Bringing Shudras, ati-Shudras on one platform: Consultation for a new neo-Dalit movement

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The People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCRC), a Varanasi-based NGO, proposes to organize consultation for the creation of of a neo-Dalit movement on August 9, the Quit India day. Lenin Raghuvanshi, who heads the NGO, in a statement, says that the consultation, to be held at Moolgadi Kabirchaura Math, Kabirchaura, Varanasi, is meant to combine “shudras and ati-shudras from all regions” in order to highlight “many abuses” committed against people “due to their caste or their religion”.

According to Raghuvanshi, “I believe that many problems that India faces today are linked together and therefore cannot be separated, both in understanding and resolution. For that reason, I believe that the most effective way to resolve them is to address the problem in a comprehensive approach that takes into account the political, economic and sociological and seeks solutions which take care of those different “linked problems”, based on a popular movement.”

The neo-Dalit consultation is being jointly organized by Front Page Publication (London, UK), PVCHR, Asha, Joint Action Committee (JAC), Media Vigil Trust, United Against Hate, Satvika, Gaon Ke Log, United Citizens’ Forum and Ashok Mission Educational Society, forming the Neo-Dalit Consultation Committee.

Reproduced below in a blog by Raghuvanshi he wrote recently in pvchr.net on what the neo-Dalit movement proposes to do:

India is a beautiful country. A land of great and long History populated by many different peoples, from many different origins, and who have many different religious, political and philosophical views. This cultural mix in the long term and the amazing natural diversity made India one of the richest countries of the world. A land of diversity. But India seems incapable to enjoy this wealth with wisdom. Many abuses are committed against peoples due to their caste or their religion and nature is more and more systematically ransack for privates interests. In that context, I would like to propose an explanation of the causes of this situation in order to suggest subsequently a way to improve the situation for all, and more particularly for the most marginalized.

According to me, the mains problems facing the country came from two thinks: the implementation of a “culture of impunity” – which is a sharing believe that few can act without be accountable for their actions – at the social, economic and political level, and the meet of this cognitive problem with a context of market democracy and economic globalisation. This explanation will try to explain how the combination of those two factors – cognitive and contextual – allow the rise of a neo-fascism state – an authoritarian state which want to make one country with one nation – and the implementation of an aggressive neo-liberal capitalism – which perpetuate social and economic injustice.  By this way, we will see how the neo-fascist Hindustan project is use to perpetuate caste domination and allow the Indian leaders to realize profit by selling the country to national and international companies, and we will understand how this economic deregulation marginalized lower castes and therefore, strengthening social division on castes.

After that, I will take time to propose a way to change this situation by calling for the creation of a “neo-Dalit” movement – combining shudras and ati-shudras from all regions. I will also try to explain why this popular movement seems to be the best way to remove this “culture of impunity” and how opinion leaders from all communities have a great role to play on this major gathering.

I would add that I am writing this article because I believe that many problems that face India today are linked together and therefore cannot be separate both in understanding and resolution. For that reason, I believe that the most effective way to resolve them is to address the problem in a comprehensive approach that takes into account the political, economic and sociological and seek to solutions which take care about those different “linked problems” and based on a popular movement.

A multidisciplinary approach to a better understanding of the actors and factors

India has one of the highest GDP rates of the world. As a “developing economy” in a global world-wide economy, the country tries more and more to insert themself on the international market for goods and capital. This amazing economic growth is beautifully accompanied by the establishment of democracy, and seems made India as a paradise under construction. But this lovely frontage hiding many inappropriate practices which create poverty, brutality and nature destruction. Let’s begin this round trip of those practices by a little bit of economic policy.

We can describe Indian economic policy as a conversion to the neo-liberalism religion with a brutal “shut up” ritualization. On one hand, politicians use India as a reservoir of raw materials. They allows big corporation to rape nature, and destroyed a fragile ecosystem who’s allow rural peoples to live since the down of live, and they sell all the national key infrastructure – such as water, electricity, health, telecommunication, transport, education, natural resources – to privates companies in order to make money through corrupt practices. This privatization process of state and land is also strongly encouraged by neo-liberalist global institutions – as the World Bank, the international monetary funds, etc.

In the other hand, such practices of piracy again People – who is dispossesses of the wealth of his country by political and economic leaders – are allows by authoritarian and violent measures that government takes again peoples who trying to mutiny again this spoliation. Police is using torture, army is sending against citizens who is supposed to defender and hazardous legislation which makes both of them safe from any penalty for the violation of human rights are enacted – as the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which is as much used against terrorists than against peoples who attempt to peacefully criticize these policies. During that time, other legal texts are enacted to protect and attract multinational companies in order to provide to them fiscal and legal advantages on a very broad definition of what we call the “freemarket”– as the Nuclear Civil Liability Bill which limits liabilities of Transnational companies (TNC) for nuclear industrial disaster!

