Why Brahmins Hate Reservation? – By E. V. R. Periyar


Read what E. V. R. Periyar had to say on why Brahmins hate reservation –

Communal representation is the accredited right of every nation and its government. It is the common right of all citizens belonging to every community. The main motive of the principle of communal representation is to eradicate the unequal status amongst the citizens. Communal representation is a ‘boon’ to create a society of equals. When there are communities which are forward and progressive; hampering the well-being of all the other communities; there is no other go but to resort to the system of communal representation. It is by this way the suffering communities could begin to heave a sigh of relief. The need for the prolongation of the system of communal representation will automatically cease and it will be found absolutely unnecessary to continue the policy any longer when all the communities are made as equals.

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Excepting the Bráhmin community, all other communities started to demand communal representation soon after the talk of representation of Indians in governance began. For a long time, except the Brahmin community, all other communities carried on agitation urging the government to implement the policy of communal representation.

Jinnah, Periyar and Ambedkar

Jinnah, Periyar and Dr. Ambedkar

The Brahmins, particularly the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu stooped to many ways to put hurdles and create obstacles against the implementation of the policy of communal representation. They pursued trickish methods and conspired many times against the communal representation policy which was a boon to all downtrodden communities.

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One could understand the Brahmins opposing the communal representation policy if at all they had openly come forward to list out the evils of uplifting the downtrodden people. All those who oppose simply said ‘no’, and no one explained why? So far no one has clearly listed out the reasons for opposing the policy of reservation. What is wrong in making all people as equals? What is wrong in giving equal opportunities for all? If there is nothing wrong in creating a socialist society, and if it is undeniable that the present society composed of unequal should be made progressive; what else can be done without creating reservations based on the population through the communal representation policy. Could it be denied that there are weaker section in the society?

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Moreover, when we have allowed the classification of the society based on religion, caste and community; we cannot stand in the way of the people demanding special rights, based on religion, caste, and community. There is nothing wrong on their part or of any community in safeguarding their interests. I don’t see anything dishonest in that.

The casteism made the people go backward. Castes spell more and more ruination. Castes have made us low and have-nots. Till all these evils are eradicated and everyone attains an equal status in life, the proportional representation policy based ‘on population is indispensable. Many communities have entered the field of education only recently. All should be enabled to read and attain a civilised stage. Our people should take to education and read well. Our people should get their due share in the public services and in all other fields according to their percentage of the total population.

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In this country out of 100 people, only three are Brahmins. Sixteen percent of the population are Adi-dravidas. 72 percent of the population are non-brahmins. Should not the jobs be given to all in proportion to the population?

(Source: Collected Works of Periyar E.V.R. Pg. 165-166)

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  1. 5

    Problem of discrimination is not so simple. It is deep rooted in the culture (rituals,symbols, stories,myths,art,literature and so on). The reservation in economic and political space alone will not solve the problem because the upper castes are like ancient Greeks. There is no place of ‘rights’ , you have only duties to perform which are well defined in the religious texts even like in BhagvatGeeta. Under such a situation you shall have to invent counter structure, institutions and Culture without which emancipatory project has no meaning because upper caste interest is coterminous with the national interest and thus sanscritization of M N Srinivas and conversion to Buddhism is not the solution but ‘assertion’ armed with counter-culture and alternative structures and institutions can be the best option. This option is at the nascent stage right at the moment and the forces pulling it back are very strong armed with their think tank and ICT apart from their hold on the society as a whole. They have all the instruments of conditioning in their culture. Understand ! How difficult and complex …….?????

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