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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Vikram Masson
(201) 674-2065
navyashastra@shastras.org
(www.shastras.org)


Navya Shastra response to Resolution on Untouchability in US Congress (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hc110-139)

Troy, Michigan--May 15, 2007--The goal of Navya Shastra is to eradicate all kinds of religious and social discrimination, oppression, and injustice in the theory and practice of Hinduism. For this, it seeks cooperation and commitment from fellow Hindus and draws inspiration from Hindu thinkers, scriptures, sages and poets, both traditional and modern. We are not sympathetic to foreign governments passing resolutions on discrimination in Hindu society for at least three reasons:

First, the laws in the Republic of India do not condone any kind of caste discrimination. In fact, they are explicitly against it, and the government is striving to combat it in many ways, just as other civilized governments are struggling to rid their countries of social discriminatory attitudes that have been ingrained as a result of centuries of living in a different mental framework.

Secondly, caste discrimination is only one of many horrors prevalent all over the world, such as racism and religious persecution which are current in many parts of the world, and/or sanctioned by the laws of some countries. These must be condemned by international bodies like the U.N., and not in mutually finger-pointing modes by particular governments.

In this context, we feel strongly that governmental declarations should be made in the open without reference to particular governments, and diplomatic pressures should be exerted privately to accomplish the worthwhile goals. Thirdly, we believe strongly that positive changes in any society or group can occur effectively only from within the society, and may even be hampered by external pressures and interference.

We therefore feel that the kinds of resolution against caste discrimination in India passed by the U.S. Congress, well-intentioned as it may be, is misguided in its approach and may not be helpful.

Navya Shastra is a US-based non profit organization dedicated to fostering the spiritual equality of all Hindus. For more information, please visit www.shastras.org