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Will this be a solution to Caste Divide Indian Society ?

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Simplest answer is - NO AT ALL POSSIBLE. The world for the past 1000 yrs ran with a single concept of what we call "GROUPING" (means, like minded elements stick together). This sense of human beings is applicable to birds and animals also. Like mindedness in human beings keep changing - for example, within Kerala, if I find a person from Trivandrum, I get an instant connectivity and gets a feeling that he is my man. But if I am in Delhi, my connectivity more will be to a person from state of Kerala (compared to other states) - like wise. If I am unable to catch up with a set of people, I withdraw to a group with which I am comfortable with (or rather live with). Superiority and Inferiority is something here to live and one can keep on making politically correct statements... In China for example, they don't have caste system or religion (it is pure Rich versus Poor) - the Ujighur region follow Islam.. For non Ujighur chinese, mixing is not a problem but when a Ujighur marry into non Ujighur, there will be a full stop on religion... The issue will arise if Chinese also practice a religion. Forget about the Hindu society, even Islam and Christianity practice casteism at the highest level. Tamil Nadu is another classic example - MBC/ OBC/ Dalits cannot mix (they are all non brahmin/ non upper class).... The Chinese news item has no relevance in today's world- they are doing to disburse the muslim crowd !!!
I disagree. When was manusmriti relevant in day to day life or in the polity? Not for a very long time or when the islamic and english invasion happened. One cannot find a single instance in real life or literature, religious or secular, which substantiates the punishments 'quoted from mausmriti'. But there is enough reference to show that the islamic rulers and missionary christians saw brahmins as the stumbling block to be neutralized if the country's backbone is to be broken. Caste is a confusing perhaps derogatory term; kula and jati will remain as the basic structure of sanatana dharma; each jati has unique traditions, unique gods for worship and rituals. Dry vedanta may appeal to super intelligent or the egoists, but all those practicing folk will respect and value their kulam and jati. Dharampal's essays and books may help one to understand the popularity and universality of education in the early british rule days.

Jati discrimination, jati appeasement, jati reservation for education and jobs create heartburn and disturbance. Even in the recent kalvettu found in tirunelveli on the election of village panchayat, members were from all sections of community but with stringent qualifications on honesty. Only in case of brahmins, vedadhyaana was compulsory. Brahmins were in other vocations too.

There have been several upheavals in the past, which forced brahmins to migrate, hide their identity, change their sampradayams and customs. It is a different wind today - chasing money, position and comforts. Transformation, yes; but no extinction. There is enough interest, devotion and perseverance in preservation and furtherance.

Sri Brahmanyan, Sri Sarang

Thanks for raising the discussion in this thread to a more thoughtful level by sharing insightful comments (even you may have differing views in some areas).

I got side tracked and contributed to useless engagements which I have to remember to avoid in the future.

Here is an excerpt from the writings of Mr Rajiv Malhotra about Varna system from my notes. I think both of you may be able to resonate with the writing. In fact he has written a book on the myths of caste system and how it has hurt India


The varna system is a way of classifying aptitudes and core competences of groups. The Bhagavad Gita makes clear that varna is determined by one's personal karma and qualities, not by one's parents. A person's varna is thus merit-based and may change over time. The major varnas are brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra.

The varnas can be seen as specialized forms of capital: the brahmin has intellectual capital, the kshatriya has political capital, the vaishya has business capital, and the shudra has labor. In ancient times these distinctions prevented undue consolidation of power in any one institution. This was India's equivalent of the modern separation of church and state.

Varna had the added benefit of keeping religion and politics out of business. India's corruption can be seen as a violation of the varna principle that political groups should not accumulate wealth, which is the prerogative of the vaishya. Nor should religious groups accumulate wealth or political power, and industrial capital should not be used for political influence. In ancient India, these principles helped ward off theocracy.

In the Vedas, the four varnas are interdependent parts of the divine body in the form of the cosmos: all must be healthy. Brahmin varna represents divinity manifested as knowledge and wisdom. A Brahmin pursues disinterested learning and embodies purity, piety, and reverence for mind and spirit. Scientific research and other scholarship is an example of this varna. Those who claim to be brahmins by birth but violate the high standards expected of them are, in effect, fake brahmins.

Kshatriya varna represents the cosmic principle of power that sanctions, upholds and enforces social order. A kshatriya protects the weak, and must have courage, chivalry, strength, self-confidence, self-mastery, and nobility of character. Today's politicians, lawyers, public servants, civic leaders, and activists all occupy posts that ought to be guided by kshatriya-dharma. Too many have become corrupt, craving power and the aristocratic life.

Vaishya varna is the divine manifested as production, development, material enjoyment, and harmony for the benefit of society. A vaishya must embody high ethical values, mercantile good faith, and philanthropy. However, today’s variety tends to be dishonest and greedy, accumulating wealth without regard to sustainability or social impact.

Shudra varna is the divine manifested as service to others. Shudras must display obedience, attention to detail, and selfless dedication. They carry out with precision what the other three cosmic principles require. Nowadays, with nepotism and materialism turning varna into birth-based caste oppression, shudras are often impoverished and exploited.

Varna should not be confused with jati, which generally refers to a community that perpetuates itself through biological descendents. Over time, as jatis became specialized professionally, they were reified into the caste system.

The table below highlights the main characteristics that were expected of each varna.

•Abstract thinkers
•Opinion makers

•Protecto rs of others
•Powerful, in control
•O rators, debaters
•Resilience amidst danger

•Wealth managers

•Hand s-on, meticulous
•Creators of perfect forms
•Sophisticated sensory cognition (surgeons, potters, craftsmen, instrument makers, performers, artists)

As numerous foreign visitors testified in earlier times, India was a healthy multi-varna society which enjoyed a high standard of living. The British came as vaishyas and took over the thriving Indian Ocean trade, then studied India's textiles and steel industries and replaced them with its own factories. Next they acquired territories such as Madras and Bengal and became kshatriyas (rulers); this in turn gave them colossal opportunities to extort taxes. Between 1750 and 1850, vaishya capital and industry shifted from Indians to the British, impoverishing India's shudras and enriching Britain’s workers, who had, until then, a standard of living lower than that of Indians.

The final varna to be depleted was brahmin varna, which occurred as the British replaced India's traditional educational system with its own. The result was the degeneration of education into a kind of factory which produced brown-skinned babus to serve the empire.

Over the past 500 years, the West has grabbed and controlled the brahmin, kshatriya and vaishya forms of capital, relegating the rest of the world to the oppressed shudra class. However, things are once again shifting in the geopolitics of varnas, as India's industrialists gradually win back vaishya capital and place it in Indian hands. But unfortunately, since there is no appreciation of varna principles, the required social balance is not being restored. Vaishyas indulge in self-gratification and pomp, neglecting social responsibility. Brahmin capital is lacking, as India neglects to modernize its spiritual and scientific research, and there is altogether too much mimicry of the West (reflected in the importation of intellectual capital). Politicians, who ought to serve as models of kshatriya-varna, are mired in pettiness and corruption. Worst of all, the shudra (workers) are disempowered and exploited.

As we have seen, the varna model can be an aid in analyzing past problems, but it can also serve as a guide for achieving a balanced, multi-varna society today.
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