Is the Hindu leadership nervous and confused?
by Amitabh Tripathi on 12 Oct 2009 3 Comments

Ever since the Indian electorates’ verdict came out in May and the erroneously-defined-as- Right-wing BJP failed to defeat its rival Congress for the second consecutive time, the country is abuzz with a sense of insecurity over Congress domination and the lack of a credible opposition; there is also deep anxiety over the future of the Hindu movement and the direction of its leadership. This is also my personal concern.

Concert of Islam and Communism

The election results certainly had some potent messages. One is that a new wave of Islamism coupled with a Political Islamic agenda and backed with Communist frustration, will try to emerge as an ideology to fulfill the ideological and political vacuum. I noted during the elections that the Islamists and Communists were collaborating with each other; I asserted that after the election results Islamism will come out with a political agenda based on a theory of victimhood. And four months after the elections we have some concrete examples: in the national capital efforts were made to politicize the Qutub Minar and some mosques in Mehrauli with a demand to open mosques protected by the Archeological Survey of India for namaaz. This is a clear indication of the Muslim psyche, which believes that they once ruled India and should restore their glory.

With the installation of the second UPA government in New Delhi, a massive intellectual exercise is underway from Islamic apologists for implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee; reopening files on encounters in which Islamic terrorists were gunned down by security forces in order to bring Indian security and Police forces and the judicial system under the scanner, and strengthen the theory of ‘atrocities’ against Muslims. The Islamist-Communist nexus has been in tandem for last few years in India; now Maoists and Islamic terrorists have joined hands thanks to the proximity of countries patronizing the Islamist movement and Maoists at international forums.

Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi is functioning as the headquarters of the Islamist movement in collaboration with the Communists. The Student’s Islamic organization which is working after the ban imposed on SIMI with several Communist organizations to release Vinayak Sen is an example of Islamic and Communist organizations worked together.

Jamia Millia Islamia is proving a centre of radical Islam. A journalist friend recently informed me that students of Jamia are not only imbibing radical Islamic thoughts but are taking this movement to the outer world. Jharkhand is rapidly with the help of Naxalites becoming an ideal place for Islamic terrorist camps and radical Islamic movement driven by Wahabi ideology and demands for strict adherence to Shari’at and Sunnat. Jamia students are returning to their home towns with messages to restrain their family members from watching television, pressurize female family members to adopt the Hijab, and persuade fellow Muslim youths to grow beards and perform namaaz according to Quranic prescriptions. This new emerging orthodoxy among Islamists is disturbing as it is taking the shape of an Islamist movement with global jihadi Islamic motivation. Prominent public speakers with the reputation of being ‘moderate’ are fuelling this movement with their doctrine of Islamic supremacy and Shari’at, and justifying terrorism in the name of victimhood.

Confusion in Hindu ranks

In the face of this dangerous and rapid growth of Islamism in India, the Hindu Indian leadership looks nervous and directionless. In the last two decades, the Hindu leadership has become synonymous with the RSS and its affiliates, and Hindu society looks to them, but the leadership has yet to prioritize its agenda. There is utter confusion between words and deeds.

The RSS Sarsanghachalak declares his organization is to protect Hindus, but RSS behaves like an ostrich in defining the dangers facing Hindus. After the new government took office in Delhi, RSS seems to avoid confrontation and in this process escape from the reality of the growing radicalization of Muslim youth in India and efforts to consolidate political Islam with the help of defeated Communists. This deadly combination is becoming a grim threat, but the Hindu leadership is either nervous or trying hard to revive the political base of the BJP, or is living under fear psychosis to avoid confrontation with the Central Government.

The UPA's last four months have been an utter failure in terms of national security, both internal and external. India has been humiliated by Pakistan for the last ten months any number of times; the Okhla by-election in Delhi was used as a launch pad for political Islam to consolidate Muslims across the nation on the single issue of the Batla House encounter. This has some implications: Mohammed Azam Khan, who left the Samajwadi Party after the Lok Sabha elections, campaigned for Mohammad Asif in Okhla. Asif has a communal record and two years ago instigated an attack on the police force in Taimur Nagar near Jamia Nagar with a rumour that the Quran was insulted by policemen. During his campaign, several Muslim leaders went to Okhla and dubbed the Batla House encounter as a blot on the face of Indian democracy; since then the issue of encounters has been getting the headlines.

These developments have not woken the Hindu leadership; they are walking away from the real issues of Hindu protection to soft issues which could bring more votes to the BJP and bring the RSS and its affiliates within a so-called moderate paradigm. 

Sometime ago, I spoke to journalism students on the security challenges before India; a senior member of the RSS Prachar Vibhag accompanied me. I saw the confusing signals we are giving out to Hindus. In his speech he said globalization is the biggest threat India faces and our priority should be to resist this menace created by America. He urged the students that our thought should be in totality – it really confused me.

