Navya Shastra Apology to Dalits

Please endorse the following statement by clicking on comments at the bottom of this page

STATEMENT OF APOLOGY

We, at Navya Shastra, deeply regret and apologise for the atrocities committed on the sons and daughters of the depressed communities of India, including the tribals, the “untouchables” and all of the castes deemed as low.

We shamefully acknowledge that the ideals of varna and its practical manifestation in castes (jÃtis), promoted and encouraged the notions of inequality, lesser and greater, high and low, superior and inferior among human beings. An ideal that does not aspire for equality of human beings is not worthy of being an ideal.

Caste and varna have relegated many to a degradingly low status. This was a divisive, inhumane and a ruinous social construct. Navya Shastra fully recognises this and rejects unequivocally as heinous and despicable varna and caste together with all Shastras and theories that endorse them or support the unjust and demeaning social hierarchy that these imposed on the Indian society. Navya Shastra understands that all Hindus cannot be equals when such theories are still amidst us.

We ask for forgiveness for what our forefathers did in the past to directly and indirectly contribute to any and all indignities heaped by one human being upon another in the name of Dharma and God, and which some among us continue to do even in this enlightened era.

The depressed and lowest castes have been the keepers and protectors of our oldest and most ancient traditions and wisdom. They have kept in practice the traditions that have become foundational to what we call “mainstream” Hinduism today. Some of the tribal languages, spoken even today, have provided the substratum for many of the spoken and classical languages of India. Most of our mainstream indigenous medicinal, agricultural, craftsmanship and other knowledge systems owe their origins to the knowledge and practices that have been propagated and retained within these castes over millennia. The folk performing arts were and are the main sources of input into the classical and popular art forms.

We want to celebrate and fete all these traditions on this day, and pay homage to them. These traditions form the very foundation on which the Indian civilisation stands today.

We welcome all Indians to join our apology by co-signing the statement.

www.shastras.org

Reactions and Endorsements

Column by Dr. Bhaskar Dasgupta

Hinduism Today’s coverage of the statement

Article by Shantanu in Desicritic

Blog by Arun Venugopal in Saja Forum

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Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 8:09 pm  Comments (78)  

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  1. I want to congratulate you for the lead you are taking in apologising
    for
    our brethern for the injustices of the past millennia.

    Ravi Sarma

    P. Ravi Sarma, MD, FACP
    Suburban Hematology-Oncology

  2. Namasté

    I am particularly heartened to read about your article as I have championed equalities for as long as I can remember but more mainstreamed since my arrival in the UK in December 1970.

    I have visited Jaggannathji Temple in 1957/8 & 1983. I remember how badly we (including my daughter who then were merely 5 & 3 in 1983) were treated by the pundits and the queue supervisors. I can quite imagine what sort of unfair treatment would have been meted out to so-called ‘untouchables’.

    I mission statement is congruent my beliefs and I wholeheartedly congratulate you all in initiating this process of ‘reconciliation’.

    Best regards

    Anant

    http://vyas7.spaces.live.com/

    Anant M Vyas
    Estate Officer
    Camden Housing & Adult Social Care
    Hampstead East Team
    Hampstead District Housing Office
    156 West End Lane
    London NW6 1SD

  3. I think this is a great step in the right direction for not only India but the whole world.

    If anyone likes to discuss this further with mostly IITians in http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/InterIIT/ egroups, do join and the intellectuals there will be glad to spearhead human equality globally.

    God bless all, Daljit (Dave)

  4. I welcome this long overdue step in Indian society. I have been witness to numerous incidents of casteist( read racist) arrogance in my growing up years.
    I hope this leads to genuine transformation on a mass scale and does not get drowned in accusations of being false propoganda from “pseudo-secular apologists”

  5. This is a required first (and important) step towards a fair society where everyone gets a chance. I have witnessed numerous incidents and I must admit I am guilty of quietly letting it happen. I sincerely hope that through the actions of courageous ones like you, India will shed this societal-ill and advance towards “true equality” for all. Keep it up (and ignore nay-sayers).

  6. I am reminded of my high school play, the Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, wherein Portia utters this
    moving soliloquy:

    The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

    Similarly, an apology can not be strained out of the unwilling. It has to be
    truly heartfelt for it to be meaningful. Such an apology will not only bless us, but also
    liberate us from the sins of our fathers.

    I pray to our common God Almighty (the Paramatma of our Sanatana Dharma) to
    shower the wisdom on us all, so that we understand (and hopefully not personally
    experience in this or future reincarnations) the injustices committed on our brethren.

