Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Caste

Most recents (24)

Who are the #Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vysyas & Shudras?

In #Hinduism, neither a caste structure nor any divisions of labour are established for a certain vocation of life with watertight compartments.
The extraordinarily divine compere is devoid of any divisions of labour, social communalisms, or other unimportant issues.
The 4 "so-called" classes r castes represent the different stages of human growth (yogam).
It is untrue to say that #Jatis must pursue a certain line of work in the outside world. All of this discourse is the pitiful outcome of Toto's ignorance of the genuine meaning of our texts
Read 13 tweets
Folks, some resources for educating yourself about the basics of #caste, in history and today. A lot Indians probably don't need this... some other folks who follow me here appear to be in dire need of this education.

I have successful taught Flueckiger's "A Note on Caste," which is about 5 pages in her book Everyday Hinduism.

It covers terminology in different languages, some caste markers, class / urbanization differences, and discrimination.…
For your really basic, sort of statement of facts, this BBC explainer can be helpful. It doesn't connect the dots much, but it has the virtue of being succinct:…
Read 5 tweets
A 🧵 on #caste #privilege, mainly for those born/raised in the so-called "upper caste" communities (like me).
I was born a Brahmin, and having grown up on a steady diet of implicit/explicit casteism that took a couple of decades to even partially cleanse myself of means I know most of the arguments that UCs use regarding caste. I've used them in the past. I know how hollow they are. 1/
Yes, I've been guilty of casteism before, even while thinking that I was arguing about "merit". I seriously believe that it's extremely difficult for someone brought up in a typical savarna home to be entirely free of casteist beliefs/instincts. 2/
Read 21 tweets
A great article summarizing the fake construction of “caste” in California, the inherent unfairness of how such policies were created + the impact on day-to-day life of Hindu American students & technology workers. #Caste #HinduAmericans #CasteInTech… 1/n
Article calls out flawed data used, even as a June 2021 study by @CarnegieEndow found majority of Indian Americans did NOT identify themselves with caste at all. 24% denied ANY knowledge of caste in their networks. No evidence for significant caste-based discrimination in US. 2/n Image
OF NOTE: fears of the CSU students we at CoHNA are helping-who now worry about hosting events, catering vegetarian food, or even celebrating beloved festivals like Holi & Diwali – since both have been called violent/casteist by the same activist groups driving caste policies 3/n
Read 4 tweets
We now discuss one of the most important weapons being used to bludgeon the Hindu community -worldwide! A panel of scholars & activists from Dalit & other backgrounds discusses “Caste and Exploitation of Indian Faultlines”. #BreakingIndiaADecadeLater #Hinduism #dalit #caste
Dr. Arvind Sharma opens the panel, with caste and cognitive dissonance. "Hindu thinkers themselves realize that descriptions in the (Dharmic) texts, which we take for granted now, as reflecting reality, did not correspond to reality" @aravindasharma #BreakingIndiaADecadeLater
“We should delve deeper into the historical evidence or the field reality of the so-called caste system, instead of being misled by an extreme focus on the texts and generalization assumption that the texts corresponded to reality” @aravindasharma #BreakingIndiaADecadeLater
Read 4 tweets
The Progressive Farmer, 1911

"Round the World Travel Letters"

"The Caste System in India"

#HindooHistory #ClarencePoe #Caste Image
"Of Hinduism as a religious or ecclesiastical institution we had something to say in our letter from Lucknow; of Hinduism as a Social Fact bare mention was made." Image
"And yet it is in its social aspects, in its enslavement of all the women and the majority of the men who come within its reach, that Hinduism presents its most terrible phases. For Hinduism is Caste and Caste is Hinduism"
Read 20 tweets
Los Angeles Herald, 1908

"Caste in India"

#HindooHistory #Caste
"When the Aryan nomads crossed the Himalayas and formed their pastoral settlements along the banks of the Indus they were a peaceful people, yielding easily to the governance of their patriarchal chiefs."
"Their loose confederation of tribes was held together by considerations of mutual protection, by blood kinship and by a common religion. In the absence of writing certain individuals and families among them..."
Read 36 tweets
The Vermont Telegraph, 1837

"The Missionary Herald and the South"

"It appears that the Missionary Herald, even, has become obnoxious to the South."

