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History Of Caste

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History Of Caste
How does this even apply today? No one follows these rules today anyway. It's all propaganda against Hinduism. Also note India wasn't the only country like this. Infact many European last names are caste names, like "Potter", "Farmer", "Smith". Schwarzenegger in German means "Black Smith", his father was a blacksmith, He is the first to break out of his medieval caste job.

Caste is better than slavery which was practiced in the middle east, China and the West. Infact 400,000 slaves were liberated in the China in 1959 (approx date)!!. Remember the Manchu caste controlled the Chinese Empire and all bureaucratic jobs.
To this day, the Burakamin Untouchable caste in Japan faces continual job discrimination. Let's not forget the European untouchable caste of Gypsies also.

<!--QuoteBegin-Capt M Kumar+Sep 29 2009, 08:26 AM-->QUOTE(Capt M Kumar @ Sep 29 2009, 08:26 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The caste system was based on the type of work people did. The problems came by rigidity of system and it's perpetuation. It never got updated e.g. All our teachers are pandits irrespective of caste in which they are born and all our soldiers are kshatriyas irrespective of their birth caste.
Quote:January l, 1948


1, Hardinge Avenue, New Delhi

The Hindu Civilization has produced three social classes whose existence has not received the attention it deserves. The three classes are:

(i) The Criminal Tribes who number about 20 millions or so; (ii) The Aboriginal Tribes who number about 15 millions; and (iii) The Untouchables who number about 50 millions.
[url=""]China's claim that "Old Tibet" was a feudal serfdom is fiction[/url]

Beijing speak

Old Tibet was a hell on earth, a theocratic feudal serfdom headed by Dalai and his upper class clique oppressing ninety percent of Tibet's population. It was a dark, reactionary, barbaric, cruel, backward society infested with imperialist agents.

So, China sent over 20,000 PLA troops − to pacify the reactionaries and to peacefully liberate Tibet thus freeing over a million serfs. The emancipated Tibetan masses were united with Motherland where they live harmoniously with all other ethnic minorities.

Let's hold on for a minute. Beijing sums up Tibet, its civilization and nationhood in two small paragraphs. Incredibly absurd − and awfully naive as it is − this is the fundamental argument that the China has, and will ever have, to assert its claims over Tibet and to justify its violent occupation.

Yang Shang-kun, President of China and a Long March survivor, advised, "Historical problems should be studied in general, not in detail ... We should only describe the great importance and the decisive role of the Red Army's Long March ... Once we go into detail, we will run into numerous problems which cannot easily be solved." He was speaking to Party historians.

Yang, like his Party, gave the green light to create myth and avoid truth. The result of such myth creation is obvious − such as the omission from the history of the Long March of the two defeats the 1st Army suffered in the battles at Tucheng and Zunyi. Mao led the army in both the fights and suffered heavy losses.

Truth is a bitter pill. It has the power to cure illnesses too. However, for Beijing, truth is a stranger like the rule of law, individual freedoms and democracy. Even truth about its own historically crucial event like the Long March is unpalatable enough to be deleted.

No wonder then that China has been reiterating the same lies about Tibet for over fifty years. One must envy Beijing's Propaganda Ministry for its rich epithets to describe "Old Tibet." One can only guess that what they lack in truth must be supplemented by vivid adjectives. After all painting the Old Tibet as an evil society is the only reason that legitimises Beijing's control over Tibet.

Our Tibet Their Tibet

Before the Chinese invasion in 1949, Tibet was neither an ideal society nor "a feudal serf system." It was a politically independent, economically self-sufficient and culturally distinct nation with a different way of administration than many countries around the world at that time.

Starting with Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century, Tibetan rulers issued codes of ethics based on Buddhist principles. The essence of this was that the rulers should act as parents to their subjects. This was reflected in Songtsen’s "Sixteen Moral Principles" and Phagmodrupa's "Thirteen Guidelines of Procedure and Punishment" in the fourteenth century.

As in any other society, Tibet had many methods of punishment sanctioned by law, some of which were indigenous. However, according to contemporary Tibetan scholar Jamyang Norbu, most of these penal punishment such as the cangue − which Tibetans appropriately call the gya-go or “Chinese door” − and execution by decapitation originated from the Manchus. (Read full article)

These measures were never lightly used but were decreed only in cases of repeated crime. In 1898, Tibet passed a law abolishing many of the above-mentioned forms of punishment, except in rare cases of high treason or conspiracy against the state. Banishing convicts to distant places within Tibet was the preferred punishment; this was the fate of Kunphel-la, who was exiled to a remote monastery in Kongpo. Kunphel-la was the favourite of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, but was later charged and found guilty of failing to report the fatal illness of the Thirteenth to the Cabinet.

The legal system, and the rule-of-law, became more advanced over the centuries and by the beginning of the 20th century any citizen who was not satisfied with a legal judgement passed by the local administrator − or was mistreated by an estate-holder could directly appeal to the Dalai Lama, Tibet's supreme temporal and religious leader.

Compared to China of that time and even today's China where the ordinary citizens do not have fair trials, or the rule of law and individual freedoms, 'Old Tibet' was a far more civil society. This was attested by "the testimony of Tibetans, Chinese and other foreign visitors [to Tibet] of the time," Warren Smith writes in China's Tibet? Autonomy or Assimilation.