    Om Tat Sat

    Dhinakar Kompala
    Boulder, CO, USA

  7. I do not know just signing this will do anything. We who can influence should organise the gurus of the hindu community and declare that this plague of untouchability is a big blot on Sanathana dharma. We should lead and contact Dalit community leaders and work with them every way we can at the grass roots to eradicate this inhumanity.
    raj

  8. While I think that this virus is eradicated amngst the educated, I am prepared to believe it might still be existing in the less educated and in the villages. So it becomes important for the educated take up a crusade in this direction. This is a right step forward. Congratulations for having thought of it.

    Dasigi

  9. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed here. I wish “Navya Shastra” the very best in keeping up the good work.

  10. I would like to echo Mr. V.Varadarajan’s comments. Instead of apologizing, we should do something concrete to eradicate this ‘disease’. At the same time, I do congratulate Navya Shastra for taking this bold and important step.

    Thanks,
    O.R.B.Raja

  11. Namaskar,
    I appreciate this Navay shastra .
    Every one has to participate to eradicate the Injustice .
    Tahnkyou,

  12. Namaskar,
    All are equal before the eyes of god.
    Indeed, any one can attain moksha by true bakthi and love without caste discremination.
    For example, from periyapuranam and Sandhanacharyars life (Arulnandhi and Umapathisivam) so, we have to give importance to eradicate the injustice in our religion.

  13. The less privileged is occupied with the task of just providing a daily meal and it incumbent upon the privileged who has all the time and luxury to take on the task you promote. Well done.

  14. Anybody belonging to any caste can attain GOD realization by performing selfless service to all the GOD’s creations and deep devotion to Him.

    Excellent intiative by Navya Shastra! Congratulations!

    Peace, Harmony and Happiness for ALL!

  15. I would like to applaud this iniative.
    Best of Luck.

    Regards,
    Joseph
    Coimbatore – Tamil Nadu
    http://www.manitham.net
    http://www.aimsindia.net

  16. Dear all,

    As requested, I forwarding the email for your action in showing solidarity to the cause Naya Shastra is launching.

    In case of oppressed (Dalit) Karmajan people of Nepal, it should be the state of Nepal which must express an explicit apology to the oppresssed and compensate them appropriately. It is because, the past governments of Nepal were responsible to promote and keep untouchability for long time to oppressed what are the occupational caste people in the country.

    Thanks.

    DPR

  17. To my fellow countrymen,

    I Suresh Kumar, 24, apologize to everyone who has/is been/being oppressed and discriminated in the name of caste day in day out. I apologize for not protesting against it till I was 21. I apologize for pretending like it did exist once I moved to a city. I apologize for not checking my family member’s crude language that was openly casteist (till I was 21). Although I personally never discriminated anyone by caste, I was in a way abetting those who did. By being indifferent and unaffected. I hope all those who face the atrocities have the strength and spirit to keep fighting and I’ll always be a part of that fight. Thanks.

    Suresh

  18. Congratulations to Navrashastra for this effort. While only symbolic, this will hopefully be a first step in full eventual reconciliation with dalits. Hindu reform will be incomplete until all Hindus enjoy equal religious and spiritual rights.

    Swami

  19. Dear Dalit brothers abd sisters,
    Fifteen thousand years of discrimination, oppression and suppression is the heritage of all non-Dalits.We did a small bit in furthering the cause of corrective affirmative action by being a part of the committee at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta that put in place a rule that a seat and eventually a degree,be given to any dalit who applies. I hope that is still true.My wife and I have adopted two children, caste and creed unknown, and they like all other children are God’s gift to humanity.

    I call upon those who care, particularly so called higher castes, to adopt a dalit child and bring him up as your own but as casteless.

    God bless all his children, particularly those who have been persecuted.

    Keep up the fight.God,if he exists and has any sense of right, is definitely on your side.

    Peace

    Peter Masilamani
    Geneva, Switzerland

  20. i totally endorse ur views hats off to navyashastra

  21. I support your effort. Wishes for your success.

    Leela

  22. Recognizing the problem – and being unapologetic about it – puts us on the open road to a brighter future for all!

  23. Thank you all for posting heartfelt comments–please keep them coming.

    Thanks

    Jaishree

  24. This is a novel effort to bring a justifiable transformation in Indian society. I suggest to transmit your effort to more people through print and electronic media. I have all types of cooperation with you.
    With goodwishes
    Govinda Rath

  25. the only apology for untouchability is to undertake menial labour oneself and to ensure that all dalits are given education and put into top jobs.
    rahul

    Rahul Banerjee
    74,Krishnodayanagar,Khandwa naka,Indore,Madhya Pradesh, India-452001
    Cell no: +919425943023
    webpage: http://rahulbanerjee.notlong.com

  26. I am happy that Hindu society is finally coming around and dealing with it positively. We recognise that the problems lie in the Indian mass mind, in the shastras and the sampradayas that support it.

