Additional Content related to Caste system Topics in Hinduism

1 points | Post submitted by suyash95104 days ago |7 comments | viewed117 times


  • suyash95104 days ago | +0 points

    The end point of the annihilation of caste is a uniform Hindu society; a framework that would be advantageous to Hindutva.But “annihilation of caste” in today’s academic & activist discourse doesn’t want the ceasing of caste.It wants to use caste to annihilate Hinduism itself

    While I don’t care for or identify with my caste, I understand why people do:-Unique religious/cultural traditions-Caste functions as a social security/trust network in times of calamity in the absence of a capable state-Growing up with caste as a background in parts of life

    I think caste will dissipate as endogamy slowly decreases, & I welcome mixed caste/mixed regional marriages to strengthen the concept of a United India & United Hinduism.

    But there are groups that are hell bent on using caste as a wedge to split and crush Hinduism to dust.They have no care for building a future, they want to destroy the past IE Hinduism. Every small tradition & aesthetic must be incinerated; it’s all a “Brahmin conspiracy.”

    The amount of outright genocidal language I’ve heard on CH towards Brahmins is extremely disturbing (I’m not Brahmin myself). Much of it coming from “educated” folks.Many of these people want reparations paid not just in bills, but also blood.

    Ending caste discrimination is a paramount goal for all Hindus, but this rhetoric & ideology that is being espoused is an abomination. Economic upliftment, endeavors towards societal unity, and common spirituality are the antidotes to casteism - not hatred.


  • suyash95104 days ago | +0 points

    Jāti = Diversity. Those diversity-mongers should actually be encouraging jātis. But diversity to them is only on some external factors like skin color.There is so much diversity in cuisine, dialects, clothing styles, music even among sub-jātis. So much diversity!

    What diversty-mongers want is Abrahamic monoculture with extreme group think. If these people had their way, we'll all be eating beans, bacon & eggs for breakfast.True diversity is organic, like jātis of India. And yes we can coexist peacefully if we have a law & order state.

    In fact jāti system is the only way multiple disparate cultures can co-exist. It is the template for true multiculturalism. For example, the Syrian Christians of Kerala for all practical purposes functioned as a jāti until contact with Portuguese in 18th century.

    Outwardly they adopted many of Bhāratiya culture and retained their core belief systems. They were never persecuted for worshipping a particular god. If there was "annihilation of caste", Syrian Christians would have long abandoned their faith.

    How true multiculturalism is maintained is that jāti system gives space for all sorts of beliefs without an urge to homogenize. Each jāti provides a certain function to the society, creating a symbiotic relationship between each of them. The society benefits from such a system.

    India jāti system is like a garland with many flowers. While multiculturalism in the west is a "melting pot". This is also why multiculturalism in the west has failed. It forces different groups to "assimilate" into the dominant culture.

    Even the mere mention of jātis riles up so many Indians (and non-Indians), who often rhetorically ask us to "question everything". But when it comes to jātis, questioning the common (mis)understanding of castes makes you a bigot!


  • suyash95104 days ago | +0 points

    The question is what's the utility of the caste today. Before answering it, why shouldn't we think about caste still existing in Indian society despite all the attempts to reform it?

    The reason lies in the unique conception of caste. Caste is not just another social category otherwise it would have vanished under the impact of all the rapid socioeconomic changes which modernity has unleashed. But caste has shown remarkable tenacity.

    The answer is: Caste is a kinship based social category. It's very similar to how extended family still exists despite all the constraints. Since many castes have their numbers running in millions, we forget this kinship aspect. But we just need to look around.

    As a member of society, unless you're living in urban metropolis as a migrant, what connects you with other members of the society? In a village, you've your extended family having common ancestors who belong to the same caste. If you expand your horizon, again the same.

    Events like birth of a child, wedding, death of your family members etc., it's your own members of the caste who connect with you primarily. It doesn't mean you don't have friends from other castes but you've a given group of kins who will stand with you.

    When the search of bride or groom happens, caste helps in restricting the search group size while other members of the caste provide valuable information. Again, a new bond of kinship is formed with the help of members of the same caste. It lowers the cost of information.

