Who Invented Hinduism? by Prof David Lorenzen

 In this article titled "Who Invented Hinduism?" Professor David Lorenzen of El Colgio de Mexico argues that Hinduism as a clearly defined category was not invented by the British as has been asserted by some scholars; he then goes on to argue that neither Hinduism nor the invention of caste in India is the work of 'outsiders'.

Britain – A Society Free From Caste Prejudice?

At least this is the claim of the British Government. How did the British Government arrive at this conclusion?

The British Government claims that it had a preliminary survey carried out which indicated that there was no strong evidence to suggest that there is caste based discrimination in the UK. Surprisingly the Hindu Forum of UK, which has in the past supported extreme right wing Hindu organisations, released a report in 2008, to the very same effect. The difference between the two approaches is that the UK Government did not release the basis and results of their survey whilst the Hindu Forum did. It is not possible to analyse the British Government’s finding or criticise these, as the basis of their conclusion is not available. Nevertheless the Hindu Forum’s Report is in the public domain and hence it can be scrutinised.

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FABO Replies to the Hindu Council UK

The latest reaction to the Hindu Council UK's Report Caste in India comes in the form of report titled The Evil of Caste - The Caste System as the Largest Systemic Violation of Human Rights in Today’s World. The  Response to the Hindu Council UK Report on the Denial of the Caste System and its Effects was drafted by Mr Chanan Chahal and is  published by FABO, the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK, in association with the Dalit Solidarity Network UK.

Problems of the Term Hindu

It is often assumed that everybody understands the term Hindu.  This in fact is not the case when it comes to understanding the politics of Dalit oppression.  Ambedkar himself had written about the problem of defining a Hindu in his essay The Riddles in Hinduism.

In this video Prof Rachel McDermott of Harvard discusses the relationship between the colonial construct and the politics of the term Hindu.

Annihilation of Caste

We can think of no better document which is a better antidote to Hindu Council UK's distortion and propaganda regarding the Indian caste system and Dalits, than Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste . This document is a form of a speech that was drafted in 1935 but not delivered  at the Jat Pat Todk Mandal's[roughly-Break Caste System Society] public meeting. Jat Pat Todak Mandal  officials had invited Ambedkar to deliver his speech. However, later they withdrew their invitation because Ambedkar's speech was considered to be too radical. The issues raised by Ambedkar remain relevant today as these were at the time his speech was written.

Coulmbia University's website has a "multimedia study environment which now includes The Annihilation of Caste, explanatory annotations and some of Dr Ambedkar's other important writings."

Embedded in this multimedia document annotations are a number of videos which deal with some important issues relating to Ambedkar.


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