Understanding The Arsenal through the Indian caste system

namaste-yall
Namaste.

How many gunners & gooners are there in the world? More than 100 million its estimated. That’s a population bigger than Brazil’s. BRAZIL!!!

Ok if you’re nodding then you need to go back to school because that’s not true. But still, it will be a large country. Larger than most European countries including England. Diverse in every single which way but for the passion for The Arsenal. Beginning to understand it all could sound like calculus. The easiest way out is to turn to the wise and old. Namaste again!

I guess for our own good we started multiplying way quicker than some people could do math, and therefore logically some wise men got together and decided instead of us all farming, hunting, protecting, photographing and blogging, lets divide the roles a bit shall we?

The Indian society is traditionally divided in 4 sects. Or 4 castes. Each has its distinct role and purpose. In the picture below going clockwise its the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Shudras & Vaishyas.

Varnashrama

________________________________________________________________

1. The Brahmins (Priests): Their task is to teach and to preach. They educate and train the masses and also act as a conduit between god and the people. They preach religion. Encourage tolerance and are highly respected. Even the kings would not dare offend a Brahmin. Lest they be prepared for a curse of drought, poverty or sterility.

BRah

If Arsene’s face had started appearing in your head then its true. Him, Pat, Bould and the rest of our coaching staff are the Brahmins for us. Hugely trusted and respected. They train the players. Teach them the Arsenal way to do things (our religion) and encourage tolerance and belief through press conferences. Highly respected, yet a little restrained for they don’t hold all the powers and don’t make all the decisions for the society. Brahmins are also simpletons who would lead their lives in 2 pairs of cotton sheets and food earned as gifts. Much like Arsene, Brahmins must know how to make best of what they have and propagate to the masses the benefits of being self sufficient.

2. The Vaishyas (traders) : Those who buy and sell goods to the common folk or outside the kingdom. They control prices and the demand/supply. Hello Mr. Gazidis. And the other wheeler dealers with suits and boots. They want to sell everything. Sell shirts, mugs, scarves , TV rights, players, and even a fucking 90 second recorded video featuring Johan Djourou. These guys only see profit.  Sell! Sell! Sell! is their Mantra.
What do you mean, let’s buy new players? … go talk to a Brahmin.. you greedy sinner!

merchant

We would easily add silent Stan & other board members to this, because of the way we are set-up. We don’t have a single King so to speak, and these money-loving bastards decide what’s best for us  profits.

Their overriding greed ensures no one loves them. Not even the hair on their heads. They have no room for emotions, religion, faith or hope. Their eye is on the money and their tails follow.

3. The Kshatriyas (warriors) : All about actions, sweat, testosterone and war cries. Their job is to defend the pride of the people. They defend, they attack and are heroes for most. Kids want to grow up to be them hearing songs of their valor & fortitude. Ohhhh Santi Cazorlaaaa!

War

Football I believe is more a ritual akin to war, and less of a sport. Consider the armies, the chants, the flags and drums. And appropriately so, the Kshatriyas are the most vital part of the mix.

Heroes come and go. Every age, every era has a new hero. Who becomes the epicentre of the battle and rises high and mighty to take his side to new heights. We keep forgetting that its not one person or few people who hold answers to everything. Its not standing waters, but a flowing river. Things change quickly and constantly. But we need to remember that.

4. The Shudras (Commoners) : The rest of the population. Unskilled workers, farmers, laborers & slaves. Those who do menial jobs. So menial that they are sometimes considered untouchables for the other castes. Their job is to serve the other 3 castes. Pay taxes, earn money and keep serving all their lives. They have no influence what goes on in the kingdom.

This is us.

Paying for jerseys, tickets, scarves, mugs, fish&chips & Arsenal TV.  Can we stop doing it. No! Never. And will we have any influence on what goes on. No! Never.

At this point 2 questions come to mind.
1. What hope do we live in?
2. Why are we here?

I will attempt to answer the first here and the other through a separate post later. Would also love anyone’s view on one or both.

To answer the first we the people (fans) live in the hope of prosperity, tranquillity and joy. For us small joys in life are more important (like Arsenal playing good football) or being more worthy than our neighbors and other kingdoms. Even though we don’t have any direct ownership or stake in this society, we would like to take pride in being the greatest kingdom there is on land.

But we know we can’t affect change. Alone and in our shoes we have no control on where we are headed. No control over the taxes, soldiers or priests its a bit like being in a roller coaster which someone else is manning.

Those is search of finding answers quickly and easily, often turn to god (our crest), and thus heavily rely on the priests who are their channels to god. We hope that the priests can prepare the warriors well and help them with sound strategy and timing. At the same time propagate good values (1-2s & possession) to the masses.

We live our lives watching the Kshatriyas fight many battles, while continuing to pay the Vaishyas their taxes, in hope that the Priests will guide this ship to calmer, clearer, better waters.

And through this journey its our dharma to offer support. And help maintain balance with our weight in this boat. Continuously, endlessly, and without expectation.

gita

Your right is to work alone,
Never to its fruits.
Let not be the fruit of action be thy motive,
nor let thy attachment be to inaction.

After all, we chose this journey, and we will live it to the fullest. India also believes in reincarnation and I am certain most of us would love to be reborn with the same purpose. Up the Arsenal!


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13 Responses to Understanding The Arsenal through the Indian caste system

  1. Invinciblog says:

    I love it. Superbly written. Astute and informative. Kudos, Yoiii! One of my nicknames is Sadhu. And in a way, that’s appropriate for a most of a certain type of positive Arsenal bloggers: not quite Brahmin, but nevertheless holy. I put you in that group too. I love your breadth and positivity. Great stuff! Can’t wait for part 2.

  2. Sujay says:

    Good stuff. Kinda never thought about this but made more and more sense as I read your blog. 🙂

  3. steww says:

    Nice one! I’d never considered football through the prism of the caste system but this works for me.

  4. Very well thought out article. All 4 categories match their definition in what they do at the club. But not as provocative as your last one 🙂

  5. Fantastic Yoii, just fantastic!!! Never thought of it that way, as I’m not one to support caste systems like they have in India and some parts of Africa. However, for the first time, I bear no hard feelings towards becoming a Shudras for The Arsenal. Ok, maybe a little bit cuz I sometimes think the club should stop it’s exorbitant taxes – ticket prices. However, in my next life, I’d like to become a Brahmins 🙂

    Fantastic piece again.

  6. Amruts says:

    You write some amazing stuff man ! Keep it going. I read it twice in the last 15 mins. Frankly some makes amazing sense. But I dsagree with the whole notion of shudras . So don’t relate to that (understood it had a negative connotation). Unfortunately in the Indian context Shudras have a nagative context, on that premise, I don’t agree the fans can be classified. The joy we get out of Arsenal outweighs everything else.

    You have a talent for writing , my friend. Keep thinking and keep coming out with such pieces

    PS: For a guy who ocassionaly tweets against Arsene , you sing praises for him 🙂 Just an observation

    • yoiii says:

      Thank you buddy. You read it twice!? Now that’s a compliment. Shudras are in their capability/contribution, nothing to do with the negative connotation really. There is no other like Arsene, there never will be. Sometimes I disagree with him and his decisions, sometimes I feel he has tried it all he’s got, so perhaps change is necessary. Still love him though. Love Arsenal more.

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