This piece is absolutely excellent. There are indeed some positive things about Hinduism, but caste is certainly the cross that Hinduism has to bear. Modern Hindutvadis and Indian nationalists continuously distort the role of caste in Hinduism, going to the point of even denying that it exists altogether, or that caste oppression exists at all, that caste is an aberration that crept into Hinduism via the British or Moghuls or that there is a group called Arya Savaj that does not practice caste. All of these are sick, filthy, disgusting lies, but the number of Hindus who parrot them is stunning. In fact, the vast majority of Hindutvadis lie about caste. Everything they say about caste is a grand, gigantic lie.
There is no caste oppression in India today. This is a favorite of Hindutvadis and especially high castes and among those in particular Brahmins. It is a sad, vicious, ugly, horrific lie. Caste oppression is everywhere in Hindu society. In fact, it is nearly a part of daily life.
Caste is an aberration that crept into Hinduism from the outside, via the evil British and Moghul Muslims. Another wicked lie. Caste has been present from the very beginning of Hinduism. It is right there in the Vedas. The Brahmins were derived from the mouth and the shudras from the feet. Later, the Untouchables were added by Brahmin overlords to punish Hindus who engaged in intercaste marriage. So if you married outside your caste, your punishment was to become an Untouchable. Pretty effective punishment!
Karma, an essential aspect of Hinduism as much as Jesus is essential to Christianity. Your karma is derived frankly from your caste position, and your caste position is derived directly from your karma in your past lives.
Dharma is another essential Hindu notion. Your duty as a Hindu or really the only way to move up in the chain is to follow your dharma or “caste duty.”
Furthermore, the Manusmriti mandates caste and cements in oppressive caste relations. Almost every single major Hindutvadi leader, past and present, has praised the caste system, and almost all of them champion the Manusmriti.
Arya Savaj is a group of progressive Hindus who have renounced caste. Much parroted about, this is apparently just not true. Instead, Arya Savaj is used by high caste Brahminist Hindus to cement upper caste hegemony. They do this by “reconverting” entire villages or groups of low caste Hindus or adivasis who converted to other religions such as Buddhism or Christianity back to Hinduism. As it is hard to assign reconverts a caste, obviously Arya Savaj does not push caste much. Instead of being a progressive group Hindus, Arya Savaj is a tool of reactionary Hinduism.
Individuals accept their position in the caste system Because of the dual concepts of karma and dharma. It is one’s karma or actions in a previous life that determine one’s caste position in this lifetime. The only way to ensure a better position in society next time is to follow one’s dharma or caste duty. So closely are notions of salvation in Hinduism tied to caste duty that a Hindu without a caste is a contradiction in terms.
Conclusion: Hinduism is hopeless. There is apparently no way to get rid of caste in Hinduism. Perhaps the way forward though it intercaste marriages. The results of intercaste marriages would be completely confused caste-wise and it is difficult to see how you could assign them any sort of a caste at all. While intercaste marriage could indeed effectively abolish caste from Hinduism, one wonders just what sort of Hinduism would result from this reform.