Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The butterfly park -A poem by Maithree

The butterfly park


Maithree Venkatesan

(This poet is only eight years old and is my grand daughter: Raja Thatha)

I once went to a butterfly park,
And was greeted by dogs, ready to bark,
With many pretty little butterflies,
Flittering around the sky.

Two little butterflies came and sat on me,
I laughed and smiled, shining with glee.
We watched a film, which told us about butterflies,
In which I learnt how butterflies fly.

Finally it was time to go,
The butterflies said “Hi” though!
I said ‘bye” and turned around the bend,
My little trip came to an end.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In search of an Indian Obama?

In search of an Indian Obama?


After Obama won the US presidential elections, a lot of articles heralded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati as an Indian Obama. Obama and Mayawati have lot of things to be compared on. Let's take a dispassionate look at these

Why Mayawati is like Obama?

The obvious: Obama and Mayawati are from a historically oppressed class in their respective countries.

Well-educated: Though she may not appear so, Mayawati is pretty well educated, with multiple BAs in education and law. Obama of course is a Harvard school graduate.

Oratory skills: Obama has enormous skills to move his audiences with speeches. Mayawati, too, elicits enormous response for her speech, especially among the downtrodden.

Good press: The press in both the India and America have large leftist leanings (or at least have been widely accused to have such leanings). Many people in the press feel that by elevating Obama or Mayawati, the country is setting right, decades of wrong. This has resulted in these two candidates getting enormous amount of good coverage in the press. The press largely ignores the questionable associations and corruption charges against these candidates – like Obama’s associations with Chicago underworld and Mayawati’s many corruption charges

Policies: Both Obama’s and Mayawati’s policies fall broadly in the left of the political spectrum. Both have promised or inspired hope among the lowest rung of the society, that their life will get better by electing them as leaders. Both speak for more equitable wealth distributions.

Why Mayawati is not like Obama?

Broad appeal: Obama’s first electoral victory was in Iowa, which is among the 'Whitest' of all the American states, in terms of populace. It would be an equivalent of Mayawati winning in Mylapore or some such constituency dominated by upper class. In the election, Obama won votes not only among Blacks but substantial votes among Whites, Latinos, Asians and every possible ethnic group. His message appeals to all groups both within the country and outside the country. Mayawati still gets her votes mainly from Dalits and a few other groups and mostly in a few Northern states.

Uniting people: Though much has been made of Mayawati’s coalition of Dalits and Brahmins, what she is doing is basically dividing the Indian populace, by pitting a group of people against another. Obama never tried forming a coalition of Blacks and Whites against Latinos or such similar groups.

Polish: Obama gives a more polished appearance and speech. Mayawati is more rustic in appearance and appeal. In fact, in this regard, Mayawati’s more apt comparison will be with Sarah Palin, rather than Obama.

International exposure and knowledge: Obama has wide international exposure by means of his origin, the place he grew up, the friends he had. He has enormous knowledge about world matters, thanks to his curiosity and education. Mayawati seems to be lacking in this department, unless there is a side of her, which we haven’t seen.

Debatable points:

Intelligence: Does Mayawati have as much intelligence as the Harvard educated Obama?

Love for the country: Mayawati loves the downtrodden and people of certain castes, but does she love the entire India as much as Obama loves America?

Corruption: Though Obama has some questionable associations, he has never been accused of corruption (like the Taj corridor case of Mayawati). Of course, generally Indian politicians are more corrupt than their American counterparts. So not sure if you can hold this against Mayawati.

Overall I feel that though there are similarities between Mayawati and Obama, looking beneath the surface there are also vast differences.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Slumdog: There's more to India than just poverty

Slumdog: There's more to India than just poverty


Ramesh Chander

’SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE’ won four Golden Globes and is on the way to the Oscars. Great. The underdog with an Indian connection has won. I am one of the biggest fans of Rahman and have heard his music for the film. Then I saw the movie. ‘Slumdog’, is no underdog.

