The ubiquitous uproar heard these days is looked by many to be the rise of fanatic communal sentiment among the class that calls themselves ‘Hindu’. They are perceived by many to be behaving with self-assured hubris, who if given a chance, would rule with their impudent hegemony. What is the ideology that drives these people, including myself, to call ourselves and every soul inhabiting this Indian sub-continent as ‘Hindu’?
If at all one has to depose this passionate line of thought, it is very essential to pragmatically assess it and only then can one preconize or renounce this ideology for the sake of ‘peace’. The reason before using the word peace in bold font, is because our national identity is amidst crisis, chaos is all over as to who we are and how we want our nation to be represented. It’s quite possible and natural to be swept away by the breeze of pseudo modernisation and ignorance that we may not see the gravity of the crisis we face.
Nonetheless, however futile it may look, modernisation shouldn’t be an excuse to overlook the crisis one’s nation is facing. If the path you walk on seems to be without hurdles, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right path. Even if you feel that there is no need to look into the matter that doesn’t seem to affect you in any aspect of life (although it does eventually) and even if nothing kindles you to objectively look into the matter that seems to have no relevance whatsoever in today’s society, it doesn’t debase the moral principle of that matter. Whatever may be the reason, there is no prosthetic but only a contemplative dive into such matters, which, with or without our involvement, shapes our life in the morrow.
Modernisation neither implies rejection of the past that has shaped us, nor does it suggest to blindly uphold it, rather it demands the acknowledgment and then cultivation of mind, comprehensive study of the present, realisation of time, flourish to grow out of the bindings, without forgetting our roots and humble origin. Well, I guess, it’s about time that I stop sermonising on modernisation and arrive at the obscure crisis that can be an advent of ‘a massive eradication of our roots and identity’.
Adulteration Of Our True History
Call it a systematic repression or simply an outside influence that today we are devoid of our true identity, which if we knew, would have made us proud on the face of this pseudo modernization that has externally engulfed us, and that too without any essence of ingenuity. I may not be a savant who has any kind of authority when it comes to illuminating anybody about the prodigious days of the yore but I have the zeal to pursue our enriching inheritance. Isn’t it essential to know our true identity and how it got misrepresented in the course of time?
What kind of morale are we providing to our coming generation? Will they ever know who we actually were? In fact, do we know where we have descended from? Do we even ask? We have been glutted with lies and shame in the name of our history since our childhood; no effort, whatsoever was taken, nor is taken, to rewrite our history books and bestow pride in our hearts about how immensely extraordinary were the people who lived in this subcontinent from whom we have descended. All we were so excessively told and swamped with was how we were invaded by foreigners; captured and persecuted by savages; astonishingly, how some of them were wise and ruled with utmost liberality; how we evolved from being illiterates to be on this threshold of modernization, only because they ruled us and showed us the path. Where is the pride, my friends?
In spite of being one of the oldest civilisations existing in the world, connoisseur of moral values and spiritual seekers (not in the lame sense of modern people which means pagan unrealistic people), liberals to its profound sense, dynamic, adaptable and accommodating to change, authors of the oldest texts and manuscripts; we remain unaware and ignorant
This was the only land, which proudly and wisely boasted, everyone should seek the truth in their own unique way and every way leads to the divine. Never did this land fought change, rather it cultivated and evolved with time. ‘Bhārata’, is what this land was called, which means; ‘to bear’, ‘to carry’, and ‘to be maintained by engaging in the search of knowledge’. ‘Bhārata’ is the cultural identity of our land and this identity should seep in yet again into our hearts so that we evolve from our roots; only then, the internal cultivation and essence of modernization will hold onto us forever. Now is the time more than ever to reclaim our forgotten pride and come forward as a warrior to defend our nation against these inequities that misrepresent us. Renounce the derivatives and misinterpretation of our culture that holds us back, cut down the preposterous thoughts of superiority of one human over other on basis of cast, creed, sect or religion.
All humans are equals and only some are base who consider otherwise and it’s time to strike them, not with physical violence but by the sheer strike of realisation of who we are. Hard times require fiery harsh measures towards every thought that chooses to remain ignorant or deny this identity of our land, for he remains an impediment to our growth towards a united nation that stands as one despite being diverse in every aspect but cultural identity. Believe in what you may, convert into what you may, pursue what you may, in fact do what you may, but, regard with absolute reverence what this land was and vow to resurrect our lost and stolen values which were aimed to unite every human on this planet with love. Don’t become a scholar and dive into the literature of this land but uphold what they all stand for i.e.” All paths leads to the supreme!”
What thought and idea can be more liberal and secular than this? ‘No!’, it seems, for some. Because they are people, who, with their vested interests in current condition of crisis, refrain us from uniting. And these people come from three different categories.
