Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The origin of Brahmanism, Caste and Riddles in Hinduism

The Brahmins wrote contradictory statements about the origin of Gods and their supremacy, about the Vedas and its origin, about the creation of Universe etc (Ref: RIDDLE IN HINDUISM – By Dr.B.R.Ambedkar). Why did they do so?

The guardian of Buddhism, the Mauryan Empire was brought down and Buddhism was demolished. There was chaos throughout India. 

It was the beginning of Brahmanism. So each one of the Brahmin philosophers tried to propose his own theory on creation. 

For example during the 19 and 20 century AD, when Physics was born, with the discovery of atoms, electron proton, neutron and sub-atomic particles, there were so many theories that tried to explain atoms and the sub-atomic particles, e.g. the Nucleus theory, Dalton atomic theory, Quantum theory etc. Some of these theories were contradictory to one-another and some aided one-another. This happened with Brahmanism. This was the period, after 185 B.C, when Buddhism collapsed in India by a revolution and Brahmins were trying to introduce a new system with a new Political and religious Philosophy. Hence initially the Brahmins tried to use the Vedas as their basis and started to propose new theories about the creation of Universe and the God who created it. So there were so many conflicting and aiding theories. But this did not give a satisfactory explanation. So then they started writing the Upanishads attacking the Vedas and claiming they are inferior to the Upanishads and proposed new theories. This also did not work out. Then there were new proposals in the name of Smrithis. So in the name of Manu Smrithi, Sumati Bharagava wrote a set of rules (like a constitution) and made that as the final authority (Manu Smriti was written by Sumati Bharagava after 185 B.C. i.e. after the Revolution of Pushyamitra by Killing the Buddhist Mauryan Emperor Brihadratha – Based on Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India, Chapter 6: The Literature of Brahminism). This one got accepted and implemented by the then rulers of that time (Most probably by the Guptas between 2nd to 4th century AD and started spreading gradually through India over the next 1500 years with resistance and counter-resistance). The outcome of this is the 4 + 1 class system (Note: Earlier the Aryans had only a 3 class system). Brahmins held their position no matter, which Kingdom/dynasty came to power through the immunity given in the Manu Smrithy. The Kings who accepted the system were absorbed as Ksathrias itself as long as they were in power. The rich Businessmen were also absorbed as Vaisyas. All other classes were included in a new class called the Sudras. The ones that did not accept the system plus the Kings and his soldiers that were defeated in war were ex-communicated and ostracized from cities and towns and were gradually made untouchables.

As the system started growing the Brahmins and their supporters wrote more and more stories (e.g. addition of Bhagawat Gita to the Mahabharata, elevation of Rama as an avathar of Lord Vishnu, contradictory and unfitting avathars, of Lord Vishnu, like Balarama and Parasurama during the same time as Krishna) to aid and support their system and added them to the existing pre-Vedic, pre-Brahmanism literature that people knew about like the Bharatha (to be renamed Mahabharata), Ramayana etc. But also to hold their position the Brahmins had to be flexible enough to praise and raise the God of the King that ruled. Hence if the King was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, the Brahmins wrote stories in high praise of Lord Vishnu and degraded the other Gods, similarly if the King was a devotee of Lord Shiva, the Brahmins wrote stories in high praise of Lord Shiva and degraded the other Gods, similarly if the King was a devotee of Goddess Kali, the Brahmins wrote stories in high praise of Goddess Kali and degraded the other Gods. This is the reason there are numerous conflicting ideas about the supremacy of various Gods in Hinduism.

NOTE: According to Tolgapeeam – a Sangam Tamil literature that describes the life and state of affairs in ancient Tamil Country (Like an Encylopedia of that time) the land was classified into four major regions – Marutham – Plain lands and agricultural fields that comprised most of the Urban civilization, Mullai – Forest and settlements surrounding Forests, Kurunchi – Mountains and settlements surrounding Mountaneous region, Neythal – Seashore, Sea and settlements surrounding the seashores. 

The God for Marutham was Indran

The God for Mullai was Thirumal (Lord Vishnu) 

The God for Kurunchi was Murugan (Lord Karthik)

The God for Neythal was Varunan 

The people in the 4 regions were considered as stable settlers.

All four Gods among other Gods were described as Mallas. 

Later one more region was added as Palai – Desert region.

The God for Palai was Kotravai . 

The people who wandered in the deserts were robbers and did not have stable settlement. As the men of these robbery tribes always wandered they did not have families. 

These robbers looted people travelling outside the 4 regions and killed the male travellers most often and sacrificed these travellers to their Godess Kali. These robbers took the female travellers and had sex and left them. The children born to these robbers and raped women were raised by females. So usually a female is the head of a group or tribe. Hence they had female Godess named Kali.

At some point in time one of the robbery tribe should have gained power and established a Kingdom. The Brahamins who served this Kingdom performed pujas for the Godess of this Kingdom - Kali and later equated Kali to the wife of Lord Shiva.

The evolution of the concept: ‘Work by Birth’ in Brahmanism. 

Now a days, we know there are certain inert characteristics of each individual. Say some never seem to get tired and seem to work all the time, some take short breaks between works. Some take long rest and suddenly erupt into massive burst of speed intensive work and then go back to rest for long duration, some have specific talents on specific engineering tasks, some have specific talent as surgeon etc that we call as natural. (This may be attributed to the Sun signs e.g. Aries have certain traits, Taurus have certain traits, Cancer have certain traits etc)

The ancient Indians were aware of this. So at the time of birth astrologers tell the child’s parents of what the newborn will become to be and what special talents it will have so that the parents can nurture those fields that the child is supposed to naturally possess and become an expert in it. (There are numerous examples of these incidents in ancient Indian stories, e.g. Astrologers said Siddhartha would become King of Kings if took interest in warfare or will become a Buddha, a great teacher if he took interest in Philosophy. The Sangam age Tamil Poet Elango (born to Chera King) to become much famous than his elder brother Senguttavan. Thinking that Elanglo may become powerful than his elder brother as a king to become famous and hence to avoid a war within the family, Elango choose to become a Jain Monk and wrote the Tamil poem Silapathigaraam and became very famous). So ancient Indians believed that a person had a natural talent for a specific field and was destined to go to that field. This is what they specified by birth a person was destined to become. In the case of Vashista and Vishwamitra this was the conflict. Vashista was talented to become a sage and became a sage. Vishwamitra was already a King so as a child he was supposed to be destined to be a King. But when Vishwamitra saw the magic / mantric powers of Vashista, Vishwamitra also wanted to learn those magic / mantric powers and approached Vashista to teach him. But as Vashista believed that the natural talents of each individual was pre-destined / determined during the time of birth, Vashista told Vishwamitra that by birth Vishwamitra was destined to be a King and not a sage and hence cannot learn those tricks / mantras and refused to teach Vishwamitra (with the belief of natural talents by birth). Vishwamitra out of great curiosity and will learned the tricks elsewhere and proved to be a great sage with great power. This shattered the belief of Vashista and hence there were numerous stories about the conflict between Vashista and Vishwamitra. 

But the Brahmins during the evolution and rise of Brahmanism were looking into the Vedic stories to get their theories, as mentioned earlier, misinterpreted / misrepresented the concept of by birth (natural) talents and wrote that each person was destined to specific work when they were born (by birth), but instead of taking into account the natural talents took parentage (to whom the child was born) to mean by birth and wrote a child born to a Brahmin should work like a Brahmin (Priest), a child born to a King should become a King, a child born to a Merchant should work as a Merchant and a child born to a worker should work as a worker(Sudra). This concept very well helped the King as well to very easily make his sons as the next King without outside competition, similarly for the aristocrats to hold the position for their sons in the Kings court without difficulty. Hence the concept was well received by the King and rich to spread the concept of Brahmanism. (Note: In ancient India Democracy was well established. E.g. Within Koshlas – clan of Buddha, the King was selected from a round robin among a group of Chiefs for a specific tenure. The Mallas at the time of Buddha had democracy, Perumal was elected as the King for a period of 12 years from the chiefs of group of villages, When a King dies before his tenure, the new King was selected using the Chief King Temple Elephant from public – The Elephant was taken in procession from the King’s Temple with a garland in its trunk. Whom ever the Elephant places the garland on, becomes the next King). With the adoption of Brahmanism, the Kings had a secure way of making his son as the next King and very happily adopted Brahmanism, which gradually led to the strict enforcement of tight caste compartments and prevented anyone from switching profession.

