Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exploitative Majoritarianism and pan-India identities

Hindu politics is built around hindu thought best illustrated in the "naro wa kunjaro wa" subterfuge and "for 100 villages sacrificing 1 village is fine" social prioritisation by the hindu god Krishna. How enlightened hindu's interpret these messages from Krishna is not material. The impact of these messages on the minds of the average hindu is more significant. IMHO these thoughts are the rock solid base of the exploitative Indian social structure and politics. Krishna's social prioritisation algorithm helps the average hindu to expect and accept governmental measures focusing on improving the financials of the dominant 77.5% while 15% dalits and 7.5% tribals suffer. Merely by claiming to themselves that their opponents are devoid of dharma like the kauravas (irrespective of the reality of this claim), the average hindu easily justifies "naro wa kunjaro wa" treatment to their opponents for selfish purposes. In particular Krishna's "naro wa kunjaro wa" helps hindu leaders in power to pursue the interest of dominant hindu's while claiming to work for development of the poor hungry and powerless.

The universality of human rights is alien to the average hindu. The "for 100 villages sacrificing 1 village is fine" belief drives the exploitative majoritarianism of the average hindu. I will repeat again that how the enlightened hindu handles the exhortations of Krishna is beside the question. When even Gandhi did not hesitate to violate the privacy of dalit girls to test his brahmacharya (essentially exploited them), what can one say of the average hindu. Treating all Indians as brothers and sisters remains in the prefaces of kids text books. Indians are socialized at home and in most key social groupings to understand a complex set of hierarchies and behaviours, a complex social grammar, the base of which are thoughts which divide and seperate humans into partitions with seperate irreconcilable destinies. The Indian constitution provides a clear definition of ways and means of managing Indian social affairs in a fair and equitable manner where all partitions are treated equally. But the average hindu seeks the iconic Ram Rajya where each partition pursues its irreconcilable destiny without fighting with each other. The concept of this Ram Rajya is not compatible with the universal declaration of human rights. Any attempt to redefine Ram Rajya to make it compatible with universality of human rights will render the concept  meaningless in practice.

The Gandhi-Nehru pan-India identity germinated through the Indian freedom movement was theorised by Nehru  and kept Congress in power for many years. This identity claiming to be transformative remained partriachical and feudal hardly changing the social and political structure that existed pre-independence. The manufacturing of the pan-india hindu identity is a long drawn project which has seen a significant measure of success recently, but the process of its creation and maintenance is difficult due to the sheer underlying diversity of caste, religion, language, etc needing the constant definition of an external enemy and constant fighting the forces of technology and caste/language identities/relationships which tend to derail this pan-india hindu identity. Despite the constitution being clearly transformation oriented, it is futile to expect the current regime to try to actualize its transformative potential just like the previous congress regime. Redistribution has never been on the agenda of the exploitative majoritarianists.

So one has to wait for the internal contradictions of the pan-india hindu identity to give way just like Mayawati's rainbow coalition and watch out for the emergence of a new pan-India identity which is primarily based around the social values of the constitution. I have every reason to believe that this will be led by enlightened Ambedkarites from forward and backward castes.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar....may his tribe increase (a la Abou Ben Adam)


Pratap Tambay