All land on the Tibetan Plateau belonged to the state. "The Tibetan government administered most of Tibet indirectly through traditional princes, nomadic chieftains, [and] monasteries," writes Smith. For their services, the government gave them the power to collect taxes from the area under their jurisdiction. The state, in turn, received revenues and services from estate holders.

Monasteries served as schools, universities and centres for Tibetan art, craft and medical care. The role of monasteries as highly disciplined centres of Tibetan education and intellectual hubs was central to the traditional Tibetan way of life. They also performed religious functions for the government.

The largest proportion of land in 'Old Tibet' was held by the peasants who reimbursed the state directly. This was the main source of revenue for the government. These taxes were mostly paid in produce such as grain, wool, butter etc. They could also be paid in labour and transport services to government officials.

A very small percentage of the population − mostly in Central Tibet − were tenants. They held their lands on the estates of aristocrats and monasteries, and paid rent to the estate-holders in kind or in physical labour. According to Smith, they became "relatively wealthy and were sometimes even in the position of loaning money or grain to the estate. They also had legal rights to initiate legal action against the estate owner. The final arbiter in such cases was the Dalai Lama himself."

No system is perfect, and the administration of Tibet before the Chinese occupation was far from being exemplary. There were excesses on some estates by over-enthusiastic owners because of which many tenants suffered. But on the whole the system worked equally for rich and poor. Throughout her history Tibet never experienced famine and the number of beggars could be counted with your fingers.

Thus, to brand the entire system as "a backward theocratic feudal serfdom" is Han-chauvinism and a total distortion of Tibetan civilization to suit Beijing's political needs.

Tibet experienced its first-ever famine between 1959-'63 under Mao's Great Leap Forward campaign. This was a mad mammoth plan that ended in full-scale economic disaster, killing at least 36 million people in China and Tibet.

Worsening the situation was the creation of utopian people's communes through which the Party, headed by Mao, according to Liu Xiaobo, one of China's most outspoken critic, "[had] turned hundreds of millions into pliant slaves." With no private property, individual freedoms and a total ban on freedom of expression China itself became an Orwellian nightmare.

The tentacles of the Party's suppression have grown widespread in today's China. Its economic success, writes Minxin Pei "obscures the predatory characteristics of its neo-Leninist state. But Beijing’s brand of authoritarian politics is spawning a dangerous mix of crony capitalism, rampant corruption, and widening inequality." The gap between rich and poor is one of the highest in the world.

The Party State controls over half of the country’s fixed industrial assets. It has monopoly over all the important sectors such as automobiles, natural resources, telecommunications, and energy. The Party uses these economic leverages to shower business contracts on favoured elites. In other words, Beijing practices a kind of feudal system in which the Party grants its selected subjects expensive hand-outs, while leaving an overwhelming majority of the population hungry, angry and dissatisfied.

Beijing's record in Tibet is even more dismal. Over the last fifty years, Tibet's traditionally self-sufficient economy has been turned into a potpourri where hardline socialist policies are practiced by a bunch of "neo-Leninists opportunists" in capitalist garb to snatch hand-outs by the State. Tibetan people are forced to witness their land and immense natural resources being grabbed, and their culture irreparably destroyed. Any dissenting voices from intellectuals, peasants and nomads are silenced by relentless crackdowns, disappearance, lengthy jail sentences and executions.

Beginning with so-called Democratic Reforms in the early days of occupation, to the creation of totally ludicrous events like Serf Emancipation Day in 2009, Beijing has systematically mapped out elaborate and often watertight policies, directives and guidelines to turn Tibetans into permanently pliable subjects.

As a result, Tibet has become "the shadow of a cruel and relentless Darwinian reality ... a world of paid informers, secret police, prison walls, torture, executions, unemployment, racism, threat of extinction, and overwhelming cultural loss; revealing itself in individual lives families, violence and growing hopelessness," writes Jamyang Norbu. This is the reality Tibetans live under every day − far from the Tibet that Beijing portrays in its official magazines featuring over-saturated colour photos of smiling nomads on sky-embracing grasslands and the tall buildings in the cities with no hearts inside.

Harmonious Mouths, Marching Disinformation

Beijing's Tibet publicity package is old wine in an old bottle. China has been consistently mouthing the same false claims about Tibet being a dark, backward feudal serfdom etc. etc. for over half a century. Lately, a few Tibetan elites and Party cadres are given the responsibility to chant Beijing's propaganda.

"In old Tibet, the serf-owner class, who made up merely five percent of the Tibetan population owned the entire cultivated land and grassland and the majority of livestock and they controlled the freedom of serfs and slaves..." − Lhakpa Phuntsok, director-general of the China Tibetology Research Center.

"[Tibet's] ... social system [was] characterised by theocracy under the Dalai Lama. About one million serfs and slaves, 90 percent of Tibet's population, were freed [by China]." − Karma, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Autonomous Regional People's Congress.

"Dalai Lama and his political backers [are] the 'chief representatives' of the theocratic, feudal serfdom of the old Tibet." − Ragdi, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Lhakpa Phuntsok further said that "the masses of emancipated serfs and their offspring living in Tibet are clear who are the guard for the Tibetan people's fundamental interests and who are the saboteur of their happy life." People inside Tibet clearly showed in March 2008 who are "the saboteur of their happy life" with peaceful protests against Chinese rule. Indeed, who is the saboteur and who is the guardian?

Lhakpa Phuntsok, Ragdi and other Tibetans officials in the pay of Beijing are peddling a chain of self-serving delusions manufactured by the Party, pleasing a leadership far removed from the reality in Tibet.

