Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Whether Madiga untouchable or 'not'

Expand Messages
  • eni_kiran
    dear ramya I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not you quoted like some jathis are basically inferior but they
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 1, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      dear ramya "I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not" you quoted like some jathis are basically inferior but they claim they are the superior (MNS CALL IT AS SANSKRITISETION )Tell why this jathis are claiming their superiority what is the reason for this kind of claim. If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible



      Thanking you
      kiran .m Gajanur
    • shanns1982
      ... Ramya Mehtha If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a system , then the phenomenon Sanskritazation is sensible. But Ambedkar
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 1, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "ramya.mehtha" <ramya.mehtha@...> wrote:
        >
        > Shankarappa
        >
        > I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not.Untill now I am satisfied with Srinivas theory of 'sanskritisation' to understand these phenomena. Can anyone explain this with different theory?
        >
        > Ramya
        >

        Ramya Mehtha

        If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a 'system', then the phenomenon 'Sanskritazation' is sensible. But Ambedkar quoted in his book, that 'it (Hindu society) is only a collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be all and end all of its existence. Castes do not even a federation'(Annihilation of Caste p.17). If caste do not have a federation, then how its possible to accept Indian society has 'caste system'.

        yours

        Shankarappa
      • shlp_achari
        Kiran,
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 1, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Kiran,

          > You cited that "If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible". Could you explain, how Indian society is guided by Puranas and Vedas?



          >
          > dear ramya "I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not" you quoted like some jathis are basically inferior but they claim they are the superior (MNS CALL IT AS SANSKRITISETION )Tell why this jathis are claiming their superiority what is the reason for this kind of claim. If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible
          >
          >
          >
          > Thanking you
          > kiran .m Gajanur
          >
        • ramya.mehtha
          kiran, Why do you expect reasons to claim superiority? Because, this question is sensible if and only if you assume there is a relation between action and
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            kiran,

            Why do you expect reasons to claim superiority? Because, this question is sensible if and only if you assume there is a relation between action and belief. But, in Indian traditions can we find this? And what is the relation between claiming superiority and guiding puranas and stories in Indian societies?

            > dear ramya "I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not" you quoted like some jathis are basically inferior but they claim they are the superior (MNS CALL IT AS SANSKRITISETION )Tell why this jathis are claiming their superiority what is the reason for this kind of claim. If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible
            >
            >
            >
            > Thanking you
            > kiran .m Gajanur
            >
          • ramya.mehtha
            Shankppa I do not know whether my question is sensible or not in any context. I think the concept sanskritisation will explain what you have quoted in your
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Shankppa
              I do not know whether my question is sensible or not in any context. I think the concept sanskritisation will explain what you have quoted in your earlier post. That is why I said so. Ok, for time being, let me assume there is no caste system. Does this show that there is no such a process of imitating one another? People learn many things from others, may be that is imitation or learning, but, I want to know how to conceptualize that phenomenon.

              Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there is no caste system or caste are not like federation system.



              > > Shankarappa
              > >
              > > I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not.Untill now I am satisfied with Srinivas theory of 'sanskritisation' to understand these phenomena. Can anyone explain this with different theory?
              > >
              > > Ramya
              > >
              >
              > Ramya Mehtha
              >
              > If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a 'system', then the phenomenon 'Sanskritazation' is sensible. But Ambedkar quoted in his book, that 'it (Hindu society) is only a collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be all and end all of its existence. Castes do not even a federation'(Annihilation of Caste p.17). If caste do not have a federation, then how its possible to accept Indian society has 'caste system'.
              >
              > yours
              >
              > Shankarappa
              >
            • ramya.mehtha
              Dear shilpa First, let us discuss about the process of sanskritisation, then we can discuss the latter. Let us not deviate the issue.
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear shilpa

                First, let us discuss about the process of sanskritisation, then we can discuss the latter. Let us not deviate the issue.

                > > You cited that "If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible". Could you explain, how Indian society is guided by Puranas and Vedas?
                >
                >
                >
                > >
                > > dear ramya "I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not" you quoted like some jathis are basically inferior but they claim they are the superior (MNS CALL IT AS SANSKRITISETION )Tell why this jathis are claiming their superiority what is the reason for this kind of claim. If Indian society or jathis are guided by purunas and vedas how come it possible
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Thanking you
                > > kiran .m Gajanur
                > >
                >
              • santhu_appu
                Dear Ramya ... No, both are not talking in the same manner. Ambedkar argues that Hinduism provides ideology (especially Brahmins)in order to maintain the caste
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Ramya


                  > Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there is no caste system or caste are not like federation system.

