Thank you for giving a reply to my write up on the position of Brahmins in Tamil Nadu. We all know the route cause of Justice party. They felt that just 3% of the Brahmin population were occupying 90% of the govt jobs available then. That was true.As one who had most of my schooling (and therefore) all of my college education in the period of DMK rule I share some of your apprehensions about the future of the community. Our family moved out of the Agraharam (from a village 500 km away) to the city during my grandfather's time and we (from the time of my father) have had a complete city upbringing and I therefore have no knowledge about the situation prevailing in villages which may be as bad as you describe.
What follows is mostly from information gathered from older relatives and from friends in my age group (within our community) who also got it from family small talk.
When missionaries opened their educational institutions to locals, many young Brahmins enrolled and used the western education to their advantage and hogged a high percentage of the jobs (in the British Raj) and some of them were even able to secure high level administrative posts. They gave up the traditional priest profession and moved out of their (squalid) Agraharams and moved up financially in life on par with the people at whose doors their forefathers had been begging for centuries. Traditionally, Brahmins subsisted on alms. For many people of other (other than Brahmin) castes especially those who were affluent, these upstart neo rich Brahmins became objects of instant hatred. You do not like your subordinates' children doing better than your own - till yesterday these Paappans had been beggars.
If we had continued in Agraharams maintaining our traditional practices including social distancing and claiming social superiority as our birthright but remained paupers, no EVR Naicker or AR Mudaliar or Karunakara Menon or TM Nair or Varadarajulu Naidu or Theagaraya Chettiar et al would have bothered about us. The mention of people of different castes is deliberate and none of these persons belonged to the socially oppressed Dalit communities. Many of the above mentioned persons carried titles like 'Rao Bahadur', 'Dewan Bahadur' and even 'Sir' (knighted) and they were founders/ active members of the Justice Party. Were they really fighting for social justice or were they in fact angry that Brahmins had usurped their place in society which they fiercely believed was (hereditarily) theirs and theirs alone? There is one thing I am convinced about - we are not being targeted for several centuries/ millennia of social distancing from other communities out of perceived feeling of superiority by birth. We are being targeted for reaping the benefits of modern western education in the last 200 years.
Many years back, there was a centre page article in a popular and reputed newspaper (based in a metro city in North India) that the Christian Missionaries generally encouraged pagan priests to enroll in their schools where they could impart (the superiority of) their religion even while imparting education. Once the pagan priests and aspiring pagan priests converted, the others would follow. This approach had worked for the missionaries in many other cultures. Not surprisingly, in India these missionary schools encouraged and even gave preference to Brahmin children and there was good response particularly from the Brahmins in Bengal and Tamilnadu (as per the article). This article was primarily about the role and methods of missionaries in India in spreading their religion and also mentioned the opening of good hospitals and orphanages. The point about bringing Brahmins into mainstream education was not the focus of the article. The common propaganda is that Brahmins rose to high positions because they reserved all education for themselves and kept others illiterate. It is true that Brahmins claimed sole rights to learn Sanskrit scriptures but the stone tablets/ inscriptions in temples and other sites are proof that artisans were not illiterate. The accountants (Kanakku Pillai) employed by business communities were generally family members. Probably this traditional system of maintaining accounts is much closer to anything that modern education has to offer than memorisation and recitation of Sanskrit Shlokas or consulting the almanac for auspicious days. The point is that our forefathers got here using the same education system that the Justice Party members had access to and not by learning the Sanskrit scriptures that they had selfishly guarded.
