WHILE PRAISING Brahmins as being “twice-born” and with “all good qualities”, Kerala High Court Judge Justice V Chitambaresh has urged the community to “agitate” for “economic reservation alone, not caste or communal reservation”.
Addressing a Tamil Brahmins global meeting in Kochi on July 19, Justice Chitambaresh said: “Who is a Brahmin? A Brahmin is twice born, because of his poorva janma sukratham (good deeds of his past life). He has got certain distinct characteristics, clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly vegetarian, a love of Carnatic music. All good qualities rolled into one is a Brahmin… It may be noted that a Brahmin is never communal. He loves people, he is always considerate, he is an ahimsa vadi. He is one who liberally donates for any laudable cause. Such a person should always be at the helm of affairs.”
Justice Chitambaresh was the chief guest at the event organised by Kerala Brahmana Sabha.
“As Karimpuzha Raman (president of Kerala Brahmana Sabha) said, it is for you to deliberate as to whether reservation should be based on the community or caste alone. Occupying a Constitutional post, it may not be proper for me to express any opinion. I am not expressing any opinion at all. But I am only kindling your interest or reminding you that there is a platform for you to agitate or voice your concern that economic reservation alone, not caste or communal reservation… Of course, there is 10% reservation for economically backward classes. A son of a Brahmin cook, even if he falls within the non-creamy layer, will not get any reservation. Whereas a son of a timber merchant, who belongs to the other backward communities, will get reservation if he is within the non-creamy layer. I am not expressing my opinion at all. It is for you to deliberate and put forward your views… As Raman said, karayunna kuttikke palulloo (only the crying child will get milk).’’
“We should not allow us to be sidelined, we should always be in the mainstream. The time has come for us to play in an orchestra, and not to continue to play solo,’’ he said.
Observing that the Tamil Brahmin community is concentrated in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad districts, the judge called for protecting agraharams (villages or settlements of Brahmins). “There are innumerable agraharams in Kerala which need to be preserved. There is a rich cultural heritage. The agraharams have to be declared heritage zones, and we shall not permit construction of any flats in agraharams, in between houses in agraharams,’’ he said.
He said the objective of the global meeting was to create a platform to facilitate exchange of ideas between Brahmins. “There are Facebook groups of Tamil Brahmins where recipes of your grandmothers are being posted… We should not confine our posts to recipes alone… We have to post all other innovations in which we have a common interest.’’
Justice Chitambaresh became an additional judge of the Kerala High Court in 2011, and was elevated to permanent judge in December 2012.