The following article is borrowed from www.agniveer.com:-
A common perception is that Daas is a synonym for Shudras and Vedas call for subjugation of these Daas.
Let us explore some Vedic mantras containing ‘Daas’ in various forms and see what it actually means.
‘Daas’ as verb
May our noble warriors not become Daas or be destroyed.
One who troubles us by hiding, may he be destroyed (Abhidaasat). Here Daas appears as a verb meaning ‘to be destroyed’
May he never be benefited who wants to destroy us (Abhidaasati) with hatred.
May our enemy be destroyed who wants to destroy us (Abhidaasati).
In all these mantras, ‘Daas’ refers to destruction.
‘Das’ Dhatu or root
Many mantras use another form of Daas with root word ‘Das’
The wealth of a charitable person never gets destroyed (upadasyati)
Never does the wealth and prosperity of a person gets destroyed (upadasyanti) who is inspired by the Supreme God.
In these mantras, again ‘Daas’ refers to destruction.
It is hence clear that ‘Daas’ means something to do with destruction and hence does not mean any caste or race.
Usage of Daas word
Now let us review some mantras that contain ‘Daas’ word directly.
The Daas person or destructive person should be pulled down.
Arya should control the Daas or destructive persons.
Those Daas who destroy peace should be destroyed. Here adjective “Shambar” is used for Daas which means adversary of ‘Sham’ or peace.
Control the Daas, Shushnam (looters) and Kuyavam (terrorists) completely.
The sin-incarnate Daas be destroyed.
The Daas who is fit for being killed should be destroyed
Similarly Rigveda 4.30.15, 4.30.21 and 3.12.6 call for destruction of Daas.
It is thus clear, that Daas here refers to persons with destructive tendencies who deserve to be destroyed in any civilized society. Thus the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Kasab are Daas.
There is no reference to Shudra being a Daas in entire Vedas.
Its a matter of pity that we forgot the original message of Vedas over the course of history and literally swapped the meaning of Shudra and Daas. Thus, today, Shudra is perceived as an objectionable word while Daas denotes humility.
Nothing could be far from Vedas.
This may have happened because in the manner Europeans used to send convicts to Australia who then became a nation in itself, in similar way, when criminals were captured, they were put into various tasks. Over course of history, these Daas or their future generations continued to be called as Daas which started being understood as ’servant’.
This is also similar to the way ‘Arya’ started calling themselves ‘Hindu’ which has no reference in any authentic scripture.
In reality, Daas is synonym of Dasyu or criminal.
And Shudra is a profession category of Arya or those people who are indulged in benevolent acts. There are 36 mantras in Rigveda having ‘Arya’ word in various forms and all refer to noble righteous people.
So all good citizens of the world including Shudras are Arya!