THE HINDUTVA DILLEMA
Rise of the Saffron Party, the Hindutva Propaganda, Bhagva politics…etc etc. These are now a days the favorite lines of our media to describe the moves and activities of the political organizations which are considered to be the sympathizers of the Hindu causes. I am not saying that this is not right or anything but I can see some things for sure …that something out there is wrong in it. This political baptism is leading us somewhere else. Today, the words like Bhagwa, Saffron, Hindu, Hindutva give a notion of some dark activity going on , an activity which is aimed at breaking the harmony and integrity of this country by spreading communal differences and adopting Hindutwa as its basis.
This is not good….especially for a country 80% of the population of which is Hindu.
Secondly, a new breed of pseudo-secular Hindus is slowly rising its head in our society. The intellectual domain of the people belonging to this particular species is being fed by our generous media, which also holds the reputation of being one of the most biased ones. According to this new intellectual species, the new definition of secularism is that it’s all about abusing your own religion as much as you can…the more you abuse it, the more secular you are. Unfortunately, I have to meet some of such people on daily basis. ‘Jab tak is desh me dharm hai, iska bhala nahi ho sakta…..Sabse jyada gandagi saali apne Hinduism me hi hai, I just hate all this crap….Ohh, so disgusting, we still have caste system… I am ashamed of being Hindu…. I am not into this religion thingy..‘ these are some of the pet dialogues used by these people. Actually these are the keywords to your path to secularism in India. And those who say that I am a Hindu and I love my religion, are the communals of the worst kind. I remember once I was arguing with one such friend and I sighted out an example from Geeta. His next question was… ‘ Why Geeta only, why not some other book? Do you think Geeta is better than other religious books.’
So why am ‘I’ talking about all this?
Am I a Hindutva Fanatic? Believe me, if our media finds me writing such things, I will be catagorised as one without thinking twice. Even now, when I am sitting in a cafe uploading this, my neighbour is sneaking a peak on the images of saffron flags I have downloaded. But no.. I am not a fanatic or something. I am just a common man, a common Hindu who is feeling hurt by this attitude. Because this definition of Hindutva is not acceptable to me. It goes against all the things I have learnt or known about my religion and its ethos. When I became conscious enough to learn a word, I was taught how to speak the word Rama. When I became conscious enough to know God, I was that God was one and he/it was everywhere, in everything, even in me. When I inquired about religion, I was told that it’s the path to reach God, that mine was Hinduism and there are several others and none is superior and inferior to others. When I asked the meaning of nation, I was told that it is the land on which I live, which feeds me and is the very cause of my being…..and that nation is above any other thing in life, be it religion, be it God. This was all my family and my bed time stories could teach me. I grew up reciting Sanskrit shlokas praying for world peace and unison of whole word as a family and finally, I was told that no….all that you have learnt is rubbish, you have a religion and you must be read to die and kill for it. That you must prove that it is above all other religions, that your God is better than all others. But it was not something which my religion has taught me. It’s pathetic how misinformed and mal-informed people are.
It hurts when I see people distorting the meaning of words, colours and ideals without bothering even once about their meanings, their significance…and it hurts even more when I see that there is another group of people which readily accepts these distortions, not caring about what the source of information is. Today, if I ask (and I have asked) a common undergraduate a simple question.. “ What is Hindutva?” , belive me he will not be able to speak even one proper sentence about it. Ask him about the Hindutva politics, he will have lengths to talk about… The Partition, how Gandhi was a fool, the Baabri Majid, the Raam Janabhoomi, Godhara, Gujrat and all that hatred between Saffron and Green colors..and a very recent addition, Hindu Terrorism.
Are these things meant to be indicated by the word Hindutva? Hell no….these are the last things on the earth which Hindutva will ever mean.
