Wednesday, January 13, 2016

India's "lowest caste never does any hard work", are "easy lot", as to ploughing "they never do": Vivekananda

By Our Representative
Several Dalit rights activists have made the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary, January 12, to controversially highlight how the Swami was in favour of the caste system, believed that “Brahminhood” was the ideal of humanity in India, and thought that the so-called lower castes were lazy.
Ambedkar’s Caravan (@Silent Steps) has tweeted “Why I Hate Vivekananda – 16 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda…” to provide a link to drambedkarbooks.com, which has offers these quotes from the top Hindu spiritual leader. On his birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi qualified the Swami’s thoughts as “timeless.”
Vivekananda said, “I do not propose any leveling of castes. Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow.” He added, “The plan in India is to make everybody a Brahmin, the Brahmin being the ideal of humanity… Indian caste is better than the caste which prevails in Europe or America.”
Vivekananda had wondered, “Where would you be if there were no caste? Where would be your learning and other things, if there were no caste? There would be nothing left for the Europeans to study if caste had never existed!”
On Brahminism, Vivekananda had said, “The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gita, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness.”
He had insisted, “This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmins this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahminness in them than from all the other castes.”
On Dalits and Shudras, he had said, “In India, even the lowest caste never does any hard work. They generally have an easy lot compared to the same class in other nations; and as to ploughing, they never do it.”
Quoting Gita, he had noted, “With the extinction of caste the world will be destroyed. Therefore, what I have to tell you, my countrymen, is this: that India fell because you prevented and abolished caste… Let jati have its sway; break down every barrier in the way of caste, and we shall rise.”
Vivekananda had even justified Manusmriti, the ancient Hindu treatise which “legalized” casteism, saying Manu was the “earliest preacher to the Indian races… the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realisation of life before others could reach to the idea.”
He had asked, “Why did not the other castes so understand and do as he did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmins win the race?”
He had advised “men who belong to the lower castes”, that “the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit”, insisting, “This fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain…”
Further: “To the non-Brahmin castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmin, because, as I have shown, you are suffering from your own fault.”
Vivekananda’s quotes have claimed to be accessed by drambedkarbooks.com from different volumes of Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as also Vivekananda’s Ideological Yatra.
Commenting on Vivekananda’s quotations, the Dalit site wonders, “Which caste system prevails in Europe or America?”, saying “Vivekananda supported Brahminism” and “is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.”
The site point to how Vivekananda believed “Dalits and Shudras do no work”, wondering whether “the fields plough themselves, by magic”, as if all the hard work “is done by Brahmins.”
Especially taking exception to Vivekananda defending Manu, the site asks, “Is it surprising that most of the followers of the cult of Vivekananda are high caste Hindus?” It adds, “Vivekananda doesn’t want that Dalits write against their oppressors and keep on suffering silently.”

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