Caste & Class Consciousness still alive & well

#1 Jan 6th, 2011, 21:26
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#1
New York Times columnist and author of new book "India Calling" Anand Giridharadas discusses in this interview his personal encounter with class consciousness during a visit to India.

Quote:
In India you're eternally a master and eternally a servant. And servants in many ways have been seen and taught to see themselves as being not someone who is situationally inferior, but someone who is eternally, intrinsically inferior.
http://www.npr.org/templates/transcr...ryId=132631222

He also talks about how some highly-motivated individuals are fighting to transcend the old order.
#2 Jan 6th, 2011, 22:03
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class and caste?

I find it strange that the two are clubbed together! The caste system has its roots in a social order dating back millenia . . however evil or disparate it may be, its roots are very strong in India and though I don't subscribe to the idea, I can definitely see how it came to be. I can also see how the cohesive powers it lends to a varied society could do wonders to ensure stability and general peace.

That said there is a lot of discrimination on the basis of the caste system though it is steadily on the decline as far as my finger can feel the pulse.

The class system on the other hand owes its origins to imperialism and capitalism. A society where money rules over all else. The symptoms of such a system are servants, prostitutes, beggars amongst many others. The premise of the class system is that there are those who are developed and those who aren't. Education is often used as a benchmark . . this is far worse in my opinion. And it is growing too!!

Not sure actually but interesting article, got me thinking!!
what if . . . maybe . . . say . . . suppose!
#3 Jan 6th, 2011, 22:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trooooon View Post I find it strange that the two are clubbed together!
Giridharadas doesn't actually use the term caste in the interview, although the interviewer does when he introduces the discussion.

I think that caste and class are both relevant to the discussion inasmuch as caste is something one is assigned, it is beyond choice, and is immutable; while class today is, theoretically at least, subject to at least some modification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooooon View Post The class system on the other hand owes its origins to imperialism and capitalism. A society where money rules over all else.
Hmm. Not so sure about that. I suppose it depends on how you define imperialism and capitalism. Elements of class consciousness have existed for eons (the difference from today being that in the past, there was little opportunity to move from one class to another).


Quote:
Originally Posted by trooooon View Post I can also see how the cohesive powers it lends to a varied society could do wonders to ensure stability and general peace.
One could say the same about tyrannical dictatorships!
#4 Jan 7th, 2011, 06:45
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#4
The word community is now used instead of caste, same thing tho
Nill illigitimi carborundum
#5 Jan 7th, 2011, 11:42
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#5
duplicate thread ! >>>> Caste Busters: The changing shape of New India.


trying to set the tone with the 'quote' you have posted, huh - randomviolins ?



:brishti
#6 Jan 7th, 2011, 13:03
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Its an interesting article at any rate . . there must be some mod magic wand thread merging power right?

You're right Random violins! he doesn't club them together . . i ended up digressing from the main point he was making i fear!! That quote you picked does set the tone somewhat though!!

He seems to be enamoured by the free west to an undue degree and i fear pins head on the blame for self imposed servility that charachterises us in India! Quite intense! But I fear he is missing the point that servility is not necessarily a bad thing . . it sure beats fundamentalism and as you put it dictatorship. So what if every gora is a sahib, we get on with life right . . at the end of the day there is little way to ensure peace without a healthy dose of servility is there? We aren't all equal, and communism showed us how it works if attempt it!

Dunno confused . . is servility a bad thing?
#7 Jan 7th, 2011, 13:10
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#7

jug suraiya on indians :)

another digression, but this is one of the funniest aspects of 'indian culture' a must read from today's times of india jugular vein!
#8 Jan 7th, 2011, 14:57
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That's just a silly idea: people hang out their washing whereever they hang out their washing. What does the guy expect?

Except those that send it out, for washing, of course. So, by his methodology, no washing at all would be the poshest.

Singapore has a preponderance of high rise blocks of flats. Whilst being a wonderful city in many ways, I's hate to live there, because one would have to be very rich to live in an actual small house. Washing. Get back to the subject! Yes, washing... they have this amazing system of not using lines (where would you tie the other end?) but of using poles that extend from their windows.
#9 Jan 7th, 2011, 15:40
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What about laundry gate

He's hardly arguing that poshness is proportional to laundry, he just suggests that it cuts across the lines, when in fact posh people have no need to hang the laundry out what so ever! I've seen a similar retracting washing line system somewhere, can't remember . . .
#10 Jan 7th, 2011, 16:05
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Oh, I see... I thought he was saying you can see how expensive the laundry is!

Oh well, just another misreading from me then
#11 Jan 7th, 2011, 21:43
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post That's just a silly idea: people hang out their washing whereever they hang out their washing. What does the guy expect?
Well, as he said, the superduper-luxury class folks could hang their laundry in a hidden inner room.
Or they could install electric dryers like the Americans all have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Except those that send it out, for washing, of course. So, by his methodology, no washing at all would be the poshest.
Ah, yes. That's true. Why wash if you're a multimillionaire and can afford to throw everything out after a single use? (Or donate to the less fortunate, of course.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Singapore has a preponderance of high rise blocks of flats.
And they just hang their laundry up on the balconies of their flats. (I was just in Singapore last week and wondering how they get their unmentionables to dry during the rainy seasons!)

#12 Jan 7th, 2011, 21:50
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by brishti View Post duplicate thread ! >>>> Caste Busters: The changing shape of New India.


trying to set the tone with the 'quote' you have posted, huh - randomviolins ?



:brishti
Thanks, brishti.
But not exactly a duplicate. Same writer (Giridharadas). Somewhat similar subject. But different discussions (which partly explains why different quotes!).

In the interview I linked to, he describes how he visited an Indian family (as an American of Indian descent) and was treated wonderfully as a dinner guest in the family's home. He goes on to say that he then returned a few minutes later, after having switched out of his nicer clothes into shorts, carrying a mattress he had promised to deliver. A servant who only moments earlier had treated him very deferentially as a guest in the home now saw him, because of how he was dressed and what he was carrying, as a common laborer and treated him quite dismissively.
#13 Jan 7th, 2011, 22:08
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#13
That's one insane laundry shot

wash away . . .
#14 Jan 9th, 2011, 19:41
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomviolins View Post Thanks, brishti.
But not exactly a duplicate. Same writer (Giridharadas). Somewhat similar subject. But different discussions (which partly explains why different quotes!).

In the interview I linked to, he describes how he visited an Indian family (as an American of Indian descent) and was treated wonderfully as a dinner guest in the family's home. He goes on to say that he then returned a few minutes later, after having switched out of his nicer clothes into shorts, carrying a mattress he had promised to deliver. A servant who only moments earlier had treated him very deferentially as a guest in the home now saw him, because of how he was dressed and what he was carrying, as a common laborer and treated him quite dismissively.
All this is very, very common in India; it's part of Indian culture to worship the rich and abuse the poor. Caste system simply fits into this culture, that's all, and it is not a thing in itself.
#15 Jan 19th, 2011, 00:39
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#15
Letting your laundry dry in the fresh air I thought was best? Maybe depends on how "fresh" the breeze is blowing through one's washing?
As an anti-communist, can I ask what is terribly bad about class/caste systems? Where we at least know our general place in the world? It really was gonads of "New Labour" to keep preaching that we were a "class-less" society. The dis-United Kingdom is more divided now than it ever was, with people living in gated communities et al.
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