Music and dance accompany each and every incident of Hindu life. And this is true not just of a few communities or groups but of the entire land of Bharat.
Over the past decades, some foreign anthropologists and historians have gone to extreme extents to prove that the tribal and folk communities in India are not Hindu. They have pointed out that people belonging to these communities practise rituals that are not prescribed in the Hindu traditions and they don'tworship Hindu gods and goddesses.
No other religion has inspired creativity in man as the Hindu religion has done. The very way of life is so devoid of regimens that it spurs the inner yearning to express oneself. The wall and floor drawings are part of the woman'slife in every Hindu household.
While Hinduism, being an all encompassing faith, does not hand out any defined gods and goddesses for worship, the so-called religious experts classify many things as Hindu and non-Hindu. But one only has to walk through an exhibition of the cultural heritages of the tribal and folk communities of India to realise how fake the argument is?that they do not belong to the Hindu fold.
The inspiration for the painting, tattoo, metalwork, terracotta or any other form of creative expression is Hindu religion. Gods and goddesses are represented in vividly creative artistic styles. One should be blind to miss it. Talk to an artist of Gotna, Gotul, Warli, Madhubani or Gondi. They draw and paint what is closest to their lives?the birds, animals, forests, water and their goddesses. Invariably it is a procession of Durga or Devi. Her going to inspect her subjects or Her going to visit Her mother or just the annual sojourn of the presiding deity of the community. This theme is repeated in their own special style. A woman painting repeated images of elephant and lion, on the borders of a Godna work. Ask her the significance of the animals, she says the elephant is Indira, and represents physical power, lion is the divine vehicle of Ma Durga, this also denotes power?but the power of woman, the power of spirituality.
Lamp, diya, is one motif that'scommon to all the communities. The bell-metal workers, the cast-iron artistes, the wood carvers, the brass casters and the potters?they all make the diyas, in as many shapes as can be visualised.
The Christian missionaries, while on their conversion spree, spread the theory, especially in the north-east, that the communities there were not Hindus. The tribals themselves were put in doubt. Shri Guruji then spoke to the Shankaracharyas and they announced that they were very much Hindus. This settled the matter.
It is then that they resorted to pointing out the so-called differences in the worship styles of the various communities. Can there be anything more absurd than this?