(“क्या आप हमको मनुष्य मानते हैं? मतलब, लेखन-वेखन तो ठीक है, पर पहले ये बताईये कि मनुष्य मानते हैं कि नहीं”.) —excerpts of a letter of Jyotiba Phule to Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar
Thus around a two-century ago a Marathi Shudra called Phule had asked a question to the Bengali Brahman social reformer Vidyasagar and he became numbed & could not answer his question.
This is the feeling that remains in me after publishing “Ek Swaym Bhu Kavi Ki Nepal Diary” from a Pune based Marathi left-leaning publishing house in early 2021.
This feeling won’t go easily and remains in me every moments days and nights. This feeling took birth in me after I took birth as a poet after meeting a Nepali poet in journey begin soon after spending a month in Tihar jail as a rapist in July-August, 2013 who was facing charges of a criminal having 376 pasted on his head.
This was not the price I paid that after I got bail when my parents’ payoff a ransom of ten lakh rupees to my Nepali Tagadhari Maoist poet girlfriend in exchange of getting bail in the mediation of India’s “Nepal expert” and Nepali-Indian Maoist leaning intelligentsia. (And then again, she demanded one Crore rupees to the quashing of false FIR and hence closing of the rape case.)
This was not the only price that I paid after getting acquitted by the New Delhi’s Patiyala House Court in June 2015. This was not the only price that I paid after the Delhi High court acquitted me in March 2017 (because she with help of Delhi’s radical Marxist-Leninist/ feminists had moved to Delhi’s High Court in 2016 and was also supposed to go to the Supreme Court!).
This was not the only price I had to pay after receiving brutal treatment in Tihar jail by criminals which resulted later in life while having treatment in Safdarjung hospital in 2014-2015 that I can not father a child! But this was the only price I had to pay from becoming gazed at as a rapist by leftists-feminists radical intellectuals/activists world of JNU, India and Nepal.
This was the only price I had to pay by throwing myself either as turning into a criminal- murderer or rapist or committing suicide. This was the price I had to pay by not getting suitable space for my intellectual development and a respectable teaching job in spite of having a PhD. And if I got the one, that would be loitering in India’s mushrooming private universities enterprises. This has the only price I had to pay by remaining inhumane in my entire life until I am living. I did not go in either direction. I adhered to my heart and documented my everyday lived experiences after Tihad’s journey in my poetry and gradually evolved as “Swayam Bhu Kavi”. I survived as a “Human being” with the moral support of a few friends & well-wishers.
This feeling of not being “humane” won’t go easily.
And since it remains inside deep in my whole existence that I was not considered humane at all and in any sense, fills deep class hatred in my heart; and my poet receives great energy to march forward in life and longing for a feeling that I am not a rapist, No I am not if I am called ‘rapist’, it is because this capitalist world of mine is faulty where people are taken as a commodity and the Brahmanical Sanatan Dharma and its value operates.
I had travelled to Nepal as a political activist but not as a scholar who got trained in prestigious global institutions like Oxford University and School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) where Nepal is taught “scholarly”. The place I was trained as a student of sociology like other Indian universities has no tradition of knowing Nepal other than looking at Nepal from Prof. SD Muni’s security lenses.
I had studied Nepal with the token guidance of Prof. Avijit Pathak & Prof. Anand Kumar under the roof of the Centre for the Study of Social Systems/ School of Social Sciences.
I had travelled to Nepal as a dreamer who dreamt of a Socialist Nepal. The dream faded away and turned into something which I theorize thesis of “Cash Maoism” and this thesis is the necessary outcome of mechanical/ Brahmanical Marxism. So the idea of Brahmanical Marxism has two elements. One is obviously caste and since I am not a Tagadhari/ Sawarna and ritually lower caste (i.e., Shudra or to say incorrect political jargon language, an OBC, so I can say it loudly without any fear since I know I don’t have any career in Indian academic network). And another one is what Marathi self-made Marxist activist-scholar Sharad Patil calls -a socialist mindset. The second aspect of ideology is more important and this is what Nepali/ Indian Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties have not built since the days of delving into the mechanical “semi-feudal, semi-colonial thesis” and copy-paste techniques of revolution by waging Tebhaga, Telengana, Naxalbari, Jhapa armed struggles and decade-old Nepal’s Maoist Movement.
Three years ago (i.e., November 2018) while teaching at GLA University, Mathura I received a call from a Nepali Marxist/Dalit thinker Vishwabhakta Dulal aka Aahuti to translate a Nepali document of his proposed “Scientific Socialist Communist Party of Nepal” into Hindi. I translated it in mid-February, 2020 amid taking father to NIMHANS, Bangalore for treatment of his Parkinson disease.
In between I produced seven poems on critiquing his mixture of Ambedkar thought with Marxist notions by questioning his postmodern grasp of Nepali society, Maoism, feminism, using of NGO plate form in the interest of left politics and finally his notion of love. What I am trying to say is that though Aahuti belongs from the Dalit Community his mindset still operates in mechanical Marxist methodological framework, i.e., Brahmanical Marxism. He thinks that he can use my abilities and throw me in the dustbin as globe-trotting scholars of universities like JNU does to foot soldiers.
