About Hinduism and India

Posts tagged ‘Rama’

Hindus can contribute to Halloween Festivity

Halloween is an annual festival observed in USA where a large Hindu community also resides. The time coincides with Dussera festival of Hindus. It is celebrated on October 31 each year and comes after Deepawali.

The festivity includes several interesting activities such as trick of treating, attending costume parties and visiting haunted attractions. The technological displays provide grounds for experimentation to attract visitors. The festival generates a lot of business also as many items are on sale in Malls to attract children, youths and adults. It has almost turned out to be a global festival cutting across faiths and nationalities. Hindu community also enjoys decoration and display of items associated with Halloween.

Its thematic origins are linked to the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds. It is also linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain.

Artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland during Halloween. The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature such as Dracula, and classic horror films. Homes and surroundings are often decorated with horrifying  of symbols around Halloween.

Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, and mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday’s traditional colors.

It will be an idea worth consideration with an open mind to add a Hindu theme also to it by displaying some Ramayana icons. This will have some educational purpose also. Ramayana is the most ancient epic in the history of mankind and faiths. Thus by hanging caricatures of flying Hanuman ( Monkey God), Jambuvana, Nala and Neel ( Bears) and other monkeys can add some zest. Some humanized characters can also be added in their traditional way like Rama and Lakshmana shooting at the demons already at display. Light and sound effect can also be added and enactment of mythological scenes can be added. Since there is already dominance of Black and Orange color associated with Halloween, the same colors would fit well with Ravana’s demons and Rama’ army in exile .

It will provide an opportunity to Hindu community to involve local population to see through Hindu festivity in positive spirit. The trial runs could be conducted in the premises of Hindu temples.

It is just an individual suggestion.  More and better ideas can also be tried with open mind after deliberations within the Hindu community. Intentions are to foster harmony and not to injure any one’s feelings.

Chand K Sharma


Splashes– 60/72 – Destruction of Hindu Identities

Islam got entrenched in India due to multiple reasons. The most prominent of all were federalism, local treachery, lack of aggressive spirit and outdated military tactics. Almost every Hindu feudal ruler looked towards other side when his neighbor was under attack. Many often someone close to the Hindu ruler was won over by Muslims to defect and sabotage. Hindu warriors did not resort to offensive action even when situation was favorable. They remained defensive and allowed the invader to choose his time and direction of attack. Instead of offering wider frontage, Hindus would assemble at one place and let the invader launch a concentrated attack. Hindus lacked mobility, shrewdness to anticipate enemy moves while Muslims were cunning and did not shy from adopting ruthless and deceitfulness means. Hindus lacked initiative and did not learn from their defeat after defeat and repeated same mistakes. Prithviraj Chauhan and later several Rajputs were the victims of outdated military tactics despite their individual valor.  Thus Hindu paid heavily for their own neglect and are continuing in the same fashion.

Enslaving of Hindus

Apart from actual killing on the battlefield, millions of Hindus disappeared by way of enslavement. Slave markets in Baghdad and Samarkand were flooded with Hindus. Many of the slaves died of hardship. The mountain range Hindu Koh, (Indian mountain), was re-named Hindu Kush, (Hindu-killer), when on a cold night a hundred thousand Hindu captives died during transportation to Central Asia by Timur. Slaves were always subjected to inhuman treatment such as whipping, amputation of limbs, sexual assault and whatever else the master could think of. Their life had no meaning. They were subjected to ill-treatment till they died or converted to Islam. Because of conversions the numbers of Muslim community swelled.

Destruction of Temples

Many prominent Hindu temples were desecrated and destroyed. Somnath temple on the coast of Gujarat was plundered and destroyed. The Vishnu temple was replaced with the Alamgir mosque at Benares, and The Treta-Ka-Thakur (Lord Rama) temple in Ayodhya was demolished and Babri Masjid was erected on its debris. This is just to mention the few, as about over 63000 temples all over India were destroyed, or converted in to mosques. Many Hindu buildings like Dhruva Stambha at Mehroli (Delhi) and Tajo Mahalya at Agra were usurped and converted to Muslim monuments. Today every ancient site of temple is either fully usurped by some Islamic shrine or is being shared by Muslim encroachment.

Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (1658-1707) topped the list. The number of temples destroyed under his orders is counted in four figures.  He ordered all temples destroyed such as the Kashi Vishvanath that was one of the most sacred temples, and a center of Hindu learning. He had mosques built on a number of cleared temples sites. All other Hindu sacred places within his reach also suffered destruction, and mosques were built upon them. Krishna’s birth temple in Mathura was desecrated by cow slaughter and a mosque was built over it. Aurangzeb did not stop at destroying temples; the worshippers  were also wiped-out. He had his own brother, Dara Shikoh, beheaded for showing little interest in Hindu religion.

Islamic Conversion of India  

Islamic Conversion of India continued for eight centuries as under:-

Language – Sanskrit went out of use. Arabic and Persian came to dominate royal court. After some competition between the two, Persian replaced Arabic but most of the converted could not grasp the same. Thus a new language emerged by the name of Hindvi. That was a mixture of Persian and some Sanskrit words. Muslims wrote Hindvi in Persian script and called that Urdu, while Hindus used Devnagri script and called that language Hindi. Urdu derived its vocabulary from Persian and Arabic, while Hindi had her foundation in Sanskrit.

Places and Palaces – Ancient cities were renamed. Prayag and Ayodhya were made Allahabad and Faizabad. From the booty taken from Temples and Jazia Tax, Muslim rulers maintained large harems, built mosques and tombs for their dead. The ‘great builder’ Shahjehan kept more than seven hundred concubines, and emptied his coffers in building palaces for himself, including the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum, built for the burial of his wife, who had died far away long ago. On the basis of records made in ‘Badshahnama’, the official chronicle of Shahjehan, and other archeological evidence, Taj Mahal is now suspected to be a Hindu building ‘Tajo Mahalya’, which had been allegedly usurped by the Emperor from one of his Hindu nobles Mirza Raja Jai Singh.

Conversions – Many Hindu family names can be found in India among Muslim families. Some prominent surnames are Suri, Bakshi, Malik, and Desai. Those were basically Hindus that converted to Islam in the past. There is no case where any Muslims was converted to Hindu faith. Hindus maintained that one had to be a Hindu by birth. Thus conversions were never sought.

