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Caste census: Opening a Pandora's box?

Soutik Biswas | 17:17 UK time, Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Lower caste Dalit women in IndiaSo is caste, the complex social order which assigned people a place in the social hierarchy based on their occupation, poised to make a comeback in the Indian census? The government is making noises that it will agree to a demand by a host of caste-based regional parties to include it in the census, 80 years after it was dropped; and the media is abuzz with reports that a formal announcement will be made soon.

It is still unclear how the government plans to go about the caste headcount. Affirmative action in areas like work and education is often used to help caste groups seen as disadvantaged. So how do you ensure that people don't lie about their caste so they can claim such benefits? As I wrote in a previous post, there is no way of knowing whether someone has lied about their caste by dropping a surname or committing fraud. Checking such claims may take years.

More importantly, the reintroduction of caste in the census is certain to trigger off a larger debate on whether it is necessary at all. Most people agree that caste is the most regressive feature of India's social system. It is repressive, reinforces hierarchy and breeds inequity.

Some analysts feel a proper count of members of the country's caste groups would help the government target affirmative action benefits better. They cite the substantial example of the lower caste group also known as Other Backward Castes - or OBCs in official language - who receive some of the most controversial benefits. In the absence of current data, official estimates suggest this group includes anywhere from 37%-52% of the population. For example, in southern Tamil Nadu state, more than half the population are OBCs, way over the federal government's cap that quotas should not exceed 50% of the population.Protests by a caste group in India demanding government benefits

Even the Supreme Court despaired that the government had not provided fresh data. Analysts say caste is an irrevocable, however abhorrent feature of Indian society. They believe it is here to stay, so we need to get real and be pragmatic about it - a caste census will merely give us some honest data on groups getting state benefits.

Others say such a census will open a Pandora's box and trigger off fresh demands for job quotas by other groups. They say it proves that India is not fighting what they call is a vicious cycle by which caste perpetuates itself. "Each caste regards itself as the equal of castes superior to it while simultaneously denying similar claims from those inferior to it," the guru of caste studies and eminent sociologist MN Srinivas has written. This is best mirrored in India's fractious caste politics.

So will caste ever wither away - with or without a caste census - from India's social landscape?

It is a fiendishly difficult question to answer. Caste is a state of mind with millions of Indians. It is alive and well in its politics, match-making advertisements and election manifestos. Couples marrying out of caste - and sometimes within the caste - still die in "honour killings". Victims of the caste system, as historian Irfan Habib said, turn into its votaries.

But with rapid urbanisation - more than half of Indians will be considered urban by 2050 - there is a real chance that caste will slowly stop fetching rich dividends. As people demand more economic development, politicians will find it difficult to tap into people's primordial identities like caste for votes in the way they are used to. Analysts say that the decline of a few caste-based regional parties in northern India could be early clues to caste's diminishing returns.

Dalit - formerly "untouchable" - writer Chandra Bhan Prasad believes that "globalisation, capitalism, consumerism, mechanisation, industrialisation and urbanisation" will make the caste order "obsolete". It is true that caste-neutral professions have proliferated in India. The lines have begun to blur - a University of Pennsylvania study in shopping malls in Delhi found 60% of sweepers were not Dalits, the lower caste usually associated with the job.

At the same time, as another Dalit writer Meena Kandasamy eloquently says: "The readiness to destroy caste requires us to destroy a part of ourselves... finally it will culminate in the end of imagined or assumed inferiorities and superiorities." It takes a "personal rebellion" to defy caste, she says. I suspect that the million such mutinies are maybe brewing already. Could India one day be truly meritocratic and caste-free, with thriving inter-caste marriages and no caste ghettos in towns and villages?

Comments

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  • 1. At 8:19pm on 11 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The primary concern of the teaching of the Buddha by the Vedic teachers was that he accepted people of all caste. It was an issue 2,500 years ago. Some suggest that relgion is the problem and that as India becomes more urban (a code word for Western)these things will change. What is called caste in India is called "social stratification" in the West. Non-Han Chinese and people from different regions are treated differently. Europeans are and have been talking about immigrants and their status in societies. Human being are always looking for things that make us different rather than those things that make us the same. Ignorance and lack of tolerance are the enemies. This is more about appropriately sharing the available resources and having justifications for why we do not. We like to blame the victim. The Brahim would say: a man cannot raise himself by associating with an upper caste but an upper caste man can lower himself by associating with lower caste. You do not touch on the religious reinforcement of these ideas in India and that is the root of such thinking. God make no distinctions but man does.

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  • 2. At 8:46pm on 11 May 2010, thepastymuncher wrote:

    Dare I suggest that it would be a good thing to eradicate rather than measure this despicable system.

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  • 3. At 8:51pm on 11 May 2010, Anil wrote:

    The census of 960 million Hindus commenced on April 1st - good luck I wont hold my breath for any conclusion.

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  • 4. At 10:38pm on 11 May 2010, thethirdeye wrote:

    The ultimate goal for all Indians, should be towards attaining one caste 'Indian', one religion 'Humanity'. Babasaheb Ambedkar would be turning in his grave today if he knew how his principles have been distorted by politicians seeking an easy vote based on caste divisions. The SC/ST qoutas started as a 10-year measure in the Constitution. After over 60 years now, there should be two generations of SCs that have already benefited from the quotas, and it does not make any sense to continue to provide the priviledge to the third generation. If there are any first generation SCs whose parents and grand parents have not already benefitted from the quotas, may be allowed the priviledge. Basis for quotas today, if any, should be based on economic/poverty lines only. Unfortunately rather than going in direction, V. P. Singh in 90s created further caste based quotas with his Mandal Commission politics, and took the country back by another 50 years. Now we are once again preparing for another mis-step.

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  • 5. At 02:57am on 12 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    We could have a natural and faster death of this heinous caste system if we did not have this national, caste based reservation policy in the first place. As rightly pointed out, “"Each caste regards itself as the equal of castes superior to it while simultaneously denying similar claims from those inferior to it”. The same hypocrisy is evident when many argue for women reservation while the staunch supporters of caste based reservation was up against it. All the demands for special status for a subset of population arise from ONLY one issue: lack of governance and justice. If police and judiciary can take prompt (time bound) action against any people who are oppressing or denying legitimate rights of others, if recruitment of any government employment was selected solely on the basis of candidate’s ability (that suits the job), then no such demands would have got public support in the first place. It was a grave mistake by the founders (mainly B.R Ambedkar) to introduce the provision of caste based reservation in Indian constitution in the first place.
    The proponents of the caste based reservation policy are hardly interested in logical debates. They are more enthusiastic about shouting and continuing the policy whatever may be the outcome. THEY ARE NOT AT ALL INTERESTED TO SET A DEFINED TARGET OR A TIME FRAME. NONE OF THE POLICY MAKERS KNOW WHEN CAN THEY SAY THE POLICY HAS FULFILLED ITS TARGET AND STOP SUCH RESERVATION. THEY ALSO DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE THAT TARGET. They also don’t know how population growth (mainly among the communities targeted) and overall progress of the nation are taken into consideration to determine what benefit this policy is making to the target community and the nation. THIS POLICY IS LIKE A PROJECT WITHOUT ANY SPECIFIC, TANGIBLE OBJECTIVE AND A DEADLINE!
    If we addressed caste related violence and hatred as law and order problem, we could have a better grip over it. Cheating, beating and ignoring a lower caste person by any upper caste people can be successfully addressed if we have an impartial and accessible law and order and police. We never tried to reform our colonial police or antique legal system. In the mean time some ambitious people from lower caste took this golden opportunity to promote their political ambition and grabbed power. It seems that "reservation" policy is no more an issue towards establishing social justice or upliftment of deprived people but a way to take revenge and get some extra benefits at the expense of others and the country. IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO HIDE THE INABILITIES OF OUR POLITICIANS AT THE EXPANSE OF THE PROSPERITY OF THE NATION AND ALSO REAL BACKWARD PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY.Otherwise how can you explain the ever increasing reach of maoist/naxal movement mainly joined by the extremely poor and deprived section of the population despite more than 63 years of reservation!

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  • 6. At 04:04am on 12 May 2010, a_ban22 wrote:

    If the caste factor is indeed taken into census data, the Congress will have done a U turn on its stated policies of a century. The Indian National Congress had branded British sociologists of a hundred years ago that they knew nothing of India and were only out to promote the culture of divide and rule. If the INC does now indeed accept caste as a relevant factor (however undesirable it may be), it owes an apology to the British sociologists and historians of a century ago as the wheel will have turned a full circle.
    To those who can, please go through Swapan Dasgupta's article in the Times of India on 9th May 2010.
    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/right-and-wrong/entry/face-it-india-is-all

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  • 7. At 05:09am on 12 May 2010, Chennai_Indian wrote:

    This might trigger a race to the bottom with people claiming to be more backward than their neighbor to grab some quotas. Tamil Nadu is a classic example where 97% of the population claims backward class status. The result is that the cut off scores for Open Category and Reserved category seats in colleges have become so close that the answer is either a) all differences have been eliminated and TN is now a utopia or b) the powerful have inveigled themselves into these categories and are preventing genuine uplift.There are other complications such as inter state differences on backward, most backward and other classifications.This is a place where the angels would fear to tread and we have some rushing in.

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  • 8. At 07:23am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 07:51am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 08:24am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    India’s CASTE System : CASTIGATED and Misconstrued
    *****************************************
    I would like to begin this entry by quoting one of the primordial scriptures our religion –

    One must not treat any body badly even when they are physically handicapped, uneducated, the aged, ugly, poor people, people of lower castes. One must treat everyone as equal.
    - Manu Smriti

    (I cannot share hyper-link here for this verse as it would break BBC rules of having to download a compatibility software to view the Sanskrit verse.)

    I reckon,that writing about India’s Caste System requires a profound understanding of our ethosand tenets,of which I am no savant.Nevertheless,I shall make an honest attempt.First,I would like to dispel some myths about our caste system.

    HOW IS CASTE DECIDED?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mr Soutik Biswas claims “caste, the complex social order which assigned people a place in the social hierarchy based on their occupation”

    I differ and vouch to come back with dictum's in our scriptures that unequivocally evince that:-

    The Caste System is based on OCCUPATION and BIRTH.If a Brahmin begin’s to rule a kingdom ,he becomes a Brahmana Kshatriya.If he becomes to get into trade and business,he becomes a Brahmana Vaishya and so on.

    The Author seems to hold an opinion by the statement “So will caste ever wither away - with or without a caste census - from India's social landscape?”

    ..that the Caste System is at Fault and therefore, Culpability rests on it ,rather than the people itself.The Author also seems to believe that the Caste system is obsolete and detrimental to our society.

    I seek to offer the stand of our religion on this system , to the Author and to the readers:

    LEGITIMACY OF CASTE SYSTEM:-
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I would like to ratiocinate the legitimacy of caste system in India. The West and now, our own Media andreformists,leaders and some people fromthe fourth varna or caste(I do not wish to call it lower caste) have accused our Caste system of being bigoted, discriminatory and evil. Let’sforget the politics for a moment and try to understand the Caste system in its own merit.

    1.Rebirth and Caste : Fate and Free will
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Why is it so,that a toddler born in a rich family, enjoys a comfortable life from the beginning and one in a poor family endures the plight of destitution? Why can’t God decide every one to be equal? Why can’t God ensure that life on this planet begins with equality OR égalité? Why is a soul born as an elephant calf or a spider on this planet than a human? Why does a person ,despite being hardworking and honest,does not necessarily become as successful as desired? Why is a person more lucky and successful than the other? What is Fate and what is Free-Will? Should a person work hard to succeed or should he rely on Fate?

    The answer lies in Karma.I would like to cite from a someone very
    reveredin the book : ‘Dialogues with the Guru’

    [ http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2277818 ] ,
    excerpts from which are used in quotes to justify the Caste System

    “As a follower of our Sanatana Dharma, you must know that fate is nothing extraneous to yourself, but only the sum total of the results of your past actions.As God is but the dispenser of the fruits of actions, fate, representing those fruits, is not his creation but only yours. Free-will is what you exercise when you act now.

    “Fate is past karma; free-will is present karma. Both are really one, that is, karma, though they may differ in the matter of time. There can be no conflict when they are really one.”

    Hence understood, a person wins his/her caste by his actions in previous births.

    If a person believes in our RELIGION,he believes in REBIRTH. As our religion says that a soul/atmanis born again and again as it assumes a body in each birth,till escapes the cycle of births and deaths to attain salvation by its ‘Karma’.

    A person being born in Brahmin Caste has more responsibilities.He should strive to live up to his duties and set an example to others in the society.He should respect all every individual irrespective of their caste(see the shloka – verse in the beginning).

    2. Samanya Dharma (common laws) and Vishesha Dharma (special laws).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In an Organization there are rules of conduct and directions of ‘Ethics and Fairplay’ that apply to all employees.There are special duties and higher responsibilities assigned to the higher management and a seperate set of duties for employees in the lower title based on ‘Competency level’.Does it mean if a CEO or an Employee flouts the rules and misuses his position of power,the whole system is guilty? Fact is, that the good and bad breed are seen everywhere.

    Quoting the book again:-

    “Our system and,In fact any system which aims at the regulation of conduct must be based on the principle of ‘adhikara’ or competency.Those who belong to the castes are competent to pursue the Vishesha Dharma;the others are competent to pursue only Samanya Dharma.Further the nature of the competency required can be learnt only from the Sastras which prescribe the Dharma.”

    Brahmin by Birth and Action,say before 1000 years : Brahmins generally had“The feeling of rest and peace,contentment and happiness,was normal,natural and healthy and therefore lasting.””Such a feeling is born and ingrained in a Bramhana especially,and if he neglects it and seeks happiness in the outside world,he is seriously impairing his chances of getting it again in the next birth”

    Hence whatever be our caste, we should adhere to the rules of conduct that are common or special to our caste.I agree that some Brahmins have done their share of injustice in the society and there have been rotten apples in the barn.Similarly ,some of the Kshatriyas or the Kings, by their misrule and disunity have looted the wealth of the people,surrendered to the Colonial Raj to hold their royalty.

    By straying away from their ordained path,they have in a way nurtured discontent and in a way, channed the anger towards the Upper Caste and the Caste System as a whole.The results that followed are not surprising.

    Brahmins have been ostracized by the Dravidian movement in the South –
    [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Brahminism ] .If born a Brahmin in TamilNadu,a boy cannot dream of getting into a good medical college despite 95% percentile due to rampant reservation.Same is true in Govt Engineering colleges.

    I fully support reservation in terms of economic incentives for the backward class ,but admissions to any higher educational institution should be based on PURE MERIT and not CASTE.So,in a way reverse discrimination seems to be the theme used by politicians to divide our society.

    Demonizing one caste or to bash our Caste system without the knowldge of what is actually says,by just being carried away by foreign /local media or the views of the socio-political landscape is not fair.

    THE SOLUTION : Caste System in the Contemporary Era:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Emancipation of the people of the fourth varna(caste) is essential.We should strive for getting modern education to our deprived fourth varna.

    The political parties in our country have mastered the art of insular politics to foment hate among castes and pile up votes.They don’t want unity between 4 varnas.They seek to divide us by virtue of our caste and the fourth varna being the majority and economically backward, makes it an ideal selling cake for pliant vote-bank.

    Sanskrit – the Elixir ?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Government has a responsibility for the spiritual well being of its people.To the very least,it should reign supreme to counter the massive smear propaganda against our religion,which runs amok without the knowledge of our scriptures.

    Why so much dissonance on this issue? Its simply lack of understanding, which can be addressed by introducing Sanskrit in our Schools and mandatory for Hindu children.Sanskrit ,when promoted as a lingua franca will address the issue of obliviousness to our scriptures.It will not create unrest in South as dravidian languages retain more Sanskrit words and as for Tamil language,It jells so well with Sanskritas akin to mixing Milk and Honey.Even Germany gives more importance to Sanskrit than we do.

    How can we forget the language that defines our culture and lifestyle ? Should we not be ashamed for pushing this beautiful language to oblivion and adopting a foreign language to overshadow it for the fear of being called not secular? India needs English and regional languages, but it also needs Sanskrit if it wants an identity.

    Knowledge of Sanskrit will be our vent into our scriptures,it would stand up toagainst the calumnies on our religion and the caste system.It will ensure we preserve the ancient wisdom of India,its ethos in our daily lives.It would on top of all,unify us as the ‘People of India’.Than focusing on the political harvest from the caste based census..

    -Governmentshould promote unity and respect among the Caste’s and the sense of Pride in a united India, than carry notion to destroy the Caste system,which we know it cannot.
    -Government should realize,that however powerful it may be ,it should not seek to meddle into the primordial Caste System.It should instead focus on its sole purpose – Development.
    -The Supreme Court should ban any political party that has an ideology or a record of hate towards one particular caste.
    -The Government should respect the views of our religion andCaste system implied by reason or at least keep quiet on the Caste System and our religion by treating it sacrosanct ,than holding it accountable for our fallacies,it should hold itself and the people who have erred,responsible for poor development and corruption .

    Middle class Renaissance
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The middle class have led revolution in France,Russia or any other society.The middle class has the onus to divest its apathy towards the politics of this country.The middle class should manifest itself as a formidable votebank that is not lured by Caste abasement or any kind of parochialism ,but by competence,development and performance. By helping our fourth caste stand up in the Knowledge economy,we can ensure their wellbeing and also make India operate at the frontiers of science and technology ,yet happily holding on to our roots.And this is only possible if the middle class knows about our scriptures,it knows Sanskrit,it can see Perspectives on both sides of the aisle and decide for itself.

    I would end by the words 2 great tamil poets (fromsecond century C.Eand the past millennium) from whom we as Indians should realize - ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Unity of this country’ are inextricably linked.

    Subramaniya Bharati –

    "Ayiram undhu igne Jathi,Yenil Anniyar vandhu pughalenna Nidhi"
    - We may have thousand of sects; that, however, does not justify a foreign invasion.

    Avvaiyar (The Granny Poet of the Tamil heartland) –

    "Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu"

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  • 11. At 08:40am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Comment 10 continued ..

    Avvaiyar (The Granny Poet of the Tamil heartland) –

    "Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu"
    - What we have learnt is mere handful.The unlearnt and the unconquered is as big as the world.
    And thus we would begin to fathom that our religion is indeed ‘Sanathana’ or Eternal.

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  • 12. At 09:52am on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    Thank you @EternalIndia, for helping me understand the Brahmin superiority and psyche. According to you, it is decided at birth. So, if i can fake my caste in my birth certificate, which is by no means impossible, do i also inherit this karmic responsibility to care for others unfortunate enough to be born into other castes or religion. Your thinking is no less regressive than that of the Taliban or the Deoband who want a strict interpretation of scripture/sharia. We are living in the 21st century for goodness sake. Don't be cuckoo for Cocoa puffs.

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  • 13. At 10:02am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    @Jet225: Are you one of the proponents of occident values sitting here to take a gibe at anyone who brings a perspective different than yours and if it be from the religion,you call it akin to Taliban

    You have failed to get the fact which is : The Caste system is not at fault necessarily ,but the people who have misused it those who have not lived up-to it are.

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  • 14. At 10:20am on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: Yes the caste system is not at fault. It is not a living, breathing creature. But, people like you are certainly at fault, for trying to keep it alive in this day and age. You just said it; you are born into the Brahmin or Shudra (i have no qualms saying it) caste, based on the actions of your previous life. To me it sounds no less ridiculous than a islamist suicide bomber thinking that 72 virgins await him in heaven.
    If it were up to you, no one other than a brahmin can ever become a priest in a hindu temple. I applaud the action taken by the TamilNadu govt in this regard, to abolish this retrograde practice and make it okay for anyone to learn the scriptures/vedas and go through the rigors of becoming a priest.

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  • 15. At 10:51am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jet225 : You are Naive to assume that people who are wicked to each other ,or who commit injustices against others, will not find ways to be their usual self if the Caste System be eradicated or be all religions of the world become extinct.

    Did I say that we should practice Caste system in corporate workplace now.I said it was relevant as person of not only Brahmin caste but any Caste should be proud of his caste and do his duty and understand what Caste system is,than being carried away in a paroxysm of caste based dissonance.

    Human nature with greed,benevolence,wickedness,happiness and so on has not changed for the last 5000 years

    Just because you live in 21'st century,you still eat daily to live don't you.You still need water to quench your thirst like the Neanderthal( as existent once upon a time according to science) who needed water when he walked the earth.

    If you don't believe in our religion,you are free to give it up.As for TN governments initiate on priests,its a hogwash to foment hate,nothing else period.

    Has the TN govt succeeded in turning TN/Chennai into Singapore as both states seem to have started on development trajectory at the same time?

    It has led to exodus of Brahmins also from the state to an extent.It has become a pretense for bad governance and then a vote gathering strategy by bashing one caste..also in what way will it help the lower caste ,in their upliftment economically or socially.

    The lower caste has the full right to seek God like the upper caste and this move the Govt is a sham,so than digressing from the topic I don't know why you bring up all this ..If you or anyone else does not believe in rebirth,they don't believe our scriptures,which means they don't believe in Hinduism.So they are free to give up the religion and call themselves atheists or embrace any-other religion than try to write their own version of religion and call it neo-hindusim

    Your comparison to Islamic suicide bomber is a farce.It reflects poor judgement.Read through the link here to get perspective( which you may not agree and its fine)

    http://www.sringeri.net/2003/12/01/publication/book/dialogues-with-the-guru.htm

    My objective is not to change your view,but present a case which can be ratiocinated(logically reasoned) than getting into usual religion bashing


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  • 16. At 11:05am on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: My reference to the suicide bomber was a mild provocation to help you realize your own prejudice. I'm not batting for the economic policies of the TN govt. I think corruption in TN is par for the course in India. At least corruption has nothing to do with caste in India. But, at a time when states like Haryana are backing medieval practices like Khap panchayat and banning same gotra marriages, the action of the TN govt in this particular matter is highly progressive and speaks well of the dravidian ethos on which the politics of TN is founded upon.
    I'm just trying to deconstruct your argument that caste and somehow higher morality is assigned at birth. Your arguments are not based on any scientific evidence, but the prejudiced atmosphere of the household that you grew up in. Please don't come back quoting Avvayar patti.

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  • 17. At 11:29am on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jet225: Ohh come on! Now you quote Haryana Khap panchayat.Yes same gotra marriages are prohibited in our scriptures.Our religion does not say parents to kill children if they marry in same gotra so when such a honor killing happens you cannot attribute the blame to caste system,but blame the people who committed the felony and bring them to justice.

    Do you know what same gotra translate in eugenics? Its in a way where 2 people marrying in the same gene pool and is scientifically proven to be harmful.

    Anyways lets not digress.I did not say higher morality is assigned at birth.I said Caste is assigned at Birth.To carry forward a journey from a caste to an upper caste or directly attain salvation from lower caste is perfectly possible.

    Its also possible to be born as an animal from an upper caste or be turned into a ghost by dying violently from any caste.

    However if you question the very existence of God in our religion which you seem to have done by asking for evidence.which is okay,then I suggest
    you that no one will come with a platter to give you a demonstration on the existence of God.God will not come on his accord and manifest his existence to you.Guess thats the journey every one has to take alone.

    "Your arguments are not based on any scientific evidence," - you want scientific evidence for what ,the caste system, well there is scriptural evidence, i can give you the web-links ,but I cannot give you scientific evidence for God or our scriptures,no one can.

    You are free to take a spiritual odyssey and discover it for yourself.And for avvailar patti ,get me any of her sallies where she bashes the caste system.

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  • 18. At 1:34pm on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: I'm glad to see you are atleast trying to walk back some of your caste supremacy thoery. BTW, eugenics is thoroughly discredited today. It died with Mengele, unless you want to associate with that sort. The assignment of Gothra at birth is just as dubious as the assignment of caste. Did you know that in TN, apart from brahmins, very few people give their gothras. People just use Vishnu gothra. Does that mean we are all bastard children born out of incest.

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  • 19. At 1:48pm on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    # jet225 : you are reading wrong into my affability.I have not going back a wee bit of what I believe.I reiterate that the Caste System is justified and its misuse unjustified..be it from Upper caste or the current surge of low caste politics.

    this is not a supremacy theory,you have thoroughly misunderstood it.I suggest you read it with an open mind and than pass loose comments just to cement your sense of satisfaction to label each and everything bigoted,if it does not bode well with your views.Its a mendacious statement to call it supremest,paint it with a picture of bias and it is a libel.

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  • 20. At 1:55pm on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: Well, then why don't you address the issue of Gothras that i raised. You are vehemently opposed to same gotra marriage. So, what do you propose to the scores of people like me who use Vishnu gotra. Well, do you sanction inter caste marriage. If not, you are supremacist. You still insist that a person is born into a low caste because of the sins he committed in his past life. I just happen to believe that each child is born innocent and free of guilt of lives past. And, I'm not calling you bigoted at all. Just a wee bit prejudiced.

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  • 21. At 2:03pm on 12 May 2010, arsenalinsomnia wrote:

    I think caste is being grossly misused by the government and other political parties.The only persons who will suffer from this is the general majority population.I lost a seat in a excellent college a few days back because my seat went to a SC/ST boy who scored less marks than me.And he was rich guy too.How does one feel if something like this happens? Losing a academic seat because of the government. Isn't the government supposed to look after all people regardless of their caste and religion? I hate vote bank politics.

    After the census , Quota allocation to other castes will be increased no doubt.How many more students like me will suffer because of this? How many more merit students should sacrifice their seats to rich spoilt brats? All admissions should be done by merit only.If quota is to be given,Give it to the poor regardless of their caste and religion. I hate this whole system.

