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Anti-Brahminism, also spelled as Anti-Brahmanism, is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed against the Brahmin caste, as opposed to Anti-Hinduism which rejects Hinduism as a whole. Anti-Hindus have however taken the stance against Brahmins because they were the traditional priestly class.

Contents

Examples of Anti-Brahmanism

In Islamist Dynasties

In the book, Diwan-i-Salman by Khawajah Masud bin Sa'd bin Salman wrote of the Battle of Jalandhar (Punjab):

"The narrative of any battles eclipses the stories of Rustam and Isfandiyar...By morning meal, not one soldier, not one Brahmin remained unkilled or uncaptured. Their heads were levelled with the ground with falming fire..Thou has secured the victory to the country and to religion, for amongst the Hindus this achievement will be remembered till the day of resurrection."[1]

In Mughal times Sheikh Ahmad (Mujaddid) of Sirhind wrote a letter to Mirza Darab:

"Hindu Brahmans and Greek philosophers have spent a lot of time on religion. Since their efforts were not according to the Shariyat of the prophet, they were all fools. They will remain devoid of salvation."

The Brahmins were also the target in South India from the Delhi Sultanate and that is why at the time of the Vijayanagar Empire, King King Prolaya Vema of the Reddy Dynasty gave protection to them.[2]

Firoz Shah Bahmani (in about 1398-99), according to the Tawarikh Firishtah, kidnapped 2,000 Brahmin women, who were later freed by Raja Dev Rai of Vijayanagar.[3]

In media

  • The "Secret Circular of the Brahmin Samaj of Balaghat", a document widely disseminated by the missionaries, specially among the dalits and tribals.
  • The anti-Hindu website Dalitstan.org (now defunct), included an extensive set of documents promoting anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu and separationist ideas. They have been widely promoted and quoted by anti-Hindu interests.

In Indian states

Amongst small sections of Hindus within India, an Anti-Brahmin stance is motivated by considerations similar to anti-semitism, where the a class is blamed for all the ills of society.

In Kerala

In Kerala Ezhava lead anti-brahminism.They are toddy tappers came from Ezhavathu nadu (Sri Lanka),they are out of varnasramadharma, so they always oppose caste system.

In Maharashtra

The anti-brahmin hate group Sambhaji Brigade attacked Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute of Maharashtra in January 2004, claiming that the Institute had defamed Shivaji. Later the Sambhaji Brigade issued statements reflecting anti-Brahmin sentiments. The Maratha Seva Sangh is an extremely anti-Brahmin organization.[4]

Neo-Buddhism

Some Buddhists groups blame the downfall of Buddhismin India on the Brahmans while trying to deny or trying to hide from history the contributions made by the Brahmins to Buddhism. To name a few, the Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, Bodhisattva Aryasangha, and Bodhisattva Kshitagarbha. It is said that before The Buddha Himself, there were also other Buddhas and in those time periods Lord Buddha was Brahmin Suruci, Brahmin Atideva, Brahmin Ajita and there are more past Brahmin lives of The Buddha. Brahmins have significantly helped in spread the Buddha Dharma. In Tibet it was Bodhisattva Padmasambhava, in central Asia it was Kumarajiva, in mainland China it was Bodhisattva Bodhidharma and in Japan it was Bodhisena. This criticism is bolstered by arguments that the Buddha had Brahmin heritage. Lord Buddha is said to be a descendant of Sage Angirasa in many Buddhist texts.[5] There too were Kshatiryas of other clans to whom members descend from Angirasa, to fulfill a childless king's wish.[6]

In Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is home to one of the oldest anti-Brahmin movements in India. Tamil Brahmins (Iyers and Iyengars) are frequently held responsible by some sections of the Tamil politicians and media for direct or indirect oppression of lower-caste people. Historically, lower-castes were not allowed into temples and schools in Tamil Nadu. The self-respect movement, a Dravidian Nationalist movement, was started by Periyar on the canard of "Brahmin oppression" and resulted in innumerable hate attacks on Brahmins and started a wave of ethnic cleansing, resulting in forced mass-migration of the Brahmin population.[7] The canard of "Brahmin oppression" rationalized conspiracy theories and pointed to Brahmins as enemies against whom the radical movements pitted themselves.[7] The legacy of the anti-Brahmanism of the self-respect movement was taken over by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.Growing anti-Brahmanism in Chennai provided a rationale for polarization of the lower castes in the DMK movement.[8] Eventually, the virulent anti-Brahmanism subsided somewhat with the replacement of the DMK party by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)[9]. Jayalalitha[10], a Brahmin, is now the leader of the AIADMK party, as is referred to as "Amma"(mother) by her party cadres.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Destruction Of Hindu Temples By Muslims - Part II by Sita Ram Goel
  2. ^ (Prasad, Durga, P. 180, History of the Andhras up to 1565 A. D.)
  3. ^ P. 67-68 Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture By D. R. Bhandarkar
  4. ^ Politics of vandalism
  5. ^ The Life of Buddha as Legend and History, by Edward Joseph Thomas
  6. ^ P. 17 Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History and Literature By John Dowson
  7. ^ a b Lloyd I. Rudolph Urban Life and Populist Radicalism: Dravidian Politics in Madras The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3 (May, 1961), pp. 283-297
  8. ^ Singh, Yogendra, Modernization of Indian Tradition: (A Systemic Study of Social Change), Oriental Press 1974 page 167
  9. ^ C. J. Fuller, The Renewal of the Priesthood: Modernity and Traditionalism in a South Indian Temple P117, Princeton University Press 2003 ISBN 0691116571
  10. ^ P. 65 Daughter of the South: biography of Jayalalitha By Pi. Ci Kaṇēcan

References








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