Talk:Shudra

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Possible vandalism[edit]

User:220.236.152.72 (and another similar IP address) made major edits to this article. They should be checked carefully. He/she has just been blocked for exceeeding 3-revert rule after repeatedly making major edits (mostly deletions) to topics in areas related to this, ignoring requests to discuss, creating separate POV versions of articles under slightly different names, etc. Changes just might be accurate, I suggest especially checking any deletions. I won't be watching this page, so if you need to ask me something further, please ask on my talk page. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:41, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)


This deals with the issue of caste in India, which attracts a lot of hate-speech, white-washing and contempt for people of 'lower' caste groups. It is essential that the moderators be sensitive to this trend.

Please be confirmed while publishing any article. Saint Pothuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy is a Vishwakarma Vaidika Brahmin. I am not getting intention with which this article was published. Why are you seperating the saints who has renounced this physical world and shown a spiritual moment to disciples,in to shudra, kshatria and all thhese.If you really wish to publish a article on Shudras, please go thorugh abundant literature availble on them, study their pathetic and penury lives thhey are living and show the discimination thhey are facing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sthapathi (talkcontribs) 05:49, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Misleading Userids[edit]

One user called user:VandalPatrol ia behaving as admin on this page though he has no power.Please take note of his suspect action and vandalism.Holywarrior 07:06, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

User:VandalPatrol who is permanently banned now has been suspected to be operating from these IP adresses.59.94.42.51, 59.94.43.28, 59.94.43.114, 59.94.43.114, 59.94.41.210, 59.94.40.253, 59.94.38.34, 59.94.41.30, 59.94.40.19, 59.94.42.197, 59.94.42.197, 59.94.43.136.Admin may take a look on his edits. HW 10:26, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

For detailed information plz look here.Holy|Warrior 07:53, 17 August 2006 (UTC) User:NoPOV spotted today with similar edits.Holywarrior 08:26, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Misinterpreted Facts[edit]

I deleted the following from the "avatar" section for the following reasons:

"*Maharshi Veda Vyas, fisherman, composed the Mahabharata, considered an avatara of Vishnu. Maharishi Ved Vyas, who is credited to have compiled/edited all the four Vedas in present format and who is believed to be author of Mahabharata, Shrimad Bhagwat Gita and all the Purans has himself laid down (Mahabharata: 1-V-4): that `whenever there is conflict between what is declared in the Vedas and provisions in any of the Smritis, Puranas, etc., what is declared in the Vedas shall prevail.` Furthermore, Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (10.37) says, "Of the descendants of Vrishni I am Vasudeva, and of the Pandavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyasa, and among great thinkers I am Usana.""

Vyasa Maharshi was the son of a Brahmin rishi Parashara...in no way is he a Shudra. His mom was a Shudra but he takes the line of his father in addition to doing the purificatory rites "samskaras" to become a Brahmin.

Shri Ved Vyas's mother was not Shudra. She was in care of Nishad who was Shudra but he was not her father. She was of Khastriya origin as her father was Khatriya. Ref: Devi Bhagvat Puran. As the material is scattered in various scriptures so for normal readers it is dificult to know lot of stuff.

"*Narad Muni, was son of maidservant who became a Brahmana and was taught by Vaishnava gurus, wrote the Narad Bhakti Sutra. He is mentioned as one of the 25 avatars of Lord Vishnu.[1] Krishna also says in the Bhagavad Gita (10.26)[2], "Of all trees I am the banyan tree, and of the sages among the demigods I am Narada. Of the Gandharvas I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.""

Narada was the son of Brahma. A person's caste is not determined by what his birth was in the previous birth. It is what his birth is in the present that actually matters. Here he is a Brahmana from birth itself. But yes, he was a Gandharva who got cursed to be a Shudra and THEN got the most enviable birth.

"*Sukhdevji, the son of the great guru and avatar of Sri Vishnu, Veda Vyasa. He stayed inside mother's womb for sixteen years. He was the first one to say Bhagavata Purana to the great Raja Parikshita in last seven remaining days of king's life. Thus the king attained self-realization."

Again, Sri Suka, who belongs to the son of Vyasa Maharshi, gets the line of his father, which makes him a Brahmana from birth itself.

How about adding Matanga Muni here? He was the son of a Brahmin female and a Sudhra male(apparently when she was "intoxicated" she had sex with that guy(!)) and he was born as a Chandala. But I guess he rose to the level of a Brahmin(I don't know is that true? Or did he just become a Maharshi?). Whatever it is I feel Shudras should be proud of their position. It is without them that the others castes cannot survive. I am a Brahmana saying this.193.188.105.20 (talk) 13:04, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Lowest Caste?[edit]

Could someone please add an explanation of the difference between Shudra and Untouchable/Dalit to this article?

BTW, the only sentence currently in the article that mentions them is ungrammatical and indecipherable:

A sub-caste is a local endogenous group practising a lower end Shudras will be untouchable Dalits

- Frankie1969 (talk) 15:31, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Untouchables are not Sudras. First of all, there are two sections of Sudras. Pure Sudras (from whom Brahmins accept drinking water) and impure Sudras (who pollute Brahmins with their touch). The forward castes are made up of Brahmins, Brahmakshatriyas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Pure Sudras. The lower castes are made up of impure Sudras (like Sonar, Nai.etc). There is another division called Antyaja (Dalit) which is below impure Sudra, and therefore outside varna. Axxn (talk) 10:57, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Any sources for what you claim here, or is all this based on your family habits? Tomeasy T C 17:54, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
According to Manusmriti, there are only four castes, nothing beyond it and nothing in between it, and every human being belongs to one of them.Ikon No-Blast 18:45, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Agree with ikonoblast manusmiriti claims only four castes,anand is quoting the nambudiri definition which is very weird.and one more thing ancient india had mobility of castes there are many brahmins who have fallen to become shudras and many shudras who have risen to become brahmins.so caste mobiltiy was there but later on castes were hardened and became hereditary.Linguisticgeek (talk) 05:01, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

So what does this mean to our article? Which of the four casts do Shudras belong to? And which cast do Dalits belong to?
I think, it would help a great deal if whatever your answers are, you could cite some references. To me it seems that everyone dealing with this topic is following their own personal tradition, thinking that this is the one and only truth, whereas in reality there is no truth to it. Anand, e.g., thinks that he as Brahmin would be polluted if he was touched by an impure Shudra individual. My suspicion is that this may be his very strong believe, however, lacking any codified evidence. Good reliable reference, like anywhere else on Wikipedia, are the only measure to resolve this suspicion. Tomeasy T C 11:03, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Once again I am asking you to refrain from personally attacking me. What I wrote here was taken from historic sources and they don't have anything to do with my beliefs. Go through these pages from Mahabharata to get a better understanding. And here is the definition of impure sudra and pure sudra. Axxn (talk) 05:25, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
You should read this book[3]. You would know how hinduism transformed from three varna system to four varna, and more about origin of shudra. Ikon No-Blast 19:28, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
No, this talk page's purpose is not to educate me but to improve the article. The article is in very bad shape, as it does not cite references. I cannot tell which claims are reasonable and which ones are original research, but perhaps you can. If so, you can improve the article and put appropriate references at the indicated locations. Tomeasy T C 19:42, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

According to Manu, the son of a Sudra father by a Sudra woman is purer than the son of a Sudra father by a woman of the highest caste (Brahmin). This means that Sudra is not the lowest caste. The Chandala (Son of a lower status father with a higher status mother) are considered to be the lowest ranking people in varna system, below the Sudra. "Manu calls the Chandala one of the lowest outcasts, because he is the son of a Sudra father and a Brahmanic mother." Here, a detailed description of these 29 lowest varnas are given. Actually most of these castes emerged in to become forward castes, like Mahishya (#2) and Khatri (#11). I don't know how accurate it is, as here he gives that Rajputs are Kshatriya + Vaishya and Karana are Vaishya + Sudra. Axxn (talk) 02:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Saints in Hinduism[edit]

