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Blog article: A tamil brahmin in Bangalore

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wolf

New member
Dear Friends,

Here is an interesting interview done with a Tamil Brahmin with some interesting views about the community and our country as well.

The objective is [FONT=&quot]"Expressing the epic [/FONT][FONT=&quot]in the "ordinary"[/FONT][FONT=&quot] lives' of India's urbanites, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]through the mediums of photography and writing[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT]"

Ryan Lobo photography: India Urban 1 - A Tamil Brahmin in Bangalore

Warm regards

Wolf
 

B.Krishnamurthy

Active member
Dear Shri.Wolf,
The interview with a Tamil Brahmin is quite interesting to go through.thanks for posting the same in this forum.
 

sangom

Well-known member
The interview has the following response from Shri Suchindranath:

"This country has no allegiance from any Brahmin even though my parents brought me up to be patriotic. The Indian government rubs the patriotism out of you. America is the new promised land. They reward hard work, integrity and diligence there. All Brahamanical characteristics."

I wonder whether the claim that rewarding hard work, integrity and diligence went hand in hand with the caste system, particularly when it came to sudras and pancamas. If only the claim were true, Brahmans would not have come to their present plight. Perhaps the quote should be corrected as follows:


They reward hard work, integrity and diligence (of Brahmins) there. All Brahamanical characteristics."
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
Read the blog just now. Must say that Ryan has done a wonderful job. Cud not help smiling about some statements that Suchindranath Aiyer made. Was esp amused about the comparison with jews fleeing their homeland.

Sometimes i wonder if its just some people like Suchindranath Aiyer or does every tambram compare himself with jews (perhaps secretly) ? Well, to me the comparison makes no sense. The jews were slaves until Moses set them free. I wud think the dalits are like the jews. They were slaves until democracy set them free.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
happy,

tambrams as jews? utter ignorance on the part of tambrams. those that say it, have no clue about the history of the jews. also they have a puffed up feeling about their own community's importance in the affairs of tamil nadu and india.

when history is written, we tambrams will be mentioned as yet another priestly class, very conscious of its social standing, which did everything they could do block the social revolution initiated by periyar.

this acknowledgement to periyar has already started. every article on MK acknowledge his early idealism, and the ruthless but quick way he went about to establish social equality in TN, which was also followed with greater zeal by MGR & J.

i really don't know if as a community we could have done anything different. after all nobody is willing to share the spoils. this is but a human nature, but our leaders could have agreed to sharing of jobs and power based on our population, starting from early 1900s. even then, we would have come out good, but with less acrimony. who knows? all water under the bridge now.
 

sravna

Well-known member
It is an undeniable fact that TamBrams are smart. It is evident in places of higher learning where merit is the basis of selection, you find a number of them there. In terms of academic achievements too they are well represented, I would say overrepresented. I am not sure if the hatred towards them would have been that intense if they are not perceived as intelligent.
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
Kunjuppu ji,

One could write reams on why Justice Party devised caste-based reservations in 1926 for government jobs. The Vellalars were the main beneficiaries of caste-reservations then.

If i put myself in the shoes of a Vellalar and go back to the 1920s, i think i would be frustrated to be educated and yet not get a job. And esp so if I have struggled against caste and class lines, to get myself that education.

Possibly brahmins at that time considered it beneath themselves to be working alongside a shudra; and esp so if ideas of purity and acharam were taken into consideration. I can imagine brahmins in 1920s not being able to give up ideas of shudham and acharam while working in "secular" jobs. So as the rumors go, it is quite possible that brahmins were helping only their own caste-brethern to get employment and monopolising the employment situation.

I feel a lot could still have been handled better if brahmins refrained from going to court to decide on varna status of other communities.

Wonder what made both non-brahmins and brahmins possibly overlook their own histories and similarities with each other and with other castes. Wonder what was it that made them competitors instead of people who accomodate each other irrespective of caste ?

