Archive for the ‘India’ Category

What Demands for Kashmir?

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

For people concerned with freedom, equality and decency it is fair to say that the last decade has been that of regression. This is no doubt the case for Kashmir, Kashmiris, and Indians who are privileged and alive enough to care about Kashmir’s suffering and struggles. The arbitrary arrests, the silencing of the population, the erosion of civil society, and many other things we hoped to get rid of in Kashmir have strengthened their grip over India.

It makes the battle ahead difficult while all the more urgent and necessary. Unfortunately, the section that is affected by similar issues in India, like police violence, state repression, violence against women and working people, powerlessness has only increased. That expands the scope for more understanding, raising consciousness, and solidarity among the oppressed in Kashmir and in India. The criminal mismanagement of covid-19 also demonstrated for many the costs of not having politically democratic and responsible institutions.

But what can we reasonably hope to achieve? Plebiscite? Demilitarization? These things look impossibly far now. So what demands? And how? New Delhi is not moved by public opinion in Kashmir. It demonstrated in 2019 that for Delhi Kashmiris are animals and insects, without rights and we do with them whatever we like. Farmer’s protests show that even vocal Indian public opinion hardly matters for this regime. But if there is any hope for improving the situation in Kashmir it is largely from international and domestic pressures. Waiting for Kashmir to explode in civil or armed unrest is a prayer for genocide. The brutality and power of the Indian state have only increased since the 1990s. It will only give a new justification for intensifying the cycle of violence and harming the chances of any long-term solution.

I believe the most basic demand that Indian activists, labour unions, civil societies, progressive NGOs, and maybe political parties should include in their programs is that of the restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 position. Something similar to the baseline reached in the first Gupkar Declaration.

The first and major step must be increasing public support. While being as cautious and prepared for reaction by the state. And to my knowledge, public support remains the best defense against the state’s retaliation. Another step of course must be to learn more from civil society, activists, and people in the region to formulate a more meaningful and reasonable proposal.

This should be considered only a suggestion to start the conversation. With the increased access to information and opinions about Kashmir, a large section of young Indians have grown sensitive towards their struggle. But understanding must also lead to action. Hopefully, we will rise to the occasion.

WHY DOES THE WORKING CLASS SUPPORT BJP? (To whatever extent it does.)

Monday, May 24th, 2021
Why are most people in urban and rural India skeptical about the existence, nature, or origins of the coronavirus? Why do they mistrust the vaccines – whether developed in India or not? Because for most working people the people in power (“bade log”), whoever they may be, do not have their interests in mind, most have little understanding of the forces that seem to govern their life – from decisions about livelihood, health, education and even death.
 
The talk of the whole covid catastrophe in India being the result of increasing sins (“paap”) in the world is also common. When I asked a woman what they mean by “paap” she responded by saying that it is the increasing selfishness, diminishing human decency in society – “just look at how dead bodies of covid casualties are being treated.” Some people might reply differently but the feeling that “we have changed for the worse” is pretty common and with little effort can evoke a sense of longing for a mythic “better past and tradition” that is lost. A sense of alienation and powerlessness combined with mistrust of social forces and corrupted people is the ideal ground for the seeds of power worship to grow. They are just waiting for a messiah to appear, convince them it’s their interest he or she represents and they will surrender.
 
These people are a victim of neoliberalism and the shrinking possibility of even a mediocre life. Most young people of my generation who grew up in a middle-class have fallen out of it and almost half of them are unemployed. This is why in the opinion polls globally the so-called right-winger supporters usually favor progressive economic policies. That’s why parties fight elections on “cultural” and”identity” issues almost exclusively.
 
The question more important now is will the working class continue to support BJP (again, to whatever extent it does) even after BJP demonstrated that it is one of the worse party and government in the world when it comes to dealing with any sort of crisis and has no interest in poor people’s lives? I think the answer (quite obviously) is: Yes if the majority of the working people do not find a real alternative that can show it cares about its interests – including economic interests. Only a campaign for economic justice that speaks to the needs and aspirations of the masses can defeat BJP.

It’s not (just) Modi, it’s Neoliberalism and Military-Industrial Complex

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

The 2019-2020 union budget allocated Rs. 64,559 Cr. to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Rs. 4.3 Lakh Cr. to Ministry of Defence. There are expenses on health not included in this but that is compensated by the fact that a lot of defence funding is done through the Home Affairs ministry (especially of the forces and operations in Kashmir and Chattishghar) and the secret budgets for intelligence services are never revealed – so the comparison still holds. And a SIPRI report released yesterday shows that the actual publicly available defence spending was Rs 5.4 Lakh Cr.

<span;>And this trend is not new. For decades the fighter aircraft, carriers, missiles are eating away the money, manpower and technical expertise that could have instead created a stable healthcare system better prepared for something like Covid-19. Instead of producing guns and bombs, we could have produced masks and ventilators and instead of procuring missile defence systems from Israel and Russia, we could have procured material and tech for these health care needs.

<span;>This next one is a heartbreaking comparison to make but the most common argument for defence spending is that there is a violent threat to us that we need protection from and which justifies these astronomical spendings. Going by the worst-case scenario records, the total (Indian) death toll in last 50 years from wars, armed conflicts, insurgencies and terror attacks is no more than 2 lakh. We have passed this number officially and in reality, we have passed at least 5 times more than this number of deaths in the last year from Covid-19. It is as if we have fought a war each day for the last one year. And we have – it is the toll of the Indian elites class war against the population.

