Saturday, April 9, 2011

குரல்வளை நெறிபடும் பிராமணர்கள்!




குரல்வளை நெறிபடுவது பொறுக்காமல் ஓலமிடும் இன்னொருவர் இந்த தளத்தில் எழுதியது :

தேசிய மொழியில் அப்படியே!


Tamil Brahmins: Lost in Tamil Nadu.
by G. Venkatesh

Years ago, well-known Tamil actor and political satirist Mr Cho Ramaswamy had remarked tongue firmly in cheek – "Tamil Brahmins are people who fight with each other, degrade themselves and paint the entire community in shades of dark." If you look at the events (in literary and movie circles in Tamil Nadu and the political climate), you will realise that Mr Ramaswamy was absolutely right then, he is right even now.

We talk about Kashmiri Pandits becoming strangers in Jammu and Kashmir. The Tamil Brahmins find themselves alienated in their own land. With more than 75% of the younger generation of Tamil Brahmins having moved to foreign land in pursuit of job / education and others scattered across different parts of India, it is an easy guess that population of Tamil Brahmins in Tamil Nadu is steadily waning. The increasing trend of inter-caste marriages is a further threat.

Let us look at how some of the Tamil Brahmins have defiled themselves:

Well known Tamil actor Kamal Hasan leads the pack. At every opportunity, he has prided in calling himself an agnostic, but unfortunately the actor has never shied away from depicting Hindu Gods and Brahmins in poor light in his movies. See the irony of the situation..In the movie "Mahanadi", Kamalhasan is shown visiting the temple and a song plays in the background – "Sri Ranga Ranganathanin padam vandanam solladi" (Bow before the Lotus feet of Lord Ranganatha!)

In most Kamal Hasan movies, the lady with the 9-yard saree is a caricature, (Example, in one of his movies, an old lady in a 9-yard saree is shown stealing; in his movie Avvai Shanmughi (the Tamil version of "Chachi 420"), he has shown how the lady in the nine-yard saree unabashedly flaunts her assets and entices men to lust after her.)

No one has made mockery of the language used by Brahmins like Kamal Hasan has. His nieces Suhasini Manirathnam and Anu Haasan are not far behind. They consider themselves so progressive that Anu Hasan models for eggs, chicken masala, anything that is considered taboo in a Brahmin society.

In the name of exposing age-old traditions in Tamil Brahmin community that were regressive, well-known Tamil novelist Sivasankari ended up projecting Tamil Brahmins in poor light in some of her novels. She, along with another novelist called Indumathi, wrote a Tamil novel called "Irandu Per" (Two persons) where a bored Brahmin wife is sexually attracted to a photographer (shades of the Bengali movie Paroma perhaps ?).

K Balachander of course gets the credit as the director for showing Tamil Brahmins in poor light in the maximum number of Tamil movies and one Hindi movie (Ek Duje Ke Liye, which incidentally featured Kamal Haasan). Remember the hero's father in Ek Duje Ke Liye who carps endlessly ?

In "Arangetram" (1974), Balachander had the gall to compare a Tamil Brahmin girl's rape with the first dance recital of a Bharat Natyam student. "Arangetram" is the debut on-stage performance of a "Bharat Natyam" student.

When it was released, "Arangetram" raised the hackles in Tamil Nadu.The movie was a super hit. However, K balachander failed to recreate the magic in Hindi (the movie "Aaina" featuring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz).

In "Arangetram", the protagonist is the eldest of eight siblings. (Kamal haasan is one of them). The protagonist questions her mother as to why she has not adopted methods of family planning and is privy to her mother secretly moving to the kitchen to satiate her husband's lust. Such a screen play was written by K Balachander in the name of realism. Worse, after her rape, the protagonist decides to become a prostitute to support her family. In the end, her siblings turn out to be ungrateful and the protagonist loses her sanity.

By the way, I am a great fan of Mr K Balachander but find some of his views discordant and more extremist than rational.

K Balachander's daughter married outside the community so may be Balachander was disillusioned with the Brahmin community as a whole and so he chose to depict such scenes on screen that portrayed Tamil Brahmins in poor light.

A movie called "Savithri" was released in the mid 80s and then banned. This movie shows a young Brahmin wife (in nine yards) who is forced to marry a man who is much older than her. The protagonist leads a platonic life with her husband, gets frustrated and in the bargain is seduced by an artist who visits the village. In the end, she commits suicide.

There was another movie called "Agraharathil kazhuthai" ("A donkey in Brahmin lane") by director John which I believe won a few awards.

The late writer Anuradha Ramanan wrote a story called "Chirai" (Prison) in which a Brahmin wife deserted by her husband after being raped by a Catholic man goes and lives with the Catholic man. When the latter dies, she removes her mangal sutra and leads the rest of her life as the latter's widow. Progressive thought yes, but why Anuradha chose to show the protagonist as a Brahmin inspite of the fact that so many other communities exist in Tamil Nadu is anyone's guess. Of course, Anuradha Ramanan was a hardcore Tamil Brahmin.

I believe Anuradha went one step ahead and portrayed the wife of a Tamil priest as succumbing to the lecherous glances of another person in her novel " Kootu puzhukkal" (Worms living in groups).

Then you had well known writer Sujatha (Rangarajan) who began writing a serial story in the Tamil Magazine "Kumudam" in the 80s. The story titled as "Black Red White" was centered on the 1857 revolution. Sujatha, in his inimitable style, peppered the story with liberal doses of sex; he made the colossal mistake of naming one of the characters in the novel after one of the non-Brahmin communities in Tamil Nadu. 

