So far Indian leaders have been almost always from up north (as far north as Kashmir)
, far away from the coast and with little understanding of coastal people and their lives (and livelihoods). Even PV Narasimha Rao was a Brahmin from Karimnagar, Telengana, which does not have a coastal (read: trader) ethos.
Joe D’Cruz is by some estimates, the greatest Shudra author in modern times and
he is on-record with his heart-felt love (scroll to the bottom) for
the tallest Shudra Leader today: Shri Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi-ji. As a Coastal Leader first and foremost, Joe is sure that NaMo will wield his magic wand and restore the reputation and fortunes of Coastal India. And all of India will benefit from this rising tide.
In the old days famous poets used to sing the praise of mighty kings – prashasti in Sanskrit-
which would be inscribed on rock-tablets for posterity. In 21c. we are
(unfortunately) lacking in omnipotent men as well as master poets. Now
at long last, the wait is over. Look on these glorious words below, ye BPites….and you will be filled with either despair or delight.
The liberals are (naturally) outraged and have declared Joe to be an out-caste (untouchable).
Just like the historic divisions between Shias and Sunnis will not remain buried under anti-idolatry passions (non-Sunni muslims may even vote for the BJP as a protest vote against Sunni-led acts of discrimination), similarly the divisions between the Middle Castes (Shudras) and Lower Castes (Dalits) will also sharpen as both communities come out of the shadow of the upper castes and take their rightful place under the sun.
In that sense the General Elections 2014 will be a reality show that will show-case the puzzle that is Indian society and how it re-arranges itself along and across caste lines. The exercise (and the execution) is nothing but fascinating to observe at a close distance and in real time, and is also the closest that India can get to a social (often violent but at low level) revolution without completely breaking up into so many Pakistans.
India is Shudra nation- this is a simple numbers game. But what is interesting now is that Dravida pride is cutting across all pre-existing bonds of religion, language and community that would normally separate one Indian fom the other. No wonder Narendra Modi is portraying himself as an OBC tea-seller with Hindutva loyalties against the aristocratic Brahmin first family (backed strongly by Dalits and minorities). The same pattern repeats in UP where Mayawati would like to stitch together a Brahmin-Muslim-Dalit front, and has made her strategy explicit in the form of the candidate composition for the General Elections 2014.
The coming together of the Dravidas as the dominant race (jati) in India is what Meena Kandasamy wrote about after a Dravida girl dared to fall in love with a Dalit boy:
Though Tamil Nadu comes at the bottom of the all India list on
inter-caste marriages, with less than two per cent of marriages taking
place between Dalits and non-Dalits, the state faring marginally better
than J&K and Rajasthan, Doctor Ayya was quick to launch his war on
the global terror named Inter-caste Love. Although he was arrested for
challenging the Jayalalitha government and daring the police to prove if
it was possible to imprison him, his hate speech did not subside.….His concept of (Dalit) men on the prowl might have
unintentionally advertised their desirability—smooth/ suave/ sexy—but
his plan paid dividends.
Untouchability, outlawed under the
Constitution, was back in business. It has burnt villages, killed young
people and recently cobbled up a non-Dalit (read anti-Dalit) caucus of
intermediary castes like Gounders, Kallars, Udayars, Yadavas, Mudaliars,
Naidus, Nadars and Reddys to work alongside the Vanniyars. Their two
common demands—ban on inter-caste marriages and an abrogation of the
Prevention of Atrocities Against sc/st Act—gave away their true agenda
of upholding untouchability.
The only piece of the puzzle that will not be re-arranged so easily are the Muslim (Sunni) Shudras. So far their religion has proved to be a greater bond (common cause with the upper-caste Ashrafs) than caste pride. If and when that happens, the Dravida alliance in India will be complete (and dominant forever).
Gautam Bhatia has properly denounced Navayan’s censorship of JDC as an author (even though they have the right to do so) because they dont agree with his politics. Making some-one an out-caste is not something that Navayan should stand for. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Navayana had signed up to publish a translation of Aazhi Soozh Ulagu (Ocean Ringed World), the 2005 debut novel of Joe D’Cruz, who subsequently won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2013 for his second novel Korkai.
The translation was done by V. Geetha, feminist writer and translator,
and the English edition was due in late 2014.
In the light of D’Cruz
Narendra Modi’s candidacy for prime-ministership, both Navayana and
Geetha have decided to cancel the agreement signed with D’Cruz and
withdraw the book.
S. Anand, publisher, Navayana, said: “It is both appalling and
disturbing that D’Cruz, who captured the rich and unique history of the
seafaring community of Tamil Nadu in an epic tale spanning three
generations, should call a fascist like Modi a ‘dynamic visionary’.
Initially, I did not believe this till Joe told me over the phone that
this was indeed his stand and that his decision was personal.
there cannot be a place for such an author in a political publishing
house like Navayana. Navayana is more sad about Joe’s decision than
about having to withdraw from this publication. But we are glad we came
to know Joe’s stand before the novel was published.”
Geetha, in a statement, said: “I was terribly distressed when I read
Joe D’Cruz’s statement of support for Modi. He is entitled to his
political opinion, but I don’t want to be associated with anyone or
anything linked to Modi. Modi in my opinion is not only a political
disaster, but downright evil. We can’t forget Gujarat 2002—no one must
be allowed to, either. I still stand by his novel, which I think is a
fantastic saga of fisher life, and I am sorry Joe has decided to trade
his considerable gifts as a novelist for a politics that is fascist and
dangerous. I have therefore decided to withdraw my translation.”
What follows is Joe D’Cruz’s statement in support of Modi:
Why do I want Mr.Narendra Modi to be the Prime Minister of India? Being a
proud son of our great nation, I want my Mother India to be strong and
prosperous among the world nations… Who can do that?
A person who knows the problems of ordinary persons like you and me and a
Like you and me he was born in humble surroundings … son of a tea vendor …
working in the railway platform even in his school days and today he
represents the heart and hope of India because he personifies honesty,
integrity, determination and patriotism…
He is a leader who has evolved from the bottom of the pyramid to become the
Today he is a seasoned politician, with passion for development, who takes
responsibility for his actions and who is a determined servant of the nation.
He is a dynamic visionary, a quick decision maker, who knows the pulse of
every rural and urban citizen of the nation.
He has delivered efficient governance and able administration. He is an
established statesman who respects the strengths of our human resources.
He respects our culture. His 5 ‘T’s are set to transform India: he has
understood the innate strength of the nation: talent, tradition, technology,
tourism and trade.
A revolutionary, bold and committed visionary who thinks not for the next
election but the next generation… solar revolution over the Narmada river – the
first of its kind in the world, the education for the girl children… all these
are schemes not for the next election but for the next generation… for the
children of you and me….
He has shown himself to be above politics and hence he is the need of the
hour for India. Envied by global policy makers, even before he has become the
PM the world nations have started taking India seriously.
Here is a leader who spoke through his actions than his words. Here is a
leader who can make India great once again through his sweat and sacrifice.
And here is the leader who understands the life of Coastal India.
I am sure he will lead the country to unprecedented zenith and regain our
pride and a glory greater than our past. We want our children to be proud of
our rightful choice. We want generations to thank us for giving India her best
PM. Hence I want Mr.Narendra Modi to become the Prime Minister of India.
Let us think different and come together to commit our support for this
great visionary-doer to come to power.