<span;>India was the worlds 3rd largest spender on military last year and ranked 131 on Human Development Index. Putting people over the interests of the State and its regional military dominance is not unique to this regime and will not go away after it.

<span;>Why is there a shortage of vaccines? Short answer is: patent monopoly and monopoly agreements. When a state funded research in collaboration with private pharma company results in a drug or vaccine there are atleast two option. Either the state can take rights over the medicine and pay the private firm for its contribution or, the state can grant the company monopoly rights to produce, set price and sell the product and have nothing to do with it. But the current social ideology of neo-liberalism tells us that we cannot do the former because it will create deficit if the state pays these companies – nevermind the “deficit” and burden inflicted on people in terms of drug costs which on average are 5-10 times higher. So, a single company gets the right over the medicine.

<span;>The rights to <span;>COVISHIELD are owned by AstraZeneca and its manufacturing rights in India have been given to Serum Institute. It is unclear who owns COVAXIN rights which was created under a PPP agreement with Bharat Biotech – the current pricing of the vaccine and tech-trasfer agreement with Haffikine Institute give a mixed impression but it is unlikely that Bharat Biotech doesn’t have a significant say in future manufacturing and pricing decisions.

<span;>The central government can grant compulsory license for both the vaccine and involve more private and crucially public manufacturers. This could have been done months ago. This can be done now. Not only will it ramp up production but also reduce the risk of single or few suppliers suffering accident or logistical issues. Recall that Serum’s production facility experienced a major accident few months ago (result of another neoliberal fetish – deregulation).

<span;>But this discourages “innovation” and alienates corporations. And of course alienating corporations is worse than couple of lakh people dead.

<span;>These policies too have support in all corners of political and elite circles and transcends Modi or BJP. They just represent the extreme wing of the elite consensus.

<span;>It’s because of the neo-liberal dogma that the level of inequality globally and in India is historically high and that jobs have collapsed. The result of which is people with insufficient savings and monthly income to survive economic and social lockdowns for even few days and who lose the last penny on rents, loans and medical bills. Deepening the spiral of poverty.

<span;>While all the work and needs today are understandably, for the most part, are local and hyperlocal the long term solution – which too are urgent must focus also on so-called “defence” eating away social wealth and corporate interest devouring the interest of the people and the planet.

State of Labor

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Around 60% of the Indian working-age population is effectively out of the job market (the labour participation rate is close to 40%.) Those who have some kind of job in the informal economy work close to 14hr a day making less than Rs.10,000/month (going by the best of days estimate). Even the part of the working people in the formal economy are working at least 52 hrs a week and most of the time doing over-time, still making less than minimum wage.

A study released last week found that Indians from the time of entering colleges to the age of 35 are the most anxious and depressed bunch of people in India and probably the world – a sign of a lively labour market according to most economists and policymakers.

And now we have policies to exaggerate this fantastic condition. Like replacing all employment with a fix-term job and creating Foxconn jobs in India with tax money. Foxconn and their friends are, of course, the manufactures of iPhones who have to tie nets around their plants to catch the workers trying to commit suicide by falling from the roof. Similar new policies of despair to aggravate the agrarian and farmers’ crisis are also not missing.

All this on top of growing inequality where our true overlord – Lord Mukesh, makes Rs. 90 crore every hour. Even less severe inequalities have conclusively been shown to cause mental disorders.

Business Standard reported that “India has generated over 5% per annum real economic growth with less than 1% employment growth for three decades.” And that to raise labour participation rate to the average 43% India needs 5 crore jobs as soon as possible but Mahesh Vyas believes Indian policies and trends are not on the path to realistically generate 80 lakh jobs. Every month 1 lakh new workers are being added to the Indian disposable labour force.

Since the lockdown, the number of women workers (195 million of whom are in the informal sector) losing their jobs has been disproportionately higher to their participation in the labour force – almost 50-60% higher. This includes formal, salaried workers. The primary reason for disproportionate job losses during the crisis has been the far-off and unsafe location of the workplace. If the risks outweigh the benefits women workers drop out. Which means the most financially venerable ones stay.

 

मीडिया लोकतांत्रीकरण, ना कि सेंसरशिप: भड़काऊ और नफ़रत से भरी बातें रोकनि हैं तो आर्थिक मुद्दों पर ध्यान देना होगा

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

कल सुदर्शन टीवी न्यूज़ के कार्यक्रम पर रोक लगाते हुए सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि “भारत में अमेरिका की तरह जर्नलिस्ट्स को अलग से कोई आज़ादी नहीं दी गई है”. और यह की “लोकतंत्र होने के लिए कुछ स्टैंडर्ड्स और मानक होने चाहिए”. लेकिन उनमें से एक मानक जर्नलिस्ट्स की या बोलने की आज़ादी नहीं है. आए दिन लोकतंत्र की रोचक परिभाषा देखने को मिल रही हैं.

कार्यक्रम पर बैन लगाने का कारण ये बताया गया कि एक समुदाय (मुस्लिम) के लोगों को गलत और अपमानजनक तरीके से पेश करा जा रहा था. कोर्ट के फैसले से कुछ समय के लिए हजारों में से एक चैनल पर ऐसी नफरत भरी बातें तो बंद हो गई लेकिन, ये भी मिसाल फिर से कायम हो गई की कोर्ट चाहे तो किसी भी भाषा को किसी एक समुदाय के खिलाफ मान कर उसपे रोक लगा सकता है और कार्यवाही कर सकता है.