But Hindu identity withstood

Although Muslim rulers changed the identity of cities and places but they failed to obliterate the identity of the country. India remained to be the land of Hindus. Every Muslim ruler called the country as Hindustan and preferred to be addressed as Shahansha -e – Hind or Sultan –e- Mumalkat-e- Hindostan. Many of the Muslim Emperors extended their rule up to Afghanistan, but they could not shift their capital out of India or merged India with Afghanistan.

This aspect is pertinent that India’s identity remained tied with Hindus only. Muslims tried hard to make India Muslim dominated but India continued to be Hindustan till 1947. They were Muslims when compared to Hindus but when compared to outsiders they remained owners of Hindustan.

Hindu Survival Adaptations

The Hindu adaptations for survival were necessity-dependent. They had to survive under nearly impossible conditions to save Hindu girls from Muslim loot, raid, plunder, and rape, among other things.

  • Some Hindu texts escaped destruction as the same went underground, like Bhrigu Samhita. It was a compendium of all possible horoscopes to correctly predict the life events of every individual, provided, the sheet matching the time and place of birth of the individual could be traced within the bunch. The book is still available in parts with certain families practicing astrology in North India.
  • As an escape route from depression and humiliation, Brahmins, saints and poets devoted themselves to Hindu deities instead of being called the slaves of Muslims. They suffixed their name with ‘daas’ of their chosen deity such as Ram Dass, Krishna Dass or something like that.
  • From the practice of ‘Karamyoga’ they turned to ‘Bhaktiyoga’ to find some solace, while they lived in an environment polluted by insecurity, insult and fear.
  • Some sought spiritual guidance from humanized gods like Rama and Krishna; while others like Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak sought salvation in abstract from of God, and vainly tried for Hindu Muslim synthesis. Subsequently such individualized sects expanded and carved their own distinct identifying rituals. Primarily, they were Hindu initiatives for rapprochement, and have remained so. However they could not bring any change in absolutely fundamentalist Islamic mindset.

Hindus had to pay terrible price in order to survive. Although many Hindus rulers individually continued their military struggle to resist Muslim rule but collectively due to the selfishness of traitors among them, they failed to forge any united resistance.

Record of Births and Dead

Brahmins confined their activities and affiliated themselves to certain geographical areas. They maintained records of births, deaths and other events in respect of their client families at pilgrim centers at Haridwar, Varanasi, Ujjain and Nashik.  Even today any Hindu can approach such places to trace out the names of their ancestors and allied records more than five generations backward, provided ancestors had visited the pilgrim center during their life span and had updated the data. Fortunately, at certain places those records are now being computerized. Unfortunately the younger generation is unaware of it and patronage is lacking.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 61/72 – Hindu Resistance to Islam)

Splashes – 49/72 – Martial Arts of India

In Hindu society, Martial Arts were popular and not exclusive to the Khashatryas alone. Vatsayana mentions in Kama Sutra that even women also practiced with sword, single-stick, quarter-staff, bow and arrow to retain their physical fitness.

Literature on Martial Arts

Like other branches of knowledge, Martial Art also have their origin in Vedas that, contain fundamental knowledge about eighteen arts and skills. Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana and Dhanurveda dealt with the skills of archery as one of the eighteen branches of applied knowledge. Dhanur Veda divides the art into five parts as below:-

  1. Vantra-mukta – projectile weapons such as the sling or the bow,
  2. Pāṇi-mukta – hurling weapons that are to be thrown, such as the javelin,
  3. Muktāmukta – weapons that can be used by hurling at the enemy or thrusting but remain within the reach of the user, such as spear and trident.
  4. Hasta-śastra – weapons that are to be used while held in hands such as sword, battle-axe and mace.
  5. Bāhu-yuddha – unarmed fighting.

Combat Training 

Like other branches of Sanskrit Literature, treatises on Martial Arts were also more systematic during 1st century AD.  The 8th century text Kuvalay Mala by Udyotanasuri recorded fighting techniques being taught at Ghatika and Salad educational institutions. Those included archery, fighting with sword and shield, with daggers, sticks, lances, and with fists, and in duels.

Competitions were also organized to assess the competency of the warriors. Rama had to display his physical strength by lifting Shiva’s bow. Mahabharata narrates one such event organized by Guru Dronacharya to test aiming proficiency of princes. All participants were required to hit the eye of a clay bird placed at some distance and finally Arjuna succeeded.

Similarly Arjuna won the hand of princess Draupadi in swaymber by hitting the eye of a fish placed on a revolving platform, while aiming through its reflection caused in an oil plate kept below. Another unarmed battle in the Mahabharata describes two fighters boxing with clenched fists and fighting with kicks, finger strikes, knee strikes and head butts.

Unarmed Combat

Sushruta’s text Sushruta Samhita identified 107 vital points on the human body of which 49 were classified as being lethal if properly struck with a fist or stick.  Indian fighters knew and practiced attacking and defending vital points.

Around 630, Pallava King Narasimha Verman commissioned dozens of granite sculptures showing unarmed fighters disarming armed opponents.

Combative Recreation

  • Wrestling was known as Mall-YudhaHanuman and Bhima, Jarasandha and Krishna’s elder brother Balram are associated with the art of wrestling and are revered by the wrestlers’ even to-day.
  • References to fighting arts are also found in early first century in Buddhist text of Lotus Sutra. It refers to a boxing art and combat techniques as joint locks, fist strikes, grapples and throws.
  • In the 3rd century, elements from Patanjili Yoga Sutrtra as well as finger movements in the Nata dances were incorporated into martial arts.

Some of the well-known martial arts of India since ancient times are Kalarippayat, Vajra-mushti, and Gatka.


Kalarippayat is said to be the world’s original martial art. It was developed more than 2,000 years ago by warriors of the Chola kingdom in Kerala. It is most violent. From unarmed kicks and punches, Kalarippayat warriors would graduate to sticks, swords, spears and daggers and identify the ‘marmas’ (the 107 vital spots on the human body), where a blow can kill.

Participants advanced from unarmed combat to the use of swords, sharpened flexible metal lashes, and peculiar three-bladed daggers. The Urimi – a double-edged flexible sword was the most extraordinary weapon used in Kalarippayat, and it is unique in the world. The old-time masters used to wrap it around their waist. It used to be kept coiled in one hand, and whipped suddenly at the opponent to inflict mortal blows. Training followed strict rituals and guidelines. Fighters took Shiva and Shakti, as their deities.

