Hindus have been under attack from times immemorial for their beliefs. Although some of these attacks were led from within the Hindu society to reform major aspects of the religion, majority of attacks on the Hindu religion were by other religious groups to decimate Hindu Dharma, it’s culture and to destroy Hindu Dharma in Bharat.
The trails of Islamic invasion on Hindu life can be seen across the Bharatiya sub-continent in form of broken temples and religious structures. However, what is not visible is the unfathomable damage on the Hindu minds and way of life by these invasions.
We are fortunate that History of Islamic invasion is recorded by contemporary historians and writers accompanying the marauders in all its gory details. Islam used its sword to subjugate the Hindus but somehow the resilient spirit of the Hindus survived the onslaught.
Hindu Dharma fought to keep itself alive in form of resistance by local rulers, who raised the specter of resistance using the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and claiming to be descendants of them, and by religious saints, who by means of Bhakti movement kept the flame of Hindu Dharma alive in the hearts of people.
The never dying spirit of a Hindu kept the flickering flame of Hindu Dharma alive during those tumultuous times.
Advent of Delhi Sultanate and later Mughals in the Bharatiya sub-continent changed the hitherto raids and plunder on Hindu way of life into an institutional subjugation. During the earlier invasions, the raiders used to come across the mighty Himalayas and destroy Hindu temples, kill Hindu men, rape and abduct Hindu women and children and go back to the mountains and deserts from whence they came.
However, advent of Delhi Sultanate changed this aspect of loot and pillage by raids. They decided to stay and subjugate the Hindus and convert the entire Hindu population to Islam through the sword.
In addition to use of extreme force, these Muslim colonizers and rulers created a rewarding structure of institutional temptations to convert higher echelons of power like kings and administrators to convert the masses. This systematic assault on Hindu Dharma was led by Sufis, Poets and so-called reformers of Hindu Dharma.
Every person is aware of the social and cultural life of Hindus during the Mughal rule. Though efforts have been made to white wash this dark period by creating a myth of benevolence and large heartedness of the Mughal rulers, but the pain and suffering of Hindus can be clearly seen with the remnants of thousands of temples and religious structures which were partially or completely destroyed by the so-called gracious rulers of the time.
Mughals were benevolent enough to let you survive as a Hindu by paying the tax of being a Hindu. The entire legislative, administrative and judicial system of the time was against the very existence of the Hindus. A Muslim was considered to be higher in their rights in every sphere of life as compared to a Hindu.
The administration was not only partial towards a Muslim but completely against a Hindu. The judiciary was not only favorable to Muslim but aided in the conversion of an ordinary Hindu by giving him the option of conversion instead of rendering justice; numerous examples are there in history of a biased judiciary and administration aiding and abetting in conversion of Hindus by making their life miserable.
The state provided benefits and privileges for conversion from Hindu Dharma. Hindu Gods were described as ‘vulgar’, and Hindu form of worship was considered to be ‘pompous’ and was regulated and stifled at every given opportunity. Hindus were required to pay taxes to visit their religious temples and shrines. Hindus were required to pay more taxes than a Muslim to sustain the lifestyle and expenditure of the rulers.
Every festival and religious function of Hindus had one or the other form of restrictions. These restrictions were not only on the type of celebration but also on the way of celebrations. In case there was a clash between a festival of Hindu and a Muslims, the state ensured that a Muslim gets a higher priority over a Hindu. Anyone who wanted to rise high in the administrative hierarchy ought to have derided the Hindu way of life. Tomes have been written on the institutional subjugation of the Hindus of that era.
There were many Hindus who thrived on the institutional largesse of the state, and justified every assault on the Hindu faith by means of jugglery of words and justification by all means. In order to ensure ordinary Hindus keep following these pseudo Hindu leaders and to keep their loyalty intact, Muslim rulers granted miniscule concessions to celebrate Hindu festivals and way of life on request of these pseudo leaders.
Therefore, when an ordinary Hindu got an opportunity to take revenge against such a government, he did not hesitate. He fought wars, he aided rise of militant groups to support his cause and save his Gods and way of life against the assault by Muslim rulers. When the Portuguese, French and English landed on Bharat’s shores, some Hindus collaborated with these foreigners in their bid to overthrow the Muslim rulers. The rise of the Maratha Empire and later the Sikh empire weakened Muslim rule in most of the sub-continent.
