Cultural (Ethnic) Nationalism v/s Social Justice (Civic Nationalism)


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The RSS pracharaks (propagators) are taking credits for BJP’s seemingly landslide victory in UP. Though the media is hailing Modi-Shah duo responsible for the suspicious victory of the BJP, the RSS insiders are claiming that it is 100% organisational work which is responsible for the BJP’s victory. BJP is trying hard to bring fake nationalism at the front.

The Indian media funded by cronies of Modi hailed this suspicious victory as the approval of Modi’s leadership. India is still to see any gains of Modi’s leadership except his foreign tours, his heart’s talks, and occasional lies.

What India saw was the large scale damage to Indian economy due to Modi’s note-bandi.

It seems that the voters in India are voting for Modi’s policy which are invisible and cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Modi is loosing on all the fronts. He is not a sharp diplomat as he is letting the China-Pakistan become stronger and stronger day by day, instead of really engaging China diplomatically for economic advantage and regional peace. We will wait what Modi will showcase to India’s voters in the 2019 elections. The TV will back him, the social media powered by Reliance’s Jio, and possible tampering of the EVMs may ensure him the next term without doing anything substantial for the country.

However, the trend is alarming for Indian democracy. Power by any means has always been the policy of Brahmans and Banias. The Goa and Manipur elections demonstrated that the BJP will use all weapons in its arsenal to destroy political opponents. The way the Governments were created in these states is interesting. But, our discussion will be focused on one important aspect of RSS/BJP politics and that is 100% organisational efforts. This is true.

Either we oppose the brand of cultural nationalism that the RSS/BJP practices, or we despise their hatred towards Muslims and backward classes, the RSS/BJP got a strong organisational framework. The organisational framework is directly attributed to the nature of the caste system.

[bctt tweet=”The caste system is not graded inequality, but also the social capital is graded.” username=”velivada”]

This imply that the Brahmans and Banias have more social capital and they tend to work more cooperatively compared to the rest of the castes in India. The neo-Hinduism is the vehicle of the Brahmans and Banias, and it is this axis that forged the neo-Hinduism that rests and thrives of hatred towards the Muslims. But the heart of the success of RSS/BJP is consolidation of the Brahmans nationally and reaching out to Banias.

If we study the history of conflicts between the castes, the various castes within the Brahmans also competed with each other for the priviledges and power, but something has changed due to the British Raj and that was the mobility of the Brahmans as they got into the British administration which gave them much needed mobility to mobilize the Brahmans.

The RSS/BJP is still very much a Brahman-Bania party and it is not ready to delegate power to the Shudras (OBCs).

The RSS which boasts of millions of members has no ideology except cultural nationalism to attract the other Indians and hence politics becomes an important organ for them keep its ideology alive. In the UP elections, if we discount the suspicious tinkering of the machines, we can see that the BJP (as it claims) attracted the Non-Yadav and Non-Dalit votes.

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The social justice was rejected by the UP voters in favor of Modi’s fake promises of development.

This is the most absurd argument, but let us buy this argument for a while that BJP rode to power in UP by wooing the Non-Yadav, Non-Dalit, and Non-Muslims. They together make up to 50 percent of the electorate or so. And that their votes were split between the SP and the BSP (together won 42 percent or so). This means that the BJP was voted by all the other castes and that the BJP has become a catch-all party, particularly the party of the OBCs and Upper castes. If this is the caste, the Chief Minister should have been from the OBCs who voted en masse to the BJP. But the BJP made staunch Hindutva activist, Adityanath, the CM of the UP.

[bctt tweet=”The Brahmans-Banias have no other means of retaining the power except through the RSS.” username=”velivada”]

It means that the RSS/BJP is having two faces. The frontal end is the party that attracts the OBCs and dorsal end is the party that keeps the power in the hands of Brahmans and Banias, and their ally, Thakurs.

The greatest loser in this battle of power will not be India’s Dalits as they will rise because of the arc of ideology they got in legacy which they must continue to follow, but the losers will be India’s OBCs who continue to shun the Dalits because of their caste (shallow) pride.

If analysis is to be believed, the Mayawati is also to be believed for banking on the Brahmans and not on the backward castes that Kanshiram brought together. Kanishram always followed the ideological arc of Bahujan and following that arc brought into the BSP’s fold many OBCs and the important castes on which the BJP poached to further gains in the electoral politics.

The RSS’s strategy is clear: create a strong organisation centered on the interests of the Brahmans and Banias and politically woo the backward castes in the name of country and development. The line of action is clear for India’s pro-democracy citizens: create a strong internal linkages among the marginalised at all levels and attract more and more of backward classes and the minorities under its quest for social justice and democracy.

In order to do this, the Dalits needs a strong political organisation, the BSP is the only political apparatus, and the Social Justice movement must hold the BSP accountable, as it is the outcome of the social justice and democratic movement in India.

Editor – Will the kind of nationalism BJP is promoting do any good? Will such kind nationalism that produced hatred among different communities good for India? We need nationalism which is based on social justice and not kind of nationalism that is based on hatred.

Author – Mangesh Dhaiwale

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