Should Hindus do nothing to save their tradition? – Virendra Parekh

Virendra Parekh“Hindu civilization is locked in a deadly battle for survival in the only land it can claim as its own. Its old enemies are adopting ever new tactics. It is an unequal fight. Hinduism which has no organisational centre is expected to fight a highly powerful Church in terms of finances, organisation and motivation to protect its numbers. Hindus who cannot sustain animosity against anyone for long are up against incessant streams of jihadi terrorists raring to enjoy celestial nymphs in heaven after embracing martyrdom in the cause of Allah. The financial, organisational, political and manpower resources of Hindu organisations are a drop in ocean compared to the task before them.” – Virendra Parekh

Mother IndiaHindu secularists have infinite capacity for self-deception. Even when reality stares them in the face, they manage to convince themselves that there is really speaking no problem at all, things will eventually sort themselves out and, in any case, there is no reason for them to worry—or act.

Faced with Islamic separatism, gangsterism and jihadi terrorism, they have invented a ‘real’ Islam which is enlightened and tolerant if not benevolent towards non-Muslims but is misinterpreted by some misguided elements. When confronted with social disruption and political disaffection wrought by missionaries converting people through money, muscle and manipulation, they assure you that Hinduism is in a great era of resurgence and the puny efforts of foreign missionaries cannot threaten it.

Self-deceptionTheir most favourite deception is coloured with flattery. Hinduism is an eternal tradition, we are told; it has continued to flourish in the face of sustained onslaughts through ages and cannot be destroyed by shallow belief systems which lack depth and interiority. This superficial praise is actually a pretext for doing nothing. Indeed, this high-sounding view of Hinduism is often used as a handle to browbeat and rundown those who point out the dangers it is facing.

It is, therefore, necessary to take a hard look around and within to ascertain whether Hindus can adopt a laid-back approach and Hinduism can be blissfully abandoned to its own devices.

Muhammad bin Qasim was an Umayyad general who conquered the Sindh and Multan regions along the Indus River (now a part of Pakistan) for the Umayyad Caliphate. He was born and raised in the city of Taif (in modern-day Saudi Arabia). Qasim's conquest of Sindh and southern-most parts of Multan enabled further Islamic expansion into India.It is true that Hinduism has survived murderous onslaughts of determined enemies and yet retained a great deal of its identity and vitality. But we shall be deceiving ourselves if we pretend that no harm has come to it. Hinduism survives as a wounded civilization, bleeding profusely. We need not go back to the Arab invasion of Sind (712 AD) or Mahmud Ghazni’s raids at the beginning of the last millennium. Let us go no farther than the last hundred years or so.

While there is no doubt that the Hindus have tremendous progress in material sense, they have suffered heavy losses and reverses in terms of territory, demography, politics and ideology.

Large parts of Bharatvarsh have now been ceded officially and permanently to self-declared enemies of Hinduism and Hindu society. The land of Saptasindhu, where Vasishtha and Vishwamitra chanted Vedic hymns and performed sacrifices and King Sudas defeated his adversaries in a fierce battle recorded in the Rigveda, is now largely an enemy territory. We cherish the memory of Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, but three-fourth of Bengal is now foreign territory. The remaining one-fourth is rapidly Islamising under the benign gaze of its secularist rulers.

Back in those days, Hindus constituted about 80 per cent of the undivided pre-partition India or what is now fashionably called the Indian subcontinent. Today, they constitute about 66 per cent of that area. In other words, the ratio of Hindus to non-Hindus has come down from 4 to 1 to just 2 to 1. Even in the truncated post-partition India, the proportion of Hindus has been declining at an alarming rate in Census after Census. The situation is so grim that the government is unwilling to disclose the communal composition of Indian population as per Census 2011. Most probably, the Hindu population has fallen below 80 per cent.

Political losses have been worse. Nehruvian secularism was aimed at moral disarmament of Hindus, and it has succeeded remarkably on that front. A constitution, made by enlightened and patriotic Hindus, discriminates against Hindus. Islam and Christianity can be taught in government-aided schools and colleges, but not Hinduism. The government can and does interfere with the administration and management of temples; it often diverts temple funds to non-Dharmic and even anti-Hindu purposes. But it does not dare touch mosques or churches. India is the only country in the world where the minorities enjoy rights which are refused in law and in practice to the majority.

