this website by and large focuses on tamil brahmins (and possibly their offshoot in kerala).
i think we are doing pretty well. i come from a very ordinary lower class family 2 generations ago. the upward mobility to comfortable middle class and above, has been achieved in 2 generations to more than 400 families, who are my extended kith and kin. we would be hard pressed to find poverty in my clan.
i think this is the norm. i may be mistaken.
i have seen pockets of poverty. by and large, it is due to lack of motivation. where there is urge, money has been found. to upward mobility through education or business. i have indeed supported education of young tamil brahmins for a while and for i would be horrified to see a life go waste for want of eagerly sought education.
our community could do more. but i think, overall, for youth education is something that even the skinflintest of us, will willingly part money. two other oft quoted reasons for seeking charity appears to be marriage of daughters and health issues. the latter i sympathize, but in my order of things, all i could afford goes to education.
re marriage of daughters, i do not feel obliged to support this concept. on one hand, i have heard laments that no one wants to marry priests or cooks. in the same breath, there is this emotional appeal of a single girl who is a burden to her family, never mind, the girl is an income generating person.
talking of priests and cooks - these are indeed good professions these days. while the number of cooks may be increasing, the tamil brahmin priesthood appears to be slowly on the decline. atleast my take. also, the brahmin priests are smart and well versed with the law of demand and supply. all the more glory to them. with increased prosperity from other castes, brahmin priesthood will have a good future. i think.
so, pannvalan, i do not agree that tamil brahmins' fortunes are reversed. all that reversed was the brief period between 1947 & early 1960, when we dominated the civil service of tamil nadu. by early 60's, even during the congress regime, the scales were falling down and tamil brahmins were being shunned from this overwhelming presence. this too was only a small minority. the bulk of our community, had been moving out of tamil nadu/palghat since 1920s in search of opportunities.
re tamil nadu civil service, we still have a decent representation at the higher levels. i, for one, do not shed any tears, over our absence as tahsildars or registrars. we have moved on.
we have prospered in toto. if out of a topical interest, we look at other brahmin communities of india - i do not know much but i suspect our brethren in karnataka are doing well. a.p. i heard not so well. gujarat not so well, only because gujju brahmins did not embrace education. it was the baniyas and other obc's. not so well in the north, but ok in maharashtra. the bottom line, appears to be, where the brahmins have taken to education and mobility, good life appears to have occurred.
i seriously think, that we should focus more on tamil brahmins in this forum, for each brahmin culture in india has a separate history and priority, all quite different from ours.
pannvalan, but if am asked, as a community, what one wish, and only one, would i seek - my answer would be entrepreneurship. the art of self employment and prospering. i live in toronto, and i have seen a few tamil brahmin businesses start, flounder and fail. these guys have absolutely no clue how to run a business professionally, let alone speak of customer service and keeping up their promises re delivery, quality and above all competitive pricing.
just this one wish sir