Hum Hindu Nahin

This is an interesting thread about the 5 major events of Sikhism. I was particularly interested in the Tat Khalsa who basically carved off Sikhism from Hinduism in the late 1800’s.

The tract was called Hum Hindu Nahin.

I have fairly complex thoughts on the subject of Hinduism.

I do think that there is a fairly pervasive “low Hinduism” that is the substrate of the Subcontinent (in the same manner AASI is). This low Hinduism manifests itself in the intense Pir worship of Pakistan, it borders on shirk. It also explains the Pakistan’s pagan propensities for superstition, astrology and all other manners of folk belief that even a millennia of unhealthy Islamic purification simply can never erase.

The High Hinduism of the Vedas etc is simply constrained to core Aryavarta. The High Hinduism (Diwali, Ganesh, Shiva, Holi etc) is simply absent in Pakistan (either by design, accident or history) and its something Pakistanis simply do not connect to.

On a personal note I who would like Pakistanis to look upon our Hindu past in the same manner the Persians, Greeks & Romans looks upon their Classical heritage. But when the Brahmin brigade drone on insistently about our ancestry and heritage for us it does create a bit of backlash and we all (psychologically) flee to Mecca, Qurasyh and Bin Qasim.

I can’t possibly comment on the Sikhs but I imagine they are in a halfway house with regards to their High Hinduism.

(1.) for the purposes of Partition they grouped with Hindus unlike the Ahmedis and even Christians who sort of worked with the Muslims.

(2.) the Khatri and Jat Sikh divide is also apparent where the Jat Sikhs are most pronounced in their distinct identity (Canada seems a refuge for irredentist South Asian ethnic groups since even the Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists have their base there).

(3.) Sikh identity crystallised in opposition to Muslims and the Mughals in the historic era (Bandi Chor & all that) but the main *threat* to individual Sikh identity is assimilation into a Hindu-Indian framework as opposed to the Muslims (hence why the Khalistani movement is friendly with Pakistan).

(4.) in terms of the “Dharmic identity”‘ whereby Sikhs, Jains & Buddhists group with Hindus in a broad India majoritarian identity; that seems fairly salient in much the same way ethnic whites were able to join the Wasp majority post WW2.

I also notice with interest the Tat Khalsa were helped in their translation efforts of their holy book by a coloniser; I see the imperialist hand in attempting to divide Indian religion.

On another note the Social Justice Ghazi in me was deeply offended by MP Johnny Mercer’s tweet.

I notice colonisers of all hues (see Lewis Hamilton’s latest controversial comments on the F1 in India) love to take potshots at Brownitude in moments of their crises.

I also found this article by Steve about blonde children being more “striking” to be rather ridiculous (as were his suggestion that Prince Harry married Ms. Markle to save the monarchy).

70 thoughts on “Hum Hindu Nahin”

  1. Sikhism was formed in opposition to the caste system. That’s one major difference from Hinduism right there. Also, the very strong belief that there is only one God. The Hindu Right wants to assimilate Sikhs within the Hindu fold, but we should ask actual Sikhs how they feel about that.

    There are Hindus in Pakistan and they celebrate Diwali. We started to celebrate Diwali at LUMS a few years ago. But you are right that mainstream Pakistanis do not feel connected to non-Islamic rituals.

      1. Sikhism has its own caste system.

        Something I find really ironic is people supposedly proud of their religion for being egalitarian as opposed to casteist Hinduism, going around with ‘proud Jatt’ in their Twitter bios.

        Would take some real mental gymnastics to do that.

        Imagine someone going on about how they are ‘proud Brahmins’. They’ll be immediately dubbed supremacists.

      2. Guru Nanak explicitly rejected caste and preached the equality of all. This despite the fact that he belonged to the relatively high Khatri caste.

        Wikipedia: ” Guru Nanak travelled far and wide teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one of His creations and constitutes the eternal Truth.[2] He set up a unique spiritual, social, and political platform based on equality, fraternal love, goodness, and virtue.[3][4][5]”

      3. Sikhism was a rejection of parts of both Islam and Hinduism. IMO it kept the best parts of each while jettisoning the worst. A shame the religion didn’t meet with more success.

        1. Fraxinicus, is there any part of Sikhism that is not part of Hinduism? Is there anything Nanaka said that other eastern masters haven’t also said?

          The goal of Hinduism is atheism. Or to transcend all theisms, all concepts, all boundaries, all meta-narratives and universalist norms, all forms, all qualities, all patterns, all assumptions. This is what Nanaka taught.

          For this reason, spiritual masters declare themselves to be atheist–or transcending all theisms and religions and Gods. Many Hindu masters declare themselves to not being part of any religion. In fact that is the “expectation” so to speak.

