S. India will be flooded with workers from North!

The Hindu, on Sept 8, 2013, carried a front-page headline that should have been difficult to miss for any south Indian: ‘Bihar, U.P. will form workforce of the future’. This, of course, is not an accident that befell last week out of nowhere. It is a direct fallout of the decades of the depopulation of the south being carried out by the Government of India. The people of south India have been made to give up reproduction at a faster rate than the people of north India, and this shows in the population statistics today.

I have written quite a bit about the racism that led to the original concept of population control in the west, as well as the Indian avatar of the concept, and will not go into those details here. What I'd like to briefly address here is, specifically, the economic impact of this project, because The Hindu, even though it did a commendable job by putting up this news item on the front page, did not do full justice to how south Indians, in particular, must react to it.

Some people may think that the 'workforce of the future' coming from Bihar and U.P. will be good for the south, because they can be employed as cheap labor. But that would be a suicidal idea. First, because south Indians are not wanting who will be happy to be employed at comparable rates. Second, because the employers who are to employ this 'workforce of the future' are also north Indian! Thus, not only are the employees going to be north Indian, but their employers, too. The latter are already north Indian, by-and-large. There is hardly a business, hardly a shop, of any significance, in any city of Karnataka, for e.g., which is not run by a north Indian.

Now, it is all nice to hear that one should not 'bring about a divide between the north and the south' by pointing out what I'm pointing out here, but the fact is, that divide is created by the policy of the Govt. of India which encourages the north in all respects, at the cost of the south. The hindification of India, i.e., the project to cut the tongues of non-Hindi speakers and to replace them with Hindi tongues, is the legal crime indulged in by the Govt. of India. This project makes the world believe that this 'workforce of the future' coming from Bihar and U.P. is a non-event, i.e., something that's natural in a nation whose official language - or national language as most Hindi impositionists would like to have it, albeit unconstitutionally - is that of Bihar and U.P.

So how must the south Indians react to The Hindu's front page news item? The one and only way to save south India from being flooded by workers from the north, and from slowly being colonized by them, is to prevent the reckless migration of northerners into south India, on the pretext that we are all Indians. This is nothing but the twentyfirst-century version of Aryan Migration into south India, and the destruction of the Dravidians. Four or five thousand years ago, apparently, the Dravidians had south India to move to. Today, there's only the oceans. Then, there was no feeling among the Dravidians that they'd be unpatriotic not to let the Aryans have their way; today, that feeling has been successfully planted.

On rape

If the statistical occurrence of burglary can be discouraged by building houses in a certain way, then the statistical occurrence of rape can be discouraged by women dressing in a certain way. I have seen many who take this argument to be an approval of the criminal mind housed in a rapist, or an argument to curtail the freedom of women, but that is a mistake.

It is the same mistake as thinking that securing a house with a compound, thick walls, grilled windows, reinforced cement concrete ceilings, etc., is an approval of the criminal mind housed in a burglar, or an effort to curtail the freedom of its residents. If in one case people do not depend entirely on the law to discourage crime, there is no fundamental reason why they should in the other.

I am aware that some will conclude that I am equating women with property, but that is incorrect, too. I am not equating women, but that which is lost in rape, with property. Whose property? It is every woman's individual and private property, and, like all property, it is prudent to guard it well from criminals irrespective of how strong the law of the land is, or how effective its enforcement is.

The question of the relationship between the way in which women dress and the incidence of rape, which is but one of the many relationships that one needs to consider, is the question of the relationship between two statistical phenomena. That is, it is the question of the relationship between the general environment created by the dress-sense of all the different women in society and the statistical probability of rape.

The existence of this statistical relationship cannot be rejected on the grounds that particular sample-cases can be produced wherein the victim's dress can be shown to have been the least of the motivations for the crime for the most criminal of minds.

The criminal mind of the rapist is not necessarily set in motion by the dress-sense of the victim under consideration, but by the general impact of the overall environment in which he finds women, especially on television and in the movies. This should be read in conjunction with the fact that rape is, first of all, an act of violence which could have been triggered by many factors, only one of which is the general image of women formed in the mind of the criminal due to the overall environment in which he finds them.

To summarize, I say the crime of rape deserves the toughest punishment: capital punishment. But I am certain this will not solve the problem.