In the name of secularism, we have created a polity in which all the rights, privileges and prerogatives belong to non-Hindus, and all the duties, obligations and responsibilities are saddled on Hindus. A missionary converting Hindus to Christianity is only exercising his fundamental right given in the constitution, but any attempt to bring them back to their ancestral tradition is frowned upon as an assault on minority rights, a divisive endeavour.

Narendra Modi with Christian and Muslim clerics. In the early years of independence, Muslims were apologetic for breaking up the country. Today, they hold, or they think they hold, the key to political power in India. No leader, however honest, competent, popular and patriotic, is regarded as fit to rule India unless he is accepted or at least tolerated by Muslims. Although Hindus constitute 80 per cent of the population, the 12 per cent minority has acquired a veto over who can and who cannot rule the country. It is too early to say whether Narendra Modi has broken for good this Muslim stranglehold on Indian democracy.

Even more significant are the ideological losses. A hundred years ago, Swami Vivekananda could declare India as the homeland of Hinduism and Hindu society. He, like countless other leaders, could identify Hinduism as the essence of Indian nationalism. Hundred years ago, Maharishi Aurobindo could say at a public meeting that India rises with the rise of Sanatana Dharma, and India declines with the decline of Sanatana Dharma. Hundred years ago, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan penned his classic Indian Philosophy without including Islam and Christianity for the valid reason that they are not Indian and they have no philosophy.

Nobody accused Vivekananda, Aurobindo or Radhakrishnan of being a communalist, a Hindu supremacist, a polarizing figure preaching a divisive and disruptive ideology. But today that view of India as the cradle of Vedic culture, of Hinduism as the essence of Indian nationalism, the very perception of India as Hindu Rashtra is unmentionable in politically correct circles. From a nation, Hindus are reduced to a community. Under Nehruvian secularism, Hindus are just one of the five-six communities inhabiting this land. They have no special right or title either to the land or its ethos. In fact, an educated Hindu is expected to behave as if he is making amends for being a Hindu.

The multi-pronged attack on Hinduism has, if anything, intensified in recent decades, whether by jihadi terrorism, fraudulent conversions, or the pronounced anti-Hindu bias of the mainstream media. The film industry, which exercises powerful influence on the highly impressionable young generation, is dominated by an unending succession of Muslim male stars. Is this purely an accident?

Modi & Sri RamaNarendra Modi’s resounding victory in the Lok Sabha election has been interpreted as a massive self-assertion by the Hindus who feel cornered on all sides in their own country. Even if it is so, his ascension to power is only the beginning of a marathon effort at Hindu self-renewal. Notice the palpable relief among BJP’s new-found supporters at the virtual abandonment of ghar wapasi. Notice how often Modi is urged even by his ardent supporters to ‘tell off loony hotheads of Hindutva’ and focus on development instead. His silence on the Hindutva issues is very eloquent; but if it is all that he has to offer then it may not be adequate.

Credit Card & CrossMake no mistake about it. Hindu civilization is locked in a deadly battle for survival in the only land it can claim as its own. Its old enemies are adopting ever new tactics. It is an unequal fight. Hinduism which has no organisational centre is expected to fight a highly powerful Church in terms of finances, organisation and motivation to protect its numbers. Hindus who cannot sustain animosity against anyone for long are up against incessant streams of jihadi terrorists raring to enjoy celestial nymphs in heaven after embracing martyrdom in the cause of Allah. The financial, organisational, political and manpower resources of Hindu organisations are a drop in ocean compared to the task before them.

Fall of RomeThe nature of war has changed. The means that enabled Hinduism to withstand the might of the Mughal empire may not be much use now. Generals fighting the last war often end up as losers. In fact, history tells us that Hindu rulers went under precisely because of their failure to grasp and respond to the changes in the nature of warfare.

World history is replete with narratives of mighty civilisations and religions which disappeared without a trace. It would be folly to assume that Hinduism can survive and flourish even if Hindus do nothing to save it from its inveterate enemies. The political and demographic space available to it is shrinking fast.

