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Mainstream, Vol XLVII No 11, February 28, 2009

Search For Aborigines, or Sudra Varna, or Caste-Ending Equality?

Monday 2 March 2009, by Sharad Patil

For A Programme of Caste-Ending Bourgeois Democratic Revolution And Socialist Transition

‘…. He (communist/socialist) will be compelled to take account of caste after (socialist) revolution if he does not take account of it before revolution…You cannot have political reform, you cannot have economic reform unless you kill this monster.’
— Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar
- [Writings and Speeches, Vol. 1, p. 47]

After discussing with Vaman Meshram, the President of the BAMCEF, Vilas Kharat, the Director of the Dr Ambedkar Research Centre, Delhi, wrote to me on February 10, 2008 that he wanted my paper on the mula-nivasis (aborigines) for their special issue on mulanivasis which should contain the formula/outline of caste annihilation.

Both factions of the BAMCEF take the mulanivasis as an emancipatory historical reality and conduct anti-brahman enlightenment on it. The central slogan of the Bahujan Samaj Party, from which they broke away, was : ‘Brahman-Bania-Thakur chor (Brahman, Bania and Thakur are thieves)’. Recently, the BSP has substituted the term bahujan for sarva-jan. Now there are no more thieves! Reservation now should be given even to brahmanas. The destination now is the prime-ministerial throne of Delhi. Caste annihilation is now consigned to oblivion!

Till now, the Indian Communist Parties accepted only class annihilation. Recently, they have agreed to oppose caste. However, their objective is not to annihilate caste, but to reform the Indian society. Annihilation of caste is to be achieved through reformism and not revolution. After the collapse of socialism in Europe and primitive communism having been proved to be a myth, the surviving communist-ruled countries are openly following capitalism.

Though the neo-imperialism of the G-8 has become sans enemy on a world scale, inflation ‘possesses’ it and the rest of the world, as predicted by Marx, and the semifeudal caste system has assumed the general crisis of the Indian society.

Ambedkar’s Search for the Sudra Varna

I think that Annihilation of Caste (1936) is Dr Ambedkar’s highest work. Addressing Indian Communists and Socialists in this book, Ambedkar pointedly said that before the socialist revolution, they will have to annihilate the caste system, and has drawn attention to the unique Indian reality of two proletariats—one, the social proletariat and the other, the economic one. But the difference between Phule, his teacher, and Ambedkar is that while the former considered the caste system to be the feudalism of India, the latter considered it to be worse than slavery and thereby separated it from Indian feudalism. That is why, he declared in the 1940s that caste abolition to be more difficult than to abolish class, which led him to leave its abolition to Parliament instead of a social revolution.

Ambedkar’s search was not for the primitive aboriginals but for the slave Sudra varna in the four varna (catur-varnya) system. In 1916, he had presented the paper, Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development, in a seminar in America. According to him, the pre-caste ancient Indian society, like all other societies, was composed of classes. He further argued that after it became closed it became the caste society—Caste is an enclosed class. (Vol. 1, p. 15)

Were the Africans, on whose slave labour America soared to progress and prosperity, before they were kidnapped from Africa, a class society? the Indian Communist Parties still continue to cling to Ambedkar’s general social truth and to explode which I had to spend the major part of my political life. Class system permeated in India only through the British capitalist imperialism. Till then, India was mainly a caste society (the rest of India was inhabited by Adivasi jamats). The jati society came into being during Buddha’s time (BC 600). It was preceded by the varna society. That is why I wrote the whole Indian history in three volumes.

Ambedkar wrote: Who Were the Shudras? How they came to be the Fourth Varna in the Indo-Aryan Society, when India was on the threshold of independence. He summarised the book as follows:

  1. The Shudras were one of the Aryan communities of the solar race.
  2. There was a time when the Aryan society recognised only three Varnas, namely, Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.
  3. The Shudras did not form a separate Varna. They ranked as part of the Kshatriya Varna in the Indo-Aryan society.
  4. There was a continuous feud between the Shudra kings and the Brahmins in which the Brahmins were subjected to many tyrannies and indignities.
  5. As a result of the hatred towards the Shudras generated by their tyrannies and oppressions, the Brahmins refused to perform the Upanayana of the Shudras.
  6. Owing to the denial of Upanayana, the Shudras who are Kshatriyas became socially degraded, fell below the rank of the Vaishyas and thus came to form the fourth Varna. (pp. XIV-XV)
    Ambedkar has admitted in the very preface of the book that: “If the warning is for the reason that I cannot claim mastery over the Sanskrit language, I admit this deficiency. (p. XIV). Can a person who wrote the history of ancient Greece from English literature on it and without attaining mastery over the Greek language, be accepted by the Greek scholars? That is why, it was rejected by the Indologists, not because they were Brahmanas. What is the evidence to prove that the Shudras were originally ‘one of the Aryan (Kshatriya) communities of the solar race’?

