Friday, 22 January 2016

Declassifying Netaji files

I am afraid that living 70 years in India has totally corrupted my mind, so that I have become absolutely cynical, and see only wicked designs everywhere.

 So I regard all this exercise of declassifying the Netaji files as pure humbug ( the man himself I regard as a Japanese stooge, as I have mentioned in my earlier posts ), but directed to one sole aim : how to benefit from it politically in the coming West Bengal Assembly elections scheduled for May/June this year.

 Mamata Bannerji declassified the state files in September last year, thinking that that will benefit her politically as "Netaji' is an icon in Bengal, while the BJP Central Govt. is declassifying them from tomorrow.

 I checked up on the net, and found that 70% people in West Bengal are Hindus, and 27% are Muslims. Mamata counts on the Muslim vote bank, but clearly that is not enough. She must also have a section of the Hindu votes.

 On the other hand, if BJP can gather together most of the Hindu votes ( Muslims will obviously not vote for them ) they can win a majority for the first time in history.

 Malda has begun a process of polarization and communal hatred, but it must be taken further, and declassification of Netaji files may help
Hari Om

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Caste System In India

( This is an old post on my blog which I am reposting in view of the agitation following the suicide of a dalit youth )

The caste system is one of the greatest social evils plaguing our country today. It is acting as a powerful social obstruction to our progress, and a political divisive force in our country at a time when it is absolutely essential for us to be united if we wish to face our nation’s challenges. It is a curse on our country which must be  eradicated if we wish to progress.

 We may consider a few facts to realize how strongly caste is still entrenched in our society today.

1.Our politics is largely governed by caste vote banks. When the time comes for selecting candidates for the elections a study is made of the numerical caste distribution in a constituency, because voters in most areas vote on caste basis.

2.What to say of the illiterate people, even the so called intellectuals tend to operate on caste lines. Thus, in the elections to many bar associations the lawyers tend to vote for the candidates of their caste. In many of our Universities, our Professors support their caste members in various matters.

3.Many castes want to be declared as O.B.C.s or Scheduled Castes, to get the benefits of reservation. Even some O.B.C.s strive to be declared as M.B.C.s (most backward castes) or Scheduled Castes.

4.Fake caste certificates have become rampant, as is often witnessed in our law courts, to get jobs or admissions in educational institutions.

5.Marriages are still largely performed within one’s caste.

6.Violence often occurs between castes, as was noticed in the recent fight between students of different castes in a University in Chennai, while the policemen looked on as silent spectators.

7.Even Muslims, Christians and Sikhs often have castes, although their religions preach equality.

We can multiply these facts manifolds. Many books and articles have been written about the caste system in India, but a scientific study is still wanting. An attempt shall be made here to explain the origin, development and future of the caste system.
Origin of the Caste System

 The origin of the caste system was in all probability racial.  It is said that caste originated when a white race, the Aryans, coming from the North West, conquered the dark coloured races inhabiting India at that time, probably 5000 years ago or so.

 Some persons deny that the Aryans came from outside India and assert that India was the original home of the Aryans (Aryavarta) from where a section of them migrated to Europe.  It is difficult to accept this view because people migrate from uncomfortable areas to comfortable areas (see my article ' What is India ?' online and on my blog).  Why should anyone migrate from a comfortable country like India which has level and fertile land ideal for agriculture to a place like Afghanistan or Russia which is cold, mountaneous and therefore uncomfortable.  Indian history bears out the view that almost all invasions/immigrations were from outside India (mainly from the North West and to a lesser extent from the North East) into India.

 The caste system is called `Varna Vyavastha’ and the word `Varna’ in Sanskrit literally means colour of the skin. This also points at the racial origin of the caste system. Fair skin colour is usually preferred to darker skin even today, as is evident from matrimonial advertisements, etc.

Subsequent Development of the Caste System

 While the origin of the caste system appears to be racial (as mentioned above) it subsequently developed an altogether different basis according to the needs of the feudal society in India.  In other words, the caste system, though originating in race, subsequently developed into the feudal, occupational division of labour in society.  This needs to be explained in some detail.

 In theory there were only four castes, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. This, however, was only a fiction. In reality there were (and still are) hundreds, if not thousands, of castes and sub-castes in India many of which do not fit into the 4 traditional castes mentioned above e.g. Yadavs, Kurmis, Jats, Kayasthas, Bhumihars, Gosains, etc. Every vocation became a caste. Thus, in North India badhai (carpenter) became a caste, and so did lohar (blacksmith), sonar (goldsmith), kumbhar (Potter), dhobi (washerman), nai (barber), darzi (tailor), kasai (butcher), mallah (fisherman), kewat (boatman), teli (oil presser), kahar (water carrier), gadadia (sheep herder), etc.

 This was not something unique to India. For instance, in England even today there are many people with the surnames Taylor, Smith, Goldsmith, Baker, Butcher, Potter, Barber, Mason, Carpenter, Turner, Waterman, Shepherd, Gardener, Miller, etc., which indicates that the ancestors of these persons belonged to those professions.

 In feudal society, apart from agriculture, there was development of handicraft industry. This happened in India too, and the caste system became the Indian variation of the feudal occupational division of labour in society, somewhat like the medieval European guild system.

 As pointed out by Adam Smith in his book `The Wealth of Nations’, division of labour results in great progress. The caste system in India resulted in great development of the productive forces, and hence in the feudal age it was a progressive institution (as compared to the preceding slave society).

