Thursday, 24 November 2011

Need of the hour: A social welfare regime for all Dravidian peoples (backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis):

Dravidian people (backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in all of India) are not poor, but kept poor by the Brahman and “twice born” racist apartheid class.

Dravidian masses are not poor but kept poor by the Brahman and “twice born” governing apartheid class who invest next to nothing of public funds in ensuring universal public services for all people in health, education, housing and sanitation, unlike the social welfare regimes in European Union nations. The Government of India does not even spend to the level of outright capitalist countries like the United States and Canada on providing free public housing to the poor, universal primary and secondary education for all, access to universal health care and sanitation.

The recently enacted “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act” does not really make elementary education “compulsory” because this law does not create penal provisions to penalise the authorities if any child is left out of compulsory education. There are no specific penalties if the authorities fail to provide the right to elementary education. Both the state government and the local authority have the duty to provide free and compulsory elementary education, and hence, sharing of this duty may lead to neither government being held accountable. Therefore the recent Right to Education Act is an eyewash, since most villages, Dalit ghettos, rural and tribal areas are bereft of schools, and existing government schools in villages and towns that serve backward castes and Dalits suffer for want of facilities and skilled teachers.  The Right to Education Act will not change this situation because it does not impose any penalty or penal offence on the local authority or the state government if no schools are available to children living in a particular town, village, Dalit ghetto, rural or tribal area or if existing schools are bereft of facilities and skilled teachers. Moreover, there are no penalties on the local authority or the state government even if the provisions stated in the Right to Education Act are not enforced, and hence this law cannot guarantee “compulsory” elementary education to all.

The Right to Education Act does not make it mandatory to invest in building new government schools in all villages, towns and segregated Dalit areas all across India. The Act does not increase public spending on school facilities and in developing skilled teachers and buildings for government schools. The Right to Education Act earmarks a percentage of admissions of private schools to disadvantaged children, but this will not help in the case of most backward castes, Dalit and tribal children living in villages and towns where either there are no private schools or no schools at all. The Right to Education Act also does not help to develop school facilities and skilled teachers where the only schools available are ill equipped and under staffed government schools and not private schools. So the key to ensuring universal primary and secondary education is to invest considerable funds of the Government to build new schools in villages, towns, rural areas, Dalit areas and small towns all across India, train new teachers contracted to work for government schools in teaching and academic skills, and to develop facilities in existing and new government schools.

Moreover, not providing elementary education to any single child irrespective of the child’s background, caste or religion should be made a penal offence on the part of the concerned officials of the local authority and state government, so that the law enforcement machinery and state authorities will ensure that no child is delinquent and all children stay in school during the prescribed age period to complete their elementary education. Only this will force the state government, police and local authorities to ensure that every child stays in school until the completion of elementary education, and similar laws exist in western nations to ensure that every child stays in school and does not become delinquent.

To make India a social welfare state in the lines of western European nation states, the following needs to be done:  all caste hereditary degrading and menial forced labour due to caste descent should be banned,  a comprehensive social welfare regime that ensures access to universal and mandatory education up to college level should be established, free public housing for all homeless should be provided, a well funded and well expanded national medical service that ensures availability of health and medical care to all should be instituted in all villages, towns and cities, sanitation facilities and eco-friendly waste disposal should be established throughout the nation, employment guarantees to all jobless people and reasonable financial assistance (doles) to all unemployed should be provided, free publicly funded homes for orphans, aged, infirm, mentally ill and terminally ill should be founded, a social worker regime should be established to inspect and counsel families to prevent child abuse, child labour, delinquency and disease, a system of foster homes, adoptive network and orphanages should be instituted for orphans and destitute street children, and adopted children should be frequently visited by social workers to ensure that they are not abused or exploited, and many such welfare measures should be enacted on line with the social welfare states of Europe to create a egalitarian society of social equality.

But the Government of India will not invest public funds to establish such a social welfare national regime in India, because the bigotry of Brahmanist racism and the “twice born” racist apartheid class that leads the Government believes in keeping the backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in illiteracy, ill health, homelessness and insanitation. On the contrary, the central government controlled by the Brahmans and “twice born” castes wastes hundreds of billions of dollars buying up the debt of USA while also offering to buy up the debt of European nations such as Greece and Italy and the Brahman “twice born” racists’ controlled Indian government also waives corporate income tax from business houses to the tune of 83 billion dollars, while the majority of Indian peoples, backward castes and Dalits, wallow in illiteracy, ill health, homelessness and insanitation without any government investment to ensure quality and free public services for all in education, health care, housing and sanitation, just as in western European nations.

I am sure that the Government of India has enough funds to establish such a social welfare regime in India. But all the funds of Government of India are wasted on unnecessary arms purchases, investment in debt of USA and western nations and waiver of billions of tax funds due from big business corporations, all of which fattens big business companies, multinational corporations and the treasury of USA and western Governments.  In six years from 2005-06, the Government of India wrote off corporate income tax worth $83.1 billion — more than twice the loss the country allegedly suffered in the 2G telecom fraud — in successive Union budgets. On 21 November 2011, the Indian Express reported that the Government of India possessed gold worth one lakh crore in its treasury, and this is in addition to the unlimited funds that are available to the Government of India through tax revenue and reclaim of black money stashed off in India and abroad.

