The caste system is a colonial idea

This expose of the West’s sordid social record shouldn’t make Indians feel smug at all.

It was primarily under colonial Christian rule that the caste system as we know it today was defined, shaped and a narrative built around it. It’s time for India to take back the caste narrative in its own hands.

Caste is today the core symbol of community in India. According to a survey carried out by the National Council of Applied Economic Research and the University of Maryland, US, one in four Indians still practices untouchability.

First up, any study about India in which the West is involved should be prima facie suspect. Americans are a highly racist people and it perfectly suits their interests to show that India is no better – ‘If we have Ferguson, then you have untouchables.’ The campaigns conducted by western NGOs at the United Nations to equate casteism with racism are geared towards that end.

But while untouchability is – albeit slowly – making its disappearing act in India, in the West racism is growing. If you look at the glass half full, then 80 per cent of Indians do not practice untouchability whereas in the US, nine in 10 people are explicitly racist, as per an Associated Press poll.

The inflexible pecking order of Indian society – as we see it today – does not reflect the country’s civilisational tradition. In some places like Kerala, untouchability was created by Brahmins at a much, much later age, but in most parts of the country, foreign invasions played a catalytic role in altering society. What used to be a constantly changing and evolving system of social interaction became fixed in its hierarchy. We can thank the British for this.

Of all the foreign elements that entered India, the British were the most malignant virus to infect it. Before the Europeans arrived, Islamic invaders such as Mahmud Ghazni, Mohammed Ghori and Allauddin Khilji had caused upheavals across India. It kicked off the process of caste inflexibility.

invasionThe Islamic invasions can be compared with the entry of a virus in the human body – growth and repair functions stop and all the energies are directed towards fighting and expelling the foreign cells. Similarly, when hordes of Arabs, Turks and Afghans poured into India’s once prosperous plains and valleys, the social ferment of millennia stopped as Hinduism became a besieged society. As Hindus fought for over 700 years to save their country from Islam, the caste cauldron stopped churning.

But by and large, Islamic rulers – who found it difficult to parse the caste system – did not attempt to meddle in Indian society. The primary reason was the furious Hindu resistance against Islamic rule. While every ancient country capitulated before the forces of Mohammed, India alone resisted. For instance, it was after more than 170 years of resounding defeats that the Arabs were able to finally get a foothold in India, in Sindh in 710 CE. This pattern persisted during much of Islamic rule. Realising it was futile for them to try and convert Hindus by force, Muslim rulers were content to impose their oppressive taxes, and life in India continued more or less as before.

The British, on the other hand, while systematically destroying India’s economy also tinkered with its social DNA. Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor of the University of California, has conducted an exhaustive study of how the British transformed Indian society for the worse. In his ‘Castes of the Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India (2001),’ he says the concept of caste hierarchy was a British construct.

For instance, before the emergence of British colonial rule, ‘kings were not inferior to Brahmins’, and ‘[u]nder colonialism, caste was thus made out to be far more – far more pervasive, far more totalising, and far more uniform – than it had ever been before, at the same time that it was defined as a fundamentally religious social order,’ says Dirks. Further,

In fact, however, caste had always been political – it had been shaped in fundamental ways by political struggles and processes….What we take now as caste is, in fact, the precipitate of a history that selected caste as the single and systematic category to name, and thereby contain, the Indian social order…In pre-colonial India, the units of social identity had been multiple, and their respective relations and trajectories were part of a complex, conjunctural, constantly changing, political world. The referents of social identity were not only heterogeneous; they were also determined by context. Temple communities, territorial groups, lineage segments, family units, royal retinues, warrior subcastes, ‘little’ kingdoms, occupational reference groups, agricultural or trading associations, devotionally conceived networks and sectarian communities, even priestly cabals, were just some of the significant units of identification, all of them at various times far more significant than any uniform metonymy or endogamous caste groups. Caste was just one category among many others, one way of organising and representing identity.

Within localities, or kingdoms, groups could rise or fall (and in the process become more or less caste-like), depending on the fortunes of particular kings, chiefs, warriors, or headmen, even as kings could routinely readjust the social order by royal decree.’

Dirks’ claims are backed by Indian authors. M.N. Srinivas explains in Castes in Modern India: ‘It is well known that occasionally a Shudra caste has, after the acquisition of economic and political power, Sanskritised its customs and ways, and has succeeded in laying claim to be Kshatriyas.’

Srinivas cites the Raj Gonds, originally a tribe, but who successfully claimed to be Kshatriyas after becoming rulers of a tract in Central India. ‘The term Kshatriya, for instance, does not refer to a closed ruling group which has always been there since the time of the Vedas,’ he says. ‘More often it refers to the position attained or claimed by a local group whose traditions and luck enabled it to seize politico-economic power.’

One such ascendant community was the Marathas, from which group came Shivaji Bhonsle, one of the greatest Hindu rulers of the modern era. After Shivaji’s spectacular battlefield victories – against the Mughals, southern Muslim sultanates, English and Portuguese – he wanted to be crowned emperor. But there was a problem. The orthodox Brahmins were not ready to accept Shivaji as a Kshatriya. They argued that according to the shastras (holy texts) only a Kshatriya could be coronated. The Bhonsle’s were considered Shudras in the then Maratha society.

bhonsleHowever, the powerful Shivaji was not ready to accept this argument of the pundits. He sent a delegation to various Brahmin centres which finally met the liberal Bishweshwar Bhatt of Kashi. Bhatt, who had immense knowledge of Vedas, Puranas, Smriti and politics, issued a certificate that Shivaji was indeed a Kshatriya. In 1674 Shivaji was crowned emperor.

Even then, at the coronation ceremony, the Maratha Brahmins flew into a rage, saying: ‘The Kshatriya caste has been extinct in Kaliyug. Now there is no upper caste except the Brahmin.’ This is a pointer to the dysfunctional nature of Hinduism at that point; the country had been largely under Muslim rule for centuries and yet at long last when a Hindu king started to win back India from the Muslims, the orthodox Brahmins could only try and humiliate Shivaji.

Like the Mauryas and Marathas, there are other examples of Hindu dynasties that came from the lower castes – the powerful Cholas, Hoysalas, Chalukyas and the Rayas of Vijayanagar.

Two well-known castes that go against the grain of caste are the Lingayats of Karnataka and Nairs of Kerala. The Lingayats, who claim equality with, if not superiority to, Brahmins, have priests of their own caste who also minister to several other non-Brahmin castes. The Nairs, who come under the Shudra category, had to keep a distance of eight feet from a Brahmin, but at the same time they were soldiers and commanders in the king’s army.

In 1798, English Orientalist Henry Colebrooke wrote: ‘Daily observation shows even Brahmins exercising the menial profession of a Shudra.’

Says Srinivas: ‘Innumerable small castes in a region do not occupy clear and permanent positions in the system. Nebulousness as to position is of the essence of the system in operation as distinct from the system in conception….A point that has emerged from recent field-research is that the position of a caste in the hierarchy may vary from village to village. It is not only that the hierarchy is nebulous here and there, and the castes are mobile over a period of time, but the hierarchy is also to some extent local.’

S.S. Ghurye of Bombay University explains in Caste, Class and Occupation (1961) how the British infused caste identity among Indians by the simple task of conducting a census. The ‘nice grading of contemporary groups provided a good rallying point for the old caste-spirit’ he writes. Several caste advocacy groups were formed and these groups wrote petitions to the British, requesting a higher rank in the hierarchy to be drawn up by the census authorities. Rajni Kant Lahiri, Professor of Hindi, University of Kanpur, writes in the European Conspiracy Against Vedic Culture:

The British rulers documented caste and tribe in all its complexities in the gazetteers and counted it in census operations from 1881. For 1911 census, Herbert Risley, the commissioner, went a step further and said the census had also to identify ‘social precedence as recognised by native public opinion’. It means the caste had to be located in the ritual and social hierarchy and it was to determine which caste was high, which intermediate, and which low. It was a divisive game played by the western rulers to divide and rule and reduce Hindu society into many fractions.’

The British, of course, were thoroughly pleased with the outcome of their social re-engineering. Administrator and diplomat Lepel Griffin believed caste was useful in preventing rebellion, while James Kerr, the principal of Calcutta’s Hindu College wrote in 1865: ‘It may be doubted if the existence of caste is on the whole unfavourable to the permanence of our rule. It may even be considered favourable to it, provided we act with prudence and forbearance. Its spirit is opposed to national union.’

