Monday, 30 July 2012

Amaresh Mishra - 'Gujarat is not part of India'

Amaresh Mishra is an Historian not a Geographer (is that a word?). Still, he's written a lot of books so he must know something. Apparently, Gujarat is not part of India anymore. It has split off and is drifting towards Mauritius.
Mishra writes in the Times of India-
 'Be it Gujarat or whatever take, Maruti Suzuki anywhere—Gujarat is not India.' 
The context of Mishra's article is the Manesar arson and murder.
Okay, the syntax in the sentence I quoted may seem a bit strange. But Mishra is not concerned with conforming to the usages of 'foreign trained Indians'. Still the meaning is clear- Gujarat is not India. Not anymore.
Judging by the rest of his post, It's because Gujarat, under Narendra Modi, has been forced to abandon Hinduism. 
Mishra writes- In a famous case that took place last year in the Honda factory of Haryana’s industrial belt, foreign-trained Indian managers refused to allow workers to celebrate Vishvakarma Pooja. In the Hindu pantheon, Vishvakarma is the lord of tools and workers—his birthday is normally a holiday, no less relevant than Ram Navami, Buddha Jayanti or the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.
Workers worship their tools on Vishvakarma Diwas. At Honda, a worker was assaulted by the supervisor when the latter tried applying a "teeka" on the former’s head. Indian workers have their own definition of what constitutes "hard work". It includes whiling away time, bonding with fellow workers, and then putting in extra work at the right time
In Gujarat such a thing could not happen because Modi has banned Hinduism and is ruthlessly suppressing indigenous festivals like Visvakarma divas. Consequently, Indian workers there no longer have their own definition of 'hard work' which includes 'whiling away time' and 'bonding with fellow workers'

At Manesar, a worker tried to apply teeka to his supervisor because the supervisor had made a Casteist remark. This is an ancient Hindu practice intended to bring the Grace of God into the stony heart of superiors. However, Management alleged that the worker had slapped the supervisor- whom they sent home. The worker was suspended. A few hours went by. The workers became very angry when Management failed to reinstate the worker immediately. This was a terrible insult which could only be avenged by blood. What great wrong had the worker committed- to be suspended? He had only been applying teeka to his boss- that is all. What is wrong with that? It is a traditional Hindu practice. Management, however, remained obdurate. So the workers used iron bars to apply teeka to the legs and heads of about 100 managers. They also started a havan- or fire sacrifice. One senior manager, entering into the spirit of the occasion, spontaneously committed suttee- probably to protest against injustice to women. This sort of thing is quite routine and part and parcel of ancient Hindu culture. Yet, Management is making the outlandish claim that workers broke the H.R. manager's legs and burnt him to death!

Sadly, local villagers were very angry with the workers- probably because they did not distribute sweets to mark this holy occasion as custom demanded. Consequently, the workers ran away or, in the case of the innocent ones, were handed over to the police by irate villagers. Police, no doubt, also want to apply some teeka of their own. They too are very religious people.
However, they have an impersonal hierarchy in the Police force, so maybe they won't be permitted to apply teeka.