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  • 22. At 2:07pm on 12 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    #EternalIndia: If you have finished with your immersion and your rant on metaphysics, may be its time to wake up to 'million mutinies'. Egalitarianism and democracy- do they ring a bell? There are hundreds and thousands like you- i would say no different from religious fundamentalist- who would argue to keep the status quo or even better- go back to the mythical days of Ram Rajya, what with quoting Manu Smriti and all. In reality, cast system is the worst form of racism and if some of the Indian villages are any indicator, the worst forms of oppressions are inflicted upon people including women and children, just because they were born in the wrong families. The worst offenders are people like you who uses pseudo intellectual arguments and 'religion' to perpetuate this oppression. I am proud of my roots, but really ashamed of India,s record on discrimination and oppression of its own people, especially Dalits and women. I say unless India sort out this problem, its not ready to take a leading role in the world.
    The article itself is hardly informative. The role of the political parties in perpetuating this disgusting relic has hardly been mentioned.

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  • 23. At 2:26pm on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "You still insist that a person is born into a low caste because of the sins he committed in his past life. I just happen to believe that each child is born innocent and free of guilt of lives past."

    Not only every lower caste person,an upper caste person also is born into a different family,rich or poor,a righteous or not so righteous family based a man or a woman on his/her sins and merits.

    But that does not mean we or the lower caste people or we,cannot redeem ourselves.I can give you so many examples where people from the lower caste have beaten the odds and won over and the upper caste person who has bungled the opportunity.

    Its heartbreaking to see a person from lower caste struggle in a menial labor,seek better healthcare or the basic necessities of life.

    We all are thus born.If we enjoy the opportunity to study and millions who have not,ya its Karma,But that does not mean those millions of poor people are bad and we are good,they are hardworking and more than good no doubt.

    On the issue of gotra i already clarified that marriage among the same gotra is like marrying in the same family tree ,thats it.

    On your question of every child is innocent is undoubtedly true and I have written on why children are born into different families and they being totally innocent end up leading radically different lives..read comment 10

    Again,than being divided on caste, we should focus on upliftment of the fourth caste

    thanks

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  • 24. At 2:53pm on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: If i understand correctly, from your comment 23, the way a person turns out, is entirely dependent on his/her upbringing, discipline, hard work and moral values instilled in him/her by their parents. The economic status of the family a child is born into is a chance happening. I'm same age as prince William. So, i'm just plain unlucky i was not born into the Windsor family. But if you think, it's all because of some Caste/gotra/past karma, well, it's just delusion. At the same time, if a section of the population born into a low caste, continues to suffer caste discrimination, it is the responsibility of the State to step in and provide relief, so that they can lift themselves up. That's it. It's simply cruel and intellectually lazy to reconcile the suffering of a victim of caste discrimination to his past Karma, whatever that is.

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  • 25. At 3:27pm on 12 May 2010, whatever99 wrote:

    @EternalIndia:I call this share ignorance,you should get out of your religious cocoon to understand it better. No one can justify the present caste system in India in any shape or form. This is crime against humanity and should be strongly condemned by whole wide world including you.

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  • 26. At 3:29pm on 12 May 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Caste system is going to be included in the national census, 2011.
    Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee confirmed the decision. Apparently all that need be done is to include a column on OBC (which I think stands for Other Backword Class). Though something about this rubs me the wrong way, I need to ask: how else can the Indian Government know the exact population of "other backward class" (OBC), upon which percentage rests affirmative action jobs and places in educational institutions.
    The Governmnet has been criticised for fixing affirmative targets without having the data about their numbers.
    The OBC politicians have been pressing for a caste count - confident that their numbers are higher than believed and the new set of numbers will lead to greater inclusion.
    The problem: There is room for a huge gap when it comes to self-declaration. Will the OBCs declare; I don't know.
    The caste system has effectively kept the inhabitants of the indian subcontinent uneducated and backward, sometimes even subjected to cruelty and exclusion.
    OBC caste census will decide the percentage which in turn will be fixed for OBC representation in education, jobs & assemblies. To me, this equates to fair representation.
    Dr Ambedkar made provision in Article 340. By 340, the President has to constitute a committee to decide percentage of OBC population in India, but apparently the regulation has been passed over for @ 60 years (or more). Had the leaders taken OBC action in the last 60 years, OBC would have got representation earlier and the caste system would be that much alleviated in India.
    In order to come to understand that the caste system is meaningless, people of different castes have to come together - work together, study together, talk together and realize that "caste" is just a word and in fact, in the modern world, should be a meaningless word.

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  • 27. At 4:04pm on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #jet225 :- "If i understand correctly, from your comment 23, the way a person turns out, is entirely dependent on his/her upbringing, discipline, hard work and moral values instilled in him/her by their parents." - true but with also his own actions in shaping himself after he knows to make his decisions and at the end the onus is on the individual more than anybody else

    " The economic status of the family a child is born into is a chance happening." - thats where we differ,this is karmic and this is where rebirth comes in.It stands as a pillar/premise to all other logical derivations.And yes the state should intervene and help the economically backward irrespective of caste

    "I'm same age as prince William. So, i'm just plain unlucky i was not born into the Windsor family." - the unlucky or adrishta (one that you cannot see) and call as luck or as fate is your past karma as in comment 10

    If you dispute this then everything else would fall as a pack of cards
    if you call this a delusion,then call all our scriptures as delusion,call our religion as a delusion and everything else is untrue and you can then
    label your self righteously as a non believer which is fine,its an opinion,but you cannot possibly accept one dictum and conveniently ignore the one that does not suit your view.

    "It's simply cruel and intellectually lazy to reconcile the suffering" of a victim of caste discrimination to his past Karma, whatever that is." - It is cruel if i turn a blind eye and say its karma face it.It is cruel if I am insensitive.But if I realize,irrespective of previous Karma,my present actions is in my hands,I can shape it and attain success by hard work and perseverance.Thus being plucky and putting a fight is of paramount importance ,than to get lazy and sleep over it by calling it past karma or fate.

    BTW: All this not my view,I could have given my examples,but its verbatim from our religion and I have no opinion of mine here.

    @ tridiv : Guess you should look up the meaning of 'rant' and discover that's what you really did now.If you call us 'oppressionist' and 'fundamentalist' just for pointing out what our religion says then so be it according to your jaundiced perception of alternate views .

    you are right to point out the suffering of dalit women,but you should blame the people than blame the system.I have brought up points that support the caste system also support emancipation of dalits,so first give it a read

    you call Ramayana/Manu smriti mythical,so you mean its not true..respect that opinion..then our religion is mythical,the caste system is mythical,your caste is mythical so you could give it up and become an atheist,its simple and you need not debate on it.

    "pseudo intellectual arguments" - I don't know what looked as a poseur to you,but take my word there will be an alternative perspective and i guess i have presented it and it has a cogent argument.i gain nothing by keeping the status quo.what will i achieve in keeping the caste system,more OBC reservation that does not favor me?on the contrary i support reservation for the lower caste in economic incentives ,so get over this 'conspiracy theory' you are trying to spin.

    @whatever99 - "I call this share ignorance,you should get out of your religious cocoon to understand it better."

    if i am into a religions cocoon,then you are into a cocoon called "atheism" if you dispute the existence of rebirth as you will dispute every thing else that follows,so get used to seeing different opinions


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  • 28. At 4:20pm on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: What i call chance happening, you call Karma. And your whole thesis in support of the caste system is based on this karma. I call it baloney. Or as Homer Simpson would call it, Karma-Baloney, mmmm...

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  • 29. At 4:33pm on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #jet225 : "What i call chance happening, you call Karma. And your whole thesis in support of the caste system is based on this karma." - exactly
    and thats where we differ,but i don't want you to necessarily agree with me

    If i was able to walk you through the other side of the aisle and you were able to do the same, we have seen each others perspective and next time,may be we will know where we come from,where we agree and differ by 180 degrees and yet respect each others opinion.

    In a country as diverse and bamboozling as India its only natural to see
    a pied mindscape.

    cheers

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  • 30. At 4:44pm on 12 May 2010, jet225 wrote:

    @EternalIndia: So, according to your theory, prince William must some kind of SuperBrahmin or he must've gathered a lot of brownie points in his previous life. Just Kidding. Let's just give ourselves a self congratulatory pat on the back for being argumentative Indians and having wasted a productive day arguing over the internet.Bye.

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  • 31. At 4:53pm on 12 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #jet225 #:) well not according to my theory,but the tenets of Sanatana Dharma.On a lighter note Prince William might have scored lot of points but he has also suffered a lot in his personal life by losing his mother in early life.

    Guess no one's life is perfect as no one's Karma is Perfect.Argumentative indians indeed.bye

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  • 32. At 5:23pm on 12 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    There should not be any problem in noting down caste in recent census. In fact, it should have been continued. We need all such data to find out many different parameters of development: education, economic status, birth rate, mortality, general health etc based on caste or any other criteria. Such data are important to formulate proper policy to address those issues. But the reason many politicians are demanding for inclusion of caste in the census seems to be for totally different. It is not the fault of the data but how we use it. We should not blame the invention of fire for any fire related crime or a drug for its improper use or side effects. Our policy makers have an uncanny ability to distort a good thing, use that as a shield to divide the society, break the basic fabric of a civilized, democracy and use that for personal gain. No proponent of caste based reservation is interested to provide education, health or any other opportunity for those deprived lot to prosper. None of them are shouting for judicial and administrative reform, transparency in all government recruitments. They are all interested to ensure their personal benefit (both political and financial) and a so-called “constitutional” way to offer a huge competitive advantage for their subsequent generations. I am pretty sure that inclusion of caste in latest census will be just another example of such practice.

    I’ll be curious to know if our policy makers will address the issue if they find out that population growth rate is too high among some castes?

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  • 33. At 01:00am on 13 May 2010, whatever99 wrote:

    #EternalIndia: Have you noticed,majority of the commentators do not agree with your dharma/karma nonsense.Your religion/dharma that does treat some section of the society inferior to others is not worth mentioning here. Intelligent people like you should just take the hint. No one can defend that's indefensible here..

    To include caste in the census is only politically motivated. All they need to know from this process is how many poor people need help irrespective of their colour,creed,religion or caste, Simple!!



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  • 34. At 03:17am on 13 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia and others who believe that anything supported or seem to be supported by so-called "sanatana" dharma SHOULD be continued, irrespective of its relevance or impact on our present day society? I do not think so. Caste concept MAY have a role to organize the society at ancient time (as dictated by one’s occupation, NOT by birth). Later ONLY the benefits of caste system were made hereditary while the responsibilities were forgotten. A Brahmin should earn few qualities before s/he should be called a "Brahmin". The same is true for other caste as well. If a "chamar" never experienced leather craft, should s/he still be considered a "chamar"? What logic are we following here?

    Even if something is said in Vedas or Gita or Bible or Koran; does NOT mean that we should follow that without understand it first and then validating it, in the context of our present society. "Religion" itself should be a dynamic concept. No sane person believe that religion is limited only to some meaningless rituals (warship is a part of that) and following "tradition". For example, beef eating was perfectly acceptable and supported by ancient Hindus (read the article "Beef eating: strangulating history" published in "The Hindu"- August 14th 2001). But now many so-callled "Hindus" think that beef eating is not allowed in Hinduism. Many just do it for sake of differentiating from Islam, while many others have no clue whatsoever but strictly follow that "tradition". Such illogical acceptance and rigid following of such "traditions" make us highly susceptible to theocracy and perpetuate our current closed and feudal social pattern (as we see more in rural and semi-urban India). This makes our society more vulnerable to violence and prone to under-development. Any society or nation or religion that remain stagnant, want to live in the past, blindly follow dictates (by religious or political or social leader) will have a very frightening future indeed.

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  • 35. At 03:23am on 13 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "Have you noticed,majority of the commentators do not agree with your dharma/karma nonsense." - Our religion is not by numbers,it prohibits to proselytize. So it not threatened a tittle by the number of people who refuse to embrace it.

    As for your calling dharma/karma as nonsense ,then truth is nonsense,then every virtue of our religion is nonsense hence according to you,if there will be no retribution for a person's actions,then one might as well become the most malevolent person in the world as there would be no consequences for his deeds.

    "No one can defend that's indefensible here" - Caste system is not the folly,it is certainly not the nemesis of our society.Our own actions as people,our leaders who shape our nation's future,stand accountable and not the caste system.

    Caste system and our religion are sacrosanct and government should at least keep away from meddling with it .So I do not care if the government takes a caste based census or not.But what it chooses to do with the caste based data..to promulgate more reservation ,or allow it to be used by political parties to target lucrative caste cauldron in terms of vote or it wishes to genuinely help the lower caste



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  • 36. At 03:36am on 13 May 2010, shikari shambu wrote:

    I welcome the idea of collecting caste data as part of the census. Afterall, there is no sign of government dropping caste based reservations (lets just drop that politically correct term of "affirmitive action") so why not make the reservations based on current data?

    BTW, which caste will be in charge of doing the census?

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  • 37. At 04:02am on 13 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jay : - "EternalIndia and others who believe that anything supported or seem to be supported by so-called "sanatana" dharma SHOULD be continued, irrespective of its relevance or impact on our present day society?"

    I guess I did bring up a case to show how it is relevant and practical.The impact on present day society is by virtue of it being used to foment hate.Hypothetically,say suddenly by a juggernaut,the caste system were to be destroyed completely..will our society not find new ways of division,then religion will be the culprit.Even if religion were to be defunct,then nationality and it being extinct , we as in people ,will quarrel over gender and race and there is no end.

    so the caste system is not the culprit.

    "Later ONLY the benefits of caste system were made hereditary while the responsibilities were forgotten. " true and the lesson is that we should not be oblivious to our responsibilities of our caste/religion and follow them to our best effort than to flaunt our caste in society

    On the beef comment - I guess its not surprising that such articles appear in 'The Hindu' newspaper which is a staunch supporter of the communists and such articles reveal a journalism which is as a gargoyle of ugly bizarreness.Discussing this is a digression from our topic and yes Hindus revere the cow and do not eat beef

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  • 38. At 4:11pm on 13 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia: There are many reasons, both theoretical and practical, why caste system does not make any sense in present society in India. Such social system was developed mainly during medieval feudal time where kings(traditionally Khatrayas) and his cronies (mostly upper castes like Brahmins) used to dictate who will do what. Each person’s role was, more or less, fixed by royal decisions. Today we do not live in such society and for right reasons. We have evolved. Today khatryas are not the only soldiers fighting for the country, education and research are not restricted among Brahmins only, there are many successful entrepreneurs who are not baniyas so on and so forth. Each and every people, traditionally belonging to different caste have proved that they can be equally, or more, capable to successfully accomplish almost any job.
    I agree that majority of human beings have an uncanny tendency to prove him/herself the best. For that, they take so many different ways which ultimately aimed to prove that s/he belongs to an elite group that makes him/her better than many others. It can be caste, tribe/clan, religion, educational degrees, money, professional hierarchy, nationality, skin color, gender etc. The list is endless. Today even having a US permanent residency (green card) or a citizenship of a developed country is also a matter of prestige that many people in underdeveloped countries like India prefer to flaunt around. We tend (or pretend) to forget that NONE of those qualification does indicate anything better as a human being who can deserve a special treatment as compared to others. That’s why all civilized, democratic societies developed “laws”. We treat each and every people equally; at least that SHOULD be the case and we should stick to that to have a more civilized and peaceful society. Caste based division not only break that basic norm of the society but it does provoke many to take laws into their own hands and for reasons we all know. We must not allow to continue that if we want a more civilized, democratic society.

    So far beef eating is concerned, there is NO reason to treat cow differently as compared to many other domesticated animals. There are many so-called Hindus who never hesitate to sell their cows (to leather merchants) when it stops producing milk, leave them to roam around the streets. It is also ridiculous to treat only the female animal as “God” while the males are not as equal! All animals deserve humane treatment. Hindus living in desert do not consider camel as “God”, neither those living in/around mountains do that for sheep/goat. By the way, cows do not produce milk for human, but for their own calves.

    I try my best to understand religion. I wrote few articles sometime ago about it. I am not sure if BBC will allow me to post the link. Here it is: “Man created God or God created man?” http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2007/05/god-created-man-or-man-created-god_11.html and “Can a true rational person compartmentalize inquisitiveness and rational thinking?” http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/07/basic-qualities-of-scientist-are.html

    I am not in favor to take away religion or “tradition” from those people who have nothing but religion/tradition to look forward to live in that part of the world. But the seemingly educated people have a bigger responsibility, to help the country and society to become more rational, civilized and democratic. We should have aggressive debates about role of religion (and caste comes under that) in present Indian society. How it is used and how it SHOULD be used to have a more prosperous and peaceful India (or any other country).

    So far, “the Hindu” article goes, it is suffice to say that everything arising from a specific group must not be either rejected or accepted without judging it. There are some aspects of communism/socialism that are good for a country/society while there are many from a democratic or capitalist society. We need to accept those parts from either for them and reject the harmful ones. For that we need an open, rational mind. There comes the role of proper "education" (not the “database-quiz and mugging up and vomiting in exams” type that we follow in India these days).

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  • 39. At 4:15pm on 13 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    sorry just passing by and wondered if it would make sense to remind metaphysics specialist EternalIndia that there, in fact, exists difference between history and myth. You would not care much, i know, going by your arguments. Then there are difference between rationality and belief systems. Rationality has to do with logic and not belief system. Most contemporary human are also looking for empirical evidences to back their argument. You can not just ask us to stretch our rationality in the name of Sanatan Dharma or karma etc. This is what is done by the proponents of sharia law. In that sense you are no different from a religious fundamentalist

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  • 40. At 5:35pm on 13 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Tridiv # - If you cannot reason or refute by cogent arguments,don't conjure up a term called 'metaphysics'.

    What you belabor as myth is already answered.If this is a myth,then your religion is a myth,God is myth,Caste is Myth.Hence "logically" ,you should not believe anything in our religion and relinquish it as a myth.

    As to see the so called "rationality" you need to accept one statement to be true to make derivations and that statement is "Hindu religion is verity,hence also Rebirth".

    If you refuse this(an opinion and I respect that and I expect you to respect mine),then you should label everything ,every line in our scriptures as a lie and its all fallacious/mendacious as per your opinion and you should turn an atheist/embrace any other faith as you believe that this religion is not the truth.

    "Most contemporary human are also looking for empirical evidences to back their argument. You can not just ask us to stretch our rationality in the name of Sanatan Dharma or karma etc." -

    why should I establish to you with existence of God as proof of verity to sanatana dharma and karma?

    As seem you question the very existence of God in our religion which you seem to have done by asking for evidence.which is okay,then I suggest,that no one will come with a platter to give you a demonstration on the existence of God.God will not come on his accord,suo moto and manifest his existence to you.Guess thats the journey every one has to take alone.

    If you are not willing to move a toe to understand and reason what our scriptures say and then put to use the "logic" that you so often type in your comments ,then you would have read my logical reasoning(I just used the word ratiocinate) and then may be think "ok,there is a point on the other side that says - read our scriptures first,reason then" before hearsay ,conjecture and surmises.

    I agree to disagree with you and abolishing the Caste system or Denouncing God is no silver bullet to the conundrum,which is to help the lower caste overcome destitution.

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  • 41. At 6:37pm on 13 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jay :- Appreciate and respect your view,Please give me some time before i read and try to respond to the best of my abilities

    #Tridiv : - I just missed responding to your comment "This is what is done by the proponents of sharia law. In that sense you are no different from a religious fundamentalist"

    Made be break into a chortle..If you call me a 'fundamentalist'..you are a bigot.Learn to respect alternate views and you need not necessarily agree with me.People of India will have myriad perspectives on religion and our spirituality is our strength.It has made our nation an abode to so many people who seek answers to the purpose of life,Who come to subcontinent to just experience 'religion'..heard of the book 'Eat,Pray,Love' ?

    how can you call this fundamentalist when I am not sermonizing, patronizing and by comparing to 'proponents of sharia law' you have made a travesty of your 'logic'.I do not expect you to agree with me or trying to impose my views on you.

    This religion is not by numbers,it does not proselytize,it is not threatened a scintilla by conversions as its strength lies in 'Dharma'.It is resilient and Eternal.

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  • 42. At 00:20am on 14 May 2010, aia wrote:

    Which is more important in India, race or caste? Caste or colour? I guess it depends on how "urbanised" (Westernised/"modern"?)you are?

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  • 43. At 12:06pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jay - I went through your links. This is my observation.

    “Such social system was developed mainly during medieval feudal time where kings(traditionally Khatrayas) and his cronies (mostly upper castes like Brahmins) used to dictate who will do what. Each person’s role was, more or less, fixed by royal decisions.”

    – How would you know that it was ‘developed’/evolved into/or institutionalised by a king/group of kings when Ancient India was composed of so many Kingdoms like Koshala,Videha,Vidarbha,Kekeya and so on ?

    [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_India]

    When did they get together as a syndicate to give it shape?

    Is there any evidence in our scriptures or by science that says that Kings got together and conceived such a system? It is unfortunate, when you call ‘Brahmins’ as ‘cronies’ as it reveals your subliminal disdain towards one caste.

    “Today we do not live in such society and for right reasons. We have evolved. Today khatryas are not the only soldiers fighting for the country, education and research are not restricted among Brahmins only, there are many successful entrepreneurs who are not baniyas so on and so forth. Each and every people, traditionally belonging to different caste have proved that they can be equally, or more, capable to successfully accomplish almost any job.”

    - Caste system does not label any person in a varna as incapable. For example Sage Valimiki,who was a robber in the woods(belonging to the fourth varna) ,went on to write the Ramayana by his own effort and attained erudition. So, a person in a fourth varna can seek the truth, liberation and knowledge like any one else.

    - I have seen no scriptural evidence that says that people of fourth Varna should not seek knowledge!. Many have sought and won the race also.

    - On Capability, there is another point. ..as you said anybody can get into business or education and excel.True,but a Brahama should not get into the pursuit of money ideally as he should learn that his ‘brahmanya’(state of being a Brahmin) requires him to leave the worldly pursuit of money and fame and seek the 'Brahman' or the ultimate truth. [see the preview of conversation in this link provided in the comment 15 ].A Kshatriya has the primary responsibility to rule and protect his subjects fastidiously, he should not get into business or farming. The forth varna comes as other professions and it is not as hideous as portrayed.

    - On your point that the human kind has a tendency to prove itself as elite than others by religion caste etc –True in today’s world ,but our religion prohibits ostentatious display of caste as a symbol of superiority as asks people to be treated with respect and equally [see comment 10]

    Practicality:

    This country does not have the same values it had in subjects or the rulers as seen after reading the Ramayana.So,We have not necessarily ‘evolved’ into but ‘devolved’ into a decadent society. Today many rulers or politicians seem to have maximum wealth and also seem to run parallel businesses and of course are corrupt irrespective of caste.when we as people are also not fully righteous, we should not think about reverting to a system as in the Ramayana as we would misuse it like we misuse the ‘democratic’ system today.

    So rather than to blaming the caste system as the folly, we should blame our own transgressions in breaking away from the righteous path by using the caste system to hurt each other and discriminating against each other by dishonesty or favoritism irrespective of caste. A solution is to keep the caste private to ourselves and be righteous in our lives and profession as it is mostly a profession in the modern sphere.

    With the advent of modern education, I don’t know what ‘special privileges’ Brahmins and Kshatriyas are asking. In fact any privilege is being given as reservation only to the lower caste.

    “We tend (or pretend) to forget that NONE of those qualification does indicate anything better as a human being who can deserve a special treatment as compared to others. That’s why all civilized, democratic societies developed “laws”. We treat each and every people equally; at least that SHOULD be the case and we should stick to that to have a more civilized and peaceful society.”

    true that our caste does not reflect in any way that we are a good human being as our present Karma is in our hands, we can be good or bad in any caste.

    Overall – the caste system is sacred we should follow it in our life.If we misuse it to be show superiority or domineering countenance, we are to blame, not the caste!.

    Beef comment – This is a digression and I don’t want to delve deep. Our religion says even animals and other living beings, should not be harmed be it a cow or a bull. Before we eat, we must leave some food for the animals like the squirrel or the birds in our courtyard .If some Hindus sell their cows/bulls to slaughter houses, they are NOT true Hindus. I know people who run ‘Go-Shalas’ that keep cows that have stopped milking till their lifetime to protect them from being slaughtered. When we milk the cow in the house for our use, we should leave a quantity for the calf. We should not let the cattle roam on the streets and eat garbage as today.The bull is considered sacred too as form of Nandi and I have seen bulls in Shiva temples.

    Also when you quote that people do eat the meat of other animals, well eating meat as such is forbidden in our religion as it asks us to be vegetarian.Also,your blog talks about beef eating, people of India did NOT eat beef in ancient times and the new theories here have no merit as there is no evidence, they have not ‘evolved’ into a teetotaler lifestyle of abstinence, In fact it seems the other way around.

    Your blog also talks about Sati pratha – Its not ‘forced’ on a women, If people have forced it on a women, they are culpable not our religion

    On dowry – (I think you may quote this later) – there is no concept of dowry in our religion, people have brought it out of stark greed and they are to blame as the girl being married into a family is itself is an asset than the dowry.

    Caste system is not the folly,it is certainly not the nemesis of our society. Our own actions as people, our leaders who shape our nation's future, stand accountable and not the caste system/any other social malaise that we have created by misuse of our tenets.

    Being born in any caste,one can/should lead the life of morality and propriety and be like a lotus leaf that neither sinks in the water nor is fully out of the water when in a profession and enjoy our lives to the fullest with fun,meet the challenges with zeal and beat the obstacles to accomplish our goals.

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  • 44. At 3:52pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    All these aspects of king-ruled society are self evident from our history textbooks. There are enough written history that tells us the kings can get away with lot many things is close cooperation from Brahmins (ministers) while other, common subjects were not allowed. Almost every organized religion, including Hinduism started deteriorating and shifted from its original aim (to organize society) when it developed some sort of ways to get rid of “sin”. Be is confession in Christianity or feeding dogs/animals (as seen in Jain temple in Parashnath (in Bihar) or donating costly items in temples or offer puja/sacrifice in front of God/Godesses. The same practice is going on by many highly corrupt people in almost every aspect of life, starting from business to politics to teaching to preaching religion too. It practically opened the flood gate to allow doing “sin” as they knew that there are ways to get rid of that (so long they can afford it). Probably that’s the beginning of “commercialization” of religion. There are many nice films showing that issue (e.g Bengali movie “Antarmahal” by Rituparna sengupta).

