Vivekananda &c.

Thu May 7 21:20:52 UTC 1998

Thanks, Vidyasankar for a good point.
The issue you are discussing is dealt in
an article of The Hindu, Opinion section, 26-mar-98

N. Ganesan

                      Thursday, March 26, 1998
                          SECTION: Opinion

            The fragmentation of the Tamil polity
            By M.S.S. Pandian


            Though these imaginative interventions by the DMK are on
            the side of the subordinate sections of the
            non-Brahmins, they are woefully inadequate as a solution
            to the massive contradictions plaguing the non-Brahmin
            collectivity. Sadly, all these interventions remained as
            administrative moves, without the Dravidian politics
            confronting the multilayered elite-subaltern conflicts
            within the non-Brahmins at the ground level and
            recasting its agenda.

            If the subalternity of certain sections of the
            non-Brahmins has led them to drift away from Dravidian
            politics, others are doing so exactly for the opposite
            reason. The socially and materially advanced sections of
            the non-Brahmins look at Dravidian politics as no longer
            relevant to their newly emerging desires. Now they have
            enough economic resources to look at the whole of India
            as the terrain for education, jobs and investment; and,
            in this process, Tamil nationalism has lost much of its
            cutting edge for them. If a critique of Hinduism for its
            caste system is what has empowered them in the past, now
            they, in their search for a new identity outside the
            fold of Dravidian politics, are moving towards Hindu

            In their new-found confidence, they no longer view
            Brahminism as threatening. In other words, they are
            today willing collaborators in the agenda of the Tamil
            Brahmins who, after being politically sidelined for
            years in the State, are attempting a comeback through a
            pan-Hindu mobilisation. A number of key functionaries of
            Hindu communal organisations in the State are from these
            castes while the leadership remains with the Brahmins.

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