Friday, January 23, 2009

To be captured here………..

Markandey Katju argued in a serious of two articles in the Hindu on 8th and 9th January 2009. He argued the caste system is shading in structure through the mirror of modern development and technology and social change in behaviour mainly in purchasing power and the end result is its domination is no longer exist. 

However, S. Gurumurthy says in the same news paper but in the opposite side not only in the print page but also in the entire argument. 

See he says “contemporary writers and modern minds like Gurcharan Das and Swaminathan Ankilesaria Aiyar in India did not miss that out what Fukuyama had. They perceive caste as a potential engine of growth and development. Swaminathan Aiyar saw it as the social capital of India. That Justice Katju seems to be unaware of the empirical evidence of caste as a development vehicle in economics is evident from his remark that “a scientific study’ on caste ’is yet to be done.” 

Further he adds that “Caste is a very strong bond. While individuals are related by families, castes link the families. Castes transcended the local limits and networked the people across. This has prevented the disturbance that industrialism caused to neighbourhood societies in the West, resulting in unbridled individualism and acute atomisation. In independent India, a contradiction has developed between the individualism-centric Constitution and caste collectives. Caste-based politics has actually helped to harmonise this contradiction between the formal Constitution and the non-formal social architecture. In a sense, caste-based politics mediates between traditional society and the modern state in India. Yet it can still be argued that the caste element in politics is not desirable. But caste in economics is a positive drive of development…”


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Hushang said...

Well the information was good and it is always good to read the opposite view point. However, I disagree with both articles.

The system of is and has always been a social aspect and not the other way around. Yes, I understand the reasoning behind how India grew before the British and was destroyed by the British. I also understand that caste system divided people on the basis of occupation and thus, a basis of divide and rule. So the concept of divide and rule existed even during feudal India.

Sure it helped in division of labor which helps an economy as a whole but it was a good tool to shun some people and put them in a container that fetched them indignity and lower wages. It also helped in stunting choice. Each person was not free to choose his/her trade let alone social choices. We can even see that today in rural areas. Why shouldn’t a jamadar become a gold smith? What stops him/her (if her at that time even existed - or is it that she was free to choose her profession too) from being a gold smith? Why was an individual (a better term to use) not able to be a potter? Well the only answer I could give is caste system. Division of labor does not mean stunted choice. It does not mean that I should fall under a labor category decided by society and my father. Division of labor goes hand-in-hand with choice. If it does not it is division set by a particular set of people documented in a treatise.

Hushang said...

In relation to Patels and other communities enjoying the grace of a good economy, does not mean that being a Patel helped them to be successful. Again, what if a Patel did not like what he wanted would he be allowed to choose something else. Putting aside choice, why is it seen from a community aspect? Does it mean that all Patels have a right to the assets of all Patels? One Patel doing business and being successful does not mean a successful boon for another Patel. They might do business together or compete with each other to gain market share. So it is meaningful to see from an angle of each Patel (to be more précised each individual). How, he/she did during those times. There were poor people and rich people even pre-British era. Was there competition present among individuals who did business?

People are truly and naturally free. We animals truly love liberty. We truly want to make our own choices. Would an animal other than human beings like to be caged? No! The point that we do cage them is a different issue. The fact that over a period of time a caged animal is domesticated and loses the will to fight is another issue. The fact that animals if come together and throw away tyranny in whatever form (capitalistic or government) is another thing. Thus, we are truly individualistic. We are forced to be a collective by being caged by the government. We truly like to make our own choice as to our destiny and life. We truly have the ability to disregard or accept our family values. If pushed on to us we naturally reject. We pushed on to us we naturally suffocate. Some people just sit and suffocate and some people fight back. It all depends on the individual. It is not that globalization causes individuality. It is individuality that causes globalization. Each Patel and each Singh created a global village.

Hushang said...

If we truly all had the capacity and the tools to protect ourselves we would be still individuals today. We are a collective because we cannot protect ourselves. We are collective because we caged by the people who want to keep us a collective and plan our doom. We are collective by the “controllers”, of the “controllers”, and for the “controllers”. We follow a caste system that the “controllers” created. We are just pests who are being controlled by pest controllers. Nothing more, nothing less.

And what is so wrong in unbridled individualism? I live in the US and I see no wrong in that. I feel more safe and free than in India. What is so wrong in having an unbridled economy free from government intrusion? Don’t we have unbridled murderers roaming our very streets in India? Or can we find a murderer before he murders? The same is true with an economy? Can we find a culprit that will bring down an economy? Time and again we have seen that no regulation can truly find the disruptor. We can only find a murder when he/she commits murder. It is sometimes difficult to even find or convict the murderer. So how can we find an individual committing fraud before the fraud is committed? No data found the current bust. No data found anything wrong with World Com or Enron. And America is one of the countries with the best regulation in the world. In the process of regulation which does not help even an ant carry its food tramples and harms other business wanting and willing to do fair trade.

Further, social collectivism does do anything but the “Sri Ram Sena” goondaism that we have witnessed in Mangalore.