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The South Asian Insider

On Hinduism, Hindutva and Hate

Some may say that no conclusion can be drawn about crores of Hindus on the basis of these incidents. But Hindus should honestly ask whether they respect co-existence with others. Is hatred not increasing in Hindu society?
By Apoorvanand
In the evening of the day of Eid a friend shared a video which was in fact done live by the famous singer Shaan. He was in his casuals. As we learn from him he was in Mangalore where he had to perform. But before that he felt compelled to do this video. This was because of the attacks that he faced for his earlier post, released at the beginning of the day of Eid. In the post that he uploaded, he can be seen wearing a skull cap with hands raised in a dua with a caption, “Eid Mubarak to you and your family.” This gesture received angry, hateful reaction from his Hindu followers, enough in number to force him to take out time before his performance to give a polite lesson to his followers in the beauty of respecting other religions. He in his own way said that he wouldn’t change, it is for his followers to think about what they had become.So, the day of Eid became for me, as for Shaan, a day to think about my fellow Hindus. Or, worry about them. Not only about a significant section of the Hindus of India. I feel concerned for even those Hindus who have gone to other countries and settled there. We were not taught enough about what’s going on in the community or what is being done to them hasn’t been explored enough. What they’re doing to themselves, what they’re turning into has never been critically examined. No one cares for their collective socio-psychological health.
On the other hand, much has been written about the Muslims of India over the years. About the violent attacks on them, about their killings and destruction of their homes and livelihoods, about their daily humiliation, about the injustices meted out to them by the state and society. About the growing depression in Muslim society as a whole in India. There is no aspect of the lives of Muslims which has been allowed to remain private. They are a matter of public discussion and everyone feels free to comment on them.
Muslims are bearing all this and are alive. The proof of their survival is that despite all the might of the state, Bilkis Bano is still fighting. She doesn’t sound helpless and bitter, and is also not ready to give up her constitutional rights. Khalid Saifi comes home only on an interim bail of six hours after being kept in jail for three years, and I see his photographs in which he smiles and laughs. In those six hours, he finds time to clip his mother’s nails and feed her. Despite the horrendous rebuff from the Supreme Court, Zakia Jafri does not stop fighting for justice. Even after facing violence and obscenity on the occasion of Ram Navami, Muslims celebrate Eid with grace. All these are proof of the survival of dignity and humanity of Muslims.It is now becoming difficult to say the same thing with confidence about so many Hindus. I am not talking about Ram Navami which is now sadly becoming more about Muslims than about Ram. Has Ram become a tool or cover to provoke Hindu hatred against the Muslims. It becomes clear just by comparing the violent collectivisation of Ram Navami with the decent collectivisation of Muslims on Eid, which came a few days after Ram Navami.
Hindus have many organisations which look community based but the welfare of Hindus cannot be achieved unless other communities are restrained. It cannot be done unless hatred is spread among them against Muslims and Christians. A large section of Hindus choose political leaders as their representatives who spread hatred against other communities. We haven’t talked about this problem. Why can the votes of Hindus be guaranteed by spreading hatred towards other religions?
The school near Hathras
The immediate provocation for this rumination along with the Shaan video was the news from a school near Hathras. A video landed in my timeline in which dozens of people at the gate of this school, perhaps even the parents of the children studying in it, are clapping and singing Hanuman Chalisa or Manas.