To the utter shock of American Brahminism an unusual organization called Equality Labs came into being in New York. IT was established by second generation, American born, Dalit women activists to chase it in America in every sphere of life, including in the digital media. Thenmozhi Soundararajan and few other US born citizens with amazing talents and were told by their parents that they belong to Dalits who suffered untouchability, caste brutality and poverty in their native land. Sharp young educated Dalit women and men were shocked that the caste discrimination operates in several subtle ways even in America in every sphere where brahminic people work.
These women and men are intelligent enough to understand the trauma of their parental history and identity when they were in their under-graduate and post-graduate courses in their respective universities. For example, Thenmozhi was a University of California Berkeley student who realized that their Brahminic teacher’s attitude changed towards her once she revealed her caste identity. Now she is dead bent on chasing Brahmnism in America along with others by establishing the Equality Labs.
The founding fathers of America declared that “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….”. But the Indian Brahminic forces carried their God’s principle of unequal creation of human beings—the Brahmins from his head, Ksatriyas from shoulders, Vaishyas from thighs and the Shudras from feet. The untouchables according to their spiritual theory were born without their God’s sanction hence need to be treated barbarically even in America. The Indian Dalits/Shudras/Adivasis never knew what is life, liberty and happiness till today. A few of them came to America in pursuit of them. But there too the brahminism is haunting them.
The agents of brahminism in that country hardly acquired any civilizational change with all their modern English education and American life where there is a strong Christian ethic. Some of them are liberals but that liberalism does not go against caste and untouchability in a serious way. Brahhmism is quite safe in the garb of liberalism, a sad story indeed.
The brahminic forces are spreading into every structure of the American society. They do not have any respect to their Christian ethic of compassion, grace and humanness. They also do not have any historical sense of shame and guilt. If their ancestors committed sins of practicing human untouchability and graded inequality like the White Christians who felt shame for slavery and segregation of blacks and native Americans in earlier decades. The whites tried to fight it out, the evidence which could be seen in African American museum of Washington D.C
In spite of number of Brahmin female and male writers emerging from that land no one wrote like Harriet Beecher Stowe did in her Uncle Tom’s Cabin about the life and trauma of blacks in the US. When there are so many Brahmin women academics and writers doing a lot of writing on India from American land why they too did not write a single book about caste and untouchability, is million dollar question? The worst part is the caste and untouchability menace is spreading in America and it worries conscientious whites too.
They spread brahminism of food, bed and everyday life inequality as their cultural character. Worst, they are spreading anti-Christian idol worship which the ancient slave Moses fought against and brought them into monotheism of high civilization. America is a direct beneficiary of the progressive Protestant ethic. If idol worship with brahminism of caste purity spreads and persists the capitalist-democratic structure of America will come in conflict with the ideals of its founding fathers’ philosophy who inscribed it on every major Government building —including on the building of the Supreme Court that –All Men Are Created Equal. It was this principle that gave enormous scope to blacks to liberate themselves from slavery and white racism. Many white women and men were collaborators in the fight against racism, including Abraham Lincoln. It was in this background that Martin Luther King emerged as young hero of liberation with whites giving him Nobel Peace Price before he died at the age of 39. That is grace.
The Indians spread brahminism into that progressive ethic not only in high end offices, white house portals, Capitol Hill corridors and also into all channels of digital media. They appear to be obedient to the whites, while cracking their civilization of equality from inside and want to see that the Dalits/Shudras do not enter those structures as their prejudices against them are spiritually ordained and unreformable. The Shudras do not confront them but the Dalits, though small in number, are fighting them with the weapon of Ambedkarism.
The Equality Labs has taken that fight to a higher level of modern operation in all sectors of life. Thenmozhi and Maari Zwick Maitreyi(a co-founder of the Lab) match them in all spheres of their operation. The power of their American education and realization of their ancestral oppression forced them to focus on casteism in that country and take them on in Twitter, Facebook campaigns , Wikipedia editing and so on.
The brahminic false nationalism of standing against the development of any other person of Indian ethnicity except the Brahmins is brought out in graphic details in a recent report that the Equality Lab brought out called Caste in the United State.
