- Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Brahmin supremacy by intellectual sleight:
By Dr.Iniyan Elango
This treatise analyses the issue of Brahmin columnists posing as opinion givers on issues related to Dalits and caste in the mainstream media while excluding Dalit / OBC anti-caste activist writers who critique Brahmins and the Hindu religion from the mainstream media - which impedes the struggle against Brahmin supremacy and caste bigotry, misrepresents the truth about the caste system to the wider World and defames leaders such as Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar who sought to vanquish Hindu religion and its caste system.
This essay is written as my refutation of writer and publisher S.Anand’s rejoinder to my earlier critique of his article in which he condemned Aamir Khan’s television programme against untouchability and manual scavenging.
The Brahmins from the very beginning therefore were inclined to be a purely educated class, enlightened but selfish. The right of the Brahmins to rule and the grant of special privileges and immunities made them more selfish, and induced in them the desire to use their education not for the advancement of learning but for the use of their community and against the advancement of society. - Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
It is true that intellect by itself is no virtue. It is only a means and the use of means depends upon the ends which an intellectual person pursues. An intellectual man can be a good man but he can easily be a rogue. Similarly an intellectual class may be a band of high-souled persons, ready to help, ready to emancipate erring humanity or it may easily be a gang of crooks or a body of advocates of a narrow clique from which it draws its support. You may think it a pity that the intellectual class in India is simply another name for the Brahmin caste. - Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
But this want of an intellectual class has been made good in other countries by the fact that in those countries each strata of society has its educated class. There is safety, if no definite guidance, in the multiplicity of views expressed by different educated classes drawn from different strata of society. In such a multiplicity of views there is no danger of society being misguided or misdirected by the views of one single educated class drawn from one single class of society which is naturally bound to place the interest of its class before the interests of the country.
- Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
- Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Brahmins have to be eradicated as the intellectual class of India.
- Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
“…Understand the “uniqueness of the genes” possessed by (Chithpavan Brahmins)……..We need to understand that there is some “speciality in the genes” (of Chithpavan Brahmins)…….We have the “genetic capacity”….”
- Extracts from verbal statements alluding to Brahmin racist supremacism and Brahmin “genetic superiority” by Atul Ketkar, a spokesperson of Chithpavan Brahmins in a rally organized by the latter (as spoken in the acclaimed documentary film “Jai Bheem Comrade”, a documentary film on the atrocities and oppression unleashed on Dalits in Maharashtra, the native state of Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar)
Six months ago writer – publisher S.Anand responded to my critique of his essayed condemnation of Aamir Khan’s television talk show on the bigotedly evil practices of untouchability and manual scavenging. My critique of S.Anand’s essay against Aamir Khan’s program on untouchability and manual scavenging can be read at the following web link: http://www.countercurrents.org/elango201012.htm
S.Anand’s response to my critique can be read at the following link: http://www.countercurrents.org/anand221012.htm . S.Anand’s original essay condemning Aamir Khan’s program against untouchability and manual scavenging can be read at the following web link: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?281646
I am ethically bound to respond to the views expressed by S.Anand criticizing me. Even though I wanted to write and publish a refutation of S.Anand’s critique of my views much earlier, the sudden and continuing grave illness of my mother and later my father, along with my struggles towards making a living as a doctor and my duties towards my patients who seek my help to alleviate their health problems, and my commitment to social activism and legal advocacy on issues of public interest and human rights, left me with severe time constraints in drafting a reply to S.Anand’s critique of my views. The delay in my writing and publication of this refutation to writer – publisher S.Anand’s critique of my views may be condoned, given the constraints imposed on my time by the aforementioned factors. Moreover, S.Anand’s critique of my views raised wider ethical issues such as Brahmin writers claiming to write on Dalit – Bahujan (SC-OBC) issues by high-jacking the mainstream media space that should be allocated to Dalit-Bahujan writers / activists who advocate against the bigotry of Hinduism, caste system and Brahmins, which needed a more elaborate analytical response that required longer application and time. I also take this opportunity to rebut and refute other falsehoods perpetrated by writer S.Anand in his other articles, journalistic reports, writings and translations which I see as sly attempts at Brahmanical reactionary dilution of Periyarist and Ambedkarite ideas by intellectual sleight. I also hope that this write up will also serve as an attempt to clarify some Periyarist and Ambedkarite ideas in the English language media, given that there are no authentic translations or correct expositions of Periyar’s views and writings in the English language or the English media, but plenty of false and defamatory articles on Periyar which distort Periyar’s social revolutionary ideas in the mainstream Indian media.
As Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar famously opined, plurality of intellectual opinion and each strata of society having its own intellectual class (who speak out fearlessly) is imperative in order to prevent one particular caste or class from high jacking the intellectual and media discourse for its own benefit as it has happened with regards to Brahmin hegemony as the intellectual and media class of India, therefore a self-affirmed person of Brahmin caste (such as writer / publisher S.Anand) cannot be allowed to enjoy media hegemony and journalistic monopoly on opinion regarding issues concerning Dalits, caste system and social revolutionaries such as Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar in mainstream media organs, thus warranting this essayed exposition and explanatory treatise of various ideas and facts about the caste system and social revolutionaries such as Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in refutation of the journalistic and intellectual falsehood perpetrated by S.Anand on printed record.
First of all there was nothing “personal” in my critique of S.Anand’s writings. I have never met writer / publisher S.Anand and I have never made a comment regarding his personal - physical or psychological self. Nor did I comment on his personal behavior in the personal realms of his life. There is nothing “personally attacking” in my critique of S. Anand. My critique of S. Anand was always based on what he wrote and said in the public domain. I have never attacked S.Anand’s behaviour in his personal realm. Personal attacks pertain to attacking or mocking a person’s physical, sexual or psychological self, such as one's mental health, sexuality, bodily self or a person’s behaviour in his personal realm that has no implication to the society around him. I made no such personal attack on S.Anand's behaviour in his personal realm.
My criticism of S.Anand’s writings is motivated by my ideological goal of annihilation of castes along the ideas espoused by Thanthai Periyar and Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar. I criticize those views, beliefs and writings of S.Anand or that of any other person which serve the purpose of undermining the ideological goal of annihilation of castes and untouchability along Periyarist and Ambedkarite thought, such as S.Anand’s writings that aim to blemish Periyar with falsehood or serve as an apologia to Brahmin supremacism or seek to scuttle popular mass media programs by popular stars (such as Aamir Khan) which raise public opinion and social action against untouchability and manual scavenging practices or for that matter S.Anand’s journalistic and editorial behavior that seeks to advertise the primarily anti-Hindu Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” in order to slyly help the Hindutva extremist fascist brigade to intellectually co-opt Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar or S.Anand’s essay that misrepresents and falsifies facts about the caste system such as his false claim that wealthy people do not come under the caste category of “Shudras”. I see this essay and my previous critique of S.Anand’s views as nothing but literary acts of advocacy to espouse various facts about the bigoted caste system and to advocate the ideas and principles of Thanthai Periyar (and that of Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar) towards the goal of annihilation of the vertically graded bigotry of the caste system which is sustained by Brahmin supremacism and a fabricated façade of a religion called Hinduism. So, I don’t see anything personal in my critique of some of S.Anand’s views which I deem to be inimical to the goal of annihilation of castes along the ideological lines and principles espoused by Thanthai Periyar and Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar. Hence, mine is not a “personal” critique of S.Anand but an ideological and factual analysis of various truths, ideas and issues that impinge on the goal of annihilation of castes along the ideological lines espoused by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar, which has been written under the pretext of refuting and critiquing the aforementioned false, incorrect and dubious intellectual and journalistic behavior of writer S.Anand. There is nothing personal about this literary exercise, but this is only an ideological and intellectual exercise in defense of the ideology for the annihilation of castes to counter the singularity and media hegemony of S.Anand’s status as an opinion giver on Dalit and caste issues in the mainstream media, since Dr.Ambedkar wanted multiplicity of intellectual opinion and intellectual activity by various strata of society (particularly by Dalits and Bahujans) to prevent the intellectual and media hegemony of one particular supremacist caste such as the Brahmins who have managed to become the intellectual and media class of India through bigotry. So this entire treatise can be considered as an expression of this Ambedkarite principle that enjoins Dalits to counter the intellectual and media hegemony of Brahmins, be that be of S.Anand or someone else, particularly with regards to intellectual views and ideas that impinge on Dalits and those oppressed by the caste system.
S.Anand’s absolutely false and untenable allegations of “gross misrepresentation” and “personal attacks” aimed at me - for scrutinizing his writing on the premise of “Brahmanness” and “Brahman supremacism” warrants a more descriptively resolute refutation and a broader ethical analysis of the intellectual immorality and bigotry of Brahmin writers and columnists such as S.Anand high-jacking the mainstream English media space that should be reserved for Dalit and OBC writers who oppose the bigotry of Brahmin supremacism, Hindu religion and its caste system, given that writer S.Anand identifies himself openly as a Brahmin by caste in many of his own writings and columns, and when S.Anand himself has no qualms about attacking the “Brahmanness” of a person to discredit and attack actor Aamir Khan’s television programme against untouchability and manual scavenging. Moreover, in the socio-political milieu of India, critical analysis of the influence exerted by a person’s caste over his socio-political views is fully justified just as the racial and class background of a person is often considered and critiqued while critically analysing a person’s socio-political views in the West, particularly if those views directly or indirectly favour a highly condemnable reactionary agenda, particularly by intellectual sleight.
Just as S.Anand attacks Aamir Khan’s programme on untouchability and manual scavenging by using the premise of his perceived “Brahmanness” of one of the participants in Aamir Khan’s programme, one may be justified in saying that it is S.Anand’s “Brahmanness” that is making him cite tepid and flimsy reasons to criticize and scuttle stars like Aamir Khan from hosting programmes against the bigoted practices of untouchability and manual scavenging in popular television to mass audiences.
S.Anand quite conveniently, expediently and incredibly disowns the headline and blurb of the article he wrote and reported under the title “Dalits in reverse” in Outlook magazine (dated April 11, 2005) but he did nothing at the time of the publication of the article or subsequently to ensure the publication of his disagreement with the headline, blurb or the premise of his report titled “Dalits in reverse”. But it is not just the title and the blurb of S.Anand’s report titled “Dalits in reverse”, but the report’s content of a series of reported statements attributed to a varied assortment of Brahmin individuals in order to give the false impression that Brahmins are being persecuted (like “Dalits” as the title suggested). It was not just the title and the blurb, but the thrust of the entire report that uses a series of quotes from Brahmins of various walks of life to falsely claim that Brahmins are a persecuted lot. Contrary to S.Anand’s untenable claims, he has not “exposed”, condemned or critiqued writer Ashokamitran’s false claim of persecution of Brahmins like the Jews of the 1930s (in S.Anand’s report of Ashokamitran’s views titled “We are like the Jews” in Outlook magazine dated April 11, 2005) or his other Brahmin interviewees’ false claims of persecution on account of their Brahmin caste (in S.Anand’s report “Dalits in reverse” in Outlook magazine dated April 11, 2005) since there is nothing in his aforementioned two reports to suggest that S.Anand condemned or critiqued the false claims of persecution made by Ashoka Mitran and an assortment of Brahmin interviewees on account of their Brahmin caste. Thus it is obvious that there was no gross misrepresentation on my part with regards to S.Anand’s reports titled “Dalits in reverse” and “We are like the Jews” since S. Anand simply denies that he ever wrote the title or the blurb of his report to untenably counter my critique nor does he deny that his aforementioned two reports sensationally showcased comments of Brahmin interviewees making false and untenable claims of persecution on account of their Brahmin caste. Contrary to S.Anand’s claims, his aforementioned two reports were not expressions of mocking some Tamil Brahmins for imagining that the tsunami was a result of the arrest of a Brahmin pontiff (Jayendra Sarwaswathi) nor was it a comedic treatise of the amusement S.Anand felt at Tamil Brahmins going into a sulk at the arrest of a Brahmin pontiff. There are no statements in his aforementioned two reports to suggest that S.Anand mocked or condemned the false claims of persecution made by his Brahmin interviewees on account of their Brahmin caste nor has S.Anand expressed his bemusement or disagreement towards the various false claims of persecution made by his Brahmin interviewees in these two aforementioned reports. It may be relevant to describe and analyse an extract from S.Anand’s aforementioned report titled “Dalits in reverse” containing statements of an assorted group of Brahmin interviewees in order to sample and surmise the bigoted journalistic farce indulged in by S.Anand to create the false impression that the socially elite and supremacist Brahmins are “persecuted” like “Dalits in reverse” and Jews of 1930s” (!) in order to dishonestly deny and hide the supremacist and elitist social position enjoyed by Brahmins in the vertically graded Hindu caste society to an unsuspecting and uninformed global reader, which is nothing but a fraudulent journalistic exercise to defend Brahmin supremacism from attacks on the latter. In S.Anand’s report titled “Dalits in reverse”, he quotes Ms.Anita Ratnam - a Brahmin danseuse - as saying “My brother did not get an engineering seat despite scoring 98 per cent and had to study in a Madurai college. When they looked for marriage proposals for me in the '70s, all eligible Brahmin boys had gone abroad!” S.Anand incredibly wants his readers to believe that the non-availability of Brahmin suitors for Anita Ratnam way back in the seventies as evidence for “persecution of Brahmins” as “Dalits in reverse” in Tamil Nadu! Since S.Anand fancies himself as an “anti-caste activist” it is strange that he never thought of asking Ms.Anita Ratnam why should she look for potential suitors only in the Brahmin caste and why should she bigotedly exclude eligible and qualified men from other castes deemed to be “Hindu” by law, given that Brahmins consider themselves “Hindu”? Given the “Navayana”, “anti-caste activist” and “writer and publisher on Dalit issues” S.Anand fancies himself to be, one wonders what prevented S.Anand from asking Ms.Anita Ratnam whether she will marry an eligible Dalit or non-Brahmin man when she lamented the lack of Brahmin suitors for her! S.Anand wants to sell the farce that the educated and professional Tamil Brahmins’ penchant to leave India for USA and other foreign lands at the drop of the hat (apparently leaving Brahmins like Ms.Anita Ratnam with no “eligible” Brahmin boy back home to marry) is cause for concluding that Brahmins are being persecuted in India like “Dalits in reverse”! Similarly, S.Anand tamely accepts and reproduces Ms.Anita Ratnam’s allegation of lack of availability of engineering college seats (apparently in Chennai) for her academically high scoring brother (who had to eventually study in a Madurai College) as another evidence for “persecution of Brahmins!” One again wonders why S.Anand does not challenge Ms.Anita Ratnam by asking why studying in Madurai instead of Chennai should be cause of grievance for a Brahmin (given that Brahmins have no qualms to fly off to faraway USA to study at the expense of scholarships, grants and teaching assistantships provided by Uncle Sam)? And given the title of “anti-caste activist” with which S.Anand likes to adorn himself (particularly when he addresses forums abroad), how come S.Anand doesn’t counter Ms.Anita Ratnam’s farcical allegation of her brother’s inability to study in a Chennai college by challenging it as an untenable premise for the tall claim of “persecution of Brahmins” as “Dalits in reverse”, by asking what Ms.Anita Ratnam feels about the denial of literacy and education to “Shudras” for millennia and about the denial of primary and secondary education by the Government to rural and urban slum dwelling Dalit and OBC kids who are thrust into caste descent mandated physical child labour and about the discrimination and bigoted harassment that drove many Dalit and OBC students to suicide in state funded Brahmin supremacist and “twice born” caste supremacist citadels such as the various Indian Institutes of Technology, AIIMS, etc? Thus, S.Anand’s aforementioned two reports titled “Dalits in reverse” and “We are like the Jews” are full of ludicrous claims and false statements made by Brahmin interviewees which are journalistically showcased by S.Anand to sell the sensational but atrociously ludicrous allegation that the supremacist and socially elite Brahmins are persecuted like “Dalits in reverse and Jews of 1930s” which is a ludicrous lie to journalistically hide and deny the supremacist and elite social status of Brahmins to an unsuspecting and uninformed global reader which is nothing but a deviant exercise to intellectually and journalistically defend Brahmin supremacism from attacks by critiques of the caste system. It would be futile and unnecessary to list or describe all of such farcical claims and false statements made by Brahmin interviewees in S.Anand’s aforementioned two reports but the one attributed to Ms. Anita Ratnam serves as a good sample.
