Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Home Opinions The Hindus- Survival despite at the receiving end of historical injustice

The Hindus- Survival despite at the receiving end of historical injustice

Also Read

Samved Iyer
Eternal as evolution is, I cannot profess the pretensions of having grown in thorough measure, and I am hopeful of augmenting my perspicacity in the company of beings far more erudite than me.

Fortitude, thy name is Dharma!

Meticulous examination of history would bounteously justify the aforesaid quote. The history of the Hindus is a conspicuous chronicle of fortitude- a much-desired trait that remained notwithstanding the presence of enemies without and within.

Quite akin to the opposite poles of Earth, however, the story of the Hindus is replete with misfortunes despite all its wondrous history. Should it be narrated to a man of conscience, he would not but shed tears at this moving tale of the pride and valour of a much maligned, mistreated and persecuted community. From the egalitarian wisdom of the Sarasvati Civilization to the defeatism in British India, their history yields lessons too valuable to mankind.

Momentarily, pray reflect upon the Second World War. The mind inevitably imagines Nazi Germany and the petrifying mistreatment of the Jews. Now, pray reflect upon what has happened thereafter. The Jews spread far and wide, but stayed fundamentally united. They ensured that their story appealed to the conscience of the world. The civilized world today knows of the Jews as a much persecuted religious group that has with its forbearance built the state of Israel — a nation no less than an epitome of success.

Yet, the story of the Hindus — a national group persecuted in perhaps greater measure, remains untold. The Hindus are misrepresented as a religious group — courtesy the paramountcy of the societal interpretation by colonial authorities. To their misfortune, they were not persecuted in a physical way alone. They continues to remain under persecution intellectually. They have faced centuries of enslavement, but none so daunting as the last two of them. They attained administrative independence but not independence of thought. Under the Turkic colonial rule, as thousands of their temples were desecrated, their women subjected to indescribable depravity and their universities set afire, they put up a valiant fight, and even succeeded in expanding again and re-establishing the Maratha Empire.

The later British invaders, however, were much more cold and calculating. They exploited internal differences, succeeded in positioning one ruler against the other, secured loyalty from numerous natives and succeeded in establishing their colonial rule over the nation. That alone did not suffice. The Hindus were systematically stripped of their strengths. Their scriptures derisively dismissed as myth, their cultural institutions shocked almost beyond recondition by the gradual effacement of their mother language Sanskrit, their people gradually made to accept that they were an inferior race meant to serve its colonial masters, their own education system dismantled and replaced and the divisions of their people amplified manifold. Compendiously, their sense of pride and memories of their past valour were scrupulously suppressed and a sense of defeatism engendered within them. As a consequence, there remains a significant section in the Hindus driven by pathological contempt for its own identity despite decades of administrative independence. Nothing but imbecilic self-disgust explains their wonder at the historical monuments of lands beyond, but contempt at temples of the land that is their own.

The Hindu stands powerless. He is tormented at the fact that the expanse of the word “Hindu” has been narrowed to the theological aspect of his culture. The jaundiced notions of secularism forbids the government and the elite to acknowledge the Hindu heritage of India. To them, it is merely another religion and must ipso facto be treated just like Islam or Christianity. Aforementioned judicial interpretations appear to mean little to them. The Hindu is further tormented at seeing his community riddled with caste divisions and the abominable caste-politics that has a firm grasp over Indian politics. He is tormented at seeing his community dormant and not lawfully demanding that government renounce control over temples. He is tormented at seeing caste-based reservations compound ad infinitum.

Truly, there remains a trace of caste discrimination, but it is nowhere as prevalent as it was decades ago. He has developed prescience enough to discern that these reservations would only exacerbate caste differences. He grimly realizes that no government could muster the grit to cease asking for castes in official documents. He is tormented by the ebullient propagation of absurd theories of the origins of his culture, such as the Aryan Invasion Theory, employed by vested interests to fuel separatist sentiment among the South Indians.

Perhaps, the much-touted Hindu Renaissance would be able to consolidate the Hindus. The most significant question of them all, however, remains. How would the Hindus and the Muslims ever resolve their differences?

So far as inter-religious existence is concerned, a Hindu would like nothing better than harmonious co-existence with the Muslims. On 20 June 2020, eminent author Amish Tripathi launched a book titled “Suheldev: The King who Saved India”. In the interviews he has been able to appear for, he explains how king Suheldev of Shravasti managed to unite Indians of all religions and castes and inflict a crushing defeat on Turkic invaders in 1033 CE. Thereafter, while the invaders went about conquering numerous other lands, they dared not set a foot in India for the next 160 years until the 1190s. That is a greater amount of time than the rule of the British Crown over India (1857–1947). This means there were also Muslims in India who stood resolute with Suheldev against the invading forces, notwithstanding that the invaders identified with Islam. Most importantly, Amish notes that the common Indian Muslims were never part of the ruling elite either under the Delhi Sultanate or the subsequent Mughal rule.

Yet, under the British Raj, the Muslims were perpetually made to believe that they were once the rulers of India. This was part of an elaborate divide-and-rule strategy. The pernicious Khilafat movement ensured that the Muslim community remained fanatical. By the onset of 1920 itself, the Congress should have seen the inevitability of Partition.