Can someone explain what this section has to do with the rest of the page? It appears to be a completely unrelated (and unreferenced) list of names. Is the implication that all these saints are of the Shudra varna? If so, that needs to be clarified (an verified with references). If not, then the section is pointless, and should be removed. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 16:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

As there was no response opposing the proposed deletion, I have gone ahead and deleted the section on saints. WikiDan61ChatMe!ReadMe!! 12:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

"Undefined" varna status[edit]

Someone has edited that Kayasths and Khatris are having "undefined" varna status. But their status is not undefined. In West Bengal Kayasth are generally considered Shudra, but in some parts of UP, they claim Kshatriya or Brahmin status. Likewise, Khatris are considered to be Shudra by Gaur Brahmins and Rajputs, but they claim Kshatriya status. Saraswat Brahmins even accept food from them, which means that they are not Sudra. Both the communities were very powerful during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so they could easily manipulate the census records to their own use. I am not sure about the sources, as I took this from here. However having heard about the rivalry these two castes are having with Rajputs, I don't think Rajput sponsored research links will provide NPOV. Axxn (talk) 15:11, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

In Bengal Kayasthas are considered upper caste (like everyplace else) although, they have been degraded into Sudra status, because Bengali Brahmins played politics and made it a two varna system, where all non-Brahmins were rendered Sudras. In UP and everyplace else, Kayasthas formally enjoy the Kshatriya status, and informally the dual Brahmin/Kshatriya status.(Gyanvigyan1 (talk) 17:02, 24 September 2011 (UTC))

Sudra should be part of an inner cleansing process, not some silly nazi system misinterpreted by controlling fools[edit]

It is ANNOYING to see that human beings have consistently misinterpreted sacred information. OF COURSE there was NOT supposed to be a caste system, these are different parts of a process all human beings should undergo. The Sudra is the last of them! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.225.70.121 (talk) 11:09, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Etymology of word Shudra[edit]

The present etymology given for word Shudra is wrong and there would not be any reference related to this. Shudra word is quite common in sanskrit which means cheap and lower. Like Shri Krishna used this word in Gita many times like in one case where He said to Arjun that how this shudra thought come in your mind which is not beffiting to you and.... in 2nd chapter.121.241.123.3 (talk) 14:26, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Notable Shudra[edit]

If the definition of who is Shudra is correct then most non-brahmin Hindus would fall under that category. This basically would be 90% of Hindu population of India or around 75% of total Indian population. I am including the "untouchables" amongst the Shudra, however other definitions may put them outside the varna system: So how about: 1. Shivaji maharaj and his descendants (Maratha) 2. The Shinde (Maratha) , Gaikwad (Maratha), Holkar(Maratha Dhangar) royal families 3. Swami Vivekanand (Kayastha) 4. Lal Bahadur Shastri (Kayastha) 5. Amitabh Bacchan (part kayastha) 6. Royal families of Vijaynagar (Kuruba/Dhangar) 7. Bal Thakaray (Kayastha, more specifically CKP) 8. Mahatma Gandhi (Bania)? 9. Sant Tukaram (Vani) and most bhakti saints) 10.Kalidasa 11. Bhimrao Ambedkar (Mahar)

I could go on and on by basically excluding brahmins, muslims , christians etc. from the list of Indian Notables and that would be the list of notable shudras.

Having said that, in day to day life, nobody, except some brahmins and a few academics care about the Varna system and certainly, no one likes to describe themselves as shudra. For example, someone belonging to the Lohar (iron-smith) caste does not put Shudra as the prefix before lohar when describing his /her caste. A number of castes would like to be designated "backward class/caste in order to receive preferential treatment in jobs and college admission but they would most certainly be vehemently opposed to being described as shudraJonathansammy (talk) 17:02, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Removed the notable sub-section.Yogesh Khandke (talk) 21:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

This page has been semi protected for ten days[edit]

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Not exactly the case in South India[edit]

Shudras were the ruling/warrior caste in South India. They were also traders/merchants/agriculturists along with Komathis(Vaishyas). Till this day no actual Kshatriya ruled South India. Shudras don't exactly serve the other three and Shudras don't exactly get along with Kshatriyas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.213.226.74 (talk) 18:26, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Avarna is the word that you are looking for, but you need to check out (for example) Caste system in Kerala and Nair because it is more complex than you describe. As a term based on Hindu religious texts etc, shudra is as described in this article. Of course, the article is poor but it is dealing with the term rather than the lunatic asylum of castes (to quote Swani Vishkananda). - Sitush (talk) 18:50, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I just simplified it. Shudra is caste but overtime they became divided. In the article you pointed to it stated Nair is a Sudra caste and it also stated they were warrior like. Other castes of South India that were Shudra castes are Kapus, Balija Naidus, Gavara Balijas, Gajula Balijas, Setti Balijas, Munuru Kapus, Reddy, Velamas, Kammas, Naiker, etc etc. The first five are all Kapus with variation of names depending on area and profession. Gavara, Gajula, and Setti Balijas are all trader merchant Kapus. Balija Naidus and Kapus were ruler/warrior like Kapus. Munuru Kapus were warrior like Balija Naidus of Arcot. Reddys were originally Kapus that locally administered areas assigned by the Balijas and Kapus. Reddy did not officially become a seperate caste till the 1950s. There are alot of parallels in customs and behavior between Kapus and Reddys. Velamas and Kammas origin is not exactly known but they are also considered Shudra caste. Some say they were migrant Choudaries of Northern India and both subcastes mostly have neni suffix in their surname. Kammas have alot of parallels with Choudaries of Northern India as they are very money minded and clanish. Velamas are very clanish. Some Kamma and Velama communities also adopted Kapu surnames (without neni suffix) to assimilate into the community. Naiker is Naidu variation in Tamil Nadu area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.213.226.74 (talk) 22:36, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I do not disagree with much of what you say, and many articles relating to communities which you have mentioned have had a fairly significant input from me. However, this talk page is for discussion of improvements to this article. Any such discussions must ultimately have reference to reliable sources and need to focus on the subject matter of the article. Is the problem really one of defining what it is that this article is intended to address? Are we risking extending the thing to cover areas - principally, relating to the caste system - that are better dealt with elsewhere? - Sitush (talk) 22:57, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

This article is about Shudra caste and it was clearly stated in "Castes and Tribes of Southern India" by Thurston that rulers and warriors of southern India were Kapus/Balija Naidus and that they were Shudras not Kshatriyas. So it should be mentioned that Shudras serving the other three was not exactly the case for Southern India. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.195.199.127 (talk) 21:26, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Thurston is not a reliable source. - Sitush (talk) 13:09, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Thurston is reliable. He is an ethnographer appointed by the British Government to conduct ethnographic studies in Southern India for the Ethnographic Survey of India project. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.195.199.183 (talk) 22:31, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, your synopsis of him is pretty accurate. That is why he is not reliable. If you have the time to read some of the articles that I have created/expanded regarding these people - James Tod, Edgar Thurston, H. H. Risley, H. A. Rose, William Crooke etc - and perhaps you will come to understand the problems of these British amateurs, their inability to assess sources, their scientific racism, the ever-shifting sands of the census classification system etc. We need something much more recent and there is a fairly wide consensus across the numerous caste articles that this is the case. Thurston, in particular, was both a racist who sampled extremely small numbers in pursuit of the discredited anthropometry ideas of Risley/Topinard and also a "broad-brush" non-critical summariser of people often from as far back as Tod, who really did not have a clue. I seem to recall that he has been rejected at the reliable sources noticeboard for reasons such as these, but I'd have to check the archives. - Sitush (talk) 00:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Well his scientific racism studies have nothing to do with who Shudras were and how they were in South India. "Castes and Tribes of Southern India" was actually co-authored by Thurston and Indian ethnographer K. Rangachari so there is quite a bit of accuracy to their studies. You say his scientific racism studies are innaccurate but even today alot of his descriptions hold out to be true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.195.205.131 (talk) 23:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

It is rather funny to see Sitush a 'western' guy considering Thurston as an old fashionned & racist author whose work must not be used as ref and in the other hand, there is a (stupid) indian who still consider this colonial era author as a great man & scientist. This kind of discussion shows again the slave mentality of many indians who still consider what has been said & written during colonial era as true... 86.212.201.128 (talk) 15:06, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

No one said he was a great man and scientist. All that was said is his studies should not be dismissed as they are reliable because his descriptions still can be verified today just by seeing the said type of people. Also lot of what he wrote matches up with old Indian History books. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.195.200.94 (talk) 21:01, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I think that the 86.* IP overstepped the mark with their comment: I can understand the sentiment but the phrasing leaves something to be desired & I was tempted to remove it. To that IP, please could you take a look at WP:CIVIL - there is no need to call people "stupid" etc.

