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Message no. 1
From: BONNET Eric <ebonnet@*******.FR>
Subject: India(1/3)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:19:15 +0100
The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to the World
Eric Bonnet < ebonnet@*******.fr >

> Today, the general Liu, the main rebel in Myanmar (used to be Burma), has been killed
during an attack from the Indian army. Tomorrow will be the commemoration of the thirtieth
anniversary of the Night of Revenge, this awful slaughter of Indian Moslems. As India (or
the Hinduist Empire, as some already call it) is now undoubtedly one of the most powerful
countries and the most populated, I think it could be interesting for us to learn some
little things about it. I asked a local friend to prepare this. Read and add your
commentaries as always.
> SysOp
Hello guys. You can call me Murugan. I am a member of the caste of the
Brahmans. I serve Varuna the Just and that is the reason why I try to
tell the truth to those that will hear it. You could say my caste is the
one that rules the country but I can tell you that if this posting was
linked to me, I would become a dalit or an Untouchable, as you would
say. Don't worry; I will use English words rather than Hindi or Sanskrit
ones. And forget what you read in tourist guides or what you saw on TV;
it is mainly old prejudices and governmental propaganda.
Originally, India was inhabited by various tribes, most of whom still
exist in small numbers. The first important people were the Dravidians,
a Negroid tribe that arrived from the West. Their civilization
flourished in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa between 2500 and 1500BC. In
1500BC, these nations were already decadent and didn't offer much
resistance to the Aryan invasion (yes, originally, it was the same
people as in Europe). India became divided into small kingdoms, warring
with each other, ruled by the brahmans. In 600BC, the kshatriyas, the
other high caste, took the power. Two centuries later, a huge movement
of religious reaction began. Those who thought that Brahmanism was too
inhumane created Jaïnism and Buddhism. Brahmanism itself became
Hinduism, as the one god became many. The Aryan civilization knew its
apogee under the reign of Ashoka during the third century BC.Between 180
and 70BC, Greeks occupied the Pendjab and the Sind. Then Scythians
invaded the same territories. In 290AD, Sri Gupta, vassal of the
Scythian kings, created the Gupta dynasty. His successor Chandragupta
the First created an independent empire in 320, dominating all northern
India. Southern India was a Dravidian kingdom. Between 495 and 540, the
Gupta Empire suffered from Huns invasions and divided in three kingdoms.
In 670, the last remnant of the empire had disappeared in favor of
little kingdoms.
As the Indian dynasties waged war against each other, a new threat
appeared: Islam. Moslems from the Abbassid Caliphate invaded the Sind in
the eighth century.
> And thus began the old and everlasting hate between Islam and Hinduism. Both suffered
greatly and never stopped trying to eliminate the other. These two militant religions
never tried to live peacefully together. Now, there is too much blood between them.
> Helba
In 997, the Kingdom of Ghazni was created in what is now called
Afghanistan, controlling all Moslem territories in the region. Between
1000 and 1025, they invaded the Pendjab. In 1192, the Sultanate of Delhi
controlled most of India. Moslems had created a powerful and lasting
state but they had many problems:
- The Hinduists constantly rebelled against Moslems. In 1336,
Vijayanayen created a short-lived independent state that would be a
rallying sign for all Hinduists;
- Moslems suffered from internal dissension: the Bengal seceded in 1340,
followed by Deccan in 1347 and Gujarât in 1391. The most important
failure of Islam was the Sikh schism. Many Moslems converted to this new
religion that would be a powerful ally of Hinduism;
- Tartars, led by Tamerlan, attacked India from the North. Delhi was
besieged in1398.
In 1498, Vasco de Gama discovered Calicut and made an alliance between
Portugal and the Hinduists. In 1502, he created the first European
counter at Cochin. The vice-kingdom was created in 1505 and its capital
became Goa in 1510. The Moslems finally fell before the Moguls. In 1526,
Bâbur, a descendant of Gengis Khan and Tamerlan, invaded Northern India.