    We are ashamed of this, and deeply apologise. We will strive to bring the downtrodden into our families, the kudumbam, and into the garbha.

    Pathmarajah

  27. Words do help, and in that sense a public apology is something useful. But what is more urgently needed is a heartfelt apology that comes from deep within each one of us not merely as words but as positive deeds that act as balm for the wounds of past that are still sore for the erstwhile downtrodden.

  28. Discrimination is any form, be it based on race, religion, language, caste, color, or any other “excuse” is deplorable. I sincerely commend your effort and submit my sincere apologies to those afffected for what we or our forefathers have done. We must do everythng in our power to remedy and eradicate this cancer from our society.

    In the same vein, may I mention that a reverse form of descrimination has been and is happening in the South for a long time. Many have experienced it, incluidng yours truly. Few, however, has spoken about or against it in the public. After all acknowledging the problem is the first step to seeking a solution. Isn’t it about time we take this first step as we are doing for the above worthwhile cause?

  29. I apologize for the actions of my ancestors.

    I apologize for not waking up to this problem earlier.

    I apologize to Bhagawati Bhai and others like him.

    I apologize to Bhagawati Bhai’s children and other children, who still ask there parents “Papa why are we not allowed to use the village well”, “Papa, why is our family not allowed to enter the temple ?”

    I apologize to Bhagawati Bhai’s family and others like them, who wonder why others don’t even consider them worthy of being addressed by there names and are instead
    addressed as Chamars or Bhangis.

    I apologize for not doing more to help.

    I apologize to future the generations to come who will suffer the indignity of the still ignorant.

    Rahul

  30. I, ratnakar Narale, from the bottom of my heart extend my sincere regrets and apology, I do so also on my family’s behalf and my ancestors behalf,to all people of all Castes, I also express my depest regrets and shame for the hedious act of the Government of India for sustaining, promoting and expoloting ‘caste’ mania and inflict indignity in some form or other for selfish gains. I am so very glad that eyes and hearts of some people have opened and pray the Lord to give ‘subuddhi’ to others, including tohse who form and will form the Government of India. May, one day, we all Hindus discard such sinister Governments and become equal, without prejudice and divisions.

    Ratnakar

  31. Thanks to all of you for your endorsement and encouragement of this apology.

    An apology is neither the beginning nor the end to the solution for this horrendous injustice, but it is very very important nevertheless to admit to wrong-doing openly.

    Going beyond the apology, is to sincerely accept and practice the beleif that every human being deserves the same respect and dignified treatment as one expects for onself, irrespective of the human being’s birth, profession, social and economic position.

    Charity is very important, one has to put ones money where the mouth is, but the charity has to be done without condenscension, with respect and humility, with understanding of the pain that the recipient goes through in accepting charity. Even the poorest of poor will value that understanding more than the quantity of money or material given to them.

  32. In reality, we all lead different lives of different affluence and influence, but at the bottom we must never value the basic worth of any life based on this difference.

    We have to shed the basic beleif in the inherent sense of lesser and greater, we must wipe out the sense of having been born from the different body parts of the Brahmma, that depending on our social position some of us were born of his head, some of his arms and some of his feet. NO. We were all born from the great womb of the Jaganmata, from the womb of life itself.

  33. I very much endorse your idea of issuing an apology to Dalits and join you in expressing my hearfelt regrets for the actions of my ancestors. As has already been expressed so eloquently in some of the comments listed above, this is only an expression of acknowledgement of a dark legacy. It is not a means to seek redemption for the sins committed in the past and even in the present.

  34. Why are we as a society still referring to “lower” and “higher” castes? No caste is better than the other in God’s eyes. Different varnas were imply created to help designate duties, not superiority or inferiority. Any activity, done selflessly and with the purest intention is worthy of leading one toward moksha (liberation), according to the Gita. Somewhere along the way spiritual leaders have misinterpreted the scriptures for their own selfish purposes.

  35. The people expressing their apologies here are drinking pouison by Lord Shiva. None of us never committed any sin against dalits and many of us coming from so called `upper cast’ communities belong to landless parents whose economic status and social status is as bad as Dalits.

    I was born and brought up in a village in North India and I have notices that discrimination and humiliation in most of the cases is on landless people who depend on landlords for their survival. Even people of uppercast are equally exploited if they are landless. Therefore opression of dalits is more based on their landlessness and lesser for their cast.