I have proved in my Vols. I and III that kingship in India originated in women, that is, in gynocracy. (My three volumes are available both in English and Marathi.) The original term for kingship even in the Vedic(!) language is rashtri and it has no masculine form. Quoting the lawgiver Harita’s neglected statement that the Sruti is not one but two: one Vaidiki and the other Tantriki, I have proved that Indian history starts with the latter and not with the former. Tantra, which occurs in the Veda only once, means agriculture, while Veda means knowledge. Knowledge of what? Evidently of agricultural magic, which was founded by the Tantriki Sruti and turned into karma-kanda by the Vaidiki Sruti of the Aryans. Though the Aryans, on the one hand, borrowed heavily from the Tantriki Sruti for their Vedic one, they tried to crush the Tantriki Sruti on the other. Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.3.,7) shows eminent Aryan priests and philosophers going to the matrilinear Madras of Punjab, to the wife and daughter of Kapya (son of Kapi), to learn yajna (sacrifice, agricultural magic). The primal rashtri-devi Nirrti herself declares that she is the first among priests—“cikitushi prathama yajniyanam” (Rgveda 10.125.3; Atharva-veda 4.30.2). I had to wage a year-long debate with Dr M.A. Mehendale to prove the gynocratic identity of Nirrti. All Indologists tried to prove that the Arsha language of the Veda originated in Europe. But nobody raised the question as to how the efficacy of the agricultural magic could last over such a long distance and time and linguistic and geographical differences. The Arsha language was the language of the Tantriki Sruti of the gynocratic Rtis of the Sindhu Valley. The original meaning of the varna was not colour but moiety.

Original varnas were not three but two. They originated from the sexual division of the gynocratic tribe and represented the sexual division of the then universe: Dyava and Prithivi (sky and earth). Because women invented agriculture, they were considered to be Kshetra or Kshatra and because men poured semen or rain in the females or Earth Mother’s yoni, they were considered to be Brahman or sky. (Grammar says that brahmana is the offspring of brahman.)

There was no Vaisya varna in the matrilinear states like Kerala. The third varna was introduced by the pastoral and patriarchal Aryans. There could be no persecution of the Brahmana Varna by the Kshatra Varna in the gynocratic tribes based on matriarchal blood kinship. Equality and democracy were generated by the Kshatra Varna. The words ‘samata’ and ‘mitrata’ originated in the Arsha language of the Rtis.

For equalitarian and democratic administration Nirrti initially constituted the ‘sabha’ (tribal council). Apte’s ‘Sanskrit-English Dictionary’ does not give the etymology of sabha. I had to extract it from the ‘civar-bhajaka’ bhikkhu of the Vinaya-pitaka. He was elected by the samgha to distribute equally the cloths sent by the laity for the civar robes of the bhikkhus. ‘Bhajaka’ is derived from the root ‘bhaj’, to apportion equally. Likewise ‘bha’ in ‘sa-bha’, the ‘Kashtha-sabha’, where the tribal land and wealth was apportioned equally. In European and Arab gynocracies, this distribution was made with the help of dice, while in Indian gynocracies (vai-raj) it was made by aksha or salaka or chanda. Nirrti added the dice-board (irina or adhi-devana) to it. This function was called ‘devana’ and hence Nirrti, who performed it, was called ‘devi’. Even after a year-long debate on Nirrti, Mehendale persists in interpreting the word as ‘gambling’!

Nirrti felt that it would be inequalitarian to administer the tribe exclusively by the female sabha. In order that the males should support the decisions of the sabha voluntarily, that there should be sexual equality, she constituted the samiti (tribal assembly) which was made up of all initiated adult members of both the sexes. The title ‘parishad’ is of later, Aryan times. It was not made up of the whole tribe, but only of the twice-born varnas. The ritual ‘upanayana’ was also of the Aryan, catur-varnya times. In it only the Brahmana priestly varna could perform all rituals, while in the gynocracy all rites were performed by the Kshatra varna. In gynocracy initiation of a tribal member was called ‘abhi-sincana’. It consisted of ceremonial bath in the tribal lotus pond (pushkarini). The pushkarini of Mohenjodaro-Harappa is in Pakistan. But Islam condemns all pre-Islamic history as ‘jahilia’!

Pururava was the son of Ila, the gynocratic queen of Punjab. He could not be the heir to her gynocratic State. Hence, he came to Urvashi’s gynocracy. She made him her tribal brother (vira) by bathing him in the gynocratic pushkarini and then performed sacred marriage (deva-vivaha) with him and thus made him king (raja) by contagious magic. She told him by the X.95.5: “Pururavo’nu te ketam ayam raja me vira tanvas tad asih.” The pushkarini in which she initiated him is the ‘pushkara’ near Ajmer. Before the deva-vivaha, he was an ordinary Brahman. Hence his present-day descendants consider it as the pushkara of god Brahma! Before sacrificing him in the Purusha-medha, she assured him that his sons would succeed him as patrilinear kings: “Praja te devan havisha yajati svarga u tvam api madayase” (X.95.18). Henceforth, patrilinear kingship displaces matrilinear one, ending her gynocracy by rendering her the divine courtesan!

