Discussion:
[Goanet]Will the anti-casters identify themselves?
Teotonio R. de Souza
2005-02-26 15:20:42 UTC
Permalink
With so much caste-noise broadcast on goanet, is it really a war against
castes or a war of castes? Could each one writing on the theme indicate what
caste he belongs to? It could help to filter the emotional ingredients of
the debate. I am inclined to take the anti-brahmin discourse of a chardo or
sudir discussant with a pinch of salt, just as the anti-chardo discourse of
a brahmin or sudir, etc. etc. Am I asking too much? Would this request
embarass some discussants? I remember that the very first time I came to
know our famous Konkani researcher Jose Pereira it was in 1969 at Rachol
Seminary. He gave us a talk after introducing himself: ?Hanv Juze Pereira,
kuddt?rcho bam?nn?! I was quite shocked with that style. But I give him
credit now. Discussions about such a emotional issue like caste should not
be conducted under / behind any identity covers! Only after identity
disclosure we could believe in the truly altruistic and humanistic goals of
this debate, even if Goanet may not save us from the caste system!



Teotonio R. de Souza
Mario Goveia
2005-02-26 17:06:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Teotonio R. de Souza
With so much caste-noise broadcast on goanet, is it
really a war against castes or a war of castes? Could
each one writing on the theme indicate what
caste he belongs to? It could help to filter the
emotional ingredients of the debate. I am inclined to
take the anti-brahmin discourse of a chardo or
sudir discussant with a pinch of salt, just as the
anti-chardo discourse of a brahmin or sudir, etc. etc.
Am I asking too much?

Mario replies:
Yes, sir, not only are you asking too much, it is none
of your business, with all due respect, and also
irrelevent to the issue. As one who would like to
drive a stake through the heart of the diabolical
caste system among Christians I am neither pro nor
against any particular caste and am least inclined to
respond to such a request, which elevates the system
to a level it does not deserve.
Teotonio R. de Souza
2005-02-26 21:05:02 UTC
Permalink
I respect the blunt or polite refusal by those who do not wish to reveal
the caste label they have inherited. It is not very difficult though to find
it out with some effort and time that any research usually requires. Hence,
some time from now it could be possible to analyse this on-going debate and
know more about its most involved participants. It would be possible then to
know if it is primarily an exercise of self-serving catharsis by a
caste-group seeking to relieve itself from its real or imagined traumas of
caste-oppression, rather than a sincere and altruistic struggle for defence
of human rights.



In a society that is never static, and is more fluit in times of faster
economic and social changes as the one in which we are presently living, the
caste strangle-hold is bound to get losened. There are a few studies
conducted about this process in some of the Goan villages. At least two of
such studies are conducted by non-Goan / non-Indian researchers with no
native biases. Montemayor studied Loliem for a thesis in sociology presented
to Delhi University in 1970. Janet Rubinoff worked in Corlim and Carambolim
in 1978-79 and presented her thesis in anthropology in 1992 to Toronto
University. Unfortunately we do not have published versions of either. But
they are good studies that enable us to understand how the caste structure
has evolved over the centuries in Goan society.



Though not directly related to Goa, we have an excellent analysis of how the
secularisation process in India has affected the Caste system over the past
50 years or so. (Cf. Peter Ronald de Souza (ed), *Contemporary India:
Transitions*, New Delhi, Funda??o Oriente / Sage Publications, 2000, pp.
237-263). The same process is affecting Goa as well and will have similar
effects. Perhaps the increasing caste-noises are the cries of a wounded and
dying monster?



P.S. Janet Rubinoff refers in her thesis that the *bhangi* caste became
superfluous in Goa with the extensive use of pigs. Could not the resourceful
Goans devise something similar to get rid of Bamonn, Charde, Sudir, etc.?



Teot?nio R. de Souza
Mervyn Lobo
2005-02-27 05:05:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Teotonio R. de Souza
With so much caste-noise broadcast on goanet, is it
really a war against castes or a war of castes?
Could each one writing on the theme indicate what
caste he belongs to? It could help to filter the
emotional ingredients of the debate. I am inclined >
to take the anti-brahmin discourse of a chardo or
Post by Teotonio R. de Souza
sudir discussant with a pinch of salt, just as the
anti-chardo discourse of a brahmin or sudir, etc.
etc. Am I asking too much? Would this request
embarass some discussants?
Teotonio R. de Souza,
I would really, really like to indicate what caste has
been assigned to me, but I don't have a clue.

