Stress and communalism dr. shriniwas kashalikarDocument Transcript
Merely belonging to different castes, different religions
or merely following certain customs, which are running
through the generations in a family and a community
etc. do not make us discriminatory, unjust, prejudiced
and communal; and does not produce STRESS of
According to the world book dictionary, communalism
refers to self-governance of a commune or communes
and this is a kind of federalism. Communal means
related to commune.
In Sanskrit there is a SUBHASHITA
PINDE PINDE MATIH BHINNAH
KUNDE KUNDE NAVAM PAYAH
JATO JATO NAVACHARAH
NAVA VANEE MUKHE MUKHE
The meaning of this SUBHASHITA is simple and
enlightening. It boosts the spirit of tolerance.
It implies, every individual has different intellectual
capacity, every source of water contains water with
different characteristics and composition, every
community has different tradition; and different
linguistic expression is present in every individual
But in India this word has different connotation. In
India, communalism implies disproportionate pride,
concern about one’s caste, tribe, religion or any such
group and disproportionate contempt, hatred and
prejudice about those of others.
This is almost always associated with practices harmful
to others. Communalism has become an everyday
problem. It has infiltrated every walk and every stratum
of life; like a cancer. Thus political parties, a variety of
unions, various organizations etc and associations are
diseased with communalism. Similarly, policies
regarding employment, promotions, admission to
different educational careers, competitive examinations
in almost every sphere of life have been infiltrated by
To understand and overcome the menace of
communalism and bring about harmony and justice in
society effectively; we have to understand the caste
system and the caste specific job distribution that has
come into existence and remained for centuries and the
emergence of religions and their impact on social life. In
this article; we will consider the development of caste
In my view, (my theory of the emergence of caste system
that disapproves the conspiracy and exploitation
theories) the caste system in India was based on the
physiological principle of homeostasis where many
different type of cells perform different functions so as
to maintain constancy of internal environment and
thereby health of the organism.
Secondly it was based on the principle of a variety,
complementarity and harmony in nature. Thus the
emergence of caste system was based on the observation
that neither in body nor in nature the individual
components perform the same work or job. In fact this
kind of “equality” is dangerous. Complementarity of
components is important and conducive to health. This
entailed distribution of different jobs. This distribution
of the jobs initially depended on the capacity.
However the distribution of jobs gradually became
independent of the capacity and started depending on
one’s caste. How could have this happened?
Firstly, it appears to me that this took place because of
the observation; that the tissues performing a particular
function in body; give rise to the cells with the same
Secondly; there is heredity in nature. The mango tree
gives mango fruits, banana tree gives banana and
coconut tree gives coconuts. The offspring of a tiger is
tiger and offspring of a cat is a cat.
Thus the fact the tissues give rise to daughter cells
performing the same function and the plants and
animals reproduce their own replicas; was probably
extrapolated to the human society.
It must have been thought that such heredity must be
working in human beings also. In fact, such
extrapolation must have been buttressed by the
observations that children do carry the traits of their
parents which may include, from mathematical talents
to musical skills, besides physical constitution and looks.
In fact even today we use expressions such as “There is
music in his blood”, “There is acting in his blood”
“There is business in his blood” and so on. These
expressions are based on observations of centuries. So
every community was seen or perceived as a particular
organ or tissue, which would give rise to specific type of
cells; and subserve the homeostasis in the organism viz.
holistic welfare or blossoming of the mankind!
The second reason for this change must have been due
one of the most prevalent concepts viz. KARMA
PHALA SIDDHANTA. In Marathi this is expressed as
KARAVE TASE BHARAVE. In English this is
expressed through “As you sow, so you reap”.
This concept gives a basis for why a particular child is
born in a particular community or caste. This led to the
notion that those who are born in a particular caste are
born according their deeds in the past life. This lent a
conceptual foundation for the stability and continuance
of the caste dependent job distribution. So every
individual in a particular community, caste, subcaste;
was conceived as a particular individual cell in a tissue.
Now it can be appreciated why there were restrictions
on all the communities (analogous to organs or tissues)
to do a particular job.
Obviously this was to achieve social homeostasis
(analogous to homeostasis in an organism). Clearly this
was to avoid competition based on petty selfishness and
unabated personal ambitions, which could, jeopardize
the welfare of a society (analogous to endangering the
homeostasis and life of an organism because of different
tissues competing to perform the same functions).
The caste system also had one more and important
aspect and that was punishment at local level. This
punishment depended on the nature of “crime” or “sin”
and the verdict of the traditional beliefs, conventions
and consensus. This particular system included the
punishment of outcasting.
