Being Hindu, living in India, in 2018
Today was special. I woke up with the sun rays blinding my eyes, and a cozy breeze cocooning me. I was ready to answer my question about being a Hindu, living in India, in 2018.
Throughout the past 60 years or so, being a Hindu was all about being painted with a communal hue. Even now it’s more or less the same, however just a little faded. For centuries we have accepted apartheid, massacre & exile. Exile, not only from land, but from the emotion of being Hindu. The emotional essence tied around being a Hindu has set itself loose. Rather than being a way of life, it has become a way of acceptance. Somewhere in between the chaos that we went through, our collective identity evanescent like an enigma waiting to be rediscovered.
It is because proselytization does not exist in our religion, that we gave refuge to people from diverse ethnicities & religions, and allowed them to actively coexist on our soil without interference. However, this civilised approach of ours was taken advantage of by people as is evident in history. Be it the sparing nature of Hindu Kings towards Muslim Kings, or the ease with which the British entered India to do business. Over and over again, throughout all our history, we have always welcomed and allowed others to cherish the beauty that India is. Yet, even with the most humanitarian approach towards people, we have been labelled communal. It’s the respect we have for other people’s opinions that we have given freeloading rogues ample space to perpetually belittle Hindus under the garb of free speech.
We misconstrued a belief that a sense of societal togetherness is unity. What we did not realise is that this belief would turn us so passive, that we would still tolerate the same cruelty that we went through in all our history. The credit for this passivity I believe, is to our holy books as they’re are meant for seekers & not for people with blinders around their heads.
To prove the point of passivity I made in the above paragraph, let’s rewind to January 1990. January 1990 marked the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. Over 350,000 people were exiled from their ancestral land. Hindu women had their modesty ravaged, their children brutally slaughtered & men tortured. It’s been 29 years since the tragedy. And yet, a Kashmiri Pandit can only dream of watching the sunset over the horizon with his feet on his ancestral land. It was in 2017 that the Kashmiri Pandits decided to turn the U.N. for help. Let us not overlook the fact that the U.N. has several times failed to act on issues pertaining to the human rights violations committed by Islamists. It’s a saddening fact that Kashmiri Pandits had to turn to an organisation which has been supporting countries that aid separatists in Kashmir.
This colossal failure of human rights in India can be accounted solely to us. Finally, let it sink in that this ethnic cleansing, this genocide, happened in an independent and democratic India.
No one even remembers the names of those charred to death in the Godhra incident. Not a single name. Even today, in Kerala & Karnataka, the hacking of a Hindu in broad daylight holds no widespread protests or candle light marches. If we do not understand and feel the plight of Hindu families who have been destroyed by this hatred today, history will repeat itself. Who is to blame for this? We are! because we have shed our collective identity as Hindus and pulled over a cloak of a quasi-activeness. We have inculcated a hostile behaviour towards any thing that would require for us to rise against this blood curdling hatred directed towards us. What kind democracy is it, where the majority does not stand up for its own people?
Forever forgotten & shoved into an abyss of darkness. That is the plight of every Hindu family murdered only because they were Hindu.
Ultimately, as Hindus, we have repeatedly failed our own people.
The onus of bringing back the emotion attached with being Hindu lies entirely with us. Is it necessary that we let these important issues culminate to a point where we might be subjected to the atrocities we have already been through? We need to introspect before it is too late.
If you look at every other religion, they manifest consciously. But Hinduism manifests subconsciously. This subconscious has turned to coal, of which the embers we have to light. A reawakening of this subconscious into daily life will be the beginning, that of a soul—pious and harmonious.
The agenda for today shouldn’t be to instil a nationalist emotion, but a much more sacred, religious emotion.