Now Brahmins in Maharashtra want survey on socio-eonomic status

Published : December 07, 2018 17:31 IST

In the aftermath of the Maharashtra government granting 16 per cent reservation to Marathas in government jobs and higher educational institutions, there has been a not-so-unexpected call from the Brahmin community as well. On December 3, the Pune-based Akhil Bharatiya Brahman Mahasangh has asked the government to conduct a survey on the economic and social status of Brahmins in the State. The community says it is not directly asking for reservation, but feels that a survey similar to the one that declared Marathas economically and educationally backward and was the basis for the grant of reservation to them may benefit the Brahmin community in some way.  

The call no doubt stems from the simmering resentment against the reservation policy, but rather than condemn the reservation granted to Marathas, the Brahmin community has opted for a tactic that drops the ball in the government’s court. Specifically, the community has asked the State government to conduct a survey to estimate the number of Brahmins living in poverty. The Mahasangh has said that because the community is at the top of the caste heap there is a misconception that it is also the wealthiest. Contrary to popular belief, about 60 per cent of the community lives in poverty, according to the organisation.

 In the numbers game, which is so crucial in influencing government policy, Brahmins do not do as well as Marathas. The Brahmin community forms about 9 per cent of the State’s population as opposed to Marathas who constitute about 30 per cent of the population.

The Mahasangh says a survey will provide details about the economic and social backwardness of the community. It also says education is not an issue among Brahmins because education levels are considerably high. Basically, the community is looking for fee concessions for its students, State government assistance for a Rs.5,000 monthly honorarium for priests, and jobs for unemployed Brahmin youth. Without actually stating it, the underlying basis of the demand is that many Brahmin youth are unemployed because of reservation given to other castes and communities.

The demand received a standard “we will look into it” response from the State government, prompting the Mahasangh to promise escalation of the matter to the Chief Minister’s office (Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is a Brahmin).

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