When few Hindus purporting to be leaders, engage in sinister acts to discredit fellow Hindus they are certainly not behaving like Hindus. Up till the 1950s the panchayat exercised a strong hand in managing the behavior of the community. Now that the panchayat is no more, we need to rely on our self-regulating system or law of karma. Thus, the future of our lives is in our hands- we are the shaper of our destiny- and not victims of a system where others are persecuting us. Time for us to take charge!
What contributes to the destruction of an individual, group or civilization? Why do some people strive while others appear to be lost and defeated? I asked these questions because I am seeing many academically qualified Hindus engaging in petty conflicts. Unfortunately, their encounters are not ideological but more personal. Such behaviors confirm in my mind that education is not something that the average person attains, but more so, something that has been implanted or uploaded into his/her hard drive like a google map for survival when travelling.
Undoubtedly, we have produced world class intellectuals such a CLR James, Dr. Rudranath Capildeo (PhD), V.S. Naipaul but we cannot deny that our education is mainly to secure roti, that is, to put food on the table. I recalled my time at primary school when the teachers and the principals would constantly remind the students that if they didn’t study hard they would have to cut cane and plant garden. That message has sunk into our psyche and hence our envious competence to repeat past papers and pass with distinction!
To what extent one’s interpretation of history influences one’s view of society? If one subscribes to the point of view that mankind is socially evolving, then one may be disappointed because one would always expect a natural progression; more so, given the fact that a deadline was given for the fulfilment of such a progression.
The cyclical interpretation of history accepts the rise, fall, dissolution and then a repeat of the cycle. There are no end times and the individual would always be given the opportunity to become aware of his divinity which is his inherent nature.
The linear interpretation of history gives to mankind a mission to fulfill; thus explaining the need to conquer lands and bring drive cultures under its watch to ensure they follow the only path to the restoration of the one single hope. Followers of this doctrine justifies murder and other criminal activities as necessary for the fulfilment of this ambition.
Where are the powerful Greeks and Romans? The colonization that the European practiced for the past 500 years was a fulfilment of a process that was started by Greece 2000 BCE. When Christopher Columbus landed on the shores of Moruga, he was not acting as an individual but was participating in the fulfilment of a civilizational duty, that is, to Christianize the world and save them from hell; thus explaining the major role the Church played in colonization. The European felt that whatever they were doing was in the best interest of the natives!
If there were wars and millions were killed, that was collateral damage. If labor was exploited and millions died, the reality is that they brought you on that road to salvation; that they saved you from damnation and eternal hell and for that you need to be eternally grateful.
Recently PM Modi of India stopped NGOs from using their resources to convert India’s poor. While conversion is an act of warfare, the Christian missionaries interpret their activities as fulfilling God’s wish which is to bring salvation to all people. Not only would the Church retaliate against this strike by the Modi government but also media houses, and others agents of western interests including some members of the Bollywood film fraternity.
A similar interpretation we get from Islam. According to Muslims, the Islamic New Year began when Mohamad moved from Mecca to Medina. After the triumph of Mohammad over his enemies, the new religion united the Arab Peninsula under the One God-Allah. Like the Romans, those on the outskirts were called barbarians and uncivilized. In Islamic world view the Turks and other nations of Central Asia were considered infidels and after their conquest, they embraced Islam, thus fulfilling the historical evolution of Islamic history.
Hindus are not driven by a God in the heavens and given a deadline to beat. They have several formulae to help realize their spiritual identity, the least of it being the conquest and rule over other cultures and the use of force to lay down a sole pathway. Hindu are enjoined to pursue the path of dharma, a way of life that unites (yoga) them with their divine nature. It is not for dharmic traditions to be in conflict with the world. Such an attitude is deemed adharmic or contrary to the divine laws.
As a Hindu I would hate to see myself as a sheep driven by a shepherd in a particular direction. If I were a Christian, I would be left with no other choice. Fortunately, I am a Hindu and I have so many pathways from which to choose one that suits my temperament. For example, I may enjoy reading the scriptures rather than performing pujas. The last puja I did was when my mother was alive. I went to cut two bamboo rods for flags and was attacked and stung by insects. It was always a task I never enjoyed…to go around the village looking for gobar to fulfil my duties as a Hindu!
When few Hindus purporting to be leaders, engage in sinister acts to discredit fellow Hindus they are certainly not behaving like Hindus. Up till the 1950s the panchayat exercised a strong influence in managing the affairs of the community. Now that the panchayat is no more, we need to rely on our self-regulating system or law of karma. Thus, the future of our lives is in our hands- we are the shapers of our destiny- not persecuted victims of a system. Time for us to take charge!