu came out with flying colours in their respective sports in their respective times. But of late, caste and capital are most necessary to make a mark in mainstream sports without which you are a nobody in the contemporary sporting scene. At a disastrous time when you will be considered a threat to the internal security of this country and your patriotism questioned if you choose to support a country of your choice, you will be forced to take a stand either/or with respect to India/Pakistan in the sporting arena. In this way, celebrating Sindhu's win is a testament to such mentality of human nature.

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An Open letter to Gulab Kothari, Owner of Rajasthan Patrika

 

Moti Ram Mensa

Dishonourable Kothari ji,

Jai Bharat.

Early in the morning nobody wishes to spoil his entire day but today, by expressing your narrow minded hatred-filled ideas, you tried to spoil the entire day of Bahujans of the country. But when you read my reply, your evening would certainly be spoiled. While writing your editorial you probably failed to remember that the current era is not the era of the underworld of the print media. The social media is currently dominant, and you could not have even imagined that in this era, a huge number of people will puke on your kind of ideas.

open letter to gulab kothari

You must know that the first line of the constitution that you want to change also has Article 19 which envisages freedom of expression as a fundamental right, on which the foundation of your newspaper stands. The foundation on which, you and your father Karpur Chand Kulish have created this media entity - now you want to change that foundation via your newspaper.

The importance of the sacred profession you belong to for a democracy can be evaluated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's observation: "If a country's media is honest, their government can not become anti-people." Being a person of that great profession, by using your newspaper for promoting a religion you show your lunatic mindset. The people of your mentality live a life of such a philosophy and contemplation that they have nothing to do with real life.

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Dr. Ambedkar on Scheduled Tribes

 

Adv. Mahendra Jadhav

adv mahendra jadhav1This is a reply to Prof. M.L. Garasiya's post (dated 27.11.2015) 'Sanvidhan me Kyu nahi diya gaya "Adivasi" shabd ko Sthan/Mahatva?' (Why the word "Adivasi" was not given importance/place in the Constitution of India?)

A few days ago, I received a Whatsapp message from one of my friends who stays in Mumbai. The subject of the message was 'Sanvidhan me Kyu nahi diya gaya "Adivasi" shabd ko Sthan/Mahatva?' (Why was the word "Adivasi" not given importance/place in the Constitution of India?). This article was written by one Prof. M.L. Garasiya. In this article, he alleges that Dr. Ambedkar did not place the word 'Adivasi' in the Constitution of India and did not even speak for the tribals' rights. Mr. Garasiya said that it was Mr. Jaipal Singh Munda who actually stressed the word 'Adivasi' in the Fifth Schedule and stood strongly for tribal rights.

Prof. M.L. Garasiya also alleges that Dr. Ambedkar did not speak about tribals since he was afraid that Dalits will have lesser rights as compared to tribals, which is why he did not include the word "Adivasi" in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

As an Ambedkarite and a student of the Constitution of India, I felt it was necessary to answer these allegations. Before writing my views on this, I would like to convey my deep thanks to my friend who felt that I could do justice to this subject and shared the article written by Prof. M.L. Garasiya. I have tried my best to do justice to the subject and reply to all the allegations made by Mr. Garasiya. In doing so, I have taken the statements of some eminent personalities who acknowledged the work of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in speaking for tribal rights.

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Left Wants Victimized Dalits… not Victorious Dalits

 

Murali Ramathoti

murali ramathotiThe upcoming student union elections at the University of Hyderabad once again prove that Rohith Vemula was correct when he said “No left, no liberal left, and no radical left stand by the oppressed people of India”.

These elections are crucial for BJP government as it wants to create bastions in all higher educational spaces. Since it came to power at the Centre, it started implementing a policy of landing its members as the heads of these institutions. Among those initiatives, the selection of Apparao Podile as Vice-Chancellor of HCU is one.

Prior to his appointment, the BJP and RSS had given clear indications to its student outfit ABVP across the country to frame other organisations, particularly Dalit and minority student organisations, as anti-nationals so that they can ban these from campuses and implement the Manusmriti.

It was the result of those directions that agitations occurred in several higher educational institutions such as the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle in IIT Madras, FTII in Pune, Pondicherry Central University, HCU and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

But everywhere Dalit and oppressed students resisted against the hooliganism of the ABVP and BJP. In this process, five dalit research scholars of HCU, who were active in the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), were suspended and socially boycotted by HCU administration and Apparao. Among them, Rohith Vemula committed suicide -- which created a nationwide struggle against the BJP Hindu fascist government.

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On the Hate Reservations Band Wagon

 

A.K.D. Jadhav

ajit jadhavChetan Bhagat's article "Creaming the People" (TOI October 3, 2015) is a piece with the general stream of thinking in educated upper middle class India. In terms of its response to the genesis and consequences of reservations this stream of thinking is based on certain fundamental but fallacious assumptions regarding the raison d' etre for reservations. These assumptions betray not only a less than nodding acquaintance with Indian constitutional history but more sadly an innocence of the principles of political theory and science on which the structure of affirmative action is erected in most mature democracies around the world. A structure which also found place in India's constitution through the medium of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. 