"Unless you [the Chinese Government] are able to break our love and respect in our hearts, all your fruitless campaigns and activities will only strengthen our unity and love for one Tibetan brother to another," wrote Kunga Tsangyang, a young monk in Eastern Tibet, who was given a five-and-half-year prison sentence because of his writing. (Read full article)

Such deep sentiments within the hearts of Tibetans in occupied Tibet clearly express Beijing's failure to address the fundamental issue of Tibetan people's rights and freedoms.

And "a common theme of Chinese propaganda has the Dalai Lama scheming to return to Tibet so as to reinstitute the serf system, the assumption being that he would then make himself the major serf lord. This is fantasy," writes Professor Elliot Sperling in the Far Eastern Economic Review. (Read full article)

The issue is the freedom of six million Tibetans and never a question of Dalai Lama's personal gains and prestige. The Tibetan leader is simply asking for a democratic, transparent and peaceful Tibet based on equal rights, where Tibetans can live without being commanded to sit, stand, speak or act.

New Lords, Pot-bellied Party

In the aftermath of the large-scale peaceful protests throughout Tibet in 2008, Gongmeng Law Research Centre (Open Constitution Initiative) investigated their root causes by sending researchers into Tibetan areas. According to the findings of this bold and historic report, "[a] 'deep-rooted' local power elite networks have formed in many Tibetan areas, where it has become routine for the local authorities to be rent-seekers and for the administration to be inefficient." These local Party elites, in collusion with other vested interest groups, have formed a “new aristocracy.” (Read full report)

Gongmeng report further mentions that "unlike the traditional aristocracy, the characteristics of this new aristocratic class are: the senior positions they occupy are legitimized, they have more complex social resources, and they are even more powerful;" and "this new aristocracy derives its legitimacy more from the [color="#0000FF"][size="4"]'external source'[/size][/color] of central government affirmation." As a result "their loyalty to the central government is much stronger."

With total fragmentation of the traditional social structure and the way of life, majority of the Tibetan people are sidelined by Beijing and the new aristocrats, who engage in unaccountable activities to maximize their profits. Such is the fate of the Tibetan people in the "New China" where the ideal of classless society, which was loudly shouted about and preached in its heydays, has long been gobbled up by the potbellied Party.


At the onset of its occupation, Beijing launched the Democratic Reform campaign "to identify and repress the Tibetan opposition and to gain complete social and political control over Tibetans' lives." China continues to legitimise this stronghold by labelling the "Old Tibet" as a feudal hell-on-earth and by painting itself as the shining liberator. But the liberator has given rise to a "new aristocrats" who have the wherewithal to oppress the majority of population without any retribution. In spite of all these, Beijing has heightened its propaganda by using the newly-acquired wealth to create a modern mass media to churn out the same old party line.

No matter how much Beijing polishes and repeats its absurd untruths, the reality engraved on Tibetan bones cannot be erased by lies written with a bamboo brush.


The above is a response paper (CTA's RESPONSE-VI) by the Central Tibetan Administration.
an interesting scientific study of Indian ethnic and "caste" origins.Though there will be considerable controversy about northies being "higher" and southies being "lower",from the findings,the sheer diversity of India's population is what is truly exciting and what must be preserved in our nation's interests.

Quote:India’s caste system descended from two tribes ‘not colonialism’

Mark Henderson Science Editor

Genetic profiling shows that the structure of Indian society today reflects early social groupings, not just colonialism India’s caste system is not a relic of colonialism but has existed in some form for thousands of years, the most comprehensive study yet of the genetic diversity of the sub-continent has suggested.

The genetic profiles typical of modern castes are indistinguishable from those of much older tribal groups, Indian and American scientists have found. This suggests that they emerged from populations of shared ancestry who have married among themselves for many generations.

The researchers wrote in the journal Nature: “Some historians have argued that caste in modern India is an ‘invention’ of colonialism, in the sense that it became more rigid under colonial rule. However, our results indicate that many current distinctions among groups are ancient and that strong endogamy [marriage within a group] must have shaped marriage patterns in India for thousands of years.”

Kumarasamy Thangaraj, of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad, and a leader of the study, said: “It is impossible to distinguish castes from tribes using the data. The genetics proves that they are not systematically different. This supports the view that castes grew directly out of tribal-like organisations during the formation of Indian society.”

Researchers analysed more than 500,000 genetic markers from 132 people from 25 different groups.

The research established that modern Indians of all castes are descended from two ancestral groups.

Indians can trace between 39 per cent and 71 per cent of their ancestry to a population known as the Ancestral Northern Indians (ANI), who are quite closely related to Europeans and Asians. Those with a higher ancestral contribution from the ANI group are more likely to belong to higher castes, and to speak Indo-European languages such as Hindi and Bengali.

The other ancient population are the Ancestral Southern Indians (ASI), who are not genetically close to any group outside the sub-continent. People with a higher ASI ancestry are more likely to belong to lower castes, and to speak non Indo-European languages such as Tamil.

The research, by scientists from CCMB in India and Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, has also established that Indians are much more genetically diverse than Europeans.

This result indicates that many modern Indian groups are descended from a small number of “founding individuals”, whose descendants interbred among themselves to create genetically isolated populations.

Lalji Singh, director of CCMB, said: “India is genetically not a single large population, but instead is best described as many smaller isolated populations.”

