The caste system in India

Caste system causing human separation

India's caste system
India’s caste system
Since being in India I have noticed that the caste system, ostensibly no longer in existence and illegal, is very much still evident. Superiority, inferiority and difference are assumed simply because of an accident of birth (or reincarnation). Hindus are split into four basic caste groups.

  • the Brahmins (the priestly class),
  • the Kshatriyas (the ruling, administrative and warrior class),
  • the Vaishyas (the class of artisans, tradesmen, farmers and merchants),
  • the Shudras (manual workers).
  • Dalits is also a fifth division, often known as the “untouchables”.

Discrimination and employment opportunities can be biased because of this system.

Most religions about which I have read tell one that we are all equal in the eyes of God. However this is not practised.

Jiddu Krishnamurti – thinker and philosopher

Jiddu Krishnamurti
Jiddu Krishnamurti
The Indian thinker and philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, points out that when one says “I am a Christian” or “I am a Hindu” or “I am British or German or Colombian” one is committing a violence of sorts. One is immediately drawing a distinction between oneself and other parties. Often with a sense of superiority, but certainly a degree of separation from the fellow man is implied. The caste system fosters these differences. It is a 3000 year old system of discrimination that the British rule encouraged.

This is the full quote:

When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.

I have met people that say “I am Jaat” or “I am Rajput” implying that they are a different type of human from the rest of us. In reality they are normal human beings stuck in outmoded ways of thinking that restrict their lives and possible spiritual advancement.

Krishnamurti also makes the point:
Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.

Strict adherence to tradition means there is no further room for improvement or diversification. Stagnation is the result.

These observations of Jiddu Krishnamurti strike me as fundamental elements of truth.

The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. Is another observation of his.

The world will never know peace while these meaningless subdivisions exist. And it is my opinion that these meaningless subdivisions are fostered and encouraged in order to make control and rule for the élite easier.

Divide and conquer.

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