|2006: (approx) 500,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
Tamil Nadu: 250,000
|Kannada or Tamil, due to generations of domicile in Karnataka or Tamil Nadu, as the case may be. English education is pervasive in the community and used for professional purposes. Sanskrit is used for religious purposes.|
|Hinduism of the Smarta tradition.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|smarta brahmins: Iyengar, Madhwa|
Mulukanadu/Murikinadu Brahmins are a sub-sect of Telugu speaking Vaidiki Smartha Brahmins. Variations of the name of the community include Murikinadu, Muluknadu, Mulukanadu, Mulakanadu, Moolakanadu and Mulikinadu (not listed in any order).
The name Mulukanadu/Murikinadu follows the usual conjoint formulation of similar Brahmin communities: the word Naadu means "country" in all the south Indian languages; this is suffixed to the country whence the community hails, being in this case "Muluka". Thus, Muluka+Naadu=Mulukanadu, "people of the Muluka land." Muluka or Mulaka is identified and it is also known as Moolaka or Moolaka desha along with Ashmaka in shatavahana regime. Aurangabad, Nashik, Jalna, Vashim are parts of Mulaka. Pratishthanapura or present day Paithan is the capital of Mulaka desh.
Telugu language is the mother-tongue of all members of this community. Apart from relatively large population of this community in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, the Mulakanadu sub-sect is also domiciled in huge numbers in the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Indeed, the community tends to define itself in terms of being expatriate from Andhra Pradesh.
Language amongst the Kannada, Tamil domiciled Population
Adherence to the Telugu language is still common in the community, which however has developed a distinct dialect of its own, one that features numerous loan-words from Tamil and Kannada, and a remarkable paucity, in comparison with standard Telugu, of loan words from Urdu. However, there are many differences between this dialect and standard Telugu that cannot be explained by the influence of other languages; one is led to speculate upon whether the community preserves features of a dialect of Telugu that was once common in some region of the Telugu country, and which is now forgotten in that area, while being preserved by the expatriate Mulukanadu/Murikinadu community. The dialect spoken by the community is one of great anthropological significance, since it is a language defined by community rather than geography. This dialect has not received the attention it deserves from the scientific community; indeed, even the name Mulukanadu/Murikinadu Telugu has not received recognition, although it differs significantly from standard Telugu.
Usage of the dialect is somewhat on the decline, since the community is of late required to speak not only the language of the area of residence (Tamil, Kannada) but also the English and Hindi languages.
Recent decades have witnessed the gradual erosion of the hold of tradition across India. The incidence of wedding alliances being arranged, even in orthodox Smartha brahmin families, in defiance of traditional norms that precluded marriage outside the specific sub-caste, are on the rise. Such weddings all too often result in the abandonment of the Mulukanadu/Murikinadu Telugu dialect in favour of the language of the spouse. The relatively small size of the Mulukanadu/Murikinadu community[Note: This is in comparison to total Telugu Smartha Brahmins, but in Karnataka, this group is the largest next only to Vaishnava Brahmins]; its tendency, given its expatriate background, of settling in urban areas; the fact that it resides largely outside the Telugu-speaking country; and the absence of knowledge of writing in Telugu (most of its people cannot write in Telugu), have all united to render the Mulukanadu/Murikinadu community perhaps more than ordinarily susceptible to this phenomenon. This is certainly another reason for decline in usage of the Mulukanadu/Murikinadu Telugu dialect.
Sanskrit is used by the Vedic scholars as well as laymen of this community for religious reasons, e.g., chanting Vedas, performing rituals and studying theological and philosophical texts of the Smarta tradition. A hallmark work in Sociology and study of Caste Genealogy was undertaken by noted Kannada litterateur T. V. Venkatachala Sastry which ultimately culminated in the book titled "Mulukanadu Brahmanaru" - a detailed, extensively researched work tracing the genealogy of the "Mulukanadu" sect and its origins, customs and prevailing cultures.
The Mulukanadu/Murikinadu community has always placed a strong emphasis on education. It was among the communities that earliest embraced English education and graduated from traditional vocations to the modern professions. Consequently, it has always been strongly represented in administration, academia, the judiciary, the government services and in the modern professions, such as medicine and engineering. The same emphasis on education has contributed in recent years to a large scale emigration of well-educated youngsters to the west, where they have contributed richly to many nascent fields, such as computer engineering, information technology and specialized medicine. The community has tended to eschew commercial pursuits.
Famous Mulukanadu/Murikinadu Brahmins
- Chennai, Mulukanadu Sabha. "Origins of Mulukanadu Community". Website. Mulukanadu Sabha Chennai. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Sastri, S. Srikanta. ""Mulakas" (Origins of Mulukanadu Sect)". Article. Quarterly Journal of Mythic Society. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Sastry, T. V. Venkatachala (2000). "Mulukanadu Brahmanaru". Bangalore: Mulukanadu Mahasangha.
- Sastri, S. Srikanta. "Featured: T. V. Venkatachala Sastry". A Brief Biographical Sketch. www.srikanta-sastri.org. Retrieved 13 January 2014.