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Francois Gautier, French
Hindus pertinent questions regarding the Caste system:
"Does the caste system need to be transformed, to
recapture its old meaning and once more incarnate a spiritual hierarchy of
beings? Or has it to be recast in a different mould, taking into account the
parameters of modern Indian society? Or else, will it finally disappear
altogether from India, because it has become totally irrelevant today ? He
cautions that, Hindus should not allow it to be exploited shamelessly against them,
as it has been in the last two centuries, by missionaries, "secular"
historians, Muslims, and by pre and post-independence Indian politicians -each
for their own purpose.
The PRESENT Caste system is a dark blot on
Hinduism. It goes against the principles and lofty philosophy of Hinduism
which considers each soul as potentially
divine and eternal. Hindu philosophy insists on
attitude of tolerance. Universal brotherhood is the chief message of Hindu
religious tradition. The goal is to manifest this divinity within.
It is simply remarkable that in a country of diversities, people belonging
to different castes and creed cut across all barriers to converge for the great
festival of Kumbh mela.
to be determined by spiritual qualifications and thus lost most of its meaning. As
Venkatesh of Chennai, rightly points out: " There
is a lot to be said for the caste system - that is what has kept together as a
nation for more than 5000 years. But there are many ugly faces to it and those
are the things we need to understand and repudiate with all our might while
keeping the positive things intact."
According to Prof. C. D.
Darlington: "Caste has created and maintained an infinite capacity for toleration
and assimilation. " Caste made it possible for the Persians, Greeks,
Sythians, Huns, Malays, Christians, Jews and Parsees to be slowly fitted into
Hindu society and made it, with the least conflict, into the most diverse
community of races in the world.
" It is this marvelous diversity of man in India which has made that
country both a museum and a laboratory for the study of man. For this reason the
most profound lessons in the study of society have come from India. "
Caste system is inhuman in its current form and its exploitative aspects must be abolished.
Institutions and practices that lead to the disintegration of society require to
be scrapped, however venerable their antiquity may be. Whatever might have been
the historical basis for the development of the caste system, it has degraded the
great ideal of the ancient Upanishads which affirm that an individual as
such is a spark of the spirit, a ray of the Divine. Current
caste system is something which no Hindu should be proud of. The sooner we
get rid of it the better. Clearly, we have failed to eradicate the caste
system which has been used against Hinduism by Christian missionaries.
"Age after age, the "upper castes" have kept strata of human
beings in a condition where they have no choice but to clean others' excreta,
burn corpses, tend morgues, haul away and skin dead animals... Foul, dirty,
stinking jobs from Hell that nobody else wants. THAT is the only reason why
caste exists today."
corpse - By Varsha Bhosle - rediff.com).
Social up gradation by the way
of conversion is not the answer. The caste system does not get eliminated but
gets incorporated into Christianity. Christianity does not help to unify the
society but instead, divides the Dalits into Christian Dalits and Non-Christian
Dalits! The missionaries are not interested in genuine reforms, otherwise, they
would have helped to eliminate the caste system only and not eliminate and
denigrate the Hindu religion, its unique culture and value system, they want to
see India fall apart.
In spite of the fact that, Independent India's most stubborn foe, Winston
Churchill, who once called India "a geographical expression", with no
more political coherence than the equator, there is still a unity across the
country. In the words of
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, " In spite of the divisions, there is an inner cohesion
among the Hindu society from the Himalayas to the Cape Comorin."To quote Mac Kher,
of guest columnist at Rediff.com: " Hindus should treat this as a wakeup call for
action. Reform of Hinduism should be accelerated to remove caste-based
inequalities and foster brotherhood and respect for all. The proselytizing
Church must be made to realize that its schizophrenic attitude of talking
tolerance while behaving like a predator does not wash anymore."
Vedic scholar and author of several books, has pointed out the motive behind the missionaries in India. " In India Christians
claim that by eradicating the caste system they are helping people and raising
them up socially. They could do this easier by helping reform Hindu society
rather than by trying to destroy or change the religion. Clearly they are using,
if not promoting caste-differences as a conversion strategy. Christian cultures
still have their class and other social inequalities, particularly in Central
and South America, but Christians don't see that the religion has to be changed
in order to get rid of these."
India, has officially banned untouchability after its
independence in 1950." If Veda Vyasa, Valmiki, Kabir, Sur Dasa, Tukaram
and others can be adored
through out India, then given proper education and proper healthy surroundings,
we can get rid of the abuse of caste system.
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