Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Solving religious collision courses – Gharwapsi

Gung Ho on  Gharwapsi (Home coming)

The recent Gharwapsi (‘Coming home’) of 200 and odd Muslims in Agra was voraciously lapped up by the every TRP hungry media, concealing critical news and revealing just enough to flare up one sided and convenient political controversies. There was one more incident that took place in Aligarh few months back, right after May 16 – a group of Christians moved over to Hinduism, lock stock and barrel. The police swung into action, as it was reported, giving a misleading expectation that the story has not ended. However, there was no follow up story, either because there is very little the Police could have done or because there was no negative news to drumbeat. While the Jaychands waste precious time in Raj Sabha….
There are news items in the Media that some huge number of Christians and Muslims will be converted on 25th Dec 2014, the date being more than symbolic. The Liberals are just clueless as to what hit them and keep shouting that BJP Government is carrying out Hindu agenda. As far as I can recall, BJP did not come to power promising to implement Muslim agenda or create another Pakistan in India. It was a Hindu, Rashtriya (nationalistic) agenda that BJP rode on. RSS had worked hard on ground level to mould political views that benefited BJP, at the same time, keeping a distance that is required to be able to criticise BJP, if a need arises.
The Secular brigade in India, consists of Communists, AAPtards, Muslim and Christian Leaders (yes, people like John Dayal are secular with no counterbalance from Hindu), Liberals, Congress, at least as the label states, Westernized, Anglophobes, Macaulayites, Stephanites etc. The Liberals is a tag that covers the ugly sore. For example, Mahesh Bhatt is a Liberal, as is Rana Ayyub. They have an off and on Red coloration that earns them the right to be called Liberal.  The secular brigade, in lieu of the support given, ignores when the color changes from Red to Green; though technically Green is included in the bandwagon.
The news of Conversion at Agra has stirred a hornet’s nest. The Secular parties that subsist on minority appeasement would like to see enlargement of their vote bank and not the shrinking. As it stands today, that market is also divided, not leaving enough to any single party to seize power. Moreover, the secular parties have underestimated the possibility of Hindu votes polarizing against them.
While the Liberals are effusively articulate, as to how tolerant people should be in India, meaning, why people should not follow RSS and BJP agenda, there is no cerebral discussion to go to the root cause. It would be a tall order to get the Liberals to be engaged in riveting debate bereft of slogans and anecdotal narratives. 

Chess with Pigeons

Why is it that we have not found a religious equilibrium in India is a question we all have to ponder about? Islam has ruled in India for centuries and history is replete with instances of forced augmentation to Islamic demography through terror and killing. Even as early as 1921, the Mappila riots in Kerala saw rape of Hindu women, wholesale slaughter of Hindus and mass conversion. One of the modern day genocides, Bangladesh war of 1971 also saw similar activities.
Similarly, Christians have appropriated the space of education and medicine and along with it prime real estate in all major cities in India apart from rural holdings. In the last few decades, they have pumped in millions of dollars with which large tract of lands are being bought by their MLM agents for proselytization supply chain. One has to merely follow some famous twitter handles @sighbaboo or @trackingevangelism or @noconversion to view the evidences that support this view. The current attempt by British Parliament to criminalize Caste system is another covetous game, those pushing for it being hard-core Christians.
In spite of living together for centuries, the differences between the religious groups in India have not been bridged. From British to Indian secular brigade consisting of Congress, CPI, CPI-M, SP, RJD, TMC, TRS et al, all have cleverly leveraged the gap for own political benefits. None has tried to bridge it.
Could any party have done anything to bridge the gap, if they had wanted to? Or, did they never attempt because they knew that the gap is unbridgeable?
In current scenario, we have Hindus on one side, not as a single group but as a collection of multiple groups with a common cultural bonds tying across and on the other hand Abrahamic religions Christianity and Islam. In entire Indian sub-continent and South East Asia, India remains the one of the few countries to hold on to its cultural roots through its unwavering loyalty to its religiosity that surprisingly is not held together by any central authority regulating the followers.
The varieties within Hinduism are unlimitedly large. We have Keralites who pray to Krishna and Vishnu yet share nothing in terms of festivals with the rest of India.  In TN we have groups whose deities range from Ayyanars, a local deity to Ayyappa residing in neighbouring state. When one group of Hindus pray to particular deity, it is not at the derision of another’s. Person whose deity is Ayyanar goes to Ayyappa seamlessly and feels no conflict of interest. Nor does he feel any sense of inferiority when he prays to a God other than the family deity. Compare here the article written by Manu Joseph http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/manujoseph/is-civilisational-pride-a-response-to-shame/article1-1296532.aspx
Hindus go to Darghas and Churches without any qualms. I was speaking to a Bengali friend of mine the other day who was telling that every family in Bengal buys a small piece of Cake on Christmas and celebrates with little reservation. 
It is the Christians and Muslims who are bound by their scriptures’ claim to exclusivity in contrast to Hindu scriptures’ universality.
Consider this from the Bible “Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”
This means if you are a Christian, he cannot act as a Hindu, who can walk to multiple temples and Churches and Darghas and still be a Hindu. Christian, when he prays in a Hindu temple has to feel inferior, because, he as a Christian, has to concede that even though Jesus said that no one can come to Father except me, here is another path he has chosen.
In every turn Christianity stresses on exclusivity, which in effect, denies diversity. It does not take into account the other view, but imposes its view on others. In that it suffers from “I think so, so it must be true’ fallacy. Typical White Supremacist pride.
As for Islam, the call that there is no God but Allah is a giveaway. Islam plagiarized a lot from Judaism and Christianity but punishing the exceptions with more severity.
The first of the five pillars of Islam is this
La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah.