Ghurye adds:

It is well to remember in this connection that even the Roman Church, in its desire to propagate its faith, was prepared to accommodate caste in its practical programme, though it was opposed to the humanitarian principles of the Church. Pope Gregory XV published a bull sanctioning caste regulations in the Christian Churches of India.’ [Emphasis added]

Ancient India

Ancient Hindu texts like the Vedas, the Puranas and the Shatapatha Brahmana explicitly mention that the involvement of the Shudras in Vedic rituals is essential, and that reverence to the lower classes pleases God.

The Shukla Yajurveda (16.27) says:

Homage to you carpenters and to you chariot makers, homage.Homage to you potters and to you blacksmiths, homage.Homage to you boatmen and to you Punjishthas, homage.Homage to you dog-leaders and to you hunters, homage.

Another hymn (18.48) from the same Veda says: ‘O Lord! Please fill the Brahmanas with light, the Kshatriyas with light, the Vaishyas with light and the Shudras with light; and in me fill the same light.’

It is a measure of the enlightened nature of Indian society that it accorded great respect to the working class. In contrast, most other civilisations treated labourers and agriculturists as property. In Athens, only 10 per cent of the population had the vote; the majority were slaves.

The ‘Holy’ Bible is rampant with slavery. Not one Biblical figure, including Jesus or St. Paul, is recorded as saying anything against slavery, which was an integral part of life of Judea, Galilee, and in the rest of the Roman Empire during those times.

Take this passage from the Bible, 1 Timothy 6:1-2:

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing (Christian) masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers (Christians). Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.’

On the other hand, ancient Indian history is littered with examples of men who crossed the great divide. Take Veda Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharata: his mother was a fisherwoman. Valmiki, who wrote the Ramayana, was a Dalit in today’s parlance.

Several celebrated rishis (seers) hailed from lower castes – Jabali’s mother was what one would call a prostitute today. Aitareya, who wrote the Aitareya Upanishad, was born of a Shudra woman. Parashara, the revered law-giver, was the son of a Chandala, the lowest of the Shudras. Vishwamitra was not a Brahmin but a Kshatriya.

Again, Saint Thiruvalluvar, who wrote the Thirukural, was a weaver. Kabir, Surdas, Ramdas and Tukaram, who are revered as saints, came from the humblest echelons of Hindu society.

Unlike Jesus, who had to be whitened and given blond hair in order to be accepted as the son of god by Europeans, Indian saints did not have to undergo any cosmetic surgery to be accepted by the masses.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says: ‘Birth is not the cause, my friend; it is virtues which are the cause of auspiciousness. Even a Chandala observing the vow is considered a Brahmin by the gods.’

bhimThe great Bhim Rao Ambedkar observed that caste was absent in early Indian society. In a speech delivered on May 9, 1916 at Columbia University, New York, on the subject, Castes in India: Their Mechanism, Genesis and Development, Amedkar said:

Society is always composed of classes. It may be an exaggeration to assert the theory of class conflict, but existence of definite classes in a society is a fact. Their basis may differ. They may be economic or intellectual or social, but an individual in a society is always a member of a class. This is a universal fact and early Hindu society could not have been an exception to this rule, and, as a matter of fact, we know it was not. If we bear this generalisation in mind, our study of the genesis of caste would be very much facilitated, for we have only to determine what was the class that first made itself into a caste.

Reality Check: Greek sources

To be sure, while the jati – the actual Indian word for social groups – divide may not have been as deep as it is today, crossing the chasm may have been common.

In his memoirs Indika, Megasthenes (300 BCE), the Greek ambassador to the court of Chandragupta Maurya, identifies seven groups – Philosophers, Agriculturists, Herdsmen, Artisans, Soldiers, Inspector and Councillors – within Indian society, without ranking them in any way.

  1. The Philosophers are held in estimation as the top group notwithstanding their number is the smallest. They performed yajnas and funerals, and the Brahmins among them married and had children but lived a simple life. This suggests that Brahmins were in no way superior or considered superior. They just performed a very important role and were respected for their nobility which came from their learning and penance. ‘And it is a law that if any one of them be three times convicted of falsehood, he shall be doomed to silence during life; but the upright they exonerate from tax and tribute.’
  2. The second division is the Agriculturists, who are the ‘most numerous and worthy’. This suggests they were not considered inferior to any other group. They pursue their occupation free from military duties and fear; neither concerning themselves with civil, nor public, nor indeed any other business.
  3. The third rank is that of the Shepherds and Hunters, to whom alone it is lawful to hunt, graze, and sell cattle, for which they give a premium and stipend. For ridding the land also, of wild beasts and birds which destroy the grain, they are entitled to a portion of corn from the king, and lead a wandering life, living in tents.
  4. The fourth rank is that of the Artisans and Innkeepers, and bodily Labourers of all kinds, of whom some bring tribute, or, instead of it, perform stated service on the public works. But the manufacturers of arms and builders of ships are entitled to pay and sustenance from the king, for they work only for him.
  5. The fifth group is the Military, who, when disengaged, spend the rest of their time at ease, in stations or barracks assigned them by the king, so that, whenever occasion may require, they may be ready to march forth directly, carrying with them nothing else than their bodies.
  6. The sixth rank consists of the Inspectors, whose business it is to pry into all matters that are carried on, and report them privately to the king, for which purpose in the towns they employ courtesans, and camp-followers in the camp. They are chosen from the most upright and honourable men.
  7. Ranked seventh are the Councillors and Assessors of the king, by whom the government, and laws, and administration are conducted. Megasthenes says this is among the smallest groups but the most respected, on account of the high character and wisdom of its members; for from their ranks the advisers of the king are taken, and the treasurers, of the state, and the arbiters who settle disputes. The generals of the army also, and the chief magistrates, usually belong to this class.

As we can see, army generals – who formally belonged to a separate group – were taken from among the Councillors. Conceptions of caste, Megasthenes suggests, were much more fluid than today. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya himself was of mixed descent.

Inter-caste marriage in ancient India

Manu, the ancient Indian sage and lawgiver, considered anuloma marriages – the system of men of higher castes marrying women of lower castes – acceptable. An example of this is the Brahmin King Agnimitra (150 BCE) who married a woman from a lower caste.

According to sociologist Rajendra K. Sharma, ‘Manu and Yajnavalkaya (one of the first philosophers in recorded history; seventh century BCE) have also written on the inheritance of sons born to a Brahmin by a Shudra wife. From this it is evident that such marriages did take place.’

Pratiloma marriage is another form of Hindu marriage in which men from lower castes marry women of higher castes. Although Manu has criticised the institution of pratiloma, Sharma says ‘subsequent commentators have accepted it’. For instance, a Brahmin king named Kakustha Verma gave his daughters in marriage to the Gupta kings. Sharma adds:

Anuloma and Pratiloma marriages retained their acceptability till the end of the 10th century because till that time there were not many cultural differences between Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Gradually, the rituals among them diverged further and further till this divergence became so marked that both these forms of inter-caste marriage rapidly vanished. In 1020 CE, Alberuni writes the Brahmins of the time considered it improper to encourage the three lower castes and did not hence take girls in marriage from among them…The rejection and prevention of inter-caste marriages is based upon the notions of purity and the cultural differences between various castes. But as a result of the influence of western cultrual differences between the various castes are gradually being developed.’

fa hienAt the same time, there were some jatis that were literally ‘caste’ out. The Chinese traveller Fa Hien (405-411 BCE) describes how Chandalas (who cremated the dead) had to live apart from mainstream society. They had to give notice of their approach on entering a town by striking a piece of wood. This has an uncanny similarity to the practice in Kerala of the Paraya caste members who – well into the 20th century – had to utter the warning cry ‘ho ho ho’ if they saw a higher caste person approaching.

Edward Blunt writes in The Caste System of Northern India that:

The endogamous custom (marriage solely within a certain group) which was regarded as ‘preferable’ in the Buddhist period, has become ‘usual’ by the time of Megasthenes, and by Manu’s, a rule.’

Megasthenes corroborates:

It is unlawful either to contract marriages with another caste, or to change one profession or occupation for another, or for one man to undertake more than one (profession), unless the person so doing shall be one of the Philosophers, who are privileged on account of their dignity.’

