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Monday, February 22, 2010

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell


This is one of the greatest articles ever written on writing. Not that even in my dreams I could aspire to conform to great Orwell's well-argued rules, but nevertheless I consider this piece is inspiring and revealing. 

Suddu has come to a point where he should give up his arcane academic prose and settle for less frightening but more communicative forms of writing. I advised him- I don't have the superstitious belief that you have to follow the things you preach to others - to read and follow this article. He, in his Emperor-like way, asked me to send it to him. I am posting it here.  


George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.
These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad -- I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen -- but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that i can refer back to them when necessary:
    1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.
      Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression)
    2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder .
      Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossa)
    3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity?
      Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)
    4. All the "best people" from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.
      Communist pamphlet
    5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream -- as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as "standard English." When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens!
      Letter in Tribune
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more ofphrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose construction is habitually dodged:
Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning withouth those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.
Operators or verbal false limbs. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and so forth.
Pretentious diction. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic color, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i.e., e.g., and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers.* The jargon peculiar to

*An interesting illustration of this is the way in which English flower names were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, Snapdragon becoming antirrhinumforget-me-not becoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific.

Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.
Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.† Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in

† Example: Comfort's catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness . . .Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bull's-eyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bittersweet of resignation." (Poetry Quarterly)

the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, "The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality," while another writes, "The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness," the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal P├ętain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Here it is in modern English:
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations -- race, battle, bread -- dissolve into the vague phrases "success or failure in competitive activities." This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing -- no one capable of using phrases like "objective considerations of contemporary phenomena" -- would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyze these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of ninety syllables: eighteen of those words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase ("time and chance") that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.
As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier -- even quicker, once you have the habit -- to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry -- when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech -- it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash -- as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot -- it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip -- alien for akin -- making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In (4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink. In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning -- they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another -- but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: 1. Could I put it more shortly? 2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

A Dalit Activist's Fascist thinking

This is a response to a Dalit activist's theoretical musings. I inserted my comments in red fonts in Shrikant Borker's response to a mail informing of the cut-up of the elected canditdates to the Students Union elections at Tata Instituate of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Please find the original mail and then Mr. Borkar's comments and then my response to it at the end.
CBP

On 18 February 2010 04:53, shweta barge wrote:

Jaibhim all of you !!!


Here I take opportunity to heartily congratulate and celebrate the HISTORY which students have carved in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai STUDENT UNION ELECTIONS.

This is the first time in STUDENT UNION of TISS where all members belong to Dalit, Tribe and Minorities.


President : ST
Vice-Prez: SC
Gen.Sec : SC
Treasure : Minority women
Cultural Sec : SC
Literary Sec : ST
Sports Sec : ST.

This success is a huge victory for us and a pioneer of building more self esteem and our say in TISS campus. This has happened first time in history of TISS.

I humbly congratulate all those students, faculties, alumni, well wishers without whom this victory would not be possible.


Love n Faith,

Ms. Shweta Barge
MSW,
TISS,Mumbai. Responding to this mail Shrikant Borkar wrote the following mail. 


Why separate terms Dalit and Tribes ?
Dear Shweta,
Hearty Congratulations on this achievements at TISS, however I am confused about your usage of terms Dalits and Tribes ? 
Do you mean that tribal are not Dalit and vice versa ? Is it possible for us to reach or evolve some comprehensive 'term' signifying the common victims of Brahiminical Social structure and exploitative system,with due consideration to the degree and context of degradation and victimization in our Indian society.
No person thinking on the lines of Ambedkrite nationalistic perceptions would agree to call himself Dalit if it is breaking him away from rest of the common victims of antagonistic anti-national brahminical design, even if it is drawing her/him some economical and  political benefits.
The term Shakti used 'Bahujan' is good to start with. However, even the 'Bahujan' term should not be adulterated with 'Dalit-Bahujan'  or more confusing ' Mulniwasi-Bahujan' as 'Dalit' is inherent in Bahujan and Bahujan is essential component of 'Mulniwasi'.
Here if some intellectual makes a critique of it and says that it is political term and is value leaden, not proper social scientifically, then my question would be 'What is political and apolitical ? I would ask 'is social devoid of political ?' And those who are little read in politics of knowledge, epistemology or politics of pedagogy would know what I mean.
Drawing on the lines of Shakti 'that our ancestors were  once ruler of this country', in the wake of recent massive misappropriation and hijacking of even term 'Bahujan', which has been interpolated by RSS that hindus means Bahujan and Muslims means 'Alpajans' , I would propose that 'Mulniwasi' would be highly appropriate term to use for all of us who have been stigmatized, degraded and ostracized in some way or another by Brahminical Culture and religion.
As it is one of the universal phenomenon which results from the conflict between  protagonist and antagonist groups i.e. the degradation and stigmatization or name calling of each other. Hence, it proves that, it could be concluded that all those communities which are socially considered low like OBCs, excluded like STs and stigmatized like SCs  including the Muslims and Christian and recent convert Buddhists from all these communities must have been at odd with main stream Hinduism aka Brahminical social structure and hence they were degraded.
This warrants a practical  solution and  comprehensive term which will represent the pan-Indian common victims to raise common conscience against their arch enemy.
And I am quite confident that 'Mulniwasi' is the term which satisfies the crucial-social-political need of our emancipatory movement.
Yours in struggle for equality and fraternity
Shri





On 20 February 2010 04:46, Shrikant Borkar wrote:

Why separate terms Dalit and Tribes ? I too feel one single word, Dalit, is enough when we are not particularly talking about issues specific to SCs or STs. But, this should not be at the cost of sidelining the tribal issues. When the greatest combined attack on Tribal lives and livelihood was launched- taking away tribal lands,- and when it encountered problems- the Indian government started first taking tribals away from their lands so that giving away their land to corporations and wealthy sections will be easy. When all of this is happening- it is ongoing and increasing- "Dalit" leaders don't seem to remember that tribals are dalits. Dalit leaders are not at the forefront of the struggle against uprooting and killing and mass raping of tribals. They are not even writing petitions against it holding protest in cities, let alone organizing tribal resistance. We should use Dalit to refer to both Tribals and SCs as long as we don't consider Tribal issues are the area of NGOs, Naxals and Government.

