Thursday, 23 June 2016

FB Discussions - Castes and Modern Castes and Villages

Sunny Narang The Bihar elections for me show how the jati-vyavastha is the most enduring institution , not in the exact nature of what jati but the system with its own learning systems . Knowledge is passed only within the jati , as all knowledge, life, experience, family, community , training , are synergised together. When Laloo the ex Patna University Student President talks of holding the bull by its horns he is talking of his mother's knowledge . Without jati there is no Gram , and without Gram there is no Sanatan Dharma . The Hindutva guys are a little less stupid than the Metropolitans and Cosmopolitans , but more stupid than our jati-parties . And above all of them , are the jatis who actually work and run India at all levels from modern manufacturing to honey collecting to agriculture to vaids to music and dance .

You had mentioned in another post how to learn a traditional skill it needs 10 years of apprenticeship. That is my point - given our skill base, and our restlessness to help, we set up schools, or in our case, encourage children to study and 'teach English' also as in the short term those children need some job. A master weaver's son needs to at least become a clerk, and all my efforts are in that direction, because thats my skill base !! Yes, I wear handlooms, and encourage those who work with weavers to sell their products, but the process seems rather a case of too little, too late.

Sunny Narang Jaati is actually the satsang or communion where life, family, community are together.
Communists and its various sects are jatis as are Capitalists . So are various schools of Science and Medicine . 
It is a lived community of intentional belief that hardens into a structure , just as Church which breaks into various Protestant jatis again .
We have always understood Sampradaya , never religion . Its is belief system . And Jati can be from a Sampradaya or an historical varna creation as Rajputs are mixed immigrants and tribal heads or an occupation .

Sunny Narang We are just creating majority jatis of unemployables or under-employables or deskilled-mediocrity . From a highly skilled jati to semi-industrial labour or clerks that is a great evolution of human society. Pathetic.

Aparna Krishnan Our own skill set only enables this ! And even when we are conscious and wish to avoid these pitfalls, the immediacies make us respond with moves which work towards this very deskilling.
In a world tuned to the superiority of the 'educated', we subtly buttress that. For example, the first request from the people when they see people like us is, 'Teach my child English' !! And we succumb because we want to be 'useful', and the crisis is all too evident. Only sometimes the relief work we do may take us further from the goal we dream of. All these are confusions to be faced and battled on the ground.

KomakkambeduHimakiranAnugula we need to hold out for a few more years until the masses realize the fallacy of this English education and also the economic and social strengths of their existing/past setup. 

we have lost a lot but not everything, a composite model is what will emerge. The Organic food movement is a good example of how rapidly a good thing can spread. Tier 4-5 places are getting into organic now in TN. Millets are becoming a staple again. As per the organic business directory I got at last weekend's fair, TN has the maximum entities dealing in organic and almost all of them are locally conceived and implemented. Again, all of these businesses work directly with farmers or source close to the farms.

KomakkambeduHimakiranAnugula Unless agriculture is saved, everything else is useless. Villages cease to exist when farming stops. Selling agri land is tantamount to handing over the sovereignty of the country as it will eventually end up with the corporates. Also, water bodies need to addressed immediately. This will ensure independence of the villages. Everything else can be managed slowly.

Similar work is needed in all fields; Villagers need to get into MoUs with city dwellers creating a guaranteed buyer base for what they produce. I sincerely hope TN will evolve that model soon for the benefit of the country. We are the most urbanized large state and are dealing with the problems of it. Other states don't have to go through what we went through.

Aparna Krishnan The other thing is that it is also a mindset of reducing needs. A sustainable way of water management , and of agriculture can only provide less than a pattern that overdrew on stored water of aeons (and finished it !). Sugarcane according to an old man in our village, now dead, used to be called the Saraswathipanta (crop) and would be grown minimally. With borewells, sugarcane boomed, and that much sugar was supplied to cities, draining the village water resource base totally. In sustainable practices, the mind also has to be come more evolved out of consumerism. Otherwise every state and mandal will go thro' the same path !Madanapalle hit 1000 feet before us, and watching that, we also followed the same path of greed and unsustainability. So are others now, living in better situations, to whom we are pointing out our condition.

(via Sunny Narang)

... The other day I posted how race , class and gender are primary "empathy" groups . But that is a very limited view . An Obama has nothing common with a KalahariBushman despite being of African origin . A Norwegian Nokia factory worker has little in common with a Bangaldeshi garment woman worker . Similarly a South Delhi or Mumbai professional woman has little in common with a Santhal woman in Jharkhand .
1.Thinking more I see the lowest rung is actually "community-lifestyle-choice" today . The tribal/indigenous communities/herders/nomads are at the lowest rung .
2.Then comes race black/brown/yellow/white etc and Nation (very race based concept) .
3. Then comes religion (though class for upper can overcome religion , then race) .
4. Then comes class capitalist/worker/peasant/professional .
5.Then comes the "Value-system" (ideology , aka liberal , humanism , merit , birth , educational attainments or social/spiritual achievements )
6. Then comes Gender .
7. Then comes Sexual Orientation/s
8. Then comes consumeristic choices ( LV vs Indian Handmade leather bag , Block-print vs Digital , Cotton vs Synthetic , Hollywood vs Indie cinema ad infinitum)
So merge all of them together in various combinations and you get thousands of 21st century Jatis aka Castes .
Very Simple.

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