One Krishna Janmashtami night, another ochre-robed reformist monk, Swami Lakshmanananda, was murdered along with an aged Hindu nun, Ma Bhaktimoyee, in his ashram. Secularists tried to direct and guide the entire investigation till the arrested murderers confessed that swami's work among tribals made prosylitisation difficult and hence they took the violent way.
The media linked the violence post-Lakshmanananda's murder to various Hindu organisations and completely ignored the brutal killing of the sanyasi and the lady monk.
This Diwali, Hindus were labelled as 'terrorists'.
There is a university in Delhi which gets a large amount of Saudi grants, and which thought it appropriate to honour a Muslim painter whose nudes of Hindu gods and goddesses and Mother India were opposed by Hindus, with a Doctor of Philosophy degree, honoris causa. The same university's vice chancellor, in a display of public affection for those students arrested for treason by a Congress government, declared that he will fund their 'struggle' as they are his 'children' and they would be considered innocent till proved guilty.
The secular world applauded his decision as bold and highly moral.
A Hindu sadhvi has been arrested for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts. But not a single Hindu organisation came out in her support saying she remains a member of the global Hindu fraternity and would be considered innocent till proved guilty and hence shall provide all the financial assistance to her.
I was thinking, suppose I start a 'support Pragya fund' how any Hindu saints and ashrams and mutts and leaders would come out in support? Doesn't she deserve help and support till proved innocent?
Unlike the sweet little students of the university's vice chancellor, who were arrested from the area of the Batla House encounter, Pragya was in Surat, giving a religious discourse when the Malegaon blasts occurred in September. Her bike had been sold years before. No one said the blasts were organised to make Hindu law applicable or turn the nation into a Hindu state. No one had quoted Hindu scriptures to justify what would be termed as a ghastly act, inhuman and un-Hindu.
Yet, there was a virtual celebration in the so-called secular camp, they were over-joyous as if they have reached the moon. Got it, they said, what we were saying for years! The usual suspects were on our TV screens, delightedly giving interviews and the media lapped up crispy descriptions like Hindu terror, Hindu bomb, Saffron terrorism. When they quote the Quran, seculars cry don't label them Islamic terrorists, but Hindus being Hindus must be termed as Hindu terrorists to keep a 'balance'. So those who insult the memory of a martyred police officer show their glee over having succeeded in bringing the term 'Hindu terrorism' in vogue. What greater shield could an Islamic terrorist have wished for!
They were itching for this day and they have got it.
Last year too the 2006 Malegaon blasts were blamed on Hindus. Later the agencies proved they were done by SIMI. This year, Union ministers were demanding the ban on SIMI be lifted in spite of truckloads of evidence of the organisation's involvement in deadly blasts and waging war against the State, the most heinous crime in any part of the world. And the investigations, gathering of proof and the hard, difficult investigation, were done by government agencies.
The same honourable members of the Union cabinet demanded banning Hindu organisations, in spite of having no evidence of their involvement in violent activities or working against the Indian State. Those who ignore the Supreme Court's verdict on a terrorist who was accused waging war against the State, demand that Hindu organisations be banned for their patriotism. Once they drove out the tricolour folks from the Kashmir Valley, now they assassinate their morale in the rest of the country.
For the sake of Muslim vote-bank, SIMI had to be helped and Hindu organisations needed to be shown as being involved in anti-national activities. The balancing had to be achieved, like the U C Banerjee Commission. Much before the honourable commission could start work on Godhra, leaders were declaring during the Bihar election campaign -- many of whom loved to be seen with an Osama look-alike -- that the Godhra train inferno was a creation of Hindus so that they could get a chance to pounce on Muslims.
So much for their secular credentials!
This time, too, they had tremendous amount of pressure to nurse their vote-banks. Elections are right here, campaigning has begun, chances look very bleak seeing the public mood, and voters seem already restless with high prices, growing inflation and an insecure atmosphere. Hence a communal divide would help. If such considerations can be credited as having instigated the 'creation' of a Hindu or 'Saffron' terrorism, would it be a far-fetched conclusion?
The intelligent people who could create a Bhindranwale, or a Raj Thackeray, to 'defeat' one or the other political opponent, could also be trusted to repeat the feat elsewhere.
So, this time, the police version is not to be distrusted or questioned. The first suspicion about police action is reserved for the Batla House fraternity. Hindu monks do not deserve it.
