The Dalit ‘Betrayal’ of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan

Karan Thapar of CNBC -TV18 recently presented a half-hour debate on whether Dalits have a better future adopting English rather than one of the so many Indian languages. Some of us followed it keenly because we knew where it was comig from and also the dramatis personae – Chandrabhan Prasad(CP), Yogendra Yadav(YY) and Alok Rai(AR) – all very dear friends, and people who have been deeply engaged with the politics and practice of languages in North India. It was a one-sided debate from the moment it started: clear victory to Chandrabhan Prasad from the word go, first of all, because he had managed to pitchfork his provocative stance into a full scale discussion in the national press and the big media. Think about it: it has taken him just three consecutive annual Macaulay’s birthday parties to friends, to bring it to the attention of a much wider number of intellectuals and a larger public. It was a victory for his own brand of Gandhigiri – that you could very much debate and advance your cause while having fun: ‘chicken, mutton, daaru and daliton ki kuchh samasyayein’ is his style, in his own inimitable words. This is not to say that he does not believe in agitational politics. He does that as well.The debate was also one-sided because CP’s interlocutors did not have convincing answers to his extremist views on language and religion and the coupling of the two, which had to inevitably sneak into the discussion, considering en mass dalit conversions were fresh in media memory. For example, when Karan Thapar probed CP on why he suggested Dalits take flight from Hindi and Hinduism; was it because he hated Hinduism? CP had perhaps an obvious but pithy answer: I did not choose to hate Hinduism, Hinduism never loved me!YY and AR looked aghast and betrayed at the idea of rejecting Indian languages, for Dalits, after all, were communicatively, politically and experientially rooted in these languages, beginning with Marathi, most of the(autobiographical) dalit literature was written in indian languages. They went on, the NRI example of turning away from one’s language is not a healthy one: look how they have all become Hindutva supporters, etc. etc. CP of course rubbished this secular middle class sentimentalism by citing Ambedkar’s example, that he always wrote in English and he did so knowing very well that it is not the Dalits who would read him!

I loved this debate because I generally like it when I am rendered speechless by good political arguments or situations, when my intellectual resources simply run dry! But this particular debate tickled me more since it was a revisit, a moment of deja vu for me. I was caught in a similar situation with CP on the same issue of language and politics when Nivedita Menon called us together to a refresher course lecture at DU, braving academic and other objections. I had been to CP’s party earlier that year and was aware of his new found love for Macaulay. He had in fact circulated some pages from his (in)famous Minutes and my task, I thought, was cut out: I reread Macaulay, and disgusted as I was with his Orientalist take on Indian language literatures, I thought I would I argue my case against CP or, at the very least, maintain a critical distance from his position. As it happened, he was the first speaker and he spoke intermittently, amidst widespread and loud murmurs of discontent from the audience. I knew this audience very well – they were mostly upper caste north Bihar, most of them having passed through DU Political Science exams in English medium. So in the Q n A session, they launched into a virulent defence of the national languages, which basically meant Hindi in this context. So when my turn came, I had to do a mental turn around and defend CP all the way against the marauding hypocrisy of the DU lecturers!

My other drishtant is also from an academic encounter with reflections on Dalit issues. The setting was last year’s Labour History Conference and I was called upon to discuss a paper on Dalit notions of work. I had not read much of dalit autobiographies till then, so I did a bit of homework. The paper was not a bad one, it did talk about work as we understand it in the paradigm of Marxian economics, and so on. But that is not the sense I got from reading Akkarmashi, and I had to say that the book was not talking about work but worklessness and a series of failed struggles to find and create contexts for dignified work. Looking for (and living on) Uchhrishta (leftovers, literally, but ‘thrownarounds’ comes closer) food, cloth and house is not what we can define as work! The whole structure of the book – the language, texture, content and characters – demands another order of aesthetic tools. And it is crying out to be treated differently from the mainstream literature so neatly divided into chronologies named after great creative writers and poets so brilliantly speaking of the problems of their age!