AS for your (117.* IP) opinion, I have the feeling that the issue probably will not advance here. If you want to raise the validity of Thurston as a source at the reliable sources noticeboard then by all means do so. You'll most likely get a wider range of opinion there.

If you do raise the Thurston point at RSN then it might assist to note here that you have done so. I am most likely not going to be around for the next four days or so, but there is no rush about this type of thing. - Sitush (talk) 23:33, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Merge articles[edit]

Sorry, not sure what the Wikipedia terminology is, but shouldn't these two articles be merged? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudra and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shudra ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.73.156.63 (talk) 04:07, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. Someone kinda hijacked Sudra a few months ago, probably with good intentions. That article was intended to be a disambiguation page because there is more than one usage for the word. I've reverted the edits that caused the change and all should now be well. - Sitush (talk) 14:07, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Scholarly referenced content on this page is being removed.[edit]

The following referenced and balanced presentation on this topic has been repeatedly deleted without any explanation. If scholarly sources are relied on while writing wikipedia articles there should be no problem with the following content. NQ and Bishnoi pls note.

"Shudra is the fourth varna, as mentioned in the Purusha Sukta of the Rig veda, one of the earliest texts of what has come to be known as Hinduism. The Purusha Sukta hymn is one of the last verses to be added to Rig Veda and some scholars feel that this could have been an interpolation. The Rig Veda simply talks about the sacrifice of the cosmic giant Purusha and says that the four varnas came out of different body parts of Purusha, the Brahmins from his mouth, the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vaishyas from his thighs and the Shudras from his feet.

Ambedkar in his book, Who Were the Shudras?, claims that there were initially only three varnas: the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya, and the Shudras were the Kshatriyas who were denied the Upanayana or the initiation ritual by the Brahmins. The Brahmins denied the Upanayana ritual to the Shudras as there was a continuous between the Brahmins and the Shudras. "Owing to the denial of the Upanayana, the Shudras who were Kshatriyas became socially degraded, fell below the rank of the Vaishyas and thus came to form the fourth varna.[1]

The Government of India, under the leadership of V.P. Singh, instituted the system of reservation in 1993 following the recommendations of Mandal Commission (1979) to provide social justice to the Shudras. According to the 1931 census conducted by the British government Shudras classified as backward castes constituted 43.5 per cent of the Indian population.[2]"

