Mr. Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi,
National Commission for Minorities,
3rd Floor, Block-3,
CGO Complex, New Delhi 110 003
CGO Complex, New Delhi 110 003
Sub.: Inclusion of Vedic religion in minorities.
Ref.: National Commission for Minorities, AR 2016-17, Chapter 10.1.
We have gone through the Annual Report, 2016-17 of the Commission, especially a part cited (10.1) regarding minority status to the Vedic Brahmins. We understand that the honorable Commission is not satisfied with the request sent by the Ministry of the Minority Affairs in this regards and thus has referred back the issue to the central Government. The report observes that the Vedic Brahmins are an integral part of the Hindu religion and expresses the concern that if the request is agreed upon other castes like Rajput, Vaishyas etc. too would also claim the similar dispensation. The Commission also seems to worry about the possible fragmentation of the Hindu religion, if the request is fulfilled.
We are of the opinion that the commission has erred in understanding the age-old religious distinction between Hinduism and Vedicism. We also do not agree with the observation that the granting minority status to the Vedics will fragment the Hindu religion because they never were part of the Hindu religion. We wish to bring following points to your notice those shall suffice to clear how Vedic religion is distinct and hence why granting minority status to the Vedic Brahmins (and also to initiated Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) is fair and just on the following grounds;
1. Vedic religion finds its source in Vedas that is explained in the Brahmanas and regulated by the Smrities whereas Hindu religion finds its source in the Agamas and Tantras. The ritualistic practices in both religion are distinct and unrelated to each other.
2. Only Vedics have the religious right of initiation in Vedic fold, reciting of the Vedas and Vedokta sanskaras. Only three Varnas, i.e. Brahmin, Kshatriya, and Vaishyas are called as twice-born, those together form the Vedic society.
3. The fact should be noted that the Brahmin is a Varna in Vedic social system and not a caste. Caste and Varna are the independent social systems of the two distinct religions. Hindus do not identify themselves with the Varna but the caste.
4. Shudra is the self-invented term by the Vedics to address all those who belonged to the distinct religious traditions. All the religious traditions that Hindu person (or so-called Shudras) follows, finds no root in the Vedas but the Tantras. The historical fact is the Shudras were prohibited from all the Vedic rituals and recitals. They had their own temples, religious scriptures better known as Agamas or Tantras and the priests even in the era of Manusmriti. (Ref. Manu. 3.152-166) Presently also most of the Hindu temples do not have Vedic Brahmin priests. Various castes have their own priests to conduct their religious ritualistic affairs. Even if the Vedic Brahmin is invited, he conducts the religious rituals based on the Tantrik (i.e. Puranokt) system and not Vedokta. Vedokta is totally denied to them. This clearly differentiates the Vedics from Hindus.
5. All those, no matter indigenous or foreign clans, no matter which faith they followed, were Shudras to the Vedics as is evidenced by Manusmriti. (Manu-10.44) Shudra originally was a name of the tribe situated at the banks of the Indus River, which was later used to address all those who did not belong to the Vedic religion.
6. In the later course, the existence of the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas was denied by the Vedic Brahmins because of the internal feuds, barring a few communities like Rajputs and some Vaishya castes as an exception.
7. The Hindu religion mostly is idolatrous and is based on the Tantras those are against the tenets of the Vedas. In fact, the idolatry is prohibited by the Vedas and only through the fire sacrifices they offer their oblations to their abstract gods.
8. Though some Vedic Brahmins are the temple priests to earn a livelihood, they add Vedic hymns in the Prayers though they are not at all meant for the gods being worshipped. The recital of Purushasukta in Hindu temples is a fine example of such malpractices. The corruption in the Hindu religion is rampant which needs to be brought to an end.
9. The Shankaracharyas, those claim to be religious heads of the Hindu religion, the fact is, they represent only the Vedic religion. Only Vedic (Twice born and expert in the Vedas and Vedic Dharmashastras) can reach to that position. No Hindu ever can become the Shankaracharya of any of the Peetha because they do not belong to the Vedic religion. This clearly shows the distinction between the two religions.
10. The demand that has comes from two Brahmin organizations clearly shows that they also are aware of their independent religious status; hence their demand is just and fair. It is necessary that their demand be obliged by the Commission. There is no question of fragmentation of the Hindu religion as the distinction between two religions in scriptures and in practice is well marked.
11. Considering Hindu and Vedic religion one and the same already is doing great harm to the Hindu religion. The social rift, such as Brahmin and non-Brahmin rivalry is age-old and still is brewing in society. Still treating the Vedic Brahmins as an integral part of the Hindu religion will be utter negligence to the socio-religious facts. Hindu religion does not find its source in the Vedas. Vedas do not uphold idolatry. No Hindu god finds mention in the Vedas. No Vedic God is worshipped by the Hindu society. There is no connection between both religions.
12. The Smritis were never intended for the Hindus as is evidenced by the socio-political history of India. Smritis were only meant to regulate the Vedic religion and not Hindu.(Ref. http://ssonawani.blogspot.in/2017/09/manusmritinot-hindu-code.html) There is no evidence to show that the Hindus ever gave any heed to the Vedic Smritis for they were never meant to regulate Hindu religion.
We, on behalf of the Hindus, humbly request the Commission that the request coming from both the Brahmin organizations be accepted as it is genuine and justified on the religious grounds. There should be no objection from the Honorable Commission in granting Vedic Brahmins the minority status they seek. Since Brahmin is a full-fledged Vedic Varna and is in minority their demand be fulfilled.
If the Commission needs a presentation with proofs in this regard, Aadim Hindu Parishad will be obliged to do so.
FOR AADIM HINDU PARISHAD,
SANJAY SONAWANI SANJAY KSHIRSAGAR
President Vice President