तुषार मेहता ने कोर्ट में ये बताया कि कई ऐसे चैनल है जहाँ “हिन्दू आतंकवाद” की बात की जाती है. क्या कोर्ट उन् पर भी रोक लगाएगा? कोर्ट का जब दिल चाहे लगाता है और, लगा सकता है.

ये नफ़रत भरी बातें आती कहा से है और उनका असर क्यो होता है?

पिछले 10-15 सालों में भारत की जीडीपी जेसे जेसे बढ़ी, उस ही तेज़ी से बेरोज़गारी और गैरबराबरी भी बढ़ी. जो एक मध्यम वर्ग ऊपर आया था वो भी नीचे जाने लगा और जो मध्यम वर्ग में शामिल होने के सपने देखते थे उनके सपने खोखले लगने लगे. इस वर्ग में से कई हिन्दू भी है जो 3 या 5 साल से UPSC की नौकरी की रेस मे भाग रहे है.

जिनके इस तरह से अपने भविष्य को ले कर सपने टूटे हो उनको एक समुदाय में अपना दुश्मन देखने में आसानी होती है.

जस्टिस जोसफ ने ये बात उठाई कि मीडिया कंपनियों का आर्थिक मॉडल जब टी.र.प. पर निर्भर हो तो ऐसी चीज़े ज़ादा होती है. दूसरा कारण सरकारी और दूसरे कॉर्पोरेट विज्ञापन से मुनाफा भी है. क्यंकि पिछले कुछ सालों से नफरत पर आधारित टीवी समाचार का मॉडल कारगर साबित हो रहा है, तो लाज़िम है इसे सब अपना रहे है.

मीडिया लोकतंत्र का सब्ज़े ज़ररुई हिस्सा है – इलेक्शन से भी ज़ादा. क्यंकि आप वोट उस आधार पर देते हो जो आप जानते हो. तो क्या लोकतंत्र में मीडिया को मुनाफे के लिए बाजारु बनाया जा सकता है? या फिर मीडिया को सामाजिक रूप से नियंत्रित किया जाना चाहिए. जैसे कई देशों में होता भी है, जहां लोकल समुदाये साथ मिल कर कार्यक्रम बनाए – मुनाफे और मंत्रियो और कम्पनियो से अलग हट कर.

एशियानेट न्यूज़ नेटवर्क लिमिटेड, या ए.एन.एन. जो भारत में कई चैनलों का नियंत्रण करती है का मालिक भाजपा संसद, राजीव चंद्रशेखर है. न्यूज़ लाइव का मालिक बीजेपी मिनिस्टर हिमंता बिस्वा शर्मा की पत्नी रिणीकी भूयां सरमा हैं.लोकमत के मालिक कांग्रेसी नेता हैं. नेव्स18, फर्स्टपोस्ट के आलावा इंडियकास्ट मीडिया डिस्ट्रीब्यूशन प्राइवेट लिमिटेड, बालाजी फिल्म्स और इंफोमेडीअ प्रेस का मालिक अंबानी परिवार है.

ये वो ही नेता और अरबपति हैं जिनकी नीतियों के कारण सरकारी और अब प्राइवेट नौकरिया इस देश में मिलना बंद हो गई है, इन नीतियों के बारे मे हम ना सोचें और इस बारे में कुछ ना करें इसलिए मुसलमान या दलित को दुश्मन बताना ज़रूरी हो जाता है.

कुछ छोटे मोटे चैनल कुछ दिन बंद भी हो जाए तो भी ना ये सचाई ना ये नफरत फैलाना बंद होगा. और लोगों को और मीडिया को शांत करने की ताकत का इस्तेमाल लोकतंत्र और गरीबों के खिलाफ ही होगा. बेरोज़गारी और मीडिया में कंपनी और नेताओ की ताकत खत्म करने की लंबी और मुश्किल लड़ाई से बचने के लिए चीज़े बन करने का शॉर्टकट नहीं लिया जा सकता.

(Dis)Integration At Gunpoint – Aug 5 2019-2020 J&K Report

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

I contributed a chapter on militarism to this very important and comprehensive study of life and politics in J&K in last one year: (Dis)Integration At Gunpoint.

(https://jklpp.org/kashmir-reading-room-report-aug-2019-aug-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1Mf7SUA3z-dlyIpayahPRQrpeVLHAjfsWS1m6UBUDKmm07fXM7CZneC9Q)

Indians who read it with eyes (and mind) open should realize how deep our hands are in blood. And hopefully that should shake off some of the apathy and equanimity that makes this crime and violence possible.

A year ago, Indian state finished the task of completely alienating Kashmir from India and its puppet government in J&K. Ex-RAW chief Dulat and few other army commanders are worried and wonder if New Delhi is actually prepared for what is coming? One can speculate the direction local protests and militancy will take in the valley but one thing is clear that Indian state had once again made Indians insecure in name of “national security”.

One very unfortunate thing we can expect is more attempts and few successful attacks in mainland India in coming years. Indian state has known for years that whenever there are moments of hope for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue militant attacks (and even cross border infiltration) stops almost completely.It shows who and what is the cause of violence. What happened on August 5th was an invitation to a prolonged war of counter-insurgency that will be fought all over India. Who cares if that puts Indians at risk?

This is just one reason why more Indians should be concerned about Kashmir and our State policy there. But basic sense of humanity should be sufficient to see what is happening is grossly unjust, that we should stop the violence and resolve the issue peacefully with Kashmiris. No country, especially not India, can afford militarism and a war economy when almost half of its youth population is unemployed, health care is among the worst performing in Asia and inequality is rising faster than in any other country in the world.

