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Saturday, June 3, 2023

New level of anti-Brahminism in TN: Hatred unleashed on community over Covid-19 vaccination

Christian and Islamic preachers are spreading misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines and causing vaccine hesitancy leading to heavy loss of lives in the second wave. But none of them find mention either in mainstream media or among social media influencers. What attracts the bigoted attention of neo-Ambedkarites, left-liberals and Dravidianists is Hindus, especially the Brahmin community. Whether it’s vaccine hesitancy or shortage, Brahmins are blamed for everything.

Earlier a Tamil journalist claimed that in comparison to others, Brahmins took the vaccine in good numbers and that Jews have also inoculated themselves fully (Israel has vaccinated its total population). He implied that Brahmins and Jews corner resources for themselves and discourage other communities from taking them. Such racist stereotyping and dehumanization of both Brahmins and Jews  is not new in the Dravidian discourse. It was actually first done by the founding father of Dravidianism, EV Ramasamy (‘Periyar’), in 1938 when Nazi rhetoric against Jews was at an all-time high. 

Another handle made an illogical comparison that while BJP member and actor S. Ve. Shekher’s son got the jab, he asked others to recite a shloka to protect oneself from diseases. S. Ve. Shekher had merely shared the shloka with a caption “for those who believe”.

Another handle that belongs to the ‘Dravidian stock’ had tweeted that while Brahmins advise others to ‘inhale steam, smear cow dung, drink gau mutra’, etc they vaccinate themselves with both doses and are getting ready for an mRNA shot.

Similarly an Ambedkarite twitter handle had shared a picture of Brahmin priests getting inoculated in Malleswaram, North Bengaluru asking whether even vaccination was done on caste basis. Now, Brahmins are concentrated in that part of Bengaluru and a representative picture of them taking the jab was made out to be a caste privilege issue.

Satish Acharya, the cartoonist turned it into a religious issue through his cartoon which mocked Hindu beliefs like checking horoscopes and gotra. Not so curiously, all these people were silent when the opposition, especially Congress whipped up negative sentiments about vaccines manufactured in Bharat. The campaign was particularly virulent in Tamil Nadu as the state went for polls when the vaccination drive picked up. The then opposition leader and the present CM, MK.Stalin himself had created doubts about the vaccine, doubting its efficacy, and falsely saying that neither the then CM Edappadi Palanisamy nor PM Modi had taken the vaccines.

His ally VCK’s chief Thirumavalavan led a vicious campaign against the indigenous vaccine Covaxin demanding that the TN government ban it. Many celebrities and politicians were quick to allege that actor Vivek who took the vaccine in a government hospital died because of the vaccine. While naysayers of the vaccine never failed to find the media glare, religious figures like Sadhu Selvaraj, a Christian preacher were silently turning people against vaccines. But none of these people are held responsible for their actions while Brahmins are blamed for things they didn’t even do. Such is the hatred for the Brahmin community among the Dravidianists of TN.

(Featured Image Source:Twitter)

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