The term 'Hindu terrorism' looks so attractive to secularists. Proof, evidence, and final acquittal may take year. But the articles, front page edits, condemnations, further isolation, and cornering of the saffron side, would help someone. That's enough for today.
That this way may turn more dangerous tomorrow is not understood by the perpetrators of the secular pogrom of words against the Hindu Right. Every nation has a soul and a colour. India's soul is Hindu civilisation and the colour is saffron. Samuel Huntington described America as a Latin Christian nation, and it doesn't make her any less to give other communities second-class citizenship.
It may be the first time in its four hundred years of democratic history that a Black might be sworn in as President, who would take oath on the Bible. Who would demand that it's an unhealthy tradition, as non-Christians also built America? Traditions, colours and the inner core are always sacred and nations preserve them at all costs. If the same elements are humiliated and turned into icons of shame, nothing remains except a dead, meaningless smoke of rootless words.
India's Hinduness is that essential element to define this nation. We can't be explained through Saudis, Marx or Bethlehem. Or through Arabic or Latin or Persian. India is explained by the Ganga, Krishna, Ram and Gandhi. By Kumbh Mela, Sanskrit chanting, lighting of the lamp, Namaste, the Vedas, Guru Nanak's teachings, Guru Gobind Singh's valour, Buddha's global message of peace and compassion and Mahavir's ahimsa. India is deciphered by Dhammapad, the Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib and a divine love that saw the emergence of Radha and Meera. That fired the imaginations of doyens like Tagore and Vivekananda. Together they make a mutually supportive group of Indian streams of faith that welcomed and accommodated without murmur all other ways of worship brought here through various means.
Every single persecuted community in the world found a respectable space here, while they were brutalised, uprooted, converted and 'museum-ised' in other countries. The legacy of tolerance and plurality is the legacy of the Hindus and all those faiths born and flowered here. It made Taj Mahal possible and Jesus adored by a non-Christian majority. You deny them this place of honour, make them shrink in a defensive shell, and you lose India.
For just a comeback to power? And how!
Ram Sethu becomes a target of destruction, Ram is denied, Ram's history linked with the bridge is mocked at, Sita's persona is caricaturized in public, the shrinking Hindu population and their conversion become victory signposts of the secularists, Hindus driven out of Kashmir are deleted from all lists of secular concern, Hindu temples are taken over by the atheist State and their revenue used on non-Hindu areas, while not a single non-Hindu place of worship is taken over or 'managed' on similar grounds by the governors! More than sixty thousand Hindus have been killed by terrorists in various actions during the last three decades, five lakh have been uprooted and turned refugees, but no one shares their grief or respects their courage, but terms them terrorist in a matter of 24 hours, that too relying on media hype and an election platform?
After centuries Hindus got freedom that should have meant a free space for them to flower their culture, language and traditions. After all, the invaders came to attack and loot them and raze their temples. Wasn't it a matter of logical right that they should have been honoured for exemplary resistance and resilience and showing an extraordinary tolerance towards all those communities whose leaders had been in the forefront to deprive them of basic human rights? But instead, the victims were portrayed as aggressors and humiliated for their colour and faith. What has changed since Ghauris and Ghaznavis and the inquisitionist Portuguese left?
They killed us but never portrayed Hindus as terrorists. This secular dispensation is celebrating Diwali with that label gifted to Hindus. It will not remain unanswered. Hindus as a mainline faith never never never believed in any kind of cowardice that's the hallmark of terrorism we see today. Killing innocents, shooting at fellow citizens and the dreaded midnight knocks just for the reason they wear a different faith.
If that was the case, the way Islamists quote from religious scriptures and declare their religious intentions while committing ghastly acts of violence, how much ever disapproved of by their co- religionists living and enjoying democratic freedoms, Hindus too would have shown the same streaks immediately after their women were gang-raped and kids murdered in Kashmir. There was no revenge in the rest of the country. Not a single Hindu soul would ever justify any act of terrorism ever (and please don't refer to exceptions to corner Hindus, see the principal stream). Born reformists, they would revolt if anyone did that.
But I am afraid the secular hate-mongers are pushing Hindus into a difficult corner without a space to be heard. Not a single 'mainline' newspaper publishes their views, though any number of assaults on them are a matter of routine. This is creating a grave situation and it's a warning signal that can be ignored only at the peril of the nation's great legacy of plurality.
Tarun Vijay is a director of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation