I was raised a Catholic and grew up in the United States. I have been to India more than twenty times over a thirty-year period and have visited many gurus and ashrams. I have seen a few bigoted or conservative Hindus here and there but overall Hindus are the most tolerant and accepting of all religious groups and the most concerned with spiritual practices rather than converting others or conquering the world. Unlike most Biblical traditions, Hindus do not claim that theirs is the only path and if you don'taccept their religion, you will suffer eternal damnation or at least never receive the favour of God. Instead they teach you methods of Yoga and meditation so that you can experience the Divine for yourselves and in yourself, freeing you from any dependency upon institutions or dogmas.
Unfortunately today, under the pretext of Hindu terrorism, terrorism is being enacted against Hindus in India today. Hindu nuns are being stripped of their human rights, subject to narcotic testing that is illegal in the rest of the world, and tortured. Clearly such treatment would never be given in India by the police to a Christian nun. Even in India, evidence gained in this manner is not admissible in a court of law, yet it seems to be not only admissible but unquestionably true in the Indian media, which builds a case of Hindu terrorism based upon the torture of Hindus and allegations built upon that torture.
What is the brazen face of terrorism they are showing us among Hindus? Not a Bin Laden and 9/11 with Al Qaida proudly boasting of its attack and citing scripture in its justification, not a Taliban taking over a country and turning it into a terrorist state, not an attack on India? Parliament, but a Hindu nun and her two wheeler, even though polygraph tests, torture and narcotic drugs injected into her have failed to produce a confession.
Terrorism is a big problem in India as it is in Pakistan and in the rest of the world. The main religious group to which the great majority of terrorists belong is obviously not the Hindus. While the media in India likes to blame Hindus for terrorism in the country, even if Hindus are the victims, clearly they can'tblame Hindus for the yet greater terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, much less in the US and UK.
Yet the media of India seems to think that Hindu terrorism is more dangerous or at least a better story, while the greater number of Indians who have died from terrorism caused by non-Hindu groups don'tseem to be worthy of consideration. The nearly ninety people who died in Assam seem to have been forgotten, for example, mainly it seems because one cannot make them into a case of Hindu terrorism.
Note that the Indian media will not use the term terrorism for any religious group other than the Hindus. Terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam will be called ?jehadi terrorism? or simply ?terrorism?. It is said that terrorism has no religion, but this is not the case if terrorism can be linked to Hinduism, a religion unlike most others, built upon non-violence. Alleged terrorism in the name of anyone, even a nun, who might be a Hindu, even if it is not proved, will be called ?Hindu terrorism?. I suspect I may be called a Hindu terrorist for writing this article.
Does this mean that Hindus are never violent and may not at some point be involved in attacks on other communities? Certainly not, but Hindus remain largely passive and are generally the last community to assert itself with violence.
The reason for this fixation on Hindu terrorism is clear. India has suffered from many recent terrorist attacks and there has been little headway in bringing any of the terrorists to justice. Elections are coming up and those who are afraid of losing seats for their failure to deal with real terrorism, which is generally directed against Hindus, feel that raising the bogey of Hindu terrorism will improve their chances at the polls. Their war on terror is largely a war against Hindus to promote anti-Hindu voting sentiments.
Jehadis won'tneed to terrorise Hindus anymore because Indians themselves will do it to get elected, calling Hindus terrorists while they take away their human rights and let the real terrorists go free.
Recently more than eight Hindu students have been murdered in the United States. Is the government of India making a protest against anti-Hindu terrorism in the US? Certainly the American government would make a protest if American students were being murdered in India, particularly if they were Christians or Christian workers. But deaths of Hindus don'tcount it seems.
Hinduism is the religion that most commonly teaches us to respect all religions and honour a diversity of paths to the Divine, yet we find Hinduism remains the most denigrated of all the world'smajor religions.
It is time for Hindus to stand up against the distortions of Hinduism that abound in the world today, which means challenging the media and political groups that target and malign Hindus and Hinduism for their advantage. This anti-Hindu media actually seems worse in India than in the West. Sadly, many of these anti-Hindu sentiments come from Hindus in India who see certain other Hindu groups as their enemies. They will sell out their own religion and vilify it with the name of terrorism, if it brings them money, fame or another few years of political power regardless of its ramifications for the future of their country or their religion.
So let us address the real problem of terrorism and not target Hinduism. If the main thing we can boast for in dealing with terrorism is capturing Hindu nuns, our campaign against terror is certainly lacking.