Is India a Hindu Nation?
Maria Wirth is a person of German origin who has embraced Hindu religion has articulated this question. She has argued that if Germany with 59% of population calls itself Christian nation why India is apologetic to call itself Hindu nation with 80% or more of population practicing Hindu Religion in one way or the other. Her full article is here.
Her question is appropriate but she could not find answers. Infact there are many reasons, why it has not happened.
A simple reason offered by a Nehru baiter would be that since he was a Muslim converted to non practicing Hindu, he did not do it. His grandfather is stated to be last Kotwal (Police Commissioner) of Delhi with the name Ghiazudeen Gazi and after 1857 freedom war they changed the surname. I couldn’t find the factual foundation of this fact either way. How ever let’s consider serious reasons.
If we look at historical monuments it will be apparent that symbols of Hinduism are found even today in the central Asia, Persia, Yezdis (Sun and fire worshipers), Uzbekistan (who count numbers in Hindi) Afghanistan in the west and right upto Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and other the Asean countries. Asean countries may have different methods of worshiping today, they continue with traditional Ramleela, in one form or other. Numerous temples and images of Hindu Gods cover this entire landscape. Some say that Saudi Arabia too has statues similar to Hindu Gods.
All this show that at some point of time about 1000 years ago or more, when west had a military empire of Rome, east had a nameless soft cultural empire (which may as well be called Hindu Empire for the sake of convenience). Though the word Hindu merely refers to people living beyond river Indu or Indus which Arabic people pronounced as Hind or Hindu. This was not a military empire under one King but was culturally one. So what made it fall?
Humans may have progressed with technology but it’s operating software is same. It is same today, as it was 2000 years ago.This much we know that now the so called Hinduism is shrunk to India, Thailand and Nepal. So Why did it disappear?
So what is the current problem facing the world? Islamic terrorism? Is it not?
How Islamic terrorism started?
Foundation of Islamic terrorism were laid, when in 1947 Britain inspite of resistance of USA acknowledged that religion can be basis of claiming a territory or nationhood. All countries even if Muslim countries, were founded on traditional cultural bonds. The stupidness of idea is apparent. East Pakistan broke away in 1970. Baloch, Pakhtoon and Sindhi etc. are up in arms against Pakistan today. Punjabi Muslims dominate the Pakistan but Punjabi language has been buried to embrace Urdu, later to embrace Arabic and Khuda become Allah and good bye becomes from Khudahafiz to Allahhafiz. The brainwashing of humans showed its ultimate dexterity and a complete diplomatic surrender in 1979 when Pakistan agreed with USA to train its Jihadis to fight USSR (now Russia) in Afghanistan. Now Pakistan finds it impossible to dismantle the terror factory.
How this brainwashing happened?
Let’s go back to 15th century Europe and the crusades carried out by British Kings. Read about Pope Innocent and what it did. Who are Evangelical Christians and Catholic Christians. How protestants came into being. For the sake of brevity, I am omitting details. Google it if you like. Todays Islamist sponsored /supported by Saudi Arabia, is partially a reaction and partially a politicle ambition to created a feudal society based or artificial identity of religion.
Who is a Hindu?
There is no such thing called Hindu, historically. The area beyond Indus was called Hind by Persian traders so the people living here became Hindus. The Arabs who settled on East Coast, after a few generation were also Hindu who worship in a different method. I have summarized its forgotten core principles of Hinduism here.
Just to complete the history tour. Mangol (called Mughal by historians, God knows why) came to conquer a large part of India and were succeeded by British in 1700 AD or so. In 1857 a war for independence was fought by Natives which included Hindus and Muslims alike. After this British employed a policy of “divide and rule”. The adopted a policy of having quotas in employment for Muslims and Braimin (priest caste) Hindus. Later they started quotas for so called backward caste. Needless to say this discovery of backward caste was unscientific and irrational. Anybody who was not a warrior, priest or businessman was termed backward. The competition for jobs brew discontent and kept people divided till Gandhi came forward and united all.
