The Godless Kerala of the Hindi Hindu Hindustan

Co-authored by Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, Dikgaj

Introduction

The series has been documenting the abuse of certain ethnicities in the RSS-BJP ecosystem, by the leaders and media and social media thought leaders of the community. A roadmap and motivations for the set of articles was published in the first of the set of articles [1]. In the second article, we documented the abuse of the Bengalis in foul terms by those appointed to constitutional offices and statutory bodies by the BJP government [2]. In the third article, we examined the hatred exhibited by the BJP-RSS media and social media stalwarts towards the Bengalis [3]. In the fourth article, we examined the pejorative characterisation of Bengalis by the kith and kin of those high in BJP-RSS ecosystem [4]. Continuing in the series, in the current article, we examine the pejorative characterisation of Kerala by the BJP-RSS ecosystem.

What is the image that Kerala evokes to an Indic mind? Seat of Indic scholarship (Sanskrit, Vedas, Math), dances like Kathakali, colourful festivities like Onam, lush green nature like Periyar National park, the abode of majestic elephants and tigers, beaches like Varkala and Kovalam, glorious food. Yet, to the RSS mouthpieces, it becomes the `Godless country’ [5]. The attempt is to extinguish all of Kerala’s spiritual connect by damning them with their political choices – Communism. On a deeper level, we show the disconnect exhibited by the RSS mouthpiece with Hindu ethos outside their core of the Hindi belt (Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, parts of Bihar) and Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharasthra, that is, the North and West India.

Further, in the article, we show that the BJP-RSS has a deeply Abrahmic notion of Hinduism. It is ignorant of the core evolutionary and integrative ethos of Hinduism which enabled it to spread far and wide without any coercion, by integrating local customs everywhere and facilitating the coexistence of those customs that conflicted with each other. In contrast, just as fundamentalist Islam and Christianity seek to obliterate local customs, and languages, and replace those with Arabic equivalents, BJP-RSS ecosystem seeks to impose North-West Indian Hinduism and Hindi on all Hindus. It would be up in arms to defend real and perceived attacks against Hindu customs of, and only those of, the North West and Central India. It also defines Hinduism in terms of the mores of the North, Central, and West of India.

Its vision of a unified Hinduism is of a Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan, which correlates Hindi to Hinduism, just as fundamentalist Muslims would conflate Arabic with Islam. On the Hindi Diwas in New Delhi, the governor of Haryana and former BJP politician and Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Kaptan Singh Solanki mentioned that ``Hindi and Hindustan are synonymous. If you want to understand Hindustan then you must know Hindi.’’ [6]. He also opined that the identity of India is incomplete without Hindi. Similarly, Tarun Vijay, an RSS ideologue, former editor of the Panchajanya, and former Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand, opined that the “Hindi is not in danger. It is you who are in danger because your [Indian] identity is nothing without Hindi’’ [6]. These examples should serve to convince the views held by the thought leaders of the BJP-RSS vis-a-vis the rest of the culture of India.

We also note that just as Islamic law divides the world into Dar-ul-Islam (territory of Islam), Dar-ul-salh (territory of treaty) and Dar-ul-harb (territory of war), the BJP-RSS narrative divides India into Dar-ul-BJP (states ruled by BJP, alone or with allies), Dar-ul-BJP chance (states ruled by non-BJP allies, but those where BJP has a chance of coming to power, or the ruling dispensations generally cooperate with a central BJP government), and Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties (states where the BJP has no chance of coming to power, principally, Kerala, Tamizh Nadu and West Bengal). Incidentally, except in election times, the North East of India barely finds a mention in the BJP-RSS discourse, much though the BJP has little chance of coming to power in many states therein, simply because most of the BJP-RSS ecosystem is barely even aware of their existence, so its hard to place the North East in the above taxonomy. Nonetheless, whenever anything goes wrong in “Dar-ul-BJP’’, it is a minor aberration which has nothing to do with the ruling dispensation or the people therein. Whenever there are crimes in “Dar-ul-BJP chance’’, it is only the fault of the ruling dispensation. Whenever something goes wrong in Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties, it is the fault of both the people of the state and the ruling dispensations.

We highlight the above distinction through one recent example. BJP leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma has threatened the Tripura Chief Minister, Mr. Manik Sarkar with a deportation to Bangladesh or West Bengal or Kerala (that is, the Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties) post the upcoming assembly elections [7], [8], on the charges of killing of political activists of rival parties. Political rhetoric against opponents are but expected from parties during polls, and are to be defended against only by the respective affiliates. But, this characterization goes beyond in the sense that it is based on an ingrained ethnic and territorial contempt. First, note how the territories for the deemed deportation have been chosen, not neighboring Assam which now belongs to Dar-ul-BJP, but Kerala and West Bengal of the Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties, that is, the enemy territory. Also, note how along with West Bengal, Bangladesh, but not Pakistan, have been added to the list of territories where Mr. Sarkar would be exiled, the choice reflects the ethnic identity based mappings that come naturally to the BJP-RSS ecosystem as we are repeatedly showing. Together with the fact that BJP-appointed Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy, had abused Hindu Bengali refugees from Bangladesh as chuhas, the contempt and the deportation prescription may be intended for a wider target populace [2]. This is exactly why the contemptuous comment of BJP-RSS against Manik Sarkar deserves greater scrutiny, and we contrast his actions with those of the BJP-RSS governments at the center and different states, the contrast would also go on to reinforce the distinctions between the Dar-ul-BJP, Dar-ul-Left/Regional, which are so ingrained in the BJP-RSS ecosystem.

First note that lifelong RSS man and current BJP Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, has permitted massive rallies of an Islamist organization, the PFI, in his state. That the PFI is recommended for a ban by the NIA [9] is irrelevant. That even after this recommendation for a ban, the Maharashtra government permits them massive rallies in communally sensitive Aurangabad to spread the message that both Dalits and Muslims are victims of Hindus [10], is irrelevant too. Incidentally, Modi government is yet to enact the ban on the PFI. After all, the PFI kills lesser Hindus of Kerala (Dar-ul-Left/Regional) and Karnataka (Dar-ul-BJP chance, but located in South India and its current Congress CM Siddaramaiah has been persistently opposing PM Modi), who are expendable for the BJP-RSS. Then again, the Modi-government has cut a peace deal with the NSCN(IM) group [11] that has many forcible conversions [12], among other far more heinous crimes, to its credit. The Modi-government has refused to make public the terms of the peace agreement [13]. Also, the BJP has been allied with the NPF, in both Nagaland and Manipur. The NPF chief ministers have disavowed all sympathy to the Heraka and declared themselves good Christians [14]. Heraka, it may be mentioned, is a reformed Naga traditional religion, and was the faith of Rani Gaidinliu, among other resisters of British imperialism in Nagaland. Never one to err in its messaging, the BJP has sought to adopt her as its icon for the North East, but it does not hesitate to ally with those who disavow any allegiance to her indigenous faith [15]. It is also pertinent that Christianity is rapidly spreading in small towns of Vidarbha like Sironcha, Chandrapur, etc [16], all just a stone’s throw away from Nagpur, the headquarters of the RSS.

In contrast, it was the CPM government of Tripura under Manik Sarkar that uncovered the Christian terrorist links of the NLFT and produced the evidence concerning the involvement of the state’s Baptist Church with the separatist rebels. Manik Sarkar is on record stating that Tripura police had uncovered details of the alleged link after questioning a church leader. Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, was arrested with a large quantity of explosives [17]. It may not be a coincidence that the demography of Tripura is the only one in favour of the Indics in the North East. All the other states are rapidly losing Indics.

We now focus on one particular region of the Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties, Kerala, and show that BJP-RSS seeks to denigrate the Hindu ethos and the people there, much as in West Bengal, which constituted the focus of the last few articles. We have picked up the gauntlet for Kerala, because we have seen almost no Kerala BJP-RSS folk, similar to Bengali and other South Indian BJP-RSS folks, defend the attacks on their own ethno-religious identity. This is consistent with what Sitaram Goel observed many decades ago, “What was most revealing to me about the RSS people was that, by and large, they did not react to expression of any opinion on any subject except that about their organization (sangha) and their leaders (adhikaris). One could say anything one chose about Hinduism, or Hindu culture, or Hindu society, or Hindu history, without drawing any reaction from an average RSS man. He became warm or cold only when something favourable or unfavourable was said about his organization, or his leaders, or both. I wondered what sort of a Hindu organization it was. I expected the RSS to be alive to Hindu causes rather than to the reputation of its organization or its leaders.’’ [18] This reveals that BJP-RSS, particularly RSS here, brooks only one identity of its adherents, that of the RSS-identity, which obliterates their religious, national, regional and linguistic identities. The adherents learn to view their worlds through the RSS lens, thus, they hold their ethno-religious group in contempt for choosing to belong to the Dar-ul-Left/Regional, rather than the holy Dar-ul-BJP. This again reminds us of Islamist social constructs which allows for only the global-ummah identity, and which turns converts against their earlier communities. In contrast, an Indic mind allows the co-existence of multiple identities, religious, regional and linguistic, each reinforces, rather than competing with, the others. It therefore seems that in the guise of a Hindu organization, RSS has rejected Hinduism in all but name.

Section A: RSS discourse on Kerala

Section A.1: Denigration of the Hindu Ethos of Kerala

We show how RSS has institutionally denigrated the Hindu ethos of Kerala through falsehood and partial truths, in an article in its mouthpiece, Organiser [5]. In sum, there are so many errors in the article, by commission and omission, which we will document, that those come across less as mistakes and more as gross and mala fide distortions of the truth for ethno religious reasons and appears to be a hit job on the Keralite Hindus.

On a direct attack on the Hindu ethos of Kerala, the Organiser article states: “it has the highest number of youths of opposite sex living together without marriage ever since the UPA-Parliament enacted the legislation, viz, “The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2004” which for the first time in Bharat introduced the concept of living without marriage known as “Live-In-Relationship”, which was the brainchild of militant feminist and Bharat’s foremost communist ideologue, Indira Jaising, who is an iconic woman amongst the college-going girls of Kerala;’
The castigation of Kerala for high rates of divorce and abundance of hetero-sexual live-in relationships is symptomatic of the Abrahamic orthodoxy of RSS. Vedic Hinduism accommodates 1) Gandharva Vivaha, in which couples who verbally commit to each other are considered wedded, 2) temporary sexual liaisons between consenting adults including children born of them (Vishwamitra-Menaka, Vikram-Urvashi, union of Satyavati with Parashar Muni leading to Vyas Dev, Jabal Satyakam), and 3) divorces initiated by women (Ganga deserted Shantanu after he dishonored his promise of never questioning her). Consistent with ancient Indic ethos, the matriarchial rules in Kerala permitted easy divorce and remarriage, and the matrilineal system prevalent in Kerala permitted women a large number of rights. So, Kerala drew its liberal social ethos from its ancient Indic traditions, rather than from Communism which has been conceived only a hundred years back. It was also the matriarchial custom prevalent both in Coorg and Malabar that excited the Islamist fury of Tipu Sultan : “From the period of the conquest until this day, during twenty-four years, you have been a turbulent and refractory people, and in the wars waged during your rainy season, you have caused numbers of our warriors to taste the draught of martyrdom. Be it so. What is past is past. Hereafter you must proceed in an opposite manner, dwell quietly and pay your dues like good subjects: and since it is the practice with you for one woman to associate with ten men, and you leave your mothers and sisters unconstrained in their obscene practices, and are thence all born in adultery, and are more shameless in your connections than the beasts of the field : I hereby require you to forsake these sinful practices and to be like the rest of mankind; and if you are disobedient to these commands, I have made repeated vows to honour the whole of you with Islam and to march all the chief persons to the seat of Government.” pp. 717-718, [19]. The rules of divorce and remarriage were in Malabar (and other parts of Kerala) were always simple and it is this factor that has always excited the fury of the more conservative of our populace, whether it is Tipu or the Organiser. Thus, Kerala is Hindu, while Organizer is RSS.

We next show how the Organiser article understands the Indian nation in terms of that of North, West and Central India:

“In fact it is only in Kerala that the text book concerning the life and time of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was banned throughout the State by a government Notification.  It is pertinent to state here that during my childhood pursuing my educational life at a Government High School, I had to study the life of Hindu saints, warriors and Kings like Raja Harish Chandra, Shivaji, etc. whose lives were centered around human nature of compassion, love, spirituality, nationalism, moral philosophy, vegetarianism, etc.  However, those studies were removed from the syllabus of educational institutions funded by the government and in their places books pertaining to the life and time of public prostitutes [like “The Autobiography of a Sex Worker” By Nalini Jameela); the life and time of notorious thief (like “The Autobio-graphy of Maniyan Pillai, The Thief”) etc. were introduced.

Kerala, however, has no real State or Bharateeya national heroes.  Its heroes were/are Marxist leaders of China, Russia, etc. and Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia. Presently none of the youths who were born after the Communist Government consolidated power in the State knows anything about the ancient spirituality, human values-based scriptures, folklores and civilisation as they were consistently deprived of these studies of virtues by all the successive governments in the State in the name of “secularism”.’’ 

The article is up in arms that Kerala has no Indic hero, and the Keralites do not study national hero’s like Harishchandra, Shivaji, whom the author grew up reading. The first assertion is a blatant denial of Kerala’s ancient Hindu history extending to the present, she is the land of Shankaracharya, she has also given birth to Ayyankali and Narayana Guru. The author also doesn’t mention that the “nation” rarely studies the above Hindu heroes from Kerala, or for that matter Hindu heroes from Karnataka, like the Vijayanagar kings, or those from Bengal such as Shri Chaitanya Dev, Sadhak Ramprasad, Bamakhepa, Bengal revolutionaries, etc. Nor are the revolutionaries from Andhra like Alluri Sitarama Raju, the Tamizh revolutionaries like VVS Aiyar, Vanchinathan, Subramanya Siva, etc, the Kannada freedom fighters like Rani Chennamma, Sangolli Rayanna, etc mentioned much in the “nation’’’s discourse. The author doesn’t mention studying them either. It is interesting that the author is exercised over the fact that the Keralites do not study Shivaji, although Shivaji’s career didn’t affect them much, but we are not given any inkling as to whether he studied the Vijayanagar kingdom, which held the Bahmani Sultanate at bay for 200 years, and whose defence the Keralites contributed to. The heroes the author mentions growing up reading are only from the North and West India. In contrast, Kerala seems to be celebrating not only its own heroes like Narayana Guru [20], but also non-Keralite Hindu philosophers like Vivekananda [21]

The article also makes a large number of assertions regarding the alcohol consumption, rationalist agitations, number of lost working hours, etc, but there is no data provided to supplement these assertions. Consequently, it becomes difficult to figure out how these assertions were arrived at.

The article repeatedly condemns Kerala for defying the sentiments of the majority citizens of the country, through its dietary choices and other political activism, which constitutes a clear attempt towards ethnic imposition:

“Rationalists NGOs regularly carry on street activism like the “Mangalsutra Burning”, “Beef Festivals”, etc. in total defiance of the sentiments of the majority citizens of the country.

The question, therefore, of beef being regularly served at the Kerala House canteen at the far-off New Delhi, in direct contempt of the popular sentiments of the Hindus of Bharat as a whole, the threat held out by the Communist-minded CM of the State of dragging the Delhi Police to the court, etc. are to be taken in the light of the factors which evolved the historic unusual non-vegetarian food preference of Keralites.

Similarly, with a view to wooing the Dalits of Kerala, EMS adopted various drastic steps for the appeasement of the Dalits. Thus, he described Mahatma Gandhi as a “Hindu Fundamentalist”. He fully agreed with the view of Kancha Illaiah, a self-proclaimed Dalit leader, that “Gandhi and his ‘Brahmin’ principles such as vegetarianism, swadeshi, cow protection, Brahmacharya and non-violence, etc. should be out-rightly shunned and discarded forever”. EMS also regularly visited the houses of Dalits and took part in their social functions at which dishes of beef were served which he partook affirming to them with his purported logic that “there is nothing wrong in eating beef when one can eat mutton’’

As for the rejection of Gandhian non-violence, it may be worth pointing out that plenty of non-Communist Hindus including Aurobindo Ghosh, Vinayak Savarkar and Subhas Chandra Bose rejected it. As for `Brahmacharya’, it is unknown if any Hindu organisations other than RSS have a fixation on it. The author seems to have a grouse with the meat eating in Kerala and illogically conjoins vegetarianism with Hinduism, though majority of the Hindus are non-vegetarians. As a coastal state, Kerala has always been a heavily non-vegetarian state, although beef is generally limited to very small segments [22]. Further, Hinduism is diverse enough to accept different traditions, without imposing one set on everyone. There seems no earthly reason to preach vegetarianism as a vital tenet of Hinduism, and indeed, this would reduce the diversity of Indic traditions. This is a very Abrahamic outlook, based on one set of customs. His repeated equation of Hinduism with vegetarianism, is typical in North and West India, particularly UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, while Hindu Shakta rituals in East India involve fish and meat. Subhas Bose has written about the ethnic discrimination he had experienced while traveling as a 17-year old student in North India: `` The first shock that I received was when, at an eating-house in Hardwar, they refused to serve us food. Bengalees, they said, were unclean like Christians because they ate fish. We could bring our plates and they would pour out the food, but we would have to go back to our lodgings and eat there. Though one of my friends was a Brahman, he too had to eat humble pie.’’ p. 80, [60].  Kerala is being castigated for offending the sentiments of the majority citizens in the country, by holding beef festivals. Note, the sentiments of the majority Hindus of Kerala doesn’t even figure in the consideration. So Kerala Hindus are expected to choose their norms, accord due respect to “majority” citizens of the country, not the majority Hindus of Kerala. This is a textbook instance of ethnic imposition.

Kerala is also being castigated because its Communist leader, EM Namboodiripad, who happens to be a Brahmin, regularly attends social functions of the Dalits, and consumes the beef dishes they offer rather than educating the Dalits towards relinquishing beef consumption. Specifically, is the accusation that EMS Namboodiripad did not try to change the customs of the Dalits whose homes he was visiting? The patronizing and presumption of superiority here is mind-boggling- the Kerala Dalits need to be educated to give up their custom of beef consumption, in deference to the norm of “majority” citizens in the “nation”, rather than that overwhelming majority letting the Kerala Dalits live by their customs. It is unclear why the author expects Namboodiripad to try and impose his customs on the Dalits who eat beef in Kerala. Or why some Kerala Dalit communities that have a tradition of beef eating would/should give up beef, just because it happens to be distasteful to the majority community (which is a bit ironical, considering that Dalits too are Hindu). Perhaps, the Dalits should have been educated through thrashing as in Gujarat [23]? It is also interesting to see that this `other-ing’ based on vegetarianism is a mirror image reflection of the Liberals `other-ing’ of vegetarians. Nandita Haksar writes, “I told Prabhawati that we, the Kashmiris of Delhi, also celebrate Shivarathri and even today, eat dishes made out of goat liver for breakfast on that day. I thought that this might build a bridge between us. But Sampat’s brother’s wife, Asha, looked at me with cold eyes and said, `We do not eat non-vegetarian food any more. We are vegetarians.’ Later, Sampat told me that she was a hardcore member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the RSS.’’ Loc. 225, [24].

BJP-RSS ecosystem is up in arms to defend real and perceived attacks against Hindu customs of North West and Central India, but not those of the rest of India. In Kerala, the RSS has taken stands against the use of elephants in temple processions and also, the use of fireworks, in temple festivals [25]. The ecosystem is silent, and actually leading the defense of Tipu Sultan by having him glorified in a speech by the President of India, who happens to be a lifelong RSS man, while BJP is running the central government with a full-majority, and the government and the party are headed by lifelong RSS men like Modi and Shah [26]. Speaking out the truth on Tipu’s persecution is not a Hindu issue in BJP-RSS’ worldview, perhaps because Tipu persecuted the lesser Hindus, those of Kerala and Karnataka. In contrast, consider the concerted defense accorded to Jauhar. Jauhar was practiced only to very limited extent outside the North-West belt, and only to a very limited extent in Karnataka and Kerala, to the best of our knowledge. There is only one major Jauhar instance recorded in the history of Karnataka – the Kampili Jauhar in the time of Muhammad bin Tughluq, and there is no case of Jauhar known in Kerala, unless one counts the mass suicide of both men and women in Kozhikode, with the Samudhri Raja of Kozhikode setting fire to his own magazine and arsenal to escape humiliation at the hands of Haidar Ali. Sati has, likewise, been extremely rare in Karnataka and Kerala, though there are a few recorded instances, at least in Karnataka. Jauhar is not considered a badge of honor in Bengal, although Sati crept in at some point. Sati was forbidden through a reform movement led by Rammohan Roy, which constitutes one of his landmark contributions to Hindus, amidst his different acts of collusions with the British. Subsequently, or possibly from before, there has been no tradition of commemoration of the Sati ritual in Bengal, unlike the Sati cult in Rajasthan [27]. Rani Sati worship is particularly prevalent among the Marwari ethnicity, important temples dedicated to her can be found in Jhunjhunu and Shekhawati. But, BJP-RSS ecosystem is projecting and defending Jauhar in the name of Hindu honor.