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Addition: The use of the word "untouchable" and "dalit activist" is I am sorry to use the word "racist". According to the Indian constitution the use of the word "untouchable" is a punishable crime. (Ref: http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1987997/)Please remove such illegal "racist/discrimanatory" references. Spark121212 (talk) 16:40, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Your proposed opening paragraph has no source for verification. Your proposed second paragraph is in fact in the article, albeit with some adjustments for phrasing and good encyclopaedic style. Your third paragraph seems to be to be incorrect in part (Mandal was not just about shudras) and pointless in the remainder (the 1931 census, like all Raj censuses, was hopelessly muddled when it came to categorising people by caste and varna).
Wikipedia doesn't care what may or may not be illegal in India, although you are actually wrong to suggest that mere use of the word is a crime there. Wikipedia is not censored and has a worldwide readership: we have to reflect what reliable sources say and, where possible, use terms that are recognisable to the widest possible audience. - Sitush (talk) 09:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I am ready to give the sources for you to verify. For the first paragraph it is <The Rig Veda: An Anthology> by Wendy Doniger, Gurgaon: Penguin Books, 2014, page 29-32. Also, see verse 11 and 12 in Griffiths translation here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10090.htm, and if you can read Sanskrit here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv10090.htm. So Wendy Doniger, a renowned Indologist and Sanskritist, is the source for the opening paragraph. For the last part of the first sentence, see David N Lorenzen (1999) (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/179424?uid=3738256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104065838231)and Richard King (1999) (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3270313?uid=3738256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104065838231)
My second paragraph, which you say is in the article, is, as I have pointed out, extremely paternalistic and disparaging in tone. By qualifying Ambedkar not as a scholar but as a polymath (I don't see how it is relevant in this context unless you want to suggest that he was a 'jack of all trades') and an "untouchable Dalit activist" you seem to suggest that he is a inauthentic and biased source, which he is not. My phrasing is cautious (and in "good encyclopedic style"): I say "Ambedkar.. claims" which is a respectful and non-paternalistic way of stating that there are other claims and that Ambedkar's findings could be wrong. I would very much appreciate you bringing in your sources to counter this claim rather than just deleting a scholarly finding assuming it to be biased.
My third paragraph is not "incorrect in part" as you say; the Mandal Commission was set up to assess backwardness among "lower castes" and the ways and means in which it could be redressed. Now "lower castes" are Shudras, the SCs and STs are not "lower castes" but "Out castes" as they are outside the varna system. They were already the beneficiaries of reservation BUT Mandal Commission was to review the system of reservation for SCs and STs as well -- which it did, and affirmed the affirmative action already in place for SC/STs. The main outcome of Mandal Commission was recommendation of reservation for OBCs (yes, all OBCs are Shudras, pls see wiki article on Other Backward Classes) which was implemented by the VP Singh government in 1993.
I am surprised that you dismiss the 1931 census as "Raj census..." which was "hopelessly muddled" etc. Well the Britishers were the first to systematically catalogue the castes and tribes in India, it was this very classification which was used by the Indian government to classify castes as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. You can look at ethnographic works like Edgar Thurston's multi-volume <Castes and Tribes of Southern India> to see the anthropological rigour and accuracy with which the castes and tribes of India were classified. The Census of 1931 was based on these classifications, and though there were pseudo sciences like phrenology which were quite popular then in ethnographic studies that didn't "muddle" or interfere with the process of classification of tribes and castes.
The use of the word "untouchable" IS illegal in India; I have already given you the article in the constitution which prohibits the use of this word but you can see this encyclopedia entry as well: (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/618508/untouchable). I am sure wikipedia is not censored but I am also sure it is not "racist"; you do not call Muhammad Ali a "nigger" and justify the use of such an offensive word by saying you have to use terms which have "the widest possible audience". It is not just culturally insensitive but blatantly offensive and "racist" to use the term "untouchable" to describe the chief architect of India's constitution. I don't think the use of this word serves any purpose in this article other than undermine Ambedkar's claim. If you want to undermine Ambedkar's claim use a counter claim by another respected scholar. What is the point of resorting to ad hominem in order to invalidate the claims of a scholar? You may not be an Indian nor live in India but I think that doesn't give you the right to be disrespectful to one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. People like BR Ambedkar and Thomas Jefferson are recognized and remembered all over the world for drafting the Constitution and writing the Declaration of Independence respectively, not for being "Dalit" and "Protestant" -- such characterizations and biographical forays show that you are not dealing with them as scholars but as "biased subjects". Spark121212 (talk) 18:19, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
We are not going to use primary sources such as shlokas etc directly here, so we'll have to rely on your secondary sources. Thanks for those, which I will read asap. Should the information vary then we will have to show both "sides". It is thus unlikely that we would replace the existing version with your version; instead, we would amend the existing version to reflect the multiple opinions.
Raj sources,, including Thurston etc, have been deemed not to be reliable by the Wikipedia community. That was reaffirmed as recently as three or four weeks ago at our Reliable Sources Noticeboard. You are not using them here, sorry.
I'm glad to see that you agree that the Mandal Commission involved more than just Shudras.
You need, I think, to check the definition of "polymath". I had already explained why we describe Ambedkar as such on my talk page and it is not likely to change. His views on varna are distinctly left-field: it is fine that we mention them but it is wrong to slant this article in such a way as they appear to be the standard interpretation - that is what dalit activists and members of shudra communities keep trying to do all over Wikipedia and they are routinely dismissed, per our neutrality policy.
You are not going to win the untouchable argument. Many have tried before you, all have failed. The is the English-language Wikipedia operated from the USA: it is not subject to the laws of India but it is subject to common sense, a part of which is that "untouchable" is by far the most widely-recognised terminology in the English-speaking world. We have also had it confirmed by lawyer-type people in the past that it is not in fact an illegal word. The act of discrimination against untouchables is illegal in India but not use of the word itself and, indeed, no government that has attempted to make certain usages of language illegal has ever succeeded in the long run - it is madness and, usually, the preserve of extremely unlikeable dictators. You want to phrase it differently then maybe contribute to one of the Indic-language Wikipedias where, possibly, they take a different view. - Sitush (talk) 19:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, I have given you my sources but what are your sources which, going by how you speak, are going to be right-wing? Also, I think you are wrong in implying that it is matter of "opinion" here. Scholarly exegesis of texts is a discipline which involves research, it is not a matter of opinion. And because you think it is "opinion" you use unencyclopedic phrases such as "Ambedkar believes" etc. Why should anybody care what anyone believes, unless it is supported by textual or material evidence? And because Ambedkar has this evidence it becomes a <claim>. An encyclopedia is made up of knowledge, it is not made up of "opinions" which has no epistemic value. So you can retain my version and add any counter claims that you may have, if you have problems with what I am saying or my sources. Hope that is a reasonable enough solution.
Yes, Mandal Commission also involved the review of affirmative action for SCs and STs, but why would that make you remove references to the Commission from the article? That should be added.
Again you use the word "Raj sources" in a pejorative sense and think that explains everything. I didn't find any mention of Raj sources on the reliable sources noticeboard. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and it should reflect the state of affairs as they are. When Indian government has accepted and is CURRENTLY USING the classification made during the British occupation why would wikipedia have a problem that. Wikipedia's opinion on certain sources is not important; the credibility of British census is proven by the fact that Govt of India is still using it and even the Mandal Commission used it. So your argument is untenable.
When I say "Ambedkar in his book <Who were the Shudras?> claims" his findings are stated as a claim. If you think it was left-wing (which doesn't mean anything more than the fact that he believed in the equality of all human beings) please use a counter claim which says Ambedkar is wrong. Just because a claim is stated why do you say that it is being stated as a "standard interpretation". Any claim which is based on rigorous research and backed by textual/material evidence is a standard interpretation until it is proven wrong by a equally strong claim. (Again there is no mention of Ambedkar as a polymath on your talk page) So if you are convinced that you have to describe Ambedkar as a "polymath" to insinuate that he was a 'jack of all trades' then I must say you are "biased" And I hope even a senior wikipedia editor is not allowed to air his biases in the articles.
I have said enough about why the word "untouchable" should not be used, if you think you as an editor have the right to make wikipedia "racist" and "discriminatory" well.. I can only hope good sense prevails. But calling my objection to the use of a discriminatory word "madness" you are reflecting a lot of your own. It does not matter where wikipedia is operated from, it has to be fair and free from discrimination. And kindly desist from giving unsolicited advice and stop insinuating that English-language wikipedia is your fiefdom. Your insistence on using a "racist" word is your problem, not mine. That said, I hope good sense prevails. Spark121212 (talk) 08:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
If you cannot find anything aout Raj sources at WP:RSN then you probably have not looked at that page's archives. I will try to find you a link later. That the government of India use something does not make it reliable: the government of India has little option because there are no alternates, and in any case the whole classification thing is a political exercise. We do have an option and the consensus here on Wikipedia is that we don't use those figures.
Polymath does not mean "jack-of-all-trades", with the insinuation "master of none". Find a dictionary, please. And, contrary to what you think, Wikipedia is stuffed full of opinions; so are most other encyclopaedias because there is no universally accepted truth for an awful lot of things. That is why we have WP:NPOV, for example. - Sitush (talk) 08:59, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Is this article about the Shudras of India or about Shudras in some fantasy-land of opinions? If it is about the Shudras in India then it should reflect the living reality of how they are classified by the Indian government and the sources that are used to classify them and give them benefits. There is no consensus on Wikipedia not to reflect governmental, legal and social systems that are in place in India. You have not given a single source for your claims, you are saying "Wikipedia and other encyclopedias are full of opinions" and yet you say you know better than social scientists, anthropologists and ethnographers who have studied the classifications, revised them and validated them for use by the British govt for the Census in 1931, and which continues to be in use in present-day India. I don't see what gives you the right to say all these experts are incorrect. I hope it is not the fact that you are editing Wikipedia from the United States.
The question was about the relevance of describing Ambedkar as a polymath in this particular article, because, used with "untouchable" and "Dalit activist" it serves no other purpose other than to imply that he was not an expert, and that he could be biased. Words get their connotative meaning i.e. their suggestiveness by the context in which they are used, my reference was to that implication. -122.176.217.195 (talk) 11:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The article is about the varna generally, not the situation as it pertains to modern India. I've no idea what relevant qualifications Ambekar may have had to comment on spiritual matters or ancient history but in his role as an activist his was a significant voice for the oppressed/depressed people of India generally. You have far too great a belief in the Raj ethnographers etc, though: most of them were scientific racists and their views are not accepted today unless it suits the purposes of a community (which usually means a politicised attempt to be reclassified as OBC). Again, that is consensus here. If you don't like how Wikipedia works then you can always go write your own version of the article somewhere else on the internet and you can even copy any bits of it that you might want to re-use: no-one is forcing you to do write here but while you do, you are bound by the community's policies etc. - Sitush (talk) 11:44, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
And you are not bound by community policies because you are a senior editor? I asked you for sources and you still haven't produced any. Varna is a system of SOCIAL classification which derives divine sanction to maintain a certain hierarchy -- it is not a "spiritual matter" in any sense of the term. My claims are based on scholarly findings of Wendy Doniger, David N. Lorenzen, Ambedkar, Richard King, the Census of 1931 etc. What are your claims based on -- what you think is right? Is this how Wikipedia articles are written? I am simply amazed at your style of argumentation! I know how Wikipedia works, but I don't like how you are making it work. You cannot say whatever you like Sir, you have to corroborate what you say with proper evidence. And since you have no evidence you will have to revert to my balanced and neutral edit. If you disagree with it you can provide counter claims as all my statements are based on research evidence. Just as no one is forcing me to write no one is forcing you to edit either without any research evidence. -Spark121212 (talk) 15:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can almost certainly get the JSTOR papers you mention above but I can't find a readable version of the Doniger book online. I'm not even going to look at the sacredtexts stuff because we are not qualified to interpret the meaning of ancient religious writings. - Sitush (talk) 11:29, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Have you read the JSTOR articles @Sitush:? I am typing the relevant portion from Doniger's Rig Veda: An Anthology for you which states that the Purusha Sukta was one of the last verses to be added to the Rig Veda "..the fact that it is one of the latest hymns in the Rig Veda is evident from its reference to the three Vedas (v.9) and to the four social classes or varnas (v.12, the first time that this concept appears in Indian civilization), as well as from its generally monistic world-view." p.29-30. Also see what Max Mueller has to say: <https://archive.org/stream/historyofancient00mluoft#page/570/mode/2up> He dates Purusha Sukta to the Mantra period which is just before the Brahmana period, the age when Brahmanism was consolidated. Also, I didn't want you to "interpret" any of the verses from the Rig Veda; I just wanted you to take a look at the actual verses in the Purusha Sukta which talk about the four varnas. They are as follows:
11 When they divided Puruṣa how many portions did they make?
What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
12 The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rājanya made.
His thighs became the Vaiśya, from his feet the Śūdra was produced.
But what has been written in the Shudra article IS an interpretation: "This text defines society as comprising four groups, sometimes also called chaturvarna, of which the other three are Brahmins (priests), Kshatriya (those with governing functions) and Vaishya (agriculturalists, cattle rearers and traders). According to this ancient text, the Shudra perform functions of serving the other three varna."
Where in the original verse does it say that the Shudra perform functions of serving the other three varna? So, if you are not "qualified" to interpret the religious text as you say, why are you making these interpretations instead of just stating what the Purusha Sukta says? You can see that in my edit I did NOT interpret the verse, I just stated the content of verse 11 and 12.
"Shudra is the fourth varna, as mentioned in the Purusha Sukta of the Rig veda, one of the earliest texts of what has come to be known as Hinduism. The Purusha Sukta hymn is one of the last verses to be added to Rig Veda and some scholars feel that this could have been an interpolation. The Rig Veda simply talks about the sacrifice of the cosmic giant Purusha and says that the four varnas came out of different body parts of Purusha, the Brahmins from his mouth, the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vaishyas from his thighs and the Shudras from his feet." -Spark (talk) 19:07, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
No, sorry. See this. - Sitush (talk) 13:11, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
What third opinion request? There hasn't been one, just an attack on me. - Sitush (talk) 15:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
@Sitush: I am referring to this edit. The statement accompanying the request is not neutral, as the third opinion process requires, I was about to post a statement to the effect. If you have any objections, please let me know. Kingsindian (talk) 15:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
@Erictheenquirer: has caused problems with that edit, which was an attack against me, admitted they have no knowledge of the substantive issues and seemed to be some sort of generalised comment, not a request for 3O. However, if it was a request for 3O then that makes it an automatic fail because there are now three people involved in the dispute, not two. I'm sure that you are capable of being independent etc but I'm also not too happy about someone taking this on when they've read that diatribe. - Sitush (talk) 15:25, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
@Sitush: To be honest, I just deleted the comment as WP:TLDR and as wrong venue. The other user has not seemed to join the talk page. However, if you feel that it has irreparably damaged the situation. I will withdraw. Kingsindian (talk) 15:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
On second thought, I will withdraw anyway, since I know the third user. I did not realize that you consider him now involved in the dispute. Kingsindian (talk) 15:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, judging that Erictheenequirer has just mildly joined this with that random TLDR comment, I think this is still eligible for 3O since we're flexible in that way. I'll also highlight that Kingsindian is completely free, if so inclined, to provide a 3O and Sitush (or Spark) is completely free as well to ignore the 3O, since it based on good faith and is not binding. Sincerely, Ugog Nizdast (talk) 15:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Kingsindian: No, feel free to take it on if that is your interpretation of what happened at the 3O listing. I'm not bothered about you knowing someone. - Sitush (talk) 15:46, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, since there is no objection, I will provide a 3O shortly, dealing with all the points raised. Kingsindian (talk) 15:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
There are multiple points raised. I will try to deal with each one.
  • It seems to me that the status of the first paragraph is unclear. Right now, it provides no sources. If it is based on the Wendy Doniger source, it should be mentioned inline. Sitush has not (yet) read the JSTOR article. I have not read it either. The Wendy Doniger source seems WP:RS to me. I do not know about scholarship generally in this area, so I don't know if that is the majority or minority view. I stress that with these topics, one has to keep very close to sources. It is not acceptable to use shlokas as sources. All interpretations must be done by scholars, not by editors on WP.
  • The second paragraph. There are many issues entangled here, some of them a miscommunication. Firstly, the word "polymath" or "activist" is not pejorative. There is no implication that Ambedkar is being put down here. The second issue is that left field is not same as "left-wing"; the former means "unusual". Spark seems to have read in some implication which was not present in Sitush's remarks. Third, there is no legal issue with using "untouchable" in Wikipedia. However, since "Dalit" is wikilinked, I am not sure that "untouchable" in parenthesis is necessary. Anyone who wishes to know more about Dalits can just click on the link. Fourth, contentious statements in Wikipedia should be attributed, per WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV. Attribution to Ambedkar and his identification, is necessary and fine.
  • The third paragraph has two issues. The Mandal Commission and the census. The former can be relevant, and could be included in some way; however the connection should be made clear, using WP:RS. The latter (Raj census) - see this discussion on WP:RSN. In general it is not a good idea to use British-era sources for this. If it is used, the weaknesses should be mentioned, since they are well-known.

