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Traits Hindu Orthodoxy before Birth of Congress by A Hindu by Birth

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Submitted by Dr. S L Dhani IAS (R) (India), Sep 7, 2010 at 06:43

Traits of Hindu Orthodoxy Before Congress

By Dr. S L Dhani

It is well known that the Hinduism is divided into four Varnas and thousands of castes. It is also fairly realised that Hindus are governed by priestly leadership which is hundred per cent constituted by Brahman Varna. The status of all the four Varnas, namely, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra is determined by accident of birth and no amount of merit or demerit earned by an individual is capable of changing his Varna status in this life. Any individual who cared to question this rigid system of watertight compartments had no option but to get out or to be turned out of Hinduism. There have been no exceptions to this rule. Even the celebrities like Mahatma Buddha, Vardhaman Mahavira and Guru Nanak the founders of great religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism respectively had to meet this very fate.

Undoubtedly, there have been some important saints like Kabir, Ravidas, Namdev and Dhanna etc., belonging to the Sudra castes who are also remembered in Hinduism with some respect, but they also have never been allowed by orthodox Hinduism to rise above their castes or Varnas. All of them have been given a place of tolerance, not honor, within Hinduism on the condition that their teachings must be in keeping with and not opposed to the basic character and teachings of the Vedas, Puranas and Hindus Law Codes etc.

Hindu Leadership's Tolerance?

The Hindu religious leadership can tolerate any body, even the enemy of the nation, provided he agrees to keep its social organization of Varna division intact. This is how the Brahmanas have been having excellent relationship with the orthodox Muslims and Orthodox Christians and even the Sikhs. The present day Upper Caste Hindus want to remain themselves orthodox and they have been respecting and even encouraging the orthodoxy in other religions.

The Upper Caste Hindus do not encourage revolutionary thinking within their own religion. Similarly, they are not enamored of the reformers of other religions for the simple reason that such reformers tend to reduce the formal differences between any two religions and thus pose a threat to the distinct character of mutually opposed orthodox religions.

The Upper Caste Hindus have a long list of so-called reformers within Hinduism, but they are those people who have criticized their fellow religionists for not adhering to their respective Varna rules could. In this category fall their Swami Vivekanandas, their Aurobindos, their Dayanandas, their Sankaracharyas, their Ramakrishnas, their Gandhis etc.

The Hindus 'value' unity of souls but only in the "heavens" after the death of living beings here. They have talked of brotherhood but that is the brotherhood within particular Varnas or castes. They do talk against exploitation of man by man but only when they feel exploited by others as a class. But they always keep their own eyes shut to the organized exploitation of lower castes and the women, through the pernicious Varna System believed to have been ordained by Manu, who is projected to be the first lawgiver of the world.

Excellent Relations with Leaders of Other Religions

The Upper Caste Hindus have been so 'large-hearted' that they have maintained excellent friendly relations with the heads of other religions including the Muslims and Christians. They have co-operated with the latter in the matter of having their saastras [scriptures] translated in foreign languages by sitting with such Muslims and Christians, who are otherwise referred to as the Mlecchas, which is one of the most degraded titles as we already know.

But interestingly, the Hindus religious leaders have never permitted such sort of proximity to their own Sudras and Untouchables, constituting about 75% of total population of the country, either in relation to themselves or to their saastras even from a distance. So much so, they have never officially permitted the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas, being number two and three respectively in Hindu social hierarchy, to study the saastras independently, without the 'guidance' and preaching by Brahmana.

At Home with Foreigners

It has been the traditional policy of the Upper Caste Hindus that they can feel extremely at home with any foreigners and national enemies only on one condition that their own stratified social structure should not be disturbed. They have been themselves inviting the foreign invaders from the time of Alexander in order to settle their scores against such of their own castes which have endeavored to vie with the religious leaders, the Brahmanas. They had brought about the end of Buddhism with the same method and they had felt quite jubilant over the fact of wholesale massacre of Buddhist Bhikshus by the Muslim invaders. Actual revival of modern Hinduism has been possible only after Muslim advent in India in any capacity. Its ideological foundation had been Srimad Bhagvad-Gita, the first commentary of which was written by Adi Sankaracharya, who died at a young age of 32 in 820 AD.

The Upanishadic literature proves that the social structure as secretly planned by the Brahmanas had been first challenged only by the Kshatriyas, the No. 2 group in the Varna hierarchy, in the given capacity of the rulers.

Thus the first foremost enemies, treated by the Brahmanas as such have been the rulers themselves turned so by themselves, when the latter posed a threat to them or to their social structure, which had given the ultimate supremacy to them.

It is under these circumstances that the Brahmanas or the religious leaders themselves of their own religion have been inviting the foreign invaders from time immemorial in order to settle their scores against their own rulers and successively lower castes going out of their control.

Some New Facts

The Muslims had finally lost their empire known as Moghul Empire, not long back and as such they couldn't be expected to think in terms of any unified action with the Hindus against the British. Ramayana of Tulasidas had taught them not to bother as to who was the ruler of theirs at any particular time. Tulasidas had said: Kouu nripa houu hamen kaa haani? (Whosoever may be the ruler, what is our harm?). In this sense, the Hindus had generally resigned to the fate of their slavery and had even stopped entertaining any hope of achieving freedom from self-invited foreign slavery.

In such a mood, the Upper Caste Hindus could at best express their venom against such of the sections who could be easily attacked in their private conversation. This mood is fairly expressed in the Satyaartha Prakaasha of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj. He had tried to 'remind' the Hindus that their religion is the best and their past was the greatest. In this effort, he had no option but to talk indignantly.

Therefore, Swami Dayananda did not spare Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism or Buddhism and indulged in ruthless criticism of these religions or their founders, not always confining within the limits of literary decencies. So much so, he did not spare his own class, the Brahmanas for engaging in direct loot of the Hindu masses on the pretext of unnecessary exploitative ceremonies.

Many people mistake him to be reformer of Hinduism. But in fact he had tried to reform only the Brahmanas by asking them to put a limit to their greed and ingenious exploitation of non-Brahmanas. The purpose behind this teaching was to avoid a situation in which the non-Brahmanas did not reject them altogether. Another purpose was to avoid the non-Brahmanas rising against such Brahmanas in a revolt of the type, which had led in the past to severance of large chunks of population in order to form still newer religions or sects like Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism.

Still, he rose to become sort of reformer of Hinduism. He drew a dividing line between the Vedic Hinduism and Pauranic Hinduism and maintained that the Vedic Hinduism was all embracing and could be proved to be catering to the needs of all the Varna divisions. He also vaguely introduced the idea of merit in relation to the determination of the Varna of a man. In other words, he did try to preach a semblance of unity between different sections of Hindu population but within the limits of the ancient social divisions, which had little practical value.

