By Dr. OP Sudrania
Read Is Caste Only a Hindu Problem? Part 1
Read Is Caste only a Hindu Problem? Part 2
Read Is Caste only a Hindu Problem? Part 3
Read Is Caste only a Hindu Problem? Part 4
Read Is Caste only a Hindu Problem? Part 5
Read Is Caste only a Hindu Problem? Part 6
Belua multorum capitum – monster with many heads
In this article I shall attempt to discuss the zeitgeist of caste as it originated from its ancient era and its culmination into the present hoodoo incriminating the Indian aka Hindu society. In my earlier six series I tried to briefly indicate this cancer of caste scourge in various other communities than Hindus per se as well as other nations apart from India, in its current illusionary perspective wherein it is independent of any influence from Hinduism. I shall also try as to why, then, the caste in Hinduism is in frontal glare despite its global ubiquitous prevalence? Are Hindus responsible or some extraneous powerful institutions or agencies responsible for mere propagandas than in its eradication? Hindus, unfortunately, are a soft target to prey upon. Ramesh Rao makes it clear; it is the vested interest of western missionaries for their predatory proselytisation that is both the cause as well as solution of this lingering malaise. Hindus accept it but will Christian missionaries also accept their invidious role; is the bigger question, the Hindus must be asking at every available forum of the international society. Christian custodians should also accept that caste is an integral part of ‘egalitarian’ Christianity.
Euphemistic Veer Savarkar, a staunch Hindu Mahasabha worker had openly declared a war against untouchability as early as 1920s. He, I quote, “To regard our 70 million co-religionists as ‘untouchables’ and worse than animals is an insult not only to humanity but also to the sanctity of our soul. It is my firm conviction that this is why untouchability should be principally eradicated. Untouchability should go also because its eradication is in the interests of our Hindu society. … When I refuse to touch someone because he was born in a particular community but play with cats and dogs, I am committing a most heinous crime against humanity.”; made the most fervent appeal against the ‘untouchability’ and asserted further, “…From the point of view of justice, dharma and humanism, fighting untouchability is a duty and we Hindus should completely eradicate it. … This question of benefit is an aapaddharma (duty to be done in certain exceptional circumstances) and eradication of untouchability is the foremost and absolute dharma. (1927, Samagra Savarkar vangmaya, vol.3, p.483)”. He made it known explicitly in no ambiguous words.
In the ancient India, like in any other society, the division of classes in the people was meritocratic than based on their birth. In fact there was no caste; they were either Brahmins or Sudras as testified by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. What the critics hide the fact is that Hinduism today is not the copycat of yesteryears as is amply testified in her sacred scriptures Vis a Vis itinerant running practice.
In Srimad Bhagvad Gita in verse 4:13, it says, “catur-varnyam maya srstam, guna-karma-vibhagasah”, in which Lord Krishna says, “According to the three modes (qualities or Gunas) of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me”. This is, least to express, a plea for meritocratic divisions of the society for smooth functions, e.g. satogunas = Brahmanas, rajogunas = Kshatriyas, mixture of rajo + tamogunas = Vaishyas and tamogunas = Shudras. Dalits or untouchables are unfortunate later dispensation.
Manu the most maligned author (Western construct) of his disputed treatise, Manusmriti, himself conceded that Vedas will prevail over his contention in case of any divergence. There is a debate on this particular issue of Indian scriptures which were intentionally duplicated to create confusion in the minds of anglicized Indians and the untouchables to subserve the British colonial interests. Manusmriti and Vedas have other versions also as British Manusmriti-Vedas.
It includes Christians here, but it does not provide a similar link for them like Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. This is a preposterous, absurd, malignant and intentional statement. They find all sorts of inflammatory excuses to denigrate the Hindus on one or the other pretext. Let us see their continuing argument admixed with crocodile tears:
“Are the forces that separate groups and classes more numerous than the forces that unite them? What social significance is attached to this group life? Is its exclusiveness a matter of custom and convenience, or is it a matter of religion? It is in the light of these questions that one must decide whether caste among Non-Hindus is the same as Caste among Hindus.” They are bent upon to find fault in anyway. Your argument is either a comforting excuse on behalf of Hindus or the system in non Hindus is not the same as in Hindus despite their assertion of such divisive diversities present in every other groups, e.g. – “In considering this question, you must at the outset bear in mind that nowhere is human society one single whole. It is always plural. In the world of action, the individual is one limit and society the other. Between them lie all sorts of associative arrangements of lesser and larger scope—families, friendships, co-operative associations, business combines, political parties, bands of thieves and robbers. These small groups are usually firmly welded together, and are often as exclusive as castes. They have a narrow and intensive code, which is often anti-social. This is true of every society, in Europe as well as in Asia. The question to be asked in determining whether a given society is an ideal society is not whether there are groups in it, because groups exist in all societies.”