I hope the above helps. Kingsindian (talk) 16:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment - Second paragraph has problem. "government is taking steps to end", which government? I am sure that no one is going to agree with this if we were to talk about Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and more. Everyone agrees that these distinctions are misused and promoted in these states. Third paragraph gives too much weight to Ambedkar. "He said that "Owing ....." should be removed. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:37, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Bladesmulti, that's what happens when dalit activists and similar get involved: Ambedkar is practically a god to them. Doninger is reliable but that the verse appears late in the RV seems to be a incredibly minor point. I'm not prepared to accept any statement here that is based on the presumption that I have read the Purusha Sukta - I'm not qualified to interpret it and no-one else here is, either. - Sitush (talk) 16:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree with Mr.Bladesmulti over here. Central government has taken various steps to abolish some practices. Also Ambedkar is a prominent figure and a good scholar. I don't think there should be a problem with that to remove. Bladesmulti just because you want to remove it doesn't mean that it will get removed. Akshatra (talk) 17:34, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

No-one wants to remove Ambedkar. We just need to make sure that we cover all aspects rather than give him centre stage. As for central government, well, who cares unless we make the connections clear. And I think we might struggle to do that because the government emphasis has been on community discrimination, not specifically varna discrimination (yes, I know that there is some overlap): outcastes, tribes etc have arguably been positively impacted far more than even the shudra communities, while plenty of vaishya/kshatriya/brahmin communities have lost out. It really isn't something suited to this article: we have, for example, Reservation in India. - Sitush (talk) 17:40, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Talk:Shudra#Scholarly_referenced_content_on_this_page_is_being_removed. : Dispute about use of some sources and other issues. 14:10, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I am pasting Erictheenquirer's comments here, just so that the discussion proceeds in a logical fashion:

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I made a first pass through the edit history and through the talk pages, without pretending to have become familiar with the detailed history. My initial observations are that User:Spark121212's contributions are (after an initial lapse on one or two items) well cited. In addition (s)he goes to lengths to address all of the points made by User:Sitush. Sitush in turn provides very little in the way of supporting references and is incomplete in addressing User:Spark121212's points, yet reverts entire blocks of text. The discussion is further stalled by User:Sitush's use of rebuttals such as "Wikipedia doesn't care what may or may not be illegal in India"; "the 1931 census, like all Raj censuses, was hopelessly muddled"; implying that because certain sources (in this case "Raj") have been found to be lacking in certain repects, they should be totally ignored; using deflective ('strawman') reasoning ("I'm glad to see that you agree that the Mandal Commission involved more than just Shudras") and assigning a personal descriptor 'Untouchable' to a historical figure and then justifying that because it is the most commonly understood caste word in the USA.

