Report confirms caste-based discrimination violates Hindu teachings

“Hindu advocacy group updates landmark report on caste-based discrimination in India” www.hafsite.org. July 22, 2011.

Just over six months ago, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) initiated a global conversation about Hinduism’s response to caste-based discrimination in India with the release of its landmark report on the issue. [On July 22] HAF released an updated edition of the report, Hinduism: Not Cast in Caste—Seeking an End to Caste-based Discrimination, after an unprecedented second review process that included some of the most prominent contemporary Hindu spiritual, community, and academic leaders.

The report highlights HAF’s perspective that discrimination based on the caste of one’s birth is against Hinduism’s core teaching of the divinity inherent in all beings; that caste-based discrimination is an unfortunate reality for many, especially the so-called Scheduled Castes—also known as “Harijans” or “Dalits”—in many parts of India today; untouchability has absolutely no sanction in any of Hinduism’s sacred texts; Hindu spiritual leaders are actively engaged in ending this practice in Indian society; and that political leaders and missionary organizations routinely exploit the issue for vote-bank advantages and through predatory proselytization, respectively.

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