Isn’t India poor?

India is a vast and diverse country and is a statistician’s dream. Figures can be twisted anyway. But the fact is that while the poverty rate in India was 40 per cent five years back, it was 60 per cent 25 years back. A 20 per cent jump translates to approximately 200 million people breaking out of poverty line. India has a 300 million strong middle class. While it is a fact that there is still unacceptable poverty in India a clear majority in India are not extremely poor as portrayed in the movie. Still showing extreme poverty is fine. But showing Indians as bloodthirsty, child-beating, eye-plucking people is outrageous.

Aren’t Indian slums are a living hell. Danny Boyle in his interview to an Indian publication has admitted that the slums in India are teaming with industries and entrepreneurs. But in the movie the only ’industry’ he has portrayed in the slums is begging, prostitution and shooting.

When a dollar isn’t a dollar

The most commonly quoted figure to paint India as an impoverished nation is quoting Indian salary in US dollars by using the exchange rate conversion. But a dollar-a-day isn’t really dollar-a-day in India; it is Rs 50-a-day. For many in US one dollar translates into one rupee. A doctor’s visit would be Rs 100 in Indian currency and at least $ 100 in America. Public transport, though very crowded and inefficient, works and a typical daily commute to and from work would be Rs 10 in India and $10 in America. Basic food items are highly subsidised for the poor people through a vast government network. Electricity is free in rural areas. Even the World Bank recognises the fallacies of using the exchange rate and has abandoned this in favour of Purchasing-Power-Parity. It is a pity that lot of publications, know about this and still use the raw exchange rate figures to make their point on poverty in India.

It is just a movie

“Just a movie” can change public perceptions. Even an over-the-top movie like ‘Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom’ was disastrous for changing the views of India for a generation of people. Kal Penn, the Indian American actor, said that after seeing the Indiana Jones movie, his American friends used to avoid him, thinking he eats monkey’s brains. The ‘Slumdog’ movie has been perceived as ‘real’ by the American and world media. Imagine the amount of profiling and impact this movie would have, especially on the lives of children of Indians abroad, who can’t defend themselves.

Do you remember the movie ‘Borat’. When it was released the Kazakistan Government immediately took out a full page ad in ‘New York Times’ talking about the good things that exist in their country. And that movie was just a comedy, which made more fun of Americans than Kazakistan. Why did they do that? Because they realised that it would be the first impression of their country for millions of people and wanted to set it right. From my experience an average American knows as much about India as we know about Kazakistan. Why do perceptions matter? They matter for the sake of our children, who should not hate India and for the sake of foreign investment. The poverty in India is decreasing because people are intelligent and also because of the foreign investment. However much you might lament about inequality of wealth in India, the fact is that in no democratic country in the world have so many people come out of poverty so soon. Of course, every person going hungry is a disgrace and in India there are still millions and millions of them.

One way to help such a huge number of people is by turning India into a communist country but communism has failed miserably or by trickle-down economics. The trickle-down economics has worked wonders in the last decade, despite all its imperfections. The last thing you want is something going wrong in top of the trickle-down economics. I have read lot of Americans saying that they don’t want to visit India after seeing the disgusting scenes.

Is that the way to help poor people?

Isn’t the author of this movie an Indian?
Indians have a long history of degrading themselves in literature and in media. Maybe because some are ‘ultra-liberal’, maybe it is due to age-old perceptions, maybe some feel that they have to dance to the tune of their ‘Western-masters’. But the fact is that many Indians in media and literature perceive (rightly or wrongly is debatable) that their work will be published/seen/recognised only if they write something degrading about India and Indians. I hope that American people can see India for its glorious diversities and not a one-dimensional hell as portrayed in the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. I hope that the Oscar committee would see this movie as a con job to satisfy the Western thirst of superiority and not as ‘rags-to-riches’ story or ‘real’ portrayal of India.