                  No, both are not talking in the same manner. Ambedkar argues that Hinduism provides ideology (especially Brahmins)in order to maintain the caste system. Balu's argument showed that hinduism can not be a religion because it does not have properties which makes it into a religion. (Please go through the Heathen In his Blindness) So, both are claiming different issues.

                  Ambedkar agreed that Hinduism as a religion and caste system exist. But, our research group is asking the fundamental questions about the notion caste system.

                  Kind regards.
                • ramya.mehtha
                  Santhu appu That I know, certainly they do have difference in their arguments, but the confusion occurred when Shankarappa quotaed Ambdekar s argument to
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Santhu appu

                    That I know, certainly they do have difference in their arguments, but the confusion occurred when Shankarappa quotaed Ambdekar's argument to depict castes do not have system. Anyway I have read little bit Balu and his group's work in English as well as in Kannada.

                    thank u

                    Ramya
                  • vnr1995
                    ... Balu did not argue that Hinduism doesn t have properties that make it religion. Hinduism, whether religion or not, doesn t exist. [Non-text portions of
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 10:14 PM, santhu_appu <santhu_appu@...> wrote:

                      > Dear Ramya
                      >
                      >
                      > > Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste
                      > system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there is
                      > no caste system or caste are not like federation system.
                      >
                      > No, both are not talking in the same manner. Ambedkar argues that Hinduism
                      > provides ideology (especially Brahmins)in order to maintain the caste
                      > system. Balu's argument showed that hinduism can not be a religion because
                      > it does not have properties which makes it into a religion. (Please go
                      > through the Heathen In his Blindness) So, both are claiming different
                      > issues.
                      >
                      > Ambedkar agreed that Hinduism as a religion and caste system exist. But,
                      > our research group is asking the fundamental questions about the notion
                      > caste system.
                      >
                      > Kind regards.
                      >
                      >
                      Balu did not argue that Hinduism doesn't have properties that make it
                      religion. Hinduism, whether religion or not, doesn't exist.


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • santhu_appu
                      Yes that is true, Hinduism does not exists as an entity. Thanks for correction.
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 2, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Yes that is true, Hinduism does not exists as an entity. Thanks for correction.

                        > Balu did not argue that Hinduism doesn't have properties that make it
                        > religion. Hinduism, whether religion or not, doesn't exist.
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • shanns1982
                        Ramya I don t know, whether i will conceptualize this process or not, but i try to give an explanation through asking some questions to this process. Here MNS
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 3, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Ramya

                          I don't know, whether i will conceptualize this process or not, but i try to give an explanation through asking some questions to this process. Here MNS conceptualized 'Sanskritization' on some conditions, those are, one caste claims, it belongs to other caste by learning or imitating some practices. Let me ask some questions here, Whether those practices are belong to only a particular caste or other caste also? If some one looks at any learning or imitation process, is it possible to call all process are 'Sanskritazation'? e.g. In a school a student learns as well as he might imitate his/her teacher, shall i call it as a 'Sanskritazation of this or that caste towards one caste? Because he/she learn or imitate.

                          Though some people of Madiga caste claim that they are 'Matanga Brahmans', shall we call it as 'Sanskritazation'? for me it not 'Sanskritazation' of Madigas towards Brahmans, let me ask one question here, whether some Madigas are learnig or imitating the 'Brahmans' or some 'practices'? Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not Brahmans. If some people of Madiga caste as well as some people of Brahman caste are practicing the same practices, then what are the essential properties to distinguish between them? Of course both are learning or imitating the practices, but whether those practices are essential properties of both castes or something else? If some one gives essential properties of a caste then we may think whether these imitations are 'Sanskritazation of this or that caste, towards some caste or something else.

                          regarding quotation of Ambedkar; yes I confused here, I have to mention that, though he agreed Hindu society has a caste system, he gives some hints about Hindu society.

