The superiority of caste and race is deeply imbedded in the psyche of upper caste Hindus irrespective of their upbringing or the level of education or the place where they live. For example, in the words of a socialist leader, Madhu Limaye, “Nehru practiced both racism and casteism, despite his modern upbringing and outlook” (Telegraph, Calcutta, November 21, 1987).
In a revealing passage about his “making”, Nehru wrote, “Behind me lie somewhere in the sub-conscience, racial memories of hundred or whatever the numbers may be, generations of Brahmins. I cannot get rid of that past inheritance” (Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography, (1936), Delhi, 1980, p 596.).
Sir V. S. Naipaul is a Nobel laureate in literature. His Brahmin ancestors were brought as indentured servants to Trinidad long time ago. He grew up in Trinidad and has spent most of his life in England. In his earlier work An Area of Darkness, 1964 he was unforgiving of India. Later the “Brahmin” in him stirred up and came out spewing hatred and venom. He condoned the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in June 1984, when Indira Gandhi ordered a military attack on the Golden Temple complex on the day when thousands of Sikh pilgrims had gathered there to celebrate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (A Million Mutinies Now, 1990). In 1992 he justified the destruction of a 400 hundred-year-old mosque (Babri Masjid) by Hindu mobs lead by Bhartiya Janta Party (a fascist Hindu party) because of the mistreatment of Hindus by Muslim rulers centuries back in the past. He has become the darling of Hindu fascist organizations.
Mahatma Gandhi, whose Baniya (Vaisha) caste is two steps lower than the uppermost Brahmin caste, was a vigorous defender of the caste system.
“The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. ………Caste creates a social and moral restraint……I can find no reason for their (castes) abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it” (Harijan, 1933).
Gandhi’s calling “Untouchables”, as Harijans is a cruel joke on the Untouchables by an insensitive and depraved man.
Harijan literally means “child of God”. However, in India this label is used for the illegitimate children of temple girls (anchoress) fathered by priests. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Untouchables, vehemently opposed Gandhi’s use of Harijans for the Untouchables. Recently, Ms Mayawati, a leader of the Untouchables asked rhetorically, “If we are Harijans then what are the upper castes like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel? Are they bastards?”