The material wages of caste

When perusing Twitter I occasionally see arguments between the troll Araingang and contributors to this weblog on various topics. Many times I don’t really what the argument is about because I feel it’s deeply semantic.

So, for example, caste, varna, and jati. I know the dictionary definition of all this stuff and the various arguments. As an atheist, and someone who has “no caste” or varna or jati, I’m not very interested in theological arguments as to the origin of these concepts, their validity, and their application. Muslims for example can write 1,000-page books on Tawhid. I don’t care. What I care about is the application of Shariah law upon dhimmis and the heterodox. The rest is commentary.

In the 2000’s I read books such as Nicholas Dirks’ Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. The argument and evidence marshaled suggest that the raw materials of the caste system predate the British, but their system of manipulation, organization, and rationalization was critical.

Then, in the period after 2010, I began reading and analyze the genetic data. I was shocked at how clear and distinct varna and jati differences were. My friend Surya Yalamanchili sent me his DNA last year, and I asked him if he was Kamma. He had no idea what that meant, but the genetic evidence seemed persuasive to me from other people he clustered within my private data. He asked his mother, and she said “yes.” He was shocked. I was not.

The conclusion I draw from this, along with patterns such as higher steppe ancestry in “higher varna,” is that there are deep roots and structures to the inequality we see across the Indian subcontinent. It is possible that in fact, the jatis were “separate but equal.” But I doubt that just as I doubt the “peace” Islam imposed upon dhimmis was welcomed on the whole (in some cases, yes). Dalits in particular have very small effective populations. That means their genes show evidence of high levels of inbreeding because of incredibly small marriage networks.

This post is less about what I believe, then trying to understand what you know and believe. The genetic data is something I am familiar with. I work with it. The historical evidence I do not know. Were there Dalit kings? Were there long periods where Brahmins were subordinate as menial servants to Sudra jatis?

I understand that Hindus of a more progressive bent are uncomfortable with the association between caste and their religion and identity. Religion is what man makes it, and so I do not see its connection to Hinduism as necessary, ineluctable, and eternal. But, the impact of caste is so strongly stamped on the genes of so many Indians I cannot brush it away as a detail of history.

+5

90 Replies to “The material wages of caste”

  1. My issue is that I’ve heard of many examples in history/folklore of castes coming from heterodox backgrounds (granted they might be exceptions), and I’d assume they would be reflected in the genetic studies.

    For example, Matti Brahmins of Karnataka claim that they originally come from the Mogaveera fishing community, but they were granted Brahmin status by a saint. J.H. Hutton in “Castes of India” wrote that Pokhar Sevaka Brahmins of Rajaputana have Mer (Shudra) origins, and Vyasokta Brahmins of Bengal claim to be descended of fishermen.

    Plus, I feel like Rajputs should definitely have a higher rate of exogamous relationships just because I’ve read so many examples of them. Arvind Sharma’s book (“Hinduism as a Missionary Religion”) claimed that 1000 years ago, there were cases of Rajput men marrying Turkic/Persian Muslim women who would then adopt Hinduism after marriage. I also remember reading that Koli women in Gujarat would intermarry with Rajput men as a form of hypergamy.

    There’s also the case of Meenachil Karthas, who were originally Rajputs from Mewar (Rajasthan) from the House of Maharana Pratap, but they settled in Kerala and assimilated as a local Nair clan. Apparently, there are also examples of intermarriage between these Kartha Nairs and original Nairs.

    Do we just not have any genetic data on these “outlier” groups? Or were these different groups just making stuff up about their origins?

    1. I feel most of the intermediary caste groups stories of Kshatriya, Brahmin or Rajput lineage are just that. Stories which lend them lineage. The whole Shivaji Rajput thing. I doubt Rajput travelled all the way to Kerala or some fisher clans getting all the way up to Brahmins. In Central India you have tribal groups who claim Rajput/Kshatriya lineage. Or the whole Bhumihar lineage controversy.

      The only group who demonstrably moved up from shudra to UCs are Kayasth. And that too because they are an administrative caste and not really a historic caste.

  2. Were there long periods where Brahmins were subordinate as menial servants to Sudra jatis?

    I don’t follow the relevance of phrasing the question that way, what insight that framing is intended to generate.

  3. Do we just not have any genetic data on these “outlier” groups? Or were these different groups just making stuff up about their origins?

    the ‘rajput’ is a huge category! pretty heterogenous.

    i’ve never gotten a sample of a ‘brahmin’ that didn’t look steppe enriched. except for one guy…who honestly i suspect didn’t know he was adopted or something. he didn’t seem surprised (he was a niyogi brahmin).

    I don’t follow the relevance of phrasing the question that way, what insight that framing is intended to generate.

    don’t worry about my intentions. answer my question, or don’t.

  4. Since I’m not on social media and don’t follow the commentary and argumentation there, it’s not clear to me precisely what he controversy is about. Do the Internet Hindutva people deny the saliency of caste in Indian history? Or are they in denial about the deep endogamy in the subcontinent which is now apparent from the genetic data?

    Two unchallenged constants of Indian society for the past 2-3 millenia are: (1) the arranged marriage system that ensures caste endogamy, and (2) the strict association of a caste (or even subcaste) with a certain societal function (we can call it a profession, but that would be a modern term).

    On the specific questions you’ve raised, the idea of a Dalit (untouchable) king would be an oxymoron (inconsistent with the above axioms), as that is not the function of a Dalit in society; it’s the function of a kshatriya. So I can’t think of any example from history, nor do I think a plausible one exists. I have read that the Mauryas were of Sudra origin, but that’s pretty much the only example I can think of. My guess is that occasional transgressions occurred but society rallied around really quickly to relabel the transgressors (i.e., a Sudra who seized power would be anointed a kshatriya and people would try their best to forget their origins).

    Of course, these are my speculations based on (1) some knowledge of Indian history, (2) present genetic data, (3) having a sense of how Indian society worked in the 20th century, when conservative values of the past still held sway.

    1. @Numinous I think it is not a good idea to extrapolate from stereotypes (which unfortunately some of our shastras paid lip service too, which played into the British and later liberal hands). While I haven’t investigated in detail, I quote from the following article by a very knowledeable scholar, whom I tend to trust on specific factoids of the sort he has presented here:
      http://indiafacts.org/exploring-the-world-of-varna/

      Also, in our Purāṇas it is said (Viṣṇupurāṇa 4.24.20-21, Matsyapurāṇa 171.17-18) that after the Nanda kings of Magadha (5th century BCE), no kṣatriya king ruled India – we mostly had śūdra kings, sometimes vaiśya kings, and rarely brāhmaṇa kings.