This insight has important medical implications for people of Indian origin, because groups that are descended from small founding populations often have a high incidence of inherited diseases. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, have a high risk of Tay-Sachs disease.

This may explain why several genetic conditions are more common in India than elsewhere: a mutation in a gene called MYBPC3, which raises the risk of heart failure sevenfold, is found in 4 per cent of Indians but is exceptionally rare elsewhere.

The only ethnic group who do not have this shared ancestry is the indigenous population of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean, who appear to be of exclusively ASI descent.

Nick Patterson, of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, said: “The Andamanese are unique. Understanding their origins provides a window on to the history of the Ancestral South Indians, and the period tens of thousands of years ago when they diverged from other Eurasians.”

Mr Singh added: “Our project to sample the disappearing tribes of the Andaman Islands has been more successful than we could have hoped, as the Andamanese are the only surviving remnant of the ancient colonisers of South Asia.”

Aravinda Chakravarti, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, wrote in a commentary for Nature: “Greater ANI ancestry is significantly associated with Indo-European speakers and with traditionally ‘higher’ caste membership. This provides a model of how diversity within India came about. As such, its details are imperfect and will surely be contested, revised and improved.

“Caste and custom may be strong barriers between groups, perhaps even today. But the common shared ancestry and rampant ANI/ASI mixture may be the strong, invisible thread that binds all Indians.”
The caste curse

May 14, 2010

There is an India that continues to be feted at global high tables as a regional power blessed with a robust civil society. It is also the least controlled marketplace in the East, and an irresistible destination in the so-called flat world. Its best and the brightest-whether from politics, business or science-are in the global front row of achievement. The modernisation project of India that began with Jawaharlal Nehru has now its 21st century face in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose ascent to power essays how merit and opportunity can make one of the greatest success stories of our times. Then, there is the other India, that infernal land without justice, where your identity is defined not by your profession or your talent but by your caste. India is a country of a thousand castes, and they are the foundation on which social structures are built, certainly in the countryside. And this is where desperate politics plays out its salvation script.

The politics of social justice, whose masters thrive in places like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, is sustained by the electoral profitability of caste. The Mandal Commission was the most blatant instrument of social engineering, but V.P. Singh's successors were not anyway better: they all worked hard to make India one of the most reserved countries on earth. Now we have the caste-based Census 2011, endorsed by the moderniser prime minister, and bound to further accelerate the social Balkanisation of India. Caste doesn't mean national damnation, but its political exploitation does. Welcome to the caste country.

This is an excerpt of the Cover Story of the May 24 issue. The full version will be available later.
Caste Census should have been done in 1990s

Shyamlal Yadav

New Delhi, May 14, 2010

Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan says that the caste Census is the need of hour to know the status of development among various communities and it could have been done just after the implementation of Mandal Commission report in 1990.

That time the Census-1991 exercise was ongoing since it could have been done then only. But, when asked that 'you were holding key role in the VP Singh government, why did you not push for such Census' he responded "If we had pushed for caste based Census that time the implementation of the Mandal report could have been delayed.

If any doubt was raised on the 52 per cent data of the OBCs estimated by Mandal the implementation could have been delayed by the courts." He said that after nearly two decades of Mandal implementation the country needs to know the status of progress among various castes.

Paswan thinks that the caste based Census will not aggravate casteism rather it will help policy makers. While talking to India Today at his residence Paswan ruled out that the casteism will increase in the country due to this Census.

He said, "Discrimination on the basis of caste is a reality in our country and one can change religion, government, poverty and many things but it can not change its caste."

He suggests an idea that if the country really wants to create the casteless society the inter-caste marriages must be encouraged and such youth could get at least 10 per cent reservation in the government jobs, "If it is implemented, the inter-caste marriages will be increased and the society will march towards a caste-less society." He says that as of now everything is decided on the basis of caste.

Paswan is not a member of any house since he lost the last Lok Sabha election. But he was on the forefront to create atmosphere for the dalit reservation in private sector during UPA-I. He says that the caste Census is need of hour and government should take this decision quickly.

"The governments have been implementing number of schemes to uplift the backward communities. The new data gathered out of this new census will only help the government machineries and the policy makers to get clear picture of development." Without clear data many of such schemes have become ill-implemented.
Who’s afraid of caste census?

June 12th, 2010

By Kancha Ilaiah

Looking forAge

Ever since the Centre announced that it would collect data on various castes during the ongoing Census, the media has created a hue and cry saying that this would harm the nation and open a Pandora’s Box of caste conflicts. On the other hand, those who seek caste enumeration are of the view that this would clear the cobwebs and deliver proper data on other backward classes (OBCs) that will help implement reservation policies and welfare schemes better.

The collection of caste data was not a decision taken by the government on its own. The OBC leadership across the country has demanded it and the Supreme Court advised the Centre to go for such a Census to ensure that an accurate population database was made available.

Let us not forget the fact that even at the time of the 2001 Census there was a strong demand for caste census. The then deputy Prime Minister L.K Advani, in fact, went on record to say that caste data would be collected. But Right-wing academic forces — particularly a group of sociologists and anthropologists — advised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government not to go for such an enumeration as it would go against the interests of the ruling upper castes and communities.

It should be noted that the opposition to caste data has been coming from upper castes that still control the levers of power. The lower castes have never opposed such a proposal.

It is fallacious to argue that society would get further divided if the population of each caste is known to the policymakers and to the public.

