Brahmins have become a ‘minority’

I’ve written about caste-based reservation in the past, more than once. Caste-based reservation has been mainstream political fait accompli in this country since independence. However, there is a small but vocal group of people taking the contrarian position on this and arguing that brahmins are in fact the most oppressed community. Like in this video:

Now, most of the video is just a display of some mixture of hubris and self-pity from people who think they deserve better: “I’m a Brahmin and this is what my life has come to. But I tell you I will starve to death, but not clean toilets for a living.” There’s nothing I can say or do that will make their lives better, and barring that, I have no right to say they shouldn’t be bitter about how their lives have turned out.

What I can do, however, is list the statistics that the video quotes, sometimes with references, and show you how the makers of the video are trying to mislead you. My comments are in red, right under each statistic quoted (or simply made-up) in the video. Read the entirety of what I have to say, if you have the time. If you don’t (or won’t), here’s the short-version: the makers of the video have deliberately misquoted statistics, taken statistics out of context, or simply made up data that you or I have no way of checking. So:

1. 50% of the rickshaw-pullers in Patel Nagar in Delhi are brahmins.

I leave to you to guess how the makers of the video went about determining this statistic. More importantly, I leave you to guess why they think this statistic matters in making national policy. ‘75% of the brahmins living in the house next to me are idiots. I therefore demand that the government announce free special teaching for brahmins.’

2. In the 5-18 age group, 44 per cent brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36% at the matriculation level.

That’s 80% of Brahmins who have no more than a class 10 education? Does that seem reasonable to you? Here’s a study from the Azim Premji Foundation that compiles data on education and caste and other social factors. Go to p. 36:

Almost all empirical studies in the field of primary education, in different parts of the country, demonstrate the fact that the social status in terms of caste affects the schooling patterns of children. Scheduled caste and backward caste children have a lower chance of enrolment, grade attainment and completion of primary schooling compared to the upper caste children. (Acharya 1994, Unni 1996, Duraiswamy 1998, Dreze and Kingdon 2001, Vasavi and Mehendale 2003, Jha and Jhingran 2002, Ramachandran Vimala 2003, Visaria and Visaria 1993, Kanbargi and Kulkarni 1991, Sheriff 1991, Kaul 2001, Sipahimalani 1996, Vaidyanathan and Nair 2001, Reddy Shiva et al. 1992).

3. The last 400,000 brahmins of Kashmir are refugees in their own country.

The ouster of the Kashmiri pandits from Kashmir had nothing to do with their being brahmin. (Also, Kashmiri pandits are refugees in India, not in their own country.)

4. 75% of domestic help and cooks in Andhra are brahmin.

This is bull. I know of no census that goes around asking domestic servants for their caste, but I’m hardly all-knowing so I did a search which, not surprisingly, turned up nothing. That you can make up random statistics doesn’t make you right. And it definitely doesn’t mean you should be allowed to set national policy.

5. 70% of brahmins rely on their hereditary vocation. Hundreds of families survive on Rs. 300 a month as priests in temples. (Department of Endowment Statistics)

Hundreds of families and 70% of brahmins in the country are not the same thing. A class 2 kid could have told you as much. Maybe the makers of the video were right about the education statistics… NOT.

6. At TN’s Ranganathaswamy temple, a priest’s salary is Rs. 300 a month and one measure of rice per day. Govt. staff at the temple receive Rs. 2500 a month.

More than enough reason to quit the priest’s job and take up the better paying job, wouldn’t you say?

7. Brahmins and other upper castes constitute 36% of the population of the country (National Sample Survey ’99 report).

The first caste-based census since 1903 was done last year, and the statistics are still being worked out. Depending on how you define ‘other upper castes’, this statistic can always be defended. 

8. ‘Brahmins of India’ by J. Radhakrishna says that all purohits today live below the poverty line.

And if J. Radhakrishna says it, it must be true.

