This article is from www.hindunet.org by N Nirakar. The author belongs to the so called backward class.
Often the minor divisions among the Hindu society along the caste and class lines are magnified many fold by some for their narrow political or bigotted interests. However these detractors as well as the majority of Hindus worldwide are unaware of the contributions of the so called backward castes. All Hindus are and will be proud of this contribution.
Although I personally do not believe in caste system, I am including the caste of these great souls only to make the point.
As is evident, the two greatest epics of the Hindu culture are written by sages who belonged to the so called backward classes. The dynasty that united India as a nation was the backward class 'Mauryas'. The saints and the swords (of MawaLas) of the 'backward' class Hindus also contributed to the resurgence of Hinduism and Hindu nation when it was being dominated and crushed under the heels of foreign powers.
I do know that during some periods there were atrocities perpetrated by upper class people. But can we deny the contribution of Acharya Chanakya in establishing Maurya dynasty, or the fight of Sant Eknath against untouchability? Throughout Indian history Ramayan & Mahabharat have been revered and retold for generations by ALL Hindus. Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism's holiest scripture comes from Mahabharat. All Hindus consider these as their own scriptures. If the caste and class divisions were indeed as severe as they are protrayed, then why would generations of all the 'upper caste' people hold these two epics by two 'backward' class people in the highest esteem?
No Hindu should consider himself to be of a backward caste Hindu because we all belong to the class of Ved Vyas and Valmiki. It is time the so called backward class Hindus (like myself) recognize our contribution to Hinduism and feel justifiably proud. It is time we throw away this yoke of mental servitude of feigned superiority and inferiority of caste.
IT IS TIME WE CALL OURSELVES AS HINDUS ONLY, AND HELP STOP DIVIDING OURSELVES ALONG CASTE LINES WHICH IN THE PAST HAS BEEN USED BY FOREIGN RULERS & FOREIGN RELIGIONS FOR FORCED CONVERSIONS. ALREADY ONE THIRD OF THE FORMERLY HINDU NATION HAS BECOME ISLAMIC PAKISTAN, BANGLADESH AND AFGANISTAN.