LONDON, UK, February 15, 2008: A Hindu organization in the UK on Friday blamed the British for the caste system in India, saying the "current adulteration" of the varnashram system is a result of "generations of British colonial bureaucracy."
"It was the British who single-handedly formulated the caste schedules that remain in place today," Raj Pandit Sharma, a member of the Hindu Council UK's (HCUK) Executive, said. "The evils manifest in the current form of the caste system could not be ascribed to the Hindu faith." The report included quotations from Hindu scripture in support of the concept of egalitarianism and cites many sacred texts - respected by people of all castes - that were written by "Dalits," or "outcastes."
The result of several months research by Sharma, a report lifts the lid on rarely-heard Hindu perspectives on a subject assumed by most non-Hindus to be always a gross form of unjust discrimination, used to justify attempts by Christians to convert Hindus. The report acknowledged and condemned continued abuse in India, despite an official ban on caste discrimination.
The detailed report challenges assumptions about caste and details that, concluding that contrary to their assertions and popular belief, caste, as described in the Hindu scriptures, is not determined by birth.