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Old September 12th, 2017, 04:58 AM   #51

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1.In this article, we shall evaluate the reality of caste system in Vedas and actual meaning of Shudra.
As discussed in the first article “Vedas and Shudra”, there is absolutely no element of hatred or discrimination in Vedas regarding any person – be he or she a Brahmin, Vaishya, Kshatriya or Shudra.


2.

The concept of caste is relatively new. Vedas contain no word that can be considered a synonym for ‘caste’. The two words commonly considered to mean ‘caste’ are Jaati and Varna. However the truth is that, all the three mean completely different things.


There is no caste-system in Vedas


Religion is open to interpretation, like with Muslims and Christians, Hindus are diverse in thinking. Catholicism and many other religions do not have a caste system and what great religion would allow for such discrimination? The author above explains how caste is misunderstood as being a part of Hinduism. Many would ask about Gandhi and the many Hindus of history whom did not believe in dominating other people based on their "caste", but whom worked for the greater good of all people.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 04:59 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by rvsakhadeo View Post
Brahmins were not heftier or stronger. They were actually shorter and frailer than most other Indians. But they could live with discipline and were fond of rules and thus well suited to the military life. They were also very good learners and steadfast in their duties. So there were many Brahmins in the pre-1857 army of the East India Company. Take the prime example of Mangal Pandey, the Brahmin soldier of that army who rebelled first in the 1857 war of Independence ( invariably called the Sepoy Mutiny by the British ). After the rebellion was crushed, it was as a matter of policy that Brahmins who were nationalistic Indians, were not to be employed in the Indian Army or even the Indian Police.
i respectfully disagree with you sir.

while Brahmins are not considered supreme warriors like our kshatriya rajput brothers we are still great in battlefield compared to other Indian Races. as Chinese Travelers mentioned that a great deal of Brahmins were employed by Ancient Indian Kings as warriors.

even today this small Indian community of 2.5% is contributing 15% to the Indian Army. mostly from Mohyal, Tyagi, Rajpurohit and bhumihar stock as they have long history of following Kshatriya Dharma despite being born as Brahmins.

maybe our Friend @bullit know more about this than i can.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 05:14 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Bullit View Post
Okay guy's how many Brahmins are there in India and are they conspicious in their phenotype from average Indians?
pranam,

brahmins are 2.5% as of 2017 and Shrinking. main reason for our decline is lack of numbers. while previous generation of Brahmins on average used to have 3 or 4 kids current generation on average only produce one or two children. Population of India is Still growing but population of Brahmins is declining as of today. i believe main reason is adopting Modernizing and Westernization by early Generation.

on your second question it's hard to tell the difference between Brahmins and non Brahmins since we are also very diverse Group of people. but on average Brahmins are purest Caucasoid Group in India.

a Brahmin can be of Brown as Average Indian and light as Nordic. generally Brahmins in North India including UP have light or pale skin and high percentage of Light eyes. i called them tanned Brits whenever i talk about them. while Brahmins out side these regions can look dark or Brown but they still are pure Caucasoid s. tall yet skinny, light skinned, generally light to light brown eyes, thin to small lips and small Nordic nose are charactistics of your average Brahmin.

i have seen plenty of Brahmins from all over North India due to my Work and Age and i must have to admit Brahmins are pure Caucasian People in India. as Anglo-Saxons say, "Stereotypes Exist for a Reason".

you can compare Brahmins with Jews, Baloch or Pashtuns who live in Afghanistan and pakistan. these are ethono-religious communities with their own religion(hinduism), Culture, Language(sanskrit) and racial characteristics.


hope this helps.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 05:15 AM   #54
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Not really Mr.Bullit. I am from the Deshashta Brahmin community. Many of my relatives are pretty dark. But as Sakhdeo sir pointed out the Chitpavan Brahmins look foreign to my eyes. In all Brahmins range from super dark to super white in the Pancha Dravida sphere.
I believe that is the same in north india as well.
as Aup sir said Cocktails, all different yet too similar.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 05:33 AM   #55
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Varna classifaction was initially based on skin colour according to me. Who were at the receiving end of the varna system is anybodys guess. Probably we may never know, maybe austroasiatic or maybe some extinct language group. But as the Aryans moved into india, they encountered the dravidians. The dravidians were the proprietors of the Jati system. They were the inhabitants of the western coast of India. The Dravidians were technologically advanced almost on par with the aryans. The mixing of the varna and the jati created the present caste system. I have to be honest. The caste system was the most inhuman creation. Thanks to god we have made great strides in the last 30 years to achieve an egalitarian society.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 05:39 AM   #56

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Originally Posted by JoanOfArc007 View Post
The two words commonly considered to mean ‘caste’ are Jaati and Varna. However the truth is that, all the three mean completely different things.
The Aryans had a four-fold division of the society, 'varnas'. The indigenous has thousands of 'jatis'. Now fit the various 'jatis' in suitable 'varnas'. That is what the Indian system is. I am born in a brahmin family, my varna is 'brahmin', my 'jati' is 'kashmiri, and as people say Saraswata'.