    I myself is a Brahmin. Many in my family were Jaminders (in Bengal). I know how forceful they can get to implement a dictate while they themselves never followed it. There is enough doubt among historians how authentic many ancient books/documents that describe a king are. Do you think that any person will be allowed to live freely if s/he writes something negative against a king/emperor? Most of the documents we have from middle age till starting of modern history just tell us that. Even Mahabharata Karna was denied to become a student of Dronacharaya simply because of his birth (as he was not Khatriya). Same goes to Eklavya and many more. Examples of Kalidasa or Balmiki was not that common that time, as we can think.
    Generally common people want to follow the ruling class, even now. When we celebrate any festival in India we hardly bother about how many others will feel or get affected. When we burst crackers during diwali we do not care much how a student having an exam next day or a patient will fell. We know that kings/rulers used to enjoy when HE wanted. The same is true for our political leaders (expect for the time of election).
    Ancient Hindu scripts have every sign of a progressive society. That time BOTH men and women used to have almost same social and legal rights. Have you heard of Amrapali during Binbishar era (in Takhashil, now Bihar)? She was notch girl (in plain term, call girl), yet she not only had very high social acceptability but had good influence in governance. That time both polyandry (women having more than one husband) and polygyny (one man can have more than one wives) was accepted. Dowry was not part of any marriage negotiation. In Fact institution of marriage was not there in ancient time and was invented much later by “saint” Manu. No one socially out casted Batsayana for writing such a beautiful book on erotica. It was perfectly OK for the artists who built temples in Konark or Khajuraho to make such wonderful sculptures on the surface of “sacred” temples. Gopala (in Bengal around 750 CE) was among the first few democratically elected king in whole world. In short, society was much open that time. People used to accept many things that we do not do now.
    In reality we see the imaginations for ancient people when they wrote novels like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Those novels have almost every example of common society that time, how common people, how kings behave. Ramayana (written earlier) is little more idealistic than Mahabharata; nonetheless both are having ingredients for a successful hindi film, even today. We started loosing that openness once foreign kings, mainly the muslim rulers invaded us and worst settled here in India. Many of the deformity of Hindusim mainly started during that time. Before strict pardha system for women was limited to some Rajput royalties and few warrior communities where snatching of attractive women was not that uncommon. But after establishment of Muslim empires, that pardha system spread all over. There are many examples of such tradition that later became part of “Hinduism” as we see it today.
    There are enough evidences that Sait pratha was FORCED on women, mainly by her relatives (from dead husband’s side) mainly for property and money, as evident from many legal documents during British era. Ram Mohan Roy fought hard to get rid of that heinous criminal activity supported by the then Hindu society. In few cases, (mainly in Rajasthan) it was actually “voluntary” (even though I doubt the authenticity of those tells/myths about “voluntary” aspect of the story).
    Again I should emphasize that there were both good and bad aspect in any society at any point of time; be it during Rama-Arjun era or Sonia Gandhi era. We know that there are enough example of extra-marital affairs, birth of child from un-married mothers, denying of justice even by legendary (and probably imaginary) kings like Rama (who forced his wife to get “purified” simply because some people suspected her activities while she was under Ravana’s custody) or Judhisthir (when he put Draupadi, his wife, as bet in the game of “pasha”). We must not follow such examples and give those a constitutional validity in our present society. Something used to be in a specific way sometime ago does not necessarily mean that we have to continue that, unless it has some social/moral/economical benefit. We have to evaluate each and every such thing before we accept, start believing in that, more importantly formulating a public policy applicable to all others. Caste system is useless concept at this point of time. Probably it was equally useless during ancient time when it was introduced. Those peole could have organized people from different occupation in a better way without introducing “caste”. There are many ancient societies/religions all over India and the world who did just that without invoking one extra layer of division among people. Here I can say that: I can not change the past, but I can contribute to make a better future.

    Non-veg eating in Hindusism:
    DO you know that Belur math, the head office of Ram Krishna mission, does offer fish as “Prasad” during lunch in the temple? DO you know that devotees of Shiva (“sakta” sect) and goddess Kali do offer animal sacrifice and eat the “prasadi” meat, after usual ritual (warship)? Do you know that hardcore Hindus in Indonesia (many from Bali insland) eat beef just like any other meat? Those people are no less Hindus that any of us.

    We do not need God or imagine any supernatural power to do all the “right” thing; i.e never tell lies, never cheat people, etc. If someone wants to get inspiration by thinking about any figure, real or imaginary, to commit him/herself towards a honest live, to make this world a better place then I do not have any problem. Someone might get inspiration by thinking about his/her mother or father or teacher or fiancé or son/daughter. In the same line many might get inspiration by thinking about “God”.

    To ensure that “right” society, all civilized societies all over the world developed “laws”, which is applicable irrespective of caste or religion. “secularism” does NOT mean allowing each and everyone to do whatever they feel like as per their personal belief, BUT it does mean to follow a set of pre-determined rules, applicable to each and everyone (even to those who does not believe in God), at least in public places, during selection of government jobs etc.

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  • 45. At 4:41pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia told, "people of India did NOT eat beef in ancient times and the new theories here have no merit as there is no evidence". You are wrong in that. there is enough and compelling evidence that Hindus not only used to eat beef but beef was a very cherished item, served for important guests.

    Check the BBC report for a short reference, "Beef book sparks Hindu protest": http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1482614.stm

    "An ancient Hindu text, the Manusmriti (200BC to 200AD), lists the cow as one of several animals whose meat can be eaten. A mention is also made, he says, in one of the two great Indian epics - the Mahabharata - which speaks of beef being a delicacy served to esteemed guests".

    "A spokesman for the VHP alleged that the book was aimed at insulting Hindus. But experts argue that there is no basis for any controversy, as the book states something that is already a well known fact among historians.
    A leading academic, Pushpesh Pant, said that the issue had been put to rest by scholars many years ago and that there were a number of historical and mythological texts which support this argument."

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  • 46. At 5:17pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    # Jay : - This beef thing is a TOTAL SHAM,quote me a verse in Manu smriti or dharma shastras or upanishads where it sanctions beef and then we will talk with verse nummber

    also I can go and author a book tomorrow and say our forefathers ate beef and you can quote it to me again via this blog.This whole thing is a pipe dream

    In your article,professor Jha says that Manu smriti sanctions beef ,let him quote the verse and we will talk

    Also i will respond to your earlier comment soon as it has lot of digression and what 'people do' than what Sanathana dharma says.The latter is relevant and the former makes people at fault,not our religion

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  • 47. At 5:42pm on 14 May 2010, acenavigator wrote:

    When you want to destroy cancer, a thorough study is required. Caste system needs the same attention. Unless you know its contours, strength and weakness, destroying it is very difficult.

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  • 48. At 6:02pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I am not saying that we have to accept or refute anything on the basis of a book or a quote from a professor. You wanted a reference and that's why I posted it and that is a very authentic source (BBC). I never read Manusmriti or Ramayana or Mahabharata in its original text. I am quite sure many of us are the same. We read translations of those in our language, by someone else. In that sense, I can say that there is reference/evidence that beef used to be eaten by ancient Hindus and I perfectly accept that. Beef eating ban by Hindus is a total non-sense to me. That has NO logic whatsoever, which can not be extended to any other animal. This is more irrelevant at this age of dairy farming (of cattle).
    You can not refute the real time evidence that beef and many other non-veg items are eaten by many Hindus in India and all over the world. Food habit does not make any one less “religious” in that sense.

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  • 49. At 6:09pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia:
    Why do you think caste was introduced among Indian Hindus? If a person belongs to some specific profession (as theoretical cause some site), then what is the need or advantage to describe him and ascertain his/her social and/or legal privileges to that person? Does it served or serve (even now) any practical purpose? I find no beneficial reason to keep that useless system alive, irrespective of its use and usefulness in ancient India.

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  • 50. At 6:24pm on 14 May 2010, Shilpy wrote:

    caste is fun; everybody should have one. far more good has come out of caste than misguided - and always exaggerated by anti-hindus, which include the known culprits like the over the edge missionaries and the communists of bengal (sautik biswas knows them all) - bad.

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  • 51. At 6:25pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia:
    Are you married? Did you marry as per Hindu tradition? Did you really understand what were you saying while chanting the mantras during your marriage? I did. I specifically instructed the pandit to translate the mantras in Bengali, so that I can understand what I am saying. I did just for curiosity sake. That time I realized that how biased and nonsense many of those mantras are. It describes women as a commodity. Simply put, marriage is transfer of ownership for that commodity, as per “sanatan dharma” you are referring.

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  • 52. At 6:37pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    The way you are refuting the book by Prof Jha and some others (mentioned in the BBC and “The Hindu” articles), anyone can do the same for any ancient script/book. Someone told something does not mean that it is true of authentic. SOMETHING IS SAID OR WROTE SOMETHING IN SANSKRIT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT AS TRUTH AND HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT. We have to use our own brain, own logic to convince ourselves. Many things written in many epic books like Ramayana or Mahabharata or Vedas need not be to true, while there may be many mentioned there is true or beneficial for the society. Probably Balmiki or Baysdev had no idea that their novel will be so popular and will guide so many people in their daily lives in a country, currently called India!

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  • 53. At 7:51pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Dear Shilpi, can you please site a SINGLE example that the caste system did ANY good, at any point of time? Whether it is for Hinduism, as a religion, or India as a country? It created all sorts of negative impact on both. Majority of conversion from Hindusim is due to this caste system, even now. India is and will continue to pay a heavy price for this caste based division among its citizens in near foreseeable future.
    Have you ever denied water after trekking for about 25 km under hot sun in Bihar? Probably not. I had. A very poor family in Netarhat area (now in Jharkhand) denied me water simply because I was not from her community and she was dead afraid of violent reprisal from the upper caste Thakurs from near by area. Just go to the villages in many parts of India and you will understand the impact of caste among local people. Now some mad people in Haryana has gone a bit further. Have you heard of khap panchayat and their activities for banning same gotra marriage among hindus?

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  • 54. At 7:55pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    # Jay - As I see,you have touched upon so many topics.I also see lot of digression from our topic which is “Is Caste System the cause for an impovershied and deprived fourth varna”?
    Before I respond and avidly defend my religion to your comments, let’s have a classification to label your statements enclosed in [] brackets .
    1. Digressive Statement (Of superficial relevance if any or tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects.)
    2. Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion.
    3. HearSay
    4. Conjecture - A hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing with no evidence also reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence
    5. Utterly Irrelevant
    “All these aspects of king-ruled society are self evident from our history textbooks. There are enough written history that tells us the kings can get away with lot many things is close cooperation from Brahmins (ministers) while other, common subjects were not allowed. “
    - This statement is HearSay: Ya Brahmins were close to power in the last 1000 years(excluding the previous millenium) ,but where is it written that they MANUFACTURED the caste system ?
    It is not SELF EVIDENT as you say by a history text book(s) ,if it is “self evident” by that as a source,I urge you to read history textbooks across the world on hindu caste system I bet you will find difference in theories they propose and you can choose any one you like to contradict yourself.
    Tell me which history text book says kings and brahmins MANUFACTURED the caste system.They obviously cannot say God existes and as part of Srishti(creation),Vaivashvata Manu by Manu Smriti brought the Caste system.Don’t cement your case with todays history textbooks.We know how much controversy is have seen in writing history textbooks.
    When you say “Kings can get away with lot many things with brahmins” – this is [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] as when Kings misused their power or when brahmins their position,they do not make our religion culpable or the caste system culpable.
    “The same practice is going on by many highly corrupt people in almost every aspect of life, starting from business to politics to teaching to preaching religion too. It practically opened the flood gate to allow doing “sin” as they knew that there are ways to get rid of that (so long they can afford it). Probably that’s the beginning of “commercialization” of religion. There are many nice films showing that issue (e.g Bengali movie “Antarmahal” by Rituparna sengupta). “
    – [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant] .. you are beating a dead horse by quoting how people have misused it as you have misused system.

    Almost every organized religion, including Hinduism started deteriorating and shifted from its original aim (to organize society) when it developed some sort of ways to get rid of “sin”. Be is confession in Christianity or feeding dogs/animals (as seen in Jain temple in Parashnath (in Bihar) or donating costly items in temples or offer puja/sacrifice in front of God/Godesses.”
    – Conjecture ,when you say people ‘developed ’ these rituals to rid sin,Its mentioned ans I can quote the source,read the dharma shastras.

    “I myself is a Brahmin. Many in my family were Jaminders (in Bengal). I know how forceful they can get to implement a dictate while they themselves never followed it. There is enough doubt among historians how authentic many ancient books/documents that describe a king are.”
    - [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant] .. I have answered thsi already on culpability,refer the same ,people’s action make them guilty,not religion.
    “enough doubt among historians how authentic many ancient books/documents that describe a king are” – there you contradict yourself again when you say how history by nature is distorted by people and so your history textbooks defenitely have this source.
    “Most of the documents we have from middle age till starting of modern history just tell us that. Even Mahabharata Karna was denied to become a student of Dronacharaya simply because of his birth (as he was not Khatriya). Same goes to Eklavya and many more. Examples of Kalidasa or Balmiki was not that common that time, as we can think. “
    - He was not allowed for a charioteer(actually a kshatriya,but people did not know that) to join the other princes.So whats your point here and by the smriti ,people in that caste can only learn archery and art of war,not everyone.So whats your point here..its injustice..well read my comment 10 about justification of caste system on the principle of adhikara and come back.
    Generally common people want to follow the ruling class, even now. When we celebrate any festival in India we hardly bother about how many others will feel or get affected. When we burst crackers during diwali we do not care much how a student having an exam next day or a patient will fell.
    - [Utterly Irrelevant] ,Don’t why you wrote this in this discussion.Digression at its pinnacle indeed.

    “We know that kings/rulers used to enjoy when HE wanted. The same is true for our political leaders (expect for the time of election).
    Ancient Hindu scripts have every sign of a progressive society. That time BOTH men and women used to have almost same social and legal rights. Have you heard of Amrapali during Binbishar era (in Takhashil, now Bihar)? She was notch girl (in plain term, call girl), yet she not only had very high social acceptability but had good influence in governance. That time both polyandry (women having more than one husband) and polygyny (one man can have more than one wives) was accepted.”
    – [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant] .. you are beating a dead horse by quoting how people have misused it as you have misused system.Sanathana dharma says a man can have more than one spouse if he takes good care of each of them,period.if a girl had influence over a king,why is religion guilty???
    Do you believe that for every transgression a ruler commits,his religion was guilty,how preposterous!!
    “In Fact institution of marriage was not there in ancient time and was invented much later by “saint” Manu”. –
    [hear say] and [Conjecture]..quote the verse and then we will talk.Institution of marraige is so paramount and our vedas/shastras quote to the extent that in a marraige,more than pomp,the mantras should be chanted properly for the reason I leave you to find out on mantric powers.
    “No one socially out casted Batsayana for writing such a beautiful book on erotica. It was perfectly OK for the artists who built temples in Konark or Khajuraho to make such wonderful sculptures on the surface of “sacred” temples. Gopala (in Bengal around 750 CE) was among the first few democratically elected king in whole world. In short, society was much open that time. People used to accept many things that we do not do now. “
    -It was ok to make such sculptures on Kama rasa but how is religion and Caste system guilty here my friend?..you started to travel to Kanyakumari and you are scaling the mountain K2 in kashmir!!!

    “In reality we see the imaginations for ancient people when they wrote novels like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Those novels have almost every example of common society that time, how common people, how kings behave. Ramayana (written earlier) is little more idealistic than Mahabharata; nonetheless both are having ingredients for a successful hindi film, even today.” – novels indeed,its novel to you,not to the dharmikas its the gangotri of knowledge,poetic beauty ,a supreme guide to dharma and a beacon to lead a life ,dubb the gita as a fiction novel,but don’t come and tell us that and ask us to accept it as a novel!!
    “We started loosing that openness once foreign kings, mainly the muslim rulers invaded us and worst settled here in India. Many of the deformity of Hindusim mainly started during that time. Before strict pardha system for women was limited to some Rajput royalties and few warrior communities where snatching of attractive women was not that uncommon. But after establishment of Muslim empires, that pardha system spread all over. There are many examples of such tradition that later became part of “Hinduism” as we see it today.” – [Utterly Irrelevant] whwy did you quote,how does it relate to the caste system,i really wonder ..is reasoning with you futile?

    “There are enough evidences that Sait pratha was FORCED on women, mainly by her relatives (from dead husband’s side) mainly for property and money, as evident from many legal documents during British era. Ram Mohan Roy fought hard to get rid of that heinous criminal activity supported by the then Hindu society. In few cases, (mainly in Rajasthan) it was actually “voluntary” (even though I doubt the authenticity of those tells/myths about “voluntary” aspect of the story).”
    -– [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant]
    - Sanathana Dharma says its voluntary,period.what happened in bengal is unfortunate and people are culpable, NOT THE RELIGION who forced the widows and how is this relevant to caste system?
    “Again I should emphasize that there were both good and bad aspect in any society at any point of time; be it during Rama-Arjun era or Sonia Gandhi era. We know that there are enough example of extra-marital affairs, birth of child from un-married mothers, denying of justice even by legendary (and probably imaginary) kings like Rama (who forced his wife to get “purified” simply because some people suspected her activities while she was under Ravana’s custody) or Judhisthir (when he put Draupadi, his wife, as bet in the game of “pasha”).” - -– [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant]
    ALSO WHEN pandavas played the dice they made a mistake and lost the play and Krishna saved the day when he helped the sharanagatha(one who sureenders to the Lord) i.e Draupadi.How is this related to the caste system?
    kings like Rama (who forced his wife to get “purified” simply because some people suspected her activities while she was under Ravana’s custody) – this was a leela to show to the world the greatness of Sita ,to demonstrate her chastity to the world.when he sent Sita to the forest as to satisfy just one of his subjects and be ideal when he knew how dear,Sita was to him ,he was extremely unhappy in her Viraha Thaapam(heat of seperation”
    How is this related to the Caste system?Write a book on manufactured controvercies of Hinduism and as you admit,you have not read any of the epics ,yet you want to controvercialize,Bravo indeed.
    “We must not follow such examples and give those a constitutional validity in our present society. Something used to be in a specific way sometime ago does not necessarily mean that we have to continue that, unless it has some social/moral/economical benefit. We have to evaluate each and every such thing before we accept, start believing in that, more importantly formulating a public policy applicable to all others.”
    – Guess this is happening right now with the so called democratic government and it reasons everything indeed and we are at our zenithin development indeed and also in our values is it? If this is your level of eveluation of every thing then i have no doubt we are on a road to peridition by following in this approach of dissection our religion to stir up controvercies than to understand in good faith what it conveys as the pith ,crux,gist in every injunction.
    “Caste system is useless concept at this point of time. Probably it was equally useless during ancient time when it was introduced. Those peole could have organized people from different occupation in a better way without introducing “caste”. There are many ancient societies/religions all over India and the world who did just that without invoking one extra layer of division among people. Here I can say that: I can not change the past, but I can contribute to make a better future. “
    – Your opinion and I just demonstrated how CASTE SYSTEM IS IRREPROACHABLE for our actions and how Fate and free will with Karma, justify the disparity in the world today and what we should do in our present karma to attain greatness.
    “We do not need God or imagine any supernatural power to do all the “right” thing; i.e never tell lies, never cheat people, etc. If someone wants to get inspiration by thinking about any figure, real or imaginary, to commit him/herself towards a honest live, to make this world a better place then I do not have any problem. Someone might get inspiration by thinking about his/her mother or father or teacher or fiancé or son/daughter. In the same line many might get inspiration by thinking about “God” “
    - Irrelevant to Caste system discussion..family members can be rolemodel but ideal role modes to live a life is taken from Ramayana and rules taken froom shastras for a hindu,if you decide other wise its your call,your karma,
    how is related to caste system?please don’t mix up every ingredient in the kitchen when you make a dish,use what helps your case than bring in superfluous views to the discussion.
    “Non-veg eating in Hindusism:
    DO you know that Belur math, the head office of Ram Krishna mission, does offer fish as “Prasad” during lunch in the temple? DO you know that devotees of Shiva (“sakta” sect) and goddess Kali do offer animal sacrifice and eat the “prasadi” meat, after usual ritual (warship)? Do you know that hardcore Hindus in Indonesia (many from Bali insland) eat beef just like any other meat? Those people are no less Hindus that any of us. “
    [Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion] and [Utterly irrelevant]
    I know brahmins in the east eat fish,but ideally its forbidden.Belur math is not the moral compass to offer worship,our shastras are..so you are quoting people’s actions
    Sacrifices indeed – there is a tale in Bgagavatha where some tribesmen tried to offer a bhagavata devotee to the Kali goddesses and she slaugtered them all for attempting thus.There is an exception rule though,if someone offers with true devotopn ,an offering to god without much knowledge of rules,he will accept it as Lord shiva accepted the offerings of Kannapa Nayanar as he ever offered his eyes to the Lord.Caste no bar.
    Hinduism is not native to Indonesia and our religion does not proslytize (convert people).If people got converted suo moto there as India traded with south east asia and people liked this religion and thought to follow ,it ,what can i say .They are not Hindus as it is by Birth and I have given a link in comment no 15 on how an emiment guru justifies the reason for Hinduism not accpeting convers and asking them to excel in their own religion without deserting it.
    - How is this related to caste system ? are you trying to clear up all your issues with this religion in one day? Its not possible.
    “To ensure that “right” society, all civilized societies all over the world developed “laws”, which is applicable irrespective of caste or religion. “secularism” does NOT mean allowing each and everyone to do whatever they feel like as per their personal belief, BUT it does mean to follow a set of pre-determined rules, applicable to each and everyone (even to those who does not believe in God), at least in public places, during selection of government jobs etc.”
    – This is already in place,don’t make me repeat that i have articluated that keeping our caste in private lives is the best possible solution as i know people will misuse it in power and w=even now it is being misused by political parties so the people hwo indulge thus too use it as spear are guilty,NOT THE CASTE SYSTEM
    Your predilection to the topic of ‘beef’ in this disscussion is blasphemous when you say our primordial scriptures saction it.You come and quote in this arena ,every Tom,Dick and Harry to substantiate your case.If you had applied this much effort in learning sanskrit and reading through our scriptures,you will not be debating this ‘beef topic’ this with me.
    What others did with me was okay as they had different opinion,but your innate desire to controvercialize every aspect of our religion is diabolocal,it is perversive also.You don’t care to read a verse of our epics in sanskrit or at least make an effort but you quote spurious/unproven sources to smear our principles.
    Don’t come and say beef claim is true if BBC publishes an article on Jha and his beef theory.IT IN NO WAY PROVES THAT THE PEOPLE OF INDIA ATE BEEF. This is stark conspiracy you have tried to spin and it will fail.
    Why do you say then that traditrionsa can be followed if you have somany isses with our religion and its all blemished according to the absurd assertions you make?YOU ARE FREE TO GIVE UP THIS WONDERFUL RELIGION ? I t stands undeterred by people from your ilk and the slander and has lived Eternally as no date is known by your historians on its inception as a coincidence to yourhistory books,historians and you.

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  • 55. At 8:03pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay -

    EternalIndia:

    "Are you married? Did you marry as per Hindu tradition? Did you really understand what were you saying while chanting the mantras during your marriage? I did. I specifically instructed the pandit to translate the mantras in Bengali, so that I can understand what I am saying. I did just for curiosity sake. That time I realized that how biased and nonsense many of those mantras are. It describes women as a commodity. Simply put, marriage is transfer of ownership for that commodity, as per “sanatan dharma” you are referring."

    Hypocrisy indeed when you have piled up controversies by not making an effort to learn our scriptures before your judgments on their invalidity and you say you followed traditions in marriage and why did you call a pandit for marraige if you did not believe in caste,did you do it to comply with society and do all the blasphemy in this blog?

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  • 56. At 8:08pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Concept of Saara and Asaara
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    When quoting our scriptures,one should know what is the Saara (Gist and the pithy message to be learnt) and what is irrelevant or Asaara.

    People who take the saara will be filled with ineffable joy as they fathom the truth in our scriptures and such people will eat the orange and not the peel.

    The others who live on controvercies will live only in Asaara and this will trun them into a pure Nastika and I will not reason with them hence forth

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  • 57. At 8:24pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay # - "The way you are refuting the book by Prof Jha and some others (mentioned in the BBC and “The Hindu” articles), anyone can do the same for any ancient script/book. Someone told something does not mean that it is true of authentic. SOMETHING IS SAID OR WROTE SOMETHING IN SANSKRIT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT AS TRUTH AND HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT. We have to use our own brain, own logic to convince ourselves. Many things written in many epic books like Ramayana or Mahabharata or Vedas need not be to true, while there may be many mentioned there is true or beneficial for the society. Probably Balmiki or Baysdev had no idea that their novel will be so popular and will guide so many people in their daily lives in a country, currently called India!"

    well then follow your hindu article and the bbc on religion ask them to invent a religion and be the first one to embrace it .make sure you invite those journalists who covered and hosted a live show on the rubble of the taj hotel after the mumbai attacks to frame the tenets of the is neo religion.

    NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO BE A HINDU,DIVEST YOUR FAITH IF YOU HATE IT RAND THINK ITS LITTERED WITH CONTROVERSY AND IS REPRESSIVE WITH CASTE

    IF YOU CANNOT PROVE IN SANSKRIT VERSE ,THE INJUNCTIONS OF OUR RELIGION then don't expect us to take 'the hindu' and BBC articles as substitute!!! thats really height of lunacy

    MANU AND OTHER SMRITIS will not come on their own to translate themselves to your language and then dispense themselves to this BLOG

    YOU ARE COMMUTING BLASPHEMY HERE BY SAYING HINDUS ATE BEEF .