Did Ambedkar aspire to show lofty Aryan solar origin for the Sudras, who were the slave fourth varna in the Aryan catur-varnya system? The Surya (sun) was not a male deity in its origin. In the Rgvedic marriage hymn Suryaa is the bride of the Gods. Indian slavery was not individual, class, like the European one. D.R. Chanana has proved in his unique work ‘Slavery in Ancient India’ (1960) that it was communal. The female slave of Maha-nama, Buddha’s cousin, was called Naga-Munda. It seems that the Sakya oligarchy (samgha-gana) had made the Nagas and Mundas, or a section of them, their yuddha-jita slaves. Mahabharata (II.32.10) shows the Sudras as a sovereign tribe in the Sarasvati valley. The Kashtha-sabha of Lanka was guarded by 600 Pisaca-slaves. They were yuddha-jita slaves of the sovereign Pisaca tribe, whose paisaci language produced the classic ‘Ocean of Stories’. The Lankan tribe had only three varnas, the Kshatra varna of Mandodari and other females, the Brahman varna of Ravana and other males and the Dasa varna. The community (jamat) of the Va-naras is shown even in cinema as monkeys. They do not seem to be agriculturists. Like the forest-dwelling Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, they appear to be hunters and food-gatherers. Such pre-tribe (gana) communities fit in the BAMCEF’s mula-nivasis. Indian adivasis are termed Scheduled Tribes. Tribe means gana. Not only in India, but all over the world, adivasis are no more in the advanced stage of gana. Adivasis are economically differentiated; but still they are without varnas or jatis. Their jamats cannot be equated with varna or jati or class (varga). The electoral appeal of their leaders is still in the name of homogeneous jamats.

The search for ‘Who Were the Shudras?’ should have been for the origin of their slavery. Though svatantrya (liberty) and paratantrya (slavery) are polarities, they are also the unity of those poles, opposites. Panini’s grammatical rule: ‘Sva-tantrah karta’ (I.4.54) defines the subject as one who is free to act. Commenting on Panini (BC 500) three centuries later, Patanjali says that the meaning of tantra also being thread, one who owns his means of production, that is, weaving, is free. Panini is not the sole author of Ashta-adyayi. There were several grammarians before him, including women. Udameghi had her school of Audameghyas. The language of the Vaidiki Sruti is not Paninian Sanskrit but Arsha, meaning language of the hymn-singing rshis. Veda does not mean agricultural magic, but simply knowledge, while tantra of the Tantriki Sruti means agriculture. I have shown in Vol. III that Nirrti being the inventor of agriculture (rice), she and the Kula-pas of the Rti tride were the composers of the Tantriki Sruti. The pastoral and patriarchal Aryans settled down to agriculture, adopted the equalitarian varna system by transforming it into the inequalitarian four varnas and transformed the Tantriki Sruti into karma-kanda. They substituted Nirrti by A-diti (not Diti) and their grammarian Gargya clashed with Sakatayana on the etymology of Nirrti. It was a controversy over the relation of the pratipadika (uninflected noun) with the upasarga (preposition). Gargya used grammar to denigrate Nirrti, while Sakatayana defended the prevailing law of the Arsha grammar to sublimate her. In the introduction to Part II of ‘Dasa-Sudra Slavery’ I have summarised my debate on the etymology of Nirrti with Mehendale, who upheld Gargya’s anti-Nirrti view. It is worth noting that Sakatayana was matrilinear—Sakati: grandmother, Saakati: mother and Sakatayana: her son, while Gargya was evidently patrilinear.

Thus, the trail of the Arsha language takes us to Nirrti’s vai-raj. It tells us that whosoever owns her/his means of production is really free. In Rtis’ vairaj women invented agriculture and that it why the Kshatra varna owned agriculture. But Nirrti strengthened this freedom with equality and democracy. Samiti has been explained in the context of sabha. The explanation of democracy remains. Varuna was the son of Nirrti. Punjabrao Deshmukh has drawn our attention to the fact that Varuna’s only weapon is bond (pasha). Vedic literature says that one who was ‘possessed’ by Varuna was called ‘Varuna-grhita’. Before him only Nirrti possessed persons—‘Nirrti-grhita’. She gave him the regnal post out of mother’s love; but did not bestow the Tantriki Sruti. In order that he should not betray the Vairaj, she conferred on him the shadow Mitra deity. Vasishtha was born of Urvasi from Varuna and hence he was called Maitra-Varuni. The karma-kanda of making kingship patrilinear was prepared by Vasishtha!

Visvamitra bade Rama to kill Tataka, the gynocratic queen of the Maladas and Karushas, by telling him that it was his duty as a Kshatriya prince to spread the four varna system:

Na hi te stri-vadhakrte ghrna karya narottama
- Catur-varnya-hitartham hi kartavyam raja-sununa I.25.17

It is not true that Rama’s war was exclusively against the ‘evil’ Rakshasas. In reality, it was against the equalitarian gynocracies for establishing the slave system of caturvarnya. Janaka demolished the A-halya-ruled gynocracy of the Videhas and banished her heir Sita to Ayodhya, wherein A-halya (Earth Mother) and Sita (ploughed field) were not Rakshasas. I have presented this a-brahmani interpretation in my Ramayana-Mahabharatatila Varna-samgharsha (2005). Though Indian society has progressed through this brahmanical bloody campaign, when the final conflict of caste-ending struggle has opened up, it has become urgent to disclose the suppressed a-brahmani history of this epic conflict. Though Indian slavery began not from Sudra slavery but from Dasa slavery, it is now more important to show the transition of Indian gynocracy to Dasa-Sudra slavery. For its detailed exposition my ‘Dasa-Sudra Slavery’ in two parts should be referred to.