These were signifcant encounters for me, reminders that I could not assume permanent connect with their ways of thinking and knowing, just because I happened to spend half my life with Dalits and went to SC/ST schools. Schools from which very few of my dalit friends made it past graduation or even 12th grade. I do not have them as common allumni friends, I do not know them anymore. All I know is that one reason they could not make it bigger in life was ‘English’, which comes not only with basic schooling but with whole lot of other kinds of cultural capital. So I quite undertand the compulsions of this dalit ‘betrayal’, even if it goes against their hitherto preferred language of narrative creativity.

One silver lining in the televised debate came towards the end – when YY argued for multilingual learning rather than abandoning one for the other. Dare I assume, CP would not object to that but it would definitely diminish performative affect that comes naturally when things are pitted in a stark binary contrast. The point has to be made first, nuances will follow.

There is definitely more to this debate and I hope all of us return to it. I definitely will.

40 thoughts on “The Dalit ‘Betrayal’ of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”

  1. That’s an excellent post, Ravikant. I think CBP saheb’s ‘Market, Macaulay and Modernity’ is the mirror-extreme of ‘Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan’. I completely agree with YY/you that multilingualism could be the way. There can’t be anything as subversive as a Dalit critique from within Indian languages.

  2. Dear Friends,

    I learnt yesterday (from SARAI readers’ list) about KAFILA. I am very happy to see this new blog. Please count me among your regular readers. My best wishes to KAFILA, to be successful in providing a healthy counter-point and critique to the mainstream media and discourse.

    Best

    rama
    cuckooscall.blogspot.com

  3. I agree with Shivam, this _is_ an excellent post!
    Knowledge of the English is equated to job-worthiness and is usually linked to “status”.
    But there is also this theory that things are best taught in the mother tongue of the people. That way, it facilitates learning, though it does not make them “worthy” of jobs. Also, there is always a fear that if the education is purely dispensed in the english medium, the vernacular languages would suffer and eventually become extinct from common usage like sanskrit has.
    But teaching children two different languages, as is usually done in Indian education system seems to me a burden but it seems inevitable…

  4. Thanks to a friend for directing me to this blog. My best wishes to those responsible. Thanks for setting up this forum.

    The above post really gets to the heart of the matter, namely, the conflict between being “true” to one’s inherited identity and cultural legacy, on the one hand, and gaining access to the “cultural capital” necessary for social advancement in India today. English, no doubt, is key to the latter. This conflict is not a categorical (necessary) one, but this is how it does work out for most Dalits. Further, multilingualism is certainly the desired solution. And I think this brings us to a host of other questions. For instance, why do we have a stratified school system in which the “burden” of carrying on our linguistic traditions falls inordinately on those who cannot afford English-medium education? Stating the issue in terms of “betrayal” draws attention away from the real nature of the problem.

  5. Excellent post Ravikant. Frantz Fanon felt that being colonized by a language had larger implications for one’s consciousness. To quote Fannon, “To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization”.

  6. Interesting that you quote Fanon, Tushar, because CBP’s making precisely the same point about the vernacular being ‘colonised’ by caste society, so to speak.

  7. The vernacular is littered with words that uphold caste structures. They are so embedded in the fabric of teh vernacular that we (or atleast upper caste people) take it for granted and perpetuate the structures by the very act of using the vernacular in its present form.
    At some point the vernacular was sought to be used as a prop to counter Macaulay’s orientalist view (which I believe was also dehumanising), but at the same time the vernacular itself is riddled with the same contradictions that it opposes.
    What I meant by quoting Fannon was that when Dalits speak the vernacular they are all too aware that it props up the structure that consigns them to the bottom of the hierarchy and English is seen as liberation from the “weight of civilization”.

  8. Exactly, so what next? CBP seems to suggest that the annihilation of the vernacular would be equal to the annihilation of caste. But isn’t “Jai Bhim,” for instance, born out of the same socio-cultural milieu, and yet subversive, anti-caste?