    If you say " we have our own brain",then use it to dig out sanskrit verses to prove the case that hindus ate beef from primordial time..I challenge you here,you are DEAD WRONG

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  • 58. At 8:32pm on 14 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    #Jay :- If balmiki wrote a NOVEL and all scriptures are novel,then why did you marry as you divulged this info,my calling a Pandit as he would have recited the mantras of our scriptures from the NOVEL.

    YOU SHOULD HAVE HAS THE HINDU NEWSPAPER to be used as the scripture in all your pseudo spiritual endeavors and written your own NOVELS/SCRIPTURES
    for conducting a marriage

    WHY DID YOU MARRY IN FIRST PLACE AS YOU HAVE QUESTIONED THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE in your comment.One more thing don't divulge personal info in blogs,as it has

    1.EXPOSED YOU AS A HYPOCRITE
    2,BREAKS BBC BLOG RULES

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  • 59. At 8:38pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    We have enough of the nonsense of "karma". It seems to me that you also can not answer to the point and with valid reference or logic. The way you argue reminds me the typical, illogical pandits.
    I tend to believe that you never read any of those books in their original text. You neither answer what you think about chanting, like a parrot, the mantras while getting marriage. You also have no clue of why beef eating is banned or why cow deserve any special treatment. You yourself is not much logically convinced about not eating non-veg by Hindus. You have very limited exposure about life and also about Hindusim. The limited experiences you have make you believe what you say here. All logic for you goes back to “scriptures” YOU like. The logic you extend to some other book or other interpretation is just “asara” for you. World or debate does not work that way. We have every data to show that many noted Hindu saints (baring few) and great social reformers like Vivekananda was very against caste system in the first place. I am not sure whether your “script” support such historical facts.

    Not believing in God or any organized religion does not make anyone lesser human being or less "religious" in its true spirit. Those people who want to believe what they were taught from the very beginning of their childhood can not do much to change the world or the society.

    I duly learned the scriptures as far as possible and then concluded what I believe. It just reminded me that “people who believe more on others than themselves and who do more sin are more trust worthy devotee and follower of God. They tend to justify each and everything in the name of tradition and afraid of breaking any. The caste problem for India is just another example for that.

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  • 60. At 8:45pm on 14 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia:
    you said, "YOU ARE FREE TO GIVE UP THIS WONDERFUL RELIGION?"
    I fully agree that true Hinduism is great religion. But, I am NOT giving up my religion, the way I see IT. I am trying to purify it from the clutches of bigots and fundamentalists who do not have slightest idea of what is religion. Despite of supporting beef eating, I do consider myself more Hindu than many other so called "Hindus" who offer pujas, celebrate "bratas", keep fast to get some personal desire fulfilled. Those people then do all sorts of corruption, deceive others, does not believe in equality among human. I am against that type of “Hindus”.

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  • 61. At 9:24pm on 14 May 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    I'm trying to decide how a caste system would be organized here in America. Would politicians be rated higher or lower than rat catchers and lawyers?

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  • 62. At 9:38pm on 14 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    EternalIndia has expressed the views that have carried India for thousands of years. One may interpret these as you like but they have foundations in a belief system. Western influence brings with it a condemnation of the past and spiritual thinking. We see the world financial collapse and recognize that greed and dishonesty were at the core and political corruption the facilitator. Being "modern" in your thinking can provide adoption to held beliefs and does not require that they be refutiated. If one thinks that progress can only happen by killing the past than you fail to understand your own history. Money has replaced God and the result has been a world of hate, murder and greed. If this is what you wish to create as a society, you should reflect on the results thus far. There is nothing wrong with the beliefs, there is something wrong with the humans who misuse them. Once the West has left you naked of all traditions and beliefs you will be nothing more than a slave with no sense of identity whose only function is to consume and work. Where is your happiness?
    EternalIndia, I am but a different branch of the same tree, my roots in the mud trying to produce a flower of brightness in this dark and confused world.

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  • 63. At 01:50am on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Dear ghostofsichuan. It is not the same “religion” that carried India through thousands of years. During ancient time Hinduism was much open in its interpretation of religion. It started deteriorating when it confronted ideological conflict with more “modern” (in terms of time only) religions like Islam and Christianity. During ancient time, despite of contemporary feudal nature of Indian society (prevalent in almost anywhere in the world) Indian Hindus achieved excellent progress in almost any field of life, be it science, democracy (as I mentioned in my earlier post that the first democratically elected king is from Bengal, Gopala), equal right of men and women, among the first organised university in the world (Nalanda) etc. Still it had some negative aspects like caste division among people. Any country/society which is largely dictated by religious faith (theological societies) is bound to have the same fate as countries like Iran, Pakistan etc. I will not be feeling great to see India going towards that path. That’s one of the main reasons why I am spending so much time in forums like this. People like us have to try our best to make situation better for my country. I am not going to get any financial benefit or some sort of parks or social prestige for doing it.
    IT IS AN UTTER IGNORANCE AND HEIGHT OF NAIVETY TO THINK THAT GREED AND DISHONESTY IS RESTRICTED ONLY AMONG NON-BELIEVERS. IN REALITY, IT TAKES LOT OF COURAGE AND KNOWLEDGE TO BECOME A TRUE NON-BELIEVER (ATHEIST) WHO DOES NOT BOW HIS/HER HEAD IN FRONT OF GOD TO PASS EXAMS OR GET ANY OF HIS/HER PERSONAL EARTHLY DESIRES FULFILLED, WHO TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR BOTH HIS/HER SUCCESSES AND FAILURES. For a person who does not do any “sin” also does not need God to fear about. A self-disciplined and honest person only can afford to become an true atheist. Probably more than 99% of so-called believers pray to God- not for humanity or world peace but for their own personal gain, be it related to self or children or spouse or parents etc. They fear that if they do not do it some harm will happen to them. They even do not understand the concept God, they themselves like to believe. If there is God and if s/he does what we think it does, then s/he must not be bribed by mundane rituals or costly items. S/He must punish all the “wrong” doers even if he prays 5 times a day or offer costly bribes after doing crime or corruption. Many of those “greedy” CEOs and politicians for whom, you think, we are facing this global financial crisis have no shortage of “respect” to God. Almost all of them do offer pujas, gifts in temples/churches etc.
    The conflict of God/religion is not an east-west problem. West also have the same problem as we face in India. In reality, only those societies and countries prospered that believe less in divine power and more on themselves. Theological societies always do worse. God does not punish wrong doers, that’s why we need police and law. Else we can leave everything to “karma” and just sit tight to see how God is taking care of everything, whether it is caste related curse among Hindus and India or “intelligent design” in US. For a more detail analysis of the same topic from western perspective one can watch the CNN documentary by Christian Amanpore’s “soldiers of God”.

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  • 64. At 02:45am on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay - " But, I am NOT giving up my religion, the way I see IT. I am trying to purify it from the clutches of bigots and fundamentalists who do not have slightest idea of what is religion. Despite of supporting beef eating, I do consider myself more Hindu than many other so called "Hindus" who offer pujas, celebrate "bratas", keep fast to get some personal desire fulfilled. Those people then do all sorts of corruption, deceive others, does not believe in equality among human. I am against that type of “Hindus”. "

    AHH really,Fact is you have already given it up,you think fundamentalists are holding up this religion ha ha no,India is not a theocracy and no one will run after you with a dagger if you express blasphemy as you have doe here

    Sanathana Dharma by its first premise evinces equality,only thing is its STRETCHED ACROSS BIRTHS.karma is the answer.

    why do you "consider your self a hindu" if you think every epic here is a NOVEL,VEDAS ARE NOVEL,SCRIPTURES NOVEL..ARE YOU A BLIND FOLLOWER?

    On top of it you WEEP OUT with your LITANY OF COMPLAINTS

    GIVE YOUR RELIGION UP IF YOU HATE IT.PERIOD



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  • 65. At 03:04am on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    ghostofsichuan # - appreciate your comments.as you see i have presented some facts from our religion that people like JAY cannot DIGEST :)

    I URGE YOU NOT to reason with Jay as you will find him running around in circles from one manufactured controversy to another and also jumping to a quagmire and asking you to join

    JAY HAS NOT ANSWERED to by counter arguments but is running away from them

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  • 66. At 03:07am on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay # -

    "IT IS AN UTTER IGNORANCE AND HEIGHT OF NAIVETY TO THINK THAT GREED AND DISHONESTY IS RESTRICTED ONLY AMONG NON-BELIEVERS. IN REALITY, IT TAKES LOT OF COURAGE AND KNOWLEDGE TO BECOME A TRUE NON-BELIEVER (ATHEIST) WHO DOES NOT BOW HIS/HER HEAD IN FRONT OF GOD TO PASS EXAMS OR GET ANY OF HIS/HER PERSONAL EARTHLY DESIRES FULFILLED, WHO TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR BOTH HIS/HER SUCCESSES AND FAILURES."

    No nobody said non believers are bad.its an opinion and i respect that,but i don't respect what you are doing by trying to impale spears into our religious tenets.ASSURE YOU THAT THE ARMOUR IS STRONG and your nefarious designs to TARNISH our ethos will fail.

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  • 67. At 03:11am on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay # - "We have enough of the nonsense of "karma". It seems to me that you also can not answer to the point and with valid reference or logic. The way you argue reminds me the typical, illogical pandits. "

    if karma is nonsense then our religion is nonsense,the caste system is nonsense,your caste is nonsense so you could give it up and become an atheist,its simple and you need not debate on it.

    illogical pandits - you have not seen a single pandit with panditya(scholarliness) i guess..the day you see(i hope you don't) then you will be gobsmacked

    WHY DID YOU CALL A PANDIT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE THEN,ANSWER THIS FIRST

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  • 68. At 03:16am on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay - answer to by refutal and rebuttal to your absurd pseudo modern illogical notions and theories by comments my response at comment nos 54,55,56,57,58,60 ,61 before you trap ghostofsichuan into the twister ha ha

    also before you write your laments as an ersatz complaint against sanathana dharma DONT RUN AWAY,ANSWER NOW

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  • 69. At 12:14pm on 15 May 2010, Indian wrote:

    Ok EternalIndia -

    1. Enough of fooling around - just quote the verses from the Hindu scriptures which clearly say do not eat beef/meat (quote the oldest one you know of). If eating meat made you inhuman the non-vegetarian people over the world are evil, and you who seem to be a vegetarian (with the vehemence of a meat eater) have butchered innumerable plants (which are living too) and have sinned.
    2. The scriptures are composed by men, hence flawed. True empathy, spiritualism and humanism do not need scriptures, as JayC above said not until the real Sanatana Dharma comes to the fore will India progress, scriptures are not Sanatana (eternal), they cannot be because language was discovered all too recently. This is true of all scriptures, Hindu or otherwise.
    3. Read a bit about how the nastika schools of Hinduism spread or may be to you they are not Hinduism at all, and learn why they were necessary in the first instance. Don't bypass it, dharma is much bigger than your abilities of comprehension, which sadly seem to be essentially limited to materialistic things like scriptures to you.
    4. Stop being a fool and quote hoary tradition as logic, frankly, Hinduism is too much a colonial creation to stand the scrutiny of any real hermeneutics. The essential thing is to focus on the spiritual philosophy rather than the mumbo-jumbo of rituals perpetuated in most of the scriptures that you hold so sacrosanct. Hindu canon is spread over 2 millennium just in the dating of their composition, and holding on to it as infallible is as foolish as hoping that civilization will remain static for your ease of use.

    In the end scriptures are not going to save the day, belief in Isvara (Creator/Creation) and vivek (conscience) is what will help, because you are not going to remember what happened in your last birth (assuming it is there) because the the body and its memory are not recycled, only the atma is.

    So do the good deed now, and stop claiming the moral high ground of caste/creed/race. It will only put you in the circular logic that you have already put yourself into.

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  • 70. At 12:57pm on 15 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    I see that we are still at it. Ok: EternalIndia, the caste specialist, or pundit if you like. it is apparent that you simply do not understand the difference between rationality and belief systems or between history and myth. Do some homework before you start lecturing. Also my knowledge system (as most other modern human beings)is based on rationality and wide variety of sources, primarily drawn from contemporary science, literature, arts etc. So do not expect others to adhere to your standard of knowledge based exclusively on outdated scriptures. Its exactly the same as the 'fundamentalists'- their reasoning is not based on rationality but as they prefer to interpret outdated scriptures.

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  • 71. At 2:15pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EternalIndia. People like you degraded MY religion to such a state that it became really absurd. THE NONSENSE OF “SANATAN DDHARMA’ IS A FOOL’s paradise. Any dharma that remain “sanatan” (without any self evolution and “purification” as time demands) are bound to gather too much moss. YOUR VERSION OF “DHARMA” IS A SELF DEFEATING ONE AND A SURESHOT RECIPE FOR DISASTER, as we see it in form of rise of organizations like VHP, Bajjrangdal etc. It is useless to talk logic and basic common sense with you. I understand that you are not capable to understand anything but your version of “sanatan dharma” and scriptures of YOUR choice.
    What I understood I am summarising below. Just tell me if you agree or disagree with that. My answer to those question is mentioned in parenthesis.
    1. Do YOU support caste system among Hindus: YES (NO).
    2. Do you think there should be caste based reservation among Hindus: NO (NO)
    3. Do you think Indian Govt should include caste in the recent census: ? (yes)

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  • 72. At 2:15pm on 15 May 2010, acenavigator wrote:

    Every religion has got its negative points. Hinduism has got several positive factors and has survived for ages. As it evolved, caste system became one of its characteristics. Agreed-it exacted a deadly price among the so called "lower castes" for generations, the occupational freedom of all was gone, it became more diabolic permeated more into the society and even water was denied to people in death throes. I have heard (not seen) that Dalits in certain villages near Madurai are even now forbidden to wear footwear and use the common well.

    I came across a man -an activist for the Dalits- near Tiruchy, TN. The man was totally bitter and spat that 100 generations of his ancestors have been persecuted, denied human dignity, and lived and died in ignorance thinking that they were paying the price for the past sins.

    A civil servant, a Brahmin, while traveling in a train, commented that you cannot hang a man for the sins committed by his ancestors, alluding to the prevailing reservation system.

    For me, both the arguments seemed sound and logical.

    The caste system, which may have had its roots in skin color,in its most sinister form gradually evolved to segregate and exploit darker skin people whose services were essential but not for racial intermingling. As it matured, after several generations, the skin color might have lost its significance but the off springs were branded by means of custom, surnames, food habits etc.

    Why there is so little original thinking in India? Quoting of scriptures to defend or defeat this system will seldom work. What is required is cleaning it from the minds of people. During the last 100 years lots of things have changed. Give India some more time-a hundred years down the line people will read about the caste system only in history books and laugh.

    All said, similar evils should not be allowed to entrench and weaken the modern country and people should be cautious. For example, reservation in its present form, economically prosperous Dalit families, are benefiting again and again from the quota system based on caste. The drawback is there are millions of Dalits in the hinterland who need a lot of help for uplifting themselves. Well educated/employed/prosperous Dalits should give way, so that others too are brought into the mainstream. This should not be by way of nibbling away more and more seats meant for the general population. Continuation of reservation, in present model, will result in disgust among various segment of population and this does not augur well for the country. Further it is not just. All will be losers including politicians who for short term gains gamble the future of the nation.

    We need thinkers not quoters (if I can describe the pedantic bloggers quoting vedas, holy scriptures etc.) Hinduism, in its essence, is a wonderful religion, allowing great freedom to its followers and should not become a hostage, to people who want to exploit others.It is the solemn duty of each and every Hindu to prevent this. Otherwise, my friends, we are done.


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  • 73. At 2:33pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    So far your concept of “sanatan dharma is concerned, let me ask few questions to summarize our discussion so far. I’ll ask you as I would do for a 7 year old kid. No more explanation is needed to elaborate your answer. YOU JUST HAVE TO SAY – “Yes” OR “NO”.

    1. When getting married, as per traditional Hindu way, do you agree that many mantras we chant after the pandit, like a parrot, does indicate women as a commodity and institution of marriage is just transfer of ownership? YES or NO?
    2. Do you support labeling women as commodity? YES or NO?
    3. Do you support HINDU religious leader and social reformers like Vivekananda (I hope you have heard of his name) renouncing caste among Hindus? YES or NO?

    About Non-veg and beef eating among Hindus:
    4. Do you acknowledge that Belur Math, head office of Ramakrishna Mission (near Kolkata) serve non-veg items like fish during its lunch “Prasad”? YES or NO?
    5. Do you know that many Hindus in many places in India (mainly north east and south- e.g Kerala) and around the world (Bali island in Indonesia) eat beef? YES or NO?

    6. Do you know that male (not female) cow calves are sacrificed in many hindu temples (e.g Kamakhha Temple, near Gauhati, Assam) around India? YES or NO.

    7. Do you think those Hindus who participate in such eating behavior are can never be a Hindu? YES or NO?

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  • 74. At 4:06pm on 15 May 2010, acenavigator wrote:

    # 73 Jay
    Don't you think we ought to examine the core beliefs of Hindu religion rather than commenting upon the custom in various geographical areas. Sanatana Dharma is more of a way of living rather than a religion. It can encompass conflicting views without sustaining any infirmity to its basic structure.

    I believe that a beef eating Hindu is more of a Hindu rather than a vegetarian Hindu who goes around arguing for/extolling/promoting the caste system.

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  • 75. At 4:15pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I agree with you, acenavigator.
    In fact, during babri mosque demolition case (during hearing against LK Advani), Indian Supreme Court observed that "Hinduism" is a way of life, not a religion in its strict defination".

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  • 76. At 5:23pm on 15 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    @74 and @75 basically agree: Finally i wish religion would be left to the individual and not institutionalized (as it is in reality for millions of Indians). India can do without political patronage for religion or vise verse. The reservation system is a real demotivation for the whole country, especially because its not helping the intended beneficiaries, perhaps with the exception in the north eastern region. i do not see anyone in or outside the government courageous and visionary enough to offer alternatives. Civil society has to really get the governments to get us out of this mess of quota and reservations culture. At the same time India need to review it poverty alleviation programmes to direct more targeted benefits. Wishful thinking! May be, but may be not

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  • 77. At 5:25pm on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:


    Jay : - these qns in your comment number 73 in the comment 54 are answerd in comment number 54 ,go read in back,don't belabor and ruminate

    Nirmalya C- don't need your WACKY PEEVISH SERMON here,i wrote what our scriptures said,no one called non vegetarian people as evil,you have FAILED to read all my comments, go read then lecture me .

    To this BLASPHEMER Jay and comrade NirmalyC and Tridiv ( who tried to speculate on my caste and pick out personally and is bigot again), can go and invent your own neo religion define principles and iterate as much as you wish to before distorting Sanathana Dharma as you call it nonsense.It is eternal and you are mortal,so will be your theories.Don't crib on our religion when you don't care to know or read what it says.Become an atheist ,in a way it saves the others the trouble to reason with you

    "1. Do YOU support caste system among Hindus: YES (NO).
    2. Do you think there should be caste based reservation among Hindus: NO (NO)
    3. Do you think Indian Govt should include caste in the recent census: ? (yes)
    "

    THESE QNS ARE ANSWERED from my comment no 10 till now ,its terse,laconic and succinct, go back and find out the lines,I will not come and spoon feed the answers,they are clear

    If Dharma is disaster and the your CONSPIRACY THEORIES ARE BLISS SO BE IT,time will tell which live s and which obliterates


    What I articulated is not my opinion in comment 10 but verbatim from out scriptures and they have stood the test of time,people like you and your ILK cannot affect the ROBUSTNESS OF THIS RELIGION wee bit by this smear

    Jay - also answer WHY YOU CALLED A PANDIT TO YOUR MARRIAGE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN SANATHANA DHARMA OR CASTE SYSTEM?

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  • 78. At 5:37pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    CAN'T YOU ANSWER IN A SIMPLE TERM? Is there any “scripture” YOU follow forbid that? It seems that you are not fit to take part in any logical debate whatsoever. I NEVER SAID DHARMA ("RELIGION"?) IS A DISASTER. I said that the way PEOPLE LIKE YOU INTERPRET, PRACTIVE AND PREACH ARE A SURE SHOT RECOPE FOR DISASTER". i really believ that. the world will be a better place, Hinduism will be much better RELIGION (Dharma) without people like you. Hinduism do not need so-called “Hindu” like you to demean, defame and destroy this great religion, as Talibans like Bin Laden did for Islam.

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  • 79. At 5:54pm on 15 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    EternalIndia wrote: "To this BLASPHEMER Jay and comrade NirmalyC and Tridiv ( who tried to speculate on my caste and pick out personally and is bigot again)...
    Oh dear, it is saturday evening and i do not have anything else to do other than to speculate your caste! Good that you threw off your mask. i did not respond to many of your fantasies before because i guessed it right.

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  • 80. At 5:56pm on 15 May 2010, tridiv wrote:

    to EternalIndia: Do not forget to look under the bed before you sleep- there may be "BASPHEMER" around hiding

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  • 81. At 6:04pm on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Tridiv : - Ya its Saturday evening ,don't waste time before you conjure up your neo religion,go hide in your house basement and make sure you call the comrades and when you have decided upon your TENETS OF ARTIFICE AND SUBTERFUGE , proclaim it as the ULTIMATE TRUTH before this universe is absorbed in to black hole ,else your EVOLVED FINDINGS might be LOST in perpetuirty :( choo sad

    The Blasphemer,thankfully is not hiding,he is busy in the BASEMENT lol :)

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  • 82. At 6:11pm on 15 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay - I answered all your questions,not repetitions as you see NOT TO READ ANSWERS ,but only read tirades

    You need NOT AGREE WITH ME ,don't come and proclaim your conspiracy theories as evidence for distorting this religion,MOVE ON.

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  • 83. At 7:53pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Dear EI, I always move on. People like you always grab the past, live, eat, drink, dream about past ("sanatan"). If you put a red glass in front of your eyes, no wonder, you will see everything red. It's not unusual that you see the world through the glass you were wrongly wore (or made to wear) from very childhood. It is the "system" (starting from formal education to social upbringing) that is now fully blooming in your case. There is a bumper sticker behind the car of a famous Noble laureate, David Baltimore, which says, "DO NOT START BELIEVING EVERYTHING YOU THINK".
    Hinduism will be much better off without people like you. Our country will much better off; both so-called "1 to 3 varnas" (“upper” caste) and “fourth verna” ("lower") caste, people will live in better harmony, more peacefully if we have less people like you. WORLD HUMANITY WILL BE MUCH BETTER OFF IF PEOPLE LIKE YOU GATHER THE WISDOM AND COURAGE TO COME OUT FROM THE COCOON OF RELIGIOUS FANATICISM AND (AT LEAST, TRY TO) UNDERSTAND THE TRUE SPIRIT AND MEANING OF A RELIGION, ANY RELIGION, THAN TO FOLLOW SOME MEANINGLESS RITUALS, NON-SENSE SUPERSTITIONS IN THE NAME OF RELIGION, BASELESS TRADITION AND MUG UP SOME DISTORTED VERSION OF SO-CALLED "SCRIPTURES" TO SUPPORT FEW PERVERTED VIEW OF A OTHERWISE GREAT RELIGION NAMED, HINDUISM.

    If there is God, s/he will be really ashamed to have a self-proclaimed follower like you. Probably s/he will know realize, once more, that it’s better to have an intelligent foe (atheist) than a friend like “EternalIndia”.

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  • 84. At 8:05pm on 15 May 2010, VINOD R DUBEY wrote:

    THROUGH THE CENSUS 2010-2011 CONGRESS IS EYEING ON THE POLITICAL PROFIT.PAST FOUR DECADES THE ALL PARTY'S NATIONAL LEADERS LEADERS TAUGHT US TO FORGET CASTE,RELIGION,LANGUAGE AND PROVINCIALISM AS INDIA IS ONE,INDIANS ARE ONE OUR ONLY IDENTITY IS INDIAN.BUT NOW IT HAS ALL BECOME THE POLITICAL AGENDA.ON CORRUPTION CHARGES UNION MINISTER A.RAJA CANNOT BE REMOVED AS HE IS DALIT AS PER THE T.N CM KARUNANIDHI EVEN TAKING ACTION AGAINST CORRUPTION ONE HAS TO CONSIDER THE CASTE WHAT A MOCKERY OF THE DEMOCRACY YES CASTE CENSUS IS THE PANDORA BOX SAME LIKE SANCHAR COMMITE, RESERVATION,BABRI MASJID AND OTHERS AND IT IS OPENED AS OF THE MOMENT THE CONGRESS LED UPA HAS NO MEANINGFUL ANSWER TO SPREADING OF THE TERRORISM,NAXAL TERRORISM,THE IPL-BCCI SHASHITHARROR TO SHARAD PAWAR, P.PATEL AND THEIR KINS,INFLATION CONTINUES TO REMAIN HIGH,GOVT POLICIES HAVE TURNED INTO FAILURE,CORRUPTION IS RAMPANT MADU KHODA TO RAJSEKHAR REDDY MILLIONS ASSETS,IN THE FIELD OF FOREIGN POLICY INDIA HAS NOTHING GAINED SO FOR DIVERTING THE MASS CONGRESS LED UPA HAS OPEN THE PANDORA BOX OF THE CENSUS

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  • 85. At 8:16pm on 15 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    EI- I’ll answer a valid Q you raised. You asked, “also answer why you called a pandit to your marriage if you don't believe in sanathana dharma or caste system?”