With the advent of Buddhism, Kalarippayat spread to Far East countries. Buddhist monks travelled far and wide, to spread the teachings of the Buddha. As they used to be mostly unarmed, they adopted this form of self – defense, against religious fanatics, since that suited to their philosophy of non – violence – no first use of weapons.


The name Vajra-mushti referred to the usage of the hands in a manner as powerful as the vajra (maces) of traditional warfare. Fighting on foot for a Khshatreya warrior was necessary in case he was unseated from his mount and found himself without weapons. Although the ethical code forbade the opponent from attacking him, but violators of the code could always be expected. When faced with an unscrupulous opponent, the Khshatreya defended himself, by using hand-to-hand combat, which combined techniques of wrestling, throws, and hand strikes. Tactics and evasion were formulated and passed on to successive generations.

Vajra-mushti was practiced in peacetime by means of regular physical training sessions and these utilized sequences of attack and defense technically termed in Sanskrit Nata. In ancient Hinduism, Nata was acknowledged as a spiritual study representing the awakening of wisdom through physical and mental concentration.

After the Muslim invasion of India and its brutal destruction of Buddhist and Hindu culture, the Khshatreya art of Nata vanished and many of its teachers were slain. In 1804 the British banned it following series of revolts.


Gatka is a popular martial art from Punjab. It is played between two teams of either singles or doubles participants. The participants are armed with canes or swords, Khandas and also carry small circular shields. Generally it is played on the pattern of fencing, and is very popular sport with Nihangs – a martial sect among Sikhs.

Export of Indian Martial Arts

Some of our martial art forms traveled to China, Korea and Japan. Judo and Sumo wrestling was one of the many techniques spread in the Far East by Buddhist pilgrims from India.

The Japanese samurai also had similar traits to the traditions of sacred Swords, of honorable self-sacrifice, and service to one’s Lord that are found first in India.

The idea that man enters into harmony with the five elements, through the science of breathing, is to be found in the most ancient records of Indian history. If mind and body are one, the possibilities of development of one’s physical and mental capabilities are limitless, provided they are united and controlled. Using this as the foundation, Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk started a new trend in the Shaolin temple in China, from which stemmed most of the rules and precepts, which governs all martial art forms.

  • The relationship between a student and teacher in the disciplines of Judo and Karate could trace its roots to the ‘guru shishya’ tradition of India.
  • Similarly the technique of Pranayama (breathing control), also emerged as a prominent feature of Tae Kwan do, Karate.


Boddidharma was a Brahmin born in Kacheepuram in Tamil Nadu. He arrived at the courts of the Chinese Emperor Liang Nuti, in 522 A.D. He taught the Chinese monks Kalarippayat, so that they could defend themselves against the frequent attacks of bandits. In due course, the monks became famous as experts in bare handed fighting, later known as the Shaolin boxing art. He introduced the concept of vital energy or chi (prana), which is the basis acupuncture.

When Buddhism came to influence India (circa 500 BC), the Deity Nataraja was converted to become one of the four protectors of Buddhism, and was renamed Nar (y)ayana Deva (Chinese: Na Lo Yen Tien). He is said to be a protector of the Eastern Hemisphere of the Mandala.

Vallamkali Boat Race

Vallamkali literally means boat race in Malayalam. It is the traditional boat (paddled war canoe) race in Kerala. This colorful spectacle of the race is performed on the banks of the river Pamba at Aranmulla where a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Nearly 30 chundan-vallams or snake boats participate in the festival. Singing traditional boat songs, the oarsmen, in white dhoti and turbans, splash their oars into the water to guide their boats to cruise along like a fish on the move. The golden lace at the head of the boat, the flag and the ornamental umbrella at the center make it a spectacular show of pageantry too.

Each snake boat belongs to a village along the banks of the River Pampa and is worshipped like a deity. Every year the boat is oiled mainly with fish oil, coconut shell, and carbon, mixed with eggs to keep the wood strong and the boat slippery in the water. The village carpenter carries out annual repairs lovingly and people take pride in their boat, which represents their village and is named after it.

The one end of the boat is shaped like cobra’s head and it is from this shape that boat has derived its name. Skilled craftsmen and a lot of patience meticulously craft each boat. The boat is about 100 feet long and usually made of anjili or sometimes teak and kadamb wood is also used.

Legend is that The King of Champakesari had one boat to be made that would require about hundred boatmen to row. By using the same he defeated his rival King of Kayamukham. The vanquished king sent his spies to find the secret of mysterious boat. They spy emotionally involved the daughter and wife of the manufacturer and learnt the art of boat making and returned to Kayamukham.

The race unites boatmen in a team to win the race. It has now turned out to be a big tourist attraction. Likewise almost every state in India has one or more martial games like peg picking or taming violent animals with bare hands as a show of their masculine powers.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 50/72 – Aerial Warfare in Ancient India)

Splashes– 47/72 – Hindus are a Nation

India was a land of plenty; therefore its inhabitants remained stuck to the land of their origin. The geography of the country then known as Jambu-Dweepa protected the inhabitants from intruders. Thus the spread and development of India’s civilization, culture and religion was smooth and peaceful. Santana Dharma had already established deep roots in the soil of India before upheavals started. The name of the land underwent changes like Aryavrata, Bharat-Khanda, Bharat, and Hindustan till the same got translated as India.

Evidence of Geographical Ownership

Those who shared same ancestors, religious beliefs, social customs, they established their racial identities, claimed the area under their control, and called it their own country. Identity of population remained based on racial or religious diversities. After intruding new areas invaders used to replace the customs and traditions that existed before, while refugees surrendered to the will of the new masters.

No such intrusions took place in India. The Vishnu Purana scripture of Santana Dharma narrates the boundary of India and identity of its inhabitants clearly in the following verse: –

उतरं यत् समुद्रस्य हिमेद्रश्चैव दक्षिण्म,

वर्ष तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संतति

(In simple words it implied that the area bounded by Himalayas in the North and surrounded by the Sea in the South is called Bharat and the residents therein are Bharatiya).

Thus there is no ambiguity whatsoever, that the well-defined land of Bharata was owned by those who had been living there and followed Santana Dharma.