9. A paper by D. Narayana, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum (CICRED Seminar on Poverty and Health, Feb 2005) shows (if you follow the link and look at the paper, you’ll see that the paper deals with one grama panchayat in Wayanad, and that trying to decide national policy from this sample would be stupid. But the people making the video haven’t even quoted statistics from the paper truthfully)

(a) 69.8% of brahmin and upper castes never went past 12th class.

Compare this to what was said in (2). Did these people think that nobody would bother to check if the numbers add up? Moreover, that the number quoted above is typical of all castes in that panchayat, and university education is dominated by the upper castes (25% of the upper caste population has a university education.)

(b) 52.4% of brahmin and upper caste farmers don’t own land bigger than 100 cents.

Compare this number to the number for other castes (85% for OBC, 78% for SC/ST), and you’ll know that the makers of the video are not so much ill-informed as actively disingenuous and divisive.

(c) 53.9% of the upper caste population is below the poverty line.

More bull. The number for the entire country is about 35%. SCs and STs in this country are poorer than the upper castes, and at least the SC/STs seem to be getting relatively poorer (according to this study about the 1990s and this study from 2010.

10. 70% of the people employed by the 1783 public toilets in Delhi are upper caste hindus.

Whichever bodily orifice the makers pulled this number out from, I have to ask what this obsession with public toilets is about. Gandhi was an ‘upper caste hindu’ and cleaned his own toilet. I believe his reasoning was that the toilet wasn’t going to clean itself.

I discovered after I wrote this that somebody else has talked about this video as well, although I see nothing even remotely approaching skepticism. As I’ve shown here, though, pretty much every statistic used in the video is ‘fudged’ in the sense that it’s either used out of context or simply made-up.

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25 thoughts on “Brahmins have become a ‘minority’”

  1. “Now I will punish you for what your ancestors did to mine, yesterday. Tomorrow your children can punish my children for what I am doing to you. For now, while I spread the message of hatred, please shut up.”

  2. One sided arguments like the one in the video are always prone to (valid) bashing like this post. I think a better thing to do would be to compare all these statistics for (1) brahmins (2) non brahmins not enjoying reservation and (3) people belonging to reserved castes. If that takes as much time as taking apart this video, as you did (:D), maybe you can be the one to do it? I’m quite interested in knowing the numbers.
    Apart from that, I don’t get why 36% brahmins can’t be toilet cleaners. As for purohits being paid less, they brought it on to themselves, really.

  3. @Srinivas, Indeed.

    @RandomFellow, treating human beings like crap for centuries and affirmative action by the government are just exactly the same… or, you know, not.

    @Shorty, The statistics for education, employment (and poverty) and health are already in several of the reports I’ve linked to in the post. SC/STs are indeed worse off than anybody else in all those markers. The poverty ratio has gotten marginally better for SCs, but remained stagnant for STs; and neither of these compare to how well the rest of the country is doing.

  4. It is a matter of great national pride that as many brahmins are operating as toilet cleaners as is claimed to be in the video (if it is indeed true).Finally ,after 3000 years, equality is coming to aryavarta. I am all in for at least 3% reservation for brahmins at all public toilets throughout India. Similarly there should be proportionate reservation as priests in all Indian temples.

  5. George Bernard Shaw once mentioned that “Cricket is a game where eleven fools play and eleven hundred fools watch”. We at Dalitnation have changed Mr. G.B.Shaw’s words a little bit to reflect the modern Indian reality. We say “Cricket is a Game where eleven brahmins and upper castes play and eleven million sarvajan and bahujan fools watch and eleven hundred fools in the upper caste media comment and analyse this stupid Game.”

