Brahminhood Will Remain With The Brahmin Even If The Brahmin Rejects Brahminhood

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Activism, Friends, Literature, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy, Theater)

The entry point for my previous post was the comment made by a higher police official, which made me think all that I voiced in my blog. After writing a posting with the statement of his and the people concerned with that statement in the centre I started thinking about the same issue with the official in the centre.

As I started thinking of this the first incident that surfaced in my mind was that of Devanoor Mahadeva and G. Rajshekhar. The latter commented on a novel by the earlier saying “It’s a bad faith novel,” in the light of Sartre’s concept of Bad-Faith. When Devanoor Mahadeva was asked to comment on the statement made by G. Rajshekahr, he said “Nanage Rajshekhar bagge good faith idey. Aadare avaru aa jaati’li hutt’bardittu ashtey.” [I have good faith on Rajshekhar but he shouldn’t have been born in that (Brahmin) caste]

What exactly Devanooru Mahadeva meant, I cannot say. But the latter part of his statement communicates an important matter of fact i.e. how much ever the people on the upper layer of the society attempt, they cannot understand the world of those who are at the bottom, in complete. They cannot escape the world to which they were born and the mental atmosphere it created completely to understand the world of the other and the mental atmosphere that created for the other.

Recently, speaking of Tulu Theatre (Tulu is a language spoken in the coastal part of Karnataka), Mahalinga Bhat Sir said how non-Brahminical Tulu Theatre has been and how it became Brahminical at a later point of time due to the intervention of Brahmins. Speaking passionately about the secular nature of Tulu Theatre and the non-Brahminical nature of it Sir said, “When I write plays the Brahminical elements enter the play, without my knowing, which I cannot help as I was born in a Brahmin family.”

Sir’s words reflected how a Brahmin cannot escape Brahminhood how much ever he tried to and how much ever sympathetic he is towards the people of the lower caste. This Brahmihood, as Sir said, enters without the knowledge of the Brahmin, even when he tries to escape it.

This is not just with Brahmin and Brahminhood but with everyone. Our minds have their own limitations. We cannot understand the other in its completeness.

Ausaf, a good friend of mine, had been to Tsunami hit areas for relief work. One evening there a small boy came to him and asked “Do you know English?” Ausaf said “Yes” and both became friends. The boy speaking in his broken English told Ausaf about his house and the “English medium school” that got destroyed in the Tsunami and about his family and his friends who died following the Tsunami. As he narrated his story, Ausaf took many photographs of the boy. Narrating his story the boy asked Ausaf if he could take him on the bicycle for a ride to which Ausaf agreed. They went for a long ride and when they returned after the sunset, the boy asked Ausaf “Can I have a copy of my photographs?” and Ausaf said “I will print them once I reach home and send them to you. You give me your address.” Staring at Ausaf for a minute the boy said “I don’t have an address.”

Ausaf had gone to help many homeless people and Tsunami effected people like the boy, but still his mind could not understand the homelessness of the boy, even after spending the entire evening with the boy. This happened not because Ausaf was not sensitive towards the boy but because he has never been in the exact or similar situation.

***

Brahmana Brahmantva’vannu Bittaroo Brahmantva Brahmananannu Biduvudilla
[ Brahminhood Will Remain With The Brahmin Even If The Brahmin Rejects Brahminhood]
U.R. Ananthamurthy in his novel Samskara

03 June 2009

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