[Advaita-l] Re: RE: janmana jaayate shUdraH

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 13 13:14:03 CST 2005

>India is now a democratic nation, and there is hardly any way to
>separate children according to caste when it comes to High
>School or College education. Simultaneously, there is a need to
>preserve our hoary tradition that preaches caste as being
>fundamental to a dhArmic society. Now what is the "correct" way
>to be caste-free when it comes to one kind of education
>(college), but be stubbornly casteist when it comes to another
>(shruti)? It is here that disagreements abound, there may be no
>consensus, and a middle ground may never be reached.

The thing is, college education and public employment is by no means 
"caste-free". We are wandering far afield from this list's main focus, but 
it is a sign of confused thinking in Indian public life when people think 
and say such things as "caste has been (or must be) abolished by the 
constitution". Such a thing is an oxymoron. One can legislate abolition of 
discrimination according to caste but cannot abolish caste itself, inasmuch 
as it is the order of society even today. Without it, there would be no way 
to reserve seats for historically disenfranchised sections of the 
population. We continue to be stubbornly casteist when it comes to secular 
education too.

>It's a tricky thing to preserve our traditional teachings that
>uphold the shAstras as being the sole means of knowing dharma,
>in a democratic nation where the "vote-taking method" is the
>primary way of arriving at ethical decisions. In such a
>contrast, the majority opinion will *always* overrule the

Sorry, even in a democratic nation, a significant number of decisions, 
especially ethical ones, are not decided by majority vote. That is why there 
are such institutions as the judiciary, which are not beholden to vote-bank 
politics. And there are constitutional freedoms ensured too. Anyway, what is 
important is to realize that old patterns of patronage of learning have 
dried up. While pundits schooled traditionally are unable to find patrons, 
we have scores of new Babajis and Matajis buying up land and setting up 
Ashrams and Veda pathashalas with posh buildings ...


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