Even as the Hindu community stood aghast at the sheer brutality of Kanhaiya Lal’s murder in Udaipur, Rajasthan, another life was claimed – Umesh Kolhe in Amravati, Maharashtra – by fanatics belonging to the same religion – Islam. Their unending bloodthirst still not quenched, radical Muslims stabbed Munish Bhardwaj in Haryana.
The horrific details of each of these incidents shook Hindus to the core. For the sole ‘crime’ of expressing support for a woman who quoted an Islamic scripture, Hindus lost their lives. And it would be naïve to believe the mob is done killing. Many more Hindus will die. Several heads will be chopped off. And this slow, discomforting reality that Hindu lives are supremely dispensable breaks Hindus from within, each day, everyday. Till they become so conditioned to murders that a new body count doesn’t even register anymore. Hindus sigh and move on.
The Clash of Incompatible Philosophies
A life system that developed in the landmass between the mighty Indian Ocean and the imposing Himalayas came to be known as the Sanatan Dharma. The most defining tenet of Dharma is the idea of ‘Ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti’ – There is a truth and wise people call it by different names.
The idea that a person’s path to Moksha (salvation/transcendence) isn’t pre-defined but one that has to be explored. An explorer by his very nature, is open to all possibilities. What’s one more untrodden path? Such an inclusive, syncretic philosophy of life didn’t distinguish between means and methods to attain Nirvana. And hence, every tree, animal, river, mountain, rock came to symbolise a Dharmic person’s connection to his chosen path. Simply said – to each, his own.
This civilisation however, wasn’t a closed, siloed entity. No, it interacted with the outside world while proudly wearing its own Sanatan origins on the sleeves. Then two millennia back, things changed. And since then, they’ve never been the same. 2,000 years ago, Christianity was born. 1,400 years ago, Islam came into being. These faith systems had Abraham/Ibrahim at the helm and hence are known as Abrahamic faiths. There was something different about them. They preached exclusion, disdain and contempt of the ‘other’ (non-believer) from a point of superiority. The ‘other’ was derided as ungodly, barbaric, uncivilised and even sub-human. It was the ‘duty’ of every true believer to lead such people to the path of the ‘One True God’ (Jesus Christ /Allah).
The Teachings of Islam
Based on the philosophy of La Ilaha Ill Allah (There is no god but one and that one god is Allah) Islam preaches that the world is divided into Dar-ul-Islam (house of Islam) and Dar-ul-Harb (house of non-believers). It is the declared duty of every true Muslim to strive towards converting Kafirs (non-Muslims) to Islam. Idol worship (Murti Pooja) is described as Haram (forbidden). Islamic scriptures also prescribe the punishment for the unintelligent sub-humans who refuse to convert – Jihad. If a Muslim succeeds in Jihad, he goes to Jannat (heaven). If he fails, he still goes to the famed destination as a Ghazi (warrior of Allah). Either way, there are greater incentives in death than in life.
The Conflicts Begin
When societies around the world came in contact with Christianity and Islam, they folded like cheese. The pride and sense of belonginess towards their indigenous faith systems was abandoned under incentives and extreme threats. Africa, once home to around 10,000 cultures and worship systems has only these two religions today. Same goes true for South America, North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
But Dharma, true to the idea of ‘Yata Dharmastato Jayah’ – where there is Dharma, there is victory – resisted. Ever wondered why the expanse of Islamic domination stops at India? And beyond the Indian landmass, China, Japan and Korea were all able to preserve their native cultures? Let Maulana Khwaja Altaf Hussain Hali explain: “The audacious armada of the religion of Islam, which learnt no obstruction, which crossed all seven oceans, drowned when it reached the mouth of Ganga!” meaning – India fought back.
But the costs were extremely high. Hundreds of genocides, exoduses, pogroms and mass murders by Islamist invaders weren’t able to extinguish this lone surviving beacon of hope. Yet, over 1200 years of contact with the Islamic world meant that India inevitably got vestiges of Islam in the form of converts, education system, cultural impact, societal issues among others. As historian Sita Ram Goel said in 1981 “ the death of Hindu society is no longer an eventuality which cannot be envisaged. This society is now besieged by the same dark and deadly forces which have obliterated many ancient societies”.
New India, Old Problems, Insidious Machinations
In 1947, India became independent. The new democratic republic needed a government. That meant elections. Votes. Vote banks. And here began the sordid saga of unrelenting, shameless infantilization of the Muslims who were left in India, post partition. Nehru, Gandhi and others realised that elections could be won if Hindus were divided on caste lines and Muslims were consolidated as one big, sturdy voting bloc.
That meant keeping the Muslims poor and uneducated. Because poverty struck, illiterate folks are easy to manipulate. This, combined with the pre-programmed hatred for Kafirs made Muslims a strange, fearful community of frenzied, hate-filled people, ready to kill in the name of Allah. The constant mollycoddling also involved instilling a fear of the Hindu political leadership. Who helped? The Muslim theological leadership was co-opted. The Maulanas, Maulvis, Qazis, Imams and the Muslim institutions of learning – Madarasas were all assigned the task of indoctrinating Muslim – young and old.