    Well, firstly institution of marriage has nothing to do with caste. It is almost the same for all Hindus, be it 1-3 verna or 4th venra.
    Secondly, I am personally against marriage solemnized by so-called religious rituals. Both I and my wife did object to getting married in traditional religious way. Firstly, none of us believe that. Secondly, it is a useless waste of a lot of money. I also do not believe in showing off social and financial power by putting a show using marriage as an excuse. We, both me and my wife, wanted a civil marriage only. But my parents and also my in-laws insisted that we should do some sort of ceremony and a decent public reception (that included feeding few people around). We agreed, mainly because we realized that we must not put our parents at very awkward position amongst local society, particularly when it will not be me that will face the (social) consequences but our parents. I should mention here that we live far away from our homes where our parents live. I am ready to face any consequence and fight for what I believe, but I have no right to put someone else, including our parents, to face the music for something they are not responsible for. That’s why we accepted the religious way of getting married. It was a fun for us. But at the same time, it was an eye opener for what many Hindus chant or do without much understanding what they are doing or saying.
    By the way, we also had a proper civil marriage and registration on the same day.

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  • 86. At 00:18am on 16 May 2010, Denthrax wrote:

    I think it would be good if there is a limit to the length or number of posts on this forum per user. One or two people are hijacking the whole forum. A lot of the posts are just copy and paste jobs from other places.

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  • 87. At 03:26am on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay # - You are IGNORANT when you despise our RITUALS AS SUPERSTITION.
    You know nothing about Mantric powers from Mantra shastra or the importance of Bhakti and Jnana than rituals.

    You know nothing about their significance of rituals.For example you have exhibited your lack of tolerance ,lack of thirst to understand our shastras before you bash me and them.

    You don't understand the basic fundamentals before you call it "nonsense" ,"baseless tradition" and so forth,and people who believe our religion as "self - proclaimed followers" ,before you impetuously say I mugged up,our scriptures.

    There is no exam in India,where I will score a gold medal after disgorging its verses on a paper.

    You know nothing about SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE,you have questioned marriage as an institution.Perhaps you think its ok to have partner without marriage.You have not even thought about the flip side.If people start living together without a marriage and start leaving each other without commitment,the children be at the receiving end,they will suffer.

    The power of Rituals in Marriage or any other ritual spawns a lot of merit and

    1.If done without a motive to get some worldly benefit.As a worship down with 'Bhakti' leaves room for some being light as Bhakti assumes paramount importance.

    2.If done TO GET SOME WORLDLY benefit,it should be fastidiously right.

    If you CARE TO LEARN the meaning of every verse used in marriage you will be dumbstruck ,how much commitment,divinity and sanctity is imbued in marriage.How a husband is accountable to protect his wife more than ever and take care of her at his own cost,so is a wife as they step into GRIHASTA ASHRAMA.

    There are other powerful outcomes from rituals,if done fastidiously correct that I DO NOT WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU.I need not come and PROVE IT to you.You being born a Brahmin ought to have known it.

    And on top of this you call me a blind believer.I understand Sanskrit.I know to the very least,what is the IMPORT FROM OUR SCRIPTURES.I take the Saar(main message) ,not the Asaar(the manufactured controversy)

    And, you said ""DO NOT START BELIEVING EVERYTHING YOU THINK".
    " .True,Learn Sanskrit,Make an honest effort to understand the import of our scriptures,then you will discover the ingrained beauty,the wisdom and the practicality.Manufacturing controversies,picking up CNN,BBC,The Hindu
    to cite references and lack of self conquest is walking the edge of precipice

    You are free to have an opinion ,that there is no Hinduism,No God,No scriptures,No caste system and all this was to "organize" society only.We see how organized our society is today when there is no respect for Truth and Dharma.You say that I like only Varnas from (1-3).Go read back comment 10 and you will see,How genuinely i want to help our fourth varna

    You are PSEUDO RATIONALIST in your own little way as you not genuinley tried to see both sides of the Aisle : Modern Science our tenets,being thus and bashing our system ,you are prejudiced against it as a Bigot when you target people under Santhana Dharma


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  • 88. At 06:14am on 16 May 2010, Ananya78 wrote:

    You want to leave caste, but caste won't leave, going by the decision to have a caste census. It is terrible. Whatever people like EternalIndia say with their grandiose illusions of trying to justify everything in the name of tradition and spirituality - dont the khap panchayats do the same? - caste holds this country back and continues to divide people. There can be no justification for caste in the civilised, modern world, inspite of all the laboured rantings of EternalIndia and his tribe. There is a vested interest in keeping large sections of India back, so the other can prosper. And caste is one of the reasons.

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  • 89. At 06:24am on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Ananya 78 : - "There can be no justification for caste in the civilised, modern world, inspite of all the laboured rantings of EternalIndia and his tribe."

    - Your opinion ,I RESPECT it.This is my opinion.

    Caste system is not the folly,it is certainly not the nemesis of our society. Our own actions as people, our leaders who shape our nation's future, stand accountable and not the caste system/any other social malaise that we have created by misuse of our tenets.

    "vested interest" - what vested interest can I have in keeping it when i am not a beneficiary of the reservation or any other incentive.It in fact is being used to ostracize upper caste.

    on khap panchayats : read comment no 17

    Brahmins are not infallible,they are accountable, if they err, will face divine retribution like anyone else .

    WE AGREE TO DISAGREE.

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  • 90. At 06:45am on 16 May 2010, Ananya78 wrote:

    @ EternalIndia: You say: "Yes same gotra marriages are prohibited in our scriptures.Our religion does not say parents to kill children if they marry in same gotra so when such a honor killing happens you cannot attribute the blame to caste system,but blame the people who committed the felony and bring them to justice.

    Do you know what same gotra translate in eugenics? Its in a way where 2 people marrying in the same gene pool and is scientifically proven to be harmful."

    My answer-
    Just became same gotra marriages are prohibited in scriptures, should we not have them? Are the scriptures the last word in life? If scriptures begin running our lives, God save India and Indians. We will be doomed, as we already sometimes look like. It is like saying that Gospel says something, so we have to abide by it. Nobody has the last word on anything, not in the least the scriptures.

    You say - Do you know what same gotra translate in eugenics? Its in a way where 2 people marrying in the same gene pool and is scientifically proven to be harmful."

    Is there any scientific study to show that people who have married in the same clan, gotra or village in Haryana and Punjab have given birth to children with defects? Please present it before making such comments. I am a trained geneticist and your assertion that is it scientifically proven to be harmful is sweeping and uninformed. It's only true in a dozen races in the world, and not true in most. So here goes your informed opinion.

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  • 91. At 06:54am on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "I am a trained geneticist and your assertion that is it scientifically proven to be harmful is sweeping and uninformed. It's only true in a dozen races in the world, and not true in most. So here goes your informed opinion. "

    -You say its true only in some cases ..and you are a trained geneticist.I appreciate the same.Has all been found out in this realm of science and known to the world or is still research undergoing...thats answers the question,we don't know yet fully

    I know a specific case where marriage in close family resulted in 2 children who were normal till 10 years and then began to develop a starge disease where they were impaired to walk and they did not live till age of 18.It was a very sad story.

    Also the 3rd child was given lot of medicine to avoid these complications from his childhood,thankfully he is doing well.





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  • 92. At 11:27am on 16 May 2010, Luketerr wrote:

    Eternalindia....you say "our religion"...I'm Indian and I do not belong to "your religion" but by birth Christian.I do not Identify myself based on my religion rather than by being Indian or from the state I hail...thats more than enough for me...This caste system that you so hold dear too is breaking us apart...I'm not too aware of Indian castes but one glaring example is that lady who rules Uttar pradesh was elected based on some lower caste called dalits and now look at the state and look at the lady's vulgar show of money and her statues....We would destroy our nation if people are given jobs based on caste systems...I hate the system and I hope other educated Indians do too but you see our literacy rate is so terrible that its going to take a few generations before we can really boast about India untill then its all GAS

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  • 93. At 11:30am on 16 May 2010, Luketerr wrote:

    go away eternalindia...you scare as you seem so convinced that we need the caste system..and as yr name suggest....we hardly will be eternal India if people like you spew..

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  • 94. At 12:10pm on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Luketerr : -

    "you say "our religion"...I'm Indian and I do not belong to "your religion" but by birth Christian."

    - The word 'our' used here is reference to Jay,with whom I am having a discussion lately.It no way means all of India is one religion

    We all are Indians more than ever!! ,also Humanity is universal

    I have lot of Christian friends,so understand the context before you speak.

    Also 'EternalIndia' is for India being Eternal,we know we all are mortal,the values we follow should be Eternal.

    If you don't like to hear different opinions,you can go away ,than asking me to do so.

    I donnow why you want to embroil yourself here.

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  • 95. At 12:30pm on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Luketrr : - I agree there is a misuse of Caste based politics.If caste is abolished ,there will be misuse of religion based politics.so can we abolish religion also?

    That's precisely why I don't want India to a theocracy as it will be misused.And thats why religion,caste etc should be private in my opinion.

    please see my comment number 59 in this link :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/02/india_and_pakistan_a_hurting_stalemate.html

    I have evinced this idea : -
    "The 'Idea of India' is unity despite diversity of religion and culture and the solemn commitment to the secular values we cherish, a society where parochial tendencies are loathed.As India poises before its role in the brighter side of history,the idea of Unified India as the utopian paradise for humanity seems ever more palpable"

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  • 96. At 1:07pm on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The motto of the French revolution inspiries us to help the people like one’s picture in Mr Biwas’s article.The poignant faces of these women show sheer weariness,poverty and evoke a sense of guilt.
    Have we as middle class failed to help these people.Are we not responsible in a way to help the ppor people inour country come up irrespective of the Caste census.
    The way we treat people at menial job,reflects on the true attitude we have towards nationality.Our
    Actions gto help these people will really determine how we emancipate the lower caste in this country out of poverty than participating in this census.
    As “ghostofsichuan”’s comment correctly points out :
    “We see the world financial collapse and recognize that greed and dishonesty were at the core and political corruption the facilitator. Being "modern" in your thinking can provide adoption to held beliefs and does not require that they be refutiated. If one thinks that progress can only happen by killing the past than you fail to understand your own history. Money has replaced God and the result has been a world of hate, murder and greed. If this is what you wish to create as a society, you should reflect on the results thus far. There is nothing wrong with the beliefs, there is something wrong with the humans who misuse them. Once the West has left you naked of all traditions and beliefs you will be nothing more than a slave with no sense of identity whose only function is to consume and work. Where is your happiness?”

    We need to realize where true happiness lies.Its in contentment.At the same time we should not limit our ambitions to achieve goals in studies/career/spirituality and also
    Give to these people to realize more happiness than the donee itself.

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  • 97. At 1:10pm on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The motto of the French revolution inspiries us to help the people like one’s picture in Mr Biwas’s article.The poignant faces of these women show sheer weariness,poverty and evoke a sense of guilt.

    Have we as middle class failed to help these people.Are we not responsible in a way to help the ppor people inour country come up irrespective of the Caste census.

    The way we treat people at menial jobs,reflects on the true attitude we have towards nationality.Our Actions to help these people will really determine how we emancipate the lower caste in this country out of poverty than participating in this census.

    As “ghostofsichuan”’s comment correctly points out :
    “We see the world financial collapse and recognize that greed and dishonesty were at the core and political corruption the facilitator. Being "modern" in your thinking can provide adoption to held beliefs and does not require that they be refutiated. If one thinks that progress can only happen by killing the past than you fail to understand your own history. Money has replaced God and the result has been a world of hate, murder and greed. If this is what you wish to create as a society, you should reflect on the results thus far. There is nothing wrong with the beliefs, there is something wrong with the humans who misuse them. Once the West has left you naked of all traditions and beliefs you will be nothing more than a slave with no sense of identity whose only function is to consume and work. Where is your happiness?”

    We need to realize where true happiness lies.Its in contentment.At the same time we should not limit our ambitions to achieve goals in studies/career/spirituality and also
    Give to these people to realize more happiness than the donee itself.

    * The preview button did not appear and hence previous comment was without indentation.Hope BBC keeps this and removes the previous

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  • 98. At 1:55pm on 16 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    It is really scary to see, seemingly “educated” people like EternalIndia thriving in our country. It is clear that “education” have given him few degrees, ability to read and write but did not train him to broaden his mind, vision and most importantly, the logical, analytical ability. IT CLEARLY INDICATES THAT OUR FORMAL EDUCATION SYSTEM AND SOCIO-POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IS NOT ABLE TO HANDLE SUCH FANATICS OR MAY BE EVEN PATRONIZING THIS TYPE OF PEOPLE, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.
    These guys distort even scientific facts, use so-called self developed concept of Genetics. Either they do not understand the basic genetics or deliberately use it for their purpose. They conveniently forget that all human being are related in that sense, as human race evolved from a single place in central Africa. Then there are many communities in India and abroad, among Hindus and many other religions that consider marriage between two closely related (cousin brother type) people to get married. No civilized society, no truly educated person will approve outcasting or killing such couple. Anyway, it is useless to talk any logic to such people who support caste system or believe in banning same gotra marriage, who think anything written in Sanskrit and during ancient time is the ultimate proof of authenticity and truth.

    It is more frightening that if such people are allowed to become teacher or preacher of perverted interpretation of “religion” (be it Hinduism or Islam or Christianity or any other religion), allowed to interact with people with lesser exposure, education and children then there arises real possibility that those innocent minds will also be spoiled, those young, untrained minds will be wasted in the nonsense of outdated, irrelevant superstitions in the name of religion. They will be the ideal candidate to supply the foot soldiers for extremism in the name of religion. That possibility is more than real in a country like India where illiteracy, unemployment and poverty is so prevalent. All sane people have a responsibility to prevent that to flourish anymore if we want India and Hinduism or any other religion to flourish.

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  • 99. At 2:11pm on 16 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Some people think, “Money has replaced God and the result has been a world of hate, murder and greed”. In reality access of money to those (morally and religiously) non-deserving people made the situation worse. Rich politicians like Amar Singh (allegedly one of the most corrupt politician even in Indian standard), Ambani brothers (allegedly one of the most corrupt businessmen in India) believe too much in their version of “religion”, go to Tirupati and many other temples, offering costly bribes to God so that they can be forgiven for the sins they do on a regular basis. Keneth Lei, ex-CEO of collapsed business empire, ENRON, was/is huge fan of Jesus and church.


    I am reposting the reply I posted to answer “ghostofsichuan”.

    IT IS AN UTTER IGNORANCE AND HEIGHT OF NAIVETY TO THINK THAT GREED AND DISHONESTY IS RESTRICTED ONLY AMONG NON-BELIEVERS. IN REALITY, IT TAKES LOT OF COURAGE AND KNOWLEDGE TO BECOME A TRUE NON-BELIEVER (ATHEIST) WHO DOES NOT BOW HIS/HER HEAD IN FRONT OF GOD TO PASS EXAMS OR GET ANY OF HIS/HER PERSONAL EARTHLY DESIRES FULFILLED, WHO TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR BOTH HIS/HER SUCCESSES AND FAILURES. For a person who does not do any “sin” also does not need God to fear about. A self-disciplined and honest person only can afford to become an true atheist. Probably more than 99% of so-called believers pray to God- not for humanity or world peace but for their own personal gain, be it related to self or children or spouse or parents etc. They fear that if they do not do it some harm will happen to them. They even do not understand the concept God, they themselves like to believe. If there is God and if s/he does what we think it does, then s/he must not be bribed by mundane rituals or costly items. S/He must punish all the “wrong” doers even if he prays 5 times a day or offer costly bribes after doing crime or corruption. Many of those “greedy” CEOs and politicians for whom, you think, we are facing this global financial crisis have no shortage of “respect” to God. Almost all of them do offer pujas, gifts in temples/churches etc.
    The conflict of God/religion is not an east-west problem. West also have the same problem as we face in India. In reality, only those societies and countries prospered that believe less in divine power and more on themselves. Theological societies always do worse. GOD DOES NOT PUNISH A WRONG DOER, THAT’S WHY WE NEED POLICE AND LAW. ELSE WE CAN LEAVE EVERYTHING TO “KARMA” AND JUST SIT TIGHT TO SEE HOW GOD IS TAKING CARE OF EVERYTHING, whether it is caste related curse. Nonsense of khap panchyat odacity to enforce ban on same gotra marriage etc. All civilized societies behave the other way. Some idiots want to do it as per their interpretation of religion. Then we see countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, many mid east countries etc.
    For a more detail analysis of the same topic from western perspective one can watch the CNN documentary by Christian Amanpore’s “soldiers of God”.

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  • 100. At 2:27pm on 16 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I like to share this newspaper link (published in “The Telegraph” on 13th May 2008:

    Einstein letter shows disdain for religion:
    London, May 14: Albert Einstein regarded religions as “childish” and “primitive legends”, a private letter he wrote a year before his death has revealed. In the letter, dated January 3, 1954, he wrote: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    Einstein, who died the following year aged 76, did not spare Judaism from his criticism, believing Jewish people were in no way “chosen” by God. He wrote: “For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1951333/Einstein-thought-religions-were-childish.html

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  • 101. At 9:37pm on 16 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 102. At 00:14am on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Many people invoke supernatural power and involve God when they suddenly start thinking that they have find out the limitation of our current science and technology. Any trained scientist, who have analytical ability, knows and also acknowledge the limitation of our current knowledge. By “scientist” I am not talking about those who just managed/purchased few degrees from a university in India or abroad yet do not have any basic qualities of scientist- e.g inquisitiveness, ability to ask question and analyse any natural/scientific phenomenon in a systematic and logical way. There are many that type of “scientists”, in India too.
    In fact, we are practice of science/research to expand what we know, what to explore that we feel we need to know, to understand our world, our body and mind. In other words, we always acknowledge that there are so many things that we do not know. We do acknowledge our limitation of knowledge. Before Newton, it was God who used to pull the apple down; before Galileo- it was God who used to govern how sun-moon-planets-stars revolve around earth; before concept of modern biology- it was God who used to give birth of a child; before Mendel, it was God who used to dictate how our inheritance would be set etc etc. None of the then “mysteries” were solved by invoking God. But few people dared to challenge those prevailing “traditions” and concepts.
    A practical indication is: incidences of “miracles” (by priests and saints) is slowing down drastically as our understanding of our world is improving. Now it is very hard for pope and Vatican to find enough “evidences” for beatification of sainthood, particularly from developed countries where science/technology is more advanced. Incidences of “seeing” God or ghosts are becoming rarer. It is surely a good sign that world is maturing. But we still have many people who still like to live in the past, want to believe what is unbelievable, beyond logic. I hope “God” will give them the courage to accept reality in due time (may be, in next birth/generation) and instruct them to move towards the right direction for a better, more rational and logical world.

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  • 103. At 04:06am on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    First, One should avoid publically taking names of politicians and other public figures in this forum.I would appreciate if the person is discreet on the names.

    It seems,according to Jay, anyone who belives in religion and defends it from misconceptions, is a FANATIC.Anyone who has the spunk to speak against his OBLOQUIES is ‘SAFFRONISED’.Anyone who reasons with Jay on religion and does NOT agree is a ‘FUNDAMENTALIST’.

    Avoid the Factory of Controversy
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    One can reason and question after due study instead of carping against religion and ROLLING out controversies profusely .

    Out topic here to debate if Caste census is relevant and is the Caste system repressive?

    let’s have a classification to label Jay’s statements enclosed in [] brackets with reference to our topic.

    1. Digressive Statement (Of superficial relevance if any or tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects.)
    2. Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion.
    3. Hear-Say
    4. Conjecture - A hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing with no evidence also reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence
    5. Utterly Irrelevant

    Jay says:
    1. “...broaden his mind, vision and most importantly, the logical, analytical ability.”

    If one uses the acceptance of the claim of 'Eating Beef in Hinduism' without proof and other manufactured controversies as a yardstick to measure ‘broad mind’,’vision’ or ‘analytical ability’.These are in fact used to besmear religion.

    One can commiserate about the poor lower caste people in this country,before spending hours in controversy.That will really BROADEN MIND and VISION.

    Solving quantitative ability problems/puzzles/bfrain teasers will help logic and ‘analytical ability’ rather than concordance to surmises.

    2.” Rich politicians like Amar Singh (allegedly one of the most corrupt politician even in Indian standard), Ambani brothers (allegedly one of the most corrupt businessmen in India) believe too much in their version of “religion”, go to Tirupati and many other temples, offering costly bribes to God “

    =[Digressive Statement] and =[Quoting People’s actions to victimise religion]

    God does not ask costly gifts.Politicians or Businessmen going and offering costly gifts will not impress the diety in Tirupathi if they make thousands of people wait due to VIP preference or if person offering the gift is dishonest.However, this has NO RELEVANCE IN THIS FORUM.We are debating the Caste census here and look what topic popped up!!

    3. “Keneth Lei, ex-CEO of collapsed business empire, ENRON, was/is huge fan of Jesus and church. “ –

    So it seems not only Hinduism,but Christianity or any religion for that matter is also the target for Jay. – =[Quoting People’s actions to victimize religion.]

    Bad people will always use religion to mask their impropiety,is there anything surprising here?Why is this being quoted here? To blame RELIGION?

    How can a crime commited by a so called Christian incriminate Christianity?

    4.“IT IS AN UTTER IGNORANCE AND HEIGHT OF NAIVETY TO THINK THAT GREED AND DISHONESTY IS RESTRICTED ONLY AMONG NON-BELIEVERS.... “

    =[Digressive Statement]

    – Non believers are not Bad people, as they hold an opinion that no God exists.I respect that.

    What I do not respect is that, when someone comes to the Arena and claims that he does NOT believe the religion, also not a NON BELIEVER,also bash it and speak of controversies without full study..

    One is free to disagree with aspects of this religion,but should exercise caution in the way he vents that feeling out as It could OFFEND AVID BELIEVERS.

    5. "Probably more than 99% of so-called believers pray to God- not for humanity or world peace but for their own personal gain, be it related to self or children or spouse or parents etc. They fear that if they do not do it some harm will happen to them. They even do not understand the concept God, they themselves like to believe. If there is God and if s/he does what we think it does, then s/he must not be bribed by mundane rituals or costly items."

    =[Conjecture]

    There are many types of people in this world.Many are confronted by problems of daily life and will naturally go and present these to God.

    A poor man who has to get his daughter married will pray to god for wealth,nothing wrong in it.Ideally a ‘drud’(unfaltering) devotee will not pray for own benefit but will pray for the welfare of the world.

    If someone thinks that a devotee IS SELFISH when he seeks something for oneself, like blessing to clear and Exam or PASS A JOB INTERVIEW,It is unfortunate.

    6." S/He must punish all the “wrong” doers even if he prays 5 times a day or offer costly bribes after doing crime or corruption. Many of those “greedy” CEOs and politicians for whom, you think, we are facing this global financial crisis have no shortage of “respect” to God. Almost all of them do offer pujas, gifts in temples/churches etc. "

    =[Utterly Irrelevant]

    God is not naive.He knows who is doing lip service to PUJA and running a corruption racket.There will be retribution.To think that, bad people do Puja(or pretend to),subliminally imply that PUJA itself is BAD is unfortunate.

    “The conflict of God/religion is not an east-west problem. West also have the same problem as we face in India. In reality, only those societies and countries prospered that believe less in divine power and more on themselves. Theological societies always do worse.”

    =[Conjecture]

    India is not a THEOCRACY.It was not a THEOCRACY under colonial rule.Have we turned India into Singapore in the last 61 years or 200 years?

    Fact is “Yatha Raja,Thatha Praja” (Like King,Like Subjects).If there is good governance,a monarchy or theocracy or a democracy will do well.Japan became an Asain superpower due to Meiji restoration.In the modern age when religiona nd caste is misused,democracy is better.

    7.” GOD DOES NOT PUNISH A WRONG DOER, THAT’S WHY WE NEED POLICE AND LAW. ELSE WE CAN LEAVE EVERYTHING TO “KARMA” AND JUST SIT TIGHT TO SEE HOW GOD IS TAKING CARE OF EVERYTHING,”

    =[Distorting Facts]

    Hinduism does not say that Karma is substitute for governance,law and order and policing.so having no King and no police is ridiculous.Its not logical to jumps to this conclusion.

    There should be an army/police and a system of government,but every one should know,that even if they slip from the hands of the Government or the rulers them selves,when they commit crimes/transgressions there will be retribution.That is KARMA.

    8.” Nonsense of khap panchayat odacity to enforce ban on same gotra marriage etc. All civilized societies behave the other way”

    – Khap panchayat is in Haryana. There are countless panchayats across India in villages.Are the decisions made there culpable on the religion?If the Khap says to kill people or flog them,is the religion responsible or the people who made those barbaric decisions?

    9.” IT CLEARLY INDICATES THAT OUR FORMAL EDUCATION SYSTEM AND SOCIO-POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IS NOT ABLE TO HANDLE SUCH FANATICS OR MAY BE EVEN PATRONIZING THIS TYPE OF PEOPLE, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY. “

    =[Offensive, irrelevant and Conjecture]

    Our education system should evolve to handle people who call others fanatics when they disagree with their religious views and libels.
    If one does not beleive in caste system or marraige,then they need not chant them or use them in marraiges,period.Calling them ‘bais’ in this open forum is offensive.

    I
    10. Distortionist of religion,scientific facts::
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “It is more frightening that if such people are allowed to become teacher or preacher of perverted interpretation of “religion” “...”innocent minds will also be spoiled, those young, untrained minds will be wasted in the nonsense of outdated, irrelevant superstitions in the name of religion. “
    =[Very Inflammatory and Offensive]

    Jay has written that ‘INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE WAS NOT THERE IN ANCIENT TIME’ :
    “That time both polyandry (women having more than one husband) and polygyny (one man can have more than one wives) was accepted. Dowry was not part of any marriage negotiation. In Fact institution of marriage was not there in ancient time and was invented much later by “saint” Manu.”

    So I ask if untrained and young minds to denounce the institution of marraige?
    One should avoid SO MUCH DIGRESSION.We are no way discussing CASTE CENSUS here.

    11.Disrespect to our Marriage Ritual by labeling the Mantras as ‘Bias’
    “ I specifically instructed the pandit to translate the mantras in Bengali, so that I can understand what I am saying. I did just for curiosity sake. That time I realized that how biased and nonsense many of those mantras are.”