These people are perhaps engaged in this polemic for the specific purpose to keep bashing and find counter attacks to strategise continuous maligning campaign as evident in the ensuing statement:
“The other set [of “neutral” Hindus] denies that caste presents any problem … Such Hindus seek comfort in the view that the Hindus have survived, and take this as a proof of their fitness to survive. This point of view is well expressed by Prof. S. Radhakrishnan in his Hindu View of Life. Referring to Hinduism he says,
“The civilization itself has not been a short-lived one. Its historic records date back for over four thousand years and even then it had reached a stage of civilization which has continued its unbroken, though at times slow and static, course until the present day. It has stood the stress and strain of more than four or five millenniums of spiritual thought and experience. Though peoples of different races and cultures have been pouring into India from the dawn of History, Hinduism has been able to maintain its supremacy and even the proselytising creeds backed by political power have not been able to coerce the large majority of Hindus to their views. … It is no more necessary to dissect Hinduism than to open a tree to see whether the sap still runs.” It continues:
“The name of Prof. Radhakrishnan is big enough to invest with profundity whatever he says, and impress the minds of his readers. But I must not hesitate to speak out my mind. For, I fear that his statement may become the basis of a vicious argument that the fact of survival is proof of fitness to survive.”
I have tried to show this very factor in my earlier posts, yet it is futile exercise in their determined approach to prove Hindus wrong. This is like “heads you lose and tail I win”. Their style of attack is typical melodrama and malicious. Either they write anonymously or in pseudonym. Worst of all they select such individual who is not a bona fide representative as is observed in controversial interfaith Hindu Christian dialogue initiated by Fr. Clooney and Rajiv Malhotra, quote “After Malhotra’s lecture, Clooney took the podium and the spectacle was extremely illuminating to any discerning viewer. Clooney’s strategy was to heap high praise (a euphemism for fulsome flattery!) on Malhotra, who during his own comments on Clooney’s talk, agreed with him! Clooney as mentioned above is a well trained scholar and Rajiv Malhotra was no match for him, in a sense. The range of Clooney’s intellectual cogitation was impressive both for its subtlety and its delicate handling of contentious issues.”
How the Indian democratic setup is abused in the name of presumptuous secularism can be gauged from the seriousness of the statement here: “Anyone doubting this assessment must explain the sudden haste among Western nations to reassert their Christian credentials, from Australia, France, Switzerland, and now the United Kingdom: “We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so. The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today. Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend” – Prime Minister David Cameron. (Evidently it is not reciprocal for Indian state to declare its ancient Hinduism similarly; lest they blast her for its communal agendas – Author) Read here; quoted in:
Such practices are only leading to a New Militant Hindu wing including the western converted Hindus e.g. Ishwar Sharan aka Swami Devananda, born in a devout Protestant Christian family uses a burning cross in his blog though, I personally do not endorse. This is unfortunate but a natural consequence of extremism in one society countervails in the disaffected group. This highlights the need for self restraint without indulging in self centered treacherous goals of a global caliphate in the Abrahamic Religions where both the Muslims and Christians are openly competing with each other. The consequence is regrettably evident in the current turmoil and factional internecine wars in Muslim and Christian worlds observed in Middle East and North Africa. The rest of the Indian polytheistic liberal religious groups are facing the scourge of their morass of predatory proselytisation including the residual Zoroastrians in ancient Persia. See also at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Anantanand Rambachan expresses in his column: “The nature and authority of scripture: Implication for Hindu-Christian Dialogue”, in the following sentiments:
“In a thoughtful series of reflections on the future of Hindu-Christian Dialogue, Klaus Klostermaier observes that there are “few Hindus who are interested in (contemporary) Christian theology, and there are fewer still who have a desire to enter into dialogue with their Christian counterparts”.1 Others have noted that, with few notable exceptions, the initiatives for dialogue, in recent times, have been from the Christian side.2In an earlier study, I suggested, briefly, a few possible reasons for this lack of interest on the Hindu side. The memories of colonialism and its association with aggressive Christian missionary activity, misrepresentation of other religions, and the lack of genuine interest in the study and understanding of these traditions are not easily erased.” Rambachan asserts further:
“Ramakrishna confessed skepticism about the value of scriptural study. The scriptures are diluted, containing, as he puts it, a “mixture of sand and sugar,” difficult to distinguish and separate. They are of no use in conveying the feeling of God: “This feeling is something very different from book-learning. Books, scriptures, and science appear as mere dirt and straw after the realization of God.” Like Keshub Chandra Sen, the direct vision of God was the main theme of his instruction. It was the only form of verification: “But seeing is far better than hearing. Then all doubts disappear. It is true that many things are recorded in the scripture; but all these are useless without the direct realization of God.”