      The Mauryas, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Vijayanagara kings, the Cholas, the Pandyas, the Yadavas (also known as Sevunas), the Kakatiyas, the Chandelas, the Paramaras, the Rajputs, the Pratiharas, the Palas, the Senas, the Chauhans, the Rathods, and the Tomars are some of the śūdra kings. The Guptas were vaiśya kings. The Shungas, the Kadambas, and the Pallavas were brāhmaṇa kings.

      I suspect Razib already knew part of this, and that that is why he specifically asked about Dalit kings instead of about Shudra kings.

      1. @froginthewell,
        Given the two lines you quoted, I interpreted that Razib was conflating Dalit and Sudra.

        My understanding is that Sudra is within Varna system while Dalit was outside Varna system. But Dalit is a newer word. Untouchables is the correct word to accurately distinguish between Sudra and Dalit. Even Scheduled castes doesn’t quite capture this as the same jati can be either SC or OBC based on the region.

        There can’t be anyone serving an “untouchable” king let alone Brahmins. If they become kings, they will be automatically recategorized as Sudras.

        1. @Violet My default assumption was that Razib knows too much to ever conflate Dalit and Shudra. While you are right that the “dalit” question could be reframed with “untouchable” instead, “Avarna” or “Varnabahya” may have been a bigger class, and I already don’t know a concrete instance of a king from an “Avarna” background who was reclassified as Shudra for the purpose (though it feels likely that that must have happened).

          Anyway let me add some speculations. The smrtikAra-s and the like tied themselves into knots trying to map varna (which their theory “informed” them of) into jati (which they saw with their own eyes). The pecking order between jatis probably never got drastically upended but did witness occasional flips, and the varna-jati maps drawn up by the high priests of the smartic complex were modified to reflect these changes. At any given point of time, the varna-jati map fell along the following pattern:

          Brahmins – the only near-permanent varna, consisting of multiple jatis; cultivated writing, provided bureaucratic services and ritualistic “deployments” to whoever was the powerful jati.

          Shudras – all the powerful/landed/rich non-brahmin jatis.

          Avarnas – the rest.

          Some managed to call themselves kshatriyas or vaishyas, but those are exceptions that prove the rule.

          1. @froginthewell,

            Avarna is sometimes too big of a bin because mixed-jati products fell into it too.

            I agree with your assessment on mapping but perhaps we are missing ground knowledge/oral history from the North. Because Brahmin and the rest is a South of Vindhyas issues.

            Also, the first genetic evidence of 2000year endogamy is from Andhra Vaisyas. So, I am not entirely sure if we can dismiss all Kshatriyas and Vaisyas as category error.

          2. @Violet, Indeed I should have emphasized that what I wrote was speculative, admittedly kind of hypocritical on my part given one of my admonitions elsewhere in the thread. I was summarizing what I interpreted from reading some of the trad gurus; they could be wrong, as could be my interpretation of them.

            That India Facts article I linked above says that the eighth Mandala of the Rig Veda recognizes only three Varnas, with Vaishyas being just the “laiety”. I have read it said that three is this three-varna system elsewhere in the Indo European literature from outside India, and that this classification perhaps corresponded to the three “estates” of the “estate general” of medieval France.

            Of these three “original” varnas, only the Brahmin varna would be “preserved” (in a very weak sense that too), because they stood apart by being the preservers of the vedas; the Kshatriyas and the Vish just lost their identity into the matrix including the Indus valley people and the IHGs. So there is this claim that when the Manusmriti occasionally writes hostile stuff about Shudras (and isn’t hostile at other times), they were copy-pasted stuff from earlier versions dating back to when Shudra was not a Varna but an entirely separate group of people who were at war with the Steppe Aryans. Therefore, pretty much everyone else became a “Shudra” or an “Avarna”, the distinction between them roughly correlating with the neolithic farmer ancestry. This is why varna in India is semi-fictitious; but jati is real because that was the lived reality in the agrarian and hence likely inegalitarian Indus valley.

            Again, I emphasize that I am only summarizing the view of people who know much better than me, a view that I am somewhat favourably disposed towards. I will also like to see the inputs from the north of the kind you mentioned. One point in favour of what you said may be that Bali has all four Varnas.

          3. Correction to “article I linked above says that the eighth Mandala of the Rig Veda recognizes only three Varnas” – the article only quotes a verse which gives a three-fold classification mentioning B, K and V, I shouldn’t have made a sweeping assertion about the whole of the Mandala.

          4. @Violet My default assumption was that Razib knows too much to ever conflate Dalit and Shudra.

            i’m not a moron. i knew the difference and was precise with my language.

            violet apparently thinks i’m an idiot.

          5. @Razib,

            I don’t ever think of you as idiot. Lol.
            I thought you were wanting us to conflate them because of your reply to froginthewell. I should’ve been more precise in my reply to froginthewell.

            Like I said, Dalit isn’t a precise enough word to apply in historical context. Leading to confusion between numinous, frog and me.

  5. A lot of major landed jatis in the South have their origins in imperial sanction. My own community’s oral history extends to one of the Middle Cholas just before the 10th century. My ancestors were specifically tasked with expeditionary duties – to Kadaram specifically (modern Malaysian peninsula). After excessive attrition on voyages – some of the remnant population were granted agricultural lands by sanction. So the kula split into kshatriya and satshudra varnas.

    The varna system was strictly enforced on the kulas by the Cholas – for kshatriyas and vaniyas, duty was rigidly imposed as the imperial system depended on the ability of kulas (communities) to provide swordhands and trade taxes. They devised a further system of Idangai (left hand) and Valangai (right hand) classification of kulas. This is somewhat akin to landed aristocracy and merchant aristocracy. The Valangai had the power to own agricultural land – the Idangai did not have that.

    Therefore these specific varnas inside the kula had very little room for survival when the dynasty died out or were defeated in battle. These kshatriyas then degraded into landless peasants and thats why today a lot of SCs call themselves as degraded kshatriyas.

    In addition to jati, varna, kula – the other important term in usage was jana. The term indicates “people” in the traditional sense. But it means a body of people on whom varna rules have not been imposed. They were free to pick any vocation they wanted. Each kula (community) had its own component of jana (helpers and menial workers)

    The kammas are called as kammakula or kammanadu traditionally – implying a community of people with a regional basis. There must definitely be Brahmin, non-Brahmin and Satshudra varnas within that kula. They will definitely have a king story in their history – after all they are landed and only kings had the right to bestow lands in perpetuity. Only British classification has solidified them into a jati – which they were not!

