Friday, 8 August 2014

Swstika as a symbol of Hindu extremist religiosity:

The following is the comment I wrote regarding the Australian play "Ganesh Vs the Third Reich" which explores the use of the Swastika by the German Nazis and by Hindu religionists: Hindu ultra-nationalist ideologues drawn from the upper castes in India claim that Brahmins and upper caste Hindus are of "Aryan" (Indo-European) heritage despite their brown skin and celebrate the Indo-European language Sanskrit (which is no longer spoken except by Brahmin priests) as their linguistic heritage, while deriding, discriminating and oppressing against those who are in the lower echelons of the vertically graded caste system (lower castes) and those who are segregated from the caste system (outcast untouchables who assert themselves as "Dalits"). The lower castes (also referred to as "backward castes") and Dalits are considered to be of non-Aryan indigenous descent and are denied equal social status with the Brahmins (who are at the pinnacle of the vertically graded caste system) and other upper castes. Progressive minded Indians may consider "Swastika" in India very much as a symbol of Hindu fascist bigotry and Hindu religious extremism just as the "Swastika" of the Nazis was a symbol of German fascism. From this perspective, the above play is absurd because it excludes and ignores the use of Swastika as a symbol of religious extremism and fascism, or at the least as a symbol of reactionary bigotry in the social milieu of India.

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