Question 28. Allied to this problem, two more questions can be raised: Do the Hindu scriptures Prohibit inter dining, which pre supposes transcending the caste barrier? Does inter marriage have their sanction?
Many of the Dharmasastras permit even the Brahmanas to accept food from persons who are of pure character, whatever be their caste. Hence the Hindu scriptures do not certainly come in the way of inter dining. Perhaps, in the present day Hindu society this may go a long way in integrating its various warring groups. The same Dharmasastras have accepted 'Anuloma vivaha', according to which men of higher caste groups could marry women of the lower caste groups. 'Pratiloma vivaha', the converse of the rule, was also prevalent even from ancient times. Hence it is to be conceded that inter caste marriage has not been prohibited by the Hindu religious works.
However, even in the present day society. inter caste marriages give rise to adverse reactions. Since it is a sensitive issue, the solution should be evolved out of consensus and not by coercion. Whenever parents and elders of the couple concerned, concur with their wards, both the caste groups should co operate in bringing about the marriage. When such concurrence is not there, the respective elders can try to dissuade their wards by impressing upon them the repercussions of their step. If they do not succeed, then, it is better to leave the solution to the couple concerned. It is enough if they lead a Dharmic life. However, it is advisable or even necessary that the various sub castes and groups under each Varna at least, should gradually merge into one unit.
The best solution to this vexed problem is the one suggested by Swami Vivekananda' He envisaged and envisioned a casteless society by a levelling up of the society through proper education which contributes towards economic, cultural and spiritual upliftment. Till such time, the forward sections of the society need to give a helping hand to the backward sections to move up rather than exploit them, even as elder brothers and sisters lovingly care for their handicapped younger brothers or sisters.