Aahuti never made me feel humane in my encounter with him. A sense of his intellectual ego always made me feel inhumane (though he is a poet & novelist too!!!) and he did not make any effort at all.
The notion of use & throw is a necessary element of Aahuti’s mechanical Marxist philosophy. Though, he call himself a Dalit thinker and at the same time a Marxist thinker. How can two things possible which are juxtaposed? Dalit Thinker is an Ambedkarite conceptual category. If Aahuti considers himself a Dalit thinker, then he accepts this idea that Tagadhari/ Sawarna thinkers also exist.
My friend and American Anthropologist Stephen Lawrence Mikesell use to say often that “look inside the category”.
The category of Dalit thinker believes that only one’s Dalit experience is truthful, so why the great Hindi progressive writer Premchand can not represent their voice and so do a materialist philosopher of 12th century’s Maharastra’s Chakradhar Swami. Swami belonged to the Brahman caste who believed that only two castes exist in Hindu society namely of “householders and recluses”. That way one can look into the misuse of a conceptual category called “revolution” in the context of Nepal. Both liberal and liberal- left Nepali/western scholars alike used this term without ever thinking that does this category makes sense looking at Nepal’s multiple revolutions; i.e., the revolution of the year 2007 VS (1951) when the Rana oligarchy was toppled down, People’s Movement-1 of 2046 VS (1990) when King controlled Panchayat system collapsed, & decade-old Maoist’s revolution of 2052 VS (1996) and People’s Movement-II of 2063 VS (2006) which was led by seven parties alliance with the support of CPN (Maoist).
In all these revolutions, it was the Indian state which paved the way for happening of these revolutions. But what transformation took place in actual Nepali society. The society remains inhumane and where my type of ‘rapists’ will be produced- reproduced and character of the state will eventually become highly reactionary. This intellectual understanding of theirs is sheer nonsense and superficial. This is my realization after producing two books on Nepal that all political projects adhering Marxist-Leninist-Maoist framework in Nepal (and in South Asia including India) necessarily got only one direction that is landing into dark caves. Their path is highly backward and lacks political imagination to make revolutionary projects successful.
In 2019, soon after, my first book titled “The Making of ‘Cash Maoism’ in Nepal: A Thabangi Perspective” got published, many unknown and some known activists /academic scholars /intellectuals started sending me friend requests on Facebook both from India and Nepal. I had a hard time accepting their request to become their friend and get attached to their world.
The social world of upper caste Marxist-Maoist-Feminists (i.e., Sapkota’s, Bhattarai’s, Parsaian’s, Bhumihar’s, Rajput’s, Adhikari’s, Sharma’s, Srivastava’s, Jha’s) or ritually lower caste Marxists alike (Janjati’s, Joshi’s, Shrestha’s, Yadava’s, Gurung’s, OBC’s, Dalit’s) had called me ‘rapist’ and so not humane at all in any sense. In 2019, the same is occurring after publishing my first poetry collection –“Ek Swaym Bhu Kavi ki Nepal Diary” in 2021. This is the same feeling that untouchable experiences, get humiliated and got inhumane treatment by the Brahmanical society day by day since of thousand years. So what happened, I began accepting and deleting their friend requests on Facebook.
I used to join Facebook, deactivate it and delete my account itself. And this phenomenon is recurring till now. Then organic intellectual inside me began complaining to my inner self and started murmuring that “Oh so! Do I have become intellectual now”?
But No, I have decided no until I get out from this feeling, I will not mingle with this world. But then my poet inside me begins complaining to my other-self which is still unborn. The publication of my poems of Nepal Diary and a forthcoming anthology titled “JNU” is based on this idea exposing the de-humanized worldview created by passionless technical scholars of many brands from liberals, left-liberal, radical left, feminists, Ambedkarite to mechanical Marxists/Maoist alike.
Can I theorize my experiences distilled in my poems and sociological writings written in broken English?
I don’t know really how to theorize my experiences of “not being treated humane” in a scholarly way and in a language full of academic jargon and in Capitalist English language! But that is a lifelong quest of a ‘rapist’ to become a Marxist. To my mind, Marxism is after all a philosophy of human liberation. It teaches well that how to become humane in a world of inhumane greed built by rapacious capitalism.
(Author is a poet and an independent Indian scholar of Nepali Sociology. He was trained as a political activist cum sociologist at the University of Allahabad & JNU and had been associated with India-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum from 2007 to 2010. He has published two books on the Nepali Maoist movement; “The Making of ‘Cash Maoism’ in Nepal: A Thabangi Perspective, Adarsh Books: New Delhi (2019)” and “Ek Swayam Bhu Kavi Ki Nepal Diary, Maitri Publication: Pune (2021).” He earns his livelihood by doing farming in his hometown Banda District, Uttar Pradesh, India. The views of the author are personal.)