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Hindu Tolerance: Myths



Myth of Hindu tolerance
By V.B.Rawat

Indian politicians as well as "intellectuals" have found the bogey of secularism easier than any thing else. Thus the attacks on Muslims and Christians got wider publicity than anything else. The point I am making here is not to denigrate the assault on Muslims and Christians or justify this but I am raising a very important question which our intellectuals friends crying loudly must answer.

All those who talks of "great democratic" India and non violent and tolerant Hindu community must address to this issue as where were they when Dalits were being butchered by the Hindu Upper castes. I am aghast to note that there is not a slightest mention of the massacre of 29 Dalits in Jahanabad district of Bihar by the upper caste Bhomihar dominated Ranvir Sean.

Day in and out we see such butchering of dalits in India by the Hindu upper caste. Our friends have been giving number of documentation about violence on minorities but not a single documentation has been mentioned by any of secular friends on violence against Dalits by the Hindu upper castes.

Not many years ago in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, the Jatav villagers of Kumher village were massacred by the powerful Jats simply because the Jatav youths were watching the cinema from balcony which prohibited for them. We see violence against Dalits in other parts of the country where they are not allowed to fetch water from the village well.

The atrocities on Dalits in other parts of the country be it Uttar-Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana,Tamilnadu or Andhra Pradesh do not make the main stories neither in Indian media nor in the world media simply because they are not even "sub-human". How can they talk about human rights.

I am raising this issue because, I see the Brahminisation process of RSS-Bajrang Dal and VHP's hate propaganda against Christians and Muslims. I am afraid if we talk about the true secularism which should be based on rationalism of western concept or our own Lokayata Darshan or pre vaidik age, than most of our secular friends would be exposed. Their secularism is as hollow as the true Hinduism of RSS. Why this rhetoric continue that Hindus have been the most tolerant quam of the world. It is a blatant lie. Hinduism is nothing.. it is not religion..

The Hinduism that is being preached these days is infact Varnashram dharma which believe in caste hierarchy.. And this caste system makes India as world's biggest practising racist country, worst than the South Africa of apartheid period. But unfortunately, none of our friends ever wrote about this aspect of our dirty past.

A friend from Tamilnadu mentioned that we wanted to chant " garv se kaho hum hindu hain". Why he forgot the greatest revolutionary work done by EVR in Tamilnadu. If you want to understand the greatness of Hinduism I would ask my uppercaste seculars to study Periyar, Ambedkar, M.N.Roy, Lokayata Darshan and Buddhism.

Let me be candid that we owe this pluralism in India to Brahminisim.

Right from Lokayat Darshan to Buddhism, Jainism, Kabirpanthis, Sikhism were a form of revolt against the castiest Varnashram dharma. Even the religion like Christianity and Islam provided platform to scores of untouchables who were living an undignified and contemptuous life under the Brahminical forces.

The entire Indian history, the epic are the story of Brahminic cunningness and cheat to Indian masses. Hence when they wanted to rule over the masses they created a structure of  what Dr Ambedkar said of " graded inequality". Now, this graded inequality ensured Brahmincal domination because every caste hated the lower ones and hence the Brahmin enjoyed the supremacy over the vast Indian ignorant masses.

Today in the post Mandal scenario the situation has dramatically changed. The backward classes are asserting. The Dalits are asserting their identities. They know that the congress or left brand of seculars were chanting the secular mantra at the cost of Dalits hence there is no representation of Dalits/backward classes in our schemes of things. Are they not seculars ? Are only the Hindu upper caste are seculars ? I doubt this.

Similarly, right from the right-wing thugs, the entire debate on conversion today seems to be between the Hindu upper castes. Not a single dalit or backward class person could be found in these debates.

Why ? Are only the Brahmins and Banias the true Hindus ? I doubt this also and feel that the maximum harm to non-Brahminic Hinduism has come from these communities. Why do not we ask the Dalits/ backward classes themselves what they feel about conversion.

