oct 30th, 2006
francois has been very diligent in his work on caste. the fact of the matter is that caste is actually a useful and good system, which is why it has survived so long.
francois has put together a brief video on brahmins doing menial jobs including toilet-cleaner and coolie -- totally contrary to the popular image of fat-cat brahmins. the image is quite appropriate for christist priests though: they are interfering busybodies who live in the lap of luxury.
the video is too large to upload else i'd put it on my other blog.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 fgautier wrote :
>We are having a conference in Habitat Centre on castes on 17th December. All of you interested can join in our efforts to make it a success in terms of attendance, media coverage and a prestigious discussion pannel. Details attached
>Editor In Chief La Revue de l'Inde
>Correspondent South Asia Marianne
>41 Jorbagh / New Delhi 110003
>Tel 24649635 / 9811118828/ Fgautier@sify.com
As many of you have noticed, this present Government of India is concentrating all its energies and funds on Minorities, Dalits and Other Backward Classes.
That is good.
Every Indian has the right to education, health and dignity.
But there are three flaws in this endeavour
1) It does not spring from the field of spiritual compassion for all beings that has always been India's trademark. No, it is rather a crude move to garner the votes of Muslims and OBC's, which are enough to bring any Government in power and maintain it there.
2) Most of the programmes implemented – reservations, nominations, quotas etc, - are often done at the expense of the rest of India: the Upper castes. The doctors' strikes have clearly told us why.
3) There is a strong anti Brahmanical streak in it, which is actually borrowed from the Muslim invaders, the Christian missionaries and the Marxists, who all saw - and still see today - Brahmins and Other Upper Castes as their worst enemies (see John Dayal's latest efforts at showing that Indian culture continues to be that of a Brahminical Hindu Vedic [North Indian] highly sanskritised ethos and symbolism)
Yes, we do know that Brahmins, and OUC have often exploited lower castes, forgetting that in its pristine form, their duties were based on earned merits, not on hereditary rights. They may be getting back today a taste of their own medicine. But can we let his cynical government divide India more and more along caste and religion lines ???
Today, many Brahmins and Other upper Castes may be as underprivileged as the Dalits. Did you see for instance the paper by D Narayana, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvanantpuram ("Perception, Poverty and Health, Feb. 2005), which shows that 69.8% of Brahmins and OUC never went past 12th standard, that 52,4% of Brahmins and OUC farmers don't owe land bigger than 100 cents, quite insufficient to nourish a family, and that
53.9 % of the upper caste population is below poverty line. So much for the clichés and prejudices in India about Brahmins and Thakurs.
The Government thinks that with the support of the wooed Dalits and Muslims it will stay forever in power, but they seem to forget that Brahmins and Other Upper Castes, according to the National Sample Survey's (NSS) 99 report, constitute 36% of India, a huge bank vote which ignores its own power ?
We need an India based on merit not on caste. Indians should feel Indians first and then belonging to that caste or that religion after. But what is happening at the moment, is that Indians are made to believe that they are first OBC and then Indians, first Muslims and then Indians, first Christians and then Indians. This is very wrong and has got to be fought.
It is for this reason that FACT has decided to embark upon an exhibition, a film and a book on the condition of Brahmins and OUC in India today, so that we shake people's myths and confront them to the reality of an India adrift. We have already made a six minutes film. If you are interested, we will send it to you. It has to be shown in villages on your local channels, extracts of its statistics should published in newspapers,.. For a start you can send this email to five of your friends, asking them in turn to send it to five of their friends, and so on…
We will have an exhibition on underprivileged Brahmins and OUC from 16th to 20th December 2006 in Indian International Centre, New Delhi. Then take it around India and eventually all over the world. We also need to shoot a professional film on the condition of Brahmins and OUC and come out with a book of an international quality.
For this noble endeavour, FACT solicits your help and support. FACT India is a registered Trust with tax exemption. Please send your donations to FACT, Canara Bank, Pondichery a/c N° 27147, or mail your cheques in the name of FACT to François Gautier, Auromodel, Auroville, 605101, India. For those who want to send small contributions from abroad, use my ICICI bank account: François Gautier, ICICI, 47 Mission street, PONDICHERY, AC N° 005601019548, Customer ID50523253.
Thanks so much for your help