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Navya Shastra Apologizes for the Atrocities Committed in the Name of Caste

Navya Shastra (www.shastras.org), the international Hindu reform organization, has issued an apology to all those people who have suffered and are suffering from the evil caste system.

We, at Navya Shastra, deeply regret and apologise for the atrocities committed on the sons and daughters of the depressed communities of India, including the tribals, the "untouchables" and all of the castes deemed as low. 
We shamefully acknowledge that the ideals of varna and its practical manifestation in castes (jatis), promoted and encouraged the notions of inequality, lesser and greater, high and low, superior and inferior among human beings. An ideal that does not aspire for equality of human beings is not worthy of being an ideal. 
Caste and varna have relegated many to a degradingly low status. This was a divisive, inhumane and a ruinous social construct. Navya Shastra fully recognises this and rejects unequivocally as heinous and despicable varna and caste together with all Shastras and theories that endorse them or support the unjust and demeaning social hierarchy that these imposed on the Indian society. Navya Shastra understands that all Hindus cannot be equals when such theories are still amidst us.
We ask for forgiveness for what our forefathers did in the past to directly and indirectly contribute to any and all indignities heaped by one human being upon another in the name of Dharma and God, and which some among us continue to do even in this enlightened era.
The depressed and lowest castes have been the keepers and protectors of our oldest and most ancient traditions and wisdom. They have kept in practice the traditions that have become foundational to what we call "mainstream" Hinduism today. Some of the tribal languages, spoken even today, have provided the substratum for many of the spoken and classical languages of India. Most of our mainstream indigenous medicinal, agricultural, craftsmanship and other knowledge systems owe their origins to the knowledge and practices that have been propagated and retained within these castes over millennia. The folk performing arts were and are the main sources of input into the classical and popular art forms. 
We want to celebrate and fete all these traditions on this day, and pay homage to them. These traditions form the very foundation on which the Indian civilisation stands today.

The saddest part is that caste system is even being practiced by educated Hindus. The classic example of this can be found in the matrimonial web sites and columns in newspapers.

The best way to empower Dalits is through education. Make Dalits capable of competing with others in every walk of life. Primary education should be given the topmost priority.

The State of Kerala has been able to empower Dalits through education. Although the caste system still exists in Kerala, the people who had earlier suffered due to the caste system are now able to compete with the other sects.

The mindset of the people should change. It will only change when true knowledge dawns on them. Sadly, most people never yearn for true knowledge.