The idea behind the efforts of the Swami was to create confusion in the minds of the non-Brahmanas about the true nature of the Hindu religion. The British had been initially able to exploit the prevailing distrust against the Brahmanas in Hindu society and to entice many of the lower classes to their side. By doing so, they were able to have the support of the lower classes, in their initial fight against the Hindu rulers who, in turn, had been the real slaves of the Brahmanical priesthood. They had also been able to pave the way for voluntary conversion of the lower classes to Christianity, the religion of the British, as against the forcible conversion to Islam sanctioned by its scripture.

The Swami's motive behind creation of such confusion was to pave the way for bringing back the lower classes to their original position of being exploited but in the false hope of change of Hindu minds. The possibility of adverse impact on conversion programme was naturally to make the British rulers cautious about their future. The Muslims were also naturally made cautious in their attitude towards the Hindus in general.

Incidentally, he saw greater logic in Islam and Christianity treating God as Formless. The Swami, therefore, became a great critic of Hindu image-worship with a view to snatch the importance of criticism against Hinduism from Islam and Christianity. It has to be remembered, however, that Sikhism, an offshoot from Hinduism had already adopted the idea of Formless God centuries before Swami Dayananda. Of course, the history of Hinduism has shown that any one questioning its fundamentals has to severe his connections from it.

Swami Shraddhananda, the disciple and successor of the Swami Dayananda translated the thinking of his Guru in practice, by introducing the idea and practice of Shuddhi and so-called purification of the converts to Islam and Christianity. Naturally, the Muslims could not be happy about the new situation and the British and the Christians could also be in similar mood of distrust against the Hindus and to make a common cause against the Hindus. By that time, the Muslim divide had not become very evident and therefore in certain pockets, they were seen to be co-operating in their fight against the British.

Since the Arya Samaj had developed the reputation of questioning the Hindu Orthodoxy, which came to assume the name of the Sanatana Dharma, in bid to beat the Arya Samaj on its plank of the Vedic Dharma being proved to be the ancient most religion of the world, Arya Samaj was also carrying along the Sudras and the Untouchables in its fold. Therefore, it was necessary for the British to create someone out of the Hindus to cause disenchantment of the lower classes from the Arya Samaj.

Hegemonic Relationships

British Empire would not have been set up at all if the British traders had not been welcomed by the Indian trading caste of the Vaisyas. The British would not have understood the intricacies of Hindu exploitative system without the wholesome support of the Brahmana Sanskrit Pundits. Initially, India would not have become a slave country if the Brahmanas had not, in their own selfishness, created the Kshatriya class only for their own protection. They needed to be protected against the rest of the so-called Hindu population, which mainly comprised the non-Aryan natives of India.

The country would not have lost its freedom, if a system of preparing all the able-bodied youth of the country and training and inspiring them to fight the aggressors had been introduced in the country. But the rules of the Smritis and other Hindu scriptures had earmarked instead only one section of population, the Kshatriyas, for fighting and taking up the arms, to the exclusion of all others, except the Brahmanas. The latter were free to take up arms only against the Kshatriyas if the former refused to act as tools of the Brahmanas.

Unfortunately, the British adopted the same policy in order to serve their imperial interests, on the suggestion of the Brahmanas. In independent India, those who are treating India as their exclusive empire have not changed the same policy, which is making unfortunate inroads into other spheres like sports, which have turned to be an exclusive affair of the Upper Castes. Since, 10 per cent upper caste men and women cannot be everywhere, such a policy is repeatedly resulting in regular national dishonour in the field of sports at international level. But if there is none to take the things to their logical conclusion, the national honor has to be invariably at stake, and obviously at the hands of the so-called nationalists. According to them, it is their India and the majority of OBCs, Dalits and others have no business to claim her as their India as well.

Traders and trading castes had been made to concern themselves only with exploiting the situation as usual to their pecuniary advantages. Even if existing recalcitrant Kshatriyas were to be fought against, the other Kshatriyas were needed to be instigated by the Brahmanas, in order to fight the former. The purpose behind such rules was to doubly weaken the striking power of the Kshatriyas in order to keep them divided so that the Brahmanas could easily and automatically exploit them. The Smriti rules had not envisaged a foreign invasion.

Anyhow, the Kshatriyas had got into a situation of rising in revolt through their soldiers in the British army, on the ground of their tutored religious sentiments getting injured. Although, the Hindus and Muslims had jointly fought against the British rulers, yet their joint fight against the British was not the result of their natural unity. Rather, the religious sentiments of the sepoys of both the religions had been shown by their respective fundamentalist leaderships to be independently injured by the British. Consequently, the naturally antagonistic groups had come to join temporarily on the principle that 'enemy's enemy is a friend'.

Hegemonic Relationship with Brahmanas

The history of the Indians since the emergence of the British rule has been such that the latter had created sufficient vested interests for different classes and divisions. So far as Hinduism is concerned, such vested interests were created for all the upper three Varnas of Hinduism, in the background of their traditional occupations, which were designed, by the framers of that system, to be divided in different watertight compartments. In that system, higher Varnas were given a facility of exploiting in every conceivable sense, all the lower Varnas, both individually and collectively, with the result that each one of them had started wishing the continuance British rulers in India. The British rulers consciously followed this policy of non-interference in Hindu religious affairs after the declaration of 1858 made by Queen Victoria, already referred to earlier.

The Brahmanas had reserved for themselves the right to speak from the stage on the pretext of being the exclusive preachers for the whole Hindu society. Therefore the non-Brahmanas were not even free to raise a voice against the British rulers., without the express direction of the Brahmanas for fear of losing religious and spiritual merit.

Hegemonic Relationship with Kshatriyas

Kshatriya castes, we already know, had been a definite source of nuisance to the Brahmanas, since before the Pauranic age. The Brahmanas had been employing lot of craft in dealing with them, for example. They had been:

· Declaring the Kshatriyas as Sudras;

· Inviting even foreign tribes to take over the political power from the existing Kshatriyas, under the promise of declaring such foreigners as Kshatriyas, which would mean automatic approval and acceptance of the masses of the foreigners as the genuine rulers; and

· Encouraging non-Kshatriyas available within the country to take the reins of powers from the unruly Kshatriyas.

Manu-Smriti records the fact of many non-Kshatriya castes having been declared as Kshatriyas under the inherent powers enjoyed by the Brahmanas under the Hindu scriptures written by them. Taking advantage of these situations, Sudra castes have also been usurping political powers at times to the embarrassment of the Brahmanas themselves.

The Puranas disclose the fact of the Sudras establishing great empires, lasting for whole millennia. The first such empire was the Nanda Empire, which was succeeded by Mauryan Empire through the distinctive role played by the great Brahmana strategist, Kautilya. He had to indulge in this otherwise sacrilegious act (for a Brahmana under the Hindu scheme of Varnas), to create another Sudra Empire with a view to bringing an end to another existing Sudra Empire. It had been hoped that in the process, some Kshatriya nominee of the Brahmanas could easily replace the existing adversaries. But it was not to happen and therefore it did not happen.

