Debate material: Caste based reservation
#25
(07-Sep-2010, 03:01 AM)TTCUSM Wrote: I was attacking the idea that the caste system was the result of an Aryan/non-Aryan divide. To prove my point, I presented evidence for social hierarchies that existed before the arrival of Aryans.
Of course, I acknowledge that social hierarchies existed before the Aryan migration. However the caste system as it exists in today's India does revolve around the Aryan/non-Aryan divide as shown by the everyday evidence of countless Dalits and lower castes. There may be a few fair-skinned Aryan-like Dalits, but they are exceptions to the general rule.

Quote:Anyway, I do agree with the fact that religion has played a role in institutionalizing social stratification.
But when that stratification is based on birth, i.e., involves entire communities, as it does today, it becomes something similar to the race-based system that were practised in other countries, like South Africa. We should not conflate what actually exists today with what may have existed thousands of years ago before the arrival of the Aryans. Today, the caste system is inevitably based on birth and discriminates against people based on birth. IMHO for any atheist in India, fighting the caste system should take priority over even fighting religious superstition as caste causes more real damage to human beings than idolatry or superstition. This is how this present day situation ties into my support for reservations for oppressed castes.
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#26
(07-Sep-2010, 07:41 AM)madhav Wrote: But when that stratification is based on birth, i.e., involves entire communities, as it does today, it becomes something similar to the race-based system that were practised in other countries, like South Africa. We should not conflate what actually exists today with what may have existed thousands of years ago before the arrival of the Aryans.

Edwin Bryant wrote the following on page 164 of The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture:

Quote:Before moving on to other issues, it seems relevant to note a provocative new hypothesis suggested by Lamberg-Karlovsky (forthcoming), who draws attention to the astounding degree of cultural homogeneity in the vast area of the Indus Valley Civilization, juxtaposed with the lack of any evidence for a centralized political structure. Not only is there a uniformity of culture, but the physical layout of the community is replicated irrespective of whether it is the 5-acre site of Allahdino or the 150-acre site of Mohenjo-Daro. Lamberg-Karlovsky believes this "enigma" can be adequately explained by supposing that only an exceptional social organization such as the caste system can account for this. He finds a variety of archaeological evidence to support this. The residential units at Indus sites, for example, were much larger than other contemporaneous sites, suggesting a stronger sense of kin identities or groupings. He notes that competition in a class-structured society results in a much wider variety of styles and methods of production, whereas in a caste system, much more uniformity is to be expected, as is evidenced by the artifacts unearthed in the Indus Valley sites. Caste organization would also explain the social stability of such a massive culture in the absence of a centralized state or chieftainship. Finally, the concern with purity in a caste system is amply evidenced in the archaeological record by the unparalleled attention and concern given to the control of and access to water and sanitation; at Mohenjo Daro, there is an average of one well for every three houses.

Apparently, some scholars believe that the IVC had a full-fledged caste system, and not just a class structure.
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