Talk:Caste system in India/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

Clarification needed for the claim British Created Caste System

Moved from User_talk:Jayarathina#Tagging_on_Caste_system_in_India: More apt to get opinions of others too --Jayarathina (talk) 11:54, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Instead of tagging and questioning on the page. Just read the sources.

British constructed the caste system, that it became legal under them. "Lower caste", "schedule caste", "criminal caste" they are not the part of any hinduism. Neither the caste(bad term) is unchangeable as per manusmriti, it can be changed. Manusmriti was wrongfully translated by british as well. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:10, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

@Bladesmulti: Are you saying that the system (NOT hierarchy but division of varnas) is done by British? No right? All I am asking you is to make that point clear. The statement in its current form looks as if the system (including the varnas) are proposed by British completely 100%. Also please name the scholars rather than using the Weasel words like " various contemporary scholars". Is this too much to ask??? --Jayarathina (talk) 09:17, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Varna and caste are highly unrelated. There are number of scholars who have written the books, regarding the british construction of caste system.. [1], [2], [3], [4]. But i don't think i can link to all of them, so the most related source was added. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:22, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti:I understand your point. I am NOT questioning that. But that distinction between caste and varna is NOT mentioned in the article. If they both are different., i.e, Jātis/varnas are NOT same as caste then why is the article's first four para is talking about varnas when the article itself is about caste? It looks as if the article assumes that caste and varnas are one and the same. So change the wordings. Specify that they both are not one and the same. And say that scholars like X, Y, Z and many others say that British made up the caste system. (Obviously they did not make caste out of thin air, they used the existing varna to classify the caste system. didn't they? )--Jayarathina (talk) 09:32, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Article is about "Caste system" Not varna system. No where in whole Varna any "british" are mentioned. British did constructed the caste system, that they made it legal and unchangeable, and many other castes like "schedule castes", "criminal castes", etc. I guess we are done with this one now. You should revert your change. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:34, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti: British created caste based on varna. They grouped different existing Jātis into castes and gave them names like "schedule castes" etc., British made it leagel and codified existing norms among caste Hindus that caste is unchangeable. That is even before British came to India it was impossible to change caste. That is the main reason for people like Ambedkar to revolt against caste Hindus and NOT British. I am asking you to make this point clear in the article. The current wording looks as if british made the caste system out of thin air without any precedence before them to do so. It looks as if bristish created and randomly grouped people into different caste. P:S Also regarding your comment that British translated it wrongly, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi would beg to differ with you (But this is out of scope of this discussion). --Jayarathina (talk) 09:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Ambedkar wasn't a scholar of Hindu studies, he didn't even knew when manusmriti was written. So he can't be used as a source. Neither he said that british did anything better with the castes, but actually made it rigid. Manusmriti was badly translated by british, it is already evident. Avari regarded:-

"The text was never universally followed or acclaimed by the vast majority of Indians in their history; it came to the world's attention through a late eighteenth-century translation by Sir William Jones, who mistakenly exaggerated both its antiquity and its importance. Today many of its ideas are popularised as the golden norm of classical Hindu law by Hindu universalists. They are, however, anathema to modern thinkers and particularly feminists."

Caste system wasn't made for just hindus, but for all indians, be it sikh, muslims, christians, jain.. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

@Bladesmulti: As I mentioned earlier I am not going to talk about the credibility of Manu's translators or Ambedkar (which is out of scope of this discussion). The fact that Caste system was followed by people of all religion is already in the article.

I have two problems with the following sentence:

The current phrase of the sentence in question looks like:

  1. British created caste out of thin air and existing norms had nothing to do with it Which is wrong they used existing varna system to create caste. They coined the term caste. But did not create the system. The current wording looks as if British randomly grouped people into different caste. They were not the one who made it unchangeable. They made the existing norms into law. It looks as if all the effort of creating caste system is put on British alone.
  2. Distinction (if at all they are distinct) between a Caste and Jātis/Varna from a Huinduism's perspective along with its commons usage now is not clear enough. This has to be corrected specifically in the lead section. It is to be noted that the entire article seems to have been written as if Caste and Jātis are synonyms.

If these two requests are unreasonable, I would like to know why. I am not saying Manusmṛti or Hinduism supports caste system. I am saying the sentence that caste system is purely British invention and has nothing to do with existing norms is a biased statement. --Jayarathina (talk) 11:54, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Once again. This article is about Caste system, it has to do nothing with the Jatis or Varna. British legalized the caste system, and they made the castes unchangeable as per their own record. It seems like you are spinning wheels. Because nothing new is coming out at all now. "criminal caste", "Schedule caste", "tribal castes", and many others, these castes never exists, they were created by british. Bladesmulti (talk) 12:29, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti: I have two questions for you: (1) On what basis did the British create Caste system? That is how did they divide people into caste? You are repeatedly saying "Caste system has to do nothing with the Jatis or Varna" Are you sure British did not consider Jatis when creating caste system? (2) How did they enforce the "newly" created caste system? Did they force people to follow it? I would like to point to you that even Indian Constitution uses Caste as synonyms with "Group of Jatis" --Jayarathina (talk) 13:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

