May 6, 2020 | By Jaspal Singh Sidhu & Khushhal Singh
The BJP-RSS never feels shy of asserting that they stand for revival and sustenance of Brahmanic social order based on vedas/ puranas/ manusamriti. These scriptures threw up a caste-based cultural continuity which India is proud of since time immemorial. Sociologists say that Dalits and lower castes –with no social capital of their own– form the bulk of migrant labor and other poor in Indian hierarchical society with upper castes (swarna jatis) are ruling politicians/bureaucrats/ industrialists/ employers/ moneyed class. The low-paid workers, also face social discrimination which comes to the fore occasionally. When upper castes bar Dalits from drawing water from a village common well or ban them from taking out a marriage party with a low-caste bridegroom riding a horse. These hidden social mores that tend to invisiblize the Dalits/poor are at the fullest display with a sudden lockdown on 24 March as rulers never thought of what would become of crores of migrant labor in urban areas.
After Maurya kings in 200-300 AD all rulers in recorded Indian history had adhered to the Brahmanic social order. With the Hindu society weakened by caste hierarchy, upper-caste rulers failed to oppose Muslims’ rule as the latter were morally invigorated with social equality of nascent Islam. True inheritors of old Brahmanical social order the BJP rulers, now, exercise command orders in clamping lockdown/curfew and lifting of them abruptly. Spurning democratic decision-making altogether, the BJP rulers are opposed to liberal PDS supplies, hefty cash payments, and free railway transport to the trapped migrant laborers/poor.
Countries free of caste prejudices whether they are autocracy or democracy did better than India in fighting out the pandemic. Delaying lockdown Pakistan has 20,000 infected cases with 462 deaths; allowing labor to move home first, Bangladesh clamped lockdown and contained corona; worse-affected Iran beat the USA by conducting 70 million and 30 million tests in two phases and contained pandemic to open mosques for Ramadan celebration. Nepal, Cambodia has no corona case. South Korea, Taiwan imposed NO lockdown and controlled corona through better people’s participation. China, Thailand, Singapore, and Gulf and central Asian countries have controlled pandemic without hurting their economies much. News land, Iceland, Taiwan and Norway headed by women rulers controlled corona without much cost. Pertinent to note down: Corona has facilitated the Indian majoritarian rule- already a negation of democracy—to jump into a ‘one-man centralized state’ poised to march toward ‘Hindu Rashtra’.
– Jaspal Singh Sidhu & Khushhal Singh
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