What Brahminism did to India?

  1. Destroyed democracy in India
  2. Removed equality for women
  3. Prevented Philosophy and Science from developing.
  4. Divided people from socializing.
  5. Made life a misery to most of the population.

The genetic origin of the upper castes in India is more European than Asian-Genomic report

A large number of historians have long contested that the dehumanizing and discriminating caste system has its origins in the Aryan conquest of India. The Aryans constructed caste ideology as a religious, political and social tool to rule the original inhabitants of the land. The Aryan invasion thesis has been contested by some historians and most recently by the extremist Hindutva forces who are committed to the perpetuation of the caste system.

Finally, the Human Genome project analyzing the DNA composition of humans has produced scientific evidence stating that the genetic origin of the upper castes in India is more European than Asian.

I enclose below a large quotation from the results of the research carried by Utah University in collaboration with Andhra University, etc. But what follows is the main result of the research:

“Analysis of these data demonstrated that the upper castes have a higher affinity to Europeans than to Asians, and the upper castes are significantly more similar to Europeans than are the lower castes. Collectively, all five datasets show a trend toward upper castes being more similar to Europeans, whereas lower castes are more similar to Asians. We conclude that Indian castes are most likely to be of proto-Asian origin with West Eurasian admixture resulting in rank-related and sex-specific differences in the genetic affinities of castes to Asians and Europeans.”

This genetic evidence supports the long held view that caste slavery was constructed by foreigners who entered India and who created an elaborate social and spiritual system to dominate and rule the original inhabitants of the land. This genetic finding is no less important than the other finding which states that all human beings have come from one pair of original parents.

Caste, Racism and Slavery

Regardless of this fact about our common origin, human civilization is filled with examples of how one set of human beings has enslaved others on the basis of color, ethnic identity, nationality and religion. Human history is also replete with efforts to deal with racism and slavery. The modern anti-slavery and anti-racism movement has received another boost with the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the passing of the law that abolished the transatlantic slave trade through the work of Wilberforce and others. Abraham Lincoln said of Wilberforce, “Millions yet unborn will thank God for the memory of this man.’’ Watch the movie “Amazing Grace” if you have not yet seen it.

Of all the slaveries inflicted on human beings, the caste system stands out as the longest standing system designed to keep the Dalits in perpetual slavery. Caste discrimination based on descent and occupation is nothing less than apartheid. The Dalits are visible victims of this invisible apartheid at work in Indian society. It is hard to believe that this system and ideology has brainwashed Indians for 3,000 years.

Given the scientific evidence and the social and moral arguments against the caste system, is this not the century to abolish the practice of the caste system globally?

Since the caste system degrades men, women and labor, it is imperative that India abolishes the system first as it stands in the way of India unleashing the full potential of its people and becoming the global power it is capable of becoming! Abolish anything that encourages the practice of the caste system, including caste-based marriage advertisements. Abolish the practice of the caste system in all religions by law!

More than the law, we must strengthen public opinion against this system which is so divisive in nature and scope that today it impacts all of life – politics, religion, education and economics, to name just a few areas.

Extract from

“The origins and affinities of the 1 billion people living on the subcontinent of India have long been contested. This is owing, in part, to the many different waves of immigrants that have influenced the genetic structure of India. In the most recent of these waves, Indo-European-speaking people from West Eurasia entered India from the Northwest and diffused throughout the subcontinent. They purportedly admixed with or displaced indigenous Dravidic-speaking populations. Subsequently they may have established the Hindu caste system and placed themselves primarily in castes of higher rank. To explore the impact of West Eurasians on contemporary Indian caste populations, we compared mtDNA (400 bp of hypervariable region 1 and 14 restriction site polymorphisms) and Y-chromosome (20 biallelic polymorphisms and 5 short tandem repeats) variation in 265 males from eight castes of different rank to 750 Africans, Asians, Europeans, and other Indians. For maternally inherited mtDNA, each caste is most similar to Asians. However, 20%–30% of Indian mtDNA haplotypes belong to West Eurasian haplogroups, and the frequency of these haplotypes is proportional to caste rank, the highest frequency of West Eurasian haplotypes being found in the upper castes. In contrast, for paternally inherited Y-chromosome variation each caste is more similar to Europeans than to Asians. Moreover, the affinity to Europeans is proportionate to caste rank, the upper castes being most similar to Europeans, particularly East Europeans. These findings are consistent with greater West Eurasian male admixture with castes of higher rank. Nevertheless, the mitochondrial genome and the Y chromosome each represents only a single haploid locus and is more susceptible to large stochastic variation, bottlenecks, and selective sweeps. Thus, to increase the power of our analysis, we assayed 40 independent, biparentally inherited autosomal loci (1 LINE-1 and 39 Alu elements) in all of the caste and continental populations (∼600 individuals). Analysis of these data demonstrated that the upper castes have a higher affinity to Europeans than to Asians, and the upper castes are significantly more similar to Europeans than are the lower castes. Collectively, all five datasets show a trend toward upper castes being more similar to Europeans, whereas lower castes are more similar to Asians. We conclude that Indian castes are most likely to be of proto-Asian origin with West Eurasian admixture resulting in rank-related and sex-specific differences in the genetic affinities of castes to Asians and Europeans.”

THE detailed report submitted by the anthropologist can be downloaded from the following link:

Indian TV's Evolving Grasp on the Caste Churning in India

Indian TV's Evolving Grasp on the Caste Churning in India

Barkha Dutt is one of our most prominent and smartest TV talk-show hosts. I remember the Barkha Dutt NDTV talk-show episode covering the issue of OBC reservation when the Dalit/OBC minority group in the audience walked out in disgust as the rest of the audience and program agenda was clearly pro-anti-reservationist. It seemed to me that this time Barkha was out of her depth on the caste churning and discourse in society and was disconnected with caste discrimination in India like so many of the urban elite in this country.

Soon, however, there was a change. Barkha wrote a piece on how the upper caste English-educated had an undue advantage in Indian society and how those who did not have the means for a private English-medium school education had to struggle to make it in the ‘Shining India’, and that this business of the ‘merit’ discussion was only valid if everyone (especially the Dalits and the OBCs) had the same opportunity as those who claimed ‘merit’ (which was the merit of talent plus English education, plus private coaching, plus right orientation, plus right location, plus right upbringing, plus... the rest!).

Barkha has now done a brilliant piece (link enclosed below) on the Mayawati phenomena and expressed the same kind of disgust we have felt about the upper caste prejudice and writings about her coming to power. This is seen all over and especially on the web where the upper caste fraternity are having a field day lampooning Mayawati instead of coming to terms with the emerging, evolving India of the majority oppressed – the Dalit-Bahujans.

This is crass prejudice and arrogance based on nothing but India's hidden apartheid of the caste system.

The oppressed majority will take time to learn how to manage the power and governance structures. Sure, Mayawati should not act with a vendetta against those whom she perceives as her opponents. Sure, she should be inclusive and not run with divisive politics. Sure, she will have to grow in her leadership role and not run using another feudal system of leadership. But Indian political leadership and governance has become increasingly feudal in nature and it is not just the Gandhi clan which is feudalistic.

Mayawati has promised social justice for the oppressed. She is pro-reservation for Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians. She is in fact in favor of some affirmative action even for the upper caste poor. We all hope she delivers and does not vacillate like she has done in the past and align with the communal and casteist forces for the sake of political power.

There is one further major point in Mayawati's inclusiveness the media has missed. For a Dalit Chief Minister who has come to power on her own she has given far more members of the upper castes a share in power than the upper castes have ever given to the Dalits through the centuries given their population percentage. That is a telling comment on caste fairness!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

corporate responsibility and dalits:a campaigning perspective


Gerard Oonk, Director, India Committee of the Netherlands

The India Committee of the Netherlands (ICN) is an independent NGO campaigning on human rights issues in India in a global context. For the last ten years ICN has been working on corporate social responsibility (CSR),especially on child labour and labour rights, and since about six years on caste discrimination.ICN is an active member of the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), the European ‘Stop Child Labour’ campaign and the Dutch CSR Platform.

