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Vedic philosophy bred social inequality, caste system, says panel

The report also claimed that people belonging to Dravidian race resided in North India once upon a time
Last Updated : 01 November 2022, 04:22 IST
Last Updated : 01 November 2022, 04:22 IST
Last Updated : 01 November 2022, 04:22 IST
Last Updated : 01 November 2022, 04:22 IST

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The Justice H N Nagamohan Das Commission, whose report led to the increase in SC/ST reservation, has blamed the “emergence of Vedic philosophy” for social inequality and the caste system.

“All these happened because of Brahmins, Upanishads, epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana...” the commission said in its July 2020 report, which the BJP government formally accepted recently.

In a chapter titled ‘Origin of Castes’, the report stated that every caste has an ethnic character. Quoting the Anthropological Survey of India, the report said that India was home to 4,635 ethnic communities, each with its own hereditary traits, languages, food habits and so on.

“The truth is that ethnic system has disintegrated with the advent of the caste system. From the very inception Karnataka came into contact with North India, there entered the Vedic system into Karnataka. Its influence has been greater than that of other religions...,” it said.

It also said that the banning of animal sacrifice, child marriage, prohibition of widow marriage, rites relating to death ceremony, patriarchy and other “Vedic rites and rituals” came to Karnataka. “Of these, the most important is the caste system,” it said. “In India, Aryan culture played a major role in transforming the culture of tribal communities into caste communities.”

The report also claimed that people belonging to Dravidian race resided in North India once upon a time. “Many foreign invaders such as Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Huns, Turks, Mongolians, Europeans etc came and fought against local people...Conflicts took place between locals and outsiders. The rulers who won the war developed relations with local women and consequently emerged mixed races. These mixed races became different groups,” it said.

On the emergence of castes, the commission stated that in Karnataka’s context, historically three castes emerged from the influence of Jaina, Vaishnava and Lingayat. “These new castes emerged during the Aryan period. Attempts have been in vogue to define the caste using the basis for conducting census,” the report said.

In another chapter titled ‘Caste Inequality’, the commission quoted Dr B R Ambedkar abundantly. “Education and knowledge have been made the monopoly of Brahmins,” the report stated. “Military and administration was for Kshatriya, trade and commerce for Vaishyas and Shudra were made to undertake hard, indecent and filthy work and kept at the lowest state of social order. Beyond chaturvarna, there created an untouchable class of people. The caste-based inequality is all-pervading in society. There is an inequality in economic, social and cultural fields,” the report said.

The report also quoted the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita to say that the four varnas (castes) have been created to reflect character and profession.

The report also referred to various instances of untouchability practised in other countries, too, and stated that untouchables are available for lowest wages for the upper castes world over. “Hence, the upper caste people have been maintaining the untouchability system in a systematic way.”

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Published 31 October 2022, 18:36 IST

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