As, Dr. Mirshra points out-
'Also, the sense of impersonal hierarchy is alien to Indian workers. They can respect an angrez who mingles with them, but they will boycott Indian managers trying to put on foreign airs and indulging in unfamiliar hierarchical behaviour.
Foreign—especially American, German and Japanese personnel—were often left dumbfounded by these cultural practices. Because of historic factors—the traditional resistance of the Hindi-Urdu belt to British Imperialism, the rugged-peasant masculinity and sense of honour—dubbed mistakenly, "pre-modern" by social analysts—the management versus worker clash was more severe in post-liberalization, north Indian factories.
The sense of impersonal hierarchy- as exemplified by the Govt. of India- is alien to Indian workers. That is why, when the British left, Govt. of India collapsed completely. The Indian clerks and peons and chaprasees and so on could respect an Englishman who mingled with them- Viceroy Ripon was always to be seen sharing their paan and bidi and putting Visvakarma divas teeka on all and sundry- but they boycotted any Indian manager trying to put on foreign airs and indulging in unfamiliar hierarchical behaviour. A case in point is Mrs. Gandhi. She was indulging in unfamiliar hierarchical behaviour and putting on foreign airs to impress Sir Peter Ustinov who had come to interview her. Two of her guards immediately boycotted her with their guns. Management ruthlessly assaulted the guards who were only trying to put some teeka on her head and other parts of her body. This traditional resistance of the Hindi-Urdu belt to British Imperialism- which consisted of enlisting in large numbers in their armies and then mutinying- arises from a rugged-peasant masculinity and sense of honour. Gujaratis don't have rugged-peasant masculinity and sense of honour. Why? Gujarati is not very different from Hindi. The very name Gujarat derives from the Gujjar tribe. The leader of last year's strike at Manesar was a young man called Sonu Gujjar. Yet Gujaratis, including Gujjar Gujaratis, don't have rugged-peasant mentality. They don't object to impersonal hierarchy. What makes them different? Well, we all know that Modi massacres Muslims. Turns out that was just a blind to divert attention from the really diabolical aspect of his tyranny- viz. his systematic emasculation of Hindus and ruthless suppression of their Religion and Caste practices. Indeed, Gujarat is no longer part of India. 
The problem is that post-liberalization India has no idea of 1857, India’s first war of Independence.
They do. The Brits were stupid enough to introduce land reforms which weakened the landlords and helped the sepoys' families. Yet the sepoys backed the landlords against the Brits. The Brits didn't  make the same mistake twice. Henceforth, they backed existing hierarchies. The Bengal Army of the East India Company, which remained at the forefront of the war’s long and torturous course, comprised of soldiers from the Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar belt. Yet, these soldiers weren't able to stop their own supply lines being looted by Meo tribesmen who were their co-religionists and caste fellows. They rebelled against what was seen as the insensitivity of a multinational company—the world’s largest that managed a huge country like India plus other colonial stations—towards the sense of dignity, pride and religion of both Hindus and Muslims. That, at any rate, is true. Mangal Pandey said 'Company Bahadur, you are a big MNC. Please don't be seen as being insensitive to dignity, pride and religion of Hindus and Muslims. It is really hurting our feelings.  Tell you what, we'll Mutiny and shoot you and slaughter your wives and kids. That will make you nice and sensitive.' Oddly, it didn't have the desired effect. The Brits, with Sikh help, slaughtered the Sepoys who, though more sensitive than a blushing maiden of seventeen summers, don't seem to have been any good at fighting. Still they had 'rugged-peasant masculinity'. Much good it did them. 
It is imperative to note that the Manesar incident arose following an anti-Dalit, caste slur issued by a supervisor to Jiya Lal, a worker. Then Jat-Gujar-Tyagi-Dalit workers—belonging to the Haryana region—and UP-Bihar Poorabias—united to give a fitting reply to the miscreants belonging to the management. The management brought in hundreds of bouncers to beat workers to submission. In fact, the official statement of the Maruti Suzuki Workers’ Union, states that the bouncers started the fire that killed a senior manager.
So class solidarity overcame caste divisions—a similar phenomenon occurred during 1857.
Both 1857 and Manesar incidents arose out of cultural slights inflicted by an insensitive foreign/part-foreign management. At the other end of the spectrum, it can be seen that like the Manesar incident, the cultural aspect of 1857 carried a slew of wage related issues, and other socio-economic grievances, nursed by soldiers against the British East India Company.
Interestingly, the supervisor who uttered the alleged anti-Dalit slur was Dalit himself. Jats and Gujars, of course, are well known for their solidarity with Dalits. They get terribly outraged if anyone utters anti-Dalit slurs. 
Sangram Singh, the Dalit supervisor who sparked off this new Mutiny, as of 1857, is clearly an insensitive foreign or part foreign person. Unlike Jats or Gujars, such foreign, or foreign trained, managers do not have the sensitivity to refrain from uttering anti-Dalit slurs. In Japan, if Mr. Suzuki accidentally bumps into Mr. Takeshita, the latter retaliates by calling the former a clumsy bhangi dolt. This is absolutely routine in advanced countries. In India however, ordinary working people from peasant backgrounds never use Casteist slurs. Only because of Corporate, greed-driven, Globalization is this evil practice of uttering Casteist slurs spreading in places like Haryana. It does not happen in Gujarat because Modi has totally suppressed Hinduism and Indian Culture and so when the foreign or foreign trained manager utters Casteist slurs the workers don't react because they simply don't understand the concept of caste. Thus when Mr. Takeshita says 'pull your finger out you damn bhangi' , the worker thus addressed shrugs his shoulders and inquires of his colleague- 'I say, old boy, that slitty eyed Oriental just called me a bangee or bungee or something like that. Any idea what the little Nip was getting at?' 'None at all, old boy. Are you sure you heard correctly? Bukkake was what he probably said. Probably wants you to come on his face. Don't you do it though. Remember what happened with Mountbatten. Once these foreigners get what they want they just pull out of the country and take their f.d.i with them.'
Mishra concludes- It can be seen clearly that though India runs on the workforce of UP, Bihar, Delhi and Haryana- the Manesar workforce having run away after committing murder and arson- the people of these regions have historically resisted the homogeneity, uniformity and conformity demanded by global corporate culture. As opposed to the homogeneity, uniformity and conformity demanded by the khap panchayat.