And yet these divisions did not roil Indian society. Take something as basic as education. Dharampal shows in his stunning work The Beautiful Tree: Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century that the majority of students enrolled in schools in India in the 1700s were from the so-called lower castes.

Incredibly, Dharampal’s research shows that teachers at publicly funded Hindu schools in two Bihar districts came from more than 30 jatis, with even the Chandals having six students. And this was at a time without Mandal Commission quotas. Moreover, in these districts Brahmins and Kayasthas together formed no more than 15 to 16 per cent of the tutors. The more surprising figure is of 61 Dom and 61 Chandal school students in the district of Burdwan, nearly equal to the number of Vaidya students, 126, in that district.

And Dharampal unravels the big lie about Christian and British schools making education universally available for the ‘oppressed’ castes. While Burdwan had 13 missionary schools, the number of Dom and Chandal scholars in them was just four. Only 86 of the scholars belonging to 16 of the lowest castes were in these missionary schools, while 674 scholars from these castes were enrolled in native schools. Also, 30 per cent of Indian children in the age group 6-15 were enrolled at school, at a time when most British children were either chimney sweeps or forced into begging.

Caste in Europe

When westerners poke India with the caste prod, they should look back at their recent history. John Campbell Oman, who was a professor of social sciences at Government College, Lahore, wrote in Caste in India (1907):

One much derided peculiarity of the Hindu caste system is the hereditary character of trade and occupations, and in this connection it is interesting to recall to mind that at certain epochs the law in Europe has compelled men to keep, generation after generation, to the calling of their fathers without the option of change…In England an ancient enactment required all men who at any time took up the calling of coal mining or dry salting, to keep to those occupations for life, and enjoined that their children should also follow the same employment. This law was only repealed by statutes passed in the 15th and 39th years of the reign of George III; that is in the lifetime of the fathers of many men who are with us today. A more striking European example of a compulsory hereditary calling, common enough in the Middle Ages and down to the last century in Russia, is that of the serfs bound to the soil from generation to generation.

Edward Alsworth Ross offers a detailed account of Europe’s caste system, which lasted till the beginning of the 19th century in Principles of Sociology (1920):

In Prussia (modern Germany), not only men, but land too belonged to castes, and land belonging to a higher caste could not be purchased by an individual belonging to a caste lower than that. This provision was abolished by the Emancipation Edict of 1807.

cagotsAnother oppressed community was that of the Cagots of France:

‘They were shunned and hated; were allotted separate quarters in towns, called cagoteries, and lived in wretched huts in the country distinct from the villages. Excluded from all political and social rights, they were only allowed to enter a church by a special door, and during the service a rail separated them from the other worshippers. Either they were altogether forbidden to partake of the sacrament, or the holy wafer was handed to them on the end of a stick, while a receptacle for holy water was reserved for their exclusive use. When a Cagot came into a town, they had to report their presence by shaking a rattle, just like a leper, ringing his bell.

‘Some of the other prohibitions on the Cagots were bizarre. They were not allowed to walk barefoot, like normal peasants, which gave rise to the legend that they had webbed toes. Cagots could not use the same baths as other people. They were not allowed to touch the parapets of bridges.’

Modern India has introduced one of the largest compensation packages – in the form of reservation of seats in colleges, government jobs and electoral seats – for communities that were the unfortunate victims of untouchability. Several Indians states are run by ministers from the backward castes.

On the other hand, the US – after the genocide of Native Americans – practises virtual apartheid against its black minority. The percentage of blacks in US prisons is higher than blacks jailed by the former Apartheid regime of South Africa. And the wealth gap ratio between the average white family and the average black family in American is 18:4 – that’s greater than the wealth gap between the two races in Apartheid South Africa.

India’s greatest drawback

This expose of the West’s sordid social record shouldn’t make Indians feel smug at all. For, despite the rapid disappearance of untouchability from mainstream India, caste divisions remain, posing an existential threat to the country.

While caste divisions did not matter in ancient times, the equation changed with the coming of the desert delusions – Islam and Christianity. The biggest problem India faced while fighting these hordes was that only a tiny minority of Hindus – and very few among the Buddhists and Jains –was engaged in the defence of the country.

G.S. Cheema writes in The Forgotten Mughals:

That a nation of such ferocious warriors should ever be defeated seems incredible but the caste-ridden nature of Hindu society ensured that the masses were never involved in the struggle. The Rajputs, in reality, were only the thin upper crust of the warrior aristocracy which held the land in feudal tenure from their chief who was usually the head of their clan and, at least theoretically, of the common descent…The mass of the population, consisting of the innumerable different castes and sub-castes of Indian society were seldom involved, and rarely felt the need to lift the sword in defence of their king, and indeed were not expected to do so. Thus the Rajput armies, even with their semi-barbaric tribal auxiliaries, were never able to match the armies of the Turkish, Mughal or Pathan rulers of Delhi in manpower, even though foreign invaders constituted but a tiny fraction of the teeming multitudes of Hind.

India is currently at a major crossroads in its history. After the mayhem of partition in 1947, Muslims are yet again becoming a tumultuous minority. From 8 per cent in 1947 they have almost doubled in number to over 15 per cent of the country’s population. In areas where they have already become a majority, Muslims are demanding a number of concessions from the Hindus. For instance, in Kerala’s Malapuram district if a Hindu wants to dispose of his land, he is not allowed to sell it to another Hindu but instead has to offer it for sale to a Muslim.

Again, Muslims in pockets of western Uttar Pradesh districts want a ban on Hindu religious processions and an end to the ringing of temple bells. In their view, when an area becomes Muslim majority it has been won by demographic jehad and from then on is considered Islamic land. By their logic, in such a land a non-Muslim place of worship is illegal as per Islamic law. Migration of Hindus from many Muslim majority districts in Bengal and Uttar Pradesh has started. Separate electorates could be the next demand.If Hindus persist with their caste divisions, treating each other as different, then a second partition could well be the result in a few decades.

Rakesh is a journalist at New Zealand’s leading media house. He mostly writes on defence and foreign affairs.
His articles have been quoted extensively by universities and in books on diplomacy, counter terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south; and by international defence journals.
Rakesh’s work has been cited by leading think tanks and organisations that include the Naval Postgraduate School, California; US Army War College, Pennsylvania; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; State University of New Jersey; Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris; BBC Vietnam; Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk; Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi; Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia; International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia; and Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy, Berlin.
His articles have been published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw; and the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.
  • Comrade Pootie

    Interesting read. I apologize for nitpicking, and I don’t even believe in Jesus, but this argument:

    “Unlike Jesus, who had to be whitened and given blond hair in order to be accepted as the son of god by Europeans,”

    … spot quite often, and it has a simple explanation.

    To me, a white man from Norway in Europe who grew up in a society with 99% white norwegians, it’s easy to spot why Jesus eventually became a white european over the years.

    Artists, like painters are heavy influenced by their surroundings and reality they live in. Over 1000 years in a part of the world where people lived their entire lives without ever seeing a non-white person, it doesn’t seem shocking to me that the people of Europe eventually pictured Jesus to look like the people around them. It’s not like they had pictures of Jesus in the churches to guide them, right? An artist painting Jesus 500 years ago wouldn’t have the slightest idea of how Jerusalem looked like, and absolutely no clue about how the people who lived there looked like

    If Jesus lived he probably looked like an arab. But, the simple people of Europe last 1000 years didn’t know what an arab was. And they had no reference to Jesus appearence at all. No paintings, no picture, nothing. His appearence as a whole is a product of imagination developed over a thousand years.

  • If you’re going to cite Saint Paul (himself) on slavery, a better proof-text would be Philemon. The Titus / Timothy “pastorals” are considered apocryphal by non-Christians. Everyone agrees that Philemon was authentic. This is a nitpick however.

    As for how Americans treat their black minority, the blacks here are given deliberate help by the American government which is run by a black man (by the way) and whose cities are generally run by blacks (also by the way). The reason blacks are disproportionate inmates of our prisons is because of (well-documented) differences in time-preference, intelligence, and propensity toward violence – as was noted at the time by a man you may have heard of, Mohandas Gandhi. Let’s see how India or New Zealand would treat them if the Americans exported a few million WorldStarHipHop fans your way.

