By Anand Kshirsagar
Today, self proclaimed Nationalists in the name of religion, 'Kattar Hindus' (Staunch Hindus as they like to call themselves), are delighted that Ram Mandir is finally going to get built in Ayodhya. For such Hindu nationalists, it is their victory over historic Muslim fanaticism and Islamic barbarism, which Muslim invaders like Mohammad Ghauri, Mohammad Gazanavi, Mohammad bin Kasim, Bakhtiyar Khilji, Babar, Ahmad Shah Abdali, Aurangzeb and people like them inflicted on this Hindu land. For Hindu nationalists, Ram Mandir is the symbol of Hindu defiance, Hindu assertion, Hindu resolve, Hindu superiority against Islamic aggression in the past. It is also a kind of self-declaration that from now onwards, the country's cultural, social, religious, political fabric will be governed by Savarna Hindu identity. For them, it is the stamp that they want to imprint on the whole world including Muslims, Dalit-Bahujans and other religious minorities in India, that this nation was always a Hindu nation and it was the Muslim invaders who destroyed the Sanatan social cultural Hindu fabric of India. As if, before that, it was all good and Hindus were living with great unity and fraternity without any atrocities over each other!
In fact, this is a shrewd narration from Hindu nationalists and a complete hogwash and falsity of Indian history. It is nothing but the denial of our own history. Here, Hindu nationalists shrewdly deny the historical presence of the caste system present in Hindu society and fault lines between various Hindu sects, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh ideas and politically opportunistic aspirations of various Hindu kings. They intentionally forget histories like, it was Raja Jaichand who invited Mohammad Gauri to defeat Prithviraj Chauhan. Hindu nationalists want to paint the whole Indian history in one colour of Savarna Hindu saffron and deny the space for the real history of our great nation.
The truth is that Hindus were under the domination of Muslim rulers for hundreds of years. It was Bakhtiyar Khilji who destroyed national treasure like Nalanda University in the 12th century. The medieval Islamic Badshahs and Sultans in India didn't come to this land to shower welfare on our people. They came here to expand their Islamic-political ambitions. They came here to rule over our people. Not to free or emancipate them. Babar did erect the mosque on the very place which used to be someone else's religious place. This was his attempt to declare the Islamic superiority over the Kafirs.
Archaeological studies of excavation of the same site now confirms it. That it was the Islamic arrogance of Babar. In Maharashtra, even Afzal Khan destroyed Kolhapur’s Ambabai temple and Pandharpurs Vitthal temple to create psychological warfare against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. No left liberal, Nehruvian historian can deny that. Politically correct truth of Hindu and Muslim relations in the form of Ganga-Jamuna Tehzib created by Nehruvian left liberal historians who did not recognise historical fault lines between Hindus and Muslims. This is the biggest crime and great dis-service left liberal, Nehruvian historians did, by hiding the ugly truths of India to her new generations post independence.
Truth is, in medieval times for most part, Muslim rulers subjugated Hindus. But it was not because Muslim invaders were more powerful than Hindus. Hindus should never forget that they got subjugated to the Muslim invaders because Hindus were completely divided under Brahminical Savarna caste system and hence they were easy targets of every external invasion. Be it Muslim invasions or European colonial invasions after that. It was the caste system which made Hindu society so weak that when external invaders attacked it, it was not able to hold its ground. It was Brahminical Savarna caste system which kept Dalit Bahujans away from the knowledge, strength and abilities which could have been used efficiently in the times of external invasion. Hence one can say that if Babur was like Coronavirus infecting people from outside, Hindu caste system was like cancer which was destroying immunity and the strength of our society from within. It is easy to understand that no virus can affect you without weakness in our own immunity. Hindus must understand that the biggest enemy of theirs, has always been the caste system. If there had been any subjugation of Hindu masses under the Muslim rule, it was because Hindus were weak society due to caste system and not other way round.
