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Is India finally on the right side of history?

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Jatin Chadha
Jatin Chadha
Practicing Hindu, author, lifelong seeker of knowledge. He has a Doctorate in Botany with interests in exploring religion, culture, and history. The opinions expressed here are personal. Connect with him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jatin99

From a utilitarian perspective, the subject of history might have no value except in academia. However, the right knowledge of history is extremely important for any civilization’s existence. The collective wisdom of our ancestors together with the vision they had for the civilization is essential to move it forward. We live only for a short span of fewer than 100 years. Thus, it is impossible to understand who we are unless there is a proper understanding of our history. If someone can not see the rationale in it, he is approaching history wrongly.

History teaches us who we are beyond what we can normally see of ourselves. It defines and shapes our present identity. It can only be ignored by someone at one’s own peril or by someone who does not value his identity. In India, history and hence identity is becoming increasingly pertinent and relevant as part of the national discourse.

Within Hinduism, ideally, there should be no clash between all-encompassing religious Hindu identity and sub-identities predicated on various cultures, traditions, languages, and castes. Unfortunately, due to Left dominance over the intellectual establishment and academia in India, schools and mendacious textbooks have taught very little of the glorious Hindu past or taught it terribly. As normally there is no other source to learn history, it is reflected in how people start hating their Hindu identity.

Nevertheless, the strength of Hinduism lies in its diversity, capacious enough to include people belonging to various identities. All these identities must operate and are valuable in different contexts and situations. The context is important but due to lack of faith and pride of being Hindu, it eludes many Hindus leading them to turn their strength into a weakness. And they choose to give more importance to ethnic, language or caste identity rather than all-inclusive religious Hindu identity. Furthermore, many deracinated Hindus decide to remain in isolation, unconcerned and focussed only on earning livelihood, trying to lead a good life and ignore what is happening around without realizing that it can not go on indefinitely because someone else who feels disconnected and does not relate with Hindus because of their identity might pose a threat to them or their future generations. Therefore, the past will continue to haunt the present no matter what Hindus opt for in present.

Thus, the true understanding of our history is crucial at this juncture as we continue to face a perpetual civilizational war for the last more than 1000 years. Notwithstanding, the ebbs and flows in the Indian society, the inevitability, and seriousness of the conflict become obvious as many other great civilizations fell to the barbaric desert cults masquerading as religions. Lessons should be learned from what happened in other parts of the world or even with us in 1947 so we don’t suffer the same fate again. The main reason for the destruction of other civilizations was the inability to consolidate power against the enemies. Ergo, political consolidation and a victory were crucial for Hindus which materialized with BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) coming into power in 2014.

The upshot is that BJP has started proving its civilizational commitment with the Citizenship Amendment Bill and geopolitical and socio-religious responsibility with the defanging of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. Both of these actions address the historical wrongs committed against Hindus. With this acknowledgment, finally, it appears that we are on the right side of history. However, as history has no end, we would need to keep learning lessons that can judiciously deal with the present and future. Besides, these efforts could also be rendered futile unless the current approach of the Indian Government becomes part of a bigger shift in Indian politics and governance. It had become a norm due to Congress’s intentional amnesia that some things must not be said about history, while other things must be said. And they always swept sensitive issues under the carpet, consequently minimizing the scale and intent of Hindu massacres. Hindus continued to be made victims of the faux victimhood narrative.

Nevertheless, with the Indian Government’s strong stance, hopeful signs are on the horizon. The divides amongst Hindus are wide. But BJP which is the largest political party in the world can act as a bridge to unite them all by continuing its focus on other vital Hindu concerns which were largely absent from the policy agenda of the Indian Government until recently and pave the way for freeing Hindu temples from Government control, revising textbooks to reflect true Indic history and culture and amendment of Articles 29 and 30 along with repealing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) that can bring parity between various religions in education.

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Jatin Chadha
Jatin Chadha
Practicing Hindu, author, lifelong seeker of knowledge. He has a Doctorate in Botany with interests in exploring religion, culture, and history. The opinions expressed here are personal. Connect with him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jatin99
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