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The Savarna Bhaskar politics

 

  Deepali Salve

deepali salveWe recently saw Swara Bhaskar's public display of 'grihapravesh' rituals following the norms and traditions of Hinduism. They were presided upon by a Brahmin priest, upholding the systematic exploitation of caste, class and gender.

 

There is nothing wrong with this religious display - it has been kept alive for the sake of the self-interest of the Brahminical lobby (practicing discrimination,hierarchy and patriarchy), which consists seemingly progressive people like Swara, who is  fertilising the norms and traditions of Hinduism.

 

In short, Swara Bhaskar and the Brahmanical lobby are working tirelessly to promote Brahmanism by keeping their religious practices alive. This also includes those who wear the garb of liberalism. There's a long list of names: Ravish Kumar, Kanhaiya Kumar, Arundhati Roy, Kunal Kamra, Anubhav Sinha and Richa Chadha.

 

These are people who, having exploited the underprivileged in society, have also made films on us to pander to their whims. Here, you'll see savarna people working to promote other savarnas (particularly students) on the pretext of seminars, conferences, group discussions and lecture series. To these people I say--Y'all have aggrandised yourselves on the atrocities against, and murders of our students. Savarna authors have gotten published as they wrote on the serious issue of casteism. We've been subjected by upper caste performers to public caste prejudice in the name of comedy. They were laughing even as our issues were being discussed in the newsroom. We're once again highlighting the question of what kind of azaadi you're talking about with no representation for bahujan women.

 

For one, I don't think it's conscionable to look at all this with open eyes. I must be more vocal about your Brahmanical conspiracy and explain to myself as a Bahujan woman what is politically correct as well as what my clear standpoint is. The young generation of this country must not fall prey to your so-called, false, deceitful and romanticized slogans of freedom. And so it is very important to break the facade of the fake "revolution" of the Brahmins. It is very important to unmask the Brahmanical face of the self-proclaimed liberals.

 

So, Swara Bhaskar, now that you limit your vision of revolution and your hollow declaration of independence to a Bahujan audience only, I'd suggest you set your stage apart, stand in front of spectators of your caste and do what you want to do. We have no problem because that forum will be yours, we will not criticize your religious sentiments because Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar has given you religious freedom through the Constitution. We have nothing to do with the way in which you are taking your religious stand and cultivating Brahmanism, because we know that the upper caste left in India has used the pretext of Marxism to strengthen the caste system in the name of class struggle. So wear whatever you want on your stage, but stop doing what you are trying to do by taking the place of a bahujan woman. Because on the one hand you call caste an internal matter and on the other hand you openly accept the religious rituals of Brahmanism. We are not so ignorant now, to miss your hypocrisy.

 

Now, let's take a look at the casteist incidents of the recent past. A caste atrocity took place in Hathras. You were missing when the bahujans first took to the streets. Maybe you were looking for an opportunity and you got one. In the name of supporting the bahujan community who have come together in Delhi to bring justice to the victim's sister, you stood by the side of the bahujan youth leader Chandrasekhar Azad, and by trickery, deprived the bahujan women of their voice. This won't do, because that place belongs to my bahujan women and if the question is ours, the exploitation is ours, the forum is ours and the mic is ours. We have the right to raise our voice against that exploitation.

 

However, you grabbed that place just like over the years everyone grabbed the rights of the underprivileged in the name of "merit". So, I would have been happier if there was a bahujan woman in your place. After all, she is the one at the bottommost stratum of this country. In fact, seeing you in that place really annoyed me.

 

So keep in mind that the bahujan movement should be led by a bahujan woman. Because the struggle of the exploited should be led by my many mothers and sisters. Not by a woman nurtured by Brahmanism like you. Therefore, you as a savarna person should stay off the stage now and get into the habit of paying heed to our humanitarian ideas and recognising the hypocrisy of your exploitative ancestors as well as of the false history written by them. 

 

If one does not know exactly what it means to be free from mental slavery, then Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, while defining mental freedom in "Mukti Kon Pathe", has defined it well: "Freedom of mind is true freedom. He who is not free is in prison even though he is not a prisoner. He whose mind is not free is dead even though he is alive. Freedom of mind is the very proof of life."

 

If you want freedom, I can assure you that there will be no revolution in your life without first being free from religious slavery.

 

We need no privileged bhashanbazi from someone who does not know suffering, or from someone who cannot liberate upper caste women from their mental slavery. We know that you savarnas nurture Brahmanism. It is not that savarna women do not know what is written about women in Hindu scriptures like the Manusmriti--what rights have been given to them and what rights have been denied. You'd know better because you are educated.

 

Yet, Brahmanists/Manuvadis not only believe in these cruel orthodox traditions but also work to inculcate the same Manuwadi ideals in the next generation. The reason for this is that you are well aware that just as all men have been given a place of supremacy by Manu, so are the women  granted privileges. That is exactly why you do not want to destroy the caste system and lose the privileges you've received through Hinduism.

 

It seems that savarna women get a different kind of pleasure by exploiting SC, ST, OBC and Pasmanda Muslim people. I mean, in a way, you are vigorously maintaining the caste pyramid here. So keep that false freedom and revolution to yourself. As long as we have Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and his Annihilation of Caste with us, we do not need your so-called revolutionary thoughts. It is time to move your shops to another place.

 

If you come into our space to provoke Ambedkarite youngsters or try to criminalize our men in the name of patriarchy, remember that the Ambedkarite women from Aurangabad who blackened the statue of Manu at the court in Rajasthan can also pull you down from our stage.

 

And yes, it's ridiculous that you take the Constitution of India written by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in your hand and make a hollow declaration of azaadi while completely ignoring his thoughts. We can understand your quandary, it is difficult for you to oppose Brahmanism. But if you really want to help bahujan society, you should start from your own home/community. Because the root of all problems and the caste system is in your caste. It is for you to understand that your so-called feminism is cultivating Brahmanism. For this, it is important for you to read Phule, Shahu, Ambedkar and Periyar. Their thoughts will add value to your knowledge because the very act of performing religious rituals to "God" is mental slavery. To get freedom from that mental slavery you must volunteer to deny the sanctity of the Hindu scriptures and destroy the caste system by inculcating among your fellow savarna people the constitutional values of equality, fraternity, freedom and justice. It is this process of liberation from complete mental slavery, this mental upheaval, that is called 'enlightenment'.

 

 Try and see if you can do it.

~~~

 

Deepali Salve pursuing a PhD in Sociology from the University of Mumbai and this is where she completed her M.Phil. M.Phil dissertation assesses the perception of caste, gender and intersection of Scavenging women. Her research interests are social and economic status of Scavenging women, social stratification and inequality, women Labour issues and issues related to Girl child education.

 


 

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