Fascinating Manu

It is easy to see the linkages between Manu, Nietzsche, Hitler and the worldview of Hindutva supremacism

RSS and Fascism

Manu and his ‘magnum opus’ Manusmriti keeps hogging headlines in the 21st century as well.

Thanks to the fascination it still holds among the Hindutva supremacists of various kinds even around seventy years after the promulgation of Constitution, which in the words of Dr Ambedkar, had “ended the rule by Manu”.

The latest to join the ‘mission glorification’ of Manusmritihappens to be another stalwart from the Hindutva brigade, called Sambhaji Bhide, the leader of Shivpratishthan Sangathan, who also happens to be an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Addressing his followers known as dharkaris (believers of violence) – as opposed to varkaris(who go to Pandharpur from Pune on foot), he exhorted them to disseminate Hindu religion and form Hindu Nation. He also added how ‘Manusmriti was superior to the teachings of saints Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram’. 

( Read the full article here : https://newsclick.in/fascinating-manu)

“Selfless Patriot” – In Search of the Real Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

Shyama Prasad

It has been said with good reason that the Jana Sangh resulted from a combination of a partyless leader, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, and a leaderless party, the RSS”.

(The Jana Sangh: A Biography of an Indian Political Party, by Craig Baxter p. 54) 

1.

In Search of the “Selfless Patriot”

An untimely death of a political leader — whose career is just blossoming — is always a loss to the party they belong to, the ideology they espouse, or the cause(s) they pursue. It also leaves the field open for political pundits of different shades to make all sorts of speculations, or to involve themselves in endless deliberations about what would have been the future of the formation if the said person hadn’t died.

The death of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (06 July 1901 – 23 June 1953), founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (precursor to the BJP), at the relatively young age of 52 years, can be considered one such loss for the project he had undertaken. One cannot stop thinking about how the party he helped found after resigning from Hindu Mahasabha would have developed had he remained alive. His differences with the Hindu Mahasabha, which he even led in 1944, were political in nature, and stemmed from the considered opinion that it abandoned its exclusivist character.

However, to his legatees, who are always bothered very little by the nuances and niceties, he is a leader who provides them a fig leaf to counter the criticism that they had played no role in freedom struggle, or had no place in the comprehensive list of ‘makers of modern India’. Their ascension to the citadel of power has provided them with ample opportunity to project him as a key figure in the ‘Making of India’. (https://thewire.in/politics/search-syama-prasad-mookerjee-true-patriot)

In addition to that, by repeatedly claiming that ‘history failed to serve justice to Mukherjee,’ they are able to easily target Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who played the key role in institutionalising democracy after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and early demise of Sardar Patel, and was aware that any leeway to Hindu Supremacist ideology would lead India into becoming a mirror image of Pakistan — a Hindu Pakistan.

( Read the full article here : https://newsclick.in/selfless-patriot)

The Monks Who Spew Hate

Why Jailing of Gnanasara Did Not Become News in This Part of Asia

Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial leader of Bodu Bala Sena

“Ordered disorder, planned caprice, And dehumanised humanity…”

– Bertolt Brecht in The Exception and the Rule (quoted in The Sunday Leader)

“I have done my duty towards the country,” Gnanasara told reporters as he boarded the bus taking him to prison. Why should I regret?”

 

Rarely does Sri Lanka convict Buddhist monks.

But few days back a court in Sri Lanka made history when it convicted Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial leader of Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) who is referred to as ‘Thero’, The Venerable, and sent him to jail. Scores of his followers, mainly Buddhist monks, were reciting Buddhist prayers when he was being arrested and packed in to the police vehicle.

Reports tell us that Sri Lanka is still facing mini-turmoil over this conviction.

Marches were organised in different cities of Sri Lanka demanding that President pardons him using his special powers. Protesters have also asked that this revered monk should not be forced to wear jail uniform and be allowed to wear saffron robes only.

For people outside Sri Lanka, it would be rather difficult to understand why a Buddhist monk has suddenly become such a polarising figure in the society there.