          Many Hindus are Nanaka Panthis and follow the Sikh Gurus. 92% of all Sikhs live in India. Many of the many Sikh traditions are deeply incorporated into Hinduism–including Sri Chand’s Udasi.

          I am thinking of writing more about this . . . including the schism happened in 1906. During this time several parts of the Sikh community were slip off, including the Hindu Nanaka Panthis, Udasi, and several parts of the Khalsa. At this time Hindu deities were removed from many Sikh Gurudwaras, including the Golden temple.

          This said, Hindu families in Punjab continued the tradition of donating one son from each family to the Sikh Khalsa. They did this because Hindus saw Sikhs as part of their faith and family. And because Hindus see Sikhs are the protectors of Bharat and Hindus.

          Guru Gobind Singh did a Yajna with Kashi brahmins where the divine mother (Kalika Devi (Chandi Goddess) and Bhagauti (Durga Goddess)) blessed Guru Gobind Singh as the protector of the Hindus. The Sikhs continue to bear this responsibility.

          Why do you say the Sikh religion did not meet with success? The Sikh gurus are deeply revered by Hindus and have significantly effected Hinduism as a whole and Bharat. If you go to Gurudwaras in India, including the Golden Temple . . . arguably a majority of the visitors are not Sikh.

          1. Perhaps Sikhs are satisfied with a stable population and the respect of other religious groups, but I’m not. Only a very small % of the subcontinent converted. More than Sikhs might have hoped for during the worst periods of their persecution, but the religion has met with negligible success compared to Islam or Hinduism, or Buddhism back in its heyday.

    1. Kabir bro,

      You don’t know very much about anything in this world but you absolutely do NOT know anything about Sikhism and/or its very complicated relation to Hinduism. I would advise you to not go around making such an abysmal fool of yourself by commenting on this subject.

      Stick to finding out micro-aggressions whenever somebody talks about Islam. Thats your specialty.

      1. Thanks for the gratuitous advice but no one was asking you.
        Feel free to ignore my comments but you have no right to censor me. I cited my sources.

        1. Your “sources”. LOL
          All I can say is, you will sure go very far in humanities citing Wikipedia as a source.

          1. This is not an academic forum. People here cite Wikipedia quite a bit. And that statement has itself been sourced.

            Again, feel free to ignore me. But I have a right to comment on whatever I wish. Cheers.

  2. The very fact someone had to say Hum Hindu nahin shows lot of people believed it.
    About caste in Sikhs, I once made a quick study of matrimonial column in Hindustan Times Delhi ed and looked for caste identification and preference among both brides and grooms. Sikhs were as keen on caste preference as Punjabi Hindus, in fact more so. So much for opposition to casteism.
    Casteism or caste preference in marriage does not depend on sectarian affiliations in India.

    In fact 30% of Punjabi population comes under SC category, includes both Hindus and Sikhs

      1. there are many aspects to caste.

        for e.g.

        North India originally had only one caste i.e. these were the fire ritualists whose knowledge of rituals was passed down from genration to generation in families. While they were caste population their position in society was mobile and you had to qualify by acquiring appropriate fire ritual knowledge to be considered a ‘brahmin’ in this early North indian society

        origin of hierarchical caste system is in ancient dravidian (Tamilian) society.

        follow this link to know how the caste actually developed..this quoran has given appropriate sources wherever required. basic knowledge of indian caste dynamics is required to fully appreciate his answer..

        1. origin of hierarchical caste system is in ancient dravidian (Tamilian) society.

          Strike that.

          Better phrasing would be origin of endogamous caste units based on occupation united under a zamindar is feature of Dravidian society. The position of caste in society may or may not be hierarchical.

          Even today most of the ruling castes of south are hereditary zamindar castes.

          1. Tolkin,Yes, i have read in a paper that Tamil sangam age poetry (which dates to around ~300 BCE to 300 AD) describes a heterogenous society where endogamy was performed among groups having same occupations . Sangam age poetry definitely can’t be subscribed to Indo-Aryans lol. IMO, some form of endogamous structure might even be present in IVC 🙂

            “most of the ruling castes of south are hereditary zamindar castes.” — Who ironically come under OBC tag lol.

    1. No one said that today’s Sikhs are practicing their religion as it was intended to be practiced by Guru Nanak. There is technically no caste in Islam but that doesn’t stop people from specifying “Syed” etc in their matrimonial advertisements.

      The only religion that explicitly endorses caste is Hinduism.

      1. Agree with that. But also unlike Sikhism or Islam, Hindus are not bound by any book.
        So they can pick and choose how they want to define their morality.
        ( swa-dharma vs sadharana dharma).

