Kancha iliah: What is the book about? What is the point that you have tried to make?

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What is the book about?

These are booklets that have been made controversial by the Arya Vysya Organisation. It is a reprint of the Telugu book published in 2011, which was again a translation of my original English book titled Post Hindu India. Hindi and Marathi versions are available.

The book was written in the context of our failure to get reservation in the private sector. I debunk the myth of “merit” used by the Banya and the Brahmin communities to avoid setting aside a certain percentage of jobs in the private sector. I make the point that tribal people, Dalits and the Sudra castes contribute the overwhelming bulk of wealth in our caste-based economic structure. I include in this category Other Backward Class groups like Gujjars, Jats and Patels. The control and accumulation of wealth in any kingdom that has ruled India from the Gupta period onward has been with the Vaishyas, that is to say, the Banya community. Contemporary capitalists like the Ambanis, the Adanis, Lakshmi Mittal, the Kirloskars and Birlas are from this community. They have gained the biggest control of Independent India’s wealth. And with their Brahmin nexus, a lot of it has gone to temples. Take for example the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Kerala.

I have theoretically explained this process of wealth accumulation as “social smuggling”, that is to say, the accumulation takes place through the mechanism of business deals with other communities as India functions largely within a feudal framework. Take, for example, the village markets, the main area of operation for the rural trading community, the Vaishyas. There are several deceptive mechanisms such as a planned decision to undercut the price of produce. Several other tactics could be used, like saying the quality is bad or there is over supply and the use of faulty weighing machines. Finally, for the producer, there is no transparency in the sale of his goods. Therefore exploitation begins right at the village or in the grain market. There is no humanitarian relationship between the seller and the buyer, and the buyer keeps the whole wealth within his caste cabal. He does not invest it in any philanthropic work, for any nationalistic capitalist must have a positive philanthropic relationship with the producers. Take the farmers: they are committing suicide. The Banya sakhas in the village would not even visit the family of the person who committed suicide because of his inability to pay back his loan. This is what I mean social smuggling. The wealth accumulation is not because of the traders’ hard work or ethical business acumen, but because of the caste he belongs to.

My point, therefore, is today the state has privatised many things, and there are hardly any jobs in the public sector. Whether due to demonetisation, or GST [Goods and Services Tax], the companies that benefited the most are the Kirloskars, Vedanta, the Adanis, Ambani, and other Brahmin industrialists.

There is this debate about nationalism that has been raging after the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] came to power. We have been seeing that soldiers are projected as the most nationalist forces in the country. If soldiers are nationalists, have we looked at the castes they belong to? Which are the castes on the borders with Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or China today? What is their economic status? Are there any Banya or Brahmin soldiers on the front lines, the men defending various places in Kashmir?

They are the Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward Classes. The overwhelming [majority of the] police forces in the country today come from these castes. They do so for the money and because the educational qualification required at the entry level is low—mostly class 10 for constables, even in the CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force].

The second thing is, historically there was a Mehar regiment—[B.R.] Ambedkar’s father himself was a soldier. There were Jat regiments, Yadava regiments, Gorkha regiments and Sikh regiments, but at no point was there a Brahmin or Banya regiment.

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