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The caste system in the pakistani community

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    The caste system in the pakistani community

    Salaam Guppos,

    I from a very young age was taught never to mix too much with people from lower castes as they were beneath us. Even though they were pakistani.

    As I started to educate myself I realised this is totally against Islam I have really tried to stop being prejudiced against people of so called lower castes. And try to make myself a better person and not look down upon them.

    However because This idea has been embedded in my brain for so long I really find it hard sometimes not to judge people because of this, but sadly I do, and I know I shouldnt.

    Was anyone else ever told this type of stuff by their elders?

    Do you find it hard not to judge people cuz of their "caste"??

    Do you have many friends of different castes with whom your communication is restricted??

    How do you think we can ever try and change peoples ideas towards this sort of thinking??

    I would really appreciate some SERIOUS input please....

    Thanks dudes and dudettes

    actually mariah.

    i didn't know there was a caste system in Pakistani communities.. can u tell us what is considered a higher caste as opposed to the lower ones for those of us that don't know anything about this..(that would be me) please and thank you.


      Hi Amber,

      Well maybe it can be to do with the area that you come from.

      My family is from Rawalpindi. Many people their believe in the system quite strongly.

      You have the Raja caste or Rajput caste at the top. then you get the Landowners who are called "Chaudary" or "zamindar" then below them you get the castes such as goldmakers (sinyaaray), tarhaan, i think are carpenters, then you get mauchi (shoemakers). I think there are probably more but I dont know the rest.

      Hope that helps.


        I have only heard about the "zaat paat" stuff such as malik, qureshy, raajput, khokha, dogar, randhawa etc never really seen it in practice anywhere.

        is it?
        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


          Originally posted by Fraudz:

          is it?
          really what kind of zaat paat is this....never heard of it before...
          بِن دانا پانی میں جی لواں
          بِن انَک میں جی نہ سکاں


            Yeah Fraudia heard of malik too. my parents and many people I know are strong believers in it, maybe they are from the older generation..but actually saying that I have noticed that the young lads of today beleive in it strongly too...Maybe it is prevalent in places where there are many pakistanis, maybe more in England, such as the place I live in, but you know what I am really surprised that you lot havent experienced it.


              Speaking as a Malik (with a lot of knowledge on Zats in Pakistani Punjab) who hates the caste system because its is entirely un-Islamic, I think this is a topic which could become very controversial.- so no more comments I'm afraid


                Well MR Malik if you had bothered to read what I wrote above I am sure you`re answer would have been more appropriate and not geared towards mud slinging.

                Now scroll back up and READ


                  No Mariah you misunderstand me My intention was not mud slinging but warning of the controversy that discussion of Zats brings up i.e. who is high zat and who is low zat and all that?

                  To me it is simple - we are all Muslims and I am a non-believer in any Caste system. I'm sorry if you were in anyway offended? - that was not my intention.

                  [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited September 11, 2000).]


                    Arre Malik bhai, I am not offended, but I would just like to hear your views, that is all.
                    Topics like this only go downhill if people stoop to that level.

                    Now wont you go back up and try to answer a few of the questions I put forward??

                    BTW you should have noted that I havent asked anyone what their caste is because I dont believe in it either.

                    [This message has been edited by Mariah (edited September 11, 2000).]


                      OK Mariah here goes - apologies in advance to anyone who is offended by my observations.

                      According to Punjab tradition the Zat sytstem (castes) is gropued into roughyly 3 divisions:-

                      1) Syeds (Shah's) and Awans (Maliks) - they are regarded as the highest of all the castes as they 'claim' to be descended from the Prophet's family.

                      2) 'Punjabi' castes i.e. those whose ancestors were Hindu's or Sikhs.

                      - The highest 'Punjabi' caste are the Rajputs (who are themseves split up into about 30 or so sub-castes like Khokars).

                      - Then the "Zamindari" castes -

                      - JATS (who are split into dozens of sub castes like Wattoo, Tarrar, Chatta to name a few political families).

