The "brilliance" of the caste system is what Ambedkhar characterized as its inherent "graded inequality." In Nepal, the gradation can be found not just between the five castes, but also between the ethnic groups, between communities that make up an ethnic group, within communities and therefore between individuals. And because social status is valued so much, the gradation has determined who you could marry and form a familial alliance with, which in turn dictates who you socialize with the most. Were inter-caste marriage the norm, the caste system would break down.
There are many many consequences of Nepali society being highly patriarchal and stratified. The Bhramanical patriarchal system stratified along caste lines, for example, has resulted in high caste Hindu men having a monopoly over in position of power and influence. Being there for as long as they have been, they have established a culture that works for them, a culture based, among other things, their arrogance. In blog post, I share one example of how that arrogance translates into what otherwise would be a professional relationship and professional interactions.
In Nepal's brand of groupism the most important and valuable functional unit is the extended family. That and following the dictates of the caste system means that we live and move within small social bubbles. Who one forms alliances with -- such as marries, works, socializes etc. -- depends a lot on ones ethnicity and caste. It's as if like we are tribes living in the hunter-gatherer phase of human evolution!
When pointing out systemic and structural issues in Nepal, the structurally privileged, the hill so called high caste Hindus either go on the defensive or offensive. One of the offensive tactics they use is to accuse the person of "pointing fingers" at them! I have had that. What would have been welcome, among other things, is them listening to our analysis and evaluations and working with us to establish a more just and equitable society.
Birth is a beginning...of unrealized, unpredictable, unimaginable potential! But the Hindus will have you believe that it is an end and make many suffer for it, consequently. Of course, that's completely WRONG.
Some of the standard reactions White people have to statements about or discussions on their racists ancestors and conversations about present-day racism, the hill so-called called high caste Hindus in Nepal also have when it comes to their ancestors and casteism. Here are the most common ones and their alternative!