There cannot be a second thought over this powerful veracious exclamation. This also constitutes the very essence of Vedic teachings expressed in “Sanatana Dharma” in its perennial root.
Human inequality debates
Amartya Sen, the India-born Nobel Prize winner, in his review of the history of caste system in India finds that there have been profound historical debates within the Indian community and numerous movements against caste divisions in Indian history. Writers of these ancient Indian documents could have suppressed these probing discussions and philosophical arguments, but instead the writers included a prominent presence of these anti-inequality arguments in these texts. This, according to Sen, suggests that Indian history wrestled with the moral dilemmas of the caste question and the preponderance of these discussions across various Indian historical documents challenge a monolithic exposition of the so-called Hindu point of view on caste. For example, in the Mahabharata, an Indian epic, is this discussion:
Bhrigu tells Bharadvaja that caste divisions relate to differences in physical attributes of different human beings, reflected in skin colour. Bharadvaja responds not only by pointing to the considerable variations in skin colour within every caste (if different colours indicate different castes, then all castes are mixed castes), but also by the more profound question: ‘We all seem to be affected by desire, anger, fear, sorrow, worry, hunger, and labour; how do we have caste differences then?
In Bhavishya Purana, another Indian ancient text, considered to be written over several centuries, dated to be between 1500 to 2500 years old, is this genealogical scepticism and discussion:
“Since members of all the four castes are children of God, they all belong to the same caste. All human beings have the same father, and children of the same father cannot have different castes.”
Caste and social status
Arnold and Robb consider the Indian caste system to be an immensely complex subject. They note that there are differences between the theoretical construct and the practical reality. Doctrinally, caste was defined as a system of segregation of people, each with a traditional occupation that was hereditary, closed and exclusionary. In the Hindu system, people were categorized in one or other of the five major ideological schemes: Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaisyas, Shudras and Untouchables (?). This ideological scheme was theoretically composed of 3000 sub-castes, which in turn was claimed to be composed of 90,000 local sub-groups, with people marrying only within their sub-group. This theory of caste was applied to what was then British India in the early 20th century, when the population comprised about 200 million people, across five major religions, and over 500,000 agrarian villages, each with a population between 100 to 1000 people of various age groups, variously divided into numerous rigid castes (British India included modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar). The above statement is gross exaggeration as ‘untouchables’ were not a separate group at all. It defines their intention.
Discrimination and trauma from castes
Ambedkar, who was born in India, in a caste that was traditionally classified as untouchable, became a leader of human rights in India, a prolific writer, and a key person in drafting modern India’s constitution in the 1940s. Ambedkar wrote extensively on discrimination, trauma and tragic effects of the caste system in India. He was used and encouraged by the Western educational institutions also to deliver his talks on this much maligned topic.
