Arundhati Roy = Nathuram Godse

….“The
book is extremely important for Dalits and it not right to add
footnotes to the book. We feel Arundhati Roy has diluted Ambedkar’s
writing and there is every chance that the book might be misinterpreted……Roy has always been a Maoist sympathiser and has never been vocal on
Dalit atrocities. So with that understanding, how can she write a
foreword for the book?”
….

Roy and Godse are dwellers of distant planets so one has to be careful while drawing equations. She is THE leading global thinker while he was just a deluded terrorist. But it should be highlighted that Roy is a fan of Comrade Charu Majumdar (see below), a terrorist of equal or much higher caliber than Godse.

What unites Roy, Godse and Majumdar is deep-seated Gandhi-hatred, and to mock non-violence as a way to solve (big) societal problems. Perhaps it is because deep down we are all defined by our caste. Roy, Godse and Majumdar are all Brahmins who despise the upstart Vaishya/Baniya (Gandhi).
………..
….After acknowledging that Mazumdar’s “abrasive rhetoric fetishses violence,
blood and martyrdom, and often employs a language so coarse as to be
almost genocidal”,
Roy finds that despite all this blood lust Charu “was a
visionary in much of what he wrote and said. The party he founded (and
its many splinter groups) has kept the dream of revolution real and
present in India. Imagine a society without that dream. For that alone
we cannot judge him too harshly.
Especially not while we swaddle
ourselves with Gandhi’s pious humbug about the superiority of ‘the
non-violent way’ …

………..
As far as blood lust is concerned, while Majumdar argued in favor of “making shoes for the poor with the skin of rick people” (Bengali- dhonir chamray goriber juto), Godse wanted a Muslim mukt Bharat (muslim free India).

Now Roy has made many Dalit activists extremely unhappy (see below). They want her to shut up about Gandhi and also shut up about Ambedkar. This is primarily because Roy (as dalit activists see her) is a forward caste celebrity trying to cash in on Ambedkar. They are not interested in her certificates because of her lack of a (caste) certificate. Throwing stones at Gandhi is not going to change that equation.


We learn that the book launch (for The Annihilation of Caste in Hyderabad by AR) was cancelled because of opposition from Dalits? We would expect S Anand (publisher) to scream out when there is attack on free speech on HIS own book. Before he and other left-liberals shout wolf again they will need to tell us why one form of censorship is bad, while others are benign.
……..
You would think, therefore, that Dalit intellectuals would only be happy
that Arundhati Roy is engaging with that text, that leading English
language magazines are telling the world about it, that we need to read
Ambedkar, and explaining why.

Strangely, some Dalit radicals and
intellectuals have a problem with Arundhati Roy reading, learning from
and expounding about Ambedkar. On March 9, Roy was to be in Hyderabad to
launch the book. But the event was cancelled because the publisher
feared protests from Dalit radicals who have been upset about the book. The Hindu quoted some of them:

“The
book is extremely important for Dalits and it not right to add
footnotes to the book. We feel Arundhati Roy has diluted Ambedkar’s
writing and there is every chance that the book might be misinterpreted.
Roy has always been a Maoist sympathiser and has never been vocal on
Dalit atrocities. So with that understanding, how can she write a
foreword for the book?” asked J. Srinivas, state co-convenor for the
Dalit Shakti programme, and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of
Hyderabad.

Renowned author and lawyer Bojja Tarakam, who
will be the guest at the event, also plans to raise objections
regarding the content. “Most of the preface is about Gandhi, rather than
Ambedkar. What is the need to write so much about him?” Mr. Tarakam
said. However, he opposed any kind of curbs on the release of the book
and felt it should be released in order to facilitate healthy discussion
on the subject.

In other words, Dalit intellectuals think
it is their right, by virtue of their caste, to decide whether a Maoist
sympathiser can write on Ambedkar; whether one can write on the Ambedkar
debate with Gandhi; or whether one is allowed to write more words in
criticism of Gandhi than in praise of Ambedkar. Annihilation of Caste was written for the upper castes, meant to be addressed to them.



……
Arundhati Roy, the Booker-prize-winning author who likes to shock us
periodically with her outlandish statements, is now in the business of
rubbishing Gandhi. She is sailing in the same boat as Babasaheb Ambedkar
– and Nathuram Godse, one might add. For Roy, Gandhi is Caste Bigot,
not Mahatma.


….

Godse put bullets into the Mahatma because he was allegedly too
pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu; Roy wants to erase the name of Gandhi from
every institution that currently carries it because, she says, Gandhi
was an out-and-out casteist.


….

According to this Times of India report,
Roy, speaking in the memory of the late Dalit leader Mahatma Ayyankali
at Kerala University, said universities named after Gandhi should be
renamed. Her reference was probably to Mahatma Gandhi University, a
leading educational institution in God’s Own Country.


….

