Nation has to stand up and fight against the enemies both within and outside the borders. For this we must have a government, which has a clear vision of the national security parameters of this vast and diverse India. It cannot be a ragtag government of regional parties who have managed to get sizeable seats in the Parliament by playing the regional and communal insecurity card. The government of India must be cohesive, strong willed with a vision of powerful India. For this Hindus will have to vote strategically as do the Muslims, to see that only that particular candidate, who has a strong Hindutva ethos wins at the hustings. To make it happen, we have to ensure that all segments of Hindu society come under one umbrella. But it is easier said than done. Divisions are based on the mindset and the struggle for power. Bold actions are called for to redefine and reinterpret the philosophy of Hinduism. For example Manusmriti is worshipped by the upper castes whereas it is reviled by Dalits.
Arrest of Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kamakoti Peeth on framed up charges to draw a political dividend by a political leader and practically no agitation by the Hindus all over the country is an eye opener. Either the Hindu samaj is just spineless or they have no respect for this institution. If the government had dared to arrest the Imam, there would have been a large-scale violence and riots. All the political parties would have condemned it and the so-called secular leaders would have joined hands with the agitators and would have vehemently pressed for his immediate release. This episode needs our deep introspection. In spite of the fact that the present Jagadguru Shankaracharya made some efforts to associate the OBC Hindus with the Muth. But it has always been considered to be the Brahmin Muth. It was a deep-rooted and strategically planned action to win back the backward Hindus by first arresting and thereafter demolishing the reputation of the Shankaracharya.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati has given a much more rational exposition of the varna ashram. According to him: ?Caste is a political institution created by the rulers. It is not a natural distinction, for the four castes were not created by God as distinct species of men but all men are of equal nature of the same species and brothers. It is not a religious institution for the salvation of men and their fate in the other world does not depend on its observance. The castes are simply different professions or guilds, established by the state to guard against confusion and mutual interference.? He rejected the justification of caste or rather class by birth: it should depend on qualities and qualification.
In Satyarth Prakash, Maharishi referring to Chhandogya Upanishad says that Jabal Rishi'sfamily was not known, Vishwamittra was Kshatriya who became Brahmin and Matang Rishi was from Chandal lineage but became a Brahmin. He said that who has excellence in scriptures and is totally pious is qualified to be a Brahmin and one who is unintelligent and is of foolish type is Shudra.
Maharishi further says: ?The person born in Shudra family but is of Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya qualities and qualifications will become a Brahmin, Kshatriya or a Vaishya. Similarly if one born in Brahmin, Kshatriya or a Vaishya family has the qualities and qualifications of Shudra, he will be considered to belong that particular varna.? He surmises that a person irrespective of the family he was born in, will be considered to be belonging to that particular varna depending on his qualifications and qualities. Why do we not energise Hindu society by propagating this viewpoint of Maharishi Dayanand?
As has always been, RSS is destined to play a very bold and decisive role. It has to become a catalytic agent for the transformation of the Hindu society from a moribund, passive, decaying and divided samaj into a vibrant, progressive and egalitarian social set-up with its moorings firmly rooted in our Vedanta. RSS leadership will have to set up the institutional mechanism right from the grassroot level to the top, to bring together the youth, the intellectuals, the traders, the labourers and above all the intelligentsia spawning all the segments of Hindu samaj i.e. Dalits, OBCs and the upper castes on one platform. Time for the pious sermons is over. We are running out of time. A revolutionary movement for the resurgence of the Hindu samaj is called for. It is do or die for the Hindutva.
Here is a food for thought. As regards the place of nationalism in Islam, I shall quote Sir Mohammed Iqbal, a tallest Muslim philosopher and a political thinker. Safia Amir has written in her book Muslim Nationhood in India that Sir Mohd Iqbal said: ?Since the mission of Islam was to demolish idolatry, it could not approve of patriotism (born of nationalism), which was nothing but a subtle form of idolatry amounting to deification of the motherland, as deduced from the patriotic songs of various nations.? Again in an interview in 1913, he said: ?He was opposed to nationalism as at present understood and practiced as it came in the way of the realisation of higher ideal of Islam.? He believed that the conflict between Islam and nationalism, which threatened to reduce the former'srole did not arise in countries where Muslims were ?an overwhelming majority? and the minority comprised of the people of the book with whom Muslim law permitted free social relations including matrimonial alliance. He concluded: ?Whereas in such countries, Islam accommodates nationalism because they are practically identical, nationalism posed a threat for Muslims only when they happened to be in minority, for then, it demanded their complete self-effacement.? He therefore believed that in such circumstances, Islam was ?justified in seeking self-determination as a cultural unit.?
It is indeed prophetic that India can survive as a secular nation only if it continues to remain a Hindu majority nation.
(The author is President, Forum on Integrated National Security, Chandigarh.)