ANARCHISM AGAINST BRAHMANISM

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Caste is, as Ambedkar said, “not just a division of labour but, a division of labourers.” Wherever this institution went, it tried to freeze the society into a fossilized rulership and a fossilized disposable and disciplined labouring class. And just as division of labour alienates the workers from her work, product of her labour and life itself; the division of labourers alienated the whole of society and deeply fractured the spirit of human morality and solidarity. The caste structure gave birth to the caste society which has outlived the mode of domination it was invented to serve.

The straitjacket of caste did not emerge in isolation. It is one part of the centuries old project of societal control – Brahmanism. This entry is an attempt to find an anarchist orientation towards Bhrahmanism and its annihilation by looking at some episodes in its history and mutations.

Brahmanism, primarily, is and always has been a socio-political ideology and not a religious movement. The ideology consists in the believe that Brahmans have established links with the higher realms, they are the natural advisors to the rulers on social and political matters and, that they hold the highest place in the social hierarchy. The hierarchy consists in a four tier system of Varna and those who are out of this hierarchy forming the Avarna strata, based on Brahmans principles of standardized purity. Within this image of the Brahmanical society the caste becomes the essential of realizing the dominance of Brahmans as the priestly caste. To insure the success and reproduction of this institution every aspect of human life from the cradle to the grave are governed by strict laws codified in various books and laws of local kingdoms.

This vision of society was largely realized in significant parts of the sub-continent with varying degrees of success, modifications and compromises with other power system. This was not an easy task and beginning with the invasion of Alexander of Macedon, the Brahmans were prosecuted in the north-western region of what is now called India, the only region where they had influence. This continued with Ashoka’s and later his son, Kunala’s murdering of the “treacherous” Brahmans who were fueling anti-Maurya sentiments in local courts. The situation was so bad for the priestly caste that they were sure that the end of the world has finally arrived – the end of Kali Yuga. But Brahmanism not only survived but thrived and the impacts of its unfortunate success to this day are leaving bloody marks on human body and spirit.

Brahmanism conquered not by the blade of the sword but with the succor of the myth. Brahmans spread stories of their demigod like powers, the benefits of befriending and dangers of crossing them. Most importantly they provided to the rulers a divine lineage and right to rule till the end of time and the practical knowledge of statecraft. The Brahmans without ever becoming a threat to political power gave rulers a lineage they can link back to the Puranas and the Vedic era. They were not only able but necessary for the prosperity of the land, making the ruler the permanent and necessary fixture in the mind of the masses.

The benefits flow both ways. Kshatriya and the other ruling castes were essential for realizing the Brahmanical society. It was the duty of the warrior class to institute Danda for its maintenance. In essence, Brahmanism is statism. The kingly class is so essential to the ideology that the end of Yugas are marked by the Kshatriyas becoming incompetent in maintaining the Varna vyavastha and that the evidence that the end of time had not yet arrived was the fact that most king’s lineage maintained their thrones.

This perfect union of the priestly caste and the ruling class is no accident. Humans, when incapable of making sense of the untimely flood, failed crops or plague conjure up unseen forces that help us make sense of the unpredictability and meaninglessness around. Through the combined effect of general ignorance and the need for self-preservation the first seed of authority and power is sown in the heart. God becomes the Supreme Ruler. Once formalized enough, we try to tame the forces through rituals and sacrifices. In initial stages this practice is individualistic. The relation of these forces or gods is direct and intimate, but soon these practices become socialized and a specialized class of sacrifice experts emerges. The link of individual to the god is broken and a flesh and blood human becomes a new center of social power. The same phenomenon repeats itself in sphere of social organization and to tame the social forces in our favor we learn to surrender to the Ruler, sent on earth by the Supreme Ruler. To the extent we submit to a power for self preservation, from corporate bureaucracies to nation states and families, all forms of rulershipare religion.

It was during this period of renewal of Brahmanism, returning from the brink of extinction that the pantheon that is now recognized as Hindu deities was gradually created. First by casting the individualistic, semi-socialized religious cults of Krishna, Shiva etc into the mold of Brahmanism and later by making the newer gods the incarnation of the former. In this process of absorptionreplicating the hierarchy of the Brahmanical society into the realm of gods. Through economic and political coercion the religious power now served the interest of the Brahmans and states.

I skip the changes this Brahmanical temporal authority ordained by the divine authority underwent over the next few centuries and under the Mughal rule and turn to its first interaction with capitalism, the Company Raj, colonization and modern nation states that shook the roots of the old project. In the preceding decades the merchant caste, with its control over rural finance and land displaced the Brahmans from the top of social hierarchy. In Bengal province by the end of the nawab rule fifteen families controlled 60% of the land and in Punjab the British administration had to introduce a law to regulate the acquisition of land by the money lenders on failure of payment of debts. And with the changing nature of sovereignty from the village level to the new national imagination Brahmanism had to mutate once more to survive.

The core of this mutation was the deep-seated hatred of the individual – her free development and initiative. Faced with European capitalism, in its vulgarized disguise of individual freedom the reformers, who had taken up the task of reviving the Indian culture by going back to the Vedic sources, were united in there contempt for the individual. They found in the Varna system the solution to the modern problems of nations. Caste does not necessarily have to be based on heredity but the proper division of labour and social activity based on natural hierarchies which was necessitated by the needs of social organization. Caste with natural leadership of Brahmans, was no longer justified by the metaphysics of religion became the outcome of the theology of social sciences, its theory of race, competition, gender superiority and survival of the fittest. Its aim was to serve the New God of “national interest”.