Brahmanas had to take this unusual step because of the problems created by themselves, by way of finishing Kshatriyas from the whole country through the agency of a Yaadava, Krishna of Gita fame, by causing unprecedented civil war of Mahabharata. After the Mahabharata, Brahmanas did not want to allow Kshatriyas to come to power for fear of reprisals in the light of the role of mythological Parasurama to extirpate Kshatriyas en bloc a number of times.

Reverting to the subject of the starting of freedom movement in the wake of all round exploitation of the country by the British, Dalits and Sudras were not in a position to stake their own claim as successors of the British. They could not do so for the simple reason that they themselves were the slaves of the Upper Castes. Moreover, in view of the village setting, they were nowhere in majority, since they had been deliberately scattered by the Caste Hindus to perform the auxiliary functions in an agricultural economy, which was in the hands of Vaisyas and others.

After the winning of the freedom, the Upper Caste Hindus of different Varnas and castes have taken in inheritance, the entire background sampled above. This fact continues to be important contributing factor to the problems of the Hindu masses divided into a caste hierarchy. Every intermediary caste is higher than many others and lower than still others. Thus, no two castes can naturally co-operate with each other on the basis of equality, for fear of social disapproval.

Different castes among the Kshatriya castes and different religions provided the British rulers a peculiar advantage of organizing the army on caste and religious lines and in certain cases, even on the basis of different regions. In case of turmoil, a regiment of one of caste could be set against that of the other.

Indian culture being a changeless traditional culture had far-reaching effects on British rule. The lawyers, teachers and other professionals who used English as their working language became the natural supporters of British rule. Individuals like Motilal Nehru consciously adopted the culture of the British rulers in a mood of taking great airs.

It does not need to be pointed out that in these circumstances all the benefits were monopolized by either of the Upper three Varnas, to the cent per cent exclusion of the Dalits and other Backward Classes, on account of the latter's traditional disabilities imposed Hindu scriptures, particularly in the matter of education.

The British were forced to take certain reform measures in their own interest and in that of some selected sections. It has become a fashion in India to blame the British for indulging in a policy of 'divide and rule'. But it has to be realized by every body that a worse and more effective policy of 'divide and rule' than the Hindu Varna-Vyavastha has never been devised by any other people of the world throughout the history. That policy had been given the name of religion that threatened the successive lower stratified groups to be punished by the State in this life, and by God, after death.

The British rulers were made to adopt the same policy by the Brahmanas to their mutual advantage and to the disadvantage of all other sections of population, not excluding even the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas.

Kshatriyas and Muslims were generally avoided

For the reason that the Kshatriyas were being used as the important arm of repression, the British were obliged to strategically keep the Kshatriya castes away from the freedom movement. There were two reasons therefor:

· That the British had taken over the country from the Muslim rulers, who could be naturally inclined to wish for an overthrow of the British empire with the aim of throwing them out of power; and

· That the British choice, therefore, could fall only on the Hindus and out of them on the Brahmins and Banias, whose religion taught them to be non-violent patient, submissive and agreeing to be a slave in the belief of following the rule of adversity.

This policy immensely helped the Brahmana and the Bania sections to retain almost exclusive leadership over the Congress or the so-called freedom movement. Gandhi cap was in fact a Bania cap, obviously designed to keep the Kshatriyas and other ruralites away from it. Having been born in 1932, and belonging to a village, this author remembers the Gandhi cap being derided upon with great contempt giving rise to laughter among the Kshatriya castes and other agricultural rural families. The derisive laughter suggested that the Congress was a party of Banias. Around the period of rise of Charan Singh as Prime Minister, the highly placed Jat Congressmen used to describe the then Congress government as being run and controlled by Babbaa, standing for BB, suggesting the Brahmin-Bania Combine. The present day BJP is also being understood by the laity as being led by Brahmin-Bania combine. VT Rajshekar of Dalit Voice openly refers BJP as Brahmin Jati Party in his organ.

Hegemonic Relationship with Vaisyas

The British initially came to the country as traders. The Hindu religion itself permits lack of scruples for a Vaisya, which fact makes him totally unprincipled person. Any one who is interested in artha is called arthee. And, arthee dosho na pashyati, that is, a selfish man sees no harm in his selfishness.

The Vaisyas had also naturally felt the need for Indian barristers, since most of the disputes pertained to trade and property. The Vaisyas were in possession of both, thanks to the Hindu laws of Manu and others.

Brahmanical Monopoly over Education

The Brahmanas had been enjoying the monopoly over education and discretion of educating or not educating all others, within Hinduism. Therefore, they enthusiastically learnt the English language and in a matter of give and take, agreed to teach Indian languages and particularly the Sanskrit language to the British. The Sudras and the Untouchables had already been rendered by the Brahmanas to a sub-human level, and as such the former were not in a position to render any help to the British or to take any advantage of the developing opportunities. Thus, the Brahmanas had been having a field day throughout, throwing only crumbs to Kshatriyas & Vaisyas.

The class of barristers became yet another organ to safeguard and serve the British interests in exchange for getting first opportunity of serving their own interests, in the process. Naturally, the barristers came from the trading castes and the Brahmanas. The same was the case in respect of doctors and engineers. Even these professions top positions went to Brahmanas.

Brahmin-Bania Combine versus Kshatriyas

The Aryans had a variety of male gods with the supreme power being called Brahma, after whom Brahmanas came to be called as such. Their close associates, the Kshatriyas came to have their own supreme power, which had been named Vishnu. The Aryans were ready to admit a non-Aryan male God to their own divine fraternity but they were not in a position to accord equal status to their own male gods.

After winning the confidence of the non-Aryans, the Aryan elders were able to cause acceptance of a male consort to the non-Aryan Goddess Kali, as equal to their own Brahma and Vishnu. In view of certain misgivings in the minds of the non-Aryans about the status of their own deity, the Aryans even offered to give to non-Aryan male deity called by whatever name, the title of Mahadeva or the Great God. After Kali, this newly transformed male God to be called Kaala [the masculine sounding word signifying the fierce looking Kali, which also meant 'dark', 'time' as also 'death'.

Thus, the Vedic revivalists had to evolve a strategy of relegating the original Vedic gods to an insignificant position and of accepting the new gods having three manifestations. The idea was to cement three strands of cultures into one whole through artificial means. Brahma, the God of Brahmanas, Vishnu, the God of Kshatriyas, and Siva, the newly created God of Non-Aryans, were the three manifestations. Siva was transformed from the Non-Aryan God, Rudra, [literally, terrible] who was also given new epithets like Kaala and Mahadeva.

With this settlement, Non-Aryan Rudra, the terrible, ceased to be Rudra or terrible for the new masters, the Aryans, and he came to be transformed into Siva [the auspicious] for them. As a consequence, there came to be a Trinity, comprising of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

Present day Hindu is born into a political condition of democratic India, in which most of the situations around him are legally and constitutionally diametrically opposed to the religious mandates. In this condition, a Hindu majority, normally headed or at least guided by a member of Brahmana Varna runs the government in actual practice. In view of his religious position, such a man perforce has to have split personality.

