The sufferings of the social masses who have lived as oppressed castes and communities suffering for centuries at the hands of the culture of caste, superstitions and exploitation is the basic thought that has become the central idea for its writer to pen this book. It is an expression of the glut feeling that the Indian nation is on the course of a civil war that has been simmering as an under current of the caste based cultural system that Hinduism has constructed and nurtured for centuries. It covers a wide range of Dalit-Bahujan cultural, scientific and economic knowledge systems, analyses their overall relationships’ with each other and also with Hindu religion as a spiritual system.
The writer, in this book, has tried to put focus on the social, spiritual, economic and educational deprivations imposed on the Dalit-Bahujan castes by the Hindu religious institutions resulting in tensions between the upper caste and lower castes. An intense desire for power spiritual, political or social has resulted in a war of nerves and also of weapons. The writer, in this book has tried to show how Hinduism as a religion is on the course of its death as result of its own failure to mediate between scientific and spiritual thought. Of the four major religious worlds, Hindu world is the smallest and the poorest, with a spiritual base that has no transformational strength. It mostly encompasses large sections of population of India and Nepal. Hinduism has managed to become a part of the identity of the Dalit-Bahujan population of the Indian sub-continent, otherwise it would have mostly gone to Islam as this section of society would have found solace in Islam. The writer has referred to the establishment of Dr Ambedkar’s Nayana Budhism in 1956 as an important intervening event in the religious history of India. It became both as builder of a new system of Budhism and an annihilator of the Hindu caste system and Hinduism itself.
The writer in this book, makes a very significant point that as a result of Dr Ambedkar’s powerfully designed intelligence and mass self-consciousness movement started a different transformation coursecreating a possibility of demise of Hinduism. In the field of reforms, while Christian nations adopted capitalism as the mainstay of their politico-economic systems and the Budhist nations like China, South Korea and Vietnam adopted socialism. Making a very relevant point with regard to the influence of language in this respect, The writer feels that there is a close link between expanding English education and evangelical Christianity, as English kills the linguistic basis of the Sanskrit based Indian languages.
The writer in this book, keeping in view the growing social environment, equality has introduced
a new idea of spiritual democracy, which according to him, is a process where the notion of God/Goddesses remains accessible to all on an equal basis. Neither the spiritual books and scriptures nor the priestly forces can make any distinction between Gods/Goddesses and human beings, irrespective of their birth, race, castw, sex, food habits or language and cannot become a source of inaccessibility and inequality before the divine. It does not discriminate between different food cultures and notions of the divine are related to all positive, health-centred food habits of the people.
To the writer, idol worship of the Hindu mode or of the Dalit-Bahujan mode, is not only an interdeveloped version of the relationship between the humans and the divine but also a process that denies the possibility of development of abstract thinking. The writer pleads for the democratisation of marriage system based on the choice of young man and woman. Since the spiritual fascist culture of Hinduism revolves around caste, and the marriage market operate within the boundaries of caste, this has a long term impact on the mental and physical growth of the people who live within the parameters of Hindu caste and marriage system. Analysing relationship between science and spiritual democracy, the writer is of the view that spiritual democracy leads to a synthesis among science, technology and spiritualism. In his opinion, the Hindu society never allowed any scientific innovations to take place because of its spiritual fascist tendencies and also because of the social stagnation which was a direct result of the caste system.
The writer concludes that the first major agenda of the post-Hindu India is to build a ground level spiritual democratic basis. For this, the Dalit-Bahujans of India have to move towards a religious structure that generates their right to spiritual equality and move into systems that guarantee equal spiritual rights. Dalit-Bahujan civil society must muster the courage and confidence to fight brahminism and idol-worshipping between themselves, because these castes have also not moved out of brahminical idol-worship. Viewing the role of spiritual in the economic sphere, the writer states that it helps the society to advance in this sphere also. It is the combination of spiritual democracy and socio-economic political thought that made western society what it is to-day.Finally,this book challenges Hinduism’s interpretation of history with a virulent attack on caste politics and also takes a refreshing look at the necessity of encouraging indigenous scientific thought for the sake of national progress.
It is obvious that the author has only venom for Hinduism. He overlooks thousands of positive features of Hinduism. He does not realise that he can write such a book in a country of Hindus; for it is Hinduism that teaches that one should respect the views of even one’s worst adversary. Hopefully, this book will be rejected by the discerning readers.
B-1/I-1, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110044, India
By Prof KD Sharma