Sunday, April 29, 2007

rajeev in pioneer on caste

apr 29th, 2007

of course, the URL may not last for long.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/agenda1.asp?main_variable=sundaypioneer%2Fdialogue&file_name=dial2%2Etxt&counter_img=2


and the other side of the debate:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/agenda1.asp?main_variable=sundaypioneer%2Fdialogue&file_name=dial3%2Etxt&counter_img=3

3 comments:

Anoop's Blog said...

It is so funny that when I applied to a college way back in early 90's, I didn't want to mention my caste, the clerk would not accept my application because, caste field was not filled. It didn't matter, I didn't belong to any reserved categories, but still had to fill religion, caste, sub caste etc.

On a side note, it would be fun to see how this will shape up in a few years with so many inter-caste and inter-religion marriages taking place, either for good or for bad, knowing our policy makers, it is fun to see how they will determine the caste of the off-springs..Common sense says, it has to be mother's religion/nationality. But ours being patriarchal society does, our father's attributes carry over?

I can totally see a major upheaval down the road, when the mixed couple's kids start going to school and would like to use the reservation based on their lineage.

I can't wait for it!!

Ghost Writer said...

Rajeev,
You have indeed pointed out to some facts; specially the 'birth' or 'race' connotation of the jati-varna system provided by European 'Orientalists'. Here is a pointer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste#Etymology_of_the_English_word_caste
In addition to the clarification you have made - there is another important function this institution fulfilled.
Semitic faiths easily divided man in the "us vs. them" categories which led to a tremendous fellow feeling (and then fanaticism)- these became 'social religions' in the sense they fostered (or sought to) this fellow feeling among believers.
The Indian ancients went on another path. Our 'religions' invited people not to form 'us vs. them' categories; they invited contemplation. They asked man to seek and realize - self-realize the truth. They were - philosophically not inclined to team-building.
Simplistically - one can say that the Indian traditions were like singles tennis (or golf) and the Semitic ones were like football or soccer.
However, man also needs a system of social needs and obligations. This was provided by caste. By keeping this caste system fluid - whole castes moved up and down, the ancients formulated a better system than rigid class or the perennial duality of believer vs. unbeliever; Indian social organization ensured that this fellow-feeling did not descend to fanaticism (which by casteism it has alas)

rightwinger said...

Simplistically - one can say that the Indian traditions were like singles tennis (or golf) and the Semitic ones were like football or soccer.

You hit the NAIL on the HEAD!!
Brilliant!!