Equality Labs along with Ambedkar Association of North America, The Ambedkar International Mission, Ambedkar-King Study Circle, Boston Study Circle, Ambedkar-Periyar Association have started an impressive work of countering the spread of brahminism in America. The Shudras are still to wake up, as they are back in India. But they too will realize soon that their ancient productive and universally validated spiritual and food culture— meat, chicken, fish and so on—is being humiliated there too. Look at what a Shudra woman said:
“We are a Shudra Caste family. At Diwali and other festival potluck parties, I am really nervous about what I cook. The “upper” Caste folks may ostracize me for bringing nonvegetarian dishes on their “auspicious” day. One time, I cooked a chicken curry and they set my dish aside, all the way on the other side of the table, in a corner and labeled it “NONVEGETARIAN” in large letters. No one ate my curry and avoided me the whole night. I go to the parties for my kids so they won’t be isolated from their friends but I’d really rather not go altogether and I am considering that option more and more.
It is this pure vegetarian brahminism that is destroying India ever since the BJP/RSS came to power at Delhi in 1999 and 2014. Dalits and Muslims are being lynched for eating beef or for possessing cows as their property. The BJP/RSS use the Shudra muscle power for such inhuman acts without even granting them spiritual equality in the religion that they run as its custodians—Hinduism. No Shudra can become priest in Hindu temple even now. Once the Shudra self rebels against this ‘ vegetarian eating great’ culture as all Shudras are historically meat and fruit eaters foregrounding their multi- cuisine culture and civilization from the days of Harappan city civilization brahminism will be buried once for all. However, they still follow brahminism as God’s dictum.
But the Dalits world over are fighting brahminism in all its manifestations. The Equality Labs report recorded the statements of many Dalits living in America. It tells the world what strategies they adopt to discriminate them and practice new forms of untouchability in foreign lands too.
See the kind of school and college level caste humiliation that brahminic caste youth practice with their college or school mates. One college going boy told:
“Friends who came over to our house did not eat when they saw books on Dr. Ambedkar at my home and guessed my Caste”
Another person narrated
“Most Indians in my school were upper Caste Hindus and Brahmin families, so I never felt connected to them through “Indian culture”. They would make fun of the fact that I ate meat and was Christian. In that way, my religion and family history sort of alienated me from them. I did not know it at the time but they were Brahmin… and my parents hid from me that I was Dalit. But if I had known I could have called out their Caste bullying for what it was.”
Bullying a school child in America is a big crime. It is strange that the American brahminic mothers teach their children to bully the meat and chicken eating children. All American children, apart from the Dalit/Shudra American children, whether white or black are also meat, chicken and beef eaters. The Chinese and all Middle Eastern settlers are meat eaters. If all these children begin to bully the Brahmin/Bania children of Indian origin they will face a miserable life there. But they are gracious as that principle is taught to them as part of their Christian/liberal upbringing.
The Brhamin/ Banias of India once used to think that crossing the sea is a sinful act. Even learning English was thought to be sinful. But they overcame these hurdles but not casteism and pure vegetarianism which are not at all common human characteristic. Pure vegetarianism or pure meatarianism is an animal characteristic. For example, cow, buffalo, sheep, goat and so on eat only grass/leaves. But lion, tiger, jackal and so on eat only meat. But all humans eat both. Pure vegetarians should have understood this globally practiced food culture, at least while living in Euro-American soils. Constructing anything pure in food culture leads to cultural conflicts . If a counter bullying, based on universal food culture starts against them their life becomes miserable both in India and abroad.
The Equality Labs report tells several stories of Dalit discrimination of women and men in America. Such discriminatory practices are not uncommon in Canada, UK and other places. The question therefore is how to overcome this inhuman behavior of casteists and pure vegetarians who do not live a normal life. Brahminism seems to be an unreformable cultural construct. To understand why brahminism is behaving the way it does worldwide we need to examine how it reshaped itself up in nationalist English education period in India.