In search of this nation Brahmanism morphed into Hindutva. This new outward expression of the lust for power also explicitly presented itself as a political project and not a religious movement. Within the Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan that is to bring glory to the nation state, the Hindu is a casteist structure. This was novel. The Hindu identity for a political project was necessitated by two factors. First, the apparent feebleness of the social unity – togetherness and second, the essential principle of nationhood – unity through separation.

Savarkar understood this principle well – “nothing can weld peoples into a nation and nations into a state as the pressure of a common foe. Hatred separates as well as unites.” A nation is that artificial and arbitrary unit of territory and subjects that a political power has acquired for controlling and fleecing. It destroys the natural love and association with the place of birth and our immediate communities through its industrialization and directs that human feeling towards the worship of this abstraction, its symbols and submission to its policies. This form of rulership finds its fullest expression in Totalitarianism of Nazism, Bolshevism or Brahmanism.

The national identity of Hindu provided the aspect of togetherness through idea of blood, culture and language, modification of Shudhi, etc. and its separation through the idea of the Muslim. Whether the state takes refuge in the ideology and shape of Hindutva or secular nationalism – two face of the same coin, its true nature remains the same, that of attuning all human expressions to the beat of this soulless political machine in the name of “national interest”. This technical term does not include the interests of the population – free and quality education and health care, well paid jobs or free or cheap housing for all, it means the interest of the market, the interest of the war machine that is the life blood of the state – its defense from other competing states, its source of expansion outside and control within.

After the transfer of power in 1947, India has remained a fractured community with its apartheid of caste and material conditions furnished by generations of deprivation and violence. In the rural regions it maintain the old structure of control and coercion while in urban setting it modified mildly and justified the stratification by logic of hygiene and merit – that is justifying privilege with privilege itself. The new Indian state did not start a project of actively constructing a casteist state but through its passivity towards caste issues it perpetuated the caste society within the shell of a capitalist state system, each feeding off the other. The maintenance of hierarchical corporate structure that is the Hindu family and segregation through the institution of marriage. The upper castes continued their take over of bureaucracy and managerial positions in state and cultural institution, practically, without any reservation mechanism and that continue to define the Indian society till date.

If we anarchists say that sanctity of the temple of the parliament and its new priesthood just like the temple of the old gods and the Brahmans is a lie and deception then, what do we have to say about reservation and other methods of achieving equality within the current state of things? To this we say that even the ritual of horse sacrifice must have yielded results for the masses, not from the blood drawn but from their organizing for themselves, taking things into their own hand and shaking things up. This assertive self-organization of the masses in each epoch of history has realized to the extent possible the moral and social progress. And within the modern nation states this progress, which is the collective wealth of our humanity has received a degree of formalization.

The erosion of this progress and regression will always be a possibility as long as there is a power whose control it weakens. And when this social progress is at its highest the instruments of domination have also become sharper, deadly and now threaten us with the possibility of ending the only known experiment of life in the universe. Anarchist believe that through continuing this assertive self-organizing for securing more and more moral progress we not only improve our immediate condition but also prepare ourself for the final destruction of social, political and economic rulership. A liberal welfare state can be an holding ground that reduces the impact of the blows from the state and the caste society and gives us opportunity for further progress. But the ultimate safeguard from Brahmanism or any other form of absolute domination over human body and spirit is Anarchism.

In an hierarchical society, certain individuals at particular historical junctures can play a catalytic role in either accelerating the progress or dragging it back for decades. If the former, then too, it is the social organization of individuals based on values of equality, mutual aid and decentralization of power that maintain it. There is further limit of the strategy of “having the right faces in the high places”. Once in position of power, the prerogative of the institutions dictate their actions. Having women, dalit-bahujan or queer people In position of power, like other holding strategies can make some limited gains but in the end the only interests these individuals represent are their own. No person can “represent” another person, a whole community lesser still. It maintains the relations of dependence and submission and further dulls the instincts for self-initiative and fosters moral passivity – a perfect condition for Brahmanism or any form of authority to exploit.

Even if the major decision of life and society are now made by the captains of industry and states-persons, and even if these decisions are not primarily driven by Brahmanical interests (and how different are these differences after all?) Caste is still alive. Some aspects of caste have been weakened and at the same time others strengthened. The general economic inequality, access to housing, well paid jobs – which means class – is graded on caste lines. As one historian noted, “it is striking how many of the country’s billionaires today are, though not direct descendants of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century magnates, certainly originate from the same communities which began to accumulate wealth and influence at the end of the Mughal period and during the rise of the English East India Company.” The social stigma, practices of untouchablity and the Brahmanical institution of marriage flourish. Two great forces are gravitating towards forging a new Brahmanical-Hindutva order and a hazy road for taking in the opposite direction also gradually becoming visible. Both possibilities, like always depend on one thing – Organizing.

The force of social reaction to the neo-liberal bloodbath which turned a preventable health crisis into an global pandemic and in India made 12 crore people unemployed in a single month is the decisive factor in the fate of Brahmanism. 10 crore young Indians have given up all hope of finding a job and had stopped searching for work long before the current economic breakdown. Half of the youth of this country are unemployed. And those who have work are working 12 hours shifts to survive hand to mouth. In this constantly changing external world the individual loses her equilibrium. These uprooted millions turn into a mob seeking a source of stability and finding themselves incapable of self emancipation look for external power that would uplift them and give life a new meaning. Along with religiosity, in some cases the caste relations are strengthened as they are seen as a source of nourishment.

