The caste-neutral whip and other jokes

He draws a mob as big as India, adds a panch-enforcer with a whip, points to the accused, and renders mob justice.

Indian children understand mob justice quite well. They see it on the street, on television, in newspapers; its appearance now in text books, thanks to this cartoon, will take the process of normalizing it a little further. Think of thieves being beaten up. Thieves being tied and beaten up. Many of them minors. 'Bad' women being beaten up. Women practising 'witchcraft' being beaten up. Dalit women being beaten up. The children also see, hear and read about khaps.

[Interspersed through this article are pictures of actual public scenes involving mobs inflicting violence on individuals. Hope they arouse some critical thinking] 

 Why did a substantial section of the brahminzed classes not see it that way? They didn't/don't see even Hazare, another whip wielder, that way. The Indian public sphere is still very unproblematic.

Some say Nehru was whipping the snail, not Dr Ambedkar. So what was Dr Ambedkar doing in the picture? Like the Indian mob usually does, Shankar wanted an identifiable two legged villain.

The joke is that the cartoon renders the whole purpose of the constitution making process meaningless: wasn't the constitution meant to do away with mob justice and other such undemocratic practices? What is the lesson the kids get out of it? Democracy? That is the joke.

please read the rest of my article on the ambedkar cartoon issue on round table india here. please also read the other, very interesting articles on the issue, while you're there:  

'The cartoon controversy: Inside the mind of one 'fanatic' Dalit - I' by Anoop Kumar,

'Whipping up 'critical pedagogy': Uncritical defense of NCERT's violence' by Savari,

'The Cartoon, the Classroom and the Idea of India' by N. Sukumar


caste satta

came across this news story
HYDERABAD, JAN. 20: Everonn, has launched its ‘Everonn World' at Kukatpally in Hyderabad. It will provide a one-stop solution for the educational and training needs of students and institutions. It is part of the company's national rollout and will promote the Edupreneur Programme. The company wants to identify entrepreneurs willing to contribute to the growth of Indian education in their chosen geographies. Everonn World intends to provide products and services catering to pre-school, vocational education, training, institutional tie-ups (schools and colleges), university and management education, admission counselling, coaching, certification and testing. The education centre at Kukatpally was inaugurated by Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, President, Lok Satta and local legislator.
dr.jayaprakash narayan launches the 'education centre' of a company that shall make money through selling products and services to 'edupreneurs' i.e., people who run private educational institutions. what does he think of private 'edupreneurs' in school education, i wonder. because he can't really guarantee 'equal opportunities for growth to all, irrespective of caste, religion, gender, and financial status' (check his party's website) and promote private school education at the same time. that infuses hierarchy into school education, building an education system that mimics the caste system in structure and spirit. no one can 'guarantee equal opportunities for growth to all' through such a system.

but dr.narayan goes a step ahead and says:
Lok Satta government will work tirelessly to abolish caste within one generation.
abolish caste in one generation? how? this is how:
* School, College and University educational records will not refer to the caste of the individual, except in the case of beneficiaries from schemes pertaining to SC, ST and BC. 
* Lok Satta Government will ensure that students from all castes live together in hostels. All government constructions will ensure that people belonging to different castes stay together.
what will he do with all the unwritten records in all the savarna homes? will he go sit in their living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, backyards etc and hold dharnas, every day, and tell them to 'say no to caste'?

dr. jayaprakash narayan is one of those wise brahminical nationalists who instinctively know that it is the lower castes who thought up the caste system, originally. obviously, they wanted separate hostels some two thousand years later.

he was a part of babudom until recently but doesn't seem to remember that separate hostels for scs, sts and bcs are a fairly recent idea. they were established, perhaps around the same time that he was appointed an ias officer, because students from those communities did not get enough attention, or protection, in hostels where 'students from all castes lived together'. the second backward classes commission, or the mandal commission, and the national commission for sc/sts were are also instituted around the same time. again, for the same reasons, broadly: regular institutions (which catered to 'all castes') were failing to deliver justice and attention to the bcs, scs and sts. this happened around 30-32 years ago. or some 30-32 years after independence.

but he does remember that the first caste census, held more than a century ago, was a 'scheme of using caste and religion to accentuate differences among people and thereby contain the fervour of nationalism'.

so, the british also thought it up.

these are the kind of revolutionary minds in savarna 'civil society' that went to work on the rte. there's no way sc, st or obc kids are going to find their way into private schools through the promised quota of 25% for the 'poor'. that quota is going to knock some sense into the caste-ridden indian education system and make all indian schools 'pure' educational institutions, run by pure 'edupreneurs'. that would definitely ensure that no one one from any caste would go to separate hostels. it's time jayaprakash narayan and his pals like aruna roy etc thought up a right to work programme for all the sc, st, bc children who can't find any functioning government schools in the not so distant future.
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