  • MahaVakyas

    Rakesh Krishnan Simha is one of the best thinkers today – his articles are on point and speak the uncomfortable truth. The bottom line is that the West has no business criticizing caste-based discrimination in India when their racial hatred, genocide of Native Americans, and ongoing bloodshed through constant wars in the Middle East etc.

  • Srinivas Yalala

    According to below link, caste system was from Budha time onwards… Can we get your opinion please?
    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2_24lbud.htm

  • NK Sarma

    Someone has told this kid that long articles with titles against british and muslims will get accepted by Indiafacts and that people will praise any non-sense as long as there are some references within quotes.
    I think I decoded the formula this kid uses:
    1. Title should be acceptable for right of center crowd – doesn’t matter what is in the article
    2. Start and end the article in alignment with the title
    3. In between, insert few lines and paragraphs blaming brahmins as evils of India. Somehow shift the blame from british and muslims to brahmins. But these blames should be scattered all over.
    4. Before the reader gets suspicious, switch over to british and muslims. You can always get back to brahmin bashing in the next paragraph
    5. Insert references within quotes in between. Doesn’t matter how relevant or useful these quotes are for the preceding point.
    6. Finally end it with a paragraph that is sweet for right of center

    A very good sugarcoating technique probably taught in foreign schools. This article is no different that the sugarcoated deceptive article this kid wrote suggesting govt to loot lord ananthapadmanabha swamy’s treasure. Looks like he has a special interest towards kerala brahmins. Kudos to the author for successfully misusing indiafacts page. Make sure SandeepB doesn’t read this.

    • Abyss

      Well, it might be beneficial for the general public if you refute his claims with counter-arguments.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    Shudras (the tall, fair, semitic, agricultural,temple worshipping and architectural Druids who brought civilization from
    Mesopotamia) were integrated into the Guru Kula system that decided the Varnaon the basis of aptitude and skills in the Atharva Veda period after the Mahabharatha War destroyed Aryan hegemony and temple worship, architecture,
    agriculture etc entered the Vedas through the Aagama (that which came from outside) Shastras. Dalits were always outside the Varna system or are descendants of those who were made out castes for heinous crimes like Ashoka
    was for fratricide and could not be reintegrated (which happened during every Ashwamedha Yajna when the laws were re codified) after Ashoka dismantled the Temples and Gurukulas and brought the Brahmanical Shastras and Caste Mobility
    to an end together with the Vedic period. Thereafter, skills and knowledge passed from father to son. But Dalits were never Shudras who were caste Hindus. (Shudras were Dasyus during the Krishna Yajur Veda and Sama Veda periods when the Indo-Aryan extracted tribute from them in the form of agricultural and architectural produce before the Mahabharatha War. The Brahma worshiping Aryans, a motley set of nomadic, pastoral, war like races and tribes from Prussia to Mongolia were Rig Vedic and united under a common constitution and laws. They came to India in the transition from the Shukla Yajur to the Krishna Yajur Vedic periods and overlaidd the Shiva, Vishnu and Lalitha worshipping Druhyus from the land of the three rivers (present day Tigris, Euphrates and Jordan)

    • Abyss

      Still holding on to the Invading Aryan Theory?

      • SuchindranathAiyer

        AIT is NOT
        disproven. What does DNA prove? That there is no racial purity. Racial purity
        was never posited in the first place. The Shroutha Smartha Ithihasa states very
        clearly that after the Mahabharatha War, the Idolatrous, agricultural, temple worshipping
        Druids who originated in Mesopotamia and the Caucasian to Mongoloid nomadic,
        war like pastoral Aryas of the Eurasian steppes who had settled in the
        Indo-Gangetic Plain under the treaty of Bharatha, exacting tribute from the
        Druids, inter married after the Mahabharatha War and that the agricultural,
        architectural and temple worshiping methodologies entered the Vedas as the
        Aagama (that which came from outside) Shastras of the Atharva (the
        chronologically last or fifth) Veda. The Vedic Period that came to an end with
        Ashoka’s fratricidal war and tyranny that put an end to the Treaty of Bharatha.
        Legends see many counter migrations out of what is now known as India. After
        the Mahabharatha War there was a great Exodus of Aryans from the Indo Gangetic
        Plain towards Europe with written Sanskrit. Sanskrit is still spoken in
        Lithuania but with an entirely different script and accent. After Ashoka’s
        genocide and persecution of Brahmanism many went as far as the Urals and beyond
        while some, like Adi Shankara’s ancestors, escaped to the deep South. Again
        during the Islamic invasions, many slaves were transported to the Middle East
        and Europe. The Romanis are descendants of those who escaped from Islamic
        slavers and plunderers. So, really given the time scale, the geographic scale
        and the many migrations inwards and outwards, what conclusive
        “scientific” proof is there? Precisely what does this prove or
        disprove? All available data fits in to the Shroutha Smartha Ithihasa and none
        contradicts it. THEORIES constructed out of selective or limited (in time and
        space) data contradict the Ithihasa. The earliest written (inscriptions) in
        Sanskrit are found in the remains of the Mitani Kingdom in Northern Syria (!500
        – 1350 BC) in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin. Ofcourse, Sanskrit had NO written
        script in the nomadi,c pastoral Rik Vedic and Shukla Yajur Vedic Period when
        all knowledge was passed in the Shroutha (Heard) Smartha (remembered)
        tradition, but borrowed Devnagiri from a conquered Agricultural and
        Architectural civilization in the Krishna Yajur Veda Period. There is worship
        of theDruido-Aryan trinity in Yugoslavia
        since before the advent of Christianity there.

        • Abyss

          Well, the Ithihasa has no scientific proof either. My argument is based on the archaeological versus the linguistic theory. Perhaps, you might want to take a look at – http://voiceofdharma.org/books/rig/ (if not already done). Please feel free to point to your source. I’m not quite sure what DNA theory, specifically the Y-chromosome propagation would prove because there has been a lot of mixing up over the centuries.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            Having been initiated into Classical Sanskrit education (primarily the Krishna Yajur Veda, but also Ithihasa and Shastras apart from, naturally, the Upanishads, Mimamsa, a glimpse of the other Vedas) in 1967 and having received the titles of Pandita (Udupi Pejawar), Bharathi (Shringeri) and Deekshitha (Shringeri) in 1987, having benefited from “An Outline History of the World” edited by Sir J.A.Masterton as the School History Text Book before it was replaced with the Government of India Nehru-Gandhi-Amebdkar-Marxist propaganda wrtten by D. N. Kundra, and having read widely and traveled the World and integrated my personal and vicarious experiences with my inherited knowledge on the basis of consistency and congruence, I am not tempted to accept the rubbish that surfaces after 65 years of brain washing by the Dalit-Dravid-Communist-WOG-created and politically owned Indian Republic and “Genetic” science that cannot even establish crime beyond reasonable doubt in an easily purchased Indian Court!

          • Abyss

            Thanks for sharing your credentials, however, you still haven’t shared your thoughts on the reference to the book I shared. Is it a piece of crap? Do you have alternate sources that can be referred to? I’m not asking this as a cynic, merely as a curious soul.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            I have not the time (and the inclination) to acquire and read the book you have mentioned as I have other priorities. I wish you every good fortune in your quest, if indeed, it is the truth that you seek. But you may not find it in politically sanctioned, sanitized, scientific books.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            What is “Science”? A description of what exists as gleaned by the rather limited perception (influenced by all the prejudices and preconceptions that this predicates) in a stylized language, the rules of which, often preclude or obfuscate the truth. I am delighted that Ithihasa is not scientific, and like the Japanese Kojiki, passes from mouth to memory over thousands of years to avoid the Ozymandias time-capsules of temporal victors such as Ashoka’s edicts.

