After I wrote ‘Why I am Not a Hindu’ and ‘Post-Hindu India’ the Brahmin-Banias (the castes that control the Hindu spiritual system and the whole business system of India) of Telugu States threatened to kill me. Several cases were filed against me. The intellectuals from these two most wealthy and most educated communities ask me: What is your philosophy? Why are you writing such books? These are important questions. Since I am challenging their religion after Ambedkar in a more serious way, they have a right to ask such questions because religion is a philosophical domain. If I do not have a spiritual philosophy of my own I have no right to create a crisis in their cozy life and religion.
The question—what is my philosophy?—tormented me for quite long. Do I live with Indian philosophy or with universal philosophy? In the struggle for formulating my philosophy it struck me that philosophy could never be region, or place or area-specific. Since I am part of the universal Nature I do exist like any other person in the world with a universal philosophy. As a person—not just as a man or woman—I inhale air, drink water, eat food of my labour or of others—in childhood and in very old age only of others—I sleep, walk, wear clothes like anybody else in the world.
Indians lived in forests like all universal people, they deforested land and brought it under cultivation like others in the world. They tilled it with the help of cattle power; they domesticated and nurtured them. This must have happened in the pre-Harappan times. However, Harappans were the first persons who built the first city of the world, named after themselves. The Human (I deliberately use H capital for Human) civilisation reached an advanced stage during the Harappan period.
The Harappans built the civilisation on the riverbed like the people of other parts of the world. They migrated to outside and they allowed the migrants from outside. In this whole process Human labour of Indians like the labour of others in the world played a key role. In early civilisational zones like Mesopotamia, no individual person’s name could be identified but in India Harappans, who built the early civilisational city, could be identified. Such names like Beerappa, Veerappa Marappa are very popular among cattle rearers and culture and economy builders in South India. Hence my philosophy is of labour as life is of tilling is building, is of teaching in the field. My philosophy is that of learning by trial, experimentation and error. It is universal, not national. What is done here could be done anywhere else by applying the same method.
It was accidental that I was born in the place where I was born—papaiah Pet, Warangal district, Telangana. It is accidental that I live in Hyderabad India, with a body of given colour and with the caste identity that I was born with. But if I were to be born in any other place Japan, Germany or Israel I would have been born as one among them, who lived there or right now are living there. Hence, philosophically I am a Human being.
All Human beings are universal in nature. Thus knowing of my universalness makes me think of my commonalities with other Human beings and my identity as an individual being, who is part of the larger universe. That makes me think my universality is larger than my particularity. I was a shepherd in the childhood and student as an adult and a professor of a university in my later years; as of now an activist of Anti-Brahminism to change the status food producers, cattle grazers, pot, shoe-makers and so on.
The weakest mind and body of some Indians, over a period of time, constructed a notion of a Brahman. This notion of a Brahman is Anti-Human. This notion has been constructed in primitive times in an underdeveloped language called Sanskrit. The concept Brahman const-ructed a Human living process in seclusion and non-engagement with nature and labour. With English, a universal language advancing in India, the universal concept of the Human came to be realised with much more clarity than in all other Indian languages, whose development was thwarted by the followers of the secluded small-minded thinkers who lived around the notion, Brahman.
Thus, the negation of the notion of Human (all inclusive) philosophical Indian is killed by the Brahman. The producer of food is reduced to nothing. The Brahman, for example, has shown cow as an animal superior to the Human. The followers of the Brahman have considered production as pollution. Establishing a belief of animal superiority to Human is exceptionally de-humanising. The Brahman introduced animal worship as worship of the divine. Destruction but construction was the Brahman’s essential nature. A pot-maker, brick-maker, shoe-maker, shepherd, carpenter, cattle economist, a cultural drummer all were declared Untouchable to Brahman. The only way to change this situation is that the Brahman must be made to make bricks, build houses, graze cattle in order to make the followers of the Brahman Human. As of now they are not Human. They are Inhuman.
When the Brahman power was established before my own eyes in New Delhi in the 2014 elections, they started killing Humans with the primitive underdeveloped mind of the Brahman that Cow is divine and any disrespect to cow is disrespect to the Brahmin. The believers in the Brahman never believed in Human as the higher stage of development of organic life. Their notion of the Brahman as divine is very narrow and localised. They mix up the divine and the nation, in a manner that their divine could never evolve into universal.
The followers of the Brahman kept Humans around them divided and sub-divided and kept them arrested in underdeveloped languages, thinking process and hence the caste system survived. They have never fully grasped the magnitude of the notion of God. Since the notion of God is universal they did not understand its power. They survived around the notion of the Brahman as the divine, which in itself was an unphilosophical mundane notion.
Any philosophical notion is universal. Any notion that has no universal validity that notion has no philosophical validity. The Brahman is an uncivilisational notion. It does not believe in equal creation of all Human Beings. They unspiritually validated some getting created from head, some from shoulders, some from the thighs and many from the feet. The Dalits of my time are seen as people that have come into the universe without the Brahman’s creation. This obviously means they have been created by the universal God along with rest of the global Human beings as equals. They are looking towards that universal God for liberation. The slaves of the world, the Blacks of the world and the women of the world got liberated by the same universal God. The Indian Brahman negated the existence of 300 million people of the world and made the remaining 600 million people unequal to one another. Philosophically this is an untenable creation story.
The universal God creates all universal people in the same manner or if they evolved, the evolution also happens in the same manner—from monkey to Chimpanzee to Dalit or from monkey to Chimpanzee to Shudra or Brahman. They cannot be created in one way in a part of the world—as equals —and only in India they cannot but be created as unequal. This proposition in books written by the same Brahman is a Satanic work.
Any divine notion is unifying but the notion of the Brahman that got constructed in the land of India is divisive. It did not allow the mind of the followers to develop and that underdeveloped mind did not allow the Humans in this land with a brutal force of violence not to develop on par with a universal Human. Their mental status remained animal worshipping, with a view that the Brahman lives in the body of the Cow. Since the followers of the Brahman were under-developed philosophically and linguistically the universal God or prophets who developed universal language to understand the powers of God could not get into their mental frame.
Since my generation acquired the universal language—English—and the philosophical depth of the universal as against the local Brahman, I needed to spell out and leave the universal idea of God and Human for future advancement of the Human. The notion of God deals beyond the Human. It deals with creation or evolution of the universe—land, water, life, plant, animal Human and so on. But the Human is the highest of that creation or evolution. No such Human can be subordinate to animal. But the Brahman has done that very diffidently. Because the Brahman hardly understood the Nature, as he either remained in the worship of stone or animal or sat for a long time in a sitting posture called Yoga, he has not developed universal knowledge. As a result the body and brain of the Brahman has not developed to grasp the whole phenomenon of the universe.
To understand the strength of the Nature the Human had to engage in labour. The Brahman abhorred that.
The Brahman in that sense is animal-like. He has not yet reached the stage of the Human. No Human can consider an animal as divine. The spiritual underdevelopment of the Brahman (though they called it Atma—Soul) has turned out to be an unproductive being with a similar body like any other Human. But the Brahmin body is unproductive though it consumes material resources like any other human body.
Those who survived around the idea of the Brahman lived long in India, but they have not evolved into the Human. Now the Indian Human has to be spiritually integrated with the universal spiritual notion of God. The notion of the nation is only part of that universe.
Prof Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is the Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Gachibowli, Hyderabad.