The Saga Of Silencing The Tolerant Indic Voices.
Research Paper by Bharti Kundal, Published by NRI Herald 10 September 2021
The effort to relate Hindus with neo-Nazis is on a rise, be it academia, media, or politics. Every other media house is pumping efforts to portray Indic voices as right-wing Hindutva extremists for simply loving their motherland and honoring and respecting its thousands of year-old traditions.
There are relentless efforts to compare Hindus to Nazis such that every other article you read from foreign media houses has the terms like militant Hindutva movement, which makes a tolerant Hindu think that what is so militant about him? While reading those articles one fails to find out any references to claims on "Hindu militia in progress".
Ironically, Indic communities are the ones that are at the greatest threat of the motives of the expansionist ideologies. Do we call this ignorance which originates because the author might not have the background or lack of research while writing or deliberate attempts to show Hindus in poor light on a global platform? Most of these articles revolve around Hindu identity and religious intolerance by a majority community, but a recent survey by Pew Research Centre debunks all these theories being circulated which concluded that the majority of the people in India are free to practice their religion. These attempts to create baseless negative perception is Hinduphobia, the basis of which are the stereotypes which most of the scholars use.
Often these terms don’t carry a substantial base or any agreed-upon meaning, everyone has their disassociated thoughts which are rather some half-cooked theories mostly connected to political developments in India. The assertive tone on claims of militancy is further hurting the Hindu sentiments and arguments surrounding the threatening of secularism are rather damaging the centuries-old tradition of inclusivity of Hindu culture. From finding faults in Hindu customs and traditions to disassociated thoughts on Secularism, the internet is full of criticism abouT the very tolerant community that has undergone numerous atrocities but has remained resilient to any kind of violence.
Definition of Hindu Nationalism or Right wing Hindu extremism :
Ever found yourself in a situation when trying to argue something about your perception of certain events which the opposing party doesn't agree to and then labelled as "IT-Cell Employee" or "Bhakt" or "Sanghi" and "Nationalist"?This is irrespective of the fact that you may or may not align yourself with any particular ideology but simply wanted to put forward your thoughts.
The whole idea revolves around using Hindu nationalism or Hindu extremism interchangeably to encompass ‘Hindutva’ as a violent ideology which is then further shaped to suit a wide variety of narratives to portray Hindus as violent, evil, oppressive and regressive. The noticeable terms to associate with this phenomenon are Sanghi, Bhakt, Cow piss drinker, Kafir, Fascist, Hindutva Vadi and the glossary can go on here.
If one realizes, there is no set term to describe Hindu extremism as anything and everything becomes extremism and the only commonality being not agreeing to someone's terms and the way they perceive truth. Often the terms as mentioned become labels which are then accorded based on narratives.
Hindus on a long road of guilt trips:
Often the Hindu society is made to take a guilt trip by imposing upon them the garbled meaning of Secularism, Freedom of expression, Hindutva Vadi, etc. These terms are further mingled with the various ethos that Hindus believe in like cow worship, denying the confrontational history of Hindu genocides and their civilizational origins, concealing destruction of Hindu religious places of worship, judgements based on prejudices for Hindu rituals and even pursuing different political thoughts being some of these.
The aim here is to deny persecution of Hindus, shaming for pursuing different political thought processes and inducing a sense of not being in a position to question and put in a marginal bracket of being not educated enough (often terms like Bhakts and Sanghis are used for this purpose ). To an extent, this inferiority complex has made inroads in the Hindu intellect and often this weakness in the Hindu Society is taken advantage of.
It is not wrong to assume that a certain class wants to stick labels and impose certain conduct for Hindus to fit in or even give in. Basically, whoever falls out of the marginal buckets of being an intellectual is cancelled. The culture of cancellation is a way to acknowledge your achievements but portray you as inferior when disagreement occurs by targeted personal attacks on ones preferences.
Denial of Indic roots and civilizational ethos /Everyone in Media is a specialist in Indic History:
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ---George Orwell Coming from a family of migrants during Partition of Bharat and belonging to the generation who doesn’t know much about her ancestral land that is Sindh, which was the cradle of Saraswati Sindhu Civilization, I can only re-iterate George Orwell’s quote. It is unfortunate that we have been kept away from the glorious civilization that we belong, and this proves as an advantage to the people who constantly try to school us .
Often we are caught in the narrative which is builds around incomplete and partial understanding of Indic matters. For an example, this article :  https://www.npr.org/2019/04/22/715875298/hindu-nationalism-thegrowing-trend-in-india. Here the debate is around how Prime Minister Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, believed that only a pluralist and secular democracy could hold diversity together. What most of these scholars emphasize here is that the concept of Secularism in India was laid down on the basis of fact that in no way Hinduism, Hindu civilization or culture, or Hindu people can equate to the foundation in India.
Doing so would exclude other minority religions in the country. But ,they often don't give references to the fact both Nehru and Gandhi spoke about the roots of ancient civilization. Indian Secular Historiography: “A Judicious Selection of Historical Truths”-AMAR MAIN Many times our Vedic history is often termed as mythology, the argument surrounding that is Hindutwa relates Vedic myths as History. One such example is the denial of existence of river Saraswati and not attributing it to the Indus/Sindhu civilization.
