In a way, Brahmins should be thankful to Jack Dorsey. Either knowingly or unknowingly, CEO of Twitter was successful in bringing out one fact that was hidden from the public eye. The fact is Brahmins have become backward. Yes, this is now a fact.
Had Anna Vetticad known that her rebellious act of promoting ‘Smashing Brahminical Patriarchy’ would only result in proving to the world how backward the community is, perhaps she might not have done it. After all, it was not her intention to help the community, and she may not know exactly what she wanted.
Many in the media and social circles see Twitter backtracking shows the might of Brahminical Power. That is pure nonsense. Barkha Dutt had already exposed how hypocritical Twitter was in going back and apologizing for the act. While many Brahmins with less IQ celebrate Twitter apology as an indication of their power, the ones who understand this phenomenon could realize the fall and fall of self-esteem in the community.
Brahmins may be about 5% in total Indian population. Why don’t they feel backward, at least those who live in poverty?
Most Brahmins of this generation claim that Varna, i.e., caste is not inherited but based on the character and skill set of a person true in theory (but this theory is absent in practice). But, we have not seen this in practice since ages. Many learned men of low caste faced social exclusion. I considered Abdul Kalam as the last Brahmin. How many would agree with me? Maybe a few. Try to say Ambedkar, by virtue of his knowledge was a Brahmin. You will immediately face a backlash from the Dalit community and be accused of ‘appropriating his legacy.’ So, for all practical purposes, Caste is now inherited.
I want to quote a text that represents what most of the Brahmins say, that many of us also poor. “There were many different sorts of Brahmins; some whispered into the ears of kings, but others were dirt poor and begged for their food every day.” The irony is this phrase was from the book on Hindus by Wendy Doniger who was criticized by many Brahmins. It is a reality that Brahmins were never considered themselves backward – in social or other spheres, despite being poor. And, that superiority complex is what has vanished or slowly vanishing now.
What is socially backwardness? The feeling a set of people feel when they were not included in all social functions? Or the feeling a set of people feel that they are denied opportunities to enhance their standard of living (from education to jobs to business)? Brahmins may be about 5% in total Indian population. Why don’t they feel backward, at least those who live in poverty? Funnily, it is Brahmins engaged in traditional priest jobs in the temples who remained poor. For a temple priest (unless the temple is one of that money making one), it is difficult to get a bride. In the south, even if one is rich, it is difficult to get a bride because the bride wants only a software engineer working in Seattle.
Knowledge increases confidence, and when the confidence is used to compare with others, it results in having a superiority complex. So, the poor Brahmin starve and die within the walls of his house but could not venture to do a job which he feels lower than his ‘calibre.’ That false feeling propels Brahmin parents to push their kids to the extreme so they can live better than the parents. This self-pride (one may choose to call it ‘false-prestige’) might be the result of generations of enjoying ‘respect’ from the society.
For the rich Brahmin who controls the King, everyone else is a subordinate being, including poor Brahmins and here it is not his ‘caste’ or his ‘wisdom’ that influences him to think himself ‘superior,’ but the proximity to the ‘power.’ On the other hand, the poor priest who lives on teaching/agriculture/priesthood empathizes with people belonging to all social classes. So are some aristocratic Brahmins, who believed and worked for the society.
Who would respect a Brahmin who sips Whiskey and preaches on protecting Dharma? The continuous erosion of superiority complex was simply replaced by the new found arrogance and strength based on the grouping.
And, irrespective of their economic condition, they did enjoy certain social status. Why? It was because they did enforce a strict code of conduct on themselves. The discipline tempered by years of rituals ensured them to remain morally incorrupt and despite few greedy, debauch exploiters, Brahmins were respected only because of this.
And, whoever felt Brahmin women were exploited by their male counterparts are simply wrong and might be considering the exceptions as a norm. Brahmin children were disciplined not by their fathers but by their mothers. Inside the house, it is the Brahmin lady who rules though she may accommodate her husband when in public. While the matriarchy of Kerala was simply an extension of Brahmin women running the households, it is a custom to have the immobile property in the name of the lady of the house and is followed even today.
The Indian obsession of Gold arose only from the way how Brahmin women liked to store the yellow metal that can be used at any time for the family. Stocking Gold was insurance against any future problems because of the liquidity and continuously increasing value. It was the mothers of Brahmin children who ensured their children entered into IITs and became Civil Servants when the reservations were enforced in Tamilnadu half a century ago. Despite all the odds they faced, it was the strength that Brahmins drew from the ‘superiority complex’ they could not only survive, but even flourish. The same is true about Brahmin women from either Pune or Bengal or any other part of India. They remained the source of strength for the family and not the other way around.
Earlier, when Brahmins were ridiculed, they never felt they were being victimized. One can call a Brahmin “Arre Pandit” or “Aye Pattar” and get away with it. One is a backward only when one considers himself backward. The superiority complex of Brahmins made them capable of laughing at their bullies and ignore them. Even the British could rule almost the world as long as they felt superior to others.
The result of Adharma is not immediate; it is slow but definite and would eradicate it from the roots affecting generations. After all, we are a nation believing in Karma and Karma Phala. Yes?
What changed now? Over the last four decades, the internal discipline in Brahmin households has reduced. The continuous talk of how reservations affected Brahmins (really?) had slowly softened the psyche of the average Brahmin and Brahmins started flocking to each other. It is a social norm that the strong remain highly individualistic while the weak group together. As they are slowly disowning the rituals that gave strength to their ancestors, new age Brahmins have just become like the rest of the society. The lack of respect to the community in general slowly eroded the superiority complex. And for this, Brahmins have only themselves to blame. In the quest for riches, they forgot it was never the money that earned respect, but morality. Who would respect a Brahmin who sips Whiskey and preaches on protecting Dharma? The continuous erosion of superiority complex was simply replaced by the new found arrogance and strength based on the grouping. And, that was the reason, this group has responded ferociously to the “Smash Brahminical Patriarchy.” Yes, at group level it is a strength. But, at the same time, it shows the weakness of individuals. And, that was the reason I believe Brahmins have finally become a backward class. It is the inferiority complex of a group that makes them backward and not the bullying by other classes. It is true for any community and class.
Manish Tewari compared Brahmins to the Jews of Nazi era and said they need to learn to live with the fact that Brahminism will be criticized and ridiculed. Many Brahmins wonder why they are at the receiving end even if their ancestors exploited others. They need to go back to Manu Smriti, which many standbys. The result of Adharma is not immediate; it is slow but definite and would eradicate it from the roots affecting generations. After all, we are a nation believing in Karma and Karma Phala. Yes?
What Manish Tewari forgot to add was even after losing a quarter of their population, Jews could create a sovereign country for them and made Israel a robust nation. Similarly, Japanese too rebuilt their country from the nuclear ashes and ruled the world economically for decades. Why? Because of the self-discipline, they enforced on them. Anyone (person or community) who can have such self-discipline would taste success. Not only Brahmins may all Indians rise to the occasion and progress in coming times.
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