Saturday, 26 January 2008

Agraharam planned: An exclusive Brahmin colony coming up near Siddipet

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  A group of eminent Brahmin intellectuals including senior IAS and IPS officers is setting up an exclusive all-Brahmin colony spread over 1200 acres near Siddipet in neighbouring Medak district to revive the glory of the old Agraharam concept.
The Brahmin colony has been named Dhanwantari Agraharam and will house all modern amenities including an engineering and a medical college, a superspeciality hospital, super markets, besides a temple and an exclusive hall to perform rituals.
This is the first mega real estate venture in and around Hyderabad based purely on caste considerations. In olden days kings and rulers used to donate lands to Brahmins to set up Agraharas. The new venture is said to bring Brahmins scattered all over to one colony for "better understanding of one another".
The ambitious project being taken up by Dhanwantri Foundation International will be ready in two years' time. The allotment of plots has been completed and the work on construction of the Agraharam will begin on the auspicious Pongal day in mid-January next year. Top IAS, IPS, IFS and IRTS officers from the Brahmin community are the beneficiaries. There are a few journalists too in the list.
The Foundation has purchased 180 acres of land near Jadcherla in Mahbubnagar district and 1200 acres near Siddipet with funds contributed by about 1000 members. The land is sold for Rs 150 a square yard on no profit and no loss basis as against the normal market value of Rs 1500.
Dr P Kamalakara Sarma, managing trustee, did not divulge further information on the colony or who the beneficiaries are. When contacted he said, "I am busy attending patients". However in his message posted on the Dhanwantri's website, he says "Western culture, vote bank-based democracy of India has lead to caste-based selfish motivated politicians cornering the Brahmin community, leaving majority Brahmins in pathetic condition irrespective of their position. Added to above external threats and adverse situation, the feeling of ego and so-called intellect has not allowed the community to function as a systematic organisation leaving individuals to suffer."
The Foundation has enrolled as many as 504 governing council members and 400 donor members. The governing council members will get land ranging between one and three acres while donor members will get 1000 square yards. However, the poor Brahmins do not have a place in this ambitious Agraharam as they are eligible for only "general membership" which is meant for "census" purpose only.
A senior IPS officer, who is on the board of trustees, confirmed the Agraharam plans. "I have not taken a plot. Some members have approached me and briefed me about the project," he said.

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