Struggle between Civilizations

Outsiders that entered India subsequently, also merged themselves voluntarily within the fold and culture of Santana Dharma and lived harmoniously with the locals, till Muslims invaded to spread a new and contrasted culture in India.

In spite of that Muslims too continued to call this land as Hindustan implying the land of Hindus. Besides Hindus, Muslims fought with other Muslims in India to establish the supremacy of their race.  Thus Khiljies replaced the rule of Slaves, Tughlaqs dethroned Lodhies, and Lodhies fought the Mughals and so on. Their fights were for more occupation, larger hold on the resources, and racial rivalry.

Despite their mutual rivalry, the common thread between Muslim chieftains was the commitment to their holy dictates to destroy Hinduism and spread Islam in lieu. All of them possessed India but did not accept the roots of original Indians. They continued behaving outsiders and conquerors. Their ancestral and cultural loyalties were always towards the land of Arabian Desert where Islam had originated. This continues to be the bone of contention between Hindus and Muslims till date.

Hoax of British Secularism

British indulged in colonization. They coined new terminology of Nationality and took more pride in their nationality as subjects of the King than Christianity or Anglo-Saxon race. To justify their hold over colonies, particularly in India, they advanced baseless and motivated theories of Aryan migration to authenticate subsequent migrations including theirs. Those were aimed to tell that India was no man’s land and everybody intruder had equal rights with original inhabitants. They did similar things everywhere they colonized. This nefarious proposition culminated in partition of India and is still at work to dislodge Hindus from their native land. They are misusing the doctrine of secularism to pass time till Hindus are out-numbered.

Determinants of Nationality 

It is noteworthy that Political thinkers from West define a nation as a population having:

  1. Territory of geographical unity.
  2. Common language and literature,
  3. Common customs, and
  4. Common consciousness of right and wrong,

For the sake of argument, if we accept the above yardsticks. The following facts stand out :-

Territory of Geographical Unity

No country on the globe is as clearly demarcated by geographical features as India. This aspect is unambiguously recorded in ancient Hindu texts as well. Synopsis of Ramayana covered the area of Eastern India, Western India (Mathura) Nepal, Central India, Southern Plataea, Rameshwaram, and Lanka, while the area of activity in  epic Mahabharata spreads from Western India to all the four corners of India from Himalayas to Assam and down South. All those who lived were Hindus including Ravana, who was a Brahmin, worshiped Trimurti and also performed yagyas. There is not a single event with reference to any of non-Hindu faiths that took place within the geographical limits of India.

Common Language and Literature

All Indian languages have their base in the unifying language Sanskrit. It is the common language of the Hindu Scriptures and ancient literature. Until 1100 AD Sanskrit was without interruption the official language of the whole of India. The wealth of Sanskrit literature of widely diverse genres includes everything that was known to mankind those days.

Sanskrit is not a dead language even today. There are at least a dozen periodicals published in Sanskrit, all-India radio news broadcasts in Sanskrit, television shows and feature-length movies produced in Sanskrit, one village of 3000 inhabitants who communicate through Sanskrit alone, not to mention countless smaller intellectual communities throughout India, schools, as well as families where Sanskrit is fostered.

The famous Gayatri Mantra and Maha Mrityunjay Mantra are on the lips of millions of Indians every morning. Sanskrit is not dead; Sanskrit is alive, expressive and effective as language for modern technology. In Hindu society all social rituals are performed with recitation of mantras in Sanskrit throughout India. Sanskrit binds all the Hindus together more than current National language Hindi could do. It is also the strongest link with our past. It is still having a strong potential to cope with the future technology dominant environment.

Common Customs

  • It is customary to recall names of seven sacred Rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Krishna, Kaveri, Godavari, Sindhu, Brahmputra, that flow all over India;  through a Mantra that is recited during sacred family rituals of Hindus.
  • Since centuries, Hindus have been taking pilgrimage to various pilgrim centers that are scattered all over India. Temple such as at Mathura, Ayodhaya, Puri, Somnath, Kamakshi, Indore, Ujjain, Meenakkshipuram, and Rameshwaram not only attract nearby pilgrims but are being visited since the period when rail communications did not exist. Pilgrimage of Amarnath, Jagannath, Kedar Nath,  and Badrinath are cherished desires of all Hindus irrespective of his province.
  • Somnath, Kailash, Mansarovar, Vaishno Devi, and Rameshwaram are regarded as life time mission for all Hindus. These places are located in most difficult areas, but Hindus undertake trekking under inhospitable weather conditions out of their faith and devotion.
  • Despite hazardous distances and lack of facilities Hindus all over the length and breadth of the country flocked to take sacred bath during Kumbhaheld at Allahabad, Hardwar, Kashi, and Nashik. This voluntary activity was not a seasonal migration but prompted by the bonds of cultural unity.
  • There are twelve Jyotirlingasthat are spread all over the country. This unified the common customs amongst Hindus. Devotees from far off places have been under taking long marches on foot to fetch water from Hardwar and to be taken to Kashi for bathing Lord Shiva on every Shivaratri. Nowhere in the world have similar common customs existed as can be viewed in India.
  • Makra Sakranti, Shivaratri, Ramanavmi, Janamashtmi, Deepavaliand many more national festivals of Hindus are celebrated throughout India to project Hindus as one nation. Hindu festivals are related to climatic changes, events and personalities within India.

Common Consciousness of Right and Wrong

The areas of Common Customs and Common consciousness of right and wrong are not distinct, but overlap. All versions of Santana Dharma harmoniously co-exist. There is a free movement of individuals and no one persuaded others to convert. Hindus all over the world regard epical victory of Rama over Ravana as the victory of good over evil. Those who allege as Aryan victory over Dravidian culture should also reconcile to the fact that in Southern India no person accepted villainous names as Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and Mareecha.

Another aspect of remarkable Hindu unity is that all over India, Hindus cremate their dead and immerse the remains preferably at Hardwar by undertaking long journeys, or in some local river when that is impracticable. All Hindus believe in re-birth after death. To Hindus God can be identified with some icons as well as among Lords Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, and Guru Nanak. They are regarded as life models. Hindus did not indulge in the destruction of symbols of any other faith. They do not declare any holy war against non-believers either. Hindus treat whole world to be one family and they revere noble persons of other sects and faiths as saints.

