ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics of Caste-based Schemes

Governmentalising schemes in favour of a privileged caste defeats the principle of justice.

 

In the past month, the B S Yediyurappa government in Karnataka announced two schemes for Brahmin brides, to be implemented through the Brahmin Development Board instituted by the government in July 2020. One is the Arundhati scheme, under which a payment of `25,000 each will be made for the marriage of 550 Brahmin brides who are economically weak, and the other is the Maitreyi scheme, under which the payment of `3 lakh (spread over three years) will be made to 25 Brahmin women who marry Brahmin priests from an economically weaker background. The Arundhati scheme has parallels with earlier schemes introduced by the Congress to support brides of the mino­rity community who are economically weak. It is the Maitreyi scheme that raises concerns. There is no doubt that there is a crisis in the priestly community among the Brahmins. There are many cases of poor priest families among Brahmins. The question is not whether they should be supported, but who should take the responsibility for doing this. 

These two schemes, and particularly the Maitreyi scheme, add more colour to the growing caste politics in Karnataka. The state recently witnessed a massive show of strength by the Lingayat Panchasamilis who have been protesting for inclusion in the 2A category of reservations in the state. At the same time, within the Brahmin groups in the state, there is an interesting cultural reassertion. One such assertion can arguably be seen in the growing number of fast-food joints in Bengaluru, the Darshinis, being specifically identified by the Brahmin tag. Politically, this can be seen not just in the political support to Brahmins from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but also by the growing number of vocal leaders from this community.

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Updated On : 13th Mar, 2021

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