Is Barack Obama a secret…Hindu?

No. Absolutely, unequivocally he is not. He is a Christian. For months now there have been slanderous and bigoted emails circulating around the internet suggesting that he is really a “secret Muslim.” This further appeals to the most base fears of a small portion of Americans who are just scared that the potential leader of the free world might end up being a man of color with a “funny name.” Snopes.com in particular does a fantastic job at discrediting all the false Obama rumors. However, my very observant friend Arun in L.A. sent me the following email with a link to a picture in Time Magazine. Says Arun:

I spend an extraordinarily unhealthy amount of time surveying political blogs for the most minute of minutia on the election. Mostly I marvel at the absolute inanity of most punditry (see: Stephanopolous, George) and the fact I’m stupid enough to waste time reading it. Occasionally, I’m surprised by something particularly astute or though-provoking (usually the blogs at the Atlantic). However, this picture caught me completely off-guard:

Caption from Time: Amongst the things that Barack Obama carries for good luck are a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and a tiny Madonna and child.

Yes SM readers, that is correct. The Democratic nominee for President carries Hanuman with him for good luck (although to beat McCain, who carries a penny, he might need to upgrade to this Hanuman, or else use this stick that he got earlier this week).

I’ve heard many of my friends who are minorities say that they can relate to Obama because he has a multi-ethnic background like them. In addition, he has lived abroad (Indonesia) and spent time in both Pakistan and India as I previously blogged, so it isn’t all that surprising that he is aware of Hanuman. Looking into Obama’s open hands above I am reminded about a great article by David Brooks that was in the New York Times a few weeks ago. In it he coined a new term “neural Buddhism.” He writes:

First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is. [Link]

98 thoughts on “Is Barack Obama a secret…Hindu?

  1. Is Barack Obama a secret…Hindu? But he is perhaps a child molester?

    It’s a good thing he isn’t a secret falafel or halwa, Ibish’s weak jaw and prodigious gut are testimony to his lack of restraint

  2. Eh… Why can’t he carry something practical like a Swiss Army knife. Never understood the whole lucky charm thing. Rabbit’s feet obviously weren’t so lucky for the original owner. Why should it be lucky for anyone else…

  3. But if Obama spoke at the A-Congo-PAC and talked of the fundamental rights of non-Pygmies to lord it over Pygmies, I might be similarly concerned.

    ah, but would he defend their consumption? that would be the deal-breaker for me :-)

  4. One thing\’s for sure: the rabid Republican defenders of christendom will try to use Obama\’s hindu talisman to paint him as a closet non-christian. Just as they will use his middle name Hussein and his father\’s and stepfather\’s muslim heritage. However, they will face a problem trying to reconcile the hindu monkey god with Islam.

    One of the many good things coming out of this election is the marginalizing of the christian lobby\’s political influence. Both Obama and McCain have been forced to distance themselves from christian pastors. It is said that christianity in America is 3000 miles wide but only a quarter inch deep. It should be added that much of what passes for christianity in America has little to do with the Gospel of Christ.

  5. However, they will face a problem trying to reconcile the hindu monkey god with Islam.

    no they won’t. don’t

    1) overestimate human cognitive coherency.

    2) a large number of americans conflate hinduism and islam. from my look and name many people assumed i was a muslim (e.g., constant questions about ‘aladin’, etc.), but they also wondered if i worshipped a cow.

  6. p.s. also, my brother’s best friend in middle school was from a fundamentalist baptist background and asked him if he worshipped idols with many arms since he was muslim. :-)

  7. Desi-americans and this election:

    The Republican\’s best candidate George Allen is forced to withdraw after pointing his finger at an indian-american and calling him a monkey.

    Hillary Clinton\’s personal aide is pakistani-american Huma Abedin. Among the Clinton\’s prominent financial backers are (shady?) indian-american tycoons Vinod Gupta and Sant Singh Chatwal.

    Obama had a pakistani-american friend and roommate whose home he visited in Karachi. Carries a hindu monkey god talisman for luck.

    McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh. If he wins there will be a desi living in the White House.

    Governor Bobby Jindal is seriously being considered as McCain\’s running mate.

