– Rahul Kumar
This rejoinder is in response to the article: A Common Hindu Identify has always appealed to OBC and Dalit Castes by Abhinav Prakash Singh, Assistant Professor, SRCC, University of Delhi published in Hindustan Times on 18.07.2019.
The author articulated three important issues. One is the liberation of Dalit weaker castes if they are inducted into a powerful Hindu community; second is Hindutva is also the only protection for them against aggression by Muslims and third the BJP is the only party that had distributed maximum number of tickets to Dalits in the state of Uttar Pradesh. These three issues are very important issues that need to be deeply deliberated.
A Chinese proverb says: “Every intelligent man has his own purposes”. There is no room for doubt that the RSS has been able to bring only those few Dalits like Prof. Abhinav Prakash Singh into its fold who took benefit of getting a permanent job with the help of the RSS. Inasmuch as he is a member of the RSS, it becomes his moral duty to present the guardian in a positive light. Dalits who joined the RSS for their economic and political benefits are compulsorily made to forget the humiliation of their great -great grand fathers and mothers and their social segregation by the Brahmins. Dalits who joined the RSS are compulsorily made to forget about their sisters and mothers who were forced to run naked & raped on the streets by the upper caste people. Dalits who joined the RSS are compulsorily made to forget about their children who were forced to sit outside the classroom or drink water from a separate pot. Dalits who joined the RSS are also compulsorily made to forget that it is the Brahmins who spread the poison of the caste system into the world. Few examples will further illustrate the point: See the case of Udit Raj, Ram Vilas Paswan. They and their children do no say “Jai Bhim”. Not only this Udit Raj after becoming BJP MP removed all Baba Saheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar portraits from the walls of his residence at Atul Road, Janpath, New Delhi. Ram Vilas Paswan`s son went to Vaishno Devi Hindu temple on the release of his first movie. Dalits have multiple identities.
The majority of the Dalits who joined the RSS and availing economic and political benefits project Ambedkar & Ambedkarism to the weaker Dalit castes wrapped in Modi saffron ribbon.
Now I shall try to examine all three important issues which the author has highlighted in his article. First of all, in the mind of a Dalit like me a question comes: Who made the Dalits Castes weaker? The answer is very clear from the historical point of view that the Brahmins of India made the Dalit castes weaker by not allowing them to read; by socially segregating the Dalit castes from the mainstream society. It is the Brahmins of India who perpetuates the caste system thereby stigmatizing the Dalit castes. Because of social stigmatization, the Dalit weaker castes are unable to move to the socio-economic ranking.
Brahmins are comfortable if the weaker Dalit castes emulate their regressive and unscientific social and religious practices and bow to them according to their whims and fancies. Brahmins are happy if the weak Dalits visit Hindu temples and adopt Hindu Spirits and Deities Prof. M.N. Srinivas the famous Indian sociologist called such process “Brahminisation’of the lower castes. The members of the OBCs are more than Brahmins who practices all Hindu rituals and customs. It is because of this social & religious assimilation Brahmins do not practices untouchability against OBCs, Jats, Rajputs, and other economically weaker sections despite all these castes avail the benefit of ‘Reservation’. Then why Brahmins only practices caste discrimination against the Dalits needs to be contemplated deeply. Why the Dalit students face caste discrimination not the OBCs, Jats, Rajputs & other economically weaker sections. All these questions must stir the minds of the people of India.
Today, the landless weaker Dalit castes live at the mercy of Brahmin –Bania landholding nexus. Data released by independent research organizations shows that 50% of the land of the country is in the hands of Brahmin-Bania powerful castes and the remaining 50% of the land is under litigation (private or government). Whenever weaker Dalit castes try to assert their land rights which were snatched by the people of the upper castes, they are either beaten mercilessly or land up in local police station which is controlled by the upper caste people. It is a daily affair in the villages of India. A recent case of Sonbhadra in the state of Uttar Pradesh is an eye-opener. Weaker Dalits castes face existential threat every day to their life and property.
Liberation of the weaker Dalit castes after induction into the Hindu community will never take place since Brahmins are not socially and religious ready to shed their caste-ridden mental attitude. On the other hand, why rich Brahmins and Bania castes will accept the members of the weaker Dalit castes when they can snatch their fundamental rights under the thump of the ruling party without hindrance. Yes, they can visit the houses of the Dalits who have either taken membership of the BJP or having affiliation to the RSS. In this matter, they are craftier than the congress leaders to hoodwink the Dalits by sitting on the dirty broken cots sipping tea from the hands of the Dalit family. All this is done primarily with a motive to split the Dalit votes and nothing else. The previous congress governments marginalized the Dalits but the BJP/RSS not only marginalized the Dalits but also pushing them to the brink of extinction.
The caste system is still prevalent in India. The Dalits are not allowed to sit on the female horse during marriage procession; the Dalits are beaten if they dare to marry an upper-caste girl. The author must keep in mind what Baba Saheb Dr B.R. Ambedkar wrote in Annihilation of caste in 1937:
“Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. It is incompatible with democracy. Hindu raj must be prevented at any cost”.
The author being a Dalit himself does not talk about Buddhism. Buddhism is the only religion which can liberate the Dalit weaker castes from the greedy paws of Brahmanism. True salvation lies only and only in Buddhism and Ambedkarism.
