Kovind and the naysayers on Bhoomi Pujan: Should we talk of `castes’ amongst Muslims?

10th August 2020

10th August 2020

Seafarers from my era led interesting lives, in as much as whilst our friends were just about finishing school, we were already with a few global voyages or more in the high seas.

By the time we had finished with our teens, rare if any were my contemporaries who had not done 50 countries or so, crossed all the oceans, packed a dead body or more in the course of duties, handled police and customs investigations and raids, and got a fair understanding of global geo-politics.

All the whilst picking up on the technology of operating modern ships with huge engines and well-equipped bridges. The latest in electronics and control equipment, exposure to satellite technology before anybody else (we had used GPS in the '70s) and most of all, working with people from different parts of India and the Rest of the World. 

The first question that most people from Western countries would ask us when they visited our ships would usually be about how come Indians from India were able to handle all these modern technologies? Our response then would be that, hey, we also had the atom bomb and aircraft carriers and submarines.

But it was in the Islamic world that we were asked about caste all the time - "in our religion, we are all same-to-same brothers, why is there so much caste in Hindus? Till a Pakistani colleague once taught me how to answer this question because, more than anything else, he was a Punjabi and so was I. Which is why he also said - go straight on the offensive when anybody asks you this question, be a true Punjabi. That also, from Jhung-Meghiana, along the Chenab.

Towards a better understanding of  “caste” among the Muslims . . . We have to learn how to go on the offensive when anyone accuses us of being divided by caste. Specially read page 88 onwards please . . .

Broad verticals with response to Hindu and Muslim caste systems -

Muslims - Indian and foreign origins

Hindus - Indian originsxxx

xxx

Muslims - based on marriage between siblings

Hindus - based on marriage not allowed in same gothra/village/town or even same side of mountain / rivers etc

xxx

Muslims - based on an adoption of Western ideals and style of living

Hindus - based on descent more aligned with Indic ideals and style of living

xxx

Muslims - based on regional alignments leading to vertical silos (example-not just Arab vertical silo in Mecca but also vertical silos based on language in India)

Hindus - based on horizontal alignments across vertical silos of different languages (example-all regions and languages represented on Varanasi ghats)

xxx

Muslims - castes are defined by race, colour, conversion and, above  all,  descent. Forever.

Hindus -  castes are defined by knowledge and descent. But without knowledge, descent evaporates in maximum 2 generations, if not 1. 

xxx

Muslim term - Jamaat (3 categories, topmost royal/religious caste is less than 1%, second "proprietory" caste is between 4% and 9% and balance 90% to 95% are Jamaat-less"

Hindu term - Jati (you tell me the percentages?)

xxx

In death the graveyards for these Jamats are totally different or in separate areas for Muslims
In death the cremation grounds for Hindus are now almost totally common for all.

Does this cover birth to death of Jamat and Jati in terms of caste?

Do not apologise about caste. Every part of the world has caste. America has black and white. Europe had Jews and non-Jews. Some are fixing matters, some are not, but none can pretend it does not exist.

(This thought crossed my mind when I read a few muck-raisers doing what’s their pastime, if not a paid obligation, to abuse BJP from both sides of the mouth. They doubled down on our Dalit president Ram Nath Kovind’s absence in Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Temple. They could only see division of jati, community etc without a care that their own glass-houses won’t survive a pebble, forget stones. Don’t Ajlafs and Arzals make 85 percent of their entire flock in India?)

 Veeresh Malik was a seafarer. And a lot more besides. A decade in facial biometrics, which took him into the world of finance, gaming, preventive defence and money laundering before the subliminal mind management technology blew his brains out. His romance with the media endures since 1994, duly responded by Outlook, among others.

A survivor of two brain-strokes, triggered by a ship explosion in the 70s, Veeresh moved beyond fear decades ago.

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