Thus, S.Anand’s aforementioned two journalistic reports are replete with untenable and farcical claims by an assortment of Brahmin interviewees in order to sell the false and ludicrous allegation that Brahmins are persecuted like “Dalits in reverse and Jews (of 1930s)”! These two journalistic reports of S.Anand were serious and pre-meditated journalistic reporting that used selective quotes of selected Brahmin interviewees who were selectively interviewed to feed the lie that Brahmins are being persecuted like Dalits and Jews (of the 1930s) as an apologia to Brahmin supremacy and to falsely portray the socially privileged supremacist class and caste of Brahmins as a persecuted lot to an unsuspecting global readership in order to dishonestly absolve Brahmins of any role in the social ills of the nation and society surrounding them. Moreover, the aforementioned two reports of S.Anand are based on interviews of an assortment of Brahmin individuals with the singular aim of getting the Brahmin interviewees to make various false claims of persecution of Brahmins and not for any other purpose. I never wrote that S.Anand has not filed other investigative reports regarding the criminal charges and other allegations against the Brahmin Pontiff Jayendra Saraswathi and the Mutt headed by the latter. I clearly mentioned in my original article rebutting S.Anand’s critique of Aamir Khan’s programme on untouchability and manual scavenging that I was referring to the reportage of S.Anand by way of citing two of his aforementioned specific reports titled “Dalits in reverse” and “We are like the Jews” (by properly referencing these reports by giving the complete titles of the reports and the correct dates of the “Outlook” issues in which these reports appeared which negated the need to give a direct web link), and hence S.Anand’s claim that he was reporting what others (such as Ashoka Mitran) said and his claim of filing several other investigative reports on the criminal charges faced by the Brahmin Pontiff Jayendra Saraswathi does not justify or excuse the aforementioned two reports aimed at falsely portraying that Brahmins are a persecuted lot by selectively quoting a selected assortment of Brahmins, to the extent of ridiculously and delusionally claiming that Brahmins are being persecuted like Dalits and Jews of the 1930s, in order to provide a deviant and dishonest defence to the supremacist and socially elite caste of Brahmins who have enjoyed a virtual monopoly as the educated intellectual class of India for millennia, (apart from controlling the mainstream media, bureaucracy, elite academia, corporate business leadership, top judiciary and other annals of power) by virtue of their socio-religious placement at the summit of the caste system as the “most supremacist” caste who are considered to be mythically born out of the “mouth” of God, according to the bigoted Hindu scriptures codifying the caste system.
The truth is that I sent my rebuttal to S.Anand’s critique of Aamir Khan’s programme on untouchability and manual scavenging to Outlook magazine first. But since Outlook chose not to publish my rebuttal (as they would in the case of any Dalit or OBC writer whose views does not appease the bigoted Brahmin supremacist sensibilities), I sent my rebuttal to countercurrents.org. It is obvious that Brahmin writers like S.Anand have a ready and easy access to mainstream media organs such as “Outlook” magazine which they use to write opinion on Dalit and caste issues thus occupying the mainstream English media space that should be reserved for Dalit / OBC writers and columnists who advocate against Brahmin bigotry, caste bigotry and the Hindu religion. On the other hand, Dalit writers such as me are summarily excluded from mainstream English media organs and I had to fight in the Press Council of India to get even some of my brief letters published in some mainstream English newspapers controlled by Brahmins such as “The Hindu”. Brahmin writers and allied “twice born” supremacist caste writers enjoy a virtual monopoly as columnists and opinion givers in the Indian media by banning Dalit and OBC writers (who advocate against the bigotry of Brahmins, caste and Hinduism) from writing opinion columns in the mainstream media, newspapers and journals (unless a Dalit or OBC writer appeases the Brahmin supremacist agenda, Hindutva agenda or a right wing agenda such as some writers who are handpicked and patronized by the Brahmin media such as Ravi Kumar (for blemishing Periyar) or Chandra Bhan Prasad for ludicrously and fantastically claiming (as Chandra Bhan Prasad often and repeatedly does) that the social stigma, bondage into caste descent based degrading labour and nationwide segregation of Dalit dwellings due to the evil of untouchability will all disappear into thin air if all Dalits became capitalist entrepreneurs (!) which makes me wonder why Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King did not think of propagating capitalist enterprise as a way out for Blacks segregated by Jim Crow laws or apartheid (!!) instead of resorting to social action and political struggles to seek legislation, social reform, desegregation and socio-political empowerment to emancipate and defend Black people against segregation, exclusion and racist discrimination.
Apart from Brahmin writers such as S.Anand enjoying a mainstream media hegemony as opinion givers on Dalit and caste issues, since Brahmin appeasers and right wing apologists such as Chandra Bhan Prasad are given media space in the name of according some press columns to Dalits, I have to digress at this point to briefly counter the untenable advocacy of capitalist enterprise by Chandra Bhan Prasad as a wholesale panacea for the disease of caste bigotry and also stress on how Brahmin appeasers and right wing apologists such as Chandra Bhan Prasad are preferred by the mainstream media instead of anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu liberal writers such as me. I am not against Dalits achieving success and wealth as capitalist entrepreneurs, but, when most rural and urban slum dwelling Dalits cannot even access literacy, sanitation and housing and when they cannot even escape the caste bondage to degrading labour, and when Dalit dwellings all over India are uniformly segregated and stigmatized by untouchability in all villages and towns, one wonders how Dalits can access the skills, education and capital to become capitalist entrepreneurs and multi-millionaires in the mainstream of society and socio-economic activity. Even if some educated Dalits manage to become rich by hiding their caste identity to escape bigotry, segregation, exclusion and discrimination, it is apparent that even a rich Dalit is not allowed to buy land or a house inside the village or town where caste Hindus live and it is amply apparent from caste atrocities that it is the land owning, educated and affluent Dalits who are more prone to atrocities and honour killings due to the bigoted envy of Hindus! Even becoming affluent or educated does not protect a Dalit from stigmatization, segregation, discrimination and atrocities in both rural and urban India. Even educated and wealthy Dalits are denied housing in urban city dwellings, flats and apartment complexes on account of their caste and due to the evil of untouchability. This being the case it is not capitalist enterprise or wealth alone that will annihilate caste and liberate Dalits, but only the following measures which hold some promise of destroying the segregation, caste bondage and exclusion perpetrated on Dalits in order to bring the latter into the mainstream of socio-economic life of the nation : measures such as desegregation of Dalit dwellings and integrating Dalit neighbourhoods with caste Hindu dwellings by providing public housing, flats and lands to Dalits inside all towns and villages where caste Hindus live and by building governmental offices, public buildings and public health facilities in Dalit neighbourhoods to end the segregation of the latter by compelling caste Hindus to enter Dalit neighbourhoods, abolishment of all forms of caste descent based labour, and proscribing all manifestations of caste by law and judicial enforcement of the same, governmental guarantees to health, housing, primary and secondary education and social security doles to all, and adoption of rationalist atheism or atheist – rationalist Ambedkarite Buddhism as alternative choices of thought, conscience and religion for Dalits (as advocated by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar). But liberal and progressive Dalit writers who have this liberal and progressive vision for the emancipation of Dalits and annihilation of the caste system along Periyarist and Ambedkarite ideals of social action will not get any media space in the Brahmin – Baniya controlled mainstream media in India.
But the Brahmin – Baniya controlled mainstream Indian media grants media space only to writers like Chandra Bhan Prasad who appease Brahmins by playing the Dalits against the OBCs and by propagating ludicrous canards such as untenably, illogically and irrationally claiming laissez-faire capitalism as the panacea for liberating Dalits from the segregation and enslavement entrenched by the Hindu socio-religious practices of caste and untouchability, while distancing the mainstream media away from Dalit (and OBC) writers who advocate against the bigotry of Brahmins, Hinduism and caste based on the socio-political perspectives propounded by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar for annihilation of castes (such as myself).
This bigoted and discriminatory exclusion of anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu and anti-caste liberal and progressive Dalit / OBC writers and columnists from the mainstream media, newspapers, journals and television can be countered only by extending reservation for backward castes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in private sector employment including the employment and commission of journalists, columnists, writers, anchors and opinion givers in the mainstream media, newspapers, journals and news television channels. This unwritten but blatant exclusion of Dalits and OBC writers (who advocate against the bigotry of caste, Brahmins and Hinduism) from writing columns, articles and opinion pieces in the mainstream media gives the false impression that Brahmin writers such as S.Anand (and right wing appeasers such as Chandra Bhan Prasad) represent the Dalit perspective in the mainstream media, and this hegemonic position enjoyed by Brahmin writers such as S.Anand is misused by him to write against the interests of Dalits such as criticizing a television programme against untouchability practices and manual scavenging by citing lame and tepid excuses and to indulge in other such Brahmanical mischief making such as to distort and defame anti-caste, anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin social revolutionaries such as Periyar in the mainstream English media organs in order to stem the spread of Periyar’s social revolutionary ideas outside of Tamil Nadu or to advertise the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar is anti-Muslim or to file dubious journalistic reports that falsely claim that the supremacist and socially elite Brahmins are “persecuted” like “Dalits in reverse and Jews of 1930s”! If a Dalit or OBC writer (such as me) writes a rebuttal to such gross misuse of the media hegemony enjoyed by a Brahmin writer such as S.Anand on Dalit and caste issues, the rebuttal will never get published in the mainstream media organ just as my rebuttal to S.Anand’s criticism of Aamir Khan’s programme on untouchability and manual scavenging was ignored by Outlook magazine. On the other hand, if a Dalit writer such as myself manages to get my opinion published in alternate media organs such as “countercurrents.org”, powerful Brahmin writers such as S.Anand readily browbeat Dalit writers such as myself by ensuring that even the alternate media organs publishes their dishonest rebuttals based on false premises with the aim of maligning and silencing my voice. Thus Brahmin writers who claim to be writers on Dalit and caste issues such as S.Anand occupy the media and intellectual space that should be reserved for Dalits (and OBCs) while also enjoying ready and unquestionable access to both the mainstream media and alternate media, while the access to mainstream media is totally barred for anti-Brahmin, anti-caste and anti-Hindu Dalit writers such as myself and even alternate media organs are pressurized not to carry my opinion by media hegemonic Brahmin writers such as S.Anand. The truth is that the mainstream media in India would never publish articles or essays originally written by Thanthai Periyar or Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar which are critical of Brahmins, caste and Hinduism, but the Indian mainstream media will readily publish the opinion of Brahmin writers such as S.Anand on Dalit and caste issues. One needs to emphasize that S.Anand himself did not see the need to publish any one of Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar’s numerous essays which are critical of Brahmins and Hinduism in the special issue of Outlook magazine dated August 20, 2012 (officially edited by S.Anand) which was purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar on account of a poll that found Dr.Ambedkar to be the “Greatest Indian after Gandhi”. S.Anand is identified as the “issue editor” of this special edition of Outlook magazine, which means that S.Anand had editorial control over the issue, but he made no editorial attempt to showcase a prominent essay by Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar criticizing Brahmins and Hinduism in this special issue of “Outlook” magazine purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar, while S.Anand has included an article which suggests that Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim” in this special issue of “Outlook” dated August 20, 2012 (an article titled “Bias that wasn’t?” by Debarshi Dasgupta) which can only be seen as intellectually serving the Hindutva fascist agenda of co-opting Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar who was an uncompromising lifelong anti-Hindu. Why didn’t S.Anand commission an article analyzing Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar’s life long mission as an “anti-Hindu” instead of including an article that sought to portray him as “anti-Muslim”? Why didn’t S.Anand include any of Dr.Ambedkar’s essays which are critical and condemnatory of Brahmins and Hinduism in this special issue of Outlook magazine purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar which was edited by him instead of including an article that advertised the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim”?
It would be patronizingly racist and bigoted if anyone suggested that Dalits should blindly trust a Brahmin writer (S.Anand) who enjoys a privileged position as a preferred opinion giver and columnist on Dalit issues in the popular mainstream English media organs such as “Outlook” magazine by excluding other Dalit writers (who may oppose S.Anand’s views) from mainstream English media organs, and without scrutinizing the relationship between S.Anand’s Brahmin caste descent and his views that may be inimical to Dalit interests and the struggle for the annihilation of the caste system. This would be also against Dr.Ambedkar’s call for each strata of society – particularly Dalits – to build their own intellectual class and opinion givers to counter the intellectual hegemony of the Brahmin intellectual and media class as exemplified by S.Anand as an intellectual opinion giver on Dalit and caste issues. It is blatantly dishonest for a Brahmin writer (such as S.Anand) to become a cry baby and hide behind false accusations of “personal attacks” and “gross misrepresentation” when the relationship between his supremacist Brahmin caste descent and his views are analysed and questioned especially when some of his opinions and journalistic behaviour are seen as inimical or dilutive to the process of Dalit liberation and annihilation of the caste system, such as S.Anand’s attempts at using flimsy reasons to discourage and criticize Aamir Khan for producing a television programme that condemned the bigotry of untouchability and manual scavenging practices to mass television audiences, or S.Anand’s past reports that tried to sell the ludicrously false claim that the supremacist caste of Brahmins are being persecuted like Dalits and Jews of the 1930s or for that matter S.Anand’s own past writings or translations that shamelessly distorted and defamed Periyar with lies and falsehood in the mainstream English media such as ridiculously associating the vehemently anti-Hindu Periyar with Hindutva or S.Anand’s editorial decision to include an article that advertised the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim” in a special issue of “Outlook” magazine purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar and edited by S.Anand or S.Anand’s propagation of falsehood about the nature of caste bigotry through his criticism of Periyar for including the rich under the caste category of “Shudras” by insinuating the falsehood that rich Shudras do not come under the caste category of Shudras (!) which is as false as saying that poor Brahmins do not enjoy the supremacist caste status accorded to their birth in the Hindu caste system !