        I usually see this as a blind spot among my Sikh or Muslim friends when we talk about religion, who are quick to judge Hinduism for its supposed faults.

        This is not to deny caste, which is a social fact of the subcontinent.

        But there’s much hope for reform as has been happening for the last century or so.

        1. Hindus need not bound by the book that need not necessarily mean they can outgrow “caste”. Caste is as much a essential part of Hinduism as Vedas/Gods are. For caste to go, Hinduism itself needs to metamorphosis into something different.

          1. Well, constitution of India itself (under which every citizen HAS to be categorized under GC/OBC/SC/ST ) is one barrier. When “Dalit Christians” start demanding reservation under SC fold (which , imo, is very soon going to legal sanction), then one should understand it’s not going to go away in the near future. When Jatts were protesting hard for OBC status , it was found that Ahirs(Yadavs) and Kurmis in Uttar pradesh who come under OBC were ahead of them in several educational,economic parameters.
            There was also a demand for SC status for some muslim communities back in 2006 but it didn’t materialize(Currently ~40% of Muslim pop is under OBC)
            Under such laws which identifies backwardness and doles out benefits explictly to groups/jaatis/tribes instead of individuals within that groups with no consideration to their individual economic status, the tribalism is not going to die anytime soon.
            Isn’t it weird that even after 70 years of independence, the GC % is shrinking and other category % are increasing and many GC jaatis are fighting for the ‘backward’ tag ?

            As for egalitarian Sikhism, conversions to christianity is happening at a rapid pace in Punjab. The real % of christian population in Punjab and rest of India(Some Church pastors expect it to be around 7-10 % in Punjab) will only be found once GOI starts recognizing SC status in Christianity. Currently , SC status is not recognized within Muslims and Christians legally.

        1. Yes but there was a point in South Asia when all the castes mixed. The Brahmins have AASI and the adivasis have Aryan ancestry..

          So caste must have crystallised at some point maybe as a reaction to such intense mixing in the post Harrapan era?

          1. Its all guess work. Some say its during Gupta period so that they can piss on Brahminism/Hinduism since Gupta were distinctly hindu. Some say post harappan because they can piss on Aryans. Everyone has its fav punching bag. I feel there might not be a meta narrative /specific reason after all, things just happened over time.

          2. I believe there are some gross generalizations in this post, and the other post regarding color and three way admixture. In general, while generalizations can be made, relating melanin index with distance from Khyber, % ANI, or caste (especially the large OBC and forward castes) is difficult. Saying Gujaratis have a particular color is meaningless as there are 62.7 million of them, and MI variation is like 20, as much as Europeans.

            Regarding caste and years to formation of the caste, you can refer to Moorjani’s Table 1. While ANI on this paper is no longer a precise concept and is some combination of Arya and earlier (Razib corrcet me if I am using ANI and Arya wrong), the date of caste formation is at the latest 2000 years BP, and at the earliest as much as 3800 yeras BP. The date of caste formation has no relation to Gupta empire, and there is no reason to postulate the existence of pure unadmixed population from which many castes were formed. This will be clear by following multiple waves of admixture model which, both crystallizes castes while varying the percentages of three(four if you include east asian) components.

          3. “Yes but there was a point in South Asia when all the castes mixed. The Brahmins have AASI and the adivasis have Aryan ancestry..”

            I don’t understand the question.

            Jati is Jati. Varna is Varna. The two are not identical. Jatis had patterns of marriage. That does not mean that these Jatis neatly fit into Varnas.

            Are you familiar with the story of Jaabaali and Vedic saint Gautama?
            Gautama was the ancestor of Buddha and Jain Tirthankara Indrabhuti Gautama.

      2. “The only religion that explicitly endorses caste is Hinduism.”

        What is caste? Caste was invented by Portugal around 1500 AD.

        Bharat has two different things:

        At some point . . . some say 600 AD, some say 200 AD (including a study that Razib cited) nepotism and class seeped into Bharat and Jati started to become correlated with Varna, but the correlation was much smaller than 1. People who should have been thrown out of the Varna of their family stopped being thrown out. And people who should have been promoted to a Varna started having a harder time being promoted to said Varna (not that this stopped happening).

        Where in eastern scripture does it say that Varna is correlated with Jati? Several Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita say the opposite in fact. That Varna (division of labor based on merit, competence and capacity) is based not on Jati; but based on Karma (action). Several Upanishads reject Varna entirely. Several large streams of Hinduism (including Sikhism) reject Varna altogether.

