Early industrial labour was also drawn mainly from the urban artisan and servant castes. The guiding ideas were samaj sudharo (social reform) and samaj seva (social service). Briefly, while the Varna model was significant in the total dynamics of the caste system to fit the numerous first-order divisions into the four-fold Varna model in any part of India is impossible, and, therefore, to consider varnas as caste divisions as such is meaningless. Although it has been experiencing stresses and strains and has had ups and downs on account of the enormous diversity between the royal and the tribal ends, it has shown remarkable solidarity in recent years. 19 Sep 2002. It is easy to understand that the pattern of change would be different in those first-order divisions (such as Rajput) or second-order divisions (such as Leva Kanbi) which did not have within them subdivisions of lower orders and which practised hypergamy extensively. A new view of the whole, comprising the rural and the urban and the various orders of caste divisions, should be evolved. Some ekdas did come into existence in almost the same way as did the tads, that is to say, by a process of fission of one ekda into two or more ekdas. The error is further compounded when—although this is less common—the partial, rural model of traditional caste is compared with the present urban situation, and conclusions are drawn about overall change. Frequently, a division among Vanias corresponded to a division among Brahmans. No one knows when and how they came into existence and what they meant socially. Both were recognized as Brahman but as degraded ones. Gujarat: Upper caste men object to Dalit jawan's wedding procession, pelt stones The incident happened in Gujarat's Sandipada village when the wedding procession of Akash Kotdia (27), an Army jawan posted in Jammu and Kashmir, was underway amid objections from some upper-caste community members. In the second-order divisions of the Vanias the small endogamous units functioned more effectively and lasted longer: although the hypergamous tendency did exist particularly between the rural and the urban sections in a unit, it had restricted play. Also read: Dalit Youth Allegedly Killed by Upper Caste Men in Rajkot, Gujarat. The purpose is not to condemn village studies, as is caste in a better perspective after deriving insights from village studies. The hierarchy, however, was very gradual and lacked sharpness. The main aim of this paper is to discuss, on the basis of data derived mainly from Gujarat, these and other problems connected with the horizontal dimension of caste. ), as contrasted with the horizontal unity of the caste. At the other end were castes in which the principle of division had free play and the role of the principle of hierarchy was limited. Ahmedabad: In a deplorable incident reported from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district, a 21-year-old Dalit youth was allegedly assaulted by an ‘upper caste’ man and his four associates on Tuesday, for not properly buttoning up his shirt and using an ‘upper caste’ surname.. How it happened . Systematic study of small caste divisions in villages as well as in towns still awaits the attention of sociologists and anthropologists. Nor were ekdas and tads entirely an urban phenomenon. It is possible that there were a few divisions each confined to just one large city and, therefore, not having the horizontal dimension at all. Although some of them set up shops in villages they rarely became full-fledged members of the village community. Indeed, a major achievement of Indian sociology during the last thirty years or so has been deeper understanding of caste in the village context in particular and of its hierarchical dimension in general. For example, among the Vanias the most general rule was that a marriage of a boy could be arranged with any girl who was bhane khapati, i.e., with whom he was permitted to have commensal relations (roti vyavahar). Each ekda or gol was composed of a definite number of families living in certain villages and/or towns. But there was also another process. The village was a small community divided into a relatively small number of castes; the population of each caste was also small, sometimes only one or two households, with little possibility of existence of subdivisions; and there were intensive relationships of various kinds between the castes. To have a meaningful understanding of the system of caste divisions, there is no alternative but to understand the significance of each order of division and particularly the nature of their boundaries and maintenance mechanisms. I do not, however, have sufficient knowledge of the latter and shall, therefore, confine myself mainly to Rajputs in Gujarat. Nowadays, in urban areas in particular, very few people think of making separate seating arrangements for members of different castes at wedding and such other feasts. This does not solve the problem if there are four orders of divisions of the kind found in Gujarat. Usually, a single Koli division had different local names in different parts of Gujarat, but more about this later. And even when