4. THE HINDUS : A MAJORITY IN MORAL MINORITY
Here you have a huge majority of 850 million people, part of a culture which is thousands of years old. A culture which has proved over the ages its infinite tolerance towards other creeds and religions, giving refuge to all persecuted minorities in the world, whether Parsis, Syrian Christians, Jews, or Tibetans today. Yet Hindu-bashing has become a favorite pastime of the Press, both Indian and Foreign – and when you find someone such as Murli Manohar Joshi who wants to Indianize Indian education, an aspiration which would be found natural in any country, he is run down by his own people. Thus one finds that Hindus are self-depreciating, tend to lack self-confidence and that they never raise their voices in protest against the discrimination which is practiced against them. In short, you have a huge physical majority in moral minority. Is it because they are cowards ?
POOR HINDUS !
Hindus not only represent the overwhelming majority of the population of India, but they can also boast of one the oldest cultures of the world: Sanskrit is often thought as the mother of all languages; Hindu philosophy has played a very important role in both the fashioning of Greek mythology and Celtic lore (as demonstrated by French Indianist Guy Deleury) – and these two traditions represent the foundation of all European culture. We are all aware that the zero concept originated from India, but who knows that the Egyptians used Hindu arithmetic concepts to build their pyramids, that Hindus probably inspired Pythagorean mathematics, or that French astronomers of the 18th century, such as Jean-Claude Bailly, had remarked "that Hindu calculations of the position of the stars and of solar eclipses were so precise that we are still using them today"?
Thus, you have a people, the Hindus, inheritors of an immense, noble and age-old culture, who represent the massive physical (85%), social, religious and cultural majority of the Asian superpower of the 21st century, India. And yet, one sometimes finds that the voice of Hindus is rarely heard in India, that they are respected neither in their own country, nor abroad; and that Hindus generally lack self-confidence. Could it be that Hindus are a psychological minority in India, whereas minorities, such as the Christians, which constitute only 3% of the total population, wield an enormous moral power in this country, thanks to the quality of their schools and hospitals and because of the pride they have in their own religion and moral standards ?
Look also at Europe :all European children, be them Italian or German, are brought-up on the values of Christianity and the greatness of Greek philosophy. It would be impossible, in France for instance, for the Muslim minority - immigrants from France’s ex-colonies such as Algeria or Morocco – to impose their views and culture on the government. In fact, Muslim girls are not allowed to wear a veil when they go to French school: "you are in France, you have been given the French nationality, so behave like a French first and like a Muslim in second", they are told bluntly. Would that be possible in India? Would any Indian, except the much-maligned RSS, have the courage to ask Muslims to be Indians first and Muslim second? Or tell Catholics and Protestants that they have to revert to a more Indianized Christianity, such as the one that existed in Kerala before the arrival of the Portuguese Jesuits ? And see how stridently Muslims and Christians – backed by most of the Media - react when the Human Resources Minister, Dr Joshi, wants to teach Indian children a little bit of the greatness of their culture !
Actually, it appears at times that there are two sets of standards used in India amongst journalists and intellectuals: one for the Christians or the Muslims; and one for the Hindus. If for example a Christian is killed, such as the ghastly murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, the Indian and foreign press will spend weeks - if not months - in eulogizing Graham and making nazis of all Hindus held responsible for his murder; but if a few days later twenty laborers, as innocent as Staines’ two sons, are savagely assassinated by Kashmir separatists, it will only warrant a few lines in Indian newspapers, without any of the outraged comments which followed Staines’ murder. When the Ayodhya mosque was brought down, it was as if eternal shame had descended upon India: "death of secularism, Hindu fundamentalists have taken over the country, a Black Day in the history of our democracy", screamed the newspapers ad infinitum… However unfortunate the Ayodhya episode was, nobody was killed there; but the terrible Bombay blasts which followed, orchestrated by Indian Muslims, with the active help of Pakistan and the silent approval of Saudi Arabia, which took the lives of hundreds of innocent Hindus, never warranted the kind of moral indignation which followed Ayodhya.