    After searching deep in ancinet Indian texts and texts written by foreign travellers from Greece, China, persia and Arabs, I could not find a single instance of opression of Dalits as part of Hinduism or Indian society before landlordism established by Muslim invaders in India and continues by Broitsh. before 713 AD, I could never see such untouchability menance anywhere. Dr Ambedkar himslef endorsed this view that even in Harsha’s time a Girl belonging to Chandal profession became Queen(kadambar or harshcharit).

    Yes there was concept of impurity but not of untouchabilty.

    Utter Kand of ramayan tells us that `Kakbhushandi rishi was a shudra in his previous birth and doing japa in temple and did not salute his guru who gave him mantra. Clearly means that there was no restriction of Shudras in entering temples or taking gur mantra or getting moksha.

    In saty Narayans katha , wood cutter a shudra gets the benefit of katha equally as Brahmin. Rather he first listens to katha in the house of a brahmin and takes prasad there. Clearly prooves that Shudras were very much touchable and able to share katha and Prasad.

    I am sorry to say that Hindu scriptures translated and misinterpreted by Missionery translators during Britsh rule are grossly wrong. Please read the scriptures yourself, interpret them with a scientific mind and you will find that classification of human beings based on natural temperament of human beings so that a method to achive Moksha can be established for them optimally suitable for them.

    varna has notyhing to do with cast. Varna system says such and such are natural tendencies of such and such varna and not imposed by birth.

    Imposition of this system for vestyed interests by landlords and their associate priests definitely need condemntion and every right thinking person should condemn the crime against humanity. But in todays politically charged environment, the culprits (landlords) and their decendents like VP Singh and Arjun Singh are heroes of the nation while victims and social workers are the villains. Blame is being put on Brahmins Manu a Khsatrya for the sins committed by landlords for whome greed was their God.

    The crooked minds are associating this social ill created by landlords with hinduism which is wrong altogather. Social ills initiated by greedy landlords and priests has nothing to do with Hinduism or Brahmins as all Brahmins are not priests. I hereby declare that I am nor ready to take the blame of greedy landlords and priests who associated with foreign invaders and opressed the landless communities including dalits. Of course I have full sympathy with my all opressed brothers and sisters and ready to sacrifice whatever I have for their welfare.

    I do not apologise for the sins of these landlords who cunningly put the blame on my religion for their personal sins. I call upon all sections of society to investigate my allegation against landlords, find out of manu smriti was used as constitution of India in any historical times?

    I muself is sufferer of landlords opression in spite of being a non dalits. People like me are worst then dalits whose voice is nowhere heard. My forfathers were landless and uneducated for centities. Dalits are being compensated for their opression, OBC are getting everything everywhere. What about people like me?

    I am ready to fight with those muslim appointed landlords who opressed landless communities including dalits but not able to take their sins on my head.

    I am not lord shiva who can drink and digest poison. I am an ordinary human being looking for justice for everybody. Let’s expose decendents of opressors landlords like VP Singh and Arjun Singh and force them to apologise. These ortriches are showing themselves to be heroes though their forefathers were the real people who created havoc on dalits and otehr landless communities.

    I understand the sense of humilty and good intention among all of you. To associate with you, I put my words of apology to sooth my dalit brothers and sisters. Let’s fight this demonic people togather who not only committed crime against humanity but also maligned our great humanistic religion.

    I strongly oppose clubbing dalit opression with Hinduism. dalit opression is dierctly linked to landlordism and hence we should not seek the head of wrong person who never committed the crime.

  36. Namaskaaram,
    We all must apologize from your hearts and also request, encourage the Priyajans to take leadership to protect Sanaathana Dharma by becoming Devastanam members, presidents,and also Mathams and Peethams’ Swamis.
    I am looking for Priyajans(Dalits)to become priests for temples and to perform rituals.
    Let us change our mindsets and bring the change practically.
    Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides.
    Hari Krishna!
    Srinivas Kolluri

  37. Namaste,
    Congratulations to Navrashtra for taking this bold stance in addressing this long delayed cause and publicly make an apology to these opressed dalits who suffered tremendously in the name of caste. I believe every human being deserve the same respect and should be treated with dignity as we are all children of God. I take this opportunity to join with you in endorsement of an apology.
    Dann.

  38. Beautifully worded – thank you for taking a strong stance against these atrocities. Hopefully our words will encourage our children and grandchildren to actively eradicate this shameful practice of caste in India.

  39. I appreceate the work carried out by navyashashthra. I came to know about it through sarvesamachar.com.

    These kinds as positive actions asthose being done by navyashasthra is what is required for the Hindu Samaj.