  9. Sure, but how many people from the well off sections use “jai bhim”? In any case I don’t think CBP is suggesting annihilation of the vernacular, just that dalits abandon the vernacular and switch to English. My use and perception of the vernacular is a radically different experience from a dalit’s. For years I didn’t know that ‘Bhangi’ was a casteist slur, or that certain cuss words in Telugu were intended as general insults for an entire caste.

  10. I am a bit confused about this bit about Franz Fanon: “To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization” and its ready endorsement by Shivam.

    I think the second part of Fanon’s formulation is highly suspect.

    The idea of ‘vernacular being “colonized” by caste society’, though tenable, is neither homogenous nor rectilinear. There is a highly complex process of linguistic subsumptions and layerings at work and it would be futile to gloss over, for instance, the linguistic mimicry through which notions of ‘otherness’ are sought to be ‘neutralized’ and ‘dismantled’ within the dominant linguistic utopia. The fact, however, is that no society – more so if it is as viciously caste-driven as ours – is ever singularly utopic in its linguistic registers. To disregard its dystopic potentials is to trivialise its dialectic potential to grow.

  11. I happen to stumble over Aditya Nigam’s comments on the subject a little late in the day. Says he with a patronising glee:

    “The real point about CBPs politics that earnest radicals do not get is that irrespective of the substantive aspect/s of his argument, he is opening out a new way of enunciating a politics of the oppressed: anger and emotion are sublimated here into a performative excess, thus initiating a politics of irony and hyperbole.”

    He is in fact asking us to read CBP not for what it says but to read it for where it comes from. The degree of ill-concealed hierarchic compassion in such a plea is tellingly problematic. I am with you but I am not. In any case I will find a way of being with you for I cannot afford to being not with you… as infinitum.

    Interesting, I say!

  12. Interesting post.

    Vernacular languages do have an inherent casteism about them. My own mother tongue, marathi for instance. The marathi spoken by the brahmins is very different from the marathi spoken by dalits. And written marathi is usually brahminical. Which is what made Namdev Dhasal all the more significant.

    And yes, English is an economic enabler in today’s India. And the limited reach of english is creating a new caste system. So the spread of english among dalits can help them economically and to blunt the new casteism of english.

  13. Who coined the word “hindi hindu hindustan”.

    BJP
    Hindu Mahasabha
    Vishwa Hindu Perishad
    Shiv Sena

    ??

    I shall be grateful

    1. @ Shri Suraj Prakash,

      You have asked a question for which I spent several years trying to find the answer, which I learnt in bits and pieces. Perhaps the most convincing account comes from Krishna Kumar, “Political Agenda of Education: A Study of Colonialist and Nationalist Ideas”. Sage, 2005. Page 148.

      The slogan has been around since long before any of your four “suspects” was born. It is attributed to Pratap Narayan Mishra (1856-1894), an eminent essayist and journalist and an associate of Bharatendu Harishchandra. The slogan was originally inspired by the divide between Hindi and Urdu (equated with the Hindu-Muslim divide). However, over the last several decades it has been appropriated by Hindi imperialists, cutting across politcal ideological positions, to further the cause of thrusting Hindi as “the” national language down the throats of all Indians.

  14. I wonder why we can’t have discussion on “why should brahmans learn English?” when Dalits start claiming the English space occuppied these “upper” castes, is s projectd as a “problem”
    why do these people want dalits to be trapped in Hindi/marathi/bengali/tamil/malayalam/telugu…
    Having said that I must make it clear that not only the domination of english but also the brahmincal coloniasation of regional languages has to be fought with

  15. I think,hindus want dalit to learn about HINDI<HINDU<HINDUSTAN.Dalits are learning regional language since centuary but did not get any things,lets hindu learn regional language and leave the english for dalits.Why hindu led governmet is not using a two language policy where english as first language and regional at second language.Hindu led governmet and hindu intellectuals know that if dalits will get educated in english they would not get slaves.I fully support the CPB about english language for dalits.