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Bojja Tharakam: The Dalit Leader

 

Prof. P. Kesava Kumar

bojja tharakam 1Bojja Tharakam (1939-2016), a Dalit leader of high eminence, passed away on 17th September 2016. He was a well-known Dalit leader with multiple facets to his personality. He left his mark on most of the democratic struggles of Telugu society in post independence India. He was a people's leader, civil rights activist, advocate, organizer, writer, poet and ideologue of democratic struggles. His activism did not remain confined to either of the dominant streams of his times - Marxism inspired revolutionary struggles or Dalit movement. He traversed both with unparalleled ease and sense of purpose. He has been critical of Marxism for its caste blindness but he did not undermine either of the struggles. Instead, he brought credence to both.

He was born in a village in Konaseema of coastal Andhra in an Ambedkarite family in 1939. His father, Bojja Appala Swamy, was a first generation dalit leader in independent India and was responsible for establishing Ambedkar-led Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942 and had been elected as a Member of Legislative Assembly in the 1950s.

Educate, Agitate and Organize

Tharakam was an active student leader and completed his graduation in Law. He started practicing law from late 1960s to late 1970s in Nizamabad and engaged in a wide range of struggles by organizing Rythu Coolie Sangham and Ambedkar Yuvajana Sangham. He was arrested during emergency and imprisoned for his public activism on various issues of the people. Later he shifted to Hyderabad and started practising in the High Court and was appointed as Public Prosecutor of the Administrative Tribunal. Later, in protest against the Karamchedu massacre, he resigned from this post and continued as senior advocate by taking up the cases of the people.

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ಅರಸು ಎಂಬ ವಿದ್ಯಮಾನ

 

ಡಾ. ಸಬಿತಾ ಬನ್ನಾಡಿ (Sabitha Bannadi)

sabithaಅದೊಂದು ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿ ವಿತರಿಸುವ ಸಮಾರಂಭ. ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಯೇ ಖುದ್ದಾಗಿ ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ಉದ್ಘಾಟಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ವಿತರಿಸಿದ ಅವರು ಆ ಕೈಗಾಡಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡು ತಮ್ಮ ಜೀವನ ಮಟ್ಟವನ್ನು ಸುಧಾರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವಂತೆ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಹಾಗೆ ಅವರು ಹೇಳುವ ಮಾತುಗಳು ಮಾಮೂಲೀ ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಯ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಇರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಬದಲಿಗೆ ಮನೆಯ ಹಿರಿಯನೊಬ್ಬ ಆಡುವ ಕಳಕಳಿಯ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ಮಾತುಗಳು ಆ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಗೆ ಜನರ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಇರುವ ಕಳಕಳಿಯೂ ಆಗಿ ಧ್ವನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. "ಈ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕುಗಳು ಇವರಿಗೆ ಸಾಲವನ್ನು ಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ ಯಾರೂ ಹಿಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಕೊಡದೇ ಹೋಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ನೂರಕ್ಕೆ ಒಬ್ಬನೋ, ಇಬ್ಬರೋ ಕೊಡದೇ ಇರಬಹುದು. ಈ ಜನ ದುಡ್ಡನ್ನು ಕದಿಯುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಇಷ್ಟಪಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ದುಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಅವಕಾಶ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಟ್ಟರೆ ಅವರೆಂದಿಗೂ ಕದಿಯುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ತಮ್ಮದೇ ಆದ ಬಂಡವಾಳ ಹೂಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ, ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಇಚ್ಛೆ ಪಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ನಿಮಗೀಗ ಈ 600 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಬಂಡವಾಳವೇ ಆಸ್ತಿ. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಜೀವಮಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಇದು ಎಷ್ಟು ಮಹತ್ವದ್ದು. ಮಾಲೀಕರು ನೀವೆ. ದಿವಸಕ್ಕೆ 2 ರೂಪಾಯಿಯನ್ನು ಬ್ಯಾಂಕಿಗೆ ಕಟ್ಟುತ್ತಾ ಬಂದರೆ 20 ತಿಂಗಳ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸಾಲ ತೀರುತ್ತದೆ. . . . ನೀವು ಒಂದು ಸಾವಿರ ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ಆಗುತ್ತದೆ. ನೀವು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ 600 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ಸಾಲ ವಜಾ ಆಗಿ ಗಾಡಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದಾಯಿತು; ಇನ್ನು 100 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ನೀವು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಸಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬಡ್ಡಿಯಾಯಿತು. ಇನ್ನೂ 300 ರೂಪಾಯಿ ನಿಮ್ಮದು ಅಂತ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಳಿಯಿತು; ಉಳಿದ ಈ 300 ರೂಪಾಯಿಗಳನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಟ್ರಸ್ಟ್ ಬೋರ್ಡ್ನಿಂದ ಬಡವರಿಗೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ದರದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೈಟುಗಳನ್ನು, ಮನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಏರ್ಪಾಡು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಇದ್ದೇವೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ಹಣವನ್ನು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು. (ಪ್ರಗತಿ ಪಥ; ಪು. 231; ಸಂ: ಹಾ.ಮಾ.ನಾ; 1976) ಹೀಗೆ ಮನೆ ಯಜಮಾನನಂತೆ ತಿಳಿಹೇಳಿದ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ದೇವರಾಜ ಅರಸು. ಅರಸು ಅವರ ಭಾಷಣಗಳ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ ಓದಿದರೆ ಅವರ ಇಂತಹ ಹಲವು ಮಾತುಗಳು ಕಾಣಸಿಗುತ್ತವೆ. ಆ ಮೂಲಕ ಅರಸು ಅವರ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿತ್ವದ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಮಗ್ಗುಲು ತೆರೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳತ್ತದೆ.

