Monday, August 22, 2011

Shudras are not untouchables!

While discussing about reservations in Indian system, my friends told me that it is okay to give reservations for Shudras. I asked him, what do you mean by Shudra? My friends said, weren't they untouchables?
Often we don't know the history or remember some part of it. The above information might have come from false interpretation or limited knowledge. In my history classes, I never taught about the actual history of India. The actual history of India is not well written and highly speculative. All we know for sure that there was a system existed in India. There was Varna system and caste system. Caste are different from Varna. This must be well understood. People often mix here. They think Varna and Caste system are same. They are not same, may be mixed but not same. Varna is basic division of then society in four major parts,
- Brahmin (mainly priests, scholors)
- Kshatriya(kings, warriors)
- Vaishya(traders)
- Sudra(craftsmen, labourer)
Castes are endogamous groups which may sub-divided in sub-caste.

But the untouchables are not part of any of this. They are simply outcaste. Anyone outside the then society and not in varnas are outcaste, chandaal.

Untouchables or even the shadow of them were considered unpure.

The outcastes are below sudra and not a part of society. So next time if you hear someone is confusing between shudra and untouchable, tell them the reality.