  16. Hi
    Dear members of the kafila Inc, please deploy Jets, Trains, Buses, Cars, even horses if you wanted to run faster from the BIG MEDIA. The Three Wheelers would keep you within the confines of the NCR. Kidding, that’s just a feed back. Three Wheelers are no better than Bullock Carts considering option available-including sport cars.

    Also, it is elitist if you chose Three Wheelers to escape. An escape to Hoshangabad by a Three Wheeler will be costlier than the common man’s train.

    Any way, I invite to visit me on //www.chandrabhanprasad.com//

    But, to reach out to me, you will have to turn into an anti-Gandhian as you will have to use a machine. It might me deadly, as you may fall into the trap of a ‘Strategic Alliance’ with the US where Computers were invented.

    But, we all make compromises.

    Cheers

    CBP

  17. Well, I have been following Mr CBP for quite sometime and am amazed to find his writings, comments, celebrations and his connections with Pensylvania.

    I have learnt that you do not abuse or criticise your “Own Mother” even if she is inferior. These are values I suppose, promoted universally.

    I have known that we all have three mothers in common: (1) One by birth (2) One your mother tongue (3) Last but not the least is your Motherland.

    I heard Mrs Margaret Thatcher from the British TV (I forget now which channel), when she was heading her Guv. and there were some regular racial clashes. I was in UK at that time. I heard her saying and advocating the native languages of the immigrants. She felt that their socio-cultural and mental development will suffer if they remain ignorant of their mother tongue. These are official records in Britain.

    Now let us, for the sake of discussion for a moment, consider the history of India before the British dominated colonisation. Actually, it were the French, Portuguese and Dutch who first landed on this land in southern peninsula but were later forced or driven out by the British. Even now, there are places colonised or were, by others than British around the Globe. Obviously, then we would have been a French or a Portuguise or a Dutch or a German speaking people. I wonder, in such a situation, what Mr CBP’s choice would have been. I must assert that it is not a fictional question but a reality. With his colour of skin, I have no doubt at all, whatever or howsoever he may brat about ENGLISH, that will never white wash his colour of skin as well as his origanality. He would still be suffering the indignation. He might also read the history of atrocities by the various colonisers including the British.

    He may well be advised to take a round of the feelings of Casius Clay to Md Ali or Michael Jackson so utterly dissatified both with his skin colour as well as his personal life, so much so that his death is still shrouded in mystery.

    “However high an Eagle may soar, at last, he has to perch on a tree top”. There can never be won any battle through reactions and aggressions. A battle never solves a problem. There is something called “SELF-ESTEEM”.

    I only hope that CBP takes lessons from both Contemporaneous as well Historical human records. I do not think that though the Canada is a British Colony but the Quebecois will buy CBPism of English.

    He may also ask the British or the Americans to name a Place to be called “DALIT” in his honour. I shall vote for him openly even at the risk my life and personal honour.

    I pray for CBP’s good humours and health. He should be proud that India can tolerate all kinds of diversities and views where even people like M F Hussain can paint Sita and India as nude and still get away without a ‘FATWA’. Yet you can openly critcise this land fearlessly.

    I have no objection to CBP criticising so obtusely and crudely so long as he is not a sell out to ………

    God may not be a good item, but let a “DALIT GODDESS” bless him for his peace, safety, honour and well being, in whatever language that will bring succour to him. Three Cheers to You my freind, don’t make compromises, that will be insult.

    Dr. Om Prakash Sudrania (It sounds like an upper class, isn’t it. But I can you that I am a most simpleton – A Good Human Being, nothing more, nothing less.)

    1. One would agree with your arguments provided he or she is not blinded by social revenge. The debate about language had never stooped so low. Any way one has freedom to express ones views in the manner he or she chooses to express. I personally believe that any logic forwarded in or against favour of an argument shouls be tested universally. And this is what you have done.

  18. Another word about Michael Jackson – Mr CBP knows very well that Michael’s mother- tongue was ENGLISH but he could not deliver himself from the complex inferiority complex and mental segregation as well as self-indignation he suffered throughout his life- till death. His mother tongue ‘ENGLISH’ could not get him round and deliver. I only surmise, CBP may fill his stomach with bottles of wines but not with pills while whinning.

