via By Tarun Vijay published on September 9, 2009

They were fiercely angry and threw the slaughtered cow’s head at the temple gate to underline the seriousness of their threat — no temple in this locality. The leader of the crowd that had gathered at Shah Alam immediately after the Jumma namaz shouted religious slogans and their leader Haji said there would be bloodshed if the temple relocation continued.

And the government decided to halt the temple construction.

What was the reason for opposing the temple? Shazwan Mustafa Kamal reported in Malaysia Insider, “A group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 have threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple. The ‘residents’ said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90% Malay-Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives. They claimed that the “noise” from the temple would disturb their own praying, and that they would not be able to function properly as Muslims.’’

So much for a country which prides itself with an ad-tag “Malaysia-truly Asia” to lure Indian travellers, mostly Hindus.

Hindu money is welcome but no respect for their religion, that’s the “truly Asian” message of a land that is educated, rich and shows a modern face among the Muslim-majority countries.

But did you hear any protest against such blatantly state-supported assaults on Hindus from the world’s biggest Hindu majority nation?

Those who spoke about a cartoon in Denmark and a young brat in Canada chose to wear silence on the continued assaults on the Hindu rights in Malaysia. And else where.

The media that were too moralistically enthused to take up the “lies” of a Emraan Hashmi, didn’t even bother to have a news item for cow-head warning to the Hindus or to organize a small, non-primetime chat on why Hindus have become  a soft target from Coimbatore to Kualalumpur and Kathmandu to Jeddah.

Once there was a constitutionally declared Hindu nation on this earth that allowed the biggest mosque facing the Royal palace and allowed conversions too. Yet its demise was meticulously organized amid a secular fanfare and now we saw beating of the Pashupatinath temple’s Hindu priests.

The last six decades have seen a continuous fall in the esteem and power of the Hindus as Hindus,  that remains to be analysed in an atmosphere that celebrates the “Hindu harvesting”.

From a bird’s eye view, look how it has happened and ask yourself, why? Hindus were pushed out from Kabul to Rawalpindi, and from Karachi to Lahore for no fault of theirs. It was a partition decided by the British Empire and conceded by the Gandhis who feared more Jinnah’s direct action massacres if stood firm on an undivided motherland. Post-partition, Hindus faced the worst-ever ethnic cleansing in Kashmir and half a million Hindus were forcibly exiled leaving behind their age-old homes, temples, orchards and an entire world of life.

Those who still chose to remain in the newly created Pakistan faced extinction, humiliation, with government jobs barred and a virtual exile from politics.

Their girls are raped and forcibly taken away, temples desecrated, crematoriums denied, and festival celebrations curtailed. A factsheet of Hindu human rights abuse was prepared by the Hindu American Foundation and its 2008 report says: “Despite a change in the government in Bangladesh, 270 acts of murder, rape and temple destruction were recorded in only the first six months, while the disproportionate enslavement of Hindus in bonded labor and kidnappings with forced conversions to Islam of Hindu women were reported again in Pakistan. Malaysia was censured for violent suppression of Hindus, and Russia made the list for the first time as well. In 1947, Hindus constituted nearly 30% of Bangladesh’s population. By 1991, 20 million Hindus were “missing” from Bangladesh. Today, Hindus comprise less than 10% of the population. ”

The only reason for this putting them to such a barbarism is their Hinduness. Just that, sir. The Hinduness that teaches pluralism, sustains democracy and guarantees unimaginable levels of personal and intellectual freedom.

The Foundation’s 2008 Hindu Human Rights Report details violations against Hindus in areas where they are minority — namely in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago, in addition to Pakistan and the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. The report provides detailed accounts of human rights violations are in the areas of violence against women, murder, ethnic cleansing, temple destruction, socio-political ostracization, disenfranchisement, discrimination and forced conversions.

The sadder part of the story is the lack of space for a Hindu hurt. You got to be a non-Hindu to find a hearing and a media attention.

That the oldest way of living, a Dharma which can never be a synonym for religion, believing in the wonderful concept of individual freedom and plurality is not only facing serious onslaughts from various state powers and hate-campaigners, but its hurt is also ignored by the influential Hindu leaders in the various fields of life is an understandable irony.

A Mittal or an Ambani can make billions yet would hardly be seen to help a Hindu cause. A Shah Rukh can wear his religion up his sleeves and be praised for that but none would hear that a Sachin or an Amitabh expressed concern at the growing assaults on Hindus in the northeast or elsewhere. They feel it will damage their secular credentials. But how? Secular credentials should be hurt most when someone instigates one community against another on communal basis. To assert and protect your own way of life, which is so precious and ancient and the only living tradition for the last thousands of years must be a matter of pride rather than shame.

An abandonment of the Hindu cause by the influential sections of the Hindus has affected the attitude of those too who were supposed to be championing the cause of the Hindu hurt in politics. The pressures of neo-secularism seem to be working on their decision-making and stand. Moreover, they have failed to establish a respectable hallmark of public behaviour and political moral through their own example hence lost the credibility too for galvanizing public support behind them for taking up such issues. Hence the continuous reduction of the Hindus demographically in the entire south Asia doesn’t bother anyone and the mention of it draws secular whipping. Leaders in politics have virtually abandoned the responsibility to take up Hindu cause that has often resulted to turn Hindu assertion as an invitation to delisting and ideological apartheid from the controllers of state power and secularized social segments.

Malaysian Hindus’ plight is just a small example of a diminishing Hindu political power. After the Cholas, Pandyas, Sri Vijaya and the Vijayanagar glory to Shivaji’s Hindavi Swarajya, we are here to witness Hindus beaten up in Nepal and Malaysia. And their holy books torn and dust-binned at Jeddah airport.

Now, It all depends on the non-political strongholds of the Hindu pantheon to reassess and assert again to help the rise of a genuine Hindu power to safeguard pluralism and an ancient lifestyle  that ensures respect for a different viewpoint.

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