Chaturbhuj Meher
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Chaturbhuj Meher
Born 13 October 1935

SonepurOdisha, India
Occupation Weaver
Known for Tie-dye handloom weaving
Awards Padma Shri
Odisha State Award
Chinta O Chetana National Award
Viswakarma Award
Priyadarshini Award
Website mehersonline

Chaturbhuj Meher is an Indian weaver, considered by many as one of the master weavers of the Tie-dye handloom tradition of Odisha. Born on 13 October 1935 at Sonepur in Odisha, he had formal education only up to school level but learned the traditional weaving craft to join Weavers' Service Centre as a Weaver. Vayan Vihar, a handloom factory and Handloom Research and Training Center, a research institute in Sonepur have been founded by him and he is known to have trained over 10,000 craftsmen.

Aishwarya Rai, former Miss World and Bollywood actor is reported to have worn one of Meher's Sonepuri Sari creations on her wedding day, gifted by her mother-in-law, Jaya Bachchan. He is a recipient of the Odisha State Award twice, in 1991 and 1995, as well as awards such as Chinta O Chetana National Award (1992), Viswakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (1997) and Priyadarshini Award (2005). The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2005, for his contributions to Indian handloom sector.
3200 साल पहले एशिया महाद्वीप का नाम चमारद्वीप
Posted by surender12 

सभी मूल निवासियों के इतिहास का अध्ययन करने से पता चलता है कि किसी समय एशिया महाद्वीप को चमारद्वीप कहा जाता था। जो बाद में जम्बारद्वीप के नाम से जाना गया और कालांतर में वही जम्बारद्वीप, जम्बूद्वीप के नाम से प्रसिद्ध हुआ था। चमारद्वीप की सीमाए बहुत विशाल थी। चमारद्वीप की सीमाए अफ्गानिस्तान से श्री लंका तक, ऑस्ट्रेलिया, प्रायदीप और दक्षिण अफ्रीका तक फैली हुई थी। 3200 ईसा पूर्व जब यूरेशियन चमारद्वीप पर आये तो देश का विघटन शुरू हुआ। क्योकि हर कोई अपने आप को युरेशियनों से बचाना चाहता था। जैसे जैसे देश का विघटन हुआ, बहुत से प्रदेश चमारद्वीप से अलग होते गए और चमारद्वीप का नाम बदलता गया। भारत के नामों का इतिहास कोई ज्यादा बड़ा नहीं है परन्तु हर मूल निवासी को इस इतिहास का पता होना बहुत जरुरी है, तो ईसा से 3200 साल पहले एशिया महाद्वीप का नाम चमारद्वीप था, यूरेशियन भारत में आये तो जम्बारद्वीप हो हो गया, 485 ईसवी तक भारत का नाम जम्बूद्वीप था, 485 ईसवी में सिद्धार्थ बौद्ध ने मूल निवासियों के लिए क्रांति की, सभी मूल निवासियों को इकठ्ठा करने की कोशिश की। इस में सिद्धार्थ गौतम अर्थात बौद्ध धर्म को बहुत सफलता मिली थी। किन्तु युरेशियनों ने झूठे बौद्ध भिक्षु बन कर बौद्ध धर्म का विनाश कर दिया। इस प्रकार 600 या 800 ईसवी में भारत का नाम आर्यवर्त रखा गया। 1600 ईसवी अर्थात भक्ति काल तक भारत का नाम आर्यवर्त था। भारत का नाम किसी महान राजा भरत के नाम पर रखा गया है यह एक काल्पनिक कहानी है। असल में 1600 ईसवी में मनु नाम के एक यूरेशियन ब्राह्मण ने मनु समृति लिख कर फिर से भारत पर ब्राह्मणों अर्थात युरेशियनों का शासन स्थापित किया था। मनु के एक बेटे का नाम भरत था। उसी भरत के नाम पर आर्यवर्त को भारत कहा गया। आज़ादी के बाद भारत की संसद में एक प्रस्ताव पारित करके भारत का नाम इंडिया रख दिया गया।

अब समझ आया सारे मूल निवासी चमार कैसे हुए? अभी भी समझ में नहीं आया हो तो कृपया नीचे दिए गए लिंक पर क्लिक करें और पूरी पोस्ट पढ़े:

The Riddle of Rama and Krishna 
– By Babasaheb Ambedkar
Quoted from: Appendix No.1 of Part 3 of the book

Riddles of Hinduism 1995
By Dr. Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar

Ravana was a Buddhist and considered by Dalits as a great hero. He did so much for Sita, who herself had praised Ravana. But the Hindu scriptures have called him a Rakshasa attributing all evils to him. Not only that. Every year during the Ram lila. Ravana is burnt. Dalits have tolerated all of this. They have also tolerated the Ramayana TV serial ridiculing their other tribal hero, Hanuman, as a monkey.

The Riddles in Hinduism is a scholarly work by the greatest intellectual of India. The text of his writings on Rama and Krishna are based on Hindu scriptures.


Rama is the hero of the Ramayana whose author is Valmiki. The story of the Ramayana is a very short one. Besides it is simple and in itself there is nothing sensational about it.

Rama is the son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, the modern Banares. Dasharatha had three wives, Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra besides several hundred concubines. Kaikeyi had married Dasharatha on terms which were at the time of marriage unspecified and which Dasharatha was bound to fulfill whenever he was called upon by Kaikeyi to do so.

Dasharatha was childless for a long time. An heir to the throne was ardently desired by him. Seeing that he was unable to have a son with any of his three wives he decided to perform a Putreshti Yajna and called the sage Shrung at the sacrifice who prepared pandas and gave the three wives of Dasharatha to eat them. After they ate the pandas the three wives became pregnant and gave birth to sons. Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharatha and Sumitra gave birth to two sons, Laxman and Satrughana. In due course Rama was married to Sita.

When Rama came of age, Dasharatha thought of resigning the throne in favour of Rama and retiring from kingship. While this was being settled Kaikeyi raised the question of rendering her satisfaction of the terms on which she had married Dasharatha. On being asked to state her terms she demanded that her son Bharata should be installed on the throne in preference to Rama and that Rama should live in the forest for 12 years. Dasharatha, with great reluctance, agreed. Baharata became king of Ayodhya and Rama accompanied by his wife Sita and his step brother Laxman went to live in the forest.

Ravana, the king of Lanka, kidnapped Sita and took her away and kept her in his palace intending to make her one of his wives. Rama and Laxman than started search of Sita. On the way they meet Sugriva and Hanuman, two leading personages of the Vanara (monkey) race and formed friendship with them. With their help they marched on Lanka, defeated Ravana in the battle and rescued Sita. Rama returned with Laxman and Sita to Ayodhya. By the time twelve years had elapsed and the term prescribed by Kaikeyi was fulfilled, with the result that Bharata gave up the throne and in his place Rama became the king of Ayodhya.

Such is the brief outline of the story of the Ramayana as told by Valmiki.

There is nothing in this story to make Rama the object of worship. He is only a dutiful son. But Valmiki saw something extraordinary in Rama and that is why he undertook to compose the Ramayana. Valmiki asked Narada the following question:

Tell me Oh! Narada, who is the most accomplished man on earth at the present time?” And then he goes on to elaborate what he means by accomplished man. He defines his accomplished man as:

“Powerful, one who knows the secret of religion, one who knows gratitude, truthful, one who is ready to sacrifice his self interest even when in distress to fulfill a religious vow, virtuous in his conduct, eager to safeguard the interests of all, strong, pleasing in appearance with power of self-control, able to subdue anger, illustrious, with no jealousy for the prosperity of others, and in war able to strike terror in the hearts of Gods.”

Narada then asks for time to consider and after mature deliberation tells him that the only person who can be said to possess these virtues is Rama, the son of Dasharatha.

It is because of his virtues that Rama has come to be defied. But is Rama a worthy personality of deification? Let those who accept him as an object of worship as a God consider the following facts:

Rama’s birth is miraculous and it may be that the suggestion that he was born from a pinda prepared by the sage Shrung is an allegorical gloss to cover up the naked truth that he was begotten upon Kausalya by the sage Shrung, although the two did not stand in the relationship of husband and wife. In any case his birth, if not disreputable in its origin, is certainly unnatural.

There are other incidents connected with the birth of Rama the unsavory character of which it will be difficult to deny.

Valmiki starts his Ramayana by emphasizing the fact that Rama is an Avatar of Vishnu, and it is Vishnu who agreed to take birth as Rama and be the son of Dasharatha. The God Brahma came to know of this and felt that in order that this Rama Avatar of Vishnu be a complete success, arrangement shall be made that Rama shall have powerful associates to help him and cooperate with him. There were none existing then.

The Gods agreed to carry out the command to Brahma and engaged themselves in wholesale acts of fornication not only against Apsaras who were prostitutes, not only against the unmarried daughters of Yakshas and Nagas but also against the lawfully wedded wives of Ruksha, Vidhyadhar, Gandharvas, Kinnars and Vanaras and produced the Vanaras who became the associates of Rama.

Rama’s birth is thus accompanied by general debauchery if not in his case certainly in the case of his associates. His marriage to Sita is not above comment. According to Buddha Ramayana, Sita was the sister of Rama, both were the children of Dasharatha. The Ramayana of Valmiki does not agree with the relationship mentioned in Buddha Ramayana. According to Valmiki, Sita was the daughter of the king Janaka of Videha and therefore not a sister of Rama. This is not convincing for even according to Valmiki she is not the natural born daughter of Janaka but a child found by a farmer in his field while ploughing it and was presented by him to king Janaka and brought up by Janaka. It was therefore in a superficial sense that Sita could be said to be daughter of Janaka.

The story in the Buddha Ramayana is natural and not inconsistent with the Aryan rules of marriage. If the story is true, then Rama’s marriage to Sita is no ideal to be copied.

In another sense Rama’s marriage was not an ideal marriage which could be copied. One of the virtues ascribed to Rama is that he was monogamous. It is difficult to understand how such a notion could have become common. For it has no foundation in fact. Even Valmiki refers to the many wives of Rama. These were of course in addition to his many concubines. In this he was the true son of his nominal father Dasharatha who had not only the wives referred to above but many others.

Let us next consider his character as an individual and as a king.

In speaking of him as an individual, I will refer to only two incidents – one relating to his treatment of Vali and other relating to his treatment of his own wife Sita. First, let us consider the incident of Vali.

Vali and Sugriva were two brothers. They belonged to the Vanar race and came from a ruling family, which had its own kingdom the capital of which was Kishkindha. At the time when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Vali was reigning at Kishkindha. While Vali was on the throne he was engaged in a war with a Rakshasa by name Mayavi. In the personal combat between the two, Mayavi ran for his life. Both Vali and Sugriva pursued him. Mayavi entered into a deep cavity in the earth. Vali asked Sugriva to wait at the mouth of the cavity and he went inside. After sometime a flood of blood came from inside the cavity. Sugriva concluded that Vali must have been killed by Mayavi and came to Kishkindha and got himself declared king in place of Vali and made Hanuman his Prime Minister.

As a matter of fact, Vali was not killed. It was Mayavi who was killed by Vali. Vali came out of the cavity but did not find Sugriva there. He proceeded to Kishkindha and to his great surprise he found that Sugriva had proclaimed himself king. Vali naturally became enraged at this act of treachery on the part of his brother Sugriva and he had good ground to be. Sugriva should have ascertained, should not merely have assumed, that Vali was dead. Secondly, Vali had a son by name Angad whom Sugriva should have made the king as the ligitimate heir of Vali. He did neither of the two things. His was a clear case of usurpation. Vali drove out Sugriva and took back the throne. The two brothers became mortal enemies.

This occurred just after Ravana had kidnapped Sita. Rama and Laxman were wandering in search of her. Sugriva and Hanuman were wandering in search of friends who could help them regain the throne from Vali. The two parties met quite accidentally. After informing each other of their difficulties, a pact was arrived at between the two. It was agreed that Rama should help Sugriva to kill Vali and to establish him on the throne of Kishkinda. On the part of Sugriva and Hanuman it was agreed that they should help Rama to regain Sita. To enable Rama to fulfill his part of the pact it was planned that Sugriva should wear a garland around his neck as to be easily distinguishable to Rama from Vali and that while the duel was going on Rama should conceal himself behind a tree and then shoot an arrow at Vali and kill him. Accordingly a duel was arranged, Sugriva with a garland around his neck, while the duel was on, Rama, standing behind a tree, shot Vali with his arrow and opened the way for Surgiva to be the king of Kiskinda.

This murder of Vali is the greatest blot on the character of Rama. It was a crime which was thoroughly unprovoked, for Vali had no quarrel with Rama. It was a most cowardly act, for Vali was unarmed. It was a planned and premeditated murder.

Consider his treatment of his own wife Sita. With the army collected for him by Sugriva and Hanuman, Rama invades Lanka. There too he plays the same mean part as he did between the two brothers, Vali and Sugriva. He takes the help of Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, promising him to kill Ravana and his son and place him on the vacant throne. Rama kills Ravana and his son Indrajit. The first thing Rama does after the fight was to give a descent burial to the dead body of Ravana. Thereafter he interested himself in the coronation of Vibhishana and it was after the coronation that he sends Hanuman to Sita to inform her that he, Laxman and Sugriva have killed Ravana.

Even when the coronation was over he did not go himself but he sent Hanuman. And what was the message he sent him with? He did not ask Hanuman to bring her. He asked him to inform her that he was hale and hearty. It was Sita who expressed to Hanuman her desire to see Rama. Rama did not go to see Sita, his own wife who was kidnapped and confined by Ravana for more than 10 months. Sita went to him and what did Rama say to Sita when he saw her? It would be difficult to believe any man with ordinary human kindness could address his wife in such dire distress as Ram did to Sita when he met her at Lanka if there was not the direct authority of Valmiki. This is how Rama addressed het:

“I have got you as a prize in a war after conquering my enemy, your captor. I have recovered my honour and punished my enemy. People have witnessed my military powers and I am glad my labours have been rewarded. I came here to kill Ravana and wash off the dishonour. I did not take this trouble for your sake.”

Could there be anything more cruel than this conduct of Rama towards Sita? He does not stop there. He proceeded to tell her:

“I suspect your conduct. You must have been spoiled by Ravana. Your very sight is revolting to me. Oh you daughter of Janaka! I allow you to go anywhere you like. I have nothing to do with you. I conquered you back and I am content for that was my object. I cannot think that Ravana would have failed to enjoy a woman as beautiful as you are.”

Quite naturally Sita calls Rama low and mean and tells him quite plainly that she would have committed suicide and saved him all this trouble if when Hanuman first came he had sent her a message that he had abandoned her on the ground that she was kidnapped. To give him no excuse Sita undertakes to prove her purity. She enters the fire and comes out unscathed. The Gods satisfied with this evidence, proclaim that she is pure. It is then that Rama agrees to take her back to Ayodhya.

And what does he do with her when he brings her back to Ayodhya? Of course, he became king and she became queen. But while Rama remained king, Sita ceased to be queen very soon. This incident reflects great infamy upon Rama. It is recorded by Valmiki in his Ramayana that some days after the coronation of Rama and Sita as king and queen, Sita conceived. Seeing that she was carrying some residents of evil disposition began to calumniate Sita suggesting that she was in Lanka and blaming Rama for taking such a woman back as his wife. This malicious gossip in the town was reported by Bhadra, the Court joker, to Rama. Rama evidently was stung by this calumny. He was overwhelmed with a sense of disgrace. This is quite natural. What is quite unnatural is the means he adopts of getting rid of this disgrace. To get rid of this disgrace he takes the shortest cut and the swiftest means – namely to abandon her, a woman in a somewhat advanced state of pregnancy in a jungle, without friends, without provision, without even notice – in a most treacherous manner. There is no doubt that the idea of abandoning Sita was not sudden and had not occurred to ram on the spur of the moment. The genesis of the idea, the developing of it and the plan of executing are worth some detailed mention.

When Bhadra reports to him the gossip about Sita which had spread in the town, Rama calls his brothers and tells them of his feelings. He tells them Sita’s purity and chastity was proved in Lanka, that Gods had vouched for it and that he absolutely believed in her innocence, purity and chastity. “All the same the public are calumniating Sita and are blaming me and putting me to shame. No one can tolerate such disgrace. Honour is a great asset; Gods as well as great men strive to maintain it. I cannot bear this dishonour and disgrace. To save myself from such dishonour and disgrace I shall be ready even to abandon you. Don’t think I shall hesitate to abandon Sita.”

This shows that he was making up his mind to abandon Sita as the easiest way of saving himself from public calumny without considering whether the way was fair or foul. The life of Sita simply did not count. What counted was his own personal name and fame. He of course does not take the manly course of defending his wife and stopping the gossip, which as a king he could have done and which as a husband who was convinced of his wife’s innocence he was supposed to do. He yielded to the public gossip and there are not wanting Hindus who use this as ground to prove that Rama was a democratic king when others could equally well say that he was a weak and cowardly monarch. Be that as it may that diabolical plan of saving his name and his fame he discloses to his brother but not to Sita, the only person who was affected by it and the only person who was entitled to have notice of it. But she is kept entirely in the dark. Rama keeps it away from Sita as a closely guarded secret and was waiting for an opportunity to put his plan into action. Eventually the cruel fate of Sita gives him the opportunity he was waiting for. Women who are carrying exhibit all sorts of cravings for all sorts of things. Rama knew of this. So one day he asked Sita if there was anything for which she was craving. She replied that she would like to live in the vicinity of the Ashrama of a sage on the bank of the river Ganges and live on fruits and roots at least for one night. Rama simply jumped at the suggestion of Sita and said, “Be easy my dear, I shall see that you are sent there tomorrow”. Sita treats this as an honest promise. But what does Rama do? He thinks it is a good opportunity for carrying out his plan of abandoning Sita. Accordingly he called his brothers to a secret conference and disclosed to them his determination to use this desire of Sita as the opportunity to carry out the plan of abandoning her. He tells his brothers not to intercede on behalf of Sita, and warns them that if they came in his way he would look upon them as his enemies. Then he tells Laxman to take Sita in a chariot next day to the Ashram in the jungle on the bank of the river Ganges and to abandon her there. Laxman did not know how he could muster courage to tell Sita what was decided by Rama. Sensing his difficulty Rama informs Laxman that Sita had already expressed her desire to spend some time in the vicinity of an Ashram on the bank of the river and eased the mind of Laxman. This confabulation took place at night. Next morning Laxman asked Sumanta to yoke the horses to the chariot. Sumanta informs Laxman of having already done so. Laxman then goes into the palace and meets Sita and reminds her of her having expressed the desire to pass some days in the vicinity of an Ashrama and Rama having promised to fulfill the same and tells her of his having been charged by Rama to do the needful in the matter. He points to her the chariot waiting there and says, “Let us go!” Sita jumps into the chariot with her heart full of gratitude to Rama. With Laxman as her companion and Sumanta as coachman, the chariot proceeds to its appointed place. At last, they were on the bank of the Ganges and were ferried across by the fishermen. Laxman fell at Sita’s feet, and with hot tears flowing from his eyes he said, “Pardon me, O, blameless queen, for what I am doing. My orders are to abandon you here, for the people blame Rama for keeping you in his house”.

Sita, abandoned by Rama and left to die in a jungle, went for shelter to the Ashrama of Valmiki, which was near about. Valmiki gave her protection and kept her in his Ashram. There in course of time, Sita gave birth to twin sons, called Kusa and Lava. The three lived with Valmiki. Valmiki brought up the boys and taught them to sing the Ramayana which he had composed. For 12 years the boys lived in the forest in the Ashrama of Valmiki not far from Ayodhya where Rama continued to rule. Never once in those 12 years this ‘model husband and loving father’ cared to inquire what had happened to Sita – whether she was living or whether she was dead. Twelve years after Rama meets Sita in a strange manner. Rama decided to perform a Yagna and issued an invitation to all the Rishis to attend and take part. For reasons best known to Rama himself no invitation was issued to Valmiki although his Ashram was near to Ayodhya. But Valmiki came to the Yagna of his own accord accompanied by the two sons of Sita introducing them as his disciples. While the Yagna was going on the two boys were used to perform recitations of Ramayana in the presence of the Assembly. Rama was very pleased and made inquiries, and he was informed that they were the sons of Sita. It was then he remembered Sita and what does he do then? He does not send for Sita. He calls these innocent boys who knew nothing about their parents’ sin, who were the only victims of a cruel destiny, to tell Valmiki that if Sita was pure and chaste she could present herself in the Assembly to take a vow and thereby remove the calumny cast against herself and himself. This is a thing she had once done in Lanka. This is a thing she could have been asked to do again before she was sent away. There was no promise that after this vindication of her character Rama was prepared to take her back. Valmiki brings her to the Assembly. When she was in front of Rama, Valmiki said, “O, son of Dashratha, here is Sita whom you abandoned in consequence of public disapprobation. She will now swear her purity if permitted by you. Here are your twin-born sons raised up by me in my hermitage”. “I know”, said Rama, “that Sita is pure and that these are my sons. She performed an ordeal in Lanka in proof of her purity and therefore I took her back. But people here have doubts still, and let Sita perform an ordeal here that all these Rashis and people may witness it”.

With eyes cast down on the ground and with hands folded Sita swore “As I never thought out of anyone except Rama even in my mind, let mother Earth open and bury me. As I always loved Rama in words, in thoughts, and in deed, let mother Earth open and bury me!” As she uttered the oath, the earth verily opened and Sita was carried away inside seated on a golden simhasana (throne). Heavenly flowers fell on Sita’s head while the audience looked on as in a trance.

That means that Sita preferred to die rather than return to Rama who had behaved no better than a brute.
Such is the tragedy of Sita and the crime of Rama the God.
Let me throw some search light on Rama the King.

Rama is held out as an ideal King. But can that conclusion be said to be found in fact?

As a matter of fact Rama never functions as a king. He was a normal King. The administration, as Valmiki, states, was entrusted to Bharata, his brother. He had freed himself from the cares and worries about his kingdom and subjects.

Valmiki has very minutely described the daily life of Rama after he became King. According to that accounts, the day was divided into two parts, up to forenoon and afternoon. From morning to forenoon he was engaged in performing religious rites and ceremonies and offering devotion. The afternoon he spent alternately in the company of Court jesters and in the Zenana. When he got tired of jesters he went back to the Zenana. Valmiki also gives a detailed description of how Rama spent his life in the Zenana. This Zenana was housed in a park called Ashoka Vana. There Rama used to tale his meals. The food, according to Valmiki, consisted of all kinds of delicious viands. They included flesh and fruits and liquor. Rama was not a teetotaler. He drank liquor copiously and Valmiki records that Rama saw to it that Sita joined with him in his drinking bouts. From the description of the Zenana of Rama as given by Valmiki it was by no means a mean thing. There were Apsaras, Uraga and Kinnari accomplished in dancing and singing. There were other beautiful women brought from different parts. Rama sat in the midst of these women drinking and dancing. They pleased Rama and Rama garlanded them. Valmiki calls Ram as a ‘Prince among women’s men’. This was not a day’s affair. It was a regular course of his life.

As has already been said Rama never attended to public business. He never observed the ancient rule of Indian kings of hearing the wrongs of his subjects and attempting to redress them. Only one occasion has been recorded by Valmiki when he personally heard the grievance of his subjects. But unfortunately the occasion turned out to be a tragic one. He took upon himself to redress the wrong but in doing so committed the worst crime that history has ever recorded.

The incident is known as the murder of Sambuka, the Shudra. It is said by Valmiki that in Rama’s reign there were no premature deaths in his kingdom. It happened, however, that a certain Brahman’s son died in a premature death. The bereaved father carried his body to the gate of the king’s palace, and placing it there, cried aloud and bitterly reproached Rama for the death of his son, saying that it must be the consequence of some sin committed within his realm, and that the king himself was guilty if he did not punish it; and finally threatened to end his life there by sitting on a dharana (hunger-strike) against Rama unless his son was restored to life. Rama thereupon consulted his council of eight learned Rishis, and Narada amongst them told Rama that some Shudra among his subjects must have been performing Tapasya (ascetic exercises), and thereby going against Dharma (sacred law), for according to it, the practice of Tapasya was proper to the twice-born alone, while the duty of the Shudras consisted only in the service of the “twice-born”. Rama was thus convinced that it was the sin committed by a Shudra in transgressing Dharma in that manner, which was responsible for the death of the Brahmin boy.

So, Rama mounted his aerial car and scoured the countryside for the culprit. At last, in a wild region far away to the south he espied a man practicing rigorous austerity of a certain kind. He approached the man, and with no more ado than to enquire of him and inform himself that he was a Shudra, by name Sambuka who was practicing Tapasya with a view to going to heaven in his own earthly person and without so much as a warning, expostulation or the like addressed to him, cut off his head. And lo and behold! At that very moment the dead Brahman boy in distant Ayodhya began to breathe again. Here in the wilds the Gods rained flowers on the king from their joy at his having prevented a Shudra from gaining admission to their celestial abode through the power of the Tapasya which he had no right to perform. They also appeared before Rama and congratulated him on his deed. In answer to his prayer to them to revive the dead Brahman boy lying at the palace gate in Ayodhya, they informed him that he had already come to life. They then departed. Rama thence proceeded to the Ashrama, which was nearby, of the sage Agastya, who commended the step he had taken with Sambuka, and presented him with a divine bracelet. Rama then returned to his capital.

Such is Rama.

सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस 
–एस. आर. दारापुरी, राष्ट्रीय प्रवक्ता, आल इंडिया पीपुल्स फ्रंट

31 जुलाई देश भर में “सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस” के रूप में मनाया जाता है. इस दिन दिल्ली, नागपुर और शिमला नगरपालिका में सफाई कर्मचारियों को छुट्टी होती है. इस दिन सफाई कर्मचारी इकट्ठा हो कर अपनी समस्यायों पर विचार-विमर्श करते हैं और अपनी मांगें सामूहिक रूप से उठाते हैं.

सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस का इतिहास यह है कि 29 जुलाई, 1957 को दिल्ली म्युनिसिपल कमेटी के सफाई कर्मचारियों ने अपने वेतन तथा कुछ काम सम्बन्धी सुविधायों की मांग को लेकर हड़ताल शुरू की थी. उसी दिन केन्द्रीय सरकार के कर्मचारियों की फेडरेशन ने भी हड़ताल करने की चेतावनी दी थी. पंडित नेहरु उस समय भारत के प्रधान मंत्री थे. उन्होंने केन्द्रीय सरकार के कर्मचारियों तथा सभी हड़ताल करने वालों को कड़े शब्दों में चेतावनी दी कि उनकी हड़ताल को सख्ती से दबा दिया जायेगा.

30 जुलाई को नई दिल्ली सफाई कर्मचारियों की हड़ताल शुरू हो गयी नगरपालिका ने हड़ताल को तोड़ने के लिए बाहर से लोगों को भर्ती करके काम चलाने की कोशिश की. उधर सफाई कर्मचारियों ने एक तरफ तो कूड़ा ले जाने वाली गाड़ियों को नए भर्ती हुए कर्मचारियों को काम करने के लिए जाने से रोका और दूसरी ओर काम करने वालों से जाति के नाम पर अपील की कि वे उनके संघर्ष को सफल बनायें. हुमायूँ रोड, काका नगर, निजामुद्दीन आदि के करीब हड़ताली तथा नए भर्ती सफाई कर्मचारियों की झड़पें भी हुयीं.

31 जुलाई को दोपहर तीन बजे के करीब भंगी कालोनी रीडिंग रोड से नए भर्ती किये गए कर्मचारियों को लारियों में ले जाने की कोशिश की गयी. सफाई कर्मचारियों ने इसे रोकने की कोशिश की. पुलिस की सहायता से एक लारी निकाल ली गयी. परंतु जब दूसरी लारी निकाली जाने लगी तो हड़ताल करने वाले कर्मचारियों ने ज्यादा जोर से इस का विरोध किया. पुलिस ने टिमलू नाम के एक कर्मचारी को बुरी तरह से पीटना शुरू किया. उस पर भीड़ उतेजित हो गयी और किसी ने पुलिस पर पत्थर फेंके. उस समय मौके पर मौजूद डिप्टी एस.पी. ने भीड़ पर गोली चलाने का आदेश दे दिया. बस्ती के लोगों का कहना है कि पुलिस ने बस्ती के अन्दर आ कर लोगों को मारा और गोलियां चलायीं. गोली चलाने के पहले न तो कोई लाठी चार्ज किया गया और न ही आंसू गैस ही छोड़ी गयी. कितनी गोलियां चलाई गयीं पता नहीं. पुलिस का कहना था कि 13 गोलियां चलायी गयीं.

इस गोली कांड में भूप सिंह नाम का एक नवयुवक मारा गया जो कि सफाई कर्मचारी तो नहीं था परन्तु वहां पर मेहमानी में आया हुआ था. जो नगरपालिका सफाई कर्चारियों की 30 जुलाई तक कोई भी मांग मानने को तैयार नहीं थी, हड़ताल शुरू होने के बाद मानने को तैयार हो गयी. हड़ताल के दौरान पुलिस द्वारा गोली चलाये जाने और एक आदमी की मौत हो जाने के कारण सफाई कर्मचारियों में गुस्सा और जोश बढ़ा जो भयानक रूप ले सकता था. बहुत से लोगों ने हमदर्दी जताई और आहिस्ता-आहिस्ता लोग इस घटना को भूलने लगे.

भंगी कालोनी में रहने वाले कर्मचारी नौकरी खो जाने के डर से किसी भी गैर कांग्रेसी राजनीतिक पार्टी को नजदीक नहीं आने देते थे. उधर कर्मचारी इस घटना को भुलाना भी नहीं चाहते थे. वे गोली का शिकार हुए नौजवान भूप सिंह की मौत को अधिक महत्व देते थे, उस की मौत के कारणों को या शासकों के रवैये को नहीं. उनकी भावनायों को ध्यान में रखते हुए इस बस्ती में रहने वाले नेताओं ने भूप सिंह की बर्सी मनाने की प्रथा शुरू कर दी. 1957 के बाद हर वर्ष पंचकुइआं रोड स्थित भंगी कालोनी में “भूप सिंह शहीदी दिवस” मनाया जाने लगा और भूप सिंह को इस आन्दोलन का हीरो बनाया जाने लगा. भूप सिंह की बड़ी सी तस्वीर बाल्मीकि मंदिर से जुड़े कमरे में लगायी गयी. इस मीटिंग में हर वर्ष भूप सिंह को श्रदांजलि पेश की जाती है.

बाबा साहेब आंबेडकर की बड़ी इच्छा थी कि समूचे भारत के सफाई कर्मचारियों को एक मंच पर इकट्ठा किया जाये. उनकी एक देशव्यापी संस्था बनायीं जाये जो उनके उत्थान और प्रगति केलिए संघर्ष करे और उन्हें गंदे पेशे तथा गुलामी से निकाल सके. उन्होंने 1942 से 1946 तक जब वे वाईसराय की एग्जीक्यूटिव कोंसिल के श्रम सदस्य थे, वे उनकी राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर ट्रेड यूनियन बनाना चाहते थे ताकि वे अपने अधिकारों के लिए संगठित तौर पर लड़ सकें।

उन्होंने सफाई मजदूरों की समस्याओं के अध्ययन के लिए एक समिति भी बनायीं थी. दरअसलबाबा साहेब भंगियों से झाड़ू छुड़वाना चाहते थे और इसी लिए उन्होंने “भंगी झाड़ू छोडो” का नारा भी दिया था.

सफाई कर्मचारियों पर सब से अधिक प्रभाव गाँधी जी, कांग्रेस और हिन्दू राजनेताओं और धार्मिक नेताओं का रहा है. उन्होंने एक ओर तो सफाई कर्मचारियों को बाबा साहेब के स्वतंत्र आन्दोलन से दूर रखा और दूसरी ओर उन्हें अनपढ़, पिछड़ा, निर्धन और असंगठित रखने का प्रयास किया है ताकि वे सदा के लिए हिंदुओं पर निर्भर रहें, असंगठित रहें और पखाना साफ़ करने और कूड़ा ढोने का काम करते रहें. दूसरी ओर उनकी संस्थाओं को स्वंतत्र और मज़बूत बनने से रोका. उनकी लगाम हमेशा कांग्रेसी हिन्दुओं के हाथ में रही है.

सफाई कर्मचारियों में हमेशा से संगठन का अभाव रहा है क्योंकि बाल्मीकि या सुपच के नाम से समूचे भारत के सफाई कर्मचारियों को एक मंच पर इकट्ठा नहीं किया जा सकता है. ऐसा करने से उन में जातिगत टकराव का भय रहता है. अतः सफाई कर्मचारियों को बतौर “सफाई कर्मचारी”संगठित करना ज़रूरी है. इसी उद्देश्य से “अम्बेडकर मिशन सोसाइटी” जिस की स्थापना श्रीभगवान दास जी ने की थी, ने 1964 में यह तय किया कि “मजदूर दिवस” की तरह दिल्ली में भी“सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस” मनाया जायेगा ताकि उस दिन सफाई कर्मचारी अपनी समस्याओं और मांगों पर विचार विमर्श कर सकें और उन्हें संगठित रूप से उठा सकें. धीरे धीरे भारत के अन्य शहरों में भी 31 जुलाई को स्वीपर- डे अथवा सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस के नाम से मनाया जाने लगा. दिल्ली के बाद नागपुर पहला शहर है जहाँ पर 1978 के बाद से बाकायदा हर वर्ष स्वीपर-डेपब्लिक जलसे के तौर पर मनाया जाता है. इस दिन वहां पर अपने अधिकारों के लिए संघर्ष करने, दुर्घटनाओं तथा अपनी सेवाकाल के दौरान मरने वाले सफाई कर्मचारियों को श्रदांजलि पेश की जाती है और अन्य समस्याओं के समाधान के लिए विचार विमर्श किया जाता है. प्रस्ताव पास करके सरकार को भेजे जाते हैं और सफाई कर्मचारियों की उन्नति और प्रगति के लिए प्रोग्राम बनाये जाते हैं.

सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस कैसे मनाएं?

भगवान दास जी ने अपनी पुस्तक “सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस 31, जुलाई” में “सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस कैसे मनाएं?” में इसे सार्थक रूप से मनाने पर चर्चा में कहा है कि इसे बाल दिवस, शिक्षक दिवस और मजदूर दिवस की तरह मनाया जाना चाहिए. उन्होंने आगे कहा है कि इस दिन जलसे में उनकी व्यवसायिक, आर्थिक तथा सामाजिक व्यवस्था और शिक्षा आदि समस्याओं पर चर्चा करना उचित होगा. शिक्षा के प्रसार खास करके लड़कियों तथा महिलायों की शिक्षा पर जोर दिया जानाचाहिए. शिक्षा में सहायता के ज़रूरतमंद छात्र-छात्राओं को पुरुस्कार, संगीत तथा चित्रकारी, मूर्ति कला तथा खेलों को प्रोत्साहन देने तथा छोटे परिवार, स्वास्थ्य और नशा उन्मूलन पर जोर दिया जाना चाहिए. इस जलसे में मंत्रियों और बाहरी नेतायों को नहीं बुलाया जाना चाहिए. बाबा साहेब तथा अन्य महापुरुषों के जीवन संघर्ष आदि से लोगों को परिचित कराया जाना चाहिए ताकि उन्हें इस से प्रेरणा मिले और उनमें साहस एवं उत्साह बढ़े और वे खुद आगे की ओर बढ़ने की कोशिशकरें.

वास्तव में सफाई कर्मचारी दिवस को कर्मचारियों में संगठन-जागृति, शिक्षा और उत्थान के लिए पूरी तरह से उपयोगी त्यौहार के रूप में मनाया जाना चाहिए क्योंकि वे ही सब से अधिक शोषित, घृणित और पिछड़ा मजदूर वर्ग है.
Ambedkar wrote on why Brahmins started worshipping the cow and gave up eating beef
Courtsey: Sabrang

02 Aug 2016

It was a strategy, wrote the father of Indian Constitution, to vanquish Buddhism.


Courtesy: Scroll.in

As we witness yet another incident of violence in the name of stopping cow-slaughter by groups of vigilantes known as gau-rakshaks, we revisit BR Ambedkar’s 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?, which grapples with many of the issues that continue to plague India even today.

What is the cause of the nausea which the Hindus have against beef-eating? Were the Hindus always opposed to beef-eating? If not, why did they develop such a nausea against it? Were the Untouchables given to beef-eating from the very start? Why did they not give up beef-eating when it was abandoned by the Hindus? Were the Untouchables always Untouchables? If there was a time when the Untouchables were not Untouchables even though they ate beef why should beef-eating give rise to Untouchability at a later-stage? If the Hindus were eating beef, when did they give it up? If Untouchability is a reflex of the nausea of the Hindus against beef-eating, how long after the Hindus had given up beef-eating did Untouchability come into being?Ambedkar's conclusions, based on an analysis of various religious texts, will seem more than deeply ironical to anyone who studies contemporary India, for the father of Indian Constitution argued that Brahmins who once had no compunctions against slaughter of animals, including cows, and were the greatest beef-eaters themselves, not only gave up beef-eating but also started worshipping the cow as a deliberate strategy.

The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism.Earlier in the book, Ambedkar introduces the concept of Broken Men, whom he describes as follows:

In a tribal war it often happened that a tribe instead of being completely annihilated was defeated and routed. In many cases a defeated tribe became broken into bits. As a consequence of this there always existed in Primitive times a floating population consisting of groups of Broken tribesmen roaming in all directions.He also makes the assumption that

“Untouchables are Broken Men belonging to a tribe different from the tribe comprising the village community.”Ambedkar’s third assumption is that

“Broken Men were the followers of Buddhism and did not care to return to Brahmanism when it became triumphant over Buddhism”. What follows are excerpts from Chapter 9 to 14:

The Broken Men hated the Brahmins because the Brahmins were the enemies of Buddhism and the Brahmins imposed untouchability upon the Broken Men because they would not leave Buddhism. On this reasoning it is possible to conclude that one of the roots of untouchability lies in the hatred and contempt which the Brahmins created against those who were Buddhist.

Can the hatred between Buddhism and Brahmanism be taken to be the sole cause why Broken Men became Untouchables? Obviously, it cannot be. The hatred and contempt preached by the Brahmins was directed against Buddhists in general and not against the Broken Men in particular. Since untouchability stuck to Broken Men only, it is obvious that there was some additional circumstance which has played its part in fastening untouchability upon the Broken Men. What that circumstance could have been? We must next direct our effort in the direction of ascertaining it.]

Beef-eating as the root of Untouchability

[...]The Census Returns [of 1910] show that the meat of the dead cow forms the chief item of food consumed by communities which are generally classified as untouchable communities. No Hindu community, however low, will touch cow’s flesh. On the other hand, there is no community which is really an Untouchable community which has not something to do with the dead cow. Some eat her flesh, some remove the skin, some manufacture articles out of her skin and bones.

From the survey of the Census Commissioner, it is well established that Untouchables eat beef. The question however is: Has beef-eating any relation to the origin of Untouchability? Or is it merely an incident in the economic life of the Untouchables?

Can we say that the Broken Men to be treated as Untouchables because they ate beef? There need be no hesitation in returning an affirmative answer to this question. No other answer is consistent with facts as we know them.

In the first place, we have the fact that the Untouchables or the main communities which compose them eat the dead cow and those who eat the dead cow are tainted with untouchability and no others. The co-relation between untouchability and the use of the dead cow is so great and so close that the thesis that it is the root of untouchability seems to be incontrovertible.

In the second place if there is anything that separates the Untouchables from the Hindus, it is beef-eating. Even a superficial view of the food taboos of the Hindus will show that there are two taboos regarding food which serve as dividing lines.

There is one taboo against meat-eating. It divides Hindus into vegetarians and flesh eaters. There is another taboo which is against beef eating. It divides Hindus into those who eat cow’s flesh and those who do not. From the point of view of untouchability the first dividing line is of no importance. But the second is. For it completely marks off the Touchables from the Untouchables.

The Touchables whether they are vegetarians or flesh-eaters are united in their objection to eat cow’s flesh. As against them stand the Untouchables who eat cow’s flesh without compunction and as a matter of course and habit.

In this context it is not far-fetched to suggest that those who have a nausea against beef-eating should treat those who eat beef as Untouchables. There is really no necessity to enter upon any speculation as to whether beef-eating was or was not the principal reason for the rise of Untouchability.

This new theory receives support from the Hindu Shastras. The Veda Vyas Smriti contains the following verse which specifies the communities which are included in the category of Antyajas and the reasons why they were so included

“The Charmakars (Cobbler), the Bhatta (Soldier), the Bhilla, the Rajaka (washerman), the Puskara, the Nata (actor), the Vrata, the Meda, the Chandala, the Dasa, the Svapaka, and the Kolika – these are known as Antyajas as well as others who eat cow’s flesh.”Generally speaking, the Smritikars never care to explain the why and the how of their dogmas. But this case is exception. For in this case, Veda Vyas does explain the cause of untouchability. The clause “as well as others who eat cow’s flesh” is very important. It shows that the Smritikars knew that the origin of untouchability is to be found in the eating of beef.

The dictum of Veda Vyas must close the argument. It comes, so to say, straight from the horse’s mouth and what is important is that it is also rational for it accords with facts as we know them.

The new approach in the search for the origin of Untouchability has brought to the surface two sources of the origin of Untouchability. One is the general atmosphere of scorn and contempt spread by the Brahmins against those who were Buddhists and the second is the habit of beef-eating kept on by the Broken Men.

As has been said the first circumstance could not be sufficient to account for stigma of Untouchability attaching itself to the Broken Men. For the scorn and contempt for Buddhists spread by the Brahmins was too general and affected all Buddhists and not merely the Broken Men.

The reason why Broken Men only became Untouchables was because in addition to being Buddhists they retained their habit of beef-eating which gave additional ground for offence to the Brahmins to carry their new-found love and reverence to the cow to its logical conclusion.

We may therefore conclude that the Broken Men were exposed to scorn and contempt on the ground that they were Buddhists, and the main cause of their Untouchability was beef-eating.

Did the Hindus never eat beef?

[...] The adjective Aghnya applied to the cow in the Rig Veda means a cow that was yielding milk and therefore not fit for being killed. That the cow is venerated in the Rig Veda is of course true. But this regard and venerations of the cow are only to be expected from an agricultural community like the Indo-Aryans. This application of the utility of the cow did not prevent the Aryan from killing the cow for purposes of food. Indeed the cow was killed because the cow was regarded as sacred. As observed by Mr Kane:

"It was not that the cow was not sacred in Vedic times, it was because of her sacredness that it is ordained in the Vajasaneyi Samhita that beef should be eaten."That the Aryans of the Rig Veda did kill cows for purposes of food and ate beef is abundantly clear from the Rig Veda itself. In Rig Veda (X. 86.14) Indra says:

"They cook for one 15 plus twenty oxen". The Rig Veda (X.91.14) says that for Agni were sacrificed horses, bulls, oxen, barren cows and rams. From the Rig Veda (X.72.6) it appears that the cow was killed with a sword or axe.

[...] The correct view is that the testimony of the Satapatha Brahmana and the Apastamba Dharma Sutra in so far as it supports the view that Hindus were against cow-killing and beef-eating, are merely exhortations against the excesses of cow-killing and not prohibitions against cow-killing.

Indeed the exhortations prove that cow-killing and eating of beef had become a common practice. That notwithstanding these exhortations cow-killing and beef-eating continued. That most often they fell on deaf ears is proved by the conduct of Yajnavalkya, the great Rishi of the Aryans. ... After listening to the exhortation this is what Yajnavalkya said :

"I, for one, eat it, provided that it is tender"That the Hindus at one time did kill cows and did eat beef is proved abundantly by the description of the Yajnas given in the Buddhist Sutras which relate to periods much later than the Vedas and the Brahmanas.

The scale on which the slaughter of cows and animals took place was collosal. It is not possible to give a total of such slaughter on all accounts committed by the Brahmins in the name of religion...

Why did non-Brahmins give up beef-eating?

Examining the legislation of Asoka the question is: Did he prohibit the killing of the cow? On this issue there seem to be a difference of opinion... Asoka had no particular interest in the cow and owed no special duty to protect her against killing. Asoka was interested in the sanctity of all life human as well as animal. He felt his duty to prohibit the taking of life where taking of life was not necessary. That is why he prohibited slaughtering animal for sacrifice which he regarded as unnecessary and of animals which are not utilised nor eaten which again would be want on and unnecessary.

That he did not prohibit the slaughter of the cow in specie may well be taken as a fact which for having regard to the Buddhist attitude in the matter cannot be used against Asoka as a ground for casting blame.

Coming to Manu there is no doubt that he too did not prohibit the slaughter of the cow. On the other hand he made the eating of cow's flesh on certain occasions obligatory.This may be a novel theory but it is not an impossible theory. As the French author, Gabriel Tarde has explained that culture within a society spreads by imitation of the ways and manners of the superior classes by the inferior classes.

This imitation is so regular in its flow that its working is as mechanical as the working of a natural law. Gabriel Tarde speaks of the laws of imitation. One of these laws is that the lower classes always imitate the higher classes. This is a matter of such common knowledge that hardly any individual can be found to question its validity.

That the spread of the cow-worship among and cessation of beef-eating by the non-Brahmins has taken place by reason of the habit of the non-Brahmins to imitate the Brahmins who were undoubtedly their superiors is beyond dispute.Of course there was an extensive propaganda in favour of cow-worship by the Brahmins. The Gayatri Purana is a piece of this propaganda. But initially it is the result of the natural law of imitation. This, of course, raises another question:

Why did the Brahmins give up beef-eating?

What made the Brahmins become vegetarians?
[T]here was a time when the Brahmins were the greatest beef-eaters... In a period overridden by ritualism there was hardly a day on which there was no cow sacrifice to which the Brahmin was not invited by some non-Brahmin. For the Brahmin every day was a beef-steak day. The Brahmins were therefore the greatest beef-eaters. The Yajna of the Brahmins was nothing but the killing of innocent animals carried on in the name of religion with pomp and ceremony with an attempt to enshroud it in mystery with a view to conceal their appetite for beef. Some idea of this mystery pomp and ceremony can be had from the directions contained in the Atreya Brahamana touching the killing of animals in a Yajna...

[F]or generations the Brahmins had been eating beef. Why did they give up beef-eating? Why did they, as an extreme step, give up meat eating altogether and become vegetarians? It is two revolutions rolled into one.

As has been shown it has not been done as a result of the preachings of Manu, their Divine Law-maker. The revolution has taken place in spite of Manu and contrary to his directions. What made the Brahmins take this step? Was philosophy responsible for it? Or was it dictated by strategy?...

To my mind, it was strategy which made the Brahmins give up beef-eating and start worshipping the cow. The clue to the worship of the cow is to be found in the struggle between Buddhism and Brahmanism and the means adopted by Brahmanism to establish its supremacy over Buddhism.

The strife between Buddhism and Brahmanism is a crucial fact in Indian history. Without the realisation of this fact, it is impossible to explain some of the features of Hinduism. Unfortunately students of Indian history have entirely missed the importance of this strife. They knew there was Brahmanism. But they seem to be entirely unaware of the struggle for supremacy in which these creeds were engaged and that their struggle, which extended for 400 years has left some indelible marks on religion, society and politics of India.

This is not the place for describing the full story of the struggle. All one can do is to mention a few salient points. Buddhism was at one time the religion of the majority of the people of India. It continued to be the religion of the masses for hundreds of years. It attacked Brahmanism on all sides as no religion had done before.

Brahmanism was on the wane and if not on the wane, it was certainly on the defensive. As a result of the spread of Buddhism, the Brahmins had lost all power and prestige at the Royal Court and among the people.

They were smarting under the defeat they had suffered at the hands of Buddhism and were making all possible efforts to regain their power and prestige. Buddhism had made so deep an impression on the minds of the masses and had taken such a hold of them that it was absolutely impossible for the Brahmins to fight the Buddhists except by accepting their ways and means and practising the Buddhist creed in its extreme form.

After the death of Buddha his followers started setting up the images of the Buddha and building stupas. The Brahmins followed it. They, in their turn, built temples and installed in them images of Shiva, Vishnu and Ram and Krishna etc – all with the object of drawing away the crowd that was attracted by the image worship of Buddha.

That is how temples and images which had no place in Brahmanism came into Hinduism.

The Buddhists rejected the Brahmanic religion which consisted of Yajna and animal sacrifice, particularly of the cow. The objection to the sacrifice of the cow had taken a strong hold of the minds of the masses especially as they were an agricultural population and the cow was a very useful animal.

The Brahmins in all probability had come to be hated as the killer of cows in the same way as the guest had come to be hated as Gognha, the killer of the cow by the householder, because whenever he came a cow had to be killed in his honour. That being the case, the Brahmins could do nothing to improve their position against the Buddhists except by giving up the Yajna as a form of worship and the sacrifice of the cow.

That the object of the Brahmins in giving up beef-eating was to snatch away from the Buddhist Bhikshus the supremacy they had acquired is evidenced by the adoption of vegetarianism by Brahmins.

Why did the Brahmins become vegetarian? The answer is that without becoming vegetarian the Brahmins could not have recovered the ground they had lost to their rival namely Buddhism.

In this connection it must be remembered that there was one aspect in which Brahmanism suffered in public esteem as compared to Buddhism. That was the practice of animal sacrifice which was the essence of Brahmanism and to which Buddhism was deadly opposed.

That in an agricultural population there should be respect for Buddhism and revulsion against Brahmanism which involved slaughter of animals including cows and bullocks is only natural. What could the Brahmins do to recover the lost ground? To go one better than the Buddhist Bhikshus not only to give up meat-eating but to become vegetarians – which they did. That this was the object of the Brahmins in becoming vegetarians can be proved in various ways.

If the Brahmins had acted from conviction that animal sacrifice was bad, all that was necessary for them to do was to give up killing animals for sacrifice. It was unnecessary for them to be vegetarians. That they did go in for vegetarianism makes it obvious that their motive was far-reaching.

Secondly, it was unnecessary for them to become vegetarians. For the Buddhist Bhikshus were not vegetarians. This statement might surprise many people owing to the popular belief that the connection between Ahimsa and Buddhism was immediate and essential. It is generally believed that the Buddhist Bhikshus eschewed animal food. This is an error.

The fact is that the Buddhist Bhikshus were permitted to eat three kinds of flesh that were deemed pure. Later on they were extended to five classes. Yuan Chwang, the Chinese traveller was aware of this and spoke of the pure kinds of flesh as San-Ching...

As the Buddhist Bhikshus did eat meat the Brahmins had no reason to give it up. Why then did the Brahmins give up meat-eating and become vegetarians? It was because they did not want to put themselves merely on the same footing in the eyes of the public as the Buddhist Bhikshus.

The giving up of the Yajna system and abandonment of the sacrifice of the cow could have had only a limited effect. At the most it would have put the Brahmins on the same footing as the Buddhists. The same would have been the case if they had followed the rules observed by the Buddhist Bhikshus in the matter of meat-eating. It could not have given the Brahmins the means of achieving supremacy over the Buddhists which was their ambition.

They wanted to oust the Buddhists from the place of honour and respect which they had acquired in the minds of the masses by their opposition to the killing of the cow for sacrificial purposes. To achieve their purpose the Brahmins had to adopt the usual tactics of a reckless adventurer. It is to beat extremism with extremism. It is the strategy which all rightists use to overcome the leftists. The only way to beat the Buddhists was to go a step further and be vegetarians.

There is another reason which can be relied upon to support the thesis that the Brahmins started cow-worship, gave up beef-eating and became vegetarians in order to vanquish Buddhism. It is the date when cow-killing became a mortal sin. It is well-known that cow-killing was not made an offence by Asoka. Many people expect him to have come forward to prohibit the killing of the cow. Prof Vincent Smith regards it as surprising. But there is nothing surprising in it.

Buddhism was against animal sacrifice in general. It had no particular affection for the cow. Asoka had therefore no particular reason to make a law to save the cow. What is more astonishing is the fact that cow-killing was made a Mahapataka, a mortal sin or a capital offence by the Gupta Kings who were champions of Hinduism which recognised and sanctioned the killing of the cow for sacrificial purposes...

The question is why should a Hindu king have come forward to make a law against cow-killing, that is to say, against the Laws of Manu? The answer is that the Brahmins had to suspend or abrogate a requirement of their Vedic religion in order to overcome the supremacy of the Buddhist Bhikshus.

If the analysis is correct then it is obvious that the worship of the cow is the result of the struggle between Buddhism and Brahminism. It was a means adopted by the Brahmins to regain their lost position.

Why should beef-eating make broken men Untouchables?

THE stoppage of beef-eating by the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins and the continued use thereof by the Broken Men had produced a situation which was different from the old. This difference lay in the face that while in the old situation everybody ate beef, in the new -situation one section did not and another did.

The difference was a glaring difference. Everybody could see it. It divided society as nothing else did before. All the same, this difference need not have given rise to such extreme division of society as is marked by Untouchability. It could have remained a social difference. There are many cases where different sections of the community differ in their foods. What one likes the other dislikes and yet this difference does not create a bar between the two.

There must therefore be some special reason why in India the difference between the Settled Community and the Broken Men in the matter of beef eating created a bar between the two.

What can that be? The answer is that if beef-eating had remained a secular affair – a mere matter of individual taste – such a bar between those who ate beef and those who did not would not have arisen.

Unfortunately beef-eating, instead of being treated as a purely secular matter, was made a matter of religion. This happened because the Brahmins made the cow a sacred animal. This made beef-eating a sacrilege. The Broken Men being guilty of sacrilege necessarily became beyond the pale of society.

The answer may not be quite clear to those who have no idea of the scope and function of religion in the life of the society. They may ask: Why should religion make such a difference? It will be clear if the following points regarding the scope and function of religion are borne in mind.

To begin with the definition of religion. There is one universal feature which characterises all religions. This feature lies in religion being a unified system of beliefs and practices which (1) relate to sacred things and (2) which unite into one single community all those who adhere to them.

To put it slightly differently, there are two elements in every religion. One is that religion is inseparable from sacred things. The other is that religion is a collective thing inseparable from society.

The first element in religion presupposes a classification of all things, real and ideal, which are the subject-matter of man's thought, into two distinct classes which are generally designated by two distinct terms the sacred and the profane, popularly spoken of as secular.

This defines the scope of religion. For understanding the function of religion the following points regarding things sacred should be noted:

The first thing to note is that things sacred are not merely higher than or superior in dignity and status to those that are profane. They are just different. The sacred and the profane do not belong to the same class. There is a complete dichotomy between the two. As Prof Durkhiem observes:

“The traditional opposition of good and bad is nothing beside this; for the good and the bad are only two opposed species of the same class, namely, morals, just as sickness and health are two different aspects of the same order of facts, life, while the sacred and the profane have always and everywhere been conceived by the human mind as two distinct classes, as two worlds between which there is nothing in common.”The curious may want to know what has led men to see in this world this dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. We must however refuse to enter into this discussion as it is unnecessary for the immediate purpose we have in mind.

Confining ourselves to the issue the next thing to note is that the circle of sacred objects is not fixed. Its extent varies infinitely from religion to religion. Gods and spirits are not the only sacred things. A rock, a tree, an animal, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word anything can be sacred. Things sacred are always associated with interdictions otherwise called taboos. To quote Prof Durkhiem again:

“Sacred things are those which the interdictions protect and isolate; profane things, those to which these interdictions are applied and which must remain at a distance from the first.”Religious interdicts take multiple forms. Most important of these is the interdiction on contact. The interdiction on contact rests upon the principle that the profane should never touch the sacred.

Contact may be established in a variety of ways other than touch.

A look is a means of contact. That is why the sight of sacred things is forbidden to the profane in certain cases. For instance, women are not allowed to see certain things which are regarded as sacred.

The word (i.e., the breath which forms part of man and which spreads outside him) is another means of contact. That is why the profane is forbidden to address the sacred things or to utter them. For instance, the Veda must be uttered only by the Brahmin and not by the Shudra.

An exceptionally intimate contact is the one resulting from the absorption of food. Hence comes the interdiction against eating the sacred animals or vegetables.

The interdictions relating to the sacred are not open to discussion. They are beyond discussion and must be accepted without question. The sacred is "untouchable" in the sense that it is beyond the pale of debate. All that one can do is to respect and obey.

Lastly the interdictions relating to the sacred are binding on all. They are not maxims. They are injunctions. They are obligatory but not in the ordinary sense of the word. They partake of the nature of a categorical imperative. Their breach is more than a crime. It is a sacrilege.

The above summary should be enough for an understanding of the scope and function of religion. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon the subject further.

The analysis of the working of the laws of the sacred which is the core of religion should enable any one to see that my answer to the question why beef-eating should make the Broken Men untouchables is the correct one. All that is necessary to reach the answer I have proposed is to read the analysis of the working of the laws of the sacred with the cow as the sacred object.

It will be found that Untouchability is the result of the breach of the interdiction against the eating of the sacred animal, namely, the cow.

As has been said, the Brahmins made the cow a sacred animal. They did not stop to make a difference between a living cow and a dead cow. The cow was sacred, living or dead. Beef-eating was not merely a crime. If it was only a crime it would have involved nothing more than punishment. Beef-eating was made a sacrilege. Anyone who treated the cow as profane was guilty of sin and unfit for association. The Broken Men who continued to eat beef became guilty of sacrilege.

Once the cow became sacred and the Broken Men continued to eat beef, there was no other fate left for the Broken Men except to be treated unfit for association, i.e., as Untouchables.

Obvious objections

Before closing the subject it may be desirable to dispose of possible objections to the thesis. Two such objections to the thesis appear obvious.

One is what evidence is there that the Broken Men did eat the flesh of the dead cow. The second is why did they not give up beef-eating when the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins abandoned it.

These questions have an important bearing upon the theory of the origin of untouchability advanced in this book and must therefore be dealt with.

The first question is relevant as well as crucial. If the Broken Men were eating beef from the very beginning, then obviously the theory cannot stand. For, if they were eating beef from the very beginning and nonetheless were not treated as Untouchables, to say that the Broken Men became Untouchables because of beef-eating would be illogical if not senseless.

The second question is relevant, if not crucial. If the Brahmins gave up beef-eating and the non-Brahmins imitated them why did the Broken Men not do the same? If the law made the killing of the cow a capital sin because the cow became a sacred animal to the Brahmins and non-Brahmins, why were the Broken Men not stopped from eating beef? If they had been stopped from eating beef there would have been no Untouchability.

The answer to the first question is that even during the period when beef-eating was common to both, the Settled Tribesmen and the Broken Men, a system had grown up whereby the Settled Community ate fresh beef, while the Broken Men ate the flesh of the dead cow. We have no positive evidence to show that members of the Settled Community never ate the flesh of the dead cow. But we have negative evidence which shows that the dead cow had become an exclusive possession and perquisite of the Broken Men.

The evidence consists of facts which relate to the Mahars of the Maharashtra to whom reference has already been made. As has already been pointed out, the Mahars of the Maharashtra claim the right to take the dead animal. This right they claim against every Hindu in the village. This means that no Hindu can eat the flesh of his own animal when it dies. He has to surrender it to the Mahar. This is merely another way of stating that when eating beef was a common practice the Mahars ate dead beef and the Hindus ate fresh beef.

The only questions that arise are: Whether what is true of the present is true of the ancient past? Can this fact which is true of the Maharashtra be taken as typical of the arrangement between the Settled Tribes and the Broken Men throughout India?

In this connection reference may be made to the tradition current among the Mahars according to which they claim that they were given 52 rights against the Hindu villagers by the Muslim King of Bedar. Assuming that they were given by the King of Bedar, the King obviously did not create them for the first time. They must have been in existence from the ancient past. What the King did was merely to confirm them. This means that the practice of the Broken Men eating dead meat and the Settled Tribes eating fresh meat must have grown in the ancient past.

That such an arrangement should grow up is certainly most natural. The Settled Community was a wealthy community with agriculture and cattle as means of livelihood. The Broken Men were a community of paupers with no means of livelihood and entirely dependent upon the Settled Community. The principal item of food for both was beef. It was possible for the Settled Community to kill an animal for food because it was possessed of cattle. The Broken Men could not for they had none.

Would it be unnatural in these circumstances for the Settled Community to have agreed to give to the Broken Men its dead animals as part of their wages of watch and ward? Surely not. It can therefore be taken for granted that in the ancient past when both the Settled Community and Broken Men did eat beef the former ate fresh beef and the latter of the dead cow and that this system represented a universal state of affairs throughout India and was not confined to the Maharashtra alone.

This disposes of the first objection. To turn to the second objection. The law made by the Gupta Emperors was intended to prevent those who killed cows. It did not apply to the Broken Men. For they did not kill the cow. They only ate the dead cow. Their conduct did not contravene the law against cow-killing. The practice of eating the flesh of the dead cow therefore was allowed to continue.

Nor did their conduct contravene the doctrine of Ahimsa assuming that it has anything to do with the abandonment of beef-eating by the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins. Killing the cow was Himsa. But eating the dead cow was not. The Broken Men had therefore no cause for feeling qualms of conscience in continuing to eat the dead cow. Neither the law nor the doctrine of Himsa could interdict what they were doing, for what they were doing was neither contrary to law nor to the doctrine.

As to why they did not imitate the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins the answer is two fold. In the first place, imitation was too costly. They could not afford it. The flesh of the dead cow was their principal sustenance. Without it they would starve.

In the second place, carrying the dead cow had become an obligation though originally it was a privilege. As they could not escape carrying the dead cow they did not mind using the flesh as food in the manner in which they were doing previously.

Excerpted from Chapters 9 to 14 (Part IV and V) of B.R. Ambedkar’s 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? as reprinted in Volume 7 of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches.
The Dalit Voice is Simply Not Heard in the Mainstream Indian Media

It is the responsibility of non-Dalit journalists to be casteless and fight for equality in the country.


Students in Delhi protest against the death of Rohith Vemula. Credit: PTI
This is the English translation of a speech given by Jeya Rani, a journalist for over 15 years from Tamil Nadu at the Network of Women in Media in India (NWMI) conference last week. NWMI is an informal collective of women journalists across the country.

Jeya spoke of her experiences as a Dalit woman journalist and the caste, class, gender bias in mainstream media. The speech was given in Tamil and has been translated by Kavitha Muralidharan.

As responsible journalists and people with creative instincts, let us imagine an interesting scenario. What if tomorrow a law is enacted insisting that all the media houses in the country should prioritise and publish/telecast only caste related atrocities. Let us remember this is just a wild imagination. What would happen then? What if there is an emergency like situation? What if a media house is threatened with the cancellation of license if it fails to adhere to the law? Again, this is just an imagination. We all know what would happen. The media houses will be forced to expose a caste atrocity every second. They will have to expose caste related violence every minute. But they would not be daunted by the task.
Jeya Rani. Courtesy: Neha Dixit
Even as I stand here speaking to you, somewhere someone is being killed or raped, humiliated or outraged, just because she or he was born in a lower caste.

The ‘not so changing’ statistics of National Crime Records Bureau say that a Dalit is assaulted every two hours in India. So we would get breaking news every two hours.

At least three Dalit women are raped every 24 hours. Call it exclusive, mask the face of the woman or you can even leave it unmasked since she is a Dalit and keep breaking the news.

Two Dalits are killed every 24 hours. Two Dalit houses are burnt down. There would be no dearth of breaking news or good TRP ratings. In an era where violence incites more sensationalism than a porn video, commercialising Dalit atrocities will only be beneficial. As long as the six lakh villages in India are segregated as oors (where the dominant castes live) and cheris (where the Dalits live), as long as the hands of dominant castes write and enforce the living laws for Dalits through khappanchayats, there would be no scarcity of news related to violence against Dalits.

If there were such a law, as we are now imagining, breaking news would become the norm of the day. Like channels created war rooms to encourage the war against Pakistan, there would be caste clash rooms, violence rooms, untouchability rooms, protection of cow rooms and ghar wapsi rooms.

