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Brahmanical Patriarchy : A Brief History

Posted: April 21, 2019

Time and again there have been enough discussions on how sexism and casteism are intertwined. However “Brahmanical Patriarchy” is an exclusive case whose roots date back to centuries. It is the patriarchy that opened ways for more revived forms of discrimination and cruelty against women. Any discrimination is a form of an exhibition of unearned privilege against the marginalized and in India Brahmins best describes that.

To understand Brahmanical patriarchy one must be aware of the ‘gifts’ bestowed upon the Brahmins by their revered Manu Smriti.

  • Manu approves Brahmins to have illicit relationship with Shudra woman and also to abandon them and any child born of the relationship.
  • It also debars Shudras and women (even if born Brahmin) from reading the Vedas, thus reducing the competition for Brahmin men.
  • It qualifies a woman as a potential threat to any man citing them as the most harmful creatures capable of seduction, greed, and all other evils, and warns men to avoid their company.

These are only very few gems from the script. Also, there are ample evidences in history that the Malabar Kings sent their newlywed wives to the priests for first night to deflower them as the fresh nuptials of a woman has to be a gift to God which can be accomplished only when a Brahmin enjoys her. The priests were even paid for that! Appalling isn’t it?

More shamefully, the Brahmins went on a spree proclaiming any woman of their choice to please them as and when required in the guise of “Service to God.”

Ambedkar states, “The Burgos Pope went down in history as the most debauched predators in the name of spiritual service. One wonders whether the Brahmins of India are any better than them.”

Sure, patriarchy is deep-rooted around the globe irrespective of class and castes. But in India, Brahmanism that triumphed over Buddhism, paved way for more injustice and assault against women who were climbing the social ladder under Buddhist regime.

One may argue that the gems from Manu Smriti cannot be held accountable now in the 21st century to spew venom against a community. But one should remember that the same community still benefits from the script as a result of prolonged prejudice against the marginalized and till now the community has never condemned any part of it. Also to be remembered is the fact that the Brahmins were the most opposing group when The Hindu code bill was constituted to improve the social status of women in India.

As much as Manu gave leeway to the Brahmins to wrong others, the Brahmins themselves went on a spree interpreting and executing more than what was in it. Which means the horrors committed by Brahmins are more than what was in the wicked script. Hence it becomes necessary the evil be uprooted which will eventually make its branches (other forms of patriarchy) wither away.

Brahmins annoyed by the term should reconsider what “Brahminism” actually stands for and hold themselves accountable instead of feigning ignorance which they usually do.

Image via Historyboard.in

Jack(y) of everything. Mistress of none.

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