Achieving Hindu unity
The Hindu Mahasabha was founded in 1911 and the RSS in 1925. The growth of RSS has been tremendous with shakas in every nook and corner of the country. The political front of the RSS, the BJP (now the ruling party at the Centre) has tasted power not only in the Centre for one full term but also has been ruling in several states for decades. But still let alone establishing a Hindu Rashtra, even taking pride about ones Hindu identity, its history, tradition and culture is met with ridicule and having the stigma of being called communal. This is the reality in a country where nearly 80 percent of the populations are Hindus. Contrast this with other movements and organization. The Muslim League was established in 1906 and in 1940 it resolved to have a separate Muslim nation and within seven years realized it. When unity among Muslims could be achieved, what is hindering unity and consensus among Hindus? Even in its own land Hindus have been divided into plethora of castes, sub-castes, sects, sub-sects and creeds. Having produced philosophical and spiritual treatises like the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Advaita philosophy, Hindus have failed to give spiritual solace to the world while fanatical cults masquerading as peaceful religion have been able to attract worldwide adherents. In spite of centuries of political slavery, Hindus are little prepared to face the imminent threat to their religion and culture from alien forces. All these need critical evaluation and honest introspection among Hindus. Only when we go to the root of an ailment, can remedy be found. Some of the causes hindering Hindu unity and the probable steps to remedy it are analyzed here.
Establishing our real identity
The first step towards achieving Hindu unity is to become aware of who we are. Are we Hindus or Sanatanis? Is our nation- India, Hindustan or Bharath? Just because some x cannot pronounce your name and misspells it, do you repeat that name which that x had spelled or tell your correct name if someone asks your name? Commonsense tells us that we introduce ourselves with our real name and not the misspelt name given by some x. The name Hindu was the word used by the Persians (Iranians) to describe the religion practiced by the people living on the eastern side of River Sindhu which they pronounced as Hindu. Hence the name Hindu for Sanatanis, Hinduism for Sanatana Dharma and Hindustan for Bharath (the real name of India) came into vogue. For centuries we Sanatanis have been unknowing using the word Hindu religion to describe the spiritual ideals of Sanatana Dharma. The time has now come for us to declare that we are not Hindus but Sanatanis and ours is not a religion but a way of life which any one could adapt. Sanatana Dharma is not like other religious faiths which are restrictive and dogmatic but a way of life containing spiritual ideals which are transcendental in nature.
Showcase Sanatana Dharma as a way of life than a religion
Religion means belief, faith in a god; wherein a follower has to obey his (god’s) commands, so as not to displease him, beg him for material needs and appease him so that he gives him a place in the heaven to enjoy unlimited sensual pleasures. Religions are dogmatic, restrictive and irrational. Using the word religion for Sanatana Dharma will be wrong and degrading. Sanatana Dharma is not a religion like Islam or Christianity with strict dos and don’ts. It is a way of life with high spiritual ideals contained in the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and the Advaita philosophy.
Lala Hardayal, the great patriot had once remarked that if we have to keep our children and grandchildren safe from Islam, we need to convert not only the whole of Pakistan (and Bangladesh) but also Afghanistan into Hindus. Keeping this in view, Hindu should put efforts to bring more and more non-Hindus into the Sanatana fold. This they can achieve only if they reform Hinduism and get rid it of obnoxious belief and practices. At present Hindu organisations try to impose their opinion and views on the way people should dress, what not to eat and how to behave in public. For instance they are against women wearing western dresses, mingling of boys and girls, celebrating Valentine’s Day, eating beef and consuming alcohol, to mention a few. But spirituality has nothing to do with diet, dress or what one does during his/her leisure time. Hindu organizations should not interfere in the personal affairs of individuals, if not they will antagonize the youths who will develop a negative attitude towards Hinduism and its culture. Though our youths may initially feel attracted towards western culture, as they mature they will definitely return back to their roots. To give an instance it was the young men and women working in corporate sectors, having gone abroad and exposed to western culture who showed enthusiasm and worked for getting Modi elected as Prime Minister of India. Why, because they felt that only Modi can bring back the lost glory of India and Hinduism. Non-Hindus should be able to find Hindu religion attractive and progressive to accept it. Otherwise Hinduism will be like just another religion with dos and don’ts. For instance if a Muslim converts to Hinduism he/she finds that instead of burqa, devote Hindu women are supposed to cover their head with pallu, instead of fasting from dawn to dusk in the month of Ramdan, devote Hindus are supposed to fast on ekadashi day and if as a Muslim consuming pork becomes haram, after becoming a Hindu, consuming beef becomes haram. Sanatana Dharma is a way of life which even an atheist or agonistic can follow. It is a life of freedom. To follow the spiritual ideals of Sanatana Dharma one need not have to believe in God or a prophet, chant mantras or read holy books. Sanatana Dharma with its motto Sarvam Brahmamaya believes in the divinity in all forms; with or without consciousness. To become aware of this divinity is the final goal in life for all who adapt the way of life prescribed by Sanatana Dharma. See http://sanatanaparishad.blogspot.in