 It is well known that before the coming of the British, India was one of the world’s most prosperous countries (at that time).  India was exporting Dacca Muslin, Murshidabad silk, Kashmir shawls and carpets, ornaments, etc. apart from agricultural products like spices, indigo, etc. to the Middle East and even Europe.  The discovery of Roman coins in several parts of South India show the great volume of trade from India, which shows the great development of the productive forces in feudal India.  In fact India was once a super power with a 31.5% share in the global gross domestic production, which came down to 3% in the year 1991.

The Destruction of Handicraft Industry in India

 It is estimated that before the coming of the British into India about 40% of the population of India was engaged in industry while the rest of the population was engaged in agriculture. This industry was no doubt handicraft industry, and not mill industry. Nevertheless, there was a very high level production of goods in India by these handicraft industries before the coming of the British, and many of these goods were exported often up to Europe, the Middle East, China, etc. e.g. Dacca Muslin, Murshidabad silk, and other kind of textiles, spices etc.

 A rough and ready test of the level of the economic development of a country is to find out how much percentage of the population is engaged in industry, and how much in agriculture. The greater the percentage of population in industry and lesser in agriculture the more prosperous the country. 

Thus, the U.S.A., the most prosperous country in the world today has only about 2 or 3% of its population in agriculture, while the rest is in industry or services.

 India was a relatively prosperous country before the coming of the British because a high percentage of the people (which could be up to 40%) was engaged at that time in industry (though no doubt this was handicraft industry, not mill industry). Thus, Lord Clive around 1757 (when the battle of Plassey was fought) described Murshidabad  (which was then the capital of Bengal) as a city more prosperous than London, vide `Glimpses of World History’ by Jawaharlal Nehru (Third Impression p.416, chapter entitled `The Indian Artisan goes to the wall’).

When the British conquered India they introduced the products of their mill industry into India, and exorbitantly raised the export duties on the Indian handicraft products. Thereby they practically destroyed the handicraft industry in India. The result was that by the end of the British rule hardly 10% or even less of the population of India was still in the handicraft industry, and the rest of those who were earlier engaged in the handicraft industry were made unemployed. In this way about 30% of the population of India who were employed in handicraft industry became unemployed, and were driven to starvation, destitution, beggary or crime (the thugs and ‘criminal’ tribes were really these unemployed sections of society). As an English Governor General wrote in 1834, `the bones of the cotton weavers are bleaching the plains of India’. At the end of the British rule, India, which was one of the most prosperous countries in the world, became one of the poorest, unable to feed itself, with industrial development stalled (as the British policy was to not permit industrialization of  India), low life expectancy and very low literacy rate. As Angus Madison, the Cambridge University historian points out, India’s share of world income fell from 22.6% in 1700 to 3.8% in 1952.

 In this connection it may be noted that in the revenue records in many states in our country one often finds recorded: ‘A son of B, caste lohar (smith), vocation agriculture’; or ‘C son of D, caste badhai (carpenter), vocation agriculture’, or ‘E son of F, caste kumhar (potter), vocation agriculture’, etc. This indicates that the ancestors of these persons were in those professions, but later they became unemployed (although ostensibly they were shown as agriculturists) as British mill industry destroyed their handicraft. Some people think that if the British had not come into India an indigenous mill industry would have developed in India, because the high development of handicraft industry leads to capital accumulation which is the pre-requisite for industrialization, and India would have become an Industrial State by the 19th Century, like North America or Europe, but it is not necessary to go into this here, as there is no use crying over spilt milk.

 In England and other European countries, too, the handicrafts were destroyed by the mill products, but the handicraftsmen got employment in the mills, whereas in India the British policy was to prevent industrialization of India (see Rajni Palme Dutt’s `India Today’) with the result that the millions of handicraftsmen either starved or became beggars or criminals. The Thugs of India or the `criminal tribes’ were those former handicraftsmen who became unemployed.
Handicraft Industry and Mill Industry

 In the feudal period there were no engineering colleges or technical institutes, and the only way to learn a craft was to sit with one’s father from childhood and learn the craft by seeing how he works, with some tips from him.  Thus the father was not only doing the production work through his craft but also teaching the craft to his son.

 This was totally unlike modern times where the teacher in an engineering college or technical institute is not a producer engaged in some industry. In other words, in modern times the vocation of a teacher is separated from the vocation of a producer, but there was no such separation in the feudal age.

 In feudal times one had no choice of one’s profession, one had to follow his father’s profession, and thus the son of a carpenter (Badhai) became a carpenter, the son of a blacksmith (lohar) became a blacksmith, etc. In this way carpenter, blacksmith, potter, etc. all became castes. The same thing happened in Europe too in feudal times (as mentioned above).

Modern Mill Industry

 In the modern industrial age the demand for skilled technical personnel is much larger than in the feudal age, because the demand of goods is much more (due to increase in population, etc.). Hence the traditional feudal method of teaching a craft, in which only a handful of persons, (usually the sons of the handicraftsman), were taught, no longer sufficed for modern society. Now technical institutes or engineering colleges have become necessary, where a large number of students are taught the technical skill.  Obviously all these students could not be sons of the teacher. This destroyed the very basis of the caste system in which one had no choice in choosing one’s vocation and had to follow his father’s profession. The caste system, in which one’s vocation is chosen by one’s birth, is thus totally outmoded in the modern age.

 Today a boy of the badhai (carpenter) caste comes from the rural areas in India to a city where he becomes an electrician or motor mechanic or takes up some other vocation. If he gets some education he becomes a clerk or even a doctor, lawyer, engineer or teacher. He does not usually follow his father’s profession, and this has largely destroyed the basis of the caste system economically.

