Topic started by Sathyadevan (@ cache9-5.ruh.isu.net.sa) on Wed Dec 24 07:02:20 EST 2003.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
A POWERFUL BOOK OUT OF INDIA:
Understanding the Roots of Hate and Oppression
BRAHMINISM by V.T. Rajshekhar, published by Dalit Sahitya Akademy, 109/7th Cross, Palace Lower Orchards, Bangalore-560 003, India, pages 157, $5.
Rajshekhar is denied a passport to enable him to travel out of India. He has been charged under various draconian laws. Attempts have been made to kill him. With outstanding courage he continues to write, speak, organize primarily through his magazine DALIT VOICE published with unerring deadlines every two weeks, every month, every year.
The book is his masterpiece. Seemingly a collection of polemics against India's oppressive system, the book is powerful with seminal ideas meant to undermine the entire Indian system of mental slavery. Rajshekhar is not against Brahmins as individuals but against the caste system which invokes a religious mythology to trap vast numbers of human beings in a cycle of self-hatred and sado-masochism.
Rajshekhar sees Brahminism as the head of the hydra-headed monster whose tentacles are Racism, Nazism and Zionism. He has a compelling thesis (p.68) that evil in the world today has these four component concepts:
Man is superior to woman.
White is superior to Black
Merit comes out of birth.
Might is right.
Inspired by the Dalit philosopher Dr. Ambedkar, Rajshekhar points out a stark fact which most Muslims do not know, that the PEOPLE OF INDIA ARE NOT HINDUS BUT THE VICTIMS OF HINDUISM. He explains the pervasive and permeating influence of the Brahmin caste with the example of India's "socialist" rulers like Nehru who inveighed against capitalism but did nothing to denude Brahminism which is is directly connected to India's richest people - Tatas, Birlas, etc. (p.17). He quotes Dr. Ambedkar to show that the secular Brahmins and the priestly Brahmins are aspects of the same hydra of caste.
With amazing brilliance, Rajshekhar highlights the roots of the OPPRESSION OF WOMEN IN INDIA. He considers Brahmin philosophy responsible for the oppression not only of Brahmin women but also of "low caste" women. As he puts it: " If a 'low caste' and particularly the Untouchable is a slave today, his wife is the slave of a slave." (p.20)
Rajshekhar is incisive in his criticism of the Hindu religion which sanctions oppression of humans by humans. He points that "The Hindu god Krishna tells us in the GITA that he is the author of the caste system (Gita 4-13, 10-36-41)." The Hindu god condemns the "lower caste" to servitude of the Brahmin.
"what is the duty of the SHUDRA? The GITA (18-44) says: 'Service is the duty of the shudra.' The Laws of the Manu (1.91) say: 'The lord prescribed the SHUDRA to serve meekly ever these three (other) castes.' "
Some of the information Rajshekhar provides may prove shattering for people who consider India a Hindu country. He points out that only 15% of Indians are Hindus. The majority of the people are as follows:
Scheduled Castes 20%
Scheduled Tribes 10%
Backward Castes 35%
The remaining 15% who are Hindus he divides as follows:
[See pages 115-117 of BRAHMINISM for discussion.]
Rajshekhar has much to say to Muslims. He points out that Muslims are converts from the oppressed sections of Indian society. There should be a natural affinity between them and other oppressed people of India. The failure of Muslim leadership (somewhat like the failure of Muslim leadership in America) has led to a disjuncture between Muslims and oppressed non-Muslims. In fact the Brahmins often use the Backward castes to do their dirty work for them against Muslims.
The revolutionary that he is, Rajshekhar is openly against Zionism in Palestine and is very strongly opposed to the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We Demand freedom from caste bondage for the 260 million Dalits of Asia http://www.dalits.org/CasteRaceandWCAR.html