A major development out of the US is that caste has been mapped as race, which has become the basis for developing Critical Caste Theory. The Afro-Dalit movement that was in its nascent stages when discussed in the book, Breaking India, has now matured and solidified into a robust movement.
This is not a fringe movement. The American TV host, Oprah Winfrey actively promoted Isabel Wilkerson’s book, Caste: T e Origins of Our Discontent, promoting this thesis. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Harvard actively promotes Wilkerson’s work to its student body. It is extremely well written for the mainstream and argues in an authoritative tone that caste is the underlying structure that has created racism worldwide.…
Critical Race Theory opposes meritocracy based on science and rationality, seeing these structures as a way to perpetuate White privilege. This argument has been turned into a movement starting from Harvard by Prof. Ajantha Subramanian through her influential book The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India, attacking the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). She argues that the IITs have institutionalized racism in the form of casteism that oppresses the minorities, especially the Dalits.
Harvard’s Dalit poster boy, Suraj Yengde, is the most vocal, and high-profile, Afro-Dalit. He uses the oppressor/oppressed frameworks of CRT to interpret Indian society in every institution. Chapter 5 discusses his vicious attacks on Brahmins, Hinduism, and everything related to the Indian civilization. He has mirrored the entire Black movement to form a corresponding Dalit movement. There is Dalit Heritage Month similar to Black Heritage Month. There is a Dalit Lives Matter movement mirroring the Black Lives Matter movement. Like the Black Panther party, there is now the Dalit Panthers organization, and so forth. Yengde is senior fellow at the powerful Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.….
Just as Black Americans have been officially declared a ‘protected class’ under American law, so also Dalits are being championed to become a protected class. The effect is that one can neither question nor challenge whatever a Dalit leader says in the US for fear of legal action or public shaming.
According to Critical Race Theory, the lived experiences of oppressed groups override any objective evidence or logic. The stories of this lived experience must become the basis for developing the counter-hegemony to fight the structures of oppression. Our concern is that by insulating this very lived experience from scrutiny, analysis, criticism, or refutation, one creates greater distance between communities. This exacerbates conflicts, rather than helping people unite at a higher level of consciousness. Also, this prevents Dalits from achieving excellence because they end up seeing themselves as perpetual victims that are dependent on reparations.
In the weaponization of Critical Race Theory for India, any group that can be convinced to oppose Indian civilization is a useful ally and is given the status of a victim. Besides the Dalits, the most important among them are the Indian Muslims and the LGBTQ+communities. Once these victim identities are crystallized, they are weaponized to dismantle the structures, and provoked to attack in all directions. …