Hyderabad: Nayee Brahmin barbers protest against ‘free power for outsiders’

They asserted that provision of free electricity to Muslim salon owners from Bihar and UP in Telangana was a deliberate attempt to diminish the professional standing of Nai Brahmins

Hyderabad: The Telangana Nayee Brahmin Association, a body representing Nayee Brahmin barbers, has expressed its discontent with the state government’s provision of free electricity to Muslim salon owners from Bihar and UP in Telangana, akin to the 250 units of free electricity allocated to Nai Brahmins.

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In protest against the state government’s ‘treatment of Nayee Brahmins’, they staged a demonstration at Narayanguda Square on Thursday, where they burnt an effigy of chief minister KCR.

They asserted that the state government’s move was a ‘deliberate attempt’ to diminish the professional standing of Nayee Brahmins.

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The community long has been demanding the state government issue an order banning ‘corporatization’ of the profession and people belonging to other communities setting up their shops in Telangana.

“Barbers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi came to the city and have set up their shops. Now they are moving into the districts and doing the same. Our business is getting affected due to it on a large scale,” said P Vikas, president of Telangana Nayee Brahmin Jana Shakti. 

The association further complained these barbers from other communities are enjoying the free 250 units power benefit extended to the barber shops in the GHMC.

“Local leaders of a political party are helping the barbers from North India in setting up the business. Indirectly, it is disturbing our livelihood and finances. We demand the government immediately intervene and stop people other than those from our caste setting up barber shops,” said Vikas.

There are 30,000 shops run by the Nayee Brahmin community in Telangana. About 10,000 are in the GHMC limits. On average, three people work in a single shop. The community in the past protested the foray of corporate companies into the business.

Targeting the BRS government, the association said the leaders are busy appeasing people of other groups and not bothering about the welfare of the Nayee Brahmins who are in distress. “Except for a free power of 250 units to the barber shops, no other scheme was announced,” lamented a member of Nayee Brahmana Seva Sangham.

Muslim barbers were unheard of in the city until five years ago. Now at least 500 hair-cutting salons have opened up in Asifnagar, Attapur, Rajendarnagar, Golconda, Musheerabad, Langer Houz, Misrigunj, Tolichowki, Falaknuma, Dabeerpura, Hafeezbabanagar and Chandrayangutta.

Rachamalla Balakrishna, state president of the Nayee Brahmana Seva Sangham, said that around 3,500 hair-cutting salons run by locals have been shut down in the past due to the influx of barbers from North India.

He explained that they are setting up businesses especially in the Muslim-dominated, older parts of the city, because of the abundance of opportunity.

The development is a cause of concern for the local police department. In some pockets, clashes between the local barbers and outsiders were reported. “We fear the clash will take a communal turn and are always watchful,” said a police official.

Telangana Nayee Brahmin Jana Shakti is planning to take out a bike rally from Warangal to Hyderabad shortly to highlight their demands. 

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