Today we bemoan corruption. Everyone blames 'low castes' for corruption. But is a brahmin incorruptable? Or rather, how many brahmins are not corrupt? Wonder how many of them (in secular jobs) have not paid or received a bribe / commission in their lives? Personally, i find that everyone is corrupt, or becomes corrupt at some point or the other in their lives, for corruptability is such (yes, i have seen so-called strict brahmin vegetarians receiving bribes and some of them are my own relatives).

But overall, its the comparison with jews that gets amusing each time. And i do not find a single north-indian brahmin making such a comparison. Not even brahmins from other parts of south india. To me, its only the tamil brahmin who makes such a comparison. Why wud anyone compare themselves with a group that served as slaves to the egyptian pharaos ?

Anyways, supposedly even from the genetic pov, there is hardly any connection. Jews are usually J or E haplogroup. They are considered originally middle-eastern (or egyptian by some) but not european; unlike brahmins who are supposedly of indo-european descent (and are supposed to be majorly R or R1a). Infact, R1a is considered non-israelite (it is almost never found in Sephardic Levites. It was supposedly introduced into the Ashkenazic Levites by Slavs or Khazars who converted to Judaism). Khazaria.com has info on all this.

Well, anyways so much for identities...sigh..

I really admire Ryan Lobo's questions in that blog. Bold, in-depth, relevant, and very-very polite. Very admirable indeed.
 
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Raghy

Well-known member
It is an undeniable fact that TamBrams are smart. It is evident in places of higher learning where merit is the basis of selection, you find a number of them there. In terms of academic achievements too they are well represented, I would say overrepresented. I am not sure if the hatred towards them would have been that intense if they are not perceived as intelligent.

Sri.Sravana Sir,

Greetings. There are Tamil Brahmins amoung smart people; such a statement can be accepted, but to say "it is undeniable fact that ******* are smart" is streching it a bit far. Your statement almost sounds as if tose people are smart because they are Tamil Brahmins.... But that is not true. If that is true, all the Tamil Brahmins must be smart just because they are Tamil Brahmins; you know that is not true.

Smartness of a person is a subjective quality. It changes based on situation, environment and expectations. It is very hard to find someone who is smart in all situations.

You may have contributed the above quoted message based on academic achievements only; but, there are many more areas and situations to be taken into consideration. If Tamil Brahmins were that smart, they would not be holding the short end of the stick in the reservation policies. I always thought, Tamil Brahmins and Brahmins in general were/are the least smart persons.

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
If Tamil Brahmins were that smart, they would not be holding the short end of the stick in the reservation policies. I always thought, Tamil Brahmins and Brahmins in general were/are the least smart persons.

Cheers!

Dear Shri Raghy,

I would say Tamil Brahmans are smart but short-sighted. And, why not we allow Shri Sravna the happiness of claiming "t is an undeniable fact that TamBrams are smart.", at least till the next 30 or 40 years, by which time the dalits, sudras and others will have become very much smarter and will be occupying higher learning seats with zeal.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Sri.Sravana Sir,

Greetings. There are Tamil Brahmins amoung smart people; such a statement can be accepted, but to say "it is undeniable fact that ******* are smart" is streching it a bit far. Your statement almost sounds as if tose people are smart because they are Tamil Brahmins.... But that is not true. If that is true, all the Tamil Brahmins must be smart just because they are Tamil Brahmins; you know that is not true.

Smartness of a person is a subjective quality. It changes based on situation, environment and expectations. It is very hard to find someone who is smart in all situations.

You may have contributed the above quoted message based on academic achievements only; but, there are many more areas and situations to be taken into consideration. If Tamil Brahmins were that smart, they would not be holding the short end of the stick in the reservation policies. I always thought, Tamil Brahmins and Brahmins in general were/are the least smart persons.

Cheers!

Dear Shri Raghy,

Academic achievements are important. It indicates your ability for abstract thinking and your ability to adapt in general. The fact that academic people do not sound practical may be attributed to the fact that they do not consider it necessary to be that way. But with their back to the wall, they can indeed show that flexibility. But I do not say that those with out academic achievements are not smart.