    1. Are there twice-born ceremony for different Varnas within a kula? (This is the first time I am hearing about Varnas within a kula)

      My understanding of Varna is that Kshatriyas and Vaisyas had twice-born thread ceremony. Absence of which leaves everyone as Sudra irrespective of their actual function.

      I haven’t ever heard of existence of Kamma-Brahmins. Although Kamma has reputation for patronage of arts and later cinema.

      1. This is the first time I am hearing about Varnas within a kula

        Why? How did the Satshudra innovation come into play? I believe this is because of the desire to maintain harmony within a Kula. The concept of “Änuloma” marriages were historically created to enable kulas to meet the exigencies of nature.

        Ambashta – Vaishya mother/Brahmin father, Nishad – Shudra mother/Brahmin father, Murdhav – Kshatriya mother/Brahmin father, Ugra – Shudra mother/Kshatriya father, Magadh – Kshatriya mother/Vaishya father.

        Before someone starts shouting “trad”, this is just to show the recognition and formalisation of varna mixing within a kula.

        I haven’t ever heard of existence of Kamma-Brahmins.

        Kammelu-Niyogis

        1. @ugra,

          I agree to the inter-Varna marriages. (I refer them in my comment too) but I haven’t seen them as restricted to same kula.

          If a marriage between Brahmin-Sudra is allowed, I don’t think a Kamma Naidu can only marry a Kammelu-Niyogi ( admittedly all Brahmins just go by as Brahmins IRL, nobody ever boasted to me that they were so-and-so Brahmins). The inter-Varna marriage rules are the same between Kamma Naidu and Iyer Brahmin (because what you described is in manu-smriti too).

          In any case, is there a upanayanam ceremony for Kshatriyas and Vaisyas in Tamilnadu? It’s definitely not in Andhra or Karanataka as far as I have known.

          1. In any case, is there a upanayanam ceremony for Kshatriyas and Vaisyas in Tamilnadu?

            I know one Telugu fellow who has a sacred thread and said he was a Vysya and got it by the usual traditional upanayana. In Kerala it seems to happen for kings of Cochin and Travancore (the latter probably dating back to the hiranyagarbha of “the” Marthanda Varma) but not for the Zamorins.

    2. A lot of major landed jatis in the South have their origins in imperial sanction.

      can you give a list of names? (e.g.., like kamma below)

      also dates if you know?

      1. The major castes that were patronised by the Cholas (medieval – 9th to 11th century) are Mudaliars (all subsects), Vallalars, Kallars, Vanniyars, Parayar and Pallar. The list of castes is supposed to run to 98 or so – but these are the major ones. The first three mentioned have retained their primacy in land ownership and political heft right into this millennium but the last two have dwindled and sunk into the SC category. The caste of the Cholas is hotly contested – but it is either Kallar or a splinter of Vellalar.

        In the Krishna – Godavari delta, it is the Kakatiya dynasty (12th to 14th century) that patronised the Kammas, Kapus, Reddys and Naidus initially. Kakatiyas are a Satshudra lineage. The Vijayanagara empire then continued some of the patronage to Naidus (Nayakas).

        1. The major castes that were patronised by the Cholas (medieval – 9th to 11th century) are Mudaliars (all subsects), Vallalars, Kallars, Vanniyars, Parayar and Pallar.

          the kallars have a very small breeding population. when i look at kallars their homogeneity is incredible (not in a good way)

          1. Raja Raja Chola I is to modern Tamilians what Genghis Khan is to Mongolians – a calling card to the world. Recently Pa. Ranjith (has a great body of modern work/ a film director), also incidentally a Dalit, called RRC’s credibility into question – by throwing the casteist tag at him.

            One of the important administrative posts in the great temple at Tanjore (built by RRC) was called “Periyapparaiyar” – literal translation “The Great Pariah” (I kid you not!). That post was hereditary reserved for Parayars and was an important cog in temple administration. This well documented downfall in a thousand years from the centre of a trading economy to the margins for a community is illustrative of zero- sum-slow-motion games that underpin the jati/varna structure.

            The other castes (Mudaliars, Vellalars) have preserved their status quo in society thanks to some nifty tricks (varnas within a kula) – described further below in another comment.

        2. Kallars were categorized as Criminal castes during British times due to their antogonistic attitude to British regime and laws
          There was a sociological study of Piranmalai kallars by Dumont I think

        3. You see, that is the problem I see with Reddy, Kamma, Kapu and Naidu.

          Because Kapu means different things in different parts of Andhra. They are OBCs in certain districts but UCs in others. Reddy are called Kapu in South Andhra.
          Kamma and Balija are called Naidu. So, there are Kamma Naidu and Balija Naidu but then Balija is many varieties. And different varieties are different OBCs in different districts (http://www.bcmbcmw.tn.gov.in/obc/faq/andhrapradesh.pdf)

          In the end “landed upper castes” is a “jati name + geography factor” at least in Andhra.
          We know they were around in some capacity starting from Kakatiyas (12-13th century) and all the way to Vijayanagara empire (15-16th century).

          Other than Reddy and Kamma (both established since around 12th century), there seems to be no other caste consistently to be considered as landed upper caste. Some parts of each sub-caste + geography puts them in OBC category.

  6. “Were there Dalit kings?”

    Dalits are just random Shudras banished from Society. Dalits have nothing in common with each other, except for the fact that Hindus have expelled from their Society for whatever reasons. Heresy, dealing with “impure” things, breaking the rules of caste etc etc Instead of killing people for their social transgressions, Hindus exiled their own people forever. This is why converting to Islam&Christianity is pointless for Dalits, Hindus still recognize converted Dalits as Dalits.

    TBH, i don’t think that Dalits were exiled for racial divide between Indians. Hindus were/still are very obsessed with concepts of “Purity” of stuff&people, when or why Hindus internalized these concepts is up to conjecture but Dalits get shit due to be tag of being impure and also because some assholes just love to bully the weak&helpless in Society.

    During the early period of Hinduism, the split between Buddhist,Janis&Hindus left brahmins with the more irrational&incoherent schools of thought. This was a time before the Bhakti Movement, when idea of devotion to God wasn’t drilled into people’s minds, back when Hindus believed in a hard separation of God&Humans more akin to Abrahamic Theology, these Hindus were probably more fearful of Gods than devoted to them.