If a racially white person claims to be an anti-racist activist and high-jacked or monopolized the media space and intellectual space meant for Black writers and Black intellectuals in cahoots with a conniving media controlled by white people by putting forth his views in the name of Black people, he would be called as a racist in the west, albeit an intellectually sophisticated one. Similarly in the society of the vertically graded bigotry of the caste system where the Brahmins are in the summit of the caste system as the supremacist caste, if a Brahmin (such as S.Anand - in cahoots with a conniving mainstream media controlled by Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist castes such as Baniyas) high-jacked and monopolized the mainstream English media space that should be reserved for Dalit writers and Dalit columnists, by putting forth his views in the name of Dalits by claiming to speak for Dalits, by banning any rebuttal to his views from other Dalit writers in the journal in which his writings are published, he may be legitimately perceived by some as a very sophisticated and intellectually sly Brahmin supremacist. The added danger is that a Brahmin writer / columnist posing as an anti-caste activist (such as S.Anand) who highjacks the mainstream English media space that should be reserved for Dalit and OBC writers may actually end up damaging the fight against the caste system by attacking even small attempts to rally opinion against untouchability practices and manual scavenging by popular stars in popular television (such as Aamir Khan’s program) and by defaming anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste social revolutionaries like Periyar with lies and distortions, and in addition by writing journalistic reports that serve as an apologia for Brahmin supremacism by falsely and dishonestly reporting that the supremacist and privileged caste of Brahmins at the summit of the vertically graded bigotry of the caste system are persecuted like “Dalits and Jews of the 1930s” or by giving journalistic space to advertise that Dr.Ambedkar was ant-Muslim or for making false claims about the caste system such as falsely claiming that the rich “Shudras” do not come under the caste category of “Shudras” just as S.Anand did and doing. I would say that going by this aforementioned journalistic record alone, any objective analyst would conclude that S.Anand is indeed a Brahmin supremacist by intellectual sleight, notwithstanding his public posturing and writings as an “anti-caste” writer and publisher.
S.Anand may claim that he is not preventing other Dalit writers from writing or speaking, but the fact remains that a conniving Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes’ controlled mainstream media organs (such as “Outlook”) will readily publish whatever a Brahmin writer like S.Anand writes about issues related to Dalits and caste, but would not touch the writings of a Dalit writer (such as myself) unless the latter is subservient to Brahmin supremacist agenda (such as solely blaming individual castes in the lower echelons of the vertically graded and bigoted caste system (OBCs) for the plight of Dalits - by socio-politically pitting backward castes against Dalits and vice versa - that plays into the Brahmanical divide and rule of the working masses of India through the vertically graded caste system without fundamentally attacking the Hindu religion or Brahmin socio-religious-institutional-intellectual supremacism that guards the caste system and persistent social segregation of rural Dalits as a whole). Thus a Brahmin writer like S.Anand is indeed taking advantage of his privileged caste as a Brahmin and its allied perks such as his ready and easy access to the Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes’ controlled mainstream English media – to highjack the media space and intellectual space that should be accorded to and reserved for Dalit/OBC writers and Dalit/OBC intellectuals who advocate against the bigotry of Hinduism, caste and Brahmins, – which will only end up giving false and biased perceptions on issues related to the caste system and Dalits in the mainstream media while excluding anti-Hindu, anti-caste and anti-Brahmin Dalit perspectives of Dalit writers (such as me) from mainstream media organs, which will only impede the fight against the caste system and Brahmin supremacist bigotry. This also carries the danger of Brahmins (who claim to speak for Dalits in the mainstream media, such as S.Anand) expressing ideas that may actually endanger the fight against caste bigotry and untouchability, just as S.Anand’s writings which criticize Aamir Khan’s programme on untouchability and manual scavenging by citing lame and tepid reasons which may have only had the effect of snuffing out any future mass media efforts at condemning untouchability and manual scavenging practices in popular television by popular stars such as Aamir Khan.
A Brahmin writer such as S.Anand’s ready access to a Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes’ controlled mainstream media to speak and write on issues concerning Dalits and the caste system at the exclusion of radically anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin Dalit/OBC writers and Dalit/OBC commentators from the mainstream media is the sad social reality of India where radically anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste Dalit /OBC writers do not get media space in the mainstream media (unless they appease the Brahmin supremacist agenda and a right wing agenda like Chandra Bhan Prasad). Brahmin writers and columnists such as S.Anand who claim to speak and write on issues related to Dalits and the caste system only serve to highjack the mainstream media and intellectual space (that should be reserved for ideologically radical Dalit/OBC writers) in order to perpetuate the exclusion of rebellious anti-Brahmin, anti-caste and anti-Hindu Dalit/OBC writers from the mainstream English media. If this is not a sophisticated expression of Brahmin supremacism, what else is?
S. Anand may claim to be a writer against caste in the society of vertically graded bigotry of caste just as a white person may have been a writer against apartheid or racism in the erstwhile South African apartheid state or the erstwhile segregated American South. But still S.Anand cannot take the place of a Dalit writer to offer perspectives on Dalit issues just as a white writer cannot take the place of a Black writer to offer perspectives on Black issues, but unfortunately S. Anand and a conniving Brahmanical media to which he has ready and easy access are just doing that. If all Brahmin writers start doing a “S.Anand” by claiming to be anti-caste activists to highjack the intellectual and mainstream media space that should be reserved for Dalit and backward caste writers and columnists, Dr.Ambedkar’s dream of eradicating Brahmins as the intellectual class of India by replacing the Brahmin intellectual class with a Dalit-Bahujan intellectual class will only be a pipe-dream.
I would like to say that it may become dangerously easy, convenient and fashionable for Brahmin supremacists and closet caste bigots to make tall claims as anti-caste activists (in order to occupy the intellectual and mainstream media space that should be reserved for radically anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste Dalit and OBC writers) without challenging the fundamentally bigoted tenets of Brahmin supremacism which guards the caste system as enunciated by Babasheb Dr.Ambedkar, while excluding radically anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu Dalit and OBC writers and columnists from the mainstream media.
The Indian mainstream media readily carries articles, opinion and essays by Brahmin writers (such as S.Anand) who condescendingly patronize Dalits by claiming to write for Dalits on Dalit issues in the mainstream media as if the mainstream media cannot find Dalit writers and columnists (while banning and excluding the views of anti-caste, anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu Dalit writers such as me who may oppose or disagree with S.Anand’s views), which is nothing but a sophisticated and sly form of Brahmin supremacism. The Indian mainstream media will readily publish the writings of Brahmins or “twice born” supremacist writers or “non-twice born” writers who appease the Brahmanical agenda of securing the caste system, but the Indian mainstream media controlled by Brahmin and Baniya led “twice born” supremacist castes will never publish a single essay written by even Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar (or Periyar) which may be critical or condemnatory of the bigotry of Brahmins, caste and Hinduism.
S.Anand’s false accusation of “misrepresentation” shows that he has an enduring trait and tendency for being the pot calling the kettle black, since his reports and translations on Periyar and some of his other writings on Periyar are grouse examples of gross misrepresentation that only serve to hurt the cause of annihilation of castes, by misrepresenting and falsifying the truth about the caste system and by distorting and defaming [the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste] revolutionaries such as Periyar and Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar. S.Anand accuses me of “exhuming” his past writing and he cites an assorted body of his other reports to rebut my critique, and in reply I have to assert that there is no “time limit” or “statute of limitations” for scrutinizing the views, writings or statements of a person while critiquing a person on an issue of public interest (just as S.Anand himself has done on Periyar’s writings several decades after the latter’s demise). S.Anand’s false accusations of gross misrepresentation and his untenable allegation that I have ignored his other reports only reminds me of the gross misrepresentation and distortion S.Anand himself heaped against the (anti-Brahmin, anti-caste and anti-Hindu) social revolutionary Periyar through his reports, essays and translations by ridiculously blemishing Periyar as an advocate of Hindutva and defaming Periyar with unfounded allegations of prejudice against Dalits. S.Anand himself cites an article written by me in which I have rebutted and exposed S.Anand’s lies and falsehood against Periyar [which can be read at the following link: http://www.countercurrents.org/elango231011.htm]. I feel that S.Anand’s own writings and translations which distort the ideas of Periyar and Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar and misrepresent the facts about the caste system serve as fine examples of how S.Anand is adept in the art of gross misrepresentation and falsification, which are further analysed in the columns below.
S.Anand has written reports and translated articles blemishing Periyar (under the garb of critiquing the latter) more than half a century after Periyar’s death and almost a century after the writings of Periyar appeared, (to the extent of ridiculously defaming the vehemently anti-Hindu Periyar as an advocate of Hindutva in one of his translations for Outlook magazine), by falsely quoting or selectively misquoting improperly referenced Periyar’s statements out of context and by ignoring Periyar’s life long quest consisting of a vast body of innumerable writings, speeches, statements, prison sentences, campaigns, socio-political agitations and social action seeking the very destruction of Hinduism and annihilation of the caste system. Even though S.Anand grossly defamed and distorted Periyar, S.Anand does not consider his writings and translations defaming and distorting Periyar as “personal attacks” against Periyar. Then why should S.Anand consider my critique of S.Anand’s published reports, essays and translations as a “personal attack” against him by being intolerant to my critique of his writings, when I have used the same yardstick of critiquing specific past writings and reportage of S.Anand just as S.Anand did to Periyar’s writings, albeit dishonestly, maliciously and deceitfully (to Periyar), while my critique of S.Anand’s writings are neither dishonest nor malicious but sticks to critiquing those published views of S.Anand which I deem contrary to the goal of annihilation of castes based on the ideals of Thanthai Periyar and Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar.
It is justifiable, ethically correct and apt to critique particular reports, statements and articles of S. Anand without having to necessarily quote or reference all of his entire body of other writings and reports of his entire life time (just as Anand had critiqued selective and improperly referenced and misappropriated non contextual quotes / misquotes of Periyar in his past writings, reports and translations by ignoring Periyar’s life long socio-political struggle and innumerable writings and speeches for the annihilation of Hinduism and caste). Moreover, unlike Periyar’s entire life time of manifold speeches, writings, social struggles, prison sentences and sacrifices in the course of his fight against Brahmin supremacist bigotry, caste system and Hinduism which are summarily brushed aside by S.Anand in his reports and translations that defame and distort Periyar, there is nothing in S.Anand’s body of writings and reports to suggest that he is a revolutionary advocate for the annihilation of the supremacist Brahmin caste along with annihilation of all castes and Hinduism along the ideological lines enunciated by Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar and Thanthai Periyar. Moreover any critical reports S.Anand may have written about his fellow Brahmins does not excuse or justify some of his reports that serve as an apologia for Brahmin supremacism, just as the racism of a white person cannot be excused because he criticizes his fellow white men. Some Brahmin writers (such as S.Anand) may indulge in superficial and inane criticism of Brahmins such as criticizing Brahmin domination in the game of cricket and making anecdotal reminiscences on Brahmin caste nepotism without challenging Brahmin supremacy along the lines enunciated by Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar, in order to simply advertise their claim of criticizing fellow Brahmins as an intellectual license to defame anti-Brahmin, anti-caste and anti-Hindu social revolutionaries such as Periyar and to occupy the mainstream media space that should be reserved for Dalit and OBC writers in order to intellectually damage the struggle for annihilation of castes and to intellectually impede the empowerment of Dalit-Bahujan (SC/ST/OBC) peoples by writing against mass media programs of popular stars that may rally public opinion against untouchability and manual scavenging practices or by writings reports that serve as an apologia to Brahmin supremacism by making false and ludicrous claims of persecution against the supremacist and socially privileged caste of Brahmins or by writings articles that misrepresent the truth about the caste system such as ridiculously claiming that wealth can change the “Shudra” (“slave to Brahmins”) caste identity of a person or by enabling the journalistic advertisement of the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar was anti-Muslim, just as S.Anand has done in his editorial and journalistic actions, writings, reports and articles. A true anti-Brahmin advocate would challenge the main expressions of Brahmanism and Brahmin supremacy that are enunciated along the following lines by Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar: (1) enforcing graded inequality between the different castes; (2) complete disarmament of backward castes and Dalits (3) ban on the education of backward castes and Dalits (4) exclusion of backward castes and Dalits from places of power and authority; (5) prohibition against backward castes and Dalits acquiring property, and (6) complete subjugation and suppression of women.
S.Anand may have undoubtedly written some reports on issues related to Dalits and he may have even written articles which are critical of Brahmins, and he may be a publisher of several books on Dalit issues and caste system written by others, but that does not justify some of his reports which serve as an apologia for Brahmin supremacy, nor does it sanction his quasi-monopolistic status as a preferred opinion giver on matters related to Dalits and caste in mainstream media organs controlled by Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist castes (such as Outlook magazine) by displacing radically anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste Dalit writers and Dalit columnists who may be opposed to his views and neither does it excuse S.Anand’s articles which defame Periyar and state falsehood about the caste system by falsely implying that wealth negates the “Shudra” caste status of a person and nothing can justify S.Anand’s editorial commissioning of an article to advertise the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar is “anti-Muslim” in a mainstream media organ’s (Outlook) special issue edited by S.Anand which only helps the Hindutva extremist agenda to co-opt the perennially anti-Hindu Dr.Ambedkar.