        Hinduism is an open architecture open source ecosystem based on freedom of art, thought, intuition and feelings. Hinduism has no “core” so to speak. But if there was a “core”, Varna would not be part of it. The fusing of Varna with Jati would definitely not be part of it. For that matter, reincarnation wouldn’t be part of it either.

    2. There was a graphic posted on one of Razib’s old posts, showing prevalence of caste among different Indian religions. IIRC it went Hindu > Sikh > Muslim > Buddhist, with Jains somewhere surprisingly near the top.

      So, castism is still prevalent among Sikhs, but the religion has probably served to weaken it compared to Hinduism.

      1. Fraxinicus, some parts of India have only Brahmins. For example I was told that the Sharada civilization consisted only of Bramhmins (Afghanistan and Kashmir).

        What do you consider this?

      2. But the long Muslim rule and conversion from all castes to Islam had already undermined caste in Northwest subcontinent. So, Sikhism’s social base was already diluted of caste. Even after 500 years, casteism among Sikhs is not less than Hindus as the matrimonial adverts and caste based reservations show.

  3. “Mass brawl?” Hardly. Very heated and some shoving around? Yes. But certainly not a “mass brawl.”

    1. Yes, I saw the video and saw nothing.

      The SriLankan parliament refuses to recognize Rajapakse as a prime minister, as he was installed by the president. He does not have the votes. Speaker Karu jayasuriya has already told the president that a majority in the parliament does not want Rajapaksha and want to reinstall sirisena. Rajapaksha supportesrs have tried to prevent the speaker from even convening the assembly. Given the seriousness of the situation, I am glad that the legislators acted in this manner. Idiot British newsman making comments without understanding a damn thing. we should not echo this.

  4. sikhs have own path,most hindus dont care as we dont play the assimilation game, thats xtianity,islam. caste was about division of labor, in presence of options for people to choose, with own money so one can live without family approval and law to protect them, it wont matter as much, Lets see in next 50 yrs on that. My friends are wedded in inter caste marriage. As to how muslims see past in same sense as greeks/romans. This just isnt true. One can see respect in west for hellenic/rome that is used as foil to criticise christianity from within as well. Finally about being reminded about non islamic past leading to affirming to islamic shade, that is true irrespective of who is the one reminding, whether it be outsiders or islamic fundamentalist. we are what we are. That never needs any defense, its what we do that might need defense. To confuse/conflate one with other already is a form of valuing religious fundamentals above trying to live a decent life.

  5. Yes, the “Hindu substrate” must be responsible for Pakistani superstition. After all, the Arabs – uncorrupted by Hinduism – are so rational/logical and accept scientific explanations for everything. 🙂

    And if not for the “Brahmin brigade” Pakistanis would be lighting diyas at every opportunity. Just look at how much respect all Muslim societies have towards their pre-Islamic ancestors.

    1. Indonesia. The difference is that in the west, people do often use hellenics as a foil to criticize xtianity and people dont bother with that , they dont say that to do that irks them so much as to become xtian fundamentalist even more. Goes to show the difference between “seeing truth value of something as such” versus “is it sunnah or not”.

      1. I am not responding to you personally, I can see it being framed in a wrong way, however, there are many other people who do say such things. Again, one has to observe the distinction between west where one uses hellenics not merely to pat themselves on the back but to criticize their present way of life or even religion as well.

  6. On a less sarcastic note, we really should do a pre-check on our theories by looking for counter-examples to our preferred narratives. Whenever doing an ‘X causes Y’ kind of claim, it is a good idea to look for ‘(Not X) AND Y’ cases. If there are enough of those consider the possibility that Y is independent of X.

    1. Great comment.

      For example if Indian people belonging to ALL religions from Christianity to Islam to Sikhism/Jainism/Buddhism follow a caste system with all its taboos against fraternizing across caste lines, then perhaps its time to drop the canard the caste system has something to do with Hinduism.

      Maybe its buried much deeper in Indian psychology or even human psychology. Along with social differences and differences in religious belief, people are very perceptive of differences in physiognomy, and are more comfortable with marrying and having progeny within their own socio-cultural and ethnic communities.

      Just because certain Hindu texts mention this as the correct way to go about life, should not allow us to conclude that it is these “Brahmanical” texts which led to the caste system in India and were the Brahmins not there Indians would have been one single ethnic community with total genetic mixing.

        1. Could you please elaborate instead of just stating it as a fact again and again.

          Since Independence, the Indian govt. has taken several steps to uplift dalits. Do right wing Hindus protest in India by citing sources from Hindu texts saying that Dalits should remain oppressed since its divinely ordained?