    I also apologise on the behalf of entire hindu samaj for the evils like untouchability. These needs to be removed through works such as those carried out by Navya Shasthra.

    More such individuals more such organisations should srput in Hindu Samaj.

  40. Bravo!
    We should stop hiding our dirty linen behind our holy books and the great rishis. Whether these books propounded the caste system or not is not the issue anymore. The fact of the matter is that the Indian social oder (every Indian religion, including the Hindu religion) has been very cruel and mean to the so-called lower castes and classes for many many centuries. That must stop now, and for all time to come. All the “backward” classes and castes have a fundamental right to moved forward.

  41. Marrying along caste lines only reinforces caste discrimation. At first, one thinks it is just “cultural” — maybe two same-caste people really *would* get along better when married. But often, this “marry within your caste” issue hides something more insidious. If people of different castes try to marry, watch as the relatives take up arms, and “hidden” prejudices overflow. We can tolerate other castes as friends, but not within the family. There is a LOT of hidden “upper caste” prejudice, and many an “upper caste person” certainly derives pleasure and satisfaction knowing that she/he is superior to large swathes of the Indian population. Watch as two Brahmin strangers suddenly meet one another — there is a flash of recognition, a secret shared satisfaction, where both recognize the other to be part of the same elite group, even though polite liberality urges them to publically renounce caste. The caste system is INGRAINED in our minds. Brahmins and other so-called “upper castes” need to realize there is *blood on their hands* and that they should not feel so satisfied about being in the “elite” but recognize instead its sordid history of discrimination. They should not be depressed, or renounce their own cultural heritage, but instead they should fight TWICE as hard as their Dalit sisters and brothers in eraditcating caste discrimination among the elite. They should not allow relatives to put down other castes.

  42. Sorry. Brahmins don’t have blood on our hands. The condemnation of oppressive practices is good. But it needs to be combined with positive steps; emphasize if you dare that Hindus need to uphold their “other” ancient traditions. They are falling apart right and left. Before complaining about the Dalit oppression, first put on your dhothi or saree and walk in the streets, whether in California US or Mumbai India, with the forehead marks. The orthodox Brahmins are holding onto the cultural fabric, and that is much more than the caste-element alone which hits the highlights. Before complaining about Brahmins holding special rights to Vedas, work double hard to send your kids to available classes to learn the Rudram, etc. by-heart, and to chant them daily. Nobody stops the complainers from buying the cheap threads and wearing them.

    Do what the Brahmins are supposed to do; then complain about what they “did” which they were never supposed to do. Do the work that the sages thought must be done in its full rigour. “Brahmins failed and abused”; sure. Then demand that your government should hire, if you wish, “Brahmins” in the masses from the general community, not just for your temples but in every inch living that life of utmost rigour.

  43. We can debate ad nauseum as to how we got to the current situation in the Hindu society, irrespective of what is or is not sanctioned by what text; it is time to recognize the unjust practices and abandon them. In that spirit I endorse your initiative and also recognize that it is a necessary first step. Perhaps we will reach a stage when we will not need a shastra to tell us right from wrong.

  44. My heritage is Italian-American Catholic. No one in my family has ever practiced caste bigotry. But when I wholly embraced the Sanatana Dharma as my spiritual path, I automatically inherited responsibilities to correct the wrongs of this otherwise noble tradition. Besides, though this body was born in the USA, I am sure that this atma existed many times in India.

    There are so many westerners who embrace the theology, philosophy and practices of Hindu Dharma, but they refuse to actually join the Hindu community, or declare themselves a Hindu because of such sins as caste discrimination.

    So I also must express my apology to those who have been victims of caste prejudice. I fully support those organizations that work to eradicate this blight of conscience.

  45. Namaskar.
    This is a commendable effort and I whole-heartedly and fully support it.
    As someone has mentioned before, this apology can at best simply be an acknowledgement of a dark and unfortunate legacy. It would hardly begin to compensate for the wrongs committed in the past – and some that are being committed to this day.
    Dhanyawaad.

  46. Hinduism is such an open & free religion, because there have been changes according to the yuga we live in. Its high time everyone, not just the city dwellers stop thinking about a persons varna/jati.

  47. I fully support the efforts of the Navya Sastra organization to eliminate caste discriminations and help usher in the original enunciation of Sanatana Dharma- that, all beings are nothing but the essence of the Supreme Brahman.

    I take this opportunity as a “brahmin”, to extend my profuse apology to all the “lower castes” who were subjected to anti-human discrimination. The present-day “upper caste” people while not accountable for the wrongdoings of their ancestors, do have the responsibility to acknowledge the negative legacy they have inherited and take a proactive role to correct the ghosts of the past.