To me even more than academic achievements, your moral qualities is the single best indicator of the quality of your mind. And to be moral in face of pervasive corruption you need to be one in a billion. That is like having the best of both worlds, maintaining your moral integrity and also being successful in your worldly endeavors.
 

Nara

Well-known member
It is an undeniable fact that TamBrams are smart. It is evident in places of higher learning where merit is the basis of selection, you find a number of them there. In terms of academic achievements too they are well represented, I would say overrepresented. I am not sure if the hatred towards them would have been that intense if they are not perceived as intelligent.
sravna, you may not agree with what I am about to say, and that is alright, I only request you to think about it.

There are lots of facets to human intelligence, ability to master bookish knowledge is surely one of them. The strict caste-based division of work meant there was caste-based specialization of skills. The Brahmin specialization was bookish study and they did get good at it over the centuries. Since this is all they did, they placed high value in education.

So, if what you say is true, i.e. TBs are smart, that only means they are smart in book-based education. As a result, perhaps the TBs have a leg up in the world economy that is increasingly dependent on this kind of smartness.

In a similar vein, the caste-based division of work also meant that there were castes that put less value in bookish education, but placed higher value in physical activities like carpentry, masonry, farming, etc. These castes, in general, tended to do well in these fields, and one could say they are very smart in those respective fields and the TBs are in general quite daft in those fields.

BTW, this caste-based division of work is not a very efficient system. It can only let the best talents within a caste to shine in the field of that caste, not the best talent across all.

Let me end with a story, a parable of sorts, I am sure many would have already heard it.
There was this very learned Brahmin scholar who wanted to cross a mighty river. He hired a boatman. As the boatman was rowing, this scholar quizzed him about what he has studied, whether he has studied this shastra or that shastra. The boatmen being an illiterate answered no to all these questions. The scholar then lamented that the boatman has wasted his lifetime without any education.

After a little while, the boatman asked the scholar whether he knew how to swim. The scholar answered no. The boatman laughed and said to the scholar, "it looks like you are the one who has wasted your lifetime without learning how to swim, there is sudden increase in river current, I am unable to control the boat, and it looks like it is going to capsize any minute."
You may be right sravna, TBs may be quite smart, I don't know, but, IMO that is not that important. What is important, I think, is to be able to get along with people, use whatever smarts we have in whatever field it may be, and contribute to the welfare of the community in which we live.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri kunjuppu Ji and Srimathi Happy Hindu Ji,

I think Tamil Brahmins as a community are feeling in general that they are being persecuted by the government. Of course we have discussions here, sometimes heated, about all the inequalities of the past. But for the past 60 years, in TN, our community has definitely been treated as second hand citizens of the state, and the most affected are the poor and not so bright in our community.

While the comparisons to the Jews in many ways are not apt for various reasons, one can not deny that many in our community are so frustrated with the current situation that they feel as though there are parallels. One can not blame them.

Again, the quota system both at the higher education and job levels is an evil one. In my opinion, as I have repeated here, it does not work either. People it is supposed to aid are still at the bottom of the societal ladder, especially in TN.

Regards,
KRS
 

B.Krishnamurthy

Active member
It may be justifiable for providing reservation in education, and at entry level in jobs to class or groups who have been deprived of opportunities for generations. I am unable to understand the logic in having reservation at the time of promotion.This results in juniors with less number of service
becoming bosses of their seniors with long years of service.Such junior persons who do not deserve to occupy the position by merit starts harassing the seniors who may be more knowledgeable.Many honest officers take VRS to avoid such an embarassing situation.
As one who was in some responsible position in Government of India service,I used to get unwritten oral orders from the top to make a group of people declared as having been successful in departmental examinations.The officers like me had no other alternative except to add grace marks to such candidates and bring them to pass percentage level.The individual officer had to take risk and if everything comes to light,the top level officer will not come to the rescue of such officers.This is the real picture and the person who has been so declared will be under the wrong notion
that he had really qualified in the examination.Such sorry state of affairs are going on and these may never come to public notice.
The concerned officer will be in the age group of 50 plus and will have family responsibility.So he can never take a moral stand and object.
If any one does so, his confidential records will be spoiled and he may also be implicated in false cases.It is very easy to talk theoretically.
The one who has suffered while working in Govt Depts/PSUs will know where the shoe was pinching.
 
