Veteran journalist, author and commentator Kuldip Nayar was lucid and specific in his column captioned, “A Page from ‘Quit India’ Movement”. [Mainstream, Vol. LIV, No. 33, August 6, 2016] His anger against the colonial rulers for the atrocities committed against the Indians is fully justifiable and understandable. But may I request him to place alongside the atrocities Indians have committed against the underprivileged country-men because of caste prejudice?
This is utterly indefensible for any Indian to be perceived as a defender of Churchill at this point of time. This is not in defence of the imperialist Prime Minister any way. But my question is: have we kept count of Indians who have fallen to the hatred of Indians and lost lives because of caste hatred, animosity and brutalities nursed against them? The British officialdom in India had the duty to defend their colony and colonial rule here. What did the Indians achieve by killing, murdering, raping and violating the untouchables? Every Hindu Indian from the upper echelons believed to enjoy an inherent right to kill, destroy and damage another inferior Indian merely on the ground of hatred. Right to life, dignity, happiness and security for socially inferior are not recognised in Hinduism. And Gandhi was a firm devotee of that Hinduism.
This is because of caste in Hinduism. Actually as a common man finds no difference between caste and Hinduism euphemism for their religion. Gandhi proclaimed:
“I am a Hindu because it is Hinduism which makes the world worth living.”
(source: Young India,1-12-26) Look at India at any point of time in the history. Look at the treatment the devoted Hindus meted out to the underprivileged like Eklavya or Shambuka in the era Hindus are utterly proud of. Look at what has been happening across India from one end to the other. If Gandhi is proud, Eklavya or Shambuka had every reason to call it a beastly religion that favours a man because of his caste; it hates another also because of his caste. The Dalits across India are receiving treatment marked by intense hatred, mindless humiliation, glaring injustice and inequality sanctioned by Hindu scriptures. Murder, rape, arson, physical harm targeting the Dalits and tribals are routine. Hinduism decorated with the four-fold caste system is hell for those at the bottom of the society. It’s, of course, a paradise for those at the top. The religion has invested a culture of disrespect in the Hindu mind for the lower social orders. Merit is caste-based and benefit caste-driven. Gandhi prophesied:
“If Brahmanism does not revive, Hinduism will perish.” Gandhi’s full testament for caste is abominable and unbelievable.
Is there any doubt Brahmanism is the soul of Hinduism? And is also there any grain of suspicion it has made Hinduism a beastly religion that denies dignity to a man inferior in caste? If a religion denies respect, dignity, justice, equality to any section counted as Hindu, how is it a creed? If a religion treats its followers savagely, how does it qualify to be a glorious faith?
In 1942 Akli Devi, a native of Shahabad district of Bihar, was shot dead by the police while participating in the ‘Quit India’ Movement. Nobody in Bihar, not to speak of people outside, knows her name. Nothing has been done to commemorate her sacrifice. A widow, she was a Dusadh, one of Bihar’s untouchables. Is her extreme sacrifice insignificant in comparison to any who have captured huge space in history? What Churchill curtly observed we may dislike it but it has tons of truth we can ill afford to overlook in national interest. The country can become a nation if we can kill the beast from the religion. The choice is ours. The initiative too rests solely with beastly Indians.
Should we blame others for pointing out the truth to us? Should our failure to rectify our own deficiencies and set our own houses in order lead us to accuse and vilify others as defence mechanism?