Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tears are genuine

Damaging the Hindu cause-full text of the article:

R N chawla

In a span of three weeks, The Pioneer has published two insightful articles on the plight of Hindus. One is by Francois Gautier ("More loyal than the queen", January 25), while the other is by KR Phanda ("The siege within", February 11). While the former laments the tragedy of Hindus in their own land, the latter graphically describes how Hindu interests have been forfeited at the altar of collusive and phony ideal of Hindu-Muslim unity pursued by the Congress during pre and post-Independent India. Unfortunately, the same ruinous mindset still prevails over the political landscape.

There is no gainsaying that Hindus are being discriminated against vis-a-vis the minorities, especially Muslims, since Independence. The first step in this direction was the selection of the Prime Minister. When 17 out of 20 provincial Congress Committees recommended the name of Sardar Vallabhai Patel for the post of Prime Minister, Gandhi cast his vote in favour of Nehru thinking him to be more "secular" than Patel. Nehru was Hindu only by accident of birth.

The Constitution confers special privileges on the minorities as against the majority community. The ban on cow slaughter, a cause dear to Gandhi, was not imposed to appease Muslim and Christian sentiments. Similarly, a Common Civil Code could not be adopted even 57 years after Independence, just in order to placate the members of the minority community. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court had passed unambiguous judgement in the Shah Bano case.

The question, therefore, is will there ever be a consensus on these issues of vital national importance? Can such and other measures that help cohere India from within, be taken? But far from it, the demands of the minority community are getting further pronounced because of the incredible clout they enjoy from most political quarters. The blatant manner in which some political parties wooed Muslims to preserve their vote-banks in recent Bihar and Jharkhand elections surpasses all previous records. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan went around with an Osama bin Laden look-alike during the election campaign to garner Muslim votes.

Today, every political party is offering baits to Muslims to win their favour. Not surprisingly, the only yardstick of secularism is to undermine Hindu sentiments, its culture, tradition and institutions. Mr Gautier rightly cautions the Hindu community to look into their plight and save themselves from further degeneration. But will this assault be able to kindle a flicker of dignity and self-respect amongst the Hindus to forge a united front against the onslaughts? It remain to be seen.

Mr Gautier and his ilk are shedding genuine tears over the plight of this most ancient civilisation. Going by what is happening in Kashmir, Northeast, North and East Bengal, North-West Bihar along the Nepal border, the day is not far when India will be confronted with more secessionists and insurgent movements. We have others to blame but it should primarily include us. Surprisingly, as a race, we have always been complacent towards invaders: Be it Muslims or the British. Sir VS Naipaul once bluntly reminded us, "Indians have no sense of history." Also, there is an abiding, all-time truism in the oft-quoted lines of Shakespeare: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings" (Julius Caesar). This applies aptly to Hindus as a whole. It is time Hindus forged a united front to save themselves from the impending catastrophe.

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