Ambedkar described the Untouchables as belonging to the same religion and culture, yet shunned and ostracized by the community they lived in. The Untouchables, observed Ambedkar, recognised the sacred as well as the secular laws of India, but they derived no benefit from this. They lived on the outskirts of a village. Segregated from the rest, bound down to a code of behavior, they lived a life appropriate to a servile state. According to this code, an untouchable could not do anything that raised him or her above his or her appointed station in life. The caste system stamped an individual as untouchable from birth. Thereafter, observed Ambedkar, his social status was fixed, and his economic condition was permanently set. The tragic part was that the Mahomedans, Parsis and Christians shunned and avoided the Untouchables, as well as the Hindus. Ambedkar acknowledged that the caste system wasn’t universally absolute in his time; it was true, he wrote, that some Untouchables had risen in Indian society above their usually low status, but the majority had limited mobility, or none, during Britain’s colonial rule. According to Ambedkar, the caste system was irrational. Ambedkar listed these evils of the caste system: it isolated people, infused a sense of inferiority into lower-caste individuals, and divided humanity. The caste system was not merely a social problem, he argued: it traumatized India’s people, its economy, and the discourse between its people, preventing India from developing and sharing knowledge, and wrecking its ability to create and enjoy the fruits of freedom. The philosophy supporting the social stratification system in India had discouraged critical thinking and cooperative effort, encouraging instead treatises that were full of absurd conceits, quaint fancies, and chaotic speculations. The lack of social mobility, notes Ambedkar, had prevented India from developing technology which can aid man in his effort to make a bare living, and a life better than that of the brute. Ambedkar stated that the resultant absence of scientific and technical progress, combined with all the transcendentalism and submission to one’s fate, perpetrated famines, desolated the land, and degraded the consciousness from respecting the civic rights of every fellow human being.
From the 1850s, photography was used in Indian subcontinent by the British for anthropological purposes, helping (or accentuating – Author) classify the different castes, tribes and native trades. Included in this collection were Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist (Sinhalese) people classified by castes. … Rajpoots, classified as the highest secular Hindu caste. Amongst the Rajpoot clans, Chohans, descendents of warrior princes, were classified to have the highest position.
In 1932, through the campaigning of the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar, the government granted untouchables separate electorates under the new constitution. In protest, Gandhi embarked on a six-day fast in September 1932. The resulting public outcry successfully forced the government to adopt an equitable arrangement through negotiations mediated by Palwankar Baloo. This was the start of a new campaign by Gandhi to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he named Harijans, the children of God. (It also clarifies the British intentions to keep caste alive, as is followed now)
On 8 May 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast of self-purification to help the Harijan movement. This new campaign was not universally embraced within the Dalit community, as prominent leader B. R. Ambedkar condemned Gandhi’s use of the term Harijans as saying that Dalits were socially immature, and that privileged caste Indians played a paternalistic role. Ambedkar and his allies also felt Gandhi was undermining Dalit political rights. Gandhi had also refused to support the untouchables in 1924–25 when they were campaigning for the right to pray in temples. Because of Gandhi’s actions, Ambedkar described him as “devious and untrustworthy”. Gandhi, although born into the Vaishya caste, insisted that he was able to speak on behalf of Dalits, despite the presence of Dalit activists such as Ambedkar.
Unfortunately this is merely being talked about lately for two reasons: One is vote bank political tool for Indian myopic leaders and second by the more vicious and powerful non Hindu machinery with a vested interest of predatory proselytisation on one hand and politico-religious exploitation on the other hand for divide et impera. Even the current UPA II central government wants the embers of caste burning.
Christian Missionaries and Indian Caste Cancer
It is unfortunate that both Christians and Muslims are predating on the soft Hindu community for the conversion politics of their brand of global caliphate where both of these Abraham’s offsprings are badly competing in the market to harvest the Hindu souls by misguiding the gullible people to divide and conquer. That is the reason for repeatedly branding, “Who is a Hindu”? They incite the various subgroups by saying, “So and so is not a Hindu because they say so”. This is maliciously absurd and rumour mongering technique to incite the illiterate rural folks and then using them by enticing with the basic living requisites in life e.g. health care through their establishment of hospitals and medical colleges, education through their missionary controlled schools from nursery till the highest post graduation standard in all fields, the religious proselytisation through their Churches tagged with both the previous types of institutions for health and education where there is a direct interference of Church from admission to funding all other privileges which acts as a cushion of incentives as well as draws respect for their brand of God and religion. Lastly the multinational business houses act as their final saviors in providing the jobs for their living. This projects the image of Christian Missionaries as their sole guardian and apostle on the earth. Let us examine the following excerpt which reveals a report on some castes in India soon after the Christian Missionaries were given a free hand in India i.e. after 1815 when the lease of East India Company was renewed.
