Every country has a grand narrative when it comes to portray itself before people of other societies or other countries so that it becomes easier for them to have a glimpse about who we are. As a precursor to such a grand narrative often there is a key word with which such conversations begin. For eg: – “Rights” can be called as the keyword for USA, “Equality” can be a key word for France, “Imperialism” may be a keyword for British and so on. Then what shall be the key word for India i.e.., Bharath when we begin the conversation about its grand narrative? The answer is “Dharma”. No intellectual has so far claimed that he has sufficiently either translated or defined Dharma in modern terms. The point being that our history and philosophy is profound and deep.
So, lambasting Indian society by identifying one faultline or the other through the medium of either Dalit politics and/or subaltern studies only proves that there is no sense of balance when it comes to intellectual honesty in critiquing Public affairs in India. Only one line of argument occupies overwhelming space in India be it in media or academia. India should not be enslaved with the dichotomy of Dalits & Minorities debate. In this context I shall quote a case, when Katherine Mayo wrote Mother India which basically was a heap of abuses on India’s culture and history, Mahatma Gandhi was asked to read it and express his comment, all he has said about that book of Katherine Mayo after reading it was “it is a report of Gutter Inspector”, i.e.., you cannot look in to the gutter and use whatever you find there to tar any country as a whole.
In Hindu philosophy there are Shruthi traditions and Smriti traditions. The Smritis can be re-written but the Shruti is timeless. No, belief-based religions give such a freedom to re-write their smrutis, such an act would be considered as blasphemy. At some point in time in the past certain smritis were used to justify socially imposed disabilities on a section of Indian people, but in the modern context the latest smriti is Indian constitution which has addressed all such disabilities, hence we have reservation. The old smritis have no relevance in the modern day. The only smriti that is relevant today is Indian Constitution.
The genius of Ambedkar is undeniable. The rejection of Varna system is legitimate and appropriate. The Hindu is sincere, he never claimed that he is a perfect being and admits that he made mistakes. So, the emancipation of Dalits through reservation has been accepted without any issues. The problem arises when Minorities are tagged along with Dalits for a preferential treatment. A religious ideology that has ruled this country and brutalized its opponents (people of other religions) for 1000 years, and another religious ideology which has ruled India by piggybacking on murderous British Colonialism and Imperialism and divided the territories of India accordingly, how can we have the same social groups claiming special rights on par with Dalits under the garb of religious minorities? There is no excuse to demand disproportionate levels of preferential treatment. All such matters are dealt from Articles 25 to 30 of Indian Constitution. It is a settled matter.
It has become fashionable to the Intelligentsia in India and across the globe that subscribes to a particular ideology, to parade the word “Secular” for every issue under the sun in the context of India. We should realize that India is a continuing civilization, and it defies all conditions of the modern concept of Nation State as defined by the Westphalia treaty. It is only for people who believe that Indian nation was born only on 15th August 1947, the word secular comes in handy to justify their intellectual inconsistency. There are more than 50 or more Islamic nations (or nations where Islam is accepted as a religion of state) in the world and loosely there are more than 70 sects of Islam and people belonging to all those sects are peacefully practicing their religion in India, even the Islamic nations themselves have no maturity to mutually respect and tolerate their co-coreligionists of different sects. When Jews were persecuted and were driven out by Christians from their homelands, they dispersed throughout the world and one part came to India. Only in India the Jews were not persecuted, but everywhere else they were. So is the case with Parsis from Persia who were driven out from their lands by Muslims. All live in peace in India. India is secular because Indians are inherently secular because of the Hindu ethics that are entrenched in them not because of a constitutional amendment that was bulldozed by a ruling regime during emergency. Dr. Ambedkar knew this hoary past, and hence he never insisted on religious minorities with special reference to Muslims and Christians, but the modern-day intelligentsia only refers to Muslims and Christians when they refer to minorities and they quote Ambedkar lavishly out of context. What about Hindu minorities in India? Be it in Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala?
