Human Rights Cartoon (49): India’s Caste System

comments 5
discrimination and hate / human rights cartoon

caste india tech support cartoon

(source)

The belief that members of different castes cannot speak to each other is a gross exaggeration. The English word “caste” does have a connotation of strict separation. It’s from the Latin word castus, “pure, cut off, segregated” (see also castration), but in caste societies such as India there is a lot of interaction between members of different castes. It’s true that the Indian caste system still results in some level of segregation and discrimination between castes (even if the Indian Constitution has outlawed discrimination based on caste), but nothing like what is suggested by the above cartoon, which is almost racist and certainly a denigration of India. See this previous post for a more in-depth analysis of the Indian caste system.

5 Comments

  1. Prashobh Karunakaran says

    As the human beings evolved, they segregated into the four castes as was advised by the highly evolved sages. All the castes are equal and necessary part of one body. Just as the legs are as important to the functioning of a body as the head, the caste system segregates people by employment:
    1) The head represent the Brahmins, the spiritual educators or seekers.
    2) The shoulders represent the Kshatriya, needed for protection of the community.
    3) The stomach represent the Vaisya, the entrepreneurs and business executives.
    4) The legs represent the Sudras, the instruction followers who go through life obeying
    instructions.
    Thus the four castes are the limbs of one body of society. The justification for the caste system is similar to the justification for democracy, in that, it has problems but it is better than the alternative. In a democracy, certain segments of populations go to poverty and others become filthy rich, and there is associated corruption. The right to fail and face the consequences, so as to learn, is its greatest advantage, making it much better than the alternative. Similarly, the power abuse of one caste over the others will happen from time to time. Sometimes it may even get bad enough for God himself to correct it, but the caste system is the best way to ensure excellence is maintained in the various professions. It is just like Darwin’s theory of evolution, where animals get specialized in acquiring a certain set of food. In this case, humans get specialized in their job functions so that they excel in it over time, therefore increasing their spiritual level. God had to incarnate as Parashurama to solve one of these cases of imbalance of power among the castes. The Kshatriyas had become too powerful and were abusing the other castes. The logic behind the caste system can be visualized in the present scenario of any country. Every country, whatever the stages of progress, must have three requisites:
    1) Material resources – provided for by:
    i) The workforce who follow instruction
    ii) The entrepreneurs who give the instructions
    2) Protective power – provided for by the Security personnel
    3) A proper education system – provided for by the spiritually inclined people.
    The peace and prosperity of the world depends on the work of these four classes of people. They form the legs of a table. Even if one leg is weak, the other three cannot support the table. When production is plentiful, it has to be guarded against loot and plunder. When soldiers and security men become powerful, they turn into a menace to the country, while production declines. When production and protection are adequate, if the educational system takes a wrong track, the country is weakened. The development of material resources and the defense of the country ultimately depend on the education that is imparted. The table is not only “four legs”! How can one use a table of four legs? There should be a plank of love that is to say, love for the country. A country does not mean a specified area on the map, the soil. It means the human community inhabiting the territory. And ‘love’ means the sense of inter-relationships and involvement of the individuals within that community. Without all the five aspects, there will be a breakdown in society. For example, today the degree of love is absent in many highly educated and highly placed persons. As a result, the process of education too is suffering from misuse and the billions of dollars set aside for education goes to waste. Since education affects the other three sections, even the money spent on instruction-followers, entrepreneurs, and protectors does not yield the full fruit. Each caste is not supposed to be inferior to another. The superiority and inferiority of castes developed in the current day India is due to the weakened plank of love. There are various ages when different castes seem prominent or prosperous on earth. Humans who were teachers or spiritual seekers (Brahmins) since ancient times will have some mental and physical characteristics, which can be inherited by their children. This inheritance could be biological or via education passed from parents to children. In the very ancient times, Brahmins with their mantras seemed to have most of the power. They commanded the most respect because they could get anything people wanted through their mantras; rain, good crop yields, and weapons. Even the movements of materials for the construction of buildings depended upon their mantras. Great sages like sage Satyavarta, sage Durvasa and sage Agastya and others were like the leaders of civilizations the world over. Humans, who were fighting (Kshatriyas) since millions of years ago will have developed strengths in certain areas of their bodies and have mental skills to dodge enemy attacks and to kill when necessary. These abilities can be passed down biologically or through education within families over the ages. The Kshatriyas became the most powerful leaders of society during the next age, with their fighting skills and weapons. During these times, kings like Alexander, King Arthur, Ashoka, Ghengis Khan and numerous others became respected and powerful leaders of society. If entrepreneurial producers (Vaisas), which include most professions of today (engineer, doctors, artisans, businessmen and farmers) descended from ancestors who were entrepreneurs since millions of years ago, they will have the correct skills as negotiators, who constantly weigh the profit potential. In recent times, success in business made people and countries great. Vaisyas have become the most prominent people today. People today respect business leaders like Thomas Edison, Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Micheal Dell and Jack Welch, for what they have accomplished. The instruction-following producers (Sudras – current day factory operators and clerks are in this category) whose ancestors were following instructions will be able to handle the orders given by others. When computers take over most jobs, it will be the Sudras, who willingly follow instructions of computers the best, who will have the most power. They will be the ones, who can get things done for the rest of the human population. Using their instruction-following skills, they will be the most respected people because they will get people things from computer controlled farms, factories and even construction (food, clothing and shelter). Other people will have to wait on these instruction-followers for their livelihood. In the opinion of this author, India was conquered for a thousand years by foreigners (firstly by the Muslims and then the Christians), so that she can finally overcome this fault of the different castes disrespecting each other. The different castes were supposed to be equal parts of one body but with different jobs. Would a person not allow his head (Brahmin) to touch his feet (Sudra or instruction follower)? Would a person not allow his feet (Sudra) to touch his shoulders/hands (Kshatriya or warrior group)? Or would a person not allow his hands to touch his stomach (Viasya or producer group)?
    Karunakaran, Prashobh. The History of Earth The Indian Version. Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2010.

