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India's CASTE SYSTEM : Who developed it ?

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India's caste system is a very old phenomena. Some say that it was created by Hindu deity "Brahma", some held "Brahmin" caste responsible for it, while some say that "Aryans" created caste system. Here we will try to analyse that which of these theories can be considered true. Are Brahmins really the root cause of caste system or it was created by whole society. A number of researchers have gone through history of civilizations that existed in Indian Sub-Continent and also read the ancient texts to understand the caste system.

Did Aryans create Caste System in India ?

In 19th century Max Muller, a German scholar, created the theory of Aryan invasion. According to him Aryans came from Central Asia and European region to the South Asia around 1700 BC. Aryan language influenced the vocabulary of languages of these regions. Aryans created the caste system to control the local population and assign them a particular tasks to do. But some historians of 20th century claimed that this theory don't have strong proofs. It is also possible that Aryans were residents of India from long ago and they spread themselves to Central Asia and European region. Recent genetic researches proved that population of Indian subcontinent are descendants of Nordic, Mediterranean, Negrito, Mongoloid, Proto-Australoid and Western Brachysepals races. So it can be considered that Aryans was not even a race, as mentioned by Max Muller. So if Aryan Invasion theory was incorrect then how can we believe that Aryans created caste system of India.

Who developed India's Caste System

  • Some scholars mention that Indian caste system is mentioned in Manusmriti. This ancient text was said to be written by Shraddhadeva Manu (also known as Vaivasvata Manu or Satyavrata). This Manu is considered as 7th Manu and he was an emperor, thus can be considered of ruler/warrior (क्षत्रिय) caste. So those who blame Brahmins (ब्राह्मण) for developing caste system should rethink. 
  • Some people held Ved Vyas responsible for developing caste system as he has written as Vedas. But these people don't know that Ved Vyas was son of a fisher-women (मल्लाहिन). How can a man do discrimination with his own mother's family.
  • Sage Valmiki who wrote Ramayana, the most sacred Hindu ancient text, was know as a robber before sage Narad enlightened him and then he became Sage Valmiki. There is some suspense over his caste, as at present Valmiki is a famous lower caste in India (especially in Northern States).
  • Ravana, the famous Demon King was a son of a Brahmin, but he is always remembered as a demon.
  • Vishwamitra was a Kshtriya (क्षत्रिय) king but he turned to be a sage (brahmin) and created famous Gayatri Mantra.
  • Vidur was born to a servant but later became a Brahmin.
  • Famous King Chandragupta Maurya was from lower caste, and he was trained to be a king by a famous Brahmin named Chanakya.
  • Dr Ambedkar, who wrote constitution of India was from lower caste but still got this precious opportunity. There was nothing wrong in the minds of upper caste, else other influential beings of upper caste would have got this responsibility.
According to Hindu Vedas, everybody is a born shudra unless he realizes his abilities and choose his own caste by the work he choose to do. There is no birth-based caste system in Vedas. Manusmriti described the same caste system.
This caste system is also known as Varna System (वर्ण व्यवस्था). Understanding this word can help you understand it better. The word Varna is derived from "Vrinja" means "Choice". A similar word "Var" (वर) means "Husband, which is chosen by girl". So Varna System was not by birth, but by choice.
Guna (गुण) means Quality, Karma (कर्म) means Work, Dharma(धर्म ) means Law/Justice (not religion) were essential part of Hindu society during Vedic Period. Guna and Karma decided the Caste of a person at that time. Today our Sirnames(Gotra) tell us about our caste, but the truth is that same Sirname is found in different castes. It is because in vedic period Sirname was not bound to caste. Sirname was just used to tell about the father of a person.

As the time passed by some people made this caste system purely birth-based. Most probably it was done by those who were sitting at higher levels at that time. Ego can infect any person, and some ego affected people of upper castes might have ill treated the people of lower caste during some particular periods. But no Veda or Purana will find it rightful.

As the time passed and foreign invaders came to India. They utilized this caste system to divide the nation. Mughals and Britishers divided Hindus by utilizing this caste system. During the British Rule, caste system was empowered by giving higher positions to upper class Indians only, which helped in maintaining a distance between these castes and kept them away from being united.

Birth based caste system is strictly against our Vedas and its practice has helped other religions in spreading itself among Hindus. Lower caste Hindus are often convinced to practice other religions by telling them that they won't face caste based discrimination in those religions.

Exact root of caste system can't be found. Only its description can be found in Vedas, Parans and Manusmriti. Nobody know since when it is there. But it was a part of Indian Civilizations and Sanatan Dharma from ages.

Today if we look at the society and people of different caste, we will find a Brahmin working in Armed Forces, a Kshtriya teaching in School, a Vaishya working as an Engineer, and a Shudra working on Administrative post. It means that now our occupation is no longer decided by the birth based caste. Today we are utilizing our birth based caste either to satisfy our ego or to utilize the government schemes.


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