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Caste and Varna: Wrongly interpreted, communicated & practiced to demean Hinduism

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Nabajyoti
Nabajyoti
I am a freethinker and a disbeliever who love his nation and its culture which makes me a proud hindu. Being a Carvaka I challenge the rules and dogma in hindu society to improve it further but I cannot allow someone to spread the false propaganda in the name of hindu culture... I believe Hinduism is not a religion but a composition of various cultures, developed and practiced in Bharat and I stand strong to protect and improve its values with the changing time.

In India, the indigenous people of the land are usually segregated in the name of caste. The promotion of Brahmanical supremacy destroys society is propagated throughout the globe. The movement of Hindutava which begins to end the caste discriminations, inequalities, domination policy, etc is now considered a terror group. Do we the people of the land who love their culture irrespective of the differences and embraces the diversity in thoughts and ideologies as a strength, ever want to know the basic questions such as who are Brahmins? What is caste? What is a Hindutava movement?

In ancient Rig Veda, we have a social system of Verna and there are four Varnas: Brahmins, Kashiyatra, Vaishya, and Shudra. In present India, people consider the Brahmins as oppressors and Shudras as oppressed. However, in modern times Shudra is usually replaced by Dalit, and for your kind information, there is no mentioning of the fifth Varna as Dalit in our ancient text. Well, let’s go to the topic, the Varna system was divided based on skill and not based on birth. But exactly at what period, the skill-based society became a superiority-based society, honestly, no one has that knowledge, people just make assumptions. Also, in Mahabharat which is supposed to happen 5000 years ago, we can observe the presence of the Varna system based on birth, because there are characters in Mahabharat, who are dehumanized based on Varna eg. Karna who was forbidden by teachers and society for his Varna.

And no one is denying the fact that the system of Varna gets corrupted and eventually it is replaced by the Caste system. Now the question is if the Varna system was so efficient then why there is corruption in its proper application. The answer is not simple but let us try to find the solution based on demand and supply analysis. The craving for power in a society where skill is placed above nepotism and discrimination seems a doubtful argument. Then what might happen that has changed the mindset of hundreds and thousands of people and filled their minds with hate and inferiority?

The population size and desire are the two basic reasons that might be the cause that, society has to consider to protect their generations through this application. The Varna system can be applied to the society where the number of required labours in all the sections like; education, army, business, farming, servant changes in the direction of population change otherwise there will be a problem of unemployment and competition for the best candidate, however, it seems beautiful to have competition in the society but if the segregation is limited to just four groups, then there will be a disparity among the people. Let me explain this with an example, suppose in a society there is a need for exactly one goldsmith but due to unbalance population growth the number of goldsmiths increased by one and it leads to competition but as the society needs exactly one goldsmith, so the customer divides and creates dissatisfaction for the former goldsmith.

One may think that the population increases so there will be no adversity but consider the bigger picture where the population of goldsmiths also increases with time due to low initial investment. The Varna system applies to the society where population number is less, eg. consider the case of China where the society is skill-based with high population number, still, there is prosperity, but if you look closely the rate of increase of population in China is much less which provides a room for the creation of vacuum in the job sector. The Varna system is not discriminatory but it is not possible to maintain the structure if the population growth is more than the requirements of skilled labour.

There is a period when the Varna system gets contaminated by linking it with birth and as mentioned above, this is due to the competition raised by the increase in population that leads to unemployment in all the sectors so to protect the children, the decision of accepting the Varna based on birth would be accepted by all the four sections of Varna. Well, there is no such account found in the ancient text that supports our statement simultaneously there is no statement either that supports the forceful imposing of the Varna system by birth. So, the situation explained above holds a strong ground because if it is done by force then there will be rebellion in the society and it cannot maintain the structure for a long time. The decision that, Varna will be linked with birth can sustain for a significant period till it becomes a dogma of superiority, only if, the society as a whole accept the idea because people belonging to each Varna are prospering equally at that period.