In 1600, the conquest was completed and the Mogul Empire born. At the
same time, the English created the Company of India and began to fight
the other European countries. In 1612, they destroyed the Portuguese
fleet. In 1619, they controlled four forts in Sarât, Agrâ, Ahmedabad and
Broach. Between 1638 and 1658, the Dutchs invaded Ceylan. In 1661, the
English conquered the last Portuguese stronghold, Bombay but a new
opponent appeared, the French. In 1690, they already controlled six
counters and were allied with the Hinduists. They had a far stronger
presence than the Portuguese ever had. In 1690, the English founded
Calcutta, on the old Portuguese fort of Calicut. In 1717, they made an
alliance with the Great Mogul, leader of a decadent empire converted to
Islam. In 1748, the French led by Suffren defeated the English army at
Pondichery. In 1759, the Dutchs were defeated: the English invaded
Ceylan. In 1763, the French were finally defeated. Then all of India,
except some allied states, was occupied by the English. In 1824, Myanmar
was incorporated into the Indian colony. In 1846, the Sikhs, the last
rebels, were definitely defeated.
Between 1857 and 1859, the Sepoys rebelled against their English
masters, who insulted their religions. The Indian Mutiny was a failure
but forced the Company of India to give up India to the Crown. In 1905,
following religious fights, Bengal was shared between Moslems and
Hinduists. In 1915, the mahatma Gandhi, a progressive brahman, became
the leader of the independentist movement. In 1919, a Sikh revolt was
crushed; unarmed people were killed in Amritsar; following that
slaughter, a constitution was granted to India. In 1920, Gandhi launched
a campaign of non-participation and non-violence. He was cast into
prison six times in the twenty following years. The last imprisonment in
1942 caused revolts all over the country. In 1948, India, Ceylan (Sri
Lanka) and Myanmar became independent. Following religious slaughters,
notably in Calcutta, Pakistan was created as a distinct state for the
Moslems: it included not only what we now call Pakistan, but also a part
of Bengal. The same year, Gandhi was assassinated.
> Those damned Moslems killed him, of course. He wanted a united India, without
religious fights. He really was an idealist. He could have done it, as he was so popular,
even with Moslems. But the Moslems leaders wanted to be the government, not only a minor
part of it, as it would have been in a democracy. Finally, I think it was a good thing for
the country. It united the Hinduists and gave us another reason for revenge.
> Sitala
India became a republic in 1950. Because of the border frictions with
China, India accepted to shelter the Dalaï Lama after the invasion of
the Tibet. In 1966, India finally made peace with Pakistan. The Sikhs
were granted a larger autonomy in their state of the Pendjab. In 1970,
the Oriental Pakistan asked for independence but this movement was
repressed. Needing allies against China or Pakistan, India made a treaty
with USSR in 1971. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and 1972 enabled the
Oriental Pakistan or Bangladesh to become independent.
> They knew the war was to come and instead of helping us, they profited from this. I
really believe they had prepared all this with India. I can't find an excuse for their
> Ahmed
In 1984, religious confrontations opposed Hinduists, Moslems and Sikhs:
a Sikh fanatic killed the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1986 and
1987, a border war opposed India to China, without a real victory. In
1991, a Tamoul killed the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
> Tamouls are a people of Southern India and Sri Lanka. They were a minority in Sri
Lanka and wanted to be independent. India refused to help them so they felt betrayed.
> Helba
During the end of the century, India made many sacrifices to modernize
its economy and its technology but they didn't manage to attain the
level of Europe or of the USA. In 2010, the first wave of VISTA struck
New Delhi. Due to insufficient medical structures, the epidemic was
catastrophic for every country of the region. The following year, a
famine struck even harder these countries. In these times, UGE was seen
as a sign of the gods that hope was still possible. Elves and dwarves
were well accepted: you're what you do not what you look like. The
Awakening was a huge revolution. Brahmans were the first spell-casters
in India. They knew that the time had come for them to give back power
to the true faith. With the help of the kshatriyas, they managed to take
power in 2015 in an obviously faked election. The Hinduist traditions
were modernized and imposed as the law. In 2021, the goblinization was
really not a traumatism. For brahmans, appearance is not important; only
religion is. The new wave of VISTA was less damaging than the first
thanks to the healing magic of the brahmans. People saw this as the
obvious sign of the favor of the gods. In 2027, the Religious
Cohabitation Act (RCA) granted to minor religions (Sikhism, Buddhism,
Parsism and Jaïnism) territories where their traditions were respected
and not replaced by Hinduists'. Moslems revolted to ask for the same
statute but they were very violently crushed.