  48. I am grateful to Navyashastra for giving me this opportunity to express my sorrow and apology for the plight of my Dalit brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. I fully support those organizations that work to eradicate this negative factor of Hinduism. As one of our brother or sister has said above, everyone of us has to support one Dalit child. Navyashastra, please be the leader again to bring all like minded people under one umbrella. my email address, youthkendras@yahoo.com

  49. Congrats Navya Shastra for your boldness and sincerity in apologizing for all the ‘atuliams’ committed in the name of our high caste ancestors.I am ashamed to admit that my family did evaluate the background and caste of the groom when he proposed to marry one of the girls in my family.
    What you have done is definitely a momentous beginning.I will only believe that Indians are willing to neutralise their caste prejudices when I see you all allowing your daughters and sons to marry out of your clan or caste.Otherwise it is alot of hogwash and bunkum and merely bloody meaningless words and worthless words only.
    Penang, Malaysia.

  50. Apology or mea culpa is somewhat foreign to the Hindu ethos-based on karma not forgiveness of sins. It is a good step though. What one would need to do is commit oneself to affirmative action-spiritual,cultural,educational and socio-economic- such taht there are no more backward communities in the Hindu/Indian society. This would be more in lione with the Hindu concept of prayaschita. If you will, adding credits to cover for the debits in our collective karma account

  51. I want to congratulate you for the lead you are taking in apologising
    for
    our brethern for the injustices of the past millennia.

    According to the great poet Bharathi what Parashakthi (our Vedas) can do for the mistake done by her children’s, its we have to reform our self.

  52. Congratulations with the initiative and the web site! As a scholar I have been working for many years on ancient and classical sources for the practice of Untouchability and caste. Some say that Hinduism is unthinkable without caste. This is wrong. Religions change. They do so both because of pressure from without and from within. Hopefully Navyashastra will have an impact in these developments.
    Mikael Aktor, University of Southern Denmark.

  53. You hindus are thinking that dalits will excuse you barbaric hindus who kept dalits as slaves and your forefather made dalits slaves in name of Rama and other cow shits hindu god and godeses.Dalits are Buddhist who made untouchable by dwarf Adi shankracarya.dalits will follow the Path of Ambedkar and throw your hindu god and godeses to sea so they would not come back to dalit life.hindus are born barbaric ,every six hour,one dalit women is being raped by barbaric hindus and every 12 hour one dalit man is being killed by cow urine drunkad hindus.time has come dalits,muslims,christian and buddhist should join and ask for seprate electorate which was given by British in 1935.their is no black color in Indian flag so no use of hindu democracy model in India.Long live Dr Ambedkar,Jnnha and Aurangjeb who librated the dalit messes .

  54. I apologize. Let us usher in a new India where
    all are treated equal irrespective of the origins of their birth, caste, creed etc.

    regards,
    samir

  55. I commend this step. It is time for equality, more so, equal opportunity. Caste system was propagated for economic reasons, along with a thirst for power.

    I support reservations. The challenge is to make it fair and to prevent its misuse. It should be based on achievment (merit) and means. Nevertheless, I do want to make it clear that this policy cannot be applied to religious minorities and to those dalits who converted to these other faiths. They have rejected Vedic faith and joined those that did rule Hindus in India. Their economic plight, if any, is their faith’s responsibility. There is enough money with Saudis and Evangelists. Rather than conversion and religious teachings, they can use it for modern education. Catholic Schools do that. I went to one and I did not convert!

    I may make one exception. I may support a policy of reservations in modern education for islamic women, in a secular setting.

    Finallly, I read the last comment and find it simply horrible. That gentleman has not read the history of the crusades, holocaust, inquisitions, and the many other atrocities committed by the faiths he mentions. He shpould read all the things that were done to, say, native north and south Americans by Christians.

  56. I am not sure whether Dalits can read English or have recourse to the net. Nonetheless, this effort is unique for its originality. It is pro-active and better than doing nothing. With the rich intellect that several Brahman Communities are endowed with, they could do so much to educate and uplift the downtrodden in our society.

  57. I fully support the Navya Shastra Statement of Apology. I believe India’s future depends on solving the caste problem.

  58. I whole-heartedly commend your efforts. All sincere adherents of the Sanatana Dharma must take a firm, conscientious stand against the casteism and sexism which has so grievously tarnished the Hindu family. And given awful ammunition to those who wish to see our faith flounder and vanish from the face of the Earth and from humanity’s memory. The firmest sort of apology should be activism against the oppression of our brothers and sisters due to their circumstances of birth and of gender. And this must be voiced and done with the most heart-felt of empathy and commitment and strength….