In this context the definition of slavery by Buddha and the grammatical rule: Svatantrah karta should be compared. Buddha says:

…..puriso daso assa anattadhino, paradhino, na yena kamangamo.
- So dasabya mucceyya attadhino, aparadhino, bhujisso, yena kamangamo.

(…a man were a slave, not his own master, subject to another, unable to go whither he would; …..he, emancipated from that slavery, becomes his own master, not subject to another, a free man, free to go whither he would.)
[Dighanikayapali, Silakhandhavaggo, II.5.72]

If the grammatical rule ‘free to act’ is connected with ‘unfree to act’, it will be understood how these polarities are unity of opposites.

Vai-raj/stri-rajya was not one, but several. Upto the 20th century there was only one, that of the Khasis, described by Gurdon. They arose in a peculiar development of mankind. Even a brahma-nical, but semi-tantrika poet, like Bhavabhuti had to take cognisance of its plurality in his drama Uttara-Rama-carita. After the beheading of Sambuka by Rama, he appears before Rama as a divine person. Rama bids him to go not to the brahmanical inequalitarian heaven, but to the equalitarian heaven of gynocracies for permanent residence:

Yatra anandas ca modas ca yatra punyas ca sampadah
- Vairaja nama te lokas taijasah santu te dhruvah.

Bhavabhuti speaks of Vai-raj in the plural. The Sudra Sambuka thus revenges upon brahmanical history through a great Brahmana poet. Indian history has destined that it should not remain figurative, but come in practice. The males then obeyed Vairaja’s trinity of ‘Svantantrya, Samata and Mitrata’ under the spell of agricultural magic. Modern socialism will come into being through conscioius inculcation of the new philosophy of Sautratika Marxism, the new methodology of multilinear Historical Materialism and the new aesthetics of Socialist Sautrantikism.

Search for Mula-nivasis

MULA-NIVASI (aborigine) means human groups (jamat) in the pre-tribal (gana-purva) stage. Adivasis are called Scheduled Tribes (STs) in English, which is totally incorrect. The terms tribe and gana were brought into being by gynocracies in the West and East respectively. Though there was sexual inequality as the name stri-rajya shows, it was otherwise an equalitarian society. But with agriculture passing into the hands of the males and kingship becoming patrilinear, it became a three varna (Kshatriya, Brahmana and Dasa) inequalitarian matrilinear varna society and headed towards full scale slavery. The Aryan four varna (Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra) society coalesced with it. Guha, the Adivasi chief, who ferried Rama, Sita and Lakshmana across the Ganga, headed an undifferentiated mulanivasi collective, while his three passengers belonged to the four varna Kosala tribe.

The European tribal society further disintegrated in Plato’s time (BC 428/427-347) into merchant democracy and became a class society. Indian tribal slave society, called samgha-gana, went on disintegrating in Buddha’s time to become jati society. In AD 700 it became a developed jati feudal society distinguished by all the six characteristics. This dialectics of development should be understood. Development of the jati system means the growth of the a-brahmani opposite of the jati contradiction. With the full development of the six characteristics the growth of the a-brahmani opposite stagnated further, while the growth of brahmani opposite became retrogressive.

I have shown in Vol. III that the Buddha-led social revolution had two heroes—one, an agrestic slave and the other a cultivating householder (kassaka gaha-pati). The agrestic slave Punnaka (one who completes 100) represents agrestic slaves who had revolted violently, while Mendhaka represents the newly arisen cultivating traders with whose land revenue and trade tax the royal treasury over-flowed. The slave oligarchies being in disintegration, the agrestic slave hero was leaving the stage for good, while the caste (jati) feudal monarchies being on the rise the kassaka setthi (cultivating trader) was the new hero. The ganika Amba-pali of Vaisali was the last heir of the rashtri-devis of gynocratic Vaisalas. She is seen donating her sacred grove of Amba-vana to the sangha led by Buddha. We see all the three social orders—the disappeared gynocracy, the departing slave oligarchy and the rising jati feudal monarchy, in the lifetime of Buddha.

With the beginning of the stagnation of the jati system in AD 700 the cultivating trader gahapatis broke up into the castes of traders, money capitalists and mirasdar peasants. The anti-casteism that was evident in Sudraka’s drama ‘Mrcchakatika’ (AD 100) in these two caste groups disappears. The philosophy of the present ruling caste-classes formed of Bania capitalists and Brahmanical intelligentsia is casteist Vedanta and the elites of the dominating peasant castes are the mainstays of the rural caste system.

Buddha consciously initiated the Candala untouchables Sunita and Sopaka as bhikkhus, who were the victims of the caste system. The romance of bhikkhu Ananda and Candali Prakrti has soared to become a European opera. Prakrti’s love was sublimated by Buddha turning her into a bhikkhuni. Buddha had distinctly directed the Samgha to wage the next great struggle of ending the jati system. The Mahayana took it up. The epic philosophical struggle that the Diganaga school waged against the brahmanical camp constitutes the prologue of today’s Enlightenment of the caste-ending social revolution. Siddhas of both sexes and all castes and Macchindra-natha’s Nath sect were fired by this prologue. Shivaji and his son Sambhaji followed Saint Tukoba and the Sakta sect, finally embracing martyrdom for caste-ending equality. Hence, not the blank Mula-nivasis, but the women and men, who wrote the history of caste-ending equality with their blood, should be followed.

