Untangling Hinduism: Liberation for South Asians?

November 14, 2020

I have taken this year to better understand what I mean by liberation and then begin to build the pieces to achieve it. It feels hypocritical — and exhausting — to be a harm reduction and racial justice community organizer demanding justice for all people marginalized by state violence if I don’t necessarily know what I’m fighting towards.

When I posed this quandary to my therapist in November 2019, she offered, “well, in order to understand what you’re fighting towards on a structural level, maybe we should start with what liberation looks like for you personally.” In deep monthly-long reflection I have learned that for me, liberation is an abundance of creating, loving, imagining, laughing, breathing, exploring, community, and perspective. Above all else, it is a process of looking inward where we will find that once again, the personal is intertwined with the political. Therefore, my desire to liberate personally must be intertwined with work to liberate from political oppression: both as oppressed and as oppressor.

In working towards personal and collective liberation I must learn of and from the liberators in my community of South Asians. In deep gratitude to Equality Labs and the Allied Media Conference, I better understand that to attain liberation I must join forces to abolish millennia-old system of Brahmanical patriarchal supremacy.

To humbly step back a moment — when I began my journey towards liberation I was deeply disconnected from my dominant caste roots and ancestral lineage. My relatively recent entre into unlearning caste supremacy has opened me up in ways I could never have imagined. I now have a newly forming web/container/community of fellow South Asians in the U.S. and Canada working towards liberation for all South Asians. A community of South Asians also navigating the waters of abolition and liberation work.

In abolition work we talk about what we don’t want, but it’s a process of creation and creativity.

Stated on November 14, 2020 by the facilitator of my Unlearning Caste Supremacy book club in reflecting on Chapter 1 of “Debrahmanising History: Dominance and Resistance in Indian Society” by Braj Ranjan Mani (Manohar: 2018).

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