  2. ramya says

    no ur right,they will talk to you to get work done,but only for that,otherwise they will not let you improve your status or your lifestyle if you are a lower caste ,not if they can help it.
    the uppercastes will do everything in their power to maintain their positions
    and hierarchy.
    and yes they will use very subtle ways to do this,only because they know that now is not the time,when the time is right,and they have complete power and control they will strike,
    they have done so before with buddhism, which was ruling India,buddhism was completely wiped out of its land of origin.
    Buddhism was specifically founded as anti-caste

    check out this article link

    http://rupeenews.com/2008/02/03/why-did-buddhism-disappear-from-the-south-asian-subcontinent-summary-of-brahmin-atrocities-that-destroyed-buddhism-in-the-subcontinent/

  3. latasinha says

    No caste is superior or inferior to another. It were the British rulers, who gave rise to this feeling through census operations. In it, they codified all the castes and ranked them as forward or backward. Disprities or differences were not so glaring as it is today. Reason being that earlier movement of people was usually confined within their local areas because of the lack of faster means of transport.
    There are many posts on caste system and census operation in the blog – latasinha.wordpress.com

  4. Prashobh Karunakaran says

    One of my friend did an in-depth study of the history of China and noticed that it starts with a militant king conquering China and this group of soldiers becoming wealthy as they take over all production centers and making everyone else slaves. Wealth and copious living brought about lots of problems in both physical and mental health. An analogy is the huge alcohol drinking problem in USA in the 1920s which resulted in the clamoring against alcohol consumption by the religious leaders and woman, which led to the prohibition of alcohol. The militant conquers were no more basking in the sun on their horses to derive health benefits or performing physical feats that builds both muscular strength as well as mental self confidence. These factors led a few among these elite to start moving to religion, especially Buddhism. The meditation and mantra recitation in Buddhism nourishes their mind as well as their physique. Seeing the “repairs” religion has done to the first few, others among the elite followed suite. Eventually all the elite became involved in religion and there was insufficient warriors to defend the country. Then time will be ripe for an outside king to send his spies to survey China, only to laugh at the military incompetency and thereby easily conquering China. Thus the history of China have always swayed from a militant king from outside conquering China, wealth among the ruling class, a movement by the elite towards religion and then a conquest by another outside king. Comparatively in India there is a fixed militant caste whose members know that their main spiritual duty is not to perform spiritual practices but to serve God by being the best warriors they can be. The militant people have the awareness in the back of their mind that the religious rituals can be properly done by the Brahmins for the good of the country and the production of food and other necessasities is taken cared of by the Vaisyas and Sudras. Therefore the caste system brings about more stability such that there are genuine experts and professionals in all major fields.

    One IT professional to whom I mentioned the prediction that Sudras will be leaders of society in future said computers will take over everything, even the feeding in of data. This cannot be true. The human mind is the most incredible creation in the entire universe. It is a biological machine, which can, in a dream; travel an incredibly huge distance to the universe of light. In deep thought, or meditation, the mind travels to an even further distance, to the universe of truth. One scientist and medical doctor, Dr. Allan Somersall have stated that a single human cell, is more advanced than all the scientific discoveries and inventions, humans have come up with so far. A single strand of DNA can store information of the growing characteristics of every, of the 100 trillion cells in an adult human being. Results from the Human Genome Project have shown that there are about 22,500 genes in a human DNA which are made out of three billion chemical base pairs. And these DNA codes contains information stored in a very advanced algorithm, compared to the 0,1 binary system that we use in computers today. And all these information is stored in a tiny strand of DNA, within an invisible human cell. Basically, we are light years away from achieving the technology levels of the human body. Thus the massive computer installations in the future will need the far more advanced “human sensors” which will be provided most efficiently by the Sudras.

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