Tuesday, 20 April 2021

David Gordon White losing the History Wars

15 years ago- at a time when Congress had returned to power with the backing of the Left- Prof. David Gordon White wrote about the 'History wars' which the BJP appeared to have lost-  

In recent decades the craft of writing the history of South Asian religions has become increasingly drawn into the fire of identity politics.

Presumably, White is thinking of the History profession's concerted attempt to deny that the Babri Masjid had ever been a Hindu temple.  In an earlier post, I showed this was a well organized and lavishly funded American enterprise which appeared to have succeeded under UPA- when people like Romilla Thapar had the ear of Sonia and Rahul's reputation with the State Department went up several notches when he told the US Ambassador that 'Hindu militancy' was the biggest danger to India. That was just 11 years ago! Now the guy claims to be a sacred thread wearing Brahmin. His sister tweeted delight at the consecration ceremony of the Temple which is being constructed on the previously disputed site.

This has been the case especially in India, where at one extreme the religious populism of the Hindu nationalists and at the other the postmodernist theory formations of the Subaltern School both reject out of hand the validity of the critical historical method, the one because it is critical and the other because it is historical.

So the Hindu nationalists are better for History because they don't reject it. They merely prefer their own version of it. 

White, in appearing to attack the Hindus, is actually ridiculing the Subaltern school. You can take the savant out of his shithole country, but you can't get the shit out of the shithead's head.  

What White isn't saying is that America lost this particular 'History War' because its historians and philologists were shit. Any blogger with a little time on her hands could cease upon a portion of their writing so as to expose their ignorance and stupidity.

In the first case, the Hindu nationalists—who have internalized the theories of such modernist scholars as Max Müller and James Frazer

We have never read either. Hindu nationalists tend to be Engineers or Accountants or retired Science teachers etc.  

concerning the pristine origins and subsequent decay of every religion—assume the truths of Hinduism to be eternal and unchanging, and therefore not subject to historical scrutiny.

That is perfectly reasonable. The truths of a Religion or Soteriology or a deontic system are indeed eternal and unchanging. Why? They are imperative, not alethic. 

the second, the Subaltern School rejects on ideological grounds the validity of the historical enterprise, by denying, on the premise that the very concept of history is Eurocentric, the objective validity of any attempt to describe the past on the basis of historical data.

Thus, it is a grave scandal that Dipesh Chakrabarty is a Professor of History in White's own America. 

Indians are welcome to believe, as the Israelis and the Americans do, that their religion's truths are eternal, but when a bunch of those Indians turn up at the faculty of American History Departments then something must be done.

White has a point. The History Wars are over. The Hindus won. The anti-Hindus shat the bed. One reason for this was that they said there were never any Hindu temples which were turned into mosques. Now some are saying there never were any Hindus. The religion was invented in 1915. This is an obvious lie. Narendra Modi (real name Nicholas Maugham)  invented Hinduism in 2014. 

Implicit in both positions is the assumption of an Indian exceptionalism, that is, that the Indian worldview(s), culture(s), tradition(s), and race(s) are so different, so self-contained as to be uninterpretable through any but indigenous Indian categories.

For Indians- sure. As for non-Indians, fuck they matter? They are welcome to believe any stupid shit they like.  

Such claims are not unique to India:

nor unique to White. Emerging from the shite University experience, political and intellectual shitheads in America have been theorizing their academic identities along exceptionalist lines. Thus White claims to know shit about India. True, he knows shit about anywhere else. But, for India, he is willing to make an exception. 

emerging from the colonial experience, political and intellectual elites of new nation-states throughout the world have been theorizing their national identities along such exceptionalist lines.

So what? America is plenty 'exceptionalist'. Doesn't seem to have done it any harm. What is the point of having an identity which can't self-certify its separate, autonomous existence, at least in the exceptional instance of its own oikeiosis or sense of belonging?

White is shit at Indian history- vide.

For the Hindu nationalists, all indigenous categories are always already the categories of their eternal Hindu faith

Nope. Hindu nationalists have no problem with Jainism and Buddhism which have different categories from Sanathan Dharma.  

It is ironic that this cunt is ignorant of his own special subject.

 It is an irony of (critical) history that many of the Hindu nationalists’ categories of the pure and eternal Hindu faith are themselves the very recent product of nineteenth- and twentieth-century reconstructions of Hinduism, which were themselves so many reactions to the colonial experience.

Reconstruction is not reform. There were reforms but 'reconstructions' disappeared. Where now will you find a Brahmo? Religion is a service industry. As incomes have risen its provision has risen. Our worship has gotten noticeably more diverse over the last forty years simply because we can afford to go to more tirthas and mix and match when it comes to Temples and so forth. 

The colonial experience didn't matter. Competition did. White is a cretin.  

Present-day Hindu nationalists have mainly embraced the categories of the Hindu reform of the colonial period (which was mainly limited to high-caste urban elites in Bengal and the Punjab)—

Fuck off! Can't this cunt see with his own ideas that huge big statues of Hanuman etc are going up all over the place? The Brahmo/Arya Samaj prejudice against 'idol worship' has disappeared completely.

categories that, following the Orientalists, often cast the pure Hindu tradition in an “Anglican” light of quietist devotion, spirituality, and self-renewal. 

I actually live in England. WTF is an 'Anglican' tradition of quietist devotion? Some T.S Eliot type bullshit?  It doesn't exist- at least, in London. But the pure Hindu tradition is doing fine.  

White says that his job is to combat Hindu Nationalism's version of Hinduism-  their claims need to be rebutted by critical historians, and not least because of the blatant human rights abuses that have been carried out under the aegis of their broader agenda

15 years later we can say that 'critical historians' failed. Why? They were shit at history. They didn't understand the present because they were too stupid and they couldn't understand the past because they were too stupid and too fucking ignorant. 

Still, for a while, they had their cozy citation cartels and circle jerk conferences. But history has already forgotten them. They left no footmark upon it. At the margin, they may get a footnote as contributing to the decline of the Left. But the Left only declined because where it wouldn't do 'last mile delivery'. 

Economics matters. History does not. White does not get that the Subaltern School gained salience because of Naxalbari. It was plausible that tribals couldn't speak for themselves and thus 'buddhijivis' could represent those crazy head hunters. Obviously, given the bloody retribution taken by the State, as well as CPM goons, on actual CPI (ML) academics, the Subalternists couldn't themselves speak save unintelligibly. But, for Mamta, it was plausible that Spivak represented, in some occult manner, the Naxal corner of the 'Naxal-Jamaat-TMC' alliance which Brinda Karat blamed for Nandigram. 

White is ignorant of all this. 

This failure to actually write “minority histories” of India’s subalterns stems from a fundamental axiom of postcolonial studies in general: that is, that India’s experience of the colonial adventure of the European powers was so unusual that the deconstruction of the latter’s discourse of power (through the writing of history, for example), which continues to colonize the Indian mind, is more urgent than the retrieval of India’s precolonial past, or the linking of that past to the postcolonial present through historical methods, however flawed they may be.

This is illogical. Subalternists are either Indian or have spent too much time with Indians. Thus their brains are for shit due to Whitey buggered their brains and colonized their minds. Thus they can't 'retrieve' shit.

Of course, if minds can't actually be colonized- more particularly if there was no Colonialism around to do it when these cunts were born- then... critical history is shit. 

These guys can't do shit because their subject is shit and their brains have turned to shit because they teach this shite. 

To be sure, certain colonial and postcolonial historians have succeeded in laying bare the asymmetries of power with regard to religion that obtain between colonial elites (and their Indian collaborators) and the subaltern masses.

Who needs to lay bare an 'asymmetry of power' between the powerful and the powerless? What's next? A learned treatise showing that Mummies have more agency than babies?  

But such deconstructive post-mortems, of which there have been an abundance in recent decades, require a complementary move on the part of historians,

i.e. if they do stupid shite, we must do stupid shite. 

and that move is to reconstruct, to recover, the precolonial history of South Asian religions.

They can't piece together the contemporary history of shit. How will they piece together stuff that went down long ago? 

In an important study, Sheldon Pollock presented the issue in the following way: How it is possible, then, to survey the constructions of colonial domination without a detailed topography of precolonial domination, I cannot see.

This is mad. You can fully chronicle the construction of a City just by looking at the record of the actual building work. You don't need to know the 'pre-history' of that terrain. In any case, Colonial powers did record who their immediate predecessor was. That's all that's needed. 

And this topography, charted throughout the expanse of Sanskrit cultural production, does not really exist,

So, there is no topography. Pollock is talking bollocks and doesn't care who knows it.  

a lacuna for which classical Indology itself is partly responsible. The failure to trace with any adequacy a historical map of social power in traditional India,

Can Pollock make such a map of contemporary America? No. He is too ignorant and too stupid. You have to know a lot about Economics and Military and other sources of power in order to trace that sort of stuff. Cunts in worthless University Departments  are supposed to cater to cretins craving a Credential. It would be nice if they didn't jizz on their students. Drooling is okay. Jizzing could trigger Title IX. 

which alone can anchor our estimations of the impact of colonialism, is all the more surprising, considering what appear to be the extraordinary density, longevity and effectivity of authoritative power . . . in the high culture of early India.

