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It has been a social evolution in the making as some of Hindu intelligentsia concede, but a perverse, retrogressive and degrading one that started centuries ago.

Ironically the roots, basis and foundations of India’s terminal decline were most probably laid in the ‘Golden Age‘ of the Guptas, which is the toast of Hindutva pride.

We must also be mindful that most histories of these periods or even later are not focused much on their prevailing social economy and its discontents, but more on the military exploits and conquests of their royal heroes.

These chronicles may measure the wealth of the kingdom and its prosperity and not necessarily its dispersion and the extent of general poverty.

That an orthodox and hard-core Brahmin like Chanakya was the personal advisor and mentor of Chandragupta Maurya, shows that Brahminism faced no threat to their high elitist status from these Sudra/Dalit feudatories.

In the Arthasastra that is attributed to Chanakya, the approval of the social order of chaturvarna is quite clear and unequivocal. THE END OF SCIENCES, leaves very little room for doubt especially with verses like these: Hence the king shall never allow people to swerve from their duties; for whoever upholds his own duty, ever adhering to the customs of the Aryas, and following the rules of caste and divisions of religious life, will surely. For the world, when maintained in accordance with injunctions of the triple Vedas, will surely progress, but never perish.

While there is a grudging acknowledgement among even hard-core Hindu nationalist intelligentsia that Casteism in India is a serious issue, they would stop short of accepting it as a reprehensible social evil.

At the root of our desperate attempts to glorify our culture and religion, lies a deep-seated sense of inferiority and guilt of the miserable decline and stagnation of our civilization that began more than 1500 years ago.While there can be obviously no proofs, to incontrovertibly establish my conjecture, given the state of documenting in the India before Islamic invasions, what I or any other open-minded Indology and social science novice can look for and build is a kind of ‘smoking gun’ plausibility, if not a totally cast-iron evidence and well as deductive interrogation of the rosy projections and assumptions about ‘benevolent’ monarchies of that timeline in history.If we accept the opinion or claim of DD Kosambi that a much better clarity of the chronology of Indian History emerged with Alexander’s invasion of India around 326 BCE and the onset of Mauryan Empire from 321 BCE onwards, the timeline for testing this conjecture or hypothesis should be 350 BCE to 850 CE (Adi Sankara is estimated to have died around 820 CE).So even if the Nandas, Mauryas and Harsha patronized Buddhists and Jains more, they did not necessarily cross swords with the Brahmin and priestly elites.They even collaborated with the Brahmin class by appointing them as ministers and royal priests.Just because these eras were more successful and prosperous as compared the Mediaeval eras before or during Muslim rule does not mean that there were no social inequalities and crises in those times.So casteist stratification and its vile consequences did not suddenly spring upon us in the Post-Gupta era.But most sections of this intellectual class also exhibit a type of denialism, where almost the entire blame of India’s casteist legacy is laid squarely at the door of British conquest of India and if that does not work or sell, to replace it with Mughal and Islamic invasions as the primary cause of casteist structure of society Blaming Mughal and British colonialism has by now become the most worn-out cliché of Hindu caste apologetics.Yet it refuses to die down and keeps coming up in many ways even today like in the case of this report of the Hindu Council of UK or even like this comment below from a responder to a Nirmukta article on Vedanta: “What if you are wrong about the social oppression part in ancient India prior to shankara… and then will it just become social evolution as common to a society like the Greeks who had institutionalized slavery or the arabs of the same time…That is because the vibrancy of Indian Civilization had died long before these invaders had set foot on our soil.Now conveniently for the apologists of the innocence of ancient Indian scriptural heritage to the charge of perpetuating social injustice, the further we trail back in time, the reliability of chronologies and chronicles do tend to diminish and the contentions over their authenticity and authority rise.