 The caste system is now being artificially propped up socially by some vested interests e.g. vote bank politics, but when the basis of an institution has been destroyed (by the advance of technology) how long can that institution survive? To my mind the caste system in India will not last for more than ten or twenty years from now (because its very basis has gone).

 A modern mill no longer bothers about the caste of the worker it employs, it only sees his technical skills.

The caste system was a social institution corresponding to handicraft industry. Now that handicraft industry has largely been replaced by mill industry, the caste system has today become totally outmoded, and is hindering our progress. The sooner it is destroyed the better.

Was the Caste System Bad for India?

 Many people think that the caste system did a lot of damage to India. This is undoubtedly true of modern times. But it must also be said that in the feudal age the caste system did good to India because it corresponded to the feudal occupational division of labour in society (as pointed out above), which resulted in the great development of the productive forces (at that time).

 It is a myth that the Scheduled Castes of today were always treated with indignity. In fact upto the coming of British rule, these castes were usually in some handicraft vocation and were earning their livelihood from that vocation. It was only when the British mill industry destroyed their handicraft and they became unemployed that they began to be treated with indignity. An unemployed man becomes a poor man, and a poor man is not given respect in society.

 For instance, the chamars were at one time a respectable caste because they earned their livelihood by doing leather work. It was only when Bata and other companies destroyed their handicraft (and thereby their livelihood) that they sank in the social ladder, so much so that today to call a person a chamar is often regarded as a word of insult (see the judgment of the Supreme Court in Swaran Singh & Ors. vs. State through Standing Counsel & Anr. [2008(8) SCC 435, JT 2008(9) SC 60]).

 Similarly, other castes whose handicraft occupations were destroyed by the British mill industry also became unemployed and thereby fell in the social order.

How will the Caste System be Destroyed?

 To my mind the caste system will be destroyed (and is in fact being destroyed) in India by (1) The advance of technology (2) The people’s struggles, and (3) Inter caste marriages.

 As regards the advance of technology, it has already been pointed out above that in modern industrial society the division of labour cannot be on the basis of one’s birth but on the basis of  technical skills.  Hence industrialization destroys the caste system, and in fact the caste system has become weak in a State like West Bengal, which was partially industrialized before most other states.

 As regards the people’s struggles, these are in fact going on everywhere in view of the harsh economic conditions in India (price rise, unemployment, etc.). People in India are realizing that united they stand and divided they fall, and caste is certainly a dividing force.

 As regards inter caste marriages, I have stated in my judgment in Lata Singh vs. State of U.P. [2006(5) SCC 475, JT 2006(6) SC 173], that inter caste marriages are in the national interest and hence should be encouraged.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Caste among Indian Muslims

Ashrafs, Ajlafs and Arzals

In theory Islam does not recognize castes.

But practice among Indian Muslims is very different from theory

Some of the backward or lower-caste Muslim castes include Kunjra, Dhobi, Halalkhor, and Kalal (so called ranki involved in the profession of wine selling and making.)

The upper caste Muslim castes include  Pathan, Muslim Rajput, Turk, Sheikh, Khan, Syed, Rizvi, biradri, and Malik.

 Ansari, Qureshi, etc are intermediate castes among Muslims,. like Hindu OBCs

  Genetic data has also supported this stratification.

The report commissioned by the government of India and released in 2006, documents the continued 
stratification in Muslim society.

 While in the mosque all Muslims pray together,  but when it comes to marriage their attitude is very different, and most ashrafs ( upper caste Muslims ) will not marry Muslims of the lower castes.
I have many Muslim friends who tell me with pride that they are Rajputs. I know of one Rajput Muslim convert family in Banda, U.P. whose girl fell in love with a dalit young man who was a Magistrate. He converted to Islam to marry her, but the girl's family members told him " humne mazhab  badla hai, jaat nahin " and told the young man to breaak of ties with the girl or they would kill him. The poor fellow was terrified, and got himself transferred to another district.

 I know of a Syed girl who had been my daughter's classmate since childhood. When she had grown up I went to her father, a doctor, and told him I knew of a young Ansari boy from Bhadohi ( the carpet belt near Varanasi ) who was a multi millionaire, and suggested a match. They told me " Hum chamaron mein shadi nahin karte ". I was shocked, and said that I thought Islam does not recognize caste. His wife told me " Bhai saheb, hamein apni biraadari mein rehna hai "