“A manuscript titled Seventy-two Specimens of Castes in India, published in February 1837. Sponsored and compiled for Christian missionaries, the 72 images claim to be castes of India as witnessed over 25 years. The images include people from various professions, several of Arab, Muslim and Sikh couples. The manuscript does not list any observed inter-relationship or hierarchy between the illustrated professions and religious persuasions.”
Why and what is the reason for this list to be sponsored and compiled for Christian Missionaries? It is obvious. Their only interest was/is to select such a section in Hindus who can be easily pried upon. I remember in my early years in eastern India where the Churches and their other institutions used to be located in faraway places where the rest of Hindu community hardly visited, to keep it a quite operation even after 1947. Obviously this strategy must have been evolved during the British clandestine rule. It also shows the primary interest of British was pecuniary than religious and they did not want to create any sensationalism due to obvious public observations of religious interference which could then interfere in their loot and root of “Raj”. However over the last 65 years of independence and controversial rise of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the picture has drastically changed in the country where the Hindus inclusive of the Dharmic religions are living a life of exile in their own homeland Vis a Vis Jewish people who are rehabilitated, sheltered and given full assistance to live in their ancient promised land of Canaan – present Israel by US/EU allies.
Recently there has been an invidious attempt by British Government obviously with an ulterior motive incited by the Christian missionaries; which again goes to show, “Why and who is interested in continuation of caste cancer in Indian Hindu community. The motive is clearly defined by the vested predatory proselytisation process for conversion in their number game of foot soldiers. “As the British seek to draft a new bill of rights, and from what one hears, equate caste with racism, similar to what was sought at the United Nations Durban conference on racism and racial discrimination, as western Europe and US-based missionary groups ratchet up the calls for actions and sanctions against India, and as we move into a new era of global interaction, it is time for Hindus to act.”
While the Western Democracies practice open Christianity and the entire Muslim world uses their Jihadi Islam remorselessly but practicing Hinduism must be maligned under every available pretext by blame game. On the other hand, the same Christian Institutions advance their tactics of disguised sympathy in the name of “Interfaith Dialogue” with some selective representatives who are not authorized to do so. Initially they had tried with several ‘Hindu agencies’ but failed on the issue of their religious conversions. This put the missionary representatives off to look for lesser Hindus living in Western countries like Rajiv Malhotra by encouraging him for his academic pursuits. Rajiv Malhotra has been obliged for assistance in his book publications by Rev. Prof. Francis X. Clooney.
Difference between Islamic and Christian proselytisation
So far as proselytisation and conversions are concerned, Muslims and Christians are no different in their philosophy but they differ vastly in their approach. Muslims have an aggressive and physical jihadi approach while the Christians have a shrewd, silent, passive intellectual approach. Yet it does not exclude them of their gory history well recorded in the human society archives. Wherever the Europeans went, they did not show any remorse over the killings of the indigenous populace, best examples can be sited of Tanzanian tribes whose last survivor breathed her last very recently and the so called well defined original inhabitants of North America – Amerindians, are forced into a life in ghettos with no modern amenities of USA as enjoyed by an average American. There is no dearth of citations.
Hindu benevolence and its misuse
“… Of course the Hindu names were adopted by the Parsis after their settlement in India, just as they adopted many of the Hindu manners and customs and dress, and also perhaps to hide their nationality in order to escape persecution at the hands of the fanatical Mahomedans.” Initially Parsis remained loyal to the Gujrati Hindus who gave them shelter but this loyalty changed to British crown subsequently.
