'Secularists' and Hindu nationalism - Fear complex, root of 'Hindu-Muslim' bhai-bhai' - Story with a moral - Ingrained conviction of Hindu Nationalism - Even truth requires 'proof'.
We are witnessing a strange phenomenon in our country today. The real and positive concept of Hindu Nationalism is being dubbed as communal, reactionary, narrow-minded and so on and the unscientific, reactionary and harmful theory of territorial nationalism, upheld by our present-day leaders, is paraded as 'secular', 'progressive' and 'broadminded'. But, apart form this cloud of political dust that has been raised, is it true that in their heart of hearts the so-called 'secularists' differ fundamentally from us?
At Heart All Accept, But !
Today very eminent personalities of our country extol the greatness of what they call 'Indian' philosophy, 'Indian' art etc. They say, 'The highest flights of Indian philosophy are to be found in the Upanishads', 'Kalidasa is the finest gem of Indian literature', and so on. They declare that the unique contribution of 'Indian' thought to mankind is its genius to see unity in diversity and its spirit of respect towards all faiths and religions on the face of the earth. But, what do all these statements really convey? Is there anything 'Indian' other than what is "Hindu" in all this?
Once a prominent leader suggested to us, "Of course, we have no objection to what you propound regarding the Hindu Nation and all that. But why not put the same diplomatically as 'Bhartiya' instead of ‘Hindu’, as the later appears offensive these days?" And he also quoted the famous Sanskrit axiom, no brooyat stayam apriyam (one should not utter unpleasant truth.) What a fine way of circumventing truth! In fact, the correct meaning of that phrase is otherwise. It is not that the unpleasant truth should be suppressed; it would only amount to supporting falsehood. Truth must be told but in a sweet manner. The truth is, that thought for which we stand is correctly and unambiguously described by the word 'Hindu'. Though 'Bharatiya' also should connote the same meaning, the way in which it is used by our leaders today lands one in confusion and leads one away form the truth. So, we decide not to dilute the truth to please or appease anybody. We do not also stoop to offensive language while propagating this truth. We take our stand on the pure and positive content of our national life and view all our national problems in that clear light.
This truth of Hindu Nationalism has been imprinted on all minds, though some may not say it in so many words. Take the instance of Somnath. When the temple of Somnath was renovated and there was the consecration ceremony, many great leaders and scholars of our country had gone there, including our former President Dr. Rajendra Prasad of hallowed memory. What was the burden of his speech on that occasion? He said that by rebuilding Somnath, we were wiping out the stains of twelve hundred years of slavery',
who were those enslavers that he had in mind? Who had broken the temple of Somnath? Clearly, the Muslims. To whom was it a point of honour and devotion? The answer is very clear - to the Hindus. It is one of their Jyotirlingas. The devastation of that temple was an insult to the majesty of the Hindu People and by rebuilding it, we have reestablished that majesty and wiped out the stains of foreign aggression, i.e., the aggression of the Muslims. In that one sentence, he has unequivocally stated that the Hindu has been the resident of this country form times immemorial, that his is the national existence here and that it is only by the restoration of the objects of his worship that the stains of all foreign aggression in the country will wiped out.
So, we see that even those who talk of 'broad-minded' outlook have the same beliefs we have - though they do not express it straightway. They take a roundabout way, but in the end, come to the same conclusion about the solid fact of Hindu Rashtra and about the real nature of the non-Hindu communities living in our country, especially the Muslims, who are uppermost in their minds.
Once a leading Congress worker said to me, "You see, we can not go on saying that this is Hindu Rashtra and all that very plainly, because there are four crores of Muslims living in this land and, in the event of Pakistan doing something against us, all these four crores of Muslims may join hands with the Pakistanis." In reply, I just asked him," Then, what has become of your slogan 'Hindu-Muslim bhai-bhai'? Is it not very clear from your present statement that all those phrases were born not out of any genuine feeling but out of fear of the Muslims?" Of course, he could not reply because that was a fact. It is this fear complex in the minds of those who call themselves 'secular', 'broad-minded' etc. that makes them say, "Let us not say 'Hindu' which will offend the Muslims into becoming hostile to us." But the hostility is there. They only want to appease them into not behaving in a hostile manner.
Story and the Moral
There is an interesting story in the Mahabharata. Once, while the Pandavas with their mother Kunti were moving about incognito, they happened to come to a place called Ekachakrapuri. There they came to know that the town was under the control of a terrific demon called Baka. Once, when he was about to destroy the whole of the town, the people had entreated him saying, "Do not kill us all now. In return for this favour, we will send you every day a cart-load of rice and other edibles, two buffaloes yoked to the cart and the driver for your food." These were the terms of the agreement.
