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To begin with, this is a book that every Hindu should read. I have said for years that the present caste-by-birth system should be thrown out the window, and this book explains exactly why. Why it is not practical, why it is not fairly applicable, why it is unjust, why it is not verified nor corroborated in the Vedic texts, and why Indian and Hindu society would be better off without it.
It is time that India understand how far off the caste-by-birth idea is, and to make plans to do away with it. But you have to know how to do that and how to view the real identity of people, and how society should be properly organized. The caste-by-birth system has been a flagrant misjudgment that has caused much injustice, turmoil, suffering, and outright discontent among the masses of India. But this book shows how it never came from Vedic culture, and that caste-by-birth is an outright misinterpretation of the whole premise of how people can fit into society and contribute according to their natural proclivity, talents and intellectual level.
As I have been traveling across India for more than 30 years, visiting every state in India except Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura, I have directly seen that the problems of India are not because of their spiritual path, which many people like to say. It is actually because of their forgetting, misinterpreting, giving up or distancing themselves from their own culture and what the Vedic texts actually instruct. If people would make an effort to study what the Vedic texts say and accurately apply it to their lives, many of their problems would be solved. Certainly the social problems that seem to affect much of society would be put on a path to minimize the difficulties of most people. Reducing our problems in life is actually part of what the Vedic knowledge was meant to do, if people would only make the effort to accurately understand it. And this book “The Dalits of Hinduism” will make a giant step forward in doing that.
Dharma, specifically Hindu or Vedic Dharma, is meant for the upliftment of all people. It provides the tools to uplift us emotionally, intellectually, healthily, physically, socially, and especially spiritually. It is not meant to keep anyone down, or make the means wherein a few can overpower or overrule the many, or create a situation wherein one class overrides and ridicules another class. This is counterproductive to a harmonious society, which is what establishing Dharma is all about. That is why this book is so important. It clearly points out how Dharma can do this, socially speaking, and how the caste-by-birth system is a by-product of misinterpretation of the Vedic texts. It is a way of seeing that everyone is a “human being,” and that their qualifications and social status are indicated by their talents, abilities and level of education, which is open to improvement by anyone.
Everyone can improve themselves, and must be allowed to do that. That is the way that people can establish their social contributions and position. Birth alone cannot do that and never will. The son of a doctor cannot automatically be a doctor by birth alone. To think so is plainly foolish. He still must be educated and then trained. And if the son of a doctor does not want to be one, or does not have the intellectual ability or desire to be a doctor and is forced to be one anyway, he will obviously make a lousy doctor, and I pity anyone who is his patient. So, similarly, it is by one’s development that confers on a person his social standing.
This book also deals with the proper teachings of the Manu-Smriti, the book that many love to hate. But wait! Have you really studied this book and understood all that it has to say? “Dalits of Hinduism” correctly deals with that as well, using many quotes to show exactly what it says, outside the emotional view and false interpretations. It also uses many other authentic Vedic texts to show exactly what was expected for people, and what the Purusha Sukta verses actually meant.
It also addresses the issue of how some Hindus cannot even enter certain temples, like me, for example, who was born outside the Hindu fold, but have adopted the Vedic standards so completely that I should also be allowed to enter such temples. But I have seen not only myself being denied full freedom to simply enter some temples, but I have also seen that other low caste Hindus being denied entrance. For what purpose? Will this keep the temple in a state of purity by not recognizing that everyone is a spiritual being, and if they have adopted or are following the Vedic principles they should also have a right to participate in Vedic society? Naturally, this will only cause such people to go elsewhere, or even convert to some other religion. Who is to blame for that? And what else would you expect? This is another reason why the caste-by-birth system should be thrown into the dustbin, as “The Dalits of Hinduism” points out.
“Dalits of Hinduism” also shows who is a real Aryan, and what are the real meanings of the words Shudra, Dasyu, Daas, etc. Often times it is simply a matter of understanding the real meaning of such names that will set the record straight on what the Vedic texts really mean, and that it is not the modern mindset of trying to establish social differences to maintain a political cause that is still pushed forward by the appearance of unjust divisions in society. With the proper interpretation and understanding, we can see how everyone has an honorable place in society, and without their contribution we would all notice the absence and disharmony of such.
This is why I feel every Hindu and Indian should read this book, along with those who want a more accurate understanding of what real social organization is meant to be, and how the caste-by-birth system has never been advocated nor is it justified by the true purpose of Vedic Dharma.