The Other Backward Castes (OBCs) are the fourth Varna in the Brahmanical pecking order of human beings. According to the Brahmanical scheme, they are the Shudras. They are slaves and they have technically no right to education, no right to possess weapons, and no right to hold property. Knowledge, self-defense, and wealth are important for any human being to live a satisfactory life. If the society is equal and full of fraternity, then the society might find the ways to make individuals wise, secure, and materially sufficient. But in knowledge was considered the monopoly of the Brahmans.
It was not any practical knowledge they hold, but the knowledge about making alcohol and “knowledge” to reach to Brahma. They did not create any knowledge worth useful for the day to day life of people. The Kahstriya dealt with the weapons for the protection of their Varna pride and that is how India degenerated into a vassal state after the fall of Mauryan empire.
The Banias (Vaishya) had only one aim, earn, and earn by any means. In the modern world, these qualities are changed and much more organised by the axis of Brahmans and Banias, leaving the Shudras powerless as they have no access to education, no access to military services, and no share in the wealth.
But the arrogant Shudra castes instead of fighting the triumvirate of Brahmans, Kshatriya, and Vaishyas fight against the Dalits. This is due to the nature of the caste system. They hate the upper castes but their hatred towards the Upper castes is far lesser than their hatred towards the Dalits and this makes it difficult for them to ally with the Dalits and with the Tribals. Actually, even the word “Shudra” is misleading.
According to Babasaheb Ambedkar, who can be considered the liberator of the Shudras in the modern times, the category of the Shudra raises many questions. The invading Aryan Brahmans have a scheme of social stratification in place from wherever they migrated to the Indian subcontinent and when they defeated the Kshatriya in their social setting, the defeated Kshatriyas were denied the right of Upanayana, and the defeated Kshatriya were reduced to “Shudra” in the earlier “Aryan Brahman” scheme of the social stratification. When they come to the Indian subcontinent, they imposed the “Shudra” label on India’s original inhabitants.
[bctt tweet=”Shudras have become the upholders of the Brahmanism itself and their social position” username=”velivada”]
The Shudras are therefore not “Shudra” in the Brahmanical Scheme of the society, but now they have been made to believe that they are the Shudras. This is what Babasaheb Ambedkar discovered. The conclusion of this analysis of this will be that the Shudras have become the upholders of the Brahmanism itself and their social position is further consolidated when they find some other social group to hate, the Dalits.
The Shudras, therefore, must rise up against the Brahmanism. That is what Mahatma Phule did, who Babasaheb Ambedkar called the greatest “Shudra” with the spin on the word “Shudra” means the powerful social groups in India if awakened has a potential to dismantle the Brahmanism fully and completely. But the educated Shudras, instead of reading their forefathers like Phule, Shahu, and Ambedkar, are Brahmanised. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the only saviour of the OBCs when the constitution was written.
He authored an important book “Who were the Shudras?” to awaken them to their social reality. He took painstaking efforts to give them access to civil rights in the Indian constitution. Taking the movement of Shahu forward, Babasaheb Ambedkar ensured reservation for the OBCs.
He even suggested the OBC leader, Punjab Deshmukh to found All Indian Backward Class Federation (AIBCF) in line with All India Scheduled Caste Federation (AISCF), but Deshmukh was co-opted by Nehru in 1953 in the Congress. In fact, the backward classes movement except in Tamil Nadu was co-opted by the Congress when the electoral politics began in India.
They Shudra constitute over 54 percent of India’s population which gives them advantage in the politics and they found themselves politically strong after the advent of the electorate democracy and strong OBC castes have been ruling different states, except after the rise of BJP/RSS, their power is co-opted by appointing RSS trained Brahmans as the heads of the Government.
No one is sure as to what caste Modi belongs to. He claims to be a Shudra, but his caste was entered into the OBC category when he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat. However, he made it a point to tell the OBCs that he is OBC and to Dalits that he is a Dalit. He is everything to everybody. Then there is a problem. How can someone fight for his people by colluding with the enemies of his people?
The majority of the converts to Islam in India are from the Shudra and Dalits castes. They register themselves as the backward classes en masse. But the Hindutva propaganda machine sets up one brother against another by creating the divide of the caste and religion.
[bctt tweet=”If it had not been partition of India, the Brahmanism would have been destroyed.” username=”velivada”]
It is the partition that keeps the hegemony of the Brahmans alive because the Shudras are deluded in believing that the Muslims (most of them are their own brothers and sisters) are their enemies. The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) was constituted to implement the Mandal Commission in 1992. Now the RSS/BJP government is reshaping it as National Commission for Socially and educationally Backward Classes and the Parliament will decide the inclusion of the caste in the backward class list. Initially, the Government could do it, but now the Parliament will have to debate the inclusion of each caste in the backward class list and its competence (or lack of the competence) in getting the reserved seats.
The Shudras have been helped by India’s Dalits in making them aware of their rights after the independence. They have fought the battle on their behalf. It is time for them launch their own battle. Meanwhile, the possibility of forming All India Backward Class Federation (AIBCF) again remains difficult, the formation of the All India Scheduled Caste Federation (AISCF) is just a few steps ahead given the all India awakening among the Dalits. The BAMCEF thought many steps ahead and became a crucible for churning the thoughts among backward classes, scheduled classes, tribals and minorities, but it is now really time to “Organise” step by step to consolidate and focus the power.
Author – Mangesh Dhaiwale