the current text overgeneralizes and does not provide the important contextual details that should be appropriately sourced and attributed. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:58, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Jayarathina, The caste system was legal now, and those who did not follow it would be regarded as offender of laws. Simple as that. Obviously they would use the similar terms if they are ruling the population which is more used to with the common words of the society for the classification of people. What's so bothering about it? This page is about "caste system", not "varna". Bladesmulti (talk) 13:13, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti: That is not true. One can opt out of caste system by not specifying it. But that is not my point. The Indian Government and British Government see relationship with Jatis and Caste. I understand that this page is about "caste system", not "varna". But Jatis (not varna) and "caste system" are connected. That is why I am requesting you to answer these questions: (1) On what basis did the British divide people into caste? Are you sure British did not consider Jatis when creating caste system? (2) How did British enforce the "newly" created caste system? Did they force people to follow it? --Jayarathina (talk) 13:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Jati is word that is close to caste, although caste can differ, but jati doesn't. Before british, it's arguable that Jati were not rigid, but after British, Jati were rigid, and there was generalization in heavier amount. One has to stick to same caste, it couldn't be changed either. Bladesmulti (talk) 13:31, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
all of that needs to be sourced and presented as context to the overly broad and misleading current claims. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 14:01, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sitush would had helped a lot with this one. We do got a tag added for a reason. And I don't find anything misleading really. Just these disagreements. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:12, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Jayarathina: have you read the cited paper by Frank de Zwart? His abstract says, "Caste used to be thought of as an ancient fact of Hindu life, but contemporary scholars argue that the caste system was constructed by the British colonial regime." In the paper, he lists many contemporary scholars on the British and India's caste system. Zwart's paper is highly cited. Acta Sociologica is a peer reviewed journal in Sociology. Read archives - I just did, the above arguments seem old, repetitive. Also WP:BALANCE and WP:LEAD; remove Nicholas Dirks mention in lead, because lead should just be short concise summary of important aspects of the main article. FatimaBhutto (talk) 17:48, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
@FatimaBhutto: I understand that. Please read the above discussion, I am not questing the validity of the sentence. All I am asking is to add one more sentence on how British created this system. That would definitely clear up the confusion. The paper, in my opinion, assumes that everybody knows how Caste system is divided/created by the British and goes on about its consequences. Obviously it has its limitation on how many words it can contain. Since Wikipedia is not a journal and it is an encyclopedia, "how" caste was created should be noted. As I said earlier the sentence in its current form looks as if there is no relationship between Jatis/caste and British are purely responsible for it. I am all for making the article balanced, but taking that sentence out of context of that Journal is misleading. What would be the problem in rephrasing it like this:
(Also I have no problem in removing the author's name, but wouldn't removing his name and making it weasel worded? I don't understand which archive you want me to read, history of this page?) --Jayarathina (talk) 05:13, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Jayarathina: See WP:TALK#USE, which reads, "Talk pages are not a forum for editors to argue their personal point of view about a controversial issue." So, stop this forum like arguments. Just find a reliable peer reviewed source for "British grouped the existing Jatis into castes,..." and then add it. If you can't find a peer reviewed reliable source, don't add your personal POV. The words "Caste used to be thought of as an ancient fact of Hindu life" already summarize the long held view, "caste already existed long before British colonialism." See WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT.

The lead should be a summary of key points of the main article, without new information (WP:LEAD). One key point is the controversy over British colonialism and caste. The details of that controversy should go into the main article. Weaseling reflects an editor's bias or spin. Accurate summary of a reliable source by an editor is not weaseling. FatimaBhutto (talk) 15:58, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Can't agree more. This is becoming like Forum already. Bladesmulti (talk) 15:59, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
the fact that key points about the subject are not yet appropriately included in the body of the article is a BAD reason to excise key facts that help ensure clarity from being explained in the lead! -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:13, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
TRPoD: Which wiki policy or guidelines page requires "skip the body, rewrite the lead with unverifiable bias and personal POV"? FatimaBhutto (talk) 17:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
If we are going to consider talking about castes in spanish colonies and japan as relevant for the lead, we can certainly talk about the history that lead to the caste system in india and what it evolved from! But I am in no way saying that we "skip the body" - but until the body accurately reflects the subject, we can have the lead be clear and appropriately informative. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 17:45, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── TRPoD: Find some scholarly reliable sources. Jayarathina/Bladesmulti: If British colonial section is expanded, consider few sentences about Herbert H. Riley - the top British colonial officer and one of those linked to constructing caste system. Riley's team, planned and did the 1901 census, counted 2378 castes, 43 races in India. His criteria for different castes in India included "width of nose". Riley and his 1901 census is widely discredited these days. Some call Riley a racist. Source: Axel Michaels, Hinduism: Past and Present, ISBN 0-691-08953-1, page 163. Axel Michaels is a professor of Indology in Germany. FatimaBhutto (talk) 22:55, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

