Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comment: How hateful is caste?

Dear Mr.Ashok,

Since my comments to your blog crossed 4095 character, I decided to post the comment to your post as a separate post.

You are right that less than 1% difference in the genetic
composition between us makes us different.This less than 1% difference in the
genetic makeup has a considerable amount of impact on a individual's trait.I am
with you on not supporting the comparison of two individuals. You have to
understand that standardized tests like GRE,GMAT,SAT and even our school exams
have been developed because of the above reasons. Sometimes you might hear in
the news about normalizing and curving scores. The government or testing agency
based on certain criteria considers a section of people has underprivileged or
ill-fated and gives them certain incentive so that their scores can be compared
to regular class people. Comparisons are not made between two individuals.
Comparisons are made only on the ability of two individuals for completing a
task. The ability of an individual is assigned a numerical value called score.
Scores can be compared to identify the right candidate for a job.

Caste system originated in India right from the vedic times(
3000 years ago). I perceived caste in the vedic times as a rank for the
intellectual ability of the people. Scientists, educators and knowledgeable
persons form the top caste called as Brahmans. Business man form the vaisyas,
the next in hierarchy. Warriors and rulers form the Kshatriya caste. People who
weave cloth, mend shoes, farm or do any other job form the sudra caste at the
bottom of the hierarchy.

The caste system in ancient India is based on the amount of
knowledge a person gains. In initial period, the caste system is not a rigid
one. Anyone from sudra class who has attained highest knowledge can become a
brahman and the illiterate brahman would become a sudra. So, one can switch
from one caste to another depending upon the ability they possess. In later
times, certain selfish people of the upper sect made the system rigid by
propagating that a person gains a caste from his birth. A brahman's son become
a brahman irrespective of his educational qualification. The same goes with other

I patronize myself
the concept of any job which is done without the act of theft,begging and lies
is not inferior to any high profile job. The olden caste system assigns caste(
which is a rank in my understanding) based on academic achievements and skills.
Successive generations from upper caste have lost their caste in the very
ancient times not able to keep up their ancestor's academic skills. The
converse that is successive generations from lower castes have moved up on the
caste ladder with their persistence and perseverence for learning. The caste
system in ancient times was like the current salary system in United States.
The person working in reputed scientific or medical institution with superior
knowledge is going to earn a day the same amount of salary, a person working in
a supermarket makes for a month. Things can change. The scientist or his kids
can become incompetent and fetch the supermarket job. The converse can also
happen. The wards of the supermarket person can excel as the best student in
school and become a scientist at a reputed institution. Caste system in ancient
times was created in a good intent so that educated people go up in the ladder
and everybody else goes behind them. In the medieval period, some selfish, impotent
upper class people closed the doors for the natural conversion of one class to
another through merit.

They made arbitrary rules that people should follow their
ancestral occupation. They didnt let people belonging to lower caste community
into schools. Thus they scrapped their opportunity and thus started the worst
form of casteist society prevalent even today. These selfish people also
followed the policy of divide and rule. They never wanted people in the sudra
class following different occupation to live in unity. If these people in sudra
class follow unity, then they might question the authority of these upper class
people on controlling them. The selfish upper class people instilled in the
minds of sudra caste people that people following certain occupation are better
than certain others. For example, they made rules such that a dairy man is
better than a farmer who is better than a cobbler. This division which the tiny
upper class people created a sense of disharmony among the lower caste people who
no longer were united. Then onwards they followed the upper class people. That
is why you find that in today's world a huge number of subcastes in the sudra
community. There are only a handful of subcastes in the upper class.

So whose mistake was the caste system. In my understanding,
it is the mistake of few selfish upper class people in the medieval ages.

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