          • Abyss

            But you do realize that when something passes on from mouth to memory, especially stories, there is a high probability of distortion creeping in, since the style of the story tellers would differ. In any case, I believe there is an undergoing project in one of the Sanskrit departments’ to date Ramayana (based on the Astral data references in the epic). I do hope that other such initiatives are undertaken. While for the most of us, ithiasa is a living history, the world by and large doesn’t believe our version and seeks “scientific” evidence to our claims.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            What you say is true of Mythology (Puranas) that passes for Ithihasa these days, just as the Mythology of the Indian Republic passes for History. As a formally initiated and classically educated Shroutha Smartha, I know better. But, really, all this is like explaining a Monsoon Sun Set Sky to a blind man! Like trying to read Khilafat Gandhi’s commentary on the Gita (a piece excerpted from a masterly work of Literature that contains far superior pieces on ethics, state craft and the after life such as Vidhura Neethi and Sanath Sujatheeyam) and making this non canonical work of fiction the basis of Hinduism or even the Mahabharatha! Here is a piece I wrote for a nephew of mine that you will find interesting in parts and interesting on the whole: The Rig Veda
            mentions Vishnu and Shiva, how can they be Druid? Rig Veda does not. The
            Thraithreya Upanishad does. The Thraithreya Upanishad is a sort of Mantra
            Reference Guide for practitioners of all Vedas and was produced precisely to
            bring about some sort of consistency in Vedic ritual worship after all the
            turning points of History. So you will find parts of it being used in all Vedic
            rituals irrespective of the particular Veda You must understand the time scale
            (which as the Geographic scale is tough to grasp) The Atharva Veda Period that
            began after the Mahabharatha War integrated the Druid and Aryan faiths and
            Sanskritised them with the Shudra Varna entering the Guru Kula system and
            agriculture, temple worship and architecture entering the Vedas through the
            Aagama Shastras. The Vedic period was brought to an end by Ashoka who destroyed
            the temples and the Guru Kulas and persecuted Brahmanism, also putting an end
            to caste mobility. Sanskrit, The Vedas, the Brahma Sutras and so on were
            subsequently revived by Adi Shankara whose ancestors had fled deep South to
            escape Ashoka’s persecution and who, apart from attempting to reintegrate
            India, amalgamated the principal Druid, Aryan and Negroid deitties into the
            Pachayathana. Whereby, The Aryan Shankara, the Druid Shiva and the Aryan Rudra
            were made one, the Aryan Narayana and the Druid Vishnu were made one. The Aryan
            Sandhya, Gayathri, Sarswathi and Savithri were made one with the Druid Laxmi,
            parvathi, Lalitha and the Negroid-Tribal Kali and the Negroid-Tribal Ganapathi
            was introduced. Not everybody accepted this and the residents of this part of
            the world continued to practise ancient religions from necrophagy and human
            sacrifice to Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaakthaism and Brahmanism. As had happened
            during the Atharavveda period, once more the Puraniks (mythology makers) got to
            work and spliced everything together in different ways depending on their own
            respective religious persuasions. Some markers are that while there is no
            archeological evdience of structures older than Saranath, the Ramayana speaks
            descirbes Vimanas extensively as does the Mahabharatha. There is no temple
            worship in the Ramayana or the Mahabharatha and no mention of Ganapathy though
            in India there are two places where it is widely believed that Ganapathy
            stopped Vibheeshana from carrying the Vaikunta Saligrama to Lanka (Trichy) and
            where Ganapathi stopped Ravana from carrying the Atma Linga to Lanka.
            (Gokarna). The duty of the Puraniks and every body else after every such
            integration was to reconstruct History and all its various components. (By the
            way Shiva was always a Sanskrit word meaning Virtue which helped amalgamate the
            Druid Shiva and the Aryan Rudra in Vedic mantras). While Rudra was originally
            the Guardian of the North East and the power of integrated angry nature,
            Shankara was one of the three Gunas of Savitur, together with Narayana and
            Virinchi, the light of the living idol of Brahma, the Sun, one of 12,000 types
            created by Mitra the light of Brahma. After the British dismantled Brahmanism
            in the Presidencies in 1923 and the Indian Republic followed through in 1959,
            Hinduism is what Government decrees and Courts permit. Any non Abrahamaic
            belief and cult at all can pass for “Hinduism” so long as it does not
            offend a member of India’s ruling Neta-Babu-Cop-Milard-Crony Kleptocracy,
            further adding to the confusion. I have had to do a lot of unnecessary typing of
            earlier information I shall be much obliged if you raise such issues in the
            same thread where they are posted rather than in some other thread to
            facilitate discussion. It would aslo be good if you copied and saved my posts
            if they are of interest to you so that you can read them all together as,
            naturally what might refer to one period of a more than 20,000 year old History
            and Eurasian Geography may have changed in some other point of either History
            OR Geography.

          • Abyss

            Thanks! It would be great if you could point me to some blogs/books that I can refer to. Btw, perhaps you should publish these thoughts as blogs (if not already done) for the benefit of readers like me.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            I am active on Face Book where I do my blogging.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            Some more: Alarmed by the “Freedom Movement” and still nervous from the
            Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 that had been spear headed by Brahmins such as Mangal
            Pande, after the Great War, in 1921, the British began to dismantle what
            had passed for Hinduism until such time by commencing a canard of lies to
            discredit Brahmins and exterminate Brahmanism recognizing this to be the soul
            of “Hinduism”. It assumed particular virulence in the South of India as the
            sole act of violence against the British was carried out by Vanchinathan Aiyer
            who assassinated Ashe, the Collector of Tirunelvelli and V.V.S. Aiyar, an
            associate of Veer Savarkar ans Shri Aurobindo who became a thorn in the British
            side. The British were able to play on the non Hindu Majority such as Dalits in the South and the
            resentment of the upper castes to the success of Aiyers in Government service
            to build a fascist Anti-Brahmin rump. British stooge Patro of the Justice Party
            (ancestor of the “Dravids”) promulgated an ordinance (GO 613) to
            discriminate against the Brahmins in all walks of life. Until 1921, only those who adhered to
            Brahmanical Aryan Law were considered “Hindus”. Hindu is a defunct
            nationality of many religions adhering to common Aryan law though the name was
            coined by the Persians to refer to those who lived in the Indus Valley (present
            day Pakistan) at a time when both Persians and “Hindus” worshiped
            many common Gods and Goddesses. (The Vedai period that preceded the Avesthan
            period in Zoroastrian History). To break the back of Hinduism the British
            started many activities. In the Madras Presidency they coined the word
            “Dalit” and made them “Hindus in Law”. Recognizing
            Brahmanism as the soul of Hinduism (until 1921, a Pandit used to be consulted
            by the Judiciary on Hindu Law) they abolished Hindu Personal Law, In 1923, they
            took over the Temples, subverting the congregational temple welfare system. The
            Indian Political Service even infiltrated Sikhism at Sialkot and influenced
            Kartar Singh and Karag Singh to create the Akali movement and turn Sikhism away
            from the Hindus and against Hindus and adopt many Islamic beliefs and
            practices.

            The Indian Constitution of 1949, that enshrined inequality
            under law and exceptions to the rule of law and the 1959 law that took over the
            temples of the erstwhile kingdoms for the plunder and loot of the ruling
            classes including the funding of churches, madrassas and Haj pilgrimages rather
            than establishing schools centered on Vedic education and Ayur Veda hospitals
            for congregational benefit replaced Hinduism with a “secular”
            Government notion with the approval of the “secular” courts that were
            driven by “four legs good, two legs bad”, Dalit, Christian, Moslem.
            and other notions about what Hinduism must be. As a result, while Jallykatt is
            banned as cruel to animals, Halal is widely celebrated and while Karthikai
            Deepam is banned, the violence of illegally amplified Aazan continues five
            times a day.

            India is notorious for manufacturing politically convenient mythology. to
            eradicate History and truth. In 2013, Parliament unanimously removed pieces of
            truth from the Govt approved NCAERT text books! That same Parliament that made
            “retrospective laws” conceived by the present President of India
            unanimously also included several current Ministers! It is a Non-Partisan and
            Universal Indian malaise. I have already referred to it above. Here is a
            compressed extract of the Shroutha Smartha (my religion) traditional History as
            I have received and understood it:

            The nomadic, pastoral, bracycephalic, ruddy complexioned, non-proselytizing
            Aryans were Brahmins (worshipers of Brahma) with an advanced law,
            astronomcal-navigational, and military science but without agriculture or
            architecture, who held the Sun to be the living idol of Brahma and all of nature
            to be his temple, originated from Central Asia. The Dravids or Druids were
            tall, fair, encycephalic, semites, with advanced agricultural and architectural
            skills from Mesopatamia, they are the polytheist, idolatrous Lilith (Lalitha)
            worshiping lost tribes of Israel who refused to bend their knee to the jealous,
            androgynous God of Abraham and worshiped Vishnu, Shakthi, and Shiva and also
            experimented with the Kabala that had its origins in Brahmanism. Harried by the
            Aryans as well as their own apostates who had embraced Yahweh, the Druids
            scattered from the Ur civiilization in Mesopatamia. (Ur is prototyal word for
            City, Town or Village in many parts of contemporary India) Some of them entered
            the Indo-Gangetic plain, over laying the Negroids who worshiped Ganapathi, Kali
            and various forms of Mother Goddesses and among other things, created the Indus
            Valley Civilization contemporaneous with the Aryan Rig Vedic and Shukla Yajur
            Vedic periods. The Aryans (the noble or “those who know” the Prathamo
            Upanishad or the “Covenant of Brahma” given to their patrilineal
            ancestors, the Saptha Rishis) then over laid the Druids and settled in the
            Indo-Gangetic Plain, exacting tribute (the fruit of the agricultural and
            architectural skills of the Druids). The Chief of these Aryas. Bharatha,
            entered into a treaty with Arya Mihira, the Chief of the tribes of Central Asia
            that protected the Indo-Gangetic Plain from further invasions in return for
            tribute. Simultaneously, a “one for all and all for one” treaty of
            laws and code of chivalry was entered into by all the Aryan Chiefs in the
            Indo-Gangetic plain. Here began the joyous tones of the Krishna Yajur Veda
            fueled by plenty and welded the Aryans of the Indo-Gangetic plains into a
            formidable force that kept India free of invasions and adventurers including
            other Aryan tribes till Ashoka dismantled the treaty of Bharatha. The Krishna
            Yajur Veda was succeeded by the decadence of the Sama Veda that gave rise to
            classical Indian music. Subsequently, the Atharva Veda included Dravidian agriculture,
            temple worship, architecture and so on through the Agama (that which came from
            outside) Shastras. This saw the formation of the Dravido-Aryan civilization
            with the Dravidians and Aryans freely inter marrying till Ashoka drove
            Brahmanism together with the Vedas, Guru Kulas, and Brahma Suthras under
            ground, and destroyed and looted the temples and other Dravido-Aryan
            institutions, persecuting them in revenge for having been declared an out
            caste. This ossified the caste system. Till today, orthodox Brahmins look down
            on the Atharva Veda without really knowing why. Adi Shankaracharya revived
            Sanskrit, and wove the various religions into the Panchayatana (the five
            deities) comprising the Aryan Sun (idol of Brahma), and merging the Aryan
            Narayana with the Druid Vishnu, the Aryan Shankara and Rudra with the Druid
            Shiva, the Aryan Sandhya, Savithri, Gayathri and Saraswathi with the Druid
            Lalitha, Lashmi, and Parvathi with the tribal Mother Godess into Durga
            Parameshwari and included the tribal Ganapathi. This might be the origin of
            “Sanathana Dharma”.That the culture, religions and civilization
            managed to survive and procreate here though eradicated in the places of origin
            was due to the treaty of Bharatha and the long period of stability enjoyed by
            the Indo-Gangetic Plain and because of this, in the lands South of the Vindhyas
            which also aped many of the Dravido-Aryan cultural, social and legal aspects
            though osmosis and beyond into South East Asia.

            Subsequently, we had the dark ages of Islamic rule. Comparatively balmy British
            rule and then the darkest age of the “Indian” Republic that have
            confused the matter thoroughly for political convenience.

            The confusion has been fomented by western educated revisionists of the British
            period who are now venerated as beatified authorities, their intellectual and
            political descendants, such as the strident “Dravid-Dalits”, the
            Marxists and the “Rationalist-Scientists” who brandish DNA to beunk
            the theory of racial purity that was never claimed in the first place; the
            hostility of the Republic to all politically inconvenient truths and History,
            and the fact that no History or Knowledge was written till the Atharva Veda
            Period and that there were long periods when the Shroutha-Smartha (heard and
            remembered) Brahmin tradition was driven underground through persecution by
            Ashoka, other invaders and the Moslems.

            Fundamentally the devolution of Brahma (the one) into the pantheon arises from
            the reasonable premise that Brahma operates his creation through an
            organisation. In the Brahmanical i.e. Non Puranic, Vedic tradition,
            Brahma is not part of a trinity. From Brahma comes his light Mitra who together
            with his fluid Varuna and matter Aryama form the cosmos. Mitra forms and
            sustains 12,000 types of Suns. From the Sun comes his light Savitur (father)
            comprising the three Gunas of Virinchi (creative etc), Narayana (sustaining
            etc) and Shankara (transcreative etc), who, as light, warmth etc (Sandhya),
            life etc (Savitri), sound etc (Gayatri) and knowledge etc (Sarasvathi) forms
            and sustains life here in unison with water (Aapa) and soil (Bhu) the two
            mothers: On this planet, the officers of Brahma resolve themselves into the
            guardians of the Ten directions (Agni, Vayu, Yama, Niruruthi, Varuna, Kubera,
            Indra, Rudra, Virinchi and Narayana) which are all forces of nature. The Druid
            deities of Lalitha, Shiva and Vishnu who preceded Yahweh and Abraham in
            Mesopotamia and came to India took root in the Indus Valley civilization and
            elsewhere, When the Druid skill of architecture and agriculture entered
            the Vedas via the Agama Shastras, in the Atharva Veda period,

            In the AryanBrahmin Vedic construct, Tantra (Methodology and techniques),
            Mantra (Encapsulated concept) and Yantra (Tools) are equally essential
            ingredients for any Sadhana (practice) of any discipline from governance to
            warfare to spirituality. That Tantra has come to be used as a justification for
            various pre Aryan and pre-Dravdian negroid practices and has captivated
            the imagination of alien observers beginning with Arthur Avalon and has
            resulted in an original conceptual vocabulary that has taken over the narrative
            is typical of most contemporary views (or misconceptions) about
            “Hinduism”. After Ashoka destroyed the Dravido-Aryan temples and Guru
            Kulas and drove Brahmanism under ground, Adi Shankara, whose ancestors had fled
            to the deep South to escape persecution by Ashoka, revived Sanskrit, the Vedas,
            the Brahma Sutras and amalgamated the Aryan Rudra-Shankara with the Druid
            Shiva, The Aryan Narayana with the Druid Vishnu, the Aryan
            Sandhya-Savitri-Gayatri-Saraswathi and the Druid
            Lakshmi-Parvathi-Lalitha, with the tribal-negroid Kali; with the tribal-negroid
            Ganapathi, and with the Aryan Sun (or the living idol of Brahma) into the
            Panchayathana. Not all subscribed to this, and various archetypal religions and
            their derivatives from human sacrifice, necrophagy and cannibalism to
            Vasihnavism, Shaivism and Shaktaism continued to flourish to this day. After
            this, the Moslem invasions added to a chaos that has become utter and complete
            after 1947 with the nationalization of Temples and the extermination of
            Brahmanism. However, the various resultant indigenous religions, wrongly
            dismissed as “Hinduism” (which is actually a defunct nationality)
            resolve themselves into a five by five matrix. The 64 “Tantras” or
            methodologies resolve into the five principal ordinates of Kaulacharya,
            Vamacharya, Samayacharya, Dakshinacharya and Shivaacharya while the
            philosophical orientations resolve themselves into five principal co-ordinates
            of Dwaita, Vishista Dwaitha, Adwaitha, Shaankhya and Shoonya. With any number
            of deities (Ishta Devathas) to choose from . The notions of Karma and Dharma,
            though, which originated in the Prathamo Upanishad has been passed down father
            to son, in secrecy, since the Saptha Rishis (Seven Sages- the ancestors of the
            Aryas) received it from Brahma and was the sole double helix that bound what
            used to be known as “Hinduism” until as recently as 1921 when the
            British swamped the Hindus by including Non-Hindus (Dalits etc.) as Hindus to
            eradicate Brahmanism and the congregational temple welfare system and so break
            the back of what they (and their successors, the Indian Republic) thought was
            “Hinduism”,.

    • gk

      AIT has not been proven. Superficial quote mining by European scholars of Sanskrit was used to project AIT and justify British Raj.
      Vedic period ? Again Rig Vedic period, Yajur Vedic period are all European constructs. Who proved that Sanskrit literature had a homogenous style at any given point in time ? If certain words are not used, does that mean the author was not aware of these ? Are there any literary evidences to the staggered vedic timeline you talk about ? We were aware of 4 Yugas, not Vedic age, pre Vedic age etc. Are there evidences in literature or inscriptions to prove that Ashoka dismantled Gurukula system and made varna/skills hereditary ?