Simultaneously, another insidious project was on in the newly independent nation. The likes of Maulana Azad, Humayun Kabir, Mohd. Chagla, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Nurul Hassan controlled the education ministry and wreaked havoc on India’s history. Dharma was shamed, Indian dynasties were entirely discarded from textbooks, Bharat was portrayed as an uncivilised wasteland which should forever be grateful to the Turks, Ghurids, Mamluks, Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Lodhis, Mughals, Afghans and every other Muslim invader who looted this land and murdered its people. Communists and Mullahs joined hands to realise the Islamisation of India – the last-standing pillar of resistance to Islam.
The impact of this evil identity politics on the Muslim psyche was unbelievable. The Muslim society was never asked to reform. This soft bigotry of low expectations led them to believe that their kind was a special, entitled lot which deserves to be pampered, whose every wish needs to be taken as a command, whose evils and issues of concern – Triple talaq, Jihad, Nikah Halala, offering Namaz on the streets, blaring Azaan on loudspeakers five times a day – need to be not just ignored, but also rationalised. As Sita Ram Goel said “the Muslims were not just hell-bent on maintaining a separate existence, but made it a point to hate everything Hindu”.
This converted the Indian Muslims – 17% of India total population – into an inexplicable community, constantly high on a unique concoction of hatred for kafirs, stunningly orthodox beliefs, entitlement, penchant for violence and a murderous rage against everyone who does not follow their wishes (read orders). Any assessment of Islam was met with chants for like “Gustakh e Rasool ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda” (beheading is the only punishment for insulting Prophet Mohammad). These slogans soon became reality and everybody, including the protectors of free speech – our judiciary – indulged in victim-shaming indicating that being factual/rude/crass about Islam is a bigger crime than murder. And if you speak something unacceptable to Islamists, well then, you deserve to be beheaded/stabbed.
The Arrival Of Unapologetic Hindutva
The Hindu population of India meanwhile was forced to watch visuals of terrorists, secessionists, rabid Hindu hating communists rubbing shoulders with successive administrations including that of Manmohan Singh. These images were painfully infuriating. The then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi tapped into this frustration and consequently, offered the troika of unapologetic Hindutva, the famed Gujarat model of good governance and promised to make the real India – resource deprived and ambitious – visible and audible. India believed him. He won.
Of the multiplicity of factors that contributed to Modi’s victory in 2014, social media has been at the top. For the first time, Indians could look beyond the TV channels, newspapers, magazines and radio – most of whom were shamelessly in bed with the Congress – for facts and news. Information dissemination was no longer in the hands of the editorial overlords and their political masters. What was felt, could now be spoken. Indian to Indian. Citizen to citizen.
And suddenly, the subdued majority – forever shamed for being Dharmic, ritualistic, patriotic, India-loving, exhausted by government interference – found its voice. They realised that unlike the India-bashing elites, everyday Indians despised the anti- Hindu, anti-India forces just as much as they themselves did.
The significance of this realisation cannot be overstated. For the first time in decades, the majority felt like majority. Whether Narendra Modi caused this phenomenon or simply was a catalyst is speculative. India was now wide-awake and vocal. And then began the pushback against the creeping Islamisation.
As Modi Government moved with stated motto of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas – the Muslims understood that their special treatment and privileges were about to take a hit. For a community whose post-independence memory was one of positive partiality, this new brand of Hindus – loud, confident and vocal – was unacceptable. There was enough combustible material in the environment now. Inevitably, explosions started. Take a moment to think – who was in the wrong? The forever mistreated Hindus who had finally found a voice or, well, the other side?
Rationality meets Violence
Some controversies which became communally inflammable include the Hijab/Burqa issue (Karnataka), the middle-of-the-road Namaz issue (Haryana), PFI and ISIS recruitment (Kerela and Lakshadweep), CAA-NRC riots, Shaheen Bagh violence, protests against Article 370 amendment, stone pelting on Ramnavami procession, Delhi riots, Karauli, Jodhpur, individual instances of acid attacks, stabbing, beheading, arson, vandalism – the list of events that saw unwarranted and barbaric Muslim aggression is endless.
The most harmful folks in these situations are the leftist inteligencia who provide a smokescreen to the radical extremists by giving empty, meaningless lectures like ‘build bridges not walls’ and ‘humanity first’. The intention of such slogans is to deter the victims from taking one hard look at the problem and engaging in a brutally honest and factual assessment of Islam and its teachings.
