In a thoughtfully worded short essay, Shri Jagannathan, the Editor of Swarajya magazine, highlights the fragility of the Hindu cause. However, it appears that he has a strong conviction that such a fragile cause is defensible and indeed more, that it is worthy of a defence.
Two incidents in the “news” in India are highlighted there and discussed in good, yet brief, detail. One is where a Hindu outfit’s leader has reportedly claimed that the PM of the country cannot react for every murder in the nation in a disparaging tongue, “Do you expect Modi to respond every time a dog dies in Karnataka?” Poor use of language and intemperate in nature, yes. In a way, it is very non-Hindu too.
Even in the battlefield, Bhagawan Krishna advises Arjuna to fight without anger and to kill the opponent combatant with respect. It is, in fact, epitomised in the great epic (itihās) of Hindus, the Ramayana. Bhagawan Rama pays due respect to Ravana, an outstanding Śiva bhakt of distinguishing qualities and makes an example out of his own good behaviour for his own brother Lakshmana to imbibe. There is no or little anger in Rama’s approach to Ravana; on the contrary, it is always respectful. Clearly, this is what Shri Jagannathan wanted to express. That is, Hindus should emulate the behaviour of Rama and the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
Sadly though the editor also appears to imply, perhaps inadvertently, that the cause of Hindus is so fragile that a stray incident or two will derail the whole of the cause significantly if not completely. Maybe he meant if a bunch of such incidents continue to happen that will be the likely result and used this occasion as a forewarning.
To this author’s memory though, none seems to object or claim that the so-called minority rights are “sure to suffer” if such transgressions occurred on the opposite side of the Hindu camp. In fact, every day across India five times a day the Muslims broadcast their prayer on loud(est) speakers. The prayer proclaims in no equivocal terms that “There is no God but Allah!” amongst other such things. Does this not hurt non-Muslim religious sentiments and the dignity of non-Muslims? Is not a right to life inclusive of a right to a dignified life as per the interpretations of the secular constitution of India by the Hon’ble Supreme Court?
One wonders why the so-called minority rights or secularism are never “sure to suffer.” Similarly, every time a conversion to Christianity happens is it not because it is overtly claimed that Jesus is the only way to salvation, or else it is eternal hell after death? Is it not an insult to non-Christian religious sentiments and a violation of the non-Christians right to live a dignified life, their fundamental right to life?
What is so fragile about the Hindu cause(s)? What is wrong with the system or the society, the media, the educational system, the Indian thinking that the Hindu causes alone are so fragile? What is it symptomatic of?
If any cause is so fragile it is already a lost cause. There is nothing worthy of such a cause, be it Hindu or not, genuine or not. It is time to take stock of the reality.
The reality is that Hindus are told that they do not belong in India or anywhere, not overtly (and not verbally) of course. And this is digested well by most Hindus and becomes their own internalised Hinduphobia. Then, it expresses unconsciously as the fragility of the Hindu cause.
Many thanks to Shri Jagannathan and Swarajya magazine for bringing out this fragility, an existential threat, to the notice of all Hindus suffering silently (and often themselves not realising it) from their own internalised Hinduphobia.
The roots of the disease of internalised Hinduphobia has gone deep and one of the many ways it expresses itself is the outrage of the sort that is rightly criticised by Shri Jagannathan as “anti-minority bigotry”.
The answer does lie not in sidelining them. The solution lies in fixing the fragility that provokes and forces them to be so. Then these people have nothing to be intemperate about or be bigoted about. Sidelining voices of a fragile and vulnerable community will lead to only more such outbursts.
Let the cause be fixed, not the symptom. Please forget the symptomatic quick fix offered by the Western models. It does not work in the West, it will not work in the East.
Let us be pro-life, let us be ayurvedic in our approach to solutions for problems. Ayurveda recommends an engaged yogic body, not a weak and fragile body that ought to be sidelined.
The author, a medic and a graduate of the University of Cambridge, is currently a consultant and has over half-a-dozen peer-reviewed scientific publications, ranging from clinical research to population genetics.