I wish this would happen for us to really understand how bad the caste domination is in India today. To many of us, caste atrocities are just what we hear or see. We never get a complete idea about what really happens in terms of caste atrocities throughout the country. It is like blind people touching the elephant. I believe the country’s indifference to the caste atrocities largely arises from this blind men and the elephant idea.

Now let’s go back to the real world.

So now we know the violence against the Dalits are like Akshaya Patra to the news hungry media. The thousands of print media houses and hundreds of television houses will always have something new to give its readers and viewers. But how does the media actually see the atrocities against Dalits? What is the space, in terms of percentage, given to violence on Dalits in a day, a week, a month and a year by the media houses?

Crimes against Dalits see a rise of 10-20% every year. In a just society, the media’s space to violence against Dalits should have correspondingly increased too. But has it happened? We all know it has not. Now let us understand why it has not happened.

Just like in a society where we have rigid caste hierarchies, the media and journalists too operate on the basis of caste hierarchies. The fourth pillar of democracy has come crumbling down under the pressure of caste hierarchies when it should have stood upright holding the torch of justice.

There is a term called oozhikaalam in Tamil. The closest English word to it is apocalypse. As a responsible journalist, I would call this era the apocalypse of the media world. Because, it is precisely this media world that controls the entire movement of society. The media decides what should happen today, what I should be discussing today, how I should think on an issue, what decision to take, what to eat or what to buy. The media’s influence on individual decisions is largely conditioned by the one-dimensional approach of the powers-to-be. What media sows in the morning is harvested by society in the evening. What media writes every day becomes the judgment on anything and everything in the following days.

The mainstream media is not for the poor, not for the oppressed. It has carved its kingdom out of loyalty to the powers, to bureaucracy, to domination. It is neither for minorities nor for women and children. Most certainly not for the Dalits. Over 95% of owners of the mainstream media including print and television come from dominant caste backgrounds. About 70-80% of the topmost positions are occupied by dominant caste men. Dalits don’t even constitute 1% when it comes to deciding power in the country’s media. When the diversity of media is butchered, how can Dalits and the oppressed expect any justice or even space from them?

English media, once in a while, does carry news on caste atrocities. But the possibility of even carrying anything remotely connected to violence on Dalits is ruled out completely in the vernacular media. Dalit journalists invariably end up in the vernacular media due to various factors. That includes their family and societal factors. Most Dalit journalists are first generation graduates. They lack the ‘desired colour’ and they lack proficiency in English. Vernacular media accommodates them but treats them badly. They are not considered on par with journalists from other communities when it is time for promotions or salary hikes. And this I also say from my own experience.

After ten years of media experience, the channel I worked for paid me a meagre Rs 18,000. I was a scriptwriter for a daily show, worked through days and nights and had earned respect for my work. But when it was time for salary hike, I did not even get a 100 rupee raise. A junior employee, with less work load, but obviously from a different caste, was given a greater hike. Her salary was Rs 40,000. This is what Dalits face in media. They have only two options: to shrink themselves to fit the space media offers them or to leave the profession altogether.

When I was a student of journalism, I had written a story on the struggle of Dalit labourers in Manjolai Tea Estate and the state violence against them, which resulted in 17 deaths.

The story had appeared in my university magazine and after that, I almost faced suspension. That was my first story and the experience fuelled my passion to write more against caste related atrocities. But when I transitioned to mainstream media looking for employment opportunities, I was in for a rude shock. There were two things that acted as speed breakers. For a vernacular journalist to go about working on socio-political stories was considered unwanted. Unless there is a mass murder, violence against Dalits was never taken into account. All my ideas for stories were trashed. I was seen as something of a rebel.

As soon as I began my career, in a matter of few months I ended up as a reporter for a women’s magazine. I suggested a serial on women panchayat presidents. The idea was trashed several times as not being fit for a women’s magazine, but I kept persisting. Finally when it was accepted I made a list of five leaders I could meet and set up my first meeting with Menaka.

She was then a panchayat president with Oorapakkam panchayat in Kanchipuram district. I had no idea that she was a Dalit.

I had wanted to speak of the challenges she faced as a woman. Menaka was speaking about the challenges she faced as a Dalit. She told me the members of dominant caste never allowed her to sit in the chair meant for the panchayat president. She was receiving death threats. They wanted her to quit her post. She had filed a complaint against police station, but there was no action on her complaint.

After spending a day with her and gathering her experiences, I went back to the office next day and filed my story. It was trashed again. It was apparently not suitable for the magazine. My editor insisted I write recipes instead. I distinctly remember the evening. Under huge mental pressure I was walking on the road contemplating if I should quit the job that wanted me to write only recipes. Something in the posters of the evening newspapers caught my eye. The posters screamed about the murder of a panchayat president and I was trembling when I bought the paper. My worst fears had come true. Menaka was murdered for sitting on the chair in the panchayat office.

I took the newspaper to my editor and fought with her. She was not even slightly rattled. All she would say was to finish my recipe assignment. I went to Oorapakkam without my office’s permission that night and took part in Menaka’s funeral. After coming back to Chennai I spoke to the editor of an investigative magazine published by the same group and he agreed to publish Menaka’s interview. After all, it was her last interview before being murdered. It had news value now. I couldn’t work in the group any longer. After much thought, I understood how the media worked. I need the economic independence of the mainstream job. And I need to take anti-caste journalism forward. I understood this is not possible in mainstream media. I made my space in the alternative media.

Dalit Murasu, a magazine with the sole aim of annihilating caste, became my forte. I wrote on caste issues that I could never write in the mainstream media. But I published them under different pseudonyms. My articles in Dalit Murasu over a span of 15 years have been published as Jaathiyatravalin Kural (the voice of a casteless woman) and have been well received.

This is my story. My personal story. I am aware that not all Dalit journalists are as lucky as I have been. Even if my ideas have been rejected in all editorial meetings, I kept suggesting ideas on caste atrocities. I made it a point to do so. I stopped worrying about what people would think of me. I reminded myself that my duty as a journalist was to be a voice to the voiceless. But if and when a Dalit journalist writes on Dalit issues or even speaks about it, their colleagues call it caste affinity or caste pride. How can a Dalit feel proud about her or his caste?

The effort of Dalit journalists to record the violence against Dalits is only an expression of their anti-caste emotion, not an attempt to promote their own caste. But my Dalit colleagues, affected by such baseless criticisms, would not show the same interest in caste issues as they would in a political issue. Several of them had to even conceal their identity and live with that. It is shameful that media houses have still not created a free and fair atmosphere where the Dalits can work without any kind of inhibition.

After all that they have gone through, after their voices were throttled into silence, how can a Dalit journalist even speak? Caste violence is never an issue for journalists from other castes. Because they are related by blood to those who spawn the violence outside the media houses they work for.

Many of us would know about journalist Ajaz Ashraf’s research on Dalit journalists for The Hoot. He says the Dalit journalists wanted to empower their communities and throw some light on Dalit issues through the work they do. He also says there are more Dalit journalists in Hindi and vernacular media when compared to English media. But there is also a lot of discrimination in the Hindi and and in the vernacular media. He says a lot of Dalit journalists quit jobs that neither offer them security or development. They begin looking for government jobs. Many Dalit journalists are left with no choice.

When Ajaz was doing this research, he got in touch with me. I was then with a lifestyle magazine as its editor. Something he refused to believe. He kept asking me how can a Dalit journalist be an editor of a lifestyle magazine. I can understand he was pleasantly surprised. Due to several personal reasons, I couldn’t answer his questions. But I was not surprised about his reaction. For me it was easy to become an editor of a lifestyle magazine. But despite my fieldwork of 15 years as a socio-political journalist, I can’t think of becoming an editor for a socio-political news magazine or paper. I don’t see that happening even after ten years.

Of course I don’t say this in a negative way. I place before you the reality of this society. The society is still not bold enough to hand over the responsibility of exposing socio-political issues to a Dalit journalist. You can have no shred of doubt that if handed over such a responsibility, a socially conscious editor would expose the caste hegemony in a mainstream area.

We also know what happened in Khairlanji in 2006. Why hadn’t the violence against Khairlanji by an entire community become as important to media as say, a Nirbhaya. Or like any other violence against women from other communities? Why hadn’t Kairlanji made headlines?

Today, media organisations find news value even in a non-news item. But they are still not concerned about manual scavenging in this era, about cooks refusing to cook for Dalit children in schools, or about Dalits displaced for urbanisation. These atrocities are never capable of hitting the headlines in front page. We have seen screaming headlines when an Indian is racially attacked elsewhere.

How could the same media turn a blind eye to the racist attacks in the name of caste happening right under its nose?

In a conference against racism at Durban in 2001, Dalits demanded that caste be ratified as racism. In its response, Indian government said caste was an internal issue and would be dealt with internally.

To shrink an issue that has been alive for 2000 years now, that has trampled on all human rights, that has made every Dalit child born to bear the symbol of slavery on its back as an internal issue is an outrageously blatant human rights violation.

In Tamil Nadu, hundreds of discriminatory practices still exist and thrive. From two-tumbler system to honour killing, the discriminatory practices only keep growing. Our villages are still divided as oor and cheri. The discrimination faced by Dalits there has existed for over thousand years now. Dalits have been killed for refusing to do menial jobs, for wearing slippers, for going to school. They suffer punishments worse than death, in these days when consciousness about human rights has become sharper.

A Hindu woman made two Dalit men eat human excreta when they refused to do a job she wanted them to do. This happened at Thinniyam in Tamil Nadu some years back. When this hatred is passed through generations, how can it be shrunk to an ‘internal issue’?

Caste is not a civil issue. It is a national issue. It is a disease that has affected national integration. But caste violence is seen as crimes by individuals. Leave alone the national media, even the local media is not interested in a caste atrocity.

I strongly believe Rohith Vemula’s letter would not have got the attention it did if it was not written in English or if it had lacked that poetic language. When Rohith Vemula’s death was being debated across the country, a similar suicide happened in Aasanur at Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu. Ayyaru, a Dalit youth, decided to end his life unable to bear the caste violence inflicted on him. He too wrote a letter. Ayyaru worked as a peon in a panchayat office. Because he was a Dalit, the panchayat president Shanthi and her husband forced him to clean toilets. In his letter Ayyaru writes, ‘Fear is a drop of poison.’

The letter did not create even one percent of the impact that Rohith’s letter did. Because Ayyarus are murdered often. Murdered by ordinary people like us. No media makes news out of atrocities faced by Dalits in villages where they are forced to live in cheris. It is not even seen as a caste violation. It is not seen as a violation worthy of our intervention. Society recognised injustice in Rohith’s letter but it could not recognise the injustice in Ayyaru’s letter. Many of us are not even aware of Ayyaru’s suicide. Like he says, the fear Dalits carry in their hearts for years now is a drop of poison. When it grows, it becomes an ocean. This fear is not something that plagued Ayyaru as an individual. It is the fear transferred through various hands to reach Ayyaru. By his death, Ayyaru hands it over to the next generation.

In several revolutions and changes that have happened in independent India, this fear remains conspicuous, unconquered. What is our role and responsibility as journalists towards this fear factor that seems to have gripped the Dalits?

How qualified should Dalits be to seek the attention of the media? Why isn’t the media concerned about Ayyaru as it was about Rohith if it opposes caste related deaths?
On the day we begin reading Ayyaru’s letters, on the day we begin demanding justice for Ayyaru’s death, on the day we oppose violations by people like us, we can be sure that the media is actually changing. That it has begun scrubbing itself up.

I believe a journalist’s first and foremost qualification is being casteless. If journalists can practice equality in all other platforms, they can as well do it in caste too. They should become casteless and work against caste. Dalits expect non-Dalits to work for annihilation of caste just as we would expect men to practice gender equality. Sadly Dalit journalists are sometimes used to document caste violations. To ask Dalits to involve themselves in annihilation of caste is as funny as asking women to practice gender equality.

We should work on strategies that will bring more news on Dalit issues into our newsrooms. By doing so, we should bring their travails into light. There can be no second opinion on this. But how do we go about it? How many journalists and organisations are pro-reservation? How can we expect private players to grant reservation when government media has not done so?

Journalist organisations should make just representation as one of their demands along with other rights. They should come forward to monitor violations against Dalit journalists and ensure action in the event of such violation. The field should become more open and independent for Dalit journalists. The workplace should offer them dignity and respect. I am sure that organisations like NWMI can take a lead role in this.

Imagine the multiple challenges faced by Dalit journalists – they are first generation graduates, they carry the centuries of shame in their hearts, they learn English the hard way, the dress up well and enter into offices as a personality of their own and once again they face discriminations there. Yet they stick on for money and something more. To document the plight of people like them. Isn’t this a challenge enough? The research by Ajaz concludes that Dalit journalists face this challenge.

Change might happen only after several generations. Till then, national and mainstream media will not accommodate Dalits. The vacuum has to be filled by non-Dalit journalists who believe in equality. It is the primary responsibility of the non-Dalits to transform this country as casteless. To understand the difference between a crime and an atrocity, they should wean themselves from oorsand set their foot in cheris. If you want to see the violations faced by Dalits, the discrimination suffered by them, you cannot see them with a naked eye. You need the vision of castelessness to see it and to understand it.

This is my final appeal to everyone here. If you identify yourself as a journalist, be casteless. When everyone who believes in caste starts believing in the annihilation of caste, the miracle that I am now speaking of will happen. It certainly will. Some day.

Thank you.

Jeya Rani is a journalist for over 15 years from Tamil Nadu.
Her Tamil original has been translated into English by Kavitha Muralidharan.

Chamar (mountain)


Chamar.Location in Nepal
Elevation 7,187 m (23,579 ft)
Prominence 2,061 m (6,762 ft)

Location Gorkha District,
Gandaki Zone,
North central Nepal
Range Sringi Himal
Coordinates 28°33′19″N 84°56′43″E / 28.55528°N 84.94528°E
28°33′19″N 84°56′43″E / 28.55528°N 84.94528°E
First ascent June 1953 by M. Bishop, Namgyal
Easiest route rock/snow/ice climb

Chamar is the highest peak of the Sringi (or Serang) Himal, which is a subrange of the Nepalese Himalayas.

Chamar and the entire Sringi Himal lie in Central Nepal, just south of the Tibetan border, between the Shyar Khola valley on the east and the Tom Khola—Trisuli Gandaki valley on the west. Chamar is about 90 km northwest of Kathmandu, and about 25 km east of Manaslu, the nearest eight-thousander.

Notable features

The Sringi Himal is small in land area and remote even by Himalayan standards; it has seen little visitation from outsiders.

Although low in elevation among the major mountains of Nepal, Chamar is exceptional in its steep rise above local terrain. For example, it rises 5500 m from the Tom Khola/Trisul Gandaki confluence in a horizontal distance of about 13 km.

Climbing history

Interestingly, there is no record of attempts on this mountain prior to the successful first ascent in 1953. In May-June of that year, a party from New Zealand climbed the peak via the Northeast Ridge route, placing five camps.

The Himalayan Index lists three more unsuccessful attempts, in 1983, 1994, and 2000, but no more ascents of the peak.

Chamar Tikri The third fort of Ginjee is called Durg or Chamar Chakkiliya Tikri, which means the height of shoemakers. This name is probably from the fact that there were shoemakers soldiers who had installed their shops here.

There is also a fourth hill smaller and smaller, the peak of the latter being also fortified. The sides of Chandrayan Durg Durg Chakkilli and are now covered with thorny bushes and stone pieces and it offers visitors an opportunity to trekking.

The Rajagiri fort complex has a seven-storeyed Kalyana Mahal (marriage hall), prison cells, a temple, madapams, a sacred pond called as Aanaikulam. The cannon, cannon balls made of rock were still be seen in the fort complex.

The Krishnagiri fort complex is also called as English Mountain. It is believed that this fort complex was occupied by Britishers.

The Chakkiliya Durg fort complex is fully in destroyed state. The cobblers who were making shoes for military is said to have their workshops here at this hill.

Sudheer Rajbhar of Chamar Studio

Sudheer Rajbhar has endless energy—and an equally endless number of ideas in his head. I had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with him a month ago, in his home city of Mumbai, India. It was a fascinating time and it put me in awe of his intelligence and empathy. These he combines with an intense desire to change systems in India that continue to oppress those of lesser means. A trained artist, he brings cynicism and satire to his works in ways that are thought-provoking. He is also a accomplished designer, with an eye for the restrained and functional as his series of bags titled Bombay Black shows. Please enjoy this interview with the talented Sudheer.

Hi Sudheer, could you tell us what you dreamed of being when you were young?
My dream has always been to become an artist. I can’t imagine being anything else!

How did your journey towards founding your studio start?

I was born in Mumbai and grew up here, in the slums of Kandivali. In 2010 I graduated with a degree in Art and started working as an artist’s assistant. The art world is a difficult place to survive, so as away of earning a bit more money, I designed setups for fashion brands on the side.

One of the projects I initiated was an art show called We are here because you are there, featuring work by artists’ assistants. I wanted to make a statement about how assistants, whilst being artists themselves, are generally denied the ability to progress in a system ruled by economic injustice, an absence of labour laws and societal prejudice.

Following this, I decided to further my collaboration with cobblers and start a brand for them. The idea for this came from a cobbler I’d befriended in Kandvili, who worked as a sweeper by day. We started a public project that involved printing the word Chamar, which is used as a slur against lower caste people, on canvas bags. I distributed these bags to people, to carry around in their daily lives. I wanted to record the reactions to seeing this word being so openly used in public. This was the birth of the Chamar brand.

What was the inspiration behind your first collection of products?
As the Chamar brand expanded, I started working with tanneries in Dharavi, a huge slum in Mumbai. I met leather craftsmen there with whom I collaborated and included in my work with the Chamar brand. The beef ban that was recently implemented meant that these craftsmen started losing work. This gave me the inspiration to introduce them to a new material that they could work with—recycled rubber, made from old car tires. They were unsure in the beginning but went along with me. It took about six months to execute the first batch of products, which became the series Bombay Black.

Could you share a step-by-step of your creative process and how you create your pieces?

I start work on a piece in my personal studio—I come up with a design in my mind and then move straight to the rubber sheets. After cutting the pattern, I then discuss the technical parts with the artisans—how the piece can be sewn and so on. In this manner, we create the final product together. It’s a very collaborative process and also quite fluid.

What has been the most important aspect of having your own business?
I don’t approach my work as a businessman, I see myself as an artist and this influences all my decisions. Working in this manner has allowed me to promote artists and artisans, to speak up about the problems and prejudices they face.

Your studio is based in Mumbai: how does the city influence your work
Mumbai is a city that influenced by migration and that has a very strong work ethic. People here are very hardworking and determined. These are factors that have influenced me and my work.

What values are most important to you as a designer? What work are you most proud of?
I am proud to be an artist and of all that I have created in this role. Being respectful of every other artist and artisan and their work is is very important to me.

To whom or what do you look to for inspiration?
I am most inspired by labourers and artisans. They work very hard, and yet are under-compensated. Their work isn’t really given the credit it deserves. I understand their skill, how long they’ve taken to acquire it and how much effort they put in on a daily basis.

What is your dream for the upcoming year?
My big dream for this year is setting up the Chamar Foundation. The intention is to offer support to artists and artisans who face economic and social difficulties in India. The art world here overuses cheap technicians and forces artists to work as assistants. The absence of proper labour laws and unionised systems makes them vulnerable, mostly because of their background. Many of them go unpaid or are denied proper work as artists themselves. The Foundation will also help the Chamar (leather workers) community, whose livelihood is affected by the beef ban.

The Chamar Foundation is based in Koramangala, Bangalore and will function as an art space and library. It also has three rooms that can be rented over AirBnB. It will help artisans to set up their own studios, connect them to raw material manufacturers, help with production requirements and machinery. We hope to help in generating income for the Chamar community and bring long-term growth.

The Foundation will also host artists and artisans in residency.

Thank you so much for your time Sudheer, you're such an inspiration! Follow Sudheer and learn more about Chamar Studio here and shop pieces from the Bombay Black collection here.

Chamar Studio: An Artist's Fight Against Caste Bias With Sustainable Fashion Brand The Logical Indian 16 May 2019 Editor : The Logical Indian Photographer: Debdeep Roy for�Chamar Studio Chamars, a Hindu low caste community whose occupation was restricted to being tanners, leather workers, and cobblers for innumerable years, lost their livelihood after the 2015 ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks in Maharashtra. The only source of their work was taken away with no other substitute or source of livelihood provided in return. A 32-year-old artist Sudheer Rajbhar saw how these artists were exploited for low wages and how their work was hardly respected. After observing this harsh reality, he knew something has to be done to help the community, and this observation led him to start Chamar Studio, an initiative launched on Guru Ravidas Jayanti in January last year. According to The Scroll, the Chamar Studio is a brand that offers utilitarian, eco-friendly wallets as well as belts. Also, one of the most trendy products which the studio offers are its bags which are made in varied styles such as backpacks with the trademark Indian cobbler’s criss-cross stitches, crossbody, satchel, and various others. However, the objective to start the Chamar Studio was not only to help the Chamar community and provide them with a source of livelihood, but Rajbhar also had other reasons too. Sudheer Rajbhar belongs to the ‘Bhar’ caste, which is classified under the ‘Other Backward Class’ by the Indian government. He says that as a child whenever he visited his ancestral village Khetasarai, in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district, he would hear the words ‘Bhar’ and ‘Chamar’ being used interchangeably – thrown around derogatorily or as abuse. “As a child, I often heard the word ‘Chamar’ used derogatorily, to call someone stupid or lesser than when it actually refers to a profession. I wanted to bring back respect to this word,” Rajbhar says while talking to The Hindu. Advertisement Rajbhar who got trained in drawing and painting at the Vasai Vikasini College of Visual Arts, closely connected to the community as he grew up in the slums in Kandivali, observing their day-to-day struggles. He did not like the way the Chamar community was treated. According to him, the traditional occupation of the community, i.e., working with leather should not be belittled, when it actually means to create something. So in order to change the mindset of people, he decided to include the name of the community in his fashion brand. Making The Brand Sustainable And Eco-Friendly Rajbhar collaborated with cobblers, leather craftsmen and included them with the Chamar brand. He says that in Kanpur there were few tanneries which got closed due to the beef ban, and so he told them to work with new materials. Finally, it took him six months to complete the first batch of products. The artisans had all the required skills and experience, however, Sudheer changed their raw material with recycled thin rubber tyre sheets (they are completely sustainable and waterproof), cotton, latex, canvas, and other recycled materials. In his research, Rajbhar found that the tyres don’t lose their natural elements even after being recycled. “First of all they were very surprised with the new materials presented to them, they were sceptical of working with them as they were used to stitching only leather materials. But slowly, as I described the ideology and feel of the new products they started to process the new information with enthusiasm and soon came up with ideas to boost the productivity,” Rajbhar tells Homegrown. Rajbhar wants to use more recycled materials so as to make his brand more sustainable and eco-friendly. He runs material experiments at his home-cum-studio in Kandivali East. One of the artisans who work with him is Sachin Bhimsakhare. Sachin, who works part-time as a supervisor at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) waste management department says that at first, he found the materials difficult to work with, however, with practice he learned it. “I used to wonder who will even buy this bag. But when we took them to an exhibition and everyone appreciated it, I felt like an artist, it felt good,” says Bhimsakhare while talking to The Scroll. According to Rajbhar, Chamar Studio can be anywhere in Mumbai, “A cobbler sitting at the railway platform can also work from there and that’s also a face of Chamar Studio. That is the idea of Chamar Studio. It can be anywhere and everywhere and it’s for everyone,” tells Rajbhar. The products made by the brand will go on to sell at the trendy stores including Kochi’s Pepper House, Goa’s The Paper Boat Collective Indian Goods Co. in Frankfurt, Germany, etc. Rajbhar says that the first outdoor exhibition he had with his brand was very welcoming as people were attracted to the idea and the use of materials. The studio showcased their work for the first time at Jehangir Art Gallery as part of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018 in February, where the products made by them stood out not only for their minimalist aesthetic but also because they were waterproof and eco-friendly, reports Elle. Project ‘Blue Collar’ Rajbhar for his recent project collaborated with the shoe shiners and cobblers who sit on the railway platforms between Virar and Churchgate stations. The project aims to create a collection of blue accessories, inspired by the uniforms of the cobblers. On this Rajbhar says, “Often, they have no work. They know basic stitching, and we plan to train them further to make bags for this line and share profits with them.” Chamar Foundation Rajbhar even wants to design a working space and a library in the slums where artisans can come together, discuss new ideas and work on them. He even plans to start Chamar Foundation. “In my dream business model, I would like around 500-700 artisans to work with me, and in the final output, the credit of the artisan should be embossed on the product,” says the 32-year-old artist.

Exclusion in Schools – A Study on Practice of Discrimination and Violence
Dalit children being made to sit and eat separately from other children, being beaten, abused and forced to do humiliating tasks, form part of the cases uncovered during the ‘Zero Discrimination in School Education’ campaign in India. These cases are highlighted in the report ‘Exclusion in Schools – A Study on Practice of Discrimination and Violence’ by the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ-NCDHR) and the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion.

The campaign raises awareness across India of the serious obstacles to education encountered by Dalit and Adivasi students and issues key recommendations for change. In connection with the campaign public hearings and consultations took place across India, where students, parents and teachers could voice their experiences, difficulties and challenges in the education system. A study on discrimination in education was simultaneously undertaken in eight key States resulting in the report ‘Exclusion in Schools – A Study on Practice of Discrimination and Violence’. The report documents serious human rights violations of Dalit and minority students in schools in the states surveyed.

“Although we were well aware of the serious discrimination faced by Dalit and minority students in our country, listening to our children tell their stories of abuse, violence and discrimination is heart-breaking,” said Ramesh Nathan from NDMJ. “The Government, States and school authorities, must urgently take serious measures to ensure that our schools do not engage in descent-based discrimination, hurt, abuse and humiliation and actively protect our children’s right to an education by enacting Anti-Discrimination legislation.”

Education is acquiring knowledge, information and developing skills to lead a life with dignity and self-sufficiency. Historically, caste social structure which is a construction of the Brahminical philosophyhas hierarchized social relations and led to unequal distribution of resources, denial of education to a larger section of the population on the basis of their birth. This has led to denial of equal rights, denial to acquire knowledge and living in abject poverty and poor conditions of the dalit and adivasi communities. Even in today’s time and age, access to quality education has been and continues to be a privilege enjoyed by a few. In recent times, violence against children is on the rise, however, the nature of violation is ‘identity’ based. Therefore, the impact of violence and discrimination against children are severe because of their vulnerable age. Along with age, their ‘identity’ also makes them vulnerable due to the biased mindsets and unequal social systems that are operating. Violence and discrimination against children on the basis of their identity is very much rampant in the society is also visible in the education system as the structures have not changed and are seldom challenged. The biggest obstacles confronting dalit (SCs), adivasi (STs), children from minority communities and differently abled children in attaining education remain discrimination, economic instability, neglect, violence and layered taboos. The prevailing mindsets, layered caste beliefs and gender-based discrimination in schools are major hindrances to access education by children coming from marginalized communities.

Discrimination and atrocities on Scheduled Castes and other oppressed sections (especially on Scheduled Tribes, Religious Minorities and on women) increased in post-independent India. Dr. Ambedkar through his relentless effort in protecting the interests of the socially oppressed sections provided multiple safeguards in the Constitution. However the objective of attaining equality in social and political democracy has totally been ignored at present time. For example the systemic institutionalization of caste system (as a state of mind) in modern forms continuously prevents the country in annihilating the unjust, fraudulent rigmarole caste social order. Schools, being a part of this hierarchical society are reproducing the same social inequalities in one way or the other. The same television and radio jingles have failed to create a favorable atmosphere which challenges the inequalities persisting in society. Furthermore, incidents of untouchability, discrimination, suicides and violence in schools are being reported in the media.

Discrimination is violating the right to education

The cases listed in the report reflect the gravity of discrimination children face, ranging from humiliation and segregation to examples of violence and sexual abuse carried out by teachers or institutionalized in the school culture. The mental and physical abuse endured by the children result in increased drop-out rates from schools of Dalit and minority children. For those children who stay in schools that sanction discrimination, the fear and humiliation they face make it very difficult for them to focus on their studies, and learn what they need to in order to progress in the school system.

Case: Dalit students beaten for drinking water from the Principal’s pot

In a Government school in Rajasthan the Principal, from the dominant Jat caste, forced eleven Dalit students to squat for the whole day and brutally beat them claiming that they defiled his pot by drinking water from it.

The parents of the students complained at the unacceptable behavior and blatant practice of untouchability of the principal, who subsequently told all eleven students that they were no longer to come to school.

Moving forward

Based on suggestions from students, teachers, rights defenders and community leaders comprehensive recommendations are issued in the report. The recommendations are grouped into four sections: Central Government, State Governments, Commissions, and Education Department and School Management. Please read the full list of recommendations in the final chapter of the report.

Injustice By The Justice

Justice! Yes, I am talking about justice and the Justice! What is justice, ask a jurist or learned scholar and he will give hefty definitions of the simple term “justice = Insaf = Nyaya”. And ask this question to a layman. He will gaze at you: ‘are you mad, you don’t know the meaning of justice?’ will be his first reaction. It is so simple: guilty be punished and innocent be protected. And it be done instantly.

I don’t go by the voluminous definitions and explanations given by the “learned” Jurists. I go by the simple definition of a common man. Now my simple question is: are the judges of High Courts (HC) and the Supreme Court (SC) who are called the Justice, doing justice actually?
While doing my Laws at PU Chandigarh, I always cherished the judgments passed by the then renowned Justices. One judgment said the Article 15 contains a word “only”, it means the Constitution framers had inserted the term “only” with the intention that discrimination shall be caused ONLY if it is done on the basis of caste, race, sex, religion or place of birth. And, hence, no discrimination shall be caused under this Article if a law is made that no female with black complexion shall be appointed as the teacher!! Because “black complexion” is no ground of discrimination.

Wonderful! We the students would exclaim!! Yes, this is the interpretation of the Constitution. Today I feel it is a murder of justice by the Justices. Discrimination is injustice on whatsoever ground it might be done.

Another point that disturbs me a lot, is exemption or protection granted to the judges for the “decisions” (otherwise called judgments) pronounced by them. I quote just three examples:

1. Rajiv Gandhi murder case: The Special Court judge decided that 26 people be hanged for murdering Rajiv Gandhi. In the appeal before the SC, the Justices of the SC decide that only 4 be hanged.

2. Indira Gandhi Murder case: Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, security guards of Indira Gandhi, killed her. Beant Singh was killed on the spot. The Justice of the HC decided that Satwant Singh and his father be hanged but the Justice of SC acquitted and set free the father.

3. Vodafone 600 Crore tax case: The Income Tax Commissioner passed orders that the Vodafone should deposit tax worth Rs. 600 Crore. The Justice at the HC upheld the Orders but the Justice of the SC decided that no tax was payable by the Co.

My humble question: what if the Justices sitting in the SC had been there in the HC and vice versa? Needless to say, the 22 more persons would have been deprived of their lives due to the inefficiency or negligence of the Justice deciding the case initially. Satwant’s father too would have been hanged and Vodafone the innocent, would have had to cough out 600 crores to the exchequer of the Govt of India.

The capability and suitability of the HC Justices who passed such life-threatening decisions were never ever questioned: how could theirs such inefficiency or negligence in evaluating the evidence be tolerated which would have deprived the innocent accused of his most precious asset i.e. life!! Such “dangerous” judges should have been tried for “Attempt to cause death by negligence.” And they should have been thrown out of the Court immediately to safeguard the life of the other innocent accused.

Yes, sometimes all the Justices may be sitting in HC or SC, remarkably agree on pronouncing the same decision. Lucknow Medical College scam case is one such recent example. The CBI claims that Rs. 3 crore exchanged hands for securing a favorable decision from the Justices of the HC and the SC. One retired Justice was arrested acting as “dallā” or middleman. The “Impeachment Motion” against CJI Deepak Mishra refers to this case also.

Sadly a Collegium consisting of such Justices decide and declare that they cannot allow reservation in Judiciary as it will debase “the maintenance of efficiency of administration” of justice as envisaged in Article 335. Needless to say, the pendency of 4 crore cases speaks of their efficiency of administration of justice.

The matter of reservation in the Govt. jobs affects 100% population of India. Like the “War against Terrorism,” every Indian has to be either supporter or opponent of the reservation. Undoubtedly, every Indian has the right to do so. But what irks me the most is the caste-based bias depicted by the Justices who occupy the seat of a Judge with the solemn pledge of dispensing justice “without fear or favour” and protect the Constitution. Let me explain the matter.

The First and foremost rule made by the Justices was that “Reservation” is not a Right but a relaxation. Hence it cannot exceed the 50% level. We the students of Law would jump with wonder! Wow, look at the wisdom of the Justices! They have protected the rights of the meritorious candidates. Thus the duffers can never overshadow the meritorious. Their number shall always remain at 49% or less than that. The meritorious Babus shall always remain in the majority.

The rule made by the Justices in the 1960s continues to roam uninterrupted till today. The castes (BC SC ST) that are eligible for reservation form more than 70% of the Indian population. Out of the rest of the 30% population, at least 10% are Muslims (i.e. excluding those who get a reservation as OBC). And the Govt statistics show they are less than 1% in the top Govt jobs. Thus, in fact, those Justices ensured that 20% of the population grabbed at least 50% of the Govt jobs. It is worth noting that the Justices who imposed the ceiling of 50%, belonged to this minority group of 20%. And they have already decided that no duffer shall have reserved seat in the Higher Judiciary.

But something unexpected happened a few decades after the decision. Some of the duffers showed more merit than the meritorious candidates of the 20% segment. Natural it was that they were adjusted in the merit quota of 20% meritorious people. An uneasy calm prevailed all over. The duffers did not notice it. Then suddenly another bunch of Justices came forward to the rescue of their meritorious people. They ruled: No entry of the duffers in the meritorious category even if they are more meritorious than the 20% general meritorious people.

Now I am not anymore a Law student. So I did not jump with wow because in last four decades I have seen the real face of the people managing the efficient administration of the Judiciary. I have seen the Justice who passed orders from his bungalow that a Dalit CM should prove his majority within next 12 hours and also seen that Mayavati’s case against defection of her party MLAs did not come for hearing for full five years of the Assembly term.

Thus the Super-Rules framed by the Justices put an impregnable & impassable wall against the reserved category population of 70% that they shall not get entry into 50% share of the 20% meritorious people even if they are far more meritorious. Ms. Tina Dabi or Ms. Meghwal or Mr. Shetty will have to carry the tag of reserved category though they surpassed the entire meritorious group thru their intelligence.

Sad it is that even if they have the highest merit, they will be subjected to “the maintenance of efficiency” in administration under Article 335 and perhaps never ever be assigned duties of a Chief Secretary or Home Secretary or like the post. Since independence, such posts have been manned by the persons from the general 20% meritorious category only.

Time and again the various Justices have decided that there cannot be any reservation in promotion. In the normal course, all vacancies in Govt offices are filled by a formula that 1/3 be filled with direct recruitment and 2/3 be filled with thru promotion. I give an example. Supposing the Govt requires 15 DSPs in the police. As per Rule, 5 posts shall be filled by direct recruitment and 10 Inspectors shall be promoted as DSP. In the 5 direct recruitment posts only 2 shall be reserved for SC ST BC but as there is no reservation in promotion, none of the SC ST OBC shall be considered for 10 posts.

Thus only 2 out of 15 shall be appointed from the reserved categories against their share of 7 seats. This roughly means the reservation has been restricted to 12% against 49.5%. And who knows no “suitable candidate” might be found for 2 posts also!! In practical terms, 88% reservation has been ensured for the meritorious general category population of 20%. What else should be called injustice? Sadly this is being done by the persons called “Justice”!!

Then there is the Rule that once an SC-ST employee becomes an “officer” there shall not be any reservation for him for the next higher grade. For example, there are 7 grades in the banks: Assistant Manager, Dy Manager, Manager, Chief Manager, AGM, GM, CGM/MD. Once an SC-ST candidate joins as Asstt Manager,(thru promotion or direct recruitment) there is no reservation for him for next grade. The end result is that during my 20+ years service in Bank, I have not seen even a single person from SC ST working as GM in the Bank.

Another Justice decided that there should be a creamy layer in SC ST reservation like as it is there for the OBCs whereby any OBC having the family income of more than Rs. 5 lac is not eligible for reservation. If a creamy layer criterion is applied for SC ST reservation also, the income ceiling has to be less than the OBC’s. Say it is fixed at Rs. 3 lac.

Practically it shall mean that an entire lot of SC ST employees shall be excluded from the purview of reservation as no employee gets salary less than Rs. 25000- per month. Thus almost all educated SC-STs shall be alienated from the Dalit movement as Reservation is the core matter which binds the SC-STs together. The educated people (employees) are leading/guiding the SC-ST group. They are the lifeline. If the criteria of the creamy layer are implemented the Dalit movement shall become devoid of the “leader from among the masses”. The BAMCEF like organizations shall come to naught. Thus the idea of creamy layer will prove to be another nail in the coffin of reservation and thus to the survival of the Dalits.

Yes, the Dalits in top services, say drawing the salary of Rs. 1 lac or more per month should, on their own, decide to make their wards compete in the meritorious quota of 50.5%. Somewhere in the core of my heart, a fear looms: soon there shall emerge another Justice who will pronounce that a person born in SC ST BC family shall not be eligible to apply for general meritorious seats and vice versa.

It is very much possible. Because if despite a unanimous law passed by the Representatives elected by 120 crore citizens of India, a Justice can pronounce that an offender under Atrocity Act shall not be arrested until and unless a Police Officer of SP rank, after inquiry, permits to do so, another bench may interpret that Article 16(4) read with Article 335 means the interests of the reserved as well as meritorious castes should be protected equally. Thus a balance has to be maintained. Thus 50.5% seats be kept aloof for meritorious category (castes) and 49.5% be “reserved” for the duffers. And “Reserved” means reserved for 3 years i.e. if a suitable candidate from the duffer category is not available, the seat shall be filled by the meritorious category person.

In nutshell my advice to the duffers is that they should prepare themselves for another movement of freedom; for a free society, a society where everyone would say “God lives in the Panch” i.e. Justice. And it is not possible until and unless the reservation is implemented in the Judiciary up to the top level.
Author – Kuldip Kumar

Ram Rajya is the Casteist, Racist and Anti-Women Kingdom
Hindu nationalists in the USA are losing no words to praise Trump and his divisive policies. Shalabh Kumar, a Hindu nationalist, close to Trump and was an integral part of Trump’s campaign iterated that Trump will usher Ram Rajya in the USA. For the benefits of the US citizens and the worldwide audience, it will be important to explain what “Ram Rajya” means and why India’s upper castes are so fascinated with it. Simply translated, Ram Rajya means “the kingdom of mythical and epical King Rama”. Ram is the main protagonist of the epic Ramayana. Gandhi, Bania (the higher caste) was also upholder Ram Rajya. What is so special about Ram Rajya that India’s so-called upper castes are fascinated with? India’s right-wing ideologues, in turn, are also fascinated by Fascism and Nazism. The Hindu nationalists met with the Nazis and Fascists. The Nazis dreamt of ushering the world into a new era of the Global caste system. The symbols and the rhetoric of Nazis were drawn from myths of Aryan Supremacy. The entire myth of Aryanism (the supremacy of a race) is the foundation of the caste system. This discriminatory system is what Ram Rajya all about it.

Ram Rajya is the racist kingdom

In the epic, there are many episodes that uphold the supremacy of the Brahmins. For example, when the great Shudra (OBC) tried to acquire higher spiritual power through meditation, he is assassinated by racist king Ram. The rationale that Ram gives in support of his murder if Shudra OBC is that that it will take away the privilege of the Brahmins. In Ram Rajya, the caste system must remain the governing principle of the society and not a democracy.

Ram Rajya is anti-women

Ram, in the epic, sent his wife into exile under the suspicion of her purity. The episode shows strong hatred for women. His wife Sita is an example of someone towards whom gross injustices are done.

One can cite many such stories with the grand narrative of good versus evil archetypical story. However, like all the religious myths and stories, it is not innocent and there is a deep politics underlying these myths and stories. So one can understand why India’s racist upper caste from the past (Gandhi) and to the present (Hindu nationalists) invoke this myth and now increasingly at the global level. It suits their draconian worldview.

In India, the poisonous propaganda of Hindutva brought the right wings to power. Trump may not be knowing what the Ram Rajya is, but his steps are definitely directed at creating a divisive society and a divisive society is a sure recipe for violence and more suffering. The world has evolved into democratic government and constitutionalism which is the bedrock of justice to all. The fascination with the antique myths like Ram Rajya or creationism are the enemies of the growth and development of humanity.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale

The Dalit-Bahujan Guide to Understanding Caste in Hindu Scripture

Valliammal Karunakaran

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the Uberoi Foundation (UF) and the Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) as a coalition are bringing right-wing Brahminism to the battle over representation of the religion and history of South Asia, in California History and Social Science textbooks. The edits they request are not novel. In the past few decades, we have witnessed textbook revisionism in Gujarat and Punjab among other states in India. In California too, edits requested represent that familiar ideological mix of hypernationalism, caste-denial and Islamophobia, culminating in devout fervor for the myth of the glorious “Ancient Hindu India”.

A part of this agenda is , what I like to call, the unicorning of caste — in the realm of which you will find things like the HAF caste primer and powerpoint on its website. These inform you that varnas were merely occupational guilds, that they forged a well-functioning society, how only jāti, as classes within the varna structure, were restricted by birth and so on.

These blurred understandings of caste, are undoubtedly, those of someone looking at a structure of social inequality from the top, down. Those with sovereignty in a system of oppression can think of that system as stabilizing, but those condemned to the slavery of the system — will view it for what it is — exploitative and destabilizing.

It is really time that people begin seeing that, deconstructing some of these ideas through the combined lens of Bahujan lived-experience and scholarship, is the most relevant way to understand the structure and history of social inequality in the subcontinent.
Language of the Anti-Caste Resistance

Because it is crucial that we refrain from using the oppressor’s language to articulate the social structures that violate our communities, I first identify two terms that may still be be new to a western or diasporic audience. For example, I believe the term Bahujan, simply meaning “the majority of the people” , brings to attention to the reality that caste is not a “Dalit problem”. While Dalit and Adivasis are some of the most vulnerable communities in a caste society, the majority of the people of the subcontinent are caste-bound and ruled by “upper”-caste minorities. The term Bahujan refers to present day Scheduled Castes (Dalits), Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis/indigenous) and Shudra (peasant) castes — cutting across religion, ethnicities and geographies. In addition, the use of words Brahminism/Brahminical in the place of “Hinduism/Hindu” is also intentional. These are the appropriate term for the religion of ancient (and modern) India — at the core of which is the morality of a Brahmin-conceived institution, the Varnashrama Dharma ( the system of 4 varnas and laws and practices related to it ). The term “Hinduism” is actually a contemporary political term constructed through the mass appropriation and erasure of several distinct indigenous tribes, outcastes, religions and microcultures throughout the subcontinent for the sake of usurpation of post British-colonial land and electoral power.


At this point, let’s be clear. That the Brahminical scriptures parent, legitimize and perpetuate caste as we know it today, is not under reappraisal. It is widely accepted in both society and in peer-reviewed academia. The HAF insists that scriptures that mandate caste are not widely regarded. This stance does not even enjoy consensus in their own community. Their former board, their spiritual leaders, and even Rajiv Malhotra, all have vehemently disagreed and asserted that bodies like the HAF do not have the spiritual authority to deem certain Brahminical texts more valid than others.

Hindu Texts and Caste

Below is graphic of the classification of Brahminical texts. Unlike the Abrahamic traditions, there are several hundred books, each varying in levels of spiritual authority. To locate caste in scripture, I will focus on Vedas and the Smritis, which encompass some of the oldest, most well-known and influential works.
Caste in the Vedas

The Vedas are considered some of the oldest authorities on morality, religious praxis. They are the shrutis. Meaning they were not written by humans but revealed by the divine.

In the early Vedic period (1300 B.C.E-1000 B.C.E), neither varnas nor jātis existed extensively. Instead the varna structure was presented in the Vedas as an ideal for society to aspire to. However, the Vedas do present a model of creation within which you were not to be equal in the eyes of the very divine that created you, at the time that they created you. The Purusha Suktha, the 90th hymn in the 10th Book of the Rig Veda, presents a cosmogony that describes the creation of man. From the head of a primeval God, arose the Brahmans (priests, scholars), from the arms, Kshatriya (kings, warriors), the thighs, Vaishya (merchants, cultivators) and the feet, Shudra (servants, slaves). While this visioning for society was not yet caste, it does implicitly and divinely ordain genesis directly into a compartments of graded inequality. It is very important to note that there is no neutrality in such a design. In other places throughout the texts and even today in most of modern South Asia, the head has always been considered superior and the feet lowly, ritually unclean and polluting.

The HAF states that the Vedas were not focused on the oppression of caste and that social divisions only came later. While many verses can be cited to present a counter to this claim, I cite only a key Vedic text — the Chandogya Upanishad, which records deep contempt for Chandalas (outcastes/Dalits)

“Now, people of good conduct can expect to quickly attain a pleasant birth, like that of a Brahmin, the Kshatriya, or the Vaishya. But people of evil conduct can expect to enter a foul womb, like that of a dog, a pig, or a Chandala.”

Factor in the idea that the Vedas represent a supreme sanction of Brahminical dharma (law/praxis), and this lays ground for the materializing of more rigid, more complex and more oppressive varna-jāti religio-social orders.

Caste in the Smritis

The Smritis constitute sacred texts that are considered human recollections, like laws, histories and epics. The HAF has asserted in their caste report that the Smritis “by their very nature and intent, are recognized to change with space and time and do not necessarily teach Hinduism’s eternal spiritual truths.”

However this is not a uniform position in Brahminism. Aditi Banerjee, former board member has said “It is not a grant of license for political organizations like the HAF to cherry-pick among the texts to pick out verses that are their favorites and call them the real “Hinduism” and discard the others.”

We assert that both the Shrutis and the Smritis bear condemnable caste advocacy.

Why does the HAF attempt to diminish the role of the Smritis? A clue comes by the time of Manu (200 B.C.E — 200 C.E), the gruesome lawgiver and author of the Manusmriti at a time when Brahmins were issuing the last nail in the coffin of an equitable society. Through these Smritis, the varnas moved from being a divinely envisioned ideal to a hard everyday reality of both varnas and jātis. Manu and the authors of the Smritis effectively cemented the varna system. These texts are so inhumane that even the believers find them hard to swallow and would rather gloss over them.

A cursory reading of some of these rules in the various Smritis make it impossible to accept the HAF point of view of the varna system as an ideal system that people accepted without resistance. It is emphasized that the dharmic duty of Brahmans was to be scholars, Kshatriyas, warriors and Vaishyas to be farmers and merchants. In dealing with the Shudras, however, Manu and his colleagues are especially cruel.

“But a Shudra, whether bought or not bought (by the Brahmin) may be compelled to practice servitude, for that Shudra was created by the self-existent merely for the service of the Brahmin. Even if freed by his master, the Shudra is not released from servitude; for this (servitude) is innate in him; who then can take it from him.”

Education, reading, writing and academic pursuits were off-limits to Shudras and the slightest attempts at access to knowledge were severely punishable.

“Now if he (a Shudra) listens intentionally to (a recitation of) the Veda, his ears shall be filled with (molten) tin or lac. If he recites (Vedic texts), his tongue shall be cut out. If he remembers them, his body shall be split in twain”

It is crucial to note that, in a varna society, penalties for “criminal” activities are meted out not proportional to the offense committed but specific to your location in the varna order.

“A Brahmin may take possession of the goods of a Shudra with perfect peace of mind, for, since nothing at all belongs to this Shudra as his own, he is one whose property may be taken away by his master.”

“Indeed, an accumulation of wealth should not be made by a Shudra even if he is able to do so, for the sight of mere possession of wealth by a Shudra injures the Brahmin.”

It is also important to contextualize these writings. These grim dictates were being established at a time when Śramaṇa (ascetic) traditions like Buddhism were beginning to take root and flourish. It is not inconceivable that under the threat of religious competition in the subcontinent, attempts were being made by the Brahmins to cement the varna-jāti framework through severe legal intervention.

With this understanding of religious basis for caste, let’s address some final points.
The Caste Structure was/is not Fluid

The HAF makes some bold claims on mobility supposedly inherent within caste society- that mobility existed as the norm between varnas, that people could really choose which varna they had characters they were most suited to. There are several alarming questions that arise from this claim. Why anyone would believe, themselves and their loved ones, to be most suited to peasantry and slave labor? If everyone had the choice, wouldn’t they have all chosen the seemingly respectable livelihoods of Brahmins and “upper”- castes? It is neither fulfilling nor dignifying to be bonded to a landlord, to be a village servant, to be cleaning up shit or disposing of rotting animal carcasses.

If mobility between varnas was in fact the norm, one must wonder why so much painstaking effort has then been put in by the authors of several Brahminical scriptures to legislate permanent social inequality between varnas, to condemn punish inter-varna relationships and to bastardize and excommunicate the offspring from such unions.

“On having intercourse with Chandala women, on eating their food or receiving presents from them, a Brahmin unwittingly falls; but if he does so wittingly, he comes to an equality with them.”
Another idea that contradicts the claims of a fluid caste structure is the Brahmanical belief of karma that states that the actions of your past life result in your jāti and fate in the present one. This is also profoundly offensive to Bahujans. It criminalizes people victimized by varna, celebrates oppressor varnas and accrues further social capital for them while freeing them from accountability for their actions.

None of these concepts indicate mobility. They reflect what we see in everyday life. Caste is tenaciously locked down by social and religious dictates.

Caste and Untouchability are not Rooted in European Colonization

There exists copious evidence to refute the very lazy ( but very often used) argument that caste was a colonial invention. The existence of caste and untouchability, have throughout the ages been recorded by people who were traveling into the subcontinent and people who have been resisting the structure. Fa Xian, the Chinese monk, in 4th century C.E details the prevalence of caste and untouchability as a subcontinental reality. Al-Beruni, the middle eastern historian, in the 11th century C.E compiled comprehensive sociology, Tarikh-al-Hind, that includes extensive descriptions of varna-jāti systems. The Bhakthi saints of the 11th-15th centuries C.E; Sant Guru Ravidass, Kabir, Tukaram, Peero Premam, Chokamela, Soyrabai; were all Dalit-Bahujan anti-caste revolutionaries who wrote extensive literature of the existence of caste and how to fight it. A whole religion of Sikhism was even founded on Guru Nanak’s proclamation of revolution against caste and untouchability.

Yes, caste is a European word that was used to approximate what the European colonials observed on arrival. Its usage has been extended into modern day to describe the present manifestations of varna-jāti orders. However, caste is categorically a product of the Brahminical Varnashrama dharma. I would even argue that the Europeans, in their walking on eggshells around “native social orders”, and eagerness to relegate positions of power to “upper”- castes and Brahmins through the civil apparatus, have disproportionately uplifted a sect of ruling castes into contemporary state power — a problem that we are dealing with even now.

It is absolutely necessary to understand now that large populations of the subcontinent remain colonized by Brahminism. The white man has come and the white man has gone, but Bahujan society has not yet been released from the millenia-long hold of Brahmin colonialism .

Confronting the Truth is the First Step

In order to confront the dark realities of caste, we need to first accept its roots in the fundamentally anti-social nature of Brahminism. The casteist edits being requested and the indiscriminate sanitization of their religion — all point to what little progress “upper”-castes have made in actually understanding Bahujan history. They are a long way from annihilating caste from their minds.

Most of us would never think it acceptable for white people to sugar the history of slavery or for them to put out softened primers on slavery. Keep in mind HAF’s caste composition is almost uniformly “upper”-caste and represents the interests of those who have benefited for centuries from caste privilege. Why then is it acceptable for “upper”-caste organizations like the HAF to try to manipulate the tone and reality of the history of caste?

Every argument that HAF has made about cultural equity and competence to the California Board of Education, now applies to themselves in light of their efforts to obstruct the teaching the facts about caste. Do we then allow those groups to dictate Bahujan history?

We think not.
Dalit Women

Dalit women suffer multiple discrimination at the intersection of caste and gender discrimination.

“The reality of Dalit women and girls is one of exclusion and marginalisation … They are often victims of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights violations, including sexual abuse and violence.They are often displaced; pushed into forced and/or bonded labour, prostitution and trafficking.” UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Rashida Manjoo
Multiple discrimination

Dalit women are often trapped in highly patriarchal societies. The severe discrimination they face from being both a Dalit and a woman, makes them a key target of violence and systematically denies them choices and freedoms in all spheres of life. This endemic intersection of gender-and-caste discrimination is the outcome of severely imbalanced social, economic and political power equations.

“The combination of caste and gender makes millions of Dalit women extremely vulnerable to discrimination and violence, including rape” Human Rights Watch

Violence and rape

Dalit women suffer from severe limitations in access to justice and there is widespread impunity in cases where the perpetrator is a member of a dominant caste, above the Dalits in the caste system.Dalit women are therefore considered easy targets for sexual violence and other crimes, because the perpetrators almost always get away with it.

For example, in India, studies show that the conviction rate for rapes against Dalit women is under 2% compared to a conviction rate of 25% in rape cases against all women in India.

“Great, now you have proof that you enjoyed yourself” – the reply of an Indian court judge to a gang raped Dalit woman, upon seeing a video of the rape filmed and distributed by the dominant caste rapists and presented by the woman in court as evidence of the rape.

Denied justice, access to education, health and other services

Sanctioned impunity on behalf of the offenders is a key problem. Police often neglect or deny the Dalit women of their right to seek legal and judicial aid. In many cases, the judiciary fails to enforce the laws that protect Dalit women from discrimination.

Caste and gender discrimination in the delivery of education health care, water, sanitation and other basic services are also major obstacles for Dalit women severely impacting on their welfare and opportunities. This discrimination has been documented repeatedly by UN agencies and major international human rights and development NGOS.

“Non-implementation of legislation and policies and the lack of effective remedies and effectively functioning state institutions, the judiciary and police included, remain major obstacles to eliminating caste-based discrimination” European Parliament 2013 Resolution on Caste

Born into modern slavery and prostitution

Dalit women often work in modern slavery and are key targets for trafficking. They are often used as debt slaves in brick kilns, garment industries and agriculture. 98% of those forced into the dehumanising work of manual scavenging, removing human waste by hand, are also Dalit women. Dalit women may also be born into temple prostitution as ‘Devadasis’ (sex slaves) in India or be branded prostitutes in Nepal due to their caste status.

Fighting back

Dalit women are uniting against one of the world’s most gruesome and effective systems of oppression – the intersection of caste and gender discrimination.

Dalit women movements across the world are growing stronger and are connecting to each other and reaching out to decision-makers and people of the world.

Dalit women protest for their rights. Photo: Ekta Parishad

They are asking the international community and people of the world to come together and stand beside them, and to speak up to end the global silence that is allowing this gruesome form of discrimination to persist.

”Let them not rape us every day and murder us. Make the police give us our rights. I will fight for all those who are abused and dead and I hope if my turn comes someone will be there to fight for me.” Manisha, Dalit woman, human rights defender

UN and Dalit women

Several UN human rights bodies and UN Special Rapporteurs have raised concerns about the situation of Dalit women. Read the page on UN and Dalit women for detailed information.
Country Information on Dalit Women

Specific forms of violations

Videos on Dalit Women

IDSN produced the short film shown above on Dalit women and caste discrimination. It includes accounts by Dalit women on rape, sexual abuse and forced prostitution. On IDSN’s YouTube Channel, you can find a playlist of other films on Dalit women.

Dalit meeting into a Maoist plot
From Pune to Paris: How a police investigation turned a Dalit meeting into a Maoist plot
Allegations of political bias, procedural lapses, questionable claims mark the Bhima Koregaon investigation.
Sep 02, 2018

Design | Anand Katakam

Over the last week, the national spotlight has been on the claims of the Pune police that they have unearthed a Maoist conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and overthrow the government – evidence of which they say was discovered in the course of investigating the caste violence that erupted in a village in this western Maharashtra district on January 1.

The plot, as revealed by the police in a press conference on Friday, stretches far beyond India. Members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), which has been fighting a guerilla war in the jungles of central and eastern India for decades, have allegedly been meeting in Paris and procuring arms from Russia and China, while exchanging letters that reveal vital operational details and their own names.

These letters, the police claims, have been recovered from raids conducted in six cities. Ten human rights lawyers and activists have been arrested – five in June, another five on Tuesday.

Those arrested are actually “urban Naxalites”, the police told the Pune court on Wednesday, but they present themselves in public as human rights activists and lawyers. One of them has held photo exhibitions on mob lynchings to influence young people against the government. Together, they form “an anti-fascist front”. Their aim, the police read out from one of the letters, is to engineer “frequent protests and chaos [which] will gradually lead to a breakdown of law and order, and this will have significant political ramification in the coming months”.

The arrests have caused a furore, with eminent citizens approaching the Supreme Court to quash them. Their petition described the arrests as a “gross abuse of police power in the country which is intended to stifle if not kill independent voices and a differing ideology from the party in power”.

Forgotten in the din is a complex chain of events that began with Dalits flocking to a celebration of a 200-year old battleground victory. In this story, four journalists of Scroll.in reporting from Mumbai and Pune, piece together the events in great detail, based on more than 30 interviews, dozens of police and court documents, and stories done over the course of the year. The police investigation, they find, is marred by allegations of political bias, procedural lapses and highly questionable claims.

First, a quick recap of the events.

On New Year’s day, caste violence broke out in Bhima Koregaon village, 30 km from Pune, during a Dalit commemoration event. This event was preceded by a meeting in the city that brought together Ambedkarite organisations and Left activists.

Some have claimed that this nascent yet politically-potent combination held a threat to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which prompted its allied Hindutva groups to incite violence at Bhima Koregaon and cause a disruption. Others, however, blame the violence on allegedly incendiary speeches by activists at the meeting.

The competing narratives resulted in a series of police cases. While one case was filed against two Hindutva leaders who opposed the meeting, cases were also filed against activists who organised it, as well as those who spoke on stage.

The case against the Hindutva leaders resulted in one getting arrested briefly; the other has not even been questioned. Over time, the Pune police’s efforts have come to centre on a complaint that alleged the meeting was organised by Maoists to “mislead the Dalit community”.

In pursuit of this case, the police has conducted three rounds of raids across six cities, arresting 10 activists and lawyers who work on Dalit and Adivasi rights. The investigation has been marked by criticism of political bias, but also procedural lapses: search warrants were either not presented during the raids, or they were not translated from Marathi. The police took along witnesses from Pune which is illegal. The arrested activists were produced in court without their lawyers being given proper notice.

Letters purportedly recovered from the activists have been read out to the media, but have not been submitted in court. Experts say the letters stretch credibility.
The memorial pillar at Bhima Koregaon in January 2016 | Mridula Chari

Chapter 1: The Celebration

It all started on New Year’s Day in a village called Bhima Koregaon, 30 km from Pune.

Every year, lakhs of Dalits visit a memorial pillar here to celebrate the anniversary of a battle that took place in 1818 in which a small contingent of Mahar Dalit soldiers trounced the numerically superior army of Peshwa Bajirao II, whose regime was considered oppressive by lower caste communities. In 1927, BR Ambedkar led the first commemoration here.

Since 2018 is the bicentennial year of the battle, the anti-caste commemoration began early this time. In the last week of December 2017, hundreds of people, mostly Dalits, started to march towards the site from Nashik and Yeola. The marches culminated in a public meeting on December 31, held in the backdrop of Pune’s Shaniwarwada Fort, the seat of power of the Peshwas. Called the Elgaar Parishad, it brought together 250 groups and, by the accounts of its organisers, around 35,000 people, although the police pegs the number at 4,500. Among its key organisers were two retired judges, activists of the Dalit rights organisation Republican Panthers, and members of the cultural group the Kabir Kala Manch.

The meeting saw cultural performances, including Marathi hip-hop, and speeches by a galaxy of Dalit and Adivasi leaders. Newly elected Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani made a fiery speech, exhorting people to defeat the new Peshwai through street revolutions. “If there is ever to be a revolution in this country, it won’t happen through Parliament or Assembly, but through struggle on the streets,” he said. “Caste eradication will happen through struggle on the streets.” The day ended with the audience taking an oath of allegiance to the Indian Constitution.Jignesh Mevani, Vinay Ratan Singh, Radhika Vemula, Soni Sori and Umar Khalid during the Elgar Parishad |HT Photo

But the Pune police now claim the Elgaar Parishad was part of a Maoist conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the Indian government. It has raided and arrested some of the organisers, accusing them of having links with Maoists, and using the meeting to foment public disorder.

The retired judges contest this. They say the meeting was organised to combat communalism and the rise in violence by Hindutva groups, particularly in the name of cow protection. “[The term] ‘Elgaar’ means loud invitation or loud declaration, and our main theme was to save the Constitution and the nation,” Justice PB Sawant told Aarefa Johari.

So how did the police discover a Maoist plot?
Chapter 2: The Violence

On January 1, like every year, lakhs of Dalits poured into Bhima Koregaon. The commemoration has a record of being conducted peacefully and the village’s residents have a history of social harmony. But this year, tensions had begun to build in a neighbouring village over the question of which community had conducted the last rites of Maratha ruler Sambhaji – the Mahars or the Marathas. The panchayat of Bhima Koregaon issued a notice asking residents to boycott the event by calling for all shops to remain shut that day.

On the morning of the commemoration, violence broke out. Dalit visitors said they were attacked by people carrying saffron flags, while local Maratha residents complained that they were targeted by the Dalits. One person belonging to the Maratha community was killed in the clashes.

The next day, when Mridula Chari visited the village, she saw flames engulf a biryani stall owned by a Dalit man. A group of Marathas confessed to having set it on fire.An eatery was set on fire in Koregaon Bhima on January 2 |Mridula Chari

The violence spread to other cities in western Maharashtra. Dalit organisations held protest rallies on January 3, which invited a police crackdown. More than 300 Dalits were arrested by the police in Mumbai alone – some as young as 14. Eight months later, many of them are still struggling to get legal aid. One family in the Mumbai suburb of Vikhroli said they were falsely booked for attempt to murder. The women were able to get anticipatory bail, but a male member spent 20 days in jail. “Lawyers wouldn’t touch us when we told them it was the Bhima Koregaon case,” he said, requesting anonymity.

In Bhima Koregaon itself, villagers find themselves saddled with police cases. The superintendent of Pune rural police, Sandeep Patil, said 20 cases of rioting and vandalism were filed in his area in the aftermath of the violence. As many as 502 cases were filed in western Maharashtra.

Even before the violence had abated, questions soon arose over who was responsible. Competing narratives emerged.

Chapter 3: The Complaints

On January 3, a 39-year-old Dalit social activist, Anita Savale, filed a complaint alleging that she saw the followers of two Hindutva leaders, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, go on a rampage in Bhima Koregaon, throwing stones and assaulting people. They were carrying weapons and burnt Ambedkarite flags. Based on her complaint, the police registered a first information report naming Bhide and Ekbote as suspects, with the offences including rioting with arms, unlawful assembly, defiling sacred objects and caste atrocities.

Bhide, 84, is a former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and an influential spiritual leader, with a following in western Maharashtra. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed him as “most respected Bhide Guruji” at a public meeting. Ekbote, 65, is a former municipal corporator implicated in communal riots that took place in Satara district in 2003. The police said he now leads gau rakshak groups that indulge in extortion and violence in the name of cow protection. Both have denied the allegations against them. Bhide has maintained he was in another district when the violence took place.

Eight months later, the police has completed the investigation in this case and is ready to file a chargesheet. While Ekbote was arrested in March and later released on bail, Bhide was not even questioned by the police. The superintendent of Pune rural police, Sandeep Patil, told Abhishek Dey the police will press charges against Ekbote, but not Bhide, because of lack of evidence.