The Hegemony of Indian Social Revolution

THE present society is a semifeudal caste-class society. But the Preamble of the Constitution declares that it is secular, democratic and socialist. Ambedkar had warned in Annihilation of Caste (1936), addressing Indian Socialists and Commu-nists, that socialism cannot be achieved without abolishing the caste system. Caste abolition means accomplishing the caste-ending bourgeois democratic revolution. How can India become democratic without abolishing the caste system? Ambedkar should have realised this before drafting the Constitution as the Law Minister. Even after more than half-a-century, the ex-untouch-ables are not prepared to realise this due to their Ambedkar-worship.

How can a country be called secular when the Central Government and the Left Front Govern-ment of West Bengal persecute the writer, Taslima Nasreen, who risked her life in Bangladesh and India for courageously exposing in her literature the oppression of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh by the Muslim fundamentalists and was compelled to leave India by these governments?

How can India be called socialist when, in spite of Ambedkar’s abovementioned warning, it has not yet abolished the caste system?

L.H. Morgan, from whose Ancient Society (1877) F. Engels took the idea of primitive communism and wrote his The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), had surveyed tribal (gana) and adivasi societies and abstracted from them the ideal society of primitive communism. Morgan’s quotations show that he had come across a gynocratic tribe. An ideal society has to be copied and cannot serve as a model for modern socialism. Hence, Lenin and Stalin assumed (after the bour-geois democratic revolution) that socialism would appear automatically after the socialisation (nationalisation) of the means of production. That is why Stalin imposed socialism on the new Russian bourgeois revolution in 1917. Marx had opined that the socialist transformation of human mind would take more than hundred years. But his non-dual understanding of the human mind, which deleted the subconscious, made that conjecture questionable. Communists and Marxists still consider that reflectionist enlightenment will change the human mind. Only Enlightenment that can penetrate up to the subconscious can change the human mind socialistically within a limited period. But for that the new philosophy of Sautran-tika Marxism, the new multilinear historical materialistic methodology and the new socialistic sautrantika aesthetics will have to be employed.

S. Ambirajan, a Dalit economist of Chennai, says in his paper ‘Ambedkar’s Contributions to Indian Economics’ (Economic and Political Weekly, November 20, 1999) that in the 1940s Ambedkar tried to build caste economics. But after accepting the offer of becoming the Law Minister, he abandoned this effort and did not take it up again. Hence, he could not solder the social caste system and the economic order of semi-feudal land-ownership. He assigned the end of the semifeudal landownership to land reform Acts and caste abolition to Parliament and the Neo-Buddhist religion, while the caste system can be abolished not by Parliament or the Neo-Buddhist religion but by the social revolution. He should have realised beforehand that the caste-class ruling Cabinet, which appointed him Law Minister, would turn the trinity of liberty, equality and democracy into a handmaiden. The English, French and American Constitutions, from which he drafted the Indian Constitution, were born out of the revolutions made by the English, French and American peoples, while Ambedkar manufactured the Indian Constitution without making the Indian caste-ending bourgeois democratic revolution. No Constitution ushers in revolution, but it is the social revolution that makes its desired Constitution.

The undivided Indian Communist Party broke up in 1964 into the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM). The CPI and the CPM adopted policies under the names National Democratic Revolution and People’s Democratic Revolution respectively borrowed from the West. The second division took place in 1979-80; out of that split arose the Naxalite party based on the Chinese New Democratic Revolution. The philosophy of all the three parties is traditional Marxism and no Communist Party has as yet studied India’s unique social structure, history, philosophy and culture. After making this comparative study, Sharad Patil resigned from the CPM along with his colleagues and established in 1978 the Satyashodhak Communist Party based on the policy of caste-ending bourgeois democratic revolution. His Vol. III entitled ‘Caste-ending Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and its Socialist Consummation’ was published in 2006; this expounds the new philosophy of Sautrantika Marxism which is the synthesis of Dignagean Sautrantika Vijnanavada with Marxism, the new methodology of multilinear Historical Materialism and the new aesthetics of Socialist Sautrantikism. His recent paper (2008) ‘Search for Aborigines (Mula-nivasis), or the Sudra Varna, or (Caste-ending Equality?’ clinches Vol. III on the programmatic plane.

After more than 2500 years of the Buddha-led slavery-ending revolution, India stands on the threshold of caste-ending bourgeois democratic revolution. Being unable to solve the riddle posed by the unity of opposites of the social order of the caste system and the economic order of semi-feudal landownership, the Left, Centrist and Ati-sudra parties have lost the very objective of social revolution.

