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Where we Are

(By S.Guruswami)

It is only in recent years that the non Brahmin community has come to realize its degraded position in Hindu society. Even thousands of years ago, many great men of the community directed the attention of the Non-Brahmins to their servile conditions under the aliens. But their warning was only a cry in the wilderness. Because the Non-Brahmins were carefully denied all chances of education. the incomers so cleverly manipulated the society among the Non Brahmins that in course of time the latter were made to feel the indispensableness of the former. Even against such heavy odds, many great men sprang from the community, but circumstances prevented them from expressing their opinions boldly. The first and the foremost of the curse that were handed down by the incomers, was the caste-system. It divided the homogeneous community into a number of small divisions. The institution was then made part and parcel of religion. The disease went into the very vitals. Men like Capillar, Tiruvalluvar and 18 Chithars (Tamil mystics and poets – editors) more than 2000 years ago, condemned the ruinous system in unequivocal terms. They proved by sane arguments the preposterousness of man’s superiority by birth. They showed to the people the absurdity of meaningless ceremonials as Sraddahas and other rites; but met with no encouragement.

Years rolled on and the caste system wrought all that was expected of it by the originators. Men of the same community were flying at one another’s throats. Privilege of birth demanded an outer agency to support it and the Aryan element supplied all that was necessary. The country came to be ruled by many alien races. Still there were the intruders at the helm of affairs, and they had no other weapons except god and religion. The Vedas and other puranas were written in order to establish an unquestioning right over the natives. If reason interfered with them, they safely took refuge under the ‘All powerful’. Under penalty of hell-fire and eternal damnation, Hinduism (Brahmanism) was safeguarded. Kings may come and kings may go, but the Varnashrama was going on for ever. Whether it was the rule of the Greeks, or the Persians or the Mauryas or the Guptas or the Rajputs or the Moguls or the Mahrattas, it was immaterial to the Rishi Community. Their armour was caste system and their weapons, god and religion. If anybody dared to think, woe unto him – nay even to his soul! And then came the Western invasion. There was a rapid spread of education. The Aryan element eyed it with displeasure. Here was the beginning of their end.

Sanctity of languages was tampered with by the “heathen”. The rishi community blinked wide and breathed high. Years passed on and the ‘’holy” Vedas were translated by the heathen. The face-born thought of its power for curse. Each member of the class eagerly looked up to his right hand to conjure up his hereditary fire. And lo! It was gone! The Vedic hymns were chanted even more vigorously and vociferously and yagams were performed in every corner. All that was possible for driving the Europeans was tried by the priestly class, but in vain. The English machine-guns, steamers ands aero-planes proved stronger than the six inches kusha grass (dharpa).The Indian Penal Code proved mightier than the Vedas, Smirithis and Puranas. By and by the Hindu gods themselves began to groan under the feet of the so called mlecchas. Not merely that. The Hindu goddesses like Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) and Saraswathi (goddess of learning) emigrated to the West (“a heathen land”) once and forever. Finding their attempts were in vain, the incomers joined the invaders in sucking the blood of the people. It is why whenever the government pretends any reform for the amelioration of the people, the face-born community obstruct it by such outbursts as “religion in danger”, and “god in danger”. And some of the Non-Brahmins also join the chorus without realizing the real situation. This is the pass we have come into.

- Revolt, 10 April 1929

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