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kunjuppu

Well-known member
Dear Friends,

Here is an interesting interview done with a Tamil Brahmin with some interesting views about the community and our country as well.

The objective is [FONT=&quot]"Expressing the epic [/FONT][FONT=&quot]in the "ordinary"[/FONT][FONT=&quot] lives' of India's urbanites, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]through the mediums of photography and writing[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT]"

Ryan Lobo photography: India Urban 1 - A Tamil Brahmin in Bangalore

Warm regards

Wolf

dear wolf!

interesting is a kind word to describe idiosyncracy. as one comment to that blog said, this ia grouchy old man revelling in attention.

it is good that the values he holds are good consigned to dung heap of history.

interestingly enough, the tambrams whose el dorado is the usa, you won't find any of them practising the brahministic caste exclusion that they appear to thrive on in tamil nadu. almost all their children have married out of tambram caste in the usa or any other foreign country barring singapore.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
happy,

thank you for your post.

i think most jobs in the 20s, 30s etc went through contacts or word of mouth. if my bum neighbour (1960s) is any example, this guy failed his B.A. five times, (SSLC 3, PUC 2) and was well into late 20s when he got his degree. but thanks to his dad's friends, he bypassed the bank entrance test and directly join as trainee.

realistically speaking, in those days of huge families, every family had a steady stream of job seeking youths, and jobs were scarce. so tambram folks just took care of their own families and i honestly think there were no deliberate aim to exclude, though there is only a fine line between taking care of one's own, and exclusion of others.

nowadays, even if status quo would have existed, i doubt if many of us have enough relatives to sponsor for jobs.

re corruption: tambrams were as prone to corruption as others. i have had neighbours with multi story houses, cars and flashing silk saris for the women, grand marriages for their daughters - all on one gazetted officers income (income tax or customs appraisers).

i know of one leading business house of tamil nadu paying monthly handout to one relative, through his entire life, long afer he retired and was use to them. so let us not go there...though the amounts of today could shock anyone.
 

Nara

Well-known member
....Again, the quota system both at the higher education and job levels is an evil one.
Come Shri KRS, I understand you don't care for it, but do you really think it is an evil system? Really???

I myself would place a whole host of other things above the reservation system when it comes to listing what is evil, not the least among which is the system that promotes such delusions as believing that one's lineage goes back 5,000 or 500,000 years to some great rishees who made a covenant with a four-faced god -- or did he have his fifth face in tact at that time. I wonder what kind of covenant did Brahmma make with the Sudras and Dalits!!

Cheers!
 

sangom

Well-known member
It may be justifiable for providing reservation in education, and at entry level in jobs to class or groups who have been deprived of opportunities for generations. I am unable to understand the logic in having reservation at the time of promotion.This results in juniors with less number of service
becoming bosses of their seniors with long years of service.Such junior persons who do not deserve to occupy the position by merit starts harassing the seniors who may be more knowledgeable.Many honest officers take VRS to avoid such an embarassing situation.
As one who was in some responsible position in Government of India service,I used to get unwritten oral orders from the top to make a group of people declared as having been successful in departmental examinations.The officers like me had no other alternative except to add grace marks to such candidates and bring them to pass percentage level.The individual officer had to take risk and if everything comes to light,the top level officer will not come to the rescue of such officers.This is the real picture and the person who has been so declared will be under the wrong notion
that he had really qualified in the examination.Such sorry state of affairs are going on and these may never come to public notice.
The concerned officer will be in the age group of 50 plus and will have family responsibility.So he can never take a moral stand and object.
If any one does so, his confidential records will be spoiled and he may also be implicated in false cases.It is very easy to talk theoretically.
The one who has suffered while working in Govt Depts/PSUs will know where the shoe was pinching.