"Cātur-varṇyaḿ mayā sṛṣṭaḿ, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ;
tasya kartāram api māḿ, viddhy akartāram avyayam."
BG 4.13
That is a different thing. Lord Krishna gives no importance to the family of birth.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 04:41 PM   #57
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Varna classifaction was initially based on skin colour according to me. Who were at the receiving end of the varna system is anybodys guess. Probably we may never know, maybe austroasiatic or maybe some extinct language group. But as the Aryans moved into india, they encountered the dravidians. The dravidians were the proprietors of the Jati system. They were the inhabitants of the western coast of India. The Dravidians were technologically advanced almost on par with the aryans. The mixing of the varna and the jati created the present caste system. I have to be honest. The caste system was the most inhuman creation. Thanks to god we have made great strides in the last 30 years to achieve an egalitarian society.
Varna system had no relation with color. Dravidas were not the originators of Jati. The word Jati is a Sanskrit word, no?
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Old September 12th, 2017, 09:45 PM   #58
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Classification based on skin color existed all over the world whenever a white skinned invader enslaved a dark skinned local. Examples are latin america and africa. Why should India be any different? If all indians were of the same skin color there will not be discrimination and reservations. no? Or even scheduled caste/tribes prevention of atrocities act. no? skin color is the root of hate and discrimination. Mr. Atreya, Language is nothing. BJP is bharatiya janata party. Since the word party is there, are all BJP members anglo saxons? no? Maybe after 2000 years the likes of you might claim modiji as liverpudlian or something?
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Old September 12th, 2017, 11:36 PM   #59

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IMHO, there must have been fair-skinned indigenous people in North India even before the advent of Aryans or they were all drk-skinned?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 08:16 AM   #60
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Thank you. I was going to write this, but I noticed you've mentioned it already.
You are correct about this. People forget that there was significant reorganization in the Bengal Army following 1857. The Punjabi dominance started before it, but was solidified afterwards since the regions which saw the strongest revolts were subsequently purged from Recruitment. This was also why the British created the myth of a compliant Punjab during the Revolt, both to undermine its character and also to suggest that the Punjabis were "loyal" during the revolt. As K.C Yadav (see his essay in Rethinking 1857 by Sabyasachi Bhattacharya) has recently shown, this is far from true. Except for the narrow Princely State territories gained by the British through treaty in the early 19th century, the Punjab territories gave no soldiers to the British and infact saw many revolts in the camps. Because Punjab was significantly more militarized with a ratio of 100 civilians to a soldier as opposed to a couple of thousand civilians to soldiers in other parts of the Bengal Army controlled regions, the revolts were easier to put down.
Nonetheless Punjab was far from compliant.

Post 1857, there isn't as much clarity about religious composition. Recruitment was pretty strict though. Infact even customs played a role in who was recruited. In the case of Sikhs for instance, if a certain community did not perform certain rituals, they weren't considered Sikh by the British, and thus their members weren't recruited.
At its most basic, the recruitment policies were about power, since communities from which the Bengal Army recruited gained community power, even though service conditions remained quite poor after 1857, though not as bad as they were before. Still, it created a level of access for communities on par for what the other upper caste communities gained by becoming lower order civil servants. It kept them loyal as well, since it was through cleaving to the British and denying other communities access that their power was retained. Atleast that's how the British conceptualized it. To some extent they were correct, but they couldn't properly account for popular sentiments and feelings which eventually coalesced into the National Movement. Kept them pretty stable for quite a few decades though.