Hindus in India are not only the object of contempt, but they are also chased from their own ancestral lands. There were one million of them in Kashmir in 1900 – but only a few hundred today, the rest having been made to flee though terror. In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorized by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over, like in Karnataka, where soon a bill will bring more than 43,000 Hindu shrines, maths, and religious groups under the control of a commissioner. Notice that this act does not apply to Christians and Muslims institutions and that the Indian Government is still sponsoring the Haj pilgrimage ! Hindus anyway take all this lying down, as they amply demonstrated during the hijack of the Kathmandu-Delhi Indian Airlines flight one year ago.
Is this normal ? Look again westwards: Europeans will battle tooth and nail to defend what they consider their rights and territories, whether it is the Spanish fighting the Basques, the British going all the way to the Falkland islands to wrest away what should geographically belong to the Argentineans, or the Americans going to war against Iraq because their oil interests are threatened. Hindus should maybe become a little prouder of themselves: there is today so much talent in India, so many brains, that they don’t have to copy from the West. Hindu children regularly top their schools and universities in the US, Hindus are now the best programmers of this planet and are in demand all over the world and Hindu expatiates are amongst the richest people in UK, the US or Canada… Why can’t the majority of this marvelous, diverse, ancient and extraordinary country which is India, stop behaving as if it was a moral minority ?
THE GREAT AMBITION OF HINDUISM
It requires another foreign correspondent to provide a counterpoint to Delhi-based American journalist John Eliott’s rather condescending article : « can Hindus be ambitious » (Outlook, December 21, 1998), where he says that Hinduism is the main obstacle to India’s modernisation and liberalisation. Because, again, if an Indian had answered his attacks, he would have immediately been taxed of « nationalist », or even accused of being a follower of the Sangh Parivhar.
Let’s first start by what John Elliott gets right :
For some mysterious reason, Hindus appear to be the most undisciplined, collectively selfish, and nationally uncaring community in India, so that it requires a Mother Theresa to look after their own underprivileged. In the same way, they do, as Mr Elliott points out, tend to extend cleanliness only to their own immediate surroundings : their homes, or their front porches, but neglect the rest. It is puzzling for instance how a people which has worshipped the Ganges for thousands of years, treats it with so little respect, dumping every day thousands of chemicals in its waters.
True again, Hindus are a tolerant people. India for example, is probably the only country in the world where the Jews not only were not persecuted, but were also welcomed with open arms when they fled the destruction of Jerusalem and allowed to practise freely their religion. True also : this tolerance can often become misguided : Naxalites ought, for instance, to have long ago whipped in public Rahul Bajaj, who is responsible for polluting entire cities with his Tempos, in the name of his petty, selfish interests.
But all the rest is wrong.
Take John Elliott’s view of Hinduism for instance : Hinduism has never been a religion, but a way of life, allowing countless sects, philosophies, creeds, to develop in its fold, as long as they were faithful to the central core of its essence - santana dharma. Over the centuries, this way of life has subtly influenced even India’s invaders, be it Christians or Muslims, who are like no other Christians and Muslims in the world.
Mr Elliott has also not bothered to study Hinduism in depth, when he says that « basically (!!!) Hinduism teaches fatalistic acceptance ». On the contrary, Hinduism admits for example that one can use violence if necessary : when one’s brothers, sisters, or country are in danger - this is the very message of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhavagad Gita. It is Buddhism and Jainism which perverted that message and opened India to the first invasions of Alexander the Great and subsequently to the Muslim onslaughts. Later, it is Gandhi and his rigid and moralistic attitude of ahimsa, refusing even to fight Nazism, the most asuric force of our modern age, which paved the way for India’s splitting in two.
« Hindus lack ambition », accuses Mr Elliott ! But Indian civilisation not only had the loftiest of ambitions, but it also achieved extraordinary realisations, which were unparalleled in the world. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, India’s great revolutionary, philosopher, and Sage: « It lived with a noble, ample and vigorous order and freedom; it developed a great literature, sciences, arts, crafts, industries; it rose to the highest possible ideals of knowledge and culture, of arduous greatness and heroism, of kindness, philanthropy and human sympathy and oneness. It laid the inspired basis of wonderful spiritual philosophies; it examined the secret of external nature and discovered and lived the boundless and miraculous truths of the inner being; it fathomed self and understood and possessed the world ».