Fuck was extraordinary about early India being pretty much like early Everywhere Else?  

 By way of example, Pollock demonstrates that the Ktryakalpataru of Lakshmıdhara Bhatt a and other major works of the Hindu dharmanibandha canon, “those great encyclopedic constructions of the ‘Hindu way of life,’” were compiled precisely as a brahmanic reaction to the eleventh-century Islamic conquest of the subcontinent.

This is nonsense. There was a demand for things of that sort both before and after Muslim power waxed and waned. A guy in Kohlapur got a grant to do something which was useful for his patron and which raised his own prestige. No doubt, he felt a soteriological purpose was thus served. 

Pollock, because he has shit for brains, may believe that writing an arcane work can magically affect the balance of power. He himself wrote shite about Lord Ram. Did it help stop the rise of the BJP? Nope. He and his ilk convinced the increasingly affluent Hindus of America that old fashioned religion was better than the doctrine that Sanskrit spouting Pedants have super powers. They spent a lot of money getting together to say 'Howdy Modi' because at least the fellow was a Ghanchi chai-wallah- i.e. did something useful-  and because he tried to avoid Sanskritized shuddh Hindi in favor of a down to earth idiom.

This is not to say that threat-perception, or elite rent contestation, doesn't affect the commissioning of ideological treatises. However, this is easy to spot. It is foolish to regard works which are intended as focal solutions to coordination problems as arising in the same manner. 

The reason Subaltern Studies failed is that there was no coordination problem. Naxals didn't displace the CPM. Thus there was no demand for a canonical availability cascade for an important ideology. So, all that obtained was a 'discoordination game' catering to people who wanted to escape from reality.

The Americans, back in the Nineties, did spend some money on a program of 'critical history' to save Indian Democracy from Hindu Fascism. But it was adversely selective. Worthless shitheads jumped on the bandwagon- not guys who knew from Econ or psephology. Look at the outsize role played by Prashant Kishore. Why couldn't the Americans recruit someone like him? The answer is that nobody really believed in Hindu Fascism. This was just a case of crying wolf. Anyway, after 9/11, Hindus were a possible ally in the war against not being a stupid cunt who wants to get rich off the sufferings of A-rabs. 


Why 'Directive Principles' in the Constitution exist.

 Why does the Indian Constitution have 'Directive Principles'? The first Burmese Constitution, drafted by Chan Htoon promulgated in 1947, was more Left wing. It had no such ornamentation.

The answer is simple. Ireland had adopted Directive Principles in 1937 so as to stop being a Dominion and to advertise that it was neither going to be subject to 'the Crown', nor 'Wall Street' (though, at the time, the City of London was more important) . Recall, only the Soviet Union had recognized the 1922 Republic. Furthermore, Catholicism was determined to show it could have its own brand of Socialism- i.e. Corporatism- without any coercion or further employment of 'Broy Harriers' type militias. The Israeli Histadrut is an example of how the thing could actually be implemented without any overt conflict economic conflict. Catholic Ireland, like Jewish Palestine, was reinforcing its claim to a wider territory on the basis of a stable marriage between Left and Right.  But Ireland's position was parlous indeed. De Valera was losing the Trade War. Guinness- that most Irish of institutions- had relocated its Corporate H.Q to London. In order to keep power, De Valera had his Constitution, with its Wedding Cake architecture supportive of purely ornamental Directive Principles, passed by plebiscite at the same time as the General Election. 

One reason De Valera's gambit paid off was because, unlike India, the Irish Republicans had been successful in creating their own parallel legal system. In other words, the country had a track-record for creating viable legal institutions based on wholly indigenous ideas. Had Mahatma Gandhi succeeded in replacing British Courts with Congress Courts, India would have become very focused on the Constitution. What was written in it would mean a great deal to every Indian. However, because India completely failed to give itself either or parallel Courts or even a Federal Constitution despite umpteen Round Table Conferences, there was no tradition of having faith in, or paying more than lip service, to a Constitution most of which was based on what Westminster decided in 1935. The remainder reflected the Nehru report of 1928. But what Nehrus write, other Nehrus may rescind. This is Law as Command, not something autonomous and self-subsisting.

De Valera was a great friend to India. Sardar Patel's elder brother had spent much time with him and V.V Giri continued that tradition. India followed the Irish pattern- it adopted constitutional 'autochthony' and Directive Principles of a 'Corporatist' kind so as to send a signal that, like De Valera's Ireland, India would make haste slowly- i.e. would pay only lip service to the radical ideas it had used to gain popular support.

One reason Directive Principles were necessary was because it helped placate votaries of cow protection, common civil code, Khadi enthusiasts who wanted to ban Cotton Mills, and those who advocated complete prohibition. 

After Gandhi's death, his 'Sarvodaya' followers were willing to accept conventional type of Governance at the Center in the belief that it was grass-roots work in the villages which would shape the future of India. Sadly, Sarvodaya turned out to be a delusion. Jayaprakash Narayan had been a happy camper in the Bhoodan movement. Then some Naxals threatened to kill Sarvodaya workers in Mushahari, Bihar. JP, with his usual courage, rushed there and remained long enough to see that bhoodan and gramdan etc. was a complete sham. This convinced him that the root of Injustice and Corruption was at the Center. He had been wasting his time wandering around the boondocks. JP helped launch the movement which caused Indira to amend the fuck out of the Constitution. He then, along with Kripalani- another guy who never got to fuck his own wife- made Morarji Desai P.M. This meant the Constitution was further amended- goodbye, right to property!- and the Nation learned that Parliamentary Democracy is no panacea. Put a cretin in charge and things turn to shit. Thus JP paved the way to a wholly Dynastic Congress Party which would rule us still- had Rahul not proved gun-shy. 

However, Congress itself- like other parties- saw the expediency of kicking controversial matters into the purview of the Courts so as to delay difficult decisions. In that context, some- echoing Habermas- started blathering about 'Constitutional patriotism' and pretending that shite like 'Directive Principles' means anything. Since then, with the BJP firmly in power and Rahul not showing any signs of improving, the Bench- thinking of post-retirement sinecures- has come increasingly to disillusion those who, quite absurdly, used to swear by the Constitution and claim that Ambedkar had endowed it with magical powers.

This is the whole story about Directive Principles. De Valera & the legal scholar and diplomat, John Hearne, can take credit for its existence. 

Ambedkar can't. The guy wasn't actually a cow worshipper. He didn't think the Republic of India should concentrate on fucking over guys who think cows are divinely- tasty. 

Aakash Singh Rathore- the handsome husband of the beautiful Devyani Khobargarde- has written a book making a very different claim- viz. that Ambedkar was the author of the preamble. If so, Ambedkar believed that 'fraternity'- i.e. brotherliness- was based on maintaining the unity of the Nation. If you brother says 'let's give away this bit of territory to Pakistan because it is Muslim majority and the Muslims really don't want to be part of a mainly Hindu country'- you are obliged to say 'you are my brother no longer. Henceforth, we are at daggers drawn.' 

Fraternity means cohesiveness. It means obeying the eldest brother. This does not mean you don't respect the dignity of your adversary. But, as at Kurukshetra, you smash his head in with your mace with vim and vigor. Rishi Bharadwaj respects the dignity of the Pani chief who helped him- perhaps because this was un-Pani (miserly) behavior. But a stalwart of the Purus he and his descendants remain.

A young Bharadwajya writes in 'the Leaflet'

the inclusion of the non-justiciable

which obtains pro tem, not de re. Who knows what a future Bench might say? If that bunch of jokers can claim the right to prevent a foreign Ambassador from leaving the country, who the hell knows what crazy shit they will pull off next?

Directive Principles of State Policy (‘DPSP’) into the constitutional text. Rathore suggests, “the main components of economic justice, and many of social justice were relegated to the Directive Principles (from Fundamental Rights) as they were considered too controversial for other binding sections of the Constitution.”

I think the Directive Principles were the things most people thought were crazy shit which one may have demanded when out of power but which it would be political and economic suicide to actually implement. Look at what happened to Tanguturi Prakasam, Premier of Madras Presidency, when he publicly declared his intention to ban Cotton Mills so Khadi might flourish. Mahatma Gandhi still forced him to resign though he did a good job suppressing the Communists. 

There was nothing controversial about cow-protection or prohibition. Everybody paid lip-service to both. But implementing them would have been foolish- save where they would have been implemented anyway. 


By telling us the secret history of the Preamble and the journey of Ambedkar’s life, Rathore exhorts us to make the Preamble and its story our own.

Yes. We should understand that 'cheap talk' does not have to be sincere. It just signals virtue without involving any actual effort or sacrifice. This is our own story. We struggle for the human rights of others by saying we do but not actually doing shit- unless we get paid lots of money to pretend we are doing shit. 

However, Madhav Khosla in his book, “India’s Founding Moment”, says that the primary purpose for including DPSP was to prevent legislators from exercising powers without a conception of socioeconomic welfare.

Why not add a Directive Principle to encourage Science so that legislators can't exercise powers without a conception of String Theory? 