Why can't Bollywood stop targeting S. Indians?

So Bollywood comes up with another movie that plays with the sentiments of South Indians - this time the Tamils. Just saw a Headlines Today debate with Messrs. John Abraham & Co on the one side and Naam Tamilar Kaatchi's Mr. Ayyanathan on the other.

The issue is over an upcoming movie titled Madras Cafe, the depiction of Sri Lankan Tamils in it and the role of the LTTE in the killing of former PM, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The moviemakers feel they've done nothing wrong and taken no positions in the movie, and the Tamil protesters feel they've everything wrong and taken a position against Tamil sentiments - by portraying Sri Lankan Tamils as terrorists.

I have a simple point to make here. Why can't Bollywood stop making movies about South India or South Indians? The real question is not whether Bollywood moviemakers can take a balanced stand about them. The question is: why take any stand? If their answer is 'freedom of expression', why not limit its exercise to North India? In fact, why let any Bollywood movies be screened in South India at all, when that very act can and is construed as the continuation of a long history of cultural hegemony?

If the answer to this question is 'We're all Indians,' I say welcome to the true India where this political identity pales in comparison with linguistic identities that are thousands of years old. You don't build a multilingual nation yesterday and start making movies that play with the feelings of entire linguistic peoples today. No, not even under one or the other universal-sounding pretext. That only weakens the nation. Mind it.

'The Nation is the greatest evil for the Nation'

Independence from Britain is one thing and Indian nationalism another. Just in case you aren't sure, we celebrate the former today, not the latter. About the latter, or rather, about nationalism in general, I defer to Rabindranath Tagore - yes, that very man who wrote Jana Gana Mana:
Have you not seen, since the commencement of the existence of the Nation, that the dread of it has been the one goblin-dread with which the whole world has been trembling? Wherever there is a dark corner, there is the suspicion of its secret malevolence; and people live in a perpetual distrust of its back where it has no eyes. Every sound of footstep, every rustle of movement in the neighbourhood, sends a thrill of terror all around. And this terror is the parent of all that is base in man's nature. It makes one almost openly unashamed of inhumanity. Clever lies become matters of self-congratulation.

Solemn pledges become a farce, - laughable for their very solemnity. The Nation, with all its paraphernalia of power and prosperity, its flags and pious hymns, its blasphemous prayers in the churches, and the literary mock thunders of its patriotic bragging, cannot hide the fact that the Nation is the greatest evil for the Nation, that all its precautions are against it, and any new birth of its fellow in the world is always followed in its mind by the dread of a new peril. Its one wish is to trade on the feebleness of the rest of the world, like some insects that are bred in the paralyzed flesh of victims kept just enough alive to make them toothsome and nutritious. Therefore it is ready to send its poisonous fluid into the vitals of the other living peoples, who, not being nations, are harmless. For this the Nation has had and still has its richest pasture in Asia. Great China, rich with her ancient wisdom and social ethics, her discipline of industry and self-control, is like a whale awakening the lust of spoil in the heart of the Nation. She is already carrying in her quivering flesh harpoons sent by the unerring aim of the Nation, the creature of science and selfishness. Her pitiful attempt to shake off her traditions of humanity, her social ideals, and spend her last exhausted resources to drill herself into modern efficiency, is thwarted at every step by the Nation. It is tightening its financial ropes round her, trying to drag her up on the shore and cut her into pieces, and then go and offer public thanksgiving to God for supporting the one existing evil and shattering the possibility of a new one. And for all this the Nation has been claiming the gratitude of history, and all eternity for its exploitation; ordering its band of praise to be struck up from end to end of the world, declaring itself to be the salt of the earth, the flower of humanity, the blessing of God hurled with all his force upon the naked skulls of the world of no nations.
For Tagore's complete essay, click here. Happy Independence Day!

A non-violent view of India

It has become a fancy to say "India is a nation that is divided by so many factors" and then to go on to lament and foment. Unfortunately, although those who say this deny it, violence is implicit in this view because all their lamentations and fomentations are geared towards removing what they perceive as "divisions". Unfortunately, those perceived "divisions" are characteristics of life, and removing them is violence.