Similarly, even during its growth phase in Bengal, the BJP-RSS ecosystem there calls for Hindu solidarity in the name of Rama [28], [29], not in the names of the principal deities of Hindu Bengal, Durga or Kali. The rallying call is Jai Shri Ram, not Jai Ma Durga, or Jai Ma Kali. Lifelong RSS man and the current President of West Bengal BJP, Dilip Ghosh, frequently describes local festivals such as Durga Puja in terms of the equivalents in the North and West of India, namely the Navaratri. While visiting ancient Kaali temples, he chants the Maratha War cry of Har Har Mahadev, not the Bengali Shakti call of Jai Ma Kali.

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We do not however see the Presidents of the state units in the North, West, Central India relate the Hindu festivals there to those of Bengal or elsewhere in India.

As an aside, not all politicians in India are refined, but even in their crudity, those from BJP-RSS, but outside North, West and Central India, resort to Hindustani or British racist lingos, rather than those in their mother-languages. For example, RSS man and current West Bengal BJP President, Dilip Ghosh calls for a fight between Ramzada and Haramzada [30], RSS man, former West Bengal BJP President and current Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy, calls Hindu Bengali refugees from East Pakistan and Bangladesh, chuhas [2], Reshmi Dasgupta, wife of BJP ideologue, MP and member of Finance Minsiter Arun Jaitley’s inner circle, Swapan Dasgupta hurls British racist stereotypes on Bengalis [4]. In contrast, the politicians outside the national parties resort to local crudities when they must, eg, Mamata Banarjee’s `Pechone bansh’. The point we are arriving at is that the BJP-RSS politicos and their inner circles are rooted in Hindusthani or British ethos, more than those of their native lands, whereas, the politicians from the regional parties and even the local units of the Communist parties are rooted in their local ethos.

Interestingly, the Organizer article did not criticize Kerala Hindu society on perhaps the most legitimate ground, that of prevalence of casteism and caste conflicts. Kerala is not the exception in this regard, and indeed, the casteism in Kerala is less pronounced today than it is in most other places of India. But, the article is clearly not bashful of selectively targeting Kerala on any negative aspect. The reason why the Organiser does not criticise Kerala on casteism is because casteism is widely prevalent in North and West of India, and RSS grows and BJP wins through social engineering that exploits conflicts and bad-blood between different castes [31], [32], [33]. This is one principal reason why the East is not its stronghold yet, caste-bonds are weak, and votes almost never happen on caste lines. BJP’s recent victory in Assam and growth, albeit slow, in West Bengal can be attributed to the desperation of the local populace about Islamist onslaught. Its of course another matter that BJP would do nothing to provide them succour, even when it assumes power (case in point being Jammu), but that the populace discovers only after the party acquires power, and until then its Hindu messaging successfully deceives a desperate populace into considering it as a last resort.

Section A.2: Political Falsehoods about Kerala

RSS discourse on Kerala, as exemplified in the Organiser article, we have been discussing abounds in political falsehoods. To be fair, truth is a rarity in the political discourse of all sides in Indian, and perhaps global, polity. Nonetheless, in BJP-RSS discourse, the people of the Dar-ul-Left/Regional regions are vilified for their political choices, based on falsehoods and exaggerations regarding the malpractices of the parties they vote for. It is to counter the vilification of the people that we expose the political falsehoods in the Organiser article in question, which will also go on to show that BJP-RSS constitutes yet another political organization – no additional morality need be attributed to voting for it in preference to any other party.

The article claims the Communist cadre of Kerala are either indifferent or hostile to Hinduism: “If you happened to ask any common Hindu native of Kerala of Communist background regarding Hinduism, he/she would instantly respond to you by saying: `Oh! Religion is opium of the mass’’
While we would not harp on the actual doctrine of Communism, and not contest that the top level of visible Communists have often been openly anti-Hindu, but point out that the cadre tend to be very Hindu in belief, and regard their religion as something more than `opium of the masses’. Among other things, it is the CPM cadre that often undertake the Sabarimalai pilgrimage, including the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan in 2017 [34]. Further, it is the Kerala CM who has been campaigning for a national pilgrim centre status for Sabarimalai [35]. In 1950, when the Sabarimalai temple was damaged in a fire, it was Govindan Nair of the (then united) CPI that campaigned on the investigation into the culprits of the arson and the Hindu sentiments involved therein, and then won the 1957 election on that basis [38]. Further, it has been recorded by Dilip Menon that, “The adherents of a supposedly atheist, or at least agnostic, creed were responsible for shoring up religion in the countryside [of Malabar].’’ p. 1, [36]. In his book, Dilip Menon has described the role played by the Communists (or those who went on to become Communists) in the self respect movements, which were based around temple building and worship of the lower castes in temples in the rural areas of Malabar. The CPM cadre base is drawn mainly from Hindu groups that have espoused the material and spiritual development of lower caste and lower class Hindus. Consequently, the Communists of Kerala have been anything but irreligious, far less anti-Hindu.

The Organiser article opines: “Kerala Marxist Chief Minister, VS Achuthanandan, openly declaring during the election campaign just prior to his assuming power in 2006: `It is the Government’s obligation to bring all the Mullahs and Madrassa teachers of Kerala on the pay-role of the Government’’. While it is certainly true that CPM has played its role in appeasement, it may be worth remarking that it was the former Kerala CM, Achuthanandan, who first highlighted the role of Love Jihad in 2010 [37]. This was well before the Love Jihad issue was espoused by the BJP.

The Organiser article falsely claims:“Kerala is the only State in the country which has a gory tradition of political annihilation, popularly known as “the game of toppling of governments”.  Since the formation of the State and since the first communist government came to power in 1957, there were numerous instances of “formation of governments” mostly by political parties represented by the CPI (M) and intermittently by the IUML, President’s Rule, Indian National Congress, Praja Socialist Party, etc. till today, who upon coming to power on the political stage turn-by-turn on this toppling game remains seated for strange periods, ranging from few days to five years.  Except one of two governments, none of them ever completed the prescribed term of office.’’ From 1991, all governments in Kerala have completed their full term. Even before that, many Congress governments completed their full term. It was CPM led governments that were arbitrarily subjected to president’s rule by the Centre. In fact, from 1982, governments in Kerala have been, as a rule, very stable.

The article accuses EMS Namboodiripad of wooing the IUML, and asserts “It is pertinent to state here that similar to the grabbing of world-wide attention on the formation of the first Communist Government in Kerala in the democratic Bharat, it was in Kerala in post-independence of the country, which brought the first Islamic rule by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) under CH Mohammed Koya, a hard-core Muslim fundamentalist.’’ This conveniently, glosses over the fact that from the 1970s, continuously, it has been the Congress that has been in league with the IUML. In fact, the first (and only) IUML chief minister of Kerala, Mohammad Koya, was propped up by the Congress and the KEC, to keep out the Marxists from power in the late 1970s.

“It is a curious case of the CPI (M) workers belonging to Hinduism with its murderous violence-ridden ideologies of Karl Marx, Lenin and Mao attacking RSS professing ancient Sanathan Dharma and nationalist ideologies which one can never find in any human settlement at any point of time in the history anywhere in the world. It is precisely this reason that Kerala had become a fertile ground for the Islamic fundamentalism to entrench deeply in the social milieu of the State, the intensity and enormity of which has since then alarmingly grew in the state. Presently the State is regarded as the nursery of Islamic fundamentalism, financially and logistically supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.’’

While it is certainly true that there have been many clashes between the RSS and the CPM, the point of contention between them is rarely ever about religion.  As the author himself acknowledges, it is (usually) Hindu CPM cadre that attack Hindu RSS cadre, usually for purely political reasons. Further, it must be seen that the RSS cadre are not helpless lambs being butchered by the CPM wolves. Both sides have slaughtered each other ruthlessly [39]. It is, further, worthwhile pointing out that the clashes between the CPM and the IUML (which often seem to take overt communal overtones) have been ignored by the author. Here are a few examples of clashes between the CPM and the IUML in the last few years [40], [41], [42], [43], [44]. In Nadapuram, the CPM cadre killed an IUML worker and told his mother to go to Pakistan [45]. In the Marad riots, many CPM workers were indicted by the Thomas Joseph inquiry into the riots [46]. Even if we ignore the clashes between the CPM and the IUML as purely political, there have been clashes aplenty between the CPM and the PFI, which is more an Islamist rather than an overtly political organisation, as evidenced here [47], [48]. Similarly, there have been clashes between the CPM and the SDPI, as may be seen here [49]. In 2012, the Congress government submitted to the High Court that the PFI was involved in the murders of 27 RSS and CPM workers [50]. Many CPM leaders, including the ex-Chief Minister, VS Achutanandan, have spoken of the dangerous activities of the PFI [51].

The Discourse of the Media close to BJP-RSS

As previously mentioned in the series, we will consider the discourse in the Swarajya Group, which is close to the BJP. Swarajya Magazine’s positions are mostly supportive of those of BJP at the Centre and at different states. Three of the four members of its editorial advisory board can be described as follows: 1) a BJP MP (Dr. Swapan Dasgupta), and (2) two high appointees of the BJP government at the centre, Manish Sabharwal, appointed as RBI Director, and Dr. Surjit Bhalla, appointed as the member of the Economic Advisory Council. More often than not, its views appear to be those of an unofficial mouth-piece of various BJP governments.

In the last few months, Swarajya has been publishing mostly negative articles about Kerala, regarding their development model [52], the worsening Hindu demographics [53], the murder of RSS cadre by CPM [54], etc. This is consistent with the BJP-RSS mindset that sees only negatives in Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties. In the context of the decline of Indic demography in Kerala, a few points are in order. The first and the foremost is that most of the conversions of the Indics occurred in Travancore and Cochin and much before there were any Communists on the scene there pp. 230-232, [55]. There are very few converts in the Communist dominated Malabar, where the few Christians are mostly remnants of the older Christians converted in Portuguese times or else, immigrants from Travancore during the British times. Further, after the rise of the Communists in Kerala in the late 1950s, the number of Christians as a proportion of the population has been declining every decade pp. 230-232, [55], mostly due to lower fertility of the Christians and the higher fertility of the Muslims. It may also be worth remarking that the Communist dominated Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram have had a far more stable demography pp. 231-232, [55] than the RSS stronghold of Kanyakumari in adjoining Tamizh Nadu p. 264, [55], where the number of Christians has risen hugely since 1951. Similarly, in RSS dominated Kasaragod tehsil, the Hindu population has already become a minority [16], while the adjacent Communist dominated Kannur has better Hindu demographics [16]. It may also be worth remarking that both Kasaragod and Kannur had similar demographics in 1951. Similarly, there have been very few conversions to Christianity in Communist dominated West Bengal, while the number of conversions in adjoining regions of Jharkhand and Odisha, which have a stronger BJP-RSS presence are far higher [56]. Finally, the Communist dominated Tripura and the once Communist dominated Imphal Valley have mostly retained their native faiths, with conversions to Christianity being far fewer, while BJP dominated W Arunachal Pradesh has far higher conversions to Christianity. [16]. In this context, recall the close connections of the Modi government and BJP with various Christianist parties and militant groups, as documented in the Introduction.

We now visit the Social media discourse of personnel associated with the Swarajya Group. We start with Prasanna Vishwanathahan, the CEO of Swarajya,

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Its rather incredible that the Swarajya magazine CEO has forgotten Jammu and Kashmir that elects the brazenly Islamist parties like PDP and NC, or Nagaland electing Christianist parties like Naga People’s Front, or Mizoram electing Mizo National Front or even UP electing quasi-Islamist parties like SP. A more plausible conjecture is that this is an attempt to malign Kerala through falsehood, following the lead provided by RSS mouthpiece only a few days earlier. To be fair, he similarly derogatorily characterized Kerala even earlier:

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Below, Mr. Vishwanathan will overlook that it takes immense courage to oppose a conservative Muslim custom in Muslim majority countries (particularly in Arab countries) that accord overwhelming primacy to Islam, and will reinforce ethnicity in negative connotation. We have not come across examples from Hindu mercantile communities who have been opposing Muslim customs while residing in Arabia (such communities have indeed resided in Arabia for a long time and their leaders have been close to despotic Islamist rulers of those [57]).

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Another gem on Kerala will reveal the priorities of the ecosystem:

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It is unclear if Kerala is a particularly fertile soil for generating trolls, our observation suggests as many or much higher number of trolls have emerged from some of the highly rated ethnicities in BJP-RSS’ pecking order. Be that as it may, one would expect that the CEO of a group associated with an intellectual endeavor would ponder on why the reviled trolls can not use their keyboards for producing some more coherent long-forms, or if it has to be short forms, why not Haikus? But of course the only meaningful pursuit even for supposed intellectual groups has to be startups.

Below, Mr. Vishwanathan abuses an entire state as “Commie hellhole’’ – the treatment reserved for Dar-ul-Left/Regional Parties:

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In the tweets below, Mr. Vishwanatham abuses the state of Kerala invoking the scandals that have occurred in the state. Kerala is at fault.

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In contrast, only the Congress Party, and not the Rajasthan model was ridiculed in the wake of the scandal involving sex, sleaze and the murder of Bhanwari Devi, even when the political rival of BJP was in power in Rajasthan, that is when Rajasthan belonged to Dar-ul-BJP-chance [58]. Further, Mr. Vishwanathan has been far more respectful of the state than Kerala, particularly after it became Dar-ul-BJP. Everything good comes from Dar-ul-BJP, or at least Dar-ul-BJP-chance, everything bad comes from the Dar-ul badlands of Kerala, West Bengal and other Communist states.

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In our previous article [3], we pointed out that the tweep @UnSubtleDesi is associated with the OpIndia magazine, and appears to be close to the Honourable Union Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani. Consequently, it is in order to mention her slight on all the denizens of Kerala too.

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Note almost all the above pejorative connotations appear in 2016 or after, that is just around and after the state democratically elected the Communist Party to run the state.

Interestingly, after we began our series on the ethnic hatred in the BJP-RSS ecosystem, the Swarajya has published an article on the achievements of the PN Panikkar [59], associating the good things in Kerala with the Modi Sarkar, praised Sir CP Ramaswamy Iyer, whose position as Dewan was very controversial, and as usual damned the Communists. This discourse is the typical political propaganda, but much better than the stomach churning bashing of entire ethnicities that do not vote the BJP. On a different note, we have noticed that it is the habit of the BJP-RSS ecosystem to associate everything from Dar-ul-Left/regional parties that they can not discount, with the BJP-RSS and the wider India, and carefully edit out the Dar-ul-Left/regional parties parts. This is a mirror image of the Left which tends to strip Hinduism from everything good about India.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we would like to mention that we critiqued the Organiser article mainly for two reasons. First, the BJP-RSS folks of Kerala, who are supposed to defend their land, religion and culture, were conspicuous by their absence about this article which denigrated their land and their way of life, their customs and their traditions. That Kerala, which has one of the highest number of Shakhas and RSS followers, did not even put up a semblance of protest against this denigration of their own state by their own organisation, and that RSS members of other ethnicities, such as Bengalis, similarly meekly accept and even cheer-lead the denigration of their ethno-religious identity by the RSS, lead us to believe that once one becomes an RSS man, all identities other than the Sanghi identity are stripped away from them and they are no more the denizens of their own land. This is consistent with an Islamist rather than an Indic mindset which we have noted in the introduction.

Second, we have not found a mainstream (at least in the English media) criticism of the Organiser article from the Kerala Hindu perspective by the Left. This, we suspect, is precisely because the intellectual components of the Left have become so passionately anti-Hindu that a defence of anything Hindu is unthinkable for them. Never mind the fact that the Leftist intellectuals owed the defense to their Hindu base, which has elected them and allowed them to enjoy the perks of power. The Hindus have been the mainstay of the Left, and indeed, it is worthwhile pointing out that the Leftists have rarely (if ever) won from Muslim and Christian dominated areas, anywhere in India, including in their strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala. That none of them even cared to defend the sentiments of their own base, which was being vilified by the Organiser speaks volumes about their connection to their base. The anti-Hindu intellectual and parts of political leadership of CPM conducts beef fests, but doesn’t dare conduct pork fests. No wonder, then, that the CPM is dying everywhere, since they have lost touch with their Hindu base. Its end is probably nigh – the red bastion of West Bengal has fallen, Tripura is under siege, and as we speak, its opponents are gaining strength in Kerala. The decimation of the Left will be a shame, for no one will be left to espouse the cause of the Indics of states outside the North, West and Center of India, even to the limited extent that they did, as our documentation reveals. Yet, there is probably a silver lining in this cloud too, as a genuine Indic Left, that draws inspiration from Indic resistance against different invaders, espouses the cause of deprived Indics including against aggression by Islamist and Christianist forces, can rise, perhaps under a different name, from the ashes of the current anti-Indic Left leadership and intelligentsia which has outlived its utility for the Indics.

References
[1] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/the-social-evil-of-ethnic-bias-in-bjp-rss-ecosystem-introduction-and-road-map/

[2] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/bengalis-the-enemy-within-ethnic-contempt-from-constitutional-and-statutory-body-appointees-of-the-bjp-government-of-india/

[3] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/bengal-the-enemy-territory-racist-contempt-of-media-organizations-personnel-and-public-intellectuals-in-bjp-rss-ecosystem/

[4] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/the-cowardly-bengalis-and-the-deleted-tweets/

[5] Surendra Nathan, “God’s Own Country or Godless Country?” Organiser, November 2015 http://organiser.org//Encyc/2015/11/9/Kerala—God-s-Own-Country-Or–Godless-Country-.aspx

[6] http://www.ptinews.com/news/8276538_To-understand-Hindustan

[7] http://www.firstpost.com/politics/tripura-assembly-election-2018-with-announcement-of-polls-due-soon-war-of-words-heats-up-between-cpm-and-bjp-4280367.html

[8] https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/bjps-himanta-biswa-sarma-threatens-to-send-tripura-cm-manik-sarkar-to-bangladesh/306162

[9] https://theprint.in/2017/09/13/ban-keralas-pfi-role-acts-terror-nia-tells-home-ministry/

[10] http://www.uniindia.com/pfi-rally-to-empower-downtrodden-sections-across-the-country/other/news/1024685.html?fromNewsdog=1&utm_source=NewsDog&utm_medium=referral

[11] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Centre-inks-peace-accord-with-Naga-insurgent-outfit/article10293606.ece

[12] http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/buddhists-allege-nscnim-threat/624612/

[13] https://thewire.in/141463/information-commission-backs-centre-says-details-naga-accord-kept-secret-public-interest

[14] http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jul/27/not-promoting-heraka-i-am-devout-christian-nagaland-chief-minister-tr-zeliang-1634421.html

[15] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/rani-gaidinliu-a-naga-queen-and-bjp-s-spin-machine/story-kfQG1IggxU6j4Frs7haBFK.html

[16] Census of India, 2011 http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-01.html

[17] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/717775.stm

[18] http://voiceofdharma.org/books/hibh/ch9.htm

[19] Hayavadana Rao, History of Mysore, Vol. 3

[20] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/gurus-statue-to-be-set-up-in-capital-city/article20463048.ece

[21] https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/kerala-govt-to-celebrate-125th-year-of-vivekanandas-visit-erect-statue-of-naraya/304378

[22] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/%E2%80%98More-Indians-eating-beef-buffalo-meat%E2%80%99/article16085248.ece

[23] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/four-dalit-men-stripped-beaten-by-cow-protection-vigilantes-in-gujarat/story-vGhVgYXeHa0h8DwIiXfqQN.html

[24] Nandita Haksar, The Many Faces of Kashmiri Nationalism.

