2.2.1A worldview that groups disparate people together on GENETIC (birth based) criteria is collectivist:
All these three – eugenics, scientific racism and the Hindu caste system – are a form of collectivism – a perspective that combines a LOT of people on the basis of brith-based characteristics. This worldview has policy implications.
In the caste system, for instance, people are treated differently by Hinduism just because of the caste in which they happen to be born. So also under scientific racism which leads to policies such as prohibition of marriages between different "races", or blocking an entire "race" from entry into a nation (e.g.White Australia policy).
2.2.2These worldviews violate the basic principle of equality of status of mankind:
Scientific racism divices humanity into races based on alleged biological differences. Caste system divides Hindus into different castes based on alleged differences in their soul. Hindutva philosophy divides people into "Indian" religions vs. others.
Vedanta/Scientific Hiniduism/ classical liberalism, on the other hand, insist on the commonality of all humans.
As you well know I oppose ANY attempt to discriminate (under the law) between the equal status of all humans.
That's perhaps one fundamental reason why I'm broadly comfortable with Vedanta but very uncomfortable with Hinduism as commonly practiced, and with all religions.
And that's also why I oppose eugenics and 'scientific racism'.
Any philosophy that LABELS people on basis of birth characteristics and then discriminates against them is fundamentally dangerous.
That's one reason why socialists/ Nazi fascists and Hindutva (BJP) think alike. They don't mind classifying people into groups.
2.3Hypothesis: India’s caste system contributed a CRITICAL justification for global racism
The more I think about it, the greater is the likelihood that the Indian caste system was a major contributor to – if not the DRIVER of - global racism.
Here are the facts:
The Europeans including the Dutch and British were extremely poor and lived TRULY short and brutish lives before the industrial revolution. Everyone wrote about India as the great nation of the world. Nothing could beat the splendour of India in those days. India absorbed MOST of the world's gold and produced most of the world's luxury goods and spices.
To discover a way to reach India and get its goods cheaply, Europeans went searching helter skelter across the world – some going east and some going west!
They finally reached India in 1600 as SUBORDINATE traders, living below the thumb of Indian rulers.
There was no possibility of these subordinate Europeans even remotely imagining themselves as "superior".
By 1757, through a range of fortuitous circumstances, the British managed to get real territory in India.
Most importantly, by that time they were becoming economically better off with the industrial revolution. Capitalism was finally discovered by Adam Smith (although a primitive version of it had been discovered – and implemented – by Chanakya 2000 years earlier).
SO THE REAL BASIS FOR RACISM STARTS WITH 1757
Before 1757 the Europeans were puny barbarians and subordinates of Indians. They couldn't even speak as equals, leave alone imagine they were "superior".
By the early 1830s William Jones had discovered connections of Sanskrit with European languages. This gave HOPE to the British that they might have been superior in some way in the past, despite thousands of years of well-documentedtribalism and barbarism (save a few exceptions here and there).
But even then, there was no real racism, only a glimmer of HOPE that the "whites" might in some way be "superior". No bugles of "superiority" were pulled out. The only sense of superiority that seems to have emerged was some mention about the lack of recent scientific progress in India, in comparison with RECENT advances in the West. And a sense that there were these ghastly customs like sati.
Then came the Aryan theory with the Brahmins ("WHITE") AT THE TOP. Max Muller claimed the "Aryan invasion". That was a real breakthrough in the "RACIAL PRIDE" of the Europeans.
This was when the British finally started seeing themselves as "superior" to most Indians (not Brahmins, though).
And they audaciously (and justifiably!) put themselves ON TOP OF THE BRAHMINS. Why? Because they were "white", and their language had common roots with Sanskrit! So if a brown Brahmin leads the pack in India, then the White Brahmin must lead the global pack.
It seems to me that racism peaked between 1860s and 1950s – being driven by the "Aryan" myth.
In this way the Indian caste system, combined with the increasing economic clout of the British, created (or at least stoked) the delusion of "white" racism.
Without the caste system there would have been NO HOPE of the "white" "races" seeing themselves "superior" to anyone else. They might have become the rulers but never thought of themselves as a "superior" "race".
3.Not just destruction of liberty but oppression and VIOLENCE
I don’t intend to even briefly cover the extensive oppression, tyranny and violence of caste. This chapter merely provides a glimpse. I’m not covering violence in detail, but statistics of caste based violence are widely available on the internet.