There is a non-violent view of India. To even understand this view, one must refrain from beginning with the postulate that India is "one this" or "one that" and later looking at every proof of the opposite as something that "divides" India. Once one refrains from this, it becomes possible to view India as a country with immense "diversity". It also becomes possible to ask what it is that we would like India to be "one" in, and what it is that we would like India to be "many" in. Because, to deny plurality is to impose singularity; and that is nothing but violence.

The Telugus are only the first to fall

South Indians, i.e., Dravidians, should be more worried about the split of the Telugu nation followed by its immediate consumption by the Aryans than the secession of Kashmir from India and its takeover by Pakistan, should this latter event actually occur.

But the problem is, we have been taught that it is wrong to think of ourselves as Dravidians. We are asked to think of ourselves as having no identity other than the illusive Indian one, and the fact that we have accepted this only makes it easy to divide, rule, depopulate, dissect, and ultimately remove us from the face of this planet.

These attacks are now visible in the political sphere w.r.t. the Telugus, but they have been happening in less-visible spheres from at least a thousand years all over South India. Dravidian literature, barring Tamil literature to some extent, for e.g., bears such a strong imprint of Aryan culture and customs, and on top of it all, language (i.e., Sanskrit), that it has ended up creating a fatal schism between the lettered and the unlettered among the Dravidians. As in all cases of colonialism, even in the case of the Dravidians, the literati identify more with the colonizers than with the colonized.

The literati are the elite of a people, and if they and their literature do little more than mimic the language of the colonizers in all possible ways - in the script, the choice of words, and the choice of writing topics - then that elite is easily subordinated to the elite of the colonizers. From among the latter have emerged the Aryan politicians in whose interest it is to divide and rule the Telugu people, and from among the former have emerged their local Telugu lieutenants.

It is a contradiction in terms to talk of increased autonomy for the states - linguistic states, mind you - and in the same breath to celebrate the history of the Sanskritization of Dravidian writing. There is a clear case to be made that the present predicament of the Telugus is due in no small measure to the fact that Telugu literature is heavily Sanskritized - perhaps more so than the literature of any other Dravidian language. There is hardly a word that Telugu writers are capable of coining today which is not Sanskrit, despite the fact that Telugu is a Dravidian language, not an Indo-Aryan language.

Plus, of course, since the land of the Telugu people lies on the border between the Dravidian and the Aryan regions of today, it is not surprising that theirs is the first Southern state in independent India to be so conspicuously divided and ruled by the Aryans who have been inching southwards from the beginning of India's history, dividing and destroying society on the way. I don't think it is possible to stop the Aryan takeover of South India unless the Dravidians stand up for their fundamental right to freedom and liberty in all walks of life, language being the most fundamental one.

So, the Telugus have fallen, and we Kannadigas are next in line. The question is: Do we even realize what is happening to us?

All parties must be treated equally

There are loud cries from India's anticorruption activists that political parties must come under RTI (right to information). This is, of course, a reasonable thing to ask, but there is an important detail that people seem to be forgetting.

There is a fundamental problem with bringing all political parties under RTI at one shot. And that is: existing parties such as Congress and BJP have grown to their current size and prominence without it! Not a little illegal money has brought them to where they stand today, as any voter will acknowledge, and as any party person will also acknowledge in private.

Now that these parties have grown fat, if it becomes mandatory for all political parties to come under RTI simultaneously, it will become nearly impossible for new and budding parties to have a fair chance in the overall game. Of course, even the big parties will get into trouble because they have to be transparent, but the new and budding parties will have greater trouble to even try and exist.

I am not trying to justify corruption but the right of all political parties—old and new, born and unborn—to be equally corrupt. What I'm trying to justify is the right of Indians to form new political parties with new ideologies and still have the opportunity to play a fair game, i.e., to be treated equally. The validity of an ideology has nothing to do with how much corruption is necessary to get it to win an election: such is the unfortunate state of affairs of the Indian polity.

If RTI is slapped on every political party at one shot, the small fish are going to be the real victims, not the big fish, and there is no proof that the ideologies of the small fish are any less valid than those of the big ones. Nor is it true that the existing political parties have exhausted all the possible ideologies that Indians can author.