This split is in two opposing directions. Constitutionally, the Brahmanas are required to believe in and working for equality of all and, religiously, they have heavenly ordained duty of treating unequally the members of other castes, creeds, religions, and people of different ethnic or social backgrounds. They also have a duty not do anything, under any circumstances, to disturb the plan of God Vishnu, or of Dharma, or of Varnasrama. Otherwise, the lord will be forced to undertake an incarnation in order to restore the Dharma of inequality and injustice, and to punish the people responsible for bringing about a situation of Adharma.

Thus, a Hindu has probably not much chance of avoiding to fall into the bane of fundamentalism, in which he must always have a sense of guilt in supporting any measure of social welfare, as a member of any political party or of any government in whatever capacity.

It deserves to be underlined here that the revivalists of the Vedic religion were not at all concerned with removing of the defects of the type noted above, of the Sudras and the Ati-Sudras, constituting a very great majority of their own and who were their co-religionists. And, the fact that the use of the term Dvija was monopolised by the Brahmanas themselves, the scriptural commands concerning Dvijas were systematically avoided for Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, if such commands went to confer any merit on any of them.

Sudras Much Sought After

Obviously, the Sudras had become comparatively speaking much sought after class. Firstly, they were welcomed into the Buddhist order. Secondly, Jainism also gave them the opportunity to become Munis, a counterpart of Vedic Rishis and Buddhist monks. The Buddhist alternative to Vedic rishi was more appropriate and even more telling. Since, they were directly referred to as Bhikshus or beggars. Analytical study of the priestly functions of Vedic religion in relation to the means of livelihood, leaves one in no doubt that, at one sage, begging had become the mainstay of the Brahminical priests.

Historically speaking, the Upper Castes had made the Dalits and the Sudras homeless in their own home, that is, Indian sub-continent. The latter had been made to forget their past. The road to all knowledge was blocked for them by forcing ignorance, abject poverty and hunger, through the scheme of samskaaras, which were denied to the Sudras and the deprived Castes and women.

The samskaaras were the only instruments of bits of education and information to the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas. They were designed to turn the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas into the best conformists to Vedic religion and to make them the enemies of the masses, the Sudras and below. The Dalits were also regarded as the outcastes, the Bahyas, literally, the outsiders. In other words, the real natives were declared as the outsiders and the aliens were declared as the ones belonging to this country. The seeds of nationalism among the Upper Castes can be traced to this strategy of turning the natives into despised outsiders.

The Upper Castes became the governing classes, the term with which Dr. Ambedkar referred to the Caste Hindus. For most of the time in recorded history, the fight for supremacy had been between the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas. A closer analysis of the Pauranic literatures goes to prove that when the Kshatriyas humbled the Brahmanas, the latter compromised and accepted the Kshatriya supremacy through the legend of the Ramayana.

The Brahmanas in the name of the Untouchables [cf. Sage Valmiki] created the Ramayana epic, in order to render permanency to the pact between the two upper-most castes. The period, which marks the tussle between the two Varnas, is represented by the exploits of Kshatriyas culminating into the rise of Buddhism. The said period was prior to the Ramayana period. The fissures developed in the pact between the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas, in due course of time. The Brahmanas then turned to the Sudra castes. Consequently, an Aabhira or a Yadava was declared the new reincarnate of Lord Vishnu, obviously to dislodge the Kshatriya Rama from the high pedestal of avataarahood. The new avataara named was Lord Krishna.

The Sudra power was not enough to dislodge the Kshatriyas from position of supremacy. Accordingly, the help of Untouchables was sought through the agency of Krishna, who befriended the Pandavas and the Kauravas, who had commonly descended from the Untouchable sage Vyasa, who was himself a son of the Untouchable woman Satyavati and sage Paraashara. The sage Paraashara was himself the son of an Untouchable Chaandaali, whose father is not mentioned, in the relevant Pauranic episode. The Sudras were made to rise over the corpses of the Untouchables. Later the Sudras were themselves got finished through the same Krishna, who was made the new Vishnu Incarnate.

The Brahmans had hoped that the Sudras would never be in a position to challenge them. But since the late seventies of the twentieth century, the Sudras also started fighting the Brahmanas for supremacy in political and social life. Their first victory was in the form of Charan Singh, becoming the first Sudra Prime Minister, as a result of their revolt against Brahmin-Bania combine. Later on, VP Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Devegauda, Mulayam Singh Yadava, Lalu Yadav and Kalyan Singh Yadava, Rajesh Pilot and Shekhawat etc. have emerged to challenge the Brahmanas in different ways from different platforms.

The Brahmanas have by now thoroughly discredited themselves among the Dalits and the Kshatriya Castes. Their strategies like operating now through the Congress and the through the BJP etc. have all failed. Their only hope lies at present in the Vaisyas. How long the Vaisyas can afford to play second fiddle to the Brahmanas is yet to be seen. The future, however, seems to promise a definite rift between the Brahmans and the Vaisyas. Before the feared rift, the Brahmanas can transfer the formal supremacy to the Vaisyas.

But that possibility appears to be remote in view of the firm Brahminical control over the public media and the consequential monopoly to spread blind faith among the Vaisyas in the mythological gods and goddesses and their miracles. Strangely, the present believers in the miracles and the blind faith being generated by the Brahmanas are only the Vaisyas.

The lessons of history favour the inevitability of the fissures in the Brahmin-Bania combine. The Banias actually fear the physical-striking propensity of the Sudra castes, regarding themselves as ht e martial races. Such groups have so far concentrated on the support of the Dalits and the minorities. The day they turn their attention to the Vaisyas and modify their approaches and the habits, the Brahmanas are bound to become isolated and go out of power.

The love of nationalism of the Caste Hindus can be traced through the historical threads lying broken and scattered in the above bits of history. The Upper Castes are very much afraid of actual history coming to the fore and becoming a matter of common knowledge. The present controversy started by Arun Shourie about the Left Historians can be best understood in the fear-psychosis of the Hindu fundamentalists. Our idea here is not to prove the left historians wrong or right. The idea is to point out to a reality that lies behind such controversies.

Various technological, cultural, political, and economic advances further strengthened tendency toward nationalism. Improvement in communications became a contributing factor. Of course, the spread of education in vernacular languages to the successive lower sections gave them the feeling of participation in the so-called common cultural heritage. Some of the lower sections were made to learn somewhat mistakenly the common background and tradition. In this manner, they also began to identify themselves with the dotted historical continuity of the nation.

The Indian long tradition of co-existence of orthodox and heterodox religions served as the cohesive traditional element in uniting peoples of various castes, creeds and languages. There also came to be felt a forced necessity of tolerance and co-operation between Muslims and Hindus because of political compulsions, although they were extremely suspicious about their position in independent India. The influence of Western ideas also played an important role in creating a sense of belonging in Indian society.