The newspaper quotes Roy as excoriating Gandhi for an essay he wrote in
1936 titled The Ideal Bhangi to prove that Gandhi was casteist and
patronising towards Dalits. Today nobody would use the word “bhangi”
without inviting the charge of gross political incorrectness, but Gandhi
lived in politically incorrect times. Much of Ambedkar’s writings on
caste and religion too would not pass muster in today’s identity-charged
political discourse.
 

Arundhati Roy also despises Gandhi for his idealism.

There is some validity to the caste charge levelled against Gandhi. He
was a social conservative keen to reform caste, not annihilate it.
Ambedkar was irritated by Gandhi’s claim that caste was not central to
Hinduism but a sin committed by caste Hindus for which they must atone.
Many Dalits also see Gandhi’s decision to call “untouchables” Harijans
as condescending and obnoxious.

Gail Omvedt, another writer influenced by Marxist thinking, explains Gandhi’s approach thus:
“Gandhi was not simply a devoted Hindu, but also a fervent believer in
his idealised version of ‘varnashrama dharma.’
 He felt that what he
considered to be the benign aspects of caste – its encouragement of a
certain kind of solidarity – could be maintained while removing
hierarchy and the extreme evil of un-touchability. This was in fact the
essence of his reformism.” Ambedkar saw caste as the very basis of evil,
which needed to be excised completely from the body politic.

Godse, a Brahmin, had views on caste that Gandhi would not have disapproved of. In his trial statement,
he says that he “worked actively for the eradication of untouchability
and the caste system based on birth alone. I openly joined anti-caste
movements and maintained that all Hindus are of equal status as to
rights, social and religious, and should be considered high or low on
merit alone and not through the accident of birth in a particular caste
or profession….I used publicly to take part in organised anti-caste
dinners which thousands of Hindus, Brahmins, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas,
Chamars and B—–s participated. We broke the caste rules and dined in
the company of each other.”

The interesting point is Godse hated Gandhi for his “appeasement” of
Muslims while Arundhati Roy criticises Gandhi for his alleged casteism.
Godse wanted Gandhi excised from this world, Roy wants Gandhi excised
from public memory for espousing the evil of caste.

Despite present-day antagonisms between Ambedkarites and Gandhians, it
is doubtful if Ambedkar himself, unlike Roy, would want Gandhi
forgotten, though he would certainly want him removed from a pedestal.

But if so far Roy’s views are analogous to Ambedkar’s, she seems to
despise Gandhi as much for his impractical idealism. In contrast, she
can forgive the murderous ideas of Naxal theoretician Charu Mazumdar for
being a visionary. This is what she wrote some years ago about her
travels in Naxal-land titled, “Gandhi, but with guns.”

After acknowledging that Mazumdar’s “abrasive rhetoric fetishses violence,
blood and martyrdom, and often employs a language so coarse as to be
almost genocidal”, Roy finds that despite all this blood lust Charu “was a
visionary in much of what he wrote and said. The party he founded (and
its many splinter groups) has kept the dream of revolution real and
present in India.”

“Imagine a society without that dream. For that alone
we cannot judge him too harshly. Especially not while we swaddle
ourselves with Gandhi’s pious humbug about the superiority of ‘the
non-violent way’ and his notion of Trusteeship: ‘The rich man will be
left in possession of his wealth, of which he will use what he
reasonably requires for his personal needs and will act as a trustee for
the remainder to be used for the good of society.’”

Put another way, Charu’s murderous idealism was fine, but not Gandhi’s.

Roy’s views, in fact, are in sync with what Godse himself had to say
about Gandhi, who said: “He (Gandhi) was, paradoxical as it may appear, a
violent pacifist who brought untold calamities on the country in the
name of truth and non-violence.”

Just as Roy ridicules Gandhi’s idealism about trusteeship, Godse mocks
Gandhi’s ideas of non-violence thus:
“His activities for public
awakening were phenomenal in their intensity and were reinforced by the
slogan of truth and non-violence, which he paraded ostentatiously before
the country. No sensible or enlightened person could object to these
slogans.” 

“In fact there is nothing new or original in them. They are
implicit in every constitutional public movement. But it is nothing but a
dream if you imagine the bulk of mankind is, or can ever become,
capable of scrupulous adherence to these lofty principles in its normal
life…In fact, honour, duty and love of one’s own kith and kin and
country might often compel us to disregard non-violence and to use
force. I could never conceive that an armed resistance to an aggression
is unjust.”

Roy eulogises Charu for his revolutionary ideals, even if achieved
through violence. But Gandhi’s idealism pursued without violence is
“humbug.”

It would appear that if Godse had only been a murderous Marxist, Roy would have approved of his act.
……

Link(1): http://www.firstpost.com

Link(2): http://scroll.in/article/658279/Why-Dalit-radicals-dont-want-Arundhati-Roy-to-write-about-Ambedkar

……

regards

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