[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: What the Vedas say about Varnas

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Sanjeev Sabhlok wrote:

> .  .  .  .
> Why is this issue relevant for IPI? In the context of the call for
> leaders of Hinduism to abolish the caste system (part of the social
> reform section of IPI's manifesto). All religions must modernize and
> only claim equality of all humans before God, but demonstrate it by
> their actions and laws.

IMO, this is entirely irrelevant to IPI unless IPI recognizes political
wielded by religious authority or the legitimacy of religious authority
scripture to shape political and social policy.

I would also point out that since Indian scripture is so vast spanning
years, for any assertion made in one place it is probably possible to
find an
contradictory assertion elsewhere.

I seem to remember that some scripture prescribed the punishment for a
caught listening to sanskrit scripture was to have molten lead poured in
ears. Contradicting this, I also remember a shlok from sanskrit classes
loosely translated stated:
"A man is born a shudra,                     [janmana jayetay shudrah]
Rituals will turn him into a Dwij,          [Samskard dwij uchyetay]
A knower of the Vedas is a Vipr,        [Vedpathi baved viprah]
He who knows Bramha is a Brahman. [Bramha janatey brahmanah]"

My point is: so what? We are capable of developing good policy without
weight of thousands of years of past practice, corrupt or otherwise

Let's simply examine the caste system without the mystification of what
someone thought or said about it hundreds or thousands of years ago. I
see it
as a device for preserving, over generations, the wealth, power, and
of those that have these things and preventing those that do not have
things from getting them. This, imo, is true today [as it was thousands
years ago our "glorious heritage" notwithstanding].

If IPI is going to design a just society, the rule of law supersedes
We would not tolerate human sacrifice if some religion prescribed it,
would we recognize the legitimacy of systematic economic deprivation,
enslavement, torture, and  murder of a large section of the population-
whether or not this has religious sanction is irrelevant.


This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/