Brahmin? Screw him.

The stigma associated with the "upper classes" and brahmins  causes me great concern. 

I am a brahmin. I grew up in a home full of books. About 20,000 at that time. From the Koran to Mein Kampf, My Experiments with Truth to Environmental Law and the Bible to Why I am not a Christian. I was brought up, like most of us, to respect all people regardless of caste, religion or sex. 

A few months ago I said to a very good friend that the economically backward brahmins and "upper castes" today seem to have been systematically deprived of benefits due to a lot of issues, be it reservations, caste politics or perception in society. Perceptions created mainly from a belief that these communities have for long been at the "top" of the social order and do not need any more "special privileges". Her reply was that I myself was bringing in caste politics and that me and the rest of the people who are designated "upper caste" are collectively responsible for a lot of the ills society is facing today. The "balance of scales" in this matter tips greatly towards Dalits and other "lower caste" people who I and the other "upper castes" are answerable to for all our ancestors' supposed atrocities against them for the past "500 years". The "dalits and oc[sic]/sc/st have a huge score to settle with you that I doubt will be resolved in your grandchildren's lifetimes", she said. Firstly, I am "oc" technically so, I do not know if I should settle this score with myself. But, I was shocked. There are no words to explain what I felt when I first read this. Going ahead, I asked some of my friends what they felt about this and I was surprised that this was not far from the popular sentiment - "They who oppressed shall now be oppressed", often said with more than just a hint of satisfaction. I had never realised that people felt I am accountable for the supposed sins of others who died centuries if not millennia ago just because I happen to be from a certain community. 

! [Expletive Deleted] !

While the stigma about my "caste" is perhaps to some extent understandable as holding historic significance in analysing our current situation, it by no means is an accurate portrayal of the situation today. I do not deny that there are conservatives and even morons who have no understanding of the teachings of Sanatana (Hindu) Dharma in the first place, a distant relative who once advised me not to play with the children on the street as they were untouchables is one of those. But for as many people as there are such as these, there are many more who cringe and fight back at the mention of such grave crimes against humanity. To paint the entire community with broad strokes of hatred and discrimination is communal and almost unforgivable.

Our nations' soul is its people, their diversity, their thirst for knowledge, growth and change, our culture of unending patience, acceptance, forgiveness, love and endurance through the eons. As our own digestive system takes a while to weed out the poisons we ingest every saturday and as the leaves on the billions of plants and trees clear the poisons from our air through the years, so shall our nations' soul one day cleanse us of these issues, stigmas, their implication on our society and the perceived borders between brothers. 

 The new generation is here. While the politicians, socialites and psuedo-intellectuals rattle on about these issues, I believe that we will one day see change. We will one day rid ourselves of our hatred, our prejudices and preconceived notions, moving on to create a better world for us all.

Jai Hind


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