Friday, April 24, 2009

Of Social Dogmas and Beyond...

Hello Netizens,
What's on ?
Today i would like to dwell upon the open issue of gradation oh human beings on colour, caste and other artificial elements in life.

India is a big country. It has diverse elements in its culture, mores and folkways reverberating in its mosaic like social fabric.

Beauty peagants across the world have the stunning contestants claiming the oft repeated lines: " my country is diverse! "

India too falls among such countries, surprisingly even the climate is not at equilibrium in the 28 states of the country.

Herein follows the irony. The ancient social order of the nation runs on casteist principles and injunctions.

Now, for those who came in late, Caste is a Hindu social doctrine which grades an individual according to his/her's profession.

It is alleged that in history of India, the country which comprised of natives as adivasis ( tribal or hill men) was literally invaded by the first Aryans comprising of intellectuals, scholars, shrewd individuals, artisans and other work force.

The Books say that this section which comprised of godmen or a priestly class i.e. Brahmins were instrumental in creating this format known as caste which in English history has been classified as Hindu social order.

Ironically, the Hindu religion was not born and brought up in this land. "Hindu", Swami Vivekananda in the Parliament of Religions, Chicago had declared is actually is a misnomer.

The term actually means: "the way of life."

The earliest inhabitans of India were the the community of South India dubbed as "Dravidians" by Anthropological studies as well as the tribal peope who had a great civilisation and socio-historical background of their own.

Their faith however, was animistic in nature.They were basically nature worshippers.

There are some subtribes in the North eastern part of India who worship Woman-power as a form of cult-religion.

The tribe belonging To the 13 year old Naga girl, Rani Gaidilieu who rose in revolt against the English in 1930 is an example of such a case.

Without deviating from the case at hand, we will just dwelve into the issue.

During my covering of a Dalit story for my magazine, "HardNews" i met three washermans in the considerably big field of East Vinod Nagar which is also home to garbage and other waste There i was queried by the trio that do i come from a low caste, to which i said no.

I just cross questioned them that what is the crieteria for grading an individual for, we come from the same womb of a mother, have almost the same physical features( though racial origins and other known and unknown factors determine the features)

i asked them their original addresses to which they repolied that they hailed from the border area of Balliya district in U.P.

This is co-incidentally the birthplace of rebel Sepoy, Mangal Pandey of 34th Bengal regiment who had attacked his commanding officers in a parade ground at Barrackpore, West Bengal in 1857 which was the spark provided to the rebellion.

They counter queried mefrom which caste i belonged i said that i was a Muslim and Islam does not promote gradation with a verse in the Quranic traditions interpreted in Urdu asserting that:
Ek hi shaih mein khade ho raha banda na raha banda nawaz....which means that in the same row of offering prayers there is the slave as well as his master or lord.

They asked me that in India there are hierarchies according to the titles of Muslim names.
To this i said that Muslims in the tradition of the holy Prophet are not to identify themselves with some titles. The whole name is a full one, nothing much nothing less.

For example, my name Jawed Akhtar is the full name, Akhtar is not my title. Many people in India mistook titles as Khan to be a hierarchical title.

In fact, it is the reverse. Khan originated from the Kingly Mongolia times during warrior,Chengiz Khan's time. It came to the Islamic regimes of Iran and middle eastern countries along with Central Asia.

Khan is nopthing but Chief or leader to put it simply an exalted title of honour given by the king to his loyal or skilled servicemen.

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