Outcasting means; removing out of the community. The
person or a family could not live in; and get any
facilities from their community. There was total
noncooperation. This was a kind of imposition of
It is well known in India that the father and mother of
the world famous saint of 12th century, saint
Dnyaneshwar were outcasted and forced to commit
suicide; for their “crime” of going against the then
Those who were outcasted were condemned to live as
the outcaste. This system of giving “justice” by
consensus; apparently did not have any provision for
the upward traffic of the outcasted “lower” castes, who
actually were not merely the conquered people or slaves.
They included the “upper” castes individuals and
families, which had to enter into “lower” castes because
of what was then considered a “crime”.
However one does not know with certainty whether
there were any ways of absolving from those so called
“crimes” and promoting to “upper castes”.
Today most of these “crimes” may not be considered as
crimes, blunders or even mistakes; because of the
individualism, superficiality, pettiness as well as ideas of
(right as well as wrong) freedom.
It appears that these castes, which were forced to live
outside the villages, were declared untouchable. Due to
the same notion of heredity, which consolidated caste
system, their progeny was also considered inferior and
forced to stay out of the village border, was made to
accept dirty jobs and were declared untouchable. This is
why; many villages in India used to have and still have;
in many regions, the formerly untouchable people
staying beyond the boundaries of the villages.
The caste system has been primarily a result of all that
has been said above and NOT A CONSPIRACY;
though it became unjust and perverted; through the
subsequent influence of other factors such as vested
interests, misuse of cultural superiority and authority,
emotional blackmailing, exploitation of gullibility,
religious persecutions, outright sadism, brutality,
foreign invasions, forcible conversions, fear of the
unknown, fear of the society, etc.
It can be clearly understood from the foregoing that the
caste system in India which deteriorated into
increasingly unjust and grave perversion; was to start
with; NOT A CONSPIRACY; as is made out to be by
many misguided individuals.
The theory that it was a conspiracy; can prejudice and
mislead; the young and innocent people; and can create
division, hatred and strife; amongst different castes. It
can generate and aggravate the vindictive attitude of
vengeance amongst some and the morbid sense of guilt
in the others.
But since it does not go to the root cause; it can not solve
the burning problems of the billions. In fact this has
been vindicated by the turbulent history of many ad hoc
measures; such as; reservations and other caste-caste
interactions in India in last several decades.
The fact that the caste system did not develop as
conspiracy can be clearly evident if following points are
1) Caste system to be the conspiracy has not primarily
been a result of political wars or religious wars also. The
subsequent influence of such factors; however; can not
be entirely denied.
2) Political, dictatorial, oppressive, exploitative reasons
appear too simplistic to explain the phenomenon of
casteism and untouchability, which has spread all over
India and in every nook and corner of even the interior
most aspects of country (which were ruled by extremely
different rulers with extremely diverse backgrounds).
3) Caste system has not been a conspiracy; because; it
has not been primarily a result of winner-loser
relationship. If that had been the case then there would
not have been as many restrictions on certain “upper”
castes as have been there in India.
4) If there had been winner loser relationship between
two groups then one would have found fairly uniform
characteristics amongst “upper” and “lower” castes.
This is not so. Everyone would agree that there are
people with very low capacity in so called “upper” castes
and there are people with far greater capacity in so
called “lower” castes. In fact almost all types of people
are seen in all the castes. This applies not only to
capacity but also to morality and social commitment.
5) The skin complexion of the individuals from “upper”
castes and “lower” castes is also not uniform. Thus
brahmins are not uniformly fair in complexion and the
“lower castes” are not uniformly dark in complexion.
6) Caste system was not based on equality. But it was
basically and to start with not based on inequality,
injustice and exploitation also. It was based on; as is
said earlier; the interpretation of homeostasis, heredity
and complementarity, and its extrapolation to society,
social harmony, social stability, social order and optimal
social blossoming in holistic health.
7) In the ancient times; most of the rulers and great
scholars were NOT brahmins and the scriptures were
the products of consensus and any particular
It has to be appreciated that because of this, even as
most of the saints did not practice caste discrimination,
religious discrimination or any kind of discrimination
for that matter, they did not condemn or allege the
Indian scriptures with malicious and vicious intentions.
These scriptures (MANU SMRUTI, PARASHAR
SMRUTI, VASISHTHA SMRUTI, NARADA SMRUTI,
YAJNAVALKYA SMRUTI) were codes of conduct for
different age groups, different professionals, different
members of the family etc; such as and so on.
