The ancient Hindu caste system is one of the most blatant forms of religious racism to date. In his book series Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India, journalist V.T. Rajshekar describes the plight of dark-skinned Indians under the repressive Hindu caste system. He argues that the Hindu caste system was invented in order to protect the white Brahmins from polluting their sacred whiteness with black blood.
Racism in Hinduism can be traced back to the Rigveda, the ancient scriptures of India, which referred to two classes of people, the white-skinned Aryans and the black-skinned Anasahs. Indra, the god of the Aryans, is described as “blowing away with supernatural might from earth and from the heavens the blackskins, which Indra hates.” The story continues with how Indra “slew the flat-nosed barbarians, the Anasahs. Finally, after Indra conquers the land of the Anasahs for his worshipers, he commands that the Anasahs are to be flayed of (their) black skin.”
Even human rights icon Gandhi fought to maintain the caste system because of his devoutness to Hinduism. In essence, his fight for equality did not include the Blacks of South Africa, but only the Indian upperclass.
Forced to share a cell with Black people, Gandhi is quoted in one of his writing as saying: “Many of the native prisoners are only one degree removed from the animal and often created rows and fought among themselves.”
He was quoted at a meeting in Bombay in 1896 saying that Europeans sought to degrade Indians to the level of the “raw kaffir (a derogatory term for Black people in South Africa), whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”