Daily Archives: April 17, 2008

brahmins-dalits of modern india!!!!!!!!

At a time when the Congress government wants to raise the quota for
Other Backward Classes to 49.5 per cent in private and public sectors,
nobody talks about the plight of the upper castes. The public image of
the Brahmins, for instance, is that of an affluent, pampered class.
But is it so today?
Doctors in arms
There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of
them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome
public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the
elitist image that Brahmins have!
There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to
Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they
were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in
majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and
Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.
At Ground Zero of the quota protests
Did you know that you also stumble upon a number of Brahmins working
as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations? One of them, Kripa Shankar
Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he
is not sure if she will secure a job.
“Dalits often have five to six kids, but they are confident of placing
them easily and well,” he says. As a result, the Dalit population is
increasing in villages. He adds: “Dalits are provided with housing,
even their pigs have spaces; whereas there is no provision for
gaushalas (cowsheds) for the cows of the Brahmins.”
The middle class deserves what it is getting
You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel
Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have
moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment
opportunities and poor education in their villages.
Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari,
two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends
meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day
from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs
500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to
4 people or their families.
Did you also know that most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins?
Do our institutes connect with the real India?
This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics.
Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside
Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar
assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the
Yadavs.
400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri
Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in
refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who
gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.
And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic
help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin
community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J
Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all
purohits live below the poverty line.
Eighty per cent of those surveyed stated that their poverty and
traditional style of dress and hair (tuft) had made them the butt of
ridicule. Financial constraints coupled with the existing system of
reservations for the ‘backward classes’ prevented them from providing
secular education to their children.
Who are the real Dalits of India?
In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in
the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins
being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin
students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age
group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary
level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.
The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the
poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45
per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be
below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute
Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.
There is no reason to believe that the condition of Brahmins in other
parts of the country is different. In this connection it would be
revealing to quote the per capita income of various communities as
stated by the Karnataka finance minister in the state assembly:
Christians Rs 1,562, Vokkaligas Rs 914, Muslims Rs 794, Scheduled
castes Rs 680, Scheduled Tribes Rs 577 and Brahmins Rs 537.
Appalling poverty compels many Brahmins to migrate to towns leading to
spatial dispersal and consequent decline in their local influence and
institutions. Brahmins initially turned to government jobs and modern
occupations such as law and medicine. But preferential policies for
the non-Brahmins have forced Brahmins to retreat in these spheres as
well.
Caste shouldn’t overwrite merit
According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of
Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment
rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins
are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of
families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in
various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).
Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced
to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which
Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being
ridiculed and disrespected.
At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is
Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one
measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs
2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’
reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu
priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.
The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC
and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress
quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other
government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing
Indian society for garnering votes.
From the Indian Express: ‘These measures will not achieve social justice’
The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for
salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj
subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes.
As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper
castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today,
seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.
How reservations fracture Hindu society
Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu
circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries,
Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different
hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably
Hinduism.
So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper
castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

source:Francois Gautier


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