This was because they knew that by condemning them,
the old wisdom of social homeostasis would be lost and
by supporting and practicing it; the exploitative,
coercive and inhuman element would be justified and
For this reason they chose the middle way. The saints
did not make any disruptive and provoking statements;
because they knew that this was not the solution to the
evils of caste system. They knew that the solution to the
evils of caste system lied in the opening of the floodgates
of enlightenment and empowerment for one and all.
This is why, without making any stunts and gimmicks
they spent their lives in trying to open the floodgates of
enlightenment and empowerment for one and all.
They suffered during their lifetime because of the
harassment from callous, rigid, orthodox and inhuman
conservative elements; and centuries after their death;
still continue to be misunderstood, misquoted,
condemned and ridiculed by many misguided elements.
From the work of the saints it appears that the saints
had diagnosed the flaw in the caste system; and hence
foreseen and predicted; the end of caste system (without
losing the essential concept of social homeostasis)
through generalized enlightenment and empowerment;
irrespective of caste, religion, region etc, which is of
paramount importance and inevitable and indispensable
(but neglected) in really annihilating the castes even
The major flaw; in the caste system that rendered it
extremely exploitative, coercive and inhuman; is the
omission or ignorance of i) Human beings are different
from tissue cells; by virtue of greater freedom and
flexibility ii) mango, coconut, tiger and cat do not have
the choice and freedom to transcend their mango-ness,
coconut-ness, tiger-ness and cat-ness. In contrast human
beings have this potential and hence must get choice and
freedom to transcend their caste characteristics, the
process which is called enlightenment or self-realization.
The saints seem to have realized that the children are
not of the parents (to get exactly the same
characteristics or to be blamed for the “sins” of their
parents), but they come through the parents.
The saints also seem to have realized that it is a great
fallacy to condemn some one as sinful; merely because
of being born in a particular caste; and punish him/her
for the so called sins/crimes of the past generations or
The purpose of this article is not to glorify or to
condemn anybody, or to describe the detailed history of
caste system but only to i) conceptualize the theory of
the mergence of caste system based on the
understanding physiology and ii) having gone to the root
of the caste system and the main determinants of the
caste system; take it to its logical end by blossoming
everybody; at individual and global levels in every
This implies that everything coercive in caste system
would come to an end and the wisdom of harmony and
complementary would continue.
It is very true that one of the worst types of stress; is
stress due to exploitation. Physical, sexual, emotional,
intellectual, social, economic and political exploitation
makes us miserable.
But isn’t it true that even as we get exploited, we do not
resist the exploitation either because we are unable to
fight back or because we are not serious enough to fight
back? Isn’t it true that we are used to exploitation and
have come to terms with it? Be that as it may; if we wish
to conquer the stress resulting from exploitation; then we
have to learn the root causes and also the mechanism of
how we get trapped in exploitation.
The first and foremost thing is that we have to
understand that we are never; “mere exploited” or
“mere exploiters”. We harbor within us; an exploiter and
an exploited simultaneously. We are never; mere
Brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras. We harbor
within us a brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra;
simultaneously within us. In fact; any such division; in
terms of class and caste in the society; even though
tempting; is simplistic and superficial. It never takes us
to the roots of stress from exploitation and the solutions
to conquer it.
If we study physiology, then we would realize that we
have different control mechanisms, which control our
thinking, feelings and our behavior. Thus we have
prefrontal cortex and the sensory, motor and association
areas of brain, limbic and autonomic nervous system,
subcortical brain and neuroendocrine parts, and
endocrine, metabolic and spinal mechanisms in order of
Our perspective, thinking, feelings and behavior; in
individual life and social life; are characterized; by which
of these control mechanisms is predominant in our life;
and in the life of majority; respectively!
Roughly speaking; predominant control of prefrontal
cortex and the sensory, motor and association areas of
brain; makes us brahmins. If we are predominantly
governed by limbic and autonomic nervous system; then
it is being kshatriya and if we are being predominantly
governed by subcortical brain and neuroendocrine parts,
then it is being vaishya. If we are predominantly
governed by endocrine, metabolic and spinal
mechanisms, then it is being shudra.
If we are governed by endocrine, metabolic and spinal
mechanisms, then we are bound to have prevalence of
exploitation, pettiness, jealousy, hatred, fanaticism,
fascism, lust, cruelty, crudeness of every kind;
inconsiderateness, indifference, intolerance, selfishness,
sectarian perspective, violence, treachery, cruelty,
betrayals, cheating, crimes, filth, diseases, and accidents
and so on in our individual life and; if we are in majority
then in social life! In other words we are bound to create
hell for ourselves and others.