Despite availability of plentiful resources, Brahmans and “twice born” racist apartheid class controlling the Government of India never invested state resources in ensuring real and compulsory universal primary and secondary education to all, and never cared to invest adequate public funds to establish a universal national health care regime, publicly funded housing for homeless and public sanitation. This has left most of the backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis illiterate, diseased and living in inhabitable and insanitary conditions. This is much worse in the case of Dalits living in segregated ghettos.

India’s own Government led by the racist apartheid class of Brahmans and “twice borns” has left the majority of its citizens in illiteracy, ill health, homelessness and insanitation. On the other hand the Government of India controlled by the Brahman – Baniya – Kshatriya  “twice born” Hindus spend hundreds of billions of public funds by buying up the debt of USA and western countries, spending billions on unwanted arms purchases and by waiving hundreds of billions of income tax due from big business corporations.

The inadequate spending of Government of India on health, education, housing and sanitation for the backward caste, Dalit, Adivasi masses can be explained by the fact that the  planning commission and the Government of India is governed by the bigotry of Brahmanist racism and Baniya ethos of exploitation, since the planning commission, central cabinet and the central government bureaucracy were always controlled and comprised mostly of Brahmans and “twice born” castes such as Baniyas (Vysyas).

As Babasaheb Ambedkar expounded in his writings against various ways in which Brahmanist racism oppressed the backward castes and dalits, the cornerstone of Brahmanist racist supremacism lay in denying literacy and education to the backward castes and Dalits, denying positions of power and authority to backward castes and Dalits, denying affluence and property rights to backward castes and Dalits, oppressing women, total disarmament of backward castes and Dalits, and sustaining the system of graded inequality between the castes.  On the other hand the Baniya philosophy is to pursue greed by keeping the masses in penury. Hence,  the Brahman – Baniya (“twice born”) apartheid governing class of India believes in wasting hundreds of billions of public funds of the Indian people to fatten foreign multinational companies, Baniya owned big business corporations and western Governments which aids the money making enterprises of Baniyas – Brahmans, by way of Government policies that waive  hundreds of billions of tax revenues due from business corporations, purchases of unnecessary arms from western arms companies, investment in the debt of USA and EU nations, etc.  On the contrary, the Brahman – Baniya racist apartheid governing class spends next to nothing of the Government of India’s public funds for ensuring universal primary and secondary education, universal availability of health care for all Indian citizens, free public housing for all homeless and those living in inhabitable habitats and modern facilities for sanitation, waste and sewage disposal all across India, thus perpetuating the misery of one billion Indian people.

So Dravidian people (backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in all of India) are not poor, but kept poor by the Brahman and “twice born” racist apartheid governing class. 

Dravidatva: The nation, race and religion of backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in all of India is “Dravidian” (and NOT Hindu!)

The term "Dravidian" should be used as a common racial anthropological term to denote people of all backward caste and Dalit descent all over India. This is based on Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar's writing that all the people oppressed by the caste system in all of India, (backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis included), were all descendants of the ancient Dravidian Naga people who spoke the Tamil language in all of India, who were later enslaved by the graded caste supremacist hierarchical racist system, and ended up speaking different languages due to the linguistic influence and mixture of other languages which entered India, including the "Aryan" language of Sanskrit, Persian, Turkish, etc. Hence backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in all of India should be described as “Dravidian” in their racial heritage, and the rural and indigenous religions of Dalits and backward castes (Bahujans) should be described as Dravidian religions, and not as Hinduism. This is also because Hindu law strictly limits "scriptural and sacramental" membership of Vedic Sanathan Dharma (Hinduism) to only "twice born" (Brahman, Kshatriya and Baniya- Vysya) castes. Hence, the rural and indigenous religions of Dalits, backward castes and Adivasis which have nothing to do with Brahmanic Vedic Hinduism (Sanathan Dharma) should all be generally identified as "Dravidian religions" based on the common anthropological and racial heritage of backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis, in accordance with the aforesaid Ambedkarite anthropological perspective.  All individual caste names of backward castes and Dalits should be banned, and people should be simply given community certificates generally as Dravidian Bahujans (for "backward castes" and “most backward castes”) and Dravidian Dalits (for "scheduled castes"), and children of marriage between Dalits and non-Dalits should be denoted as "casteless Dravidians" and given affirmative action accordingly. Even indigenous (scheduled) tribes should be described as Dravidian tribes, even though indigenous tribal names can continue (unlike individual caste names of backward castes and Dalits all of which should be banned).

"Dravidian" is not a term that carries a "narrow" meaning of "South Indian" as it is misinterpreted, but is a racial anthropological term describing all backward caste, Dalit and Adivasi peoples in all religions in all of India, as per Ambedkarite thought. Hence the term "Dravidian" is racially inclusive of all Dravidians in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and all other non-Hindu religions, irrespective of the language they speak, which gives an inclusive national, racial and anthropological identity without persecuting any religious minority. Hence "Dravidatva" should be the anthropological and racial tool of all peoples oppressed by the caste system and "twice born" racist supremacy, to challenge and destroy "Hindutva". Even the name of India should be changed from "Republic of India" to "Republic of Dravida". This will be in tune with Ambedkarite perspective and ideology. 