                          --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "ramya.mehtha" <ramya.mehtha@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Shankppa
                          > I do not know whether my question is sensible or not in any context. I think the concept sanskritisation will explain what you have quoted in your earlier post. That is why I said so. Ok, for time being, let me assume there is no caste system. Does this show that there is no such a process of imitating one another? People learn many things from others, may be that is imitation or learning, but, I want to know how to conceptualize that phenomenon.
                          >
                          > Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there is no caste system or caste are not like federation system.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > > > Shankarappa
                          > > >
                          > > > I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even though they are not.Untill now I am satisfied with Srinivas theory of 'sanskritisation' to understand these phenomena. Can anyone explain this with different theory?
                          > > >
                          > > > Ramya
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > > Ramya Mehtha
                          > >
                          > > If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a 'system', then the phenomenon 'Sanskritazation' is sensible. But Ambedkar quoted in his book, that 'it (Hindu society) is only a collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be all and end all of its existence. Castes do not even a federation'(Annihilation of Caste p.17). If caste do not have a federation, then how its possible to accept Indian society has 'caste system'.
                          > >
                          > > yours
                          > >
                          > > Shankarappa
                          > >
                          >
                        • kanaadaa
                          Let s take a look at what MNS terms Sankritisation, to see whether it is anything like the process we are studying, whether it uses any terms  with the
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 3, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Let's take a look at what MNS terms Sankritisation, to see whether it is
                            anything like the process we are studying, whether it uses any terms
                             with the precision that we seek, and is in any way simply a
                            derivative of Western thought and practice with a secular wrapper.
                             For if it is any one  of these  it is best we not waste any
                            more time on a distraction.

                            Here's MNS in his own words
                            "The caste system is far from a rigid system in which the position of
                            each component caste is fixed for all time. Movement has always been
                            possible, and especially in the middle regions of the hierarchy. A caste
                            was able, in a generation or two, to rise to a higher position in the
                            hierarchy by adopting vegetarianism and teetotalism, and by
                            Sanskritising its ritual and pantheon. In short, it took over, as far as
                            possible, the customs, rites, and beliefs of the Brahmins, and adoption
                            of the Brahminic way of life by a low caste seems to have been frequent,
                            though theoretically forbidden. This process has been called
                            'Sanskritization' in this book, in preference to 'Brahminization', as
                            certain Vedic rites are confined to the Brahmins and the two other
                            'twice-born' castes."

                            There's much that MNS takes for granted, that there is a system, it is
                            hierarchical, that there is a "Brahmin" group that does not eat flesh,
                            and abstains from liquor (news to this son-in-law of a Bengali
                            brahman!), that there is a theory about the practices of castes etc.


                            It is even problematic to describe the process of the obsevrved change
                            of lifestyles of a Madiga group as a process of emulation.  When
                            there is no warrant to either ascribe hierarchy or authority to jatis,
                            how can one talk of emulation?
                            --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "shanns1982"
                            <shanns1982@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Ramya
                            >
                            > I don't know, whether i will conceptualize this process or not, but i
                            try to give an explanation through asking some questions to this
                            process. Here MNS conceptualized 'Sanskritization' on some conditions,
                            those are, one caste claims, it belongs to other caste by learning or
                            imitating some practices. Let me ask some questions here, Whether those
                            practices are belong to only a particular caste or other caste also? If
                            some one looks at any learning or imitation process, is it possible to
                            call all process are 'Sanskritazation'? e.g. In a school a student
                            learns as well as he might imitate his/her teacher, shall i call it as a
                            'Sanskritazation of this or that caste towards one caste? Because he/she
                            learn or imitate.
                            >
                            > Though some people of Madiga caste claim that they are 'Matanga
                            Brahmans', shall we call it as 'Sanskritazation'? for me it not
                            'Sanskritazation' of Madigas towards Brahmans, let me ask one question
                            here, whether some Madigas are learnig or imitating the 'Brahmans' or
                            some 'practices'? Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not
                            Brahmans. If some people of Madiga caste as well as some people of
                            Brahman caste are practicing the same practices, then what are the
                            essential properties to distinguish between them? Of course both are
                            learning or imitating the practices, but whether those practices are
                            essential properties of both castes or something else? If some one gives
                            essential properties of a caste then we may think whether these
                            imitations are 'Sanskritazation of this or that caste, towards some
                            caste or something else.
                            >
                            > regarding quotation of Ambedkar; yes I confused here, I have to
                            mention that, though he agreed Hindu society has a caste system, he
                            gives some hints about Hindu society.
                            >
                            > --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "ramya.mehtha"
                            ramya.mehtha@ wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Shankppa
                            > > I do not know whether my question is sensible or not in any context.
                            I think the concept sanskritisation will explain what you have quoted in
                            your earlier post. That is why I said so. Ok, for time being, let me
                            assume there is no caste system. Does this show that there is no such a
                            process of imitating one another? People learn many things from others,
                            may be that is imitation or learning, but, I want to know how to
                            conceptualize that phenomenon.
                            > >
                            > > Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste
                            system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there
                            is no caste system or caste are not like federation system.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > > > Shankarappa
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even
                            though they are not.Untill now I am satisfied with Srinivas theory of
                            'sanskritisation' to understand these phenomena. Can anyone explain this
                            with different theory?
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Ramya
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Ramya Mehtha
                            > > >
                            > > > If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a
                            'system', then the phenomenon 'Sanskritazation' is sensible. But
                            Ambedkar quoted in his book, that 'it (Hindu society) is only a
                            collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its
                            survival is the be all and end all of its existence. Castes do not even
                            a federation'(Annihilation of Caste p.17). If caste do not have a
                            federation, then how its possible to accept Indian society has 'caste
                            system'.
                            > > >
                            > > > yours
                            > > >
                            > > > Shankarappa
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • ramya.mehtha
                            Dear Shankarappa You say Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not Brahmans . 1. Let us not rely on the notion that caste is formed by the certain
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 3, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Dear Shankarappa