“The name of Parsi is known not merely for the recent claim of loyalty to the British Government, although we are content to make that our best claim, but also by the honourable position which some of the greatest English writers have accorded the Parsis, or ancient Persians, among the leading nations of the world.” He goes on further, “If I have succeeded in making Englishmen and Parsis better acquainted with each other I shall have realised to the fullest extent my purpose. The English Government in India has no more faithful subjects than Parsis; … if they can think that it will spread among the English a more general and a more correct knowledge of their position in the Indian community.” Claims Mr Dosabhai Framji Karaka, C.S.L, Presidency Magistrate and chairman of Her Majesty’s bench of Justices, Bombay; Late Member Bombay Legislative Council; Late Chairman of the Municipal Corporation, and late sheriff of Bombay. Author of ‘Travels in Great Britain,’ etc. etc. With all such high servile accolades Karaka acquired in British Raj, his dedication of this two volume treatise on “History of the Parsis including their Manners, Customs, Religion, and Present Position” written in the year 1884 published by Macmillan and Co. London was dedicated ‘TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS’ Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, ‘THESE VOLUMES’; Containing an account of a community which descends from the ancient Persians, and claims to be the most loyal among the many millions of eastern subjects who recognise the beneficent sway of the British Crown, are, with his royal highness’s most gracious permission, dedicated, ‘In Commemoration of his Auspicious Visit to India’ – BY HIS MOST HUMBLE AND GRATEFUL SERVANT – THE AUTHOR; is quite understandable. Despite this hyped loyalty to British, Parsis were accused as Fire worshippers by them but Karaka claimed as one God worshippers, “…we resemble to great number of Christians who belong to Church of Rome”. Should Hindus learn some lessons from these brute historical facts, remains to be seen in the future stock; lest the history repeats itself?
However Parsis now apparently after the British left have shown loyalty to independent India in sharp contrast to the Jewish counterparts, who have by and large, deserted India following the establishment of Israel in June 1948. Jews who were earlier born and brought up in India have disowned it for good. Both Jews and Parsis could not have settled in Islamic Pakistan for reasons pretty obvious, India remained as a last refuse with Hindus as the most docile and welcome hosts. Hindus need to assert their historical and revered religious feelings of ‘Vasudev kutumbkam’ Vis a Vis global calumny for caste politics boldly.
Similarly the Christian priest viz Saint Thomas in the first century AD is known to have arrived in the Malabar area and the King of Travancore had given him shelter and money to help erect his early Churches in Kerala and Madras (Chennai) areas. But this charity has backfired on Hindus as aptly shown in the controversies mired in his death. They blame on the Hindus for his death though the question of his very arrival in India is highly contentious issue yet to be settled.
Hindus has been used, abused and then marginalised from the mainstream when it came to fiscal benefits. Perhaps their racial factor of skin colour proved a hurdle. This also shows up internationally when one observes the British behavior and European settlements in North America, Australia and Canada; New World as they call it. This malaise of colour prejudice is just as base in human nature as the present malaise of caste in Hinduism. The difference is, whereas the colour creed is preached and practiced by those who are stronger nations and it is they alone who malign the Hindus for their vested interests of religious proselytisation and economic exploitation. India is a large population of one and a quarter billion mouths of consumers constituting a huge stock to prey on. Corruption in India and other non developed nations becomes an easy instrument to enter into the fabric of the administrative machinery for all their means to achieve their unfair ends.
Continued Western innuendo in shattering India further:
As the British seek to draft a new bill of rights, and from what one hears, equate caste with racism, similar to what was sought at the United Nations Durban conference on racism and racial discrimination, as western Europe and US-based missionary groups ratchet up the calls for actions and sanctions against India, and as we move into a new era of global interaction, it is time for Hindus to act.
In their book titled “Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines”, authors Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan state, quote “India’s integrity is being undermined by three global networks that have well-established operating bases inside India: (i) Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan, (ii) Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal, and (iii) Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights. This book focuses on the third: the role of U.S. and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India. The book is the result of five years of research, and uses information obtained in the West about foreign funding of these Indian-based activities. The research tracked the money trails that start out claiming to be for “education,” “human rights,” “empowerment training,” and “leadership training,” but end up in programs designed to produce angry youths who feel disenfranchised from Indian identity.” Unquote.
The book reveals how outdated racial theories continue to provide academic frameworks and fuel the rhetoric that can trigger civil wars and genocides in developing countries. The Dravidian movement’s 200-year history has such origins. Its latest manifestation is the “Dravidian Christianity” movement that fabricates a political and cultural history to exploit old faultlines…”
While Malhotra has been using his wit on supposed enlightenment of American public through his “Infinity Foundation” but he cannot and should not pose himself as a Hindu savior on such a sensitive issue with international ramifications of “Hindu-Christian Dialogue”. Had it been Malhotra-Clooney dialogue, nobody would have objected?