> Was that a surprise? I don't think so. Moslems represented an important proportion of
the population and thought they had the same rights as the other religions. But I think
the Hinduists wanted this slaughter. They had a revenge to make and that was only the
> Ahmed
After that, Moslems began to leave the country. Finally, to the general
surprise, in 2028, Moslems were granted a state, Bihâr, where the RCA
applied to them. Of course, they massively went to settle there. While
the Crash heavily struck more developed countries, India managed to
finally attain their technologic level, thanks to the loss due to the
Crash. While all the most powerful countries were trying to retrieve
from their losses, the Hinduists and their Sikh allies launched an
operation carefully and secretly prepared since 2027. The RCA was only
intended to gather the Moslems in a single state. The 10th of July, at
11PM, the Indian army and Hinduist crowds fanaticized by brahmans
launched a wild attack against Moslems. It was a huge slaughter, one of
the worse of the history, perhaps the worse. Terrified survivors fled to
Pakistan or Bangladesh but the operation was a complete success: India
was purified of Islam.
> It was necessary. The gods wanted their revenge. Too long had they been insulted by
the Moslems. With a renewed country, free of religious fights now the five religions had
made a blood pact, India could now hope to become a power to be respected. The cost was
high, I agree. I'd have preferred it to be unnecessary. Anyway the past is the past.
> Sitala
This bloody night was to be called the Night of Revenge. The Arab League
asked for UN retaliation but the European and American powers were in no
state to attack India.
> In fact, the Arab League nearly launched a Jihad, a holy war, against India. But the
time had not come. The sheer number of mages and physads, added to the power of the army,
scared the less fanatic countries. They knew they couldn't win this war alone. Anyway,
after this crime, the hate between Hinduism and Islam became the leading goal for
religious authorities.
> Ahmed
After that, the military effort was primordial. Led by kshatriyas, Sikhs
and some brahman sects, the government increased its military power to
resist to what was to come. In 2034, the Tamoul rebels in Sri Lanka
asked their brethren in Southern India to help them fight against the
oppression of the Singhalese. The Indian army invaded Sri Lanka. In only
two weeks, the situation was under absolute control. Sri Lanka became an
Indian state. Martial law lasted only three months. The interest of this
conquest was to forbid anyone to use Sri Lanka as a base for invasion.
In 2037, the small kingdom of Bhutan, whose foreign relations were
already delegated to India, was assimilated after the death of the last
descendant of the reigning dynasty. It was a peaceful act and nobody
even noticed it then. In 2039, to the general surprise, India attacked
Myanmar, which was ravaged by a civil war. In spite of what thought the
Indians, their invasion caused the union of the warlords and even now,
the region is still dangerous. Martial law is active and Myanmar has yet
to be assimilated as a state.
> With the death of the general Liu, the end of the rebellion is near. I think we will
pacify the region in no more than two years.
> Sitala
In 2040, the RCA was modified to increase the rights of the minor
religions, notably for the Sikhs. Buddhists, led by the Dalaï Lama,
asked for an action to free Tibet. To prepare a possible attack against
Chinese warlords, India needed a valuable base, Nepal. With the blessing
of the Dalaï Lama, the kingdom fell quickly before the Indian might. In
2045, catastrophic floods plagued Southern Asia. Bangladesh were very
badly struck, with thousands of deaths and the loss of a big part of the
harvests. To avoid starvation, international help on a large scale was
needed. Unfortunately, most countries couldn't afford to give such help.
The brother country, Pakistan, still resented the independence of
Bangladesh and refused to help. In despair, Bangladesh asked Indian
help. The help was eagerly granted and was sufficient but it had a
price. Moslems were not killed but the children were taken to be
educated as good Hinduists. Many preferred to flee to Pakistan and
Afghanistan. After many debates, the Arab League launched the Jihad
against India in 2050 to avenge Bihâr and Bangladesh. The numerous
countries decided to muster their armies near Islamabad, in Pakistan.
But, during the last years, India, knowing the ineluctability of this
decision, had gathered the bulk of its army and attacked by surprise the
arriving units. The Battle of Islamabad was an overwhelming victory. Of
course, only a limited part of the military potential of the Arab League
had been destroyed but the advantage was sufficient to invade Pakistan.
India had recovered the territories it had when it was a colony.
> You shouldn't say that. People could believe all was planned. I have friends in the
government and was aware of the situation. Myanmar was the lair of some drug lords that
sold their stuff in India. The generals refused to act against them; they were paid enough
to close the eyes on these awful activities. As for Bangladesh, I agree that our
conditions were terrible but our own fanatics forbade us to do otherwise. Anyway, it was a
hole in our territory, what could have been dangerous. Finally, the attack in Pakistan was
necessary to avoid a long and risky war.
