Why is the world so obsessed with India’s caste system?

There is an obsessive tendency to project the caste system as a form of social exclusivism found only in India. Clearly, not enough attention is being directed to the history of social hierarchies and exclusions in the western world, nor is the peculiar development of India’s social stratification under British colonialism being fully appreciated.

India’s caste system and ‘untouchability’ have been a matter of profound interest to a large number of social science researchers, historians, and even the general public in modern times. Perceptions of Indian caste have taken such deep roots in the minds of non-Indians that I am often asked whether I belong to an upper caste during casual conversations with westerners.

This is not surprising, because even today, high school textbooks in the US such as ‘World Civilizations: Global Experience’ (AP Edition) carry sentences such as: “The Indian caste system is perhaps the most extreme expression of a type of social organization that violates the most revered principles on which modern Western societies are based.”

Strangely, Indians themselves have internalized all these stories of exploitation of lower castes and untouchables and never asked questions about their validity or about similar practices in the western world. Was there really no caste system anywhere else except in India? How were the people who emptied human faeces from the privies of the rich citizens of Europe treated? How were the men who handled human corpses and animal carcasses treated? Did such people get the chance to sit at the same table as rich men or marry their daughters?

Executioners were shunned by European society even though their services were frequently used.

Executioners were shunned by European society even though their services were frequently used.

Many will be surprised to know that under the European caste system, the lowest castes lived in terrible conditions until the 20th century. In Defiled Trade and Social Outcasts – Honour and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany, author Kathy Stewart describes social groups that were “dishonourable by virtue of their trade” in the 17th century and lists executioners, skinners, grave-diggers, shepherds, barber-surgeons, millers, linen-weavers, sow-gelders, actors, latrine cleaners, night-watchmen and bailiffs.

Ms Stewart goes on to connect the dishonourable trades with the times of the Roman Empire. “Throughout the Holy Roman empire dishonourable tradesmen suffered various forms of social, economic, legal, and political discrimination on a graduated scale of dishonour at the hands of ‘‘honourable’’ guild artisans and in ‘‘honourable’’ society at large. As a matter of course, dishonourable people were excluded from most guilds. In the case of the most extreme dishonour, that of executioners and skinners, Unehrlichkeit [concept of dishonour] could lead to exclusion from virtually all normal sociability. Executioners and skinners might be pelted with stones by onlookers, they might be refused access to taverns, excluded from public baths, or denied an honourable burial. Dishonour was transmitted through heredity, often over several generations. The polluting quality of dishonour is one of its defining characteristics. By coming into casual contact with dishonourable people or by violating certain ritualized codes of conduct, honourable citizens could themselves become dishonourable. Being labelled dishonourable had disastrous consequences for an honourable artisan. The guildsman, who was tainted by dishonour suffered a kind of social death. He would be excluded from his guild and forbidden to practice his trade, so that he would lose both his livelihood and the social and political identity which guild membership conferred. The fear of pollution through personal contact could go so far that neighbours and onlookers would refuse to help a dishonourable person even in the face of mortal danger. A dramatic example is the executioner’s wife who was left to die in childbirth in the north German town of Husum in the 1680s, because the midwife refused to set foot in the executioner’s house.”

Throughout history, the task of handling wastes and faeces has never been a dignified one. Until as late as the 20th century, human excrement had to be removed physically from cesspits and privies in Europe. The European lower-caste people who did the dirty job were called gongfermours (French) or gong farmers in English. Do you think they were treated with respect and allowed to mingle freely with the upper echelons of society?

Gong farmers or gongfermours in Europe were tasked with digging out and removing human excrement from privies and cesspits.

Gong farmers or gongfermours in Europe were tasked with digging out and removing human excrement from privies and cesspits.

The gong farmers of England were only allowed to work at night, so they were also called nightmen. They came into respectable neighbourhoods in the dead of the night, emptied cesspits and carted away the wastes to the boundaries of the cities. They were required to live in certain areas at the fringes of the city and could not enter the city during day-time. There were severe penalties for breaking this rule. Even after water closets arrived on the scene, their contents flowed into cesspits for a long time and needed to be cleaned out by nightmen.

Worldwide, until modern systems of transporting and handling sewage and sludge came into existence, workers in this sector were ostracized from society. Until modern cities became populated with millions of migrants that helped to increase diversity and heterogeneity, communities were close-knit and exclusionary.