      • SuchindranathAiyer

        ROFL! This is like the destroyer of evidence asking for the evidenc to be produced! Like the tyranny of the Indian Republic! Please re read my posts.

    • MahaVakyas

      Mr. Aiyer,

      Your posts are quite intriguing but seem to be mostly ranting the same thing. If we were to take your suppositions at face value, what is the ‘date’ you ascribe to the Rig Veda? Do you agree with anti-Hindu scholars like Witzel, Doniger et al. that the Rig Veda was ‘composed around 1500 BCE?’ Surely, being a Shrauta Smarta (as am I), you know better than that.

      What is the date you give to the Kurukshetra War? It is only after this war that Aswatthama is supposed to have migrated to present-day Arabia. How do you claim that “Dravidians” were the ones who created the Mesopotamian (and Sumerian?) civilizations? What proof/evidence is there for this?

      I thought the 5 sons of Yayati, the original ‘Arya’, settled around the world – one in India, one is Persia, one in Asia Minor, and one in Europe. All Aryas except the one in India are considered ‘drifted’ or ‘fallen’ – those who did not (and still don’t) follow Arya Dharma. Hence it gave rise to severe devolution of “Hinduism” and we find the semitic cults (Judaism/Christianity/Islam), Zoroastrianism, and the cult of the Druids.

      If someone where to ask where did “Hinduism” originate, what would be your answer?

      Is Sanskrit the mother language or do you believe in the PIE theory?

      Have you come across another Smarta by the name of L. Aravind Iyer? He goes by “Manasataramgini’ on Twitter and he too supports the AIT – which I find very disturbing and with no evidence.

      • SuchindranathAiyer

        I have not read your post beyond the word “rant”. I do not consider the “gen next” name calling, personally attacking, native Indian who has grown up sans culture, erudition, and etiquette in the spitting image of India’s Parliamentarians, Judges, Bollywoodies, Police and Criminals to be worthy of recognition, acknowledgement or reply.

        • MahaVakyas

          Sigh… must be another unstable smartaSS.. you are a failed human being; full of delusion and ego. Your RANTS, are nothing more than that – RANTS of a deranged wannabe loser. Keep licking the shoes of your western masters and spouting more nonsense about the debunked AIT.

          Your ridiculous ego makes you a MLECCHA, just like the western ‘scholars’ you worship. Go somewhere else and feed your ego.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            QED

    • Jishnu

      KS Lal: Growth of Scheduled Tribes and Castes in Medieval India.

      Dalit is a colonial concept. There is no dalit/pancama in the “aryan” society.

      • SuchindranathAiyer

        There was no caste system in the Rik Vedic
        Period in the Aryan stamping grounds that stretched from East Prussia to
        Mongolia.. All were Brahmins by religion. In the Shukla Yajur Veda period (when
        archery and chariot warfare were perfected) varna was fluid and based on skills
        and aptitude. In the Krishna Yajur Veda period when the Aryans over laid the
        Druhyus or Druids (Dasyus) of the Indo Gangetic plain and exacted tribute from
        them in the form of agricultural and architectural produce, the Aryan culture
        stabilized into a civilization and the varna specializations of Brahmana,
        Kshatriya and Vaishya began to coagulate. They ossified during the Sama Veda
        Period. After the great civil war described in the Mahabharatha, the Aryan
        hegemony was no longer possible, and the Aryans and Druids inter married. The
        Architectural, temple worshipping, and agricultural technologies and traditions
        entered the Vedas through the Aagama Shastras as the Atharva Veda period began.
        The fourth varna of Shudra entered the Varna system and caste mobility based on
        aptitude and skills was determined in the Guru Kulas. At this time religions
        began to proliferate and the complexity of both laws and civilization demanded
        intense and long drawn out education that led to more intense specialization.
        Ashoka destroyed the Temples and the Gurukulas in revenge for being declared an
        outcaste when he violated the treaty of Bharatha by waging fratricidal war and
        brought the Vedic Period, Bharatha Varsha, Sanskrit and thereby Varna mobility
        to an end. It was Adi Shankara whose ancestors had fled to the deep South to
        escape Ashoka’s persecution who revived Sanskrit,the Vedas and the Brahma
        Sutras. Brahmins by religion (the Shroutha Smarthas) are extremely rare today.
        Many non Brahmins who adhere to other religions such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism
        and Shakthaism have anointed themselves as Brahmins by caste adding to the
        confusion. “Dalit is word coined by the Brirtish in their 1921 census. The latter
        “Dravid””, likewise is a British concept.
        The “Dalits”are descendants of those who never subscribed to Aryan Law
        (Arya Varsha Dharma) and those who were made out caste (like Ashoka) for
        violating the law and could not be reintegrated as there were no more Guru
        Kulas and Ashwamedha Yajnas after Ashoka i.e. the Vedica period had come to an
        end.

        • Jishnu

          The reason I pointed to KS Lal’s book is precisely to counter the statement

          “The “Dalits”are descendants of those who never subscribed to Aryan Law”

          A majority of today’s “dalits” happen to be those groups that fell from Arsha dharma during the last thousand years. Those groups that never subscribed to Aryan law are proportionately much fewer.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            I rely on Shroutha-Smarth Ithihasa rather than books. I have read very little on the subject and am unacquainted with the works of Historians and Indologists.

          • Jishnu

            Srauta-smArta itihAsa hardly throws light on the “dalit” problem of invasion times. In fact it only loosely mentions what all falls outside the core society (4 varNa-s): the canDAla-s, nishAda-s, sanyAsin-s, etc. Clearly the pancama is a category that rose during last thousand years and did not have any attestation from ancient literature.

            Even the itihasa of rAmAyaNa-mahAbhArata shows an east -> movement in north of India, from UP-Bihar centric kingdom of rAmAyaNa to delhi-UP-panjAb and much wider northern political geography of mahAbhArata. Which goes against the AIT proposition of west -> east movement. Unless one resorts to convoluted explanation such as Ayodhya Sarayu Mithila etc being imaginary and originally belonging to central Asia, the AIT position doesn’t hold. Archaeological position (ex BB Lal) hardly corroborates what experts of genetics are trying to interpret genetic evidence as, in terms of antiquity of Indic civilization.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            You must be assuming that Shroutha Smarthas and their Ithihasa came to an end in 1921 – 1923 (British persecution) or 1949 -1959 (extermination by the Indian Republic. Not so. Ithihasa continues so long as there is a yesterday. As for the rest, mythology (puranasa) such as manufactured in Indian and foreign universities have always competed with Ithihasa.

          • Jishnu

            No, I am assuming that a proper Srauta-smArta recording of Indian situation ceased centuries ago not in 20th century. If not, how could it miss the more horrible of invasions, destruction and the consequent enslaving, the morphing of varNa-s, etc? I do not come across any such recording of Itihasa anywhere (not universities, but not anywhere else either within traditions).

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            It depends on which portion of the History you were exposed to and where you were exposed to it. Ithihasa has continued non-stop among those who tend it.

          • Jishnu

            “Ithihasa has continued non-stop”

            Where? Which tradition has record of itihAsa (oral or written) of last thousand years? I only came across traditional chroniclers of vijayanagara etc empires which are more of kings’ hagiography than any apprisal of social condition, the groups and denominations. In contrast itihAsa for various regions from MBH times to post christ, is well recorded.

          • SuchindranathAiyer

            I would not like to invite the terrible wrath of the Indian Republic and other detractors from truth of revealing their identity. But I have no difficulty in exposing myself, personally.

          • Jishnu

            I do not want to expose you either by asking for details. Do you mind dropping a test mail at [email protected]?

  • Amadeus

    Caste is multi-dimensional, yet rooted in the local context. The high caste status of a group is irrelevant unless it’s recognized by others social groups in that particular geographical setting. For example, in Punjba, the ritually high-caste brahmins in Punjab were socially considered inferior to khatris.

    The high caste status never meant riches and prosperity. Marxist historian Sumit Sarkar in his book “Modern India” refers to 50,000 Chitpavan brahmins in Bombay living as beggars in the middle of the 19th century.