Throughout India Hindus regard Tulsi, Peepal, Kadamb, Bunyan, and Beil as sacred plants. River Ganga in particular is regarded as a sacred river but all rivers are also respected. They associate Saffron color with wisdom, sagacity and spirituality. By and large Hindus practice monogamy and refrain from eating beef. Most pertinent aspect is that all Hindus are subjected to same civil code.

Non-Hindus in India

Muslims and Christians have their life models, pilgrim places, holy books and value systems that are often in conflict with Hinduism and have their origins beyond India. These elements draw inspiration from foreign ideologies, role models, and groups and want to retain a separate ethnic identity which is detrimental to the unity of our country.

Superficial clock of Nationality

It was totally wrong on the part of Nehru to declare MK Gandhi as father of the nation in twentieth century. MK Gandhi was neither a Mahatma nor religious leader, but merely a leader of Congress party whom the British preferred for negotiation in granting independence to India. He was not a martyr for Hindus. He neutralized Hindu freedom by making Muslims as their equal partners in truncated India to satisfy his ego that was larger than his size. Nehru played a politician amongst historians and distorted history to support his Gandhian ideology.

Life without Dharma is Adharma (immoral). The kind of one-sided secularism being pursued in India is absurd. Discipline is the core of life. In India while minorities still discipline their folks through personal Dharma, it is the Hindu Dharma that has been sacrificed under secularism. Hindu literature, customs and civilization have being relegated officially under the clause of remaining secular.

Many persons settled in India out of compulsion, convenience, or some other motive, but have no love for the customs, beliefs and culture of Indian soil. There cannot be more humiliating situation for Hindus than to feel apologetic while defending their own cultural traditions and beliefs in their homeland. There are many countries on the globe where governments are patronizing the religion of the land only. There is no reason why Hindus had to turn secular to appease those minorities who actually are ever willing to destroy Hinduism from its roots.

We are Hindus first and last while our nationalities may change during life. India belonged to Hindus and Hindus belong to India. They are a Nation according to the thinking of the west also. Our Hindu Nationality is as old and distinct as Himalayas.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 48/72 – The Art of Warfare)

Splashes– 46/72 Origin of Political Thought

For the western world, the origin of political theory began with Greek philosophers, but Vedas show that the principle of representative government was in practice in India at least 1000 before the Greek philosophers were born. Political thinking had already been matured in India when Europeans started regrouping their tribes, and races in to tribal areas, societies and countries. Our Rishies had suggested idea for the ‘Government for the Universe’ even much earlier.

Written Form of Governance

The Vedas and Manusumriti were the foundation, upon which not only Indian, but the Egyptian, Persians, Grecians and the Roman codes of law were built later. The ancient Hindu works on law are a marvel of simplicity and wisdom. The articles of Hindu code are composed and arranged in natural and luminous order. They are numerous, comprehensive and had been investigated with minute attention.

Whoever examined the whole texts cannot deny the efficacy of ancient jurisprudence, and the fact that the same was creation of an enlightened, logical and far-sighted society. Whoever looked into any particular title will be surprised by its minuteness of detail that goes beyond the attention of European legislation even today. There were charters of duties for the rulers, ministers, other officials and subjects as well. Rules of succession were clear and there is no instance where untimely death of a ruler caused a war for succession to go on for decades as it often took place on other parts of the globe.

Raj Guru to oversee Kingship

Dharma was the essence of governance. As a true welfare state, the Prajapati (King) was responsible for providing protection, justice, education, and health care to all the subjects. King was also obliged to adhere to Dharma. The Raj Gurus (Spiritual Mentors) acted as Ombudsmen to pronounce violations of Dharma and no one could be out of their jurisdiction. There was no escape route even for people in high position.

Concept of welfare state

During the epic age the concept of welfare state was visualized with Ram Rajya, a perfect Utopian concept of state governance.  Reference exists in Ramayana regarding voluntary abdication of power by the kings to enable younger generation to succeed. Rama sent his brother Lakshmana to Ravana to learn the art of state-craft as soon as the latter fell on the battlefield. To set an example that of an ideal king, Rama banished even his beloved wife when public suspicion was caused against her. Although Caesar’s wife is now quoted to be above suspicion, but how many rulers have dared to emulate that example?

Democratic Form of Governance

India, and certainly NOT England, is the mother of democracy. In fact, there was a democratic deity called Samajnana to whom the last hymn of the Rig Veda makes salutation. Republics existed in India at least as early as the days of the Buddha (6th century before Christ); and continued for at least a thousand years thereafter.

Each Hindu township was, a ‘community-republic’ by itself. The whole of India was one vast federal congeries of such republics – like United States of America. Though evidence for non-monarchical government goes back to the Vedas, republican states were most common during the Buddhist period. There was a complex vocabulary in Pali, Sanskrit, Buddhist and Brahmanical literature to describe the different types of groups that ran their own affairs.

Local self-government

India had developed a style of local self-government that endured up to modern times. It had developed an amazingly modern system of town and village planning, and almost fool-proof economic and social structure. It kept the country and its culture stable through disturbances and invasions.

There is no other country, ancient or modern, where republics existed and continued for so long a period. That was possible due to the spirit of freedom and democracy, which manifested in many forms among the Indian people from the earliest ages. The benevolent nature of Hindu civilization is proved by the fact that the Hindu settlements colonies and dependencies also enjoyed their own Constitution. India never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history.

There were many sovereign republics in India. It is pertinent from the Greek evidence, since the Greek writers spoke in a political language that is universally more familiar to the European world. Greek accounts of Alexander’s campaigns portray ‘free and independent’ Indian communities at every turn.

Nysa, a city on the border of modern Afghanistan and Pakistan was ruled by a president named Aculphis aided by a council of 300 persons.  Similar development is mentioned by Kautilya also, according to whom there were two kinds of Jana-padas (Republics), called Ayudhiya-praya; (Cantonments) made up mostly of soldiers; and shreni-praya, consisting of guilds of craftsmen, traders, and agriculturalists.  Furthermore, power in some republics was vested in a large number of individuals. In a well-known Jataka tale we are told that in Lichavi capital of Vaishali, there were 7707 kings, 7707 viceroys, 7707 generals, and 7707 treasurers!

