posted on January 13, 2022 | Author DR. FARKHANDA RAHMAN
The most brilliantly administered scam in history is Caste System – Narendra Jadhav. The word caste is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese word “casta” which means race, lineage or race and in the Kashmiri language is known as “Kram”. Castes are rigid social groups delimited by the hereditary transmission of lifestyle, profession and social status. In Bengal, Pakistan and Afghanistan, some Muslims call the social stratification qaum (or Quoms). Social historical history indicates that the caste system in India originated after the arrival of the Aryans around 1500 BC. After its origin in ancient India, the caste system was variously transformed during the Mughal and British Raj in medieval, modern and modern India.
The spread of Islam in India dates back to 711 AD (92AH). Due to the teachings of equality and brotherhood, the majority of Hindus have embraced Islam (especially the victims of the Hindu caste system). During this period, Muslims were broadly divided into three caste groups or biraderis; Ashrafs (nobles) made up of upper-class Hindu converts and a small minority of Arabs, Iranians, Turks and settlers from Central Asia. Second group of Ajlafi Muslims (Muslims native to South Asia) and third group of Arzals, the lowest status people. Anti-caste activists like Dr. BR Ambedkar and British ethnographer Herbert Hope Risley, have referred to the Arzals as equivalent to the Hindu untouchables.
The kingdom of Kashmir in the 8th century was repeatedly attacked by Arabs who had settled in Sindh (711-13CE). After the Arabs, the Ghaznavids also tried to conquer Kashmir. At the beginning of the 14th century, Muslim Sufi preachers from Central Asia and Persia
(Sayyid Sharfuddin or Bulbul Shah, Sultan Shah Mir, Sikander Shah, Mir Mohamad Hamdani, Nund Rishi) brought Islam to Kashmir. According to 2014 data, 97.16% of the Kashmir region is occupied by Muslims.
Islam is a strongly egalitarian religion, but among all Muslim communities in South Asia, Kashmir Muslim society is the most Brahminical following the Hindu Chatur Verna caste system (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras). The eminent Kashmir sociologist and former Head of Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir, the late Bashir Ahmed Dabla, in his book “Directory of Caste in Kashmir” writes: “There is an unrealistic notion among some individuals and groups who make of caste a social institution of work does not exist in this society. But it is not a social reality. The current reality is caste as a functional social institution that is prevalent in Kashmiri society.” According to the book , the Kashmiri Syed/Pir castes (Geelani, Shah, Jeelani, Bukhari, Qadri, Hamdani, Andrabi, etc.) are considered first order and equivalent to Hindu Brahmins/Kshatriyas. Khandai, Bhat, Lone, Naqash, etc.) would be equivalent to Hindu Vaishyas and the “service castes” (Hanjis, Waza, Dobi, etc.) equivalent to Hindu Shudras.
Our society is divided on the basis of financial background, profession and family lineage. Occupation or financial terms are more likely to change over time, but can this redundant “suffix” be removed? This question is still asked, leaving an itch in the minds of many. Islam is the most anti-harmful way of life. The moment Satan (Iblis) disobeyed to bow down to Adam (AS), caste was born. The holy “Quran” says that Allah (SWT) questioned him: “What prevented you (O Iblis) from not prostrating when I commanded you? Iblis replied, “I am better than him (Adam), you created me from fire (i.e. ascending), and him you created him from clay (i.e. descending). ). It was his caste-based argument that led to Satan’s expulsion from paradise. Further, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) says; “There are two things that can lead people to infidelity and disbelief, one is crying loudly over the corpse and the other is considering others as inferior on the basis of their birth (caste). ” If Islam had given importance to castes, would Hazrat Bilal Habshi (RA) (an African slave from Ethiopia) be titled ‘Muazin-U-Zaman’?
Our genes are marked with the caste system. The twisted strands of DNA tell stories about human individuality and the consolidation of the caste system. A study by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) summarizes that caste as the bar of marriage in India originated 1900 years ago when people in northern and southern India stopped marrying in outside their groups. According to a study by Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir, 55% of the population of the valley is single. Apart from all other reasons, caste discrimination is at the top.
The majority of Muslim societies practice endogamy (marriage within a specific social group, religious denomination, caste or ethnic group). This classification not only leads to delayed marriages, but also to hatred, contempt, tyranny, mental health issues, regrets, substance abuse, post-marital distress, and unhealthy broken relationships. . The following verse was revealed when a respected tribe, the Banu Biyaza wanted to know (from the Prophet PBUH) if they could marry one of their daughters to Abu Hind, a slave; “O men, we created you from male and female, and made you into races and tribes, that you might identify one another. Surely the noblest of among you, in the eyes of Allah, is the most pious among you, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Knowing.[Al-Hujurat:13].
A study conducted by the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, points out that the risks of recessive diseases (diseases due to genetic defects of the parents) are very high in Indian communities due to endogamy, the practice of marriage within the same community or caste (especially cousin marriages in Muslim communities). Intra-caste marriages lead to the formation of closed communities where the transmission of genetic diseases is greater (founder effect). Due to the high degree of close inbreeding, inbreeding can lead to the extinction of a group if a genetic disease appears. In addition, the majority of common diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) have a family origin.
In India, inter-caste marriages have been gradually recognized due to the increase in education, employment, urbanization and the inter-caste marriage program of 2017. According to studies conducted by the Council National Applied Economic Research (2016), 5% of marriages in India are inter-caste and increased by 36% with a 10-year increase in husband’s mother’s education. Is it only education that can change this trend? No! but the will. Any ordinary person with the courage to admit what is right can do the needful. According to animal ethology, the animals in a herd divide into a pecking order (higher to lower) based on their abilities to forage for food, mate, and lead the group. Who is smart? Animals or humans?
I remember the rigid atmosphere of my house during my childhood. My beloved grandmother (belonging to the Shah family) will not allow anyone to touch the utensils, mats, clothes or food that are supposed to be used in Islamic rituals. And on those days the whole house was cleaned and everyone could enter the house after executing Ghusul. My father and my uncles dared to change customs for good. My family is changing. This is yours? As Noami Wolf rightly said, “You don’t win by striving to reach the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped in one”.
(The author is Assistant Veterinary Surgeon, Department of Animal Husbandry, J&K and can be contacted at [email protected])