I attended the 18th symposium on “Hindu Unity Day” held on July 21 in New York City. One would assume that a religion of great antiquity of over 5000 years, which Hinduism is, should be self- sustained. It would be so, but for the fact that its followers had to withstand the onslaught of conversions under the sword, and later proselytizing by coercion.
Many scholars have tackled the task of defining Hinduism. One of the better interpretations of Hinduism is that it is a system of unity within diversity. In here, cohesiveness exists within its many contradictions.
Gautam Budha said: “Three things can’t be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth. And there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to the truth: Not going all the way and not starting.”
Hindus are disliked and hated by Muslims particularly wherever they are a majority, especially in Bangladesh, and the fate of Hindus in Pakistan is no better. One would expect even handed treatment of Hindus within the boundaries of India. Alas! It is not so. What an irony. The fate of Kashmiri Pundits is no better in their own homeland. Many of them are still languishing in the refugee camps in Jammu for over 20 years. Why? There is enough blame to go around, from the governmental policy and by happenstance the believers of Islam happen to be in the majority in state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Let us start examining some facts. Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Facts are many, truth is one.” I hope my readers will see the truth in what I write. No matter how tolerant, peaceful and law abiding Hindus may be, some faiths just don’t like us. Muslims like to convert us through the power of their sword and Christians do that through the power of their purse. “While the Hindu elaborates his argument, the Muslim sharpens his sword,” said Sir Winston Churchill: Abandoning India,” at Royal Albert Hall on March 18, 1931.
The list of unjust actions against Hindus is long for a very long time. Hindus would not be having a Hindu Sangathan Divas in New York 18th year in a row if it were not for the reasons of Rape, Conversions, Annexation of Hindu Properties, trampling of Human Rights of Hindus by Pakistan and Bangladesh. (Empires Last Casualty: Sachi G. Dastidhar 2008).
According to Bangladesh census of 1951 and 2001 Hindu population in Bangladesh declined by 20 million, yes 20 million. (Empires Last Casualty: 2008). Where did the 20 million Hindus go or what religion were they forced to convert to? To live as a Hindu in Bangladesh, is like living in hell so say millions of Hindus who still live there.
Hindus living in Islamic countries are rightfully cautious however it should not turn into weakness. “With weakness comes ignorance and with ignorance comes misery,” stated Swami Viveka-nand, and in misery they are living in.
For Hindus the last couple of years have been disastrous in Bangladesh (Elisa Griswold N.Y.T January 23, 2005). Islam is becoming a legitimizing political discussion in Bangladesh (Christina Fair N. Y.T. — January 23rd,2005). Bangladesh is of greatest concern to the Hindus (NY Times — February 2005)and Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: “Hindus in Bangladesh.” Hindu population in Pakistan is facing the same devil. “Stop all conversion, it is the deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth.” said Mahatma Gandhi. Enlightened Muslims distancing themselves is not enough, they should rally against radical Islam for the sake of their own children. Amnesty-International, Human rights organization (A survey of Human Rights 2010. Executive summary) and US Congress have only paid lip service.
Twenty million Hindus disappear from Bangladesh, a few million from Pakistan (Hindu American Foundation) and not a single in-depth article on crimes committed against Hindus in Bangladesh or Pakistan by any Indian newspaper in the USA or India has been published. “Stop all conversion, it is the deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth.” said Mahatma Gandhi.
Hindus would not be having a Hindu Unity Day if it were not for the quota system in India, which favors non-Hindus for admissions to centers of higher learning and jobs in govt. institutions, higher interest rates for loans to Hindu businesses. Levying, fees on Hindus for some pilgrimages while subsidizing Muslims when they go to haj. It is back handed Jizya (Jizya: tax Muslim rulers imposed on Hindus in India) being imposed on the Hindus of India by the government of India
“Muslims are Indians, and the best way for India to integrate them is to strive to treat them as individuals, not members of a group” ( Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, July 21, 2012 ). I would say every Indian should be treated equally and as an individual not as someone belonging to a caste or a class.