Diplomacy and Espionage

The history of diplomacy in ancient India commences with the Rig Veda Samhita where the use of spies is sanctioned while pursuing some mission in general interest for the protection of Dharma.  There is also an interesting account of a successful espionage mission undertaken and executed by Brahspati’s son Kucha, on behalf of Indra to Demon kingdom in disguise to learn the science of Sanjeevani from Demon Guru Shukracharya. The love triangle between Kutch, Guru Shukracharya’s daughter Devyani and host princess Sharmishtha is the first recorded thrilling instance of knowledge espionage.

Apart from Vedas and Manusumriti, we also come across ‘Vidur Neeti’ during Mahabharata and Kautillya’s ‘Arathshastra’ that contain additional detail about the statecraft, diplomacy, spies, and related aspects of contemporary governance and administration.

The following corner stones of ancient diplomacy are very much relevant to our modern times also: –

  • Sama– according reciprocal treatment,
  • Dama – implying appeasement as tool to accomplish desired objectives.
  • Danda-coercion as tool to enforce own dictates.
  • Bheda– with-holding or revealing own intentions to serve own purpose.

Control over Corruption

Rig Veda contains comprehensive instructions for eradication of corruption. Spies (Spasah or Varuna) filled an important role in civil as well as military affairs of ancient India. In addition to their external duties, they were engaged to look after the home officials and those of the royal household.

Only men of wisdom and purity were employed on this errand. They were to be persons above the temptation of corruption. During Mauryan age, young females were brought up on snake poison and employed in assassination of rival chieftains through means of seduction.

Internal Secret Service

In the Ramayana, spies have been described as the ‘eyes of the king’. It may be surprising that In Valmiki Ramayana, when Sarupnakha went to Ravana with her bleeding nose, she chided him for being careless on his spy network, and asked him several questions, the substance of which would form a check list to conduct security audit of even our military installations.

Manusamriti also contains a full chapter on security and diplomacy during military campaigns. Kautilya’s Arthashastra is another comprehensive text-book on matters concerning diplomacy, internal security and intelligence network. The destruction of mighty Nanda Empire by Chankya and Chandragupta Maurya was a remarkable feat in history of sabotage, valor and wisdom.

In Mahabharata, it is stated that cows see by smell, priests by knowledge, kings by spies and others through eyes. Bhishama has listed seven essential qualifications in persons to be sent as ambassadors. They should come from noble heredity, belong to a high family, be skillful, eloquent in speech, true in delivering the mission, and have excellent memory. Mahabharata had galaxy of diplomats and statesmen out of whom Vidura, Krishna, Shalya and Shakuni were prominent.

Apart from Scriptures, it was the famous Indian strategist of the fourth-century BC, Kautilya, who gave the dictum: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The Arthashastra predates Sun-Tzu and Christ by centuries. It dwelled at length on the importance of espionage and the creation of an effective spy network. Such details may indicate the high development of the science of diplomacy in ancient India.

Greek Ambassador Megasthenes has stated that Indians were neither engaged in wars with outsiders nor invaded by any foreign power”. There were friendly relations between Chandragupta Maurya and Seleucus Nikator. Their successors Bindusara and Antiochus also followed the same. Ashoka and Samadragupta also maintained diplomatic relations with Lanka.  Pulaski with Persians, and Harshavardhana established and maintained diplomatic friendly relations with Nepal and China. Certainly, that all had happened well before political awakening came elsewhere.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 47/72 – Hindus are a Nation)

Splashes – 25/72 – Sati and Female Infanticide

Accusations are often made against Hinduism for abetting widow burning in the guise of sati practice and female infanticide at birth. Many Hindus are made to feel ashamed for such brutal acts alleged against their faith and ancestors. Ignorant of facts they tend to turn apologetic and accept the accusations. They do not know that the allegations are contrary to the facts. This misleading propaganda is carried out to engineer conversions out of Hindu faith by citing stray incidents of crime out of context to malign Hindu faith.

Scriptural Evidence about Sati

There is not even one statement advocating Sati in four Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 18 Puranas, or in Manusumruti. The incident of Shiva’s consort Sati had nothing to contribute towards the suicidal act of Sati. In brief, King Daksha Prajapati, had 100 daughters and the youngest of them was named Sati. She had married Lord Shiva against the wishes of the king.

Daksha organized a yagna and with the intent of ignoring Shiva, he did not invite Him. Sati went to witness the Yagna un-invited, contrary to the advice of her husband Lord Shiva. As King Daksha ignored her presence, Sati felt humiliated, and ended herself by jumping into sacrificial fire of the Yagna. Thus, Sati ended her life when her husband was very much alive and is still an eternal God! This incident is narrated in Shiva Purana to underline a social norm that a married woman must not visit her parental house, if her husband is insulted.

The incident of Sati cannot be related to the allegation of widow burning as well. In Hindu society, every married women faithful to her husband is referred as Sati – Savitri. The suffix ‘Savitri‘ is generally used as a metaphor to respect the wife of wood-cutter Satyavan, who died at young age and his wife Savitri, a princess, brought him back to life after impressing Yama, the god of Death by her wisdom.

This Sati episode also exposes the propaganda about the allegation of female infanticide at birth. If female infanticide was patronized by Hindu scriptures then King Daksha would not have nourished one hundred daughters to grow up.

Allegations belied by historical Epics

The historical epics Ramayana and Mahabharata also support that practice of Sati had no sanction from any of the Hindu scriptures. Here are some facts:-

  • In Ramayana, when King Dasratha died, none of his three queens committed sati.  They lived full life and blessed Rama at his coronation as King when he returned from exile.
  • When monkey-king Baali died, his wife Tara did not perform Sati, but was married to his younger brother It is a proof of widow rehabilitation by re-marriage.
  • When Ravana died, his wife Mandodari did not perform
  • When King Shantanu of Mahabharat epic died, his wife Satyawati did not perform Sati.
  • Similarly when his successors died, none of their wives performed sati.
  • There is only one incident in Mahabharata. Queen Madri, the second wife of King Pandu had held herself responsible to be the cause of her husband’s untimely death. Out of guilt and remorse, Madri, jumped into the funeral pyre of her fallen husband and committed suicide. The elder wife Kunti did not follow the act of younger wife. Except that incident, in the whole epic poem in which thousands of men got killed on the battlefield, there is no incident of Sati. None out of the 100 wives of the Kaurava warriors committed Sati.

Sati was an Alien Practice

On the contrary, the practice of wife burning had its roots away from India. Columbia Encyclopedia states: ‘The strange practice of killing a favorite wife on her husband’s grave has been found in many parts of the world; it was followed by such people as the Thracians, the Scythians, the ancient Egyptians, the Scandinavians, the Chinese, and people of Oceania and Africa’.

