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The Kautilyan Perspective

It’s virtually impossible to describe the word ‘Hindu’. You can define Muslim, Christian and people of other faiths quiet accurately, but not Hindu.

Many deem that all Hindus are idolaters – that’s certainly not true. Arya and Brahma Samajis are also Hindus, but are completely critical of Idol Worship. If you assume that Hindus are the one who adhere to Bhagavad-Gita as the ultimate Holy Scripture – Shaivas, followers of Shiva, would beg with you to differ. Sincerely, there is no description which can accurately depict Hindu. We can define the cosmos, spirit, earth and all that, but not Hinduism. But just because we cannot define it, does it mean that it doesn’t exist? Certainly not!

We, the Hindus, have based our whole existence, mostly, on God and therefore, it is credible that Hindu Society has developed in an all-comprehensive manner, with a perplexing variety of phases and forms, but with one lace of integration running intrinsically through the whole host of its expressions and manifestations. All the sects, diverse castes in the Hindu fold can be defined, but the expression ‘Hindu’ cannot.

Of course, countless efforts have been made to bring forth a viable definition, but all have proved to be simply imperfect, inaccurate. It is but normal in the case of people who have been growing and evolving for the last so many centuries. The Hindu society is a living reality, which all of us feel, in every drop of our blood. But although we cannot define it, we can, and must be able to, appreciate the exceptional features which mark out the Hindus as a distinct people.

We cannot say that, merely because a particular individual is not a Muslim or a Christian, he is a Hindu by the process of riddance. I have met several thinkers who often refer ‘Hindu’ as ‘a non-Muslim’. That is, unquestionably, not a hale and hearty way of understanding our unfeigned nature. Hindu is not a negative person.

But off late the pessimism in the Hindu psyche is mounting powerfully, and is extremely visible. In his book Bunch of Thoughts Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s second Sarasanghacharak MS Golwalkar, better known Guruji, had warned about this situation fairly in advance.

‘To give an example,’ said Guruji in the book ‘our workers once approached a prominent Hindu leader during the signature collection campaign demanding ban on the slaughter of cows. But they were greatly shocked to hear him saying, “What is the use of preventing the slaughter of useless cattle? Let them die. What does it matter? After all, one animal is as good as the other. But, since the Muslims are hell bent upon cow-slaughter, we should make this an issue. And so, I give you my signature.” What does this show? We are to protect the cow not because the cow has been, for ages, an emblem of Hindu devotion but because the Muslims kill it!’

This Hinduism, born out of reaction, was termed by Guruji as ‘negative Hinduism’ or ‘reactionary Hinduism’. For many in the BJP, today, the word ‘Hindu’ is of use only to serve political objectives. Simply for the reason that a Congressman or a Socialist or someone thinks in term of ‘composite culture’, they stand up and claim a ‘pure Hindu’ culture.

Stranger than this is the cry of ‘Hindu Communism’! A Hindu, to the best of my knowledge, can either be a Hindu or Communist. He can by no means be both. According to Guruji ‘It only means that those who shout about “Hindu Communism” know neither Communism nor Hinduism.’

Guruji was once asked as to ‘whether RSS was organizing Hindus in order to counteract the various activities of the Muslims.’ For this his riposte was ‘Even if Prophet Mohammad had not been born and Islam had not come into existence, we would have taken up this work just as we are doing it today, if we had found Hindus in the same disorganized, self-forgetful condition as at present.’ adding ‘Until the positive conviction that “this is my nation, this is my dharma, is my philosophy which I have to work for and set as standard for all other nations to follow-well” becomes the solid basis for Hindu organization.’

But what we observe with most of the reigning ‘Hindu’ politicians of the BJP is absolutely paradoxical to these ideas and ideals of Hinduism. Oblivious of the very fundamental nature of Hinduism, and its illustrious legacy, these shady political mongers swear by its spiritual traditions only to gather votes and gain power to further the sleaze in the foundation of our vibrant democracy. Let me assure you all that this is not a healthy development.

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