However, I do know that there are others on this net
who have a pretty good idea of which caste(s) has been
assigned. These are the same people who in Tanzania
could, and would, block other people from becoming
members of the Goan clubs there because of their
caste.

The last time I was interested in the caste system, I
was a pre-teen. I asked my mom what caste we were, and
she said she did not have a clue. Even at that time, I
thought that was strange as mom was THE smartest woman
I knew. However, since her only brother and four of
her first cousins were Jesuits, I ASSumed we must be
of good stock :-)

So, if there are any of you good folks out there who
can help, please let me know on what rung of the
ladder (by the grace of God) I was born too.

Mervyn2.0
Award Winning Writer

Ps. My wife insists I am of the best cast as:
1) She still cannot believe I landed her, despite all
her attempts to escape.
2) She insists that it seems, to her, she married an
entire group of strange characters.



______________________________________________________________________
Post your free ad now! http://personals.yahoo.ca
George Pinto
2005-02-27 07:01:07 UTC
Permalink
Teotonio

I have no caste. If anyone tries to assign one to me, I categorically reject it. I identify with
the most discriminated group - the dalits. I see the oppression they have suffered and suffer.
Unfortunately I cannot do more to help now but I am concerned about justice which includes
fighting the caste system. Of course justice begins with each of us and we have to rid ourselves
of our own biases and predujices first to the extent we can. Justice means we do not need to be
women to fight sexism, senior-citizens to fight ageism, chardo to fight the caste system, etc.

Regards,
George
Post by Teotonio R. de Souza
With so much caste-noise broadcast on goanet, is it
really a war against castes or a war of castes?
Could each one writing on the theme indicate what
caste he belongs to? It could help to filter the
emotional ingredients of the debate. I am inclined
to take the anti-brahmin discourse of a chardo or
sudir discussant with a pinch of salt,
jose colaco
2005-02-27 15:26:27 UTC
Permalink
In a very curious way, this brings up the point Gilbert often makes about
research.

When "researchers" do their spiel, should we merely accept what they say
without a murmur? or should we ask them about their study design, material &
methods, how they have tried to eliminate or minimize bias, data analysis
techniques etc (Like Gilbert himself is expected answer when he presents his
papers to the scientific community)

True that the historical "researchers" look at documents to which we mortal
humans don't normally have access, or are able to decipher (because of our
own linguistic deficiences)

BUT: Is there undocumented stuff?

For instance:
1. Do we know the exact number of Goans who were murdered by the fiery
Inquisition?
2. Do we know the exact number of Goan widows who mudered by the fiery Sati?
3. WHAT happened to their property?

Now

Teotonio de Souza writes:<Janet Rubinoff refers in her thesis that the
*bhangi* caste became
superfluous in Goa with the extensive use of pigs.>

jc's response:->

I'd forgive Janet Rubinoff if she did not know that the HWTs (human waste
transporters) of India were NOT a part of the Apartheid Caste System. They
were not even considered human beings. She just may not have known this.
And nobody perhaps bothered to advise her either.

However, what might be of interest is to know the Study Design Janet
Rubinoff utilised to come to the above quoted (by TRS) conclusion in her
thesis. What was the "p" value of that study?

and.......What, for instance, is the reason that HWTs are no longer used in
cities like Poona(Pune) and London?

I hope no "researcher" comes up with a godshem "thesis" which indicates that
HWTs became superfluous in London because of London Underground. That will
really be cute.



On another but related matter


"Teotonio R. de Souza" wrote: <Could each one writing on the theme indicate
what caste he belongs to?>

Mario Goveia: "No Dice"

Jose Colaco: NO "caste", as is a Kunbi (way BELOW the foot of the wretched
"caste" system)

Teotonio de Souza: It is not very difficult though to find it out with some
effort and time that any research usually requires.

George Pinto: I have no caste. If anyone tries to assign one to me, I
categorically reject it. I identify with the most discriminated group - the
Dalits.

Teotonio de Souza writes: I respect the blunt or polite refusal by those
who do not wish to reveal the caste label they have inherited.

Jose Colaco's response: Nonsense. THIS Goan Catholic has INHERITED zero
apartheid label.

Now, if the good research historian Teotonio de Souza wishes to advise us
that he IS a member of (BELONGS TO) this or that "caste", he should feel
absolutely free to do the honours.

