The era of capitalism began when the abstract things like land and labour became commodified. The principle is largely known as the “commercialization principle”.
The lands were converted into tradable entities by way of turning them into titles, the titles can be exchanged, but land by its nature can never be exchanged without creating instruments of exchanges.
That is why the dominant landholding classes benefitted, but their benefits were soon outsmarted by the study groups of merchants and traders: the first entrepreneurs who earned huge profits by trading and manufacturing.
India’s Banias quickly adopted to the new regime and became the traders and manufacturers and that is how in India the capitalism had started emerging with the consolidation of the British regime and adoption of the Banias to the new regime.
The India’s capitalist class remained highly dominated by the Banias.
Traditionally, India’s largest population were excluded from religious practice (It was reserved for the Brahmins), from fighting wars (it was an exclusive domain of the Kshatriyas), and from the Businesses (It was limited to the Banias). The larger population remained dependent on the agriculture (the dominant OBCs are also not exceptions to this, which includes castes like Jats, Patels, and Kunbi/Marathas: all of them are fighting for reservation now) and most of the populace like the Scheduled castes remained landless and at the mercy of the caste higher to them.
When the businesses are becoming global, India’s capitalist classes are sharply confined to the Banias and there is hardly any visibility of the OBCs, SCs, and STs in this area.
As Indian population lives in the archaic past and in the ancient myths and religion, they have no way to relate to the modern developments in the science and technology. This is not just the case with the people living in the rural areas, but also it is the case with the people working in the corporate.
There is a contradiction in the way India’s so called corporate and the real nature of the corporate can be, and this is the reason why India’s corporate tries to see “home-grown” leaders as opposed to the “talented and competent” ones. In the globalized world, the local caste system must not become a barrier, but time and again, India sees a dip in the mythic past and reviving the old myths of war between the “Brahmins” and “Kshatriyas”.
The success of China depends to some extent on opening its doors to the foreign nationals. China is even contemplating extending “Chinese” green cards to the people from abroad so that they contribute to the Chinese economic and technological development.
In place of such innovative policy stands, India is trying to lure and integrate the “upper castes” migrated to other countries as NRIs to vote in the Indian elections through their “proxies”: the brainchild of RSS/BJP to include its saffron funders from abroad to vote in “Indian” elections.
Indian reality will soon explode this country into pieces if the past is not discarded completely and fully which has become the rival of the present generations. One of such areas is businesses, which is heavily dominated by the “Brahmins and Banias” who are stuck in time and in their caste “egos”.
For example, the Infosys will boast itself founded on “Brahminical values” which means caste values, which means monopoly, which means no respect for others, which means Nazism, which means not sharing profits with others. The sooner the OBCs, SCs, and STs enter into businesses the better it is for the Indian economy and Indian society.
The RSS/BJP will not do it. It will only pay lip service and thus hasten the process of revolution in India. If it does something, it will go against its own grain of “Brahmin-Bania” syndicate.
It is caught up in its own dilemmas, but these dilemmas must not become the nemesis of India, which is the Republic, the country of the people, and not just of the Brahmins and Banias.
The more India is open to global influence, the easier for India’s oppressed classes to find opportunities to assert themselves.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist