In what appears to be a case of Hinduphobia, a journalist who works with Hindustan Times – which has recently taken upon himself to track hate, except when directed at Hindus – shared an article with a tweet that reeks of severe disrespect for Hindu customs and traditions:
The journalist just declared that Ayudh Puja, which involves worshiping of weapons as is known as Astra Puja too, is following Godse’s lessons. Perhaps he doesn’t know enough about Hindu customs, but simple Google search or reading an article on Wikipedia would have made him aware of this Hindu festival.
To help others who might be unaware like this journalist (giving him benefit of doubt, or maybe he deliberately linked it to Godse), here are some lines from the Wikipedia article (emphasis added):
“The festival falls on the ninth day or Navami of the bright half of Moon’s cycle of 15 days (as per Almanac) in the month of September/October, and is popularly a part of the Dasara or Navaratri or Durga Puja or Golu festival. On the ninth day of the Dasara festival, weapons and tools are worshipped. In Karnataka, the celebration is for killing of the demon king Mahishasura by goddess Chamundeshwari. After slaying of the demon king, the weapons were kept out for worship. While Navaratri festival is observed all over the country but in South Indian states, where it is widely celebrated as Ayudha Puja, there are slight variations of worship procedure.”
But no. Following this custom is following Godse for the “journalist”. He then even tagged another ‘journalist’, Rana Ayyub, who has also been slammed on social media regularly for spreading lies:
He even tagged Shehzad Poonawalla, best known as brother of brother-in-law of Congress VP Rahul Gandhi’s brother in law, Robert Vadra.
But again, giving benefit of doubt, perhaps he tagged these people to get them to re-tweet his (Hinduphobic at worst, illiterate at best) tweet:
However, Twitter was quick to point out the implicit prejudice and hate towards Hinduism in his tweet:
More people pointed out that it was a symbolic worship of the deity Durga, and doesn’t really mean you go about wielding swords on the road:
Another also pointed out how this reeks of hatred towards Hinduism:
Worshiping weapons or tools is not an alien concept. Perhaps the journalist never heard about Vishwakarma Puja as well?
For the benefit of the “journalist”, Vishwakarma Puja is celebrated in September/October every year where people worship the tools they use to work. Lord Vishwakarma is considered the divine architect amongst Hindus. Hope he doesn’t declare it yet another example of following Godse later this year.
In short, Vijaya Dashami, which falls on Dusshera, celebrates victory of good over evil. While Vijaya Dashami celebrates victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasur, Dusshera is celebrated as victory of Lord Ram over demon king Raavan. Symbolic worship of weapons/tools of work is not as outlandish in Hindu festivals as it is made out to be. But that requires a little bit of awareness and more importantly, some tolerance and respect for people’s beliefs.
Oh, and it existed even before “Godse” came into picture.