My initial conclusion is therefore that the Talk needs to progress in a more structured way, respecting good referencing, not providing personal editorials in place of reason and references, not cherry-picking related discussions, using less 'strawman' reasoning, coming to definite conclusions regarding the counter-parties points that have not been refuted, and, when reverts are absolutely necessary, to revert only that text that has been disproved with referenced supportive reasoning and for no other reason. With this respect for the Talk facility in place, further 3O intervention should not be necessary. Erictheenquirer (talk) 12:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I am sorry @Sitush: instead of logically responding to my last post you are filibustering again. I have made it very very clear in my last post that my version DOES NOT interpret the Purusha Sukta, I have clearly indicated that it is YOUR version, or at least the version that you want to retain, that IS interpreted. IS THIS UNDERSTOOD? If you understand this, you will not make a statement like this: "I'm not prepared to accept any statement here that is based on the presumption that I have read the Purusha Sukta - I'm not qualified to interpret it and no-one else here is, either." I have read the Rig Veda, but instead of providing an interpretation, either mine or Doniger's, I am stating the verse (almost) verbatim. And yes, the fact that Purusha Sukta was one of the last verses to be added, in the Mantra Period when the Brahmanas were written, as Max Mueller indicates, is an EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT point. Why do say it is minor point? I am honestly APPALLED by the casualness with which you treat this extremely serious matter. This is matter of scholarly consensus achieved by three independent researchers 1. Max Mueller (I have provided the source), 2. John Muir (See: John Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts vol 1, 1968 edition, bottom of page 12; the 1968 edition is revised and enlarged; you will not find find it mentioned in the older edition; I couldn't find a online copy for you but I am sure it is somewhere on google books) and 3. Dr Haug's remarks on when the hymn was composed in the same John Muir book page 4. Now this is SCHOLARLY CONSENSUS and must be reflected in a wikipedia article. And since you are not qualified to INTERPRET you SHOULD NOT interpret: the Shudra article has an INTERPRETATION of verse 12. It should be replaced with my edit which states EXACTLY what the verse says. Again, hope I am UNDERSTOOD! TO STATE THE LINES OF VERSE IN LINES OF PROSE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE INTERPRETATION. My edit therefore IS NOT AN INTERPRETATION. I must be allowed to state the verse AS IT IS.
There is no need to say this but just to clarify: I am not a Dalit activist but a scholar of Rig Veda. It is my duty both as a scholar and as a human being who believes in justice to ensure that the general public knows what their holy books exactly say. There are scores of commentaries on the Rig Veda, Doniger says she usually relies on the one by Sayana, but this verse is not interpreted -- unless you see translation itself as an interpretation -- by her. Her version which I provide below does not really differ from Griffith's. Here is her version:
11. When they divided the Man, into how many parts did they apportion him? What do they call his mouth, his two arms and thighs and feet?
12. His mouth became the Brahmin; his arms were made into the Warrior, his thighs the People, and from his feet the Servants were born.
Now this is how you INTERPRET THIS VERSE in the existing version: "This text defines society as comprising four groups, sometimes also called chaturvarna, of which the other three are Brahmins (priests), Kshatriya (those with governing functions) and Vaishya (agriculturalists, cattle rearers and traders). According to this ancient text, the Shudra perform functions of serving the other three varna."
And this is how I STATE THE VERSE in PROSE: "The Rig Veda simply talks about the sacrifice of the cosmic giant Purusha and says that the four varnas came out of different body parts of Purusha, the Brahmins from his mouth, the Kshatriyas from his arms, the Vaishyas from his thighs and the Shudras from his feet." Now WHERE AM I INTERPRETING? Why will you NOT allow me to carry this version?
In the second para, as Erictheenquirer points out, where is the need to add the word untouchable, if Ambedkar is already qualified as Dalit. The word Dalit means "oppressed" and so Dalit activist would be an activist for the oppressed, and that sounds OK. So to this para of mine:
"Ambedkar in his book, Who Were the Shudras?, claims that there were initially only three varnas: the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya, and the Shudras were the Kshatriyas who were denied the Upanayana or the initiation ritual by the Brahmins. The Brahmins denied the Upanayana ritual to the Shudras as there was a continuous feud between the Brahmins and the Shudras. "Owing to the denial of the Upanayana, the Shudras who were Kshatriyas became socially degraded, fell below the rank of the Vaishyas and thus came to form the fourth varna"
the word "Dalit activist" could be added, since you insist, though I don't think it is necessary.
The third para is about how the Shudra varna is perceived by the Indian government and contemporary Indian society. Shudras have been called as Other Backward Classes. Since this is a FACT, and since the Shudras are OBCs, the fact should be stated on SHUDRA page. And not only in a page called "Reservation in India". Here is the paragraph:
The Government of India, under the leadership of V.P. Singh, instituted the system of reservation in 1993 following the recommendations of Mandal Commission (1979) to provide social justice to the Shudras. According to the 1931 census conducted by the British government Shudras classified as backward castes constituted 43.5 per cent of the Indian population
If you have a problem with the Raj sources I will remove the % figure provided by the 1931 census, and replace it with the percentage provided given by Mandal Commission in 1979, constituted in Independent India. The percentage given by Mandal Commission is 52%. And PLEASE DON'T TELL ME B.P. Mandal is not an authority. There are only two reliable figures, the 1931 Census and the Mandal Commission. Govt of India has accepted, and its policies are based on, the Mandal Commission figure. There is no need for you to arrogate to yourself an authority greater than this Commission or the august parliamentarian who headed it. -Spark (talk) 19:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
See WP:TLDR. I am not reading that lot, sorry. - Sitush (talk) 20:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
@Spark121212: Since you requested the Third Opinion, I am just pointing out that I have given a third opinion above. Erictheenquirer's comment was not part of the 3O process. The 3O process is of course non-binding and informal, and you are free to ignore it. Kingsindian (talk) 20:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
@Kingsindian: I have read your opinion and my comment was a followup on that. @Sitush:'s autocratic ways are clearly on display here. I HAD to write a long comment to make him/her understand that I was not interpreting the verses of Purusha Sukta. And also to demonstrate that there was scholarly consensus that Purusha Sukta was added to Rig Veda during the Mantra Period, and that it was not a "minor" point. Now s/he says s/he will not read it because it is long. It is clear that s/he does not want to engage in a discussion because 1.S/he has no sources to back his/her claims. 2. Looking at the sources I have provided makes it amply clear that I have relied on scholarly research. 3. S/he cannot bring him/herself to accept the fact that s/he is wrong.
As a responsible editor @Kingsindian: I request you to suggest the next course of action. Because if Sitush does not engage in a discussion the article will remain as it is. Should I wait for a day, and if s/he does not continue the discussion, go ahead and revert to my edit? I have included all the points you have raised in my discussion. The first para which you say is not cited has been provided extensive citations. And I had no issue with the words "polymath" and "activist", I had objected to to use of the word "untouchable" which you have satisfactorily addressed. Also, I agree that Ambedkar's claim may seem "left-field"/unusual, and that is why it is stated as a claim by "a scholar", and not as an obvious and established fact. -Spark (talk) 03:42, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • User:Akshatra is a obvious sock puppet of Siddheart, Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Siddheart. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:34, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
    • Ambedkar was actually a academic, economist, etc. It just happened that Ambedkar described himself as Dalit activist and he had conflict with this subject, his views are also attempted by others, I agree, but those actions are no where close to what he was doing. You hear Mayawati and many others showing admiration for Ambedkar's Dalit activism, but you wouldn't see if they are following his steps. It can be hard to convince with any theories of these people, even if they are scholars. Wikipedia is not the journal of academics and scholars. That is noted, now bigger point is that why we have to fork from the Caste system in India or use these unsourced claims. For example "43.5 per cent", but how? Today it is 16%. This article is only about the shudra's specifications and definition. Its good that the article is still stub, other articles like Kshatriya are not big either. Spark's post is too long, but he should remind that which 'scholar' he is talking about. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:34, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Sitush: I am glad that you have made a few corrections to the article and added citations. But Marvin Davis is not an authority on this subject. Romila Thaper is. So let us remove the Marvin Davis citation, and make the article reflect what Thaper says. She says: the Shudra "labours for others" and NOT "serves the other three varnas" (as the article says).
Also, please remove the qualification "untouchable" for Ambedkar as it is offensive and derogatory. You have qualified him as "Dalit activist" and that's enough.
I still don't see why you haven't added this para with the modifications I suggested if you are not comfortable about using Raj sources.
"The Government of India, under the leadership of V.P. Singh, instituted the system of reservation in 1993 following the recommendations of Mandal Commission (1979) to provide social justice to the Shudras. According to the 1931 census conducted by the British government Shudras classified as backward castes constituted 43.5 per cent of the Indian population." The 16% figure that Bladesmulti mentioned is for SCs/Dalits. The percentage of Shudra/OBC population is 43.5% according to 1931 census and 52% according to Mandal Commission of 1979. Since you consider the Raj census data "unreliable" please use the Mandal Commission figure. Thanks. -Spark (talk) 08:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Spark121212: To your points
  • Sitush seems have added some references, which you also agree are good. So that is progress. He has indicated that he might be unavailable for a day or so in his last edit. You should wait for him to reply before making more changes. There are no deadlines on Wikipedia.
  • Regarding (untouchable), I already gave my opinion that it is not needed, since "Dalit" is present. This is a matter of judgement and there is no right and wrong here.
  • About autocratic behaviour: I did not find anyone's behaviour autocratic. Wikipedia has some very firm policies, and they should be adhered to, especially in sensitive topics. Remember to WP:AGF and all will be fine.
  • Regarding your very long reply, I am afraid, the nature of human communication is that very long replies are not read. Make your points as succint as possible, and if possible, just deal with one or two at a time.
If you have any other questions, let me know. Kingsindian (talk) 16:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Spark121212, this edit is not an improvement. Max Müller is really old and he got an awful lot of things wrong. Also, although I've not bothered reading Muir, that source also seems either (a) to have got it wrong like Müller or (b) you have misrepresented it. It wouldn't surprise me if Muir took his ideas from Müller but in any event, as more modern sources from reputed academic publishers say, the Purusha Sukta is the only hymn that mentions four varnas, not the only hymn that mentions varnas. Further, stuff about the Mantra period is neither linked nor particularly relevant here - the detail is best suited to the Rig veda article and is just clutter here.
As for your comment about the Marvin Davis source, please note the reputation of Cambridge University Press and that he is a professor who has specialised in aspects of Indian history. The reason for having him as well as Romila Thapar is because Thapar herself is somewhat controversial, notably among those of the Hindutva right-wing.
Regarding Dalit, well, our own article is basically a WP:DICDEF type of thing. If we followed WP:COMMONNAME then it would actually be called Untouchable (India) or something like that because untouchable is by far the more common usage and Wikipedia is not censored. The reason why dalit has superseded untouchable in India itself is entirely political, driven by a series of notoriously censorious and historically-revisionist governments. Generally speaking, we ignore the whimsies of government double-speak etc but there are situation, such as this, where it makes sense to provide the common English-language "translation" of a non-English term. We do this quite frequently for other Indic terms and even for varna itself, which we often qualify by saying things like "... varna, the historic ritual ranking system, ..." - Sitush (talk) 10:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough, I also had many of Max Muller, he had himself told that his books are not perfect and sometimes he used to correct himself in other editions.
I have just checked the page of Romila Thapar, so far I can only find that her opposition was towards the political agenda of particular Hindutva groups, and that was per situation, she is not totally opposing them. I agree that she can be used as source.
'Dalit' word is creation of political parties, word never existed before 1960s. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
