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Varna, Jaathi and Race

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Nara

Well-known member
[..] to create a Split among Hindu Community especially Brahmins...
I have no sympathy for Mr. Vasudevan. There is no point in just throwing a one-line remark that serves no legitimate purpose. However, it is telling that so many here think this silly remark, which is BTW accurate, could cause a split among Hindus/Brahmins. This is the power of religion -- an inane but true comment sends people into a tizzy that it may hurt the feelings of the members.

Glad to know about the bold step taken for your sisters marriage. We are all one. Let us not allow any force on earth to divide us. All the best.

Dear Sir, Greetings!

I know of an orthodox and deeply religious Iyengar man whose daughter wanted to marry an Iyer boy. He relented, but made the boy undergo what is called Panca Samskaram, aka Samasryanam, an initiation ceremony for Sri Vaishnavam, and presented the new bridegroom to his aging father with 12 thirumans.

With due respect, if we consider a marriage between an Iyer and Iyengar bold, what would be the word to describe a marriage between a Brahmin girl and a Dalit boy?

I know my comments may hurt the feelings of some members, for that I apologize. My intention is not to hurt anybody's feelings, but to hopefully persuade people to broaden their vision for unity among everyone, not just Brahmins.

Cheers!

p.s. Ramakrishnan is an unusual name for an Iyengar!!!
 

RVR

Well-known member
Please see the matrimony websites of brahmin community right now. Some people are not even willing to give up subcastes. Iyers are divided into Vadama, Vathima, Brahacharnam and Astasahasram. Iyengars are divided into Vadakalai and Thenkalai.

Sri Sanakaranarayanan ji says Iyer - Iyengar integration happened more than two decades back. Definitely it must have been a bold step at that point of time.

The first step is for the TB to give up sub castes.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Sri Sanakaranarayanan ji says Iyer - Iyengar integration happened more than two decades back. Definitely it must have been a bold step at that point of time.

Greetings!

More than 2 decades ago one of my Iyer friends married a Christian girl. After initial resistance, his parents accepted her as their daughter-in-law. Two decades later we are still talking about uniting vadama and vathima, Thenkalai and Vadakalai, what a shame!!!

Cheers!
 

RVR

Well-known member
One of my Iyengar friend has the name of Ramanathan - Rameswaram Lord Shiva`s name.

Another Gurukkal friend (Saiva Brahmin) has the name of Kannan

Integration will not happen overnight. It will happen slowly and steadily without even our knowledge.
 
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KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Nara Ji,

More than four decades ago, my own brother married a Christian girl. More than three decades ago I married a Jewish girl. I know scores of folks who married outside of our faith.

So what?

I know people in our community who would not dream of marrying outside of their subsect. It is indeed within their right to do so.

Why do you think that such a practice is wrong? Again, one can not change the practices in the society by berating the people who just follow the prevailing customs.

Regards,
KRS


Greetings!

More than 2 decades ago one of my Iyer friends married a Christian girl. After initial resistance, his parents accepted her as their daughter-in-law. Two decades later we are still talking about uniting vadama and vathima, Thenkalai and Vadakalai, what a shame!!!

Cheers!
 

RVR

Well-known member
Sri KRS ji,

Customs and practices are purely personal affair. Some body from outside suggesting to change, is totally unwarranted. Each one of us has come through lot of changes. It is not the boy and girl but the whole family has to accept the change. Again I would like to point out, it is not a must. If people are comfortable in their present customs and practices itself, let them continue. People who feel that the present is no good, let them change. It is individual choice.

Indian constitution guarantees people to follow their faith, customs and practices. I wish people neednot preach others.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Dear Shri KRS:

Greetings!

[..] I know scores of folks who married outside of our faith.

So what?

I was struck by the claim that a marriage between an Iyer and an Iyengar was a bold move. I was just responding to that. The kinds of marriages you mention are the one's that are truly "bold" worthy. That was my point. Not that being bold was the motivating factor in those marriages

I know people in our community who would not dream of marrying outside of their subsect. It is indeed within their right to do so.

I wouldn't even dream of disputing this :)


Why do you think that such a practice is wrong?

When did I say this? This is just a straw man argument.


Again, one can not change the practices in the society by berating the people who just follow the prevailing customs.

Berating, really!! Just a few days ago there was a berating-fest against NB boys snatching all the B girls as though these girls are just objects. That was berating. All I am saying is a marriage between Iyer and Iyengar is not all that bold even 20 years ago, yet we are still taking about unity among just Brahmin subcastes. If this is berating, I am guilty as charged.