    One look at the teams will clear up all your doubts. How the pappati pot bellied Brahmins have injected the caste system. Look at the list of Brahmin Indian cricketers: Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Vinoo Mankad, Ajit Wadekar, G.R.Vishwanath, EAS Prassana, Ishant Sharma, Yashpal Sharma, Chethan Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar, B Chandrashekar, K Srikanth, L Sivaramakrishnan, Dilip Doshi, Sunil Joshi, Rohit Sharma, Venkatesh Prasad, Ashok Malhotra, VVS Laxman, Murli Karthik, Sreeshashant, Dileep Sardesai, Sanjay Manjrekar,ML Jaisimha, Sudhakar Rao, TA Shekar and many many more. The 4% brahmins in India have on an average more than 70% representation in the cricket teams. The rest are occupied by other upper caste fellows like the jat Kapil dev, Yuvaraj Singh, Mongia, Rajputs Ajay Jadeja, Chethan Chauhan, Upper caste khatri sikhs Sidhu, B S Bedi, Harbhajan Singh. Out of fear of the muslims the sacred threadwallahs reserve some places for muslims like Azzarudin, Irfan Pathan, Pataudi, Kirmani, Munaf Patel. The indian cricket dressing room is virtually a Brahmin Agraharam. Even the recent under 19 team is full of Brahmins with surnames like Kauls and Sharmas. Based on the analysis we have found six Brahmins in this team of eleven and the rest are upper caste and one muslim.

    We dalits can be rest assured that in the next few decades our youths will spend their productive time watching and worshipping the pot bellied Brahmins and upper caste players bat and bowl. Our Dalit people will buy the products endorsed by these fair complexioned Brahmins. They will brush their teeth with the toothpastes these Brahmins endorse i.e if they have the money to buy toothpaste.

    Why papati Brahmins took to cricket. The upcoming and budding Dalit Intellectual Siriyavan Anand has analyzed this so well. We hope brother S Anand continues to write on engrossing Dalit issues and we wish him all the best. Brahmins who never bothered to play any games and who spent all their lives memorizing the stupid Vedic texts found the leisurely game of cricket most suitable to their lazy temperament. Cricket is one of the most laziest games fit for people who have a lot of time to spare and not physically taxing. In cricket unlike in other sports there is less contact between players. This appeals to the Brahmin practice of untouchability. No wonder young Brahmin boys are sent to coaching camps by their parents to get into the cricket team. The Brahmin selectors, the players and Brahmin commentators form a mutual admiration society.

    Now where are the Dalits represented in the cricket team. We had only few dalit cricketers in all these years Balwanth Paloo ( the cricketer who Inspired Babasaheb), Eknath Solkar and Vinod Kambli. Nobody remembers Balwanth Paloo. Why should the pappati remember them. They only remember the twice born dwijas. The Maharastrian dalit Solkar was made to Field close to the batsman and he had to take so many blows. No brahmin wanted to Field there. Vinod Kambli created a world record with the Brahmin Tendulkar. But where is tendulkar now and Kambli is completely forgotten. He was dropped from the team just because he was a Dalit, so that the Brahmin Tendulkar can be made into a hero. The Brahmins do not even have sportsman and team spirit. Look at the way they think about their own records and scores. How could Gavaskar and tendulkar score so many centuries while the team did not win many matches. For the Brahmins the country comes secondary, it is the caste and personal desires which come first. Brahmins whose physiques are not so great are made into macho heros by the media. Ambedkar mentions about how genetically inferior these Brahmins are with respect to their physiques. But our strong Dalit-bhaujans don’t even have a place in the national team. It is a shame.

    In more physically vigorous sports like Hockey and Football the Brahmins don’t qualify so we don’t find the papans there. They would collapse due to exhaustion if they played these games. They need Dalits and Bahujans to play these games. But these dalits don’t get any money for playing hockey and football. The Hockey and football federations have no money. All the money from the upper caste Business sponsors are given to this filthy casteist game of cricket.

    The dalits are made to feel inferior every time they watch a cricket match. There are movies like Lagaan which insults Dalits. Siriyavan Anand writes in detail about these filthy casteist movie. The hero Aamir Khan who is the upper caste Bhuvan is the de facto leader of the team. The untouchable Kachra finds his place in the team because he is handicapped. Why should the dalits be portrayed as physically handicapped. The Brahmin director Ashutoish Gowarikar wants to portray that Dalits are a physically inferior race. We dalits should be watchful of these Brahmin vultures. Bhuvan the hero is patronising with Kachra. We Dalits need no patrons we should demand that our rights should be fulfilled. Kachra’s talent comes only because of his handicap. In the end they even make the upper caste Bhuvan to score the winning six.