The value of lives: Media angle

The value of lives: Media angle


Ramesh Chander
DID ANYONE notice the news today that Americans paid Afghans $2500 for each person they killed in a missile strike. Compare that with the $5000 that was paid very recently to all the passengers of US Air for surviving (with hardly a scratch) a plane crash on the river Hudson.
When terrorists stuck Mumbai, both national and international media went on an overdrive telling that the attack was aimed at foreigners. About 30 foreigners were killed and almost 150 Indians lost their life.
Did the foreigners suffer the most? Then, why did the media proclaim that?
In Africa, death tolls are typically in the hundreds. If 500 people die in some riots, nobody even notices. The death toll has to be in tens of thousands for it to become a news-item in the back pages.
A few years back when a hurricane hit my city of Miami, about 10 people died (mostly because people did not know how to operate the generator). I was surprised to see it became a big news in India, relegating the 100 people who died in the flood in Bihar a few days later.
It is very sad to see that all lives are not valued and cherished equally. And Indian media is as much to blame for this as any other world media.

Terrorist attacks: How Pakistan wins the news cycle

Terrorist attacks: How Pakistan wins the news cycle


Ramesh Chander

WHATEVER ONE may say about Pakistani politicians, they always win the news cycle throughout the world. Something the Indian politicians are just too incompetent or too lazy to do.

Some of the secrets Pakistan knows about world news are:

1. Get any statement out to the wires (Reuters/AP etc) and it will be spread through out the world. The information being accurate is very optional.
2. Act fast. Whenever there is big news like a terrorist attack - people will read all news that comes out in the first day. The interest will diminish the second day; fade the third day and so on.
3. Always be ready to give a counter-statement. Always be at hand to deny any accusations.
4. America is the center of the world with respect to news information. Notice that after the Mumbai terrorist attack; New York Times had a widely read article penned by Zardari. (Hello, it was Mumbai that was attacked and Mumbai is in India. Where are our Indian politicians?)
5. People (especially abroad) generally do not follow news on weekends. So even if you admit to any terrorist attack or you want to release a terrorist or appease one, do it over a weekend.

Take the current Lahore attack. A ‘minister of shipping’ got word out to agencies that the terrorists may have come from boat from India. This was among the first news that was published throughout the world. The agencies just published it,

Now many news agencies are reporting, "Pakistan sees India hand" because of some vague accusations from people. It follows the principles, just get some news out, accurate or not. A week later you can deny that. Nobody would read those articles anyway.

Compare this with the Mumbai attack. As soon as the involvement of Pakistan hit the wires, Pakistan denied it. So the news was something to the effect of "Indian accused Pakistan. Pakistan denies the attack. India usually accuses Pakistan for all its terrorists attack"

When will our politicians and diplomats wake up? Can they ever become as competent as the Pakistanis? If they want Pakistan to be declared a terrorist state, it is not just important to smooch with World diplomats, it is more important to win the hearts and minds of people everywhere, because ultimately, the world diplomats follow the hearts and minds of their citizens. The only way to win the hearts and minds of people everywhere is to dominate the world news cycle.

Why "Aryan" isn't a great name for kids abroad

Why "Aryan" isn't a great name for kids abroad

Ramesh Chander

ARYAN, ALONG with Dev, Raj and Rahul has become one of the most used names in Bollywood movies. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in Indian parents who have named their kids Aryan.

Personally, I believe Aryan is a really nice sounding name. It has a great meaning in India. But what many Indians don’t realise is that the name “Aryan” has a completely different meaning abroad. In most Western countries, including America, the name “Aryan” is associated with Hitler, Nazism and race-supremacist. “Aryan” is a hate word in America and Europe (“Aryan Nation” is a notorious racist organisation here).

Unfortunately, most people in America don’t know much about Indian history; they don’t realise that “Aryan” and symbol “swastika” have completely different meaning in India.

When one of friends was making some greeting card on her screen, with a Swastika sign, her colleague stopped by and angrily asked her “What are you doing? Why is that symbol on your screen?”.
Only when my perplexed friend (who didn’t know the significance of swastika here), explained the meaning of the symbol in India, the colleague calmed down.