Respected Shri Krishnamurthy,

Namaskaram. I agree that reservation for promotions is causing lot of difficulties. But it must be remembered that when at long last SCs/STs started getting recruited into government services, the whole scene was filled mostly with the higher caste people, with a good number of brahmins, kayasthas etc., at the all India level. All the accumulated dislike of the untouchables till yesterday, sitting as equals and competing for promotion, was a difficult thing for the higher castes to digest; I am talking of the sixties.

Confidential reports being a very subjective matter, it was found that, there was surreptitious attempts to put down these "fellows" and ensure that only their high-caste comrades got promotions AFAP. Had this been allowed to continue, the SC/ST recruits would have probably never seen even one promotion and many might have had to go out during probation period itself.

That was when the CR system was modified so that any negative remarks against a reservation category employee, including Class IV, will have to be accompanied by a separate, independent report by the next higher officer and both to be perused (in all cases and countersigned) and opinion recorded by the second higher level officer if there was large divergence between the two assessments. Even this probably failed and that was why separate quota for promotions, separate yardstick for passing, the presence of an SC/ST person in the panel for interview for promotion (where such practice is followed) etc., had to be introduced. To me these appeared to be the last stratagems of the higher castes before they surrendered before the onslaught of time; and for such persistent warriors will have the most abject surrender. Hence, we must have to blame ourselves (higher castes) once again, for our shortsightedness and inviting ignominy as its wages.

And Tabras similarly fought to the last (drop of their bookish smartness) without yielding to the suggestions for communal reservations, and invited permanent ostracisation in TN as the result thereof!
 

sangom

Well-known member
re corruption: tambrams were as prone to corruption as others. i have had neighbours with multi story houses, cars and flashing silk saris for the women, grand marriages for their daughters - all on one gazetted officers income (income tax or customs appraisers).

i know of one leading business house of tamil nadu paying monthly handout to one relative, through his entire life, long afer he retired and was use to them. so let us not go there...though the amounts of today could shock anyone.

I am of the view that corruption is very much embedded into our religion itself. I had illustrated it by details of the "sapindeekaranam" and "sodakakumbham" rituals which in effect reserve a seat in advance (in the pitrulokam) for the dead soul and bribes the gentle supermen of the jury lest they don't condemn the soul to hell. With such glorious examples of "bribing" personalities in the other world, is it a moral wrong to bribe someone in this mortal world, and by the same token, when those superhuman gentlemen of the jury set the example, is it a sin to accept bribes?
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
Dear Sri kunjuppu Ji and Srimathi Happy Hindu Ji,

I think Tamil Brahmins as a community are feeling in general that they are being persecuted by the government. Of course we have discussions here, sometimes heated, about all the inequalities of the past. But for the past 60 years, in TN, our community has definitely been treated as second hand citizens of the state, and the most affected are the poor and not so bright in our community.
Dear Sir,

What can a government do if it has to ensure that all communities are treated as first hand citizens of the state?

More importantly, how can a government ensure betterment for the poor and not so bright in every community ?

If am not wrong, the tambrams occupied jobs in colonial government for around a period of 100 years or so (??). Which they had to vacate owing to caste-reservations. So they feel persecuted for being forced to give up something they held for just around a 100 year period. Why?

Speaking of 'feeling persecuted', i wonder how much, sir, should a dalit feel persecuted for having to life without dignity for a lot-lot-lot more than 100 years?

While the comparisons to the Jews in many ways are not apt for various reasons, one can not deny that many in our community are so frustrated with the current situation that they feel as though there are parallels. One can not blame them.
Sir i may wish to draw parallels between jews and dalits, which i feel is a lot more apt than comparison with brahmins.

1) Both dalits (in the dharmashastra period) and jews were an enslaved people. As indications go, both became enslaved in what can be termed a 'violent struggle'.

