Now that the CAPE results are out one must ask how has our success in education (scholarship winners) strengthen the Hindu society. Many of our educated Hindu boys and girls are yet to boldly take the lead roles in the mandirs. Few of our professionals have a Hindu perspective on social and political issues. Those in public life shy away from identifying with their Hindu background. Tulsi Gabbard, a democratic candidate for the US presidency, has no reservation about her Hindu identity. This us unlike our Hindu politicians who shy away from their Hindu identity.
Education must help solve our challenges. It must be reflected in the health and success of the community, not just at the individual and family level. Education is a tool to help us to improve our community; not to keep us aloof and apart while the community wallows in filth. Today, Hindus are flocking to the church for hampers and a “feel good” experience. Our educated professional Hindus must apply their knowledge and skills to stop this hemorrhaging.
Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laurette, went to Japan to deliver a lecture and met an empty hall. Upon enquiring about the absence of an audience, the Japanese said that “Indians were slaves of the British and there was nothing we can learn from a slave.” No one respects you per se; they usually respect the community you belong to!
If today the national community is hesitant to elect a Hindu to be their leader it is only because they are not impressed with the Hindu community. As individuals Hindus excels; as a community we continue to perform below our potential. I recall Professor Anant Rambachan saying that “one Indian is more productive than 10 Japanese but 10 Japanese are more productive than 100 Indians.”
Dr Paul Teelucksingh has linked diabetes to ethnicity and identified Indians and Chinese as high risk candidates for contracting this non-communicable disease. The doctor revealed that 60% of deaths annually result from non-communicable diseases and 40 % are preventable. This is a damning piece of statistics; an indictment against the Indian/Hindu community!
While diabetes is ravaging the Indian community there is no perceptible changes in diet as such. Households still prepare meals with large portions of rice and flour, two major contributors to diabetes. The meals served at religious and social gatherings put as at a high risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes is a test of our scholarship, determination and will as a community!
Hindus are alarmingly critical of each other. This is an unconscious expression that all are not well and more needs to be done. However, the solution is not in engaging in a blame game but in working together to find common solutions. Our community has the potential to solve its problems. Several families are professionals and owners of successful private enterprises. The potential is there to bring about solution to our challenges.
Looking at the dilapidation of the neighbour’s home and finding comfort in yours is not the way forward. We need to establish a Hindu benchmark for progress which the community must strive to achieve collectively. Maybe, we can learn much from the Jews of Israel who have worked amidst hostilities and threats to build their country to an enviable standard. This has only come to past because every Jewish life matters. Does every Hindu life matter? This is a question Hindus must answer!
Hinduism is a rich philosophy. People from across the globe are turning to Hinduism to find meaning and purpose to their existence. While we have at our disposal this great philosophy, we continue to live, as Sai Baba said, ‘like beggars in a house of gold.’
How do we explain the high level of alcohol consumption in the community? A major contributor to diabetes and domestic conflict in the family, Mr Alcohal is the first name on the guest list for most social gathering. When Mr Alcohol is not present, the majority of the guests would be hesitant to come.
I would like to see our “success” in education reflected in our community; not necessarily in the SUVs we drive or the resorts we visit for holidays but in the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, a Ravanic force wreaking havoc in our community.