4.2. Although, previously aware of caste discrimination’s existence, this was not an integral part of ICN’s socio-economic analysis, and more specifically the analysis and action on the implementation of labour rights. Only
in the past few years has ICN looked more closely at the human and labour rights implications of caste, fully realising the enormous importance of caste discrimination for the (lack of) realisation of labour rights. Decent corporate behaviour should therefore also include an active and affirmative policy to counter caste discrimination in the workplace.

4.3. Footballs and Dalits: Let’s take two examples to illustrate the point. ICN has been working intensively on child labour in the Indian football industry, including in the Euro 2000 and World Cup Campaign9. The latter was a joint
campaign with the Global March Against Child Labour. Most football stitchers in India are very poor - almost half of them live below the poverty line - while at the same time more than 90% of the stitching households are Dalits. This is not a co-incidence as footballs used to be made from leather, an animal product, which only the Dalits could come in contact with. It is therefore difficult to distinguish between pure economic exploitation and subjugation based on caste , but undoubtedly both factors work in tandem for football stitchers. This keeps them at the bottom of the economic and social hierarchy.

4.4. A report published in 2000 notes that discrimination because of caste, including in school, might be a more important factor for young football stitchers to drop out of school and start work than the often cited financial reasons.For adult football stitchers it is very often difficult for them to organise themselves into groups , as they are economically exploited and separated from each other in the sub-contracting chain (they often work at home, selling the finished goods to intermediaries). Besides, their low caste status also puts them in a weak bargaining position.

4.5. 80.000 victims: There are many children, mainly girls, working in hybrid cotton seed cultivation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh10. In 2004 they numbered more than 80.000 of which more than 12,000 working for multinationals like Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer. These children work long hours, do not go to school, are exposed to pesticides, and are often bonded to the employers because of debt . Those who are bonded do not usually live at home, but instead live in accommodations such as an employer’s cowshed, and therefore become extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Most of these children are Dalits while others belong to backward castes including Muslims.

4.6. ICN and other organizations have been working on this issue with an Indian NGO – the MV Foundation, which aims to get every working child regardless of caste into regular fulltime education. This organisation with more than ten years experience in this area has shown that not poverty but tradition, exclusion, discrimination, non-functioning public schools and the lack of a clear social norm against child labour continue the vicious circle of poverty and child labour. The organization aims to support all children, including Dalit children into regular

4.7. Corporate Responsibility: In February 2004 ICN published the report ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in India– Policy and practices of Dutch companies’. According to the companies surveyed no discrimination of Dalits was reported in the work place. In practice however, women get less pay for the same job; they often do not get a contract or qualified jobs; and are sexually harassed . It is well-know that Dalit women suffer the worst forms of discrimination. One of the recommendations in the report is that companies should stimulate participation of women and Dalits (including of course Dalit women) into higher qualified jobs by developing affirmative action plans. It was also recommended that companies engage with local NGOs to find ways to help stimulate education and training of women and Dalits.

4.8. Recently the instruments of corporate responsibility and accountability have been linked to situations of caste discrimination in employment, for example in the OECD Guidelines for companies and the ILO labour standards11. The recently published report on the ‘International Consultation on Caste-Based Discrimination12 bears testimony to this, just like the Ambedkar (Employment) Principles to be found in this
report. This is the beginning of what will undoubtedly become a range of efforts to firmly link the fight against caste discrimination to the existing human rights responsibilities and obligations of companies. In order to reach that goal, Dalit organizations, development and human rights NGO’s as well as national and global trade unions should join forces together.

Man kills daughter for marrying Dalit

Man kills daughter for marrying Dalit

Rajkot, June 20: In a gruesome act of honour killing, a man from the Koli community killed his daughter for marrying a Dalit boy in Khodiyar Rajapara village of Bhavnagar on Thursday morning. Jotha Rathod, 46, stabbed his 19-year-old daughter Hetal to death and then surrendered before police, still holding the knife dripping with blood. His two sons, accused of holding Hetal down while Rathod stabbed her, are absconding.

Rathod, a labourer, said his daughter married a lower caste boy against his wish. He got angry when she returned to the village about six months ago, despite him warning not to.

According to Palitana circle police inspector MH Patel, Hetal had married Devji Naran, 22, in December 2006. Rathod attacked her on Thursday when she was carrying water for workers in her husband’s factory in Dalitwas making cotton belts for charpoys.

While her two brothers Raju and Sanjay held on to her, Rathod stabbed her. She shouted for help, but was profusely bleeding from the stomach by the time Devji could reach her. She died before she could be brought to a hospital. Devji has registered a complaint against Rathod, Raju and Sanjay.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dalit mother, daughter stripped in Ajmer

Dalit mother, daughter stripped in Ajmer
Rajan Mahan
Thursday, June 12, 2008 (Ajmer)

In a horrific reminder of caste brutalities in Rajasthan, a teenage Dalit girl and her mother were thrashed and stripped by some upper caste men in a village in Ajmer.

Their crime to deserve such treatment was that Phooli Bai resisted two Jat men, who wanted to forcibly take away her 16-year-old daughter, Ramkanya on Monday evening.

The angry men then humiliated the Dalit women in full public view of the village.

Besides thrashing them, Phooli Bai said that they were stripped in full public view at Sihaar village in Ajmer.

Phooli Bai said, ''They tore off my daughter's clothes and tried to drag her outside our home. When I tried to save her, they tore off my clothes also. They not only beat us badly but also shamed us in front of the whole village.''

The tormentors even threw out the Dalit family from the village, threatening them with worse punishment if they told their plight to anyone.

Since Tuesday the frightened Dalit family is sitting at the office of the Deputy Superintendent of police in Ajmer's Kekri town and they refuse to go back to their village for fear of losing their lives.

Satya Narayan Kamad, Phooli Bai's husband said, ''As we have complained against them, our fear is that they will kill us. They won't spare us now.''

The two Jat men are identified as Bannalal Dhakad and Jasraj Dhakad, who have now fled.

Most villagers claim that they don't know anything about the incident but the police have registered a case under the Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.

Sarita Singh, Dy SP at Kekri said, ''The case from the Dalit family of Satyanarain Kamad has been registered under Section 323, section 341 and 354 IPC and under the SC/ST Act. We are investigating the matter.''

Meanwhile the Dalit family remains petrified and their alleged tormentors continue to abscond.

This tragedy is a grim reminder of how deep caste lines run in rural Rajasthan, even 60 years after independence.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dalits remain unempowered

Dalits remain unempowered

By Rashme Sehgal via The Asian Age.

Panchayati raj has allowed a critical mass of 5.4 lakh dalits enter the mainstream panchayat system but they remain an unempowered lot. A report on the state of panchayats (2007-8) has highlighted that the practice of untouchability continues even during gram panchayat meetings where they are made to sit separately and drink tea and water from separate glasses.

The report, sponsored by the ministry of panchayati raj, cites examples of several violent incidents in which dalits have tried to assert their rights.

One such example is of a dalit sarpanch Bholaram, who was battered to death in the village of Phooljhar close to Raipur because the villagers were not happy with a dalit sarpanch.

Even in a state like Tamil Nadu , there have been complaints of dalit panchayat members being done to death by uppercaste Hindus.

Ten Scheduled Caste panchayat presidents in Tirunelvelli district have recently complained that their lives are under threat from uppercastes.

Four villages in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu which saw Dalits elected are witnessing accelerated caste tension.

Following panchayat elections in October 2006, P. Jaggaiyan, president of Nakkalamuthanpatti village was done to death because he refused to oblige the `upper caste vice-president ‘ by being a rubber stamp president. This was followed by the death in suspicious circumstances of M. Servaran, president of the Maruthankinaru village panchayat. He was found dead near his house on February 9 2007.

Several other dalit panchayat heads in different districts of Tamil Nadu complain of not being allowed to function by their deputies and other caste members.

