ccThis was seen again, this time on 14th Nov! When Hindus, fighting draconian rules on one hand and Liberal Assault on another, were getting ready to celebrate Laxmi Pujan! On that evening, after the Laxmi Pujan, as I was about to burst crackers, I saw this tweet by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. He is happy, that a Muslim female editor has given an Urdu name to the Hindu festival. Which in the end was turned out to be a fake! Later it was found out that, of all the people, erudite, western educated, UN returned (Foreign Returned is too middle class, you see) Mr. Tharoor used a photoshopped image and added words which were not in the original tweet.
It did rub many a wrong way and outraged Social Media users. So what’s the problem? Why hyperventilate? Shashi Tharoor may have used a photoshopped image, but he meant well. After all, by renaming the Diwali, he was helping Muslims to adapt to the festival with ease, which can be helpful in reducing social frictions. But look again, and you will realize it’s a devious ploy to appropriate another Hindu tradition. It’s one more crooked attempt to chew and digest another Hindu symbol and create something which is beyond recognition. Think I am, crazy? Read on.
I am sure, you remember reading through school history books that Akbar was a benevolent ruler. He abolished Jizya (a special tax on Hindus) in 1579 AD, started celebrating Raksha Bandhan, Dushera, Diwali, Shivratri and Vasant. He also now and then would put the Tilak on his forehead. He treated the Hindus with fairness and gave them employment. There is also a popular folklore, that he allowed his Rajput queen, Jodha Bai (Jehangir’s Mother) to practise Hinduism.
This, without any doubt, looks impressive and must have charmed Hindus, then. Now, look at the consequences of this ‘religious toleration’. Rajputs who were, the fiercest opponents to Mughals, turned into his rock solid supporters. They led from the front to help him defeat many small kingdoms and capture the entire Northern India and parts of the Deccan. Akbar’s Rajput strategy was unique and it not only finished the enduring clash between the Rajputs and Mughals but it also helped the dynasty in the solidification of the empire.
Most importantly, it legitimized a hitherto vague idea called composite culture. And by the time his reign came to an end in 1605, the Mughal empire had all of northern India and most of western and eastern India under its wings. Not to suggest, this was made possible because of the tilak or Akbar allowing Jodha Bai to celebrate Krishna Janma. But cultural appropriation played a part. Importantly none of his descendants followed any of the Hindu practices he introduced. But enjoyed the vast swaths of land captured by him and exploited the Hindus charmed by him. To add to that, all his descendants were as cruel as they come. For example, his great-grandson, Aurngazeb in 1679, re-introduced Jiziya, exactly 100 years after Akbar had abolished it. So this ‘syncretic culture’ stuff, forget help, has only damaged Hindus.
To get a reality check, just find out, which Hindu traditions or practices Muslims have internalized? Even after close to 75 years of independence, an abhorrent practice like Triple Talaq, was prevalent. They refuse to take to the civilized custom of going to courts for a divorce. They, like their Arab forefathers, want to continue even with Polygamy and Halala. After Modi Government criminalizing Triple Talaq, the number of incidents may come down. But it can not be eradicated till the community changes the mindset. So Muslims realistically after staying in Bharata for over a thousand years have not taken to one Hindu custom. Hence Shashi Tharoor’s attempt to thrust ‘Culture’ on a Muslim anchor is outrageous. And it smacks of a larger conspiracy, namely taking away Diwali from Hindus by renaming it in Urdu.
If you think there is nothing to be worried about renaming, please go back into the history. Did you ever wonder, how Karnavati became Ahmedabad? Or Khadki became Aurngabad? Or Gopadri Hill in Shrinagar became, Takt-E-Suleiman? Or Hari Parbat, Koh-E-Marran? Not to forget, Akbar the great, the tolerant Emperor himself, renamed Prayag as Illahabad. It took a extremely popular and determined Chief Minister like Yogi Adityanath, to rename it back to original, Prayagraj.
To conclude, Hindus need to be vigilant of Hindu Liberals like Tharoor, who are habitual offenders. This is not the first time when he has tried to undermine Hindus. On 25th July, this year, he tweeted that, since Muslims bury their dead in this land they have a greater claim to this land than Hindus. Politicians like Tharoor can write books and speak in a clipped British accent to impress western media. But to stay politically relevant back home, they can continue to appease Muslims and hoodwink Hindus without remorse!