There are some who believe that there is a massive conspiracy to demolish our cultural, economic, and religious structures; this is driven by a fear psychosis and sense of insecurity.  It is true that Semitic religions have a prophetic and missionary inspiration, and that Islam and Christianity don’t believe in coexistence. But since the last century, we do not drive world affairs, and willingly or unwillingly have to follow an agenda set by others.

Secularism and Hindu strategy

We must craft our own agenda which must be more pragmatic and utilitarian, and not a romanticized agenda that leads nowhere. Several problems we face these days have roots in concepts and doctrines evolved in the West. Unless these concepts loose their relevance in Western society, we can not eradicate them from our soil. Secularism is one of them.

Modern Europe adopted a middle path to get away from Church domination to new political institutions, but at the same time never compromised with religious identity. All Europe, particularly orthodox Christian states, united to fight Napoleon Bonaparte who was giving a real challenge to Christian Europe. Britain, France, Italy and Russia came on one platform to ensure Europe did not loose its Christian identity. The history of modern Europe has been written from a Communist point of view and for that reason religion has been denied a role in shaping the world order.

This has led to the emergence of two thoughts. One, that relations or rifts between nations are defined by economic interests rather that religion; and second, only religion is the basis of relationship between countries or cultures. Both concepts are one-sided. Any civilization, culture or country cannot have a harmonious relationship with another country unless free from economic, military and religious conflict. 

Hindus must make their strategy according to this vision, and search out forces closer to us in the international fora.

The Hindu leadership must avoid a shortcut agenda out of nervousness or fear psychosis. Unless the Hindu leadership overcomes its lack of confidence, how can it survive as Hindu Rashtra? Lack of confidence is clearly visible in its fluctuating thoughts. Our Hindu ancestors have given us a science of spiritualism more in consonance with today’s phenomenon of globalization and freedom. Globalization is not only an economic phenomenon; globalization is a phenomenon which is fast demolishing the boundaries of nation, state and government, and a new kind of private partnership is emerging.

For hundreds of years we have lived under the bondage of other religions and cultures, and in this process we have lost touch with our original inspiration. We boast of our past glory, but don’t look to our original spiritual inspiration for guidance today. The Semitic quality of uniformity has eclipsed our thought process. Uniformity has been defined as the identity of Hindu religion and wrongly defined as a way of life.

India was united by its spiritual essence - Ganga, Gayatri, four Dhams established by Adi Shanker, worship of cow, concept of Karma and concept of eternity of Atman – all related to Dharma. Ayurveda, Yoga are ways to enlighten ourselves and follow the path of justice and self-consciousness.  

Uniformity is Semitic

The Hindu movement has tried to keep itself in conformity with the concept of Secularism, and in this process the whole movement was defined as cultural nationalism and Hindutva was defined as way of life.

Under the influence of Semitic religions in the past few centuries, people defined way of life as uniformity, where few guidelines prescribed in the scriptures are followed and religion has a mechanism to execute, as seen in the case of Islam. This has confused Hindus so much, and their real teachings of justice and self-consciousness based on Dharma were never debated.

Outer forms - life style, food habits, couture, behaviour - became synonymous with the Hindu movement, and any new phenomenon which contradicted these were opposed in the name of Hindutva. The Media on every occasion made a mockery of Hindutva and its leadership. This is the real reason why the Hindu movement got a bad name in the West. It is true some sections in the Media and the West would never be happy to see a flourishing Hindutva movement in India, but it is for us to identify our enemies and invest our energy in fighting them alone.

Identify the enemy

It is time to decide the real threats to Hindu society - Islamic terrorism, evangelical terrorism, infiltration from Bangladesh, Naxalites supported by China, and radical and political Islam within India, or globalization and the freedom that comes with this ideology.

The Hindu leadership has switched from Hindu protection to village development and establishment of Gandhian Hind Swaraj. Hindus must never forget that unless they are able to defeat their enemies within and outside the country, no village development is going to make India a superpower. The West derived its doctrine of strategic alliance from the Roman Empire, and the Roman Empire had a doctrine to honour and respect the brave. If Hindus want respect and honour in the world and want to be heard on world fora, they will have to become warriors.

For decades we have adopted the theory of peace and non-violence, but it is a cover up for our political leadership. We evade issues and challenges in the name of spirituality and our tradition of peace and non-violence; but spirituality drives with the principle of justice and self-consciousness, and peace and non-violence are not fundamental principles of spirituality.

It is time to become more confident and look to our real tradition, which is based on principles which are getting more relevant with every scientific discovery. In the spiritual domain, our ancestors had the courage to reach the Truth, and never hesitated to demolish concepts and traditions their forefathers established. During the period of Rama and Krishna, the influence of Indra waned and the concept of Yoga, Atman, Karma, eternity of soul were established.

It is time to replicate our Dharmic concepts in politics and society. It is time to catch the message of this age and generation – freedom. No country, religion, caste, people, can deny others’ legitimate rights and freedoms. In this generation of freedom, only justice and self- consciousness can be the guiding force and the basis of Hindu Dharma; we have forgotten this and are chanting peace and non-violence to serve injustice and working against our own conscience.

The author is a professional translator and social activist

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