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Discrimination - can it be stopped?

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I wish to remind the members that 'Shiv Sena' did not exist in mumbai right from beginning.Similarly,the Justice Party and EVR movement started at a particular point of time. The discontent towards immigrants have started appearing in UK(though under control).The way Indians and other Asians are prosperous in USA as compared to locals and immigrants from South American countries, I am worried that the evil of jealousy and hatred which initially starts at individual level and then spread like wild fire among other disgruntled people may affect all nations.The German Chancellor has gone on record that multi-
nationalism has not been successful in Germany and the Australian Prime Minister has already warned all immigrants to cultivate Australian Culture.
When everyone is equally prosperous and there is no wide disparity in economic status,these evil forces lie dormant.
 
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Smt. HappyHindu,

My position in this matter is that it is necessary to record our disfavour on all types of discrimination, whether caste-based, or race-based or on any other basis. I do not find any significant differences as between caste-based discrimination and racism, despite your arguments.
Alright sir we shall agree to disagree. I agree discrimination of all kinds are bad. However, my position is that casteism is a much more worse form of discrimination than racism.

What I object to strongly is the double standards - looking at the racial discriminations aginst AAs and Latin Americans as something not very bad and criticizing the Indian caste system with hellish fury as though the whole world is one beautiful egalitarian system and only India with its castes is the only single blot on humanity.
Do Americans feel that discrimination against African-Americans and Latin-Americans is "not bad"? If they do, i condemn that strongly. There may be racist people everywhere. And they need to be pulled up. However, is racism widespread and accepted by the American public as part of ritual practice in a religion?

I would request Nara Sir and Yamaka Sir to elaborate on the American situation more. How widespread is Racism in the US?

Btw sir, simply by comparing with racism does not make casteism somehow less-blameworthy.

I suppose the AAs have their black churches and do not go to the whites' churches where they are not favoured.
Nara sir and Yamaka Sir, please let us know if such a thing is happening even today?

You may say the sudras were denied their own temples but that is only a partially true statement because almost all castes right down to the doms had their own gods, kuldevata temples and priests for those.
Your statement is simply not true. If you are speaking of Kuladevata temples, you have to concede that we are speaking of clans, not varna. Varna system did not exist until 200 AD atleast in Tamilakam.

Social changes and opposition of caste rigidity surfaced around 7th century. And that happened after 'vedic brahmins' entered tamilakam from 100 AD to 700 AD. We could write reams how the brahmins-kshatriyas denied men entry into their own kuladevata temples.

We could also write reams who were these kuladevatas. If you look at the Kuladevatas of 'lower-castes', their deities are those who opposed caste-system (madurai veeran, the kuladevata of many parayar families, is an example).

Again, back in time, vira-kals (hero stones) were erected for men who died in war (fighting against other tribes), a mark signifying opposition to subjugation. Subjugation can be opposed if it is open and direct, but it gets miserably tricky if it works cunningly thru the platform of "spiritualism".

Caste structures must have loosened up during muslim invasions, which is why we find rulers / chieftains in Vijayanagar Period drawn from low-castes.

Just because people found the freedom to move along ranks, build temples since the past 500 years, does that absolve the varna system of wrong-doing? Sir, is there any evidence that Doms (or any low-caste group) had their own temples with priests before the 11th century?

I have looked at details of trade guilds for whom the kapalikas, kalamukhas were priests. Undoubtely these managed to thrive even after 8th century, despite being declared heterodox by Adi Shankara.

However, these trade guilds were not considered low-caste at that time, much less shudras. So we cannot apply the sensibilities of some specific brahmins who declared folks as shudras in the colonial period to the 'trade guilds' of medival period.

So if you going to produce evidence and say low 'castes' Nakaras / Gavaras had temples before the 11th century, let it be known that we are speaking of different contexts.

Again sir, we could discuss reams why Adi Shankara selected only 6 dieties in the Shanmata system. Quite obviosly dieties apart from the 6 selected by Adi Shankara became 'non-orthodox' in the 8th century. Sir you yourself had written once about Adi Shankara prohibitting Devi worship.

All 6 gods chosen by Shankara are males (was it because of tantra sexuality associated with female dieties??...Or did Shankara's Shanmata reduce temples of female dieties into debauchery ?).

Have always wondered how can those who claim to be 'brahmins', have 'non-orthodox' dieties as kuladevis / kuladevatas. Unless they were elevated as brahmins after the time of Adi Shankara. So you see sir, the context of "who was low-caste" in one period cannot be applied to another period.

Similarly, medieval period sensibilities cannot be applied to colonial period context, with the claim that even 'shudras' had temples with their own priests.

If we speak of varnas in the context of clans / kuladevatas, then i could say, 'brahmins' also arose from low-caste groups (or clans having non-orthodox dieties as kuladevatas). Not just "shudras' or 'doms' or whatever. I wonder how many 'brahmins' are willing to accept that they arose from low-caste 'shudra' groups..

Your comparison to "apples and oranges" is, I am glad to say, truth in its own way. Both are fruits, tasty and some like one better, others the other. Both are basically harmless and can be used for healthy living. Then why should some people start an anti-apple (for example) campaign and cry hoarse about its bad effects and keep quiet as if orange has no bad quality at all and is very desirable and eating orange is crediatble?
Anti-apple campaign? Sir where is the context in which you ask this please?

I feel you will have noticed by now that I am talking about society discriminating - showing differential treatments to some sections which that society itself acknowledges as part of it. It is not about the likes & dislikes at the individual level.

But supposing there is a small neighbourhood in which one person or family does not allow a certain individual to come into the neighbourhood and all the rest of the people in that neighbourhood also individually feel similarly. Then that particular person will become a persona non-grata in that neighbourhood. May be that person belongs to a group similar to the 'thieves' villages' of Tamil Nadu whence gangs come and commit thefts in Kerala often.