@FatimaBhutto: I don't understand your reasoning. Are you saying that "width of nose" is in practice even today? Because as far as i know today it is not. And so when did this change? When did Jati became the sole criteria to divide caste? Who did that in the first place? Why is this important information not mentioned anywhere in the article? (I am pretty sure Jati's were not invented by British and it is now the only criteria for caste, so when did it change) P.S: Who is Herbert H. Riley?? Because 1901 census officer is Horace Arthur Rose. May be he is a different person? Only person who turns up for that name is an American. Does he have a Wikipedia page? 1901 Census of Delhi District and all other Census before and after that time period clearly list caste on basis of jati alone. So, why should your proposition not to be considered if not fringe, at-least undue weight? You are the one who is proposing that British invented it completely, so you are the one who has to provide Reliable sources for this. --Jayarathina (talk) 03:36, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Given you at least 4 scholary sources, that suggested, about british constructing the caste system. I am not getting why you are spinning wheel just because you feel curious about something which has been explained more than enough times. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti: Because none of those "scholarly sources" say that they created it out of thin air. --Jayarathina (talk) 07:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti:I am not asking you to change the sentence. I am asking you to clarify it. This is my point from the beginning. I am asking you the same question, please answer it: "Since none of the 'scholarly sources' say that British created it from thin air, and there is no shred of evidence that they did not use the existing caste system for it, why should not this line be added to the article: 'British grouped the existing Jatis into Castes. This structure of grouping was adopted by the new constitution of independent India and is still in use today.'?" What is your reasons for saying not to add it? Also how did current caste system based on Jati came into existence? Why is this question not being answered. --Jayarathina (talk) 07:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Don't know what you are actually talking about, but they adds that "British constructed caste system." To which you must stick, not a matter if you like it or not, and since i haven't written any of those books, there's no reason why you are arguing. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:08, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
No caste system existed before British, because jati were changeable, castes(by british) weren't. Just because they used similar words, it doesn't means that they followed the similar system, most of the words were their own creation. There's no caste system in India(legality, rigidity) since about 1950. Only those people are supported more by the government, who were formerly regarded as lower castes, so there is division. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:24, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Finally thanks for spelling it out. That is exactly I am not agreeing with. The article on Jati says exact opposite of what you are saying: "The British, since 1901, for the purposes of the Decennial Census, fitted all the Jatis into one or the other of the varna categories as described in Brahminical literature" (see 4th para) I am asking you to add that sentence here. If that statement is correct there. It should be correct here too right? Regarding caste being changeable, do you have proof for it? Are you saying Indians still follow Caste rigidity that is put in place by British? Are you saying before British came (ie., before 1858) a sudhra can become a Brahmin just like that? (I am not talking about early Hinduism, I am talking about 1000 AD to 1800 AD before British came) Caste was non-changeable even long before British came. There is no contradicting thought about it. There are 1000's of literature of Hindu scholars who say exactly the opposite of what you are saying. Ambethkar left Hinduism because he was not able to change his caste in Hinduism. Gandhi Advocated that. Sankarachariyas and high priests did not allow low caste people to enter into their temples. Are you saying all of this is done by British? Are you saying that people of low caste were treated as equals before British came? That's completely non-historical.

The Census Commissioner had this to say, "The principle suggested as a basis was that of classification by social precedence as recognized by native public opinion at the present day, and manifesting itself in the facts that particular castes are supposed to be the modern representatives of one or other of the castes of the theoretical Indian system;".[1]

— From Jati article
It was the custom of the local people that caste was not interchangeable. The British just codified it. --Jayarathina (talk) 07:54, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely not. You can't even name me one of those "1000" because jati were elected as per the profession. not by birth. If are going to add that, you would also need to add that "..and british created many never heard castes, such as tribal caste, schedule caste, criminal caste".. Ambedkar lived during the british, when lower castes weren't even allowed to have education. Jati were changeable before british, but british made it so adamant that after them, the jatis couldn't be changed. There are Saints who becomes, Saints, kings, etc. But during british rule, you can't find any really. And during british rule as well, just like before, caste/jatis were not just limited with hindus, but every other religious groups. So you can say that "Ambedkar didn't convert to islam, christian because he would get a new caste", that's just matter of opinion, that doesn't even matter. Looks like we are done of this wheel spinning once again. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:02, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Initially Jatis was by profession. But long before British came it became hereditary. Are you now saying British did not educate lower caste? Seriously? Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in Independent India. Not in British India. He wrote the Indian constitution. If he knew it was changeable he would NOT have advocated for reservation at all. My point is before British came to India low caste people were not even allowed to touch high caste people's shadow. There are numerous documented evidence about it. Are you saying British created unaccountability too? If changing caste is possibility, why didn't Gandhi advocate of all untouchables to change caste. Obviously Gandhi knew Hinduism right? Are you saying Gandhi did not know India well that he went on touring India trying to eradicate it. If untouchability is not based on birth and caste, then what is it based on? I am talking about untouchability because untouchability is based on unchangeable, by-birth inherited caste system which existed before British came. All those kings and saints who changed caste lived in early Hinduism, not in 1000AD - 1800AD Hinduism. (And obviously those people who practiced caste system in other religion too considered it to be by birth and unchangeable, that is why Ambedkar did not convert to them). Currently we have concrete proof for the following:
  1. We have British officer saying that they created caste based on existing system
  2. We have Ambedkar and Gandhi's speech on roundtable conference which explicitly state that caste is not changeable by the social structure
  3. We have census report of how caste was created during British and during Independent India (Mandal Commission).
  4. There is absolutely no evidence (you have not provided one till now) that it was possible it change caste before British came between 1000AD and 1800AD (If, it was possible then why was there untouchability?).
Regarding mentioning that British invented the terms "tribal caste, schedule caste, criminal caste" I have no problem with that. Just need to find source for list of terms they invented.
And wheel is spinning just now because, you explicitly stated why you oppose adding that sentence just now. --Jayarathina (talk) 08:35, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ambedkar and Gandhi didn't said that castes were not changeable, they could be.[5]. You can't add it to the lead, since the source clearly states that "british constructed caste system", either way. Read WP:NOTAFORUM. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:51, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

