He claims that the recent incidents of mob-attack and lynching of Muslim men, one for keeping beef in his fridge,(lab report whether the confiscated meat was beef or not, yet to come in the public domain!) and the second, for simply transporting the animal in a truck that he had legally purchased for rearing the animal for milk,has nothing to do with the 'Hindutva' movement. They were 'terrorist' acts, similar to the frequent terrorist acts of Muslims these days.and so, these incidents should not be used to 'defame' the RSS. The popular adage,'Terrorists have no religion, no text, no ideology' should be applicable here also.
He further claims, that RSS's ( National self-help group) concept of 'Hindu Rashtra' ( Hindu Nation) "defines India's Nationalism in civilizational and cultural contexts". " the voluntary identification with pre-religious status of culture, philosophies and civilizational trajectory does not mean religion's devaluation". " the mission is to liberate people from 'forgetfulness' of their own culture"
Who so ever lived abroad for a considerable time knows, that the 'Indian' identity is well marked in the minds of foreigners, whether they are Arabs, Africans or Westerners. Whether the Indian is Hindu, Muslim or Christian, for Foreigners, they are only Indians. They celebrate their festivals together, they value their family life, they respect elders and teachers etc. Especially Westerners find our tradition of strong family unbelievable, as frequent divorces, children leaving parents to live independently, elderly parents living all alone in the old age etc are serious social evils that disturb Western societies.
Above features of our 'culture' is very distinct, rich and already adorable! The big question arise here is, do we need any 'forced' additions to this already rich culture?
Can a 'cultural' identity of a people carved out, independent of a community's major religion, ie Hinduism? Religious traditions always go hand in hand with any community's culture. The Hindu tradition was always universal, and nondiscriminatory. She embraced all people, all cultures, all nationalities, all animals, all plants and all rivers! That was the reason, from time immemorial, she had visitors and traders from far way land like China, Egypt etc. She, with the similar open-heart, welcomed Westerners too, from Vasco de Gama onwards, though that relation later got degenerated into Colonialization. Traders had become conquerors and then Rulers of the Nation!
Before the European Colonization, the geographical India was 600 plus Princely States. Thanks to the Hindu majority culture all over the land, even when India had become the State of India, she maintained her base culture intact, as explained above. Though about 20% of the population had got converted into Muslims, Christians etc, there was no change to her base Indian-ness! Though the 20%minortiy had their separate holy books, prayer houses and dress codes, their Indian-ness was intact all these years! It was a natural feature of any land mass in the world. This 'cultural' phenomenon is nothing to be taught or imposed. It is in the air a man lives in, and the blood one inherits from parents.
What is emphasized here is, Indian-ness or Indian culture need not be taught to Indians!The culture of one land mass had got reiterated when she had become one political State in 1947 when the country had become free from the British. So, the author's argument that, RSS stands to 'define and aspire to a cultural-Nationalism' has no merit. Should a Squirrel ever be taught to climb trees? It is its natural trait. An Indian is an Indian forever. If he has born here, he will always cherish his Indian-ness! To claim that, being such a culture predominantly that of Hindus, she should be bestowed with its OWNERSHIP is first-degree narrow-mindedness. The Culture of a place is like a river in the community. It always belongs to the community as a whole. If a group claim its 'ownership', it is against basic tenets of human civility! Such claims will crush the tenets of living together as a community.
RSS's initiatives to convert Hindus as foot soldiers of Hindu culture, and Cultural Nationalism, what -ever the second term narrowly mean, will only give a false sense of 'superiority' to the ordinary Hindus, a kind of hegemony over the hapless minorities. It was such a false sense of 'entitlement' that led the common Hindu men in Dadri and Alwar to 'Lynch' their Muslim brethren. Author wanted his readers to believe, that they were plain 'terrorist' acts, a term these so-called 'cow-vigilantes' angrily refuse! They want to be known as protectors of the 'mother-cow', in its true religious sense.
Culture is geography oriented.To bestow its ownership to a particular group has only political relevance, for it's selfish 'advantages'.
For mother Nature, diversity is the law. If science is to be believed, it was evolution from one base species that filled the world with billions of animal and plant species. Within society too, if one reads one category of fiction, the other non-fiction, and yet some other, nothing at all. There are many who do not even know how to read and write. India, being a Federation of more than 20 States, each state has a different language, dress-style, and food habits. But, as said above once, they all keep a kind of oneness of Culture. Any attempt to enforce or add something to it might disturb, and even ruin the fine fabric of its delicate unity.
Most important point is, the Hindus in India should not think, that some of their forefathers who got converted into Muslims, Christians etc had done so in an act of great sin! It is to be seen from the angle of we all, who were hunter-gathers in the beginning, had later got converted into farmers, and then manufacturers and even rocket scientists! If no one had accepted the call to change, we would have still had remained the same hunter-gatherers.A large community in India had not accepted a change of lifestyle or culture or tradition of worship from the old Hindu system, mostly a tradition of Nature worship that every early stage dwellers of Earth were, need not make them proud of it! Accepting change was always the most difficult aspect of life. No one is able to say even in this age of modernity, what path is ultimately right in the eyes of Nature! But the fact is, that she still goes on changing.
Aam Admi Party ( 'party of common man' who heads a govt in Delhi) leader Mr.Ashotosh also has written a reply article to the one this blog also addresses, at link: http://epaper.indianexpress.com/1186257/Indian-Express/April-27,-2017#page/15/2
Authored by: Abraham J.Palakudy
He is an ardent seeker and Researcher into areas like Mind&Reason, metaphysics, spirituality, self,being&world, and polity
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