Recently, a tweet came to my attention:
I have blacked out the name of this person because the ecosystem is out to destroy his life over this. And they will most likely succeed, given the amount of power they have.
Predictably, those on the “liberal” side of social media were smacking their lips, getting ready to chew him up. I found the reaction from the “Hindu right” on social media much more interesting and it is to them that I address this letter.
In particular, many on the Hindu right were asking: What about similar posts that have been all over social media recently, where “liberals” proudly show off their hatred for Hindu drivers of Uber and Ola, especially those who chose to wear markers of their religion, such as a Hanuman sticker on the back of the car or on the dashboard? Why didn’t the ecosystem condemn that?
First of all, everybody knows the answer to that question. Because, in India, the pain caused to a Communist or to a Muslim is considered more important than the pain caused to a Hindu. India is an apartheid state. You really should know that much by now.
So forget that. I want to address the sense of disempowerment that would lead an ordinary Hindu to lash out with the kind of behaviour described in this tweet. The ordinary Hindu gets sick and tired of constant humiliation, of the endless double standards … and finally decides to lash out. How? By taking out the frustration on a completely innocent Ola Cab driver.
DON’T DO THIS.
First of all, because it is wrong.
Second, because it is a complete waste of your energy.
Third, because it is counterproductive.
So what should the disempowered Hindu do with his helpless sense of anger?
We live in a democracy. Well, more or less. Which means that the large majority of Hindus can still make a difference.
Your anger is an asset. It gives you the energy to bring about change. Use this energy wisely.
Are you angry about how the ruling class, the academic, intellectual and media narrative consistently demonizes Hindus? So am I. So are a lot of us. Let’s pool this energy together and get something done on the ground. How are they able to push the anti-Hindu narrative down the throats of a nation that is still almost 80% Hindu? Let’s work on organizing for change.
Don’t take the easy and completely useless way out by discriminating against a completely innocent person from another community.
And the change I am talking about is not just about voting. Again, that’s an easy “solution.” How much effort does it take to press a button, honestly? Don’t expect a big change that easily.
Let me give you some real challenges to use that energy towards. Have you noticed that the anti-Hindu brigade rules this country by taking advantage of divisions among Hindus? Well, do something about that. Get out there, reach out to other Hindus, inside and outside your caste/linguistic group. Make them aware of the threat. Tell them that if we don’t hang together, we will all hang separately.
Some of the people you talk to will certainly mock you or heap scorn on you. Can you take the hit to your ego and still keep working?
The real challenge is to get out there and organize. For example, are your children’s textbooks anti-Hindu? Is your school punishing children for celebrating a Hindu festival? Well, do you have the courage to get out there and call the school management and demand justice? It may be hard for you alone. Do you have the time, patience and sheer grit to reach out to parents of other kids and get together to pressurize the school?
There’s more. Do you suspect that the “scholars” got together and edited out the sufferings of Hindus from official history? Well, get out there and get informed about what has been scrubbed out. Luckily, we live in an age of social media and information has never been easier to obtain. It is all out there if you go looking for it. Find out about the Goa Inquisition, for instance, something I heard about from Shefali Vaidya’s lectures on the subject. Once you find out, tell others. Build opinions and influence others in your community.
When Hindus reach out to each other, cutting across lines of caste and language, they find out each other’s stories. We and our ancestors have all suffered under the jackboot of Communism and Islamism. Unfortunately, most of us think that this suffering was localized to our region and/or caste because we don’t talk to each other enough. But when we start talking to each other, we realize the problem in its entirety. We realize that we Hindus have been at the receiving end of a single unified assault. It’s called Breaking India.
So, let us use our energy wisely. The ecosystem is counting on each one of us to stay in our own bubbles, not reaching out to our fellow Hindus nor hearing the stories of their suffering. So, let’s talk.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.