Half-truths, lies and inuendoes have become fashionable in the Hindu community. History must be presented with facts but in some quarters, opinions are paraded as history. It is unfortunate that after 177 years many Hindus who aspire for leadership cannot be factual on the history of the community, far more the history of the nation.
If Hindus cannot be truthful in presenting facts, how can they engage in projects to lift the community? Not surprisingly, Indian Arrival Day commemoration is not an opportunity to launch new projects that would move the community forward but an opportunity to ascribe unto ourselves unearned merits. The several versions presented on the origins of Indian Arrival Day, the individuals and organizations involved, are not told objectively, that is, with data and facts.
A handful of self-professed leaders are bent on masquerading as the initiators of successful organizations and events when they were not around, even absenting from the country. A small click has emerged that project a narrative that they started Indian Arrival Day, Divali Nagar and the Sanskritic Sangam. One can understand the reluctance to give praise but the peddling of lies and half-truths can become unbearable. Thanks to social media much of this propaganda can be duly exposed and put to rest.
If the community must move forward, our leaders must look ahead and not at the pedals. It is this self-consciousness that is stifling growth. Individuals who excel in their game are so focused on getting the task done than projecting their egos, thus explaining their high level of success.
Much is said about self-less action and dedication to service but that can only come about by forgetting oneself. The click is always conscious of being recognized and rewarded and hence the perpetuation of an incestuous award system. What is even more dangerous is that they operate under the cloak of dharma. It is like Ravana taking the garb of a holy man to make Sita feel obligated to serve him.
How much of a dedicated worker one may be, one is never worthy of praise because one is not 100% loyal to the pehalwan. This attitude scares away real men but attracts little boys and girls who need the praises of the leader like a plant need water in the midday heat.
Hindu society has never been saved by choreography and optics but by saints and sages who have incorporated truth in their every action. The great actors of the world are known to separate the movie set from reality. But this is not so for many, who believe that their daily existence can be choreographed and marketed like a product or service.
Is Modi leading India with optics? It is integrity and hard work this is winning him the love and admiration of not just the Indian people but the entire world. Waving a magical wand is not leadership; it is illusion, nothing more.
This clamoring for recognition and fame at the sacrifice of truth is like legal battles by siblings for inheritance. Usually, the parents have left behind a family home on a parcel of land and instead of surrendering one share and moving on, one sibling usually assume the role of a bully to have all for himself. The contributions of other siblings are ignored as this Duryodhana demands all.
The other side to this story is the fun some of these characters present. They bring alive so many of Naipaul’s fictitious characters who made you laugh when deep within you should be crying. One feel obliged to ask the question: Is Trinidad a real place?
Despite all the negatives there are young people who are excelling in their careers, not just locally but in the international stage. These successful individuals are proving that Indians are not sheep to follow blindly and fall over a cliff. Our dharma encourages us to strive for excellence and that can only be achieved by breaking away from the pack.
I am deeply saddened to see a few talented individuals tied to these charlatans parading as leaders. Nevertheless, an individual must be allowed to make his choices and experience the gains and losses. Had Sita been bold and refused Ravana’s plea for alms, she would not have been kidnapped. The big question is: have we not learned from Sita’s mistake to beware of those who put on the garb of holiness? Mahatma Gandhi had demonstrated that a human being a more than the clothes he wears. Gandhi cautioned his fellow men that in time to come the world would not judge you by the slogan you shout but by your struggles, sacrifices and commitment to hard work.
By Dool Hanomansingh