varna and jati

Stephens jpstephen at HOME.COM
Fri May 28 00:58:52 UTC 1999

In my practical experience, although we Indians are such a mixed population,
we are a very discriminatory and communal people. I would certainly not put
this tendency just on the doorsteps of the Brahmins, if at all the Brahmins
sinned, it is the sin of being as communal as every other Indian.

India is made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of communities (castes).
Inter-marriage among the different castes is prohibited other than in
certain scheduled castes. If Brahmins were considered "upper caste" in the
true sense, then why doesn't a non-brahmin family appreciate it when a
member of their community marries a Brahmin. It should be thought of as a
step up the ladder :-)

Each of the hundreds of castes in India has different customs, cuisines,
etc. I wouldn't be surprised if  our segmenting ourselves into different
castes originally just started out as small family units setting themselves

Sujatha (perplexed by all the casteism in India)

----- Original Message -----
From: Vishal Agarwal <vishalagarwal at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: 27 May, 1999 6:33 PM
Subject: Re: varna and jati

> For an appraisal of the Anti-Brahmin rhetoric, please read the relevant
> article at
> Suffice it to say that even the Mandal Commission report classifies
> subcastes under OBC's. For instance, Iyers are OBC's in AP, the Goswamis
> Delhi and so on. This shows that the notion of Brahmins being exploitative
> is not tenable.
> Besides, very few people know that not all so called 'Kashmirian Brahmins'
> are Brahmins or Pundits. When the very existence of Hindus in Kashmir
> imperilled during the reign of a Muslim emperor, the caste system was
> dissolved and all were elevated to the Brahmin status. Refer: "Converted
> Kashmir: A Memorial of mistakes" by Saigal. The honorary title 'Pundit'
> accorded to all Kashmiri Hindus by a Firman of a late Mughal Emperor.
> The truth is that Brahmins were at the forefront in the defence of the
> society and are said to have offered a stout resistance even to the forces
> of Alexander. The worst expolters of Sudras have actually been people of
> intermediate castes ( Including perhaps mine)
> Regards
> Vishal

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