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At a time where Twitter had Jack Dorsey on a trip to India, photographed with a poster protesting the ‘so-called’ Brahmin dominance and what is referred as ‘caste apartheid’, nobody talks about the plight of the upper castes.
The public image of the Brahmins, for instance, is one of an affluent, pampered class. But is it so today ? Well, judge for yourself: There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; ALL are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). There are 5 to 6 Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. These Brahmins came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were in minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 – 65%). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them to secure jobs in villages. Too bad for the Brahmins ! Did you know that you also find a number of Brahmins working as coolies in the Delhi railway station ? Kripa Shankar Sharma, one of them, says that his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science but he is not sure if she will be able to secure a job. “Dalits have often five to six kids, he says, but they are confident of placing them easily and well. 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 goshalas for the cows of the Brahmins”.
You also find Brahmins rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50% of the richshaw pullers in Patel Nagar are Brahmins who like their other brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs. Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make both ends meet. Their rickshaws, which are on a daily rent of Rs.25 /-, get stolen very often. These men make about Rs.100/- to 150/- on an average every day from which Rs.500 /- to 600/- go towards the rent of their rooms, shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.
The rickshawpullers working in West Patel Nagar, most of them in their thirties, reside in the nearby areas like Baljeet Nagar and Shadipur gaun. All of them belong to Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh. Some of them are qualified like Arun Kumar Pandey, a 28 year old Brahmin, who has done high schooling. He says that he is working as a rickshawpuller because there are less employment opportunities in his village and the schooling is not up to the mark. He is living on rent in a room which is shared by four people and pays Rs.600 monthly. Did you also know that most of Benares’ rickshaws pullers 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 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins – the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs. There last 400.000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugees camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them ? Their vote bank is negligible.
Do you think it is only in the North ? 75% of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmlns. A study of the Brahmin community in a district inAndhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J.Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that all purohits today 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.
In fact according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. 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 5-18 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 that is 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: Christian Rs.1562, Vokkaligas Rs.914, Muslims Rs.794, Scheduled caste Rs.680, ScheduledTribes 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 the Brahmins to retreat in these spheres as well. 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.
What about this other myth of the rich and arrogant Brahmin priest ? 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 temples receive Rs.2500 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 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 on it after Independence, but probably no other party than the Congress of Sonia & Rahul Gandhi has have gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes. Her The last Congress Govt gave 1000 crores for salaries of imams in mosques and 200 crores as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. The BJP present Govt, for fear of appearing non-secular, is not making much efforts either. 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 slowly the minorities taking control of their majority. 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. Twitter & FaceBook are no different as they have guidelines against Islamophobia, but seem to welcome Hinduphobia.
So the question has to be asked : are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today ?
The BJP has the habit of either keeping quiet under attack, or of overreacting with statements that are immediately seized upon by the Media and termed as intolerant, saffron, right wing etc. For instance, at the moment, the Narendra Modi Govt is under fire for the arrest of 5 Urban Naxals. Yet, if the MP’s, MLA’s, spokespersons were groomed in workshops to speak in a cold, logical, statistical manner, their arguments could not be refuted and would not evoke these ‘intolerant’, OR ‘saffron’ accusations. Here is a sample of what the BJP MP’s, MLA’s, spokespersons, could be groomed into.
URBAN NAXALS. Marxism has gone out of fashion the world over and Marxists leaders such as Mao Tse Tung or Stalin, are known now to have killed millions of ehir own in their megamomania. But in India, Marxism is still very much in, it rules the mind not only of most of the Media, but of its intelligentsia, of plitical parties and even more it has led some intellectuals to actuallt support terrorism against the Govt, state and central. This would not be accepted by any Govt in the world and rightly so, Narendra Modi takes action against such people.
BEEF. When questioned about the ban on beef, instead of being on the defensive or quoting some vague Vedic scriptures, use environmental arguments, which today are politically correct. For instance, tell your detractors that cows must consume 16 kilos of vegetation in order to convert them into 1 kilo of meat. Raising beef for food consumes more than half of all water used in the U.S. It takes 2,500 liters of water to produce a kilo of beef but only 25 liters to produce a kilo of wheat. Producing just one beefsteak uses enough fossil fuel to drive a small car 32 kilometers. Of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S., more than one-third is devoted to raising animals for food.
MINORITIES. When the Opposition or the Media says that minorities are persecuted in India, remind them that the first Christian community, that of the Syrians, settled in Kerala in the first century and have practiced their faith freely ever since; or that the Jews came to India, mostly in Cochin and Mumbai in the 6th century, after the sack of the temple of Jerusalem and that India is the ONLY country in the world where Jews were NEVER persecuted; talk also about the Parsis, who were welcomed in India after they fled Iran under Muslim persecution, and integrated beautifully in this country, producing stalwarts, such as JRD Tata; you can finish by saying that today Tibetan culture is mostly defunct at the hand of the Chinese in Tibet – but very much alive in India (Dharamsala), where the Dalai Lama and his followers were given refuge.
