07-Sep-2010, 07:41 AM
(07-Sep-2010, 03:01 AM)TTCUSM Wrote: I was attacking the idea that the caste system was the result of an Aryan/non-Aryan divide. To prove my point, I presented evidence for social hierarchies that existed before the arrival of Aryans.Of course, I acknowledge that social hierarchies existed before the Aryan migration. However the caste system as it exists in today's India does revolve around the Aryan/non-Aryan divide as shown by the everyday evidence of countless Dalits and lower castes. There may be a few fair-skinned Aryan-like Dalits, but they are exceptions to the general rule.
Quote:Anyway, I do agree with the fact that religion has played a role in institutionalizing social stratification.But when that stratification is based on birth, i.e., involves entire communities, as it does today, it becomes something similar to the race-based system that were practised in other countries, like South Africa. We should not conflate what actually exists today with what may have existed thousands of years ago before the arrival of the Aryans. Today, the caste system is inevitably based on birth and discriminates against people based on birth. IMHO for any atheist in India, fighting the caste system should take priority over even fighting religious superstition as caste causes more real damage to human beings than idolatry or superstition. This is how this present day situation ties into my support for reservations for oppressed castes.