A spiteful and myopic counter to the post, “I’m A Dalit But I Think It’s Wrong To Blame The BJP For The Una As sault” appeared recently in the Huffington Post. The counter was titled “I’m Not A Dalit But I Do Blame The BJP For Una And Other Gau Rakshak Atrocities“. At first, the counter claims that the article is replete with fallacies and has mischief hidden away as sentiment without justifying this grave allegation. If one studies the tone and tenure of the counter closely, it seems to be a post written out of anger rather than genuine concern.
Further, the fuel must have been provided by the obvious incapability to digest countering views, a quality massively prevalent amongst the self-fashioned neo-“liberal’ champions of the oppressed. The counter claims that the imagined dichotomies that exist only in the domain of political propaganda makes him feel compelled to call these out. This is hilarious as the most compelling factor behind the shallow counter is heartache the writer suffered when he had to know the opinion of a dalit who wasn’t blaming the ruling party for the larger societal fallacies existing in the sub-continent. The claims of writer in understanding human empathy seem far fetched consider the utter lack of perspective in the piece. The lazy intellectualism peddled in the garb of an automated thought process of selection of seemingly ‘liberal’ positions cannot be regarded as a fair opinion. Please note that I shall throughout this article is the term liberal under quotes as I believe that true liberal thought doesn’t exist anymore or at least, it is not one which the writer of this counter adheres to.
The whole point of the original article was to provide an insight in to the societal conditions of dalits in India and in the backdrop of this larger perspective, provide an argument beyond the simple delusional binaries of blaming one party and subsequently forgetting the issue. The writer of the original article, maybe with due insight, knows that the linking of these incidents directly to the ruling party provides more hysteria and peepli live circus rather than concrete steps towards true amelioration and integration of the major sections of dalits in the political, social, economic and educational scenario of India. The writer of the original article, perhaps with this set of ideas in mind wrote the post claiming that it would be wrong to blame the BJP for the incidents in Una. To my mind, the writer of the original post, being a dalit himself wishes to genuinely work towards the upliftment rather merely making them vote banks to collect. To the contrary and obviously mistakenly, the writer of the counter thoroughly believes in the tokenism of blaming the ruling party but only if it is the BJP. The impending ‘liberal’ need to blame all evils of the world to the conservatives without analyzing the gravity or the depth of the issue does serious harm to their scholarship. Perhaps after having ones brain washed by the holy red water in the elite social education institutions, this charade is inevitable.
The counter claims that it is wrong on part of the writer of the original post to absolve the BJP for Una merely because these incidents are commonplace and have been happening from times long before the BJP existed. While the writer of the original post sought to bring attention of the reader to the chequered history of dalit atrocities in India, the aim was not to absolve any party or for that matter blame any party, rather the writer sought to put the incident in the correct perspective. The writer original post was worried, and correctly so, that due to the unfair reportage in the national media, a narrative is being sought to be built centering on the BJP being an anti-dalit party. The writer of the original post sought to clarify that these incidents have happened across regimes in India with the same frequency and the mere fact that are being reported nationally because of a BJP government being in power must not muddy the narrative. It further sought to clarify, on the basis of an elementary rule of science, that if the occurrence of a particular result is the same irrespectively of the party in power, it would be logically wrong to blame the party in power for the occurrence of the said result. To illustrate, if the event C occurs while the prevailing circumstances are A, and C also occurs when the prevailing circumstances change to B, it would be scientifically wrong to claim that B is responsible for the occurrence of C. I understand that it would be wrong on my part to assume that the writer of the counter is well versed with elementary rules of logic.
Further, there is unmistakable and characteristically ‘liberal’ sense of intellectual entitlement piercing through the counter. Be that as it may, the writer of the counter, further admits that these evils have existed have existed across regimes and the parties including the Congress must share the blame. If this original post and the counter were pleadings in a Court of law, this would be the point wherein the writer of the original post would file an application under Order 12 Rule 6. The whole point of the writer of the original post was move beyond the childish game of BJP blame and view dalit atrocities in the correct perspective. By this admission, the argument in the counter post gets stuck in a knot which can’t be undone. Theerafter, the counter irrationally claims that the original post was a fallacy parade which move on to Tu quoque, that is to say hypocrisy (thank you for the link). Ignoring the absolutely pointless use of latin, the hypocrisy is not on part of the writer of the original post rather is falls on part of the national media for selectively ignoring incidents and on part of the writer of the counter to fuel his insatiable need to criticize the BJP by the irrational narrative being built around the incident.
To clarify further, I understand that it is the responsibility of the State (not just the present government) to prevent all forms of crime and further, considering the Ambedkarian nature of our Constitution, it is the duty of our State to prevent all forms of discrimination and crimes against dalits. As per political science, it is the central duty of a State under the social contract theory, to prevent crime and maintain law and order. Further, as per basic criminal law jurisprudence, every crime is seen as a crime against the State and not just a persons or group. If this is to be extended, in purely hypothetical terms, every untoward occurrence becomes the responsibility of the State and by extension, the government in power. As we are aware, it would be a logical travesty to report every crime as the responsibility of the State and therefore, the correct perspective is necessary to examine the problem of crime of any nature. It is therefore, necessary to examine the problem of dalit atrocities and dalit emancipation in the larger context and the role of the all political stakeholders to deal with the problem rather than indulging in the pointless exercise of ‘blame it on BJP’. Unfortunately, this is the standard response of that comes up from various factions on such issues. Dalit emancipation is an issue of much greater magnitude which requires a much longer time frame to enable oneself to acquire the requisite knowledge to constructively deal with the issue. It is clarified that I do not seek to take away the right of the writer of the counter or other people to criticize the ruling party, I merely expect him to be smarter and logical while dealing with the issue.