The Brahman led "twice born" Hindu supremacy and graded caste supremacist system unleashed by the latter that sustains the segregation between backward castes and Dalits which causes atrocities against Dalits, should be countered by a broader agenda that incorporates Periyarist Ambedkarite principles. This broader agenda should include the following: banning all caste descent based degrading and inhumane occupations, building public projects like schools, government offices, hospitals and wells in segregated Dalit ghettos and colonies so that other backward castes who use them are integrated with Dalits, providing housing to Dalits inside the village, town and cities to end segregation of Dalits in ghettos and slums, and most importantly, opening up temple priesthood in all temples to Dalits and backward castes to end the theological fountain of untouchability in Hindu scriptures, and banning of all caste names while continuing affirmative action under the terms   Dravidian Bahujans  (for "backward castes" ) and Dravidian Dalits (for “scheduled castes"), while children of marriage between non-Dalits and Dalits should be declared as “casteless Dravidians”, and given affirmative action accordingly. Most importantly, it will also require a ban on "forcing" the Hindu label on backward castes (Bahujans), Dalits and Adivasis (since Hindu law recognises only "twice born" caste people – Brahmans – Vysya Baniyas - Kshatriyas) as the "only" scriptural and sacramental members of Hinduism), and hence, the rural and indigenous religions of Dalits, Adivasis and backward castes should not be called as Hinduism but as Dravidian religions.  The Indian law which states that "all" people who are not Jews, Christians, Muslims and Zoroastrians are “all Hindus" should be abrogated. Even atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains are legally forced with the Hindu label by the aforesaid legal regime and by other constitutional provisions which should be ended.  Rural indigenous Dravidian religions of Dalits, Adivasis and Bahujans (backward castes) should be recognised separately from the Sanathan Dharma (Hinduism) of "twice born" Brahmanical racists.  While religion based civil law can be preserved for Jews, Christians, Muslims and Parsis, secular civil law should be instituted for all other Dravidians (such as Dalits, Bahujans - backward castes, Adivasis, atheists, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, and other religionists) and the so called Hindu Civil Law (Hindu Law) which is based on bigoted scriptures such as Manusmiruthi should be totally abrogated and destroyed.  Affirmative action for Dalits and backward castes should be extended irrespective of their religious affiliation and atheism. The planning commission should be compelled by law to allocate sufficient funds for the special component plan for scheduled castes which should be ensured for the use of empowerment and integration of Dalits along lines outlined above. A similar planning allocation should also be instituted for the development of the “most” backward castes. Affirmative action should be extended for Dravidian backward castes, Dalits and Adivasis in all private institutions, businesses and corporations.

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar states that ancient people in all of India, (North India and South India) were all Tamil speaking Dravidians

All Dalits, Adivasis and Bahujans (backward castes) in all of India should declare themselves as “Indian Dravidian” by discarding the Hindu identity in accordance with Ambedkarite perspective.

Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar states that ancient people in all of India, (North India and South India) were all Tamil speaking Dravidians before the advent of Aryans. Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar writes as follows:

Nonetheless, it is a fact that the term Dravidians and Nagas are merely two different names for the same people. Dravidians as Nagas occupied not merely South India but that they occupied the whole of India- South as well as North. Nonetheless, these are historical truths.

This view, that the Tamil and cognate tongues were founded upon the ancient Asura speech, is very strongly confirmed by the fact that the language of the Brahuis, a tribe on the borders of Sind, has been found to be very closely allied to them. Indeed, Dr. Caldwell says: 'The Brahui (language) enables us to trace the Dravidian race, beyond the Indus, to the southern confines of Central Asia. [f80]This country, as I have already pointed out, was the home of the Asuras or Nagas, to which race apparently belonged the founders of the Dravidian kingdoms.

Taking into consideration all the evidence which has been brought forward, the only possible conclusion seems to be, that the Dravidians, of the south of India, were of the same stock as the Asuras or Nagas of the North.

The second thing to be borne in mind is that the word 'Dravida' is not an original word. It is the Sanskritized form of the word Tamil'.

The original word Tamil' when imported into Sanskrit became Damita[f81] and later on Damilla became Dravida. The word Dravida is the name of the language of the people and does not denote the race of the people. The third thing to remember is that Tamil or Dravida was not merely the language of South India but before the Aryans came it was the language of the whole of India[f82] and was spoken from Kashmere to Cape Camorin. In fact, it was the language of the Nagas throughout India. The next thing to note is the contact between the Aryan and the Nagas and the effect it produced on the Nagas and their language. Strange as it may appear the effect of this contact on the Nagas of North India was quite different from the effect it produced on the Nagas of South India. The Nagas in North India gave up Tamil which was their mother tongue and adopted Sanskrit in its place. The Nagas in South India retained Tamil as their mother tongue and did not adopt Sanskrit the language of the Aryans. If this difference is borne in mind it will help to explain why the name Dravida came to be applied only for the people of South India. The necessity for the application of the name Dravida to the Nagas of Northern India had ceased because they had ceased to speak the Dravida language. But so far as the Nagas of South India are concerned not only the propriety of calling them Dravida had remained in view of their adherence to the Dravida language but the necessity of calling them Dravida had become very urgent in view of their being the only people speaking the Dravida language after the Nagas of the North had ceased to use it. This is the real reason why the people of South India have come to be called Dravidians.

The special application of the use of the word Dravida for the people of South India must not, therefore, obscure the fact that the Nagas and Dravidas are the one and the same people. They are only two different names for the same people. Nagas was a racial or cultural name and Dravida was their linguistic name.