What is the way out? Should we do away with the idea of bringing political parties under RTI? No, because that would not be the way of minimizing corruption. The correct way, I think, is to give all parties immunity from RTI for the same number of years as the oldest party, i.e., the Congress. This party has existed for about 128 years, and it has not come under the ambit of RTI till now. So, if a law to bring political parties under RTI comes into effect from today, the Congress must first come under it, followed by the next oldest party, and so on and so forth. All parties, including the new and unborn parties, must enjoy a full 128-year immunity from RTI. That is, if the electoral system in India has to be fair.

Slapping RTI on political parties is a wonderful idea, no doubt, but it has to be done in a phased manner without undermining democracy. To try and remove corruption from all the political parties at one shot, unfortunately, is undemocratic. Sorry.

What the Sanatanists need to understand

It is a great experience to listen to Dr. R. Ganesh speaking about the philosophical aspects of Sanatana Dharma. But the moment he turns to social aspects he is on shaky ground, although his confidence seems to suggest otherwise. For example, he eloquently claims that Sanskrit was a pan-Indian spoken language, the untruth of which claim has been demonstrated by linguistics. As another example, he admits that Shudras were not allowed access to the Vedas, but brushes it aside in one sweep of the hand, lest further deliberation should lead to the inevitable complications in his discourse.

The problem, of course, is not with the person of Dr. Ganesh but with Sanatana Dharma itself. As Dr. Ganesh himself admits, the main focus of Sanatana Dharma has been individual spiritual pursuit; anything social has always been secondary to it. Consequently, Sanatana Dharma is arguably the most developed system of philosophy and spirituality in the world. As a corollary to this, the study of the languages of the people - such as Kannada - has always suffered neglect. It is from such neglect that some can claim that Kannada is a derivative of Sanskrit. As another corollary to this, the study of Castes and steps to remove them has also suffered neglect. It is from such neglect that efforts to prove that Castes never existed stem.

Unfortunately for Sanatanists like Dr. Ganesh, however, social pursuits have risen to primary importance in today's world; one could argue that this was ever so. In such a world, no amount of rightful praise heaped on the philosophical aspects of Sanatana Dharma can save its face in the social sphere where the Varna and Caste systems have created a complete mess. I have heard Dr. Ganesh describe the 'real world' as 'a heavy load heaped on our backs'. If this is the way we continue to treat the real world, i.e., if our response to the 'real world' is to try and get rid of it in our thought, the days of Sanatana Dharma are numbered. Its death will begin and end in society, while its great philosophical and spiritual concepts will remain in the books and the chants of a handful individuals. Is this a desirable future for Sanatana Dharma?

'Die Grenzen meiner Sprache sind die Grenzen meiner Welt'

Whatever the use we put language to, the words we employ impose limits on what we can meaningfully convey using them.

For example, the word 'regional party' (translated as 'pradeshika paksha' in Kannada) imposes a psychological limit on the one who employs it. It tends to associate an insignificance, a smallness, a trivialness with what that party represents. To speak of increasing the significance, perceived size or importance of those parties is psychologically inconsistent with the fundamental meaning conveyed by the word 'regional party'.

Similarly about the word 'national party': it attributes a greater significance, largeness, and greater importance of what such a party represents, right off the bat. A party only needs to be called a 'national party', and the psychology of those on whom the word is wielded is already transformed into believing that it is something better, more grand, more important, more significant than 'regional parties'.

The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once famously said that 'the limits of my language are the limits of my world'. ('Die Grenzen meiner Sprache sind die Grenzen meiner Welt'). The limits of language created by the terms 'regional party' and 'national party' act to create psychological limits on those who use the terms, and consequently, impose limits on the political changes that are at all possible.

Therefore, let's switch to terms like 'state party' and 'federal party'. These terms don't imply a hierarchy of importance; rather, they stand for the functions that are desired from them.

Fossils bloom

The sidelining of Indian languages other than Hindi according to the new rules of the UPSC examination saw lots of protests on social networking sites last week. Unfortunately, the protests have already begun to die down. The world gets the message that the injustice is thereby vindicated.

The framers of our Constitution knew that such protests would die down. They knew because we were not awake enough to protest when they took away some of our most fundamental freedoms. We were not awake enough to protest when they indoctrinated us into believing that those freedoms are worthless fossils to be laid at the foundation of the new nation. Now, the continuation of our fatal slumber has become necessary by law, and that law doles out injustice after injustice.

