The Reviled Bengali Intellectuals – the Myths, the Distortions, and the Biases

Co-authored by Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj

It is well-known that the Bengali intellectuals are target of much ridicule in the BJP-RSS ecosystem to the extent that evidence towards that end become almost redundant. Thus, the first question that deserves examination is if the criticism of the Bengali intellectuals constitutes ethnic bias against them or against Bengalis as a whole. In general, 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.
Particularly if pejorative characterizations are used without substantiation, and as self-evident truths, then those may justifiably be construed as derived from intrinsic prejudice rather than from an unbiased and objective analysis. We apply these criteria to determine if the derisions of Bengali intellectuals constitute ethnic bias.

The charge against the Bengali intellectuals is that they turned Communists/Leftists and anti-Hindus. Both are true for the bulk of the Bengali intellectuals in the last thirty years. But we argue in Sections A and B that the same hold for the bulk of the intellectuals of any ethnicity in India. The proclivity of the intellectuals towards the Left has been in part fuelled by the inherent anti-intellectualism in the Right, as also argued by eminent Hindu scholars (Section A). In Section C, we attempt to quantify the qualitative discussions in the previous Sections. We undertake an ethnic decomposition of lists of intellectuals who have assumed explicit positions that are biased against Hindus through different concerted activities. The ethnic decomposition indicates that the different ethnic groups constitute similar percentages in these lists as compared to the percentage of India the corresponding ethnicities comprise of. This quantification shows that there is no ground for singling out Bengali intellectuals for anti-Hindu activities, and hence such targeting can be characterized as ethnic bias. An analysis of the lists further reveals that there are in fact huge concentrations of such biased intellectuals in regions they are based in, not necessarily those they originated from. Delhi shows the highest concentration of such intellectuals, followed by Patna and Mumbai; in contrast Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai are much further down in the list. It is in view of this data that the bias against Bengali intellectuals need to be assessed, which we document, citing a few instances of demonizing the Bengali intellectuals by prominent members of the BJP ecosystem (Section D). Subsequently, in Section E, we show that the bias against the Bengali intellectuals leads to, and is also fed by a syndrome characterized as Confirmation Bias in decision-making and behavioural psychology. In Section F, we attempt to deconstruct the reasons underlying expressions of such bias, some of which points to ignominious opportunism in the ecosystem.

Section A: Preponderance of Leftism in Intellectual Class of India as a whole

First, it is a common misconception in the BJP-RSS ecosystem that the Bengali intellectuals initiated the Communist and other leftist movements in India. They do their chosen foes too much credit here. At best Bengalis may be credited with jointly founding the leftist movements along with intellectuals from other ethnicities, namely the Marathis, Punjabis, South Indians and the Hindi belt. Purabi Roy has collected a list of prominent CPI and trade union leaders in India enumerated in the Russian archives in the 1930s: pp. 271-276, [9]:Sardesai (Marathi), Majid (Punjab), G. Adhikari (Marathi), Sohan Singh Josh (Punjabi),
Ramkrishna (Punjabi), Jambedkar (Marathi), P. C. Joshi (U.P.), S. V. Ghate (From South India but lived in Bombay), Ajoy Ghosh (Bengali), S. S. Mirajkar (Bombay), J. Adhikari (Marathi, Brother of G. Adhikari), Ajodhya Prasad (Central Province),
Jaywant (Central Province, Nagpur), B. Kulkarni (Marathi, Bombay), Dutt Mazumdar (Bengali), Bharadwaj (United Provinces), Patkar (Marathi, Bombay) , Joglekar (Marathi, Bombay), Bukhari, Baltiwalla (Parsee, Bombay) , Vaidya (Marathi, Bombay),
S. P. Bhose (Bombay), S. S. Zaheer (Allahabad), Ahmed (United Provinces), Dr. Ashraf (United Provinces), Samdari (President of Madras TUC), Satya Ghosh (Bengali), Dr. Sen (Bengali), Muzaffar Ahmed (Muslim Bengali). Worthwhile to note that only 5 among 29 of these names are Bengali, with 4 of those being Hindu, 8 are Marathi and 2 others were based in Bombay. Also note that G. Adhikari is the one of “Pakistan and Indian National unity’’ fame – this article published in 1943 constituted one of the early supports for partition of India – happens to be a Marathi, p. 250, [11]. Other eminent leaders associated with early Communism, who have not been mentioned above are S. A. Dange (Marathi), B. T. Ranadive (Marathi) , P. Sundarayya (Telugu) and E. M. S. Namboodiripad (Malayalee). As to the socialism, the top leaders of the first socialist bloc in India, the Congress Socialist Party, were Jayprakash Narayan (Bihar), Minoo Masani (Parsee, Gujarat/Bombay), Madhu Limaye (Marathi), Achyut Patwardhan (Marathi) [12], Ram Manohar Lohia (North Indian). Overall, we are coming across 12 Marathis, in contrast to 5 Bengalis, in a list of 38.

 

Stepping back, its a global phenomenon that educated communities have a greater propensity towards leftism. For example, in US, support for currently more pro-left Democratic Party has been higher in cities and small towns dominated by Universities (that is University towns) as compared to the rural regions. Further, it has been observed that Jews, and especially Jewish educated elite, tended to vote Left in Europe [1], [2]. Another pertinent observation is that leftism took roots in many regions with ancient civilizations, eg, Greece, Turkey, Russia, China and Iran. In Iran, Leftism has existed since the early days of Mazdak in the sixth century. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Tudeh (Iranian Communists) played a huge role in the political life, before it was suppressed by the Shah of Iran [3]. Nevertheless, it retained its vitality till the Islamic Revolution wiped it out in the early 1980s. In Syria, it was the Arab Socialist Movement led by Akram al-Hourani that initiated moves for agrarian reforms and went on to become the socialist wing of the Baath party later on. In Greece, it was the Communists who played a huge role in the resistance against the Germans in the 1940s and were later crushed by the British and the Greek monarchists and nationalists after the exit of Germany. Russia and China have been Communist for a long time. In Turkey, it has been the communist party that has been the mainstay of continued opposition to Islamists and Islamist parties as the Kemalist centre weakened and retreated. In Iraq, communists had managed to muster sufficient strength to capture state power before the western backed Iraqi Baathists under Saddam Hussein’s uncle overthrew them. Both the armed and political components of the movement that led to foundation of Israel were dominated by Leftist Jews who combined their “ethnic” identity with “Leftist” principles to successfully form a capable force. In Afghanistan the communists played a crucial role for a time in combating the Afghan mullahs and that was also the last time any of the markers of progress and modernization in civilizational terms such as educational and professional opportunities for women had any level success. In Vietnam, the nationalist struggle against colonial occupation was led by communists under Ho Chi Min, who like many early communists from Asia, including Mao, were among those first being exposed to western education. Large educated communities, at least in urban centres, or among traditional “educated” groups could be found in all these. India happens to be part of this global pattern, and educated communities have always had a more liberal and leftist bent of mind.

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to Assam, the confluence of peasants, workers and scholars into the Left has been a fact of Indian politics. It is noteworthy to point out that, although RSS was founded by Marathi Brahmins, the heart of Marathi culture, namely Poona, has not been a traditional RSS stronghold, the leftist component dominates the Marathi intelligentsia. In the first paragraph, we have shown that it were the Marathis who had dominated the early Leftism in India. Currently, in 2017, a group of leftists organised as ‘Govind Pansare Abhivadan Samiti’ had demanded that Prime Minister Modi not be invited for the annual Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS) in Vadodara  on the ground that “progressive writers were being attacked and secular people and rationalists were made to face mobocracy’’ , the signatories to their demand included Subodh More and Yogesh Kamble [24]. In 2016,  President of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, Shripal Sabnis, had criticised Mr. Modi as a Prime Minister that “he would not endorse” since he would forever be “smeared with the taint of the 2002 Gujarat riots” [25]. Incidentally, he had commended Modi’s “‘courageous’ trip to Pakistan’’ and for mentioning Gandhi in his foreign policy speeches [25]. Eminent Marathi author and playwright Vijay Tendulkar is known to have harbored leftist sympathies [4], and had said in the wake of the Gujarat riots that he would have shot the then BJP chief minister, Narendra Modi, if he had a gun [5]. Then again Kumar Ketkar was a member of a student union affiliated to the Communists, and continues to be leftist in his views. Nikhil Wagle can be described similarly too. And, intellectuals from all ethnicities, that is not only the above, but also Gujaratis, Punjabis, Hindi belt are mostly leftists/Communists. For example, Barkha Dutt, Romila Thapar and Khushwant Singh are from Punjab, Rajdeep Sardesai is a Konkani-Saraswat/UP Brahmins, Nandita Haskar, Rahul Pandita and Premnath Bazaz are Kashmiri Pandits, Siddharth Varadarajan, Malini Parthasarathy, Priyamvada Gopal and N. Ram are Tamizh Brahmins, U. R. Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad, and Gauri Lankesh are Kannadigas, Teesta Setalavad, Mallika Sarabhai, Ela Bhatt, Tushar Gandhi, Aakar Patel, Salil Tripathi  are Gujaratis (We have classified left/right as per social and not economic views here). Note also that Communism and Socialism were particularly strong among the upper castes in India, namely the Brahmins everywhere and the Kayasthas in Bengal, Bihar and UP – education has traditionally been high among exactly these communities too. Bulk of the Communist and Socialist leaders in India emerged, and still emerge, from these two castes.