> Sitala
In 2053, the Arab troops had left Pakistan but they managed to hire
mercenaries with oil money. The 9th of May, a tall guy, wearing a bronze
plate armor, a horned helmet and a bronze trident, entered Riyadh and
went to the seat of the Arab League. He entered after killing all the
guards and talked an hour with the leaders of the league. After the
seism that destroyed the downtown, except this building, they accepted a
truce with India. That was the first and only appearance of a Greater
Avatar to this day. It was Shiva the Destroyer of course but I wonder
why he didn't do anything else. Perhaps he was yet too limited in our
plane; perhaps the gods don't want to intervene too much. Anyway, the
Pakistani mujahidins, feeling betrayed by their allies, decided to
continue the fight and in spite of their losses, they still stand as the
biggest problem of India.
Religion is the leading force in India. Hinduism is of course the main
one but Sikhism and Buddhism have also lots of followers. Jaïnism and
Parsism are allies but they are too insignificant to wield a real power.
Christianism was the third religion in the twentieth century but the
religious laws forced them to flee or to convert. As for Islam, it is
punished of death. 80% of Indians are Hinduists; 10% are Sikhs; 6% are
Buddhists; 2.5% are Jaïns and 1% are Parsis.
- Hinduism
Originally, the Aryan religion was Brahmanism. The philosophy was the
same but the mythology developed with Hinduism. The holy texts of
Hinduism are the four Vedas, the Brahmana, the Aranyaka and the
Upanishad. The main holy places of India are:
- the Himalayas, where the devas (the gods) used to live;
- the Ganga, the holy river that is also a god, where the ashes of the
dead are cast;
- Mathura (south of Delhi), that was the capital of the tyrant Kamsa,
enemy of Krishna;
- Ayodhya (east of Delhi), that was the capital of Rama;
- Varanasi (Benares) is the holy city, on the banks of the Ganga, where
you go to purify yourself and where the ashes of Hinduists are cast.
It is uneasy to explain our philosophy to an Occidental, nearly
impossible. I will oversimplify for you. While it has never been a
peaceful religion, Hinduism values highly mental energy and non-violence
(ahimsa). The most important concept to understand is the karma. Karma
is the sum of the acts of your life and it determines your next life.
That's why for instance suicide is not an option in India: it would be
like trying to flee the debts of your past actions. Your karma
determines if you will be a human, and of whose caste, or an animal in
your next life. That explains why we refuse to eat meat. This succession
of lives is samsara. During your life, you must try to clean your debts
and not to create new ones. If you manage to do that, you leave samsara
and become one with the infinite. The wises tell that three axioms
explain the world:
- nothing real can be created;
- if something exists now, it can't disappear;
- reality is transforming following the two first axioms.
In our world, nothing is stable so it is not real. What is real is
beyond, Brahman, the Absolute. As nothing is created, everything comes
from Brahman and will finally join him.
The transformation of the world is organized in cycles. Each day of
Brahman, or kalpa, is made of 1000 Great Ages. Each Great Age is made of
four yugas: the Kali-Yuga or Bad Age (lasting 1200 years), the
Dvapara-Yuga (2400 years), the Trata-Yuga (3600 years) and the
Satya-Yuga or Golden Age (4800 years). We entered the Dvapara-Yuga the
year of the Awakening; we were before in the Kali-Yuga, when so-called
more enlightened countries scorned the true religion. Each Yuga ends
with a very notable event. Each Age ends with the destruction of this
world and the creation of the next. But I think you're more interested
in what us Hinduists are able to do, magically speaking. First of all,
there are two kind of magic: kshatriya and brahman. Many kshatriyas are
what you would call physads.
> Yeah they're physads and damn good ones with that. Not only are they killing machines
like ours but they also have a much higher willpower. They believe that mental energy is
the real power, not physical one. They can kill you with a smile: they're not murderers;
they do what they have to, what the gods want. Above all, they don't fear death, as they
know they will reincarnate again in a high caste thanks to their merits. They seem cold
but in fact I think they are serene and don't bother about anything.
> Blade
As for brahmans, we are spell-casters. We are neither hermetics nor
shamans, kind of third way you should say. Amerindians say we are
shamans because we follow the way of gods; they say they are totems,
these primitives. But it is very different. We certainly not conjure
nature spirits, nor elementals for that matter. I think that it is still
the same old American cultural imperialism. Anyway, as I say, each of us
follows the way of a particular god. This choice is the most important
of your life. It influences your behavior and your abilities. Each god
grants a special spell to all his brahmans. We can conjure servant
spirits of our god and even Lesser Avatars. The servants are a kind of
spirit, quite easy to conjure and with a large range of powers: the
problem is each of us can only conjure one kind. Lesser Avatars are very
powerful and their invocation is hard and dangerous: most of us use it
only in the worst situations or never. Greater Avatars can't be
conjured; the only one seen is the Avatar of Shiva in Riyadh.