Interestingly, the English word ‘caste’ is derived from the Portugese ‘casta’. It was used by the Spanish elites who ruled over conquered territories. The terms sistema de castas or the sociedad de castas were used in the 17th and 18th centuries to describe the mixed-race people in Spanish-controlled America and Philippines. The castas system classified people on the basis of birth, colour and race. The more white a person, the higher were the privileges and lesser the tax burden. The casta was an extension of the idea of purity of blood developed in Christian Spain to denote those without the “taint” of Jewish or Muslim heritage. That concept had already been institutionalised during the Spanish Inquisition, when thousands of converted Jews and Muslims (European lower-castes) were killed on the suspicion that they had reverted to their previous religions.

Edward Alsworth Ross (Principles of Sociology, 1920) gives a detailed description of rigid and strict caste system of Europe and notes that it was a product of forces within the European society. He says:

“The tendency of the later [Roman] empire was to stereotype society by compelling men to follow the occupation of their fathers, and preventing a free circulation among different callings and grades of life. The man who brought the grain of Africa to the public stores of Ostia, the labourers who made it into loaves for distribution, the butchers who brought pigs from Samnium, Lucania or Bruttium, the purveyors of wine and oil, the men who fed the furnaces of the public baths, were bound to their calling from one generation to another… Every avenue of escape was closed… Men were not allowed to marry out of their guild… Not even a dispensation obtained by some means from the imperial chancery, not even the power of the Church could avail to break the bond of servitude.”

The Indian ‘caste system’ was a label imposed by the British colonialists and this label did not correctly represent the stratification of the society. In the Vedas, there was no concept of purity of blood, which was a characteristic of Europe’s caste system. On the other hand, there was a concept of actions and personal qualities determining one’s ‘varna’. The Indian term “jaati” that refers to occupational division of society into barbers, cobblers, cattle-herders, blacksmiths, metal-workers and other trades is not a concept exclusive to India (even though the concept of artisans’ guilds has most likely originated in India).  In every settled society in the world, traditionally, sons followed the same occupation as their fathers. The sons of carpenters became carpenters. The sons of weavers became weavers. It made sense because the children were well acquainted with the trades of their father, and could keep their trade secrets with themselves.

In India, the lines dividing jaatis were initially loose and there were many instances of people moving across the hierarchy. There have been saints from lower castes such as Ravidas, Chokhamela and Kanakadasa who earned the respect of people and were not regarded as lesser than Brahmin saints. The Maratha Peshwas were Brahmins who became Kshatriyas. The Maratha king Shivaji was regarded as a low-caste in the beginning who, after his victory over many kingdoms, proclaimed himself as a Kshatriya with support from liberal Brahmins.  Says M.N. Srinivas, the well-known sociologist:

“It is necessary to stress here that 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. The varna-model has been the cause of misinterpretation of the realities of the caste system. 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.”

It must also be noted that the castes in India never had the upper-class/lower-class economic divisions as in Europe. The Brahmins were traditionally the poorest, often beggars. The Vaishya and Shudra merchants and tradesmen were often very well-off and hired the services of Brahmins. Land was typically owned by Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The famous mathematician Aryabhata was himself a non-Brahmin and yet he had Namboodri Brahmins studying under him. Even today, there are hundreds of Brahmins engaged in cleaning toilets in India, whereas one will find it challenging to find a white man driving a garbage truck in America.

Historian Dharampal, in his work ‘The Beautiful Tree’ on the indigenous education systems in 18th century India has laid out how British surveys carried out in Madras, Punjab and Bengal Presidencies revealed the widespread enrolment of children in schools. Almost every village had a school. In many schools, the Shudra children outnumbered the Brahmin children. These schools were gradually shut down as poverty became widespread under the British and villagers moved to cities in search of jobs.

Casta system of Mexico as depicted by Spanish colonial art.

Casta system of Mexico as depicted by Spanish colonial art.

