Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tamil Brahmins: The best second-rate men in the world

may 9th, 2007

interesting. actually it's usually better to be the power behind the throne. you don't get impeached that easily. just ask henry kissinger, war criminal extraordinaire, living happily in his senescence in cambridge, ma.

anybody remember reading an interesting short story by kipling, 'the miracle of purun bhagat'? quite a good one, about a self-effacing minister who then became a miracle-working monk.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: AH Venkitesh

Columns by N S Jagannathan

Tamil Brahmins: The best second-rate men in the world

This piece, it must be explained at the outset, is not a history of the Tamil Brahmins, or a gratulatory account of the community's famous achievers. It is more in the nature of a portraiture of the "average or the median" member of the species.

In an endeavour of this kind seeking to crystallize the unique qualities of a whole people, it would be misleading to talk of the "tall poppies", the all-time greats, such as Sir T Muthuswami Iyer, G Subramania Iyer, Subramania Bharati, Rajaji, Satyamurti, Sir C V Raman, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Madurai Mani Iyer or Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

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Shahryar said...

The Miracle of Purun Bhagat is available online for those who have misplaced their copy of The Second Jungle Book.

nizhal yoddha said...

thank you, shahryar. i read this in pre-university days, and it has stayed with me ever since. if you strip away the colonial puffery, it is a brilliant story about that which the mullahs, missionaries and marxists are trying to wipe out: the age-old wisdom of the land.

without this wisdom, india becomes, well... pakistan, a make-believe nation, no more concrete than the equator (paraphrasing arch-racist churchill).