Thus the Dasas are the same as the Nagas and the Nagas are the same as the Dravidians. In other words what we can say about the races of India is that there have been at the most only two races in the field, the Aryans and the Nagas.

My additional comment on S. Anand’s article against Periyar titled “Iconoclast or Lost Idol”

In his article against Periyar titled “Iconoclast or Lost Idol”, S. Anand uses a quote of Thirumavalavan to allude that Periyar and his followers have not worked for temple entry rights of Dalits which is a gross lie. Periyar and his followers pioneered temple entry movements for Dalits and were instrumental in legislation of a law for temple entry rights for Dalits during the life time of Periyar itself. The fact is that no Dalit can be denied entry into any temple under the control of the Hindu religious and charitable endowments in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar pioneered a law for abolishing the religious fountainhead of untouchability by making Dalits as temple priests by calling for a legislation that allows peoples from all castes – including Dalits - to become temple priests which was stalled by Brahmans by going to the Supreme Court despite Periyar’s proposed law being twice legislated by the DMK Government.

S. Anand quotes Thirumavalavan to belittle the Periyarist agitation for “entry” into the “sanctum sanctorum” of temples and in challenging Sankaracharyas. One should remember that the agitations for entry into the sanctum sanctorum is aimed at ending the untouchability imposed on both Dalits and backward castes which bans their entry into the sanctum sanctorum, and hence is aimed at empowering both Dalits and backward castes to enter the sanctum sanctorum which will demolish the theological caste supremacist status of Brahmans as the “most superior” caste with the sole right  to enter the sanctum sanctorum, and thus strike at the root of the graded caste supremacist bigotry which sustains the caste system. Similarly, Dalits and backward castes are banned from being anointed as Sankaracharyas and the latter are seen as custodians of Brahman racist supremacism. Therefore opposing Sankaracharyas is also an expression of challenging the graded caste supremacist system - the fountain-head of which are Brahmans and Brahmanism, which in turn empowers both backward castes and Dalits. If a Dalit can become a temple priest and a Sankaracharya by eradicating untouchability and overthrowing the theological racist supremacy of Brahmans, it will be easier for Dalits to break barriers at other hierarchies and levels of the caste system and bring down the caste system itself. Hence Periyar believed in going after the root factor that sustained the religious foundations of untouchability and the graded inequality of the caste system. In other words, Periyar believed in uprooting the tree and did not want to waste his time cutting the branches of the tree. Periyar believed that if the Hindu religious foundation for untouchability can be eradicated, other social manifestations of untouchability will wane and disappear. Now, one can realise the fallacy of the argument by some biased individuals who vainly and falsely argue that Periyar ignored untouchability.

One has to also cite the fact that the erstwhile Government of the DMK in Tamil Nadu state brought in a law to train and employ people from all castes – including Dalits - as temple priests by allowing them to enter the sanctum sanctorum, which was a measure to combat the Hindu religious foundations of untouchability, caste system and to create the mingling of the castes. But this law was stayed by some Brahman bigots who sued against the law by citing the Hindu law based on bigoted scriptures such as Manusmiruthi, even though the Hindu law runs counter to the constitutional provision that outlaws caste discrimination. This shows that Periyar believed in attacking the Hindu religious fountainhead of untouchability which will end religious sanction for untouchability and the caste system, which is a crucial factor in the fight against the caste system.

S. Anand also quotes Thirumavalavan as saying that Periyarists do not lead Dalits into temples controlled by “non-Brahmins”. All temples are in fact non-Brahmin temples because all temples were built by the blood, sweat, money, talent and artistry of non-Brahmans. Brahmans colonise and occupy the temples built by non-Brahmins as priests.  From a legal point of view, there are only two kinds of temples: In the first category are temples which come under the control of the state Government’s Hindu religious and charitable endowments board. In the second category are temples which are privately built and privately owned in land governed by private property laws.  No Dalit is prevented entry into any temple that is controlled by the Government of Tamil Nadu’s Hindu religious and charitable endowments.  As stated earlier, Periyarists conducted campaigns for temple entry of Dalits and pioneered the law to enable temple entry of Dalits during Periyar’s life time itself.  Hence all Dalits have all the right to enter all the temples under the Government’s Hindu religious and charitable endowments.  In a few places, Dalits may be refused entry into temples built on private property owned by caste bigots as an expression of untouchability and this has been the point of contention involving a few agitations, such as the agitation of Dalits to enter the Uthapuram temple. Untouchability is universally and constitutionally banned. Hence, to practice untouchability in privately owned property, businesses or in privately owned temples is anti-constitutional, criminal and illegal. Periyarists support all agitations and movements regarding temple entry of Dalits, but after pioneering the movement and the law enabling temple entry for all Dalits in Tamil Nadu, Periyarists may be constrained to go after a few privately owned and insignificant rural temples where Dalits may be denied entry because Periyarists (just as Ambedkarite Buddhists) may not want to be seen as proselytizing for Hinduism and want Dalits to shun privately owned Hindu temples which shun Dalits, and actually want Dalits (and backward castes) to shun Hinduism itself. But Periyarists (such as myself because I believe in combining Periyarist – Ambedkarite perspectives) may not be expected to act during each and every rare occasion when an insignificant and privately owned rural temple shuns Dalits because Periyarists prioritize advocacy for asking people to shun Hinduism and embrace atheism, Buddhism or even Islam. Periyarists have campaigned for temple entry of Dalits and pioneered a law that ensured temple entry for all Dalits in all temples in Tamil Nadu during Periyar’s life time itself, and hence it is biased to put all the burden of activism on Periyar’s followers regarding a few privately owned temples where Dalits may be shunned. Hence if untouchability is still practiced in some remote privately owned temples, I am sure other Dalit political parties, NGOs and communist parties will shoulder the responsibility for ensuring Dalit right to enter these temples using the law, as it successfully happened in Uthapuram temple recently.

