Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Caste System


The caste system is based on what was originally known as Varna System...

It is the system in Indian Society which divides the society in 4 parts...

1) Brahmins- The intellectuals of the society.. Those who use their brains for the society... All students, Teachers, priests, doctors, lawyers, scientists poets, writers etc. were and are supposed to be called as Brahmins..

2) Kshatriyas- The class of people which use their physical strength for the social purposes.. The Army personnel, Para-military forces, Police, Players, etc were and are supposed to be kshatriya OR the Warrior class...

3) Vaishyas- They are the businessmen... Those who use their brains for their own upheaval first and ten for society.. All the people who are the owners of some sort of business of their own were and are supposed to be called Vaishyas...

4) Shudras- The worker class. Those who server any of the above three are called shudras... All the people who are in government service, or who serve someone, or some institution to earn their lively hood, thus using their physical strength for their own upheaval first and then for the society were and are supposed to be called Shudras...

This is the basic classification of Indian Society since thousands of years...

It was initially done by a King named Manu...after glaciation..

Now, initially, the attribution of Varna to an Individual was strictly based on profession of an Individual... That is a person could choose the Varna by choosing the profession.. And if he changes the profession, he could change the Varna...

But as time progressed, gradually, the merit OR Profession based classification of masses transformed itself into classification by birth...

That is , the Son of an Brahmin was initially given his own Individual varna on the basis of profession he choose.. But later it became on the basis of birth. If father of a individual is Brahmin, the son automatically becomes Brahmin...

Similar to other varnas..

This was the origin of Caste system..

In further course of time, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas became the predominant people in the society... Brahmins OR the Intellectuals, as it is natural, got the topmost respect.. This happens everywhere... Intellectuals are most highly paid and highly respected individuals.. Similarly Kshatriyas Or the warrior class became second most highly respected class.. Vaishyas OR businessmen came third..

It must be however noted that Although Brahmins received highest respect, their population is merely 3%-5 % of total Indian population.. This 5% people controlled rest 95 % only by the means of knowledge.. But never by means of power... Brahmins never had complete political power rested in their hand in history of India except twice...so out of thousands of years of Indian History, only 150 years were such when Brahmins had ultimate political power...

Rest of the time, it was Warriors...

Further moving in the course of time.. The Shudra community further divided.. Here comes the rise of the actual oppressed class, dalits.. Few shudras who belonged to lowest part of social strata were oppressed by all of them above..

I repeat ALL OF THEM.. That means even few of their fellow shudras who were NOT DALITS oppressed them.. Vaishyas oppressed them. Kshatriyas oppressed them. Of course, Brahmins oppressed them...

After 1947, when India gained her independence, special reservations were given for these classes of society known as Dalits... Slowly the social standard of their living in raising.. Although it is difficult to eradicate the system with more than 5000 years of history in mere 60 years, It is now paying off.. The dalits in urban areas at least are now completely free and equal to Brahmins with no discriminations. Even rural parts in western and southern India are having dalits with respectable positions in society.. However certain provinces in North are still a major problem...

But I am sure it will be complete eradicated within next century...

3 comments:

PP said...

I don't agree that Shudras were oppressed by the other three Varnas. If at all they were oppressed, do you think Hindu India would have seen such fabulous wealth? Another point that is mostly not emphasized on the caste system is that, the goal for each of the Varnas/jathis is only one. One goal - one Varna. That correlation has to be brought upon in today's Hindus.

PP said...

And no need to be apologetic about birth based system. In fact its the only one that makes complete sense.What better way to learn than from one's own family? This is the better way to retain intellectual property across centuries, which is why Hindus' way of life survived for so long.What kind of intellectual property will the progeny of IT generation inherit from their parents?

B Nari said...

/* Intellectuals are most highly paid and highly respected individuals..*/

That's where the hindu varna/jAthi system differs from ALL other societies. and the genius of our ancestors lies.

Even though the Brahmins were highly respected, they NEVER were the highly paid. Their income was the voluntary contributions paid by the other varnas/jAthis. They were the most poor, monetarily, of ALL the varnas/jAthis. They were never allowed to SELL their knowledge. Unless this distinction is brought out, any description of varna/jAthi setup will remain incomplete.

Without