    The average Hindu’s religiously was probably limited to going to brahmins whenever he/she needed to communicate with God or to perform rituals, this maybe the origin of the Hindu Penchant for Purity. Hindus think its okay to pollute Ganges and still consider “Spiritually Pure”. It was in the best interests of Brahmins to keep the average Hindus superstitious for their own benefit but then a generation later they started believing in their own B.S due to excessive orthodoxy. I can see how this variant of Hinduism was declining by the 7th Century, Hinduism was eventually revived by Adi Shankara’s concepts of pantheistic non-dualism which then melded with the ideas of Moksha,Bhakti&Dharma into one package.

  7. “The conclusion I draw from this, along with patterns such as higher steppe ancestry in “higher varna”…”

    >>>> What the previous conclusion specifically means? It seems that castes were or brought by ‘steppe’ or were created at about the time they came. Did ‘steppe’ have caste-like structure in their old homeland and replicated them in a new homeland? Who were brahmins and why they mixed more intensively with newly arrived then others? My impression is that they already existed as a differentiated group when new migrants came and just used their transferable skills to ally with them and retain leading positions. I wonder what is IT stance about all this?

  8. Brahmins were subordinates to Sudra jati kings in historical times. Example, Rajaraja chola story about how he emphasized importance of Nayanars against Brahmin objections.

    Reddy kings and Palnati Nayaks (who are later day Kamma Naidus – the famous Brahma Naidu) had Brahmins as subordinates for not only religion but also for entertainment (this was history on Kuchipudi village I heard from our Brahmin Sanskrit teacher. They traditionally trained others in classical dance and drama, can’t produce academic references on this). In fact, “chapa koodu” was introduced by Brahma Naidu where all Jatis ate together.

    I don’t know if Brahmins traditionally have victim narrative or something, but all I could remember are the poor Brahmin stories where they are restored to prosperity due to someone’s patronage. This goes from Kuchela story in Mahabharata to Bommera Pothana (historical Telugu poet) being very poor and refusing king’s patronage. Most of Brahmin’s fame is related to being ministers (Srinadha, Thikkana) or poets (Tyagaraju, Pothana).

    There aren’t any current Kshatriyas in upper castes of Andhra. Reddys and Naidus are categorized as Sudra (no thread ceremony). So, the inference has to be that Brahmins lived under Sudra kings patronage.

    I am constantly surprised about the strength of genetic evidence of jati endogamy. Mainly because of the allowance for hypergamy among kings at least. Example, Vidura in Mahabharata was Sudra due his mom being one even though he should technically be a Brahmin given Veda Vyasa was one (which was also strange since his mother was a fisher women while father was the sage).
    More historically, there was a king vikramaditya story about the proper way for an upper caste male to marry a lower caste female if they happen to fall in love. A Brahmin can marry a Sudra lady if he first marries a Brahmin, then Kshatriya, then Vaisya and then Sudra. All children of those unions would have their mother’s jati.
    Even now, Telugu movie hero NTR jr. mom is Brahmin and dad is Kamma. (These things are public knowledge because that’s the main gossip/politics of Andhra people).

    Aside, I find it funny that Yalamanchili is surprised he is Kamma. I would’ve suspected he is Kamma because one of the politician’s families in Andhra had the same last name. In any case, you can’t go wrong if you guessed 90%of Andhrites in the US are either Reddy or Kamma. There are two Telugu North America associations because of their fighting. 🙂

    I also suspect that the data is non-representative of the entire possible cline between upper/middle and low castes. E.g., there are Balijas (upper-middle castes wanting to categorize themselves as OBC) who go variously as Shetty or Kapu or Naidu depending on the geography and intermarry. I am not sure if they will form a distinct cluster on pca from Kamma Naidus. Also, Edigas(OBC) call themselves also as Gowdas. I again wonder how much distinction there is between Karnataka upper caste Gowdas and Andhra Edigas.
    Maybe if all jatis in India are sampled, then we can be sure about genetic distinctions between each, but sampling only Iyer, Iyengar, Reddy and Kamma may not be representative of jati endogamy of the rest of the population as we could be missing out on the “filler” populations that reduce the distinctness of a given cluster. Also with Andhrites, consanguinity is high (highest in India, IIRC). I don’t know how much that affects jati-clustering vs. extended clan clustering.

    Sorry about the long comment. I have been thinking about minimum sample size requirements for representativeness of multi-variate multi-modal distributions for a while now. Engineering data collection is costly.

    1. Sorry about the long comment. I have been thinking about minimum sample size requirements for representativeness of multi-variate multi-modal distributions for a while now.

      for genome-wide data (50K or more) 5 is good enough for most indians. lots of genetic variation. lots of structure

      1. Brian Pffanberger did an anthropological survey of the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka. His conclusion about the domination of Vellalar landed gentry and the subservience of all other castes including the ritually superior Brahmins to them was that it was the original caste model of Tamils as developed in the Cauvery delta and exported all over Tamil land including to the margins of colonization such as Kongu Nadu (Coimbatore region) and Jaffna, Sri Lanka. But the model broke down due to subsequent political upheaval, and land grants to many incoming groups, but the model stood the vagaries of time in these margins. So if someone wants to study how the Varna/Jati Brahmin/Shudra symbiosis started, they need to study no further than Kongu or Jaffna. The dominance of Shudra Yejaman and his Brahmin enabler has clearly survived here. This is one his early studies, he published a book as well. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2802228

  9. Brahmins were subordinates to Sudra jati kings in historical times. Example, Rajaraja chola story about how he emphasized importance of Nayanars against Brahmin objections.

    Reddy kings and Palnati Nayaks (who are later day Kamma Naidus – the famous Brahma Naidu) had Brahmins as subordinates for not only religion but also for entertainment (this was history on Kuchipudi village I heard from our Brahmin Sanskrit teacher. They traditionally trained others in classical dance and drama, can’t produce academic references on this). In fact, “chapa koodu” was introduced by Brahma Naidu where all Jatis ate together.

    I don’t know if Brahmins traditionally have victim narrative or something, but all I could remember are the poor Brahmin stories where they are restored to prosperity due to someone’s patronage. This goes from Kuchela story in Mahabharata to Bommera Pothana (historical Telugu poet) being very poor and refusing king’s patronage. Most of Brahmin’s fame is related to being ministers (Srinadha, Thikkana) or poets (Tyagaraju, Pothana).

    There aren’t any current Kshatriyas in upper castes of Andhra. Reddys and Naidus are categorized as Sudra (no thread ceremony). So, the inference has to be that Brahmins lived under Sudra kings patronage.

