by Sudha Dixit
Shashi Tharoor, in his feisty book “Why I Am A Hindu”, has given a long winded explanation as to why he is a Hindu. Nobody ever doubted that he is a Hindu. He doesn’t need to convince anyone. Otherwise also it is nobody’s business to question someone’s faith(except for the purpose of marital alliance). I am a Hindu because (like Tharoor) I am born a Hindu. Like other faiths, I am not converted to Hinduism. In fact Hinduism does not believe in conversion. A Hindu is always a person born Hindu.
Shashi Tharoor has given a detailed account of Hinduism, which is brilliantly written. Shashi is a fantastic writer. He is also a charming orator. Even when he twists facts to suit him, he is absolutely convincing. But, but he may not be able to convince a thinking person(like me) when he is actually wrong. May be he can make a glass tumbler look like gold tumbler but he cannot turn it into gold.
Hindus are tolerant, accepting and non- violent. These qualities are inherent in them. For that reason only the outsiders were able to subvert them. Hindus never attacked any nation or converted any person to Hinduism. So nobody, not even Tharoor, can’t lecture them to be tolerant or accepting, which they already are. Still once bitten twice shy. Hindus were attacked and enslaved many times due to their innocence and trust that all human beings are good, which not true. So we, Hindus should learn a lesson from the past – from history. Our history has been altered by the invaders and the victors to suit their motives. They tried to destroy our culture. We survived . Tharoor agrees; but says since Hindus are intrinsically tolerant, they should remain tolerant. Why ? Simply to maintain an image; and in the bargain let Hindus be annihilated. If and when someone tries to destroy our faith and pulverize our culture, why shouldn’t we retaliate? If someone slaps me, following Gandhi, I would turn my other cheek to be slapped; hoping against hope that the aggressor would be penitent. Well, what if he slaps on my other cheek also? Believe me I would, not only, slap him back, I would smash his head. I am sure, next time if he meets me, he would smile and say ‘hello’ or would, simply, turn away. He wouldn’t dare slap me.
I welcome and accept everyone if I want. No, Tharoor can’t tell me that I must do it because I am a Hindu. Particularly if others are intolerant and do accept Indian culture. Shashi Tharoor has admitted that Muslims and Christians do not accept Hindu way of living. They keep to their faith, their style and their own personal law, while taking full advantage of Indian law. They oppose uniform civil code but do not adhere to their personal law when it does not suit them. For Tharoor says that it’s their way of thinking. I don’t accept it. I am a Hindu, I am not a fool.
Tharoor’s critical analysis of Hinduism is correct and brilliant. He says all Hindus are logical and questioning. Hinduism is a reason oriented religion. So, when he starts playing politics about his Hinduism and BJP’s Hindutva, I want to defy him. He says we should be secular while agreeing that Christians and Muslims are not secular. I have no problem with them being hard – liners as long as they do it in their own homeland. They cannot dictate their terms in my mother land. This is what Golwalkar, Savarkar and for that matter RSS says. Tharoor quotes Golwalkar- “(The) foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language ………lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race…… or may stay …..subordinated to Hindu Nation.” What’s wrong with that? Indians living in Australia don’t have right to vote unless and until they get citizenship(which is difficult and conditional). Tharoor talks about greatness of pure Hinduism and extols it but decries superstitions, rituals, horoscope etc. agreed they are bad aspects, such wrong practices are found in all religions. Less enlightened public adopts religious myths and rituals. No religion is practiced in its pure form. So why single out Hinduism ? he talks about how his ancestors lost huge fortune which they buried somewhere fearing Tipu would snatch it; thus endorsing that Tipu was a tyrant. His secularism is, to a great extent political. In fact the word “secular” was not, originally, in our constitution. It was, later, added by Indira Gandhi during emergency. Tharoor does not point out that. Modi is doing good work. Even Lincoln was opposed while abolishing slavery. That’s politics.
There is much more to be said. Next time or in a sequel.
About the Author: Sudha Dixit is a writer and poet. She currently lives in Bangalore and had a career in real estate spanning over 15 years. She is a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, Luknow University and Banaras Hindu University. Her articles and poems frequently appears in various online journals and magazines.