He writes, “The codification of the directive principles would expose both the ruler and the ruled to the proper exercise of power.”

How? India then and India now is a place where extra-judicial killing preserves 'dignity' and 'integrity' and other such shite. I suppose the same could be said of any other country- save the US under the 'Warren Court'. But Earl Warren made his bones as a Red-baiter.  

Thus, while Rathore holds inclusion of DPSP as a relegation of those rights

One might say that some rights of free speech etc were 'relegated' by various statutory restrictions. However, the Directive Principles don't give rise to any Rights. On the other hand, they may encourage the State to provide Remedies which in turn create Rights.

which could not be made fundamental or justiciable, Khosla claims DPSP to be a pedagogical experience, necessary to educate both, citizens and the State.

The true explanation is that, as in Ireland, the DPSP, was a convenient way to separate what could and would be done from what wouldn't be done even if it had been promised to be done. 

No wonder Ambedkar dismissed his contribution to the Constitution as 'hack work'.  


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Ambedkar's archaeologies

Dr. Ambedkar, with commendable frankness, explained that his theory of Untouchability was imaginative and impressionistic though, no doubt, a properly pedantic, German Historical School of Economics- or  Kathedersozialisten research program- might achieve something which looked more concrete and alethic.

Archaeology and Paleontology focus on actual objects which later savants can subject to technologically more advanced analysis such that previous ideas are overturned. These are scientific disciplines. Ambedkar warns us that what he is doing is artistic and impressionistic- he is a painter filling out a scene imaginatively linked to a particular terrain.

What Ambedkar has written is eloquent and straight forward. Aishwary Kumar, whose interpretation appears after it, completely misrepresents it.

Every sentence Kumar has written is foolish and false. No City rendered anybody 'untouchable'. People of that description may have arrived from outside and some may have retained that designation. It was slavery or pathogen avoidance based behavior- found even today among certain isolated tribes- which created untouchability. But this was done before there were Cities. That is why Ambedkar favored urbanization.

Kumar next says that paleontology  requires visceral 'bone cracking'. No doubt, he thinks Ross, from Friends, went around killing dinosaurs or other animals so as to crack up their bones and reassemble them in the museum where he worked. 

No 'craft' can 'pry open the violence of time'. If you give things enough time they won't return to their original state. Why? Entropy. Time really isn't circular. Even if it were, there is nothing we can do to speed it up. 

Archeologists follow a scientific method. Their hypotheses are tentative. The material they uncover or correlate and curate is available for future savants, with better tech, who may completely overturn existing theories. There may be painstaking and time consuming hypothesis building. But a hypothesis is not a judgment. This does not mean no final judgments arise in Archaeology. But they are of a negative type. This fossil isn't that of a dinosaur. We can make this judgment because we have discovered it is made of plastic and has 'made in Taiwan' stamped on it. 

There is no 'law of genre'. There is only Scientific method. Does Kumar not know that Science recognize any boundary between man and other biological organisms? Why does he think Medical labs have so many mice and rabbits and so forth? How can you deconstruct something which doesn't exist? 

Look at Ambedkar's actions. What 'radical truth' do they reveal? Ambedkar himself says he is doing something imaginative. Faith may be considered imaginative because it can conceive of ways in which its beliefs fall short of the truth. But this was all perfectly in line with contemporary decision theory in Econ. Ambedkar had two Doctorates in that subject.  Since then, the maths has moved on and so we can get a richer Ambedkarite theory just as we can get a richer Keynesian theory.

Kumar is too ignorant to do any such thing. So he babbles mystical nonsense. Considers his claim that 'sudden illumination' can be contingent. Is he utterly ignorant of Buddhism? Does he really not know that satori is wholly un-contingent? It is based entirely on cetana- pure intentionality. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism at a time when such ideas were gaining widespread popularity. Texts too are actions- for Buddhists. None are uncreated. 

Kumar displays an exemplary and impartial ignorance of Western Science and Eastern Religion. Good for him. India should play its part in destroying the credibility of Western Universities and think-tanks- at least in non-STEM subjects- so that people laugh at those cunts when they try to lecture us darkies. 

But why is he shitting on Ambedkar? Why not find some relative of his own to shit on? How do you help the Dalit cause- or that of restoring sanity to Indian Economics- by pretending that Ambedkar was stupid and ignorant? 

Or is this all a High Caste trick subsidized by Stanford for some malign purpose of keeping India a source of 'intellectual coolie' labor to supply the cotton fields of Silicon Valley? 

 

Aishwary Kumar on why Ambedkar was an imbecile


Caravan has an interview with Aishwary Kumar- about whom I've blogged previously. 

"Ambedkar is a constitutionalist only because he is a revolutionary": Professor Aishwary Kumar

Ambedkar wasn't a revolutionary because his side would have been slaughtered in a violent conflict. But he wasn't a constitutionalist either. He dismissed his contribution as 'hack work'.  What, in fact, was he? The answer is, he was a 'Law & Econ' maven avant la lettre who, for readily understandable reasons, lost political salience and had to retreat into Religion.

What happens when an academic pretends otherwise? He babbles nonsense.



In the recently published Indian edition of his 2015 book, Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi and The Risk of Democracy, the academic Aishwary Kumar—a professor of political philosophy and intellectual history at the University of California-Santa Cruz—argues that it is time we move beyond examining Indian political life merely in terms of its difference from western counterparts,

India has no western counterparts. It is as poor as shit. 

as postcolonial theory sometimes tends to do. Instead, by revisiting the intellectual legacies of BR Ambedkar and Mohandas Gandhi, and their thinking on equality, Kumar proposes we use India as an exemplary model for analysing global politics.

Coz a very poor country is an 'exemplary model'. Biden got elected because he promised to help the American economy catch up with India. He even chose a woman of Indian heritage as his Veep. 


In September, Appu Ajith, an editorial assistant at The Caravan, spoke to Kumar about the premise of his book. Kumar said that one of its central concerns is “to speak to the problem of inequality in a way that is both fundamentally Indian, and tragically global or tragically universal.”

But such speech would be nonsense unless everything is fundamentally Indian.  


Appu Ajith: The question of equality is central to the book. How did you stumble upon this particular topic and decide on to taking it forward?

After the financial crash everybody started raving about inequality because of the manner in which Obama & Co revived the economy- i.e. the fact that they sent big checks to rich dudes like Trump while lots of ordinary people lost their homes.  

Aishwary Kumar: I did not start out as a scholar or as an intellectual biographer of these two thinkers. My intention was to write an account of a philosophical history of the political, in the anti-colonial world.

His intention was to write nonsense and, to his credit, that is exactly what he achieved. It is easy enough to write yet another philosophical history of anti-Colonial politics. Existing scholarship clearly indicates where the gaps are and what sort of deeply boring research is needed to plug those gaps. 

What is it that allows a certain kind of politics around the question of freedom and self-determination to emerge,

Money. Once a class which could benefit by getting leverage vis a vis the Colonial power has a bit of spare cash, they start using some of it for political work. However, even if they started of doing 'social reform' they have to get into political work to keep the money coming in.  

and once it emerges, what is it that is lacking in this politics

the fact that the richer donors want to hog the benefits of 'countervailing power' acquired in the name of the native

that allows for something like a critique to also emerge from within that tradition?

Thus, first the landlords and chiefs and so forth get a better deal for themselves by 'loyalist' politics which always has a degree of menace behind it. Then the nouveau riche industrialists and speculators get organized and make a bid for the loyalty of the Civil Service and traditional village power brokers. But there are also peasant and Trade Union leaders anxious to secure and exercise their own 'countervailing power' so as to get a seat at the table and a share of the rents. Each grouping will have its own propagandists and pedants as well as wide-eyed visionaries with ontologically dysphoric agendas which, nevertheless, can turn into Crusades. 

The moment you start thinking about critique you think about Ambedkar,

who was the classic barrister/politician who could plausibly represent both 'Depressed Classes' as well as 'Labor'. 

because it is in him that the most glaring silences of this entire tradition of thinking about politics acquires its most formidable and radical form.

This is nonsense. Ambedkar was loquacious. Everybody was back then. Talking the hindlegs of donkeys was how they coped with not having TV

I stumbled upon a question which was simply about the nature of inequality—that is both specific to Indian traditions, but also in their violence, universal.

What was that question? Rather meanly, Kumar won't tell us.

By the time I started reading Ambedkar, it had become clear to me that histories of modern India that are otherwise rich and fascinating in detail have settled down with a consensus: that post-colonial politics was anchored in a fundamental difference with other forms of political thought and thinking; that there was something very different and that it needed another language and another vocabulary to be understood.

This makes sense. Obviously, the politics of ruling a country will be couched in a discourse with little resemblance to that of anti-colonial protest.  

It seemed to me, when I started working on the book in 2005-06, that, while that question was an important one, it had outlived its importance and that it had reached its own impasse. …

Why? Back in 2005 it was obvious that Indian political discourse was evolving rapidly. Old shibboleths had lost salience. Mayawati had greatly raised the prestige of Dr. Ambedkar. Modi, in Gujarat, was building up Sardar Patel as an alternative role-model to Nehru. The Left appeared newly resurgent. Would it copy China or lapse back into senile dementia? What seemed certain was that Indian political discourse would become increasingly technocratic now an economist held the top job. It should be remembered, Ambedkar had two Doctorates in Econ. Manmohan had only one. We would have expected the rise of a technocratic Ambedkarism.