But the Hindutva leaders were not the only ones who were accused of provoking the violence. Another complaint was filed on January 3 in Vishrambaug police station in the city by Akshay Bikkad, a 23-year-old final year student of Political Science in Pune University, who was associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the RSS, but is now distancing himself from it. He claims to have attended the Elgaar Parishad in the company of his friend Anand Dhond, a member of ABVP. In his complaint, Bikkad alleged that “provocative speeches were delivered” at the meeting “to create disturbances between two communities”. His complaint led to a first information report naming Jignesh Mevani and student leader Umar Khalid as suspects for the promoting enmity between groups and giving speeches that could incite people to commit offences against the state.
Neither Mevani nor Khalid have been questioned by the police in the last eight months. But the joint commissioner of Pune police, Shivaji Bodakhe said, “Investigation of the matter is underway.” Mevani dismissed the case as “frivolous”. “Anyone can run my speech by any constitutional expert, any eminent criminal lawyer or High Court or Supreme Court judge,” he said. “If they are of the view that any single word of mine is of provocative nature, without uttering a single word in response, I will quit my public life.” Khalid said: “The videos of the speeches are still in the public domain – the public should go watch them instead of believing these politically-motivated allegations.”

A third complaint was filed on January 4 by Tushar Damgude, a businessman from Pune, who also claimed to have heard inflammatory speeches made at the Elgaar Parishad. Going one step ahead of Bikkad and Dhond, he alleged some of the organisers of the meeting had Maoist links. “Their agenda is to mislead the Dalit community, to convert them to Maoist thought…and adopt the path of violence,” his complaint said. “Through their publications, books and speeches, they want to increase enmity in society.”

Based on Damgude’s complaint, on January 8, the Vishrambaug police station in Pune city registered a first information report – labelled case no 04/2018 in the records. It names six activists who were among the organisers of the Parishad as suspects for the offences of promoting enmity between groups and giving speeches that could incite people to commit offences against the state.

It is the police investigation in this case that has resulted in three rounds of raids in several cities, the arrest of 10 activists, and the unearthing of an alleged Maoist plot to assassinate Prime Minister Modi.

Chapter 4: The Report

The first outline of the purported Maoist conspiracy in Elgaar Parishad did not come from the police. It came from a little-known security think tank in Pune called the Forum for Integrated National Security. One of its two secretaries general is Seshadri Chari, a senior member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s National Executive Committee.

In a report released in March, it said the organisers of the Parishad had distorted history by presenting the Bhima Koregaon battle of 1818 as a fight against caste oppression, which, it said, was a Maoist strategy to lure people into joining “mass organisations” concerned about caste, justice and equality. These organisations help Maoists make recruits for the final armed struggle against the state, the forum’s report claimed.

The report was authored by Captain Smita Gaikwad, a retired officer of the Indian Army, who later led a fact-finding committee organised by Vivek Vichar Manch, a think tank backed by the RSS and run by former Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament Pradeep Rawat.

Read more about the think tank and its report here.

Chapter 5: The Raids

On the morning of April 17, Sagar Gorkhe, a member of the Kabir Kala Manch, who lives in Wakad in Pune, woke up to find policemen at his door. They did not have a search warrant from a magistrate, but insisted – incorrectly – that a section of the criminal procedure code gave them suo moto powers to raid Gorkhe’s house.

“They took away my phone as well as my wife’s, even though her name is not in the FIR,” he told Shone Satheesh. The police particularly went after any books that had the words vidrohi (rebel) or kranti (revolution) in the title. They also seized pamphlets on the Elgaar Parishad event, pen drives, and memory cards.

Similar raids took place at the homes of other activists of Kabir Kala Manch in Pune and Mumbai. Sudhir Dhawale and Harshali Potdar of the Republican Panthers were raided in Mumbai. The house of lawyer Surendra Gadling was searched in Nagpur. A team of the Pune police even landed in Delhi to raid the house of activist Rona Wilson.

No one was arrested.

The next day, the commissioner of Pune police Rashmi Shukla said the raids were part of the investigation in case no 04/2018 registered by Vishrambaug police station, relating to the Bhima Koregaon violence.

But Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis contradicted her, attributing the raids to a nationwide operation by central investigative agencies which were probing the activities of people considered close to Maoist groups.

Curiously, two weeks before the raids took place, on March 26, Dhawale and Potdar had met with Fadnavis as part of a delegation led by Prakash Ambedkar, the leader of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and grandson of BR Ambedkar, who had participated in the Elgaar Parishad. The delegation urged the authorities to investigate the role of Hindutva groups in the attack on Dalits in Bhima Koregaon on January 1.A protest meeting in March was led by Prakash Ambedkar asking for action against Sambhaji Bhide | Shone Satheesh

Vira Sathidar, an activist with the Republican Panthers, said Dhawale, Potdar and others submitted evidence that they had collected in the form of social media posts, photographs, selfies and location shares, which pointed to the suspicious movement of cadres from right-wing organisations in the last week of December.

Gorkhe of the Kabir Kala Manch said, “We had footage of Ekbote’s cadre organising a rally called Durga Daud on December 31 at Koregaon Bhima, in which members were marching with weapons and swords.” In the aftermath of the January 1 violence, Sathidar claimed members of Hindutva groups had put up Facebook posts expressing regret for not meeting the targets set by the leaders for attacks on Dalits. These too had been collected.

“But shockingly, on April 17, the police raided us and confiscated all the evidence,” Gorkhe said. “Thankfully, we had made copies.”

These copies, the activists say, were submitted on July 16 to the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry set up by the Maharashtra government, under the leadership of former Calcutta High Court judge JN Patel, to investigate the violence in Bhima Koregaon.

By then, however, Dhawale, Gadling and Wilson were in Pune jail. The police had arrested the three in a second round of raids on June 6, along with two others – Mahesh Raut, a forest rights activist who has previously been a Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow, and Shoma Sen, an activist who was the head of the English Department in Nagpur University. This report published in June profiles their work.

Of the five arrested, only Dhawale’s name featured in the original FIR – case no 04/2018, based on Damgude’s complaint. Over the months, not only had the police widened the net, it also expanded the scope of the investigation. Susan Abraham, the lawyer for Gadling, said the police added another offence against the accused before making the April raids: Section 120(b), which relates to criminal conspiracy.

Even more serious offences were added in May under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The anti-terror law allows the police to detain people for six months without filing charges in court.

On September 1, the police sought an extension of 90 days to file the chargesheet against the five activists. They were brought to court, without proper notice, which meant their lawyers did not have the time to prepare their defence. “They were served notices when they were still in van after reaching the court,” said Rahul Deshmukh, the defence lawyer who found out about their appearance in court through the crowds that had gathered around them.

Chapter 6: The Letters

But the most shocking charge burst into the public spotlight on June 8.

“Maoist letter revealing sinister plot to assassinate PM Modi recovered,” said a headline on Republic TV.

On June 7, deputy commissioner of Pune police, Ravindra Kadam, told reporters that several documents had been recovered from the laptop of Rona Wilson, one of the five activists arrested the previous day. Republic TV claimed the letter was one of them.

In the letter addressed to ‘Comrade Prakash’, a writer who goes by the initial R laments the BJP’s success at winning elections under the leadership of Modi, and says it could threaten the “party” – a reference to the Communist Party of India (Maoist), claimed Republic TV.

The writer then goes on to consider the possibility of “another Rajiv Gandhi type incident”. “It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance that we might fail but we feel that the party PB/CC [Politburo/ Central Committee] must deliberate over our proposal.”

This letter was leaked to the media but was not submitted in court. The public prosecutor later read it out while opposing the bail application of the arrested activists.

Security experts seriously doubt the letter’s credibility. “Anyone familiar with the patterns of communication adopted by the Maoists would immediately reject this letter as an obvious fabrication,” said Ajai Sahni, the executive director of the Institute of Conflict Management.

A second letter, said to have been recovered from Wilson’s laptop, was also discussed threadbare on Republic TV. It was purportedly written by Sudha Bharadwaj, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, who has worked as a labour activist and human rights lawyer in Chhattisgarh for 30 years. The letter discussed Maoist activities and the need for creating a “Kashmir like situation” across India.

On July 16, Bharadwaj sent Republic TV a legal notice for making “false, malicious and defamatory allegations” against her.

Both the letters were sprinkled with references to human rights lawyers and activists, often by their first names: Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, among others.

As the events that followed showed, these letters were a warning.

Chapter 7: The Anti-Fascist Front

Early morning on August 28, teams of Pune police fanned out across the country to raid the homes of activists in six cities: Delhi, Faridabad, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa.

Five activists were arrested. Four had featured in the leaked letters: Bharadwaj, Navlakha, Ferreira, and Gonsalves whose son described what happened that morning. The fifth arrest was of Varavara Rao, a writer and poet who lives in Hyderabad. Read about the background of all five here.

The search warrants presented by the police said the raids were part of the investigation into case no 04/2018 of Vishrambaug police station. But the documents were in Marathi. Bharadwaj, Navlakha and Rao claimed they were not provided translations. Before they could be whisked away, Bharadwaj and Navlakha petitioned the High Courts, which prevented Pune police from taking them into custody, and placed them under house arrest.

The next day, the Delhi High Court took note of Navlakha’s allegations of procedural lapses. One of them related to the witnesses who signed the panchnamas or memorandums of arrest. While the law says witnesses should be family members or people who live in the same locality, in all five arrests, the witnesses were Pune residents taken along by Maharashtra police

.On Wednesday, Rao, Ferreira and Gonsalves were presented in Pune court where the public prosecutor Ujjwala Prakash made arguments to secure their custody. She said they were part of an “anti-fascist front” which aimed to overthrow the government. The claim invited ridicule.

“I wonder if the prosecutor has received proper instructions,” said Yug Chaudhary, a lawyer in Mumbai. “How is being anti-fascist illegal? If anything, it is a virtue. Is the government admitting that it is fascist by booking anti-fascists under UAPA [the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act]?”

The prosecutor went on to make other dramatic claims, none of which were reflected in the remand petition – a document submitted to the court outlining the police case against the accused. In an interview to Scroll.in, security expert Ajai Sahni explained the problems with each one of the claims.

Did the claims stick in court? Before the Pune court could rule on the matter, the Supreme Court, in a near-simultaneous hearing of a petition filed by five eminent citizens challenging the arrests, ordered that all five detained activists should be held under house arrest until September 6. While doing so, it said: “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy.”

Chapter 8: The Paris connection

Despite the Supreme Court’s comments, criticism of the arrests, and experts questioning the authenticity of the evidence put forth in court, the Maharashtra police has stuck to its claim that the activists are part of a grand Maoist conspiracy.

On Friday, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Parambir Singh addressed a press conference where he gave more details of this alleged plot. “There was a larger conspiracy by Maoist organisations to overthrow the lawfully established Indian government using weapons procured from Russia and China,” he said. “The arrested accused played an active and crucial role in this conspiracy.”

He described a grand conspiracy that had been hatched not just in India but abroad as well. “The meetings of the arrested accused were held even in Paris,” he said, “and funds were being organised from there.”

Singh read out from several letters that, if they are to be believed, spells out portions of this conspiracy in no uncertain terms. “Frequent protests and chaos will gradually lead to a break down of law and order, and this will have significant political ramification in the coming months. Please coordinate with our friends in America and France,” said one letter allegedly addressed to ‘Comrade Anand’ from Prakash.

Singh also read out from the letter leaked to the media earlier, which he claimed was written by Rona Wilson to ‘Comrade Prakash’. “I hope by now you have received details of the meeting and requirement of 8Cr [crore] for annual supply of M4’s with 4000000 rounds.” Singh claimed that M4 was a reference to a grenade launcher.

But, for all the dramatic claims made by the public prosecutor and the police, the letters are still not part of court record. In a handwritten note released through her lawyer, Sudha Bharadwaj called the letter “totally concocted”. The oral submissions made by the public prosecutor in court, meanwhile, provoked scathing criticism from Sahni, one of India’s foremost experts in internal security matters:

“Obviously, not a single charge will actually stick, but that is clearly not the intention. The case will drag on in what I have described as a process of “punishment by trial”. The judicial system is slow, and is willing to pretend that it does not notice the utter silliness of the prosecution’s submissions. The accused will either continue to languish in jail or, even if enlarged on bail, will be harassed for years by the judicial process. This alone is the objective.”

Visualisations by Anand Katakam and Sanjana Venkatesh.

This story was updated on September 5 to include information on the witnesses who signed the memorandums of arrest.Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

Set Fire To Brahminical Bullshit History Books

Our fight for justice fails because we don’t know true history.

Historians are supposed to be seekers of truth. They are expected to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. But our experience with the extant historical writing in India is galling and disgusting. Most of them suffer from serious distortion of facts and travesty of truth. Errors of commission and omission have been made wilfully or otherwise. Wanton suppression of facts, unnecessary reading between the liens and observing conspiracy of silence in the case of the history of Bahujans are the cases of historical distortion. Thus we experience a historical blackout at the hands of the so-called learned scholars in the field of historical writings in India.
NEED FOR NEW HISTORY – In fact, the history of this land is the history of the aborigines of India. They are the people who marched along with history nurturing the same. As the original rulers of this country, we had a history to be proud of. Unfortunately, we are not fully aware of our past history due to the age-long suppression and oppression imposed on us by the Aryan Manuwadi oppressors. They destroyed our history and fabricated a new history of their own to prolong their oppressive rule through a process of mind manipulation and brainwashing. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had rightly observed: “If you want to destroy a society, destroy its history and the society will get destroyed automatically” . This is what exactly happened to us. Hence we have to reconstruct our history posing a severe challenge to the manuvadi robbers who looted the treasury of our golden history. We have to regain our history, the history of the people, by the people and for the people for the welfare of all.

It should also be noted that a society which has no history cannot rule. This is because it is the history which gives inspiration. Inspiration leads to awakening and awakening paves the way for thinking. Thinking gives strength and strength produce power. And ultimately it is the power that makes us the rulers of our country. Hence the need for new history for new India. True history tells us that the Aryans came as conquerors, brutally destroyed our Indus Valley Civilization and made us the Dasus or slaves. The vedic literature clearly proves this but the manuvadis have eclipsed this history and made us believe that our Indus culture had been destroyed by natural calamities. Then up to the origin of Buddhism, these oppressors had established a reign of terror with the Brahminical Social Order (BSO) maintained by yagas and yajnas. All human rights were violated by introducing rigid caste rules like Manusmriti ad other inhuman law codes. Even during this period of severe suppression, there were powerful resistance movements either in the political or ideological form. The ideological challenge posed by Kapila, Goshala, Katyayana, Kanada and many others are the striking examples. Moreover, the 16 janapadas in North India had posed a political challenge to the Brahminical Social Order. Buddhism under Asoka liberated the Bahujans from the yoke of Aryanisation and inaugurated a new era of dharmavijaya instead of the Digvijaya of Brahminism.

BUDDHISM DESTROYED BY B.S.O. ( Brahmanical Social Order)

Then up to the time of Pushyamitra the Bahujans could sustain the new history inaugurated by Budha and maintained by Asoka. The treacherous deeds of the Manuvadi Pushyamitra paved the way for the revival of the BSO. Buddhism was brutally destroyed by the Hindutva forces with the help of their stooges. The Buddhists were tortured, murdered and they were deprived of their property and means of livelihood and were forced to lead a life of destitution and utter slavery. Buddhist monks were either killed or they ran away to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Burma and Ceylon. In order to sustain this BSO fabricated new history for their new India (the age of the Guptas) through the puranas, epics, srutis and smritis. Today the BSO is doing the same destructive work against Muslims and Christians. Both Islam and Christianity are liberating religions for Bahujans. We Bahujans had adopted different paths for our emancipation from the clutches of Brahminical masters. Our paths may be different but we belong to the same Dravidian stock having ethnic blood relation. This vital aspect of our history is to be highlighted and propagated against the Brahminical policy of divide and rule. This historical unity is essential for the empowerment of India.


The much publicised “unity in diversity” theory of the BSO has eclipsed our real ethnic and cultural unity. They say that in spite of the linguistic, social and cultural diversity there is an undercurrent of unity. This is nothing but an artificial unity imposed on the Bahujans by the BSO through the institution of the caste system. Though the Brahmins form a micro-minority we see their presence in all the states from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It was the forefathers of these Brahmins who enslaved us under casteism suppressing the diverse nationalities of the Bahujans.From Kashmir to Kanyakumari they could introduce a uniform system of slavery and maintained the same for centuries together. It was this slavery which was acting as the “unity in diversity”.


Christianity, Islam and other revolutionary movements of the Bahujans bombarded this slavery or the so-called unity decades back. But we still feel pride in the Brahminical slogan “unity in diversity”. The true unity in our diversity would come out only with the new history. After the age of the Guptas, which witnessed the revival of Brahminism and their so-called Golden Age, a new era with a new history was inaugurated by the Delhi Sultans which was further maintained by the Mughal rulers. During this time Islam posed a great challenge to the BSO. Jihadi Islam did not compromise with the manuvadis. The process which is fondly called assimilation process by the manuvadis failed for the first time in the history of India before Islam. As a religion of hatred and exploitation, Hinduism survived throughout the ages by hijacking and Aryanising its powerful opponents. This is what is called assimilative potentiality of the BSO. Actually, it was neither assimilated nor potentiality but a simple method of killing the opponents of Hindus. It assimilated the Budha and made him the ninth avatar. Also take note that in the Valmiki Ramayana, Rama calls Budha a thief. Brahminism tried to hijack Mohammed and Islam through Allo-upanishad and Bhavishya Purana.


The Sudra Shivaji has been Hinduised. Efforts are going on to Hinduise Dr. Ambedkar, Narayana Guru, Ayyankali and other revolutionaries. It was this failure of the BSO before Islam that constrained them to annihilate Islam through false propaganda and distortion of history. The Aligarh movement, Jinnah, the Muslim League, Babri Masjid — all these were depicted as symbols of communalism and anti-national elements. It was V.D. Savarkar who first propounded the two-nation theory in 1923 in his book Hindutva. But Jinnah is blamed for the partition of India by the manuvadi historians. Even in 1940 Jinnah said “the two nations in India (Hindus and Muslims) who both must share the governance of their common motherland”. The use of the words “share” and “common motherland” shows that Jinnah did not think of division of the country at that time. All these aspects are to be brought to light in our new history for new India.


The so-called Marxist historians have played much havoc in the historical interpretation. For them the economic situation is the only factor that moulds human life and civilization. But Marx and Engels do not approve of the overemphasis given to economic factors. To quote Engels: “According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. More than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proportion into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase”. But our so-called Marxist writers have produced amazing rubbish by the misinterpretation of historical facts. Engels has prohibited its application to man’s spiritual pursuits, caste, religion, philosophy etc. But our contemporary manuvadi Marxist are not prepared to listen to these sane words.


Only you need read the historical works of E.M.S. Namboothripad to realize the tremendous harm he has done to history. His books —Keralam-Malayalikal ude Mathrubhumi, Kerala — Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, National Question in Kerala etc. help us to understand how materialist conception is used to misinterpret Indian history and Kerala society. He went to the extent of saying that caste system is a significant contribution made by the Aryan Brahmins and it was the caste system which paved the way for the development of the modern Kerala culture. He also says that the Keralites should be proud of this Brahminical caste system. Vivekananda had remarked that Kerala was a lunatic asylum because of the rigid caste system prevailed under the patronage of the Brahmins and Nairs. No wonder if the lunatic asylum of Vivekananda becomes a Dharmarajya in the marxian history of the cunning Brahmin E.M.S. Where facts are absent he creates them with the help of assumed models where facts are present he ignores them, if they do not fit in the models.


According to Marx the rule of the proletariat can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions (in India it is the BSO) through a proletarian movement. The Brahmins were neither the proletariat nor formed the lowest stratum of Indian society. The doctrine of Marx encouraged the proletariat movement to protect the interest of that class and forcible overthrow of the ruling class into the air. Communism declares: “Let the ruling class tremble at the communistic revolution”, but the pseudo-marxists in India put it in the reverse order and declared: “Let the working class tremble at the Brahminic counter revolution”. This is what we see today in West Bengal, Kerala and other parts of India. The Manuvadis became marxist only to hijack marxism and hinduise the doctrine through sanskritisation. They became marxists to realize two goals. (1) They threatened the British authority with a prospect of proletarian revolution to bargain for early transfer of power. (2) They endeavored to divert and damage the paridly growing revolutionary movement of the suppressed classes of India under the leadership of Dr. Ambedkar, E.V.R, Sree Narayana Guru and many others. The leaders hijacked and completely hinduised marxism before the producer class came to know about it. We should note that marxism can be used as an effective tool to analyse the BSO as Marx himself has exposed the nature of Hinduism as an engine of tyranny.

It can also be noted that the manuvadi marxists have failed to understand Karl Marx statement that India had no history. For Marx there can be no history without class struggle and that is why India without class struggle is without history too. But Dr. Ambedkar has explained this view of Marx saying that Indian history has been a struggle between Buddhism and Brahminism. This confirms the marxian view that in pre-capital social systems class struggle may take either political or ideological form. This class struggle in the Indian context was perhaps muted and unrecorded during the very long influence of Brahminical supremacy. This significant aspect should be elucidated in our new history for new India.


Everywhere in the world, the enslaved people could win freedom from the foreign yoke in a fine morning. But India won freedom at midnight when the masses were asleep. Nevertheless, the ruling class was awake and alert and won the freedom from the British. Actually, it was not a process of winning freedom but the transfer of power from the British to the Indian ruling class. In effect, it was not a war of independence but a war of dependents (the ruling class of India).

The true history tells us that the Bahujans, the original inhabitants of India, had been the real rulers of this country. The BSO enslaved them usurped power and became their masters. It was under this circumstance that India was brought under Western imperialism. Here arise a relevant question, who lost independence under Western imperialism? The traditional ruling class or their slaves, the Bahujans? The slave class had already lost their freedom before the coming of the foreign masters, under the indigenous manuvadi rulers. Hence it was these manuvadi masters who lost freedom under the British rule. We had nothing to lose but the shackles presented by the oppressors. These oppressors became good servants of their British masters.


Our great brother VTR has taught us that the Brahmins are good servants but bad masters. To the British, they were good servants and to the Bahujans they are bad masters. It was to these “servants of India” that the power was transferred at midnight on Aug.15, 1947. In the pretext of democracy, they maintained aristocracy and oligarchy through mind manipulation of the illiterate masses of India. In the history fabricated by the manuvadis, the movements and events connected with the so-called upper castes are depicted as national history. And the movements and events initiated by the Bahujans are depicted as caste movements of narrow outlook. To our children leaders like Dayananda Saraswati, Tilak, Rajaram Mohan Roy, Patel, Gandhi and Nehru are national leaders. But revolutionary leaders like Phule, Dr. Ambedkar, Sir Sayed Ahmad Khan, Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali and EVR are regional leaders. The social revolution of great magnitude that occurred in Kerala was never seen as a part of national history. A social revolution was set in motion by Sree Narayana Guru and the great Malayalam poet, Kumaran Asan. This movement electrified not only the suppressed masses but also the upper strata of the society and brought about a total revolution in Kerala.

This great historical process had revolutionized the life of a larger number of people than the combined forces of Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj and other organizations could effect on people all over India. Similar instances can be derived from the history of other states also. It is needless to say that only a new history can do justice to these neglected chapters of great magnitude. Regarding freedom struggle or the so-called war of independence, it has been believed that the British decided to quit India since they were scared of the gandhian satyagraha movement. A critical study of the war of dependents would prove that it was not the satyagraha or the passive resistance initiated by M.K. Gandhi that forced the British to quit India. In fact, it was the Second World War which came to an end in 1945 that prepared the ground for the withdrawal of the British. In effect, the satyagraha movement delayed the achievement of freedom which could have been achieved much earlier by Subhash Chandra Bose and other revolutionary leaders of the freedom movement.

Subhash had realized that it was the military force of the British that enabled them to sustain their imperial policies in India. That is why he organized the Indian National Army and sought the help of Japan and other nations which were fighting against the British. But Gandhi and Nehru stabbed him in the back and he was forced to leave India broken hearted. Even today the Govt. of India is reluctant to hand over the confidential reports regarding the disappearance of Bose to the commission of enquiry. It should also be noted tat Gandhi cooperated with the British authorities during the first and second world wars and had won awards and titles from the Britishers. In South Africa, he joined the British army and obtained the military rank of Sergeant-Major. He took part in the Boer and Zulu wars against the Blacks by serving the British army. (V.T. Rajshekar, Why Godse Killed Gandhi?, DSA-1997).

This Gandhian humbug should be revealed to prove that Gandhi was not a mahatma in the strict sense of the term. Gandhi opposed all the movements for social equality and justice. Gandhi’s “Poona Pact”, fast-unto death was nothing but a declaration of war against the Untouchables and not against untouchability. He helped hit the last nail on the coffin of the Untouchables’ future. That is why Dr. Ambedkar declared that Gandhi as the Enemy No.1 of the Dalits. Gandhi cannot be a mahatma because he brought no transformation in the lives of the deprived and the dehumanized. His salt satyagraha is included in all the history textbooks but the “Poona Pact” fast unto death is being cunningly excluded from the books given to our children. This should be exposed in our new history for new India.

In this context of nationalism and freedom struggle we have to rewrite the national anthem which is neither national nor anthem. The Janaganamana and the Bharat Bhagyavidhata clearly indicate that it referred to George-V. The Vande Mataram originated in an anti-Muslim background has also become anti-national. Our new India will summarily reject such fanatic and undemocratic Hindutva literature. The major part of the available history of India is the history of the upper castes, by the upper castes and for the upper castes. This should be changed into the history of the people, by the people and for the people. This task is to be undertaken by the educated and enlightened Bahujans of the country. We need social engineers to build a new India, the India of the indigenous people. Our struggle for social justice and equality fails mainly because of the fact that we are not fully aware of the history of social injustice done to us. To know the history of social injustice we should study the social history of our country which is being cunningly eclipsed by the pseudo historians of the BSO. As the social history remains hidden we fail to realize the much awaited unity of the Bahujans and the minorities. Let us move hand in hand to know our past and the present to shape a golden future through a cultural revolution. Hence the need for a new history for new India.
Author – Dr. M. S. Jayaprakash, Retd. Prof of History
Source: DV, Vol. 27, No. 2 , Jan. 16-31, 2008,

What Bhagavad Geeta says about caste system:
“According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me(Lord Krishna). (B.G.4.13)
Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.(B.G.18.41)
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.(B.G.18.42)
Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the kṣatriyas.(B.G.18.43)
Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there are labor and service to others.(B.G.18.44)
By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect..(B.G.18.45)

What is bonded labour?

Family of bonded labourers in brick kiln, India

“We do not stop even if we are ill – what if our debt is increasing? So we don’t dare to stop.”
“[Other workers] tried to leave, but two got caught. They locked them up and started beating them. They told the workers, ‘if you want to go from here, you must pay 60,000, that is your debt’.

Puspal, former brick kiln worker in Punjab, India.

Puspal, above with her family, is one of millions of victims of bonded labour across the world. Also known as debt bondage or debt slavery, it is the most common form of modern slavery. Despite this, it’s the least known.

Debt bondage occurs when a person is forced to work to pay off a debt. They are tricked into working for little or no pay, with no control over their debt.

Most or all of the money they earn goes to pay off their loan. The value of their work invariably becomes greater than the original sum of money borrowed.

Puspal managed to leave thanks to the great support her family received from our project partners, but usually that it is extremely difficult. People bonded by debt face coercion, violence and intimidation if they try to leave.

Bonded labour has existed for hundreds of years. Debt bondage was used to trap indentured labourers into working on plantations in Africa, the Caribbean and South-East Asia, following the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Bonded labour is most widespread in South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. Often entire families have to work to pay off the debt taken by one of its members. Sometimes, the debt can be passed down the generations and children can be held in debt bondage because of a loan their parents had taken decades ago.

In South Asia it still flourishes in agriculture, brick kilns, mills, mines and factories. Anti-Slavery International works in India where hundreds of thousands men, women and children are forced to work as bonded labourers in brick kilns and agriculture, often suffering extreme exploitation and abuse.

Debt bondage in a wider sense is spread much beyond South Asia and is an element of many other forms of slavery such as forced labour and trafficking. People borrow money to pay their traffickers for a promised job abroad. Once at their destination their passports are taken away and they cannot leave until they pay off the debts they owe to their traffickers.

Today the International Labour Organisation estimates that around 50% of victims of forced labour in the private economy are affected by debt bondage – around 8 million people worldwide.

Bonded labour flourishes because of poverty and widespread caste-based discrimination. Limited access to justice, education and jobs for discriminated groups makes it difficult to get out of poverty.

The need for cash for daily survival forces people to sell their labour in exchange for a loan. In South Asia bonded labour is rooted in the caste system and predominately affects Dalits (a caste called the ‘Untouchables’).

Despite the fact that bonded labour is illegal the laws are rarely enforced, particularly where the people who exploit those from more vulnerable groups belong to the ruling classes.

Slavery in modern India

India is the world’s largest democracy, with a population exceeded only by China, and is home to a variety of people groups, languages, cultures, philosophies and religions.

India’s economy is booming with the world’s fastest growing telecommunications industry, and significant vehicle, engineering, pharmaceutical and software sectors.

To continue making progress, India is having to address major issues such as poverty, corruption, inequality and severe exploitation through modern slavery and human trafficking.
Why are Dalits so vulnerable?

Alongside India’s economic progress, wealth and prosperity, the country has one third of the world’s poorest billion people. Most are Dalits. Taking into account education, health and living standards, over half of India’s population are considered to be in poverty.

Although the situation is improving, many Dalits feel excluded. Some still find it difficult to access education, healthcare and justice. In some parts of India Dalits may still be prevented from entering public parks, temples or even getting drinking water from the village pump.

Historically, Dalits have found themselves at the bottom of society, outside of a traditional hierarchical structure in Indian society (known as the caste system). This determined their religious purity, their work and their social standing and relationships.

Dalits would often have the most menial, dehumanising jobs. Others would avoid contact with them because of their religious impurity – this is why they used to be known as Untouchables. Untouchability was outlawed by the Indian constitution, but the practice persists in some parts of India.

All these factors contribute to their vulnerability to modern slavery.


*Throughout this exhibition the word Dalit includes both scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (Adivasis – India’s indigenous tribes)

Slavery is a term that most Americans are familiar with. From history classes to pop culture, the word has permeated the collective consciousness. UNESCO states that slavery is “identified by an element of ownership or control over another’s life, coercion and the restriction of movement and by the fact that someone is not free to leave.” Through this definition, the U.N. declared in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights that every type of slavery is prohibited. Though it has been 70 years since this universal identification of slavery as an affront to human rights, the business of many types of slavery persists.

While exact numbers are difficult to establish, a recent estimate by the International Labor Organization claims that there are around 40 million people living in modern slavery. One of the many reasons that the number of people living in slavery is hard to identify is due to the many types of slavery that are used to coerce and control millions of people. To understand the global issue of slavery, this breakdown defines of the types of slavery as identified by the U.S. Department of State.

Types of Slavery

Sex Trafficking
The manipulation, coercion, or control of an adult engaging in a commercial sex act. The adult may consent to prostitution but be held in the exchange unwillingly due to unlawful debts. Any physical or psychological manipulation or force used to retain the individual is illegal and is considered trafficking.
Child Sex Trafficking
The child performs a commercial sex act after being recruited, sheltered, transported or sold. In this type of slavery, the child cannot consent. All forms of commercial sexual acts performed by children are illegal. These victims are especially vulnerable and often face long-term health issues.
Forced Labor
The physical or psychological manipulation or coercion to force a person to work. The employee may originally consent to work, but once force is used to compel the victim to work, it is considered trafficking and is illegal. Migrants and women are particularly vulnerable to forced labor.
Forced Child Labor
Some labor is permissible for children to perform, but there may be symptoms of abuse and trafficking if the child’s wages are redirected away from the child or his/her family. There are specific strategies outlined by the State Department to combat this unique problem.
Bonded Labor or Debt Bondage
The coercion of a person to work in order to pay off incurred debt. This debt may be from former employment or through ancestral debts. The ancestral form of debt bondage slavery seems to be most prevalent in South Asia.
Domestic Servitude
Individuals whose workplace is a private residence and feel as though they cannot leave; they may also be abused. These individuals lack common benefits including, but not limited to, days off, appropriate compensation and freedom from abuse and violence.
Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers
The coercion or manipulation of children to act as combatants. The traffickers could be individuals, rebel groups, paramilitary groups or governments.There are many organizations that fight trafficking. There are also several hotlines to report suspicious behavior that may indicate trafficking. Though the issue is global, fighting modern slavery begins at home. There are opportunities to become involved at the regional, national and international levels. As Congress navigates trafficking issues and seeks to expand protections in order to prevent human trafficking, understanding and showing support for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the types of slavery impacting millions of people is one way of supporting those impacted by trafficking.
– M. Shea Lamanna Photo: Flickr

6 Types of Modern Day Slavery That Cannot Be Ignored

Though we often associate slavery with the past, it is still widely practiced throughout the world today. Estimates put the number of currently enslaved people at almost 21 million. Modern day slavery, otherwise known as human trafficking, occurs when individuals are exploited through coercion or deception and typically involves restricted freedom of movement. It can take many forms that we often do not think of as slavery. Below are six specific forms of modern day slavery:

Forced Labor

Forced labor includes all types of enslavement that involve coercion against one’s will and a threat of punishment. The practice is typically found in industries with little regulation and many workers. It is commonly used in global supply chains by the private economy to make products. This form of slavery is also used by governments, particularly in state prisons. If the work is not voluntary and involves a threat of penalty, it can be considered forced labor. Forced labor can occur even without the presence of physical violence because it is highly ingrained in some cultures.

Bonded Labor

Debt bondage occurs when an individual is forced to work to repay a debt. As the worker labors to repay their debt, the employer can add other expenses making repayment impossible and enslavement permanent. This type of slavery is often used to make consumer products. It particularly targets migrant workers looking for an economic opportunity who incur debt for travel or housing expenses. The debt involved can also be generational, so children can be born into a situation where they must work to repay a debt incurred by their parents.

Domestic Servitude

This type of slavery consists of live-in domestic workers who cannot leave of their own free will. Since authorities are unable to easily inspect homes, this modern day slavery is easy to hide. It is also extremely difficult to detect because enslaved individuals can appear to be nannies or other types of domestic workers. As a form of bonded labor, domestic servitude often affects migrant workers who incur a debt to their employer for travel or recruitment that they are unable to pay back.

Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking occurs when women, men, or children are forced to engage in commercial sex acts. Commercial sex involving children under age eighteen is always considered sex trafficking. Those living in extreme poverty are particularly vulnerable to this practice because of their economic marginalization and lack of education. They can be lured overseas through false employment opportunities. Victims suffer physical and psychological trauma and potential legal charges.

Forced Marriage

This type of slavery occurs when an individual lacks the option to refuse marriage or is married to someone else by relatives. Forced marriage can also happen when a wife is married in exchange for payment. This practice is characterized by a lack of consent by at least one party. A major motivation of this type of slavery is cultural tradition or threats. Forced marriage of a child under the age of eighteen is called early marriage. Girls are more common targets for this because they can be controlled through sexual violence.

Child Labor

Any form of modern day slavery that involves children under 18 is considered child labor. More than a quarter of slaves today are children, and many are involved in occupations that are harmful mentally or physically. The demand for cheap labor and specific physical characteristics increases the use of child workers. Children are also easier to control and usually do not demand better working conditions or wages. Those living in poverty are especially vulnerable because of the desire or need to support their families due to a lack of education and employment opportunities.These are six of the most common types of modern day slavery, but the practice is not limited to just these forms. Slavery still occurs throughout the world in practices that are not always easily recognizable. Governments and organizations must remain informed about the occurrence of modern day slavery to be able to stop it in its tracks.
– Lindsay Harris

Caste-based Slavery

This Dalit woman works in bonded labour in a brick kiln in Pakistan. Photo: Jakob Carlsen

Despite being prohibited in many countries, slavery is widespread in South Asia. Forced and bonded labour, resulting in a loss of control over labour conditions and terms of work, is often interlinked with the caste system and related types of customary feudal agricultural relationships.

Dalit bonded labourers

Those who are employed as bonded labourers in South Asia are predominantly Dalits, also known as ‘untouchables’. According to an Anti Slavery International report, the vast majority of bonded labourers (around 90%) are predominantly from scheduled castes and minority groups. Weak economic positions and lack of access to resources increase Dalits’ dependence on wage labour. Extreme poverty forces Dalits to take up loans and they hold no other assets to lever their debt other than their labour. In addition to poverty, practices of social exclusion of Dalits push them into bondage.

When Dalits try to exercise their rights or resist abuse and exploitation, they are faced with extremely hostile and sometimes brutal resistance by the higher caste villagers that uphold the hierarchy. Consequently, when Dalits resist their oppression, they risk complete boycott, cutting them off from land use, access to markets and employment. Other retaliations against Dalit assertion include killings, gang rapes, looting and arson.

Forced and bonded labour in numbers

There is no accurate number on the global scale of forced and bonded labour. According to the ILO, the global number of forced labourers was 21 million persons in 2012. Out of this number, the Asia and Pacific Region accounted for approximately 11,7 million persons. There are however no comprehensive studies on the number of bonded labourers that have a scheduled caste background.

International Legislation

Forced and bonded labour are contemporary forms of slavery, and they are prohibited under international law, including the UN Slavery Conventions of 1926 and 1956, and ILO Conventions.

Bonded labour is defined in the 1956 UN Supplementary Convention on Slavery as “the status or condition arising from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or those of a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.”

The two fundamental ILO conventions are the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), 1930 and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105). 1957. Both of these, as well as the UN Convention on Slavery, have been ratified by India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and the countries are all obliged to report to the ILO every two years. The ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) and Trafficking Protocol of 2000 also specifically include forced labour and debt bondage.

In June 2014, the ILO adopted the ILO Forced Labour Protocol 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), 1930 to give new impetus to the global fight against forced labour, including trafficking in persons and slavery-like practices and provide specific guidance on effective measures to be taken to eliminate all forms of forced labour.

Country information on forced and bonded labour

Caste-based forms of bonded labour

Dalits are particularly vulnerable to bonded labour, because of their socio-economic status, but bonded labour is also conjoined with caste in the form of caste-based occupations. Two well-known forms of caste-based and bonded occupations in India are manual scavenging and the systems of forced prostitution.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Read more about what private companies can do to prevent and eliminate discrimination against Dalits in the employment sector
Videos – Caste Discrimination and Bonded Labour

Below is a video dealing with caste discrimination and bonded labour. Visit IDSN’s YouTube Channel for more videos on other themes/countries.

Caste-based slavery

Caste-based slavery is a form of bondage based on work and descent, which is carried on for generations by members of the same occupational caste. In South Asia this form of slavery affects Dalits as a social group, and is closely linked to religious, cultural, and caste-based social relationships, as well as skewed land-ownership patterns. In some African countries similar forms of caste-based slavery exist e.g. in Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Chad. As reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Ms. Gulnara Shahinian in 2008, these old forms of slavery are embedded in traditional beliefs and customs as a result of long-standing discrimination against the most vulnerable groups in societies such as: those regarded as being of low caste, tribal minorities and indigenous peoples (A/HRC/9/20).

A range of ILO studies on bonded labour relations reveal the link between the social hierarchies of caste and relationships of bondage, which leaves Dalits, tribal groups, women and children the main targets of exploitation. Bondage is usually passed on from one generation to another and Dalits are often deprived of other options. Other reports by Anti-Slavery Internationalshow how caste-based occupations include degrading practices such as manual scavenging and certain systems of forced prostitution, especially in India and Nepal. Dalits risk discrimination, abuse and economic and social ostracism if they refuse to subjugate. For Dalits, bonded labour is an entrapment with little chance of escape.

The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery referred to these links in a 2009 report to the Human Rights Council stating that “ILO research shows a clear link in Asian countries between forced labour and long-standing patterns of discrimination. In India, the overwhelming majority of bonded labour victims in agriculture, brick making, mining and other sectors are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes” (A/HRC/12/21). Please download an overview of references to caste-based slavery by international human rights mechanisms.

The ILO defines forced labour as work or service undertaken involuntarily and under threat or penalty. Bonded labour is usually a result of economic necessity and other external constraints such as poverty, social exclusion and denial of human rights. Bonded labour is reinforced by various customs and coercion and can also be enforced onto other family members, for instance children and marital family members. Often, labourers are not aware of the value of their work and the status of their debt, which is one of the reasons that lead to life-long bondage. Under such circumstances the bondage can be characterized as forced labour.

21 million people are now victims of forced labour, ILO says

According to new ILO estimates, three out of every 1,000 people worldwide are trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave.

Press release | 01 June 2012
Geneva (ILO News) – Nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour across the world, trapped in jobs which they were coerced or deceived into and which they cannot leave, according to the ILO’s new global estimate .

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of forced labourers in the world – 11.7 million (56 per cent) of the global total, followed by Africa at 3.7 million (18 per cent) and Latin America with 1.8 million victims (9 per cent).

Victims of forced labour by region

The head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, Beate Andrees, says that the methodology has been revised and improved since the ILO’s initial estimate in 2005 and the numbers are more robust now. “We have come a long way over the last seven years since we first put an estimate on how many people were forced into labour or services across the world. We have also made good progress ensuring most countries now have legislation which criminalises forced labour, human trafficking and slavery-like practices”.

Forced labour in numbers

Three out of every 1,000 people worldwide are in forced labour today.

18.7 million (90 %) are exploited in the private economy, by individuals or enterprises. Of these, 4.5 million (22 per cent) are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 14.2 million (68 per cent) are victims of forced labour exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing.

2.2 million (10%) are in state-imposed forms of forced labour, for example in prisons, or in work imposed by the state military or by rebel armed forces. 5.5 million (26 %) are below 18 years.

The number of victims per thousand inhabitants is highest in the central and south-eastern Europe and Africa regions at 4.2 and 4.0 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively. It is the lowest in the Developed Economies and European Union at 1.5 per 1,000 inhabitants.

The relatively high prevalence in central and south-eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States can be explained by the fact that the population is much lower than for example in Asia and at the same time reports of trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation and of state-imposed forced labour in the region are numerous.

The Developed Economies and European Union have 1.5 million (7 per cent) forced labourers.

Central and south-eastern European countries, and the Commonwealth of Independent States account for 1.6 million (7 per cent).

There are an estimated 600,000 (3 per cent) victims in the Middle East.

9.1 million victims (44 %) who have moved either internally or internationally. The majority, 11.8 million (56 %), are subjected to forced labour in their place of origin or residence. Cross-border movement is heavily associated with forced sexual exploitation.Beate Andrees says that attention should now turn to better identification and prosecution of forced labour and related offences such as human trafficking.

“The successful prosecution of individuals who bring such misery to so many remains inadequate – this needs to change. We must also ensure that the numbers of victims does not rise during the current economic crisis where people are increasingly vulnerable to these heinous practices.”

Further information
Forced labour is the term used by the international community to denote situations in which the persons involved – women and men, girls and boys – are made to work against their free will, coerced by their recruiter or employer, for example through violence or threats of violence, or by more subtle means such as accumulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities. Such situations can also amount to human trafficking or slavery-like practices, which are similar though not identical terms in a legal sense. International law stipulates that exacting forced labour is a crime, and should be punishable through penalties which reflect the gravity of the offence.

ILO Conventions

Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) : This fundamental convention prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labour, which is defined as "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily." Exceptions are provided for work required by compulsory military service, normal civic obligations, as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law (provided that the work or service in question is carried out under the supervision and control of a public authority and that the person carrying it out is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals, companies or associations), in cases of emergency, and for minor communal services performed by the members of a community in the direct interest of the community. The convention also requires that the illegal exaction of forced or compulsory labour be punishable as a penal offence, and that ratifying states ensure that the penalties imposed by law are really adequate and strictly enforced.

Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) : This fundamental convention prohibits forced or compulsory labour as a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system; as a method of mobilising and using labour for purposes of economic development; as a means of labour discipline; as a punishment for having participated in strikes; and as a means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination.

Forced or compulsory labour of children under the age of 18 years is one of the worst forms of child labour as specified in the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) .
Systemic Debt Slavery

Systemic Debt Slavery
Debt slavery is an ancient institution that traces back to the beginning of Empire. In earlier times, it was more explicit and visible, because it was more personal. The hapless borrower became the bonded servant or slave of the lender—a condition that prevails today in many low-income countries. In the contemporary United States, it is more systemic and less personal.

Indentured service played a major role in the economic history of the United States. During the early colonial period, those unable to pay for passage to the New World agreed to commit to a period of indentured service to whoever was willing on their arrival to pay their debt to the ship captain who provided passage. Many a young woman voluntarily became the wife of whatever man paid the captain’s fee. Once married, a woman and all she owned, acquired, or produced became the property of her husband.

The proper goal is not to make debt slavery safer and more comfortable.

1884 political cartoon on the power of Rothschild banking dynasty
Following the Civil War, blacks were technically free, but whites owned the land and controlled the jobs on which blacks depended for survival. Continuing the imperial pattern, the rights of owners continued to trump the rights of workers as the moneylenders stepped in for the kill. Blatantly unfair sharecropper arrangements forced blacks into debts that became an instrument of bondage only one step removed from an outright return to slavery.

In the period following World War II, full employment and high wages for working people, combined with high taxes for the rich, created the celebrated American middle class. For a historically brief period, debt slavery became a relatively rare condition, at least for whites. Then as Wall Street fundamentalists gained control, they weakened unions and outsourced jobs to create a downward pressure on wages while increasing the use of sophisticated advertising to promote ever more extravagant lifestyles and the use of credit card debt to finance them.

As wages continued to fall relative to the cost of living, Wall Street promoted credit card and mortgage debt as the solution. Some people responded out of sheer desperation to put food on the table. Innocents simply bought into Wall Street’s enticements to consume now, pay later.
People were soon locked into ever-growing debt they could never repay, and Wall Street’s take from whatever pittance they were able to earn increased, as did the total share of income going to those who lived off Wall Street profits relative to those who did honest work. Thanks to Wall Street’s control of the political system, this kind of indentured servitude is mostly not just legal; it is also enforced by a legal system that favors the rights of property over the rights of people.

The proper goal is not to make debt slavery safer and more comfortable. It is to eliminate it by raising the wages of working people and the taxes of the moneylenders while rethinking our approach to meeting a variety of needs to which Wall Street offers itself as the solution.
Abstracted and adapted from Agenda for a New Economy, pp.191-194

Brahmin Boys Distorting India’s History

Sharma, the cultural minister of India, is entrusted with a task to rewrite the history of India to suit the interests of the Brahmins. The twelve members committee consists of the Brahmin boys is trying hard to align India’s history with the interests of the Brahmins and what is strange in this committee is that there is no dissenting voice from any of India’s political parties.
The main task that they are endowed with is to prove that all Indians come from the same stock and that stock makes them the part of the same community. Needless to say that this is to denounce the theory of Mulnivasi Bahujan oppressed by the invading aryan Brahmins. However, even culturally India’s oppressed classes are different from the oppressing classes in terms of the cultural practices. Their cultural practices do not match and they definitely constitute a separate race from the Brahmins and this is what the Brahmins fear and hence they try to create an “official” version in which they and the others are the same.
But in practice the Brahmin boys have only one interest to secure and that is the interest of their caste and hence all this rewriting of the Indian history is going on.

The “Brahmin” nationalist historians are coming up with the versions of history that suits their power and their hold on the Indian society, politics, and economy. If one thinks of the names of them like Shukla, Vaidya, Dikshit and their affiliations with the RSS, one can see what a sinister project this is.

The Brahmins have always wiped out the histories of the other communities and only provided their version of the history. The history is also a politics and whoever controls the history potentially controls the politics. With the control over politics, the history is not difficult to change at all and hence the plot of the Brahmins is not only the murder of the plurality and diversity that India’s constitution teaches, but also anti-national as it denies the rightful place of all the communities other than the handful of Brahmins in the history.

इतिहास से अदृश्य स्त्रियाँ
कुसुम त्रिपाठी

महादेवी वर्मा ने ठीक ही लिखा है, “युगों के अनवरल प्रवाह में बड़े-बड़े साम्राज्य बाह गये, संस्कृतियाँ लुप्त हो गई, जातियाँ मिट गई, संसार में अनेक असम्भव परिवर्तन सम्भव हो गये। परन्तु भारतीय स्त्रियों के ललाट में विधि की वज्रलेखनी से अंकित अदृष्ट लिपि नहीं घुल सकी।”

ज्यादातर परम्परागत इतिहासकारों ने पुरुष सत्ता के चौखट में कार्य करनेवाले इतिहासकारों ने स्त्रियों के इतिहास की खोज करने की जरूरत ही महसूस नहीं की। इस जमात के इतिहासकारों ने समाज के दबे-पिछड़े पददलित मनुष्य के गुटों के इतिहास को भी अदृश्य रखा। परम्परागत तथा पुरुषों द्वारा लिखे गये इतिहास में स्त्रियाँ और दलित दोनों अदृश्य रहते हैं। जैसाकि प्रसिद्ध स्त्रीवादी चिंतक पुष्पा भावे ने कहा है – “यह विचार, किस विचार प्रक्रिया द्वारा आया, यह समझना आवश्यक है। हमेशा से इतिहास लेखन में कुछ अपवाद को छोड़कर, इतिहास लेखन सत्ता और सत्तातर के बीच बँट गया। जो केंद्र में सत्तारूढ़ पक्ष है, उनका इतिहास लिखा गया। इस कारण सत्ता से बाहर रहने वाले सभी सामाजिक घटकों को इतिहास में अदृश्य कर दिया गया।”

जब भारत में आज से तीन हजार वर्ष पहले मनुस्मृति की रचना की गई, तब दलितों और स्त्रियों को शिक्षा के अधिकार से वंचित कर दिया गया। दोनों ही सामाजिक स्तर पर दास/दासी कहलाये। दोनों को वैदिक पाठ पढ़ने-सुनने पर पाबंदी लगाई गई और भूल से यदि कोई सुन भी ले, तो उनके कान में पीसा काँच डालने का दण्ड विधान रखा गया। दोनों जब पढ़-लिख ही नहीं सकते थे, समाज में दोयम स्तर का जीवन-जी रहे थे। उन्हें ‘मानव’ के केटेगरी में मानाही नहीं जाता था।

शिक्षा के अभाव में अनपढ़ अंधविश्वासी दोनों ही बने रहे। ऐसे में दोनों अपना इतिहास लिखते ही कैसे ? ब्राह्मणवादी मनुस्मृति पर आधारित व्यवस्था में स्त्रियों की छवि देवीसीता, सावित्री जैसी त्यागी, बलिदान, आदर्शवादी, एकनिष्ठ, पतिव्रता पत्नी के रूप में रही। मनुस्मृति में लिखा गया – “स्त्री को बचपन, जवानी, बुढ़ापे में क्रमश: पिता, पति और पुत्र से वियुक्त (अलग रहकर स्वतंत्र) रहने की इच्छा नहीं करनी चाहिए क्योंकि उनके अभाव में स्त्री दोनों (पिता और पति) के वंशों को निन्दित कर देती है।”१ आगे लिखा है – “स्त्रियों के लिए पृथक (पति के बिना) यज्ञ नहीं है और पति की आज्ञा के बिना व्रत तथा उपवास नहीं है। पति के सेवा से ही स्त्री स्वर्ग लोक में पूजित होती है।”२ ‘मनुस्मृति’ विश्व की प्राचीनतम न्यायायिक और सामाजिक व्यवस्था है और यह इतनी ठोस है कि भारतीय संविधान और हमारी हिन्दू सामाजिक व्यवस्था आज भी इसी पर आधारित है। यही कारण है कि ब्राह्मणवादी इतिहासकारों ने स्त्रियों तथा दलितों के इतिहास को इतिहास के पन्नों से अदृश्य कर दिया।

प्रारम्भिक भारत में स्त्रियों की स्थिति से सम्बन्धित सामग्री की गम्भीर सीमाएँ हैं। १९ वीं सदी में भारत और इंग्लैण्ड के बीच सांस्कृतिक टकराव के संदर्भ में राष्ट्रवादी इतिहास लेखन की शुरुआत हुई। इसी टकराव ने प्रारम्भिक भारत में महिलाओं की स्थिति पर लेखन की दिशा निर्धारित की थी। जेम्स मिल की कृति ‘ब्रिटिश भारत का इतिहास’ में हिंदू सभ्यता की बर्बरता को हिंदू स्त्री की दयनीय अवस्था में स्थापित किया। इसी तरह विसेंट स्मिथ सिंड्रोम की आमराय यह थी कि जो कुछ भी भारतीय है, वह खराब और निकृष्ट है। प्रसिद्ध स्त्री इतिहासकार उमा चक्रवर्ती ने कहा – “प्राचीन भारत में महिलाओं की स्थिति पर लिखने वाले इतिहासकारों ने इसी तर्क को उल्टा करके भारतीय संस्कृति की श्रेष्ठता सिद्ध करने के लिए तर्क देना शुरु किया कि तीन हजार वर्ष पहले भारतीय स्त्रियों को जैसा सम्मानजनक दर्जा मिला था वैसा दुनिया भर में कही भी नहीं दिया जाता था।

राजा राम मोहन रॉय, ईश्वरचंद्र विद्यासागर, स्वामी दयानंद सरस्वती और आर.जी.भंडारकर आदि सभी सुधारक पुनर्जागरणवादी, रूढ़िवादियों पर प्रहार करने के लिए संस्कृत कृतियों – शास्त्रों से जमकर उद्धरण दिया करते थे। इस तरह ब्रह्म समाज, प्रार्थना समाज, आर्य समाज ने १९ वीं सदी में ब्राह्मणवादी मॉडल के आधार पर हिंदू सभ्यता में महिलाओं की स्थिति को महिमा-मण्डित करके ब्रिटिश के सामने प्रस्तुत किया।”१ इन लोगों ने कहा – अतीत में महिलाओं की स्थिति काफी बेहतर थी। वैदिक काल में स्त्रियों की स्थिति बेहद ऊँची थी। उनका कहना था वैदिक काल के बाद विदेशी आक्रमणकारियों की घुसपैठ के कारण, महिलाओं का अपहरण होने लगा। उन्होंने विशेष रूप से इस्लाम आक्रमणकारियों का नाम लिया, जिन्होंने स्त्रियों का अपहरण करके उनको भ्रष्ट किया इसलिए परदा, सती और बालिका शिशु हत्या जैसी कुरीतियाँ पैदा हुई।

नारीवादी इतिहासकार उमा चक्रवर्ती के अनुसार – “सातवीं सदी में हर्षवर्धन के प्रारम्भिक काल से सम्बन्धित विवरणों में सती प्रथा उच्च जाति की महिलाओं के साथ साफ-साफ जुड़ी देखी जा सकती है। महिलाओं के अधीनीकरण सुनिश्चित करने वाली संस्थाओं का ढाँचा अपने मूल रूप में मुस्लिम धर्म के उदय के भी काफी पहले अस्तित्व में आ चुका था। इस्लाम के अनुयायियों का आना तो इन तमाम उत्पीड़क कुरीतियों को वैधता देने के लिए एक आसान-सा बहाना भर है। ये तर्क उन लोगों को अधिक भाता है जो प्रारम्भिक भारत में जेंडर संबंधों को नियंत्रित करने वाली संस्थागत ढाँचे को नहीं देखना चाहते है क्योंकि मोटे तौर पर, समकालीन समाज के जेंडर संबंध भी इसी ढाँचे पर आधारित है।”

भारतीय नारीत्व के खो चुके रूतबे को वापस पाने की कोशिश में राष्ट्रवादी इतिहासकारों ने प्राचीन कृतियों के कुछ विशेष पहलुओं पर चुनिंदा फोकस रखा है। इस प्रवृति ने अक्सर ही स्त्री-पुरुष के बीच घटित घटनाओं की साफ-सुथरी तस्वीर पेश की, जिसका सबसे बड़ा उदाहरण गार्गी-याज्ञवल्क्य शास्त्रार्थ की राष्ट्रीयवादी व्याख्या है। शकुंतला राव शास्त्री ने ‘विमेन इन द स्केयरड लॉ’ (१९५९, पृ. १७२-१७३) पुस्तक में बहस के ब्योरे का सबसे महत्त्वपूर्ण बिंदू बहस को निष्कर्ष तक पहुँचाने का तरीका है। वे अंत में कहती हैं – “गार्गी के सवालों का उद्देश्य ब्राह्मण की प्रकृति के विषय में याज्ञवल्क्य की परीक्षा लेना नहीं बल्कि उनसे सीखना था।” इस तरह शकुंतला राव के विवरण में गार्गी की निर्भीकता, स्वतंत्र चेतना और एक सुविख्यात दार्शनिक से दो-दो हाथ कर सकने की क्षमता पर पानी फेर दिया।

इसी तरह एस.एस. अल्टेकर ने अपनी पुस्तक ‘द पोजीशन ऑफ विमेन इन हिंदू सिविलाइजेशन’ में हिंदू सभ्यता में महिलाओं की स्थिति का अध्ययन महिलाओं के विषय में किये गये अध्ययन में सर्वाधिक चर्चित सम्यक राष्ट्रवादी कृति है। यह अध्ययन मोटे तौर पर ब्राह्मणवादी स्त्रोतों पर आधारित है। यह कृति इतिहास में महिलाओं के अध्ययन विषय में हमारे पास उपलब्ध सबसे सुंदर कृति है। इस पुस्तक में महिला शिक्षा, विवाह और तलाक, विधवा की स्थिति, सार्वजनिक जीवन में महिलाएँ, स्त्रियों की सम्पत्ति अधिकार और आम समाज में स्त्रियों की स्थिति पर कानूनी निर्मताओं के तमाम दृष्टिकोणों का खुलासा किया गया है। लेकिन उनकी यह महिला प्रश्न राष्ट्रवादी समझ से ओत-प्रोत भी है। महिलाओं के बारे में उनकी सबसे ज्यादा चिंता परिवार के संदर्भ में है। जिससे ऐसा लगता है कि हिंदुओं का शारीरिक उत्थान बेहद जरूरी है। अल्टेकर महिलाओं को मूलत: एक शक्तिशाली नस्ल के उद्गम के रूप में ही देखते है। महिला शिक्षा के समर्थक तो है पर उन पर इसके लिए दबाव नहीं बनाना चाहते। उत्तराधिकार बेटे को ही दिया जाता था, इस पर बड़ी सफाई से ये निकल जाते है। अल्टेकर जैसे इतिहासकारों ने महिलाओं को एक विशेष सामाजिक संरचना के भीतर और पितृसत्तात्मक अधीनता के तहत ही देखा।

पुरुष इतिहासकारों में जो थोड़े उदारवादी थे, उन्होंने महिला इतिहास को, आंदोलनों में उनकी भूमिका को साधारण आंदोलनों के साथ शामिल किया। सिर्फ औरत होना ही औरत की पहचान नहीं है। दरअसल वे विभिन्न वर्गों, समुदायों से आती है। इसलिए जब इतिहास के पन्नों पर हम नारी के दमन और शोषण की बात करते है, तो सिर्फ एक औरत के दमन – शोषण की बात नहीं करती, बल्कि एक किसान, मजदूर, एक दस्तकार, यहाँ तक की एक नागरिक के शोषणवदमन की बात करते है। अत: इतिहासकारों ने औरतों के इतिहास को भी साधारण इतिहास के साथ जोड़ दिया जबकि नारी आंदोलनों में हमेशा से ही पितृतंत्र के खिलाफ संघर्ष रहता ही आया है। जन-इतिहास जो उपेक्षित पड़ा है खासकर जन-इतिहास के एक हिस्से के तौर पर नारी-इतिहास भी सामंती – बूर्जुआ इतिहास की वजह से उपेक्षित रहा है। नारीवादी संदर्भों तक सीमित रहने के बावजूद यह श्रेय नारीवादियों को दिया जाना चाहिए कि उन्होंने उस उपेक्षित इतिहास का पुनरूद्धार किया। शायद तेलंगाना आंदोलन में नारियों के संघर्ष पर स्त्री शक्ति संगठना की ‘वी.आर. मेंकिग हिस्टरी लाईफ स्टोरी ऑफ वीमेंस इन द तेलंगाना’एक मात्र पुस्तक है। वामपंथी आंदोलनों ने पूरी तरह उपेक्षा की।

वामपंथियों को और सुधारवादियों को यह भूल माननी होगी कि उन्होंने अपने आंदोलनों में नारी की भूमिका को ठीक तरह से रेखांकित नहीं किया जो कि आंदोलनों में नारी की भूमिका को पहचान न पाने की उनकी प्रवृत्तियों को न समझ पाने का ही दुष्परिणाम है। वामपंथी महिलाओं में १९४७ के पहले के आंदोलनों में अपनी भूमिका के बारे में ही लिखा था फिर वाम आंदोलनों में नारी की भूमिका के बारे में। उन्होंने आधुनिक भारत के इतिहास में नारी की व्यापक भूमिका के बारे में कुछ लिखने की कोशिश नहीं की। उनकी तरफ से इसे उचित परिप्रेक्ष्य में रखने की कोई कोशिश ही नहीं हुई कि अतीत की व्याख्या करते हुए वर्तमान की ओर कदम बढ़ाने में या इसे अपने समय की सामायिक क्रांति का एक हिस्सा होने के तौर पर देखा-समझा जाये।

आंदोलनों में महिलाओं की भागीदारी को नारी शिक्षा या समाज सुधार से जोड़ने के लिए इतिहासकारों ने सिर्फ उच्च वर्ग की संभ्रान्त महिलाओं की ही भूमिका को प्रमुखता से दर्शाया और ऐसा करते हुए उन्होंने आदिवासी, किसान और मजदूर वर्ग की उन महिलाओं के योगदान को नजरअंदाज कर दिया, जिन्होंने बहुत बड़ी संख्या में, विभिन्न आंदोलनों में, संघर्षों में प्रत्यक्ष हिस्सेदारी की – इनमें घरेलू औरते हैं, माताएँ और पत्नियाँ, कई वेश्याएँ भी शामिल थी और वे महिलाएँ भी जिनके पति संघर्षों में मारे गये या जेल में बंद हो गये, उन्होंने परिवार की जिम्मेदारी अपने कंधों पर उठाकर आंदोलनों में अप्रत्यक्ष योगदान किया।

हमारी साधारण पाठ्य पुस्तकें और शैक्षणिक इतिहास की पुस्तकों में अधिकतर लिंगभेद की मानसिकता का परिचय देती है। इसमें कोई आश्चर्य नहीं कि हममें से ज्यादातरों ने कई महिला नेताओं, सुधारकों के नाम तभी जानें, जब हमने नारी आंदोलनों के प्रति खास रुचि पैदा हुई और हमने कुछ अतिरिक्त किताबें पढ़ी या रिसर्च किया। क्योंकि उनके बारे में कुछ पढ़ाया ही नहीं जाता। इन पुस्तकों में वर्गों को लेकर भी पक्षपात होता है। इसलिए जब भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में महिलाओं के योगदान को दर्ज करने की बात आती है, तब सिर्फ उच्च वर्ग और ऊँची जाति और वह भी कांग्रेसी महिला नेताओं की ही चर्चा होती है, साधारण दलित, किसान, आदिवासी मजदूर महिलाओं के योगदान को पूरी तरह नजरअंदाज कर दिया जाता है। पुलिस दमन के खिलाफ उनके साहस, सामाजिक कलंक के आरोपों का सामना करने की उनकी हिम्मत और आंदोलनों में भागीदारी करने की खातिर उनकी दोहरी कठिनाइयों का जिक्र तक नहीं होता। अब यह हमारी जिम्मेदारी है कि इतिहास के अंधेरे कोनों की हम खुदाई करें और महिलाओं की बहादुरी की सही तस्वीरों को सामने लायें।

ब्रिटिश वर्चस्व के खिलाफ 1763-१८५७ तक सैकड़ों छोटे-मोटे विद्रोहों के अलावा ४० बड़े विद्रोह हुए। आदिवासियों के साथ १२ बड़े सशस्त्र विद्रोह देखे गयें। हाँलाकि इन विद्रोहों में औरतों की भूमिका के बारे में ज्यादा कुछ दस्तावेजी प्रमाण नहीं मिलते, लेकिन हम जानते है कि इन सभी विद्रोहों में आदिवासी-जनजाति महिलाओं की सक्रिय हिस्सेदारी थी। आदिवासी समाज में चूंकि औरतों को शुरु से ही बराबरी का दर्जा मिला हुआ था। अत: युद्धों में भी बराबर हिस्सा लेना उन समुदायों की औरतों के लिए सहज स्वाभाविक हैं। बंगाल में पहले-पहल विद्रोह का परचम लहराने वाले चुआर विद्रोही थे। बिहार और बंगाल के कुछ जिलों में यह विद्रोह हुआ। छोटा नागपुर का कोल विद्रोह, संथालविद्रोह, खारवारविद्रोह, उलगुलान – विरसा मुंडा विद्रोह, मनयानविद्रोह, नीलविद्रोह। इन सभी विद्रोहों में पुरुष ब्रिटिश पुलिस से छुपकर जब जंगलों में चले जाते थे, औरते रात को फौजी घेरे से चुपके से निकलकर जंगलों में छिपे पुरुषों को भोजन, खबरें और हथियार पहुँचाती थी। कुछ औरतें गिरफ्तार होती, फौज उन पर जुल्म करती पर वे अडिग खड़ी रहती। कहीं-कहीं तो महिलाएँ सीधे विद्रोह में शामिल थी जैसे नीलविद्रोह में थालियों, ईंटों और अत्यंत मजबुत छिलके वाले बेल फलों से हथियार बनाये। हमलावरों को डराने के लिए औरतें मिट्टी की पक्की थालियों को बजाकर ऐसी आवाजें पैदा करती, जिससे नसें फट जाती थी। ‘नील दर्पण’ नाटक में नील विद्रोह में शामिल औरतों को अंग्रेजों ने कैसे सताया, अपहरण किया, अत्याचार किये, उसकी भयंकर तस्वीर प्रस्तुत की गयी।

अंग्रेजों के खिलाफ सशस्त्र संघर्ष का इतिहास दो सौ वर्षों से भी ज्यादा पुराना है। सत्ता वर्ग द्वारा प्रकाशित इतिहास पुस्तकों में सिर्फ रानियों को गौरवपूर्ण तरीके से पेश किया गया है, जबकि सच्चाई यह है कि ऐसी लड़ाइयों में साधारण वर्ग की गरीब महिलाओं ने भी बहादुरी से लड़ते हुए अपनी जान दी। ऐसी रानियों में जो कुछ प्रसिद्द हुई, उसकी जानकारी भी हमें अंग्रेजों ने कुछ अनिच्छा से लिखा, वही पता है। १८२८ में कित्तुर की रानी चैन्नम्मा, १८५७ की लड़ाई में झाँसी की रानी लक्ष्मीबाई की फ़ौज में हर धर्म, जाति, वर्ग व समुदाय की औरतें शामिल थी। दलित महिलाएँ पुस्तक की भूमिका में डॉ. धर्मकीर्ति ने लिखा है – “दलित समाज की दस-वीरांगनाओं के बारे में बताया गया है जिनका अध्ययन करके दलित महिलाएँ अपने ऊपर होने वाले शोषण, उत्पीड़न, अत्याचार, अन्याय के विरुद्ध संघर्षरत होकर विकास कर सकेंगी। झलकारी बाई, लोजी, महाबीरी देवी, पन्ना, जगरानी पासी, नन्हीबाई, रानी गुडियालो, अवंती बाई, वीणादास और ऊदादेवी के जीवन-चरित्र दलित महिलाओं के लिए प्रेरणादायक सिद्ध होंगे।”

लक्ष्मीबाई के साथ उनकी हमशकल झलकारी बाई को इतिहास से अदृश्य किया गया। मंगल पांडे को फांसी लगी, तब लाजो नामक दलित स्त्री अपने पति मातादीन के साथ कंधे से कंधा भिड़ाकर लड़ी और शहीद हुई। वे १८५७ स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की प्रथम चिंगारी थी। मुजफ्फरनगर उत्तर प्रदेश की महाबीरी देवी अंग्रेजों के साथ सशस्त्र संघर्ष की उनकी टोली में कुछ २३ औरतें थी, सभी मारी गई। पर भंगी जाति की होने के कारण इनका इतिहास नहीं लिखा गया। बेगम हजरत महल के साथ लड़ने वाली पासी महिला जगरानी पासी थी, अंग्रेजों को मरने के बाद पता चला कि वे पुरुष नहीं महिला थी। नागालैंड के उत्तरी कछार की रानी गुडियालो १३ वर्ष की उम्र में ही स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में शामिल हुई। पूर्वी सीमांत क्षेत्र में वे “हीरो” की तरह याद की जाती है। पर यह दुखद है स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की जानकारी देनेवाली हमारी पुस्तकें और पाठ्यपुस्तकों में उनका उल्लेख नहीं मिलता। ये सभी हमारी राजनीतिक विरासत का महत्त्वपूर्ण हिस्सा है। इन सभी के अपूर्व शौर्य, साहस और बलिदान को भारतीय स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन के इतिहास में स्वर्णाक्षरों में लिखा जाना चाहिए।

दूसरे तमाम आन्दोलनों की तरह समाज-सुधार आन्दोलनों में भी महिला समाज सुधारिकाओं के बारे में बहुत ही कम जानकारी मिलती है लेकिन चूँकि इन आन्दोलनों का थोड़ा लेखा-जोखा रखा गया था, इसलिए पिछले इतिहासों की तरह इन आन्दोलनों में महिलाओं की भूमिका के बारे में सूचनाएँ हासिल करना असंभव नहीं। यह वह समय था जब महिलाओं ने लिखना शुरू कर दिया था।अतः उनके युग, कार्यो और नजरिये के बारे में महत्त्वपूर्ण जानकारियाँ खुद उनके लिखित अनुभवों में मिल जाती है। फिर भी यदि इन्होंने नारीवादी दृष्टिकोण से और अधिक इतिहास का मूल्यांकन किया होता, तो ये पता चलता कि ताराबाई शिंदे ने ‘स्त्री-पुरुष तुलना’ ये पुस्तक क्यों लिखी। बाल गंगाधर तिलक जो राष्ट्रीय स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन के युग पुरुष थे, उनकी औरतें के बारे में क्या राय थी?

