The ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ (DGH) conference may in fact have helped open the eyes of many somnolent Hindus to the reality of Hinduphobia . The awakening was spurred on by vigilant Hindu groups like the Hindu American Foundation, Hindus on Campus, and Coalition of Hindus of North America.
Hinduphobia is mainstream in academia rather than an exception. What could be the possible reason for this?
The answer lies in the foundations of the modern secular Indian state, in the mindset of our first PM Nehru who set the tone in the first 17 years of his reign post Independence.
Under the Nehruvian thought process, the Bharatiya state has never been a friend of Hindus and instead has treated Hindu Dharma as something that needs constant and endless reform. While the British named this task as having to ‘civilize Hindus’ the modern state calls it ‘transforming society’ which the state considers necessary only for the Hindu faith.
At a recent event, Justice Chandrachud said that the Constitution ‘didn’t just transform us from colonial subjects to free citizens, but also undertook a massive challenge of confronting a polity that was plagued by oppressive systems of caste, patriarchy and communal violence.’
This approach of Hindu Dharma being projected as a faith that is constantly in need of reform and one that must endlessly carry collective guilt for alleged oppression and patriarchy has not helped the country or Hindu Dharma to gain respect in the world and such self-flagellation has contributed to the worldwide Hinduphobia. On the contrary, the two Abrahamic faiths that have a history of numerous genocides and other oppressive and misogynistic practices are allowed to be free from such labelling and collective ‘guilt tripping’.
This is why Shri Rajiv Malhotra’s suggestion to Bharat to build a Grand Narrative needs to be taken very seriously.
Low on Self-Respect, high on Self-Loathing
To begin with, we need to become a state that respects itself and its own majority population. Unfortunately, the converse is true in the case of Bharat. It is the Hindu ethos that has allowed for the country’s democratic and inclusive foundations.
A self-respecting state would have started with having a Constitution promoting a Hindu Rashtra and guided by Dharmic principles. This is the least Hindu Dharmics owed to themselves after a bloody religion-based partition.
Take the case of USA founded on Christian principles despite the multiple genocides that were committed by the Christian faith all over the world and on the very continent where they established their nation.
The same also applies to the 56 Islamic nations in the world. Some of these countries like the UAE have zero tolerance for Islamic terrorism and also refuse to carry the collective guilt of global jihad, so as to unabashedly impose Islamic laws on citizens. Yet other Islamic nations even export terror and jihadist ideology yet refuse to stray from the path of fundamentalist Islam or even attempt to transform their societies into more tolerant, progressive and less misogynistic systems.
And we have Bharat where after a religion-based partition, we refused to embrace the tenets of Hindu Dharma in setting up the state and chose to become a ‘secular’ nation instead of a legitimate Hindu Rashtra.
This lack of self-respect extends to how we have allowed the history taught in our schools to be distorted beyond recognition. The invaders who perpetrated genocide of Hindus are lionized and presented as heroes. The Dharmic heroes receive little mention, most being sidelined and forgotten. A distorted version of the varna system is taught in schools to bring down the Hindu Dharma. Thanks to this, we now have generations of deracinated self-loathing Hindus who themselves believe all the anti-Hindu propaganda and willingly embrace being Hindus in Name Only (HINOs). This is the kind that enthusiastically participates in anti-Hindu vitriol spewing events like the DGH.
In the seven decades after independence, none of our elected leaders have been able to grasp the simple truth of the saying ‘the world respects us if we respect ourselves,’ and policies that lead to deracinating generation after generation continue.
After independence, our ‘founding fathers’ set about establishing a nation based wholly on colonial principles. The colonial brainwashing led to the creation of a Constitution that was completely devoid of Dharmic elements of governance and instead borrowed governance concepts from colonizing western (Christian) nations.
Thus, the fundamental law of Bharat was mostly embodied on a series of statutes enacted by the British Parliament; the ideals mentioned in the Preamble of Equality, Liberty, Fraternity, come from the French Constitution; the concept of Five-Year Plans come from the Soviet Republic; and the concept of suspending fundamental rights during Emergency were borrowed from Germany.
The basic structure of the Constitution stands on the colonial era Government of India Act of 1935 and therefore preserves the basic tenets of British colonial rule which treated brown-skinned natives differently from the elite governing class. While Dharma emphasizes duty, responsibility, and righteousness, the Constitution we adopted is a rights-based one. A Constitution based on the concepts of Dharma (righteousness) and Adharma would have been far more suited to our Dharmic ethos than the one we have.
In fact, Dr Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution is reported to have said on the floor of the Rajya Sabha in 1953: ‘Sir, my friends tell me that I have made the Constitution. But I am quite prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it out. I do not want it. It does not suit anybody.’
If the chief architect of the Constitution had no qualms in rejecting it for whatever reason, one wonders why successive governments treat it as a sacrosanct document that can never be replaced wholly. But even the rhetoric about Constitution being a ‘holy, immutable’ book is hollow. As of August 2021, there have been 105 amendments of the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.
Aided by the colonial Constitution, every narrative system has been taken over by the illiberal left. This includes mainstream media, school education texts especially history texts, and many other thought processes such as those which guide bureaucracy and other important institutions. Similarly, the Nehruvian state has led to almost every institution becoming co-opted to go soft on minorities while harshly treating and undermining the Hindu majority.
Without a civilizational restructuring, institutions will continue to be rigged against Hindu interests and welfare.
The DGH and the ominous silence of official state representatives
There was an ominous silence of official state authority figures on the obviously Hinduphobic event being held by the academia which was said to be sponsored by 38 universities most from the US and also a few from Canada, UK, and Germany.
The MEA did not come out with a statement condemning the Hinduphobic DGH. Another body, the International Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), which was set up to “actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people, and to develop relations with nations” too chose to remain silent when its proclaimed function is to strengthen understanding between Bharat and other nations.
Ironically, an event organized by Hinduphobes, the DGH, claims ‘Hinduphobia is a myth’ but reality shows that the converse is true. Worse, the conference has legitimized anti-Hindu hate crimes, which is why it is essential for the authorities to have spoken up and condemned it in no uncertain terms.
It must be reiterated that Shri Rajiv Malhotra’s suggestion of Bharat being the author of its own Grand Narrative is the only way to combat the rising worldwide Hinduphobia. This is how countries like China, Russia and Islamic nations that do not blindly follow western models of governance have been able to control the narrative on their own civilizational history in western academia. Unless we have a civilizational nation state, like USA/UK, Russia, China, Japan, Korea or the Islamic bloc, we will continue floundering and fighting sporadic battles as individuals with limited resources.
(Featured Image Source: legendnews.in)