Wednesday February 20, 2019

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
  • 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

Does India’s Giant Step in the Direction of Green Energy Signal an End to Coal?

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years

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FILE - Smoke billows from chimneys of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. VOA

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced its target to increase India’s renewable energy capacity to an equivalent of 40% of the nation’s total green energy output, it raised eyebrows. Could this mean an end to India’s coking coal industry?

Is there investment for green energy?

For any alternative to coal to be a serious consideration, there must be investment sources. Already India’s renewable target has attracted investors like Japan’s SoftBank, which agreed to a deal to sell power generated from a Northern Indian solar bank at 2.4 rupees per unit – below that of coal power, which currently costs over 3 rupees per unit.

Contrary to the enormous investment in the production of solar panels being manufactured by China, which has made them cheap enough to encourage this Indian growth in solar renewable energy, there has been relatively little investment in Indian coal.

Asia-Pacific
Workers operate machines at a coal mine at Palaran district in Samarinda, Indonesia (VOA)

For instance, state-run NTPC has cancelled several large coal mining projects, including a huge plant in Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, the private sector has continued investing in renewables. Adani Power has over $600 million invested in solar panels in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

That Modi has made an investment of $42 billion in the renewable energy sector over the past four years and his renewables plan is likely to generate a further $80 billion in the green energy sector in the next four years is good news for the Rupee. External investment in India is likely a sign of increased currency transaction in forex trading signalling the Rupee gaining strength against other pairs. Like the Indian economy, millions of dollars are traded on currencies every day, and increased interest in the Rupee helps cement India’s economic and investment potential.

How reliant is India on coal power?

Not so long ago the Indian government had a target to connect 40 million households to the national grid by the end of 2018. It even tasked CIL, the state coal monopoly, to produce over a billion tonnes of coal per year by 2020, an increase of almost 100% from 2016. It’s an ambitious goal, notwithstanding the environmental impacts of mining for such an unprecedented amount of coal. This is the same coal that already generates 70% of India’s primary commercial energy requirement; compare that figure to the UK’s 11%, Germany’s 38%, and China’s 68%, while France has practically shut all of its coal power stations. This means that India’s shift from coal could have important implications for the global climate, and any investors looking towards coal would be making a very brave and risky decision.

Coal
Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas.

The increasing problem with relying on coal

Environmentally, coal isn’t a sustainable source of power, certainly not in current quotas. Clean-up costs could make coal an out-of-date power source sooner rather than later. A report by Oxford University estimated that investors in coal power may lose upwards of half a trillion dollars because assets cannot be profitably run or retired early due to global temperature rises and agreed carbon emission reductions.

Also Read- Oral Antifungal Drug Linked to Risk of Miscarriage

Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years – although it’s difficult not to see coal remaining an important power source considering India’s significantly large coal reserves still available in Eastern India.