Tamil Brahmins have been compared with Jews often in public discourse. What has been missing from public debate, however, is the characterization of Tamil Brahmins as a race similar to Jews by members of the Dravidian movement. The typical word to describe Brahmins is ‘Aryans’ and the 2019, 2021 elections were described by the DMK propaganda arms as an ‘Aryan-Dravidian War’. So, given that the Dravidian movement sets itself up as the bete noire of Brahmins, what have their ideological pronouncements been?
In July 2021, Varavanai Senthil, Senior Editor at Kalaignar News, the official party channel of the DMK, raised eyebrows when he responded to the demand for Kongu Nadu with the comment- ‘Brahmins have not undergone the sufferings of Jews’.
In May 2021, he had claimed that Tamil Brahmins have had a higher rate of Covid-19 vaccination, relatively, while all Jews had got themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.
While this may have raised eyebrows, the comparison is far older than Mr Senthil himself.
Here is an excerpt from C N Annadurai’s biography.
This is of a piece with the ideological father of the DMK, ‘Periyar’ E V Ramasamy’s writings. In an essay written in his magazine Kuti Arasu, in 1938, Ramasamy wrote:
“What is the difference between Jews referring to themselves as God’s chosen people and to Brahmins claiming they were born from the face of God? Jews use incense, lamps and bells in their worship, much as Brahmins do.
Jews stay aloof from others and so do Brahmins. Jews have no State of their own and have no loyalty to any country. You will find the same rootless attitude among Brahmins, too.
Both Brahmins and Jews look for making comfortable lives for themselves without engaging in hard work. Jews, for their own benefit, will somehow get close to the rulers, manipulate them and make common people suffer. In the same way, Brahmins will never take responsibility, will get a share in the rule and will create privileges for themselves. Brahmins and Jews use irrational fairy tales and stories of miraculous happenings to manipulate common people.
They both use class differences, create disunity among national races and are thus of the same nature.
In fact, have you noticed the similarity of Jews and Brahmins in looks and skin colour? There must be research done to study the possibility of common descent”
In Rajmohan Gandhi’s biography of Rajaji, he mentions the arrest of EV Ramasamy and subsequent rallies held by the Kumararajah of Chettinad. Special note is to be made of the dehumanizing language and comparison to Jews.
If the Dravidian movement consistently has referred to Tamil Brahmins as the Jews of India and portrayed itself as the enemy of Brahminism, aka Brahmins, it must follow that the Dravidians are the self-professed Nazis of India. One wonders how such a self-described organization continues to exist in the centre of politics of a large nation such as India in the 21st Century.
- Kannan, R. (2010). ANNA: LIFE AND TIMES OF C.N. ANNADURAI. India: Penguin Books Limited.
- Gandhi, Rajmohan (2010). Rajaji: A Life. India: Penguin Books Limited. – page 197
- The First Complete Biography of Periyar E V Ramasamy, S.Karunanandam.
(Note: This article would never have been written but for the in-depth research of the two Twitter handles – @ssaikuma and @realitycheckind. The author thanks them for their generous sharing of content and references in public).