Hindu organizations should shed conservatism
Whether it is RSS, BJP or VHP, all organizations advocating the cause of Hindus and Hinduism are led by orthodox minded people and influenced by conservative ideology. One fact which all Hindus should be aware of is that if the Muslims become conservative, they attract adherents and achieve unity. For instance see how the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Syria are attracting educated Muslims all over the world. But if the Hindus become conservative, it will be a hindrance for Hindu unity; because a conservative Hindu means belief in caste system, touch-me-notism, polytheism, prejudice against meat eaters, western culture, etc. The percentage of Hindu conservatives may be about five percent of the total Hindu population. Now how can we accept that 95% of the population adhere to the way of life followed by 5% of the population and which include many obnoxious and hypocritical practices. India is a land of diverse culture and tradition and achieving Hindu unity by enforcing conformism is going to boomerang. Unlike in the past today the subaltern class is well-read, well organized and are proud of their customs, culture and tradition. They are aware of the happening around the world including progress in the field of science and technology. Unlike their forefathers they have developed the power of reasoning are not willing to believe in the cock and bull stories parroted by conservative elements to preserve their monopoly in the society. Hence to achieve Hindu unity Hindus must adapt a liberal attitude and shed conservatism. This will also attract new adherents to Hinduism from outside India.
Urgent need to annihilate Caste
If one has keenly observed, Muslims can be assembled at a place for a cause more easily than Hindus. Also compared to mobilizing Hindus it is easy to mobilize the members of a caste group. This shows how caste has entrenched in the psyche of Hindus and hindering Hindu unity. The indifference shown by Hindu leaders towards the plight of Dalits and other marginalized section of the Hindu society made Islam carry out its conversion activities even when Muslims had lost their political power and India was under the British rule. Ram Gopal in his work, Indian Muslims– A Political History (1858-1947) (Asia Publishing House, 1964, p.8) writes that Census Report revealed, unabated conversion during British regime and this proved beyond doubt that Islam was bound to grow in Bengal whether the backing of political power was available of not. The reason for this conversion is well analyzed by Nitish Sengupta in his work, History of the Bengali speaking people, (U.B.S.P.D. Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, 2002, p 67) wherein he says that people dissatisfied with the rigours of a caste-ridden society and a religion based on vulgar ritualism turned to the new faith which promised common brotherhood, liberation from the offensive yoke of the Brahman priests and some material incentives such as easy appointments to government jobs. The process of conversion was facilitated by the practices of Hindu society, such as the one that closed the doors of the society to anyone who had been forcibly fed beef or who had taken food or water from the hands of a Muslim, or any woman who had been abducted by force and wished to return to her home and faith but was denied that right. Islam also offered young widows, the prospect of a normal and honoured life which, the Hindu society had denied and imposed upon them a life of privation and indignity. According to Ram Gopal, the converts in Bengal remained as ignorant of Islam as of Hinduism. “Some of them” says the Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol I (1885) “have never heard of Mohammed; some regard him as a person corresponding in their system of religion to Rama or Lakshman of the Hindus. The Koran is hardly read even in Bengali and in the original Arabic not at all. Many of those who have heard of it cannot tell who wrote it. Yet any Muslim peasant is able to repeat a few scraps of prayer in Arabic. This prayer gave him a sense of religion and he considered himself as a member of a socio cum religious system, which he did not have it when he was, a Hindu. (Indian Muslims – A Political History (1858-1947), Asia Publishing House, 1964. p.9) Early Smriti writers had stated that if a woman was criminally assaulted, she was not to be socially ostracized and readmitted into the family and society after some penance and purification. This