Anti-Brahminism, also spelled as Anti-Brahmanism, is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed against the Brahmin caste, as opposed to Anti-Hinduism which rejects Hinduism as a whole. Anti-Hindus have however taken the stance against Brahmins because they were the traditional priestly class and by antagonizing them, they may convert all Hindus.
Examples of Anti-Brahmanism
In Islamist Dynasties
In the book, Diwan-i-Salman
by Khawajah Masud bin Sa'd bin Salman wrote of the Battle of Jalandhar (Punjab):
- "The narrative of any battles eclipses the stories of Rustam and Isfandiyar...By morning meal, not one soldier, not one Brahmin remained unkilled or uncaptured. Their heads were levelled with the ground with falming fire..Thou has secured the victory to the country and to religion, for amongst the Hindus this achievement will be remembered till the day of resurrection.
In Mughal times Sheikh Ahmad (Mujaddid) of Sirhind wrote a letter to Mirza Darab:
- "Hindu Brahmans and Greek philosophers have spent a lot of time on religion. Since their efforts were not according to the Shariyat of the prophet, they were all fools. They will remain devoid of salvation."
The Brahmins were also the target in South India from the Delhi Sultanate and that is why at the time of the Vijayanagar Empire, King King Prolaya Vema of the Reddy Dynasty gave protection to them.
Firoz Shah Bahmani (in about 1398-99), according to the Tawarikh Firishtah, kidnapped 2,000 Brahmin women, who were later freed by Raja Dev Rai of Vijayanagar.
Some Buddhists groups blame the downfall of Buddhismin India on the Brahmans while trying to deny or trying to hide from history the contributions made by the Brahmins to Buddhism
. To name a few, the Bodhisattva Nagarjuna
, Bodhisattva Aryasangha
, and Bodhisattva Kshitagarbha
. It is said that before The Buddha Himself, there were also other Buddhas and in those time periods Lord Buddha was Brahmin Suruci, Brahmin Atideva, Brahmin Ajita and there are more past Brahmin lives of The Buddha. Brahmins have significantly helped in spread the Buddha Dharma. In Tibet it was Bodhisattva Padmasambhava
, in central Asia it was Kumarajiva
, in mainland China it was Bodhisattva Bodhidharma
and in Japan it was Bodhisena
The jealous chauvinists are ignorant of the fact that the Buddha had Brahmin heritage. Lord Buddha is said to be a descendant of Sage Angirasa in many Buddhist texts. There too were Kshatiryas of other clans to whom members descend from Angirasa, to fulfill a childless king's wish.
In Indian states
The anti-brahmin hate group Sambhaji Brigade attacked Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute of Maharashtra in January 2004, claiming that the Institute had defamed Shivaji. Later the Sambhaji Brigade issued statements reflecting anti-Brahmin sentiments. The Maratha Seva Sangh is an extremely anti-Brahmin organization.
Several of the Sikh Bhagats
, including Bhagat Jayadeva
, Bhagat Ramananda
, Bhagat Trilochan
and Bhagat Surdas
were all Brahmins. Further many of the other Sikh Bhagats had a Brahmin as their guru - Bhagat Dhanna
had Ramananda. Kabir's daughter Kamali was married to a Brahmin. But in modern times, there have been cases of strong anti-Brahmin sentiments in the Sikh society, esp. among the supporters of the Khalistani movement.
In Tamil Nadu
is home to one of the oldest Anti-Brahminism movements in India. Anti-Brahminism as opposed to popular belief was not started as Anit-Brahmin caste system. The religious and social system of orthodox Hinduism was called as Brahminism.
In other words, Hinduism and Brahminism was once replaceable. Brahmins happened to be the strong and core layer to hold the Hinduism structure.
The self-respect movement
founded by E.V.Ramasamy espoused anti-brahminism and atheism
, and although Ramasamy had Brahmin colleagues, the movement had currents of anti-Brahminism
) were frequently held responsible by followers of Periyar for direct or indirect oppression of lower-caste
people; this contributed to several clashes and a gradual migration of the upper castes. Later, in regards to a DK member's attempt to assassinate Rajagopalachari, Ramasamy "expressed his abhorrence of violence as a means of settling political differences". Periyar's anti-brahmanism was evident from his comments to his followers that if they encountered a Brahman and a snake on the road the should kill the Brahmans first.
The legacy of the Anti-Brahmanism in the self-respect movement was taken over by the later Dravidian parties. Eventually, the virulent anti-Brahmanism subsided somewhat with the replacement of the DMK party by the AIADMK. Now the AIADMK is led by the Brahmin Jayalalitha or "Amma" (mother, as her followers call her).