Is it because I am a Hindu bigot? Or, because I hate the minorities? More so, the Muslims?
Dear Readers, if ever you thought so, you were mistaken. But I know that you have not seen me in this light.
I am a nationalist. I love my country. I am proud of its past and of its great achievements. I am grateful to it all. And to my ancestors. They have given me pre-eminence among the peoples of the world. I am, therefore, concerned at the way the country is being led by a blind and ignorant leadership.
For a thousand years we Hindus were under foreign rule. This is unprecedented in human history. The march of the greatest civilisation was arrested. Its roots were cut. And its people were silenced.
Are we Hindus aware of the great damage that these thousand years of subjection have inflicted on us? We are not. Alas, even to enquire into it is taboo in our country! Why? Because, it is claimed, it will ?offend? the minorities. Should we, therefore, falsify and prettify our history?
It is time to break the silence that we have imposed on ourselves. We should lift the veil, as Tagore says. Silence did not save the country from Partition. The country was divided into two, leaving a bitterness that has festered to this day.
Hindus are awake today. India is awake. The spell of a thousand years of subjection seems to have been broken. We have discovered our past. It is time to resume our journey.
But the vast minority of Hindus?and that includes the upper and middle classes?know almost nothing of the greatness of their past. That is why they are ready to accept western leadership and the western way of life. So, are we condemned to remain the Caliban for ever? Can India never lead? Has it no message for mankind? It has.
But we need a new generation to lead India again to its greatness?a generation that is profoundly inspired by nationalism, a generation that is aware of its great history.
Destiny beckons India. History has chosen it for a special mission. It is already on the move. India must provide the moral leadership, they say. Says Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, former Superior General of the Jesuit Order: ?How in India people with many languages, religions and cultures live together is a lesson to learn. India has an important role to play in shaping the destiny of mankind.? Others agree.
The point is: no other country in the world can take up this role. This task belongs to India alone, for it is only India that inspires the trust of mankind.
But Tagore says, our people cannot go out into the world with an empty hand. We must carry our inheritance with us. But what is our inheritance? We Hindus do not know. As for Muslims and Christians, they reject the Hindu inheritance.
I write what I write because I want Indians to think on these mental confusions. I want them to know their inheritance. And I want them to know the inheritance of others as well. What I write cannot be found in the media. The ?Organiser? is an exception.
We Hindus do not say, as Christians and Muslims do, that the ?Gospel is the last word,? that ?the Quran is the last word.? We say that the last word is with God. To know it is to know the mind of God! And to know the mind of God is to become God! The thought frightens me.
The Hindu civilisation fascinates me. There is nothing like it in the world. It leaves you free. It consists of two streams?that of the mind and that of the senses. You can have your choice. The stream of the mind reached its apogee in Advaita. And that of the senses produced the richest material and sensual civilisation on earth. We call it ?popular Hinduism.? Both are important. But the future belongs to the stream of the mind. Our journey is to super-consciousness. So says Aurobindo. The scientists agree.
It was the mystery of the universe that set us on our quest.
The Rig Veda wonders: ?Who is there who truly knows, and who can say whence this unfathomed world, and from what cause!?
We are still on the quest for an answer. That is the Hindu mission. The Christians and Muslims cannot joint us in this quest. They have the answers in their books. They are perhaps frozen in time. They will continue to mark time. They will live a repetitive life. They cannot march with us without causing immense damage to their religious beliefs. Our ways are, thus, different. But we can live together. How? Let us learn that too.
That Hindus are living ?in darkness?, that Hinduism is a ?false religion??these are still the kind of things being said about us by our critics. Why? Because we Hindus are a gentle people, our State is a soft State and we are ignorant of our past. Let us work on a New India?an India for the ?Global Indian.?