A lot of ‘hot takes’ have been pouring in from the liberal camp ever since Tanishq decided to pull down its controversial ad. While a Tanishq showroom in Gujarat has condemned the ad and apologised to the Hindu community for it, liberals are falling over backwards in justifying it. Perhaps the most clownish ‘hot take’ came from senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who decided to pounce upon the occasion to peddle his personal delusions.
Under normal circumstances, we would ignore such comments as the mad ramblings of a con-artist who has long passed his sell-by date but since the opinion has been voiced by an individuals who ‘larps’ as an intellectual, it deserves a response.
Shashi Tharoor remarked on Tuesday, “If Hindu-Muslim “ekatvam” irks them (‘Hindutva bigots’) so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India?” This is a preposterous claim. A country that lost huge portions of its territory to Islamic terrorism only seventy-three years ago cannot be the longest surviving symbol of ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’ by default.
So Hindutva bigots have called for a boycott of @TanishqJewelry for highlighting Hindu-Muslim unity through this beautiful ad. If Hindu-Muslim “ekatvam” irks them so much, why don’t they boycott the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India? pic.twitter.com/cV0LpWzjda— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 13, 2020
Even after an event as cataclysmic and traumatic as the partition of 1947, if certain individuals wish to propagate India as a symbol of ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’, then they are deluding themselves. It is also evident in everyday discourse that India is not the symbol Shashi Tharoor and members of his party wish it to be.
The events since 2019 have cemented these facts and have left no room for doubt. The response to the abrogation of Article 370, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Ram Mandir verdict highlighted the seemingly irreconcilable differences between the two communities in excruciating detail.
While ‘secular’ intellectuals and politicians prefer to sing paeans to ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’, it is an undeniable fact that the only Muslim majority state in the country refused to join the Indian mainstream and clung on to Article 370 that essentially provided for an Islamic state within Indian territory. When the article was abrogated, the Congress party and Muslim-oriented parties opposed it tooth and nail.
With regards to the Citizenship Amendment Act, Indian Muslims wanted the descendants of those who created Pakistan to have the same privileges as the Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist populations of the Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan towards whom India has a sacred commitment. The Act witnessed great protests and eventually culminated with communal riots in Delhi.
The same could be observed in the case of Ram Janmabhoomi. Much violence and bloodshed could have been avoided if the Muslim community had chosen to respect the special attachment that Hindus have towards the birthplace of Rama. But they refused to, they fought until the very end for a Masjid built by an Islamic tyrant after demolishing a Hindu Temple.
Thus, we see that the much exalted ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’ that charlatans such as Shashi Tharoor evaporates into thin air on every major contentious issue. ‘Evaporates into thin air’ is perhaps the wrong phrase to use here since such a unity never existed in the first place. And these are only three of the most contentious issues in recent times.
There are other long-standing issues such as cow smuggling and consumption of beef where there is no consensus between the two communities. Things escalated to such a degree that members of Youth Congress slaughtered a calf in broad daylight in Kerala and consumed its meat. That the leader of such a party claims that India is a symbol of ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’ is indeed a disgrace.
Having said that, it is true that India is a symbol of a greater ideal. There is an idea at the core of the Republic of India, unfortunately enough, it is an idea that is reviled by men and women of a secular bent. However, it cannot be denied that India is the manifestation of the Hindu Civilization in the Age of Modernity and it is the custodian of the great civilization. It is India’s sacred duty to serve and protect our Hindu Civilization.
Thus, India is not a symbol of ‘Hindu-Muslim unity’ but evidence of the superiority of Hinduism itself. India is the only country that is home to a heterogenous polytheistic culture. For Indians, the multiplicity of the Divine is not a theoretical proposition but a lived reality. There is no other country in the world where its citizenry worships a multitude of Gods and Goddesses, with their own unique strands of traditions and ritualistic obeisance, with equal fervour.
Maa Durga, Shri Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, Maheshwara, Swami Ayyappa, Ganapati, Kartikeya, Lakshmi, Saraswati, there is a plethora of Gods in the Hindu pantheon and we worship the many. A wise man once remarked that polytheism is the highest expression of human consciousness and it is only in India that it finds its true expression in the 21st century. India is the cradle of civilization that has shaped and continues to shape the destinies of multiple nations. And it is so because of Hinduism and Hinduism alone.
Thus, secular politicians may want us to bend over backwards to accommodate their perverse fantasies but their misguided notions shall find place in our country no more. Hinduism is India’s destiny and it is Hinduism that defines India at the international order. There is no need for us to be apologetic about India’s Hindu identity; we are living in an age of Hindu assertiveness after all. Shashi Tharoor may be uncomfortable with the idea but it is one that he will have to live with.
For it is the invisible threads of Dharma that holds our country together. Peoples from different cultural, linguistic, regional backgrounds with their own unique traditions and culture lend their allegiance to India not because of fancy ideals enshrined in our Constitution. They do so because such diverse peoples are held together by the strands of Hinduism that is not always visible but always felt nonetheless.
Only Hinduism could ever hope to hold such a diverse country together. And there in lies its inherent superiority. Thus, India’s destiny and Hinduism’s are intertwined inseparably and it is one that will last till eternity. To paraphrase a quote from Harry Potter, “For neither can live while the other dies.”