Cheers!
 
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S

Singleliner

Guest
There is something,for me to learn from NARA..

Some one may feel, that his points are pricking.. Even then, there is something which made me to admire his post..The way he puts forward things, and his perspective and approach towards the subject... Indeed amazing.

ie, his crispy,sharp shoot, stunning points.. Its like a pepper spray canister! Off late, I got a bit addicted to his posts..Some times, I do wait for his response!!

Good show..Keep it up.. 21 cheers Nara
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
He is a native of ThenThiruPerai a small village on the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur High Way. Maharanedunkuzaikadhar (Perumal) one among 108 Vaishnavite Dhiva Desam Temple.

Hello Shri. Sankara Narayanan:

Greetings!

Don't you think மகர நெடுங்குழைக் காதன் is a beautiful name. BTW, I happen to know the family of the Bhattar of this temple, a very nice and dedicated gentleman.

Of the 108 Dhivya Desams there are nine around this area collectively called நவதிருப்பதி. Most of the deities of these temples have beautiful Tamil names. Here is a sample:

பொலிந்து நின்ற பிரான் (ஆழ்வார் திருநகரி)
வைத்த மாநிதி (திருக்கோளூர்)
மாயக்கூத்தன் (திருக்குளந்தை)
செந்தாமரைக்கண்ணன், தேவப்பிரான் (இரட்டைத் திருப்பதி)
கள்ளப்பிரான் (திருவைகுந்தம்)
காய்சினிவேந்தன் (திருப்புளியங்குடி)
எம் இடர் கடிவான் (திருவரகுணமங்கை)

Anyway, Ramakrishnan is still an unusual name for an Iyengar, not that I doubt it. So is Ramanathan.

Cheers!
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Venkataramani Ji,

I totally agree with you, with one exception. My issue with Sri Nara is not that he should advocate change, but rather his seeming intolerance towards anything traditional.

He is not an outsider. He is very much an insider with 'revolution' in his mind. While I disagree with his approach, I will never take away his freedom to speak.

On the other hand, let us agree to disagree and not get offended by just ideas.

Regards,
KRS


Sri KRS ji,

Customs and practices are purely personal affair. Some body from outside suggesting to change, is totally unwarranted. Each one of us has come through lot of changes. It is not the boy and girl but the whole family has to accept the change. Again I would like to point out, it is not a must. If people are comfortable in their present customs and practices itself, let them continue. People who feel that the present is no good, let them change. It is individual choice.

Indian constitution guarantees people to follow their faith, customs and practices. I wish people neednot preach others.
 

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri Nara Ji,
You said:
Two decades later we are still talking about uniting vadama and vathima, Thenkalai and Vadakalai, what a shame!!!

From this I rightly or wrongly cocluded that you are against traditional inter sect marriages. If I am wrong, my apologies.

Regarding 'berating' my import was that you seem to hold the view that while big changes did start happening 20 years ago, today we are still talking about minuscle changes, and it is a shame! 'Berating' comes from the viewpoint of telling a community that they are not changing fast enough! Am I wrong?

Regards,
KRS
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Dear Sri Nara Ji,
You said:
Two decades later we are still talking about uniting vadama and vathima, Thenkalai and Vadakalai, what a shame!!!

From this I rightly or wrongly cocluded that you are against traditional inter sect marriages. If I am wrong, my apologies.

Dear Shri KRS, Greetings! No need to apologize, we all are friends here.

The context for that sentence is Shri. R.Venkataramani's post #9 of this thread, the relevant portion of which is as follows:

[..]Some people are not even willing to give up subcastes. Iyers are divided into Vadama, Vathima, Brahacharnam and Astasahasram. Iyengars are divided into Vadakalai and Thenkalai.

[..]

The first step is for the TB to give up sub castes.

Viewed in this context I am sure you will agree that I am not against traditional marriages. Is it not discouraging to see people subdivide themselves into minuscule and exclusive subsects with grandiose delusions of exceptionalism?

Regarding 'berating' my import was that you seem to hold the view that while big changes did start happening 20 years ago, today we are still talking about minuscle changes, and it is a shame! 'Berating' comes from the viewpoint of telling a community that they are not changing fast enough! Am I wrong?

