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Caste is static or dynamic?

Caste is static or dynamic?

Many people believe that caste is unchangeable and assign a lot of priority to it. They also become jingoistic on the basis of caste. But caste is dynamic, as it changes in many circumstances .They are as follows:
o   On migration to distant places, castes of individuals and groups use to change.
o   Upgradation of status of individual or groups changes their caste or forms a new caste.
o   Due to the state sponsorship or sponsored by the king, the castes of their dependents use to change.
o   After the war the castes and status of the defeated persons use to affect.

o   On change of occupation, the caste change used to take place.

o   Due to sanskritisation , castes of many people have changed according to the convenience. Also, the status of Groups and individuals were changed.

o   Due to the reformist movements ( both caste and Religious) ,the castes and status of the people have changed.

o   The calamities also affected the castes of the people.

o   Isolation of individuals and groups also allowed  to  change their castes.

o   Due to matrimonial relations of higher status man, the caste of low status women used to change(upgraded mostly). In case of relation with lower status man, usually caste of women was lowered.

o   The en-mass amalgamation of groups also allowed caste changes.

o   When a small group moves with a big group and that small group unable to connect their own group, the small group merges with big group.

Many people assign the origin of the caste system to the ancient chaturvarna system, where the society is divided in to four varnas namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and shudras. But, in early vedic period the varna was not rigid and people were allowed to change his varna as per the circumstances. Inter varna marriages  were also allowed. In the later stages,the caste was also determined on the basis of their occupation, tribe, gotra , etc.,in addition to varna.

In the initial stages, Brahmins were one among the many priests. Subsequently, many priests were assimilated into Brahmins,due to their supremacy in the Yagnas. This has caused many divisions among the Brahmins. Also the sanskritisation took place in many parts of India.This has amalgamated many earstwhile priesty classes of these regions into Brahmins. Thus , many Non-Brahmin communities attained the Brahmanical status. So, their caste has changed.
The interchanging of caste between the Brahmins and kshatriyas were allowed in the vedic period.till the last two decades, many Branmins were reluctant to marry Niyogi( originally Kshatriyas practicing Brahmanical habits). But, in the recent past they are maintaining matrimonial relations by inter changing caste.

Many foreign ruling tribes were amalgamated into Indian caste system. They have attained the status of kshatriyas, loosing their original status. Some tribes attained the shudra status.

In case of Indian ruling class also, many other castes/varnas after attaining the kshatriya status, maintained matrimonial relation among the kshatriyas only, loosing their original caste. For instance the Raja of Gwalior marries from the family of Raja of Nepal or Indore or Nagpur.

In olden days, many business communities were merged with the vyshyas as a part of sanskritisation, loosing their original status.Some Gotras of vyshyas consisting of word Kula, indicating their original family name or caste or tribe, etc.
In the ancient days guilds system was there to carryout the business to distant places. Many castes people were included in the guild, but was dominated by vyshyas.Over a period of time,the minor groups have merged with vyshyas, due to loss of contact without their own groups.

In olden days vyshyas use to ask protection from the kshatriya community and some warrior shudra communities. In due course of time they established matrimonial relations. mostly, vyshyas lost their cast and ,leaving some evidences. where as shudras or lkshatriyas entering in to vyshya community was fully merged ,where as shudras or kshatriyas entering in to vyshya community was fully merged ,without leaving any evidence.For instance, many kapu,Gavara,families have surnames of Ramshetty,Bhairushetty,sheelamshetty,Darishetty,Bishetty,Dadishetty,Anishetty,karamshetty,polishetty,etc.
During the Delhi sultanate, Allauddin Khalji has given advances to the vanija community of Rajasthan for supplying the goods to market to implement the market reforms to supply the goods at cheaper prices to the people.But, over a period of time, the vinijas could not supply the goods,due to various reason.King wanted to punish them.This has led to en-mass migration of these people to Maharastra and Andhrapradesh.In A.P, they are formed as Vanjar community,leaving their original caste.
In the initial days of the civilization, the weaving was the one of the Industrialisation techniques in India.all the communities, varnas were practicing the weaving in their leisure time.Over a period of time some people had got expertise to become comparatively rich due to foreign trade of textiles( inter kingdom and out of India both).Thus, it has become a separate caste in later days, loosing their caste and varna. Similarly, devang community has also formed.

