An open letter to the people, the Sangh, and a Harvard alumnus
Dear Sangh Parivar
With an abrasively right wing party now in power – our country is at a crossroads of sorts – longingly stretching its arms towards “development” while clinging to dangerously medieval beliefs.
“Pseudo-secularism” seems to be the new catchphrase for people who’ve only recently learnt how to spell.
Let’s break it down:
- pseudo : (adj) – not genuine; sham; insincere
- secular : (adj) – not connected with religious or spiritual matters
‘Secular’ in the western context has traditionally meant a detachment of the state from religious affairs. Owing to India’s amazing ethnic composition, our Constitution Makers chose an interesting middle ground – disfavour towards, yet acknowledgement of all religions, offering protection to minorities.
Today “pseudo-secular” (and its infantile cousin “sickular”) is thrown at everyone who rejects the notion of Hindu fundamentalism. Before we dismantle the misnomer, let’s give you a quick #RealityCheck
Safro-boyz, you must take it with a pinch of salt.
You do not represent Hinduism
So stop appropriating it.
Within 90 years of your inception – you have effectively ruined the oldest surviving religion on the planet. The legacy of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the great Epics – reduced to a pile of hateful dust. Your selective quoting of the great texts for self-serving interests is no different than militant Christians in Southern USA using the Bible to justify racism & homophobia.
For more than 5000 years, Hindus have prided themselves in their tolerance – a grand-hearted acceptance of everything that came our way from the farthest corners of the world, nurturing everyone with our ancient wisdom, in the process getting enriched by their beauty.
This is the legacy that makes us who we are.
Your lead-brained antics are not even close.
No one takes you seriously
Certainly not the majority.
Caste is a rallying point in Hindutva. Upper caste Hindus constitute a small minority of the Hindu population, majority being OBC, SC or ST. Your ideology is based on maintaining caste hegemony by constantly pitting the higher castes against an imaginary threat of the “other” – the lower castes, and the religious minorities.
A vast section of Hindus – at the receiving end of the worst forms of discrimination, are dealt the worst hand. Below poverty line with fledgling access to food, water & shelter and a life condemned to the most degrading and inhumane jobs – they urgently need an intervention, which, as the “guardians” of Hinduism, you are duty-bound to provide.
Instead, you choose to base your survival on the backs of the most privileged demographic in India – higher caste Hindus in a Hindu majority country.
Because vote bank.
You are an impediment to progress. And incredibly predictable.
While the intelligentsia toils to develop solutions to India’s surmounting problems – you play the stalest, most overused card in the history of humanity – The Blame Game.
- Firing at the LoC? – blame the “sickulars”
- Women being raped? – blame “Western culture”
- Facts don’t support your claims? – “paid media”
- Human rights violations unearthed? – “foreign funded NGOs”
- Anything else? – blame the British Raj
With you – there’s no winning!
Your fundamental policy is Hatred
Like right-wingers at all times in the history of politics – you justify violence and bloodshed “when in the interests of a cause”. And your cause is hatred.
A crazed desire to maintain your hegemony drives your hatred towards anyone who’s different. You perpetuate a false sense of victimhood among the privileged demographic to create imaginary threats.
But you are not alone. The Nazis in Germany, the Confederates in the US, the Fascists in Italy, the Islamists in the Middle East, and more recently – ISIS, are all in the same club.
You have systematically misled your followers
You have brainwashed thousands into thinking that Hinduism and India are in imminent danger.
Tell me Safro-boyz, how is it that a religion which stood the test of time, faced invasions by rulers of different faiths and races for over 5000 years, rarely, if ever, initiated aggression, and survived – now in “danger”?
The great traditions of Hinduism – perpetuating and flourishing over millennia without external help, now need a “caretaker”?
Perhaps because fear-mongering is the greatest tool to cage the mind and capture the imagination. Your desire for power is ridiculously transparent. What you call ‘Hindutva’ and Islamists call ‘Jihad’, our colonial oppressors called ‘divide & rule’.
If you haven’t realized, your ideology is a massive disservice to Hinduism, in particular, and religion in general. Do not disguise your lust for a Hindu hegemonic state – a Hindu Rashtra – as a Hindu “interest”.
If the line between religion and politics is going to be forcibly erased, secularism is the obvious choice. It is a conscious decision – regardless of one’s faith. Don’t cry “pseudo” because secularism doesn’t serve your pissbaby interests.
Before the boundaries of form & shape, sex & age, colour & race, language & faith – we are human. If ever the great religions taught us anything, it was this. You may try to masquerade your hatred by distorting scripture and context – but you cannot distort the universal spirit.