Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Caste discrimination a British invention, bigger than steam engine: Prof. Vaidyanathan

Yes, indeed, Prof. Vaidyanathan. 'Caste' itself was a British invention, adapting the Portuguese word 'casta' for the colonial regime to understand bharatiya samajam on their terms. Their terms were simply to get a group of people to perform the adminstrative chores. The devastation caused by the invention of 'caste discrimination' is so enormous that reparations have to be demanded from the legatees of the colonial regime. Post-independence India is struggling along using the same framework of the Govt. of India Act 1935 and calling it a Constitution, that is an indigenous polity wearing a colonial garb driven by the same motive: just stay in power.


Caste discrimination a British invention, bigger than steam engine

Prof R Vaidyanathan

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 03:50 IST

A major debate on reservation in institutions of higher learning like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), etc is being conducted at the Supreme Court.

A five-member bench is looking into the issues pertaining to the validity of the recently passed Act and also related matters like creamy layer exclusion, etc.
It has recently come to light that the Aryan invasion theory is a concoction by British politicians and academicians to justify their invasion of the country.
Perhaps a similar situation is emerging in the context of caste discrimination since the British had a vested interest in inventing discrimination and viewed the heterogeneous and non-hierarchical Indian society using the European framework of a feudal-bourgeoisie divide.

The colonizers were part of the Abrahamic tradition, which believes in homogenization, and the heterogeneous and non-conflicting Indian society would not have suited their design. That might have led them to construct a class-based discriminating society out of the multiple sampradayas and castes co-existing peacefully. After all, history is constructed to suit the colonisers and victors.
A discussion about backward classes is very often a debate on the backward castes. The backwardness is defined to include social, educational and economic aspects.
In practice, it is identified more with social and educational backwardness and hence, many castes are classified (or, shall we say declared) as backward and provided reservation in institutes of higher learning in most states.

In Tamil Nadu, for example, a whopping 69% is reserved for these categories. One of the major arguments in favour of reservations is that the backward castes are educationally backward due to discrimination in the past and hence cannot compete with others.

History does not support the thesis of discrimination

A renowned Gandhian, Dharampal, visited British and Indian archives and reproduced reports based on surveys conducted by the British in Madras, Punjab and Bengal presidencies during 1800-1830.

According to a detailed survey undertaken during 1822-25 in the Madras Presidency (present day Tamil Nadu, a major part of present day Andhra Pradesh and some districts of Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa), 11,575 schools and 1,094 colleges were in existence in the Presidency and the number of students in them were 1,57,195 and 5,431, respectively.

More important in view of the current debates and assumption is the unexpected and important information provided with regard to the broad caste composition of the students (see table). We find that the position as early as the first part of nineteenth century was significantly in favour of the backward castes as far as secular education was concerned.

Hence, the British-inspired propaganda that education was not available to the so-called backward castes prior to their efforts is not valid. The “secular” education was always a major tool in social transformation prior to British rule.
It is also assumed that caste is a rigid hierarchical system, which is oppressive. However, as observed by renowned sociologist Dipankar Gupta, “In fact, it is more realistic to say that there are probably as many hierarchies as there are castes in India.

To believe that there is a single caste order to which every caste from Brahmin to untouchable would acquiesce ideologically is a gross misreading of facts on the ground. The truth is that no caste, howsoever lowly placed it may be, accepts the reason for its degradation.” (Dipankar Gupta; Interrogating Caste; pp1; Penguin Books 2000).

The debate also does not take into account the fact that backwardness is not a static phenomenon, but a dynamic one.

The great sociologist, M N Srinivas said, “An important feature of social mobility in modern India is the manner in which the successful members of the backward castes work consistently for improving the economic and social condition of their caste fellows.

This is due to the sense of identification with one’s own caste, and also a realisation that caste mobility is essential for individual or familial mobility.”(Collected Essays; pp196-197, Oxford University Press 2005).

May be, the time has come for us to question many of the beliefs and myths perpetuated on educational backwardness. Politics does play a major role in shaping the perceptions of the common man, but it is the duty of academicians and other experts to look at issues more dispassionately so that the future of educational enhancement of our country is not impaired by mythical dogmas. We need “enquiring minds” to investigate the inventions of British other than that of the steam engine.
The writer is Professor of Finance & Control, Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore, and can be reached at vaidya@iimb.ernet.in. Views are personal.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taking the movie-goers for a hate ride: Jodhaa Akbar


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February 16, 2008

The movie Jodhaa Akbar is a vile, vicious, and covert attempt by a mischievous producer/director from Bollywood (Mumbai) to make quick bucks by denigrating and vilifying the Hindu (Rajput) people.

