Narayan S. Raja
raja at GALILEO.IFA.HAWAII.EDU
Fri May 8 01:51:20 UTC 1998
Thursday, March 26, 1998
The fragmentation of the Tamil polity
By M.S.S. Pandian
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.
"Agenda of the Tamil Brahmins"... "Return of the Killer Tomatos"...
It's an interesting fact about many "leftist" or "subaltern" writers
that, while they are often correct in identifying large social phenomena,
they tend to ascribe a non-existent purposefulness to the participants in
Taking an animal analogy, they correctly identify that
"the elephants are on the move", but wrongly link it to
"the warthog agenda to make a comeback through a pan-vegetarian
mobilisation". In fact, the elephants -- and warthogs -- are
merely wandering in search of water and food.
"Tamil Brahmins" are a social group that just happens to exist, not a
political group that was consciously created. As such, they don't have
a political "agenda", any more than potato plants do. Their "agenda"
doesn't go beyond making more money, getting their kids into
But oh well... it's good that in India we find every possible
school of thought (or thoughtlessness).
Narayan Sriranga Raja.
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