Dear Shweta,

Hearty Congratulations on this achievements at TISS, however I am confused about your usage of terms Dalits and Tribes ?

Do you mean that tribal are not Dalit and vice versa ? Is it possible for us to reach or evolve some comprehensive 'term' signifying the common victims of Brahiminical Social structure and exploitative system,with due consideration to the degree and context of degradation and victimization in our Indian society.

No person thinking on the lines of Ambedkrite nationalistic What is this? Why should we be nationalists? We should be internationalists. Solidarity and a capacity for siding with the all suffering peoples and catagaries irrespective their place of origin or residence should be part of our politics. Era of progressive nationalisms is over. What we now have here is a fascist form of nationalism. perceptions would agree to call himself Dalit if it is breaking him away from rest of the common victims of antagonistic anti-national brahminical design, even if it is drawing her/him some economical and political benefits. "Brahmins" could be accused of anything but anti-nationalism. They played an important part in the ideology of nationalism and probably the biggest beneficiaries of it.

The term Shakti used 'Bahujan' is good to start with. However, even the 'Bahujan' term should not be adulterated with 'Dalit-Bahujan' or more confusing ' Mulniwasi-Bahujan' as 'Dalit' is inherent in Bahujan and Bahujan is essential component of 'Mulniwasi'. This simply means that we should not use the word Dalit even. Why? You seem to suggest, though don't argue clearly, that since the idea of Bahujan is inclusive of Dalits, the very word Dalit is divisive.

Here if some intellectual makes a critique of it and says that it is political term and is value leaden, not proper social scientifically, then my question would be 'What is political and apolitical ? I would ask 'is social devoid of political ?' And those who are little read in politics of knowledge, epistemology or politics of pedagogy would know what I mean. I don't know enough about these things either. But, I think common sense, and reasoning any of us can afford, is enough to settle these matters of terminology. First, you argue that Tribe idenity should be absorbed into Dalit, then you further prescribe the absorption of Dalit into bigger Bahujan identity.

Drawing on the lines of Shakti 'that our ancestors were once ruler of this country', Our ancestors are NOT rulers of the country. First it is not historically accurate to see a single ruling community or cluster of communities through out the history. Second, there was no "country" in the first place until very recently- say later period of colonialism. Even if any of our ancestors were rulers, we should be ashamed of that. Not proudly remember it. We should track that history if we were ever rulers and apologize for atrocities we must have committed and exploitation we must have perpetrated. in the wake of recent massive misappropriation and hijacking of even term 'Bahujan', which has been interpolated by RSS that hindus means Bahujan and Muslims means 'Alpajans', I would propose that 'Mulniwasi' would be highly appropriate term to use for all of us who have been stigmatized, degraded and ostracized in some way or another by Brahminical Culture and religion. Though a moment ago argued like a quasi-RSS person in mentioning nationalism as a positive thing, it is good to hear that you too oppose their designs of appropriating these labels. But what you are proposing is an equally false catagory called Mulnivasi.

As it is one of the universal phenomenon which results from the conflict between protagonist and antagonist groups i.e. the degradation and stigmatization or name calling of each other. Hence, it proves that, it could be concluded that all those communities which are socially considered low like OBCs, excluded like STs and stigmatized like SCs including the Muslims and Christian and recent convert Buddhists from all these communities must have been at odd with main stream Hinduism aka Brahminical social structure and hence they were degraded.

This warrants a practical solution and comprehensive term which will represent the pan-Indian common victims to raise common conscience against their arch enemy. We don't need 'comprehensive' words when the purpose is not comprehensive. For political purposes, to forge a broad coalition of forces of all victims of Hindu order, there is nothing wrong in highlighting Bahujan idenity. But it doesn't have to erase or reject the specificity of Dalit identity. Elections and activities related to securing enough votes is only on sphere of our lives. We want to retain our specific identities in many walks of our lives. Just because we ask for votes we have no right to ask people to give up their identities unless we find any inhuman elements in it. We ask Brahminal people to give up some elements of their identities because they humiliate others and de-humanise themselves. My Dalit identity or Bahunjan identity or even my mala(caste) identity are not such and I don't want to give them up. Can anybody write a 'Bahujan' novel set in a village? Impossible.

And I am quite confident that 'Mulniwasi' is the term which satisfies the crucial-social-political need of our emancipatory movement. I am afraid, this is a most dangerous idea. It is doubly fascist. First it is based on the argument that other identities are to be just deleted because we want to achieve majority votes and seats in politics. Why should anybody want to sacrifice their painstakingly constructed and defended identities? The very idea of coalition is DIFFERENT forces coming together for COMMON MINIMUM goals. Second fascist idea is linking 'origin' to identity. 'Mulnivasi' means autochtonous or at least aboriginal. It is not wrong to talk in those terms when Colonials occupied them and ousted them and denied the survivors any right to live as equal partners of society. But, the idea of rights has nothing to with the place. It is, and must be, based on the idea that each individual is a human being therefore entitled to human rights. Dear Shrikant, you are appropriating the same RSS arguments and reasoning but luckily you are on our side. We should reject not only the authority of the Brahmanical forces but also their ways of thinking. I request you look in that direction.

Waiting for your response,


Chittibabu Padavala, Chennai







Yours in struggle for equality and fraternity

Shri