North America is a dream land of English educated Indian Brahmins ever since Lord Macaulay, whom they hate in home land, structurally instituted English medium education in India in the nineteenth century. Ever since the first English medium school was started in 1817 in Calcutta they only admitted their children in that school. They left their Sanskrit to their gods/goddesses and priests. This was sheer hypocrisy! Their children, youth, men and women should get easy wealth without soiling their hands in agrarian sector, which involves hard physical work. Avoiding labour as life and living leisure as life was/is their spiritual design. That forced them to play all kinds of tricks possible. But that process of life endangers any productive culture and civilization. That is what they are experimenting in America whose philosophy is labour is life. They do not believe in a God who tells people to live by the ‘sweat of their brow’.
The first unofficial initiation of teaching English to Indians was made by William Carey, an English cobbler turned Christian missionary, only to be hated by the English educated Bengali Brahmin pundits later. However, they adopted Rajarammohan Roy as the father figure of brahminic renaissance who co-operated with Carey and learnt English in the process in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries .
Roy was too eager to lift his own Sanskrit insulated Brahmin community to learn the so called colonial language and cross the seas to become modern and become global flying squads to spread birth based inequality in theory and practice in the world. He himself died in England only to be made the father of Brahminic nationalism after his death in 1833. They never recognized Mahatma Jotiorao Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule who initiated English education among the productive communities in Bombay province.
As I said Roy learnt English with the help of William Carey. This led to many Brahmins going to England and learning English not to give up Brahminism but to control the Dalit/Shudra/Adivasis masses of India at home and earn Pounds/Dollars from the West. But a parallel educational revolution was initiated by Dr.B.R.Ambedkar by studying in America and rose to write the Indian constitution and also many books to liberate the oppressed castes of India. The Equality lab is working with his banner in America.
By the time the Bharatiya Janatha Party came to power with full support of national and global money of Bania/Brahmin forces in 2014 they spread the poison of caste in the West—USA,UK,Canada—to create a crisis in the transformed culture of human equality. The Western intellectuals so far have not seen that danger to their civilization. The Dalits, however, are letting the world know what kind of poison of inequality can be spread in the Western civilization that taught the notion of equality and grace to the world that it would face.
Brahminism in the post-colonial India adopted a double edged strategy to see that the oppressed castes do not get English education and compete with them in the national and global markets. It kept English medium in private sector and saw to it that all the Government schools teach only regional languages to the working caste/class children.
The RSS/BJP recruited most Shudra youth into the muscle power squads, not to learn English in schools, but to persecute minorities in India. Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC) are best examples of that process.
In the urban areas the very Brahmin/Bania children studied in the best Christian schools and best institutes of India and went abroad settled in America and UK. They themselves were/ are in touch with Western liberal/left educationalists. The West hardly had any knowledge of the other side of India.
According the report of the Equality Labs the first man who took American citizenship in late nineteenth century was A.K.Mozumdar, who obviously was an Indian Brahmin by claiming that he was an Indian Aryan born in a high caste blood pool, which according to him was very close to the European Caucasian blood. The then racist Americans agreed to give him citizenship on that ground. Since then they began to move there with their temples and priests and caste system with them.
The white racism has now changed so much that many whites fought for liberation of the blacks from slavery and segregation. But hardly any major Brahmin/Bania intellectual worked for abolition of caste. They have not shown that grace. William Wilberforce, a British white parliamentarian turned against the barbaric slave trade by using the same Bible and became the harbinger of ‘Amazing Grace’ in the Christian civilization. Why not a single Brahmin used their own spiritual texts against human untouchability and caste based slavery in India? Why for three millennia the Brahminic men and women never showed such grace?
In America there are extreme right wing brahminic intellectual forces like Rajiv Malhotra and other members of extreme right wing supremacists working from American Hindu Foundation , Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and other spiritual institutional structures. They are spreading the poison of caste, untouchability pure castesist vegetarianism into the Western world with a clear long term design. The Equality Lab and other Dalit organizations are chasing them but the brahminism’s future in the West depends on how and when the Westerners realize the real danger to their civilization itself with the spread of caste, untouchability and pure vegetarianism.
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is a political theorist, social activist and author of many books, the latest being From Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual—My Memoirs