In such a situation, all people from that thieves' colony will become "no-entry" people in the neighbourhood first referred to. Can this be objected to as discrimination or is this to be legally allowed as individual discrimination?

I don't know how you will answer, but discrimination, if it is to be allowed at the individual level, will easily become group discrimination, imo. Hence what I feel is that we cannot discriminate between different kinds of discriminations and have to voice our opposition to any kind of discrimination, except those permiited by the law of the land.
Sir, please could you elaborate in what context you are mentioning the "theives" point? Is it merely to justify casteism, under the pretense of 'voicing opposition to any kind of discrimination'?
 
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..... What I find particularly striking is that members who very strongly criticize the caste system in India and brahmins for it, nicely try to sweep the discrimination in US, under the carpet, so to say.
Dear Shri Sangom sir, I know I have already written a reply, but I am really troubled by the above statement and therefore another response, please forgive me for my insolence.

Yes, I do strongly criticize the caste system and hold Brahmins particularly responsible for it. However, I think whether my criticisms stand up to critical scrutiny or not does not depend on whether I sweep US racism under the carpet or not. I realize I will be a rank hypocrite if I did criticize casteism but chose to ignore racism, but the validity of what I say about caste system will not be affected in any way just because I act hypocritically with respect to U.S. racism.

But I do criticize the racism and have never tried to sweep it under the rug. For this you have said, in a different post, that we/I need to look for ways to remedy this racism in our adopted country before criticizing Indian casteism and Brahmins. I am unable to accept this view either. First, I have a strong bond with India and the people of India. I have as much interest in the welfare of India as I have of the interest of USA and for that matter the whole of humanity. But my particular interest is Tamil Nadu. So I think I don't have to solve the racial problems of my adopted country before discussing issues that affect by brethren in India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular.

Finally, about American racism and Blacks being US Dalits, once again I don't agree with this equivalency at all. Racism is present in the U.S. yes, but not to the level of casteism in India. Also, there is concerted effort from all segments of society, Government, Church, and Civil society to educate the general public and lift them up out of the ignorance of racism. There is no such broad based effort in India. Of course there are some attempts by some entities including the Hindutva crowd, whose motivation needs examining. But, overall, jAti and jAti identity is woven into the fabric of Indian society in ways race is not in the present day U.S.

Also, consider the fact we have well-educated and otherwise rational people in this very site talking about each caste staying separate, respecting each other, etc. In spite of its sordid history of genocidal wars upon the native peoples and the despicable saga of slavery, the U.S. formally rejected the idea of separate but equal and declared with the force of the law of the land that separate by its very nature can never be equal.

Let me cite a couple of personal experiences for what it is worth.

[1] K commented earlier today about Meena Kandasamy's mother getting treated badly by the Brahmin faculty of IIT. Here in my department we have black professors (I myself would be considered a Black by racist Whites) and we are full members of the faculty in all respects, like any of the White professors. In fact some of the well respected and rewarded professors are non-White.

[2] We live in a neighborhood of about 30 to 40 independent houses. To my knowledge there are two Indian families (one being mine), two Black families, and one Hispanic. Our best friends are two White neighbors. The love us as almost part of their families and we do too. The day we moved into this neighborhood some 8 years ago we were welcomed with goodies and cakes from several neighbors.

BTW, I have seen people making posts here that they are looking for houses or plots in an agraharam or a Brahmin neighborhood. Some have felt that agraharam concept must be revived. Such red-lining is illegal in the U.S. Refusing to sell or rent to someone on racial grounds is a criminal offense. Banks refusing to give loans on this basis can be criminally prosecuted and have been.

In summary. I am not saying everything is honky dory in the U.S. or that India stinks. The challenges in U.S. is far different than the challenges in India. We must not pit one nation against another. We must condemn racial prejudice where it surfaces and condemn casteism in the same way. All the progressive voices from India, from USA and from all other places must band together and oppose the racist and casteist views. You and I are in the same team, the opponents are those who are KKK/new Nazi types and the incorrigible Brahminists of all stripes.

So, my request is that we unite against the retrograde forces.

Cheers!
 
All this caste stuff, is it mostly in the villages or in the small towns? All my teachers and my employers have treated me well regardless of their caste or mine.

Being in big cities all my life, I don't remember being ever asked my caste (until of course I joined this forum) :)
 
All this caste stuff, is it mostly in the villages or in the small towns? All my teachers and my employers have treated me well regardless of their caste or mine.

Being in big cities all my life, I don't remember being ever asked my caste (until of course I joined this forum) :)
Biswa, you sound so much like my sibling who also believes caste system does not exist, just because 'caste' situations were never faced personally.

Thankfully, the United Nations takes an overall view into account. With documented facts and figures.

Please listen to this -- Racism and Caste System in India - YouTube
 
Biswa and Amala,

This one is for you both -- Our Journey - How we know caste - YouTube

This is how most of us (including me) were, when we were younger. But how we grow up..sigh..

The guy in yellow shirt, justifying discrimination around time 4.40 in the video, sounds so familiar, no?

Compare two different things as 'discrimnation', and get away with casteism...

Amala,

Please watch the video carefully....one of the girls who changed their minds could be you. Our misconceptions do help to perpetuate caste-discrimination, don't they...

I always thot ignorance breeds arrongance. Those who arrogate themselves into a caste, do so because they do not know how their caste group originated.

When folks understand what the system is about, they ofcourse talk about their caste, but they no longer hold on to it rigidly. Meaning they can turn kind...

Ofcourse if prejudice is inherent, then there is no choice but to keep it. Thankfully that inherent prejudice does have an end, in our grave. Sooner or later time has a way of undoing things..

Regards.
 
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Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, Greetings.

Am often baffled where is the equivalence of comparison, between racism and casteism. And why do people quote racism / other forms of discrimination as though that somehow justifes casteism.

To me, casteism is the grand ancestor of racism, its a more dangerous beast than racism. It plays on the "religious mind" and breaks the very spirit of a man.