ताराबाई दो घटनाओं से विक्षिप्त हो गई थी और “स्त्री-पुरुष तुलना” पुस्तक की रचना की। यह घटना है – ‘द टाइम्स ऑफ़ इंडिया” में २६ मई १८८१, सत्यमित्र में २७ मई १८८१ तथा इंदुप्रकाश में १२ जून १८८१ में एक खबर छपी। विजयलक्ष्मी नाम की एक २५ वर्षीय ब्राह्मण विधवा थी, जिसे १८८० में पता चला वह गर्भवती है। उसके गर्भवती होने की घटना को कोर्ट में घसीटा गया। कोर्ट से आदेश आया, बच्चे की भ्रूणहत्या न की जाये, पर विजयलक्ष्मी ने कोर्ट के आदेश का पालन न करते हुए बच्चे की भ्रूणहत्या कर दी, इस पर मजिस्ट्रेट ने विजयलक्ष्मी को फांसी की सजा सुनाई। इस केस से ताराबाई के मन पर बहुत बड़ा आघात लगा। वे विचलित होने लगी। उनकी कलम से तभी आग उगलने लगी।

दूसरी घटना रखमाबाई की है। बचपन में उनका विवाह कर दिया गया। विवाह के पश्चात वे पढ़-लिख ली और अपने अनपढ़ पति के साथ ससुराल जाने से मना कर दी। उनके पति दादाजी भीकाजी ने अदालत में वैवाहिक अधिकारों की प्रतिष्ठान का दावा दायर किया। जिला अदालत में रखमाबाई जीत गई, पर बम्बई हाईकोर्ट में पति जीत गया। फिर भी रखमाबाई ने कोर्ट के सामने चुनौती देते हुए कहा – “चाहे तो मुझे फाँसी पर लटका दो पर मैं इस आदमी के साथ ससुराल नहीं जाऊँगी।”इस पर तिलक ने ‘केसरी में लिखा, स्त्री शिक्षा आंदोलन के बहाने रखमाबाई की आड़ में हमारे पुरातन धर्म पर आक्रमण का प्रयास किया जा रहा है। ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि अंग्रेजों की नीयत हमारे अनन्त धर्म को बाँझ बनाने की है।” तिलक जैसे राष्ट्रीय युग पुरुष नेता के ऐसे व्यक्तव्य से ताराबाई बौखला गई। इन दोनों घटनाओं से आहत होकर उन्होंने स्त्री-पुरुष तुलना की रचना की।

२० वीं सदी के पूर्वार्द्ध में महात्मा गाँधी के नेतृत्व में भारी संख्या में औरतें सड़कों पर उतरी। गांधीजी ने पर्दे में रहने वाली औरतों, अनपढ़ गंवार कही जाने वाली औरतों, शहरी, गांवों, कस्बों की औरतों, पढ़ी-लिखी औरतों सभी को, चाहे वे बुद्धिजीवी हो या हथकरधा पर काम करने वाली सभी को, स्वतंत्रता की लड़ाई का हिस्सा बनाया। इतिहास में इसके पहले औरतों की इतनी भरी संख्या नहीं दिखी थी। जैसा कि लता सिंह लिखती है – “गांधीजी आंदोलनों में महिलाओं की भागादारी के पूर्ण पक्षधर थे। वे महिलाओं की सभाओं में अपने भाषणों में, आन्दोलनों में उनकी भागीदारी अनिवार्य बताते थे और साथ ही उन्हें यह कहकर प्रेरित करते थे कि देवियों और वीरांगनाओं की तरह उनकी अपनी अलग भूमिका है। ……..उन्होंने महिला नेताओं को सीता, द्रोपदी और दमयंती की तरह सात्विक, दृढ़ और नियंत्रित होना चाहिए, तभी वे स्त्रियों के भीतर पुरुषों के साथ बराबरी का भाव जगा सकेंगी और अपने अधिकारों के प्रति सचेत तथा स्वतंत्रता के प्रति जाग्रत रह सकेंगी।”

इतिहास में गांधीजी का सबसे महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान यह था कि उन्होंने सार्वजनिक गतिविधियों में महिलाओं की सहभागिता के औचित्य को सिद्ध करते हुए उसे विस्तार दिया। ताकि वे वर्ग एवं सांस्कृतिक बंधनों को तोड़कर आगे बढ़ें। नारीवादी इतिहासकार राधाकुमार कहती है – “इसी समय महिलाओं के स्वभाव और भूमिका के बारे में गाँधी की परिभाषा हिन्दू पितृसत्ता से गहराई से जुड़ी नजर आई और अक्सर उनका झुकाव महिला आंदोलन को आगे बढ़ाने के बजाए उन्हें सीमित करने की ओर रहा।”२ कांग्रेसी महिलाओं ने भी अपने पुरुष साथियों तथा गांधीजी के पितृसत्तात्मक दृष्टिकोण के खिलाफ जो संघर्ष किया, कुछ हद तक उसे सामने रखा।

१९४७ के पहले के आंदोलनों में औरतों की भूमिका पर लिखते हुए डॉ. बाबासाहेब आम्बेडकर के नेतृत्व में हुए जातिवाद विरोधी आंदोलन में दलित महिलाओं की भूमिका की इतिहासकारों ने अनदेखी की। आंबेडकर के आंदोलन में औरतों की भूमिका पर उर्मिला पवार और मीनाक्षी मून की लिखी पुस्तक “आम्ही ही इतिहास घडवल” है जो सबसे अच्छी पुस्तकों में से एक है।

इसी तरह अल्पसंख्यक मुस्लिम और ईसाई महिलाओं की भूमिका भी ठीक से दर्ज नहीं। जब तक मुस्लिम महिलाएँ अखिल भारतीय महिला कांग्रेस में रही तब तक उनका इतिहास दर्ज किया गया, पर जब वे मुस्लिम लीग बना उसके बाद की जानकारी इतिहास में दर्ज नहीं। भारतीय स्वतंत्रता संग्राम के शुरुआती दिनों में कुछ विदेशी ईसाई महिलाओं की भूमिका बहुत ही महत्त्वपूर्ण रही। भारतीय महिलाओं की अलग संगठनों की स्थापना में भी उनका बड़ा योगदान रहा।

राष्ट्रीय क्रन्तिकारी आंदोलन में महिलाओं के योगदान के बारे में कुछ साहित्य जरूर लिखा गया, लेकिन आसानी से उपलब्ध नहीं। ऐसे साहित्य पुनर्मुद्रित नहीं हुए।कुछ साहित्य बांग्ला में लिखे गये, लेकिन चूँकि उनका संघर्ष मुख्यत: ब्रिटिश सरकार के खिलाफ था और कुछ सीमा तक उसे दर्ज किया गया। चूँकि इन महिलाओं ने सशस्त्र संघर्ष किया, इसीलिए पाठ्यपुस्तकों में उन्हें महत्त्व नहीं दिया गया। कुछ पुस्तकों में तो उनकी चर्चा भी नहीं है। भगतसिंह ने चूँकि अपने विचारों से तथा शहादत से देशवासियों के दिलों में अमिट छाप छोड़ी इसलिए उनकी चर्चा अनिच्छा और बेदिली से की जाती है किन्तु महिला क्रांतिकारियों को आसानी से नजरअंदाज किया जाता है। सुभाषचंद्र बोस के आजाद हिन्द फ़ौज में सिर्फ कैप्टन लक्ष्मी का नाम लिया जाता है। उन एक हजार औरतों का इतिहास उपलब्ध नहीं, जो झाँसी की रानी रेजिमेंट का हिस्सा थी।

कम्युनिस्टों के नेतृत्व में जो सशस्त्र संघर्ष हुए तेलंगाना, तेभागा आंदोलन, उसमें दलितों, किसानों, अल्पसंख्यकों और आदिवासियों की महिलाओं की भूमिका के बारे में काफी हद तक लिखा गया। मजदूर संघों की कुछ महिला नेताओं केबारे में काफी हदतक जानकारियाँ उपलब्ध है। लेकिन मजदूर संघों के संघर्षों में मजदूर महिलाओं की भूमिका के बारे में यहाँ-वहाँ छपे कुछ लेखों के अलावा विस्तृत सूचनाएँ उपलब्ध नहीं। वामपथियों और सुधारवादियों द्वारा लिखी गयी मजदूर-संघर्ष के इतिहास की पुस्तकों में भी मजदूर महिलाओं के संघर्षों का जिक्र नहीं मिलता। कुछ कारखानों में उनकी दुर्दशा के बारे में कुछेक अध्याय लिखे गये। हाँलाकि इन्हीं आंदोलनों से कुछ महिला नेताओं का उदय हुआ।

डॉ. आशा शुक्ला और कुसुम त्रिपाठी की पुस्तक की भूमिका में उन्होंने लिखा है – “किसान आंदोलनों में भी महिलाओं में साम्राज्यवाद के खिलाफ संघर्ष के दौरान पितृसत्तात्मक आंदोलन में हिस्सा लेने वाली महिलाओं की गवाहियाँ इस बात की बेहतर सबूत है कि पितृसत्तात्मक दृष्टिकोण की वजह से उन्हें कैसी-कैसी समस्याओं से गुजरना पड़ा।”

देश के कई भागों में सामंती व राजकीय दमन के विरुद्ध सशस्त्र-विद्रोह आयोजित हुए। बंगाल, बिहार, आंध्रप्रदेश, केरल, पंजाब के संघर्ष उल्लेखनीय है। वायनाड संघर्ष के बारे में अजिता ने पार्टी ढांचों के भीतर महिलाओं के सवाल पर लिखा तो श्रीकाकुलम संघर्ष पर विंध्या ने लिखा कि गिरिजन संघम् में महिलाओं के यौन-जीवन और मातृत्व के मसालों को सही ढंग से हाथ में ले पाने में असमर्थ रहा।

ईलीना सेन के अनुसार – “महिलाएँ सभी प्रकार की राजनीतिक कार्यवाइयों धरने, घेराव, पिकेटिन आदि में शामिल रही। …….चिपको आंदोलन, मुंबई का गिरणी कपड़ा मिलोंके कामगार आंदोलन, केरलके मछुआरों का आंदोलन, नशाखोरी विरोधी आंदोलन, बिहार का बोधगया आंदोलन, असम आंदोलनसे संबंधित अख़बारों की रिपोर्टों तथा फोटोग्राफों से पता चलता है कि प्रदर्शन और बैठकों में बड़ी संख्या में महिलाओं ने भाग लिया। पर वह सांगठनिक अनुभव कहीं भी पर्याप्त रूप से अभिलिखित नहीं है।”

स्वायत्त महिला आंदोलन (ऑटोनॉमस विमेंस मूवमेंट) अनेक छोटे-छोटे समूहों को संगठित करके स्थापित किया गया। मैं भी इस आंदोलन में सक्रिय थी। १९८० में देशके विभिन्न हिस्सों से राष्ट्रीय स्तरके बड़े आंदोलनअभियानों में सक्रिय होने के साथ-साथ स्थानीय स्तर पर महिलाओं से संबंधित समस्याओं और मुद्दों को उठाते रहते थे। ऐसी गतिविधियों की अनेक रिपोर्ट विभिन्न पत्र-पत्रिकाओं में भरे पड़े है। अधिवेशनों में पढ़े गये परचे बिखरे पड़े है। इन्होंने कुछ किताबें भी लिखी। वे सभी सुरक्षित हैं। दस्तावेजीकरण की वजह से कोई छोटा-सा आंदोलन भी शोधकर्मियों को उपलब्ध हो जाता है जबकि बड़ा आंदोलन रेकॉर्ड न रखे जाने की वजह से अनदेखा-अनजाना रह जाता है।

८० के दशक के बाद जब नारीवादी आंदोलनों की शुरुआत हुई, तब विश्व स्तर पर नारीवादी महिलाओं ने महसूस किया कि इतिहास के पन्नों से नारियों के इतिहास को उपेक्षित किया है। सामंतवादी, बुर्जुआ, ब्राह्मणवादी इतिहासकारों की वजह से नारी इतिहास को इतिहास के पन्नों में शामिल नहीं किया गया।

इसलिए हम नारियों को स्वयं अपने इतिहास को पुनर्लेखन करना होगा, तब इतिहास की “री-राइटिंग” शुरू की गयी। हमारे देश में नारी देसाई, मीना मेनन, उमा चक्रवर्ती, उर्वशी बुटालिया, कमला भसीन, राधा कुमार, मधु किश्वर, सुशीला गोखले जैसे कुछ नारीवादी इतिहासकारों ने इतिहास के पन्नों से नारीवादी दृष्टिकोण से इतिहास लेखन शुरू किया।

जैसाकि गौरी लंकेश ने लिखा है – “मनुवादियों ने बहुजनों तथा महिलाओं के समृद्ध सांस्कृतिक इतिहास को अपने हिसाब से तोडा-मरोड़ा। हमें इतिहास पर पड़े धूल-धक्कड को झाडना पड़ेगा, पौराणिक झूठों का पर्दाफाश करना पड़ेगा और अपने लोगों तथा अपने बच्चों को सच्चाई बतानी पड़ेगी। यही एकमात्र रास्ता है, जिस पर चलकर हम अपने सच्चे इतिहास के दावेदार बन सकते हैं।”

इतिहास : योद्धाओं के अछूत बनने का

तुफैल चतुर्वेदी

लेखक प्रख्यात शायर, आलोचक व लफ्ज़ पत्रिका के संपादक हैं।

आपको पंचतंत्रा की बूढ़े पिता और उसके चार बेटों की कहानी याद होगी। बूढ़े के बेटे आपस में झगड़ते रहते थे। एक दिन वह अपने बेटों को बुला कर 10-12 पतली-पतली लकड़ियों के बंधे हुए गट्ठर को तोड़ने के लिये देता है। सारे बेटे एक-एक करके असफल हो जाते हैं। फिर वह गट्ठर को खोल कर एक-एक लकड़ी तोड़ने के लिये उन्हें देता है। देखते ही देखते हर बेटा लकड़ी तोड़ डालता है। बूढ़ा पिता बेटों को समझता है कि एक लकड़ी को तोडना आसान होता है किन्तु बंधी लकड़ियों को तोडना असंभव होता है। तुम सबको साथ रहना चाहिये।

यही तकनीक हिन्दुओं की विभिन्न जातियों के मतांतरण के लिये सदियों से प्रयोग में लायी जा रही है। उत्तर प्रदेश में जाट, त्यागी समाज के मतांतरित लोग मूले जाट, मूले त्यागी कहलाते हैं। इसी तरह से राजस्थान, गुजरात में राजपूत भी मुसलमान बने हैं। अन्य समुदाय भी मतांतरित हुए हैं मगर ये आज भी अपनी जाट, त्यागी, राजपूत पहचान के लिये जाने जाते हैं और अभी तक उसी टेक पर क़ायम हैं। मतांतरण चाहने वाले सभी मजहबों की कुदृष्टि सदियों से इसी तरह हमारे दलित, अनुसूचित जातियों पर लगी हुई है। जय भीम और जय मीम तो आज का नारा है। आइये इस षड्यंत्रा की तह में जाते हैं।

जाट और गूजर ऐतिहासिक योद्धा जातियां हैं और इनके अनेक राजवंश रहे हैं। गुजरात प्रान्त का तो नाम ही गुर्जर प्रतिहार शासकों के कारण पड़ा है। सेना में आज भी जाट रेजीमेंट हैं अर्थात लड़ना इनके स्वभाव में है, मगर समाज के सबसे ख़राब समझे जाने वाले कामों को करने वाले पिछड़े, दमित, दलित लोगों में इतना साहस कहाँ से आ गया कि वो इस्लामी उद्दंडता का बराबरी से सामना कर सकें? सदियों से पिछड़ी, दबी-कुचली समझी जाने वाली इन जातियों के तो रक्त-मज्जा में ही डर समा जाना चाहिये था। ये कैसे बराबरी का प्रतिकार करने की हिम्मत कर पाती हैं? मगर ये भी तथ्य है कि आगरा, वाराणसी, मुरादाबाद, मेरठ, बिजनौर यानी जनसांख्यिक रूप से असंतुलित क्षेत्रों के होने वाले अधिकांश दंगों में समाज की रक्षा इन्हीं जातियों के भरपूर संघर्ष के कारण हो पाती है।

आइये, इतिहास के इस भूले-बिसरे दुखद समुद्र का अवगाहन करते हैं। यहाँ एक बात ध्यान करने की है कि इस विषय का लिखित इतिहास बहुत कम है अतः हमें अंग्रेज़ी के मुहावरे के अनुसार ‘बिटवीन द लाइंस’ झांकना, जांचना, पढ़ना होगा। सबसे पहले वाल्मीकि या भंगी जाति को लेते हैं।

वाल्मीकि बहुत नया नाम है और पहले ये वर्ग भंगी नाम से जाना जाता था। ये कई उपवर्गों में बंटे हुए हैं। इनकी भंगी, चूहड़, मेहतर, हलालखोर प्रमुख शाखाएं हैं। इनकी किस्मों, गोत्रों के नाम बुंदेलिया, यदुवंशी, नादों, भदौरिया, चौहान, किनवार ठाकुर, बैस, गेहलौता, गहलोत, चंदेल, वैस, वैसवार, बीर गूजर या बग्गूजर, कछवाहा, गाजीपुरी राउत, टिपणी, खरिया, किनवार-ठाकुर, दिनापुरी राउत, टांक, मेहतर, भंगी, हलाल इत्यादि हैं। क्या इन क़िस्मों के नाम पढ़ कर इस वीरता का, जूझारू होने का कारण समझ में नहीं आता? क्या ये सारे गोत्रा भरतवंशी क्षत्रियों के जैसे नहीं लगते हैं? किसी को शक हो तो किसी भी ठाकुर के साथ बात करके इसकी पुष्टि की जा सकती है।

इन अनुसूचित जातियों में ये नाम इनमें कहाँ से आ गये? ऐसा क्यों है कि अनुसूचित जातियों की ये क़िस्में उत्तर प्रदेश, बिहार, बंगाल, मध्य प्रदेश में ही हैं? जो इलाक़े सीधे मुस्लिम आक्रमणकारियों से सदियों जूझते रहे हैं उन्हीं में ये गोत्रा क्यों मिलते हैं? हलालखोर शब्द अरबी है। भारत की किसी जाति का नाम अरबी मूल का कैसे है? क्या अरबी आक्रमणकारियों या अरबी सोच रखने वाले लोगों ने ये जाति बनायी थी? इन्हें भंगी क्यों कहा गया होगा? ये शुद्ध संस्कृत शब्द है और इसका अर्थ ‘वह जिसने भंग किया या तोड़ा’ होता है। इन्होने क्या भंग किया था जिसके कारण इन्होने ये नाम स्वीकार किया।

चमार शब्द का उल्लेख प्राचीन भारत के साहित्य। में कहीं नहीं मिलता है। मृगया करने वाले भरतवंशियों में भी प्राचीन काल में आखेट के बाद चमड़ा कमाने के लिये व्याध होते थे। यह पेशा इतना बुरा माना जाता था कि प्राचीन काल में व्याधों का नगरों में प्रवेश निषिद्ध था। इस्लोमी शासन से पहले के भारत में चमड़े के उत्पादन का एक भी उदाहरण नहीं मिलता है। हिंदू चमड़े के व्यवसाय को बहुत बुरा मानते थे, अतः ऐसी किसी जाति का उल्लेख प्राचीन वांग्मय में न होना स्वाभाविक ही है। तो फिर चमार जाति कहाँ से आई? ये संज्ञा बनी ही कैसे?

चर्ममारी राजवंश का उल्लेख महाभारत जैसे प्राचीन भारतीय वांग्मय में मिलता है। प्रसिद्ध विद्वान डॉ विजय सोनकर शास्त्राी ने इस विषय पर गहन शोध कर चर्ममारी राजवंश के इतिहास पर पुस्तक लिखा है। इसी तरह चमार शब्द से मिलते-जुलते शब्द चंवर वंश के क्षत्रियों के बारे में कर्नल टाड ने अपनी पुस्तक ‘राजस्थान का इतिहास’ में लिखा है। चंवर राजवंश का शासन पश्चिमी भारत पर रहा है। इसकी शाखाएं मेवाड़ के प्रतापी सम्राट महाराज बाप्पा रावल के वंश से मिलती हैं। आज जाटव या चमार माने-समझे जाने वाले संत रविदास जी महाराज इसी वंश में हुए हैं जो राणा सांगा और उनकी पत्नी के गुरू थे। संत रविदास जी महाराज लम्बे समय तक चित्तौड़ के दुर्ग में महाराणा सांगा के गुरू के रूप में रहे हैं। संत रविदास जी महाराज के महान, प्रभावी व्यक्तित्व के कारण बड़ी संख्या में लोग इनके शिष्य बने। आज भी इस क्षेत्रा में बड़ी संख्या में रविदासी पाये जाते हैं।

उस काल का मुस्लिम सुल्तान सिकंदर लोधी अन्य किसी भी सामान्य मुस्लिम शासक की तरह भारत के हिन्दुओं को मुसलमान बनाने की उधेड़बुन में लगा रहता था। इन सभी आक्रमणकारियों की दृष्टि ग़ाज़ी उपाधि पर रहती थी। सुल्तान सिकंदर लोधी ने संत रविदास जी महाराज मुसलमान बनाने की जुगत में अपने मुल्लाओं को लगाया। जनश्रुति है कि वो मुल्ला संत रविदास जी महाराज से प्रभावित हो कर स्वयं उनके शिष्य बन गए और एक तो रामदास नाम रख कर हिन्दू हो गया। सिकंदर लोदी अपने षड्यंत्रा की यह दुर्गति होने पर चिढ़ गया और उसने संत रविदास जी को बंदी बना लिया और उनके अनुयायियों को हिन्दुओं में सदैव से निषिद्ध खाल उतारने, चमड़ा कमाने, जूते बनाने के काम में लगाया। इसी दुष्ट ने चंवर वंश के क्षत्रियों को अपमानित करने के लिये नाम बिगाड़ कर चमार सम्बोधित किया। चमार शब्द का पहला प्रयोग यहीं से शुरू हुआ। संत रविदास जी महाराज की ये पंक्तियाँ सिकंदर लोधी के अत्याचार का वर्णन करती हैं।

वेद धर्म सबसे बड़ा, अनुपम सच्चा ज्ञान
फिर मैं क्यों छोड़ूँ इसे पढ़ लूँ झूट क़ुरान
वेद धर्म छोड़ूँ नहीं कोसिस करो हजार
तिल-तिल काटो चाही गोदो अंग कटार

चंवर वंश के क्षत्रिय संत रविदास जी के बंदी बनाने का समाचार मिलने पर दिल्ली पर चढ़ दौड़े और दिल्लीं की नाकाबंदी कर ली। विवश हो कर सुल्तान सिकंदर लोदी को संत रविदास जी को छोड़ना पड़ा । इस झपट का ज़िक्र इतिहास की पुस्तकों में नहीं है मगर संत रविदास जी के ग्रन्थ रविदास रामायण की यह पंक्तियाँ सत्य उद्घाटित करती हैं

बादशाह ने वचन उचारा । मत प्यादरा इसलाम हमारा ।।
खंडन करै उसे रविदासा । उसे करौ प्राण कौ नाशा ।।
जब तक राम नाम रट लावे । दाना पानी यह नहीं पावे ।।
जब इसलाम धर्म स्वीरकारे । मुख से कलमा आप उचारै ।।
पढे नमाज जभी चितलाई । दाना पानी तब यह पाई ।।

भारतीय वांग्मय में आर्थिक विभाजन ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय, वैश्य, शूद्र के रूप में मिलता है। मगर प्राचीन काल में इन समाजों में छुआछूत बिल्कुल नहीं थी। कारण सीधा सा था ये विभाजन आर्थिक था। इसमें लोग अपनी रूचि के अनुसार वर्ण बदल सकते थे। कुछ संदर्भ इस बात के प्रमाण के लिये देने उपयुक्त रहेंगे। मैं अनुवाद दे रहा हूँ। संस्कृत में आवश्यकता होने पर संदर्भ मिलाये जा सकते हैं।

मनु स्मृति के अनुसार ब्राह्मण शूद्र बन सकता है और शूद्र ब्राह्मण हो सकता है। इसी प्रकार क्षत्रिय और वैश्य भी अपना वर्ण बदल सकते हैं। ब्राह्मण वर्णस्थ व्यक्ति श्रेष्ठ, अति-श्रेष्ठ व्यक्तियों का संग करते हुए और नीच तथा नीचतर व्यक्तियों का संग छोड़ कर अधिक श्रेष्ठ बनता जाता है। इसके विपरीत आचरण से पतित हो कर वह शूद्र बन जाता है। जो ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय अथवा वैश्य वेदों का अध्ययन और पालन छोड़ कर अन्य विषयों में ही परिश्रम करता है, वह शूद्र बन जाता है। उसकी आने वाली पीढ़ियों को भी वेदों के ज्ञान से वंचित होना पड़ता है।

आप देख सकते हैं ये समाज के चलने के लिए काम बंटाने और उसके इसके अनुरूप विभाजन की बात हैं और इसमें जन्मना कुछ नहीं है। एक वर्ण से दूसरे वर्ण में जाना संभव था। महर्षि विश्वामित्रा का जगत-प्रसिद्ध उदाहरण क्षत्रिय से ब्राह्मण बनने का है। सत्यकेतु, जाबालि ऋषि, सम्राट नहुष के उदाहरण वर्ण बदलने के हैं। एक गणिका के पुत्रा जाबालि, जिनकी माँ वृत्ति करती थीं और जिसके कारण उन्हें अपने पिता का नाम पता नहीं था, ऋषि कहलाये। तब ब्राह्मण भी आज की तरह केवल शिक्षा देने-लेने, यज्ञ करने-कराने, दान लेने-देने तक सीमित नहीं थे। वेदों में रथ बनाने वाले को, लकड़ी का काम करने वाले बढ़ई को, मिटटी का काम करने वाले कुम्हार को ऋषि की संज्ञा दी गयी है। सभी वो काम जिनमें नया कुछ खोजा गया ऋषि के काम थे।

ध्यान रहे कि वर्ण और जातियों में अंतर है। वर्णों में एक-दूसरे में आना-जाना चलता था और इसे उन्नति या अवनति नहीं समझा जाता था। ये केवल स्वभाव के अनुसार आर्थिक विभाजन था। भारत में वर्ण जन्म से नहीं थे और इनमें व्यक्ति की इच्छा के अनुसार बदलाव होता था। कई बार ये पेशे थे और इन पेशों के कारण ही मूलतः जातियां बनीं। कई बार ये घुमंतू क़बीले थे, उनसे भी कई जातियों की पहचान बनी। वर्ण-व्यवस्था समाज को चलाने की एक व्यवस्था थी मगर वो व्यवस्था हज़ारों साल पहले ही समाप्त हो गयी। वर्णों में एक-दूसरे में आना-जाना चलता था ये भी सच है कि कालांतर में ये आवागमन बंद हो गया।

उसका कारण भारत पर लगातार आक्रमण और उससे बचने लिये समाज का अपने में सिमट जाना था। समाज ने इस आक्रमण और ज़बरदस्ती किये जाने वाले मतांतरण से बचाव के लिये अपनी जकड़बन्दियों की व्यवस्था बना ली। अपनी जाति से बाहर जाने की बात सोचना पाप बना दिया गया। रोटी-बेटी का व्यवहार बंद करना ऐसी ही व्यवस्था थी। इन जकड़बन्दियों का ख़राब परिणाम यह हुआ कि सारी जातियों के लोग स्वयं में सिमट गए और अपने अतिरिक्त सभी को स्वयं से हल्का, कम मानने लगे। वो दूरी जो एक वैश्य समाज जाटव वर्ग से रखता था वही जाटव समाज भी वाल्मीकि समाज से बरतने लगा।

प्राचीन भारत में शौचालय घर के अंदर नहीं होते थे। लोग इसके लिये घर से दूर जाते थे। समाज के लोगों में ये भाव कभी था ही नहीं कि उनका अकेले-दुकेले बाहर निकलना जीवन को संकट में डाल सकता है। मगर ये विदेशी आक्रमणकारी हर समय आशंकित रहते थे। उन्हें स्थानीय समाज से ही नहीं अपने साथियों से प्राणघाती आक्रमण की आशंका सताती थी। इसलिए उन्होंने क़िलों में सुरक्षित शौचालय बनवाये और मल-मूत्रा त्यागने के बाद उन पात्रों को उठाने के लिये पराजित स्थानीय लोगों को लगाया। भारत में इस घृणित पेशे की शुरुआत यहीं से हुई है। इन विदेशी आक्रमणकारियों में इसके कारण अपनी उच्चता का आभास भी होता था और ऐसा घोर निंदनीय कृत्य उन्हें अपने पराजित को पूर्णरूपेण ध्वस्त हो जाने की आश्वस्ति देता था।

बाबा साहब अम्बेडकर ने भी अपने लेखों में लिखा है कि हम योद्धा जातियों के लोग हैं। यही कारण है कि 1921 की जनगणना के समय चमार जाति के नेताओं ने वायसराय को प्रतिवेदन दिया था कि हमें राजपूतों में गिना जाये। हम राजपूत हैं। अँगरेज़ अधिकारियों ने ही ये नहीं माना बल्कि हिन्दू समाज भी इस बात को काल के प्रवाह में भूल गया और स्वयं भी इस महान योद्धाओं की संतानों से वही घृणित दूरी रखने लगा जो आक्रमणकारी रखते थे। होना यह चाहिए था कि इनकी स्तुति करता, नमन करता, इनको गले लगता मगर शेष हिन्दू समाज स्वयं

 आक्रमणकारियों के वैचारिक फंदे में फंस गया।

भारत में विदेशी मूल के मुसलमान सैयद, पठान, तुर्क आज भी स्थानीय मतांतरितों को नीची निगाह से देखते हैं। स्वयं को अशराफ़ { शरीफ़ का बहुवचन } और उनको रज़ील, कमीन , कमज़ात, हक़ीर कहते हैं। रिश्ता-नाता तो बहुत दूर की बात है, ऐसी भनक भी लग जाये तो मार-काट हो जाती है मगर सामने इस्लामी एकता का ड्रामा किया जाता है। ये समाज अपने ही मज़हब के लोगों के लिए कैसी हीनभावना रखता है इसका अनुमान इन सामान्य व्यवहार होने वाली पंक्तियों से लगाया जा सकता है।

ग़लत को ते से लिख मारा जुलाहा फिर जुलाहा है
तरक़्क़ी ख़ाक अब उर्दू करेगी
जुलाहे शायरी करने लगे हैं

अपने मज़हब के लोगों के लिए घटिया सोच रखने वाला समूह इन दलित भाइयों का मतांतरण करने के लिये गिद्ध जैसी टकटकी बाँध कर नज़र गड़ाए हुए रहता है। वो हिंदू समाज के इन योद्धा-वर्ग के वंशजों को अब भी अपने पाले में लाना चाहता है। दलित समाज के राजनेताओं ने भी इस शिकंजे में फंस जाने को अपने हित का काम समझ लिया है। ऐसे राजनेता जिनका काम ही समाज के छोटे-छोटे खंड बाँट कर अपनी दुकान चलाना है, इस दूरी को बढ़ाने में लगे रहते हैं। जिस समाज के लोगों ने सब कुछ सहा मगर राम-कृष्ण, शंकर-पार्वती, भगवती दुर्गा को नहीं त्यागा अब उन्हीं के बीच के राजनैतिक लोग समाज के अपने हित के लिए टुकड़े-टुकड़े करने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं। लक्ष्य वही ग़ज़वा-ए-हिन्द है और तकनीक शेर को छोटे-छोटे हजार घाव देने की है, जिससे धीरे-धीरे ख़ून बहने से शेर की मौत हो जाये।


KC Das

Nobin Chandra left his legacy to his worthy son Krishna Chandra Das (1869-1934). A chip off the old block, Krishna Chandra enlarged his inheritance of his father’s genius in the art of Bengali sweetmeats. What is more, he implanted in his family a spirit of exploration that keeps on seeking new vistas outside the beaten track. It is owing to the pioneering efforts of the Das family that today the “Rossogolla” may be fairly regarded as the national sweet of India.

Besides being privileged to have a great father, Krishna Chandra inherited a legacy of inspiration from his mother’s family. His mother Kshirodmoni, was the granddaughter of Bholanath Dey, better known as “Bholamoira” in the history of nineteenth century Bengal. Bholamoira holds a place in Bengali folklore and culture, not just as a professional confectioner but as a legendary poet-minstrel.

ROSSOMALAI- Invented by K.C.Das

Krishna Chandra was married to Swetangini Devi who was known to be a great beauty. They had five sons and one daughter. In 1930, Krishna Chandra started his first shop, “Krishna Chandra Das Confectioner” with his youngest son Sarada Charan. Sarada Charan Das had started his career as the research assistant under the eminent scientist, Nobel Laureate Dr. C.V. Raman between 1926 and 1930. Krishna Chandra also created the “Rossomalai”, another perennial favourite. To popularize the “Rossomalai”, Krishna Chandra opened a new sweet shop at Jorasanko in 1930. From there he also introduced the canned Rossogolla, which was the first and only canned dessert manufactured in the country at that time. Unfortunately, Krishna Chandra died within four years of the opening. He left the reins in the able hands of his son and successor, Sarada Charan (1906-1992). In 1946, K. C. Das was incorporated as a private limited company under the Companies Act, with Sarada Charan as its founder Governing Director.


- The first Indian dessert to be canned for global market

Today there is immense scope for the Indian dairy industry to exploit the market for indigenous dairy-based sweetmeats (e.g.,“channa” and “khoa” based sweets) using new technologies for mass production. Fully aware of this, K.C.Das (P) Ltd. has long been involved in introducing mechanical production of high quality indigenous sweets. Their products have carved for them a valuable niche among sweet-lovers across the globe. The cottage technology of Nobin Chandra’s 1866 shop has morphed into an industry today through the development and growth of K.C.Das Private Ltd. and with the introduction of modern methods of production. The products have carved a valuable niche among the sweet-lovers across the globe. Despite hurdles, the K.C.Das organization has been untiring in its drive for newer, more scientific and hygienic methods of production and packaging. The steam-based, environment-friendly production technology, entirely designed by Sarada Charan, operates in all the factories of the company. It is this technology that has enabled the company to meet and even surpass all national standards and equal the standards of international trades in such foods.

On the occasion of Sarada Charan’s birth centenary and the Platinum Jubliee of the “K.C.Das” name, the company is pledged to continue its fourfold vision. First and foremost, it will go on broadening the consumer’s awareness of traditional sweets and savouries of India. It will standardize the ingredient mix of indigenous sweetmeats and snack foods upgrading and automating the production. It will control quality at every stage, from raw-material procurement to the packaging of the product, significantly increasing the shelf-life of indigenous sweets and savouries produced by mechanised processes.

Finally, it will establish worldwide a reputation and a vibrant market for Indian sweets and snack food. The company thus continuously strives to meet not just domestic demand for sweets but also the responsibilities that accompany a presence in global markets.

The Historic Meeting of Ambedkar, Jinnah and Periyar

By – K. V. Ramakrishna Rao, B.Sc., M.A., A.M.I.E., C.Eng.(I)., B.L.

A paper presented during the 21st session of South Indian History Congress held at Madurai Kamaraj University from 18 to 20 January 2001 and published in the proceedings, pp.128-136

Introduction: The meeting of Bhimarao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (1876- ) and Erode Venkatappa Ramaswamy Naicker (1879-1973) (hereinafter mentioned Ambedkar, Jinnah and EVR) took place at Bombay on January 8, 1940. It is not that they never meet each other earlier. EVR has met Ambedkar three times (on 06-04-40, 07-04-40, and 08-04-40 at Bombay, 21-09-44 at Madras and on 03-12-1954 in Rangoon) and Jinnah four times (on 08-01-40 at Bombay, twice at Madras and once at Delhi); Ambedkar and Jinnah have met each other many times, as both were in Bombay1.

However, the meeting of three together appears to be very interesting, informative and crucial in the social, political and economic conditions of India during the material period. The political condition at that time was surcharged with nationalist and other independent movements with the economy struggling hard after the Great depression of 1929. When people started to think about an Independent India, they found that they were faced with different social, economic and political problems. Not only, they were discriminated with and divided on many factors, their leaders too confused with newly fermenting ideologies. While the educated elite was just trying to understand the modern political concepts and their applicability to Indian context, common people were subjected to various socio-economic-political processes.

When the question, “Who should rule India after the British?” arose, they were divided on the basis of ideologies, put forward by the respective leaders and supported their ideologues and theoreticians. The ambitions of Indian political leaders in such a power struggle clashed with the interests of common people. According to their perceived ideology, the leaders tried to mobilize masses on the basis of emotional and sensitive issues to achieve political goals. Obviously, thus, writers and researchers have never touched upon the topic or dealt with in their writings while dealing many issues and topics. Therefore, it is discussed in this paper.

Background and Preliminary Preparations for the Meeting: The non-Brahmin movements started in different parts of India in early 1920s, particularly, South have created impetus among certain non-Brahmin and Muslim leaders and ideologues to forge an alliance among them. The secular, elite and educated Jinnah started turning communal with the exigencies in Bombay. Ambedkar, though initially started working for the Mahars and other depressed classes, suddenly changed to support for Muslim cause, with all his regressive social, political and economic theories in 1930s. The Justice Party, initially started for the welfare and interests of non-Brahmins, started turning against Hindus, definitely with the ideology of EVR.

Incidentally, most of the Justice party leaders resented his anti-Hindu tirade with his open support for Muslim cause. However, the contacts between the followers of EVR and Muslims increased considerably during 1930-40. Jinnah appointed Mohammed Ismail as the convenor of Muslim League in Madras, when he took the leadership in 1936. In 1938, the Madras District Muslim League was started. Mohammed Ismail and others must have worked for the meeting of EVR with Jinnah. In fact, EVR’s association with Muslim leaders goes back to 1920s. The third Majilissul Ulema Conference was held in Erode, in which Islamic scholars and leaders like Maulana Mohammed Ali, Maulana Saukat Ali (known as Ali Brothers of Khilafat Movement), Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Hakim Hajmal Khan, Chuadhrikali Kussaman were participated2. They all stayed in the house of EVR. While introducing Ali brothers to his mother and wife, EVR commented, “While the entire world is with Gandhi, that Mahatma is in the pocket of Maulana Mohammed Ali”!. EVR and Ismail, though belonged to different ideologies worked together, discussed about politics together as friends since 19203. He used to all ML, Miladi and Ramzan functions without fail.

As Ambedkar was in Bombay, arrangement must have been made to meet him also. A letter addressed to Gandhi by Jinnah proves the fact that the Day of Deliverance was a prelude for such a meeting. He writes: “It is true that many non-Congress Hindus expressed their sympathy with the Deliverance Day injustice to our cause, so also the leaders of the Justice Party and Scheduled Castes, and the Parsis who had suffered”4

On January 1, 1940 he writes like this and on 9th he meets EVR along with others including Ambedkar.

EVR made the demand for Dravidanadu in his presidential address at the 14th Confederation of S.I.L.F on December 1938. He met Sir Stafford Cripps and put forward the demand of Dravidanad in 1939. The persons met Cripps included Sir Muthaiah Chettiar, N. S. Samiappa Mudaliar and W. P. A. Soundara Nadar5. Resolution was passed to that effect in 1940. Ironically, Muslim League refused the Cripps offer in 1942.

Support for Day of Deliverance by Ambedkar and EVR in 1939: Jinnah declared that the Mussalmans should observe Friday December 22, 1939 as Day of Deliverance to mark the cessation of Congress Governments, when the Congress was popularizing the idea of Constituent Assembly and all were eagerly looking forward to the resumption of talk between Nehru and himself at Bombay6. Amedkar supported the Day of Deliverance at Bombay in a public meeting organized by the Muslim League in 1939. Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim moved the resolution and Ambedkar seconded it on December 22, 1939! The first news of the Day of Deliverance was that both Ambedkar and Jinnah met each other at a public meeting held at Pentiarghat and shaked their hands each other. EVR also extended his support. He called upon his party and as well as all Dravidians to celebrate December 22 “on a grand scale….to rid the country of the menace of the Congress”. As on January 1, 1940, Jinnah was writing about the support of many non-Congress Hindus expressed their sympathy with the Deliverance Day in justice to their cause, so also the leaders of the Justice Party and Scheduled Castes, and the Parsis who had suffered, it is evident that he knew that he was meeting EVR and Ambedkar.

Meeting Of EVR, Ambedkar and Jinnah on January 8, 1940: The historic meeting of the three leaders took place at Bombay on January 8, 1940. The leaders must have either corresponded with each other directly or indirectly or their friends arranged such meeting as explained above. On January 5th morning, EVR left for Bombay along with the following at the invitation of the non-Brahmin citizens of Bombay:

Justice T. A. V. Nathan,
P. Balasubramaniam – Editor of Sunday observer, the mouth piece of Justice Party,
C. A. Annadurai, the General Secretary of Justice Party and
T. P. S. Ponnappan. C. Panjatcharam

He was sent off by Kumararaja Muthaiah Chettiar, General Kalifullah and others.

On 06-01-40 by 10.00 a.m, he arrived at Dadar station with his colleagues. He was given a reception and taken by a decorated coach fitted with two white horses! Evening, he met Ambedkar and latter took the former to his residence. Both discussed on various social and political issues from 9.00 to 10.30 p.m.

On 07-01-40, Ambedkar arranged a meet in the Gokhale Educational Institute and gave a dinner. S. C. Joshi, M.L.C., Dr. R. R. Bhole, M.L.A., D. G. JADAV, M.L.A and others attended the function. Ambedkar introduced the guest to them.

On 08-01-40, they met Jinnah at his residence and discussed about the current situation of their activities from evening 5.30 to 8.30 p.m. P. Balasubramaniam, T.A.V. Nathan, K.M. Balasubramaniam – Advocate were also present. They discussed about the working of anti-Congress parties.

It is said that they had also discussed about –

1. The possibility of creating a non-Brahmin opposition group within Congress.
2. Urging Muslims, Scheduled Caste and non-Brahmins to leave Congress and join non-Congress parties.
3. Joint action by parties opposed to Congress.
4. Anti-Hindi agitation.
5. Embarrassing Congress and Congress leaders by all means.
6. Muslims, non-Brahmins and depressed classes working together.
7. Demand of separate states for Mahars, Muslims and Dravidians.
8. Representing to British Government accordingly.

Accordingly, they agreed for the following:

1. Jinnah and Ambedkar would tour Tamil districts for a month in April or May 1940 and support the demand for Dravidanad (as announced by A. Ponnambalam).
2. EVR was again invited to visit Bombay.
3. EVR and his followers support for the Muslim cause and work together.
4. Ambedkar also would support the Muslim cause.
5. All would create more problems for Congress.
6. Make representations to the British to that effect that power should not be vested with Congress alone.

On ninth, Ambedkar arranged a special dinner at 9 p.m for EVR, which was attended by Jekal – the Reporter of Sentinel, Rao – the Chief Reporter of Times of India, Balsarar – Journalist, P. N. Raj Bhoj, Muthaiah Mudaliar – former Minister of Madras, Chockalingam – an advocate and son of the former and others. It was over by 11 p.m.

Though, the full contents of their discussions are not known, it is evident that their meeting has played a crucial role in the Indian politics. It may be noted that within three months, the resolution for the demand of Pakistan (see Appendix.I) was passed by Jinnah on March 25, 1940 at Lahore session of AIML and within seven months Dravidastan by EVR on August, 1940 at Thiruvarur.

After the passing of Lahore resolution, the relationship between the Justice Party and Muslim League became more intimate. At a joint meeting of Justice Party and Muslim League at Madurai in March 1940, a proposal was made to seek the help of Jinnah for the creation of Dravidastan and Jinnah assured EVR to that effect. In fact, both continued to have good relations.

EVR Meets Jinnah in 1941 at Madras: The 28th Annual session of Muslim League was held in Madras on April 11, 1941 at Peoples Park. Jinnah came from Bombay to address the opening session and EVR duly graced the occasion by sitting on the dias along with other Dravidian and Muslim League colleagues. The leader on the dias were – EVR, R. K. Shanmugam Chetty – Dewan of Cochin, K. V. Reddy, M. A. Mutaiah Chettiyar, C. R. Srinivasan – the editor of Swadesa Mitran, M. C. Rajah, N. Sivaraj, Sir A. P. Patro and others. Jinnah and his followers openly demanded the creation of yet another independent sovereign state in the South. He interestingly propounded for a third nation:

“In this subcontinent, you have two different societies, the Muslim society and the Hindu society and particularly in this land, there is another nation, that is Dravidastan. This land is really Dravidastan, and imagine its three percent of electioneering, three percent of them should secure a majority. Is this democracy or is this a farce? Therefore, I have the fullest sympathy and give my fullest support to the non-Brahmins, and I say them: “the only was for you to come into your own is to live your own life, according to your culture, according to your language etc., etc.,”7

Thus, Jinnah propounded three nations – Hindustan, Pakistan and Dravidastan for Hindus, Muslims and Dravidians, as if Hindus and Dravidians are different forgetting or ignoring Mahars and other scheduled castes who supported him. In fact, he only argued and worked for Muslims in his attempts with the British based on his two-nation theory. He never popularized the three-nation theory (as mentioned above) or four-nation theory (the fourth one for Scheduled castes)!

EVR Meets Jinnah in 1941 (?) at Madras Again: From the letter of Jinnah8 dated August 17, 1944 (see Appendix – III), it is evident that both met at Madras atleast twice and discussed about Dravidastan and Pakistan. In fact, it is clear that Jinnah had categorically told EVR and his colleagues that he would join them to support for Dravisdastan, but could not work for their cause, as he would only work for the cause of Muslims and not for non-Muslims. Later, it came out openly in his letter.

EVR Meets Jinnah in 1942 (?) at Delhi: EVR met Jinnah at Delhi and discussed about Pakistan and Dravidastan. Jinnah must have told EVR that as he was representing Muslims, he could not work for the cause of non-Muslims. EVR must have explained his ideology as to how they were different from Hindus by being Dravidians and so on. He might have proved his stand by his speeches and writings. But, because of the pressure of ulema, Jinnah had to disassociate from the Dravidian politics. In fact, ulema did not approve the working together of Jinnah and Gandhi or the leadership of Gandhi for Muslims, as he was a kafir.

Sudden Change Noticed in the Attitude of Jinnah Towards EVR: Though EVR had been moving with Muslim League and Muslims very closely showing benevolent gestures, there was sudden somersault in Jinnah’s response towards EVR. He wrote to Jinnah to take up the issue of Dravidastan along with Pakistan on August 9, 1944 (see Appendix. II). But, Jinnah categorically replied on August 17, 1944 that he always desired that the non-Brahmins of Madras to establish their Dravidastan, but as EVR’s activities were indecisive, he could not speak for non-Muslims. Similarly, he did not positively reacted for the telegrams sent by the Goan Association and P. B. Mudaliar.

The Goan Association sought Jinnah’s help against the merger of Goa with Maharastra. The honorary secretary of the Association, V. S. De Pompeia Viegas in his letter dated July, 30, 1942 addressed to Jinnah as follows:

“As a leader of (the) major minority in the country, my countrymen do look for your valuable support to safeguard the rights of every Indian and particularly the minorities”9.P. B. Mudaliar, Managing editor of the Sunday Observer, Madras also wrote9 to him on October 13, 1946 to support their cause i.e, to plead for the demand of non-Brahmins along with that of Muslims. In his talks with Gandhi, “….because the leadership of (the Justice) Party is in very bad hands”. It is intriguing to note as to why he should accuse EVR doubting his leadership!

Jinnah’s solitude to other non-Muslim was confirmed by his inclusion of Jogendra Nath Mandal, a leader of Scheduled Caste, in the Muslim League quota to the membership of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, and he was profusely eulogized by non-Muslims. From these references, it is inferred that Jinnah might have thought of or urged EVR to consider for a Muslim-non-Brahmin alliance, with ultimate aim of creating a Muslim state with broad base. Or he might have suggested Ambedkar and EVR with their followers to convert to Islam, so that they could dominate Hindus. In fact, Ambedkar in his book on Pakistan analyzed the possibility of the conversion of all Muslims to Hinduism to solve the Muslim problem! He spoke at the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference in May 30 and 31, 1936, advocating the need to abandon Hinduism10. Annadurai used to assert that both Dravidians and Muslims belong to the same race different from that of Hindus / Aryans. As he was also present during the historical meeting of the three, his assertions are quoted appropriately11:

“Dravidastan is not an echo of Pakistan, but it has its own origin. In fact, its north Indian reflection is Pakistan. The demand for Pakistan was raised on March 22, 1940 at the Lahore Conference of Muslim League, but the demand for a Dravidanadu made during December 1938 when the Justice Party held its conference at Madras”.

“They are Aryans – we Dravidians. The same research only proved that Muslims are Dravidians with Islamic path. Therefore, the Dravida-Islamic confederation has arisen”.

“English and Aryans belong to the same race! Race joins with race! Dravidians and Muslims belong to the same race, thus, the same race joins with the same race! “

“Periyar has categorically declared during Coimbatore Conference that Dravidians may live (under the rule of Muslims) in Pakistan, but not with Aryans! Yes, it is fact! Periyar has told like that only, (because) he has brought out the fact that the same race joins with the same race!”.

Why Jinnah should accuse EVR is intriguing, but not without any reason. Though, they had been working for non-Congress power sharing, EVR made the demand of Dravidanadu in 1938 and passed resolution in 1939 to that effect. Jinnah also realized that he was not the sole representative of the South Indians or Dravidians, as each group working differently, particularly with the Congress. That his leadership itself was question was also known to him. Similarly, he understood the position of Ambedkar very well. Therefore, with the mounting pressure of Ulema, he decided to work only for the cause of Muslims, though as a shrewd politician making assurance to others.

The observations of Ambedkar about the change of Jinnah is revealing to be mentioned here:

“Never before was Mr. Jinnah a man for the masses. He distrusted them. To exclude them from political power he was always for a higher franchise.

Mr.Jinnah was never known to be a devout, pious or professing Muslim. Besides kissing the Holy Koran as and when he was sworn as an M.L.A., he does not appear to have bothered about its contents or its special tenets. It is doubtful if he frequented any mosque either out of curiosity or religious fervour. Mr. Jinnah was never found in the midst of Muslim mass congregations, religious or political. Today, one finds a complete change in Mr. Jinnah. He has become a man of the masses. He is no longer above them. He is among them. Now they have raised him above themselves and call him their Qaide-Azam. He has not only become a believer in Islam, but is prepared to die for Islam. Today, he knows more of Islam than mere Kalama. Today, he goes to the mosque to hear Khutba and takes delight in joining the Id congregational prayers. Today, they know him by his presence. No Muslim meeting in Bombay begins or ends with without Alla-ho-Akbar and Long Live Qaide-Azam” 12.

EVR Meets Ambedkar Three Times: As pointed out above, EVR first met Ambedkar at Bombay on 06-04-40, 07-04-40 and 08-04-40. At that time, they discussed about the creation of separate States for Muslims, Hindus, Depressed classes and Dravidians. Second time, he met him at Madras on 21-09-44, when Ambedkar came there officially as a member of Viceroy Council. At that time, there were two groups in Justice Party and one was opposed to EVR. Third time, they met at Rangoon, Burma during the Third International Buddhist Conference on 05-12-44. At that time, Ambedkar revealed that he had decided to convert to Buddhism and urged EVR to convert. But, EVR replied that as long as he was in Hindus he could criticize it, but when he left, he could not. Therefore, he wanted to be in Hinduism to fight against the tyrannies.

Pakistan, Dravidastan and Buddhastan: From the above, it is evident that the three have definitely discussed about the creation of Pakistan for Muslims, Dravidastan for Dravidians i.e, non-Brahmins and Buddhistan for untouchables / Scheduled castes. (Here, the word Buddhistan is used as it is used in Marathi literature on the subject matter). Unwittingly, the leaders themselves have proved that the three groups cannot live together.

Ambedkar’s analysis of Islam and mind of Muslim is revealing10:

1. A country is Dar-ul-Islam (abode of Islam), when it is ruled by Muslims, Dar-ul-Harb (abode of war) when Muslims reside in it but are not rulers of it. India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and Muslims (p.287).

2. Hindus are kafirs and therefore, they cannot rule Muslims. Muslims cannot have Hindu leaders (p.296).

3. Jihad (holy war) is waged, till Dar-ul-Islam is achieved. It is every duty of Muslim ruler outside Dar-ul-Harb to help Muslims (pp.288-289).

4. Islam divides inexorably as it binds and it is a brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only (p.325).

5. There is fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation and for those who are outside, there is nothing but contempt and enmity (p.325).

6. Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard Hindu as his kith and kin (p.325).

Jinnah could not relish Ambedkar’s views of Pakistan and he had to disassociate him. However, In his book Pakistan or Partition of India, published in December 1940, Ambedkar brought out all his views – about Muslims, their belligerent attitude etc., which were evidently disliked by Jinnah and other Muslims. Thus, when Ambedkar started criticising Pakistan, Jinnah might have sidelined or parted way with him. As Jinnah himself was accused of hobnobbing with kafirs (non-Muslims, unbelievers, idolators etc.), he might have decided to work only for the cause of momins (believers) instead of kafiri-Dravidians or kafiri-untouchables. In fact, in Arabic, the words kafir, kafiri etc are derived from kufr or kufru means unclean, thus the kafirs are the unclean people with them momins could not have any relationship, unless their kufr is removed. Jinnah has never hidden the fact, as he has written it black and white many times to Gandhi. In fact, he has also categorically pointed out to EVR, though both discussed about Pakistan and Dravidasthan.

As Ambedkar had been consistent with his social, political and economic theories, he might have decided to work within the Constitutional framework. Moreover, he was involved in the division of Maharastra leading to another controversy. Thus, he could become a Minister, in spite of his electoral defeat in 1952 elections.

The offshoot of DK or followers of EVR too had to absolve from the separatist ideology, the moment they won the elections and started ruling Tamilnadu.

Similarities Noted Among the Three: The three different personalities from three different parts of India representing their respective ideologies had some common qualities and characters, which perhaps brought them together to forge a common alliance. They are identified and discussed as follows:

1. Highly Ambitious: Ambedkar with all his education tried to become a mass politician and tried to exploit the caste feelings maximum with his writings. Though, he participated the Round Table Conferences arguing against Gandhi and reportedly the English bestowed leadership on him (a statement made by Suhas Chandra Bose) , he could not overtake Gandhi politically. As Perhaps, Poona Pact (reached on September 24, 1932) sealed his political ambition. Jinnah’s ambition is open and he exploited Islamic communalism, fanaticism and fundamentalism to achieve his goal. Though once he said, ”It is my ambition to become the Moslem Gokhale”, he became Father of Pakistan! As he desired, he partitioned India and became president of Pakistan. EVR too tried to become mass leader in Tamilnadu, but could not succeed, because of his contradictions. However, later he was called as “Gandhi of southern India”! Except Jinnah, both Ambedkar and EVR had to dilute their ideology and get along with the politics with accommodation.

2. Projecting to be a Saviour of a Particular Community: Ambedkar projected himself as the saviour of untouchables, Jinnah that of Muslims and EVR that of non-Brahmins.

3. Pro-Communist Ideology: Definitely, all the three were influenced by the Communist ideology. While EVR had gone to the extent of becoming a citizen of Russia, Jinnah used it for his “two nation theory” and Ambedkar for separate electorates. All three were believers of nations forming based on race, religion, language, and so on.

4. Congressmen: Surprisingly, all started their political career with congress. Though they tried their best to beat Gandhi with communal and casteist sticks, they could not overtake him. They used to dub Congress as “Brahmanical Party”, Hindu Party” and so on.

5. Pro-minority (later changed to pro-Muslim): Expecting support from the Muslims, both EVR and Ambedkar tried to strike deal with them. Both supported the “Day of Deliverance”. However, Ambedkar understood their communal gameplan and wrote against them, though supported for the creation of separate state for Muslims. EVR simply supported Muslims without making any analysis of their psyche like Ambedkar. He celebrated Muslim festivals condemning and blaspheming Hindu festivals. He compared Brahmins with Jews to exploit the feelings of Muslims tactfully (The Mail, April 28, 1940). When, EVR expected much from Jinnah, latter bluntly refused to work for his interests, but he continued his pro-Muslim policy.

6. Opposition to Congress and Gandhi: Though, all the three were Congressmen, they had been bitter critique of Congress and Gandhi in their speeches, writings and action. Inside and outside Congress, they embarrassed Gandhi maximum. Ambedkar clashed with Gandhi over the issue of who represented the interest of untouchables in 1931 and he refused to accept Gandhi’s claim to represent untouchables. The same thing happened, in the case of Jinnah, when ulema discussed as to whether Gandhi could be the leader of Muslims too. Later, when they left Congress, they started attacking Congress and Gandhi openly. For attacking Congress and Gandhi, initially, they started attacking the symbols of traditional Indian factors, later turned into anti-Hindu tirade.

7. Anti-Hindu Ideology and Writings: Their writings exhibit totally anti-Hindu. Though, Jinnah was a Muslim, he had some restriction, but Ambedkar and EVR were virulent in their writings against Hinduism. The small difference between them is that the former excelled in writings and the latter in his speeches, which inturn were published as his works. Ambedkar burned Manu Smriti on December 25, 1927 with great funfare, the birthday of Jinnah! EVR perhaps followed his method later in Tamilnadu. When Ambedkar met EVR at Rangoon on 05-12-1954, during the Thrird World Buddhist Conference urged him to convert to Buddhism. But, EVR replied that if converted himself to Buddhism, then, he could not criticise Hindu religion! Jinnah died as a “Muslim”, Ambedkar as a “Buddhist” and EVR as an “atheist”.

