Jack and the Brahminical beanstalk

Aditya Aamir

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he photograph says it all. Six women and one Jackass! The ‘Jackass’ moniker given to Twitter CEO Jack Patrick Dorsey by a twitterati Brahmin incensed at Jack holding a placard showing the sketch of a smashing looking girl holding a placard reading ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’, the girl in the placard clearly the beauty of the lot in Jack Patrick Dorsey’s company.

But Jack didn’t know the kind of soup the picture would land him in. Not the way he held the placard his own stuck smile and the bigger smiles of the six women flanking him. Innocuous. Envelopes and missing bricks in the background. Poor Jack Patrick Dorsey, he hadn’t the vaguest idea he would soon be hoisted by his own petard Twitter!

Man O’ Man didn’t Jack Patrick Dorsey’s Missouri mom read him the story ‘Jack & The Beanstalk’. It so matches his own, though unlike the Jack in the fairytale, Jack Dorsey was not a thoughtless, slow boy who got conned by a butcher on the way to sell a cow! Jack Dorsey steadily climbed up the education and career beanstalk to hatch the hen that laid him golden eggs Twitter!

And like the fairytale Jack, Dorsey too made a couple of more climbs up the beanstalk. Once to stalk away from Twitter to found ‘Square’ to make square money from. Then, to return as Twitter CEO, not realising he too had smashed a sort of Brahminical patriarchy achieving that height. And along the way, if his Twitter account was suspended for a short while, it was because of a mistaken mistake!

Poor Twitter Jack, he climbed up the Brahminical beanstalk held up for him by the six and had no idea he would soon wish he should be anywhere but on Twitter, his own creation. Jack didn’t know the power of the Brahminical patriarchy he was bucking without knowing. Brahmins are only 5% of the population but are the power in India. In a “sacred class” of their own.

No wonder in liberal, progressive India, Brahminical patriarchy is hated for its oppression and because it cannot be smashed easily. Raising it up for everybody to see as Jack did could result in searing backlash. Perfectly sane men and women of impeccable taste and class turn into ogre and ogress.

The six progressive left-liberal women set Jack up for sacrifice. And left him to roast in the spit of the Brahmin ire. Jack couldn’t have climbed a more poisonous beanstalk. Brahminical patriarchy spells superiority and purity of blood of a set of elite human beings. Everybody less than a Brahmin is not worth the skin he or she is born and trapped in.

Women, especially, feel the brunt of the Brahmin heat and either succumb or burn in hell! Every other caste men are born to keep the Brahmin in potluck and potbelly. At least that is what the #ManuSmriti says. Brahminical patriarchy is as old as blackheart and is hard to smash with a placard.

In Kerala, the “lunatic asylum” of India, the Brahmin had the pick of the Nair women and a balcony seat to voyeur at bare-breasted Dalit women, low hanging fruit that took a satyagraha to cover. And it was only after a tools-down paddyfield strike that the Brahmin of Kerala allowed little Panchami to read and write. Blackheart!

But such is the staying power of Brahminical patriarchy, the Brahmin still holds more than his own in progressive, still latched on to ancient Bharat, modern India. Jack would be surprised to know that among the women flanking him are a couple or more of the Brahmin themselves though the smashing placard he held was given to him by a Dalit who felt it was a good idea. Good girl!

If that isn’t comeuppance, what is? For, Brahminical patriarchy is nowadays international, global! Everybody, man and woman, with power and pelf is part of the hierarchy of Brahminical patriarchy. Even the crème de la crème of the Dalit, successive generations of beneficiaries of reservations in jobs and education.

The division and discrimination these days is in terms of class lower, lower-middle, upper-middle, upper and the elite. Caste distinctions are getting blurred in the melting pot. And the ‘By the people/Of the people/For the people’ system is throwing up Brahminical elites in every caste people with money in the bank and exclusive caste vote-banks to shape lives, their lives!

That said, the only way to ‘Smash (the legacy of) Brahminical Patriarchy’ is by way of education and a more equal distribution of wealth and income that comes with overall economic development, empowerment of women and the uplift of grassroots oppressed classes. Holding up placards reading ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’ will create only short duration Twitter storms, lost at sea.

(The author is a political commentator)