Tag Archives: Hindus

India wins freedom 2.0- Tarek Fatah

TORANTO SUN

FATAH:

India wins freedom 2.0

BY TAREK FATAH

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: AUG 6, 2019

A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked   the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti.

India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger.

As expected, Pakistan invoked its self-styled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory.

Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.”

Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”

India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan.

India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its riches and resources by the British.

When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders.

On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday.

Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage.

India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad.

In fact, India is the only major civilization country where you are systematically taught to hate your heritage and glorify the invaders who came to destroy it. And this absurdity is called “secularism.”

Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith.

But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm.

Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.”

Advertisements

Hindus seen through foreign eyes

Source : The New Indian Express

Describing the character of an entire group of people is difficult. And, it is almost impossible to describe the character of Hindus—divided by region, language, caste and sect. Nonetheless, foreign observers have attempted the task based on their personal experience.  The following is an account of some of these over time.

Ktesias, the Greek Physician of Persian King Artaxerxes [404-358 BC] has a special chapter “on the justice of the Hindus” in his Indica.  Megasthenes [c.350–c.290 BC] states thefts were extremely rare, and the people honoured truth and virtue. Arrian [c.86-160 AD] on officials: “They oversee what goes on in the country or towns, and report everything to the king, where the people have a king, and to the magistrates, where the people are self-governed, and it is against the use and wont of these to give a false report; but indeed no Hindu is accused of lying.”

The Chinese Buddhist Hiuen-Tsiang, who travelled in India between 629 and 645 AD made nearly 30 specific comments on the “disposition”, “nature” and “manners” of the people of the various regions he visited. We can put these comments into five groups. The first group: “active and impetuous; lively and courageous; brave, true and upright; brave and impetuous; hard and fierce; regard justice and bravery; simple and honest, resolute and fierce, ardent and courageous”. The second: “timid and soft; soft and agreeable; docile and virtuous; soft and complacent … contended and peaceful; light and frivolous, weak, pusillanimous”. The third: “sincere and truthful (mentioned three times); pure and honest and honest and sincere”. The fourth described many negative qualities but combined them with positive ones: “soft and effeminate, and somewhat sly and crafty; fierce and value highly the quality of courage, given to deceit; no refinement; hard and rough … cold and insincere”. The fifth group described the unpleasant elements: “rough and rude; quick and violent; savage kind; violent and headstrong; quick and hasty”

Marco Polo [1254-1324] says: “… these Abraiaman [of Mysore] are the best merchants in the world, and the most truthful, for they would not tell a lie for anything on earth”.

Muslim chroniclers also wrote of their Hindu subjects. Idrisi, in his Geography [11th century] summed up his opinion of Hindus: “The Hindus are naturally inclined to justice, and never depart from it in their action.  Their good faith, honesty, and fidelity to their engagements are well known, and they are so famous for these qualities that people flock to their country from every side.” In the 13th century, Shems-ed-din Abu Abdullah [1320–1380] (quotes Bedi ezr Zenan): “The Hindus are innumerable, like grains of sand, free from all deceit and violence. They fear neither death nor life.”[36]

In the 16th century, Akbar’s Minister, Abul Fazl [1551–1602] states: “The Hindus are religious, affable, cheerful, lovers of justice, given to retirement, able in business, admirers of truth, and grateful and of unbounded fidelity; and the soldiers know not to what it is to fly from the field of battle.”

British comments of their Hindu subjects are interesting.  Warren Hastings [1732-1818]: “They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted than any people on the face of the earth; faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority.” Bishop Heber [1783-1826]: “The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement; sober, industrious, dutiful to parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with.”

Sir Thomas Munro [1761-1827]: “I do not exactly know what it means by civilizing the people of India. In the theory and practice of good government they may be deficient; but, if a good system of agriculture, if unrivaled manufactures, if the establishment of schools for reading and writing, if the general practice of kindness and hospitality, and, above all, if a scrupulous respect and delicacy towards the female sex denote civilized people; then the Hindus are not inferior in civilization to the people of Europe.”

About the working people, H H Wilson [1786-1860]: “always found amongst them cheerful and unwearied industry, good humoured compliance with the bane of their superiors, and a readiness to make whatever exertions were demanded from them: there was among them no drunkenness, no disorderly conduct, no insubordination …There was considerable skill and ready docility… I should say that where there is confidence without fear, frankness is one of the most universal features in the Indian character.”