[25] http://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/fireworks-display-elephant-procession-not-part-of-rituals-rss-english-news-1.1017985

[26] https://www.ndtv.com/bangalore-news/tipu-sultan-died-a-hero-president-kovind-says-scripted-alleges-bjp-1766979

[27] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rani_Sati

[28] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/rss-vhp-plan-mega-ram-navami-celebrations-in-west-bengal/

[29] http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/with-over-200-ram-navami-processions-rss-paints-west-bengal-saffron/616626/

[30] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/fight-between-ramzada-and-haramzada-in-bengal-bjp-s-dilip-ghosh/story-2QgvSi33OpqHc1NDUgQcYN.html

[31] http://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-2017/how-amit-shah-won-up-one-booth-at-a-time/article17448474.ece

[32] http://www.hindustantimes.com/assembly-elections/gujarat-elections-why-a-congress-goof-up-with-choice-of-candidates-is-important-for-bjp/story-ZuI0mXmcoOGgjdnQ29B8nL.html

[33] http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/after-lingayats-now-vokkaligas-want-separate-religion-tag-66700

[34] http://travel.manoramaonline.com/travel/celebrity-travel/2017/11/23/pinarayi-vijayan-sabarimala-visit.html.

[35] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-cm-wants-national-pilgrim-centre-status-for-sabarimala-temple/article19876408.ece

[36] Dilip Menon, “Caste Nationalism and Communism in South India’’

[37] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kerala-CM-reignites-love-jihad-theory/articleshow/6216779.cms

[38] https://www.telegraphindia.com/1140406/jsp/frontpage/story_18161069.jsp

[39] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/in-kerala-war-how-rss-and-cpim-two-sides-of-the-same-violent-coin-4789924/

[40] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/cpim-iuml-workers-clash-in-tanur/article17459717.ece

[41] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/Security-beefed-up-after-CPM-IUML-clash/articleshow/52483087.cms

[42] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/violence-leaves-north-kerala-bloody-as-political-equations-change/story-PmvnXLtkX97ST57NJX8a2H.html ,

[43] http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2016/aug/28/Two-seriously-hurt-in-CPM-League-clash-in-Tanur-1513703.html.

[44] http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2017/feb/07/9-cpm-workers-hurt-in-assault-at-football-stadium-1567766.html

[45] http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/violence-leaves-north-kerala-bloody-as-political-equations-change/story-PmvnXLtkX97ST57NJX8a2H.html

[46] https://archive.org/stream/ThomasPJosephCommissionOfInquiry-maradCommunalDistrabances/marad-report-part-II1_djvu.txt

[47] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/hunt-on-for-man-who-raised-funds-for-is-supporters/articleshow/61684155.cms

[48] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/pfi-to-launch-campaign/article7602083.ece/

[49] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/cpim-sdpi-clash-in-kollam/article20548815.ece

[50] https://www.outlookindia.com/newswire/story/pfi-ndf-involved-in-cpim-rss-cadres-murders-kerala/769976

[51] https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/in-gods-own-country/268143

[52] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/the-kerala-model-is-just-a-sham-the-state-survives-only-on-gulf-remittances-sent-by-migrants

[53] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/a-hindu-demographic-debacle-in-kerala-is-unfolding-before-our-very-eyes

[54] https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/the-unreported-pogrom-in-kerala

[55] AP Joshi, MD Srinivas, and JK Bajaj, “Religious Demographics of India”

[56] http://indiafacts.org/tribal-regions-central-india-rapidly-christianized/

[57] https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/institutionalized-slavery-muslim-regimes-and-indic-mercantile-complicity

[58] https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bhanwari-devi-murder-case-top-10-facts-469399

[59] https://swarajyamag.com/ideas/how-p-n-panicker-single-handedly-transformed-keralas-literacy-landscape

[60] Subhas Chandra Bose, “An Indian Pilgrim’’.

 

 

 

 

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The Cowardly Bengalis and the Deleted Tweets

Co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj

Introduction

In the previous articles, we considered the construction of every class of Bengalis as hostile entities by the BJP-RSS ecosystem. In [1], we noticed how Governor Tathagata Roy and Mr. Vivek Agnihotri expressed their contempt towards the Bengalis. In [2], we saw how the media and social media champions, led by the redoubtable Swarajya magazine, expressed its contempt for every class of Bengalis. In this article, we examine another set of articles and tweets by Reshmi Dasgupta, which reinforces negative images of the Bengalis.
Reshmi Dasgupta’s twitter feed reveals her strong support for BJP. She may be considered a public intellectual in the BJP-RSS ecosystem, with close familial connections to the center of power. She is the wife of Dr. Swapan Dasgupta, who is an ideologue [14] and one of the public faces of BJP in the main stream media, and is frequently introduced there as a right-leaning journalist. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha by the BJP government and was also decorated with Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, in 2015, during the BJP regime. He is a close friend of the current finance minister, and unofficial number-two in PM Modi’s cabinet, Mr. Arun Jaitley [12] (they have a long-standing friendship since their college-days [13]). Different pieces have described Dr. Dasgupta as a close associate of Mr. Jaitley [15], and as “not just a well-known columnist and BJP ideologue but is better known in party circles as a close friend of Jaitley’s’’ [14] . Dr. Dasgupta seems to be closely associated with the functioning of BJP in West Bengal, and was present in the BJP headquarters to welcome Mukul Roy, the second in command of Mamata Banerjee of TMC, when he moved over to BJP [3].

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Indian Express has recently documented how the BJP-RSS base hurled a torrent of ethnic abuse on a Bengali blogger for posting a harmless egg-roll video and noting a distinctive style of celebration of Durga-puja in Bengal [5]. Mrs. Dasgupta wrote an article in that context, emphasizing the vegetarian aspects of traditional Durga Puja in West Bengal, and disapproving of the way the Puja festivities have evolved in Bengal [4]. The article was probably targeting a North-Indian readership, that constitutes the current BJP-RSS base, as the only place she resorted to vernacular was when she used “maike” (Hindi) in place of paternal home, not “baper-bari” in Bangla. Notably, not once did she, who characterizes herself as a “Bengali chauvinist’’, mention or object to the ethnic slurs cast on Bengalis in the wake of the harmless food blog posted on Puja-food in Calcutta. Most importantly, however, she described Bengalis as “effete”, again reinforcing the coward/weak-Bengali stereotype: “Let’s face it, today’s effete Bengalis are a far cry from our blood-thirsty Shakta ancestors who lived in the predator-infested wilderness of the Gangetic Delta’’.

Mrs. Dasgupta has therefore used a negative descriptor for an entire ethnicity. Criticism of a group as a whole does not constitute hatred against the group, per se, provided it can be substantiated through corroborative factual evidences and provided the criticism can be shown to be consistent. In the first case, the veracity and the applicability of the evidences ought to be ascertained, preferably through independent and comprehensive academic research. We explain the consistency criterion as follows. Let us say we consider all practitioners of a certain profession in US. Let us say that a large number of them are found to be guilty of professional malpractices and violations of professional ethics. In our discourse, if we however ridicule and castigate the collective of the practitioners of a certain race, say African-American, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc., for those malpractices and violation of ethics that are widely prevalent in the profession as a whole, then this ought to qualify as racism, albeit against a segment of that race. If however we castigate the guilty practitioners regardless of their race, or rather those from all races, then that is not racism. Characterization of ethnic bias ought to follow the same template. In general, if a negative characterization of a group fails to comply with the truth and consistency tests, then it may legitimately be construed as bias against the group in question, and the burden of establishing compliance is on the one who invoked such a characterizer. In her article, Mrs. Dasgupta makes no attempt whatsoever to explain why she considers the Bengalis as effete, but uses the qualifier as a given, which reveals that her usage is being derived from intrinsic prejudice rather than from an unbiased and objective analysis. Therefore, such blanket characterizations, as hers could qualify as hate speech in many places:

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The stereotype that Mrs. Dasgupta thoughtlessly resorted to had been popularized by the British colonials. Rudyard Kipling, had stereotyped the Bengalis with the pretentious and cowardly character, Hurree Chunder Mukherjee, popularly called Hurree Babu [16]. Both Macaulay and Curzon had cast racist epithets at the Bengalis. Macaulay called the Bengalis, `enervated by a soft climate’, and `accustomed to peaceful employments’, and believed them to be even less bold than other Asiatics p. 242, [6]. Lord Curzon had called the Bengalis `effeminate’ and his disdain of educated Bengalis has been chronicled in [7]. Note the similarities of the above stereotype’s with Mrs. Dasgupta’s usage.

Given the racist connotation, we believed that it was important to check whether MP Dasgupta was on the same page with his spouse, or if he would disassociate from her position. First, while individuals are active in public life, the conduct of their immediate family members legitimately become public issue. In recent past, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi both ran political campaigns on alleged financial misconduct of the son-in-law and son respectively of the Presidents of their rival political parties (the campaigns have been entirely political, as for example no case has been filed on the son-in-law during three years of prime ministerial sojourn of Mr. Modi). In both instances, top leaders from the respective parties were fielded to defend Messers Vadra and Jay Shah. Besides, MP Swapan Dasgupta has prominently described himself as an Anglophile, and disappointment with removal of colonial symbolisms from Calcutta including the alteration of the name of Calcutta to Kolkata, which is how Bengalis typically pronounce one of their favourite cities: ``The process of cultural remodelling began with the removal of the British bronzes from the heart of Calcutta in 1969. The imposing bronzes of Canning, Mayo, Havelock, Curzon, et al were lifted ceremoniously by crane and carted off to a dump in Barrackpore where they have subsequently been vandalised. More widespread vandalism was prevented because Victoria Memorial came under the Centre’s jurisdiction. Therefore, mercifully, the Old Queen still survives the desecration of the Second City of Empire…. Apart from the shell and some outward forms of civility, the Calcutta I knew and grew up in no longer exists. The landscape has changed. The old landmarks are gone. The mindset is unappealing. This Kolkata is not my Calcutta’’ [8]. He has also shared that one of his ancestors was a staunch loyalist of the Raj, had close connections with the Privy Council, the Viceroy’s Council, was decorated with the CBE (Companion of the British Empire), and could have been knighted had he lived longer [8]: `` My maternal grandfather – who died before I was born– was one of Calcutta’s most successful lawyers. Extremely westernised and very Bengali at the same time, he was an unabashed Raj loyalist. He used to travel to London almost each year in connection with cases before the Privy Council. In his last years, he moved to Delhi to work with the Law Member of the Viceroy’s Council. My mother lamented that he died in 1942, just after he was made a CBE. Another few years and he would definitely have got a knighthood’ she always said.’’ Thus, given his sentimental attachment and familial connections to the Raj, it was all the more important to ensure that he did not share their racist view of Bengalis.

When we broached the issue in public domain, Mrs. Dasgupta became disturbed. While we responded civilly and respectfully,  our responses only managed to aggravate her further. One of the authors was greeted with invectives such as “Ms. Feminist”, “crazy SS”, “delusional’’. “hilarious’’, “sundry NRB Professors” (NRB stands for Non resident Bengali):

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To help her restore her tranquil, the author in question had to disengage, blocking her temporarily:

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But, Lo and Behold, came another volley!

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Note, NRI is not a complete descriptor for her, she needs to associate the Bengali qualifier, with someone who is an epitome of negativity in her mind:
We have been told by the ecosystem, more specifically by the magazine whose editing is advised by her husband, that growing up in a slum makes one’s lingo coarse: “Banerjee has grown up and still lives in that milieu – a slum in south Kolkata, where ugly fights replete with expletives and curses break out over even minor matters like breaking a queue for collecting the trickle of water that spews from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s public taps. Fighting, and using coarse language while doing so, thus comes naturally to her….They are all poor, or, at best, lower middle class. Banerjee revels staying among them and being one of them.’’ [9] But, Mrs. Dasgupta did not grow up in a South Calcutta slum, she is quintessentially manor born. She repeatedly lets it be known that she grew up at the affluent, diplomatic enclave, Chanakyapuri, of New Delhi [10], and possibly also at Washington D.C. [11], and basks in the glory of her father’s accomplishments:

reshmi_tweet_15

reshmi_tweet_5

reshmi_tweet_6

reshmi_tweet_1

 

Be that as it may, the substance that we could glean from her torrent of agitated messages were: 1) her views can not be linked to her husband’s 2) her husband should not be referred to as a BJP MP since he is an independent member 3) Bhadraloks are indeed effete post thirty years of stultifying communism, which the authors need to “come, see, experience and then opine ” (the reference here is to the fact that some of the authors do not reside in Bengal).
On 1),  other than the fact that the conduct of immediate family members can be legitimately conflated with those active in public life, would a woman protective of her individual identity independent of her male relatives, so publicly and repetitively bask in her father’s reflected glory? The classical definition of feminism is pivoted around gender-equality, not gender-advantage. Thus, if son’s and son-in-law’s public conducts reflect upon their parents and parents-in-laws in public life, a wife’s choices would similarly reflect on a husband who is a public figure, until the latter explicitly disassociates from specific stands in question. Lastly, we might remind her of her own public stance on another woman:

reshmi_tweet_7

But then ``Reshmi Dasgupta’’ hasn’t dared to be just Smt Reshmi either. So the feminist defense in this case may be expedient, but a non-starter.

On 2), we stand corrected, and refer to her husband as BJP government nominated MP henceforth, but his proximity to the power centers in BJP remains indisputed.

On 3), in our discussions with Mrs. Dasgupta, we were unable to discern two vital points of clarification: First, how Mrs. Dasgupta decided that Bengalis are `effete’. Despite her statement in the article that ``Let’s face it, today’s effete Bengalis are a far cry from our blood-thirsty Shakta ancestors who lived in the predator-infested wilderness of the Gangetic Delta’’ [8], and linking the slaughter of buffaloes vanishing from Bengal to `effeteness’, she denied that effeteness of Bengalis had anything to do with the lack of animal slaughter or bloodlust. Second, she specifically included the entrepreneurs of eateries and other outlets as `non-effete’, but did not, when questioned, include any other groups of people in her category of `non-effete’. Nor did she establish her criteria of effeteness or lack thereof, so that groups of Bengalis and others could be categorised. Consequently, it appears that the term `effete’ to describe Bengalis was derived from her own biases, including the English biases which have been inherited by many modern English speaking Indians.
We also note that in some of her tweets Mrs. Dasgupta seems to have narrowed down the scope of her effete descriptor to “Bhadraloks’’ from Bengalis in her article, in the rest of the tweets she is referring to Bengalis as a whole. Thus, she seems to be using Bengalis and Bhadraloks somewhat interchangeably. As a “Bengali chauvinist’’ (in her own words), she ought to have known that Bhadralok is currently used to denote the educated middle and upper classes. One wonders if the confusion inherent in the application reflects a deeply entrenched class-bias, which would even refuse to recognize the existence of the plethora of Bengalis who are poor, and who have been demonized in a magazine her spouse is connected to [9].

On 3) Mrs. Dasgupta seems to be delegitimizing our objection on the ground that some of us do not reside in Bengal, but then neither does Mrs. Dasgupta for that matter, and it would be presumptuous of either of us to guess the frequency of our visits to West Bengal. And, if we did reside in Bengal, the magazine whose editing her husband advises, will delegitimize us as follows: “So it is the below-average, the slothful and the incompetent who largely populate Bengal today. And as sociologists say, this section of people are always complaining, ready to blame others for their failings, lack of industriousness and enterprise, and for their miseries, which are largely of their own making. Add to this the decades of being schooled in communist ideology that abhors wealth, wealth-creation, and enterprise, and what you have is a large mass of people who not only don’t have the calibre and the willingness to improve their lot, but also who celebrate poverty and blame others – the well-off, the talented and the enterprising lot – for their sufferings’’ [9]. So, the ecosystem will delegitimize the Bengalis from contesting the cowardice slur one way or the other.
Again on 3), it is indeed the case that Dr. and Mrs Dasgupta bear organic dislikes of Communism, despite their long-standing friendship with those of communist persuasion like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Siddharth Varadarajan (by Dr. Dasgupta’s disclosure on social media): ``Communism finally killed Calcutta. Bengali Marxism started off as rebellious games played by boys (and some girls) from good families. As long as the Communist adventure was in the hands of the likes of Hiren Mukherjee, Indrajit Gupta, Snehangshu Acharya, Renu Chakravarty and Mohit Sen, it was more like a repeat of the Young Bengal movement. Tragically, the Bengali babu had not factored in the deep mofussil insularity, intellectual cretinism and the cultural envy that was built into the bloodstream of the CPI(M). Apart from the shell and some outward forms of civility, the Calcutta I knew and grew up in no longer exists. The landscape has changed. The old landmarks are gone. The mindset is unappealing. This Kolkata is not my Calcutta.’’ [8]. We will here ignore the undertone of contempt on residents of small towns in Dr. Dasgupta’s articulation, and point out that one can legitimately dislike Communism, or for that matter, Capitalism, and refuse to live where it is practiced. But, still, those with August diplomatic exposures in their families ought to be well-versed in international history, at least enough to know that historically Communism has never rendered a populace effete, certainly, no more than any other -ism did. It were the Russians who thwarted Hitler’s victory march after house-to-house fights in the battle of Stalingrad, and then reversed the tide to overrun Berlin three years later, Communist China attained many military successes and may even be closing in on USA in terms of military might, and the Communists in Vietnam gave a bloody nose to a much more powerful nation, USA, and forced them to abandon their allies in South Vietnam. It would also be evident even to a novice in socio-politics that, Communism in its pristine form was never practiced anywhere in India, perhaps fortunately so. In some regions, parties with Communism in their names, acquired power through democratic means, and with it, all the virtues and vices of India’s democratic polity. Communist Parties however patronized a Darbaar that was mutually exclusive of BJP’s Darbaar, thus, they would propel their intellectuals to positions of influence, not the right-leaning intellectuals like Dr. Dasgupta. And, it is also the case that the colonial British imposed the coward stereotype on Bengal because of their stubborn refusal to advance British interests by accepting their rule,  the British also glorified as martial races the ethnic groups like Rajputs, Gorkhas, Punjabis etc who advanced their empire, crushing freedom movements everywhere, including in India. It may therefore be that the Dasguptas have imbibed the British racist value system of demonizing a populace for stultifying their interests. And when racism becomes the norm, or a mark of distinction, we would be honored to be considered “crazy”, and “sundry”.

Postscript: We noticed that Mrs. Dasgupta has deleted many of the tweets whose screenshots we have produced, particularly the personally and collectively offensive ones. If that is because of the influence of an external agency, rather than genuine recognition of wrongdoing, then the effete-characterizer should not be limited to only those stultified by Communism. If however it is an expression of her inner voice, then mere deletion constitutes an inadequate apology to the populace she has demonized through a racist slur. Either way, until MP Dasgupta explicitly disassociates from the racist slur his spouse has hurled, we would be right in inferring that it is a shared view, which in turn reflects poorly on the party that has nominated him to the hallowed Upper House of Indian Parliament.

References
[1] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/bengalis-the-enemy-within-ethnic-contempt-from-constitutional-and-statutory-body-appointees-of-the-bjp-government-of-india/

[2] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/bengal-the-enemy-territory-racist-contempt-of-media-organizations-personnel-and-public-intellectuals-in-bjp-rss-ecosystem/

[3] http://www.firstpost.com/politics/mukul-roy-crosses-over-to-bjp-from-tmc-says-it-is-his-proud-privilege-to-work-for-the-party-4191609.html

[4] https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/SilkStalkings/lets-not-be-bloody-minded-over-durga-puja-fare/

[5] http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-in-india/bengali-vlogger-posts-harmless-egg-roll-video-4841966/

[6] Robert Sullivan, “Macaulay’’

[7] Krishna Dutta, “Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary Legacy’’

[8] http://www.india-seminar.com/2006/559/559%20swapan%20dasgupta.htm

[9] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/how-bengal-will-cheer-banerjee-to-self-destruction

[10] https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/SilkStalkings/durga-puja-along-with-the-bhoj-a-helping-of-service-and-humility/

[11] https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/SilkStalkings/racism-not-just-a-black-and-white-issue/

[12] http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/how-to-win-friends-and-influence-journalists-115050801404_1.html

[13] https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/ties-that-bind/291379

[14] https://scroll.in/article/808998/the-latest-congress-nominations-to-the-rajya-sabha-will-ensure-fireworks-in-the-upper-house

[15] https://thewire.in/174542/gauri-lankesh-assassination-right-wing/

[16] Rudyard Kipling, “Kim’’

Bengal, the enemy territory: Racist contempt by Media Organizations, Personnel and Public Intellectuals in BJP-RSS Ecosystem

Co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj

Introduction
In this series, we investigate ethnic hatred endemic to the BJP-RSS ecosystem, specifically in social media, against the various ethnicities. In the first article of the series [33], we specified out objectives and the roadmap we intend to follow for the series. In the second article of the series [16], we investigate the ethnic hatred engendered by the constitutional and statutory body appointees of the BJP-RSS government.