To inflict violence on a man, suppress him into slavery, categorise him as fit for only one birth, declare him not releasable from slavery, to deny him certain rituals, and allow him only certain stuff (to time and again show him he is not capable of anything more in the scheme of god-realisation), is comparable to racism???

Personally, I don't see any difference between 'casteism' and 'racism'. In both cases a person gets ill treated based on his/her birth. Religion may not have anything to do with caste divisions anymore. Caste divisions are reaching across to all religions. The society in the whole in India is corrrupted. When a person is not financialy sufficient, all sorts of social problems crop up. The society itself does not allow high spirited persons. Although, there are many Government announced favours for the persons born in the 'lower caste', although such schemes discriminate persons born in 'higher caste', Casteism is in a way, maintained by the Government itself; that is beside the point though. But presently, as in general aspects, racism and casteism are not too far apart.

Cheers!
 
Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, Greetings.



Personally, I don't see any difference between 'casteism' and 'racism'. In both cases a person gets ill treated based on his/her birth. Religion may not have anything to do with caste divisions anymore. Caste divisions are reaching across to all religions. The society in the whole in India is corrrupted. When a person is not financialy sufficient, all sorts of social problems crop up. The society itself does not allow high spirited persons. Although, there are many Government announced favours for the persons born in the 'lower caste', although such schemes discriminate persons born in 'higher caste', Casteism is in a way, maintained by the Government itself; that is beside the point though. But presently, as in general aspects, racism and casteism are not too far apart.

Cheers!
Dear Raghy Sir,

I see your point. Rest assured i too am going to view racism and casteism as one and the same.

Thanks to the indian hindu ethos, no matter which religion 'low-castes' run to, they cannot escape caste-discrimination.

Come to think of it, varna system was the best way to finish off enemies completely. Especially with all the spiritual canard associated with it.

What the government is doing with reservations and various beneficiary programmes, is to uplift people.

No one can call these things as 'discriminations'. You guys still have a quota of open seats and private sector jobs. Very different from the 100 % reservations for 'brahmins' in vedapatshalas.

Please let me know why you call certain people 'higher caste'? Who designated them 'higher'?

Surely you cannot blame the indian government. It is merely following the dictates of its people. Because of people who self-designate themselves as 'higher castes'.

You say government is maintaining casteism, ofcourse you will feel that way. Its natural. I sense 'brahmins' feel so, because laws no longer favor them.

But in case you want to get rid of casteism, let have it mutually both ways. You remove reservations in vedapatshalas. Ask brahmanical mutts to re-address Smritis / Dharmashastras. Then ask government to remove reservations.

Lets have an egalitarian society. Not utopian, not perfect, but a truly functioning democracy. Where every man is an equal before God.

A working platform of equality before God is not at all difficult to achieve. We are not blacks and whites. We are a mix of various colors of blacks, whites, yellows and browns.

But if prejudice is inherent or inherited, then well, such people can step aside and allow the rest to move ahead.

Regards.
 
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More than 15 posts, that too by the most well-informed veterans, have been written during last night. I have a small problem with font display in my system. So my typing is cruelly slow. Hope I will complete this summary post from my side touching upon most of the points in the various posts.

My main point or contention was, and is, that we as a web community under the banner "tamilbrahmins.com", have been spending a lot of time, energy, and archive storage too, in condemning the caste system of India, and more especially, the brahmins, for giving shape to it via the scriptural route and strengthening and fine-tuning it by means of the various Dharmasastras, and so on. Along the way, we have also had much discussion about jati and varna and the final word on this - whether caste represents jati, clan, varna - has not been said yet, imo. If, as Shri prasad has now spelt out, "discrimination" on some basis or another is unavoidable in any human society and such discriminatory practices exist throughout the world, the crux of the matter being the "we vs. they" feeling, then, in all fairness, that there is no more need for us to flog only the caste system and brahmins in India, so continuously and zealously, as we have been doing all this time.

Instead, let us realize that discrimination is there everywhere including the most advanced countries like USA, Canada, Europe, UK, etc., and that caste-system is the name for the type of discriminatory vein in the Indian society while the practice in other countries may be called by different names like racism, (apartheid in old SA) and so on.

While my stand on caste discrimination has not changed, I feel it is wrong to concentrate only on the Indian scene since this tbf says it is for tamil brahmins spread across the entire globe; hence we must give attention to the discriminatory practices in other countries also, increasingly, so that, as a web community of members of tamilbrahmins.com (not of tamilbrahmins alone, kindly note) we will be seen to be registering our dissent against all discriminatory practices, everywhere. After all did not Bharathiyar declare -
தனி ஒரு மனிதனுக்குணவிலையெனில் ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம் (taṉi oru maṉitaṉukkuṇavilaiyeṉil jakattiṉai aḻittiṭuvom)? In a similar way, shall we not function on a world-wide viewpoint, at least in pointing out the discriminatory practices?

That, in the US, there is concerted effort from all segments of society, Government, Church, and Civil society to educate the general public and lift them up out of the ignorance of racism and that there is no such broad based effort in India, has been adduced as one reason for the caste system deserving the treatment it now gets (by Shri Nara). Coming to think of it pragmatically, I am not convinced that this forum and the various posts made here and the massive archive, can/do create opinions or change opinions in any significant way. The reactions to the anti-casteism posts from some members and the fact that not even one of those has found it necessary to change his/her views in the last few years, is testimony to my view above. Secondly there are many other sources like senthilraj's blogs which support and exclaim the caste system and net surfers can go to such sites if they want comfort and inspiration.

