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Caste system in India - True perspective - India Post

Swami Venkata Ganapathi ()
October 9, 1998

Title: Caste system in India - True perspective
Author: Swami Venkata Ganapathi
Publication: India Post
Date: October 9, 1998

It pains me to read various writers in India Post condemning our
Vedic culture and civilization because of castes or caste
system. They betray little understanding on one hand and effect
of centuries of brain washing on the other.

A simple and honest approach will help our understanding. But
this has been absent all along due to thousands years of
slavery.

Some of the biggest myths are Aryan invasion or the caste system
has been responsible for ruin of India. And Islam came to
uplift lower castes and liberated people oppressive caste
system.

Such malicious propaganda against India and India's culture
continues to exist even to date due to mind sons of Macaulay,
Marx or actual sons of invading Arabs and Turks.

Indian society by far most ancient one existing on the face of
earth. It continues to be a living force instead of confined to
museums.

There are many sources open to us as to look at our society.
Vedas are of course one. The central message of Veda is one of
'Hita' or welfare of all life including all creatures. The
lowest in creation from Ant to highest Brahma, receive blessings
from Veda.

Such being the case to make them out to be or the 'sastras'
based on them especially Dharma Sastra of Manu as some documents
perpetuating the evil of oppression is height of ignorance and
is most deplorable. At present besides the secular tribe, people
like Mayavathi or Kanshiram go around beating drums against
'manuvadins'. Little do they know about Manu for sure and even
less they know about our society except to exacerbate existing
divisions to perpetuate themselves in politics to loot the
public treasury.

We have Ramayana and Mahabharatha. In both these epics the life
of society of India as it existed is well portrayed. They are
our standards. Oppression or exploitation of weaker sections of
society is nowhere in them.

Ramayana has many incidents of interaction of different section
of society. Brahmins with kshatriyas and both with Vaisyas or
merchants and all with Sudras. There is the beautiful harmony
and cooperation that prevailed in society not just in Ayodhya
but through out Bharath Varsha. There was no whole scale
massacre of defeated people. That is our standard. Only because
of such values great champion of Hindu in recent times, Shivaji,
following the foot steps of Sri Rama not only freed captured
wife of Subedar of Kalyan Durga but also honored her calling her
as his mother and sent her with honors and presents as one sends
his sister to in law home.

These are the values of our society that were handed to us from
ancient times. Exploitation of weak is not one of them.
Subjugation by Islamists and later by British is responsible for
many evils. Our society is condemned for institution of Sati and
for childhood marriages. Why did they come about? Kausalya,
Kaikeyi or Sumitra, wives of Dasaratha did not commit sati nor
the mother of Pandavas, Kunti. But during Muslim rule it became
common only because our people felt, our women like-those of
Rayasthan felt, it was far better to jump into funeral pyre than
into the bed of Muslim marauder. Similarly in order to guard
the girls from abduction and molestation by Muslim tyrants, the
girls were married off early. So there are many such unfortunate
customs evolved during the period of subjugation. And this
business of caste oppression was also one of them.

The Dravida Khajagam built itself over Brahmin bashing using
Ramayana episodes. They said Ravana and his followers were
Dravidians and Aryan Rama invaded them. But they did not tell
their followers that Ravana was a Brahmin while Sri Rama was a
dark colored Kshatriya slightly in 'lower' cast category!

Also this business of classifying, upper and lower castes did
not exist then, it is a recent invention of foul politician to
divide and perpetuate his rule. In Ramayana of Valmiki, one
finds excellent harmony and cooperation that existed in our
society before the Muslim invaders came to 'uplift lower
castes'.

Our society is rightly compared to the body of Virat Purusha
with each section of society forming a limb of the same Purusha.
When we approach the Lord Narayana we first pray and offer
respect to the feet of Narayana which is the origin of Sudra
category.

When Mohammed Ghajzni invaded India, his contemporary Alberuni
chronicled his exploits. He noted that at the time there were
only 8 castes - four that existed from time immemorial and four
more perhaps sub castes or some other minor divisions.

Under Islamic rule no one suffered more than the Brahmin. As he
was guide and philosopher of society the Islamic axe fell on him
severely. In Iran, too, when Islam took over, all Zorastrian
priests were summarily executed. And in places like Afghanistan
which were centers of Buddhism, Buddhist priests and nuns were
killed in mass. So also in India. As Ambedkar mentioned this is
why Buddhism disappeared from India.

The caste oppression grew in India only due to unsavory effect
of foreign domination.


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