According to well-known ethnologists, the population of Nepal is a mixture of Dravidians, Austro-Mongoloids, Indo-Mongols, Aryans and Scythians. All these stocks of people landed upon the laps of the Himalayas with various cultures and from various directions, hundreds of years ago. Through constant mutual intercourse, these tribal beings evoked a ‘common way of living’ which ousted their indigenousness. However, it must be borne in mind that fusion and concoction can never be the sole criteria of homogeneity. The ‘common way of living’ this amalgamation of different Asian tribes formed was bound to be unequal, inhumane and lethal. It was the social order of self-enclosed units, the superposition of endogamy on exogamy: the caste system, which has not ceased to exist yet.
Compared to the Indo-Aryans, the primary settlers in the plains of Delhi Doab, and Aryan Greeks, the early settlers in the plains of Sicily, there were many differences and yet there were many points in common. One of the major similarities between the two places was their approach towards democracy. Their kind of democracy was more or less confined to the aristocrats themselves. For instance, after the Kingship was abolished in Rome (509 BCE), the kingly power was divided between the consuls and Pontifex Maximus. Although the new socio-economic order then had taken account of the social division between patricians (aristocrats) and plebeians (general body of lower class, free citizens), yet for the slaves and peregrines, they remained the bottom dogs right throughout. Similarly, in the Hindu social order, which we may call Brahmanical order, people were divided into Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The Brahmins had the power to veto the authority of kings, who were generally Kshatriyas, while Shudras and non-Hindu Dalits (the untouchables) remained the bottom dogs right throughout. Moreover, neither the Roman Imperium recognized Slaves and Peregrines, nor the Brahmanical order recognized Dalits (untouchables).
Caste system is social tyranny, for it segregates man from a man and woman from a woman. Social tyranny is nothing compared to political tyranny. It is a denial of liberty, which is indeed a form of slavery. Caste system is a system of graded inequality, a system of hierarchy based on birth. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that the principle of Hindu social order is ‘from each according to his birth, to each according to his nobility’. The sacred books of Hinduism all support this graded inequality (Rig Veda 10:90; Bhagwat Gita 2:31-33, 4:13, 9:32, 18:41-48; Manu smriti 10:3). Therefore, it may be granted that the caste system has divine basis.
In any literature known to me, a well-established society, at least, possesses certain things (such as: mode of production, commodities, traditions, moral values and identity) in common. If only a group of people rely their existence upon these shared socially necessary atoms, they constitute a society. To put it in plain language, having similar modes of production, commodities, traditions, moral values and identity does not constitute a society, it requires communication and common activities; shared moral and ethnic values; and possession of common socially necessary atoms to constitute a society. A Hindu society as such is a myth. Hindus are but an amorphous mass of people who are loyal solely to their castes. Although, Hindus live in physical proximity, and share cultures and traditions, they own distinct socially necessary atoms. For instance, on superficial observation, in some villages of Nepal, Dalits and Brahmins (two extremes of the Hindu hierarchical system, where the former serves the latter) do not even own similar natural resources such as: lakes, rivers, wells etc. The caste system averts communication and common activity, and by averting communication it has averted the Hindus from fetching a society.
The practices that comes with this divine slavery includes untouchability, honor-killing, endogamy etc. Statistics compiled by Indian Crime Records, in the year 2000, suggests that every hour two untouchables are assaulted; every day three untouchable women are raped, two untouchables are murdered, and two homes of untouchables are torched. The Hindus, in their notional sense, define the untouchables as people who are deemed to a class that causes pollution, and contact with individuals belonging to such groups, in any circumstances may be avoided for it may necessitate ceremonial purification. The Hindus look upon these ill-minded practices as acts of religious merit, and denial of it as sin. This despicable state of mind which Hindus hold proudly, wipes any bases of having what American Sociologist Franklin H. Giddings calls ‘Consciousness of Kind.’ According to Giddings, consciousness of kind is a state of conscious, in which any being, whether high or low in scale of life, recognizes another conscious being as of like kind with itself. The consciousness that exists in the Hindus is the consciousness of their caste. They merely form isolated federations of caste but that of no social existence. Therefore, it can be said that Hindus do not form a society or nation.
The assertion of my observation of the Hindus, nay the people of the Himalayas, to use the words of British poet William Morris,
The Great treading down the little,
The strong beating down the weak
Cruel men fearing not,
Kind men daring not and
Wise men caring not.
In 1873, Jotiba Phule, in his Gulamgiri, described how “the owners of slaves treated the slaves as beats of burden, raining kicks and blows on them all the time and starving them.” This may appear rhetorical to someone, but these words are still capable to voice the up-gush in the hearts of all untouchables, who suffer miserably under the hands of upper caste Hindus in Nepal.
The emancipation of aforementioned social evils, was proclaimed by the Constitution of Nepal 1963, after it abolished the Muluki Ain, the then constitution of Nepal. But, why did it failed to emancipate any quantum of this divine slavery? Ferdinand Lassalle, a German-Prussian legal expert, in his speech ‘On the Essence of Constitution’ delivered to Prussian Audience on 1865, said:
The actual constitution of a country has its existence only in the actual condition of force which exists in the country: hence political constitution have value and performance only when they accurately express those conditions of force which exist in practice within the society.
