Last updateFri, 23 Jun 2017 9am

Why Mayawati will never abolish caste

Why Mayawati will never abolish caste

Anybody who believes that Mayawati is protesting against the uncouth remarks made by Dayashankar Singh, or that the Dalit anger is about nothing but this insult and other atrocities perpetrated against them elsewhere, is missing the wood for trees. And to those pious “liberals” who think abolition of caste is something only the Brahminical Sangh leadership is opposed to, one can only say how little they understand human proclivities.

Let us be clear: caste tensions cannot be abolished. You can annihilate caste, as Ambedkar would have wanted, through extreme coercion and violence, but what you will get after this annihilation is another form of identity and differentiation that will again have tension in-built into it.‎ You may not call it caste, but ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic differentiation will exist. So trying to abolish caste by achieving some kind of uniform identity is impossible. People from the Buddha to Mahavira to Vivekananda to Ambedkar to Gandhi to Kanshi Ram to Periyar to the Communists have attempted it - and failed.

Mayawati is not trying to abolish caste; what she is trying to do is build a political super-caste by latching on to atrocities on Dalits and developing a larger tale of common victimhood that will make her powerful. This is no different from Muslim parties trying to build another powerful agglomeration, and the Sangh to build an overarching Hindu narrative. The Communists try and do this on the basis of class, but caste and religion offer better options for building common narratives than class, which tends to be fluid. Castes too were fluid once upon time, but the British tendency to slot people into boxes of identity and post-Independence electoral realities have ensured that castes have become more rigid than before.


Burhan Wani-wali azadi? Leftists have succumbed to narrow view of Kashmir

Burhan Wani-wali azadi

From the discourse of the past two weeks on Kashmir, it would seem as if the people there have risen against India because of pellet guns. There is no doubt that these guns, used by the police and the paramilitary forces, have caused terrible injuries. Every act of cruelty undermines the legitimacy of the state even more, and fuels further radicalisation — and this is true of Kashmir as of anti-Maoist operations or operation against militants in the North East.

But it is also a fact that the security forces in Kashmir have had to deal with extremely hostile crowds. In the skirmishes of the last few days alone, over two thousand policemen and over one thousand personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been injured. Two policemen have lost their lives, one of them after his vehicle was pushed into the Jhelum River from a bridge by protestors. One CRPF jawan, hit by protestors on his head with a brick, is in a critical state. Dozens of police stations and army posts have been attacked by frenzied mobs.

It is still understandable that in a display of anger against the Indian state, or because they support Burhan Wani’s vision, many Kashmiris came out to protest his death. But it is baffling why a section of leftists in India, who are advocates of azadi in Kashmir, would mourn the death of the commander of a terrorist organisation that has not only killed security personnel but unarmed Kashmiris as well, including many from the Hindu minority, in several cases dragging them out of buses and shooting them dead in cold blood.


In the wake of the Munich Attack, dealing with Terrorism in A Historical context is Crucial

In the wake of the Munich Attack

To root out terrorism of the kind we are witnessing in Munich, we need to understand the theology of hatred and racist discourse which makes the left-liberals shake hands with neo-Nazis, facilitated by Islamism.

As we wake up to the latest terror attack on the vulnerable civilian population in Munich today, what we find there is a repeat of an event that, if we are not determined to fight, is going to repeat again and again.

In Germany, the attack gets a new dimension all together— a much more ominous dimension.

Say “Munich” and the picture of a hooded man, peeping over the balcony, comes to mind. Many observers of the Munich Olympics tragedy have observed that there was negligence on the part of German government which allowed the unfolding of the tragedy. Today, unclassified documents reveal that Germany could indeed have preempted the attack and saved the world of an obscene tragedy— had it listened to the intelligence it received one month before the attack.

August 1972 saw the German embassy in Beirut receive an intelligence report that the “Palestinian side,” were planning a terror “event” during the Olympic Games. It was passed on to the office of the Federal Domestic Intelligence. While the public opinion in post-war Germany has been decidedly against associating in any form with any anti-Semitism, there has always been a small minority in the powerful sections of German society who have persistently supported visceral anti-Israel measures.


Understanding the Violence in Valley!

Understanding the Violence in Valley

Insurgencies are like amoeba, constantly changing shape and size. What began as a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan in 1947 has, over time, undergone several metamorphoses. Initially it had socio-economic roots but later became part of a wider Islamic uprising masked by calls for ‘Azadi”. At present it is driven purely by a sense of outrage over impotence and revenge for security forces’ action against the militants.