a Brahman name corresponded with a Vania name, the former did not necessarily work as priests of the latter.The total number of second-divisions in a first-order division differed from one first-order division to another. On the complaint of Jadhav, Rajput has been booked under charges of causing hurt and criminal intimidation along with charges under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. In all there were thirty to forty such divisions. The co-residence of people belonging to two or more divisions of a lower order within a division of a higher order has been a prominent feature of caste in towns and cities. Bafan (Muslim) -do- 4. They wrote about the traditional Indian village, but not about the traditional Indian town. last year | 1 view. It owned corporate property, usually in the form of vadis (large buildings used for holding feasts and festivals, accommodating wedding guests, and holding meetings), huge utensils for cooking feasts, and money received as fees and fines. In other words, it did not involve a big jump from one place to another distant place. Email. The institutions of both bride and bridegroom price (the latter also called dowry) were rampant in castes with continuous internal hierarchy—dowry mainly at the upper levels, bride price mainly at the lower levels, and both dowry and bride price among status-seeking middle level families. Indian military won’t reform by itself. Gujarat: Upper caste men object to Dalit groom on horseback, throw stones The incident happened in Sandipada village when the wedding procession of Akash Kotdia (27), an Army jawan posted in … There would be a wide measure of agreement with him on both these counts. Then there were a number of urban divisions of specialized artisans, craftsmen and servants, as for example, Sonis (gold and silver smiths), Kansaras (copper and bronze smiths), Salvis (silk weavers), Bhavsars (weavers, dyers and printers), Malis (florists), Kharadis (skilled carpenters and wood carvers), Kachhias (vegetable sellers), Darjis (tailors), Dabgars (makers of drums, saddles and such other goods involving leather), Ghanchis (oil pressers), Golas ferain and spice pounders and domestic servants), Dhobis (washermen), Chudgars (banglemakers), and Tambolis (sellers of area nuts, betel leaves, etc.). Within each of these divisions, small endogamous units (ekdas, gols, bandhos) were organized from time to time to get relief from the difficulties inherent in hypergamy. How many sub-divisions existed in the various divisions of the various orders is a matter of empirical investigation. This account of the divisions is based on various sources, but mainly on Bombay Gazetteer (1901). While we can find historical information about the formation of ekdas and tads there are only myths about the formation of the numerous second-order divisions. According to the Rajput’s I know in central Gujarat, the highest stratum among them consisted of the royal families of large and powerful kingdoms in Gujarat and neighbouring Rajasthan, such as those of Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Kachchh, Porbandar, Bikaner, Idar, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and so on. Many second-order divisions were further divided into two or three status categories. This stratum among the Kanbis coped with the problem mainly by practising remarriage of widows and divorced women. Finally, while an increasing number of marriages are taking place even across the boundaries of first-order divisions, as for example, between Brahmans and Vanias, and between Vanias and Patidars, such marriages even now form an extremely small proportion of the total number of marriages. Sometimes a division could even be a self-contained endogamous unit. There was also another important correlation. In central Gujarat, at least from about the middle of the 18th century, the population of the wealthy and powerful Patidar section of the Kanbis also lived in towns—an extremely interesting development of rich villages into towns, which I will not describe here. There was also a tendency among bachelors past marriageable age to establish liaisons with lower-caste women, which usually led the couple to flee and settle down in a distant village. The associations’ activities in the field of marriage, such as reform to customs, rituals and ceremonies, and encouragement of inter-divisional marriages, are also seen by the members as a service to the nation—as the caste’s method of creating a casteless modern society. This reflects the high degree of divisiveness in castes in Gujarat. Literally, ekda meant ‘unit’, and gol ‘circle’, and both signified an endogamous unit. The very low Brahmans such as Kayatias and Tapodhans were invited but made to eat separately from the rest of the Brahmans. The point is that the Rajput hierarchy, with the princely families at the top, merged at the lower level imperceptibly into the vast sea of tribal and semi-tribal people like Bhils and Kolis. The youth Rajesh Sondarva’s father, Nanji Sondarva, who was an RTI activist was killed by members of the same family a year back. 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