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March 18, 2007

Wilberforce and the Caste System

The West is commemorating the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade law that began the process of dismantling slavery in the modern world. William Wilberforce, a parliamentarian, a friend of the then Prime Minister Pitt, and a Christian human rights activist, led the struggle against slavery in the British Parliament all his life. The new film ‘Amazing Grace’ is being released on March 23, 2007, in London, the date marking the 200th year of the abolition of the slave trade in the British empire.

Did Wilberforce have anything to say on caste discrimination and the Dalits? Yes. He spoke on the caste system and untouchability in the British Parliament 200 years ago and described caste discrimination against Dalits as akin to slavery. Speaking on the caste system he said, “The institution of caste is a system at war with truth and nature.”

If Wilberforce were alive today he would describe Dalits as modern slavery’s biggest challenge. It is not enough for us to hide behind the statements that we have all kinds of laws against the discrimination of Dalits. Rather, caste discrimination is a mindset, a worldview of fellow human beings, and what family and society constructs for us as we mature through childhood. If children are constantly told about their ‘jat’(caste), if popular Bollywood movies talk about ‘jat’, and if cultural events are built around people of certain ‘jatis’(castes), then caste slavery will not vanish. Bonded child labourers, girl trafficking, and 100,000 cases of atrocities against Dalits are symptoms of the problem, but not the disease. The disease is the caste system.

Hypocritically, the upper castes are quick to raise the issue of racism. Take for example the recent British television series ‘Big Brother’ and its claims of racial discrimination against Shilpa Shetty in the UK, but completely overlooked is the blatant racism against the Dalits within our own nation.

The question has to be asked, “Why is it that the upper castes have not led a movement for the abolishing of the caste system for 3,000 years when the disastrous effect on national development, unity, progress and economy due to caste discrimination is plain?”

If Wilberforce were alive today he would be leading a global campaign to abolish the caste system.

What are you doing about this?

Posted by klajja at March 18, 2007 09:24 PM

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IE theorists like to circumvent the genetic evidence by "arguing" that
the dates of IE dispersal (about 6000 BCE) are far too recent. However those
dates are part of the problem not the solution!


"In some cases however, an assumed chronology for the development of Indo-European languages from Proto-Indo-European is used as a basis for further comparison when in fact, the Indo European chronology in question depends on a view of
Indo-European origins which can scarcely be regarded as secularly
established (Renfrew 2000, p. 14)."

"What has always filled me (Dixon) with wonder is the assurance with which
many historical linguists assign a date to their reconstructed
language....Why couldn't proto-Indo European have been spoken about 10,500 years ago.
.. The received opinion of a date of 6000 bp... is an ingrained one. I
(Dixon) have found this matter difficult even to discuss. Yet it does seem to be a
house of cards (Dixon 1997 in Renfrew 2000, p. 15)."


"Summing up, we believe that there are enough reasons not only to question a' recent Indo-Aryan' into India some 4000 B. P., but alternatively to consider India as a part of the common gene pool ancestral to the diversity of human maternal lineages in Europe."

According to the Abstract Since Y chromosomal lineages of BOTH Aryan and Dravidian speaking populations are closer to Europe than the mtDNA is,it is only logical to conclude that the so called IE language family has migrated out of India.

"This again tells us that no large scale migrations from Central Asia has occurred at least any involving the presently Turkish speaking populations of this area among whom the frequency of haplogroup M is other wise close to that in India and in eastern Asians."

The above is not very clear. Are they saying that Central Asians are closer to Indians than they are to eastern Asians? If so the similarities are again due to a migration out of India.

"… Indian maternal gene pool has come largely through an autochthonous history since the late Pleistocene."

Continuity! Continuity! Continuity! - as opposed to invasions and migrations.

The circle around Kashmir with arrows pointing out in all directions in Fig 31.3.
Oppenheimer is against the northern routeout of Africa, tells a muddled story.


“In contrast, the majority of the Indian paternal lineages do not share recent ancestors with eastern Asian population but stem from haplogroups common to (eastern) European or Western Asian populations. This finding has recently been interpreted in favor of the classical Indo-Aryan invasion hypothesis. Here, we show this interpretation is probably caused by a phylogeographically limited view of the Indian Y-chromosome pool, amplified because of current inconsistencies in the interpretation of the temporal scales in the variability of the non-recombining (NRY). It appears to us that the high variability of the STR’s in the background of NRY variants in India is consistent with the view of the largely autochthonous pre-Holocene genetic diversification-a conclusion reached earlier for the Indian maternal lineages (Kivisilid et al 1990a). “

“If we were to use the same arithmetic and logic (sensu haplography 9 is Neolithic) to give an interpretation of this table, (Table 17.3), THE STRAIGHTFORWARD SUGGESTION WOULD BE THAT BOTH (NEOLITHIC) AGRICULTURAL AND INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES AROSE IN INDIA and from there, spread to Europe (emphasis in the original)”.

Posted by: Mayuresh Kelkar at June 3, 2007 10:44 AM

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