An impressionistic history of the
South Asian Subcontinent
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Vol 1 - An ephemeral glance at feudal languages!
42. The new ‘higher caste persons’
The social and cultural traditions and heritage of the South Asian subcontinent would be the same as the non-formal cultures of the new nations of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh (even though, there can be wide variation even inside each nation).
For a brief period, the natural egalitarian culture of English would have existed as a sort of formal culture in some locations. For instance, in Malabar in the south of India, which had been under the English rule, the officialdom would have followed many of the English conventions in the bureaucratic procedures for some time. However, in the independent kingdom of Travancore, there was no experience of any such traditions in the officialdom.
From now onwards, the nation is slowly edging towards the native-land culture. The dusky ominous shadow of the emerging culture and conventions are slowly spreading throughout the nation.
There are many levels inside the Brahmin caste. On the very top are the Brahmin thamburans, who have the divine right to conduct or lead the ecclesiastical functions and ceremonies (pooja, homam &c.). They can be compared to the IAS, IPS royalty ranks of the current-day Indian bureaucratic apparatus.
Below them, could be the Nambhoothiripad, and the groups who are mentioned as ‘special’ (Vishistar), the Bhattathirpad and such. Then comes the ordinary (saamaanya) Brahmins. Below them comes the Nambi and such. Below them, the Shanthikkaar (temple priests), generally known as the Embraan. Then the Namboori (Sapagrasthan). At the very bottom are the Papista Brahmins.
(Please note that the above-given list and definitions may not be fully authentic).
If these Brahmin levels can be compared with the current-day bureaucratic levels, the Sub-Inspector of Police level can be compared to that of the lowermost Brahmin level. The top-most Brahmin levels can then be said to be equivalent to the IAS, IPS levels.
Those who come below them, i.e. the Ambalavasis, Unni, Nambishan, Pisharadi, Variyar, Chakkiyaar, Nambiyaar and such can be compared with the officials who are between the Sub-Inspector and Constable. That is, the ASI and the Head Constable.
The Nairs who come as a sort of executive wing of the above-mentioned castes, can be compared with the Constables.
It was the Nairs who had the direct command over the lower castes. They could use both verbal as well as physical power over them.
Now, a descriptive mention has to be made about the current-day ordinary citizens who can be compared with the lower-castes.
This shall be done in the next post
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