Many think that Modi and the BJP lost Bihar because the RSS chief made a confusing comment on the issue of Reservation Policy. Many attribute this statement was based on motives of internal warfare within the Sangh Parivar. Whatever be the grain of truth in this and whatever be the contribution of some hotheads making anti-Muslim statements, the real reason for the BJP’s defeat is nothing else than the hopes of a new Mandalization that Nitish-Lalu duo was able to raise in the minds of the people of Bihar.
Reservation cemented the public support to Nitish-Lalu-combine, which was in any case an unashamed and blatant Union of reservationists for the OBC.
Let us face the truth that combined with the Muslim support it created an isolation of the Savaranas which was bound to be in minority and hence a predestined loss for the BJP combine, even if the RSS chief had kept silent on the Reservation. It is NOT that the chief spoke at a wrong time, it is that the RSS and the BJP were not able to see the ability of the Mandal Ghost to rise and seize power at the most unexpected moments. The same mistake was made when UP was lost two decades ago by neglecting the leaders of the OBCs, when Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharati were given short shrift by senior leaders.
Reservations in Indian political discourse and social sphere have been managed by the Cambridge-Columbia neo-colonizers. This strategy though it began in India with the British rulers in the 19 century to alienate Muslims from the Hindus by emphasizing the Arab and Central Asian inheritance of the Muslims (which had significantly eroded in the hundred years after Aurangzeb), was repeated within the Hindu fold to alienate the middle castes in the 20th century.
In the context of Bihar, the strategy of the Congress-Cambridge-Columbia combine was clear to me many months ago when a senior former diplomat joined the cadres of Nitish’s party. After his joining, the sulahnamaa with Lalu was no surprise, nor were the election results. This may sound like falling victim to a conspiracy theory, namely of admission of the manipulation of Indian political scene by certain Euro-American lobbies to oppose the rise of the Right of the Centre politics in India and hence of Modi.
But the history of this intervention is very old. It began by the demonization of the Brahmins and creation of the notions of victimization of the shudras now called SC by an imaginary oppressive Brahmanism (which was made synonymouswith upper caste or Savaranas) but which had actually lost social voice with the advent of Islam almost seven hundred years ago. Assisting the task of Christian proselytization was the initial aim of this Brahmin demonization.
To this was added another ‘victimized’ category, the OBC category, to further the isolation of the Hindu Savaranas. Some rather confused though well meaning intellectuals like Ram Manohar Lohia under fuzzy notions of a soft Marxism, swallowed the colonizers’ pill. In 80s, sociologists like Rajani Kothari and Gail Omvedt were encouraged and patronized by the Anglophones to revive Mandalism and reward the OBCs and to create a pro-Muslim (read pro-Arabic, discourse to bolster internationally the state of Saudi Arabia and to reward it for its cooperation to the American oil lobbies).
The Indian Marxists under Congress protection and money supply did the exemplary task of translating the colonial paradigm of ‘OBC victimization’into Indian languages in the Universities and hence into the lower middle classes of the Indian population of which the OBC is a substantial section.
Reservations also provide a fresh life line to the gasping Marxism of Congress-Soviet- alliance in India and to the IAS/IFS officialdom to maintain their hegemony under the continuation of Nehruvian State. This should also explain the defeat of Modi in Bihar. Modi was and is supported largely by the NRI and local business enterprise and the nationalist intellectual who wishes to dismantle the Nehruvian Socialist order.
Reservations always provide a new life lease to the Command Economy State or the Legislator/ Bureaucrat (Neta-Babu) State which is loved by the Indian politician in general including those of the BJP and the RSS as the freedom of the entrepreneur is dangerous to their established chain of authority. All Indian politicians prefer the chain of authority to stay the same so that they can manipulate it in their partisan interest as and when they are blessed with power. Even the BJP wants it, only, alas, that most of the members of the Chain have been obliged to the Congress over the years.
What’s more, they were brainwashed by their alma maters and teachers to believe in the sanctity of Nehruvian Socialism which has kept the officialdom going even though it has ceased to deliver for decades now. This is true, notwithstanding the fact that BJP is supported by the small business owners for reasons of ‘Hindu faith’. This promotion of Hindu faith or rather a regard for the Hindu textual tradition etc was not the work of the RSS but of the institutions like Niranaya Sagar Press, Ananda Ashram Press, Adyar Library and above all of the Gita Press Gorakhpur and many other religious orders. Though it should,RSS does not interact sufficiently with the traditional intellectuals of the Indian tradition. It only promotes a set number of ideas and limited research areas which are useful to political application.
Therefore the complaints of a large number of scholars and writers (not the Congress-Pinkies of the Award Wapsi fame) of traditional traditions whom they have neglected for decades and thus laid themselves open to the charge of being votaries of a limited ideology.
Modi is marginally supported, but not really accepted by the RSS and the BJP which are still following the Brahmo Samaj and crypto-Gandhian vision of India in which the Saint or the Monastic or the semi-Ascetic order becomes part of Governance.
For them, a Vasishtha or a Vishvamitra asking a Rama to deal with adharma is not enough, but many mini-Parashuramas are needed to displace the existing rulers. This should also explain the bitter and almost pathetic rebellion of an intellectual like Arun Shourie who resents the entry of several semi-Parashuramas.
The classical model of chaturvarga and chaturaashrama, called Varnaashramadharma did not recommend the Sannyasin or the Vaanaprasthin to undertake Governance himself.All the saints and munis and the Earth herself went to Vishnu to incarnate as a grihastha. The Purna Avatara is of a Grihastha because as the logic of classical Hinduism would like it, the social order can be reformed from inside only. The way out for the RSS, BJP, VHP and the Right of the Centre thinkers is to create an extensive interactive process with a wide variety of professionals and thinkers. So far, the melas organized as conferences by them have been Party Celebrations overdone and in the imitation of Congress..
To smash the Casteist Reservation Shackles of Indian politics, a dynamic alteration in the endogamic nature of Hindu marriage practices is required. Nothing more and nothing less.The challenge is not only in rationalizing the rules of Reservation but to alter the sense of identity and attachment that Caste or Jatis today. A massive social revolution is required in which the futility of old Jati affiliations is exposed and abandoned.
Here regressive thinkers like Gurumurthy would have to be confronted as they have been lobbying for the bolstering of caste identities which they think can still be functional as in the past case of shrenis or jatis as units of economic growth. Some examples of the rise of jatis like Gounders have been overplayed by Gurumurthy and his followers, overlooking the fact that new professions like doctors, netas, academics, engineers, expatriates, NRIs are the new jatis of modern economic order which are only prosperity based.
How can old jati classifications of a bygone age, of a pre-industrial economy, of professions that do not exist be the basis of an economic revival. As a matter of fact, clinging to them, is to oppose the primary principle of dharmashastras that achaara and vyavahaara is not eternal but evolving with desa and kaala.
Is the Sangh Parivar prepared to work for transformation of jati parameters in Hindu marriages so that jati identity and hence reservation comes to an end in the long run? Is Hindu advancement possible without undertaking this task at a war scale and without making accurate strategies at national scale? Is this beyond the scope of Hindu Ekata/ Hindu unification and beyond the ideals of Cultural Nationalism and Hindu humanism? We have seen that mere glorification of economic reform does prevent ugly caste-ism from taking political advantage. To my mind it is not debatable any more, nor can this task can be postponed. The task before us is to plan how to go about it and with haste.