          As a practicing Hindu, I do not have to refer to the caste system in any decision that I take in my life. Ofcourse, most people chose to marry within their caste, but what if they don’t. How will it affect Hinduism in any manner? Inter caste marriages nowadays are not a trivial number. Atleast in cities, caste boundaries are increasingly becoming fluid.

          Also, I would be happy to see Dalits becoming priests. Its already started in many temples across India. The Bhumi-pujan of Ayodhya Ram Mandir was done by a Dalit. These things have had no effect on the Hindu faith.

          Most white people marry other white people. Does Christian doctrine get affected in any way?

        2. Yes, I agree with that. All South Asian religions have caste to some extent. But I would say for South Asian Muslims and Christians this comes through interaction with Hinduism. Islam doesn’t have an equivalent of “The Laws of Manu”. It is not unreasonable that a minority group would pick some practices from the majority. Further, since most South Asian Muslims used to be Hindu, they were practicing some form of casteism prior to conversion and that continued on some level even afterwards.

          A few months ago when we were discussing Sujatha Gidla’s book it was pointed out that her family remained Dalit long after they had converted to Christianity.

      1. >For example if Indian people belonging to ALL religions from Christianity to Islam to Sikhism/Jainism/Buddhism follow a caste system with all its taboos against fraternizing across caste lines, then perhaps its time to drop the canard the caste system has something to do with Hinduism.

        Very big brained comment. Castes among South Asian people are usually extensions of Hindu castes. Also, changing your religion doesn’t mean you immediately break off the shackles of economic and social injustice caused by your designated caste. You could very well be doing the same occupation your caste was tied to despite being Muslim or Christian a century after your ancestors converted.

        1. @Mir
          If your desert cult cannot even uplift a single convert after having political control of many areas of the subcontinent for several centuries, then your desert cult is useless. More so if your desert cult flatters itself on its ‘egalitarianism’.

          1. >If your desert cult cannot even uplift a single convert after having political control of many areas of the subcontinent for several centuries, then your desert cult is useless.

            Even bigger brained post. Since you’re able to understand that no other religion was able to supplant the chains imposed on lower castes by Hinduism, how can you not realize how retarded your previous comment was?

    2. i thought we were supposed to be doing this in general. That isnt the issue.Because we are not talking about things in static, things are dynamic and change. so Not X And Y can simply be because X did cause Y and now Y exists independently. so there has to be a dynamic component to this as well.

  7. This is only indirectly related to this post but after becoming aware of Brown Pundits and becoming more and more aware of the world in general, I think I am now capable to see how really important and fundamental the phenomenon of the mishmash of social vertical and horizontal stratification (historically and slightly in the current too probably (but remember that at least the overt showcasing of one’s superiority based on caste is illegal in India)), a pattern of small-group endogamy which is generally quite strict, and probably some other aspects, that we call caste system, is to traditional Hinduism. I used to earlier believe that even a sort of very radical social change involving quite widespread intercaste marriages of both the historical Anuloma and historical Pratiloma type may not pose such an existential threat to Hinduism but I’m now inclined to believe that it probably wouldn’t be the case. Hinduism seems really dependent on caste and it may turn out to be the case that without the old pagan tribal aspect of caste, Hinduism as a religion can very well become like one of the Western Abrahamic religions which are personally not very appealing to me (I am aware of this old Semitic-Indo-European clash in terms of religion and I am personally very much on the side of the Indo-Europeans because Semitic ethical monotheism may have been so groundbreakingly revolutionary for some while in the beginning but it does not appear to be the case now; on the other hand, the Indo-European/Indo-European-Indus-innerIndian pattern of religion is at least not very intellectually (if not practically also) extremist and has a very mild character practically speaking at least because of the polytheism in practice (note that even staunch Vaishnavites typically have a lot of deities to worship: even Devi features, perhaps in very low amounts, in their religion as the sister of the Lord)). A practical polytheism with some kind of an underlying monist/monist-dualist/dualist intellectual beliefs seem quite optimal to me speaking in terms of Hindu spirituality (in my personal view with very limited knowledge, codependent origination seems to be the truth with some sort of a miserable stoic character and life of a Typical Indian Man (TIM) as one of the best paths to be followed (I say that but I don’t do that lol; no doubt about it at all; I think I’m the farthest thing you can get to a TIM and I’m extraordinarily earth-shatteringly sad that this is not the case) in life in terms of ethics (though perhaps a very warped type of ethical system when viewed with the lens of the currently encouraged type of ethical system in the Western world which is one of radical liberalism which is kinda uber-maternal and diametrically opposite to the typical views of Religion)). (I personally like radical liberalism quite a bit in a guilty-pleasure sort of way as I kinda require that to even continue existing in this world and to maternally pardon myself to avoid ending up extinguishing my life before it gets extinguished through some other means for either this time/the only time but I’m also kinda anhedonic and masochistic in an extraordinarily deep manner psychologically so there you go.)

