Destroying Hinduism From Within

Hindus need to worry. The Hindus of Dadri, Atali, Trilokpuri, Bawana, Muzaffanagar, Ranchi… the list is getting longer and longer. To make it even more precise, one should probably phrase it like this: Hindus everywhere in the world need to worry, especially after the mass violence in Dadri.

The usual argument against incidents like Dadri is that such violence would give legitimacy to those inciting the Muslim masses to take up terrorism – which would endanger the internal security of India.

In my view, Hindus need not worry about whether this latest instance of violence will fuel anger in Muslim hearts and drive them towards extremism.

When visiting the victims in Atali, who were Muslims, of course, one of us sanctimoniously warned them against yielding to the temptation of terrorism. It sounded obscenely jarring in the deathly silence of that room, crowded by young and old Muslim men, most of whom never raised their heads during the entire conversation.

This is the best argument we seem to have with us, while talking to other Hindus: do not allow such violence for it will invite retribution.

Hindus, in fact, should stop worrying about Muslim terrorism or communalism. It is high time they started worrying about themselves, their children, their youth. They need to worry about the attempts being made to criminalise their minds and hearts. They are being led into a trap from which it would be difficult to rescue them.

Hindus need to think about the pact some of their co-religionists have made with evil. If unchecked, this evil will  enter their hearts and make them complicit in crimes against humanity.

Who did the killing?

What I am saying is very simple to understand. In Dadri, a man was killed. How many Hindus participated in this mass violence? If you believe the villagers, none. So, how was Mohammad Akhlaq killed? The villagers are angry that their children are being arrested as they were not guilty. Who were the killers then?

A few months earlier, there was Atali: Muslim houses were burned, looted. Who did this? The Hindus of the village feign ignorance. They shrug their shoulders.

In incidents prior to Dadri or Atali , for example in Muzaffarnagar, Muslims were killed, Muslim women raped. Who did it? The entire Jat, nay, Hindu community there, led by older women – usually the repositories of traditional Indian compassion – angrily denied the involvement of their youth in the crimes.

In Gujarat in 2002 we heard Hindus telling us it was the Muslims themselves who burned their houses for compensation. The same argument was repeated in Dhule.

Back in 1984: more than 3000 Sikhs were killed in Delhi alone. How many Hindus would it have taken to kill 3000 Sikhs? And how many more to ensure – with their silence, their apathy, their sabotaging of investigations – that those who did the killing were able to get away with the crime?

The list of crimes against Muslims, Sikhs and other minorities gets longer and longer. What does it really mean? That we have murderers, rapists, looters among ourselves, who have become husbands, fathers, teachers, doctors, even our leaders.

It is this mass criminalisation that should worry Hindus. They are clasping the hands of evil and it is devouring them.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been successful in its campaign: it is not only making the common Hindu masses complicit in the crimes planned by its affiliates but by giving them a false sense of agency, it is seeking to criminalise them completely.

Godse’s act of killing of Gandhi alienated the RSS from the masses. Over the years, it changed its way of functioning. By involving Hindu masses in pogroms, it forced them to become party to the crime. And all actions need not be on a large scale.

The seriality of violence

Jairus Banaji has explained it well: Indian communal organisations are different from the European fascists they once admired. In India, violence against minorities has adopted a kind of seriality. The genocidal tendency is kept alive through regular attacks on Muslims and other minorities. So, even when there are one or two deaths, as in the case of the burning of Graham Staines and his sons or the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq, they are expressions of this genocidal impulse. The larger Hindu masses, not present on the scene, are encouraged by the sangh parivar’s propaganda to participate in these crimes by legitimising them or minimising their gravity.

In Europe, centuries of anti-semitism created ghettos to which the Jews were confined. In India, many Hindus do not accept Muslims as their neighbours. As a friend says, when Muslims from other parts of India come to Delhi, it is not Delhi which welcomes them but Okhla, where Muslims are in a majority, which gives them shelter.

Hindus are gradually turning into a community which believes in its superiority over other religious communities. An intellectual cover has also been provided to this process by claiming that since Hinduism is not a religion flowing from a central text, it is more open and catholic than Semitic religions. The so called naturalness of Hinduism makes it impossible to be introspective.

The caste question has been dealt with in a very opportunistic manner. It was not surprising when dalit leaders refused to speak to their constituents when they were attacking Muslims. For empowerment in parliamentary politics, the dalit tag is useful. But the same section easily turns into ‘Hindus’ once Muslims or Christians are presented to them as adversaries.

Through this process of making new Hindus and by inuring the Hindu masses to genocidal violence, the RSS has made them vulnerable to the politics of hate.

There is no Gandhi now to challenge them or arouse their ethical sense. Even secular parties have become scared of Hindus. No one is talking to them. We do not have a leader or an institution to warn the Hindus of the evil that will eat them from within once it enters their bodies.

A community which only demands from others and never thinks about penance – with no sense of remorse for what has been done to others, which is in a permanent state of denial – is in danger of losing its soul.

Rather than worrying about radicalisation of Muslim youth and religious conversions, this is what Hindus need to worry about – saving their humanity, before it is too late.

( First published by The Wire on 12 October,2015)

8 thoughts on “Destroying Hinduism From Within

  1. Jayant

    Thank you for this clearly-written piece. I fully agree. It is outrageous what shit common Hindus are allowing themselves to be made accomplices to. We desperately need a unifying leader to speak some sense into them, for India grows scarier by the day.

  2. chalatmusafir

    Mr Apoorvanand, did you ever feel that Muslim community was criminalising itself by killing apostates, calling for Salman Rushdi’s murder, laying a bounty on the head of Mohammed cartoonist, blasting bombs in commuter trains, attacking hotels and ramming passenger aircrafts into civilian buildings?