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Traits of Hindu Orthodoxy Before Congress

By Dr. S L Dhani

It is well known that the Hinduism is divided into four Varnas and thousands of castes. It is also fairly realised that Hindus are governed by priestly leadership which is hundred per cent constituted by Brahman Varna. The status of all the four Varnas, namely, Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra is determined by accident of birth and no amount of merit or demerit earned by an individual is capable of changing his Varna status in this life. Any individual who cared to question this rigid system of watertight compartments had no option but to get out or to be turned out of Hinduism. There have been no exceptions to this rule. Even the celebrities like Mahatma Buddha, Vardhaman Mahavira and Guru Nanak the founders of great religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism respectively had to meet this very fate.

Undoubtedly, there have been some important saints like Kabir, Ravidas, Namdev and Dhanna etc., belonging to the Sudra castes who are also remembered in Hinduism with some respect, but they also have never been allowed by orthodox Hinduism to rise above their castes or Varnas. All of them have been given a place of tolerance, not honor, within Hinduism on the condition that their teachings must be in keeping with and not opposed to the basic character and teachings of the Vedas, Puranas and Hindus Law Codes etc.

Hindu Leadership's Tolerance?

The Hindu religious leadership can tolerate any body, even the enemy of the nation, provided he agrees to keep its social organization of Varna division intact. This is how the Brahmanas have been having excellent relationship with the orthodox Muslims and Orthodox Christians and even the Sikhs. The present day Upper Caste Hindus want to remain themselves orthodox and they have been respecting and even encouraging the orthodoxy in other religions.

The Upper Caste Hindus do not encourage revolutionary thinking within their own religion. Similarly, they are not enamored of the reformers of other religions for the simple reason that such reformers tend to reduce the formal differences between any two religions and thus pose a threat to the distinct character of mutually opposed orthodox religions.

The Upper Caste Hindus have a long list of so-called reformers within Hinduism, but they are those people who have criticized their fellow religionists for not adhering to their respective Varna rules could. In this category fall their Swami Vivekanandas, their Aurobindos, their Dayanandas, their Sankaracharyas, their Ramakrishnas, their Gandhis etc.

The Hindus 'value' unity of souls but only in the "heavens" after the death of living beings here. They have talked of brotherhood but that is the brotherhood within particular Varnas or castes. They do talk against exploitation of man by man but only when they feel exploited by others as a class. But they always keep their own eyes shut to the organized exploitation of lower castes and the women, through the pernicious Varna System believed to have been ordained by Manu, who is projected to be the first lawgiver of the world.

Excellent Relations with Leaders of Other Religions

The Upper Caste Hindus have been so 'large-hearted' that they have maintained excellent friendly relations with the heads of other religions including the Muslims and Christians. They have co-operated with the latter in the matter of having their saastras [scriptures] translated in foreign languages by sitting with such Muslims and Christians, who are otherwise referred to as the Mlecchas, which is one of the most degraded titles as we already know.

But interestingly, the Hindus religious leaders have never permitted such sort of proximity to their own Sudras and Untouchables, constituting about 75% of total population of the country, either in relation to themselves or to their saastras even from a distance. So much so, they have never officially permitted the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas, being number two and three respectively in Hindu social hierarchy, to study the saastras independently, without the 'guidance' and preaching by Brahmana.

At Home with Foreigners

It has been the traditional policy of the Upper Caste Hindus that they can feel extremely at home with any foreigners and national enemies only on one condition that their own stratified social structure should not be disturbed. They have been themselves inviting the foreign invaders from the time of Alexander in order to settle their scores against such of their own castes which have endeavored to vie with the religious leaders, the Brahmanas. They had brought about the end of Buddhism with the same method and they had felt quite jubilant over the fact of wholesale massacre of Buddhist Bhikshus by the Muslim invaders. Actual revival of modern Hinduism has been possible only after Muslim advent in India in any capacity. Its ideological foundation had been Srimad Bhagvad-Gita, the first commentary of which was written by Adi Sankaracharya, who died at a young age of 32 in 820 AD.

The Upanishadic literature proves that the social structure as secretly planned by the Brahmanas had been first challenged only by the Kshatriyas, the No. 2 group in the Varna hierarchy, in the given capacity of the rulers.

Thus the first foremost enemies, treated by the Brahmanas as such have been the rulers themselves turned so by themselves, when the latter posed a threat to them or to their social structure, which had given the ultimate supremacy to them.

It is under these circumstances that the Brahmanas or the religious leaders themselves of their own religion have been inviting the foreign invaders from time immemorial in order to settle their scores against their own rulers and successively lower castes going out of their control.

Some New Facts

The Muslims had finally lost their empire known as Moghul Empire, not long back and as such they couldn't be expected to think in terms of any unified action with the Hindus against the British. Ramayana of Tulasidas had taught them not to bother as to who was the ruler of theirs at any particular time. Tulasidas had said: Kouu nripa houu hamen kaa haani? (Whosoever may be the ruler, what is our harm?). In this sense, the Hindus had generally resigned to the fate of their slavery and had even stopped entertaining any hope of achieving freedom from self-invited foreign slavery.

In such a mood, the Upper Caste Hindus could at best express their venom against such of the sections who could be easily attacked in their private conversation. This mood is fairly expressed in the Satyaartha Prakaasha of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj. He had tried to 'remind' the Hindus that their religion is the best and their past was the greatest. In this effort, he had no option but to talk indignantly.

Therefore, Swami Dayananda did not spare Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism or Buddhism and indulged in ruthless criticism of these religions or their founders, not always confining within the limits of literary decencies. So much so, he did not spare his own class, the Brahmanas for engaging in direct loot of the Hindu masses on the pretext of unnecessary exploitative ceremonies.

Many people mistake him to be reformer of Hinduism. But in fact he had tried to reform only the Brahmanas by asking them to put a limit to their greed and ingenious exploitation of non-Brahmanas. The purpose behind this teaching was to avoid a situation in which the non-Brahmanas did not reject them altogether. Another purpose was to avoid the non-Brahmanas rising against such Brahmanas in a revolt of the type, which had led in the past to severance of large chunks of population in order to form still newer religions or sects like Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism.

Still, he rose to become sort of reformer of Hinduism. He drew a dividing line between the Vedic Hinduism and Pauranic Hinduism and maintained that the Vedic Hinduism was all embracing and could be proved to be catering to the needs of all the Varna divisions. He also vaguely introduced the idea of merit in relation to the determination of the Varna of a man. In other words, he did try to preach a semblance of unity between different sections of Hindu population but within the limits of the ancient social divisions, which had little practical value.