It may be true that the racism in the west is much more in an advanced stage of complete eradication, as compared to the caste prejudices in India. But I don't think anyone will be able to accuse the successive governments of India of not having legislated against casteism and also of not putting into practice steps to implement those legislations. Misuse of these provisions, both by the intended beneficiaries of these positive discrimination, as also by others, is a separate issue, and, in a poverty-stricken, over-populated country like India, perhaps it will be more evident than in the US. But today, the younger generations across all components of the society in India, do not grow with the caste inputs or caste consciousness uppermost in their minds, even in the government schools to which the lowest sections send their children (in Kerala). Therefore, I feel convinced that the casteist ethos is definitely on the decline in India also, just as racist supremacist feelings are supposed to be waning in the US & the West. To continue to flog indian caste system vigorously and relentlessly in such a scenario, will therefore be like a person with elephanthiasis in one leg, covering it in slush and scolding another with the swelling on both the legs, for polluting the river, imo.

Shri Nara opines, "Racism in the U.S. and casteism in India share one more similarity, both are alive and kicking. Racism often lurking just below the surface. But the big difference is, in the U.S. except for some lunatic fringe, nobody tolerates overt racism. No public official however mighty can express racially motivated comments and not face swift disgrace. The run of the mill racist has to hide his racism. In contrast, in India, casteism is in full display. Caste-based discrimination occurs routinely in a matter of fact manner. " AFAI have seen, overt display of casteism is not practised even in India by political leaders. But because of the various differences in place, time and history, combined with the poverty and population, it is likely that the caste feeling of "belonging", comes covertly in cases such as those of Mayawati. Essentially, therefore, what we see is just differences in the minutiae, but the basic fact of discrimination is the same and many people have this feeling underneath their exterior. As Shri Krishnamurthy rightly says, "these feelings will remain dormant as long as everyone is (more or less) equally prosperous and there is no wide disparity in economic status".

To summarize my views, let us give a breather to casteism discussions with reference to India/TN, in this forum and try to pay some attention to the various kinds of covert discriminations seen in the more advanced nations.
 
Sangom Sir, Amala, Biswa, and everyone else.

Those who says casteism and racism are the same please view this

Hinduism: Racism in USA vs. Caste System in India, Part 2 - YouTube

The main points of the speaker are these:

Casteism and Racism differ in their origins. Their constructs are different.

The nature of Untouchability is entirely different from the nature of Racism.

Both are Discrimination yes, but the constituent nature from which both arise is different.

The speaker says Martin Luther King fought based on Biblical principles of equality.

Did any hindu saint even try (let alone succeed ), in creating equality based on Smritis / Dharmashastras?

Proponents of Varna Dharma have no answers for the presence of violence in Manusmrithi; or for the continued presence of caste-based violence today.

I think people should never convert to an other religion simply to get rid of untouchability or shame due to caste.

Religious Conversion is not the solution. If a man converts, it just makes it easier for the hegemony to thrive.

Folks should stay as hindus, and fight away varna system.

Now am all for advocacy to get casteism recognised as racism. Although i recognise both are different, there is not much choice.

Getting UN or international involvement is the only way to address casteism thru proper legislation and carrying out proper punishments.

Will be doing my tiny bit to enlist mass support for the IDSN position paper addressing casteism.

Regards.

Sangom Sir, Reg post #38, Am sorry am not bothered about discrimnation happening in some other part of the world. I do not care much for social problems of bosnia, serbia, america, europe, or whereever. Am an indian and am bothered about india.
 
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As there are many races, there are many castes. This is indisputable. As one must not wield a club or a sword to destroy races (happened before and is happening now) one must not talk about destruction of castes. Caste members also have inalienable rights to live and practice their beliefs. In a sense they are also minorities.

Caste discrimination is a different issue. It is already abolished in paper at least. Our constitution provides security for all castes; it goes further to provide more in the form of reservation in education and jobs and allocation of resources. Only those with inferiority complexes are behaving like don quixote wielding a heavy sword.

Our caste systems are dynamic and tune themselves to suit the social conditions. Like many castes want to be declared as backward and most backward to get a share in the benefits; like ramakrishna mission wanting to be acknowledged as a minority institution.

Final word: ​Caste: let us talk of it less; practice it more.
 
Definition of Discrimination(Wikipedia)

Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group.


So it is clear that caste system is just one type of discrimination in the whole list of things in the world.
The only difference is we Indians tend to sweep everything under the carpet when living abroad just not to step on anyone's toes in a land they can never call their own.
Tolerance increases when people live abroad.I think everyone living abroad knows this in their hearts.
 
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Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, Greetings.

I refer to post #37, please.

Please let me know why you call certain people 'higher caste'? Who designated them 'higher'?

'Higher caste' divsions exist already in the social system. If you notice my post, I did not name any particular caste as 'higher caste' or lower caste. We have a heirarchysystem, where one caste is considered higher than the other and so on. For example, In Tamil Nadu someone belonging to Mudaliar caste may feel bad when he/she gets restricted in a brahmin's house while the same mudaliar person may not feel anything different when a washerwoman gets restricted in his/her own home. As one can see, higher and lower caste is only subjective. So, does this brahmin caste become 'lower caste' at anytime? Yes, they do. When the person belonging to Brahmin caste is poor, such person is restricted in the presence of anybody else who is well off financially. But in all situations, the caste division is distinct while the dicriminations may be at varying degree.

Surely you cannot blame the indian government. It is merely following the dictates of its people. Because of people who self-designate themselves as 'higher castes'.

Why not? I will blame the Indian Government for her hypocrite practices. On the one hand the Government says it discourages caste feelings; on the other hand, all the paperwork carry a section 'caste' which have to filled up. Recently our son got his 'Birth certificate' from Government of Tamil Nadu. There goes the caste name of the person! Of course, it is essential for the 'reservation purposes', is it not?

But in case you want to get rid of casteism, let have it mutually both ways. You remove reservations in vedapatshalas. Ask brahmanical mutts to re-address Smritis / Dharmashastras. Then ask government to remove reservations.

This is meaningless. The veda padasalas are supported by rich Bs and rich NBs. Such persons are not affected by the reservation systems. Ordinary persons who are really affected by resrvation system, who actually make up the majority, have no voice in the business of the mutts; mutts don't pay any attention to such persons. Secondly, even if the mutts agree to enrol everyone in the padasalas irrspective of caste, would the reservation be dropped? No. Nobody said that the reason for reservation is due to the enrolment policies of mutts in the veda padasalas. These are un-connected issues.

