War between India and China is on the cards. Though there is a retreat on both sides for the time being there is every possibility that war would break out any time in future. Unlike a war between India and Pakistan or with any other neighbouring country war with China will have to be fought on two fronts. One, the straight army to army front–in three spheres – land, water and air and two, the trade war. The trade war on the economic front is a long drawn out one. The Hinduva ruling class unlike the earlier ruling class that fought a war with China in 1962 is in two minds whether to fight or not to fight. Given its Hindutva nationalist build up constructed mainly aiming Pakistan and the internal Muslim population is a bit shaky about the war with China. Why?
Its diplomatic engagement with China was not matched with rational assessment expected of modern Government that could see through the Chinese diplomatic game. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak and the Bharatiya Janatha Party never developed a team of thinkers from their ranks. They have mostly inward-looking communal intellectuals. They cannot match the Chinese intellectuals in any field. Nor did the earlier Congress regimes produced outstanding non-casteist and non-communal great social science thinkers from Indian universities. Nor did the communist school. Caste communalism lived through all our university education without allowing thinkers from Shudra/OBC/Dalit background to come to the centre stage of the intellectual discourse. Scholars that emerged from productive families would have different creativity from that of scholars emerging from parasite anti-production families. This is where India and China’s educational systems differ. China produced thinkers from working-class families–in Indian context from Dalit/OBC/Shudra kind of families–as there is no caste system there. Here the intellectuals came from Brahmin/Bania/Kayastha/Khatri communities who have no productive class roots. They came from recitation book culture but not from the culture of struggle with nature and every day creative thinking.
According to available information, the Prime Minister Narenda Modi is the first Prime Minister who visited China more times than any other Prime Minister did in the past. The RSS/BJP intellectuals have also visited China on what is known as study tours more than any other political study teams earlier. They must have studied the Chinese food and physical exercise culture. They must have also studied their school, college and university education methods. The food that they eat and the physical exercise and the interaction of students right from early stage with their production fields and factories is totally opposed to Hindutva saint and yogi culture. Dignity of labour,multi- cuisine food habit, karate, high jump, running and high speed body motion games for youth are very normal in China. Their production energies and military power are based on their youth energy.
What did the PM and RSS/BJP ruling elite promote in India ever since they came to power? They have not promoted dignity of labour as they have a strong belief that working the fields and production in general as pollution, as that work is not part of Hindutva literature and parampara. As a result our per capita production and per capita income are far less than average per capita production and income and protein consumption of a Chinese. To get rid of Chinese goods and commodities we need to improve our per capita production and consumption. For that teaching dignity of labour to every school child with fieldwork practice is a must.
To improve production in India the ruling class needs to have a theory of improving production forces and changing production relations. But the Hindutva ruling class has no such theory. They are pre-occupied with the history of Muslim rulers of India who hardly thought about improving production but well trained in building monuments like Tajmahal and forts like the Red Fort of Delhi. The Muslim rulers also never built strong agrarian economy and also strong technology backed army. The kisan and jawan were very primitive by the time the East India company landed in India. The Hindutva strategy is to build counter monuments to the Muslim kingly monuments without bothering to improving the forces of production and scientifically advanced modern army in 21 century.
Their promotion of pure vegetarianism and yoga among young population will not make our army match the Chinese army. Our young students are not meant to become sanayasis or only the white colour employees but meant to become educated kisans and and well built jawans. That is the first condition for building a Aatmanirbhar India.
To make India Aatmanirbhar we must compete with China on production front not with Pakistan. We must spend more money on building world class universities not monuments–spiritual or secular. No doubt the Hindutva leaders and scholars were studying Pakistan more seriously but were visiting China for pleasure trips.
Unfortunately the BJP/RSS Governments and leaders have been propagating and giving directions to schools,colleges and universities only to give pure vegetarian food to our children and youth. Historically the Indian food culture has been caste based and now RSS is planning that it should be religion based . This we have seen during cow protection debate. Ideally food habits need to change based on age and energy levels of the individual.Both pure vegetarianism and yoga are meant for old people and may be for diabetic patients but not for young kisans and jawans who need to fight with nature and enemy with swiftly moving bodies but not in a sitting position like in yoga.
