Sanatan Dharma Can Help End Racism

by Renu Gulati October 18, 2020

I am of Indian Origin, born and bred in the UK, but I now live in India. I have seen racism in my own life. No nationality seems to be free from racism, including Indians here or abroad. I find racism abominable, but for those who are ‘spiritual seekers’ and still hold racism in their heart, I find it rather contradictory if not outrightly hypocritical. When we are all ‘souls’ in a temporary body, then are we not all equal regardless of race, colour, caste or creed? Racism and spirituality don’t go hand-in-hand.

Spiritual people belong to some spiritual organisation, though it is not absolutely necessary. Surely, spiritual organisations ought to be strongly opposed to racism. Indians are more spiritual than their counterparts from other countries. We should be showing the way to other nationalities. But I have even heard some Indians call blacks Habshis, which means Nigger and this has become an abusive term. Not only that, I have heard black people being called demons by some Indians.

When the whole of Indian tradition is based on Sanatan Dharma, an eternal way of life, which treats all human beings as equal and sacred, how did these aberrations manifest?

One doesn’t even need to be spiritual to be non-racist. One just has to be human and compassionate. A person with some common sense will know that racism is wrong.

However, I remember hearing from a white Scottish friend, who lived in the Highlands where no black man had trodden in the past, that she was about 6-7 years old when she came across a black man. He was in the same bus as her and she could not stop staring at him out of innocent curiosity. Her mother told her off as she, like most British people find staring rude. Had her mother ingrained racist ideas in her, she may not have been my friend today.

There is even racism among Indians themselves with regard to body colour. The skin whitener creams and the ads around them, all suggest that to be ‘white’ is best and to be ‘dark’ is a curse.

There are theories and beliefs both in modern science and Vedic teachings and even Christianity that we all come from the same roots. This would indicate that we are all one interconnected family.

On a more positive note, an Indian friend living in the US tells me that “Black people in America are more caring and helpful than the Whites.” Isn’t this touching considering that so-called blacks, the very victims of racism, are kinder than the whites?

Ultimately, the problem is not that we see a person’s colour when we come across them, as that is a matter of vision and cannot be avoided. However, it is the judgement we make that is the issue. We need to work on this judgement that we make, more than anything else.

Borrowing from the words of the Beatles legend, John Lennon, “Let us all live as one.” Moreover, I have immense faith in India and Sanatan Dharma, which I believe, can be followed by the world to end racism.

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