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31 December, 2007

Wall Street Journal laments plight of India's Brahmins

The Wall Street Journal carries in its edition dated December 29, 2007 a Chennai-datelined story on the plight of India’s Brahmins.

The reporter, Eric Bellman, says Brahmins, who, as Hinduism's priestly and scholarly caste, traditionally occupied a place of privilege in India, are feeling left out of the economy’s rapid expansion.

Bellman’s story is based on the “reversal of fortune” suffered by R. Parameswaran, a 29-year-old Brahmin of Tamil Nadu. One Tariq Engineer also contributed to the story.

Parameswaran teaches English at a small vocational school. On his monthly salary of $100, he can't afford an apartment, and so he sleeps in the classroom at night, says Bellman.

He quotes Parameswaran as saying, “I see so many Brahmins begging (in Mylapore, Chennai). It's very difficult to see. It makes me totally upset."

To read the entire story, please go to
Eric Bellman can be reached at

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