The mouthpiece of Kerala Brahman, Namboothiri, Organization (the Namboothiri Yogakshema Sabha) – Swasti expresses its admiration for the system of untouchablility saying that it had been a commendable system in those days and only now people are appreciating its value. It also says that not untoucablility alone, system of caste too was good in those days.
The magazine laments that Namboothiri community had been criticized for the wrongs reasons all these days for upholding the wholesome systems like this. “Now they say that we should leave a distance as longer as 8 meters from others. But the Namboothiri community had made it more than that.” Swasti continues on its first-page editorial. The editorial hints that the Namboothiris have been victimized for keeping such a healthy practise in those good olden days.
The magazine takes a few more steps up to state that today’s social distancing as part of the Corona protocol is no different from the untouchability of the bygone days.
Along with other things the magazine boasts of other observations for cleanliness of the Brahmans like keeping the tea cup upside down after drinking from it, taking a dip at the pond before entering one’s house and using banana leaves for serving food instead of vessels which might be reused after a person using it. The magazine says that even when the food was served on banana leaves they heated the banana leaves slightly before serving the food to make sure that the germs were killed.
Social media in Kerala trolled the editorial for the regressive, exclusivist and pro-caste stand the Namboothiri outfit took. It also rippled the waves of response that unclothed the olden day Namboothiris’ practise of kidnapping women and minor dalit girls under the cover of night to sexually abuse them whilst taking no consideration for the so called social distancing practise by them.
The Namboothiris never married from other castes, they had sex with women from these castes, though. When a Namboothiri male came to a house of the people of other castes the men there, the husband of the women in most cases, took the back door to allow their women, wives to sleep with the Brahman. This practise was called a sambandham which was not considered as valid as a marriage even when it had social approval. For valid marriages the term was veli. Therefore Namboothiri men did a veli with a woman from their own community while they did multiple sambandhams with other caste women, especially from castes like Nair which was equal to the class divison Sudra in Manusmriti, in their lifetimes.
The critiques of the Swasti editorial point out that social distancing practised by the Namboothiris was nothing but absolute abuse of power and social status and greed to gain them unethically.
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