Friday, May 26, 2006

The Rising Caste of Education
I have nothing personal against the C ongress government or Mr. Arjun Singh, but I do feel that the Congress is following the tried and tested British formula of Divide and Rule. 27% reservation for backward communities is the burning issue right now. It has got more prominence than Amir's Fanaa and Sachin's shoulder injury. Merit is what counts if you go on making reservations how do you expect to produce quality students who will become top-notch professionals. Everyone talks about M.B.C., O.B.C., S.C./S.T., but what about the students belonging to the Forward Communities. Brilliant F.C. students with aspirations to become engineers and doctors often end up doing B.Sc. and B.Com. courses.
We talk of providing more money and better jobs for people of backward communities. I will provide some statistics here, which will provide the true picture.
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?...Did you know that you 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 villa ges. 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.".. .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 cares 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 ridicu le. Financial constraints coupled with the existing system of reservations for the 'backward classes' prevented them from providing secular education to their children. ...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....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.' T he destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.
Now after reading this, tell me who is the exploited community. Karunanidhi is bound to make the lives of the priests even worse. He has decided to pass a legislation that people belonging to any community can perform the duties of a priest. I shall present some facts here:
Do you think only Brahmins perform pujas in Tamil Nadu, think again you are wrong. The Gurukal community who are not exactly Brahmins but coming under F.C. perform pujas, many temples have Brahmins as pujaris too. Now there are numerous small Amman temples (Goddess Shakti in her various forms) where people belonging to the backward communities and even many women perform pujas. If you do not believe me enroute to Chennai Central railway station on Pallavan Salai there are two Amman temples parallel to each other. In one of these temples a lady does puja on most of the days. Similarly there are many temples across the state whwere the so called "underprivileged people" perform pujas.

There is no harm in learning or studying the Vedas but to forcefully impress your ideologies of Anti-Brahminism on the people of the state whom you govern is nothing short of absolute dictatorship. These people have to realise that Brahmins have contributed a lot to the growth of this country. Some great luminaries like Rajaji, Ramanujam, Sir C.V. Raman belong to the F.C.
Coming back to the issue of student quotas why can't they provide scholarships for those students from the backward communities. In the end it is the middle-class student from the forward community who suffers the most marks do not mean everything any longer you should be born a shudra to succeed in India. I personally feel that this trend will make a Brahmin feel -"It is a curse to be born a Brahmin in India."
This Remandalisation is going to destroy the economic and social progress of this country. God made man and man made Religion. Caste system was based on the profesion that followed in the Aryan period. Slowly it became a symbol of power and and agression and then it became hereditary. It has become so deep-rooted in our culture that it has become an accepted part of our lives. I believe that in most of India except for some distant villages the curse of Untouchability has been removed. A few yers back it was announced that people who converted to Christianity would be given the same facilities given as people from SC/ST communities. This resulted in mass conversion and whole villages in Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Karnataka became complete Christian communities.
The protest of doctors continues throughout the country, but this government wants to make us slaves. Oh Lord when shall this country become self-sufficient and free of the narrow dreary corridoors of doom called casteism? Please post your comments and give me your opinion on this topic.

1 comment:

Sukumari said...

Very, very well researched and written. I am impressed mahesh, keep it up. I am with you on this subject. Once the sc/st were sidelined and exploited. Now it it's the forward class. i am not a brahmin, nor a sc/st. i am a saiva pillai, which makes me a forward class. Yet I am in the same boat and so are many like you and me, for no fault of ours. I absolutely believe that resevation should be for the economically underpriveleged, not just for people of any caste or community. You gave a voice to the feelings of many like me. Good job.

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