Friday, 1 May 2009
The caste system
The caste system is based on the sound economic principle of division of labor which ensures efficiency of production. A person from his birth knew what profession he was to follow later on. So from the start, he devoted all his energy to the one profession of his forefathers. It was because of this reason that in every period of Indian history, there was no dearth of highly-skilled workers and scholars. Megasthenes, Hieun Tsang, Alberuni, Ibn Batuta, Babar and even the early Britishers were impressed by the talents and artistic skill of the Indians in every art and craft." (source: Ancient India - By V. D. Mahajan p. 166).While Marxists and other anti-Hindu intellectuals calling themselves Secularists never miss an opportunity to denounce it, the fact of the matter is that the Indian civilization survived nearly a thousand year onslaught of Islam. Several other ancient civilizations – like those of Iran (Zorastrian), the Byzantine Empire (Christian) and Central Asia (Buddhist) broke down under the same force over a much shortest period. This shows that they must have lacked a social order capable of protecting their societies. The so called ‘egalitarian’ Buddhist society lacked the social organization which enabled the Hindu society to survive. It was the same story in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey which were part of the Christian Byzamtine Empire. They lacked the strength and resilience of the Hindu society and succumbed to the Islamic invasion. According to V. A. Smith, most of the misunderstanding on the subject of caste system has arisen from the persistent mistranslation of Manu's term "Varna" as caste, whereas it should be rendered class or order or by some equivalent term. (source: Oxford History of India - By V. A. Smith Oxford Date of Publication: 1958).