This combined with RSS’s mobilization and organization is the path towards strengthening Leader worship and Hindutva. The breaking up of the process of class reproduction and the erosion of the middle class, and with it the hopes and aspirations of millions in front of their eyes is accelerating. By some estimate at least half of the children born in middle class do not remain in it when they reach adulthood. The concentrating boss class is eager to exploit the people on caste lines. This is where one possibility of going in the other direction lies – poor peoples’ revolutionary unionism. The traditional unions that replicate the caste structure due to its hierarchical nature will only represent the interests of the minority leader class and not the workers themselves.

Its only through Anarcho-Syndicalism that we can achieve the threefold task of achieving progress in living and work standards, wages, expansion of reservation to compensate for the generational subjugation of dalit-bahujans in private and public sector, expanding the public sector that enables creation of new and greener jobs, progressive taxation and day-to-day struggles at workplaces; confronting the caste issue face to face as members of working class as well as part of oppressed communities through minority committees, along with local union branches to address caste at workplace and within the unions and; shedding away the elaborate etiquette of submission of this casteist society through rediscovering our instincts for self-initiative and direct action rather being dependent on this or that leader, the despot of tomorrow. This rediscovery and the development of this instinct and culture in the organized form within these alternative institutions form the essential ingredient of the society that shall replace the current disorder.

John R. McLane noted that, “since an individual’s obligations and privileges were specific to his or her family, jati, and age, universal standards of political-moral behavior rarely galvanized people into cooperative political effort.” Any intellectual current or form of practice that exclusively promote inward inquiry at cost of building broad solidarity of all oppressed while understanding the various inner relations in practice, unintentionally replicates the essential of the nation and Brahmanical order and play into hand of our enemies like in 2019 general election where Jadav-Yadav dynamic was a major determining factor in BJP’s victory. We do not wish to repeat these past mistakes, neither of the Marxist left that minimizes the importance of non-economic cultural and social factors at work and in society and address them within their organization and programs nor, of the narrow identity politics that in the long-run poses no threat to the status quo that it apparently wishes to destroy and has no space for broad solidarity based on shared needs and values in genuinely democratic and workers controlled organizations.

Revolutionary unionism is only one part of the struggle. Anarchists and other individuals must engage in cultural struggles towards elimination of the caste society. I cannot pretend to have a solution to this problem, I can only note that we know that the forces of alienation aggravates it and that we have a legacy of experiments by the people from dalit-bahujan castes to build upon and with anarchist emphasis on the abolition of marriage, dismantling the corporation of family and building a society based on free love and societal responsibility of child rearing, we have the impetus to motivate action in direction of liberation.

Caste being a particular configuration of hierarchy and the method of its reproduction, it finds affinity with all forms of dominations and latch on to the one it finds. While through the autonomous and varied cultural struggles and fighting back the class war as working class dealing with caste antagonism we make conditions better for both our class and dalit-bahujans, Anarchism is Brahmanisms only permanent solution. As long as there is a state or a economy based on private property, RSS has the possibility of achieving its desired position of the Raj Guru to the State. Following in the footsteps of the Saudra-attishudra Dakaits and their direct actions against capital and domination we organize not to end any particular form of authority but Rulership itself.

For a Casteless Society! – For Annihilation of Brahmanism! – For a Free Humanity!

For Anarchy!

वायरस: कोरोना और पूंजी

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

कोरोना वायरस से भारत में अब तक 4 लोगों की जान जा चुकी है – उनमे से 2 लोगों की जान इसलिये गई क्यंकि उन्हें प्राइवेट अस्पतालों ने भर्ती करने से मना कर दिया और वो भटक भटक कर हार गए. 17 मार्च को सरकारी मंत्रालयों ने प्राइवेट अस्पतालों से मुफ्त में कोरोना के जाँच करने का अनुरोध करा और प्राइवेट अस्पतालों के मालिकों ने मना कर दिया. प्राइवेट हस्पतालों में Rs. 5000 में जाँच हो रही है. भारत में स्वास्थ्य प्रणाली के नाम पर जादातर लोगों के लिए प्राइवेट बीमा ही उपलब्ध है. प्राइवेट बीमा कम्पनियों ने कहा है की अगर बीमा के कॉन्ट्रैक्ट में “महामारी” का ज़िक्र नहीं है तो कोरोना जाँच और इलाज के लिए पैसा नहीं मिलेगा. लेकिन उनका कहना है कि अगर कोई जीवन बीमा लेने के बाद कोरोना से मर जाए तो उसे हम पैसे ज़रूर देंगे.

लोगों की जान का ज़िम्मेदार, और लोगों की लड़ाई आज सिर्फ एक वायरस से नहीं है बल्कि जानलेवा पूंजीवाद से है. और पूंजीवाद के सिर्फ उस पक्ष से नहीं जिसके कारण एक स्वस्थ जीवन हमारा संवैधानिक और एक मौलिक मानव अधिकार भी हमें नहीं मिलता बल्कि, पूंजीवाद की जड़ से है जिसके कारण कोरोना आपदा से बड़ी आपदा इस देश और दुनिया में हमेशा बनी रहती है. ये आपदा आज नहीं आई है. ये हमारी आँखों के सामने शुरू से रही है और आगे भी लोगों की जान लेती रहेगी अगर हम मानव इतिहास के इस पल में भी न्यूनतम मानवता जगाने में असफल होते है तो.