Wilson of the Pundits: “In them I found the similar merits of industry, intelligence, cheerfulness, frankness, with others peculiar to their avocation.”

Of the higher classes, Wilson found “polished manners, clearness and comprehensiveness of understanding, liberality of feeling and independence of principle that would have stamped them gentleman in any country in the world”.

Sir William Sleeman [1788-1856]: “They adhere habitually, and I may say religiously, to the truth; and I have had before me hundreds of cases in which a man’s property, liberty, or life has depended upon his telling a lie, and he has refused to tell it to save either … I believe there is no class of men in the world more strictly honourable in their dealings than the mercantile classes of India.”

If this is how some foreigners especially those important ones who exercised power over the people and ruled over the land felt about their Hindu subjects, how then had character of the Hindus changed—if at all?

Gautam Pingle
Former Dean of Research at Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad
Email: gautam.pingle@gmail.com

Two Hindu boys shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over blasphemy allegations

pakistaniboys_story_647_072716020243

Two Hindu boys shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over blasphemy allegations. One of the victims, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, succumbed to his injuries while his friend Avinash is in a critical condition, media reports said.

Two Hindu teenagers were shot in Pakistan’s Sindh province over allegations of Quran desecration today (July 27) while another was arrested for blasphemy. One of the victims, 17-year-old Dewan Sateesh Kumar, succumbed to his injuries while his friend Avinash is in a critical condition, Dawn reported.

The incident comes a day after a Hindu man was arrested over blasphemy charges in Ghotki area of the province, which shares its border with India. According to reports in the Pakistani media, one Amar Lal was arrested and booked for blashphemy after massive protests by Muslims in Ghotki. “A Hindu man was arrested for allegedly desecrating Holy Quran following massive protests and shutdown by Muslim community in Ghotki District of Sindh,” a report in the Dawn stated.

Communal tension in Sindh 

Tension prevails in Sindh following the arrest of Amar Lal. Police claims Amar is suffering from psychotic disorder. Shops remained shut and other daily activities remained affected in response to a shutdown called by Muslims in Ghotki. Several protesters blocked the national highway passing through the town causing a huge traffic jam. Shops owned by Hindus also remained shut. Sindh was in news recently when Hindus in the region had raised objections over the sale of shoes with ‘Om’ inscriptions. Hindus had staged massive protests in the region over reports of sale of such footwear.

Blasphemy Law

Section 295 (B) of the Pakistan Penal Code deals with blasphemy under which over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy from 1987 to 2014. The vast majority of the accusations were lodged for desecration of the Quran.

Source:http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/hindus-shot-dead-in-pakistan-blasphemy-quran/1/725098.html

Unabated attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh

– By Sravanthi Boinala

The wounds of Bangladesh partition remained unhealed. This nation was born in 1971 on the basis of cultural identity representing democratic, secular, socialist state but later on, this nation emerged to be a triumph of Bangladeshi Muslim culture.  The formation led to the death of nearly 3 million people causing genocide and brutal attacks on minorities, leaving numerous women raped and killed.