INTOLERANCE. When accusations of intolerance are thrown at you, just remind your interlocutor that a Hindu, still today, recognizes the fact that God manifests Himself or Herself at different times, under different names, using different scriptures. This concept allows Hindus from the villagers to the upper castes, to enter a church or even a Mosque with respect and devotion. Indeed, today Hindus still go to Darghas, such as one in Ajmer, and worship there. Point out to your detractors that the reverse is not true and that a Muslim or even an Indian Christian, may think that they are committing a sin by entering in a Hindu temple.
GUJARAT RIOTS. When Mr Narendra Modi is again violently targeted in relation to the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots, instead of being on the defensive, point out firstly that they were triggered by the horrible burning in the Sabarmati train of 59 innocents Hindus coming back from Ayodhya, 36 of them women and children, by a Muslim mob. You can add, that instead of always accusing Mr Modi, they should put on trial the tens of thousands of Gujaratis, from Dalits to upper middle class, who went down in the streets in fury. Add that Gujarat is one of the most ancient and noble states of India that gave Mahatma Gandhi to the world. And today, Gujaratis shine everywhere they go by their hard work and family values.
RSS. One of the most common ploys of anti-Hindu intellectuals is to always equate the RSS with the Taliban or the ISIS. Instead of being flustered, ask your accusers to provide you statistics – of say the last ten years – of how many innocent people the ISIS, the Taliban, the Lakshar-e-Taiba and others have been killed – and how many the RSS and various Hindu groups have. You will see that they will come-up with no numbers for the RSS, as even the Malegaon train blast have not been proved. You can also add the RSS is mostly a group of old fuddy daddies with their funny kaki shorts (trousers are coming now, smile at them!) and lathi sticks, and that most of them who would not harm a fly.
CASTES & DALITS. When pounced upon about Dalits being persecuted under the BJP rule, like recently after the suicide of Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad, point out that even though there are still intolerable castes abuses, mostly in deep rural areas such as UP or Bihar, and mostly between low castes (often between converted Dalits or Tribals and non converted ones-. Highlight the fact that throughout Indian history Dalits have risen to the highest levels. VALMIKI – composer of Mahabharata, which also contains the Bhagavad Gita, was a fisherman (initially a highway robber). The composer of the Ramayana. Maharshi VED VYAS , was too the son of a fisherwoman. Chandragupta Maurya and the Maurya Dyanasty, were all from the Muria tribe which used to collect Peacock (Mor) feathers. Queen Ahiliabai of Indore, one of the most enlightened rulers of Middle Ages India (she had an army of women), was adopted from a lower class by the king…
Say also that today there are many dalit chief ministers, such as Mayavati, or Presidents of India (Kocheril Raman Narayanan) and one of India’s most revered saints, Amrita Anandamayi, comes from the lowest caste possible, that of the fishermen of Kerala. Yet, she is worshiped by millions of Indians, many of them from upper castes who prostrate themselves at her feet. Many of the brilliant minds in the west, professors, doctors, scientists, have helped her, build the most modern hospitals in India, or top class universities, such as one in Coimbatore. ‘see below a more complete list of famous dalits)
BHARAT MATA KI JAI. When intellectuals or the Media object to the chanting of Bharat Mata ki Jai or Vande Mataram, just quietly point out that the West has no qualms about being a Christian civilization. Barack Obama, for instance, though, partly of African Muslim origin, swore twice on the Bible to become President of the United States. Many European countries have deep Christian roots and schools offer compulsory classes on the Bible, France although a secular state, has 80% Catholics who attend mass and put their children in Christian schools. Yet, we see in India, a country with 80% Hindu majority, where freedom of worship has always been the rule, that anything Hindu is frowned upon. This is totally wrong and it is a leftover of three centuries of British colonization. Point out, that Hinduism is the only religion in the world that never used its armies, like Islam and Christianity did, to convert others. It never even sent missionaries like the Buddhists, but instead Hinduism peacefully spread abroad, to the East, witness the grandeur of Angkor Vat, or the West, where yoga and meditation, Hindu practices, are today prevalent.
AYODHYA. Another constant argument of Marxists and enemies of India is that the razing of the Babri Masjid was a black day for secular India. Just calmly point out, that even if it was reprehensible, nobody was killed in the process, but that the retaliation of Muslims, with the support of Pakistan, killed 1000 Hindus in Mumbai. You can also add that there is archeological evidence that the Babri Masjid was built on a very ancient and sacred temple dedicated to Lord Rama.
MAHATMA GANDHI. One of the most common attacks against Hindus is to say that a Hindu fanatic, a RSS one, killed the great Mahatma Gandhi. If you want to throw your attacker off, just nod and say ‘yes, I agree – and I condemn it’. This will close the conversation. You can l also point out that he was judged and hanged. No need to go into the harm that Gandhi did to the nation by always pandering to the Muslim fanatic voices.