To the secularists, all this may be nothing more than ‘false alarm’ raised by ‘communal forces with a divisive agenda’. They would not shudder at the prospect of Hindus becoming a minority in India and Hinduism becoming extinct.

The question is: what is the response of normal, average Hindu? On the answer to that question depends the survival of Hindu civilisation.

» Virendra Parekh lives in Mumbai and is the Executive Editor of Corporate India.

3 Responses

  1. While some people are not even aware of the continuing injustice to Hindus and Hinduism and the multi-pronged and powerful attack of their enemies on them,some intellectuals are only repeatedly bringing this to their attention but no intellectual is offering any solution, either short term or long term. Why not discuss some solutions or ways of facing them point by point ? Take sector by sector, say who should do what ? This would go a long way to help Hindus who are confused and don’t know what exactly to do ?

    • Swamiji, the problem of missionaries and their wholesale despoiling of Hindu society and culture is a matter for centre and state governments to deal with. It is too big a problem for individuals though individuals can and should bring the matter to the attention of their political representatives (and keep the pressure on too).

      After the government there is the RSS and VHP and numerous affiliates to challenge the missionaries. But when the Modi Sarkar frowns—at ghar wapsi for example—these organisations quickly back off. Sita Ram Goel said years ago that the RSS and VHP are very good at starting projects in the Hindu interest but they are not able to carry them through. We have seen an example of this in the Ram Janmabhumi agitation. Till today the RSS and VHP have not been able to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya though they are able to produce a lot of excuses for not doing so.

      Christian missionaries operate in India under the protection of the government. There is even a special visa regime for them which implies they are welcome in the country. Occasionally the government curtails their funds if it interferes with development (as in the Kudankulam agitation, but otherwise the government turns a blind eye to the exploitation of vulnerable villagers and the intelligence gathering that missionaries engage in (which should be a national security issue).

      As Radha Rajan has pointed out in a recent article, the least the Modi Sarkar could do is cut off the missionary money coming in from the US and Europe. Modi cut off Greenpeace funding when it interfered with his development plans, but the missionaries who harvest souls and destroy families and village cultures in the process still get their funds. Why?

      Observers like Virendra Parekh are valuable messengers who bring issues before the public for review. Their job is to keep the issues alive in the public sphere so that they are not ignored or forgotten. It is not for them to have a solution to every problem they identify. In the same way it is the duty of pandits and sadhus to uphold and teach the principles of Vedic Dharma and warn their students and devotees of the dangers that lurk in a secular marketplace that is crawling with evangelists.

      This plague of evangelists and missionaries must be dealt with by a dedicated government and Hindu organisations like the RSS and VHP. It is a plague that has become an epidemic (as evidenced in your own state Andhra Pradesh). It will require radical measures if Hindu society and culture is to be saved.

      The illness has been identified. Now it has to be recognised by the Modi government and appropriate action taken. So far that has not happened.

      • The response from a normal average Hindu, Hindusthani, Indian or Bharatiya, would be for a desire to have a good governance in the country, with a particular emphasis upon equality, freedom to pursue one’s beliefs, availability of minimum education for all, and assistance to the needy and the invalids. As the communities would have the right of expression and action, in a lawful manner, the government may go about discarding devisive laws, referred to as minority rights, reservations and concessions. The government must ensure that other countries and foreign social and religious organizations, do not disrupt peace by way of providing finance as well as adverse advice and teachings.
        This would be too simple a solution! Of course, the major problem is not even touched – terrorist activities spread all over the world, supported by countries in various ways, directly and indirectly, with finance, arms, men-power, and desires. Robin Hood would fail to provide any solutions to the present situation.
        In war, the parties involved would desire to defeat the other. With terrorism, the intentions are unclear as well as the participants. Why should President Obama have any threats from terrorists? Do you think normal Indian citizen would have an answer to this?
        This is where U.N. and its members come in. Every member should be responsible for the actions of its citizens, and should be held liable to compensate in full, the damage to the assets of any country and the community. If you feel that I am hoping too much from the world countries, then, I suppose, we must continue to suffer.

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