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A Deadly Blow To Pluralism

A Deadly Blow To Pluralism

The recent bizarre assertions like ‘all Indians are Hindus’ by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and equally weird remarks by responsible people in the government and the ruling party expose one thing: The tentacles of Hindu Rashtra, hitherto remained hidden, are coming out menacingly in the open. What had vehemently been propounded by Hindutva protagonists like M. S. Golwalkar and V. D. Savarkar is being taken to its logical conclusion by their successors and cronies. Sangh Parivar wants all Indians to be tied on the same string of majoritarian Hinduism -- irrespective of their diversities in religion, culture, region, language, etc. – thereby dealing a lethal blow to pluralism, the soul of India.    

The road to Hindu Rashtra is reinforced with legislative measures, ably aided by assertions to justify it. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act which enables millions of Hindus to acquire Indian nationality is not an innocent move. One has to read it along with remarks like ‘Go to Pakistan’, hurled at the protesters, to understand the real purpose behind the government’s draconian decision. Neither one can remain deaf to the blatantly untrue statements like ‘No Hindu can get citizenship in any other country.’ The reality is that millions of Hindus have taken citizenship in scores of countries across the globe. ‘A lie uttered a thousand time becomes a truth’ seems to be the logic behind the RSS ploy.  

India is a multi-cultural and a diverse nation with a flourishing history of pluralism that has been thriving for thousands of years.  Religious diversity is a heritage carried down the ages from ancient India. Among the many faiths represented here are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. This truth cannot be subverted by untruths even if they are uttered a million times. The narrative that Hindus are the original inhabitants of India and ‘Hinduism is the religion of India’ is far from true. In fact, historical evidences point to Dravidians and Adivasis as earliest settlers in India. Still no historian has held India as Dravidian land or Adivasi land. Hence, it would be a historic blunder if late-comers (Hindus) are allowed to name this land after their religion.

The assertions of RSS functionaries, supported by their foot soldiers in the government, are in contradiction to the declarations of great Hindu sants, scholars and philosophers. One of the most revered Hindu monks and a philosopher Swami Vivekananda described India not as the land of Hindus but as a nation where very many religions co-exist. Because of their belief that different faiths are different ways to one and the same reality, God, the Hindus in India did not feel the need for converting the followers of other religions to their own.

Unfortunately, what we see today is a prelude to what is in store for the country. What we hear from the likes of Mohan Bhagwat will probably be part of the preamble of the new Constitution if the Sangh Parivar is allowed to have its way and its sway over the government. What we see and hear are nothing but unfolding of the saffron agenda kept under the wraps till now.  

(Published on 06th January 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 02)