Philosophy Answer Writing Practice - Week 6 - Question 4
90 Days Philosophy Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 10-Jan-2018
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10-Jan-2018 - Question 2
Evaluate Ambedkar s critique of caste system. (2015/20)
It is said that the roots of Ambedkar s philosophy were not in politics but in religion, particularly the Hindu religion which laid the foundation of the caste system. His socio-political thought began with his criticism of Hindu religion because of its evil practices of the caste system and seeking (or presenting) solutions for untouchables to free from this evil practice.
Critique of Caste System
Caste not merely a division of labour but a division of labourers: The evil practice in Hindu religion is the practice of casteism and the categorisation of certain sections of people as Untouchables. Ambedkar proved this. Many Hindus including Gandhi defended caste system on many grounds, the first being the division of labour as necessary for a civilized society. However, Ambedkar said that caste system as such is not merely division of labour, but it is also a division of labourers. Moreover, it is a hierarchy in which the divisions of labourers are graded one above the other
The caste system is unnatural: In such a system, the division of labour is not spontaneous; such a system is not based on individual choice. Individual sentiments and individual preferences have no place in it. It is based on the dogma of predestination.
Caste cannot preserve a non-existent racial purity :Some Hindus opine that the object of Caste was to preserve the purity of blood.
Caste is a social system which embodies the arrogance and selfishness of a perverse section of the Hindus who were superior enough in social status to set it in fashion and who had authority to force it on their inferiors
Caste does not result in economic efficiency; caste does not and has not improved the race. The only thing that caste has done is that it has completely disorganised and demoralized the Hindus.
Hindu society is merely a collection of castes: Ambedkar says that the Hindu society as such does not exist. It is only a collection of castes
Caste destroys the public spirit, public opinion and public charity: The caste system prevents common activity and by preventing common activity it has prevented the Hindus from becoming a society with unified life and a consciousness of its own being. It encourages hatred of one caste by anotherThe Annihilation of Caste
In his work, Annihilation of Caste , Ambedkar declared:
It is not possible to break caste without annihilating the religious notions on which it, the caste system, is founded .Ambedkar wanted to bring a change in the practice of Hindu religion. He suggested the following in this regard:
- There should be only one standard book of Hindu religion, acceptable to all Hindus and recognized by all Hindus;
- Priesthood among Hindus should be abolished or at least cease to be hereditary;
- No person who does not hold a sanad should be allowed to officiate as a priest;
- A priest should be subject to the disciplinary action by the state regarding his morals, beliefs and worship, and should be bound to the ordinary law of the land as in the case of other ordinary citizens.