Seculars & Pluralists with Spurious Claims
First category is that who colour this whole ‘maverick ideology’ with communal paint and misrepresent, as well as misinterpret it to an extreme degree where it sounds like an abominable mess. This is the class which we on the other hand attribute as pseudo-secular. They abstain to accede to the only common identity we all share, about which I’ll talk about later as well, one that binds us together indefinitely. They abscond from the situations where they need to conjoin us, which is the basic necessity to light our path on harmonious growth. They curtail this whole concept to a futile religiously inclined harangue. Their derision limits itself on the boundary of their personal interest, where they don’t want to get embarrassed by acknowledging what they deem as to be an inessential. ‘We can do without it!’ they say. Well, we were doing without it till now, and never have we been so ghastly vulnerable to what seems to be an attack on our identity that keeps us unaware of our origins, acknowledging which is the only way left to unite us.
Second category in itself doesn’t want to be labelled into any category. They will love to call themselves neutral but we won’t let them slip away in the veil of diplomacy hiding their sheer weakness. They manage to avoid taking a stand saying, ‘what relevance does it have in the modern world, how does it matter!’
Though they circumvent from any kind of polemic against us but they make sure to be in the good books of everybody by being pragmatic. This is the category we label as ‘Ignorant’. They want to keep away from this quandary of taking a stance, but they forget that it’s not a fight where they need to choose a side, rather its being aware of where we have descended from, what cultural identity we share that makes us one. These ignorant use the word modern to satiate their hunger to become an idolised liberal human being and want to be left alone from the inequities of religion, nothing wrong in that though but their liberalness saturates when they ignorantly subjugate our thought to taut communal rant, without ever taking time to get into the genesis of this whole idea. They want to remain liberal moderns and avoid getting classified into anything other than that, without even being liberal enough to fervently try knowing and accepting that identity which gives meaning to their existence. The word liberal is so obvious and trite with them that it has lost all meaning to their ignorance and has withered into ‘rejection without knowing!’
Above two categories are mixed and matched in different individuals in varying ratio. One can belong to both of the above categories at the same time and yet seem to be a secular and liberal in their own definition. But this third category is straight and simple. And as we don’t wear any veil of diplomacy, which is why we often come out as fanatics or extremists, we still don’t mind that because whatever may be the situation we don’t believe in pleasing those who are stubborn and have closed their ears, so without circumventing we say that the third category is: Muslims. I won’t say this, that or those Muslims, but just Muslims.
I’m very much aware that this can be the precise point when many would snub this article as garbage, but if you dare to consider yourself to be a liberal and a secular then you must hear out this fanatic and trash him if you may, only with full knowledge and contemplation about what he has to say.
What the ‘Maverick’ wants?
“Someone asked Ved Vyaas after he completed eighteen Puraans, to summarize them, the great sage came up with two lines; ‘ashtadash puraaneshu vyaasasya vachndwayam, paropkaarayapundyaaya, paapaaya parpeedanam’, meaning ‘Vyas after writing eighteen puraans summarizes them in two sentences, benevolence is the highest virtue and oppression of any form is the greatest of evil’. This is ’Sanatan Dharm’ in nutshell.”
Before rendering our pristine thought to unite us all, I want you to cast out the existence of this word ‘Hinduism’ from your mind. We’ve never, since our origin in this subcontinent, have had a religion, we were forced to beget it very recently just to get classified into a faith. Even faith is something we never had in our culture, nor we ever had ’beliefs’, we were driven by experience and certain moral values to lead life, we were the seekers who admitted proudly that they don’t know it all. We belonged to ‘Sanatan Dharma’ which is a code of ethics, a way of living. ‘Sanatan Dharma’ never belonged nor belongs to a certain sect or ideology and this can be found in the very meaning of this term. ‘Sanatan’ is a sanskrit word that points to Anadi (beginningless), Ananth (endless), meaning that which is eternal and everlasting. ‘Dharma’ which many people ignorantly attribute just as religion, in actuality derives from ‘Dhri’, meaning to sustain and hold together. Keeping this in light, we belong to this ’Sanatan Dharma’ which means a code of conduct and a value system that holds us together from the beginning of time till eternity.
Yes all the great scriptures of this sub-continent written in the ancient times are referred as ‘Hindu Scriptures’, but it’s not entirely correct. Its unfortunate that today ‘Hindu’ stands for religion but in actuality of the word, ‘Hindu’ / ‘Hind’ is a geographical identity by which Persians called us. Greeks derived ‘Indus’ from Persian word ‘Hindus’. Some say that our land was named by Persians, well, perhaps they would feel like a dunce and be disappointed on knowing that the great ‘Sindhu’ river existed before Persians and Arabs saw this part of the world. ‘Hindus’ again was taken from the sanskrit word ‘Sindhu’, which meant ‘sim’- the region, border or entirety and ‘dhu’ – to tremble or shake, which combines to make ‘Sindhu’ – the body of trembling water, river or a stream.