Now I tell you what Hindutva means to me, and should mean to others. Etymologically, it is a hybrid of Arabic and Indo-Aryan languages which literally means ‘ the state of being Hindu’ or simply, ‘being Hindu’. A Hindu of today is the person who follows what remains of the 5000 years old Sanatan Dharma. So Hinduism will not fit any of the bookish definitions of religion. In fact, it’s not a religion, it’s a way of living based on a wide range of principles and belief aimed at the well being of one and all, added over a really long span of time by the ancient philosophers, sages, lawmakers, scientists and thinkers of ancient India.
The basic principle of Hindutva, therefore, is a replica of the basic principles of the Sanatan Dharma. And from what I have read read, perceived and conceived, the most fundamental principle of Sanatan Dharma is the concept of ‘ Sarva’, which means ‘all’. So when a Hindu prays for well being, he never prays for ‘Swa’ (me) or ‘Wayam’ (we)…he always prays for ‘Sarva’…he prays for all. He says Sarve bhavantu sukhina…
This is Hindutva.
When a Hindu is asked about the thing which he loves most, the Sanatan Dharma will answer for him..
‘ जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ’ (link)
Mother and motherland are dearer to me than the heaven itself.
This is Hindutva.
When a Hindu is asked about most precious things on this earth, his Dharma will answer for him…water, grains and good words…
‘पृथिव्याम त्रीणि रत्नानि जलं अन्नं सुभाषितम ‘.
This is Hindutva.
When a Hindu prays for peace, he prays for the peace of every element of this universe, leave apart the religion, the country or even the world…the Shanti Mantra..
ॐ द्यौ: शान्ति रन्तरिक्षँ शान्ति: पृथिवी शान्ति राप: शान्तिरोषधय: शान्ति: । वनस्पतय: शान्ति र्विश्वे देवा: शान्ति र्ब्रह्म शान्ति: सर्वँ शान्ति: शान्तिरेव शान्ति: सा मा शान्तिरेधि ॥ ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: ॥
This is Hindutva.
To be a Hindu, you will always be ready for ‘Tyaga’, sacrifice of all that you have for the sake of others. Nothing should be dearer to a Hindu than the well being of one and all.
This is Hindutva…
But what hurts most is to see that when I talk about these things and about my religion or things related to it, I am readily classified as an old school fundamentalist who is yet to learn how to adjust with the rapidly progressing world and with its radical outlook. When I say that I am proud to be a Hindu, the next question that comes is…why? Why are you proud of your religion when our new world is denouncing everything related to religion. I really don’t know how to describe the feeling…I can’t fathom what’s wrong with me. Update a facebook status about anything related to your religion and the politics related to it…what you get is a few pathetic likes. Update a status with a double meaning sentence meaning to troll someone and followed by ;)…likes and comment will shower in. People avoid to talk or even being related to such topics. For them, it’s just crap…who cares. They are the new gen seculars. Bah..
My dear pseudo-seculars, stop being spoon-fed by the vote bank players and the media controlled by them. Do you really think Hindutva, or being Hindu has to do anything with the things to which it is being related now a days. No, it’s all against the most fundamental principles of the Sanatan Dharma. So please, before abusing your religion, and avoiding it like it’s nothing, take some pains, switch your tv off….and read some good books. You know what, it’s you who should really be ashamed of you for what you are doing. How can you fart about things you know not? You have no right to do it.
And yes, there ‘are’ some grave problems in our religion. We do have the dowry system, child marriage, female foeticide, the caste system is yet to be loosened….but what is the solution? Abusing is absolutely not one. If you have problems, start solving it right from your own doorstep. Don’t take dowry, eat with someone who is lower in caste than you….I have many friends who preach secularism and equality all the day and avoid travelling in public transport just because it carries poor locals. Raise your daughter and son as equals…respect women, your mother, our motherland. These all are nothing but the most basic principles of Hindutva. You don’t even know that when you are preaching all these things, you, unknowingly and unwillingly, are preaching Hindutva. Lord Rama and Sita were 24 and 16 years of age at the time of marriage….there goes child marriage. Check out the friendlist of Lord Rama… Nishad Raaj, a ST… Sugriva, a Vanar, Vibhishana, an Asur… is there any category lower than ST to categorise these two. Here goes the caste system. Arjuna married girls from eight different Species. Parashuraam was a Brahman who also happens to be the greatest warrior of this earth. Agar apni bed time stories pe hi acche se dhyan dia hota to itni problem nahi hoti Hindutva ko samjhne me… So try to understand it before saying something about it and if you can’t, please do a favor to others who are trying…keep your mouth shut.
