A Dalit writes on Oppresive Hindi

The historian Sumit Sarkar, in his Modern India: 1885-1974, writes that literary Hindi was very much “an artificial creation closely associated with Hindu-revivalist movements.” Bharatendu, Sarkar notes, “combined pleas for use of swadeshi articles with demands for replacement of Urdu by Hindi in courts, and a ban on cow-slaughter.” Around the same period, a historian and linguist named Shivaprasad was promoting another link language, Hindustani. Where Bharatendu’s Hindi was highly Sanskritised, Shivaprasad wanted something closer to the languages already popular at the time. The champions of Hindi were especially offended by Hindustani’s incorporation of Urdu elements.

Biting My Tongue -What Hindi keeps hidden

Hindi carried Brahminical and communal impulses from its inception. Later, its installation as a dominant language came to be a demand in the nationalist movement, though even then this was highly contentious. Anil Chamadia, a veteran journalist who has taught at Mahatama Gandhi International Hindi University in Maharashtra, told me that Bharatendu’s language prevailed because it appealed to the emergent, Brahmin-dominated nationalist movement and administration. The dominant castes, he said, saw in the Sanskritised tongue a tool to further their varchasv, or dominance, over society. Sanskrit, of course, had earlier served exactly that use. Chamadia described Hindi as “varchasv ki dhara”—a stream of dominance. Today, he said, those who control the Hindi language are the same who control the dominant societal narrative.

Comment of the Day:

Apart from not touching untouchables or not eating with them, there was no feeling in the masses that they (Dalits) were separate from us.

The best analogy of the Dalits are blacks in the American South. If you won’t touch, eat or sleep with someone how can you claim any sort of kinship or connection to them?

Let’s not also forget that they were the ones who handled excrements and corpses (I could be wrong about the latter).

As my Kashmiri activist friends said the Indian state has a “territorialist” view of Kashmir in that the land not its inhabitants are vital.

The commentator above is exhibiting the same “territorial” nationalism; the Dalits belong not because they do but rather they are a part of the all-important landmass.

In some ways Pakistan is exactly opposite since we are nation rooted in a sense of “peoplehood” as evidenced by the Muhajir migration. We don’t have the Taj, Delhi or Lucknow but they are more ours since we have an intensely spiritual (and ancestral) kinship to those lost locations.

We are watching the film Kesari by Akshay Kumar. This is where Sikh collaborators, serving the British, were holding off the Afghan attack. The Hinditva tones of the film (we are only twenty minutes in) are breath-taking and I’m shocked to see Dharma Productions backing this (Hiroo Johar was in the credits).

However one scene that took my breath away was when Akshay Kumar is moaning about freedom after being humiliated by his British officer. He tells his colleague that “first we were conquered by the Mughals, then by the British but I thirst for freedom.”

I was shocked and frankly a bit horrified. Good luck to this Brave New India where historical revision is now par for the course.

Would a Dalit Jinnah have gotten Dalitstan?

Was Jinnah simply the right man who happened to be Muslim?

Or rather would the Muslim community have always produced a saviour to “save them?”

Addendum, Comment of the Day:

Apart from not touching untouchables or not eating with them, there was no feeling in the masses that they were separate from us.

The best analogy of the Dalits are blacks in the American South. If you won’t touch, eat or sleep with someone how can you claim any sort of kinship or connection to them?

2 Hindus and grandmother of Hindus are the face of the Modern Left

2 Hindus (Kamala Harris & Tulsi Gabbard) and 3 white women running for the democratic presidential nomination. One of the white women, Elizabeth Warren, has *only* brown grandchildren (we’re going with one drop rule here).

We may need to wind up BP once our plans for world domination is complete.

What is a Hindu?

It does bring to mind about the age-old question if Hindu is a religious or racial term or a bit of both. I’m inclined to a maximalist definition; I see Hindu Kush, the Himalayas and the oceans as the ultimate limits of Hindudom.

However under that definition the Upper Castes can’t be allowed to define what Hindu or India actually means. That goes to the heart of the spiritual cleft of TNT; Jinnah (QeA) & Iqbal perceived the Hindu Raj where Nehru & Gandhi would paternalistically define the interests of Muslims as they did for the lower castes.

I do find it very problematic that the Upper Castes have completely monopolised the discourse. In many ways with Partition; they rather have a narrower definition of the Hindu and India but one that they could control.

It might work for them and India does seem to be rising, if one judges the deft performance of the Indian cricket team (it doesn’t pay being a Pakistan supporter since it’s really stressful). But at the same time I don’t see how this parochial attitude of the Upper Castes translates into any Civilisational grandeur.

Desidom has very limited borders and appeal despite the strength of its culture and diaspora.

It’s also why I tired when I see the Upper Castes flood twitter always somehow claiming how Pakistanis and Muslims are actually Indian/Hindu. When the definition is so narrow and slated then of course it becomes exclusionary and we opt out.

Why I stand with Ivanka Trump and Kim Kardashian

Image result for kim kardashian ivanka trump

I made a post today on facebook about why I admired Ivanka & Kim.

I just find them smart, successful and substantial women who are making a global impact. It’s also a fact that women have traditionally gotten ahead through sex appeal and nepotism, after all Britain’s Greatest Monarchy (up for discussion), Elizabeth the 1st inherited the throne from her half-sister.

So it’s nice to under-represented people taking centre stage. Also I have seen a clip where Kim K talks about the lack of representation for people like her (Middle Easterners, she actually said that) so I’m much more sanguine about the Kimono controversy.

To my mind it’s about a lot of deracinated Japanese people, who have white lives and values, getting their time to shine. It’s not lost on me that I do the same a fair bit but then I’m the first to acknowledge my hypocrisy.

However I just don’t see Kim K as a Social Justice Warrior so she’s just who she is. I’m fine with people being as they are and not claiming some superior moral mandate (I do the same thing alot of the time but then I rarely get overly worked up, I like to constantly test my opinions).

A few of my social justice liberal white friends are now taking issue with me because I’m admiring Donald Trump. Let me get this clear, I do not like the man (nor do I like Boris Johnson) and would not want to have dinner with him (well obviously I would since I’d overwhelmed by the star power but it’s a figure of speech). However I enjoy his fresh take on things and how he stands up to the US military-industrial complex.

What I find vexing about my white SJW friends is that they don’t really show contrition. They will poems about coloured people, boast about their super-power (being middle class white people but as soon as you deviate from the orthodox they bare their teeth and claws.

I would think they would allow People of Colour, who were oppressed a century ago, to emerge as the thought leaders of the New Moral Order. But as we see with the fledgling LGBT+ and Environmental movements, these are ways for White Liberals to “take back power.”

The ultimate contradiction of the White Liberal view is that they have to be the “silent followers* to offset centuries of their ancestor’s oppression. To atone, by their own standards, they should be the faceless volunteers being led by loud and vocal Coloured People.

They’re absolutely not willing to do that and hence all their vitriol and outrage has a moral conundrum. They still want themselves and their kin to lead the show.

It would be a better world if we constantly acknowledged that our positions are not pristine. I live by one axiom and one axiom alone (to paraphrase Hari Seldon, the Zeroeth Law); “Life, alone, is Sacred.”

Everything else is up for debate and that’s why I proudly call myself a Social Justice Ghazi with profoundly Tory instincts. I do believe in calling out privilege but rather asking those who do have privilege to exercise noblesse oblige.

It would lead to a better reality check than a white man writing poems about the oppression of a black woman by Chinese racism.

It’s sad that the word Jihad and Itijhad have been so misappropriated that we can’t even use it in common parlance (unless we want to see Butlerian Jihad).

A-star versus the X-factor

In our meritocratic age there is an increasingly distinction between the A-Stars and the X-factors.

A-stars are individuals who are academically brilliant and have Ivy/Oxbridge splashed all over them.

The X-factors are those who may not have the pedigree but have star quality written all over than not.

More often than not the two coincide but sometimes they don’t. In a question in how to raise a deprived community (Aframs, Dalits); one must ask whether the gambit should be to generate A-Stars or X-Factors.

This is the Dubois-Booker argument. To paraphrase (I’m not an expert) Booker T Washington wanted a black working class that would be the mechanics, blue collar works of the great American economy.

DuBois instead pushed for the “Talented Tenth”; the extraordinary Aframs (more often than not on the lighter spectrum like his mulatto background) who would ascend the American social hierarchy.

DuBois seems to have won out in the end and the Afram community mirrors the Indian Muslim community. A disproportionate cultural impact (it’s hard to think of American politics & culture without the black contribution same as with Muslims) but with strong deprivation on the other end.

What Shanti Bhavan (it’s non-religious by the way) has done is try to groom its Dalit students to the best of their ability but then also inject a bit of X-factor glamour into them.

Home-grown and authentic leaders are the only way to foster a community. How many of the African American and Muslim leaders actually stem from the ghetto?

Shanti Bhavan is taking girls (and boys) from the most deprived and broken homes; giving them quality education and almost forcing them to be leaders. It’s not easy because the students go back home for winter & summer holidays and are exposed to the problems of their lives. So they switch from a sanitised Americanised life to the most “Indian” experience, that of the poor and deprived Dalits.

It’s the sort of switch that can and break people, which also explains as to why the Shanti Bhavan students sometimes struggle. They usually repeat grades and I imagine use caste quota/reservations to secure the top slots for themselves.

However the upper castes have been able to *game* the Indian education system to be A-Stars but are unable to generate Global X-factor Appeal.

When white people look to India they don’t see Bollywood or Rajasthani palaces they notice the dire poverty. When the Upper Castes then try to *project* a different India; PewDeePie then immediately aims for the jugular.

The Upper Castes do not understand the Western mindset. Westerners have *won* history to such an overwhelming extent that they need new causes to evangelise over. The Environment is a symptom of that.

Instead of the Upper Castes *gatekeeping* India from Westerners; it would do better to make the elimination of Indian poverty a global affair.

Economic growth alone will not solve India’s social problem. The documentary happens over a decade and it’s obvious that the living standards of the girls’ families have risen. However their social circumstance hasn’t because they are still at the bottom of the social pole, they may have more to eat (not always) but they are still spiritually broken.

This social and spiritual malaise seems uniquely Indian in a way the caste system is uniquely Indian.

As I was telling V today; I don’t think caste is evil, in fact the Asabiyyah it generates against the isolation and anonymity of liberal capitalism.

However the Upper Castes monopolise the conversations on Caste the way White Americans did on race a century ago. That must end.

The absurdity that “caste is South Asian” (it may be South Asian but it is ultimately Hindu), the British invented caste (i don’t need genetics to tell me what my lying eyes see) or that caste *generated* just reek of bullshit.

What gives me the right to speak out. I’m an iconoclast and to paraphrase Theresa May; I am a citizen of nowhere.

If You Believe You are a Citizen of the World, You are a Citizen of Nowhere

Theresa May’ 2016

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. Bahá’u’lláh 1860 something

I exist in the grey area between these two statements.

Brown Pundits