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Hindu Dharma Sansad's appeal to end caste discrimination shouldn't remain in slogans
The three-day Hindu Dharma Sansad was organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at Udupi in coastal Karnataka that culminated on Sunday.

The religious meet, although, was mostly devoted to rhetoric like 'construction of Ram temple in Ayodha', demanding cow to be made the national animal, asserting that all Hindu women should have at least four children etc, the one good thing that emerged during a special session conducted on Saturday was the call for improving social cohesion. A resolve was taken to end caste discrimination. Everybody unanimously said that all should have access to temples, graveyards etc irrespective of caste or creed.

En number of times right-wing Hindu leaders have alleged that Christian missionaries and Islamists are indulging in mass conversion of Hindus. However, what such leaders forget is that in Hinduism itself there are a lot of flaws due to which some Hindus especially from the lower strata of society prefer to convert to other religions. The caste system or untouchability were never part of the Vedic culture. Such medieval customs developed overtime for discriminating certain sections of society.

Although it is said that human beings are the best form of life as per God's creation, while in our country the cow is worshiped and even animals like horses and goats can be touched, yet there is prohibition on touching human beings of lower caste. Isn't it illogical especially in this day and age?

Temple is God's place of residence and all creatures including human are God's creation, and yet people of a particular caste aren't allowed to enter temples. There are also a sizable number of people who despite having converted to Hinduism don't have access to temples because they weren't born as Hindus. But why? Has God denied them audience for not being a born Hindu?

Lord Jagannath of Puri is called "Lord of the Universe". But how could he be the Lord of the Universe when only a few people based on their caste are allowed inside his temple? Thus, there are lot of anomalies in Hinduism which compell people (in fact, a large section of people) to lead cursed lives. So, if such distraught people want to convert, why blame them or the people converting them?

The Dharma Sansad appealed to end this discrimination. Although such appeals keep coming from time to time, they are merely lip service. Unless counselling starts at the ground level, nothing can be changed. To end all such social evils, religious heads including the Shankaracharyas need to work among people.

Couple of years ago there was a conflict regarding a woman having touched Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra (car festival). The Hindu priests advocated that anyone can touch Lord Jagannath. However, when the issue reached Puri Shankaracharya, he gave a writ that nobody can touch Lord Jagannath. When the priests of Puri objected to this, the Shankaracharya stopped attending the Rath Yatra as a mark of protest. Finally, the Shankarachary's diktat prevailed.

The point is that unless religious cult leaders like the Shankaracharya do not take the initiative to eradicate such medieval social practices nothing can be changed on the ground. You can't keep a sizable population as your slave citing their lower caste as the reason. That's why, I say that the real enemy of Hinduism lies inside the religion itself. If you want to protect Hinduism better start doing work at the ground level rather than blaming missionaries and Islamists.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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