For caste-ending revolution, the social proletariat (ex-untouchables) needs to collaborate with the peasant caste-class. But though the peasant caste-classes support land reform, they oppose caste abolition. The peasantry in the bourgeois democratic revolutions of the class societies of the West and East were anti-feudal and hence such a situation was never faced by their revolutions. Unless the peasant castes are made caste-annihilationists, Indian bourgeois democratic revolution cannot succeed. If the Marxist proverb ‘force is the midwife of revolution’ is followed literally in India, it will antagonise the common mass of the peasantry. The pre-revolutionary Enlightenment should be such that it should turn the majority of the common mass of the peasantry into anti-caste and neutralise most of the rest. That is why this Enlightenment is unprecendented and hence it should be based on a new philosophy, new methodology and new aesthetics. Dalit writers are committing a blunder by alleging that Mahayana is anti-Buddha. Though Buddha accomplished the Great Enlightenment and revolution of varna slavery, he impressed upon his monastic order that though the nascent jati system would develop for hundreds of years, it would also have to be dealt a mortal blow like the varna slave system. Using the word jati in the sense of the scientific term ‘species’, he tells the brahmanas, Vasettha and Bharadvaja that though there are jatis in the animal and plant worlds there are no jatis in the human world:
- Jati-vibhangam pananam annamanna hi jatiyo
- Evam natthi manussesu lingam jatimayam puthu.

In the philosophical systems period (from AD 200 onwards) the brahmani philosophical camp launched attack on the Buddhist philosophical camp under the philosophical tenet: ‘Jati is permanent.’ Mahayana had to accept this Enlightenmental challenge. The philosopher poet Asvaghosha countered the attack by his Tathata-vadin philosophy and literature. Great struggle raged in all fields of knowledge. In education it was fought between the brahmani guru-kulas and the a-brahmani maha-viharas. In the great monasteries like Nalanda the educational course started by memorising the Ashta-adhyayi of the grammarian Panini. The text-book for it was the ‘Kasika’ of the bhikshus Vamana and Jayaditya (AD 650-660). Public debates then started taking place in Sanskrit. Sanskrit had deteriorated by the time of Patanjali (BC 200). It was necessary for the Buddhists to purify and make it meaningful in complexity. Kasika lasted up to the time it was displaced by Bhattoji Dikshit’s Siddhanta-kaumudi (AD 1700), which shows its irreplaceability.

But if it is forgotten that the Mahayana had consummated the early half of the Enlightenment of the caste-annihilatory revolution, it is impossible to carry this revolution to success today. In the seventh century when the caste system had started becoming increasingly rigid, Dharmakirti, the last sun of the Dignaga school, blasted the brahmanical systems by saying in his great work on logic Pramanavartika that: ‘to accept the authority of Veda, to assume the creator of this world, to suppose that merit accrues from holy dip, to be proud of the caste system and to presume that torturing one’s own body decreases sin are five signs of stupidity’—
- ‘Veda-pramanyam, kasyacit kartr-vadah, snane dharmeccha, jativada—avalepah,
- Santaparambhah papa-hanaya ceti dhvasta-prajnane panca-lingani jadye.

Communists assert that all branches of knowledge Marxism can change, but its philosophy, especially materialism, can never change. Bhikshu Dignaga has changed even materialism. He says that every phenomena is unique (sva-lakshana), it is not like any other phenomenon. It makes Marxism’s unlinearist classism inapplicable. Every phenomenon —jati, varna, gana, jamat etc.—has to be studied separately. Mind being composed of consciousness (sa-vikalpaka) and subconscioius (vi-kalpaka), the logic of the former is formal (akarika) while that of the latter is dialectical. Dharmakirti and his Chinese disciples tried to build it; but the efforts have remained incomplete. The Soviet scholars tried to define it; but their, and Marxism’s, concep-tion of the mind being homogeneous, their efforts could not transcend formal logic. Freud (1856-1930), in his treatment of mental diseases, discovered the subconscious. In the course of erecting modern socialism, the inequalitarian mind will have to be changed. During the process of this metamorphosis dialectical logic will take place. I have shown in my Vol. III how the Samkhya yoginis discovered the duality of the mind. Vasubandhu (early 400) formulated it in his ‘Abhidharma-kosa’ and his disciple Dignaga incorporated it as the epistemology of his Sautrantika Vijnanavad in philosophy.

The real reason that actuated the Indian Communist Parties to reject the caste-ending revolution is not only Marxism’s unilinearism or classism. Basically it is philosophical. I have dealt with it in my still unpublished paper ‘Lenin, Mao and Basavapunnaiah: On Antagonistic and Non-antagonistic Contradiction’ (1983). In Marx’s death centenary issue of September 1983 of the CPI-M’s theoretical organ Social Scientist, M. Basavapunnaiah wrote a paper attacking Mao’s On Contradiction (1936). Basavapunnaiah’s charge was that though, according to Marx and Lenin, the two types of contradiction, antagonistic and non-antagonistic, were mutually exclusive and that only class contradiction being antagonistic, it can be solved by revolution, Mao says that the two types being transformable into each other, non-antagonistic contradiction can turn into antagonistic contra-diction in certain circumstances and it can be solved by revolution; this is betrayal of Marxism. This paper implied that as jati contradiction being non-class and hence non-antagonistic, it would amount to betrayal of Marxism to solve it by revolution. I sent the abovementioined article to Social Scientist. It should be noted that Ambedkar had stated jati contradiction to be more antagonistic than class. Had Mao not made this contribution to Marxist dialectics, he would not have been able to direct the Chinese revolution successfully. This shows how strategic is the role of philosophy in the revolutionary movement.