 These workers demand their own indigenous-capitalist ethic, different from the west. (WTF? What indigenous-capitalist ethic is this? Does the author mean Sonu Gujjar's successful extortion of a few crores for himself and his cronies as his price for quitting the Union business? They are in no mood to comply. As opposed to commit murder & mayhem and then run awayBe it Gujarat or whatever take, Maruti Suzuki anywhere—Gujarat is not India. But UP, Bihar, Delhi and Haryana do constitute India. More's the pity. The country is finished without these states. No, these States will finish off the country. As the author signs off this article, news about certain Jat sections of the Haryana establishment dividing Jats and Gujars and undermining workers’ solidarity is pouring in—massive police repression has been unleashed on workers. Without a proper enquiry, workers are being blamed for the Manesar violence. Such tactics however are not going to work—after twenty years of enormous liberalization, India is on the threshold of a gigantic working class unrest. Indian people regard economic reform and the English speaking managerial elite with disdain. They have tasted wealth—but they also know that, foreigners and their lackeys have amassed riches a thousand times over. With people of north Indian origin—their culture of constructive violence and non-submission to power intact—leading this battle, the stage is set for new class struggles of the 21st century. Like the Anna Hazare movement of August 2011, the Manesar incident has taken all political parties by surprise. Their political response system is simply, not attuned to the new, 21st century Indian reality.
Constructive violence? But, Mishra Sahib, you quote the Union as saying that it was the Management's goons who started the fire- the workers didn't do anything violent at all. What happened to their 'rugged peasant masculinity and sense of honor'? Clearly, they were all weeping and crying and trembling and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because a supervisor had used a Casteist slur. Will they ever be able to overcome this terrible shock to their sensibilities? 
Still, we should look on the bright side. At least, Gujarat is not part of India anymore. 


Anonymous said...

Why are you wasting time on a joker like Amaresh Mishra? Even Teesta Setalvad has condemned him for being a complete lunatic.

windwheel said...

@anon- How dare you call Amaresh Mishra a joker? He is a truly great Comedian who stubbornly champions Brahmin supremacy the old fashione way- viz. pretending to stand up for Muslims or lower castes against evil foreigners from Multinationals or Mossad.
He will be a Congress Minister one of these days and get to rewrite all the History textbooks. Personally, I can't wait. Say what you like, only U.P Brahmins really know how to put the rest of us, rugged-peasant types, in our place.
Gujarat really isn't part of India- never has been- because the Brahmins there generally had lower education and status and were thus incapable of such left handed intellectual noblesse oblige.
Kindly repent of your distasteful comment on Dr. Mishra. He is not a joker but a Maha Vidushak. His Cosmic greatness is beyond our ken.

Anonymous said...

he seems to be a chutiya, or a retard to me.