It is a deliberate distortion and pure fabrication of Indian history to glorify Akbar the (so-called) Great in dignified and noble terms. In reality, Akbar, in order to become a Ghazi (a slayer of kaffir – infidel) had cut into pieces his Guru Raja Hemchandra Vikramditya who had taught him how to wield the sword.

In barbarity and brutality, Akbar was so vindictive and merciless that he captured Raja Hemchandra’s aged father; and on refusing to accept Islam executed him!

Akbar's grandfather Babar founded the Mughal dynasty. Babar was a direct descendent of Timur Lane from his father Barlas Turk’s side and of Chengiz Khan the Mongol from his mother's side.

Akbar was no less tyrant than Timur Lane and Nader Shah. Akbar had a victory tower erected with the heads of the captured/surrendere d army of Raja Hemchandra Vikramaditiya after the second battle of Panipat.

Akbar had ordered massacre of 30,000 plus unarmed captive Hindu peasants after the fall of Chitod on Feb. 24, 1568.

Akbar was the most ungrateful person on Earth. He is alleged to have killed Bairam Khan, his guide and mentor – a Muslim

Despite nearly five centuries of Muslim occupation of India, Rajasthan in 1567 CE was still almost entirely Hindu. Akbar infiltrated the area by marrying into Rajasthan's ruling houses and by steadily capturing various forts on the eastern fringe of Rajputana. But the senior house of Rajasthan, Rana of Mewar proudly refused any alliance with Mughals. Akbar's army started a campaign for Chitod in 1567. When Raja Jai Mal was killed by Muslim army, thousands of Hindu (Rajput) women performed Jauhar (self-immolation) . We hold Akbar guilty of murdering thousands of Hindu women. This was the THIRD JAUHAR IN THE HISTORY OF CHITOD.

It is also an affront to a secular but largely Hindu nation to show an alien Muslim king romancing with a Hindu girl. Akbar was in reality an opportunist, sadist, and immoral person. Officially, Akbar had 300 wives and he is also alleged to have 5000 concubines in his harem. How can such a libertine be considered to have loved his wife?

Hindu Rajputs are a very proud and chivalrous people. Their sacrifices are unparalleled in the annals of Indian history. This movie is a surreptitious attempt to depict Muslim rulers who were followers of a culture alien to the Indians, in a favorable role and demean their native Hindus subjects. This trend to depict Muslim rulers in a magnificent manner was set by K. Asif’s movie Mughul-e-Azam. We feel that even after 60 years after Independence, Director Ashutosh Gowarikar of Jodhaa Akbar is still suffering from the Stockholm syndrome.

It will be worthwhile if some investigative journalists go deep and find out the background and credentials of producer of this movie Ronnie Screwvala and Writer Haidar Ali, the involvement of Muslim underworld in financing this movie and complicity of Censor Board. Indian people should be more vigilant. The campaign of vilification carried on by some anti-Indian groups from Mumbai motivated by a malicious design to malign Hindu people should be stopped forthwith.

Hindus will never be able to forget the atrocities committed on Hindus by alien Muslim rulers. The Islamic period of the Indian History was the most suffocating and genocidal period as far as Hindus are concerned. It is a well-known fact of Indian History that 17,000 Hindu girls, in order to avoid molestation at the hands of Muslim marauders, had committed Jauhar – self-immolation.

It is a matter of disgrace that Indian school books under the successive Congress governments have been hiding the truth and distorting the Indian History.

Medieval India’s History was written first by Muslims and then by the British. Both tried their best to falsify India’s History by portraying Hindus in a bad light. However, a more objective history of India is slowly being written today which documents the depredations and genocide by Muslim rulers - often based on facts given by Muslim chroniclers of these rulers.

Hindus are waking up from deep slumber slowly but surely. The angry demonstrations in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi, Lucknow and Patna against the movie Jodhaa Akbar are an indication of the things to follow on all India level. The Hindus of today are determined that a more objective history be available which portrays their life, culture and contributions in an appropriate and factual manner. They are determined to restore the dignity to Hindu Dharma at any cost.

Narain Kataria