What is it with us Hindus?

published on June 3, 2013

I have been bothered by all the abuses and conversions of Hindus that i have been seeing around me and have been asking myself some questions. And i append these thoughts of mine in the article below.

Vilasini

We Hindus

What is it with us Hindus? Why do we have so little pride in who we are? Why do we have so little loyalty to our beliefs, culture and traditions? Why are so many of us, especially the younger generation, so ashamed of proclaiming ourselves as Hindus, of coming together as a community? Why do we take insults to our Gods, traditions and practices so passively, some even joining in with those out to destroy us? And why, oh why is it so easy to convert Hindus, not only to Islam or Christianity but any junk that comes along – bahai, eckankar, you name it its sure to have a substantial number of Hindus in it?

It is rare to find a Muslim or Christian claiming to be an atheist or even secular but Hindus, there are any number of us who walk around proclaiming such credentials. A little Western education or exposure and we are ready, nay even eager, to prove how un-Hindu, un-Indian we are. For instance the Tamil Hindus are so very proud and chauvinistic of their mother tongue they are unwilling to accept Sanskrit or Hindi even as a second language. That is until they pervert to Islam or Christianity, then they walk around proudly talking in Urdu or English, then it is mummy and daddy or abba and ummah. One can find many such perverts in the big cities of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala.

We are modern and liberal when it comes to accepting the beliefs of others no matter how illogical or bizarre it may be but this broad-mindedness is never extended to Hinduism. Even the simple act of offering flowers to our Gods is ridiculed by our brown sahibs. That the white sahibs are increasingly finding our ancient, ever-lasting truths attractive and relevant to these troubled times, is of course, beside the point. But to our brown sahibs the abuses and violence by Christians and Muslims, despite constant reminders to the contrary, pale in comparison to the so-called caste abuse among Hindus. All the accusations of caste, superstitious beliefs, so many gods, meaningless rituals, etc. are nothing but excuses from people who are too lazy, too arrogant or too full of hate to educate themselves on the essential truths of Hindu or Sanatana Dharma. Or else Hindus who throw such accusations are people who are paid peanuts by missionaries or politicians to throw mud at their own community.

However the biggest, loudest and most visible Hindu bashers are the media people, print and electronic. People who think insulting their forefathers and ancestors is a sign of their artistic or intellectual abilities. And this is true not only of Indians but of media houses around the world. Anything negative, bizarre or ugly that happens in India or concerns Hindus is quickly highlighted with glee. Indian movies in whatever language are particularly clever at portraying Hindus as dishonest, cunning, untrustworthy, etc. Of course they would not dare to show a Christian or Muslim in the same light. As far back as I can remember Hindu priests are shown as crooks and conmen while padres and mullahs are shown as kind, compassionate and pious people. The sad thing is the people involved in this Hindu bashing usually carry Hindu names.

Why do we glorify people like Kamalahasan (or rather the Islamised Kamal Hassan),  who produces movies only to insult the Hindus. Why did he have to call his movie on a Muslim terrorist Vishvaroopam, why did he have to portray the terrorist as a converted Hindu? And why didn’t we protest like the Muslims did, why didn’t we make him back off from insulting us like the Muslims did? And there are many movie makers like him around in India. These days one can hardly find a movie that presents a normal family story on Hindus, they are usually so westernised or so liberal they interact intimately with Christians or Muslims and that is far from the truth because one cannot interact with these people without them trying to convert you at some point. These cowards will not dare to make a movie or programme showing any of the abuses or realities in Islam or Christianity for they know the consequences that will follow.

So why is it that we Hindus do not react in the same way? What is stopping us from showing our displeasure? It doesn’t have to be in the violent manner of the Muslims but in a more efficient and effective way by not patronising such programmes and movies and hitting these people where it really hurts, their bank accounts. Is it because we are cowards, because we are disunited, or we do not care enough or we are just too lazy or all of these? It is certainly not because our scriptures tell us to be passive and cowardly unlike what some of our so-called leaders tell us to be. On the contrary our scriptures exhort us to be kshtriyas in defending our dharma and our rights.

Then we have our so-called holy men and women who loudly claim they are spiritual leaders, that their organisation has nothing to do with Hinduism. It is the rare one who proclaims his or her teaching as based on Sanatana Dharma. Most of them will tell their followers that all religions are the same, that all are paths to God and call upon them to be liberal and broad minded. They will pander to corrupt politicians, who are responsible for most of the current woes of Hindus, just so they will be allowed to carry on their activities of making more and more money. We all know how rich some of these ‘spiritual’ organisations are.

Of course Hindu politicians are complete write-offs, except for a very few and these are usually labelled ‘communal’ and are discredited not only by fellow politicians but the people as well. To get the votes politicians will dance to any tune, Muslim or Christian. So isn’t it time we Hindus showed them the need to dance to the Hindu tune as well?

Marriage is another institution where Hindus allow themselves to be conned into converting. It is rare to find a Hindu who brings over to Hinduism the Christian or Muslim person he or she marries. In most cases the Hindu will go over to the religion of the person he or she marries. And it is even more rare to find the off-springs from such a marriage continuing as Hindus. At some point the child or children are persuaded to follow the other religion by their relatives or leaders of that community.

To return to my whys. Why would anyone who, born into a belief system that is as free, as liberal, as vast, as beautiful as Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma want to exchange it for something as narrow and intolerant as Islam or Christianity? The young son of a Muslim neighbour once commented innocently in front of his mother that he likes the way we prayed, with flowers, fire and singing. Of course that was the last time he visited our house. Being illiterate or poor is an excuse but not the reason but here I’m talking about people who are neither yet so many Hindus are converting. Earlier the claim was invaders had forcibly converted our ancestors but what is stopping their descendants from reverting to the faith of their forefathers? And why are present Hindus converting by the hundreds, giving stupid reasons like A.R. Rehman?

To conclude, how can we, those of us who are proud to call ourselves Hindu, those of us who care, how can we stop this betrayal of our beliefs and traditions by our own people? How can we find out what is it about us that makes us abuse ourselves, accept insults and discriminations and be so vulnerable to conversion? How can we bring back the pride and glory that took Hinduism to so many countries around the world without deceit, force or bloodshed, that Hinduism which is, as Swami Vivekananda said, ‘The mother of all religions’? How can we make sure Hinduism is not destroyed by Islam and Christianity which has wiped out so many other ancient civilisations? Will the day arrive when we Hindus will come together, long enough and strong enough, to ensure our survival?

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