  8. p.s. also, my brother’s best friend in middle school was from a fundamentalist baptist background and asked him if he worshipped idols with many arms since he was muslim. :-)

    Aside from these types of ignoramuses, there are those that know the basic theological differences at a religion 101 level but group Muslims & Hindus together using Biblical Genealogy arguments anyway.

  9. 23 · sonia said

    I love how Obama has completely elevated the national discourse on religion, race and culture in ways never before seen.

    Hilarious!

    That elevated national discourse on race (in fact, the only position he could have taken – albeit one he did with splendid oratory – even while casually deriding middle class whites soon after that speech) prompted by his wingnut pastor was thrown in the toilet the moment he decided to run scared from said pastor nary a month after the “dialogue”. I think very poorly of Obama for disowning his pastor out of political expediency . Let’s be clear – Obama stayed in Trinity due to a complex mix of motives. I am sure finding himself personally etc. was a part of it, but certainly, the fact that Trinity was an influential black church, and Jeremiah Wright an important man in that community, significantly helped his political career and he made the most of it, and made the personal decision to stick with Wright despite his other crazy views. However, he cut him loose at the first sign of trouble, first ousting him from his campaign committee, and then disowning/denouncing/rejecting him. Nothing that Wright said in the National Press Club should have been news to Obama, Obama had made his peace with these opinions because of all the benefits – personal and political – the association with Wright had given him. Until he found that Wright was a concrete block holding down his soaring ambitions, and oh dear, insinuated that Obama might be doing what he did out of political necessity. And now he does another fancy two-step and runs scared of Trinity as well.

    And he derides old politics, while hiring old Washington hands for his veep search, Hillary’s team for his campaign – including Bill Clinton’s reviled attack dogs, and at the end of the day, making the magic number because superdelegates, being the self-serving political animals that they are, were too afraid to go against the grassroots movement that gave Obama the early lead in the primaries, something which was enough to keep his nose barely in front, but which he was unable to sustain past February.

    Can he spell opportunist? If there is one thing that is constant in the American political landscape, it is that some pied piper comes around every 20 years singing the tune of change. And how people follow him all the way…

  10. you guys have to see behind the veil ..behind the nice talks..the demagouging speeches(i know that word is wrong..but u know wat i mean)…..he is a puppet whos the only chance of democrats crap liberals before the conservative revolution takes over the earth…its high time we need a conservative revolution

  11. its funny how people dont see behind the axis of evil: olbermannnnn chris matthews…tim russert..rachel maddows of the world….who created this man…… 1)I had talked about obama in 04..even before his charlie rose interview and just after his speech in DNC……since then my affection or pride behind supporting that man has reduced multifold. Reasons: a)like all sleazes..he wrote two books as stepping stone for VP…and second book almost made liberals and crap journos sure that he is the savior from old politics and crowned him…..and b) his campaign attempts in 07-08…its been no less than cheap…its been a great maneuvering and people fail to see the truth. 2) He is incapable of bringing any change to his senator role…his role in illinois senate before that.i mean there is nothing more than voting extreme right and political punditry that he has done. 3) He has very rightly used all he could to get to where he is…..i dont care if he is god of tricks..

    but if he proves himself after 4 yrs of presidency(which looks inevitable now) then i will concede i was wrong. on the other hand…if americans have any sense and they vote mccain in….i will love to see how this all talk no work man fares in next 4 yrs…. doodh ka doodh paani ka paani ho jayega.. lets wait.

  12. Is Obama a secret Hindu?

    Considering he thinks that some people are entitled to get something for nothing, no – he’s not a Hindu.

    M. Nam

  13. I’m not liking the bias against and lumping together of us “abrahamists?” Razib. I’m a christian, but my focus is not Israel, though it is as important as any other part of the world, my worldview involves whats happening in Asia/Pacific (India Pakistan relations, India’ national integrity, Burma, SEasia, NKorea/SKorea, love the Pacific want an island all to myself) as well as Africa (Why can’t we muscle Sudan into treating its citizens right, instead of wasting our time in Iraq, as well as develop potential allies in Nigeria and Ethiopia and Kenya, countries with potentials and possiblities of greatness) and europe, all I care about is Great Britian and Greece, the rest can burn for all I care (j/k). Muslims might focus more on the Palestinian issue, as well as certain “zionist” christians, but starting that kind of tone as those “abrahamists” is insulting. As much as nobody should lump all the “dharmics” together on a issue (i.e. all those “dharmics” talk about is “Ayodyha” or Bobby Jindal turning is back on this dharmic faith, oh wait the buddhist and jains don’t care about that;-)) By using language as “I’m tired of those abrahamists”, it creates a hostile environment for us other Indians, get that straight we are Indians, christian to the core, Indian by the grace of God, and being Mallu is like winning the lotto twice (tamils are cool too, Yogi B & Natchatra baby!);-). Stop acting like Indian christians are not in the proverbial room here on Sepia. I like alot of your posts Razib, they are usually well rounded and intelligent, please keep that up by tailoring your language a little better to acknowledge the complexities of being indian and of religious faith. Peace!

