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Prof. Dwivedi’s Bloodlust and Her Fantasies of a Caste-Inspired Revolution

Prof. Dwivedi’s Bloodlust and Her Fantasies of a Caste-Inspired Revolution

(Photo credit: The Jakarta Post) 

 

 “Journalists are afraid of being raided or arrested. The opposition parties fear being broken into pieces with money and intimidation. Research centers are being overrun. Right to Information activists are being killed. University campuses have become quiet. What is this fear that rules India today?” This is what the interviewer at the Asianlite asked Prof. Divya Dwivedi, a philosopher from the “tradition of deconstruction” and an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi at the start of the interview. 

Prof Dwivedi agreed. All the constitutional institutions in India are submitting to “the extreme evil” she said. While explaining “the extreme evil” – a choice between life and death –  Dwivedi alluded that India is following in the footsteps of Nazi Germany – the Nazi Germany which killed and gassed millions, imprisoned even more and forcefully displaced further more! To back her comparison, Dwivedi cited examples of three jailed journalists and activists, one of whom was recently released on bail. 

Perhaps the reason people like Dwivedi are not taken seriously by Indians – with the obvious exception of the Marxists – is of such absurd and provocative comparisons. Seemingly catchy lines like “there is extreme evil in India” are bound to make their way into the trash bin of unreasonable jokes that an average Indian scrolls through on social media. 

But the concern here is not with the details of the statement but with the larger notion of it, which is the destruction of Hinduism. Dwivedi minces no words in stating it and speculating on how Hinduism can be tamed and put into a coffin of the past, and by inciting a French Revolution-style conflict among Hindus – particularly between the upper and the lower castes. Manufacturing such conflicts and sowing them in the mind of the public could indeed bear fruits — of chaos, bloody murder, and anarchy – like what happened during the Pol Pot regime in Kampuchea. 

Dwivedi’s view of  Hinduism is a stark example of manufacturing conflicts. According to her, Hinduism is a religion invented in the twentieth century to hide the fact that lower caste people make up the majority in India: “The false problems of Hinduism vs Hinduness, and Hindu majoritarianism vs secularism, were created to prevent the appearance of egalitarianism in politics. As we know, Hinduism was invented in the early 20th century to avoid the lower caste majority, who had been oppressed for millennia, from rising up to claim their rightful power”. 

One can clearly deduce that Dwivedi seeks to create a narrative that the lower castes were historically not Hindu up until the last century, and then the upper castes created an umbrella concept of Hinduism to add all lower castes under it, eventually Hindu-izing them. The fact though is different. The so-called “lower castes” have been Hindus for centuries and have significantly influenced Hindu culture and religion. Many  Nayanars and Alvars of ancient times – the poet-saint worshippers of Shiva and Vishnu respectively – belonged to the lower castes. Both these traditions are believed to have started the Bhakti movement which emphasized erasing caste boundaries in the worship of Gods. The Bhakti tradition was extremely popular and remains so till date. Nayanar saint Appar says in one of his poems, “whoever they be” even if they may be outcastes if they bow to Shiva, are Gods to me.

The Nayanar and Alvar saints included cowherds, washermen, weavers, potters, toddy fermenters, hunters, fishermen, and highway robbers. Nayanar  Nandanar and Vaishnav Alvar  Tiruppan are two well-known Hindu saints who came from “untouchable” castes. The story of Tiruppan is particularly interesting as it says he entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on the shoulders of a Brahmin priest [1]. 

The compiler of the Mahabharata text, Veda Vyasa, was also a lower-caste saint by birth. Fourteenth-century Saint Chokhamela, from Maharashtra, a famed devotee of Vithoba and composer of many Bhakti abhangas, was another lower caste “untouchable”. Saints Ravidas, Ghasidas, Namdev, and Bhakti movement followers like Gosain, Ramnami, Ravidasiya, Varkari, Satnami, Aghori, and others are examples from the long tradition of lower castes happily worshipping Hindu deities and contributing to the religious and cultural evolution of Hinduism. 