Lets have an egalitarian society. Not utopian, not perfect, but a truly functioning democracy. Where every man is an equal before God.

What God? In today's India, the word 'God' is spelt as 'm-o-n-e-y'. Democracy sucks. Politicians spent huge amount of money while contesting. They will play all sorts of games to get re-elected, where castism plays a very important role. Just imagine, if the brahmins make up 20 percent of the population, the make up the society norms would be very different. These same politicians would be singing a very different tune.

.....if prejudice is inherent or inherited, then well, such people can step aside and allow the rest to move ahead.

If such persons are rich, it is not likely for them to step aside. As long as the rest do not move ahead, they can maintain their position in the society.

Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, kindly tell me, please. Do you really believe the casteism in India would vanish by thrashing a percentage of persons from the brahmin caste?

Cheers!
 
Tambrams form only 3% of the population. Will the remaining 97% (christians and muslims too have caste system) give up their caste identity?

No need, hindu caste system is self regulating and will benefit the society if politics is kept out of it. All castes in villages worked together and share a just judicial system.
 
Tambrams form only 3% of the population. Will the remaining 97% (christians and muslims too have caste system) give up their caste identity?

No need, hindu caste system is self regulating and will benefit the society if politics is kept out of it. All castes in villages worked together and share a just judicial system.

Dear Sri.Sarang, Greetings.

Sir, caste system will not benefit the society. In the villages caste system did not work well; all the castes did not work together. Oppression was always present. I come from a village; I knew the village life very well. In fact, the Hindu society was raped (literally) by all the invaders and sundries for the last more than 1,000 years because of caste system. Someone born in the 'lower caste' or born as 'panchaman' had no hopes in life; he/she could progress only in a very limited way, no more. The amount of work contributed by that lower caste person towards the betterment of the society had not yielded benefits equitably for that person. That is bad for the society.

Cheers!
 
Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, Greetings.

I refer to post #37, please.



'Higher caste' divsions exist already in the social system. If you notice my post, I did not name any particular caste as 'higher caste' or lower caste. We have a heirarchysystem, where one caste is considered higher than the other and so on. For example, In Tamil Nadu someone belonging to Mudaliar caste may feel bad when he/she gets restricted in a brahmin's house while the same mudaliar person may not feel anything different when a washerwoman gets restricted in his/her own home. As one can see, higher and lower caste is only subjective. So, does this brahmin caste become 'lower caste' at anytime? Yes, they do. When the person belonging to Brahmin caste is poor, such person is restricted in the presence of anybody else who is well off financially. But in all situations, the caste division is distinct while the dicriminations may be at varying degree.
Raghy sir, am far too seasoned to be taken up by reasoning of this sort. Please, i mean no offense to you the person. Just that these points are tooo passe.

There is simply no need for these explanations. The dharmashastras designated the brahmins the highest. Period. The dharmashastras allocated certain jobs to certian people. Period. That's where the highs and lows come from. Its class-ism coupled with spiritualism linked to occupations fixed by birth.

Why not? I will blame the Indian Government for her hypocrite practices. On the one hand the Government says it discourages caste feelings; on the other hand, all the paperwork carry a section 'caste' which have to filled up. Recently our son got his 'Birth certificate' from Government of Tamil Nadu. There goes the caste name of the person! Of course, it is essential for the 'reservation purposes', is it not?
The indian government has to become casteist, in order to undo casteism perpetuated by brahmins and 'kshatriyas'. It cannot undo casteism by asking spiritual imperialists to give up hegemony.

Even with so many laws it has taken 60+ years of democracy for a brahmanical mutt to admit a NB.

You think a government can deal with casteism merely by requesting dvijas and mutt powerhouses to stop generating electric casteism, all the time trying to short-circuit and disrupt normal social fabric.

If casteism was created before the indian government was formed, then who is to be blamed for it?

Frankly, with all its weak laws, India is still socially limping wrt casteism. If not for GATT and then post-WTO world, we wud still be stuck in economic poverty.

This is meaningless. The veda padasalas are supported by rich Bs and rich NBs. Such persons are not affected by the reservation systems. Ordinary persons who are really affected by resrvation system, who actually make up the majority, have no voice in the business of the mutts; mutts don't pay any attention to such persons. Secondly, even if the mutts agree to enrol everyone in the padasalas irrspective of caste, would the reservation be dropped? No. Nobody said that the reason for reservation is due to the enrolment policies of mutts in the veda padasalas. These are un-connected issues.
How is it meaningless or unconnected? How do you claim others have no business in mutts? Or that reservations would not be dropped even if patshalas create a socially equal world?

What God? In today's India, the word 'God' is spelt as 'm-o-n-e-y'. Democracy sucks. Politicians spent huge amount of money while contesting. They will play all sorts of games to get re-elected, where castism plays a very important role. Just imagine, if the brahmins make up 20 percent of the population, the make up the society norms would be very different. These same politicians would be singing a very different tune.
Sir, am quite tired of all these excuses. So please do not even bother to give them to me. It is crystal clear brahmins will never consider shudras equal before god, or equal to themselves.

If such persons are rich, it is not likely for them to step aside. As long as the rest do not move ahead, they can maintain their position in the society.
Lets see what the future holds for casteists..

Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, kindly tell me, please. Do you really believe the casteism in India would vanish by thrashing a percentage of persons from the brahmin caste?
Casteism can be removed by removing brahmanism (labour laws), which is the crux of casteism.
 
I well understand the limitations of a web forum like this, but still, the caste grouping in India is here to stay, at least for the next few generations, i.e., till the next century at least, imho. To vehemently call for its eradication, destruction of brahminism (which, I feel is being used to refer to brahmin supremacist notions), etc., in a forum like this is tantamount to screaming from inside a room with closed doors.