No, you are not wrong. This is why I conceded that if my "impatience" is berating, then I am guilty as charged.

On a related note, I want to assure you that I am not intolerant of everything traditional, only about things that tend to promote supremacist views. Also, revolution is strictly in my mind only, as you have said; no force whatsoever.

Cheers!
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Good show..Keep it up.. 21 cheers Nara


Thank you for your appreciation. After the recent spat (which sounds quite juicy and the gossipy side of me wants to know more) I don't know whether this is good or bad -- just joking :) :) who does not want to hear praise.

Cheers!
 

RVR

Well-known member
Every individual or family has a right to choose their alliance partners. Who are we to teach them? Is it not interfering in their personal affairs?

Every system is developed over decades, centuries and even further. It is for the individual to assess the merits and demerits of the system. None of us has the right to preach them. If the people think the present system is ok, why should they change?

Dowry system was prevalent few decades back but now it is practically doesn't exist among TB community. I refused to accept dowry almost three decades back which was praised by several members of TB community. Now getting a suitable girl has become a big problem since girls are well educated, earning and are taking their own independent decisions. Boys are made to compromise when it comes to marriage. It is a welcome change which happened just in the past few decades.

None of the Rajaram Mohan Rai type reformers were involved in the above process. It is just women literacy and independent earnings capability has changed the whole thing.

Human Development is the first step for reforms. Gender inequality has almost disappeared within TB community now. Sub-caste divisions have started disappearing but still persists.

However dowry system still prevails among other communities. Those who preach reforms in TB community should go and preach dowry removal among other communities first.

Human development, gender equality and economic disparity removal are the first few steps of reform.
 
Dear Shri Venkataramani R

Very well said. However dowry is not openly solicited in many communities because of anti-dowry laws and domestic violence Act. Greedy people adopt very subtle and sometimes violent methods to get money or property. Venkat
 

RVR

Well-known member
Thanks for your encouraging response. Collapse of dowry system is a great thing in our community. I was inspired by Paramacharya who adviced people not to use his name in the wedding cards if they accept dowry. If at all any body has to be thanked, it is the Great Paramacharya only.

But we have to do some reforms in conducting marriages. Marriage expenses have become very high. Hall rent, catering, music programs etc all eating into our pockets in a very big way.

To start with, why don't we reduce the marriage affair from two days to one day which is prevalent in other communities. Probably we can have vratham etc at home, move to the marriage hall in the evening, have reception in the same evening, conduct marriage next day morning, move out of the hall by mid-noon. Hall rent will be reduced to half. Food expenses will come down drastically.

If you take my arguments further, keep marriage at home as a pure religious ceremony and have a reception in the evening probably in one of the hotels (No need for a five star hotel). No marriage hall, No big catering. I would like to implement it during both of my sons marriages. I may not have choice when it comes to my daughter's marriage.
 
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Nara

Nara

Well-known member
Dear Shri. Venkataramani:

Greetings!

Every individual or family has a right to choose their alliance partners. Who are we to teach them? Is it not interfering in their personal affairs?

[..]

None of us has the right to preach them. If the people think the present system is ok, why should they change?

What would you say to someone who says the following?

"Every individual or family has a right to give or take dowry. Advising them against dowry is interfering in their personal affairs. No one has the right to preach them, why should they change?"
The same could be said of ostentatious weddings, a personal thing. If your advocacy against dowry and expensive weddings is not preaching, why do you think my advocacy of things I don't like, is preaching?


Now getting a suitable girl has become a big problem since girls are well educated, earning and are taking their own independent decisions. Boys are made to compromise when it comes to marriage.

Could this be the reason for the decline in giving and taking of dowry, besides the laws against dowry getting increasingly enforced?

I would like to see the Brahmin community shed the pernicious Varna/Jati system on its own accord, without getting forced by economic or political changes from outside. I know this is just a pipe-dream. But this is my passion now, and therefore I am presenting my views here. As an erstwhile Brahmin I want to persuade the TB community. I hope similarly motivated individuals will persuade other communities as well.

Gender inequality has almost disappeared within TB community now.

We must have entirely different views on what gender equality means. Yes, women now go to colleges and take up employment in increasing numbers, and that is indeed progress. This is not unique to TB community. But, "almost disappeared" is really stretching it.

Gender inequality is encoded into the Brahmin meme so deeply that the enforcers are mainly other women. We as a community, both TB and TNB, have a long long way to go before we can even see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel with respect to gender issues.