It is also for wrong for Thirumavalavan to say (as quoted by S. Anand) that Periyar did not have a separate agenda for Dalits. Periyar spoke, wrote and organised socio-political action for Dalit rights on many occasions. Periyar did not have a separate agenda for any particular caste and he did not have a separate agenda for backward castes either. Periyar attacked the fountainhead of the caste system which are Brahmans, Brahmanism and Hindu religion, and called for annihilation of all castes, hence he focused on atheism for all castes, destruction of Hinduism, conversion of Dalits to atheism or even Islam and the overthrowing of Brahman – Baniya “twice born” racist apartheid governing class with representation for Dalits and backward castes in government, power, education and employment. But Periyar's thought and action were not restricted to these areas because he was a free wheeling rationalist thinker who spoke, wrote and advocated ideas on many social, political and intellectual issues including feminism, sexual liberty of women, Tamil language reformation, opposition to Hindi, separatism (which he advocated to bring in laws for annihilation of castes and not for reasons of linguistic chauvinism), and many other issues. 

Even though Mandal was for the advancement of all castes oppressed by the caste system, Mandal focused on affirmative action for backward castes because Dalits already had constitutionally guaranteed affirmative action. This does not mean Mandal ignored Dalits. Similarly, since affirmative action for Dalits was achieved already by Babasaheb Ambedkar, Periyar called for affirmative action for backward castes. This does not mean Periyar focused on only backward castes. Otherwise Periyar called for annihilation of all castes and the destruction of the caste system itself, and attacked all castes in his speeches for caste bigotry. Periyar has attacked caste bigotry of backward castes against Dalits in many of his speeches just as he attacked Brahmanism and Brahmans.  

It is also wrong for Thirumavalavan to state that Periyar has overthrown Brahman hegemony (as quoted by S.Anand). Brahman hegemony has not decreased even a wee-bit and Brahmans along with their allied “twice born” castes such as Baniyas (Vysyas) and Kshatriyas - are the ruling class of India who control the government machinery, bureaucracy, top leadership of national parties such as the Congress and the BJP, military officers corps, judiciary, business corporations, academia, arts and the media. Brahmans’ status as the “most superior” caste at the head of the caste supremacist system of graded inequality is intact as ever and they will safeguard their racist supremacist status and the caste system at all costs.  Brahmans have not lost their racist supremacist socio-religious status and their monopoly for priesthood in Hindu temples. Brahmans along with their “twice born” compatriots such as Baniyas (Vysyas) and Kshatriyas are indeed the apartheid governing class of India who are dividing and ruling the Indian Dravidian masses (backward castes and Dalits). Even though Periyar fought against Brahman hegemony, it is a fallacy to say that Periyar has overthrown Brahman hegemony, because Brahman hegemony is as intact as ever. 

Monday, 21 November 2011 published my rebuttal to one of S.Anand's many preposterous articles defaming Periyar which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: 

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Starting with the Brahmins who form a strong and powerful element in the governing class in India it is no exaggeration to say that they have been the most inveterate enemies of the servile classes, the Shudras (the old name for the non-Brahmins) and the Untouchables who together constitute about 80 or 90 percent of the total Hindu population of India. If the common man belonging to the servile classes in India is today so fallen, so degraded, so devoid of self-respect, hope or ambition, and so lifeless, it is entirely due to the Brahmins and their philosophy. The cardinal principles of this philosophy of the Brahmins were six—to use a correct expression, techniques of suppression—(1) graded inequality between the different classes; (2) complete disarmament of the Shudras And the Untouchables; (8) complete ban on the education of the Shudras and the Untouchables; (4) total exclusion of the Shudras and the Untouchables from places of power and authority; (5) complete prohibition against the Shudras and the Untouchables acquiring property, and (6) complete subjugation and suppression of women. Inequality is the official doctrine of Brahmanism and the suppression of the lower classes aspiring to equality has been looked upon by them and carried out by them, without remorse as their bounded duty. There are countries where education did not spread beyond a few. But India is the only country where the intellectual class, namely, the Brahmins not only made education their monopoly but declared acquisition of education by the lower classes, a crime punishable by cutting off of the tongue or by the pouring of molten lead in the ear of the offender. The result is that for centuries the Brahmins have denied the servile classes the right to education. Even to-day the Brahmins exhibit the same hostility to their education. Mr. Baines, the Census Commissioner for 1891 in discussing the causes why education was not spreading among the masses said :—

" The second influence antagonistic to a more general spread of literacy is the long continued existence of a hereditary class whose object it has been to maintain their own monopoly of all book-learning as the chief buttress of their social supremacy, Sacerdotalism knows that it can reign over none but an ignorant populace. The opposition of the Brahmin to the rise of the writer castes has been already mentioned, and the repugnance of both, in the present day, to the diffusion of learning amongst the masses can only be appreciated after long experience. It is true that the recognition by the British Government of the virtue and necessity of primary education has met with some response on the part of the literate castes, but it is chiefly in the direction of academic utterances, which cannot, in the circumstances, be well avoided. It is welcome too, in its capacity of affording the means of livelihood to many of these castes, as they have to be engaged as teachers, and are bound accordingly to work up to the State standard of efficient tuition. The real interest of the castes in question is centred on secondary education, of which they almost exclusively are in a position to reap the advantage."

