[HPI note: Dr. M. Lal Goel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at The University of West Florida, wrote about the similarities between India’s caste system and American society. You can read the full article at the source link, above. Here is a summary provided by the author.]

UNITED STATES, July 30, 2010: A recent article in Newsweek by Lisa Miller indicated that Americans “are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.” The author cites the following poll data: 67 percent of Americans believe that many religions, not only Christianity can lead to eternal life, reflecting pluralistic Hindu ethos rather than monotheistic Christian view; 30 percent of Americans call themselves “spiritual, not religious;” 24 percent say they believe in reincarnation; and more than a third choose cremation rather than burial.

To this list may be added the growing caste-like pluralism and multiculturalism of the American populace. This essay describes features of India’s caste system, its origin, the negative impact of Muslim and British imperial rule, and concludes with a description of the American social landscape.