Many Hindus are suffering from GASS. And GASS is genetically acquired slavery syndrome. Those afflicted from it see themselves, their faith and traditions in low light and tend to exaggerate and extol the virtue of others.
Author O.P. Gupta, a former diplomat and now a committed soldier of the Hindu revival mission, in his book ?Vedic Equality and Hinduism? has analysed candidly the reasons for the state of the Hindu in the world today. According to him, some of the main reasons for this are the average Hindu'sattitude to life, the many deliberate lies and malicious misinterpretations of the Hindu scriptures and the social evils that have crept into the society. GASS forms an important part of the problem. He quotes many people, right from Robert Clive to the British High Commissioner in India in 1998, and Sir David Gore-Booth to Congress MP Rajiv Shukla to underscore the point that Hindus are perceived as people who were willing to crawl in anticipation of being asked to bend.
The education that we receive, especially with regard to our history and culture is pathetic. Even Jawaharlal Nehru, who did not have to read the texts books authored by the Romila Thapars and Shrimalis said ?the history we learn in school or college is usually not up to much…. I learnt very little of the history of India and even the history of India that I learnt was largely wrong or distorted and written by people who looked upon our country.? The sources of our history lessons continue to be the same, with the historians claiming that Indians in the Vedic times ate beef and that the Aryans came from outside and that the Dravidians were ?very different? from the Aryans and the original inhabitants of this great land were only Adivasis and tribes.
The book demolishes with convincing evidences that each of these propositions are wrong and some of them were contrived and spread to divide the Hindus. Quoting the very same verses that the Hindu bashers have used for supporting cow slaughter and for creating myths about the different races, Gupta points out the derived meanings, mischievously done. For instance, there have been several scholars who argued that the Vedic people ate beef. Gupta points out that there are several slokas devoted to cow worship in the Vedas. The cow is repeatedly referred to as agh(a)nya which means ?the one who cannot and should not be killed or slaughtered.? In fact, it even prescribed punishment for the person who killed a cow. The historians, who supported cow slaughter have relied on secondary sources and translations of Vedas sponsored by the British instead of reaching the primary sources, i.e., the Vedas.
Similar is the case in regard to the caste system, widow remarriage and gender equality. According to the book, the Vedas propound re-marriage of the widow, in fact, there is no reference to the status of widowhood. A woman who lost her husband is to be taken into the fold of his brother to be nurtured and cared for. No Vedic hymn anywhere refers to keep women away from knowledge. On the other hand, the book gives a list of great rishikas (women rishis) who were revealed the Vedic richas.
The Hindu way of daily worship, which includes the meditation, is highly commended by the science today. According to some recent findings quoted in the book a hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone, a 19-carbon steroid) activated from the adrenal glands, is anti-aging and anti-stress. This hormone is not found in any food item. Meditating has been found to stimulate it.
The author strongly pleads for a movement among the Hindus to remove the bane of casteism, gender and social inequalities and an all-out effort to unite the Hindus in the strength of the Vedas and the Bhagawat Gita, the two primary sources for all that is Hindu. ?Vedic Equality and Hinduism? is a source book for the everyday questions that one encounters on the various misconceptions of Hinduism. The index needs to be revised and made elaborate for a more ready reference.
(New Age Books, A-44, Narain Phase-I, New Delhi-110 028,)