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- Oct 11th, 2000, 01:33 PM #1The Watcher----
With all due respect to hindu folks here.
"Wise" Gandhi jee on caste system:
M.K Gandhi is widely portrayed in and outside India as the main champion of the cause of the Untouchables (Dalits). It is, however, far from the truth. There is no doubt that he wanted the untouchability to be abolished but he, at the same time, was a strong supporter of the caste system. Supporting the caste system he said: "I believe that caste has saved Hinduism from disintegration." He also said, "To destroy the caste system and adopt the Western European social system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation, which is the soul of the caste system. The hereditary principle is an eternal principle. To change it is to create disorder." 
Obviously, the stance of Gandhi with respect to the caste system was contradictory. Since untouchability is a by-product of the caste system, it does not make any sense to advocate the abolition of the untouchability while trying at the same time to perpetuate the caste system. In fact, Gandhi was neither a friend of the Untouchables, nor was he sincere in advocating the abolition of untouchability. His actions clearly belied his precepts.
In 1933, he established Harijan (Dalit) Sevak Sangh for the welfare of the Untouchables (Dalits). But when there was a demand for the representation of the Untouchables on the Governing Board of the institution, he flatly refused it. He disapproved appointment of Mr. Agnibhaj, a distinguished personality, as a minister in the Congress cabinet in the Madhya Pradesh because he was from the Scheduled Caste.
In the Round Table Conference held in 1932, the then British Government accepted the demand of the Dalits for separate electorate. The basis of that demand was the fact that the Dalit are not Hindu but a separate nation. Gandhi started his 'fast unto death' against that plan and sabotaged it. It was a thunderous blow to the cause of the emancipation of the Dalit. Gandhi, however, showed great respect to the Dalits when he made them comparable to the cows who have divine position in Hinduism. He said: "Majority of Harijans (Dalits) can no more understand the presentation of Christianity than my cows." 
An examination of the role played by Gandhi apparently to serve the cause of the Dalits will clearly indicate that he was not sincere at all in showing sympathy towards them. The attitude which he really had towards the Dalits has superbly been portrayed by Dr. Ambedkar in the following words: "Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors. The sanctity and infallibility of the Vedas, Smritis and Shastras, the iron law of caste, the heartless law of karma and the senseless law of status by birth are to the Untouchables veritable instruments of torture which Hinduism has forged against untouchables. These very instruments which have mutilated; blasted and blighted the lives of the Untouchables are to be found intact and untarnished in the bosom of Gandhism." 
 Fazlul Huq, Gandhi: Saint or Sinner (Bangalore; 1992), p. 68.
 M.K. Gandhi, Christian Missions: Their Place in India, (Ahmedabad: n.d.), p. 58.
 Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, What Congress and Gandhi have done to Untouchables?
*V~V~V*He came, He saw, He conquered*V~V~V*
- Aug 15th, 2013, 03:58 AM #2----
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- Karol Bagh
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i still wonder how he managed to take away the title of Mahatma.
this is the thread that brought me to GS.We have envisioned a prosperous India. An India which has got rid of centuries old burden of poverty, hunger and disease. Where the light of education has driven away the darkness of ignorance and superstition.
- Aug 15th, 2013, 01:43 PM #3----
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Frankly, even if there is a reference to some book published in 1992, I doubt the authenticity of the Gandhi quote. Gandhi if anything was a very smart man, he would not have failed to see that the very fact that the caste system was hereditary was what made it so wrong.
If Hinduism would have disintegrated without a hereditary caste system, then it deserved to do so. There is nothing wrong with dividing society into occupations as long as no one is considered inferior and it is possible to move from one occupation to another just by personal hard work. But making it impossible to change occupations and even making people into outcastes or untouchable cannot be good for any society, and Gandhi definitely recognized that.