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Gandhi again
Gandhi has been presented as a 'Mahatma', the Father of our nation, who gave freedom to India. I submit this is a myth carefully built up by the British and certain other vested interests. What is the truth. ?
When Gandhi came to India from South Africa ( where he practised law for about 20 years ) in about 1915 the Congress party was confined to some intellectuals, and had little mass following. Gandhi thought that since India is a deeply religious country the best way to build up a mass following would be use of religion. So from 1915 till his death in 1948 in almost every public meeting and his writings he would propagate Hindu religious ideas like Ramraj, cow protection, varnashram, brahmachrya, etc ( see 'The Collected works of 'Mahatma Gandhi ', which is a Govt. of India publication in several volumes ).
This indeed converted the Congress from a party of only intellectuals to a mass party. But it was a mass party of the Hindu masses alone. How could the Muslims join such a party which appealed to Hindu sentiments ? In fact such an appeal to religion necessarily drove the Muslim masses to a Muslim communal organization-- the Muslim League. And prior to 1947 Muslims comprised of about 25% of the population of undivided India ( this percentage was reduced to about 17-18% after 1947 because a section of Muslims became citizens of Pakistan ).
Did this not serve the British policy of divide and rule ? And therefore was Gandhi not objectively a British agent ?
In his book 'The Partition of India ' the eminent jurist Seervai has written that the method of Gandhi of appealing to Hindu ideas may have mobilized the Hindu masses, but it inevitably led to Partition of India.
Thus while Gandhi claimed he was secular,  that was only hypocrisy. In fact he was communal.
Unfortunately most people in India have not read the speeches and writings of Gandhi from 1915 to 1948, and so they do not know what he had done, and they have been taken for a ride. It is high time for them to know the truth.
Some people say that the fact that Gandhi went to Noakhali etc in 1947 to appeal for communal amity shows that he was secular. But in fact this was the typical hypocrisy of Gandhi ( see my blogs ' Chalak Pakhandi ' and ' Here is the Father of your Nation ' on ). First you set the house on fire by propagating Hindu religious ideas day in and day out for several decades, and then when the house is burning you do the drama of trying to douse the flames by appealing for communal harmony. Why did you set the house on fire in the first place ?
Some people ask : what did Gandhi get by this ? My answer is that different people have different motivations. For some money is the motivation, for others power. in Gandhi's case it was probably power ( he was effectively the leader of the Congress ) and the desire to be called a 'Mahatma'. However, that is irrelevant.Whatever may have been his motivation, the real question to be asked is : did his actions in fact further the British policy of divide and rule ? That is why I have called Gandhi objectively a British agent. Subjectively he may have any motivation. An objective agent may not receive any money, and he may not even be conscious of the fact that he is working as an agent. But that does not matter. If by your deeds you are in fact serving the interests of a foreign power, you are an agent of that foreign power.
As regards the claim that Gandhi gave us freedom,this again is a myth. Does any country give up its empire without an armed fight for independence ? Did America get independence from England by satyagrah and hunger strikes, or by mobilizing the Continental Army under George Washington.which fought the American war of Independence from 1775-1781 ? Did Bolivar liberate several Latin American countries with guns or presenting flowers and bouquets to the Spanish rulers ? Did Ho Chi Minh defeat the French by use of arms, or by salt marches ?
It is said by some that if the Indian people had resorted to arms against the British rulers there would have been a lot of bloodshed. That is true, but then that is the price a people must pay for getting freedom.
 In fact our real freedom fighters, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Surya Sen ( Masterda ), Ashfaqulla, Ram Prasad Bismil, Khudiram Bose, Rajguru, Sukhdev, etc realized this and took up arms against the British in the early 20th century.. This was no doubt only the beginning of a nationwide armed fight against the British, and was therefore only on a very small scale. But later on it would have developed into a full blown War of Independence. But Gandhi successfully diverted this genuine freedom struggle towards a harmless channel called satyagrah, which was sentimental nonsense, and which would do no real harm to the British. Would a great power like Britain give up its Empire because Gandhi was going frequently on fasts and singing Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram in public meetings ? The names of our real freedom fighters ( mentioned above ) have been relegated to the footnotes of our history books, and they have been painted as mavericks and deviants, while that fraud Gandhi is given the credit of winning freedom for us
So who was responsible for Independence in 1947 ? Let me explain.In the Second World War, which started in 1939, Germany attacked England, and considerably weakened it. Possibly Germany would have conquered England, had it not been for American help. But this help came at a price. The Americans put pressure on the British to give up their empire in india, so that India may be opened up for American enterprizes and investments too. This is the real cause of independence to india. It had nothing to do with Gandhi.
I am reproducing below my blog which started this debate
Gandhi---A British Agent
This post is bound to draw a lot of flak at me, but that does not matter as I am not a popularity seeker  I have often said things knowing that initially that will make me very unpopular, and I will be vilified and denounced by many. Nevertheless I say such I believe they must be said in my country's interest.
I submit that Gandhi was objectively a British agent who did great harm to India.
These are my reasons for saying this :
1. India has tremendous diversity, so many religions, castes, races, languages, etc ( see my article ' What is India ?' ). Realizing this the British policy was of divide and rule ( see online ' History in the Service of Imperialism ' , which is a speech delivered by Prof. B.N. Pande in the Rajya Sabha ).
By constantly injecting religion into politics continuously for several decades, Gandhi furthered the British policy of divide and rule.
If we read Gandhi's public speeches and writings ( e.g. in his newspapers 'Young India', ' Harijan ', etc ) we find that ever since Gandhi came to India from South Africa in 1915 or so till his death in 1948, in almost every speech or article he would emphasize Hindu religious ideas e.g. Ramrajya, Go Raksha ( cow protection ), brahmacharya ( celibacy ), varnashram dharma ( caste system ), etc ( see Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi ).
Thus Gandhi wrote in ' Young India ' on 10.6.1921 " I am a Sanatani Hindu. I believe in the varnashram dharma. I believe in protection of the cow ". In his public meetings the Hindu bhajan ' Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram ' would be loudly sung.
Now Indians are a religious people, and they were even more religious in the first half of the 20th century. A sadhu or swamiji may preach such ideas to his followers in his ashram, but when they are preached day in and day out by a political leader, what effect will these speeches and writings have on an orthodox Muslim mind ? It would surely drive him towards a Muslim organization like the Muslim League, and so it did. Was this not serving the British policy of divide and rule ? By constantly injecting religion into politics for several decades, was Gandhi not objectively acting as a British agent ?
2. In India a revolutionary movement against British rule had started in the early 20th century under the Anushilan Samiti, Jugantar, and revolutionaries like Surya Sen, Ramprasad Bismil ( who wrote the song ' Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai ), Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, etc ( who were all hanged by the British ). Gandhi successfully diverted  the freedom struggle from this revolutionary direction to a harmless nonsensical channel called Satyagrah. This also served British interests.
3. Gandhi's economic ideas were thoroughly reactionary. He advocated self sufficient village communities, though everybody knows that these communities were totally casteist and in the grip of landlords and money lenders..Gandhi was against industrialization, and preached handspinning by charkha and other such reactionary nonsense. Similarly, his ' trusteeship ' theory was all nonsense, and an act of deceiving the people
Some people praise Gandhi's bravery in going to Noakhali, etc to douse the communal violence at the time of Partition. But the question is why did he help setting the house on fire in the first place by preaching religious ideas in public political meetings for several decades, which were bound to divide the Indian people on religious lines? First you set the house on fire, and then you do the drama of trying to douse the flames.