    I am constantly surprised about the strength of genetic evidence of jati endogamy. Mainly because of the allowance for hypergamy among kings at least. Example, Vidura in Mahabharata was Sudra due his mom being one even though he should technically be a Brahmin given Veda Vyasa was one (which was also strange since his mother was a fisher women while father was the sage).
    More historically, there was a king vikramaditya story about the proper way for an upper caste male to marry a lower caste female if they happen to fall in love. A Brahmin can marry a Sudra lady if he first marries a Brahmin, then Kshatriya, then Vaisya and then Sudra. All children of those unions would have their mother’s jati.
    Even now, Telugu movie hero NTR jr. mom is Brahmin and dad is Kamma. (These things are public knowledge because that’s the main gossip/politics of Andhra people).

    Aside, I find it funny that Yalamanchili is surprised he is Kamma. I would’ve suspected he is Kamma because one of the politician’s families in Andhra had the same last name. In any case, you can’t go wrong if you guessed 90%of Andhrites in the US are either Reddy or Kamma. There are two Telugu North America associations because of their fighting. 🙂

    I also suspect that the data is non-representative of the entire possible cline between upper/middle and low castes. E.g., there are Balijas (upper-middle castes wanting to categorize themselves as OBC) who go variously as Shetty or Kapu or Naidu depending on the geography and intermarry. I am not sure if they will form a distinct cluster on pca from Kamma Naidus. Also, Edigas(OBC) call themselves also as Gowdas. I again wonder how much distinction there is between Karnataka upper caste Gowdas and Andhra Edigas.
    Maybe if all jatis in India are sampled, then we can be sure about genetic distinctions between each, but sampling only Iyer, Iyengar, Reddy and Kamma may not be representative of jati endogamy of the rest of the population as we could be missing out on the “filler” populations that reduce the distinctness of a given cluster. Also with Andhrites, consanguinity is high (highest in India, IIRC). I don’t know how much that affects jati-clustering vs. extended clan clustering.

    Sorry about the long comment. I have been thinking about minimum sample size requirements for representativeness of multi-variate multi-modal distributions for a while now. Engineering data collection is costly.

  10. In the UK people with Norman surnames are very overrepresented in elite institutions (Oxbridge) 1000 years after the Norman conquest.

    (See: https://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54515/1/WP181%20revised.pdf )

    There is obviously nothing like jati endogamy in England. So I imagine the genetics the “Darcys” would be similar to genetics of the “Smith”.

    But the surname over representation shows that people Norman male paternal lineage preserved a level of class advantage.

    Jati is also passed down via the paternal line but the confounding factor is there is also a high level of jati endogamy in India.

    In an alternate Indian history where caste endogamy stopped being a thing 500 years ago. I think people named “iyer” would still be very over represented in the IITs. But genetically, they would be much more similar to the other Tamils.

    In our current reality, due to jati endogamy being what it is, the “iyers” are overrepresented and are also are genetically very distinctive compared to other Tamil people.

    But the overrepresentation of “iyers” is not necessarily a result of jati endogamy.

    (Sorry to pick on “iyers”, just illustrating a point)

  11. @froginthewell,

    To clarify, there are proper Andhra Vaisyas (who are twice-born) and there are Other merchant classes like Shetty Balija.
    Even though Balijas were functionally Kshatriyas and Vaisyas during Vijayanagara empire, they don’t have thread ceremony. Categorized as Sudras.
    That’s what I was asking about.

  12. Many castes in south tamil nadu lay claim to the legacy of Pandya kings

    Also the Nadars could be a mongrel caste, some landed & some labourers

    In general subversion of caste happens when the royalty/landed have extra-marital affairs (with the “lower” castes)

    I’ve heard of this case for Obama too

    1. In general subversion of caste happens when the royalty/landed have extra-marital affairs (with the “lower” castes)

      royals are not most of the ancestors. might explain lack of impact?

  13. i haven’t ever heard of existence of Kamma-Brahmins.- violet
    there is a smartha brahmin group in karnataka called babbur kamme, also there is a telugu smartha brahmin group called uluchu kamme.

      1. @ugra,

        But do all Kamma kula inter-marry though? I haven’t seen any matrimony ads having openness of that kind. Kamma Naidu are very focused only in marrying other Naidus and not Brahmins.

        So, how do all Varnas in the same kula maintain consistency? At that point, they might as well be different jatis, no? (I am genuinely curious because I haven’t come across this multiple Varnas of the same kula).

        1. Many Kammas marry within the extended family – they do not even marry within the jati 🙂 The different varnas within a kula started when some powerful land owning castes decided to support priests from within – this was to extend their power from the temporal world to the spiritual world as well.

          After all, why not create in-house Brahmins? Make your own brand!!

          But they also knew that this was not ritually sanctioned or even accepted by many practitioners. They took a shortcut by popularizing the Agamic code instead of the Vedic code. Specifically in Saivism, Agama has a higher or equal rank to the Vedas.

          The Agamic code demanded strict adherence to ritual purity, repudiation of meat etc. Basically similar catechisms like the Vedic. The problem was to ensure that a house priest passed on his powers to his son and so on. So subsects specialising in priesthood were born within the kula.

          After a long period some of them became their own kulas – with the prefix Saiva. Example – Saiva Mudaliars from my caste are so closely woven into the temple circuit that they are Brahmins for all purposes. Saiva Pillais are another set of sub- kulas who have become brahmins from being kshatriyas originally.

          While all of this was happening, the kings (Cholas, Pallavas) were looking on bemusedly and recognized it for what was going on. It was a naked attempt to widen the power base from the landed jatis. Their counter? – they invited brahmanas from the North (Gangetic Plains) to settle in the South. They provided them land, cows and temple grants for upkeep. These newly minted villages were called Chaturvedi Mangalams. There are over a 100 of these all over the Kaveri delta and close to the Pallava periphery.

          So you have this cat and mouse game going on for a thousand years that has resulted in varnas within kulas. In fact some of the in-house Brahmins have merged in matrimonial alliances with the Chaturvedi Brahmins.

          1. Ok this makes sense, and aligns with Southern Brahmins having more AASI because of mixing with “in-house” Brahmins as you put it. It is attested that Cholas brought Northern brahmins to settle in Tanjavur (we know that Thyagaraja family moved from Andhra to South which resulted in Telugu classical songs for Tamil people 😀 ).
            In current times though, it doesn’t make sense that Kammas can be both Brahmins and Sudras because they split themselves into Kamma Naidus and Brahmins of certain kind (I am not well-versed in different types of Brahmins other than them having fixed number of gotras to be “true” brahmin).

  14. What percentage of Indians are lower caste, upper caste and middle caste?
    Are these status universal or does status vary from place to place? e.g. A caste which is considered lower caste at a place is considered upper caste at another place?
    Can 2 persons from different ethnolingual & state backgrounds belong to the same caste?