Now, the next part of the story is very interesting and illuminating. Kunti asked the people not to worry by saying that she would be sending one of her five sons who was capable of destroying that Rakshasa. Accordingly Bhima was sent. He went with a cart-load of food to the place of Baka and shouted aloud, "Hello! Where are you? Baka, come on, I have brought your food." He let loose the buffaloes and began to eat the food himself with great relish. Bakasura was amazed to see that sight. Till then, nobody had dared to call him by name. They would tremble, bewail their fate and would only wait for death. Bakasura's surprise grew into annoyance when he saw his 'prey' feasting upon his
own food! Furious with rage, he dashed towards Bhima and began showering blows on him. But this gentleman continued to eat saying, "Wait a bit, let me eat"! After he had finished everything, he said, "Now, come on. You have been troubling these poor people for so many days. The time has now come for us to settle the accounts." And we know how Bhima settled the account! On the next morning the people saw to their utter relief the corpse of the dreaded Bakasura sprawling at the entrance gate of the town.
These are the two ways of dealing with the aggressor. In both these ways, the awareness that he is an aggressor and is hostile is there. So, whether our people go about saying that we will give five per cent seats, fifteen per cent seats, we will give parity, we will partition the land and so on, or they stand up and say, "Come on, and let us settle accounts", in both these attitudes, there is the same awareness regarding his real nature of hostility.
Thus we find that even though some people may call us communal and all that, still their beliefs and our beliefs are the same. Only, we have the courage to say the truth, whereas they try to appease and propitiate out of fear, of course, under the garb of 'broadmindedness', 'secularism' and so on. That is all. No other difference. The conclusion that we arrive at is that all those communities which are staying in this land and yet are not true to their salt, have not imbibed its culture, do not lead the life which this land has been unfolding for so many centuries, do not believe in its philosophy, in its national heroes and in all that this land has been standing for, are, to put it briefly, foreign to our national life. And the only real, abiding and glorious national life in this holy land of Bharat has been of the Hindu People.
Remember, Conviction is There!
In fact, the conviction of our true nationhood has been ingrained in our blood since hoary times. Even to this day that conviction is there in the heart of every son of this soil, though sometimes lying dormant.
In about the year 1920, Dr. Moonje, who was in those days a great Congress leader, accompanied by Dr. Hedgewar, came to Madras on his way to meet Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. Dr. Moonje travelled in first-class and Doctorji travelled in third-class almost as his attendant. When the train stopped at the previous station, Doctorji entered Dr. Moonje's compartment to pack up his luggage. But before be could complete that, the train started. When the train reached Madras station, a Ticket Inspector said that he would charge Dr. Hedgewar for illegally travelling in first-class with only a third-class ticket. Dr. Moonje tried to explain, but finding the Ticket Inspector obstinate, he snapped angrily, "Well, do you not believe me? I am the master of the Railway because I pay the fare. You are after all a servant. You get out." The ticket Inspector also got infuriated and said, "Who are you to tell me? This is no Muslim country, you get out." Hearing that, both the Doctors had a hearty laugh! Why did he say so? Because, Dr Moonje had a long beard and the Ticket Inspector mistook him to be a Muslim. Even an ordinary average man spontaneously feels that this is not a Muslim country.
Many years ago, Govindrao Kale, the ambassador of the Peshwa at the court of the Nizam, came to know that the Peshwa had crossed the Sindhu and had carried his victorious sword right up to Kabul. In his letter of congratulations, he wrote, " I am so very happy that the Bhagawa Dhwaj has crossed the Sindhu once again, that all Muslim power has been shattered and that from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari, this is 'Hindustan', and not a 'Turkistan'." Equally with that astute diplomat of a great Hindu Kingdom about 150 years ago, an ordinary Ticket Inspector now also expressed the same conviction that this was no Muslim country. This is the truth.
Even Truth Requires 'Proof'
Unfortunately, some eminent personalities have tried to lay upon this truth a mass of illusion and falsehood and are trying to make the Hindus forget that they are the nation. Even falsehood if repeated incessantly will have its effect on weak minds. As the story goes, poor Brahmin was once carrying a lamb in his arms. Three thieves, with a plan to knock it off, successively met the Brahmin and accosted him with the derisive exclamation how a pious Brahmin like him was carrying a dog in his arms. The credulous Brahmin brushed off the suggestion of the first, began to doubt at its repetition by the second and finally believed in it when the third repeated it again. He then threw away the lamb, which, of course, was taken charge of by the thieves.