Next, the counter criticizes the original post for having a pragmatic view about the situation. The original post makes a case for dalits to seek integration and social mobility within the society. The writer of the counter, perhaps being unaware of the dalit psyche and the dalit political process, ignores the depth of the issue. For someone who would have been aware of the issue, would remember the largely confrontational approach of the dalit movement in India, with the history of Tilak, Taraju aur Talwar, Inko Maaro Joote Chaar, in contrast to the integrative and ameliorative approach which the writer of the original post stresses upon. The confrontational approach has its advantages and it obvious fallacies if one considers the abject failure of the BSP with its approach in the emancipation of dalit in Uttar Pradesh. The confrontational approach almost inevitably leads to creation of larger than life figures tapping vote banks and rarely contributing towards making the lives of the dalits better. It is clarified that I seek to make no connection between the upper castes and the BJP and assumingly nor did the writer of the original post. Rather, the original post provides a non-confrontational integrative approach and maybe seeks to argue that the conservatives are not against dalit emancipation. This view of the writer of the original post, as a dalit himself, is assumed to come from a deeper understanding of the societal concerns in India which the writer of the counter seems to be unaware of.
Interestingly, the counter then presents the Noah’s arch argument stating that the dalits who have made progress in India are few and far in between and ratio is not enough. I do not seek to indulge myself in the historical correctness of Ved Vyas being a dalit or not, but I would clarify that considering it is mythological, the historical correctness of Ved Vyas being a dalit should be a non-issue rather the prevailing belief must be considered as the correct position. Also, Ambedkar may or may not have been a conservative, but it would certainly be dishonest to claim Ambedkar as a left leaning ‘liberal’ in the modern as the writer of the counter may seem to project. While I do think no political party in India can truly claim the legacy of Ambedkar, the attempt of conservatives in accepting his philosophy and implementing it stands as proof of both, the true liberality of conservatives and the malleability of Ambedkarian thought. Further, Ambedkar represent both schools of dalit thought, the confrontational and also the integrative considering the long and evolving public life Ambedkar lived. Be that as it may and ignoring the ‘liberal’ use of Manu and Vedic Math, I agree with this assertion that the ratio and representation of dalit in top positions in India is not enough. But the counter seemingly deliberately ignores that the point of the original post which was to present the larger need for societal and political empowerment to cure the evil of dalit atrocities. The tokenism of few and far in between dalit leader does not solve the dalit power ratio, but does the tokenism of one dalit atrocities being projected as national news merely because there is a BJP government in power or because an important state with a sizable dalit population is up for elections solves the problem of dalit atrocities? It does not. This is what the original post was hinting at, and was possibly deliberately ignored in the counter.
After these disjoint assertions, the counter makes a shy attempt at dealing with the issue in Una. The counter claims that post seeks ‘sublimal softening’ of the incident by terming it as vigilantism. Then in hyper semantic twist of argument, the counter alleges that for vigilantism, the act of the victims ought to have been illegal ignoring that the modern use of the term ‘vigilantism’ often transgresses beyond the dictionary meaning. Thereafter, the counter makes the absurd argument that since one has not heard of any Marxist, Lohiaite or neo’liberal’ Gau Rakshak Dals, it is to be assumed that All Gau Rakshak Dals are to be associated with the BJP. This argument is ridiculous beyond imagination as it would claim that every political, social, religious, etc organization in the country which is not Lohiaite/Marxist or neo’liberal’, would be informally associated with the BJP. A basic rule of logic one learns at law school is that if A is not B, does not mean A is C. To extend this logic, one will one day claim that all cows are members of the BJP since no Marxist wants to save them?! Or is every naxal killing in Chattisgarh or Orissa or every jihadi activity in Kashmir the doing of ‘liberals’ in India? The inability of the counter to move beyond the myopia of blaming of BJP, makes it suffer from a certain degree of shortsightedness which the original post sought to remove by providing a simple and requisite backdrop to the issue.
Further, the counter rather confusingly admits that BJP is not the originator of casteism but then obviously blames the atrocities on the “intricate corruptions of brahminical” religion. I hate digress but the hatred towards the Brahmins or the terming of castesim as brahminical or for that matter, terming any societal evil in India as something brahminical, is an approach against which I have grave reservations. Without much expansion, I believe it is wrong to single out the brahminical influence for the atrocities on dalits or any societal evil for that matter because, if the blame has to be shared, it would have to be shared amongst everyone and not just the Brahmins. Further, it is wrong to presume that Indian society was completely controlled by Brahmins at any point of time without understanding the parameters of social mobility in India in the historical context. These intellectual corruptions are well entrenched in India due to the propogation of the false aryan invasion/migration theories, the inability to understand the contemporary societal context and the post British evangelical agenda. While, the obvious present day atrocities on dalits, cannot, for one moment be ignored but the fallacies of historical justice against the Brahmins has to be tempered. Historical justice is fallacious argument, an assertion which would require a post of its own. The counter states that there is a false dichotomy between development and social justice, ignoring that considering the impact of Modi and his plank of development and the Deel Dayal Updhayay philosophy of Antyoday, it is the BJP that is trying to bridge these supposed dichotomy. The idea may indeed be difficult to achieve, but it only the BJP and Sangh which seems to be trying to inculcate social justice, empowerment, integration and amelioration of dalits along with the project of development of equality of opportunity for all.
Last but not the least, the counter suffers from an entitlement complex. The original article was written by a dalit clarifying his views on the issue. Perhaps a dalit having his own view wherein he doesn’t necessarily hate the BJP and does not mindlessly cater to the self-entitled intellectual view, could not be tolerated. If this, in your language my friend, is not brahminical, what is?