Dalit women also face similar discrimination. The report cites the example of Savita Ben, sarpanch of saddha gram panchayat in Himmatnagar taluka of Sabarkantha district in Gujarat who took part in several development activities but was suspended from her post on one pretext or the other.

Another way to prevent dalit members from functioning is to introduce no-confidence motions against them. Last year, 34 no-confidence motions were introduced against dalit heads of panchayats in Chattisgarh alone.

This has led a Dalit Mukti Morcha activist to conclude that `whenever dalits come to power, their posts are declared null and void so as to prevent them from exercising their rights’.

This problem is heightened by the fact that the majority of elected SC representatives in the BIMARU states are illiterate. State governments have set up social justice committees to protect the interests of SCs, STs and backward classes but these committees remain only on paper.

Caste System in India

Caste System in India

The pattern of social classes in Hinduism is called the "caste system." The chart shows the major divisions and contents of the system. Basic caste is called varn.a, or "color." Subcaste, or jâti, "birth, life, rank," is a traditional subdivision of varn.a.

The Bhagavad Gita says this about the

The works of Brahmins, Ks.atriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras are different, in harmony with the three powers of their born nature.

The works of a Brahmin are peace; self-harmony, austerity, and purity; loving-forgiveness and righteousness; vision and wisdom and faith.

These are the works of a Ks.atriya: a heroic mind, inner fire, constancy, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership.

Trade, agriculture and the rearing of cattle is the work of a Vaishya. And the work of the Shudra is service.

There are literally thousands of subcastes in India, often with particular geographical ranges and an administrative or corporate structure. When Mahâtmâ Gandhi wanted to go to England to study law, he had to ask his subcaste for permission to leave India. ("Gandhi" means "greengrocer" -- from gandha, "smell, fragrance," in Sanskrit -- and that should be enough for a good guess that Gandhi was a Vaishya.) Sometimes it is denied that the are "castes" because, while "true" castes, the jâtis, are based on birth, the are based on the theory of the (the "three powers" mentioned in the Gita). This is no more than a rationalization: the came first, and they are based on birth. The came later, and provide a poor explanation anyway, since the gun.a tamas is associated with both twice born and once born, caste and outcaste. Nevertheless, the are now divisions at a theoretical level, while the jâtis are the way in which caste is embodied for most practical purposes. Jâtis themselves can be ranked in relation to each other, and occasionally a question may even be raised about the proper varn.a to which a particular jâti belongs.

Associated with each varn.a there is a traditional color. These sound suspiciously like skin colors; and, indeed, there is an expectation in India that higher caste people will have lighter skin -- although there are plenty of exceptions (especially in the South of India). This all probably goes back to the original invasion of the Arya, who came from Central Asia and so were undoubtedly light skinned. The people already in India were quite dark, even as today many people in India seem positively black. Apart from skin color, Indians otherwise have "Caucasian" features -- narrow noses, thin lips, etc. -- and recent genetic mapping studies seem to show that Indians are more closely related to the people of the Middle East and Europe than to anyone else. Because Untouchables are not a varn.a, they do not have a traditional color. I have supplied blue, since this is otherwise not found, and it is traditionally used for the skin color of Vis.n.u and his incarnations. Chief among those is Kr.s.n.a (Krishna), whose name actually means "black" or "dark," but he is always shown blue rather than with some natural skin color.

The first three are called the twice born. This has nothing to do with reincarnation. Being "twice born" means that you come of age religiously, making you a member of the Vedic religion, eligible to learn Sanskrit, study the Vedas, and perform Vedic rituals. The "second birth" is thus like Confirmation or a Bar Mitzvah. According to the Laws of Manu (whose requirements may not always be observed in modern life), boys are "born again" at specific ages: 8 for Brahmins; 11 for Ks.atriyas; and 12 for Vaishyas. A thread is bestowed at the coming of age to be worn around the waist as the symbol of being twice born. The equivalent of coming of age for girls is marriage. The bestowal of the thread is part of the wedding ceremony. That part of the wedding ritual is even preserved in Jainism. Ancient Iran also had a coming of age ceremony that involved a thread. That and other evidence leads to the speculation that the three classes of the twice born are from the original Indo-European social system -- the theory of George Dumézil. Even the distant Celts believed in three social classes. The three classes of Plato's Republic thus may not have been entirely his idea. Although there must have been a great deal of early intermarriage in India, nowhere did such an Indo-European social system become as rigid a system of birth as there. The rigidity may well be due to the influence of the idea of karma, that poor birth is morally deserved.

According to the Laws of Manu, when the twice born come of age, they enter into the four âshramas or "stages of life."

The first is the brahmacarya, or the stage of the student (brahmacârin). For boys, the student is supposed to go live with a teacher (guru), who is a Brahmin, to learn about Sanskrit, the Vedas, rituals, etc. The dharma of a student includes being obedient, respectful, celibate, and non-violent. "The teacher is God." For girls, the stage of studenthood coincides with that of the householder, and the husband stands in the place of the teacher. Since the boys are supposed to be celibate while students, Gandhi used the term brahmacâri to mean the celibate practitioner that he thought made the best Satyagrahi, the best non-violent activist.

The second stage is the gârhastya, or the stage of the householder, which is taken far more seriously in Hinduism than in Jainism or Buddhism and is usually regarded as mandatory, like studenthood, although debate continued over the centuries whether or not this stage could be skipped in favor of a later one. This is the stage where the principal dharma of the person is performed, whether as priest, warrior, etc., or for women mainly as wife and mother. Arjuna's duty to fight the battle in the Bhagavad Gita comes from his status as a householder. Besides specific duties, there are general duties that pay off the "three debts": a debt to the ancestors that is discharged by marrying and having children; a debt to the gods that is discharged by the household rituals and sacrifices; and a debt to the teacher that is discharged by appropriately teaching one's wife or children.

The third stage is the vânaprastya, or the stage of the forest dweller. This may be entered into optionally if (ideally) one's hair has become gray, one's skin wrinkled, and grandchildren exist to carry on the family. Husbands and wives may leave their affairs and possessions with their children and retire together to the forest as hermits. This does not involve the complete renunciation of the world, for husbands and wives can still have sex (once a month), and a sacred fire still should be kept and minimal rituals performed. This stage is thus not entirely free of dharma. The Forest Treatises were supposed to have been written by or for forest dwellers, who have mostly renounced the world and have begun to consider liberation. I am not aware that forest dwelling is still practiced in the traditional way. The modern alternatives seem to consist of the more stark opposition between householding and becoming a wandering ascetic.

The fourth stage is the sannyâsa, or the stage of the wandering ascetic, the sannyâsin (or sâdhu). If a man desires, he may continue on to this stage, but his wife will need to return home; traditionally she cannot stay alone as a forest dweller or wander the highways as an ascetic. The sannyâsin has renounced the world completely, is regarded as dead by his family (the funeral is held), and is finally beyond all dharma and caste. When a sannyâsin enters a Hindu temple, he is not a worshiper but one of the objects of worship. Not even the gods are sannyâsins (they are householders), and so this is where in Hinduism, as in Jainism and Buddhism, it is possible for human beings to be spiritually superior to the gods. It has long been a matter of dispute in Hinduism whether one need really fulfill the requirements of the Laws of Manu (gray hair, etc.) to renounce the world. There are definitely no such requirements in Jainism or Buddhism. The Buddha left his family right after his wife had a baby, which would put him in the middle of his dharma as a householder. Jainism and Buddhism thus developed monastic institutions, but these did not really develop as such in Hinduism.

The four stages of life may, somewhat improbably, be associated with the four parts of the Vedas: the sam.hitâs with the stage of the student, who is particularly obligated to learn them; the brâ with the stage of the householder, who is able to regulate his ritual behavior according to them; the âran.yakas with the stage of the forest dweller, who regulates his ritual behavior according to them and who begins to contemplate liberation; and finally the with the stage of the wandering ascetic, who is entirely concerned with meditation on the absolute, Brahman.