The population of five districts of Nepal is overwhelmingly untouchable and the untouchables are a significant minority in the rest of the Nepal. Indian history shows that backward Adivasi jamats became untoucables. The reason why the Maoist Party waged the armed struggle successfully is that the core of its army is formed by untouchables. Nepal is a Hindu state and hence its feudalism is constituted by the caste system. Nepali people’s armed struggle has succeeded in abolishing monarchy: but if it adheres to the Chinese New Democratic Revolution, it will not be able to achieve its Caste-ending Bourgeois Democratic Revolution.

The mass bases of Indian Naxalites are among Adivasis. My whole life after 1956 has been spent in conducting the movement of the Adivasis. They are, according to the Dharma-sastra, Ati-sudras like the untouchables; but their hunger is for land and not for caste emancipation. The colleagues of Irom Sharmila Chanu, the ‘iron lady’ of Manipur, say: “We are not concerned with caste.” Adivasis in India stand on the border of the caste system. Dharmasastra does not consider them untouchables. Though Anand Teltumbade’s book is named Anti-imperialism and Annihilation of Caste, Naxalites do not name their revolution ‘Caste-annihilatory Bourgeois Democratic Revolution’; they insist on calling it New Democratic Revolution which does not spell out caste annihilation in their programme. Their philosophy is traditional Marxism and methodology unilinear historical materialism.

The factions of Achuthanandan and Vijayan are working as parallel parties in the Kerala CPI-M. The CPM’s sympathisers brand the party as bourgeois. The massacre at Nandigram shows that the Left Front in West Bengal is trailing behind big business. The panchayat elections in West Bengal reveal grim portends for the LF in the coming general elections.

It has become clear that the Left’s efforts to build an anti-BJP secular class parliamentary third front have failed and the third class front has no future. The Dalit movement has stopped at reservation and does not want to advance towards caste abolition. The Congress is no more a national force and faction fights within it culminate into murderous attacks. The BJP is becoming a national force. The Indian electorate is left with no other alternative except choosing between the secretly casteist Congress and the openly casteist BJP!

I asked D. Bandyopadhyay, the former Revenue Secretary to the LF Ministry in West Bengal, in the eighties: “How much surplus agricultural land is there in India?” He replied: “More than 49 lakh acres.” Nitish Kumar, the present CM of Bihar, has appointed him the honorary Revenue Commissioner of Bihar. Devastating accounts of his official tours of the hapless State are appearing in The Statesman and Mainstream. He points out that the Abolition of Statutory Landlordism, 1951, and The Ceiling Act, 1961, have not been implemented in this State at all. The Hathua Maharaja declared that he had donated his one lakh acres of land in Bhudan and thus saved it from confiscation. This situation prevails all over Bihar. Bhangar Singh, who murdered more than 100 persons and was declared ‘absconder’, has surrendered to the police recently. Such dons are said to be 13 and they with their private armies are but the myrmidons of the semifeudal caste-class of landlords and each has usurped thousands of acres of river-valley lands. These Bahu-balis, as they are popularly called, when imprisoned even for life, use the Jail Superintendent’s phone for extortion. Don MLA Arun Gawali, when threatened by rival dons, took refuge in jail. Deprived of employment, the rural unemployed are daily flocking in thousands to metropolitan cities to swell their slums and provide fodder for criminal gangs. Sarkar, the CPM’s MLA in Bihar, had shown the way to national salvation to the Bihar Government by redistributing surplus lands to the poor peasants and landless labourers in his constituency. The don Pappu Yadav shot him down in broad daylight, for which Pappu has been sentenced to life imprisonment. With Suraj Bhan, the third MP of Laloo Prasad Yadav has been sent to life imprisonment. The country is virtually in the hands of political and professional gangsters. What the Bodhisattva Pada-kusala Manava told the assembled people in the Pada-kusala Manava Jataka (432) is being witnessed in present-day India:

Sunantu me jana-pada, negama ca samagata!
- Yata udakam tada adittam, yata khemam tata bhayam.
- Raja vilumpate rattham, Brahmano ca puriohito.
- Attagutta viharatha, jatam saranato bhayam.
- [Hear me, O assembled of the countryside and negamas! Where should be water there is fire, where security there is fear. The Raja loots the nation, so also the brahmana Purohita. Walk with caution; sanctuary is fraught with fear!]

The leader of every European bourgeois democratic revolution in the West was its bour-geoisie. Up to the Russian October Revolution (1917), its working class had gained socialist consciousness like the European working class. The unsuccessful February (1917) bourgeois democratic revolution put fear in the Russian bourgeoisie’s heart and it became vacillating. Hence, Lenin gave the slogan of joint dictatorship of the October Revolution to the proletariat and the (tenant) peasantry. After the October 1917 Revolution, Stalin, with Lenin’s consent, imposed the socialist dictatorship of the proletariat on the bourgeois revolution. Though after the fall of socialism in Europe the Communist Parties substituted dictatorship with hegemony, Marx himself had chosen the path of communism instead of socialism with conscious acceptance of the French legacy of Gracchus Babeuf’s (1760-1797) ‘Conspiracy of Equals’. A conspiracy has no place for democracy. While defining bourgeois class struggle and proletarian class struggle, Lenin differentiated the latter from the former by the dictatorship of the proletariat. Both Marx and Lenin considered bourgeois democracy as formal, in practice sham. Even after the fall of European socialism, the Communist Parties’ acceptance of democracy has remained formal, unhistorical, and it will remain so up to the time they do not transcend Marxism philosophically.