2) From whatever i have read so far, both jews and dalits appear to have enjoyed freedom and perhaps some relative prosperity before being enslaved.

3) Jews in the past had and dalits currently have this mentality of wanting to prove themselves and establishing themselves (after breaking out of slavery). Hence dalits are increasingly placing a premium on education just like jews did in the past (prior to the 'english education' period jews i hear were mainly into businesses / trade and were initially not highly into academics either -- but saw it as a way to prosper in the new world and thence took to it).

4) Both jews and dalits suffer(ed) prejudice based on religion / beliefs.

5) Both jews and dalits were made to suffer physically (not a single brahmin ever had to die for being a brahmin, whereas from newspaper reports it is understood that killing a dalit merely for caste did exist...a shudra's life apparently became unimportant in the dharmashastra period -- the punishment for killing a shudra in manusmrithi is merely a payment of 10 cows to brahmins).

Again, the quota system both at the higher education and job levels is an evil one. In my opinion, as I have repeated here, it does not work either. People it is supposed to aid are still at the bottom of the societal ladder, especially in TN.
Sir, am against reservations for everyone except the SC/ST. I feel the BC, OBC, MBC, etc categories must be scrapped bcoz those getting admission under these categories appear relatively well-off in present times. But for SC/ST i feel they do require caste-based reservation. Sangom sir has brought out the prejudice point well. If not for caste-reservations, the SCs/STs cannot hope to be promoted thru the ranks. Thanks to our collective prejudice against them.

Just as we lambast Manu's constitution (manusmrithi) today, am thinking of a scenario 2000 years later. Hopefully at that time in future no one will lambast the current constitution we have today. Methinks, those who are bright will someway or the other find a way to prosper, irrespective of reservations or otherwise.

Regards.
 
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sangom

Well-known member
Smt. Happy Hindu,

My views may not be liked by many here. Still, I feel Tabras are feeling a lot about the virtual monopoly of British government jobs which they enjoyed (may be not even for a full hundred years but much less), because, many of them think that will not be able to live without the cosy security of such monopoly. Today, while many from the younger generations have found employment in IT and other sectors and a few of these Tabras have also risen to high positions within those IT sector companies, the job is very exacting, monotonous and becomes highly stressful - even for the base level programmers, I am told by some middle aged IT men - that they yearn for the safety, security and (if I may say) the "laid back" atmosphere of government jobs (go late, come early, sign attendance and vanish, and if circumstances permit, make some extra money on the side, etc.). I also understand that some of the youngsters resign - before being asked to quit or getting "benched" as a prelude to it - and join (foreign) banks in India as clerks, if they can bring in sufficient recommendation. This is a repeat of the very scenario which kunjuppu describes. Added to all these, the astronomical salaries of IT sector are no longer there, I understand. Perhaps you and others may be able to correct me if some of the above info is wrong.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Professor Nara Ji and Srimathi Happy Hindu Ji,

I hope that you read my sentences below very carefully.

1. I am for the improvement of the SC/ST (without attaching such labels), condition by the government - we owe it to them.

2. I hate the varna/caste system for TODAY's conditions and mores. We are so unlucky as Indians, this single big blot of our religion is holding back India and the majority of our people to have the right to pursue happiness individually by expressing their god given talents in general.

3. After passing a law in India against castes, at present, everyone in India should be treated equal and should have the same level field when it comes to pursuing higher studies or jobs, as citizens of a free nation.

4. This means those who are disadvantaged (culturally limited) to not to be able to partake in the modern age with it's requirements for thinking and education that has been practiced by the so called forward communities.

5. While we are helping such 'backward' communities to acquire these formulas for success, we can not forget that today all nations compete for limited resources and that means the absolute requirement for meritocracy (right man for the right job)

6. Unfortunately the Quota system for higher education and jobs has not over it's 60 years of history either transformed these communities' cultural condition or has it provided a meritocracy - in effect it is keeping out of the workforce a broad array of talents/aptitudes/drive to match with the job requirements, while not helping the disadvantaged communities, as research has shown (how come the govt. keeps on expanding the quota while saying that it has not really helped the disadvantaged?). It escapes me why such a massive program that was started albeit with real emotion to help with all the money spent can not show any significant statistical improvements in those communities?