The twice born account for about 48% of Hindus. The rest are Shudras and Untouchables. The Shudras may represent the institutional provision that the Arya made for the people they already found in India. The Shudras thus remain once born, and traditionally are not allowed to learn Sanskrit or study the Vedas. Their dharma is to work for the twice born. But even below the Shudras are the Untouchables, who are literally "outcastes," without a varn.a, and were regarded as "untouchable" because they are ritually polluting for caste Hindus. Some Untouchable subcastes are regarded as so polluted that members are supposed to keep out of sight and do their work at night: They are called "Unseeables." In India, the term "Untouchable" is now regarded as impolite or politically incorrect (like Eta in Japan for the traditional tanners and pariahs). Gandhi's Harijans ("children of God") or Dalits ("downtrodden") are prefered, though to Americans "Untouchables" would sound more like the gangster-busting federal agent Elliot Ness from the 1920's. Why there are so many Untouchables (15%-20% or so of Hindus) is unclear, although caste Hindus can be ejected from their jâtis and become outcastes and various tribal or formerly tribal people in India may never have been properly integrated into the social system. When Mahâtmâ Gandhi's subcaste refused him permission to go to England, as noted above, he went anyway and was ejected from the caste. After he returned, his family got him back in, but while in England he was technically an outcaste. Existing tribal people, as well as Untouchables, are also called the "scheduled castes," since the British drew up a "schedule" listing the castes that they regarded as backwards, underprivileged, or oppressed.

The Untouchables, nevertheless, have their own traditional professions and their own subcastes. Those professions (unless they can be evaded in the greater social mobility of modern, urban, anonymous life) involve too much pollution to be performed by caste Hindus: (1) dealing with the bodies of dead animals (like the sacred cattle that wander Indian villages) or unclaimed dead humans, (2) tanning leather, from such dead animals, and manufacturing leather goods, and (3) cleaning up the human and animal waste for which in traditional villages there is no sewer system. Mahâtmâ Gandhi referred to the latter euphemistically as "scavenging" but saw in it the most horrible thing imposed on the Untouchables by the caste system. His requirement on his farms in South Africa that everyone share in such tasks comes up in an early scene in the movie Gandhi. Since Gandhi equated suffering with holiness, he saw the Untouchables as hallowed by their miserable treatment and so called them "Harijans" (Hari=Vis.n.u). Later Gandhi went on fasts in the hope of improving the condition of the Untouchables, or at least to avoid their being politically classified as non-Hindus. Today the status of the Shudras, Untouchables, and other "scheduled castes," and the preferential policies that the Indian government has designed for their advancement ever since Independence, are sources of serious conflict, including murders and riots, in Indian society.



Cultural Structure

One of the more confusing mysteries of India is her caste system. The caste system, which has existed for more than 3,000 years, was developed by the Brahmin (priest) caste in order to maintain their superiority. Eventually, the caste system became formalized into four distinct classes (Varna).

The Brahmins are the highest Varna and are the priests and arbiters of what is right and wrong in matters of religion and society. Below them are the Kshatriyas, who served traditionally as soldiers and administrators. The Vaisyas are the artisan and commercial class, while the Sudras are the farmers and the peasants. It is said that the Brahmin come from Brahma’s mouth, Kshatriyas from his arms, Vaisyas from his thighs, and Sudras from his feet.image

Beneath the four main castes is a fifth group, the Scheduled Castes. The people of the Scheduled Castes are not part of the Varna system. They are the untouchables, the Dalit.

A Dalit is not considered part of human society, but instead is considered something less than human. The Dalits generally perform the most menial and degrading jobs. Caste rules hold that Dalits pollute higher caste people with their presence. If higher caste Hindus touch an untouchable or even come within a Dalit’s shadow, they must undergo rigorous series of cleansing rituals (See gomutra).

Approximately 250 million Indians (a full 25% of the population), are Dalit. In a country where everybody is supposed to have equal rights and opportunities, one out of four people is condemned to be untouchable.

Although the Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms for all Indians, Dalit are systematically abused.image Dalit are poor, deprived and socially backward. Their most basic needs of food, shelter, and safety are not fulfilled. They also cannot access decent education and employment. The systematic denial of their basic human rights results in a lack of education, food, healthcare, and economic opportunity, thereby keeping Dalit in perpetual bondage to the upper castes.

Dalit boy beaten up by cop

Dalit boy beaten up by cop

Tirunelveli, June 6 : A class 12 SC student was allegedly beaten by a police inspector for writing on the shirt of his classmate belonging to a higher community. Muthukani of Vadanathampatti near Veerasikamani (a SC hamlet) is a student of Veerasikamani Government Higher Secondary School. On January 28, he had written chiyan on the shirt of his classmate, Paulraj. In return, Paulraj had written Vikram on Muthukani's shirt. The conflict which followed was resolved by their teacher The teacher warned them not to repeat it. Paulraj's friend, who was from the same class, informed the police, following which two constables from Chendamaram police station came to the school for an enquiry.

The school administration informed the police that the issue was sorted out, but they took the boys to the police station.

M Madasamy, Tirunelveli district monitor for `National Project on Preventing Torture in India', was present at the station and witnessed the inspector allegedly beating.

Speaking to this website?s newspaper, Madasamy said, ?when I was waiting at the police station to meet the inspector, these two boys were also made to wait. Inspector, Charles Kalaimani who came to the station at 6.30 pm, started beating Muthukani with a stick after he said that he was from Vadanathampatti. Paulraj, was not even questioned. Muthukani was warned and sent home after his parents came to the station.?

When contacted, the inspector said, ?I never beat the boy since he was a school student. I just warned him and asked him not to repeat it.?

?Being an eyewitness, I sent a petition to the Human Rights Commission, which ordered the SP, Tirunelveli district, to conduct an enquiry into the incident. Since the enquiry was during the examination time, the boy could not be present for the proceeding following which, the petition was cancelled.?

He said adding that, ?on May 28, I have sent another petition appealing to order for another enquiry. I have decided not to leave this issue unless the guilty is punished,? said Madasamy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


(Paper submitted by PALA to All India League of Revolutionary Culture [AILRC], Aug 1994 - published as a booklet in ‘Conference Against Brahminic Terrorism’,Thanjavur,Tamilnadu, feb- 2003 )

The history of India is being explained to us through various perspectives. When the brahminical, gandhian and revisionist (blemished with braminism) shades of those perspectives reveal themselves, or when they are unmasked, we confront the cruel and treacherous face of Brahminism hitherto unseen. To those who fail to see this and remain indifferent, the Hindu communalists have upon themselves the task of ‘educating’ them.

During the freedom movement, the CPI, which should have acted as a vanguard in the struggle against British imperialism and feudalism, compromised on both these fronts. It also glossed over the question of caste, a socio-economic oppressive system interwoven with the class oppression-the backbone of oriental despotism. It faithfully followed Gandhi and his moderate Hindu nationalism like a pet dog.

Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar EVR carried through the ideological struggle against Brahminism. Though they fought Brahminism in certain spheres of ideology, they went in for a class compromise and got institutionised in that process. That was the limitation destined by history to the bourgeois world outlook – an inescapable compromise with Brahminism, a close ally of imperialism.

Now, it is the second round of the game. After pauperising the country with their own policies, the ruling classes now accede to the pressure of re-colonisation by the imperialists, and shame lessly justify it as the only solution to the crisis. The Hindu fascists, representatives of the same comprador- feudal combine, put forth hindutva as their ideology and indulge in a deceptive patriotic sloganeering, projecting themselves as the only alternative.

Simultaneously, parties like BSP, which despise even the concept of class struggle and maintain a discreet silence over the issue of fighting imperialism and feudalism, are ‘thundering’ against Brahminism. They make no secret of their ultimate goal of sharing their crumb in the citadels of ruling class power. But that does not prevent them from gaining influence among the oppressed castes. We can also observe the emergence of a variety of forces, which demand more power to the state or separate statehood, alongside the existing armed national liberation struggles. Not to speak of the Sikh and Islamic nationalism.

The revolutionary and democratic forces who are steadfast in their struggle against Hindu communalism, do not clearly demarcate their ideology and organization – viz. Brahminism combined with, fascism with the result, the offensive looses its sharpness, gets scattered and misses the target.