लगभग 2 महीनो में कोरोना वायरस से भारत में 4 लोगों की जान गई. 2018 में 2080 लोगों की भारत में जलवायु आपदा के असर से जान जाने की रिपोर्ट है – हर महीने 175 मौत. कोरोना के कारण दुनिया भर में 3 महीनो में लगभग 10,000 लोगों की मौत हुई है. 2040 तक जलवायु आपदा के कारण कम से कम 4,50,000 की जान जाना तय है अगर जल्द ही ग्लोबल वार्मिंग को थामा नहीं गया तो. लेकिन इसको कैसे और क्यों रोका जाए जब 70% ग्लोबल वार्मिंग के लिए 100 बड़ी कंपनिया ज़िमेदार है? बिसनेस को नुक्सान ना हो इसलिए जनता का कर्फ्यू तक तो रविवार को रखा गया है – – ये 100 कंपनियों को नुकसान कैसे होने दें? मरते है 4 लाख लोग तो मरें.

जलवायु परिवर्तन जैसे संकट को पैदा करने के अलावा और भी रोज़मर्रा की आपदा पैदा करता है पूंजीवाद. भारत में हर साल लगभग 48,000 लोग काम पे मारे जाते है. ज़ादातक फैक्टरियों में और बिल्डिंग वगेरा बनाते समय मारे जाते है क्योंकि मजदूरों की सुरक्षा पे खर्चा अगर बढ़ेगा तो विदेशी कम्पनियाँ यहाँ पैसा नहीं लगाएगी. तो मरते है हर घंटे 6 मजदूर तो मरने दो – ये आपदा कोरोना जैसे अमीरो को नहीं लग सकती तो इसका टीवी पे क्यों ज़िक्र करें?

और कोरोना से ज्यादा घातक तो भारत में भारत की पुलिस है. हर साल पुलिस कस्टडी में 2000 लोग मारे जाते है – हर दिन 5! कोरोना को कुछ टिप्स दे सकती है भारत की पुलिस. और हर साल 100 से ज़ादा लोग भारत की फ़ौज की पाकिस्तान के गावों में शेल्लिंग से मारे जाते है – पाकिस्तान की शेल्लिंग से भारत में भी मारे जाते है, बेशक. लेकिन वो बेकसूर गाँव वालों ने ना पाकिस्तान को बोला था ना हिंदुस्तान को कि उनके आंगन में अपनी सरहद लेके आओ.

कोरोना पर वापस लौटते है. सरकार और हमारे देश की प्रणाली की क्या तैयारी है और कोरोना आपदा को रोकने में अब तक ये कितनी सफल रहे हैं? इस का फैसला करने के लिए पहले यह देखना होगा की ये किस प्रकार की आपदा है और ऐसी आपदा के लिए “अच्छी तैयारी” किसे माना जा सकता है.

क्या ये सिर्फ एक चिकित्सा सेवा का सवाल है – यानि की सिर्फ अलग अलग लोगों को एक बीमारी से कैसे बचाया जाए, मलेरिया या सर्दी खांसी के समान या फिर ये एक सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य का सवाल है? सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य से मेरा मतलब है राजय द्वारा पूरी आबादी के लिए स्वास्थ्य संबंधित सभी चीज़ों पर निगरानी और ज़रूरी पाबंदियों की व्यवस्था. मेरे ख्याल से शायद ही कोई हो जो इस बात से इंकार करे की ये एक सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य का सवाल है. इस हिसाब से हमारे देश की कैसी तैयारी है?

अस्पतालों में हर 1000 लोगों के लिए 1 से भी कम बिस्तर – क्यूबा में 5 से ऊपर और दुनिया का औसत 3. हर 1000 लोगों के लिए भारत में 0.8 डॉक्टर्स, क्यूबा में 8.2. हर 1000 लोगों के लिए भारत में 2.1 नर्स, क्यूबा 7.7. किस तरीके की नियंत्रण प्रणाली है हमारे देश में? सरकार निजी अस्पतालों में आपदा के वक़्त कुछ दिनों के लिए मुफ्त में जाँच भी ना करा सकी जबकि स्पेन ने कोरोना के चलते अपने सभी निजी हस्पतालों का राष्ट्रीयकरण कर दिया ताकि सबको मुफ्त और आसानी से इलाज मिल सके.

18 तारिक को कोटक महिंद्रा बैंक के मालिक ने दूसरे अरबपतियो से मीटिंग में कहा की बाजार में पैसे की कमी होने से नुक्सान होगा और 19 तारिक को आरबीआई ने Rs 10,000 करोड़ बाजार में डाल दिए. कौन किसको नियंत्रित करता है इस देश में ये शयद साफ़ है.

2018-2019 बजट में इंडिया ने स्वास्थ्य और परिवार कल्याण मंत्रालय पर Rs 54,600 करोड़ खर्च करे और “सुरक्षा” – यानि सैन्यकरण पर Rs. 4,04,365 करोड़. शयद 3-4 नए लड़ाकू विमान से कोरोना को रोका जा सकता था?

सैन्यकरण को “सुरक्षा” बोला जाता है. जो 175 लोग जलवायु आपदा से हर महीने; हर घंटे काम पर 6 और पुलिस की बर्बरता से हर दिन 5 लोग मारे जाते हैं क्या ये उनकी सुरक्षा के लिए है? क्या इस देश के भूखे लोगों के लिए सुरक्षा परमाणु हतियार है या पेट में रोटी? जो राज्य देश में लोगों को डॉक्टर और बिस्तर ना मुहैया करा सके क्या उसको हतियारो पर करोड़ो रुपया बर्बाद करने का हक़ होना चाहिए?