Within two weeks, Sujatha (who lived in Bangalore at that time) received death threats and phone calls that his hands would be chopped off. Copies of the magazines were burnt by the said community with the threat that if publication of the serial continued, the editorial office would be burnt to ashes. 

The serial was stopped abruptly. The magazine and the writer profusely apologised for hurting the sentiments of the community. Much later, Sujatha rewrote the novel as "Rattam Orey Niram" (Blood is of the same colour).

One more Tamil Brahmin who wrote under the pseudonym "Hema Anandatheerthan" wrote such vulgar novels which were pure pulp fiction. His protagonists were mostly Brahmin girls who lusted after men. 
Thus, three factors contributed to degradation of Tamil Brahmins in Tamil Nadu.

• Negative influence of movies
• Negative influence of Tamil literature
• The Dravidian rule in Tamil Nadu

Ask any like-minded Tamil Brahmin settled abroad or settled in other parts of India, whether he would like to relocate to Chennai. The answer would be a strict no. Chennai auto drivers are notorious but they are particularly harsh on Tamil Brahmins. Some of my cousins who studied in Chennai have shared anecdotes of how they were ragged for speaking the Brahmin language.

A Malayalee will always support a Malayalee, but a Tamil Brahmin, will always work against other Brahmins. The people whom I have mentioned in the above paragraphs are classic examples. The net result of all these is that Tamil Brahmins are slowly losing their identity in Tamil Nadu.

2010. A village in Tamil Nadu. A street that houses Brahmins called as "Agraharam". Unlike the past, where "Agraharam" was symbolic of "Brahmins", today the "Agraharm" is a mere prop. Not a single house in the "Agraharam" belongs to a Brahmin.

2050. A child born to Tamil Brahmin parents asks his mother, `Mother, what is an agraharam?". The distraught mother promises her child that she will rather take him to the exhibition/ museum, as she herself is unable to answer the question.





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9 comments:

கீதா சாம்பசிவம் said...

:((((((( உண்மை, சுடுகிறது. கொஞ்சம் அதிகமாவே சூடு/

hayyram said...

வருகைக்கு நன்றி கீதா சாம்பசிவம் அவர்களே!

திவா said...

எதுல போகஸ் செய்யறோமோ அதுவேதான் தெரியும். பல நல்ல விஷயங்கள் வெளிவருவதில்லை.
கணவனை இழந்த பிறகு பூவும் பொட்டுமா இருக்கறவங்க எல்லாம் ப்ராம்ஹணர்களா?

hayyram said...

திவா, கணவனை இழந்த பெண்கள் பூவும் பொட்டும் வைத்துக் கொள்ளக் கூடாது என்று கீதையிலோ உபநிஷத்திலோ சொல்லப்பட்டிருக்கிறதா? பொட்டும் பூவும் வைக்காதவர்கள் கணவனை இழந்தவர்கள் என்றால் இன்றைய நவநாகரீகப் பெண்கள் பொட்டு வைப்பதை விரும்புவதில்லை. பூவைப்பதை விரும்புவதில்லை. மார்டர்ன் ட்ரெஸ் போட்டால் பொட்டு வைக்ககூடாது என்பது இன்றைய ஃபேஷன். அதனால் பொட்டுக்கும் பூவுக்கும் ப்ராமணர்களின் இன்றைய வாழ்க்கை கஷ்டத்திற்கும் சம்பந்தமில்லை என்பது எமது அபிப்பிராயம்.

திவா said...

ராம் உபநிஷத்துக்கள் பிலாசபி சொல்ல வந்தவை. கீதையும் அப்படியே. அவற்றில் எப்படி தினசரி வாழ்கை குறீப்புகள் எதிர்பார்க்கலாம்? இவை சாஸ்திரங்களில் உள்ளவை. சிஷ்டர்கள் கடைபிடித்தவை.
பேஷனுக்காக உடல்/ மன நலம் கெடட்டும் என்று நினைத்தால் யாரும் ஒன்றும் செய்ய முடியாது.

Sriram said...

Good article.Kanchi munivar told many times about this. Bhramins moved long way from vedic life.So bhramins are no more above to others.

karthik said...

Nalla pathivu... anal ethanai per padithargal endru theriyadhu....

vazhthukkal..

pls visit >>>> ullolipayanam.blogspot.com

shivamnatarajan said...

OMG!!.. i could smell extreme form of racism, aryanism and casteism in this article..
I dreamt of a tamil society , free from prejudiced hindu beliefs, free from caste, free from aryan culture..
i wanna save tamil nadu from prejudiced aryans and prejudiced dravidians..

சத்தியப் பிரியன் said...

இதனை பலமுறை அனைத்து ஸ்மார்த்த பிராமணர்களிடமும் சொல்லிக் கொண்டிருப்பதுதான். கமலஹாசன் பெயருக்குதான் நாத்திக வாதி.உண்மையில் அவர் ஒரு தீவிர வைஷ்ணவ பற்றாளர்.ஸ்மார்த்த எதிர்ப்பாளர்.அவருடைய அனைத்துப் படங்களையும் உற்று நோக்கினால் உயர்வான பத்திரங்கள் எல்லாமே வைஷ்ணவப் பாத்திரங்களாக இருக்கும்.தவறு செய்யும் பாத்திரங்கள் ஒன்று ஸ்மார்த்த பிராமனனகவோ அல்லது சைவனாகவோ இருக்கும்.அன்பே சிவம் அவ்வை ஷண்முகி போன்றவை இதற்கு உதாரணம். உடன் க்ரேசி மோகனும் துணை இருப்பதால் இதனை நீங்கள் எளிதில் கண்டுபிடிக்க முடியும்.