Anyways, when need arrived we were bestowed by an identity, like other parts of the world, hence they called us ‘Hind’. Term Hind and Hindustan were used in Persian and Arabic conquest of our land in 11th century. In English this word Hind & Hindustan was entered in the dictionaries in 17th century itself. Whereas all it meant was, the people belonging to the part of the world that is beyond Sindhu River from which this name ‘Hindu’ was derived. This is a brief introduction to what actually is meant by ‘Hindu’; a geographical identity given to everybody belonging to this land. Although it’s both, irony and sheer mistake! Mistake because we let this word concise and divide us by forcing faith on us and thrusting a religious identity upon us by saying ‘Hinduism’.
‘Ism’ as always has worked relentlessly towards dividing and creating differences in varying line of thoughts or ideas, but here it just didn’t fit at all. The real harm this 800 years of foreign rule did was amalgamated this geographical identity in heavy dozes with our cultural identity that ‘Hindu’ came to be associated with people of a specific religion. Irony because as far as the word ‘Hindu’ is concerned, used geographically per se, its okay, but people of other religions giving it a cultural identity is not okay. Funnily, we the ‘Mavericks’ are okay in both scenarios but those who themselves devised, or to be precise, derived this term ‘Hindu’ from a source they don’t admit, themselves are not okay with this term being used in either of the aspects to represent our land. Well it baffles me!
It is very much understandable when a trepidation arises in calling all of us ‘Hindu’ because it somewhere alludes to ‘Hinduism’; a religion which never existed nor exists in its actual essence. Even though it’s not meant in that way when we call all of us in this sub-continent ‘Hindu’. Still the dismay it causes seems very natural. I don’t claim to be a spokesperson of this great movement which Dr. Subramanian Swamy attributes as ‘Hindu Renaissance’, although I’m proud of it, but I’ve a humble suggestion which I hope everybody related to this movement of uniting everyone irrespective of any faith will accept. Don’t call yourself ‘Hindu’ if it forcefully ties you down into accepting another faith or forces you to abandon your beliefs in your faith, don’t call yourself ‘Hindu’ if anywhere it makes you feel dominated by a fanatic majority of different faith as we are mostly called. Finally don’t call yourself ‘Hindu’ if even in its broadest or precise sense it connects to ‘Hinduism’! We as a whole movement are willing zealously to reach out and connect to you on a humane level and make sure we don’t hurt your sentiments or religious faith, even unintentionally. All we want is, at least come forward and whole heartedly accept and speak out that, ‘Yes, we all endow the same cultural identity, we are no different, we all descend from a common ancestry, and that we shall remain together forever.’ Forget ‘Hindu’ ‘Indu’ ‘Sindhu’ just accept we all belong to Bharat and we are Bhartiya from the beginning of time, none of our ancestors came from a foreign land and that we share common values and culture. For once, step out from the firm hold of religion and influence of these unfairly biased people who misrepresent us, and prove that foremost, we all are brothers who blossom with a common feeling of nationalism, we all belong to century’s old culture that binds us together and nothing separates us, no religion, no faith and no region.
We Call Onto You: Our Muslim Brothers & Sisters
In this hour when we are surrounded by grave imminent dangers, time has come to annihilate every ounce of doubtful thought that divides us. Time is to resurrect ourselves from the ruins of religious differences and stand together as one nation, having one common cultural identity that is irreplaceable, undeniable and stands inevitably true. It is about time to get ourselves aware of our true history and rewrite it with absolute pride. Here lies a chance for us to come together by an axiom that we are one.
Our Muslim brothers and sisters, we call onto you that now is the time to leave our religious differences aside and come forward to take our hand which we extend out with sincere humility. For once let every one of those who bet on the impossibility of us coming together, know, that despite being different in many aspects, we still hold together the most integral part of our value system intact, and that is ‘Unity in diversity!’ It is the aim of our ‘Hindu Renaissance’ movement and we shall see it to the end in coming time, for it is an advent of a new beginning.
Those Who Are Unforgivable!
And as for those non-muslims pseudo-secularists/liberals and ignorant shying away in the veil of pseudo-modernization and diplomacy are concerned, well gentleman, a time may soon arrive when you will no longer be able to hide behind this mask and then what you pursue for your self-interest will become the nadir of your futile existence, for you will be held guilty of treason and working against the unity of our nation.
Apprehension from our Muslim brothers over this movement is what we can understand and we will find a way to make them believe the invaluable perquisite of this position, which we want our nation to arrive at, but you, with your aberrant discernment which irks us to the point of abandoning you, are unforgivable. You remain unbothered and unaffected of the abyss our nation is walking towards and if given your way, it shall remain moving towards it.
Have some qualms about your incoherent thoughts and if not in action then at least show some deference to what we aim to achieve here. And of course the ever-growing sensational question that has been raised by you from time to time, as to ‘what is the need of acknowledging our common cultural identity.’ Well, to all of you who mock us by asking this senseless and knavish question, we say, ‘Why shouldn’t we, when it is bound to unite us all!’