Thursday, April 20, 2006
The Myth called Casteism – Part I
The model was working fine even during the Mughals and Islamic rule of India -- the Tamizh kings were smart, they made a deal with Malik Kafur to not destroy (physically and culturally) TN, instead they would pay the taxes thru the vasals, the Naiaks! The Tamizh kings must have known that the Islamic rule was in decline and the Islamic rulers also must have knonw the logistically nightmare of managing such large number of people from so far away in Delhi -- also there were many uprisings in the North which consumed thier time and resources; a deal was reached between the Tamizh people and the Islamic rulers in Delhi. In this agreement TN was the one state that did not see a discontinuity in Hindu traditions (which was pretty much prevalent all over India at one poin in time) -- as BBC's 7 part "Legacy" also states in its program "Empire of the Spirit". Such is the special place of TN in Indian history but the post-independence politians of India (especially of TN) with their perverse Davidianism have destroyed the very Hindu culture that was protected by the great kings and people of TN, with the Hindu Religious Charity and Endowment board!
Why did I say all the above...
The model of caste as a social security structure was not wrong, it was apt for a socially, environmentally, culturally concious society. It was also protected to an extent during Islamic rule but was firmly destroyed by the nexus of the colonial powers and the christist missionaries. They destroyed the locally empowered economic model ("there was even a movie called 'Lagaan"), did destroyed the local manufacturing bases, developed city/port centers (Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, etc.), to transport the raw materials from the corners of India to fuel the Eurpoean Industrial revolution!! This incidently caused the exodus of the people from the villages to the cities for livlihood (The railways were a beneficial consequence but much damage was done to the culture, society and the social harmony). The early migrants were the Brahmins and the Vysyas, leaving behind the Kshatriyas and the laborers -- now rural India became a fertile breeding ground for unscrupulous politicians, commies, Islamists, and christists. The system was further erorded by appropriation of Hindu wealth (temples), and vote bank politics. Now, not only are the rural Hindus upset with the Brahmins and the Vysyas (atleast the latter contribute economically), they are in search of thier own lost identities -- the Hindu society has lost its spirit and soul, and have made itself vulnerable to "harvest"!! The anti-brahminism plank with which Dravidianism was able to thrive was more only based on this feeling of let-down by the "non-Brahmin" folks, rather than the much touted "social injustice" caused to them (I understand their feelings perfectly, having visited/worked in rural TN). In other words, change in demographics and econmic models have displaced India and Hindu society from its moorings and harmony -- perhaps that was the grand strategy! Today what the overt military campaigns started are being completed by our own politicians.
The need of the hour is Hind Swaraj, were there has to be production by the masses, first to guarantee a sustainable income, and secondly to rejuvenate and restablish the working village economies (not the dysfunctional panchayat Raj initiatives of the Rajeev Gandhi Govt., albeit a step in the right direction). This will insure the destruction of the chrisist/commie/mullah nexus and stranglehold on Hindu society, much to the benefit of all, including Christians, Muslims, et al. We will finally be able to provide for all Indians, without these gimmicks of vote bank politics, such as mindless reservations, minorityism, etc.
To sum up, caste was not bad but has been made irrelevant by successive administrations, both foreign and local. Unless there is a tangible social security alternative (please do not claim that the social security system in the US can be a model!), let us not blindly bad mouth a model that worked for thousands of years, based on propaganda. Who knows we may come back in a circle and adopt the caste model again!