Even after 45 years of formation, millions of broken hearts are waiting to seek justice before Bangladesh International War Crime Tribunal and on the other hand the series of attacks continue to target the minorities. Though gradually the war criminals mostly belonging to fundamentalist organisation Jamaat-e-islami were awarded with capital punishment, even today thousands of minorities are struggling for their existence in the Bangla land. The minorities include Hindus, Christians and Buddhists who are being targeted systematically. In the month of June 2016, newspapers have reported two Hindus were attacked by Islamic militants and another one received a threatening letter. One is a Hindu Ashram worker Nityaranjan Pandey, aged 60 years, who was hacked to death in Pabna district on 10th of June. Days later another brutal attack on a Mathematics lecturer Ripon Chakrabarti, aged 50 years, was seriously wounded after being hacked by militants in the Southern town of Madripur on 15th of June. And on the same day evening Ramakrishna Mission priest received a death threat letter from the militants. The Hindu priest was ordered by the sender of the letter not to preach his religion; otherwise he would be hacked to death with machetes. The letter reads, “You are Hindus, Bangladesh is an Islamic country. You cannot preach Hindu religion in the country. Go to India. Otherwise, you will be hacked to death”. This kind of attacks resemble a recent spate of brutal assaults on religious minorities, were militants have killed more than 30 people in Bangladesh since last year. The most targeted group include atheist bloggers, liberal academics, foreign aid workers and other religious groups.II Blogger’s are the people who express their dissent against extremists through their posts, who are now hacked to death and their freedom of speech and expression is suppressed. Earlier it has happened in the case of Taslima Nasreen, an eminent writer from Bangladesh, exiled for her writings against war crimes, women atrocities and Islamic fundamentalism. So far since 2015, five bloggers have been killed by the Islamic militants. The last blogger among a string of brutal attacks is Nazimuddin Samad, a post graduate law student from the state-run Jagannath University, was hacked to death in April. Samad was an outspoken writer against injustice and militancy. His facebook posts showed that he was a member of the Shabhag movement, which has been pushing to prosecute those who fought for Pakistan during 1971 liberation war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. In some of his social media posts, he supported a petition to remove Islam as Bangladesh’s state religion and urged the government to take a tougher line with Islamic groups. Similar kind of social media posts were observed among all other bloggers who were hacked to death. With these attacks many bloggers flew away from their homes, but threats continue. Responding to bloggers death, Amnesty International said that the killing was a reminder that authorities in Bangladesh are failing to protect people who were exercising their right to freedom of expression. There is an alarming decline among Hindu population that has came down from 33% to 8% since the liberation war; Bangladeshi-Hindus struggle for their existence has been exacerbated.

Indian government swung into action after the threat letter received by Ramakrishna Mission priest. Reacting to the present scenario, Union External Affairs Minister, Smt.Sushma Swaraj expressed concern over a series of attacks on Hindus and other minority communities by fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh. She said that India has strongly taken this up with the Bangladesh government; security has been increase around the Dhakeshwari temple.

Need of the hour for the Modi government is, to raise their voice in support of Bangladesh minorities and against brutal Islamic attacks, as majority of the minorities hail from Indian origin. Till today we can identify the roots of Hinduism either in the form of the Nation’s name which was originated from the Bengali language or the rivers that are named after Hindu tradition and even the National Anthem that was taken from a poem of Rabindranath Tagore, and the majority of Bengali influence was inherited in Bangla-community ethos. The government should consider providing asylum to Hindu minorities of Bangladesh. Necessary measures are to be implemented for the protection of Hindus and other minorities by projecting the issue on international lines and seek justice for minority community.

Swami Vivekananda on Caste Problem in India

CASTE PROBLEM IN INDIA

“I have a message for the world, which I will deliver without fear and care for the future. To the reformers I will point out that I am a greater reformer than any one of them. They want to reform only little bits. I want root-and-branch reform.”   – Swami Vivekananda

CASTE IN SOCIETY AND NOT IN RELIGION

Though our castes and our institutions are apparently linked with our religion, they are not so. These institutions have been necessary to protect us as a nation, and when this necessity for self-preservation will no more exist, they will die a natural death. In religion there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India and the two castes become equal. The caste system is opposed to the religion of Vedanta.

Caste is a social custom, and all our great preachers have tried to break it down. From Buddhism downwards, every sect has preached against caste, and every time it has only riveted the chains. Beginning from Buddha to Rammohan Ray, everyone made the mistake of holding caste to be a religious institution and tried to pull down religion and caste altogether, and failed.

In spite of all the ravings of the priests, caste is simply a crystallized social institution, which after doing its service is now filling the atmosphere of India with its stench, and it can only be removed by giving back to people their lost social individuality. Caste is simply the outgrowth of the political institutions of India; it is a hereditary trade guild. Trade competition with Europe has broken caste more than any teaching.

THE UNDERLYING IDEA OF THE CASTE SYSTEM

The older I grow, the better I seem to think of caste and such other time-honored institutions of India. There was a time when I used to think that many of them were useless and worthless, but the older I grow, the more I seem to feel a difference in cursing any one of them, for each one of them is the embodiment of the experience of centuries.