8. Opposition Within Their Groups / Community / Religion: As Jinnah was a Shia and that too exhibiting secular traits ulema dubbed him as a kafir. Mufti Kifayatullah considered him as a kafir, though later included him in the Muslim quam. Perhaps, the opposition of ulema to him and AIUML made him more persistent to achieve Pakistan proving himself a true Muslim! EVR, though legally was a Hindu, advocated anti-Hinduism. Even the leaders of Justice Party did care his atheism, as their sessions started with singing of Tevaram etc. Ambedkar had to face opposition, when he married a Brahmin lady second time when he was 56, just like, when EVR married Maniammai. Though, Ambedkar was an anti-Hindu ideologist, when his first wife Ramabai, died, he performed last rites with a Hindu priest tonsuring his head! Thus, the critiques point out their contradictions.

Rajaji Monitored: Curiously, Rajaji was monitored or even spied for his speeches and moves. EVR in his letter dated August 9, 1944 records that, “…..I have been watching carefully the proceedings of Mr Rajagopalacghariar’s formula towards solving the dead-lock and your desire to receive Mr Gandhi at your residence in Bombay…..”. It is too well known to be mentioned that he was a friend of Rajaji. Another interesting incidence recorded by the close relative of Mohammed Ismail and former Rajya sabha member – A. K. Ribayi – is, when Syed Mudsa Hazrat, MLA (Delhi) was travelling in a train from Trichi in 1940, Rajaji and T. S. S. Rajan got in Sri Rangam Station. Syed Hazrat was overhearing the conversation of Rajaji and Rajan from upper berth, when they were discussing about Muslims. Without revealing his identity and pretending as sleeping, he listened to them. After reaching Madras, he straightaway went to Ismail’s house from Egmore station and informed about the conversation to understand the minds13. As Ismail used to meet Jinnah, he might have informed about it. It may be mentioned that Rajaji later in 1944 put forward his scheme, popularly known as Rajaji’s formula wit the approval of Gandhi. The formula was discussed with Gandhi in March 1943 but was not communicated to Jinnah. Ambedkar criticised the formula14.

Was Pakistan a Success? Jinnah’s Pakistan has been unsuccessful only, as it is proved that Islam cannot keep the nation together. The creation of Bangladesh has posed a serious question to the esparatists who argue based on religion. Pakistan declared several Muslim groups as kafir and even expelled them destroying tyheir mosques. Sind and Baluchistan have been demanding separate nationhood from Pakistan. Recently, on September 17, 2000, many leading Sindhi, Pushtu, Baluch and Mojahir leaders of Pakistan met in London and demanded azadi.

Why Dravidastan Could not be Achieved? Even Ambedkar did not accept the theory of Aryans and Dravidians, in fact, he debunked the Aryan invasion theory in his writings. He argued only for Pakistan for Muslim and Hindustan for Hindus and not any other “stan”! There was opposition within the Justice Party for his separatist ideology and activities. Telugu, Kannada and Malayalee people did not accept his theory that they were Dravidians and different from other Indians or Hindus. He could not show more Dravidians in any state, as Muslims claimed. Even Ambedkar argued only for Pakistan for Muslims and Hindustan for Hindus. Of course, Jinnah argued for Dravidastan just to exploit EVR and later openly told him that he could work only for Muslims and not for non-Muslims! As mentioned elsewhere, his followers with the creation of D.M.K longed for political power through elections instead of separate nation.

Why Buddhistan Could not be Achieved? As pointed out, Poona Pact sealed the fate of Buddistan or separate electorate for Depressed classes. As his own social, economic and political theories could not support him or realizing the condition, Ambedkar might have dropped the idea of separate nation. The map published by him for Pakistan and Hindustan had no place for Dravidastan or Buddhistan. Realizing the fact or influenced by the factor that religion could pave way for separate nation, he might have been converted to Buddhism later along with his followers to increase the number of Buddhists. But, EVR refused to convert, when Ambedkar put forward this idea on 05-12-44 at Rangoon. Thus, he had to decide himself alone. Unfortunately, he died on the same years, when he converted. Of course, he too could not prove in any state where Depressed class people or Buddhists were majority in numbers. Thus, Buddhistan could not be achieved.

Conclusion: The meeting of three giants of distinct ideologies representing different communities had been definitely a crucial one. Collectively, what they have achieved through the meeting is debatable, as each perhaps stuck to their respective stands. Jinnah was the first to broke away and achieved separate statehood for Muslims. Ambedkar continued with Government even after independence. His further activities or the dramatic conversion to Buddhism could not fetch any homeland for his followers. His associates, because of politics and power games, abandoned EVR and he had to fight for separate homeland for Dravidians even after independence and DMK had already abandoned the separatism fearing legal action. Thus, EVR had to confine his ideology in breaking Hindu idols, burning figures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and Hindu scriptures. It is not known as Jinnah repented for the creation of Pakistan in his last days, Ambedkar regretted for his conversion or EVR atoned for his exclusive anti-Hindu atheism. It is better that impressionable issues are not sensitized, eruptive problems disturbed and emotional factors confused.Thus, Jinnah’s Pakistan, Ambedkar’s conversion and EVR’s exclusive anti-Hindu atheism must have warned and alerted the Hindu society, community and polity, as the targetted people have been definitely Hindus. Communalization of politics, politicization caste and ideologization of religion for vested personal or community interests became a new phenomenon, but have not resulted in any humane to humanity. Secularization of social processes, modernization of political processes and westernization of economic processes were too suspected by such theoreticians as a threat to their ideologies. Racial turned ethnic, linguistic turned vernacular, commune turned communal, nation turned nationalities, sub-continent turned sub-nationalist ideologies nurtured only more separatist, fissiparous, communal, fanatic groups doing nothing good for any group or community.


Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League – March 25, 1940:

“It is the considered view of this session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically continuous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with territorial re-adjusdtment as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority, as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India, should be grouped to constitute independent States in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign. Adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards should be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in consultation with them and in other parts of India where the Mussalmans are in a minority, adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the Constitution for them and other minorities, for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights and interests in conslutation with them. The session further authorizes the Working Committee to frame a scheme of Constitution in accordance with these basic principles, providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions, of all powers such as defence, external affairs, communications, customs and such other matters as may be necessary”.

APPENDIX.II – Letter of EVR addressed to Ambedkar

Erode,August 9, 1944

My dear Jinnah, I have been watching carefully the proceedings of Mr Rajagopalacghariar’s formula towards solving the dead-lock and your desire to receive Mr Gandhi at your residence in Bombay on your return which will probably be about the middle of August. It is welcomed in political circles. Though I have no full hope, there are signs of change as our opponents have come forward to settle the Hindu-Muslim questions, especially in relation to Cripp’s offer.

I need not say that the Congressites are experts in twisting words, and to give occult sense. They can say anything and give meaning in whatever manner they think. Though we do not depend upon them, you know very well that we should be vigilant and careful in the negotiations.

It is clear that general election with Muslims and Hindus as well as Aryans and Dravidians will give hardship to both of us. Kindly excuse me for reminding you about our discussions relating to Pakistan and Dravidasthan while we were at Madras and Delhi and your assurance that you would plead for both as one. Here in South India, I considered the questions as one and done my best to solve the problem as far as possible.

Yourself know very well that there could be no Pakistan and independence of Muslims in India and until and unless independence was achieved for the rest of the nations.

With kind regards .
Yours sincerely,

E. V. Ramaswami Naicker.

APPENDIX . III – Jinnah’s Reply to EVR
Bombay,17th August, 1944.

Dear Mr Ramaswami,

I am in receipt of your letter of August 9, thank for it. I have always had much sympathy or the people of Madras 90 percent of whom are Non-Brahmins, and if they desire to establish their Dravidasthan it is entirely for your people to decide on this matter. I can say no more, and I cannot speak on your behalf.

I have made the position cleasr to you and your colleagues when I was in Madras more than once, but hitherto I have noticed that in your activities you have been undecisive. If the people of your province really desire Dravidasthan, then it is for them to assert themselves.

I hope that you understand my position that I can only speak for Muslim India but you have my assurance and whenever I have a say in the matter, you will find me supporting any just and fair claim or demand of any section of the peoples of India, and particularly the non-Brahmins of South India.

Yours sincerely,

M. A. Jinnah.

Shudro Ka Itihas

Posted by Bheem Sangh
आज कल हमारे भारत के स्कूलों और कॉलेजों में जो भारत का इतिहास पढाया जाता है, उस इतिहास और वास्तविक इतिहास में बहुत अंतर है । वेदों और पुराणों में जो इतिहास वर्णित है, वो भी मात्र एक कोरा झूठ है । क्या कभी किसी ने सोचा जो भी इतिहास हमारे पुराणों, वेदों और किताबों में वर्णित है उस में कितना झूठ लिखा है । जो कभी घटित ही नहीं हुआ उसे आज भारत का इतिहास बना कर भारत की नयी पीढ़ी को गुमराह किया जा रहा है । पुराणों-वेदों में वर्णित देवता और असुरों का इतिहास? क्या कभी भारत में देवता का हुआ करते थे‌? जो हमेशा असुरों से लड़ते रहते थे. आज वो देवता और असुर कहाँ है? भारत में कभी भी ना तो कभी देवता थे, ना है और ना ही कभी होंगे । ना ही भारत में कभी असुर थे, ना है और ना ही कभी होंगे । ये शास्वत सत्य है ।
आज नहीं तो कल पुरे भारत को यह बात माननी ही होगी । क्योकि इन बातों का कोई वैज्ञानिक आधार ही नहीं है । जिन बातों का कोई वैज्ञानिक आधार ही नहीं है, उन बातों को इतिहासकारों ने सच कैसे मान लिया? इतिहासकारों ने बहुत घृणित कार्य किया है । उन्होंने बिना किसी वैज्ञानिक आधार पर बिना कोई शोध किये देवी-देवताओं को भारत के इतिहास की शान बना दिया । देवता भी इसे अजीब अजीब की कोई भी बुद्धिमान व्यक्ति विश्वास ही नहीं कर सकता । विष्णु जो एक अच्छा खासा इन्सान हुआ करता था, आज वेदों और पुराणों के झूठ के कारण सारी दुनिया का पालक भगवान् बना बैठा है । ऊपर से विष्णु के नाम के साथ ऐसे ऐसे कार्य जोड़ दिए है कि आज स्वयं विष्णु इस धरती पर आ जाये तो बेचारा शर्म के मारे डूब मरे । ये सिर्फ एक विष्णु की ही बात नहीं है, कुल मिला कर 33 करोड़ ऐसे अजीब नमूने हमारे इतिहास में भरे पड़े है । ऊपर से इतिहास में ब्राह्मणों के ऐसे कृत्य लिखे हुए है, अगर ब्राह्मणों में शर्म नाम की और मानवता नाम की कोई चीज होती तो आज पूरा ब्राह्मण समाज डूब के मर जाता । क्या पूरा देश सिर्फ एक ही वर्ग के लोगों ने चलाया? क्या पिछले 2000 सालों में समाज के दुसरे वर्गों ने भारत के लोगों के लिए कुछ भी नहीं किया? अगर किया.. तो इतिहासकारों ने दुसरे वर्गों के बारे क्यों नहीं लिखा? और जो लिखा है उस में इतना झूठ क्यों? इन सब बातों का एक ही अर्थ निकालता है कि भारत के इतिहासकार बिकाऊ थे और आज भी भारत के बिकाऊ इतिहासकार चंद सिक्को के बदले पुरे देश की जनता की भावनाओं से खेल रहे है । हमारे समाज के 5% ब्राह्मणों, राजपूतों और वैश्यों को दुनिया की सबसे ऊँची जाति लिख कर बाकि सभी जातियों (95% लोगों) के साथ इन इतिहासकारों ने नाइंसाफी की है । अगर किसी से पूछा जाये कि ईसा से 3200 साल पहले के इतिहास का कोई वर्णन क्यों नहीं है? तो उत्तर मिलाता है इस पहले कोई विवरण कही नहीं है । लेकिन हम पूछते है, क्या इतिहासकरों ने कोई अच्छा शोध किया? इतिहासकारों ने इतिहास लिखने से पहले पुराणी किताबों को पढ़ा? क्या इतिहासकारों ने देश के सभी एतिहासिक स्थानों पर शोध किये? अगर किये तो वो शोध साफ़ और स्पष्ट क्यों नहीं है? तो कहा है भारत का इतिहास? आज भारत के बाहर निकालो तो सारी दुनिया को भारत का इतिहास पता है । अगर कोई भारतीय विदेशियों को अपना इतिहास बताता है तो सभी विदेशी बहुत हंसते है, मजाक बनाते है । सारी दुनिया को भारत का इतिहास पता है, फिर भी भारत के 95% लोगों को अँधेरे में रखा गया है । क्योकि अगर भारत का सच्चा इतिहास सामने आ गया तो ब्राह्मणों, राजपूतों और वैश्यों द्वारा समाज के सभी वर्गों पर किये गए अत्याचार सामने आ जायेंगे, और देश के लोग हिन्दू नाम के तथाकथित धर्म की सचाई जानकर हिन्दू धर्म को मानने से इनकार कर देंगे । कोई भी भारतवासी हिन्दू धर्म को नहीं मानेगा । ब्राह्मणों का समाज में जो वर्चस्व है वो समाप्त हो जायेगा ।

बहुत से लोग ये नहीं जानते कि भारत में कभी देवता थे ही नहीं, और न ही असुर थे । ये सब कोरा झूठ है, जिसको ब्राह्मणों ने अपने अपने फायदे के लिए लिखा था, और आज भी ब्राह्मण वर्ग इन सब बातों के द्वारा भारत के समाज के हर वर्ग को बेबकुफ़ बना रहा है । अगर आम आदमी अपने दिमाग पर जोर डाले और सोचे, तो सारी सच्चाई सामने आ जाती है । ब्राह्मण, राजपूत और वैश्य ईसा से 3200 साल पहले में भारत में आये थे । आज ये बात विज्ञान के द्वारा साबित हो चुकी है । लेकिन ब्राह्मण, राजपूत और वैश्य इतने चतुर है कि वो विज्ञान के द्वारा प्रमाणित इतिहास और जानकारी भारत के अन्य लोगों के साथ बांटना ही नहीं चाहते । क्योकि अगर ये जानकारी भारत के लोगो को पता चल गई तो भारत के लोग ब्राह्मणों, राजपूतो और वैश्यों को देशद्रोही, अत्याचारी और अधार्मिक सिद्ध कर के देश से बाहर निकल देंगे । भारत के लोगों को सच्चाई पता ना चले इस के लिए आज भी ब्राह्मणों ने ढेर सारे संगठन जैसे राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ, विश्व हिन्दू परिषद्, बजरंग दल, दुर्गा वाहिनी, शिवसेना और भारतीय जनता पार्टी बना रखे है. हजारों धर्मगुरु बना रखे है. जो सिर्फ ढोग, पाखंड और भारत के लोगों को झूठ बता कर अँधेरे में रखते है, क्यों रखते है? ताकि भारत के 95% लोगों को भारत का सच्चा इतिहास पता ना चल जाये । और वो 95% लोग ब्राह्मणों को देशद्रोही करार दे कर भारत से बाहर ना निकल दे । भारत से ब्राह्मणों का वर्चस्व ही ख़त्म ना हो जाये ।

यह भारत के सच्चे इतिहास की शुरुआत है तो यहाँ कुछ बातों पर प्रकाश डालना बहुत जरुरी है । ताकि लोगों को थोडा तो पता चले कि आखिर ब्राह्मणों, राजपूतों और वैश्यों ने भारत में आते ही क्या किया जिस से उनका वर्चस्व भारत पर कायम हो पाया: 1.ईसा से 3200 साल पहले जब भारत में रुद्रों का शासन हुआ करता था । भारत में एक विदेशी जाति आक्रमण करने और देश को लूटने के उदेश्य आई । वह जाति मोरू से यहाँ आई जिनको “मोगल” कहा जाता था । मोरू प्रदेश, काला सागर के उत्तर में यूरेशिया को बोला जाता था । यही यूरेशियन लोग कालांतर में पहले “देव” और आज ब्राह्मण कहलाते है । यूरेशियन लोग भारत पर आक्रमण के उदेश्य से यहाँ आये थे । लेकिन भारत में उस समय गण व्यवस्था थी, जिसको पार पाना अर्थात जीतना युरेशिनों के बस की बात नहीं थी । भारत के मूल-निवासियों और यूरेशियन आर्यों के बीच बहुत से युद्ध हुए । जिनको भारत के इतिहास और वेद पुराणों में सुर-असुर संग्राम के रूप में लिखा गया है । भारत की शासन व्यवस्था दुनिया की श्रेष्ठतम शासन व्यवथा थी । जिसे गण व्यवस्था कहा जाता था और आज भी दुनिया के अधिकांश देशों ने इसी व्यवस्था को अपनाया है । ईसा पूर्व 3200 के बाद युरेशियनों और मूल निवासियों के बीच बहुत से युद्ध हुए जिन में यूरेशियन आर्यों को हार का मुंह देखना पड़ा। 2.पिछले कई सालों में भारत में इतिहास विषय पर हजारों शोध हुए । जिस में कुछ शोधों का उलेख यहाँ किया जाना बहुत जरुरी है । जैसे संस्कृत भाषा पर शोध, संस्कृत भाषा के लाखों शब्द रूस की भाषा से मिलते है । तो यह बात यहाँ भी सिद्ध हो जाती है ब्राहमण यूरेशियन है । तभी आज भी इन लोगों की भाषा रूस के लोगों से मिलती है । कालांतर में यूरेशिया में इन लोगों का अस्तिव ही मिट गया तो भारत में आये हुए युरेशियनों के पास वापिस अपने देश में जाने रास्ता भी बंद हो गया और यूरेशियन लोग भारत में ही रहने पर मजबूर हो गए । युरेशियनों को मजबूरी में भारत में ही रहना पड़ा और आज यूरेशियन भारत का ही एक अंग बन गए है, जिनको आज के समय में ब्राह्मण, राजपूत और वैश्य कहा जाता है । 3.ईसा पूर्व 3200 में यूरेशिया से आये लोगों की चमड़ी का रंग गोरा था, आँखों का रंग हल्का था और इनकी खोपड़ी लम्बाई लिए हुए थी । ब्राह्मण, राजपूत और वैश्य यूरेशिया से आये है. यह बात 2001 में प्रसिद्ध शोधकर्ता माइकल बामशाद ने वाशिंगटन विश्वविद्यालय में भारत की सभी जातियों के लोगों का DNA परिक्षण करके सिद्ध कर दी थी । DNA परिक्षण में यह बात साफ़ हो गई थी कि क्रमश: ब्राह्मण का 99.90%, राजपूत का 99.88% और वैश्य का 99.86% DNA यूरेशियन लोगों से मिलता है । बाकि सभी जाति के लोगों का DNA सिर्फ भारत के ही लोगों के साथ मिलाता है । 4.जब यूरेशियन भारत में आये तो यह आक्रमणकारी लोग नशा करते थे । जिसको कालांतर में “सोमरस” और आज शराब कहा जाता है । यूरेशियन लोग उस समय सोमरस पीते थे तो अपने आपको “सुर” और अपने समाज को “सुर समाज” कहते थे । यूरेशियन लोग ठंडे प्रदेशों से भारत में आये थे, ये लोग सुरापान करते थे तो इन लोगों ने भारत पर कुटनीतिक रूप से विजय पाने के लिए अपने आपको देव और अपने समाज को देव समाज कहना प्रारम्भ कर दिया । 5.भारत के लोग अत्यंत उच्च कोटि के विद्वान हुआ करते थे । इस बात का पता गण व्यवस्था के बारे अध्ययन करने से चलता है । आज जिस व्यवथा को दुनिया के हर देश ने अपनाया है, और जिस व्यवस्था के अंतर्गत भारत पर सरकार शासन करती है । वही व्यवस्था 3200 ईसा पूर्व से पहले भी भारत में थी । पुरे देश का एक ही शासन कर्ता हुआ करता था । जिसको गणाधिपति कहा जाता था । गणाधिपति के नीचे गणाधीश हुआ करता था, और गणाधीश के नीचे विभिन्न गण नायक हुआ करते थे जो स्थानीय क्षेत्रों में शासन व्यवस्था देखते या संभालते थे । यह व्यवस्था बिलकुल वैसी थी । जैसे आज भारत का राष्ट्रपति, फिर प्रधानमंत्री और प्रधानमंत्री के नीचे अलग अलग राज्यों के मुख्मंत्री । कालांतर में भारत पर रुद्रों का शासन हुआ करता था । भारत में कुल 11 रूद्र हुए जिन्होंने भारत पर ईसा से 3200 साल के बाद तक शासन किया। सभी रुद्रों को भारत का सम्राट कहा जाता था और आज भी आप लोग जानते ही होंगे कि शिव से लेकर शंकर तक सभी रुद्रों को देवाधिदेव, नागराज, असुरपति जैसे शब्दों से बिभुषित किया जाता है । रुद्र भारत के मूल निवासी लोगों जिनको उस समय नागवंशी कहा जाता था पर शासन करते थे । इस बात का पता “वेदों और पुराणों” में वर्णित रुद्रों के बारे अध्ययन करने से चलता है । आज भी ग्यारह के ग्यारह रुद्रों को नाग से विभूषित दिखाया जाता है । नागवंशियों में कोई भी जाति प्रथा प्रचलित नहीं थी । इसी बात से पता चलता है कि भारत के लोग कितने सभ्य, सुशिक्षित और सुशासित थे । इसी काल को भारत का “स्वर्ण युग” कहा जाता था और भारत को विश्व गुरु होने का गौरव प्राप्त था । 6.असुर कौन थे? ये भी एक बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न है । क्योकि भारत के बहुत से धार्मिक गर्न्थो में असुरों का वर्णन आता है । लेकिन ये बात आज तक सिद्ध नहीं हो पाई कि असुर थे भी या नहीं । अगर थे, तो कहा गए? और आज वो असुर कहा है? इस प्रश्न का उत्तर पाने के लिए हमे वेदों और पुराणों का अध्ययन करना पड़ेगा । आज भी हम खास तौर पर “शिव महापुराण” का अध्ययन करे तो असुरों के बारे सब कुछ स्पष्ट हो जाता है । असुराधिपति भी रुद्रों को ही कहा गया है । शिव से लेकर शंकर तक सभी रुद्रों को असुराधिपति कहा जाता है । आज भी रुद्रों को असुराधिपति होने के कारण अछूत या शुद्र देवता कहा जाता है । कोई भी ब्राह्मण रूद्र पूजा के बाद स्नान करने के बाद ही मंदिरों में प्रवेश करते है या गंगा जल इत्यादि अपने शरीर पर छिड़क कर दुसरे देवताओं की पूजा करते है । नागवंशी लोग सांवले या काले रंग के हुआ करते थे और नागवंशी सुरापान नहीं करते थे । आज भी आपको जगह जगह वेदों और पुराणों में लिखा हुआ मिल जायेगा कि नाग दूध पीते है कोई भी नाग “सूरा” अर्थात शराब का सेवन नहीं करते थे । अर्थात भारत के मूल निवासी कालांतर में असुर कहलाये और आज उन्ही नागवंशियों को शुद्र कहा जाता है । 7.युरेशियनों ने भारत कूटनीति द्वारा भारत की सता हासिल की और पहले तीन महत्वपूर्ण नियम बनाये जिनके करना आज भी ब्राहमण पुरे समाज में सर्वश्रेठ माने जाते है: 8.वर्ण-व्यवस्था: युरेशियनों ने सबसे पहले वर्ण-व्यवस्था को स्थापित किया अर्थात यूरेशियन साफ़ रंग के थे तो उन्हों ने अपने आपको श्रेष्ठ पद दिया । यूरेशियन उस समय देवता कहलाये और आज ब्राह्मण कहलाते है । भारत के लोग देखने में सांवले और काले थे तो मूल निवासियों को नीच कोटि का बना दिया गया । 400 ईसा पूर्व या उस से पहले भारत के मूल निवासियों को स्थान और रंग के आधार पर 3000 जातियों में बांटा गया । आधार बनाया गया वेदों और पुराणों को, जिनको यूरेशियन ने संस्कृत में लिखा । भारत के मूल निवासियों को संस्कृत का ज्ञान नहीं था तो उस समय जो भी यूरेशियन बोल देते थे उसी को भारत के मूल निवासियों ने सच मान लिया । जिस भी मूल निवासी राजा ने जाति प्रथा का विरोध किया उसको युरेशियनों ने छल कपट या प्रत्यक्ष युद्धों में समाप्त कर दिया । जिस का वर्णन सभी वेदों और पुराणों में सुर-असुर संग्रामों के रूप में मिलाता है । लाखों मूल निवासियों को मौत के घाट उतारा गया । कालांतर में उसी जाति प्रथा को 3000 जातियों को 7500 उप जातियों में बांटा गया । 9.शिक्षा-व्यवस्था: इस व्यवस्था के अंतर्गत युरेशियनों ने भारत के लोगों के पढ़ने लिखने पर पूर्ण पाबन्दी लगा दी । कोई भी भारत का मूल-निवासी पढ़ लिख नहीं सकता था । सिर्फ यूरेशियन ही पढ़ लिख सकते थे । भारत के लोग पढ़ लिख ना पाए इस के लिए कठोर नियन बनाये गए । मनु-स्मृति का अध्ययन किया जाये तो यह बात सामने आती है । कोई भी भारत का मूल निवासी अगर लिखने का कार्य करता था तो उसके हाथ कट देने का नियम था । अगर कोई मूल-निवासी वेदों को सुन ले तो उसके कानों में गरम शीशा या तेल से भर देने का नियम था । इस प्रकार भारत के लोगों को पढने लिखने से वंचित कर के युरेशियनों ने वेदों और पुराणों में अपने हित के लिए मनचाहे बदलाव किये । ये व्यवस्था पहली इसवी से 1947 तक चली । जब 1947 में देश आज़ाद हुआ तो डॉ भीमा राव अम्बेडकर के प्रयासों से भारत के मूल-निवासियों को पढ़ने लिखने का अधिकार मिला । आज भी ब्राह्मण वेदों और पुराणों में नए नए अध्याय जोड़ते जा रहे है और भारत के मूल निवासियों को कमजोर बनाने का प्रयास सतत जारी है । 10.धर्म व्यवस्था: धर्म व्यवस्था ही भारत के मूल निवासियों के पतन के सबसे बड़ा कारण था । धर्म व्यवस्था कर के युरेशियनों ने अपने आपको भगवान् तक घोषित के दिया । धर्म व्यवस्था कर के युरेशियनों ने खुद को देवता बना कर हर तरह से समाज में श्रेष्ठ बना दिया । धर्म व्यवस्था में “दान का अधिकार” बना कर युरेशियनों ने अपने आपको काम करने से मुक्त कर दिया और अपने लिए मुफ्त में ऐश करने प्रबंध भी इसी दान के अधिकार से कर लिया । धर्म व्यवस्था के नियम भी बहुत कठोर थे । जैसे कोई भी भारत का मूल निवासी मंदिरों, राज महलों और युरेशियनों के आवास में नहीं जा सकता था । अगर कोई मूल निवासी ऐसा करता था तो उसको मार दिया जाता था । आज भी यूरेशियन पुरे भारत में अपने घरों में मूल निवासियों को आने नहीं देते । आज भी दान व्यवस्था के चलते भारत के मंदिरों में कम से कम 10 ट्रिलियन डॉलर की संम्पति युरेशियनों के अधिकार में है । जो मुख्य तौर पर भारत में गरीबी और ख़राब आर्थिक हालातों के लिए जिमेवार है । संम्पति के अधिकार हासिल कर के तो युरेशियनों ने मानवता की सारी सीमा ही तोड़ दी । यहाँ तक भारत में रूद्र शासन से समय से पूजित नारी को भी संम्पति में शामिल कर लिया । नारी को संम्पति में शामिल करने से भी भारत के मूल निवासियों का पतन हुआ । संम्पति के अधिकार भी बहुत कठोर थे । जैसे यूरेशियन सभी प्रकार की संम्पतियों का मालिक था । भारत के मूल निवासियों को संम्पति रखने का अधिकार नहीं था । यूरेशियन भारत की किसी भी राजा की संम्पति को भी ले सकता था । यूरेशियन किसी भी राजा की उसके राज्य से बाहर निकल सकता था । यूरेशियन किसी की भी स्त्री की ले सकता था । यहाँ तक युरेशियनों को राजा की स्त्री के साथ संम्भोग की पूर्ण आज़ादी थी । अगर किसी राजा के सन्तान नहीं होती थी तो यूरेशियन राजा की स्त्री के साथ संम्भोग कर बच्चे पैदा करता था । जिसे कालांतर में “नियोग” पद्धति कहा जाता था । इस प्रकार राजा की होने वाली संतान भी यूरेशियन होती थी । शुद्र व्यवस्था के द्वारा तो युरेशियनों ने सारे देश के मूल निवासियों को अत्यंत गिरा हुआ बना दिया । हज़ारों कठोर नियम बनाये गए । मूल निवासियों का हर प्रकार से पतन हो गया । मूल निवासी किसी भी प्रकार से ऊपर उठने योग्य ही नहीं रह गए । मूल निवासियों पर शासन करने के लिए और बाकायदा मनु-स्मृति जैसे बृहद ग्रन्थ की रचना की गई । आज भी लोग 2002 से पहले प्रकाशित के मनु-स्मृति की प्रतियों को पढेंगे तो सारी सच्चाई सामने आ जाएगी ।

ये कुछ महत्वपूर्ण बातें थी जिन पर भारत का इतिहास लिखने से पहले प्रकाश डालना जरुरी था । यही कुछ बातें है जिनका ज्ञान भारत के मूल निवासियों को होना बहुत जरुरी है । अगर भारत के मूल निवासी युरेशियनों के बनाये हुए नियमों को मानने से मना कर दे । युरेशियनों की बनायीं हुई वर्ण व्यवस्था, जाति व्यवस्था, संम्पति व्यवस्था, वेद व्यवस्था, धर्म व्यवस्था को ना माने । सभी मूल निवासी ब्राह्मणों के बनाये हुए जातिवाद के बन्धनों से स्वयं को मुक्त करे और सभी मूल निवासी नागवंशी समाज की फिर से स्थापना करे । सभी मूल निवासी मिलजुल कर देश का असली इतिहास अपने लोगों को बताये । सभी नागवंशी अपनी क़ाबलियत को समझे । तभी भारत के मूल निवासी पुन: उसी विश्व गुरु के पद को प्राप्त कर सकते है और भारत में फिर से स्वर्ण युग की स्थापना कर सकते है । जल्दी ही भारत का विस्तृत इतिहास अलग अलग अध्यायों के रूप में प्रस्तुत किया जायेगा । हमारी टीम रात दिन भारत के इतिहास पर हुए हजारों शोधों और पुस्तकों का अध्ययन कर रही है, और भारत का सच्चा इतिहास लिखा जा रहा है ।

आप सभी से विनम्र प्रार्थना है कि भारत का इतिहास सभी लोगों तक पहुंचाए । हमारे इस प्रयास को सार्थक बनाने में हमारा सहयोग करे । “मूलनिवासी फाउंडेशन” आपसे सहयोग की अपेक्षा करता है । खुद भी जागो, और को भी जगाये..!! आओ अम्बेडकर के सपनों का भारत बनाये…!!

List of Scandals in India

by Brahmins and Banias
It is nothing new that most of the scandals are committed by Brahmins and Banias in the country. They have looted India but have defamed only so-called lower caste leaders such as Lalu Prasad Yadav and Behan Mayawati. With the use of Manuwadi media, these Brahmin leaders from Brahminical parties have managed to label only so-called lower castes leaders as corrupt.

Anyone from so-called lower castes if tries to stand against the Brahamism, RSS Sanghis have always tried to implicate those people in corruption or have tried to buy those leaders so that they stop talking against their Brahminical lords sitting at Nagpur.

Let’s have a look at big money scandals and which caste groups were involved in those. The list we think is till 2014 scandals.

Scandals by Brahmins

Basil International = $530 million (Brahmin)
Sahara scandal = $9 billion (Brahmin)
Sharada scandal = $6 billion (Brahmin)
Common Wealth Games = $12 billion (Brahmin)
DDCA = $14 million (Brahmin)
Pixion Media = $100 million (Brahmin)
Surya Pharma = $100 million (Brahmin)
Electrotherm India Limited = $332 million (Brahmin)
Vijay Mallya = $1.3 billion (Brahmin)
Winsome Diamond = $400 million (Brahmin)
Surya Vinayak Industries = $210 million (Brahmin)
Coal scandal = $40 billion (Brahmin)
Jayalalithaa = $6 billion (Brahmin)
IGI Airport = $32 billion (Brahmin)
DIAL Scam = $25 billion (Brahmin)
Granite scandal = $2.8 billion (Brahmin)
Maharashtra Irrigation scandal = $12 billion (Brahmin)
Karnataka Wakf Board Land scandal = $39 billion (Brahmin)
Central Excise Duty fraud = $3.82 billion (Brahmin)
Highway scandal = $13.97 million (Brahmin)
Gift scandal = $100,000 (Brahmin)
Flying Club fraud = $38 million (Brahmin)
Arvind Joshi and Tinu Joshi = $50 million (Brahmin)
Obsolete French Fighter Jets = $11 billion (Brahmin)
Goa mining scandal = $700 million (Brahmin)
Kashyap EPFO scandal = $118 million (Brahmin)
ISRO-Devas = $300 million (Brahmin)
Cash-for-votes = $715,000 (Brahmin)
2G spectrum = $6.9 billion (Brahmin)
Commonwealth Games = $15.5 billion (Brahmin)
LIC Housing Loan scandal = $200 million (Brahmin)
Belekeri port = $12 billion (Brahmin)
UIDAI = $1 billion (Brahmin)
Scorpene Deal = $10 million (Brahmin)
Barak Missile = $200 million (Brahmin)
Cobbler scandal = $214 million (Brahmin)
Sukh Ram = $5 million (Brahmin)
SNC Lavalin = $10 million (Brahmin)
Bhansali = $200 million (Brahmin)
Pickle bribes = $20,000 (Brahmin)
Indian Bank = $260 million (Brahmin)
Bofors = $400 million (Brahmin)
HDW commissions = $4 million (Brahmin)
Haridas Mundhra = $10 million (Brahmin)
Teja loans = $5 million (Brahmin)
BHU = $100,000 (Brahmin)
Jeep scandal = $160,000 (Brahmin)

Scandals by Banias

Murli Industries = $135 million (Bania)
Kemrock Industries = $140 million (Bania)
Varun Industries = $183 million (Bania)
Zoom Developers = $275 million (Bania)
Forever Precious Jewellery = $200 million (Bania)
Corporate Ispat Alloys = $205 million (Bania)
Vodafone Scandal = $1.9 billion (Bania)
Kinetic Finance scandal = $34 million (Bania)
Ultra Mega Power Projects scandal = $5 million (Bania)
Gujarat PSU = $3.39 billion (Bania)
Pulse scandal = $200,000 (Bania)
IPL Cricket = $8 billion (Bania)
Ketan Parekh = $200 million (Bania)
Calcutta Stock Exchange = $2 million (Bania)
Harshad Mehta = $800 million (Bania)
Nagarwala = $1 million (Bania)
Kuo oil scandal = $440,000 (Bania)

Some other scandals by so-called upper castes

Deccan Chronicle = $100 million (Upper caste)
Orchid Chemicals = $150 million (Upper caste)
Jaganmohan Reddy = $15 billion (Upper caste)
Andhra Pradesh land scandal = $20 billion (Upper caste)
Maharashtra stamp duty scandal = $126 million (Upper caste)
Punjab paddy scandal = $3.59 million (Upper caste)
Bellary mines scandal = $3.2 billion (Upper caste)
Adarsh Housing Society (Upper caste)
Lavasa = $80 million (Upper caste)
APIIIC = $2 billion (Upper caste)
Vasundhara Raje land scandal = $4.4 billion (Upper caste)
Satyam = $1 billion (Upper caste)
Natwar Singh = $10 billion (Upper caste)
Advani Hawala = $18 million (Upper caste)
Do you know any other scandal by so-called upper castes? Or have we missed some scandals? Let us know in the comments.
From – Vinay Shende

What is there in a Name? There is a lot in the Name

In dealing with this part, of the question, we would like to point out that the existing nomenclature of Depressed Classes is objected to by members of the Depressed Classes who have given thought to it and also by outsiders who take interest in them. It is degrading and contemptuous, and advantage may be taken of this occasion for drafting the new constitution to alter for official purposes the existing nomenclature. We think that they should be called “Non-Caste Hindus,” “Protestant Hindus,” or “Non-Conformist Hindus,” or some such designation, instead of “Depressed Classes.” We have no authority to press for any particular nomenclature. We can only suggest them, and we believe that if properly explained the Depressed Classes will not hesitate to accept the one most suitable for them. We have received a large number of telegrams from the Depressed Classes all over India, supporting the demands contained in this Memorandum. – Dr. Ambedkar, What Congress and Gandhi have done to the Untouchables (Nov. 4th, 1931)

I am not that great that my suggestion counts. The very fact we are discussing the name for us suggests that we have been awakened and we do not wish to be called what the others called us in the past. That is certainly commendable. But I do not think that the issue is so important that we waste our time in on this issue. I would only point out certain facts and leave the great people who like to debate on the issue.

The ancient name ‘antajya’ was discarded because the old Law books had prescribed harsh and derogatory connotations. So all old names like antyaja etc. are out of question.

Our ancestors, during British days organized under various names by adding a prefix of Adi before the regional or religious name. [like Adi Andhra etc.]

Some of us fought for changing their names to “Namo Sudras” from “Chandalas”. I have a feeling that including ‘Shudras’ in their name, they agreed that they are a part of ‘Hindus’. In my humble opinion, “Chandalas” was better named to denote our aloofness from everything at is ‘Vedic’, Brahminic, or Hindu.

In my childhood, Mahars of Maharashtra were referring themselves as Chokhamela and not as Mahars. Chamars of UP, I believe, refer themselves as ‘Raidas’ even today.

Babasaheb used various names and that he opposed the name Harijan given by Hindus. Why? Because, as I understand, the name Harijan was used by medieval saint poet of Gujarat Narsi Mehta for the fatherless children of temple prostitutes the Devadasis thus carrying the notion of ‘BASTARD’. This name was suggested purposefully by Gandhi, knowing fully well the Gujarati meaning. If Gandhi was not a Gujarati and did not know the fact of this name being to given to the children of Devadasis and was in vogue for about four centuries, perhaps there could not have been many objections to this name. This is because, HARI is the name of GOD, more specifically for VISHNU. But it was also used for the BUDDHA. And if it was innocently used with good intention by some non-Gujarathi unlike Gandhi, perhaps Babasaheb would not have rejected it.

DALIT is the name popularized by Dalit Panthers around the seventies, but it was not coined by them. Around the 1950s, Jagjivan Ram had formed some organization by that name and the name DALIT was associated with his name.

Kancha Ilaiah has suggested ‘Dalitbahujan’. Kanshiram used Bahujan to include SC, ST, OBC, and Minorities and newly registered BAMCEFs have been trying to popularize ‘Mulnivasi’ for denoting the same people.

Yashwant Manohar and his followers had opened a movement to call it ‘Ambedkarite Literature’ to denote what was called “Dalit literature”. Even now they call it Ambedkarite to same literature what others call ‘Dalit Literature’. There was a big debate on the issue for some time.

And there are many who prefer to call ‘Buddhist’. But they oppose the word ‘Nav-Buddha’. I do not know why? How do you differentiate followers of Ambedkar from old Buddhists then?

It must be kept in mind that the meanings of the words change. The original meaning of the word “Hindu”, they tell me, was not all that glorious and was ‘dark’, ‘thief’, etc. But today they say, “garv se kaho hum hindu hai.

The word “DHED” is supposed to have originated from “THER”, a respected Buddhist monk. So Brahmins coined many derogatory names from Ther in Marathi, like ‘Therda’ etc.

The important point is to see who is using the name and for which people and is any derogatory sense implied. If you are using the name for legal purposes like claiming facilities etc, there is no other choice than using “Scheduled Castes” for (?ex-) untouchables and “Scheduled Tribes” for Adivasis and “OBCs” for respective castes etc. as per schedules.

The difference between ‘Bahujan’ and ‘Mulnivasi’ seems to be due to the ego of leaders of registered BAMCEF(s). The Mayawati BAMCEF people continue to call themselves Bahujans. They practically refer to same people by that name. Mulnivasi, in my humble opinion it could be applied to ALL people of India including Brahmins, as all had been integrated during the period of Asoka. But I could not convince my friends about this.

But the Adivasi leaders, like L. K. Madvai prefer to call themselves ‘Mulnivasi’ [and RSS wants to call them Vanvasi]. I had discussed the point with L. K. Madavi. He insists that only Adivasis are Mulnivasi and not others. He also insists that the difference is RACIAL. I could not convince him also that the present day ‘Adivasis’ (at least in Schedule V) are not that ancient and they are post-Buddhistic, as the sociologists claim. I think except perhaps the residents of Andaman Nicobar, all the Adivasis especially under Schedule V areas are all post-Buddhistic and are created during Rajput Age after the death of Harshavardhan in the seventh century by the newly formed ‘jamindars’ and the Brahmins pushing away the borderline peasants to interior away from Brahmadeya villages. I have written a book on the subject and also an introduction to PATANA.

I do not know whether the (Regd) BAMCEF(s) people have ever thrashed out the point with Adivasi leaders, whether only Adivasis are Mulnivasis or all except Brahmins are Mulnivasi.

Let us confine ourselves to ex-untouchables. The choice falls on two names. Harijan should be for followers of Gandhi and Dalits for the followers of Ambedkar, whether they are converted to Buddhism or not.

It is true that Gandhi used the following words about Babasaheb while criticizing his “Annihilation of castes”.

‘…a man who has carved out for himself a unique position in society. Whatever label he wears in future Dr. Ambedkar is not the man to allow himself to be forgotten.’

It was certainly not in his praise. If you read it correctly, what Gandhi said was that Dr. Ambedkar is hankering after cheap publicity by publishing his speech when the conference was canceled and sarcastically observed that cost of the book should have been kept 4 annas instead of eight annas. Babasaheb read that correctly and replied in a fitting language that it was Gandhi who always craved for publicity.

The word Dalit does not mean “broken”, as is suggested. It means ‘depressed’ or ‘oppressed’ or ‘pushed down’. It does not show a bad quality of the ‘depressed’, it shows the bad quality of the ‘depressor’. After being depressed or pushed down, the depressed could tolerate meekly or oppose the depression. Those who tolerate meekly by the Gandhi’s advice are ‘Harijans’. Those who jump back to oppose are Ambedkaerite ‘Dalits’. That is how I see it.

So it is preferable to say ‘lowered’ castes to saying ‘lower’ castes. Or say ‘privileged castes’ to saying ‘upper’ castes. But this does not happen always, and we use the words loosely. Dr. Annamalai had suggested the use of word ‘evil caste’ instead of ‘upper caste’ but it did not work.
The word INDIGENOUS came into vogue, (and translated into Marathi etc.) after UNO declared 1993 (I think) as the year for them. But their meaning was slightly different. Perhaps they meant a people of “threatened race”. Maybe I am wrong. Or am I?

Ultimately, the use gets confined to certain words, which are practiced regularly. The words DALIT and JEWS need not be taken literally. They are used by VTR symbolically. Everybody knows there are at least three meanings to every word. The words could be used literally, symbolically and even sarcastically.

Words could also change the meaning by the way you pronounce it. Just try the word “OK” to pronounce it in different ways! (Thanks Pralhad, you had suggested that)

I think this should suffice. I, myself, do prefer the word DALIT to denote SCs, ADIVASI to denote STs, and BAHUJAN to denote SC, ST, OBC, and Minorities together.

I prefer “Nav-Boudha” to denote Buddhists converts after the advice of Ambedkar and I prefer “Buddhist” while referring to the world’s Buddhist population in general. There are many types of Buddhists in the world. I hope someday, they would become one, and then we could all call ourselves Buddhists. But that is a different subject.

This is my opinion for whatever worth it is.

Author – Dr. K. Jamanadas
“Shalimar”, Main Road, Chandrapur – 442 402
Friday, November 23, 2007

जोधपुर किले में मेघवाल की बलि!
अक्टूबर 13, 2015 , कौशल मेघवंशी

चिड़ियाटूंक पहाड़ी पर स्थित जोधपुर-दुर्ग ‘मेहरानगढ़’ आज अपने वैभव और शिल्पकला के कारण पर्यटन का प्रमुख केंद्र है ।लेकिन इसकी नींव के प्रस्तर नीरव मेघ-निनाद करते हैं क्योंकि वे एक महान् मेघवंशी की शहादत के मूक-दर्शक बने थे ।राजस्थान में राजा रजवाड़ों के जमाने से तालाबों, किलों, मंदिरों व यज्ञों में ज्योतिषियों की सलाहपर शूद्रों को जीवित गाड़कर या जलाकर बलि देने की परम्परा थी । कहा जाता था कि यदि किसी किले की नींव में किसी जीवित पुरूष की बलि दे दी जाए तो वह किला हमेशा राजा के अधिकार में रहेगा, हमेशा विजयी होगा और राजा का खजाना हमेशा भरा रहेगा ! इस किले हेतु भी सिंध प्रान्त के ज्योतिषी गणपत ने किले की अजेयता और समृद्धता के लिए नरबलि देना अनिवार्य बताया । राव जोधा उसके प्रस्ताव को मानकर नरबलि हेतु अग्रसर हुआ और आम-जनता से में इसके लिए घोषणा करवा दी । उस दौर में राजा की ओर से उनके हरकारे गांव-गांव जाकर ढोल-नगाड़ों को बजा राजा का फरमान सुनाया करते थे। उन्होंने गांव-गांव जाकर घोषणा की कि राव जोधा मारवाड़ की नई राजधानी का निर्माण करने जा रहे है। इसके लिए किसी ऐसे स्वामी भक्त वीर पुरुष की आवश्यकता है जो दुर्ग की नींव में स्वयं को जीवित गाड़े जाने के लिए अपनी मर्जी से पेश कर सके। इतने क्षत्रिय-ब्राह्मण-वैश्य-सामंत-सेठ-साहूकारों में से कोई एक भी लोक-कल्याण हेतु अपनी बलि देने को तैयार नहीं हुआ । सभी बड़े-बड़े कार्य इनकी उपस्थिति में होते थे । राजा द्वारा इनको विशेष रूप से आमंत्रित किया जाता था । उनकी चाटुकारिता का भी कोई जवाब नहीं । शब्द-कौशल के धनी लंबी-चौड़ी प्रशंसाएं करते दिखाई देते थे । दरबार में हमेशा स्तुतियाँ हुआ करती थी पर अपनी जान कौन दे? इसके लिए कोई सपने में भी तैयार नहीं हो सका । आख़िरकार स्वामिभक्ति के लिए एकमात्र राजिया भाम्बी (राजाराम मेघवाल गौत्र कड़ेला) अपने आत्मबलिदान हेतु प्रस्तुत हुआ । एक ऐसे समुदाय का व्यक्ति जिससे बात करना तो दूर उसका स्पर्श भी अग्राह्य था । लोग उसकी छाया पड़ने को भी अशुभ मानते थे । हाँ, वह एक अछूत था ! फिर भी उसे किले की दीवार में चुनना और उसके पार्श्व में ख़जाने हेतु भवन बनाना पूरी तरह शुभ था । दोगलेपन का इससे बड़ा क्या सबूत हो सकता है !

इसी गगनचुम्बी भव्य किले की नींव में ज्योतिषी गणपतदत्त की सलाह पर 15 मई 1459 [12 मई 1459 ई. तदनुसार ज्येष्ठ शुक्ल एकादशी (11) वार शनिवार को] दलित राजाराम मेघवाल उसकी माता केसर व पिता मोहणसी को नींव में चुना गया।

कुछ स्रोत उद्घाटित करते हैं कि राजिया (राजाराम) और कालिया नामक दो मेघवंशी किले की दीवार में जीवित चुने गए थे । साथ थी कुछ स्रोतों से ज्ञात होता है कि गोरा भी सती हुई थी ।

राजिया के सहर्ष किये हुए आत्म त्याग एवम स्वामी भक्ति की एवज में राव जोधाजी राठोड ने उनके वंशजो को जोधपुर किले पास सूरसागर में कुछ भूमि भी दी ( पट्टा सहित ) व दस हजार रुपए नगद प्रदान किए गए । राव जोधा के आदेश पर जमीन का पट्टा उसकी पत्नी व पुत्र के नाम कर दिया गया। राज बाग के नाम से प्रसिद्ध हैं !और होली के त्यौहार पर मेघवालो की गेर को किले में गाजे बजे साथ जाने का अधिकार हैं जो अन्य किसी जाति को नही हैं !

जहां राजाराम की बलि दी गई थी उस स्थान के ऊपर विशाल किले का खजाना व नक्कारखाने वाला भाग स्थित है। किले में रोजाना हजारों देशी-विदेशी पर्यटक आते हैं लेकिन उन्हें उस लोमहर्षक घटना के बारे में कुछ भी नहीं बताया जाता है। एक दीवार पर एक छोटा-सा पत्थर जरूर चिपकाया गया है जो किसी पर्यटक को नजर ही नहीं आता है उस पत्थर पर धुंधले अक्षरों में राजाराम की शहादत की तारीख खुदी हुई है।

राजिया की शहादत के कई साक्ष्य इतिहास में मिलते हैं जिनमें से कुछ इस प्रकार हैं :-

सन् 1874 (विक्रम संवत 1931) में तत्कालीन जोधपुर राज्य ने “द जोधपुर फोर्ट” नामक अंग्रेजी पुस्तिका प्रकाशित की,उनके पृष्ठ 1 में अमर शहीद राजाराम मेघवंशी (भाम्बी ) के आदर्श त्याग के विषय में इस प्रकार लिखा गया :-

“Its (Jodhpur ) foundation was laid in 1459 A.D. when a man “Bhambi Rajiya “was interred alive in the foundation invoke good fortune on its defenders and to ensure its impregnability .”

अर्थात् ……..इस किले (जोधपुर गढ़ ) की नीव इ ० सन 1459 (विक्रम संवत 1516 )में रखी थी तब एक राजिया भाम्बी (मेघवंशी)इस किले के स्थायित्व के लिए जीवित इसकी नीव में चुना गया ।

सन् 1900 (वि ० स ० 1957 ) में राजपुताना के सर्जन लेफ्टिनेन्ट कर्नल डाक्टर एडम्स आई ० ऍम ० एस०; ऍम ० डी ० (इत्यादि) जोधपुर ने “दी वेस्टर्न राजपुताना स्टेट “नाम का अंग्रेजी में सचित्र इतिहास लन्दन में छाप कर पुन :प्रकाशित ! उसके पृष्ठ 81 में भी राजाराम के त्याग का उल्लेख हैं !

वि ०स ० 1946 फाल्गुन सुदी 3 शनिवार ( सन् 1890 तारीख 22 फरवरी ) को इंग्लेंड के राजकुमार प्रिंस एल्बर्ट विकटर ऑफ़ वेल्स भारत यात्रा की तब जोधपुर स्टेट की ओर से “गाइड टु जोधपुर “(जोधपुर पथ प्रदर्शक ) नाम की अंग्रेजी पुस्तक प्रकाशित हुई ! उसके पृष्ठ 7 में राजाराम के लिए छपा :-

“Tha fort (jodhpur)……………when tha foundation was laid ,aman rajiya bhambi by name ,was interred alive ,as an ausppicious omen,in a corner over which were built two apartments now occupied by tha treasury and tha nakar khana (country band) .in consideration of this sacrfice , rao jodha bestowed a piece of land “raj bai bag”near sursagar,on tha desendants of tha deceased and exempted them from “begar”or forced lebour .”

अर्थात् जब जोधपुर दुर्ग की नीव ( सन् 1459 में ) रखी गई तब शुभ सगुन तथा उसके स्थायित्व के लिए राजिया भाम्बी नाम का पुरुष उसमें जिन्दा चुना गया ! जिस पर खजाना और नक्कारखाना की इमारतें बनी हुई हैं ! इस क़ुर्बानी के लिए राव जोधा ने उसके वंशधरों को कुछ भूमि सूरसागर (जोधपुर) के पास ‘राजबाग’ नाम से इनायत की व उन्हें नि:शुल्क सेवा से बरी कर दिया !”

”अमर शहीद राजाराम मेघवाल” नामक पुस्तक उस लोमहर्षक घटना की सच्चाई को सामने लाने वाली है जिसमें राव भाटों की बहियों, शिलालेखों व कई ऐतिहासिक दस्तावेजों को शामिल किया गया है। डा. एल.एल. परिहार द्वारा लिखित पुस्तक जहां एक ओर दलितों में वैचारिक जागृति पैदा करती है वहीं दूसरी ओर राजा, शासक, अमीर या आम व्यक्ति को यह सीख देती है कि धार्मिक कुप्रथाओं, अंधविश्विसों व अमानवीय परम्पराओं के आगे नतमस्तक न हों व अपने विवेक, तर्क व बुद्धि का प्रयोग कर वैज्ञानिक सोच के साथ मानव कल्याण की राह चलें। महा मानव बुद्ध की राह चलें। करुणा,दया, प्रेम, मैत्री व शील का पालन करें।

प्रकाशक- बुद्धम पबिलशर्स, 21-।, धर्मपार्क श्यामनगर, जयपुर 302019 मो. 9414242059
6 मई 2015 को दैनिक भास्कर में भी इससे सम्बंधित आलेख प्रकाशित हो चुका है ।
जिस राठौड़ वंश के राज्य के लिए राजिया ने आत्मबलिदान दिया वह अब अक्षुण्ण नहीं रह पाया।
देश की आजादी के बाद लोकतंत्र में अब राजशाही नहीं रही, लेकिन राव जोधा का बनवाया यह दुर्ग अभी भी सीना ताने गर्व के साथ राजिया के तन पर खड़ा है।

Amar Shahid Rajaram Meghwal (Rajiya) jodhpur fort
Amar Shaheed Rajaram Meghwal (Rajia)

Sher Nara Rajaram Meghwal was also sacrificed for the benefit of the Jodhpur King! The foundation of the Jodhpur Fort, located in the tail of the peacock! When the Brahmin astrologer Ganpat of Sindh placed Rao Jodhaji's hand in the year 1516 Meghwanshi Rajaram Jeth Sudi was elected alive on Saturday 11 (c. 1459 DINAK 12 May) because there was a belief among the Rajputs that if any living men were buried in the foundation of the fort then that fort would become their He will forever Abbey in those right! That thought Rajaram (Rajia) tribe in the foundation of the fortress Kdela Megvanshi was thick alive! On top of that, there are treasures and buildings of eating carcasses, with them Gora Bai was sati! Rao Rajadhaji Rathod gave his descendants some land in Sursagar near Jodhpur Fort, in lieu of Rajia's happy self-sacrifice and Swami devotion. Raj is known as Bagh!These concessions are nothing in front of Su's ideal sacrifice!

Kanhi-Kanhiya and Kalia two men also get a written story of being buried alive in the foundation, which both belonged to Meghwal caste!

Due to this extraordinary sacrifice, Rajiya Bhambi's name has been mentioned with Shrada in many Hindi and English books published from the state.

About 135 years ago today, in 1874 (Vikram Samvat 1931), the Jodhpur state published an English booklet titled "THI JODHPUR FORT", in their page 1 line 12 concerning the ideal renunciation of the immortal martyr Rajaram Meghwanshi (Bhambi). It is written in: -

------------- "its (Jodhpur) foundation was laid in 1459 AD when a man" bhambi rajiya "was interred alive in tha foundeto invoke good fortuneon its defenders and to ensurs its imprognabilityt" .. .......... "(vide" tha jodhpur for "page 1 line 12 frist edition, 1874 ADpublished by jodhpur state)

That is ........ The foundation of this fort (Jodhpur stronghold) was laid in 1459 (Vikram Samvat 1516), then a Rajiya Bhambi (Meghvanshi) was chosen for its stability in its foundation.

V.S 1946 Phalgun Sudi 3 On Saturday (February 1890, 22 February) in England, Prince Prince Albert of Wales, traveling to India, Jodhpur then from the state and from English book named "Guide to Jodhpur" (Jodhpur pioneer). Published! Its page 7 featured for Rajaram: ……………………………............
"....... " tha fort (jodhpur) ............... when tha foundation was laid, aman rajiya bhambi by name, was interred alive, as an ausppicious omen, in a corner over which were built two apartments now occupied by tha treasury and tha nakar khana (country band) .in consideration of this sacrfice, rao jodha bestowed a piece of land "raj bai bag" near sursagar, on and exempted them from "begar" or forced lever ......... ("vide guide to jodhpur 1890 A <D <page 7 published by tha order of HH tha maharaja jaswant singh GCSI, and maharaj dhiraj col .sir pratap singh KCSI & c. jodhpur on tha auspicious of tha visit his royal highness tha prince albert victor of wales. 1890 AD page 7)

That is ... When the foundation of the Jodhpur fort was laid (in 1459 AD), then a man named Rajia Bhambi was chosen for life for his auspicious experience and stability! On the Janha are built the treasures and the buildings of Nakarkhana! For this sacrifice, Rao Jodha granted his descendants some land near Sursagar (Jodhpur) named "Rajbagh" and acquitted them of free service! "

Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Adams IMS of Rajputana in 1900 (V.C. 1957); Amd (etc.) Jodhpur published "The Western Rajputana State" in English illustrated history and reprinted in London! His page 81 also mentions Rajaram's renunciation!

In this way many books published by the then Jodhpur State mention the sacrifice of Rajaram Meghwal (Rajiya) !

How do Hindu Gods & Goddesses Compare with Dalit-Bahujan’s Gods & Goddesses

How do Hindu Goddesses like Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Durga compare with Dalitbahujan’s Goddesses like Pochamma, Kattamaisamma, Polimeramma, Yellamma, Mankalamma, Mareamma ?

The cultural, economic and political ethos of the Dalitbahujan Goddesses/Gods is entirely different from Hindu hegemonic Gods and Goddesses. The Dalitbahujan Goddesses/Gods are culturally rooted in production, protection and procreation. They do not distinguish between one section of society and the other, one caste and the other.

In these stories there is no scope for creation of an enemy image. War and violence are not at all central to the philosophical notions of the people. Ritualism is a simple activity which does not involve economic waste. Despite there being such a strong sense of the sacred, Dalitbahujan society never allowed the emergence of a priestly class/caste that is alienated from production and alienates the Goddesses and Gods from the people. There is little or no distance between the Gods and Goddesses and the people. In fact the people hardly depend on these Goddesses/Gods. To whatever extent it exists, and contact is needed, the route between the deity and people is direct. Barriers like language, sloka or mantra are not erected.
How do Hindu Gods and Goddesses compare with Dalitbahujan’s Goddesses/Gods? The Hindu Gods are basically war heroes and mostly from wars conducted against Dalitbahujans in order to create a society where exploitation and inequality are part of the very structure that creates and maintains the caste system.

The Hindus have a male-centered mythology and women are restricted to gender-specific roles and rendered sexual objects.

Though the brahminical Hindus claim that their tradition is rooted in non-violence, the truth is the other way round. All the Hindu Gods were propagators of violent wars. Their dharma is a caste dharma and their living styles, rich and exploitative. Production is made their first enemy. The fact that these Gods are approachable only through a priest and can understand only Sanskrit is enough indication that their alienation from the people is total.

The Dalitbahujans’ Goddesses/Gods tradition is the exact opposite in every respect. It is time that we confront these differences and understand them. It is important that scholars from the Dalitbahujan tradition enter into a debate with brahminical scholars in a big way. These brahminical scholars and leaders who talk about Hindutva being the religion of all castes must realize that the Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes, and Scheduled Tribes of this country have nothing in common with the Hindus. For centuries, even when Dalitbahujans tried to unite all castes, the Brahmins, the Baniyas and the Kshatriyas opposed the effort. Even today, no Brahmin adopts the names of our Goddesses/Gods; even today, they do not understand that the Dalitbahujans have a much more humane and egalitarian tradition and culture than the Hindu tradition and culture. Even today, our cultural tradition is being treated as meritless. If the Brahmins, the Baniyas, the Kshatriyas and the neo-Kshatriyas of this country want unity among diversity, they should join us and look to Dalitization, not Hinduization.

(Excerpts from ‘Why I am not Hindu’ by Prof Kancha Ilaiah.)

The 1873 Namashudra Strike

In Dalit History, we honour the Namasudras of present-day Bangladesh, who were Dalits, who played a significant role in the history of three modern nations — Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

For much of history, they maintained their own tribal identity within regions of Hindu and Muslim majorities. Like many other tribes, their community also underwent a Brahminisation, that included tribal indoctrinates only outside the Caste system. So, despite being adept at an indigenous life — boating, navigating waterways and fishing in seasons of rain — and agriculture in drier seasons, they were treated as “untouchables” by both “upper”-Caste Hindus and Muslims.

By the 1800s, many Namasudras were sick of the devaluation of their communities. They knew that services they provided were actually indispensable to the economics of their region. In 1873, they launched one of the largest Dalit movements for dignity, in the Faridpur district of Bangladesh.

It started when in one of the villages, a Namasudra who had come into some wealth, Choron Sapah, decided to throw a feast inviting all members of society including “upper”-Caste Brahmins and Kayasthas. These “upper”-Castes were infuriated by the invitation to eat from a Dalit person’s household. To protest their perceived defamation, they hurled derogatory remarks at Namasudra women. “Eat with men who permit their women to go to the market and who are employed in jails for removing filth? What next?!”

Namasudra community members did not like the veiled attack on their women or the reference to the indignity they were forced into. They called a meeting of their people and passed a resolution. All members of the community would refuse any of their labour to any of the “upper”-Castes.

Immediately local economies were impacted. Namasudras were agricultural hired labour for both Muslim and “upper”-Caste lands. Crops began failing. Boats were built, maintained and manned by Namasudras. Transportation in the region came to a grinding halt. No trade could occur because goods could not be transported. Markets suffered. People were left without food.
On hearing of the Namasudra action, all the local Dalit castes of Jessore and Barisal joined in. Dalit prisoners went on strike, refusing to do the unclean work not given to “upper”-Caste prisoners. Many landlords were at the edge of starvation and loss.

The strike of almost 800,000 Dalits in three districts continued for six months.

Desperate Muslim and “upper”-Caste landlords appealed to the local British magistrates for a resolution. And these Dalit worker strikes ended only when the English, along with Muslims and “upper”-Castes, then passed official orders to prevent and penalize the mistreatment of Dalits.
This little-known story of an efficient, highly organized, and non-violent Dalit workers strike, of almost a million people, in 1873, was taking place at a time when Bengal was said to be undergoing a period of profound “renaissance” — one that hardly paid heed to the existence or oppression of Dalit and indigenous peoples of the region.

International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences

ISSN: 2278-6236

Vol. 1 | No. 5 | November 2012 www.garph.co.uk IJARMSS

| 1



* Abstract:

This paper examines the trend of continuity and change in caste system in India. The paper highlights the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which have been playing a significant role to operate this traditional concept of social hierarchy. The paper’s main focus of the points is meaning of the term Dalit and its historic past. It also includes the factors which have been playing a significant and vital role for its continuity and change in different contemporary societies in India.

*Research Scholar, Central University of Haryana


At all times and in every society there are certain disadvantaged groups. They lag behind the mainstream of the society due to one reason or the other. In Indiancontext dalits’ constitute one such group. Thedalits, which is a social group peculiar to India, lagged behind the rest of the society in several respects since ages. They have been discriminated in several respects and were meted out, in several cases, even inhuman treatment, by the rest of the society particularly the socially advanced groups. They have been poor, deprived of basic human rights and treated as social inferiors in the society.