#HindooHistory #Caste
"And what is its offence? Simply putting down the American Anti-Slavery Society on the list of benevolent institutions, in its passing notice of the several anniversaries-- that is all, for that it is branded as incendiary"
"The alarm has been rung in the ears of the South, and a threat uttered in the ears of the Board. Whether the Board will dare to repeat the offence, will be seen when another year comes round"
Read 11 tweets
The Indianapolis Journal, 1897



"Organization of Indian Society Complicates the Application of Relief to Famine Sufferers"

#HindooHistory #Caste
"That the British administration of India has largely contributed to produce the famine is a melancholy fact, and I have already given details setting forth how this has occurred. But at the same time, it is only fair to add that the Indians themselves are to blame"
"If the British conquerors have failed to accomplish their duty, so also have the governing classes of the native population been remiss. The Indians themselves have, to a great extent, degenerated."
Read 38 tweets
Vermont Telegraph, 1837


"There is no part of the Hindoo system, which exerts such despotic sway, and so effectually prevents all improvement, as caste. They were originally divided into four castes, or tribes..."

#HindooHistory #Caste
"...each of which is again subdivided into a large number of branches. Every individuals remains invariably in the caste in which he was born, practices its duties, and is debarred from ever aspiring to a higher, whatever may be his merit or genius"
"The members of each tribe must adhere unvariably to the profession of their ancestors, and continue from generation to generation, to pursue one uniform walk of life."
Read 16 tweets
"A raft of evidence shows that caste discrimination has been imported from India to the United States."

Covers the Cisco and BAPS temples cases from this year, along with surveys regarding #caste identity and caste-based #discrimination in the diaspora.…
Further resources for those who want to learn further about #caste in the United States --

On the Cisco court case (ongoing), in which the allegation is that a Dalit has been discriminated against by two upper caste supervisors:…
On the BAPS temple situation (ongoing), in which a temple is alleged to have used Dalits for forced labor.

This is the most extensive alleged case of forced labor on US soil since the 1990s:… #Dalit
Read 10 tweets
The arguments that the US-based Hindu Right is trotting out to defend casteism and to absurdly try to paint the discriminators as victims ... I've heard it all before. It is structurally very similar to white supremacist arguments. #Hindutva #caste #WhiteSupremacy
Both argue--in remarkably bad faith--that it is reverse racist to single out the aggressors (caste Hindus and white people, respectively).

They also try to paint the aggressors (racist on both sides) as the victims, for having their prejudice called out.
Both also engage in historical revisionism or denialism (e.g., denying the harsh realities of slavery and Jim Crow laws & the long history of caste).

When they do admit any part of this history, they downplay its effects, suggesting that racism / casteism are things of the past.
Read 6 tweets
So, my story is finally out in @thecaravanindia!As part of @NFI_India's Media Fellowship, I report on the caste-ridden lives of #Theyyam practitioners in north Kerala—they perform daredevil acts in the name of worship and yet are threatened by caste norms+…
face routine public humiliation, receive less financial remuneration, even pay for costumes/jewelry from their pockets. Little has been done to support those who bear the brunt of this spectacle in the name of tradition+
(Image: Kandanar Kelan #Theyyam, by Sreerag Kadannapally The Kandanar Kelan Theyyam runs through fire at Pilathara, K
and while crowds may still watch these performers risk their lives and health as 'gods', in fear and awe, no one even remembers their names after.

(Photographer: Sachin Ravi) A Theyyam performer gets ready to perform the Chooliyar Bhag
Read 8 tweets
#Thread You need to keep talking about #caste to your dominant caste family members. Staying silent makes you complicit in casteist violence. It can be challenging, of course.
- What happens when you do try?
- What strategies should you use?
- Why you should do it.
What happens when you challenge a family member about their #casteism?
- They are shocked and/or in denial
- You are afraid of hurting them or provoking their fury.
- If you are dependent on them, they might threaten to or withdraw their support
- There is a lot of discomfort
- They may not be willing to change
Read 12 tweets
#RajyaSabha starts with Chairperson making a statement condemning y'day incident of some MPs climbing on table.
While making the statement, the Chairperson also got emotional and cried.

However, protests resume and he quickly adjourned the House till 12pm!

#LokSabha started at 11am & adjourned sine die within 7 mins.

In valedictory speech, Speaker said that House couldn't function as expected due to disruptions.
And yet, he claimed that 20 Bills were cleared in LS!

PM finally shows up on last day!

Today, on last day, during playing of Vande Matram, an MP (possibly Harsimrat Badal) making a final point by carrying a placard.

Despite intense protests by Opposition demanding a discussion on #FarmLaws & #FarmersProtest since beginning of #MonsoonSession, it didn't happen.
Read 57 tweets
#LokSabha begins discussion on #Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill.
Protests have subsided for the time being.