@Bladesmulti: You are making a circular argument. They said "Jati could/should be" which means they were NOT. So give proof that they were or let me add that sentence. --Jayarathina (talk) 08:57, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
There are Shudra kings, Saints even during the 1000 - 1800. So you are incorrect about that one as well. Honestly can't get you anymore. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:03, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Proof? Names of those persons? Even that does not change it was by-birth hereditary before British came unless you counter my above four points (including untouchability). Gandhi says that, Ambedkar says that, everyone living in their contemporary world says that, your own source proves that. Sill you do not want to agree? --Jayarathina (talk) 09:20, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Asking you 100th time, when did Gandhi or Ambedkar said that Caste can't be changed? The source i presented cites that castes are interchangeable. Khusro Khan was a King, though he was shudra by his birth, same with Saint Nishkulanand Swami, Namdev and more. Bladesmulti (talk) 09:29, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I think I am blind. Because 99 time I missed you asking that. Khusro Khan - A Muslim King (His caste never changed, his occupation did. Not caste) None of the other two you mentioned have any proof that their caste got changed. Sorry. Source might says that caste are inter changable, but that was not mean it was the practice among Indian (even today it is not practiced) Regarding proof you asked:
  • I already gave you untouchability as an argument for Caste being inherited which was Gandhi's main stand against. You are ignoring it. Sadly you don't seem to understand it. So here is a direct quote:

Caste is but an extension of the principle of the family. Both are governed by blood and heredity.

— [6] [7]

To destroy the caste system and adopt the Western European social system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation which is the soul of the caste system. The hereditary principle is an eternal principle. To change it is to create disorder. It will be chaos if every day a Brahmin is to be changed into a Shudra and a Shudra is tobe changed into a Brahmin. The caste system is a natural order of society”. This was Gandhi’s view on caste system in 1920

— [8]
  • Ambedkar's quote:

Now the caste system does not allow Hindus to take to occupations where they are wanted if they do not belong to them by heredity. If a Hindu is seen to starve rather than take to new occupations not assigned to his caste, the reason is to be found in the caste system.

— Ambedkar, Annihilation of Caste 37
Is this enough? I would like to point out that I am not saying Hinduism does not allow people to change caste, I am saying that people who followed Hinduism (or any other religion which followed caste) did not allow that to happen. --Jayarathina (talk) 10:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Khusro was forcefully converted to Islam, but he changed back to Hinduism. He was a Shudra by birth, but a King now. Each name that i given were born shudra, but now they were saint or kings, and it happened during 1000-1800. So your claims are debunked already.
Looks like you are pointing the heredity, that how they defined the caste, if you ask them "but caste can be changed", and if they say "no", then it would be the point. But clearly they don't say so. Bladesmulti (talk) 10:16, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? If caste is hereditary, then how in the world can it be changed???? Also note that the Gandhi and Ambedkar are talking about Caste in Hinduism. Not the British created one. They both are talking about Jatis (Also as you mentioned earlier, Caste is a term synonyms with Jati). Also I want to finish this. I am proposing to add a sentence which I stated above and have a reliable source for it from a British officer himself. Also that same sentence is available in the article about Jati too. So what is your arguments against adding it here. If you want I have no objection in stating that terms were invented by British too. --Jayarathina (talk) 10:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But they are talking about the caste system which was on ongoing for that time, they are not citing any scriptural view. Mahatma Gandhi already said that caste are not part of hinduism, they are part of Society. Which is true, castes have to do nothing with the hinduism, it's like saying that Judaism is tribal. You can't really change the lead, you can change the later paragraphs that are related with the british creation of caste system. The lead is not description, but only headline. Bladesmulti (talk) 10:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I am not worried about scriptural issues in Hinduism as this article is not about Hinduism. I think I was making that point from the beginning. Lead is very important. As per Manual of Style Lead should establish context. In this case my proposed addition does exactly that. In its current form it is missleading. Since you don't have a problem with the content of the proposed line, I am adding this in the lead and I don't see why I should not be bold in doing that. Thank you for your time in discussing this. --Jayarathina (talk) 11:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are dodging the number of reliable sources that suggest British constructed the caste system. You can't avoid any of those sources. It's better if you simply just refrain from the issue if you can't get the perfect edition. Lead is not a description of article like you are treating it, it's only headline, the latest changes you made seems to be like you are doing some sort of white-washing, which is certainly not required. I find it much better to keep the whole thing as "However various contemporary scholars have argued that the caste system was constructed by the British colonial government" and edition of 2-3 sources. Nothing more can be done. Bladesmulti (talk) 12:10, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
There is no rule in wikipedia that says that you have to exactly quote/plagiarize from journals. I believe my edit represents what that journal is intending to convey. I have for the past two days tried my best to get a reliable source from you to specify that British created caste out of thin air. Which you were not able to produce. Hence I stand by my edit. If you believe my edits are not constructive then we have to get a Third opinion. May be at portal India? If you want we can bring this case there and/or to the administrators. --Jayarathina (talk) 13:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
It involves more than 2 people so there's no Third opinion required. For now, You made your changes, i have reverted them back to earliest non conflicting version. So you can bring it to DNR, if you want. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:25, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Here are some sources that should be read by both sides before continuing this discussion.[9][10][11][12][13]. Dirks is not saying that the British created "caste" out of thin air, but that they took the existing system which was much more fluid and was not primarily a system in which to categorize and classify individuals and converted it in to a rigid system of forced identities, that classified people and gave them rights and duties based on a now fixed and hereditary caste membership. The caste system we know today was in this way a British creation, but there was a prior system on which that was built.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:38, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but like other source identifies, that even tribal communities were generalized now. This one was more rigid than ever. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and caste fluidity prior to colonialism is also widely demonstrated - jatis changed between varnas, and individuals changed between jatis with much greater fluidity than after the jatis were systematized in an official caste system by the British.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:01, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
@Maunus: If individuals changed between jatis how come untouchables were not able to change their jatis before British? Also the main problem here is that both Gandhi and Ambedkar say that caste is hereditary. Why is such a great piece of evidence not considered? British did not make untouchables caste rigid did they? My entire point is that they made a system that was existing and codified it. Untill you showed evidence, Bladesmulti was claiming that British caste system has nothing to do with Jati. But now he seems to have changes his opinion. --Jayarathina (talk) 16:49, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
What is your evidence for claiming that untouchables were never able to change their jati before colonialism? There is in fact evidence that entire jatis moved between Shudra and Untouchable positions, and that individuals were sometimes (not always) able to move between untouchable and shudra jatis. Lots of Jatis have stories about how in the past they used to belong to a different varna, or were a part of a different jati from which they split. And this is all well documented.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:00, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