Out of all the foreigners that landed on Bharat’s shores, the English gradually established themselves as the rulers of Bharat by replacing the Muslim rulers. English were smarter than the Mughals and brought a number of reforms in land holding and tax collection systems.
Initially the English Government avoided any interference in the Hindu way of life and tried to be fair in resolving any conflict of religious nature. However, things changed after arrival of missionaries on the Bharatiya mainland.
The English understood the importance of schools and educational institutions in shaping the hearts and minds of people they rule. Macaulay’s infamous words regarding the education system are well known. There was a systematic assault on the education system of Hindus.
English created the present legislative, administrative and judicial systems to further their rule. English legislature was ruthless in implementing the change of ideology and they were ably supported by the administration and judiciary.
In addition, the English also created a new class of elites who were brown by color but were English by their thoughts and actions. They justified every action of the English government against the Hindus by claiming it to be a ‘reform’.
After the First War of Independence of 1857, the British realized that the only way to rule the sub-continent is to annihilate the Hindu way of life. British found a willing ally in form of the Muslims. An ordinary Hindu was guilt tripped by projecting his faith to be ‘irrational and superstitious’.
His faith was regulated and governed and a large number of laws were implemented to ‘civilize’ Hindus whereas Muslims were given concessions in every sphere of his life. A Hindu was subject to ridicule and humiliation by the ruling elites as was done under the Mughal times and was made to dislike and hate his Gods and ancestors.
The old Mughal elites were replaced by new Brown Sahibs who did a remarkably similar task. In order to quell and diffuse any anger towards the government, the British administration created ‘Congress’. The members of the Congress justified most wrongs of the British administration from time and time.
In order to give them some legitimacy in the eyes of the Hindu population, the members of Congress were bestowed certain privileges and were given certain concessions against any unfair legislation. The entire administration was designed to extract every ounce of obedience from Hindu.
The judicial system, police system, IPC, laws were all designed to further the sole purpose of keeping British as the rulers of Bharat. The British introduced railways, telegraph, a systematic tax system and a regularized business environment to smoothen their rule and maintain order. However, in return the English sucked away our wealth, engineered mass famines and took away the freedom of an ordinary Hindu.
They created an ever-widening cliff in the Hindu society by carrying out ‘caste census’ and dividing it into General Class and a SC/ST Class. They divided Hindu society by recognizing Sikhs and Buddhists as different from the greater fold of Hindu Dharma. However, disillusioned Hindus finally saw through this charade of benevolence and attained freedom from the British empire.
Hindus were greatly excited to win freedom from oppressive rule of both Muslims and English, and willingly gave up a part of their ancestral land to Muslims to move ahead towards Ram Rajya.
Lot of blood was spilled by Hindus to attain this freedom to live their way of life, worship their Gods and celebrate their festivals. However, the happiness was short lived as the freedom to live their way of life was usurped by the Indian (Bharatiya) state.
The Constituent Assembly, which formulated the Indian Constitution gave undue powers to minorities in the name of their protection and, unwittingly or otherwise, took the same away from the Hindus.
The judicial and administrative system carried forward the Hindu hatred as a colonial hangover. The Police system remained as it was during the British times. As a result, the Indian state was just a Hindu-majority state in name but colonial and Hinduphobic in all its actions.
Congress ruled Bharat for close to six decades and used these organs of the state to further the ‘civilizing mission’ started by the British. Therefore, when the BJP supported the Hindu cause of Ram Mandir, an ordinary Hindu again started to support this party. The erstwhile Congress soon started to move itself into oblivion of politics by sticking to the British policy of Hindu subjugation and alienation.
BJP won its first full mandate and did credible work under the aegis of Murli Manohar Joshi and others to further the Hindu cause. Congress came back with vengeance in the subsequent elections by using all its hold on the colonial remnants of administration and judiciary.
The first acts of the Congress-led UPA government were to further the interest of their core vote banks. However, owing to colossal corruption, mismanagement and alienation of Hindu vote bank, Congress had to hand over the reins of power to BJP in 2014.
Hindus saw through the monumental charade of Congress and threw Congress in the dust bin of politics. A party which ruled Bharat for close to six decades became a minor entity in Bharatiya politics.
BJP owed their 2014 victory to the Hindu population and none else. Some promise was shown by BJP in its first term and it was publicly claimed that since BJP does not have full majority in both the houses of Parliament, it cannot pass legislation. Hindus rose to the occasion and gave BJP a mandate in almost half of major Bharatiya states and a workable majority in Rajya Sabha.
