Thanks for Arguing But a ‘Brahmin-Only Township’ is NOT Justified
The Quint’s story on a Brahmin only township in K’taka ignited a debate. Here are our responses to questions raised.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Across the world there cannot be a better time than today to understand and accept this. The world has proved religious hatred and caste superiority cannot be countered by more of it.
The Quint’s story on the ‘Brahmin only township’ in Karnataka has ignited a storm on its social media platforms. There are those who are shocked to hear about a township where non-Brahmins are not allowed to own a house. And others that are disturbed and angry about the fact that the housing project is still in execution despite objections.
There are also quite a few who feel there is nothing wrong with an exclusive Brahmin only society. Through this piece, I am particularly interested in understanding, speaking with, and arguing with those who believe this. Let me answer a few of you specifically.
Argument: “I have seen Jain only, Muslim only, Christian only rent and housing advertisements. Why are you reacting when you saw a Bramhin’s only thing?”
The Reality Check: The Muslim, Jain or Christian only colonies and rent advertisements that filter tenants on the basis of their caste are equally horrific and not acceptable. One wrong does not justify another!
A ghetto (a part of a city in which members of a minority group live, especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure) is socially, structurally and technically different from a housing project and the constitution of India does not allow buildings, structures and colonies to discriminate with somebody on the basis of caste or creed.
The Vedic Village-Shankar Agraharam is not in question for choosing a specific philosophy as its concept, the problem lies in not allowing non-brahmins to buy or own the property in those premises. A housing project is built on land which is a national resource, and there is no way a colony that propagates caste discrimination can be allowed to misuse the resource.
Argument: “If there can be reservations for SC, ST and OBC because of which the general category suffers, then what is wrong in this?”
The Reality Check: To those who feel that the caste-based colonies are a befitting reply to caste-based reservations in India, I can only say that this ignorance is the reason the reservation debate has seen more verbal garbage than sensible arguments on social media in India.
Historically and constitutionally, reservation is a way to compensate and support the classes that have faced consistent and prolonged discrimination. No accounts of history across the world suggest that Brahmins were ever on the receiving end. The Brahmin culture and community spaces have historically been the most prominent and sought after. The exclusive Brahmin township does not save the ‘dying’ Brahmin culture, it bars others from coexisting and being a part of it.
Argument: “When u can ask for a separate Kashmir and Kerala..why we can’t go for a separate colony. We are proud to say we are Brahmins.”
The Reality Check: The issue of a violent Kashmir or a separate North east or for that matter an independent Khalistan has already provided enough evidence that the divisions of a sovereign state lead only to violence and a collective loss.
In a country as diverse as India, we do not need exclusive and discriminatory townships to save our respective cultures. What we need is the fondness for each other and the resilience to live and let live.
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