    If you did, I am certain you never said it. Therefore, stop lecturing Hindus. It doesn’t count as secular any more.

  3. Apoorvanandji, read your insightful and thought-provoking pieces usually. Allow me to protest against this enormous generalisation and self righteous pontification that is honestly becoming really predictable and boring and might I add even dangerous in the current climate. We have all resisted Muslims being vilified because a few fanatics spread bigotry and violence; we have tried to ensure that anti semitism is not supported even as we condemn Israel’s horrendous apartheid against the Palestinians. And what do you do here? Reduce all the diversity of thought, agency to something which you understand as monolith ideology of hatred called Hinduism (I doubt you even mentally separate Hinduism from Hindutva)? “Hindus are gradually turning into a community which believes in its superiority over other religious communities.” “A community which only demands from others and never thinks about penance – with no sense of remorse for what has been done to others, which is in a permanent state of denial – is in danger of losing its soul.” I am appalled by these generalisations. I won’t use the term fringe elements to describe violence by fanatics within Hinduism; but to somehow say these things about a ‘community’ which has multiple voices, multiple understandings of their faith is simply unacceptable. Look around (after stepping down from that moral high ground you and your cohorts have occupied) and you will see plenty of “hindus” who are simply appalled by the violence, who are grieving for Akhlaq, who are full of remorse and rage. It is writings like these that make me understand how Muslims have to constantly keep defending their faith everytime there is an act of violence by members of their community. You sound exactly like the white supremacists in the Western world (like Australia where I live) who come out strongly against Muslims everytime their ‘freedom’ is attacked. Recently a Muslim teenager killed a policeman with a gun in Sydney (he was gunned down straight away) and the entire frenzied media and public intellectuals want the Muslim community to do some ‘soul searching’ (exactly how you pontificate); Muslims who have nothing to do with killings and who are experiencing racism everyday. Only thing is for you the enemy is some monolith entity called Hinduism and whose followers you believe are completely brainwashed by the RSS. They cannot think for themselves, as you would have us believe. Unless they deny their ‘faith’, hide their ‘Hinduness’ and pretend to be part of the ‘Ieatbeef’ campaigners, their grief and remorse is not legitimate enough, eh? Apoorvanandji, the sad reality is that it is precisely these kinds of writings from the ‘progressive’ group that the right wing thrives on (they are not very clever/original as you know). This is what divides society. Where is your empathy with so many Hindus who are trying to make sense of their faith amidst this madness? Plenty of Hindus are doing soul searching (without the likes of you prompting them to do so) but I doubt that’s a trait easily found in the ‘progressive’ class. Thanks for the opportunity to comment here.

    1. A befitting reply. Hinduism is a way of life not a religion. Hinduism is rather a societal structure with vastly differing philosophies. It is not a religion of books like Abrahamic religions. It is one of the oldest religions in the world while the recent religions – one about 1400 years old and another about 2000 years old are fundamentalists in their approaches. About 300 Hindus were killed in the infamous Gujarat riots in 2002 when the state ashamedly remained a passive spectator. And these Hindus were killed by policemen. But the liberals, deprived of the state’s patronage in the present regime, would not mention this fact as they are out to prop up the ogre of the Hindu communalism just to keep the Muslims hostage of fear. Any incident of violence is condemnable. But Dadri, Muzaffarnagar and Atali merely are among the ugly incidents, happening in this country for centuries but the orchastrated outcry is the result of pathological and daibolic hatred for Modi. Even the persons with dubious past such as Sudhindra Kulkarni and LK Advani find supporters among the left/liberal. The liberals perhaps fail to realise that their systematic campaign is becoming counterproductive and the apprehension lurks large that the Hindu Communalism (the communalism of the majority) community may raise its ugly head on the pattern of 1984 when Hindus voted en masse for the Congress as revenge to the gruesome murder of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Despite their best efforts, the RSS and the Sangh Parivar never succeeded in stocking the bug of communalism to such an alarming extent that the fissures in the social fabric are further broadened.

  4. Let us not mix religion with election-time jingoism. A party needs a war cry, a party creates a war cry, a hungama so to speak and takes a life. That a family is brought to near-ruin, that sanity is lost matters little. An entire village will parade a show of solidarity, a solidarity that will lead to mass voting. That is what matters. That is the desired outcome and it will be no surprise if we find that it works.

    1. nse

      Absolutely correct. For political gains, political parties be-fool the common Hindu person. But, when it comes to the question of equal status among all the castes etc among Hindus they fell apart far away. Basically, the it is the Hindu Scriptures that divide the Hindu community. Read “Manuu Smiriti ” Purans Vedas etc etc where Hindu females are equivalent to low castes Hindus. And Hindu society itself is divided in four castes, who do not have equal rights in social lives. I sometimes feels its just the few upper caste Hindu people trying to rule the larger Hindu community vide their Communal-ismed Hindu scriptures , where lower caste Hindus cant even enter temples in India. Hindu religion (vide their self contradictory scriptures ) is self contradictory used by few upper caste Hindus to their personal gains.

  5. For more than 2 millennia, Hinduism has been laying the seeds of its own destruction. First, it destroyed 3 major philosophies – Nyaya Vaishisheka, Samkhya and Lokayata – drowned out by the so-called “Vedic spiritualism”. Those 3 doctrines could have been the pillars of a rational Indian society.

    Vedic Hindus, in general, have been very consistent throughout history in their violence. They rallied with the early Muslim invaders (disclaimer: I do no regard the Moghuls as invaders) in their violence against Buddhism. Then Vedic Hindus rallied with the British rulers to fight back Muslims.

    And, now we have the safron Hindu Talibans destroying whatever pluralism that remained within Hinduism.

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