In order to further strengthen the hands of BJP, a ordinary Hindu gave highest ever seats to BJP in its second term. BJP again won a second term for itself solely on the votes of Hindu population.
However, of late, the Hindu population has seen prominent attacks on its religion and way of life in these years. There has been a concerted effort by the government and courts to belittle the Hindu population. A number of attacks on Hindus in form of Palghar, Munger, demonization of Gau Rakshaks and subsequent silence of the BJP leaders was a bolt of lightening for an ordinary Hindu.
She/he still expected that BJP leaders will keep their promise of upholding Hindu faith and save it from the onslaught of judiciary and run-of-the-mill NGOs. However, to the utter disappointment of Hindus, BJP chose to stay silent on a majority of Hindu issues. Sabarimala, Jalikattu, West Bengal violence and usual campaigns against Diwali, Holi, Karwa Chauth and other Hindu festivals are glaring examples of inaction or tacit support of the ruling party.
It was all the more disheartening that BJP and its feeder organization chose to stay silent and mute spectators on all the issues effecting Hindus rather than addressing them. Continued takeover of temples, breaking of a centuries-old temple by a BJP government, and conspicuous silence of the top rung leaders of the BJP and RSS was a stark let-down to an ordinary Hindu.
The Covid pandemic hastened this assault on the Hindu way of life. Every Hindu festival and occasion was regulated in the name of Covid. It was told that once Bharat reached a stage of herd immunity everything will go back to as it was, but it seems Covid weaponized the Indian state against Hindus. Every restriction that once seemed unimaginable has now been normalized in the name of fighting Covid. New PILs are being filed keeping Covid in forefront to further stifle Hindu festivities.
It is indeed surprising that Supreme Court allowed people to congregate in large numbers on the borders of Delhi on not one but two occasions. Despite known scientific studies on causes of pollution in and around Delhi, SC chose to ignore the elephant in the room i.e. Parali burning, and pushed a garbled narrative of firecracker banning across Bharat with the support of the centre.
Taking a cue from the SC, all the High Courts also did the needful, so much so that West Bengal HC banned even green crackers and gave directions on what kinds of Diyas to be lighted, based on a PIL by a Muslim petitioner.
It is indeed disappointing that a Muslim IAS officer has issued directions to impose curfew and section 144 in a district for the biggest festival of Hindus, despite almost nil cases in his entire state leave aside his district, and had conveniently forgotten to issue similar instructions during major festivals of his own religion just a few days back. If someone points out this glaring bias, the IAS officer will in all likelihood take out the victim card of being under attack for being a Muslim.
Every inaction of BJP and RSS is being justified by presence of an overtly hostile opposition against Hindu causes. Every inaction by BJP is justified by its die-hard supporters (IT Cell) like the erstwhile elites did in the Mughal, British and Congress era. IT cell is busy trying to find parity between the previous administration and BJP, but it would be prudent to remind the IT cell that ordinary Hindus sees through the charade and they will reward or punish as deemed fit seeing the performance of the party in power.
There has been a constant effort to portray the BJP as a helpless victim of judiciary and administration, but BJP has all the power to bring out ordinances to overrule all courts and state government diktats. Despite having an absolute majority in Lok Sabha and workable majority in Rajya Sabha, BJP comes across as not only inefficient but arrogant when it uses such excuses.
It is indeed surprising that BJP could bring in ordinances against Supreme Court judgements within a week of pronouncement of judgements regrading SC/ST act, but has refused to act on any acts of judiciary which are clearly anti Hindu. Even the acts of administration against Hindus are being ignored and no respite is seen in attacks against the Hindus and their culture, worship and way of life.
If we go through the entire History of Hindu interaction with different forms of government, it can be clearly seen that the types of government which have been patently anti-Hindu in their character always had some people who will justify every action of the government for one favor or the other.
It will bode well for the political advisors of the people currently in power to advise that the tolerance levels of Hindus are close to being breached, and there could be a new alternate replacing the present rulers with a new set of rulers who will be Hindus not only in name and photo ops, but in action and deed.
BJP must course correct and not repeat history. It should not forget that to pander to a non-existent vote bank, it might lose the faith of an ordinary Hindu, and might find itself out of power in the coming times.
People in power must remember that all the sops, freebies and doles given to the public at large will be forgotten when the larger Hindu cause is under threat. Thorough analysis of the proverb ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ by the political analysts in the BJP will save themselves major embarrassment in the coming future.