George Augustine in his column titled – ‘Inter-faith Dialogue: Unveiling of postmodern evangelisation’ states, “In this “interfaith” dialogue, it is unclear whether there is a dispute or a reconciliation. Had the title of this dialogue been “Malhotra-Clooney dialogue” rather than “Hindu-Christian dialogue”, there would not have been any doubt on anybody’s part, let alone an argument. Furthermore, Hindu-Christian dialogues, if any, should be first directed towards the resolution of their existing conflict. As such, this dialogue cannot be dismissed like a coffee house chat. This is necessitated because the track record of one of the parties represented here is horrendous in terms of aggression and predatory tendencies that are inherent in its dogma and basic principles. Do leopards change their spots? To satisfy the world at large, some questions have to be answered by both the partners…” More at and at:
While Malhotra’s benign attempts must be credited but his unauthorized undue self promotion should not be made legitimate for such an inauspicious activity of inter-faith dialogue. He should exercise some restraint on himself in activating hideous religious dialogue only allowing him to be vulnerable for criticism at the risk of his reputation from his own people, leave the acceptance of his authority on such matter. Despite his sincerity, Malhotra has unwittingly lost on a battle he shouldn’t have started.
Malhotra mentions further, quote – “…Every day, young desi children and teenagers are unreasonably tormented because of our perceived background. The school textbooks are half the cause. The average American doesn’t know squat about India, and with the help of poorly researched textbooks, they learn nonsense. The sheer embarrassment of the situation is enough to make desi students everywhere wish we could have been “normal” by American standards. Explaining to your peers that you don’t worship a thousand gods like the Greeks; your grandmother doesn’t force you to bathe in dead people’s ashes every full moon; and even though you know how to bhangra, kuchipudi, or whatever it may be, you’ve never danced with a drag-queen, is not fun for any young desi.
But why do we put up with it? Jewish, African-American, and Orientals all have organizations against defamation and they are represented correctly in the textbooks. Why aren’t we? If Christians can effectively lobby to remove the theory of evolution from school science textbooks, then certainly we should be able to at least correct the blatant misinterpretation of our culture. Reading what you or your child’s Social Studies textbooks says on India and Hinduism and writing a simple letter or e-mail to the editor can make a world of difference for not only you but for thousands of others. A letter to the Board of Education for your district can’t hurt either, since they decide which textbooks will be used. It only takes five minutes of your time, but it can change how you, an Indian, are viewed in society.
Desis are being ridiculed everywhere in America because of what today’s modern student is learning. It’s not going to change unless we become part of the solution.” Unquote.
What must be understood in this welcome soul-searching that appears to have started in RISA is that American Hinduism is a minority religion in America, and that it deserves the same treatment that is already being given to other American minority religions – such as Native American, Buddhist, Islamic – by the academy. The subaltern studies depiction of Hinduism as being dominant religion of India must, therefore, be questioned in the American context. (As in Kashmir too – Author)
The growing Indian Diaspora is gradually learning how its heritage has been both portrayed and mis-portrayed in the American education system, and about the urgency to engage the system along the same lines as is already being done by other American minorities, such as Jews, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native-Americans.
Rishi Aurobindo’s Protest:
“How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing, for a time at least, the process by which we lost it, by liberating our minds in all subjects from the thraldom to authority. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. They ask us, indeed, to abandon authority, to revolt against custom and superstition, to have free and enlightened minds. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Müller, the Monism of Shankara for the Monism of Haeckel, the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion, the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists, thinkers and scholars. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. Let us break our chains, venerable as they are, but let it be in order to be free,—in the name of truth, not in the name of Europe. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations, however dark they may have grown to us, for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science.” Continue reading at and also at.
This must be compared to Macaulay for its sharp contrast. Quote. “…And I certainly never met with any Orientalist who ventured to maintain that the Arabic and Sanscrit poetry could be compared to that of the great European nations. But when we pass from works of imagination to works in which facts are recorded, and general principles investigated, the superiority of the Europeans becomes absolutely immeasurable. It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at preparatory schools in England. In every branch of physical or moral philosophy, the relative position of the two nations is nearly the same.
How, then, stands the case? We have to educate a people who cannot at present be educated by means of their mother-tongue (?). We must teach them some foreign language. The claims of our own language it is hardly necessary to recapitulate. It stands preeminent even among the languages of the west.” Unquote.
