Why social reform is necessary for economic reform

[1:] Let me now turn to the Socialists. Can the Socialists ignore the problem arising out of the social order? The Socialists of India, following their fellows in Europe, are seeking to apply the economic interpretation of history to the facts of India. They propound that man is an economic creature, that his activities and […]

My ideal: a society based on Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity

[1:] I would not be surprized if some of you have grown weary listening to this tiresome tale of the sad effects which caste has produced. There is nothing new in it. I will therefore turn to the constructive side of the problem. What is your ideal society if you do not want caste, is […]

The Arya Samajists’ “Chaturvarnya” retains the old bad castelabels

[1:] But there is a set of reformers who hold out a different ideal. They go by the name of the Arya Samajists, and their ideal of social organization is what is called Chaturvarnya, or the division of society into four classes instead of the four thousand castes that we have in India. To make […]

“Chaturvarnya” would face impossible difficulties in practice

[1:] To me this Chaturvarnya with its old labels is utterly repellent, and my whole being rebels against it. But I do not wish to rest my objection to Chaturvarnya on mere grounds of sentiments. There are more solid grounds on which I rely for my opposition to it. A close examination of this ideal […]

“Chaturvarnya” would be the most vicious system for the Shudras

[1:] Assuming that Chaturvarnya is practicable, I contend that it is the most vicious system. That the Brahmins should cultivate knowledge, that the Kshatriya should bear arms, that the Vaishya should trade, and that the Shudra should serve, sounds as though it was a system of division of labour. Whether the theory was intended to […]

“Chaturvarnya” is nothing new; it is as old as the Vedas

[1:] Chaturvarnya is not new. It is as old as the Vedas. That is one of the reasons why we are asked by the Arya Samajists to consider its claims. Judging from the past, as a system of social organization it has been tried and it has failed. How many times have the Brahmins annihilated […]

Caste among Hindus is not the same as “caste” among non-Hindus

[1:] I have dealt with those, those who are outside your group [=the Mandal] and whose hostility to your ideal [= the destruction of Caste] is quite open. There appear to be others who are neither without you nor with you. I was hesitating whether I should deal with their point of view. But on […]

The real key to destroying Caste is rejection of the Shastras

[1:] There is no doubt, in my opinion, that unless you change your social order you can achieve little by way of progress. You cannot mobilize the community either for defence or for offence. You cannot build anything on the foundations of caste. You cannot build up a nation, you cannot build up a morality. […]

Destroying Caste would not destroy the true principles of Religion

[1:] Some may not understand what I mean by destruction of Religion; some may find the idea revolting to them, and some may find it revolutionary. Let me therefore explain my position. I do not know whether you draw a distinction between principles and rules. But I do. Not only do I make a distinction, […]

A true priesthood should be based on qualification, not heredity

[1:] While I condemn a Religion of Rules, I must not be understood to hold the opinion that there is no necessity for a religion. On the contrary, I agree with Burke when he says that “True religion is the foundation of society, the basis on which all true Civil Government rests, and both their […]