We live in a world dominated by Abrahamic religions and cultures. On top of that, having endured brutal colonization by a European power like so many other countries, we still suffer from a mental colonial hangover.
The British, in order to elevate the credibility of Christian Missionaries, resorted to systematic demeaning of the sacred literature of Hindu Dharma by terming the itihasa (history) as depicted in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as ‘myths’, and by distorting the Vedic verses as ‘abstruse songs’ rendered by ‘invading Aryans’.
But most of the falsehoods created by Western Indology are still around even 75 years after Independence. Indeed, Nehruvians have used those lies as the bedrock of the dysfunctional secular state created by them.
So it was not surprising that Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana (CJI), while speaking yesterday at an event on “Mediation and Information Technology” at Ekta Nagar, Narmada, Gujarat remarked,
“I always quote this mythological story. It is of Lord Krishna’s efforts to mediate before the Kurukshetra war. Imagine how these kingdoms would have prospered if the mediation had succeeded.”
Here are some reactions from netizens to this comment by CJI Ramana:
This tweet provided a pithy difference between itihas and mythology:
Some others made calls for judicial reforms. These reforms have been summarily dismissed by Supreme Court, which in 1993 appropriated the right to appoint judges solely to itself through the opaque and unaccountable collegium system – all under guise of ‘judicial independence’.
Some argued that rather than focus on mediation and compromise solutions, judiciary should perform its primary duty of strict and speedy implementation of law to deter growing lawlessness such as commutation of death sentences awarded to terrorists by lower courts, inability to act against politically-motivated illegal protests that affect the common man, rapists getting bail/parole and then committing more rapes etc.
Some were more blunt in their responses. Our judiciary would do well to introspect on these rather than take offence, as they indicate rising anger at the double-standards, playing to left-liberal galleries and preferential treatment by large sections of judiciary towards controversial Hinduphobes like Rana Ayyub, Aakar Patel, Teesta Setalvad, and their apathy towards human rights violations of Hindus as seen during West Bengal’s post-poll pogrom.
What is so objectionable about the word ‘myth’?
Propagandists like Devdutt Pattanaik claim that all religions have a ‘mythology’ and there is nothing problematic with the term. Well, one of the definitions of ‘myth’ is “an unfounded or false notion.” As Neha Patel, a Hindu who has grown up in predominantly Christian USA and seen the sacred stories of her religion being dismissed as “mere myths” my entire life, writes in this must-read article HINDU EPICS: ARE THEY MYTHS? –
“In the western world, Biblical tales are legends and of historical significance while everything else is mythology. As such, the term Christian mythology is almost never used in popular discourse.
Hinduism in general is already exoticized by the west. Because it doesn’t neatly fit into Judeo-Christian standards of religion, many westerners view Hinduism as a confusing oddity with strange customs and practices. Even the term Hinduism is a modern construct, and some scholars argue that the modern classification is a colonial construct.
This is important to note because Hinduism has been on the world stage through the lens of the British Raj. Much of this has colonial overtones in which virtually anything associated with Hinduism is considered everything from demonic idol worship to New Age mysticism. It was a way for colonizers, such as the British and Portuguese, to stake their so-called superiority. Adding the term mythology to the mix doesn’t help.”
Neha is right that the term ‘Hinduism’ is a modern construct. The correct term for what Hindus follow is Hindu Dharma – and no, our Dharma (incorrectly translated as mere ‘religion’) was not invented by the British, unlike what some Hinduphobic academics suggest. There is no English translation for Dharma. Dharma is the essence of Bharatiya civilization and encompasses everything from spirituality, religion, philosophy, science, ethics etc. It is ‘that which upholds’ the social and natural order.
The colonial propaganda and mental colonization has worked well. Many first and subsequent generation pre-partition Hindus, who were imparted the education of the British, became mentally Western and only physically Bharatiya. Then there were others who rejected British imperialism but turned equally rootless due to Marxist/Communist indoctrination. These two groups of HINOs (Hindu in Name Only) are the ones who went on to form this nation’s elite post-Independence and carried on the false propaganda of terming Dharmic literature as ‘mythology’.