When my friend’s kid named “Aryan” joined a pre-kindergarten class with my son, the teacher practically refused to use the name. My friend had to personally meet the Jewish teacher and explain to her that Aryan was not meant to be the Jew-killing Hitler, but had a different meaning.

These incidents might be isolated, and indeed the Western world might become more aware of the different meaning of this word later. But think twice before naming your son “Aryan”. If your son is in America or Europe or ever visits there in his life, do you want your kid to ever feel down or feel different based on a still largely unacceptable name. (Remember the movie “Namesake”?)

'Outsource' becoming a racist word

'Outsource' becoming a racist word


Ramesh Chander

WHEN AN American hears the word ‘outsource’, what comes to his mind? First of all, dread - they fear their job will get outsourced. And this feeling is somewhere bringing in a sense of hatred among the Americans towards the Indians.
The first sentiment is quiet natural. Nobody wants to lose his or her job. Especially when they have worked hard and played by the rules. People fear losing their livelihood. They dread starting life over again and learning a new skill…very natural. Even within India, people dread when people from other states take over their jobs. The roots of many inter-state squabbles in India can be directly linked to this.

The latter sentiment, when people start connecting the word ‘outsourcing’ to Indians, unfortunately starts to wander into a dangerous territory. The Mr John of Dell from India has become part of American popular culture over the last decade. Though this phenomenon is greatly exaggerated, at the most twenty-five per cent of all American calls get answered by an Indian in India. But when the word outsource is applied to people, who have nothing to do with outsourcing, just because of the color of their skin, or their land of origin, it becomes offensive and in my humble opinion, truly racist.
When Slumdog Millionaire won eight Oscars, many American newspapers and websites couldn’t stop themselves from using the word ’Outsourced’. “The most Outsourced Oscars” screamed one headline. In what way was the movie “outsourced”? It was a movie based on India, so it was shot in India - as simple as that. Why didn’t anyone used the word outsourced with another Oscar nomination Australia, which was shot in Australia? What about Lord of the Rings – the movie was entirely shot in New Zealand, with a whole lot of New Zealand technicians, even though the story was not connected to New Zealand in any way.
Why didn’t anyone raise the term ‘outsourced’ then? In fact, about half of Bollywood movies have at least part of their shooting abroad. By any calculations, Bollywood ‘outsources’ more of its movies to the West than the West does to Bollywood.
When Bobby Jindal delivered a horrible speech, the term outsourced again popped up everywhere. I was surprised that the liberal commentators of MSNBC couldn’t stop using them over and over again. To connect Bobby Jindal, an American in every way, to outsourcing is outrageous. If Arnold Schwarzenegger had delivered a bad speech, I wonder the term would have popped up anywhere.
I hope the World media pays importance to the use of this word, and does not continue to use it carelessly and does not continue to emphasise the stereotype by putting a photo or a video of an Indian call centre or Chinese workers, every time the word ‘outsourcing’ is used. As I illustrated with a few of the examples that took place recently, this word is beginning to be used racially and may foster hate among Americans for Indians and people of Indian origin living in America.

Jeev, the best known Indian sportsperson in America

Jeev, the best known Indian sportsperson in America


Ramesh Chander

JEEV MILKHA SINGH is fast becoming the best known contemporary Indian sportsman in America and perhaps, throughout the world too. This weekend he finished 4th in World Golf Championship event. A commendable achievement indeed – considering the best golfers in the world participated in the event! He finished ahead of the best golfer in the world -- Tiger Woods. During the final day of the tournament, which was watched by tens of millions, there was a spotlight on the show, exclusively profiling Jeev.

Though Indians have done great things in cricket recently, it is hardly followed in Americas and much of Europe. Even in countries like New Zealand and South Africa, cricket is dying out – judging by the crowds. (About three quarters of the small crowds there are Indians/Indian-origin people). Golf on the other hand, is widely followed. Many of the golf tournaments in America, regularly beat the ratings of basketball and tennis.