But what the framers of the Constitution seem to have forgotten is: we did not protest then because then we believed them to take care of our freedoms. We did not protest then because we believed that their awakening is our awakening. Now, the proof that they have failed us, and the truth that our awakening is a separate one, both stare in our eye.

Yes, we may forget the present injustice soon, but the Constitution will ensure that another one will follow. We will forget that one, too, but there is no denying that the underlying flaw in the Constitution will make itself more and more visible every time an injustice is rolled out. As this continues, The Book will stop being followed in spirit and will have to be enforced purely in letter. We already see the signs of this decay. It will be good for the future of the Indian nation to recognize it and start the process of rewriting the Constitution from scratch.

Tamils and Kannadigas are not enemies

A well-wisher came to me with the request to support the apparently barbarous murder of the son of the former LTTE chief by the Sri Lankan army, the news of which has been in circulation these days. His logic is that Sri Lanka and Karnataka must be united in their opposition to Tamil Nadu because Tamil Nadu has been troubling both. I had to politely decline to support this viewpoint.

Tamils and Kannadigas are not enemies; in fact, we are one people in more than one sense of the term, and there is much that we need to achieve together. It is just that the politicians of Tamil Nadu would like to paint the Kannadiga like a demon to the Tamil so that they can then claim to have the ability to slay the demon.

Even the inability of Karnataka's politicians to secure the Cauvery for us is not their incapacity to slay the Tamil demon, for there isn't one. It is their lack of political acumen, their blind acceptance of enslavement by so-called national parties, and, in the ultimate analysis, the Kannadiga's complete subservience to the flawed idea of India that informs the present Constitution. The hatred of Tamils does not substitute for changing this status quo.

Now, don't mistake me. I don't mean to be a patron of the LTTE. That's the other extreme viewpoint that my critics will be waiting to jump to. Violence begets violence, and this is likely why the young boy was apparently killed so brutally. Also, I am not against violence either, because of the same reason: violence begets violence; if there has been violence in the past, the victims will tend to use violence in the present and future. Who am I to be for or against that which is inevitable according to the law of Karma?

Why we needed the Hyderabad blasts

Pic: India Today.

The terror attack on Hyderabad is not a failure of the Govt. of India. It is the very thing on which the need for a Govt. of India was originally postulated by the British: the so-called inability of the states to defend themselves from external aggression. I say 'so-called' because this inability was and is only an illusion; we find states smaller than the smallest in India defending themselves in the world. But the Govt. of India would like to maintain this illusion intact, because if it weren't for it, it would cease to exist.

The Idea of India that is enshrined in the Constitution of India requires these bomb blasts to happen, because it is an opportunity to illustrate the need for a Govt. of India in the absence of any other obvious reason such as a people speaking one language or belonging to one race. The Constitution also requires the states to be incapable of preventing these bomb blasts. Everyone points a finger at the Govt. of India and claims that it must pull its act together and prevent these incidents. But the fact is, such acts can never be prevented except by the State Governments. And now, because of the way in which the nation is structured, the State Governments may not prevent them. The result: these bomb blasts can never be prevented at all.

The people of India pay for this nonsensical and undemocratic political structure by dying in these blasts which keep happening without end. Yet, we don't learn from our mistakes, and the Govt. of India would rather not have us learn. Because, if we do learn, it would present an existential threat to it. But really, it would only create an existential threat to the current Constitution of India - not the very idea of a single Indian nation. There is a way of writing this crucial document which ensures peace and prosperity for all Indians, and without endangering the idea of a single nation. That way is to take federalism seriously.

Hyderabad blasts: the language angle

Hindu-Muslim hatred is essentially a North Indian phenomenon. It is transported into South India by the so-called national parties. In fact, Hinduism and Islam were themselves transported into South India from North India. The Telugus, who are a nation by themselves according to the universal definition of the term, had nothing to do with Afzal Guru whose execution, by the actual nation that they are part of, seems to have triggered the Hyderabad bomb blasts.

If the Indian Mujahideen, or any other terrorist group, is indeed behind the blasts, then one of two things must be true. The terrorists who committed the crime must either have been brought in from outside Andhra Pradesh, or they must have been born and brought up within the state.