Certainly, it must be agreed that the Constitution of Nepal 1963 had failed to address any disparities that prevailed in the country. However, the Constitution of Nepal drafted by the Constitutional Assembly of Nepal in 2015 is believed to have addressed all the disparities with respect to continuum of time. Yet, this conviction too fails, miserably.
I believe that no political reformation should precede social reformation at any cost. Social reformation may be achieved by affirmative actions, such as: reservation, quota system etc., but the veil of ignorance many political leaders disguise may be too fatal for undertaking them. The social reformation started by Jesus Christ led to the discovery of the empire of Constantine, the revolution of Buddha and Mahavira led to the emergence of towns and cities and what a Buddhist Scripture ‘Aṅguttara Nikāya’ calls ‘Mahajanapadas’. Even, the social reformation proposed by Prophet Muhammed aided Persians to conquer whole of world known to them, I.e. from Spain to Indus within 100 years of Hijrat. Moreover, the social reformation started by Martin Luther in 1517 was the primogenitor of the political emancipation of European people. As Alexis de Tocqueville writes in his book ‘Democracy in America,’ the American Independence too was preceded by Puritanism, which is indeed a social reformation.
However, it must be borne in mind that the development of scientific temper in a society is an outcome of willingness to embrace progress, which, in plain language, is the discovery of ignorance. Let us consider the development of World Map. During 15th and 16th century Europeans started to draw the world maps with a lot of voids. This indicated the discovery of ignorance in them, nay the emergence of scientific temperament. This was a psychological and ideological quantum leap. For centuries, the meticulous scriptures, the divine scholars and thinkers had known only Eurasia and Africa. Could the Bible have missed the whole of 3 other continents? There can be no refusal in admitting the fact that any scrupulous scriptures disguise the veil of ignorance. The Aztecs and Incas were unknown to Buddha, Christ or Muhammed all of them. Therefore, an articulate account of the History proves that the two aforementioned physical conditions: state of science and degree of its understanding, stretch over the fact that admittance of ignorance is must.
The curtailment of religious authority is must. Let us again consider the socio-political reformations of ancient and medieval age. The curtailment of religious authority of Brahmins (who are indeed the Indian form of members of Pontifex Maximus of Roman Empire) led to ratification of Buddhism and Sanghas (house of intellectuals, where great and interesting debates used to take place), and emergence of science, of which discovery of the micro, the void, the oneness, the nothingness – zero – is historic. The reduction in jurisdiction of Roman catholic church, in 15th century, led to the emergence of modern science in Europe, of which the Geocentric theory and invention of mariner’s compass are noteworthy. The proliferation of Buddhism and decline in Neo-Confucianism in China in the time of Emperor Wu-Ti of Han dynasty ushered to the introduction of Civil Services Examinations in Ancient China. Therefore, there is no doubt that mitigation of orthodox religious dominion in a state escorts it into a paradise of reasoning and scientific temper.
We are not free, as Rousseau says, we are everywhere in chains. Until our minds are captivated, we are not free. The untouchables of Nepal are slaves of the divinity of shastras. Men and women should be made free from this divinity of Shastras, which is in fact a matter of socio-economic reformation. This leads us to an inevitable question: why has no reformation or process of change occur in Nepal throughout history? At the outset of socio-economic revolution, it must be premised that the productiveness of any reformation or ideological revolution, is determined by some physical conditions present in the society at that time. Those physical conditions are: state and applicability of science and degree of its understanding in the society. These two physical conditions then determine extent and capability of the means of revolutions and the degree of curtailment of religious authorities.
This argument accompanies us to another question: what is the state of Science in today’s Nepal? Nepal as a nation has not been discovered yet. Nepalese do not share equal moral and ethnic values, nay they practice the evils of all – social tyranny. There is no equality, fraternity and liberty in the ‘Land of Buddha’. More than half of the population of this place lives a life of a pastoral nomad, agriculture being contingent on hand made iron tools, cow being the most sacred and respected animal disregarding the fact that it releases Butane and other greenhouse gases causing global warming. Floods and landslides still dominate the socio-economic order of this place, people of different caste do not even live in physical proximity. Moreover, the Prime Minister himself organizes holy rallies here, while ministers themselves carry out rituals following the same books, which have seized the biological rights of many people labeling them untouchables. Why are these incidents so noteworthy? It is for, if only the untouchables are freed from the thralldom of the Shastras (holy books), a reformation can occur, which will wipe such religion that segregates men and women, causes disparities and discrepancies among the people. And, until and unless the nation-state steers its citizens to admit the mutiny in the shastras, no reformation can occur.
But, with time, the slaves of Casteism in Nepal will march out of the villages of Nepal in a body and protest in the cities, which will frighten the state administration, for they will struggle through non-co-operation movement like the one tried by Plebs in ancient Rome. A new socio-economic order will arise in Nepal, which will indeed lead to an emergence of new socio-political sphere whose basic structure doctrine will be liberty, freedom and equality. Nevertheless, I am well-educated of the fact that ideological awareness solely cannot supersede this unequal social order. The two-fold necessities of a reformation are: Ideology and Events. The former and latter do not exist independently, if a reformation is to be forged.
[Accessed 21 JULY 2020].
 (Morris, n.d.) Morris, W., n.d. A dream of John Ball. [Online]
Available at: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/357/357-h/357-h.htm
[Accessed 22 07 2021].