Dr. Virender Kumar, Minister of Social Justice speaks on the Bill, claims that states will have the right to notify OBC lists for their states.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, INC on #Constitution (127th) Amendment Bill:
- We had warned Govt in 2018 that states rights were being taken away, but Govt didn't listen. Wasted its time and money in Supreme Court petition
- Govt has majority, so doesn't listen

Chowdhary continues on Constitution #OBCreservation Bill:
- When states started protesting, people started protesting and with an eye on election, you brought this Bill now
- But we also demand that 50% ceiling be removed, approach SC, let states decide

Read 58 tweets
Another Sunday. Another thread. #caste #privilege #merit #prejudice

My primary school was a govt. aided vernacular medium school run by an ed. institute (one of the better ones in my home city). My first recall of #caste is from when I was in 2nd/3rd.

One of our teachers that year was NOT upper-caste (unlike most teachers in the school), and the predominantly upper-caste parents (including mine) weren't happy with the "quota" teacher. The general mood was "our education system is going to collapse due to quota"

The thing is, this was decided based on his "surname", and of course based on prejudice of all the upper-caste teacher's, who had an obvious grudge against "quota system" that the govt. grant mandated. I don't even remember if he was a good or bad teacher.

Read 19 tweets
1/ Shared few insights emerging from community-based #COVID care that some communities have begun in #Adivasi populations in #Chamarajanagar with support from #ZillaPanchayat in live video interaction with #Karnataka #GramPanchayats thanks to @gokRDPR
2/ #COVID19 care needs to be rational & #evidence-based but also respectful & dignified; these are not aspects we have done well with in our #HealthSystem & hence need special attention;
3/ Dignified & respectful care requires an awareness of diverse socio-economic & cultural contexts at individual, household, neighbourhood & societal levels; we haven't substantively engaged with (#caste #gender #disability #sexuality #privacy )-aware care at systemic level
Read 7 tweets
#Caste a thread.

Long back, when I had just passed my 10th exam with decent marks, a distant relative who was an office bearer for "karhade brahmin sanghatana", or some such organization representing my born caste, visited our house to hand me a "prize"

Incidentally, we were invited to attend a program to felicitate "bright" students from the community but hadn't turned up, so he had come home to deliver my cash prize. "I don't accept prizes that are caste-based", I said. He tried to convince me, but I was adamant.

Give that money away to some deserving candidate from the (so-called) lower castes, I told him. Given my background, this isn't even an achievement, I told him.

Read 28 tweets
1/ Joining some wonderful people from what I am seeing as a diverse group of researchers at the #EditorialBoard of @PLOSGPH; journal has given itself the tall order of “addresses inequities in public health and makes impactful research accessible to all… (1/n) #Threads
2/ In words of @paimadhu "the journal will amplify the voices of underrepresented and historically excluded communities and prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion at all levels"; I am highly skeptical of this,
3/ yet I am thrilled that a #PublicHealth journal would give itself such a vision; #Knowledge #Science #Evidence all reproduce the same kind of social hierarchies that drive unfair accumulation of resources in our society
Read 12 tweets
There's been a lot of talk about caste and caste-based discrimination recently. That's good. We need to face this as a modern problem, without equivocation.

How does caste look in history? A #THREAD #caste #discrimination #history #AcademicTwitter
Historians like specifics, so:

Place: Kashmir
Time: late 14th – early 15th century CE
Politics: Sikandar Shah (r. 1389–1413), of the Sultanate of Kashmir.
Main Guy: Suha Bhatta

Suha Bhatta was born a Brahmin. He converted to Islam and was a minister of Sikandar Shah.
Source: We know about all of this from Jonaraja, another Brahmin who wrote a Rajatarangini (River of Kings), a Sanskrit history of the period in Kashmir.

[Sidenote -- If you're most familiar with Kalhana's Rajatarangini, Jonaraja's text is one of several subsequent ones.]
Read 13 tweets
What does #Caste hierarchy and historical priviledge look like in the Temple Building Industry?​​​​​​​ A thread:

( In image: A prototype of a temple design made by Sompura Brahmins and executed by Dalit Adivasi stone carvers​​​​​​​)
SOMPURA Brahmins- main actors of the temple building industry, who work closely with religious organizations such as #BAPS. On one hand, they profit off the blood and sweat of #Dalit and #Adivasi workers who build these temples...
...On the other hand, they consider their touch impure. So, Sompuras touch, bless and do ‘finishing touches’ on the carved stones - made by #Dalit #Adivasi #workers - to make them ‘worthy’ of their temples
Read 5 tweets

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