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Against Brahminical Tradition: A Dalit Critique of Indian Modernity

 

Dr. P. Kesava Kumar

kesava kumar'I don't know when I was born/but I was killed on this very soil thousand years ago/ 'dying again and again to be born again'/ I don't know the karma theory/I am being born again and again where I was dead.'1 ~ Kalekuri Prasad

History!/ all these years how could you hide/ the fire in our mouth..../how could you tolerate/inequality and inhumanity2 (Juluri Gowrishankar)

With a smile on his face/ Shambhuka is slaying Rama/ with his axe/Ekalavya is cutting Drona's thumb away/ with his small feet/ Bali is sending Vamana down to pathala/ With needles in his eyes/ and lead in is ears/ Manu, having cut his tongue is seen rolling on the graveyard/ standing on the merciless sword of time/ and roaring with rage/ The Chandala is seen hissing four houndson Sankaracharya/ Oh..!/ The History that is occurring today/ Is the most Chandala history3 (Siva Sagar)

'The burden of reason, dreams of freedom, the desire for power, resistance to power: all of these are elements of modernity. There is no promised land of modernity outside the network of power. Hence one can not be for or against modernity; one can devise strategies for coping with it. These strategies are sometimes beneficial, often destructive; sometimes they are tolerant, perhaps all too often they are fierce and violent.'4

Introduction

Dalits are an oppressed people for many generations due to the caste system of India. Dalits are the worst victims of the caste system. In the name of caste, they are often degraded, discriminated, humiliated, insulted and exploited. Caste is an elaborate social system that influences all other institutions of the society. It is an important marker of traditional Indian society. Caste is carried through religion. In India, the caste system and the Hindu religion are interlinked and inseparable. There were various attempts to reform or transform the Indian society to make it humane, democratic and modern. The intellectuals of social reform and Indian nationalist movement were forced to negotiate with colonial modernity on many accounts. The nationalist social aspirations were articulated by the elite and liberal intellectuals, who happened to be the people of brahminical class, on behalf of the nation. They seemed to be modern in their appeal and traditional in practice. Through their literary, cultural and philosophical discourses they shaped the Indian modernity. This modernity definitely differs from the western modernity. To a certain extent, they managed to overcome the western imposed tradition-modern dichotomy.

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Caste and Maududian antagonism: Thinking Muslim theo-politics

 

Muhammed Shah (Shan)

shan muhammedIf one reads Usthad Abul A'ala Maududi as an early new historicist of Islam, we can't find enough reasons to dismiss his arguments. Perhaps the new historicist elements which to some extent are inherent to the Maududian understanding of Islamic historical moments, have created an aura of mysterious controversy around the figure of Maududi within the Muslim community. For example, in criticizing the emergence of monarchy, formation of 'sects', and 'divisions' in the history of Islamic governmentality, he practices an approach which is largely concerned with the historical material context, to determine a religious event. As Islamic religious events are traditionally understood from quite a meta-historical perspective, his approach has remained widely unaccepted in the Muslim community.

A Marxist should not have a problem with the new historicist way of understanding religious events, as religion and culture are byproducts of the material evolution of humankind in the Marxist perspective. Also, Usthad Maududi is known for framing the idea of being Muslim as being a rational believer, than being a mere heir of religion. Especially his critical analysis of Khulafaurashida (first four rulers of Islam) somewhat resembles the method of Patricia Crone who studied the history of governmentality in Islam from a modern perspective of statehood, although their critical locations are different. This has triggered a lot of debates among the Muslim community on many aspects. But my concern here is as to why Maududi is still a spectral presence across Indian campuses, suspending this particular irony whenever the caste question is raised from a Muslim political location.

Contemporary Muslim student politics, which is largely engaged by Islamists, traditionalists and Salafis has been keen in keeping an ethical dimension in its understanding of caste. In other words, ethics is a spiritual question for a Muslim subject. Muslim ethical discontent with caste is not that of mere solidarity or illegality but can only be that of pure theological conviction which transcends the limits of the political. Precisely because it provides a possibility to deconstruct the very self, it even has the radical potential for the annihilation of the remnants of caste practices among Muslim converts. I would like to call it 'Muslim theo-politics'. Having a metaphysical origin, caste is something that immensely precludes the process of 'becoming' an Indian subject. In order to overcome this stagnation of a subject, one has to imagine a counter metaphysics which is very much present in Muslim theo-politics. This is at odds with much of the contemporary anti-caste discourses, since its emancipatory aspects are very much outside Indian modernity.

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