Does the Hindu hate the Muslim? It’s a nice question to pose and Google would actually tell you that this is a question quite a few people are asking – in fact a whopping 48,50,000 queries according to Google. So, what is the truth? Do Hindus hate Muslims? I for one don’t and I am as “Hindu as Hindu” can be.
I also posed this question to some of my friends who count themselves amongst those who like to call themselves as “Secular” – that rapidly declining and fast-fading group of “neither here nor there” people who true to form pointed me to the few “selective” reports written by “folks” from their own ilk which apparently pointed to an increase in the “hate” against the Muslims of India.
I knew then that I had to do some independent thinking as opposed to trawling the net (which seems to be the preferred mode of writing articles nowadays) to arrive at reasonable and hopefully balanced conclusions to this vexed question.
What has happened particularly in the last few years is a burgeoning “Hindu Assertiveness” that has dovetailed the expanding space that Social Media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have provided for the “Common man” to voice his/her opinion and call out the “selectivism” and bias of the entrenched media houses that ruled the roost for a long time.
This has meant:
- He/she no longer had to send a reply to the Editor and hope that the Editor would condescend to at least read it, forget publishing it. Now with the explosion and subsequent expansion of Social Media, he/she could call out the bias and falsehood directly and engage in a debate on an equal footing directly with the editor or writer.
- It has made it possible for people to set up a right-liberal ecosystem that is able to publish and present another side to every story – these publications owe their popularity to their ability to leverage Social Media to reach “like-minded” people and thus build not just a reader-base but also a large canopy under which these people can congregate and build an alternate and often a truer representation of the facts.
So, then coming back to our first question – Does the Hindu hate the Muslim?
Before we answer this question, consider the following and try to imagine what a Hindu must feel when he/she is faced with these situations:
- When he/she hears the former PM of our country, Manmohan Singh say “Muslims have the first right on the resources of the country” (1)– Should the Hindu applaud the sagacity of a PM who was famous for his silence but suddenly found his voice when it came to insulting the Hindus and privileging the Muslims?
- When he/she learns that almost 70-80 % of the funds collected at Hindu temples does not go to the development of either Hindu temples or the Hindu people but is rather diverted to Madarsas and to fund the Haj subsidy, besides other “minority institutions” (You can read about this in an earlier article featured in rightlog here) (2) – Should the Hindu say that this is how it should be and we must be magnanimous as charity and austerity are the bedrock of the Hindu Dharma and therefore let’s put up with this “small discomfort” ?
- When he/she sees a Mamata openly supports Muslim fundamentalism while turning a blind eye to the outrages perpetrated in Basirhat and Baduria (3) recently – Should the Hindu stay quiet and put up with it?
- When he/she sees that a Kamlesh Tiwari (4) rots in jail for having blasphemed a prophet but a Maulana Dehalvi (5) gets away with not even a slap on the wrist. – Should the Hindu turn around and say it doesn’t matter really, because we as the majority must put up with the antics of the minority?
- What is he/she to make when an Akbaruddin Owaissi asks that the police stand aside for 15 minutes (6) so that the Muslims can slaughter the Hindus of India while a crowd of Muslims cheers him on? – Should the Hindu say that Owaissi is an exception or that the sea of cheering Muslims ready to do his bidding is only a drop in the ocean?
- When an Abu Azmi casts aspersion on Suchitra Krishnamoorthi’s character or a Waris Pathan asks her to go to Nepal (7) when she objects to the loud Azaan early in the morning, (not to forget several times in the day) – Should the Hindu conclude that Waris Pathan and Abu Azmi think India is an Islamic republic and the only country where they have their rights is in Nepal?
- When nude pictures of Sita and other goddesses are painted by MF Hussain and he is supported by a few so called secularists under the false pretext of Freedom of Expression (8) which apparently exists only for the minorities and not for the Hindus – Is the Hindu wrong in asking why is it OK for a Muslim to belittle his Gods and Goddesses but not OK for a Hindu to return the favour?
- When a two-bit Maulana issues a fatwa (9) against the Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi while openly hobnobbing with Mamata Banerjee – Should the Hindu say that tolerance is the bedrock of my faith and I shall put up with all the insults that are heaped upon me and my leaders?