Fall of empire.
The huge Hindu temples came with priests who was by then Brahmin by family lineage and not by nature or merit or guna as called in Sanskrit. Office of priest became hereditary.
Sanatan Dharma which was a religion or life style of self discovery in journey from lower truth to higher truth became a priest controlled religion around 500AD. Priest would know the Sanskrit, other were prohibited to learn divine language, and priest will interpret what is right. This gave rise to sensible people to stay away from temples and priest. I am sure now we can imagine the big picture and similarity with above ISIS and Christianity. Religion whenever is used to control people’s mind, it becomes dangerous feudalism. However in case of India, the priests could not hijack the power. They were sidelined much before that. These even joined invaders with promise of protection.
The term Hindu Protestants does not exist. I am using it for the sake of convenience. They are the people who follow Hinduism in their own way. No need of priest except for Marriage or some formal occasions.
A screen-shot of an app to book a priest:
If we read different versions of history by different authors, there is a consensus that India for centuries was pluralistic society. It even has an original version of Christian in the south called “The Saint Thomas Christians, also called Syrian Christians or Malankara Nasrani or Nasrani Mappila or Nasrani”. They are a community of Indian Syriac Christians from Kerala, India. These faiths were embraced by some of the protestants Hindus or Indian tribes. However even today the majority of Hindus in India are protestant variety who does not like to be advised by Priests as how to live their life on a daily basis.
How can I be sure of this?
Why Buddha abandoned the path of vedic Hinduism? What was the reform in Hindu society was to be attained by Adi Shankaracharya? What reforms Swami Vivekanand talked about? In fact a transcript of his lecture, created by some other person is available on youtube. I strongly suggest to listen to this:
The speech itself is self explanatory. Symbol or deity worshiping is not the only way to practice Hindu religion. But it is wide spread. Hindu religion is the only religion in which belief in God is optional. Means one can be atheist and yet Hindu. Read Patanjali Yog Sutra in this regard.
But the people of worshipping tradition find it difficult to admit it. Read the Bhagwat Geeta as propounded by ISKON temple.
Another reason is that it is not perceivable for people of other religions especially Muslim to understand as to how people of faith other than Hindu can live in a Hindu state. It is inceivable for them. Declaration of Hindu-State would be strongly protested by these persons only if for emotional reasons.
It is these reasons India cannot be a Hindu State until the people following most visible worshiping tradition acknowledge that others exist. They follow a truth and can’t acknowledge that some have moved on, as stated by Vivekanand in above link. Apart from this, the term Hindu and Muslim are now political words as against the religion and may start an unnecessary conflict in the society over this issue. Therefore the population has to be matured enough to deal this issue in a non-emotional way.
Just to conclude it is the support of this protestant Hindus that present so called Hindu right wing BJP is power. The day this majority will find that the Government wants to tell people how to live their day to day life, it will be gone.
Who will decide who is Hindu?
Above all, when the name or title Hindu itself is what others have given, who will decide as to who is Hindu? There are Muslims who worship in Shiv temples and also do Namaz. There are Sikh who offer prayers in Gurudwara but also bow before deity. There are those who follow Sanatan Dharma and Thse who follow Arya Samaj. There is Nath community from Gorakhpur and there is BAPS from Gujarat. And many many more. Hinduis is like Linux. Everyone has his/her own version.
If we go down the path of Islamic countries and decide tomorrow there would be a conflict as the Hndu itself will be even more politicized. So let’s not go there.
Hindu Dharma vs. Hindu Rashtra
The most important part is from within Hindu scriptures and thinkers. According to this the Rashtra (nation) is above the all Dharma (religion). It is so stated in Chankya’s “Kautilya Arthsasthra” and it is so stated in Bhagwat Geeta. In substance, unlike other religion, the Hindu religion itself says that religion is subordinate to the nation. How can it be reversed to make the religion equal to nation? Accordingly the demand for declaration of Hindu Rashtra or Nation is itself a dichotomy.