Let us not shut our eyes to the historical fact that it was the scheming Britisher who, in order to perpetuate his stranglehold on our country, planted in our minds perverted notions of nationhood in a bid to break the proud and defiant spirit of the Hindus, which alone could have posed a real threat to his domination. Even to this day, do we not see that there are forces inside and outside our country, which would stand to profit by the subversion of this pure and intense spirit of nationalism as that alone could effectively frustrate all their evil designs? And knowingly, or unknowingly, our people are also being swept off their feet by their insidious propaganda designed to land us on a suicidal track. It is our scared duty, therefore, to re-establish the truth of our Hindu Nationhood, to remove all the debris of falsehood and make every Hindu realise his proud heritage of being a living limb of this great Hindu Nation.
But, how can it be done? We know as a matter of hard experience that even truth requires to be proved, it needs sanction. Our Shastras have described that sanction as Nigrahanugaha-kshama-shakti - a strength that upholds the good and destroys the evil. We know that in the Bhagavad-Gita, in the very first chapter, Arjuna comes forward with his doubts. The next chapter is a complete answer. After that, Sri Krishna goes on explaining what he has propounded in the second chapter. But Aujuna is not satisfied. Ultimately, when Sri Krishna manifests his colossal Vishwaroopa, he readily says, "Yes, I now understand." After that, he has no more queries about the fundamental theories of life. After the eleventh chapter we find Arjuna extremely receptive. Why? Because of the manifestation of that unbounded power of Vishwaroopa standing as the sanction behind all the divine precepts he had heard from Sri Krishna till then.
Once, we invited a prominent Congress leader* -- who later became an important Central Cabinet Minister -- to preside over one of our functions at Delhi. He accepted the invitation. His friends in Congress tried to dissuade him saying that being a Congressman he should not associate himself with a 'communal' organisation like the RSS. But he assured them that he would not compromise his principles. He came. He saw several thousands of the Sangh swayamsevaks in excellent trim and uniform. A huge audience of about three lakhs was also present, maintaining perfect order and silence. After the introductory talk he stood up to give his presidential speech. He said, "To whom else, if not the Hindus, does this land of Hindustan belong? And whose life, if not of Hindus, is the national life of this soil?" Next day, his speech appeared in the newspapers. He was naturally pestered with objections from his Congress colleagues. It is reported that he replied to them, "None of you would have spoken anything different had you also seen that sight!" And he was right too. The living manifestation * Shri Kailash Nath Katzu
of the power of Hindu Nation in the form of thousands of well-disciplined, devoted swayamsevaks standing before him reawakened the dormant conviction in his heart about our true nationhood.
Therefore, the foremost duty laid upon every Hindu is to huild up such a holy, benevolent and unconquerable might of our Hindu People in support of the age-old truth of our Hindu Nationhood. Our scriptures tell us that self-forgetfulness is adharma and awakening to the knowledge of one's true self is dharma. Thus the path of reestablishment of dharma shown by all our great masters of the past is clearly the awakening of the Hindu People to the truth of their National Self-the glorious, effulgent Hindu Nationhood.
Give up notions of "religious minority"-Example of Indonesia, Turkey, etc.-Benevolent tradition of Hindu Rashtra -Examples.
The answer to the so-called problem of 'religious minorities' can be found only in the historically correct, rational and positive approach of Hindu Rashtra. Otherwise, the so-called minorities are bound to become more and more hardened in their separate shells of religion and turn into a dreadful source of disruption of our body-politic.
So, all that is expected of our Muslim and Christan co-citizens is the shedding of the notions of their being 'religious minorities' as also their foreign mental complexion and merging themselves in the common national stream of this soil. As far as the national tradition of this land is concerned, it never considers that with a change in the method of worship, an individual creases to be the son of the soil and should be treated as an alien. Here, in this land, there can be no objection to God being called by any name whatever. Ingrained in this soil is love and respect for all faiths and religious beliefs. He cannot be a son of this soil at all who is intolerant of other faiths.
A Lesson From Neighbours
In this connection, it would be beneficial for our Muslim friends here to take a lesson from their co-religionists in Iran, Turkey and Indonesia. Though Persia became Islamic, Persians did not change their script and take to the Arabic script. They did not take to the Arabic way of life; they stuck to their own. They have been sticking to the memory of their great forefathers. Even now a Persian will remember his forefathers, will speak of Rustom with great respect and honour. Rustom was not a Muslim. Kamal Pasha 'the Maker of Modern Turkey' restored the age-old national pattern of life and limited the role of Islam to personal worship of God.
