In Defence of Hypocrisy

25 07 2007


On first reckoning this would seem a truly indefensible proposition. Not only does it fly in the face of the most basic common sense, it is an idea so seemingly audacious as not to even merit consideration. Hypocrisy, in contemporary life, has been raised to the status of the seven deadly sins. What could ever be the defence of an action that goes against the very principle which it professes? Read the rest of this entry »

How the Left got Caste Out (Understanding India 7)

18 07 2007


Assertion of caste identity has increasingly become the favoured mode of agitation for rights by the working people of India. In fact, there has been no significant class based agitation of the working people since the first half of the 1970s. This shift has been paralleled by the retreat of the Left led mass agitations as well as the retreat of the Left organisational growth into its governmental enclaves of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. This is not to deny the existence of various left led movements in various parts of the country, some of them successful too, but none of these have been able to leave a lasting impact either on long term State policy, nor on political correlations. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Caste Trumps Class (Understanding India 6)

4 07 2007


One of the central insights of Marxism is that it demonstrated the incompatibility of interests between those who own property and those who are property-less. The former are called Bourgeois while the latter are the Proletariat. The former is numerically small but controls large amounts of capital and property, while the large mass of property-less workers have no means of survival, other than to sell their labour power to the propertied. The workers, typically, own nothing of productive use but work on the machines owned by the capitalist and are paid a wage at the end of their labour. Without wage employment the workers would not survive. This necessity of selling their labour power to survive enslaves them to the capitalists, which explains the universal resonance of Marx’s famous exhortation, “Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains”. Read the rest of this entry »