    Hey, I don’t think MAYAWATI had attended any ENGLISH school. We must check her credentials. Nontheless, she is not doing too bad. I don’t mind joining her, as so many upper class did during her last elections. I have not heard a single sentence of English from Mr Ram Bilas Paswan either. I can also recall Babu jagjivan Ram, Sitaram Kesari, & the likes who never spoke English in public. Our current ‘Speaker Madam’ speaks brilliant Hindi and seems to have done not too bad. A good track record all through. But if CBP’s own leaders did not look after his
    “DALITS”, then it is too bad. I have full sympathy for CBP.

    It is all money for the good wine and woman and wealth – the three famous historical “Ws”, which fill most of the pages of the world history.

    We all know the famous trial of ‘Dred Scot’ and the said sad plight of ‘Southerner Truth’, to quote a few. Only just a few days ago, Ex President of America Jimmy Carter was so moved about the comment of Senator Joe Wilson against President Obama that he had to confess about the racial legacy still in the minds of the white people in America. Rightly or wrongly, is another question, but it has not completely vanished despite their big laws and big lectures. Abraham Lincoln and perhaps J. F. Kennedy lost their lives for the same reasons. CBP will not make a better exception with his best of the ENGLISH save and except in some limited nooks & corners of vested interests. I again reiterate my sincere advice – please do not sell yourself out. I often quote the Spanish born American philosopher, George Santayana,”Those who do not remember their past, will be condemned to repeat it”. I hope CBP does not repeat his own history. George was never good at ENGLISH, by the way, and he always maintained distance from Americans, for reasons best known to him.

    CBP should cool down to be able to read the fine prints at the bottom of the page of life and time.

    Hey it’s me again, you see, how much do I love you. I just can not leave you. Let the “DALIT GODDESS” bless you.

    Dr. Om Prakash Sudrania

    1. Dear Sunalini.

      You address your exclamation to Ravikant, I hope that is refered to my comment and as such I take this opportunity and hijack to thank you.

      I might gather courage for you, to say, “GOD BLESS YOU”. I am grateful to you. I was awake last whole night and being a trained Surgeon and Gastroenterologist, I often thought in my mind, I could have prescribed some anti-depresants and tranquilisers as well to a patient of the likes of Mr. CBP if he walked in my Chamber. Calling him a psychiatric case may be equally extreme as CBP himself, so I would avoid labeling this tag. I get to see only lost characters who have been suffering for long – long time and a lot of them even loose hope for their life. But I can assure you Sunalini, I do not easily resort to prescribing such drugs even to such cases. However, you get occasional chance once in a while.

      I have a dictum,”Think commonly in common situations, and uncommonly in uncommon situations”. I felt that in this case, I was faced with is an uncommon situation. Being a surgeon, I get cases of ‘Gangrene’ of limbs. To save the larger organism, sometimes you have to sacrifice the smaller
      part even though, otherwise, it was serving a useful purpose, but you have to do it in greater interest. I felt that I was dealing with a similar difficult situation, when sometimes, you have to make an unwilling but hard choice.

      If one look at, India is a vast country with so many diversities. Dalits is not the only problem. If someone will ask me about it, arguably, one can not turn away his eyes from a genuine problem. But Naxalism, Maoism, Terrorism, Religious fundamentalism and other so many smaller splinter factions who are ready to destroy the very basic fabric of the Nation, could any of them not bother him. I ask a simple question, “If the Nation does not survive, who will we ask all these questions.”

      Our leaders are only worried for “Votes and Notes”. They could turn Bombay to Mumbai, Madras to Chennai, Bangalore to Bangaluru, Calcutta to Kolkata and so on. But I never heard a single voice to raise to change “INDIA to BHARAT”. Such is our sad plight. Though Ceylon could manage it to Sri Lanka.

