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Old October 31st, 2017, 10:30 AM   #21
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The Indian caste were far more rigid and fixed.
The other examples is economic stratification which we even have right now in UK. The rich live at another level compared to the poor in some council estate in inner city. However there is no legal or religious sanction 'locking' in people into those economic strata. You can rise or drop.

However the caste in India is entirely differant. It is indeed locking you or your "blood" into a strata from which you can't escape. Hindu religious law in the form of Manu Smriti codifies and effectively legislates your entrapment. The is below sums it up nicely I thought.

"The Hindu social order was based on the Four Verna system i.e. Chaturvarna Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. These varnas are designed as the different floors of the building without a stair case. This is the ladder of inequality. There is no parallel in world of such a discriminatory and cruel system of human subjugation as the Indian caste system. The caste system has the sanction of all Hindu scriptures."



While the Indian state has passed laws but something that is driven from Hindu scripture and has been practiced for millenias will take lot of time and effort to erase although to credit India she has made efforts to change what is wholly reprehensible culture. Progress has been made but vast numbers of humanity numbering in 100s of millions are still trapped in this evil system of what in fact is like Chacha Ji said Indian version of Apartheid.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 10:55 AM   #22
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I am writing from a south indian perspective

[i] Which occupations formed part of Dalits (Outcastes) and which of OBC (Shudras) at various points of history?

Dalits: leather making, barbers, cleaning of toilets

OBC: military, agriculture, office work, manufacturing

[ii] What were / are the different types of discrimination / disadvantage they faced - economic and social?

Dalits: separate facilities within village, temple entry prohibition, compulsory obeisance to OBC and brahmins, denial of education. It was basically slavery

OBC: Not anything i can think of. Mainly a culture of mediocrity developed because of the caste system. The OBC were contend to stay above dalits in the heirarchy. They did not challenge the supremacy of the brahmins.

[iii] Going forward, what are the possibilities of caste being "annihilated"?

In india increasing urbanisation will be the driving force in the dismantling of the caste system. English education, reservations and globalisation are speeding up the process.
When the per capita income of India equals that of the western world, I believe the caste system will be annihilated
You can not compare South Indian caste system with North Indian caste sytem because South India never followed the caste rules which were mentioned in Brahmin texts. The South Indian caste system was much more similar to a class system which existed in other parts of the world like Europe. The Bhakti movement, which originated in southern India, is one of the reasons why the caste system was transformed into a class system. There is a reason why many Dynasties in southern India were governed by officials who originally were part of the lower classes like the Kakatiya, Vijayanagar and Maratha Dynasties.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 10:57 AM   #23

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And you know perfectly well that the discussion of genetics is not permitted on Historum.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 11:03 AM   #24
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You can not compare South Indian caste system with North Indian caste sytem because South India never followed the caste rules which were mentioned in Brahmin texts. The South Indian caste system was much more similar to a class system which existed in other parts of the world like Europe. The Bhakti movement, which originated in southern India, is one of the reasons why the caste system was transformed into a class system. There is a reason why many Dynasties in southern India were governed by officials who originally were part of the lower classes like the Kakatiya, Vijayanagar and Maratha Dynasties.
Having lived in south india throughout my life i have little knowledge of the north indian caste system. Was the condition of shudras in north india similar to that of dalits in south india? Were shudras in north india allowed to enter temples? What was the difference in occupation between the shudras and dalits of north india? I would be grateful if you could answer these questions.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 11:08 AM   #25
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Not really the same as Indian caste. If you are referring to the Greek nobility, commoners, and slaves, they are not the wame thing as caste. While you could be born into these classes, you could move from class to class - a commoner could become a slave, and a slave could obtain his freedom. A commoner could through success, might have his children rise to the nobility

The Indian caste were far more rigid and fixed.
No there were regions in India where the caste system was a class system. And in Europe there certainly existed a kind of caste system. European family names are an indication of their origin and their place in the European caste or class system in the past. For example there was never a British king called Smith because they were never able to become part of the nobility as they were part of the lower class. On the other hand Mahadji Shinde was officially part of the lower Shudra caste yet he was still able to rise in the Maratha Empire and become a general and later even King and went on to defeat the Mughals and the British.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 06:58 PM   #26

