VarNa & JAti

Balaji Hebbar bhebbar at EROLS.COM
Fri May 28 02:19:45 UTC 1999

Nanda  Chandran  wrote:

I've lived in Bangalore and Pune and have both Keralite and Telugu
In Bangalore, I never experienced any such anti brahmin sentiment. The
of Andhra resent only the land owning Reddy and Kamma (I think).
the communist propoganda in Kerala is very much against the Namboodaris,
quite justifiably in some areas. But the Namboodaris hold over religious
activities is still strong and even endorsed by the public. And there
also smArthas living in Kerala in PAlakAd, who also haven't been treated
badly. Go to Pune and you'll know the influence and the respect that the
brahmins wield in MahArAshtra.

MY  COMMENTS:  This  is  absolutely  right.  In  fact,  it  is  true  of
coastal  and  Uttar  Karnatak  as  well.  In  fact,  in  any  part  of
South  Kanara  one  can  go  dressed  as  a  brahmin  with  dhoti,
shikhA,  yajn.opavIta  and  sectarian  markings,  you  will  not  be
insulted  in  any  way.  Actually,  in  some  places  you  may  be  met
with  deference.  Also,  the  ritual  purity  observed  by  the
MalabAr-Karnatak  brahmins  is  the  same  as  is  observed  by  the
NambUdiris  in  KeraLa.  They  come  straight  from  the  temple  tank
in  wet  clothes  after  a  ritual  bath  to  enter  the  temple
sanctum  and  the  way  is  yielded  to  them  by  any  non-brahmins.
Further,  in  Dharmasthala,  the  HeggaDes  have  made  sure  that
there  are  separate  seatings  for  brahmins,  Jains  and  Hindu
non-brahmins  for  the  afternoon  mRShTAnna  (meals). BNHebbar

Infact, people from all four categories (Keralite, Telugu, Kannada,
that I've met, stoutly deny that their language is derived from Tamizh,
insist that it's Samskrutam which is the mother language. Even if
actually wrong, it still reflects their respect and affinity towards
Samskrutam, which could never have been achieved by coersion.

MY  COMMENTS:  Though  the  VIrashaivas  may  be  anti-brahmin,  they
are  certainly  NOT  anti-Sanskrit.  In  fact,  many  of  them  are
good  Sanskrit  scholars.  One  only  need  visit  the  Karnatak
University  in  Dharwad.  Also,  I  have  a  Syrian  Christian  Keralite
friend  whose  father  keeps  lecturing  to  him  of  how  Sanskrit  is
the  true  mother  tongue  of  all  the  Keralites  (Christians
included!)  B.N.Hebbar

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