Bahurupi and Yakshaganam(presently castes) were different kind of dramas prevailing in the different parts of a.p., the people of various castes were joined in to the drama groups. Once these dramas were losing the importance, these people started isolated and started marrying in the same group of drama companies to form in to separate caste. However, we also hear that jakkula families(corrupt form of Yaksha, who is an actor in Yakshaganam) have merged with some other castes in khammam district.
Jogi (presently a caste)is a kind of a system of dedicating some individuals to the service of the God and temples from different castes. At a later stage, these people had lost the importance for various reasons and formed to a separate group after joining in to the mainstream.
Ganika (presently a caste) was a multi- talented women existing in the courts of the king from various castes. Once, the courts were vanished, the importance to these people has decreased. They have formed in to a new caste.

In the ancient days , the Yadavas and Kurmis have migrated from Bihar and U.P. to Andhra Pradesh. These are separate castes in their original lands. But , in A.P there is a strong co-operation between these castes and there are some matrimonial relations among them. It may be due to the similar profession of sheep and goat rearing.
In ancient days, many agricultural and warrior families have migrated from Bihar and U.P to Andhra Pradesh.These communities were formed in to new castes such as Kamma, kappu,reddy,etc.,leaving their otiginal castes.

Vaddera people were migrated from odisha( ancient kalinga and also called odra desha) from various castes for working for breaking the stones.They are physically well off. Over a period of time, they lost their contacts with original lands and formed in to a separate caste in A.P.
The upper class Kapu people from the  Andhra area has been migrating to Telangana area since ages. But, they merge with the Munnuru Kapu people to have better access to society. This is a kind of a sub- caste change instead of caste change.

After the wars, the defeated armies and people scattered to many other places and merged with the other castes. For instance,after Bobbili war, yellapus in north coastal Andhra had merged with Gavaras.Gavaras mingled with velamas.Yellapus were married to velamas in this region. Some of the above mentioned caste people have merged with tribals in the north coast areas.

During the medieval period, there was socio-religious movement was brought by the Basaveshwara.It attracted many depressed class people in south India and also countable strength of upper classes have also joined. At a later stage , the above people have formed in to a separate caste in the name of Lingayaths or Jangamas, leaving their original castes.
Similarly, the vyshnava movement was also joined by the different castes and people have formed in to a separate caste.

On observation of the following fishing communities:
Palli, Vadabalija, Bestha, Jalari, Gangawar, Gangaputra, Goondla, Vanyakulakshatriya, Vennekapu, Vannereddi, Pallikapu, Pallireddi, Neyyala, Pattapu,

Hence, it is clear that they are from the different places and different social groups.But, presently, they are merged in to a social group, losing their previous identities.

Similarly, many other professions like Kulala had enjoyed the high status in the society for making the beautiful pottery, which also earned the foreign currency till the british period. Many other castes would have joined in the profession for making money. Industrialization had hampered their opportunities to lose their priority.

Further, Rathakaras, charmakaras were enjoywed the highest status in the society  by selling their products. Many other caste people had took up these professions.But, once they lost the prominence ,they were put in to the lower castes.

After the wars, calamities, etc. some of the urban people were pushed to forests.There they merged with the local tribes,loosing their own castes.Also some group of people resided in the forest to save themselves and being recognized as tribals.The Banjaras are the classical example for this. In Maharastra they belongs to Backward classes, where as they are belongs to scheduled tribes in Andhrapradesh.

Hence, it clearly proves that the caste has been changing in accordance with the circumstances and one shall not feel jingoistic on the basis of caste, as caste is also dynamic like religion, in various circumstances.

References:
1.website of A.P B.C welfare department.
2.The wonder that was India-A.l.Basham
3.Ancient Indian history-A.c.Majumdar.
4.Sanskritisation-M.N.Srinivas.
5.medieval Indian history- NCERT
6.Modern Indian History- NCERT
7.Indian History- K.Krishna Reddy.
8.Personal Observations of Author on present trends.
9.Andhrula charitra of telugu academy publication.

Caste is static or dynamic? Reviewed by on . Many people believe that caste is unchangeable and assign a lot of priority to it. They also become jingoistic on the basis of caste. But caste is dynamic, as i Many people believe that caste is unchangeable and assign a lot of priority to it. They also become jingoistic on the basis of caste. But caste is dynamic, as i Rating: 0

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This is Srinivas Bonagiri, s/o Ganga Ram and Anantha Laxmi, R/o Khanapur. Presently working as Commissioner, Ramagundam municipal corporation.

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