Hence the ideology – Brahminism or the so called Hindu religion – on the basis of which the Hindu communal fascists justify their oppression in the spheres of caste, nationality, language and gender, should be challenged. Likewise, when Brahminism attempts to revive and present itself as an alternative to the prevailing crisis, it does not remain to be an obsolete ideology justifying Varna dharma, but turns into a fascist ideology, wielded by a fascist clique. The significance of the struggle against Brahminism increases further, as it is a struggle against fascism in today’s context.


Hinduism is not a religion; it is an ideology that upholds the institution of socio – economic oppression. The reasons for the emergence of various religions of the world and the social
purposes they attempted to serve have no relevance whatsoever with that of Hinduism.

To quote Marx,

“Religion distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, just as it is a spirit of spiritler situation. It is the opium of the people.”

Applying Marxism, we can look into the historical and social conditions which gave birth to the emergence of the three great religions of the world.

Christianity was born out of the distress of the slaves and their craving for liberation- it attempted to ‘liberate’ the slaves; it symbolised the freedom of the slaves.

The emergence of slave kingdoms leading to the violent crushing of primitive communes, the resultant yearing of its people for the ‘commune democracy’ and the compassion of Buddha for the oppressed castes and his concern to relieve them out of their distress gave birth to Buddhism. In other words, it rose against brahminical tyranny and deception.

Islam emerged as a unifying force amongst various warring tribes, and it promised equal treatment to all those who believed in monotheism (Allah) and recognized Mohammed as the last Prophet.

Thus, all the three major religious were born in the interest of the oppressed. Later, they got turned into instruments (of oppression) in the hands of the ruling classes.

But it was only the ‘Hindu religion’ that was created as an instrument of oppression in the hands of exploiting classes. Its principles as well as methods continue to be racism, tyranny, exploitation and deceit. Varna and casteism, which fortify endogamy, are its basis, and Brahminism is its ideology.

Hinduism not only denies the right to property and education etc. to the majority of the population, it denies them the basic religious right – the right to worship. Unlike other religions it exclude the majority of the population (belonging to lower varnas, castes and also women) from the basic aim of any religion – i.e., ’Salvation’.
The essence and soul of Hinduism is the caste system; what are the remaining basic religious aspects, if caste is done away with? Hundreds of mutually hostile gods, thousands forms of worship and dozens of philosophies. It does not posses a common principle on any of the basic issue that matters to any other religion – like theistic philosophy, forms of worship and moral principles – except of course, the chatur varna system. (But this ‘diversity’ is cunningly used today, by the Brahminic scholars as a proof to their democratic credentials.)

Religion is normally considered as part of superstructure. It is always claimed by the Hindu religious feaders that Hinduism is not a mere religion, but a ‘way of life’. Islam has also codified the ways of life. But Hinduism basically codifies the social system. It lays down well defined laws on the organization and functioning of the social, economic, political and cultural relations of the Varna – caste system. That is, it decides production as well as other relations. So, Hinduism is part of both superstructure and the base.

Ambedkar was right when he said that “…it (Hinduism) has not got the impulse to serve and that is because by its nature it is unhuman and unmoral. It is a misnomer to call it religion. Its philosophy is opposed to the very thing for which a religion stands.”
-Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar writings and speeches. Vol.3.p.92.
Periyar EVR emphasized the same, pointing out the malevolent and immoral character of the Brahminic gods, saints and their preachings including Manusmriti.


Historically there existed no religion called Hinduism and this fact does not require any new proof neither it represented the whole of society or a majority of it. It was only called as the ‘Sanatan dharma’ by its creators and defenders i.e., the Brahmins. Hinduism means nothing but Brahmanism and it was defined so only by Brahmins – not by us. They have never used the term ‘Hindu’ in any of their scriptures.

In fact, the twice born (Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaisya) did not have any dispute over the doctrines of Varna and karma, but, they were divided among themselves into six religions like saivism and vaishnavism; When the Brahminic authority floundered with the rise of Buddhism, Aajeevakam and Jainism, various Brahmin sanatanists tried to redefine the philosophical basis of varna and caste, in order to defend it. Sankara was one of them, who were instrumental in achieving some sort of unity amongst those six religions, defeating enemies through deceit and oppression.

The ‘Hinduism’ of the Vedic age was different from the one of the Upanishadic period; likewise, the ‘Hinduism’ of Bhagavat Gita varies much from that of the upanishadic period; Shankara’s ‘Hinduism’ is different from the present day ‘Hinduism’. Idol worship’ Temple worship and the doctrine against cow-slaughter were appropriated and developed by Brahminism in its struggle against Buddhism.

Brahminic Hinduism has always adapted itself to the political and economic realities and to defend itself from the onslaught of other religions.
It has adapted without much fuss, even conceded to upgrade the status of certain individuals and groups in the Varna hierarchy.

But it would not budge an inch in the matters of defending Varna dharma as a system and its own supremacy in the Pyramid. The attitude of Brahminism towards religious conversions is also worth mentioning here. While opposing conversions, in order to retain the oppressed castes in their fold , they argue that varna and caste s division did not exist in Vedic or Upanishadic age .Thus they absolve themselves of the crime , but shamelessly continue to enforce caste in all religious matters .

The Shankaracharya of Kanchi was quite frank when he thanked the British for introducing the ‘Legal Hindu Religion’ and saving the Sanatanists from the danger of becoming minority ‘in the own land’
“Had they [ the British ] not given us the name ” Hindu ” we could have divided ourselves into various religion - like Saivites, Vaishnavites, Sakthas, Muruga Bhakts and as devotees of Ellai Amma - in every town . Is there a common God for Saivites and Vaishnavites? No, Siva is not the God of Vaishnavites; the militant Saivites say that Vishnu is not a God at all, but only a devotee of Lord Shiva. Can anyone consider these two as belonging to a single religion? The British gave a common name – HINDU, and we are saved. The name that they christened saved us.”

- Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi, Kanchi Paramacharya, Voice of God Volume 1, Page: 266. [Tamil Edn]

Hence, recognising Hinduism as a religion amounts to subscribing to a historic falsity and it also amounts to appeasing the Hindu Fascists.


The essence of Brahminic Hindu religion is not only the Chatur Varna and caste system. It also includes Aryan Racism and oppression of various nationalities and languages.

Social estates based on simple occupational divisions have existed even in Europe, but they were not decided by birth, as in the case of Varna and caste system.

The Chatur Varna as an oppressive social system was formed after subjugating Dravidian and Kirata races placing them in the lower Varna , as slaves – otherwise called Dasas and Dasyues. The impelling ideology was racism found among the Rigvedic Aryans. Even after the Aryan-Dravidian-Kirata intermixture, this had not changed. It was a story of native tribes getting humiliated by the colonizers owing to their colour and birth.

The development of productive forces and emergence of slave and feudal societies led to the emergence of new castes. While the Aryans adapted the advanced culture and production techniques to other tribes, especially Dravidians, they tried to maintain their own identity and their own racial purity through Varna system. While the ideological basis for the emergence of Chatur Varna and the caste system was Aryan racism, the material basis was the absence of private ownership in land. In other words it was collective social slavery based on Asiatic form of ownership.

The ‘Aryan pride’ of the Brahmins does not end with the Vedic age. It transcends time and arouses sangh parivar to dream of an ‘Akand Bharat’. Bharat has nothing to do with Sakunthala. It was the name of an Aryan tribe in the Saptha Sindhu. This particular tribe emerged victorious in its war against Dasyus and Kiratas (the native tribes), drove them out and the chieftain of the Bharatha tribe ‘Sudhas’ established his kingdom. The Rig Veda dwells at length about these wars and victories. Hence the official name of our country Bharath is discreetly chosen alternative word for “Aryavarta”.

Of course it is true that wars and aggressions of one primitive ethnic tribe against the other and the eventual elimination or oppression of the defeated is not uncommon in the history of mankind. Likewise the intermixture of different ethnic tribes (in India, Aryan-Dravidian-Kirata) is also quite common throughout history.

But the uncommon and unique aspect of Indian history is that the Aryan racism and brutality against the native tribes and their subsequent enslavement were treated as a virtue and were accorded religious sanction. With Brahmins at the helm, the racial chauvinism continued over the centuries, the manifestations of which are to be seen in the puranas as Deva-Asura conflicts.
The intermixture of ethnic tribes and the inclusion of ‘black’ gods (only to uphold Brahminism) in the “Hindu” pantheon, will not absolve Brahminism of its racial chauvinism. The victories of the Devas over Asuras were celebrated. They were-and are still- depicted as the victory of good over evil.