परमाणु हत्यार से बड़ी सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य आपदा शायद ही मानव इतिहास में कभी पैदा हुई हो. कोरोना वायरस से जूझने के लिए एक कमज़ोर प्रणाली ही सही, कुछ तो है हमारे पास. लेकिन एक परमाणु विस्फोट का नतीजा होगा एक शहर के एक बार में 150 हस्पताल 2मिनट में धूल हो जाना. महीनो के लिए बिजली गायब हो जाना – जिसके बिना जो हस्पताल चल सकते है उनमें भी काम ठप हो जाना. खाना और पानी जहर हो जाना, सड़को पे बिल्डिंग के मलबे से यातायात ठप हो जाना. कोरोना के लक्षण तो खांसी और सर्दी के है – जो गिने चुने लोगों को परमाणु विस्फोट के बाद हस्पताल लाया जा सकेगा उनके लक्षण होंगे उनके शरीर का गलना, और आसपास की हर चीज़ को रेडिएशन से जहरीला बना देना.

और ये तो उस समय की बात है जब बड़ी जंग नहीं होगी और कुछ ही परमाणु हतियारो का इस्तेमाल होगा. अगर भारी मात्रा में यह इस्तेमाल हुए तो वो मानव सभ्यता का अंत होगा. और यह कोई काल्पनिक बात नहीं है. आज भारत के पास 140 परमाडू हतियार है और 120 पाकिस्तान के पास. और नए और आसानी से इस्तेमाल किये जाने वाले हतियार और लॉन्चेर्स दोनों देश बना चुके है और कई बार तैनात भी कर चुके हैं. एक और तनाव की इस्थिति और एक और हिसाब में गलती की कीमत करोड़ों जान होगी.

ये है आज के भारत की सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य का हिसाब. कंपनियों के मुनाफा खोरी के कारन मुफ़्त में ईलाज नहीं हो सकता और ऐसे कानून नहीं बनाए जा सकते जिससे मजदूर काम पे सुरक्षित काम कर सकें और सब खुली हवा में सांस ले सकें. राज्य अपनी हुकूमत बनाए रखने के लिए मानव सभ्यता को रोज़ दाव पर लगा रहा है. लेकिन गलती कुछ हद तक हमारी है. अकेले घर में बैठ कर कोरोना से बचने के लिए हम सब राज़ी है लेकिन एकजुट होके सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य के लिए लड़ने को नहीं. लेकिन इसको बदला जा सकता है. हम अपनी सुविधा और डर के चलते जीवन को विलुप्त होने देंगे या फिर कोरोना के अनुभव से सीख कर असली सुरक्षा की लड़ाई में शामिल होंगे. विकल्प हमारे पास है – पर ज़ादा समय के लिए नहीं.

Resistance in Anchar, Kashmir

Monday, January 27th, 2020

राज्य क्या है?

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

राज्य के लिए हमेशा उसका सबसे बड़ा दुश्मन उसके देश के लोग होते है. राज्य चाहता हे ज्यादा से ज्यादा नियंत्रण समाज और इनसान के हर अंग पर, और लोगों को अमूमन ये हरकतें पसंद नहीं आती.

इसका हल अच्छी शिक्षा और मीडिया में मिला – ये लोगों को सिखा देते हे कि क्यो समाज मे गैर-बराबरी के बारे मे हम कुछ नहीं कर सकते और केसे राज्य लगों का गुलाम नहीं लोगों को राज्य की हर जरूरत पूरी करनी हे. राज्य जब बोले लाइन मे लगों, राज्य जब बोले बुके मरो और राज्य जब चाहे आपने घर और जमीन खाली करो.

और जब ये व्यवहार नियंत्रण के औजार काम ना आये तो राज्य अपना असल रूप दिखाने से नहीं झिझकता: वहशी जोर और हिंसा. नियंत्रण का सबसे साफ रूप.

आज पुलिस की हिंसा और उसको वाजिब करार देने वाले राष्ट्रीय झूठ को कई लोग पहचान रहे है.

कई लोग समझ रहे है की सरकार अपनी ताकत बनाए रखने के लिए डर पैदा कर हिंसा इस्तमाल करती है.

सवाल ये भी है की फिर जिस डर के आधार पे ये सरकार अरबो-खरबो रुप्पे फौजिकरण पे लगा रही है क्या वो भी ऐसे ही सरकारी झूठ के कारण है?

क्या पाकिस्तान असल में एक “दानव” हैं जिससे बात-चीत के माध्यम से कुछ हल नहीं निकाला जा सकता?

और अगर धर्म जाती के आधार पे लोगो को बांटना गलत है तो एक लकीर के किस पार पैदा हुए उसपे बाटना कितना सही हो सकता है?

बांग्लादेश में फिर फैक्ट्री में मजदूर मारे गए, पाकिस्तान में भी और दिल्ली में भी. सब देशों के मालिक वर्ग ने साथ में बेठ के वर्क-कंडिशंस पे नियम बनवाए है – IMF-WTO के साथ.

अगर सरकार मीडिया की मदद से लोगों के आँखों के सामने क्या हो रहा है उसको झुठला सकती है तो ये बंद कमरों में और दूर बॉर्डर पे या बस्तर और कश्मीर की सच्चाई और हिंसा पर कितना विश्वास किया जाना चाहिए?