The Congress politicians complain that the British are ruling India by a wholesale disarmament of the people of India. But they forget that disarmament of the Shudras and the Untouchables was the rule of law promulgated by the Brahmins. Indeed, so strongly did the Brahmins believe in the disarmament of the Shudras and the Untouchables that when they revised the law to enable the Brahmins to arm themselves for the protection of their own privileges, they maintained the ban on the Shudras and the Untouchables as it was without lessening its rigour. If the large majority of people of India appear today to be thoroughly emasculated, spiritless, with no manliness, it is the result of the Brahmanic policy of wholesale disarmament to which they have been subjected for the untold ages. There is no social evil and no social wrong to which the Brahmin has not given his support. Man's inhumanity to man, such as the feeling of caste, untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability is a religion to him. It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that only the wrongs of man are a religion to him. The Brahmin has given his support to some of the worst wrongs that women have suffered from in any part of the world. In India widows were burnt alive as suttees and the Brahmin gave his fullest support to the practice. Widows were not allowed to remarry. The Brahmins upheld the doctrine. Girls were required to be married before 8 and the husbands were permitted to claim the right to consummate the marriage at any time thereafter whether she had reached puberty or not. The Brahmin defended the system. The record of the Brahmins as law givers for the Shudras, for the Untouchables and for women is the blackest as compared with the record of the intellectual classes in other parts of the world, For no intellectual class has prostituted its intelligence for the sole purpose of inventing a philosophy to keep his uneducated countrymen in a perpetual state of servility, ignorance and poverty as the Brahmins have done in India. Every Brahmin to-day believes in this philosophy of Brahmanism propounded by his forefathers. He is an alien element in the Hindu Society. The Brahmin vis-a-vis the Shudras and the Untouchables is as foreign as the German is to the French, as the Jew is to the Gentile or as the White is to the Negro. There is a real gulf between him and the lower classes of Shudras and Untouchables. He is not only alien to them but he is also hostile to them. In relationship with them, there is in him no room for conscience and no call for justice.

The Bania is the worst parasitic class known to history. In him the vice of money-making is unredeemed by culture or conscience. He is like an undertaker who prospers when there is an epidemic. The only difference between the undertaker and the Bania is that the undertaker does not create an epidemic while the Bania does. He does not use his money for productive purposes. He uses it to create poverty and more poverty by lending money for unproductive purposes. He lives on interest and as he is told by his religion that money-lending is the occupation prescribed to him by the divine Manu, he looks upon money-lending as both right and righteous. With the help and assistance of the Brahmin judge who is ready to decree his suits, the Bania is able to carry on his trade with the greatest ease. Interest, interest on interest, he adds on and on, and thereby draws millions of families perpetually into his net. Pay him as much as he may, the debtor is always in debt. With no conscience to check him there is no fraud, and there is no chicanery which he will not commit. His grip over the nation is complete. The whole of poor, starving, illiterate India is irredeemably mortgaged to the Bania.

In every country there is a governing class. No country is free from it. But is there anywhere in the world a governing class with such selfish, diseased and dangerous and perverse mentality, with such a hideous and infamous philosophy of life which advocates the trampling down of the servile classes to sustain the power and glory of the governing class ? I know of none. It is true that the governing classes in other countries do not readily admit into their society those who do not belong to their class. But they do not refuse admission to those who have risen to their level. Nor do they prevent any person from rising to their level. In India the governing class is a close corporation unwilling to admit anyone who does not belong to it by birth and ready to use every means to prevent the servile classes from rising to their level.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

My request to writers S. Anand and Ravi Kumar who have distorted, misrepresented and defamed Periyar with lies in their writings

Dear Mr. S. Anand,

I am a writer and activist based in Chennai.

Greetings to you, at the outset.

You had written and translated a series of articles, essays and reports which were published in many magazines, newspapers and websites a few years ago, and in these writings (including translations titled "Periyar's Hindutva" and "Re-reading Periyar"), you have attributed a series of quotes to Periyar, but you have not properly and individually referenced these quotes (allegedly made by Periyar) in an academically and journalistically conventional manner by citing the exact page number and exact volume number of the book series in which each of these alleged Periyar's quotes appear. This is at least the case in the internet versions of your aforementioned writings and translations.

Except for one quote attributed to Periyar, you have generally attributed all the quotes to Periyar by citing the name of a single book series under the "references" column, (namely "Periyar E. Ve. Ra. Sinthanaikal - Volumes 1, 2 & 3" edited by Ve.Anaimuthu), but you have not cited the individual page number and exact volume number of the aforesaid tri-volumed book series in which each of these alleged quotes of Periyar appear, as it is accepted practice in foot noting and referencing. But you have cited page numbers and volume numbers for each of the quotes of those other than Periyar which were taken from other books, including those of Babasaheb Ambedkar, and it is puzzling why you have not done the same for quotes attributed to Periyar.