So, what became different for me was not that post-colonial, colonial or anti-colonial traditions were different, but that they were exemplary in the way they could silence their own internal contradictions.

Writing bollocks based on stupid lies is the exemplary way of 'silencing internal contradictions' because nobody will bother reading you.

Equally, saying x was human but x was actually a God is a way of explaining away any 'internal contradictions' associated with x. After all, God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. 

When Ambedkar introduces the Constitution of India, he says that this is not a moment for triumphalism, and that they were entering an age of contradictions—social and political. There will be political equality and there will be social inequality. What does Ambedkar mean by this? Why is the architect of this constitution so skeptical of its own ability to right these contradictions?

The answer is simple. The Indian Constitution was not Communistic. It asserted a fundamental right to property and had Privy Purses for Princes and so on. Everyone got just one vote, but there was no provision for equalizing income or wealth.  


AA: I think you also mention in the book that Ambedkar can be thought of as a posthumous thinker.

Not by an Ambedkarite, or any one with any respect for that great man. If he was a posthumous thinker then, in life, he was a fool.  

AK: Kalyan [Kumar Das, an assistant professor at Presidency University] does that in the foreword. You know, because of how Ambedkar reads a lot of these philosophers themselves often at the margin. Nietzsche is not marginal now,

Nietzsche was huge then. 

but because of the searing critique he had of European morality and so on, he figures in Ambedkar’s thinking very, very importantly and very significantly.

No. He figures in Iqbal. He does not figure in Ambedkar except as a figure to be execrated and equated to Manuvadi Hinduism.  

I think Ambedkar says it more than once, that in order to be a thinker, the first thing you have to do is to give up the fear of being judged by history, because the truest, most rigorous thinkers are often read only after they are gone.

Ambedkar was in poor health- he'd even married a Brahmin doctor!- and was aware that he might die before completing a work of rigorous scholarship in a field where many philologists and professional philosophers had made their mark. This is perfectly understandable. We are not to take the blueprint for the completed masterpiece.  


AA: How important is this project to revisit Ambedkar and Gandhi in our times, when they are being appropriated by right-wing Hindu nationalist outfits?

Not important at all unless you are doing it in a popular idiom in an Indian language. 

AK: With Ambedkar, this much can be most safely, and without any risk said that he is inappropriable.

No. Ambedkar's Economics is based on Oikeiosis. Ambedkarites can wholly appropriate him if they follow his path or belong to his community. The fact that this appropriation is non-rival, does not mean it isn't complete. 

I mean, a thinker who gives a theory of an inappropriable politics cannot himself be appropriated.

An inappropriable politics is one to which one can't, in good faith, claim to represent or practice. Ambedkar worked hard to ensure that his politics could be appropriated by his own people. 

Not because there is no dogma that he is aware of; not because he is unaware of ideological manipulations; nor because he does not know that democracy is always at a risk or rather at the mercy of demagoguery. But precisely because he knows that these risks of democracy are real, and that, therefore, answers to the impasses of democratic life must be addressed to specific historical questions and moments.

Ambedkar was an economist. He knew that where risks are real, the solution is 'risk pooling', not addressing 'historical questions'. If your house might burn down, you get fire insurance. You don't address questions relating to the Great Fire of London. Actuarial Science, not Historiography, is what is needful here. 

And because he can develop a theory of politics grounded in an absolute specificity of the question, it makes him inappropriable to any ideological mainstream.

This is nonsense. Any theory of Political Economy espoused by an actual politician is 'grounded in the absolute specificity of the question' to which he claims to have a solution. 


Part of the magic of reading Ambedkar is to realise how miraculously recalcitrant he is to any stream of thought that wants the whole or part of him.

Is Ambedkar opposed to Rationalism? No. He would be pleased if smart people said 'everything you have written is perfectly rational'.  

He is a thinker whose whole you can’t have because he is unbearably different or resistant. …

You can give yourself wholly to his program. Hundreds of thousands of very smart Indian people- barristers, doctors, senior administrators, scientists etc- have done so.  

So you have a thinker who nationalists today want to appropriate in the name of a strong state, but they don’t realise that Ambedkar was, first and foremost, the champion of plebiscite—direct democracy—

Nonsense! He wanted reservations in the Legislature so the 'communal majority' would not be a 'political majority'. Plebiscites aren't 'direct democracy'. Napoleon III and Hitler and so forth liked plebiscites.  

and his readings on ancient Greek and the classical traditions are full of those elements, in which he says, if you have to wipe out an entire state off the map of the Union of India—which can happen, we now know—the way to do it would be through a plebiscite.

So he was against plebiscites. Kumar has silenced his own sense for 'internal contradictions' so as to talk bollocks.  

AA: Where does the idea of force in your book—which is stressed upon—come into play?
AK: If you read Ambedkar, the motif, the concept, the notion, the idea, the word “force,” haunts his writing, because clearly he is not for the exercise of force.

Ambedkar was an economist. Economic models seek to emulate those of Physics. Force is a 'term of art'. But Kumar is ignorant of this. 

He sees enough of it—our world is saturated by force, whether we call it coercion,

or Gravity 

whether we call it violence, domination, interference, intervention, lynching—all forms of force. … That entire tradition of thinking about force—force in relation to everything and nothing

Force exists only where there is an interaction. If nothing exists, or no interactions occur, there is no force.  

—that marks Ambedkar's philosophical trajectory between Annihilation of Caste and exactly twenty years later in The Buddha and His Dhamma.

Ambedkar had studied a bit of Science at School and, as an Economist, was familiar with current literature including work by ex-engineers like Pareto or math mavens like Marshall. 

That twenty-year period we are looking at, add to that another decade—1926-56—when he prepares for the Mahar Satyagraha [Mahad Satyagraha was a satyagraha led by Ambedkar to allow untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad, Maharashtra], when he burns a copy of the Manusmriti publicly. We often wondered, should books be burnt? Should any book be burnt? And Ambedkar would say yes.

Why? The reason is obvious. Either God would strike him down then and there or Manusmriti was just a book like any other.  

So the notion of force is for him a conceptual intrigue

No. It is what determines the outcome of an interaction. This is an empirical, not a conceptual, matter.

into thinking about those who have nothing and yet are capable of everything,

in which case they can get anything they want by themselves.  

and the greatest example, the most exemplary act of that force is conversion.

Nonsense! Anybody could convert. Gandhi's eldest son did and then the Arya Samajis had to come to shuddify him.  

[He said] “I was born a Hindu but I will not die a Hindu,”

because he didn't like Hinduism. But he did like Buddhism- at least his own version of it. 

“I am not a part of a whole, I am a part apart,”

this was a perfectly sensible thing to say in response to some other member of the legislative council saying he should 'think as part of a whole'- i.e. keep quiet till the Brits departed.

or when he says the “secret of freedom is courage.”

Again, this is perfectly sensible. Freedom is no good to you if you are a coward and will slave away for any bloke you are afraid of. 

A major theoretical claim I make in the book is that in order to read Ambedkar as a thinker is to go with him on a journey of force, is to understand what really force is.

Force arises where there is interaction. To really understand it you'd have to understand not just Yoneda lemma but stuff like anyons and so forth. This History Prof. doesn't have the brainpower for it. 

Not what power is, not what violence is, not what non-violence is, not what inequality is, not what equality is, but rather what force is and this ability to comprehend equality in terms of force is radical equality.

No it isn't. Equality in terms of force means Newton's third Law operating between identical particles. Nothing more, nothing less.  

Radical equality is not a liberal measure, it’s not a measure of redemption, not a matter of proceduralism, of deliberation…. It’s a measure of understanding the nature of force, how force saturates our world, and therefore to exit that world and think of another force.

So, just die and after you are dead imagine another force- one that turns you into God or Captain Marvel or something super-cool.  

That would be radical equality—that everyone would have that force, that irreducible, insoluble force.

Mahesh Yogi made billions teaching people to levitate. Kumar could make trillions by giving everybody God-like powers.  

The example of that if you will, would be conversion.

Oh dear! First you'd have to convert to Kumarism. My bet is it would involve some particularly degrading sex act. 


AA: You discuss the idea that Ambedkar wants to destroy religion, specifically to create anew.

No. Ambedkar didn't want to destroy Buddhism.  

Because religion is not something dispensable for Ambedkar. This finds an articulation in The Buddha and his Dhamma. So how is his relationship with religion different from that of Gandhi’s?

He was a Boddhisattva whereas Gandhi was merely a Mahatma. Kumar, however, could turn us all into super-cool Gods.  

AK: What Ambedkar means when he uses the word religion—and he uses it in a very salutary fashion—for him, religion is the name of a responsibility.

Because subscribing to a Religion entails certain pious obligations or responsibilities.  

Political religion, of which he is a great expert, and, in fact, Gandhi was too. What I try and say in the book is that they are both great exponents of a political religion—religion given a political form.