In the eyes of the reason, both statements must be weighed carefully for their mens rea.
US Secularism and its Myth:
In a recent debate in US (like in UK pointed out above) there was a publication of an interview between Mitt Romney (R) and President Obama (D) in the August issue of its magazine Cathedral Age in which Obama is questioned for his Christian faith because it is important in US to get votes to win the presidency. It can also be downloaded after registering at the Cathedral’s website. Western invidiousness is the root cause for perpetuation of Casteism in Indian communities e.g. Hindus, Christians and Muslims.
Hinduism in India now carries a negative baggage of communalism exemplified by the relentless negative portrayal of the most successful Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi both at domestic as well as International level.
In a globalised world, where there are many players calling the tune, it has to be a well intentioned sincerely selfless approach devoid of any vested interest that this malaise can be remedied. The more it is discussed, the more smug it becomes because it is not the discussion and laws or reservations and one off temporary subsidy that will eliminate caste but a well intentioned unbiased approach away from the politics of caste by concentrating on the socio-economical status of the affected selective groups; will only mitigate this problem, which is not just confined in India alone. Its slur and impact is far wider and ramifications global. The Christian proselytising industry must awake to the monstrous virus of caste which has at last engulfed even the Christianity and Islam, as clearly observed in the Afro-Asian nations; documented in my earlier series. Further the preferential caste based treatments have its demerits. Among the common consequences of caste based preference policies are:
-They encourage non-backward groups to redesignate themselves as members of backward groups to take advantage of group preference policies;
-They tend to benefit primarily the most fortunate among the backward caste (e.g. creamy layer), often times to the detriment of the least fortunate among the non-backward (e.g. poor upper caste Hindu);
-They reduce the incentives of both the backwards and non-backward to perform at their best — the former because doing so is unnecessary and the latter because it can prove futile — thereby resulting in net losses for society as a whole; and
-They engender animosity toward backward groups as well as on the part of backward groups themselves, whose main problem in some cases has been their own inadequacy combined with their resentment of non-backward groups who — without preferences — consistently outperform them.
The continued worry and attempts by the current youth is laudable and can be perused at this link.
This lacks the requisite sincerity to eradicate this scourge of caste cancer. Dharmic religions carry the baggage for its blame, but under a different perspective. In India today, it should be the political hierarchy that should bear the brunt of responsibility Vis a Vis Hinduism. An international mechanism calls for their test of sincerity in this regard.
In a candid review in The Weekend Observer, January 31, 1998, “Spare Us These Hindu-Sympathisers”
J. K. Bajaj and M. D. Srinivas (Review of Bharatiya Janata Party vis-à-vis Hindu Resurgence by Koenraad Elst Published by Voice of India, pp. 177. Rs. 90; it is noteworthy to peruse their critique in these excerpts below:
Even more baffling is the language Mr. Elst uses to convey his advice. The tone he adopts is that of a headmaster disciplining a wayward student; he freely uses derogatory words for the Parivar as a whole, and for the earlier as well as many of their current leaders. One of the milder epithets he bestows on the Sangh is that of “a big dinosaur with a small brain”, on which issue he writes a whole chapter.
Ordinarily, such books would not come to notice of many. But the books come with the blessings of Sri Ram Swaroop and Sri Sita Ram Goel; so they have to be taken note of by concerned Indians.
These books raise important questions that Sri Sita Ram Goel and Sri Ram Swaroop have themselves often raised in their writings. There are mainly four issues to which they have been drawing our attention. One, how does India come to terms with her non-Hindu, and especially Muslim, population and assert her essentially Hindu character? Two, what kind of understanding does India come to terms with the world today, which seems to be fundamentally devoid of a spiritual underpinning? Three, how to deal with the ascent of the representatives of the modern adharmika persuasions within India, operating in the name of secularism, communism, liberalism, and freedom of the individual, etc.? Four, given the presence of the faithful of alien religions and thoughts within India, and being surrounded by a world hostile to dharma, what aspects of Hinduism should we emphasise and nurture so as to overcome the situation?
Elst’s writings have been a centre of concern by several Hindu elites and thinkers for its suspected intent and contents. The obsession by Ishwar Sharan for Elst is difficult to understand.