Let’s ask that question again – Does the Hindu hate the Muslim? Perhaps the answer(s) is/are more obvious or perhaps not. So let’s now explore three broad themes that to me seem to be at the crux of this problem:
- Secularism: Nehruvian politics and a decision to opt for the Westminster style parliamentary form of democracy in a country as large, populous, and diverse as India may have been ill-informed but when it came gift-wrapped with something called secularism it was a sure-shot recipe for disaster. When Nehru’s daughter and then PM Indira Gandhi brought in the 42ndamendment (10) (1976) to change the preamble of the constitution from “sovereign democratic republic” to a “sovereign, socialist secular democratic republic” what was till then de facto became de jure. The standard definition of secularism is the separation of the State from Religion that is, secularism demands that a state must maintain neutrality in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. Therefore per this definition, people subscribing to different faiths within the country should by law expect to be treated equally and equitably, their places of worship offered the same rights and benefits and not be subjected to exploitation. Instead Nehruvian chicanery ensured that the Hindus, their beliefs, their institutions and places of worship would be subjected to the worst kind of exploitation and bias. Instead of separating the state from the religion, Nehru separated the “majority” from the “minority” in order to punish the former and privilege the latter. India is Pakistan in reverse where the majority here gets treated like and suffers the restrictions of the minority there. This kind of secularism that privileges the minorities i.e. the Muslims is an area of grave concern to the Hindu because he/she sees its adverse impact on himself, his livelihood, and that of his children. This concern is getting graver as some politicians plunge the depths of depravity in stoking the embers of this artificial construct in a desperate bid to remain relevant. Also, it needs to be said even at the cost of ruffling a few feathers that India remains “secular” only and only because it remains a Hindu majority. Any reversal in this statistic would lead to the formation of a theocratic autocracy. Additionally, to the Hindu whose faith is the least arrogant as compared to all other faiths from a theological standpoint, this whole business of Secularism has little meaning particularly when he is forced to listen to loudspeakers that proclaim no less than 5 times a day that there is but one God and one messenger and that God is not from his/her pantheon of Gods and Goddesses.
- Vote-bank and appeasement politics/policies: Much like the religion itself, the Muslim vote is a monolith and the community has leveraged it to the maximum all these years – arm-twisting and wrangling benefits from political parties that have mastered the art of splitting the Hindus and garnering the captive Muslim vote – a veritable “vote-bank” they could always bank on. This twin strategy of “divide the majority” and “appease the minority” is now seemingly coming apart at the seams as the Hindu is starting to see through the agenda and working actively to protect his/her interests by voting at least strategically if still not as a monolith like the Muslims. When Maulvis and Imams issue decrees and Fatwas asking their people to vote for one particular candidate or one particular political dispensation then what is the Hindu to make of it?
- Global Islamic Jihadism and its impact on India: The global Islamic jihad defined by the likes of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) Harkat-ul-Ansar, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and several such allied, affiliated, and/or inspired organizations that are driven by a common ideology – the establishment of an Islamic caliphate has started to make inroads into India as well. Six Kerala men were reported to be fighting alongside the ISIS only a few days ago. There were 21 men from Kerala last year. It is not just Kerala, there is a growing trend of Islamic jihadism that spans parts of Karnataka, AP/Telengana, West Bengal, Kashmir, UP and many other states. Tufail Ahmed in a 4-part incisive piece titled “Radicalization Series” points to “…a variety of conditions and scenarios that have made it possible to radicalise youths in Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Kerala and indeed, India as a whole.” He further goes on to add how “…From early 2014 through this year, the radicalisation of Indian Muslims in favour of the Islamic State (or IS) has not ceased, although intelligence agencies have succeeded in preventing dozens of youths from leaving India to join the jihadi group.” He further points to how political correctness blinds most analysts to the truth of Islamic jihadism and its rise in India “Political correctness forces analysts not to see the ideological nature of the jihadi terror.” He further paints an alarming picture of how “…around a dozen states have witnessed incidents of radicalisation including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Punjab (for pro-Khalistan radicalisation), Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He further makes the point that the “…the fundamental reasons for radicalisation and justifications for jihad are rooted in Islamic teachings, glorification of Islamic history and grievance mongering”
Let us now ask the question one last time – Does the Hindu hate the Muslim?
Well the simple answer is No, he/she does not. However, the new generation Hindu is far more assertive and:
- He/she sees through the falsehood that secularism is, realizes the harm it has caused to his brethren in the past and the potential it has to cause further harm and calls it out.
- He/she resents being discriminated against while a fellow citizen, whose only qualification is that he/she belongs to a minority group, albeit a monolithic behemoth is offered “first right over the resources of the country”
- He/she sees the minorities and particularly the Muslims come together and engage in collective bargaining to wheedle out privileges and sops and feels short-changed and demands that he be treated on par and in keeping with the principles of equality and justice.
- The Hindu is rediscovering the great culture and history that his ancestors bequeathed him and then is hurt by an establishment soaked in leftist-ideology that constantly humiliates and denigrates this very cultural, social, and historical legacy.
- The Hindu is upset and indeed angry that Marxist and liberal Historians have for long suppressed the atrocities of Islamic invasion and whitewashed and swept aside the bigotry of Islamic rulers like the Mughals, Tipu Sultan and the marauding looters and destroyers of Hindu temples and monuments.
- The Hindu is angry when a few incidents that should be treated as law-and-order problems are blown out of proportion on one hand while the wholesale looting and arson indulged by Muslim mobs in parts of West Bengal or the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits for example is at best given only muted coverage.
- The Hindu is angry when a stray remark by one Hindu can land him in jail while a Muslim can get away with passing the most hurtful comments against the Hindu community, their Gods, and Institutions.
The new India is seeing a resurgent Hindu who does not hate the Muslim but at the same time will not take things lying down. This new Hindu awakening worries the leftists, Marxists, secularists and all the others who rode this gravy train for the last 70 years. It is this that is responsible for the “hate” stories being planted and passed around.