The idea behind the efforts of the Swami was to create confusion in the minds of the non-Brahmanas about the true nature of the Hindu religion. The British had been initially able to exploit the prevailing distrust against the Brahmanas in Hindu society and to entice many of the lower classes to their side. By doing so, they were able to have the support of the lower classes, in their initial fight against the Hindu rulers who, in turn, had been the real slaves of the Brahmanical priesthood. They had also been able to pave the way for voluntary conversion of the lower classes to Christianity, the religion of the British, as against the forcible conversion to Islam sanctioned by its scripture.

The Swami's motive behind creation of such confusion was to pave the way for bringing back the lower classes to their original position of being exploited but in the false hope of change of Hindu minds. The possibility of adverse impact on conversion programme was naturally to make the British rulers cautious about their future. The Muslims were also naturally made cautious in their attitude towards the Hindus in general.

Incidentally, he saw greater logic in Islam and Christianity treating God as Formless. The Swami, therefore, became a great critic of Hindu image-worship with a view to snatch the importance of criticism against Hinduism from Islam and Christianity. It has to be remembered, however, that Sikhism, an offshoot from Hinduism had already adopted the idea of Formless God centuries before Swami Dayananda. Of course, the history of Hinduism has shown that any one questioning its fundamentals has to severe his connections from it.

Swami Shraddhananda, the disciple and successor of the Swami Dayananda translated the thinking of his Guru in practice, by introducing the idea and practice of Shuddhi and so-called purification of the converts to Islam and Christianity. Naturally, the Muslims could not be happy about the new situation and the British and the Christians could also be in similar mood of distrust against the Hindus and to make a common cause against the Hindus. By that time, the Muslim divide had not become very evident and therefore in certain pockets, they were seen to be co-operating in their fight against the British.

Since the Arya Samaj had developed the reputation of questioning the Hindu Orthodoxy, which came to assume the name of the Sanatana Dharma, in bid to beat the Arya Samaj on its plank of the Vedic Dharma being proved to be the ancient most religion of the world, Arya Samaj was also carrying along the Sudras and the Untouchables in its fold. Therefore, it was necessary for the British to create someone out of the Hindus to cause disenchantment of the lower classes from the Arya Samaj.

Hegemonic Relationships

British Empire would not have been set up at all if the British traders had not been welcomed by the Indian trading caste of the Vaisyas. The British would not have understood the intricacies of Hindu exploitative system without the wholesome support of the Brahmana Sanskrit Pundits. Initially, India would not have become a slave country if the Brahmanas had not, in their own selfishness, created the Kshatriya class only for their own protection. They needed to be protected against the rest of the so-called Hindu population, which mainly comprised the non-Aryan natives of India.

The country would not have lost its freedom, if a system of preparing all the able-bodied youth of the country and training and inspiring them to fight the aggressors had been introduced in the country. But the rules of the Smritis and other Hindu scriptures had earmarked instead only one section of population, the Kshatriyas, for fighting and taking up the arms, to the exclusion of all others, except the Brahmanas. The latter were free to take up arms only against the Kshatriyas if the former refused to act as tools of the Brahmanas.

Unfortunately, the British adopted the same policy in order to serve their imperial interests, on the suggestion of the Brahmanas. In independent India, those who are treating India as their exclusive empire have not changed the same policy, which is making unfortunate inroads into other spheres like sports, which have turned to be an exclusive affair of the Upper Castes. Since, 10 per cent upper caste men and women cannot be everywhere, such a policy is repeatedly resulting in regular national dishonour in the field of sports at international level. But if there is none to take the things to their logical conclusion, the national honor has to be invariably at stake, and obviously at the hands of the so-called nationalists. According to them, it is their India and the majority of OBCs, Dalits and others have no business to claim her as their India as well.

Traders and trading castes had been made to concern themselves only with exploiting the situation as usual to their pecuniary advantages. Even if existing recalcitrant Kshatriyas were to be fought against, the other Kshatriyas were needed to be instigated by the Brahmanas, in order to fight the former. The purpose behind such rules was to doubly weaken the striking power of the Kshatriyas in order to keep them divided so that the Brahmanas could easily and automatically exploit them. The Smriti rules had not envisaged a foreign invasion.

Anyhow, the Kshatriyas had got into a situation of rising in revolt through their soldiers in the British army, on the ground of their tutored religious sentiments getting injured. Although, the Hindus and Muslims had jointly fought against the British rulers, yet their joint fight against the British was not the result of their natural unity. Rather, the religious sentiments of the sepoys of both the religions had been shown by their respective fundamentalist leaderships to be independently injured by the British. Consequently, the naturally antagonistic groups had come to join temporarily on the principle that 'enemy's enemy is a friend'.

Hegemonic Relationship with Brahmanas

The history of the Indians since the emergence of the British rule has been such that the latter had created sufficient vested interests for different classes and divisions. So far as Hinduism is concerned, such vested interests were created for all the upper three Varnas of Hinduism, in the background of their traditional occupations, which were designed, by the framers of that system, to be divided in different watertight compartments. In that system, higher Varnas were given a facility of exploiting in every conceivable sense, all the lower Varnas, both individually and collectively, with the result that each one of them had started wishing the continuance British rulers in India. The British rulers consciously followed this policy of non-interference in Hindu religious affairs after the declaration of 1858 made by Queen Victoria, already referred to earlier.

The Brahmanas had reserved for themselves the right to speak from the stage on the pretext of being the exclusive preachers for the whole Hindu society. Therefore the non-Brahmanas were not even free to raise a voice against the British rulers., without the express direction of the Brahmanas for fear of losing religious and spiritual merit.

Hegemonic Relationship with Kshatriyas

Kshatriya castes, we already know, had been a definite source of nuisance to the Brahmanas, since before the Pauranic age. The Brahmanas had been employing lot of craft in dealing with them, for example. They had been:

· Declaring the Kshatriyas as Sudras;

· Inviting even foreign tribes to take over the political power from the existing Kshatriyas, under the promise of declaring such foreigners as Kshatriyas, which would mean automatic approval and acceptance of the masses of the foreigners as the genuine rulers; and

· Encouraging non-Kshatriyas available within the country to take the reins of powers from the unruly Kshatriyas.

Manu-Smriti records the fact of many non-Kshatriya castes having been declared as Kshatriyas under the inherent powers enjoyed by the Brahmanas under the Hindu scriptures written by them. Taking advantage of these situations, Sudra castes have also been usurping political powers at times to the embarrassment of the Brahmanas themselves.

The Puranas disclose the fact of the Sudras establishing great empires, lasting for whole millennia. The first such empire was the Nanda Empire, which was succeeded by Mauryan Empire through the distinctive role played by the great Brahmana strategist, Kautilya. He had to indulge in this otherwise sacrilegious act (for a Brahmana under the Hindu scheme of Varnas), to create another Sudra Empire with a view to bringing an end to another existing Sudra Empire. It had been hoped that in the process, some Kshatriya nominee of the Brahmanas could easily replace the existing adversaries. But it was not to happen and therefore it did not happen.