As I have said in the beginning, every nation in the world has its drawbacks and faultlines, and no nation would want to blow them out of proportion, instead they would work on positives to build a prosperous future. The Nation of USA was built on the dead bodies of crores of original inhabitants who were called Red Indians. History of Islam and Christianity is replete with examples of mass murders and genocide of non-believers in the last two thousand years and I hardly see them talking about it when they describe about themselves. Indians have never killed a human being because he or she belongs to a different religion. Of course, there will be aberrations, but they do not represent the macro picture of a diverse country like India.
Social Justice is no doubt an invention of Dr. Ambedkar borne out of his personal travails, but he never said that it should be used as a stick to beat the majority. Only the organized centrifugal forces who are detrimental to the integrity of India funded by the foreign forces are engaged in this type of propaganda. I have not quite understood the missionary zeal to discipline Hindus with the teachings of secularism, why such things were never attempted with Christians and Muslims in the past seventy years. The so called left wing intelligentsia has been dishonest all the while which submits its allegiance either to USSR or to China (after the dissolution of USSR).
It is incorrect to relate Dr. Ambedkar and Karl Marx. Both spoke in different contextual settings, it is because of the zealot adherents of Marxism who wanted to spread it throughout the world as if it is a religious duty, scores of innocents were butchered – be it in Communist China or in Stalinist Russia to quote as an example. Hence, Karl Marx symbolizes mass murder of innocents and non-adherents of Marxism. And it is a failed system, be it in the economic or in the political sphere.
Marxism was a reaction to the atrocities imposed on the workers during the Industrial Revolution by Britain, it has no universal application. If you carefully examine the activities of Marxists and Global Jihadists in the last seventy years, there is no difference between them in their motivation on imposing their line of thinking and system on the others violently. Sixty million innocents were butchered in China in late 1960’s in the name of Cultural Revolution as the killers were influenced by Marxism, not to mention the killings of 40 million people in Stalinist regime. We cannot use the words Karl Marx and Democracy at the same length. In a true Marxist sense democracy has no relevance.
On the question of Economic potential of India – Before we talk about Economic Justice we should know that Angus Madison who is an economic historian of global repute, long after Dr. Ambedkar died has come up with his research on Global economic history for two thousand years. In which he shows that for two thousand years India was an economic power house of the world, the distant second was China, but how did we suddenly become a poor country in 1900? This is primarily because of the systematic destruction of Indian economy and society and polity by British colonialists.
When we accepted socialistic pattern of society as a model after independence, our GDP was only 3% maximum till early 1990’s. And Prof. Rajkrishna who is an ardent communist called that as Hindu rate of growth? Why? He never gave an explanation. It is only after India decided to embrace market economy we have grown at a rapid pace relatively speaking. That only means that the Economic potential of Indians was deliberately suppressed because of a failed ideology called socialism.
Summing it up.
- Ambedkar never intended to use the Dalit Politics as a stick to beat the majority. He objected to certain Hindu practices and fought against it, just like Ramanujacharya, Madhavacharya, Adi Shankara or Swami Vivekananda did. That explains why he converted to Buddhism and not to Christianity or Islam.
- The left-wing intelligentsia has always been economical with the truth and practiced intellectual dishonesty. It has always tried to discipline only Hindus, but never dared to go near certain practices of the so called religious minorities, for example triple Talaq and uniform civil code. Is Uniform Civil Code not in Indian Constitution? Is Triple Talaq not against women’s rights and Social Justice?
- Karl Marx is incomparable with the genius of Dr. Ambedkar. Dr. Ambedkar never practiced or expressed his allegiance to Marxism nor professed about it to others. The contexts of both were markedly different.
- All societies have short comings, but to build a prosperous future the country as a whole should focus on positives.
- We cannot use the words Karl Marx and Democracy at the same length. In the Marxist or communist scheme of things democracy has no relevance.