Gandhi and Caste

Gandhi repeatedly said in the 1920s that ' Hindus must follow their hereditary professions ' and that ' prohibition of intermarriage between people of different varnas was necessary for a rapid evolution of the soul '. In the 1930s he changed his tune and started saying that he was opposed to caste but supported varna and hereditary professions, as if there is a difference between the two
This hypocrisy was typical of Gandhi. Whenever he found his stupid feudal ideas unacceptable he tried to obfuscate.

  Thus in 1921 he said in his journal Young India " I am a sanatani Hindu. I believe in varnashram dharma. I believe in protection of the cow "

  He also said " I believe that caste has saved Hinduism from disintegration. One of my correspondents suggests that we should abolish the caste system but adopt the class system of Europe, meaning that the idea of hereditary castes should be rejected. I am inclined to think that the law of heredity is an eternal law, and any attempt to alter it must lead to utter confusion. Hindus believe in transmigration of the soul, and Nature will adjust the balance by degrading a Brahmin if he misbehaves to a lower caste, and upgrading one who lives the life of a Brahmin to a Brahmin in his next life. "

 He also wrote " The beauty of the caste system is that it does not base itself upon distinctions of wealth-possessions. Money, as history has proved, is the greatest disruptive force in the world C aste is but an extension of the principle of the family. Both are governed by blood and heredity. Western scientists are busy trying to prove that heredity is an illusion andthat milieu is everything. The.experience of many lands goes against the conclusions of these scientists; but even accepting their doctrine of milieu, it is easy to prove that milieu can be conserved and developed more through caste than through class. As we all know, change comes very slowly in social life, and thus, as a matter of fact, caste has allowed new groupings to suit the changes in lives. But these changes are quiet and easy, as a change in the shape of the clouds. It is difficultto imagine a better harmonious human adjustment.Caste does not connote superiority or inferiority. It simply recognizes different outlooks and corresponding modes of life.But it is no use denying the fact that a sort of hierarchy has been evolved in the caste system, but it cannot be called the cre-ation of the Brahmins. When all castes accept a common goal of life, a hierarchy is inevitable, because all castes cannot realize the ideal in equal degree."

  Again in 1921 Gandhi said : “I believe that if Hindu society has been able to stand, it is because it is founded on the caste system. A community which can create the caste system must be said to possess unique power of organization.To destroy the caste system and adopt the Western European social system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation which is the soul of the caste system.The hereditary principle is an eternal principle.To change it is to create disorder. It will be a chaos if every day a Brahmin is to be changed into a Shudra, and a Shudra is to be changed into a Brahmin. The caste system is a natural order of society.... I am opposed to all those who are out to destroy the caste system.”

 In 1926 Gandhi writes ": In accepting the fourfold division I am simply accepting the laws of Nature, taking for granted what is in-herent in human nature and the law of heredity.... It is not possible in one birth entirely to undo the results of our past doings."

  Gandhi's hypocrisy can again be seen by the following statement in 1927 :
  : " In my conception of the law of varna, no one is superior to any other.... A scavenger [.a rubbish-collector or a latrine- or street-sweeper] has the same status as a Brahmin "

  Is this not ridiculous and farcical ? Do Brahmins regard shudras as their equals ?.It is like the devious doctrine of  'separate but equal ' propounded by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896. Gandhi does not want abolition of the caste system, he says all castes have the same status, which is nonsense.

  In 1925 Gandhi says: " There is no harm if a person belonging to one varna acquires the knowledge or science and art specialized in by persons belonging to other varnas. But as far as the way of earning his living is concerned, he must follow the occupationof the varna to which he belongs, which means he must follow the hereditary profession of his forefathers.The object of the varna system is to prevent competition and class struggle and class war. I believe in the varna system because it fixes the duties and occupations of persons.Varna means the determination of a man’s occupation before he is born. In the varna system no man has any liberty to choose his occupation."

  This statement is again obfuscation. Why will anyone acquire a skill unless he can use it to earn his bread ?

   In 1931 Gandhi said: " I do not believe in caste in the modern sense. It is an excrescence and a handicap on progress. Nor do I believe in inequalities between human beings. We are all absolutely equal. But equality is of souls and not bodies. We have to realize equality in the midst of this apparent inequality. Assumption of superiority by any person over any other is a sin against God and man. Thus caste, in so far as it connotes distinctions in status, is an evil

 .I do however believe in varna which is based on hereditary occupations. Varnas are four to mark four universal occupations – imparting knowledge, defending the defenceless, carrying on agriculture and commerce, and performing service through physical labor. These occupations are common to all mankind, but Hinduism, having recognized them as the law of our being, has made use of it in regulating social relations and conduct. Gravitation affects us all whether one knows its exist or not "

  The above statement really takes the cake. On the one hand Gandhi says he does not believe in caste, on the other hand he says that he believes in hereditary occupations, and says it is like the law of gravity.  But hereditary occupations is the basis of caste ( see my blog on caste system on ). Does this contradictory statement require any comment, except to say that this man can wriggle around and say that 2+2=4 and 2+2=5 in the same breath ?