A child of but yesterday, destined to die the day after tomorrow, comes to me and asks me to change all my plans and if I hear the advice of that baby and change all my surroundings according to his ideas I myself should be a fool, and no one else. Much of the advice that is coming to us from different countries is similar to this. Tell these wiseacres, “I will hear you when you have made a stable society yourselves. You cannot hold on to one idea for two days, you quarrel and fail; you are born like moths in the spring and die like them in five minutes. You come up like bubbles and burst like bubbles too. First form a stable society like ours. First make laws and institutions that remains undiminished in their power through scores of centuries. Then will be the time to talk on the subject with you, but till then, my friend, you are only a giddy child.”

Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow. What caste really is, not one in a million understands. There is no country in the world without caste. Caste is based throughout on that principle. The plan in India is to make everybody Brahmana, the Brahmana being the ideal of humanity. If you read the history of India you will find that attempts have always been made to raise the lower classes. Many are the classes that have been raised. Many more will follow till the whole will become Brahmana. That is the plan.

Our ideal is the Brahmana of spiritual culture and renunciation. By the Brahmana ideal what do I mean? I mean the ideal Brahmana-ness in which worldliness is altogether absent and true wisdom is abundantly present. That is the ideal of the Hindu race. Have you not heard how it is declared he, the Brahmana, is not amenable to law, that he has no law, that he is not governed by kings, and that his body cannot be hurt? That is perfectly true. Do not understand it in the light thrown upon it by interested and ignorant fools, but understand it in the light of the true and original Vedantic conception.. If the Brahmana is he who has killed all selfishness and who lives to acquire and propagate wisdom and the power of love – if a country is altogether inhabited by such Brahmanas, by men and women who are spiritual and moral and good, is it strange to think of that country as being above and beyond all law? What police, what Military are necessary to govern them? Why should any one govern them at all? Why should they live under a government? They are good and noble, and they are the men of God; these are our ideal Brahmanas, and we read that in the SatyaYuga there was only one caste, and that was the Brahmana. We read in the Mahabharata that the whole world was in the beginning peopled with Brahmanas, and that as they began to degenerate they became divided into different castes, and that when the cycle turns round they will all go back to that Brahmanical origin.

The son of a Brahmana is not necessarily always a Brahmana; though there is every possibility of his being one, he may not become so. The Brahmana caste and the Brahmana quality are two distinct things.

As there are sattva, rajas and tamas – one or other of these gunas more or less – in every man, so the qualities which make a Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya or a Shudra are inherent in every man, more or less. But at time one or other of these qualities predominates in him in varying degrees and is manifested accordingly. Take a man in his different pursuits, for example : when he is engaged in serving another for pay, he is in Shudra-hood; when he is busy transacting some some piece of business for profit, on his account, he is a Vaishya; when he fights to right wrongs then the qualities of a Kshatriya come out in him; and when he meditates on God, or passes his time in conversation about Him, then he is a Brahmana. Naturally, it is quite possible for one to be changed from one caste into another. Otherwise, how did Viswamitra become a Brahmana and Parashurama a Kshatriya?

The means of European civilization is the sword; of the Aryans, the division into different varnas. This system of division into varnas is the stepping-stone to civilization, making one rise higher and higher in proportion to one’s learning and culture. In Europe, it is everywhere victory to the strong and death to the weak. In the land of Bharata (India), every social rule is for the protection of the weak.

Such is our ideal of caste, as meant for raising all humanity slowly and gently towards the realization of the great ideal of spiritual man, who is non-resisting, calm, steady, worshipful, pure and meditative. In that ideal there is God.

We believe in Indian caste as one of the greatest social institutions that the Lord gave to man. We also believe that through the unavoidable defects, foreign persecutions, and above all, the monumental ignorance and pride of many Brahmanas who do not deserve the name, have thwarted in many ways, the legitimate fructification of this glorious Indian institution, it has already worked wonders for the land of Bharata and it destined to lead Indian humanity to its goal.

Caste should not go; but should be readjusted occasionally. Within the old structure is to be life enough for the building of two hundred thousand new ones. It is sheer nonsense to desire the abolition of caste.

INEQUALITY OF PRIVILEGE VITIATES THE SYSTEM

It is in the nature of society to form itself into groups; and what will go will be these privileges! Caste is a natural order. I can perform one duty in social life, and you another; you can govern a country, and I can mend a pair of old shoes, but that is no reason why you are greater than I, for can you mend my shoes? Can I govern the country? I am clever in mending shoes, you are clever in reading Vedas, that is no reason why you should trample on my head; why if one commits murder should he be praised and if another steals an apple why should he be hanged? This will have to go.