    1. @Rose

      Roughly the Indian population is 15% Untouchable ; 10% Forest Tribal ( Most untouchables originate from Forest Tribals and were admitted into society as untouchables ) ; 15% Muslim ; 20% Upper Caste ( top 3 caste ) and 40% Lower Caste ( Shudra ) ;

      There are some minor ranking variations of same caste in different states ; There is a rural North Indian caste, Jatts, they are ruling caste in Punjab, middle ranking caste in Uttar Pradesh

    2. There was an old census from 1921 that puts Brahmins at less than 5% of population but there isn’t any data after that since census didn’t collect each caste specifically. There is data on lowest castes labelled as SC/STs and this is about 30% IIRC from the latest census. Middle castes (categorized as OBC-other backward castes) are about 40%, and rest as forward or upper caste(UC).

      Yes, same caste can be categorized low or high in different regions( OBC vs. SC or UC vs OBC). Yes, two persons from different regions/language can belong to same caste and inter-marry.

      1. So Sudras are now considered middle caste although historically they were lower caste? Do non-Hindus(e.g. Muslims) maintain caste-based endogamy? Or they simply have castes but don’t necessarily engage in endogamy?

        Are all Brahmins the same caste?(e.g. an Iyer & a UP Brahmin)

        1. @Rose,

          Yes, Sudras are middle or upper caste in South and considered lower caste in North. Example, washerman (Dhobi in UP and Chakali in AP) are lower caste (SCs) in UP but are middle castes (OBC) in AP.
          non-Hindus maintain caste-based endogamy, e.g., Dudekula caste in muslims. Christians also maintain this with Reddy-christians.

    3. Another confounding factor is that different groups make different claims to varna status.

      so for eg. there are “brahmin” groups that are considered OBCs

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other_Backward_Class#Brahmins_who_are_in_OBC_lists

      But these groups often aren’t considered to be real brahmins by others.

      Would be interesting to see genetic studies on these groups. Although you can’t rely on genetic studies alone as some of these groups may have been lower caste groups that migrated from the north west and started claiming brahmin status (for eg. saurashtra ppl in tamil nadu)

      With Kshatriyas its even more complicated as pretty much every non-brahmin caste in north india at some point claims Kshatriyas status.

  15. Like I said, Dalit isn’t a precise enough word to apply in historical context. Leading to confusion between numinous, frog and me.

    i’m trying to be pc. i am aware other terms were used in the past

    in any case, dalits are 15% of india’s population. some of them avarna should have been in positions of power? or not?

    why are they all inbred and why do most of them have so much less (or none) steppe? everywhere?

    1. By the rules of caste those who made serious infractions in a caste society became untouchables. So, apart from any original pop, they should have been beefed up with clever, and enterpring and rebellious elements from all castes.

      1. By the rules of caste those who made serious infractions in a caste society became untouchables. So, apart from any original pop, they should have been beefed up with clever, and enterpring and rebellious elements from all castes.

        in the south, no brahmins. no steppe in these ppl.

        1. I don’t understand this. Inter-jati marriage is a taboo even if there were no Brahmins. Kamma and Reddy don’t inter-marry, neither do Malas and Madigas.

          A story of how jatis are formed can be seen from “Dudekula” caste. Apparently a Muslim became follower of a local Hindu saint (17th century Pothuluru Veerabramendra Swamy ). So, his community became its own caste and categorized in OBC. They are now agitating to become SC.

        2. You’ve been asking why Dalits in the south have so less steppe ancestry and why are they so inbred. I think you already suspect, they are a product of IVC climate refugee induced agricultural settlements where landless tribals attached themselves as bonded laborers, when this initial settlement pattern expanded due to population expansion the IVC landholders took their bonded laborers to new settlements with them perpetuating this relationship. If there were sexual relationships then it was between the IVC male and Tribal female but that was an exception than rule. As an example when Vellalar landholders settled the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka, they imported Parayar workers. These Parayar and Vellalar hardly mixed but the population expanded with time. With Vellalar forming 50% of Sri Lankan Tamils and Parayar about 15% relegated to menial tasks.

    2. If you mean SCs then even though they are 15-20% it seems bulk of them are concentrated in only 4states. The highest being UP. (30%)
      One of the issues could be how they are categorized. It appears from a previous BP comment, what would be an OBC in Andhra (e.g. washerman or barber) could end up as SC in Uttar Pradesh.
      Perhaps this needs a more specific comparison?
      I do know that there weren’t any Mala or Madiga kings. These are prominent SCs in Andhra. There is a history of persecution and political agitation of Madigas. Malas appear to have a symbiotic power relationship with Reddy in Rayalaseema region. They were supposedly soldiers under Reddy leadership.

      Yeah, Malas were in positions of power in the past (mostly in support of Reddy or Kamma) but they do practice strict endogamy. There is a known rivalry between Malas and Madigas.

  16. @Razib Khan
    “who honestly i suspect didn’t know he was adopted or something. he didn’t seem surprised (he was a niyogi brahmin).”

    Until a few years ago, if you googled my caste, sistakaranam/korono, it came as niyogi brahmin but really we are kayastha so that could be what happened with that guy
    If you have any data about this caste could you share it with me as I’m curious about my genetics.

    https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Castes_and_Tribes_of_Southern_India/Korono

    The book I have linked is from colonial era and it says that in telugu areas this caste is made up of brahmins so this could be where the misunderstanding came from. (I had written a similar thing earlier but it didn’t get posted)

  17. @Razib Khan
    I wrote something here twice but it didn’t appear. Basically if you searched my caste it came as niyogi brahmin but we’re kayastha so I suspect that’s what happened with that 1 guy

  18. Also, I don’t know if there were any Dalit kings, but this article says there were Dalit landowners in South India, specifically the Pallar caste. There are manuscripts showing Dalit castes as being wealthy.

    The article also claims that slavery was a thing and all castes, including Brahmins, were slaves, but that slaves were also separated by caste as well.

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/once-dalits-were-landowners-vellalas-slaves/article18405606.ece

    1. Pallars are Dalits , Scheduled Caste, but never Untouchables – they are now mostly agricultural laborers.

      They were never beef-eaters, and hence were never Untouchables .; ( vs Parayars were beef eaters and untouchables ) ; also Pallars never did jobs like dead body disposal and toilet cleaning

      So they are claiming they should never have been put into Scheduled Castes

  19. Also some Rajput clan names are just prevalent all across North/West India among different castes..

    Parmars, Solanki – Rajput and Dalit in Gujarat, Rajput and Jain Baniya in Rajasthan, Rajput in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal, UP, MP, Jammu; Also Jaat in Haryana/UP/Delhi (someone can confirm if this is the case) + other OBCs in these Northern states

    Chauhan – Rajput and Jain in Rajasthan; Rajput all over North India; Maratha in Maharashtra (as Chavan); perhaps OBC in North India too?