    So having accepted the fundamental necessity of a broad pattern of caste endogamy to Hinduism, I’m now majorly left with some curiosities and practical problems. Could you guys help me in that regard? Majorly, the following are my concerns:

    1. How does/likely Hinduism deals with the exceptions to the above pattern of general caste endogamy, in the current as well as the future? This is probably my stupid maternal liberal instinct kicking in thinking about the exceptions and minorities but you may probably consider it as a curiosity for the purpose of this discussion. What if some type of an Anuloma or worse, Pratiloma type marriage occurs in some Hindu family? I know that the Indian state is obviously okay with this but how does Hinduism deal with this? I read somewhere that in olden days people like this would have lost caste. Does this mean they would have lost their gods as well? On a much more practical plane, does this mean that people would have gotten divorced from their parents’ families too? Broader society also perhaps? Conjecturing the above or even half-desiring the opposite about the past Hinduism, is it gonna be the case that an ideal type of Hinduism of the current and the future even theoretically does not necessarily excommunicate people from Hinduism who married out of caste but just continues to discourage intercaste marriages for the wider population as a whole?

    2. Does one also have to believe in the vertical stratification aspect of the caste system that groups people into high-ranking and low-ranking people groups in a very real and physical manner, in addition to just metaphorically, to be Hindu? Or is there a way we can adhere to just the metaphoric aspect of this while scrapping the physical aspect away? That is to say, is Hinduism okay if the vertical aspect of the stratification is divested of its physical manifestations while sticking to some kind of metaphorical interpretations of it and if the necessary physical stratification in the form of caste endogamy is sorta completely reconfigured in terms of horizontal stratification and purely that?

    3. The third one is a bit of a hypothetical but I want it out of the way too. What if some person or other decides to marry some other person of a very different caste (let’s assume for this purpose that this person is not interested in marrying a similar caste person from another region speaking a different language) to reduce inbreeding levels in the progeny? I remember reading somewhere that inbreeding is actually not a big problem and it can be corrected in just one generation or something like that, but what if this person is part of that mating event? I am inclined to believe Hinduism is okay with this sort of a thing if the marriage is going to be of the historical Anuloma type as at least the Indo-European-Indus/Indus parts of Hinduism had a concept called Niyoga which was a policy of theirs in response to a similar problem, but how will it be if this is a historical Pratiloma type thing?

    Or is my fundamental consideration underlining this post quite wrong and it is in fact the case that Hinduism can survive, with a distinct, non-Semitic-like identity at that, even in the absence of a caste system? I will be extremely grateful to y’all if you kindly enlighten me in this regard.

    1. I was also thinking about this other thing which is also related to this here: if it’s the case that the caste system is Low-Hindu in origin as Zack Zavidé thinks (I forgot to mention that I too personally think that might be the case; the early grass-and-fire-venerating Indo-Europeans seem too nice to me personally to do such things lol; really!), then is there a possibility that we can High-ise this aspect away from the Hindu religion with the help of inputs from some kind of pure Indo-European or Indo-Iranian religious aspects probably existing somewhere in some kind of a pure form, possibly as seen in the extreme earliest of the Vedas or something like that perhaps?

      1. Yes we can use the word as “Folk Hinduism.”

        Incidentally just as Arab initially meant Bedouin and Turk meant nomad before both ethnonyms were expanded to include the sedentary populations much in the same way Hinduism initially referred to a basal identity common to the Indo-Gangetic plain.

        It’s only now that “Hinduism” refers to the High Vedic Hinduism.

        It’s why i think a Low/High Hindu distinction is so important.

        Low Hinduism almost certainly tapers off in Afghanistan and Burma and has features that traces back to the earliest settlement of the Subcontiinent – our common reviled/despised AASI foremothers..

        1. I agree broadly Zack Zavidé but Low Hinduism may not be fully derived from our AASI foremothers and their non-existent AASI would-bes but there might be some funny evil hand of your West Asian-origin Iran_N people in there too somewhere (no offence to you or any West Asian person at all!). Sorry lol but I’m quite West Asia-phobic personally. For no good reason maybe lol. Thank God in some ways the Indus Civilisation went extinct and the Indo-Europeans are in charge now everywhere, ranging from the old high-IQ Greeks and Indo-Aryans to the adorable English speakers of the modern world.

