A new trend has emerged in the past few weeks – Hinduism vs Hindutva. Though this has been the line of attack for quite some time, I found something very interesting. Below is an image tweeted by many liberal celebrities including Shashi Tharoor.
Here is the line of reasoning,
- Hinduism is a political tool
- It has only one central idea
- It is exclusive and it teaches to hate other religions
- Hence, it is monolithic and similar to Christianity and Islam
This line of reasoning is very significant. Inadvertently, the above graphic admits that monotheistic religions are exclusive in nature and teach hatred for other beliefs. So what stops liberals from acknowledging the above fact which they already know? Why is their distaste only reserved for Hindutva as they call it? Why are these original monotheistic religions spared from liberal and logical scrutiny? And why does Hinduism’s so called transition to Hindutva worry them so much if they are comfortable with Christianity and Islam?
Let us look at monotheistic faiths closely. They go around with an air of superiority, do not respect other faiths and regard them as inferior. They have ‘the savior’ mentality and constantly need a victim and a perpetrator to fight against. Any different point of view is regarded as inferior and subject to name calling (uncivilized, disbeliever, pagan, bigot etc.). They place themselves on a self created higher moral pedestal and try to grab political power while pretending to engage in social justice. They shield anyone who is ‘Humare side main’ no matter what crime they have committed. They pretend to stand for peace but end up destroying native cultures and practices with the single minded aim of finding new converts.
Read the above para again carefully? Yes, you got that right.
Indian Liberalism has the same basic tenets. It is more of an extension of Christianity rather than an independent rational line of thought. Such being the case, liberalism is pretty comfortable with Islam and Christianity. Religion is viewed through a monotheistic lens and whatever passes the monotheistic test is allowed to remain, other things are questioned. Hence neither does it find any problem with aggressive monotheism, nor is it able to appreciate deep philosophical moorings of Hinduism and its plural nature. No doubt, we have not found a single liberal calling out this social evil of religious conversions.
Additionally, questioning Christianity and Islam comes with a high cost – it will upset their western beneficiaries and also the fundamentalists who are ever willing to defend their faith. The only easy targets to practice liberalism against are Hinduism and other Indic faiths. If native faiths are benign and go about their own business ignoring predatory tendencies of other faiths, it suits them. However, if the native faiths also stand up and claim their rightful space and start defending themselves, it is an existential crisis. Hence the desire to maintain status quo and their discomfort with so called Hindutva.
This, “Hindutva vs Hinduism” is simply old wine in a new bottle. In 2009, the same liberals sold us “Advani vs Vajpayee” and more recently “Modi vs Advani”. After pollution on Divali and water wastage on Holi, this is a new chapter in the liberal handbook of “How to guilt trap gullible Hindus”. If there were a real liberal, he would instead ask the following questions – why is Hinduism transforming? Who is responsible for a polytheistic broad-minded accommodating faith becoming monotheistic? Is the current regime fueling it or have fault lines already been created with pseudo-secular policies of 70 years?