S.Anand’s occupation of the mainstream English media space (as a self-anointed opinion giver on Dalit issues) that should be reserved for Dalit and OBC writers who advocate against Hindu religious bigotry, Brahmin bigotry, caste bigotry and untouchability, by displacing the latter from the mainstream media space that should be earmarked for them, is nothing but another form of Brahmin supremacism. Given S.Anand’s position as a Brahmin writer who occupies the mainstream media space that should be reserved for Dalit writers and Dalit columnists, he cannot be intolerant to any scrutiny of his writings by making untenably false accusations of “personal attacks” and “misrepresentation”, particularly when his "Brahmanness" is called into question while critically analysing his views, when S.Anand has no qualms in criticising the “Brahmanness” of another person in order to criticize Aamir Khan's television show on untouchability and manual scavenging and when S.Anand subjects Periyar and Periyar's ideology to abject distortions and defamation in the mainstream English media with impunity while making other misrepresentations about the caste system and the ideas of Dr.Ambedkar which are described, scrutinized and analysed in the columns below. [And one should emphasize that defaming and distorting Periyar (in the mainstream English media) to people outside of Tamil Nadu has become vital for Brahmin supremacists and closet Hindutva apologists since they want to ensure that the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste rationalist – atheist message of Periyar does not spread amongst the OBC people outside of Tamil Nadu since Dr.Ambedkar has been prejudicially bracketed strictly as a Dalit icon in the popular psyche nurtured by the Brahmin controlled mainstream media thus leaving only Periyar's anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste ideology as the only challenge to the spread of Hindutva fascist poison amongst the backward castes.
S.Anand should be ready to allow others to do unto him what he does unto others. It seems that S.Anand is intolerant to allow others to subject his own writings and media behaviour to the same scrutiny he journalistically and editorially applies to Periyar, Dr.Ambedkar, Aamir Khan or participants in Aamir Khan’s programme.
From an Ambedkarite – Periyarist perspective it is useless to call oneself as an anti-caste activist without being an assertive anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu, since Brahmin supremacism and the delusional Hindu religious identity guards the bigoted caste system and all of its manifestations. It is for S.Anand to answer whether he has written, struggled, sacrificed or socially acted to oppose and negate various manifestations of the aforesaid six cardinal principles of Brahmin supremacy as enunciated by Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar which discriminates, excludes and oppresses backward castes and Dalits.
For me, the term “Brahmin” is akin to the term “Nazi” since both the terms stands for the bigotry of the ultimate supremacy of people of a particular biological descent over the rest of humanity, the only difference being that the term “Brahmin” is cloaked in a system of entrenched and sanctified racism behind a prurient excuse of a religion called Hinduism. Just as no one will consider opposing the “Nazi” identity as wrong or immoral, opposing the “Brahmin” identity and the supremacist bigotry it stands for is nothing but humane, moral, honourable and humanistic. If a person identifies himself as a Brahmin and lives and swears by his Brahmin identity, he is just as guilty of someone who calls himself a Nazi. If a person of Brahmin background truly wants to disown the bigotedly supremacist Brahmin identity and work against the bigotry of Brahmin supremacism and the vertically graded social inequality of the bigoted caste system, he should work to destroy Hinduism, all manifestations of Brahmin supremacism and the very Brahmin caste identity along the principles enunciated by Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar and Thanthai Periyar. If he doesn’t do that he has no right or moral high ground to occupy the mainstream media space that should be given to anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu Dalit / OBC writers and he certainly has no moral right to call himself as an “anti-caste” activist!
If one hypothetically suggests that a Caucasian writer should be feted as an anti-racist activist and given privileged access to mainstream media in the West as an opinion writer on racism, even if that particular white writer has defamed Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela as racists and criticized television programmes exposing racist practices, it would be considered as something insanely ridiculous that could never happen in the West. But on the other hand in India, a Brahmin writer such as S.Anand successfully passes off as an anti-caste activist despite using his privileged access to the mainstream media for criticizing television programmes by popular stars which expose the bigotry of untouchability and manual scavenging and for publishing his opinion that brazenly defames the anti-Brahmin, anti-caste and anti-Hindu social revolutionary Periyar, and for writing journalistic reports that makes false claims of persecution against the supremacist and socially elite caste of Brahmins in order to hide the role played by the latter as the bureaucratic, intellectual, governing and media class of India in sustaining the misery, deprivation, insanitation, illiteracy and ill health of the masses of India who are divided and ruled through the vertically graded bigotry of caste, and for editorially enabling the journalistic advertising of the suggestion that Dr.Ambedkar is anti-Muslim, and for making false statements about the caste system such as claiming that “rich” Shudras are not “Shudras” (!) all of which is a travesty that will never pass objective intellectual scrutiny in other parts of the World.
Furthermore, Brahmin writers posing as anti-caste activists who high-jack the mainstream media space that should be accorded to Dalit and OBC writers is as immoral as Brahmins using up the seats of employment and education reserved for Dalits. Saying that Brahmins posing as anti-caste activists can occupy the place of Dalit writers to offer perspectives on Dalit issues in the mainstream media is akin to saying that Brahmins who claim to “serve Dalits” or who claim to be anti-caste activists can use up the reservation meant for Dalits in education and employment which is a bigoted argument popularized in a bigoted Tamil movie of the eighties called “Ore oru Gramathile”, which drew the ire of Dalit activists in Tamil Nadu. S.Anand is a practical proponent of this bigoted argument of “Ore Oru Gramathile” in the mainstream media through his occupation of the intellectual and media space that should be accorded to anti-Hindu, anti-caste and anti-Brahmin radical Dalit writers for offering perspectives on Dalit and caste issues, and if S.Anand wants to stop being a poll bearer for this kind of nuanced Brahmin bigotry, he should stop offering views on Dalit and caste issues in the mainstream media and offer that opportunity to radical Dalit writers who advocate against the bigotry of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste, such as myself.
There are thousands of Dalit and OBC men, women and children in Tamil Nadu who have sacrificed their lives to police bullets and batons, suffered torture and prison sentences, and lost their finances, properties, marriages and jobs, all because of their activism against the caste system, Hinduism and Brahmin bigotry. Crowning writer S.Anand as an “anti-caste activist” when he has made no such real sacrifices as other social activists against caste bigotry who have sacrificed their careers, finances, liberty, life and limb in the struggle for the annihilation of castes, does little justice to the latter. While S.Anand is making a successful living as a publisher and writer by high-jacking the mainstream media space that should be reserved for [but denied to] non-Brahmin Dalit and backward caste writers who advocate against the bigotry of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste, he cannot call himself as an “anti-caste” activist since he has no moral right to stake claim to the stature of thousands of real anti-caste and anti-Hindu activists who have sacrificed their liberty, life and limb for the sake of the annihilation of the bigotry of Brahmins and Hinduism that guards the caste system, such as dozens of followers of Periyar who were killed in police custody in the year of 1957 for their public protests of burning the Indian constitution to seek the constitutional abolition of caste or for that matter innumerable Dalits and Dalit activists who have fallen to police batons and bullets while agitating for their right to land, social equality and life without discrimination and segregation. (Periyar launched an agitation in 1957 seeking constitutional abolition of caste by way of a constitutional provision that provides for total proscription of all manifestations and expressions of caste and to legislate appropriate amendments to the constitutional provisions of religious freedom which served to guard the caste system and Brahmin socio-religious supremacy (of the Hindu religion) under the garb of religious freedom. Thousands of Periyar’s followers were arrested, imprisoned and tortured in police custody and scores were killed in police custody during Periyar’s agitation for the constitutional abolition of caste in 1957).
Instead of making unfounded allegations of “gross misrepresentation” and “personal attacks” directed at me, why doesn’t S.Anand choose to grant radically anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste Dalit writers (particularly those who oppose his views such as me) access to the mainstream media space he occupies as a self-anointed opinion giver on Dalit and caste issues despite being a Brahmin, thanks to a Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes’ controlled media that good humours him?
S. Anand had the temerity to blemish a life-long militant who sought the destruction of the caste system and Hindu religion such as Periyar with false accusations, misquotes and half-truths in his writings, reports and translations with little knowledge about Periyar’s activism by ludicrously and ridiculously associating Periyar with Hindutva and prejudice against Dalits by ignoring the vast body of Periyar's writings, speeches, struggles, prison sentences, social action and other sacrifices seeking the destruction of Hinduism, untouchability and the caste system. S.Anand has a penchant for translating and writing opinion that defames the most vehement anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu of all, namely Periyar, which belies his anger at Periyar’s anti-Brahmin advocacy (which one may fairly ascribe to S.Anand’s Brahmin caste descent). S.Anand defames, maligns and distorts Periyar as a "leader of intermediate castes" in one of his reports on account of Periyar’s caste descent by ignoring Periyar's life long and manifold struggle and sacrifices against all manifestations of the caste system, Hinduism and Brahmin supremacist bigotry. If S.Anand can subject Periyar to such an aggressive defamation with falsehood by ignoring Periyar's vast body of life-long social action against Hindu religion, Brahmin supremacy and caste bigotry, S.Anand should be ready and willing to take a more aggressive dissection and scrutiny of his writings, journalistic, editorial and literary behaviour – given that he has the temerity to pass of as an anti-caste activist in order to occupy the mainstream media space that should be reserved for Dalit/OBC writers and Dalit/OBC columnists (who advocate against the bigotry of caste, Brahmins and Hinduism), simply on the basis of S.Anand’s few reports and columns on Dalits issues out of several hundred reports he may have filed as a journalist and his successful commercial business as a publisher of books on Dalit and caste issues.
One can cite several examples of S.Anand’s writing which singularly misrepresents and distorts the ideology of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar with falsehood, and distorts the facts about the caste system, thus serving a covert intellectual agenda of damaging the struggle for the annihilation of the caste system. A few of such writings of S.Anand are analysed and critiqued below.
One such example of S.Anand’s writing is a report titled “Iconoclast or Lost Idol” which defames and distorts Periyar’s life and work, to which I have written a rebuttal which can be read at the following link: http://www.countercurrents.org/elango231011.htm
Being a “Shudra”: S.Anand’s distortion of the term “Shudra” which misrepresents the truth about the caste system:
A Shudra was created by the Self-existent (Svayambhu - God) to be the slave of the Brahmana. (Chapter 8, Verse 413 of Manusmrithi)
A Shudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released from servitude; since that is innate in him, who can set him free from it? (Chapter 8, Verse 414 of Manusmrithi)
A Brahmana may confidently seize the goods of (his) Shudra (slave); for, as that (slave) can have no property, his master may take his possessions. (Chapter 8, Verse 417 of Manusmrithi)
A Shudra who has intercourse with a woman of a twice-born caste (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas), guarded or unguarded, (shall be punished in the following manner): if she was unguarded, he loses his “offending part” and all his property; if she was guarded, everything (even his life). (Chapter 8, Verse 374 of Manusmrithi).
S.Anand claims in his essay titled “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar” (which can be read at the following link : http://www.india-seminar.com/2009/601/601_s_anand.htm) that the bigoted, enslaving and inferiorized “Shudra” social caste status in the Hindu caste system (scripturally meaning “slave to Brahmins” or “son of prostitutes (female slaves)” as “codified” and described by “Manusmrithi”) cannot be applied to the wealthy amongst the Shudras, by atrociously insinuating that wealth changes the “Shudra” social caste status when in reality the inferiorized “Shudra” caste social status is determined by birth (into a caste descent) and not by wealth. (S.Anand’s atrocious canard is akin to saying that racism does not affect affluent Black people and is as false as assuming that racism, social segregation and bigotry did not apply to affluent Black people in the erstwhile Apartheid regime or the American South under Jim Crow laws). On the basis of this canard in his essay “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar”, S.Anand criticizes Periyar for including the rich Shudras under the social caste category (Varna) of “Shudras” (slaves)! Thus, S.Anand grossly distorts and misrepresents the nature and meaning of caste in the Hindu religion (while also distorting and maligning Periyar’s ideas) in his essay titled “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar”, by insinuating that wealth changes the “Shudra” caste status which is a total lie. This is not very different from blabbering that wealth can change the stigmatizing untouchable caste status of a person which is determined by birth and not by wealth, and hence wealth can neither change the “Shudra” caste identity of a person nor can it alter the “untouchable” caste status of a person.
“No collection of wealth be made by a Shudra even “though he be able to do it”, for a Shudra who have acquired wealth gives pain to the Brahmana” (Manusmrithi, Chapter 10, Verse 129 of Manusmrithi).
Let a Brahmin not dwell in a country where the rulers are Shudras (Manusmrithi, Chapter 8, and Verse 61 of Manusmrithi).
Thus it is quite evident even from Hindu scriptures such as Manusmrithi that Shudras could become wealthy and even political rulers, but even if they attain wealth and political power they are still deemed to be Shudras (slaves of Brahmins) despite being wealthy or political rulers, and are expected to serve the Brahmins and the Brahmin supremacist agenda as rich and politically empowered Shudras (slaves of Brahmins). Thus, we see even elected politicians from backward caste and Dalit background appeasing the Brahmins and Hindu Orthodoxy according to the role prescribed for rich and powerful Shudras by Manusmrithi, like many backward caste and Dalit leaders do in many states, such as Mayawathi who openly appeases the Brahmin constituency and Parliamentary speaker Meera Kumar who openly declares her allegiance to Hinduism by undertaking a pilgrimage to the Kumb Mela. Thus according to Brahmanism enunciated by the bigoted codes of Manusmrithi, Shudras can be rich and powerful, as long as the power and wealth of the Shudras serves the Brahmins and Brahmin supremacist agenda, since Shudras are slaves of Brahmins, even if they are rich and powerful!
Brahmins are discouraged by Manusmrithi from accepting or allowing the political rule and acquisition of wealth by the Shudras in order to maintain Brahmin supremacy, which in modern times takes the form of Brahmin controlled bureaucratic apparatus, mainstream media, higher judiciary and the corporate class overriding the democratic will of the elected representatives in the parliament and state legislatures who are increasingly elected from backward castes (touchable Shudras) and Dalits (untouchable Shudras or Panchamas). For example, Brahmin supremacist and Hindu extremist nuts like Subramaniya Swamy in cahoots with Brahmin judges in the Supreme Court and the Brahmin mainstream media scuttled the developmental project of Sethu Canal which was legislated by the “Shudra” elected representatives from backward castes and scheduled castes (Dalits) of Tamil Nadu by harping over concocted and superstitious claims that the mythological Hindu God character Rama built a bridge over the Palk Straits by branding the chain of naturally formed sandbanks, shoals and coral islands along the Palk Strait as “Rama’s Bridge” in order to deny socio-economic development to the “Shudra Tamils”! (The row of sandbanks and coral islands in Palk Straits were usually and secularly called as “Adam’s bridge” before the Hindu extremist fascist nutcase brigade started claiming that the row of naturally occurring sand banks as a mythical bridge “created” by the mythically imagined Hindu God Rama!) Another example of Brahmins seeking to negate democratic will of the Shudra political power is the spectacle of Brahmin led mainstream media propping up Anna Hazare and his concocted campaign for “Lok Pal” in order to bring in an anti-democratic, unelected and totalitarian supra-governmental body such as “Lok Pal” in order to negate the power of the Parliament and state legislatures and to blackmail the elected representatives from backward caste and Dalit background in order to scale back their power, since over-riding the democratic will of the people can be easily achieved by monopolising and controlling a totalitarian supra-parliamentary body such as “Lok Pal” by the Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist castes in order to prevent the Brahmins from accepting the parliamentary and state legislative political rule of the “Shudras”, as prescribed by the bigoted tenets of “Manusmrithi” which enjoins Brahmins to find ways to prevent or negate the power and wealth of the Shudras. Hence, the very identity of Brahmins and the Brahmin governing class rests on keeping the majority Shudra masses of India in powerlessness, impoverishment, illiteracy, disease and innumerable social divisions caused by caste and untouchability.