The name of the book series you cite under the reference section of your articles and translations is the following: "Ve. Anaimuthu (ed) Periyar E. Ve. Ra. Sinthanaikal, (3 volumes), Sinthanaiyalar Pathippakam, 1974". But you have not cited the individual page number and volume number in brackets for each of the individual quotes attributed to Periyar as you have done for quotes from others.

But without the page numbers and volume numbers in which the individual quotes (attributed to Periyar) appear, I am unable to ascertain the quotes' truthfulness in order to cross-reference and research these quotes (attributed to Periyar) by you and Mr. Ravi Kumar for a research paper and book series I am writing on Periyar.

Since I am using your English translations of Periyar's alleged quotes (and other citations of your translated quotes attributed to Periyar) for my research, I am directing this request to you. You can feel free to convey my request to Mr. Ravi Kumar whose Tamil writings you translated, if it helps me to obtain proper referencing of page numbers and volume numbers of quotes attributed to Periyar in your translations and writings. Since I am using your translations as the source material for my writing I am directing this request to you, with a copy to an email address attributed to Mr. Ravi Kumar. It is necessary that both original works and translations should carry appropriate references to page numbers, volume numbers and book names for quotations in the interest of verification, authentication and truthfulness of the quotes used, but your writings and translations lacks such an authenticity regarding quotes and statements attributed to Periyar. Hence, one has to conclude that you and Mr. Ravi Kumar have defamed and blemished Periyar without foundation. 

As you know, it is imperative for intellectual and journalistic integrity and honesty to back up quotes with proper referencing to page numbers and exact volume numbers of the books from which these quotes were sourced if you intend your writings and translations to be considered seriously by anyone.

It is fundamentally erroneous, biased and non-objective to make grossly false conclusions about the fundamental principles enunciated by Periyar's long activist life of 94 years by using a handful of unreferenced and unsubstantiated quotes. You can find thousands of quotes from Periyar which contradict the false conclusions made in your articles and translations. I also suspect that the quotes and statements attributed to Periyar in your writings and translations are abject lies (such as stating that Periyar "repeatedly" spoke of dalits as a people who don't have a history, who don't have a political movement, who don't have leaders, and stating that Periyar asked Dalits :"Of what use are you to us?"). In addition, these unreferenced and unsubstantiated quotes (cited by you) have been used outside of context and grossly misinterpreted to blame Periyar - in order to conclude lies about Periyar - which are fundamentally opposed to Periyarist philosophical, social and political goals such as liberating the masses from Hinduism and destruction of the caste system. I also find many irrational contradictions and illogical conclusions in your writings and translations on Periyar, (and therefore also in the writings of the original author Mr. Ravi Kumar whose essays you have translated), and I hope to analyse and establish these in my research paper. I also suspect that the quotes attributed to Periyar by you and Mr. Ravi Kumar were misquoted, misinterpreted, truncated, manipulated and fabricated. 

Just as you and Mr. Ravi Kumar have arbitrarily smeared Periyar with lies approximately four decades after Periyar's death, a delay of less than a decade in my analysis of your writings and translations can be condoned, since there is no time limit to subject any one's writing to scrutiny.

Periyar’s views has been distorted and defamed by your writings and translations. Periyar who was primarily known for his life long campaign against all aspects of Hinduism, including Hindu Gods, scriptures, caste system, rituals and customs, is ludicrously, ridiculously and falsely associated with “Hindutva” and is falsely portrayed as anti-Muslim and anti-Christian (in your writings and translations) with no objective substantiation and by resorting to outright lies and baseless statements. Similarly, your writings and translations attempt to falsely portray Periyar as an anti-Dalit figure, again by way of baseless lies and libellous statements. Periyar campaigned against annihilation of all manifestations of the graded caste supremacist system and destruction of all castes. Periyar’s writings and speeches emphasized the liberation of Dalits and annihilation of all castes. Periyar’s panacea for annihilation of the graded caste supremacist system is destruction of Hinduism and emphasis on atheism, while he also actively encouraged all those oppressed by the graded caste system (backward castes and Dalits) to convert to Islam and Christianity. Periyar wrote, spoke and undertook socio-political action for Dalit rights on innumerable occasions.

Periyar spent all his life deriding Hindu fanatics and Hindutva organisations. As an ethical atheist – rationalist Periyar criticized all religions and superstitions, but his primary ire was against the Hindu religion while Periyar wrote and spoke extensively in praise of Islam and Christianity as egalitarian religions which offer an escape from the caste system. Periyar has also written extensively in defence of Muslims against the murderous violence of Hindu fanatics. Periyar explored the socio-political reasons behind the attacks on Muslims, and reasoned that Muslims were attacked at the behest of Brahmans and caste bigots who wanted to preserve the cannibalism of Hindu graded caste supremacist racist system and prevent people from escaping this barbaric system to monotheistic egalitarian religions such as Islam and Christianity. There are countless speeches and writings in which Periyar has praised Islam and Muslims. He asked the Dravidians (the collective racial term he used to refer to backward castes and Dalits) to be friendly towards Muslims but rise against Brahmans.