Caste culture is all around us. In the dalit-bahujan discourse, the upper castes are being shown as constituting less than 15 per cent. This could be totally wrong. Even within the lower castes there are several false claims about numbers. Every caste claims that it is numerically the strongest and keeps asking for its “rightful” share.

How to tell them that their claims are wrong? When caste has become such an important category of day-to-day reckoning it is important to have proper data at hand to tell communities that they constitute this much and cannot ask for more than their share.

It is true that we cannot distribute everything based on caste. But caste census is the right basis for statistics such as literacy rate and issues like the proportion of representation. Once we cite the Census data there cannot be any authentic opposition to that evidence.

The upper caste intelligentsia is afraid that once detailed data on number of people in lower castes is available it would become a major ground for asking for accurate proportional representation in certain sectors, such as education and employment.

For example, once the caste data is available, the 50 per cent limit on reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be questioned on the basis of numbers. This would in turn help in sustaining the overall system of liberal democracy. The system of democracy would only get deeper with the discourse of numbers.

Democracy is in effect a system of numbers unlike communism, which does not deal with numbers while institutionalising a government. In a democracy, the governing system is institutionalised through an electoral process and in such a system the people must be counted from all angles — sex, race, religion, caste and so on. In a democracy based on numbers, any section of society can come to power.

Based on the counting on the basis of religion, Hindus have realised that they are the majority. And because of that understanding they have claimed power. When Mahatma Gandhi suggested that Muhammed Ali Jinnah should be made the first Prime Minister in order to avoid Partition, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel put forth the argument that India was a Hindu-majority nation and would not accept a Muslim as its first Prime Minister. Where did the notion of Hindu majoritarianism come from? It came from numbers.

With the same logic what is wrong if women, cutting across religious divides, count themselves, and organise themselves to come to power? They constitute about 50 per cent of the population and if they want to fight for gender democracy, they too can come to power. So should there be a demand for abolition of gender enumeration, too?

If caste census is done, the India democracy would thrive on the firm support of the lower castes who keep hoping of getting their share based on their numbers. The upper castes may feel desolate with the system of democracy itself, if this shift begins to take place. They might call such a shift “castocracy”. But would they call a state or a nation being ruled by women “womenocracy”?

Cognitive social psychology says all such theories are constructed on a convenience known as “comfort zone”. If brown upper castes live in white societies they see brown bashing but black bashing remains hidden in their blind spots. In white societies the browns are not in their comfort zone but in India they are and do not want to see the other’s “discomfort zone”.

Many upper caste intellectuals say that caste was a construction of the colonial census system. They talk as if caste never existed before the British started an enumerative process. By their logic we should come to the conclusion that before the British enumerated people based on religion, there were no religions in India. There are many such blind spots in India and that is why we still remain backward in theories of knowledge.

Let all castes — not just OBCs — be counted for strengthening our democratic system. I know that even mine is a blind-spot theory but it may have the effect of an antidote.
3. Migration of people creates new castes. Jews and Parsees who entered India to evade persecution at home survived as distinct groups within the multiethnic Indian social mosaic. Jews disappeared in China because of intermarriage but survived in India because of separate caste identity. Saraswat Brahmins on the Konkan coast in western India are a caste group that migrated from Kashmir to evade Muslim persecution. Tibetan Buddhists who fled to India with Dalai Lama are a new caste-like religious group.

4. Religious conversion leads to new castes. When a caste of weavers converts to Islam, a new caste group is born.

To be concluded.....,i.html
12 The Geopolitics of South Asia

Quote:T he explanation of caste can take many forms. T o some it can be explained

as sui generis – a thing unto itself – unlike anything at other times or in other

cultures – and therefore it can be explained by Hinduism in its own terms. For

others, it has to be explained comparatively, that it is the Indian realisation of a

form that can occur in other guises elsewhere – and sometimes the black–white

divide in the USA is quoted as a parallel. Historically we need look no further

than to Japan in the early 19th century before the Meiji R estoration to recognise

another rigid caste society – which is still not completely erased from the cultural


In Japan the ‘problem’ of untouchability still adheres to the descendants

of the untouchable (cleaners and sweepers) caste – although it is something which

receives little publicity. Go back further in time and in Europe in the Middle Ages

there were hereditary crafts and guilds, and much further back in time unequal

citizens and slaves in Greece, and another caste system in Egypt.

Within Hinduism there is a theoretical or theological explanation of what caste

is – although this theory is a simple and high level abstraction which often bears

little relation to caste in its practical form. T herefore, in saying the following, be

warned that I am generalising and simplifying perhaps excessively.
Quote:Indian Caste System – Some real truths…

Just narrating my experience in my village that make re-think on many of the established dogmas of indian caste system…


Recently in my village, kumbabishekam was done in a newly built temple by one of the community classified as SC. When i went to my home, there was full of temple activities, with many local political persons sponsoring for the temple. Spiritual songs were played in the loudspeaker and when the actual kumbabisham began, the brahmins continuously chanted mantras for long time. (Again, it was a thing to ponder, on how the brahmins, accused for all evils, can do kumbabishekam in the temple of a dalit community)

I enquired at some of the old people there, about the temple, and who conducts the event. I was told, that this temple was built by that particular community people for over a year, by collecting funds from all those who are working in far-off places.

I asked them, if its for all the dalit people. He told, that its only for that particular community, and other communities (classified as SC) are not allowed.