The lines of caste became more rigid on account of various factors such as foreign invasions and the British policy of “divide and rule”. Until the British carried out a wide-ranging survey from 1881 to list down various surnames into separate castes, most Indians were not aware of the placing of various castes. Typically, some family names were affiliated with a particular caste in one village and with a different caste in another village. Suddenly, hard lines of division were drawn with the survey. The sense of caste identity emphasized by the British which was aimed at preventing natives from uniting and resisting foreign occupation created deep schisms within Indian society.  The placing of several scheduled castes and tribes into criminal categories by the British also caused the hardening of the caste lines with disastrous consequences for free India. Funnily, even as the class and caste practicing British codified the Indian castes, they did not allow English women to marry Indian men, while they had no qualms in taking on Indian women as concubines.

It must be remembered that the stigmatising and hardening of India’s loosely-structured, occupation-based jaati system was a part of the strategy of the Christian missionaries. When Governor-General John Shore became a member of the evangelical Clapham Sect, missionary activity in India increased substantially. Hindus were declared to be the “most enslaved portion of the human race” on account of their superstitious religion. William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery champion who was also a member of the Clapham Sect declared in the House of Commons in 1813 that emancipating Hindus from their religion was as much the sacred duty of every Christian as emancipating Africans from slavery.

No country in the world is free from inequalities. A constant human endeavour for more money and more power ensures that. A discriminatory system has been widespread, whether it worked against non-Christians, non-Muslims, blacks, homosexuals, women, AIDS patients or lepers. The racism that was historically prevalent in western societies and continues in various forms today is also a kind of pernicious caste system. The holocaust has been blamed on Nazism and anti-Semitism, but few have noticed the caste system in which it was embedded Even the United Nations Security Council has its own caste system with just five permanent members, which have veto powers. The graduates from Ivy League universities and members of exclusive clubs enjoy their own caste privileges.

It can be argued that India has put together the world’s biggest affirmative action plan called “Reservations” to help the historically disadvantaged castes. With reserved slots in government schools and colleges, positions in government services and seats in electoral constituencies, there has been a massive effort to be inclusive. Whether the effort has yielded results or has resulted in a “reverse caste system” is something that needs to be examined.

The modern stratification of caste-identity in India and its bizarre expressions is an outcome of the institutionalized policies of the British and Indian governments abetted by the Marxists and minorities, as well as poverty and lack of opportunities for growth. It is not due to any imagined perversity of the original classification of society in Hindu traditions.

It is high time the world and Indians themselves stopped typecasting India as the land of the caste system and made an effort to understand its beginnings as well as the socio-economic hierarchies in every part of the globe. Having been the subject of sociological and anthropological studies of the western researchers for so long, the Indians have begun to believe that like laboratory specimens, their place is under the microscope. It is time to reverse the lenses. There is a whole world outside India waiting to be examined and understood from an Indian perspective.

The writer would like to acknowledge the role of Dr Raj Vedam and Dr Subroto Gangopadhyay from Indian History Awareness and Research in giving critical inputs for this article. She would like to thank Diwakar Krishnappa for helping in literature review.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

Sahana Singh writes on environmental (water) issues, current affairs and Indian history. She is a member of Indian History Awareness and Research (IHAR), and has recently authored “The Educational Heritage of Ancient India – How An Ecosystem of Learning Was Laid to Waste”.
  • graicy

    You bitch don’t even know what you are writing….

  • Piyadassi

    What a piece of shit, there are strong evidences from Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire’ period and even from Shakyamuni’s period to prove that caste system was a core Hindu practice, it was not brought by the west to Indian society. Shameless people trying to ignore their own history and putting blame on others.

    • GulliverFredrich2



      So yes this OP writer IS INDEED CORRECT!

  • SM

    Excellent article (Im a friend of Nilesh Oaks and just read this linked on your FB page). The Caste system is alive and kicking in present Europe too. Look at the way the Roma/Gypsies are treated and shunned across the length and breath of Europe. We have no equivalents in modern India. Maybe somebody from India Facts can write about this?

  • Hrnakshi Joashi

    This article reminds me of a chapter from a college sociology textbook – includes all content of a text book including origin / root word.

  • truth

    you know if we get technical about history and want to address some issues what do white people got to say about hmm? let’s see colonialism?,imperialism,sexism,jim crows law,segragation aparthied,ira,kkk,concentration camps,color bars in Britain,feminism,institutionalized racism?,systemic racism?not giving blacks equal voting rights in the early 1900’s

  • truth

    if it wasn’t for IndiA inventing religion there wouldn’t be any foreigner having any subreligions.

