The victory of Modi means many things. For a person like me who tries to look at the glass as half full, I see India finally as a country where a man from origins, as humble as Modi, can still rise to the stature of its Prime Minister. This is the first sign that politics is not always the forte of the elite, rich, well to do individuals with dynastic surnames. But for some of the Modi supporters on the ground, it also means that India can finally move towards becoming a Hindu Rashtra, reverting to the glory of the Gupta Period; ignoring in the process the undeniable cultural diversity which generations of foreign invasions has injected into this nation of ours.
To begin with, this vision for India is argued as non threatening to the minorities; relying upon Hinduism’s inherent propensity and emphasis on tolerance and respect for all ways of life. The proponent of the Hindu Rashtra, argues that the unity in diversity of this country is exclusively the creature of the Hindu’s restraint and character and expresses doubt as to whether any other group in such big numbers would have extended the same courtesy to a Hindu Minority. He shuns secularism, not without basis, by citing the pseudo secular narrative of the United Progressive Alliance and their allies in the pseudo secular conspiracy [including Mr. Deve Gowda Led JD(S)]; to argue that equality, fairness and a uniform civil code are more likely in a Hindu Rashtra than in a secular India. For the advocate of Hindu Rashtra, an India of this nature is also the means to undo the affronts perpetrated on his culture, by the likes of Ghazni and Ghori in history.
No doubt, India has a rich history of tolerance and diversity, perpetrated by a way of life, commonly known as Hinduism, that strongly prescribed both. Despite a largely peaceful heritage, the Congress and those hands in glove with the pseudo secular conspiracy, projected themselves as the only thing that stood between a violent, intolerant majority and a small vulnerable minority. Faced with this largely unfair assault to their reputation, many sections of the disillusioned Hindu majority had to reorganise and react. In the result, the abstract Hindu way of life, became an identifiable and defined dogma, named Hindutva which became as intolerant of dissent, as the very schools of thought it was meant to challenge.In doing so, the abstract nature of Hindu Philosophy that ensured its existence over many years of mockery, assault and violence, was abandoned. Hindutva, therefore is not only a creature of the pseudo secularists, but remains now, more than ever, a threat to the reputation of Hinduism as an abstract spiritual philosophy, which is entirely accommodative and respectful of every way of life.
Therefore for those who have argued in various editorials lately that Hindutva is not a threat to communal harmony, need to temper down their idealism by becoming conscious of a significant reality which is that there is a sizable chunk of our population that remains committed to the stereotypes that divide us on communal lines.The proud values of Hinduism, are now quite absent in those claiming to be its defenders, a notion exemplified by the vicious attack on Wendy Doninger’s book.I have seen that Indians are only “tolerant”, but are not fully respectful. We have achieved progress, in the sense that communal remarks are now considered shameful as opposed to being fashionable (see RJ Naved taking on a Hindu and Muslim spewing venom on each other on Social media). But a deep sense of mockery exists for each other’s religious beliefs in our hearts, which we find difficult to abandon in favour of constitutional ethos. The brand of respect Swami Vivekananda advocated in his most excellent speech at the Parliament of World Religions, still remains an ideal for a considerable chunk of our religious populations.
Religious camps on all sides remain guilty of this cold war, as demonstrated by comments on articles, videos and music of socio religious relevance. While I have noticed how these comments often blame the other camp for starting it first, few take the moral high ground and attack the very line of debate that mocks each other’s religious beliefs.I am all for taking pride in our nation’s culture and heritage. But I do have serious reservations against history lessons that are bereft of objectivity and prescriptive of vengeance. Regardless of what Mohammed Ghori or Ghazni might have done, for the record, the Indian constitution does not allow for a Hindu State which will protect and shelter its minority in an exemplary act of magnanimity. No, the constitution says that our people have a right to the protection of the rule of law, not as a matter of magnanimity, but because it is a basic entitlement of human existence. There is no Hindu Rashtra or Muslim Rashtra possible, there is only an India and that’s a lesson none of us would be wise to forget.
The unity in diversity of this nation, one of its proud hall mark, is the child of every citizen who has displayed tremendous restraint and character in never letting communal tensions escalate into a state collapse. While we may still hold poison in our hearts, we have made progress by ensuring that it is contained and doesn’t translate into action. Despite numerous terrorist attacks, our enemies have failed to provoke riots; which remains the purpose of neighbours jealous of the idea of India and its success at achieving the same. We cannot abandon, that which makes us exceptional as a nation and as a people. We still need to walk further in this path, rather than question it simply because the pseudo secularists have managed to make a mockery out of concepts like secularism. It is after all our duty to stand our ground and remind both the communalists as well as the pseudo secularists, what the true meaning of secularism means. NaMo is clearly getting his act together and projecting an inclusive image. When will the NaMo brigade learn and follow suit?
By Ashok G.V.
Picture Courtesy: IANS, Struggle For Hindu Existence