Rajaram's bull/Hindutva (response to BhG)

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Aug 10 13:28:41 UTC 2000

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann wrote:
> At 04:35 PM 08/06/2000 +0000, Bharat Gupt wrote:
> >The colonial era created a more restrictive and lexical definitions both
> of Brahminism
> >and the Hindu by restricting them to mean only those who accept the Vedas
> and Upanishads
> >as revelation. Whereas historically, Buddhists, Jains, Shaivs etc had all
> accepted the
> >var.na system...
> In the first part of your statement you refer to accepting the Vedas as
> revelation, but then you mention Buddhism and Jainism and instead of
> continuing to talk about whether the Vedas are considered as revealed or
> not you talk about the varNas.

Why should I continue to talk about Buddhists not accepting the Vedas. I have no
colonial agenda. I am not trying to change history by saying that nastiks accepted
the vedas. My post nowhere stated or implied that Buddhists etc., accepted the Vedas
as Sruti/pramaa.na or aagama.

But I drew attention to the fact that varna is not ONLY  a Brahminical concept
because it has been accepted by all indigenous people and here even by
Muslims also as social hierarchy.

The colonial approach has been to lay the sin of creating this hierarchy on the
Brahmins  and encouraging a politics of compensation as indicated  in the last
posts that even Marxism in India resulted not in class war but caste war.

Neglecting this fact has led to the present day state where Brahminism
is not even extant or a practice but a merely a political rhetoric for more
caste war and classical studies continue to reinforce this rhetoric as they have
not elaborated enough on the departure from smriti defined or lexical brahminical
behaviour of the brahmins even in ancient India.

I also tried to indicate in the two posts that colonial definition of
"Hindu" (which now prevails) reduced the wider meaning of "Hindu" as a geographic
cultural entity (from Persian Ind,Greek India, Islamic Hind/Hindostan/Mulke-Hindavi)
to religious, i.e., the followers of the Vedas.

The issue I raised was :
Why were a host of other beliefs like var.na-ashram, re-incarnation, karmavaada,
paralokavaada, apratyaksha-prmaa.na, validity of meditative truth whether called rta,
kaivalya, buddhatva, nirva.na, or saayujya etc, shared by nearly all denominations of
faiths  of  India (except Caravaakas) which also goes into the making  of
Hindu/Indian/Hindavii identity, ignored by the colonial scholarship ?

Was this new categorisation, changing the definition from geographic-culltural to
the religious Hindu (as the aastika) and the rest as its other, an administrative
strategy for altering social behaviour of the governed ? Or should we say this not an
indological concern !!

Bharat Gupt,  Associate Professor, Delhi University
PO Box 8518, Ashok Vihar, Delhi 110052  INDIA
tel 91-11-724 1490, fax 741-5658, email: bharatgupt at vsnl.com

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