Brahmanas had to take this unusual step because of the problems created by themselves, by way of finishing Kshatriyas from the whole country through the agency of a Yaadava, Krishna of Gita fame, by causing unprecedented civil war of Mahabharata. After the Mahabharata, Brahmanas did not want to allow Kshatriyas to come to power for fear of reprisals in the light of the role of mythological Parasurama to extirpate Kshatriyas en bloc a number of times.

Reverting to the subject of the starting of freedom movement in the wake of all round exploitation of the country by the British, Dalits and Sudras were not in a position to stake their own claim as successors of the British. They could not do so for the simple reason that they themselves were the slaves of the Upper Castes. Moreover, in view of the village setting, they were nowhere in majority, since they had been deliberately scattered by the Caste Hindus to perform the auxiliary functions in an agricultural economy, which was in the hands of Vaisyas and others.

After the winning of the freedom, the Upper Caste Hindus of different Varnas and castes have taken in inheritance, the entire background sampled above. This fact continues to be important contributing factor to the problems of the Hindu masses divided into a caste hierarchy. Every intermediary caste is higher than many others and lower than still others. Thus, no two castes can naturally co-operate with each other on the basis of equality, for fear of social disapproval.

Different castes among the Kshatriya castes and different religions provided the British rulers a peculiar advantage of organizing the army on caste and religious lines and in certain cases, even on the basis of different regions. In case of turmoil, a regiment of one of caste could be set against that of the other.

Indian culture being a changeless traditional culture had far-reaching effects on British rule. The lawyers, teachers and other professionals who used English as their working language became the natural supporters of British rule. Individuals like Motilal Nehru consciously adopted the culture of the British rulers in a mood of taking great airs.

It does not need to be pointed out that in these circumstances all the benefits were monopolized by either of the Upper three Varnas, to the cent per cent exclusion of the Dalits and other Backward Classes, on account of the latter's traditional disabilities imposed Hindu scriptures, particularly in the matter of education.

The British were forced to take certain reform measures in their own interest and in that of some selected sections. It has become a fashion in India to blame the British for indulging in a policy of 'divide and rule'. But it has to be realized by every body that a worse and more effective policy of 'divide and rule' than the Hindu Varna-Vyavastha has never been devised by any other people of the world throughout the history. That policy had been given the name of religion that threatened the successive lower stratified groups to be punished by the State in this life, and by God, after death.

The British rulers were made to adopt the same policy by the Brahmanas to their mutual advantage and to the disadvantage of all other sections of population, not excluding even the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas.

Kshatriyas and Muslims were generally avoided

For the reason that the Kshatriyas were being used as the important arm of repression, the British were obliged to strategically keep the Kshatriya castes away from the freedom movement. There were two reasons therefor:

· That the British had taken over the country from the Muslim rulers, who could be naturally inclined to wish for an overthrow of the British empire with the aim of throwing them out of power; and

· That the British choice, therefore, could fall only on the Hindus and out of them on the Brahmins and Banias, whose religion taught them to be non-violent patient, submissive and agreeing to be a slave in the belief of following the rule of adversity.

This policy immensely helped the Brahmana and the Bania sections to retain almost exclusive leadership over the Congress or the so-called freedom movement. Gandhi cap was in fact a Bania cap, obviously designed to keep the Kshatriyas and other ruralites away from it. Having been born in 1932, and belonging to a village, this author remembers the Gandhi cap being derided upon with great contempt giving rise to laughter among the Kshatriya castes and other agricultural rural families. The derisive laughter suggested that the Congress was a party of Banias. Around the period of rise of Charan Singh as Prime Minister, the highly placed Jat Congressmen used to describe the then Congress government as being run and controlled by Babbaa, standing for BB, suggesting the Brahmin-Bania Combine. The present day BJP is also being understood by the laity as being led by Brahmin-Bania combine. VT Rajshekar of Dalit Voice openly refers BJP as Brahmin Jati Party in his organ.

Hegemonic Relationship with Vaisyas

The British initially came to the country as traders. The Hindu religion itself permits lack of scruples for a Vaisya, which fact makes him totally unprincipled person. Any one who is interested in artha is called arthee. And, arthee dosho na pashyati, that is, a selfish man sees no harm in his selfishness.

The Vaisyas had also naturally felt the need for Indian barristers, since most of the disputes pertained to trade and property. The Vaisyas were in possession of both, thanks to the Hindu laws of Manu and others.

Brahmanical Monopoly over Education

The Brahmanas had been enjoying the monopoly over education and discretion of educating or not educating all others, within Hinduism. Therefore, they enthusiastically learnt the English language and in a matter of give and take, agreed to teach Indian languages and particularly the Sanskrit language to the British. The Sudras and the Untouchables had already been rendered by the Brahmanas to a sub-human level, and as such the former were not in a position to render any help to the British or to take any advantage of the developing opportunities. Thus, the Brahmanas had been having a field day throughout, throwing only crumbs to Kshatriyas & Vaisyas.

The class of barristers became yet another organ to safeguard and serve the British interests in exchange for getting first opportunity of serving their own interests, in the process. Naturally, the barristers came from the trading castes and the Brahmanas. The same was the case in respect of doctors and engineers. Even these professions top positions went to Brahmanas.

Brahmin-Bania Combine versus Kshatriyas

The Aryans had a variety of male gods with the supreme power being called Brahma, after whom Brahmanas came to be called as such. Their close associates, the Kshatriyas came to have their own supreme power, which had been named Vishnu. The Aryans were ready to admit a non-Aryan male God to their own divine fraternity but they were not in a position to accord equal status to their own male gods.

After winning the confidence of the non-Aryans, the Aryan elders were able to cause acceptance of a male consort to the non-Aryan Goddess Kali, as equal to their own Brahma and Vishnu. In view of certain misgivings in the minds of the non-Aryans about the status of their own deity, the Aryans even offered to give to non-Aryan male deity called by whatever name, the title of Mahadeva or the Great God. After Kali, this newly transformed male God to be called Kaala [the masculine sounding word signifying the fierce looking Kali, which also meant 'dark', 'time' as also 'death'.

Thus, the Vedic revivalists had to evolve a strategy of relegating the original Vedic gods to an insignificant position and of accepting the new gods having three manifestations. The idea was to cement three strands of cultures into one whole through artificial means. Brahma, the God of Brahmanas, Vishnu, the God of Kshatriyas, and Siva, the newly created God of Non-Aryans, were the three manifestations. Siva was transformed from the Non-Aryan God, Rudra, [literally, terrible] who was also given new epithets like Kaala and Mahadeva.

With this settlement, Non-Aryan Rudra, the terrible, ceased to be Rudra or terrible for the new masters, the Aryans, and he came to be transformed into Siva [the auspicious] for them. As a consequence, there came to be a Trinity, comprising of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

Present day Hindu is born into a political condition of democratic India, in which most of the situations around him are legally and constitutionally diametrically opposed to the religious mandates. In this condition, a Hindu majority, normally headed or at least guided by a member of Brahmana Varna runs the government in actual practice. In view of his religious position, such a man perforce has to have split personality.