Additionally, if we calmly consider the matter, where is brahmin supremacy in India to day? For that matter, except perhaps the Peshwas and Sungas much earlier, there was no brahminic ruling dynasty. Rajputs also claim agnikula kshatriya status only. And, do we find the caste-based practices which were very evident about 60 years ago, today? May be in some spots there are obnoxious practices still existing/continuing, but the remedy for that is definitely not just criticizing the entire caste system here. If possible one should go to the concerned area and educate both sides. like the tv channels profess to do at times; otherwise if one is very keen to eradicate it, that person should try to write to the District Collector, the State Government, the SC/ST commission, or even the high court, etc.

I have come to this conclusion because I feel that if we can be at peace with discriminatory practices in one country and try to whitewash it as long as possible and keep quiet, the same should be our attitude towards home country or motherland also.
 
Raghy sir, am far too seasoned to be taken up by reasoning of this sort. Please, i mean no offense to you the person. Just that these points are tooo passe.

Sowbagyavathy Happyhinu, Greetings. I am not trying to justify anything. I am not keen about what Dharmasastras say, because, I know large majority of the persons neither read nor follow the dharmasastras. I also know, caste system is an heirarchy. Practically the lower castes are oppressed by the middle castes. Yes, everything is by birth. One may like to side-step the caste discrimination dished out by the BCs and MBCs; but that doesn't wash with me. I have witnessed it, it is on record in youtube.

The Goverment of India is a governing body for a population of 1.3 billion. If she adopts some 'social engineering' for the upliftment of certain population, it has to be through equitable methods. Two wrongs can never make 'one right'; it can only two wrongs. Government of India is officially discriminating a section of her population. That is wrong. I have no hesitation in pointing it out. I will not confuse this issue with mutt issue. They arte not connected at all. I would say (not that the mutts would listen though), mutts should allow every Hindu to gain access to vedapadasalas. But mutt business has nothing to do with government reservation policies, which is immature.

Sir, am quite tired of all these excuses. So please do not even bother to give them to me. It is crystal clear brahmins will never consider shudras equal before god, or equal to themselves.

Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, I request you not to paint a section of persons, by their caste, with a wide brush, please. Suppose if you come across a person born in a brahmin caste who considers everyone as equal, are you going to change your statement? Kindly allow me to object to your above statement, please.

Brahminism is not brahmin caste. Brahminism is followed by every caste. Kindly show me one caste that does not follow brahminism, please. Instead of eradicating brahminism, the 'social engineering' in India is eradicating Brahmin caste, while brahminism is thriving well.

Cheers!
 
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Our pre british and post british history is very much hidden from common people; before blaming the brahmins for the caste system, we need to study and understand how our society was organised in those days.
A small excerpt from a blog of senthil from namakkal; browsing his blog will help in some understanding of the issues involved. It is not necessary to agree with all he says.

Even today, caste is a personal and small group activity (reminds one of quality circles, and improvement teams). In the past Kshatriyas and sudras held political power (many tamil kings were sudras), money was with vaishyas (trade and property) and brahmins were clinging to knowledge (spiritual and religious) and had minimum economic power. Unless a concerted effort is made to remove the cob webs from true history of tamilnadu, nothing will be achieved by just blaming tambrams.
Source: senthilraja's blog; original source dharampal.net
India before British Invasion – Dharampal’s findings | Senthilraja’s blog
Just presenting the works of dharampal in bullet points. (More about dharampal in DHARAMPAL's India)

  • To the British darkness and ignorance had wholly different meanings and to the majority of them, these terms conveyed not any ignorance of arts and crafts or technology, or aesthetics but rather the absence of the knowledge of Christianity and its scriptural heritage.
  • Peasants, artisans, those engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel, or in the various processes of its flourishing indigenous textile industry, or its surgeons and medical men, even many of its astronomers and astrologers belonged to this predominant section i.e. Sudras is unquestionable.
  • Some of the important changes brought about the British were (i) revenue enhancement and centralization, (ii) attempts at breaking the sense of community (geographical, or based on occupation or kinship) amongst the people of India, (iii) reducing their consumption to the minimum through higher taxation and lowering of wage rates, and (iv) an imposition of newer concepts of property rights and laws.
  • They created a system of landlordism, ryotwari and peasant indebtedness.
  • Deliberate & planned lowering of the wages of Indians.

Caste

  • When the British began to conquer India, the majority of the rajas in different parts of India had also been from amongst such castes which have been placed in the sudra varna.
  • Yet it can, perhaps also be argued that the existence of caste has added to the tenacity of Indian society, to its capacity to survive and after lying low to be able to stand up again.
  • The British demonized caste because it stood in the way of their breaking Indian society, hindered the process of atomization, and made the task of conquest and governance more difficult.
  • Today’s backward classes or Sudras cultural and economic backwardness is post 1800 due to impact of British economic policies.
  • Madras Presidency 1822 survey showed sudras and castes below formed 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the total students in the Tamil speaking areas.
  • Some of today’s Bihar’s notified tribes were whose ancestors were warriors and gave unceasing battle to the British till they got exhausted and succumbed to the overwhelming British power. Besides being warriors, their main occupations are said to have been of ironsmith (Iuhar) etc.
 
Sowbagyavathy Happyhinu, Greetings. I am not trying to justify anything. I am not keen about what Dharmasastras say, because, I know large majority of the persons neither read nor follow the dharmasastras. I also know, caste system is an heirarchy. Practically the lower castes are oppressed by the middle castes. Yes, everything is by birth. One may like to side-step the caste discrimination dished out by the BCs and MBCs; but that doesn't wash with me. I have witnessed it, it is on record in youtube.
Raghy sir, i hope we don't get repetitive. These things have already been discussed.

No one cares if present-day 'brahmins' don't know dharmashastras. The social model they created is still alive and kicking. No one denies the roles of BCs and MBCs styled as 'kshatriyas', involved in oppression.

