Saturday, July 19, 2014

What BJP rule portends - shamefaced and blatant casteism

What BJP rule portends - shamefaced and blatant casteism:

Ancient caste system worked well, ICHR head says

NEW DELHI: The newly-appointed chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Yellapragada Sudershan Rao appears to be a votary of the caste system. In a blog written in 2007, Rao had said that the "positive aspects of Indian culture are so deep that the merits of ancient systems would be rejuvenated."

In the blog-article titled, 'Indian Caste System: A Reappraisal', he wrote: "The (caste) system was working well in ancient times and we do not find any complaint from any quarters against it. It is often misinterpreted as an exploitative social system for retaining economic and social status of certain vested interests of the ruling class"

He added, "Indian Caste system, which has evolved to answer the requirements of civilization at a later phase of development of culture, was integrated with the Varna system as enunciated in the ancient scriptures and dharmasastras."

[38405708.cms] (Students of Ghaisas Guruji Ved Bhavan paying respect to their guru)

The ICHR chief's views have triggered a debate among historians. Historian D N Jha said, "Rao's article is reflective of his primitive mentality. It is gross revivalism. If ancient caste system is justified in modern context, why not have a brahmin PM instead of Narendra Modi. Rao has been appointed by an OBC PM."

Rao made a distinction between the caste system and varna system. He said, while the caste system classifies the community, the varna classifies the functions of an individual. "Varna leads one to moksha (the liberation of the soul) while caste system is meant for the material and human resource management of a civilized society."

Rao also argued that questionable social customs in India pointed out by the English educated Indian intellectuals did not exist from ancient times but "could be traced to this period of Muslim rule in north India spanning over seven centuries." He said,

"Misunderstandings of the system may be ascribed to misreading of the texts of Dharmasastras and the impact of the modern 'democratic' and electoral politics. Ancient system of caste organization has been turned into casteism, which negates the very purpose of the system.

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