However dowry system still prevails among other communities. Those who preach reforms in TB community should go and preach dowry removal among other communities first.

I think you will include me in the group that preaches reforms in TB community. So, I ask you, why should I preach dowry removal, that too among other communities first. I am really surprised by your statement that dowry removal from other communities should be of higher priority to me than preaching reform within TB. Is its not my personal right to choose what I want to preach without getting preached about what I should preach. (Just kidding Sir, you can say whatever to me, I will take it in the right spirit.)

"Preaching" is a pejorative term. It could easily inflame passions. I wish you will not use this term.

Cheers!

Couple of more comments:

Dowry:
Dowry is part of Sri Dhanam and on its own there is nothing wrong with it. The problem is making demands and ill-treating the bride on that account, not that ill-treating her on other accounts is alright.

Ostentatious wedding:
Once again, there is nothing inherently wrong with big weddings. Why is it wrong to mark the occasion with a grand celebration, if you can afford it? Besides the enjoyment of the celebration itself, it helps the economy too.

Systemic change such as the one I am advocating will make these issues irrelevant. Maintenance of the Varna system requires the continuation of arranged marriages. Once this curse is lifted, arranged-marriage will become optional. In this environment, dowry will loose its meaning.
 
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kunjuppu

Well-known member
......I would like to see the Brahmin community shed the pernicious Varna/Jati system on its own accord, without getting forced by economic or political changes from outside. I know this is just a pipe-dream. But this is my passion now, and therefore I am presenting my views here. ..

nara,

self too share your pipedream :)

re shedding pernicious varna/jathi, it is amazing how quickly it is shed in the west.

i can count with fingers, the number of TBs in the west married to the same.

whether the weddings are arranged through love or internet or otherwise, caste appears to be a cloak that has been conveniently cast out.

however, it is a different story with my kinfolks in india... :(
 

RVR

Well-known member
"Every individual or family has a right to give or take dowry. Advising them against dowry is interfering in their personal affairs. No one has the right to preach them, why should they change?"

Dowry is an offence under Indian Penal Code Section 304 B and Section 498A. In addition there is a separate legislation The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act'. I am preaching only the law of the land and nothing else.

All the best
 
S

Singleliner

Guest
It is for the individual to assess the merits and demerits of the system. None of us has the right to preach them. .

And in the previous post you said this way, "I am preaching only the law of the land and nothing else"..

Arent you contradicting yourself here?


I thought of quoting this also before, when you blamed Dravidian parties, for their low literacy(according to you) in Tamil Nadu, and went on referring, Kerala and the recent growth South Korea's literacy and Economy, without realising the hidden inspirational facts behind it.

Im sure learned members would get the message out of it
 

RVR

Well-known member
And in the previous post you said this way, "I am preaching only the law of the land and nothing else"..

Arent you contradicting yourself here?


I thought of quoting this also before, when you blamed Dravidian parties, for their low literacy(according to you) in Tamil Nadu, and went on referring, Kerala and the recent growth South Korea's literacy and Economy, without realising the hidden inspirational facts behind it.

Im sure learned members would get the message out of it

Everybody is suppose to abide by the law of the land. Reminding others is not offence. In fact it is a service.

At the same time, there is no law in the country that there must be Inter-caste or Inter-religion marriages. When there is no such law, why should I listen to anybody.

It is Government of India statistics which is ranking Tamilnadu not even in top 10 among different states in India. Please refer to the ranking of states by literacy.

Indian states ranking by literacy rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kerala is No.1 and Tamilnadu is No.11. If you are happy with No.11 ranking, please be happy. As a person who has stayed only in Tamilnadu throughout my past, I am not at all happy. I am still saying more than four decades of Dravidian rule has made Tamilnadu to such a low ranking.
 
S

Singleliner

Guest
I was specific towards your contradictory opinion on 'Preaching".. I mean sharing something good to others for a change, vis a vis, being otherwise. The previous post seems to be out of context. I feel so..
 

RVR

Well-known member
I was specific towards your contradictory opinion on 'Preaching".. I mean sharing something good to others for a change, vis a vis, being otherwise. The previous post seems to be out of context. I feel so..

Which is Good or which is Bad is individual opinion. Whatever is good for you, you follow. Whatever is Good for me, let me follow.

I am not preaching whatever is good for me. I am preaching whatever is the law of the land.

There is a vast difference between law of the land and individual opinion
 
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