( Read the full article here : https://newsclick.in/monks-who-spew-hate)

The Man Who Once Sold Tea Later ‘Sold’ Dreams

This is not the story of a man who once sold tea and later ‘sold’ dreams to a people and managed to reach top echelons of power in the biggest democracy in the world.

This is not the story of this man and his rise from the margins of a organisation which is called the biggest cultural organisation in the world nor it is revisiting stories of ‘bravery and fearlessness of his childhood’ (https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/bal-narendra-in-pics-comic-book-shows-fearless-young-narendra-modi-saving-drowning-boy-taking-on-crocodiles-bullies-676841.html) which can marvel a bollywood film or his alleged wanderings in the Himalayas in search of a guru or to fulfill his spiritual quest.

This is also not a recap of the role played by an international PR agency which was appointed by him á decade back to “seek professional and rare expertise” in reaching out to broadest mass of people with a fresh message.

This is also not to revisit this man’s thoughts which find mention in his book which compare the work of cleaning an ‘experience in spirituality.'(https://www.countercurrents.org/gatade010313.htm)

This is also not the story of this man who abandoned his legally married wife merely few months after their union and this is no exercise in telling you that he never went back to enquire about her nor he took initiative to formalise the separation.

This is also not to repeat the fact ad nauseum that he never disclosed his marital status to the outside world so much so that even one of his own deputies – who had worked with him for more than two decades – did not have any clarity over this aspect of his life. (https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/he-is-ram-for-me-pm-modis-wife-corrects-anandiben-patels-on-marital-status-1870700?pfrom=home-trending). Lesser mortals like us would remain baffled why the silence continued to reign all these years.

May be he suffered from selective amnesia for a long duration in his life or was supposedly so engrossed in the work that he considered working for the ‘nation’ that he even forgot to mention it to others. May be the organisation with which he worked frowned upon any such union and he desisted from sharing the news.

This is also not to share with you that when the need arose and he was expected to put the matters straight he supposedly faced Hamlet’s paradox about his being married or not married and preferred to remain ambiguous.This is no comment on those people who could question this ambiguity, who were in seats of power, also preferred to look the other way or maintained silence.

This is also not to tell you that when he toured the country mobilising people to march on the citadels of power – to break the monopoly of the dynasts – he had no qualms in maintaining an ambiguity about his own life. And this style still continues. In fact, once he even told the people that “he is basically a ‘faqir’, a man of god, with no worldly attachment or possession and that it would not take him a moment to leave his office and go away.” (https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/narendra-modi-his-speeches-and-politics-the-art-of-public-speaking)

This is no attempt to tell you that few years back his selective amnesia or his ambiguity vis-a-vis his marital status was finally over and he formally acknowledged that he was ‘married’.

This is also not to tell you that for all those people who looked at him as a ‘messiah’ – who adored him – who voted for him in overwheling numbes, who supported him ; did not complain at all even when they came to know that he had been very selective with his words while describing his marital status.

This is also not a comment on the immense tolerance level of the people, that they preferred to nod their head even when one of his deputy frankly admitted that one of his key promises to win over people was merely a ‘jumla’.

This little note has nothing to add to all these things and many more which are available in public domain.

May be later day historians would be able to throw light on them better or sit in a judgement. May be they would able to say whether he was really the ‘visionary statesman’ India waited or was a modern day reincarnation of a medieval king who had decreed to shift India’s capital without larger consultation.

This just to tell you that the woman he abandoned

This woman still worships him as a god. (https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/he-is-ram-for-me-pm-modis-wife-corrects-anandiben-patels-on-marital-status-1870700?pfrom=home-trending)

Do not know why ?…

Do not know why ?…

Do not know why ?