@Bladesmulti: I undid your changes. I made other changes too, why did you undid them? If you want undo ONLY THE CHANGE THAT IS DISCUSSED HERE. --Jayarathina (talk) 16:41, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Because no one is agreeing with your changes, since they are complete white wash. You are dodging the 3 reliable sources. And now you are simply edit warring. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:46, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Sadly that is not true. I waited for two whole days and requested your permission. You gave permission. Then you seem to have backtracked. But answer my question. Why did you undo other edits? --Jayarathina (talk) 16:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
@Bladesmulti: Since we are not going to get a NPOV here, I am going in for third view. So Please correct me if I am wrong in what I think you proposing:

You are saying that:

  • British invented the rigidity and unchangining caste system which did not exist before.
  • It was easy to move between Jatis before british. And british were solely responsible for making it unchangeable and hereditary (by birth).
  • Existing varna/Jati system has nothing to do with British invented caste system. That is Except some similar names, they have to do nothing to do with each other.
  • The sources for these claim are: [14], [15], [16], [17]

This is what you are saying. Am I correct? --Jayarathina (talk) 17:02, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Except some similar names, they have to do nothing. Tribal weren't targeted before british either. You have been named a few shudra legends who were king or saint in their afterlife. Bladesmulti (talk) 17:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
I have updated my poinst above. Included your sources too. Is this what you are proposing? Is it Ok for you now? If not please provide a modified statement. --Jayarathina (talk) 17:09, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Bladesmulti, Just to make sure I got your sources correct:
  1. Source 1 Says British created this sytem ex hypothesi (that is according to the hypothesis proposed previously) and the only hypothesis they proposed in previous pages is the one that is using existing caste system.[18]
  2. Source 2 On a different page actually says caste is hereditary. [19] Please note that they are not talking about british caste system. They are talking about the Hindu caste system (which British based their system uopn).
  3. Source 3 is quoting Dirks. And as pointed out (with source) by User:Maunus that is saying that the British took the existing system and used it.
  4. I cant open source 4. But since other sources are not supporting your claim. I would sincerely doubt that this one would do too.
I think I am missing reading your sources or completely reading a different source. So before going in for a third point of view, I am requesting you to confirm that in fact this is your sources. Thanks. --Jayarathina (talk) 18:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Have to do nothing the points, that i made previously, by picking on "other pages" "they prove bit of my points", seems childish argument. [20], cites that "In recent studies, the british also appear to have created caste from the infinetly flexible and accomodative social order of pre-colonial times. They wrenched the languages of Hindi and Urdu out of a plethora of overlapping linguistic styles and welded them to religious community, they created criminality out of the discourses of decentred tribal communities." Much of your edit is disruptive, since you inserted your own opinion. Bladesmulti (talk) 19:01, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Are you serious? Ignoring the fact that this sentence is talking specifically about the tribal and not the whole of India, even your final source says that they created a system upon existing system. You do not have a single source to support you claim. Even the source you just submitted contradicts you. (Whether the existing system was flexible for all is debatable as untouchable existed even before British came. Your quoted sentence is talking about tribal people). Also I never said they proved my point, I said it is NOT proving your point. You accused me from the beginning of not accepting your sources. I am ready to accept your sources and submit it for third party opinion. None of the source you gave (even the one you gave last) is holding up to scrutiny. And stop calling names like being childish, let third party decide who is playing childish games. As you do not have a single source to support your claim, what justification do you have to claim that my edits are disruptive? This is my final request: Is this all the source you have to support the claim that British created it out of tin air? --Jayarathina (talk) 02:48, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Seems like it is worthless to argue with you, as long as no one has agreed with any of your changes, I find it better that you should revert your own changes. Since they are mostly baseless, and dodging 3 reliable sources. Bladesmulti (talk) 03:24, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. I am not going to revert my changes. Provide proof for you statements. I will change. You are the one who does not have proof. Repeating the false statements again and again does not change the truth. 3 reliable sources you provided do not support your claim. Unless you have proof for your statements I don't think you have a base to stand on. Nice talking with you sir. --Jayarathina (talk) 05:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Even the current version uses 2/3 sources, and rest is only your isolated opinion. There are actually 4 sources, one more by Nicholas, that you are dodging. Castes can be changed, it has been further alleged that many of the dalits were not really dalits, but became dalit only for benefits.[21], So caste are changeable, even now. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Saying my opinion is isolated is your isolated opinion. Give proof lets talk. A gentle reminder to you we are talking about British India and how British created that system, so please don't discuss matters irrelevant to this. As you mentioned earlier, by your own words it is illegal to change caste today in India. Some people are cheating to do it, does not mean they actually did it. I can cheat to do illegal things. I can claim what I am not, that does not make my claim to be true. So to continue discussion Give proof lets talk. (You said before you need words directly from mouth of Gandhi and Ambedkar to say "but caste can be changed", and if they say "no", that would be a proof. Right? I am asking you the same thing. Does any of the scholars you cite say that British created caste out of nothing (Not just british created caste, but they created it out of nothing. Since that is the standard you set for Gandhi and Ambedkar, I am requesting you to follow it.) Unless you have proof, this discussion is over. If you feel my edits are disruptive, You can get third POV from administrators or portal:india. I am willing to defend my edits there too. --Jayarathina (talk) 06:03, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I never used the word "illegal", only said that there's no legality of Caste today. But when you make superficial claims like "Caste are not changeable", it is obviously false, because caste can be changed, it has been proven already.[22] Nicholas did wrote that British created caste out from nothing. And others who regard that tribals were also part of caste system now. But if you dodge the sources and keep asking for the proofs, how you can gain consensus? Bladesmulti (talk) 07:17, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
If you feel my edits are disruptive, You can get third POV from administrators or portal:india. I am willing to defend my edits there too. --Jayarathina (talk) 07:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Recent sources are mis-interpreted. Because in the incident, the person tried to change caste by the application/petition. They are changed by certificate[23].
There are some ways, for changing the caste, some have even got similar names like "sai paul singh", which is contradiction with 2 identities, but possible. But if you are to add "caste cannot be changed", that is similar with every single caste system of the world as well as tribe, or location of birth, etc. and it will be WP:UNDUE. And we have reports of people changing their castes by getting legit certificate. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:57, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it is undue. The article makes it clear that caste was changeable in past. It has to mention it cannot be done in present. Other than criminal activity of forging/bribing to get a document can you please provide a valid citation that one can change my caste by simply changing certificate. Supreme Court said it is hereditary and acquire it by birth alone. Its decision is final. Can you please tell me how one can change caste in India? I will agree to revert my edit if you provide a legal way to do it. That is a way which is recognized by Government of India or its constitution. --Jayarathina (talk) 08:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is obviously Undue, you are making the lead large than it deserves to be. You can bribe only for something which is finally legal. For example, you can't bribe a murder. If there is no Caste changing process, why there are certificates? Once again. British created the caste system, with many of their own elements, you haven't mentioned that british created Criminal caste[24], [25], [26], scheduled caste[27]. But now if we add like, "However british still created many castes, such as scheduled, criminal", it will be WP:UNDUE again. Like it is now. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:24, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Again making lead large is not a valid reason for making a misleading claim. Caste certificates exists to prove that I blog to a caste not to change them. Just because I forged and received a B.Tech degree does NOT make me a degree holder. When the fraud is revealed I will be punished. It does not mean I am an engineer just because I hold a fraud certificate. I never was, I never will be. (I have no idea why I am explaining this basic thing to you) I am not going back to discussion of British created the caste system with you. As I said earlier, If you feel my edits are disruptive, You can get third POV from administrators or portal:india. I am willing to defend my edits there too. --Jayarathina (talk) 08:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
But it doesn't seem like you will even need, because you seems to be okay with the Pov Pushing, edit warring already. There are more than enough evidences that you are clearly unaware about what you are debating..
  1. You claimed that during 1000 - 1800 no one could change caste. Refuted.
  2. You claimed that British didn't created caste system, only categorized by the previous identification. Refuted. They created many castes by themselves, like proven above.
  3. Caste cannot be changed. It is WP UNDUE for the whole article since subjects like "castes", "date of birth", "race" anywhere in the world can't be changed. Yet there are evidences of people changing caste in India, through certificates. But you won't attribute it.
  4. You dodged reliable sources, and mis-represented some of them. Yet no explanation has been provided by you. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:38, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh Please..... I have not received any edit warning still now. I requested your permission, you gave it. There is a The three-revert rule. And I did not violate it. So I cannot be given a edit warning.
  1. You claimed that during 1000 - 1800 no one could change caste. Refuted - Nope.
  2. You claimed that British didn't created caste system, only categorized by the previous identification. Refuted. - Nope.
  3. Caste cannot be changed. It is WP UNDUE. - You have not provided any evidence for it.
  4. None of your sources support your claim.
People who read above conversation will know. I repeat if you think I am pushing POV, please take action. Thank you. --Jayarathina (talk) 08:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

They are not citing any scriptural view. Mahatma Gandhi already said that caste are not part of hinduism, they are part of Society. Which is true, castes have to do nothing with the hinduism,

The very WORD caste system has zero historical foundations in india!

It comes from christian linguistics of latin, we still see the british to this very day invent items while plastering latin titles across the product, so why would it be such a far fretched fact which Bladesmulti pointed out?

