Origin of Caste System in India (Learn from Hindustan Times, June 3, 2003)

Dr Sat Parashar, PhD

We don’t think any of our readers would need an introduction to Hindustan Times,  a leading English daily of India. By name, it may sound that it is the publisher of the times and life in the Hindustan (Land of Hindus).  When India was divided by Britishers in 1947 into two parts, namely, Pakistan and Hindustan; Pakistan was the part separated for Muslims and Hindustan for Hindus. Millions of Hindus migrated to Hindustan from Pakistan, and millions of Muslims migrated to Pakistan. There have been unprecedented loss of life and property; perhaps the world has no parallel, as that migration was involuntary and without due notice to common masses. In final counts, may be a few million Hindus stayed back in Pakistan, while millions of Muslims stayed back in Hindustan. By the way, Hindustan Times was founded in 1924, much before partition, but had the name, Hindustan Times; as before partition, India was commonly known as Hindustan, and  Hindustan Times was launched as a kind of medium to ignite and support call for Independence from Britishers.

The framers of the constitution of India, named it ‘India- that is Bharat’, and not Hindustan. Bharat, because that has been the original name of this landmass (including, of course, what is present day Pakistan). The history shows that the borders of Bharat were far extended and beyond British India borders of 1947. One fact of the history that many may not know is that during British occupation there were less than 40% of the total princely states of India that were in their control. 60% princely states were already Independent.

Thus, history of Bharat is not since the Muslims invaded and occupied it or British occupied it. The history of Bharat dates back to many thousand years before. So, if you wanted to understand India, that is Bharat, you got to start from an era much earlier than last 10- 12 Centuries.

Why are we writing this today? It is because we live in the 21st Century. “Say it, if you See it’, is the new norm. Our fellow inhabitants of this planet are  much more informed, open, connected, concerned, involved and ready to consider and evaluate referable and verifiable evidences in the modern scientific tradition and not live in silos of immobile, unconnected or under-connected world, as it was till internet connected us all in mid 1990s. In one word, please shut out those who talk of India, that is,  Bharat, if they talk of its history beginning after occupation by Muslims or Britishers.

About Bharat, you have referable history of more than 5000 years. There is a  book, known as Bhagwad Gita, that has been translated in possibly every language of the world. We feel grateful to those who translated it into English, because with that we can talk and discuss with more people today about what does that book contain, than with the original language of the book, namely, Sanskrit.

Now see here. Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 4, Verse 13 reads as follows:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश: |
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् || 13||

chātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛiṣhṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśhaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ viddhyakartāram avyayam

chātuḥ-varṇyam—the four classes of society or categories of occupations (Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra); mayā—by me; sṛiṣhṭam—were created; guṇa—quality of mind; karma—and activities; vibhāgaśhaḥ—according to divisions (Knowledge creators, Warriors, Traders, labor or service providers); tasya—of that; kartāram—the creator; api—although; mām—me; viddhi—know; akartāram—non-doer; avyayam—unchangeable.

Meaning: “The four orders of society (viz. the Brahaman, the Ksatriya, the Vaishya and the Shudra) were created by Me (the spirit of creation) classifying them according to the mode of Prakrti (natural tendencies) predominant in each and apportioning corresponding duties to them; the author of this creation, know Me, the immortal Lord, to be non- doer”. (Bhagwad Gita, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India) [Let’s accept no translation can fully capture the original text and thoughts; neither in this case nor anywhere else.]

As the time went by, occupational class got labelled as caste or race at the hands of the occupiers. Hindus failed to challenge. They had an ancient philosophy of why defend the truth? The Truth shall prevail. Well, that didn’t work in the new world of invasions, illegal occupation, need for expanding newly minted sects and religions, hired historians, image managers and propagators.

If you want to really know what happened to India, please read , ‘Breaking India- Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines’, by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan (2012). The other day, in his discussion with the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), Rajiv Malhotra had said that our bigger problem is Hindus who mis-speak about Hindus and Hinduism.

Please sample here, Hindustan Times, a popular English Daily of India among English speaking population of India. In its online edition of June 3, 2003, titled, ‘Origin of Caste System in India’, it wrote, “There are different theories regarding the origin of the caste system in India…Religious Theory, Social Historical Theory (Aryan Theory)… the Aryans who created the caste system,…”

Interestingly, the Independent Hall Association (IHA), a Philadelphia, USA based, not- for- profit, on its web pages on Ancient Civilization (UShistory.org) has written:

“But 20th-century scholarship has thoroughly disproved this (Aryan) theory. Most scholars believe that there was no Aryan invasion from the north. In fact, some even believe that the Aryans — if they did exist — actually originated in South Asia and spread from there to Europe”.

The documentary, ‘The story of India’ (2007), by BBC, fully substantiates it.

The IHA webpages also write, “When Portuguese travelers to 16th-century India first encountered what appeared to them to be race-based social stratification, they used the Portuguese term “casta” — which means “race” — to describe what they saw. Today, the term “caste” is used to describe stratified societies based on hereditary groups not only in South Asia but throughout the world”.

It is another matter, that Hinduism is the only one singled out and labelled caste- ridden, today. If you wanted to know more about IHA, please visit their website and note their mission, history, board and its Ancient Civilization page to see for yourself, as  a sample of, what West projects about India, caste system and Hindus.

Equally educative may be the structure of the Board of the Hindustan Times, the publisher of the ‘origin of caste system in India’ (2003). Here it is, as of June 6, 2020:

Source: https://www.zaubacorp.com/company/THE-HINDUSTAN-TIMES-LTD/U74899DL1927PLC000155

You may be wondering, Is ‘Bhartia’, a family name in India? Are 3 of the 4 directors from the same family? Is it hereditary? Does it personify ‘Jati’ system of India? (Jati is from the father. Bharat also has ‘Gautra’. That is from the Guru. In the modern day lexicon, Guatra is like alumni of an educational institution). Who owns Hindustan Times? (Technically, it may be shareholders’ held, a Public Limited Company. But Indian family businesses have a unique cross shareholding system, the pinnacle of leveraging, which West has possibly yet to learn, sometimes difficult even for the lenders to untangle in case of need). Why the above referred article in a leading English daily of India still talks of Aryan theory in the 21st Century, while it had been discarded in the 20th Century? How  come reference to Bhagwad Gita (4/13) remains completely missing from that article? Yours etc.

Dr Sat Parashar, PhD is a Professor of Finance and Financial Advisor. He may be reached at [email protected]

Sat Parashar

Dr. Sat Parashar is an internationally acclaimed expert in Financial Management and Leadership. His passions are  spreading financial education and message of Bhagwad Gita/ KaramYoga.

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