In this aforementioned essay “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar”, S.Anand states that “Periyar frequently uses the term “slavery” for Shudras rather casually to include non-Brahmin zamindars, rajas and other well-to-do castes”. By stating so, S.Anand mischievously and dishonestly attempts to make his readers falsely believe the canard that the bigoted caste identities (that profess inferiority and superiority of one’s birth into a vertically graded caste system of birth based bigotry) can be determined or altered by wealth. S.Anand does this through his criticism of Periyar for the latter’s inclusion of the wealthy amongst the “Shudra” castes under the caste category (“Varna”) of “Shudras”. The term “Shudras” literally means “slaves” or “slaves who serve Brahmins” apart from other degrading meanings ascribed to the term “Shudras” by Manusmrithi and other bigoted Hindu religious scriptures such as “sons of prostitutes (female slaves)”. S.Anand knows as well as anyone who understands Hindu caste system that acquiring wealth or education does not abolish the inferiorized and enslaved caste status of a person who is born into the caste category (Varna) of “Shudras” nor does wealth destroy the Hindu religious and Hindu scriptural “Shudra” (slave of Brahmins) status of a person born into a Shudra caste. Similarly, acquiring wealth or education does not negate the “untouchable” caste status of a person. This is because all people who live by physical labour or descended from castes bonded to physical labour are derided as “Shudras” (slaves) by the Hindu religion and bigoted Hindu scriptures such as “Mansumiruthi” which codify the caste system, even if they acquire wealth. (According to Hindu law, all people who do not belong to “twice born” trio of upper castes are “Shudras” including those belonging to “untouchable” castes). Even a wealthy “Shudra” still remains only a “Shudra” in the Hindu caste system – as codified and governed by the bigoted Hindu scriptures. According to the bigotry of the Hindu caste system codified by “Manu Smrithi”, a wealthy Shudra is still deemed and doomed to be a “Shudra” (“slave of the Brahmin”) who should use his wealth to serve the Brahmin as the latter’s slave and the Brahmins’ bigoted Brahmin supremacist agenda while wallowing in his inferiorized and enslaved “Shudra” status in the caste system. The Brahmins’ supremacy in the bigoted graded inequality of the vertically graded caste system is not determined by his wealth but by the Brahmins’ birth into a Brahmin caste. Thus even an utterly poor Brahmin is considered “most superior in birth” and “most superior in virtue” to a rich, wealthy and educated Shudra person of great skill and excellent character according to the bigoted tenets of the caste system. Similarly, the inferiority and “slave of Brahmin” social caste status ascribed to a “Shudra” is not abolished even if the latter acquires wealth, education, fame and power.
Thus acquiring wealth does not abolish the inferiorized, enslaved and degraded “Shudra” (slave of the Brahmin) caste status (Varna) and the allied caste identity of a person nor does it grant him a social status on par with Brahmins and “twice born” trio of supremacist castes (Brahmins, Baniya-Vysyas and Kshatriyas) in the caste system. A famous example of this was the refusal of Brahmins to coronate the Maratha warrior and leader Shivaji as “King” because he was born into a caste deemed to be “Shudra” by the Brahmins. C.N. Anna Durai, the founder of the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party and a compatriot of Periyar, wrote a satirical political stage play titled “Shivaji kanda Hindu Rajyam” (“The Hindu Nation of Shivaji” - launching the career of the yesteryear Tamil thespian “Shivaji” Ganesan who played the role of “Shivaji”) which derided Shivaji’s and Marathas’ subservient slavery to Brahmins and satirised the bigotry of Brahmins who refused to crown Shivaji as King because of the latter’s inferiorized and enslaved caste status as a “Shudra” despite Shivaji’s wealth, political power and conquests as a warrior - king. Many of the early leaders of the Periyar’s self – respect movement such as Dr.T.M.Nayar and Dr.Natesan were indeed medical doctors and educated affluent men and women from various “Shudra” castes (and the so called “untouchable” castes) who could not escape the inferiorized “Shudra” status and discrimination perpetrated by Brahmins and the caste system.
“Shudras” were further profanely derided as “descendants of prostitutes (female slaves)” in the Hindu scripture “Manu Smiruthi”, and were entailed to serve the Brahmins as the latter’s slaves even if the “Shudra” acquires wealth and political power (just as “Shivaji” did as the warrior-king of the Maratha Empire.) Shudras were traditionally proscribed from education despite some of them being land owners. “Shudras” are further divided into hundreds of vertically graded endogamous castes depending on the physically laborious occupation thrust on the particular caste with each caste professing superiority over those below, with the so called “untouchable castes” (Dalits) at the bottom. “Shudras” were traditionally banned from literacy and education for millennia, until the advent of the British rule. Education was made available to “Shudras” and untouchables only after the advent of the British rule. So it is not Periyar but the Hindu religion (and its bigoted scriptures codifying the caste system such as the “Manu Smiruthi”) which imprisons a person to an inferiorized, degrading, demeaning, dehumanizing and enslaved caste identity and social status as a “Shudra” with no escape route, by shutting off, negating and preventing even acquisition of wealth or education from changing the “Shudra” (slave) caste status and caste identity of a person which is strictly determined by the biological birth of a person into a caste. So, S.Anand misrepresents Periyar and also distorts the meaning of caste in the Hindu religion by implying that the wealthy amongst the “Shudras” do not come under the inferiorized, enslaved and scripturally bastardized “Shudra” (slave of Brahmins) caste status accorded by Hindu religion when the truth is to the contrary. (Some Anthropologists claim that those amongst Shudras who embraced Buddhism and refused to give up Buddhism by opposing Brahmin supremacism were oppressed and segregated as “untouchables”). Thus, even a very wealthy person cannot escape his “Shudra” status and the allied inferiorized caste identity which are determined by birth and not by wealth. Even a financially poor Brahmin is considered “most” superior in birth and “most superior” in socio-religious caste status than a rich Shudra or a rich person from a so called “untouchable” caste. The wealthy amongst those belonging to various castes stigmatised and segregated as “untouchables” by the Hindu religion – do not escape their inferiorized, stigmatized and enslaved status in the Hindu society and religion, since acquiring wealth does not abolish the inferiorized and stigmatised “untouchable” caste identity or the “Shudra” social caste status of a person. This is why true advocates of social justice want affirmative action in jobs and education to be awarded to backward castes and scheduled castes (Dalits) irrespective of their economic status since wealth does not abolish the bigoted caste identities and does not make a dent on the bigoted caste system determined by birth and not by wealth. Thus the aforementioned statement of S.Anand which seeks to claim that the rich Shudras are not Shudras is aimed at maligning and misrepresenting Periyar and can only be seen as an attempt to grossly misrepresent the bigoted nature of the Hindu caste system to his readers (particularly those in non-Indian lands) to try and hide the discrimination, institutional exclusion, stigmatization and inferiorization imposed on even the wealthy and educated “Shudras” (backward castes and Dalits) by the governing class of Brahmin led trio of “twice born” supremacist castes and the Hindu caste system.
Thus a “Shudra” does not lose his “inferiorized” “Shudra” (“slave to the Brahmin”) status in the Hindu caste system if he attains wealth and power, and a Brahmin does not lose his “supremacist” status at the summit of the bigoted caste system even if he is poor. The caste status and caste identity of a person in the Hindu religion and the vertically graded inequality of Hindu caste bigotry are determined by a person’s biological birth into a caste and are NOT altered by the acquisition of wealth or impoverishment. In his famous Tamil essay titled “If Brahmins become rich”, Periyar makes it clear that he is not against Brahmins getting richer by getting out of their caste mandated profession of priesthood, but only against the biological birth based supremacy and socio-religious power accorded to Brahmins by reason of their birth into the Brahmin caste in the bigoted caste system and its varied manifestations. Periyar clarifies that he is against the bigotry of oppressing and discriminating against people by ascribing superiority and inferiority to the human condition of a human being based on his or her birth into a caste, and is not against any one becoming wealthier.
Moreover S.Anand is no exception to the Brahmin ploy to restrictively portray Periyar as a leader of backward castes by incorrectly and maliciously leaving out Dalits from the umbrella term of “Dravidians” used by Periyar to rally all non-Brahmin backward castes and scheduled castes against the caste system, Brahmin supremacy, untouchability, superstitions and Hindu religion, including Dalits. Similarly S.Anand also attempts to portray Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar strictly as a leader of only Dalits by implying that the Babasaheb worked against the political empowerment of the “majority” (of backward castes) and struggled only for “minority empowerment” in his essay “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar” which is a complete lie. Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar famously critiqued Brahmins in 1943 by saying that “A conscious and determined minority always creates conditions in their favour over an amorphous and ignorant majority,” while answering the question of a BBC journalist about what he considered was the crucial problem of India. This bigoted attitude of the ruling class of Brahmin – Baniya led “twice born’ supremacist minority in India is best exemplified in their creation and sustenance of the caste system that entrenches the majority of the working people of India in the vertically graded endogamous social divisions perpetrated by caste and untouchability, caste descent based hereditary forced physical labour, poverty, illiteracy, disease, atrocities, honour killings and violence against women. India is afflicted with this social plague called the caste system, which was created in India by the minority Persian migrants (a.k.a. Aryans a.k.a. Brahmin – Baniya led “twice born” supremacist castes) against the Dravidian Mulnivasi working people of India (backward castes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes). One can even say that India’s governing institutions and the media are controlled by a governing class of a Persian elite whose ancestry dates back to the Proto-Indo-Iranian times of 2200 – 1600 B.C when the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures were purportedly written in Persian (Indo-Iranian) lands and when the ancestors of the present day Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist castes migrated as nomads from Persia to Dravidian India. This is evident from the fact that the Brahmin media, Brahmin governing class and Hindutva ideologues take a friendly stand towards Iran on geo-political issues (in contrary towards their inimical attitude towards Pakistan which comprises of Sunni Muslim converts from Shudra - backward caste - and Dalit ancestral backgrounds.) The Persian ancestry of Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist castes also explains their soft attitude towards Shia Muslims and Iran, and many Shia Muslims can also be seen as leaders in the Hindu extremist fascist BJP party.
Apart from enunciating the crux of the social illness plaguing India as the oppression unleashed by the Brahmin supremacist minority by stating that “a conscious and determined minority always creates conditions in their favour over an amorphous and ignorant majority,” Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar further empowered the backward castes of India (at the behest of a movement launched by Periyar) by initiating, moving and ensuring the legislation of the first constitutional amendment in India that gave constitutional protection to reservation (affirmative action) in education and government employment to the “backward castes”. Thus Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar was fundamentally and constitutionally responsible for securing reservations (affirmative action) in higher education and government employment not only for scheduled castes (Dalits), but also for other backward castes. The constitutional foundation of the Mandal Commission award that recommended reservation in education and government employment for backward castes was laid down by Dr.Ambedkar when he successfully moved the legislation of the first constitutional amendment in independent India to secure reservation for backward castes in higher education and government employment. Thus Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar should be celebrated as the leader of all people derided, oppressed, discriminated, excluded and divided by caste as “Shudras” including backward castes and Dalits, and he should not be bracketed only as the leader of the people stigmatised as “untouchables”. Thus it is obvious that Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar worked for the empowerment, liberation and solidarity of the political and demographic majority comprising of both the backward castes and Dalits, just as Periyar who used the term “Dravidians” to describe and liberate all non-Brahmin (and non-“twice born”) peoples such as backward castes, scheduled castes, aboriginal tribes and religious minorities, who are all oppressed, inferiorized and stigmatized by Brahmin supremacism, while working to end the bigoted caste status quo of the Brahmanical ploy of pitting Dalits against the backward castes and vice versa through the vertically graded bigotry of the caste system and social segregation (untouchability) perpetrated on the Dalits.
In his essay, “Resurrecting the radical Ambedkar”, S.Anand further distorts Periyar’s ideology by leaving out Dalits from the “oppressed majority” of non-Brahmins whose rights Periyar espoused in Tamil Nadu. S.Anand also falsely implies that the “oppressed majority” espoused by Periyar and his Dravidian “self-respect” movement does not include Dalits which is totally false. Periyar’s ideology, advocacy and struggle aimed at using the assertion of the “Dravidian identity” for liberating and empowering all people descending from castes bonded to physical labour and derided as “Shudras” and untouchables”, who were excluded from education, wealth and power while being divided by the vertically graded bigotry of caste. (The Hindu caste system as codified by the Hindu religious scriptures such as “Manu Smiruthi” considers all people who make a living by physical labour and all descendants of castes bonded to physical labour as “Shudras” including those derided as “untouchables”, even though the “untouchable Shudras” are also referred to as “Panchamas” or scheduled castes in common parlance, while the “touchable Shudras” are referred to as “backward castes” in governmental parlance.) The judgment in the legal case “Muthusami Mudaliar v Masilamani (1909), 33 Mad. 342”, established that all those who did not belong to the so called “twice born” trio of supremacist castes (Brahmins, Vysyas and Kshatriyas) are indeed “Shudras” including the untouchable castes according to Hindu religion and Hindu law. From a Hindu law and Hindu religious scriptural point of view based on the aforesaid judgment and case law, the term “Shudras” refers to all people who are not “twice born” supremacist castes, which includes backward castes, Dalits (scheduled castes), indigenous peoples (scheduled tribes), and all native religionists who are not Jews, Muslims, Christians and Parsis.