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Oppressors have lived in all ages in all regions, but it does not mean that people of lower castes were always oppressed. Mostly, they lived their own life pursuing their hereditary occupations. If there were no shoe-makers, kings would have gone bare-foot. If there were no barbers, the brahmins would have had no tonsured heads. Each caste was important in its own way. The barber who took care of my hair in childhood was a fairly prosperous person (worked with my grandpa in the service of Jodhpur state). He had a well dug for public use and established a 'dharamsala' (a free boarding house for pilgrims) - Kan ji, i.e., Kanhaiyya Lal. Lovely people.

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Old October 31st, 2017, 07:13 PM   #27

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Having lived in south India throughout my life i have little knowledge of the north Indian caste system. Was the condition of shudras in north India similar to that of dalits in south India?
No. I am from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. We lived in a predominantly brahmin locality but people of other castes also had their houses there. Many of them were given employment by my grandpa in his department of Museum and Archaeology. Any kind of atrocity with those who did odd jobs for our family was simply unthinkable, and so even when talking to them without giving them respect due for their age. Yes, a few rule were observed. No one of the lower caste entered the dining area when my grandfather was having his meal. I am talking of 1950s before the new age arrived.

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Old October 31st, 2017, 08:19 PM   #28
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No there were regions in India where the caste system was a class system. And in Europe there certainly existed a kind of caste system. European family names are an indication of their origin and their place in the European caste or class system in the past. For example there was never a British king called Smith because they were never able to become part of the nobility as they were part of the lower class. On the other hand Mahadji Shinde was officially part of the lower Shudra caste yet he was still able to rise in the Maratha Empire and become a general and later even King and went on to defeat the Mughals and the British.
A person born a commoner could become a noble - it was rare, but it coule ane eid happend. Shinde mignt become ,king, but did he orficially change the caste he was born to, even when he became king. What Dakit ever became king?

A Dalit remains a Dalit no matter how economically successful he was, In England, a man of low birth could ensure his son could join the upper class by sending a his son to tne right school, and his son could marry the daughter or the aristrocacy, while it is extremely unlikely for the Dalit to marry a Brahmin.

And Napoleon worked his way ip from common soldier, to empeor of France, and his sibling became kings of various European countries. Unlike Shinde, , the descendents or one of Napoleon generals (who was from common stock), who was made king of Sweden, still sit on the Swedish throne.; Nor was a king considered the highest caste, ranking lower than a priest, if what I read is correct.

Also, a king or ruler in India was not the highest caste. Shinde, for all his success, still could not be
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Old October 31st, 2017, 09:25 PM   #29

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A person born a commoner could become a noble - it was rare, but it coule ane eid happend. Shinde mignt become ,king, but did he orficially change the caste he was born to, even when he became king. What Dakit ever became king?

A Dalit remains a Dalit no matter how economically successful he was, In England, a man of low birth could ensure his son could join the upper class by sending a his son to tne right school, and his son could marry the daughter or the aristrocacy, while it is extremely unlikely for the Dalit to marry a Brahmin.

And Napoleon worked his way ip from common soldier, to empeor of France, and his sibling became kings of various European countries. Unlike Shinde, , the descendents or one of Napoleon generals (who was from common stock), who was made king of Sweden, still sit on the Swedish throne.; Nor was a king considered the highest caste, ranking lower than a priest, if what I read is correct.

Also, a king or ruler in India was not the highest caste. Shinde, for all his success, still could not be
Actually that is not true. People did change caste based on political power and economic power they could muster. There was always a chance of being down the caste ladder (Like Kayasth were Brahmins in Kashmir but fell to position of Shudras later on). Nairs on the other hand were Dalits who became kshatriyas.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 09:35 PM   #30

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Also, a king or ruler in India was not the highest caste. Shinde, for all his success, still could not be.
Many of the South Indian dynasties had local, village, forest origins. Later people claimed kshatriya or brahmin lineages for them. They had to thank brahmins for that. In North we had Jat Rulers. The Scindias were probably herder, though I do not know for sure. Perhaps a Maharashtrian could enlighten us.
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