                      - GUJARS

                      ** Note both Jats and Gujars use the name Chaudury but are still 2 two separate castes**

                      - ARAINS
                      - SHEIKHS
                      - MUGHAL
                      - QURESHI'S (though they claim they are Syeds).

                      ETC ETC ETC

                      3) The so-called "Kammi" castes i.e. by profession e.g. Choorhas' Massali's, Lohars, Tarkhans, Mochi's etc etc

                      [This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited September 11, 2000).]


                        Zat-pat and caste system in Pakistan is alive (mostly in rural Pakistan) and is safely ensconced. As much as we try to ignore its existence, it is prevalent in many Islamic societies. For example, the Quresh has been given a high place, and Waris (the working class) falls pretty much beneath a big pileup of in-between castes. Castes in Punjab are mainly dictated by the professional affiliation of a person, and not necessarily with lineage. E.g., Moochi, Dhobis, Zamindars, etc. The social status is dictated pretty much from top-down and it is a rarity to see the low-castes being represented in any of our civic setups. When was the last time you heard that a Moochi’s son became a General or the MP in Punjab? Although people do tend to deny that it does not exist, it does.

                        However, things are changing now and wealth is the name of the game. A Moochi with a lot of moola has more respect and prestige than a Phanka Chaudry. Tomorrow it might be the education that dictates the social status of a person. So these are the cultural idiosyncrasies and are present in all societies. The only way to change this is to think out of the box.

                        By the way, the least respected caste (other than a Movie caste) is Kanjars of Hira Mandi. If any of the so-called high castes will let their daughter (e.g., Bhuttos, Khar, Jonaigo, Sangals, Pirachas, etc.) marry a Kangar’s son, I will believe that caste system does not exist in Pakistan. To get an idea, just read some matrimonial and see how much emphasis is placed on caste. Although some may read “zat paat ki koi tameez nahee”, which means that either the girl is over 40, or the boy is Metric Fail.


                          I play football with a lad called David Singh. Other members of the sikh commounity claim that he is, in fact a choora in disguise

                          I think it might be because he is really black, and tight-fisted. If you lend him 50p he disappears for months on end.

                          I think discriminating along caste lines is non-practical outside the sub-continent. When Vajpayee or Musharraf shake hands with kofi Annan at this UN Summit, will they scrub their hands with detergent afterwards, cuz I doubt very much Kofi's a Rajput


                            Another "byproduct" of the caste system is marrying within the sect. I mean, syed's will only marry within syed's and Ansaris only within Ansaris and other what not. Although this practice is slowly being phased out,especially among city dwellers, its still rampant.

                            BTW, the reason this sect stringent citizens choose marry outside their sect is when they can;t find a suitable match for their beloved kid within the family. Otherwise, it would have been business as usual. Surprising that these sects boast of their sectarian purity and when it comes to marrying their kids, looks for a spouse which complements their kids credentials, i.e. looks, education or $$$ regardless of secterian background.

                            >>>BTW you should have noted that I havent asked anyone what their caste is because I dont believe in it either.

                            Thank you for pointing that out Mariah.


                              I am not in favour of Zaat-paat but if u study deeply u will see that people from one caste will have similar habits even if they belong to two different areas of PK. These habits or nature of that zaat makes them the member of that zaat.

                              I have a friend he is basically Jaat (Warraich) ...... he used to say that its the effect of "nutfa" ..... I disagreed with him but when I studied myself I came to realize that its true.

                              But I think the children born with mixed zaats are better because they take adequate nature and habits of both zaats. So mix up is healthy ....

                              But I am well aware of zaats [like gujjar & jatt(e.g ranjhay, warraich, chuhaan, cheemay, chaddhay, chatthay, waeen),pirzaday, sheikh, pirachay, yousuf zaee, achak zaee, kaka zaee, Malik (Awan, kakay zaee malik and malik tailee) Mughul (aslee mughul & mughul Lohaar) etc etc.] in Pakistan but I am not interested in them. I am mixed myself DAD Piracha mum Yousuf zaee. Someone called me half italian few days back (pagal da putar) my wife is half Italian not me.