Notwithstanding the clear responsibility of Islamism for the sanguinary Partition, the Hindus were expected to merely have faith in the patriotism of Muslims who had stayed back in India now that it was independent. In all fairness to the Muslims, the patriotic among them must also have had feared the prospect of living in India in those days of rampant communalism where they could have been construed as responsible for the Partition and thus subjected to attacks. The government, as opposed to facilitating a comprehensive dialogue between the two communities, sought suppression of traumatic memories of the past and march on the path of economic progress as if nothing had happened. As historian Dr. Vikram Sampath aptly notes, such suppression is bound to transmogrify into a temporarily controlled wound that eventually festers, develops pus and proves further detrimental. An individual may forget the memories and move on, but it is impolitic to expect communities to do the same.

An ideal comprehensive dialogue between the Hindus and the Muslims would have included, inter alia, the following:

  • free and honest admission of wrongful action by both sides;
  • negotiation for the resolution of conflicting religious beliefs;
  • firm commitment to national interest and identity over religion;
  • firm commitment to secularism in public life; and
  • an agreement to work together for the future of India.

None of this was ever planned. As a result, having been forced to forget past memories and live together, latent mistrust was bound to have developed. While on the exterior it may have seemed as if both communities lived in harmony, especially by means of government propaganda through radio and television as well as contortion of history, the truth was that both communities harboured deep suspicions about the other. Sooner or later, the latent sentiment was bound to have erupted. Precisely the same is happening today. Neither community had experienced a catharsis of emotions and memories by means of productive dialogue. The anger and feeling of betrayal among the Hindus and the ostensible affinity of the Muslims towards Wahhabism at present bear testament to that effect.

Such catharsis would have enabled the Hindus to express their centuries-long trauma, and the Muslims to admit the ills that afflicted their society. Justice to the Hindus could have been served.

At present, the situation appears bereft of hope. Yet, efforts at reconciliation must be undertaken. Perhaps, the innocence and forthrightness of childhood, when we fraternized with fellow children not so much as knowing the concept of religion, may continue well into later in life despite awareness of such distinct identities. Perhaps, as opposed to suspicion and insecurity, an adherent of one religion may behold an adherent of another with a genuine sentiment of humanity. For who is to say that the endeavour of reconciliation never bears fruit?

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Samved Iyer
Eternal as evolution is, I cannot profess the pretensions of having grown in thorough measure, and I am hopeful of augmenting my perspicacity in the company of beings far more erudite than me.

Latest News

Interesting “Tandav” challenges the conventional entertainment in India

Tandav actually challenges the way conventional entertainment has been in India not only for years but for decades now. It's a good story if a right wing student leader is corrupt and greedy but it is not a good story if the left leaning student leader does the same thing.

११वां राष्ट्रीय मतदाता दिवस आज, अब ई-मतदाता पहचान पत्र कर सकेंगे डाऊनलोड

आज राष्ट्र ग्यारहवाँ राष्ट्रीय मतदाता दिवस मना रहा है, यह दिवस वर्ष १९५० में आज ही के दिन, चुनाव आयोग की स्थापना के उपलक्ष्य में वर्ष २०११ से मनाया जा रहा है।

The bar of being at “The Bar”

The present structure of the Indian judicial system is a continuation of what was left to us by the colonial rulers.

Partition of India and Netaji

Had all Indians taken arms against British and supported Azad Hind Fauz of Netaji from within India in 1942 instead of allowing the Congress to launch non-violent ‘Quite India Movement’ of Gandhi, the history of sub-continent would have been different.

नेताजी सुभाष चन्द्र बोस जयंती विशेष: हर भारतीयों के लिए पराक्रम के प्रतीक

भारत माता के सपूत के स्वतंत्रता सेनानी नेताजी सुभाष चंद्र बोस की जयंती को केंद्र सरकार ने हर साल पराक्रम दिवस के रूप में मनाने का फैसला किया है।

पराक्रम दिवस, कुछ ऐतिहासिक तथ्य और नेताजी से प्रेरणा पाता आत्मनिर्भर भारत

प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा कि आज ‘आत्मनिर्भर भारत’ की ओर अग्रसर हो रहा देश बार बार नेताजी से प्रेरणा पाता है। उन्होंने कहा कि आज हम स्त्रियों के सशक्तिकरण की बात करते हैं नेताजी ने उस समय ही आज़ाद हिन्द फौज में ‘रानी झाँसी रेजिमेंट’ बनाकर देश की बेटियों को भी सेना में शामिल होकर देश के लिए बलिदान देने के लिए प्रेरित किया।

Recently Popular

Daredevil of Indian Army: Para SF Major Mohit Sharma’s who became Iftikaar Bhatt to kill terrorists

Such brave souls of Bharat Mata who knows every minute of their life may become the last minute.

गुप्त काल को स्वर्ण युग क्यों कहा जाता है

एक सफल शासन की नींव समुद्रगप्त ने अपने शासनकाल में ही रख दी थी इसीलिए गुप्त सम्राटों का शासन अत्यधिक सफल रहा। साम्राज्य की दृढ़ता शांति और नागरिकों की उन्नति इसके प्रमाण थे।

The reality of Akbar that our history textbooks don’t teach!

Akbar had over 5,000 wives in his harems, and was regularly asked by his Sunni court officials to limit the number of his wives to 4, due to it being prescribed by the Quran. Miffed with the regular criticism of him violating the Quran, he founded the religion Din-e-illahi

Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Integral Humanism

According to Upadhyaya, the primary concern in India must be to develop an indigenous economic model that puts the human being at centre stage.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam: Making of a legend beyond religious horizon

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam is a perfect embodiment of a seeker in true sense who rejected this exclusivist tendency of only Islam is true. He notably acknowledged diversity of spaces which is a fundamental pillar on which Indian cultural and traditional society rests.