69 million page views

Castes Dont Define Hinduism

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: Another Pakistan within India?

Submitted by Singha (India), Apr 9, 2008 at 02:30


This is stating facts:

Castes is nothing but tribes in another paradigm. Every caste tends to be proud of its heritage.

Untouchability is over in India. Someone that belongs to a tribe considered untouchable, couple of centuries ago is the democratically elected head of India's largest province. And she was voted in by the tribe (caste) considered highest in the pecking order, the Brahmins.

It is incorrect to mix up religion with caste/tribal heirarchy. We know what happens in islamic pakistan, when a muhajir man loves a pathan girl or a lower status (tribe/caste) man tries having relationship with a higher caste girl, though both follow the islamic faith. I dont think when it comes to Islam or christianity, you will blame the ideology. Similarly preference for male child is intrinsic to agricultural tribes. In Hinduism there is no institutionalised discrimination. Koran explicitly says that the status of woman is inferior - evidence of two woman muslims is equal to that of one muslim man. As far as selling girls to Arab Sheikhs is concerned, this is something that muslim Indians, particularly those from Hyderabad do;

Christianism, as we know from its history has seen a violent ideology. It can be justified that violence was required in Christianism to face Islam. Catholic church can be as intolerant as Islam. That said, the personality of Jesus unlike that of mo-hum-mad is a peaceful one. And reformist agenda accompanying renaissance impacted christianism/judaism in a beneficial way breaking the back of christianism and emergence out of christianist dark ages towards free thinking.

Regressive elements of christianism that has got weakened in the West thanks to reformation and islamism, a totalitarian ideology are attempting to establish bases in India. To an extent islam succeeded resulting in the creation of pakistan. You may like to read Professor Durant's "History of Civilisation" Part 1 to get a feel of what islam has meant for Indian subcontinent and Hindus. Most of the older mosques in India are those constructed by destroying Hindu temples; and muslims, citing islam, massacred millions of Hindus, something that would make Holocaust, look like a picnic.

Hinduism is a non-monolythic entity. The concept of Jealous God (My way, only right way) is absent. God is very personal and subjective. One can represent and perceive God through an image (including female form) one is comfortable with. Which is why you will find the beliefs of two orthodox Hindus very different. There have been attempts to coopt islamic and christianist images within the Hindu pantheon. Hindu by definition is democratic and free from sectaranian thinking. Ancient Greeks and Romans followed similar ideologies. Those civilisations could not sustain themselves against christianism and islamism because of their inherent tolerance. The lesson: Tolerating intolerance is foolish even if intolerance masks itself as a religion.

Despite the occasional hiccups, christians are well off in India and hold responsible positions.

Of late, increased conversions by christianists and actions of islamists in India are triggering a backlash. The pakistani movement (set up pakistan as a homeland for muslims) succeeded because of the support of British. Since the times of Syed Ahmed Khan, in a strategic maneuver, muslim leaders in Indian subcontinent gratiated themselves to the West. In Indian subcontinent, the fight against British was mostly a Hindu phenomenon. Muslim elite preferred to be with British and safeguard/enhance their positions. Now with the British out, if muslims are going to try for another pakistan, the repurcussions for muslim Indians will be bad. When muslims in Gujarat, burned a train bogey with Hindu pilgrims, you know what happened in Ahmedabad, Baroda et. al. There was a muscular response from Narendra Modi, the courageous Hindu leader. Incidentally since then, muslims in Gujarat are peaceful and have stopped attacking Hindus.

As far as Hindus are concerned, because of linguistic and cultural kinship they have historically been friendly towards pakistanis and bangladeshi people. FASCIST IDEOLOGY OF ISLAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BARRIER FOR DETENTE between Hindus and muslims.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)