So what? It was Jinnah who created a theocracy.  

But for Gandhi, religion has a political form insofar as it allows us to live a life of truthfulness.

Though he accepted Atheists could live the same type of life. 

For Ambedkar, religion is a political form insofar as it allows us or gives us the moral capacity to judgement.

But we already have that.  

One is truthfulness, the other is judgement, and they are two very distinct things.

No they aren't.  

Truthfulness assumes a universalism or posits one.

Nope. Read a little Kripke you cretin.  

Judgement posits distinction, specificity, anarchy—that is to say, the ability to break free of the rules that categorise or confine the ways in which we reach a conclusion.

No. Both truth and judgment, are the same thing- i.e. the product of a protocol bound, buck stopped, ratiocinative process- if this is not the case, anything which obtains, unless it is divine revelation, is merely a hypothesis or a prejudice.  

Ambedkar’s religion is this relationship between this responsibility and judgement. In Annihilation of Caste, he says, “We need to destroy any religion that is irresponsible.” …

Who wants a religion which is drunk off its head and constantly gambling away the rent money? 


The question I really ask today … is that in the major political, philosophical and religious traditions worldwide, especially of Europe, within Christianity or Judaism or Islam, have [there been] thinkers who have freely denounced Christianity, for example, in order to imagine a modern politics?

Sure. 

You cannot think of republicanism or the French Revolution and so on without thinking of [the Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques] Rousseau and [the English philosopher Thomas] Hobbes, or [the Dutch philosopher Baruch] Spinoza within the Jewish tradition, who are at once Jewish and critics of that tradition.

Nonsense! Republicanism existed in Geneva two centuries before Rousseau was born there. Dutch republicanism, like the English sort, had to do with anti-Catholicism not Hobbes or Harrington. Spinoza was wholly irrelevant.

Why is it that the so-called Indian tradition, or the post-Vedic tradition, or the classical Indian tradition, which has so many critics of that tradition even in its own time: it’s not that there is no source of critique, [the question is] why is it not politicisable? That’s the question that Ambedkar asks, why is it that critique is not political in India?

This is crazy. Lots of princes were descended from guys whose religion was 'politicized' on the basis of some critique or the other. India wasn't different from any where else. Ambedkar was acutely aware of the sort of the historical origins of conflicts of the sort found in Kohlapur. He was writing for an informed audience who knew about other Vedokta type controversies. Don't forget some Brahmins had a grievance against the Chitpavan Peshwas and thus were possible allies.  


Why is it that pacifism, agreement, low-intensity conformism is the defining framework of political life in India?

Because we are as poor as shit. Politics is about money.  

Why is it that despite a great tradition of critique of religion, we have not had a modern religious critique of religion,

we've had plenty. We are sick of the stuff. Any nutter can say- as Pratap Bhanu Mehta does say- things like 'you belittle God by worshipping him in temples. Say your prayers while you shit- God is everywhere and likes watching you do potty.'  

a religious responsibility that addresses religion in all its toxicity and violence? [We have not had] a political judgment aware of its own fundamental relationship to the theologico-political; a political thought that does not look at religion apologetically, and this is the great limit of Indian liberalism and Indian Marxism, in the last seventy years.

Clearly the guy hasn't heard of the D.M.K in Tamil Nadu.  

Part of why today Ambedkar is important in the face of a resurgent conservative or reactionary Hindu nationalist politics is because through Ambedkar we understand one grave deficit in our political thinking or thinking about democracy. For the best part of the last sixty [or] seventy years, liberals and social democrats, or Marxists, even, have thought that they can disavow the sheer paradoxical, violent and yet enriching permanence of the theologico-political.

No. For the past sixty or seventy years we have had shit politicians who actively shat on the Hindu majority. Now that majority wants to be richer and more secure. This means getting rid of politicians who think they have done their job just by shitting on the Majority's religion. 


AA: In his book Ambedkar and Other Immortals, Soumyabrata Chaudhury

a cretin who thought Shaheen Bagh would break the mould of Indian politics 

speaks about how India’s university spaces and their Brahminical disposition

No! It is their refusal to see Ambedkar as what he was- a Law & Econ maven avant la lettre which has turned Ambedkar studies into a pile of shit.  

have sort of factionalised Ambedkar, and moved him to the margins, where only Dalits scholars—or Dalit studies as a discipline—are the ones to actually read him as a critical political thinker. Do you think this has played an important role in delaying Ambedkar’s recognition as a serious political philosopher?

Hilarious! Who in India thinks a Masters in Political Science isn't either a stepping stone to sarkari naukri or else a proof of imbecility? 

A serious political thinker is considered less important than a frivolous guy who can fart a tune on YouTube.  

AK: Soumyabrata Chaudhury makes a very important claim about the Ambedkarite strand of politics,

No he doesn't. Basically he says that you can call anything Ambedkarite or Shaheen Bagh or your neighbor's cat. It is an immortal because anyone anywhere could claim it is. This is mere magical thinking.

Consider the following extract from an interview he gave to the Wire-

 When one speaks of Shaheen Bagh, one speaks of it very concretely as being an assembly of those subjectified by the laws which they were protesting. But those subjectified by the law were also refusing that subjectivity, so that refusal has to be already an opening up of the situation. So Shaheen Bagh is not simply the purity of the spatial emblem but it is already, within that space, a temporal opening up. And hence spatially also Shaheen Bagh can close off today but it can move into some other space. Because spaces are always contingent if you want mortal signs. But immortality is a construction, a kind of truth, a gamble that something will be thinkable at the very level of what is going on. What is going on will pass but what is thinkable will always be henceforth a new threshold, a new truth as a resource not for the ones who are part of this protest or this struggle, but for anyone. For anyone. So this idea of anyone which I owe to Alain Badiou and his theatre director friend Antoine Vitez is something which I like very much. To anyone. So yes, this is the movement that I was trying to bring out.

You could substitute 'Yellow Vests' or 'Capitol Hill rioters' for 'Shaheen Bagh' in the above to justify petrol subsidies or racist policies. 

embracing with unflinching brilliance the purported factionalism of Ambedkar's posthumous political life by giving it a counter-intuitive theoretical heft. For nothing is more important to our ability to understand Ambedkar outside of the nationalist framework than our willingness to bear witness to how fearlessly, in his time and ours, Ambedkar splinters the nationalist consensus (which is also his critique of the pedagogical and linguistic consensus). …

Okay, granted, the guy had promise and did well while the Brits were around. But he failed as an electable politician and his heirs were factionalist shitheads. Why rub it in?  

Let us note the logic underpinning the accusations of factionalism that are often leveled against progressive and radical student groups committed to articulating an Ambedkarite politics in the universities.

The logic is that if you claim to represent a 'subaltern' minority but keep splitting into factions then nobody gives a shit about you. They think you are stupid.  

Such accusations stem not only—not even necessarily—from reservations about Ambedkar as a symbolic figure of revolutionary political thought. The liberal left, let alone the Hindu nationalist formations, are now only too happy to appropriate Ambedkar for those symbolic purposes. Instead, accusations of factionalism stem from another, profounder epistemological worry: that Ambedkarite politics, which takes his moral and political thought seriously and to its extreme, pushes the nationalist consensus itself to its breaking point.

But nobody cares because you are a bunch of shitheads teaching shite in shit University Departments. 

This consensus, which has always been a tacit, unspoken compact between disparate political formations built around a low-intensity stasis, a running war on the Dalit body, scaffolds the gravest, most enduring, most formidable epistemic exclusions of the Indian university.

Fuck off! The gravest 'epistemic exclusion' of the Indian university is in excluding the sort of remedial instruction which would make disadvantaged kids employable.  


It has been eight decades since Ambedkar composed Annihilation of Caste. And yet, caste remains the juridical scaffold or “mechanism” within which Indian forms of cruelty continue to thrive, acquiring their mature, civil and civic life, insinuating themselves into newer spaces and technologies every day.

So, the guy was useless. Sad. He should simply have concentrated on making money and then using that money to fund scholarships or something of that sort.  

It follows that caste is at once a machine specific to a mode of sacrifice and a name for generalised cruelty shrouded in ordinary vices and virtues: a cruelty that makes civility in India incurably violent and violence in India unimpeachably civil.

So, Kumar reckons that if he gets raped by some thugs, they will be 'unimpeachably civil'. Perhaps he is right. It may be that they will say 'kindly spread your ass cheeks, Sirji! Please and thank you for use of your rectum. Have a nice day!'

We cannot understand the structure of our urbane civility without understanding the structure of caste privilege, it is often glibly argued.

What these guys don't understand is what fills their books. 

Not merely privilege, a word Ambedkar never uses, but instead “caste domination” or what he calls India’s “armed neutrality,” its unspoken civil war, is the foundation of this new civility.

Please and thank you Sirji! Don't ask for reach-around as refusal often offends. Have a nice day. 


Now, one might point out, not inaccurately, that we are at war with ourselves in a manner that makes any resolution of conflict impossible. Caste is the obdurate capital—or heading—of this war. And yet, the fundamental question for Ambedkar is not only caste. Instead, the question for him is of human freedom, caste being that instrument which thwarts human freedom, afflicting its victim no less than it deforms the perpetrator (and thus, democracy itself).

Ambedkar's own freedom and agency increased because of his caste. His pal, Mandal, & Mandal's Namasudras lost freedom and agency and had to flee Pakistan not because of their caste but their religion. Ambedkar, like other politicians of the period, made some terrible mistakes. 

Ambedkar’s archaeologies, as he calls them, are not simply archaeologies of caste violence, but of this epochal unfreedom, that gives stability to India's conformist, voluntary servitude.

Archaeology does not destabilize anything.  Ambedkar said that his Institutionalist account of the origin of Untouchability was analogous to archaeology or paleontology. He was wrong. The materials uncovered by archaeologists or the bone fragments used by paleontologists can be used by smarter people or those with better tech so as to overturn previous notions. The German historical school of Econ, which Ambedkar knew about, turned out to be utterly useless. Had Ambedkar lived long enough to meet Akerlof, who credits his experience of the Indian caste system with providing the insights underlying his Nobel Prize winning theory of efficiency wages, Ambedkar would have had sufficient nous to collaborate with the American on producing something better. 

His archaeologies are not intended to amplify the insurmountable difference that marks out Indian forms of violence from other forms and modalities in the post-colony (or what we today call the Global South).

Ambedkar has no archaeologies. He said he was doing something analogous to a particular type of archaeologist- i.e. one who attempts to reconstruct lost cities from the broken bricks that remain on site- but he was wrong.  

Instead, his archaeologies are anchored in the idea that the Indian forms of violence are at once singular and exemplary.

No. Ambedkar knew about untouchability in Japan, Hawaii, the suffering of Dalit Indian origin Gypsies in Europe, etc., etc. There was plenty of that type of anthropology around at that time.

So exemplary that they provide a lens into the global forms that antidemocratic violence in the future—violence of the future—itself will take; that in the end all violence will have learned something from India.

So, Kumar's Ambedkar is a paranoid thinker whom all may appropriate. Consider the plight of elderly billionaires like Trump. It seems, now having ignominiously  exited the White House, some treat him or members of his family as virtual pariahs! This is systemic violence! The UN must take action! Trump's family should receive reservations in the Senate and the Supreme Court and the Cabinet! 


AA: You point out two dimensions to Ambedkar—one as a constitutional thinker and one as a revolutionary. How do these exist in conjunction with each other?

Revolutionaries create constitutions to their taste after they win. A true revolutionary won't do 'hackwork' on a Constitution created by his enemies. This was Ambedkar's final tragedy. Having been used by the Brits when it was convenient for them to do so, he was used by the High Caste Hindus when it was convenient for them to do so. Then he was abandoned to the wilderness of his own rage where he soon died after converting to a Religion which exported untouchability to Japan. Bali has Brahmins but no untouchables. Japan has no Brahmins but does have untouchables.  

And what does it do for Ambedkar’s revolutionary status, the fact that he mobilised the constitution to fight for his ends, to achieve his ends?

Using the constitution to fight for your interests is 'constitutionalism'. On the other hand, Ambedkar did endorse amendments to the Constitution which made it easier to crack down on dissent. 

AK: Some will argue that there are two Ambedkars—one revolutionary and a constitutionalist. I see Ambedkar within a constellation of thinkers like [the German-American philosopher] Hannah Arendt.

Who was completely useless.  

Because the revolutionary tradition is unthinkable without the constitutional tradition.

Nonsense! Revolutions appear in history 2500 years ago. Some gave rise to what we might call constitutional law. Most did not. 

In fact, the primary or fundamental principle of all revolution is the writing of the constitution.

No. The fundamental principle is killing or chasing away the guys who currently have power. Whether or not a Constitution is promulgated is wholly irrelevant. Who cared about the 1924 or 1936 or 1977 Soviet Constitution? It was merely the window dressing of a tyranny. 

Arendt calls it the lost treasure of the revolutionary tradition.

She was a fool. Did the Israelis ask her for advise? No. Don't be silly. It still hasn't got round to agreeing a written constitution. Lebanon has had a Constitution since 1926. That is why it is such a mess. 

So, the revolutionary and even the anarchist moments of Ambedkar’s political thought—when he says the rule breaks you and you break the rule; or infact he says a principle gives you the freedom to act, a rule does not—that [is an] anarchist moment.

No it isn't. It is commonsense.  

And I am not saying Ambedkar is an anarchist, I am saying that Ambedkar cannot be understood without understanding this anarchist formulation that runs through his political thought.

No. Ambedkar can be understood simply as an economist who talked and wrote worthless bollocks similar to the bollocks talked and written by others with time on their hands back then. 

Kumar hasn't understood Ambedkar because he keeps trying to link him to Hannah's Aunt or other such silly people. 

Is that revolutionary anarchist articulation of politics in contradiction with his constitutional fidelity or faith? No. Remember in the 1950s he says that I can burn this constitution if it doesn’t work. … That will be the core idea behind Ambedkar's constitutionalism. It won’t be law that will save us. The Constitution will not save us. … And those who take the route of celebrating Ambedkar by simply saying, “But he is a constitutionalist,” forget that he is an insurrectionary first and a constitutionalist only because—I mean, let's be very precise—he is a constitutionalist only because he is a revolutionary.

He would have been killed quickly enough had he been a revolutionary. What happened to the Dalit panthers? Come to think of it, what happened to the Republican Party of India? B.P Maurya, whom many considered Ambedkar's successor, is still remembered for his 'Jatav-Muslim bhai bhai' slogan. But he was coopted by Congress for the Brahmin-Dalit-Muslim combine which stood no chance against the rising AJGAR forces. 

Ambedkar has retained importance for two reasons

1) he was a proper economist- not a Gandhian or Sarvodaya or Marxist nutjob

2) he wore a suit and tie.

Go thou and do likewise. 

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Tagore sucking the thumb of sanitation

The U.S is the greatest nation in the world. But it has one 'original sin'. This has to do with Race- which continues to be a highly divisive issue issue to this very day.

One hundred years ago, a great poet said-


If there is one problem we have had from the beginning of our history—it is the race problem. Races ethnologically different have in this country come into close contact. This fact has been and still continues to be the most important one in our history. It is our mission to face it and prove our humanity by dealing with it in the fullest truth. Until we fulfil our mission all other benefits will be denied us.'

Who was this poet? You will be surprised to hear it was Rabindranath Tagore. Also he was talking about India- where race has never been a problem. Caste- maybe. Religion- sure. But not race. 

You may say, 'surely the Brits were of a different race and thus the Raj was racist'. This is true. But the number of Whites in India was miniscule. There was no law against miscegenation. Moreover, the Whites generally returned home after retirement. Around the time Sir Rabindranath was writing this, a Jewish Viceroy was getting rid of the last vestiges of 'the color bar' in official establishments. Furthermore a White lady had been the head of the Indian Home Rule League. Opposition to British rule did not mean hatred of Whites. 

Why did Tagore think race was the big problem in India? The answer is because he was as stupid as shit.

There are other peoples in the world who have to overcome obstacles in their physical surroundings,

whereas Indians can levitate and easily gain food and drink through magical means 

or the menace of their powerful neighbours.

India had often been conquered by Princes from Afghanistan or Uzbekistan. The Burmese had made incursions into Eastern India in the recent past as had the Nepalese. 

By contrast, America, which had a genuine Race problem, wasn't menaced at all.

They have organized their power till they are not only reasonably free from the tyranny of Nature and human neighbours, but have a surplus of it left in their hands to employ against others.

The Marathas, who were indigenous, threw off the Turkic yoke and themselves extracted tribute from a large part of India. It is foolish to deny that Indian rulers were indigenous. They just weren't as good as the Brits at running things. That's why Tagore's grandfather lobbied Westminster to permit unrestricted settlement of Whites in India. He and his chums said, having more Whites was the best defense of the rapacious Hindu comprador against the equally rapacious, but less cowardly, Muslim. The Tagores became very rich thanks to the Brits. Later, when Independence came, they lost big estates in the Muslim majority East which acceded to Pakistan.                        

But in India, our difficulties being internal,

just as Europe's or America's difficulties were internal 

our history has been the history of continual social adjustment and not that of organized power for defence and aggression.

why not? Were the Indians like the aborigines of Australia who had never needed to band together in defense? No. India was like China or Europe. The fact is the aborigines did put up a spirited resistance to White rule at about the same time that Tagore & Roy were begging Westminster to send more White peeps to India.  

Neither the colourless vagueness of cosmopolitanism, nor the fierce self-idolatry of nation-worship, is the goal of human history.

Nonsense! Human history will, at some point, involve planetary Government and the colonization of distant planets.  

And India has been trying to accomplish her task through social regulation of differences, on the one hand, and the spiritual recognition of unity on the other.

Where has there been no 'social regulation of differences'? Is there any Religion which denies the essential unity of creation, at least in some spiritual sense?  