Debilitating and cruel caste system ? The caste system is the most misunderstood, the most vilified subject of Hindu society. Let us again listen to Sri Aurobindo : "Caste was originally an arrangement for the distribution of functions in society, just as much as class in Europe, but the principle on which this distribution was based was peculiar to India. A Brahmin was a Brahmin not by mere birth, but because he discharged the duty of preserving the spiritual and intellectual elevation of the race, and he had to cultivate the spiritual temperament and acquire the spiritual training which alone would qualify him for the task. So it was for the Vaishya whose function was to amass wealth for the race and the Shudra who discharged the humbler duties of service without which the other castes could not perform their share of labour for the common good".
But, yes, Mr Elliott, there is no doubt that the institution of caste degenerated : « It ceased to be determined by spiritual qualifications and thus lost most of its meaning. The spirit of caste arrogance, exclusiveness and superiority came to dominate it instead of the spirit of duty, and the change weakened the nation and helped to reduce us to our present condition ».
And of course, Mr Elliott has to feed us the mantra of foreign (and sadly Indian) journalists : the « (Hindu) fundamentalists / Hindutva ». But a bit of nationalism is indispensable for the well-being of a nation. Most of Europe’s culture is based on its Christian heritage and we the French are proud of our Greco-Roman tradition. Thus, India does need to regain a little of its self-pride, after having been trampled upon by so many invaders... and made fun by so many foreign correspondents ! It is healthy sign that it is happening in a some small measure today.
Finally : has India failed, as Mr Elliott implies ? But is not the very fact that India still exists a miracle in itself ? This nation survived ten centuries of one of the most terrible genocide ever perpetuated on a race in the name of religion, the soul-stifling British colonial rule and 40 years of "secular" socialism; and it is going to survive the perils of industrialisation and westernisation, because, whatever Mr Elliott and his pairs say, no country which has survived so much when all other great civilisations, such as Greece or Egypt, are only memories in dusty text books, can be snuffed out by the winds of liberalism.
Thus, John Elliot’s malevolent vision of an India which will « gradually be shaped by more materialistic forces, such as liberalisation and satellite TV », may never come true. Thank God ! That would be the end of this country’s uniqueness and genius - whatever its faults.
EDUCATION : WHAT THE HELL IS THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT ?
As a foreign journalist, one cannot understand all the frenzy and the excessive noise made about the Education Agenda of Murli Manohar Joshi : what is wrong in trying to « Indianize, nationalize and spiritualize » education in India ? Mr Joshi's critics - and there have been many - have called it « a hidden Hindu agenda ». So What ?
With 850 millions souls, Hindus constitute the majority of this country. Why should Hindus then be ashamed of a « Hindu » education ? Traditionally and historically, Hinduism has always been the most tolerant of all religions, never trying to convert anybody, never sending its armies or missionaries to neighboring countries, to impose its religion and ways of life - not even by non-violence means, as the Buddhists did all over Asia.
It should also be said that Hinduism is much more than a religion, IT'S A WAY OF LIFE, a universal spiritual outlook, which has allowed numerous sects, branches, philosophies, to develop within its fold, as long as they were faithful to the central truth of Hinduism : DHARMA. It even recognises the truth and validity of other creeds - and it's perfectly normal for a Hindu to have pictures of Guru Govind, Christ, Buddha and Krishna in their homes. For are they not both avatars ? And is that not true secularism (and not the opportunistic secularism of India's politicians, which has divided India along caste and religious lines) ?
Then why should Hindus not be proud of Hinduism ? It has not only shaped the psyches of Hindus, but also of Indian Christians, Jains, Parsis, even Muslims, who are like no other Muslims in the world. And why should Indians be ashamed of their own civilisation whose greatness was foremost Hindu? Why should they refuse to have their children read the Vedas, which constitute one of the great fountains of spiritual wisdom, or the Bhagavad Gita, which contains all the secrets of eternal life ? Or the Ramanaya and the Mahabharata, which teach the great values of human nature : courage, selflessness, spiritual endeavour, love of one's wife and neighbours...