The author in one of his interview eulogizes the social services of the RSS since he is a member of the organization. He also criticizes the ideals of Communist Party of India (CPM). He claims that CPM is a spent force. I suppose the author might have faced discrimination by the upper caste students during his university days. Let me ask him. Who are the upper caste students? From where they draw their strength to stigmatize the Dalit students? Today the situation in the Jawaharlal Nehru University is alarming. All Dalit students are penalized except those who either join or work clandestinely for the RSS. Not only this, some of the Dalit students reported that their M.Phil dissertation and PhD thesis are missing in the Evaluation Branch. Saurabh Sharma, ABVP leader in the university got his PhD degree in eight days. Does the author has any answer for it? The Dalit students are running from pillar to post but the ABVP and the RSS student leaders are laughing on seeing them harassed or tortured by the pro- RSS administrators. I am neither a Congressman nor a CPM worker. Yes, I am a Dalit and feels sorry for the poor and helpless Dalit students.
Let us assess the case of SRCC, a prominent college of Delhi University. A question comes to my mind: How many SC students are admitted in the Economics department of SRCC. What happens to them after a year? How are they harassed mentally by the upper caste teachers? Answer to all these questions are better known to the author since he himself is a faculty at the SRCC. After 2014 Reservation meant for the upliftment of the SCs/STs students has become a curse especially in the educational institutions. I hold the BJP/RSS responsible for such bad situation in the country.
Let us talk about the recruitment of a faculty (permanent, Ad-hoc, guest lecturer) in the colleges of University of Delhi. My faculty friend from the same university told me that, “Now a days the RSS people are scrutinizing the applications of a candidate for faculty recruitment. If they find that any member of his or her family dead or alive ever worked against or wrote against the RSS his or her application should outrightly be rejected. Such bad situation was never before 2014. The congress and the left party leaders were more liberal in matter of recruitment of faculties than the BJP/RSS.
Not only this the RSS of which the author is a member has a problem with the intellectual class of the country. Those who dare to write against them they face false defamation lawsuits across the country. The sympathizers of the RSS & its affiliated organizations abuse the writers, Dalit activists who dare to pinpoint their hooliganism day and night through fake email IDs. All Dalit writers are demoralized by such abusive emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram so & so on sent by the sympathizers of the RSS/Bajrang Dal. Tamed media do not publish anything against hooliganism due to hellfire backlash.
Coming to the second point that Hindutva protects the Dalits from Muslin aggression. This kind of propaganda is spread by the RSS people who are taking social, political and economic benefits by making the Dalits understand that Muslims are going to kill them. Muslim are tortured and killed mercilessly by the Bajrang Dal and other RSS affiliated organizations on the pretext of cow slaughter. They are leading a life of isolation and loneliness because the dominant Brahmins and Banias do not want to rent them a place. In actual, it is the opposite. Bajrang Dal, a member of the RSS family organization, members are found beating the Dalits, Muslims & Christians. Several such gruesome incidents of atrocities against the Dalits are reported by the media. In 2018 as many as 1,545 cases were registered under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989). Let me ask the author how many times being a member of the RSS he has dared to stage a protest against the atrocities and showed his anger to the RSS headquarters?
I am deeply touched by highlighting this that not a single camp ever organized by the RSS or Bajrang Dal to educate the Brahmins of India against the practices of “ Untouchability” See the case of Himachal Pradesh, according to a media report 80 kinds of ‘Untouchability’ is practices in the BJP ruled state of Himachal Pradesh. The RSS has the manpower, intelligence and state machinery at their disposal what else the RSS/ Bajrang Dal needs to eradicate the cancer of ‘Untouchability’. I am doubtful if ever the RSS/Bajrang Dal can be true liberators of the weaker Dalit castes.
Last point he raised that the BJP is the only party that distributed maximum tickets to Dalits in the state of Uttar Pradesh. There is a reason behind such a calculated move. The BJP is a clever party. The Modi/Shah combine knew the presence of BSP in Uttar Pradesh. The aim was very clear to split the Dalit votes. What next is the question? The representation of the Dalits in the BJP is insignificant. The Dalits who were made Ministers by the Modi government in 2014 were never allowed to speak in the parliament for the concerns of the Dalits. For example, Vijay Sampla, a Dalit from village Sofi Pind, district Jalandhar was appointed a state minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment by the Modi government who never spoke even a word in the parliament in favour of the Dalits. He as a Minister did not present any report about the worsening plight of the Dalits in the state of Punjab. He as a Minster did not raise an issue to increase funds or scholarship for the poor and needy SC students in the state of Punjab. He as a Minister did not raise an issue of the poor Dalit famers. The RSS wants such deaf, dumb and reticent Dalit Ministers. This is not a representation in true sense of the word.
It is unfortunate that a robust organization like RSS has problem with the Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. Whatever happens with the Hindus in the Muslim countries the Hindu nationalist will blame the Indian Muslims. They blame the Christians for conversion. In Punjab the RSS has a problem with the Sikh community. Why they want to indoctrinate the weak Dalits. Why the Bajrang Dal want to hold week-long outreach with the weak Dalits. If the RSS is really a social organization and want to fight the social evils of Hindu society, first and foremost they should issue a written commitment to the upper caste people that no atrocities will be tolerated in future against the weaker Dalit castes.
Being myself a Dalit I urge the author that he should quit the divisive, explosive, hellfire RSS and work for the propagation of Buddhism and Ambedkarism. He can use his intelligence to educate Dalit children about Buddhism and Ambedkarism. He can get respect only among the Dalit communities. Dalit communities need intellectuals like you to serve them. Let us fulfill Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar`s dream to push forward the caravan he left on 6 December 1956.
Dr Rahul Kumar, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Bureau Chief, The Asian Independent UK, Chairman, Voice for the Victims of Discrimination. He is a member of Global Research Forum for Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT) He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.