By Ritesh Nair

Brahmins the neglected

Look at these news facts. All 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins-traditionally the task of the lowest of the lowest caste-and that this noble institution was started by a brahmin, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. The Art of Living Foundation conducted workshops for all coolies of the Delhi railway station, many of whom were brahmins. Don’t you think these stories can make up good news in the media?

Not for Secular Media

Journalist Vishva Mitrah recalls, “We expected the story to hit the headlines soon and be taken up by the entire press, hungry for something different than the strike of the medicos, or Arjun Singh’s adamant attitude. But nothing happened. We called them day after day, proposed some more data, but still no story came out. Then one of the young journalists, working for one of the largest media outfits in India told us off the record that the sub-editor, backed by the editor, had killed the story in true journalistic freedom. The second scenario we encountered was stone silence: the star anchors, bureau chiefs, editors of national English newspapers whom I personally contacted, either did not return my calls or were evasive. Third scenario: Downright hostility-’You’re a right-winger, a pro-BJP-RSS journalist’ etc.”

Reservation Politics

Dr. Ambedkar, who originally started the reservation system for the underprivileged class, wanted it to be time-bound and ultimately discontinued. Although reservation in any sector is limited to fifty percent, politicians have repeatedly amended it for political gains, and in many states they are close to 75 percentage. The consequence: the Brahmins, though from an economically weaker background and have high qualification, do not benefit from reservation.

Where did the rot start?

More than fifty years later, the Nehruvian culture, which directly brainwashed two generations of Indians in certain thinking patterns, survives even today. Jawaharlal was a true end product of Macaulay’s policy of creating Indians who would be Indians by the color of their skins, but British in their thinking. Thus, the English outlook on India survives today in India’s intellectual class, particularly the journalists, who often cast a Westernized, anti-spiritual, pro-minority, anti-majority, un-Indian, anti-brahmins and other upper castes-look on their own country.

Though Nehru started from a positive volition to reduce disparity among classes, he went overboard. He made the paupers of yesteryear the saints of modern India, allowing some states to literally hound out Brahmins and other upper castes. He twisted history and made of cruel Muslim invaders and rulers, the benefactors of medieval India. He excused the razing and sacking of thousands of exquisite temples all over India by saying that Muslim invaders such as Babar did it because these temples were full of hidden gold and jewels, damning again indirectly the poor hapless brahmins, who were beheaded by Muslim invaders, crucified in Goa by the Portuguese Inquisition, vilified by British missionaries, and morally crucified today by their own brothers and sisters.

Thanks to the lingering influence of Nehruvianism, brahmin remains today a dirty word, even in the face of reality: that Dalits have considerably come up since 1947 in Indian society, that no nation in the world has done so much for its underprivileged.

The Vedic Perspective

According to Rig Veda, the brahmanas are the elite class in the varnashrama system. They were known for their virtuous qualities and vast knowledge of Vedic scriptures. Their main occupations were giving political advice to the kings and conducting Vedic sacrifices for the well-being of the entire population. Therefore, the rulers and subjects held them in high esteem. However, over a period, the brahminical class degenerated, and their virtuous qualities slowly turned into exploitative mentalities. In modern India, brahmanas are at best no more than a part of the abominable caste systemor at worst an abused marginalized class of the society. They take up regular jobs like others and get none of the privileges they enjoyed a few decades ago.

The Vedic scriptures give a proper understanding of brahmins and the varnashrama institution. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (18.42) says, “According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me.” This means the classification is based not on birth but on qualities and activities of the people. The present-day caste system is a perverted reflection of the original scientific division of society. Lord Krishna also delineates the essential qualities of a true brahmana: “Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness-these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.” Unless one acquires these qualities, no one can claim to be a brahmana and enjoy brahminical rights.

A real brahmana is one who fully displays the above qualities. He can become a true leader and guide the society to prosperity. Therefore the varnashrama system should be reestablished so that people can be trained to become ideal leaders of the nation. It’s high time the leaders of India understand this principle and take necessary steps to stop mistreating the brahminical class. They should encourage a non-exploitative brahminical culture who can give proper vision to the ruling kshatriyas or administrators.

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