      I have suffered caste slurs during my student life, even though I am not a Dalit as per his definition. Those are different days. These are exceptional situations. One would expect a little more mature, a little more balanced, a little more judicious approach after getting a good education. It is said that ‘Education should lead to transformation, not merely to a bundle of information to brat about”. That will only make you a ‘Monster’ where you will be dangerous not only to others, you loose the utility for yourself too. Lastly, the stagnation leads to putrifaction. This is the ‘Law of Nature Mother.’ We all are subject to certain natural laws. Transgression of those laws will lead to annihilation.

      I noticed in the writings by Ravikant where he refers to Mr CBP exclaiming,”……advance your cause while having fun: ‘chicken, mutton, daaru and daliton ki kuchh samasyayein’ is his style,….” To me this seems to be his main point which was worrying me that he is a case of sell out. Secondly, it is typical of these so called Macaulayites who indulge in westernism after having learnt the ABCD and then “Aap guruji Baingan khanyen, auron ko seekh sikhayen”.
      Could it not be better for him to do some constructive work for the uplift of any section he fancies, in stead of lavishing and showing off. I wonder, where does he get all this good money to squander around on his childish babble and rattle and west on these reckless and mean activities.

      When he quotes Macaulay and his (in)famous minutes of the said British Parliament, though time and space restricts me in this blog, but I shall like to quote Karl Marx from the summary of the book written by Lord Macaulay himself(1), when he(Marx) referred to Macaulay as a ‘systematic falsifier of history’. Further, Dr Balaram quotes William Windham where he remarks,”I wish I were as sure of anything as Macaulay of everything”.(2) Macaulay is my subject of intense research and may be I shall write more on my own blogs, soon when I am ready.

      References:
      (1)Macaulay, Lord. Macaulay History of England from The Accession of James II (including The Life and Most Important Letters of Lord Macaulay by his nephew – George Otto Trevelyan, M.P. with 32 illustrations) in 5 Volumes. A rare collection.

      (2) Balaram P. Macaulay’s children. Editorial; Current Science. 2001; 8(7), 10 October

      With my loving regards,

      Dr. Om Prakash Sudrania

  19. In America there is no system in place today that forces people to remain separate or keeps one class subservient to another.

    If you were born the son of a street sweeper, but excelled, you could become a doctor or lawyer or some celebrity or entrepreneur – and at the same time you would be fully accepted by your peers.

    Not so in India. The caste system freezes everyone in place. It is extremely difficult – almost impossible – for someone from the lowest caste to rise in education and social status.

    A Dalit would never be allowed to marry into one of the higher castes and would never be accepted as an equal.

    And for a Dalit to make it into MEDICAL school or opening a RESTAURANT or become a PRIEST in a temple or become a member of high SOCIETY in India is very rare indeed.

    Only by escaping from the grasp of H!ndu!sm do they have much of a chance.

    And India is the nation of around 5000 such castes where 99.99% marriages are still held within caste. Hence Casteism and Reservations will prevail in India **till** 85% of all registered marriages are inter-caste.

    Till then resistance is futile.

  20. We should be aware that CBP, ranju radha and kumar pushp. They do not represt dalit movements. They like Syed Shahabudin (muslims) and Ashok Sighals (hindus) are self proclaimed voices of Dalits. They (singhal not included) may raise many issues that may be genuine but ultimately complement right wing, neo-conservative and majoritatiran politics.

    1. Dear Dewan,175 million dalits are on mercy of corrupt hindus and their hindu led government ,dalits are being killed ,raped ,murdered in day in and day out.Dr Ambedkar had given interview to Time magzine in march 1936 ,where he said,Hinduism is not a religion but a disease.Why Premchandra had not written about dalit holocaust in india because he was the thakur who never wanted to dismantle the hinduism and otherside Premchndra grand son is teaching English in delhi.Look at the hindu terrorist who are crying for regional language but sending their son to study America and europe what a cow shits.In 21 st century ,dalits know the men eater tiger in sheep skin.