7. The quota system has become a symbol with an emotional division between ideologies -if you support it, you are looking for the disadvantaged folks interest and if you are not, you are a casteist, especially if you happen to be born in to a Brahmin family. I totally reject these conclusions.

8. Yes, this system is EVIL, mainly because of two things: 1) Has not helped those communities in any measurable way, while pretending to help 2) It certainly has limited the options to the sons of daughters of the same country, whose only crime is that they are born in to the so called forward castes. These two reasons are egregious enough, think about the opportunity costs lost for a poor nation to optimally use all her resources!

9. As I have posted many, many times here in this Forum, why can not the government spend the money in helping these disadvantaged communities with one on one training in cultural transformation early in the lives of these children, to value education, teach values that will make them successful in the modern world? Any logical thinking person would agree with this and then make them compete starting from college. By the way, this personal coaching works as evidenced by a few coaching programs for IITs for these communities.

!0. Why then the govt., which initially said that this will be a short term program, now expanding it, even though it is not successful? I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I think that folks who framed this system and those who are implementing it are all elitist members of the forward castes, who want to take the easy road. But the discrimination in the meanwhile against these backward castes continue at every level. 'Oh, these guys can not keep up with studies'. 'Oh, he got the job and promotion, just because he is a backward caste'. Don't you think these take away from the dignity of these folks? What is worse in life (we already know this, because we were doing it to them all along) than people knowing that even though they have admissions to good colleges/universities, even though they got their jobs, even though they are promoted, it is only because of their caste? We have substituted the curse of casteism practiced over centuries with the same curse in modern , free India, while managing to lose at the same time any meritocracy and egalitarianism needed for the modern world!

11. I read only last week, in an article posted by Sri Kunjuppu Ji on MK's life, how some Vellalars are blocking dalits from entering a temple and how they do not want a bus stand to stand alongside them! Seems like the Vellalars also need education. This is happening today! No quota system will change these ideas. We are then doomed to be affected by casteism forever as a nation. It breaks my heart to see this.

12. Unless, we as a nation properly think through this and select proper ways to benefit the SC/ST communities, while removing the age old casteism, it won't matter. No one thinks that the system is working for them, especially the SC/ST. While they may have a high job, like the blacks in the American society, they go through indignities everyday and other communities feeling that they are also persecuted with real restrictions from the government, I really think that a gulf is widening between these communities. This is then exactly what makes for violence over the long term.

Regards,
KRS
 

zebra16

Well-known member
Sri Nara in his message no 11 of 01.04.2011 wrote:


”There are lots of facets to human intelligence, ability to master bookish knowledge is surely one of them. The strict caste-based division of work meant there was caste-based specialization of skills. The Brahmin specialization was bookish study and they did get good at it over the centuries. Since this is all they did, they placed high value in education.”


First doubt… whether the Brahmins were good at bookish study? Pursuing various threads on this forum, I find that except parroting and re-gurgating the Vedas (without knowing the meanings of course) they didn’t specialize in bookish study either.

Second doubt….. How did they get good at it (the bookish specialization) over centuries? Does it mean certain qualities are inherent in Brahmins/TBs or does it mean methodologies were invented and adopted, in which case the innovations are certainly beyond bookish knowledge.


"So, if what you say is true, i.e. TBs are smart, that only means they are smart in book-based education. As a result, perhaps the TBs have a leg up in the world economy that is increasingly dependent on this kind of smartness."


You seem to infer that this has accidentally resulted in them being better off. Nothing wrong with that, I feel. Please refer my fable in response to your interesting story which amplifies my point.