Now the very next question will be… Why should I ?
Why should I do it….all this religion thing, all this mythical bullshit and all this crap written in some age old books? I am a 21st century guy… I have an ultramodern outlook, why should I care about these crappy traditions and reviving them and all that when I am happy in my life without all this?
Let me ask a question. Who are you? What is your identity? How do you want other people of the world to recognize you? Leave all these questions….first, instead, answer the question…. What is a nation? In the answer, I quote the famous lecture of French philosopher Ernst Renan delivered at the University of Sorbonne in 1882.
‘A nation is the culmination of a long past of
endeavours, sacrifice and devotion. A heroic past,
great men, glory, that is the social capital upon
which one bases a national idea. To have
common glories in the past, to have a common
will in the present, to have performed great deeds
together, to wish to perform still more, these
are the essential conditions of being a people.’ (link to the lecture)
Do you have a past? Are you a people? Are you a nation…? Do you have have a history…?
Or you want to forget all your history? Don’t be ashamed of your past..it has been glorious. Don’t be ashamed of proudly calling yourself a Hindu. You will say that I am an Indian first…but I ask, what is India? What is India as a nation…without the culmination of that long past of endeavours, sacrifice and devotion. What is India without all those glorious stories of the past….where is your social capital of behaving like a nation. You are a Hindu. Hindutva is your identity, in fact its India’s identity as a nation. You should respect these things, these ethos for the sake of remaining united as a nation. This is not a mythical bullshit….this is your identity….this is how the people of world know you, recognize you. And you are ashamed of saying what you are? And you wish to survive as a nation? You wish to call yourself an Indian when the bedtime stories of your baby girl about Krishna and Radha have already been replaced by Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs? How for the heaven’s sake are you Indian? Where is your identity as a nation in that? I can’t see it…
You religion is not only a religion, it’s a culture, a way of living. It’s a trust that your ancestors had on you…that you will follow the ideals they set for the wellbeing of this world, and take pride in the sacrifices they made. The concept of God is not important. It’s not important how many Gods you have and how much do you have in order to appease him. It’s not important how many times you go to a temple or how many mantras can you recite. The thing which is necessary is the respect….the pride, the will to express yourself. You are not communal if you say you are a Hindu. You are not a communal if you say that you follow Hindutva and you are proud of it. Your religion itself will tell you when you will act like a communal….you are a communal if you say that your religion is the best. You are a communal if you say that only the people of your religion have the right to live on this earth and others should be doomed to death…that only they will go to heaven and others will perish in hell. Hindutva teaches none of these things and I don’t care about the religions which do.
All I mean to say is that take pride in what you are. You have no reason to be ashamed of it. If someone is showing you a cause of being ashamed, try to eliminate it. It’s your religion, your culture…it’s your social duty to take care of it. Who will if you won’t? By loosing it, you will simply loose your identity, as a people, as a nation. This world is very beautiful, love and respect every element of it….make it a better place to live…..for all. And if you do this, or even try, or even think about it….you are following the real Hindutva, not the media generated one. Please.. don’t be misguided.
And at last…. गर्व से कहो हम हिन्दू हैं .
( All the highlighted words will lead you to relevant links giving the meanings of the shlokas. Click on them for more info. The lecture by Renan is strongly recommended. This post is meant for Hindus especially, nothing offensive has been written against any other religion, or effort has been made to do so. If some one, however, feels offended, do make me known via comments. I will try to stisfy the queries)