Friday April 27, 2018

Find out How Casteism is used to erase Indian Civilization!

There are quite a few philosophers and saints, who have contributed to the growth of Hinduism, bringing back the rich and just system of our forefathers

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Gandhi Harijan work at Madras. Wikimedia
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  • Academicians and their allied groups have used casteism to erase the contributions of the great souls hailing from peasant communities
  • Sandeep, who belongs to the Shudra community, said that he is proud to belong to a community that has greatly contributed to Hinduism
  • Hinduism and the Indian Civilisation belongs to Dalits and the “lower castes” much more than it belongs to any other community

Casteism has always been exploited by the rich and the powerful. And the colonialists further exploited this weakness to colonial rule. What started out as a division of labour, turned out to be the order of superiority. The craving for power and money turned the simplest of ideas into a means of subjugation. But there have been those who rose against the corrupt system, revealing the true intentions of the ‘masters’ and enlightening the masses to the principle of equality. These philosophers and saints have contributed to the growth of Hinduism, bringing back the rich and just system of our forefathers.

Sandeep Dedage, the Director of Hindu Education Foundation USA, while talking to Huffingtonpost shared his opinion about how academicians and their allied groups have used casteism to erase the contributions of the great souls hailing from peasant communities.

”A group of academicians calling themselves the ‘South Asia Faculty Group’ (SAFG) is, under the pretext of protecting my children’s heritage, seeking to objectify and thereby obliterate us all together and erase Indian civilisation and Hinduism from the textbooks. These academicians and their allied groups, like the South Asian Histories For All (SAHFA), believe that my children’s ancestors, saints and sages hailing from peasant communities (often categorised as Shudras or sometimes even outside the varna system), should be removed from the curriculum. It is like someone telling my grandfather, as he toiled on the farm, that he could not let his heart sing the words of Savta Mali because that didn’t fit their theory about Hinduism and caste. It is a complete silencing of who we are, and how we see our heritage,” he says to the Huffingtonpost.

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“My children deserve to be told the truth about their ancestors, and not lies about them being mere nobodies and victims who did not contribute to the building of Indian Civilisation.”

Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India Image Source: Wikipedia Commons
Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Sandeep, who belongs to the Shudra community, said that he is proud to belong to a community that has greatly contributed to Hinduism. “It may be ancient Vedic sages such as Valmiki and Vyasa who were born into non-Brahmin families, or one of numerous later day spiritual figures such as Janabai, Ravidas, Sajan Kasai, Tukaram, Gora Kumbhar, Chokha Mela, and Nirmala Mahar—women and men who came from Dalit and “lower caste” communities like my own— who have helped Hinduism grow, rejuvenate and reform. They have been role models for Hindus of all social backgrounds,” he said to Huffpost.com.

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Social inequalities and discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, race and gender have existed in all societies all around the world. Sandeep feels, the force to fight against the social ills that have accrued in society over time due to stagnation, decay, invasions and colonialism is not some gift given to us by the colonial British or the Western world but from within Hinduism and its traditions, nurtured by great reformers like Narayana Guru and Swami Vivekananda.

As one who actively works on curriculum reforms in California textbooks, he points out that SAFG has callously advocated the removal of the mention in textbooks that great sages Vyasa and Valmiki were not born to Brahmin families. The SAFG also did not even care to mention any of saints like Sant Ravidas and Alvars, preventing their spiritual teachings and contributions from being mentioned in the textbooks.

He also adds that Hinduism and the Indian Civilization belongs to Dalits and the “lower castes” much more than it belongs to any other community.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Not only the Shudras, but the Kshtriyas have also contributed a lot.

Next Story

Death Knell For The Rape Culture

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day

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Death knell for the rape culture
Death knell for the rape culture. Pixabay

By Salil Gewali

The death penalty for the child rapist is going to see the light of the day. Hearty thanks to the countless candle marchers. The credit also goes to those conscious media and columnists who all fueled the agitation and energized the activists. Here PM Modi’s dynamism can’t be overlooked either, because this ordinance, which was long overdue, has happened now.

Let’s all pray that the ‘fear of death’ will be an effective deterrent.  Hope, this will “frighten away” the real vices. In the meanwhile, it would also be very wise on the part of the government to look for other preventive measures since we have lot many “vices” in lot many avatars and assortments which only encourage the sex related crimes. There are also very dangerous “vices” which, when start to infect one’s thought-process, might give birth to the countless Trojan horses, Malwares, even virulent I-love-You. The virus infecting tragedy usually strikes ones very fast who are with weak inborn “antivirus”. This, in fact, turns “sane men into perverts” if one objectively analyses. But what is too bizarre is that some of such virus generating vices are let to flourish under the cover of silence while some are made to believe through media as “virtues” and while others as “talent” — with a whole lot of modish adornment and poetic adulation. Do you want to acknowledge that ones who cried hard against the despicable rape culture are the premier dealers of these vices? Some are producers too. I cut short here.  Because these days I fear the “thunder of hypocrisy” then the roars of the tiger in a jungle!

Candle March for death penalty of rapists.
Candle March. Pixabay

Yes, remaining complacent by mere hanging the perverts will be thus a downright immaturity. The identifying the causes of those vices that are hurting the society at large are equally important.  Of course, many try to overlook those vices as if they never make a bad impact upon the mindset an individual. Here I’ve an argument — has the heat of the hearth stopped boiling the water or burn your pack of currency notes to ash? As mentioned above, we can draw a perfect “analogy” between the virus infecting a computer leading to its inevitable “malfunction” with the people’s behavioral degeneration and wrong indulgences due to the continuous exposure and acceptance of vices.

Also Read: Rape Survivors in India Still Face Humiliation with Two-Finger tests and Barriers to Justice says Human Rights Watch

However, it would surely be good if the Government and awakened women organizations boldly pinpoint those forces as well which are culpable for presenting women as no less than commodities, and the dealers of the vices. In this, one is skeptical whether we can turn to the media with hope, or with doubt! Because, very absurdly, the definition of “good life” and its values have now been willfully distorted and redefined to suit the situation, plans and programs such that they would help further the agendas of that forces which rule the roost.

Stop the Terror of Rape.
Stop the Terror of Rape.

Anyway, whether one agrees or disagree, disinfecting/detoxing the “mindset” of the society is the only pathway to the sane society which we are now crying for. The healthy thought, healthy attitude, healthy acts can only toll the death knell for any kind of rapes or any kind of depravity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali