Racial Origin of Caste (Re: varna and jati)

Vishal Agarwal vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun May 23 20:20:19 UTC 1999

----Original Message Follows----
From: Paul Kekai Manansala <kekai at JPS.NET>
Subject: Re: Racial Origin of Caste (Re: varna and jati)
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 20:51:41 -0700

Mr. Mananasala wrote
For example, Sikhs,
in general, are much taller and have somewhat different features than
Tamils.  There's a lot of overlap, though, I admit. None of this supports
any 'invasion' theories, but I think that some try
too hard to deny any outside 'racial' influence on the Indian

Vishal Writes:
I agree that it is shear bigorty to say that there is something called a
'pure Indian race' because over the past millenia, several races have
entered India and have settled down. In a similar manner, millions of
Indians have been uprooted from their homelands and have migrated elsewhere
(like the Gypsies or the several 100000 Hindus enslaved by the Turks,
Mongols, Muslims etc. and taken to Arab countries, Central Asia and Persia
One thing that perplexes me however is the tendency to regard 'Sikhs' as a
separate entity while considering the racial diversity in India. Really
speaking, Sikhs are Punjabis. In fact, more than 1/2 of Punjabis are
Muslims, more than a quarter are Hindus (including many of my anscestors)
and approximately 1/7 are Sikhs. Infact, as a Hindu whos 3/4 anscestors are
from the Punjab, Jammu etc. and whose wife is a 100% Punjabi, let me inform
you that there is no sharp boundary between Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs. For
instance, my spouse reads the Sikh text  'Dukh Bhanjani' everday (and has
never read any other Hindu scripture) and we frequent the Gurudwaras. At
present, she is keeping a Sikh observance called the 'Chaliya'. We know
several recent Hindu refugees from Afghanistan who called themselves Hindus
but are spiritually Sikhs (this can be explained from the fact that they
escaped the British instigated divide between Sikhs and the rest of the
Hindu community). Two of my great grandmothers were Sikhnis (and retained
the name 'Kaur' after wedding into our family) and one of them had blue
eyes. Which is why, I and at leaset one of my cousins (I remember that
shince I was grown up when she was born) also had blue eyes when we were
born, but the color darkened within a year and now we have the regular black
eyes and hair. Witihin the same family, it is not uncommon in North India to
find people who are extrmely fair, to people who are very dark. My father's
family is a glaring example to me. One of his brothers passes easily as a
white while 2 others are very dark. The same goes for his sisters as well!
And although I am a Northerner, I have had several South Indian habits since
I was a toddler (like the typical south Indian way of Nodding the head to
say 'Yes', excessive love for South India cuisine--just a while back I made
Idlis, and I have even memorised a Manipravala song to memory). My Tamil
friends said that they would find a Tamil bride for me till I bumped into my
wife last year! So we should be careful before casting Indians into racial
categories! It hurts our sensibilities.



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