If the social environment in villages is hostile, Brahmins should try and move to larger cities where people are too busy to learn anything about their neighbours. And as for job aspirants there are MNCs. As for the even better option of leaving the state, DK/ DMK need not be the only reason to move out of Tamilnadu. Bangalore and Hyderabad are today comercially more important than Chennai and very soon Ahmedabad will push this city further down and possibly Pune will do the same in 10 years and all this due to the retrograde policies initiated by the DMK particularly in the area of education. Google, Oracle, Microsoft and many other international giants will open offices only in cities where skilled manpower is available on a large scale and these large offices will in turn spawn many more work centres locally - more job opportunities and revenue and greater widening of the gap between Tamilnadu and these progressive states. There was a program on smart cities on TV some months back. Students in middle school (classes 5 to 8) from Vishakapatnam speak far better English than college students in Chennai and the students (from Chennai) I refer to are not from socially deprived families. Point this out to the DK/ DMK and they will insist that Tamil is the greatest language in the world and Thirukkural holds all the wisdom the world needs. I do not know if you watched this on TV - some time after the first corona wave last year, M K Stalin while criticising the state and centre for their inability to tackle Corona, said that Thirukkural had already shown the way and he quoted the verse "Gunam Naadi Kutramum Naadi ..." as if this generic saying from the Kural was a silver bullet to deal with corona.
It is a fact that the low standard of education here should be a greater concern for Brahmins as their children are already facing an uncertain future in the state. If they wish to compete with aspirants from other states for opportunities elsewhere, then they need to think beyond the course content and university exams and put in a lot of extra effort to equip themselves. Quality books published by NCERT for the Delhi Higher Secondary schools are legally downloadable for free - they can get a good grounding even while in school. There is a wealth of free high quality learning material on the internet. Rather than worrying, parents can play a more active role in the development of their children and guide them. 'Sweet are the uses of adversity' is a well known and inspiring proverb.
To conclude, though we voice our feelings differently, we are certainly on the same side in the matter of concern for our community.
(Sorry, if my response is a bit too long!)
But the Britishers cleverly and cunningly destroyed all our local abilities and talents and made us subservient to and dependent on them for our day today activities and survival.. Many brahmins were the first target for the conversion by the missionaries. Some of them even imitated brahmins in every respect and converting them by offering them a living standard which they never experienced before. They made life difficult for brahmins to live their way who in turn were made their dependents. Having suffered at the hands of the moguls, they were ready to accept a life that was not meant for them. They could not continue to survive by daily poojas, prayers and bikshas alone. So for survival , they came forward to accept the only available alternative for them , namely an education that will make them get an employment . Ultimately they fell for it and gave up their daly riuals and prayers ordained for them.
Historical forces also drove them that way and when most brahmins succumbed to it, that resulted in the other castes, having lost their means of survival, because of the British policy, to look with envy at the brahmins. The britishers having failed to cause rift between muslims and Hindus as in the north used Caldwells bluff and blister of Aryan invasion theory to suit their needs and that gave birth to justice party, the root of DK and DMK.
But the schism between the brahmins and others got expanded further with the connivance of the British to such an extent that the nonbrahmins were made to feel that the brahmins who have been a part of the sanatana dharma, now called Hindu dharma were aliens who have immigrated from outside Into India ( வந்தேறி) And this false propoganda gained ground to such an extent that the real history Of our nation that is Bharat got distorted to suit the politicians iof today that they claim that Tamils are different, they are not Hindus and their brahmin baiting grew so much that they started finding fault with Brahmins for all that is found in todays society.
Even thogh the brahmin phobia in Tamil Nadu has not become that bitter as in J&K , here the genocide of Brahmins is silently going on nonviolently by indirecly forcing them to move out of TN aato seek greener pastures. By abusuing them daily using highly objectionable and profane words and making their life intolerable, there is a slow and steady migration from TNto outside places within the country and out.
If you inderstand what is happening in some of the villages in Delta districts, The brahmins are made to leave their native village by selling whatever little property they have at throw away prices to either muslims or to the Dravidian political land grabbers. Your contention is that if Brahmins can lead a real vedic life, they can live hapily and peacefully in Tamil Nadu. I do agree with that .But in the present circumstances when all the basic infrastrutures for a brahmin to lead a vedic life have been shattered , is it possible for him to lead the vedic ordained life? So when he has adjusted himself to the needs of time, is it not the duty of the government to make him lead a social life with self respect and dignity?. This fact should be assured to everyone in this land, irrespective of caste or creed. I have nothing against anybody .if you want to make this land a land of social justice, it should really be a land of Social justice for ALL.