                              You say "Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not Brahmans".

                              1. Let us not rely on the notion that caste is formed by the certain practices, that I agree. Even Srinivas also pointed out many contradictions in his fieldwork. For instance "Brahmins are usually vegetarians, the Saraswath Brahmins of the west coast, and some Brahmins of Bengal, eat fish, while the Kashmiri Brahmins eat meat." There is no such a unique practice among Brahmins themselves. Not only had the practice of vegetarianism made them to Brahmins. So, one need not to refer only single caste while explaining sanskritisation. That means, the sasnkritisation need not to be a process which is following the practices of a particular caste. Apart from caste there are many groups in India. (varna, kula, okkalu, pantha, bari, baLi) One group may adapt practices of another. Or once caste may adapt the practices of the other group.

                              2. Let say, Brahmins are not a caste, they are a group of people consisting different castes or different regional groups or different language group or different mathas or panthas (vishnava, shaiva, smartha). Assume, Brahmins are dominant (havyaka, sankethi, ayyangar, etc) in a place called x' and Lingayts are minority. Brahmins do satyanarayana puja in their routine life. Gradually, Lingayts (sadha, banajigas) also started to perform the pooja and it extended to other castes of the same village. What is this process? Leave the framework of caste system and religion. I agree that Satyanayana puja does not belong to only shivalli, kota or Havyaka Brahmins, rather a group of people is performing. Later, it spreads to other communities. What is this?

                              3. Even practices are not limited to a specific community; we can find the same practices in different communities. Are different communities started the same practice at a same time? We do not have a clue for that. Therefore, for time being, tracing the history of practices does not generate any fruitful discussion. So, by considering existing practice one can go further in his argument. Satyanarayana puja is an instance to show how a specific practice is spreading among different communities. I do not know whether it gives status or not, as Sinivas claims, but people are following the practice. Whether people are getting it from Brahmins or not, that does not matter. There is a common notion in Karnataka that satyanarayana puja originally belongs to Brahmins (Whoever they may be). In Karnataka many folklorists are shouting because dalits and lower caste people are following upper castes' practices. What makes it into a problem to folklorist I do not know? Folklorists call this process as vaidikikarana (kannada), that is nothing but brahmanisation. Srinivas slightly changed this concept in to the Sanskritisation. Nobody can deny the fact that there is a process.

                              4. Shankarappa, you can not compare practices of communities and attitudes of students. Both are different phenomena. If a student learns from a teacher he/she would become bright (I guess, but, I am not sure), at the same time by imitating a teacher he/she will become mimicry artist. So, the consequences are different in adapting practices by students and communities. Even MNS does not argue in that sense. Prof. Balu argues that `theoretical learning is subordinated to practical learning in India'. I think, he is not saying how students in schools or colleges are learning, rather, he is arguing about a culture. Like that, while arguing about the practices of the community in a society need not be compared with practices of students in schools.

                              5. According to you Madigas are adapting some practices of Brahmins. Isn't it? And you say that Madigas are not following Brahmins rather they have taken only practices. Do Brahmins or any caste keep their practices in front of their houses and anybody can go and take/steal their practices? I do not think so. Because, say caste x has certain practices and Y caste has some practices. Do not bother about whether certain practices are constituent properties of the caste X or some practices form the caste Y. Here the caste Y takes or adapts practices of the caste X. from this one can not say Y has taken only practices of X instead of following caste X. How it is possible? After taking their practices what will they do? Obviously they perform, and performing means following something. Following something may refer to upper caste or our ancestors or neighbors. See, we have taken some fests from our ancestors and we do it because to satisfy our living parents as well as died. What does it mean? We are following our ancestors, I guess.

