Never has been the national identity as much attached to the religiosity of Hinduism in the modern history of India as it is now. Never has the RSS doctrine of faith this aggressive in the country as it is in contemporary times. The (un)godly onslaught has only accelerated after the ascension of an ascetic to the post of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
It seems as if one is not breathing in the congeniality of a democratic environment but in the tyranny of a theological state. The ferocity of religiousness has gone to the extent that humans have been reduced to be worse than animals and love have become a crime.
For long we had been led to a romance with Hinduism as a ‘cultural way of life’ detoxifying 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 fundamentalists within the establishment, most notable among them, the Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, confessed the definition of Hinduism has been legitimized by the 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 the 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 have been proud of that.
Tragically, in recent times, the circumstances that have to lead 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 the country on a course of irrational chaos and conflict.
From superficiality of outlook, BJP and its affiliates may enjoy the fruits of their political harvest considering themselves to be the custodians of Hinduism but underneath they are damaging sacred ethos of Indian culture and harming the cause of Hinduism that Rishis (sages) for centuries had evolved and fostered.
The consecutive electoral successes 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 the emotion of social friction. Psychological scarring is difficult to heal if the wound is deep.
India has been historically a country for millions of people of all faiths. It is as much a country for Hindus as for Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs.
However, the kind of ill-disposed political narrative which is being expressed by the right-wing party and perpetuated on the ground by their affiliates is creating 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 this obsession with the skewed interpretation of Hinduism and with the breeding of fear in the weaker sections of society, India moves a step back.
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 into the division of India of both its body and soul.
Time is truly running out at a great expense and heed should be paid 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 a sin but doing so at the cost of the rights of a victimized class, particularly Muslims, robs Hinduism of its spirituality.