  59. Apology would not feed dalits ,who made them landless in Pan India .this was done by your forefather ,first give them land which you got throgh your forefather as ancistor properties.you hindus are coward and barbaric by genes .you hindus need dalits to fight muslims as foot soldiers in India but dalits are not going to fight with their own blood brothers.time has come dalits,muslims ,buddhist and christian should join together to fight against the all type of atrocities in India whetehr it is in Gujrat or in Bodh gaya or nuns and church burning.Jai Bheem.

  60. I wholeheartedly join other people here who have given their sincere apologies to “lower caste” poeple, tribals, “untouchables”, achuts, “avarnas”, chandalas and so many other social categories which traditional Hindu society has made so as to demean, disrespect and exploit. Their forefathers have been deprived of many basic rights by Manu’s laws and many other types of Hindu codes. Even though Independent India has opted for equality of all and caste discrimination has been banned from public life by law, the reality in India is far from these ideals. I call upon all Hindus to STOP discriminating any human being’s worth on the basis of his accident of birth i.e. his caste. Let all Hindu temples, rituals, learning be made available to all Hindus.

    Vijayaraghavan

  61. Great work.

    Srinath

  62. The overcoming of caste hierarchy and oppression is an urgent Hindu task. I endorse this apology as a step towards this end.

    Professor of Religion
    St. Olaf College

  63. It is an utter delusion to think that we can achieve anything good, good karma that is, by making a whole mass of people feel horrible about themselves and denying them respectful lives. I apologize to express my feelings of regret and to express my wish to end this discrimination against the dalits and also to abolish the caste system.

  64. I strongly and wholeheartedly endorse this apology. For Hindu society to move forward, it is absolutely critical that (a) apologies be made to those who have been wronged historically; and (b) ensure that such wrongs in the name of religion do not continue henceforth. The caste system, whether one considers it a social or a spiritual construct, has been a means of discrimination against Dalits and others, and needs to be abolished.

  65. While I applaud your efforts to eliminate caste discrimination, I cannot agree with your views that caste or varna in itself is inherently bad. I do not also agree that Manu neethi is all bad. THere are parts of this great treatise that are not in agreement with modern value systems. The purposes of the harsh rhetoric in the text is to allow only a few people to orally transmit the vedas. Allowing everyone to chant the vedas without a recording device would have resulted in gross mutilations of vedas over centuries. The brahmin males were of course not the only ones capable of doing so. However, chanting the vedas in and of itself cannot be done without a conducive environment at home. In our modern day, we’ve numerous devices to store and transmit information without losing data. However, in the olden times, you’d absolute specialists who were doing this all day to transmit this ancient wisdom. In sum, proper transmission of both the meaning and sounds of the vedas could not have been done in a non-birth based system in olden times when rapid printing presses and recording devices were absent. It had to be a close clique of people whose only job it is to chant and transmit vedas. But of course, everyone’s role in society is important. That perhaps was not observed and that created issues for other castes.

    Please stop badmouthing brahmanas and the hereditary based vedic chanting. It is possibly the only way to trasmit knowledge in the absense of a sound recording device. Most people in this forum have not gone through the rigors of the life of a vedic priest. Most of these principles are taught at home and also by a guru. If a sudra parent is to encourage his son to learn vedas, the ideas he would be imparted at home would be at variance with his guru. That is why they called it varna shankara. Of course, food habits are also different for different castes. How could sudra parents who cooked and ate non-veg food co-exist with a son who is a vegetarian and who is taught vedas by a vedic guru. How would you work this out? The sheer logistics of food, and other practices would be an impossible nightmare to work out. That is precisely why the great Manu rishi delegated veda recital to a birth-based system. Please understand the root causes of issues before you jump the gun and kill the baby with the bath water. Having said that, I do agree Manu appears very harsh on the surface in some of his writings but his intent is to preserve harmony in society and faultlessly trasmit vedic knowledge. Manu never prevented Sudras from learning many other things except vedas.

    Of course, the untouchability that was practiced is pretty nasty and gruesome. No quarrel here. But please keep everything in perspective here.

  66. Even though i have never ever willfully abused anybody in life owing to untouchability-but as a principle behind this movement,i too join and apologise,knowingly or un-knowingly if i have commited such a heinous act.Though i feel ashamed that,we still have a tag called dalit.

  67. Dear NavyaShastra: As a person who has at least once myself apologized for the caste system on a public forum, I found it heartening to see your published apology. We can never apologize enough and your’s is a step in the right direction. Reading your apology and tens of responses supporting it, gives me so much strength.

