02 March, 2021

The Retreat Of The Brahmin

ODIs are shaking the game loose of its brahminical traits

Saggere Radhakrishna
The Retreat Of The Brahmin
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
In a nation that has produced eight Brahmin prime ministers out of 13 (with non-Brahmins accounting for six years of rule in 55 years of Independence), a nation where despite decades of affirmative action and Mandalisation the top echelons of bureaucracy continue to be dominated by Brahmins, it should perhaps not be surprising that cricket, another national obsession, should also suffer from a similar statistical truth. However, while the Hindu scriptures-backed dominance of the Brahmins in the political, economic and cultural realms owes to their centuries-old stranglehold over power centres—despite the Buddhist, Mughal and British challenges to such supremacy—it is their dominance in a sport that seems to be an aberration.

There's no escaping the facts (see box). Through the 1960s till the 1990s, Test-playing Indian teams have averaged at least six Brahmins, sometimes even nine. And this despite Brahmins comprising a little over 4 per cent of the population. What has never been addressed is the why and how of it. How is it that a community that traditionally and...

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