Dr Ambedkar, EVR and other reformers wanted the oppressed communities to leave the Brahminic Sanatan dharma based on caste based hatred and truthfully lakhs of Dalits converted to Buddhism with Dr Ambedkar. Not only Dr Ambedkar challenged the concept of " tolerance of Hinduism", he mocked at their holy Grantham and holy gods in his wonderful analysis " riddles of Hinduism".

Ambedkar's analysis of "Bhagwat Geeta" is a masterpiece. But how many seculars have read that. Secularism in India is not a gift from Gandhi and Nehru who were also hardcore Brahmins in their heart of heart. Both of them did nothing to eliminate the Brhaminical vampire in India. Gandhi went on to fast to deny the Dalits their legitimate right as having a separate electorate.

The best form of Hindu tolerance came in the form of anti-Mandal agitation in Delhi which was not only fully supported by the Brahmin seculars but V.P.Singh, the Rajarshi of Banaras Brahmin, became one of the most hated politicians, despite his impeccable honest and secular credentials. Whether it is Laloo Yadav, Mayawati, Karunanidhi, Phoolan Devi or Mulayam Singh Yadav, India's uppercaste have a general hatred towards them. They may like a charming Muslim or Christian guy but the welfare of oppressed communities make their faces red.

India's "secular" media make mockery of forces of social justice thus despite his being the most rationalist and secular person in nature, our secularists mediamen and intellectuals fear Periyar because all the Tamil Brahmins would just love to hate him.

India's problem is not the issues of minorities. RSS and all its lumpun organisation would not have been succeeded in this age had their been only Hindu community living in this country since Dalits and other oppressed communities knows the designs of Chitpawan headed Sangh Parivar. It is the issue of leadership which the Dalits and backward classes started getting in their hand.

How to deviate the attention from this? Hence this attacks on Christians and Muslims so that the internal democratic movement inside the non-Brahminic Hinduism are finished. The matter of the fact is that RSS-VHP and other allied organisations have no dearth of money. They have temples, they have big business houses, they have NRIs who are behaving in a more Hinduised way, they have lawyers, shopkeepers.the list is big.

Why cannot they utilise the fund for spreading education, literacy, health care etc. and see the result. Is Ashok Singhal ready to fight against the atrocious Hindu racist order ? Does he know what kind of religion is this? Had he ever ponder over the situation as why it is easier to convert a Hindu and not a vice versa. But surely, Ashok Singhal and other uppercaste tribe of Sangh Parivar and their lumpens would not like the oppressed communities to educate themselves since it would mean a death knell for the castiest Hindu order.

If the Christian nurses in Indian hospital stop working for one day in all India hospitals all these Singhals, Advanis, Vajpayees, Joshis would find it difficult to breath for a moment. India owe it to Christians, their commitment for health care and education.

As an Indian who despite born in a very poor family with no Christian school background, I owe my secularism to Lokayat Darshan, To Buddha, To Ambedkar, To Periyar, To M.N.Roy, To Kabir who were not that elitist like our secular friends. I do not want a secularism of Hindi film brand which are the most orthodox nature and supported superstition, ignorance and mocked at poor people, downtrodden and disabled. I would like my friends to stop crying about India's tolerant past and tolerant Hinduism and give a thought to continuous assault by the Hindu upper castes over the Dalits.

The current attacks against minorities should be considered in this way that the Uppercastes wants to close the doors of liberation for the Dalits. It also shows that being a dalit no body would take care of them hence they must choose the right way so that there are no atrocities against them.

It is unfortunate that the attacks on Christians and Muslims by a sections of hooligans is being termed as majority-minority issue. The Sangh Parivar and others have never cared for Hindus without any contribution to social reforms in Hindu society or India's freedom movement. They do not have the mandate of non Brahmin Hindu society hence the entire issue cannot be termed as majoritarian assault on minority. In fact it is the minority that has ruled India since independence, the Brahmin-bania minority capturing India after independence.