It was Periyar who popularized (if not invented) the term “Adi Dravidars” (“Proto-Dravidians”) as a reference to Dalits of Tamil Nadu, a term that is still widely used by the Government of Tamil Nadu, Tamil media and all major Tamil Nadu political parties as a reference to Dalits. Thus, it is a gross attempt at falsification to insinuate that Periyar’s ideological use of the term “Dravidians” leaves out Dalits. The “Dravidar Kazhagam” (DK) organization enjoined a large cadre base amongst both backward castes and Dalits during Periyar’s life time and after, and there are many party functionaries and activists of Dalit background in the DK, even though it is the official policy of the DK to never refer or relate to members and functionaries of the DK based on their caste and all members of DK irrespective of caste are described as “Dravidians” by the DK organization in their publications and functions. This is because Periyar’s ideology seeks to unite backward castes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes as one casteless “Dravidian” people to counter and oppose Brahmin – Baniya led hegemony of the “twice born” supremacist castes. This policy of DK to not identify the caste of its members and functionaries has emboldened the likes of S.Anand propagate the misperception that Dalits are not members or functionaries in the DK party founded by Periyar. S.Anand indulged in this kind of fraudulent exercise in his reported interview of the current DK leader Veeramani (which was published in the Outlook magazine’s issue dated September 10, 2004 under the title “Uma, Kalyan beneficiaries of Periyar’s legacy”) in which S.Anand questions the DK leader Veeramani on the number of Dalits in the DK’s executive committee fully knowing the ethos of the DK organization which bans any reference to the caste descent or caste identity of its members and functionaries, and S.Anand goes on to misuse the clarification given by the DK leader Veeramani that members and functionaries of the DK are not identified or referred by caste, to fraudulently insinuate and create the false impression that Dalits are excluded from the DK. I personally know many Dalits who are life-long members, activists, functionaries and office bearers of the DK party. Even the title of the interview of Veeramani (as reported by S.Anand) mischievously seeks to link Periyar’s anti-Hindu ideology with Hindutva extremism by advertising a singular statement of the DK leader Veeramani that sought to observe that even Hindu extremist parties controlled by supremacist Brahmin ideologues have been forced to accommodate leaders of backward caste background (such as Uma Bharathi and Kalyan Singh) as a result of Periyar’s ideology that seeks to accord representation to backward castes and scheduled castes, and this is done through the misleading headline of S.Anand’s reported interview of Veeramani (“Uma, Kalyan beneficiaries of Periyar’s legacy”) that ludicrously makes a false and malicious suggestion that Periyar’s anti-Hindu legacy benefited the Hindutva agenda of the Hindu extremist leaders (such as Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharathi) to confuse and prejudice an unsuspecting reader who is ignorant of Periyar’s anti-Hindu ideology.
S.Anand’s sly intellectual apologia to the Hindutva extremist agenda by journalistically and editorially enabling the publication of articles that portray radical anti-Hindu leaders Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” in the mainstream English media.
The following analysis is a rebuttal to the article “Periyar’s Hindutva” which was translated and journalistically published by S.Anand in the “Outlook” magazine in its issue dated September 10, 2004 (which can be read at the following link: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?225056) , and the following treatise also includes a brief critique of the article “Bias that wasn’t?” (http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?281935) which was published in the “Outlook” magazine dated August 20, 2012 officially edited by S.Anand. The publication of both these articles was journalistically enabled by S.Anand, one as a translating journalist who translated and published the article (written originally in Tamil by Ravi Kumar) and the other as the journalistic editor of a special issue who editorially commissioned and published the article (written by Debarshi Dasgupta). Both these articles seek to present the anti-Hindu and anti-caste leaders Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” Muslim haters in the minds of unsuspecting and uninformed readers by way of a skewed misappropriation of critical comments Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar may have made against Muslims and Islam at various times. When mainstream Indian media organs such as “Outlook” never publish the anti-Hindu, anti-caste and anti-Brahmin views of the two great social revolutionaries (Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar) who were known for their life long struggle seeking the annihilation of Hinduism and liberation of their followers from the clutches of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste, S.Anand uses his access to a mainstream media organ (Outlook) as a journalist and editor of a special issue to enable sly journalistic attempts to help Hindu extremist fascist forces to ideologically appropriate Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar to the Hindutva agenda by enabling the publication of articles which scurrilously, maliciously and unfairly attempt to advertise the suggestion that the two anti-Hindu social revolutionary leaders as “anti-Muslim” (when both of them were primarily and vehemently “anti-Hindu” and were not anti-Muslim in their socio-political action), through a skewed misappropriation of critical comments the two leaders may have made regarding Islam and Muslims at various times (without making any journalistic attempts to publish any excerpts or essays critiquing Hindus, Hinduism and Brahmins from the entire body of the life-long work of both the leaders which was spent condemning and combating Hinduism, Hindus and Brahmins, and not Islam). This shows that S.Anand is actually very much guilty of indulging in “gross misrepresentation” of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar (given that he untenably accuses me of misrepresenting him), since S.Anand himself never had any qualms in enabling the gross and utterly dishonest journalistic misrepresentation of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” through his journalistic translations and editorial commission of articles to that effect, while consciously not exercising his power as a translating journalist or editor of a special issue of “Outlook” to publish even a single original essay written by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in condemnation of Brahmins, Hinduism and caste, while S.Anand has no qualms in enabling the publication of malicious and defamatory articles that attempt to portray Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” through defamatory, intellectually dishonest and skewed misappropriation of critical remarks that may have been made by Periyar or Dr.Ambedkar regarding Islam and Muslims. Just because Periyar or Dr.Ambedkar may have made critical remarks concerning Islam or Muslims, does not mean that they hated or harbored prejudice against Islam or Muslims, and to journalistically misappropriate the critical comments they may have made regarding Islam and Muslims at various times by quoting them out of context and misquoting them to advertise the atrocious claim that the radically anti-Hindu leaders Periyar and Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar were anti-Muslim is nothing but a blatant intellectual and ideological apologia to Hindu extremist fascism to enable the latter to co-opt Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar. The fact that S.Anand has indulged in this intellectually fraudulent apologia for Hindu extremist fascism as a translating journalist and journalistic editor of a special issue of “Outlook” magazine, without making any attempt to publish, translate or excerpt a single anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin essay that may have been written by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in a mainstream media organ such as “Outlook” magazine (to which S.Anand seems to have easy access to), while enabling the publication of articles that attempt to showcase Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim”, only shows S.Anand’s intellectual penchant to appease the Hindu extremist agenda that seeks to co-opt the vehemently anti-Hindu leaders Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar into the Hindu extremist ideological agenda.
Stating criticism of Islam or Muslims from a progressive reformist perspective or to state a historical record, does not amount to being “anti-Muslim”, and to enable such journalistic exploitation, misappropriation and advertisement of such sparse and rare criticism of Islam by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar without journalistically emphasizing and highlighting the essential, seminal and fundamental message of both the leaders’ work against Hinduism, Hindus and Brahmins is nothing but a sly and intellectually dishonest apologia for Hindu extremist fascism, of which S.Anand is very much guilty of - as a translating journalist and an editor.
S.Anand may want to wash his hands off the articles commissioned by him as an editor and disown translations written and published by him in various mainstream media organs such as “Outlook” magazine as a translating journalist by dishonestly passing the buck to the original author, but S.Anand’s penchant for restrictively choosing to translate essays or write articles which maliciously defame Periyar with falsehood (such as S.Anand’s translation and publication of the article titled “Periyar’s Hindutva” in the Outlook magazine dated September 10, 2004 which can be read at the following link: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?225056 ) just as his editorial decision to editorially commission and include an article (titled “Bias That Wasn’t?” at the following web link : http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?281935) which suggested that Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim” in a special issue of “Outlook” magazine (dated August 20, 2012 specially edited by S.Anand and purportedly “dedicated” to Dr.Ambedkar) just as his other distortional reports that defame and belittle Periyar with falsehood, all of which collectively belies S.Anand’s urge to grossly misrepresent and defame the anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu and anti-caste revolutionaries Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar, and also misrepresent the facts about the caste system to the gullible and uninformed reader by misusing his ready access to the mainstream media, all of which only has the net effect of eroding the ideological foundations of the struggle against the caste system. This only makes me suspect that S.Anand is a journalistic or intellectual “sleeper cell fighter for Brahmins and Hinduism” who has infiltrated the so called “anti-caste intellectual movement” to dilute, erode, misrepresent and liquidate the ideology and integrity of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar through sly journalistic guerrilla tactics that seeks to misrepresent or smear Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar through sly and subtle journalistic methods.
A glaring example of such S.Anand’s gross misrepresentation and defamation of Periyar can be seen in his English translation and publication of Tamil writer Ravi Kumar’s views in the “Outlook” magazine which was oxymoronically and ridiculously titled as “Periyar’s Hindutva” (given that Periyar spent his life time indulging in all kinds of social action and advocacy to destroy Hinduism and to extricate the non-Brahmin working castes of Tamil Nadu (backward castes and scheduled castes) from Hinduism and the caste system by advocating the unity of backward castes and Dalits under the umbrella term of “Dravidians”, and by asserting the irreligious and pre-Hindu Dravidian heritage of the Tamil speaking peoples of the sub-continent. Periyar collectively called the non-Brahmin Shudras (backward caste and Dalits) as “Dravidians” to counter Brahmins who claimed an “Aryan” (Indo-European – Persian) ethnic, linguistic and cultural heritage based on the Vedas, Sanskrit language and their central Asian (Persian) and Indo-European descent. Brahmin supremacist and Hindu fascist ideologue Balagangadhar Tilak famously said that Europe is his “Pitru Bhoomi” (Fatherland) and India is his “Mathru Bhoomi” (Motherland) to denote the “Aryan” paternal ancestry of Brahmins and “twice born” supremacist trio of upper castes in contrast to the non-Aryan (Dravidian) Shudras (backward castes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes). Even though no one in India can be considered as racially “pure” due to the “Aryans” taking on “Dravidian” wives and concubines (based on bigoted Hindu caste laws that traditionally allowed sexual relationships between “twice born” supremacist caste men and “Shudra” lower caste women, but not between “Shudra” men and “twice born” supremacist caste women), thus explaining the inferiorized and enslaved status of women in Hindu religion, society and scriptures. The mythological and mythical bigotry ascribed to descent of the Brahmin caste from the “head of God” which sustained notions of “Aryan descent” and related beliefs of Brahmin supremacy based on the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures such as “Manusmrithi”, has enabled the propagation and sustenance of Brahmin supremacism and the bigoted supremacism of “twice born” trio of supremacist castes and allied upper castes over the rest of the populace who are derided, excluded, oppressed and vertically divided as Shudras and untouchables (backward castes and scheduled castes).
To suggest that Periyar advocated Hindutva is like saying Che Guevara advocated laissez faire free market capitalism. Periyar’s ideas are the anti-thesis of Hindutva and in fact - seeks to summarily wipe out all traces of Hinduism from India and the face of the World. It is obvious that the writer (Ravi Kumar) and his translator (S.Anand) have singularly attempted to misrepresent Periyar and distort his ideology to readers outside of Tamil Nadu by taking advantage of S.Anand’s access to a mainstream English media organ such as “Outlook” magazine, in order to help prevent the spread of Periyar’s anti-Hindu, anti-caste, anti-untouchability and anti-Brahmin rationalist and atheist ideas outside of Tamil Nadu. This is because such defamatory and distortionary writings against Periyar were soundly rebutted and exposed by various Dalit and Periyarist writers when they appeared in the Tamil media of Tamil Nadu, but the publication of such scurrilous writings against Periyar in the national mainstream English language media organs such as “Outlook” magazine has gone unchallenged until now. Such distortional and defamatory writings against Periyar only help in the spread of the venomous religious extremist and political fascist ideology of Hindutva, particularly because Periyar’s writings and speeches are unavailable in English and Periyar’s biography of his life-long activism against the bigotry of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste has not been chronicled in English. When people are made to falsely believe that the anti-dote to a lethal venom is itself poisonous, they will hesitate to take the anti-dote for the poison, thereby putting themselves in harm’s way. Similarly, if people are made to believe in a distorted, false and defamatory picture of Periyar and his ideas by maliciously and scurrilously associating Periyar with Hindutva, they will remain oblivious to the revolutionary ideas of Periyar which actually seeks the destruction of Hinduism and all manifestations of the caste system, thus aiding in the spread of the venomous and fascist ideas of Hindu extremism. Thus, one has to conclude that the writer of this aforementioned article titled “Periyar’s Hindutva” (Ravi Kumar) and his translator (S.Anand) are only using S.Anand’s access to a mainstream English media organ to indirectly aid the spread of Hindu extremist fascism by defaming and distorting Periyar by scurrilously associating the Periyar with Hindutva (and defaming Periyar as “anti-Muslim”) when Periyar single handedly managed to instil an anti-Hindu, anti-caste and pro-Muslim social psyche in the popular imagination of the progressive Tamil speaking youth of his life and times, which has managed to endure in a sizeable section of Tamil Nadu society even after his life time, thus posing a continuous existential threat to the spread of Hindu religious extremist fascism, caste bigotry, untouchability, misogyny and all kinds of superstitions.
It is also apt to emphasize and recall again that when the same writer – journalist (S.Anand) edited a “special issue” of the Outlook magazine (dated August 20, 2002) purportedly dedicated to Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar, he chose to include an article that sought to portray Babsaheb Dr. Ambedkar as an “anti-Muslim”, while S.Anand did not bother to publish a single original essay written by Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar which criticizes and condemns Brahmins, caste and Hinduism in that particular issue of “Outlook” magazine specially edited by S.Anand and supposedly dedicated to Dr. Ambedkar. (One has to contrast this with S.Anand’s accusation that Amir Khan failed to mention Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar in his television talk show on untouchability and manual scavenging, when S.Anand himself has never made any attempt to ensure the publication of anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu essays or passages of Dr.Ambedkar (and Periyar) in the mainstream media organ (Outlook) to which he has ready and easy access. This only shows that Dr.Ambedkar’s and Periyar’s anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin writings still remain excluded from the mainstream media of India, just as those of Dalit / Bahujan writers who are radically anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste. This is evident from the fact that even a self-proclaimed Brahmin and self-styled “anti-caste” writer such as S.Anand does not bother about publishing an original essay written by Dr.Ambedkar or Periyar in criticism of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste even in a special issue of a magazine (Outlook) purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar and edited by S.Anand, while S.Anand does not hesitate to use his editorial powers to include an article that seeks to maliciously and dishonestly suggest that Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim” through a skewed misappropriation of Dr.Ambedkar’s progressive, reformist and liberal critique of Islam from a sociologically analytical perspective which cannot be construed as being “anti-Muslim” prejudice. Even though, the article in question (“Bias that wasn’t?” by Debarshi Dasgupta – Outlook Magazine – August 20, 2012) tamely tries to include perspectives of certain academics that challenges the notion that Dr.Ambedkar was anti-Muslim, the entire article only serves the purpose of advertising the claim that Dr.Ambedkar was anti-Muslim in a popular mainstream media organ such as “Outlook” by excerpting and publicizing the critical comments Dr.Ambedkar may have made regarding Islam or Muslims in various socio-political contexts, thereby ensuring a flawed misrepresentation of Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” to the urban “Outlook” reading Indian readers and global readers who may not have read Dr.Ambedkar’s views against Brahmins and Hinduism (and who will not be able read such anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin views of Dr.Ambedkar from the pages of “Outlook” or mainstream Indian press since Outlook, S.Anand or the mainstream Indian media will not publish them.)
