“Because it is crucial that we refrain from using the oppressor’s language to articulate the social structures that violate our communities, I first identify two terms that may still be be new to a western or diasporic audience. For example, I believe the term Bahujan, simply meaning “the majority of the people”, brings to attention to the reality that caste is not a “Dalit problem”.
While Dalit and Adivasis are some of the most vulnerable communities in a caste society, the majority of the people of the subcontinent are caste-bound and ruled by “upper”-caste minorities. The term Bahujan refers to present day Scheduled Castes (Dalits), Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis/indigenous) and Shudra (peasant) castes — cutting across religion, ethnicities and geographies.
In addition, the use of words Brahminism/Brahminical in the place of “Hinduism/Hindu” is also intentional. These are the appropriate term for the religion of ancient (and modern) India — at the core of which is the morality of a Brahmin-conceived institution, the Varnashrama Dharma ( the system of 4 varnas and laws and practices related to it ). The term “Hinduism” is actually a contemporary political term constructed through the mass appropriation and erasure of several distinct indigenous tribes, outcastes, religions and microcultures throughout the subcontinent for the sake of usurpation of post British-colonial land and electoral power.“
What is the homeworld gem social status hierarchy?
That’s hard to say precisely. The best I can posit is that Homeworld has something similar to the Hindu caste system in order.
The Diamonds could be similar to Brahmins, the priest/scholar class. Directly below them are Khsatriyas, the warriors, similar to how Amethysts and Jaspers are of high status. Below that are the Vaishyas, merchants and landowners: specialized workers like Peridots. Then, there are Shudras, servants like Pearls.
At the very bottom are Untouchables. This would include highly defective Gems and permanent fusions, individuals who are soiled or below the rest. Comparable to, say, clods of dirt.
That’s just a rough estimate. Hindu aesthetics have been seen throughout the show, which is what makes me think there is some influence.
an abhang by janabai or jani of namdev. she was a bhakti poet from 13th century maharashtra and one of the aspects of her life that personally resonated with me the most was that she was one of the few shudra women varkari poets we know of!
Many Sants like Sant Tulsi Das, Goswami Lakshminath Paramhans, Sant Kabir, Sahib Surdas Ji, Sant Tukaram Ji, and Shri Maharshi Mehi unanimously pronounce that all human beings – irrespective of gender, age, occupation, and race – have an equal right to follow the inner path to the Divine. This view is verifiable by the fact that many Sants and sages, including Sant Kabir, Sant Ravidas, Sant Garibdas were born in ‘lower castes’ and in the lower strata of their society. Many ancient sages like Vyasa and Narada also have unusual births. Sant Tulsidas emphasizes that physical conditions, including birth in lower caste, poverty, and a lack of bodily beauty do not inhibit the progress of the soul. Sants declare that we are all children of one Supreme Being, God. This Divine Being is all compassionate and generous and does not have preference for any persons on the basis of their birth, class, or gender. However, there are certain disciplines all seekers must follow in order to tread this inner path to realize the Divine. According to Maharshi Mehi, “There are a number of necessary observances required to tread the spiritual path.”
Observances: Complete faith in one Divine Being, determination to realize the Divine within, service to the guru, satsang (association of the Sants and the study of scriptures), and steadfast meditation. Prohibitions: Use of intoxicants, practice of adultery, lying, violence (causing suffering to other beings, eating the flesh of animals), and stealing…
Thus, scriptures and Sant literature offer guidelines with regard to disciplines and prohibitions. According to these writings, an untouchable (chandala) who is devoted to the service of the Supreme Being is superior to a Brahmin (a person from the priestly class). Such a chandala with his/her devotion and dedication to the Supreme Being purifies the entire clan.
According to the Dharmashastras (Law Books), “all are born shudras (the lowest caste).” (One rises upward through the inward spiritual journey.) The caste system is based according to one’s qualities, actions, and samskaras (imprints left on the soul due to previous or past life experiences). The reality is, social status, birth, or social class (caste) does not determine the quality of a person; but, rather, one’s comportment determines one’s true status (i.e. caste). Death is a great equalizer. At the time of death, when the soul leaves the body it becomes isolated from all that was connected to the body, including relatives, sons and daughters, caste and status, wealth and wisdom, honor and power. Then, why discriminate against other human beings on the basis of these transitory, material things?
The inner path is accessible to all human beings, but certain disciplines, as cataloged above, are to be followed as also prescribed by the Sants for entering this path. An observance of these disciplines is absolutely essential for the seekers of Divine Reality.
O seeker, if you want to become a pilgrim on the spiritual path then do not transgress the disciplines and rules prescribed by the Sants and scriptures! Without following these necessary provisions and disciplines you will not be able to travel upon this inward journey, and will not attain success in achieving the highest goal.
– Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, from the chapter titled, The Traveler of the Subtle Inner Path, in the new book, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)
the entire point of my post was to talk about how caste doesn’t have to be referred to explicitly within diaspora communities for it to actually exist and manifest itself in disgusting ways. people don’t actually have to open their mouths and say things like, “oh shudras have no culture.” in order for casteism to exist within diaspora communities.
what DOES need to exist are the very specific, very strange ways in which communities form within the diaspora. your local group of aunties who dress up and do pujas every week and have sahasranamam get togethers don’t EVER have to talk about caste explicitly. but look at what they do and who they become friends with. are you ever going to see your local brahmin aunty with a nine-yards sari become friends with and form groups to recite the devi mahatmayam with someone who didn’t follow those very specific, very savarna rituals? no. they wouldn’t even speak to them. it wouldn’t matter if they spoke the same language, were from the same town, and were both hindus. heck, those aunties would even cross cultural lines within the diaspora first (and then brag about how ‘open-minded they are’) before they’d deign to form inter-caste friendships, even in a foreign country.
and the kicker is that you don’t have to say the word “caste” once for this shit to take place. our communities are designed purposefully to be insular in the worst possible ways. what they call “preservation of culture” is just another type of savarna elitism and NOBODY has to even bring the word “caste” into the conversation for that to happen. it’s insidious by virtue of what people do and how they align themselves.
and if you choose to ignore this and say shit like, “oh but nobody talks about caste where i’m from” well again, you’re both ignorant and complacent as fuck.