Truth, The Teacher (Post No. 3466)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 20 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:- 20-49


Post No.3466



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.




There was a king. He believed that life is meant only for enjoyment. He was especially fond of wearing new clothes. But he didn’t discharge properly the duties of his high office. The people, too, consequently became remiss.


One day four wise men visited the capital. When they heard of the king’s pleasure seeking ways they thought of bringing him to the right path as they were very clever. So, saluting the king, one day they said to him, “Your Highness, we are expert weavers. We can weave such fine cloth with gold and silver threads that you may have never seen anything like it. But what is still more wonderful is that the cloth is invisible to a person who does not do his work faithfully.


Hearing this, the king thought to himself, “This is a fine way of finding out who in my kingdom is neglectful and irresponsible in carrying out his duties”.


Accordingly, he asked the weavers to weave a piece of the wonderful cloth. For this purpose, he ordered the treasury officer of the State to supply them with whatever quantity of gold and silver threads they required.

The weavers started to work on the job. they, however made only noise all the time with the empty looms, though everyday they brought from the treasury  as much of gold and silver threads as they liked.

After four days, the king asked his minister to visit the weavers and find out how far they had done the job. The minister accompanied by some officers of the State set out for the weavers’ place


Hearing that minister coming with State officers, the four weavers at once set down to work on the looms.  Soon afterwards the minister and his officers arrived.  They saw the weavers working away on the empty looms, and with much concentrated attention as if they were weaving the cloth.


But though they looked at the looms with wide-open eyes  again and again, they didn’t see any cloth! The minister therefore said to himself, “Why can’t I see the cloth? Am I not doing my allotted work faithfully?”


Sensing his perplexity, the weavers smiled and asked him whether the cloth was being woven properly “Have you any suggestion to improve it ,sir?, they added.


The minister, hiding his puzzlement, however smiled back and answered, “What a wonderful cloth have you woven!  Indeed, I have never seen like of it before”. The turning to the officers he asked, “Is it not so?”


The officers, too were in a similar state of mind. They also, therefore hid their real feeling and simply endorsed the minister’s opinion.

The minister and officer then returned home.  The minister subsequently reported to the king. He was full of great admiration for the weavers’ skill.


Eight days afterwards the king accompanied by his minister, visited the weavers. He, too, had an experience like that of his minister. Though again and again he cleared his eyes with his hand kerchief to see the cloth, yet all was in vain! He also, therefore, asked himself whether he was faithful in doing his duties.

The minister, surmising what was passing through the mind of the king smiled a little and said to the king, “Your Highness, is not the cloth beautiful? Don’t you like it?”


Hearing this the king was startled! But he also pretended to endorse the opinion of the minister. The weavers said to the king, “Your Highness, the cloth is almost woven. We have worked on it very hard, indeed. Let us now take your measurement, as we would like to prepare a beautiful garment out of it for you.”


After three or four days the weavers carrying an empty tray, went to the king.  The king was utterly confused! He did not know what to do. If he told the weavers that he could not see any garment in the tray, that would be confessing that he was not worthy of being a king!


The weavers removed the clothes the king was wearing and instead put the new garment on him. But he could not see it on his body.  He pretended, however, that he was wearing the new garment. And so, did the minister and the officers. Asa matter of fact, they all exclaimed, of course hypocritically with one voice, “Your Highness, your dress is so beautiful!”

The king was then taken around the city everybody pretended that he or she saw his new dress, for fear of being found out if he spoke the truth. More, they were even full of admiration for the king’s new garment.


Just then a little boy shouted, “The king has no dress on!” This forthwith disillusioned the people.  The king too felt ashamed of himself.  A search of the weavers was ordered immediately. But they had already fled.




Part-5: Anti- Weaver,Tanner, Scavenger Proverbs (Post No.3076)

cobbler, tribe

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 20th August 2016

Time uploaded in London:  12-12

Post No.3076


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.


Part-5 on caste Proverbs. For proverbs on Brahmins, Banias, Jats, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Goldsmiths and agricultural castes, please read the first four parts.




Anti – Weaver Proverbs


Weaver’s loom being sunk in the ground, he is said to dig a pit and fall into it himself.


If the weaver has a pot of grain he thinks himself a Raja/king.


He finds the hind peg of a plough, and proposes to star farming on the strength of it.


If there are eight Jolaahaas (Mohammedan weavers) and nine huqqas (things), they fight for the odd one.


The Jolaahaa goes to see a ram fight and gets butted himself.

(The stupidity of the weaver is the staple subject of proverbial philosophy through out India)


Being one of a company of twelve who had safely forded a river, he can only find eleven, as he forgets to count himself and straight goes off to bury himself in the belief that, as he is missing, he must be dead.

A crow snatches a piece of bread from a Jolaha’s child and flies with it to the roof, the prudent father takes away the ladder before he gives the child anymore.


A Jolaahaa hears the Koran being read and bursts into tears; on being asked what passage moves him so, he explains that the wagging beard of the Mulla, reminded him of a favourite goat that he had lost.

When his dog barks at a tiger he proceeds to whip his child.

He will steal a reel of thread when he gets the chance.

He has his own standard of time; he lies like a Chamaar; and even if you see him brushing the newly woven cloth, you must not believe him when he says that it is ready.


Anti – Shoemaker/tanner/cobbler Proverbs


He is as wily as a jackal, he is so stupid that he sits on his awl and beats himself for stealing it.


He laments that he cannot tan his own skin.

He knows that nothing beyond his last, and the shortest way to deal with him is to beat him with a shoe of his own making.


Old shoes should be offered to the shoemaker’s god

Stich, Stitch is the note of the cobbler’s quarter; Stink Stink of the street where the tanners live.


The Chamar’s wife goes barefoot, but his daughter, when he has just attained puberty, is as graceful as an ear of millet.

There is no hiding the belly from the midwife (Chamar’s wife knows everything)


Chamar is inquiring after the health of the  village headman’s buffalo ( a humorous allusion to the practice of poisoning animals with arsenic)


Anti- Doms (Scavengers,Executioners, Basket makers, Professional burglars; in Tamil Nadu they were called Pariahs; in Maharashtra Mahars, the Dheds)


Dom is the Lord of Death (they supply wood for the funeral pyre)

He is ranked with Brahmans and goats as a creature useless in time of need.


He is a friend of all castes:-

Kanjar steals his dog;

Gujar loots his house;

Barber shaves him for nothing;

Jolaahaa makes him a suit of clothes.


If donkeys could excrete sugar, Doms would no longer be beggars.


A Dom in a palanquin and a Brahmin on foot (Society turned upside down)

Every village has a Brahman’s street and every village has a Pariah street


A palm tree casts no shade; a Pariah has no rule or castes


He that breaks his word is a Paraih at heart


If a Pariah offers a boiled rice, will not the God take it?

My comments:–

Foreign invaders described this caste as the remnants of a Dravidian tribe crushed out of recognition by the invading Aryans and condemned to menial occupations. Sir Grierson said that they are the ancestors of the European Gipsies and the Rom or Romany is nothing more than a variant of Dom. This shows how hard the foreign invaders tried to drive a wedge between different Hindu castes; one would wonder whether they are scholars or crooks. Every society, every culture has people of different vocations. Some foreigners have said that Indus Valley Civilization is the source of Caste system.


These were recorded 100 years ago in the book:

The People of India by Sir Herbert Risely, London, 1915.


……to be continued