Then I asked the reason, why all dalit people could not have a common temple.

He told, that every community has their own laws, and normally, one community people do not even drink water from another community people’s house.

Again I asked, why?

He told, if they did so, they would be isolated from their own community (i mean caste).

I was surprised..

I again asked.. This type of practices occur only among higher castes, and how could the dalit communities practice this among themselves?

“This type of practice exists in almost all communities (castes). And infact, the Dalit communities have more stricter rules than the other BC communities.

I left the topic, and went to my home.. Later, i had the chance to interact with my neighbour, who belongs to a different dalit community. I asked her, why dont she attend the kumbabishekam. She told, its only for the particular community, and their people wont go there. And many of the above said things, she confirmed.

This is more of a new revelation to me, after i started observing various aspects of our society.

The first question that came to my mind was, why does only a particular community (Mostly the brahmins) were victimised, while actually, the same practice exists in almost all of the communities (ie castes).

And i felt there should be some reason (whether good or bad) on why all the communities chose to remain isoloated, without freely mixing with others.

If possible, I will do another post after some analysis on this.

Typically, when i remember my earlier days, i never came across any of the words like upper caste, lower caste, SC or dalit, till i first encountered these in the text books (i think from 4th or 5th std).

One thing is clear to me.. There was no factual & accurate analysis of our society right from the independance by any of the authors. Otherwise, there could not be so much contradictions i could see from what i read from the text books, and what i am observe from the current society, that has almost chaged a lot.

Its true, that there were lot of drawbacks in our society. At the same time there is most probablity that many of the ills of our society that we read from text books, and other published books, are extrapolated, and quoted out of context.

It became more clear to me, that all the controversaries so far is aimed at dividing the indian society based on caste lines, and push it in to permanent turmoil. First started by the britishers, unfortunately continued by the politicians even after independance. (I dont want to elaborate more on this now.. leaving it to the readers to search for more details themselves.)

When we take periyar’s concepts, its true that he fought against the social evils. But, how far did he try to eliminate the more serious impact of untouchability practiced by his own community people?

Before concluding, i would like to quote the following article on Dharampal by Gurumurthy.

“What is it that keeps the country down”, asked the speaker. A young man in the audience replied unhesitatingly: “Undoubtedly the institution of caste that kept the majority low castes and the society backward” and added “it continues”.

The speaker replied, “May be”. But, pausing for a moment, he added, “May not be”. Shocked, the young man angrily asked him to explain his “may-not-be” theory.

The speaker calmly mentioned just one fact that clinched the debate. He said, “Before the British rule in India, over two-thirds – yes, two-thirds – of the Indian kings belonged to what is today known as the Other Backward Castes (OBCs).

“It is the British,” he said, “who robbed the OBCs – the ruling class running all socio-economic institutions – of their power, wealth and status.” So it was not the upper caste which usurped the OBCs of their due position in the society?

The speaker’s assertion that it was not so was founded on his study – unbelievably painstaking study for years and decades in the archives in India, England and Germany. He could not be maligned as a ‘saffron’ ideologue and what he said could not be dismissed thus. He was Dharampal, a Gandhian in ceaseless search of truth like his preceptor Gandhi himself was, but a Gandhian with a difference. He ran no ashram on state aid to do ‘Gandhigiri’.

Admitting that “he and those like him do not know much about our own society”, the young man who questioned Dharampal – Banwari is his name – became his student. By meticulous research of the British sources over decades, Dharampal demolished the myth that India was backward educationally or economically when the British entered.


(More about dharampal on
^ Related to that:

Quote:Indian Thoughts and the Western Mind

Mayank Shekhar talks about the caste system and its origins in modern Indian history

Around 1960, Dharampal was traveling in train from Gwaliar to Delhi. He came across a group of people from two villages on teertha, pilgrimage, who had gone from near Luckhnow to Ramehswaram. <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> Dharampal narrates in his works an experience he had through this interaction in the train.

Quote:“I said they must all be from one jati, from a single caste group. They said, ‘No, no! We are not from one jati—we are from several jatis.’ I said, how could that be? They said that there was no jati on a yatra—not on a pilgrimage. I didn’t know that.”

The so called caste lines that we all were told and believe as facts were not so. Dharampal, a 38 year old Gandhian then, admits he didn’t know. The small interaction threw the Gandhian into introspection. Where did we acquire this idea of caste based society? The ways of the society certainly was not the perspective of those who spoke for and about the Indian society. It was not even in the perspective of those who took the mantle to govern India after transfer of power from the British. During the interaction in train that lasted over 6 to 7 hours, Dharampal also enquired if they would go to see Delhi, the capital of the free India. Their negative response left Dharampal wondering.

“Those people on their pilgrimage were not interested in any of this. And they were representative of India. More representative of India than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ever was. Or I and most of us could ever be.”

Dharampal describes this experience of his as

“I think in a way that meeting gave me a view of India, the larger India.”

The characteristics of a caste system, in its origin in the West, do not reflect in the ways of people of India or the Hindu society. The caste system in the West is a social stratification based on inheritance, endogamy, economic and political power. These were of the clergy, the rulers, and the commoner. Inheritance and endogamy were important elements of the caste system. In practice this lead to segregation and access to rights (consumption, occupational and ceremonial). In John Locke’s words, West was barbarian. What we know of India, its society and systems today, is what Westerners described of it. Their description was not a factual account of India. In Prof. Balagangadhar’s words, “Indians took to this way of talking about themselves the way ducks take to water.”

