Dear Baldevji: I don't know which books you have read that gave you the distorted information of Indian history. was totally against the partition of India but no one supported his contention, not even the RSS nor any one else -- Punjabis and Bengalis -- as you claim. Everyone supported the Congress Party who were in a hurry to get independence at whatever cost and get into power. When Punjab and Bengal burned during partition Gandhiji walked through the villages of Bengal to bring peace and he alone was able to bring peace there without the support of the army. In Punjab the Indian government send the army to suppress the violence and the result was more bloodshed. I would suggest you read Pyarelal Nayyar's Mahatma Gandhi -- The Last Phase and the Early Phase. Incidentally Pyarelalji was a Punjabi too. Gandhiji did not support the caste system. He supported the Varnashram system which is different. He wanted the caste system abolished. The vernashram system is a natural division that exists every where in the world and it is something that cannot be abolished. There are natural capacities of individuals that cannot change. Some are big and strong physically, some are big and strong mentally and so on. People's vocations and destinies depend on their mental and physical capacities. That is what varnasshram talks about and that is a reality of life that one cannot change as one cannot change the color of one's skin. The caste system was man-made and generated hate and prejudice over the years. Fifty five years ago when the Government was formed the Dalits did not want to abolish the system but wanted instead to exploit it for their own benefit. They played into the hands of the Government and got affirmative action and reservations so that they could get special benefits. Now the few who have benefitted from these reservations have created an elite group among themselves just as the African American in the US have done and they want to keep the fire of prejudice burning so that they can exploit it and get more and more benefits from the government. This is a very short-sighted policy that is motivated by greed rather than a desire to end racism and prejudice. Because as we see in India today and in the US there is greater confrontation between the people rather than understanding. Hate, prejudice, discrimination etc are all matters of the heart and understanding which can never be eradicated by law or by counter hate and prejudice. It can only be eradicated by a genuine attempt to reach out, understand, respect and create a climate where acceptance becomes natural. With hate for each other we only create more potential for violence that eventually consumes us and helps no one. Good wishes.

 

Arun Gandhi
Founder and President
M.K.Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
650 East Parkway South
Memphis TN 38104
Tel:(901)452-2824; FAX: (901)452-2775
email: gandhi@cbu.edu
web: http://www.gandhiinstitute.org