…ever since the failure of an armed uprising, the domestic elements as well as Pakistan seem to have embarked upon a strategy of making Kashmir valley ungovernable.

Most analysts agree that the ‘insurgency’ in Kashmir began in 1988/89. But such is the close nexus between the proxy war by Pakistan and domestic unrest in Kashmir, that the two are virtually inseparable. The initial impetus was definitely provided by the happenings in Europe (fall of the Berlin Wall, disintegration of the USSR), but a long-term reason was the long cultivated myth of the ‘unique’ Kashmiri identity. This was due to the defensive reaction of the secular Indian State and its cynical exploitation by the West and Pakistan.

During the Cold War period, Kashmir could be used as a pressure point against a pro-Soviet Union India. The Afghan war against the Soviet occupation began winding down in the late 1980s. This was perceived as a victory for Islamist forces and the fighters freed from this war were directed towards Kashmir. Towards the early 1990s, Pakistan sought and got American support for its Kashmir venture as a sort of reward for its role in ousting the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. Insurgency in Kashmir was a virtual certainty in 1988/89.


The Cabinet reshuffle: What really happened and how the Media got it all wrong—Part I

The Cabinet reshuffle

On 4 July, even as journalists had been speculating on the shape of the then impending Cabinet reshuffle, PM Modi told the press that it would be an expansion drive, not a reshuffle.

The PMO via Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) sent a directive to DD News that its anchors must deal with the administrative aspects of the reshuffle rather than its political implications.

None of the 19 new ministers turns out to be a bumpkin, fresh out of a backwater with no exposure to governance, legislatures and other mechanisms of dealing with the people and making policies for them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have some fun, virtually challenging the media to read his mind for 48 hours. On 4 July, even as journalists had been speculating on the shape of the then impending Cabinet reshuffle, he told the press that it would be an expansion drive, not a reshuffle. Hiding its disappointment, television channels ran tickers on the screen, relaying the announcement, and newspapers the next morning reported that the Cabinet would merely see some new appointments while no NDA MP was gaining or losing a job.


Lessons For India From The Dhaka Terror Attack

Lessons For India From The Dhaka Terror Attack

Last Friday’s (1 July 2016) terror strike in Dhaka has thrown up a couple of important lessons not only for Bangladesh but India as well. While it has come as a shock to many that at least four of the terrorists hailed from well-to-do families and studied in elite schools, what cannot be ignored is that their families had reported to the police that they were missing over the last three to six months. But no efforts were made to trace them.

Also, their families now say that there were some signs of their radicalisation. The father of one of the young men, Meer Mubasher, told the media that his son had stopped sketching and playing the guitar a few months before he disappeared, saying that those were un-Islamic. The others also had displayed signs of their radicalisation.

Had the police and intelligence agencies in Bangladesh investigated the sudden disappearances of the four youngsters, the terror plot could perhaps have been uncovered. It would not have been a tough task to monitor the disappearances.

Some of the young men, according to some reports, had travelled abroad in the recent past to get indoctrinated and perhaps even for arms training. They would have used their passports and, had look-out notices been issued against them after they were reported missing by their families, they could have been easily apprehended.


The apologists of Islamic terrorism, and their flawed arguments

The apologists of Islamic terrorism

Every time a terror attack is carried out by Islamic groups, we see a flurry of commentators rushing to say “this has got nothing to do with religion”. Every time they take extra measures to explain why religion must not be blamed, and almost every time they are wrong.

Let’s see some of the recent smokescreens that were created by the apologists for Islamic terrorism:

Orlando nightclub shooting: it wasn’t hatred for gays. It was the because of easy availability of guns.

This argument totally ignores the fact that in 10 Muslim countries, there is a death penalty for Homosexuality. Guess it was the gun that wrote their constitutions too!  Maybe in Saudi Arabia they stone women who commit adultery because of easy availability of stones? And ISIS throws gays off buildings in Syria because there is gravity in Raqqa!

Charlie Hebdo massacre: Those cartoons were provocative! It was the ISIS. There are just 0.1% extremists among all Muslims!

This argument again ignores the fact that there is death penalty for blasphemy and insulting the Prophet in 10 Islamic countries. Either their constitutions have been written by ISIS or the moderates there aren’t moderate enough. Or even they have misinterpreted the book.