The Goverment of India is a governing body for a population of 1.3 billion. If she adopts some 'social engineering' for the upliftment of certain population, it has to be through equitable methods. Two wrongs can never make 'one right'; it can only two wrongs. Government of India is officially discriminating a section of her population. That is wrong. I have no hesitation in pointing it out.
Even Ambedkar cud not fight brahmanical hegemony. Loopholes were created in the constitution in the name of "freedom" to manage religious affairs. What equitable methods do you suggest for "social engineering"? Are there any? I don't understand this angst against reservations or anger against benefits given to the under-privileged (in the name of caste).

Anyways, on the flipside, let the government 'discriminate' (i will call it 'positive affirmation'). If you don't like the so-called 'discrimination', leave it. Nobody is compelling 'brahmins' to stay in india.

I will not confuse this issue with mutt issue. They arte not connected at all. I would say (not that the mutts would listen though), mutts should allow every Hindu to gain access to vedapadasalas. But mutt business has nothing to do with government reservation policies, which is immature.
Sorry sir but they are connected. Religious institutions play a fundamental role in deciding social outcomes. If there was no casteism, then reservations wud not have happened at all. Please watch this video -- Our Journey - How we know caste - YouTube

Sowbagyavathy Happyhindu, I request you not to paint a section of persons, by their caste, with a wide brush, please. Suppose if you come across a person born in a brahmin caste who considers everyone as equal, are you going to change your statement? Kindly allow me to object to your above statement, please.
Am speaking of the orthodox ones who hold on to caste discrimination. Not the ones we meet in everyday regualar life (although i do wonder why do people in secular occupations still call themselves 'brahmins').

Brahminism is not brahmin caste. Brahminism is followed by every caste. Kindly show me one caste that does not follow brahminism, please. Instead of eradicating brahminism, the 'social engineering' in India is eradicating Brahmin caste, while brahminism is thriving well.

Cheers!
This is a mere excuse to keep justifying brahmanism (labor laws). Ofcourse brahmanism (labour laws) is followed by all rungs of the society. Who invented varna system? Don't you think 'brahmins' need to take some responsibility in undoing the ills they perpetuated? Instead they are deluded by self-imagined ideas of spirituality, and want to wash off their hands after unleashing a frankenstein monstor of brahmanism (labor laws).
 
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Our pre british and post british history is very much hidden from common people; before blaming the brahmins for the caste system, we need to study and understand how our society was organised in those days.
A small excerpt from a blog of senthil from namakkal; browsing his blog will help in some understanding of the issues involved. It is not necessary to agree with all he says.

Even today, caste is a personal and small group activity (reminds one of quality circles, and improvement teams). In the past Kshatriyas and sudras held political power (many tamil kings were sudras), money was with vaishyas (trade and property) and brahmins were clinging to knowledge (spiritual and religious) and had minimum economic power. Unless a concerted effort is made to remove the cob webs from true history of tamilnadu, nothing will be achieved by just blaming tambrams.
Source: senthilraja's blog; original source dharampal.net
India before British Invasion – Dharampal’s findings | Senthilraja’s blog
Just presenting the works of dharampal in bullet points. (More about dharampal in DHARAMPAL's India)

  • To the British darkness and ignorance had wholly different meanings and to the majority of them, these terms conveyed not any ignorance of arts and crafts or technology, or aesthetics but rather the absence of the knowledge of Christianity and its scriptural heritage.

  • Peasants, artisans, those engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel, or in the various processes of its flourishing indigenous textile industry, or its surgeons and medical men, even many of its astronomers and astrologers belonged to this predominant section i.e. Sudras is unquestionable.

  • Some of the important changes brought about the British were (i) revenue enhancement and centralization, (ii) attempts at breaking the sense of community (geographical, or based on occupation or kinship) amongst the people of India, (iii) reducing their consumption to the minimum through higher taxation and lowering of wage rates, and (iv) an imposition of newer concepts of property rights and laws.

  • They created a system of landlordism, ryotwari and peasant indebtedness.

  • Deliberate & planned lowering of the wages of Indians.

Caste

  • When the British began to conquer India, the majority of the rajas in different parts of India had also been from amongst such castes which have been placed in the sudra varna.
  • Yet it can, perhaps also be argued that the existence of caste has added to the tenacity of Indian society, to its capacity to survive and after lying low to be able to stand up again.
  • The British demonized caste because it stood in the way of their breaking Indian society, hindered the process of atomization, and made the task of conquest and governance more difficult.
  • Today’s backward classes or Sudras cultural and economic backwardness is post 1800 due to impact of British economic policies.
  • Madras Presidency 1822 survey showed sudras and castes below formed 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the total students in the Tamil speaking areas.
  • Some of today’s Bihar’s notified tribes were whose ancestors were warriors and gave unceasing battle to the British till they got exhausted and succumbed to the overwhelming British power. Besides being warriors, their main occupations are said to have been of ironsmith (Iuhar) etc.
Sarang, instead of depending so much on Dharampal's hot gas crap, its a good idea to verify Dharampal's statements. Dharampal keeps giving data from 1800 to around 1850 and calls it pre-british india. Such crap will go down with the hindutva folks.

Why not give us data which dharmashastra-following kingdom allowed shudras education or treated them well? Did british men come and demonise asuras, shudras, dasyus, in puranas ? Did british guys come and designate shudras as wretched slaves in dharmashastras?

Its such an irony. The colonialists claimed brahmins were aryan invaders and indo-european whites just like themselves. At that time some brahmins opposed all ideas of AIT. But today, some 'brahmins use the excuse of racism to justify casteism. Full circle, ah?
 
It is interesting that since I joined the forum discussions on caste and reservations have got into the loop with the same arguments- minor variations apart.
As I see it, caste discrimination can be eliminated only if we scientifically use parameters that judge a person's real disadvantage. Economic, genetic, attitudinal.
The goal of Human race should be every human has to have happiness, basic comfort and a work to do.The sooner we do not address this issue, whatever systems we put in place, will fail as the root cause for disadvantage is never addressed.

