Tarun Vijay’s take that people of South India are ‘black’ is not surprising

Tarun Vijay told Al Jazeera whatever he learnt sitting at the feet of his GURU. Incidentally, if Tarun had made such a racist comment in USA or Europe, he would have been behind bars.

Written by Shamsul Islam | Updated: April 21, 2017 4:16 pm
Racism, Hindutwa, Racism and Hindutwa, RSS, RSS Panchajanya, Hindutva politics in Tamil Nadu, Black people in Tamil Nadu, South indians, South indian racism, Attack on africans, Racists, Racial dicrimination, indian express news, indian express blog BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, a South Indian himself, responding to the comments of Tarun Vijay said that what latter said was wrong and “against the BJP’s ideology”. (Source: Express file photo by Cheena Kapoor)

The former editor of RSS Hindi organ, ‘Panchajanya’, a prominent ‘ideologue’ of the organization (in-charge of the RSS project of spreading Hindutva politics in Tamil Nadu), ex-member of the Rajya Sabha, who also heads India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group, has come out with another gem of wisdom. The Gulf-based news channel Al Jazeera sponsored an online discussion last week on the issue of racist attacks on Africans in different parts of India. Tarun featured in this show with two African students and an Indian photographer. While denying that attacks were racist but outcome of “bad behaviour” of some Indians, he made a comment about South Indians which amounted to define Indian society in terms of races; White Indians and Black Indians. While trying to prove that Indians were not racist he told the participants that “we live with blacks (South Indians), can’t be racist”. He went on to add to this wisdom that “If we were racist, why would we have the entire south, which is complete, you know, Tamil, you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra, why do we live with them? We have black people around us”.

Tarun’s take has two very serious repercussions. Firstly, it means that India is not one but divided into North and South Indias. Secondly, North Indians are White (or Aryans) whereas South Indians are Black (Dravidians) thus belonging to two different races. It also underlines superiority of North Indians who manage to live with Black Indians. Interestingly, Tarun by making this stand was corroborating the argument of Periyar that Brahmins of North had subjugated the Dravidians of South.

Naturally, such public expression of racial division ignited a huge controversy. BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, a South Indian himself, responding to these comments of Tarun said that what latter said was wrong and “against the BJP’s ideology”. Rao an RSS pracharak loaned to BJP was not telling truth. RSS ‘ideologue’ and BJP leader, Tarun Vijay’s take that people of South India are ‘Black’ is not surprising. RSS stands for Aryan supremacy and believes that only Hindus/Brahmins of North India are from that stock.

The most prominent ideologue of RSS and second Supremo, Guru Golwalkar while addressing a gathering of faculty and students of the School of Social Science of Gujarat University on December 17, 1960 shared the wisdom that Namboodri Brahmins from North India were sent to Kerala to improve breed of Hindus there. According to him:

“Today experiments in cross-breeding are made only on animals. But the courage to make such experiments on human beings is not shown even by the so-called modern scientist of today. If some human cross-breeding is seen today it is the result not of scientific experiments but of carnal lust. Now let us see the experiments our ancestors made in this sphere. In an effort to better the human species through cross-breeding the Namboodri Brahamanas [sic] of the North were settled in Kerala and a rule was laid down that the eldest son of a Namboodri family could marry only the daughter of Vaishya, Kashtriya or Shudra communities of Kerala. Another still more courageous rule was that the first off-spring of a married woman of any class must be fathered by a Namboodri Brahman and then she could beget children by her husband.” [Cited in the English organ of RSS, Organizer, January 2, 1961]

The above statement of Golwalkar is highly worrying in many respects. Firstly, it proves that Golwalkar believed that India had a superior Race or breed and also an inferior Race which needed to be improved through cross-breeding. Secondly, a more worrying aspect was his belief that Brahmans of the North (India) and specially Namboodri Brahamans, belonged to a superior Race. Due to this quality, Namboodri Brahamanas were sent from the North to Kerala to improve the breed of inferior Hindus there. Interestingly, this was being argued by a person who claimed to uphold the unity of Hindus world over. Thirdly, Golwalkar as a male chauvinist believed that a Namboodri Brahman male belonging to a superior Race from the North only could improve the inferior human Race from South. For him wombs of Kerala’s Hindu women enjoyed no sanctity and were simply objects of improving breed through intercourse with Namboodri Brahamanas who in no way were related to them. Thus, Golwalkar was, in fact, confirming the allegation that in the past male dominated high caste society forced newly-wedded women of other castes to pass their first nights by sleeping with superior caste males.

Astonishingly, Golwalkar expressed these racist, anti-women and anti-egalitarian ideas views not in the presence of some uneducated or lumpen crowd but before a noble gathering of gentry consisting of the faculty and students of a prime university in Gujarat. In fact, Golwalkar was welcomed by Dr. B. R. Shenoy, Director of the School while he arrived at the auditorium. The press reports make it clear that there was no murmur of protest against such fascist and ridiculous ideas. It shows the degree of respectability which high caste oratory enjoyed in Gujarat and explains why Hindutva could make inroads in this region.

So Tarun Vijay told Al Jazeera whatever he learnt sitting at the feet of his GURU. Incidentally, if Tarun had made such a racist comment in USA or Europe, he would have been behind bars.

Views expressed by the author are personal. Islam taught political science at the University of Delhi.

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