U. S. November 26, 2018 (QRIUS by Devdutt Pattnaik): Is caste a religious imperative, an essential requirement of Hinduism, as diagnosed by Euro-American Indologists who traced it to the "books" - Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Manusmriti? Is its persistence and spread simply an indicator of Hinduism's power? Or Is it a regional phenomenon, a manifestation of South Asian culture, gradually emerging from a deeper socio-political-economic-ritual substratum, indifferent to religious mantles, reflected in literature that was composed here? Which mythology - religious or secular - shapes the South Asian mind?
Pakistan is an Islamic state, and Islam believes in equality of all human beings. Pakistan is also the land of the pure (from Persian pak), not the impure (from Persian paleed). Yet, caste discrimination thrives there. Bangladesh is an Islamic state, and Islam believes in the equality of all human beings. Bangladesh is also culturally more aligned to Bengal, than to Middle East. Yet, caste discrimination thrives there. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist state, and Buddhism believes in the equality of all human beings. Buddhism reached Sri Lanka in Mauryan times, long before Manu Smriti or Bhagavad Gita was written in India. Yet, caste discrimination thrives there. And, Christianity believes in equality. Yet, caste discrimination has been observed amongst Christians as well.
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