  14. 62 · MoorNam said

    Considering he thinks that some people are entitled to get something for nothing, no – he’s not a Hindu.

    I always thought Hindus believed in charity for the needy, but maybe it is only Brahmin bhikshus who deserve this kindness, while the others can go f- themselves?

    Given your beliefs, I guess you must be one of those old-school Evangelical Christian Republicans.

  15. Considering he thinks that some people are entitled to get something for nothing, no – he’s not a Hindu.

    According to Moornam, Hinduism is basically libertarianism with some mysticism.

  16. 59 · barack the boat said

    Can he spell opportunist? If there is one thing that is constant in the American political landscape, it is that some pied piper comes around every 20 years singing the tune of change. And how people follow him all the way..

    Is that surprising? Obama is a consummate politician and deserves credit for that. An election is usually choosing the least among a number of evils. Relatively little changes inside the beltway in terms of process; ‘change’ usually comes about when a critical mass of special interest parties and their janus-faced lobbyists is able to convince a non-trivial section of the public about the immediacy and worth of their agendas. Downstream, grassroots movements are rarely successful or influential (recent counterexamples: The Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War protests). What remains to be determined is whether voting Obama is an indication of a proactive public consensus associated with concrete political demands (if so, which ones?), or is it just a blind party following the pied piper all the way to Washington.

  17. All..Girl writes: >>I always thought Hindus believed in charity for the needy

    I think folks need to understand the difference between charity and entitlement.

    Charity is when a person(s) who has something in excess takes pity on someone who does not have anything, and gives a small portion of the excess. It is voluntary, and the recipient is expected to be grateful. “There you go – have this soup and here’s some for your kids“.

    Entitlement is when a person who has nothing demands something from person who has more – as a birthright. It is implemented by force and the recipient is not expected to be grateful. “I want to have foodstamps to buy burgers and fries, and I demand free healthcare to manage diabetis and BP that was caused by the burgers and fries.

    AMFD

    According to Moornam, Hinduism is basically libertarianism with some mysticism.

    It isn’t??!!

    M. Nam

  18. 28 · razib said

    i just get tired when my muslim friends talk about the plight of the palestinians and expect me to care especially much. for that matter, how much did arabs give a damn when 2,000 gujarati muslims were killed in 2002 in a pogrom?

    THANK YOU!! i do consider myself muslim, but i share your frustration. i did the whole palestinian protest thing in college mostly because we had a really strong pro-israel lobby on our campus (and it was the cool thing to do, of course). but i got tired of the endless pro-pali discussions for the same reason as you, razib. arabs dont give a shit about anyone but themselves. and i don’t think it’s a muslim issue. it’s an arab issue!

  19. “I want to have foodstamps to buy burgers and fries, and I demand free healthcare to manage diabetis and BP that was caused by the burgers and fries.”

    I know you are using an example, but for the record, foodstams average around $100/per person/per month. That is $3.33 a day or $1.11 a meal. Also you cant use them at fastfoods. Food Stamps Program cost amount to slightly less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

  20. 62 · MoorNam said

    >>Is Obama a secret Hindu? Considering he thinks that some people are entitled to get something for nothing, no – he’s not a Hindu.
    Entitlement is when a person who has nothing demands something from person who has more – as a birthright.

    This is coming from a defender of brahminism! In brahminism brahmins are entitled to charity. It is their entitlement by birthright. All other castes especially the untouchables are suffering the negative consequences of their karma and one should not interfere in the unfolding of karma by lifting a finger to alleviate their suffering. Those who visit India for the first time are invariably shocked and horrified by the living conditions that result from such a selfish, callous, cruel and inhumane social system.