    =[Blasphemous]

    -So why get married by ritual in the first place if its all a ‘superstition’ as it was called? And also say :

    “ Someone told something does not mean that it is true of authentic. SOMETHING IS SAID OR WROTE SOMETHING IN SANSKRIT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT AS TRUTH AND HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT. “

    if one doesnot beleive sanskrit verses ,its ok.Thats an opinion,BUT TO CALL IT useless superstition , Ramayana a novel in a forum of non believeres and believers is insensitive.

    12. Beef controversy : Manufactured Libel

    Jay has written “delicacy served to esteemed guests" in Ancient India.
    When I asked him to prove it by the verse number in the scripture
    he replied :

    “I never read Manusmriti or Ramayana or Mahabharata in its original text..In that sense, I can say that there is reference/evidence that beef used to be eaten by ancient Hindus and I perfectly accept that. Beef eating ban by Hindus is a total non-sense to me.”

    Its individuals prerogative to eat beef,BEFORE making a very serious assertion,that people of Ancient India ate beef.It should be scientifically/scripturally proved.
    Giving articles where researches claim it is so.BBC has not verified and confirmed it. .

    13. Albert Einstein Religion claim:

    Do we know that Albert Einstein knew and avidly studied Hinduism and all religions of the world before he made those statements? Even if he said so ,its his opinion. I respect that.He was also an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi. He did not disprove God scientifically.

    Can one accept whatever a nobel laureate or an eminent scientist says and denounce religion?

    Self Contradicting: - Jay quoted Einstein and suggests “RELIGIONS ARE CHILDISH” AND “PRIMITIVE LEGENDS” then also says :

    “But, I am NOT giving up my religion, the way I see IT. I am trying to purify it from the clutches of bigots and fundamentalists who do not have slightest idea of what is religion.”

    This is a Contradiction.

    The predilection to the topic of ‘beef’ in this discussion is blasphemous when someone says without 100% evidence that our primordial scriptures sanction it.

    To quote in this Arena, every unreliable source (news articles that publish reports of research,which not fully ratified ) to substantiate the case is unfortunate

    The innate desire to controvercialize every aspect of our religion is unwarranted,it can turn perversive also.One should care to read epics in sanskrit or at least make an effort quotes spurious/unproven sources that can smear principles.

    People should stop goading and if really interested, learn the religious scriptures without a preconceived notion of them being ‘biased’ than come and make unproven assertions.Casting aspersions without a genuine effort to learn, but to lambaste a religion is unfortunate.

    Rather than prevaricating, one should focus on the topic of the blog than hopping from one manufactured controversy to another. Than being cynical, its better to emend the comments.

    I urge some people here to use their binocular vision and prove facts from our scriptures /100% scientific when radical assertions are made.

    Its only natural that people like me react when our ethos are pummeled. If someone calls institution of marriage or the verses chanted there bias without understanding the commitment made to the spouse ,the vows in the verses,I think its Philistine.Grousing all day won't help.

    The innuendos against religion or Brahmins or any other Caste is unfortunate. The tirades made against marriage rituals are egregious. If someone is so much galled by religion then why debate?

    WE KNOW WE WILL NOT AGREE.LET’S MOVE ON.

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  • 104. At 05:41am on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I am not going to argue with a person who has no sense of logic and no idea about religion; whose “education” is severely limited only to mugging up few information without having the ability digest and managing few degrees (hopefully) without any knowledge or analytical ability. I am sure this BBC forum is not just the same as a stage for political lectures by “leaders” like Laloo, Mayawati, Mulayam, Karunanidhi, Uma Bharati etc. People who participate here seem to have a better education, exposure and sense of responsibility, barring a few bad apples. Let others decide depending on whatever we have discussed in this forum so far, on this particular topic.
    I JUST HOPE THAT OUR (INDIAN) EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS (PARTICULARLY FOR CHILDREN AND AT TRIBAL AREAS), BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS, POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND PUBLIC GOVERNANCE ARE NOT INFILTRATED, IN A BIGGER WAY, BY SUCH RELIGIOUS FANATICS. Such fundamentalists give enough reason to those so-called "lower" caste people, enough grievances and anger to seek revenge. Loud demand for caste based reservation is just one of the ways to seek just that. This type of fanatic “Hindus” are the main reason for religious conversion away from Hinduism, as Swami Agnivesh recently told; along the same line sometime ago by many great Hindu thinkers, social reformers like Rabindra Nath Tagore, Vivekananda etc. who unequivocally renounced caste division among Hindus.
    We must try our best to abolish this heinous, barbaric system before it is too late. ALREADY PREACHERS OF SO-CALLED “SANATAN DHARMA” AND CUSTODIANS OF CASTE SYSTEM HAVE DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE; not only to one of the most open religions in the world, Hinduism, but also to the country. I'll do my best to make sure that does not happen. I HOPE THAT ANY SENSIBLE INDIAN, AND ABOVE ALL, SANE HINDUS WHO WANT A PROSPEROUS INDIA AND A PROGRESSIVE RELIGION, HINDUISM, TO DO THE SAME.

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  • 105. At 06:11am on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Avoid Manufacturing Controversy
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Such fundamentalists give enough reason to those so-called "lower" caste people, "

    - So when i used the suffix lower caste,its not necessarily lower,It a name used by Soutik Biswas Also when he says in this article:

    "Some analysts feel a proper count of .... affirmative action benefits better. They cite the substantial example of the lower caste group also known as Other Backward Castes" - Mr Soutik Biswas.

    Just because I used the same 'lower' word used by Mr Biswas,Am I a Fanatic? and Is Mr Biswas a Fanatic too for no intended offence.?

    I love hardworking people and feel sorry for the people of fourth varna and will work for their emancipation: see comment 97

    I urge Jay not to Manufacture Controversy ? PERIOD. I have refuted with
    dignity,all his arguments.

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  • 106. At 12:21pm on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Caste Based Census and Inflation ?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Did I pop up two totally unrelated topics?

    I think the government should use this census to collate data about the crops grown across the country and the yield from each agrarian family RATHER THAN DOCUMENTING THE CASTE and carrying a boatload of controversy.

    This way government can draw up a mammoth chart to see how each and every district, state fares in supply of pulses, grains and vegetables.

    Beating Market Price Obfuscation – Caught in a labyrinth:-
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    - Millions of farmers across India have no proper access to know the price of their crops across different nearby markets.

    - Its not uncommon to see wholesalers hijacking the price of vegetables and other necessary commodities.

    - The farmer often seems to cultivate a crop that his fellow farmer friends encourage him to cultivate. This can be a double edged sword. Should there not be more structured method for the AGRARIAN Rural economy to run? which is a significant part of the GDP?

    - Another conundrum seen is,to see a bumper yield of perishable vegetables in one state and a scarcity of the same in different states or even districts in the same state. The transportation cost to an area of demand often offsets the profit made.

    - The farmer is at the receiving end of all the loopholes that are collectively holding back rural India realize its potential and see the desired utopian days of opulence.

    The Solution:
    ~~~~~~~~
    The government should set up a National commission to manage crop cultivation
    trends across the country. This independent body should be responsible to collate and
    disperse data to farmers on best practices and advised crop for the region/district with projected price.Information technology has a major role to play here in providing daily market price to farmers help see the capricious price movements daily

    - If there is a National PUBLIC Database that gets updated by quarter with harvest of food grains/vegetables and delineates demand and supply.The government and NGO’s can advise farmers to opt for a better crop depending of myriad factos like soil ,climate, prospective demand and price.

    Tackling Hoarding and Black-marketing :

    In a country as mammoth as India ,hoarding seems Intractable as the phenomenon finds its second place in cliche.Nevertheless,having a commission to collect computerized data will will expose quite easily the ‘redspots’ or markets where price of a commodity seems unreasonably HIGH.

    - This can help tackle inflation also as a normal vegetable which sells avg Rs 40 a kilo in cities, seems to be less than Rs 10 in villages and the Farmer lives on a pittance.

    Why should the middlemen eat away the profits?, leaving the farmer literally hungry and forced contemplating suicide .Also the consumer feels the heat of the prices in the market.

    Some politicians should focus on their ministry rather than the BCCI more and should ask astrologers to rescue in fixing the price rise.

    We as citizens of India ,should be eternally grateful to sapient policy makers like
    Mr M.S Swaminathan, because of whom we are relatively self-sufficient in food.

    Link : - http://www.mssrf.org/

    A census happens once in a decade, the more the Government amasses data on its people. The more will it understand their socio economic lifestyle and be empowered to provide for them. Hope ,at least now we realize how irrelevant caste based census is.

    Collecting Data with unfeigned objective to help the people of India will be a true tribute to the Farmer (A hardworking citizen from the backward and impoverished class) who feeds us and goes to bed hungry.

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  • 107. At 12:31pm on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Oops a correction to prev comment : I intended to write

    "Some politicians should focus on their ministry rather than the BCCI more and should NOT say they are no astrologers to fix the issue"

    Hope I avoids such malapropisms in future :)

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  • 108. At 12:58pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 109. At 3:25pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Caste problem is also contributing negatively in other spheres of Indian society; one important example is spread of naxal-maoist extremism. WE NEED TO COUNTER THE RELIGIOUS BIGOTS WHENEVER WE MEET THEM, IN BBC BLOG OR WORK PLACE OR SOCIAL GATHERING OR PUBLIC MEETINGS. We must not allow these idiots to spread their destructive, perverted, outdated concept of religion among others. These are the garbage of the society and should be put in the garbage bin, sooner the better. Not only the 4th Varnas (or “lower” caste people) but everyone else, including people from other religion and the country will be much better off without them. They have enough ignorance, enough venom to poison innocent, ignorant and young minds. We need to check carefully if they have such lunatics amongst them before we send our kids to schools.

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  • 110. At 4:29pm on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:


    Bigots lie every faction,so are good people.There are fundamentalists on both sides of the aisle.

    There are some people who do not believe in Religion.I respect their opinion.

    There are some Bigots who do not believe in religion.They are attributed to thus,as they are prejudiced against people who believe in Religion,Its epics,its tenets.

    In a forum where there are Non-believers and Believers ,there should be restraint from everyone.Calling religious Epics as Novel,calling rituals and the innate meaning in them as 'biased' is brazen behavior.Also calling other principles of the religion as 'Nonsense','heinous' or 'barbaric' is INSENSITIVE when a I have admitted that a tenet has been misused.Making an assertion that is potentially offensive to a religion without full scientific or scriptural proof is also INSENSITIVE.

    There should be mutual respect and harmony between the factions(Believers and Non-Believers).

    A person who won't let it go,is trying to IMPOSE his view,is the Bigot.

    One is a Bigot if he is prejudiced against others,be it believers also.I have articulated a view and defended it from people who engage with me on the comment I wrote.I am not preaching here.

    Such pseudo-rationalists try to single out Believers in blogs,public places,social gatherings or the workplace.what I also fear is such people may go to a temple/place of worship and talk controversy in such a place and insensitively offend the devout people there to poison their innocent, ignorant and young minds.Seems all this is NOT "destructive, perverted, outdated" according to them.

    Now they have started using EXPLETIVES like "idiots" and "should be put in the garbage bin".What happened to the 'rational, civilized and democratic' they were talking about??

    The hypocrisy is evident.

    If they believe in the controversy,they should submit incriminating evidence. Else follow restraint.Peace.

    Trying to take a moral ground just because being a non-conformist seems fashionable won't help.The disguise of a Moralist Physian will be won't
    stay for long.

    PHYSICIAN ,HEAL THYSELF

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  • 111. At 4:37pm on 17 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Jay:

    Gods have no interest in your test scores or other personal entreaties you or others may make. Religion also serves as a regulator of behaviors for scoeity..these concepts of right and wrong and good and bad receive some definition through religion and are expressed in the codes of secular law. Spiritual concepts fail in the minds and the hearts of human beings. Because some Brahmin may do harm does not diminish the faith of others..it is the act of a human and humans follow desires and emotions and those are the root of such problems. One can have modren society with religious ideas, the two are not and should not be separate identities. We are seeing the formation of a wolrdwide corporate state, a state with no one as the head, no one accountable and certainly no sense of fairness or goodness. Consumption is the only goal. If human beings were rationale there would be no need for religion but human beings are irrationale and therefore there is. Tolerance is the key to living..tolerance of ideas, beliefs and conditions. The poor aren't poor because of religion they are poor because people do not follow the ideas of compassion as stated in religion. People use regilion like they use "isms", this "ism" and that "ism" are just another set of beliefs. All the "isms" are not bad, it is the human beings who express them and use others for their own gains. The poor always look for hope, do not blame them because they are poor and uneducated while the governments build buildings, people waste time and money on sports and Bollywood produces hundreds of movies per year. The "emptiness" of the Vedics, as expressed in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs is the opposite of the "emptiness" you express as you mean dissatisfaction...or meaning no offense..dukkha.
    We have a world without moral leadership but that does not mean it is not needed.

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  • 112. At 5:06pm on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    CORRECTION:
    ~~~~~~~~
    I want to correct the first line in comment 110.The correct sentence is:

    "Bigots lie in every faction,so are good people"

    ghostofsichuan : I agree with you when you say "act of a human and humans follow desires and emotions and those are the root of such problems."

    Hope people realize that Caste system is not necessarily the folly,it is certainly not the nemesis of our society.Our own actions as people,our leaders who shape our nation's future,stand accountable and not the caste system.


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  • 113. At 6:14pm on 17 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    1.“Caste problem is also contributing negatively in other spheres of Indian society; one important example is spread of naxal-maoist extremism. “
    [Rhetorical and Not fully True]

    Wrong Diagnosis will result in Wrong Prognosis:
    It is woefully incorrect to assume the rootages of naxal violence lie in the Caste System.Naxal problem has started after bad governance in one state and has spread to other states now.Maoist movement is more of a tribal movement due to exploitation from corporate houses,apathy from government and land grab.

    The tribals of India have lived 1000 years in relative recluse by self sustaining livelihood insulated from rest of the subtowns/cities.Now they need our support as we develop .To blame caste system as the root cause of every social problem our nation faces is not entirely FAIR.

    This is my opinion to deal with Naxalism : Comment No 4
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/03/indias_maoists_a_doomed_revolution.html#comments

    2.“WE NEED TO COUNTER THE RELIGIOUS BIGOTS WHENEVER WE MEET THEM, IN BBC BLOG OR WORK PLACE OR SOCIAL GATHERING OR PUBLIC MEETINGS.”
    [INFLAMMATORY]

    – Bigots who claim to be purifiers but are fence-sitters ,who take the side of Non believers some times,some times raking up controvercies should be admonished.Right wing fundamentalists should also be kept under control.Same is true for appeasement politics and left wing factions that bat for communism

    3." We must not allow these idiots to spread their destructive, perverted, outdated concept of religion among others. These are the garbage of the society and should be put in the garbage bin, sooner the better."

    [EXPLETIVES Used,Mendacious assertion]

    -People need to know,this forum is not for a going after each other.use of expletives is unfortunate.

    3.” They have enough ignorance, enough venom to poison innocent, ignorant and young minds. We need to check carefully if they have such lunatics amongst them before we send our kids to schools.”

    [SERMON & LIBEL]

    To controvercialize aspects of our religion without full proof is unwarranted,it can turn perversive also. Statement to single out believers is INSENSITIVE,INFLAMMATORY .

    As ghostofsichuan correctly points out : - “ People use regilion like they use "isms", this "ism" and that "ism" are just another set of beliefs. All the "isms" are not bad, it is the human beings who express them and use others for their own gains.” .

    I second this opinion.The Sanathana Dharama ,or a way of life is Divine.A Non believer may not accept it,but should respect it in a public platform like this.Believers should also respect Non believers.

    I wish to end this statement for the Unity of this great country:

    “Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Giriyasi”

    -"Mother and the motherland are superior to the Heaven." (loose translation)

    I am confident India will be a success despite tackling a surfeit of problems,It will succeed in helping people of the fourth varna excel in our society.It will set an example for high values ,technological achievement,culture,religion,vibrancy and prosperity.

    Jai Hind.

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  • 114. At 7:23pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Ghostofsichuan, I fully agree with your view in post #111. Yes, “Religion also serves as a regulator of behaviours for society. These concepts of right and wrong and good and bad receive some definition through religion and are expressed in the codes of secular law”, as you said. If you go through the blog I posted (God created man or man created God? : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2007/05/god-created-man-or-man-created-god_11.html) you may have some idea what I mean by “religion”. You may have a clearer view why I consider myself “hindu” despite of supporting beef eating, opposing caste system. Then you go through the second blog (Can a true rational person compartmentalize inquisitiveness and rational thinking? : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/07/basic-qualities-of-scientist-are.html) You have some more idea what I mean by logic and rationality and how it is so hard to separate that human nature from one thinking, views about the world, including God.

    I also agree when you say, “We are seeing the formation of a world-wide corporate state”. I also fully support your view that, “Consumption is the only goal. If human beings were rationale there would be no need for religion but human beings are irrational (or greedy, self-serving etc) and therefore there is”.
    I also mentioned that I NEVER oppose religion, in its present (most followed sense) form to those people who have nothing but religion and tradition to look forward to face the next day in this unjust world. I’ll never support taking away the only source of survival and inspiration from those people. But when I am discussing the same issue with a “educated” person, with reasonable affluences, then I’ll express what SHOULD be the case the way we handle/discuss religion, how differences in God should not create conflict among people. To me, secularism does not mean allowing each and every person to do as per their personal religious faiths in public places and government office in a secular democracy. I prefer the French definition of “secularism”, where each and every person must follow a common set of rules, at least in public and in Govt offices that is acceptable to majority and beneficial for the bigger society/nation. We, in India, have a long way to go to implement that. But the way things are going in India it will take more time that our founding fathers, our current generation think. Religious fundamentalism is flourishing among a good number of people and many of them are seemingly “educated’ (at least in the eyes of local people who think about such people as their role model, e.g politicians, social reformers with heavy weight degrees/positions). If such people behave in a religiously fanatic way, then it send a very wrong signal. And that a real problem, long term problem. We need to stop the bull by its ball (as one of my friends described it).

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  • 115. At 7:37pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Religion was developed to serve as a regulator of social. These concepts of right and wrong and good and bad received social approval from social pack leaders to make ancient society more disciplined. Concept of virtue and vice arose fro that. But when “religion” fails to serve that intended purpose, then we need to check our course of actions. In that sense, “secular” laws are mostly based on that ideal, at least in theory. An honest, self-disciplined person does not need religion to guide his life in “right” direction. But when it does not happen, then “secular” laws need to intervene to save the society from its negative impact.

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  • 116. At 7:57pm on 17 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Jay:
    I think the difference in India and the rest of the world is the admission of a Caste system. I have visited many countries and have yet to find one that does not have a caste system. These systems play out in different ways but they exist in every country. The Japanese treat non-Japanese is a non-equal manner, in China the rural areas have been excluded in the develoment and if you are from certain provinces you are considered lesser able and of course the minorities are also subjected to different treatment, but you find minorities treated differently in every country and this is no different than caste in the minds of the majority. There are also the religious differences as well within nations. Human beings are competitive by nature but this competitive nature is used by others to pit one group against another. Opportunity is the issue. Capitialism is based on the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others. Some woman galdly shows off her expensive shoes while she laments about the poor outside the store. Government will not and can not solve these problems as they are really social problems that require each person to understand and express compassion in a way the insures that people are provided opportunities to succeed on merit. The caste system only matters in the way it is applied and that is up to each of us to recognize caste as nothing more than another human illusion created in our minds for our own purpose and any negatives assoicated with caste are also those that we have accepted in our own minds and are unwilling to change. We can only influence the life around us and when we look to governments or rules we exclude the moral force that makes the issue possible to solve. Religion has one major purpose and that is to change the hearts of human beings for the creation of a just world. I believe once I was told a Hindu tale about God coming to earth and gives man "the Truth" and after leaving the devil appears and says to mankind: now that you have "Truth" we will organize it and call it "religion."

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  • 117. At 8:23pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I can not agree with you more. As I said before that it human nature to differentiate and try to prove one’s the best. There are n number of criteria in almost any society, in any part of the world where there is more than one human being living. It was the same in ancient society, among people who we believe developed Hinduism (at the banks of Sindhu or Indus river). It is the same even in the most primitive societies, among tribal lives in any part of the world. The problem arises when such division get constitutional approval; when policy makers and influential people (who potentially can influence public policy) start supporting such undemocratic, un-secular norms to formulate laws.
    I do understand that Govt can not solve such problem over night. What Govt can do is to formulate laws that do not provoke such differences. Govt, in secular democracy like India must not help deteriorating such division.
    If we believe in true sense of religion (as a social rule for betterment of society, to make that more disciplined), then we must not support such illogical divisions. I have not encountered a single benefit of caste system, even if that is based on one’s occupation. How does that matter if a person is a sweeper in an office or the CEO, so far his/her social privileges and legal rights are concerned? Outside their realm of profession, both of them does have the equal rights in enjoying common amenities, at least in a democracy.
    During ancient time, it was religion that played a major role in that direction. But that should not be so important in modern societies where we have replaced that with laws, applicable to each and everyone. It’s of course ok if anyone likes to follow whatever s/he believes in private, but such personal faiths should not guide a secular democracy like India, should not be allowed to influence public policy.

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  • 118. At 10:22pm on 17 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    In the same line of argument, I also think that leaders representing “dalits” (or “backward” caste) also have responsibility. They should not support such laws that broaden the caste divide. Just like many “upper” caste people in older times (some even today), true leaders from “backward” caste must not allow to use caste based reservation as a tool to take revenge for the crimes committed by someone else, sometime ago. Now this policy is nothing but a tool to achieve personal political and economic ambitions at the cost of many other deserving people.
    It reminds me the action of Nelson Mandela when South Africa became free from white racist, apartheid rule. He did not pass any law to provide special benefit in favour of Black people, neither did he prohibited White South Africans from enjoying any social or legal privileges applicable to Blacks. The opposite we witnessed in Zimbabwe when Black leader Mugabe introduced reverse apartheid (against whites) and we all know the result; wide spread famine, melt down of economy etc.
    There is no problem to note down caste, religion etc during census. But we all should be very careful how our policy makers use that data. Going by their political pedigree and past actions, we do not have much hope for optimism. I do not know any “dalit” leader who has any idea how they like to fix a defined and tangible parameters to measure success of the decades old policy, neither any of our policy makers (irrespective of caste) is interested to fix a tangible target, a defined time line to achieve that target. No project can ever be successful without these two basic parameters.
    We must end this policy of division and revenge in modern India. Atrocities against any person, including dalits, are a matter of law and order problem. There must not be so important role of religious customs, in this case- caste, to formulate national policy in a modern, secular democracy. We have passed those ancient days when homogenous population, within a smaller area, having similar food habit, life style, tradition, etc; used to use religion to organise their social activities. Those days are gone and we better accept that. India needs to find out ways to restrict the role of religions and religious customs in formulating public policy, neither in favour of anyone, nor against anyone.
    We cannot heal a wound if we keep on poking that.

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  • 119. At 1:00pm on 18 May 2010, Prince of Wales wrote:

    Does this blog have no moderator? Holy Cow! :-)

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  • 120. At 1:55pm on 18 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Secular law is rooted in religion. What we have seen is that governments do not possess the moral force for enforcement. Corruption in government guides the uneven hand of enforcement. What the Buddhist call "dependent origination". Becuase societies have become sturctured around governmental enforcement the citizens is powerless to project an action of disapproval of the actions of others. In any society it is the social controls that maintain order, not the laws. When individuals would be "shamed or shunned" for crimes or wrong doing there were less of such activities, but now one simply may go off to jail and return to the same community with no or little objections. Businesses like laws because they carry no moral force and therefore they can proceed with what is "legal" but would not be considered moral or ethical. Look at the most recent banking collapse, this was a robbery, a criminal act, but no one will be punished because the bankers made sure the laws were written in such a way that what should be illegal is legal. Yet, every citizen who had their accounts diminished know what happened was wrong.The governments did not make the people whole, they made the banks whole, rewarding the wrong-doers.
    I understand your sense that secular law provides a sense of fairness that one may not recognize in religion but the two are joined as this is how things have developed with the outcome being unsatisfactory to everyone. If government is corrupt, what standards should be followed by the people? Each person, each family and each community can define acceptable behaviors and ways of conducting business and does not need government approval to do so. People have abdicated their moral responsibilities and therefore have become powerless. I guess I would be classified as a democratic-Confucian who celebrates religious freedom and expression of moral standards rather than ceremonial rites and governmental edicts.

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  • 121. At 5:09pm on 18 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    The lack of morality and ethics is more prominent in societies of urban India than rural part. Probably it is the same in almost every country. Our emphasis on gross economic parameters to judge "development" is probably not so justified, as ex-British PM Tony Blair once said. Probably we should give more emphasis on "happiness" (which is measurable now, as per UN) of average citizen than GDP, per-capita-income type of macro level data. One can check the six part BBC series on that issue of happiness: "Science of Hapiness" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4783836.stm. "politics of happiness": http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4809828.stm

    This social deterioration starting gathering from our gradual distorted view about “development” and then corporatization of “education”, mainly by following American model of education which consider education as commodity for business and tend to forget its social value (mainly after Regan era). You can check the blogs I wrote sometime ago: “What is Education?” : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2007/07/what-is-education.html, then “We can do something does not mean that we have to do that” : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/12/i-was-watching-sixth-sense-technology.html and see the comment by Dr Goel below); “How important money is to decide which profession to join?: http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-important-money-is-to-decide-which.html.


    In India, we are either scared or oblivious to remind a corrupt people about their wrong deeds, we do not, even passively, make those people ashamed of wrong behavior. And that is irrespective of their so-called faith on God. When we talk about improving our higher education, a more prosperous society we forget to pint point the root cause of our social and economic deterioration as a whole, as a nation. That’s why I think “Primary and secondary education reform should be India's top priority “: http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/04/primary-and-secondary-education-reform.html. Once we sart calling spade, a spade we have a better chance to improve again. It is useless to cut the root and water on the top, as we are doing now in India.