    I personally follow a “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t guess” policy with respect to caste system. I hope some day it becomes the norm. I applaud your effort in this direction.

    Neeraj Bhatnagar

  68. I was pleased almost to the point of tears on seeing this. As a “brahmin” (by birth, but not by qualification), I have always felt both a deep sense of guilt, and of rage, at how some unscrupulous elements converted the varna system (which was based on qualification and deeds) into something hereditary, which is today known as caste. I have contemplated starting a blog such as this with the express purpose of providing apology. But you beat me to it! Great work. Next, we must remove all the later interpolations to the various scriptures which are against the spirit of Hindu Dharma and did not appear in its early scripture.

  69. you hindus are born barbaric,you should be punished in same what you have done to dalits and minorities in India.Apology would not fed the dalits because their land and properties had snatched by your hindu dharma guru.dalits have to fight these war with hindus.time has come dalits should demand for seprate electorate away from barbaric hindus.give two finger to nayashastra and their followers who are misleading dalits in name aplogy.hindus are born terrorist and barbaric who had demolished the Babri mosque and occupying the Bodg Gaya temple.2.5 millions hindus have fun in USA which is christian country but these bastard are sending American dollar to kill the christians in Orissa.christian countries should throw these bastard from their holy land who are worshipping the congenital abnormal god and godeses.

  70. ALL HINDUS ARE BORN BASTARD WHO ARE WORSHIPPING CORRUPT RAMA AND kRISHANA WHO WERE MORALLY CORRUPT.TIME HAS COME HINDUS SHOULD BE WIPED OUT FROM THE EARTH SO NO HINDU WILL BLOCK THE DALIT UPLIFTMENT.PAKISTAN SHOULD HELP THE DALITS TO BRING INDIA ON THEIR KNEES.THIS IS BEST TIME TO FUCK THESE BASTARD HINDUS AND THEIR SHASTRA.LONG LIVE DR AMBEDKAR WHO HAD BAMBBOED THESE BASTARD AND DALITS HAVE TO FOLLOWS THE LEGACY OF DR AMBEDKAR.

  71. Not just words of apology, I am willing to start a campaign of falling on the feet of elders of the Deprived community. I am a Brahmin and follow the laid down regular rituals, adhering to vegetarianism and look at everyone equally. I am sorry to all my brethren Hindus for my ancestors mistakes. This is a welcome initiative and can cause greater unity among Hindus. Some Christian missionaries and Jihadists may be very angry against this initiative. Thank God, all Hindus must unite. No one is superior or inferior by birth.

  72. I hang my head in shame when I hear about the atrocities committed against Dalits and Tribals in the past by the upper castes. An apology by the upper castes for oppressing the lower castes is long overdue and I congratulate Navya Shastra for taking this step in time. I suggest that this movement be taken forward by providing schools for the downtrodden that educate all Hindus against the evils of the caste system and give future generations an enlightened outlook. We must help the Navya Shastra movement finanically as well as politically. As Swami Vivekananda said, the caste system is nothing but a lunatic asylum.

  73. More than apologies, we need laws and universal mandatory primary and secondary education to stop religious and racial bigotry at every level. In the link below is a presentation advocating new laws for doing so.

    http://www.crusadewatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1057&Itemid=128

  74. dalits require seprate land away from barbaric hindus,you hindus are born bastard and apology would not help dalits.175 millions dalits should join with pakistan to bamooed these bastard hindus.

  75. I was not born into a brahmin family. As landlords in the pre-1950s, part of my family played their part in labour exploitation.

    It is very unfortunate that caste was used as a tool to segregate and discriminate.

    I apologise from the bottom of my heart to our deprived and downtrodden brothers and sisters, for the past atrocities and the hurt caused to them by the actions of the older generations. It is sad to see that caste segregates even today.

    I do not think merely offering an apology is sufficient. Please let me know in what ways i can be associated with your organization.

    Let there be unity in our hearts and peace in our soul. Let us work towards universal dharma.

    Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu.
    Ano Badrah Kratavo Yantu Visvatah.
    Om Shanti shanti shantihi.

    Best wishes.

  76. I posted in proper case. Why does the post automatically turn into capital letters?

  77. Really sorry for all the bad behaviours done by ancestors.
    How can we correct this?
    Every one had been brainwashed in the olden days and now.
    Sahastras are the starting point. They need to be kept but they need to be cleansed. Even the Gita needs some adjustments.
    It had to be told every day that Shastras were wrong in this area. It is a mistake of our ancestors.
    Some great individuals in the past started it about getting the equality but they never went to resolve the root causes.
    This has been taught and kept in the “divine language”, the language of the god – sanskrit.

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