This is an interesting concept that none of us observe in our day to day life. The fact is that every one of us is born with some privileges. You may be privileged because you are born a man, or a white, a Maharashtrian, or a Brahmin. While talking about the Brahminical privilege, it is the rights, freedom of choice, movement, expression one enjoys because of the fact that one belongs to the Brahmin community. There are certain features of this privilege.
Firstly, one can’t deny that privilege. For example, even if one doesn’t want to enjoy that privilege, it’s nearly impossible to do away with it. Being a Brahmin means every day you are benefitting out of that label, whether consciously or un- consciously. You have so much of friends around you, may be because of the fact that you are a Brahmin. Your job may be a result of the fact that your employer chose you over another person because you are a Brahmin. That means if you are a Brahmin there is no way out there for you to deny the privilege that comes with it. You may deny your identity, remove your surname, and associate yourself with less privileged. Deny all the caste rules including endogamy. But the fact is that even if you forget the fact that you are a Brahmin the society around you will be always conscious of the fact that you are a Brahmin.
Another feature of the brahminical privilege that arises from the first feature is that it allows you to make choices. You may take advantage of the brahminical privilege all out your life. That means you can remain an oppressor all through your life. Or you can take advantage of it as and when you want and show sympathy towards the oppressed, or you may assume a dalit identity after realizing the oppression they undergo. But the fact is that all of these aspects have a single source that is brahminical privilege. And you are in a position to make choices. The importance of this privilege can be understood when we compare it with the position of dalit. A dalit most of the times don’t have a choice to come out of that position. Mainer times his status is forced upon him. A dalit who is educated and rich even have no choice, what is highlighted is his caste and it becomes the dominant reality of his life.
While talking about this brahminical privilege and social work, there are many upper caste social work students who says they feel for the dalit issues but they were not able to attend an SC ST’s cell meeting because of the fact that they haven’t seen a notice or an invitation about the meeting. Isn’t it a form of brahminical privilege? The fact that you feel for the issue itself shows you are making a choice. If you have left that brahminical privilege you yourself would have searched for the meeting place and venue. You wouldn’t have waited for the invitation.
I think an important reason that we all should voice as the reason behind reservation is this brahminical privilege. Reservation is a form of an alternative to this brahminical privilege, there are a series of privileges other than merit that goes into the making of a Brahmin teacher or doctor, which s/he himself or herself is not aware about. For a dalit, there is a structural oppression that is behind his current status in society. So for Dalits, reservation is an alternative for the brahminical privilege.
There is another side of picture, being a Brahmin means you are always under scrutiny, even if you are a dalit rights activist, or even if you aspire to become one. You have to take extra caution and extra efforts because your label is very clear in front of everyone.


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