    Explain how you equate the oppressive hindu caste system with libertarianism??

  21. It would be the great for Obama that he takes support of Hanuman and all other stuff. But after he won If he didn’t continue to take care of them then it would be the worst for him.

    There’s nothing wrong that he had take support of different stuff.

  22. 72 · Blue said

    Can’t see whether or not he’s Christian

    c’mon blue, he’s just as christian as jindal

  23. 73 · Manju said

    c’mon blue, he’s just as christian as jindal

    obama : jindal :: shirin ebadi : ahmedinejad

  24. 70 Vyasa

    Troll alert ! – Also you forgot to mention that hindus eat stinky food and dont use any implements!! And the ear hair, eeeuuuu

    Brahmins may have an inflated sense of entitlement, but any reasonable observer would see that Hindu traditions emphasize charity – danam – to all very strongly. One gives to the poor at the birth of a child, at their mundan (hair cutting ceremony), at a wedding, and at a funeral.

    Your reductionist reading of hindu tradition is pretty much hate speech – you are free to opine this kind of nonsense – but your soul-mates are clearly KKK/Nazi/Bajrang Dal and other ethnic and religous extremist-type people.

  25. Obama’s carrying the Hanuman holds significance, not as a religious mark, but as a remnant of the story and the relevance. Hanuman’s most renowned qualities from the legends are his devotion to duty, and the absence of ego. The self ceases to exist and only the purpose remains. And a noble purpose it shall be!

  26. I don’t think Obama is a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian. He’s made it pretty clear that he believes there are many paths to God so he can’t be a secret Muslim at least. He flat out said he was a Christian, but does not follow the teachings of Christ in that he believes there are many paths to God. He sounds New Age to me whether he knows it or not.

    If he were Muslim, he would be proud of it and not deny it. I have never met a muslim who denied their faith…even if they had never read the Koran. There would be more proof out there than just “the man in a funny hat” photo.

    He’s not a Christian. Many so called Christian churches don’t even teach the bible in it’s entirety but rather the nice “lovey-dovey” parts. So just because you go to a “Christian” church, does not mean you think your a sinner and that some guy really did rise from the dead after dying for you. The fact that he believes many paths lead to God should be all the proof any BIBLE believing individual needs. Many people claim to be Christian but don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah. That was Christ’s teaching…period, so if you don’t believe that…you are something other than a Christian.

    I’m pretty sure he’s not Jewish too.

    It would just be nice if people would quit trying to figure out what he does in his religious life. It’s not anyone’s business and should be between him and God…that is, if there is one. Why is so much effort put on labeling people?

  27. Now there is an idol worshipper. In fact so is McCain. Anyone who needs the luck of material things is away from God. Period. I am ashamed I contributed $100 to the obama campaign. I really thought this Guy was a christian, but later I find he supports abortion. Any self respecting christian cannot possible identify himself with any other religion, after all the main reason some one is a christian is because they know it is only the clean untainted blood of christ that can save that person. However if one is given good luck charms by people, one should rather reject and ask for their prayers. But a politician cannot do this things to disrespect them so he carries it for them, I suppose. Any way our hope is not in a politician, it is rather in christ. AMEN.

  28. Satan was the father of Jesus Christ. Christianity is an inferior religion.

    Lord Hanuman is the one true God of mankind.

    Christians, convert to Hinduism and your soul will be saved.

    The outsourcer.

  29. 79 · outsourcer said

    Satan was the father of Jesus Christ. Christianity is an inferior religion. Lord Hanuman is the one true God of mankind. Christians, convert to Hinduism and your soul will be saved. The outsourcer.

    What hole did you crawl out of??? I prefer not to worship the Gods who lead to the starvation of people so the cows and rats can be saved…that’s just common sense! What a tool.

