Dec 19, 2012

View of Gandhi on Varna Vyavastha

The following are some quotes by the Father of our Nation, Gandhiji. We should know, what he was more than a "mahathma", and how he treated the Dalits.

"As years go by, the conviction is daily growing upon me that Varna (caste) is the law of man's being, and therefore, caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace". (Speech at Trivandrum, (Collection of Speeches),
Ramanath Suman (1932)).

"The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral restraint - I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don't believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it." (Harijan, 1933).

"I would resist with my life the separation of "Untouchables" from the caste Hindus. The problems of the "Untouchable" community is of comparatively little importance". (London Round Table Conference 1931.)

"I believe in caste division determined by birth and the very root of caste division lies in birth". (Varna Vyavastha, p 76-77).

"The four castes and the four stages of life are things to be attained by birth alone". (Dharma Manthan, p 5).

"Caste means the predetermination of a man's profession. Caste implies that a man must practice only the profession of his ancestors for his livelihood." (Varna Vyavstha, p 28, 56, 68).

"Shudra only serves the higher castes as a matter of religious duty and who will never own any property. The gods will shower down flowers on him". (Varna Vyavastha, p 15).

"How is it possible that the Antyaja (outcastes) should have the right to enter all the existing temples? As long as the law of caste and karma has the chief place in the Hindu religion, to say that every Hindu can enter every temple is a thing that is not possible today". (Gandhi Sikshan, Vol.11, p 132).

"There are I am sorry to say, many Hindu temples in our midst in this country, which are no better than brothels. The caste system can't be said to be bad because it does not allow inter-dining and inter-marriages in different castes". (Gandhi by Shiru, p129).

"If the Shudras (low castes) leave their ancestral profession and take up others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed". (Hind Swaraj).

"I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one?" (Harijan, 3-6-1947).

"He (Shudra, low caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility." (Young India, 11-24-1927).

"According to Hindu belief, he who practices a profession which does not belong to him by birth, does violence to himself and becomes a degraded being by not living up to the Varna (caste) of his birth. (Young India, 11-14-1927).

"I call myself a Snatana man, one who firmly believes in the caste system." (Dharma Manthan, p 4).

-Gandhiji, our "Father of Nation".

We call him 'Mahatma', of course for many other reasons, but don't forget the fact that he was a casteist. It is sure that there will be clear politics behind his canonization as "Mahathma". Willingly these things on Gandhiji are not much speaking in the curriculum.... And I can't accept Gandhiji as 'Mahathma' for these reasons.

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