Brahminism, Patriarchy, Supreme Court And The Justice

By Saswat Pattanayak (Published in CounterCurrents) It is the patriarchal fixation with fathers and husbands as feudal heads of indian households where sanctities are attached to family units, that leads to normalization of corruption in a judicial system that is unsurprisingly spearheaded by the brahminical chiefs. No matter what the chief of the family does, it has to be a hush-hush affair and not be made public. Family becomes sacrosanct and the head of family remains above reproach. Brahminism which governs Indian society is founded upon the philosophy of unquestioned belief in the supreme authority, the highest caste, the sacred…

Padmavati, Karni Sena and the crisis of Hinduism

By Saswat Pattanayak The outrage against Karni Sena is entirely misplaced. These hooligans will eventually be forgiven by their gods because they know not what they do. The real dangerous elements however are those who claim to know better, and yet fervently endorse Padmavati – whether as a fictional character, a historical figure, or as a movie script awaiting screening. In all shape, way, and form, Rani Padmini legacy is a textbook instance of Islamophobia. If the practice of Sati was/is justified by the Hindus as the chaste wife syndrome, the practice of Jauhar which Padmini was said to have…

Rohith Vemula: Indian Left and the Dalit Student Suicides

By Saswat Pattanayak (Written for CounterCurrents) Rohith Vemula did not just commit suicide – he was murdered. And this murder was not committed by the right-wing ABVP – it was conducted by the left-liberals. The “Dalit problem” citing which Rohith gave up his life, is not the creation of any fringe elements among communal Hindus – it is sustained by the liberal Hindus who tremendously profit from the status quo it provides. None of this is an exaggeration – these comprise a reality that must be confronted. The entire Hindu society, the Savarnas, are the perpetrators – no one among…

Meritocratic Jury

(In the backdrop of Supreme Court of India’s bench comprising Justice Misra and Justice Pant citing national interest to scrap quota in higher education institutions)   Looks like you have the merit – Birthright of the nationalist. Wearing that Sacred Thread. Making a call to daddy’s old boys network every now & then. Misra uncles and Pant uncles And their colleague uncles. Uncle’s uncles. Bhagwat uncles. Generationally scholarly. Proud Indian Hindus. Feeling the national interests Merit runs in their veins. Your access not denied to the temples. Of gods and sacred texts. Interpreted by sacrosanct gatekeepers. High Court Jagannath Temple…

The need for Political Correctness

The censorship argument just as the artistic expressions themselves needs to be politically correct – the position must spring from the point of raised consciousness where the needs of the times – taking into consideration various locations of exploitations and associated struggles for social justice – are well understood and articulated.

Beyond the Judiciary – Reservation as Reparation

Written for Radical Notes Thursday, 19 April 2007 Saswat Pattanayak “The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expressions of the dominant material relations, the dominant material relations grasped as ideas; hence of the relations which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance” (Marx and Engels). The recent Supreme Court of India decision imposing a stay on the implementation of the 27 percent reservation for the “other backward classes” (OBCs) in elite institutions is a desperate attempt to secure a few public institutions exclusively for the ‘meritorious’ few, whose merit rests on accumulated…

Capitalism’s Standards of Success

Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat. —Jean-Paul Sartre I apologize for the delay in posting this entry, but I guess I had to wait till the mainstream media no more confused readers with the “hot topic” any longer. I had to wait until after they would have well done away with the headlines and sensations and the matter were allowed to be relegated to backburner. And I realize now is such a time when suddenly the matter of “Reservation” is not being brought about any longer. Its no more being…

Medical Strike: Misplaced Sympathies and Denial of Privilege

I will call this the Princess Diana Syndrome. Remember that poor adorable princess who met an untimely death? The whole world just seemed to have lost this great soul who was so beautiful and could have changed everyone’s lives by posing alongside the orphans. Media everywhere from global to national to regional to local got hooked onto the image of Diana as the savior who was a victim (even if that meant that she was victim of media themselves!) To some extent the media houses blamed each other, the paparazzis and even the evil cash-rich boyfriend who was also some…

Is Reservation a Solution?

Fellow readers and activists Satya and Rajesh have sent me via an email a response they had, to the issue of reservation, at the UMass., Amherst mailing list “Indian Manifesto”. I simply love everything they have to say here. And especially the way they end the note with: “One CANNOT reverse the arrow of time. In the last two decades, the lower castes are on the move and have been more influential than ever before, in determining national politics, distribution of power and resources, redefining culture, and the very texture of everyday life. That’s the greatest thing that has happened…

Medical Strikes: Revisiting few Elite Myths

Fellow reader Open to Discussion asks me some valid questions following my earlier post on the topic . I have decided to publish my answers here as well for more general readership. OD asks: 1. why so much of poison my dear friend? 2. no where in india were the rulers were brahmins entire UP and bihar had been ruled by Yadavs(OBC), rajasthan by jats (OBC), in tamil nadu all except Brahmins come under reserved cat, so some body amongst them must be ruler. 3. algebra questions are never asked in medical entrance!! u set any syllabus, it does not…