As the nation witnessed yet another Hindu life snuffed out inside his home in the national capital for the ‘crime’ of saying “Jai Sri Ram” and collecting donations for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, Hindu society stands at cross-roads.
Clearly, the secular state has failed to protect Hindus, despite the last 1000-year history of our wounded civilization. Hindus managed to overcome the myriad fault-lines, used to keep us divided, to elect a majority government with the largest mandate in 30 years, in the hope that it would at last give us equality and remove the distortions deeply embedded within our body politic. But that government, while heads and shoulders above anything else on offer, has also proven ineffective at changing the status quo as far as securing the life and dignity of Hindus goes.
The entrenched anti-Hindu secular establishment has managed to arm-twist the government to maintain an eerie silence on the spate of Hindu murders and assaults at hands of religious fanatics, attacks on temples and festivals, organised conversion mafias, discriminatory legal rulings and the Hinduphobic narrative being peddled in popular media.
It is futile to keep banging our heads against the government and a handful of quasi-political organisations to demand why they don’t do more. We must ask ourselves – how did we reach the pitiable situation where 100 crore Hindus are so dependent on so few to fight their battles?
When analysed unemotionally, one will find that the problem is rooted in the lack of religious and socio-cultural awareness the modern Hindu has. Yes, governments can play a supplementary role in either strengthening or weakening a community’s sense of identity, but one just has to look at how other communities organise to understand that politicians can never be thought leaders when it comes to matters of religion and culture. That is the job of religious leaders.
Yes, Dharma does not translate to religion, and we are not like the hierarchical Abrahamic religions. But Dharma does include what is popularly understood as religion, and every Hindu sampradaya (sect, tradition) has always had gurus who involved themselves in both spiritual and mundane matters. If not for Sri Vidyaranya, would the iconic Vijaynagara empire ever have taken birth? Would Chattrapati Shivaji have reached the towering heights he did without the guidance and support of Sant Ramdas?
Where are our Dharma-gurus today, as we fight an existential war against enemies, within and without? As radical Islamic and evangelical missionary organisations proliferate across the country, why are Hindu religious outfits not countering their vile anti-Hindu hate speech, educating common Hindus about their Dharma and about the teachings of other religions, to take the bigots head on?
Yes, the argument that Hindu religious organisations have been weakened by the secular state through draconian laws like HRCE is valid. But still, there are countless organisations, ashrams, mathas spread across this land. Some are indeed taking a stand, but the vast majority are missing in action. What is acutely worrisome is that not only do we lack major Hindu religious teachers who talk about burning issues, but incredibly some are still peddling the false ‘all religions are equal’ homily to their followers!
2 sadhus were lynched in Palghar, and what have our religious organisations and sadhu-samaj done to get them justice as the case drags on through lower levels of judiciary with most accused out on bail and no action against the policemen who stood watching? Countless temples are vandalised, robbed and desecrated every week in our country and its neighbourhood – have Hindu gurus and preachers bothered to inform their followers about these atrocities?
Have they discussed the spate of hate crimes, sexual assaults and murders like Rinku Sharma, Nikita Tomar, Sawan Rathod, Ekta Deswal, Loten Nishad, Dhanprasad Ahirwar, Yogesh Kumar, Priya Chaudhary, Dhruv Tyagi, Ramesh Jadhav etc? Have they discussed or informed ordinary Hindus about the grooming or abduction epidemic (aka Love Jihad) which destroys lives of minor Hindu girls and devastates families in Bharat, Pakistan and Bangladesh? Because clerics on the other side are filling minds of their followers with poison – even building a petty thief like Tabrez Ansari into a martyr, or spreading outright lies about laws like CAA. So why can’t you at least speak the truth?
And please don’t hide behind the ‘we don’t mix politics with religion’ excuse. That albatross is only around the Hindu neck – no one, literally no one, on the other side takes this seriously. The maulvis and pastors probably smirk to themselves when they hear a Hindu seer saying such things. Anyway, how is talking to protect the sanctity of Hindu temples, festivals and traditions, demanding equal rights for Hindus, or demanding the safety and dignity of Hindus from ALL governments, a political issue?
Why are you silent when Hindu beliefs and practises are abused, mocked and demeaned in movies, web series, stand-up comedy? What excuse exists to explain our meek, submissive response there? Why hasn’t any religious group, whether new-age or traditional, stood up to boldly state the SC judge was wrong in calling the charge against Munawar Farooqui ‘vague’ – the eyewitness testimony clearly states how a repeat offender like Farooqui denigrated Sri Ram, Maa Sita, Bhagwan and distorted our granthas like Mahabharat. Web series are desacralising and denigrating Hindu sacred vocabulary like Aham Brahmasmi, Bhakt, showing Hindu gurus as sexual predators and crooks – but the real-life Hindu gurus are not bothered?
Have you watched how Muslim organisations from top to bottom have vociferously defended Tablighi Jamaat despite the atrocious behavior of Jamaatis with nurses and other front-line workers during the Corona lockdown and the call to defy government orders given by Maulana Saad? Do you know Muslims organisations like Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Peace Party took up cudgels on behalf of the Tablighis and moved Supreme Court seeking action against media reports they claimed ‘indulged in communal branding’? SC, of course, immediately pulled up the Centre for not curbing TV programs that instigate or impact a community.
Has any Hindu religious group ever bothered to approach courts against the vile anti-Hindu bigotry that routinely makes it way in Urdu press, Christian propaganda outlets and mainstream media?
Maybe you think that all you are responsible for is preserving your own Dharmic tradition, and that as your followers come with various political loyalties, it is best to avoid ‘controversial’ topics. Or maybe you fear driving some of your own secular-minded devotees away by taking up ‘radical’ issues. But then you are not being true to Dharma, and your silence or evasiveness is actually strengthening the forces of Adharma. If Hindu Dharma is itself maligned and distorted out of all recognition, when our enemies dream of a post-Hindu Bharat, do you think they will allow any Hindu tradition to survive? Remember, none of us are safe from this fire that burns in the heart of anti-Hindu forces, and that fire will one day reach all our homes.
Ordinary Hindus who understand the lies fed to us over the years and understand the hypocrisies of the secular state, are now organising themselves – they are starting news portals, creating videos, doing legal activism, trying to build a digital ecosystem. But unless our religious leaders step up and infuse ordinary Hindus with the light of knowledge, we will remain severely handicapped and will keep bleeding as a society.
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