Brahmins have never recognised or respected the mother tongue of various nationalities and tribes. Their ‘own’ language was Sanskrit, the language of gods (Deva Basha). They have even fought and won a legal battle with the erstwhile DMK government to guard the status of Sanskrit as Deva Basha. They maintain a separate cultural identity, the important ingredient of which is ‘Aryan-Dvija-Sanskrit’ pride, which cuts across all national ‘barriers’. Sanskrit served as the ‘national’ language in their attempts to establish and safeguard the Brahminical order. All other nations, people and the languages were condemned as mlecha, untouchables and impure.

The racist and puritans approach of Brahminism alone was responsible for propounding the system of untouchability (Avarna), which is the oldest, worst and the most horrible discrimination of man comparable only to apartheid. It denies all basic human rights to nearly one third of the entire society and it is a shame on the society. But for a few fanatics, even hardcore Hindu religious leaders could not defend it and try to acquit ‘Hinduism’ from the responsibility of its creation. But all Hindu fascists and communalists in their heart of hearts do not conceal their desire to safeguard it along with Varna and caste system. The religious rights of the Sanatanists to practice untouchability are also protected by the constitution. So whoever wants to fight caste and untouchability, should also direct his attack against Brahminic Hindu religion.


While referring to the partition, the emergence of Muslim nationalism and the Non-Brahmin movement of South India, the congress easily finds a scapegoat in British Imperialism and escapes from its responsibility by simply branding them as ‘agents’. Again the CPI and CPM faithfully follow this line. No body denies the fact that the imperialists played a ‘Divide and Rule’ tactics to frustrate the freedom movement. But the seeds of divisions were already present, and they were sown by the Brahminic Hindu nationalists.

The basic claim of Hindu nationalists had been ‘Akand Bharat’. When it spoke about restoring ‘our glorious ancient tradition’ it was referring to the Vedic age with a Brahminic and Aryan pride. The ideological and emotional involvement towards ‘Akand Bharat’ existed only among the Brahmins. (None of the kings who rules even very large tracts of the present day India had such a ‘vision’). In other words they infused an ideological and emotional content (patriotism based on Hindu nationalism) to the geographical area that was brought under the British sword. Brahminic culture did not- and does not- identify itself with any particular nationality. It always claims and upholds the Brahminical divine life of Rishis and Saints of Gangetic and Himalayan region which again reveals its ‘Racial pride’.

When the European intellectuals started showing interest in the Sanskrit literature, it resulted in stirring up the Aryan pride amongst the Brahmins. Modern education, bureaucratic assignments and involvement in political movements gave rise to their dream of Akand Bharat.

The Gujarati, Marwari and Bania traders and usurers were a strong ally of Brahmins in advocating the concept of Akand Bharat, as their class interest perfectly syncronising with it. They have moved out of their own land and were settled in various parts of the country even before the entry of British East India Company. If Brahmins already possessed a unique cultural identity, the Banias and Marwaris did not hesitate to their ethnic identity and coalesce with the Brahminic Hindu culture, in their own class interest. They even renounced their own languages in favour of Hindi.

When the comprador bourgeoisie emerged from among this section of traders and usurers, they supported the congress and Hindu Maha Sabha. Atleast they were sure that the Hindu Rashtra of Hindu Maha Sabha, Ram Rajya of Gandhi and the term ‘ancient Indian civilisation’ used by Nehru meant the same i.e., Brahminic Hindu nationalism.

Brahminic nationalism satisfied craves of the comprador bourgeoisie for an all India market. In other words, the Brahminic nationalism received new class content. Thus the Indian (Brahminic) nationalism was against the rights of nationalities, right from its birth.

True to its tradition of recognising the vanquisher as Kshatriya, on the assurance for the perpetuation of caste system, Brahmin nationalists struck a deal with the imperialists. The historic characteristics of Brahminism and class interest of the comprador bourgeoisie and feudal lords perfectly mixed together in the new social context.

The coalition continues. While Brahmins dominate the political and cultural life of the country, Marwaris and Banias dominate the economic and commercial life of it. They have together formed a united front to exploit and oppress the rest of the people. The Gujarati, Marwari and Bania traders and compradors are the chief patrons of BJP throughout India. The NRIs among this section play a vital role in filling up the coffers of RSS today.

The concept of ‘one nation-one people’ stands for a strong centre i.e., total suppression of rights of the nationalities: Akand Bharat reflects the expansionist desire of the Indian ruling class.
The dream of ‘Akand Bharat’ is kept alive in the ‘National Anthem’ with its reference to Sindh province. The constitution on its part confers sanction also to the areas to be annexed in future by the Indian union.


The questions of nationalities as well as the languages were never solved democratically in India. The ruling classes repeatedly try to impose Hindi and oppose the struggle for national self-determination. The relationship of Brahminic Hindu nationalism with the Hindi is organic and integral, hence irrefutable. Hindi nationalism or ‘Nationalist Hindi’ encroaches in to the rights of other nationalities and suppresses them; at the same time it denigrates the people of the oppressed castes and classes belonging to the ‘Hindi belt’.

It was not without reason that the ‘Brahminic nationalists’ chose Hindi as the official language instead of Sanskrit, their darling. Sanskrit was a dead language and the chance of its immediate resurrection was also very remote. The inevitable choice was Hindustani- much closer to Sanskrit then any other Indian language.

But it had to be cleansed of the Persian and Arabic words for obvious reasons. The Brahminical contempt for the people’s languages was not reserved only to the non-Hindi speaking people. Words belonging to Mahati, Maithili, Rajasthani, Brijbasha, Chattisghari and Bhojpuri (people’s languages which were very much alive and which also belonged to the Hindustani family) were also systematically removed in the cleansing process, to be substituted with the Sanskrit words. Thus Hindi was duly sanitised (Sanskritised) before it was allowed to enter in to the portals of higher education.

Article-151 of the constitution while envisaging the future development of Hindi lay down in clear terms that, attempts to improve Hindi should primarily depend upon Sanskrit. Golwalkar was candid when he said that, only Sanskrit was competent to be the national language of India, while Hindi was only an interim arrangement. On its part congress went to the extent of even opposing the formation of linguistic states.

Both political and religious leaders repeatedly emphasis that Hindi particularly Sanskrit alone can serve as the uniting force of the country and urge the people to study Sanskrit. Large amount of government money is spent to promote Hindi education and Sanskrit research. They insist that our country’s best traditions and values should be drawn from the Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas - hence the study of Sanskrit should be encouraged. Thus the Hindu communal (Brahminic) bias in favour of Hindi is borne out by historical facts. Hence it would be absurd, if we are to be accused of giving communal colour to a people’s language i.e., Hindi.

Of course, the above facts do not attribute any communal motive to Hindi speaking people. Still we cannot gloss over the following questions:
• What induced the Punjabi Hindus to register their mother tongue as Hindi in the census records?
• Can we say that the anti-Urdu sentiments in UP does not have communal undertone?
• Should the people of the non-Hindi nationalities unconditionally believe in the democratic credentials of the ‘Hindi’ proletariat, in spite of the fact that no voice of protest worth mentioning has ever been raised from the ‘Hindi belt’ against the imposition of Hindi on others?

The answers to these questions are understandable. The ruling class has considerably succeeded in influencing the people of the ‘Hindi belt’ with its ‘Hindu-Hindi nationalism’. Further the fact that the Brahminical – Hindu nationalists could go ahead with their plan of ‘Sanskritisation of Hindi’ without any protest is also much distressing. Of course there was a lone voice of protest. Rahul Sankruthyayan proposed the formation of three different linguistic states for the people speaking Panchali, Kauthali and Kauravi; but the CPI termed his proposal as backward and feudal. It went ahead and supported the ruling class attempt to create a ‘Hindi heartland’.
The source of the concept of Hindi- Hindu – Hindustan is Brahminic Hinduism. Its genesis explains the truth. Its roots can never be amputated unless the contempt inherent in the ‘Brahminic Hindu religion’ towards any national identity is exposed.