It is time for all of us, the oppressed to take on this brutal lunatic fringe and show them their way. Fortunately, We are the Majority. As long as we continue to chant minority-minority, the Sangh Parivar and the their like minded would continue to enjoy the majority status which they are not. India has a rich secular heritage in the form of anti Brahmin and rationalist movement and the "seculars' are better advised to study that before chanting " Gandhian ramdhun".

I am also a bit amused on a statement by our friend about Shahi Imams participation with other Christian leaders. What is the problem. Who will decide who is a fundamentalist and who is not? If Shahi Imam is voicing concern over the violence against the Christians should we just not allow him to do so? We cannot allow such prejudices which the so-called "secular" media has been projecting. We never called our Shankaracharyas as fundamentalists and all the secular politicians, bureaucrats and editors prostrated before him even when some of them openly endorse caste system and anti-women sentiments. Please for Gods sake allow any one to associate with other if he/she is willing to do so without having a prior opinion about him/her.

Secular fundamentalism

To further my debate, I found secularism a platform by fundamentalist forces to benefit their cause and relegate the issues of social reforms in their own communities. Thus a Hindu uppercaste feel much proud in becoming a "secular" than to the cause of social reform movements. Similarly, is with other communities.

Jinnah was a secular person to the core of his heart who wanted Hindu-Muslim unity with Sarojini Naidu describing her as "Ambassador" of Hindu-Muslim unity. The same Jinnah could not digest the Bengali Muslims and had a utter contempt towards their culture. In India Gandhi supported the Khilafat movement and had no problems with his Muslims friends in accepting the demand of separate electorate but when the issue of Dalits came he became an ardent Hindu opposing it vociferously.

I wrote about V.P.Singh earlier. K.R.Narayanan, our president was a darling of our middle classes but as soon as he raised the issue of Dalits and landreforms, India's progressive, secular media and intellectuals have turned him a villain as a father of sectarianism in India.

Our constitution says that the state will not interfere in the personal laws of religious communities. Now the question is who will decide it? Does these personal laws offend an individuals rights?

A strange case has come into light from Tamilnadu and it needs our attention should state just watch and see what is happening. It so happened in early seventies that the Dravidian Tamilnadu government brought out a legislation that the "Archaks" in Tamilnadu could worship in Tamil and might be from any community irrespective of castes etc. This order was challenged and finally the Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of petitioners that the Tamilnadu government order was violating the constitution by interfering in religious matters. How sad ! If Shakaracharyas defend untouchability as part of great "sanatan dharma", should it be allowed in the garb of religious autonomy.

Some human right activists defended their cultural autonomy. My question is who will decide what is culture? A few disgruntled, inefficient Pundits or Mullahs? The man not only supported Sati system that it is a part of Hindu tradition. I do not mind that cultural autonomy. We know very well that Supreme Court was pro-active in the Shah Bano Case and more than Muslim women it were Hindu men who were keen on the issue thus communalising it.  Yet the victim of the personal law case was a Muslim women.

The demand for cultural autonomy should come from the communities it self and not from outsiders. In the entire debate on personal laws, the Hindus showed as if they wanted a personal law and it is just the Muslims who deny it. This is the biggest lie of recent time. Who were those opposed the progressive Hindu code bill? It was not just Jansangh but also Congress Party. And if you go through the marriage advertisement, dowry problems, burning of brides and expenditure in marriages, it is Hindus who would not ever like to have a civil marriages. Why?

Civil marriage or Personal laws will not serve purpose for Hindu males who at one time want to look like a very modern person and at the same point of time gain financially through marriage. Hindu marriage system does no justice to women. Otherwise, nothing is more atrocious than the concept of "Kanyadan". It is against the basic human values but our courts and government will defend it in the name of cultural autonomy.

Before independence the Congress Party was never considered a secular outfit by the Muslims and Dalits. Congress was a political party formed to get maximum benefits from the British whose leaders were Hindu religious leaders and who did not mind using Hindu sentiments and religious symbols to gain politically.

