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Being anti-Hindu is no longer fashionable

Author: Saurabh Sharma
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 9, 2017
URL:    http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/rising-india/being-anti-hindu-is-no-longer-fashionable/

“While liberals are leery of religious fundamentalism in general, they consistently imagine that all religions at their core teach the same thing and teach it equally well. This is one of the many delusions borne of political correctness.” These words by Sam Harris expose the bankruptcy with the term, “political correctness” quite brilliantly. Judged in the backdrop of one of the most dramatic events that unfolded over the last couple of days or so, this remark seems to be even more pertinent given the nature of its detestation for religious fundamentalism. The recently concluded election to Legislative Assemblies of five states have clearly thrown many a political pundit out of their jobs owing to the simple fact that no amount of political acumen and statistical expertise could help them work out some satisfactory figures that would have kept the politically correct liberals of India away from the shock they have now experienced. The special case of Uttar Pradesh has opened up a whole new chapter in Indian politics that is surely going to perplex them even more.

An election that was fought in times that is witness to one of the most desperate phases in the political life of the opposition parties in this country has really rendered them restless more than ever before. A careful analysis of the composition of this opposition needs to be undertaken in order to uncover the factor of commonality. It is their united opposition to the Sangh Parivar. It is they who identify the Sangh Parivar with the ideology of “Hindutva”. Although Hindutva itself has various flavours and dimensions (with views from men like Savarkar, Vivekanand and Aurobindo) as explained by Jyotirmaya Sharma in his 2003 book, Hindutva, in the layman kind of understanding that this mosaic opposition has, Hindutva is something to be disliked, hated and decimated. Now then, if one hates Hindutva, what does one like? A kind of conspiracy has been sewn since independence in order to make “secularism” the counter-concept of Hindutva.

We are well aware of the religious disharmony that we ironically inherited in the aftermath of the partition that took place in 1947. What followed was the process of building a secular nation with a place for all. But we finally ended up making “anti-Hindu” the doctrine to be adopted when it came to being called an intellectual or a liberal. It is the only way through which a minority may call the shots in a country where the majority is not fully conscious of its identity. While men like Kamlesh Tiwari have been jailed for infuriating the sentiments of a section of the population, nothing has happened to anybody who issues a fatwa, even when the recipient of the fatwa is the Prime Minister himself. Is this what we call political correctness?

It’s not long ago when we had somebody elected as the Prime Minister of the country under continuous assault by the anti-Hindu intellectuals of this country and abroad. Somewhat similar story has unfolded when Yogi Adityanath was elected as the Chief Minister of UP. Following a Samajwadi Party government which was headed by somebody who has endeared the cause of the Muslims to the extent of being popularly called, Mullah Mulayam, the mandate compels us to discuss a thing or two about the Hindu-Muslim dichotomy. We are all aware of the stigma that the Muslim community carried post-partition, quite evident from the fact that Dilip Kumar, one of the finest actors Bollywood has ever produced had to undergo a name change in order to remain popular among the large Hindu population of India. The 1951 census figures justify the move.

India had a whopping 84.1% (303.6 million) Hindu population compared to 9.8% (35.4 million) Muslims in 1951. Sixty years later, in 2011, Hindus in India for the first time in history dropped to less than 80% (79.8% to be precise) of the total population. Coupled with the lopsided definition of Indian secularism that is clearly anti-Hindu, the real feel of the proportional decline of the Hindu community has definitely been reflected in their coming together to organize themselves that was seldom the case so far.

Hence, the election campaign in the state of Uttar Pradesh after many years had many things to show to the Hindus that it’s their turn to wake up. The Prime Minister in Varanasi did not shy away from chanting Har Har Mahadev with chants of Jai Shri Ram being clearly audible in the background. When had we witnessed such a Hindufied election campaign earlier? Not even in 1993 when the BJP put up a good show against the SP-BSP coalition.

Thus, the mandate has little to do with ‘development’ as highlighted by many who are finding it tough to come to terms with the fact that a man in saffron is heading the most populated state of the country. Even if it’s the Modi wave, what did it represent when Modi himself became the Prime Minister against all odds. We must keep in mind that he was not allowed to campaign in his own constituency in 2014. What did the liberals dislike about Modi in 2014? Was it his plans of development or his smart way of championing the cause of the Hindus? The answers to these questions are obvious.

Hence, the elevation of Adityanath to the post of CM is symptomatic of a phase of no dillydallying tactics being employed by practising Hindus in India. Gone are those days when

the Indian intelligentsia would mock somebody who chose to be clad in saffron colours and recite a shloka or two in one’s public statement. The conspiracy of the Left to keep Hindus disunited has finally been deciphered and people of India have risen to the reality. At this juncture, it’s once again relevant to refer to the quote by Sam Harris who categorically states that all religions do not teach the same things with same tenor.

Hindu Nationalism expounded by late Guru Golwalkar is an umbrella concept that encompasses people from all creeds and belief systems without any favour for any group whatsoever. Thus, the coming of the Yogi is not a move that should be sending tremors among the minorities. But it doesn’t provide them extra privileges as well as the mandate does not represent a sort of polarisation. Rather it is evidentiary proof of the fact that the people of Uttar Pradesh have cut across caste lines and voted for a strong government. Nevertheless, there was an element of Hindufication in it as being anti-Hindu is no longer fashionable in the Indian political scenario.
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