The concept that “the tradition of Indian nationalism, cherished by the people of our country through the ages and enriched by their struggle against imperialism” is basically wrong. There was only a multiplicity of Indian culture and traditions of various nationalities. Questions are raised as to how one could determine the essence of the ‘nationalistic spirit’ of Bhagat singh and other such revolutionaries. Their understanding of India as a ‘nation’ was limited to the geographical boundary enslaved by the British – i.e., British India. In other words, the content of their ‘Indian nationalism’ was only an anti-thesis of British colonialism.

But even before 1947, voices of protest against Brahmin nationalism were raised from Tamilnadu, which has a centuries old tradition of fighting against Brahminism and Sanskrit. Though not placed in an integrated form, it was forcefully put forth by Periyar EVR. After a long drawn struggle inside the congress, he resigned from it to continue his struggle against Brahminism and Brahmin nationalism from outside. Though he was stubborn in fighting against Brahminism, his struggles were not targeted against feudalism and its political power or imperialism. He chose to compromise with them.

The Non-Brahmin movement of south India, especially Tamilnadu was a reaction to the Brahminic domination in British bureaucracy and various other factors. Its anti-Brahminism ended at the point of sharing the power and it was also pro-imperialist and reformist. But all these facts will not justify Brahmin nationalism and its undemocratic and comprador characteristics.


We recognise the right to self-determination of every nationality including the right to secede; that does not mean that we stand for the secession of every nationality; on our part we only strive to unite the proletariat of all the nationalities against the common enemy.
But while rejecting Brahminic nationalism as fake and undemocratic, we are left with the question of finding our own tradition.

Since Brahminic nationalism and Brahminic Hinduism is an amalgam of Chatur Varna. We should inherit the best traditions of the struggles against all these oppressions-Casteism, Aryan racism and linguistic and national oppression.

• Various schools of philosophies-materialist, anti-Brahmin and atheist, from charvaka to Buddha and siddhas of Tamilnadu- who valiantly fought against the Brahminic and Vedic authority.
• The struggles of the native tribes against Aryan racism and Brahminic deceit; in other words the struggle of Asuras against Suras (Devas).
• Victims of Brahminic tyranny like Ekalavya, Sambuka and Nandha and the reformers who challenged the Brahminic Hindu religion.
• Struggles for democratic right of various nationalities, including the struggle against imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit.
• All anti-feudal, anti-imperialist struggles and
The struggles of the international proletariat, oppressed nations and the struggles against racism and apartheid.

We should inherit the best of all these traditions and wield them as a weapon in our struggle for a new democratic India.

As mentioned earlier, Asuras are not mere mythological entities, but the native tribes of our country who relentlessly fought against the Brahminic authority. In other words, they were the ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists’ of those times, hated and feared by the Brahminic authority. They can appropriately be treated as a symbol in our struggle against Brahminism.

It will be apt to recall the attempts of Periyar EVR (of course with its own shortcomings) in this regard. His movement turned the permanent villains of the puranas, in to heroes and staged plays like “Hiranya Kasipu- the incomparable hero” and “Ravanakavya” against Ramayana. The “Ravana Leela” against Ram Leela was also held on these lines.

We should unearth and bring to light all our traditions hitherto unknown or misinterpreted by the ruling classes, propagate them and create an alternative historic consciousness which will naturally inspire the people in their struggle against Brahminism.


Caste should not be seen as a mere obstacle blocking class unity. It is a separate socio-economic oppressive system existing in the base. Class struggle and caste struggle are not to be fought side by side or alongside. Caste struggle is part of class struggle. Sometimes the caste aspect takes the primary form, while the class aspect becomes primary in certain other situations. Hence both the prepositions of ‘class struggle a pre-condition to class struggle’ and ‘giving up of caste struggle in the interest of class struggle’ are wrong. Both the class and caste struggles should be carried out simultaneously, so that one compliments the other and helps the development of the revolutionary movement.

Struggle against caste oppression or untouchability are not to be treated as mere local issues to be settled with a particular land lord or a community. Its scope should be extended to fight Brahminic Hindu religion that sanctifies caste system. Only the “class unity” achieved on these lines will help removing the ‘caste consciousness’ among the people and effect the fall of Brahminic Hindu religion.


In the struggle against Hindu communalism the focus is mainly made opposing the anti-muslim propaganda. Historic distortions and communalization – of secular issues by the sangh parivar and the class interest behind its politics should definitely be exposed.

But due importance should be given to wipe out the social base it has created among the oppressed castes in the name of ‘Hindu unity”. A mere reference to the upper caste nature of its leadership is not enough. The fact ‘communal’ towards to its ‘own’ members should be highlighted.


Fears are repeatedly expressed that attack against Hinduism would result in the religious sentiments of the common people. We should clarify ourselves. There has never been a common religious consciousness among Hindus. It is divided on caste lines. In other words even the gods are divided on caste lines and this is the only religion where the gods have repeatedly punished or killed their own devotees for the crime of violating Varna dharma. But now Sangh Parivar is attempting to create a ‘common hindu identity’ and a ‘common religious consciousness’ by focusing the same gods who stood to defend Varna dharma.

As stated earlier, the gods of the scheduled castes and oppressed castes are quiet different from that of the Brahminic Hindu gods; the forms of worship and rituals also vary. Likewise, the nature of the religious consciousness amongst the oppressed castes is by and large proto-materialist and tribal.

This does not mean that we are closing our eyes to the fact that over a period of time – owing to various historical reasons-some of the oppressed castes have been deceived in to accepting the Brahminic gods like Ram, Krishna, Shiva etc., this only increases our responsibility to expose the misdeeds of such ‘gods’ amongst the oppressed castes or else they may fall prey to the ploy of Sangh Parivar, which uses these ‘gods’ as common symbols of Hindu resurgence.

As for the people born in upper castes – but not castiest – who may have a general religious sentiment towards such Brahminic gods then we have no other way but to convince them of the Varna caste chauvinism of their gods and religion.

Further our propaganda against Brahminic Hinduism is not atheistic in nature. We are only putting bare before the people, the history of Brahminic Hinduism which has hurt the self-respect of the oppressed castes. So the question of hurting the religious sentiments and the fear of getting isolated from the people, are totally unfounded; especially when such campaigns go hand in hand with the class struggle. The experiences of Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar EVR in this respect are only positive not to mention of our own experiences in ‘burning Ram’, ‘entry in to the sanctum sanctorum of Srirangam temple’ and the ‘Tamil people music festival’.


By referring to Hinduism as Brahminic Hinduism and Hindu communalism does it infer that we are excluding the non-Brahmin upper castes belonging to the upper varnas? No, the terms are only meant to expose the essence of Hinduism i.e., Brahminical caste hierarchy. As explained earlier it is not a new terminology, but the one used by the Brahmins themselves earlier in history. While all upper castes perpetuate caste oppression it was the Brahmins who formulated, upheld and sanctified the ideology that justifies this oppression. In other words, Brahminism plays the role of giving the ideological leadership to the Varna-caste system. It is analogous to our usage of proletarian leadership or proletarian ideology.

Further, can we justify the usage of the term ‘hindu’, which practically results in the inclusion of the Dalits and the oppressed castes who are in no way responsible for whipping up the communal frenzy and who are always at the receiving and of the caste oppression?


While insisting upon a uniform civil code, the sangh parivar poses itself to be secular and democratic. It does not open its mouth about the discrimination prevalent in the Hindu law and the constitution.

The Hindu law accepts Manu Smriti and certain other Brahminic Dharma Sastras as its basis. Laws relating to marriage, renunciation (sanyas) and adoption are based on these Dharma Sastras.

While untouchability in social life is legally treated as a crime, it is justified as a religious right of the Brahmins in matters of Hindu religion. When this matter came before the Supreme Court it has upheld this ‘religious right’. In a judgement relating to Ayodhya, the Supreme Court has endorsed Ram as a constitutional entity. On our part we must expose and struggle against the Hindu law and the constitutional provision which recognises untouchability as a Hindu religious right.


Hence all the struggles against Hindu communalism should be sharpened as struggles against Brahminism and Fascism.

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