This split is in two opposing directions. Constitutionally, the Brahmanas are required to believe in and working for equality of all and, religiously, they have heavenly ordained duty of treating unequally the members of other castes, creeds, religions, and people of different ethnic or social backgrounds. They also have a duty not do anything, under any circumstances, to disturb the plan of God Vishnu, or of Dharma, or of Varnasrama. Otherwise, the lord will be forced to undertake an incarnation in order to restore the Dharma of inequality and injustice, and to punish the people responsible for bringing about a situation of Adharma.

Thus, a Hindu has probably not much chance of avoiding to fall into the bane of fundamentalism, in which he must always have a sense of guilt in supporting any measure of social welfare, as a member of any political party or of any government in whatever capacity.

It deserves to be underlined here that the revivalists of the Vedic religion were not at all concerned with removing of the defects of the type noted above, of the Sudras and the Ati-Sudras, constituting a very great majority of their own and who were their co-religionists. And, the fact that the use of the term Dvija was monopolised by the Brahmanas themselves, the scriptural commands concerning Dvijas were systematically avoided for Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, if such commands went to confer any merit on any of them.

Sudras Much Sought After

Obviously, the Sudras had become comparatively speaking much sought after class. Firstly, they were welcomed into the Buddhist order. Secondly, Jainism also gave them the opportunity to become Munis, a counterpart of Vedic Rishis and Buddhist monks. The Buddhist alternative to Vedic rishi was more appropriate and even more telling. Since, they were directly referred to as Bhikshus or beggars. Analytical study of the priestly functions of Vedic religion in relation to the means of livelihood, leaves one in no doubt that, at one sage, begging had become the mainstay of the Brahminical priests.

Historically speaking, the Upper Castes had made the Dalits and the Sudras homeless in their own home, that is, Indian sub-continent. The latter had been made to forget their past. The road to all knowledge was blocked for them by forcing ignorance, abject poverty and hunger, through the scheme of samskaaras, which were denied to the Sudras and the deprived Castes and women.

The samskaaras were the only instruments of bits of education and information to the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas. They were designed to turn the Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas into the best conformists to Vedic religion and to make them the enemies of the masses, the Sudras and below. The Dalits were also regarded as the outcastes, the Bahyas, literally, the outsiders. In other words, the real natives were declared as the outsiders and the aliens were declared as the ones belonging to this country. The seeds of nationalism among the Upper Castes can be traced to this strategy of turning the natives into despised outsiders.

The Upper Castes became the governing classes, the term with which Dr. Ambedkar referred to the Caste Hindus. For most of the time in recorded history, the fight for supremacy had been between the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas. A closer analysis of the Pauranic literatures goes to prove that when the Kshatriyas humbled the Brahmanas, the latter compromised and accepted the Kshatriya supremacy through the legend of the Ramayana.

The Brahmanas in the name of the Untouchables [cf. Sage Valmiki] created the Ramayana epic, in order to render permanency to the pact between the two upper-most castes. The period, which marks the tussle between the two Varnas, is represented by the exploits of Kshatriyas culminating into the rise of Buddhism. The said period was prior to the Ramayana period. The fissures developed in the pact between the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas, in due course of time. The Brahmanas then turned to the Sudra castes. Consequently, an Aabhira or a Yadava was declared the new reincarnate of Lord Vishnu, obviously to dislodge the Kshatriya Rama from the high pedestal of avataarahood. The new avataara named was Lord Krishna.

The Sudra power was not enough to dislodge the Kshatriyas from position of supremacy. Accordingly, the help of Untouchables was sought through the agency of Krishna, who befriended the Pandavas and the Kauravas, who had commonly descended from the Untouchable sage Vyasa, who was himself a son of the Untouchable woman Satyavati and sage Paraashara. The sage Paraashara was himself the son of an Untouchable Chaandaali, whose father is not mentioned, in the relevant Pauranic episode. The Sudras were made to rise over the corpses of the Untouchables. Later the Sudras were themselves got finished through the same Krishna, who was made the new Vishnu Incarnate.

The Brahmans had hoped that the Sudras would never be in a position to challenge them. But since the late seventies of the twentieth century, the Sudras also started fighting the Brahmanas for supremacy in political and social life. Their first victory was in the form of Charan Singh, becoming the first Sudra Prime Minister, as a result of their revolt against Brahmin-Bania combine. Later on, VP Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Devegauda, Mulayam Singh Yadava, Lalu Yadav and Kalyan Singh Yadava, Rajesh Pilot and Shekhawat etc. have emerged to challenge the Brahmanas in different ways from different platforms.

The Brahmanas have by now thoroughly discredited themselves among the Dalits and the Kshatriya Castes. Their strategies like operating now through the Congress and the through the BJP etc. have all failed. Their only hope lies at present in the Vaisyas. How long the Vaisyas can afford to play second fiddle to the Brahmanas is yet to be seen. The future, however, seems to promise a definite rift between the Brahmans and the Vaisyas. Before the feared rift, the Brahmanas can transfer the formal supremacy to the Vaisyas.

But that possibility appears to be remote in view of the firm Brahminical control over the public media and the consequential monopoly to spread blind faith among the Vaisyas in the mythological gods and goddesses and their miracles. Strangely, the present believers in the miracles and the blind faith being generated by the Brahmanas are only the Vaisyas.

The lessons of history favour the inevitability of the fissures in the Brahmin-Bania combine. The Banias actually fear the physical-striking propensity of the Sudra castes, regarding themselves as ht e martial races. Such groups have so far concentrated on the support of the Dalits and the minorities. The day they turn their attention to the Vaisyas and modify their approaches and the habits, the Brahmanas are bound to become isolated and go out of power.

The love of nationalism of the Caste Hindus can be traced through the historical threads lying broken and scattered in the above bits of history. The Upper Castes are very much afraid of actual history coming to the fore and becoming a matter of common knowledge. The present controversy started by Arun Shourie about the Left Historians can be best understood in the fear-psychosis of the Hindu fundamentalists. Our idea here is not to prove the left historians wrong or right. The idea is to point out to a reality that lies behind such controversies.

Various technological, cultural, political, and economic advances further strengthened tendency toward nationalism. Improvement in communications became a contributing factor. Of course, the spread of education in vernacular languages to the successive lower sections gave them the feeling of participation in the so-called common cultural heritage. Some of the lower sections were made to learn somewhat mistakenly the common background and tradition. In this manner, they also began to identify themselves with the dotted historical continuity of the nation.

The Indian long tradition of co-existence of orthodox and heterodox religions served as the cohesive traditional element in uniting peoples of various castes, creeds and languages. There also came to be felt a forced necessity of tolerance and co-operation between Muslims and Hindus because of political compulsions, although they were extremely suspicious about their position in independent India. The influence of Western ideas also played an important role in creating a sense of belonging in Indian society.

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