Capitalism has proved a failure. The west is doomed. Countries like India and China have acquired a marginal advantage but if west is doomed , they too dont have much future.
Social systems like communism have been found to have taken the wrong direction. It is time to come up with alternatives for the economy and society.

So all these arguments that we make for and against reservation are only partially true, as we are yet to scientifically determine the exact parameters that amount to a person's disadvantage.

It is sad that no-one is talking about that.

I may not live to see this. But this may be recorded as my observation for posterity.
 
To vehemently call for its eradication, destruction of brahminism (which, I feel is being used to refer to brahmin supremacist notions), etc., in a forum like this is tantamount to screaming from inside a room with closed doors.
Sir,

Let it be screaming or whatever else.... But please do not live under the illusion that destruction of brahmanism refers to brahmin supremist "notions" only.

Its the call to create an egalitarian society, from all rungs of a society (except the orthodoxy ofcourse). No one wants feudal labour laws in a secular world.

For that matter, except perhaps the Peshwas and Sungas much earlier, there was no brahminic ruling dynasty.
How about kanvas, shatavahanas, cholas, pallavas.... Did any hindu with wealth and power settle for anything less than a brahmin position?

Rajputs also claim agnikula kshatriya status only.
So-called 'rajputs' were big plus petty landed groups in northwestern states. Before mughal invasions who were they...their claims of descent from puranic and itihaasa characters is subject to debate. Any landed man can make any claim. Back in time, even the tribal gajapatis claimed to be rajputs. Obviously, Rajputs are not a monolith. They are a hotchpotch of various tribes of various origins. This agnikula claim is not made by all. The pratiharas, for example, claimed brahmin descent.

And, do we find the caste-based practices which were very evident about 60 years ago, today? May be in some spots there are obnoxious practices still existing/continuing, but the remedy for that is definitely not just criticizing the entire caste system here. If possible one should go to the concerned area and educate both sides. like the tv channels profess to do at times; otherwise if one is very keen to eradicate it, that person should try to write to the District Collector, the State Government, the SC/ST commission, or even the high court, etc.
Unfortunately criticism of the entire caste system is bound to happen when people are oppressed in the name of caste. Its entwined with religion. Sir, your suggestions are nice, but even till date with so much intervention by various advocacy groups, discrimination against SC/ST still exists. There are not many options really...

I have come to this conclusion because I feel that if we can be at peace with discriminatory practices in one country and try to whitewash it as long as possible and keep quiet, the same should be our attitude towards home country or motherland also.
Racism and such practices are bad alright. However, people like me will bother about their own religion, hinduism, and their own people, indians.
 
It is interesting that since I joined the forum discussions on caste and reservations have got into the loop with the same arguments- minor variations apart.
As I see it, caste discrimination can be eliminated only if we scientifically use parameters that judge a person's real disadvantage. Economic, genetic, attitudinal.
The goal of Human race should be every human has to have happiness, basic comfort and a work to do.The sooner we do not address this issue, whatever systems we put in place, will fail as the root cause for disadvantage is never addressed.

Capitalism has proved a failure. The west is doomed. Countries like India and China have acquired a marginal advantage but if west is doomed , they too dont have much future.
Social systems like communism have been found to have taken the wrong direction. It is time to come up with alternatives for the economy and society.

So all these arguments that we make for and against reservation are only partially true, as we are yet to scientifically determine the exact parameters that amount to a person's disadvantage.

It is sad that no-one is talking about that.

I may not live to see this. But this may be recorded as my observation for posterity.

Dear Shri Subbudu,

I am moved by the sincerity in your above post. I wish you will live to see an India which is as egalitarian as present day west. (I take it that you must be in your late thirties.)

I do think India is moving ahead with the goal of every human to have happiness, basic comfort and a work to do. But all human endeavours are beset with obstacles however good the objectives may be, and when it relates to more than 120 crores of people, who all think and act according to their individual predilections, the task becomes really gargantuan. (Those who have managed a small class of forty students will know what I mean, the students at least are bound by the school's rules of discipline, but in a country, there can be very many dissenters, critics and opposers.)

I sincerely feel the caste system is not good but in a forum like this, it is better to actively talk about refining it so that it becomes suitable to the above goal of the country, and I think it is happening also, though slowly for some people's patience; and this is because each individual, each family, each state within this country also wants "every human to have happiness, basic comfort and a work to do". Thus the goals of GOI and people are aligned so to say.

Let us give some time, say 50 more years, for watching the progress. After all we have a very long history, reckoning from Purusha Sukta, don't we? I am sure we will only be progressing in the right direction with reference to the abovesaid goal, though I won't be there to see it, nor can I say whether we will follow Capitalism, Communism, Planned economy or what.
 
Amala dear, i agree people will always "brand" or "class" themselves in certain ways. Does that in some way justify casteism (?), are you trying to say caste "discrimination" is nothing wrong in your view ?

You say legislation is useless for those who are "inherently" prejudiced. Which means casteists are also "inherently" prejudiced people.

Since some of you equate casteism with racism, i suppose i must henceforth support the IDSN for declaring casteism as racism. If the UN accepts that, people can start addressing "inherent" prejudice with proper legislation. I was in email talks with some people earlier about this. But at that point did not think casteism is racism. Now maybe i will do my small bit and consider enlisting mass support for the IDSN position paper.

Even if the Shringeri Shankaracharya wants to herald a progressive society, some self-entitled 'brahmins' seem quite keen, to undo the goodwill the Shringeri acharya generated. Shameful really...

Dear HH,

I never said caste discrimination is not wrong. I merely said it is inevitable, doesnt mean it makes it right. I wasn't trying to justify casteism at all.I never said legislation is useless. You did. I said that is all we can do legislate. I also said people need to change their hearts. Otherwise you get covert castists like covert racists. That to me is utter total hypocrisy.
 
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