lame excuses

the brahminized classes have such short memories. wasn't it almost yesterday that they were objecting to reservations based on population numbers collected as far back as 1931? now a.m.shah, former professor of sociology at the delhi school of economics (yes, yet another institution of learning, like the jnu etc., which depends on the unclean sweat and taxes of people like me to pursue 'clean' knowledge), is objecting to the collection of fresh data on castes through the 2011 census- look at some of his arguments:
It is true that caste boundaries are clear in a village, which is a small community, but the census has to count the members of every caste as they are spread in every village and town in a state and often more than one state. The population of small castes may be counted easily, but most are not so small. The Kolis in Gujarat, the Marathas in Maharashtra, the Jats and Yadavas in north India, the Kammas and Reddis in Andhra, and the Okkaligas and Lingayats in Karnataka are huge castes, with unclear boundaries.
counting the population of large castes is a problem? count me in if you need any volunteers. and what does he mean by unclear boundaries? very unclear.
To whom in a village or town would the census enumerator ask the caste question? Would it be every individual in a household or its head? Do we assume that all members of a household belong to the same caste? In which language would the caste question be asked? In Indian languages the English word ‘caste’ has more than one equivalent. In Gujarati, for example, there are five words for caste: jat, jati, jnati, nat, varna, kaum. Each has more than one meaning.
don't worry mr.shah, even if the enumerator uses gujarati in orissa or tamil in assam, i am sure every indian citizen would understand clearly what he's talking about.
How will the caste question be framed? Let us assume it is framed as follows: “What is the jati of your household?” The respondent is likely to give a name keeping in mind anyone of the meanings of jati mentioned above. There would therefore be confusion in collating responses.
confusion? really? most state governments have already compiled enough data on castes/sub-castes/sub-sub-castes to identify clearly the parent sub-castes or castes. check the central lists of dalit/adivasi/obc castes/communities.
It is well known that frequently members of a caste claim to belong to a caste higher than their own, and therefore different members of a caste use different names for themselves. Caste names are also used contextually: one in the context of marriage, another in the context of religion, and a third in the context of claiming a privilege from the state. There is rarely a straight answer to the question: “What is your caste?”
if some people want to give themselves a higher rank in the caste hierarchy, why do you wish to stop them, mr.shah? that'll kill caste a little (for the short duration of the process of enumeration). also reduce demands for more reservations, something people like you, the brahminized classes, would like a lot, i'm sure. or, if some people wish to give themselves a lower rank, to avail of some meager benefits doled out by the state, i think we can definitely depend on some youthful equality-seeking organization to soon find out the truth about them.
The definition of caste as an endogamous unit is questionable. Social scientists have known widespread practice of inter-caste hypergamy, i.e., a lower caste gets its girls married into a higher caste but the latter does not give its girls in return. The Rajputs are known to have received brides from a large number of castes all over western and northern India. A caste which appears to be strictly endogamous at the top of its internal hierarchy may be loose at its bottom. Anthropologists have also known tribe-caste hypergamy in many parts of India. Where hypergamous marriages take place, many members of the bride-giver caste or tribe use for themselves the bride-taker caste’s name as a mark of higher status. Hypergamy has been a long established negation of caste endogamy.
ah..that's a silly objection. if this hypergamy fad was anything more than a mere esoteric fad, caste would've died long ago. if it was really, truly statistically significant (in terms of the numbers of people indulging in it) our media would be talking about it almost every time the issue of caste or reservations crops up, to point out how caste is dead/dying.
Caste endogamy is negated by modern inter-caste, inter-religious, inter-regional and international marriages which have increased rapidly after independence. In an inter-caste marriage the husband and wife belong to different castes. To which caste do their children belong? A child of one inter-caste marriage may marry a child of another such marriage. Since such cosmopolitan marriages have been taking place for the last several generations, a large new class has emerged which is caste-less. What will be its fate in the census?
if inter-caste, inter-regional international marriages have become so rampant, why are you still talking about caste? do you watch a lot of bollywood, mr.shah? your surname somehow reminds me of gujarat and babu bajrangi and his valiant attempts to save the purity of patel-ness. perhaps, he'd agree with you. how large is this 'large new class that is caste-less'? shouldn't we all be happy to find out how large (or again, statistically significant) it actually is? maybe that'll drive some sense into those ignorant folks who practise 'honour killings' even in faraway lands?

i really should stop wasting my sweat and taxes on these elite institutions and their casteist teachers.


anu said...

>>if inter-caste, inter-regional international marriages have become so rampant, why are you still talking about caste? do you watch a lot of bollywood, mr.shah? your surname somehow reminds me of gujarat and babu bajrangi<<

Kuffir, why don't you get it? this is so obvious.
Intercaste: i am married to a brahmin, i am now a brahmin, no? and the beloved husband is now a dalit, right? (directionality -uni?)
Inter-regional: i am tamil married to kannadiga, so we interchanged our regions also, no?

Inter national: If i ditch him and marry a yankee, me becomes a yankee, no? he becomes a desi, yes?

Intergalactic marriage, so on....
you should stop wasting your taxes and time and so should i, but like a lot of your readers i am addicted to your blog and writtings, so please keep writing on the 'defunct' concept -caste, our clean institutions and sharp intellectuals/professors :)

Jo said...

You've raised some good questions here.

A "large" new caste-less class by the result of "cosmopolitan" marriages? Cosmopolitan? Large? In the India? India Shining again?

And how many of these cosmopolitans abolish caste in the inter-caste marriages?

Anonymous said...

Obviously you folks are miffed by cosmopolitanism. Then you can bring in all the india shining bashing.

kuffir said...




'And how many of these cosmopolitans abolish caste in the inter-caste marriages?'

there are very few of these inter-caste marriages, i think. on some 'good' muhurat days lakhs of marriages happen in some of our biggest cities like delhi and mumbai- i don't think more than a handful of them are inter-caste marriages... but many 'progressive' indians tend to ignore those numbers of people preferring to stick to muhurats and tradition (or caste).

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