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Mainstream, VOL LII No 1, December 28, 2013 - ANNUAL 2013

Why We are not Hindus: A Reply to the Indian Fascists | Murzban Jal

Sunday 29 December 2013


by Murzban Jal

The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image that flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again.
—Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History.

However it is impossible to arrive at a workers’ state with empty hands. Only political invalids...can speak of a peaceful, constitutional road to socialism. The constitutional road is cut by trenches held by the fascist bands. There are not a few trenches before us. The bourgeois will not hesitate to resort to a dozen coup d’état, aided by the police and the army, to prevent the proletariat from coming to power.
—Leon Trotsky, Fascism?—What it is and How to Fight it.

With the 2014 national elections coming up and with the corporate media backing the communal-fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) candidate Narendra Modi in the background of the communal carnage in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the question of a fascist takeover of state power in India cannot be underestimated. And with the global capitalist economy in depression, one has two open choices: barbarism or socialism. And yet it seems that the established Left led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist—the CPI-M—is not taking this threat of fascist takeover in the times of economic crisis seriously. And in case if one is lost in a liberal democratic slumber in imagining that the neo-cons are part of the democratic space one only needs to remind them what the truth of Indian fascism is. Consider the original document of Indian fascism:

The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must hold to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu religion and lose their separate existence, to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizen’s rights.1

Whilst the need of the hour is to understand the fascist pattern of propaganda and the ability to create mass hysteria which takes on a form of politics that is devoid of political thought, it is not the point of Revolutionary Marxism to take the path of parliamentary democracy to solve the problems of democracy and fascism. In a certain viewpoint we would agree with Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek in stating that one should not be enamoured by the word “democracy”, neither be scared by the word “totalitarianism”. It must be said that the revolutionary understanding of democracy (the one argued by Lenin in State and Revolution) is totally different from what we know as “democracy”. It must also be said that the social democratic understanding of democracy practised by the established Indian Left, especially by the CPI-M, derives from the theoretical problematic inherited from Karl Kautsky’s The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. This essay is a critique of the established Left’s discourse on fascism. It calls for a deeper cultural revolution that can displace this fascist hegemony. Our critique is of the politics of “Hindutva”. Unlike the mainstream under-standing that differentiates “Hindutva” from Hinduism proper —the first is said to be fascist while the latter is said to be a matter of faith and thus democratic —we follow the radical Dalit line that critiques Hinduism itself as a system that is inherently undemocratic. Like Marx said: “The criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism.”2


We begin with this pertinent question: “What is the nature of Indian fascism?” We claim that it is based on a spurious idea of communitarianism, or estrangement communitarianism where neither equality nor liberty exists. Here the national popular unity is disrupted for a fascist idea of the “people”. One knows that this idea of the “people” (Volk) was the essence of German fascism based on the ideology of blood descent where the idea of citizenship was displaced for an idea of “community”. Yet it is important to note that community and citizen-ship “have had a problematic relationship”, as has been recently pointed out, “since the origins of political thought. The Greeks had only one word to express these two aspects: politeia, whence we derive our ‘politics’ as well as our ‘police’.”3

What fascism did was that it removed the ideas of citizenship or politics proper and inserted the ideas of community and police. Now what this community-police combine did was that it invented the Right-wing ideology of race. The Indian fascists then inserted a colonial borrowing of the race theory wherein they made claims of the “Race spirit”, in the 1920s. The ‘Aryan’/’Jew’ opposition was changed into the ‘Hindu’/’Muslim’ opposition. And what did this fictitious “Race spirit”, now drunk on the Aryan-Hindu fantasy, talk of? It talked of the “Hindu nation” based on the imagined “Hindu race”. Now it is well known that it was the 1921-22 text of Vinayak Savarkar, Essentials of Hindutva, where Hindutva was invented as a racial category where “Hinduness”, and “Hindudom” (akin to European feudalism’s “Christendom”) came into the lexicon the Indian fascist movement. The Indian fascists like their European counterparts create this spectacle of the race spirit. One recalls the young Marx here: “These petrified conditions must be made to dance by singing to them their own melody.” And here whilst the petrified conditions are understood as late imperialism in permanent crisis, the melody is that of the fetishism of commodities where the fetish character of late capitalism is transformed into the fetish of Hinduism, the Hindu race and other notorious fictions. What happens in contemporary India is that that the fetishism of commodities and the fetishism of producing this Hindu fantasy meet such that the breaking of the hegemony of the Indian elites over the political economy of the country and state power becomes problematic.