We now consider the narrative of public intellectuals and parts of media that are close to BJP. We include published articles and Social Media articulations of the top office-bearers of such venues, which will go on to show how every section of the Bengalis, from intellectuals to Bhadraloks to lower middle class to urban and rural poor and riot victims have been systematically maligned. We show that the ethnic descriptor of `Bengali’ conjures a strongly negative image in the public discourse of the BJP-RSS ecosystem. Indeed, the Bengali image is very similar to the image of the Jew used in Eastern Europe. Vitally, lack of patriotism is imposed on the Bengalis, just as it is on the Jews of Eastern Europe [34], [36], even when the Jews are long gone [38]. In Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatists blamed Jews [35] for controlling everything, as did the Ukrainean nationalists [37]. Further, Bengalis are supposed to be in a vast conspiracy to control events spread widely in time and space. This is similar to how the Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers portray the Jews as being able to control events across the globe, and especially in Germany [39]. Finally, the Bengali identifier is used as a catch all phrase for a varied sort of vices, just as `Moorish blood’ was used in Spain [40]. It is also of some interest to observe that the blaming of Bengalis is similar to how the Pakistanis blame everything on the Yahood-Hunood (Hindu-Jewish) conspiracy [41].

We show that the ethnic identity of the Bengalis is pitted against their religious and national identities, the same choice is not however forced on members of ethnicities high up in the pecking order in the ecosystem. We also also show that the discourse hovers around denying Bengal any cultural and historical legacy that can not be maligned as examples of cowardice, perversion and ignorance. This reminds us of modus operandi of almost every colonial power: 1) denigrate locals 2) distort history so as to deny them pride in their heritage 3) disassociate them from their cultural heritages. A separate article will be necessary to deal with the falsehoods concerning the historical and cultural legacy of Bengal in detail; here, we merely limit ourselves to a few highlights.

Like colonial powers, the ecosystem also involves and promote those among the locals (Bengalis in this case, eg, Governor Tathagata Roy [16], Journalist Jaideep Mazumdar, Prof. Goutam Sen), or among those with family connections to locals (eg, Swarajya CEO Prasanna Viswanathan), who would spearhead the efforts in some or all of 1)-3) above. We are therefore noticing a proclivity, to resort to facile defences such as for example, `I am a Bengali’, `I am married to a Bengali’, `I have hired many Bengalis’, etc. when they are questioned on evident ethnic contempt against Bengalis in their discourses. Therefore, we repeat our earlier case as to why the ethnicity of those generating a discourse, or their personal connections to the ethnicity, are irrelevant in assessing biases in their contents. Note that ethno-religious groups have often been betrayed by their own. Many of the ethnic minorities in the erstwhile USSR had a history of acting against their own compatriots. For instance, both Stalin and his deputy, Lavrenty Beria, were Georgians; both were deeply involved in the massacre of the Georgian intellectuals and even old Bolsheviks like Mdivani in the 1930s p. 225 [26]. Similarly, Ilya Ehrenburg, a Jew himself, later admitted to lying about several murders, of Jews among others, he had known committed during the Stalinist times [27]. Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov (the former was a Jew, the latter had a Jewish wife) also helped murder thousands of Jews in the Great Purge in the 1930s. Finally, Khadzhi Ghabidullin, a pro-Moscow Tatar, was used to oust and eliminate the `Nationalist Tatars’ of Mirsaid Sultan Galiyev [28]. In India, Ala-ud-din Khilji’s son apparently had a deep love for another Hindu Rajput princess [25]. Jahangir was married to multiple Hindu Rajput princesses, including those of Jaipur p. 175, [24] and of Jodhpur. The princess of Jodhpur was also the mother of his heir, Shah Jahan [23]. Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb also hired a large number of Hindus, including Rajputs, in their military and administration. Did Khilji, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb not perpetrate religious atrocities against the Hindus, including the Rajputs, then? In Gujarat, several wealthy Indic merchants colluded with the Islamic rulers there, facilitating the regimes politically and financially, and enjoyed wealth and power in return; all the while, the same rulers exploited the Indic commoners of Gujarat who lived in abject penury and starved to death during the famines [29]. Then again, Man Singh of Jaipur, crushed local Hindu kings of Bengal like Pratapaditya on behalf of Mughal emperor Akbar, with the assistance of some local Hindu Bengali collaborators who were subsequently richly rewarded. With the fall of Pratapaditya, large parts of Bengal were opened up for the slaving expeditions by the Portugese-Magh combination, which ravaged Bengal for centuries [30]. In the current context, many Hindus have been known to bear strong hatred of Hindus, and Jews have shown anti-semitism too. In fact, the bulk of BJP-RSS base accuses, with some justifications, several Hindu journalists like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Dilip Padgaonkar, Kumar Ketkar, Nikhil Wagle and intellectuals like Mallika Sarabhai, Teesta Setalvad, Girish Karnad, Anantamurthy, Prashant Bhushan, etc, of Hindu-phobia. Similarly, non-Hindus with Hindu spouses like Amir Khan and Javed Anand have been pilloried on charges of anti-Hindu bias. If their or their spouses’ religious denominations are not considered a defense of their bias against one religion, as it should not, neither can the ethnic connections of those in the echosystem serve as a legitimate shield. Thus, contempt of a member of an ethnicity, or of one with familial connections to the ethnicity, on the ethnicity as a whole, should be subjected to the same scrutiny as that of an outsider.

In this article, as a specific example, we will primarily consider the Swarajya Group, though throughout we will invoke discourses from other venues in this space too. Swarajya Magazine’s positions are mostly supportive of those of BJP at the Centre and at different states. Four of the five members of its editorial advisory board can be described as follows: 1) a BJP MP (Dr. Swapan Dasgupta), and (2) three high appointees of the BJP government at the centre, Manish Sabharwal, appointed as RBI Director, Bibek Debroy, appointed as the chairman of the Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Surjit Bhalla, appointed as the member of the Economic Advisory Council. More often than not, its views appear to be those of an unofficial mouth-piece of various BJP governments.

Note that the Swarajya Group appears to believe that different ethnicities who inhabit India constitute separate races. While reporting on the Gorkhaland agitation, they referred to the Gorkhas as: “ a proud and brave race who can not only withstand acute hardships, but will also not be cowed down by threats and intimidation’’ [12]. The article we are referring to has been authored by a professional journalist, Jaideep Mazumdar, who regularly writes on Bengal in Swarajya Magazine, and comes across as responsible for covering Bengal in it. Thus, any negative connotation the personnel or publications of the group associates with ethnicities, or any implicit rank-ordering among them, should logically be construed as racism. We will therefore substitute “ethnic’’ with “racist’’ in their connection. Since the bulk of this article will concern with the public discourse of the Swarajya Group and articles in their publications, we have included racism in our title.

We must warn our readers that some of the tweets and articles that we are compelled to cite are crass in nature and apologise in advance for possibly offending their sensibilities. In the interest of quality of public discourse, we limit ourselves to facts and logical analysis, and make it a point to refer to the protagonists respectfully, even while citing their ethnic and personalised abuses.

Section A: The Waste Bengal and her lazy, criminal, majoritarian, parochial resident Bengalis

Swarajya Magazine has published a cover story where it has deliberately and pejoratively distorted the name of a province in India – West Bengal. Goes without saying, its inhabitants primarily constitute the ethnicities (races) targeted by the high appointees of the BJP government named in a previous article of this series, namely Tathagata Roy and Vivek Agnihotri [16]. Distorting a proper noun is unacceptable in any literary standard (as also accepted by one of the editors of the Swarajya Magazine at the time, Surajit Dasgupta):

proper_nouns

We will let the reader judge if the distortion follows the pattern of ethnic contempt that we are documenting:

waste_bengal

The BJP ecosystem, including Swarajya Magazine, frequently charges Congress for insulting PM Modi for his underprivileged background, but it has no qualms about similarly disparaging West Bengal Chief Minister for growing up in an urban slum. Whats much worse is that they belittle the residents of Bengal in general and the urban poor in particular in language that needs to be read to be believed. We quote: ``Bengal’s masses applaud her [Mamata Banarjee] for speaking their coarse language and being perpetually in the ‘fight’ mode.
That is because they are, all said and done, as intemperate in their language, as coarse in their habits and suffering from the same sense of being subjugated and wronged as Banerjee. This is not to say that all Bengalis are like that; it is the people who remain in Bengal who are. And there is a reason for this. The best and brightest of Bengal never remain in Bengal: they migrate to other states and out of the country in search of better opportunities. Even the mediocre leave Bengal. As so do the hard-working, the enterprising and the industrious lot.
So it is the below-average, the slothful and the incompetent who largely populate Bengal today. And as sociologists say, this section of people are always complaining, ready to blame others for their failings, lack of industriousness and enterprise, and for their miseries, which are largely of their own making. Add to this the decades of being schooled in communist ideology that abhors wealth, wealth-creation, and enterprise, and what you have is a large mass of people who not only don’t have the calibre and the willingness to improve their lot, but also who celebrate poverty and blame others – the well-off, the talented and the enterprising lot – for their sufferings.
Fighting comes naturally to Bengal’s masses today, because their daily life is a fight for the small loaves that come their way. Banerjee has grown up and still lives in that milieu – a slum in south Kolkata, where ugly fights replete with expletives and curses break out over even minor matters like breaking a queue for collecting the trickle of water that spews from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s public taps. Fighting, and using coarse language while doing so, thus comes naturally to her.
It would be safe to say that few, if any, of the people she has grown up and lives amongst, have put in even an iota of hard work in academics or later on in life. The only enterprise in life they would have ever engaged in would be to set up an illegal stall selling fritters on a pavement. Many of them are members of ‘supply syndicates’ that have held the real estate sector in Bengal to ransom. They are all poor, or, at best, lower middle class. Banerjee revels staying among them and being one of them.’ [2]

So, the residents of Bengal are “below-average’’, “slothful’’, “incompetent’’, and Mamata Banarjee’s milieu, that is the poor and the lower-middle class slum-dwellers in Bengal are mostly engaged in illegal activities, and have not put in an iota of hard work ever. It is hard to pin point whats more offensive here, the crudity, the hypocrisy or the class-bias of Mr. Mazumdar. Mamata Banerjee, while crass in her expression, has, to the best of our knowledge, never descended to ethnic slurs against communities, as the Presidents of the state units of BJP, lifelong RSS men, and Governors appointed by BJP are wont to [16]. Further, it is hard to imagine slum dwellers getting any more crass in their language than calling entire masses of unfortunate, deprived humanity fleeing religious persecution `chuhas’, though the slum-dwellers did not have access to the affluence and education that BJP appointed governors who resort to such attacks been privy to. Nor were the slum-dwellers entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the dignity of the constitutional office of the Governor of a state [16]. But then Bengal masses do not deserve even basic human decency for cheering, and worse, voting in PM Modi’s political foe. And, Mr. Modi and his support-base will hold his opponents responsible for hurting Gujarati pride if they dare to call him `neech admi’, mind you, low-life, not low-born [3]. As far as the BJP-base is concerned, any criticism of PM Modi or his ministers like Smriti Irani is purportedly an act of class-bias, caste-bias or elitism, while dwellers of urban slums in Bengal, who have to break their backs to earn two square meals a day are fair game for crass abuse. We get back to ask them, is it `India first’, or is it `Gujarat first’, or may even be `BJP first’ for him and his base?
While reporting on the Gorkhaland agitation, Bengalis become parochial, for Swarajya Magazine, and the Gorkhas, ``a proud and brave race who can not only withstand acute hardships, but will also not be cowed down by threats and intimidation’’ [12]. Bengalis are accused of “latent parochialism and majoritarianism’’ again in context of the Gorkhaland agitation [4]. Interestingly, the same article notes that Gorkhas have ``faced a lot of discrimination’’ within India, and “have faced violence and have been driven out of states like Assam and Meghalaya.’’  There is however no mention of their being driven out of West Bengal, but the Bengalis become majoritarians, not the Assamese and Meghalayans. Incidentally, it is the Bengalis who have been driven out en masse from considerable parts of the North East, and in their turn they have never expelled any community en masse from the state they principally inhabit – the “Waste Bengal’’ as Swarajya calls it. But, for the Swarajya Group the Bengalis are the only majoritarians, and Swarajya is an honourable magazine. And since ``the Gorkhas want a state (within the Indian Union) that they can call their own, a state that can make them firmly establish their identity as Indians’’, that state must be carved out of West Bengal.
Section B: Bengali as a delegitimizing qualifier
We show how the Bengali ethnicity is invoked, without any contextual obligation, but to reinforce negativity. We start with by examining some sample tweets of the CEO of Swarajya Magazine, Prasanna Viswanathan:

prasanna_tweet_1

The above tweet is as uninformed as it gets. Prof. Amartya Sen had been awarded Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, which is possibly the highest recognition in the field. To our knowledge, Nobel Awardees are decided in Europe, possibly with considerable input from communities in respective disciplines in North America. Is it remotely possible that Bengali intellectuals dominate the academic ecosystem in North America and Europe to the extent that they can propel their fellow ethnic to such August awards? This is a classic example of a phobia, that propels one to imagine a hated and feared adversary in every element of the Universe. This is similar to how in Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatists blamed Jews [35] for controlling everything, as did the Ukrainean nationalists [37]., as also how the Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers portray the Jews as being able to control events across the globe, and especially in Germany [39].

In particular, whenever a Bengali happens to laud Amartya Sen, without any reference to race, Mr. Viswanathan sees definitive proof of the dreaded Bengali parochialism therein:

prasanna_tweet_2

But, Mr. Viswanathan doesn’t think of Gujarati parochialism, when PM Modi, who happens to be a Gujarati, chooses fellow-Gujarati, Urjit Patel, as the Governor of Reserve bank of India. That appreciation is of course entirely merit-based. Similarly, of course, PM Modi’s campaign centering around an explicit Gujarati asmita messaging is a valid electoral tactics rooted in Gujarati pride, and not in any way appealing to Gujarati parochialism.

It is also pertinent to note that Bengali ethnicity is being drawn in for the Bengalis like Amartya Sen whom the BJP-RSS ecosystem abhors. But, ethnic identity is never brought up for disliked individuals from ethnicities the ecosystem highly rates, eg, Teesta Setalavad, Mallika Sarabhai, Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjiv Bhatt, Ela Bhatt, Tushar Gandhi, Aakar Patel, Salil Tripathi (all Gujaratis), Kumar Ketkar, Dilip Padgaonkar, Nikhil Wagle (all Marathis), Rajdeep Sardesai (Konkani Brahmin from his father’s side and UP-Uttarakhand Brahmin, Pant, from his mother’s). This suggests a pecking order of ethnicities in the ecosystem, where the Gujaratis, Konkanis, Marathis, UP-ites far outrank the Bengalis.

There of course happens to be some inconvenient Bengalis whose accomplishments can not be wished away, by attributing to Bengali parochialism, owing to their connections to the party Mr. Viswanathan evidently supports, or because of frequent homage paid by the PM Mr. Viswanathan is accused of cheer-leading (by some evil Bengalis of course). Two names come to mind – Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Swami Vivekananda. Lets find out Mr. Viswanathan’s creative solution for them:

prasanna_tweet_3
So, all Bengalis who cant be diminished, have to be somehow associated more with the rest of India, one way or the other. The facts of their greater resonance are of course evident, asking for evidence in support would be heretical. It is irrelevant that most of the revolutionaries that Swami Vivekananda inspired, including Subhas Chandra Bose, were from Bengal; it is also irrelevant that till date a bulk of the monks and all but 2 of 15 odd Presidents in the institution he founded shares his ethnicity [5]. As to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, what evidence do we see of this greater resonance in the rest of India, or even in BJP, which is the continuation of the BJS party he founded? Within BJP, its Deendayal Upadhyay who is given primacy over Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. We quote Dr. R. Balashankar, Member, BJP Central Committee on Training, and Committee on Publications and Former Convenor BJP National Intellectual Cell and Former editor Organiser, “Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay has come to occupy the central place in political discourse ever since Narendra Modi government took office in May 2014. ….Deendayal has become the political brand equity for the BJP that Gandhi was for the Congress Party….Within the BJP there are many towering personalities like Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Dr Raghuvira, A B Vajpayee and many others who are held in very high esteem but no leader is revered as much as Deendayal’’ [15]. To honor Vallabhbhai Patel, a grand statue, which would be the tallest in the world, is being erected, named as the statue of unity. In the Modi regime, in 2014, the annual Union budget has provisioned 2 billion rupees for this statue [1]. We do not however find any such honor bestowed upon Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. Swarajya Magazine has however accorded him a magnificent resonance, that of awarding Kashmiri separatist Sajjad Lone in his name. So, Vallabhbhai Patel gets the statue of unity, while Shyama Prasad Mookerjee gets associated with a separatist of a state he sought to integrate with India, and was martyred in the process. Oh, and to our knowledge, neither Shyama Prasad Mookerjee nor Swami Vivekananda relinquished Bengal or their Bengali identities. This is exactly why such unsubstantiated claims of greater resonance are necessary to deny Bengalis of their cultural and historical legacy concerning the duo.

Let us continue with Mr. Viswanathan’s obsession with Bengal.

prasanna_tweet_4

To be fair, this is one of the few instances which may be defended on the ground of immediate facts. He was pointing to a list of Indian academics who are allegedly guilty of sexual harassment. The list indeed has a preponderance of “savarna’’ (upper-caste) Bengali males [6]. We would rather not raise ethnic-supremacist quibbles such as whether Bengalis would be over-represented in any classification of academics simply because Bengalis may just be `over-represented’ in academia itself because perhaps they are incapable of pursuits more meaningful, such as trade, commerce, etc. We would stay away from the deeply parochial explanation that might venture to suggest that Bengalis may just be over-represented in the list as the student who created it, Raya Sarkar, is of Bengali origin, and may therefore naturally come across more incidents of alleged violations by Bengalis as she would be more familiar with institutes in Bengal and Bengali academics.

We contrast how OpIndia, a magazine that has been acquired by the Swarajya Group [7], called someone fascist because he connected an ethnicity, the Hindi heartland, to rape [8]. But then we do know that one becomes a “nationalist’’ through negative-generalizations on certain races – let us give them a name for ease of reference, the Bengalis – and a `fascist’ or a `disgusting bigot’ by doing similar generalizations on those higher in the peck-order – let us say, the Hindi heartland or Gujarat as the case may be. Contrast the above tweet with how Mr. Viswanathan abused a former Lt. General of the Indian Army for adversely commenting on the Gujarati ethnicity:

prasanna_tweet_5
Someone as knowledgeable as the esteemed CEO of the Swarajya magazine might recall many examples in history as well as contemporary Indian society (eg, those we cited in the Introduction), where individuals with personal (eg, spousal) and professional connections to an ethnic or a religious group, had persecuted and demonstrated acute bias against the group. Yet, the spousal defense recurs whenever Mr. Viswanathan is accused of unwarranted ethnic generalization by members of the vile ethnicity:

prasanna_tweet_6

prasanna_tweet_7

We credit Mystikal for bringing the above tweet to our notice. It is interesting to point out that Mr. Vishwanathan feels a need to dehumanise the despised Bengalis by comparing them to a dog of Mr. Rahul Gandhi.

Then again, the Communist identifier is never enough to appropriately revile an un-named perpetual student who is at the receiving end of the CEO’s wrath, he needs the Bengali Upper-caste qualifier too:

To be fair one can not accuse Mr. Viswanathan of gender bias – he brings in the Bengali upper caste connection for both genders and equally pejoratively and in threads in which the original point had no race connotation:

prasanna_tweet_8

Mr. Vishwanathan’s proclivity to invoke the Bengali ethnicity, without any relevance, is endemic in the BJP-RSS ecosystem, and not exactly limited to those who may have the spousal defense handy.

prasanna_tweet_9
We had shown that the statutory CBFS appointee of the BJP—RSS government, namely Vivek Agnihotri, had falsely mentioned that all his critics were Bengalis, and also referred to one of the authors as a Bengali while seeking to counter our criticism of his false ethnic generalization [16]. In either case, his ethnicity was never made an issue of.
Similarly, a public intellectual well-known in the BJP-RSS space, Rajeev Srinivasan, had brought in “Bengali parochialism’’, when one of the authors of this article objected to the historical inaccuracies in his tweets on Subhas Chandra Bose. We reproduce the specifics from Mr. Srinivasan’s article [17], which we had rebutted in [18], [19]. He had referred to the author in question as follows in [17]:
“So, on balance, we need to deconstruct Bose carefully. In fact, to be cynical, I’d say that the principal value of Bose today is as a stick to beat the Nehruvian Stalinists with; the latter do have reason to be embarrassed. There are those who do not understand this, and indulge in absurd hero-worship. One possible reason is Bengali chauvinism. I was reminded of this when I had a brief Twitter argument with one Saswati Sarkar, a Bengali-American professor. Well, ‘argument’ is the wrong word, because she attacked me; I was polite, but she kept abusing me till I finally gave up in disgust. Sarkar’s contention was that I was ‘ignorant’ and ‘bigoted’. Ok, fine. She had written a very long essay on the Durga Puja where she quoted a few writings by Bose, and my crime was that I had not read it. But I did read it, and it did not change my mind.’’