Are the French ashamed of their Greco-Roman inheritance? Not at all ! On the contrary they even think that civilisation started only with the Greeks. Would you call the Germans or the Italians « nationalists » because they have Christian Democrats Parties? Christianity is the founding stone of Western civilisation and nobody dares deny it. Clinton goes to the mass and swears on the Bible and none finds anything to say. We French are brought-up listening to the values of Homer's « Iliad », or Corneille's « Le Cid ». It is true that in France there has been a separation of the State and the Church; but that is because at one time the Church misused its massive political power and grabbed enormous amounts of land (like it did in India under the British). But no such thing ever happened India. The much-maligned Brahmins never interfered in politics and today they are often a neglected lot.
When they took over India, the British set upon establishing an intermediary race of Indians, whom they could entrust with their work at the middle level echelons and who could one day be convenient instruments to rule by proxy or semi-proxy. The tool to shape these « British clones » was EDUCATION . In the words of Macaulay, the « pope » of British schooling in India: « We must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellects ». Macaulay had very little regard for Hindu culture and education : « all the historical information which can be collected from all the books which have been written in the Sanskrit language, is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England ». Or : « Hindus have a literature of small intrinsic value, hardly reconcilable with morality, full of monstrous superstitions »...
It seems today that India's Marxist and Muslim intelligentsia could not agree more with Macaulay or with Charles Grant (1746-1823), Chairman of the East India Company, who said : "we cannot avoid recognising in the people of Hindustan a race of men lamentably degenerate and base...governed by malevolent and licentious passions...and sunk in misery by their vices". And the dream of Macaulay has come true: nowadays, the greatest adversaries of the « Indianised and spiritualised education » of Mr Joshi, are the descendants of these « Brown Shahibs » : the « secular » politicians, the journalists, the top bureaucrats, in fact the whole Westernised cream of India. And what is even more paradoxical, is that most of them are Hindus.
It is they who upon getting independence, have denied India its true identity and borrowed blindly from the British education system, without trying to adapt it to the unique Indian mentality and psychology; and it is they who are refusing to accept « an Indianisation, nationalisation and spirtualisation » of India's education system, which is totally western-oriented and is churning out machines learning by heart (Indian children must be amongst those having most homework in the world) boring academics which are of little usefulness in life. And what India is getting from this education is a youth which apes the West : they go to Mac Donald's, thrive on MTV culture, wear the latest Klein jeans and Lacoste T Shirts, and in general are useless, rich parasites, in a country which has so many talented youngsters who live in poverty. They will grow-up like millions of other western clones in the developing world, who wear a tie, read the New York Times and swear by liberalism and secularism to save their countries from doom.
But then, what does makes India unique? Take the proposal of Joshi to make Sanskrit compulsory in school. Great idea ! Sanskrit is the Mother of all languages, so intricate, so subtle, so rich, that no other language can equal it today. And moreover, it could become the unifying language of India, apart from English, which is spoken only by a tiny minority. "Sanskrit ought still to have a future as the language of the learned and it will not be a good day for India when the ancient tongues cease entirely to be written or spoken", admonished 50 years ago Sri Aurobindo, India's great Sage and Seer .
A dead language, you say ! Impossible to revive?
But that's what they argued about Hebrew. And did not the Jewish people, when they got back their land in 1948, revive their "dead" language, so that it is spoken today by ALL Jewish people and has become alive again?...
The same thing ought to be done with Sanskrit, but as Sri Aurobindo points out: "it must get rid of the curse of the heavy pedantic style contracted by it in its decline, with the lumbering impossible compounds and the overweight of hair-splitting erudition". Let the scholars begin now to revive and modernise the Sanskrit language, it would be a sure sign of the dawning of the Renaissance of India. In a few years it should be taught as the second language in schools throughout the country, with the regional language as the first and English as the third. Then will India again have its own unifying language.
The Ministers walked out when the Saraswati Vandanam was played. But why should anyone object to Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, She who bestowed so much Grace on India. In 1939, a disciple had said to Sri Aurobindo that: "there are some people who object to the singing of Vande Mataram as a national song; Sri Aurobindo had replied: "in that case Hindus should give up their culture". But the disciple had continued: "the argument is that the song speaks of Hindu gods, like Durga and that it is offensive to Muslims". Said Sri Aurobindo: "but it is not a religious song, it is a national song and the Durga spoken of is India as the Mother. Why should not the Muslims accept it? In the Indian concept of nationality, the Hindu view should be naturally there. if it cannot find a place, the Hindus may as well be asked to give-up their culture. The Hindus don't object to "Allah-Ho-Akbar".
