oppn parties The Shortage of Brahmins to Perform Pujas

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The Shortage of Brahmins to Perform Pujas

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The walls of Kolkata are plastered with an interesting poster this festive season. The lead picture shows the poster. The request written in Bengali translates thus:

“We want an austere and competent Brahmin to conduct Puja and other religious functions. Contact ….”

Where have all the “austere and competent” Brahmins vanished?

The poster just brings out in the open a problem that is being faced by everyone in Kolkata and one is sure the situation is the same in all towns and cities of India. Currently, the Pitra Paksha is going on. It is a period of 15 days when most Hindus conduct a ritual called Shraddha to appease their ancestors by offering Tarpan, feeding and giving clothes and money to Brahmins. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find Brahmins who can come over.

The same applies to such important Pujas as Vishwakarma, Shiv Ratri, Navratri and Durga Puja and especially Diwali. The shortage of Brahmins means that they conduct many Pujas on that auspicious day, running from one client to another. Even during the chanting of Slokas, their eye is always on the wristwatch and their attention on the mobile phone. The correctness and piety of such hurriedly performed Pujas are always in doubt.

But why is there a shortage of “austere and competent” Brahmins?

There are many reasons for this. The main reason is that like all most trades and professions, either the sons of Brahmins are not getting into their family profession or the parents are not letting them. As aspirations rise, Brahmins give the best of education to their children and do not want them to perform Pujas and live on handouts from rich clients. The second is that no youngster has the patience required to learn all the Sanskrit Slokas and the thousands of rituals that are necessary to perform any Puja. Thirdly, in the Brahmin hierarchy, performing Pujas is the lowest job in the pyramid. Babadom is the peak. All Brahmins now aspire to be Babas with hundreds of followers. There is huge money to be made in that. There are other reasons too, but these are the three main ones. Hence, Brahmins you might find, but there is no guarantee they will be “austere and competent.”

That is the main reason why people are now taking to advertize for filling up the post. Are HR agencies listening? They should get cracking on the job. It promises to be a fairly lucrative area as it is totally untapped. The potential is unlimited.