Ayodhya-aftermath: De-constructing victimhood – A response

I think the mistake my colleague Amar makes is in assuming there was a robust “Indian” identity to begin with. Really, our national identity has been Hindu, any which way one cuts it.

It is the liberal elite’s failure to recognize and their efforts to subvert this Hindu national identity whenever it is expressed, is what is at the root of this crisis and often takes the shape of conflict with Muslims and to a lesser degree, Christians.

Like it or lump it, it was Islamic incursions into Hindu land that forged Hindu nationhood as we find it today. What was delicate and subtle was smelted in a furnace of mindless slaughter and destruction, which then acquired the strength and form of steel when melted and molded by Hindu resistance.

In a recent debate I informed my liberal opponent that Muslims never fought for freedom for the same reasons Hindus did. He denied it without any effort to substantiate his argument. Sadly, this has been the trend. Suppressio veri suggestio falsi has become rule of thumb for a nervous and guilt ridden liberal elite.

We might like to imagine a common enemy in administrative inefficiencies to forge some sort of bond between the “invaded and the invader” but it won’t work. Let’s not forget Gandhi tried it and failed miserably.

Our differences are too deep rooted and draw sustenance from unhappy historical conflicts that have, right into our present, remained inconclusive. In my opinion, closure will come with conclusion.

There were clearly two winners in 1946-7. The Muslims who got their Pakistan and Hindus who were promised by default their Hindusthan by the party they chose to place their trust in. Gandhi acted in favor of liberal Nehru and against a popular Hindu spirited Sardar Patel and as it turned out, against Hindus and Hindusthan. The new Muslim country acted swiftly to assert its dominance over and against the Hindu minority that remained for sometime and finally dwindled to a trickle – a glimpse here. The old-new Hindu country of Hindusthan under Nehru’s tender mercies acted swiftly against Hindus too. The country’s polity was divested of whatever little Hindu identity remained and was declared a Republic without allegiance to Hindu Dharma. The remainder substantial minority Muslim population in Hindusthan was shielded by a false liberal creed that proclaimed all religions and cultures equal. Since the ground level reality was quite different, the creed never took hold of a Hindu samaja that nurtured diffused historical memory.

Our post independence history has been more about denying the Hindu than about privileging the Muslim. In the early years this liberal creed had sincere adherents but because it was inherently false and without basis in societal experience, it soon spawned cunning power mongers and manipulators who had to per force throw sand in Hindu eyes to retain power. Muslims played along because it suited them to see Hindus forever at the gates of polity. The Muslims were having the cake and eating it too!

Hindusthan needs a Hindu polity to remedy the existing situation. A polity based on the Hindu Dharmic framework whose duty it is to protect and nurture each segment of Hindu samaja, all of its Jatis and Janajatis; all of its religio-cultural groupings. A polity that will distinguish between the Rashtra and the Alpasankhyata. The Nation and the Minority.

Hindu thinker Radha Rajan had once suggested that good governance was the very least Hindu political parties should deliver Hindu samaja. Let us now not imagine Hindu-Muslim reconciliation (or is it parity?) over the very least that both should expect as matter of right.

– Namaste

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4 Responses

  1. Two points: a) The argument about a polity based on the Hindu dharmic framework has been made before but few details have ever been offered. Exactly what changes in the present constitutional set up would this entail? (b) There are states in the Indian Union with non-Hindu majorities which are likely to react adversely to such a move. How would you deal with that?

  2. Good points.

    In the first instance, an ushering of a Dharmic framework would be preceded by cessation and reversal of the current polity’s secularization program, such as it is.

    In so far as the Constitution is concerned; this will be stated clearly in name. Secondly, there will be more emphasis on duties and responsibilities rather than rights of individuals. This is not to imply withdrawal of rights – just the emphasis. Such a scenario presupposes adjusting laws to make them more samajic.

    Exactly what changes will these entail in our Constitution will require more detailed study.

    In so far as non-Hindu majority provinces are concerned, the Hindu State will recognize the fact that Christian and Muslim minorities cannot, as they stand today, be assimilated in the Rashtra but nevertheless will retain their presence within the borders of the realm.

    Their separate “nationalities” will be confirmed. The Hindu State will no longer live under the illusion these are part of the Rashtra. If even then they react adversely the Hindu State will convince them of new realities.

  3. Saar, I do not think the Hindu national identity can be questioned.

    It is also true that the differences between Indic and non-Indic faith systems are almost irreconcilable.

    A ‘conclusion’ then appears to be point of divergence between us.

    I do not have a conclusion to offer other than to stop looking for conclusions and instead concentrate on concrete nation-building measures.

    I’m yet to be convinced of the mutual exclusivity of complete reform and protecting the Hindu samaja. It is my view that the assertion of Hindu identity and allegiance of the Indian nation-state to Indic faith systems does not require what is quite visibly a radical deconstruction of the present political framework.

    In the meanwhile my friend I’m sure you agree with me when I call for a clear, coherent articulation of the ‘Hindu dharmic framework’.

  4. Thanks for your response Amar.

    The genius of Hindusthan lies in its “religious” mindedness. This country has arguably produced more varieties and derivations of the oldest religious thought that have also survived into our present world than any other land on earth.

    This country is also unique in the manner it has managed this immense diversity without massacres and genocides.

    Plainly put, this diversity is Hindu diversity within a Hindu framework.

    Evidently, the only time this Hindu framework seemingly broke down was when it faced Islam first and then Christianity. These were closed or narrow minded religions with no variety of options in matters of God/s vis a vis human society. Quite unlike systems/religions/tribes we had faced and absorbed at earlier times in our history.

    Hindu samaja still, survived the horrendous onslaught of Islam and Christianity because of its social structures – its Jatis and Janajatis.

    It was because Hindu samaja held out that both Islam and Christianity were forced to change shape but not character.

    I disagree with you when you say “It is also true that the differences between Indic and non-Indic faith systems are almost irreconcilable.” Not true because Hindu samaja has not worried about differences in systems of faith as long as each has enough space to prove itself without any one or a number of systems willfully trampling on the other/s in self-righteous spite. Look at the Jews and Parsis for evidence.

    So Islam and Christianity have changed shape, not character. How then can we indulge in common nation-building without settling important matters going to the roots, first? Since all of these systems, Hindu and non-Hindu are very much alive and kicking in our country, there are bound to be immense waves that will continually crash into and destroy the bridges you build. Such a scenario will lead to frustration and things will begin to go out of control.

    Administrative reform and the protection of Hindu samaja are not mutually exclusive. They can work well and go hand in hand. But they aren’t, are they?

    The reason for this state of affairs lie in the manner the ship of our polity was steered off course at crucial junctures willfully by well-meaning but utterly shortsighted and emotional people.

    Yes, a clearer articulation of the Hindu Framework is called for but in the meanwhile I would like you to consider this humble riposte 🙂

    Namaste

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