GURUS. Since the Independence, the Indian Media has been regularly attacking Gurus from Osho, Sai Baba, or even today Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, as it happened recently during the Word Cultural Festival of March 2016. Point out skillfully that guru-ship is a very ancient Indian tradition, that even pervades in the arts. Dancers for instance, have teachers that they revere as gurus, touching their feet or bowing down to them before starting their practice. Even great Muslim musicians have adopted and accepted this tradition. Instead of going after gurus, tell your confronters, they should target the millions of disciples that these masters have all over the world. The combined number of disciples of the great gurus alive today must be reaching a hundred million. If the Media or the intellectuals had any courage and common sense they would go after these –which they can’t, so that will silence them…
For 40 years, India did not have relations with Israel. Yet, India and Israel share so much in common and both can learn a lot from each other ! Hindus and Jews, far from being the persecutors of minorities, that the Marxist, Arab and INC lobby like to portray, have been persecuted for nearly two thousand years and have been the victims of the two worst genocides in the sad history of humanity : Hitler, in his monstrous quest for a “pure” Aryan race, murdered six millions Jews in his gas chambers during the Second World War; and Belgium historian Koenraad Elst estimates that between the year 1000 and 1525, eighty million Hindus died at the hands of Muslim invaders, probably the biggest holocaust in the whole history of our planet.
Indians and Israelis of today also share in common an awesome problem with Muslim fundamentalists. And India should learn a lesson of two from the way Israel handles this problem, however much it is criticized by the western medias. Unlike India, which since Independence has chosen to deal with this problem in the Gandhian spirit, that is by compromising most of the time with Islamic intransigence – if not giving in – Israel showed that toughness first, accompanied later by negotiations pays much more. Basically, the “land for money” concept is something that India should learn from : in 1967, Israel was threatened to be engulfed by its fanatic neighbors, so it stole the initiative by crushing them in a lightning six days war and kept some land which it used later as bargaining chips with Egypt and Syria. India is also surrounded by hostile Muslim countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more and more Bangladesh. So far, India has followed the Nehruvian policy of Good Neighborhood : you give first, expecting that your neighborhood will reciprocate the gesture later. Unfortunately, history has shown that India mostly gets stabbed in the back for its generosity by small insignificant nations such as Bangladesh, which owes its freedom to the sacrifices of India’s soldiers and is more and more lending its territory to the ISI. If during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, India would have kept a chunk of the Pakistani territory it has conquered, or if during the Kargil war, it had carried on with its victorious momentum by seizing some of the Pakistan-held Kashmir, which could be used as a buffer zone, there would be probably today less cross-border terrorism.
There is another area where India has a lot to learn from Israel, it is the VIP security. We all know how it has become here a status symbol, a constant hassle for the ordinary citizen, who has to wait endlessly in his car for the VIP motorcade to pass by, or in his plane for the Prime Minister of India to land. Sonia Gandhi must be the most protected leader in the world – and it is a very heavy-handed, unfriendly and ultimately inefficient protection, which is not realy warranted, as she is a friend of the Muslims and the Marxists. But look at the Israelis: their Prime Minister moves around with only a few boyish looking men, in sneakers and civil dress and they don’t rough up onlookers or hassle innocent citizens. As for potential hijacks of Indian planes, again we have to look towards Israel, whose airline, EL Al, is the safest in the world, in spite of being the most threatened. But for them, no rude cops who hardly talk any English frisking you at airports, but civil and educated EL Al employees, who ask polite but pointed questions and unobtrusive security in the airports and aboard their aircrafts. Israelis have also shown that you should NEVER give in to terrorist demands and also that its commandos are the best. 24 years ago, when an Air France airplane, carrying mostly Israelis, was hijacked by Arab terrorists and forced to land in far away Uganda, which like the Taliban, in the case of the Indian Airline hijack under Vajpayee, were actually protecting the terrorists while pretending to help in the release of the passengers, Israel in one of the most daring rescue operation ever, sent its commandos flying in the dead of the night over half of the world, killed the terrorists, freed the passengers and brought them back to Israel with very little casualties. Unfortunately, India adopted a total opposite attitude during the hijack of IC 814, with the catastrophic result that we know : the terrorists released are today openly preaching in Pakistan a jihad unto death towards India.
There is also one more aspect from which India can learn a great deal from Israel and it is its language. In 1948, Israel regained part of it Holy land and Israelis, who had been scattered all over the world, came back to live in Israel. There was one problem though: they all spoke different languages and no tongue unified them except Yiddish, a bastard language spoken by the Jews of Eastern Europe. So the state of Israel set its scholars to revive Hebrew, Israel’s ancient language, which had fallen in decrepitude, so that today everybody speaks Hebrew and it has unified Israel like nothing else. India should invite some of these linguists and they should sit down with Sanskrit scholars and devise a way of simplifying and modernizing Sanskrit, which is the mother of all European tongues, a language so subtle and rich that it will energize and revitalize the whole Indian culture.
And finally, Like Indians, Israel is one of those ‘elected people of God’, of whom Sri Aurobindo speaks in his book the “Hour of God”, who have managed to keep their spirituality alive in spite of oppression, invasions and genocides. Both, in their own ways, are becoming again powerful nations, vibrant with spirituality and vigor.