Post Sepoy Revolution, British and western intellectuals had developed two strategies to attack Bharat.
- The Hindu -Muslim Religious devide
- Anthropological differences ( imagined and real) applied to hinduism- with focus to hindu castes popularized as ‘untouchables’.
Gandhi’s work can be viewed as having blunted vicious attacks on these fronts – As he walked through dead and saw religious violence, with misery and pain overpowering even the giants, Gandhi’s focus was to reclaim non-violence. The alternative – destructive specter of creation ‘land of pures’ couldn’t have been a victory – unless one withdrew into a cocoon with a fairy Janat reserved for the martyr.
More violence, would have meant more muslim votes for Jinnah, thats a practical difficulty. There Gandhi Failed, when it mattered, his opponents – the left and british helped Jinnah win.
In another front, British had taken little too much, probably buoyed by exploiting linguistic issues into racial ones (as in meaning of Dravidian as a race) in Tamilnadu. The Brahmins, now described as a race, were attacked by the british intellectuals in other parts of India, even though linguistic differences were not as prominent in tamilnadu. Here the europian mode of attack started with social arguments, leading away from Bharat towards ideas of racial history – racial history as developed in europe.
Gandhi never attacked the historical, anthropological or racial ideas of british – then called scintific ideas .However Gandhi blew the social argument by accepting it. He created a big brand around ‘Harijan’ , without calling for a Jihad on Brahmins – the priest of hindus. While British succeeded with Jinnah, here they failed with Ambedkar.
Therefore ‘Harijan’ is quite a big Gandhian approach to complex mundane issues, as much as Hindu-Muslim religious co-existence without distrust to create a ‘land of pure’. With the focus on non-violence, truthfulness , the Gandhian universe was free from the world of perpetual revolution, or a historical one bound by burden of civillization. The Gandhian Bharat was quite an inspiring place.
In the social justice era, This social argument has been re-integrated with original colonial anthropological theme, as well as understanding of civilization- spread through linear dimensions of purpose and history . Morality of non-violence can quite be sacrificed for revolution. Truthfulness for politics and a relativism. Imagination is better captured by revolution and hope.
It is understandable , Now it time for ‘Harijan’ to go.
The word ‘Harijan’ is banned from use from Odisha state assembly in India, instead they would use the term Dalit . As far as colonialist and europeans are concerned, ‘Harijan’ had killed the potential to spread european tales of racial history and burden of civilization. ‘Harijan’ got quota, but Jinnah’s pakisthan took on a different magnitude of denial- revalidating the burden of civilization- as far as hindus are concerned.