India, throughout its history, has had several rulers who belonged to lower castes. Chinese traveler and scholar Xuanzang spoke of Shudra rulers in Sindh and Matipur when he visited India in the seventh century. The Akkalapundi Grant of Singaya Nayaka (1368 CE) had a Brahmin eulogist proclaim Shudras to be the noblest of the four varnas. This Nayaka was of a Shudra extraction and related to another well-known Shudra dynasty, the Kakatiyas of Deccan. The Durjayas, the Reddis, and the Vellalas produced many of the Shudra dynasties that ruled parts of India [2]. The Marathas who ruled almost the whole of Deccan and substantial parts of North and South were also traditionally from agricultural backgrounds. One of India’s most famous kings, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is seen as a Shudra by many traditions, including the one to which Dwivedi belongs [3]. 

All of this is not to say that the lower castes did not face discrimination in temple entry or worship culture as a whole, but we should emphasize that despite such discrimination, a large majority of the lower castes continued their belief in Hinduism. British gazetteers and census reports well up to the twentieth-century record thousands of lower castes and their Hindu traditions. In the face of such well-known facts, it should be obvious what motivates people like Ms. Dwivedi to instigate the “lower castes” against other Hindus. 

Dwivedi seeks to “invent” a partition between upper and lower castes as she believes that British India was partitioned because of “the very construction of Hinduism and Hindu majority.” According to her, India was partitioned because Hindus and Muslims were considered to comprise two nations at odds with each other and who had a history of violent conflicts between themselves (the two-nation theory). Dwivedi seeks to create such a division between “lower” and “upper” castes, and thus a fresh, new, bloody partition of India. 

Dwivedi’s statements comparing the status of lower castes to slaves in America and their life in India akin to those imprisoned in “concentration camps” in Nazi Germany should be seen for what it is: an analogy to provoke conflict between caste groups and a bloody showdown. But she offers no specific data to support her claims of violent conflict and the difference between “caste groups”. And the fact that from the “lower castes,” throughout history, there have been saints and rulers with no tradition of violent conflict with the upper castes makes it apparent that Dwivedi’s talk is akin to Nazi propaganda, and mired in a deadly agenda. 

Earlier, the Left/Marxists sought to demonize revered Gods such as Shri Ram by sowing doubts about the authenticity of the epics and labeling them products of a patriarchal society. Sensing that their lies and propaganda had little influence on people, not even on the young, the Leftists now seek to Balkanize Indian society by labeling Hindu deities as “upper caste” oppressors of the lower caste dasyus, asuras, etc. They ignore the fact that Ravana was a Brahmana himself. 

These narratives of past conflicts, “concentration camps,” and “slavery” are attempts by the Left to provoke “a French-style Revolution that transforms the social order and can disrupt the heritable form of power and opportunity that is caste. That is to say it will be a social revolution rather than another transfer of power that alone will destroy the caste order.” 

The French Revolution witnessed large-scale violence and destruction which was followed by years of chaos. Leftists like Dwivedi have found much traction in certain intellectual and political circles in India, and among India-baiters in the West, and they are willing to design such a revolution in India even at the cost of truth or history. The idea of a French-style violent revolution to eradicate caste in India – although it is not clear how it is supposed to happen unless there is a  genocide of millions – is an idea to provoke a civil war in India in which foreign powers can meddle at will. This strange bloodlust of the Leftists and Marxists is nothing new, and it is not confined to Indian shores. They wish to destroy the world to save the world. We better beware!


Footnotes:

[1] Upinder Singh, “A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century (PB),”  Pearson India, 2009.

[2] Kotiyal, H. S., “Sudra Rulers and Officials in Early Medieval Times”. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, vol. 34, 1973, pp. 80–87. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44138596. Accessed 30 Oct. 2022.

[3] Eaton, Richard Maxwell, “A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives,”  Cambridge University Press, 2005.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information in this article.

Yogendra Singh Thakur

Yogendra Singh Thakur is a freelance columnist from Betul, Madhya Pradesh. He has written essays for IndiaFacts, Swarajya Magazine, Pragyata Magazine, and OpIndia. He is pursuing a BA, majoring in History, Political Science, and Sociology.