I am not interested in educating you on Periyarist thought, but it is my job to take action when someone who is totally ignorant of Periyarist thought as yourself (and Mr. Ravi Kumar) goes about maligning and misrepresenting Periyar with lies. Hence, your and Mr. Ravi Kumar's writings and translations which attempt to associate Periyar with all that he opposed is not just oxymoronic but malicious insanity. Your motivation is aimed at misrepresenting and maligning Periyar to all those outside Tamil Nadu who have no access to knowing the fundamental ideals of Periyar and cannot read the rebuttals published in Tamil exposing your calumny against Periyar.

I request you to kindly give me the page numbers and volume numbers of the aforesaid book series in which the following quotes allegedly appear, (or for that matter any other reference you may provide with page numbers and volume numbers) since you have attributed the following quotes to Periyar in your translations and writings without reference to page numbers and volume numbers. I hope you will comply with my request in order to further objectivity, honesty and integrity in intellectual, journalistic and academic discourse in an ethical spirit. If you fail to provide individual page numbers, volume numbers (and book names) for the following quotes and statements attributed to Periyar in your writings and translations, history will record that your (and Mr. Ravi Kumar's) writings against Periyar were callously fabricated, bogus and unaccountable apart from the malicious misinterpretations, contradictions, arbitrary statements, falsehood and illogical conclusions in your writings and translations (and that of Mr. Ravi Kumar).

(The unreferenced and unsubstantiated quotes attributed to Periyar by S.Anand and Ravi Kumar has been listed in the original email sent to them.)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Defaming and misrepresenting Periyar (Corrected Version 1)

Periyar never attacked Muslims but called upon Dalits to convert to Islam. Periyar never preached hatred against religious minorities. Chandrabhan Prasad should be clearly deluded to maliciously state a lie that "Periyar's deep hatred toward minorities is well-known". Periyar is well known as a man who preached destruction of Hinduism and who called for Dalits to convert to Islam. Periyar was never known as a man who preached hatred towards religious minorities. On the contrary he was the enemy of Hinduism and Hindu fanatics who preached hatred against religious minorities. Periyar and his true Periyarist followers are seen as enemies of Hinduism and Hindutva, who defend religious minorities against the hatred of Hindu fanatics. As an atheist and a rationalist Periyar criticized superstitions, rituals and all religions, but he was primarily for the destruction of Hinduism and annihilation of the caste system. Periyar advocated conversion to the monotheistic egalitarian religions of Islam and Christianity as an escape from caste bigotry. There are countless speeches and writings in which Periyar has praised Islam and Muslims. He asked the Dravidians (the collective racial term he used to refer to backward castes and Dalits) to be friendly towards Muslims but rise against Brahmans. Hence, Periyar never preached hatred against religious minorities such as Muslims or Christians. Chandrabhan Prasad does not know any of Periyar's true writings or actions, and he makes sweeping false statements to defame and misrepresent Periyar. Chandrabhan Prasad misuses a few unreferenced and unsubstantiated quotes (falsely attributed to Periyar) out of context and misinterprets them to state lies to defame and misrepresent Periyar as anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit. To use a handful of unreferenced and unsubstantiated false quotes out of their context of time, situation and history to blemish the 94 years of Periyar's life against Hinduism and caste system by stating lies is grossly ridiculous. Periyar was essentially against Hinduism and the caste system, and to falsely claim that Periyar hated minorities and Dalits are gross lies which belies ignorance at best or malicious falsehood to defame Periyar at worst. Anyone who knows Periyar's life principles and ideology would only laugh at those like Chandrabhan Prasad who state lies to associate Periyar with all that Periyar opposed. Periyar campaigned against Hinduism and minority bashing Hindutva fanatics. Periyar even justified Muslims using violence to defend themselves against violence of Hindu fanatics. Hence, to state Periyar hated Muslims or religious minorities is a gross and ridiculous lie. Similarly Periyar sought the annihilation of all castes and the destruction of the caste system, and to state Periyar was against Dalits is a laughable lie. Chandrabhan Prasad blindly uses unreferenced and unsubstantiated false quotes and bogus statements cited by Ravi Kumar (which was translated by S.Anand) without any knowledge of Periyar's life work, agenda, principles and goals. Chandrabhan Prasad has no knowledge of Periyar's primary goals and uses a few unreferenced and unsubstantiated false quotes from the 94 year life of Periyar to state lies about Periyar. Chandrabhan Prasad does not know Tamil and has no way of knowing the fundamental principles of Periyarism which are mainly elucidated and recorded in Tamil. The malicious agenda of the likes of Ravi Kumar, S.Anand and Chandrabhan Prasad seems to be to state lies to misrepresent Periyar in order to prevent the spread of anti-Hindu and anti-caste rationalist ideology of Periyar. The quotes attributed by Chandra Bhan Prasad to Periyar (in his anti-Periyar writings) were taken from those unreferenced and unsubstantiated quotes used by S. Anand and Ravi Kumar in their writings, which are all dubious and cannot be authenticated as Periyar's statements, since S. Anand and Ravi Kumar have failed to reference these statements and quotes to the exact page numbers and volume numbers of the book in which they are allegedly published. Chandra Bhan Prasad, S. Anand and Ravi Kumar misuse and misinterpret these unreferenced and unsubstantiated false quotes out of contextual history to defame and distort Periyar's views with malicious false statements.