    Rathod – Rajput and Jain in Rajasthan; Rajput/Dalit or OBC in Gujarat; Rajput in Punjab, UP etc

    Vaghela – Rajput and Dalit in Gujarat; Rajput in MP, UP etc as Baghel (Vaghela and Baghel are the same clan)

    It does look like Rajput associated names got around a lot 🙂

  20. Reposting as previous post was on the wrong thread:

    FWIW, Gujarati Dalits (previously known as Harijans) have all the common Gujarati/Rajasthani Rajput surnames among them – Vaghela, Parmar, Solanki. One theory is that these are downgraded/deplatformed Rajputs/Kshatriyas who once were the foot soldiers of the Rajput kings but lost patronage and status after the Rajputs lost to the Gujarat Sultans. Many of them certainly claim to be ex Kshatriyas (or even presently Kshatriya) but are not accepted as such by “true” Kshatriyas. There were some of these people in my neighborhood (these were middle/upper middle class Dalits) and they didn’t look any different from the upper castes for the most part (some were quite noticeably Steppe shifted; no Mayawati look alikes at all).

    At the same time, I have a Jamnagar royal family (that of Ranji/Duleep trophy fame) friend (Jadeja – his 4th ancestor was the king of Jamnagar) and his mother is a Parmar Rajput. Shankersinh Vaghela the ex BJP/Congress politician was from a known Rajput family in central Gujarat…So it seems Parmar, Vaghela are used by both Rajputs as well as Dalits in Gujarat..Not sure if the latter usage is of recent provenance or not (but I think it is not).

    This also seems consistent with the rest of the country where many OBC/Dalit groups claim to be fallen (or current) Kshatriyas.
    My theory is that of the three upper castes, Brahmin was the one that was most tightly defined/preserved (given ritual status etc)…Vaishyas probably the next one, and the Kshatriya one was truly an occupational caste where castes/groups rose into and fell from the group based on whether they had/got/fell from power in the area.

    1. One theory is that these are downgraded/deplatformed Rajputs/Kshatriyas

      I thought this at one point, but the tbh the genetic split is very clear for Gujarati caste groups if you sort by AASI ancestry.

      https://imgur.com/a/pOzurES

      All these OBC / SC castes with Kshatriya surnames have approx. 2x the AASI of groups FC groups, and comprable to ST Bhils.

      Even compared to a once born, low steppe, arriviste caste like Patidars, the split is very distinct.

      I have become a bit more skeptical of some of the stuff I have read suggesting that Patels and Kolis were once equal status groups in Gujarat after learning about the genetic differences. Or that groups like the Kolis or some Gujarati Dalits are degraded Kshatriyas who were once very high status etc.

      1. This is an exception in Punjab. Tarkhans and Sainis, Gujjars are roughly the same to Rajputs and Brahmins. Jatts, Khatri, Kamboj are the exception.

        1. Yes in Punjab and the North west in general. The whole steppe = higher ritual status correlation doesn’t apply among the savarna groups (non-davits). afaik

          I am just talking about Gujarat.

      2. This is an exception in Punjab. Tarkhans and Sainis, Gujjars are roughly the same to Rajputs and Brahmins.

      3. Sumit,
        I had written a response to this which has not been posted (yet) for some reason. I don’t disagree with your point however it seems most of the “lower caste” samples in that group are actually tribals. Gamit, Chaudhry etc are tribal names (and not SC/Dalit/OBC) if I am right. Also, Patels seem to have a lot of variance among them – so perhaps we need more Patel samples to conclude one way or another.

        1. I thought you were talking about the Kolis who are the 2nd largest caste group in gujarat and claim kshatiya status along with Rajputs.

          I think we need more Koli samples. Maybe some of the subcastes are more Rajput like and the others more tribal like.

          The Patels are really well studied.

      4. I Read about the Rajputs wanting to boost up their relative feeble political vote bank numbers by Sanskritisation of influential low castes as neo-Rajputs for mutual gain . Sheer political calculus ~1930s Gujarat

      5. Could be true. My dad and mine caste certificate had koli written on it. When i was young i asked them about my caste and they said rajput. I am not surprised now.
        Also some clans of brother in law have the traditional sword ritual where the groom put the sword on brides head flat and swore to protect her.
        Clan is Badgujar.

  21. Ok this makes sense, and aligns with Southern Brahmins having more AASI because of mixing with “in-house” Brahmins as you put it. It is attested that Cholas brought Northern brahmins to settle in Tanjavur (we know that Thyagaraja family moved from Andhra to South which resulted in Telugu classical songs for Tamil people 😀 ).

    well modeled as 75% up brahmin 25% nadar. the 25% is maternal ancestry. the mtDNA is way more ‘south indian’ while the Y is pretty what you’d expect (SONS OF INDRA REPRESENT!!!)

    1. Hmm, we must establish a chief god for the IVC and the pre IVC heavily AASI people. I will assign L and H Y haplos to them respectively.

      Maybe Shiva could be one for both? Can I be son of Shiva?

      1. oy @thewarlock, don’t start this now.
        A few current Indian stories about Indra:
        1. Indra’s daughter Devasena is a consort of Shiva’s son Karthikeya
        2. Indra is the title of a post and is earned through 100 yagnas but not inherited
        3. Indra is cursed to have 1000 “eyes” on his body (and possibly castrated) for what he did to Ahalya
        May be you can pick up the mother goddess theme instead of falling for the sky-god narrative?

          1. Don’t you think Kali Ma standing on a male body in all her fierce-ness would be totally meme-able as “crushing patriarchy” woke-ness?
            If you are in less fiercer mood, Lakshmi for laughing in wealth and Sarasvasti for nerds while also hinting at Sindhu-Sarasvasti civilization.
            So many options!

    2. Is the sons of Indra thing supposed to stand in for valour or martial skill? As in the South the Brahmins are seen as the least martial folk, lol

  22. Surprised that nobody has yet brought up Marathas as a case of upward (caste) mobility among martial groups. Rajputs looked down upon Marathas for a long time until the latter started dictating terms to them (and to the greatly reduced Mughal “empire” in Delhi). Now their royal families happily marry Maratha nobility (Jodhpur, Nepal, Kashmir – all Rajput families with Maratha royal relations).