  21. Mr. Sudrania, actually I addressed my comment to Ravikant himself, but thanks for your response.

    1. I am sorry Ms. Sunalini. I should have realised it. As it appeared after my response, I misread it.

      Anyway, I am glad that you have taken it in the right spirits. Thanks once again.

      With my regards to you personally.

      Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  22. In Hindi, there is a proverb: “Kamzor ki zoru, sab
    ki bhozaai”.

    I shall not deny the fact that the Hinduism as on today does need a thorough renovation and refurbishing if it has to meet the challenges of the new world order. But that does not totally discard its good values that has been imparted to the world over the aeons.

    Let me first put some of the things in right perspective. I agree that there are dalits in hindu society who have been subjected to humiliation and indignation. Fine. But then we lately hear some Christian and Muslim organisations also claiming political and pecuniary benefits for the Christian dalits and Muslim dalits. What is this hoax? I could not understand. Could we call it an opportunism! Or their are some hidden agendas behind that too by some Uncle Monkeys who are lurking around the corner to again weeken and grab power to colonise by creating mere divisions.

    My Police Officer freind mentions America, I do not know as to what is he trying to establish by comparing India with America? But we must not forget that America and Americans have the worst track record of human rights. It has still not vanished but I would say that Obama’s election has brought up the lying racial volcano on the surface. Yet they are now dictating terms to every body all over the world. you can not count on: be it global warming, be it nuclear proliferation, be it automobile pollution, be it the arms race, be it the internal affairs of the countries in the third world (as they put it), be it the control of the world resources, be it the brown paper parties, be it the slavery and so many more if you start digging.

    But is there any point in such futile exercises which are totally irrelevant and diverting the main issues. The issues are that today, a handful of people are controlling the world’s 95% wealth and whereas the 95% of population is their market on whom they all enjoy the luxury and comforts as preditors. Be it a socialist system, be it a communist system, be it a capitalist system, be it an autocratic system or the sovereinty. This world has seen them all. Power is the most intoxicating substance. Power means exploitation.

    Today, I request you to correct yourself. But when it comes to correcting myself, I do not like that. As someone has rightly put it, “They all ask for criticism, but only loves praise”. The whole thing appears to be “…chicken, mutton, daaru and daliton ki kuchh samasyayein”….. but the dalits remain where they are.

    This is an endless story. No end. Everybody has their own brand of adrenaline in their blood. Energy is like a knife. You may use it for kitchen work or for crime. Then we blame the knife.

    Thanq. Who blesses whom is your “Choice and Pick” – Indian brand or American. I leave you with your peace.

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

    1. Dear Mr Sudrania,I think you are very fond of word Mutton,daru and dalito ki kus samasyae.I think you have forgotten that dalits are fighting this war in india and aborad with hindus.you have declared CBP as Psychiatrist patient,I would humbly advised you to stay with your specialities otherwise GMC will struck your name from specialist register.Dalits were denied Sanskrit from manu and now modern manu are trying to deny the english,lets hindus keep hindi ,hindu ,Hindustan with themself.Dalits are looking for mother land where they can stay away from barbaric hindus and save their abru and properties.In India muslims ,christians ,dalits are being killed day in and day outwhether it is meerut,Gujrat genocide 2002 or dalit holocaust.time has come 175 million dalits should keep ready for final solution that is seprate county away from barbaric people.

  23. “If the Nation does not survive, who will we ask all these questions.”

    The “nation” doesn’t ask questions, Mr. Sudrania – people who suffer its rule in various ways ask questions. So don’t credit an abstract and suppressive notion with such a sensibility or intelligence. The question is not of the nation’s survival – question is whether and how the nation limits and complicates the way we ask questions.

    “Naxalism, Maoism, Terrorism, Religious fundamentalism” – All these terms that you have put together in one basket, even if one overlooks the banal ignorance behind it, should serve my purpose of pointing out that all these movements which bother you are a product of the nation: the nation produces them the way it produces concerns like yours.

    Since you are very concerned about “splinter factions”, you should stop reading Macaulay and read up a bit about the Macaulay’s of present day India.

