An essential element of this educational-propagation work is to fully understand par-dharma. That is to understand the thoughts, feelings, goals, wishes, ideas, faiths and strategy of all non-Indian ideologies: religions, philosophies and policies of important foreign countries and organisations. It has been a singular omission on the part of Hindus for at least one thousand years that they never cared to know fully about the foreign civilisations and ideologies. Believing naively in aatmavat-sarvabhuteshu on universal scale, they often mistook people armed with a faith to-convert-or-destroy-others (Islam, Church Christianity and Communism for instance) as like themselves and interpreted and treated them like any other common human communities. Mahatma Gandhi was a recent, historical example who monumentally failed to see through Islamic idiosyncrasy, expecting good by being good to die-hard Islamic fundamentalists, resulting in great massacre of people, mutilation of the country and endless trouble since then. So, the Hindus for centuries failed to see deeper into foreign ideologies laden with ?permanent hostility? and its followers and, therefore, mostly responded with utterly inadequate understanding of the given situation. The same fault continues till date. (What is it to try to win Muslim votes by wearing green skull-cap on occasions? Or being too polite to a Pope openly calling to ?convert Asia?? Or to ?convince? the Americans that we are sufferers of terrorism?) This one omission?not understanding par-dharma, the faith and beliefs existing outside Bharatvarsh?has cost us dearly. This point cannot be over-emphasised.
Hindu organisations inside the country must try to keep friendly communication with every local organisation, social or political. So that, for every national cause or against every anti-national stratagem of the enemies they can ask everyone to come forward and contribute. If Hindu organisations do it regularly, by way of habit, then with time all kind of local leaders and representatives would become lastingly sensitive to the feelings of the Hindus. It will naturally influence the political leanings at the time of elections too. The local aspirants will realise, and make their respective central leaders realise, that being careless about Hindu wishes might adversely affect their fortunes. Then there will be little need to campaign for a ?Hinduist? party or candidate. Thus, the work style and effect of Hindu organisations should be such that every political party should be keen to take care of what the Hindu organisations, by extension the Hindu public, would like and dislike. In other words, non-political Hindu organisations should shun backing permanently a single political party disregarding others. Instead they should prepare the larger public itself to force nationalist Hindu propositions upon all political outfits. In this respect, they should feel themselves the custodian of the entire country, entire Hindu society, and not the supporter of a particular party. This will greatly enhance their value to the parties. Though the non-political Hindu organisations must take care of not being unduly concerned about the influence they wield or might wield on the political parties. That is, they must concentrate on their non-political character and the larger goal. The influence they would acquire upon parties should be a bye-product and not the main concern.
Whenever it is felt to protest against any wrong, done by the government or anyone else, the forms of protest must be thought through very ingeniously. Being quick is less important than being effective in any protest. Such new and varied forms of protest should be invented that might give trouble to the offenders and their patrons, the target of the protest, and give no or least trouble to the common public. Usually, the protest activities, such as calling a bandh now and then, mostly trouble the common workers and hardly ever the person or institution that caused the protest.
The issues and points for protests, especially for a persistent campaign, should also be selected with great deftness. Many a times it happened that the most cardinal aspect of a given issue, in view of the national, Hindu interest goes to the oblivion and comparatively insignificant issue is made a rallying point. For example, recently the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu nullified the anti-conversion law in the state. Then instead of agitating the society on the issue of organised conversions the Chief Minister was made the target. It was highly childish. A chief minister comes and goes, but to awaken and agitate the Hindu society against the long-standing ill of organised conversions is the most important task. The act of the CM provided the opportunity to raise alarm on the issue, but Hindu organisations trained their guns on the person, the CM. The issue was lost, that is, its entire range. Almost similar happened with the issue of the insult and arrest of the Kanchi Shankaracharya. The willful neglect of Hindu feelings, arbitrary pandering of ?minorities?, unequal treatment by the government to the Hindu seers and temples in comparison to non-Hindu ones must be the paramount issue on such occasions. Due respect to Hindu seers will automatically be addressed as a part of the larger issue. Not doing this turned the entire debate on the particular incident, its legality or otherwise, insignificant tidbits of the episode, etc. The bigger picture of anti-Hindu secularism, which results in such insults, could not emerge out of the protests.
On such occasions, immediate conferring with Hindu observers, thinkers and distinguished persons in every sphere would be immensely helpful. It must be made a custom with the Hindu organisations. Hindu organisations or leaders will have to take decisions on the basis of their own wisdom, but due consultations with other personalities concerned would help on every occasion. Not only it will help in arriving at suitable course of action, but also in forging understanding and unity among leading Hindu ranks.
Hindu organisations must take utmost care in appointing persons on responsible posts. The post-holders should not only be just able, but sincere and personally unambitious as well, as far as possible. It'strue such persons are not always at hand, but if favouritism, personal like-dislike is shunned in making decisions then at local levels such persons are frequently available. Only such persons should be pushed to the forefront. Of course, sometimes good persons also change with time into bad ones, but if selections are made as a rule on the sincerity criteria then by and large we would not be disappointed later.
Ideally there is no need for a separate Hindu political party in Bharatvarsha. In a country where the four-fifth population is Hindu and a large part of the remaining is also under the traditional influence of Hindu ethos, it would be best to force every political party to be sensitive to Hindu interests (alias national interests). Especially as many age-old machinations are actively in place to break the Hindus rather successfully by using ideology, language, caste, etc., along with agenda of resourceful, internationally aligned anti-Hindu forces driven by ideologies of ?permanent hostility??in such a situation if only one political party tries to speak of Hindu interests it is neither good nor efficacious. The party is made a target of ridicule somewhat effectively for various reasons. Facing permanent antagonism and ridicule leaders of such a party become shy themselves with time, unconsciously accepting some of the motivated allegations. As the end result, they grow to be practically incapable of even raising Hindu concerns, let alone solving any of them. Therefore, as long as Hindus are disunited and not alert collectively, even a ruling party with Hindu sympathies would hardly be able to deliver anything. On the contrary, it may function as a ?safety valve? to absorb Hindu discontent on any given issue. Because, as long as a party has the alleged reputation of being ?Hinduist?, the Hindus will willy-nilly look up to it to do something and pin their hopes on it. That is, not searching for alternate means to assert. But for reasons, partly mentioned above, the so-called Hinduist party will after all do nothing to protect Hindu interests?thus working as a ?safety valve? to the delight of anti-Hindu forces.
In the circumstances, it appears that a mere political activism will not be much fruitful so long as Hindus remain sleepy. Awakening them is more important than electoral alignments for state offices. If a political party claiming Hindu sensitivity exists, let it remain and do what it can, but the Hindu society and its awakened members must not pin all their hopes on it. Political activities in our country have great limitations. For historical reasons, it is more handicapped than in a European country. Therefore, it is social-educational-cultural-propagation work that should receive our primary attention. The work is vast, there is so much to do. If they concentrate on their own duties, the Hindu organisations would not find time to criticise and correct fellow Hindus. That is what they are expected to be. From the force of exemplary work they should persuade others to do better, not by public bickering and posturing. It corrects no one and disheartens awakened Hindus. Leading by example is the only way to encourage fellow Hindus.
(The writer is a senior journalist and can be contacted at [email protected])