There seems to be some inherent connection between the talents required for cricket and golf (both involve hitting a ball very accurately through great distances). A disproportional number of golfers in the top 100 in world rankings, come from cricket playing countries – Australia, South Africa, and England. Equivalent non-cricket playing countries like France and Germany have hardly any players in the top 100. Similarly, India has two players in the top 100 even though it has zero public golf courses, whereas China, inspite of government effort to make a mark in this sport and building of hundreds of golf courses, has none. (Of course USA, where the sport is very popular and which has enormous facilities is an exception – who knows, if Tiger Woods had taken to cricket, he might have been another Tendulkar). If only the Indian Government starts encouraging the sport more and builds some public golf courses or even driving ranges – where the non-millionaire Indians can go and play, Indians, will surely shine in this sport.

Most of the Indian golfers are self-trained or trained by their parents. Chowrasia, who won the Indian masters last year, was a son of a ‘mali’, who learnt golf by sneaking into the golf course at dark and playing there till the guards chased him out. Even Jeev’s golf swing is “unorthodox” to say the least. If these people were trained properly, they would have achieved much more.

Jeev’s achievements are enormous. Apart from finishing fourth in the World Golf Championship, he won the Asian tour order of merit, the Barclays Singapore Open, (beating many of the top golfers), won two tournaments in Japan and another one in Europe – and all this just in the last year.
The money he earns too is enormous. Last year, some Indian newspapers reported that Jeev has become the first Asian to earn a million dollars in a calendar year. What went unreported is that the million dollars was the money he earned from the “Asian tour”. Jeev also plays in Europe, America and Japan, and his total earnings from golf winnings last year was around $3.5 million!

It is also unfortunate that Indian Press still treats golf as an elite sport and hardly covers this sport. When Jeev finished fourth in the World Championship, more coverage was given to some statement made by Shewag and Sania’s second round exit in a tennis tournament.

Jeev is currently ranked 29th in the world, with lots of potential to move upward as he plays more in America – where even a tenth place finish is awarded more ranking points than winning a tournament in Asia. He is probably one player who can put India on a global sports map, with Sania rapidly fading in the other widely followed sport of tennis

A son joins the father.

My father who studied only up to third standard , some time in the first decade of the twentieth centaury knew how to read and write Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. The versatility which he showed in expressing his ideas were remarkably great. Though he was a struggling hotel worker before independence , he thirsted for the independence of his country. I as a small boy of five , knew all about the great nationalist leaders. I used to quote Verbatim, the arguments of the great lawyer called Bhulabai Desai who defended successfully the soldiers of INA against charges of waging war against their country .He slowly guided me in to the great world of knowledge and writing. He used to be very proud of his ancestors who were Shastris, musicians and astrologers of Puducode village of Kerala. He used to tell me that a branch of our family were the ultimate source of consultation on any aspect of Acharas. Possibly I did get a small bit of it from him and my ancestors. This blog was created to put my random thoughts in to the web. My next generation consists of three people, my son Ramesh Chander, My daughter Meera and my brother’s daughter Roopa. All these three learnt the art of reading, analyzing and thinking along with the cups of milk they drank in the infancy. All of them read a lot and write extremely well. I am proud to put the thoughts of my son in Raja Thatha’s blogs.Unlike me his thoughts are more modern.