The preponderance of leftism in intellectuals is in part because the left invested in intellectual ventures far more than BJP-RSS, which followed an anti-intellectual path right from its start. As Sitaram Goel, who is a Hindu scholar with intimate knowledge of the Sangh has written: “The one suggestion which I made to every RSS and BJS leader I met, was that the movement should have a full blooded Hindu ideology of its own and process all events, movements, parties, and public figures in terms of that ideology, rather than live on borrowed slogans or hand to mouth ideas invoked on the spur of the moment. They heard me patiently, and hardly ever contradicted me. But over a time, I realized that they did not take me seriously. Most of them were convinced that organization was all that mattered, and ideology was of little use. I was sure that they were greatly mistaken. I could see their plight quite clearly as they tried to operate according to ground rules laid down by their opponents. But they thought that my preoccupation with ideology had something to do with my Communist background. I felt helpless. I also felt annoyed when I heard speaker after speaker in RSS gatherings pouring contempt on “intellectuals” who had read the books but who knew nothing about practical problems. One of their pet stories was about a pandit who frowned upon a boatman for not knowing Panini, but whom the boatman pitied for not knowing swimming when the boat was in trouble’’ [6] What Goel is pointing out is that BJP-RSS essentially correlates theoretical basis with Communism, and is founded on contempt for intellectuals as a whole. Similarly Koenraad Elst, who has done seminal research on BJP-RSS has noted:   “A very serious flaw which Gandhians and the Sangh have in common is their anti-intellectualism.  Though Gandhi reputedly rebuked RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar for not publishing any doctrinal statements, i.e. for not giving any intellectual articulation to his nationalist movement, he essentially shared Hedgewar’s aversion for an intellectual job well done.  Both of them made people march many miles, both led their followers to make great sacrifices, and both failed to substantially raise their followers’ political understanding.  They did not bother to educate them (and themselves) in analyzing the character of the different forces in the field, all on the plea that “an ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of theory” [7].

The anti-intellectualism in the BJP-RSS ecosystem also became evident from the social-media discourse therein in May-June 2014, right after PM Modi appointed Ms. Irani as the Minister of Human resource and Education (MoHRD). The appointment was legitimately questioned in several quarters given that she had never been to college herself, and had not completed her undergraduate degree either. The ecosystem defended this appointment by ad-hominem castigation of intellectuals, the educated and the degree-holders, as parasites who had betrayed the country. The discourse was eerily similar to that of the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution in which period the intellectuals and the highly-educated were identified as the prime enemy of the people and comprehensively and ruthlessly purged. Now, there is some truth to the allegation that India’s intellectuals have not served the country well, but they were certainly no worse in that aspect as compared to the business and martial-classes, both of whom had repeatedly colluded with invaders, and neither is ever held accountable by this group. In this context, recall how even the intellectual component of the BJP-RSS ecosystem rates mercantile activities far higher than the literary ones [77]. Elst has brilliantly analyzed the contrast between the left and BJP-RSS on intellectualism and the impact of this contrast:   “The Communists, by contrast, worked on people’s minds.  They gave them (not just their card-carrying foot soldiers but nearly the whole opinion-making and decision-making classes) a framework with which to analyze political events and cultural trends.  It is quite clear which approach was more fruitful: soon after Marxism appeared on the Calcutta scene, it eclipsed the Hindu Renaissance (when Sri Aurobindo retired from public life, people like Hedgewar failed to take over his torch)…‘’ [8]. Intellectually-rooted movements naturally tend to attract intellectuals, eg, the Hindu nationalist movement in the second half of the nineteenth century in Bengal which included many intellectuals within its fold, had strong intellectual foundations provided by the writings of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo Ghosh among others. Similarly, the Punjabis drew their inspiration from the writings of the Arya Samaj, including its founder, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and the writings of people like Lala Hardayal.

Lastly, note that in this section we do not assume that leftism is evil per se. It becomes so once it coincides with religious bias, which is currently the case with the bulk of the Leftist intelligentsia.
But the religious bias among the leftist intelligentsia was not so pronounced even a generation or two ago. Many genuinely Hindu minded scholars were Leftists or tended to possess Leftist instincts, and many others offered significant service to the Indics by exposing the misdeeds of the invaders. Leftism, at its core, is about opposition to injustice, often legal or at least, rooted in society. As such, Leftism is not inherently inimical to Hinduism. For example, Kazi Nazrul Islam who had founded one of the earliest leftist outfits in India, the Workers and Peasants’ Party, had composed several masterpieces in Sanskritized Bangla drawing from imageries from Indic epics. He also composed devotional songs for Hindu Gods and Goddesses, Krishna, Kali, etc. Similarly, Sukanto Bhattacharya was a great poet in Bengal, with very Leftist views, composed literary gems that commemorated Indic resistance against the British. Under the pseudonym of Kalkut, Samaresh Bose wrote extensively on folk Hinduism. Aroup Chatterjee, who exposed the conversions of Teresa, is a Leftist atheist, while P Valsala of the PuKaSa is a Leftist Malayali writer of great renown, but also very Hindu in her outlook. Sanal Edamaruku of Kerala exposed religious frauds of the Church and currently lives in exile because of cases slapped on him by the Church. Similarly, the best exposure of the Indic mercantile collusion with the British came from Suniti Ghosh, a man of Leftist persuasion, in three books, India and the Raj, The Tragic Partition of Bengal, and the Indian Big Bourgeoisie.

Section B: Preponderance of Anti-Hinduism in Intellectual Class of India as a whole

Bulk of the intellectuals in every community have shown pronounced bias against Hindus, and have omitted mention of Abrahamic atrocities on Hindu Bengali commoners. As we have noted in [13], compromise in the intellectual class is induced through biased selection by agents outside the intellectual classes. The scholars have very little power on their own. They are usually patronized by political and mercantile powers. The ones who could oppose the Islamist and Western agenda are usually ruthlessly shunted out. Rulers and the rich do not want harsh truths told – they merely want `scholarly approval’ of their agenda. Even if there are intellectually dissenting voices in a given regime, only those intellects get to survive or given space to, whose work reinforces the existing regime and its economic interests. This is true from the days of Mahabharata, where Vidura was coldly ignored, and at times, even told to leave if he was not happy, to how Elst was thrown out by a conference closely aligned with the ruling BJP, when his analysis did not suit the ruling circles. In between, we have Sitaram Goel whose scholarly exposure of Nehru and theological critique of Islam were not welcomed and at times denied publication in the mouthpiece of the supposed Hindu nationalist Sangh. Similarly, the Congress regime has been infamous for its ruthless silencing of many great historians, including those of the stature of RC Majumdar. Thus, the `establishment scholars’ become part of the establishment because they are compromised. The compromise of the scholars is a requirement for them to be part of the establishments. The scholars in the train of the politicians echo the agenda of the establishment, as they could not contradict their politico-religious masters while remaining part of the establishments. Only those who are willing to compromise their integrity and abdicate their scholarly responsibility are given space to conduct their discourse by an establishment maintained by rulers and merchants.

As specific examples, the bulk of the Bengali intellectuals who thrived in the Congress and subsequently leftist ecosystem in Bengal were exactly those who were willing to let go of truth in exchange of material lucre as those that a state government can provide. Similarly, during the regime of both Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, both of whom were Kashmiri Pandits, many Kashmiri Pandits held extremely powerful bureaucratic positions. But they did next to nothing to secure the long-term future of the Kashmiri Pandits against Islamist atrocities in the valley. Among Kashmiri Pandit intellectuals, Premnath Bazaz and his associates have supported a plebiscite in the Kashmir Valley and issued statements in favour of Hurriyat, while Nandita Haksar’s writings are remarkable for their lack of empathy for the exiled Kashmiri Pandits and totally gloss over the cause of it. In more recent times, Sanjay Kak, a Kashmiri Pandit returned an award on the following grounds: “It is unnecessary to repeat here the widespread fears triggered by the growing air of majoritarian menace that surrounds us, especially for those the self-appointed majority considers marginal – Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Adivasis. This cancerous fog threatens everything that makes India a place of plurality and difference. Already people have been assassinated for a disagreement with their views. And now with the lynching in Dadri of Mohammad Akhlak, even on a suspicion of what the food in their refrigerator might be.’’ [33] In his film, Jashan-e-Azadi, Kak provided a sympathetic portrayal of the Islamist secessionist demand in Kashmir [34]. Another Kashmiri Pandit, Ajai Raina, who had returned his award, had curated a film-festival, showcasing many films dealing with Kashmir, most of which allegedly, were against the Indian army and supported the separatists, and did not focus on the turmoils experienced by the Kashmiri Pandits [35]. Kak’s film Jashan-e-Azadi was included in the list and objected to on the above grounds [35]. The festival was admired in Mumbai and was disrupted in Hyderabad, objected to by a Kashmiri Pandit among others [35].

Marathi intellectuals like Vijay Tendulkar, Dilip Padgaonkar, Kumar Ketkar, Nikhil Wagle have revealed religious and social bias against the Hindus. For example the post-Godhra Gujarat riots disturbed Tendulkar so much that he mentioned that he would have shot the then BJP chief minister, Narendra Modi, if he had a gun [5], we do not however find him express any outrage at the Godhra carnage that precipitated the riots. In this carnage 60 Hindus were burnt alive in the Sabarmati Express near the Godhra railway station, and 31 Muslims have been convicted in a court of law for setting fire to the train [20]. In an account that Tendulkar shared with Javed Anand, who frequently reveals his bias against Hindus, he appears to suggest that Hindu-Muslim violence results primarily due to stereotypes Hindus nurture about Muslims [19]. He also ponders in this account if he portrayed Muslim characters in his signature plays in positive light to convey a social message [19]. In his obituary, the Hindu newspaper has noted that “He has been accused of obscenity and needless violence, crude exhibitionism of sexuality, anti-Brahminism, historical distortions and plagiarism’’ [21]. Dilip Padgaonkar was an eminent member of a panel of three interlocutors designated by the UPA Government to seek a lasting political solution for the secessionist disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir. The report the panel authored recommended measures that are likely to threaten the security in the Kashmir valley and fuel secessionist sentiments [23]. In his obituary, the Hindu has described him as: “A dyed-in-wool liberal, Mr. Padgaonkar spoke passionately, eloquently and tirelessly against communalism, Hindu nationalism and terrorism among other pressing issues of the day as reflected in his books like When Bombay burned (which he edited, on the 1992-3 Mumbai riots) and numerous essays and articles’’ [22]. Gujarati intellectuals like Mallika Sarabhai, Ela Bhatt, Tushar Gandhi, Aakar Patel, Salil Tripathi  have been partisan against the Hindus. Similarly, Punjabi intellectuals like Romila Thapar, Khushwant Singh, Manmohan Singh, etc have strongly supported anti-majority positions. Kannada intellectuals like Girish Karnad, UR Anantamurthy, Gauri Lankesh, etc, have supported similar anti-Hindu positions and have hugely lauded those like Tipu Sultan, who butchered Hindus. Tamil intellectuals like Priyamvada Gopal and Mukul Keshavan have taken strongly anti-Hindu positions and the whitewashing of Aurangzeb in the Hindu community was initiated by UP intellectuals like BN Pande.

Section C: A demographic decomposition of intelligentsia with bias against Hinduism

In the current intellectual space, bias towards left, against Hinduism and opposition to the BJP government on the ground that it is partisan against the religious minorities (which as we would show in our next article to be factually incorrect, the BJP Government is in fact biased against the Hindus) are strongly correlated. We therefore study list of various intellectuals who have exhibited the same to understand the demographic tilt, if any, in their composition. We have combined the Hindi speaking states into one group to facilitate the ease of localisation. The states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand have been listed in the Hindi Belt.

We consider the list of writers who have returned their Sahitya Academy or Padma Shri Awards in 2015 citing encroachment of literary freedom by the BJP government, the writers therein are invariably leftists. There are
12 Punjabi (Waryam Singh Sandhu, Chaman Lal, Surjit Patar, Jaswinder Singh, Darshan Buttar, Mohan Bhandari, Baldev S Sadaknama, Atamjit Singh, Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Gurbachan S Bhullar, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Pargat Singh Satauj ),
10 Hindi belt (Hindi: Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi, Rajesh Joshi, Madhya Pradesh, Manglesh Dabral, Uttarakhand, Kashinath Singh, Uttar Pradesh, Krishna Sobti, Gujarat/UP, 2 Rajasthani: Nand Bharadwaj, Ambika Dutt, Rajasthan, 2 Urdu: Munawwar Rana, Khaleel Mamoon, UP),
3 Kannada (Rahamat Tarikere, Kumbara Veerabhadrappa, Devanuru Mahadeva),
3 Marathi (N. Shivdas also in Konkani, Goa, Anil Joshi, Ibrahim Afghan, Maharashtra),
3 English (Keki N Daruwallah, Parsee, Gujarat/UP, Nayantara Sahgal, KP, Uttarakhand, Aman Sethi, Maharashtra),
2 Kashmiri (Marghub Banihali, Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Srinagar),
2 Assamese (Nirupama Borgohain, Homen Borgohain),
2 Gujarati (Ganesh Devy, Gujarat, Anil Joshi, Maharasthra),
2 Telugu (M. Bhoopal Reddy, M Katyayani Vidhmahe)),
1 Bengali (Mandrakanta Sen),
1 Malayalam (Sarah Joseph).
Note that those who win Sahitya Academy Award for literary feat in their mother-tongues, are more often than not, rooted in the ambience of the same. Thus, the ethnic decomposition of this list would be the most indicative of the ethos among different ethnicities. Thus, about 25% is from Hindi belt, about 8% from Maharashtra, about 7.5% from Karnataka, about 5% each from Assam, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together, and only 2.4% is from Bengal and Kerala each. Note 17 of the 41 listed here are from Dar-ul-BJP (BJP’s core), 22 from Dar-ul-BJP-chance (regions where BJP periodically wins), 2 from Dar-ul-Left/Regional [26], [27].

Considering the list of Award winners from the film fraternity who have returned their awards, we obtain [28], [36], [37]:
9 Maharastrian: Anand Patwardhan, Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Vikrant Pawar [31], [32], Abhimanyu Dange, Paresh Kamdar (Gujarati as well), Sudheer Palsane (May be Madhya Pradesh as well), Kirti Nakhwa (Konkani), Saeed Mirza, Rakesh Sharma (based in Mumbai, may not be ethnic Marathi)
8 Hindi belt: Pradip Krishen (Delhi),  Shriprakash (Jharkhand), Manoj Nitharwal (Rajasthan, Haryana), Rakesh Shukla (UP), Satya Rai Nagpaul (Punjabi, Sindhi or from Jammu and Kashmir, Grew up in Delhi), Nishtha Jain (UP), Anwar Jamal (grew up in Western UP, based in Delhi),  Dibakar Banarjee (born and raised in Delhi, more fluent in Hindi and Punjabi than Bangla [29]),
6 Bengali: Indraneel Lahiri, Ranjan Palit, Tapan Bose, Amitabh Chakraborty, Madhusree Dutta (born in Jamshedpur, studied in Bengal, Delhi, resides in Mumbai from 1988, directed Bengali theaters plays and a 13 episode Gujarati serial for her friend producer/actor Meenal Patel), Irene Dhar Malik
4 Kerala: Hari Nair, Arundhati Roy, Vivek Sachidanand, PM Satheesh
2 Kashmiri Pandits: Sanjay Kak (family based in Delhi), Ajai Raina
2 Andhra Pradesh: Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti (Guntur), Rafiq Elias[28]
1 Gujarati; Kundan Shah
1 Orissa: Lipika Singh Darai (Tribal from Orissa)
1 Goa: Prateek Vats
1 Shillong: Tarun Bharatiya (Maithili filmmaker) [30]
1 Konkani Christian: Manoj Lobo (Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra),
So, among those who returned their awards from the film-fraternity, 25% is from Maharastra, 22% from Hindi belt, 17% from Bengal, 11% from Kerala, 5.5% from KPs, and 47-50% from the core areas of BJP-RSS.

Among the 77 who returned their awards, considering both writers and film-makers, 23% are from Hindi belt (including Rajasthan), 16% are from Maharashtra, 15% are from Punjab, 9% are from Bengal, 7% from Kerala, 4% are Kashmiri Pandits.

Bengali intellectuals are often accused of distorting history to whitewash the crimes of invaders on Indics. Many among the historians who did so are indeed Bengalis. But, is there any evidence to conclude that they constitute the dominant component of such eminent historians specializing in distortions? Towards that end, we examine the collaboration of eminent historians with the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) towards denial of the construction of the Babri Masjid on the ruins of a Ram temple destroyed for the purpose at a site that Hindus believe to be the birthplace of one of their Avatars, Ram. Meenakshi Jain has named top four historians who have orchestrated the denial: R. S. Sharma, Romila Thapar, D. N. Jha, Irfan Habib [38]. Ram Sharan Sharma was born in Begusarai in Bihar, and taught at Patna University and Delhi University. Romila Thapar is a Punjabi Khatri, who graduated from Punjab University, and the University of London, and taught at Kurukshetra University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal University. Dwijendra Narayan Jha is from Bihar/Jharkhand, and did his Bachelors at Presidency College, Calcutta, Masters at Patna University (where he was a student of R. S. Sharma), and taught at Delhi University. Irfan Habib traces his ancestry to Muslim families in Lucknow and Gujarat, and taught at Aligarh Muslim University. Thus, all the above belong to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Punjab, and 3 of them hail from core regions of BJP-RSS, and none is Bengali. A bigger list of historians who collaborated with the BMAC to deny the existence of the temple at the Babri Masjid site, without substantiating their claims has been provided in [42]. The list comprises of the following additional names: Suraj Bhan (Haryana, Delhi), Athar Ali (UP), Suvira Jaiswal (Hindi belt, MA from Allahabad University, doctorate from Patna University under the guidance of R. S. Sharma, taught at Patna University and Jawaharlal Nehru University), S. P. Mishra (UP), Sushil Srivastava (Hindi belt), R. C. Thakran (Haryana), Dhaneshwar Mondal (Bihar/Jharkhand, taught at Allahabad University), Supriya Verma (Hindi belt), Ashok Dutta (Bengal), Shireen Moosvi (UP). Thus out of 14, there is 1 Bengali (7%), 1 Punjabi (7%) and 12 from Hindi belt (86%). It is not a coincidence here that it was the Bengal school of history, led by Jadunath Sarkar and Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, that called Aurangzeb a religious bigot, while it was the Allahabad school of history that sought to exonerate him from atrocities on Indics [16]. The Allahabad School of history, led by R P Tripathi, Tara Chand (born in Sialkot, undivided Punjab), Satish Chandra (born in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh) and Banarsi Prasad Saxena sought to establish the secular credentials of the Mughal rulers [16]. Thus, 3 of the above 4 are from the Hindi belt and 1 is from Punjab. Finally, Bengalis start appearing in larger numbers in lists of similar intellectuals that are bigger, suggesting that they constitute foot-soldiers rather than the moving force of such activities. We consider a list of intellectuals who issued a statement opposing a court verdict that was in favour of Hindu claim on Ram janmabhoomi [78]:
The ethnic decomposition of the list shows 61% from Hindi belt, 10.5% Bengalis, 5.8% from Odissa, 5.3% from Punjab, Kerala, Tamizh, each, 3.5% Kashmiri Pandit, 1.7% from Gujarat:
Hindi belt (33) : K. M. Shrimali, D. N. Jha, Iqtidar Alam Khan, Shireen Moosvi, Irfan Habib, Suvira Jaiswal, Dhaneshwar Mondal, Arjun Dev, Indira Arjun Dev, R. C. Thakran, H. C. Satyarthi, Amar Farooqui, Lata Singh, Zoya Hassan, V. M. Jha, Prabhat Shukla, Mahendra Pratap Singh, Ram Rahman, Sohail Hashmi, Rajendra Prasad, Rahul Verma, Anil Chandra, Supriya Varma, N. K. Sharma, S. Z. H. Jafri, Farhat Hasan, Shalini Jain, Santosh Rai, Najaf Haider, R. P. Bahuguna, G. P. Sharma, O. P. Jaiswal, K. K. Sharma
Bengali (5): Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Ramakrishna Chatterjee, Aniruddha Ray, Arun Bandopadhyay, Jayati Ghosh
Punjabi (3): Romila Thapar, Madan Gopal Singh, Geeta Kapur
Keralite (3): Jaya Menon, Kesavan Veluthat, Ravindran Gopinath
Odissa (3): B. P. Sahu, Biswamoy Pati, Prabhat Patnaik
Tamizh (3): Atlury Murali, Vivan Sundaram, Sukumar Muralidharan
Kashmiri Pandit (2): Shakti Kak, M. K. Raina
Gujarati (1): Parthiv Shah
Unknown(4): Utsa Patnaik (Bengali/Odissa/Hindi Belt), Sitaram Roy (Bengali/Bihari), Madhu Prasad (Hindi Belt/Telugu), Archana Prasad (Hindi Belt/Telugu)

We now consider the signatories of various petitions that have been partisan against the Hindus.

We start with the petition that appealed that the Supreme Court not adjudicate Ram Janmabhoomi to any one religious group [39], [40], obtaining 19% Kannadigas, 16% from Maharastra, 13% Bengalis, 13% Hindi belt, 13% Gujaratis, 7% Tamizh, 7% Telugu, 3% Keralites, 3% Kashmiri Pandits:
6 Kannadiga: Shyam Benegal (Konkani from Karnataka [43]), Lalitha Naik, K L Ashok,  K P Sripala, A K Subbaiah, Suresh Bhat Bakrabail
5 Maharashtra: Medha Patkar, Anand Patwardhan, Kumar Ketkar, Kiran Nagarkar, Cyrus J Guzder (Parsee from Bombay),
4 Bengali: Aparna Sen, Jayati Ghosh, Suman Mukhopadhyaya, Joy Sengupta
4 Hindi Belt: Anil Dharker (Uttar Pradesh), Om Thanvi (Rajasthan, possibly Sindhi) [41], Sohail Hashmi (Muslim from Delhi), Ram Rahman (Muslim from Delhi with North Indian ancestry)
4 Gujarati: Ganesh N. Devy, Teesta Setalavad, Tanaz Dara Mody (Parsee), Tanveer Jafri (Muslim)
2 Tamizh: Aruna Roy, Kalpana Kannabiran
2 Telugu: G. Hargopal, N. Babaiah (Muslim)
1 Kerala: R B Sreekumar
1 Kashmiri Pandit: M K Raina
2 Christians: John Dayal (South India), Dolphy Anthony Desouza (Goa)
1 Ethnicity unknown: Muniza R Khan
We next consider a list of those who defended Afzal Guru in print [44], comprising of 23% Bengalis, 23% from Hindi belt, 7% each of Keralites, 14% Maharastrians, 7% each of Punjabis, Kashmiri Pandits , Sindhis:
3 Bengalis: Suddhabrata Sengupta, Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Ashok Mitra
1 Keralite: Arundhuti Roy
1 Punjabi: Tripta Wahi (Khatri)
2 Maharashtrian: Praful Bidwai, A G Noorani
3 Hindi belt: Mihir Srivastava, Jawed Naqvi (Delhi, Indian correspondent of Dawn), Sonia Jabbar (Delhi, educated in Calcutta and US, [45])
1 Kashmiri Pandit: Nandita Haksar
1 Kashmiri Muslim: Syed Bismillah Geelani,
1 Sindhi: Indira Jaising

We now consider the Indian origin individuals of the National Advisory Council of the UPA Government, given multiple legislations it orchestrated which has been partisan against the Hindus. The list comprises of 35% from Hindi belt, 18% from Maharashtra, 12% each from Tamizh Nadu and Bengal, 6% each from Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab and (united) Andhra Pradesh.
Hindi belt (6): N C Saxena, Pramod Tandon (UP), Deep Joshi (Uttarakhand), Ram Dayal Munda (Jharkhand), Farah Naqvi (Uttar Pradesh?), Virginius Xaxa (Chattisgarh) [47]
Maharashtra (3): Narendra Jadhav, Madhav Gadgil, Anu Aga (Parsee, Bombay)
Tamizh (2): Aruna Roy, M. S. Swaminathan,
Bengalis (2); Mirai Chatterjee, Ashis Mondal
Karnataka (1): A K Shivakumar
Gujarat (1): Mihir Shah,
Punjab (1): Harsh Mander [46]
Telugu (1): Jayaprakash Narayan

We next consider the oldest human rights organisation in India, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, PUCL, which have been partisan towards Muslims in almost all instances of Hindu-Muslim conflicts even in instances where the human rights of the Hindus have been trampled by Muslims who constituted local majority. Specifically, Muslims constitute overwhelming majority in the Kashmir valley, and the minuscule minority Hindus have been hounded out from there because of their religion. But, till date, PUCL have failed to forcefully champion the cause of the Hindus (the Kashmiri Pandits) expelled from there. Kashmiri Pandit, Aditya Raj Kaul, editor of the monthly “The Indian’’ published from Australia has written about the dubious role of PUCL in context of the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits: “Human Rights groups in India, mostly tilted towards left have remained silent on the displacement of Pandits or demanding justice for the acts of violence perpetuated against the community. People’s Union for Civil Liberties, one of the oldest Human Rights groups existing in India went on to make sweeping statements and vague conclusions on the forced displacement of Kashmiri Pandits. Manoj Joshi, senior journalist, writes in his book The Lost Rebellion – Kashmir in the Nineties, “In an article in The Times of India, Harish Khare rightly blamed the entire ‘secular establishment’ for turning ‘its back on the Hindu migration from the valley’. Indeed, its most extreme, the PUCL, went out of its way to skew testimony to prove that Jagmohan had engineered the migration, ignoring the brutal rapes and killings that preceded it.”
Former National Vice-President of PUCL, Yogesh Kamdar denies such an occurrence, “I do not think PUCL ever believed that one individual (Jagmohan) and his “propaganda” can result in the migration of lakhs of people in such a short span of time and lasting so long. Holding such a view implies that the victims lacked basic intelligence and common sense.” On the Pandits’ plight, he says the media and the human rights groups have “unfortunately remained muted all through. In my opinion it is largely due to the desire to assume politically correct postures (rather than to be true to one’s brief). And sadly, there has not been adequate attempts of introspection by either of them.”
“I protested against the deception and distortion of the so-called human rights bodies like People’s Union for Civil Liberties. I was not listened to; rather I was run down by the members of the present day ruling-party who cited false and motivated reports of these bodies in the Parliament,” writes the than Governor of J&K, Jagmohan in his book The Frozen Turbulence citing several reports of the PUCL ignoring plight of the Kashmiri Pandits.’’ [48] In 2006 the national Vice-President of PUCL, Yogesh Kamdar, had acknowledged that “PUCL has not taken up the Pandits issue as forcefully as it should have,” and “ that most organisations have not raised the Pandits issue aggressively and consistently because it’s “politically incorrect.” [49] Panun Kashmir, an activist organisation demanding separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley have opined that “ the Kashmiri Hindu has been meted out with a discrimination at all levels. He has also been subjected to a barrage of disinformation by the terrorists, Muslim politicians of the state and by the Human Rights agencies like PUCL, Committee for Independent Initiative on Kashmir and also the ministerial factions of Union Ministry in collaboration with the Muslim Members of the Parliament from the state ‘’ [50] In contrast, PUCL has been prompt in sending a fact-finding team to the Kashmir valley to assess human rights of the current residents, who are largely Muslims, and have subsequently been vocal about alleged excesses by the Indian security forces and the plight of the Muslims who constitute an overwhelming majority there [51] [52]. Kashmir does not constitute the only instance where PUCL has been proactive in securing the rights of the Muslims in instances of Hindu-Muslim conflict either, the pattern has repeated in Coimbatore, Jaipur, Udaipur [53] [54] [55] and umpteen other places. In contrast, PUCL has largely been absent in Bengal, Assam and Western UP, where Muslims, who comprise local majority have perpetrated ghastly violence on local minorities, the Hindus (eg, Deganga, Basirhat in WB, Kairana in West UP). It has not sought to protect the human rights and freedom of expression of individual Hindus (eg, Kamlesh Tiwari, and a minor in Basirhat in WB who was initially tried as an adult until local Hindu activists stepped in) who have been incarcerated by the Indian state for expressing opinions on the Prophet of Islam, which Muslims found offensive. We therefore consider PUCL an anti-Hindu organisation. We now consider a list of their office-bearers as provided. Considering Prabhakar Sinha, President of PUCL, Dr. V Suresh, General Secretary of the PUCL [57], Ramdas Rao (National Council Member) and Pragnya Joshi (National Council Member) [52] and the National Council members mentioned in [56] , we have: Hindi belt (50, including 4 Christians, 3 Muslims, states of UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi), Telugu (12, including 3 Muslims, 1 Christian), Tamizh (12, including 3 Muslims, note that Aruna Roy who is an office-bearer in Rajasthan is a Tamizh), Karnataka (4, including 1 Muslim), Punjab (2), Orissa (1), Maharashtra (1 Muslim), West Bengal (1), Gujarat (1, note that a Karnataka office-bearer, Arti Chokshi comes across as Gujarati). Thus 60% of this list is from Hindi belt, 14% is Telugu, 14% is Tamizh, 5% from Karnataka, 2.4% from Punjab, 1% each from Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal.