She has made grave errors in setting up the boundary walls too rigidly between races,

America had laws against bi-racial marriage at that time. India didn't. Tagore was welcome to dine with the Governor or invite the Governor to dinner. He received a knighthood. Why was he pretending India was under Jim Crow? He had travelled widely in America. He knew it genuinely had a Race problem whereas India did not. 

in perpetuating in her classifications the results of inferiority; often she has crippled her children's minds and narrowed their lives in order to fit them into her social forms;

of which country could this not be said? The solution was free and compulsory education with scholarships for higher studies for meritorious but disadvantaged students.  

but for centuries new experiments have been made and adjustments carried out.

So India was like everywhere else- especially countries without a Race problem. 


Her mission has been like that of a hostess who has to provide proper accommodation for numerous guests, whose habits and requirements are different from one another.

Nonsense! India is not a 'hostess'. It is a country. You arrange your own accommodation if you want to stay there. There is plenty of competition to cater to your idiosyncratic needs- provided you have the money to pay. 

This gives rise to infinite complexities whose solution depends not merely upon tactfulness but upon sympathy and true realization of the unity of man.

Fuck off! Let private enterprise compete to accommodate differences in taste. Gassing on about the 'unity of man' won't get a Japanese guy the sushi he craves or a Madrasi a dish of flavorsome idli-sambar. On the other hand, a thriving private sector provides me with both excellent sushi and tasty idli-sambar within a few minutes drive from where I live. 

Towards this realization have worked, from the early time of the Upanishads up to the present moment, a series of great spiritual teachers,

who had exactly the same tastes in food, clothes, accommodation etc 

whose one object has been to set at naught all differences of man by the overflow of our consciousness of God.

No. Their one object was soteriological. Human differences would remain- indeed, they were likely to increase as the population grew- but in your next birth you could be something much more than a man.  

In fact, our history has not been of the rise and fall of kingdoms, of fights for political supremacy.

Yes it has. Crack a book why don't you you great big bearded retard. 

In our country records of these days have been despised and forgotten,

No they haven't. If you are descended from a Prince, you learn his history pretty thoroughly. The Tagore's weren't descended from Princes, but they knew their genealogy very well- though no doubt there were things they might want to gloss over 

for they in no way represent the true history of our people. Our history is that of our social life and attainment of spiritual ideals.

But both 'social life' and the 'attainment of spiritual ideals' has a lot to do with which Prince won which battle. This guy must have heard of Emperor Ashoka. There was lots of talk about him at the time.  

Why is Tagore talking bollocks? The answer is he is trying to fight the Indian Nationalists for the excellent reason that if they won then Tagore himself would lose big estates in the East. 

Like his grandfather, Tagore needed Whitey to stay. But Whitey left. Sad. 

But we feel that our task is not yet done.

Coz lots of Whites thought Home Rule a good idea. The Indian economy was stagnating. Britain would do better financially if it had a viable trading partner. 

The world-flood has swept over our country, new elements have been introduced, and wider adjustments are waiting to be made.

We feel this all the more, because the teaching and example of the West have entirely run counter to what we think was given to India to accomplish.

Indians may have wanted to be missionaries at a time when they believed the mlecchas didn't know about getting reborn in Heaven or attaining Moksha etc. But then lots of foreigners showed up who had Religions of their own which assured them of plentiful virgins in Paradise.  

In the West the national machinery of commerce and politics turns out neatly compressed bales of humanity which have their use and high market value; but they are bound in iron hoops, labelled and separated off with scientific care and precision.

No it doesn't. The West offers freedom to try to become what you like. Tagore must have noticed that some Americans had taken up Yoga and Vedanta and so forth. They had the money and the leisure to develop these ancient traditions. Col. Olcott was American. He helped revive Buddhism in Ceylon and helped found the Theosophical Society which was much more effective than the Brahmo Samaj in spreading Nationalist ideas. 

Obviously God made man to be human; but this modern product has such marvellous square-cut finish, savouring of gigantic manufacture, that the Creator will find it difficult to recognize it as a thing of spirit and a creature made in His own divine image.

Says a bearded retard who, it seems, is smarter than God. Still, nil desperandum.  If St. Peter turns you back from the Pearly Gates, you can run off to the Brahmo Heaven. God may find it difficult to recognize you are a human being, rather than a bale of hay or a ceramic tile, but just ask him to consult Tagore. 


But I am anticipating. What I was about to say is this. Take it in whatever spirit you like, here is India, of about fifty centuries at least, who tried to live peacefully and think deeply,

& then got conquered by Turks and Afghans & c. Tagore's grand-daddy had to spend good money setting up worthless newspapers full of pleas to Westminster to send more Whites- coz otherwise the Muslims will rob the meek, but avaricious, Hindu.  

the India devoid of all politics, the India of no nations, whose one ambition has been to know this world as of soul, to live here every moment of her life in the meek spirit of adoration, in the glad consciousness of an eternal and personal relationship with it. It was upon this remote portion of humanity, childlike in its manner, with the wisdom of the old, that the Nation of the West burst in.

Indians were itty babies, sucking their thumbs and meditating on God. Nasty Westerners burst in on them. 

So what? So long as the Indians paid their taxes they could suck their thumbs as much as they liked. If they couldn't pay their taxes, they could still suck their thumbs while begging or starving or whatever.  


Through all the fights and intrigues and deceptions of her earlier history

Tagore first says there was no 'earlier history'. Now he says it featured lots of fights and intrigues and deceptions. Is he merely a fool rather than a habitual liar?  

India had remained aloof. Because her homes, her fields, her temples of worship, her schools, where her teachers and students lived together in the atmosphere of simplicity and devotion and learning, her village self-government with its simple laws and peaceful administration—all these truly belonged to her. But her thrones were not her concern. They passed over her head like clouds, now tinged with purple gorgeousness, now black with the threat of thunder. Often they brought devastations in their wake, but they were like catastrophes of nature whose traces are soon forgotten.

Okay. Now we get you. Brits should rule India. India is not concerned with thrones. So long as it gets to suck its own mystic thumb it will be perfectly happy. Anyway, this is God's plan for the place. 


But this time it was different. It was not a mere drift over her surface of life,—drift of cavalry and foot soldiers, richly caparisoned elephants, white tents and canopies, strings of patient camels bearing the loads of royalty, bands of kettle-drums and flutes, marble domes of mosques, palaces and tombs, like the bubbles of the foaming wine of extravagance; stories of treachery and loyal devotion, of changes of fortune, of dramatic surprises of fate. This time it was the Nation of the West driving its tentacles of machinery deep down into the soil.

So, the danger to India aint Whitey. It is machinery. Ban machinery. Then thumb sucking can recommence as God intended. 

Therefore I say to you, it is we who are called as witnesses to give evidence as to what our Nation has been to humanity. We had known the hordes of Moghals and Pathans who invaded India, but we had known them as human races, with their own religions and customs, likes and dislikes,—we had never known them as a nation.

So, a Race is a Nation without machines. Once machinery enters the picture, mystic thumb sucking is endangered. Fuck are we to do?  

We loved and hated them as occasions arose; we fought for them and against them, talked with them in a language which was theirs as well as our own, and guided the destiny of the Empire in which we had our active share. But this time we had to deal, not with kings, not with human races, but with a nation—we, who are no nation ourselves.

Coz thumbs which get sucked incessantly are shit at handling machinery. This means you just have a Race problem but no problem of Nationalism.  

Now let us from our own experience answer the question, What is this Nation?

Our experience, if we have travelled abroad, is that a Nation is a bunch of guys who have, if not a common tongue, then a common method of Government. 

A nation, in the sense of the political and economic union of a people, is that aspect which a whole population assumes when organized for a mechanical purpose.

No. It is 'a political and economic union of a people'. It can't be organized for a mechanical purpose. Tagore may have been thinking of the First World War. But that conflict was anything but mechanical. It was deeply passionate and involved cooperation between peoples and Nations with very different purposes.  

Society as such has no ulterior purpose.

Yes it does. Every Society has the purpose of promoting the welfare of its members.  

It is an end in itself.

No it isn't. If it harms its members it will cease to exist.  

It is a spontaneous self-expression of man as a social being.

One may as well say that Jet Planes are the spontaneous self-expression of Man as a Technological being.  

It is a natural regulation of human relationships,

It may seem 'natural' but it is 'artificial' if it extends over any great number of people or expanse of territory.  

so that men can develop ideals of life in co-operation with one another.

This can be done within a family or clan. Society is not necessary for this. 

It has also a political side, but this is only for a special purpose.

No. Politics can have any and every purpose. 

It is for self-preservation.

Only in the sense that everything is. 

It is merely the side of power, not of human ideals.

Nonsense! Politics can be very very idealistic indeed.  

And in the early days it had its separate place in society, restricted to the professionals.

No. In its early days it extended to every free adult male in the Polis.  

But when with the help of science

So, Science is the villain of this story 

and the perfecting of organization

Organization is very evil. It tells you to get your thumb out of your butt not so that you can suck it but so you can do something useful.  

this power begins to grow and brings in harvests of wealth, then it crosses its boundaries with amazing rapidity. For then it goads all its neighbouring societies with greed of material prosperity, and consequent mutual jealousy, and by the fear of each other's growth into powerfulness. The time comes when it can stop no longer, for the competition grows keener, organization grows vaster, and selfishness attains supremacy. Trading upon the greed and fear of man, it occupies more and more space in society, and at last becomes its ruling force.

