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A Hindu Nation…What Does It Mean?

I am Indian. Born a Christian. Lived abroad for most part of my life. I believed I had a lot to contribute to the country of my origin so I chose to come back. I am not a Hindu by virtue of my religious upbringing or preference. But I do love my country, its rich cultural heritage and its traditions. I have also spent a considerable time learning various philosophies of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism, because their teachings are a way of life and have a commonality to it; which begins and ends with Universal Consciousness and Humanity.  But at the end of it all my identity is that of an Indian-Christian. So does that qualify me to be a part of a Hindu Nation.

Having lived in an Islamic nation for a major part of my life; I am trying understand the intent behind which organisations such as Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and others present at Hindu Nation Convention at Goa are spearheading this way of thinking. In fact, one of the speakers also mentioned statistics about how many Islamic Nations and Christian Nations exist in the world. And mooted the point as to why India should be portrayed as a Hindu Nation.

Is the concept of Hindu Nation about equality, rights and protection to Hindus only? Which leads us to yet another pertinent question; Is India about Hindus alone? Are not Muslims, Christians and other religious believers also a part of this country.

Pramod Mutalik, of the Sri Ram Sena -the self-proclaimed protector of Hindu Culture – believes that he needs to take the part of aggression just like Netaji Subash Chandra Bose; however, he missed the part that leaders such as Bose focussed at external forces attempting to take-over the physical boundaries of our nation. If he believes he can use the same strategy to protect the cultural boundaries of our country, then he is certainly in the running for the Taliban Award of the Year or its Hindu equivalent. Does Mutalik think that by setting up base in Goa, he can freely walk into a pub with his mob and assault the women and men of this state? If he thinks so, he has definitely underestimated the communal harmony and the cultural balance that exist across religion and caste in Goa. And I am sure that besides the Christians – the Hindus themselves will retaliate against this ideology and nuisance.

If the concept of the Hindu Nation is to rise above political wars and agendas; and focus truly on retaining our rich cultural heritage of our state and country, then it is a concept that will be appreciated by everyone. But our culture is not one of Hinduism alone, history will tell you that. More importantly Hinduism or Islam or Christianity is not about the compulsory religious acts which is subtly drummed into us, it is about our connection to the Universal Consciousness.

India for years as history shows has been a gold mine of knowledge, resources and diverse people. The numerous invasion of different parts of India by foreign forces brought a bit of their culture to our shores and some have merged with our cultures. So what! Has not India move forward from its past to a better future of communal harmony devoid of any religious and caste distinction.

By virtue of the majority of population in the country, is not evident that most the people in the country are Hindus. So in effect it is a nation populated by Hindus who have no problem living with Christians or Muslims. At least most of the Hindus I have met feel that way.

I do agree on the point that reservation in this country must not be made based on religion. It should be rather based on the criteria of lack of fair opportunities or family income back-grounds, in order to give a fair opportunities to the less fortunate to get the education or job opportunities to make it evenly competitive. But having said that merit has to take precedence. Therefore, the government of this country must make education its prime responsibility and make quality education available across all stratas of society and not to those that have money.

It is sad to see that such Hindu Organisations can actually find time to talk about such mundane issues – like changing the term ‘Secular’ in the Constitution of India. If being a Hindu Nation can eradicate poverty in the country, bridge the huge gap between rural and urban India, provide for quality education to all our children, provide for health-care across the country, eradicate corruption, create ample job opportunities for our people, keep our country away from communal tension and political loot of our resources; then we are talking about being true to our Hindu roots. History shows as that our own country men or leaders are responsible for the drain of rich cultural heritage and not the poor people who just follow their leaders.

This Hindu Nation Convention is not aimed at truly retaining our rich Hindu culture and tradition, but stroking unwanted fires of confusion and contradictions. I am surprised that they decided to host their first-ever convention of this nature in Goa and even make statement that it is because the BJP-government is in Goa we can have such a convention here. It is a good thing the BJP-Goa and its government have distanced itself from it. Otherwise it would have certainly haunt the BJP-Goa’s non-communal image that they have been working on.

But to have it in Goa of all the places, leads one to ponder very hard on why and what could be the ulterior purpose of such a step. And that thought is frightening. Because fundamentalism of any kind whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian must be kept in check.

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