Consider the tragic case of the bowing of the Indian liberals to communal-fascism. In the death of a self-appointed fascist (Bal Thackeray) in the city of Bombay (re-Christened as “Mumbai” by the corporate capitalists-Indian fascism combine), more than other brother and sister fascists that sang odes to him, it has been the Indian liberal who said that this fascist was a “very illiberal and tolerant man”. We know that for all fascists the question of Constitutional Democracy is not something to be hailed, but the “Hindu Rashtra”, a mythical nation modelled after the Nazi idea of nationalism, where there would be no place for religious and ethnic minorities. In a certain sense it is not only K.B. Hedgewar, Vinayak Savarkar and M.S. Golwalkar who are the constructors of this myth of the “Hindu nation”, but also the Indian liberals, the main edifice that they inherited from Orientalism and colonialism. We know of course that it was Savarkar who first laid the political foundations of this theme, later to be taken by the RRS and made infamous by Golwalkar. That this theme of “Hindu Rashtra” was borrowed from European fascism along with the now completely discredited theory of eugenics is something to be thought of.


We are claiming that “we” are not Hindus. Our claim is that the Indian fascists are so dumb that they cannot even invent their own terms and borrow from the linguistic baggage of their West Asian neighbours. Of course one should celebrate all possible borrowings, but what we claim is that the Hindu-fetish-loving fascist, in claiming to be an ultra-nationalist, cannot even invent his own terms. One knows very well that the term “Hindu” is of Persian origin and more that two-and-a-half millennia back the Persians called the people living South East of the Persian Empire “Hindus”. The original term is of a geo-political nature. What the Indian fascist does is to manipulate this original Persian term and foster the archaic Brahmanical ritualistic repertoire, especially his caste-stratified system of social control, and places it as a societal whole. By Hindu one actually means this archaic Brahmanism and the imposition of this archaic structure on the Indian masses. That this term was then romanticised by the European Orientalists since William Jones and Max Müller and then taken over by Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Gandhi ought to be emphasised. The Persian geo-political term now becomes a colonial geo-political term. The term “Hinduism” thus conceals more that it reveals.

Hence if we have two basis of the term “Hinduism”: one the archaic and the Brahma-nical and the other the romantic, we also have B.R. Ambedkar’s rendering of it as a social system that is directly the antithesis to democratic principles. It is in this perspective that we retort to the Indian fascists that we are not Hindus. In this sense we transcend the earlier individualist talk of the “I”, where we were once told: “Why I am not a Hindu.” (Remember, this is Kancha Ilaiah’s title of his book Why I am not a Hindu.) Whilst turning to this theme of identity politics we are arguing for modernity and secular identities where class struggle and the proletarian question are kept at the base of our argument. We turn to two figures, B.R. Ambedkar and Gandhi, to understand this question of forming both archaic and modern identities. In more than one sense we will be arguing against Gandhi and Gandhism. Yet in this arguing against Gandhi it must not be forgotten that Gandhi, as a great democratic figure, is sometimes also equated with Lenin. It is Etienne Balibar who had said that “Lenin and Gandhi are the two greatest figures among revolutionary theorist-practitioners of the first half of the twentieth century”.4

According to such a reading, both of them, Lenin as well as Gandhi, in different ways undertook the heroic and at the same time adventurous experiment of putting into practice the long cherished dreams of humanity. They were both rooted deeply in their own nations; and their reforms and methods were entirely the result of the destinies of their countries, of the limitations of the Russian and Indian conditions, and that at a moment when both nations had arrived at a turning point in their national development. But the political enterprise of both the Russian and the Hindu goes far beyond the narrow boundaries of the national and the temporary. Russia and India were merely to be the subjects of a great and universally valid experiment whose success was to give an example to the world and to spread the new doctrines of the two reformers over the whole earth. Lenin and Gandhi were upheld by the emotion of an ecstatic faith, the faith that their country, was called to redeem humanity.5