 In 1932 Gandhi said:  "My own opinion is that the varna system has just now broken down. There is no true Brahmin or true Kshatriya or Vaishya. We are all Shudras, i.e. one varna. If this position is accepted, then the thing becomes easy. If this does not satisfy our vanity, then we are all Brahmins. Removal of Untouchability does mean root-and-branch destruction of the idea of superiority and inferiority "

   Does the above statement make any sense ? At least I cannot make any head or tail out of it.

  In 1933 Dr. Ambedkar  said "There will be outcastes as long as there are castes, and nothing can emancipate the outcaste except the destruction of the caste system.". This was a logical argument of Dr. Ambedkar.

  But see how Gandhi replies. He said "  Dr. Ambedkar is bitter. He has every reason to feel so. Yet I do not believe the caste system, even as distinguished from varnashrama [the scheme of duties traditionally linked to the caste system], to be an “odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it, as there is about Untouchability; and if Untouchability is a by-product of the system, it is only in the same sense that an ugly growth is of a body, or weeds of a crop ".

    Thus Gandhi is not against the caste system but only against Untouchability.

 Gandhi admitted that his ideal of a varna system with everyone enjoying equal economic and social status probably had no historical warrant:

 : But when asked whether in ancient India there was much difference in economic status and social privileges between the four varnas Gandhi replied " That may be historically true. But misapplication or an imperfect understanding of the law must not lead to the ignoring of the law itself. By constant striving we have to enrich it  ".

 So Gandhi is not against the caste system but only its  'misapplication.' ( whatever that may mean )..

 The contrast between Gandhi’s and Ambedkar’s views was heightened by their respective relations 
to the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal, a new organization which was dedicated to promoting a casteless Hinduism. Gandhi told its secretary:in1932:  "If eradication of castes means the abolition of varna I do not approve of it. But I am with you if your aim is to end the innumerable caste distinctions ".

 Dr Ambedkar corrrectly analysed  the cause of Gandhi's  contradictory statements and obfuscation regarding caste as " the double role which the Mahatma wants to play – of a Mahatma and a politician. As a Mahatma he may be trying to spiritualize politics. Whether he has succeeded in it or not, politics have certainly commercialized him. A politician must know that society cannot bear the whole truth. If he is speaking the whole truth, it is bad for his politics. The reason why the Mahatma is always supporting caste and varna is because he is afraid that if he opposes them he will lose his place in politics.... Whatever may be the source of this confusion, the Mahatma must be told that he is deceiving himself and also deceiving the people by preaching caste under the name of varna ".

   This is the man who has been thrust down the throats of Indians as the ' Father of the Nation '

Bengalis and Bose

I hold Bengalis in high respect. They are a highly intelligent, highly cultured people, with great contributions in literature, science, philosophy,social reforms, etc

 Unfortunately, many of them have some blind spots. It is diifficult to talk rationally with most Bengalis about some personalities whom they have converted into icons or holy cows, e.g. Tagore or Subhas Chandra Bose. Even the slightest criticism of these persons invokes a torrent or barrage of abuse, invectives and vituperations.

 I remember when I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court I was sitting with some other Judges, one of whom was a Bengali, at the house of one of my colleagues. I mentioned my view that Subhas Chandra Bose was objectively a Japanese agent. This so infuriated the Bengali Judge that he started shouting and raving almost like a madman, and so I quickly apologized so as not to break up the party.

 But why should Bengalis go crazy if someone rationally criticizes Tagore and Bose ? Are they the private property of Bengalis.?

 I have given my reasons for criticizing Bose, whom I regard as objectively a Japanese agent, and Tagore, whom I regard as objectively a British stooge. I do not claim that my reasoning is necessarily correct, but then if one disagrees with it he should politely and coolly point out the flaws in my reasoning, and give his counter reasoning. Mere abuse is neither here nor there. In fact abuse is the refuge of a person when reasoning fails.

 I have already mentioned my view about Tagore on my blog in which I have said that Tagore was objectively a British stooge, who had been built up by the British ( through their agent Yeats ) so as to divert literature from the revolutionary direction Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyaya was taking it ( see his Pather Dabi ) towards harmless and nonsensical spiritualism and mysticism ( see his poems Gitanjali, Klanti, Agni Beena Bajao Tumi, etc and that nonsensical novel ' Gora ') so as not to harm British interests.

 I had also called Bose objectively a Japanese agent, in one of my blogs.

   Mamata Banerjee threw open the state government's files on ' Netaji '.,and so will the Central Govt., as was announced after the Prime Minister's meeting with Bose's relatives in Delhi.

 Mamata Banerji's move was just a diversionary populist measure to divert attention from the real problems of Bengalis ( and other Indians ) of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, price rise, malnourishment, etc.and gain popularity for the coming Bengal elections.

 But, it is high time for Bengalis ( and other Indians ) to make a rational assessment of this ' national icon ' ( as Mamata described him ).

 1. To assess Bose we have to see the historical background. That background was this :
 Japan had rapidly industrialized in the late 19th and early 20th century, and then, like other imperialist powers wanted colonies, i.e. markets and raw materials for her growing industries..

