The lockdown enforced following the Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses which in turn has affected the lives of various sections of society. While the plight of the daily wage migrant labourer and other poor families has received much-needed attention, one section that has been completely ignored is Hindu temple priests, many of whom anyway live in penury and are now finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet.
About a month ago when I started helping poor Brahmins during #covidtimes I categorically said this is a group that cannot ‘ seek alms ‘
See how this old priest is expressing his grief on how poor Brahmins are not able to feed their families . 😌
They have always prayed for us pic.twitter.com/IE7ZvIfKS4
— Karuna Gopal (@KarunaGopal1) May 19, 2020
Temples have remained shut and similarly ‘vidhis’ (rituals) performed by individuals for which they commission the help of priests have also come to a halt. Hence many priests are suffering due to lack of income. In the video above an old priest has expressed his agony caused by the current crisis.
A community that provides a fundamental spiritual service and prays for the welfare of society is finding it difficult to even sustain itself. Many Brahmin priestly families are facing economic crisis but are unable to express this to anybody. This is that section of society which is reviled in popular discourse for alleged historical sins, despite the poverty many live in today. This holds true all over the country. While clerics & pastors of ‘minority’ religions are showered with monthly stipends by the secular state, the same secular state which controls most large Hindu temples has no money to give to poor Hindu priests.
There r over 250 Brahmin families in Salem who are in abject poverty.I personally visited some families to check the facts, i was shocked, they dont even have money to buy lamp oil.They are surviving on rice porridge
Because of prestige they neither ask for help nor go to street
— Mahesh 🇮🇳 (@Mahesh10816) May 15, 2020
OpIndia had recently reported about a Mumbai based organisation oPandit which has come to the rescue of priests during this hour of crisis. Mrudula Barve, who started this initiative along with Shekar Malik, has also stated how Hindu priests will go hungry but never ask even if they are facing problems. That is one of the reasons they have stepped in to help the pandits (priests) during these desperate times.
Others too are helping out –
We request our readers to contribute to these efforts in whichever way they can.
Brahmins have long been demonised but no one talks about the difficulties they face. It has become fashionable for anti-Hindu forces to target Hindu Dharma using the bogey of ‘Brahminism’ or ‘Brahminical dominance’. The pandemic has shown that reality is often miles away from propaganda. Ironically, even the poor migrant labourer whose grief-stricken photo has become symbolic of the migrant crisis unleashed by Covid-19 is one Rampukar Pandit from Bihar.
(Featured Image Source: @Krishnu18)
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