We now consider a list of signatories to a mercy petition for Yakub Memon [58][59]. The list has about 300 names, but only about 60-70 of them may be considered intellectuals, given the availability of records in public domain. We therefore first do an ethnic decomposition of these 70, listed in the Appendix-A, and subsequently move on to the ethnic decomposition of the entire list. As to the ethnicity, we conclude based on their last names, where they have been born, where they have been educated, etc, as available in public domain. In cases of mixed parentage or last names that could belong to multiple ethnicities, we allocate the individuals partly to the corresponding ethnicities. Starting with the first 65, we obtain: Hindi belt (19.5, 30%) (UP, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar & Chhattisgarh), Tamizh Nadu (12, 19%), Punjab (6.5, 10%), Bengal (5.5, 8.5%), Gujarat (5, 5.4%), Maharashtra (5, 5.4%), Karnataka (3, including 1 Christian, 4.4%), Orissa (3, 4.4%), Andhra Pradesh (1.5, 2.3%) Kerala (1, 1.5%), Kashmiri Pandit (1, 1.5%), Goa (1 including 1 Christian, 1.5%), Jammu (1, 1.5%)
We have presented a consolidated list of intellectuals in all the above lists in the appendix (we have included additional names from the Yaqub Memon list whose ethnicities we could determine with relative confidence and have left open some names whose ethnicities we could not determine). Some members of these lists are not of Indian origin or are signed on behalf of entire organisations, and have been categorized as not applicable.
Consolidating all the lists discussed thus far, overall we observe 434 intellectuals, of which 404 are of Indian origin and whose ethnicities we could determine. The ethnic decompositions are:
Hindi Belt 152
Punjab 27
Maharashtra 30
Karnataka 23
Tamizh Nadu 33
Gujarat 15
Andhra Pradesh & Telangana 22
Kerala 16
Bengal 39
Kashmiri Pandits 7
J&K Muslims 3
Odisha 5
North East 7
Assam 3
Goa 4
Punjab&Bengal 1
Hindi Belt&Maharashtra 3
Karnataka&Tamizh Nadu 1
Tamizh Nadu&Hindi Belt 1
Punjab&Hindi Belt 1
Karnataka&Bengal 1
Karnataka&Andhra 1
Gujarat&Maharashtra 4
Punjab&Jammu 1
Gujarat&Hindi Belt 2
Bengal&Hindi Belt 2
Unknown 30
We now tabulate the ethnic decomposition of the intellectuals with the corresponding percentage among all intellectuals and the corresponding percentage of Indian population the populace the corresponding ethnicities comprise of. We mark in red the rows where the percentage of anti-Hindu intellectuals exceeds the population share of those ethnic groups in India. The tabulation must be read with the important qualifier that it is usually the groups that are over-represented in the list of anti-Hindu intellectuals are exactly those that are over-represented in the intellectual space. Since it is difficult to quantify the exact number of intellectuals from different ethnic groups, we could not tabulate the overall ethnic decomposition of the intellectuals.
intellectuals_percent

What our overall tabulation shows is that Bengalis do not comprise the majority of anti-Hindu intellectuals. They are certainly over-represented in the list of anti-Hindu intellectuals, as compared to their population share in India, but so are multiple other ethnicities. Even if we consider the ratio of the percentage of intellectuals in the above list to the population shares, Bengalis do not comprise the worst. Thus, singling out Bengali intellectuals as objects of ridicule, from the perspective of anti-Hindu traits, is wholly unjustified, and it is this lack of justification that points to ethnic bias.
In fact, per the ratio of the percentage of intellectuals in the above list to the population shares, the top four and in that order are Kashmiri Pandits, Goanese, Punjabis and Bengalis. Its interesting to note that all four have borne the brunt of persecution by Islamists and Christianists, and three of these have been en masse displaced from their homelands. The question that naturally arises is, if there is a correlation between religious persecution by Islamists and Christianists and identifying with Muslims in subsequent generations – that is, if there exists an inter-generational and inter-community Stockholm Syndrome, which has been classically defined as “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” [65]. One of the key components of Stockholm Syndrome is “A hostage’s belief in the humanity of their captor, for the reason that when a victim holds the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat ‘’ [65]. It has been observed that Jews have similarly defended Islamists, who have persecuted them from a long time. As a classic example, in a prize winning thesis in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tal Nitzan accused the Israeli defence forces (IDF) of not raping Palestinians because IDF was too racist [74].

We also did a search of the total number of the intellectuals by cities of residence. The numbers we obtained for the top 10 cities are shown in

graph_ethnicity_percentage

But when the numbers are normalised by the population, it turns out to be

graph_residence_normalised

The above graphs are very interesting and very intuitive for two major reasons. From the percentages of intellectuals who have participated in anti-Hindu groups, we glean that 36.3% are in the National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, etc), which has been the hub of compromised and anti-national individuals who congregate to those in power in Delhi, while another 12.78% are from Mumbai, the capital of Bollywood, that has been so dependent on money from nebulous, often it is alleged, criminal and anti-Hindu sources. The capital, Delhi, has been the hub of anti-Hindu activity from the Mughal and British days, and unsurprisingly, has continued to be so even in the days of the current Indian republic, which has taken equally anti-Hindu stances.

The other graph, obtained by normalising the number of intellectuals by the population of the cities (in crores), is equally intuitive. Note – NCR includes Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, while Kolkata includes Tollygunge, Howrah, etc. Unsurprisingly, once more, the National Capital region substantially exceeds the rest in normalized fraction of anti-Hindu intellectuals. The high score of Patna is again intuitive. Patna is a (comparatively) small city when placed against the bigger cities like Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, so its smaller population tends to inflate its numbers. Secondly, Patna has been the hub of two very powerful anti-Hindu groups; the first being the home of a group of Leftist historians led by Ram Saran Sarma, and the second, the PUCL, which being founded by Jayaprakash Narayan, has always had a strong presence in Patna. The high position of Aligarh is similarly unsurprising due to the Aligarh Muslim university, which has had a strong anti-Hindu ecosystem.

The final observation that is valid is that the high numbers occur in precisely where the Congress-Socialist ecosystem is strong. This is why the numbers are higher wherever the Congress/Socialists are strong and there is a reasonably strong intellectual component. Counter-intuitively, while the CPM’s upper echelons signed anti-Hindu petitions, the ground level leaders in WB, Kerala and Tripura did not do so. None of the top ground level Left leaders in Kolkata or Thiruvananthapuram are on the list. Finally, it may be observed, these rank way down the list, due to its weak Congress ecosystem. Most of the anti-Hindu intellectuals in these are from the film fraternity, which is dependent on Bollywood.
Section D: Evidence of bias against the Bengali intellectuals in the BJP-RSS ecosystem

We have shown that there is no ground to single out Bengali intellectuals as anti-Hindu or even Leftists, but such excoriations on them are pervasive in the BJP-RSS ecosystem. We provide only a few instantiations of the phenomenon in the interest of brevity. We do take specific names in this section, as a way of illustration of the bias from quarters that would be least expected given the accomplishments of the individuals concerned. It may be worthwhile to note that the authors have no reason to bear personal grievances against any of the names taken explicitly in this and subsequent sections. If at all, many of the named individuals had reached out to some of the authors both socially and intellectually (at least until the authors had publicly flagged their ethnic biases) and had offered generous accolades on their articles. Nonetheless, it is the obligation to discharge their public duty that has motivated the documentation of the expressions of ethnic prejudice of the individuals in this series as a whole.

