Harming The Cause Of Hinduism
By Mohammad Azeemullah (AMU Alumnus & Lecturer at University of Al-asmariya, Libya)
Never had been national identity as much adhered to religiosity of Hinduism in modern history of India as that of now. Never had been RSS doctrine of faith as much aggressive in the country as that of contemporary time. The (un) godly onslaught has only accelerated after the ascension of an ascetic to the throne of Utter Pradesh. It seems as if one is not breathing in congeniality of democratic environment but in tyranny of a theological state. The ferocity of religiousness has gone to the extent that human is reduced to be worse than animal and love has become a crime. For long we had been led to romance with Hinduism as a ‘cultural way of life’ de-toxifying its system of beliefs as a ‘religion’. The Supreme Court had defined Hindutva as a “way of life.” “These words (Hindutva and Hinduism) are used in a speech to emphasize the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian cultural ethos,” the Supreme Court had said in 1995. Even the fundamentalist within the establishment, most notable among them is the Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath who confessed the definition of Hinduism as legitimized by Supreme Court of India. He said, ‘The idea of a Hindu Rashtra is not wrong. The Supreme Court has clarified that Hindutva is not a religion. It is a way of life.’ (Times Now Apr 06, 2017) Hinduism is acknowledged to embrace a wide range of adherents of faiths in its liberal stream of thoughts granting equal opportunities to individuals to practice their own respective ways of life. Undeniably, the broad spectrum of Hinduism encompasses all those who are God-fearing and all those who are agnostics magnifying its primacy beyond a horizon. No other religion in the world has been celebrated with so much abundance of its liberal values as that of Hinduism. And Hindus since long had been proud of that. Tragically, in recent time, the circumstances that are leading to the occurrence of violence against Muslims in the name of protecting a specific animal misspells the long-cherished ideals of Hinduism and its enlightened values. BJP in its intoxication to extend power is only using Hinduism as a political tool without its spiritual sanctity little realizing how its divisive agenda is bleeding the vitality of Hinduism and leading country to the course of irrational chaos and conflict. From superficiality of outlook, BJP and its affiliates may enjoy the fruits of political harvest considering themselves as the custodian of Hinduism but they are underneath damaging sacred ethos of Indian culture harming the cause of Hinduism that Rishis (sages) for centuries had evolved and fostered. Electoral successes one after another must not blind the ruling party to sow the seeds of hatred in one community against the other and cause irreparable damage to the country in the long term. The foundational values of Hinduism must not be traded for cheap populism by fanning emotions of social frictions. Psychological scar is difficult to heal if wound is deep. India had been historically a country for millions of people of all faiths. It is as much a country for Hindus as those for Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs. However, the kind of ill-disposed political narrative expressed by the right-wing party and perpetuated on the ground by affiliates create the impression that India is only a country for Hindus. Those who oppose this typically-new-generated theory of ethics are accused of going against majoritarian wishes and stand to be condemned as anti-national. If such irrationality of political expansion continues with so much of obsession with skewed interpretation of Hinduism and with so much of breeding fear in the weaker sections of society, India moves a step back in regression. Igniting emotions in the name of religion is the cheapest transaction to make to hold on to power but the reverse is difficult to follow. The British empire did the same culminating the climax of India into division of both its body and soul. Time is truly running out at a great expense to pay heed to the beauty of Hinduism…that is inclusive and receptive to human values. Or the worst is already happening to cause harm to both India and its great faith. Promoting Hinduism is not sin but doing so at the cost of the rights of a victimized class, particularly Muslims, robs Hinduism of its spirituality.