”Let me end with a story, a parable of sorts, I am sure many would have already heard it.
There was this very learned Brahmin scholar who wanted to cross a mighty river. He hired a boatman. As the boatman was rowing, this scholar quizzed him about what he has studied, whether he has studied this shastra or that shastra. The boatmen being an illiterate answered no to all these questions. The scholar then lamented that the boatman has wasted his lifetime without any education.

After a little while, the boatman asked the scholar whether he knew how to swim. The scholar answered no. The boatman laughed and said to the scholar, "it looks like you are the one who has wasted your lifetime without learning how to swim, there is sudden increase in river current, I am unable to control the boat, and it looks like it is going to capsize any minute."



Interesting story. But let me give another fable as a re-joinder.

A hatha-yogi who could walk on water had enrolled as a sishya under a vedantin to obtain brahma jnaanam in Varanasi. They had to cross the Ganga and had engaged a boat to cross the river. The river was unduly turbulent that day. While the oarsman/boatman was waiting for the passengers to board the boat, the hatha-yogi stated (rather boasted) that he can walk on water. The vedantin questioned him as to how many years it had taken the hatha-yogi to master that art and got the reply that it was 12 years. The vedantin laughed and replied that he (hatha yogi) had wasted 12 years in a useless pursuit which could be achieved by paying 2 annas to the boatman and that the 12 years could have been more productively utilized to obtain brahma-jnana. The boatman smirked at both of them thinking both were fools not to realize the importance of swimming when they needed to cross the river in current . Well, as the story goes, the boat capsized midway, the vedantin perished (inspite of brahma jnaanam), the boatman perished despite knowing swimming as the current in river was too strong to swim against it and the hatha-yogi just walked on the water and was safe in a short time on the shore.

The point is: all stories give only aspect of life, but unfortunately, life is multi-faceted. The trick is to be at the right place at the right time where the knowledge stands in good stead.

Regards

narayan
 

sravna

Well-known member
I think the commonality between jews and brahmins is superficial and not real. Whereas one has a tradition of affinity towards material affluence, the other is traditionally associated with eschewing that. This difference I think is fundamental and is reflected in many of the other aspects though I should concede that reality unfortunately seems to be changing now. It is true that both jews and brahmins are considered intelligent but the former is suited for scientific pursuits and the latter for spiritual pursuits. But the more adaptive intelligence of brahmins have allowed them to excel in scientific pursuits too. The hatred towards each of them is also for a different reason.
 
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Nara

Well-known member
....First doubt… whether the Brahmins were good at bookish study?

Second doubt….. How did they get good at it (the bookish specialization) over centuries?
Dear Shri narayan,

I was only responding to sravna's statement, "It is an undeniable fact that TamBrams are smart." I have no idea whether this is true or not. However, since the statement is made with sweeping confidence I was willing to take it at face value and try to look at it from a larger context.

Therefore, I am unable to answer your doubts, sorry. Since sravna is the one who made this claim perhaps you can take it up with him.

Cheers!
 

Nara

Well-known member
...8. Yes, this system is EVIL, mainly because of two things: 1) Has not helped those communities in any measurable way, while pretending to help 2) It certainly has limited the options to the sons of daughters of the same country, whose only crime is that they are born in to the so called forward castes. These two reasons are egregious enough, think about the opportunity costs lost for a poor nation to optimally use all her resources!
Dear Shri KRS, our respective positions on this issue are well known. I wish not to get into a long drawn back and forth on it. My only objection is to your characterization that the system is EVIL -- all caps noted.

First, let us assume, for the sake of argument, what you have stated above is true -- i.e. it has not helped, but restricted options of others. If this is so, it not good, yes, but is it really EVIL? If this is evil, then what will Pol Pot be, big evil? I feel simply throwing big words around is not a good idea, it conflates what is simply not good with what is really very bad.

Secondly, your claim that it has not helped Dalits and poor BCs is factually wrong. These communities have benefited enormously. More needs to be done, but to say it has not helped in a measurable way is simply not true.

Cheers!
 
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