Criticism of Hinduism
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Some of the practices and beliefs held by Hindus have been criticized, both by Hindus and non-Hindus. Early Hindu reformers, such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, had discrimination based on the Caste system and Jantu Bali, i.e. animal sacrifice. Similarly several critics allege that the stringent caste system evolved over several centuries a by-product of the varna system that is mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures.
Untouchables used to live separately within a separate subcultural context of their own, outside the inhabited limits of villages and townships.No other castes would interfere with their social life since untouchables were lower in social ranking than even those of the shudra varna. As a result, Dalits were commonly banned from fully participating in Hindu religious life (they could not pray with the rest of the social classes or enter the religious establishments). 
The inclusion of lower castes into the mainstream was argued for by Mahatma Gandhi who called them "Harijans" (people of God). The term Dalit is used now and the term Harijan has gone out of use. Many recent political leaders consider it offensive as it is synonymous to being the people of Brahmin.. As per prominent Dalit leader Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's wishes, reservation system with percentage quotas for admissions in universities and jobs has been in place for many lower castes since independence of India to bring them to the upper echelons of society. Although a caste system among South Asian Muslims in India exists it is largely of Hindu origin.
The caste system is a Hindu hierarchical system that assigns people different classes in society, similar to the 'middle class, upper class' system used in many western societies. The relatively unique part of the caste system is that one's caste is inherited from one's parents and acts as a representation of one's ancestry. The system has occasionally been criticized for restricting one's professional capabilities as well as for acting as a reason for discrimination. A controversial effect of the Caste system is the religious belief that people can't 'marry out of their castes'. The caste doctrine is observed most actively by the more rural populations in India and by the older generations.
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