I'm not as certain about the Religious component though. Yes some communities of Punjabi muslims were favoured, but equally other communities such as the Kashmiri Dogras, the Gurkhas, the Sikhs and a few other Rajput communities remained important. It was only the Biharis and Bundelkhand region troops (ie Awadhi and Gwalior area troops) that were purged. Whether one community formed the backbone or not would ideally require a careful regimental analysis of the Bengal Army. Care should be taken when evaluating sources such as British reports on characterization because we know that playing up community feelings was practiced by British administrators at various points in time. Thus we need to pair expressions by officials with recruitment data. I know there's material out there, but I don't remember it off-hand. Generally you should check Rethinking 1857 and Mutiny at the Margins (Multi Volume set edited by Crispin Bates. I forget which volume deals with the military - I'm sure you can google it)

We should recall though, that while the Bengal Army (and later that command in the unified British Army in India) was the premier unit of British military force, there were two other Armies in India, which served important garrison duties - the Madras and Bombay armies. They too had composition issues, which changed. Notably for instance the Mahars (Ambedkar's community) was purged from its recruitment as they were declared lower caste and thus non-martial sometime in the 19th century. This prompted petitions from the community - it initially sought to cite its glorious military service, notably in the Maratha Wars. They highlighted the victory memorials erected over it, and some of these have infact remain important commemorative sites to the community even today. Later they changed tack (as the martial races theory became systematized and entrenched) by arguing that they were infact a martial race, claiming that they were of Kshatroya origins and only became lower caste when some primordial ancestor ate beef. Its a fascinating history, really, and has been looked at in the context of power relations, petitions and the like. I'll try and hunt up the source for this if you'd like (We cover a lot of this in our mid century and Mutiny coursework at DU).



This is correct. The whole Migration stuff came long after. British recruitment policy was driven by physiological ideas and local practices. Thus for instance they sought to recruit the Indian equivalent of "Highlanders", hence preferring troops from hilly and mountainous regions if they could get them. Its worth noting that the Bengal Army never really recruited from Bengal . I would recommend Seema Alavi's The Sepoys and the Company, which engages specifically with your questions of recruitment. You should also look at Dirk Kolff's Naukar, Rajput, and Sepoy if you get a chance, though it deals with slightly different issues.

Long story short is that the British preferred Brahmins and Rajputs for the simple reason that they reasoned that being upper castes they must be the "leaders" of the communities. There was also the attendant logic that upper-class landowing and landholding communities would have higher average fitness. For the second the logic actually holds up if you think about it. Wealthy Upper Caste communities would arguably have had better nutrition, healthcare, etc. They'd have higher average fitness. Racial considerations were also tied into this, sometimes some ideas were driven by just plain randomness. You should read about Robert Orme.

Still, its my understanding that in the broad recruitment pattern, Kshatriya communities dominated over Brahmin. There is ofcourse some contestation over these communities. The Bhumiars for example were a major component in British armies. Since they were also landholders, and as a consequence of British support, they began to claim higher varna status. Alavi discusses this in the context of Varanasi/Benares specifically where they acquired political power in the 18th and 19th century. It is there that they began claiming Brahmin status as I understand it, though a more formal movement emerged in the late 19th early 20th century. Alavi's discussion on this is and Varanasi politics in the context of regional state formation and communities power structures is quite fascinating. Post 1857, so far as I recall, the Bhumiars were not recruited, though i could be wrong.



That's mostly fair, but the image is perhaps a little more complex than that. Though many in the post 1757 EIC were traders, many weren't (the latter a growing number from 1757-1833). The Covenanted servants of the Company for instance, especially the lot trained in the 19th century first at Fort William College and later at the EIC college at Haileybury were trained as administrators and governors (though you could debate whether they were really "trained"). The EIC did pay attention to governance, if for no other reason as to maximize their earnings from land revenue. Remember in 1813 their monopoly over India trade was ended. In 1833, even the China trade monopoly was closed. The EIC had begun transitioning from being a mercantile company to an administrative entity from 1757 itself. From the 19th century it was more administrative than anything. Private traders operated under its aegis, its own company men could engage in private trade and the company operated certain trade commodities directly (notably Opium) but it had a growing admin component as well. It was fully transformed by 1833, following which it really stopped being a trading company at all. Trade was now completely private, except for a few administrative monopolies it owned. If you're interested, consider looking up H.V Bowen's Business of Empire. You could also look at Dirk's Scandal of Empire and perhaps Nick Robins' The Corporation that Changed the World. That last one is less academic and more popular, but hey its a different perspective. I personally think its a bit too generalized, and definitely too full of platitudes and unsupported vacuous claims, but others could disagree and if I only provided books I exclusively agreed with, I'd be a piss poor academic.

brilliant post, thank you
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