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Friday, March 1, 2024

Geopolitics and Bharat’s caste fault lines – Part I

In 2010 Britain’s parliament affirmed caste apartheid as the defining feature of its Dharmic communities. It has already been condemned as an offence by the courts that can be harshly sanctioned. And Dharmic communities are being pursued relentlessly at present by the political class for the alleged propensity to caste discrimination with pending explicit legislative sanction by parliament. Hindus, Sikhs and Jains are all being roundly denounced as prone to a form of apartheid that has supposedly always characterised Bharatiya civilisation innately.

This accusation of racist behaviour is not entirely new, nor is its malicious nineteenth century Protestant missionary antecedents unfamiliar. But it has now been imputed a more sweeping generalised manifestation to all people of Bharatiya origin, even converts from Hindu Dharma. The entire campaign is being prosecuted by the British Labour Party, with the wholehearted support of the Liberal Democrats though the latter was consigned to political obscurity in the last general elections and the former is following in its footsteps. The party of the church, the Conservatives, are apparently engaged in deception over the issue by maintaining tactical quiescence though its views can be inferred.

The entire moral legitimacy of Bharatiya civilisation and any ethical standards espoused by it are condemned as immaterial except through religious conversion to abandon the criminality of its caste impulses. There is a terrifying echo in the slanderous accusations against Dharmic dispensation of the historic Christian denunciation of Jewry that ended in gas chambers, largely ‘resolving’ the issue by cleansing Europe of Jews through mass murder. However, even in the aftermath of the mass murder, anti Semitism remains venomously widespread in contemporary Europe, abetted in its streets and universities.

It is significant that the European Union, the US, Canada and Australia are all contemplating anti caste legislation. Such legal provisions will, in essence, demonise Bharatiya civilisation as fundamentally immoral and chronically motivated by an urge to discriminate on grounds of social origin and descent. No other aspect of the Dharmic past is considered worthy of approbation, exactly in accord with evangelist demonization of Hindus during colonial rule. Tragically, the Bharatiya social science and humanities academic fraternity and politicians of Bharatiya origin, beholden to the British establishment, regard the ghastly episode as yet another opportunity to ingratiate themselves by joining the chorus condemning their own Dharmic community.

The World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, imbued with the zeal of evangelist scheming, and its 2009 UN Review Conference, had sought to equate caste specifically with Hindu racism and failed. This was due to the firm opposition of the Government of Bharat. However, it should be noted that Britain’s current anti caste legislation is indiscriminately aimed at Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, the entire spiritual dispensation of Bharat, holding them all culpable for caste discrimination. Indeed all forms of social self ascription and practices of Dharmic communities are being deemed suspect and possibly discriminatory, including Diwali, Navratri (specifically accused by the BBC) and other religious festivals. The legitimacy of these festivals is likely to encounter legal challenge for alleged selectivity on the basis of caste for predominant participation in their traditional celebrations on the basis of community membership.

Oddly, ninety percent majority of instances of alleged caste discrimination cited by proponents of the anti caste discrimination legislation in Britain, mainly evangelists and their political and NGO surrogates, are supposedly committed by Jat Sikhs and their gurdwaras against the Ravidassi community. In addition, paradoxically, the enacted legislation awaiting activation by parliament also effectively questions the efficacy of religious conversion to Christianity as a means of overcoming unwelcome caste practices, which has been its historic justification for proselytisation. Now it is being argued that everyone of Bharatiya origin, Christian and implicitly Muslims as well, engages in caste racism, even after religious conversion. It is implied that so deeply ingrained are caste prejudices and practice that Dharmic converts to Christianity are unable to resist the antecedent inherited mark of Cain and continue to engage in caste discrimination.

An important question arises as to the motivation of Britain’s political class for the determined and egregious assault against Dharmic communities, whom they themselves usually describe as peaceful and able to integrate. Such a major and consequential policy measure requires searching scrutiny since British legislators have allowed parallel Shariah courts to function and adjudge issues pertaining to marriage, property rights, and even cases of domestic violence, although it constitutes patent subversion of fundamental tenets of existing legal provision on equality. Shockingly, there is widespread support within Muslim communities, surveyed across Europe, for resort to violence in settling domestic discord while allegations of caste discrimination are invariably anecdotal and extracted from complainants by posing leading questions.