The Muslim onslaught on Hindus in the past was hideous(“Ananya” A portrait of India, Association of Indians in America,1997) and I say continues unabated, but the conversion to Christianity is a cause of no lesser concern. Conversion of Hindus into Christianity is prevalent in India even today. Mahatma Gandhi questioned: “Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man, “and he continued, “If I had power and could legislate, I should certainly stop all proselytizing.”
As if these disparities are not sufficient to hurt Hindus, the government of India has the audacity to use Hindu temple funds for non-Hindu benefits. Who are these officials? I presume these are the people, who have nothing substantial to offer and, therefore, pander to minorities, to keep their political power.
Hindus seem to have more human rights in United States than in India. Hindus have a level playing field in United States. “I am not against the minorities getting equal opportunity, but not at the expense of quality. Equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none.” was the slogan of 7th President of United States...Andrew Jackson in 1882. It is apt for every politician in every country even today.
These inequities against Hindus are the base for us to yearn for Hindu Unity. Do we want to unite with a desire to rule over somebody, certainly not! Or are we uniting to safe guard our legitimate rights as Hindus, definitely yes! Many Hindus do not realize that we have a much bigger problem; we are in a struggle to preserve our culture and religion. We need to unite to have a level playing field in India too. To be together is an instinct nature bestows on all: birds fly together, fish move in columns, hyenas hunt in a pack, elephants move in a heard. I am not advocating “heard mentality,” I am only suggesting to pool Hindu assets... brain power and financial, for the cause.
Unity is not to be feared if it is for a good cause and what is a better cause than mere survival. In the past nations have come together to fight a common enemy. Today, assets are pooled to battle the brutality of Muslim terrorist organization of Al-Qaeda. Swami Vivekananda’s slogan “Rise and Awake” for Hindus is as appropriate today as when it was first made in the 19th century. I like to paraphrase Karl Marx, German philosopher of 18th century, and say Hindus have nothing to lose but insults, humiliation, subservience and annihilation. Hindus of the world unite
Hindus have been under attacks since the eighth Century by Muslim invaders. Morgan (1939) states that Hindus suffered terribly on account of religious fanaticism of Muslim invaders from 11th century (“Ananya”). Hindus were later on subjected to conversions by Christian Missionaries which is still going on in India.
Hindus in India have always been respectful to other religions and given shelter to whosoever landed at its shores from time immemorial to the present day. Hindus have to act and assert themselves for their rights, nobody else is going to stand for you. For those who say we have too many organizations, I would like to quote Blaise Pascal a 16th century French physicist and philosopher: “The multi-tude, which is not brought to act as a unity is confusion. The unity which has not its origin in multitude, is tyranny.” Oppression (tyranny) is what you find in Islamic countries, dictatorships and terrorist organizations of the world.
What should Hindus do? I think Hindus should:
— Have a registered organization; raise funds and have transparent accounting for an infrastructure with offices, employees and volunteers; for Hindus in India to politically target anti-hindu politicians for; their defeat at the ballot box, one at a time;
— Investigative reporting of anti-hindu politicians and bureaucrats;
— Own newspapers, T.V stations in India for a balanced and truthful reporting;
— Educate the public about equal rights, expose corrupt people in power and pick and choose one at a time; and
— Join hands with other likeminded Hindu organizations; Join Hindu temple boards to raise funds and educate its congregation.
Temples have a responsibility to work for the benefit of its congregation. If there are no Hindus there will be no temples. We need to unite to safe guard our rights of worship in all lands, respect for our human rights and to be treated as equal citizen in every land including India. Christians unite to rule, Jewish unite to survive, Muslims unite to conquer and convert. Hindus need to unite to safeguard its existence and way of life.
Hindu religion is the oldest religion in the world, which respects all faiths. India today is a Secular Democracy because of 85 percent Hindu population. If one attacks Hindus and /or Hinduism it is a stroke to the very core of humanity. This must never happen.
“Facts are many, but truth is one,” wrote noble laureate Rabinder Nath Tagore. My fellow human beings, I have simply enumerated the facts. You know the truth.