In the present digital age, there is an intense competition for eyeballs, clicks, TRP. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is in great demand. You got to pay to be ahead of the game. Everyone likes to emerge above and first before any other in digital marketing or 24×7 info war. This is true in the matters of all vendors of goods, services and everything else.
At the time of this writing, google threw up 7.93 billion references for India, which is greater than for any other country including USA, China, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan and Mexico. For caste, it threw up 74.6 million references. Now caste has been traditionally attached with India only, as if the rest of the entire world is casteless. So just add caste and India in your publication and you are up and above in google search. I may give a case in point, Ajantha Subramanian’s ‘The Caste of Merit: Engineering Education in India, 2019’. If you read about admissions test, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), her reference institutions in the book, you will find that there is at best a positive bias for so-called lower castes. And this caste has been created and perpetuated, as a legacy of the foreign rulers, by politicians of all hues including so-called of the lower caste. It has nothing to do with upper-caste Hindus, as the book title sounds.
When searched for class, it threw up 5.31 billion references. Author after author from India, time and again, has written and explained that India’s ‘Varna’ is class and not caste, but it doesn’t meet the needs of vested interests and propagandists, therefore it has always fallen on deaf ears. Thanks to writings like above, it further fuels. Enter Caste in search engine and Dictionary, Wikipedia and BBC will jump above all else.
Let me begin with the dictionary meaning of caste. In the dictionary, caste, as noun, reads as follows: “each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status.”
As if castes are classes in Hindu Society only. What is the basis of royalty of Britain’s Christian society? Is it hereditary and social status or something else? What is the basis of business houses and industrial families of world’s Christians, Muslims and other societies? Is it hereditary and social status or something else?
The dictionary then reads, similar, any class or group of people who inherit exclusive privileges or are perceived as socially distinct. “those educated in private schools belong to a privileged caste”. Are there any private schools in Christian, Muslim and other societies? Do Christians, Muslims and others are educated in those private schools?
Why single out Hindu Society?
If that is the state of dictionary, talking of Wikipedia and BBC would be a waste of your precious time. If still interested, may please lookup.
To cut through all paid propaganda and propagandists, let me show you what Braham Purana, a five-thousand-year-old book of India (Bharat) writes about so-called castes (Shudras, lower caste, untouchable) in India? In the very first paragraph of Braham Purana, it is stated that
“It is a story from the past. Namishranya (a place in Bharat) looked very comforting, beautiful and sacred. Many Munis (top academicians) had arrived there. Different kinds of flowers were adding to the beauty of the place. Trees of all varieties (Bhartiya names) including Pipal, Parijat, Chandan, Agar, Gulab and Champa were adding to the beauty of the place. A variety of birds, dears and lakes were further adding to the beauty of that natural habitat. People of all Verna (occupational classes) Brahman, Kshatria, Vaishya and Shudra, were present there. People of all ashramas (Phases of life) including Brahamcharya (students), Grihasth (family persons), Vanprasath (renunciators) and Sanyas (reflectors on experiences of previous three phases to offer distilled wisdom for next generations) were present there. The herds of cows were also adding to the beauty of that place. It was a conference of academics and residents of Namishranya, held once every 12 years. Many academicians had also come from other places…”
Without elaborating further, from the above description, a person with minimal intelligence can note that
- India (Bharat), even 5000 years ago, had a tradition of academician and researchers’ conferences.
- In those conferences, people of all occupational classes (that have been crafted and grafted by vested interests as castes of Hindu Society) participated and freely intermingled.
- Persons of all ages participated.
Isn’t a shred of credible evidence against caste system of Hindu society propagated by vested interests? But vested interests are so deeply entrenched, they would like not to see it. You may take a horse to the water; you can’t make him drink.
I wish to end this note by relating what Mahatma Gandhi had said about his son who converted to Islam. When the media confronted Mahatma Gandhi saying that Mahatma, you are Hindu, but your son has converted to Islam. His answer was very educative and resounding. He smiled and said that one who couldn’t be his father’s, how will he be of others? Great message for, both, converters and converted!
Dr. Sat Parashar, Ph.D. is a Professor and Financial Advisor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org