  30. He was kidding. He was mocking the guy who posted ahead of him who was being a typical evangelical clown.

  31. I have no sense of humor when it comes to religion…sorry, I didn’t catch the sarcasm. But I don’t think just because someone is a Christian they are an “evangelical clown”. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any clowns and wolves out there…because there are lots of them (the Christian church is riddled with them) and they make the true ones look really really bad. I’m just saying that nothing in his statment sounds clownish to me…

  32. 11-day Prayer For Obama’s Success BY: STAFF CORRESPONDENT Jun 24, NEW DELHI, INDIA (THE HINDU) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama can now expect help from an unexpected quarter – Lord Hanuman. All-India Congress Committee member Brij Mohan Bhama has organised a 11-day religious ceremony at Karol Bagh here for his success in the U.S. elections. The idea of sending an idol of Hanuman dawned on him after friends in the United States mentioned a “prominent American politician who carried a miniature Hanuman idol in his pocket for luck,” Mr. Bhama said speaking on the first day of the ceremony on Tuesday. “After hearing that, I decided to gift Mr. Obama a larger, gold-plated version along with the wishes of thousands of his supporters in this country,” said the leader struggling to lift the 15 kg, 21-inch brass idol. The first-day ceremony, pranapratishta, or infusion of divine life into an idol, was performed by a dozen priests reciting mantras in tandem. It was attended by Democrats Abroad India chairperson Carolyn Sauvage, who spent over an hour at the venue. The idol was later kept in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sankat Mochan Dham, where it will be kept for 10 more days. Mr. Bhama said several temples in New Delhi had already expressed an interest in keeping the idol for worship on their premises before it begins its journey across the Atlantic. Along with the idol, a copy of Hanuman Chalisa, a compilation of hymns in praise of the Lord, would be sent. “We will ensure that Mr. Obama receives the idol by August 24, a day before the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado,” said Mr. Bhama.

    http://www.sampradayasun.com“>From http://www.sampradayasun.com

  33. Well, chastising Obama as an ‘idol worshipper’ simply because he carries a good luck charm that probably has some relevance to his childhood in Indonesia and exhorting about the fantastic “clean, untainted blood” all typify clownish behaviour, at least in my book.

  34. I think what he is getting at is that since Obama claims to be a christian, he would know that the Bible has lots to say about idols made from mens hands and the consequences of being involved with them in any way…that’s how I took it anyway. I think if Obama didn’t make those “Christian” claims, no one would even care about what is in in pocket. Nah, I take that back, they would probably still speculate. What I don’t understand is that Christians want to believe he is a Christian. Hindu’s want to believe he is Hindu etc. People want to identify with him in some way, and are willing to ignore the parts of him they can’t identify with. But whatever he is, it isn’t any sort of “pure” belief system in that he kinda mixes a little of everything (the hindu monkey man and the virgin with child stuff in his pocket is a good example). It’s like he wants to make sure that if he is wrong…he is still covered??? Fire insurance I guess. Or maybe, he just wants everybody to get along and sing camp fire songs while drinking coca cola and holding hands. OR…maybe he thinks it’s all just a load of horse maneur but thinks it will help him get elected.

  35. 86 · kit said

    But whatever he is, it isn’t any sort of “pure” belief system in that he kinda mixes a little of everything (the hindu monkey man and the virgin with child stuff in his pocket is a good example). It’s like he wants to make sure that if he is wrong…he is still covered??? Fire insurance I guess. Or maybe, he just wants everybody to get along and sing camp fire songs while drinking coca cola and holding hands.

    Pure belief system? If mixing religious elements makes a belief system unpure, there hasn’t been a pure belief system since the first human gave a name to any god. The religions of the world are intertwined in a complex and elaborate relationship, and every major religion has absorbed or inherited from countless others to reach its current state. If you are talking about conceptual purity, then any religion that is self-consistent is pure, and there’s nothing preventing a religion from mixing Hindu, Christian, or any other elements and remaining self-consistent.

  36. Like Kit wrote : “I don’t think Obama is a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian.”… He is a very spiritual man who sees all religions are different ways to realize ONE AND ONLY GOD or TRUTH. Obama is a person who firmly believes in the Hindu scriptural teachings such as

    “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti” Truth or GOD is one; sages call it by various names”;

    “Aano bhadrah kritawo yantu vishwataha” ‘Let noble thoughts come to us from every side ‘

    “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam:” “The entire creation is one family.”;

    Brought up in Indonesia during his childhood, where Hindus and Christians live in amity with Muslims, Obama’s fascination for all religions is understandable. Hinduism is NOT an organized religion like Islam or Christianity but a CULTURE and as such every one will be influenced by it.