Is not it a fact that so-called secular stalwarts legitimised the Hindutva forces. While RSS today is chanting Gandhi's Ramrajya which itself is a bogus and dangerous concept and Ramrajya was never a democratic or ideal republic but than God knows what prompted Gandhi to enforce it to his non Hindu members this theory. Even as a Hindu I feel offended on this. Second, in the schemes of our things a Hindu is never considered as anti national. He is born secular says Hindutva forces. He is a Rastra Bhakta.. India owe it to Hindus as its present secular credentials. Look Sonia is also claiming the legacy of "Sanatan dharma", the same way as Advani and Vajpayee used to do it. The champion of backward cause Ram-Manohar Lohia himself wrote " Ram and Krishna" were the "Nayaks" of Indian civilisation.

Perhaps Lohia did not have time to study either Periyar or Ambedkar or he was foiling the backward movement since he was a bania. In the post independence India Nehru allowed RSS to participate in the republic day parade as a separate contingent. What could a bigger certificate than this. Later on "great" Lal Bahadur Shastri allowed them to regulate the traffic of Delhi during war with Pakistan. In 1975, after the emergence of Jai Prakash Narian, who were the forces got maximum benefit of anti-congressism. It was Jansangh. Jai Prakash Narain not only invited them to participate in his movement but appointed Nanaji Deshmookh has his secretary and Lal Krishna Advani, an unknown man who could never win a LokSabha election till than, became Union Information and Broadcasting minister.

In 1980, Indira Gandhi was openly playing Hindu Card when she ordered the armed forces to enter the Golden temple. In 1984, the pogroms of thousands of Sikhs was under the noose of a very secular charming government of Congress Party. The December 1984 verdict to Congress Party was a communal verdict. It was the victory of RSS and their ideology. They worked for the Congress party than as it symbolised the greater Hindu pride. The BJP was reduced to just two seats. Even Vajpayee lost his own seat at Gwalior. In 1989, the Sangh Parivar won at the bandwagon of Mr V.P.Singh who was riding high against the corrupt deeds of Rajiv Gandhi. In 1992, the Babari Masjid was demolished under the " efficient" leadership of Narsimha Rao. Some of my secular friends said that Rao was cheated by RSS and VHP but the fact is if Narasimha Rao is secular than nobody can be communal in India.

In the post Babari Masjid scenario, our seculars do not want Muslims to raise the issue. Neither they are interested in the issues of Muslim community. Why should the secular not ask for a speedy trial of those involved in it. Why is that UP government continue to allow people to have "darshan" at socalled Ramtemple but not allowing the Muslims to go for a Namaz. Is it secularism. Why is that all the programmes of government derived from Sanskrit language and Hindu scripture. We have Arjuna Award Dronacharya Award, Bharat Ratna, Padma Shri. We have Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Ganga as our missiles. On the occasion of every inaugeration we do the start with " Deep Prajwalan" and breaking of coconut. Is it the sign of a secular republic?

My dear friends, the debate can go on endless. But the question is are we really interested in a secular India where every religion grow and where scope of religious reform remains with the downtrodden. If we are just asking for the secularism from the text book of Gandhi and Nehru than it is not possible, but if we are asking it from our own rich heritage of Buddha, Nanaka, Mahaveera, Ambedkar, Pariyar,Bhagat Singh,Phule, Kabir, Dadu, Bauls and number of others in every parts of India than we have every chance to succeed.

Unfortunately, the congress Party's secularism these people do not have respective place. They have been contemptuously subjugated to the "achievements" of Nehru and Gandhi which is the real reason of growth of fundamentalism and communalism in India. Otherwise, how is it possible for RSS to claim the legacy of Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh? It was possible only because the Brahminical Congress Party and its secular historians never wrote the social history of India as well as the truthful place of these legends in the Indian history.

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Last updated: February 26, 2000.