I shall argue here that whilst Gandhi cannot be written off, simply as a sort of an instrumental reason in the times of the anti-colonial struggle—our claim is that Gandhi was a romantic anti-capitalist—we will argue against Gandhism. Whilst arguing against Gandhism we shall also be arguing against the Indian Stalinists and the established parliamentary Left that could not understand the deep complexity of the caste-class relations, nor could understand Marx’s theory of multilinear historicism and the Asiatic mode of production. However, to those who thought that the philosophy of B.R. Ambedkar is not at all applicable to the radical Left movement, that he talked of only the Indian caste system without ever talking of modern classes and capitalism, one only needs to recall his “Class the cause of misery”.6 And to those who think that Gandhi was the apostle of radical change one needs to recall him: “I am working for the co-operation and co-ordination of capital and labour and of landlords and tenants....Class war is foreign to the essential genius of India...The Ramraja of my dreams ensures the rights equal of prince and pauper.”7


Keeping these in mind we start with a radical reconstruction of Left politics. We start with three propositions:

(1) Antiquity ushered a revolution initiated by a complex of philosophies—the Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Greeks, Chinese—that culminated in the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle followed by Ibn Sina and via the European Enlightenment finally culminating in Hegel. If Aristotle, the “greatest thinker of antiquity”, as Marx thought him to be, would bequeath the formal logical system, Hegel, the great student of the French Revolution, would usher in another revolution—that of modern dialectics. We the children of the Age of Reason have these two great logical systems. Marx as we know chooses the latter—dialectics, or dialectical materialism to be precise.

(2) There probably could be no better social scientist and revolutionary than the figure of Ambedkar in India. And like every true and authentic scientist he is both essentially political (in the Leninist sense that Althusser outlined in Lenin and Philosophy).

(3) The base-superstructure model that Marx talks of is not a reductionist model, not a determinism, where Marx’s term bestimmte is located as a iron code. Instead Marx as a historicist and humanist (we know these to be from Antonio Gramsci) locates bestimmte or “determination” as the problem of formation. An economic formation thus creates a political and ideological superstructure. And for Marx, the humanist, the human being of the here and the now is always central to this historical picture. The problem of ethics is thus always central to Marx.

For him like the rest of the Enlightenment thinkers, a moral regeneration is always the prelude to a real revolution. It is from this space that we argue for searching new spaces whereby the moral bloc (again we know this term is from Gramsci) is created that confronts capitalism. We search for the “we”, the “multitude”, the people against capitalism and imperialism. So far we see ‘weeness” everywhere and yet nowhere. Why is this so?

For that we turn to Lang’s idea of the divided self. The divided self has no “I” no “we”. Why is this so? To answer this question we, like the rest of the idealist school of transcendental idealism, turn to the most ancient text that locates this ideal-primeval divided self where we note the 10th mandala of the Rg Veda which states how society is not only divided into frozen castes-classes, but also emphasises the ideological monopoly of the upper-caste elites. And since the Indian Left has not been able to engage the humanist Enlightenment project of the annihilation of caste and capitalism, both caste and capitalist politics haunt every aspect of Indian society. And because the Indian fascists are crying hoarse on the need for the “Hindu nation”, we claim that there is both morbidity and necromancy in their very ideological problematic.

And it is with this note on necromancy that we recall Walter Benjamin’s angel of history that despite being blown forward by the storm of history, is looking backwards.8 Benjamin’s angel sees only ruins below. Let us see what we are able to see. We recall Ambedkar when he talked of the dangers of postponing the moral regeneration that “Hindu society”, as he called it, terribly needed. His answer was that only those had gone through a “moral regeneration” and “intellectual regeneration” could go through this process. These same people had to have the convictions “born of intellectual emancipation”. His answer was that “Hindu leaders who could are unfit for this task”.

In a very historicist and humanist sense, Ambedkar is talking Marxism, and here I mean the Marxism of Marx. And because Gandhi comes into the scene of the discourses of emancipation one is in a certain sense talking of both emancipation and despotism. Both Marx and Ambedkar, one needs to engage, whilst Gandhi will be put as the theoretical founder of conservative democracy as well as what Žižek calls “social fascism”. Then one notes what is happening in Indian universities (especially philosophy departments) as the birth of neo-Hinduism. In this sense I agree with what Friedhelm Hardy, in ‘A Radical Reassessment of the Vedic Heritage’ talked of, namely, the intrinsic connection between Hinduism in the political arena and the Hinduism that Indian academics are trying to produce.

