If a son of a so-called or pure Brahmin deploys himself as a farmer with some land then is he called a Shudra? Why not?

It was so in vedic times in the far distant past. A Brahmin’s prime duty was to learn, chant, preserve and propagate Vedas. He could do it only by following the prescribed lifestyle (extremely simple life, light eating, no hard physical work, physical and mental purity, following daily rituals and rites etc).

If a Brahmin by birth opts to work in the field by neglecting his prescribed duties and responsibilities and opts to do ploughing and farming, he is de facto a Shudra.

But not in present times.

In present times, we hardly have pure Brahmins whose life is moulded around Vedas, with total detachment to materialism. Caste has replaced Varna and everything has become hereditary.

For more analysis on the same subject:

Why were Brahmins treated superior in ancient India? Do Brahmins of the present day really think they are superior to other classes of people? Is ‘Brahmin pride’ really justified?

If Varnashrama system were ordained by God truly, why is not existing in other cultures or societies across the world?

The Varnashrama Dharma (classification of the society into 4 classes of people based on their work and role in society in Hinduism), which unfortunately got hardened and compartmentalized into a system of castes, is frequently blamed as a major reason for underprivileged people in the lower strata of the society to leave Hinduism for good.

While the caste system and the consequent demarcation of some of them as ‘upper’ and some as ‘lower’ can be blamed for some of the ills in the social practices of Hinduism, it is outright foolhardy to imagine that “Varnashrama” does not exist in any other religion or society!

In any  religion, even where an overt caste or profession-based demarcation does not seemingly exist, there will invariably be the rich, powerful and influential persons who become de facto “upper castes” and the rest who are not so privileged become “lower castes”. Again there will indeed be different levels of people fitting between “upper” and “lower” depending on the clout they have with money, power or influence.

In any part of the world, in any decent society, you will find these sort of people:

  • Teachers, professors, clergies, preachers, research scholars, scientists, intellectuals, linguistics — They are de facto equivalent to Brahmin class
  • Politicians, statesmen, ministers, Top officers in administrative services, chiefs of Defense (Army/ Navy. Air force), military officers — they are de facto equivalent to Kshatriya Class.
  • Businessmen, traders, Industrialists, small Industry owners — they are de facto equivalent to Vysya Class.
  • Laborers, workmen, craftsmen, technicians — they are de facto equivalent to Shudra Class.

In the present times, even in India, it is common place to see Brahmins by caste being engaged in politics, civil services, trading/ business etc. Poor under-educated Brahmins too work as cooks, technicians etc. If a shudra by birth becomes a Sanskrit professor, he is in a way a Brahmin only, as per original definition.

Even if caste systems go, the social class differences between the rich and poor, the elite and the underdog are not going to vanish. That is the reality of human society.