 2. The problem for Japan was that most of East and South Asia was at that time already colonized or dominated by European powers. So to oust them Japan embarked on an aggressive programme of militant expansionism and conquest of east and south Asia, calling it euphemistically ' The Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'.

 3. By this militant expansionism Japan conquered Korea, Manchuria, parts of north and east China, and their armies went as far south as Burma and Singapore

 4. Did the Japanese come so far from Japan for a picnic, or to conquer colonies ?

 5. Having reached Burma the Japanese were obviously eyeing the huge Indian market and enormous raw materials, which were then under British control. So they fought against the British to capture these.

 6. If the Japanese had defeated the British would they have given freedom to India, or made it a Japanese colony and looted it ?.Anyone having slightest commonsense can give the correct answer to this question. They would have colonized and looted India, not given us freedom.

 In my opinion Bose was a highly ambitious person, and he became a Japanese agent because neither Gandhi nor Hitler had given him any ' bhaav ', so he thought that the only alternative left was to ally with Japan.

 The Japanese fascists used Bose in their fight against the British, but the moment his utility was over they would probably have bumped him off, or made him a puppet ruler like the last Chinese Emperor Pu Yi, who was made head of 'Manchukuo'.

 Does anybody think that the Japanese fascist imperialists would have given freedom to India if they had defeated the British ? No, they would have made India their colony ( as they made Korea, Manchuria and other parts of China, Vietnam,etc ) and looted us. If we resisted, the Japanese, who were fascists, would assuredly have massacred our people, as they did to the people of Shanghai, Nanking, etc ( see on Youtube visual accounts of these massacres ).

 If Bose was a great freedom fighter, why did he give up the fight against the British the moment the Japanese surrendered in 1945 ? He should have carried on a guerilla war against the British, the way the Chinese Eighth Route Army fought against the Japanese. In guerilla war you fight with the weapons of the enemy, by first snatching them from him. The fact that he did not do so shows that there was nothing in the man. First he tried to become an agent of the Nazis, but they rebuffed him. Then he became an agent of the Japanese, who accepted him as their loyal lackey.

 Some people support Bose's alliance with the Japanese by saying that an enemy's enemy is one's friend. In the real, practical, world, this maxim cannot be of universal application. One can understand alliance with Japan if there was a possibility that such an alliance could have given us real freedom. But there was no such possibilty. Even if the Japanese, with I.N.A. support had defeated the British, they would never have given us freedom, but converted India into their colony. The very nature of the then fascism and imperialism prevailing in Japan makes this evident. Only a fool will talk like Anuj Dhar that Japan would have treated India differently from the other countries it had conquered because it was the land of Buddha. As if fascists care for Buddha

 In 1941 Bose went to Germany, and not only hobnobbed with Hitler but even with Himmler, two of the most evil men in history, ( their photographs can be seen on the internet ) responsible for terrible atrocities on the Jews, which had started in 1933 when Hitler came to power, and which the whole world knew of. So Bose could not have been ignorant of Kristalnacht of 1938 etc, even if he did not know of gas chambers..

  Bose wanted to organize the Indian soldiers captured by the Germans, to fight along with the Nazis. But when Hitler showed no interest, Bose went to Japan and raised his ragtag 'Azad Hind Fauj ' to fight with Japanese support against the British army.

 The INA was totally dependant on the Japanese for weapons, supplies, etc. So Bose never objected to Japanese atrocities on the local people of Andaman Islands. And the moment Japan surrendered the ragtag 'Azad Hind Fauj ' disappeared like empty gas.

 My assessment of Bose is that while in his youth he was patriotic, having resigned from the I.C.S. to serve the nation, he was a confused person, who later became over ambitious, and to satisfy his ambition and ego was prepared even to ally with the devil. Like a Faust who sold his soul to a Mephistopheles, Bose sold his soul to fascists.In fact he sold it twice, first to the Nazis, and then to the Japanese fascists
 It is high time Bengalis ( and others ) realize this

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Be careful with Babas

The arrest and chargesheeting of Kiku Sharda for mimicking Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sends a clear signal to all in the country : do not mimick or criticize any Baba ( Godmen ), dead or alive,  lest you find yourselves behind bars for 'hurting the religious sentiments' of their followers.

 So do not mimick or criticize the following :
1.Satya Sai Baba
2.Radhe Ma
3.Asaram Bapu
4. Sri Sri Ravishankar
5.Swami Ramdev
6.Nirmal Baba
7.Swami Nityanand
9. Handia Baba
10. Deoraha Baba
11.Nimkauri Baba
12. Computer Baba
13. Pilot Baba
15. Anandmayi Ma
16. Dhirendra Brahmachari
17. Chandraswami
18. Balti Baba

 There are obviously many more which could be added in the list, but presently these are the ones who come to my mind.
 And of course, apart from these are also the Babas who sit in the Indian judiciary, about whom also you have to be careful
Hari Om

Kiku Sharda

I fail to understand how mimickry by Kiku Sharda violated secion 295A of IPC which reads:

" 295A. Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs.—Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both ".

 It seems that a sense of humour has departed from our country, and freedom of speech and expression can be violated, and sacrificed to intolerance

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The need to shift from religion to science

 Recent communal incidents in Maldia, Purnea, etc, the fresh raking up of the Ram Mandir issue, and the earlier murders of Prof. Kalburgi, Dr. Dabholkar, Pansare, Ikhlaque, etc once again remind us of the need for spreading scientific thinking in our country, and for clarifying certain ideas, otherwise the religious extremists, vested interests and their agent provocateurs will have a field day.