    There has been inter-generational and intra-generational mobility within the caste system. In the second century BC, Greeks were amalgamated as Kshatriyas, while Magas from Iran were assimilated as Brahmins.
    In early medieval period, the Kadamba rulers (in present day Goa) gave their Brahmin caste to become Kshatriyas.

    As MN Srinivas states in one of his books, the rulers always had a privilege to assign a particular caste status to a group, an example of which is seen in his reference to Census Commissioner Risley in 107. Commissioner Risley got three maund of applications/evidence from various social groups seeking his seal of approval to move from their original caste groupings to another, and mind you it included Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras.

    Caste in India also remains “ideational”, the notion of ritual superiority doesn’t come into play in daily interactions within the village. For example, the village barber, though considered to be of low social origin, also served as somebody who was trusted with arranging for marriage alliances of the high castes. The barber invariably had the access to the “ear” of the socially powerful.

  • Sree Charan R

    Well expounded article; I hope people take the message with good intentions, instead of selfish ideological reasoning.

  • Dr. MS

    The other thing that has not been mentioned is “how the concept of karma makes certain fluidity in roles and actions possible”. One of my mother’s distant cousins, an orthodox Brahmin, after losing his job, assets and savings in a business venture that went wrong, became a railway ticket master…a low level job that Brahmins did not traditionally do. He accepted it as karma, and his family’s rationale, a good one, was “earning through honest work, no matter what that work is, that does not harm anyone, is perfectly Brahminical and allowed by the Vedas”.

    My aunt who took care of my sick grandmother would clean the vomit, urine, blood and feces without revulsion with a philosophy, “It is only my loving mother in law’s body fluids I am cleaning…why should I feel revulsion or shame in that? It is my karma, and I consider myself lucky to do this…because she was a wonderful mother in law, more like a mother”..

    There has always been more fluidity in social roles, political positions and cultural power than we’d like to admit in Hinduism…and I saw it all the time.

    I also think Hindu woman is special in this. They, like my mother and female relatives, are always the first ones or the eager ones to accept “inter caste marriages, inter religious partnerships and all kinds of mixing, mingling and mating more quickly, more lovingly and more maturely than our men”.

    • rbk

      Stop your Christian propaganda nonsense. You seem to be deployed by the Church/Seminary to study the articles posted by this site and to get to know how the ‘infidels’ are thinking these days(I’m sure you might be paid well or at least promised a place in eternal heaven for being a trojan horse). Since you mention your relative was a Brahmin I assume you are Hindu who sold your soul to this Zombie worshipping cult.

      If Jesus was an outcaste, then why call him a descendant of David. Jesus had royal blood. Jesus was just a troublemaker who wanted to control the Jews through prophetic claims(probably he had schizophrenia which made him claim apocalyptic things and that he was the ‘way’). Jesus’ cult was a loony fringe Jewish cult. This ticked off orthodox Jews. And thus was born anti-semitism through the members of this loony cult in response. Jesus was the father of hate & anti-semitism.

    • MahaVakyas

      Jesus was a fraud – a charlatan son of a deviant peasant who is utterly and absolutely worthless. Indians, specifically Aryas/Hindus, have no need for that charlatan zombie.

      Are you “Dr. MS” a Hindu? Or are you a converted coolie posing as a Hindu?

  • Dr. MS

    Good job Rakesh. People forget that “racism is casteism”, “colonialism was casteism”, “xenophobia was and is casteism” and “Anglocentricism, Christian tribalism,etc. are casteism..”.

    Assyrian Catholic driver in Chennai said to me that his wife is in Sri Lanka looking for a husband for his youngest daughter. I wondered why he, who opposes caste and makes fun of Hindus for casteism, still prefers arranged marriage for his daughter, wants a foreign son-in-law over “an Indian non Syrian Catholic or a Protestant or a Hindu or a Jain, etc.”?

    And in Chennai Christians marry at Muhurtham (an auspicious time) but never give Hinduism credit for that. They consult astrology, they call Jesus Perumaal (which is another name for Vishnu) and light oil lamps as “an everyday spiritual ritual or for blessings” which is a Hindu custom.

    In the US the most segregated day is Sunday when Blacks go to Black churches and Whites go to White churches. And even today White supremacists go into churches, a so-called house of worship, and kill blacks with guns, and the Confederate flag, that defended slavery and forced servitude of Blacks, still flies high in many Southern States. And people think that America is so great on human rights for bringing down the Confederate flag in 2015. 2015!!!!

    Casteism is still very high and even higher than in India in places like the US, Canada, Latin America and South America/ They call Brown people of mixed race mulatto (a very derogatory label).

  • Sujata Srinath

    Jabala was the mother’s name…the boy was Satyakama and is known as Satyakama Jabala. His story is most illuminating. It is the nature of humans to identify and categorize. But to discriminate and exploit one group to favor another is criminal in any era. Whatever happened to our society that festers and causes turmoil must be rejected and a new set of attitudes and behaviour must be put in place…that is what is required. Towards that end, understanding the compulsions of the British or understanding how the Muslim invaders dealt with the indigenous society or understanding how the issue of Shivaji’s coronation was settled to the benefit of all are useful only to the extent of the lessons it provides in what to avoid and how to circumvent or prevent situations of conflict. We need to approach all of this with an intention to live and live harmoniously and not succumb to feeling inferior or superior about past or present societal behaviour.

  • Shubhangi Raykar

    A very well documented article.What the Muslims are doing where they grow up in numbers is according to the teachings of Mohammad. They do not follow the constitution. Their hidden agenda is to increase in numbers so that they can reduce Hindus to Dhimi status. And we laugh at RSS asking Hindus to have more children. The only solution seems to be the Uniform civil code and Hindus increasing their state of awareness and allertness

    • Jishnu

      Uniform civil code is not working in Europe either. Western open societies are quite vulnerable in long term. Solution is a state that is aware of human nature and has solution rooted in human nature – dharma.

    • Amadeus

      Well said. Hindus need to be educated about the Marxist historians and the so-called leftist journalists, who often push their agendas of social disruption for selfish gains.

      • Sree Charan R

        Not sure if I am being harsh or whatever…”those” historians/scholars— and “journalists”?…who really cares about them today; forget about respecting them, as in the olden days?— that you mention do not even deserve the time that we spend here to discuss…they are better deserved to be ignored and forgotten completely….

    • Srinivas Yalala

      I believe (might not correct), first we need to unite and get rid of untouchability which still existss as on today. If we fight towards caste system which from the very beginning of the root as per the link: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2_24lbud.htm. Today not just SC, ST, even lot of forward caste themselves fight to show that each of their caste is greater than the other. How can we overcome the caste problem before we talk about other religions? We all need to have positive thoughts to overcome the caste system to stop other religions to attract our Hindus.

  • _chAyA_

    Well written article except for the conclusion. if Muslims take over a place through demographic jihad, how can it be due to caste system? Writers like KS Lal have shown how the so called lower castes refused to convert even when untouchability was in vogue. Resistance to conversion was high even when Brits ruled. Its Educated Hindus’ fault for not recognising inherent strengths of jAti & for repeating tiresome cliches about untouchability.

    • JagatguruDas

      Untouchability and caste system is politicized by vested interests. There are some useful idiots who play into their hands

    • Saturnsson

      K.S.Lal,Growth of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in Medieval India,Aditya Prakashan

  • शरण् कुमार्

    The greatest barrier to Hindu Unity is reservation. If Hindus have to come together, this malignant practice has to be abandoned. It is sad to note that the government itself does not want Hindus to be united.

  • Jishnu

    Caste system is indeed a colonial idea, but how different is our understanding?

    It is the Indian constitution that divides Hindus and unites predatory minorities. Whatever be the intention of “authors”, that is the implication and consequence. Constitution does not formulate abrahamic intolerance as the problem, instead it goes into all kinds of apologetic, judgmental and Hindu-flagellating analyses. It cannot show equality itself, but urges that society has to embrace equality. After independence in 1947, what exactly did the constitution makers do to make sure this country does not suffer another series of riots and partition? They did all that can hasten another round of riots and partition through empowerment of predators, rendering the victims more vulnerable. And one who is instrumental in all this is praised as the great Ambedkar. Reason? Hindus have no clue who their savior is and who their aggressor is.