“The Hindu society must form a solid wall of defence and protect their brethren against the various social and economic inducements and physical threats brandished by Muslims. The Hindu society must send a loud and clear message that they will not tolerate any form of attack against their fellow Hindus. Anybody who shows intolerance towards the innate Hindu nature of peaceful coexistence must not be tolerated”.
– Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya, The Last Will and Testament of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya to the Sanatana Society and Civilisation, The speech delivered on October 26, 1946
The Nupur Sharma controversy is refusing to die down. Despite her suspension and apology for a reactionary threat of quoting the Hadith about the life incidents of the founder of Islam, blatant death threats continue to flash. Even a forward of posts in her support resulted in two brutal killings. If that was not enough, Salman Chishti was seen declaring a bounty on her head and later being tutored by Rajasthan police on how to escape the law. When all this is the ground reality, judges listening to a petition filed by Nupur Sharma held her ‘single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country’ in their observations. On the other hand, legal luminaries like Colin Gonsalves, who have a track record of defending everyone who undermines the democratic structure of Bharat, are ready to protect a person who dog-whistled global Islamists and is facing charges of foreign funding without proper permission. The Islamic fundamentalists and their Sar Tan Se Juda mindset have been emboldened through all these actions.
If this was not enough, a known Hindu hater, and self-proclaimed atheist, Leena Manimekalai, dared to share a derogatory posture of Maa Kali, the Hindu Goddess considered to be the symbol of death, time, and change. The Trinamool Congress loudmouth Mahua Moitra justified it as her right to free speech and the authentic depiction of Kalika Mata. How to deal with such a dichotomous situation where even mentioning either the founder or scriptures of monotheistic religions like Islam leads to death threats, while Shiva, Ganesh, Saraswati and Kali, various forms of the Supreme worshipped by Hindus, are continuously mocked and ridiculed.
Hindu society rightly asks whether the country would be run by the Constitution or with the Sharia laws? The question is correct, but the answer has to be found in the democratic system. Awakening through Sanatana is essential in this regard. Respecting all ways to be true is the fundamental principle of Sanatan Hindu society. Unfortunately, since colonial times, the State structures and intellectual space have disregarded this strength and created the legal framework to undermine the Sanatan Dharma. While building a united strength and teaching everyone to be respectful towards all ways of worship, Hindus also need to develop intellectual power to articulate, defend, and modify the academic and legal space wherever necessary.
At the same time, Hindus should explain and expose the non-reformist tenets of Islam. The root cause of Islamic fundamentalism lies in the inherent idea of Kafir, the non-believer. If the fundamentalist says that whoever does not believe in Islam and the founder of Islam as the last Prophet is a non-believer, then it is a problematic premise. The idea of the Caliphate and Muslim Umma is the natural corollary that encourages fundamentalists to impose uniform standards of religious beliefs and practices. Many Muslims have started questioning this uniformity and call themselves ex-Muslims. Due to the ghettoised living, few others are afraid to challenge the fundamentalists out of fear. Hindu society must stand by such reformist voices, even if they are a daring few. A common cultural root of Hindus and Muslims of Bharat is our only saving grace. Creating an atmosphere for ordinary Muslims to reconnect with their cultural roots so that they are freed from the clutches of orthodoxy is also the responsibility of the larger Hindu society. Such an environment would be possible only by Hindu unity on the one hand, as prescribed by Mahamana Malaviya, and strengthening the reformist voices within the Muslim community on the other. That is the only way to save the Sanatana tradition of spiritual democracy from the cabal of Islamic fundamentalists and illiberal communists.