Mainstreaming the Hatred of Hindu-Brahmins

Domestic hatemongering against Brahmins traces all the way back to European Indology

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Ghost of Western Indology continues to haunt modern-day India

British and German Indologists championed hatred for Brahmins. As noted by Venkat Nagarajan in his article entitled “Equality Labs: Transporting Racist European Indology and Anti-Hindu Movements to American Shores,”[1] the racist and anti-Hindu theories being promoted by today’s hate groups originated from German and British Indologists. Nagarajan notes that James Mill, the British Indologist who has a great disdain for Hindus, has “described Hindus as vile, backward and subhuman.”  Nagarajan has also highlighted Mill’s specific contempt for Brahmins by noting that he has referred to them as “conniving, power-hungry and unethical.”[2]

Similarly, German Indologists have engaged in fomenting hatred for Brahmins through their work. German Indologist Adolf Holtzmann Jr., who engaged in a radical reconstruction of the Mahābhārata and Bhagavadgītā, has referred to Brahmins as corrupt and manipulative. He also accused them of ruining the original texts, which he viewed as a product of an Indo-Germanic oral tradition, through a series of redactions. Over time, this gratuitous scapegoating of the Brahmins resulted in the development of a fault line within the Indian society, where Brahmins, as a community, became the object of hatred within their own society.

Today the hatred of the minority Brahmin community is being openly promoted and championed by Dravidian political parties in Tamil Nadu and promoted by their supporters in the United States. These people draw inspiration from E.V. Ramaswamy (commonly referred to as Periyar), a man who has openly threatened Brahmins and called for their ethnic cleansing from Tamil Nadu. E.V. Ramaswamy, a hatemonger of the worst kind, is being promoted and worshipped as a social justice warrior by anti-Hindu hate groups. Unfortunately, under the false veneer of social justice, these groups have managed to mainstream this hateful man and the strategies he developed. In fact, they even managed to get the former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, to pose with a popular poster promoting Brahmin hatred. The poster was developed by Equality Labs, an anti-Hindu-hate group that draws its inspiration from the likes of Ramaswamy.

The following are two recent manifestations of anti-Brahmin hatred inspired by Ramaswamy and promoted on Twitter.

In the first video Sirpi Rajan, a political leader of the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, openly gloats and celebrates the cutting of the sacred threads and tufts of orthodox Brahmin men. He reminisces about how goons of the Dravidian movement would surround traditional Brahmin men returning from a ritual bath in the river, and the Brahmins would willingly submit to having their sacred threads and tufts cut by the hooligans out of fear of physical harm. The hooligans would then have the broken threads and tufts sent to Periyar as trophies. The number of sacred threads and tufts that were cut would then be published in Periyar’s Magazine/Newspaper to inspire those engaged with operationalizing this hate.

The second video shows a New Jersey-based Tamil group celebrating cutting sacred threads from Brahmins by getting small children to enact the hateful act championed and promoted by Periyar.

  2. Ibid.