    Our warning to our Dalit brothers is beware of cricket. Stop watching this upper caste game. We dalits should focus on physically demanding games like Hockey and Football. Once again the editorial team of Dalit Nation would like to commend the budding intellectual Siriyavan Anand and we hope that one day he will become as great as Babasaheb, V.T. Rajashekar and Kancha Ilaiah.

  6. The Almighty Brahmin! by Khushwant Singh
    Whatever be the sphere of curiosity – literary, scientific, bureaucratic, or whatever, the Brahmin remains the top dog. Before I give details, we should bear in mind that Brahmins form no more than 3.5% of the population of our country. My statistics come from a pen friend, Brother Stanny, of St. Anne’s Church of Dhule in Maharashtra.They hold as much as 70% of government jobs. In the senior echelons of the civil service from the rank of deputy secretaries upward, out of 500 there are 310 Brahmins, i.e. 63%. Of the 26 state chief secretaries, 19 are Brahmins; of the 27 Governors and Lt. Governors 13 are Brahmins; of the 16 Supreme Court Judges, 9 are Brahmins; of the 330 judges of High Courts, 166 are Brahmins; of 140 ambassadors, 58 are Brahmins; of the total 3,300 IAS officers, 76 [per cent?] are Brahmins. Of the 508 Lok Sabha members, 190 were Brahmins; of 244 in the Rajya Sabha, 89 are Brahmins.This 3.5% of Brahmin community of India holds between 36% to 63% of all the plum jobs available in the country.

  7. You all should be ashamed of yourself..one side you said India is a secularism country and the other side you do believe in discrimination by saying oh please Amir ji do something for reservation and stop that caste based reservation..WHY? tell me? By saying all that stupid things you all Indian oh sorry katar Hindu proved it you all still believe in castesim and living in high or low thinking..if you all katar Hindu never divided society in caste line then reservation will never ever be there at all..if this system is still going on just because of your madness and your discrimination..God made this world and made simple human being. God never made any caste and any religion.Do you know God belong to which caste and religion..No then stop believing castesim okh..people become high and low by their nature and character..so you all proved it who all are you?

  8. All Hindu communities in the country follow the varnashram system of Aryans and have divided the society in four castes – Kshatryas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras. Sindhis do not have such division in their society. They never followed a rigid caste system. That is why Sindhis are considered to be only businessmen. All members of the society inter-mingle with one another without any consideration of four castes of Aryans. There are no untouchables in Sindhis…..these religion and caste set up by mad and stupid people to control others not by god…who are still mentally sick they are following this castesim blindly..i must say be like all sindhi…tum hindu logo se toh yeh sindhi soh guna ache or intelligent hai..jo jante hai society ko ek kar ke kaise rakhna hai..

  9. Whole world think that India has many castes which are main reason of discrimination of people but its very very big misconception of caste system spread around the world to defame culture of India because it was the biggest systematically designed system for people from thousands of years. Now let me tell you what is meaning of varna and caste system in India and how its was started. In Ancient India there were two great saints, one was saint Bhrigu and other was saint Bhardwaj. They met to discuss how to structure a stable
    society for human being to live proper life, First they recognized the four sources which are

    1. Knowledge

    2. Weapons

    3. Wealth

    4. Land

    They decided to make system where nobody has more than one of that. These should not be in one hand, not even two should be in one hand. So those who has knowledge will not have wealth, will not have weapons and will not have lands. Those who will have weapons will rule the country but they will not make policy. They need to go to people having knowledge to seek their permission and advice. Those who are having wealth, their social status will be decided by the how much philanthropy they do not by their wealth. Those who has lands have to produce for the society. In fact none of these four category or “varna” was based on by birth.

