" Therefore , you want to marry my child? ” The Caste System: An Overview
A summary of the initially lecture in the IK Base Lecture Series, ‘Indian Traditions in the Modern World'. 23rd August 2002, Birmingham First speaker: Prof. M Narasimhachary, Mature Associate Fellow, Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Indio Studies Preamble The phenomenon of Body has turned on more controversy than some other aspect of Indian life and thought. A lot of see India's caste system as the defining characteristic of Of india culture and a few have ignored it being a colonial pluie. Since the days of the British guideline, both historians and scientists referred to India as a ‘caste society'. Clearly this is a great overstatement from the importance of peuple. But for a large number of leading personalities, caste was, and is, a genuine force in Indian existence. As explained by experts during a call such as Doctor Susan Bayly, caste is not the essence of Indian culture and civilization. It is rather a contingent and variable respond to the enormous changes that occurred in the subcontinent's political panorama both before and after the colonial conquest1. Meaning of Caste: the concepts of Jāti and VarŠa: The New Shorter Oxford English Book defines Peuple as " a Indio hereditary class of socially equal people, united in religion and generally following similar occupations, recognized from other sorte in the structure by its relative degree of purity or perhaps pollution. ”2 The term Peuple is commonly accustomed to refer to two distinct ideas of corporate and business affiliation: the ‘Jāti' (birth group) as well as the VarŠa (order, class or kind). The word Jāti is used for the units of thousands or sometimes thousands of people with who one may recognize oneself for such reasons as marriage. There
Caste, Society and Governmental policies in India from the 18th Century towards the Modern Age, Cambridge University Press, 2001 two Ed. Lesley Brown. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993
a couple of are a large number of titles associated with specific Jātis in different parts of the nation: Rajput, Chamar and Jat – these kinds of terms have found be broadly recognised. Require terms are unfamiliar in people outside a restricted geographical region. In contrast to this profusion of Jātis or birth-groups, the concept of VarŠa involves a plan with simply four categories. Thus what would now be called Hindu society can be conceived of as being divisible into 4 very large units which go beyond specific local associations. They are: BrāhmaŠa, Ktriya, Vaiya and ®™dra. They can be commonly recognized as a rated order of precedence. After that there is an additional caste named the ‘fifth' one (called Pañcama), the so-called ‘untouchable' (the mountain and forest population who are called tribals, inclusive). This kind of group takes up a place under, outside this VarŠa system. The BrāhmaŠas are commonly recognized with those who fulfil the calling of priests and spiritual preceptors. The Katriyas (etymologically, the ‘protectors') are often rulers and warriors. The Vaiyas happen to be those who have commercial livelihood, and are associated with different producers and wealth-creators too. The ®™dras are toilers and merchants. People of the ‘fifth' group perform ‘unclean' services such since cremation, eliminating animals pertaining to food, and so forth Caste in Theory and Practice: Those posting a common body identity may subscribe to by least a notional custom of common descent, and a claim of common physical origin and a particular work-related ideal. As an example, an individual proclaiming Brahman parentage is certainly not obliged to follow a priestly or preceptoral livelihood. A male professing princely descent automatically is not expected to wield a blade. But those claiming Forkynder or Katriya origin tend not to expect other folks to think that their ancestors and forefathers were simple labourers or providers of menial services, as would be the case for a person identified by a low-caste Jāti designation this kind of a Paraiyan or Chamar. In theory for
3 least, civilized ‘caste Hindus' regard it while wrong and...