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  • 122. At 7:05pm on 18 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Secular law might be rooted from many religions, not a single one. But if we allow any specific religion to dominate in forming laws in a secular democracy, then it will be a huge mistake. Such forms of laws might work in a society with more homogenous population, in a limited geographical area. Majority of modern countries all over the world now have people from many different religions, from many different cultures. Different religion believes in different norms to deal with same crime/corruption. Each religion evolved as per its geographical area of origin, socio-political condition at that time, in that area. Someone might think it is ok to chop off the hands if found guilty of stealing while other might think that it is too barbaric. Level of interference in personal domain (e.g food habit, dress code, marriage rituals etc) is also different in different religions. It only of academic interest, no practical use, if we argue whether arrival of Islam and Christianity did more harm than good for ancient Hindu society in India. In reality, we cannot and should not try to change the past. We do not, and should not follow ancient religious faiths to settle disputes, to teach morality etc.
    Multi-religion and multi cultural society has a huge benefit if managed properly. And we should do our best to do just that by minimising influence of religion in public behaviour and forming laws.

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  • 123. At 8:50pm on 18 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    There are basic moral concepts shared by most religions. As governments try to develop the "One size fits all" sets of laws we find exemptions and laws that are written but not enforced. Of course governments cannot solve the problems of human relationships with laws. Because different peoples have different ideas of what a just punishment might be for a crime a law is passed, yet as we see that does not prevent others from continuing the customs of their faith or culture. Sati is an example, in the early days it did not exist, then it was in fashion and even forced and now it is no longer accepted. Even ideas rooted in regilion change over time. It doesn't matter if ethical and what religions call moral standards are a part of law or not. The force of social custom is the strongest force. Urban anonymity allows behaviors that people may not commit otherwise...no social restraints. Governance has preplexed human beings since first organizing into groups and no answer has been found yet. We are, afterall, innocents in our development. Over 2 million years trying to survive and only 250,000 of those in any organized form and maybe 5,000 of those with some common culture. We are not as smart as we think and therfore we organize and do things that do not turn out the way we planned. We still fight wars and kill each other at an alarming rate. I see the very wealthy and the poor dying in the streets, this is human reality.I keep my expectations low for human beings and recognize that we are but a half step out of the cave. People confuse technological advancement with human advancement. We have better things but are not better people.

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  • 124. At 03:15am on 19 May 2010, kenttellis wrote:

    The reality of India is that after independence from Britain in August 1947, India reverted to its ancient Caste Sytem which was an offshoot of centuries of Brahminism and they set the rules.

    I am amazed that a country that is supposedly advanced is now returning to a time when humans were bought and sold as chattel. The Dalits are to Brahmins lesser human beings, and thus of no consequence. In a manner of speaking the Caste System is by far worse than South African APARTHEID ever was. But, what the government of India did was to hide this from the world at large. Yet India was one of the countries that condemned South African APARTHEID, which actually tells you that India was not a DEMOCRACY but a HYPOCRISY that is steeped in religious discrimination.

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  • 125. At 03:43am on 19 May 2010, Raj wrote:

    After independence Congress discontinued caste census. Did casteism go away? No.
    Those who are opposed to the caste census just burry their heads in sand and don't want to face the reality. They are same people who opposes affirmative action for the lower castes tooth and nail. Argument is data, no reliable available since there had been no caste census since 1931. That this caste thing is fabricated by the politicians. Why not get the truth from the census?

    Argument put forward by Mr Biswas against caste based census is ridiculous. People lying about caste? May be. People can lie about their ethnicity and race in the US census. But US did not stop asking ethnicity question in the census.

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  • 126. At 04:28am on 19 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    kenttellis says : "The reality of India is that after independence from Britain in August 1947, India reverted to its ancient Caste Sytem which was an offshoot of centuries of Brahminism and they set the rules."

    -So I understand that during colonial rule,The British ensured that Caste System did not exist ,is it?? And after Independence the society or Indian government gave birth to caste system,is it?

    First,I despise and detest the colonial rule of India.It is responsible for the death of MILLIONS of people in the Bengal famine.

    FAMINE OF 1770:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1770 and it quotes:

    "The Bengal famine of 1770 (Bengali: ৭৬-এর মন্বন্তর, Chhiattōrer monnōntór; lit The Famine of '76) was a catastrophic famine between 1769 and 1773 (1176 to 1180 in the Bengali calendar) that affected the lower Gangetic plain of India. The famine is estimated to have caused the deaths of 15 million people"

    Also "The famine occurred in the territory which was called Bengal, then ruled by the BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY. This territory included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh, and parts of Assam, Orissa, Bihar, and Jharkhand."

    FAMINE OF 1943:

    "The Bengal famine of 1943 is one among several famines that occurred in British-administered Bengal. It is estimated that around 3 million people[1] died from starvation and malnutrition during the period."

    Who is accountable heinous crimes committed against the people of India.

    From chopping the thumbs of weavers to beat competition:

    "In the early 19th century, the East India Company (EIC) , had cut off the hands of hundreds of weavers in Bengal in order to destroy the indigenous weaving industry in favor of British textile imports (some anecdotal accounts say the thumbs of the weavers of Dacca were removed)"

    Link - http://gideon.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/07/1857-british-raj-atrocity-exposed-from-1-8-bn-vicitm.htm

    To sucking out the wealth and prosperity of India like a parasite.
    There are innumerable other reasons to condemn the British rule of India

    British Government should pay REPARATION to the People of India like Germany justly pays Israel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reparations_Agreement_between_Israel_and_West_Germany

    A claim that they brought an international language for India that helps it today.We know the motive was to get cheap clerks in government bureaucracy.

    Whether Caste system is fair or unfair is a different debate.But to hear a lecture on Fairness of our system from people,who do not see what a colonial nation did to India in history is ironic.

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  • 127. At 09:55am on 19 May 2010, bbcmani wrote:

    I thought India was a democratic country or it still isn't after god knows how many years? I think the brahmins should be segregated from society and treated like low castes becuase of their narrow minded thinking. they were and have been the causes of most problems in Indian society up to this day and are they ashamed of themselves...?...I think not!

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  • 128. At 12:16pm on 19 May 2010, squeezed middle wrote:

    Caste status should be included in the census, if we still want to continue with our reservation policies. And simply stating OBC, SC and ST wouldn't do - this should be the responsibility of census officials to assign these various categories. Presently, the reservation quotas are decided on the whims and fancies of politicians rather than on substantial evidence.

    To those who say this would promote casteism, I can only say this. Reservation quotas also promote casteism - what do you think alienates the so-called 'general category' Indians? It is the knowledge that despite being the majority by definition, they can only get less than 50% of the jobs in public sectors.

    I know I would get many angry comments for this saying that I am a narrow-minded Brahmin. But I am not. However, it breaks my heart to see that despite securing a rank in the 30 in my class of 140 medical students, the post I want will go to a SC/ST/OBC candidate who has a rank of 63.

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  • 129. At 1:16pm on 19 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Ghostofsichuan, if you want better people, in a world with better technology, then we must infuse value system, morality, honesty and most importantly, the courage to call spade, a spade. We must describe a thief, a thief; a liar, a liar; irrespective of his/her religion, caste, economic status, political clout etc. That is not possible unless we have a transparent system of justice and unbiased law. Laws in a secular democracy, in a multi religious, multi cultural society must not follow dictates of any specific religion. Caste system breaks this core value of democracy in the first place.
    For that, we need to promote family value at basic level of education and then after. We need to understand how and why religion was evolved. If a father is too busy in earning money, hardly have time for kids, wife, parents, and then the family value and also moral value of the whole family get distorted. Our policy makers need to understand that the main aim of “education” is not to supply manpower to cater business and industries but to make a better human being. Education is and should remain the main driving force to do that, not religion. Religion can only supplement it.

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  • 130. At 1:58pm on 20 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Jay,

    You profess the most slippery of roads. Having government teach moral values..whose values? Morality is the role of the family and the community. Religion is for the individual to determine. It has no role in governments except to point out when governments are acting in ways that are hamrful to the people and against community standards. Most religions profess a concern for the poor and it should not be an issue that religious leaderes point out that providing infrastructure for some private venture could also feed or educate a large number of people. In the modern world education has but one purpose and that is to prepare workers, I don't know how you can see it in any other way. How many students will say that they enter college to simply be educated and knowledgeable...if this were so all universities would be teaching literature, philosophy and the arts, not computer science, engineering and business management. The vast poverty that has been India is escaped by some through education and better paying jobs and business opportunities, but these are really empty as they provide only the opportunity for comforts and do nothing else. A society is built on a common sense of identity and accepted values and that is the strenght. All great civilizations were wealthy but their downfall was from corruption, a lack of a moral compass. I am not an advocate for a moral police and believe that people make their own bed and therefore if they decide to act in some way that others may disapprove, if it brings no harm to others that is their business and the consequences are theirs as well. We know that one day the sun will implode and all that seems important will disappear. Human beings have wasted much of our existence on backward thinking that shows very little progress in freeing the potential of all peoples and not just the few. The age of greed will pass as well. Religion is only hamrful when it enriches the religious organization. People are not forced into religion. The constant battle is the desires of the individual for free expression and the need in society for order, this has not changed.

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  • 131. At 4:17pm on 20 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Response to comment no:127

    which says "I thought India was a democratic country or it still isn't after god knows how many years? I think the brahmins should be segregated from society and treated like low castes becuase of their narrow minded thinking. they were and have been the causes of most problems in Indian society up to this day and are they ashamed of themselves...?...I think not!"

    So some ex-pats after spending few years in foreign soil seem to think
    India is not a democracy because of Caste system and Brahmins are responsible for most social malaises..

    They talk of ostracizing brahmins...Well I can assure them thats already the case in Dravidian politics.They are ridiculed in many tamil movies .They are also portrayed with pharisaical demeanor,or as clowns.

    And lets not forget the reservation..it has ensured that brahmins/or other upper caste do not get a seat they deserve by hard-work in a government college and lose out a favorite technical/medical course to an OBC/SC/ST candidate.

    And we talk about equality,abolishing caste system and a whole lot of reforms to "evolve" into a better society.Why so much hate against one caste after 61 years of independence ? I fail to fathom.

    It is true that backward classes need to be helped,reservation defeats that purpose as it does not focus on primary education for the backward classes.

    This policy of reserving 50% seats in higher educational institutions polarizes society and can cause an unnecessary schism.This policy is a pretense for upliftment.It cleverly uses fawning one caste, succeeds deceitfully in not really focusing on grass-root development by making easy election issue to distort public opinion.

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  • 132. At 5:24pm on 20 May 2010, whatever99 wrote:

    Jay and others here have done very well to enlighten some of us about the caste system currently being practised sadly in present day India. I will only say a few words to these Hindu(Indian) protagonists of the caste system.

    All human being born equal and discrimination or apartheid based on race should be strongly condemned by not only good citizens of modern India but every one in the world. Caste system is worse than apartheid. This is a crime against humanity and total injustice. The perpetrators of this heinous crime including Indian Government should be opened tried in the UN and should be bright to book.

    Any religion that treat fellow human being less equal than their own followers will not last long. Hinduism failed in the past and gave birth to Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism etc,etc. So called high class Indians (we all know from their thinking how low class they are) are like Taliban in the world doing the same thing killing other fellow Muslims fighting a religious Islamic war(Jihad).

    As some one said here before, Indian are the most hypocrites in the world. Could some one tell me how could anyone tolerate 350 years of Moguls rule and then 300 years of British slavery. Should I dare to say what chance 4000 years of caste system have.

    Indian should learn fast this time before its too late otherwise their masters are going to be Chines this time.

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  • 133. At 6:57pm on 20 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    As caste system has been severly criticized by some users of this blog,do we know if it was really as hideous as showcased from its inception?

    I would like to throw light on a single word in Sanskrit language and expound its meaning.I hope this would emphasize the importance of knowing our tenets and scriptures,before we pass judgments on almost every aspect of this religion.

    "Aparna" as a word,is a name of Goddess Parvati.It has two meanings.

    First,"rna" means debt in Sanskrit.So Aparna means one who does not keep a debt.Hence,the goddess immediately returns her blessing/favor to any devotee/layman who even unintentionally utters her name/thinks of her,let alone recite a hymn.

    Second meaning is,one who has survived on dry leaves in long penance to attain Lord Shiva as consort.

    When a single word in this case is imbued with 2 meanings,little can be said about all scriptures:smritis,vedas,upanishads,epics,poetry,drama.

    There is another famous phrase sung by robbers in a forest.

    "Vane Charamaha"
    "Nadhi Tharamaha"
    "Dhanam Apaharamaha"
    "Bhayamna Smaramaha"

    Meaning : We roam the forests,we cross the rivers,we exhort money from people,we don't even think about fear.

    But note the word "ramaha" that comes at the end of each line.Because of the utterance of word Rama ,they were blessed by Lord Ram,even though unintentional.My point here is ,the litterary beauty,knowledge we will derive as Indians/Hindus from our root language is immense.

    Do we know everything in and out in our religion,I mean the fundamentals to judge it..call it 'nonsense' or 'illogical'.Is this really evenhanded?

    Science and technology is very important in our lives.Hence,Creativity and Innovation have always flourished in India.Even Pascals triangle is said to have been found in 10 th century by Indian mathematician Halayudha ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halayudha ).

    Criticizing the misuse of our ordained rules/caste system is fine,but passing judgments on caste system or any other system/religious dictum without a full study or without full cognizance of its premise is barking up the wrong tree.

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  • 134. At 7:24pm on 20 May 2010, kobieroxx wrote:

    Well Mr Biswas if you don't know what the stake is let me tell you the reason.People doesn't get anything extra in doing this, but politicians will gain a lot.If caste is included then the politicians can clearly know the percentage of votes from particular castes and they will plan their gimmicks according to that.

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  • 135. At 9:07pm on 20 May 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Everyone blames the politicians but who votes for them? When people decide they want to do something or not do something that is what will happen. Everyone has given up their individual power and responsbilities and want to blame others. If you will not stand up for yourself you will certainly not stand up for others. You wait for some great leader to change things when the collection of people can do these things as well. Weak minded that is the problem...energy for selfish endeavors but no energy for change...the caste system exist because people believe it to exist, that is the answer.

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  • 136. At 11:01pm on 20 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Ghostofsichuan, you are entering the most dangerous zone so far public policy in any democracy is concerned. In reality, the way you and few others interpret “religion” is the cause of more death and violence than all the world wars put together. Yes, it is the duty of a government to help introducing “morality” among its citizens and it does that via formal education. I am sorry to say that the main target for any education, modern or ancient SHOULD be (and ideally is) “preparing better human being”. When you say, “How many students will say that they enter college to simply be educated and knowledgeable”. I will say MANY, in a civilized, developed country. Do you know that even Ivy League universities in US, like UC Barkley, can not get enough students for its one of the most prestigious and financially attractive courses like computer sciences from among US students? In fact, majority of science and technology courses in almost any developed countries are not attractive enough for majority of local students and that’s one of the reasons why even a mediocre or below student do reasonably well in those countries after migrating from India. What you are telling may be true for India, but surely not true for many developed countries. Probably you have not read the link I sent you about education. So sending it again:
    “What is Education?” : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2007/07/what-is-education.html (watch the video of Sir Ken Robinson from TED forum, at the end of it). Then you also can read “How important money is to decide which profession to join?” : http://jaychatterjee.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-important-money-is-to-decide-which.html

    The most dangerous part, for any country, would be to allow religion play bigger role than private practice within the closed doors of a family. “Morality”, “ethics”, “accepted” social behaviour etc are so different in different religions and culture. Even Hindus from Tamilnadu and Punjab or Bengal have totally different standard for food habit (veg-nonveg issue), dress preference (the way a Guajarati or Tamil wear saris will be considered vulgar in Bengal; many Hindus in North India think that wearing “lungi” is a sign for Muslim “lower” caste people), body language etc.
    Religion is harmful when it tries to prove that it is the best compared to other religions. Majority of idiots who do not understand the meaning of “religion” are hell bent to prove just that.
    We also often forget that acceptance and tolerance are two different thing. Many Hindus (including myself) do tolerate early morning or late night namaz (by Muslims) using loud speakers while many people find it offensive to organize Ram-lila or any Hindu festival blocking the public road and constantly using high peach loudspeakers. That’s why we need a neutral law, keeping scientific data in mind and ban any celebration (be it marriage or festival or prayer by any religion) causing public inconvenience, health hazard or environmental pollution. No civilized society does allow that. There is no loud speaker for Muslims to show their devotion for Allah; no loudspeaker or nuisance of fire crackers at odd hours to celebrate Diwali in US. That’s how civilization works and should continue to work. I know many atheists who are more honest and having a much higher moral standard than many so-called religious people. Less role religion is allowed to play in ANY society (be it Iraq or Pakistan or India or Europe or US), better for the society. Religion is a private matter and it should remain private. If you allow religion to guide “morality”, then you will have more nuisances like banning valentine day celebration or cow slaughter or forcing Muslim women to wear fully covered borkha etc. We do not need those religious-moral policing to take India to the next stage of prosperity.

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  • 137. At 11:09pm on 20 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Can anyone tell me JUST ONE BENEFIT (practical or theoretical or scientific) the caste system offered to either Hinduism or India, even if it is based on profession (not by birth)? I can give so many real world problem it created and enough reason why it should be abolished, sooner the better.

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  • 138. At 04:00am on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    The reason for having Caste System is 'Swadharma'.Which means following one's own dharma.People who do not accept dharma itself will not understand this.

    A Brahmin cannot come and say righteously today(if he claims to be hindu,a believer) that he will not do his daily worship of Sandhya(offering to the sun).He has a duty to undertake the study of scriptures and Vedas.

    Due to secular education,If a Brahmin does not do these two very important duties,he incurrs the sin of omission where he had the capacity to,but did not do.Despite a secular education ,he should not neglect his duty of learning the Vedas.He could take this up a little later in his life as nothing is unattainable if tried tenaciously.
    His thirst for erudition in science is applaudable,so should be his thirst for knowing his duties and staying true to them.

    Similarly a woman has a very important duty to serve her husband.It is her Swadharma.She will directly attain moksha if she follows this only rule. she need not learn vedanta,yoga or do any tapas/penance to escape the cycle of births.However if a woman has very strong urge to denounce the world,she can do so like Meera Bai.

    There is a famous story of how a Sadhu scorched a bird as its droppings fell on him during meditation.The same Sadhu came asking for bhiksha/alms to a household ,but the housewife was busy attending to her husband. The sadhu got impatient but the housewife responded ,"I am not that bird to be scorched easily,I am following my swadharma",hence nothing could harm her. This is no way oppressionist as many would claim.Women are not a commodity in our society.They are highly revered.
    All this mispropoganda is unfortunate.

    A husband who does not treat his wife properly will accrue a lot of sin. A house where a young bride cries or feels unhappy will lose the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. A Woman i.e the Queen can even rule a kingdom,if the king is incapacitated due to any circumstance.I will offer an example of Sita itself.Sage Vashista said if Rama leaves for the forest,Sita could rule the kingdom.

    Similarly a peasant,by doing very little in his limited means, will accrue a lot of merit.There is a story of a farmer in destitution, donated a cucumber in his field to someone and was reborn the king of the province due to his deed.

    Caste system is not the folly,it is certainly not the nemesis of our society.Our own actions as people,our leaders who shape our nation's future,stand accountable and not the caste system.

    Hypothetically,say suddenly by a juggernaut,the caste system were to be destroyed completely..will our society not find new ways of division,then religion will be the culprit.Even if religion were to be defunct,then nationality and it being extinct , we as in people ,will quarrel over gender and race and there is no end.

    BENEFIT of the caste system is adherence to Swadharma.As this religion understands that one common Swadharma to all people will not necessarily cater to their needs/help the society as a whole.It imbibes very high values if one carefully examines them.

    THEORETICALLY AND PRACTICALLY,Caste system has helped people in Ancient India/India today to practice their Swadharma. Its unfortunate to misuse it.It is unfortunate ,that its being used to domineer

    If someone believes that modern society alone with MAJORITY OPINION can be a moral compass for morality..Its not necessarily true. German society before the second world war had lot of prejudice against Jews.All was mispropaganda.Jews were generally rich in society ,were money lenders..but there was lot of acrimony against them.

    Solution,therefore according to me,is to leave the Caste system for good,than politicize it,and no Government,however powerful it maybe, can abolish it. Than flaunting the caste in public,keeping it private and trying to excel in the modern sphere as well as staying to our roots will define the India of the future.

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  • 139. At 09:16am on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "Any religion that treat fellow human being less equal than their own followers will not last long. Hinduism failed in the past and gave birth to Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism etc,etc. So called high class Indians (we all know from their thinking how low class they are) are like Taliban in the world doing the same thing killing other fellow Muslims fighting a religious Islamic war(Jihad)."

    - Inflammatory indeed.But its ok.If Hinduism failed,it will not exist today.Sikhism was born to protect Hinduism.Even though Buddhism was born in India,its not predominant here.It also has concept of rebirth.Similarly Jainism did not become a major religion beating Hinduism.I respect all the three religions because of caste system.

    Hinduism doesn't fail by numbers.People fail it by not adhering to a righteous path and being kind to each other.It does not proselytize.If someone embraces another religion,its their call as there is no term called 'conversion' in Hinduism.

    Also Hinduism treats every one equal ,when everyone is accountable for their actions.

    If a person with no faith leaves a religion,he strengthens it as opposed to weakening it by any means.


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  • 140. At 09:20am on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    CORRECTION to comment 139
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Similarly Jainism did not become a major religion beating Hinduism.I respect all the three religions because of caste system."

    I intended to say: "Similarly Jainism did not become a major religion beating Hinduism because of caste system.I respect all the three religions"

    Hope i don't get targeted for making this costly malapropism :)

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  • 141. At 11:49am on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "But with rapid urbanisation - more than half of Indians will be considered urban by 2050 - there is a real chance that caste will slowly stop fetching rich dividends. As people demand more economic development, politicians will find it difficult to tap into people's primordial identities like caste for votes in the way they are used to"

    - Hope this is true,but still the Hindi heartland is a Caste cauldron.Same is the case in Dravidian politics.

    Than being divided by caste,religion or language it is better to stay united as the people of this country.Lest we forget that by calling for "abolishing" the caste system,we are bolstering the caste divide indirectly as it makes people identify themselves more with caste.We have not shown unity when we saw the voting percentage in Mumbai polls after the terrorist attack was dismally low.

    The proliferation of caste neutral professions will hopefully unite us more and keep religion and caste privy to oneself.

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  • 142. At 3:36pm on 21 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 143. At 3:42pm on 21 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    I am really surprised to see that seemingly educated people, at least who can read and write, use internet and post comments in BBC web site still believes that, “SIMILARLY A WOMAN HAS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY TO SERVE HER HUSBAND. It is her Swadharma. SHE WILL DIRECTLY ATTAIN MOKSHA IF SHE FOLLOWS THIS ONLY RULE. she need not learn vedanta, yoga or do any tapas/penance to escape the cycle of births. However if a woman has very strong urge to denounce the world, she can do so like Meera Bai”. How ignorant and insane can person need to be to say that!!!!

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  • 144. At 4:17pm on 21 May 2010, whatever99 wrote:

    EternalIndia:----Solution,therefore according to me,is to leave the Caste system for good,than politicize it,and no Government,however powerful it maybe, can abolish it. Than flaunting the caste in public,keeping it private and trying to excel in the modern sphere as well as staying to our roots will define the India of the future---

    You Caste System is reducing your fellow humans to inhuman and destroying their self respect and self confidence. There in no honour or human dignity to treat your fellow Indians inferior. Caste system is cancer which is destroying the Indian social values from inside out and need to be chopped off. No Indian, Hindu or human being with any decency should be proud off this apartheid in any shape or form and should work together to get rid off.No one can defend the indefensible by picking some notes from some books written few centuries ago. Change with time or time will change you.

    Politician or Indian government is not going to change this voluntarily but will be forced to do so. We have very recently history where we have seen the disintegration of communist system in a nuclear power Soviet Union. A black man just got elected as a president in the US, world most power country. There was union of East and West Germany in spite of the strong opposition from US, UK and French, not a very long ago.

    Don't tell me it will never happen in India, It will.

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  • 145. At 4:36pm on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    This is the response to a person called Jay who is deliberately egregious to besmear one religion,which happens to be Hinduism.

    I did not respond to him at all.This was for other readers who respect each other.I know he has stooped down to expletives like "idiots" when he cannot reason or refute.Such people also think they are "civilized,rational and democratic".

    He says he called a Pandit to marriage to follow custom and to avoid annoying parents,but I speculate the Pandit would have lambasted him severely for nitpicking on a religion and calling marriage mantras as biased,before undertaking due effort to learn the true import of scriptures before calling it "blabbering".

    Avoid harboring hate against a religion/religious system before full knowledge.

    Practice of Swadharma is important for everyone,not only women.And there, I quoted a right example of Meera Bai and the other 'Pativratha' women who by the practice of her own duty,attained bliss.

    Now don't get me started on you again.I thought you had moved on.

    Whether you agree or Not,learn to USE EUPHEMISMS.Else it shows how some people are educated ,claim to be rationalist,but are in fact illiterate(Lacking culture, especially in language and literature)

    I repeat : Physician Heal Thyself

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  • 146. At 4:43pm on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Jay Says:

    "WOMAN HAS A VERY IMPORTANT DUTY TO SERVE HER HUSBAND.. -
    How ignorant and insane can person need to be to say that!!!!"

    Well it seems he conveniently forgot the next line I said :

    "A husband who does not treat his wife properly will accrue a lot of sin. A house where a young bride cries or feels unhappy will lose the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. A Woman i.e the Queen can even rule a kingdom,if the king is incapacitated due to any circumstance.I will offer an example of Sita itself.Sage Vashista said if Rama leaves for the forest,Sita could rule the kingdom."

    So a husband has to fend for his family,keep his wife happy and protect her at any cost.He promises thus to Agni(the ceremonial fire),in marriage.JAY would have understood this if he had not interpreted the marriage mantras as 'BIASED'.