As a point of fact, we had asked the author to read primary sources on Bose before arriving at conclusions on him, our articles on Durga Puja is certainly not a primary source on Bose, but reproduces some of the primary content that is in conflict with the contents of Mr. Srinivasan’s tweets:

saswati_tweet_1

In [19], we had objected to the invocation of the ethnicity as follows:

“Next, the author brings in the ethnicity of one in our team, none of us have discussed our ethnicities with him [nor was his ethnicity ever brought in in the twitter arguments he quotes], …..the bigger issue here is the attempt to delegitimize arguments that contest his position by bringing in identities. If a support of Bose’s position by one who shares his ethnicity, becomes ethnic chauvinism, it would be legitimate to contend that the author’s defense of Hindu interests, as he is supposed to have done in his blogs (based on tweets to us on him), is owing to Hindu supremacy or Hindu chauvinism, if he happens to be a Hindu which we have not sought to ascertain. Is his (now invalidated) concern that Bose has not reached out to South Indians also driven by the author’s ethnic identity, if that happens to be South Indian? What the author needs to note is that Bose appealed to Indians of all ethnicities, he had strong support among the masses throughout India, particularly in Bengal, Madras Presidency, Punjab, rural united provinces, and had influential detractors in each of the above (Gandhian wing of the Provincial Congresses in each of these as also wealthy businessmen). The activists of Mission Netaji who are seeking to do justice to his legacy by uncovering the truth of his disappearance comprise of diverse ethnicities.’’
It is therefore a pervasive psychosis in the BJP-RSS ecosystem, be it a statutory body member, or a public intellectual, or CEO of a media group, to try to delegitimize stands contrary to theirs by invoking Bengali identity whenever that applies. In other words, the identity itself is so reviled that it is enough to take precedence over the content. It is also a norm to cast as Bengali parochialism favourable discussions of eminent individuals who are Bengalis by other Bengalis, in effect, denying the Bengalis the legitimacy to counter distortions concerning their present or their past. The only good, or shall we say reasonable, nationalist Bengalis, are those who undermine all that Bengal stands for, by truth or by fiction. Thus, the ethnic identity of the Bengalis is pitted against their religious and national identities, the same choice is not however forced on members of ethnicities high up in the pecking order (again recall that PM Modi’s electoral campaign or appointment of fellow Gujaratis to August offices are never scrutinized from an ethnic lense). If this is not ethnic hatred, what is?
Section C: West Bengal renamed as East Bangladesh – what do you Bengalis have?

Let us move on to the Chief Strategy Officer of Swarajya, Rahul Roushan, who spearheads the OpIndia initiative. He had run a poll where he asked if West Bengal should be renamed as East Bangladesh:

roushan_tweet_1

We will leave aside the question as to whether it is mandatory for high office bearers of the Swarajya Group to brainstorm on alternate names for West Bengal, and whether the disagreement as to the suitability of `Waste Bengal’ vis a vis `East Bangladesh’ have been internally reconciled. Purely as a digression, since more than 500 tweeps voted to call West Bengal as East Bangladesh, we consulted the latest edition of our Atlas, to see if a Tsunami or a similar such natural disaster has moved West Bengal to the East of Bangladesh. It reassured us that West Bengal remains to the West of Bangladesh, but then the ecosystem is of course always right. Be that as it may, one wonders why the ecosystem is so keen to donate West Bengal to Bangladesh? Is it supposed to be a follow-up action of PM Modi who donated significant amount of land of West Bengal to Bangladesh through the Land Border Agreement? In the Land Boundary Agreement, which the BJP had opposed continuously from the 1950s till 2014, the Modi government donated 10,000 acres of West Bengal land to Bangladesh, created a virtual enclave in Kuchlibari and left an estimated 8-10 thousand Hindus behind in Bangladesh [9]. When we probed on Social Media, we were educated by the BJP-RSS base, that the eminent Mr. Roushan was only being sarcastic about the large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who are currently residing in West Bengal. We pondered if then Assam ought to be called North or West Bangladesh, or even South Bangladesh per Mr. Roushan’s Atlas which lesser mortals do not have access to, as Assam perhaps has comparable or even greater per capita number of illegals from Bangladesh. But that question would perhaps be a sacrilege, arising only in the polluted mind of heretics, since Assam has become an integral part of BJP’s perception of India, by according electoral majority to the `nationalist’ party.

We move on to other pearls of wisdom from the twitter feed of Mr. Roushan:

roushan_tweet_2

In the above, Mr. Roushan is shaming Hindu Bengali victims of riots in Basirhat in 2017 for not measuring up to the heroic standards he expects of them, and judging all Hindu Bengalis for the pronouncements of those victims. Incidentally, an eminent Hindu Bengali who had called for exemplary punishment for the Basirhat teen whose post on Islam had sparked off the riot, is Babul Supriyo, BJP Union Minister [10]. Mr. Supriyo went to the extent that such teens bring disrepute to BJP, a party close to the Swarajya Group:

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We do not see Mr. Supriyo’s name mentioned in Mr. Roushan’s tweet above. Once we pointed that out to him, thus spake Mr. Roushan:

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Arun Shourie had once pointed out that whenever the Communist Party was confronted with unassailable facts, they would seek to get away through repeated denials and intemperate abuse [14]. But, let us put aside the BJP-RSS ecosystem’s proclivity to abuse, or emulate the Communists who they proclaim to despise, and their partisanship. Let us just ponder on how deep can the ethnic contempt be if one judges statements of hapless riot victims and pronounces a verdict on an entire ethnicity for the same? As we noted before, the ecosystem raises furore each time Congress ecosystem casts aspersion on PM Modi for his under-privileged beginnings, rightly accusing it of elitism. But, if it is abominable to abuse the underclass, so should it be to abuse an ethnicity as a whole, unless, BJP ecosystem has imbibed hook, line and sinker, the Communist doctrine that some classes are more sacrosanct than the other. We could have again pardoned them for trying to ape the Communists they hate, but then even the class-defense does not apply here, because the riot victims of Basirhat, as in most places, were mostly from the Bengali poor. Note the specific reference to a victim who lives in village in a home with tiled roofs – suggests that she is probably as poor as or poorer than an average `chai-wallah’ who the Congress is accused of ridiculing. But, then the Swarajya Group had pronounced Bengali poor and lower middle-class to be largely slothful, below-average, incompetent, of never putting in an iota of hard work, mostly engaging in illegal activities, and such likes. In other words, Bengalis, rich or poor, Bhadralok or underclass, are guilty by birth.

Let us also examine how heroic the OpIndia community is. Recently, TMC MP Derek O’ Brien referred to a founder of OpIndia, Rahul Raj, in Parliament, in an uncomplimentary manner. Subsequently, he wrote a face-book post, which we post verbatim:

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In particular, he wrote: “ Today, I got a call from my mother. She does not know much about internet and she had no idea about what I was doing. But after knowing that my name was taken in the parliament and I was branded a criminal by an MP, she was deeply worried. She couldn’t sleep yesterday.
She asked me if this will impact my safety. Here, an MP had accused me of issuing death and rape threats.
I told her not to worry and that people were with me. I told her I have been offered free legal help by many. But, I have seen the dirty side of court cases. My father has lost a lot for a case related to our property.
I feel weak today. Thanks for your enormous support. It has strengthened me during such time. I am taking a break from social media, but I will be back.’’ [11]

So, the founder-member of OpIndia feels weak, and takes a break from social media, and refuses to avail of legal help fearing material loss – all because of verbal, not physical, violence against him. Yet, the all-in-all of the same site has the audacity and hypocrisy to judge poor riot victims, subjected to physical violence by Islamist mobs, and who have actually lost their property, not merely face the prospect of it. The distinction in this case is clearly in the races of the two individuals. That the distinction is predicated on the race distinction, at least in part, is being reinforced by the fact that OpIndia takes up cudgels against individuals who abuse the people of the Hindi-belt:

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Let us now observe some of Mr. Roushan’s contempt for Bengali cuisine:

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First, there has been a controversy about the place of origin of one of the culinary delights of India, Rasgolla, a traditional sweet made out of Indian cheese, Paneer. In most of India and outside, the Rasgolla would traditionally be associated with Bengal, but Odishans claim that it originated in Odisha. Being neighboring states, Bengal and Odissa share a lot of their history, cuisine, culture, language and festivals. It may be hard to decisively determine where exactly Rasgolla originated, as the food has been in vogue for a very long time, that is even when watertight political boundaries did not exist, and the respective languages were not in their current forms. It is quite possible that the food item simultaneously developed at multiple locations. So, the controversy is at best manufactured, and does not in the least affect how delicious the sweet really is. At best it ought to constitute a topic of casual and civil banter between locals of the two places, and if and when the controversy is resolved the winner is entitled to gloat in his region’s success, like at the end of a cricket or a soccer match between teams representing the two regions. For the sake of completeness, right now Rasgolla, either as a whole, or the Bengali version of it, has been accorded to Bengal, while Odissa has filed a claim for association with the Odissan version of it [20], [21].

There is however a deeper subtext to it, which is at the root of attempts in the ecosystem to disassociate all that is good from Bengal, which recurs across Mr. Viswanathan’s discourse on Swami Vivekananda and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, and Mr. Roushan’s on Rasgolla. Mr. Roushan seems to be jubilant, even prematurely, that Bengalis no longer have Rasgolla. What is his stake in this controversy? Clearly, it is not truth, as the controversy was certainly not resolved in Odissa’s favour at that time. It is also not his pride in his own ethnic roots, as, to the best of our knowledge, he isn’t from either region. It is that Bengal has been denuded of yet another source of their pride, it is that, he can tell more confidently, “what do you Bengalis have?’’ And this attitude is typically reserved for a land that is not only alien, but also an enemy, or a people one has strong inferiority complex about.

We have shown that Governor Roy harbours deep resentment against Hindu Bengalis [16]. His comment on the history of Bengal stems from the same, and worse, reveals abject or even malafide ignorance of the history of Bengal. Renowned historian Ramesh Chandra Majumdar had edited a 700+ page entire book on the ancient history of Bengal, from B.C. to about 1200 AD, which constituted the period of the Hindu rule [22]. We may refer him to the book, if he deigns to read `Bengali’ historians, nay `chuha’ historians, who weren’t exactly well-off towards the end of their lives, and may never have had the good fortune of residing in plush Rajbhawans that more capable men like Mr. Roy does. For the time being, we might suggest a few names he can look up for the history of pre-10th century Bengal – Gangaridais (326-320 BC) pp. 41-46, [22]. , Sasanka (seventh century AD), pp. 59-68, [22], the Pala dynasty (eg, Dharmapala, 770-810 AD, Devapala 810-850 AD) pp. 104-122, [22]. Since the effort to look up the names suggested above might distract the Governor from his primary responsibility of abusing Bengal, we obtain the relevant information from the chuha’s book:

1) In the fourth century B.C. a kingdom covering Bengal was considered the greatest nation in India by Latin historians, together with another major kingdom which was located in today’s Bihar, they stopped the advent of Alexander further East. Note that the city-states in the North West of India could not unite against Alexander, and were taken down by him, sequentially. R. C. Majumdar has written, “A considerable portion of the country (Bengal) now (latter half of the fourth century B.C.)  constitutes the domain of a powerful nation, whose sway extended over the whole of ancient Vanga, and possibly some adjoining tracts. Greek and Latin writers refer to the people as the Gangaridai (variant Gandaridai)’’ p. 41, [22]. Contemporary Latin historian Diodorus has written that ``India ….is inhabited by very many nations among which the greatest of all is that of the Gandaridai, against whom Alexander did not undertake an expedition, being deterred by the multitude of their elephants.” p. 40, [22]. In the words of R. C. Majumdar, ``It is not easy to determine the precise boundary line between the Gangaridai proper and the people styled the Prasioi who had their capital at Pataliputra. The evidence of Ptolemy suggests that in his days, or in those of the writers on whom he relies, the kingdom, of which Pataliputra was the royal residence, apparently extended as far as the Ganges and may have included Tamralipti. The Gangaridai lay beyond this territory’’ p. 43, [22]. R. C. Majumdar goes on to assert that “It may be reasonably inferred from the statements of the Greek and Latin writers that about the time of Alexander’s invasion, the Gangaridai were a very powerful nation, and either formed a dual monarchy with the Prasioi, or were otherwise closely associated with them on equal terms in a common cause against the foreign invader. When Alexander reached the Beas and was eager to cross over to the Ganges valley, the information reached his ears that the king or kings of the Gangaridai and the Prasioi were awaiting his attack with a powerful army. The shock of the battle was narrowly missed. The war-worn veterans of the Macedonian king persuaded their leader to trace back his steps to the Hydaspes and ultimately to Babylon’’ p. 44, [22].
2) We now take the Governor to early seventh century A.D. We learn about king Sasanka from R. C. Majumdar, ``All that we definitely know is that some time before 606 A.D. Sasanka became the king of Gauda with his capital at Karnasuvarna, which has been identified with Rangamati, six miles south-west of Berhampore in the Murshidabad district (or Gauda or Lakhanawati)’’ p. 60, [22]. Sasanka had gradually extended his authority up to Benares, and fought military battles with king Rajyavardhana of Kannauj (current U.P.) and killed Rajyavardhana in 606 A.D. pp. 61, 62, [22]. Rajyavardhana’s brother Harshavardhana, allied with Bhaskaravarman ch. 7, [31], the king of Kamrup, presumably to counter their common enemy, Sasanka p. 64, [22]. But the extent of the success of the alliance against Sasanka appears to be limited. There is subsequent evidence that Harsha led a military campaign as far as the borders of Bengal, but returned without any military success. Sasanka was in possession of Magadha at the time of his death, which occurred shortly before 637-38 A.D. pp. 64-65, [22]. It also becomes clear that there existed an age-long duel between Gauda and Kannauj which had extended up to this time and longer p. 68, [22]. So Gauda was a famous kingdom, rivalling the strong state of Kannauj, for a long time, well-before the tenth century before which Bengal is supposed to have a limited history as per the esteemed Governor.

3) Let us now move on to the Palas who ruled from the eighth century up to and beyond the tenth century. R. C. Majumdar has written about their origin: “evidences make it almost certain that the home and the original kingdom of the Palas must be placed in Bengal.” p. 102, [22]. Dharmapala ascended the throne of Bengal in 770 A.D. Between 770 and 790 A.D. he conquered Magadha and a large part of U.P., even extending beyond Allahabad and the Ganges-Jumna Doab. Between 790 and 800 A.D. he led victorious campaigns up to the Indus on the West, Himalayas in the North and even beyond Narbada in the South p. 110, [22]. Next, Devapala ruled for at least 35 years and his reign may be placed between 810 and 850 A.D. Under him the Pala empire reached the height of its glory. His suzerainty was acknowledged over the whole of Northern India from Assam to the borders of Kashmir, and his victorious forces marched from the Indus to the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, and from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas, perhaps even to the southernmost extremity of India. His name and fame were known far outside India, and king Balaputradeva of the Sailendra dynasty ruling in Java, Sumatra and Malay Peninsula sent an ambassador to him p. 121, [22].

Some of the above information had been pointed to him by one of the authors. The Governor was too busy to respond, we are of course very grateful that he didn’t deign to abuse us for the audacity of correcting him:

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The exploits of the pre-10th century rulers of Bengal that we have provided should debunk the last tweet of the esteemed Governor. N ote that Rajeev Srinivasan had also sought to portray Subhas Chandra Bose negatively, employing gross distortions of history, as argued in [18, 19]. The fact that he brought up Bengali parochialism in this connection reveals that he was acutely conscious of Bose’s Bengali roots. It may not therefore be inaccurate to construe his article as yet another attempt to malign the historical legacy of Bengal through falsehoods. The proclivity to deny a people their historical heritage is another treatment commonly resorted to by hostile external entities and their local collaborators, a topic that we intend to dwell in depth in a future article.

Another recurrent thread that comes across from Mr. Roushan’s and the Governor’s discourse is to pit ethnicities in the East against one another, more specifically, the Odiyas against the Bengalis. We would later see that the Assamese are also often favourably compared with the Bengalis. It is however curious that neither the Odiyas, nor the Assamese, nor the Biharis ever compared, favourably or otherwise, with the ethnicities in the highest echelon, namely Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana etc. We will dwell on this trait in detail in a later article too, but for the moment, we will point out that seething discontent against the Bengalis among the middle-class of the neighboring states like Assam, Bihar, Odisha is neither new nor original contribution of the BJP-RSS ecosystem, British did exactly the same.

We had drawn attention of the editorial director of the Swarajya Group, R. Jagannathan, to the abominable racist tweets of Messers Viswanathan and Roushan, only to be completely ignored:

saswati_tweet_2

Section D: The Durgas and Kalis of the BJP-RSS ecosystem

Racist contempt is equally pronounced in some others affiliated to the Swarajya group. The owner of the handle @unsubtledesi for example writes frequently for OpIndia and is now officially affiliated with it. We reproduce one of her tweets below:

unsubtledesi_tweet_1
Bhadralok is an honorific in Bangla, its closest English translation is “gentleman.’’ Its currently used as a polite reference to educated men, typically from middle-class upwards., which includes a large section of Bengalis. It is not meant for intellectuals alone, which translates to `Buddhijibi’ (বুদ্ধিজীবি) in Bangla. Thus, here, while Amartya Sen is being ridiculed, his ethnicity is being drawn in through the reference to the honorific “Bhadralok’’ that only Bengalis use, and cowardice is being insinuated upon the ethnicity, or at least the middle-class and upper-class segment of the ethnicity, quite in line with Governor Tathagata Roy’s tweet accusing Hindu Bengalis of fleeing like rats [16]. That apart, her knowledge of history can only match that of her boss Mr. Roushan’s knowledge of geography. For her, and the likes of her from the BJP-RSS ecosystem, the Bengal revolutionaries must be `cute’ cowards by birth, because they were Bhadraloks after all – never mind the fact that they challenged the mighty British on their own terms, disrupted them so much that they had to relocate their capital to Delhi, and braved the consequences, which were death by hanging, or worse, lifelong torture in Cellular. Martial valor and heroism must of course be only assigned to the Rajputs or Gorkhas (currently high in favor ought to the Gorkhaland agitation against `Bengali colonialism’) or possibly the Punjabi Sikhs (somewhat out of favor post the Khalistani agitation). The fact that the British Indian Army that would be sent to subjugate revolutionary ventures and uprisings, would be largely populated by the aforementioned `martial races’ is of course an academic point, which should justifiably be confined to obscure books in some dusty library. The Bhadraloks also led and joined the Naxal movement in Bengal in the 60s and 70s. Even the worst enemies or their best friends would not accuse the Bengali Naxals of non-violence. The Indian state resorted to large-scale brutalities on Bengali civilians to crush them, which is only comparable to the force used on the Khalistani movement; in fact, the force used against the Islamist fundamentalists pales in comparison. More recently, it’s the BJP-RSS ecosystem that accuses, with some justifications, the Communists of Bengal, who in their assumption all originated from the Bhadralok group, of mass-violence. We fail to understand how the inability to hit, as insinuated, is consistent with such facts and accusations. Note that the character insinuated on the `Bhadralok’ by the tweep is neither new, nor original. Indeed, it closely matches, if not in literary merit, but in the racist stereotype imposed on the Bengalis by the English author, Rudyard Kipling, using the cowardly and pretentious character – Hurree Chunder Mukherjee, popularly called Hurree-Babu [32]. Thus, the Bengali identifier is used as a catch all phrase for a varied sort of vices, just as `Moorish blood’ was used in Spain [40].