We have a very large mythology, with millions of gods each being a
different face of Brahman. There also what you would call demons, even
if we don't consider them as evil. They are the sworn enemies of the
devas, the gods, and of their creatures, it's to say us. They are as
powerful, as strong of will and follow the same ascetic discipline. The
most important gods are the Trimurti: Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Brahma
(not to be equaled to Brahman) is the Creator of the world. He refuses
to intervene and accepts no follower. Sarasvati, goddess of arts and
wisdom, is his wife. She is very popular and attracts the most peaceful
followers, learned people and searchers. The stag is his holy animal.
Shiva is the Destroyer. At the end of each kalpa, he destroys the world
so that another can be created. This is not considered as a particularly
bad thing: it follows the natural order. Shiva is also the god of
virility and dance. He is undoubtedly the most revered fighting god; his
mental energy allowed him to defeat the most frightening demons.
Ascetics and yogis revere him for his willpower. He is also the power of
transformation and shows the way toward unity with the One. His holy
animal is the cow, revered as such everywhere in India. His wife has
many names: Kali, Durga, Parvati. She is a purely destructive goddess
and is revered by assassins, like the thugs. Vishnu is the Preserver,
who protects the world until the end of the kalpa. He incarnates godly
love. His holy animals are the lion and the cobra. His wife is Lakshmî,
goddess of beauty, harmony and wealth. Both of them are very popular.
Vishnu is famous for his Avatars that intervened often to save the world
from catastrophes. These Avatars are not temporary appearances but
incarnations, less powerful but living a full life. Nine Avatars already
lived and a tenth is to be the last before a huge wave of chaos and
destruction. The names of the Avatars are Matsyu, a giant fish, Kurma, a
giant turtle, Varaha, a huge boar, Nara-Simha, a man-lion, Vamana, a
dwarf, Parashu-Rama, Rama Chandra (the great Rama), Krishna, Buddha and
Kalkin, the one to come. Buddha was effectively an Avatar of Vishnu
trying to humanize Hinduism but his successors distorted his message to
create their own religion.
> Of course, this is not a (failed) attempt to convince the converted to return to pure
Hinduism. Brahmans really didn't like that evolution and they ridiculed themselves with
that obviously faked revelation.
> Rhiannon
The other most important gods are: Agni, god of fire and sacrifice,
Dyaus, god of the sky, Ganesha, god of sciences and technology, the
elephant-headed god, Indra, god of war and storm, Karttikeya, god of
battle, Mitra, god of truth and light, Narada, messenger of the gods,
Prithivî, god of the earth, Ratri, goddess of night, Rudra, god of
bowmen and storm, Soma, god of the moon, Suryâ, god of the sun,
Tvashtri, god of artisans, Ushas, god of dawn, Varuna, god of water,
order and justice, Vayû, god of wind and air, Yama, the first man and
the first dead, god of death.
Demons are divided in orders, more or less powerful. The main demons,
who lead the others, are the Asuras, who directly fight the devas. Their
lord is Bali, king of the inferior kingdoms. Other notable Asuras are
Vairochana, Vritru (linked to drought), Rahu (linked to eclipses),
Lha-Mo (linked to diseases), Mara (linked to illusion), Hiranyuksha and
Hyranyukavipu (enemies of Vishnu) and Kaitabha and Madhu (enemies of
Brahma). Daityas and Danevas are giants led by Hayagriva. Nagas are
snake-demons, led by Muchalinda and Sesha. Rakshasas are tiger-demons,
led by Ravana. Pikshâchas are demons who fight the spirits of the dead
to forbid them to reincarnate. Finally, the Yakshas, led by the powerful
Kubera, are the demons that you are the most able to encounter.
- Sikhism
Sikhism was founded in 1504 by Guru Nanâk. Its first members were
dissidents from both Hinduism and Islam. They rejected the inhumanity of
some Hinduist traditions, like the burning of widows or the castes. They
also rejected the fanatic proselytism of Islam. Sikhism is monotheistic
and humanist. Most Sikhs live in Pendjab, Kashmir, Pakistan or Gujarât.
Their holy place is the Golden Temple of Amritsar, in Pendjab, where all
the Sikhs must go in pilgrimage. Sikhs are outside the system of castes.