    In rural areas, when caste serves such vital functions, why won't people stick with their own caste? Humans prefer their own group over any other group and no intellectual labour can change this very human nature. Caste plays a vital functional role in their life.

    Ultimately, contrary to what liberals believe, society is not constructed rationally. They evolve based on the selections which knowingly or u knowingly made and were later codified to sustain it. As long as bond of kinship exists, caste will exist in varying forms.

    Exactly, as Prof SNB says, Caste is supposed to be an antiquated social system that arose in the dim past of India. If this is true, the system has survived many challenges: the onslaught of Buddhism and the Bhakti movement; the process of colonization; Indian Independence...

    The unfortunate fact is most of the people can't reconcile with the fact that world is not as they envision to be. I mean who won't desire for utopia where everyone is equal, happy, prosperous and free? But we know that world is a place of cooperation and conflict together.


  • suyash95104 days ago | +0 points

    Jaati system is the only true sustainable system for multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence.

    Neither the Jāti nor the Varņa equals to the rigid categorization of caste. Varņa is about give and take between multiple communities for a joint Yajña. It has no meaning in individual context. Jāti is the equivalent of heritage and community inheritance of culture.

    We can argue that Jāti has some connection to profession. But it is very flexible and never so rigid. Moreover, it is heritage and values that are of more importance than any profession, this is how we see the Jātis operating today. Caste is a messed up colonial categorization.

    The Jātis moved across Varņa categories. They had a collective memory that has seen many ups and downs, just what we expect in a civilization with a long history. Tuning the Jātis into a racist categorization is something only the British could do, as racism was their identity.

    Yes, jātis could move up and down the varṇas. This is from Arun Shorie's book I think. Jātis are ossified today in their position as they were in 1950s is using reservations & clamor to be classified as "backward".



  • suyash95103 days ago | +0 points

    send urself back in a time machine - before govt. sponsored public education. How would a person get an education or learn a trade? It was from their fathers or their family. So priests son’s were priests, carpenter’s sons were carpenters etc.Nowadays everyone gets education and few people follow their traditional professions and everyone can follow a career of their choosing, therefore judging a person by their birth is wrong and should be condemned at every level.But registering a person’s caste on their ID card only reinforces and hierarchical caste system.

    Birth-based social hierarchy is a very European idea where social privilege and rank was carried by birth. Note how there is an explicit hierarchy of titles (which get passed down by primogeniture) Archduke, Duke, Marquis, Count, Earl , Viscount, Baron , Lord, Gentleman.

    The problem is with absolutism. No one is claiming no discrimination existed.British n Mughals created Caste system , This does not mean no discrimination, atrocity etc. happened in India before this.But if you look at the kind of social stratification and institutionalized slavery & racism that was present in societies across the world,India was at least as much, if not more adv. for most of histry.All kinds of discrimination is present in every societyBt in India,This hs ben incorporated in Constitution making it permanent

    How will it go - when we hv stratified caste-identity in India by institutionalizing it in Constitution by registering a person’s caste on their ID card. This forms basis of Identity politics. It is not due to any imagined perversity of the original classification of society in

    Hindu traditions. One example- acc. to Hinduism- all Farming n Cattle breeding related works come under VAISHYA but Our Constitutions say otherwise.No country in the world is free from inequalities. A constant human endeavour for more money and more power ensures that. A discriminatory system has been widespread,The racism that was historically prevalent in western societies and continues in various forms today is also a kind of pernicious caste system.

    Scriptural sanction -There is a natural hierarchy in every society, in every living species on the planet. Dominance hierarchy is imprinted in our biological and genetic DNA.Individuals are constantly competing for dominance in every sphere of existence — as with individuals

    Hierarchies and Inequality can only be removed for the briefest of moments, and they'll soon come back - with even greater intensity.

    Hierarchies will always exist.The simple def. of Hierarchy is-a system that has many levels from lowest to highest.This corresponds to reality.Some people hv more wealth,some knowledge,some land,some more political power,some physical powerThe argument against Hierarchy is-it

    Perfect Equality and Classlessness is no more possible in Society than Perpetual Motion Machine is possible in Physics.