Let us be clear that no amount hue and cry can bring
about blossoming in our individual and social life when
we ourselves are predominantly governed by endocrine,
metabolic and spinal mechanisms (lust and pettiness) i.e.
being SHURDA. If we are predominantly shudra; then
we are not likely to oppose exploitation. In fact;
knowingly or unknowingly we are likely to promote our
own and others’ exploitation.
What would happen if we rise from shudra life into
vaishya and kshatriya life? Would it bring about
harmony and happiness in our life; in absence of
predominance of the sensory, motor and prefrontal
cortex of the brain?
Predominance of vaishya and kshatriya controls; in our
life; gives us material progress (increase in ideas,
innovations, trade, industry, import, export, technology,
crafts and arts, and military strength and so on) in
individual and social life.
But individualistic, selfish, competitive, restless,
ambitious, subtly exploitative and subtly violent trends
multiply in individual and universal life.
The external ornamentation would increase. The
glamour increases. The glitter increases. The pomp and
pride multiply. But all these flourish without the holistic
approach that involves inclusive growth! Hence; fragility,
fickleness, impatience, pessimism, cynicism, suspicion,
aloofness, irresponsibility, recklessness, belligerence,
vagrancy, chaos, cacophony, separations, divorces; and
subtle, silent, sophisticated, cunning and organized (in
addition to crude violence) violence towards one’s own
self and others; in individual and universal life increase!
Hence we need the predominance of the control of
prefrontal and sensory-motor cortexes i.e. brahmin
element i.e. the control of conscience and enlightenment
in individual and social life! We can conquer the stress of
exploitation in individual life and by becoming a
majority in the society; we can conquer the stress of
exploitation in society.
In other words; we would conquer the stress of
exploitation by Total Stress Management embodying
individual and universal blossoming; even as shudra,
vaishya, kshatriya and brahmin elements are inevitably
present within us; and in the society; through the
predominant control of brahmin within us.
But how to achieve the predominance of BRAHMIN or
BRAHMANA control or control of prefrontal, sensory
and motor cortexes?
This is achieved by a continuous process of conscious
evolution through NAMASMARAN (and other
adjuvant means according to different cultures; from
This is associated with blossoming of the perspective,
thoughts, feelings, aspirations, conceptions,
articulations and overall behavior conducive to
individual and global blossoming. Holistic politics,
holistic economics, holistic education, holistic health,
holistic medicine, holistic agriculture, holistic
industries, holistic trades, holistic banking, holistic art
and literature, holistic sports and overall holistic way
of living; become reality in the process of being
controlled by the BRAHMIN or BRAHMANA element
within us; or becoming BRAHMIN or BRAHMANA.
This invariably associated with vitalization, promotion,
regulation, coordination and harmonization of the
KSHATRIYA, VAISHYA and SHUDRA elements;
inside and outside; and blossoming of individual and
universe, as envisaged by Saint Dnyaneshwar of
We all; irrespective of birth have the privilege and
opportunity to evolve as BRAHMANA and participate
in the process of blossoming of one and all!
If we are able to “see” the unapparent undercurrents
in the world; then we would be ecstatic to notice and
participate; in the rapidly globalizing process; of
evolving as a BRAHMIN or BRAHMANA; facilitating
the individual and global blossoming; through
This is because, we must remember that while evolving
out of the caste system, mankind has already begun to
be plagued by and suffer from; individualism, pettiness
Those, who attribute all the evils to the caste system in
India; must be explained; that; in rest of the world;
where there was no caste system (like that in India),
individualism, pettiness and superficiality are playing
havoc and proving to be malignant and fatal!
We must learn from the saints; the importance of
opening the floodgates of self realization to people
irrespective of caste, creed, race, religion, nations and
study, practice and promote; the Total Stress
Management (the core of which is NAMASMARAN),
which embodies holistic perspective, policies, plans,
programs and actions; for individual and global
blossoming; through international laws, rules and
conventions; in holistic healthcare, holistic productive
education, and every field of life!
As and when this begins, everybody would become self
reliant, independent, empowered, self sufficient, and
enlightened; and the ad-hoc steps such as reservation
policy, free education, concessions, free food, subsidies,
loan wavers etc; would become redundant and
unnecessary. Moreover; majority would begin to realize
that in absence of this; even 100 percent reservations in
parliaments, assemblies, jobs and everywhere; for that
matter; would NOT solve the problems of the suffering