In 1940, two movies were released on the insistence of Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels – The Eternal jew and Jud Süss. These movies presented Jews in extremely poor light, as parasites sucking blood of others, as cunning rats creating disruption to the society, etc. Hitler insisted that the Germans should know what Jew had done to them for centuries and this can be done by making movies showing their real face ‘hidden behind the mask of European’.
Cut to Tamilnadu in 2018, a web series calling itself ‘utopian’ targets Brahmins, insinuating that Brahmins are ‘parasites who live on work of other castes, rats who grew fat pushing other castes to do menial jobs’ etc. This web series has the ‘blessings’ of Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (read Father Periyar Dravida Party), which has no qualms in showcasing itself as ‘the destroyer of Brahminism and Brahmins’. Even the secretary of that party, K. Ramakrishnan, explains that this utopian web series was made to show others what brahmins had done to them for centuries. He jests that brahmins, upon seeing this series, will be offended, but he warns them to not create much ruckus. This person was behind an incident two years ago, when walls were painted with words inviting people to attend a ceremony where pigs be made to wear Janeu. This was to contrast the Brahminical ritual called Avani Avittam during which Brahmins replace their old Janeu with new one.
To read about the Nazi-like Anti-Brahmin propaganda previously done via books by followers of Periyar, click here.
In the first video of this Nazi-style propaganda web series, two Brahmins, donning Janeu and Dhoti, start their day by picking up broom and going on the roads picking up dustbins. They then approach a home, where a woman chastises them to stay away and not touch anywhere. One of the Brahmin garbage collectors reminds the other of their untouchability, who had just been chastised by the lady in the house. All this happens with famous singer’s rendition of ‘Shree Venkatesam Manasaasmarami’. This is the utopian idea of a web series team called KarapaanPoochi (the Tamil term for Cockroach).
The channel boasts itself of ten videos, of which 7 of them target Brahmins. This video of a Brahmin garbage collector is touted to be the reversal of trend wherein, Brahmin alone does not become garbage collector, while others end up playing that role. This video enforces an idea that it was Brahmins who forced other castes to collect garbage, which is an usual rhetoric among the Dravidian ideologues in Tamil Nadu and Communists elsewhere in India.
However, the reality is different. Most of the Brahmins in Tamil Nadu had migrated to other Indian states or flew outside India when the anti-Brahmin movement was at its peak during the 1960s and 1970s under the reign of Annadurai and Karunanidhi. A sizeable population of Brahmins in government hierarchies were purged out by reservation in jobs. With miniscule level of Brahmin presence in Government and Corporation, it is preposterous to assume that Brahmins pushed other castes to collect garbage, because they are not entitled to do so. In fact, Brahmins have taken up sanitation works as per this article.
Second video in the series talks about a Brahmin butchering beef in a stall while a song in Tamil, which translates to ‘Cow is the mother of our family’, is being played in background. The butcher talks at length about how Shaastra specifies creating a delicious food item with beef. Can the producers similarly create a satirical video where a Muslim butchers pork and talks about a pork recipe in their holy verses? They will not create such video, because Karapaanpoochi is directed and produced by fans of Periyar. Periyar aka E. V. Ramasamy Naicker, was an atheist who hated only Hinduism while maintaining silence over Christianity and Islam. It is of no surprise that his followers too adopt the same pusillanimous attitude, by targeting Hindus in general and Brahmins in particular.
Third video in the series is an unintended satire on the making team itself. Two black shirts, usually worn by Periyar followers, replace the role of Brahmin priest and utter verses from books written by Periyar. Periyar who denied Gods (only Hindu Gods) is being elevated to the status of God in Tamil Nadu. It is considered blasphemous to criticise Periyar or ridicule his movement in Tamil social media. Tension arises when someone desecrates statue of Periyar, which is garlanded by his followers on his birth and death anniversaries. Can we take this video to be a reflection of the current status of the anti-Hindu Periyar movement, where the denier of God ends up as a God, much like Oh My God! movie?
A video on Brahmin being a paid assassin shows a man detailing his wife about whom he is going to kill. We wonder what does the director mean to convey here, that Brahmins had never became hitmen or that only non-Brahmins were hired killers? Did Bahmins in the past force (and not hire) them to finish off their enemies?
There are other videos, where a Brahmin is a barber, a drunkard and does manual scavenging. The film crew indirectly blames Brahmins for other caste people ending up doing manual scavenging as work. But do they realise that it was a Brahmin CM of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha, who abolished manual scavenging in 2015, and not the ‘protector of others from evil Brahmin’ Karunanidhi? There is also a news article about a Brahmin corporator who abolished manual scavenging long back in 1950s. If Brahmins were the reason for other castes forced into manual scavenging, why is that the DMK (who champions the anti-Brahmin tirade) never took steps in abolishing manual scavenging?
All these videos point towards the only obvious statement – brahmins are the reason for all that is evil. Showcasing a brahmin doing every other job might have satisfied their internal brahmin hate, but it is refreshing to note that brahmins alone can be ridiculed in any form of Tamil media. This just shows one thing, that, brahmins do not wield strong influence in Tamilnadu as these nutjobs claim every day and night. If as per the allegations, brahmins has power to control the whole state, why can’t they just destroy the anti-brahmin propaganda which had been in the state for the past 70 years?
We are unclear about how the anti-Brahmin propaganda was received by the earlier generations of those in Tamilnadu, but a small glimpse of Facebook pages could show the level of current hatred. There is a Facebook page called ‘Ponool Porukkigal – SacredThread ShitHeads‘ which translates to ‘people who wear Janeu are ruffians’ and one does not need to know the meaning of ‘SacredThread Shit Heads’. That page had 50,000 likes, which indirectly shows that there is a considerable increase in anti-Brahmin tirade in Tamil Nadu. With Nazi-like propaganda videos made by Karapaanpoochi team, the hatred towards Brahmins are sure to multiply. This does not mean that all Tamils hate Brahmins (while Brahmins themselves are Tamils too), but with continuous propaganda like this, the percentage of people who hate could increase.
For people who correlate Nazi and Fascism with RSS and BJP at the drop of hat, this Nazi-styled propaganda web series will not be shocking. In fact, they will be viewing such propaganda materials with much glee and excitement. This article might even increase the audience of those propaganda videos, and could satisfy the above-said people. But, the video links are shared here so that we do not ignore the developments and end up having a Kashmiri-Pandits-style exodus happening to the Tamil Brahmins.