If the terrorists were brought in from outside the state, the Government of India is party to the crime because it does not let states enforce their own border security. What is more, it encourages the belief, complete with what is advertised as a concern for universal brotherhood but what is in reality a justification for extreme centralization of economic and political power, that inter-state borders are unholy even if they are only on paper.

The trains, airplanes and highways between states, which run under the control of the Government of India, carry these terrorists to their destinations sans any controls or checks. Remember that, when the British pioneered these transport and communications links, they loved the havoc they would create. The more the havoc, the more the yellow metal in the Queen's kitty. It's not very different today. Now there ain't no Queen, but there are a few Kings and Moguls in New Delhi, all working very closely.

If the terrorists were born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh, there are two further cases: they either spoke Telugu or didn't. If they didn't speak Telugu, the Government of India is again to blame, because it discourages all Indian languages other than Hindi - not just in name, but economically and politically. It does not let state governments enforce the language of the land and thereby create a feeling of brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims.

Islam is a religion, not a language, and hundreds of millions of Muslims do not speak Arabic or Persian or Urdu, which many consider to be three names of one language, but which are similar only to outsiders; the similar scripts add to the confusion. The entire nation of Bangladesh, full of Muslims, speaks Bengali, and in fact separated from Pakistan on linguistic grounds. It also makes sense for Muslims to speak the language of the people around them, because it then makes conversion, which they like, easier.

All said and done, it is extremely unlikely that the terrorists spoke Telugu, or had any intention to speak it. One doesn't create havoc in the lives of people whose tongue one shares or wishes to share, even if one is a Muslim, unless, in that case, one is opposing Hindu fanatics. If one is opposing Hindu fanatics, the BJP, the RSS, and the rest of the Hindutva brigade, who like to think of themselves as the better alternative to the Congress at the centre, are all to blame for the Hyderabad blasts.

Next, it is important to note that the Telugu people, i.e., the people of Andhra Pradesh, hold a miniscule fraction of the power in the Parliament of India that was attacked by Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri hero according to the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, in the first place. I don't mean just the trivial number of Andhra MPs, but also the fact that they are inferior because they don't speak the preferred language - Hindi. If the Telugus even whisper in Telugu in the Parliament, they're immediately and automatically regarded as traitors, parochials and un-Indian.

Most of the power in the Parliament of India is held by North Indians speaking Hindi. The attack on the Parliament, therefore, is not so much an attack on the Telugus as it is on the North Indians speaking Hindi. The most important source of Hindu-Muslim tension is essentially a conflict in the Punjab, a state in North India that was divided during the partition. The Telugus have only been told that all this is their problem, and the Punjabis have been told that it is not only their problem. Having bought that argument, the Telugus have got these bomb blasts as gifts from the Queen's alter-egos in New Delhi. What is more, the Telugus are constitutionally prevented from protecting themselves with any seriousness, and are told the recurrent constitutional lie that the Government of India is there to help the people of India.

Hero for the state, villain for the centre

Afzal Guru was executed on 9-2-2013. Image courtesy: India Today
If you watched Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's interview to CNN-IBN, you got ample proof that the States of India are namesake entities created to cushion the Central Government from the backlashes of the people it oppresses.

In the interview, Abdullah was unequivocal in his protest against the Central Government’s decision to hang Afzal Guru, although it was mixed with a lot of verbiage about technicalities and logistics, and although he was visibly under the severe compulsion of sounding politically correct to New Delhi. In India, chief ministers are not allowed to be more than this.

Abdullah’s protest or not, the hanging happened and his State Government is now expected to do all the cleanup and ‘keep the situation under control’. If the ‘situation goes out of control’, it is construed to be Abdullah’s ‘incapability to sustain law and order in the State of Jammu and Kashmir’, and out he goes according to The Book.

And then, in comes the puppet from Rashtrapati Bhavan to rule Jammu and Kashmir in proxy for the Prime Minister of India. In the case of the Congress, the latter can only rule in proxy for the President of the Congress Party; in the case of the BJP, in proxy for the sarsangchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Since these people have exclusive control over The Gun in India, they have exclusive control over what it takes to ‘keep the situation under control’. Reminiscent of Lord Dalhousie’s Doctrine of Lapse which gave the British Raj the power to take control of States whose rulers were perceived to be ‘manifestly incompetent’ in their rule? Where their ‘manifest imcompetence’ was created by the Raj itself?

