it(Philosophy you are criticizing) was science for their time…
and the holders of this legacy (it was as much as your ancestors achievement as mine as any Brahmin’s or dalit’s, although I no longer wish to classify humans as such) are willing to change, we missed the enlightenment part since we were under successive Muslim rule and English rule, where in during the muslim rule I don’t find any secular institutions like universities shining from our country…
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…
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.
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.
The prosperity, progress and relative stability of the Gupta era was masking the subtle yet consolidating undercurrents of revivalism of an orthodox and ritualistic Vedic religion in the form of When the Gupta era eventually declined and ended, Brahmanism had taken a vice-like grip on Indian culture and society, with the royal class the Brahmin clergy colluding to keep the masses in perpetual submission and ignorance, in the immediately succeeding centuries.
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.
The resort to evasion and camouflaging it as facet of culture and tradition or blaming it on factors and circumstances extraneous to Hinduism is typically a stock characteristic of Hindu caste apologetics.
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.