It is a little known fact that until the seventeenth century European traveler’s records from India reported a highly educated and productive Indian society. Together with China, India produced 73% of the world’s industrial production in 1750. While education was accessible only to the privileged in the eighteenth century England, India had an elaborate system of education. Drawing attention to civility amongst Indians and Indian education, John Locke attributed this barbarianism (in the West) to lack of education. These facts are not found in the textbooks.

The acquired knowledge of caste system is invariably accompanied with the stories around water wells, physical beatings, denial of access to temples and untouchability. One can certainly leave the emotional pitch found in these stories aside. The Christian missionaries and travelers who landed in India saw the so-called caste system and described their observations as such, but, there is no mention of any of the horror stories.

The fact is it is an idiotic system no matter what the intention was. Here in the west there is no cast system and it works fine. People arent discriminated against, and if they are there are policies in place such as discriminatory systems, or human rights commisions. The fact is this kind of system will soon be abused, because people in the so called highest cast will discriminate against the people in the lower caste. It is unfortunate because it is deep rooted in the Indian culture, and here in the west we are lucky we dont have it, and there is no such discrimination.
UPenn Seminar slides?

Check last slide and try to answer the questions raised.
There are widespread misconceptions and propoganda blaming inequalities of caste systems upon Rigveda. Such misconceptions stem from selective quoting of RV X.90.12 (purusha sukta) in isolation :

बराह्मणो अस्य मुखमासीद बाहू राजन्यः कर्तः |

ऊरूतदस्य यद वैश्यः पद्भ्यां शूद्रो अजायत ||

The Brahman was his (Purusha: primordial man - life itself) mouth, Rajana was made from his hands, Vaishya from his thighs and Sudra from the feet. The supposed unequal status of castes is blamed on modern concept of feet being somehow inferior to the mouth. Whereas it clearly wasn't implied in the hymn. The feet, if anything are a solid foundation for Purusha; infact the meaning of the similie opens up when quoted in context of subsequent RV X.90.13 and RV X.90.14

चन्द्रमा मनसो जातश्चक्षोः सूर्यो अजायत |

मुखादिन्द्रश्चाग्निश्च पराणाद वायुरजायत ||

Indra and Agni were born from his mouth ...

नाभ्या आसीदन्तरिक्षं शीर्ष्णो दयौः समवर्तत |

पद्भ्यां भूमिर्दिशः शरोत्रात तथा लोकानकल्पयन ||

... Earth from his feet.

Since Earth is revered as the mother in Sanatan Dharma, how could a comparison with Purusha's feet be deemed in anyway unequal or "lesser" than mouth. Therefore, the status of Sudra in Indian society is deemed as important spiritually as is the status of mother earth in the Cosmos. The similie of Earth and Sudra in fact to me connotes that included were people who were professionally connected to the land, ie. farmers.

This is not to deny that social inequalities did and do exist. But blaming them on Sanatan Dharma, or its divine texts is utterly wrong.
Cagots were forced to use a side entrance to churches, often an intentionally low one to force Cagots to bow and remind them of their subservient status. This practice, done for cultural rather than religious reasons, did not change even between Catholic and Huguenot areas. They had their own holy water fonts set aside for Cagots, and touching the normal font was strictly forbidden. These restrictions were taken seriously; in the 18th century, even a wealthy Cagot had his hand cut off and nailed to the church door for daring to touch the font reserved for "clean" citizens.

Cagots were expected to slip into churches quietly and congregate in the worst seats. They received the host in communion only at the end of a stick. Many Bretons believed that Cagots bled from their navel on Good Friday.
Caste is likely 30k years old and well predates Hinduism.

It has been genetically found that the Irula tribe of snake catchers in Chennai is 30K years separated from the local tamil population.

North India -

R2 = OBC Bengali

H1 = OBC North Indian

R1A = Upper Caste

South India

L1 = OBC South Indian

R1A = Brahmin
#215: A news article on cagots was posted some time back in the christianism thread.

And on this line from the previous post:

Quote:Caste is likely 30k years old and well predates Hinduism.

It has been genetically found that the Irula tribe of snake catchers in Chennai is 30K years separated from the local tamil population.
Surely the reference must be to endogamy's ancientry in India, rather than "caste". All ancient populations - and India like Africa and S America are prime examples (even Japan) - show endogamy even among its most tiny ancient communities. (Including such tiny communities, where you begin to think that intermarriages with other communities would have been to their benefit.)

But endogamy has the best of all reasons: preservation of the tradition of a nation's (or religion's) communities.

You see this even among brahmanas in various parts of India. Namboodiris only marry among themselves. A more obvious example is the Tamizh brahmana community of Iyers (who, like most Tamizh Hindus, are also found scattered across four southern states). Iyers have x numbers of subsets within them, who will Not intermarry between subsets. It's just not done. (Ancient instances of love-marriages - rare - excepted.) Nowadays, one or two very rare exceptions have been made by families themselves designing to get their progeny married. Otherwise it still does not happen. (Speaks for itself they don't marry brahmanas from elsewhere in Bharatam*, just like other brahmana communities of India would be like the Namboodiris and the Maithilis was it, and marry only within their own communities as well. *Again, love marriages excepted, and so too those Tamizh brahmanas who were more recently forced out of TN into as far as Mumbai and beyond because of DMK-christianism. And even some of the Iyers among the latter tended to still search out members of their own subset for their progeny to marry.)