  10. The brahmin community has been one of the dirty communities which has planned strategically to fool people in the name of god by generating the highest donations in the temple, doing business to fool and loot money in the name of puja, death, marriage, new home…
    For any occasion, there’s one puja. They charge very high prices and take away all the items after the puja. They have created prostitution in the name of devadasis. They suppress jobs and employment and welfare and equality are destroyed. they have destroyed the Indian medical system. They have killed Indian medical science like siddha vaidhyam and created ayurveda and carnatic music by destroying dravidian music.Even today they have the temples under their control. They say they don’t like untouchables, but they have always been sexually harassing low caste women.

  11. Hindu (body) four community: brahmin (head) kshatriya (arm) vaishya (belly) shudra (feet) All these four community called as hindu. We all are parts of one body. Without each part our body is not complete. If we lost one part of our body then we become handicap. The human body is the entire structure of a human being. Human Body is considered so loving that God even wants to have it. Spiritual Yogis have found that after going through the 84 millions species this souls get the most dignified human body. So it is the last step to explore the God or to get the view of almighty father god. We know that the soul never dies it takes birth again and again just like as we take new clothes to wear the soul as it takes new body and it is an infinite process. But the body what we get in next birth depend on our karma that thas been cited in Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. We all here to perform our duties. Our action makes our destiny and nothing else. The result is in the
    hand of supreme power. Karma is the seed of plant and if the seed is genuine it must be fruitful.

  12. Many a time, man has taken birth in high caste and low caste; but this does not make him great or lowHaving been born in high caste man thinks himself to be great and being born in low caste thinks himself to be low and pitiable; both of these states of mind are wrong because many times man has been born in high and low castes. Hence, one should not be proud of having been born in high caste and not feel low if born in low caste family. Greatness has nothing to do with high caste. Man becomes great because of his noble work, exemplary character and becomes loathsome because of his immorality and evil conduct. Thus, it is his conduct only that decides his greatness or lowliness. Who does not know that high family born Ravana, Kansa, Duryodhana and others are censurable; whereas Metarya muni, Harikeshi muni and others, though born in low family, are
    venerable.Then, what is the importance of high or low caste?

  13. We always talk about religion and castesim but in reality there is no any caste and religion. We all are same our blood are same.then why we believe in discrimination. God never created any caste they made simple
    human being..caste and community only created by stupid people who are mentally sick and had fear in their heart bcoz if they will not choose higher place for themselves then other people going to defeat them and going to put them down..bocz they don’t have believe on themselves and their own work..they have doubt own their capability..they always think negative we cnt do hard work if other person give their best then they
    must be achieve something better than them..by creating high and low community and even not asked to any people wh are coward they put themselves to higher community…bcoz they are coward and they to protect themselves..

  14. All human-beings are equal in the eyes of God.The human-beings have only created the caste system.There are good and bad people in both high caste as well as low caste. Ultimately,what matters to God is, whether one is a good person or striving to become one, or not.

  15. One who thinks himself to be of a high caste is actually low. While one who thinks himself/herself to be of low caste is said to be high caste.As per the scriptures, people are known by their nature and the quality of work they perform

  16. who divided society in caste line……only bloody and mentally sick hindu..first change your thinking that all people as a human being so the system ll be change itself understood..be like sindhi religion make one religion and killed the bloody varan system n caste system…you ll b more happiest person in this world if you all bloody hindu change ur narrow minded thinking about all caste n class…Because “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being–neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”

  17. separate country is only remedy. so make separate country himachal ,uttarkhand and a part of uttarpradesh for brahmin country