‘Generations of Kashmiris will identify with Afzal Guru,’ cautioned Omar Abdullah in the interview. ‘You will have to prove to the world that the death penalty is not used selectively. The onus rests on the judiciary and the political leadership to show that this wasn't a selective execution.’

Abdullah has stated unequivocally that the executed Afzal Guru, whatever the seriousness of his crime from the point of view of the Central Government or the Opposition or chest-thumping nationalists of all hues, is a sort of icon in Jammu and Kashmir, a hero. Now, this is already a problem with the Idea of India that calls for his execution. How can someone be a hero for a State and a villain for the Centre?

If the Idea of India is postulated on awarding the death penalty to the heroes of its States, what kind of a nation are we living in? If a man who, according to the Central Government, is involved in an attack on the so-called temple of Indian democracy (and that's already a problem; some will want the word mosque inserted here!), is a hero in one of its States, what kind of a democracy is it in the first place?

If the chief minister of a democratically elected State Government feels that the judiciary and the political leadership at the Centre are selectively using capital punishment to target the heroes of his State while leaving the heroes of other States roam scot-free, is there equality in India?

How will the Central Government ‘prove to the world that the death penalty is not used selectively’? By executing the heroes of the other States? Indeed, how does Omar Abdullah want this proof to be given to the world? And finally, will the ‘generations of Kashmiris’, who identify with Afzal Guru according to Abdullah, be satisfied if that proof is provided? Will that be equivalent to the rebirth of their hero?

These are tough questions, and the future of morality in India depends on the Central Government not shying away from them or answering them with The Gun. To even begin to answer them without putting the unity and integrity of India at risk from the very outset, not only the Central Government but every Indian will have to realize that Afzal Guru and others who attacked the Parliament House are extreme personifications of the undercurrent of widespread protest against an Idea of India that is fundamentally flawed: one postulated on taking all the power, including the power to decide who is a hero and who is a villain, away from the people and depositing it in the Parliament House in the first place.

They, the people...

When they began the Preamble to the Constitution of India with the words 'We, the people of India', did they mean what we think they did, or what we have been taught they did? Simply put, did we, Kannadigas and other South Indians, give ourselves a Constitution? One which gives us the status of second-class citizens because of the languages we speak? Highly unlikely, isn't it?

Imagine the scene. In those days, India had just broken free from the colonial yoke, and was anxious to establish itself as an independent entity in the comity of nations. The leaders of India had to let the world, and not so much the people of India, know that the new Indian nation had arrived. Contrary to popular belief, therefore, the intended audience of the Preamble of the Constitution of India were not so much the people of India, but the leaders of the numerous nations of the world at that time. This is, of course, true of all constitutions.

When they wrote 'We, the people of India...give to ourselves this Constitution', therefore, they only meant that it was not the people of Britain, or any external entity, giving India a Constitution, but Indians themselves. Recall that that was the top concern at that moment: who decides for India? Indians or foreigners?

Now, this may appear like stating the obvious, and therefore unimportant, but it is not. The sentence 'We, the people of India...give ourselves this Constitution' has two important meanings with a world of difference between them. They are: (a) the people of India, represented equally and fairly in some sense by the Constituent Assembly, give themselves this Constitution, and (b) the people of India as different from the people of Britain, give themselves this Constitution.

We think, and we are taught, that the Constitution of India is based on the former understanding, but that is wrong. It is based on the latter understanding in which equal or fair representation of Indians of all descriptions is neither necessary nor implicit. Even if the framers of the Constitution are a handful of people from some corner of India, culturally alien to most of India, they can still get away with describing themselves as 'We, the people of India'. One only has to ensure that they are not foreigners, say Britishers.

And that is what we have today. The Constitution of India is a document authored, in the ultimate analysis, by a handful of people from North India who claimed to represent all of India, while in fact they hardly represented North India itself. It draws a line between an Indian and a non-Indian, considering the peoples of India as one in all respects by virtue of their newly imposed Indian identity. As far as drawing lines within India is concerned, the Constitution considers it to be a necessary evil at best.

