Cultural movements away from Brahminism and uniting the lower OBCs through it are two biggest challenges before the OBC movement at present.
According to so called Hindu Shastras, the people other than the Brahmins, Kshatriya, and Banias are the Shudras. The Shudras do not understand that the “sacred” texts of the Brahmins are heavily loaded against them. In fact, these texts reduce them to the slavery of the three top Varnas. The OBCs are therefore the slaves in the Brahminical Hindu Social Order. Not that the Shudras did not revolt, they did and they are revolting all over India and denouncing the Brahminism and in some cases Hinduism.
The awakening among the OBCs will be the beginning of the democratization of India, but simple political awakening based on their numbers will not important, but the Shudras must awaken as human beings and form alliances and communities based on the three values of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
The Lingayats in Karnataka declared themselves out of Brahminised Hinduism. The Marathas in Maharashtra came up with a separate religion “Shiv Dharma”. Alpesh Thakore, an OBC leader from Gujarat, is firmly advocating moves away from Brahminised Hinduism. The Arkaj Samaj, another strong movement in UP, has moved away from Hinduism. The non-Brahmins in the South India have always challenged the Brahminised symbols, their language, and their texts since last 100 years.
These movements are more important than the political movement because these movements will lead to the consolidation of the OBCs politically throughout India. However, they must identify that the Brahminism is the threat to the development of the Shudras and that they should firmly stand up against the RSS/BJP.
The RSS/BJP will encourage division among the OBCs, the way Nitish Kumar created among the Dalits in Bihar reducing them to the caste Islands of Dalits and Mahadalits. The RSS/BJP will create a category of “Ati-Picchada” among the “picchada” to further its political agenda through its policy of “divide and rule”. It will show “carrot” to the MBCs and “stick” to the “forward OBCs” in the forthcoming period.
The challenge before the OBC movements are therefore two-fold: how to counter the cultural nationalism of the RSS/BJP and how to unite the other members of their own class through their own cultural movements away from Brahminism.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist