Skip to comments.India's RSS urges war against 'evil' of casteism
Posted on 10/22/2005 2:19:14 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick
NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over caste-based political and social conflicts, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has urged Hindus to "get rid of this evil at the earliest".
"Hindu society should take all necessary measures to ensure entry and access to every Hindu, irrespective of his caste, to their homes, temples, religious places, public wells, ponds, and other public places," a resolution adopted at the three-day national executive meeting of the RSS said.
Around 350 RSS volunteers met in Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh to brainstorm on several issues, including its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been dogged by infighting.
After discussing the issue of casteism on Friday, the first day of the meeting, the organisation concluded that "caste-based untouchability" and "feelings of high caste and low caste" were the main evils haunting the Hindu society.
"Unfortunately, such incidents occur in society even to this day, manifesting the worst form of caste discrimination," the resolution posted on the organisation's website said.
"Hindu society will have to get rid of this evil at the earliest," it said.
Appealing for social harmony and Hindu brotherhood, the organisation warned the community against the political parties, which it said had been drawing "political benefits" out of casteism.
"Inventing caste based new conflicts in the Hindu society for the sake of political benefits has become a trend of many politicians these days."
"Treacherous elements are also joining hands in this. To create the vote banks, these politicians are encouraging caste-based rivalries, which result in creation of various caste based clashes," the resolution said.
The RSS also has urged the political parties to keep away from "caste politics" which caused "deep divisions" in the society and to give an "Indian culture" to the democracy.
Citing instances from the Hindu epics it said the religion always stood for lower caste people.
"No religion or sect is inferior to others. The whole society should be aware that every sect and caste of Bharat has a glorious history."
The national executive has appealed to all sects and castes that they should not look down on other sects and castes. "The entire society should fully realize the essence of 'Na Hinduh Patito Bhavet' (No Hindu shall ever come to grief)," the resolution said.
Interestingly, the RSS has been criticised by secular Indians for its Hindu supremacist philosophy and its frequent campaign against other religions, particularly Islam and Christianity.
Wow, what a concept. Guess they can't use skin color to divide so they use casteism.
I thought this said castration.
Of course, everyone sane should be against casteism. But, I don't like this particular group because of their *theocratic* view point.
Actually, Islam is the religion which gained out of it.
Heh heh. Not so fast dudes!
Hindus cleaning their act is not a window of oppurtunity for Christianity (or Islam). Hinduism, one of the worlds oldest religion came to this world (with the truth) thousands of years before Christ and will outlive both Christianity and Islam.
Meanwhile Christianity will need to clean their own act first.
"Actually, the wisest qualities of Hinduism were borrowed from Buddhism"
Sorry dude, you are wrong. It is the other way around - "Hinduism" had been around for at least 1000 years before Buddha showed up. Buddhism borrows concepts of Dharma, Karma, reincarnation, etc very heavily from "Hinduism". The only reason Buddhism is not a "Hindu" religion is that it does not accept the supremacy of the Vedas.
How did the Caste System evolve? Any recommended
"The Aryans divided their society into separate castes. Castes were unchanging groups. A person born into one caste never changed castes or mixed with members of other castes. Caste members lived, ate, married, and worked with their own group.
"At the top of the caste system were the Brahmin the priests, teachers, and judges. Next came the Kshatriya (KUH SHAT REE YUHZ), the warrior caste. The Vaisya caste (VEEZ YUHZ) were the farmers and merchants, and the Sudras, were craftworkers and laborers.
"The untouchables were the outcastes, or people beyond the caste system. Their jobs or habits involved polluting activities including:
Any job that involved ending a life, such as fishing.
Killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their hides.
Any contact with human emissions such as sweat, urine, or feces. This included occupational groups such as sweepers and washermen.
People who ate meat. This category included most of the primitive Indian hill tribes. "
A great place to learn about India's caste system is to go to Answers.Com and type in "India's caste system", and you will be up to you eyebrows in reference sites, information, etc. etc.
Hey, where do you think I got my info?
Indian Caste Origins: Genomic Insights and Future Outlook
The main feature of Indian society, seen at its strongest in the rural areas, is caste. A caste is a collection of people who share similar cultural and religious values and practices. Members within a caste generally marry among themselves; intercaste marriages are a cultural taboo. These social regulations governing the institution of marriage have resulted in a substructuring of the Indian gene pool. There are also elaborate social regulations of avoidance of marriages within castes, and thus there is genomic substructuring even within a caste.
The origins of the castes in India remain an enigma. Many castes are known to have tribal origins, as evidenced from various totemic features that manifest themselves in these caste groups (Kosambi 1964). The caste system in northern India may have developed as a class structure from within tribes: As agriculture spread from the Indus River valley to the Gangetic basin, knowledge and ownership of the means of food production may have created hierarchical divisions within tribal societies (Kosambi 1964). Karve (1961) has also argued that "something very like castes were in India" even before Aryan speakers entered India.
