Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Messiah-ism Is The Product Of Brahmanical System


Messiah-ism Is The Product Of Brahmanical System

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

22 August, 2011

India at the moment is at the cross roads. Anna Hazare and his team
have presented a Janlokpal bill which according to them will wipe out
corruption from India. They feel that corruption is the root cause of
all our evils. Now, one does not know whether they consider the caste
system, untouchability, dowry as corruption or not. We do not know
whether billions of rupees of cash, Gold and other treasure in our
religious institutions are corruption free or meant for something

Anna seems to have caught the fancy of India's upper caste upper elite
and middle classes. Right from the film stars to our business tycoons
every one is taking oath to fight against corruption. The local
businessmen, dibbawallahs, auto-drivers, taxi unions, doctors and
government servants also seem to agree with Anna and want that
corruption should be ended. The Prime Minister of India also want the
corruption should go. Advani and Gadkari want to hang the corrupt
except Yadurappa. Anna wants to hang them but do not have the courage
to ask the same treatment for Ramdev and Ravishankar or any other
religious guru or corporate leader if they are found guilty. He also
wants to keep safe the 'civil society' from any charges of corruption.

This seems to be well planned exercise with solid backing from India's
corporate. Now, it is coming to lime light and sources are alleging
that the Tatas and Anil Ambani group may be behind the campaign. Both
of them are resourceful and can make our media men and TV anchors
workless hence the TV cameras have to be there all the time and make
it a truly 'national event'. The number of people in the ground was
never twenty thousand as Times of India describe. It could be around
5000 to 10,000 at the peak hour. Anyway, political rallies have always
been huge and to compare it with the political movement lead by either
JP or VP would be too naïve. At least VP and JP had an open agenda and
asked people to vote. Anna seems to be working on a hidden agenda and
that is the real cause of worry.

The Lokpal bill that is produced by Anna's team has positive side but
the one important draw back is a super structure which is
unaccountable to Parliament. We want balance between different power
structures who compliment each other and do not pull leg of each
other. We want a Lokpal who can seek responses from officers for their
failure. I completely agree that this government had tried to shield
corrupt officers. The bill presented by the Central government in
Parliament is a betrayal in fact. It punishes the whistleblowers and
save the corrupt officials. May be, because the ministers and
officials are normally hand in glove together in the corruption cases
and know the history of their cases. The question is not of including
prime minister or judiciary into the Lokpal bill but we do not want
another department harassing and exploiting people. Therefore, a bill
need to be prepared after due consultation. Anna's civil society never
bothered to speak to others and take opinion of diverse sections of
civil society, social movements in the country. It was the case
basically that Sonia Gandhi appointed one set of high profile 'civil
society' to National Advisory Council which was a 'super cabinet' and
therefore those who have been left behind in that must have felt that
it is time we must have 'super duper cabinet' which has 'people's
mandate. And that is why such a big 'reality' show being organized in
Delhi. Sonia's advisory council have elite 'social activists' and
Anna's team too had the same criteria. So, there is nothing wrong to
say if you call it upper caste upper elite clash of interests.

Not every crowd turns into a revolution. We want to look this event as
revolution and the reason is that Gandhi, India's fading icon, must be
placed on top despite the known facts that the same upper caste
actually hated him and killed him. Gandhi and Gandhisim are the best
way to control our mind, preach us fictitious morality of the barbaric
age which none of these 'revolutionaries' will ever agree in their own
personal lives. The caste and religious character of the entire
protest is well known to be described here. As reported in many
dailies, the main organizers of this crowd management team are not
just the corporate jars, former anchors and reporters of television
channels who are producing Anna package to the country but the micro
level management is also being taken care of by the religious fanatics
who have deep rooted hatred towards the Dalits and minorities of the
country. It is this class of people who have no interest in India and
who are ready to ditch the country for their profits and benefits
which are swearing by the tricolor and raising hatred towards the
Dalits. Many of my friends have actually disagreed with my contention
that Anna's movement has caste and communal contours but they too
agreed that some of the people might take benefit of it. But facts are
not that simple. Neither is history that evaporated from us when we
have seen the Sangh parivar and its elements intruded in the
mainstream politics and got legitimized through electoral alignments
in 1975 and 1989. That an organization such as Youth for Equality
which has been spreading continuous hatred towards the Dalits and OBC
in the name of opposing their legitimate quota in AIIMS and other
institutions is a shocking reminder of the nature of the politics
being played at Anna's August Kranti. To add further salt to injury is
another hate monger organization called Krantikari Manuwadi Morcha.
One can understand from the very ideological ground of this
organization how they continue to think that there will not be an
India with equality as even today they continue to believe in
inequality. How have those who used to clean our shoes are ruling us
is a common refrain for the political system. The egalitarian
political system is the bone of contention for these caste minds.
Anna's movement actually exposes openly the hidden apartheid of India.