On a side note, the tweep either has not interacted with many Bhadraloks, or is rather slow to pick up their language, for Bhadraloks in West Bengal use `aami mere debo kintoo’, but not `mere dibo’. But then Bhadraloks are quite forgiving of the linguistically challenged, and they better show such grace, since this tweep is quite close to a powerful cabinet minister of the current BJP government. Specifically, the Information and Broadcast Minister of PM Modi’s government, Ms. Smriti Irani, frequently plugs @unsubtledesi’s articles, and extensively socially interacts with her as well. The familiarity of the duo suggests close working relationships:

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Since ministers have the machinery to vet their close circles, this reinforces our contention that public contempt of some ethnicities has blessings of, or at least is being condoned by, the highest echelons of BJP-RSS’ political leadership. None of the offenders named in this article have faced any visible backlash from the BJP-RSS base, nor any visible punitive measure from their Company bosses or BJP-RSS leadership. In fact, R. Jagannathan, editorial director of Swarajya, has offered @unsubtledesi high accolades, to the extent of comparing her with Hindu Shakti Goddesses, Durga and Kali. One might conjecture that the ecosystem deems Bengali Bhadraloks as asuras, so the women who slay them – read abuse them – would be the Durga and Kalis of the ecosystem.

jaggi_tweet_1

When this tweet of Mr. Jagannathan was flagged by one of the authors, in view of the racist abuses she hurled earlier, he refused to respond, while his Durga/Kali, showered her blessings on us:

unsubtledesi_tweet_2

Section E: All ethnicities are equal, but some are more equal than the others
An ethnic peck order, between Bengal and Gujarat, is frequently reinforced by authors and public intellectuals of BJP-RSS persuasion, through vague pronouncements as in:

sankrant_gujarat_bengal

The tweet in question is so vague that its hard to interpret exactly, nonetheless, the negative connotation with Bengal and the positive one with Gujarat is clearly conveyed. We merely point out the serious factual flaws with the above contention. The first to be colonized were the town of Madras, bought by the English from the Raja of Chandragiri, and the island of Bombay, given to the English by the Portuguese as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, on her wedding to the then King of England, Charles II in 1662. The first major area to be colonized was Carnatic, comprising of today’s Tamizh Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, which was in fact used by the British as the base to simultaneously conquer Bengal and Bihar. Gujarat was also not the last to be colonized by the British either – that honor goes to North West Frontier Province, Punjab (Sindh fell slightly before Punjab). But, for the ecosystem, all good things come from Gujarat, bad things from Bengal, facts be damned. We find the clarification equally tenuous, as economic devastation due to colonisation was as severe in South India and Vidarbha (largest famine recorded in the history of India affected the South and Central India). Given the factual flaws, this tweet also constitutes an example of distortion of history to portray an enemy territory in poor light.

Wonder if this bias against ethnicities arises because the BJP-RSS ecosystem and political leadership perceives some ethnicities as less loyal than others to the Indian state? We quote Dr. Gautam Sen, former faculty member of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and current President of the World Association of Hindu Academicians and Co-director of the Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation, who wrote ``Such an eventuality [fall of the Modi-government] would surely lead a Pak threat, likely to be opportunistically supported by China, allowing J&K and the Punjab to secede. In the worst case scenario, the loyalty of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu to the Indian Union could not be taken for granted’’ [13].

Thus, lack of patriotism is imposed on the Bengalis, just as it is on the Jews of Eastern Europe [34], [36], even when the Jews are long gone [38]. Serious secessionist movements never existed in West Bengal, nor for that matter in Tamil Nadu and the Khalistani secessionist movement in Punjab had long been devoid of any considerable public support there. It is equally interesting that Prof. Sen discounted the serious separatist movements of the North-East in his analysis of the regions at risk, but it is likely that these regions do not exist in his nationalistic atlas at all. Anyway, such inconvenient facts count little against long standing hostile perceptions.

Section F: Conclusion

In an earlier version of the article, we had noted that Niti Ayog Chairman and Economic Advisory Board Chairman, Bibek Debroy, is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Swarajya Magazine. We were relying on the website of the Swarajya Group. Subsequently, Mr. Debroy has corrected us, we reproduce the correspondence verbatim:

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References
[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/07/10/indias-new-budget-includes-33-million-to-build-the-worlds-tallest-statue-not-everyone-is-happy/?utm_term=.db7205fb2c93
[2] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/how-bengal-will-cheer-banerjee-to-self-destruction
[3] http://www.hindustantimes.com/assembly-elections/congress-suspends-mani-shankar-aiyar-over-neech-aadmi-jibe-modi-says-his-remarks-an-insult-to-gujarat-s-pride/story-D4C37q0DiPwY5sbJkraByH.html
[4] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/crushing-gorkhaland-agitation-to-appease-bengalis-is-wrong-and-immoral-
[5] http://www.vedantastl.org/photo-gallery/the-presidents-of-ramakrishna-order/
[6] How Leftists Come Together to Save One of their Own Accused of Sexual Harassment http://www.opindia.com/2017/10/how-leftists-come-together-to-save-one-of-their-own-accused-of-sexual-harassment/
[7] Opindia is now part of Swarajya Group https://swarajyamag.com/ideas/announcement-opindia-is-now-part-of-the-swarajya-group
[8] Gurmehar Kaur’s Mentor Shows Fascist Color, Abuses People from UP and Bihar http://www.opindia.com/2017/10/now-gurmehar-kaurs-mentor-shows-fascist-color-abuses-people-from-up-and-bihar/
[9] Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, and Dikgaj,“Examining the Indo-Bangla Land Boundary Agreement’’, http://indiafacts.org/examining-the-indo-bangla-land-boundary-agreement/
[10] http://wwhw.republicworld.com/the-debate/57/112/republic-tv-focuses-on-the-growing-tension-in-basirhat
[11] https://www.facebook.com/salabhak/posts/1408735592469876
[12] https://swarajyamag.com/politics/gorkhaland-movement-banerjees-foreign-hand-charge-has-no-basis
[13] Gautam Sen, “Narendra Modi Stands between India’s Breakup’’ http://indiafacts.org/narendra-modi-stands-between-indias-breakup/
[14] Arun Shourie, “The Only Fatherland’’
[15] https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/in-bjp-what-makes-deendayal-upadhyay-take-primacy-over-syama-prasad-mukherjee-or/302171

[16] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/bengalis-the-nemy-within-ethnic-contempt-from-constitutional-and-statutory-body-appointees-of-the-bjp-government-of-india/

[17] Rajeev Srinivasan The abuse of Indian history: Obsession over Subhas Chandra Bose indicates that India suffers from a paucity of heroes http://www.firstpost.com/india/the-abuse-of-indian-history-obsession-over-subhas-chandra-bose-indicates-that-india-suffers-from-a-paucity-of-heroes-2603352.html

[18] http://www.firstpost.com/india/subhas-chandra-bose-the-myths-the-distortions-and-the-biases-2614570.html

[19] http://www.firstpost.com/india/the-why-of-myths-on-subhas-chandra-bose-poor-scholarship-bias-and-politicisation-of-history-2615490.html

[20] https://www.cntraveller.in/story/official-rasgulla-bengal-not-odisha/

[21] http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/nov/14/sweet-war-this-gi-tag-is-for-banglar-rosogolla-it-is-not-about-the-origin-1700787.html

[22] The History of Bengal, Vol. 1, The Hindu Period, edited by R. C. Majumdar

[23] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagat_Gosaini

[24] RC Majumdar, “History and Culture of the Indian People’’, Vol. 7, Mughal Empire.

[25] http://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/The-%E2%80%98Padmavat-affair%E2%80%99/article17289175.ece

[26] Robert Conquest, “The Great Terror: A Reassessment’’

[27] https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/this-day-in-jewish-history/.premium-1.613205

[28] Pavel Polyan “Не по своей воле’’

[29] https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/mercantile-collaboration-in-different-regions-gujarat

[30] https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/the-exploitation-of-commons-through-islamist-indic-mercantile-collusion-in-bengal

[31] Banabhatta, “Harshacharita’’

[32] Rudyard Kipling, “Kim’’

[33] https://sringeribelur.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/the-social-evil-of-ethnic-bias-in-bjp-rss-ecosystem-introduction-and-road-map/

[34] https://www.timesofisrael.com/ukrainian-marchers-in-kiev-chant-jews-out/

[35] https://uk.news.yahoo.com/ukraine-run-miserable-jews-rebel-chief-202600532.html#tFTNECd

[36] https://www.timesofisrael.com/ukrainian-nationalist-to-jews-get-used-to-our-rules-or-be-punished/

[37] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/opinion/what-ukraines-jews-fear.html

[38] http://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/60000-join-warsaw-nationalist-march-should-the-jews-of-poland-be-worried/
[39] http://www.nizkor.org/qar-complete.cgi

[40] http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2636/2636-h/2636-h.htm#link2H_4_0005

[41] https://web.archive.org/web/20070817081717/http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/mar2006-daily/24-03-2006/main/main5.htm

Bengalis, the Enemy within – Ethnic Contempt from constitutional and statutory body appointees of the BJP government of India

In this article, we highlight the ethnic disdain exhibited by constitutional and statutory body authorities appointed by the BJP government. With primary evidence, we catalogue the distortions employed by these authorities, which portray the Bengalis in a poor light. Two examples have been shown here, the first, the governor of Tripura and the second, a film board censor committee member.

We start with public pronouncements of Tathagata Roy, a senior BJP politician, who used to be the President of the West Bengal State unit of the BJP from 2002 to 2006, and was a member of BJP’s National Executive from 2002 till May 2015. In May 2015, he was appointed as the governor of Tripura, by the President of India, following the recommendation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is running a full-majority central-level BJP government since May 2014. By all considerations, Tathagata Roy, is an educated man; he retired as Chief-Engineer Design of Metro Railways and holds a law degree from Calcutta University. He has also authored several books on pre-independence history.

First, note that Tathagata Roy and BJP MPs like Roopa Ganguly said that the Hindu minority in Bangladesh are safe, but “feel’’ insecure [27], [28], denying the persistent persecution faced by Hindus in Bangladesh, and current Bangladeshi premier Sheikh Hasina’s complicity in it? [29]. Next, Tathagata Roy, had tweeted about the Hindu Bengalis who fled religious persecution in East Pakistan and Bangladesh as follows:

tathagato_1

In the above example tweet, Tathagata Roy is abusing the refugees from East Bengal for fleeing their homeland like rats during and after the partition. The analogy of rats that he uses surely qualifies this tweet as a nasty abuse. But, first, as an aside, the abuse is rather Islamic. Several Islamic chroniclers refer to Shivaji, a great hero of Indic resistance – as the “mountain-rat”. The “rat” epithet on enemies is very popular with Islamists, as many Pakistanis were apparently fond of dubbing Bengalis as “rats”. Next, although he is tweeting in English, he does not use the English word, rat, as his chosen abuse, neither does he resort to “indur’’ in his native tongue, but he opts for the Hindi version, the “chuha’’. It suggests that he was tweeting for the section of his base and his political bosses, who cherish the “Hindi Hindu Hindustan’’ dream.

Any event, he tweeted the above while occupying the August office of the Governor of a state. This tweet did not invite any public censure of the BJP government at the centre, or any other section of the polity, or the media; nor did any of his several other tweets revealing his deep contempt of Bengalis.   We contacted Mr. Ratan Sharda, a spokesperson of the RSS on the matter on Twitter, and he deflected the issue saying that Tathagata was also a Bengali and if he had made the remark, it was unfortunate.  No censure of Mr. Roy’s tweets were forthcoming.  A simple twitter search on Mr. Roy’s TL would reveal many such aspersions on the Bengalis, negating any assumption of a one-off aberration (which would also be unacceptable from a senior politician and a holder of a constitutional office).

We visit two obvious defenses of the indefensible act of the Governor: (1) his own ethnicity (2) truth. As to (1), Tathagata Roy is a Bengali, possibly his ancestry is from East Bengal too. But, then many Hindus have been known to bear strong hatred of Hindus, and Jews have shown anti-semitism too. In fact, the bulk of BJP-RSS base accuses, with some justifications, several Hindu journalists like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and intellectuals like Mallika Sarabhai, Teesta Setalvad, Girish Karnad, Anantamurthy, etc, of Hindu-phobia. If their religious denomination is not considered a defense of their bias against one religion, as it should not, neither can Mr. Roy’s ethnicity serve as a legitimate shield. Ethno-religious groups have often been betrayed by their own. Many of the ethnic minorities in the erstwhile USSR had a history of acting against their own compatriots. For instance, Stalin’s deputy, Lavrenty Beria, a Georgian himself, was deeply involved in the massacre of the Georgian intellectuals and even old Bolsheviks like Mdivani in the 1930s p. 225 [10]. Similarly, Ilya Ehrenburg, a Jew himself, later admitted to lying about several murders, of Jews among others, he had known committed during the Stalinist times [11]. Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov (the former was a Jew, the latter had a Jewish wife) also helped murder thousands of Jews in the Great Purge in the 1930s. Finally, Khadzhi Ghabidullin, a pro-Moscow Tatar, was used to oust and eliminate the `Nationalist Tatars’ of Mirsaid Sultan Galiyev. [13]

For example, the Indic merchants of Gujarat colluded with the Islamic rulers there, facilitating the regimes politically and financially, and enjoyed wealth and power in return; all the while, the same rulers exploited the Indic commoners of Gujarat who lived in abject penury and starved to death during the famines [8]. Then again, Man Singh of Jaipur, crushed local Hindu kings of Bengal like Pratapaditya on behalf of Mughal emperor Akbar, with the assistance of some local Hindu Bengali collaborators who were subsequently richly rewarded. With the fall of Pratapaditya, large parts of Bengal were opened up for the slaving expeditions by the Portugese-Magh combination, which ravaged Bengal for centuries [9]. Thus, contempt of a member of an ethnicity on the ethnicity as a whole should be subjected to the same scrutiny as that of an outsider. Next, does Mr. Roy usually ruthlessly dissect those he considers his own? A video tape allegedly shows his brother, Saugata Roy, Trinamul Congress MP to be accepting money from a CEO in return of favors [1]. Saugata Roy also engaged in verbal abuse in Parliament [2]. We did not hear Tathagata Roy harshly condemn his family on such occasions, as he is wont to do for a collective.

As to (2), the Bengalis fleeing religious violence against Hindus in East Bengal in the wake of partition, did put up defenses, albeit unsuccessfully and often isolated. For example, Rajendralal Roy, the President of Noakhali Bar Association, resisted the Jihad on his own. As a result, lieutenants of notorious rioter, Gholam Sarwar, presented Rajendralal Roy’s head to Gholam Sarwar on a platter, and in exchange, Sarwar rewarded the lieutenants with part of the “Jihad-booty’’, two of Roy’s young daughters [3]. It is worth pointing out that, while the population of Indics in West Pakistan came down from ~20% in 1941 to ~2% in 1951, the fall of Indic population in the east was far slower. From 29% in 1941, it came down to 22% in 1951 (and quite a bit of this fall was due, in part, due to the emigration of Bengali Muslims from West Bengal to East Bengal) and to ~19% in 1971. Indeed, the Indic population of Bangladesh fell from 19% to ~12% only after the genocide of 1971. Given that Indics lasted with roughly 2/3 of their population intact till 1971, it seems more than a trifle unfair to conclude that they fled `chuha-like’ from East Bengal. In East Bengal, as in West Punjab (during Partition) and Kashmir (post partition), Hindus have been subjected to similar dastartdly religious violence in places where they have been horribly outnumbered. They fled all those places without being able to put up successful (or even failed) mass-resistances. It would be the same story for Muslims in places where they were subjected to religious violence during partition and where they were demographically hugely outnumbered. Even recently, long after partition, mass exodus of Hindus have been reported from Kairana in West UP where Hindus have been severely demographically outnumbered [4]. It would therefore be malicious and malafide to selectively accuse Hindu Bengalis of cowardice, and hurl disgusting ethnic abuses at them, for reacting similar to all sections of humanity subjected to similar circumstances. The statement therefore qualifies as ethnic contempt, which coming from an educated senior politician, is all the more abominable.

The lack of censure on the above only suggests that Mr. Roy’s acts have blessings of his appointers, namely the prime minister himself and the leadership of BJP-RSS, and approval of the BJP-RSS base, as also the rest of the polity and the media. In contrast, BJP officially objected and its ecosystem raised a huge furore, including trending on social media, when a leading politician from UP, Akhilesh Yadav, cast equally offensive stereotypes on Gujaratis [5]. PM Modi and BJP-President Amit Shah, who are both from Gujarat, usually vociferously object to real or perceived slights to Gujarat from political opponents [6] [7]. Summarily, BJP would reward those who undermine Bengal with high public offices, and vociferously object when other high profile persona undermine Gujarat. Does there then exist an ethnic pecking order in BJP’s value system, where Gujarat far outranks Bengal? Or, the PM chants “India first’’ during Lok sabha polls, but really means “Gujarat first’’, particularly during the Gujarat polls? Is this why his constitutional position appointee has to rate Gujarat as follows (let us recall that the current Governor of Tripura has never won an election in Bengal, has no mass-base and owes his August office only to the good graces of the PM)

tathagato_2

Gujarat must then be the only place in the Universe that is devoid of dirty politics. We have however learned that political murder happen there, or allegedly so. On 26 March, 2003, the home minister of Gujarat, Haren Pandya was shot dead by unidentified assailants. His widow Jagruti Pandya had been on record in 2012 that “My husband’s assassination was a political murder. For the last 10 years I have been fighting a legal battle to get him justice but in vain, however, I will continue to fight …I have not received any support from the BJP in my fight. My husband gave his life for the party. But he was not aware that he would be betrayed’’ [15]. Let us also recall the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethwa in Gujarat. Ahmedabad Mirror writes about the incident: “The RTI activist was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court premises on July 20, 2010. It is suspected that Jethwa was targeted for exposing illegal mining activities through numerous RTI applications.’’ [14] . BJP MP Dinu Bhoga Solanki was an accused in this case [14]. But then, political murders definitely constitute instances of clean politics, if the ecosystem says so. On the issue of Syndicates, Justice J B Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court has observed that: Over a period of time, the city of Surat, once known as the Manchester of India, has be come a paradise for the land mafia. People have started going to any extent to grab agricultura and non-agricultural lands. In the past one decade the price of lands, all over the city of Surat and its adjoining villages, have escalated in leaps and bounds,” [16] The same judge had to order the government to act against land mafia in Rajkot too [17]. But the ecosystem obviously knows better. On theft, the ecosystem may well be technically right, as the land mafia would rob lands, not “thieve’’ them. We came across a recent report of a gang-rape of two teen-aged girls in front of their father [18], but if the ecosystem insists rape is not a crime against women, then the ecosystem must be right. We would not ruin the narrative by bringing in multiple recent incidents of lynching of Dalits in Gujarat [19], [20], [21], but just ponder that come every election in Gujarat, PM Modi thunders about “Gujarati Asmita’’, and how Congress has slighted Gujarat at every traffic light of history. He would know such strategies for sure, for it seems to ordinary mortals like us that he has reserved a few constitutional posts for humiliating, through falsehood, the states ruled by his political opponents. Nonetheless, we will of course wish the Bengalis in this ecosystem better luck next life to be reborn in the paradise of their choice, for the Bengalis who wished to retain their connection to their motherland even in their death could not only not go up to the hallowed Raj Bhavan, but died in penury. Michael Madhusudhan Dutt had composed his epitaph as follows:
দাঁড়াও পথিক-বর, জন্ম যদি তব
বঙ্গে! তিষ্ঠ ক্ষণকাল! এ সমাধিস্তলে
(জননীর কোলে শিশু লভয়ে যেমতি
বিরাম) মহীর পদে মহানিদ্রাবৃত
দত্তোকুলোদ্ভব কবি শ্রীমধুসূদন!
যশোরে সাগরদাঁড়ি কবতক্ষ-তীরে
জন্মভূমি, জন্মদাতা দত্ত মহামতি
রাজনারায়ণ নামে, জননী জাহ্নবী [22]
Yet another poem describing how the poet pined for his home from a distant land [23]. Yet another emotional fool who had never made it to Raj Bhawan (D. L. Roy) had once composed:
“এমন দেশটি কোথাও খুঁজে পাবে নাকো তুমি
সকল দেশের রানী সে যে আমার জন্মভূমী ’’ [24].
The fools were not aware that the path to Raj Bhavan is not facilitated by emotions for one’s land, people, or even with obsession for facts, but by a talent for abject sycophancy and the genius of maligning one’s own people.

 

We next consider filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who, in 2017, has been named a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) [12]. CBFC is a statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the ministry is currently manned by a BJP minister. Mr. Agnihotri’s twitter feed indicates a strong support for BJP. He tweeted as follows on his movie, Buddha In a Traffic Jam’’:

agnihotri_1

Through a cursory search, we have located at least two reviews that are critical of Mr. Agnihotri’s redoubtable, and which have been authored by those who were not born in the heretic ethnicity called Bengalis [25], [26]. Be that as it may, to lesser mortals outside the BJP-RSS ecosystem, the import of the ethnicity of the critics may be unclear, but filmmakers know their audiences, so he may just be advertising his movie the way it would sell best. It may well be crystal clear to the ecosystem that if an evil collective criticizes a work of art, it has to be the next best thing after Rasgollah.

