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Attack on Hinduism- Who gains from this intolerance?

by IT Desk
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By: M.R. Lalu
Absolutely, ever since Masha Amini’s custodial death, the Islamic Republic of Iran has intensified its mandatory hijab law, according to which, women in the country face up to 10 years of prison if they fail to follow the stricter dress code. Amini was detained for her incorrect wearing of the headscarf and the young woman was allegedly beaten to death by the country’s morality police. As per the Hijab and chastity bill, those who defy the religious decree of the state would receive 60 lashes as punishment and a prison term almost up to 10 years with heavy fines. The public outrage for the last few months have almost been brought to control, but the government, fearful of serious acrimony in the streets on the anniversary of Masha’s death, has increased its vigilance with more forces barricading the streets and public places. The government has extended its radicalized gender segregation in hospitals, universities, workplaces, parks and other places where people gather. In Afghanistan the situation is worse as women in the country have totally been banned from places of public access and their education has been limited to the primary level and their dress code is of course a mandatory requirement under the Taliban.
Unsurprisingly, the world is watching these exercises of ruthlessness and discrimination without an impulse of compassion and an understanding is evidently effervescent in accepting the unquestionable power and reach of the religion and its acrimony is being frequently justified as a religious moral code of conduct with divine approval.   Semitic religions, for that matter, have gained immunity for stretching their religious suppression or radicalized behavior to any extent with the world turning a mute spectator. When targeted assassinations and unprincipled outrage and savagery turn streets into hotbeds of mob violence, medieval religious laws receive acceptance and approval from the secular world as well. Year 2015 witnessed a terrible attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, killing almost 12 of its editors. The world seems to have diluted its call for freedom of speech, trimming its periphery shorter in order to protect the interests of organized religions. If terrorism should be separated from religion then what about the religious principles that propagate and accentuate radicalism and promote enmity and terror? Here, again you will find a deliberate game played out with a systematic preface. That terror can never be associated with any religion, for all the religions are aiming for something higher which is spiritual and they disapprove of terror in any fashion and form.
This has been an intelligent narrative that found place in our social discourse and we began to emulate this artificial global framework of glorifying religions irrespective of the quantum of blood they shed for their expansion and survival. If this has been the status and essential force of Islam irrespective of the complexity and fear it could cause among people from across the globe, Islamophobia, in real sense qualifies a certain level of study and understanding, especially to find out the extent of dread a religious ideology could articulate. Is Hinduism any match to such vitriolic exclusivist behavior? Are the religions in the world equally kind and magnanimous to the non-believers? Why are faith based religions more acrimonious than Hinduism that propagates the idea of divine presence in everything? Does Udaipur beheading remind us of the religious intolerance that was easily executed in a country populated with 80 percent Hindus? Why is Hinduism easily targeted in India and elsewhere with no collective acrimony reacting to such vituperations? The reason is simple. Hinduism as such can never be compared with any religion that came up with a particular fence of restrictions surrounding it and a particular person inventing its principles. Hinduism is almost like an open garden which offers easy access to anybody irrespective of what he belongs to. Everybody can sense the fragrance of flowers in it. But religions, hardbound with stiff ideologies and beliefs, would easily get provoked. Mostly, systematically framed narratives have often been used to vilify Hinduism and this has been a usual practice. It got severe as the government at the centre, supported by a majoritarian wave, has engraved its eminence and its leader, who certainly had contributed to strengthen its weaker links for almost a decade, is seen to be emerging for the third consecutive term.
This was again the case of the Dismantling of the Global Hindutva movement, a sign of Hinduphobia irrationally raising its ugly head to principally malign Hinduism. The conference was convened in the pretext of resisting the political emergence and regimentation of Hindus especially since 2014. The activists and scholars under the veil of academic freedom and expression were all set to unleash their agenda of fear-mongering and dehumanizing Hindus around the world. While the reality is entirely different: the Hindus, except for casteism and its discriminatory tendencies, have always been a peaceful group of people who prayed and propagated from the period of the Vedas for peace and coexistence of humanity. Lord Krishna, in Bhagavad Gita explains the Varna system, which can roughly be equated with the contemporary caste system, as a design of the divine; that he further justifies was his creation for a better social order. Undoubtedly, with the passage of time, much damage has been done to some sections of the Hindu society and casteism has been a dominant factor. Hinduism has always been generous and inclusive and its well-known Vedic maxim “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti” translated as “Truth is one; the wise call it by different names” vividly illustrates its deep-rooted generosity and acceptance for other religions and faiths that exist in the world.
Indubitably, Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader Udayanidhi Stalin’s tirade on the “eradication of Sanatan Dharma” triggered a massive outrage and public discourse. Politicians have frequently been denouncing Hinduism for decades. But the outrage and anger on such remarks began to have serious repercussions ever since the majority, the Hindus began to metamorphose its essential being into a political consolidation. This was gradual and probably the result of the denigration ran on its essence by some political parties over and over again in the name of minority appeasement. The Congress regime’s ‘Hindu Terror’ narrative to its Prime Minister outrightly advocating for the Muslims to have first claim on the country’s resources has deeply wounded the majority that otherwise remained peaceful and secluded. Alarmingly, no profound voices were heard criticizing Udayanidhi’s statement. What should have been the impact of such a statement being flung against a minority religion in India? Imagine the amount of violence and destruction that would take place across India and the reaction of some oil-rich countries. Top media houses from across the globe would have defamed India by painting its democracy anti-minority and loudly calling it Hindu supremacist. Members in the I.N.D.I.A block of the opposition have maintained a studied silence while some leaders in the group preferred to murmur their discontent without much harm being done to the coalition. Rebellious narratives to demonize the majority in India would further deepen the crisis of the country’s political opposition. With the Prime Minister publicly seeking to defend the essence of Sanatan Dharma, irresistible political consolidation of the Hindus is bound to degenerate the aspiration of his opposition once again.
(The author is Freelance Journalist, Meppurathu House, Puthusserimala P.O, Ranni-689672, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala)

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