The caste system or varna-vayavastha , which has dominated Indian society for over 3000 years, was developed by Brahmins (Hindu priests) to maintain their superiority over less educated, less skilled and lower castes. Over the time, caste system was formalized into four distinct social groups called castes or varnas, which was organized in hierarchical manner. At the top of the social hierarchy were the brahmins, who were considered arbiters in the matters of learning, teaching and religion. Next in the line of hierarchy have been the kshatriyas who were warriors and administrators. The third and fourth in the social hierarchy have been the vaisyas who constituted the commercial class and the

sudras who have been the farmers and peasants, respectively. The four castes are socially and religiously important because they are said to have divine origin. Outside the varna system, there is a fifth group called dalits, who were prevented from doing any but the most menial jobs and were untouchable for the rest of the castes. They have been certain primitives, criminals, defeated and degraded people.

Dalits were referred to as panchamas or people of fifth order. The dalits were also called as pulkasas and chandalas engaged in polluting work such as sweeping and were believed to be the illegitimate children of sudra fathers and

brahmin mothers. The chandalas were the most despised of the Hindu society. They were not allowed to live within the walls of the town. The pulkasas like chandalas were also despised people. They were excluded from the category of castes. In the Dharam Shastra the occupation of a chandalas is to carry the dead bodies of men and animals and to execute criminals. While crises of temporary untouchability occurred in the lifecycle of all castes, the Scheduled Castes were born as untouchables, they lived in untouchability and died as untouchable. The dalits in present context in India are referred to as the Scheduled Castes. Initially, the Rigvedic varna system in the first instance was labour division, i.e., this social classification was on the basis of the work performed by an individual.

Brahmins or priests were just like Bureaucrats of today. They were the virtually powerful. Thekshatriyas or warriors were the military personnel and the rulers. The vaishyas were merchants and cultivators, while the sudras were menials and labours. But this classification soon became rigid and degenerated and gradually the caste of a person was determined on the basis of lineage. The doctrine of inequality is core at the heart of the caste system. Dalits are outcastes or people who fell outside the four fold caste system. As a system of social, economic and religions governance, the rigid caste system based on lineage of an individual was not founded on the principle of equality, liberty or fraternity, but on the principle of inequality in every sphere of life. The social, religious, cultural and economic rights of the person belonging to a particular caste are predetermined on the basis of his or her birth and are thus hereditary; they are not subject to change after the birth of a person.


According to Molesworth’s Marathi-English Dictionary (1975), the meaning of dalit is ground, broken or reduced to pieces generally. Dalit is not a caste in India. Dalit is a man exploited by rituals and upper castes. It means burst, split, broken, downtrodden, scattered, crushed and destroyed. In popular parlance dalit

refers to ex-untouchable population of India. In legal terminology in India, a dalit is a person who belongs to the castes identified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The term dalits has under gone many changes and each time it appears with new nomenclature. The Hindu doctrine of creation exemplified in chaturanana scheme of social stratification does not clearly account for the origin of the untouchables. As discussed above, those who were below or outside the four varnas were called as panchams. In the later Vedic period they were referred as chandalas andpulkasas. According toBaudayana Dharm Sutra, a chandala

is an offspring of sudra father and brahmin mother. These chandalas do not denote one single homogeneous class, but offsprings of five different varieties. The term antyaja, aniyavasin, asuras, dasas or dasyas and raksasa was used over the period of time. The term was initially coined by Narsi Mehta, a Bhakti era poet to refer to the children of devadasis (female temple dancers). Symbolically speaking, they were children of God in that the devadasis were dedicated to the service of God and sexual union between the agents and servants of God was mystified and even invested with an aura of divinity. Perhaps the last saint poet in this stream was Narsi Mehta a Gujarati, who coined the term Harijan. The term Harijan literally means ‘children of God.’ By the late 19th century the term ‘depressed classes’ wasm introduced by the British administration to refer to the untouchables and tribes. The Government of India Act, 1935 introduced the term Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to replace the earlier composite term depressed classes used for these categories. Mahatma Gandhi invoked the term “Harijan” in a different sense a word intended to express his compassion and meant to be ennobling. But it was totally rejected by conscious untouchables and wondered why they had been signed out as ‘children of God?’ In this terminology dalits perceived another attempt to subtle segregation from the rest of society. But Ambedkar, the most outstanding leader of the Scheduled Castes in modern times, rejected it outright and insisted that these people be referred to as ‘untouchables’ so as to avoid the obfuscation of reality. The last and the current label used by Scheduled Castes to define themselves is dalit , the oppressed. The basic characteristic features of the dalits in India are: A recent coinage, it came into vogue in the 1970s in Maharshtra with the formation of a political party that called itself the Dalit Panthers. Although the Dalit identity crystallized first in Maharashtra, it spread quickly, gaining wide currency, and it is now used all over India. They are stigmatized people and poverty is their constant companion; segregated by the society marginalized by the polity, oppressed by the power mongers. Act of brutality and terror continue to be part of the atrocities perpetuated on dalits

Thus, it can be said that dalit is not the name of any traditional caste; rather it is a social group which has been deprived of the rights which other sections of society enjoyed. People belonging to this group worked as manual scavengers, clearing away dead animals and doing other such works. Engaging in these activities was considered to be polluting to the individual who performed them and this pollution is considered to be contagious. As a result, dalits were commonly banned and segregated from the rest of the society.


During the Vedic times, when the caste system was not defined on the basis of birth rather on the basis of the occupation pursued by an individual, the position of the dalits was not pathetic. However, their position started deteriorating when the caste of a person was determined on the basis of lineage. The Dharam Shastras and the Epics mention the nishada , chandala, pulkasas as degraded ones. The outcaste people were mainly bounded labourers and could do only menials jobs. They were denied access to temples, wells and schools.

Manu’s work is full of inhumamm codification of caste rules. He supported the supremacy of brahamins and other dominating communities and fully condemned the Non- Arya sudras and chandalas . Hence the position of chandalas was very critical at that time. chandalas could not live in the villages, they could perform the menials and unskilled labour particularly the ritually unclean works. So they were out of the Hindu caste system cut off from the rest of the society. Chinese pilgrim Fahien, a contemporary of Chandra Gupta-II, visited and lived in India between 405 A.D. and 411 A.D. He stated that chandalas lived apart from others, in separate quarter. The other Chinese traveler Yuan Chaug, who visited India in 629 A.D., reiterated that “these people were forced to live outside the city.” In Buddha and Mahavira,period the condition of the dalits was not worse. Both Buddha and Mahavira admitted untouchables in their administration and social order, during their life time they condemned caste system. By the time of medieval period, the practice of untouchability had set in. In the beginning of the eleventh century Al-Brunie visited India and left some valuable accounts of the life of the people during that period. He said that sudras followed by a section of people, antyaja or achhut were engaged in eight varieties of crafts and trades. Those were sailor, fisherman, juggler, basket maker, weaver, shoemakers and hunter of birds and wild animals. During thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Hindu religion was promoted at high-level. During this period, the condition of dalits was not very good. During Medieval period, the Arab invasions started, one after another and plundered the country followed by massacres and destruction of religious sites. During Sultanate period and Mughal regime, the sudaras and untouchables suffered very badly. With the emergence of Kabir, Ravidas, Dadu, Nanak etc., it almost became a movement of social awakening and unity among lower castes.

Bhakti movement condemned the social odds and oppressive features of Hindu society and also attacked Muslim orthodoxy. It opposed caste system and practice of untouchability. At that time society was consisted of poor and rich, the master and the slave. The dalits were known as achhut in this period. Ramanand, a Hindu reformer, Rai Das, a chammar of Banarasa, preached equality and opposed untouchability. The Bhakti movement rejected the authority of Vedas, brahmin priesthood and ritual practices, but failed to recover the lost identity. It was continued in various forms till the 18 th century. During the 19th century during British rule the condition ofh dalits was not as worse as it was in ancient time and during Bhakti period. The emergence of British power made a lot of difference for downtrodden people. They brought a sense of liberty for the marginalized communities. The British strongly opposed the rituals as sati partha and untouchability. During this British period, the dalits were known as untouchables and they were officially called the Scheduled Castes. After independence the position ofh dalits has improved considerably due to constitutional provisions and the efforts undertaken by the government, spread of education and awareness. Although the concept of untouchability was made illegal after India gained independence in 1947, the persecution and alienation of the dalits has not been stopped altogether. They are still facing economic problems, socio-cultural and political discrimination in the name of caste in many parts of India. The education is the basic factor for upliftment of any section of society. But the quality of education especially of government school in rural areas is very poor.

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In rural areas there is inadequate infrastructure, lack of accountability of teachers and inadequate working conditions of teachers and this has adversely affected the quality of education thereat. Even now the position of

dalits especially of the women and children of this category is vulnerable. Dalit women and children are primarily engaged in civic sanitation work followed by leather fraying in tanning and footwear manufacturing whereas many dalits are agricultural labourers. Most of the

dalits are living very critical life particularly in states like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan etc. Dalits claim that their economic, social cultural rights as well as their civil and political rights have been violated by the government and its entities for centuries. They argue that the government should recognize and enforce economic, social cultural rights of dalits


Hence, the condition and position of dalits has very critical in ancient and in medieval periods. But when the Western ruler held the power in India, the position of dalits was improved in modern times. Their condition and position has improved of dalits and is still improving due to constitutional provisions and the legislative and executive has also played an prominent role in this side. So the position of dalits is not so critical as it was earlier. In this globalization era, the interaction between the men has increased. Hence the people are more vigilant about his rights and duties and about his future. New things, new ideas, new innovations and new technology has changed the mind of upper caste and high level society’ people.


1. Kethineni, Sesha and Humiston Gail Diane, Dalits: The oppressed People of India-war Crimes, Genocides Crime Against Humanity Vol. 4, 2010, pp: 99-140.

2 Ajay,Arocitieson Dalitsz: A Human Rights Perspective http://www.il.ac.in/pdf/article.3.pdf.

3. Chandreek, K.L., Dalits in Ancient and Medieval India, Shree Publishers, New Delhi, 2010, p. 11

Shocking realities of caste in India

Sumer Sharma

Caste is both a historical truth of the Indian subcontinent, and a reality of modern-day India. Some of us are still unaware of the extent to which caste remains an ordering principle in our society today. Caste is present in a massive way in most of India and caste-based discrimination and violence takes place across the nation. In metropolitan cities too, caste has its ugly presence, even if not in obvious ways.

If we want to beat caste, we need to understand it. But first: we’ll have to concede that it is a problem.

Laws of Manu

Integral to understanding caste is this Hindu scripture, which has shaped the way the religion has been practised in India. While the Vedas are more philosophical, the Laws of Manu detail how Hindu society must function and the traditions and rituals the people must abide by. It shows how deeply-rooted caste is in Hinduism that this fundamental text details the “number of paces (steps)” a person from a certain “unapproachable” caste must keep between themselves and a Brahmin, and the precise economic, social and physical punishments for any transgression of these mandates. This disturbing passage is a direct quote:

“If a shudra mentions the name and class of a twice-born contumely [i.e. without proper respect], an iron nail, ten figures long, shall be thrust into his mouth.”

There aren’t four castes, there are 5,000

A major misunderstanding is that there are only four castes: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. These are in fact the Varnas, which are considered ‘supercastes’. However, castes are often regional, and divided on the basis of not just profession. Profession is a minor part of the division that is mainly hereditary, based on different traditions and social status, and on degrees of untouchability. And the “untouchable” castes: the main victims of this system of oppression, are not even mentioned in the Vedas. The Dalits, or Scheduled Castes as the government recognises them, form a fifth varna kept out of the system.

Ambedkar’s radical thesis

Freedom fighter and great thinker B. R. Ambedkar, in his Annhilation of Caste, made a number of groundbreaking claims – the most controversial of which is that Hinduism itself has no meaning without caste. He called Hinduism a “collection of castes” that came to be defined as a religion and a culture only when Islamic culture came to India on the backs of foreign invaders. This idea was so radical that progressive intellectuals of the time banned the book.

Caste beyond Hindus

But to think caste is restricted to Hindus is an even bigger folly. Ambedkar, when he converted to Buddhism, along with thousands of Dalit followers near the end of his life, actually approached world’s two biggest religions first: Islam and Christianity . He was told his followers would not receive equal treatment in either of their religions: because in the Indian subcontinent, there are castes among Muslims and Christians as well. So the Dalit would have become Dalit-Christians or Dalit-Muslims. Untouchability and caste are cultural artifacts and social realities that have superceded religion.

Caste: punishment from the afterlife

But religion remains a justification and explanation for the atrocities of caste. The specific trap that caste locks one in is enforced by the Hindu idea of karma, which states that what you have done in your past life is responsible for your fate today, and your actions in this life will affect your birth in the next. If you’re born as Dalit or Shudra, it is believed it’s because of crimes in your previous life. And if you rebel or misbehave now, you’ll be born in a lower caste in your next life.

A small minority has social, economic, political power

The Mandal Commission Report in 1979 opened the eyes of the nation to how alive caste still was. By finding out the socioeconomic status of different castes, it uncovered startling evidence. Upper caste still held economic and social power, controlling the media and many political parties. An overlap was found between caste status and economic status, and certain occupations, like sweeping, were still the domain of the lower caste. Not much has changed since 1979.

‘We were made to sit separately from the other students’

Image: Indian ExpressSince the seventies – but mainly in the last three decades – Dalit autobiographies have become a big way for the world to know the atrocities perpetrated by the caste system, from the perspective of the worst victims. The most disturbing things about accounts like Baluta by Daya Pawar, is that discrimination is part of their normal everyday existence. It is not a one-off instance of honour killing but has permeated into everyday lives, like being made to sit separately at school. Food cooked by Dalits is not eaten by upper caste persons. They are supposed to take water from a separate well; they live in a separate enclave, a ghetto within the village.

Every day, 4 Dalit women are raped by non-Dalits

The National Crime Bureau’s official government statistics for 2012 tell us that every 16 minutes, a non-Dalit commits a crime on a Dalit. 1574 Dalit women were raped and 671 Dalits murdered in 2012. In Arundhati Roy’s eye-opening essay The Doctor and The Saint, she cites another 2009 report on untouchability in Gujarat, where –

most villages forbade inter-caste marriage, Dalits touching utensils belonging to other villagers, Dalit priests participating in religious ceremonies taking place in non-Dalit areas, and Dalit panchayat leaders having tea in special ‘Dalit’ cups or not drink at all.

The horrific Devadasi practice

Image: BBCEven today, in a village in Madhya Pradesh girls born of the Devadasi (meaning those who serve God) caste are forced at the age of 12 to renounce everything and dedicate themselves to the temple. This means life-long enforced prostitution, wherein any man from an upper caste, as he chooses to, can have intercourse with her every night.

Here’s The Guardian article and Ritesh Sharma’s documentary The Holy Wives, if you can handle it.

Untouchability by any other name

More dangerous is subversive untouchability: which remains in households that have maids or servants or even drivers. The insistence on them drinking from different glasses, not sitting at the dining table with the “family”, and having separate utensils are all practices, unfortunately, unique to India. (https://yourstory.com/2016/06/caste-india)

A list of raped women

(Due to their support for Indian Freedom Struggle)
Binodini Dasi
Sailabala Dasi
Kishoribala Kuila
Hiranbala Kuila
Dewani Bera
Charubala Das
Rajobala Bera
Bhagibala Bera
Kusum Kumari Bera
Tukubala Bera
Draupadi Maji
Rashmani Pal
Kiranbala Kuila
Sailabala Devi
Chikanbala Mondal
Nirodabala Devi
Kiranbala Shit
Sailabala Mondal
Raimoni Paria
Kiranbala Gayen
Puntibala Dhara
Susilabala Pal
Pramadabala Bhowmik
Charubala Hazra
Shovabati Bhoumik
Prabhabati Maity
Karunabala Bhowmik
Pramilabala Bhowmik
Rajbala Bhowmik
Snehalata Mukherjee
Suhasini Das
Kshudibala Pandit
Yasomati Maity
Ahalyabala Devi
Basantabala Maparu
Satyabala Samanta
Bimala Samanta
Jnanada Barman
Gunibala Bar
Kamalabala Maity
Raikishori Bar
Nirodabala Burman
Gungabala Dei (Bera)
Satyabala Dei
Charubala Karan
Kamala Bhowmik
Charubala Hazra
Kusum Kumari Hazra
Sailabala Kamilla
Sindhubaia Maity
Santabala Maji
Sailabala Maity
Kamalabala Doloi
Puntibala Nayek
Sindhubala Pradhan
Janakibala Maity
Paribala Maity
Niradabala Bhowmik
Kumari Pattanayak
Kusum Kurnari Mondal
Sailabala Pradhan
Janaki Sasmal

India from 1900 to 1947

Auteur: Markovits Claude
Colonial repression
General Presentation
The British conquest of India was accompanied by large-scale violence, sometimes directed toward the Indian civilian population. During the colonial wars of conquest, there were mass killings, but few are remembered. This is not the case with those linked to what the British called the Sepoy Mutiny, known in India as the First Indian War of Independence. This event is also referred to as the Great Rising of 1857-58 and was the only serious challenge to British rule between 1765 and 1919. The Sepoy Mutiny / Great Rising was accompanied by small-scale killings of British military officers and civilians, including the famous massacre at Cawnpore, which gave rise to one of the main memory sites of the British Empire, as well as by large-scale killings of Indian civilians in the wake of the repression of that rising. There followed some sixty years of Pax Britannica, during which the lack of direct challenge to British domination suffices to explain the absence of major episodes of violence. After the First World War, as Indian nationalism became a mass phenomenon, colonial repression sometimes took a violent turn, and killings occurred, albeit on a limited scale compared to other colonial contexts.

Chronological sequence
Map of Punjab in 1949

1919, April 13: Demonstrations were staged all over India from April 6th onwards in protest against the Rowlatt bills. British Judge Rowlatt had promulgated repressive laws curtailing civil liberties in India. In the Punjab, where anger against the colonial regime was particularly strong, demonstrations sometimes took a violent turn. In Amritsar, the Holy City of the Sikhs, however, a crowd of 20,000 including many women and children was demonstrating peacefully in an enclosure known as Jallianwalla Bagh, when British General Reginald Dyer ordered a platoon of soldiers of the Baluch Regiment to open fire on the unarmed crowd, killing some 380 and wounding 1,500. The general claimed to have wanted to “make an example” and thus prevent a new Mutiny. British settlers hailed him as a savior and the Indian public at large labeled him a mass murderer. Following Jallianwalla Bagh, as it later became known in India, Rabindranath Tagore, a poet winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, renounced his knighthood in a symbolic gesture of protest against this event*** (Draper, 1981).

1921, October 25: Northern Kerala Muslims, mostly peasants and agricultural laborers, known as Moplahs (Mapillai), rose against British rule and local Hindu landlords. Some landlords were killed by the insurgents, who also proceeded to forcibly convert some Hindus to Islam. This rising was linked to a general movement of Muslim protest against the British anti-Ottoman policy, known as the Khilafat agitation. Soldiers of the Dorset Regiment launched an assault on Melmuri, a locality where some rebels had entrenched themselves. As a consequence, 246 were killed including many women and children, who were not active rebels*** (Wood, 1987:210).

1921, November 10: A group of 100 Moplah prisoners being transported to a camp were asphyxiated in a railway car; 70 died. The administrator responsible for their death was later penalized, but not punished*** (Wood, 1987:205).

1925, May: At Neemuchana in Alwar state, a princely state of Northern India, the state police fired upon peasants protesting against an increase in land revenue. 156 died and 600 were injured*** (Sarkar, 1983:241).

1930, April 23: In Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province (in present-day Pakistan), a demonstration protesting against the arrest of local Pashtun leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as “the Frontier Gandhi,” turned violent and the army opened fire on the crowd. This demonstration was part of the Civil Disobedience movement launched by Gandhi, which otherwise remained largely non-violent. The Peshawar demonstration’s official death toll was 30, but an unofficial one estimated it at 200 to 250*** (Sarkar, 1983:288).

1942, August: Shortly after the launching by the Congress of the “Quit India” movement on August 8th that demanded immediate independence, the British unleashed massive repressive operations, using 57 army battalions. The official death toll, mostly in Bihar and the Eastern United Provinces, was 1,060 demonstrators killed (as opposed to 63 policemen and a small number of military personnel), but unofficial estimates were higher (1,761 for Bihar alone according to a Congress source). In some places air power was used against crowds which mostly had crude weapons*** (Sarkar, 1983:394-404).

Caste and class killings

General Presentation
Although intercommunity tensions figured prominently in Indian historical narratives, and probably generated the largest share of violence, there were additional tensions in Indian society that sometimes gave rise to massacres. For instance, in the countryside, Untouchables (now known as Dalits) and other members of low castes often fell victim to attacks by the upper castes. Some of these attacks were on a scale which would justify the term “massacre.” However, most attacks went unreported and the memory of them lies buried in the consciousness of often illiterate villagers. At times lower caste affirmation merged with labor militancy and, therefore, attracted the wrath of the colonial state or its princely protégés. One such killing of low-caste workers has become a famous incident in the history of Kerala and is given more detailed treatment below.

Punnapra-Valayar massacre (October 27, 1946)

In the Alleppey area of Northwestern Travancore state (one of the two large princely states in Kerala, the other being Cochin), the Communists built a powerful base amongst coir-factory workers, fishermen, toddy tappers and agricultural laborers. The latter mostly belonged to the low Ezhawa caste, a group of ex-Untouchables who had climbed the social ladder to a degree. The Communists were on a collision course with the powerful Dewan (Prime Minister) of Travancore State, C.P. Ramaswami Iyer. At the time, the Dewan was attempting to create an independent Travancore, hoping for a transfer of power. In September 1946, the state police started an intimidation campaign against trade-unions in the Alleppey area, and a general strike was declared on October 22nd. On October 24th volunteers attacked a police camp in Punnapra, and after martial law had been declared on October 25th, the Travancore army stormed the volunteer headquarters at nearby Valayar and fired indiscriminately, killing at least 800. The place has become a memory site for Communists in Kerala since 1957, when they first came to power*** (George, 1975).

Inter-community killings (until 1946)

General Presentation

Violence between Hindus and Muslims is one of the most publicized features of colonial India’s history. Some, particularly Indian historian Gyan Pandey (Pandey, 1990), hold that its characterization as violence between religious communities was “invented” by colonial administrators in the 19th century, and that it misrepresented forms of violence which were in fact extremely complex. Others see in it a faithful reflection of the actual crystallization of communitarian identities based on religion, in response to certain colonial policies. Whichever is the case, Hindu-Muslim riots became a permanent feature of the Indian political scene in the first half of the twentieth century. It is uncertain whether these riots, which were very varied in nature and scale, all qualify as “massacres.” Often they consisted of isolated stabbings in back alleys of towns and cities.

Pitched battles between two crowds over a procession route or some other symbolic place were rare. Even less frequently did a crowd attack defenseless members of another community. Only the latter type of incident can unquestionably be considered a “massacre.” The following section lists some of the major riots, as well as minor ones which clearly qualify as “massacres.”

Chronological sequence

1917, September-October: Massive attacks on Muslims by Hindu crowds of up to 50,000, in some 150 villages in the Shahabad, Gaya and Patna districts of Bihar. The immediate issue was cow protection (attempts to stop Muslims from slaughtering cows, which had given rise to a large movement all across Northern India in 1893), but rumors of a collapse of British rule because of the World War also played a part. The number of dead is unknown but is believed to be considerable (it is officially estimated at 41, but this figure is recognized as rather low) *** (Pandey, 1983).

1924, September: In Kohat, an area with an overwhelming Muslim majority (90%), located in the Northwest Frontier Province, a Muslim crowd attacked the local Hindu population, resulting in 155 dead*** (Sarkar, 1983:233).

1928, February: Hindu-Muslim riots in Bombay City killed 149 and injured 739*** (“Notes on Hindu-Muslim Riots in Bombay/Sind”).

1931, March: A Congress-inspired call for a work stoppage (hartal), in honor of a revolutionary who had been hanged by the British, started a major Hindu-Muslim riot in Cawnpore (Kanpur), which left 400 dead and 1,200 injured*** (Brass, 1997: 209-210).

1932, May: Widespread Hindu-Muslim riots in Bombay City. 217 persons were killed and 2,569 injured*** (“Notes on Hindu-Muslim Riots in Bombay/Sind”).

Mass killings linked to the Partition of British India between India and Pakistan (1946-1947)

General presentation

These killings, amongst the most massive of the twentieth century, have to be seen in light of the complex developments which led to Britain’s division of India into the two Dominions: Pakistan and India. They became separate, independent countries respectively on August 14 and 15, 1947. A first sequence of killings followed shortly afterward. The head of the Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, called for a Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946, to protest against the British Cabinet Mission’s plan for the transfer of power from Britain. The first large-scale violence occurred in Calcutta on August 16-19, 1946 and is widely known as “The Great Calcutta Killing.” The violence in Bengal and Bihar which followed thereafter, continued during October and November. After a few months of uneasy calm, a second violent sequence started in March 1947, and was almost exclusively centered on the Punjab. This sequence followed Lord Mountbatten’s arrival as India’s new Viceroy; his explicit mission was the transfer of power to one or two sovereign governments by June 1948 at the latest. In the Punjab, a province with a mixed population of Muslims (55%), Hindus (33%) and Sikhs (11%), the collapse of a government headed by the Unionist Party, a coalition of Muslim, Hindu and Sikh politicians, led to a confused situation in which the Muslim League emerged as the strongest party, but could not form a government. Since Punjab was to be the heart of Pakistan, in January 1947 the Muslim League launched a campaign to gain power in the province (which was still under a regime of provincial autonomy established by the 1935 Constitution). The campaign led to widespread violence in March against Hindus and Sikhs in some Muslim-majority districts of Western Punjab. While British Governor Sir Evan Jenkins imposed a state of emergency on the province until its independence, rampant violence continued unabated until the beginning of August 1947. Then, with the perspective of the province’s partition between a Pakistani Western Punjab and an Indian Eastern Punjab, which the powerful Sikh community was particularly opposed to, violence reached unprecedented heights in August-September 1947. A Punjab Boundary Force hastily assembled, failed in its mission to maintain order in the region, and was dissolved on August 31st, leaving the field to the armies of the two new independent states. It was only by mid-October that a semblance of order was restored in the Punjab. In the meantime, the largest population displacement in human history took place in chaotic conditions. It affected some ten million people (4 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from West to East Punjab and 5 to 6 million Muslims moved from East to West Punjab). The death toll of this terrible episode remains very much contested (see further on). ***
Chronological sequence

1946, August 16-19: Great Calcutta Killing. 5,000 people lost their lives.

1946, September: Sporadic violence in Bombay. 320 people were killed (Sarkar, 1983:433).

1946, October: Attacks on Hindus by Muslim crowds in Noakhali and Tippera districts in Southeastern Bengal. 300 people were killed, and many were forcibly conversted to Islam (Sarkar, 1983:433).

1946, October 27-November 6: Massive anti-Muslim violence in Bihar by Hindu crowds in “retaliation” against Noakhali. 7,000-8,000 persons were killed in a few days. Nehru, as head of the interim government, threatened to use aerial bombardment against rioting crowds (Tuker, 1950:182).

1946, November: Hindu pilgrims attacked Muslims at Garmukteswar in the United Provinces. Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an extremist Hindu organization, were involved. 1,000 people lost their lives (Sarkar, 1983:434).

1947, March: Muslim crowds and Muslim National Guards, the militia linked to the Muslim League, systematically attacked Hindus and Sikhs in Western Punjab, including in rural areas for the first time. Some 3,000 were killed (of whom some 2,000 in Rawalpindi district), and massive destruction of property took place (Carter, 2003: 369).

1947, April-July: Incidents of violence and arson continued throughout most of the Punjab, but on a relatively lower scale. Some 1,500 persons were killed (Carter, 2003: 369).

1947, August-September: Unprecedented violence across the Punjab region. In Western Punjab, there were massive attacks against Hindus and Sikhs and their property (since many Hindus and Sikhs were prosperous farmers or moneylenders), by Muslim crowds, Muslim National Guards, and members of the police and the army. In Eastern Punjab and the adjoining Sikh princely states (particularly Patiala) the pattern of violence was marked by the prominent role of Sikh jathas (bands of 20 to 600 men); the police and the army remained rather passive. Since most Muslims in East Punjab were poor farmers, their lives, rather than their property, were the main targets. There were three main types of violence:

-# attacks on villages, accompanied by widespread looting and rape;

-# attacks on refugee trains, with explosives to derail the trains, and use of crude weapons to kill the passengers;

-# ambushes on refugee columns moving on foot through the countryside under military protection (the military personnel sometimes sided with the attackers).

The death toll was in the hundreds of thousands; cases of rape and abduction of women numbered in the tens of thousands, and the victims were often murdered afterwards. The most deadly attacks were those against refugee trains. These were highly organized affairs in which ex-military personnel, with knowledge of explosives and sabotage techniques, played a prominent role. These trains generally carried three to four thousand refugees, and were accompanied by small military escorts, which were often incapable of preventing considerable loss of life, however. Here death tolls sometimes reached two to three thousand. Indian writer Khushwant Singh recounted one of these harrowing train journeys in a famous novel (Singh, 1956) (Ayiar, 1998).

1947, September: Large-scale anti-Muslim violence in Delhi, where Muslim refugees were concentrated in view of their departure for Pakistan, when Hindu and Sikh refugees arrived from Western Punjab. Gandhi’s personal intervention helped put an end to the killings (Sarkar, 1983:438).

1947, October-November: Gradual decrease of violence in the Punjab and progressive return to “normality.”

Epilogue: counting the dead in the Punjab mass killings

There is no authoritative estimate of the total casualties in the Punjab killings of August and September 1947. These casualties are glossed over in most standard histories written in India or Pakistan and seen as detracting from the main themes: Indian independence from Britain or liberation from Hindu domination in Pakistan. For this reason most estimates originate from British sources. Yet the number of casualties in the Punjab had become a bone of contention in British political circles: supporters of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, tended to favor a fairly low count, whereas his critics quoted higher figures. For a summary of the British debate, from an anti-Mountbatten point of view, see Roberts, 1994:127-132. Figures quoted range between a minimum of 180,000 and a maximum of 1 million. Here are some of the estimates found in the literature, from the lowest to the highest, with comments.

Moon, 1961: less than 200,000. The author, a non-conformist British civil servant, claims to have based his estimate on first-hand accounts (from the state of Bahawalpur, a princely state in which he was serving at the time) and on information from other British administrators. However, his figures appear low in comparison with other estimates for these areas. Lord Mountbatten supported Moon’s estimate, but as mentioned previously, the former had reasons to favor a fairly low count, given that some held him responsible for not doing more to stop the killings while he was still India’s Viceroy.

Khosla, 1989: 400,000 to 500,000. The author, an Indian official engaged in refugee rehabilitation presents detailed data for Western Punjab based on an Indian fact-finding commission, which interviewed Hindu and Sikh refugees. Khosla assumes that the number of Muslims killed in Eastern Punjab was the same as the number of Hindus and Sikhs killed in Western Punjab. However, he does not provide detailed evidence to support his view.

Mosley, 1961: 600,000. While the figure appears plausible (although high), the author, who interviewed participants in the events, does not give a detailed account of how he reached his estimate.
Bristow, 1974: 1,000,000. The author is a senior British officer who was in command of a brigade that was in charge of internal security in Eastern Punjab immediately after independence. According to him this figure is based on intelligence reports from the Headquarters of the East Punjab Area. Officers of the Punjab Boundary Force with whom he was able to confer regarded this figure as a “conservative” estimate. It is not clear whether this figure refers to the total number of the dead (including many who died in refugee camps from disease and exhaustion) or to those actually killed in massacres.
Manya Surve
Manya Surve's real name was Manohar Arjun Surve. Since his gang people used to call him Manya, his name was also recorded in police records as Manya Surve. He was not born in Mumbai, but he grew up, read and grew up in Mumbai. He did his graduation (BA) from Kirti College in Mumbai and when he came into the world of crime, he also included some of his friends studying with him in his gang. Manya brought her half-brother Bhargava Dada to the world of crime.
Bhargava had a great panic in Dadar area during his time. In 1969, along with Bhargava and his friend Manya Podhakar, Manya Surve murdered a Dandekar. All three were arrested in this murder, they were tried and all three were sentenced to life imprisonment. After sentencing, he was shifted to Yerwada Jail in Pune, not Mumbai. But due to the punishment, Manya Surve did not improve, but became more dangerous. He got such terror in Yerwada Jail that he started beating and killing the donors of rival Don Suhas Bhatkar. The troubled prison administration immediately decided to remove him from there and then sent him to Ratnagiri Jail. Angry Manya Surve then went on a hunger strike at Ratnagiri Jail. During the strike, he continued to read a popular foreign novel, which had many unique modus operandi written about the loot. In just a few days when his weight fell by 20 kg due to hunger strike, So he was admitted to a government hospital. Manya Surve took advantage of this opportunity and on 14 November 1979, he dodged the police and escaped from the hospital. From there, he moved to Mumbai again. After coming to Mumbai, he formed his gang afresh. He specially kept Sheikh Munir of Dharavi, Vishnu Patil of Dombivali and Uday Shetty of Mumbai in his gang. Not only this, the then infamous Robbers like Dayanand Shetty, Parusharam Katkar, Moreshwar Narvekar, Kishore Sawant also joined this gang.

After forming the gang, the people of Manya Surve first stole an ambassador car in Dadar on April 5, 1980 and then, while sitting in this stolen car, looted Rs 5 thousand 700 in Laxmi Trading Company in Curry Road. Two decades ago, so much money was also of great importance. After this, this gang attacked that Sheikh Aziz in Kala Qila area of ​​Dharavi, So Manya was an enemy of Surve's friend Sheikh Munir. He later tried a modus operandi written in a foreign novel and stole a car from Barkha Bijli area in Mahim and then looted 1 lakh 26 thousand in Govandi and about one and a half lakh rupees in Canara Bank in Sion. Naturally, when his panic increased, questions were raised on the law and order situation in Mumbai and also on the functioning of the police.
After all the criticisms, when the police woke up, the investigation of Manya Surve's people started. The police first arrested his accomplice Sheikh Munir in June 1981 from Kalyan. Other colleagues Dayanand Shetty and Katkar were also arrested from Goregaon. Manya Surve then ran and hid in Bhiwandi with a friend. When police arrived there, he attended a few minutes before that, but when he came to pick up his girlfriend at a beauty parlor near Ambedkar College in Wadala on January 11, 1982, he was then escorted by police officers Ishaq Bagwan, The king was killed in a police encounter with Tambat.
According to the police source, he was killed in an encounter in 1982 by the police after keeping an eye on his female friend Vidya Joshi. The Mumbai Police is said to be the first encounter in the city of Mumbai, in which the police involved received verbal orders not to capture Manya Surve but to pile it up. This is the police encounter after which the underworld gets a new weapon to eliminate its enemies. Police statistics show that till 2004 after the killing of Manya Surve in 1982, 42 alleged criminals in Mumbai became victims of police bullets.

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अंग्रेजों ने भारत में केवल ब्राह्मणों को गुलाम बनाया था

ब्राह्मणों की बेईमानी
📚 भारत का स्वतंत्रता आंदोलन भारत की स्वतंत्रता का आंदोलन नहीं था, बल्कि ब्राह्मणों की स्वतंत्रता का आंदोलन था. अंग्रेजों ने भारत में केवल ब्राह्मणों को गुलाम बनाया था, इस कारण केवल ब्राह्मणों ने अपनी स्वतंत्रता का आंदोलन चलाया था.
📚 ब्राह्मणों की आजादी आंदोलन के कुछ व्यक्ति
(1) चंद्रशेखर आजाद(ब्राह्मण)
(2) सुखदेव(ब्राह्मण)
(3) विनायक दामोदर सावरकर(ब्राह्मण)
(4) बाल गंगाधर तिलक(ब्राह्मण)
(5) लाल बहादुर शास्त्री- Kayasth
(6) रानी लक्ष्मीबाई(ब्राह्मण)
(7) डा. राजेन्द्र प्रसाद - Kayasth
(8) पण्डित रामप्रसाद बिस्मिल(ब्राह्मण)
(9) मंगल पान्डेय(ब्राह्मण)
(10) लाला लाजपत राय(ब्राह्मण)
(11) देशबन्धु डा. राजीव दीक्षित(ब्राह्मण)
(12) मोहनदास गाँधी, वैश्य (ब्रह्मनोका खून )
(13) शिवराम राजगुरु(ब्राह्मण)
(14) विनोबा भावे(ब्राह्मण)
(15) गोपाल कृष्ण गोखले(ब्राह्मण)
(16) कर्नल लक्ष्मी सहगल (आजाद हिंद फ़ौज
की पहली महिला)
(17) पण्डित मदन मोहन मालवीय(ब्राह्मण)
(18) डा. शंकर दयाल शर्मा(ब्राह्मण)
(19) रवि शंकर व्यास(ब्राह्मण)
(20) मोहनलाल पंड्या(ब्राह्मण)
(21) महादेव गोविंद रानाडे(ब्राह्मण)
(22) तात्या टोपे(ब्राह्मण)
(23) खुदीराम बोस(ब्राह्मण)
(24) बाल गंगाधर तिलक(ब्राह्मण)
(25) चक्रवर्ती राजगोपालाचारी(ब्राह्मण)
(26) बिपिन चंद्र पाल(ब्राह्मण)
(27) नर हरि पारीख(ब्राह्मण)
(28) हरगोविन्द पंत(ब्राह्मण)
(29) गोविन्द बल्लभ पंत(ब्राह्मण)
(30) बदरी दत्त पाण्डे(ब्राह्मण)
(31) प्रेम बल्लभ पाण्डे(ब्राह्मण)
(32) भोलादत पाण्डे(ब्राह्मण)
(33) लक्ष्मीदत्त शास्त्री(ब्राह्मण)
(34) मोरारजी देसाई(ब्राह्मण)
(35) महावीर त्यागी(ब्राह्मण)
(36) बाबा राघव दास(ब्राह्मण)
(37) स्वामी सहजानन्द(ब्राह्मण)

📚 15 अगस्त 1947 के बाद केवल ब्राह्मण ही भारत का शासक वर्ग बना क्योंकि अंग्रेजों ने आजादी नहीं दी, बल्कि Trasfer of Power किया, जो पॉवर सीधे अंग्रेज के पास थी, आजादी के बाद ब्राह्मण के हाथ आयी.
अब सत्ता पर 3.5% ब्राह्मण कैसे राज कर रहे हैं? यह भी देख लीजिये.
📚 सबसे पहले, ब्राह्मणों की जनसंख्या कितनी है?
👉1) जम्मू कश्मीर : 2 लाख + 4 लाख विस्थापित
👉2) पंजाब : 9 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉3) हरियाणा : 14 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉4) राजस्थान : 78 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉5) गुजरात : 60 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉6) महाराष्ट्र : 45 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉7) गोवा : 5 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉8) कर्णाटक : 45 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉9) केरल : 12 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉10) तमिलनाडु : 36 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉11) आँध्रप्रदेश : 24 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉12) छत्तीसगढ़ : 24 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉13) उड़ीसा : 37 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉14) झारखण्ड : 12 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉15) बिहार : 90 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉16) पश्चिम बंगाल : 18 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉17) मध्य प्रदेश : 42 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉18) उत्तर प्रदेश : 2 करोड़ ब्राह्मण
👉19) उत्तराखंड : 20 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉20) हिमाचल : 45 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉21) सिक्किम : 1 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉22) असम : 10 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉23) मिजोरम : 1.5 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉24) अरुणाचल : 1 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉25) नागालैंड : 2 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉26) मणिपुर : 7 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉27) मेघालय : 9 लाख ब्राह्मण
👉28) त्रिपुरा : 2 लाख ब्राह्मण
📚 अब ब्राह्मणों का वर्चस्व भी देख लीजिये.
👉 सबसे ज्यादा ब्राह्मण वाला राज्य: उत्तर प्रदेश
👉 सबसे कम ब्राह्मण वाला राज्य : सिक्किम
👉 सबसे ज्यादा ब्राह्मणों का राजनैतिक वर्चस्व : पश्चिम बंगाल
👉 सबसे ज्यादा ब्राह्मण प्रतिशत वाला राज्य : उत्तराखंड में जनसंख्या के 20 % ब्राह्मण
👉 अत्यधिक साक्षर ब्राह्मण राज्य :
केरल और हिमाचल
👉 सबसे ज्यादा अच्छी आर्थिक स्थिति में ब्राह्मण : असम
👉 सबसे ज्यादा ब्राह्मण मुख्यमंत्री वाला राज्य : राजस्थान
👉 सबसे ज्यादा ब्राह्मण विधायक वाला राज्य : उत्तर प्रदेश
👉भारत लोकसभा में ब्राह्मण : 48 %
👉भारत राज्यसभा में ब्राह्मण : 36 %
👉भारत में ब्राह्मण राज्यपाल : 50 %
👉भारत में ब्राह्मण कैबिनेट सचिव : 33 %
👉भारत में मंत्री सचिव में ब्राह्मण : 54%
👉भारत में अतिरिक्त सचिव ब्राह्मण : 62%
👉भारत में पर्सनल सचिव ब्राह्मण : 70%
👉यूनिवर्सिटी में ब्राह्मण वाईस चांसलर : 51%
👉सुप्रीम कोर्ट में ब्राह्मण जज: 56%
👉हाई कोर्ट में ब्राह्मण जज : 40 %
👉भारतीय राजदूत ब्राह्मण : 41%
👉पब्लिक अंडरटेकिंग ब्राह्मण :
केंद्रीय : 57%
राज्य : 82 %
👉बैंकों में ब्राह्मण अधिकारी : 57 %
👉एयरलाइन्स में ब्राह्मण : 61%
👉 IAS ब्राह्मण : 72%
👉 IPS ब्राह्मण : 61%
👉टीवी कलाकार एव बॉलीवुड : 83%
👉CBI Custom ब्राह्मण 72%
📚 सभी संख्या की गिनती की जाए तो 3.5% ब्राह्मणों का न्यायपालिका, कार्यपालिका, विधायिका, मीडिया और अन्य सभी डेमोक्रेटिक इंस्टिट्यूटों पर ब्राह्मणों का 79% वर्चस्व स्थापित है.
📚 आप इन सभी बातों से आप चौंक गये होंगे, यह इनकी मेरिट नहीं है, बल्कि ये बेईमानी, धोकाधडी, षडयन्त्र, ओर ब्राह्मणी जातिवाद चलाके हासिल की हुई पोजीशन है.
🎀 जागो बहुजन जागो !🎀
देश का दुश्मन सबका दुश्मन ब्राह्मण ।

Varendra rebellion

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Varendra rebellion

Varendra region in Bangladesh

Varendra, Dinajpur, Bengal (modern day Bangladesh)
Varendra became an independent state for a few years
Collapse of the Pala Empire in Varendra for a few years
Assassination of Mahipala II
Capital punishment of Vima after losing the final battle
changes Varendra secedes from Pala Empire and becomes independent for a while

Jalia Kaibarta Pala Empire
Commanders and leaders


Mahipala II

The Varendra rebellion (also known as the Kaivarta revolt) means the revolt against King Mahipala II led by Divya. The Kaivarta were able to capture Varendra by this rebellion. Later on, in 1082 CE, King Rampala was succeed to recapture his fatherland Varendra by defeating Vim with the assistance of neighboring vassals. Thus, the first revolt of rebellious Kaibarta came to an end.


The map of Pala dynasty during the reign of Dharmapal(violet)
It is hard to determine the causes and nature of the revolt. The Kaivartas were mainly aboriginal fishermen tribal communities. They earned their livelihood by fishing from their ancestor. But as the Buddhist Pala emperors were vegetarian in their religious believes, they were against of eating fish and meat. So, they always tried to discourage and even used force to stop Kaivartas from catching fishes. As a result, the Kaivartas were abused by the Pala emperors. Besides, King Mahipala II arrested his two brothers Shurapala II and Rampala II in the time of ascending the throne. As a result, some vassals of the two arrested brothers also took part in the rebellion.[3]
The Pala dynasty is known as golden age of Bengal. But after the golden age of Dharmapala and Devpala, the Pala emperors started to lose their glory. Their rule became weak and disorganization broke out. The principal aim of the rebellion was to bring back the maintenance.

According to Ramacharitam, the rebellion took place from 1075 - 1082 CE in the reign of Mahipala II and Rampala II.

Pala employee Divya called for revolution. The Kaivartas responded on his call and the rebels were easily able to capture the Varendra. As the Kaivartas were very expert in boating, they capitalized on naval war. Mahipala II was killed by the rebels and the Pala armies were forced to fall back. As a result, Varendra was declared a separate state by Divya. After the death of Divya, first Divya's brother Ruddoka and then Ruddoka's son Vima were declared king of Varendra. Vima established himself as a successful and expert ruler. Vima made the war-torn Varendra prosper. The Kaivarta pillar is still standing in Dinajpur of Bangladesh as a sign of the dynasty.

'The Kaivarta pillar in Dibar Dighi(Divya's Lake) in Dinajpur,Bangladesh
Recapture of Varendra

Seeing the prosperity of Varendra and popularity of Vima, Rampala became worried after ascending the throne. He was afraid of losing more of Pala territory. Because of this, he managed the neighboring vassals with a lot of money and property for assistance in the war. It was difficult for Vima and the newly formed state Varendra to defend against the large combined army of Rampala. He was imprisoned at the north shore of the Ganges river while fighting. The Pala armies looted the countless treasures of Varendra.
When Vima was imprisoned, his faithful worker Hari reorganized the army and attacked Rampala again. When Hari was on the verge of victory, Rampala enchanted him with wealth. Thus, the dream of the liberty of Varendra was spoiled and Varendra was again part of the Pala empire.
Trial of Vima

Kaivarta leaders were punished so that the Kaivartas could not dare again to revolt. Vima's family was killed in front of Vima and later on, Vima was assassinated.

मुक्त ज्ञानकोश विकिपीडिया से


गोगाजी राजस्थान के लोक देवता हैं जिन्हे 'जाहरवीर गोग राणा के नाम से भी जाना जाता है। राजस्थान के हनुमानगढ़ जिले का एक शहर गोगामेड़ी है। यहां भादों शुक्लपक्ष की नवमी को गोगाजी देवता का मेला भरता है। इन्हें हिन्दू और मुसलमान दोनो पूजते हैं।

वीर गोगाजी गुरुगोरखनाथ के परमशिष्य थे। उनका जन्म विक्रम संवत 1003 में चुरू जिले के ददरेवा गाँव में हुआ था। सिद्ध वीर गोगादेव के जन्मस्थान राजस्थान के चुरू जिले के दत्तखेड़ा ददरेवा में स्थित है जहाँ पर सभी धर्म और सम्प्रदाय के लोग मत्था टेकने के लिए दूर-दूर से आते हैं। कायम खानी मुस्लिम समाज उनको जाहर पीर के नाम से पुकारते हैं तथा उक्त स्थान पर मत्‍था टेकने और मन्नत माँगने आते हैं। इस तरह यह स्थान हिंदू और मुस्लिम एकता का प्रतीक है। मध्यकालीन महापुरुष गोगाजी हिंदू, मुस्लिम, सिख संप्रदायों की श्रद्घा अर्जित कर एक धर्मनिरपेक्ष लोकदेवता के नाम से पीर के रूप में प्रसिद्ध हुए। गोगाजी का जन्म राजस्थान के ददरेवा (चुरू) चौहान वंश के राजपूत शासक जैबर (जेवरसिंह) की पत्नी बाछल के गर्भ से गुरु गोरखनाथ के वरदान से भादो सुदी नवमी को हुआ था। चौहान वंश में राजा पृथ्वीराज चौहान के बाद गोगाजी वीर और ख्याति प्राप्त राजा थे। गोगाजी का राज्य सतलुज सें हांसी (हरियाणा) तक था।

लोकमान्यता व लोककथाओं के अनुसार गोगाजी को साँपों के देवता के रूप में भी पूजा जाता है। लोग उन्हें गोगाजी, गुग्गा वीर, जाहिर वीर,राजा मण्डलिक व जाहर पीर के नामों से पुकारते हैं। यह गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के प्रमुख शिष्यों में से एक थे। राजस्थान के छह सिद्धों में गोगाजी को समय की दृष्टि से प्रथम माना गया है।

जयपुर से लगभग 250 किमी दूर स्थित सादलपुर के पास दत्तखेड़ा (ददरेवा) में गोगादेवजी का जन्म स्थान है। दत्तखेड़ा चुरू के अंतर्गत आता है। गोगादेव की जन्मभूमि पर आज भी उनके घोड़े का अस्तबल है और सैकड़ों वर्ष बीत गए, लेकिन उनके घोड़े की रकाब अभी भी वहीं पर विद्यमान है। उक्त जन्म स्थान पर गुरु गोरक्षनाथ का आश्रम भी है और वहीं है गोगादेव की घोड़े पर सवार मूर्ति। भक्तजन इस स्थान पर कीर्तन करते हुए आते हैं और जन्म स्थान पर बने मंदिर पर मत्‍था टेककर मन्नत माँगते हैं। आज भी सर्पदंश से मुक्ति के लिए गोगाजी की पूजा की जाती है। गोगाजी के प्रतीक के रूप में पत्थर या लकडी पर सर्प मूर्ती उत्कीर्ण की जाती है। लोक धारणा है कि सर्प दंश से प्रभावित व्यक्ति को यदि गोगाजी की मेडी तक लाया जाये तो वह व्यक्ति सर्प विष से मुक्त हो जाता है। भादवा माह के शुक्ल पक्ष तथा कृष्ण पक्ष की नवमियों को गोगाजी की स्मृति में मेला लगता है। हिंदु इन्हें गोगा वीर तथा मुसलमान इन्हें गोगा पीर कहते हैं

हनुमानगढ़ जिले के नोहर उपखंड में स्थित गोगाजी के पावन धाम गोगामेड़ी स्थित गोगाजी का समाधि स्थल जन्म स्थान से लगभग 80 किमी की दूरी पर स्थित है, जो साम्प्रदायिक सद्भाव का अनूठा प्रतीक है, जहाँ एक हिन्दू व एक मुस्लिम पुजारी खड़े रहते हैं। श्रावण शुक्ल पूर्णिमा से लेकर भाद्रपद शुक्ल पूर्णिमा तक गोगा मेड़ी के मेले में वीर गोगाजी की समाधि तथा गोगा वीर व जाहिर वीर के जयकारों के साथ गोगाजी तथा गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के प्रति भक्ति की अविरल धारा बहती है। भक्तजन गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के टीले पर जाकर शीश नवाते हैं, फिर गोगाजी की समाधि पर आकर ढोक देते हैं। प्रतिवर्ष लाखों लोग गोगा जी के मंदिर में मत्था टेक तथा छड़ियों की विशेष पूजा करते हैं।

प्रदेश की लोक संस्कृति में गोगाजी के प्रति अपार आदर भाव देखते हुए कहा गया है कि गाँव-गाँव में खेजड़ी, गाँव-गाँव में गोगा वीर गोगाजी का आदर्श व्यक्तित्व भक्तजनों के लिए सदैव आकर्षण का केन्द्र रहा है।

गोरखटीला स्थित गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के धूने पर शीश नवाकर भक्तजन मनौतियाँ माँगते हैं। विद्वानों व इतिहासकारों ने उनके जीवन को शौर्य, धर्म, पराक्रम व उच्च जीवन आदर्शों का प्रतीक माना है। लोक देवता जाहरवीर गोगाजी की जन्मस्थली ददरेवा में भादवा मास के दौरान लगने वाले मेले के दृष्टिगत पंचमी (सोमवार) को श्रद्धालुओं की संख्या में और बढ़ोतरी हुई। मेले में राजस्थान के अलावा जम्मू व कश्मीर,पंजाब, हरियाणा, उत्तरप्रदेश व गुजरात सहित विभिन्न प्रांतों से श्रद्धालु पहुंच रहे हैं।

जातरु ददरेवा आकर न केवल धोक आदि लगाते हैं बल्कि वहां अखाड़े (ग्रुप) में बैठकर गुरु गोरक्षनाथ व उनके शिष्य जाहरवीर गोगाजी की जीवनी के किस्से अपनी-अपनी भाषा में गाकर सुनाते हैं। प्रसंगानुसार जीवनी सुनाते समय वाद्ययंत्रों में डैरूं व कांसी का कचौला विशेष रूप से बजाया जाता है। इस दौरान अखाड़े के जातरुओं में से एक जातरू अपने सिर व शरीर पर पूरे जोर से लोहे की सांकले मारता है। मान्यता है कि गोगाजी की संकलाई आने पर ऐसा किया जाता है। गोरखनाथ जी से सम्बंधित एक कथा राजस्थान में बहुत प्रचलित है। राजस्थान के महापुरूष गोगाजी का जन्म गुरू गोरखनाथ के वरदान से हुआ था। गोगाजी की माँ बाछल देवी निःसंतान थी। संतान प्राप्ति के सभी यत्न करने के बाद भी संतान सुख नहीं मिला। गुरू गोरखनाथ ‘गोगामेडी’ के टीले पर तपस्या कर रहे थे। बाछल देवी उनकी शरण मे गईं तथा गुरू गोरखनाथ ने उन्हें पुत्र प्राप्ति का वरदान दिया और एक गुगल नामक फल प्रसाद के रूप में दिया। प्रसाद खाकर बाछल देवी गर्भवती हो गई और तदुपरांत गोगाजी का जन्म हुआ। गुगल फल के नाम से इनका नाम गोगाजी पड़ा।

From Wikipedia

This article is about the Hindu deity. For other uses, see Goga (disambiguation).

Protects against snake bites

Gogaji riding the horse

Major cult center
Rajasthan, Punjab Region, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu

Dadrewa, Gogamedi, Rajasthan, India.

Weapon : Spear

Mount : Blue horse

Personal information

Dadrewa, present day Rajgarh, Rajasthan, India.


Father: Raja Jewar Thakur, Mother: Queen Bachhal

Gogaji (also known as Goga, Jahar Veer Gogga, Gugga , Gugga Pir, Gugga Jaharpir, Gugga Chohan, Gugga Rana, Gugga Bir and Raja Mandlik) is a folk deity, worshipped in the northern states of India especially in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab region, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu. He is a warrior-hero of the region, venerated as a saint and a 'snake-god'.

Although there are references to him in the folklore of Rajasthan, little historical knowledge of Gugga exists other than that he ruled the small kingdom of Dadrewa (in present day Rajasthan) and was a contemporary of Prithviraj Chauhan.


According to legend, Goga was born with the blessings of Guru Gorakhnath, who gave 'Gugal' fruit to Goga's mother Bachhal which was used to name him. Another belief is that he was called Goga ji because of his remarkable service to cows(Gou in Sanskrit).


Goga had a kingdom called Bagad Dedga near Ganganagar that spanned over to Hansi near Hisar in Haryana and included territory up to the river Sutlej in Punjab. It is believed that Goga lived during the 12th Century AD In the past, the river Sutlej flowed through the district of Bathinda in present-day Punjab in India. The capital was at Dadrewa near Ganganagar.



Goga (Hindi: गोगा) (Rajasthani: (Gugo) गुग्गो) was born to queen Bachchal (the daughter of a Rajput ruler, Kanwarpala who in 1173 AD ruled over Sirsa in present-day Haryana) and king Zewar in Dadrewa in the Churu district of Rajasthan. The earliest parts of Goga's life were spent in the village of Dadrewa, situated on Hissar—Bikaner highway in Sadulpur tehsil of Churu district in Rajasthan. He was born as a member of the Chauhan Clan to the rulers of this area, Jewar Chauhan and Queen Rani Bahcal around 900 AD.According to other legends, his father was Vachha Chauhan, the Raja of Jangal Desh, which stretched from the Sutlej to Haryana.


When Bachal was worshipping Gorakhnath, her twin-sister decided to usurp the blessings from the Gorakhnath. In the middle of the night, she wore her sister's clothes and deceived Gorakhnath into giving her the blessing fruit. When Bachal came to know about it, she rushed to Gorakhnath and said that she had not received anything. To this, Gorakhnath replied that he had already given his blessings and said that her sister was attempting to deceive her. After repeated requests by Bachal, Gorakhnath relented and gave her two Gugal candies. She distributed these candies to ladies having no child, including the 'blue mare' who was pregnant at that time. When the Guru gave the blessing to Bachal, he foretold that her son would become very powerful and would rule over the other two sons of their aunt, Kachal.


Goga was married to Shreeyal Roz who was daughter of Tandul Nagari's King Sindha Singh. When Goga came to know that his cousin brothers Arjan and Sarjan were attracted to Shreeyal and had an ill will for her, he killed both his cousins and informed his mother, who became very angry and decided not to ever see her son's face again.


Another story is that Arjan and Sarjan were against Goga and was a part of conspiracy with king Anangpal Tomar of Delhi. King Anganpal attacked bagad region with Arjan and Sarjan. Both of them were killed by Goga. Goga spared the king after his miserere. In a quarrel about land he killed his two brothers on which account he drew upon himself the anger of his mother.

Celebration and fairs

The cult of Goga falls within folk religion and therefore his followers include people from all faiths. Goga is popular as a Devta who protects his followers from snakes and other evils. He has been deified as a snake demigod and is a prominent figure among those who follow the Nāga cult in what is now Rajasthan and since the seventeenth century has been worshipped in the Western Himalayas also, possibly as a consequence of migration there from Rajasthan.

He is particularly popular among those engaged in agrarian pursuits, for whom the fear of snakebite is common. Although a Hindu, he has many Muslim devotees and is chiefly considered to be a saint (pir) who had the power to cure the effects of poison (jahar).

He was reputed to be a disciple of Guru Gorakhnath. According to Muslim oral tradition prevalent in Punjab, he learnt the way of entering and leaving solid earth by a Muslim Pir Hazi Rattan of Bathinda. Goga is also believed to have lived for some time in Bathinda.

The cult is prevalent in Rajasthan and other states of northern India, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the north western districts of Uttar Pradesh. His followers can also be found in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.


His shrine, referred as medi (shortened colloquial term for Samādhi), consists of a one-room building with a minaret on each corner and a Hindu grave inside, marked by a Nishan (a symbol or sign), which is made up of a long bamboo with peacock plumes, a coconut, some colored threads and some handpankhas with a blue flag on the top.

Worship of Goga starts in Bhaadra month of Hindu calendar. On the 9th of Bhadra, the people worship his symbol, a black snake painted on a wall. Worshippers take a fly-flap, known as chhari, round the village. Devotees pay their respect to it and offer churma. The Savayians sing devotional songs known as ‘Pir ke Solle’ in his honour to the accompaniment of deroos. Beating of deroos is the exclusive privilege of the Savayian community; others may sing, dance or offer charhawa. It is believed that the spirit of Gugga temporarily takes abode in the devotee dancer who lashes himself with a bunch of iron chains. People also open their rakhis on this day(bhadra krishna paksh navmi) and offer them to him. They also offer sweet puri (a type of sweet chappati) and other sweets and take his blessing.

Grand fairs are held at samadhi sathal Gogamedi. Gogamedi is 359 km from Jaipur, in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. It is believed that Goga went into samādhi at Gogamedi. Thousands of devotees gather to pay homage at this memorial annually in the month of Bhadrapada during the Goga fair, which lasts for 3 days. The fair is held from the ninth day of the dark half of Bhadrapada (Goga Navami) to the eleventh day of the dark half of the same month. People sing and dance to the beats of drums with multicoloured flags called nishans in their hands. The songs and bhajans on the life history of Gogaji are recited accompanied by music played with traditional instruments like Damru, Chimta, etc. At his birthplace Dadrewa, the fair goes on over a month. Devotees from far eastern places of Dadrewa start arriving from the beginning of the auspicious month of Bhaadra. These devotees are commonly known as purbia (those who belong to east). It is a common sight to see people with snakes lying around their necks. According to a folklore in and around his birthplace Dadrewa it is believed that if someone picks up even a stick from johra (a barren land which has a sacred pond in Dadrewa), it would turn into a snake. Devotees of Gogaji worship him when they get a snake bite and apply sacred ash (bhabhoot) on the bite as an immediate remedy.

Himachal Pradesh

In Thaneek Pura, Himachal Pradesh, a very large scale festival and fair is organized on Gugga Navami. The tale of Gugga Ji is recited, from Raksha Bandhan to Gugga Naumi, by the followers who visit every house in the region. These followers while singing the tales of Gugga Ji carry a Chhat (a wooden umbrella) and people offer them grains and other stuff. They bring all the collected offerings to the temple and then the grand festival of Gugga Navami is celebrated for three days. Apart from various pujas and rituals, the wrestling competition (Mall or Dangal) is organized for three days where participants from all over the region compete. The annual three-day fair is also a part of these festivities where people come and enjoy great food, and shop for decorative items, handicrafts, clothes, cosmetics, household goods, and toys for children.


Goga is known as Gugga in the Punjab who has a significant following. Many Punjabi villages have a shrine dedicated to Gugga. A fair is organised annually in the village of Chhapar and is known as the Chhapar Mela. Gugga's legacy in Punjab can be seen in towns such as Bareta Mandi, which is situated at a distance of 51km from Mansa in Punjab. "The town is predominantly inhabited by Chauhans who trace their origin from Gugga, ‘Lord of Snakes’. It is said that nobody has ever died here on account of snakebite because of the blessings of Gugga."

In the Punjab region, it is traditional to offer sweet Vermicelli to the shrines of Gugga Ji and sweet fried bread (mathya (Punjabi: ਮੱਥੀਆ)). He is worshiped in the month of Bhadon especially on the ninth day of that month. Gugga is meant to protect against snake bites and he is venerated in shrines known as marris. The shrines do not conform to any religion and can range from antholes to structures that resemble a Sikh Gurdwara or a Mosque. When worshipping Gugga, people bring noodles as offerings and also leave them in places where snakes reside. People perform a devotional dance while dancing on the legendary songs of bravery sung in his praise.

On the day of Gugga naumi, when offering the sweet dish, songs are sung which include:


ਪੱਲੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਥੀਆਂ
ਨੀ ਮੈਂ ਗੁੱਗਾ ਮਨਾਓੁਣ ਚੱਲੀਆਂ
ਨੀ ਮੈਂ ਬਾਰੀ ਗੁੱਗਾ ਜੀ

भूपसिंह जी
भूप सिंह जी के शहादत दिवस (31 जुलाई ) को सफाई सैनिक शहीद दिवस ( सफाई मजदूर दिवस ) के रुप में मनाया जाता है, देश के शहीदों व उनको समर्पित करते हुए जो देश को स्वस्थ रखने के लिए स्वच्छता का कार्य करते हुए रोड/गटर (सीवर लाइन ) में शहीद हो जाते हैं।

दिल्ली सफाई कर्मचारी भूप सिंह का आज पावन स्मृति दिवस है। इन्होंने 1957 मे सफाई कर्मचारियों के अधिकारों की लडाई शुरू की। उस समय किए गए आंदोलन को दबाने के लिए सरकार ने 31 जुलाई, 1957 को हरिजन कॉलोनी दिल्ली में आंदोलनकारियों पर गोलियां चलवाईं जिसमें हमारे भाई वीर भूप सिंह जी शहीद हुये।

वह आंबेडकर जी के विचारों के पक्षधर भीम सैनिक थे। उनके बलिदान को याद करते हुये 1984 में ऑल इंडिया समता सैनिक दल तथा वाल्मीकि समाज दिल्ली ने 31 जुलाई को उनकी याद में वीर भूपसिंह स्मृति दिवस मानते हुये उनके सफाईदारों के हितार्थ आंदोलन को सार्वजिनक सलाम दिया | हमारे भाइयों को मजबूत एकता के साथ आगे बढ़ना होगा, यही वीर भूप सिंह जी को हमारी विनम्र और सच्ची श्रद्धांजली होगी।

आज संपूर्ण राष्ट्र में सफाई मज़दूर दिवस मनाया जा रहा है वीर भूप सिंह जी को विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि।

डॉ0 भीमराव अंबेडकर संघर्ष सेवा समिति हरियाणा की वाॅल से

Govind Gopal Mahar
(Role in Koregaon-bhima)
(Courtesy:https://finsindia.org/wp-content/reports/Koregaon%20Bhima%20report%20final%20080318.pdf )
Koregaon-Bhima is a panchayat village and census town in the state of Maharashtra, on the left (north) bank of the Bhima River. River Bhima is the reason for suffix ‘Bhima’ in the name of the village. Administratively, Koregaon Bhima is under Shirur Taluka of Pune District in Maharashtra. There is only the single town of Koregaon Bhima in the Koregaon Bhima gram panchayat. The town of Koregaon Bhima is 10 km along the SH 60 motorway southwest of the village of Shikrapur, and 28 km by road northeast of the city of Pune. SH-60 is also known as Nagar Road. It is the site of the Battle of Koregaon fought on 1 January 1818.