Hinduists treat them as vaishyas or kshatriyas for the warriors but it
doesn't imply anything legally. Dead people are burned like for
Hinduists. The importance of Sikhism comes from its military tradition.
In reason of early persecutions by Islam, Sikhs had to always be
prepared to fight for their lives. Most men are well trained and a good
number are physads. Sikhs can be recognized thanks to five symbols or
kakkas: kesh (hair not cut), symbol of holiness, kangha (wooden or ivory
comb), symbol of cleanliness, kuccha (short pants), symbol of
promptness, kara (steel bracelet), symbol of determination, kirpan
(sword), symbol of the defense of the weak. Sikhs made a lasting
alliance with the Hinduists to gain a larger autonomy and to avenge the
long persecutions they suffered from.
> Sikhs always represented a big part of the Indian army, even 20% in the last century.
They also form very efficient troops. The military successes of India are partly due to
their fighting talents. They were well rewarded by enlarged rights but they were also
promised a good part of Pakistan, notably Pakistani Pendjab. They betrayed us but we won't
forget that.
> Ahmed
- Buddhism
Buddhism was founded in the fifth century BC by Siddharta Gautama. He
was a Hinduist prince, a kshatriya probably, who had a, let's say a
revelation. He left his wife, his children, and his wealth and became a
preacher. He was said to be a boddhisatva, an Enlightened. Buddhists
believe in reincarnation, in karma and samsara. They say the worst enemy
of mankind is ignorance (avidya). Avidya causes illusion and desires,
like the desire to live. So it is the cause of birth, suffering and
death. To leave samsara, you must forget your desires and defeat avidya
to attain beatitude (nirvana) in the union with Buddha. Soul doesn't
exist: the One believes he is Many because of illusion. That's the
reason why Buddhists refuse castes: everyone is Buddha and thus to be
loved as oneself. They believe in four truths:
- the truth of suffering: to live is to suffer;
- the cause of suffering is the desires;
- to end the suffering, you must leave samsara;
- the way to free oneself is to kill the desires.
Buddhism is divided in many sects. The leading sect in India is led by
the Dalaï Lama, who wants to free Tibet and so accepted the alliance
with Hinduists. Buddhists live mostly in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan,
Sikkim and Himâchal Pradesh. They are considered as vaishyas in these
states, sudras in the others.
- Jaïnism
Jaïnism was founded in the fifth century BC by Vardamana Mahavira. It is
a monotheistic religion that believes in karma and samsara. It values
ahimsa (non-violence) above everything. To leave samsara, you must be
pure, faithful and to know reality. It is represented mainly in Gujarât,
Râjâsthan and Karnâtaka. They are considered as the Buddhists as for
- Parsism
Parsism is a modern remnant of Zoroastrism, the main religion in the old
Persian Empire. It is a manichaeist religion where Ahura Mazda, lord of
goodness, fights eternally Ahriman, lord of demons. A developed
mythology articulates itself around this central theme. Parsis allied
themselves with Hinduists to try to gain a larger importance in the
country. They are mainly vaishyas as most are merchants. They live
mainly in Gujarât: their main center is Bombay.
The system of castes is one of the foundations of Hinduist society.
Originally, it was intended to keep the purity of the Aryan race:
Dravidians and tribals were all sudras while Aryans occupied the higher
castes. The rare bastards became the first dalits or Untouchables. But
it evolved quickly and became the social basis of Hinduism. As is
explained by the concept of karma, your birth depends on your past
actions. So you merit being of the caste you're born in and there's no
injustice. Castes were officially abolished in 1949 but Indians still
lived following their rules. Brahmans officialized the system as soon as
they took the power.
Each caste has its own rites, feasts, professions, laws or traditional
dressing. You can only be tried by the court of your caste. You're born,
you live, you marry, you die in your caste. You can never change of
caste, except if you commit crimes awful enough to become a dalit. There
exist rare exceptions for the rule of marriage but the children
automatically become members of the lesser caste. Magically gifted
children (except dalits) are taken from their parents and become
kshatriyas or brahmans, following their talents.
Five main castes form the basis. Each is divided in specialized
subcastes, linked to profession mainly. Brahmans and kshatriyas are the
highest castes and lead the country. Brahmans are priests and teachers.
They serve the gods. The spellcasters serve a single god while the
mundanes are mainly generalist priests. Kshatriyas are a kind of
military nobility. They are the politicians and the frame of the army.


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.