Viral Video of NRI Puppy’s Aarti and Grihapravesh Triggers Debate about Brahmanical Casteism
16 Eylül 2020
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A viral video of a little puppy being welcomed into a Desi home has triggered a conversation about caste | Image creditL Twitter

A viral video of a little puppy being welcomed into a Desi home has triggered a conversation about caste | Image creditL Twitter

The post reminded netizens of Chunchu Nair, the upper-caste cat whose obituary caused a stir last year in December after it went viral on twitter.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: September 16, 2020, 1:16 PM IST

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While puppy videos are usually a whole lof of fun, a particular video of a puppy being welcomed into an NRI family’s home while family members performed aarti has led to a debate about casteist practices on social media in India.

In the viral video, a woman can be seen bringing a puppy into a home and dipping its feet in red alta (paint) before imprinting its paw marks on a sheet of paper. The puppy is then held up Simba style by the woman while another performs arti on the little puppy. the little pup is then allowed to wander into the house on its own.






The ritual mimics one that is often seen in Hindu weddings when a new bride is made to step into alta before entering her husband’s home for the first time. The scene has been popularised and romanticised through various Indian film and song sequences and is a popular part of Desi wedding culture.

Originally shared on TikTok by Shreyagid, the video has garnered over 4.7 million views in 24 hours.

While the initial reactions to the videos ranged from joy to surprise, the post soon started attracting attention for all the wrong reasons. Twitter user Thaiyaan who is known to be vocal about his anti-caste views took to the comments and called the video an attempt to “whitewash Brahmanical rituals” as something “cute”.

The post reminded netizens of Chunchu Nair, the upper-caste cat whose obituary caused a stir last year in December after it went viral on Twitter. The “Nair cat”, as the feline went on to be known, belonged to a Kerala family and led to widespread debate about the anthropomorphisation of caste.

The discussion drifted to casteism and colourism, the latter being a product of the former in case of India, was also evident in the adoption of pets.

Indian journalists and influencers also joined the discussion. Journalist Naomi Barton referred to the “ostensibly harmless and cute” practice as a marker of endemic casteism and a reminder of the “edifice on which Brahmanism is built”.

Andre Borges and others also shared the video.

There were others, however, who felt that the video did not really reflect casteism as much as how extra families can be sometimes when it comes to their pets. Many also pointed out that Brahmins were not the only ones who practiced the “grihapravesh” ritual.

While the dog in the video has a caste or not is yet to be ascertained, Barton and Borges have since been under fire from bigoted trolls attacking them for their comments with offensive terms like “rice bags”.

READ: Arundhati Roy Faces Flak from Anti-caste Scholars for Claiming ‘Brahminism Not about Brahmins’

This isn’t the first time that Brahmanical casteism has been a talking point on social media. Recently, Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy faced a lot of flak from anti-caste activists after she that Brahminism was not just about Brahmins.


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