Today, a lot of discussion is going on, for and against, on globalisation. But all parties support Special Economic Zones, which is a product of globalisation. Their snares are spread all over the States of the country. Though they are advertised under the name of economic reforms, their production is not for building the home market but for export. The home market is built by land reforms, redistribution of surplus lands to the land-hungry SCs, STs and OBCs; but these agricultural surplus lands being owned by the elites of the dominating peasant castes, genuine land reform can be carried out only by abolition of the caste system. The crux of globalisation is that the G-8 intend to perpetuate the pre-capitalist status of the Third World countries for their neo-imperialist exploitation and oppression. S.R. Sankaran, ex-Secretary of the Rural Development Ministry, remarks in his report on the Tenth Five Year Plan that while China redistributed 43 per cent of its agricultural land, India has reidstributed 1.5 per cent of its agricultural land.

Buddha had given the Panca-dhamma (five points) programme of slavery-abolishing revolution to his Samgha of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis. Following is the nine point programme of the jati-abolishing bourgeois democratic revolution and its socialist transition.

Nine-point Programme of Jati-ending Revolution

  1. India should get out of the Commonwealth.
  2. After unleashing the Great Enlightenment of caste-ending equality, abolish the caste system by punishable law and redistribute all surplus agricultural land to SC, ST and OBC landless labourers and poor peasants.
  3. Confiscate the capital of unpatriotic comprador big capitalists and industrialise India with the help of patriotic capitalists who wish to create a developing home market in the above-mentioned way.
  4. Quash all Special Economic Zones as in Goa and return all acquired lands to their peasant owners.
  5. Quash ‘The Armed Forces Powers Act, 1958’, prohibiting redressal from courts against the armed forces’ atrocities. Terminate Irom Sharmila Chanu’s epic fast with due honour. The present term ‘Scheduled Tribes’ (STs) should be changed to ‘Scheduled Jamats’ (SJ)’. The adivasi States of the Himalayan North-East have to decide how they are going to ascend to the modern socialist stage with the help of the historical Khasi and Rti gynocracies, which they can treat as a model. Their present political alternatives of the Congress or BJP, both being casteist and not Western capitalist, will land them in disaster. The adivasi jamats in the rest of India should form autonomous States where they live in contiguous areas and are in the majority.
  6. Protect matrilinear laws and culture and develop them towards genuine sexual equality. Pass a law that ends feudal patriarchay and capitalist sexual discrimination.
  7. Rehabilitate Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to leave Bangladesh for writing in defence of the Hindu minority and who has been expelled from India under pressure from Muslim funda-mentalists, with due honour and security. Erect legal and religious guarantee of true secularism which will end religious fanaticism and per-secution.
  8. Deforestation has reduced rainfall to half in India. Perennial rivers go dry after the rainy season. The whole world faces ecological disaster. Protection of the remaining tree cover and forestation can be undertaken only with the help of adivasis. When I started this movement in the late sixties, I impressed upon the government that forestation should be handed over to the adivasi encroachers by written agreements.
  9. Solve today’s general crisis of philosophy, literature, arts and culture with the help of Sautrantic Marxism, multilinear Historical Materialist methodology and the Socialist Sautrantic Aesthetics. This crisis can be solved by the a-brahmani current if it can sublate the brahmanical current in the positive manner.

[Out of the six characteristics of the caste system the one of marriage within caste reproduces the caste system. The rest of the five characteristics—heredity of caste, occupation hereditary, food within caste, castewise residence (mainly between the boycotted and non-boycotted) and caste panchayats—have changed to some extent during the transition to semi-feudalism. It will be possible to abolish them in course of the caste-ending bourgeois democratic revolutionary transformation. The punishable section of the Act will be needed to ban marriage within caste. The programme of ending the six characteristics of the caste system will have to be chalked out and implemented by the front which will be formed to accomplish this revolution.]

Buddha started building the revolutionary party of fulltimer bhikkhus and bhikkunis that would accomplish the slavery-abolishing revolution right from Bodhi. Ten years after that, at the age of fortysix, he gave the Panca-dhamma five-point programme to the Samgha. To the new feudal jati society, he gave the values of karuna (compassion) and metta (brotherhood). Metta no more meant democracy. For he had entered into the great renunciation after cognising the twilight of the tribal non-monarchical states. He visualised the Samgha as family and not kula (clan). The value-twain started being increasingly crushed after the seventh century and in the present caste-class society’s senility greater and greater crops of sadistic values succeed each other. For inspiring this society to socialist-oriented caste-ending equality, a qualitatively new and higher trinity of svatantrya, samata and mitrata will have to be imbibed.

The author is the General Secretary, Satyashodhak Communist Party, Dhule (Maharashtra).

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