                              6. Let me give another e.g. there are people in Karnataka follow the Milara (milara gudda) or Mante swamy cult. That is not limited to any particular caste. Many castes would follow the cult. I do not know who invented that cult, but people follow them. What does this show? Is this cultisation? Are people are practicing only the ritual or following the cult? Practicing the ritual of Mante Swaymy or Yellamma refers that the people are also following the cult while practicing the ritual.
                              7. Ambedkar expresses his opinion about destroying the caste system in response to Mr. Har Bhagwan, "the real method of breaking up the Caste System was not to bring about inter-caste dinners and inter-caste marriages but to destroy the religious notions on which Caste was founded". This is the real hint given by him about Hindu society. Is this same hint as Balu gives hints to understand Indian societies? (Annihilation of caste with a reply to Mahatma Gandhi, 1944, III edition).


                              Ramya
                            • Kranthikeshvara K
                              Ramya,   All you are saying is that some people imitate some other people s practices. I have observed that Bisibele Bath is now prepared in many more
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 3, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Ramya,
                                  All you are saying is that some people imitate some other people's practices. I have observed that Bisibele Bath is now prepared in many more households in my neighbourhood than before. A lot more wedding lunches in Bangalore now serve rumAli rOTi than say, a decade ago. How are these imitations any different from the ones you mention?

                                -- K

                                --- On Fri, 4/9/09, ramya.mehtha <ramya.mehtha@...> wrote:

                                From: ramya.mehtha <ramya.mehtha@...>
                                Subject: [TheHeathenInHisBlindness] Re: Whether Madiga untouchable or 'not'
                                To: TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Friday, 4 September, 2009, 3:14 AM






                                 





                                Dear Shankarappa



                                You say "Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not Brahmans".



                                1. Let us not rely on the notion that caste is formed by the certain practices, that I agree. Even Srinivas also pointed out many contradictions in his fieldwork. For instance "Brahmins are usually vegetarians, the Saraswath Brahmins of the west coast, and some Brahmins of Bengal, eat fish, while the Kashmiri Brahmins eat meat." There is no such a unique practice among Brahmins themselves. Not only had the practice of vegetarianism made them to Brahmins. So, one need not to refer only single caste while explaining sanskritisation. That means, the sasnkritisation need not to be a process which is following the practices of a particular caste. Apart from caste there are many groups in India. (varna, kula, okkalu, pantha, bari, baLi) One group may adapt practices of another. Or once caste may adapt the practices of the other group.



                                2. Let say, Brahmins are not a caste, they are a group of people consisting different castes or different regional groups or different language group or different mathas or panthas (vishnava, shaiva, smartha). Assume, Brahmins are dominant (havyaka, sankethi, ayyangar, etc) in a place called x' and Lingayts are minority. Brahmins do satyanarayana puja in their routine life. Gradually, Lingayts (sadha, banajigas) also started to perform the pooja and it extended to other castes of the same village. What is this process? Leave the framework of caste system and religion. I agree that Satyanayana puja does not belong to only shivalli, kota or Havyaka Brahmins, rather a group of people is performing. Later, it spreads to other communities. What is this?



                                3. Even practices are not limited to a specific community; we can find the same practices in different communities. Are different communities started the same practice at a same time? We do not have a clue for that. Therefore, for time being, tracing the history of practices does not generate any fruitful discussion. So, by considering existing practice one can go further in his argument. Satyanarayana puja is an instance to show how a specific practice is spreading among different communities. I do not know whether it gives status or not, as Sinivas claims, but people are following the practice. Whether people are getting it from Brahmins or not, that does not matter. There is a common notion in Karnataka that satyanarayana puja originally belongs to Brahmins (Whoever they may be). In Karnataka many folklorists are shouting because dalits and lower caste people are following upper castes' practices. What makes it into a problem to folklorist I do not
                                know? Folklorists call this process as vaidikikarana (kannada), that is nothing but brahmanisation. Srinivas slightly changed this concept in to the Sanskritisation. Nobody can deny the fact that there is a process.



                                4. Shankarappa, you can not compare practices of communities and attitudes of students. Both are different phenomena. If a student learns from a teacher he/she would become bright (I guess, but, I am not sure), at the same time by imitating a teacher he/she will become mimicry artist. So, the consequences are different in adapting practices by students and communities. Even MNS does not argue in that sense. Prof. Balu argues that `theoretical learning is subordinated to practical learning in India'. I think, he is not saying how students in schools or colleges are learning, rather, he is arguing about a culture. Like that, while arguing about the practices of the community in a society need not be compared with practices of students in schools.