Unless of course ....he is NOT an "anti-caster". In that event, his silence
on this question will be understood for what it is worth.


jc
http://www.colaco.net

_________________________________________________________________
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Teotonio R. de Souza
2005-02-27 15:27:54 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mervyn

I like your reply! It implies a sense of humour and sounds less tragic than
one I received from someone who did not respond to me but to his own
assumptions! No debate can be maintained with persons who reveal a disturbed
state of mind and pretend that being "catholics" gives them the right to
ignore caste system or resolve it! The Church and Christians of Goa must
have thought that way at all times, that they were "good catholics". It
did not prevent them from compromising with the caste system till today!

Mervyn, may I know if Maciels were your Jesuit connections? Are you a "zonn"
collector of any village in Goa?

Regards,

Teotonio





-----------------

I would really, really like to indicate what caste has

been assigned to me, but I don't have a clue.



However, I do know that there are others on this net

who have a pretty good idea of which caste(s) has been

assigned. These are the same people who in Tanzania

could, and would, block other people from becoming

members of the Goan clubs there because of their

caste.



The last time I was interested in the caste system, I

was a pre-teen. I asked my mom what caste we were, and

she said she did not have a clue. Even at that time, I

thought that was strange as mom was THE smartest woman

I knew. However, since her only brother and four of

her first cousins were Jesuits, I ASSumed we must be

of good stock :-)



So, if there are any of you good folks out there who

can help, please let me know on what rung of the

ladder (by the grace of God) I was born too.



Mervyn2.0

Award Winning Writer







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http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/1503/teo_publ.pdf
Vidyadhar Gadgil
2005-02-28 03:00:30 UTC
Permalink
Teotonio's request may strike many as peculiar, but is not off the
topic. While not supporting a deterministic viewpoint (i.e. a person's
views on caste are determined by her/his caste), caste background can be
an important ingredient of how one relates to the issue of caste.

Not sure how this works in Goa, but in Maharashtra (the birthplace of
the dalit movement as well as the most obscurantist brahminical
organisations), from a person's name one almost automatically knows that
person's caste background. Maybe that's the case among Goan Hindus? What
about Goan catholics? What is the correlation between surname and caste?

Incidentally, jc, Kunbi is a caste.

VG

..... and Kunbis. (outcastes like moi)

"Teotonio R. de Souza" <teodesouza at netcabo.pt> wrote:
Could each one writing on the theme indicate what
caste he belongs to? It could help to filter the
emotional ingredients of the debate. I am inclined to
take the anti-brahmin discourse of a chardo or
sudir discussant with a pinch of salt, just as the
anti-chardo discourse of a brahmin or sudir, etc. etc.
Am I asking too much?

Mario replies:
Yes, sir, not only are you asking too much, it is none
of your business, with all due respect, and also
irrelevent to the issue.
Teotonio R. de Souza
2005-02-28 09:36:08 UTC
Permalink
Dear Vidyadhar,



Goan caste system and ambiance is not basically very different from what you
see in Maharashtra. As I had mentioned in an earlier posting, it is not
difficult to trace the caste in Goa if we know the surname and the original
village of the person. I say "original", because some persons could have
moved to another village different from that of the ancestors. Original
Souzas of Moir? are brahmins, but if a Sousa from Calangute has moved to
Moir?, he would be a Chard?. For those who may be interested in knowing
more about the caste system of Goa and caste locations in Goa, I would
recommend the following readings:



A. B. Bragan?a Pereira, * Etnografia da India Portuguesa*, 2 vols. (Delhi,
AES, 1991) - reprint

Filipe Nery Xavier, *Bosquejo Hist?rico das Comunidades*, 3 vols, Bastor?,
1903.

P.S.S. Pissurlencar, "O elemento hindu da casta chardo", *Oriente Portugu?s*
12-12 (1936), pp. 203-232.

Rui Gomes Pereira, *HIndu Temples and Deities*, Panaji, 1978.

Rui Gomes Pereira, * Goa: Gaunkari - The Old Village Associations,* Panaji,
1980.

Mariano Feio, *As castas hindus de Goa*, Lisboa, 1979.



Incidentally, the Goan proverb I had quoted earlier in a message is
incomplete. It should read:

Vigaracho sermanv uniek nhoi.





Teotonio R. de Souza

----------------------------------------



Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 08:04:54 +0530

From: Vidyadhar Gadgil <vgad at sancharnet.in>

Subject: Re: [Goanet]Will the anti-casters identify themselves?

To: Goanet mails <goanet at goanet.org>

Reply-To: goanet at goanet.org



Teotonio's request may strike many as peculiar, but is not off the

topic. While not supporting a deterministic viewpoint (i.e. a person's

views on caste are determined by her/his caste), caste background can be

an important ingredient of how one relates to the issue of caste.