  37. I had to come back to look at this one… on closer examination… I find it odd that Hanuman has 4 arms.

  38. There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.Most number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations.One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.Most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins.This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line,who are the real Dalits of India.

    In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

    The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries, Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably Hinduism.

    So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

  39. There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.Most number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations.One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.Most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins.This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line,who are the real Dalits of India.

    In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

    The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries, Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably Hinduism.

    So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

  40. There are 50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.Most number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations.One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.You also find Brahmin rickshaw pullers in Delhi. 50 per cent of Patel Nagar’s rickshaw pullers are Brahmins who like their brethren have moved to the city looking for jobs for lack of employment opportunities and poor education in their villages.Even after toiling the whole day, Vijay Pratap and Sidharth Tiwari, two Brahmin rickshaw pullers, say they are hardly able to make ends meet. These men make about Rs 100 to Rs 150 on an average every day from which they pay a daily rent of Rs 25 for their rickshaws and Rs 500 to Rs 600 towards the rent of their rooms which is shared by 3 to 4 people or their families.Most rickshaw pullers in Banaras are Brahmins.This reverse discrimination is also found in bureaucracy and politics. Most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu. Only 5 seats out of 600 in the combined UP and Bihar assembly are held by Brahmins — the rest are in the hands of the Yadavs.400,000 Brahmins of the Kashmir valley, the once respected Kashmiri Pandits, now live as refugees in their own country, sometimes in refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi in appalling conditions. But who gives a damn about them? Their vote bank is negligible.And this is not limited to the North alone. 75 per cent of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins. A study of the Brahmin community in a district in Andhra Pradesh (Brahmins of India by J Radhakrishna, published by Chugh Publications) reveals that today all purohits live below the poverty line,who are the real Dalits of India.

    In fact, according to this study there has been an overall decline in the number of Brahmin students. With the average income of Brahmins being less than that of non-Brahmins, a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level. In the 5 to 18 year age group, 44 per cent Brahmin students stopped education at the primary level and 36 per cent at the pre-matriculation level.The study also found that 55 per cent of all Brahmins lived below the poverty line — below a per capita income of Rs 650 a month. Since 45 per cent of the total population of India is officially stated to be below the poverty line it follows that the percentage of destitute Brahmins is 10 per cent higher than the all-India figure.According to the Andhra Pradesh study, the largest percentage of Brahmins today are employed as domestic servants. The unemployment rate among them is as high as 75 per cent. Seventy percent of Brahmins are still relying on their hereditary vocation. There are hundreds of families that are surviving on just Rs 500 per month as priests in various temples (Department of Endowments statistics).Priests are under tremendous difficulty today, sometimes even forced to beg for alms for survival. There are innumerable instances in which Brahmin priests who spent a lifetime studying Vedas are being ridiculed and disrespected.At Tamil Nadu’s Ranganathaswamy Temple, a priest’s monthly salary is Rs 300 (Census Department studies) and a daily allowance of one measure of rice. The government staff at the same temple receive Rs 2,500 plus per month. But these facts have not modified the priests’ reputation as ‘haves’ and as ‘exploiters.’ The destitution of Hindu priests has moved none, not even the parties known for Hindu sympathy.

    The tragedy of modern India is that the combined votes of Dalits/OBC and Muslims are enough for any government to be elected. The Congress quickly cashed in on it after Independence, but probably no other government than Sonia Gandhi’s has gone so far in shamelessly dividing Indian society for garnering votes.The Indian government gives Rs 1,000 crores (Rs 10 billion) for salaries of imams in mosques and Rs 200 crores (Rs 2 billion) as Haj subsidies. But no such help is available to Brahmins and upper castes. As a result, not only the Brahmins, but also some of the other upper castes in the lower middle class are suffering in silence today, seeing the minorities slowly taking control of their majority.Anti-Brahminism originated in, and still prospers in anti-Hindu circles. It is particularly welcome among Marxists, missionaries, Muslims, separatists and Christian-backed Dalit movements of different hues. When they attack Brahmins, their target is unmistakably Hinduism.

    So the question has to be asked: are the Brahmins (and other upper castes) of yesterday becoming the Dalits of today?

  41. Believing god is left to him.There are no rights for any of them to talk about his personal life.

  42. Pingback: Would you recognize Sacrilege when you see it? at Texas League of the South