  • truth

    whites are a global minority and are under 1 third of the global population they try to act as if they are the dominant culture over everyone,truth is EasT’ is not west and never will be. whites should quit trying to push their ideology’s onto our country and other races country and go crawl back underneath their filthy cave and mind their own business. they have so many atrocities on their list for history in the span of500 years they should seriously heed their own advice and shut the hell up.. for starters whites are the reason why IndiA got its wealth of over 695 trillion GBP stolen.ask yourself this ? how many Christian and muslim countries are there and how many hindu countries are there? you see that India doesn’t want Christian nor muslims they have so many other countries to go to they should stay out of ours.when the truth is spoken they will state oh IndiA is intolerant but truth is I don’t have any guilt over their BS nonsense because the truth is whites are in so many lands they shouldn’t be in and same goes for muslims.at least Hinduism isn’t forced towards others.only religions which have atrocities entwined to it are Abrahamic religions whether that be Christianity,judaism,or Islamic.truth is Christianity was never white peoples religion they took that religion as that is a import religion to them and is not indigenous/endogenous to them yet they feel the need to manipulate and blackmail bribe Indians to convert through poverty whites caused by robbing our people to begin with and then they decide to vilify India stating oh IndiA shouldn’t be buying weapons and arms for defense off RussiA IndiA should be feeding their poor which is sheer utter BS. whites are the reason why IndiAs infrastructure got ruined and the treasury and wealth got robbed. ..

  • truth

    IndiA should not allow any whites to to obtain a visa to travel in our country.muslims,christians and jews should all be kicked out.

  • truth

    white people are straight up wealth crooks!,land crooks!,liars,and bloodshedders and should be more concerned about their own history as they have attacked every race on the entire planet.why isnt the native indigenous Indians governing their own lands?

  • Lalitaditya Muktapida

    Take a Bow Ms. Singh. Your articles are clear, concise, hard hitting and to the point. They are neither too long nor too short. Do you have a twitter page we can follow the way we follow Sanjeev Sanyal and Rajeev Malhotra?

  • rao swan

    What a stupid logic raise in this article. I spend 15 years in Europe, no doubt there is economic disparity but this is not the point of hatred to each other but in India on the basis of caste everything is fix. The slavery t of India for thousands of years by the outsider is the best example of this. Upper caste does not allow the Shudra to trained as a soldiers. why? because it’s reserved only for Kshatriya> Such stupid logic we will never find in Europe or any other country.

  • hitesh gautam

    You gotta read some more stuff, especially on Varna System. Try “Riddles in Hinduism” by Dr. Ambedkar. Manusmriti etc. etc. are much older than British. It’s a nice excuse to put all the blame on Britishers. Rather, this country owes a lot to Britishers. Have you seen “Apcalypto movie..Human sacrifice, Sati, Cutting breasts etc, we were something like that only. India overcame all these stupid, due to reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Jyotibha Phule, who could get rid of these evils, with the support of Britishers. Remember, a person holding an advantageous position, due to religion, birth etc, will never give up that advantage unless that person is forced too.
    Besides, one big difference in the inequalities of the west vis-a-vis inequalities of India, is the sanctity of Religion, a fact defenders like you simply ignore upon. The most common way to hide it is the concept of “Varna” using “Guna”. Varna System is justified using Guna and proposed as a system which is not rigid. What bullshit!! Seriously.
    Imagine, how the Jews in Germany would feel, if the Germans take a stand that holocaust never happened. Recently, Pope, in his own way apologized at Auschwitz. Can any of the Shankracharya etc. do the same for Dadri or Una. No, they will never do that, because in their eyes, Nothing wrong has happened and you know what, may be they are right as per the Religious books and scriptures they are following and adhering too.
    That’s what we call Sanctity to Inequality. Well either the Sanctity will not last or the inequality will disappear.

  • Jitu

    An eye-opening article. I always knew that the Westerners projected their discrimination on to our system, but I never knew the details. Looks like I need to find Ms Stewart’s book.

  • unmesh dave

    caste system is a racial construct that the Europeans projected into the Indian society on the basis of what prevailed in the society at that time. It was a tendency of the Europeans to understand everything through their lens, so when they came to India and saw Jaati and Varna System they unconsciously projected their version of caste System on to the Indians. Rajiv Malhotraji gives a very good analysis of the origin of the Indian Caste system in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WDFVMOtc5s

  • Refreshing and very informative.

  • JCT20

    Every society and religion has racial discrimination to a varying degree. But there is no such thing like caste system as practiced in India, among Hindus.
    Yes, there were/are discrimination against “people who emptied human faeces from the privies of the rich citizens of Europe” or “the men who handled human corpses and animal carcasses” or “the chance to sit at the same table as rich men or marry their daughters”- But in NO, I repeat NO, case that discrimination is hereditary and based on religious belief.
    The author is either ignorant or conveniently ignored that Those people (who emptied human faeces or who handled human corpses and animal carcasses etc) from less-privileged section of the society were victim of extractive political and/or economic institutions than any caste system in Europe or other western countries.

  • JCT20

    This article has few facts totally wrong and seems to be another attempt by resurgent “hindutva” forces to confuse and bypass issues associated with that heinous social taboo among hindus….

    It’s totally wrong to say that, “modern stratification of caste-identity in India and its bizarre expressions is an outcome of the institutionalized policies of the British and Indian governments abetted by the Marxists and minorities…..”

    Caste system in Indian subcontinent among HIndus were initiated and then strengthen by ancient saints like Manu and then by Adi Shankaracharya. Yes, almost EVERY socio-political elites used and misused this system for their own benefits- and that include the Muslim, British and then rulers of independent India- still now.

    One can check this link from an article I wrote sometime ago, titled, “Early evolution of religion ushered the dawn of scientific research” (just google):
    Quote (links included)- Our own Achariya Prafulla Chandra Roy, the noted chemist and among the first few Indian entrepreneurs to set up knowledge based Industry, Bengal Chemical, in India on 12th April, 1901, once tried to identify “since when and why India cannot undertake objective scientific research” (my own translation from Bengali texts). After a long investigation he wrote a book, “History of Hindu Chemistry”. There he identified distorted interpretation and practice of religion (more specifically the Hindu religion) and heinous caste system as the root cause. In an article titled, “knowledge of technical arts and decline of scientific spirit”, he was more elaborate. He specifically identified two people – first one is Saint Shankaracharaya and then saint Manu (who introduced stricter caste based social division and marriage among Hindus). For a quick reference one can check the short article published in reputed Bengali magazine, “Desh” (2nd February 2011 issue).

    • Lalitaditya Muktapida

      This is why ask the Pagans to stop defending Hindu Caste system and to instead relentlessly attack Christianity’s caste system. Pagans must learn to play offense and forget about defense for a while.

  • Pingback: Does ‘Varna’ provide a religious basis for the present Caste System? | IndiaFactsIndiaFacts()

  • Shiva Kumar Sivapurapu

    Very informative and thought provoking particularly this piece of information is chilling “The placing of several scheduled castes and tribes into criminal categories by the British also caused the hardening of the caste lines with disastrous consequences for free India.” How can we escape from this disease….


    Slow clapping. 🙂 I think we are programmed to think this way, so that we don’t question their past.

    Don’t forget these are the same very people who enslaved other because their religion justified that it’s OK to do this and if you look at the history of every aristocracy you will find nothing but oppression of the others. This was all because they had different skin colour.

    I think you will find that these are the very people who will point their finger in your direction.

    BTW Best article I have read in long time.

  • swami kripalayananda

    very good article that revealed the reality of caste system. yes we have to reverse the gaze.

  • Jitendra Desai

    Very informative.Thanks. India and Indians might have stopped worrying about what the world thinks of her castes and caste systems.It is the anti Hindu bias of many Indians that is causing more problems for Hindu society.Communists and pseudo seculars are trying to divide Hindu society.And for them this caste system imposed on Hindus by invaders is coming handy.

    • felix thiagarajan

      Hi people, been hearing a lot of ‘divide and rule’ in this page. Why blame Britishers when Manu Neeti did it around 100 B.C. by the name of Jaati.

      • Jitendra Desai

        Stop discussing Manu if you have not read him.Why non Hindus should worry so much about Hindu caste system? Enough to worry for Islam about rising fratricidal killings.And enough to worry for Christians about dwindling adherents

  • Manohar

    If the world is obsessed with caste, then does raising questions about discrimination become illegitimate? Secondly, racism does exist in the West (and many westerners have said this) but does that grant us the right to defend or justify the cruel caste system in India? If women are raped in the West, should rape become legitimate in India? Third, the article talks about how scavengers and others were treated in the West in the past, but avoids any discussion on their condition today. The issue in India is not that caste existed only in the past but it exists today in the most bizarre ways. Next, what does it mean to say “even Indians have internalized” this? Do you mean to say that the victims should shut up because the ideas came from foreign land? This is most absurd. The computer, the internet, the mobile you use, etc. have not been invented in India. But, you are using them all happily. Why aren’t you throwing them away? When you write an article, you must care to fill it with some substance and not just say things without any logic. Even the comments that the article has attracted show the same level of unthinking. It is surprising that the Indian educated upper castes have denied the existence of caste for centuries and continue to do so till today. I come from one of the most oppressive castes in Andhra Pradesh so I know what caste oppression is like!! Denying its existence amounts to denying our own existence. Why do we want to do that? If we believe in modern India and democracy, we need to be ready to educate ourselves a bit and lose some of the privileges we have been enjoying at the cost of others. The problem with Indian dominant castes is that we are not ready to do precisely that. Why should we care what the foreigners have to say about caste? We need to grow as human beings. That’s why we should get rid of caste. Imagine a happy India where anyone can be your friend or relative irrespective of caste or religion! A world of possibilities opens up for everyone. Why don’t we understand this and keep on clinging to our so called upper castes? When I take my dalit friend home for dinner, I don’t want my parents to tell me that he is not allowed. But they do. You may say they are old fashioned and we can’t change them. Fine. But, when I am an adult and have my own house, and if I invite my friend home, they should not have a problem. But they do which is shameful. Just because they are my parents, I can’t defend them when they are wrong. And we should not forget that caste discrimination is a crime. How can I defend them? Again the problem is not with parents but with all of us. We basically don’t believe in law or constitution in India. Don’t we say that we believe in ancient Indian values? When we say such things, we don’t think what it means. We need to decide whether we want to live as oppressors or free human beings? Much love to all those who participated in this discussion, including the author. Manohar Reddy.

    • Krispy K

      There are so many strawmen in your post you could feed a bunch of horses for six months. If that’s meant to be an honest response to the article and the comments, you really need to practice reading and comprehension. But that’s usually what happens when an uneducated 16 year old thinks he/she knows everything under the sun and tries to lecture others on matters clearly way over his/her head.

      But then it’s also what happens when a malicious JNU drone just wants to troll the objects of his/her bigotry. Says a lot.

    • gk

      The article is not justifying oppression and discrimination. It is just pointing to the misinformed propaganda that there is something uniquely evil about Bharat’s society. Most pre-industrial societies had similar structures and they grew out of it and solved the problems. We must also do that instead of believing the White men from a egalitarian society came to redeem us and that West is egalitarian by default with few issues, whereas Bharat is just full of evil that needs Western solutions. British ruled India for more than two centuries and that is when it got industrialized and came out of the old systems. It denied the same instruments to India during that period. After Independence we had a socialist model ruining the country for many decades. Democracy is only better than communism/fascism and that too if you are not the insignificant minority. In India all elections are based on caste, religion. So I don’t think any political party is serious about that. The problems of discrimination cannot be addressed by laws or absurd notions of nation state, it has to be social transformation through self transformation. Castesim is not Hinduism. In fact, only ignorant Hindus can be casteist. Jati, gender, linguistic identities are transient and there is no point fretting over the superiority of a transient identity. All the Dalits who are tied to ‘disliked’ professions must be liberated and provided alternative vocations. The Indian state after seven decades has not done that. Reservations are few crumbs thrown to a starving crowd. So all upper castes and others should collectively do the cleanup of their communities instead of outsourcing to Dalits or unknown immigrants/poor as in cities.

      • Krispy K

        Somehow I don’t think the person you are replying to is genuinely interested in your response.

    • truth

      you are a idioT. you make your comment seem like all Indians rape when rape is highest in America,uk,sweden,and south africa all predominantly areas whites are. whites shouldn’t even be in south Africa they came there by force.

  • arishsahani


  • Malini B

    Very nice article. More power to you, Sahana!

  • Jana krish


  • Marshu

    Good articile. Yes differentiation based on job could have been there in western countries long ago. The problem in India is, despite a lot of changes, and when many people no more follow their caste’s job, discrimination still continues based on caste. Litmus test: In which country do people look at the caste of the groom and bride anymore, except in india? And why.

    It would be great of you to explore why and how the caste system in western world vapourised in the last few centuries, while it is still alive and kicking in India; perhaps in your next article.

    • Malini B

      Reservations and politicking has kept ‘caste’ alive in India

    • guest

      as said Malini, reservation kept the caste alive. As for looking for grooms and brides of the same caste….it is more on culture. each caste has its own culture and since in hinduism marriage in a matter of many lifetimes, not a matter of a few months like in the west, they made sure that there were as many comparabilities as possible so allow easy adjusting in families. remember for us creation of a stable society is more important, so even marriages are done with that idea.

  • Savarkar’s Disciple

    Why is the world so obsessed with India’s caste system?-One reason is Jati has become a Roadblock for the Missionionaries to convert People hence this so called caste system needs to be killed off.

    Caste,Curry,Cow,Misogyny,Patriarchy,Marital Rape,Dowry,Sati,Male Chauvinism,Brahminism,Multiple Gods,Animal Sacrifice etc are all gonna be used as ATROCITY LITERATURE by the Hinduphobic Academia and their Minions to beat Hinduism up into a pulp

    Once the doubt is created then walks in the Christie Baba’s Chaalis Chor who not only came to convert the Heathen but also steal the secret know hows of the Natives and then when they appropriated,Digested and taken a complete UTurn they can sell it back to the converted second grade Brown Sahib (a former village bumpkin never the less).And guess whose first in the queue Aaajbeep Markasai followed Ocenika Ghost and the likes of Boorkha Butt,Aana nahi Bhaji pie.

    I wonder just like our friend Krispy next thing you know they will probably pack shit in a very attractive Shiny package and send it to India and these colonised idiots would start eating it and calling it YUMMY just coz their Western Masters have send it.

    • guest

      Here is an article how Yogurt is better than ‘Indian curd’ only it mentions nothing about the difference, but hails ‘yogurt’ as better and provides it as a ‘better health option’ compared to curd, with the aim of making people switch.

      • Savarkar’s Disciple

        May be she might come up with a series of Articles which might eventually tell us why Yogurt is better or worse than Dahi…hehe
        But if I understand correctly you are trying to refer to the lack of reasons mentioned for the Western obsession with India’s Caste System.It won’t change unless we Reverse the Gaze with a GOI seal on the Committee which comes up with Counter Atrocity Literature.Sometimes I wonder how is this idiotic Parliamentary Democracy even helping us as in it produces some of the biggest Buffoons who might have lost their Deposits due to inability of acquiring 1/6th of the Total Votes cast but due to some Arm Twisting Caste Lobbying Goonda Tactic they end up becoming our NETA (Gadho mein Khacchar bhi Ghoda kehlaayga).These Netas are todays Moronic Kshatriyas who end up feeding and fattening the crocs and commoners like us can only watch cause we dont have the money power nor the muscle power so even if we understand the Polity behind all these things we still cant manage to win a Gram Panchayat election.But the ones who actually stand for Democratic Rights and Liberty like the Great Raja Bhaiyya and Awesome Shibu Soren they can continue their winning streak.This is the truth of the Dreaded Original Sin imposing (The ancestors of Brahmins and Savarnas are responsible for all wrongs hence punish their descendants ) Nehru’s Bible also known as Indian Constitution.I never was a fan of the BJP and its proving to be too timid to own up to whatever lil Mythical Hinduness it had portrayed prior to election if this continues they will end up like another Saffron Congress.None of the things that they promised which required a revolutionary push is happening and too many populist claims eventually might cost them (more importantly Us) 2019.

        Kuch nahi ho sakta hay bandhu raktha paath ke athwa Bharat sampoorna roop se Swatantra nahi ho sakta.

        • guest

          apologies for the delay. I am still thinking about responding on the history centricism part, but it takes time to sit down and pen/type your thoughts. But I do hope that there is no bloodshed. I still do not understand how people can have so much self hatred, that they keep hurting the ground that supports them. Caste has issues, but there is a kind of caste system that exists everywhere, as this article is talking about. and ours was never as rigid as it became over the centuries. good to see you back. !