The example of Indonesia is extremely revealing. Majority of the Indonesians profess Islam. However, Saraswati and Ganesh are the presiding deities of their learning and knowledge. Children start their ABC in education with pictorial Ramayana. One of our countrymen was amazed to see this when he had gone there. He asked a leading Indonesian, "How is it, though you are Muslims, you teach Ramayana to your Children?" The Indonesian replied with pride, "Because. Sri Ramachandra is our national hero par excellence. We very much desire that our children should emulate his lofty ideal. No doubt we belong to the Islamic faith. But that does not mean that we should give up our precious national heritage and values of life." What an excellent lesson for our Muslim friends here! There the names too are hundred per cent Hindu. Their previous President was Sukarna. His son, Kartikeya. The present President is Suhrida (distorted as Suharto in English) meaning 'a true friend'. Women too bear the proud names of Sita, Savitri,
Damayanti etc. Garuda, the mount of Vishnu, adorns the name of their airways. Their constitution begins with the declaration "Dharmo Rakshti Rakshitah."
This is the real and abiding cornerstone of national harmony and integration, subscribing to common national ideals irrespective of personal religious creeds. And it is this concept as applied to our country, that we call Hindu Rashtra, the only rational, practical and right concept.
The Semitic Contrast
In spite of this catholic and rational approach of Hindu Rashtra towards the so-called minorities, it is amazing that some people should harbour fear that the 'minorities' live in mortal peril if Hindu Rashtra comes into its own. The fear, if at all genuine, can only be due to their misconception that 'Hindu Rashtra' would treat other religious groups in much the same way as the Semitic religions did. The first Semitic religion was Judaism-an intolerant faith. It was this intolerance that nailed Christ on the Cross. Then came Christianity, the child of the former. That too was equally intolerant. Doubtless Christ was a great saint. But later, what went on in the name of Christ had nothing to do with him. It was no Christianity but only 'Churchianity'. The saying "There was but one true Christian and he died on the Cross" is true to the letter. The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label 'Killers of Christ'. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians. Then came Islam – a long story of 'Sword and Koran' written in the tears and blood of millions of innocent human beings. It’s latest chapter of 'Pakistan', the self-declared theocratic Islamic State, is no different with the entire Hindu population butchered and driven out from its western wing and the same process continuing in its eastern wing. All these have ingrained in their blood intolerance of other faiths.
The fear that Hindu Rashtra will imperil the existence of other religious groups arises by applying the above Semitic yardstick to it and imagining that the concept of Hindu Rashtra in analogous to that of the Semitic states notorious for their religious bigotry and persecutions.
Hindu Rashtra in Living Practice
To disabuse the minds of genuinely doubtful souls we may recapture here the historical tradition of Hindu Rashtra vis-à-vis the foreign religious groups. The glaring fact inscribed on every page of our history and testified by even foreign historians and travellers, is that we never discriminated against any one on the score of religion in any sphere of our national life.
The Muslims enjoyed perfect freedom and equality in the powerful Hindu empire under the Vijaynagar Kings or in the Punjab under Sikh heroes. The latest Hindu Power, which rose under the great Shivaji, too, did not discriminate against Muslims on the score of religion.
To cite a few instances, the naval chief of Charapati Shivaji, Darya Sarang, was a Muslim, and two of his main lieutenants were Ibrahim Khan and Daulat Khan. At the time of the grim encounter with Afzal Khan, out of the ten trusted bodyguards who accompanied Shivaji, three were Muslims. Again, the 18-year old lad who accompanies Shivaji to Agra and who played a key role in the thrilling escape of Shivaji from the grip of Aurangzeb was Madari Mehtar, a Muslim. Countless instances are there of Shivaji gifting land and annual grant to masjids and dargas. He even made arrangements for the offering of worship according to Islam to the tomb of Afzal Khan on Pratapgad. Even the most fanatic Muslim chroniclers of those times have noted with admiration that Shivaji treated with utmost respect their Koran, masjids and dargas, their holy men and their womenfolk. And all this, when exactly the opposite was being perpetrated by the Muslim on Hindus all round.
Even later on, on the battlefield of Panipat in 1761, in the crucial struggle for the survival of Swaraj, the key position of the Artillery Chief on the side of the Hindus was held by Ibrahim Gardi, who ultimately fell fighting on the battleground.