But that does not render the Constitution culturally unbiased as one might expect, and as the world has been led to believe. There is such a degree of northern bias in the Constitution, including the open partiality towards Hindi and its speakers, and the consequent atrophy to which languages like Kannada have been pushed, that Kannadigas and other South Indians might as well read the Preamble to the Constitution of India as 'They, the people of North India....give to us all this Constitution'.

What's a Delhi rape got that a B'luru rape ain't got?

Source: cnn.com
The recent anti-rape protests in New Delhi illustrate an important fact. I don't mean to talk about male domination or anything universal of that sort, but what one might call as the appropriation of all discourse on morality by people living to the north of the Vindhyas, a.k.a. North Indians. Let me explain.

You will agree that neither the quantity nor the quality of what a girl loses in rape depends on her location in India. But notice that it took a rape in North India to ignite the so-called national media, the law and order system, and the political system. Everybody got their act together in no time, and even a Verma (who else, a Gowda?) materialized out of nowhere to submit a report in a snap, which he apparently did with all the morality that adorns North Indians of his ilk.

Now, the Singhs, Gandhis, Advanis, and other Northern lords of India are going to take an action, make a law, or whatever, which is going to apply to all of India - including that unfortunate half that lies to the south of the Vindhyas. And then again, there are going to be widespread discussions on the right and wrong of those actions, those laws, or whatever - again everything limited to the North. The actors of the South, of course, have their role to play in this: they will get their airtime as (a) mimicry artists repeating what has been handed down to them from the North, and (b) mute spectators watching television news channels run by North Indians or reading newspapers owned by them.

Countless rapes in South India have not had what it takes to create an India-wide stir. Are South Indians happy with women getting raped all around them? Are they barbaric, while only the people of North India sense something wrong in a rape, and are exclusively non-barbaric? One could easily come to such conclusions based on who hogs the limelight every time questions of universal importance demand answers in India. At least, one will have nothing to say against the claim, if any, of the greater morality of the Northerners compared to the Southerners, because it is the former who always take the centrestage whether it comes to discourse or action associated with morality or the control of immorality.

But why do they take the centrestage while we do not? Why don't we see such wonderful and widespread demonstrations of concern for humanity epicentered in, say, Bengaluru or Chennai, and then spreading all over India? Nobody asks this, because nothing is expected to be centered in these places. At least, nothing moral is. You could have a porn-in-the-assembly revolution in Bengaluru, or you could have a violent anti-brahmin revolution in Chennai, but you certainly cannot have anything moral and of national importance start in these places - these places which are close to the abode of Ravana, places where he is even worshiped. The 'victory of right over wrong' is, after all, a yearly celebration staged in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi - not anywhere in Bengaluru or Chennai.

The answer to the question is that South Indians have been denied their right over any discourse on morality; North Indians have appropriated that right for themselves. They are the ones who steal the limelight when the question is of anything bordering on morality or universality; and, of course, they are the law makers and the law enforcers, not us; we are only their puppets, the mute recipients of alms handed out at their whim. They have achieved this status by simply writing it explicitly and implicitly in the Constitution of India - again, all by themselves. The national apparatus is fueled by both the word and the spirit of the constitution, and therefore, the loudest cries on the topic of morality from the South fail to get noticed, while the softest whispers from the North are amplified and broadcasted all over India.

The hard fact is, our 'democratically elected' imperial rulers from the North, and those who benefit from them, don't give a damn when we Southerners speak. Actually, how much better it would have been for them if we were actually apes without language, just like we were portrayed in the Ramayana! There are thousands of cries of morality emanating from the North, and that's where morality is expected to emanate from. We are expected to be immoral, barbaric, and unoriginal when it comes to the discourse on morality. There is certainly not much history of us having made demonstrations on morality, civilization, and originality anyway - in a history which has, from the ages, been engineered to be dominated by the North.

This perception, together with the idea of India based on it, is clearly fatal for India's unity and integrity. It is, of course, not a Southern one but a Northern one. We South Indians are not voiceless on the issue of rape, or impotent when it comes to other questions of morality, but our voice and our potential have been crushed under the imperial yoke of North India. There is no option but for India to change in such a way as to make our voices heard and our actions matter. And the earlier it undergoes that transformation, the better.