Statement on Atrocities on Dalits : New Socialist Initiative

Guest Post by New Socialist Initiative

New Socialist Initiative Condemns Hindutva Engineered and Inspired Atrocities on Dalits

Hardly a day passes without headline news of some or another atrocity on Dalits. On 24 May, a Dalit man in the Ahmedabad district was beaten and his house attacked by a gang of socalled ‘upper’ caste men after he had attached Sinh to his name on his facebook post.  On 21 May a dalit ragpicker was beaten to death in a Rajkot factory. Atrocities on Dalits are occurring in the midst of a public ideological environment against them. On 26 May news came of a private school in Delhi asking 8th class students to write a note on how reservations help undeserving and unqualified people for their summer vacation homework.  According to National Crime Record Bureau reports for recent years, between 10 to 15 thousand cases of crimes are reported under the Prevention of Atrocities act every year; an average of 35 crimes per day. Many times more crimes actually go unreported. In 2016 Indian courts had over 45 thousand cases under this act. Out of the 4048 cases decided, conviction occurred in 659 cases only. That is, five out of six cases of atrocity against Dalits did not result in any punishment. The number of attacks against one of the weakest and the poorest sections of the society, and the abysmal rate of conviction would put any civilized society to shame, but India chugs along. Continue reading “Statement on Atrocities on Dalits : New Socialist Initiative”

ज़ुबां पर आंबेडकर, दिल में मनु

PTI4_2_2018_000239B

एससी/एसटी एक्ट को कमज़ोर करने के ख़िलाफ़ बुलाए गए भारत बंद का दृश्य. (फोटो: पीटीआई)

 

2 अप्रैल का ऐतिहासिक भारत बंद लंबे समय तक याद किया जाएगा. जब बिना किसी बड़ी पार्टी के आह्वान के लाखों लाख दलित एवं वंचित भारत की सड़कों पर उतरें और उन्होंने अपने संघर्ष एवं अपने जज्बे से एक नई नजीर कायम की.

आजादी के सत्तर सालों में यह पहला मौका था कि किसी अदालती आदेश ने ऐसी व्यापक प्रतिक्रिया को जन्म दिया था. ध्यान रहे कि इस आंदोलन के दौरान हिंसा हुई और चंद निरपराधों की जानें गईं, उसे कहीं से भी उचित नहीं कहा जा सकता!

मगर क्या इसी वजह से व्यापक जनाक्रोश की इस अभिव्यक्ति ने उजागर किए सवालों की अहमियत कम हो जाती है? निश्चित ही नहीं!

वैसे इन तथ्यों की पड़ताल करना भी समीचीन होगा कि (जैसा कि कई स्वतंत्र विश्लेषणों में स्पष्ट किया गया है) कई स्थानों पर इस हिंसा के पीछे दक्षिणपंथी संगठनों एवं उनके कारिंदों का हाथ था, जो दलित उभार को कुचलना चाहते थे तथा साथ ही साथ उसे बदनाम करना चाहते थे. ( Click here for the full article :http://thewirehindi.com/39182/sc-st-act-dalit-agitation-narendra-modi-government/)

 

To Gain a View of the Elephant – India, History, Modernity, and Marx : Ravi Sinha

Guest Post by Ravi Sinha

(Marx Bicentennial lecture – Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, March 16, 2018)

etaddhastidarshana iva jatyandhah

That is like people blind by birth viewing an elephant.

  • (Shankaracharya’s bhasya on Chandogya-Upanisad 18.1)[1]

 

It was six blind men of Indostan,

To learning much inclined,

Who went to see the Elephant

(Though all of them were blind),

That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind.

  • John Godfrey Saxe[2]

The ancient Indian parable of blind men and the elephant, popularized in modern times by John Godfrey Saxe’s nineteenth century poem, has often been deployed in philosophical discourses about the nature of reality and its relationship to sense perception. It has served as a useful metaphor in many an argument about empiricist epistemology, moral relativism, cultural plurality, even religious tolerance. No such usage is intended here. My purpose in starting out with the parable is mostly methodological – how does one put together a vision of the beast based on necessarily partial observations of it. Continue reading “To Gain a View of the Elephant – India, History, Modernity, and Marx : Ravi Sinha”