  18. WHAT NON-HARIJAN MEDIA WON’T TELL YOU
    Jinnah’s great concern was that a united India would treat its Muslims as second-class citizens, persecuted by the Hindu majority. Sachar committee proved him right. Committee report admitted that 138 million Muslims across India are severely underrepresented in government employment, including Public Sector Units. Ironically, West Bengal, a communist ruled state, reported 0 (zero) percent Muslims in higher positions in its PSU’s! The share of Muslims in government jobs and in the lower judiciary in any state simply does not come anywhere close to their population share.
    The only place where Muslims can claim a share in proportion to their population is in prison! Muslim convicts in India are 19.1%, while the number of under trials is 22.5%, which exceed their population ratio. A note sent on January 9 by the army to the Defense Ministry in 2004 said that there were only 29,093 Muslims among a total of 1.1 million military personnel — a ratio of 2.6%, which compares poorly with the Muslims’ 13.8% share in the Indian population.
    As per a survey on Media, The share of upper caste Hindus or `dwijas’ in the upper echelons of the media is 85 per cent. These castes account for 16 per cent of the national population.
    Brahmins alone, the survey found, hold 49 per cent of the top jobs in national journalism. If non-`dwija’ forward castes like Marathas, Patels, Jats and Reddys are added, the total forward caste share stands at 88 per cent.
    In contrast, OBCs, who are estimated to constitute around 40 per cent of the population, account for an “abysmally low” four per cent of top media jobs. In the English print media, OBCs account for just one per cent of top jobs and in the Hindi print media eight per cent. Muslims too, the survey noted, are “severely under-represented in the national media”: they account for only three per cent among the key decision makers in the national media, compared with 13.4 per cent in the country’s population.
    Not only the Muslims even SC/ST/OBC are living as second class citizens in India, The cumulative percentage of SC/ST/OBC employees in Central government services continues to be below their percentage in the general population. :
    Depts/Bodies Class I Class II Classes III & IV All Classes
    SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC SC/ST OBC
    Ministries / Departments 7.18 2.59 13.66 3.98 30.95 8.41 16.83 4.83
    Autonomous Bodies 6.64 5.09 18.16 11.74 20.78 20.98 18.06 14.43
    Public Sector Undertakings 4.51 4.59 18.74 9.91 31.72 15.77 19.95 10.61
    Total 5.68 4.69 18.18 10.63 24.40 18.98 18.72 12.55
    [OBCs are considered to be 52% of TOTAL POPULATION]
    BASED ON THESE FACTS, ONE CAN SIMPLY ASSUME THAT 16% OF UPPER CASTE HINDUS ARE RULING INDIA. THEY ARE NOT READY TO GIVE EVEN 50% RESERVATION TO REST OF 84% POPULATION. THEY ARE LIKE SOME NAZI RACE THAT HAS GOT ALL THE TALENT.
    SO AS JINNAH SAID, ONE CAN CONTINUE TO LIVE LIKE SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN, OR DEMAND RESERVATION AS PER THEIR POPULATION OR FINALLY DEMAND A SEPARATE NATION.

  19. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    Something was not right in India for brahmins we can’t talk about in pakistan or bangladesh for example reservation, job, education everything is probleming today. Not only brahmins are minority their population was decreasing.

  20. To the idiot monkey named Cutie:Caste was created based on genetics.Brahmins of different parts of India have different genetics and they don’t resemble with other Caste genetics.I see my Bengali Brahmin community marryng other caste including SC/OBC of Bengal and many non Bengali non Brahmin and due to this trend Bengali Brahmin community will be over within few generations.

  21. nobel prize is won by brahminonly in india , complain this to norway for there partiality

  22. Hating on brahmins is the new fad I guess. Now we know why st, sc and bcs have not progressed. They have been busy slandering brahmins. Poor, pathetic creatures.

  23. The Government of INDIA does not realize, by playing politics it is encouraging caste system in INDIA, instead of giving reservation on the basis of caste and creed and religion. The government of INDIA and its state should seriously think about giving reservations in terms of ecomomic status of an individual’s family, as in today’s time only, if you are not well off financially your caste even high or low or your religion wont support you for long. What is happening in INDIA in terms of CASTE based reservations it blatant discrimination with some of the many high IQ people of this country. I hope if our lawmakers have any mind left in them they will review this policy and implement a new good policy, for the benefit of all the masses of the country.
    – Thanks !

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