Very true! India should set example of mystic thumb sucking while quietly starving to death. Tagore and Gandhi weren't so different after all.  

It is just possible that you have lost through habit consciousness that the living bonds of society are breaking up, and giving place to merely mechanical organization. But you see signs of it everywhere. It is owing to this that war has been declared between man and woman, because the natural thread is snapping which holds them together in harmony; because man is driven to professionalism, producing wealth for himself and others, continually turning the wheel of power for his own sake or for the sake of the universal officialdom, leaving woman alone to wither and to die or to fight her own battle unaided.

Very true! Previously, wifey was happy fetching food for hubby and pleading with him to take a break from mystic thumb sucking so as to get some proper nutrition. Now, man is going to work for some Business Organization. He is buying labor saving devices for the home. Woman is withering and dying. Often you see such miserable women running out into the street and accosting strangers and saying 'Darling, stop sucking mystic thumb. Come for fooding.' The stranger replies 'I was not sucking my thumb. I work for a Business Organization. What is more I operate machinery. Get away from me you mad hag.' 

As a result of such cruel treatment many women have become like the beggar maid in Gitanjali (which Tagore translated into English) who raises her skirt to cover her face-

 The morning time is past, and the noon. In the shade of evening my eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.

Most men, observing a woman who is lifting her skirt to cover her face assume they know the answer to the question as to what the lady wants. Similarly, a gentleman who bares his buttocks and who spreads his ass cheeks is assumed to want something of a sexual nature. However, in the mystically thumb sucking nation of Bengal, such assumptions would be wrong. 

What the lady actually wants is a ban on machinery and organization so that the 'war between men and women' can end. 

And thus there where co-operation is natural has intruded competition.

Very true! Heterosexual sex has become impossible because lady is competing to enter orifice of gentleman. All is fault of Machinery and Organization and Science! Ban them immediately!  

The very psychology of men and women about their mutual relation is changing and becoming the psychology of the primitive fighting elements,

Wifey keeps getting behind hubby in order to enter him anally. This primitive fighting must stop! Ban all machines immediately! 

rather than of humanity seeking its completeness through the union based upon mutual self-surrender. For the elements which have lost their living bond of reality have lost the meaning of their existence. Like gaseous particles forced into a too narrow space, they come in continual conflict with each other till they burst the very arrangement which holds them in bondage.

Tagore was a gaseous particle right enough. So was Gandhi and Nehru and all those other blathershites. But they got on fine in a jail cell or Ashram. Moreover, they weren't continually trying to enter each other anally. 

Perhaps, Tagore had an ethical objection to bicycle pumps. Gaseous particles were being forced into too narrow a space. Anyway, a bike is a type of machine. Ban it immediately otherwise war between men and women will break out and our wives will run out of the house to lift their skirt to cover their face and men will ask them what it is they want.                                                             

Then look at those who call themselves anarchists, who resent the imposition of power, in any form whatever, upon the individual. The only reason for this is that power has become too abstract—it is a scientific product made in the political laboratory of the Nation, through the dissolution of personal humanity.

Very true! Anarchists would have no objection to being enslaved if only the thing is done by cruel slave-drivers not some 'abstract' power that is a 'scientific product'.  


And what is the meaning of these strikes in the economic world, which like the prickly shrubs in a barren soil shoot up with renewed vigour each time they are cut down?

Strikes are about collective bargaining. They represent a threat point in a bargaining game. Tagore thought workers would happy to be unpaid slaves, used as sex objects in their moments of rest, provided nothing 'Scientific' or 'Abstract' is involved. 

What, but that the wealth-producing mechanism is incessantly growing into vast stature, out of proportion to all other needs of society,—and the full reality of man is more and more crushed under its weight?

This cunt was living very comfortably off the labour of thousands of semi-starved Bengali peasants. He didn't want them escaping to work on much higher wages in factories owned by Marwaris. However, he didn't scruple to beg for money from those same industrialists. 

This state of things inevitably gives rise to eternal feuds among the elements freed from the wholeness and wholesomeness of human ideals,

Were Tagore's tenants really happy with him? No. In his novel 'Ghare Baire', the highly idealistic, wholesomely wealthy, Hindu zamindars get slaughtered by poor Muslim tenants.  

and interminable economic war is waged between capital and labour.

But both became better off as a result. By contrast, landlords like Tagore were preventing the landless laborer from rising above starvation. 

For greed of wealth and power can never have a limit,

Yup. That was true enough of cunts like Dwarkanath Tagore whose tongue was deep up the British asshole.  

and compromise of self-interest can never attain the final spirit of reconciliation.

This may be true of one or two pathological cases. It isn't true of the great mass of humanity. 

They must go on breeding jealousy and suspicion to the end—the end which only comes through some sudden catastrophe or a spiritual re-birth.

One hundred years later, it is clear Tagore was wrong. 


When this organization of politics and commerce, whose other name is the Nation, becomes all-powerful at the cost of the harmony of the higher social life, then it is an evil day for humanity.

Indians- except for some ex-zamindars and the like- are better off now precisely because India is a Nation- not a Colony- and the 'organization of politics and commerce' has improved.  

When a father becomes a gambler and his obligations to his family take the secondary place in his mind, then he is no longer a man, but an automaton led by the power of greed.

No. He is addicted to gambling. He may not be greedy at all. Tagore was a father who, like an automaton, went on spouting worthless shite led by the power of being a gaseous gobshite. This was actually beneficial to the family's reputation. To be a Tagore is to be respected all around the world.  


This abstract being, the Nation, is ruling India.

No. India was a Colony ruled by a Colonial Civil Service. No abstraction was involved. Everything was concrete and down to earth. 

We have seen in our country some brand of tinned food advertised as entirely made and packed without being touched by hand. This description applies to the governing of India, which is as little touched by the human hand as possible.

No. Every office was discharged by a named and specified person who was accountable and rewarded for his actions.  

The governors need not know our language,

The Viceroy and other political appointees didn't but the District officers did.  

need not come into personal touch with us except as officials;

but, as officials, they were obliged to engage face to face with all manners of Indian people. 

It is not generally the case that a ruler has to have sexual or other highly personal relations with those he rules. Tagore may well have wished otherwise. Sad.  

they can aid or hinder our aspirations from a disdainful distance,

No. They had to be close at hand to do so.  

they can lead us on a certain path of policy and then pull us back again with the manipulation of office red tape;

No. Policy has to be shaped by the terrain. Otherwise it fails.  

the newspapers of England, in whose columns London street accidents are recorded with some decency of pathos, need but take the scantiest notice of calamities which happen in India over areas of land sometimes larger than the British Isles.

This is perfectly natural. We are concerned with things which happen in our own vicinity. 

 Tagore's mystic thumb sucking may have broadened his sympathies. Yet here he speaks only about his own country. He shows no concern for the suffering peasants of Patagonia. 

A little later he writes-

Of all things in Western civilization, those which this Western Nation has given us in a most generous measure are law and order.

But, in order to do, it had to first bring in maritime commerce and technology and then military organization and engineering and then Railways and telegraph and so on. The Brits took over the existing legal system and improved on it through codification etc.  

While the small feeding-bottle of our education is nearly dry,

nearly dry? Fuck off! India was producing Ramanujans and Boses and Ramans and so forth at this time. Tagore was uneducated because he was lazy and stupid, not because the 'feeding-bottle' was dry 

and sanitation sucks its own thumb in despair,

Nope.  Kolkata's sewer system was built in 1875 by William Clark. It was rivalled only by those of London and Hamburg. Independent India has built nothing comparable.

the military organization, the magisterial offices, the police, the Criminal Investigation Department, the secret spy system, attain to an abnormal girth in their waists, occupying every inch of our country.

Actually, the Brits were able to get the better of the Revolutionaries pretty damn cheaply. This was because Indians turned their coats for very little money.  

This is to maintain order. But is not this order merely a negative good?

No. Unlike gaseous talk about spiritual unity, not having your throat slit is a very fucking positive good. 

Is it not for giving people's life greater opportunities for the freedom of development?

No. They are welcome to suck their mystic thumbs till they make themselves sick. What matters is whether Law & Order results in rising per capita Income so it can pay for itself. 

Its perfection is the perfection of an egg-shell, whose true value lies in the security it affords to the chick and its nourishment and not in the convenience it offers to the person at the breakfast table.

Without the shell, there would be no egg. How fucking stupid was this cunt?  

Mere administration is unproductive, it is not creative, not being a living thing.

Administration is required for productivity. Being alive is an asset in admin. Being dead is an advantage only if you are a poet.  

It is a steam-roller, formidable in its weight and power, having its uses, but it does not help the soil to become fertile.

Nor does Tagore's bullshit. Actual shit is needful.  

When after its enormous toil it comes to offer us its boon of peace we can but murmur under our breath that "peace is good, but not more so than life, which is God's own great boon."

Tagore doesn't seem to have noticed that lots of people had lost God's own great boon during the recent hostilities. However the same thing would have happened if they keep sucking insanitary thumbs.