• The Bhima – Koregaon Vijaystambh raised by British as the memory of 1818 battle is in the village Perane on South Bank of Bhima River.

• Sanaswadi is another village located approximately 30 km to the east of the city of Pune on Pune - Ahmednagar highway and well connected to nearby industrial zones and urban townships. The distance between Koregaon- Bhima and Sanaswadi is approximately 7Km.

Bhima Koregaon is a small village in Pune district of Maharashtra with a strong Dalit-nationalist historical connection. A battle was fought here between the forces of the Peshwa and the British on January 1, 1818. The British army comprised primarily of Dalit soldiers. Peshwa army had an upper caste domination.
The Dalit-dominated British troops defeated the Peshwa army. In recent decades, Bhima Koregaon has become a symbol in Maharashtra for celebrating Dalit pride. This year marked the 200th anniversary of the victory of the Dalits over the upper caste people, as it is viewed now.
There is another village in the neighbourhood of Bhima Koregaon. It is called Vadhu Badruk, only three km away. It has its own history dating back to the Mughal period. It has a memorial of local hero Govind Gopal Mahar (Gaikwad). He is said to have performed the last rites of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.
Sambhaji Maharaj, a Maratha hero and the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, had been murdered on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. His mutilated body was thrown in the Bhima river, which flows by the village and gave name to the settlement.
Aurangzeb had warned the populace against performing the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj. A wrestler by training, Govind Gopal Mahar, ignored the warning and fished out the mutilated body parts of Sambhaji Maharaj. His body parts were stitched and the last rites were performed.
There is a Samadhi or resting place of Sambhaji Maharaj at Vadhu Badruk. Later, when Govind Gopal Mahar was killed by the British forces, a memorial was built in his honour just opposite to the Samadhi of Sambhaji Maharaj.

When Bhima Koregaon simmered
On December 29 last year, the memorial of Govind Gopal Mahar was found desecrated. It led to tension between Dalits and upper castes in the village and the neighbouring areas. The tension was defused after a meeting. But it found mention in the Elgar Parishad conclave held on December 31.
The Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shanivarwada in Pune saw power-packed attendance of Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Radhika Vemula - the mother of Rohit Vemula, Soni Sori - a tribal activist and many other Left-wing activists.
Police say that the speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave on December 31 triggered violence the next day during the commemorative celebration of the Bhima Koregaon battle. The event had been organised by the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerana Abhiyan. Thousands of people - mainly Dalits participated.
Violence erupted at Bhima Koregaon when some groups carrying saffron flags entered the scene. One person, identified as 28-year-old Rahul Fatangale from Nanded, was killed and many others were injured. The Opposition parties and Left-wing activists blamed the Hindutva outfits and the ruling BJP for the violence.
A probe was launched by Maharashtra police. Before August 28 arrest of five alleged "urban naxals", the Maharashtra police had launched multiple raids in June this year. Police had arrested five persons then and recovered some documents including a letter.
The police claimed that the letter talked about a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a "Rajiv Gandhi-type" attack.
Martin BehaimJanuary 26, 2020

Who Invented Globe?
Martin Behaim was the first-ever person who invented the Globe.
When was the globe invented?

The first globe was invented 1492 by Martin Behaim.
Born on 6th October 1459 at Nuremberg, Martin came from a well-settled family of merchants. Martin completed his study with the famous mathematician and astronomer, Johann Mueller. After finishing his studies, he went to Lisbon for business, where King John appointed him as the member of commission the “junta dos mathematicos” to determine the correct latitude in which martin succeeded with the help of the positions of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Martin achieved the Portuguese elite and offered to discover a new voyage along the west coast of Africa with the guidance of Diego Cam. The mouth of River Congo found during this journey. In 1486, the crusade stooped at Fayal in the Azores, where Martin lived for several years. In the year 1490, while returning to Nuremberg, Behaim married to the daughter of the governor in Fayal and established a colony. With the cooperation of painter George Glockendon, Martin constructed the first-ever Globe; on it, the equator, the tropics, the constellation of the zodiac, and represented one meridian.
The Oldest Globe

Martin Behaim globe is known as the first terrestrial Globe constructed since the time of ancient Greeks.
In 1825 the completed map was safeguard at the city hall of Nuremberg; the German national museum took possession of the Globe.
The Globe appears as the navigational chart with a total of 1100 geographical locations.
The Globe is less than 21 inches in diameter coated with gypsum.
Glockenthon drawings detailed into strips around the sphere. With the help of decorative paintings, the tropic of Capricorn and tropic of cancer decorated on the Globe.
The Globe represents the zodiac symbols and other tiny drawings of sailing ships, kings, saints, wild animals, and fish.
The colors included in the paintings were green and brown for forests, dark blue foe sea, silver color for ice and snow.
The world map illustrated on the Behaims globe represents the known world in the 2nd century by Ptolemy. The markings of latitudinal and longitudinal described by Ptolemy allocate with Behaims Globe.
The geographical depiction of the Globe indicates the writings of macro polo. The map also resembles with the Florentine Map of famous cartographer Henricus Martellus Germanus. It considered that both Martin Behaim and Christopher Columbus have the same assumption about the geography of the world. It is merely the coincidence that in the same year i.e., 1492, Martin invented the Globe, and Columbus discovers the voyage of East India. It also implied that Martin had discussed with German humanist Hartmann Schedel to assure the scientific accuracy of the Globe.
First Globe

The copy of Martins Globe was first published by Doppelmayr in his ‘Historie von den Nurnberger mathematics’ in the year 1730, which was republished in the year 1889 in his ‘Facsimile atlas at the early history of cartography.’ Another copy was drawn in the year 1847 by Jean Muller, who then gave it to Dr. Ghillany, which he used in his biography of Martin Behaim.
Martin Behaim continued traveling and returned to Portugal in 1498 after completing his Globe. In Portugal, he dealt as an intermediary between the Belgium and Netherlands. Behaim proceeds in political space between other countries and Portugal but was apprehended by the English and taken to England. He liberated himself from Britain and returned to Portugal, where he died on 29th July 1507.https://therealgems.com/who-was-martin-behaim/

The Brahmin Problem

Written by Anu Ramdas
Published on 20 March 2015


Anu Ramdas
"That which is not destroyed when the upadhis of time, space, and causation are destroyed, is Brahman, the immortal Reality.*"
The foundational belief system of the Brahmins as per their own foundational texts is unapologetically supremacist. When confronted, one expects the present day brahmin with stakes in rational thought to readily agree to its invalidity. The buddhist discourse, anti-caste movements and literatures have all repeatedly explicated the hollowness of the Brahmanic claims of innate and never reducible superiority. Ambedkar had pointed out that this literature refuses to be accountable to historical verification and piously claims divine authorship and therefore, has to be relegated to the realm of myths. Yet, the supremacist belief system of the Brahmin receives continuous validation in the social discourse of the subcontinent.

Source: Library of Congress
Let us step back and familiarize ourselves with the term—supremacy. The most commonly discussed form is: white supremacy, which is a belief system of persons who believe that the white race is better than all other races and should have control over them. The less discussed one is: Brahmin supremacy, which is a belief system of persons who believe that the Brahmins are better than all other humans who have been divided into lesser castes, and should have control over them.
In human history, Brahmin supremacy is one of the oldest forms that has not waned. Instead, it thrives vigorously while other supremacist forms have disappeared, or are withering or have at least entered the stage of being shamed and critiqued at a common sense level.
How does Brahmin supremacy constitute itself into a legitimate belief system? This question can be approached by examining the usual three aspects of any social group which claims distinctness: self perception of the members; projection of the group's identity to non-members and the perception of this group by non-members.
Now, let us frame a set a questions around these: how does the Brahmin perceive himself; how does he project his identity to non-brahmins and how do the non-brahmins perceive the brahmin (both as an individual and as a community)?
Self-perception of Brahmins is inseparable from their belongingness to a group of humans wherein every single member believes he is born superior and is always superior in all situations and across generations. Evidence for this is not limited to archaic texts, but is a continuous core theme in the indological archives, in contemporary knowledge production as well as in everyday conversations and actions. A recent highly visible example is the celebration of Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) pride and its defense by a Brahmin, who is also a high profile member of the fourth pillar of Indian democracy. Exposure to western liberal education and values does not act as a deterrent to the Brahmin's constant assertion of being born superior.
All channels of communications are routinely used to further the supremacist legacy: be it academics, entertainment or business. Evidence for this is more categorical in the complete absence of debunking of this belief system in the mainstream at any level - intellectual, literary, artistic or spiritual. Ashis Nandy's candid display of the Brahmin supremacist belief system enabled power to racialize whole communities - dalits, adivasi and bahujan - as being corrupt did not bring forth societal condemnation as would be expected of any society that values equality, reason and morality. Instead, it produced a round of academic and mainstream literature upholding his right to do so. Brahmin supremacy as the very essence of social thought in the subcontinent is maintained by a complex process of controlling the social discourses including ones aimed at dismantling Brahmin supremacy. The Roy-Navayana project of appropriating Babasaheb's Annihilation of Caste is a case in point.
How does the Brahmin project his supremacy to the rest of the world? Imagine we want to put this belief system across as a simple pedagogic exercise. Let's say, we are teaching a 8th grade multicultural classroom in some country where the brahmin belief system is not all pervasive. We want to generate a set of verifiable facts about Brahmin supremacy in simple English.
There are a few ways we can we go about this lesson preparation. One way is to ask a series of questions about Brahmin supremacy as a social reality and direct the students to find answers with verifiable evidence, such as:
1. What could have led to the formation of a group of humans wherein every single member believes he is superior than all other non-Brahmins and lives accordingly? Keep in mind the Brahmin as a sociological group is as diverse as the next community in the sub-continent, speaking as many languages; yet, they all have the same experience, history and vision of being and procreating supremacists.
2. Does the Brahmin personhood never face situations of being traumatized, bullied, excluded or marginalized that makes him question his worth, his beliefs about himself, question the narratives of the Brahmins' collective and individual superiority?
3. What is the function of the Brahmin supremacist belief system and what are its main components?
4. How does this Brahmin supremacist belief system become a shared value for all Brahmins in an uninterrupted manner through history?
5. Do they ask--who they really are? Do they ponder if they are really better than the next human? Do they have moments or periods of self-doubt that they might be just ordinary humans with average capacities?
As one can quickly gather there is very little documentation to answer these basic questions. The Brahmin extensively uses the colonizers' gaze and methods to specimen-ize communities lying outside the perimeter of the caste system—the Dalits and Adivasis. But very curiously, the Brahmin seems to have completely evaded the anthropological gaze, despite having full charge of massive institutional resources to scrutinize himself as an anthropological specimen. Why is this so?
To begin seriously engaging with the above questions it would need major and several academic projects to be initiated. The points and concepts that I want to flag for the series on The Brahmin Problem are along the lines of examining them as a specific social group.
Are Brahmins an ethnic group, a race, a caste or a class?
A supremacist doesn't exist in a vacuum, he subscribes to an existing belief system of superiority shared by a larger group of humans. The supremacist belief system needs to differentiate its members from the others in very specific ways. Therefore, this question: what are the markers that the brahmin values as only available to fellow brahmins and none others? Are they racial markers, or are they cultural, or territorial or a combination of these elements?
The Brahmins do not have any racial distinctness to be classified as a racial group separate from the rest of Indians, nor are they an ethnic group emerging out of common ancestry, or territory or culture. They, like the rest of the castes belong to many subcastes, speak many languages and hail from many regions and are strictly endogamic. In other words, there is no kinship relations holding all the Brahmins together.
Are the Brahmins a class, then? Easily verifiable empirical evidence is available showing that the Brahmins as a group happen to be the Ruling Social Class. They occupy the most powerful positions in all fields within the subcontinent. They are completely in control of the dominant social discourse.
Brahmin supremacy is constrained by territory
"In the beginning Brahman was all this. He was one, and infinite; infinite in the East, infinite in the South, infinite in the West, infinite in the North, above and below and everywhere infinite.*"
The supremacist can exist only in the context where the belief system is operational, that is, other castes have to exist as lower social groups indefinitely for the Brahmin supremacy to remain unchallenged and undisturbed. In other words, there is no Brahmin supremacy in societies that do not have a fully functional caste society. The Brahmin supremacy has territorial limits within the subcontinent. Outside of it, the Brahmin is simply another Brown person. To reclaim his superior status in the diaspora he has to be within South Asian groups at all times. He loses it the moment he is outside such Indian/SAsian groups or the occasional whites fascinated with the Browns. Reconciling the supremacist self with the global disinterest in his supremacy or even his imprint as a person in the eyes of the white supremacist system must cause him major cognitive dissonance. He is faced with the improbable task of institutionalizing caste as a global order for Brahmin supremacy to be given a chance outside of India's borders.
To conclude, how do the Brahmins constitute themselves into the ruling social class in the absence of kinship relations, common language, territory, culture and other legacies? What is the role of the Brahmin supremacist thought in enabling the Brahmin to become the ruling class?
1. Babasaheb Ambedkar in AoC: To hold that distinctions of castes are really distinctions of race, and to treat different castes as though they were so many different races, is a gross perversion of facts. What racial affinity is there between the Brahmin of the Punjab and the Brahmin of Madras? What racial affinity is there between the untouchable of Bengal and the untouchable of Madras? What racial difference is there between the Brahmin of the Punjab and the Chamar of the Punjab? What racial difference is there between the Brahmin of Madras and the Pariah of Madras? The Brahmin of the Punjab is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of the Punjab, and the Brahmin of Madras is of the same race as the Punjab is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of the Punjab, and the Brahmin of Madras is of the same race as the Pariah of Madras.
2. Babasaheb Ambedkar in AoC: In my province the Golak Brahmins, Deorukha Brahmins, Karada Brahmins, Palshe Brahmins, and Chitpavan Brahmins all claim to be sub-divisions of the Brahmin caste. But the anti-social spirit that prevails between them is quite as marked and quite as virulent as the anti-social spirit that prevails between them and other non-Brahmin castes. There is nothing strange in this. An anti-social spirit is found wherever one group has "interests of its own" which shut it out from full interaction with other groups, so that its prevailing purpose is protection of what it has got.
3. Babasaheb Ambedkar in AoC: You may think it a pity that the intellectual class in India is simply another name for the Brahmin caste. You may regret that the two are one; that the existence of the intellectual class should be bound up with one single caste; that this intellectual class should share the interest and the aspirations of that Brahmin caste, and should be a class which has regarded itself as the custodian of the interest of that caste, rather than of the interests of the country. All this may be very regrettable. But the fact remains that the Brahmins form the intellectual class of the Hindus. It is not only an intellectual class, but it is a class which is held in great reverence by the rest of the Hindus.
4. * quotes from the Upanishads.
My inspiration as always are the intellectual traditions of the anti-caste movements. I am grateful to my contemporary anti-caste friends and writers, especially Kuffir, for the extensive discussions on caste.

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Coin of Harshavardhana, circa 606-647 CE.
Ruler of North India
Reign c. 606 – c. 647 CE
Predecessor Rajyavardhana
Successor Yashovarman

Born 595 CE
Died 647 CE
Dynasty Vardhana (Pushyabhuti)
Father Prabhakarvardhana
Religion Hinduism, Buddhism

Empire of Harsha, 7th century CE India
Harsha (c. 590–647 CE), also known as Harshavardhana, was an Indian emperor who ruled North India from 606 to 647 CE. He was a member of the Vardhana dynasty; and was the son of Prabhakarvardhana who defeated the Alchon Huna invaders, and the younger brother of Rajyavardhana, a king of Thanesar, present-day Haryana. At the height of Harsha's power, his Empire covered much of North and Northwestern India, extended East till Kamarupa, and South until Narmada River; and eventually made Kannauj (in present Uttar Pradesh state) his capital, and ruled till 647 CE. Harsha was halted by the south Indian Emperor Pulakeshin II of the Chalukya dynasty, when Harsha tried to expand his Empire into the southern peninsula of India.
The peace and prosperity that prevailed made his court a centre of cosmopolitanism, attracting scholars, artists and religious visitors from far and wide. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited the court of Harsha and wrote a very favourable account of him, praising his justice and generosity.[3] His biography Harshacharita ("Deeds of Harsha") written by Sanskrit poet Banabhatta, describes his association with Thanesar, besides mentioning the defence wall, a moat and the palace with a two-storied Dhavalagriha (white mansion).

Palace ruins at "Harsh ka tila" mound area spread over 1 km
After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, North India was split into several independent kingdoms. The northern and western regions of India passed into the hands of a dozen or more feudatory states. Prabhakara Vardhana, the ruler of Sthanvisvara, who belonged to the Vardhana family, extended his control over neighbouring states. Prabhakar Vardhana was the first king of the Vardhana dynasty with his capital at Thaneswar. After Prabhakar Vardhana's death in 605, his eldest son, Rajya Vardhana, ascended the throne. Harsha Vardhana was Rajya Vardhana's younger brother. This period of kings from the same line has been referred to as the Vardhana dynasty in many publications.
Sources suggest that Harsha, like the Guptas, was a member of the Vaishya Varna. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang mentions an emperor named Shiladitya, who had been claimed to be Harsha. Xuanzang mentions that this king belonged to "Fei-she". This word is generally translated as "Vaishya" (a varna or social class).

Harsha's sister Rajyashri had been married to the Maukhari king, Grahavarman. This king, some years later, had been defeated and killed by king Devagupta of Malwa and after his death Rajyashri had been cast into prison by the victor. Harsha's brother, Rajya Vardhana, then the king at Thanesar, could not accept this affront on his family. So he marched against Devagupta and defeated him. However, Shashanka, king of Gauda in Eastern Bengal, then entered Magadha as a friend of Rajyavardhana, but in secret alliance with the Malwa king. Accordingly, Shashanka treacherously murdered Rajyavardhana. On hearing about the murder of his brother, Harsha resolved at once to march against the treacherous king of Gauda, but this campaign remained inconclusive and beyond a point he turned back. Harsha ascended the throne at the age of 16.

As North India reverted to small republics and small monarchical states ruled by Gupta rulers after the fall of the prior Gupta Empire, Harsha united the small republics from Punjab to central India, and their representatives crowned him king at an assembly in April 606 giving him the title of Maharaja. Harsha established an empire that brought all of northern India under his control. The peace and prosperity that prevailed made his court a centre of cosmopolitanism, attracting scholars, artists and religious visitors from far and wide. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited the court of Harsha, and wrote a very favourable account of him, praising his justice and generosity.[3]

Autograph of King Harsha.
Pulakeshin II defeated Harsha on the banks of Narmada in the winter of 618-619. Pulakeshin entered into a treaty with Harsha, with the Narmada River designated as the border between the Chalukya Empire and that of Harshavardhana.
Xuanzang describes the event thus:"Shiladityaraja (i.e., Harsha), filled with confidence, marched at the head of his troops to contend with this prince (i.e., Pulakeshin); but he was unable to prevail upon or subjugate him".
In 648, Tang dynasty emperor Tang Taizong sent Wang Xuance to India in response to Harsha having sent an ambassador to China. However once in India he discovered Harsha had died and the new king attacked Wang and his 30 mounted subordinates. This led to Wang Xuance escaping to Tibet and then, leading a joint force of over 7,000 Nepalese mounted infantry and 1,200 Tibetan infantry attacked the Indian state on June 16. The success of this attack brought Wang Xuance the prestigious title of the "Grand Master for the Closing Court." He also secured a reported Buddhist relic for China. The new king Arjun Jha was among the captives during Wang Xuance's attack. After captured, King Arjun Jha was brought to Chang'an city of Tang dynasty by Wang Xuance

"King Harsha pays homage to Buddha", a 20th-century artist's imagination
Like many other ancient Indian rulers, Harsha was eclectic in his religious views and practices. His seals describe his ancestors as sun-worshippers, his elder brother as a Buddhist, and himself as a Shaivite. His land grant inscriptions describe him as Parama-maheshvara (supreme devotee of Shiva), and his play Nagananda is dedicated to Shiva's consort Gauri. His court poet Bana also describes him as a Shaivite.[21]
According to the Chinese Buddhist traveler Xuanzang, Harsha was a devout Buddhist. Xuanzang states that Harsha banned animal slaughter for food, and built monasteries at the places visited by Gautama Buddha. He erected several thousand 100-feet high stupas on the banks of the Ganges river, and built well-maintained hospices for travellers and poor people on highways across India. He organized an annual assembly of global scholars, and bestowed charitable alms on them. Every five years, he held a great assembly called Moksha. Xuanzang also describes a 21-day religious festival organized by Harsha in Kannauj; during this festival, Harsha and his subordinate kings performed daily rituals before a life-sized golden statue of the Buddha.
Since Harsha's own records describe him as Shaivite, his conversion to Buddhism would have happened, if at all, in the later part of his life. Even Xuanzang states that Harsha patronised scholars of all religions, not just Buddhist monks.
Literary Prowess

Harsha is widely believed to be the author of three Sanskrit plays Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyadarsika. While some believe (e.g., Mammata in Kavyaprakasha) that it was Bana, Harsha's court poet who wrote the plays as a paid commission, Wendy Doniger is "persuaded, however, that king Harsha really wrote the plays ... himself."

Chronicling the role and views of communists in the struggle for the annihilation of caste

Comrade R B More: A Red Star In A Blue Sky

Satyendra More, Subodh More
(Two separate Marathi articles on Comrade R B More — one written by his son Satyendra More, a former member of the CPI(M) Maharashtra State Committee and ex-MLA, and the other written by his grandson Subodh More — have been combined and edited for this piece, by Ashok Dhawale. It was originally published by People’s Democracy in March 2003, in two parts – Part I and Part II. We are republishing the essay here on the occasion of the 45th death anniversary of Comrade R B More.)
March 19-20, 2003 will see the completion of the 75th anniversary year of a historic event in the saga of struggles for social justice in India. This event was the Chavdar Lake Satyagraha at Mahad in the Raigad district of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. In this satyagraha, thousands of Dalits for the first time drank water from the lake that for centuries had been set aside only for caste Hindus. In another satyagraha organised at Mahad later the same year on December 25-26, 1927, thousands of Dalits publicly burnt a copy of the Manusmruti, the hated ancient symbol of Brahminical caste and gender oppression. The leader of these struggles was Dr B R Ambedkar, and it was with these two movements that Dr Ambedkar first emerged as one of the champions of the struggle for social justice in India.
Link Between Dalit and Communist Movements
The main organiser of both the above struggles was Ramchandra Babaji More, who became and remained one of the most trusted colleagues of Dr Ambedkar right upto the latter’s demise on December 6, 1956. The closeness between the two continued inspite of the fact that R B More, influenced by Marxism-Leninism, parted ways with Dr Ambedkar, joined the Communist Party in 1930, remained a staunch and selfless communist revolutionary for over four decades, and was one of the most respected leaders of the CPI(M) till his death on May 11, 1972. This is the birth centenary year of Comrade R B More, who was born in the scheduled caste Mahar community on March 1, 1903, at the village Ladavli in Mahad tehsil.
After joining the Communist Party and plunging into the freedom struggle, R B More led innumerable movements of the working class in Mumbai city and of the peasantry in Raigad district (then called Kulaba district), and at the same time concentrated on the social struggle against untouchability and caste oppression. He was thus a remarkable link between the Dalit and the communist movements — truly a Red Star in the Blue Sky. He was a powerful writer and journalist, and had published and edited several progressive journals, one of which was banned by the British government. The most enduring symbol to his memory is Jeevanmarg, the weekly organ of the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee, of which he was the founder and the first editor in 1965.

R B More with Dr. B R Ambedkar, Siddharth College, Bombay, 1946.

Initial Struggles Against Untouchability
From his early life, R B More had to face the stigma of untouchability. His childhood was spent in the village of Dasgaon in Mahad tehsil, where there was a separate primary school for the children of Dalits who had joined the British army. More was a brilliant student and won a scholarship on completing his primary education. But he was summarily denied admission to the Mahad high school — only because he was a Dalit! At the tender age of 11, his struggle against untouchability had begun.
With the help of some social reformers in Mahad, he wrote letters to the British government and to the district collector against this injustice, and sent copies of this letter to the press. The letter was published in one of the newspapers and the state machinery was forced to move. More thus secured admission in the Mahad high school. This was his first victory against social injustice, and the news spread like wild fire all over the district. This event created a new sense of confidence amongst the oppressed Dalit community.
From his student days, More began to take up cases of unjust and unequal treatment being meted out to Dalits in the area. Apart from writing letters to government authorities, he began organising Dalits against various forms of injustice. For instance, in those days, Dalits could not travel along with caste Hindus in public transport from their villages to Mahad, the tehsil centre. There was also a ban on Dalits selling vegetables and fish in public squares. More fought against these forms of injustice, and won. He also started a small hotel in Mahad for Dalits. This became a regular meeting place for retired Dalit soldiers and for other Dalit activists. At the time of the Mahad satyagraha, it was this hotel that became the main centre of the struggle.
Historic Satyagraha
In 1923, with the concerted efforts of a social reformer called C K Bole, the Mumbai legislative council passed a resolution opening up all public lakes, wells, dharmashalas and other public places to Dalits for the first time. When More read about this resolution, he organised a campaign among Dalits in adjoining villages and led, on December 4, 1926, hundreds of Dalits to exercise their right to drink water from the Crawford public lake in his own Dasgaon village. This created a new awakening among Dalits all over Raigad district. The organisation that led the struggle had been formed earlier the same year and it was called the Kokanastha Mahar Seva Sangh; R B More was its first general secretary, and Bhikaji Gaikwad its president.
Actually, it was in 1924 that More first organised a meeting of selected Dalit activists of Mahad tehsil. Here it was decided to organise a “Convention of the Outcasts” and to invite Dr Ambedkar to preside over it. After considerable efforts by More and his colleagues, the convention was finally fixed for March 19-20, 1927. With the success of the Crawford lake satyagraha in December 1926, Dalits in the Konkan region had gained the confidence that through organised struggle, they could win the battle for their basic human rights. After this victory, More and his colleagues launched a hectic campaign of public meetings in several villages all over the Konkan region to prepare for the Mahad convention.
The Mahad convention was a great success, with nearly 5000 Dalits from four districts (Mumbai, Thane, Kulaba and Ratnagiri) attending it. As the main organiser of the convention, R B More introduced Dr Ambedkar and his other colleagues like Anantrao Chitre, Bapu Sahasrabuddhe and Sitaram Shivtarkar. Dr Ambedkar’s speech on March 19, 1927 electrified the audience and inspired it to revolt against all forms of social oppression. On March 20, the second day of the convention, thousands of Dalits under Dr Ambedkar’s leadership marched to the Chavdar lake at Mahad, broke the centuries old ban, and drank water from the lake. The historic liberation struggle of the Dalits had begun.
This event had instant repercussions. Obscurantist caste Hindus began the campaign that the lake had been polluted, and spread rumours that the next target of the Dalits would be the Vitthal temple in Mahad, which they would now seek to enter. A large mob of caste Hindus physically attacked the satyagraha participants, a riot was unleashed and the Dalits’ houses and shops were destroyed. With the intervention of Dr Ambedkar and others, the violence was controlled and complaints were made to the government authorities. The news of the satyagraha and the violence against it spread next day to the whole country, and along with it the name of Dr Ambedkar came into national limelight. It was after this satyagraha that Dr Ambedkar pledged to devote his entire life to the cause of liberation of the untouchables.
Public Burning of the Manusmriti
On the eve of the Mahad satyagraha, with the assistance of R B More, Dr Ambedkar had taken the decision to publish a periodical called Bahishkrut Bharat (Outcast India) and had completed the formalities of its registration. Immediately after the satyagraha, the first issue of Bahishkrut Bharat came out on April 1, 1927. It contained a detailed report of the Mahad convention and satyagraha, written by R B More. In the same issue, he announced the decision to hold a second convention at Mahad to condemn the attacks by obscurantist caste Hindus on Dalit satyagrahis and to carry forward the struggle for social justice.
Again, a big campaign of public meetings was started. To physically counter any possible attacks, More formed an organisation of Dalit youth in Mumbai and named it the “Dr Ambedkar Seva Dal,” taking a cue from the Congress Seva Dal. Dr Ambedkar himself changed its name to “Samata Sainik Dal.” In forming this organisation, More took help from retired Dalit soldiers in the British army. A militant squad of Dalit youth was formed and it spread the message of the second Mahad convention far and wide.
The second Mahad convention was held on December 25-26, 1927. Thousands of Dalit men and women from all over Maharashtra attended this convention. But this time, the court had forbidden the Dalits from drinking water from the Chavdar lake. R B More, Dadasaheb Gaikwad and others insisted on breaking these court orders. But, after prolonged deliberations, it was decided not to do so. Instead, under Dr Ambedkar’s leadership, the thousands of Dalits who had gathered made a public bonfire of the Manusmruti, which was another historic and symbolic act of resistance to centuries-old caste and gender oppression. A separate meeting of Dalit women was also organised during this convention, in which Dr Ambedkar called upon them to give up outdated social practices that thwarted equality.
It was through these two historic conventions and satyagrahas at Mahad that Dr Ambedkar’s independent leadership of the struggle for social justice came to the fore. And the architect and main organiser of both these events was R B More — a fact that is sought to be deliberately effaced by some sections within the Dalit movement. The Dalit masses who had participated in both these satyagrahas spread the message of the eradication of untouchability and of all other forms of social oppression far and wide throughout Maharashtra.
Several such satyagrahas for the right to drink water from public lakes and wells were conducted in innumerable villages and towns in the state in subsequent months and years. It was the Mahad satyagraha that became the inspiration for the subsequent equally historic satyagraha for temple entry into the Kala Ram Mandir at Nashik, which began in 1932, and was led by another great stalwart of the Dalit movement, Karmaveer Dadasaheb Gaikwad. Similarly, the Parvati satyagraha at Pune led by P N Rajbhoj, Shivram Kamble and others also owed its inspiration to the Mahad struggle.
Joining the Communist Party
Soon after the Mahad satyagrahas, in 1928-29, R B More came into contact with the working class movement of textile workers in Mumbai. He was one of the founder-members of the famous Girni Kamgar Union (GKU) which, under communist leadership, organised massive strike struggles of the textile workers of Mumbai against the British government and against the mill owners. At the same time, More also became involved in the struggles of the peasantry of the Konkan region against the Khoti system, a pernicious form of zamindari that was prevalent in the area. It was through his actual participation in these class struggles of the working people that an ideological churning slowly began in More’s mind.
This process was helped by two other factors. More began the study of Marxism by reading the then banned classics like the Communist Manifesto and other Marxist literature. He also came in touch with communist leaders like B T Ranadive and S V Deshpande on the one hand, and with radical activists then working in the Servants of India Society like Anantrao Chitre and Shamrao Parulekar on the other. More became convinced that it was only Marxism that could lead to a genuine and total emancipation of mankind — economically, socially, politically and culturally. After long ideological discussions with Dr Ambedkar, who, while trying to dissuade him from such a course, nevertheless respected his honesty, integrity and convictions, R B More joined the Communist Party in 1930.
During the years 1930-32, in the course of his work among the peasantry of Konkan, More was the first general secretary of a peasant organisation called the Kulaba District Shetkari Sangh. The president of the Shetkari Sangh then was B G Kher, who would later go on to become the first Congress chief minister of Bombay State. As a result of the peasant agitations led by the Shetkari Sangh, the British regime banned it and externed More and other leaders. Earlier, due to his participation in working class struggles in Mumbai, the British had imprisoned More, and it was the shock of his imprisonment that led to the untimely demise of his mother at the age of 50.
It was in October 1930 that R B More began a weekly in Mumbai called Aavhan (Challenge), under his editorship. The masthead carried an extremely significant motto, “Weekly paper that awakens the class pride of workers and peasants by destroying the divisive sentiments of caste, varna, religion and nation.” The first issue reported about the Round Table Conference, flayed British imperialism and included articles supporting struggles of workers, peasants and Dalits. Over 2000 copies of the weekly used to be sold. After the first 12 issues, a rattled British government banned its publication in 1931.
Even after joining the Communist Party, the mutual respect and regard that R B More and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had for each other continued without a break. More had a high opinion of the struggle that Dr Ambedkar was waging for social justice, and felt that it complemented the work of the Communist Party. Thus, in 1930, when Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was about to leave for the Round Table Conference, it was More who first organised a public felicitation of Dr Ambedkar in Mumbai on behalf of Mahar Samaj Seva Sangh. Later, in 1933, under the banner of the Friends Union, a cultural group of youth that was formed by More in Mumbai, the first public birthday celebration of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was organised. In the year 1932 to express solidarity with the Kala Ram temple entry satyagraha at Nashik, More held several meetings in the working class areas of Mumbai, collected funds and led a batch of communists to take part in the satyagraha.
In the elections of 1937 and 1946, Dr Ambedkar personally offered to put up More as a candidate from his party, but, a staunch communist that he was, More politely declined the offer. In many of the journals started by Dr Ambedkar, like Bahishkrut Bharat, Samata and Janata, More used to write regularly. In Janata he was taken on the editorial board even though he was a known communist. This showed the remarkable trust that Dr Ambedkar had in him. More welcomed Dr Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism, saying that it had increased the strength of the forces propounding the materialist philosophy and had, consequently, reduced the strength of the enemies of the people. More was deeply affected after Dr Ambedkar’s demise, and rushed to Bombay to be one of those who were present at the Bombay Airport to receive Dr Ambedkar’s remains.
Leader of Worker-Peasant Struggles
As a consequence of the several peasant struggles that he had led, R B More was among the handful of comrades in Maharashtra who attended the foundation conference of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at Lucknow in 1936. In 1938, when Shamrao Parulekar organised a massive demonstration of the peasantry of the Konkan region, against the ‘Khoti’ system, on the Bombay assembly under the banner of Dr Ambedkar’s Independent Labour Party (Shamrao and Godavari Parulekar joined the Communist Party a year later in 1939), it was R B More who took the initiative to involve leaders of the Communist Party in this demonstration.
In 1938, again, when the Congress ministry introduced a black bill in the Bombay assembly against the working class, R B More played an important role in bringing the Communist Party and the Independent Labour Party together to oppose it unitedly. This led to the first-ever joint working class strike against the black bill, organised by the CPI and the ILP on November 7, 1938 – significantly, on the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia.
More was also active in the movement of railway workers. He was for a time the secretary of the G I P Railway Workers Union in Central Railway, the union which is now called the National Railway Mazdoor Union (NRMU). In the period from 1942 to 1946, he took the lead in organising ‘safai mazdoors’ and other Class IV employees in Mumbai, and built their union. He used to be regularly invited as the chief guest to attend conferences of these employees in places like Nagpur, Jhansi and Bijapur, where struggle calls used to be given to fight against the caste discrimination faced by them and against the scourge of untouchability.
In 1945, R B More, along with veteran trade union leader N M Joshi, attended the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference at Paris. It was Dr Ambedkar, then labour minister in the central government, who made special efforts to see that More was sent to this meet. In this conference, More dwelt upon the miserable conditions of the working class in India in general and the plight of untouchable workers in particular. He gave specific examples of how, Dalit workers were forbidden to work in certain departments of textile mills; and of the unjust and animal-like treatment meted out to Dalit workers in some other industries.
He then raised the demand that a certain proportion of jobs be reserved for Dalits (this was five years before the concept of reservations was adopted in the constitution of India) and that the government take steps to stop all kinds of discrimination against Dalit workers. Thus More effectively raised the questions of untouchability and social oppression of Dalits for the first time in an ILO forum. His speech created a big impact and it was given wide publicity by international press. For this speech, More was publicly felicitated on his return to India — both by the Communist Party and by the Scheduled Castes Federation of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar who also personally congratulated More.
Opponent of Caste and Class Oppression
R B More was not the only member of his family working in the Communist Party. His wife Sitabai was also an active party member. His son Satyendra and daughter Kamal were active in the then AISF and occasionally used to travel with the cultural squad led by the legendary communist trio of Shahir Amar Shaikh, Shahir Annabhau Sathe and Shahir D N Gavhankar. R B More was one of the first wholetimers of the Communist Party drawing regular party wage. Apart from jail life, More also spent nine years of his life underground. His sacrifice and selflessness were taken note of by the first party congress of the CPI held at Mumbai in 1943, which felicitated the More family as a “communist family.”
In the forums of the Communist Party, More always raised the question of caste oppression. Before the third party congress in 1953, he had sent a special note to the party leadership on the question of untouchability and the caste system. The then Polit Bureau had taken this note seriously and had circulated it to all the party state committees, asking them to provide relevant information and comments. He sent a revised version of this note in 1957 and 1964, stressing the need to take up issues of caste and social oppression as an integral part of the class struggle and making a balanced assessment of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s positive contributions to the struggle for social justice. On this issue, he also had discussion and corresponded with top Communist leaders like E M S Namboodiripad, B T Ranadive, M Basavapunnaiah and Ajoy Ghosh.
His interest in theory was matched to the last by his rigour in practice. In the massive statewide satyagrahas of the landless that were led by renowned RPI leader Karmaveer Dadasaheb Gaikwad in 1959 and 1964, leaders of the Communist Party like Shamrao Parulekar, Godavari Parulekar, Krantisimha Nana Patil, R B More and thousands of peasants and agricultural workers took active part and courted arrest. For the first time in several years, the red flags of the Communist Party and the blue flags of the Republican Party came together in struggle. The overwhelming majority of landless peasants and agricultural labourers who filled the jails of Maharashtra at the time were Dalits and Adivasis. Yet another instance, amongst many, that proved that the oppressed castes in India are, to a great extent, synonymous with the exploited classes.
It was due to his honest, sacrificing and selfless nature that R B More was loved and respected by party comrades and the people alike. His live contact with the oppressed and his ideological conviction drew several Dalit activists from all over Maharashtra to the Communist Party. Among them were leading Dalit figures like K M Salvi, one of the main organisers of the Nashik temple entry satyagraha; S B Jadhav, secretary of the Mumbai unit of the Scheduled Castes Federation; Captain Sasalekar of the Samata Sainik Dal; and many others. All of them remained with the Communist Party till the end. This was in sharp contrast to many other followers of Dr Ambedkar, who deserted the RPI and joined the Congress soon after his demise. R B More and K M Salvi also attracted several creative cultural and literary figures to the party, Marxism and Left movement. The most prominent amongst them was Shahir Annabhau Sathe, founder of Dalit Sahitya Baburao Bagul, progressive famous poet Shankar Shailendra, Shayar Majnoo Indori, Shahir Rasool Kadam etc.
With the split in the CPI in 1964, R B More was among those who joined the CPI(M) without the slightest hesitation, and he was elected to its state committee. In 1965, with most of the state leadership of the newly-formed CPI(M) having been detained by the Congress central government, R B More started the weekly Jeevanmarg on April 14, 1965, on Dr Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. The journal became, and continues to remain, the weekly organ of the CPI(M) Maharashtra state committee.
Glowing Tributes
The three most glowing tributes to R B More were those paid by renowned Marxist thinker and writer Rahul Sanskrityayan, progressive writer Ramesh Chandra Sinha and by Dr Ambedkar himself. Rahul Sanskrityayan, in his book Naye Bharat ke Naye Neta (New Leaders of New India) that was written in 1945, penned inspiring profiles of leading communists like Muzaffar Ahmed, P Sundarayya, E M S Namboodiripad, P C Joshi, Ajoy Ghosh, Kalpana Dutt and others. The book also included a beautifully written profile of R B More. Ramesh Chandra Sinha wrote in his essay that he was a dedicated captain of the Indian proletariat. In that Hindi essay he wrote about Comrade Kalyansundaram and Comrade Fazal Ilahi Qurban also. This was published in 1945.
The tribute paid to R B More by Dr Ambedkar has been recorded in a book called Atmashodh by Datta Kelkar. The passage in the book relates how, many years after joining the Communist Party, More was standing on the footpath as part of a crowd at a public meeting in Mumbai that was being addressed by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was then a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, the same status as of today’s union minister. When Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar saw More, he immediately asked him to come to the stage. When More declined, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar ordered his activists to physically bring More on to the stage, leaving him with no choice. When More reached the stage, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar introduced him to the meeting thus, “This is R B More. A very great man. Among the few people whose efforts led me to enter political life, one is R B More!”
After a remarkable life of struggle, R B More passed away in Mumbai on May 11, 1972. B T Ranadive, in his funeral oration, paid moving tributes to his life and work. A massive condolence meeting was presided over by Dr Ambedkar’s son and RPI leader, Bhayyasaheb Ambedkar.
A book in Marathi on the life and times of R B More, titled Comrade R B More: A Powerful Link Between the Dalit and the Communist Movement, written by Satyendra More, with an introduction by CPI(M) state secretary and Central Committee member Prabhakar Sanzgiri, is being published soon, to coincide with his birth centenary year.

Community Struggles Towards Democracy - Part 1

Published on 21 May 2019


KK Kochu

Democracy, according to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, is not just an order of governance, but it is a way of living. Unsegregated living with sense of unity and sharing of acquired experiences is necessary in order to achieve such a state. He has said that it is impossible to achieve such a state in a society socially divided by caste system. So, the entire population, irrespective of the savarna-avarna divide, has to be mobilized in our social and political struggle for democracy.

Indian Imagination
Dr. Ambedkar’s concept of democracy was not modelled from western political experiences of the same. He speaks of this in a speech he gave for All India Radio (AIR) in 1956. It is rooted in the historical experiences of India starting from the time of Buddhism. In ascending path, caste gives you nobility, and in descending path, it imposes contempt. Fraternity is inevitable to break this Chinese wall found nowhere else in the world. Sree Narayana Guru also supported this thought when he said ‘all are brothers’. That is why it is criminal to negate the inherent equality of different social groups.

According to Dr. Ambedkar, freedom is the right to use one’s faculty in a productive and efficient manner. That is, it is the freedom to choose a profession irrespective of the profession traditionally followed by one’s caste. The lack of such freedom is slavery. Such a slavery institutionalized through casteism persists by inflicting the interests of certain individuals and social groups on others. Thus, freedom is the right to lead a civilized life for individuals and social groups. Equality does not mean that all humans become one, but the humane and just distribution of opportunities.

Social Democracy
Democracy becomes acceptable for different individuals in different social tiers through theirintervention in the political sphere. The duty of the state is to help realize the designs shaped from such interventions through law making. It is in such a context in India, where caste stood against co-existence itself, thatarguments for representation of different communities and classes in the governing bodies were raised. Ambedkar understands this conversion of existing form of democracy to social democracy in the following way, ‘What is the importance of communal award which gives political power to communities and classes in a certain proportion? It implies that a political constitution should take into consideration social organizations. It means that those politicians who insisted that social issues in India have no relation to political issues whatsoever, were forced to consider social issues while shaping the constitution. It is a just return for avoiding social reforms.’ This concept formed during the independence struggle is relevant to this day.
Even though the social democracy envisioned through communal award is far away, Dalits, Adivasis, backward castes, religious minorities, women, farmers, workers, the landless, sexual minorities, environmental activists, middle class etc. have arisen against economic and caste hierarchy. The present demands a political mission which brings together these groups which possess diverse economic, social and communal interests. In this context, the attempt here is to historically analyze the community based political organizations that were formed in Travancore.
Travancore in history
An orthodox Hindu rule based on Manusmriti and Brahmin priesthood prevailed in Travancore unlike many other princely states of British India. The ultimate aim of the King’s rule was to protect the Brahmins and to maintain caste and related rituals. As a result, brutal and inhuman violence prevailed for centuries.

In the absence of land tax, hundreds of other taxes such as breast tax, moustache tax, and ladder tax were imposed on common people. Travancore stood apart from other princely states with the existence of untouchability, death penalty with torture (Chithravadham), oppression of women and slavery. Since January 20, 1750, when Marthanda Varma, who became the king of Venad in 1929, submitted the state to Sree Padmanabhan (A Deity), all the looted wealth from the people were collected in temples. Moreover, the main governance was to conduct rituals and to manage eating-houses (oottupura) of Brahmins which cost lakhs of rupees. A change in this condition happened when, as part of resisting Tipu Sultan’s attack, the British authority was accepted in 1795 following which the Resident appointed by the colonial state got control over the royal authority from 1800. This led to changes in the socioeconomic sphere, the main beneficiaries of this transformation being the different communities.

The construction of roads had a main role in modernizing Travancore. By the middle of the 19th century, road construction had started. In 1866, the public works department had constructed 193 miles of roads. In 1872, Kollam-Chenkotta road was completed. Later, thousands of miles of roads were built. But, instead of these roads becoming useful to all, they were mainly used to transport pepper, coffee, areca nuts etc. from the eastern hillsides to the port cities such as Allappuzha. Thus, its main beneficiaries were British estate owners and Syrian Christians who were engaged in business with them. Later, when coir production and export developed, roads became useful to Ezhavas also. Even though these roads were declared as public roads in 1870, until Ayyankali’s Villuvandi Yatra in 1898, these roads remained closed to untouchable castes.
Although pressure from British led to changes in extreme modes of punishment such as torturing to death, proving truth by dipping hand in boiling oil and ripping apart using elephants, Dalits were not allowed access to the new courts. Savarna judges received proof or witness statements from Dalits by keeping them at a prescribed distance and through peons. Apart from such denials of civil rights, Dalits were also denied right to property. This denial of right to own land was most crippling part of the oppression. The main objective of land reforms enforced throughout the nineteenth century was to stop the lease system of government land and to start the system of giving tenure. As a result, ownership of almost 2 lakh acres of government land went to the lease holders. In hillsides, these lands were given for cash crop cultivation. All the benefits of these reforms thus went to the ruling family members, Europeans, and Syrian Christians. When the better jobs at the estates went to Syrian Christians, the Dalits and migrants from Tamil Nadu were forced into doing more hard labor.
When fallow lands, backwater banks, and low lands were being given, it also went to Syrian Christians and Nairs. Along with Dalits, backward castes also were excluded from this land distribution.
Now, let’s take the case of governance. Even though political power rested with the king and the resident, the governance was controlled by migrant Brahmins. It was missionaries who started colonial education system, after English education gained importance by the middle of nineteenth century. Most of the students at missionary schools were Syrian Christians. Such an education helped Syrian Christians to have this alliance with British rule, and later when educational qualification was made a criteria for government jobs, Nairs also entered into the realm of modern education. If the literacy of Nairs in 1875 was 21%, it rose rapidly to 37% in 1891. In the same period, literacy of Ezhavas increased from 3.5% to 12%. Still, 45% of the government jobs were with migrant Brahmins at that time. This led to the Malayali Memorial of Nairs in 1891 and Ezhava memorial in 1896.
Nairs argued in Malayali memorial about how they were not backward to any other groups, how they were rulers until recent times, and also how they were the ones who pay the highest tax amount as land owners. They demanded representation in government service on the basis of these arguments. Even though there were some Ezhava signatories in that, it only talked about the issues of Nairs. The style of Ezhava memorial was not any different. However Ezhavas got the representation only after protests and organizational work.

Ayyankali and Panchami - Sketch by EV Anil
In the above mentioned period, the representation of Dalits in government service was very poor. In 1907, after protests under Ayyankali’s leadership, a government order was issued to allow entry of Dalits in schools. When that order was not implemented, Ayyankali forcefully took admission for Panchami, a Pulaya girl, in Ooruttambalam school in 1910. Following that, caste Hindus burned down the school. In the face of such bitter repercussions, Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham declined to do any agricultural labor for a year in 1913.
Positive Changes
During the reign of the Travancore King, some transformations were brought about, that affected society in general and the downtrodden in particular. One such change was the shift of the economy to a cash based system. This led to increased exportation and taxes for government which led to increase in the value of land and development of business. For workers, wages started to be paid in the form of money. Another change was the starting of the public works department. This change helped Ezhavas and Dalits to move away from traditional caste occupations to new occupations. Oozhiyam vela, which forced Ezhavas to do wageless labour for government and temples was stopped. It also served as motivation for Ezhavas to migrate to Ceylon and such countries.
But what affected Dalits was the abolition of slavery. In 1847, there were 16,500 slaves in Travancore. One group was under the control of government and the remaining were under control of private parties. They were forced to do hard labor in the fields without ample food or rest. As a result of pressure from missionaries the slaves under government control were freed in 1853 and those under private groups were freed in 1855. Even though slavery was abolished, the second act of slavery abolition declaration proclaimed that ‘the freed slaves would be under the caste system.’ Thus, the freed slaves still had to face caste violence and discrimination. It is this group who became the workforce in the newly started estates. In short, it is the socio-economic transformation in different communities from middle 19th century to the beginning of 20th century which ensured communal representation in the first Representative Council.
This article was originally published in Onnippu Volume 4, Issue 8 (October 2018). Onnippu is an Ambedkarite print magazine published from Thrissur, Kerala(Editor - Anilkumar PK, Contact - onnippu@gmail.com). Translation to English done by Shahal B.
Images other than the sketch taken from internet.
KK Kochu is a senior Ambedkarite thinker and author from Kerala.
EV Anil is an artist who is known for his illustrations of anti-caste pioneers from Kerala.
Shahal B is a PhD student at University of Hyderabad.

Shri Hardas Laxmarirao Nagrare
Giver of Jai Bhim Salutation

Shri Hardas Laxmarirao Nagrare, a Mahar by caste was a great believer in the philosophy of Dr. Ambedkar.He was also a committed follower of B.R. Ambedkar. Shri Hardas was born on 6th January, 1904 at Kamathi, Nagpur in Maharashtra. His father Shri Laxmarirao Nagrare was a clerk in the Railway Department. Shri Babu Hardas had sharp intellect and passed his matriculation in 1920 from Patwardhan High School at Nagpur. Shri Hardas gained nearness to Swami Brahmanand of Arya Samaj Nagpur who taught him Sanskrit. Shri Hardas had also gained proficiency in the Marathi language. He was pained to see deplorable conditions of untouchables of his locality. Accordingly he decided to work for their all round development. He achieved a great success in his desired goals in 1921 when he started a weekly Maharatha from Nagpur for spreading social awakenings among the Dalits.
Babu Hardas met Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in 1928 for the first time. Though he had started his social activities long back, his political career got a push with this meeting. In the same year, Dr. Ambedkar requested him to give his witness in front of Simon Commission. Later in year 1930-31, with regards to the Second Round Table Conference, when question arouse about the real leadership of untouchables, Babu Hardas sent a telegram to Ramsay MacDonald, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, that Dr. Ambedkar is the real leader of untouchables and not Mahatma Gandhi. He also created an opinion about this in different parts of the country He managed to send a total of 32 telegrams to Mr. McDonald by various untouchable leaders from different states. Both Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Babu Hardas wanted greater participation of the depressed classes in the legislative assemblies. A meeting of Depressed Classes of CPand Berar was organized on 29th March, 1929 at Jalgaon-Jamod. Dr. Ambedkar presided over this important meeting. Babu Hardas started the practice of exchanging the greeting Jai Bhim as a mark of friendly gesture in the year 1937.This showed his love and commitment to the ideals of his leader Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.
Shri Hardas Laxmarirao Nagrare observed that the Bidi (a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Bauhinia racemosa leaf tied with a string at one end.) workers were the most exploited lot in the un-organized sector. Majority of Bidi workers were Dalits including women and children. So he started the bidi work on cooperative basis. His idea became a great successful. Presently over 3 million Indians are employed in the manufacture of beedies. He founded in 1930 Madhaya Pradesh Bidi Mazdoor Sangh for the welfare of Bidi workers. He was elected its Secretary and Shri Ramachandra Phule (M.L.C) as President.
Shri Hardas was convinced that women are back bone of the successful nation and to train them shall benefit the whole society. So he opened a Mahila Ashram (Women Home) at Nagpur to impart training to Dalit women in household activities. He thought that emancipation of the Dalits from the man made discriminately lies in their unity to challenge the perpetrators of atrocities. Consistent with the social customs of that time, he married at a very early age of 16 with Shahubai. They got married in 1920.
Babu Shri Hardas founded the Mahar Samaj organization in 1922 to rally Dalits communities under one banner. He was Secretary of organization. He also knew that to maintain discipline in the Dalits a disciplined youth wing was needed. Therefore he formed Mahar Sevak Pathak to organize the decentralized youth force to protect the Dalits against atrocities and to maintain discipline in the society. It was to act as volunteer corps. Shri Hardas was convinced that sub Castes concept among Dalits was working against their unity. In the caste concept every caste thinks it superior to the other castes. This was causing a hindrance in Dalit unity, whereas all their social, education, economic problems are in common. He was convinced that the solution to their miseries lies in Dalit unity. Therefore he sincerely endeavored to remove the sub-caste barrier from the Depressed Classes. He used to invite the members of all sub-castes among the Depressed Classes to the community dinner arranged on the occasion of death anniversary of the great saint Shri Chokhamela. This was arranged in the temple of revered Dalit Saint Chokhamela at Nagpur. Saint Chokhamela was a great 14th century saint from Mahar community. The Depressed people normally gave a very nice response to the same but it needed great deal of persuasions. During all these years, Babu Hardas kept himself informed with the movements elsewhere in the country being organized for the betterment of Dalits and to get them all civil rights as per global norms.

Since Babu Shri Hardas was of the opinion that Depressed Classes people need to get political power to bring them in the main stream. So in 1923 he appealed to the Governor of CP and Berar to nominate members from the Depressed Classes to the Legislative Council, District Local Boards and Municipalities. The Governor, however, assured that he would consider the demands sympathetically.
He was convinced that all the irrational, immoral and superstitious habits of the Hindu society have ruined the depressed classes of their vision and well being. Therefore to arouse the opinion of the people against the evils of the society he wrote a book named Maridai Mahatme in October 1924. He distributed the copies of the book free of cost among the Dalits. It proved to be very effective. After reading the contents of the book, the Dalit women and men who used to go to witness obscene Krishna Leela abandoned this practice.
Shri Hardas Laxmarirao Nagrare's next welfare step was to provide educational facilities to Dalit students. So he started the Mahar Samaj night schools at Bail Bazaar, Kamsari Bazaar and Naya Bazaar Kamathi. These schools marched towards the desired goal and in 1924 as many as 86 boys and 22 girls were enrolled in these schools. At the same time he opened one Saint Chokhamela library at Kamathi to provide reading material to the students.
Since he had association with Arya Samaj, Mahatma Shri Swami Brahmanand of Nagpur. So he had clear vision about fruitless worship of idols and wanted to spread this message among his depressed classes' people. Shri Hardas organized a meeting of Dalits at Ramtek near Nagpur In 1927 under the presidentship of Kisan Faguji Bansod. Shri Babu Hardas forcefully exhorted Dalits to stop worshipping at the steps of the temple at Ramtek and to stop bathing in the dirty Ambada tank. Since Depressed class people were not allowed to enter the temple, so these people worshiped at the steps from a distance. These people were allowed only to bathe in the out flow of the tank water which used to be full of filth.
Meanwhile he wrote a play named Veer Balak (Brave Boy) The Veer Balak Act performance helped to bring a new awareness among the people. The play proved to be very effective in giving the desired message. He wrote and published Songs of the Market and Songs of the Hearth. His articles were also published in Weekly Janta, edited by Dr. Ambedkar. Babu Hardas organized a meeting at Paturda in District Akola under the chainmanship of Dr. Ambedkar. In this conference a resolution was passed in support of religious conversion in support of the public declaration of Dr. Ambedkar's (13th October 1935 at Yeola Distt Nasik) to leave Hindu religion as it was immune to reforms. The Depressed Class peoples under Hindu fold continued suffering from man made agony of irrational Laws. The Hindus shall never agree to grant Human Rights to the Depressed Classes people. Babu Hardas was a front runner in organizing these meeting which had blessing and participation of Dr. Ambedkar to spread his message to Dalit masses.
Shri Hardas was deadly against idol worship taking it as futile practice. However, he sent a group of Dalits under the leadership of Shri Shankar Mukunda Bele to participate in the Kalaram Temple Entry Satyagraha at Nasik. This Satyagraha started on 3rd March, 1930 under the leadership of Dada Sahib B.K. Gaikwad and was led by Dr.Ambedkar.
Shri Babu Hardas was one of the main organizers of the Conference of the Depressed Classes at Nagpur on 8th August, 1930. It was presided over by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The conference resolved to have separate electorate for the Depressed Classes. The conference formed the All India Depressed Classes Federation under the president ship of Rao Sahib Muniswamy Piliai (Madras). Babu Shri Hardas was elected as its Joint Secretary.

The second conference of the All India Depressed Classes was held at Kamathi on 7th May, 1932, under the president ship of Shri Muniswamy Pillai. Babu Hardasji was President of the reception committee. On 8th May, 1932 the national executive body of the All India Depressed Classes Federation was elected, which included Muniswamy Pillai (Madras) as President, M.B. Mullick (Bengal) as Vice-president, Shri L.N. Hardas as Secretary besides Shri Swami Achutanand (Ad-Dharma Hero of Lucknow) as its Joint Secretary. The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was launched by B.R. Ambedkar on 15th August, 1936 under his President ship and treasurer ship. Babu Hardas L.N was entrusted with the responsibilities of being the Secretary of the CP and Berar branch of ILP in 1936.
Babu Hardas L.N contested the assembly election in 1937 from Nagpur-Karnathi (R) constituency and got elected. He was nominated President of the CP and Berar branch of ILP in 1938.
In 1939, he fell sick of tuberculosis and his political career came to an abrupt end. Babu Shri Hardas Laxmarirao Nagrare shed his mortal body frames on 12th January, 1939 at the early age of 35. His services were very urgently needed when he shed his body frame .He shall be long remembered as a faithful solider of the Dalit empowerment movement in India under the able leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The contributions of Babu Hardas for the Dalit empowerment were much more to his age span.

Arvind P. Nirmal
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Arvind P. Nirmal, (1936–1995) was a Dalit Christian theologian and a minister of the Church of North India. He questioned the Christian conversion of the upper castes, especially the Brahmin. A major proponent of Dalit theology, Nirmal argued that Jesus himself was a Dalit and that Christian theology should therefore reflect Dalit concerns.

Nirmal criticised Brahminic dominance of Christian theology in India, and believed that the application of liberation theology to India should reflect the struggle of Dalits, Nirmal also criticised the Marxist element within South American liberation theology. Nirmal drew on the concept of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 to identify Jesus himself as a Dalit – "a waiter, a dhobi, and bhangi."

Early life

Arvind Paulus Nirmal was born on 9 May 1936 in Jalna, Maharashtra. His father was an ordained priest of the Church of North India, and his mother Sonubai was a teacher. He spent his early years in Jalna, attending school and went to college at Milind Mahavidyalaya in Aurangabad. After studying for his BD at UTC Bangalore he was ordained a priest in the Church of North India and he served as a rural pastor for several years in the Jalna area, including at Kharpudi and Dahipuri villages. Before moving to Dahipuri, he would travel the distance on his bicycle. He was again selected to do his M.Th (Masters in Theology) at UTC Bangalore, where he then joined as a faculty, teaching systematic theology during the period 1968-1981.


Arvind Nirmal obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Milind Mahavidyalaya in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Spiritual studies

During the early 1960s, Nirmal became an aspirante and studied Bachelor of Divinity (BD) during the years 1962-1965 at the United Theological College, Bangalore during the Principalship of the Systematic Theologian Joshua Russell Chandran. Nirmal's companions during that period included Regunta Yesurathnam, G. T. Abraham, Wesley Ariarajah Dhyanchand Carr and others while his seniors comprised K. C. Abraham, C. L. Furtado, M. J. Joseph, among others. In the ensuring convocation of the Senate of Serampore College (University), Nirmal was awarded a B. D. by then Registrar, Chetti Devasahayam.
After a year of pastoral ministry, Nirmal rejoined the Theologiate in 1966 to pursue an advanced course leading to Master of Theology specializing in Systematic theology with a research proposal entitled An evaluation of Origen's concept of the world in the light of the Christian theological task in relation to the Vedanta philosophy based on which the University awarded an M. Th. in the year 1969, again by Chetti Devasahayam, then Registrar. The Franciscan Friar J. A. G. Gerwin van Leeuwen, OFM was a companion of Nirmal during the period 1966-1968 at UTC, Bangalore.
Overseas study exposure

Joshua Russell Chandran wrote in 1997 that Nirmal was sent to Canada where he earned a Diploma in Christian Studies from the United Theological College of Montreal, Canada and was also sent to Oxford later in 1973 to study at Keble College, where he pursued postgraduate study.

(with V. Devasahayam), A Reader in Dalit Theology, Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, 1990, 180 pages.
Nirmal, Arvind P.ed. "Towards a Common Dalit Ideology." Madras: Gurukul Lutheran Theological College & Research Institute, 1989, 132 pages.

'Nachyou Bahi Gopal' is the most original novel of the famous litterateur Amritlal Nagar, far from the leaks of his novels.

Nachyo Bahut Gopal
presenting some portions from the book

'Nachyou Bahi Gopal' is the most original novel of the famous litterateur Amritlal Nagar, far from the leaks of his novels. It also weaves the narrative around the untouchable, unfortunate antyas in the untouchables called 'Mehtars' and presents a compassionate, affectionate and heartwarming tableau of their intimate lives. Questions have been answered about the social conditions under which the 'Mehtar' caste came into existence, what are its religious-cultural beliefs, etc. Along with that, the national and social movements of the first half of the current century have also been made lively. . In fact, the story of 'Nachyou Bahi Gopal' is sungumphan on a very broad canvas.

With two-and-a-half years of tireless work, this great novel, written on the basis of surveys of various scavengers and 'interviews' of the residents there, has been wonderfully co-ordinated with the humble storyteller and vigilante sociologist of Nagarji.

This book, including tributes to Shri Hira Dome of Patna and Saraswati Editor Acharya Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, the first poet to narrate the calamity of his class at Saraswati in September '14, presented the nectar in the tax lotus of his revered reader Loknayak Shri Jayaprakash Narayan. !

This novel is complete. It seems like a dream and opened the eye. Two-and-a-half years wandering in search of the problem and the characters for it, taking place-by-place interviews, shedding the mindsets, the thought process through which I found an adult and homophobic writer-journalist Mr. Anshudhar Sharma and especially Mrs. Nirgunia - She collapsed with the last sentence of the entire novel. At this time the mind seems to be one place light and one place heavy.

The inspiration to write this novel got me from an incident, which I have discussed in 'Dharmayuga' published on the occasion of Vijayadashami of '75. I heard that Taruni Bharya of a rich old Brahmin businessman had eloped with a scavenger youth. Since she had taken a lot of jewelry and money with her, that is why she was caught along with her lover after two days. After getting caught by this real-life character, I did not have the means to know how I used my future, but the problem took another form in the imagination. I also encountered some difficulties in meeting women and men in various scavenger settlements, knowing their customs, their traditions prevalent in the form of legends, and their well-being.

People often did not hesitate to reveal their truth completely to me. Like journalists, I slowly collected some information but my novelist did not get satisfaction from them only. Also found the houses of some such acquaintances where I could sit and listen to some extent of the activities and their free things happening in the clutches of their backyard. He tried to fathom their internal life by doing some other joint work. While working, I began to feel that Bhangi is not a caste. And even if it is, only the caste of slaves! The Sanatan Shwapcha Chandals, which we normally associate with the Bhangi class, were confusing to me.