    I is no way Biased.A husband cannot go and play Golf all day leaving the wife or family to suffer.

    One last word to such people:STOP MANUFACTURING CONTROVERSY,STOP DISTORTING FACTS.MOVE ON

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  • 147. At 5:04pm on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Also BTW:By no means can we say,that religion demands illiteracy from Women.In fact Women have been so erudite ,that they have defeated innumerable scholars in a debate.

    As an example,the princess who married Kalidasa,the poet was called Vidyottamā(the foremost in knowledge) as she was defeating everyone in debate till she was won over by Kalidasa.

    Lest we forget we revere Saraswati,for eruditeness.

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  • 148. At 5:46pm on 21 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    whatever99: "Caste system is cancer which is destroying the Indian social values from inside out and need to be chopped off. "

    - Its an opinion and its ok to have different views.But when you say I am quoting a scripture a few centuries old,you should try to read it,understand it before calling the Caste system odious.

    This country has seen considerable tumult in the last 1000 years.The previous 1500 years it saw new religions like Buddism and Jainism .But still Hinduism still exists vibrantly today because it is strong by its fundamentals.Its more a way of life,its Sanathana or Eternal.

    No one still knows from where it ORIGINATED,WHO CREATED IT fully by SCIENCE.

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  • 149. At 7:35pm on 21 May 2010, Boir Wahyd wrote:

    At the out set let me comment that we are not at all considering the merits of the caste system. We are only trying to take advantage of modern democracies in the back drop that caste system brought all the present evils in the society. How myopic! Politicians are growing casteistic and playing havoc with the country's future because they find it politically correct and an easy way to grab power and popularity. At the moment the merits of the caste system appear to me as:
    (In the following, Caste System is the one proposed in Varnaashrama Dharmas as, for instance, in Bhagavatgeeta and Casteism is the evil/nepotism/rot that followed caste system)
    1) It gives the purpose of life to start with through which one and all can attain higher purpose. Every individual realises his 'SWADHARMA' which guides him towards his duty (Be it teaching/protecting/producing or serving). In fact, this decides his Varna. That is how we have great RISHIS from all varnas. We also find many characters of all varnas from scriptures like Ramaayana, Mahabharata ITIHASAS and Puranaas (Texts of History and Anicient History)who reached the higher purpose of their lives and realised themselves.

    2) It gives security for all - It is a good political, social and economic system. Communism/Capitalism/Socialism may fail but in my considered opinion Caste System will ensure and deliver for all times when it is devoid of casteism.
    3) It is good in the context of Eugenics. It is commonly observed fact that hybrids cause disease and death over a period of time.
    4) There will be competition within a community and naturally it will not give scope for friction and the services/products will be of higher quality and order.
    5) Caste System is just an efficient copying of social stratification that is observed in nature/societies. In other words the best and the wisest copy of bio-diversity. For a balance we need all the species or all the communities and all are equally important.

    These are some of the thoughts that come to my mind. I request the netizens not to be in a denial mode. We should know what it is and weigh pros and cons carefully. We may reform a system but cannot totally deny it. Beware of Politicians that they are always concerned with winning a mandate and misguide the people to serve their hidden purpose. Even media is also concerned with its viewership/readership.
    It appears to me that the Western Societies are slowly evolving and one day they start questioning 'Who is Manu?'and 'Where is he?'by which I am afraid we may disintegrate.

    The present demand for collecting caste data is towards that disintegration. One good example is the reservation for women. Every one knows that a woman is burdened with 200% work as Nature demands it. Human societies evolved the marriage system to make the husband responsible for her and her children and to stand by her throughout life. To carry out this responsibility he needs reservation and not the woman who is already over burdened. More over this inequality is not man made; it is in nature. These politicians work for this reservation because it is the women who turn up most at voting booths.

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  • 150. At 8:43pm on 21 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This is for all sane people, who can read, write (post message in BBC website) and most importantly, have a logical brain to follow reasoning. Others please excuse me. Give me a break and do me a favor by not reading or replying to my messages. There is a reason why US or any civilized country did not negotiate with Bin Laden type religion bigots.

    SWAMI VIVEKANANDA’S view about caste system among Hindus:
    Even when he was young, he questioned the validity of superstitious customs and discrimination based on caste[17] and refused to accept anything without rational proof and pragmatic test.[12]. While in the West he (VIVEKANANDA) talked of India's great spiritual heritage, on return to India the refrain of his 'Lectures from Colombo to Almora' was uplift of the masses, ERADICATION OF THE CASTE VIRUS, PROMOTION OF THE STUDY OF SCIENCE....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Vivekananda


    There is a nice article by PRATAP BHANU MEHTA, in Indian Express on the same issue. An interesting and informative article.
    MY CASTE AND I: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/my-caste-and-i/617530/

    Dr Mehta is the president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. The Centre for Policy Research is one of India’s most distinguished think tanks. He is also a been appointed to NYU Law School’s Global Faculty. He was previously Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University; Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard, and for a brief period, Professor of Philosophy and of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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  • 151. At 9:55pm on 21 May 2010, whatever99 wrote:

    EternalIndia:--People like you need to exposed here what you really stands for--I never claimed I am some sort of scholar or guru here. But most of us agree here that your arguments are only based on some centuries old scriptures, personally, you have no valid argument to justify the caste system. If you are the product of these books I would not recommend any one to even go near them.As a curiosity I recently read "Bhagavad-Gita As It Is" by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhpada and I could not find any of your idiosyncratic nonsense in it.

    Hinduisn as a relegion like all any other religions is great but we object here is your kind of fundamentalism. If your kind of Hinduism is so great ask any Sikh, Buddy, Jains if he would like to associate themselves with their parent religion any more, they hate what you stand for.Let me educate you a bit here, Sikhism was borne not only to protect Hinduism but to expose fundamentalists Pundits like you. Its your kind of thinking that kept India slave first by Moguls then by British for centuries.Like I stated in the past this time it will be Chines and historically they are not good masters.

    Are you one of these religious parasite Hindu leaders whose living depend upon this?

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  • 152. At 00:39am on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    CORRECTION: I relaize i made a TYPO in comment 138 in the sentence
    "However if a woman has very strong urge to denounce the world,she can do so like Meera Bai."

    The word "denounce" should have been replaced by "renounce"

    This might have caused confusion and I apologize for this mistake.

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  • 153. At 01:41am on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    whatever99 :

    Before you target Pundits for every folly or social malaise,I urge you to present evidence to this group from any of our scriptures that CRITICIZES OR INVALIDATES the caste system.Pundits did not MANUFACTURE the caste system,if you think they did,present incriminating evidence.

    Sadly,It has become fashion to bash Pandits.No one seems to see that targeting one such group specifically is also a form of "prejudice"

    "Hinduisn as a religion like all any other religions is great but we object here is your kind of fundamentalism"

    - This is not fundamentalism.I am not advocating anyone/you to follow it.But it is my duty to stand up to the massive misspropoganda against the Caste system ,its politicization and its misuse.You have FAILED to see how genuinely I felt to emancipate backward classes in comment 106,97.

    - This religion does not care a wee bit if anyone decides to "divest" himself of his faith.He is born a 'Hindu',whether he likes it or not.And this religion does not bother on the number count.It associates Karma with everyone equally.If you dispute 'Karma',this is NOT a new term I conjured up.According to it,there will consequences for our actions, be it a Pundit,Kshtriya,Vaishya or the fourth Varna

    " If your kind of Hinduism is so great ask any Sikh, Buddy, Jains if he would like to associate themselves with their parent religion any more, they hate what you stand for"

    - well I have answered that question.This is not 'my kind' of Hinduism.You go and read for yourself,what Hinduism truly evinces on Caste system before you target me with words like "parasite".This not my interpretation or my view,its verbatim from what is said.

    Caste system is no bar when there is TRUE devotion/zeal to excel.
    Most of these people were not Pundits,but their stories from Periyapuranam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periyapuranam) truly demonstrate that Hinduism as such is not bigoted with Caste system to preclude access to GOD to all sections of society.

    two such stories are of :

    1. Kannapa Nayanar :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kannappa_Nayanar
    2. Karaikkal Ammeyar : -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karaikkal_Ammeiyar

    Third,there is a story of a fisherman who after his catch in the sea would drop one fish into the water as an offering to Shiva.His story is also covered in PeriyaPuranam.

    As for Brahmins,I admit there were cruel systems like Zamindari pratha in Bengal/other states ,which have no religious sanction whatsoever.But you cannot possibly target Pundits as a whole and Caste system as a whole when you know that benevolence as a quality is NOT restricted to a caste and there are three such Brahmins who have been called the 'musical trinity' of Carnatic music due to their devotion and compositions:

    1.Thyagaraja : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyagaraja
    2.Shyama Sastri : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shyama_Shastry
    3.Mutuswami Dikshitar : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muthuswami_Dikshitar


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  • 154. At 01:55am on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    whatever99

    And lastly you said :

    "Are you one of these religious parasite Hindu leaders whose living depend upon this?"

    First,I am NOT a Hindu leader.I am NOT a member of any Hindu organization .In fact I find it funny when they rake up the issue of 'religious conversions' or other unimportant issues.They do not seem to understand that 'conversions' is no threat to this religion.I see no good reason for such groups to exist in the first place.

    Disputing any tenet of our religion,not only the caste system, without full study,without looking at both sides of the aisle is unfair.

    And I AM NOT A PREACHER.I don't come to this forum and say "people should do this/that",but when they point fingers at our tenets or any other issue ,I have an opinion and I articulate it.

    Remember,I did NOT engage you in a debate.You started to refer my name and write comments and I responded.Same is true for Jay.

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  • 155. At 02:17am on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Do you follow India-Pakistan politics, politics of “proof”? If you did/do, then you will realize that whatever proof India gave was not “proof enough” to convince Pakistan to renounce the path of religious fundamentalism as a tool for its foreign policy, as a state policy. Now they face it more than anyone else in the world.
    Then 9-11 happened and US never presented proof to Pak, US president asked Pakistan that “you are either with us or against us. You have to decide.” That worked. When these countries handle religious bigots, they never give “proof” to them. Anyone need to attain certain state of knowledge and brain to understand responsibility and then rights, to understand what is “proof” and what are the consequences for not being “responsible”.

    There are reasons for which all civilised countries maintain strong armed forces. There are enough reasons, both historically and in modern politics, why all sensible countries, even the most peaceful ones, use force when logic ends. They understand that chanting the mantra of peace never guarantees peace. They all love Gandhi in film documentary, in TV serials, in writing books but never follow him the way India does. In that sense they follow more Vivekananda, “forgiveness of a weak person means nothing” and “a beggar never knows the value of selflessness, “tyag”.

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  • 156. At 03:12am on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    As for the machinations and chicanery of some pseudo rationalists sitting here and calling everyone else who disagrees with them as Taliban or Bin Laden....I just went through some web links in Ramakrishna Mission website on Swami Vivekananda

    I am inspired by the adage from Swami Vivekananda : "Arise, Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached".I revere him.

    1. Swami Vivekananda was inquisitive and we learn everyone should be from his life.

    Its ok,fair,logical to question the reasons for dictums.Then one must study and acquire knowledge from our scriptures(as there is no other valid source like tradition or hearsay) to know what it evinces before jumping to conclusions.

    As a small example the word 'Cat' is referred as 'Marjharaha" in Sanskrit.In many rituals the Pandit will say the word "Marjayatham" when he wants to purify a place to make an offering.

    and the etymology is ,Cat as an animal licks itself always to keep its paws and body clean.Hence the word "Marjharaha" is used for "cleaning"

    Every Ritual has a meaning.IF ONE TRIES TO UNDERSTAND from the right source,he will know how its all meticulously crafted for our ceremonies.
    What some one calls mere superstition(i.e the rituals I suppose),is all well documented with reasons,One is free to read and understand the meaning

    Mantras Shastras are dedicated for knowledge of mantras,but some people won't fathom all this.They will come and say "why an Army and police then?"Because an administration should have an army and a police and a structured system of governance.Mantra Shastras are for an individual,not an administration

    2.I went through the links in Belur math on teachings of Swami Vivekananda on the sacredness of OM: http://www.ramakrishna.org/om.htm

    As for people who say mantras are useless and also say "They understand that chanting the mantra of peace never guarantees peace"

    They are CONTRADICTING them-self when they quote swami Vivekananda as he has referred to OM in his teachings.

    3.Belur math website also says :

    "Here Swamiji established a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal illumination and social service, and which is open to all men without any distinction of religion, race or caste."

    http://www.belurmath.org/swamivivekananda.htm

    So,this is true in Hinduism also there is no contradiction here..caste/religion is no bar for Humanity and selfless love.

    4.Swami Vivekananda and Hindu Philosophy :

    "In the course of a short life of thirty-nine years (1863-1902), of which only ten were devoted to public activities-and those, too, in the midst of acute physical suffering-he left for posterity his four classics: Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Karma-Yoga, and Raja-Yoga, all of which are outstanding treatises on Hindu philosophy"

    - http://www.ramakrishna.org/sv.htm

    So Swami Vivekananda did practice Karma Yoga,and the person who referred to Swamiji in the first place,has declared KARMA as NONSENSE in this forum.What a contradiction!!!

    I urge anyone in this audience to present evidence where Swami Vivekananda called for "An Abolition of the Caste System".He might have criticized some priests for trying to domineer(i.e a misuse of the system),but did he call for eradicating the caste system?,If yes,please present incriminating evidence from Belur math website.

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  • 157. At 04:12am on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    "ask any Sikh, Buddy, Jains if he would like to associate themselves with their parent religion"
    - It is true these religions were created.But,Sanathana dharma stands resilient as ever.People have the right to embrace any faith/value system.I already answered on 'conversions'.

    Another important point : 'sweetness' as an attribute of food cannot be described by infinite words unless you eat a Ladoo or a confection.

    The true import of caste system or any dictum for that matter and many other truths can be understood to accuracy when someone studies Sanskrit and understands the scriptures than 'misconstruing' the caste system.



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  • 158. At 08:16am on 22 May 2010, P J Walton wrote:

    Whether or not caste is included in the census, caste is not going to go away. There is no precedent, no parallel in the history of the world of a status quo remaining virtually unchanged for over 3000 years.

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  • 159. At 2:31pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Now I understand why and how religious fanatics are so “convinced” the way they interpret religion. They have enough mentioned from the scripts, older the better; from the “holy” books they consider religious. So long there will be poverty and ignorance in this world; such people are there to stay. But it is also annoying to me that even so-called educated people are behaving the same way as illiterate, ignorant, impoverished people. If we allow them to influence public policy, then the future of the society is doomed, as analyzed by Tavleen Singh in Indian Express column: “PEASANTS AND PRIESTS CANNOT MAKE LAWS”: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/peasants-and-priests-cannot-make-laws/619479/
    Majority of India’s problem today started long ago when it tried to appease all religions, all religious fanatics, gave constitutional validity to many of their whims. It is high time we oppose such religious bigots with same aggressiveness they preach their perverted interpretation of religion and turing our society more violent in the name of religion.

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  • 160. At 4:50pm on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    So some pseudo rationalist bigots ,think they are the most rational and logical person in this forum.

    They call upon all Saints to rescue when they find it convenient.So they referred Swami Vivekananda.

    Then I asked to present evidence where Swami Vivekananda called to abolish the caste system? seems the issue disappeared into the oblivion or got pushed under the carpet.

    They conveniently leave the Saint if it does not suit their argument.

    Now they started quoting every journalist they can get hold of to substantiate( In fact,weaken ) their point.

    They also come and say

    "They have enough mentioned from the scripts, older the better; from the “holy” books they consider religious"

    I ask to the readers in this blog..be it any religion,when a topic of that religion is being disputed and debated,IT IS NATURAL TO REFER TO ITS SCRIPTURES TO ELUCIDATE THE REASONS. I cannot go and ask neuro surgeons to write a theory and submit their views to debate this.

    Fact is there are two kinds of non-believers:

    1.Who think there is no GOD and be good atheists,Work hard to excel in life and do not poke at believers.I respect them,their opinion.

    2.Second category exist to bash religion,without proper study and evaluation.They call anyone who questions their impudence,as fanatics.The latter also call every explanation as "interpretation of fanatics",before refuting or ratiocinating.

    I believe such self proclaimed logical people(not that they have done research at MIT to present a cogent case to scientifically disprove GOD/Rebirth) ,be wherever they are,need to be refuted,proven incorrect.

    Even if they are right or wrong to hold such views,they are INSENSITIVE towards the feelings of avid believers.They take liberty to make repugnant statements on the religion without having sufficient proof,transgress the bounds of latitude in a forum.

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  • 161. At 5:20pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 162. At 5:20pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Oh, forgot to paste the link. here it is:
    http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/georgesept62001.html

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  • 163. At 5:22pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 164. At 5:29pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    A Discussion with Swami Agnivesh, Social Activist, Arya Samaj: http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/interviews/a-discussion-with-swami-agnivesh-social-activist-arya-samaj
    At Barkley Center For Religion, Peace and World affair at Georgetown University, USA.

    "At age 17 I passed out of what is called matriculation in India, after class 11, and went to Calcutta for college. It was there that I met the Arya Samaj movement, and it shook me from my foundations, showing me a completely new world view. I was encouraged at every step of the way to ask more questions, about gods, about the caste system, and about many dimensions of sectarian religion. The approach was very rational and very progressive, very egalitarian, overall a very spiritual ideology, which I embraced. Like a new convert, I became quite a zealot, with a will to propagate, as I saw it as a good ideology, and what the world needed."............ "Mrs. Gandhi became Prime Minister around this time. During this period, we were sleeping and eating in farmers’ houses, very small places, and there was hardly enough room, little to eat, and many hardships. We were keenly aware of the meaning of poverty. Mrs. Gandhi’s father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a politician but also a statesman, and was highly respected, and he had talked about a socialistic pattern of society. Mrs. Gandhi went further and called for socialism. She curtailed the privy purses of erstwhile princes and kings and nationalized the banks. So this was encouraging to us. So on one side we were encouraged that through political power we could bring about radical changes. But at the same time we saw so much corruption, and were increasingly aware of the bureaucratic aspects of socialism and its pitfalls.

    Mrs. Gandhi announced that in order to help farmers her government would remove the middlemen in the food grain trade, so that the government would buy food grains directly from farmers. Everyone was happy, including ourselves, as the middlemen were eating away the farmers’ small margin of profit. This was also a caste phenomenon also, and contributed to producing a class of farmers of lower caste, while the traders were a little higher caste. Cleverly the higher caste people would take away profits. The farmers in the Haryana region were called jats and the traders and trading communities were bania.. So there was already considerable voicing of peoples’ anger against capitalism. Thus Mrs. Gandhi’s announcement was welcomed as a step against exploitation, and towards socialism."

    An interesting discussion among educated people and students.




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  • 165. At 6:31pm on 22 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    If a thousand Ashvamedha yajnas (where a king defeats all kingdoms to which his horse goes to) are weighed against the power of Truth, Truth it self will prove worthier.

    - Hitopadesha

    Hence,I guess staying true to Dharma which encompasses kindness,morality,hardwork,zeal for achievement,creativity and innovation, respect for the community and culture,service to Humanity will ensure that the Caste based dissonance and other digressions wither away.

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  • 166. At 11:40pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 167. At 11:49pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Dear moderators, please read the post before you remove that on request of someone else.
    I do not think the above post (#166) that you removed earlier (# 161 and 163) is breaking any house rule.

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  • 168. At 11:55pm on 22 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 169. At 07:25am on 25 May 2010, Autar Dhesi wrote:

    Indians always complained about the British using caste to divide and rule. It is paradoxical that rulers(Brown Sahibs) of independent India are not only using caste for political ends in the name of 'caste justice' or equality but strengthening it.Instead of finding solutions to
    inequalities in accordance with principles of secular,democratic polity.the rulers are increasingly becoming dependent on caste and are institutionalising it,regardless of future consequences. They simply cannot get away from it. A cynic would say it is a handy instrument of keeping certain social categories down perpetually. The nuanced version of divide and rule has been christened as balance and rule.
    The possible reason for this unethical behaviour may be deeply embedded feudal cultural values in the society,a legacy of thousands of years. As long as they persist,democracy would be more in form and not in substance. Hapless subjects! How shameful!

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  • 170. At 07:55am on 26 May 2010, Autar Dhesi wrote:

    The caste is not as simple as is generally made out to be.. It has deep sacral roots,embedded in the psyche of Indians. At the risk of simplification,over the centuries, people have been made to believe by the priestly class that it is divinely ordained divider of society. Each section/caste has to perform its duties as ordained with sacral externalty This is the secret of its tenacious persistence. So,to tackle the caste problem.one has to give relief to Indian from Karma-Varna-Dharma syndrome first.
    The people's strong belief in the above first principle of Hinduism results in their acceptance of caste system voluntarily . Some western scholar suggest that the so called caste based division is actually the racial differentation of the society.The logic of this argument is based on the meaning given to Varna,i.e,colour.Even if do not accept the argument as such,it is difficult to refute it either on the basis of empirical evidence.
    So,the best answer to the issue is not to seek quick-fix solutions like all sorts of resrvations,loaded with dangerous future consequences, but to attack the problem directly.
    On the sacral plane,poetic expressions of a little known Punjabi are produced below for contemplation.

    All are equal in God's view
    He loves who serves humanity
    Caste matters not to God
    He who serves humanity,finds Him
    Cursed be caste,falsehood and greed
    Causing endless repentance to all
    True is reliance on God
    False is caste and all
    True friend of Man is he
    Who's word bespeaks
    Of his alignment with the meek
    Is humble and valiant
    Devoted to his vocation
    He speaks not wayward, holds--
    His speech is rooted in learning



    Caste is a demonic deception
    Discrimination is a mortal disease
    Greed and all other sins
    Pervade the world albeit universe
    God knows no caste
    Noble deeds He values most
    Truthful speech and fair action
    Are divine, holds-----



    At the worldly level, there is need for strong institutional mechanisms to outlaw discrimination in all spheres of life,and to take measures to ensure equal access to opportunities. This would require policies to provide preschool,school education of high quality for everyone and equal access to employment.



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  • 171. At 1:42pm on 26 May 2010, Jay wrote:

    Take all the possible data: on caste, religion, nationality (including illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistanis) in the coming census. Anyone living within the geographical area of India should be counted. Then we should use that data to formulate a national policy to destroy caste based division. But in reality that will not happen. Caste should be included in census ONLY when the caste based reservation policy is ended. Till then, there is a real possibility that caste data from census will be used in a perverted way to incite violence and division among Indians, mainly Hindus; for vote bank politics. That will have good impact on political parties like, BJP which mainly depends on Hindu votes.

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  • 172. At 02:18am on 30 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Here is a verse in Manu Smriti which bats for Logic.

    आर्षं धर्मोपदेशं च वेदशास्त्राविरोधिना ।
    यस्तर्केणानुसंधत्ते स धर्मं वेद नेतारः ॥

    - मनुस्मृति

    The preachings of sages regarding the moral code of conduct are on one side. The ancient scriptures are the other side. Both supplement each other. But only the person who reconciles both of them with sound logic can be called as “righteous”. If not, he would just be another blind follower.

    - Manu Smriti

    Before many in urban young generation of India, who think the caste system is iniquitous,hence obsolete.. should know that if the system was so repressive as portrayed,then India would not have succeeded from primordial time.Its ancient kingdoms would have faced insurrections, upheaval.But in stark contrast ,it did set an example for the world on Governance,trade ,society ,culture and spirituality.

    As many think its ILLOGICAL to believe any thing without reasoning,Indeed so,hence the same is echoed in the verse I pasted.Being a scripture it is one of the oldest and even at that time LOGIC is emphasized.So people who say religions dictum's are not reasoned,are proven wrong.

    Hence one know fully what scriptures say on the caste system,how it is justified,before taking a LOGICAL stand.

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  • 173. At 11:22pm on 30 May 2010, wobblewig wrote:


    If any Communist country or system had introduced the caste system, they would have been vilified more strongly than they were.
    How is it that some countries view India as democratic? It is far from it.
    My plea is: Keep yourselves and your mental sicknesses away from my country, Australia. We have not the tools or patience to "detoxify" you.

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  • 174. At 03:03am on 31 May 2010, U14366952 wrote:

    Well ,Caste system does not determine the vestiges of malevolence in a person,just like in you.

    Australia is not the moral compass to look for,when Egality is the topic.
    We know how despicably the "aborigines" of Australia were treated for centuries.

    Get over the one sided view of Caste system from occident,you have been taught since kindergarten,to see both sides of the Aisle.

    Don't lecture me,If you have a point present it.Detoxify yourself or more importantly,answer why so many Indians in Australia get punched across the street if it was a touchstone for democracy.

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  • 175. At 2:54pm on 08 Jun 2010, sean56z wrote:

    Technocracy defines castes as ranks or levels from supervisor to employees. Castes are significant by assigning tasks to those most suited. India enjoys divisions of labor for order and efficiency.

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  • 176. At 01:55am on 09 Jun 2010, kenrod1000 wrote:

    Egalitarianism is a myth. Mobility between classes is largely a myth. Rags to riches stories occur mostly in the movies like Slumdog millionaire.

    Therefore to maintain social order, the upper castes have to create some kind of mythology to keep the peace. They preach that "in the next life" your karma will improve if you do XYZ in this life. So the poor don't rebel and keep doing XYZ hoping for a better next life, if there's one.

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  • 177. At 07:37am on 26 Jun 2010, George wrote:

    I have some simple questions in this forum regarding the caste system in India.
    1. Are lower caste people set to do only the most menial jobs?
    2. Can they enter temples and read holy books?

    If answers to the above two are YES then how come there was an Indian president from a lower caste? How did the oath ceremony go? Was the whole ceremony non-religious?

    If this caste system was designed thousands of years ago when there were only a few professions. In today's society, how is it relevant anymore? Who decides who is allowed to take which profession?

    What does it say in Indian Constitution?

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