Is being born a Brahmin in Tamil Nadu a curse?

Is being born a Brahmin in Tamil Nadu a curse?

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-04-20 09:10 Chennai: A majority of Brahmins in south India and for that matter, rest of India too, find themselves in a pitiable condition, orphaned almost in the face of aggressive dalit and OBC domination and exclusion from life, as it were.But the image portrayed of Brahmins is that of villainy even when those perpetuating atrocities against Dalits are non-Brahmins in most of the cases that have come to light in south India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular. That is the sad situation that the Brahmins find themselves in modern day India, where they have little or no scope and opportunities for betterment.In education, they find no place in professional colleges as merit has no place, and reservations means that much tougher for a Brahmin to get admission as the cut offs for them are very very high. But Brahmins constitute a miniscule minority of less than four per cent of Tamil Nadu population and many have migrated outside the state in search of opportunities and for livelihood as well. Since times immemorial, but even today they are blamed for the perceived “atrocities against the lower castes” and how the Dalits were denied education for centuries.This argument, of course, has serious holes in it. Modern education as we know that the Britishers brought to the country is roughly 200 years old. And the other education, vedic, that prevailed before the advent of the Britishers is practically of no use in today’s Modern aspirational India. Which is  why, only those Brahmins who could take advantage of the education that the Engilish rulers provided, to one and all without discrimination or equal discrimination of all, could make something of their lives, many migrating to foreign shores.Slowly but surely, the Brahmins are finding themselves on the margins of the society, that in the quest for social justice has forgotten completely about this “so-called high caste people who are economically  worst off in the society. In Tamil Nadu, as also in Andhra Pradesh, the plight of Brahmins is pitiable, with many families unable to afford to give education to their wards as it was not only costly as also it was impossible for their wards to secure admission, as reservation ensures that these “general” candidates are kept out.Which is why Brahmins in Tamil Nadu are getting a bit more organized and demanding reservation in jobs and education, so that those who are denied the opportunities now can get some justice.“It is a curse being born a Brahmin in Tamil Nadu,” declared Sve Shekhar, former MLA from Brahmin dominated constituency of Mylapore in Chennai. It is wrong to assume that Brahmins lead a life of comfort or are in a dominating position in the society.As this community does not figure in the calculations of any political party and has no political voice of its own, it is finding that it is getting more and more progressively marginalized.Unless economic criteria are made the only yardstick for reservations, the Brahmins will continue to suffer and live life on the fringes. “It is absolutely wrong to punish the grand son and great grandson of a Brahmin for the sins, if any, committed by forefathers and ancestors. This goes against the grain of natural justice and the Constitution,” the popular film comedian and now BJP member said.A section of the Brahmin community in Tamil Nadu  has come together to float a political party – Anthanar Munnetra Kazhagam – which has now enlisted some 15,000 members across the state. At its meeting held in Chennai the other day, the political party demanded 3 per cent reservations in jobs and education.There is a growing body of public opinion, at least among the Brahmin community, that they must be given protection from harassment and ridicule that they are often subjected to. Which is why, there are many takers for S Jayaprakash Iyer, president, AMK’s demand for a special law to protect Brahmins and save from the humiliation and physical attacks they undergo.There is genuine substance in the Brahmin community’s demand for strict action against those who abuse Brahmins. I am quoting the resolution adopted by the AMK at its meeting in Chennai recently said “Those who are abusing Brahmins ( Media, cinema, Televisions and daily news papers) should be arrested and a case should be filed under the National security Act.”In another resolution the new political party said  “It is the right of the Brahmins to keep hair style as per tradition, wearing of sacred thread  ( POONAL). Any political party or persons acting against such traditions should be banned by the government.”But one wonders whether there will be any takers for this minuscule minority and address its genuine grievances?