                                5. According to you Madigas are adapting some practices of Brahmins. Isn't it? And you say that Madigas are not following Brahmins rather they have taken only practices. Do Brahmins or any caste keep their practices in front of their houses and anybody can go and take/steal their practices? I do not think so. Because, say caste x has certain practices and Y caste has some practices. Do not bother about whether certain practices are constituent properties of the caste X or some practices form the caste Y. Here the caste Y takes or adapts practices of the caste X. from this one can not say Y has taken only practices of X instead of following caste X. How it is possible? After taking their practices what will they do? Obviously they perform, and performing means following something. Following something may refer to upper caste or our ancestors or neighbors. See, we have taken some fests from our ancestors and we do it because to satisfy our living parents
                                as well as died. What does it mean? We are following our ancestors, I guess.



                                6. Let me give another e.g. there are people in Karnataka follow the Milara (milara gudda) or Mante swamy cult. That is not limited to any particular caste. Many castes would follow the cult. I do not know who invented that cult, but people follow them. What does this show? Is this cultisation? Are people are practicing only the ritual or following the cult? Practicing the ritual of Mante Swaymy or Yellamma refers that the people are also following the cult while practicing the ritual.

                                7. Ambedkar expresses his opinion about destroying the caste system in response to Mr. Har Bhagwan, "the real method of breaking up the Caste System was not to bring about inter-caste dinners and inter-caste marriages but to destroy the religious notions on which Caste was founded". This is the real hint given by him about Hindu society. Is this same hint as Balu gives hints to understand Indian societies? (Annihilation of caste with a reply to Mahatma Gandhi, 1944, III edition).



                                Ramya





























                                Need a taxi? Check out taxi service listings on Yahoo! India Local http://in.local.yahoo.com/

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • jakobderoover
                                Dear friends, There are a series of problems in Srinivas claims (cited in Kanaada s post #4883), which reveal general flaws in his notion of Sanskritization.
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 4, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Dear friends,

                                  There are a series of problems in Srinivas' claims (cited in Kanaada's post #4883), which reveal general flaws in his notion of Sanskritization.

                                  1. MNS claims that "a caste was able, in a generation or two, to rise to a higher position in the hierarchy by adopting vegetarianism and teetotalism and by changing its rituals and deities." The first basic problem here is how one can establish the position of a jati in the supposed hierarchy and measure it in such detail that one can see over two generations that the jati has attained a higher position. Which standard does one use to establish the position of jati x? What members of jati x say about its position relative to other jatis? What members of other jatis say about the position of x relative to their own jatis? As our fieldwork in Karnataka has already shown, it is impossible to infer any hierarchy from such empirical data, because all one gets is a series of inconsistent statements with regard to the relative positions of jatis. This basic problem becomes even more intractable when we take into account the history of assigning positions to jatis in the so-called "caste hierarchy". When the British had their caste sensus in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, many jatis classified as shudras or untouchables sent in petitions arguing that they held higher positions; they were kshatriyas, they said. Today, the same jatis insist that they are really shudras or untouchables and should be classified as OBCs or SCs. When jatis can radically revise their 'position in the hierarchy' according to the status or benefits they win by doing so, what could one ever conclude about their position and how it changes over generations?

                                  Should one calculate the average socio-economic level of jati x and compare it to the average level of other jatis? Apart from difficulties in calculating this socio-economic level, one faces an even more difficult problem: how does one circumscribe jati x? Are two groups with the same name both sub-divisions of jati x? What if they claim they are different jatis? What geographical or social unit should one begin with to establish the (socio-economic) position of jati x in the hierarchy? Let us say one takes the village as the relevant unit. How does the socio-economic level that jati x enjoys in some village tell us anything about its position in the hierarchy? If the socio-economic welfare of jati x increases markedly over two generations in this village, does this mean it has attained a higher position? What if the same jati in the surrounding villages has declined? In terms of empirical data, then, it becomes impossible to say (a) what the position is of a jati in the supposed hierarchy and (b) when it has attained a higher position. In other words, MNS can never have inferred his conclusions about Sanskritization and castes rising to higher positions from his 'fieldwork data'.

                                  2. Of course, some jati may adopt practices from another jati. Let us even admit that some jatis regularly adopted practices from certain groups of Brahmins. What does this show? It certainly does not show that 'a low caste' "took over, as far as possible, the customs, rites, and beliefs of the Brahmins" and adopted "the Brahminic way of life." By observing all the different groups of Brahmins and their different customs and rites or by collecting the beliefs of Brahmin individuals, one cannot through some process of induction come to "the Brahminic way of life" or "the customs, rites and beliefs of the Brahmins" (unless one means the set of all customs, rites and beliefs ever held or engaged in by all Brahmins who ever lived). So it does not make sense to claim that low castes took over the Brahminic way of life. Maximally, some practices of some Brahmin jatis were adopted by some other jatis. Does this demonstrate that these other jatis attributed a higher position to the Brahmin jatis in question? One may suggest that this is self-evident or at least very plausible, but this is a kind of half-baked social psychology that does not result from theorizing or research.

