As one delves deeper and deeper into this quagmire called casteism one becomes vulnerable to two forms of danger. The first is that one can become a senseless, rabid, hate spewing, venomous, bitter, and therefore irrational and illogical person. This is a REAL danger. It means that one reacts vehemently to what one is surrounded by. It means that one internalizes the hatred and anger and injustice and reacts violently and viciously. Soon one even forgets what one is angry about…………just that one is angry.
The second danger is – that one ceases to understand. One withdraws – cold, dead and lifeless from a truth that one simply cannot deal with. It means that one gets broken by the system. Broken by its meanness. Once broken, one is mostly useless and just a dead weight – floating around amidst all the scum and garbage that one is surrounded by.
Why does this happen?
Casteism is vile. It has been intended and envisaged to decimate anyone who questions it. It strikes at the core of its opposition. It will break, build allies, lie, cheat, kill, wound, destroy and decimate its opponents. The opponent is often a single individual. The opponent is often alone. In this, a sense of identity of oneself, a sense of purpose, a belief, an unshaking trust in what one believes – these are the only qualities that oftentimes nurture the opponent. Neither media frenzy nor political will nor an elite upper class will support the individual. Not even the poor and marginalized because there is such a depth of un-understanding in this group. The leaders of these groups are like savages who spout snippets from here and there, who think they know and are therefore the worst enemies of the oppressed.
Indeed, thousands and thousands of those highest in the pecking order of the caste pie talk and talk about the oppressed. They shed tears but these are best described as crocodile tears. Using this method, the brahmins have ensured that they garner support and sympathy from the other important category that one is only just becoming cognizant of – the aspiring brahmins. The aspiring brahmins live and cohabitate at close quarters with the brahmins. They observe them closely, align, and provide them much needed credibility. These aspiring brahmins could be non Indians or non brahmins. Their only qualification is that they silently support the brahmin supremacy. They must, by default, acknowledge brahmin superiority. In other words, they are the chelas, the chamchas, the ones who stand most to gain from brahmin favours. And yes indeed, they do reap an abundance of brahmin favours. The brahmin boss will recommend them favourably to others. The brahmin boss might give sanction their holidays. The brahmin boss might share snippets of information with them. For the 100% that the brahmin receives their chelas might receive 30%. This is the parasitic relationship between the brahmin and his or her chelas.
The chela cannot question. The chela cannot know more than the brahmin. The chela must acknowledge in word and deed the supremacy of the brahmin. Then the brahmin is KIND to the chela. The brahmin bestows favours that gives the chela the warm feeling of being SOMEWHAT like a brahmin, of at least being something close to a brahmin, of a reflected glory, if one may say so………
So what does one call this nexus between the brahmin and his or her chela? Till a better word evolves, one can call it the BCN or the brahmin chela network.
This category teams up to ‘empower’ everyone else. Empowering is a very structured process. It is never meant to be a COMPLETE process. It is located in a perpetual state of happening. This is crucial and the crux of the BCN work in society today. They APPEAR to make it happen, but it never really happens. The SEEM to share knowledge but they don’t really do. They LOOK LIKE they are empowering but they are in fact, disempowering.
This is evident when one sees the response of the BCN to REAL empowerment. Real empowerment converts the BCN into a monster. The brahmin is livid and the chela cannot bear to see its master in this state. When the brahmin is livid, the chela also suffers so the chela will do ANYTHING to calm his or her master down. The brahmin rants and raves and paces around and is very uncomfortable. The brahmin feels that too much empowerment might tilt balances unfavourably and adversely against himself or herself. Too much empowerment is something the brahmin will never want because then it effectively means that the empowered may not even need the brahmin anymore. This is the death knell of brahmin supremacy – real and genuine empowerment.
So we have our trainings and capacity buildings and knowledge disseminations that are only JUST there and never quite so. They are just enough to make the BCN seem nice but never enough to make the BCN unnecessary.
This, then is the paradox of the BCN led empowerment process. Rue it……… and run, or stay and fight, or die trying……..