        2. Again, I recommend reading Razib’s five summarizing points in
          There is no extant AASI-only population, nor one existed in India for thousand years. Even the INPE had some AASI. Caste system formulated by InPE admixture with AASI started 4000 years BP. All that the Steppe_MLBA-INpe admixed people did was place them on top of the caste totem as Brahmins and Kshatriyas while pushing out SC/ST people outside the Hindu fold. It could be easily postulated that the origins of Hinduism are with InPE-AASI admixture (and this might be the low Hindu) and Vedic ideas (which are themselves from INpe-led Avestan ideas as the Anti-Avestan) were blended beyond 3000 BP. Much of the vedic was deprecated within 2000 years, and, possibly, the low Hindu ideas, low Hindu gods (shiva, Krishna and so on) ruled ascedndant even before 1000 AD. The idea of going back to Vedic to undo the caste system is very similar to trying to go back to the prophet’s ideas as aideological purity. It is going to do no such thing as undo the caste system. An easier way would be modernity and urbanization.

          1. While I may not agree with every detail of your post, I very much appreciate your suggestion at the end. But the only major problem is that Hindus don’t typically view Anglo-American as as venerable as they, for example, recently have begun to view the Vedas and the ancient Indo-Aryans. So we tend to see a lot of opposition to the probably a bit sneaky and subtle efforts of the Westernised and naturally historical upper caste-background Indians trying to liberalise India (some even saying it is another new type of Brahminisation! (well yeah, maybe, so what even if that’s the case? lol. But then these new type of mischief-makers conveniently also forget that B. R. Ambedkar of Maharashtra was very much self-made and chose to be Westernised himself without any much help, no thank you, from the evil upper caste individuals lol)). There are also the stupid civilisational jealousies (well, might only be mine lol) about the European Enlightenment and things like that (but if any good Indian child studying in a college or school is reading this due to some unfortunate circumstance, now just go and take a bath and forget everything what you just read here! Carl Friedrich Gauss is God for all practical purposes, don’t forget that!). It might take a bit more time for the good and benevolent English superstratum to show its effects.

          2. I find that I agree with many of the details in your post too!

            And sorry if I was some type of pAnakaMlO puDaka or something lol. I have observed that you did not address your comment to me in this comment chain but I felt that content-wise, you might have talked to me.

            And just to add a little bit more to my previous comment, it is also probably an existential angst-like issue (might be only of mine) to let go of Hinduism, Low majorly with bits of High here and there, or 50-50 Low-High perhaps, that we are familiar with and find dear, in so revolutionary a way by Westernising ourselves fully. Our religion is incompatible with modern Western concoction (just like any other religion) ultimately and that is a bit discomforting, isn’t it? Well, I probably can’t have it too easy as a mediocre coward, I guess. Lol! I also suspect that only one of the two will survive ultimately. What that is, I don’t know. The wild mother of the forest looking to reclaim everything back to herself says that it better be the second one while the very demanding and strict father in the sky says it better be the first. Haha!

          3. LOL! Please don’t read too much into the stupid pseudopsychology at the end. I can be so very extremely more stupid than normal sometimes and I don’t have the capability now to revel myself with a bucket more of pure unadulterated cringe trying to explain that nonsense in one more comment.

          4. Yes I agree that caste may have its origins in the Indus Valley.

            The Indo-Europeans has a tripartite divisional structure that probably (and *serendipitously*) fused with the Indus Valley structure.

            Also there must have been much mixture and probably caste was tightened to prevent it.

            The Aryans can be analogised in a way to the first wave of East India company who intermarried. If that had continue the “English” might very well have become a native dynasty and we might have seen a situation as in the Americas.

            It is only when English wives descended that the racial lines tightened up.

            In virtually all societies lineage through the father is paramount but class and caste also solidify when the mother’s ancestry is equally important (European royalty for instance).

            Medieval Islamic societies very rarely bother themselves with who the mother of the Ruler was.. I would like to know if the Chinese Harem system was much the same..

          5. In vedic age brahmins most probably had monopoly only over few practices such as coronating rulers and performing small fire rituals.After their climb up in top of social heirarchy with shastras like manusmriti they appropriated certain local practices, myths, stories with some vedic cultural flavor creating puranas, epics and other post-vedic literature. This puranas and epics contain most of the gods worshipped by hindus today.
            Krishna (Braj region), Rama (Ayodhya kshtriyas) were most probably historical figures/ancestors of indo-aryan kshatriyas who were later adapted by brahmin clergy as divine beings.

            Temple/idol worship and god image worship can be termed as middle hinduism( practiced by most hindus today) .

            Only things that can be termed as low hinduism today will be stone worship, animist practices, possession of spirits, witchcraft or similar occult practices in tibal and rural areas.

