Dismantling Global Hindutva: Shall We Continue to Wait?

Dismantling Global Hindutva: Shall We Continue to Wait?

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(A version of this article was first published here: )

An International Virtual Conference on “Dismantling Global Hindutva” was held between 10-12 September 2021. It was cosponsored by the departments of over 53 universities from all over the USA, including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell, The University of Chicago, and Northwestern, and over 1,100 academicians from all over the world signed a statement of solidarity expressing their full support for the conference. Hindus who protested (not in the same manner or on the same scale as Muslims all over the world protested against Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses) were castigated by the media and academics all over the world as bigots carrying on a campaign of harassment and persecution of the participants in the conference:

An article in Al Jazeera contains the incredible statement: “Hindutva refers to a century-old right-wing movement that aims to create an ethnic Hindu state out of a multicultural India, home to more than 200 million Muslims”. Apparently, everyone on this earth has just stepped on this planet yesterday and have no idea of exactly which ideology led to a “century-old right-wing foreign-inspired movement that aimed to create, and actually succeeded in creating, an ethnic Muslim state out of a multicultural India, only home to more than 1.6 billion Hindus or followers of the native religions of India”.

The topics of this conference, supported by the international media and universities of the world, included, as this same Al Jazeera article gleefully reported: “various panels on global Hindutva, caste oppression, Islamophobia, and the persecution of minorities in India”.

One wonders, would these same 53 American universities and over 1,100 academicians from all over the world have similarly cosponsored or expressed their solidarity with a conference on “Dismantling Global Islam” or Dismantling Global Islamism or Dismantling Global Islamic Fundamentalism or even Dismantling Global Islamic Terrorism,” which included “various panels on global Islam, oppression of women in Islam, Kafirophobia, the bloody history of Islamic expansion, and the persecution of minorities in Muslim countries”, etc.?

Or even a conference on “Dismantling Global Christianity” or even “Dismantling Global Evangelism,” which included “various panels on global Evangelism, The Crusades, the Multinational Corporate Status and Activities of World Evangelism, the Inquisition, the Destruction of World population and cultures by Evangelical Forces, Heathenophobia, Paganophobia, The Role of International Media and Academia in World Evangelism,” etc.?

If anyone else organized either one of these two conferences, it would ironically be the organizers and sponsors of, and participants in, the conferences who would be branded as bigots carrying on a campaign of harassment and persecution against the followers of the two religions!

Does no one wonder why, even as we are nearing the end of the first quarter of the twenty-first century CE, when all discourse is supposed to be tightly controlled or dominated by ideas of political correctness, where even the use of perfectly innocuous words can be shown to be reeking with all kinds of shades of “discrimination” and “bias“,  and can lead to backlashes of the most unsuspected variety, it is only Hinduism (including certain other categories classified or classifiable as in some way representing some kind of Hindu category, such as “Brahminism” or “Hindutva”) which is tied up to a post in the world’s public square with the explicit purpose of allowing anyone and everyone, who chooses to do so, to feel fully free to throw mud, stones, spit, shit, abuse, and even more deadly missiles at it, and feel or claim to be feeling fully righteous in doing so?

The answer is that very same old answer which, hard though it is to believe, was given by Gandhi (no, not Rahul Gandhi, the present scatter-brained bearer of that surname) when Hindus complained to him at the unfairness of things: “My own experience confirms the opinion that the Mussalman as a rule is a bully, and the Hindu as a rule is a coward. Need the Hindu blame the Mussalman for his cowardice? Where there are cowards, there will always be bullies. I, as a Hindu, am more ashamed of Hindu cowardice than I am angry at the Mussalman bullying“. People know what would happen to them if they tried to attack any aspect of Islamic aggression, but the Hindu is probably the softest living target for vilification: you can beat him up and then spit on his fallen body and end up congratulating yourself on your righteousness and courage in attacking a despicable villain and be applauded for it by the world media and academia.

Otherwise, all defeated people, or extinct people — who have been wiped out by much more powerful forces, which are even at present among the reigning forces, are usually examples of this kind of victimization and character assassination: the Pagan Arabs, who were wiped out by the rise of Islam, are the best example of such vilified victims. Hindus are not only a living entity, but they are also numerically (and in numerous other ways) a very significant world community and have no acceptable excuse for allowing themselves to become the perpetually despised and vilified victims of discourse and practice!

So, who are the Hindus who are in a position to “do something” about such attacks on Hinduism and Hindu interests and on the Hindu identity? Is it you and I and sundry other Hindus sitting at our keyboards, and at dining table discussions, who are in a position to do something about these attacks on us, our identity, our livelihood? The Al Jazeera article tells us: “Over the past three weeks, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), the Coalition of Hindus in North America (CoHNA), and the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) claim to have collectively sent more than 1.3 million emails to dozens of universities to withdraw their support for the conference“. Would something have happened if instead of 1.3 million emails, there had been 13 million emails, or 130 million emails? Are the “Breaking India” forces scared by the number of emails? Have perpetual victims ever been effectively liberated from their victimhood by writing emails, holding meetings, and passing resolutions within their echo-chambers, writing blogs and articles (as I am doing) to give vent to their feelings? Who are the “Hindus” who are actually in a position to do something about these things, and to make the anti-Hindu individuals (who make up the anti-Hindu forces) realize most effectively that such Hindu-hating and Hindu-baiting does not pay and in fact can prove to be very dangerously counter-productive for themselves? And who are the Hindus who are in a position to compel these powerful “Hindus” (the only ones who can really effectively do something) to actually do something, and how is this to be done?

Why are these dismantlers of Hinduism and Hindutva perpetually on the loose and perpetually getting stronger and stronger, and bolder, and more brazen by the day?

Who can put a stop to it? Wait, I can hear a faint voice in the background saying something: what is it? Oh, it’s:

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥४७॥

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय दुष्कृताम्
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥४८॥

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata

Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham

Paritranaya sadhunam vinashay cha dushkritam

Dharmasamsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (Bhagavad Gita — 4-7, 4-8)

(Translation: Whenever there is decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth; For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.)

Yes, the Jews, two thousand years ago, were waiting for their Messiah to come and liberate them from the yoke of the Romans. It took them two thousand years more to learn that that was not going to happen, and to start taking active steps to resist and to continue to exist. There are Hindus who seem to think that our “Messiah” or Avatar will be coming soon, or indeed that he has already come. Can we afford to wait for two thousand years? Will we still be there even two hundred years from now, if this state of affairs continues?

When will Hindus wake up?

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Shrikant Talageri

Shrikant Talageri is a scholar and acclaimed author of "The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis", the seminal work on the Aryan Invasion debate. His latest work is "Rigveda And Avesta The Final Evidence".