The RSS with their sanyasi food culture adopted a generalised definition that vegetarianism is Indian food culture. It actually was/is only Jain heritage. Their opposition to Islamic food culture and civilization pushed them to promote anti-energy food culture and yoga exercise for people of all ages based on the guidance of some yogis living in mountain regions who never involved in physical hard work of production and protection of borders. Some of them live in Himalayas only to do thapasya. That cannot protect the nation.
The kisan in the field and the jawan on the border must follow healthy food habit and body exercise but not yogis like Patanjali of ancient times or Ramdev of our times. If we follow them we cannot win a war with China in both the sectors—on the Himalayan borders and also in trade war inside. Without a strong productive labour force the production domain does not strengthen the nation. We could see how dangerous a business model Ramdev played in the corona pandemic context. We know that kisan and jawan would never do such dangerous business.
The Hindutva leaders focussed on promotion of yoga which involves sitting and still body exercise even in the schools and colleges which would have a negative impact. Patanjali in ancient times and Baba Ramdev or Jaggi Vasudev or Sri Sri Ravishankar who guide the Hindutva forces are not masters of production of food and hard physical work in the fields. All of them are leisure based saint/sanyasis. Our youth and army should do high jump, long jump, running and more body swift movement exercise than karate to defeat Chinese. Certainly not yoga and pure vegetarian food be their priority till they retire and become old. All our political schools and parties and intellectuals should work for globally competitive scientific methods in every aspect of life to challenge China in every field of life.
China is not like Pakistan or Bangladesh. War with China is not going to divide the population on religious lines within the country. The nation stands as one, including the Muslims and Christians. They will fully support the Government. They will do it with more enthusiasm than the Hindutva nationalists themselves. Because they have more disapproving ideological issues with China than the Hindutva forces have. No Muslim or Christian industrialist has investments in China. But there are a number of BJP/RSS supporting industrialists who have investments in China.
If war becomes a reality India will get trapped in American and European weapon market. America and Europe may turn India into a war terrain to sell their outdated weapons and sweep the Indian treasures to fill their emptied coffers because of Covid-19 losses. Particularly America under Trump administration will make India-China war an election winning agenda.
The Aatmanirbhar agenda will go for a toss as Modi’s Government will become a tail of American imperialism. For some of the Euro-American countries, weapon market has been very dull as there was no war in the post cold war world. India will open a new weapon market
Yes we should not leave an inch of land to China. At the same time, we should not become a weapon buying poorest Asian country leaving China a giant of Asia after the war.
The Indian land is made with sweat blood of our kisans. I have been saying this for quite some time now. But ever since the BJP came to power in 2014 they have taken many decisions that weakened the nation’s ability to fight China. With their obsession with cow protection and pure vegetarianism and yoga the health of the youth stands weakened. Their emphasis was on yoga, not on high jump, long jump, running and tilling the land.
They tried to link Chinese Corona deaths to their food culture and attacked China that because of its multi meat eating culture and went on to say that the Hindutva pure vegetarianism will save India from Covid-19. But their ‘ pure vegetarian culture has not proved to be better resistant than Chinese food culture.
They never thought about strengthening the Indian agriculture which still is the main source of Indian economy. The Chinese economy developed because of their strong philosophy of agriculturalism.
For 95 years the RSS built nationalist ideology only around anti-Islam sentimentalism. The Congress survived with secularism that no Dalit/OBC/Shudra tiller or labourer understood. The RSS/BJP’s main enemy was Pakistan and the Islamic civilization. It never studied China from the forces of production and distributive relations of production. Suddenly the Prime Minister was talking about five trillion dollar economy when we are still just 2.5 trillion GDP.
Will they re-think about their ideology as they must lead the war with China now. If we lose the war we cannot blame Nehru, who according them, is in the hell now.
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