It is thus obvious that S.Anand wants his readers to perceive Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” and not as an “anti-Hindu” or “anti-Brahmin” by using his powers as the editor of a special issue of “Outlook” magazine to selectively include an article that seeks to suggest that Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim” (while not bothering to publish any of the original essays by Dr.Ambedkar which condemn and criticize Brahmins, caste and Hinduism in a “special issue” purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar) and S.Anand further uses his access to a mainstream media organ (“Outlook” magazine) by selectively translating and publishing an article that scurrilously and falsely claims that the life-long anti-Hindu Periyar as an advocate of Hindutva without publishing any of Periyar’s original essays which criticizes and condemns Hinduism, Brahmins and caste. Thus it is clear that S.Anand uses his access to a mainstream media organ such as the “Outlook” magazine to enable the publication of scurrilous opinion against both Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar, to maliciously smear both of the great anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste leaders as also “anti-Muslim” which only serves the Brahmin supremacist agenda that propagates Hindutva fascist extremism by peddling hatred against Muslims. There cannot be more journalistic evidence to prove that S.Anand is a deviant and intellectually dishonest closet Hindutva apologist which is more dangerous than being an open, direct and honest Hindutva extremist. S.Anand is the only writer – journalist who has used his media power and access to a mainstream media organ as an editor, journalist and translator to enable the publication of opinion that sought to portray both the anti-Hindu social revolutionaries Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as anti-Muslim in a mainstream media organ (while doing nothing to publish the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and ant-caste writings of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in a mainstream media organ such as “Outlook” magazine - which is at the beck and call of S.Anand by readily publishing S.Anand’s opinion in its pages and allows S.Anand to edit its “special issue” on Dr.Ambedkar while sending my rebuttals to S.Anand’s views to the dustbin!) And nothing could be a more journalistically and intellectually dishonest apologia for Hindu extremist fascism than to enable the publishing of opinion in the mainstream media that seeks to portray Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar as “anti-Muslim” (which S.Anand has done as a writer, translator and editor in the mainstream Indian media), given that the ideas of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar serves as a bulwark against Hindu religious and political extremist fascism in India. It is interesting and important to note that Brahmin media mandarins such as S.Anand do not want to highlight or popularize the description of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar with adjective tags such as “anti-Hindu” in the mainstream media (in accordance with Periyar’s and Dr.Ambedkar’s advocacy for the destruction of Hinduism due to its bigotry of the caste system) but instead S.Anand chooses to misuse his access to a mainstream media organ such as “Outlook” magazine and his discretional powers as the editor of the magazine’s special issue to publish translations of scurrilous articles or commission journalistic reports that seeks to defame and smear Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” by misusing, advertising and exploiting objective and progressive critique of Islam by Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in the context of annihilation of castes, history of India and rationalist humanism, when there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar advocated partisan hatred against Muslims or Islam as Hindu extremists do.
Both Dr. Ambedkar and Thanthai Periyar were primarily intellectual and socio-political advocates against the bigotry of Hinduism, Brahmins and caste. Thus, both Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar were fundamentally and seminally anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste if anything, and to hide this elementary truth by not publishing any of the original anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste writings of Periyar or Dr.Ambedkar in the mainstream English language media, but seeking to portray Dr.Ambedkar and Periyar as Muslim haters is nothing but an intellectually fraudulent apologia to Hindutva extremist fascism. No doubt that given the secular, rationalist and progressive credentials of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar, they would have criticized regressive and misogynist aspects and practices of Islam or any other religion, and may have also made certain negative historical observations regarding Islam, but Dr. Ambedkar and Periyar never peddled hatred and prejudice against their Muslim brothers and sisters. Hence, for S.Anand to misuse his stature as an editor of a special issue of “Outlook” magazine purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar to commission and include an article which suggests that Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar was “anti-Muslim, and for S.Anand to selectively translate and publish scurrilous writings that defame and distort the life -long anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin ideologue Periyar by associating the latter with Hindutva, is nothing but a literarily deviant and journalistically stealthy but an intellectually corrupt exercise to aid Hindutva fascist extremism ideologically, by dishonestly trying to portray the two intellectual and socio-political doyens of anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste activism (Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar) as Muslim haters. Thus it is quite evident that S.Anand is a sly and stealthy intellectual and journalistic apologist for Hindutva who seeks to undermine the ideological basis of the struggle against Hinduism and its caste system from within by posing as an “anti-caste activist” while enabling the sly journalistic smearing of the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste leaders and ideologues such as Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” thereby undermining the ideological stature and integrity of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as opponents of all things that stand for Hinduism, which is more dangerous than being an open and honest supporter of Hindutva extremism.
The aforementioned article translated and published by S.Anand under the atrocious title “Periyar’s Hindutva” (in “Outlook” magazine dated September 10, 2004) uses some unsubstantiated and misquoted statements falsely attributed to Periyar to malign and misrepresent Periyar. The above article does not properly reference all of the quotes attributed to Periyar. [My emails to S.Anand requesting page numbers and names of book titles and publishers for every quote attributed to Periyar in this scurrilous article remains unanswered until now, despite emailing my request to S.Anand (and copying it to Ravi Kumar) several times]. The article does not give page numbers and titles of the books for referencing most of the quotes which are falsely attributed to Periyar. Most of the quotes attributed to Periyar are misquotes or have been quoted out of context to malign Periyar. It is malicious, fraudulent and dishonest to misuse a few quotes of Periyar out of their chronological and socio-political context or to misquote him in order to ascribe a false and scurrilous image of Periyar by ludicrous associating him with Hindutva or anti-Muslim agenda by ignoring almost all of Periyar’s life long activism, writings, statements, struggles, sacrifices, prison sentences and civil disobedience actions which were all singularly dedicated to the destruction of the very existence of Hinduism and the caste system and propagation of (reformist) Islam amongst Dalits on the other hand. This is the same kind of intellectual fraud that has been used by S.Anand and his acolytes to smear Dr.Ambedkar as “possessing an anti-Muslim streak” in another article (titled “Bias that wasn’t?” by Debarshi Dasgupta – Outlook Magazine – August 20, 2012) which was apparently editorially commissioned and published by S.Anand in his capacity, power and editorial discretion as the editor of the “special issue” of “Outlook” magazine (dated August 20, 2012) purportedly dedicated to Dr.Ambedkar, by adversely and lopsidedly highlighting some critical comments Dr.Ambedkar may have made to criticize Islam and Muslims in certain socio-political contexts, in order to paint a biased and prejudiced picture of Babasaheb Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim”. Thus S.Anand has a proven and well evidenced journalistic track record of misusing his access to the mainstream media to defame the anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste ideologues Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar as “anti-Muslim” by journalistically publishing scurrilous translations or editorially commissioning articles to that effect, in order to aid the ideological appropriation of Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar by Hindu extremist fascist fanatics who peddle hatred against Muslims.
It is ridiculously false to state that Periyar advocated Hindutva. The title of this article commissioned, translated and published by S.Anand from an original write-up by Ravi Kumar (“Periyar’s Hindutva”, Outlook - September 10, 2004) is ludicrously false, ridiculous and defamatory of Periyar just as the content of this article. Periyar called for the very destruction of Hinduism and called on his Dalit followers to embrace Islam. Periyar also wrote a book on the progressive and egalitarian aspects of Islam and called on Dalits to convert to a progressive and modernized school of Islam as an act of rebellion against untouchability, caste bigotry and Hinduism. Hence it is grossly false to say that Periyar propagated Hindutva and it is also totally wrong to say that Periyar was not supportive of religious minorities such as Muslims. Periyar considered Indian Muslims (including Tamil Muslims) as descendants of backward castes and Dalits who converted to Islam in order to escape the bigotry, oppression and divisions of the Hindu caste system perpetrated and sustained by the Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes and called upon his followers (who were almost entirely from Tamil Nadu’s non-Brahmin Dalits and backward castes) to build bridges with Indian Muslims and to defend Muslims and other religious minorities against the persecution and violence of Hindu extremist terrorist fanatics led by their rabid Brahmin ideologues belonging to the Hindu fascist and Hindu terrorist RSS organization.
Periyar (just like Babasaheb Dr.B.R.Ambedkar) criticized the Brahmin supremacist caste at the summit of the caste system for dividing and ruling the majority populace of working masses through the caste system. Empowering the majority of the Indian working masses (backward castes and Dalits) who are divided by the vertically graded bigotry of caste and deprived of education, power, equality and wealth cannot automatically amount to “Hindutva majoritarianism”. The author of this article ludicrously titled “Periyar’s Hindutva” (as translated and published by S.Anand in Outlook magazine dated September 10, 2004) seems to falsely and ridiculously equate Hindutva extremism with the socio-political and economic empowerment, solidarity and liberation of the majority of Indians (backward castes and Dalits) who are oppressed by the caste system! From the struggle of black south Africans against the racist apartheid of the minority white Afrikaners and the sputter of the “occupy wall street” protesters for the 99% majority working people against the minority 1% who control the wealth of the world, to the struggle of the majority Dravidian working caste people of India (backward castes and Dalits) who are divided by the vertically graded caste system, impoverished, denied literacy and education and excluded from the institutional, judicial, bureaucratic, corporate and media power held by the minority ruling class of “twice born” supremacist castes consisting of Brahmins, Baniyas (Vysyas), Kshatriyas and allied supremacist castes, the process of empowering and defending the oppressed and divided majority from an oppressing and bigoted minority has been the substance of people’s struggle the World over. Empowering the majority is also the essence of liberal democracy. Hence empowering the majority people of India (backward castes and scheduled castes) by liberating them from the yoke of the caste system and the apartheid power of the ruling class of “twice born” supremacist castes led by Brahmin and Baniyas - does not automatically become Hindu majoritarianism or Hindu nationalism. Hence Periyar’s call for empowering the majority populace comprising of backward caste and Dalit people of India (while protecting the rights of religious minorities) has nothing to do with bigoted majoritarianism or Hindutva nationalism, while being everything about liberating and uniting an impoverished and illiterate majority working people who are divided, inferiorized and oppressed by the bigoted principles of the caste system that guides India’s governing “twice born” trio of supremacist elite castes comprising of Brahmins, Baniyas and Kshatriyas (and allied supremacist castes) who control the bureaucracy, top judiciary, business corporations, mainstream media, elite academia, military officers corps and other annals of power !
Periyar wanted to unite the majority working caste people of India who were bonded to physical labour on account of their caste descent, derided as “Shudras” by the Hindu religious scriptures, divided by the vertically graded caste identities and untouchability and excluded from governance, education and wealth for millennia, and he tried to forge this unity of the working caste people of India and their descendants under the label of “Dravidians” by calling on his Dravidian followers (backward castes, Dalits – scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) to discard Hinduism and its bigoted baggage consisting of the caste system, untouchability, superstitions and misogyny. The Hindu scriptural meaning of the word “Shudra” is “descendants of prostitutes” and “slaves of Brahmins” among other degrading and dehumanizing descriptions such as “bastards” and “slaves” which are used in Hindu caste scriptures to degrade all people who make a living by physical labour and all people who are descendants of castes bonded to physical labour as “Shudras” even if they attain wealth and political power. Under the Hindu caste system, “Shudras” are further divided into hundreds of vertically graded castes based on the physically laborious occupation thrust on them by the caste system, and are further divided into castes classified as “untouchables” who are subjected to the segregation of untouchability, violent atrocities and thrust into the most degrading physical labour.
On the other hand, Hindutva nationalism has nothing to do with empowering the majority (backward caste and Dalit) working caste people divided and oppressed by the caste system. Hindu extremist parties such as the BJP, RSS, ABVP, Bajrang Dal, VHP, Hindu Munnani, etc., actually oppose affirmative action (reservation) in education and jobs for the backward castes and Dalits who constitute the majority of the Indian populace and who were deprived of education for millennia. Hindutva nationalists vehemently oppose reservation (affirmative action) for the majority people of this country who were made socially and educationally backward and divided by caste due to the vertically graded bigotry of the caste system because Hindutva nationalism is not about empowering the majority working caste “Shudra” people (backward castes and Dalits) of this country, but it is all about making the backward castes and Dalits to wallow in the delusional Hindu religious identity in order to entrench the caste divisions, labour exploitation, impoverishment, illiteracy, disease and exclusion of working caste people of India (Dalits and backward castes) from various annals of power by pitting the working caste people of India against Muslim working people and Christian working people through rabid Hindu extremist fanatical and fascist politics, and by keeping the backward castes and Dalits in conflict by keeping the latter in nationwide physical segregation in villages and towns, and by dividing the backward castes and Dalits amongst themselves with the vertically graded caste identities. On the contrary, Periyar wanted the majority working populace (comprising of backward castes, Dalits (scheduled castes) and scheduled tribes) to extricate themselves from the Hindu religion by becoming rationalist atheists (or by adopting a modernised and reformist version of Islam) and by uniting under the anthropological and cultural identity of “Dravidians” by annihilating their caste identities. Periyar did not consider the majority working caste people of India comprising of backward castes and Dalits as Hindus at all, and he believed that all of the physically labouring and working caste people of India belonging to (backward castes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) to be descendants of the aboriginal races of India termed as “Dravidians” who spoke an ancient form of Tamil all over India dating back to the Indus valley civilisation. The so called “twice born” trio of supremacist castes comprising of the trio of Brahmins, Vysyas (Baniyas) and Kshatriyas exerted monopoly over education, commerce and governance for centuries under the pretext of their scripturally professed “Aryan” (Persian – Indo-European) cultural, religious, linguistic and caste superiority, while excluding the “Dravidian” working caste people of India (backward castes and Dalits) from education, power, wealth and governance for millennia and degrading the proto-Dravidian language of Tamil as “Neecha Basha” (“language of inferior people”),and by creating new languages through destroying Tamil by mixing Tamil with various admixtures of Sanskrit and other languages over the centuries – thus making the Dravidians of North India (backward castes and Dalits) to totally lose their Tamil (Dravidian) linguistic heritage and usage while dividing the Dravidians of South India with newer languages created by mixing ancient Proto-Tamil with various admixtures of Sanskrit (such as Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu, etc.,) while also dividing the Dravidian people of India by caste and untouchability, deriding them as “Shudras” and bonding them to various kinds of physically laborious work on account of their caste descent. Hence Periyar’s quest to liberate the majority working populace of India from the very religion and label of Hinduism through propagation of rationalist atheism and conversion to reformed and modernist Islam, and his quest to destroy all rituals, superstitions, Brahmin priesthood and subjugation of women enshrined in Hinduism and his advocacy of the umbrella term of “Dravidians” to socio-politically empower the majority of the populace (backward castes, Dalits and scheduled tribes) who are divided and subjugated by the Hindu caste system cannot be equated with the bigotry of Hindutva and to do so would be grossly ludicrous and abjectly false.