@Sitush: We have wasted an awful lot of time just talking over each other, and that is because while I am citing sources for every little thing I say you are making judgements and statements like "this edit is not an improvement" "Max Mueller is really old" "I haven't bothered to read Muir" but I would still say "Muir has got it wrong like Mueller or you have misrepresented it" Why do you say such things Sitush, why, when all you have to do it click on the citation and read a couple of paragraphs? Also this: "as more modern sources from reputed academic publishers say" doesn't mean anything unless you show/tell me what these modern sources are and what they say. Doniger, who you agree is reliable, published/reprinted her book in 2014, and even she feels that Purusha Sukta was one the last hymns to be added to Rig Veda. So if you are talking about "modern sources" you have to tell me (and since I am showing, show me) what those sources are. About Marvin Davis being published by "Cambridge University Press" etc let me tell you we in India don't give two hoots the reputation of institutions like Cambridge and Oxford and the hubris of those associated with it. One does not judge the authority of a writer by who he has been published by, it is judged solely on his/her expertise on the subject. Romila Thaper is a widely respected authority on ancient Indian history, Marvin Davis clearly is not. Also, Thaper may be "controversial" among Hindutva right-wing but it is important to note that this "right-wing" has no historians and often make politically motivated claims. Its most important texts are written by non-intellectual ideologues like Savarkar or loonies like Golwalkar. So the politically motivated controversies that these people make does not make Thaper's impartiality questionable. And about the use of the word Dalit -- I am honestly tired of talking about it. Don't you understand things like "civility" and "respect"? It is not about wikipedia being or not being censored, it is about how you address a a person who is also a dignitary. Honestly, I don't understand what it is that you have on your mind, settling on an apt description for Ambedkar or proving the point that disrespecting him is okay. I am repeating, but I guess one has to repeat to people who don't understand: "The word 'untouchable' is analogous to the word 'nigger'; 'nigger' is not used today because it is considered disrespectful and uncivil, therefore the word 'black' is used. We don't say the word "black' was not used before 1960, and say I will call Will Smith or Barak Obama a nigger because it is the old word for 'black'. It is the same with 'untouchable'; Dalit, is a word which the outcome of great political struggle, and it is the preferred term to describe an 'untouchable'. Also, what about the last paragraph? When will you include it? -Spark (talk) 04:23, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Addition: It would be beneficial at this stage for you to see WP:IRL. By your own admission you are not qualified to edit this page nor do you seem erudite enough to deal with a person like me. Let me remind you that Wikipedia is not your property and you have no right to control it and say things like "I will not allow anyone to edit." I have been reasoning with you for more than 15 days now and I see that you neither respect scholarship nor the voice of reason. If you intend to continue with this high-handed approach I would like to take this to Arbitration committee and have it settled once and for all. I cannot afford to waste anymore time on you. @Kingsindian: this person shows clear racist tendencies which is anathema to me and to all civilized people. Please see above on how much time I have spent on discussing this and how it has come to nothing. Wikipedia may not have any deadlines, but it is also not the inheritance of an editor sitting in the United States and harping on about the reputation of institutions like Cambridge. We will not allow the misrepresentation of Indian reality and spreading of disinformation by incompetent and substandard editors. Since I cannot waste anymore time on this I would like to take it to the Arbitration noticeboard. -Spark (talk) 05:38, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
@Spark121212: I have a few comments. Zeroth: Regardless of what goes on in here, it is not acceptable to call someone racist. Please observe WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF. Firstly, as was mentioned, the Third Opinion process is totally informal and non-binding. Sitush or you are free to ignore my suggestions. Secondly, you have discussed on the talk page, and some progress has been made, in particular the Thapar reference has been added. You have objected to the Davis reference, but both are added, for someone who wants to use Thapar, he can use Thapar, for someone who doesn't like Thapar, they can use Davis. Thirdly, there are many other venues for resolving disputes, if you feel that talk page discussion is not going anywhere. Venues are WP:DRN or opening a WP:RfC. If you decide to use other venues, I urge you to maintain a civil tone and discuss the issues, instead of the person. Fourthly, you have indeed tried to discuss things on the talk page, which is good and necessary, but not sufficient. Sometimes, people do not reach agreement, and there are venues to resolve content disputes. I hope this helps. If there are any questions, let me know. Kingsindian (talk) 05:52, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Spark, yes there are many historians of the "right wing" you are pointing and most of them remains out of any notable criticism. Do I have to list them? Gowalkar was not a historian but a politician. You are far more interested in Righting great wrongs and derailing the discussion. How many types of opinion you want?
You have been advised before, particularly by Kingsindian that you should stop writing long essays and consider discussing issues one by one or two by two, but you don't seem to be getting it. I can highlight "Since I cannot waste anymore time on this I would like to take it to the Arbitration noticeboard," for others convenience, no one will stop you from doing it. It will be your loss. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:54, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
@Kingsindian: 0) I find it unusual Kingsindian that you find Sitush's repeated description of Ambedkar as "untouchable" and his/her justifying the use of it on flimsy grounds "acceptable" but my pointing out that such a use constitutes "racism" and displays "racist tendencies" "unacceptable" Are you being fair here? I think not. Ground rules are laid down for everybody, not just for one person. I know wikipedia guidelines and I respect them, but you shouldn't just ask me to observe WP:NPA, WP:CIVIL and WP:AGF, you should also ask the other person. 1) It is not about taking or not taking your suggestion but about taking this discussion forward. And please, after 18 days of duscussion, with one person providing citations for every sentence and clause, and the other person providing none, and the latter making a few half-hearted changes as charity does not constitute progress. I don't want Sitush to do me a favour by making these changes, or assume the tone of "I can't be bothered to read your citations but I think you are wrong." I don't like anyone to talk down to me, if anyone should be doing so it should be me (given how "ignorant" the other person has shown him/herself to be, calling varna a "spiritual matter") but I am not doing so, I am observing WP:CIVIL and talking to him/her as an equal. But my civility is being take undue advantage of here and I am hearing unsubstantiated and arrogant remarks like "I didn't bother to read Muir but you are misrepresenting" (If you couldn't be bothered to read Muir, don't bother to edit -- OK?) In any case I don't take kindly to condescension. But the main point here is: Davis is not an authority but his views are being used; his casual remarks in a book on ranking and status in Calcutta is being used, and not Thaper's who is an authority on ancient India. 3)and 4) I have tried WP:DRN and WP:Rfc does look a lot like third opinion but since I have a clear-cut argument and have the sources to back me I don't want to waste any more time on this. I have discussed for 18 days and I can't afford to be generous with my time anymore. -Spark (talk) 08:28, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
It turns out that Muir was first published in 1868, not 1968 as you cite. The fact that Trübner were the publishers should have been a give-away to me, since they also published the tripe written by people such as Edgar Thurston. We don't use sources from anywhere near as old as that except in very limited circumstances, of which this does not seem to be one.
I am not in the US, I'm not racist (I would have been found out long ago here if I was), and I haven't made any changes due to a sense of "charity". Nor have I (yet) reverted your own changes, even though I don't think they're helpful. This is Wikipedia, where the policies and guidelines of the community are applicable rather than the laws and mores of India. I try to follow the community's consensus; if you do not like that consensus then your options are either to get the consensus changed or simply stop volunteering. - Sitush (talk) 09:37, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
@Spark121212: These rules of Wikipedia are not perfect, but I have found it useful to adhere to them, even more so on sensitive topics which are rife with unintended meanings. I see that you have used WP:DRN once here. The discussion was then closed because it was premature. Since this is no longer true, you can try there. As for RfC, that is not like Third Opinion. RfC is a formal process to gain consensus, 3O is informal and non-binding. As for untouchable issue, using a label for a historical person is different from using "racist" for a Wikipedia editor. The former is a content dispute, however distasteful one person might see it. The second counts as personal attack. As to me not being fair, as I said already, 3O is informal and non-binding. If you feel I am being unfair, you are free to ignore me. This will be the last comment I make. I hope you find resolution to this issue. Kingsindian (talk) 15:04, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
@Sitush: Since you had problems with Muir and Mueller, I have added material from the renowned historian R.S. Sharma which supports the claim that Muir and Mueller make. I have also revised the 2nd para to reflect Thaper's views who is an authority on the subject. I have also added the R.S. Sharma citation which shows that Ambedkar's position has been contested. I have also removed the word "untouchable". If you want to make any changes I would request you to discuss it here first. Except for removing the word "untouchable" I haven't made any changes on which there hasn't been a general agreement. -Spark (talk) 05:43, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Bladesmulti, I am not interested in an edit war. You haven't even been involved in the discussion, so I don't want you to make these random reverts. If you want to challenge the edit please discuss it here. Spiteful reverts are not encouraged here. I have provided citations for all the claims I have made. -Spark (talk) 05:47, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Had edit conflict on talk page. I was writing.. I reverted because it was focusing on a particular disputed origin. 2nd paragraph, "So the evolution of the varna idea........." seems to be speculation. Ambedkar had conflict with this subject again, so you have to consider him as polymath, not politician. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:50, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not a speculation. Please see the Romila Thaper citation. I have reflected her ideas almost verbatim. Polymath means someone versed in many disciplines, politician is an apt description because he contested for parliament many times, and was regarded as a statesman. -Spark (talk) 05:57, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
If Romila Thapar had to consider the caste origins, she wouldn't be summing up the way you are doing. If we were to find origins of shudra, we may go back to more ancient times, but still it will remain speculative. Ambedkar was not perfect or near to it with the subject, probably I wouldn't be supporting the copy of his opinion, it could have been better if you had summarized. Bladesmulti (talk) 06:08, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Again, it is not me who is doing the summing up. Click on citation 4 and read what is written on p.63 of Thaper's book. The article clearly says that Ambedkar's views have been contested. -Spark (talk) 06:13, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I have reverted you, Spark. I don't think you had consensus for your changes of a few days ago but you certainly do not for those of the last few hours. The phrasing was poor and, for example, Ambedkar was many things and not merely (or even mainly) a politician. I am away from home for a few days and likely to have only sporadic internet access via a tethered mobile phone. - Sitush (talk) 09:47, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Consensus meaning your acceptance? I have addressed the problem you had raised about Muir and Mueller being old by giving two new references: Sharma (1990) and Thaper (2004), both eminent historians. If you found the phrasing poor (I found your phrasing abominable btw) you should have re-phrased instead of reverting. You are being spiteful with your reverts in spite of my requesting you to discuss before reverting. This will not take us anywhere in improving in this article. -Spark (talk) 10:11, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
You really do have to stop being so aggressive otherwise your time here will be limited. It is nothing to do with "Consensus meaning your acceptance" because Bladesmulti also has issues with it and the Muller/Muir thing, while also disliked for sourcing reasons, needed finessing in other ways. You are not going to force through changes that only you support and thus you will have to discuss and wait for agreement. I'm about to shut down here, so the waiting will likely be for a few days - there is no rush, given how long the article has been in existence. - Sitush (talk) 10:21, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Sitush, I wish you a good time away from home. We will discuss this calmly and rationally when you come back. Until then let me revert to my edit as it is backed by solid research. I hope you will respect this. Also, no threats please. It is you who is being aggressive. -Spark (talk) 10:26, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Since you have not replied let me just say that your edits and reverts do not follow WP:NPOV. You have an axe to grind against the Mandal commission and the OBCs (as is evident from your book reviewed here: http://sapientiasemita.blogspot.in/2011/12/caste-society-and-politics-in-india.html) and you are using wikipedia as a platform to promote these views which is unconscionable. Everybody in the academia knows that there are no greater authorities on ancient Indian history than R.S. Sharma and Romila Thaper and I am not sure how the long the wikipedia community is going to allow you to propagate the views of an academically discredited book. -Spark (talk) 11:38, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

