I participated in a discussion organized by SC/ST cell of college on BR Ambedkar book “Annihilation of caste.” There were all women. The points discussed were- Hindu Dharma doesn’t exist, Hindu is a made up identity by outsiders; Oppression of 2000 years; Solution to caste discrimination is affirmative action, burning Hindu texts.
I was a bit scared and nervous to talk about what I felt when I was listening to these people echoing same atrocity nonsense. But finally built up the courage and spoke of
- How caste endogamy is practiced by all castes (pew research study)
- Caste discrimination need not necessarily mean against lower castes. Anti-Brahmin discrimination and crimes exist too (in TN, they were attacked and had their janeu cut)
- Who is a Hindu has been defined by various smrithis and it’s not a foreign identity
- They couldn’t answer how 97% of the population can claim to be oppressed, suppressed in TN
- Concept of hereditary traditional occupations isn’t a thing native only to Bharat
- Caste was rigidified and further more so by the Indian state
- Dumbfounded when told about non-kshatriya shudra kings
- Oppression gone
- How many jathis had lost their traditional source of livelihood due to colonialism, were pushed into poverty and had to pick up farming in order to survive
I made some other points too and was not bashed as I expected I’d be.
When you are informed enough, it’s quite easy. An intellectual decided to suggest an exam for people to become priests to dismantle Brahminical hegemony. It is funny because they didn’t know non-brahmin priests exist at different temples according to different traditions.
I brought in the secular government control of temples too and the need to free them. What was interesting is the fact that, I ended the thing with that Periyar statement of “kill a Brahmin before a snake” and none knew of that statement.
I realised it’s simple to challenge the atrocity nonsense and I did this in a left liberal college. You all can too.
(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of lostteluguone.)