Vivekananda &c.

S Krishna mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 8 22:15:03 UTC 1998

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

>            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. >>

  I fail to understand what is so "NEW" about this process..The process
described above w.r.t. "advanced" non-Brahmins is the very thing that is
described by the sociologist M.N.Srinivas as "samskrtization"- this
feature has also existed in Tamil Nadu
before and during the DK, DMK inspired stuff and there has always been a
non-Brahmin class, (however tiny) that has always "BRahminized" it's
ways and has ocassionally beaten the Brahmins at their own game!. As an
example, when a proposal for introducing only Tamil in the temples was
introduced in the 50s, the loudest protests came not from any of the
Brahmins in the legaslative assembly but from minjUr bhaktavatsalam, a
veLLAla. Likewise, the family of O.V.Alagesan, the ex-minister has
rubbed shoulders with the kanci paramAcArya more than many Brahmin
families in TN and probably  all the Brahmin families put together.

  Washbrook( in his book about the late 19th-20th century South India)
gives examples of the dealings and doings of Justice Party leaders(
including the redoubtable piTTi tyAgarAya ceTTi) and posits that the
anti-Brahminism in these gentlemen was more a political ploy than any
genuine bitterness against the Brahmins. He says that when it suited
their purpose, they i.e. the non-Brahmin elite were willing not only to
hob-nob with the Brahmins but could also be more Brahmin than the
Brahmins themselves.

>            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.
>                [...]

With all due respect for the analytical skills of tiru pANDiyan..
Are the AIADMK and Congress(I) "Hindu communal arganizations"? The
former has been led by JayalalitA, a Brahmin and the later has fielded
candidates like maNi sankar iyer, who has made a namefor himself thru
volume if not political stature. SubramaNiam svAmi, another brAhmin, has
hop-skip-jumped quite a few parties at the state level, managing
to make himself a "leader" in every case and is currently with the
janatA. Are all these parties communal? I doubt if the representation of
Brahmins in the "Communal organizations"( hindu munnani?) is any higher
than it is in other parties....

The problem with the  self-proclaimed secular crowd in India is that
THEY make a bigger issue out of caste than any communal party would..


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