Not sure how this works in Goa, but in Maharashtra (the birthplace of

the dalit movement as well as the most obscurantist brahminical

organisations), from a person's name one almost automatically knows that

person's caste background. Maybe that's the case among Goan Hindus? What

about Goan catholics? What is the correlation between surname and caste?



Incidentally, jc, Kunbi is a caste.



VG

-------------------

jc: ...... and Kunbis. (outcastes like moi)
Teotonio R. de Souza
2005-02-28 09:50:06 UTC
Permalink
Dear Mario,

I am with you all the way, but I prefer that we act with "full" knowledge of
the ugly reality, not moving with blinkers on. I would not also be so
exclusivist as you seem to be in restricting these efforts to Catholic
Goans! What kind of faith in humanity are you referring to? Self-centered
Christiniaty is a contradiction in terms. Do not the Hindu brethren deserve
the same benefits? What we need is a truly secular approach. The
Christianity in Goa or elsewhere has not taken us very far in ending
inequalities, either of caste or others. May be it has ended some to invent
others in the larger world.

With best wishes to you in your tanning programme.

Teotonio R. de Souza

------------------------------------------------------



Mario Goveia

Mon, 28 Feb 2005 00:25:26 -0800

I am trying hard to work on my tan in Goa, Pune and

Mumbai, and to make a dent in the total inventory of

caju feni, cafreal, sorpotel and sannas, only to have

my pleasant experiences tarnished by the continued

attempt by a couple of Goanetters to obfuscate,

deflect and dilute the diabolical issue of caste among

Cahtholic Goans with the most disingenious bovine

excrement I have seen in a long time.



However, it has restored my faith in humanity that

every Catholic Goanetter who mercilessly beat me

verbally across the head and shoulders when I was

defending the attempt to provide freedom and democracy

for downtrodden Iraqis, like Jose, Cornel, Sib,

George, Gabriel, et. al. agree with me 100% on the

issue of providing freedom for all Catholic Goans from

the diabolical and psychologically destructive caste

system.
Gilbert Lawrence
2005-03-01 03:00:02 UTC
Permalink
Hi JC,
This scientific study should be very easy!
YOU CAN DESIGN THE STUDY to prove the accusations you and other are
making! And you know that not all of the anti-casteists are making the
same accusations - that is of course if you-guys know the exact
allegations or indictment and not some nebulous statement.
You can do the study in Goa's villages.
By for crying-out-loud, shouldn't we have some basis to make claims and
not some anecdotal stories of mozem mauxi munta... ani tuzem samumai
sangta.... :=)) For those not familiar with Konkani it's "My grandmother
tells this ... and ... your mother-in-law says that..."

Plz tell Cornell that nearly all sasumais speak ill of their
daughter-in-laws irrespective of caste.:=))
It would be better that Goans designed the study and steps for the
solution, rather than some outsider trying to fake a sociological /
anthropological paper 'at our expense'.

I can see your point about not needing posters on this thread to post
their caste. Frankly the smart anti-casteists and others who are NOT OF
THE UPPER CASTE and who have made it; should be proud to post their
social order. What and why should they be ashamed? By trying to be coy
about it, they are sending a totally wrong message to members of the
same background that they also should not be proud of their lineage.
This is the humor of Cornell's 'High Society English' post.

Goans as a whole appear to be ashamed of their caste....and ....
embarrassed of their language... and mortified of identifying with other
Goans. In Portugal and America some posts tell us how they 'pass
themselves off' as Portuguese. In fact in India one wrote how he
mastered a few Indian and foreign languages but not a word about
Konkani. So what's all this talk about pride in our society, heritage
and lineage?

Is Cornel going to say, "I do not want to be buried next to my father
and grandfather because then people will know my caste?"

By proudly stating their 'lower caste' (whatever that means, Pl ask
Cornel), they would remove the social stigma, but more important they
would be role-models to members of their social group. Thus they would
show how to overcome 'historical baggage' and be very successful;
without blaming others. In fact, Arthur Ashe (NYC Tennis stadium named
after him) and Tiger Woods are proudly admired precisely because they
are black. Why is my e-mail box full of 'Indians that made it big' in
India, USA and the world?

Are the Bamons silencing the lower caste in cyber-Goa in the 21st
century?
Or is 'the class' silencing themselves again?
Ami Goenkars munnhon, we need to BLAME SOMEONE FOR WHAT WE FAIL TO DO.
Regards, GL

jose colaco:
In a very curious way, this brings up the point Gilbert often makes
about
research.

When "researchers" do their spiel, should w