Article 51A(h) of the Indian Constitution enjoins us to develop the scientific temper and a spirit of inquiry.

Religion and science are poles apart. It is nonsense to say that they complement each other. Religion is based on 'divine   revelation' and faith, while science is based on reason and observation. I believe that men should be governed by science.

Religion says that there is a supernatural being called God, who is permanent, immortal and all powerful. Science holds that there are no supernatural entities like God, angels, fairies, demons,witches or soul ( and therefore there is no such thing as transmigration of the soul, or resurrection on Judgment Day ), and that nothing is permanent, everything is changing, and in a state of flux, in accordance with certain laws which can be discovered by scientific research.

 Religion claims to be final, while science claims no finality, and is constantly developing.  Every scientific theory is open to future refutation or modification, as happened to Newton's theory of Gravity, which was modified by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

Science holds that the only reality is matter, which is in motion according to certain laws.

Some people ask :who created matter ? The answer is : there is no creator of matter. Matter came from matter, though the form keeps changing. If it is claimed that everything must have a Creator, we fall into the fallacy of the infinite regress, because if everything must have a Creator, then that Creator too must have a Creator i.e.a super Creator, and that super Creator too must have a Creator, i.e. a super super Creator, and so on

With every step science advances, religion recedes. Thus, people at one time thought that small pox is due to the anger of a goddess ( mata ), but now we know it is because of a virus, and can be prevented by innoculation. People at one time thought that rains are caused by a rain god, Indra, and so if there is drought we have to propitiate that god in some way ( many people in India still believe that ). Today we know that rains are caused by the build up of low pressure areas over a heated land. People at one time believed that Adam and Eve were created by God. Later Darwin proved that men evolved from the apes.

All religions everywhere in the world were initially nature worship. For example the Vedic gods like Indra, Agni, Surya, etc represented forcesw of nature which could benefit or harm man, and therefore had to be propitiated. At that stage of history science had not developed enough to enable us to know the real nature of these forces. Later, some religions developed the concept of the single God, who represented the Perfect Man, devoid of all the defects in real men.

Why is religion such a powerful force even today ? It is because of (1) massive poverty in the world and (2) the feeling of helplessness. Religion gives a solace, an imaginative respite, to the poor masses who are living in utter misery. Without such a  respite ( though in imagination ) they may go mad, so horrible are their lives.. And as for people who are not poor, they too often take recourse to religion in view of the uncertainties in life.

For example, businessmen too are often religious, because there are uncertainties in business, and so they take recourse to god to propitiate him so as to save them from any business calamity ( I was told that some prosperous businessmen in the south have gifted some shares in their companies to Balaji, the God of Tirupati, and the dividends go directly to Him). The amount of ' chadhawa '( offerings ) in many temples is enormous.

People take recourse to religion and 'Babas' ( as they take recourse to astrology ), because of a feeling of helplessness. They plan something, but something else happens. In  other words, we are unable to control our lives. So we believe that it is some supernatural force ( or, in the case of astrology, the stars and planets ) which control our lives ( hoi wahi jo Ram rakh rakha ).

The truth is that we are unable to control our lives because of the low development of science as of today, compared to what it will be 100 or 200 years hence. In that future age, science will have developed so much that we cannot even imagine about it today, and then men will be able to largely control their lives, and then there will be no need of God.

The scientific outlook took a long arduous struggle to gain acceptance. For centuries the Church in Europe persecuted the greatest scientists with blind ferocity,  hounding them, torturing them and burning them at the stake. Bruno was burnt at the stake. Galileo almost met the same fate during the Inquisition, and escaped only by recanting ( Copernicus' theory ). Even as late as 1925, a teacher in U.S.A. John Scopes, had to face a criminal trial ( the famous 'Monkey Trial' ) for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution ( see online ).

It is said that many scientists believed, and still believe, in God. That only proves that scientific and unscientific ideas can co-exist in the same head. Since originally most ideas of men were unscientific, their remnants will persist for a long time, often in men who are otherwise quite scientific in their thinking.

 Religion cannot be abolished by decree. In fact religious persecution makes people more bigoted.
The need for religion and God will disappear when the social and economic factors which give rise to religion disappear. And this will only happen when science is so highly developed that we are able to control our lives. Then there will be no need of God or religion.

Till that happens, and that will take a very long time, we must insist on religious freedom, tolerance and secularism.

 So what should be our attitude towards religion ? While we must uphold secularism and freedom of religion in our country, we must also patiently explain to our people that all religions are superstitions, and that the truth lies in science, which is constantly developing and never final. In other words, It should be :

1. To firmly uphold the right of everyone to freely profess and practice his/her religion

2. To simultaneously propagate patiently the idea among the people that all religions are superstitions and irrational, which may have served a useful role in society at one stage of its historical development, but today are outdated, and must be replaced by science, which is no doubt constantly developing, but represents the truth.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Odd Even Car scheme

Today the hoi polloi and witless hordes in Delhi may be applauding Kejriwal for his scatterbrained schemes and stunts, but tomorrow the same asinine herd of emotional blockheads is bound to start cursing him.
Public opinion is fickle, like the Roman mob at Caesar's funeral whose opinion was totally reversed by a short speech by Mark Antony (see Shakespeare's Julius Caesar ), or like the bloodthirsty Paris mob at the trial of Charles Darnay during the French Revolution ( see Charles Dicken's ' A Tale of Two Cities ' ).