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Yeah I was gonna ask you about the History Centric part of Hindutva but then I thought you might have forgotten or probably thought its irrelevant to think about.I did a little more research and what I could understand is its very difficult to know what exactly Savarkar meant cause we dont have him nor “his originalwritings in Marathi” as in the original work was in English and you know many things are lost in translation so when he said History in certain cases he might have meant Kala,Khanda but a direct translation into English made it to appear something else. Agreed that Jati became rigid later on, you can refer K.S.Lal’s Growth of Scheduled Tribes and Castes in Medieval India also read all of K.S.Lal’s books from VOI online (whenever time permits) its free and it gives you an understanding of how Islam impacted us and made things worse,the various forcible taxations and humiliating conditions that led to mass conversions also how woman were used as a Manufacturing Units and how Hindus(Romas) were sold off.I am not suggesting that everything was excellent and hunky-dory in the Pre-Islamic era but things became very bad with the advent of Islam and Europeans.Anyways I had never gone away I was always here didn’t comment a lot though.When you check the link you will get a feeling he was referring to Kala,Khanda another thing is RM mentioned one his lectures in the presence of Mohandas Pai that Rishi state can be measured,I think Savarkar would not deny something that can be measure scientifically.
            See from 19:06 https://youtu.be/zILqg37PouM?t=1146

          • guest

            Give me a day or so will reply again. Late here, so need to get some stuff done for work. But will write again..:) thanks for writing. Yes, I have watched this one, but it is important to watch these again. And yes do agree with the changes in caste system and Jati etc. after the invaders came to India.

          • Rahul

            Could you guys contribute more to popular Wikipedia.. its visited by many and has many eye-openers for ill-informed.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Many like us have tried but there are Gatekeepers who disallow us to make changes as they only accept the one pov For Eg:Wendy Doniger’s works as sources are accepted but RMs are not
            Please visit the following link you might get a picture of what I m trying to say


          • Rahul

            Hey thanks for your link. Would like to be in connect with you. Kindly let me know your social media accounts to be in touch.

          • Savarkar’s Disciple

            Actually I am not that active on any other social media forum so if you want you can follow me here on disqus.

        • Hrnakshi Joashi

          Dahi is the local word for the same thing

      • Hrnakshi Joashi

        I always thought the two were synonymous.

        • guest

          Yes and no. The concept is the same. But often yoghurt has artificial culture. More so now since it is made commercially

  • Madhan

    Thank you maam.

  • JK

    What does West has to showcase to world and to there new generation? At least we have stories passed on by grand parents to there grand children not only stories even when we where too young we have been explained about different Jati’s and skills, talents required to pursue that skills and how much important where they to other Jati people was explained by our grand parents.

    But never even once we where asked to discriminate till we came to school and learnt about Dalit leaders and there stupids achievement and idea of conversions from one religion to another this is how caste discriminate stories was embedded in our mind.

  • Krispy K

    The world doesn’t care about caste oppression in India. It is just a convenient stick with which to beat India in order to serve the ends of certain hegemonic designs. It’s like how the Western media (and their Indian slaves here) suddenly started shedding crocodile tears for India’s “poor” when ISRO was embarrassing them with their achievements in space.

    Even if we eradicated caste prejudice and poverty tomorrow, they would either continue to distort facts and figures to deny any such development, or they’d find something else to project. Maybe the next stick will be that we put too much chilli in our food, which is oppressing and terrorising people’s digestive systems. Bad, bad Indians!

    As always, when the West ramps up their perpetual propaganda crusades on anyone they deem a potential threat, truth is the first casualty.

    • sundars

      Hindus faced religious wars in the past and won partially, while Brits left India officially they divided Hindu society using Divide&Rule policy. Post independence, not only Ambedkar classes, many others too declared themselves as backwards to benefit from Quotas. Politicos made votebanks out of this prideless Hindus and colonised Hindu psyche forever. Will Quotas can ever be fair, when a person with 20%marks gets IIT seat leaving out person getting 80%? Still no Gov would survive if it even talks of amending Quotas. Hindus are permanently chained.

    • HARRY

      I just love your comment. Rofl

    • Hrnakshi Joashi

      Many Indians are also sick of it all but then a majority of people want to perpetuate it so although it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste, it happens.