Brahmins: One of the poorest and maligned ‘Castes’ in India

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by kseeker, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    The public image of the Brahmins, for instance, is that of an affluent, pampered class. But is it so today?

    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.

    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.”

    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?

    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(2006) — 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(2006): 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.

    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.

    The State Of Brahmins

    [video]www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k65p7H-44Y‎[/video]


    - Francois Gautier

    Brahmins : One of the poorest and maligned 'Castes' in India | Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine
     
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  3. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Totally agree with this, one of the biggest issues with the country is the retarded system of letting merit take a back seat.

    WRT to the salaries of temple poojaris, I think we might get some break through i if Subramanianswamy's movt of freeing temples from state gains more steam.
    check this out: Freeing temples from state control - The Hindu
     
  4. PredictablyMalicious

    PredictablyMalicious Punjabi Senior Member

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    I am Brahmin but I don't care. I feel ashamed that my ancestors perpetuated the caste system.
     
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  5. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    huge amounts are mentioned as being poured to imams salary or hajj subsidy whereas no such help for Brahmins. what abt other communities who're not entitled to the help either like Christians who are said to b better off per capita? and Parsi community who's known as "affluent" in general? do Brahmins hv some inherent problems of their own rather than shift the blame to "anti hinduism"? according to the article 70% of Brahmins living on their "hereditary" vocation! what's prevented them fm social mobility?

    Sent from my 5910 using Tapatalk 2
     
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  6. Kyubi

    Kyubi Regular Member

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    I do remember you saying that you'll leave DFI
     
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  7. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    AFAIK, Christians do get help from both govt (Scholarships, minority quota etc) and as well as from their local Christian communities to an considerable extent.

    I haven't seen a poor Parsi family yet! As per some recent news, a Parsi who earns less than :inr: 90K/month is considered as poor bloke!

    What do you mean by inherent problems?

    As times changed, mindset also changed. Post independence of India, Brahmins started exploring other opportunities; Jobs in govt organisations, education, banking, medicine, engineering, scientific research sector etc have gained importance and new generations have either lost touch or lost their "hereditary" vocation completely. Icing on the cake was Govt imposed Quota system, favoritism etc...
     
  8. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    Statistics mentioned in the article do not have source.

    Picture is different in Maharashtra were brahmins are highly educated and mostly employed in private firms and banks.
    Have seen very few extremely poor brahmins till now were I live and brahmin community does support their children for education.
     
  10. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Upper caste propaganda at its best


    See this is why Govt taken caste sensus is important , to know the actual representation of various castes in the bureaucracies. But UC will never let that happen as it might affect their propaganda against reservation in a negative way
     
  11. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

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    The problem is, since India has a reservation system that takes into account only communal status rather than financial status of a person, Brahmins are being forced to perform better than the best or get excluded. The Brahmins being considered as forward class are not entitled for caste based reservations. So they have to score full marks in any examination to get selected for higher educaiton or for getting a govt empployment. on the other hand the Scheduled castes (mentioned in the article as dalits) can get into a premier institute or get govt employment if they score the minimum marks.

    This situation is forcing Brahmins to continue with their hereitery vacation (preists in temples) as it gives them a comfort of having something to lead a life. But most brahmins now a days are diversifying and much of India's elite in science and tech are brahmins. They are natural learners and are famous for their legendary wit and knowledge.
     
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  12. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    How much is the total population of Brahmins in India ?

    Recently Jains have got minority status , are even Brahmins trying to get minority status or want to get separate quota ?
     
  13. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Below figures are of 2007 estimates from this source (I presume, not much has changed till now)

    Total Population: 5.6 crore
    Poor Brahmins: 13%
    Rich: 19%
    Literacy levels above the age of 18: 84%
    Graduates: 39%
    Brahmin chief justices between 1950 to 2000: 47%
    Associate justices between 1950-2000: 40%

    [​IMG]

    Brahmins are not trying to get any minority status till now however, looking at current trends, it appears that, we also need to fight for a quota! :troll:
     
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  14. TrueSpirit1

    TrueSpirit1 The Nobody Banned

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    Do not feel so since your ancestors alone were not the only culprits. Others are also culpable if not to the exact degree.
     
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  15. TrueSpirit1

    TrueSpirit1 The Nobody Banned

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    Amoy, how do you know all this ? Any connection with India- long distance friends ?
     
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  16. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Why should you feel ashamed, can I ask? How is that fair? Do you propagate the caste system? Do you discriminate against lower castes? If not, why should you feel any personal shame? Extending this, why should you be penalized for what your ancestors did hundreds of years ago?

    If you discriminate against others based on their caste today, I will want the harshest punishment for you. But I wouldn't molest you for something your great-great-great-grandfather did in the 18th century!
     
  17. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Thank you for the details .

    Brahmin population is just 5% and they can get assistance from central and state governments depending on their population but if quota is given to them then government has to give quota even to other religious communities within hindus.
     
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  18. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Eggjactly! :thumb:

    Even after more than 6 decades of independence why do we need quota system? I fully agree that, centuries ago or post independence, there have been wrong doings by Brahmins against Dalits or lower caste blokes; I also agree that, quota system implemented in constitution of India to overcome that discrepancy is also correct however, there should be a time limit for that (which isn't at present unfortunately).

    Either give quota to to every caste, religion equally or implement common civil code.

    We should have quota only w.r.t. financial condition of the family and not based on caste, creed or religion.
     
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  19. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    During the time of Independence economical situation of OC and minorities was good where as SC/ST/BC were socially and economically backward and even now if to check majority of people who are below poverty line are from SC/ST/BC and they even form the majority population of India and there is a need to uplift them economically and socially and here i am not saying that other communities should not get assistance from state and central government but that should be not attached with the reservation system. Still there are millions of people who doesn't have basic needs such as housing, proper sanitation, education and majority of these people are from SC/ST .

    Govt offers interest-free loans to students from poor families

    I am quite sure that economically backward Brahmins will be benefited by such schemes and this is not attached to reservation system.
     
  20. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    I agree with you and I am not denying anything what you have mentioned.

    My only concern is, so called "quota system" which is named after caste. As I mentioned in my previous post, implement a quota system based on financial condition, that should ( most probably) resolve a long lasing difference between so called upper caste and lower caste discrimination among Hindus.
     
  21. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    i think Central Government is aware that changing of the reservation system wont give any result and this is the reason Central Government is working to make minorities comes under one mechanism in which they can benefits from there own revenues and secondly gave Jains minority status and now in final step central government is implementing direct financial schemes to the OC community within Hindus. I think the problem is this that every community wants to get as much as assistance they can get from central and state government without seeing the wider picture.

    OC are well organized and when the government funds and assistance will come to them directly they can implement it easily but in case of SC and ST things are not the same . Even the minority communities can do the same but there is need for stricter government regulations which would stop misusing of the government help.
     

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