A black american slave would have been forced into a inheritaded job file of picking cotton under british slavery laws,it is not hinduism but the society at the time wich cultivated the caste system of india which the british relished over for 300 years,christianity was put on a golden pedistal while hindus and indians were degraded and stripped of their civilization with this fabricated lie of aryan ivasion theory, today totally laughed at!82.38.160.153 (talk) 05:24, 2 February 2014 (UTC)ved

If you can find sources for all this, you're welcome to include it in the article. Cathfolant (talk) 00:14, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Lead section

The lead section contains the sentence 'Historically, it defined communities into thousands of endogamous hereditary groups called Jātis.'. 'Defined into' isn't grammatical; it should probably be 'separated into' or something. I haven't made the change because I'm not entirely sure what to change it to. Cathfolant (talk) 00:27, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

This article also seems to contradict itself. Under 'During British rule' it seems to say that the caste system was originally quite rigid and British rule enhanced caste mobility, but under 'Caste rigidity' it seems to say the opposite. Could this be what was meant by the 'misleading' tag? It's certainly confusing, and I'd rather like to know what's really going on here, but then I should probably not be trying to use wikipedia for my homework anyway. Cathfolant (talk) 00:11, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Bah, I changed it to 'separated'. But the article still contradicts itself. I wonder if anyone watches this page or if I'll have to sort it out myself if I want anything to happen. Cathfolant (talk) 00:18, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Illegality of Caste System

The fourth para starts with "The caste system has no legality in India",May I know how and by which law India has declared caste system illegal? There is a similar discussion Talk:India#Caste_system. Janmejai (talk) 05:14, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Academic quotes

Nothing wrong with quoting academics, of course, and Dirks was already cited, but I'm not too happy about this article as a whole (never have been ) and it isn't necessarily helped by introducing irrelevancies such as that Dirks in chancellor at Berkeley. Dirks, of course, is in any event only one strand of thought and his strand is not accepted by everybody. We'll need to work on this & I think it better to do so here than through back-and-forth in the article itself, which has been prone to bouts of over-enthusiastic contributions in the past from people who really didn't seem to know what they were talking about. Hence, my last revert. - Sitush (talk) 23:57, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

False. Dirks was never cited in the lead. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 00:04, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Let's not give Dirks too much emphasis. His analysis is at odds with the mainstream literature which holds that regional caste systems were long established prior to British rule. See Célestin Bouglé Essays on the Caste System, Kathleen Gough "Caste in a Tajore Village" (a chapter within Leach's Aspects of Caste in South India, Ceylon and North-West Pakistan), Judith E. Walsh A Brief History of India, and Susan Bayly Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Binksternet (talk) 00:45, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
You cant seriously be claiming that Gough and Bougle's outdated scholarship is more mainstream than Dirks. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:17, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Dirks was a Columbia dean and now is chancellor of Berkeley. Bougle is a source from 1900. Give me a break. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 01:01, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Bayly is highly respected and modern. General books on the topic set the caste system as ancient. I don't care if Dirks is God's favorite anthropologist, he is still swimming against the current. Binksternet (talk) 01:05, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
What is a "general book"? User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:17, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Who says Dirks is "swimming against the current"? You are actually the one swimming against the current. See the review article by Zwart, and Dirk's 2006 book "Scandal of Empire" which postdates Bayly. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 01:10, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Reviewers have been generally critical of the Dirks book. For instance, Martha McLaren writes that "the book is far from balanced. Dirks believes that all imperial forms of governance are morally unacceptable and that empire simply cannot be evaluated neutrally, so the bias is intentional." McLaren believes that Dirks pays too little attention to context in his quest to prove the conclusion he had already assumed at the start. McLaren says, "the number of errors in the book are unacceptable." She says that "Dirks exaggerates Britain's power in India" and that he has produced a work he himself should deride as imperialistic, since he has not allowed Indians "any agency in their own history."
More than that, you misrepresented the book. You wrote, "The caste system was constructed by the British colonial regime," a very bald statement. However, Dirks wrote a more nuanced statement: "The institution of caste, for example, a social formation that has been seen as not only basic to India but part of its ancient constitution, was fundamentally transformed by British colonial rule." Binksternet (talk) 01:45, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I dont think it is accurate to state that reviewers have been generally "critical" of Dirks books any more than of other academic histories. It is certainly being taught in all courses about Caste and Indian social history that I know of. How many reviews have you looked at?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:22, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
What is being taught? The text which VictoriaGrayson is arguing to keep in the article? Not likely. Even Dirks tells his readers that the caste system is ancient, not something created by the British in India.
Regarding reviews, I looked at five of them, and picked the one with the most salient criticisms. Binksternet (talk) 20:48, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
So you looked at five and picked the worst? Dirks is foundational to contemporary scholarly approaches to Caste, there is now way his work can be ignored in this article. Dirks' argument is sometimes overstated as saying that the British created the caste system, even by himself, because his argument is that the caste system as we know it was largely a British creation and while not universally accepted this thesis is a mainstream view in South Asian scholarhip. We cannot state Dirks argument in wikipedia voice, but the argument has to represented. For the record I disagree with this edit by VictoriaGrayson[28] which does indeed misrepresent both Dirks and has balance problems by asserting his argument in wikipedias voice.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:23, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
The book under discussion is the one used by VictoriaGrayson, The Scandal of Empire by Dirks, not previous books by Dirks. The Scandal of Empire is a departure of sorts for Dirks, and is more recent (2007) so it is less likely to have become part of the mainstream literature. There are two camps of historians in play here: the one that Dirks belongs to holds that Empire is bad no matter what, and it more or less blames the troubles of the Indian subcontinent on the British Raj. The other camp looks more at pre-existing context, weighing centuries of pan-Indian conflict against what has been and what could have been accomplished. The latter camp is more mainstream, but Dirks certainly has his admirers. Binksternet (talk) 00:16, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
That strikes me as a fairly specious dismissal of the postcolonial and subaltern schools of social history. But yes, the more relevant works by Dirks for this article are Castes of Mind and Hollow Crown.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:14, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I had the chance to revert, when I had seen that edit even before Sitush. However, dirks seemed to be a good analyzer and expert on these issues. Looking at later experts of these subjects, many of them seemed to be proponent of Dirk's ideas. But If the referenced book wasn't written by him, but still that was his quote, source shall be still used. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:43, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the various comments supporting the use of Dirks, specifically Caste of Mind.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 15:37, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

