Trapped and Cornered

Okay, these are few quick notes from our History. They not too closely related or coherent, consider them as ‘a bit of that dash of that’. I will not get into elaborations or conclusions as this was not meant to be a full-fledged post, or at least, not for now.  Consider them as my stick-it notes under the same box ‘trapped and cornered’.

This is about a couple of Brahmin groups, those got trapped at specific points of time at precise locations, during critical events shaped our History. These are the imperial/religious courses of events, which went on to define the socio-religious practices of these sects, that keeps them apart from their immediate cousin/neighbouring sects.

I am referring Husseini Brahmins and Mandyam Iyengars.

Husseini Brahmins got themselves trapped in Baghdad during the most critical event of Shias. They choose to fight in the Battle of Karbala, and they fought for Imam Hussain, despite the wisdom that it was a one-sided battle. Few survived to tell the tale, subsequently migrated to current day Pakiland and eventually and landed in India after her independence. Fast forward now, the most distinguishing feature of Husseini Brahmins is they celebrate Muharram mourn the death of Imam Hussain. (Further Reading)

Mandyam Iyengars (To be pronounced as Ayyangars) were trapped by Tipu Sulthan’s Army. This was the time when Tipu’s Sword hadn’t seen a defeat till date. He was on a series of imperial/religious campaign and the civilians of Coorg (Kodagu), Mangalore and Kerala were at receiving end. There were battles and massacres, and unfortunately for Iyengars, it was the night of Deepawali (aka Diwali). Fast Forward now, Mandyam Iyengars do NOT celebrate Deepawali, and they keep mourning on the day (Further Reading).

Very surprisingly, both these stores largely unreported, which is very unfortunate for a modern society which is supposed to draw its lessons from the pages of History.

I have a few more notes from History in the same category of “trapped and cornered.”. Let me know if you have any other such examples, happy to append this post.

Ramanami Samaj is the current name of a Group who were historically denied access to Lord Ram. So what do they do? They tattoo their entire Body with Ram’s name.

Badung Puputan (Ritual Suicide) of Bali Kings & Noblemen. When thoroughly and conclusively overpowered French and British, the Dutch desperately needed a massacre to keep the ‘fear in the heart’ policy. The only way colonial powers knew how to do it is by brutally suppressing any hapless kingdom. Their choice of victim was an Indianized Hindu Kingdom of Bali – present-day Indonasia. Unlike us, the Royalty and Noblemen of Bali did read their History. They were absolutely sure of their fate, long story short, they committed mass suicide. When Duch arrived at the palace, they were welcomed by dead Royalty – 1000s of them.

P.S This is a homework for you on an entirely different category of notes: what did Kerala Nair rulers, Mangalore Bunts rulers, Northeast India’s tribes and Indianized south-east Asian kingdoms (Thailand, Cambodia etc.) had in common ?. Hint: They followed the matrilineal remediation of power transfer. Not matriarchal, not patriarchal – It was Matrilineal. E.g. After King, Nephew Heir apparent and not the son.

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