basically these are the jargon for intellectual appetite. the truth is clear that in Indian context the division of labour by virtue of birth of an individual i in a particular community is very much pertinent in both the minority communities of India.
In hinduism, manu smriti is just one of the numerous smritis written
during various times by the kings.. its not universal.. Hence,
quoting from one smriti and generalising all, is NOT correct..
Secondly, the smritis are NOT followed by most of the people.. its
not a holy book similar to bible, as being projected by some people..
The very word Caste is not an indian term.. it came from the
portugese word "Casta" ..
As i said earlier, the present day caste system was the creation of
britishers.. the concept of high caste and low caste was defined by
them, Some quotes from book review by chenbagalaskhmi..http://www.hinduonnet.com/lr/2002/11/03/stories/2002110300280500.htm
Colonial views on caste, according to Dirks, were consciously
articulated. They ignored or did not recognise that in pre-colonial
India, the units of social identity had been multiple, heterogeneous
and determined by context (e.g. the temple and the state = king) in a
complex, conjunctured, constantly changing political world. It is a
striking act of history and studied disregard for ethnographic
specificity, as well as a systematic denial of the political
mechanisms that selected different kinds of social units as
significant, and as most valorised, at different times, that made
caste central to social organisation.
"In early colonial historiography (19th Century) the most influential
views on caste were those of the Missionary, who denounced caste as
the most serious impediment to the spread of the Gospel, the
Indologist, who produced text-oriented views on Indian society and the
Orientalist who created stereotypes such as Oriental Despotism and
Village Republics. British interest in the institution of caste
intensified in very new ways depending upon the documentation projects
of the early colonial state around matters of land revenue � to
understand local forms of landholding, to reorganise the agrarian
order, to resurrect local landlords or the Ryotwari against landlords
and the village community, all of which played a critical role in the
primary transformations of British rule from the late 18th to the
early 19th Centuries. "
In the process of defining rituals as either sanctioned by Brahmanical
religion or as folk/ popular, Hinduism itself was redefined and a
rigid separation between the high classical and the low popular
religion made, producing the model of the Great and Little traditions.
Hinduism and the relationship of religion to society have undergone a
massive redefinition from the 18th to the 20th Centuries. In the
colonial context, it was defined by an upper caste elite in
relationship to colonial and national contexts and imperatives. The
birth of a new post-colonial Hindu nationalism is a result of the
several versions of Hinduism which emerged in reaction to colonial and
Oriental characterisation of Hinduism. The most pernicious legacy,
Dirks says, is the construction of the idea of a national community
persisting long after colonial rule. The peculiar contradictions that
are still very much a part of the colonial inheritance for the nation,
still work against most progressive post-colonial politics of India
today. The colonial past continues to be written into the new world
order, in post-colonial developments around liberalisation,
globalisation and the later 20th Century triumph of capitalism.