Since Gandhi is probably the guiltiest for rehabilitating both the caste system and Hinduism, we need to turn to this form of what one may call ‘nativist’ discourse. Gandhi is both a native and a nativist, who removes his English suit to become an Asian fakir. He is also the master in learning the art of metamorphosis. Just as Marx’s commodity “changes its features, hair and other things, besides”, Gandhi’s metamorphosis creates what we know today as the ‘Hindu’, the tolerant and suffering Hindu, who sang odes to “hey ram”. How “Hey ram” became “Jay sia ram” and how the tolerant and suffering Hindu became a Hindutvavadi has to be noted. This ‘Hindu’ (both Gandhi’s version of the tolerant and suffering Hindu and the extremely intolerant and communal rendering as practised by the Indian fascists) are fictions. If the first story-teller was Gandhi, the new story-tellers are the Indian fascists, since both justify the “borders of cruelty” (to borrow Etienne Balibar’s term). ‘Hinduism’, one must insist, is an invention. The borders of cruelty, alas, are a brute fact.

I had said before that Hinduism is inherently woven with caste, and this caste system has to be understood as the alienated “cutting off” of one human from the other governed by the dictatorship of the upper castes.9 And since Indian democracy did not uproot caste, we call Indian democracy “conservative democracy”10. We also said that Gandhi has to be seen as the source of Congress conservatism11 that despite its cosmopolitan appearance, it remains conservative in actual practice. As Ambedkar said, Gandhism is a “call of return to Antiquity” as well as a “reanimation of India’s dread, dying past”.12 It is this conservative character that the Indian liberals nurtured, thus disabling the programme of the annihilation of the caste system.

In the same essay I had also said that the caste system, in the age of late imperialism in permanent crises, structures minorities like the Muslims along with the traditionally oppressed castes to look like the “hellish other” that serves the interests of the anti-democratic, anti-secular and pro-imperialist forces.

My third point is that caste is to be understood as the Confucian lethargy of Indian civilisation which serves the production of the political economy of the capitalism-at-the-periphery, as well as the creation of a sluggish de-politicised and fragmented working class that is so internally divided that it cannot play its role as the insurrectionist proletariat. The conclusion of the above observations is that we need to relate the problem of caste with R.D. Lang’s theory of the divided self and Theodor Adorno’s theory of the general regression of thinking.

Since we are contrasting secularism and democracy on the one hand and fascism on the other hand, as well as contrasting science with fiction, let us once again turn to Gandhi. For Gandhi as the whole genre of nativism, India is homogenous devoid of internal differences and contradictions. For him, India is ‘Hindu society’, mystical and tolerant. Whilst it is apparent that this form of nativism was born more from the cranium of Orientalism than indigenous Indian thinking, where the discourse of Orientalism—from Anquetil-Duperron, William Jones, Charles Wilkins and Henry Thomas Colebrooke to the German Orientalism of Friedrich Schlegel and Maurice Winternitz—created the early discourse of ‘Hinduism’, followed faithfully after the defeat of the 1857 revolution against British colonialism by Aurobindo, Vivekananda and Bankim Chandra, one inserts another discourse, the discourse of what I call the ‘Indian Fanonists’, the radical democrats, who at least since the 1870s, reinterpreted Indian history from a radically new and different perspective, the radical secularist perspective of humanist history, which means non-Hindu history that transcendence of phantasmagorical mythology. Remember, for Ambedkar caste destroys all human feelings And that is why one needs to tell the Indian fascists who try to create the myth of the “Hindu nation” that “the ideal Hindu must be like a rat living in his own hole refusing to have contact with others. There is an utter lack among the Hindus of what the sociologists call ‘consciousness of kind’.”13

And because we claim to have to understood this, we claim a very different account of history. Marx had said somewhere, and we know where, that according to Hegel, history repeats itself as it were twice, “he forgot to add” as Marx says, “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce”.14 Marx, it seems, should have said that history repeats itself thrice, the third time as great joy. In a certain sense we are sitting on the crossroads of history where tragedy, farce and joy appear all at the same time.