The point where a lot of Hindus go wrong is in assessing the entire Islamic system based on a single Muslim friend/classmate/colleague – “well my friend isn’t a Jihadi, perhaps the Hindus are being lunatics in expressing concerns”. What such naïve people forget is that guiding philosophy of 2.5 billion humans is exponentially bigger and far more potent than whatever juvenile connection they’ve formed in a few months of interaction. Veer Savarkar said as much ‘The fact that the lambs promised to live peacefully had no bearing on the wolves’ decision to hunt the prey’.
Educated, sophisticated Muslims and virtue-signalling deracinated Hindus provide the intellectual cover and rationalisation for such acts of barbarism – whenever they occur.
When Hindus and Muslims are described as followers of two mutually incongruent philosophies – one that talks about inclusion and acceptance whereas the other that talks of decimating the former – how are the two supposed to co-exist? Would you sleep peacefully knowing that your roommate has a dagger ready to be plunged in your throat? No right? Then how are the Hindus unreasonable if they express distrust? Or suspicion?
The Solution To A Never Ending Struggle
Hindus have to co-exist in this country with the Muslims. The second-highest Muslim population anywhere in the world lives in India. They too are equal citizens of this land. Have contributed to its defence forces, judiciary, economy and democracy at all levels. Solutions, however hard they may seem will have to be found.
Let me be clear. There are no easy solutions here. Whatever has to be done, will be done over a long period of time, during which -if past is any indication- a lot more of Hindu blood will be spilled. Still, if you’re a Muslim and have made it this far, let me address you first.
1.Support reform within your community. Change has to come from within. There are many Muslims who talk of abandoning ideas of the medieval times. Listen to them. Support them. Debate. Engage. But for god’s sake, reform. Abandon ideas like Jihad, Kafir, Ummah, women’s constant suppression and inculcate a sense of respect for the civilisation that has given you space, democracy, franchise and the ability to flourish.
2.Hindus do not hate you. They’ve lived with your forefathers for centuries. Conflict and peace, through it all. So get out of the silo of Hindu hatred and the desire to destroy the other’s faith. It’s a little hard to love when a sword is dangling around one’s neck.
3. Save your community from the grip of hardliner Maulanas. Their lives are secure. So are their children’s. Yours will be destroyed the moment you’re caught planning for Jihad. And you will be, sooner or later.
4. Stop sending your children to Madarasas where they’re indoctrinated into hatred and disgust for non-Muslims. Integrate with the modern education system.
5. Protect the few Muslim men and women who dare to speak against the hardliner clerics. They’re in mortal peril constantly. Help them, stand by them.
For the Non-Muslims, here goes nothing:
1. Ask for absolute reformation of the constitution. Drop the façade of secularism – it has been the biggest enemy of the Hindu civilisation.
2. Demand tougher laws and sanctions. If they require legislative effort, push for it. If an administrative overhaul is needed, make it so.
3. Judicial reforms have to be carried out to remove pendency of cases and to strike a fear in the hearts of potential criminals – as a deterrent. Judges also need to be told point blank that their courts are not moral science lectures. They’re judges in a constitutional court and not Qazis in a Sharia court.
4. Make an example of the criminals who’re caught. Knock them off every single social security benefit – ration card, free food, housing loans, business loans. Nothing. There is no reason for the nation to subsidise terrorists’ families.
5. Demand a crackdown on the pan-India NGOs that fund and brainwash Muslims.
6. Monitor madarasas. Permit only state approved curriculum and state-certified teachers in these places of learning. Install CCTV cameras to monitor activities. Remember, national security is paramount.
7. Organise. Organise. Organise. The reason Muslims get away with their crimes is their ability too play the victim despite being the perpetrators. Fund movements for strengthening Hindus.
8. Ask your governments to stop funding Madarasas / Mullahs altogether. You pay taxes to be spent on your welfare. Well, its channelled by state governments to fund such people/places of radical indoctrination which results in terrorists. Next, they attack and you pay more taxes for increased security. This vicious cycle is unending.
9. Speak up. Remember, they will come for you, your friends or your family. Use your voice to raise awareness and to remove the veil of victimhood.
10. Mobilise international support for this cause. Develop an ecosystem at all levels – United Nations, G20 nations, OECD nations, human rights conferences. Saturate it all. Do not let the sword-wielding community get away with cries of victimhood.
This list could be longer. I know that each of these steps will require hard-headed, ruthless implementation with clinical precision to slow down the problem in the near term aim for its eradication going forward.
The desire for moderate Islam is far-fetched. But then so was independence at one point. We got the latter, no reason we can’t achieve the former. Don’t let despondency and hopelessness overpower you. If the last remaining citadel of a Dharmic civilisation is to survive, remember what Chankaya said :
“Sukhasya Moolam Dharmah (Dharma leads to bliss)
Dharmasya Moolam Arthah (Wealth creation is a must for dharma)
Arthasya Moolam Rajasya (Good governance ensures wealth creation)
Rajasya Moolam Indriya Jayah” (Victory over human urges makes a good administrator)