The fact as put up by many researches is that over 60% of the Indus valley sites have been found not along the Indus River but the dried out course of the Saraswati River, starting with US Landsat Images of 1970 that actually revealed the dried-out course of Saraswati parallel to Sindhu, followed by ISRO imagery and with the recent advances in gene mapping that has shown the Indian gene pool comprising of north and south of the Vindhyas which actually has debunked the myth that is Aryan-Invasion theory to deny Hindus their homeland.The Sarasvati Civilization-Major General GD Bakshi.https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryanatribune/saraswati-existed 6-000-years-ago-study-24773.
The basic axiom of AIT being that Rig Veda was written by this migrating Aryans around 1500 BC and thus the chain of Indian history has been subverted around. The reality put up by these scientific advances shows that Saraswati dried around 1900 BCE.
Against Hindutva and not Hindus/Loosely coupled usage of Hindutva:
The year 2014 has been a catalyst of change for the way in which power was assumed in India. People voted towards the formation of a stable government, and 2019 was even bigger in terms of percentages. First time, the country saw elections that were free from the influences of dynastic politics. Many of the articles based on the election coverage of India highlight the influence of Hindutva on Elections, but nobody focuses on statistics around numbers that actually talk about the rejection of The Grand Old Party Congress, its crises, and no stable leadership portrayal by the alliances.
This is also the period where there has been a sudden rise in the criticism of Hindutva and Hindus overall. One simple google hit will take you to numerous articles on "Rising Hindutva" post-2014. For an ordinary Hindu irrespective of the fact that whether they align themselves to any ideology or not, the term has been used widely which can be observed as a common pattern.
Often foreign media channels don’t do background research on the period between 2004-2013 and the unfortunate circumstances that The Hindus have faced because of the so-called secular narrative to an extent that a false narrative about the presence of “Hindu Terror” was forced upon them.Congress-Mukt Bharat :Amit Bagaria The fact that post this period people have started questioning these narratives against them and also scholars have started researching more about leaders like Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, Netaji Subahsh Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel shows that there is a shift in paradigms and there is a resistance against how History has been written.
There is a constant urge to the way in which one wants to visualize the Indian history. Often, this change in perception is termed as extremist Hindutva. If carefully noticed ,general masses reject the claims of AIT, forced secularism , prejudices against one’s belief as regressive ,they often talk about the confrontational history of Hindu genocides and many topics which are sensitive to the Hindu masses.
All these issues are brought under the umbrella of Hindutva and often an argument is made that these are against the tenets of Hinduism and the secular fabric ,which implies that its wrong to talk about one’s past. While the topic of Hindutva falls out of the scope of this paper ,I want to draw attention to the fact that even the Supreme Court of India in its judgment in 1955 quotes that "Ordinarily, Hindutva is understood as a way of life or a state of mind and is not to be equated with or understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism... it is a fallacy and an error of law to proceed on the assumption... that the use of words Hindutva or Hinduism per se depicts an attitude hostile to all persons practicing any religion other than the Hindu religion." http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analysis/hindutva-is-a-secular-way of-life These ideas of garbled secularism and secular historiography often are imposed on Hindus and which is where the resistance is coming from.
The change is the only constant and while one may be left out as a cowardly traitor ,it doesn’t mean that the current generations will hesitate to look back and think and not draw their inferences. To look back and reflect is not FASCISM or EXTREMISM, either. Infact these claims of fascism often come from the elite class which earlier enjoyed a status-quo of deciding the cabinet ministry which they rather miss these days.
Liberation and Participation:
Right-wing,Left-wing, Secularism , Nationalism all have their different contexts and meanings. Secularization has been used and interpreted in different ways, and thus no necessary connection can be assumed between different societies involved. Haralambos and Holborn Sociology. Similarly, Nationalism has a different meaning in the West but for India its roots lie in the Freedom struggle. Don’t let your minds be captive of the labels as everyone has the right to express,neither it should invite any prejudices.The history hidden doesn’t need to remain there , for it's not the imperial record.
If I speak about by culture and history , that doesn’t make me a Sanghi. If I talk about realigning facts,that doesn’t make me Fascist either. The last few decades has seen efforts towards an Indic narrative which deserves its due place in History. Ecosystems are being challenged, and many intellectuals are joining the movement. Every participation matters and it can be in various ways such as educating yourself ,challenging the status quo- Sita Ram Goel has laid down a framework that emphasizes on not suffering at the hands of bullies https://www.dharmadispatch.in/commentary/sita-ram-goels-letter-toromila-thapar-is-a-fine-model-for-dealing-with-left-liberals-an introduction Financial contribution towards Indic causes like rehablitation of Pakistani Hindu Refugees,temples suffering due to lack funds and any such cause that you feel related to. Educating your younger generations about your religion and customs & traditions as they are the future.
“Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase in the evolution of conflict in the modern world.The interactions between the people of different civilizations will intensify the civilizational consciousness “ Samuel P Huntington