Communalism and the Pasmanda question


Lenin Maududi

Lenin MaududiIt's time for us to understand that politics is at the centre of every society. It follows then that if politics is of a poor quality, it is futile to expect any improvement in social status. Secular warriors in India claim that they are fighting against fascism, so they want every person who is against Sanghi-fascism, to be with them. In doing so, they also join hands with Muslim communal organizations. It sounds very good to hear that to fight a big danger/evil, the smaller danger/evil should be overlooked. It is also argued that if we have to choose between fascism and communalism, then we will choose communalism. Such arguments are nothing but a sign of mental slavery. They do not understand that things that might look good are not necessarily right. Between "Good" and "Right", we should always choose "Right". In the same way, some foolish intellectuals gave the opportunity to the politically untouchable RSS during the Emergency to become their identity on the political platform of India. At that time, it seemed great that all the ideologies came under one umbrella, and Indira Gandhi got defeated. Bravo!

The Muslims, considered as Gandhiji's holy cow, left the Congress for the first time and voted against Indira Gandhi and went to the extent of voting for RSS folks. The result was that Indira Gandhi was completely defeated. But the question is: 'Who won finally'? We need to understand that when any communal/fascist forces form the basis of popularity and easily make their way into democracy, they eventually want to end this democracy.

Today we are still suffering from the mistakes that the intellectuals and political leaders made at the time of the Emergency. Also, we are committing the same mistakes today. These secular warriors are giving a chance to Muslim communal organizations in the name of fighting fascism. It looks very good now, it seems all right and we do not care about it, that we are moving the Muslim youth into the clutches of these Muslim communal organizations. Most Muslim boys are joining them after seeing famous "secular warriors" (liberal-communist), thinking that these communal organisations must be correct since many "secular" people are with them.

It is often seen that these secular warriors are assertive on Hindu communalism but they keep silent on Muslim communalism. By doing so, they are not doing any favour to Muslim society, but in this way, they are promoting Hindu communalism. It is also necessary for the Muslim community to understand that Minority communalism cannot fight with Majority Communalism. When a goon like Mukhtar Ansari is your tiger, why is the tiger of the majority lesser than your tiger? When Owaisi can give a slogan for Muslim unity and talk of voting as a Muslim, why won't Sanghis talk about uniting together and voting as Hindus? Is it wrong to say that in the case of emotional political issues, the Muslim political leadership will first fall under the elite class of Ashraf Muslims? Is it wrong to say that leaders such as Owaisi, Azam Khan always remain vocal on emotional issues and never raise voice over the anti-poor structure of the political system?

Today, the situation of the Ansari (weavers) community is getting worse, with Goods & Services Tax (GST) ready to break the backs of Ansaris (weavers). Is this even an issue for our Muslim leadership? Quraishi (Butchers) society is constantly being victimized, but our Muslim leadership will fight on every road on the issue of 'Triple Talaq' because the leadership of this society is in the hands of those who come from the well-off socio-economic strata of the Muslim society. They don't know about the people of the Pasmanda community, nor their problems and even if they know them, they don't want to talk about them as it will break the image of the 'United" Muslim community front.

That is why they raise some symbolic and emotional issues like the Babri Masjid, Urdu, Aligarh Muslim University, Personal Law, etc., on which the secular, liberal and communist intellectuals are seen to march with them. On such issues, these people go around in circles, and the elite Muslim communities rally behind them and the organisations that run under their influence (Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, Popular Front of India etc), keep their interests alive and have secured their place of power. Similarly, the same secular, liberal and communist intellectuals also extend their access to minority communities with their support so that they get more funds.

These secular warriors can see Hindu Dalits, but they can never see the Muslim Dalits. These intellectuals get stomach burns when they hear the word "Pasmanda". But the moment Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the term 'Pasmanda', the Secular Warriors got jittery and they considered leaders of Pasmanda community as agents of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Pasmanda leaders were subject to personal attacks and were hounded. With this, some people of the Pasmanda community, who have become Ashrafised & who are mental slaves of the elite Muslims and feel proud of it, were put in the forefront, not because of any morality but to keep the internal caste contradiction within Muslims under control.

One more point to understand here is that in India 'Secularism' is meant to be 'Muslim appeasement'. The BJP is easily able to explain this point to the Hindu voters. The big thing is that Hindu voters are not rejecting this meaning. If minority secularism of other parties will collide with the BJP's Hindu majority, then it is not difficult to imagine the winner of this match. Therefore, it is necessary that the new interpretation of secularism is based on the Unity of Caste/Class, where there is no place for religious Minorityism. On one hand, the Hindu-Muslim Dalit-Backwards and on the other hand, the unity of the upper caste Hindu-Muslim factions: this will start a new kind of politics in India. The Pasmanda Movement is built on this concrete reality that caste is the foundation of India's social structure.

Therefore, socio-political discussions can be done only by keeping Caste at the Centre. We believe that there is not One Single Caste that can call itself a majority. When there is no majority, then there is no meaning of minority. The only solution is the unity of Caste/Class, to stop the Hinduisation or Islamization of Indian society.

This article was originally published in RTI - Hindi here



 Lenin Maududi is a writer. He has a strong understanding of issues from a Pasmanda point of view and this shows in his writings too. The English translation was done by Vinay Shende, who is an Ambedkarite working in the Corporate Sector.

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