Published on countercurrents.org, by Dr.K.Vidyasagar Reddy, 14 October, 2009.
… While it is unfair to brand all Hindus as communal, it is also unfair to paint all minorities, be they Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, jains etc., as fundamentalist. In other words, it is pointless to generalise all the religious people as communal as there are only a handful of such people in any religion who, at times, become narrow-minded and chauvinistic. Their overt and covert actions of spontaneous nature might provoke reactions from the rival groups that tend to jeopardise the peace and tranquillity in the society. Sometimes such actions lead to the rise of communal riots, whereas at some other times, they might lead to the vertical division of the society on the basis of religion, as was the case with the partition of India in 1947 …
… As a matter of fact, majority has been viewed as ‘’mobocracy’ from the ancient times onwards. Sometimes, its practice would lead to development of perverted form of governance whereby reason and rationality become casualties.
Incidentally, ancient philosophers like Socrates and Plato suffered during the regimes of democrats, for being truthful and straightforward. Even Lord Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad also faced the same wrath of mobs of their times. There were several such examples that can be traced in the history. Thus, democracy should not be treated as merely head-counting and thereby giving the reason, rationality and logic a go-bye!
Meanwhile, the concept of minorities has been understood in many ways. It is not religion alone that could be the basis for categorizing people in terms of majority and minorities. Language, culture, geography, gender, colour, caste, sub-caste and other aspects could also to be taken as factors for categorization. For instance, in the case of Hinduism, all castes and sub-castes are further categorized as distinct communities that constitute different sizes of population. Given this sort of categorization, Hindus per se do not become the majority-community. It is a community of communities of different castes and sub-castes, whose interests clash each other and one another. In the recent past, Hindus are found to be engaged in acrimonious battles for sharing power, political and otherwise. Failed to inculcate the noble feelings of Dr.BRAmbedkar, father of Indian constitution, the upper caste Hindus are not treating the so-called lower castes as brothers and sisters. The social evil of untouchability has been practised though it is prohibited in the Constitution, the sacred document of India.
The marginalised communities like Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs and women have been deprived of their constitutional rights on end. Obviously, the majority Vs minority controversy has taken a different turn with the spread of Ambedkar philosophy, and more so with popularisation of the concept of Bahujan Samaj of Manyasri kanshiramji! While the majority Hindus are polarised in terms of minority-Upper castes that constitute Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vyshyas on the one hand, the majority-Lower castes that constitute the Shudras and Atishudras, on the other hand. Since the majority-Lower castes are found oppressed socially and otherwise at the hands of Upper castes, they wish to break the chains of Hinduism only to join the religious minorities of Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism as a larger entity. Since the idea is based on apprehensions of the marginalised communities, its implementation would certainly alter the social composition of the majority and minority notions. Ultimately, this larger entity would make them majority for political purpose that would ensure political power over a period of time. That alone would assure minimum rights for the minorities who are otherwise feel suffocating due to communal perpetuation. (full text).
(The author is a Research Associate, Dept. Of Political Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad. His e-mail).