By this way, Indian leaders try to create a good “investment climate” for big corporation, allow them to play their dangerous economic game with all the right and no duties, and with a few and controlled popular contestation. A beautiful dream for TNC and a daily nightmare for rural and urban workers. Furthermore, we should understand that this situation is dangerous, not only because this seems to foreshadow the establishment of an authoritarian regime which allow brutal political repression with impunity, but also because this political impunity is put in place  alongside with the implementation of an economic policy of corporates impunity.

But this political and economic culture of impunity cannot only be fully understand by the opening of Indian market to the international one or by the corruptive practices that plague public and private institutions. Behind those external factors, there is a cognitive reason which is also very important to understand such behaviors among actors. I want to talk about the caste system.

Indian society has lived for hundreds of years on a strict and rigid social hierarchy based on the Brahmanism stream within Hinduism. The caste system – which so many peoples see wrongly as concomitant to Hinduism – is a social organisation of society which allows upper caste to do whatever they want – including mental and physical tortures – to lower castes and women, who are considered as inferior. Those last ones have just to accept this supremacy theoretically founded by gods but actually righting by human to implement an unequal political regime. This believe created a cognitive complex of inferiority and superiority – respectively for the lower and the upper castes – which allowed the implementation of a national culture of caste and social impunity, itself perpetuate by a culture of silence created by fear, pain and lack of self-esteem of the lower casts.

But the story doesn’t stop here, because all those “cultures of impunity” which allow a minority group to govern and exploit the majority of the peoples can be partly questioned by civil society organisations and protest movement who want to reverse this cognitive and social pyramid or, at least, flatten it. For those reasons, power holders use many means to divide lowers castes majority and divert them from the key issues that face India – through communitarianism hatred – and ensure their freedom of act as leaders – by enact draconian laws to so-called protect peoples from communitarianism terrorism act that they contribute to create themself.

So, political impunity and economic impunity are two side of the same social impunity coin. Social activists and lower castes who want defend their right and critics the system are beating by the police and the army without any respect for their humanity, while neo-liberalism allows upper castes and big corporation to make profit with all impunity, because peoples fighting each other for religion issues or because they do not dare to attack the Brahmanism power.

In this division process of the poorest majority, those who try to keep their power use classical methods in order to conserve their social position. They know that hate call for hate. This is a universal law. And when government leaders begin to feed communal hatred between their own citizens and practice authoritarian political repression, we can qualified it as a “neo-fascist” state because he implement a national culture of hatred against difference, and love – or at least blind respect – for  authority.

As an example, we can take the case of the chief minister of Gujarat who calls for genocide again Muslim community in 2002 to revenge the death of 53 Hindu who are burned alive on a railway coach in still unclear circumstance. To achieve his bloodies aim; Nerendra Modi used violence rhetoric of hate in the media in order to stigmatized Muslim and victimized Hindu. And it is well knows that victimization feeling is the best way to create genocider which, as terrorist, feed their murder-craziness with the blood of the martyr and the blindness of hatred fascist ideologies – as Hindustva project or Islamiste one. Mr. Modi was next hailed as a hero by RSS and re-elected in Gujarat. Then, in 2009, this genocider was awarded by Ratan Tata (from Tata Group) and Mukesh Ambani (from Relience Industries) and received from them the Gujurat Garima award for the development of his policies – which at same times endorsed him for prime minister national elections.

What does this example means? Just that some political leaders have an interest to create divisions on society in order to conserve their power? Or maybe just that the true aim of the Hindutva project is to divide peoples in order to allow traditional power holder – upper casts – to keep ruling the country and keep easily running their business with economic leaders?  Or just that those who promote genocide and mass-killing can do it with impunity and that there are actually reward for this?

Actually, this example highlight well that neo-fascism and authoritarian Hindutva project which feed communal hatred and divide the poorest majority of the society is also promoted by economic leaders in order to hide the implementation of an economic policy of impunity, which is supposed to make India as an attractive country for foreign investments and enrich both politic and economic leaders.

So, we can say that all those political repression, police torture, bureaucratic corruption, economic exploitation of human and nature, and rigid hierarchy of social domination are allow as much by the implantation of those social, political and economic cognitive cultures of impunity than by external factor such “the dangerous cross-currents of neo-liberal capitalism and communal neo-fascism”. As much by the actors cognition than by the contextual factors.


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