The political class is apparently hesitant to combat blatant injustices being perpetrated by Shariah courts despite unequivocal evidence of their impact being demonstrated in several covertly filmed documentaries. There is evidently anxiety that curbs relating to such supposedly subsidiary issues, mainly affecting women, could potentially prompt terrorist bombers to avenge the assault on the sanctity of Islamic Shariah courts. But the question remains why Dharmic communities have been brutally singled out as irredeemably racist. Of course it is clear they are viewed with a degree of contempt because they are unresisting on the whole and their leaders easily bought, unlike those of the Muslim community.

The rationale is not far to seek, but requires understanding of the behaviour of well established countries and how they invariably seek to exploit divisions within other societies to achieve parochial imperialist goals. For centuries, European colonialists identified and used divisions among the conquered to exploit and periodically liquidate them through genocide, as they did in the Americas. The Spanish conqueror Pizarro found temporary allies among disaffected rivals in the Americas to defeat and murder the ruling Inca Emperor Atahualpa, but eventually got rid of the installed puppets as well.

The very subject of anthropology was inspired to identify discord within conquered societies to better control and subjugate them. In the same vein, caste censuses after the Bharatiya mutiny of 1857 created new weapons in the British armoury of divide-and-rule by indentifying the axes on which Dharmic Bharatiyas were segregated. Indeed the very fact of the census broadened and intensified caste identities that have since come to haunt and destabilise Bharat.

But why is the Western world, led by Britain, so exercised about caste anew at present while cooperation with Bharat is considered to have attained amicable depths on multiple fronts, including at the military level. The Bharatiya refusal to participate in the Western Cold War front against the Soviets during the premierships of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, which so rankled the West, has been left behind. Indeed the degree of bonhomie that began with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s accession and accelerated during NDA I has reached new heights since Narendra Modi’s historic electoral victory in 2014.

In fact, the West has achieved a degree of penetration of Bharatiya society that should cause acute unease, with evangelists and NGOs running amok and the mainstream Bharatiya media in their thrall. But mundane interests of Bharatiya business and the imperatives of contemporary alliance politics appear to have won the day. Yet, the caste issue is being wielded vehemently, with Britain as the test case that will lead to universal condemnation of Bharatiya society, endorsed by the EU and UN and other prominent nations across the world.

It is important to note that while Bharat’s elites and its officials can succumb to foreign pressure and blandishment of powerful countries, even commit treason, Bharat is not consistently easy to influence. Major international actors view Bharat as a country from which compliance cannot be elicited habitually. Although it caved in under pressure in the aftermath of the Union Carbide Bhopal industrial disaster of 1984, Bharat often also insists on adopting policy according to its own lights and wisdom. Most spectacularly, it refused to bow to compelling US threats in 1970 and presided over the birth of Bangladesh. More recently, Bharat, refused, in the midst of supposedly deepening ties and mutual regard, to comply with unilateral US sanctions against Iran, adamant it would only implement those stipulated by the UN Security Council.

Yet, Bharat is too important a country to be left to its own devices unhindered, but sufficiently vulnerable to be an object of calculated foreign attention to extract concessions. The question is how best major foreign powers can impose their will on Bharat.

(You can read the concluding Part 2 of this article here)

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Dr. Gautam Sen
Dr. Gautam Sen
Dr. Gautam Sen taught international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science for over two decades.


  1. A very seminal article. It was a very good read. There is no doubt despite how industrious and trouble free non-resident Indians have shown themselves to be abroad, and what a huge and welcome contrast this is to Islam, old legacies of contempt and derision for Dharmic religions (mostly Hinduism, of course) not only continue to hold sway, but are gaining in momentum.

    The globalists, corporatists, Evangelists et. al. dare not take on Islam because they fear it on so many different levels, including those that you mention so succinctly, The Dharmics are currently too easy a target. What worries me most is that media like this platform are not as widely visible as they need to be for us to meet this threat on time.


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