New Delhi: Brahmins might represent solely 3 % of Telangana’s inhabitants however the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) goes all out to woo them.
The Brahmin Sadan inaugurated by Telangana Chief Minister Okay. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) final week — positioned on the outskirts of Hyderabad and outfitted with a library of Hindu scriptures, a wedding corridor, and lodging for seers — is the most recent such initiative.
Final month, the Telangana CM introduced that the monetary help given to monks of assorted temples beneath the Dhoopa Deepa Naivedyam programme could be elevated to Rs 10,000/month from Rs 6,000.
He additionally introduced a rise within the honorarium for Vedic monks, to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,500 per 30 days.
Whereas inaugurating the Brahmin Sadan, he made another bulletins for the group — turning a one-time grant of Rs 2 lakh to Vedic faculties to an annual grant, and charges reimbursement for impoverished Brahmin college students learning in IITs and IIMs.
The KCR authorities contributes Rs 100 crore yearly to the Telangana Brahmin Samkshema Parishad (TBSP), or the Brahmin welfare division, established in 2017 for “the welfare and improvement of the weaker and marginalised sections of Brahmin group” by means of “monetary, mental and bodily assets”.
The BRS denies that is an train in appeasement politics, saying a survey after the creation of the state had recognized 90 % of Brahmins as dwelling under the poverty line.
In the meantime, the BJP dismisses the outreach as a gimmick forward of the state’s meeting elections later this 12 months.
Political specialists say the initiatives are a part of the BRS’ plan to counter the BJP’s marketing campaign of terming the get together and its chief, KCR, “anti-Hindu”.
A negligible drive within the state earlier than, the BJP has gained a foothold in Telangana.
In 2022, Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar stated that KCR was discriminating in opposition to Hindus by not “paying any type of honorarium to monks, and never giving permissions for building of temples”. The BJP chief had requested why the CM was “not interested by paying Rs 6,000 a month to monks as he was giving the identical to the imams of masjids”.
Nevertheless, KCR is typically seen embracing his Hindu identification publicly.
Through the inauguration of his nationwide workplace in Delhi in December final 12 months, KCR carried out a particular pooja and yagyam on the venue. He additionally performs the annual Chandi Yagyam.
Within the 2018 elections, based on caste-based exit polls, the Lambadas (ST), Brahmins, Muslims and Munnur Kapus supported the BRS (then the Telangana Rashtra Samithi), whereas BC and Reddy votes received equally divided between the BRS and the Congress.
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On its web site, the TBSP has detailed numerous schemes for the good thing about financially weaker Brahmins and monks.
These embody offering help to unemployed Brahmin youths to seem for aggressive exams, take teaching and so on, and to encourage ‘Veda pathashala (Veda faculties)’, and supply monetary help to them.
An honorarium for Veda Shastra pandits is one other initiative.
A scheme referred to as the Vivekananda Abroad Schooling seeks to facilitate overseas schooling for Brahmin college students who face monetary constraints.
The Sri Ramanuja Scheme guarantees charges reimbursement to Brahmin college students belonging to BPL class, and the Brahmin Entrepreneurship Scheme of Telangana (BEST) supplies monetary help to younger entrepreneurs of the group.
On its web site, it’s stated that the concept of the TBSP emanated from KCR’s imaginative and prescient that “numerous sections in society must be blissful”.
Chatting with ThePrint, Devi Prasad, a Brahmin chief of the BRS, echoed this.
After the formation of Telangana in 2014, he stated, a survey performed by the federal government “introduced many points to our discover… notably that 90 % of the Brahmins within the state live under poverty line (BPL)”.
“After consideration of the report, the federal government determined to concentrate to their pursuits as effectively,” he added.
“It has occurred for the primary time that those that are working in Telangana’s temples have develop into regularised and are being paid like state authorities staff,” he stated. “Greater than 20,000 temple monks have benefitted.”
The BJP, nevertheless, described the initiatives as “half-hearted appeasement ways”.
Telangana BJP chief Okay. Laxman, a member of the Rajya Sabha, stated KCR was distributing public cash to “inaugurate bhawans however he truly had not completed a lot for Brahmins”.
“He’s attempting to play the caste card by allocating this cash as a result of that is an election 12 months. If he truly cared about Brahmins, he ought to have carried out the ten % EWS quota within the state instantly [it was implemented 2 years after the Centre introduced it in 2019]. He additionally promised cash for the Bhadrachalam temple however he didn’t fulfil it,” he added.
“Why ought to the federal government have any say in endowment cash? Many temples are left like that, monks don’t get even minimal salaries,” he stated.
The BRS insisted it isn’t part of any appeasement politics. “Brahmins are usually not even 4 % of voters. The Sadan was not inaugurated simply taking a look at elections,” stated Prasad. “Its basis was laid in 2015 itself. Equally, different schemes have been happening because the parishad was made in 2017.”
Behind BRS Brahmin outreach
Professor Okay. Nageshwar, former member of the Telangana Legislative Council and a professor at Osmania College, stated the BRS’ Brahmin outreach may very well be meant to counter the BJP’s allegations of the [arty being “anti-Hindu”.
“That the BJP typically assaults KCR and the get together as anti-Hindu may even have been a motivating issue to show the Hindu credentials,” he stated.
“That is what different Opposition events and their leaders, together with Akhilesh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi, have additionally completed. The BJP’s major assault on KCR is that he’s hobnobbing with the AIMIM, however he’s additionally an enormous believer and religious Hindu,” he added.
The opposite facet of this, he stated, “is that KCR is doing this stuff for each caste”.
“Earlier politics was about mobilising bigger majoritarian teams, however now because it has develop into more and more sophisticated, political events wish to deliver all castes of their assist, even when they’re numerically small,” he added. “Every caste issues in aggressive politics.”
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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