That’s the message a Hyderabad-based company is sending out to the millions of normal people out there in the world. I came across this post by MumbaiGirl on Blogbharti. This company, called Dhanwantri Foundation, proposes to develop a gated community exclusively for Brahmins. I am just so outraged and disgusted that I don’t know how to go about this post any more. DNA published a report on the gated community, as did the Deccan Herald. I could not find the original article on the Herald’s site and so I am linking to the Sulekha forums. I am shocked and surprised that no news channel picked it up and reported it as the illegal act it is. They had better things to talk about, didn’t they? Like Shah Rukh Khan’s six-pack abs and the millions our cricketers made?
The "Agraharam" as it is called, derives from the traditional meaning of the word, which was a Brahmins-only area, prevalent until the mid twentieth-century. The abolition of untouchability, Indian independence and social revolution meant that these Agraharams started disappearing in the late 1950s. Now, this Foundation is acting as if they are the saviours of Brahmins all over the world, by recreating a concept that has no place in a modern, egalitarian world. What the hell? And they wonder why nobody likes them? The site claims that,
"Since the traceable history known, Brahmin Community has led a Serene & Sacrificial life wishing welfare of entire Society irrespective of Caste, Religion and Region etc. Leading mostly spiritual life they have not given much importance to materialistic gains. Bestowed with intellect & working for Spiritual elevation of entire society, they were respected & nurtured by rest of Society in reciprocation. However, Western Culture, vote bank based democracy of India leading to Caste-based selfish motivated politicians have cornered the Brahmin community, leaving majority Brahmins in pathetic condition irrespective of their position. Added to above external threats & adverse situation, the feeling of ego and so-called intellect has not allowed the community to function as a systematic organization leaving individuals to suffer."
Serene and sacrificial life? Who are they kidding? And what the f*** do they mean, "bestowed with intellect"? It is precisely this attitude, a disgusting and unpardonable superiority complex that led to the anti-Brahmin revolutions of the 1930s, and the Dravidian movement with a total negation of caste-identity. Let’s make one thing clear. Intellect and intelligence is not the exclusive domain of the Brahmins, as they (or should I say we?) like to believe. The motives of the Foundation are certainly not as noble as they may seem. It claims to promote "mutual understanding". Tell me, just how do you promote mutual understanding when you exclude about 98% of the Indian population?
What nobody seems to get, on the Sulekha forums or elsewhere, is that the very act of building a gated community that excludes people on the basis of caste is illegal. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution clearly states that,
- The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
- No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to-
- access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
- the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
- Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
- Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
What the Dhanwantri Foundation is doing is precisely this: discriminating on the grounds of caste and creed. While a private enterprise has every right to do business the way it deems fit, it cannot deny the right to buy a plot there on the grounds of caste alone. The registration form alone is enough to make me see red. Gotram indeed! Well, I refuse to acknowledge that I have one. Unless we start protesting against this kind of casteist and discriminatory bullshit, we will never really progress. Let’s face it. The society we live is definitely caste-based. But that does not mean we deliberately exclude people on the basis of something as unacceptable as caste. This attitude of the Brahmins simply sucks.