Your posting only helps people to understand how it all started and then perverted into something that is not originally intended. I agree with most of it except the conclusion that only solution is change of human mind. You and I know that the human mind remained the way it was in spite of attempts by many to change. Most often it is the systems that make them behave in certain way. Most often systemic corrections make quantum changes in the human behavior and thinking. You and I agree on how it started and how it was useful in yesterday society. I also agree that it is dividing the society. I do not subscribe to the idea to leave it alone. Today’s society can move forward without the intervention of caste system since very few are strictly following parent’s occupation.
Yesterday’s food becomes today’s feces. The food that was useful and nourished us yesterday is the poison (waste) of today that need to be purged. You don’t cling to that waste by saying it was useful yesterday. The caste system of yesterday that harmonized rural agro society has become a black stain on the face of Hinduism by dividing people and became a vehicle of political exploitation as vote banks.
All cultural practices change over and refined over time to satisfy the changing
needs. Examples of this kind of change over time are child and widow marriages,
combined families, women chanting Gayatri and Vedas and the like. Abolishment
of Slavery, women’s voting rights in USA is examples of change. While change of
mind is desirable in the society, unfortunately people mostly remain the same
no matter what. It is the systems that need to change with times. It is the
systemic change that brings quantum change in behavior.
I would agree that any change is not easy. Sustained effort by the committed reformers has done the job in the past and will do it now. May be it will be faster because of internet and other new modes of communication available. Whatever causes the problems, whatever divides and whatever poisons the minds has to purge in a dynamic progressive society. Purification is an ongoing process.
We take shower every day to cleanse our body. We sleep 8 hours a day to cleanse our mind, we use toilet to cleanse our bowels and bladder daily, and we change engine oil in car every 5000 miles. We sweep the floors and cleanse the dishes in our homes daily. We do spring cleaning around the house and remove, discard broken trees and garbage every year.
Similarly our institutions, religions need to be cleansed periodically. This is usually done by reformers or social activists or concerned citizens. A reformer points to the problem and helps us accept that there is a problem that needs addressing and purging. It is for each one of us to accept that need to change and bring the needed change. This process is a must for any progressive organization or religion. Religions that are static and refuse to change for better decay and die. The ones that accept the problems adapt and change with changing needs for the
better, flourish and live forever. Then we will all be witnesses to the
unfolding of a change towards the truth and greater good.
How do we decide what needs to be changed and what needs to be purged is the question? Anything that is causing disruption of harmony and unity in an orderly society, dividing the society and causing problems needs to be addressed and purged.
The caste system by birth worked well in yester years of agro based rural India for a long time. However it is causing more harm now by dividing India and destroying unity of its population. It is depriving a sect of population access to knowledge of the scriptures, by saying that Sudras are not permitted to chant Vedas and Gayatri, preventing their entry into temples, forbidding them drinking water from the same wells, not permitting them living next to us. This practice is against the
very tenets of our great religion, Hinduism. Hence, it is our responsibility as
Hindus to cleanse the body of Hinduism from the divisiveness of caste in our
society. This I believe can be achieved through acceptance of the problem of
caste and make systemic corrections related to caste. That correction is the
assertion that “We belong to one caste – the caste of humanity”. This assertion
and systemic changes in affirmative action will usher in a quantum change. This purging of caste from the face of Hinduism will bring Hinduism to its well deserved place as universal religion.