There is a great Euphoria among all Indians for getting several awards to the Indian artistes of the “Slum Dog Millionaire.” At the outset I would like to congratulate them because in a country like India full of brown and black people , nothing is greater than a recognition of the white people .
But most of you possibly did not notice about another dog usage in Tamil Nadu. When Dr.Subramanya Swamy , a Ph .D from Harvard , a great intellectual and a classmate of mine (whom I have not seen for the last 48 years) was appearing in some case in the High court of Madras, the lawyers enraged at his attitude towards LTTE, called him “Parppana Naye” (“Brahmin Dog” or literally a “Refugee settler dog”). I do not have any opinion on the right or wrong of Swami the politician but I was terribly pained by the usage resorted to by the intellectual lawyers of the high court of Madras.
Visibly there was no protest aired by the Tamilian Iyers, not even in their yahoo groups. Possibly this is due to their being harassed by the government and people of Tamil Nadu . This is in spite of the fact that Sage Agasthya was a northern Brahmin , River Cauvery was his wife. Thiruvaluvar wrote in his great Tamil Veda that
“Brahmins are righteous people, because
They treat all beings with mercy and kindness.”
When the contribution to the Tamil language or culture of this community from the Sangam times to today is summed up , it is a very high percentage in spite of the fact that they never were more than 3-4% of the Tamil population at any time in the history. . I totally agree that like every other forward communities in Tamil Nadu and India, they practiced untouchability and for reasons unknown were able to get maximum number of the white collar jobs under the British. This to my mind is not sufficient reason for calling them dogs.
This would not have happened in any other state in South India , other than Tamil Nadu. True some jeering and some harassment of Brahmins are there in other states too but from the poorest to richest , all people have great respect for them. They respect them for their sincerity, honesty and intelligence.