In 1942, Albert Einstein was teaching at Oxford and he gave his senior students an examination. Later, when his assistant asked him why he had given exactly the same examination as he had given last year, Einstein said, “The answers have changed.”
The present anti-Hindu rhetoric that we see in the world press and in some of our own ‘liberals’ brings to mind the above. During the Mogul rule when someone asked the Hindus, “Look, they have killed ten thousand Hindus, what are you going to do about it?” the answer was usually a despondent shrug. When someone asked them, “Will you convert to Islam?” Some said ‘yes’ and some others chose to die.
During British rule, when someone asked the Hindus, “See, they are looting your country, what are you going to do?” the answer was another despondent shrug and, “They are the gora sahebs. They have a right to do whatever they want.”
During the last seven decades since independence, whenever someone asked the Hindus, “Look what privileges the government has given to the minorities and how the minorities are being appeased, what are you going to do?” the answer was “Oh, our constitution permits it so we have to accept it.”
Now the answers have changed and those used to a supine Hindu cannot accept what the new answers are without trying to belittle Hindus and Bharat.
I am reminded of Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake’s order to relinquish her seat in the “colored section” to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Others before her had done so without objecting. She changed her answer to ‘No, I won’t’ and became an important symbol in the movement that ended segregation in the U.S. She said that she was “tired of giving in.”
The Hindus at this time are doing something similar. They are also ‘tired of giving in”. The shrug is fading away and a new rebellious spirit appears to be pervading the Hindus at this time. Opposition parties and liberals attribute this to encouragement received from the BJP. In this, they are putting the cart before the horse.
The BJP came to power because the answer has changed. The answer did not change because BJP came to power. Until the opposition parties realize this they have little chance of dislodging BJP. They have to realize that a point comes in every civilization when the masses reach a tipping point and can bear their frustration no more. The Hindus reached this point and then voted for those who they think will side with them and remove some of the aberrations that have been taken for granted for Hindus.
What are the new answers, then?
Though saffron is considered the hue of the Hindu faith, the new answers are of many different colours.
Some say – “We will not accept minority appeasement.” Others demand, ‘we want the same laws for everyone regardless of religion’. Some announced, ‘One of our famous temples was broken and a mosque built over it. We want this 100 year old judicial delay to end and to get our temple back.’ Some asked for Kashmir to be integrated with Bharat. Others wanted a ban on religious conversions based on chicanery or monetary inducement. And so on. A few demand that the historical discourse propagated by leftist historians till now be changed to reflect the ‘true history of India’.
While the above are verbal answers, there are practical ones too. One example of the change in answers came after the Ghodra train burning. On the morning of 27 February 2002, 58 Hindu pilgrims karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed in a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station. The commission set up by the Government of Gujarat to investigate the train burning spent 6 years going over the details of the case, and concluded that the fire was arson committed by a mob of 1,000 to 2,000 people.
The answer earlier would have been peace marches by the good-hearted and excuses offered or wrong narratives. However, the answer changed this time. Hindus said that they would not take this cruelty lying down. Riots ensued. Estimates of the dead vary but even as per official figures the riots ended with 1,044 dead, 223 missing, and 2,500 injured. Of the dead, 790 were Muslim and 254 Hindu.
Was the changed answer correct? I do not know. However, the fact remains that it was the answer given and, also, that there have been no serious communal riots in that state since then.
As expected, the international media and Indian liberals completely ignored the original act that precipitated this disastrous answer. However, in the new India, their approbation did not matter to the new Hindus and this irks them further.
The changed answers are a thorn in the side of many people, including evangelists. The foreign funding of many has been curtailed and they are crying ‘victimisation’. This is the popular hiding place of the oppressor when the oppressed changes the answer and turns on them. Many powerful entities in Bharat and other countries have been involved in these conversions and building thousands of churches in Bharat. They are now crying hoarse that the present government is responsible for slowing down of their proselytization. They need to realize that the BJP government is only a means to an end. The masses who have elected them are the real ones answering.
Rosa Parks won many honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, becoming the third of only four Americans to ever receive this honor.
Will international media and governments ever be that magnanimous towards Hindus who have changed their answers? Somehow, I doubt it. However, slowly, the world will come to accept that Hindus have the right to give answers that express their feelings, as Muslims do in Islamic countries and Christians do in America and other nations that claim to be ‘secular’ like India.
Racial segregation ended in the U.S. and everyone accepted this over time. One day the world will accept that Hindus have also felt segregated till now. After centuries of doing so, they do not want to give up their seat in the hall of entitlement for anyone else and will not do so any more. Their answers have changed.
-by Kishore Asthana
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