procedure was followed in the beginning in the case of women forcibly converted and violated. The Devala Smriti went to the extent of declaring that women of this unfortunate category should be readmitted to the fold of Hinduism even if their violation was followed by pregnancy. This liberal viewpoint was however given up by 1000 A.D. From that time onwards, Hindu women once carried away by force into the fold of Islam had no hope of return to the religion of their birth. They had to reconcile themselves with their captors and live a miserable life, not much different from a concubine. (Swami Madhavananda and R.C.Majumdar (Edited), Great Women of India, Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta, P. 44) According to Anil A.Athale, in Kashmir the majority of the people were forced to give up the religion of their forefathers in the 17th and 18th century under the rule of fanatic Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In the later part of the 19th century, a delegation of Kashmiri Muslims went to Varanasi, to get the approval of Brahmins there to return to Hindu fold, but the priests declined their request. Even today most common family name in Kashmir is Butt, a distortion of Bhatt, a Hindu surname common amongst the Brahmins in India. (Let the Jhelum Smile Again. Adithya Prakashan, Mumbai, 1997, p.33). In fact the Jamait- ul- Ulema was opposed to Pakistan, as it would affect its propagation of Islam. Maulana Madani delivering a speech on 19th September 1945 in Delhi on the occasion of the formation of the Azad Muslim Parliamentary Board to fight the last constitutional battle against the demand of Pakistan said that at the termination of the Muslim rule, there were about 25 million Muslims in India. Within a period of less than a century their number increased up to 100 million. The missionary work of the Jamait has a great share in this increase. The great object of an overall spread of Islam in the whole of India cannot be realized by appealing to passion of hatred and antagonism. It is the non-Muslims who are the field of action for the tabligh (spread of Islam) and form the raw material for this splendid activity. (Ziya ul Hasan Faruqi, The Deoband School and the demand of Pakistan, Asia Publishing House, 1963. pp: 116-117) The above facts definitely reveal that lack of social cohesion had weakened the Hindu society and evangelists of various faiths had reaped its advantage.
Neglecting Upanishads and clinging to the Vedas
The Vedas form the early stage of spiritual ideals and practices of Sanatana Dharma. But the matured spiritual ideals and practices of Sanatana Dharma are found in the Upanishads. But a majority of those who identify themselves as Hindus still believe in the tenets and practices as espoused in the Vedas and the Tantras, (Spiritual practices meant for the commoners as against the Vedas which is meant for the elite class) which in today’s world have become obsolete and superfluous. The continuation of Vedic rites and rituals resulted in the orthodoxy and conservatism to gain an upper hand in Hindu religion and the Hindu society to become highly superstitious. Polytheism, caste system, silly rites and beliefs; are all the baggage which Hindus are carrying today due to their clinging of the Vedas. It is high time that Hindus adapt the Upanishad way of contemplation and meditation and also the Bhakti form of worship as enunciated by the Bhagavatas. See http://ithihas.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/is-correlation-of-upanishads-with-the-vedas-justified/ and https://ithihas.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/are-the-vedas-incompatible-with-the-ideals-of-bhagavatism-and-bhagavad-gita/
Need to identify interpolations and remove offensive remarks against non-Brahmins in our religious texts
Non-Brahmins account for nearly 95% of the Hindu population in India. Due to the mischief of some unscrupulous elements, all our religious texts have been interpolated and interspersed with offensive remarks against non-Brahmins. This was done when our sacred works were put into writing and when they were revised. To give a few instances, the majority of Hindus are degraded by inserting hymns like Purusha Sukta in the tenth mandala of Rig-Veda which mentions that from the mouth of God came the Brahmin and from his legs, the Shudras and other such nonsense. Similarly in several verses in Bhagavad Gita, the creation of castes and allotting duties to them by God are found. How can we believe in a God who preaches discrimination and inequalities? More so is the obnoxious statements made by Manu in his Manu Smriti against the majority of Hindus. These types of statements found in our religious texts provide fodder to Hindu haters like the Marxists, Christian evangelists and Muslim fundamentalists to show that Hinduism practices discrimination and this has led Hindus to convert to other religions. By highlighting these offensive remarks these Hindu haters are able to create animosity among Hindus and try to make the non-Brahmins believe that Hinduism is partial towards Brahmins. If this belief is not erased non-Brahmins comprising 95% of the Hindu population will not show interests in Hindu unity. Today there is an urgent need to remove these interpolations from our religious texts.