In modern India, the Varna system is not applicable due to the high rate of population growth and less requirement of skilled labour. Further, there is a section of people you cannot put in any Varna whatsoever, like clerk, accountant, agricultural scientists, archaeologists etc. they all are practising two or three Varna at the same time. Therefore, to impose the Varna system in modern India one need to redefine the Varna system by including more Varna and its subdivisions in the Varna system. Further, to cope up with the population size and implement the Varna system we must reduce the avenge payment and increase the number of well-skilled persons in the job. Let us understand this with an example. The salary of an assistant professor is around 65000 initially so instead of paying 65000 to one better pay 22000 to three people for the same job in that way earning of people in a society or region increases and consequently the rate of consumption increases that leads to the economic betterment. The pay band of all the teachers (School/College/University) should be between 20000-50000 with some allowance. The teachers involved in research activities and able to publish quality research, patent, etc. every year will receive an increment from the government. In this way more and more people will be employed and leads to a better academic environment because in this situation people will choose the carrier in education if they truly want to invest their lives in this sector and not for the money. So, the Varna of an assistant professor cannot be Brahmins because he is selling knowledge to earn his living therefore the Varna lies between Brahmin and Vaishya. Further, if an assistant professor indulges in pure research and development along with academics then he is close to the Brahmins and distant from Vaishya. Similarly, if an assistant professor performing the job only to earn money, then he is closer to Vaishya than Brahmin. So, you see in the modern world it is not easy to divide the society into four Varna by assigning exactly one Varna to each individual because the present-day survival trick is associated with learning multiple skills and not just stay within the sphere of a single set of knowledge/skill.

The system of caste seems better than Varna as the Varna system is infeasible in the current context of Indian society. But unfortunately, the caste system is one of the worst things that Hindu society has accepted from the West. Social dehumanization is not the core of the Varna system as the Varna system comes with the concept of second birth that means if a person is born with a particular Varna, adapt or accumulate the knowledge/skill of some other Varna then they can change their Varna which in Sanskrit we call as Dvija and unfortunately our literate section who claim they know everything about Hindu literature didn’t understand it properly, even the great Sanskrit Scholar Max Muller misinterpreted the word Dvija.

But in the caste system once you are born in a particular caste you are attached to it till death. So, the level of dehumanization is unexplainable in the caste system which we witness in every corner of India. It is time to remove the caste system and set society free from all the shackles of discrimination among the Hindu community. There will be differences in the belief systems in Hindu society due to the enormous rich cultural and philosophical heritage that includes, Vedantic, Shivaism, Vaishnavism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Carvaka, Tribals Native Culture from Naga (Nagaland), Mizo (Mizoram), Tipri (Tripura), Cachari (Cachar), Jayanta (Meghalaya), Ahom (Assam), Bheel (Mehavar), Tribes of Tamil, Orissa, Chattisgarh, etc. of ingenious people, all of them compose the culture of Hinduism. Hinduism is never religion but a composite of different cultures those are way different from one another but still embrace and celebrate the beauty of each other.

The caste system divides these beautiful coexisting ideas of cultural heritage into parts and labels them according to self-proclaimed superiority. There is no doubt that imposition of the caste system in India is possible only because of the later Varna system and its philosophy which forces the people to believe that the caste system is the same as the Varna system so it’s harmless and can be adopted in place of Varna system. And this is the greatest mistake accepted by the Brahmins, Kashiyatra and Vaisha of that period without thinking about the dynamics of Indian society.

In the present society, caste is demonstrated in the paper but it is more imprinted in our mind that makes us blind and didn’t allow us to think about the negative impact of the caste system in Hindu society, and if we continue in this manner then in next 100 year there will be no such thing as Hinduism in the planet. So, it depends on us whether we stick to the nonsense feed by Britishers in the form of the caste system and our ancestors by connecting Varna with birth or to bring equality in the society and its people not only in the papers but within the minds. So that, the concept of reservation remains available for economically weaker sections only and the remaining population don’t need this type of classification which makes them different from the rest of the people. It is the only way we can end the economically weaker sections of people as all concentration of government policies will be shifted from the appeasement of caste-based reservation to economy-based reservation.

This is the reality of Caste and Varna, one was adopted from the foreigners and other was distorted by us for our personal benefit. Both the system in its present form is not suitable for the Hindu society as it creates division within the community and end harmony. Thus it is better to remove both the concept form the minds of our people.

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Nabajyoti
Nabajyoti
I am a freethinker and a disbeliever who love his nation and its culture which makes me a proud hindu. Being a Carvaka I challenge the rules and dogma in hindu society to improve it further but I cannot allow someone to spread the false propaganda in the name of hindu culture... I believe Hinduism is not a religion but a composition of various cultures, developed and practiced in Bharat and I stand strong to protect and improve its values with the changing time.
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