NEW DELHI— It calls itself an "open" tournament, but it's anything but.
This morning, we spotted a poster of an 'Open Badminton Tournament- 2015' on social media. The tournament will be held on June 20 and 21 in Belgaum, in Karnataka. The poster says that the event is being held by Daivadnya Foundation and participants must register before June 15.
However, there's a criteria for the participants. In big, bold font, the post says: 'ONLY FOR DAIVADNYA BRAHMIN'.
Daivadnya Brahmins are a Hindu Brahmin sub-caste of the west coast of India, predominantly residing in the states of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The tournament will be held as an inter-state sporting event.
When HuffPost India called Daivadnya Foundation to find out about this 'open' tournament, one of the organisers, Roshan Raikar, said that the tournament is being held to find out sportsmen from the specific caste. "We wanted to find out how many players are there from our caste. There are very few sportsmen in the country from the Daivadnya Brahmin caste, this is to help the budding sportsmen," he said.
Asked why then is the tournament being called 'open', he said, "It's open to all ages." Raikar explained that the tournament will be held in two categories--'Above 30' and 'Below 30'.
The entry fee to the tournament is between Rs 300-500 and the winner may get up to Rs7,000.
So, what happens if a sportsman from some other caste wants to participate? "We won't allow that", said another organiser Shrinivas Kudtarkar. "This is only for the Brahmins," he emphasised.
Kudtarkar said that a lot of people from other castes have also called them, but they "won't allow their participation." "Our organisation is only for Daivadnya Brahmins, so the event is for them," he said.
At the end of the call, Kudtarkar asked, "Are you a Brahmin?" On responding in the negative, he said, "Oh, we are sorry then."
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