Establishing pro-Hindu regional organisations and parties
One allegation against Hindu organizations and parties in India is that they neglect regional languages and tradition and impose Sanskrit/Hindi and believe in enforcing cultural conformity. This allegation has become potent weapon for so called Hindu hating intellectuals; mostly Marxist to create animosity between Hindi and regional linguistic groups and prevents the growth of Hindu organisations in non-Hindi speaking states. Most of the leaders of Hindu organisations are from north India. In all their party and public meetings the medium of communication is Hindi, even when held in areas outside the Hindi belt. Not all people in India understand Hindi and they feel a sense of alienation in these meetings. As we know Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan when the latter tried to undermine Bengali, the language of Bangladeshis. Here Islam did not become a unifying factor. In Europe, countries like France, Spain, Portugal and Poland are proud of their language and culture and are not willing to give up their unique identity even though they profess Catholic religion. This shows that while religion unites the minds, language unites the hearts. Though we have many regional parties in India which try to promote and preserve their State’s language, culture and unique identity, they are not pro-Hindu in their attitude due to their fear of losing the minority votes. The sole exception is the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Hence we need regional organizations and political parties who take pride in their state’s language and culture and at the same time are pro-Hindu, just like the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.
Power sharing at the Centre
Since independence it is mostly a person from north India especially Uttar Pradesh who have occupied the position of Prime Minister of India. If at all others have occupied that position it is by fluke. But if a law is made by which the post of Prime Minister is rotated among different states in India, most of the leaders of regional parties in the south and east and north-eastern parts of India will definitely take a pro Hindu stance. As nearly 80 % of the populations in India are Hindus, neglecting the sentiments of the majority will cost them dearly in the elections. This move will also tone down their anti-outsider stance; promote Hindi (as they have to woo voters in other states) and bring unity among Hindus of different states.
Hindu should become pro-active and militant
Today Hindu groups protesting against the celebration of Valentine’s Day, against films hurting Hindu sentiments or against personalities/write-ups insulting Hinduism can be seen assaulting Hindu boys and girls, breaking windows, tearing posters, shouting slogans or burning tyres. Once the police with a lathi come they run away. The real need of the hour is formation of Hindu legions possessing modern firearms, highly trained and wholly devoted to the cause of Hindus and Hinduism. They should assist the army and police in apprehending and killing terrorists; in developing intelligence network of their own to gather information about possible terrorist attacks, identify sleeper’s cell and hatch plans to eliminate high profile terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim, Sayeed Lakvi, etc. If in any part of the world if even an American pet dog is accidentally hurt or injured the American government sends its war ships and fighter planes to punish the culprit. But if Hindus are butchered, raped and forcibly converted in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh; harassed and humiliated in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia (Tamil Hindus), Afghanistan (the Sikhs) and Australia (where the Lebanese Arabs used to target Hindu students), the spineless Indian government does not do anything except issue statements. If there is an exclusive Hindu brigade, Hindus all over the world can expect timely help and their tormenters will think twice before attacking Hindus. The Hindu legions should establish sleeper cells in all countries where considerable numbers of Hindus live and the members of these cells should be trained and equipped with sniper rifles, pistols/revolvers with silencers and explosives. The said Hindu militia should infiltrate into the territories of Pakistan and Bangladesh and target high profile personalities like Army officers, politicians and the clerics working against Hindus and India.
At present such Hindu militia cannot be formed and will be considered as illegal by the government. But clandestinely Hindus must arm themselves and become so formidable that it must become impossible for any government to disarm them. Formation of a Hindu militia is very essential as the Indian electorate being politically immature could elect a Congress or Third Front government in future (for instance the recent victory of AAP in Delhi). And that government may ban Hindu organisations like R.S.S. and also take measures to fill the police and armed forces with members of the minority community. We should not forget that the R.S.S. was banned by the Congress government when it declared emergency during 1975. Only the existence of a powerful Hindu militia would prevent such moves by a futuristic so called secular government.