Goes without saying that Mr. Agnihotri received no visible censure anywhere, and he was appointed to the statutory body after he pandered to the ethnic biases of the BJP-RSS base (which will be dwelt in greater detail in a subsequent article). We had expressed our surprise at the unusual correlation of ethnicity to views on a movie right at that point, but did not receive a response.

saswati_1

We had shared an earlier version of this article in our blog space. After hearing of our article (its unclear if he read it), he responded as follows:

agnihotri_3

Other than the abuse embedded in the tweet above, it becomes clear that he is yet to imbibe the basics of intellectual engagement that discourses needs to be evaluated based on the content, without any consideration of ethnicity or any other birth-based identity of those involved in it. But the response above becomes relevant in context of his position below:

agnihotri_2
It is worthwhile to note that he invoked ethnicity of one of the authors even in his response, while his ethnicity was never invoked in our article, neither has it been done now. And, only the ethnicity that he had earlier invoked for all his critics (falsely as we have shown) was invoked here as well. From his personalized abuses, it becomes clear that our article did not amuse him, just as the criticisms of his movie didn’t earn his grace. So, the significance of the ethnicity in both the above remains pejorative, and relevance to the content minimal. If an individual is so obsessed with the Bengali ethnicity, and rather unfavourably so, can he, or should he, be trusted, as member of CBFC, to evaluate movies based on their content, rather than on ethnicities of the contributors? Similarly, is Tathagata Roy fit to discharge his functionalities as the Governor of a state, where a large part of the populace comprises of the descendants of the “chuhas’’, that is the Hindu Bengali refugees from East Pakistan/Bangladesh? But then the BJP-RSS constitutes an honourable ecosystem.

We now update the article with Tathagata Roy’s thoughtful rebuttal to our piece: First, an abuse, pretty much like, Vivek Agnihotri’s:

tathagato_3
This tweet reveals twitter-illiteracy, or a propensity to distort truth, to the extent that he becomes endearingly transparent at this point. His blocking one of the authors would not have prevented him from reading her tweets, if he wanted to read our “trashy’’ piece earlier. Even the issue that the tags from the author did not appear in his esteemed TL, because he had blocked her, does not arise as she did not tag him after the article was posted, either. Most important, unlike his assertion, he had not blocked the author in question until at least some time after the tweet. She had obtained most of the tweets from his TL through twitter-search, while being logged in. She had remained unblocked the entire duration Mr. Roy apparently could not read our article because she was blocked. A screen shot below should settle the issue to the tech savvy readers

saswati_unblocked

Its unclear if he had confused with the fact that it is the author in question who had blocked him long back because of his abusive behaviour earlier (he was unblocked a few weeks back for ease of searching his TL for specific tweets).:

saswati_2

Any event, let us consider the apparently more substantive part of his response:

tathagato_4

It starts with exactly the defense that we had negated – one can not assume any greater right to abuse a group because of his connections to the group.

Now, note that he had tweeted “We also fled East Bengal, without protest, chuha-like.’’ He is here abusing the refugees who fled East Bengal, for fleeing without protest, like rats. Does he expect the refugees to be super-human to force the exodus of the Muslim inhabitants of West Bengal after fleeing to West Bengal, which would be an unfamiliar milieu for most of them. Like refugees everywhere they were struggling to make ends meet. So, its unclear why he would call the refugees rats, because no reciprocal exodus was enforced in West Bengal. This, alas, is an attempt to defend the indefensible and leads to blaming the victims even more than he did in his earlier tweet.

First, Joya Chatterjee mentions that Muslims fled from West Bengal in large numbers (though she is uncertain about the exact numbers) due to “the deadly sequence of intimidation and murder, which had become regular features of Calcutta life.’’ p. 165, [33] Further, she points out that a huge number of Bengali Muslims fled West Bengal and the North East in 1964, in the wake of deadly riots in Bangladesh, which threw lakhs of refugees into India. p. 166, [33].

Incidentally, a research paper has recalled the departure of several prominent Muslims from West Bengal due to riots during partition and just after 1950, some of which were suppressed by Ashok Mitra, ICS, as reported in his memoir [30]. We will show that Governor Roy holds Mitra in high esteem later in this article. So he would praise the men who suppressed the riots against Muslims in West Bengal, and abuse the refugees for not enforcing the reciprocal exodus. But then they are the rats and he is an honourable man.

Then, on the point that there was no exodus of Muslims from West Bengal, let some numbers tell the tale. In West Bengal, the percentage of Muslims in 1941 was 29%. In 1951 (after Nehru Liaquat Pact that had already brought quite a good number back), Muslims were less than 20%. It shows that a large number had emigrated to East Pakistan. The census of India 1951 p. 279, [31] shows that the actual number of Muslims dropped from 68 lakhs in 1941 p. 279, [31], to 51 lakhs in 1951 p. 279, [31], showing a net fall of 17 lakh Muslims in West Bengal. Given the backdrop of the Bengal famine, if we assume that the Muslims grew at just half the rate as the Muslims grew in 1931-1941 (~21%), there should have been ~75 lakh Muslims in West Bengal. This shows that roughly 24 lakh Muslims (32% of the total Muslims) left West Bengal for East Pakistan (or maybe elsewhere in Pakistan and India too); indeed, many more had probably left W Bengal, but returned in the wake of the Nehru Liaquat Pact (the actual number of Muslims who returned between April 1950 and census 1951 is not documented anywhere, to the knowledge of the authors). We had also shown earlier that exodus of Hindus from East Pakistan was far less than that from West Pakistan at partition. So, the exodus was about reciprocal.

In fact, even after 1951, nearly 10 lakh Muslims returned from Pakistan, mostly to Maldah, and (the then united) Indian Dinajpur in West Bengal, Goalpara in Assam, Purnea in Bihar and Santhal Paraganas in current Jharkhand (comparison b/n 1951 and 1961 census given in [31]). Indeed, even in (current) Haryana, around 62,000 Meo Muslims who had fled in the wake of the Partition were returned to (the then) Gurgaon district, and even had their property restored, courtesy Vinoba Bhave. p. 26, [32]. As far as we know, there were no protests in any case. But, Tathagata Roy selectively targets the Hindu refugees from East Bengal for not protesting against the Nehru-Liaquat pact:

tathagato_5
The last tweet was from a descendant of Hindu Bengali refugees who had to flee East Pakistan, that is the chuhas for BJP. We reproduce some more tweets showing their pain:

arunudoy_1

suditya_1

arunudoy_3

We include a few other responses from people who understand the pain of the refugees, or were refugees (or their children) themselves.

chhetri

saugat_sanyal

satyanveshee

We include Tathagata Roy’s deeply sensitive response to human pain:

tathagato_6

tathagato_7

arunudoy_4

Although he was originally blaming Hindu Bengalis of cowardice, simply for fleeing religious persecution, he now adds to their list of crimes – they are rats for preaching Marxism and Secularism. Its irrelevant that the constitution Tathagata Roy has sworn in to become a Governor, the constitution by which he will administer oaths to chief ministers of his state, has secularism embedded in it as a core principle. If he thinks preaching secularism makes the refugees rats, why did he swear by the same constitution to enter the plush Raj Bhawan? How is that any better than “preaching secularism’’? Whether the principle of secularism should have been in the constitution, is another matter, but as long as it is there, can the President and Prime Minister of India appoint a man as Governor who abuses a people for preaching constitutional principles? Further, it is of some import to wonder that a man should hold secularism in such contempt, when the party in which he served as the chief of the West Bengal unit also swears by the same `secularism’. We reproduce verbatim from the BJP’s constitution, “The Party shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India’’ p. 1, [34] Lastly, Communism is not illegal in India. Then, how can the President and Prime Minister of India appoint to the gubernatorial constitutional position a man who abuses people for campaigning for Communism? This would be particularly wrong for a state where the democratically elected chief minister is from a Communist Party, because this means that he has called a substantial majority of the people there rats for opting for the Communist rule, and shown abject hatred against them. His inability to identify with the human pain of a descendant of a refugee, reflects his bias against them, even more, it also suggests that he would be equally insensitive to plights of a large number of people of Tripura who have ancestral roots in Bangladesh.

On the point of Assam clamouring to drive illegals out, we point out that Assam, in the 0-4 age group, is 50.7% Indic and 45% Muslim. It is nearly beyond the point of no-return for Indics to remain as a majority for more than four or five decades, unless the illegal Bangladeshi Muslims are expelled immediately. It is of further interest to remark that there are 20-30 lakh illegal Bangladeshis in Assam and they have not been driven out despite many protests. Lastly, Assam has the highest per capita number of Bangladeshi illegals in all the states of India, and despite voting in the BJP, the illegals have not been detected yet, far less expelled.

We add a perceptive analysis by the “chuha’’ he has hurt:

arunudoy_5

And, that is the crux of the problem. How could the Hindus from East Bengal not vote for him but opt for the Marxists instead? Thus, he abuses them as chuhas. Also, note that he does not abuse Jawaharlal Nehru as a chuha for signing the Nehru-Liaquat pact, nor is Ashok Mitra, ICS, who occupied an eminent bureaucratic position in Nehru’s government and crushed riots against Muslims, a chuha for him. One might recall how the British glorified the “martial races’’ who helped them crush Indic resistances through brute force, as brave, and those who resisted them as cowards – this was how the coward Bengali or shall we say the chuha Bengali stereotype arose. It is no coincidence then the man who abuses his “own’’ as chuhas, also nearly absolves Churchill of responsibility of the Bengal famine, interestingly, through the accounts of Ashok Mitra, ICS, who helped crush riots against Muslims (recall, the refugees are being called chuhas because apparently they did not force the Muslims out):

tathagato_8

 

Thus the Hindu Bengalis are rats, Madhushree Mukherjee, who did superb research on the Bengal Famine stands negated, Sheikh Hasina and Churchill stand absolved, and Tathagata Roy remains the Governor, for the BJP-RSS is an honourable ecosystem.

References:

[1] Narada Case – CBI to examine TMC MP Saugata Roy Today http://www.news18.com/news/politics/narada-case-cbi-to-examine-ex-union-minister-and-tmc-mp-saugata-roy-today-1458601.html
[2] Saugata Roy’s Verbal Altercation in Parliament https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCx41aBkZII
[3] Noakhali Riots https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Noakhali_riots
[4] BJP’s High Level Team to Probe Mass Exodus of Hindus from UP’s Kairana http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bjps-high-level-team-to-probe-mass-exodus-of-hindus-from-ups-kairana/1/690062.html
[5] Any Martyrs from Gujarat-Akhilesh Yadav’s Comment evokes Sharp Comment from BJP http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/any-martyrs-from-gujarat-akhilesh-yadav-s-comment-evokes-sharp-reaction-from-bjp/story-HD5Ww3R27n7LPUm6TLZBLK.html

[6] https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/three-generations-of-congress-insulted-gujarat-says-bjp-chief-amit-shah-1757427
[7] http://www.hindustantimes.com/assembly-elections/congress-suspends-mani-shankar-aiyar-over-neech-aadmi-jibe-modi-says-his-remarks-an-insult-to-gujarat-s-pride/story-D4C37q0DiPwY5sbJkraByH.html
[8] https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/mercantile-collaboration-in-different-regions-gujarat
[9] https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/the-exploitation-of-commons-through-islamist-indic-mercantile-collusion-in-bengal
[10] Robert Conquest, “The Great Terror: A Reassessment’’

[11] https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/this-day-in-jewish-history/.premium-1.613205

[12] http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/censor-board-under-prasoon-joshi-vidya-balan-gautami-tadimalla-4793505/

[13] Pavel Polyan “Не по своей воле’’

[14] http://ahmedabadmirror.indiatimes.com/ahmedabad/crime/rti-activist-amit-jethwa-murder-high-court-raps-cbi-on-witnesses-turning-hostile/articleshow/58287229.cms

[15] http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jagruti-haren-pandyas-wife-to-contest-gujarat-polls-keshubhai-patel-gujarat-parivartan-party/1/235242.html

[16] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Surat-paradise-for-land-mafia-due-to-disregard-by-government-Gujarat-HC/articleshow/49613878.cms

[17] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Surat-paradise-for-land-mafia-due-to-disregard-by-government-Gujarat-HC/articleshow/49613878.cms

[18] https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/2-minor-girls-gang-raped-in-front-of-father-in-gujarat-5-arrested-1670395

[19] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dalit-lynched-by-upper-caste-mob-in-gujarat-2902464/

[20] https://thewire.in/183447/dalit-gujarat-lynched-garba/

[21] http://www.livemint.com/Politics/W2a5ybAmWml747G47B1C8L/Two-Dalits-thrashed-by-15-men-for-skinning-dead-cow-near-cre.html

[22] https://www.google.com/search?q=Michael+Madhusudan+Dutt+epitaph&rlz=1C1WZPL_enUS512US516&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=HOHuqrCylYTWfM%253A%252C4Dx7rCzK_K5K9M%252C_&usg=__7-BCn7t3VjxbU7aFlY7oBkRt22w%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwipgPrktOnXAhUjkeAKHc0aCBoQ9QEIRjAD#imgrc=HOHuqrCylYTWfM

[23] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMl-SXiQ9qs

[24] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgYybXYrSm0

[25] https://scroll.in/article/808052/film-review-buddha-in-a-traffic-jam-has-the-perfect-business-plan-for-revolution

[26] http://www.koimoi.com/reviews/buddha-in-a-traffic-jam-review/

[27] http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/hindu-minority-in-bangladesh-are-safe-but-feel-insecure-tripura-governor-116122200435_1.html
[28] http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/hindu-minorities-safe-in-bangladesh-bjp-mp-116102501503_1.html
[29] https://swarajyamag.com/world/bangladeshi-hindus-less-than-5-percent-very-soon

[30] https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/the-partition-and-the-muslim-minorities-of-west-bengal-1947-1967.94915/ (A version of this paper has been published in Indian Journal of Politics, Vol. XLII, No.1 & 2 (January-June 2009)

[31] AP Joshi, MD Srinivas, JK Bajaj, “Religious Demography of India’’

[32] LC Jain, “The City of Hope: The Faridabad Story’’

[33] Joya Chatterjee, “The Spoils of Partition’’

[34] The Constitution of BJP. http://www.bjp.org/images/pdf_2012_h/constitution_eng_jan_10_2013.pdf

 

The social evil of ethnic bias in BJP-RSS ecosystem – Introduction and Road Map

This article has been co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh and Dikgaj

Ethnic contempt is recognized as one of the worst forms of stereotypes the targets can be branded with because it is related to birth. One is born into an ethnicity; one cannot choose where he is born, and can do nothing to change that connection either, unlike for example, opinions, ideology, one professes, etc. Closest analogue of ethnic contempt is racist and gender stereotypes which are considered reprehensible for the same reason. Although such malaise is yet to be eradicated from human society, the recognition of its impact has prompted civil and refined society to consciously eschew, at the bare minimum, its articulation. This is particularly true for political parties and their ecosystems in most places as they thrive on large scale social interactions. Racist and sexist stands have for example damaged the progress of many politicians in North America and Europe. India, however, does not seem to abide by this golden rule. We present some evidences from social media interventions of public persona closely associated with the highest and mid-level echelons of the current national party in power, BJP, and its ideological root, the RSS. Given the practices of the high and mighty there, it goes without saying that abominable expressions abound in the discourses of the lower levels, of which we limit ourselves to only a few examples. We draw our evidences of ethnic bias entirely from the public discourse in the ecosystem, which only suggests that the mindset as expressed in private communication is far uglier.

Thus, the malaise of ethnic contempt seems to have infected large parts of the ecosystem of BJP-RSS, spanning from high profile public persona to the rank and file. It is clearly not the case that every single member or even most members of this ecosystem is afflicted, but there are enough number of representatives from each strata.

We point out that up to date historical source based research on roles of particular subgroups of a society or population that, on analysis, appear to have had a negative consequence on the larger population does not fall into the category of ethnic hatred or bias if the causal and representative connection of the subgroup to the negativity can be established through third party, or other sources otherwise vetted in scholarship to have been authentic or contemporary or reliable accounts of historical events. However without presentation of such a solid causal, third party, close-to-source records – any negative labelling of a subgroup based on first person opinions or ascriptions – does amount to ethnic hatred, bias or discrimination.

Among all the ethnicities that are at the receiving end of wrath from the ecosystem, it appears that the Bengalis are at the bottom (excluding the North East, which probably does not even exist in the Right Wing mind). The contempt showered upon Bengalis exceeds by far, both in quality and quantity, those on other ethnicities. Thus we devote the first few articles of the series on ethnic contempt on Bengalis as a whole. We cite public interventions from three categories: 1) August office appointees of the BJP government at centre 2) media organizations, personnel and public intellectuals close to BJP-RSS 3) rank and file. We show that almost every section of the Bengalis, namely the urban poor, the riot-affected rural poor, the educated middle class and higher strata, the riot victim individuals have been targeted. We also show that such offensive acts have been either condoned and their perpetrators actively promoted by the top echelon of the political leadership of BJP, or, worse, have been perpetrated by the constitutional position-appointees of the BJP government.

In subsequent articles we will focus on the contempt showered on particularly reviled sections of the Bengalis. Other than the Bengalis, the Keralites have been institutionally targeted by the ecosystem, which we will document in subsequent pieces. In those articles, we will also document instances of ethnic contempt on some other ethnicities, namely the Kashmiri Pandits and those from the South, which, with the exception of those on Kerala, have mostly been inflicted by the rank and file. Throughout we show that the ethnicities from the Hindi heartland (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana), Gujarat and Maharashtra are rarely, if ever, subjected to similar contempt by the ecosystem; in the rare instances in which the ethnicities from the North and West have been insulted as a whole by members of this ecosystem, the perpetrators have been on the receiving end of severe backlash from other members. The ecosystem is always up in arms to defend ethnic attacks on the above-mentioned ethnicities from outside the ecosystem. This reveals an unstated pecking order among the ethnicities, which closely resembles the birth-based caste system of the Hindu society (which the profession-based Varnashrama had degenerated to).

In subsequent articles we argue that this rank-ordering emanates from the insalubrious trait in the ecosystem of judging populaces based only on whether and how much they facilitate its quest of political power, its organic anti-intellectualism, and its misconceptions of Hinduism. Specifically, the proclivity of the ethnicity to vote BJP, the tendency of the chief ministers of the states associated with them to support the current Prime Minister, their willingness to adopt Hindi, vegetarianism – these are the criteria often employed to establish the Hindu-ness. However, whether an ethnicity has remained loyal to Hinduism and India itself hardly seems to concern the ecosystem. An unwholesome dynamics results from such a rank ordering between the ethnicities which we will dwell on. We conclude by presenting our consistent stand against ethnic contempt regardless of who the perpetrators and targets are.

We now enumerate some adverse consequences of this ethnic pecking order on the Indic society. Quite apart from the unpalatable discourse generated by gross generalisations of ethnicities, one of its most pernicious effects is the self fulfilling prophecy of Hindu disunity. Certain ethnicities are presumed to be disloyal to the Hindu cause, and thus have been `other-ed’ by the BJP-RSS ecosystem. Any `vice’ found in any who belong to the despised ethnicities is often generalised to the whole group.

It is important to observe that this ethnic suspicion and mistrust is precisely one of the major factors that caused the break-up of the erstwhile Soviet Union. From the times of Stalin, some ethno-religious groups (like the Balts, Caucasians, Jews, etc) were treated with suspicion [1]. The suspicions turned into a vicious circle with more and more suspicions cast against `the disloyal minorities’ and they, in turn, walling themselves off from the remainder of the Soviet Union and turning more and more insular and indifferent to the needs of the Soviet Union. The only way ethnic minorities could rise in Soviet (especially Stalinist) times was to disown their own ethnicities. Almost all the ethnic minorities in high positions in Stalinist Soviet Union had a record of acting against their own ethnicities (Beria with Georgians, Yagoda with the Jews, etc) [1]. The pressure to conform to the `majority sentiment of the BJP-RSS ecosystem’ and thus disown their own seems also to be actuating quite a few of its high profile members belonging to the reviled ethnicities to cast aspersions blithely on their own ethnicities for offences, both real and imagined.

Hindus have their religious identity immersed in their ethnicities themselves. For instance, a Kannadiga Hindu is both a Kannadiga AND a Hindu – the twain are inseparable. Indeed, his Hindu-ness is a part of the Kannada culture itself. The same holds true for other ethnicities too. By trying to impose a language and customs alien to him, the ecosystem ends up other-ing the ethnicities, which often become indifferent to Hinduism itself, at worst, or turn them into isolationist and parochial creatures who are led by Hinduphobes, but pretend to champion the languages, at best. The end result of this ethnic contempt is that there is a division of Hindus based on ethnicities. The ones who belong to the ethnicities low in the peck order either are silent spectators or active campaigners against their own and against other ethnicities low down in the peck order. The Hindus of the ethnicities lower in the peck order, are consequently led by people who will espouse (or just pretend to espouse) only the language/culture of the ethnicity, but not the Hindu part. Both the low-ranked ethnicities and Hinduism are the losers, since the language and culture of various regions are themselves part of Hinduism, and lose their vitality, when divested of their Hindu roots. As a result of the ethnic peck order, there is a clear division between the Hindu pride (which, for the current Right Wing, has to be based, quite inappropriately, on voting BJP, being sympathetic to the Prime Minister, and/or speaking Hindi) and ethnic pride (which is based on pride in one’s own customs, traditions, language and culture) of the low-ranked ethnicities. The Hindu and ethnic prides, which constitute the core of self respect in any Hindu, should be mutually reinforcing factors (most of the Indics proud of their own customs, language and culture are also Hindus), but as a result of the peck order, become mutually antagonistic for those low down. Driving away everyone not speaking Hindi, or not voting BJP will end in more Hindu disunity, with possibly disastrous consequences for the integrity of the country.

It is of some interest to observe that all the revolutionaries were connected to their lands and wrote in their mother tongue. It is the ethno-religious identity that predominated, and indeed was a touchstone, because their identities were both national and cultural. For instance, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Barindra Ghosh wrote in Bangla, as did Bhupendranath Dutta, because their identity was both Hindu and Bangla. Subramanya Bharati, VVS Aiyar and Subramanya Siva wrote in Tamizh, because their identity was Hindu and Tamizh. The Punjabi revolutionaries like Bhai Paramanand and other Ghadar Revolutionaries wrote in a mix of Urdu and Punjabi, as their identity was Hindu/Sikh and Punjabi. Indeed, Ghadar di Goonj (Echoes of Mutiny), the collection of revolutionary poems, was published from San Francisco in a mix of Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts. Veer Savarkar wrote in Marathi and about Maratha history, as his identity was both Marathi and Hindu. Ram Prasad Bismil wrote in Hindi and Urdu, since his identity lay in the Hindu and the Hindi. Mysore and Travancore had their own anthems and even today, they evoke a strong sense of pride in the older generation that connect to these songs. These songs reflected their ethos and culture and thus, Indic nationalism is enhanced, not diminished by the connection to the land and the culture. This is only natural, since Indian nationalism is intimately connected with the land and the local culture. Indic nationalism has always risen from the ground up, is intimately connected to the local culture (indeed, Hindu culture itself is a product of the local culture) and has always merged seamlessly into the broader national spirit. To try and curb this natural impulse with an artificially forced language and culture from above will not only be futile, but also highly dangerous and counter-productive to Indic nationalism.

In later pieces, we will also present some examples of ethnic contempt from the other end of the polity, namely Congress and the Left, with the acknowledgement that further study of this end is required to determine if the malaise is endemic across the polity, or it is primarily prevalent only in the BJP-RSS ecosystem. We note that the over representation of the BJP-RSS ecosystem in ethnic hatred may have something to do with their dominance in social media, and their having taken the lead in using it while others entered relatively late and lagged behind.

The question that remains is if the existence of an ethnic pecking order within the BJP-RSS ecosystem somehow reflect on the people of the states where BJP-RSS is strong. More specifically, is there any reason to believe that the ethnic pecking order in BJP is a symptom of the disease of ethnic contempt in those peoples? Our experience from our interaction on social media and our extensive travels across India suggest otherwise. In particular in social media we have come across multiple tweeps from these regions who have shown no ethnic hate, and have in fact explicitly objected to articulation of ethnic contempt on other regions. Our SM timelines would be replete with interactions with them as also plugs of their interventions. It would be more accurate to suggest that the BJP-RSS ecosystem provides a platform, either by design or by accident, to ethnic haters from these regions and self-loathers and self-seekers from the rest. It is perhaps on that account that the ecosystem has not adhered to the genuine Hindu views that emerged from the regions high in their pecking order.  It has never paid any heed to Veer Savarkar’s rational and scientific stand on cow protection, his opposition to worship of the cow and his articulation of this worship had led to multiple defeats of the Hindus other than deadening the mind [2-4]. It has also rejected Savarkar’s preference of women actively avenging the defeat of their civilization, to their burning themselves on sacrificial fires [5]. Its acceptance and the exploitation of the caste system is in direct contravention to Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s movement against caste and his enabling of inter-caste marriage. Swami Dayanand Saraswati also articulated his enlightened opposition to underage marriage and his preference for men and women selecting their spouses rather than families deciding the choices. pp. 183-184 [6]. It is quite possible that both these progressive thinkers and revolutionaries were beyond the comprehension of the anti-intellectuals that dominate BJP-RSS. 

References:

[1] Golfo Alexopoulos, “Stalin’s Outcasts: Aliens, Citizens, and the Soviet State’’

[2] https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/the-cow-and-savarkar-where-the-bovine-is-not-divine-but-the-framework-is-still-hardline-hindutva/

[3] http://savarkar.org/en//Encyc/2017/5/22/Seven-shackles.html

[4] http://savarkar.org/en/encyc/2017/5/23/Cow-protection-and-cow-worship.html

[5] http://savarkar.org/en/encyc/2017/5/23/Necessity-Of-Revenge.html

[6] https://archive.org/details/englishtranslati00daya

Links to Articles on Mercantile Collusion with the Islamist Invaders – by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, Aparna and Kirtivardhan Dave

In the first article on the series on Indic mercantile collusion with the invaders, we investigate the social composition of the Indic (Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Parsi) mercantile groups that colluded with the invaders, the social characteristics of the merchant groups that made them attractive to the Islamist invaders, their contempt for the indigenous lower castes of India, their transnational trading connections that allowed them to profit, the symbiosis between the invaders and the merchants and the commoditization of all values, including those social and religious.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/indic-mercantile-collaboration-abrahamic-invaders

In the second article on the series on Indic mercantile collusion with the invaders, we focus on the historical collusion between the merchants and the Islamists, starting from the initial invasion in Sindh in the areas that proved detrimental to Indian nationhood, namely: a) funding campaigns of invaders against Indic kingdoms b) enabling the functioning of the Islamist states by funding rulers/nobility and managing their finances c) Enabling slavery of Indics and financing slave trade of Indics d) intelligence gathering for invaders and undermining the morale of resistance against them e) Negotiating with others on behalf of invaders. We also narrate the collusion of the Islamists and the Indic merchants in the time of the Delhi sultanate, the Mughals, the post Mughals and the Islamists in the British era. We also examine how the merchants covered up their collusions in terrible Islamist atrocities with overt religiosity.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/islamic-rulers-and-indic-big-merchants-partnerships-and-collaborations

In the third article on the series on Indic mercantile collusion with the Islamist invaders, we document how the Islamist rulers cruelly oppressed the peasantry, and contrast it with the concessions they offered the merchants. We document the bonhomie that existed between the highest merchants and the Islamist rulers and the degree of comfort that existed between them, across multiple regimes. We note the various measures that the Islamist regimes took against the farmers and artisans and ignored even threats to their lives during famines, but scrupulously respected the property and profits of the Indic traders, and catered to their trade needs zealously. We note how the powerful merchants exploited the vulnerable peasants and traders, taking advantage of the helplessness of the latter classes. We also note how the peasants and artisans preferred to live under Indic rulers, while the merchants often preferred to live under the Islamist regimes. Finally, we note the disparity in wealth between the commoners and the merchants/nobles in Islamist regimes.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/how-muslim-rulers-economically-exploited-underclass-and-appeased-merchants

In the fourth article of the mercantile series, we examine Indic mercantile collusion in trade of Indic slaves both within and outside India. We examine the institution of slavery under the Islamist rule and describe how Islamist regimes acquired Indic slaves. We point out that a strong element of religious persecution attended the Islamist slavery systems. We point out the quantum of trans-national Indic slave trade and how Indic merchants collaborated and participated in the trade of Indic slaves to various regions across the world. We also show how Indic merchants bankrolled the slave economies of Islamist regimes outside India.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/institutionalized-slavery-muslim-regimes-and-indic-mercantile-complicity

In the fifth article on mercantile collusion with the Islamist invaders, we note how the big merchants had their interests cared for and how they were exempt from persecution that attended other communities, especially those that resisted the invaders. We also note how the underprivileged classes were forcibly converted or incentivized to convert to the faith of the invaders. We note how many temples built by influential merchants were spared the destruction that befell other temples.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/indifference-and-exemption-of-indic-merchants-to-religious-persecution-of-the-rest-of-the-populace-by-muslim-invaders

In the sixth article, we begin examining the collusion of the Indic merchants in the various regions of the country, beginning with Gujarat. We examine their values, their organisation and structure and how the Indic merchants expanded rapidly, thanks to collusion with the Gujarat Sultanate. We discover that the merchants indulged in loansharking and tax farming, fleecing the peasants. In contrast to the traders, we examine how the Gujarati society cherished the memory of the outlaws, who robbed the state treasury, the traders and burned their debt notes and account books, freeing the peasants from the clutches of the usurious moneylenders. We examine the overlap between the mercantilism and religion and how the merchants also controlled religion and how they influenced the selection of religious authorities and the performance of religious rites. We also examine how the creditworthiness of the merchants was linked to their religious hold over and status in their communities. Further, we examine their collusion over the various regimes including the Gujarat sultanate, the Mughals and the various East India Companies. Finally, we examine the huge influence and power wielded by the Gujarati merchants over the various rulers (both Gujarat Sultanate and Mughals) and how they were able to influence policies in their favour. We also rule out extortion of the various merchants by examining the roles played by the merchants and the Mughals, and the power equations.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/mercantile-collaboration-in-different-regions-gujarat

In the seventh article in the series, we focus specifically on the Mughal era. We evaluate how the merchants from the north and west of the country spread to Bihar and Bengal in the train of the Rajput collaborators who destroyed local Hindu resistance to the tottering Karrani sultans. The destruction of the local Hindu resistance made it easy for European pirates to abduct Bengali commoners. The export of local slaves to Afghan and Central Asian markets also has been examined. We also examine the trade routes preferred by the merchants and the influence they exerted on the Rajputs who colluded with the Mughals, and point out that Rajput collusion with Mughals may have been the effect of the influence of the merchants on the Rajputs. We then observe the deep collaboration between the powerful merchants and the Mughals and how the traders performed the duties of treasurers and moneylenders for the Mughals. We then examine how the usury and tax farming by the rich merchants led to repeated famines, slavery, forced conversions and misery for the common people of Bengal. Many temples of Bengal were also destroyed by the invaders, and these invasions were financed by the rich merchants. On the other hand, the merchants enjoyed a general prosperity under the Mughals. Finally, we make a case study of the collusions of the Jagat Seths with the Mughals and how they prospered and influenced the Mughals and the later Bengal Nawabs, to the extent that they could change rulers at will.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/the-exploitation-of-commons-through-islamist-indic-mercantile-collusion-in-bengal

In the eighth article of the series, we examine the collusion of the merchants of the current Uttar Pradesh, focussing specifically on Rohilkhand and Awadh. We highlight the extent to which the Hindu farmers of the region were reduced and how the Muslims had been settled in areas which were depopulated due to Hindu revolts and their subsequent slaughter or sale into slavery. The merchants performed the same money lending and tax farming roles for their Muslim rulers and benefited hugely, both socially and economically, from the collusion. We examine how the power equations between the rulers and the merchants, the organisation and structure of the merchants. We note the despoiling of the peasantry to pay off the extortionate rates of interest charged by the powerful bankers, and how the Muslim rulers rewarded the big merchants. We examine the misery of the peasants under the Nawabs of Awadh and the rulers of Rohilkhand and the famines they suffered, and contrast it with the lavish lifestyle of the merchants, and the favours they enjoyed at the hands of the Muslim rulers.

https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/the-islamist-indic-mercantile-collusion-during-muslim-rule-in-current-uttar-pradesh

 

Links to Articles on Tipu Sultan by Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar and Dikgaj

In this article, we have chronicled a list of atrocities perpetrated by Tipu Sultan on just the people of Karnataka.  Drawing on British, French, Hindu and Muslim sources, we chronicle the Islamist zeal and barbarities of the sultan on the hapless people of old Mysore, Coorg, Canara and the northern districts.  We have separated Karnataka from the other lands to show that Tipu, despite having his capital in this region, did not spare the people any of the horrors of Jihad.

http://indiafacts.org/tipu-sultan-jayanthi-celebration-bigotry-barbarity/

In the second part of the article, we have chronicled the list of atrocities perpetrated by Tipu Sultan on the people outside Karnataka.  Drawing on British, French, Hindu, and Muslim sources, we have chronicled what Tipu did in Malabar, Cochin, Travancore, and various parts of Tamizh Nadu.  The article is divided into two parts. http://indiafacts.org/tipu-sultan-history-bigotry-barbarities-outside-karnataka/  http://indiafacts.org/tipu-sultan-history-bigotry-barbarities-outside-karnataka-ii/

Links to Articles on Demographics of various regions – by Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar, Dikgaj, Aparna and Vikram

In the first article of the series, we focus on the vulnerable areas of Western Uttar Pradesh and southern Uttarakhand.  We show that a region with a population of nearly 35 million people is at the imminent risk of becoming Muslim majority.  Many districts in the region are showing acute collapse of Hindus, faster than anywhere else for regions of comparable population size.

We predict the demographic fate of the region fifty years hence and show, using various commonly used statistical prediction tools that, the region is showing acute collapse of Hindu population due to various factors. http://www.dailyo.in/politics/population-muslims-muzaffarnagar-uttarakhand-shamli-western-uttar-pradesh-hindus-sikh-demography/story/1/10631.html

In the second article of the series, we show that West Bengal has a serious demographic problem on its hands, due to very low Hindu fertility and higher Muslim fertility, compounded by illegal Muslim immigration from Bangladesh.  While the state as a whole is unlikely to become Hindu minority, it has a large area (home to population of 18 million) that is going to become Hindu minority or close to it in the  next 50 years.  Further, we show that the border districts are showing increasing population change, unfavourable to Hindus, and this can constitute a serious problem. https://www.myind.net/demographic-warning-west-bengal

In the third article of the series, we examine the religious demographics of Assam.  We show that owing to a combination of low HIndu fertility, higher Muslim fertility and illegal immigration from Bangladesh, the state is set to become Hindu minority in 40 years at maximum.  We show that five the 8 regions (and the most heavily populated 5) will be Musliim majority in 2061.  We show that unless urgent steps are taken to expel the illegal immigrants, the state is doomed as Hindus are beginning to flee from Muslim majority areas. http://indiafacts.org/will-assam-muslim-majority-next-40-years/

In the fourth article of the series, we take a look at the religious demographics of Kerala and southern Tamizh Nadu.  We show that owing to very low Hindu fertility that is below replacement levels Hindu population has already or will soon begin to shrink, while the Muslim population is rising rapidly due to high fertility rates.  Further, we show that, while the Christian population has fertility rates comparable to Hindus, the proselytisation being carried out by the Christians is can make a difference by poaching on Hindu numbers.  This, Hindu numbers are set to decline everywhere, both in percentage terms and in absolute numbers, while the Christian population will rise in some places & fall in others, while the Muslim population is set to rise everywhere. http://indiafacts.org/kerala-south-tamil-nadu-case-hindu-fade/

In the fifth article of the series, we examine the demographics of Jammu & Kashmir.  In this article we examine the demographics of the different parts of Jammu & Kashmir.  We show both `Hindu Jammu’ and `Buddhist Ladakh’ are shrinking, while `Muslim Kashmir’ is expanding at the cost of both.  We show that the unique Ladakhi Tibetan civilisation, with its shrinking numbers, is beginning to actually collapse in numbers and that it may well vanish in the next few years, due to Muslim pressure & declining numbers.  We further show that the Hindus of Hill Jammu are beginning to fall in percentage terms and run the risk of being pushed south of the Chenab, as was proposed by both British & Pakistanis, which have been proposing this solution.  https://www.myind.net/demographic-expansion-kashmir-and-shrinking-jammu-and-ladakh#.V3UOVSF0xwc.twitter

In the sixth article (published in 3 parts), we examine the demographics of selected regions in the Hindi belt.  We show that, using these demographic hotspots and other Muslim heavy regions, it is possible to connect the two Muslim homelands – Bangladesh and Pakistan – via a Mughalistan corridor, running across the Indian Union and Nepal to provide a safe corridor for transit of terrorists, goods & other items of interest.  We show that Delhi has been encircles and there are other strategic barrages that can cut off parts of the Indian homeland in an emergency.  We also show provide the tragic backgrounds of the Meos & the Koch-Rajbongshi Muslims & how they were lost by the Hindus.  Finally, provide statistical details to back up our assertions. p1. https://www.pgurus.com/hotspots-hindi-belt-part-1-northern-arc/  p2. https://www.pgurus.com/hindu-population-shrinking-part-2-hotspots-series/  p3. https://www.pgurus.com/computed-hindu-muslim-christian-growth-part-3-hotspots-series/

In the seventh article of the series, we have examined the demographics of Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir before and after 1947.  We show that the name `Pakistan occupied Kashmir’ is misleading as it is mostly Jammu and Gilgit-Baltistan that have been overrun by the Pakistanis.  We show that the thriving minority of Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir has been completely exterminated by the Jihadis since 1947 and estimate the number of Hindus & Sikhs who were chased out of the region.  Some of their horror has been recounted, as they fled for their lives from Pakistan occupied Jammu and kashmir. http://www.dailyo.in/politics/jammu-and-kashmir-pakistan-gilgit-baltistan-hindus-sikhs-1947-partition-karan-singh-poonch-muzaffarabad/story/1/12632.html

In the eighth article of the series, we have examined the demographics of tribal areas of central India – Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh & Odisha, in particular.  We show the rapid Christianisation of the region since 1991, when Liberalisation began, and take a look at the change in Indic numbers.  We also analyse the reasons for the rapid conversions in the region along with the history of conversions since 1800.  We have examined the dynamics between the Maoists, other Left Wing groups and the missionaries.  Finally, we show that the conversions have peaked whenever the missionaries have captured popular causes and show the disparity in conversions between Jharkhand and West Bengal, where there are almost no conversions at all.   In the first part, we have examined the numbers, and in the second part, the reasons for and history of the conversions.p1. http://indiafacts.org/rapid-christianization-tribal-regions-central-india-story-numbers/  p2. http://indiafacts.org/tribal-regions-central-india-rapidly-christianized/

In the ninth article of the series, we present a tehsil (sub-district) level overview of the entire country, to examine the fall of the Indics in the various parts of the country. We present the fall of the Indics since 1872 and examine the consequences of the fall of the Indics between 1872 and 1941. We present full details of where the Indics have been wiped out, by having their population fall to less than 20%, where they constitute a minority (20-50%), and where they are on the borderline (50-60%) and examine what the corresponding populations were in 1951. We examine the consequences of the fall of the Indics and what it portends for the future. https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/endangered-indics-in-india-an-overview

 

Link to Article on the tragic Komagata Maru Episode – by Shanmukh, Saswati Sarkar and Dikgaj

In this article, we introduce the context in which the Komagata Maru episode occurred.  We trace the voyage of the Indian emigrants as they tried to enter Canada, but were blocked by various tortuous devices and finally,  expelled by plain force.  We then trace its return to Budge Budge in India (after being externed at various places) and the final tragic fate of the passengers.  Finally, we examine the effect of the Komagata Maru on the various Revolutionaries who raised the standard of revolt during the World War 1 and briefly summarise their attempts and fates.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/komagata-maru-justin-trudeau-indian-freedom-struggle-indo-japan-ties-sikhs-canada-cellular-jail/story/1/10138.html

Link to Article on Land Boundary Agreement – by Shanmukh, Dikgaj and Saswati Sarkar

In this article we investigate the recently concluded Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh and examine its effects, including on the populations in the enclaves, fencing of the border, the territorial changes for India and the implications of the treaty from both the current and the historical perspective.  We show that the Indian side loses around 10,000 acres of land & leaves around 9,000 Hindus at the mercy of Bangladesh. We also show that the land boundary agreement does not in any way assist the fencing of the Indo-Bangla border.

http://indiafacts.org/examining-the-indo-bangla-land-boundary-agreement/