Submitted By fizzy23
Faiz Mahdi Syed
Sak Di Na
(Social Hierarchy System)
Sakdina in Thailand was a system of social hierarchy in place officially until 1932 but still exists in different parts of Thai society. The Sakdina system was basically introduced in the reign of King Borommatrailokkanat (1448-1488) , the system was designed to force even the most far-flung regions into line but became legally coded at the time of King Rama I. This code joined together laws that had been inexistence for more then hundreds of years, due to this the Sakdina system became important to Thai people. The system itself was based upon a cultural and social order that had been practiced in much of the country at local level for centuries.
In medieval Thailand, they had remote regions with many isolated villages which were only reachable by river. During the Ayutthaya Kingdom, maintaining control over remote areas was a constant challenge, regional rulers often were careless in the eyes of a greedy capital. King Borommatrailokkanat passed a series of laws that have resonated down Thai history to today and is one of the most influential royal commands issued in Thai history. King Borommatrailokkanat introduced a historical governmental social system which is known as the Sakdina System, but that time it was a must to follow law of Military and Civil hierarchies. King Borommatrailokkanat made three major changes to the Sakdina system, he fully centralized it, expanded as far as possible and standardized it. Thai society was long been divided into two classes which were the masses and the nobles, the Sakdina System clearly defined the roles within Thai society of these two groups, how would they interact with each other, how they would act in front of each other and amongst themselves creating a strict social order based on the worth of each person which means they were given power depending on their wealth or how much they are worth. solid castes were formalized within the ranks of both nobles and commoners.
When Sakdina system was first introduced in Siam, it was a system of social interaction, a persons wealth or the worth of an person determined by how they should properly behave and the respect due from others. A system of ranks made a simple indicator when people met as to if they were higher or lower status. The higher the Na the more respect is given and that person is more believable, in simple words they are better then people with lower Na and their lives are more important then compare to lower ranks and the lower ranks must do what the higher ranks tells them to do and the lower the Na the lower they bow. The system not only established how much respect a person deserved but also to how much social responsibility they were supposed to take. People born with higher Na were expected to live by higher standards.
However, one of the main problem with a system of privilege was that they most likely start to abuse the power and use the status for personal gain and corruption and this quickly began to happen with Sakdina. Abuses such as, if a person of lower Na committed a crime upon a person of higher Sakdina they would receive a harsher sentence than whereas if the situation was reversed a person of high Na would receive a lower sentence for hurting a person of low Na. Higher worth nobles also used their Na to build and improve relationships with the king. In simple words the Sakdina system means that different members of society have different social ranks, different positions for each ranks, nature of work or even how people are to behave towards one another as well as how much they are worth.
Refrancese Mark Tamthai - http://www.hrsolidarity.net/mainfile.php/1999vol09no06/1018/ http://historyplanet.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/the-last-orientals-th-thaisakdina-system/ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/thailand/monarchy-sakdina.htm
Thai Radical Discourse: The Real Face of Thai Feudalism Today - By Craig J. Reynolds