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Curse of Caste

I They came on bullock-carts loaded with gods Indra Agni Varuna Rudra traversed sinuous mountain ranges rivers gurgling outlandish tongues their children caged as poultry their priests chanting weird mantras spells charms curses hymns drank the soma juice choking with the sacrificial bleating of rams II Agreed, all societies structure themselves Out of scant need to function sans bother Just as individuals must come together In order better to protect themselves All men are born equal, so say the Wise But the Elders do not know how to stem Rishis who would seek to mock them By claiming they were twice-born to rise Above all mankind for wasn’t it the decreed omen For the Primaeval Being that the self-chosen few Should forever speak for the Brahman in lieu Of Purusha’s helpless eyes, brain, heart and abdomen The only difference between the Brahmin And the rest of the menial human race Is that they were born with Brahma’s grace So that they could spurn the rest as vermin Yet India’s underside boasts of invisible millions Who have no place in sacred Hymns of Man They weren’t created by Rig-Veda: only as Harijan May they hang out in limbo as Gandhi’s minions. Resources Roughly, the Hindu caste system is broadly divided into four sacrosanct strata ; yet there are literally tens of sub-castes in each category : 1. Brahmin (the priesthood caste, supposedly on top of the social hierarchy), followed by : 2. Kshatriya (the princely hereditary and/or ruling warrior caste) ; 3. Vashya (the commercial trading, professional and land-owning agricultural castes) ; 4. Sudra (the menial serving and peasant castes), followed by the Out-caste : 5. The Untouchable or scavenging caste ( which has not found authority in the following Vedic hymn. ) « brahmano ‘sya mukham asid, bahu rajaniah krtah ; uru tad asya yad vaisya ; padbhyam sudro ajayata. » Rigveda, X, 90, 12 (sans signes diacritiques) "His mouth was the Brahman, His two arms were made the warrior, His two thighs the Vaisya ; From his two feet the Sudra was born." Transl. & translit. by Arthur A. MacDonnell (1854 – 1930), 1917 © T. Wignesan - Paris, 1998 - (from the sequence/collection: "Words for a Lost Sub-Continent", 1999, published in Rama and Ravana at the Altar of Hanuman. Chennai: Institute of Asian Studies, 2006 & Allahabad: Cyberwit, 2008.)

Copyright © | Year Posted 2012

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Date: 1/12/2019 3:32:00 AM
What a beautiful poem. Caste system is indeed a curse...and is still present, as a curse.
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T Wignesan
Date: 1/12/2019 12:56:00 PM
Kudos to you, Akanksha, for speaking out the way you do. Most Hindus, especially those in the higher echelons of the caste system, flatter themselves for being born with favoured karma merit (another unverifiable excuse) to keep discrimination going forever, despite the post-Independence laws enacted against its perpetuation. Many thanks for coming out against this deplorable social condition.