                                  Take a few instances from European history. In nineteenth-century western Europe, it was very common for the up and coming bourgeoisie (industrialists, entrepreneurs) to imitate the nobility. For instance, they began to imitate eating with cutlery and cutting one's bread with a knife. (There is a story that the nobility in France one day decided collectively to starting breaking the bread with one's hands instead of cutting it, so as to humiliate the bourgeoisie and show that it could never become like the nobility.) Did this practice of imitating the nobility show that the bourgeoisie attributed a higher position to the nobility? In one sense, the bourgeoisie did so: culturally, the nobility was considered 'noble'; in another sense, they did not: the bourgeoisie often were more affluent and socio-economically more important. Another instance comes from medieval Europe: when Christian monasteries flourished in the middle ages, lay groups began to imitate the monks, adopt all kinds of practices from them and live ascetically like them. Did this show that the monks were given a higher position in 'the hierarchy'? Not really. The churchly hierarchy of priests and bishops held more power; many knights looked down upon the monks; some laymen admired them and thought that the monks were working for the collective salvation of the christian ecclesia. From such examples and from social psychology in general, we cannot infer some general law that "if one social group adopts practices from another social group or imitates it, this shows that the latter has a higher position than the former."

                                  So MNS cannot have inferred his account about Sanskritization and castes rising to higher positions from social psychology or the general laws of social psychology across cultures and societies.

                                  3. If neither empirical data nor social-scientific theorizing could ever bring one to the story about Sanskritization, how then can we explain that MNS found it cogent and many Indians and westerners until this day find it extremely plausible? One part of the story is that he presupposed the existence of the caste hierarchy with Brahmins at the top and untouchables at the bottom and a flexible range of "middle regions of the hierarchy." This is not to say that he started out with a well-formulated hypothesis about the caste hierarchy and tried to test it empirically, but that he presupposed the fairly vague classical account on the caste hierarchy as the background framework that structured every description of the 'facts' he encountered in his fieldwork. This is clear from his statement that "adoption of the Brahminic way of life by a low caste" is "theoretically forbidden." Which theory is MNS referring to here? The theory of the caste system as it was and is held by different jatis in India or by the Brahmins or the so-called "upper castes"? There is no such theory to be found. Such a "theory" was developed by European scholars reflecting on their experience of Indian society: they linked some fragments of texts like the Manusmriti to certain descriptions of practices and groups in Indian society and constructed the "theory" of the caste system, which projects a hierarchy with certain 'rules'.

                                  It is only when one pressuposes this caste hierarchy that it becomes self-evident that castes could climb on the hierarchical ladder by adopting the "Brahminic way of life" and "Sanskritizing" themselves. In fact, Srinivas' story about Sanskritization merely inverts the old Orientalist story about the way in which Brahmanism spread and the 'Aryan people' subjugated the aboriginal inhabitants of the subcontintent. This nineteenth-century story claims that the 'Aryan' or 'Brahmanical people' used the caste system to absorb all aboriginal and Dravidian peoples into the basic structure of Brahmanism, while allowing these groups to retain their old beliefs. Thus, the 'Aryan Brahmins' established their authority and superiority in Indian society. In this process, the aboriginal and Dravidian groups are supposed to have adopted the basic beliefs of Brahmanism and thus accepted the lower positions in the caste system. It would take us too far to go into the development and background assumptions of this European story about India, but it does raise some questions about MNS' often-lauded creativity in developing the notion of Sanskritization. His creativity consisted of inverting an old Orientalist story and selecting and interpreting his empirical data in such a way that they seemed to provide foundations for this story.

