For the last 20 years I have been studying articles and reports on Bharat and eventually I came to the conclusion that journalists in Bharat believe the information from a certain political spectrum only.
As a member of the Bielefeld Bharat-German Maîtree I see it as a duty to correct distortions and remove misunderstanding.
Hindus, Hindu Nationalists
The main Hindu Nationalist organisations, whether the BJP or the ideological parent organisation RSS are classified as right-wing or even Fascist, both by their Bharatiya adversaries as well as foreign media. Although:
n The BJP refuses to cooperate with foreign rightist parties; the offer of the French Front National in the nineties was declined;
n The RSS is active in protecting and development of Indian Tribal societies. In other parts of the world such movements are supported mainly by Leftist groups:
n The RSS is very successful in eradicating caste discrimination and other evils which had crept up during the last centuries. Nobody mentions his caste and swayamsevaks often do not know and are not interested in knowing—the caste affiliation of their neighbours. Today one can also see Muslims in RSS shivirs.
No commandment or dogma is violated by discarding caste as the Yugadharma (Law of the Age—adjustment of religious practice according to the requirements of time) forms part of Hinduism.
RSS members are often the first to render help during natural calamities.
However, part of the bad image of RSS across the world can be attributed to the organisation itself because they hardly do any public relations work and instead want to fulfill their duties without expecting any reward (Nishkama Karma).
Media Citations: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS)6-1-02. (The paper writes about the persecution of Buddhists and destruction of Buddhist temples by Hindu princes).
My comment: Right from its origin in the 6th century BC Buddhism was seen and treated as a branch of Hinduism. Just as there were violent quarrels between Hindu sects because of temples and the rightful places of idols, Buddhists sometimes were also involved therein. But no prisoners were taken and massacred and no women and children enslaved, nobody was converted by force. There is no Hindu scripture which contains commandments to treat followers of other religions in the above way.
Hindus welcomed all refugees. Jews when they were persecuted by the Romans, Christians from Syria when persecuted by the Persians, Zarathustrians after the conquest of Persia by the Arabs, for instance, were welcomed by Hindus. In our time a large number of Polish orphan children were welcomed by a Gujarati prince after the occupation of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 and more than one lakh Tibetans with Dalai Lama could settle in Bharat. None of these refugee communities were persecuted by Hindus. On the other hand in Hindu-minority areas persecution has never stopped since the eighth century.
From the eighth century onwards Hindus themselves became refugees.
This has continued till present times and there is no sign of a change. The persecutors were Arabs, then Turks and the Portuguese. The latter practiced their Inquisition in Western Bharat until 1812. In Hindu-minority areas persecution has never stopped since the eighth century.
In the 20th century we had the Moplah uprising, the “Direct Action” and the partition massacres (see below), to name only a few. Later came the expulsion of Bharatiya from East Africa, of Nepali Hindus from Bhutan, and the suppression of Tamilians mainly Hindus in Sri Lanka, which still continues.
FAZ 4-7-10: “Indian Aborigines were never Hindu”.
My Comment: The so-called Aborigines or Adivasi (a term coined during the British Raj), as far as they have not been converted to Western religions still practice much of their tribal religions besides Hindu cults. But many of these tribes entered Bharat later than Caste Hindus. They, however, are made genuine Hindus by Western media as soon as there is an opportunity to report about a persecution of Christians because a non-Christian tribe defends itself against violence of Christian neighbours.
The term Adivasi can easily be applied to every Bharatiya except for the small minority who prides itself on its fair skin because their forefathers came from countries west of Bharat.
Same paper, same date: “In Dangs the proselytisers (they mean the Hindus who organise a ghar vapasi) condescendingly speak of “jungle men” and “people of the woods”.
My comment: Our media never speak of “proselytisers” in connection with Christian missionaries, but only when reporting about Indians who offer a possibility to return to Indian traditions for people who had been converted to Western religions.
But they scrupulously avoid reporting on other actions of these Hindu organisations, such as inter-dining with Dalits etc. The above term “jungle people” is a wrong translation of the Hindi word Vanvasi. It may even be a deliberate twist to show the “condescension” of the “proselytisers”. The correct translation is “forest dwellers”.
Solidarische Welt, March 03 : “The Hindu-Fundamentalist BJP, defending Caste…”.
My comment: The BJP perhaps defends and rightly so, the caste system as it was practiced a few thousand years ago. But they are not defending it because they are planning to strengthen it; it has served its purpose and under modern conditions it is a stumbling block and therefore it has to go. They want it to be forgotten, and this is certainly the right way as part of their efforts to modernise Bharat.
BJP and RSS also use the most effective method in battling caste discrimination because they want to strengthen the feeling of nationhood in Bharatiya irrespective of their religion, whereas other Bharatiya political parties whom the West so far preferred to the BJP have favoured and pampered certain castes and religions to keep them as vote banks thereby weakening the integrity of Bharat.
It may well be that the patient Bharatiya voter has now, at last, used the most effective method of dealing with parties which accuse others of defense of caste and at the same time take measures to perpetuate this system.
Same paper, same date: “Under a BJP government minorities have to follow standards set by the majority”.
My comment: A headstand of facts. The privileged religious minorities have to slowly adjust themselves to equal rights for the majority. More under the heading “Muslims and Islamists”.
Same paper same date : “The BJP is against so-called preferential treatment of Muslims and pseudo-secularism. The rights of the minorities guaranteed by the constitution are being attacked”.
My comment: A slight modification of these two sentences will state the facts: The BJP is against real pampering of minorities and against the privileges for minorities in the constitution and they will certainly—in the course of time—bring Hindus on par with minorities.
Berliner Zeitung 9-5-03 : “Foreign people in the ideology of Hindu organisations are hostile invaders who soil the nation. Terms like ‘pure race’ and ‘Aryan’ are common here”
My comment: A pathetic and crude effort to put Hindus into a corner which is still much too present in the minds of many Westerners.
FAZ 4-7-10: RSS is inspired by Italian Fascism.
My comment: Yes, they studied the organisation and training of discipline with Italian Fascists because they were convinced that Bharat would only be saved from foreign domination if people could learn discipline and good organisation. And everybody who wants to see can see that RSS does not imitate Italian Fascists in other points, except the uniform.
(The writer is an eminent scholar & a member of Bielefeld Bharat-German Maitree, excerpts from a lecture delivered at the Bielefeld Adult Education Centre on 21 and 28 September 2015)
(To be concluded)