Caste is good. That is only natural way of solving life. Men must form themselves into groups, and you cannot get rid of that. Wherever you go there will be caste. But that does not mean that there should be these privileges. They should be knocked on the head. If you teach Vedanta to the fisherman, he will say, “I am as good a man as you, I am a fisherman, you are a philosopher, but I have the same God in me, as you have in you.” And that is what we want, no privilege for anyone, equal chances for all; let everyone be taught that the Divine is within, and everyone will work out his own salvation. The days of exclusive privileges and exclusive claims are gone, gone for ever from the soil of India.

UNTOUCHABILITY – A SUPERSTITIOUS ACCRETION

Formerly the characteristic of the noble-minded was – (tribhuvanamupakara shrenibhih priyamanah) “to please the whole universe by one’s numerous acts of service”, but now it is – I am pure and the whole world is impure. “Don’t touch me!” “Don’t touch me!” The whole world is impure, and I alone am pure! Lucid Brahmajnana! Bravo! Great God! Nowadays, Brahman is neither in the recesses of the heart, nor in the highest heaven, nor in all beings – now He is in the cooking pot!

We are orthodox Hindus, but we refuse entirely to identify ourselves with “Don’t- touchism”. That is not Hinduism; it is in none of our books; it is an orthodox superstition, which has interfered with national efficiency all along the line. Religion has entered in the cooking pot. The present religion of the Hindus is neither the path of Knowledge or Reason – it is “Don’t-touchism”. – “Don’t touch me”, “Don’t touch me” – that exhausts its description.

“Don’t touchism” is a form of mental disease. Beware! All expansion is life, all contraction is death. All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. See that you do not lose your lives in this dire irreligion of “Don’t- touchism”. Must the teaching (Atmavat sarvabhuteshu) – “Looking upon all beings as your own self” – be confined to books alone? How will they grant salvation who cannot feed a hungry mouth with a crumb of bread? How will those, who become impure at the mere breath of others, purify others?

We must cease to tyrannize. To what a ludicrous state are we brought! If a bhangi comes to anybody as a bhangi, he would be shunned as the plague; but no sooner does he get a cupful of water poured upon his head with some muttering of prayers by a padri, and get a coat to his back, no matter how threadbare, and come into the room of the most orthodox Hindu, I don’t see the man who then dare refuse him a chair and a hearty shake of hands! Irony can go no farther.

Just see, for want of sympathy from the Hindus, thousands of pariahs in Madras are turning Christians. Don’t think that this is simply due to the pinch of hunger; it is because they do not get any sympathy from us. We are day and night calling out to them “Don’t touch us! Don’t touch us!” Is there any compassion or kindliness of heart in the country? Only a class of “Don’t-touchists” ; kick such customs out! I sometimes feel the urge to break the barriers of “Don’t-touchism”, go at once and call out, “Come all who are poor, miserable, wretched and downtrodden”, and to bring them all together. Unless they rise, the Mother will not awake.

Each Hindu, I say, is a brother to every other, and it is we, who have degraded them by our outcry, “Don’t touch”, “Don’t touch!” And so the whole country has been plunged to the utmost depths of meanness, cowardice and ignorance. These men have to be lifted; words of hope and faith have to be proclaimed to them. We have to tell them, “You are also men like us and you have all the rights that we have.”

SOLUTION OF THE CASTE PROBLEM

Our solution of the caste question is not degrading those who are already high up, is not running amuck through food and drink, is not jumping out of our own limits in order to have more enjoyment, but it comes by every one of us fulfilling the dictates of our Vedantic religion, by our attaining spirituality and by our becoming ideal Brahmana. There is a law laid on each one of you in this land by your ancestors, whether you are Aryans, or non-Aryans, rishis or Brahmanas or the very lowest outcaste. The command is the same to you all, that you must make progress without stopping, and that from the highest man to the lowest pariah, every one in this country has to try and become the ideal Brahmana. This Vedantic idea is applicable not only here but over the whole world.

The Brahmana-hood is the ideal of humanity in India as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gita, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahmana- hood, of Brahmana-ness. That was the great end. This Brahmana, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain, he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmanas this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahmana-ness in them than from all the other castes. We must be bold enough, must be brave enough to speak their defects, but at the same time we must give credit that is due to them.

