The community indicates it is no longer loyal to a single party at the two-day Bhoogaon convention
The fifth Bahubhashik Brahmin Mahaadhiveshan,where around 50,000 Brahmins from across the country gathered on Saturday,at Bhoogaon a village near the city gave a strong indication that the community will no longer be loyal to any single party. With Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and city Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi being the prominent faces on the dais,political pundits were left wondering which way the wind was blowing ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,given the presence of around four lakh Brahmin voters in Pune.
The two-day convention,which saw the presence of religious leaders like Jayendra Saraswati,Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth,Pejawar Peethadhishwar Vishwesh Ramteertha and Swami Ramdev Baba,passed a resolution that said,the community should go beyond the thoughts of various political parties.
The convention saw leaders of Congress,BJP and Sena sharing the dais. Prominent were Shiv Sena MP Suresh Prabhu,BJP MLA Girish Bapat and corporators Vikas Mathkari and Shyam Deshpande. Significant by its absence was Bahujan Samaj Party,whose leader Satish Mishra,though invited,did not turn up for the inauguration.
The political resolution raised many an eyebrow as the community is seen as a traditional vote bank of BJP in the state. The other noticeable part was the presence of Congress leaders on dais,showering praises on Brahmin community. On the flip side,no BJP leader was invited to give a speech.
According to political analysts,the BJP candidate from Pune Lok Sabha constituency will be from the Maratha community,with covert support of the NCP,which has a strong base in the community. It is to negate this that the Congress is trying to gain support of the Brahmin community,considered loyal to the BJP,they say.
The intention was evident when Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi mentioned in his speech that Pune hosts the maximum number of multilingual Brahmins in the country. Dikshit also praised Brahmins for being the flag-bearers of culture.
On reservation,the convention said in a resolution: The Brahmin community does not want reservation,but in order to offset educational and professional disadvantages,the convention resolves to establish Brahmin educational institutes.
Convention president Moreshwar Ghaisas announced the launch of Chanakya Gurukul,an educational institute in Pune. Swami Ramdev Baba announced a fund of Rs 5 lakh for the institute.
The convention also passed a resolution that condemned James Lane for showing disrespect to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his writings and also condemned those who supported Lane. It may be recalled that Sambhaji Brigade had vandalised Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) for allegedly supporting Lane. The brigade had also alleged that the supporters of Lane were Brahmins.
Sanskrit scholar Kishor Mishra,entrepreneur Padmaja Chitale,police officer Jayantrao Tinaikar and Dikshit were honoured with Brahma Kirti award on the occasion.