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How the Hindu youth’s failure to retain their religious identity is contributing to increased Hinduphobia

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Shreyash Sharma
Shreyash Sharma
ॐ Hindu | Opinionated | Writer | Enigmatic, since identities are never permanent! | Economics & International Relations, City University of Hong Kong

I don’t know how many of you noticed this, but somewhere I feel our Hindu youth has not been successful in retaining their identity. And probably that’s one of those many reasons why Hinduphobic behavior has now-a-days become a growing concern. There is absolutely no problem in not being too religious neither are we demanding it. But the saddening thing is that a lot of people from our own Hindu community make fun of or mock other Hindus who are proud of their religious identity. Same people would have no problem when people of other religious backgrounds, a Sikh, a Muslim or  a Christian would propagate or express their religious freedom.

I don’t know whether it’s always hate driven or intentional or has ulterior motives behind it. But it has become an issue worth discussing why a few people from the Hindu youth community show some kind of reluctance from expressing their pride in that religion. You might have definitely observed that a Sikh proudly says, “I’m a Sikh”, a Christian proudly says, “I’m a Christian”, a Muslim might proudly say that  he’s a Muslim; but a when it comes to a Hindu, especially a Hindu youth being proud of his religious identity. They refrain from saying that they are a proud Hindu. And most of the time just to get their not so cool labels of being “cool”.

It may sound really vague or stupid, or even irrational but if you look at this ‘cool culture’ as some kind of undercurrent, it has literally done some kind of reprogramming in the vulnerable minds of the youth, compelling them to think and have  a misconception that hindu religion or more precisely Sanantana dharma is backward, outdated and against the prevailing cool culture. The youth’s attachment to this ‘cool’ label is so deep rooted that to get this validation they literally start condemning or detaching from practicing their religion. I mean the way Hinduism has been portrayed by the wokes and torch-bearers of modernity, has gone too deep into the minds of the youngsters. They find Hindu rituals, value systems, beautiful practices like the yagna, tilak, kalawa backward and against the progressive tradition, when the reality is entirely opposite. The so-called modern, rational and westernized  Hindu youth, unfortunately, feels ashamed to visit temples, recite aartis (Hindu prayers), study Sanskrit, sit in Sankirtana or pujas. 

Call it whatever you want, but the whole ecosystem has been designed such that the Hindu youth find no reason to practice, promote and propagate the glory and beauty of the Sanatan dharma. Various attempts are regularly made to label Hinduism as misogynistic, impractical, radical, discriminatory, cateist, superstitious etc. just to mold the young minds that their belonging to the Hindu religion is a ma tter of shame and that you are typical conservative and a bigot to be proud of it. If that were not enough, they even reward, encourage, and appreciate you if you pass comments that try to slur the integrity of the Sanatana dharma. You are called cool, modern, tolerant, witty and educated if you mock at Hindu rituals and enjoy or indulge in Hinduphobic behavior.

Now if one thinks about what forces are behind this and what is their intention. It’s crystal clear and a fact in the public domain that the western think tanks, academicians, scholars, university professors have very audaciously committed acts of Hinduphobia and also have gained a lot of popularity by doing so. The acts of breaking Goddess Saraswati idols, misinterpreting Hindu practice of yoga into very vulgar and obscene forms, using Ganesh idols on wine bottles, and much more have contributed a lot in fetching Hinduism a wrong limelight. The systematic distortion and even falsification of the whole Hindu religion is going on in full swing, and if one thinks what forces these people use, turn around and look at the way Hinduism is portrayed in/by the film industry, educational institutions, acclaimed national universities, social media, big media houses, designer journalists. 

Well, if we start talking about their forces and their instruments to distort Hinduism, it will never be enough, and right now I not would like to waste more of my energy on it. The need of the hour is awakening the dormant Hindu youth who are living in a huge misconception that prevents them holding their Hindu identity with pride. More awareness needs to be spread regarding the magnanimity, sanctity and beauty of the Hindu dharma. That they need to understand that their religion is the most liberal, inclusive, accepting, logical, scientific, loving, empowering, ecstatic, transcendental and conscientious religion. And the ones which claim that Hinduism is not modern, not logical should be told that the way Hinduism teaches to be inclusive and live with the utmost balance with nature an other species, the way Hinduism portrays women- in the multiple manifestations of empowered durga and kali, motherly Vaishnavi and Santoshi, and blessing Laxmi and Saraswati, the way Hinduism teaches the science of yoga-forming a cosmic identity or ‘aham brahmasmi’ no other religion does so. And so our modern Hindu youth has every reason to say, “I’m a proud hindu!”

-Shreyash Sharma


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Shreyash Sharma
Shreyash Sharma
ॐ Hindu | Opinionated | Writer | Enigmatic, since identities are never permanent! | Economics & International Relations, City University of Hong Kong
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