The Scandal of Empire as a source

I would like to point out that The Scandal of Empire has been criticized enough that we should be hesitant to use it as a source. One of its main problems is that the caste system is not treated directly in the book; rather it is mentioned a few times in passing. If used, the author Dirks should be quoted or attributed directly rather than put in Wikipedia's voice. Binksternet (talk) 01:07, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Published reviews

  • Michael Dodson of the University of Indiana, Bloomington says that Dirks is an anti-imperialist whose book "is something of a departure from these earlier works, for [it] is less concerned with the effects of colonial rule in the Indian context than it is with the politics of the Indian empire in Britain." Dodson points to Castes of Mind (2001) as the better Dirks book about the caste system in India.
  • Maya Jasanoff of Harvard writes that "while historians seem broadly united in condemning the imperial present, discussions of the imperial past appear to be increasingly polarized. The history of the British Empire has, for some, become a battleground. On one side are ranged the advocates of a history that investigates the complexities of power and cultural relations, stresses diversity and lived experience, and is less concerned with debating whether the British Empire was good or bad than with probing how it worked. On the other side are those who emphasize the intrinsic and persistent oppression of the colonized by colonizers: the violence, hypocrisy, corruption, appropriation, racism—or, in Nicholas Dirks's phrase, the scandal—of empire.Dirks's The Scandal of Empire sits squarely in this second camp, exploring the scandals of early British rule in India as a means of exposing 'the scandal of empire itself.'" Jasanoff says nothing about caste.
  • Neilesh Bose of the University of North Texas is generally approving of the Dirks book, though it is "dramaturgical" in presentation. Bose mentions nothing about how the caste system is portrayed.
  • Linda Long-Van Brocklyn of Ohio University gives Dirks praise for a "very well written text." This review says nothing about caste.
  • Stephen Howe of Bristol University writes the the Dirks book paints a one-sided picture of imperialism which is "too simple to be convincing." The author Bernard Porter gets a better grasp of the subject with his "more nuanced, suitably ambivalent" account, in Empire and Superempire. Howe says nothing about caste.
  • Martha McLaren's review is described in the section above. Binksternet (talk) 01:07, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
So everyone is saying to use Caste of Mind. Very well. I never used Scandal of Empire in any of my edits anyway! I don't know how Binksternet's got the impression I did. VictoriaGrayson (talk) 15:25, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how I got off on that jag, either. However, your recent edit was not in keeping with WP:NPOV, as it gave too much emphasis to Dirks' viewpoint. There are two disputing factions of scholars, with no final answer. We cannot unilaterally decide that Dirks has cut the Gordian knot or solved every riddle. Plenty of scholarly observers criticize his work. Binksternet (talk) 17:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Good to have the summaries from sources. Got both of you. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:14, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Why is Dr.Ambedkar's Image removed ?

I just want to get the attention that why Ambedkar ji's Image is removed from here. On round Table Conference it was made clear that Dr.Ambedkar was the leader of Dalits. He was born in Low caste family (mainly of mahars in Maharashtra). Why is his Image removed from this Article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.241.167.88 (talk) 01:59, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

One source, and using 'iloveindia' is not the best option when you add to lead with a image. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:41, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

British NEVER Created caste system and edited Manusmriti.

Collapsing because these comments really have little to do with improving the article - please see WP:TPG - and leaving the thread open will just invited more irrelevancies. - Sitush (talk) 17:16, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

I just want to get the attention that Hindus editing are drawing inspiration from Rajiv Dixit , An orthodox Hindu. Never has british created the Caste system. Caste system is very created the Hindu Doctrine and scriptures called Manusmriti. Also this Wikipedia Article need some clean up as many things here about castes are wrong. Just watch this Video and know yourself. >>>>[Manusmriti/Vedas were edited by British] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.184.122.63 (talk) 18:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Manusmriti can be read from here and its horror can be seen from here.[Status Of cast As Depicted By Manu In The Manusmriti] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 101.62.190.223 (talk) 18:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Célestin Bouglé Original Research

All the stuff regarding Célestin Bouglé is clearly WP:OR, based on a likely nonreliable source.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 03:33, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The translation is a Cambridge University Press production, and Célestin Bouglé has been cited over 2000 times. Two reasons why it prolly is a reliable source, for at least one of many sides. FatimaBhutto (talk) 05:35, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Bouglé is a notable commentator but the emphasis and interpretation of their writings in this article (all added by one of the many slanted sociologist types) is both undue and, yes, OR. We're giving summaries of pp 80-123 of a French source in three or four sentences, for example, and we're really not qualified to make such broad pronouncements on what will undoubtedly be a complex argument in what is effectively a primary source. Since they are so well cited, it should be possible to find a source that summarises Bouglé and use that instead. - Sitush (talk) 06:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Sitush, go ahead and make the changes.VictoriaGrayson (talk) 17:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ The People of India by Risley, Herbert Hope, Sir, 1851-1911; Crooke, William, 1848-1923, Chapter II Social Types