The practice of Sati came to India through Kushanas. In the later period as Rajputs, remained constantly occupied in wars, the invaders used to rape their wives again and again till they would die. Thus Rajputs resorted to the practice of Jauhar as a solution forced upon them out of socio-political necessity.

Jauhar of Rani Padmini

The episode of Rani Padmini reflects that she did not perform sati, but to save her dignity and honor, she had opted for Jauhar along with seven hundred brave young wives when their husbands volunteered ‘Saka’ (suicidal attack) on the camp of Alluddin Khilji. Thus the warrior husbands were alive on their chargers at the time of Jauhar. They bade farewell when their young spouses walked to the pyre singing bravely and escaped anticipated indignity.

The glorification of Jauhar was necessary to motivate young women to the option of choosing between a life of sexual slavery or glorified death as a Rajput widow. It was indeed a tribute to young widows who were brave to walk willingly towards death rather living dishonored.

Rule of East India Company

Harping about the practice of Sati is intended to malign Hinduism. In some provinces under the rule of East India Company, certain greedy families indulged in criminal act of widow burning to usurp the property of the widow, but that had no religious sanction. It also goes to the credit of Hindu reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy that they asked the British rulers at their own to severely punish the criminals.

Allegation of Female Infanticide

Similar to the allegation of Sati, the allegation of female infanticide also stands refuted by facts provided in scriptures and practices in Hindu society.

Besides epics and Purana, volumes of literature depicting the social life of ancient India is available under the titles Jatka Tales, Panchtantra, Hitopdesha, Betaal Pachisi, and classics of Kalidasa and others. There is no mention of any such practice or incident.

  • On the contrary, there would not have been inspiring female characters in our literature like Sita, Draupadi, Kunti, Devaki, Yashoda, Shakuntala and All of them are respected in Hindu society. Such strong-willed females would not have lived if female infanticide was patronized by scriptures and regularly practiced by Hindus.
  • It is regarded as a privileged sacred duty of the parents to perform Kanyadana (donning of daughters) at the time of marriage. Such society cannot indulge in or approve heinous crime of female infanticide.
  • Out of love and affection, Hindu parents voluntarily gift household items, colorful dresses and ornaments at the time of marriage to their daughters. Stray cases of dowry demands have no sanction from scriptures and are a social evil.
  • Hinduism does not support abortion even for limiting the family. Hinduism advocates self-restrain. Sex determination tests and abortion today are the unholy gifts from Western culture.
  • The range and variety of attractive female garments, beauty products and ornaments since ancient times in India is a reflection of love and prominence given to daughters in the families.
  • The unique festival of Raksha Bandhan is dedicated to the sentimental bond between brothers and sisters in Hindu family. No other society in the world has similar festival earmarked exclusively for this kind of relationship.

Islamic Brutality

In furtherance of his imperial designs, Mughal Emperor Akbar had initiated one-sided matrimonial alliances with Rajput families. In return when Rajputs sought reciprocal relationship, Akbar on the sly had debarred Mughal princesses getting married to anyone. Consequent to ban, both the daughters of Emperor Shahjahan, Princess Jahanara and Roshanara, had lived as spinsters. It was finally Emperor Aurangzeb who lifted the ban, because he was not interested in having matrimonial relationships with infidel Rajputs.

Such brutal practices resulted in infanticide and under-cover abortions to off springs born out of rapes, adultery and intrigues to eliminate successors to the rulers. It is still shrouded in mystery how many illegitimate infants would have been killed in the dark basements of forts during Mughal period on account of Akbar’s inhuman dictate. To counter Mughal atrocities certain Rajput families also indulged in honor killings of their daughters, but Hinduism does not support that also.   

Hinduism Pioneered Equality 

Hinduism did not make any discrimination in the society on the basis of color, race or gender. Every person is respected equally in individual capacity. As fore-runners of Human Rights, Hindus have promoted universal well-being, equality and global brotherhood through customs, traditions, rituals and festivals. Hindus must not hesitate to refute baseless propaganda hurled at them from any quarter.

Chand K Sharma

(Next: Splashes – 26 / 72 – Temples and Rituals in Hinduism)

Splashes -23/72 – Rationale of Varna System

Four natural broad working groups formed the backbone of the Hindu society. No vocation was considered high or low. All segments had to be working together for the common good.  Everyone was born as a Shudra to begin with. It was only after acquiring knowledge and skills that individuals moved to higher class. Non Hindus, out of these Varna were identified as Malechcha or Yavana. They were aliens to Hindu Society.

Dignity of Labor

Hindu society has given due importance to every kind of duty performed. Of all the functions Sevak Dharma (servitude) is regarded as highest form of duty alias Dharma. Lord Hanuman is regarded as an ideal role model in the performance of Sevak Dharma and has been honored as one amongst the five principal gods known as (Panchdeva). Dignity of labor is thus imbibed in Varna system.

Occupation based social Groups

Social grouping of Manu was based upon the mental make-up and aptitudes of persons according to the role they were required to perform in society. They were not based on birth of a person in any Varna. There is no country, no race, or society in this world, which is free from social segmentation in some form or the other, similar to caste system in Hindu society. Even in the so-called socialist countries, where all are claimed to be equal, some are more equal than others!

A society based on the division of labor is far superior to a society divided on the basis of wealth or color of the skin. For administrative convenience workers are divided in to several departments, trades and grades all over the world. The social differentiation on the basis of birth and race is still prevalent in Western world in the form of ‘lords’ and ‘commoners’, ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’. In the case in Islamic world Master (Aaqa) and slave (ghulaams) vocabulary is part of holy literature.  In Hinduism the distinctions were related to actual occupation of the person and not on the basis of race, color, or wealth.