    1. Sorry not Jodhpur. Only Kashmir & Nepal did, that too they faced lot of flak from their community. Generally, common people anywhere don’t like ICM

  23. Not sure if this is stuck in review/moderation, but just in case posting again:

    @Razib

    Warning, long comment ahead from my readings and interpertations.

    As far as 4 tier varna system, in the Dravidian speaking areas of South India, there are mostly only 2 varnas, Brahmin and Sudra (subdivided into various subcastes).

    So most likely in the south, Brahmins served Sudras Kings, if it was a Dravidian speaking area.

    From what commentary has been made on this subject, the reason given for only 2 varnas in south Indian Dravidian speaking areas, is 1st, the varna system established later in south india, but still around 1,500 to 2,500 years ago, and the 3 higher varnas (Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishyas) need hereditary descent from a Indo-Aryan speaking origin groups from the “Aryavatra” area and those are not usually created in areas outside of that zone.

    Because only brahmins migrated in large of numbers to the south, that varna became established.
    So, because of this everyone else is defaulted into Sudra and the “sudras” ended up taking over all responsibilities of the remaining varna roles, but still being called sudras.

    A class came to be created called “Sat Shudras” that is “Clean Sudras”, the “upper class” sudras who would take up the role of the Kshatriya and Vaisyas. This would make interesting creations and there seems to be a fluidity to some of the roles, not caste, but roles or responsibilities.

    In places like Kerala on top was the “Sudra Kshatriya” role warrior Nairs, but whose warrior duties overlapped with being Rajas/royalty/rulers and administrators.

    The warrior duties were also shared/overlapped with the Hindu Ezhava/Thiyya (for lack of a better term a lower sudra caste than Nairs), Nasrani Christians, Moplah Muslims and even Jewish Malayali’s who all practiced the same martial art Kalari Payattu.

    Nasrani, Mappilas and Jewish Malayali’s overlapped into “Sudra Vaishya” roles as business/traders, but also, I think other Sudra roles like fisherman/sailors, and Ezhavas/Thiyyas were traditional farmers and toddy tappers and sailors.

    Then of course there were the “Dalits” of Kerala who were the Pulaya, which seems to be feature of the varna systems to create an outcaste. I think Swami Vivekanda was the one who said Kerala is a “madhouse of castes” or something to that effect.

    For the rest of south India, parallels to Nairs of Kerala are Telugu Reddys and Kammas(?) and Tamils Vellalars for the“Sudra Kshatriyas” role, for “Sudra Vaishyas” off the top of my head are Tamil Chettiars.

    The Kannadigas due to the Vijanagar empire I think received a lot more Indo-Aryan speaking migrants from the other varnas, (Aishwarya Rais and other likes that) who integrated locally and the varna system might be more complicated for that area.

    Now this not to say any migrants who came south are “pure Indo-Aryan” and are not native, as your previous articles and comments have said Razib, genetics confirms even Brahmins have at least 25% mixture locally.

    If I remember correctly Razib, you had a article about the Kayasthas of Bengal, who are really high up varna wise, (between kshatriyas and brahmins?) but only the paternal line shows predominantly some Indo-Aryan haplotypes, but majority of ancestry (75% or greater?) is local Bengali, but difference of why higher varnas became established here might be the population became Indo-Aryan language speaking so becoming part of the Aryavarta (?) and did not retain the previous language whatever that be (I hesitate to speculate as there is that mysterious east Asian/Tibeto-burman mixture).

    One curiosity would be to see how the genetics affected varna as developed in other Hinduized areas, like Bali, and formerly in Thailand and Cambodia, but I think it might be similar to South India. The majority the population being defaulted into sudra, with a smaller number of the higher varnas being descended from indo-aryan speaking/background immigrants, but being so far outside of India it might not necessarily be the case.

    1. The Kannadigas due to the Vijanagar empire I think received a lot more Indo-Aryan speaking migrants from the other varnas, (Aishwarya Rais and other likes that) who integrated locally and the varna system might be more complicated for that area.

      aishwarya rai is a bunt, hardly indo aryan!!. they are powerful and as always obc.

  24. @Violet, @Rose
    admittedly all Brahmins just go by as Brahmins IRL, nobody ever boasted to me that they were so-and-so Brahmins.
    Only Uccha Brahmins will claim ( superior than others Brahmins /Kings’ children). They will get daughters from other Brahmins caste but will not give them(ancient times). We are with huge amount of lands and forts (private lands) which majority others don’t have.(can they boast?)
    Current scenario is different and trying to unify the scene.
    Don’t ask me, brahmin kings? Dasa/Dasyus/Druhyus/kamboja?

    1. I had impression that they are one person unless he was talking to Mr Hyde similarly to Mr Iyer when he shaves his moustaches to become Aditya.

    2. @wonder woman,

      In olden times, it was acceptable for some great brahmins to be married to King’s daughters. (e.g., Dasaratha’s daughter Shanta married to Rishyasringa in Ramayana). Since they treated daughters as gifts to be given for blessings of rain in return.

      What would be the grades of Brahmins though? There are Saraswat Brahmins, Iyer and Iyengar Brahmins. Are there other endogamous categories? I see matrimonial ads for “Telugu vaidiki brahmins..” etc. Are there any standardized categories like that language based or gotra-based ones?

    1. As a Non-Khalistani Canadian Sikh this is very shameful. However, why is it only 2 Indian newspapers reporting on this. Right-wing Canadian media would never let this escape them.

  25. Hi Razib Sir!
    Great article!

    Btw,I think the studies claimed that all Indians including Dalits have Steppe DNA.
    AFAIK that Chenchu and Paswans who are tribals and dalits respectively have R1A Y DNA in the range of around 20-40 %.

    Why is this so?And do these both groups or infact any Dalit or Tribal group have Steppe Autosomal DNA?

  26. I’m curious to know how far back the vaishya communities of the North go. As an overall percentage of the population, there aren’t actually a lot of baniyas, but some of these communities are quite big, e.g. 15 million Agrawals.

    My initial instinct is that whoever the original ones were, they likely died out and new groups synthesized from the woodworks to claim “vaishya” status. I wonder if they came about through co-option of IVC elite, or if the endogamy/synthesis started later, considering that many of these groups have ‘origin’ stories mentioning rajputs (idk might just be myths to establish lofty origins).

    @Razib, is it possible to tell how far back the endogamy goes in any of these communities?

  27. How would a second gen Hindu in the West (US, UK, France etc) have a thread ceremony.

    How would they get around to proving they are entitled to a thread ceremony.

    For females is there something like a thread ceremony

Comments are closed.