Who are the Chitpawan Brahmins? The first time I heard of this epithet was while watching Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani. The movie portrayed Peshwa Bajirao’s character as “चेहरे पे चितपावन कुल के ब्राह्मणो का तेज़ (Face glowing like a Brahmin of Chittpawan clan)”. The next time the term ‘Chitpavan Brahmin’ crossed my way, is now, during the Bhima Koregaon incident.
Interestingly, it’s the Chitpavan Brahmins who operate India’s barbarously powerful coterie –The RSS. It’s ideologue Savarkar was a Chitpavan Brahmin. Except for few oddities, the RSS has always been lead by one. This establishes the RSS identity as a brigade of Chitpavan Brahmins and not Hindus.
Scavenging their filthy history reveals that Chitpavan Bhramins are descendants of Jews. They came from Israel and settled on the Konkan Coast in the 18th century. What’s notable here is their inclusion in the Brahmin community even after they were alien to the Vedas–not to mention they crossed the sea too.
‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ catapulted to the top of the varna system probably due to their political hegemony. They were characteristically intelligent and work efficient, thereupon the post of Peshwa was reserved for them in the Maratha Empire.
They soon became the De Facto rulers of Maharastra, reducing the Chatrapti to only a titular head. Following this unprecedented rise of Peshwas, ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ started migrating from Konkan Coast to Pune and ghettoised the Maratha capital. Thus establishing their monopoly on every asset of Pune–land, administration etc. They even enjoyed tax exemptions.
Initially, even the Peshwa was barred from bathing at river banks reserved for ‘Brahmins’. But “The rise of Chitpawans is a classic example of social rank rising with political fortune”, quotes historian Richard Maxwell Eaton.
With great power comes great responsibility, and the ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ were utterly irresponsible.
Soon their unchallenged power turned atrocious on the Dalits(Mahars). The Battle of Bhima Koregaon was a rebuttal to these atrocities. The Mahars befittingly replied to their barbarity, which ultimately led to the demise of the great Maratha Empire.
In early 20th century, several ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Vinoda Bhawe strived hard to reestablish the lost glory of ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’. Chitpawan hegemony combined with radical brahminism gave birth to the RSS in 1925.
The boustrophedon fate of ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ has again set them as the rulers. History is repeating itself with RSS, a cadre of ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ becoming the De Facto ruler of this country while the elected BJP is being reduced to the De Jure administrator. Now whether the recent happenings in Bhima Koregaon will reiterate the two-century old episode and dethrone the ‘चितपावन ब्राह्मण(s)’ is still to be seen.
Reference: Neelima Sings’s Facebook Post dated January 7, 2017.
Link to post: https://www.facebook.com/raosanjayydv/posts/1759751857408502