If you see the crowd and many of those who are speaking you can find
their arrogance and feeling that this country is 'theirs' and now they
have found Anna who will not allow these politicians to do
'corruption' which in other way means 'vote bank politics'. My fears
have always been that the Lokpal case would have more cases against
the reservation and if Lokpal is not accountable to Parliament then he
is bound to indulge in notoriety which would attract appreciation of
the upper castes but would definitely be against the interest of the
Dalitsand particularly against OBCs.

Lot of anecdotes about Anna's greatness are being talked about. Anna
himself glorified himself and his 'sacrifices' for the nation. He said
'I did not marry for the shake of country.' Most of those who are
there at the Ramleela ground, are using this as a point to promote
Narendra Modi, who is not married. Question is if the Indians think
that marriage is bad for the country then why are we over one and a
half billion. All this could not have happened without marriages as
living with out marriage is still not an acceptable idea in this
country and children out of wedlock will never be accepted here.
Another question is if being unmarried is greatness then why the same
upper caste do not respect Uttar-Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and
her mentor Kanshi Ram? There is no law, no rule for these forces of
stats quo. They only have their interests and hence can bend their
ideological positions to suit their interests. And you can see this
during the current campaign.

Anna's many formulations are flawed. There is no doubt that the
Congress party behaved in an arrogant way and political leaders claims
that they only speak for the people is blunted by Anna's campaign yet
we can not mock at the form of democracy which Anna and his team is
indulging. As a civil society you can suggest to the government
various points and do things but did Anna and his team ever spoke to
any other fellow civil society people. Or this was an attempt to
hijack the entire issues of civil society and become their leader.
Today, the corporate has provided space for the likes of those who
were supporters of civil society as leaders of civil society. That is
the danger of the new economic disorder, which claims to makes and
unmake leaders. It creates mass hysteria, create news through these
histrionics' and paralyze the administration. It blocks the opposite
views as it is an embedded journalism. It is an activist journalism
which can not be accepted. Such brand of journalism with hidden agenda
and deep rooted caste prejudices exist in the shining India and
promote ideas which are detrimental to the interest of India.

It is surprising that none talked about the issue as how is this big
movement being funded. Who are the forces supporting it from the back?
Has any one tried to find out? Yes, an Indian Express story exposed
many chinks. So much so that Anna and his team continuously talks
about corruption of political class but refrained from talking about
the corrupt corporate and the corrupt religious gurus who are happily
sitting with Anna and claiming high moral ground. How is this none of
us ever think of challenging those who are becoming our moral
guardians. The big land owning Babas and Sanyasis and hugely corrupted
corporate who were responsible for most of the corruption in the post
liberlisation phase remain untouched by our elites. It is because, in
today's packaging, these corporate are required for running a middle
class movement which is essentially against government and all praise
for the likes of Ambanis who never hesitated in saying that they used
the loopholes of the government institutions to promote themselves.

Such hysteria on a particular issue is dangerous. Times of India
reported that the only solution is to ask for referendum. The Times
forgot that there is no difference in the government and opposition on
Lokpal at the moment. And you can not discuss nitty-gritty's of the
bill in the referendum. Secondly, if the government is accepting the
demand for referendum then there are major issues in the country and
many states who want it. Whether it is Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur or
Telengana, the government must listen to people's voice and come to a
conclusion or organize referendum if the demand of Times of India and
those who are calling for it, is accepted.

India's problems can not be resolved through a Lokpal or more
bureaucrats. The failure of Indian political leadership is happening
because our parliamentary system is actually based on a minority
voting pattern. First past the Post system is the weakest link of our
democracy. You can win election through cobbling together a few people
and dividing the other votes. Therefore, India need to switch to
Proportionate Electorate System, so that its diversity is represented
in is Parliament and assemblies. That will pave the way for state
funding and reduce the burden. The current form of democracy is giving
way to individualism and any system which is based on individualism is
going to be fatalistic. The fancy of an individual become the root
cause of our evils. Therefore, it is important that India's
minorities, the Dalits, OBCs, the Aadivasis and other communities get
fair representation in it. Unless that is done, these issues raised by
certain group of people would snow ball into bigger threat for those
who disagree with it.

Anna may say that his Lokpal is to cleanse the system but a majority
of Dalits, Aadivasis, Muslims, other minorities and OBCs have growing
fear of that this campaign is fast turning into a caste-ist campaign
whose agenda is not corruption but reestablish the supremacy of the
erstwhile ruling elites of India who are losing their grip over power
in the parliamentary process and who are looking to control levers of
power through non parliamentary process. Such a thought would be
dangerous and will be responsible for a caste war in India.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at


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