This is not systematized - as would be meant with "caste" - since I doubt there are ancient nationwide Hindu laws specifying that a region's subset x of brahmana does not marry subset y. Yet because they have historically - for some time - been endogamous communities, with their own local subtraditions, and with an interest in preserving precisely their own ancestral traditions by not marrying out, there is this phenomenon even among communities that are otherwise regarded as having a higher possibility of intermarriage. (In theory, any brahmana may marry another where there are no gotra issues. In practice, I don't know any brahmana community that does that. And it's moreover the case that some simply won't be happy with it: not because it's not allowed by religion, but because it's tradition to preserve their own subcommunity and that of others.)

While some today may favour bringing in new heathen input - Taoists, Shintos :advertising: (themselves very endogamous, the advertising is meant in partial jest: I suspect their ancestors would want their kind preserved too) - one respects heathens' wishes for continuity.

Actually, this holds for so many Hindu communities. E.g. Indian media and activists pretend all the so-called "Dalits" are one group, as if they will intermarry or would have randomly intermarried in the past. Nonsense. They are not related, and even in the same states and localities these Hindu communities exist in their own individual very endogamous ancient communities*, just as brahmanas do.

(* And christians have documented=confessed this in their attempts at conversion.)

Hindu religion generally respects inclinations towards endogamy or at least leaves it alone, which is why those cases of endogamous subcommunities not mentioned in Hindu religion (scriptures) itself continue to exist. There are two things one is dealing with, which things sort of superimpose in society yet also lead partially-independent lives: rules on intermarriage in Hindu religion (there are some, whether universally adhered to, I wouldn't know) versus endogamy in India which is an ancient phenomenon.

Some missionary religions tend to want to do away with endogamy in order to create primary ties to the religion itself (and to some extent and for some time succeed in this, but often spin off new unnatural and highly casteist ones of their own), but most missionary ideologies eventually discover that India - as some other countries - is so set in its ways that the ideology has to be made to work around the status quo regarding endogamous groups if it wants to be more successful.

Christianism is an example of an ideology that actively tries and promotes both. When it realised it has to live with the Indian situation - go with the flow - it is seen to particularly target one community at a time for conversion.

Now rather than ever before is the time when the continuity of endogamy in India is uncertain. Loss of it is a threat* to individual communities and to the preservation of the local ancestral tradition of the subcommunities. There was that bit on Santals that Elst wrote of: that preservation of the community (by adherence to endogamy) was preservation of their religious tradition. It is actually true for other ancient heathen communities in India also. And that is the sort of thing that gets lost in modern changes. Not all change is bad and surely genetic variation is good, but change can have its flipside and the downside to this is quite regretable.

(*The threat is most obviously seen in the absurd uniformity enforced by the invented "Dalit" label: it wipes away the history of a whole bunch of rather unrelated Hindu communities and pretends they have no traditions, no sense of locality and no sense of attachment to any of it, that they're all one ideologically-unaffiliated bunch with no history of self or local community identity and are supposedly essentially "interchangeable". This way, the intention is to subordinate all the concerned into the concocted "Dalit" identity. Just so that this suddenly and artificially homogenised group can then thereafter be conveniently hijacked - as a single group, which they aren't - for any and all missionary ideologies looking to make a killing in the conversion game.)

India is a country that prides itself on being the world's largest democracy. Dalits used to be called "untouchables," and though their name has changed their lot in life has not. They are denied a full education, they work the dirtiest and most menial jobs, and many are routinely physically and sexually abused -- or worse. But one Dalit woman we met is breaking the cycle. Dan Rather Reports airs Tuesdays at 8pm and 11pm ET on HDNet.
Reply to Dhu #202

Hindu society did NOT create the category of "Criminal Tribes". That term was coined by the British for any tribe that opposed their rule.
in europe there was a division between "clean" and "unclean" work as well, in medieval ages. you will find similarities of bottom people in almost every culture based on the Proffession.

the evil thing is that for india the caste system has a notion of european inspired racism, that the lower castes represent a dark skinned aboriginal population and the upper castes to represent a "lighter skinned" superior race, in the minds of many.

-Yet i dont know that much on the Caste Divisions to be of any Worth in the Discussion. I just ask Questions and give Hints.

-Im firm Enemy of the False/Propaganda of Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory.

-For me the Aryans are native to India.

I wrote that in another Forum regarding Rroma Gypsies.

Quote:yet for me i believe that the "dark skinned aboriginals" were basically outside the caste system in the beginning, they dwell or dwelled in forests and mountains. the caste system was originally made up of the same stock or indo-aryans. the castes with time more or less mixed with the aboriginal population and result in some looking like they do (you can find "black aboriginal upper castes and a good deal of indid/lower castes). i believe also there have been indo-aryans who were outside the caste system, or expelled from their caste (there are many examples in ancient hindu texts). if europeans can do "unclean work" (many did for centuries) so can indo-aryans, or do you think indo-aryans are superior to europeans? the early indo-aryans have been nomadic as well, so gypsies if descendant from india could be a population of indo-aryan nomads who were outside caste restrictions.

--- as for ASI/ANI thats the work of ONE man originally, and the date of intermixture of ANI/ASI is not certain. so it has nothing to do with an Aryan Invasion Theory.

Please Comment on my Theory and Im glad if anyone give Corrections or Critique, because im really clueless <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />

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