WHEN India was partitioned along strictly religious lines, with a large majority totally opposed to it, residual India had no other option but to call itself “secular”, to assert its vision of ‘One India One People’. It was not to subtle a way of saying that India was opposed to the very principle on which Partition took place.
The word ‘secular’ in the circumstances had a very powerful connotation. Indeed Indians were proud to have it included in the Constitution which described the country as a “Secular, Democratic Republic”. Over the years the word which once had such powerful vibrations has lost all its significance and has come to mean demonisation, denigration and depredation of Hinduism. To be called ‘secular’ was to receive the highest badge of honour in the pseudo-secular world headed by no less than Jawaharlal Nehru. The more one came to despise Hinduism the higher one rose in the estimation of Macaulay’s children who ran the show in Delhi, ruled by their intellectual icon, Nehru, who was wary of lending his support to the renovation of much-wrecked Somnath Temple.
As the years passed, two things slowly began to change the caste-ridden Hindu scene. One, thanks to recourse to education, the so-called ‘lower castes’, along with OBCs and dalits began to appear steadily in the political skies. Two, and because of their numerical strength, they started exerting power, until today the power equation between the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ castes has changed in favour of the latter, which alone will explain the rise and rise of such characters as Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar, Mayavati in Uttar Pradesh, Shibu Soren in Jharkhand and till recently A Rajan in Tamil Nadu. Power has slipped from the hand of the privileged class which today find themselves hard to accept reality. In an earlier era one couldn’t have possibly expected a Dr BR Ambedkar to be named “Greatest Indian”, as was presented in a poll recently conducted by two TV channels.
That the “lower castes” including the OBCs and dalits being new to the social scene have shown a propensity towards amassing wealth is only too well-known – Mayavati’s bank accounts are there for all to evaluate, not to mention her palatial residence – but it was very tactless on the part of Ashish Nandy to make a public issue out of it.
Discretion is the better part of common sense. What is not being realised is that a vast change has come over what can only be called a distraught Hindu society which has still to learn how to come to terms with itself. Much the same is happening in the world of Muslims which had long remained stagnant, but is now becoming increasingly restive, thanks again to the community’s acceptance of higher education and broader growth in the economic sphere. Its assertiveness is noticeable the way it is attempting to proclaim the uniqueness of its identity by wearing a white skull cap, a wholly unnecessary move intended to convey that the Muslims are a separate people, unwilling to get absorbed in the larger Indian society and let everyone beware. It is clear that in doing so, the community is unconsciously alienating itself from fellow Indian and thereby shooting itself in the foot, and, what is worse, making a mockery of secularism.
The Hindu way of self-annihilation is equally crude and detestable. And this is where one feels sick at the behaviour of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who has been mocking at Hinduism without realising the damage he is again causing unconsciously by spitting at an ancient way of life. The fashion in today’s ‘secular’ world – which, incidentally is 99 per cent Hindu – is to run down Hinduism, Hindutva and their proponent, the RSS, with the likes of Shinde not realising the psychic wounds they have been persistently inflicting on Hindu society. Surely he should have known that there is no such thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’.
There never ever has been one down the centuries when large-scale conversions were being attempted by Islamic and Christian invaders. But there is a growing anger among a segment of Hindu society that is getting increasingly upset at the manner in which it is being slighted by those in power and the sheer weakness and blatant cowardice they are openly exhibiting in handling repeated assaults on the dignity and self-respect of Indians by the ISI and its acknowledged agents in India.
If there ever is Hindu terrorism, one must fiercely charge Shinde for being its unacknowledged sponser. Shinde, as of now, has insulted Hindus by his casual remarks, but let this be said: casually they may have been but they reflect a mind-set that has long been prevalent among a certain section of Hindu upper class society wishing to demean Hinduism and all that it stands for. It makes them feel very superior. At the same time Shinde may have had ulterior reasons to speak contemptuously of Hindu terrorism, considering that the general elections are not far away and the chances of the UPA coming to power are getting remoter by the day. It would be paying to be in the good books of the minorities, especially of Muslims, but Shinde may not know that Congress has lost a lot of Hindu goodwill by his reckless remarks. What is pathetic is that the Samajhauta Express bombing was the handiwork of the ISI, proof of which has been provided by no less than S. Gurumurthy in a well-substantiated article in the media.
Shinde, in his ignorance may not also be aware that David Headley was also involved in the Samjhauta blast. But the main point to be noted is that it is the mind-set of men like Shinde that has encouraged Muslim terrorism. Is Shinde aware of another set of characters like Owaisi who has had the reputation for insulting Hindu gods and goddesses to the applause of thousands of his followers? Has any Hindu terrorist ever laid hands on him? Owaisi has literally got away with murder.
Shinde deserves to be sacked. It is only the sick secularism of the likes of Shinde that has been the cause of intolerance such as Owaisi has been practising. We have had enough of this bogus secularism. It is only such secularism that encourages people to throw mud at Hinduism as was recently exhibited when Cyria Thomas, Member, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions damned ‘saffronisation’ as “nothing but intellectual terrorism”. If he had any complain to make against any text book, should he not have discussed the matter with thoughtful people before making obnoxious remarks about “saffronisation”?