    As society changes norms, values and hierarchies change. So it was in Europe as well - for last 2000 years ,there was very strict n rigid Caste system there but the europeans were quick to respond to socio-economic changes becoz They Colonized n looted the World n they were not

    under any foreign occupation but Indians are slow - We suffered 1000 years of Brutal Invasions n Colonization ,we r still operating on Colonial Constitution


  • suyash95103 days ago | +0 points

    Some form of discrimination was indeed there in the Dharma Shastras or codes of laws written thousands of years ago by various law-givers which were just their opinions to effectively run Society.Modern Hinduism is not based on Dharma Shastras but

    rather on Vedanta which is a philosophy and on Pauranic/Tantric ritual practice. The Dharma now taught is the Universal code of ethics known as Deontology.Discrimination based on gender, class, caste, race or any other physical characteristic is an evil SOCIAL practice arising

    from custom and usage and is abhorrent to the ethics of Vedanta. So everyone should avoid the crap of discrimination/oppression.

    However u cannot eliminate free will n personal choices n preferences, Some form of +ve discrimination will always be there.

    Simple fact is that medieval geopolitical n sociopolitical dynamics can not be judged by 21st century standards.Subjective or objective division will always be there in the basis of Money , Muscle , Intellect , Religion , Caste , Job , Profession etc. It's a worldwide phenomenon.


  • suyash95103 days ago | +0 points

    The caste system as it exists today is the result of developments during the collapse of the Mughal era and the rise of the British colonial government in India. The British Raj furthered this development, making RIGID caste organisation a central mechanism of administration.

    Between 1860 and 1920, the British formulated the caste system into their system of governance, granting administrative jobs and senior appointments only to Christians and people belonging to certain castes.

    Check the British Census reports - modern idea of caste is a colonialist construct.the British destroyed India’s economy by crushing taxation and preventing investments in India just as the industrial revolution took off in Europe. India rapidly became deindustrialized and turned into a destination for British goods. This was great for the Empire but a disaster for India. The horror of that period may be guessed from the estimate that India’s share of the world manufacturing fell from 24% to about 1.4% during the British rule .Image


    U want an Utopian class of Darwinian Social Order where all people are equal,This is impossible and against Nature? You could not conform people to come together ,It is about free will n choice.This is Coming from Judeo-Christian View which is based on 1 book,1 God and 1 type

    of people means only 1 Jaati . To understand this- consider There were more than 1000 of spoken languages in India during 1947 when India became independent. These languages were spoken by 1000 of community groups forming Jaatis. If u want to collapse them into 1 single JAATI ,

    than all these 1000 languages will also become extinct , This is just Linguistic difference ,Now include Cultural differences,Work differences etc. You will understand ur Question

    Why there were 1000’s of Jaatis in India becoz of thousands of languages,customs,traditions,Gods, etc . India has the largest vegetarian cuisine of any nation on earth. It has the most languages and dialects in one sub-continent and the greatest variations in local customs and

    traditions and even dress. The culture of India is extremely ancient and hundreds of different cults, religions, view-points, tribes and people lived together and encountered each other Hindus speak dozens of different language come from different ethnicities, have vastly

    different customs and traditions, wear different clothing, eat different foods, follow different religions and sects and come from different countries and every Hindu ethnicity has a different history.

    The caste system was just a way of organising society and establishing hierarchy - it is common to all biological systems and every society on earth - even the Communists have a caste/class system with advantages and disadvantages for the elect.Many classical societies of the

    world had pre-modern social systems worse than India. The caste system is one of the main expressions of the traditional sociopolitical order, a “form" victorious over chaos and the embodiment of the metaphysical ideas of stability and justice.The reason for Caste system in survival in India acc to me - Population density and diversity . Diversity keeps people from mixing too much.

    There was no Universal Education anywhere in World , Most of Religious books got translated in only late 19 century,Before that they were only in hands of few.


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