                                  Yours,

                                  Jakob



                                  --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "kanaadaa" <kanaadaa@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Let's take a look at what MNS terms Sankritisation, to see whether it is
                                  > anything like the process we are studying, whether it uses any terms
                                  >  with the precision that we seek, and is in any way simply a
                                  > derivative of Western thought and practice with a secular wrapper.
                                  >  For if it is any one  of these  it is best we not waste any
                                  > more time on a distraction.
                                  >
                                  > Here's MNS in his own words
                                  > "The caste system is far from a rigid system in which the position of
                                  > each component caste is fixed for all time. Movement has always been
                                  > possible, and especially in the middle regions of the hierarchy. A caste
                                  > was able, in a generation or two, to rise to a higher position in the
                                  > hierarchy by adopting vegetarianism and teetotalism, and by
                                  > Sanskritising its ritual and pantheon. In short, it took over, as far as
                                  > possible, the customs, rites, and beliefs of the Brahmins, and adoption
                                  > of the Brahminic way of life by a low caste seems to have been frequent,
                                  > though theoretically forbidden. This process has been called
                                  > 'Sanskritization' in this book, in preference to 'Brahminization', as
                                  > certain Vedic rites are confined to the Brahmins and the two other
                                  > 'twice-born' castes."
                                  >
                                  > There's much that MNS takes for granted, that there is a system, it is
                                  > hierarchical, that there is a "Brahmin" group that does not eat flesh,
                                  > and abstains from liquor (news to this son-in-law of a Bengali
                                  > brahman!), that there is a theory about the practices of castes etc.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > It is even problematic to describe the process of the obsevrved change
                                  > of lifestyles of a Madiga group as a process of emulation.  When
                                  > there is no warrant to either ascribe hierarchy or authority to jatis,
                                  > how can one talk of emulation?
                                  > --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "shanns1982"
                                  > <shanns1982@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Ramya
                                  > >
                                  > > I don't know, whether i will conceptualize this process or not, but i
                                  > try to give an explanation through asking some questions to this
                                  > process. Here MNS conceptualized 'Sanskritization' on some conditions,
                                  > those are, one caste claims, it belongs to other caste by learning or
                                  > imitating some practices. Let me ask some questions here, Whether those
                                  > practices are belong to only a particular caste or other caste also? If
                                  > some one looks at any learning or imitation process, is it possible to
                                  > call all process are 'Sanskritazation'? e.g. In a school a student
                                  > learns as well as he might imitate his/her teacher, shall i call it as a
                                  > 'Sanskritazation of this or that caste towards one caste? Because he/she
                                  > learn or imitate.
                                  > >
                                  > > Though some people of Madiga caste claim that they are 'Matanga
                                  > Brahmans', shall we call it as 'Sanskritazation'? for me it not
                                  > 'Sanskritazation' of Madigas towards Brahmans, let me ask one question
                                  > here, whether some Madigas are learnig or imitating the 'Brahmans' or
                                  > some 'practices'? Here some Madigas imitating only practices, not
                                  > Brahmans. If some people of Madiga caste as well as some people of
                                  > Brahman caste are practicing the same practices, then what are the
                                  > essential properties to distinguish between them? Of course both are
                                  > learning or imitating the practices, but whether those practices are
                                  > essential properties of both castes or something else? If some one gives
                                  > essential properties of a caste then we may think whether these
                                  > imitations are 'Sanskritazation of this or that caste, towards some
                                  > caste or something else.
                                  > >
                                  > > regarding quotation of Ambedkar; yes I confused here, I have to
                                  > mention that, though he agreed Hindu society has a caste system, he
                                  > gives some hints about Hindu society.
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "ramya.mehtha"
                                  > ramya.mehtha@ wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Shankppa
                                  > > > I do not know whether my question is sensible or not in any context.
                                  > I think the concept sanskritisation will explain what you have quoted in
                                  > your earlier post. That is why I said so. Ok, for time being, let me
                                  > assume there is no caste system. Does this show that there is no such a
                                  > process of imitating one another? People learn many things from others,
                                  > may be that is imitation or learning, but, I want to know how to
                                  > conceptualize that phenomenon.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Does Ambedkar claim resemble Balu research group's claim about caste
                                  > system? Because you have quoted Ambedkar's argument to illustrate there
                                  > is no caste system or caste are not like federation system.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > > Shankarappa
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > I too heard that many castes in India claim to be superior even
                                  > though they are not.Untill now I am satisfied with Srinivas theory of
                                  > 'sanskritisation' to understand these phenomena. Can anyone explain this
                                  > with different theory?
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > > > Ramya
                                  > > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Ramya Mehtha
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > If any one accepts all castes of Indian society play role like a
                                  > 'system', then the phenomenon 'Sanskritazation' is sensible. But
                                  > Ambedkar quoted in his book, that 'it (Hindu society) is only a
                                  > collection of castes. Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its
                                  > survival is the be all and end all of its existence. Castes do not even
                                  > a federation'(Annihilation of Caste p.17). If caste do not have a
                                  > federation, then how its possible to accept Indian society has 'caste
                                  > system'.
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > yours
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Shankarappa
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.