Monday, March 16, 2009

One of my pet poems

I like to read poems. Today I was searching my old collection.I found this gem. I do not know who wrote it. It goes on like this:-
Que Sera Sera
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
I tell them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Honey moon at 70

I am racing towards 70 and my better half has just crossed 60. We normally spend our days by temple hopping. For a change we went on a sponsored conducted trip to Malaysia and Singapore in the first week of February. This was our first honeymoon.
When we got married only heroines and Heroes of Indian Cinema used to go for honeymoon., According to them, the couple used to spend all the time in singing and dancing. This word is translated as “Then Nilavu” in Tamil and more Romantic “Madhu Masam (Honey filled month) ” in Malayalam. As far as I understood it was a time for the young couple to spend all the twenty four hours of the day in understanding each other without any responsibilities or day today duties. Had they been at home there would be several jobs for both of them and a huge chunk would be cut off from the honey filled 24 hours. I personally feel, that it has lost its relevance today because , understanding each other does not lead to adjustment in habits and pattern of life either by the husband or wife nowadays.
Due to not being a practice during those days, me and my wife never had any honey moon. Ofcourse over these 40 years we have understood each others angularities and have been leading a life of peace and happiness. This peace used to get broken once in a while by squabbles or violent difference of opinions. But it did not matter because we knew each other well and were prepared to adjust with each other.
During of first honey moon at 70 , though we did enjoy the sight seeing and rushing from one place to another, our mind was filled with thoughts of our daughter, son, grandson and grand daughters. When we saw some thing , we thought , how our children would enjoy it better. When we got a time of our own our thoughts raced to the well being of children.
But in spite of all these turmoil and worries in the mind, we did enjoy the time together from our lonely home , though even in our home we were alone and with each other all the time. I who am very busy with computer related activities all the time and my wife who used to be busy in group chanting of stotras and chit chatting with her friends, , found out that we liked each other’s company . Had we been not rushed by the tour operator from place to place, we possibly would have done lot of talking with each other. We would have planned out future senior citizen years , and would have discussed our future plans.
This first honey moon , made us want for more such honey moons in each other’s company , possibly at a much slower pace and with some body to take care of the hassles and arrangements for the tour, stay and sight seeing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rules of life of our bare footed ancestors

The following are the rules to be followed in a day to day life of a Brahmin:-

He should wakeup during the Brahma Muhurtha (4.30 AM) . As soon as he wakes up he should take a stock of
1.The actions we did yesterday.
2. The money we earned by just means
3. The actions that we plan to do today.
4. How we are going to earn money today.
5. How we have to behave so that we do not hurt others. And
6.The efforts involved in doing the duties.
And then we should think of God.

He should then answer the calls of nature in a place outside the village without causing any pollution to homes, fields and places of spiritual importance. While doing so the Yagnopavitha should be taken out of the usual place and hung in one’s ears. Then he has to clean ourselves several times with mud. We should also gargle and spit several times followed by Aachamana. Then we should clean our teeth and take bath .After this he should wear the cloth as prescribed and wear marks of Gobicchandana or Sacred ash as per the custom of his clan. After this he has to do Pratha Sandhya Vandana, followed by Oupasana and Vaiswadeva homa followed by worship of Gods like Shiva, Vishnu or Brahma. After this he has to do Madhyahneeka, Brahma Yagna and feed a stranger and then take meals. The after noons has to be spent in learning Vedas or chanting Vedas or Teaching Vedas. In the dusk , he has to again do Sandhya Vandana and retire for sleep.
Each of these actions have to be done according to certain rules. These rules are given in the second chapter called “Ahneeka Dharma Prakarana” of the great book Samkshepa Dharma shasthram. The detailed translation of this part has been completed and is available in
under the heading “day to day Dharma of a Brahmin”.
I clearly understand that these rules even to a minor extent are impossible to follow by 99.99 % of our people. But reading this would give them an idea as to what is expected out of a Brahmin. I have a humble request. If you have time please do read them. These were those great people who following all these rules contributed to the number theory., Trigonometry, Astronomy, Diplomacy, thought about aeronautical engineering and gave detailed maps of aero planes, were the founders of a unique system of medicine which included surgery not only to human beings but also to animals and trees, Writing of gigantic epics and so on. Can any of us working for 24 hours without break blessed with lots and lots of sophisticated instruments do even a fraction of what those bare footed geniuses did. I believe that there is some thing we still do not know about them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Dog in the high court of Madras aka Chennai

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.