As a persecuted member of a minority community that is not even considered a minority and consequently, has never been taken cognisance of, by the chest-beating, human rights citing Liberals, when I see the state of MSM i.e., ‘media-sanctioned minorities’ in India ,I wonder what are people even talking about!
Media sanctioned minorities are the ones that are considered as Minorities by the Mainstream Media ignoring numerical reality! Am not kidding! How many times have you found Sikhs, Parsis or Jains finding any place of reckoning in their discourse?
Going by the perception created by the Media, only those people who belong to the religions marketed and propagated using the twin themes of love and peace, are the minorities in India.
Having lived in and traveled to places across India, it surprises me no end to witness the outcry of ‘intolerance’ and ‘minorities under siege’. Who is showing intolerance, to whom and how, pray tell me? Don’t people from the ‘media-sanctioned minorities’ have the liberty to profess their faith at home and in their respective places of worship? Has anyone been ever stopped from praying in a manner of their choosing? Has anyone been asked to avoid wearing visible signs of their faith in public including workplace? No!
We do have strict enforcement of the loudspeakers rule for any ‘Jagraatas’. We also have instances of students being beaten/chastised for sporting a ‘Tilak’ to school . And we do have people of one faith calmly listening to a loud proclamation about their being ‘no God’ except for “you know who”, five times a day, amplified through loudspeakers, no less! Do we not?
Do you see the irony now? People who believe in many Gods, who believe in all paths leading to the same destination and who believe in the whole world being one family, have faced all of it and yet been branded intolerant in the surreal ‘MSM meets MSM’ world!
People whose population has been dwindling on account of foreign-funded proselytising piranhas, are taken to task even if a handful of people do “Ghar Wapsi”! Considering that almost all people in modern India are of Indic origin, it is perplexing how their going back to the original faith generates an uproar of communal intent.
The ‘Cabbies and Maids’ source based MSM would never know how it feels to be unable to pray where you grew up praying. To find that the Shiva Linga you bowed to as a child, was desecrated and submerged in the river on whose bank the temple stood. To be marked as a target for a Bindi or a Dejhor or a Janeyu. To be told that you had to convert, die or flee – all because of your faith!
Thus, it amuses me no end when the self-attested eminences preach Secularism to us from their pulpits. As a Hindu, I’d say that our Constitution mandates that the State be secular. As a Hindu, our Conscience mandates that our society be pluralistic.
Have the wilfully ignorant self-attested intellectuals ever pondered over the following?
- Which faith(s) divide(s) people into believers and non-believers?
- Which faith has offers and inducements similar to customer acquisition?
- Which faith(s) aspire(s) to spread far and wide through means overt and covert?
- Which religions came uninvited, used violence as a means, to turn non-believers into believers instead of focusing on inclusivity and pluralism?
- Which faith creates low entry barriers and high exit barriers?
- Which faiths seem to act more like Conglomerates with targets of customer acquisition and market expansion?
The answers are self-evident.
And that is why the cover gets blown when Hindu society is put in the dock on pluralism, tolerance or acceptance .
As a proud Hindu, I look at all Indians as my family. It includes those believing in faiths of Indic origin and those following non-Indic faiths.I respect those whose ancestors have had to embrace the latter due to persuasion, persecution or proselytisation.They are my own and it pains me when I see perpetual victimhood being forced upon them by some self-attested eminences!
Constitution guarantees us equal rights. Yes, equal! So why this clamour for extra attention, benefits or privileges in the year 2017?Minority is as much under siege as is the Majority. This selective victimhood serves NONE!
Painting regular crimes as minority persecution and covering up genuine religious persecution as disgruntlement benefits none.
And unless we are aware of what ails us and accept it, how will we cure ourselves?
If the second largest community stays in perpetual denial demanding super rights without self-analysis and the group bursting at the seams with rice bags and milk packets claims to be under attack, how can we ignore Hindus from Kashmir, Kairana, Kerala, Dhulagarh and many other places ? Why is it OK for them to be actually attacked and ignored? Why does their living through a constant siege of intolerance and violence not call for empathy, compassion and support?
Perhaps, it is in this regard that we act like a typical Indian (Sanatani) family where the eldest child is expected to be virtues-incarnate while the younger siblings get away with anything! Mother India has been Nirupa Roy, for far too long, and the eldest child has been relentlessly upholding family values. In the 21st century of ‘isms’ galore, equality and oneness have to be The Truism.
‘Give a dog a bad name and kick it’ strategy of the past is passe! So let us stop ostriching our way out of duties.
The nation is built by its people, its citizens – not by believers and non-believers. The pagan does not need to be civilised any more!
All that ALL of us need to do is to learn and practice civility and civic duty so that tolerance and mutual- respect are a way of life for EVERYONE in India and not just Hindus.
We are Indians. We are one family. A family or a household functions smoothly only when when all chip in with their duties without fear or favour.
So let us stop looking at each other through lenses of faith, language, region, gender, class, among others, and consider ourselves as one BIG family that wants live in perpetual peace and prosperity.
Respect for others entails that we avoid hurting the sensibilities of others.
It does not ,however, mean giving up our identity.
Let us, therefore, learn to live and let live as Indians, in unity, while celebrating our glorious diversity.
An edited version of this post was published by opindia as The flawed secularism vs the famous diversity of India