    Lastly, if you are so interested in the plight of suffering people – speak on their behalf – not on the nation’s. They aren’t the same thing.

    Being a surgeon you should know that the human body is not to be treated as a god, but as a fallible and often self-destructive machine, creating “factions” – much like your beloved nation.

  24. Thanq Mr Manas and I am happy as well as grateful to you to open up the real debate, I was waiting for someone to initiate and put life into it.

    Now, I would like to sum up your observations in the following two points:
    (1) ‘Individual’ versus ‘Nation’ theory.
    (2) Macaulay of past and Macaulay’s(sic) of today.

    Now let me take it up one by one. On the first point, though I would prefer the wider audience to react and participate, without their participation, the whole debate becomes monotonous,singular and lustreless. Nontheless, I would like to quote President Obama at his recent major policy making speeches (individual speaking for the nation), “There was a time when Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin could make a decision for the world…”. Mark the reference, not just a nation but three persons dictating the world. I would leave the debate to continue by my more informed and pedantic audience.

    Now coming to the second point of Maculay. I am happy that Mr Manas has ignorantly (I won’t use the word banal, lest he thinks, I am avenging) accepted my view point which I am trying to hammer home in his following para: “Since you are very concerned about “splinter factions”, you should stop reading Macaulay and read up a bit about the Macaulay’s (sic) of present day India.

    What I shall read is my business and if I may, do not need advice from an alien to impose on me; but that is exactly the concern worrying every concious person (As the word ‘Nation’ is abhorent to you, I would avoid adding here)’ .

    You may love the following famous quote from a celebrated and beloved English physian viz.
    Sir William Osler (1849-1919), Professor Of Medicine, Oxford, England, who said:
    “To study the phenomenon of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all”.

    My vanality does not need to explain a pedantic like you, the correlation between the above quote and your theory of Macaulay (of past) and Macaulay’s (sic) (of present). However, our ‘Hubris’ should not prevent us learning even from a ‘banal’.

    Now, with references to President Obama and Sir William Osler, you should feel happy that I have heeded to your advice at least partly, of not just reading Macaulay alone.

    Once again, I thanq for the wonderful job.

    With my kindest and respectful regards to you as well as my enlightened audience around the globe.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  25. Dear Manas,
    Lets not blame what the violence of the maoist, the right wing hindu orgarnisations like VHP, Taliban on Nation. Thats an easy way out……

  26. A respectful homage to the Kafila team,

    Thanq brothers and sisters in Kafila Team. I enjoyed and educated myself while commenting. No malice but love, love and only love.

    I did not come for any intention of writing a comment but, say a thanx. A small Urdu couplet for your treat:

    “Akelaa hee chalaa thaa, Galib, jaanibe manzil,

    Chalataa chalaa gayaa, aur

    ‘Kafilaa'(Kaaravaan) banataa chalaa gayaa”

    Dr. O. P. Sudrania

  27. If Caste == Religion, then there is no Hinduism.

    Tell your MLA & MP to pass a Bill in Parliament accordingly.
    Hinduism is a covert mask for Racism aka Casteism.

  28. After poring over all the comments ,I have reached to the conclusion that every coomenter has tried to defend his point of view without coming out with the possible solutions to this malaise of caste playing havoc with the dignity and self esteem of the underprivileged sections of the society.All sorts of examples have been given to highlight the similar problems of the globe which are essentially not similar to this special product of Indian society.To wipe out the notion of caste ,the first thing is the realisation of the fact by all that this notion is anti-national.It causes segregation,social disintegration and is against the notions of belongingness among human beings.It causes restrictions on social plane.

    The best course in my opinion would be to put their heads together by those who are genuinely interested in the solution of this problem.The focus should be on viable solution rather than justification on individual views.Though it is a very hoary and complex problem boggling minds for several centuries.

    However ,the views expressed by all commenters are quite informative and entertaining and enlightening to a technical person like me.The views appear to be be coming from the authorities in this field.

    lc verma

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