After giving 3O, I was more interested in this topic, so I hope nobody minds if I give some suggestions, this time as a participant, rather than 3O. It seems to me that the edit made multiple changes, some of which are contested, and some are not. We can at least add in those changes which are not contested, and which improve the article.

  • It seems to me that nobody is objecting to the contrast of Ambedkar and R.S. Sharma about the 3 or 4 varnas. So I have at least added that.
  • The problem with the other edits is not that Thapar is used, but how she is used. Do Thapar or R S Sharma talk anywhere about Purusha Sukta directly? That should be quoted, instead of the inference made in the edit: "Since the varnas are first mentioned in the Purusha Sukta, it is evident that they did not exist before the Mantra period. The historian R.S. Sharma concurs: "the Rig Vedic society was neither organized on the basis of social division of labour nor on that of differences in wealth... [it] was primarily organised on the basis of kin, tribe and lineage." There is a policy called WP:SUMMARYISNOTOR, but that is reserved for straightforward deductions, like 2+2 = 4. In sensitive topics, it is best to WP:STICKTOSOURCE. Kingsindian (talk) 14:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Spark121212 It seems to me that the paragraph quoting Thapar is talking about varna generally, not Shudra in particular. I have added it to the Varna (Hinduism) page, which had a lot of citation needed tags. See diff. Kingsindian (talk) 15:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I have added one paragraph based on Spark's edit, which discusses the relationship between varna/occupation/social ordering. Kingsindian (talk) 15:43, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ambedkar, B.R. (1970). Who were the Shudras?. Bombay: Thackers. p. xiv. 
  2. ^ "Counting Caste". The Caravan.