17th August 2013
How can we explain the superior (on average) intellectual performance of the Brahmin ‘caste’?
Regardless of the merit or otherwise of the caste system (it is extremely immoral; a great evil), there seems to be (almost) no doubt that Brahmins do have some above-average intellectual skills.
The greatest skill that some of the most intelligent specimens of this 'caste' brought to the table, of course, is the very idea of the caste system. There can perhaps be nothing as "smartly designed" as the caste system in which you chant mantras that call others inferior and YET manage to get these "inferiors" running around you to be part of the "system" – and to give you dakshina.
The Brahmins insult others openly. The Dharmashastras, written by the Brahmins, are full of insults for other castes.
Manusmriti: One should consider a Brahman ten year-old and a Kashatriya hundred year old as father and son; but of them the Brahman is the father. A Shudra is not worthy of respect on the ground of his wealth or knowledge no matter how high he may be.
Taittiriya Brahmana: The Brahman Caste is sprung from the Gods; the Shudras from the Asuras (daemons).
Vishnu Smiriti: The name to be chosen should be auspicious in the case of a Brahman, indicating power in the case of a Kashatriya, indicating wealth in the case of the Vaishya and indicating contempt in the case of the Shudra.
And of course, many Brahmins have never hesitated to humiliate Dalits like Ambedkar and Jagjivan Ram. Plus the usual humiliation of women – and insistence on a son to undertake funeral rites: which is the cause of the great tragedy of the missing girl children of India. If Christian priests have behaved badly, then Hindu priests have behaved much worse – and have managed, very cleverly, to build a constituency that doesn't challenge them. The Pope is on the defensive. But the Brahmin is still supreme – and able to chant his (sometimes vile) mantras without any push back or questioning.
It takes great intellectual prowess to design an abusive system and make the victim thank you for it! The caste system is a web which you can't enter or escape from, without paying the Brahmin.
This tells us at least something about the exceptional intellectual skills some Brahmins bring to the table.
* * *
But what are the ACTUAL FACTS? Are Brahmins actually 'smarter' than others?
The [unverified] data on caste related IQ that started me off on this recent spurt of analysis of caste, race and related matters, is probably (broadly) right. If other controls (like environmental/ economic factors) are ignored (for want of data), the intellectual performance of the Brahmin caste seems to be significantly higher than what would otherwise be expected.
Here are some examples. None of these sources is peer-reviewed so I'm hesitant to generalise, but they seem broadly consistent with my understanding of the way the India works. And SOME data is better than no data.
I'll make some broader comments after the data.
In the California 2012 National Merit list, there were 184 Indian winners of which
Brahmin = 112
North Indian Aryan Upper castes = 40
Dravidian Upper castes = 25
Patels ( middle ranking ) = 3
Sikhs ( middle ranking ) = 4
In the US diaspora, Sikhs and Patels despite being 40% of the diaspora, win just 4%. [Source]
The Almighty Brahmin! by Khushwant Singh
Whatever be the sphere of curiosity – literary, scientific, bureaucratic, or whatever, the Brahmin remains the top dog. Before I give details, we should bear in mind that Brahmins form no more than 3.5% of the population of our country. My statistics come from a pen friend, Brother Stanny, of St. Anne’s Church of Dhule in Maharashtra.
They hold as much as 70% of government jobs. In the senior echelons of the civil service from the rank of deputy secretaries upward, out of 500 there are 310 Brahmins, i.e. 63%. Of the 26 state chief secretaries, 19 are Brahmins; of the 27 Governors and Lt. Governors 13 are Brahmins; of the 16 Supreme Court Judges, 9 are Brahmins; of the 330 judges of High Courts, 166 are Brahmins; of 140 ambassadors, 58 are Brahmins; of the total 3,300 IAS officers, 76 [per cent?] are Brahmins. Of the 508 Lok Sabha members, 190 were Brahmins; of 244 in the Rajya Sabha, 89 are Brahmins.
This 3.5% of Brahmin community of India holds between 36% to 63% of all the plum jobs available in the country. [Source]
Brahmins occupy a lot of the intellectually demanding positions (I cannot find the source but I recall reading that almost all members of India’s version of the Manhattan Project were composed of Brahmins). A lot of the (super high IQ) US Indian immigrants appear to be Brahmins. [Source] In the Indian Manhattan project team of 18, of which 15 were brahmin and 3 merchants. [Source]
And this: Most winners of spelling bee contests are Brahmins (including all three finalists this year, apparently) [Source]
Even in cricket, apparently 7 out of 11 cricketers in India's cricket team are/were Brahmins.
It seems an impression of Brahmin intellectual capability exists in India, so we have this: Infertile Indian couples demand high-caste 'Brahmin' sperm
ASSUMING the above data indicate a genuine difference in intellectual ability between castes, we can make one of the following deductions:
a) Environmental: Brahmins have a culture and home environment that focuses on intellectual (and spiritual) pursuits – which gives them an edge.
b) Genetic: Brahmins have created a racist caste system which is designed to preserve their "genes".
c) A combination of the two.
My preference is for (c). I have no doubt that the caste system HAS created a genetic pool that gives Brahmins (on average) an innate intellectual advantage over other castes. But I believe that effect is relatively modest.
In the main, I believe that (a) is the main driver of the observed results. The tradition of having book/s at home, of getting formally educated, must create an environmental advantage that no other caste can offer its children.
This tells me two things:
i) The idea that Indian "race" has a low IQ is total nonsense. That myth should be put to bed. Given the right environmental opportunities (like the Brahmins get), there is no reason why the whole of India can't perform wonderfully well.
ii) EVERY Indian will do well to imbibe a similar interest in intellectual pursuits, like the Brahmins.
But there is an obstacle to achieving (ii).
One of the key obstacles is the CASTE SYSTEM itself. It destroys the home environment of the lower castes/ outcastes, and prevents the possibility of their rising to their potential.
The reform of the caste system should start from the top. The oppressed are so intellectually weakened by centuries of oppression they have very limited mental ability to even fight it. They need all the help they can get.
The reform will need to start with Brahmins who realise the immorality of this system system and walk away from it. By doing so, they will allow other castes/groups/communities in India to rise to their potential. Raja Rammohun Roy was an excellent example. Now much more needs to be done.