Revolution in South Asia

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CPI(ML) Naxalbari on Brahmanism in India

Posted by Ka Frank on February 2, 2010

Dalit protest after 6 year old girl was thrown onto fire for walking on upper caste path

This article is posted on Banned Thought

On the Struggle Against Brahmanism

CPI (ML) NAXALBARI- January 2010

Brahmanism is an ideology of graded inequality and oppression. Its origins lie in the Vedic period, thousands of years ago. But it has been sustained by refurbishing it to suit the needs of every exploitative class that has emerged and established its rule. Today, Brahmanism lies at the core of the world outlook and value system of all sections of the Indian ruling classes, both feudals and comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie. Its outlook of graded superiority and inferiority has infected, to a greater or lesser degree, each and every caste and religious community. It is present in and props up reactionary values and relations of Indian society.

Brahmanism despises labour. Its caste order enforces inhuman conditions on the Dalits and divides the workers. Anti-women outlook, oppressive relations and practices are inseparable aspects of this ideology. It promotes racism, contempt towards Adivasi people and communal antagonism, particularly against Muslims. It is the ideological glue of the Indian state’s reactionary ‘national integration’, which denies the just rights of self determination of the numerous nationalities in India. Its idealism engenders the worst type of superstition and irrational thought.

The struggle to expose, attack and root out this pernicious ideology must be a powerful component of revolution led by the proletariat in all its stages, from new democratic revolution all the way up till communism. Without firmly taking up the anti-Brahmanic struggle the proletariat in India will never be able to develop its class consciousness and carryout its leading role.

Among the various streams of anti-Brahmanic struggles, the struggle to annihiliate caste is the most important one because the caste order is still the warp and woof of most of Indian soceity. It is an inseperable part of production relations and has a dominant role in the superstructure. Within the caste annihiliation struggle, the struggles of the Dalits for their emancipation – against untouchability, for equal rights and a dignifeid human existence – is the most important component. The Maoist party should not only support these struggles of the Dalits, it must itself take initiative to organise them through suitable methods and forms of organisation. Furthermore the party should also strive to build a broad caste annihiliation platform. The struggle against Brahmanism and its concrete manifestations in casteism, male chauvinism, racism and communalism, should be taken up by all mass organisations led by the Maoist party.

The struggles of women, Dalits, Adivasis, nationalities, religious  minorities and  backward regions have always  had a strong presence in the democratic struggles in India.  New fronts, such as movements against environmental degradation and forced displacement, have also opened up. Where ever possible, the Maoist party should direcctly take the task of organising  and leading such struggles. But many of these struggles are, and will be, outside this fold. Yet, even in the absence of a consistent anti-ruling class vision, objectively all these streams strengthen and push forward the new democratic revolution. In particular, Dalits, women, Adivasis and other oppressed and deprived sections of society constitute the majority in the social base of the revolution. A large part of the basic classes and the main force of revolution come from these oppressed sections. They must have specific representation in the new democratic united front and the new revolutionary political power.

The powerful urge of the various oppressed sections of society to break age-old shackles  binding them are mighty sources of the new democratic revolution. In the final analysis, every one of these forms of oppression is in essence a class question. They are moulded and stamped by the class interests of the Indian ruling classes and imperialism. They are enforced and protected  by the Indian state. Hence, the road to their elimination lies in the revolution to destroy  the Indian state and uproot the production relations and the values underpinning them. This is the only path to the complete emancipation of all  the oppressed and exploited, by advancing through socialism to communism.

Marx has spoken about this advance as a process involving the elimination of ‘all classes and class distinctions generally, all the relations of production on which they rest, all the social relations corresponding to them, and all the ideas that result from these social relations’. This understanding was further deepened by Mao Tse tung, especially through the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution. It defined and consolidated his theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. In India, the task of continuing the revolution, all the way up till communism, is crucially dependent on advancing and deepening the struggle against Brahmanism and its concrete manifestations.

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