But it is interesting to see how Dalit-Bahujans and especially OBCs are so blind in identifying this Savarna Hindu nationalist bluff. It was OBCs who were at the forefront of Ram Janmabhumi riots. It was them who demolished the mosque, it was them who participated in killings or getting killed in it, it was them who got arrested, it was them who got tadipar by police. But today, when Ram temple is going to be built, will there be a single Bahujan-Dalit pujari in the temple? No! Here, Dalit-Bahujans are shudras and not Hindus in the eyes of Savarna Hindu nationalists. That is the shrewd essence of Savarna Hindu politics. They want Dalit Bahujans to do all their dirty work. But the main places of authority, power and influence will always belong to Savarna Hindus only.
One more thing Hindu nationalists intentionally sideline from the public eye is India’s pre-Islamic history which was dominated by the history of clash between Brahminical Vedic religion and Buddhism. Historically, Hindu religion has also attacked and destroyed Buddhist religious spaces, caves and ancient Buddhist monuments by making it Hindu places of worship. Hindu nationalists can shout and fight for the justice when Muslim invaders destroyed their temple, but can same Hindu nationalists will also accept their historical wrong committed on Buddhism and accept the fact that Buddhist religious ancient caves, temples, monuments are now appropriated by Hindus? Are they ready to give the same justice that they demanded in the case of Ram temple? If not, then Dalit Bahujans should never pay attention to this Hindu Savarna propaganda in the form of Ram temple. Dalit-Bahujans should always remember that building Ram Mandir on Babri mosque is the victory of Savarna Brahminical Hindus. It is symbol of Dalit-Bahujan repression that Dalit Bahujans have faced historically and still face this day. Savarna Hindu caste system historically has always supported docile, servile, Bhakt Dalit Bahujans like Shabari who accepts the Savarna leadership without asking any question and become mental slave to it. Here Savarna Ram is a benevolent patron. But the same Maryada Purushottam Ram is very vicious when he beheaded the Shambuka a shudra, just because Shambuka learned the knowledge of Vedas and had the capacity to ask questions to the power of Brahmins and Kshatriyas. The Savarna Hindus want Dalit-Bahujans to act like sheepish Shabari and not like dynamic assertive Shambuka. I am very sure, the BJP government at Centre and UP government must have taken extra care not including the Ram’s treatment to the Shambuka in the Time capsule they have buried for the next generations to know. That's the Brahmanical Savarna politics of hiding the truth and only revealing that much, which is beneficial for their power benefits. They forget this simple logic that next generations will definitely generate their knowledge from various sources and will not depend upon their Brahminical Time Capsule.
Interestingly enough, on this day communal Savarna Ashraf Muslims are also objecting and opposing the creation of Ram Mandir who used to be Babri mosque. For them, it is still unfinished business, until the mosque is not erected on that very same place. Savarna Ashraf Mullah, Ulema muslim leadership from Hanafi, Salafi, Wahabi, Devbandi, Barelvi sects exploits their lower caste Muslims from Pasmanda, Arjal and Ajlaaf communities to fulfill their Islamist political agendas. This is the Islamic communal arrogance at its finest. Radical Islam governed by Ashraf Muslims has destroyed innumerable religious temples and monuments all across the world including India. The recent examples of destruction of world heritage sites in Pylmara, Nimrud in Iraq by Islamic State (ISIS) or the destruction of famous Bamiyan Buddhist statues by Taliban are the burning examples of it. The Islamic idea of destruction of unholy 'Kafirs idols is the part of the problem in Islam. Various versions of Hadith teach that to Muslims. In fact, Ashraf Muslim clergy class take pride in it. No Muslim can deny this reality.
Hence, Dalit Bahujans from all the religious backgrounds must understand that the Savarna upper caste leadership of their own religions are exploiting them from centuries and using them for their own benefits. Therefore Dalit Bahujans must have their own voice and should not allow these Savarna dharam ke thekedars decide for Dalit Bahujan lives. Here, education and realisation of their own identity and history is very important for Dalit-Bahujans for abolishing the mental slavery.
In the words of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar “Make a slave aware of his slavery, and he shall rise up.”
Anand Kshirsagar is student of Human Rights Law at National Law School, Bengaluru. He is an alumnus for Fergusson College, Pune and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He is also a theatre and Hip-Hop artist.