We start with an extremely popular parody handle, which chooses to satire intellectuals, or rather those with intellectual pretense and leftist bias, through adoption of the persona of a Bengali intellectual, Ashish Nandy. Nandy’s Bengali identity is part of the ridicule as can be seen through invocation of his Bangla-accent.

padhalikha_tweet_1

The above instance of ethnic bias was flagged to us by one of our twitter acquaintances with strong intellectual proclivity:

madam_micawber_tweet_1
He also simultaneously flagged an instance of ethnic bias on Bengalis as a whole through application of the “emotional, disturbed’’ stereotype on them:

We move on to the CEO of the Swarajya Magazine, Prasanna Vishwanathan, whose ethnic bias against Bengalis as a whole have been documented as part of our series [77]. We now highlight his bias against the specific segment of Bengali intellectuals:

prasanna_durga

We found several names in the article that is plugged to castigate the enemy within, just not a Bengali one [18]

We now move on to some one more distinguished, sophisticated, and by that token, whose bias against Bengali intellectuals would be least expected. Sanjeev Sanyal is an Economist by training, and has served as Deutsche Bank’s Global Strategist and a Managing Director till 2015. He was also a Rhodes Scholar and Eisenhower Fellow, and is the author of four well-regarded and best selling books. PM Modi’s government of India has recently appointed him as the Principal Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance. At the onset it is not our case that Mr. Sanyal is biased against the Bengali ethnicity as a whole. He has tweeted knowledgeably on history of Bengal, religious rituals practiced in the East, including Bengal, and on a famine, created or exacerbated by the Allies during the second world war, that starved to death 4 million Bengalis. What we show is a bias against a segment of Bengalis, which would qualify as ethnic bias as per the framework of assessment that we presented in the introduction:

sanjeev_sanyal_tweet_1

Bengal has a long-standing eminent intellectual tradition, and the number of intellectuals Bengal has produced is so large that a rebuttal to the aspersion on their intellectual prowess is perhaps redundant. The rest of the tweet is too subjective to merit further discussion. But the disconnect from reality reinforces the case for ethnic discrimination. Note that the tweet can not be dismissed as attempted humour, given how in other SM exchanges (with one of the authors) he invoked Bengali ethnicity without any pertinence other than negative connotations in his perception:

sanjeev_sanyal_tweet_2

When the said author asked him the pertinence of the ethnic qualifier on intellectuals, his answer revealed a mindset that is inconsistent with democratic principles. We reproduce the exchange:

sanjeev_sanyal_tweet_3

In a democratic country like India, where Communism is legal, it can not be Mr. Sanyal’s case that Communists, or for that matter Capitalists, can live only in states ruled by parties they support. He is far too well-informed to argue the above. Therefore, what comes across through the incoherent defense is his aversion to Bengali subgroups of practitioners of a craft or an ideology, which qualifies an ethnic discrimination as argued above. More on the above lines, where his target, the Bhadraloks, extends to Bengali middle-class and upwards, and is therefore a more serious form of ethnic discrimination, given that it applies to larger segments:

sanjeev_sanyal_tweet_4

sanjeev_sanyal_tweet_5

Note that he has been describing an ethnic subgroup pejoratively, as part of a casual exchange with a fellow-intellectual and another prolific author, Hindol Sengupta, who agrees equally casually. Neither shows any attempt to substantiate their claims, but use the pejorative descriptors as given, which reveals that their usages are being derived from intrinsic prejudice rather than from an unbiased and objective analysis.

Similar casual ridicules abound in the discourses of other eminent intellectuals associated with the BJP-RSS ecosystem too. We refer to discourses of Vikram Sampath. He is a published author and had served as the director of Bangalore-Lit-fest (before stepping down). He is currently vested with leadership roles in the BJP-RSS intellectual ecosystem:

vikram_sampath_tweet_1

Next, let us consider some of his ridicules and negative stereotypes on Bhadraloks. He starts below, ridiculing Mamata Banarjee’s artistry, which by itself constitutes an instance of political attack, and hence par for the course. But, in a jiffy, he connects his object of ridicule to CM Banarjee’s ethnicity, or rather a segment of it, the much reviled Bhadraloks. It is this ethnic connection, guised as humor, that becomes an expression of ethnic prejudice.

vikram_sampath_tweet_2

vikram_sampath_tweet_3

His ridicules on Bhadraloks continue:

vikram_sampath_tweet_4

Such mindsets are unbecoming of the distinguished profiles mentioned above. More importantly, bias (as opposed to claims based on objective scholarly arguments and supporting evidences) against a group based on their ethnicity may well undermine one’s ability to participate in decision-making of import, without any prejudice based on birth, as would be expected of a top functionary of a national level government. This is of serious concern since some of the distinguished individuals names above currently adorn such positions.

Section E: Confirmation Bias against Bengali intellectuals

We start with the Wikipedia definition of Confirmation bias. It is “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.’’  [66]. We show that the bias against Bengali intellectuals has largely been fed by confirmation bias.
We note that the BJP-RSS ecosystem intensely dislikes a whole host of intellectuals and journalists of different ethnicities, supposedly for their anti-Hindu stands, but, most often, it is the Bengalis (and those of a few other ethnicities) amongst these that are frequently connected to their ethnic groups and receive frequent ethnic abuses. As specific examples, Barkha Dutt does not represent Punjabi Brahmins to them, Rajdeep Sardesai does not represent Konkani-Saraswat/UP Brahmins, Kumar Ketkar, Nikhil Wagle does not represent Marathis, Romila Thapar, Khushwant Singh not Punjabi Khatris, Teesta Setalavad, Mallika Sarabhai, Sanjiv Bhatt, Ela Bhatt, Tushar Gandhi, Aakar Patel, Salil Tripathi definitely not the Gujarati collective. The rank and file (though not the top echelon) does sometimes associate the anti-Hindu/anti-India intellectuals like Nandita Haskar, Nitasha Kaul and Premnath Bazaz to the Kashmiri Pandits, Siddharth Varadarajan, Malini Parthasarathy, Priyamvada Gopal and N. Ram to the Tamizh Brahmins, and U. R. Ananthamurthy, Girish Karnad, Chandrashekhara Kambara and Gauri Lankesh to the Kannadigas. But it is the Bengali intellectuals like Ashis Nandy, Mridula Mukharjee, Amartya Sen and Sagarika Ghose that constitute example of how the Bengali “Bhadralok’’ (the Bhadralok-bashers do not seem to know the feminine gender of the honorific Bhadralok) has harmed India in every possible way, not only for the rank and file (which may be dismissed as ignorant ranting on social media), but also for the RW thought leaders, eg,

prasanna_amartya_tweet_1

prasanna_amartya_tweet_2

Next, there are some Bengali intellectuals who the BJP-RSS ecosystem holds in high regard, at least publicly, eg, Swami Vivekananda, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Jadunath Sarkar. Interestingly, the Bengali ethnicity is never used in their connection, except when the ecosystem seeks to specifically claim that they hold no bias against the Bengalis. Other than the above it is worth mentioning a Bhadralok, Abhas Chatterjee, who happens to be one of the few to have provided an intellectual foundation to a Hindu nation [67], who rarely ever finds a mention, let alone as a reviled Bengali intellectual. More recently, another Bhadralok, Dr. Aroup Chatterjee has found some favour with the ecosystem. He happens to be the lone Indian to catalogue evidence exposing fraudulent conduct of the organization of the internationally renowned nun, Teresa [17] [68]. But, again, the ecosystem rarely mentions his ethnicity or his leftist persuasion. As an aside, we have here named only few of the Bengali intellectuals, or shall we say the Bhadraloks, who have made seminal contributions in fields which only a few would have the courage to trod. It is a truism that only a minuscule minority of humanity is capable of seminal contributions – doesn’t the fact that a considerable number among those pioneers have been Bengalis reveal what should have been associated with the ethnicity instead?

More recently, a journalist of The Quint has been (perhaps rightly) accused of endangering the life of an Indian national, Kulbhushan Jadav, incarcerated in Pakistan under charges of espionage. The Quint ran his report, which Pakistan may be able to use as corroborating evidence against Jadav in court, and is already using as part of their publicity campaign [71]. But, clearly the story had to be authorized by the highest echelon of the site, given its gravity. So, the employer of the said journalist ought to be accorded at least equal agency on the issue. But, the BJP-RSS ecosystem flagged the ethnicity of only one of the perpetrators, the journalist Chandan Nandy, who is a Bengali, and not of his employer, Raghav Bahl, who is a Punjabi. Similarly, when a journalist accompanying West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on a trip to Scotland in 2017 was caught stealing cutlery at a dinner party hosted in a prominent hotel in Edinburgh, ridicule was heaped on the Bengali ethnicity as a whole [72]. In contrast, when around the same time a Gujarati professor pushed his ailing mother off the terrace because apparently he got tired of her poor health, the Gujaratis as a whole were not held accountable [73]. Nor were the Rajasthanis held responsible, when a Rajasthani man thrashed his 82 year old mother to death [75]. Nor did the BJP base hold the Hindus of Delhi responsible for refusing to help Ankit Saxena, while he was being stabbed by Islamists, or subsequently in ferrying him to the hospital. The man later died of his injuries [76].

Next, only one of the authors of this series goes by her real name, and her name indicates that she is a Bengali. Between 2013 to May 2014, she had campaigned for BJP for LS polls, which certainly brought her in the good graces of the BJP-RSS ecosystem. During that period, her ethnicity was rarely mentioned, as part of the encomiums showered on her for her nationalism. Post BJP’s LS win in 2014, along with some of her co-authors, she has been criticizing BJP and Prime Minister Modi on various counts, motivated by the consideration that civil society’s role is not to cheer-lead a ruling dispensation but to provide checks and balances. Since then the ecosystem has repeatedly invoked her ethnicity particularly while showering invectives on her. Initially, the ethnic attacks have been perpetrated by the rank and file, but several eminent members have assumed that mantle ever since this group of authors embarked on the current series on their ethnic bias. Clearly, the ecosystem has no reason to be fond of this series, what is however more revealing is that the series is being identified with the author who is known to be a Bengali, rather than her co-authors, although some of the co-authors have led some articles in the series. Consider for example the tweets of film-maker and censor-board member Vivek Agnihotri, in response to our article where we had exposed his ethnic bias with documentary evidence:

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So, when some one is a fake intellectual in Agnihotri’s view, he also notes that she is a Bengali, in other words, condemning her for her fake intellect does not suffice in his world view, the ethnic identity makes the disparaging more substantive.

Then again, when we had flagged an article by Reshmi Dasgupta, the wife of BJP ideologue, Arun Jaitley’s confidant and RS MP Swapan Dasgupta, for pejorative description of Bengalis, she felt compelled to bring up the ethnicity of the author in question. Note below, it does not suffice for her to shower ethno-neutral invectives and ridicules, such as “delusional’’, “crazy’’, “feminist NRI warrior’’, “Ms. Feminist’’, “sundry’’, but she repeatedly notes that her target is a Bengali, through, “Bengali feminist NRI warrior’’, “sundry NRB profs.’’

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We next verbatim reproduce a long exchange with Abhinav Prakash, a Delhi University Professor and a BJP sympathizer. In a debate on whether and what criticisms of Bhadraloks constitute ethnic hatred, in which he had been defending criticisms of Bhadralok, he brought in the said author’s identity as a Bhadralok (should have been Bhadramahila, but we will let go of the gender inaccuracy here).

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Few other noteworthy points emerge from the above debate. Our sparring mate appears to be contending above that the right to criticize a group ought to be decided based on the identities of the critic and the groups being criticized, rather than the content of the criticism. We have consistently argued that it is the content of the criticism that ought to count. This is exactly why we asked Prof. Prakash to substantiate his charge of casteism among Bhadraloks with specifics such as narratives of the subaltern and Dalit movements against Bhadraloks that he is alluding to. In addition, objective research would study caste biases in the middle-classes of different ethnic groups, and compare the same, should it seek to single out one or few among them for such biases. If Bhadraloks are singled out for their caste-biases, then one needs to explain why it is that Hindu upper castes are perpetrating physical atrocities on Dalits in Gujarat rather than in Bengal [14], [15], or Dalit groups have been celebrating their facilitation of British conquest of the Peshwas in Maharashtra rather than in Bengal and caste riots are happening till today over such celebrations [69], [70]. Singling out the middle-class group of one ethnicity for caste-bias, without arguing why biases are so pernicious in that group that they deserve exclusive consideration, would constitute ethnic bias. In addition, a study of caste-bias among Bhadraloks (or any other ethnic groups) need also investigate what the group has done to integrate the society. For Bhadraloks, for example, an even a cursory study of Bangla literature would reveal that social justice has been main-streamed there. A large number of Bhadraloks and Bhadramahilas have authored popular works of significant literary value, which brought to the fore birth-based discrimination in Bengal, as also social contribution of disadvantaged groups. Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Thakur, Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay, Ashapurna Devi, Maheshwata Devi constitutes few eminent names in this category. It is because of the main-streaming of social justice that caste is not a fault-line in Bengali society, and plays minimal role in political narratives within Bengal.

 

Reverting to the core of this section, we find that the BJP-RSS ecosystem attributes anything they dislike to Bengali intellectuals whenever possible, and nothing they like to Bengali intellectuals even when the ethnicity applies.
Section F: The Why of the Bias against Bengali intellectuals

In an earlier article, we have argued that 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). A concerted campaign of negativity is launched by the BJP-RSS ecosystem on all regions of Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties, encompassing the people, the ethno-religious ethos, the language, the history, in short almost everything that may legitimately evoke pride in the ethno-religious identity of these regions. Anything that can not be disassociated from these regions must be relentlessly denigrated. And, Bengal is known for its intellectual contributions, thus the Bengali intellectual identity must be demonised. The root of the bias against the Bengali intellectuals can be traced to this design.

It may not be the case that all who ridicule the Bengali intellectuals, particularly the eminent names of the BJP-RSS ecosystem, genuinely feel revulsions against them, or are actuated by ethnic bias against Dar-ul-Left/Regional parties region. In many instances, they are simply playing to the gallery. Note that most of the intellectuals of all political ecosystems have political instincts stronger or at least comparable to their intellectual distinct. And politicians are well-known worldwide for playing to the gallery. Let us then note what an intellectual-cum-politician associated with the BJP-RSS ecosystem, who has in fact abused Hindu Bengali refugees as chuhas for “preaching Marxism and Secularism’’ , says about a BJP MLA from West Bengal preaching the same secularism and also about politics in general:

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So, we learn from an eminent intellectual-cum-politician of the BJP-RSS ecosystem, who had subsequently been appointed Governor of Tripura, that politics is about “being all things to all men’’, and in politics “2 and 2 sometimes make 4, sometimes 22, sometimes don’t even make sense’’. Were the intellectual faces of the BJP-RSS ecosystem, who castigated Bengali intellectuals, simply trying to be “all things to all men’’? Another pertinent fact is that many of the intellectuals associated with the BJP-RSS ecosystem are socially close to intellectuals of opposite ideological pre-disposition, namely Leftist ones with strong Islamist sympathies. Thus their public posture against Bengali intellectuals for their tilt towards the evil, that is Communism and Islamism, is inconsistent with the private bonhomie they share with others of similar proclivities. They may have been seeking to belong to the ecosystem by explicitly catering to the deeply-entrenched biases therein. The test of loyalty may be more stringent for the members of the ethnicities that are perceived to be less loyal, eg, the Bengalis, the Keralites, the Tamizh, and even
the Kannadigas (although Karnataka belongs in Dar-ul-BJP-chance, Kannadigas are not considered integrated enough into the BJP-RSS core due to cultural dissimilarities). The most pronounced denigration of the Bengali intellectuals are in fact emerging from visible faces belonging to these ethnicities. Those of the ecosystem who are Bengalis by birth and intellectual by choice may just find it necessary to distinguish themselves from the hated breed of Bhadraloks or the Bengali intellectuals. We get back to the eternal quandary of which is the face and which is the mask. Regardless of the answer, the distinction between the face and the mask reveals an opportunism assumed to facilitate acquisition of fame among the BJP-RSS ranks and the higher echelon.

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Appendix A – List of intellectuals who signed a mercy petition for Yakub Memon [59]:
1 Gopalakrishna Gandhi, ethnic origin-Gujarat, residence-Chennai
2 Justice Panachand Jain, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-Jaipur
3 Justice Harjit Singh Bedi, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-NCR
4 Justice P B Sawant, ethnic origin-Maharashtra, residence-Mumbai
5 Justice H Suresh, ethnic origin-Karnataka, residence-Mumbai
6 Justice Siva Subramaniam, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Chennai
7 Justice S N Bhargava, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt [61], residence-Jaipur
8 Justice K Chandru, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Chennai
9 Justice HN Nagamohan Das, ethnic origin-Karnataka [60], residence-Bangalore
10 Shatrughan Sinha, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-Mumbai
11 Mani Shankar Aiyar, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-NCR
12 Majeed Memon, ethnic origin-Maharashtra, residence-Mumbai
13 Sitaram Yechury, ethnic origin-Andhra Pradesh, residence-Kolkata
14 D Raja, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Chennai
15 K T S Tulsi, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-NCR
16 H K Dua, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-NCR
17 T Siva, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-NCR
18 Prakash Karat, ethnic origin-Kerala, residence-NCR
19 Dipankar Bhattacharya, ethnic origin-Bengal, residence-Unknown
20 Brinda Karat, ethnic origin-Punjab/Bengal [62], residence-NCR
21 N Ram, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Chennai
22 Prashant Bhushan, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
23 Jagmati Sangwan, ethnic origin-Haryana, residence-NCR
24 Kavita Krishnan, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-NCR
25 Annie Raja, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Chennai
26 Tushar Gandhi, ethnic origin-Gujarat, residence-Mumbai
27 MK Raina, ethnic origin-J&K, residence-NCR
28 Anand Patwardhan, ethnic origin-Maharashtra, residence-Mumbai
29 Naseeruddin Shah, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
30 Mahesh Bhatt, ethnic origin-Gujarat, residence-Mumbai
31 Lalit Vachani, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
32 Ram Rahman, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
33 Vivan Sundaram, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-NCR
34 Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, ethnic origin-Orissa, residence-NCR
35 Prof. C. P. Chandrasekhar, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-NCR
36 Prof. Utsa Patnaik, ethnic origin-Unknown, residence-NCR
37 Prof. Ritu Diwan, ethnic origin-Maharashtra/Hindi Belt, residence-Mumbai
38 Jean Dreze, ethnic origin-NA, residence-NA
39 Pamela Philipose, ethnic origin-Karnataka, residence-NCR
40 Achin Vanaik, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
41 Adv. Flavia Agnes, ethnic origin-Karnataka, residence-Mumbai
42 Parthiv Shah, ethnic origin-Gujarat, residence-NCR
43 Prof. Irfan Habib, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-Aligarh
44 Prof. Arjun Dev, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt [63], residence-NCR
45 Prof. D. N. Jha, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
46 Prof. Kalpana Kannibaran, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Hyderabad
47 Indira Jaisingh, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
48 Kirti Singh, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-NCR
49 Vrinda Grover, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-NCR
50 Prof. Abhijit Sen, ethnic origin-Bengal, residence-NCR
51 Dr. Imrana Qadir, ethnic origin-Unknown, residence-NCR
52 Dilip D’Souza, ethnic origin-Maharashtra, residence-Mumbai
53 Ravi Chellam, ethnic origin-Tamizh Nadu, residence-Bangalore
54 Prof. Sohini Ghosh, ethnic origin-Bengal, residence-NCR
55 Associate Prof. Sabina Gadihoke, ethnic origin-Hindi belt [64],resicence-NCR
56 Smita Gupta, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
57 Prof. Jayati Ghosh, ethnic origin-Bengal, residence-NCR
58 Prof. Jagmohan Singh, ethnic origin-Punjab, residence-Ludhiana
59 Shabnam Hashmi, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
60 Manisha Sethi, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
61 Prof. Ved Kumari, ethnic origin-Hindi belt, residence-NCR
62 Biraj Patnaik, ethnic origin-Orissa, residence-NCR
63 Virginia Saldanhq, ethnic origin-Goa, residence-Mumbai
64 Prof.Madhu Prashad, ethnic origin-Unknown, residence-Unknown
65 Anees Azmi, ethnic origin-Unknown, residence-Unknown
66 Rahul Saxena, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-Unknown
67 Anjali Mody, ethnic origin-Gujarat, residence-Mumbai
68 Dr. Nikita Sood, ethnic origin-Unknown, residence-Foreign
69 Rahul Roy,  ethnic origin-Bengal, Mumbai
70 Ayesha Kidwai, ethnic origin-Hindi Belt, residence-NCR
Appendix B – Consolidated List of all intellectuals who appeared in various lists cited in this article

Hindi Belt ; Panachand Jain, SN Bhargava, Shatrughan Sinha, Ram Jethmalani, Prashant Bhushan, Jagmati Sangwan, Naseeruddin Shah, Ram Rahman, Achin Vanaik, Irfan Habib, Arjun Dev, DN Jha, Indira Jaisingh, Sabina Gadihoke, Smita Gupta, Jagmohan Singh, Shabnam Hashmi, Manisha Sethi, Ved Kumari, Rahul Saxena, Ayesha Kidwai, Harbans Mukhia, Pulin Nayak, Deep Joshi, Tarun Bhartiya, Gitanjali Prasad, Arundhuti Dhuru, Sandeep Pandey, Chetan Mali, Kalpana Kumar, Asad Zaidi, Mona Mishra, Mr. Aflatoon, Subrat Kumar Sahu, Kranti Bhavana, Taru Dalmia, Apal, Mujibur Khan, Neelima Goyal, Himanshi Rawat, Abhinandita Mathur, Rahul Saxena, Sohail Hashmi, Ghazala Jamil, Abha Bhaiya, Kiran Shaheen, Juhi Jain, Sumi Krishna, Anubha Rastogi, Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi, Rajesh Joshi, Manglesh Dabral, Kashinath Singh, Nand Bharadwaj, Ambika Dutt, Munawwar Rana, Pradip Krishen, Shriprakash, Manoj Nitharwal, Rakesh Shukla, Satya Rai Nagpaul, Nishtha Jain, Anwar Jamal, RS Sharma, Athar Ali, Suvira Jaiswal, SP Mishra, Sushil Srivastava, RC Thakran, Dhaneshwar Mondal, Supriya Verma, Shireen Moosvi, Anil Dharker, Om Thanvi, Mihir Srivastava, Jawed Naqvi, Sonia Jabbar, N C Saxena, Pramod Tandon, Ram Dayal Munda, Farah Naqvi, Virginius Xaxa

Punjab ; HS Bedi, KTS Tulsi, HK Dua, Kirti Singh, Vrinda Grover, Suroor Mander, Jatinder Mauhar Singh, Waryam Singh Sandhu, Chaman Lal, Surjit Patar, Jaswinder Singh, Darshan Buttar, Mohan Bhandari, Baldev S Sadaknama, Atamjit Singh, Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Gurbachan S Bhullar, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Pargat Singh Satauj, Romila Thapar, Tripta Wahi, Harsh Mander

Maharashtra ; PB Sawant, Majeed Memon, Dilip D’Souza, Anand Patwardhan, Virginia Saldanha, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Vidula Ramabai, Amrita Shodhan, Vineeta Bal, Iohanna Lokhande, N Shivdas, Anil Joshi, Ibrahim Afghan, Aman Sethi, Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Vikrant Pawar, Abhimanyu Dange, Kirti Nakhwa, Saeed Mirza, Manoj Lobo, Medha Patkar, Kumar Ketkar, Kiran Nagarkar, Cyrus J Guzder, Praful Bidwai, A G Noorani, Narendra Jadhav, Madhav Gadgil, Anu Aga

Karnataka ; H Suresh, Nagamohan Das, Pamela Philipose, Flavia Agnes, Nachiket Udupa, Sanjay Karkala, Michael Noronha, Shraddha Chickerur, Rahamat Tarikere, Kumbara Veerabhadrappa, Devanuru Mahadeva, Jagannath Rao, Shyam Benegal, Lalitha Naik, KL Ashok,  KP Sripala, AK Subbaiah, Suresh Bhat Bakrabail, AK Shivakumar,

Tamizh Nadu ; Siva Subramaniam, K Chandru, Mani Shankar Aiyar, D Raja, T Siva, N Ram, Annie Raja, Kavita Krishnan, Vivan Sundaram, CP Chandrasekhar, Kalpana Kannabiran, Ravi Chellam, Vivek Sundara, Nandini Sundar, Aruna Roy, Muralidharan, Malini Subramaniam, Vani Subramaniam, MS Swaminathan

Gujarat ; Tushar Gandhi, Mahesh Bhatt, Lalit Vachani, Parthiv Shah, Anjali Mody, Kalpana Mehta, Soma KP, Ganesh Devy, Kundan Shah, Teesta Setalavad, Tanaz Dara Mody, Tanveer Jafri, Mihir Shah

Andhra Pradesh & Telangana ; Sitaram Yechury, Rammanohar Reddy, M Bhoopal Reddy, M Katyayani Vidhmahe, Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti, Rafiq Elias, G Hargopal, N Babaiah, Jayaprakash Narayan

Kerala ; Prakash Karat, Binoo John, Kalyani Menon-Sen, Preetha Nair, Sarah Joseph, Hari Nair, Arundhati Roy, Vivek Sachidanand, PM Satheesh, RB Sreekumar

Bengal ; Dipankar Bhattacharya, Abhijit Sen, Sohini Ghosh, Jayati Ghosh, Rahul Roy, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Angana Chatterjee, Dunu Roy, Manas Das, Brinda Bose, Dhruba Dutta, Prabir Purkayastha, Gita Sen, Asmita Basu, Ardhendu Sen, Indira Chakravarty, Runu Chakraborty, Nisha Biswas, Ilina Sen, Mandakranta Sen, Indraneel Lahiri, Ranjan Palit, Tapan Bose, Amitabh Chakraborty, Irene Dhar Malik, Ashok Dutta, Aparna Sen, Suman Mukhopadhyaya, Joy Sengupta, Suddhabrata Sengupta, Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Ashok Mitra, Mirai Chatterjee, Ashis Mondal

J&K ; MK Raina, Amba Kak, Marghub Banihali, Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Sanjay Kak, Ajai Raina, Suraj Bhan, Syed Bismillah Geelani

Odisha ; Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, Biraj Patnaik, Lipika Singh Darai

North East ; Angela Rangad, Kyrsoibor Pyrtuh, Napolean S Mawphniang, Gertrude Lamare, Janke Pariat, Kshetrimayum Onil, Rosemary Dzuvichu

Assam ; Bondita Acharya, Nirupama Borgohain, Homen Borgohain

Goa ; Helen Saldana, Albertina Almeida, Prateek Vats, Dolphy Anthony Desouza

Does not apply ; Jean Dreze, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, Gabriele Dietrich, WSS Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression

Punjab&Bengal ; Brinda Karat
Hindi Belt&Maharashtra ; Ritu Dewan, Sudheer Palsane, Rakesh Sharma
Karnataka&Tamizh Nadu ; N Jayaram
Tamizh Nadu&Hindi Belt ; John Dayal
Punjab&Hindi Belt ; Kiran Bhatty
Karnataka&Bengal ; Nikhil Dey
Karnataka&Andhra ; Pushpa Achanta
Gujarat&Maharashtra ; Sujata Patel, Chayanika Shah, Anil Joshi, Paresh Kamdar
Punjab&J&K ; Mihira Sood
Gujarat&Hindi Belt ; Krishna Sobti, Keki N Daruwallah
Hindi Belt&J&K ; Nayantara Sahgal, Nandita Haksar
Bengal&Hindi Belt ; Dibakar Banarjee, Madhusree Dutta

Unknown ; Imrana Qadeer, Madhu Prashad, Anees Azmi, Nikita Sud, Laxmi Murthy, Sohail Akbar, Kanika Kamra, Hossein Fazeli, Ovais Sultan Khan, Ashok Chowdhury, Niraj Malik, Javed Malick, Dyuti Ailawadi, Ramlath Kavil, Supriya Madangarli, Geetanjali Gangoli, Ratna Appnender, Sadhna Arya, Pyoli Swatija, Mamta Singh, Parijata, Sakina Bahora, Meena Seshu, Vahida Nainar

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