ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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scheduled tribes federation. The hypothesis is never proved, it need only be asserted, and repeated a number of times. That is supposed to give it the status of an axiom, and honourable names are besmirched beyond measure. The hatchet job is pursued with a singleminded zeal. Thus a passage is quoted from the manifesto of the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha, the organisation Sahajanand Saraswati had succeeded in setting up, building block by building block, through long years of travail: "A peasant is known as a grihastha, a person who earns his livelihood by cultivation and agriculture, be he a petty landlord, raiyat or labourer working on wages for ploughing fields." One would have thought that this was a pretty comprehensive, all- embracing definition, excluding none, and suggesting that whoever toils in the field, whatever his or her caste alignment, belongs to the peasantry. But no. our radicals know better. The Swami's Kisan Sabha specifically excluded the peasantry belonging to the lower castes, the majority of whom were presumably landless. On what basis is this conclusion arrived at? Why, everybody knows grihastha has an exclusive connotation, it covers only those belonging to the upper castes and therefore peasants of lower echelons are left out. (".. grihastha has a definite caste connotation and only those from the upper castes are grihasthas.") Once more, the hypothesis is the evidence. There is just one additional piece of information offered: the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha had supposedly expressed itself against granting land rights to traditional agricultural labourers belonging to the inferior castes. No document is cited where this important policy principle was adumbrated by the Kisan Sabha. For all one knows, this too could be a presumption on the part of those who swear by the radicalism of castes.

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