            As far as I know north India (traditional Aryavarta) does not have many occult practices barring some remote tribal areas. Maybe some north indian native here can confirm.

        3. “Hinduism initially referred to a basal identity common to the Indo-Gangetic plain.”

          You know what, the first explicit self identification as Hindu comes in Vijaynagar period, Krishnadeva Raya is praised as Hindu Suratrana. Suratrana is an interesting Sanskritization of Arabic ‘Sultan.

        4. Most probably this syncretism (apologies to my hindu hardliner brethren) of ‘high hinduism’ and esoteric Islamic philosophy that gives rise to the affinity among Pakistanis and North indians (more specifically punjabis and sindhis).

  8. As a side note, I understand that there are commenters on this forum who don’t like me (and there are those whom I don’t like either). It would be better just to ignore each other’s comments rather than engage in pointless back and forth or take gratuituous potshots. Thanks.

    People often do disagree vehemently but if you don’t have something substantive to add, why bother responding? It is also possible to disagree in a reasoned fashion without getting personal.

  9. Since i see a renewed interest regarding Caste debate i would urge all of you to check these latest ‘Caste’ interpretations –ṇa-Jāti_System

    Furthermore Caste is much more dependent upon tribal behaviors of food, profession, region & Endogamy. Thus at no point in history there ever was a pan-Indian religious identification system rather religions worked with the regional practices by appropriating them to gain greater authority of the regions for large kingdoms.

    Secondly the caste system was enforced during Islamic empires & accepted on the basis of Islamic scriptures although that is now being considered as the result of Hindu-Muslim interaction & Hindu influence.

    Lastly who is to say if the system would not have evolved into something akin to class system if there would have been no recognition of identities during colonial period ? – Is this not a revision of the earlier beliefs of Manu of Manusmriti then how can it then be claimed “Caste is as much a essential part of Hinduism as Vedas/Gods are. For caste to go, Hinduism itself needs to metamorphosis into something different.”

    Regarding Human behavior i would urge you to check these videos –

    The problem is words as well as situations both change constantly on the ground over a large period of the time thus words can describe only a part of truth but never full truth & all our interpretations of data are biased as they are to some degree based upon our own Individual as well as collective experiences hence one should always be skeptical of everything to some degree.

    Here is something i wrote in response to one EPW’s article –
    All castes are like a cage for state to put a group of people into, so that they can keep extrapolating the political gains by blaming casteism instead of challenging systemic structures which needs to be focused around individuality & optimal distribution of resources instead of collective identities but who is going to do that ?


    The problem of linking Caste to religion – {It follows Abrahamic Blind-spot trend started during first encounter of Christians as colonizers & Indigenous Heathens on Indian subcontinent.}

    Catholic Orientalism Portuguese Empire, Indian Knowledge (16th-18th Centuries)

    Disputed Mission: Jesuit Experiments and Brahmanical Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century India

    Missionary Tropics: The Catholic Frontier in India (16th-17th Centuries)

    Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893

    Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age (The New Cambridge History of India)

    Castes of Mind – Colonialism and the Making of Modern India

    Want to know about India’s indigenous theories of Law, Justice etc. check the work of authors like – Timothy Lubin, Ludo Rocher & Donald R. Davis Jr.

    1. “Is this not a revision of the earlier beliefs of Manu of Manusmriti ” — The assumption here is that Manusmriti(atleast the one was the translated and became the basis of ‘Hindoo’ law) is older than Vajrasuchi Upnishad. Western scholars like Patrick Olivelle give a date of ~ 1st century AD – 2nd century AD for MS.

      But that’s not the major issue. The major issue is trying to find a ‘scriptural doctrine’ for a certain set of behaviors of people when most people are not even aware of the existence of the ‘scripture’ and probably never had been.

      1. “Is this not a revision of the earlier beliefs of Manu of Manusmriti ” If you read that paragraph completely then it was in response to the statement – Caste is as much a essential part of Hinduism as Vedas/Gods are. For caste to go, Hinduism itself needs to metamorphosis into something different.

        While your point is true as well & i have already mentioned it various times in many debates earlier.

  10. Words are tool of knowledge formation & knowledge formation is a tool for social transformation hence i believe till Indian govt. won’t stop recognizing people on the basis of caste the caste will remain alive.

  11. Deep bhatnagar, you do have good sources of knowledge, you should perhaps become contributor and write about all your sources, thoughts. Thank you.
    If powers that be allow it.

    1. Glad that someone was willing to take the time to check the sources & glad that you found them worthwhile.

        1. I don’t know how to start a thread so help me out or don’t ask me why i don’t make threads for these discussions.

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