There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.
These are the foundations on which the edifices of religions have been built for Christianity and Islam. The followers are not allowed to accept that there could be a different view and that makes them intolerant of the others. Once they even consider that a person who prays to another cultural version of God is equal to those praying to my cultural version of God, their sensibilities are insulted. Their God’s word turns less truthful and less credible.
It is those exclusivities that have set the tone for confrontation even today. As a result, to prevent such insult, they launch on their proselytizing campaign to turn those people who pray to different version of God into own kind. At this point the confrontation is translated into conflict. When there is resistance from those being proselytized, these groups cleverly sell it as ‘hate crime’ adding insult to injury. 

My dad is bigger than your dad- Silly Christ

Without debating these foundational discriminatory principles which make these religions preach supremacism, the gap between Dharmic Hinduism and altruistic Abrahamic religions cannot be bridged. And this is the debate that Islam and Christianity do not want to get into. There lies the problem.
 That leaves Hindus only one option, that is to respond to Abrahamic religion the same way as they do. If they want to play conversion game, Hindus too should play the game with equal and excess vigour. If the terrorist wings of Islam want to instil fear in the hearts of Kafirs by carrying out terror activities, Hindus should at the minimum, not say that it is OK and not endorse things like #Illridewithyou. I have written elsewhere why Hindus are really unfit for bloody terror unlike the Islamists and Communists ( here http://notcovered.blogspot.in/2014/11/someone-should-solve-my-problem-hindu.html)
As a preventive action, Hindus, to stay as majority power in this country, should follow the path of #Gharwapsi without fear of guilt. #Gharwapsi enlarges the convert’s view to include multiple cultural varieties of God as against the narrow view that Islam and Christianity preaches. #Gharwapsi is equality, fairness, and equal opportunity. A person who embraces #Gharwapsi may choose to follow Rama, Vishnu along with Buddha and Christ without any qualms.  
#Gharwapsi of erstwhile Christians will enrich their spiritual life by allowing them to continue praying to Christ and at the same time, if they choose to, to pray to any other God. What it certainly does is, cure them of the Bible induced myopia that only Jesus is God. Ditto for Muslims.
Additionally, amongst Muslims, #Gharwapsi will cure them of their urge to kill another because the other refuses to pray to Allah or refuses to convert to pray to Allah. Person of Muslim culture, brought to Hindu home will certainly understand that religion is not about aggressive competition that my God is the God and what you pray to is Satan (This applies to Christians also, in fact a concept borrowed from Christianity)
For a prosperous India, a conflict-free India is a pre-requisite. No one but Yogi Adityanath ji has chosen this difficult path, braving the barking dogs from sold of politics and media. As Nationalist Hindus, it is our duty to support Yogi ji’s effort. That includes not calling for a ban on conversion, which at the end of the day is anti-constitutional and at the same time leaves the problem at hand unresolved.
It is time to go on the offensive on #Gharwapsi, not to feel victorious but to resolve the conflicts that have been haunting India for centuries

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