Why We Are Not Hindus


Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2015

144 pages

Price INR 225.00

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In this book Jal claims that "Hinduism" itself is not something indigenous to India, but a colonial import created by the Western Orientalists and the Indian Brahmanical elites, that the Indian nationalists  unwittingly used in their political repertoire, post-1857. According to him, the recent attempts to make secular and democratic India into a mythical and phantasmagorical "Hindu Rashtra" is a sign of economic and cultural subjugation, as well as a sign of rising fascism and the complete destruction of the very idea of India. Indian fascism, so Jal claims, has grown from the terrible seed of caste divided society combined with neo-liberal policies that the Indian elites have been pursuing for the last two decades. Caste, according to him, has to be understood as: (1) enclosed and deformed class appearing as a clannish system, even as a type of gang and clique that restricts all forms of democracy, (2) a form of racism that propagates hatred, and (3) as "neurosis-psychosis" which destroys all forms of critical thinking. This book then advances for a radical form of articulating revolutionary politics based on the "Marxist-Ambedkarite" critique of caste that attacks both caste and neo-liberal capitalism. It argues for a different understanding of Indian history based on Marx's original account of the Asiatic mode of production with caste as the foundation of this mode.  This book is a consequent scientific synthesis of Marx and Ambedkar. It claims that if the philosophy of Ambedkar is not understood, then democracy will be impossible in India. Why we are Not Hindus also claims that  fascism in India will have to be fought with the philosophy of Marxist-Ambedkarism. It also talks of a new India wherein will bloom the million flowers of real democracy.

Murzban Jal

Murzban Jal is Professor at the Centre for Educational Studies, Indian Institute of Education, Pune and author of the Seductions of Karl Marx, Zoroastrianism: From Antiquity to the Modern Period and The New Militants. Jal is both a classical Marxist and as well as a Freudian critical theorist who bases his research on Marx and Freud's theories of alienation in the late capitalist society. Then he combines the Marxist theory of objectification of humanity with Freud's theory of Neurosis and Psychosis. His recent claim is that the old stages theory of Psycho-Analysis where Neurosis and Psychosis are divided into two distinct stages of mental illness is now redundant. Instead, he claims that both Neurosis and Psychosis are integrated as neurosis-psychosis. Combining the understanding of the neurosis-psychosis as the new disorder of contemporary society, he argues for a model of mass politics where the idea of humanity as humanity is kept at the centre of an alternative society where the programme of de-alienating humanity is hurled as a new philosophical and scientific discourse.