The Untouchables of India

sateesh narahari narahari@hotmail.com
Fri, 5 Oct 2001 14:54:44 -0600


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0143_01C14DAD.AB7950E0
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

well, I guess being a non-brahmin and a non-dalit,  I think I can try to =
be objective here.

People are classified as dalits by birth. This was a caste =
classification done thousands of years ago. As per this segregration, =
there are=20

1. Preachers, Teachers, highly educated people
2. Kings, Rulers, Rajas etc
3. Business men=20
4. Workers

As a result of this, most people who were workers ( for ex: a shoe maker =
) were classified as 4th class. Over ages, the workers class got =
classified as Dalits.

Regarding, why someone can't lie their way out of their caste, its =
difficult for several reasons:
 1. Your parents caste is your caste.
 2. Most certificates in India require that your caste be disclosed.
 3. Parents enforce a sense of dalit-ness in people from childhood. ( =
Dalit parents tell their children, to be far away from Brahmin children, =
for fear of reprisals from elders).
 4. In Modern times, being a dalit is actually means, getting =
preferential treatment in college admissions, very good scholorships.

It is said in Hindu scriptures that anyone with high education, and =
wisdom should be called Brahmin, and it never was meant to be a by birth =
classification.

Unfortunately, along the way, the pundits have hijacked the scriptures, =
and gave different interpretation( just like those islamic clerics in =
Afghan, who hijacked quran, and like some extremist folks who hijack =
bible in ireland and america).  And christian missionaries in modern =
times, and islamic invaders centuries ago have exploited this =
successfully to convert these oppressed folks into either christianity =
or islam. I am not sayint its a bad thing, its probably a good thing, =
these converted dalits now got atleast self-esteem, which most of the =
Hindu dalits seriously lack even today(there are always exceptions, like =
BR Ambedkar ).

In summary, whatever way you look at it, the caste system in India =
sucks. Its bad, and its still being practiced, and its horrible, but its =
no worse than racism.=20
Today, some priests and hindu fundamentalists, try to put a positive =
spin on caste system, saying it runs the society efficiently. But, =
whatever spin you put on it, caste system absolutely sucks.

Hope this provides some context. Pls feel free to correct, if you know =
differently.

Sateesh

  ----- Original Message -----=20
  From: Carey Lening=20
  To: fork@xent.com=20
  Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 2:13 PM
  Subject: The Untouchables of India


  Frankly, I had heard of this, but knew very little.  I stumbled upon =
this article, and found it absoloutely fascinating. I'm still trying to =
figure out exactly what ascribes you to the Dalit ('Untouchable') =
status, and why someone couldn't just 'lie' their way out of their caste =
(Along the lines that say, black people who had white mixings could pose =
for a white person).   Granted, this is coming from the naive mind of a =
21 year old American girl, but I am genuinely intrigued here.  If anyone =
has any more details on this structure, I'd love to know.   ANyway, =
here's the article, definitely off-topic from the prior conversations:=20

  http://www.atimes.com/ind-pak/CI11Df01.html=20

------=_NextPart_000_0143_01C14DAD.AB7950E0
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.50.4807.2300" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>well, I guess being a non-brahmin and a =
non-dalit,=20
&nbsp;I think I can try to be objective here.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>People are classified as dalits by =
birth. This was=20
a caste classification done thousands of years ago. As per this =
segregration,=20
there are </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>1. Preachers, Teachers, highly educated =

people</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>2. Kings, Rulers, Rajas =
etc</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>3. Business men </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>4. Workers</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>As a result of this, most people who =
were workers (=20
for ex: a shoe maker ) were classified as 4th class. Over ages, the =
workers=20
class got classified as Dalits.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Regarding, why someone can't lie their =
way out of=20
their caste, its difficult for several reasons:</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>&nbsp;1. Your parents caste is your=20
caste.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>&nbsp;2. Most certificates in India =
require that=20
your caste be disclosed.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>&nbsp;3. Parents enforce a sense of =
dalit-ness in=20
people from childhood. ( Dalit parents tell their children, to be far =
away from=20
Brahmin children, for fear of reprisals from elders).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>&nbsp;4. In Modern times, being a dalit =
is actually=20
means, getting preferential treatment in college admissions, very good=20
scholorships.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>It is said in Hindu scriptures that =
anyone with=20
high education, and wisdom should be called Brahmin, and it never was =
meant to=20
be a by birth classification.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Unfortunately, along the way, the =
pundits have=20
hijacked the scriptures, and gave different interpretation( just like =
those=20
islamic clerics in Afghan, who hijacked quran, and like some extremist =
folks who=20
hijack bible in ireland and america).&nbsp; And christian missionaries =
in modern=20
times, and islamic invaders centuries ago have exploited this =
successfully to=20
convert these oppressed folks into either christianity or islam. I am =
not sayint=20
its a bad thing, its probably a good thing, these converted dalits now =
got=20
atleast self-esteem, which most of the Hindu dalits seriously lack even=20
today(there are always exceptions, like BR Ambedkar ).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>In summary, whatever way you look at =
it, the caste=20
system in India sucks. Its bad, and its still being practiced, and its =
horrible,=20
but its no worse than racism.&nbsp;</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Today, some priests and hindu =
fundamentalists, try=20
to put a positive spin on caste system, saying it runs the society =
efficiently.=20
But, whatever spin you put on it, caste system absolutely =
sucks.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Hope this provides some context. Pls =
feel free to=20
correct, if you know differently.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Sateesh</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<BLOCKQUOTE dir=3Dltr=20
style=3D"PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; =
BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial">----- Original Message ----- </DIV>
  <DIV=20
  style=3D"BACKGROUND: #e4e4e4; FONT: 10pt arial; font-color: =
black"><B>From:</B>=20
  <A title=3Dclening@creasonandaarvig.com=20
  href=3D"mailto:clening@creasonandaarvig.com">Carey Lening</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>To:</B> <A title=3Dfork@xent.com=20
  href=3D"mailto:fork@xent.com">fork@xent.com</A> </DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Sent:</B> Friday, October 05, 2001 =
2:13=20
  PM</DIV>
  <DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt arial"><B>Subject:</B> The Untouchables of =
India</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT><BR></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Frankly, I had heard of this, but =
knew very=20
  little.&nbsp; I stumbled upon this article, and found it absoloutely=20
  fascinating. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what ascribes you =
to the=20
  Dalit ('Untouchable') status, and why someone couldn't just 'lie' =
their way=20
  out of their caste (Along the lines that say,&nbsp;black people who =
had white=20
  mixings could pose for a white person). &nbsp; Granted, this is coming =
from=20
  the naive mind of a 21 year old American girl, but I am genuinely =
intrigued=20
  here.&nbsp; If anyone has any more details on this structure, I'd love =
to=20
  know.&nbsp;&nbsp; ANyway, here's the article, definitely off-topic =
from the=20
  prior conversations:&nbsp;</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
  =
href=3D"http://www.atimes.com/ind-pak/CI11Df01.html">http://www.atimes.co=
m/ind-pak/CI11Df01.html</A></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>=


------=_NextPart_000_0143_01C14DAD.AB7950E0--