Identical to Modren Life styles

The Indian Varna system encompasses all the aspects that management experts of today suggest regarding work culture, environment, and work ethos. Hindu life style prescribed for each Varna did not confine only to the work place, but also prescribed a way of life in totality. Brahmins need to be living an ascetic life, eating simple Satvik food consisting of non-alcoholic, vegetarian and low-calorie diet.  The Khashtriya are prescribed more nourishing and regal life style as Rajasik. For the remaining, it is Tamasik or a mix of Rajsik and Tamsik, keeping in mind that these strata of working groups required more physical energy.

oday in all health conscious societies, people are adopting dietary habits and living style suiting their work environment more or less similar to the type advocated in Hindu scriptures. In no way modern science of Personnel Management differ on this concept. Intellectuals prefer low-calorie Satvik food and life style; Executives live the Rajsik way, while rests indulge in Tamsik fast food and life style. Western counterpart of Tamsik food is known as junk food. Can this fact be denied that today hotels also advertise working lunch on similar classification as low-calorie Healthy Herbal food, Executive food and Economic packets made of Junk-food assortments?

Profession and Heredity

All members of nomadic groups were socially equal, but all civilized societies have segments depending upon educational differences, financial status, and occupations of persons. Almost in every country, individuals inherited family name, property and social status from parents, and retain the same till they earn or relinquish at their own.

Normally in every society a son adopted profession of his father, because having been brought up in the environment of his family, it was genetically natural for him to have similar genes, aptitude, and facilities for developing and improving skills needed for the family profession. On the other hand, since it was not practically feasible to predict the aptitudes of every individual for allotting profession at the time of birth. Thus heredity had come to be accepted as a working principle to suggest the most likely profession of every child. Subsequently, as the son easily inherited the traits, working and living environment of his father; he adopted the trade also of his father to carry forward family’s expertise and skills. The ‘thumb rule’ based on heredity was flexible and voidable in the past as it is today.

Exceptions to Heredity

There is enough evidence in the scriptures to show that persons adopted professions other than the Varna at their birth. Notable examples are that of Parshuram, Dronacharya and Kripacharya. They were Brahmans by birth, but turned warriors. Sage Vishwamitra was a Kshatriya, while Maharishi Valmiki was a Shudra, but they are respected and remembered today on the basis of their professions, and not because of their Varna at birth.

There have been several other cases where people born in lower castes have risen higher to saint-hood by their virtues and those born in the upper castes have been degraded due to their vices. Ravana was a highly learned Brahmin, but he is equated with evil as compared to Rama, who was a Kshatriya.

Sage Manu’s classification of society permitted Varna swapping also. He has recommended weaponry by Brahmins and even killing of Brahmins by others in the following verse:-

आत्मनश्च परित्राणो दक्षिणानां च संगरे। स्त्रीविप्राभ्युपपत्तौ चघ्नन्धर्मण न दुष्यति।।

गुरुं वा बालवृद्धौ वा ब्राह्मणं वा बहुश्रुतम्। आततायिनमायान्तं हन्यादेवाविचारयन्।।

– Manusumriti Chapter 8- 349-350

(It meant, when it is necessary to protect the learned and ladies, Brahmins and other castes should take up arms for the protection of Social Order of Dharma. Such violence is not sinful. Similarly if Guru, Brahmin, or any learned person runs amuck, he must be killed without any hesitation).

Thus, as and when Shudras, Vaisyas and Kshatriyas acquired knowledge and reformed habits, they empowered themselves to the upper castes.

For vested interests and vote bank politics, today Varna classification by the government is being done on the basis of heredity.  Like educational institutions issue degrees and diplomas to the learned, government is issuing certificate to the backwards. Ironically, today more Hindus clamor for obtaining a certificate of being backward than classified as learned persons.

Restrictions on Higher Education

The intelligence of person is dependent upon heredity as well as the environment in which he lived. The acquisition of higher education demands higher level of intelligence, which mediocre performers are not likely to possess. As resources cannot be wasted on persons lacking requisite intelligence, grasping power, and aptitude, non-performers get ousted from the realms of higher education everywhere. The restrictions on higher learning were not only in India but are prevalent all over the world even today. Aptitude test is nothing but a tool to gauge the potential of an individual for assessing his suitability to absorb higher education. All those who do not score the minimum prescribed grade on the aptitude test are barred admission.

It will be an unrealistic proposition to reform the entire world, since some diversity has been created by Nature even among brothers of same parentage and environment. People should be given equal opportunity and scope for development but not get walk-overs on account of birth certificate.

Restrictions for Common Good

Power of knowledge is a double-edged weapon that can be used for a good cause, as well as for pursuing evil designs, as per the mental make-up of the user.  Even those who create virus in computers are experts in the field of software; those who steel and sell kidneys are also doctors. They turn evils on the basis of their using their expertise.

There is a perfect illustration in Mahabharata. Having seen Eklaveyya misusing the archery skill to block the mouth of a poor dog, Guru Dronacharya incapacitated Eklaveyya from possessing superior technology. Today also, if nuclear technology is possessed by under developed nations, misuse the same is apprehended. But if the same is possessed by developed countries, it is taken for granted to be used to ensure peace. The precedence of Guru Dronacharya is being followed by USA and UNO alike.

There are many instances, when villains earned higher skills and capabilities through hard work initially, but the granting Rishis subsequently withdrew the same through a curse, when the same were misused.

Hygienic Segregation

Certain jobs in every society require persons to work in contaminated surroundings. For hygienic reasons, it is therefore necessary to restrain them from coming in contact with others in private as well as at public places. Operation Theaters in hospitals are not open to all, unless, the entrants adopt prescribed standards to disinfect. Likewise temples, kitchens, water sources, and other places of public utility are not open to persons employed on unclean jobs. This is legitimate restriction that speaks high of awareness in ancient Hindu society towards public sanitation.

It is desirable even today. One would not like to come in contact even with nearest relation, who is habitual of keeping poor personal hygiene. While certain upper classes, due to cumulative effect of multiple reasons, over practiced un-touch ability, certain persons to malign Hindu religion have also over played it for political reasons.  It was to engineer conversion to other religions for changing the demographic profile of population for imperialist designs.

Shudras are an inseparable integral part of Hindu society and not a race different from other Varna of Hindu society. It is not to be confused with racial discrimination that is practiced in other parts of the civilized world. Segregation of some people from Shudra with poor hygiene was nothing but a method to enforce desirability of maintaining cleanliness at public places.

With the introduction of modern technology and constitutional regulatory provisions, this issue is now irrelevant. Some self-styled politicians have kept the same alive to nurture their vote banks. It is ironical that most of such leaders never advised people at lower pedestals to move up through hard work and genuine knowledge. They want them to continue.

Chand K Sharma

Next: Splashes – 24/72 – Status of Women in Hindu Society)

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