While clearing my mail inbox, I found the following mail from 2016, written by one Subbiah and my reply to him:
Dear Ms Wirth:
While celebrating the glory of Hinduism, please have a heart for the millions of Dalits in India whom for millennia the Hindu society has condemned to a status below that of animals. I am sure you have read what Dr Ambedkar has said about the deleterious consequences of India ever becoming a Hindu Raj.
Hinduism is probably the only major religion that lets some of its own flock treat others as inferior and untouchable. That is nothing to celebrate.
Dear Sri Arun,
Thank you for your mail, expressing your concern for Dalits.
There is no other country that does so much for those at the bottom of the social hierarchy as India does. Why is this hardly ever acknowledged? I have several examples in my surroundings where upper castes are extremely poor and Dalits prosperous due to benefits.
Or which country had a president or chief justice from the most disadvantaged background? Another proof is that people even agitate to get downgraded socially. Where else??
Yes, caste discrimination is still there, especially in villages. However, this has nothing to do with Hinduism. Hinduism compares the society with a human body, and while indeed the head may be valued more, nobody would get the idea to kick the feet. Discrimination on the basis of one’s station in life is a human weakness, not due to Hinduism.
In the West, too, the son of a menial worker won’t marry the daughter of a pilot. You may call it “class” not caste, but there, too, humans consider some high and others low and they don’t intermingle, except in exceptional ‘love’ cases where one family would object.
Yet in the West, because they believe in only one life, it is of utmost importance what station you reach in this life, Indians have the far more reasonable, relaxed approach of many lives and nothing is fixed forever.
Moreover, their philosophy teaches them that Atman is in everybody the same, never mind of their role in this world.
I don’t understand why Indians generally condemn only their own but overlook the incredibly oppressive “caste system” for example by the British. Are you aware how they treated Indians till recently? Or how the Portuguese treated Indians? Do you ever hear any condemnation of their massive racism? Or do you hear only about the “Indian caste system”? Just ask yourself, why the British for example are not criticized or made to pay for what they did to Indians?
I also don’t understand why many Indians don’t see the great advantage of their Dharma over the dogmatic religions. In the west, as children we were taught to be afraid of eternal hell, if we don’t blindly believe and follow what the Church tells us. This was enforced for centuries at the cost of death penalty.
Why don’t you point out such nonsense and why go only after Hinduism which has the most solid philosophical basis and which, I am convinced from experience, has the best prescription for a happy life?