The religious extremist and fascist ultra-nationalism of “Hindutva” is a Brahmin led “twice born” supremacist castes’ ideological agenda which believes in keeping the majority working caste Dravidian Mulnivasi people of this country (backward castes and Dalits) divided by caste and untouchability under the illusive label of “Hinduism” in order to prevent them from annihilating the caste system by leaving the Hindu religious fold, and to deny socio-economic rights to the majority working caste people of this nation divided and oppressed by the caste system. In order to distract the majority working caste people of this country (backward castes and Dalits) from issues that will empower and extricate them from the vertically graded caste divisions, untouchability, illiteracy, poverty and oppression due to the caste system, Hindutva fanatics instigate the majority working caste people of this country to hate and attack religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians by preaching hatred against Muslims and Christians and by peddling mob violence and Hindu religious fanaticism to the majority working caste people of the country (backward castes and Dalits), to ensure, entrench and secure the power and position of the elite Brahmin – Baniya – Kshatriya led “twice born” ruling class of supremacist castes who control the government bureaucracy, mainstream media, top professions, computer and tech industries, top judiciary, elite academia, arts, corporate leadership and the military officers corps amongst other annals of power. The Hindutva fascist agenda also believes in establishing a Hindu religious state by suspending the present secular constitution of India and by making the Hindu religious identity compulsory for all Indians (thereby destroying minority non-Hindu religionists and minority non-Hindu religions which have already been usurped by the blanket legal imposition of the Hindu religious label on all religions in India except the three Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism) and by making regressive and caste bigoted Hindu scriptures as the legal basis of this totalitarian Hindu state envisioned by Hindu extremist terrorists in order to secure the caste system for eternity and to entrench the apartheid power of the Brahmin – Baniya led “twice born” ruling classes of supremacist castes for posterity !
But Periyar was the very anti-thesis of this aforementioned Hindutva fascist agenda. Periyar believed in liberating the majority working caste Dravidian people (backward castes and Dalits) from the very religious label of Hinduism by calling on them to become rationalist atheists and reject Hinduism, and to destroy all castes, rituals, superstitions, traditions, the bigotry of untouchability and related beliefs associated with the so called Hindu religion, while asking Dalits to opt for a progressive and modernised version of Islam to escape the segregation, stigmatization, bigotry and atrocities of untouchability and the caste system! Periyar believed in extricating the majority working caste people of India divided by caste and untouchability and derided as “Shudras” (backward castes and Dalits) from the religion and label of Hinduism and to unite them under the “Dravidian” umbrella by annihilating the caste divisions amongst them, by calling on them to build bridges and solidarity with religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians, and to summarily reject Hinduism and oppose the supremacist Brahmin governing class caste of India.
Hence while Hindutva aims at entrenching the majority working people of India in Hinduism and its caste system, Periyar believed in destroying Hinduism and liberating the majority working caste people of India (backward castes and Dalits) from the religion and the caste system of Hinduism. Periyar believed in destroying all traditions, rituals, superstitions, practices, and beliefs associated with Hinduism including the caste system, untouchability and Brahmin supremacism. He called on his followers to embrace atheism and rationalism, while calling on Dalits to embrace a modernised and progressive form of Islam! He broke and burnt images and idols of Hindu Gods such as Rama and Vinayak (Ganesa or Pillaiyar) in public. While Hindu fanatics conducted the ceremonial “Ram Lila” in the North of India to celebrate the slaying of the Dravidian “Shudra” Ravana by the “Aryan” God Rama by burning the effigy of Ravana, Periyar and his followers conducted “Ravana Lila” in Chennai to celebrate the slaying of Rama and Lakshmana by Ravana by publicly burning the idols / effigies of Rama and Lakshmana! While Hindutva spreads hatred against Muslims and Christians, Periyar asked his followers amongst the majority working caste people (backward castes and Dalits) to work in solidarity with Muslims and Christians and in fact called on Dalits to convert to a modernized school of Islam Periyar experienced when he visited Turkey! Periyar also called on backward castes and Dalits to refrain from hating Muslims and other religious minorities by stating that Indian Muslims and Indian Christians are indeed descendants of backward castes and Dalits who converted to Islam and Christianity in order to escape the bigotry, oppression, exclusion and misogyny of the caste system! Periyar also preached Tamil nationalism and Tamil separatism based on the irreligious, casteless and non-Hindu heritage of the pre-Hindu Sangam Tamil age and the Indus valley civilisation of the ancient Tamil speaking Dravidians whom he considered to be the ancestors of the present day backward castes (Bahujans) and Dalits of India, (a view supported by Babasaheb. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, which can be read at the following link: http://hinducasteracism.blogspot.in/2011/11/babasaheb-dr-ambedkar-states-that.html ).
In Periyarist lexicon, the term “Dravidian” does not simply mean “South Indian” but it refers to all working caste people of India derided as “Shudras” by Hindu scriptures on account of their descent from castes bonded to physical labour (backward castes) including people descending from castes stigmatized as untouchables (Dalits). Periyar considered all people descending from castes bonded to physical labour and derided as “Shudras” or untouchables as “Dravidians” who descended from the aboriginal peoples of India who spoke an ancient form of Tamil language, as opposed to the Brahmins and Baniyas and Kshatriyas – the trio of the so called “twice born” supremacist castes whose scriptural, socio-cultural, ethnic and political assertion stems from a proclamation of their cultural and linguistic “Aryan” (Persian) heritage associated with the “Indo-European” language of Sanskrit which is linguistically linked to Persian and many European languages. Even though no caste is racially pure, the cultural, socio-religious, linguistic and ethnological assertion of an “Aryan” heritage and the “genetic superiority” and “superiority of biological descent” asserted by “twice born” supremacist castes led by Brahmins was countered by Periyar through asserting the Dravidian heritage of the working caste people of India who are derided as “Shudras”, divided by caste and untouchability, bonded to physical labour, excluded from power, wealth and education, with a section of them further segregated, stigmatized and oppressed as untouchables. Periyar used the term “Dravidian” to unite the working caste people of India who are derided as “Shudras” and divided by the bigoted and vertically graded caste identities based on the physically laborious occupations thrust on them, and who are further divided by the bigotry of untouchability while being excluded from education, governance and wealth.
Thus it is obvious that Periyar was the destroyer of Hinduism itself, and to associate him with the religious extremist and fascist ultra-nationalism of Hindutva is ridiculously false, maliciously wrong and mischievously dishonest, which has been done by this article (“Periyar’s Hindutva”, Outlook – September 10, 2004) translated and published by S.Anand in his capacity as a journalist of “Outlook” magazine, in order to mislead and misrepresent Periyar to those outside of Tamil Nadu who do not know about Periyar’s teachings, ideas and struggles due to the dearth of Periyar’s writings and speeches in non-Tamil languages. This malicious and dishonest exercise in falsehood aimed at misrepresenting and distorting Periyar has been done to prevent the spread of atheist and rationalist anti-caste, anti-Brahmin, anti-untouchability and anti-Hindu Periyarist ideas outside of Tamil Nadu, because Periyar’s ideas appeals to the majority people of India comprising of the backward castes just as much as to Dalits by calling on both backward castes and Dalits to extricate themselves from Hinduism and to destroy Hinduism and its caste identities, Brahmin supremacism, misogyny, superstitions and rituals by uniting under their common “Dravidian” heritage.
To claim that Periyar was not supportive of religious minorities such as Muslims or that he was anti-Dalit are grossly false claims that have been made by misinterpreting and misquoting Periyar out of the socio-political context of his statements and by making false allegations. Periyar called on Dalits to convert to Islam and called on all non-Brahmin masses and Dalits to summarily reject Hinduism and embrace atheism or a modern and progressive form of Islam. He also called on backward castes and Dalits to find common cause and solidarity with religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians and defend all religious minorities against Hindu extremist terrorist violence. Periyar’s followers are in the fore-front of campaigning against Hindu religious extremist terrorist fascism that violently targets religious minorities such as Muslims and Christians, and in working for camaraderie between Muslims, Christians and the Dravidian working caste masses comprising of backward castes and Dalits. Periyar also worked, wrote and campaigned extensively for the liberation of Dalits and Dalit rights. A selective and small collection of his translated and abridged statements regarding his work and views on Dalit liberation and Dalit rights, including his call for Dalits to convert to Islam and his call on his followers to express solidarity with religious minorities such as Muslims can be read from pages 113 to 334 in the pdf file that can be accessed by clicking on the following link: http://fs.gallup.unm.edu//Periyar.pdf (which contains the book titled “Fuzzy and Neutrosophic Analysis Of Periyar’s Views On Untouchability” by Professor.W.B.Vasantha Kandasamy.
Periyar also wrote a book on the social egalitarian aspects of Islam and used that book as a manifesto to call on Dalits to convert to a progressive and modern form of Islam. Hence it is totally wrong to say that Periyar was not supportive of religious minorities such as Muslims. And it is totally false, ridiculous and malicious to associate Periyar with Hindutva. Periyar’s ideas are the anti-thesis of Hindutva and in fact seek to absolutely destroy Hinduism.
Hence it is obvious that the aforementioned article translated and journalistically published by S.Anand portrays Periyar falsely and maligns Periyar. Periyar never advocated Hindutva and Periyar never hated Muslims. Periyar actually sought the destruction of Hinduism itself. In fact, Periyar was an advocate of a modernised form of Islam and called on Dalits to convert to Islam.
Even though Periyar advocated conversion to Islam as one of the ways out for Dalits to escape the bigotry and oppression of the caste system and untouchability imposed by Hinduism, the brand of Islam Periyar wanted Dalits to embrace was more akin to the modern and reformist version of Islam advocated by the Turkish social reformer and leader Kemal Ataturk, since Periyar refers to the modernised Muslim society he witnessed when he travelled to Turkey in some of his writings. Being a rationalist atheist and humanist, Periyar was also critical of regressive and misogynistic practices in all religions including Islam. Periyar has criticized the subjugation of women in all religions including Islam. Periyar advocated education of Muslims girls and Muslim women and criticized the practice of “burqa”. Periyar has also been critical of reactionary political positions of Muslim political parties and organizations on a few occasions, when he perceived such political positions on the part of Muslim leaders as being inimical to the rights of those oppressed by the caste system. But such progressive critique of Islam and reactionary socio-political positions of Muslim leaders did not negate Periyar’s fundamental ideas of camaraderie between Muslims and Dravidians (backward castes and Dalits) and the defence of Muslims against the violence and hatred of Hindu terrorist fanatics, and protection of the rights of Muslims. Therefore it is malicious and dishonest to misquote Periyar or to misuse his statements out of the socio-political context in which they were actually made, in order to paint a false, dishonest and distorted picture of Periyar by atrociously associating Periyar with Hindutva.
So it is evident that Periyar sought the destruction of Hinduism itself and never propagated Hindutva. Empowering the majority people of India divided by caste and untouchability, impoverished, bonded to physical labour and excluded from education, power and wealth due to the caste system (such as the backward castes and Dalits) does not automatically amount to Hindu nationalism or majoritarianism. Periyar called for educationally, materially, and socially empowering the majority people of India who are bonded to physical labour, degraded as “Shudras” and divided by the bigoted and vertically graded caste system and untouchability (such as the backward castes and Dalits) by advocating annihilation of castes and advocating affirmative action in education and employment for people of backward castes and Dalits. This does not mean Periyar advocated fascist majoritarianism or Hindutva. Periyar also called on backward caste and Dalit people (who are degraded as “Shudras” and divided by the caste system) to totally reject Hinduism, discard all Hindu rituals and superstitions, give up all Hindu caste identities, and destroy all practices that stand for Hinduism, Brahmin supremacy, untouchability and caste bigotry. Periyar also called on his followers to build solidarity with Muslims and called on Dalits to convert to a progressive and modern form of Islam. As mentioned above, Periyar also wrote a famous book which praised the social egalitarian aspects of Islam.
Therefore, Periyar was a fervent defender of Muslims from the violence and oppression of Hindu extremist terrorist and Hindu fascist fanaticism which he saw as the handiwork of Brahmin supremacists who are the ideological founders of Hindutva fascist ultra-nationalist politics of hatred and mass murder. He consistently treated Indian Muslims and Indian Christians as descendants of backward castes and Dalits who converted to Islam and Christianity to escape the bigoted caste system and the social segregation of untouchability. Periyar called on his backward caste and Dalit followers to build bridges and solidarity with Muslims and Christians and to defend the latter from Hindu extremist terrorist violence.
Therefore, the aforementioned article titled “Periyar’s Hindutva” translated into English and journalistically published by S.Anand (and written in original by S.Anand’s friend and publishing partner Ravi Kumar with whom S.Anand cofounded the publishing house “Navayana”) totally distorts, defames and misrepresents Periyar with falsehood and lies, in order to prevent the spread of Periyar’s anti-Hindu, anti-Brahmin and anti-caste message outside of Tamil Nadu.
It is also apt to mention that the “Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Party” (“Liberation Panthers party”) of which Ravi Kumar is a general secretary - consistently use Periyar’s imagery and ideas in their official meetings, publications, journals and posters, and also give out annual awards in the name of “Periyar” to various political leaders including the former chief minister Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi. Thus it goes without saying that if Ravi Kumar (and his translator and publishing partner S.Anand) truly believed in the defamatory and distortional lies they have written about Periyar, Ravi Kumar would not continue to be part of a party (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal a.k.a. Liberation Panthers) which celebrates the memory, legacy and ideology of Periyar. In addition, Ravi Kumar also holds a position of membership in the committee organized by the Periyar founded Dravidar Kazhagam Organization to protect and implement the “Sethu Canal Project” from the fundamentalist onslaught of Hindu extremists and Brahmin supremacists. One wonders how and why Ravi Kumar accepted to be a part of a committee organized by the socio-political organization founded by Periyar, if Ravi Kumar considers Periyar and his ideas as antithetical to himself. This only shows abject intellectual hypocrisy and political expediency on Ravi Kumar’s part, which only aids Brahmin writers and translators like S.Anand who seek to use Dalit writers to defame and distort Periyar’s ideas.
I challenge S.Anand to translate and publish an original essay by Periyar (and Babsaheb Dr.Ambedkar) which is critical of Brahmins and Hinduism in a mainstream magazine such as Outlook magazine to which he has easy and ready access to, instead of indulging in fraudulent and intellectually corrupt exercises to defame and distort Periyar and Dr.Ambedkar in manifold ways as described and analysed in the above write-up.
Posted by Iniyan Elango at 23:22