Keeping this theme of repeating history we turn to the problem of identifying caste in India, especially in identifying the genealogy of caste. Central to this theme of caste is the question of capitalism and modern classes and whether the new capitalist structures are able to erase the earlier caste-based mode of discrimination. The relation between social hierarchies and graded inequality (the sine qua non of the caste system and the philosophy of ‘Hinduism’15) on the one hand, and the very Marxist issue of class struggle especially the bourgeois/proletariat opposition on the other hand has to be pointed out. Alongside the question of caste and class emerges another issue: that of caste and race. We thus pose the question: “Is caste and casteism similar to racism, if not a European type of racism, then at least a South Asian type of it?” Finally the problem of caste is also related to the psycho-analytic problem of neurosis and psychosis. It is keeping these three problematic: (1) class, (2) race and racism16, and (3) neurosis and psychosis that we shall try of locate the question of how the Indian fascists manipulate caste to produce their ultra-conservative politics. Combined with these three problematic we also deliberate on the question of social and political power in India.

And since the Indian fascists stubbornly want to make hysterical claims of the mythical Hindu nation, one needs to state that there is absolute control over the Ideological and Repressive State Apparatuses where the upper-caste elites wield both the Ideological State Apparatus of India and the Repressive State Apparatus (the Army, the police and the paramilitary forces). The peasants (the Vaiœya) and the artisans (Úûdras) become (to borrow Herbert Marcuse’s term from a different context) the proletarianised “Great Refusal”.

A slight historical reflection flows from the sighting of this basic structure of social stratification and why what we now know as ‘Hinduism’ has a fetish for hierarchy based on the law of purity and pollution. A small note is necessary. Though radical subalterns have continuously challenged caste, even modified it in many ways, it has not been overthrown, or as Ambedkar said “annihilated”. Like the neurotic who negates the trauma, only to posit it once again, caste refuses to leave the scene of India. This is because those who control the neurotic Ideological State Apparatus of India are the uncanny elites who somehow make us recall Shakespeare:

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,

He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.17

We live not only with dangerous people. We live in the era of danger. This era of danger encompasses tragedy, farce and joy. The first two acts: tragedy and farce are of the silent counterrevolution, of the neurotic returning again and again. Let us have a look at it.

In more ways than one we begin with Žižek, especially with his recalling, if not rehabilitation, of Lenin. We begin with the outburst of sarcastic laughter that he talks of in his essay, ‘A Plea for Leninist Intolerance’, where he says that the bourgeoisie which declared Marx to be dead, now talk of Marx, the so-called pioneer of culture studies, but never Lenin. We then go to a quote from Saint-Just that Žižek notes: “That which produces the general good is always terrible.”

With this theme in mind we go to the articulation on the discourse of emancipation, especially on Marxism and the question of communism. And because Gandhi does some-how almost surreptitiously enter the rather strange discourse of emancipation, and because Ambedkar is always, and rightly so, tauntingly haunting the ghost of Gandhi and his followers, we in a very provocative and realist way say: we are not Hindus. But why, one may well ask, has this being Hindu and not being Hindu, have to do anything with emancipation?

Now this non-Hindu account of politics has to be related to historicism and humanism, the narratives of modes of production and class struggle constituted within the concrete issues of caste and the Asiatic mode of production, not to forget the most celebrated Leninist theme of understanding insurrection as art. We talk thus of philosophy, to be precise Marxist philosophy, a philosophy that is essentially political. We thus raise the question: ‘how is free humanity possible?’, a freedom that is learnt in the practice of insurrection as an art.

It must be noted that the critique of Indian fascism has to be based on Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscript of 1844 (which brings in the questions of capitalist alienation) along with Capital and the rather ignored Ethnological Notebooks. Unlike the established Left in India, we argue for a multilinear historicism and a politics of permanent revolution through the art of insurrection where we learn to skip the bourgeois stage altogether. Unlike the established Left that ignores caste, and if they think of it, then it was sort of post-Marxist, post-modernist borrowing, we concretely relate caste with modern classes and political power.


So how does Marxism-Leninism differ from the established Left, especially the parliamentary left? It differs completely in the approach to Indian history because it totally disregards their theory of “Indian feudalism”, their theory of transition from ‘feudalism’ to capitalism, their understanding of caste as a mere ‘feudal’ remnant along with the dialectics of caste-class. In antithesis to this petty bourgeois established Left we state the following:

1. To construct a foundation for radical peoples’ movement that we call the “Asian Soviets”. These Asian Soviets confronts not only imperialism, capitalism and its essential pre-capitalist structures (we will not call these mere remnants, but essential structures for contemporary global accumulation of capital), but also confronts the nation state and its ruling ideology of neo-liberalism.

