Nayantara Sahgal: I cannot accept Hindutva because I am a Hindu

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Nayantara Sahgal: I cannot accept Hindutva because I am a Hindu

Post by Rashmun on Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:48 am

The other day an acquaintance of mine asked me why I was opposing Hindutva. What did I have against it? I told her why. I said I opposed it for two reasons. One reason is personal and the other is political.


Let me begin with the personal. I cannot accept Hindutva because I am a Hindu. By this I don’t mean only that I was born a Hindu, but that I am a believer. My religion is important to me. I draw daily strength and sustenance from it. It is central to my life and thought, and to my behaviour toward believers of other faiths for Sanatan Dharma teaches that the world is our family. To millions of Indians, of whatever faith, religion matters. And all truly religious people know that God has no chosen people. We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator.


So it is unbearable to watch my religion being transformed into what it was never meant to be by people who call themselves Hindus but practise a brutal, militant creed of their own that drives them to lynch defenceless innocent Indians, pump bullets into those who question their creed, and enter a train armed with knives to stab to death a fifteen-year-old boy who is returning to his village after his Eid shopping in Delhi. Unbelievably, this vengeance pursues some of its victims beyond the grave. What else are we to make of the news that the grieving families of Mohammed Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan are now being made the guilty parties instead of the criminals who killed them, while the killers roam free to commit other hate crimes. Jesus Christ, in agony on the cross to which he was nailed, could pray: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” But the Hindus among us cannot utter a similar prayer because those who kill and maim and terrify in the name of Hinduism know exactly what they are doing and take pride in doing it. Such things have happened in all countries and centuries when religious fanaticism or racism has been allowed to go unchecked, and more especially when a ruling ideology gives free rein to fanaticism. 



Then there is the political reason. Hindutva is a political invention that has re-defined Hinduism for its political purpose, which is to declare India a Hindu rashtra. It says this country is exclusively Hindu, all other Indians being invaders and outsiders. Historically this is incorrect since, like every other land mass, and the civilization that has grown out of it, the India we live in is the outcome of migrations millennia ago. There is no “pure” race on earth. We are all a mixture of all that has gone into the making of us. The invaders and outsiders from earliest times are as Indian as the first aborigine inhabitants of this land mass. Which came first, the chicken or the egg, doesn’t matter. Here we are today, people of every known religion, language, culture and lifestyle, and all rightful citizens of India.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday-special/columns/a-hindu-speaks/478812.html

Rashmun

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