The Aryan world comprised three classes (varnas): priests, nobles, and commoners. Aryans as the conquering people possibly placed their three classes on the indigenous Indian society. The varna organization is hierarchical. Initially, the system had names for two ranks, Brahma (Brahmin) and Kshatra (Kshatriya), Brahmin being of a socially higher rank than Kshatriya. The third rank was made up of Vis, that is, all the subjects. To this society, a fourth rank was added: Shudra, who had no rights to Aryan ritual. In southern India, the menial workers, the so-called "untouchables", were placed in a new varna, Panchama (meaning fifth). It is conceivable that the Aryan speakers had greater contact, including genetic admixture, with the Brahmins, who were professionally the torchbearers and promoters of Aryan rituals. The Aryan contact should have been progressively less as one descended the varna ladder. The genetic expectation, therefore, is that the proportions of those genes (or genomic features, such as haplotypes or haplogroups) that "characterized" the Aryan speakers should progressively decline from the highest varna to the lowest and a reverse trend should be observed with respect to those genes that "characterized" the indigenous Indians.
Although some previous studies have sought to test this expectation, the observed trends were equivocal. The primary reason was the lack of data on a large uniform set of markers from populations of India and central/west Asia (the region from which the Aryans speakers who entered India originated). The study by Bamshad et al. (2001), who have also sought to test the above expectation, is clearly a landmark. Using a very large battery of genomic markers and DNA sequences, spanning autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal genomic regions, they have shown that the observed trend of genetic admixture estimated from castes belonging to different varnas is congruent with expectations. This trend was observed in each of the three data subsets. The only exception was in respect of mtDNA restriction site haplotypes, which was also noted in a recent study conducted by us (Roychoudhury et al. 2000). However, after combining these haplotype data with DNA sequence data, Bamshad and colleagues were able to capture the expected trend. Thus, this study not only provides a wonderful genomic view of the castes and of their origins, but also underscores the need for careful statistical analysis of genomic data for drawing appropriate inferences.
The use of "upper", "middle", and "lower" to designate caste hierarchy is much more recent than the use of varna. Whereas varnas are traditionally defined, different anthropologists have used different definitions of upper, middle, and lower castes, in terms of the castes that they included in each of these clusters. Sometimes these differences in definitions have stemmed from socio-cultural similarities or differences as noted or perceived by different anthropologists, and sometimes ranked caste-cluster compositions were altered for convenience, such as pooling to adjust for small sample sizes. As noted earlier, in studies such as Bamshad et al.'s, the most appropriate classification is by varna. As the reader will note, the authors have analyzed their data using different compositions of hierarchical caste-clusters and have obtained homologous results. However, it needs to be emphasized that traditional varna system is the only unequivocally accepted hierarchical system. In studies pertaining to the origins of castes, one is liable to draw incorrect inferences by including castes belonging to different varnas in the same ranked cluster.
Bamshad et al. have chosen to study caste populations drawn from a restricted geographical region of India. They have rightly emphasized the need to replicate their findings. This is absolutely essential because, as Karve (1961) has noted, "it is not generally realized that the caste society in a sense was a very elastic society." Indeed, a caste bearing the same name may have very different origins in different geographical regions. There are examples in which a tribe dispersed over a large geographical region, took up different occupations in different sub-regions, and "fitted" itself into the caste hierarchy on different rungs. Karve's work has also indicated that each of the different Brahmin castes (Chitpavan, Sarasvat, etc.) in Maharashtra probably has a different origin. Thus, the origin of caste populations may not be uniform over the entire India geographical space, and it is crucial to undertake studies to replicate Bamshad et al.'s findings. Finally, I would also like to suggest that in future studies bearing on the origins of the Indian castes, it would be a good idea to include tribal populations inhabiting the same region along with the caste populations.
E-MAIL email@example.com; FAX 91-33-577 3049.
Article and publication are at www.genome.org/cgi/doi/10.1101/gr.192401.
Bamshad, M., Kivisild, T., Watkins, W.S., Dixon, M.E., Ricker, C.E., Rao, B.B., Naidu, J.M., Prasad, B.V.R., Reddy, P.G., Rasanayagam, A. 2001. Genome Res. 11: 994-1004[Abstract/Free Full Text].
Karve, I. 1961. Hindu Society - An Interpretation. Deshmukh Prakashan, Poona.
Kosambi, D.D. 1964. The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline, 1991 Reprint. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
Roychoudhury, S., Roy, S., Dey, B., Chakraborty, M., Roy, M., Roy, B., Ramesh, A., Prabhakaran, N., Usha Rani, M.V., Vishwanathan, H. 2000. Curr. Sci. 79: 1182-1192.
The major works of Hinduism were composed by "lower caste" Hindu writers.
This is surprise and I never thought this would happen. I usually imagine religious ideas and ideology non-compromising. Will this be a step for modernization of Hindu?
Buddhism was born out of Hinduism and........ the "wisest qualities of Buddhism were borrowed from Hinduism". During Buddha's time "castism" had degenerated into a social hierarchy determined by one's birth and had turned into an instrument of discrimination, not what Hinduism intended.
The foundations of Hinduism war far stronger than Buddhism and so Hinduism survived and Buddhism died a natural death in India.
LOL.....go back and read your history. Buddha took the essense of the Vedas and distilled them to create the core of his new religion.