Caste System in India - History & Annihilation

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,207
New Delhi, India
I do not have access to critical edition of Mahabharat and the one available to me (and most of us perhaps) is Krishna Mohan Ganguli's translation at: sacredtexts.com. On this edition I base my view. Translation by MN Dutt is also available for free download. Amongst the two, I like Ganguli's translation.
Did I tell members here that I have a copy of Srimad Bhagawtham (Hindi) which was published before my birth, i.e., in 1940? It is a prized possession along with an old copy of Sri Rama Charit Manas, both from Gita Press, Gorakhpur. I have a Gita also from the same source, but it is in our Puja niche and controlled by my wife. I use Vedabase Gita and generally arrive at a meaning different from that of Prabhupada.These books have designed my life. I read Srimad Bhagawat in my childhood, marvelled at the images (done by an artist named 'Bhagwan'). When required, I can still consult it, but now I look at bigger things and not at the nitty-gritty. :D
 
Likes: Kamayani
Oct 2015
994
India
Here are the views of Swami Jaggi Vasudevan on caste system in India:

(i). In ancient / medieval society, caste system was the means for transmitting skills. This is irrelevant today.

(ii). Caste was also a system of social security because people in trouble could count on help/support of members of their caste. You could/can fall back upon your clan. Today there is no social security in country (especially in rural areas). Create a proper universal social security system in today's India, caste will die a natural death. Nobody has to kill it. It will just go.

He is a prominent speaker on religious matters, perhaps the most popular, as he has spoken in United Nations, Harvard, London School of Economics, and most of the top educational institutions in India etc etc.

 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,578
USA
Here are the views of Swami Jaggi Vasudevan on caste system in India:

(i). In ancient / medieval society, caste system was the means for transmitting skills. This is irrelevant today.

(ii). Caste was also a system of social security because people in trouble could count on help/support of members of their caste. You could/can fall back upon your clan. Today there is no social security in country (especially in rural areas). Create a proper universal social security system in today's India, caste will die a natural death. Nobody has to kill it. It will just go.

He is a prominent speaker on religious matters, perhaps the most popular, as he has spoken in United Nations, Harvard, London School of Economics, and most of the top educational institutions in India etc etc.
Swami is being simplistic here, though he has good intentions. Caste is not going to die a natural death. That is wishful thinking. Proper actions need to be taken so that caste system goes away, and enforce it until it goes away. Otherwise it won't go. I had suggested a list of actions early on in this thread.

Caste system is so much a part of Hinduism that it has become integral to the Hindu culture too. That is why even if Hindus convert to other religions, they can't eliminate the caste system.

I also do not believe that caste system was needed to provide social security, as the Swami has claimed. Other peoples did not have caste system, but they had ways and means to provide social security.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2014
474
India
Here are the views of Swami Jaggi Vasudevan on caste system in India:

(i). In ancient / medieval society, caste system was the means for transmitting skills. This is irrelevant today.

(ii). Caste was also a system of social security because people in trouble could count on help/support of members of their caste. You could/can fall back upon your clan. Today there is no social security in country (especially in rural areas). Create a proper universal social security system in today's India, caste will die a natural death. Nobody has to kill it. It will just go.

He is a prominent speaker on religious matters, perhaps the most popular, as he has spoken in United Nations, Harvard, London School of Economics, and most of the top educational institutions in India etc etc.

What will replace caste and still keep multiculturalism intact? Allah oh Akbers and Lone Wolfs? One needs to define and develop a multicultural society before summarily dismissing castes. (no, I am not defending Varna).
 
Oct 2015
994
India
Swami is being simplistic here, though he has good intentions. Caste is not going to die a natural death. That is wishful thinking. Proper actions need to be taken so that caste system goes away, and enforce it until it goes away. Otherwise it won't go. I had suggested a list of actions early on in this thread.

Caste system is so much a part of Hinduism that it has become integral to the Hindu culture too. That is why even if Hindus convert to other religions, they can't eliminate the caste system.

I also do not believe that caste system was needed to provide social security, as the Swami has claimed. Other peoples did not have caste system, but they had ways and means to provide social security.
Hi @kandal,

I remember that quickly jotted list of about 10 points. Maybe we should brainstorm more.

As far as legislation could annihilated caste, I feel it has been enacted. When I look around to see what is loosening the bonds of caste in Indian society; it is urbanization and associated employment market.

Opportunities for education and employment are tilted in favor of Dalits, but I am not sure how long these can be sustained. The further progress lies in economic growth.
 
Apr 2019
80
India
? 3125513, member: 390
That is wishful thinking.


Other peoples did not have caste system, but they had ways and means to provide social security.
No it's going to end(atleast among educated lot). Only some politically motivated groups are going to keep it alive to fulfill their selfish motives. But then those people have many difference among themselves so they would not be able to maintain their unity.
Hindus never had problem at accepting 'low caste' people as their kings or governors or landloards. But now Hindus have also started accepting 'untouchables' as priests at the temple.

I don't know any society which did not had a system for social-division and it still exists in modern day(but in subtle ways).

Moreover to be able to talk about the subject of 'caste system' of India one needs to do an in-depth analysis of socio-economic-political scenario of India at different time-periods of history.
 
Jul 2014
1,485
world
? 3125513, member: 390




I don't know any society which did not had a system for social-division and it still exists in modern day(but in subtle ways).

Moreover to be able to talk about the subject of 'caste system' of India one needs to do an in-depth analysis of socio-economic-political scenario of India at different time-periods of history.
Social division exists in every culture but Caste structure is unique to India. Why not outlaw castes altogether ? Japan did it during Meiji restorations by and now look at it.
 
Apr 2019
80
India
Social division exists in every culture but Caste structure is unique to India. Why not outlaw castes altogether ? Japan did it during Meiji restorations by and now look at it.
What worked in Japan can't work in India moreover there are people who would love to keep this system alive as it serves their nefarious purpose.
I don't believe that an Indian person can be proactive enough to solve a problem which can bring far-reaching positive change in the society. Intelligent Indian people are too gentle and dumb Indian are too courageous.
 
Jul 2014
1,485
world
What worked in Japan can't work in India moreover there are people who would love to keep this system alive as it serves their nefarious purpose.
I don't believe that an Indian person can be proactive enough to solve a problem which can bring far-reaching positive change in the society. Intelligent Indian people are too gentle and dumb Indian are too courageous.

Why cant it work ? Japan almost destroyed the samurai caste and forced the layman to adopt surnames like the warrior samurais. These samurais were the lords of land for almost 700 years and overnight they were finished.

Caste system is holding India back.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,207
New Delhi, India
He is a prominent speaker on religious matters, perhaps the most popular, as he has spoken in United Nations, Harvard, London School of Economics, and most of the top educational institutions in India etc etc.
He is also a showman creating a cult around himself, just like Sri Sri Sri Sri. :frown:
I also do not believe that caste system was needed to provide social security, as the Swami has claimed.
You can say caste is a indigenous/'dravidian' system. Aryans did not have castes. :)
 

Similar History Discussions