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First Post: Hindutva Parties BJP & The RSS Rewriting Dalit History To Target Muslims

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (left) releases books on Dalits written by BJP spokesman Vijay Sonkar Shastri (middle) in New Delhi on Sunday. HRD Minister Smriti Irani is also seen. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (left) releases books on Dalits written by BJP spokesman Vijay Sonkar Shastri (middle) in New Delhi on Sunday. HRD Minister Smriti Irani is also seen. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Narendra Modi‘s BJP and its ally the RSS have been condemned by Indian scholars and activists for rewriting Dalit history with “unsubstantiated claims” and “weird theories” in an attempt to antagonize relations between communities and consolidate the Hindu vote.

via. First Post

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) attempts at re-writing Dalit history has drawn sharp criticism from scholars and activists.

As part of its efforts to aggressively push the Hindu nationalist agenda and consolidate the Hindu vote, the RSS has sought to introduce communal overtones to the origins of caste in a never-before-heard-of take on Dalit history.

In three recently released books on the subject, top RSS leaders have held foreign invaders responsible for the emergence of certain castes. The books, authored by BJP spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri, were released earlier this month by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. RSS leaders have written the preface for all three books.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, top RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi states in the preface to one of the books, “To violate Hindu swabhiman (dignity) of Chanwarvanshiya Kshatriyas, foreign invaders from Arab, Muslim rulers and beef-eaters, forced them to do abominable works like killing cows, skinning them and throwing their carcasses in deserted places. Foreign invaders thus created a caste of charma-karma (dealing with skin) by giving such works as punishment to proud Hindu prisoners.�

Criticising the RSS for pushing a communal agenda with historically unsubstantiated claims, Dalit scholar associated with the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, Dilip G Diwakar, said “This is an unnecessary reactionary move by the RSS that is aimed to create antagonism between Hindus and Muslims. It is not merely a caste comment per se. This argument that is being made by the RSS is a very communal one.�

Having played a crucial role in the BJP’s stunning Lok Sabha performance, the RSS has been aggressively pushing its Hindu nationalist agenda. Recent headline-grabbing statements by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat calling on Hindus to unite and pitching India as Hindu nation have been interpreted as attempts to further consolidate the Hindu vote.

Asked if he saw efforts to rewrite Dalit history as an attempt in that direction, Diwakar said, “Of course. As long as Dalits see themselves as separate from the upper caste, consolidation cannot happen. One, the RSS wants to consolidate the Hindus and two, they want to create antagonism between the lower-castes and the Muslim community, which will indirectly benefit the consolidation process.�

The move also drew strong reactions from Dalit activists.

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  • cmyfe .

    Yes!!! I trust this scholarly research of yours. It doesn’t even have any spelling mistakes! and is more credible than your average cultist website!

    Let’s both make scary statues now and say these created us!

  • Weeeenis

    good find

  • mindy1

    I did not know he said that…

  • No_Terrorist

    Of course it was. Clint Eastwood is a big Muslim-hater since before the movie.

    “How many rights do you want to give to people who are trying to kill you just because you’re you? . . . [Y]ou may be of a different religious sect, or you may be an agnostic, or you may be anything. But you’re not one of them, so you’re an inferior being. . . . Do you fight on 21st-century ideas or 17th-century, like the people who are against you?”

    He thinks of himself as an ideologue but with his one-dimensional world view, he is not.

  • HSkol

    Heck, these are A+ a-holes.

  • HSkol

    It seems that these folks have been studying America’s very own David Barton’s playbook, to a degree anyhow.

  • moraka

    Not a new thing Greece for example rewrote their history books so the Ottoman occupation became 400 years of slavery. The typical wide spread version of the Armenian genocide, excludes all the Christan Armenian terrorists and mass murderers. I once was taught a version of American history where Islam for some reason first appears with Malcolm X and Nation of Islam. The Sikh version of their history has them as innocent martyrs and lion and their betrayal of the Mughal state never happened. Plenty of Sikhs will not admit that the fall of the Sikh empire was caused by internal divisions and political mismanagement, but claim that it was caused by traitory. There already exists Hindus who claim that the Taj Mahal was a stolen Hindu temple. Ghandi and Shivaji have been turned into these false great heroes. While someone like Ambedkar is forgotten.

  • JS

    The situation in India is really becoming worrying… how does Modi expect India to be a major player in the 21st century when his own officials are alienating 200 million Muslims?

  • downwithpants

    Lack of education, opportunity…. infinite reasons for hate. Just plain a-holes

  • cmyfe .

    What about the Shudra caste? Did Arabs also force old Hindus to become untouchables? Did Arabs used to pour molten glass in the years of Hindus when they heard the scriptures? Thus creating the caste of Shudras?
    What is next? Did Arabs create nude murderous demon pictures to imply them as gods and goddesses?
    You can’t blame all shameful features of your religion on others.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    He whitewashed a lunatic nonetheless.

  • mindy1

    *sigh* I just have trouble wrapping my head around this hate and where it comes from….

  • mindy1

    I don’t think that was his intent when he made that movie..

  • mindy1

    Sadly true

  • Reynardine

    I note herein that ever since Eastwood released his movie, American Muslims have been receiving many times the normal number of violent threats.

  • downwithpants

    Lol when in doubt blame the foreigners.oldest political trick

  • Reynardine

    The commentary in the original article… most piquant.

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