Hindusthan lived life of unchallenged glory and power for thousands of years and spread its spiritual and cultural effulgence over vast areas of the globe-right from Mexico to Japan. Never has its flag waded towards military victory through the blood and tears of those races as it happened with Islam and Christianity when they spread to new countries. Its victory had always been moral and cultural. It was a victory joyously welcomed by the local populace, a victory of selflessness, character and catholicity of spirit which, evoked gratitude instead of revolt from them. Passage of centuries has not dimmed their feelings towards this land. Even to this day the inmost wish of many a devout soul of those lands is to come to the 'holy land' of Hindusthan and take a dip in the Ganga. For them, it is never a simple 'visit' to this country, it is always a 'pilgrimage'. From all this, one can easily visualize the unique and matchless life-values that formed the very core of this nation.
Real Guarantee to Minorities
As such, the so-called minorities living here have nothing to lose but everything to gain by the rejuvenation of Hindu Rashtra. It is the Hindu thought alone which, in this wide world, has recognised the immanence of one Supreme Power in the entire humanity and has respected and even protected and encouraged all types of cults and creeds to grow and blossom to their fulfillment. All these factors point to the fact that it is only a strong and resurgent Hindu Rashtra that can stand guarantee to the free and prosperous life of the so-called minorities here sharing equal opportunities as the proud children of the motherland.
2. HINDU RASHTRA AND SECULARISM
"Secularism" is not " Nationalism" - Hindu view with positive content.
A dubious argument that is repeated ad nauseam is that the concept of Hindu Rashtra is against 'secularism'. First of all, the very notion of 'secularism' as it originated in the West has no relevance to our country. Centuries ago, in Europe, the kings revolted and overthrew the theocratic hegemony of Pope over their kingdoms and established their own rule. Thus came about the 'secular' states as opposed to the 'theocratic' ones. Now 'theocratic state' has come to mean a religious state intolerant of all other faiths. There has never been any quarter for such a conflict or intolerance in our country either in the past or in the present.
Further, the word 'secular' is nowhere to be found in our Constitution* as pointed out be Sri K. Subba Rao, Ex-chief Justice of our country. As such, the foisting of that word on our Constitution could, in a way, be termed an interpolation and a superimposition upon the Constitution.
Steer Clear of Confusions
Then there is the confusion of equating 'secularism' with 'nationalism'. The two can never be the same. 'Nation' is a whole and living entity. It has ever so many functions, one of which is the statecraft. And 'secularism' is only one of the qualities of that statecraft. Thus equating 'secularism' with 'nationalism' would be like identifying one of the functions of a limb of a body with the body itself, and exhibits a sad lack of understanding of the basic distinction between 'Nation' and 'State'.
Again, if 'secularism' is to mean only the mundane things of life and something divorced from the higher and nobler attributes of the spirit, as it is sometimes made out to be, then we will not touch it even with a barge-pole. If, however, 'secularism' is to mean, as it ought to, not anti-religion but scope and opportunity for every religious persuasion to grow, and restraining of one religion from pouncing upon another, then that is undoubtedly in tune with the spirit of Hindu Rashtra. Then, the apt word for such a state would be 'multireligious' and not 'secular'. In this country, the 'state' was never tagged on to any particular faith. Relegating men of non-Hindu faiths to second-class citizenship or levying of 'Jezia' on them was unknown. All were absolutely equal in the eyes of law. Never did the king prostitute the state apparatus to impose his personal religious dogmas.
The Hindu thought did not stop at the negative aspect of restraining one religion from infringing upon another. The wide and all-comprehensive view of life ingrained in the Hindu ruler made him to respect and even encourage every single religious thought, however few its adherents, to grow according to its own genius. The king *Later on introduced during 1975-77 Emergency.
became the symbol of support and protection to all faiths and creeds and never of negation of religion. This is the positive content of 'secularism' if at all it can be called so. Indeed, our concept of 'state' has always been 'secular' and emphasising the secular nature of the state by the adjective 'secular' is redundant in our country.
Even today, it is on the strength of this national tradition that a Muslim can and does adorn the highest position of Presidentship, become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and hold important portfolios in the central Cabinet and Internal and External Services. The contrast with the neighbouring theocratic State of Pakistan is so glaring as to need no elaboration.
But unfortunately secularism in India has, in practice, meant anti-Hinduism for people at the helm of affairs. When the late Dr. Zakir Husain specially went to Kerala to inaugurate a mosque, nobody objected. But when Dr. Giri went to Tirupati after his election as Rashtrapati, it was dubbed communal. The world must be laughing at us.