From the information given about untouchability in the 'History of Dharmashastra' written by His Excellency Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane, it was estimated that: "The names of the Antyajas mentioned in the Smriti have also appeared in the early Vedic literature. In the Rig Veda (8/5/38), the names Charmann (skin or skin researcher) and Chandal and Poulkas in the Vajasnai Samhita. The word Bapa or Gupta (barber) has come into the Rigveda. Similarly, in the Vajasanei Samhita and Taittiriya Brahmana the words Bidalkar or Bidalkar (Barud mentioned in the Smriti) have come up. The vasaspalpuli (Dhobin) of the Vajasaneyi Samhita refers to the word Rajak of memories. It can only be said that Poulkas was related to Bibhatsa (Vajnayee Samhita 30/17) and Chandal's Vayu (Purushamedha) and Poulkas lived in such a way that they were hated and Chandal Vayu (possibly cremation) Lived in the open ground).

Chandal is discussed in the Chandogyopanishad (5/10/7) and he was much lower in social status than the three higher varnas, it is known. Probably Chandal was enumerated in the lowest branches of the Shudra caste during the time of Chandogya. He is said to be akin to a dog and a pig. In the Shatapatha Brahmin (12/4/1/4), in connection with the yajna, three animals, namely, the dog, the pig, and the sheep, are considered impure. Here, there is a reference to the same pig who eats the feces of the village, because in the memories of Manu (3/270) and Yajnavalkya (1/259) we find that the pig meat in the Shraddha is very large. Eat with fervor Therefore, we cannot consider Chandal with Upanishads as untouchables. Some staunch Hindus hold Chandal untouchable even in the Vedic period and cite the legend of Brihadaranyakopanishad (1/3). But it cannot be clear from this saga that Chandal was untouchable. Like the mlechchas, they were not "dishama conscience",

Dr. Ambedkar is of the view that generally the nutritious Hindu scholars of the Brahmin culture have included the unholy and untouchables in the same class, which is wrong from their point of view. They distinguish between impostors and untouchables. He states that the class of impostors was considered to be considered while creating the Dharmasutras. The children born of inverse relationships were impure, not untouchable. The problem of untouchables started after the idea of ​​Doctor Saheb after four hundred AD. Small pieces of large tribes were often cut and scattered, making them untouchable. Just as the untouchables have no caste discrimination, in the same way they do not have any commercial distinction either.

In the civilization of primitive man, the attention of some things had developed in terms of touching and touching. Primitive human beings are believed to have experienced untouchability at birth, at the time of girls' menstruation, and on occasions of copulation and death. In motherhood, both mother and child were considered impure. When women started their menstruation, they were kept in seclusion and away from the eyes of the people. They were not allowed to touch things or human beings. Food also had to be made in a special way. In almost all the primitive civilization of the world, there were definitely restrictions. But according to Dr. Ambedkar, in other countries, only people were considered untouchable due to reasons, but Hindus made the entire castes untouchable and that too for generations to come!

Stanley Rice, in his book 'Hindu Customs and Their Origins', also wrote that among the castes considered untouchables, there are also those castes who were defeated and humiliated by the winners and the winners who did their arbitrary work. Coincidentally, the enthusiastic social worker of Lucknow, Mr. Achilal Valmiki and Pandit Chintamani Valmiki MA of Harijan Sevak Sangh, Delhi. I also got the truth of Stanley Rice's statement from the words of. Pandit Chintamani Valmiki (Raut Mehtar) gave me a book 'Patit Prabhakar' i.e. the history of the Mehtar caste. This book was written by Mr. Devdutt Sharma Chaturvedi of Ghazipur in 1925 and it was published in 1931 by Mr. Vanshi Ram Raut (Mehtar), the father of Chintamani, Millmill Pond, Ghazipur, at his own expense. In this small book, varieties of people known as 'Bhangi', 'Mehtar', 'Halalkhor', 'Chitra' etc. are given, which are as follows

Name-Caste-Bhangi-Vais, Vaiswar, Bir Gujar, (Baggujar) Bhadauria, Bisen, Sob, Bundelia, Chandel, Chauhan, Nadon, Yadubanshi, Kachwaha, Kinwar, Thakur, Bais, Bhojpuri Raut, Gazipuri Raut, Gehlauta (Tribe Ante Cast of Banaras)

Mehtar-Bhangi-Halal-Kharia-Chitra-Ghazipuri Rout, Dinapuri Rout, Tank (Takshak) Gehlot, Chandel, Tipani. All these distinctions of these castes are different from all the Kshatriya caste. (See Tribe and Cast of Banaras,

Printed in 1872) Rajput— (8) Gehlot (7) Kachwaha (14) Chauhan (16) Bhadauria (26) Kinwar (27) Chandel (29) Sakkarwar (31) Vais (39) Visen (53) Yaduvanshi (99) Bundela (48) Badgujar Panna (222) Panna (235) Dajoha or Jaduvanshi Gujar Panna (248) Raut.

When the distinction of Bhangi or Mehtar caste is completely different from the caste-type or variety of Rajputs, then what is the doubt about their being a Kshatriya! (Author Mahadev Singh Chandel, Banaras.)

In the Narada Samhita, a fecal-carrying slave is also mentioned in the fifteen deeds of the slaves. My guess is that this slave is usually 'V.I.P.' People will live here only. The practice of sandals in the cities is very old. In these Sundas, salt was added after a year or six months. There was no need in the villages, the prevalent words 'Jhada', 'Pokhara', 'Bahri Alang' etc. indicate the places of fulfillment of our natural need. A word 'Bumpulis' created a problem for me. This word, as far as I know, is used in the Hindi-speaking sense of public toilet, But why this word? Acharya Hazariprasad Dwivedi described the term 'Brampulis' as 'Brahma Purish'. He said that such public toilets were built for the sacrificial Brahmins in Banaras. The doubt arose in our mind that the word Brahman does not deteriorate into a 'bomb', but becomes a 'barram' - like 'barmarakas', 'barm kills', etc.

Then did Baram escape from the smell of Purish? In the wrap up of Harijan-Savarna struggle, 'Bamnoli', a place around Meerut, also shone in the newspapers. I disturbed Dr. Rameshwaradayalu, Head of the Hindi Department of Meerut University. The name of the village is 'Bamnoli', but Dr. Aggarwal said that the word Bampulis does not seem very old. We also got the detective to investigate this suspicion from Dr. Ram Vilas Ji Sharma. Sharmaji described the word Bampulis as an extract from the English word 'Bamboo' poles. For the first time, the British made 'bamboo poles' at the Kumbh Mela by making tents on the stove of bamboo. Such toilets may have been built on the occasion of fairs even before under the guise of pots, hence the word 'tatti' is used in the meaning of toilets.

Priyavar Rambilas, Ji drew my attention to the complaint of the untouchable poem of Shriut Heera Dome of Patna from 'Saraswati' of September 1914 AD. Shri Narmadeshwar Chaturvedi gave two poems written in 1926-28 to Dom and Domine by the poet Advocate of Ballia, Shri Ramsinhasan Sahai Madhur. When Mahatma Gandhi visited Buxar during a nationwide tour for the Harijan movement, a crowd of fanatic people attacked him with slopes. Madhur ji wrote these poems at the same time. I also got great help from the monthly 'Chand' file of 1927-28 AD and 'Madhuri' and 'Tyagbhoomi' files of the same period. I am deeply grateful to all of them. Mr. Goodman Lal Valmik, Pandit Chintamani Valmiki, Ayushman Abdul Khalik, for interviewing men and women of Mehtar category Mr. Kallu and Mr. Sundarlal assisted me. I am also grateful to him. Bandhavar Shri Gyan Chandra ji Jain has helped me in making necessary corrections in the typed manuscript and in bringing the desired literature from libraries to me. It is hard for me to thank them. The manuscript of this book Ch. Ashok Rishiraj and Ch. Rajendraprasad has written and written Varma. I also give my blessings to both these youths.

Amritlal Nagar

When I saw from the platform of the temple on the high mound, the whole settlement looked like the letter 'D' in my alphabet. I entered from the right of the alley facing the front line. The jugular street of 'D' is not exactly like the letter written in calligraphy at the left end of it rather than in the middle of the vertex. From there, almost like a curved stomach of 'D', there is a colony built by the city municipality, there is a field in front. And understand this mound on which I am standing at this time, it is like the knob of the letter 'The'. After this, a very long strip of vegetables and vegetables gives the shape of 'B' to all the bhangis. 'The' Mane Daman. As if nature has written the word Daman on the skull of this settlement.

I have been watching Bhangi township in the backyard of my house since childhood, but to be honest, I had seen it as an idea only a few months back. Despite being well connected and practically connected to the window of my study hall, I do not know anything about these neighbors. I only know about two to six people. Sometimes I have seen scenes of their talk or fight, in the youth, even the faces of two new marriage brothers were given a touch of juice in my mind whenever they were seen. Among them, a face which used to look like Chandranakha of Jain Ramayana in youth, now in old age, Valmiki-Tulsi Ramayana has become ugly. Well, So on the pretext of this settlement, I made a program of interviewing the bhangis of the city. Till now, the class which I had given only my intellectual sympathy - a keen desire to recognize him closely for the first time. Within about a week of starting the interview, I realized that just looking at the culture in an elite way is like watching the sea in the Gulf. Why the immense beauty of the ocean of public culture in the Gulf can be seen by the immense beauty!

I have been coming to this Bhangi hamlet for two days. In this way, I had already completed the work of interviewing the elders and young men, but today I have come again with a greed and an excuse. The excuse is to take photographs of the township and the greed is to meet the Nirguniya grandmother and aunt who refused to meet me yesterday.

I heard about Mrs. Nirguniya in the settlements. It is commonly heard that he was the first to spread education in the town's scavenger society. Her husband Mohana dacoit became very famous about forty years ago and was shot by police at the hands of the police. Mrs. Nirguniya then taught her son and daughter after facing a huge storm of crises. He worked diligently for a few years to cultivate the education of the scavengers of the city, to spread the business of playing business and instruments and to make them self-reliant. Now they are different from all these works for some years. Some greens sell vegetable grow, some interest is also spread. Both daughter and son are in high rank, get good salary. Considers mother very much, They keep doing something for their happiness. People say that everyone will turn around as their days turn out in kindness of Ramji. The small house built on the slope of the mound belongs to them. Vegetable bandage is also included in his ownership. Close the house and drink in the evening and do some mumbling alone. Drink when someone calls them at that time, then they cheat profanity.

I saw a glimpse of him abusing him yesterday, there was no wearing on his head, he was stretching his arms and giving someone lanes. She went inside on seeing me.

Earlier, Shyamlal, surveyor teacher of Harijan Montessori School, who had interviewed all of us sitting at home, went to Mrs. Nirguniya on my request to say that if she cannot come then I will come here. But Nirgani ji refused it too. I felt bad, but if asked the truth, this refusal increased my anger. I thought I would please this distinguished woman from the Dalit class with 'VIP' behavior. That is why today not only photographers, but also brought a bottle of whiskey and some fruit sweets for them. I was particularly keen to receive the experiences of the robber's wife, the movement activist, and the mother of two educated children living a struggling life.

After taking a picture of the spectacular view of the settlement from the mound, I sent the photographer off and told the teacher Shyamlal: "Today I will meet Mrs. Nirguniya, I have decided it."

Shyamlal fell into Dabasat, I said: "You only find out if she is at home or not" - ""
If she is at home. This time does not go anywhere. "
" Then you take this spectator army. I go there.

"" I'll go with you, sir. If they insulted you somewhere, I will feel bad. By the way, aunt is not like this.
"" Leave these things. I have met many, bitter and sweet experiences continue to happen. I have a practice. ”He
walked towards the mound with a bag. Mrs. Nirguniya's house was small but solid. On reaching the verandah, I knocked the door latch.

''Who is it ?''
I started thinking whether to answer or not! I might draw silence just after hearing my voice. But I knocked the hole again.

"Hey, who is Haramzada, I don't even tell if you ask!
" "I have come to meet you Nirguniya ji! Open the door. "
Silence! I was ready to listen to the harsh thing. If you refuse, I will leave. But the latch opened. More attractive than a full-bodied body, the Tejaswini old lady stood before me in a veneer-lehenga. There were some lines made of hard-hitting on the face, but the wrinkles had not yet fallen. There was a magnet in the eye which drew me too. The voice was also elegant and melodious

. "Come! Papa ! Big parts that fell on your uncle's house.
I proceeded to the room. He closed the door and climbed the Kundi. The room became dark, but the second moment the light of Rod's eyes woke up. The room was tastefully decorated. I have seen cheap wooden wooden sofa sets in five or six houses of this colony. Have seen many bhangis in settlements. Table fans, ceiling fans, transistor radios have also been seen in some places, but there was relatively more expensive furniture here. The sofas had foam cushions. The glass cupboard was adorned with two sets of tea cups, some dolls and two toys. There was only one large photograph on the wall. The face of a dead young man. Speculated, this would be the infamous Mohana dacoit. Asked, Mrs. Nirguniya also accepted. I sat on the couch, then took out a bottle of fruit and sweets from the bag and put it on the table.

"What is this all for?" "
Insignificant gift for you."

"Why?" "
" I had distributed toffees to all the children yesterday. ""
So am I a child, Babuji? "

" "If you refused to meet, I thought that this stubborn old girl would have to be persuaded. . ”The
matter went out of his mouth, or else he did not want to say. Having said this, he was afraid that he should not mind. But she smiled, said: "So my infamy has reached Hazur! Well, keep it. If you have a hobby, then I should come from within! ""
"I do drink sometimes but never during work." "It is

your job to ask the scavengers?" "
Yes, at this time. that's it. ''

'' what is government work? ''
'' not his. Social. ""

"What will happen with this?" "
" I am doing this to increase my knowledge. "

"Yes! Babuji, I will tell you one thing, how many scavengers have you become so far? ""
Even recognizing the heart of the question, I avoided it and laughed with an actful laugh and cleverly said: "I can clean someone's excreta. Cannot lift the crate and walk. ''

Mrs Nirguniya sat on the couch in front of her leg and was questioning the question in a masterly style. While talking, my eyesight was fixed on his eyes. Three blue mannequins that have the power to hypnotize were the target of my vision. There are few people in India with blue, brown or golden color. They pull blue eyes and have durations together. This is their attraction. Well, by my estimation, his age will now be in the sixties of seventy five. Many must have drawn themselves in their youth. Mrs. Nirguniya was also looking at me constantly. We were both probably trying to identify each other. Suddenly asked me: "Will you eat my hand-made food?" "

" Easy question. ""
"Will you eat with me in a dish?"
"Just like you would drink at parties with the laddies of society, would you be able to drink with me too?"

"" Why not! "
" "In a glass?"
"" That age has passed now. ""
Mrs. Nirgunia Kuin Laughing lightly like Victoria, then said, "I thought, maybe Huzoor has worn a cloak of this work only to flirt with the Mehtranis."
उपनाम में छुपा है पूरा इतिहास
- अनिरुद्ध जोशी 'शतायु'

पूरे विश्व में यह वाक्य प्रचलित है, 'नाम में क्या रखा है।' सही भी है कि नाम में क्या रखा है। नाम तो कुछ भी हो सकता है, लेकिन उपनाम में सचमुच में ही कुछ न कुछ है तभी तो भाषाविदों के नेतृत्व में ब्रिटेन के ब्रिस्टल स्‍थित पश्चिमी इंग्लैंड यूनिवर्सिटी (UWE) उपनामों पर शोध के लिए लाखों पॉउंड खर्च कर रही है।

उपनामों पर शोध करके उनके पीछे के इतिहास को सार्वजनिक किया जाएगा और यह भी की उपनामों के इस डाटा को सर्चेबल सॉफ्टवेयर में डालकर सुरक्षित रखा जाएगा। उपनाम को अंग्रेजी में सरनेम (surname) कहा जाता है।

अब जब हम ब्रिटिश नागरिक की बात करते हैं जो उनमें वे भारतीय भी शामिल होते हैं जिनके पूर्वज कई वर्षों पूर्व ही ब्रिटेन में जाकर बस गए थे और जिनकी पीढ़ियाँ अब पूरी तरह से ब्रिटिश हैं। इन भारतीय ब्रिटिश नागरिकों के उपनामों पर भी शोध होगा, जिनमें शामिल है पटेल, सिंह, अहमद और स्मिथ।

भारत में तो उपनामों का समंदर है। अनगिनत उपनाम जिन्हें लिखते-लिखते शायद सुबह से शाम हो जाए। यदि उपनामों पर शोध करने लगे तो कई ऐसे उपनाम है जो हिंदू समाज के चारों वर्णों में एक जैसे पाए जाते हैं। दरअसल भारतीय उपनाम के पीछे कोई विज्ञान नहीं है यह ऋषिओं के नाम के आधार पर निर्मित हुए हैं। ऋषि-मुनियों के ही नाम 'गोत्र' भी बन गए। कालान्तर में जैसे-जैसे राजा-महापुरुष बढ़े उपनाम भी बढ़ते गए। कहीं-कहीं स्थानों के नाम पर उपनाम देखने को मिलते हैं। हालाँकि सारे भारतीय एक ही कुनबे के हैं, लेकिन समय सब कुछ बदलकर रख देता है।

भारत में यदि उपनाम के आधार पर किसी का इतिहास जानने जाएँगे तो हो सकता है कि कोई मुसलमान या दलित हिंदुओं के क्षत्रिय समाज से संबंध रखता हो या वह ब्राह्मणों के कुनबे का हो। लेकिन धार्मिक इतिहास के जानकारों की मानें तो सभी भारतीय किसी ऋषि, मुनि या मनु की संतानें हैं, चाहे वह किसी भी जाति, धर्म, वर्ण या रंग का हो।

वंश बनी जाति : वैदिक काल में तो कोई उपनाम नहीं होते थे। स्मृति काल में वंश पर आधारित उपनाम रखे जाने लगे, जैसे पूर्व में दो ही वंश थे- सूर्यवंश और चंद्रवंश। उक्त दोनों वंशों के ही अनेकों उपवंश होते गए। यदुवंश और नागवंश दोनों चंद्रवंश के अंतर्गत माने जाते हैं। अग्निवंश, इक्ष्वाकु वंश सूर्यवंश के अंतर्गत हैं। सूर्यवंशी प्रतापी राजा इक्ष्वाकु से इक्ष्वाकु वंश चला। इसी इक्ष्वाकु कुल में राजा रघु हुए जिसने रघुवंश चला।

उक्त दोनों वंशों से ही क्षत्रियों, दलितों, ब्राह्मणों और वैश्यों के अनेकों उपवंशों का निर्माण होता गया। माना जाता है कि सप्त ऋषि के नामों के आधार पर ही भारत के चारों वर्णों के लोगों के गोत्र माने जाते हैं। गोत्रों के आधार पर भी वंशों का विकास हुआ। हिंदू, मुसलमान, ईसाई, जैन, बौद्ध और सिख सभी किस न किसी भारतीय वंश से ही संबंध रखते हैं। यदि जातियों की बाद करें तो लगभग सभी द्रविड़ जाति के हैं। शोध बताते हैं कि आर्य कोई जाति नहीं होती थी।

बदलते उपनाम : कई ऐसे उपनाम है जो किसी व्यक्ति या समाज द्वारा प्रांत या धर्म बदलने के साथ बदल गए हैं। जैसे कश्मीर के भट्ट और धर जब इस्लाम में दीक्षित हो गए तो वे अब बट या बट्ट और डार कहलाने लगे हैं। दूसरी और चौहान, यादव और परमार उपनाम तो आप सभी ने सुना होगा। जब ये उत्तर भारतीय लोग महाराष्ट्र में जाकर बस गए तो वहाँ अब चव्हाण, जाधव और पवांर कहलाते हैं। पांडे, पांडेय और पंडिया यह तीनों उपनाम ब्राह्मणों में लगते हैं। अलग-अलग प्रांत के कारण इनका उच्चारण भी अलग हो चला।

कामन उपनाम : नाम की तरह बहुत से ऐसे उपनाम है जो सभी धर्म के लोगों में एक जैसे पाए जाते हैं जैसे पटेल, शाह, राठौर, राणा, सिंह, शर्मा, स्मिथ आदि। चौहान और ठाकुर उपनाम कुछ भारतीय ईसाई और मुसलमानों में भी पाया जाता है। बोहरा या वोहरा नाम का एक मुस्लिम समाज है और हिंदुओं में वराह औरबोहरा उपनाम का प्रयोग भी होता है। दाऊदी बोहरा समाज के सभी लोग भारतीय गुजराती समाज से हैं।

स्थानों पर आधारित उपनाम : जैसे कच्छ के रहने वाले क्षत्रिय जब कच्छ से निकलकर बाहर किसी ओर स्थान पर बस गए तो उन्हें कछावत कहा जाता था। बाद में यही कछावत बिगड़कर कुशवाह हो गया। अब कुशवाह उपनाम दलितों में भी लगाया जाता है और क्षत्रियों में भी। महाराष्‍ट्र में स्थानों पर आधारित अनेकों उपनाम मिल जाएँगे जैसे जलगाँवकर, चिपलुनकर, राशिनकर, मेहकरकर आदि। दूसरे प्रांतों में भी स्थान पर आधारित उपनाम पाए जाते हैं, जैसे मांडोरिया, देवलिया, आलोटी, मालवी, मालवीय, मेवाड़ी, मेतवाड़ा, बिहारी, आदि।

पदवी बने उपनाम, उपनाम बने जाति : राव, रावल, महारावल, राणा, राजराणा और महाराणा यह भी उपाधियाँ हुआ करती थी राजस्थान के मेवाड़ क्षेत्र में। अन्य भी कई पदवियाँ है जैसे शास्त्र पढ़ने वालों को शास्त्री, सभी शास्त्रों के शिक्षक को आचार्य, दो वेदों के ज्ञाता को द्विवेदी, चार के ज्ञाता चतुर्वेदी कहलाते थे। उपाध्याय, महामहोपाध्याय उपाधियाँ भी वेदों के अध्यन या अध्याय पर आधारित होती थी। अंग्रेजों के काल में बहुत सी उपाधियाँ निर्मित हुई, जैसे मांडलिक, जमींदार, मुखिया, राय, रायबहादुर, चौधरी, पटवारी, देशमुख, चीटनीस, पटेल इत्यादि।

'ठाकुर' शब्द से कौन परिचित नहीं है। सभी जानते हैं कि ठाकुर तो क्षत्रियों में ही लगाया जाता है, लेकिन आपको जानकर शायद आश्चर्य हो कि यह ब्राह्मणों में भी लगता है। ठाकुर भी पहले कोई उपनाम नहीं होता था यह एक पदवी होती थी। लेकिन यह रुतबेदार वाली पदवी बहुत ज्यादा प्रसिद्ध हुई। खान, राय, राव, रावल, राणा, राजराणा और महाराणा यह भी उपाधियाँ या पदवी हुआ करती थी।

व्यापार पर आधारित उपनाम : भारत के सभी प्रांतों में रहने वाले सभी धर्म के कुछ लोगों का व्यापार पर आधारित उपनाम भी पाया जाता है। जैसे भारत में सोनी उपनाम बहुत प्रसिद्ध है जो सोने या सुनार का बिगड़ा रूप है। कालांतर में ये लोग सोने का धंधा करते थे तो इन्हें सुनार भी कहा जाता था। ज्यादातर लोग अब भी यही धंधा करते हैं। लुहार उपनाम से सभी परिचित हैं। गुजरात में लोहेवाला, जरीवाला आदि प्रसिद्ध है। लकड़ी का सामान बनाने वाले सुतार या सुथार उपनाम का प्रयोग करते हैं। ऐसे अनगिनत उपनाम है जो किसी न किसी व्यवसाय पर आधारित है।

भारत के प्रसिद्ध उपनाम : सिंह, ठाकुर, शर्मा, तिवारी, मिश्रा, खान, पठान, कुरैशी, शेख, स्मिथ, वर्गीस, जोशी, सिसोदिया, वाजपेयी, गाँधी, राठौर, पाटिल, पटेल, झाला, गुप्ता, अग्रवाल, जैन, शाह, चौहान, परमार, विजयवर्गीय, राजपूत, मेंडल, यादव, कर्णिक, गौड़, राय, दीक्षित, भट्टाचार्य, बनर्जी, चटर्जी, उपाध्याय, डिसूजा, अंसारी, कुशवाह, पोरवाल, भोंसले, सोलंकी, देशमुख, आपटे, प्रधान, जादौन, जायसवाल, गौतम, भटनागर, श्रीवास्तव, निगम, सक्सेना, चौपड़ा, कपूर, कुलकर्णी, चिटनीस, वाघेला, सिंघल, पिल्लई, स्वामी, नायर, सिंघम, गोस्वामी, रेड्डी, नायडू, दास, कश्यप, पुराणिक, दासगुप्ता, सेन, वर्मा, चौधरी, कोहली, दुबे, चावला, पांडे, महाजन, बोहरा, काटजू, आहूजा, नागर, भाटिया, चतुर्वेदी, चड्डा, गिल, सहगल, टुटेजा, माखिजा, नागौरी, जैदी, टेगोर, भारद्वाज, महार, कहार, सुर्यवंशी, शेखावत, राणा, कुमार, धनगर, डांगे, डांगी, अहमद, सुतार, विश्वकर्मा, पाठक, नाथ, पंडित, आर्य, खन्ना, माहेश्वरी, साहू, झा, मजूमदार आदि।

शर्मा और मिश्रा : शर्मा ब्राह्मणों का एक उपनाम है। दक्षिण भारत और असम में यह सरमा है। वक्त बहुत कुछ बदल देता है, लेकिन उपनाम व्यक्ति बदल नहीं पाता, इसीलिए बहुत से भारतीय ईसाइयों में शर्मा लगता है। जम्मू-कश्मीर के ‍कुछ मुस्लिम भी शर्मा लगाते हैं। कुछ जैन और बौद्धों में भी शर्मा लगाया जाता है। वर्तमान में भारत में शर्मा उपनाम और भी कई अन्य समाज के लोग लगाने लगे हैं। शर्मा उत्तर और पूर्वात्तर भारतीय लोग हैं‍ जिनकी बसाहट उत्तर-पश्चिम भारत से नेपाल तक रही है।

मिश्र या मिश्रा दोनों एक ही है। यह मिश्रित शब्द से बना है। मिश्र, मिश्रन, मिश्रा, मिश्री आदि। इस शब्द का प्रभाव भारत सहित विश्व के कई अन्य भागों पर भी रहा है। मूलत: यह उत्तर भारतीय ब्राह्मण होते हैं जो अब भारत के उड़ीसा और विदेश में गुयाना, त्रिनिदाद, टोबैगो और मॉरिशस में भी बहुतायत में पाए जाते हैं। इजिप्ट को मिस्र भी कहा जाता है। मिस्र के विश्व प्रसिद्द पिरामिडों को कौन नहीं जानता।

खान और पठान : चंगेज खाँ या खान का नाम आपने सुना ही होगा। वह मंगोलियाई योद्धा था उसके बाद ही खान शब्द का उपयोग भारत में किया जाने लगा। मान्यता यह भी है कि मध्य एशिया में मुलत: यह 'हान' हुआ करता था किंतु यह शब्द बिगड़कर खान हो गया।

वैसे तो खान उपनाम तुर्क से आया है जिसका अर्थ शासक, मुखिया या ठाकुर होता है। यह एक छोटे क्षेत्र का मुखिया होता है। भारत में मुगल काल में 100 भारतीय मुसलमानों या मुस्लिम परिवारों पर एक 'खान' नियुक्त किया जाता था। जब इन नियुक्त किए गए लोगों की तादात बढ़ती गई तो धीरे-धीरे जिसके जो भी उपनाम रहे हों, वह तो छूट गए अब खान ही उपनाम हो गया।

क्या संस्कृत के पठन-पाठन से ही पठान शब्द की उत्पत्ति हुई है, यह अभी शोध का विषय है। हालाँकि माना जाता है कि पख्तून का अप्रभंश है पठान। यह भी कि पख्तून जनजाति के कबिलों के समूह में से पठानों का समूह भी एक समूह था। आजकल पख्तूनों की पश्तून भाषा अफगानिस्तान के पख्तून और पाकिस्तान के बलूच इलाके में बोली जाती है। एक शहर का नाम है पठानकोट जो भारतीय पंजाब में है। वक्त बदला तो सब कछ बदल गया और अब यह कहना कि सभी पठान या तो अफगान के हैं या पंजाब के, यह कहना गलत होगा क्योंकि बहुत से भारतीयों ने तो इस्लाम ग्रहण करने के बाद पठान उपनाम लगाना शुरू कर दिया था।

सिंह इज किंग : सिंह, सिंग, सिंघ, सिंघम, सिंघल, या सिन्हा सभी शब्द का उपयोग हिंदू तथा सिक्खों में किया है। मूलत: सिंह शब्द के ही बाकी सभी शब्द बिगड़े हुए रूप है। सिंह को नाम या उपनामों की श्रेणी में नहीं रखा जा सकता, लेकिन बहुत से लोग इसका उपनाम के रूप में प्रयोग करते हैं। हालाँकि इस शब्द का इस्तेमाल क्षत्रियों के अलावा भी अन्य कई समाज के लोग करते हैं, क्योंकि यह शब्द उसी तरह है जिस तरह की कोई अपने नाम के बाद 'कुमार' या 'लाला' लगा ले। बब्बर शेर को सिंह कहा जाता है। अब तो सिंह इज किंग है।

भारत में नामों का बहुत होचपोच मामला है। बहुत से गोत्र तो उपनाम बने बैठे हैं और बहुत से उपनामों को गोत्र माना जाता है। अब जैसे 'भारद्वाज' नाम भी है, उपनाम भी है और गोत्र भी। जहाँ तक सवाल गोत्र का है तो भारद्वाज गोत्र ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय, वैश्य और दलितों चारों में लगता है। जिस किसी का भी भारद्वाज गोत्र है तो यह माना जाता है कि वह सभी ऋषि भारद्वाज की संतानें हैं। अब आप ही सोचें उनकी संतानें चारों वर्ण से हैं।

अब आप ही सोचिए यदि विदेशी शोधकर्ता भारतीय उपनामों के इतिहास या उनकी उत्पत्ति के बारे में शोध करेंगे तो गच्चा खा जाएँगे। उन्हें यहाँ ज्यादा मेहनत और पैसा खर्च करना पड़ेगा। हालाँकि यह कार्य मजेदार है और इससे हकीकत निकलकर सामने आएगी।

Early Vedic period

In addition to Early Vedic period the archaeological legacy discussed above, there remains from this period the earliest literary record of Indian culture, the Vedas. Composed in archaic, or Vedic, Sanskrit, generally dated between 1500 and 800 BCE, and transmitted orally, the Vedas comprise four major texts—the Rig-, the Sama-, the Yajur-, and the Atharvaveda. Of these, the Rigveda is believed to be the earliest. The texts consist of hymns, charms, spells, and ritual observations current among the Indo-European-speaking people known as Aryans (from Sanskrit arya, “noble”), who presumably entered India from the Iranian regions.

Theories concerning the origins of the Aryans, whose language is also called Aryan, relate to the question of what has been called the Indo-European homeland. In the 17th and 18th centuries CE, European scholars who first studied Sanskrit were struck by the similarity in its syntax and vocabulary to Greek and Latin. This resulted in the theory that there had been a common ancestry for these and other related languages, which came to be called the Indo-European group of languages. This in turn resulted in the notion that Indo-European-speaking peoples had a common homeland from which they migrated to various parts of Asia and Europe. The theory stirred intense speculation, which continues to the present day, regarding the original homeland and the period or periods of the dispersal from it. The study of Vedic India is still beset by “the Aryan problem,” which often clouds the genuine search for historical insight into this period.

That there was a migration of Indo-European speakers, possibly in waves, dating from the 2nd millennium BCE, is clear from archaeological and epigraphic evidence in western Asia. Mesopotamia witnessed the arrival about 1760 BCE of the Kassites, who introduced the horse and the chariot and bore Indo-European names. A treaty from about 1400 BCE between the Hittites, who had arrived in Anatolia about the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, and the Mitanni empire invoked several deities—Indara, Uruvna, Mitira, and the Nasatyas (names that occur in the Rigveda as Indra, Varuna, Mitra, and the Ashvins). An inscription at Bogazköy in Anatolia of about the same date contains Indo-European technical terms pertaining to the training of horses, which suggests cultural origins in Central Asia or the southern Russian steppes. Clay tablets dating to about 1400 BCE, written at Tell el-Amarna (in Upper Egypt) in Akkadian cuneiform, mention names of princes that are also Indo-European.

Nearer India, the Iranian plateau was subject to a similar migration. Comparison of Iranian Aryan literature with the Vedas reveals striking correspondences. Possibly a branch of the Iranian Aryans migrated to northern India and settled in the Sapta Sindhu region, extending from the Kābul River in the north to the Sarasvati and upper Ganges–Yamuna Doab in the south. The Sarasvati, the sacred river at the time, is thought to have dried up during the later Vedic period. Conceived as a goddess (see Sarasvati), it was personified in later Hinduism as the inventor of spoken and written Sanskrit and the consort of Brahma, promulgator of the Vedas. It was in the Sapta Sindhu region that the majority of the hymns of the Rigveda were composed.

The Rigveda is divided into 10 mandalas (books), of which the 10th is believed to be somewhat later than the others. Each mandala consists of a number of hymns, and most mandalas are ascribed to priestly families. The texts include invocations to the gods, ritual hymns, battle hymns, and narrative dialogues. The 9th mandala is a collection of all the hymns dedicated to soma, the unidentified hallucinogenic juice that was drunk on ritual occasions.

Few events of political importance are related in the hymns. Perhaps the most impressive is a description of the battle of the 10 chiefs or kings: when Sudas, the king of the preeminent Bharatas of southern Punjab, replaced his priest Vishvamitra with Vasishtha, Vishvamitra organized a confederacy of 10 tribes, including the Puru, Yadu, Turvashas, Anu, and Druhyu, which went to war against Sudas. The Bharatas survived and continued to play an important role in historical tradition. In the Rigveda the head of a clan is called the raja; this term commonly has been translated as “king,” but more recent scholarship has suggested “chief” as more appropriate in this early context. If such a distinction is recognized, the entire corpus of Vedic literature can be interpreted as recording the gradual evolution of the concept of kingship from earlier clan organization. Among the clans there is little distinction between Aryan and non-Aryan, but the hymns refer to a people, called the dasyus, who are said to have had an alien language and a dark complexion and to worship strange gods. Some dasyus were rich in cattle and lived in fortified places (puras) that were often attacked by the god Indra. In addition to the dasyus, there were the wealthy Panis, who were hostile and stole cattle.

The early Vedic was the period of transition from nomadic pastoralism to settled village communities intermixing pastoral and agrarian economies. Cattle were initially the dominant commodity, as indicated by the use of the words gotra (“cowpen”) to signify the endogamous kinship group and gavishti (“searching for cows”) to denote war. A patriarchal extended family structure gave rise to the practice of niyoga (levirate), which permitted a widow to marry her husband’s brother. A community of families constituted a grama. The term vish is generally interpreted to mean “clan.” Clan assemblies appear to have been frequent in the early stages. Various categories of assemblies are mentioned, such as vidatha, samiti, and sabha, although the precise distinctions between these categories are not clear. The clan also gathered for the yajna, the Vedic sacrifice conducted by the priest, whose ritual actions ensured prosperity and imbued the chief with valour. The chief was primarily a war leader with responsibility for protecting the clan, for which function he received a bali (“tribute”). Punishment was exacted according to a principle resembling the wergild of ancient Germanic law, whereby the social rank of a wronged or slain man determined the compensation due him or his survivors.

Later Vedic period (c. 800–c. 500 BCE)

The principal literary sources from this period are the Sama-, the Yajur-, and the Atharvaveda (mainly ritual texts), the Brahmanas (manuals on ritual), and the Upanishads (Upanisads) and Aranyakas (collections of philosophical and metaphysical discourses). Associated with the corpus are the sutra texts, largely explanatory aids to the other works, comprising manuals on sacrifices and ceremonies, domestic observances, and social and legal relations. Because the texts were continually revised, they cannot be dated accurately to the early period. The Dharma-sutra texts of this period became the nuclei of the socio-legal Dharma-shastras of later centuries.

Historians formerly assigned the two major Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, to this period, but subsequent scholarship has rendered these dates less certain. Both works are mixtures of the historical and the legendary, both were rewritten and edited, both suffered from frequent interpolations even as late as the early centuries CE, and both were later converted into sacred literature with the deification of their heroes. Consequently, important as they are to the literary and religious tradition, they are not easily identified with a historical period. The central event of the Mahabharata, whose geographic setting is the upper Ganges–Yamuna Doab and adjoining areas, is a war between two groups of cousins—the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Though the traditional date for the war is about 3102 BCE, most historians would prefer a later one. The events of the Ramayana relate to the middle Ganges valley and central India, with later interpolations extending the area southward.

The geographic focus of the later Vedic corpus moves from the Sapta Sindhu region into the Ganges–Yamuna Doab and the territories on its fringe. The areas within this land of the aryas, called Aryavarta, were named for the ruling clans, and the area encompassed within Aryavarta gradually expanded eastward. By the end of the period, clan identity had changed gradually to territorial identity, and the areas of settlement came eventually to form states. The people beyond the Aryavarta were termed the mlecchas (or mlechchhas), the impure barbarians unfamiliar with the speech and customs of the aryas.

The literature is replete with the names of clans. The most powerful among them, commanding the greatest respect, was the Kuru-Pancala, which incorporated the two families of Kuru and Puru (and the earlier Bharatas) and of which the Pancala was a confederation of lesser-known tribes. They occupied the upper Ganges–Yamuna Doab and the Kurukshetra region. In the north the Kamboja, Gandhara, and Madra groups predominated. In the middle Ganges valley the neighbours and rivals of the Kuru-Pancalas were the Kashi, Koshala, and Videha, who worked in close cooperation with each other. The Magadha, Anga, and Vanga peoples in the lower Ganges valley and delta were (in that period) still outside the Aryan pale and regarded as mlecchas. Magadha (Patna and Gaya districts of Bihar) is also associated with the vratya people, who occupied an ambiguous position between the aryas and mlecchas. Other mleccha tribes frequently mentioned include the Satvants of the Chambal River valley and, in the Vindhyan and northern Deccan region, the Andhra, Vidarbha, Nishadha, Pulinda, and Shabara. The location of all these tribes is of considerable historical interest, because they gave their names to enduring geographic regions.

By the 5th century BCE, clan identity had changed to territorial identity, and the areas of settlement changed from chiefdoms to kingdoms in some cases. The state was emerging as a new feature. Assemblies such as the sabha and parishad continued as political institutions into later periods. The larger assemblies declined. Rudimentary notions of taxation were the genesis of administration, as were the ratnins (“jewels”), consisting of representatives of various professions advising the chief. A major transformation occurred in the notion of kingship, which ceased to be merely an office of a war leader; territorial identity provided it with power and status, symbolized by a series of lengthy and elaborate ceremonies—the abhishekha, generally followed by major sacrificial rituals, such as the ashvamedha. This ceremony was a famous horse sacrifice, in which a specially selected horse was permitted to wander at will, tracked by a body of soldiers; the area through which the horse wandered unchallenged was claimed by the chief or king conducting the sacrifice. Thus, theoretically at least, only those with considerable power could perform this sacrifice. Such major sacrificial rituals involved a large amount of wealth and a hierarchy of priests. The ceremonies lasted many days and involved a reciprocal economy of gift exchange between the chief and the priest, by which the latter received wealth in kind and the former established status, prosperity, and proximity to the gods.

The conspicuous display and consumption of these ceremonies have elicited comparison with the potlatch of the Kwakiutl and related North American indigenous peoples. The assumption of such sacrifices was that the clan had settled in a particular area, marking the end of nomadism. This led eventually to the claim of ownership by kings of the wastelands, although a ruler’s right to collect taxes was viewed not as a consequence of his ownership of wasteland but as his wage for protecting society. The new trends emphasized the importance of the priests and the aristocracy (Brahmans and Kshatriyas), who were the mainstay of kingship. The introduction, through royal sacrifices, of notions of divinity in kingship further strengthened the role of the priests. This was also the period in which kingship became hereditary.

The technology of iron, or krishna ayas (“dark metal”), as it was apparently called in later Vedic literature, and the migration into the Ganges valley helped in stabilizing agriculture and settlements. Some of these settlements along the rivers evolved into towns, essentially as administrative and craft centres. By the mid-1st millennium BCE the second urbanization—this time in the Ganges valley—was under way.

The development with the most far-reaching consequences for Indian culture is the structure of society that has come to be called caste. A hymn in the Rigveda contains a description of the primeval sacrifice and refers to the emergence of four groups from the body of the god Prajapati—the Brahmans (Brāhmaṇas), Kshatriyas (Kṣatriyas), Vaishyas (Vaiśyas), and Sudras (Śūdras). This is clearly a mythologized attempt to describe the origin of the four varnas, which came to be regarded as the four major classes in Indian society.

The etymology of each is of interest: Brahman is one who possesses magical or divine knowledge (brahman); Kshatriya is endowed with power or sovereignty (kṣatra); and Vaishya, derived from viś (vish, “settlement”), is a person settled on the land or a member of the clan. The derivation of the term Sudra, however, denoting a member of the group born to serve the upper three varnas, is not clear, which may suggest that it is a non-Aryan word. In addition to varna there are references to jati (birth), which gradually came to acquire a close association with caste and appears to mean the endogamous kinship group.

In the course of time the Brahmans became the preeminent priestly group, the intermediaries with the gods at the sacrificial rituals, and the recipients of large donations for priestly functions; in the process they acquired a number of privileges, such as exemption from taxes and inviolability. The Kshatriyas, who were to become the landowning families, assumed the role of military leaders and of the natural aristocracy having connections with royalty. The Vaishyas were more subservient, and, although their status was not as inferior as that of the Sudras, they appear to have been crucial to the economy. The traditional view of the Sudras is that they were non-Aryan cultivators who came under the domination of the Aryans and in many cases were enslaved and therefore had to serve the upper three groups. But not all references to the Sudras are to slaves. Sometimes wealthy Sudras are mentioned, and in later centuries some of them even became kings.

The traditional view that varna reflects the organization of Indian society has recently been questioned; it has been suggested that the rules of varna conform to a normative or presumptive model, and that the concept of jati is more central to caste functioning. This view is strengthened by the fact that the non-Brahmanical literature of later periods does not always conform to the picture of caste society depicted in the Dharma-shastras.

The beginning of the historical period, c. 500–150 BCE

For this phase of Indian history a variety of historical sources are available. The Buddhist canon, pertaining to the period of the Buddha (c. 6th–5th century BCE) and later, is invaluable as a cross-reference for the Brahmanic sources. This also is true, though to a more limited extent, of Jain sources. In the 4th century BCE there are secular writings on political economy and accounts of foreign travelers. The most important sources, however, are inscriptions of the 3rd century BCE. (See Buddhism; Jainism.)

(Left) India c. 500 BCE and (right) Ashoka's empire at its greatest extent, c. 250 BCE.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Pre-Mauryan states

Buddhist writings and other sources from the beginning of this period mention 16 major states (mahajanapada) dominating the northern part of the subcontinent. A few of these, such as Gandhara, Kamboja, Kuru-Pancala, Matsya, Kashi, and Koshala, continued from the earlier period and are mentioned in Vedic literature. The rest were new states, either freshly created from declining older ones or new areas coming into importance, such as Avanti, Ashvaka, Shurasena, Vatsa, Cedi, Malla, Vrijji, Magadha, and Anga. The mention of so many new states in the eastern Ganges valley is attributable in part to the eastern focus of the sources and is partly the antecedent to the increasing preeminence of the eastern regions.


Gandhara lay astride the Indus and included the districts of Peshawar and the lower Swat and Kābul valleys. For a while its independence was terminated by its inclusion as one of the 22 satrapies of the Achaemenian Empire of Persia (c. 519 BCE). Its major role as the channel of communication with Iran and Central Asia continued, as did its trade in woolen goods. Kamboja adjoined Gandhara in the northwest. Originally regarded as a land of Aryan speakers, Kamboja soon lost its important status, ostensibly because its people did not follow the sacred Brahmanic rites—a situation that was to occur extensively in the north as the result of the intermixing of peoples and cultures through migration and trade. Kamboja became a trading centre for horses imported from Central Asia.

The Kekayas, Madras, and Ushinaras, who had settled in the region between Gandhara and the Beas River, were described as descendants of the Anu tribe. The Matsyas occupied an area to the southwest of present-day Delhi. The Kuru-Pancala, still dominant in the Ganges–Yamuna Doab area, were extending their control southward and eastward; the Kuru capital had reportedly been moved from Hastinapura to Kaushambi when the former was devastated by a great flood, which excavations show to have occurred about the 9th century BCE. The Mallas lived in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Avanti arose in the Ujjain-Narmada valley region, with its capital at Mahishmati; during the reign of King Pradyota, there was a matrimonial alliance with the royal family at Kaushambi. Shurasena had its capital at Mathura, and the tribe claimed descent from the Yadu clan. A reference to the Sourasenoi in later Greek writings is often identified with the Shurasena and the city of Methora with Mathura. The Vatsa state emerged from Kaushambi. The Cedi state (in Bundelkhand) lay on a major route to the Deccan. South of the Vindhyas, on the Godavari River, Ashvaka continued to thrive.

The mid-Ganges valley was dominated by Kashi and Koshala. Kashi maintained close affiliations with its eastern neighbours, and its capital was later to acquire renown as the sacred city of Varanasi (Benares). Kashi and Koshala were continually at war over the control of the Ganges; in the course of the conflict, Koshala extended its frontiers far to the south, ultimately coming to comprise Uttar (northern) and Dakshina (southern) Koshala. The new states of Magadha (Patna and Gaya districts) and Anga (northwest of the delta) were also interested in controlling the river and soon made their presence felt. The conflict eventually drew in the Vrijji state (Behar and Muzaffarpur districts). For a while, Videha (modern Tirhut), with its capital at Mithila, also remained powerful. References to the states of the northern Deccan appear to repeat statements from sources of the earlier period, suggesting that there had been little further exchange between the regions.

Political systems

The political system in these states was either monarchical or a type of representative government that variously has been called republican or oligarchic. The fact that representation in these latter states’ assemblies was limited to members of the ruling clan makes the term oligarchy, or even chiefdom, preferable. Sometimes within the state itself there was a gradual change from monarchy to oligarchy, as in the case of Vaishali, the nucleus of the Vrijji state. Apart from the major states, there also were many smaller oligarchies, such as those of the Koliyas, Moriyas, Jnatrikas, Shakyas, and Licchavis. The Jnatrikas and Shakyas are especially remembered as the tribes to which Mahavira (the founder of Jainism) and Gautama Buddha, respectively, belonged. The Licchavis eventually became extremely powerful.

The oligarchies comprised either a single clan or a confederacy of clans. The elected chief or the president (ganapati or ganarajya) functioned with the assistance of a council of elders probably selected from the Kshatriya families. The most important institution was the sovereign general assembly, or parishad, to the meetings of which members were summoned by kettledrum. Precise rules governed the seating arrangement, the agenda, and the order of speaking and debate, which terminated in a decision. A distinction was maintained between the families represented and the others. The broad authority of the parishad included the election of important functionaries. An occasional lapse into hereditary office on the part of the chief may account for the tendency toward monarchy among these states. The divisiveness of factions was a constant threat to the political system.

The institutional development within these oligarchies suggests a stabilized agrarian economy. Sources mention wealthy householders (gahapatis) employing slaves and hired labourers to work on their lands. The existence of gahapatis suggests the breaking up of clan ownership of land and the emergence of individual holdings. An increase in urban settlements and trade is evident not only from references in the literary sources but also from the introduction of two characteristics of urban civilization—a script and coinage. Evidence for the script dates at least to the 3rd century BCE. The most widely used script was Brahmi, which is germane to most Indian scripts used subsequently. A variant during this period was Kharoshti, used only in northwestern India and derived from the Aramaic of western Asia. The most commonly spoken languages were Prakrit, which had its local variations in Shauraseni (from which Pali evolved), and Magadhi, in which the Buddha preached. Sanskrit, the more cultured language as compared with Prakrit, was favoured by the educated elite. Panini’s grammar, the Astadhyayi, and Yaska’s etymological work, the Nirukta, suggest considerable sophistication in the development of Sanskrit.


Silver bent bar coins and silver and copper punch-marked coins came into use in the 5th century BCE. It is not clear whether the coins were issued by a political authority or were the legal tender of moneyers. The gradual spread in the same period of a characteristic type of luxury ware, which has come to be known as the northern black polished ware, is an indicator of expanding trade. One main trade route followed the Ganges River and crossed the Indo-Gangetic watershed and the Punjab to Taxila and beyond. Another extended from the Ganges valley via Ujjain and the Narmada valley to the western coast or, alternatively, southward to the Deccan. The route to the Ganges delta became more popular, increasing maritime contact with ports on the eastern coast of India. The expansion of trade and consequently of towns resulted in an increase in the number of artisans and merchants; some eventually formed guilds (shrenis), each of which tended to inhabit a particular part of a town. The guild system encouraged specialization of labour and the hereditary principle in professions, which was also a characteristic of caste functioning. Gradually some of the guilds acquired caste status. The practice of usury encouraged the activity of financiers, some of whom formed their own guilds and found that investment in trade proved increasingly lucrative. The changed economy is evident in the growth of cities and of an urban culture in which such distinctions as pura (walled settlement), durga (fortified town), nigama (market centre), nagara (town), and mahanagara (city) became increasingly important.


The changing features of social and economic life were linked to religious and intellectual changes. Orthodox traditions maintained in certain sections of Vedic literature were questioned by teachers referred to in the Upanishads and Aranyakas and by others whose speculations and philosophy are recorded in other texts. There was a sizable heterodox tradition current in the 6th century BCE, and speculation ranged from idealism to materialism. The Ajivikas and the Carvakas, among the smaller sects, were popular for a time, as were the materialist theories of the Buddha’s contemporary Ajita Keshakambalin. Even though such sects did not sustain an independent religious tradition, the undercurrent of their teachings cropped up time and again in the later religious trends that emerged in India.

Of all these sects, only two, Jainism and Buddhism, acquired the status of major religions. The former remained within the Indian subcontinent; the latter spread to Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Both religions were founded in the 6th–5th century BCE; Mahavira gave shape to earlier ideas of the Nirgranthas (an earlier name for the Jains) and formulated Jainism (the teachings of the Jina, or Conqueror, Mahavira), and the Buddha (the Enlightened One) preached a new doctrine.

There were a number of similarities among these two sects. Religious rituals were essentially congregational. Monastic orders (the sangha) were introduced with monasteries organized on democratic lines and initially accepting persons from all strata of life. Such monasteries were dependent on their neighbourhoods for material support. Some of the monasteries developed into centres of education. The functioning of monks in society was greater, however, among the Buddhist orders. Wandering monks, preaching and seeking alms, gave the religions a missionary flavour. The recruitment of nuns signified a special concern for the status of women. Both religions questioned Brahmanical orthodoxy and the authority of the Vedas. Both were opposed to the sacrifice of animals, and both preached nonviolence. Both derived support in the main from the Kshatriya ruling clans, wealthy gahapatis, and the mercantile community; because trade and commerce did not involve killing, the principle of ahimsa (“noninjury”) could be observed in these activities. The Jains participated widely as the middlemen in financial transactions and in later centuries became the great financiers of western India. While both religions disapproved in theory of the inequality of castes, neither directly attacked the assumptions of caste society; even so, they were able to secure a certain amount of support from lower caste groups, which was enhanced by the borrowing of rituals and practices from popular local cults. The patronage of women, especially those of royal families, was to become a noticeable feature.

Magadhan ascendancy

Political activity in the 6th–5th century BCE centred on the control of the Ganges valley. The states of Kashi, Koshala, and Magadha and the Vrijjis battled for this control for a century until Magadha emerged victorious. Magadha’s success was partly due to the political ambition of its king, Bimbisara (c. 543–491 BCE). He conquered Anga, which gave him access to the Ganges delta—a valuable asset in terms of the nascent maritime trade. Bimbisara’s son Ajatashatru—who achieved the throne through patricide—implemented his father’s intentions within about 30 years. Ajatashatru strengthened the defenses of the Magadhan capital, Rajagrha, and built a small fort on the Ganges at Pataligrama, which was to become the famous capital Pataliputra (modern Patna). He then attacked and annexed Kashi and Koshala. He still had to subdue the confederacy of the Vrijji state, and this turned out to be a protracted affair lasting 16 years. Ultimately the Vrijjis, including the important Licchavi clan, were overthrown, having been weakened by a minister of Ajatashatru, who was able to sow dissension in the confederacy.

The success of Magadha was not solely attributable to the ambition of Bimbisara and Ajatashatru. Magadha had an excellent geographic location controlling the lower Ganges and thus drew revenue from both the fertile plain and the river trade. Access to the delta also brought in lucrative profits from the eastern coastal trade. Neighbouring forests provided timber for building and elephants for the army. Above all, nearby rich deposits of iron ore gave Magadha a lead in technology.

Bimbisara had been one of the earliest Indian kings to emphasize efficient administration, and the beginnings of an administrative system took root. Rudimentary notions of land revenue developed. Each village had a headman who was responsible for collecting taxes and another set of officials who supervised the collection and conveyed the revenue to the royal treasury. But the full understanding of the utilization of land revenue as a major source of state income was yet to come. The clearing of land continued apace, but it is likely that the agrarian settlements were small, because literary references to journeys from one town to another mention long stretches of forest paths.

After the death of Ajatashatru (c. 459 BCE) and a series of ineffectual rulers, Shaishunaga founded a new dynasty (see Shaishunaga dynasty), which lasted for about half a century until ousted by Mahapadma Nanda. The Nandas are universally described as being of low origin, perhaps Sudras. Despite these rapid dynastic changes, Magadha retained its position of strength. The Nandas continued the earlier policy of expansion. They are proverbially connected with wealth, probably because they realized the importance of regular collections of land revenue.

Campaigns of Alexander the Great

The northwestern part of India witnessed the military campaign of Alexander the Great of Macedon, who in 327 BCE, in pursuing his campaign to the eastern extremities of the Achaemenian Empire, entered Gandhara. He campaigned successfully across the Punjab as far as the Beas River, where his troops refused to continue fighting. The vast army of the Nandas is referred to in Greek sources, and some historians have suggested that Alexander’s Macedonian and Greek soldiers may have mutinied out of fear of this army. The campaign of Alexander made no impression on the Indian mind, for there are no references to it in Indian sources. A significant outcome of his campaign was that some of his Greek companions—such as Onesicritus, Aristobulus, and his admiral, Nearchus—recorded their impressions of India. Later Greek and Roman authors such as Strabo and Arrian, as well as Pliny and Plutarch, incorporated much of this material into their writings. However, some of the accounts are fanciful and make for better fiction than history. Alexander established a number of Greek settlements, which provided an impetus for the development of trade and communication with western Asia. Most valuable to historians was a reference to Alexander’s meeting the young prince Sandrocottos, a name identified in the 18th century as Chandragupta, which provides a chronological landmark in early Indian history.

The Mauryan empire

The accession of Chandragupta Maurya (reigned c. 321–297 BCE) is significant in Indian history because it inaugurated what was to become the first pan-Indian empire. The Mauryan dynasty was to rule almost the entire subcontinent (except the area south of present-day Karnataka), as well as substantial parts of present-day Afghanistan.

Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta overthrew the Nanda power in Magadha and then campaigned in central and northern India. Greek sources report that he engaged in a conflict in 305 BCE in the trans-Indus region with Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander’s generals, who, following the death of Alexander, had founded the Seleucid dynasty in Iran. The result was a treaty by which Seleucus ceded the trans-Indus provinces to the Maurya and the latter presented him with 500 elephants. A marriage alliance is mentioned, but no details are recorded.

The treaty ushered in an era of friendly relations between the Mauryas and the Seleucids, with exchanges of envoys. One among them, the Greek historian Megasthenes, left his observations in the form of a book, the Indica. Although the original has been lost, extensive quotations from it survive in the works of the later Greek writers Strabo, Diodorus, and Arrian. A major treatise on political economy in Sanskrit is the Artha-shastra of Kautilya (or Canakya, as he is sometimes called). Kautilya, it is believed, was prime minister to Chandragupta, although this view has been contested. In describing an ideal government, Kautilya indicates contemporary assumptions of political and economic theory, and the description of the functioning of government occasionally tallies with present-day knowledge of actual conditions derived from other sources. The date of origin of the Artha-shastra remains problematic, with suggested dates ranging from the 4th century BCE to the 3rd century CE. Most authorities agree that the kernel of the book was originally written during the early Mauryan period but that much of the existing text is post-Mauryan.

According to Jain sources, Chandragupta became a Jain toward the end of his reign. He abdicated in favour of his son Bindusara, became an ascetic, and traveled with a group of Jain monks to southern India, where he died, in the orthodox Jain manner, by deliberate slow starvation.


The second Mauryan emperor was Bindusara, who came to the throne about 297 BCE. Greek sources refer to him as Amitrochates, the Greek for the Sanskrit amitraghata, “destroyer of foes.” This name perhaps reflects a successful campaign in the Deccan, Chandragupta having already conquered northern India. Bindusara’s campaign stopped in the vicinity of Karnataka, probably because the territories of the extreme south, such as those of the Colas, Pandyas, and Ceras, were well-disposed in their relations toward the Mauryas.

Ashoka and his successors

Bindusara was succeeded by his son Ashoka, either directly in 272 BCE or, after an interregnum of four years, in 268 BCE (some historians say c. 265 BCE). Ashoka’s reign is comparatively well documented. He issued a large number of edicts, which were inscribed in many parts of the empire and were composed in Prakrit, Greek, and Aramaic, depending on the language current in a particular region. Greek and Aramaic inscriptions are limited to Afghanistan and the trans-Indus region.

Stupa 1 (Great Stupa), eastern gateway, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India.Frederick M. Asher
Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India: stupa no. 2Stupa no. 2, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India.Frederick M. Asher

The first major event in Ashoka’s reign, which he describes in an edict, was a campaign against Kalinga in 260 BCE. The suffering that resulted caused him to reevaluate the notion of conquest by violence, and gradually he was drawn to the Buddhist religion. He built a number of stupas. About 12 years after his accession, he began issuing edicts at regular intervals. In one he referred to five Greek kings who were his neighbours and contemporaries and to whom he sent envoys—these were Antiochus II Theos of Syria, the grandson of Seleucus I; Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt; Antigonus II Gonatas of Macedonia; Magas of Cyrene; and Alexander (of either Epirus or Corinth). This reference has become the bedrock of Mauryan chronology. Local tradition asserts that he had contacts with Khotan and Nepal. Close relations with Tissa, the king of Sri Lanka, were furthered by the fact that Mihinda, Ashoka’s son (or his younger brother according to some sources), was the first Buddhist missionary on the island.

Ashoka ruled for 37 years. After his death a political decline set in, and half a century later the empire was reduced to the Ganges valley alone. Tradition asserts that Ashoka’s son Kunala ruled in Gandhara. Epigraphic evidence indicates that his grandson Dasharatha ruled in Magadha. Some historians have suggested that his empire was bifurcated. In 185 BCE the last of the Mauryas, Brihadratha, was assassinated by his Brahman commander in chief, Pushyamitra, who founded the Shunga dynasty.

Financial base for the empire

The Mauryan achievement lay in the ability to weld the diverse parts of the subcontinent into a single political unit and to maintain an imperial system for almost 100 years. The financial base for an imperial system was provided by income from land revenue and, to a lesser extent, from trade. The gradual expansion of the agrarian economy and improvements in the administrative machinery for collecting revenue increased the income from land revenue. This is confirmed by both the theories of Kautilya and the account of Megasthenes; Kautilya maintained that the state should organize the clearing of wasteland and settle it with villages of Sudra cultivators. It is likely that some 150,000 persons deported from Kalinga by Ashoka after the campaign were settled in this manner. Megasthenes wrote that there were no slaves in India, yet Indian sources speak of various categories of slaves called dasas, the most commonly used designation being dasa-bhritakas (slaves and hired labourers). It is likely that there was no large-scale slavery for production, although slaves were used on the land, in the mines, and in the guilds, along with the hired labour. Domestic slavery was common, however.

The nature of land revenue has been a subject of controversy. Some scholars maintain that the state was the sole owner of the land, while others contend that there was private and individual ownership as well. References to private ownership would seem to be too frequent to be ignored. There also are references to the crown lands, the cultivation of which was important to the economy. Two types of taxes were levied—one on the amount of land cultivated and the other on the produce of the land. The state maintained irrigation in limited areas and in limited periods. By and large, irrigation systems were privately controlled by cultivators and landowners. There is no support for a thesis that control of the hydraulic machinery was crucial to the political control of the country.

Another source of income, which acquired increasing importance, was revenue from taxes levied on both internal and foreign trade. The attempt at improved political administration helped to break the economic isolation of various regions. Roads built to ensure quick communication with the local administration inevitably became arteries of exchange and trade.

Mauryan society

According to Megasthenes, Mauryan society comprised seven occupational groups: philosophers, farmers, soldiers, herdsmen, artisans, magistrates, and councillors. He defined these groups as endogamous and the professions as hereditary, which has led to their being considered as castes. The philosophers included a variety of priests, monks, and religious teachers; they formed the smallest group but were the most respected, were exempt from taxation, and were the only ones permitted to marry into the other groups. The farmers were the largest group. The soldiers were highly paid, and, if Pliny’s figures for the army are correct—9,000 elephants, 30,000 cavalry, and 600,000 infantry—their support must have required a considerable financial outlay. The mention of herdsmen as a socioeconomic group suggests that, although the agrarian economy was expanding and had become central to the state income, pastoralism continued to play an important economic role. The artisans probably represented a major section of the urban population. The listing of magistrates and councillors as distinct groups is evidence of a large and recognizable administrative personnel.

Mauryan government

The Mauryan government was organized around the king. Ashoka saw his role as essentially paternal: “All men are my children.” He was anxious to be in constant touch with public opinion, and to this end he traveled extensively throughout his empire and appointed a special category of officers to gauge public opinion. His edicts indicate frequent consultations with his ministers, the ministerial council being a largely advisory body. The offices of the sannidhatri (treasurer), who kept the account, and the samahartri (chief collector), who was responsible for revenue records, formed the hub of the revenue administration. Each administrative department, with its superintendents and subordinate officials, acted as a link between local administration and the central government. Kautilya believed that a quarter of the total income should be reserved for the salaries of the officers. That the higher officials expected to be handsomely paid is clear from the salaries suggested by Kautilya and from the considerable difference between the salary of a clerk (500 panas) and that of a minister (48,000 panas). Public works and grants absorbed another large percentage of state income.

The empire was divided into four provinces, each under a prince or a governor. Local officials were probably selected from among the local populace, because no method of impersonal recruitment to administrative office is mentioned. Once every five years, the emperor sent officers to audit the provincial administrations. Some categories of officers in the rural areas, such as the rajjukas (surveyors), combined judicial functions with assessment duties. Fines constituted the most common form of punishment, although capital punishment was imposed in extreme cases. Provinces were subdivided into districts and these again into smaller units. The village was the basic unit of administration and has remained so throughout the centuries. The headman continued to be an important official, as did the accountant and the tax collector (sthanika and gopa, respectively). For the larger units, Kautilya suggests the maintenance of a census. Megasthenes describes a committee of 30 officials, divided into six subcommittees, who looked after the administration of Pataliputra. The most important single official was the city superintendent (nagaraka), who had virtual control over all aspects of city administration. Centralization of the government should not be taken to imply a uniform level of development throughout the empire. Some areas, such as Magadha, Gandhara, and Avanti, were under closer central control than others, such as Karnataka, where possibly the Mauryan system’s main concern was to extract resources without embedding itself in the region.

Ashoka’s edicts