2. One then goes beyond the discourses of ‘iron laws’ of history as well as go beyond the discipline of ideology for the politics of radical praxis and the New Discipline of desireology.

3. From this New Terrain discovered we also move away from the spaces of civil society and the state into the New Terrain of the “commons”.

The “commons”, as one can decipher from the word itself, is in contrast to class fragmentation. But more than modern class system it gets in contradiction with the caste system whose very essence is inequality and slavery. And it is in this site of the commons that Revolutionary Marxism initiates the Cultural Revolution, the revolution that would serve as the actuality of the revolution. We claim that this Cultural Revolution needs a dramaturgy inspired by Ambedkar’s critique of Hinduism. Marxist science now becomes a dramaturgy. For understanding how science becomes a dramaturgy, how science, politics and aesthetics meet, one will have to talk of Marx’s idea of science as human natural science, where Marx discovers not only the new continent of history, but also discovers the science of understanding human alienation and the fetishes produced thereof. Marx here discovers a New Physics, and thus discovers a New Space that has transcended class societies. There are three terms which hint to this New Space discovered all class and caste stratified societies:

(1) the human essence (das menschliche Wesen),

(2) Gattungwesen (species being) where humanity is understood as a species that seeks equality, liberty and fraternity, and

(3) the celebrated “commons” or what Engels called Gemeinwesen (literally translated as “the common essence”, known to the world as the Paris Commune).

It is this New Space—that of the commons—that one needs to recognise and understand. The commons is the future of India, a future that is inexorably tied to the future of the world. The struggle against fascism shall have to be fought in this space of the commons.


1. M.S. Golwalkar, We, or our Nation Defined (Nagpur, 1947).

2. Karl Marx, ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Introduction’, in Karl Marx: Early Writings, trans by Rodney Livingstone and Gregor Benton (London: Penguin Books, 1992), p. 243.

3. Etienne Balibar, Politics and the Other Scene ((London: Verso, 2005), p. X.

4. Etienne Balibar, ‘Lenin and Gandhi: A Missed Encounter’, in Radical Philosophy, 172, March/April, 2012. Also see RenéFülöp-Miller’s Lenin and Gandhi, trans. F.S. Flint and D.F. Tait (London & New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927).

5. René Fülöp-Miller, Lenin and Gandhi, trans. F.S. Flint and D.F. Tait (London& New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1927), p. VII.

6. B.R. Ambedkar, ‘Buddha or Karl Marx’, in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Writings and Speeches, Vol. 3 (Pune: Education Department, Government of Maharashtra, 1987).

7. M.K. Gandhi,‘Answers to Zamindars, 25 July, 1934’.

8. Walter Benjamin, ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’, in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (Glasgow: Fontana/ Collins, 1979), pp. 259-260.

9. See my ‘Asking Questions of Caste, Class and History to the Indian Left’, in Radical Socialist, 18 May, 2012

10. Christophe Jaffrelot, (2003): India’s Silent Revolution. The Rise of the Low Castes in North Indian Politics (Delhi: Permanent Black), p. 11-12.

11. Ibid., pp. 13-47.

12. B.R. Ambedkar, ‘Gandhism’, in The Essential Writings of B.R. Ambedkar, ed. Valerian Rodrigues (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 165.

13. B.R. Ambedkar, ‘Annihilation of Caste’, in The Essential Writings of B.R. Ambedkar, ed. Valerian Rodrigues (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 267.

14. Karl Marx, ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’, in Marx Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), 96.

15. We are keeping this term ‘Hinduism’ in what Edmund Husserl called “brackets”, since we intend to unleash the radical politics of suspicion on this very term that we claim is vacuous and fuzzy.

16. The cultural and economical subordination of the Dalits emerges from this Indian form of racism.

17. William Shakespeare, ‘Julius Caesar’, In The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (London: Henry Pordes, 1983), Act I, Sc II, p. 890.

(The author belongs to the Indian Institute of Education, Pune. He can be contacted at e-mail: murzbanjal[at]

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