varna and jati

Kamal R. Adhikary kradhikary at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed May 26 13:50:43 UTC 1999

This discussion started with 'Varna', so we got many responses as to
whether it  literally means skin color or it has little to do with it.  I
would appreciate if some of you could give your opinion on how and when the
untouchable category came into existence.  Were there untouchables since
the inception of the Varna scheme?

>A notable example of Sudras being helped by Brahmins is that of the present
>Indian President. His Brahmin teacher defied the prevelant norms in those
>days to educate him with his personal funds.
>----Original Message Follows----
>From: Stephens <jpstephen at HOME.COM>
>Subject: Re: varna and jati
>Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 17:53:49 -0400
>After this training they officiated as priests known as "Kamma
> > Brahmalu" (Kamma Brahmins) at the births, marriages and deaths of those
> > kamma families which chose to use their services - not all kamma families
> > made this choice. <<
>This reminds me of a maestri who used to work for Bayer in Salem, Tamilnadu
>many years ago. I believe he belonged to the so called "scheduled caste" and
>was in charge of bringing labourers from his village to the warehouse. He
>was called gounder by his fellow villagers, but he did not belong to the
>actual "gounder" community of coimbatore/salem area. He used to officiate in
>his village temple and ceremonies, he was also called poojari by his peers.
>I know this because his job also included taking me to school everyday and
>we used to chat enroute.
>I had earlier posted a question asking for the earliest reference of
>Caucasians as "whites" in English/European literature. The reason for that
>question was if this is a recent development  of say 1000 years or so, then
>arriving at the conclusion that the Vedas attributed "white" to the Aryans
>would seem far fetched. In fact, the day I realised that the Caucasians were
>called "white", I was stupefied because I couldn't relate the colour white
>to the skin colour of Caucasians, it was more like pink or some other
>Sujatha :)
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