Therefore, it is no use fighting among the castes. What good will it do? It will divide us all the more, weaken us all the more, degrade us all the more. The solution is not by bringing down the higher, but by raising the lower up to the level of the higher. And that is the line of work that is found in all our books, in spite of what you may hear from some people whose knowledge of their own Scriptures and whose capacity to understand the mighty plans of the ancients are only zero. What is the plan? The ideal at the one end is the Brahmana and the ideal at the other end is the chandala, and the whole work is to raise the chandala up to the Brahmana. Slowly and slowly you will find more and more privileges granted to them.

I regret that in modern times there should be so much discussion between the castes. This must stop. It is useless on both sides, especially on the side of the higher caste, the Brahmana, the day for these privileges and exclusive claims is gone. The duty of every aristocracy is to dig its own grave, and the sooner it does so, the better. The more he delays, the more it will fester and the worse death it will die. It is the duty of the Brahmana, therefore, to work for the salvation of the rest of mankind, in India. If he does that and so long as he does that, he is a Brahmana.

Any one who claims to be a Brahmana, then, should prove his pretensions, first by manifesting that spirituality, and next by raising others to the same status. We earnestly entreat the Brahmanas not to forget the ideal of India – the production of a universe of Brahmanas, pure as purity, good as God Himself : this was at the beginning, says the Mahabharata and so will it be in the end.

It seems that most of the Brahmanas are only nursing a false pride of birth; and any schemer, native or foreign, who can pander to this vanity and inherent laziness, by fulsome sophistry, appears to satisfy more.

Beware Brahmanas, this is the sign of death! Arise and show your manhood, your Brahmana-hood, by raising the non-Brahmanas around you – not in the spirit of a master – not with the rotten canker of egoism crawling with superstitions and charlatanry of East and West – but in the spirit of a servant.

To the Brahmanas I appeal, that they must work hard to raise the Indian people by teaching them what they know, by giving out the culture that they have accumulated for centuries. It is clearly the duty of the Brahmanas of India to remember what real Brahmana-hood is. As Manu says, all these privileges and honors are given to the Brahmana because, “with him is the treasury of virtue”. He must open that treasury and distribute to the world.

It is true that he was the earliest preacher to the Indian races, he was the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realization of life, before others could reach to the idea. It was not his fault that he marched ahead of the other castes. Why did not the other castes so understand and do as they did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmanas win the race?

But it is one thing to gain an advantage, and another thing to preserve it for evil use. Whenever power is used for evil it becomes diabolical; it must be used for good only. So this accumulated culture of ages of which the Brahmana has been the trustee, he must now give to the people, and it was because he did not open this treasury to the people, that the Muslims invasion was possible. It was because he did not open this treasury to the people from the beginning, that for a thousand years we have been trodden under the heels of everyone who chose to come to India; it was through that we have become degraded, and the first task must be to break open the cells that hide the wonderful treasures which our common ancestors accumulated; bring them out, and give them to everybody, and the Brahmana must be the first to do it. There is an old superstition in Bengal that if the cobra that bites, sucks out his own poison from the patient, the man must survive. Well then, the Brahmana must suck out his own poison.

To the non-Brahmana castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmana, because as I have shown; you are suffering from your own fault. Who told you to neglect spirituality and Sanskrit learning? What have you been doing all this time? Why have you been indifferent? Why do you now fret and fume because somebody else had more brains, more energy, more pluck and go than you? Instead of wasting your energies in vain discussions and quarrels in the newspapers, instead of fighting and quarreling in your own homes – which is sinful – use all your energies in acquiring the culture which the Brahmana has, and the thing is done. Why do you not become Sanskrit scholars? Why do you not spend millions to bring Sanskrit education to all the castes of India? That is the question. The moment you do these things, you are equal to the Brahmana! That is the secret power in India.

The only safety, I tell you men who belong to the lower castes, the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit, and this fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain, it does no good, and it creates fight and quarrel, and this race, unfortunately already divided, is going to be divided more and more. The only way to bring about the leveling of castes is to appropriate the culture, the education which is the strength of the higher castes.

The above article is part of the book ” Swami Vivekananda on India and Her Problems”.