It is then obvious that Education in India has to be totally revamped. The kind of Westernised education which is standard in India, does have its place, because India wants to be on par with the rest of the world, and Indian youth should be able to deal confidently with the West: do business, talk, and relate to a universal world culture. But nevertheless, the first thing that Indian children should be taught IS THE GREATNESS OF THEIR OWN CULTURE. They should learn to revere the Vedas, they should be taught the genius of the Mahabharata and the Ramanayana; they should be told that in this country everything has been done, that it was an unsurpassed civilisation, when the West was still mumbling its first words, that Indian civilisation reached dizzying heights, which have been since unsurpassed. But overall they should be taught early that India's greatness is her spirituality her world-wide wisdom. INDIA'S NEW EDUCATION HAS TO BE SPIRITUALISED; IT HAS TO BE AN INNER EDUCATION, WHICH TEACHES TO LOOK AT THINGS FROM THE INNER PRISM, NOT THROUGH THE WESTERN ARTIFICIAL LOOKING GLASS.
India's Dharma, her eternal quest for truth, should be drilled in the child from an early age. And from this firm base, everything then can be taught -from the most modern forms of mathematics, to the latest scientific technologies.
Finally we can only end by echoing the words of Sri Aurobindo who was India's most ardent revolutionary and an avatar, who foresaw Humanity's next stage of evolution : " Whoever wishes to cut of the nation from its past, is no friend of our national growth. Whoever fails to take advantage of the present, is losing us the battle of life. We must therefore save for India all that she has stored up of knowledge, character and noble thoughts in her immemorial past. We must acquire for her the best knowledge that the West can give her and assimilate it to her own peculiar type of national temperament. We must introduce the best methods of teaching humanity has developed, whether modern or ancient. And all these we must harmonise into a system which will be impregnated with the spirit of self-reliance, so as to build up men and not machines".
" SEVA AND GOVERNMENT "
In ancient India, the concept of "Seva", of service to others, was very predominant. It was then felt that the very action of forgetting oneself and giving one’s work towards the welfare of one’s brothers and sisters, was one of the most powerful tools to the realisation of the inner Self. Today, the tradition of Seva is being revived by many contemporary spiritual movements which are creating a new avatar for Hinduism. More than that, for the first time since independence, India has a Government which can boast quite a few Ministers, who are bringing back the practice of service to their country. That is to say, that they are not in power to fill their pockets, but put the betterment of "Mother India", before their own petty self-interests, or even those of their parties.
One such politician is Dr Manohar Murali Joshi - and amongst all the NDA Ministers, he is the one who has been most targeted by the Press. Yet, Dr Joshi has a mission, an ideal - not for himself but for his own country. The first thing that Dr Joshi feels is that "Indians lack self- confidence", this very modern and western bend of mind which says: "we can do it" and drives people to go beyond themselves to reach their goals. And it is true : Indians are often self-depreciating and are always comparing their countries to western nations and their achievements. "Yet, says Dr Joshi, we should tell our children that modern computers would not work unless India had not invented the concept of the zero, or that high grade steel in ancient India was so good that Alexander the Great wanted it to fashion his own sword, or that rhinoplastic surgery was performed in Vedic times, long before it was known in Europe".
Manohar Murali Joshi also believes that Indians lack "esprit de corps", the team spirit which makes a nation great. "Look at our hockey or crickets players, says Dr Joshi, they are great individually, but cannot perform well collectively on a steady basis". Dr Joshi could also have added that Indians are probably amongst the most undisciplined people in the world: they always break queues, drive without thinking one second about the other, clean meticulously their own front porch, but throw their garbage in the street, and have hoarded so much black money that if it would surface, it would make India one of the richest nations in the world. And here again, the key is to educate : "It has been stated that Hinduism, being too individualistic a religion, is responsible for this lack of collective spirit, argues Dr Joshi, but nothing is further from truth". And Murali Joshi to quote from Sri Aurobindo, India’s great avatar of the New Age: "Indian civilisation lived with a noble, ample and vigorous order and freedom; it developed a great literature, sciences, arts, crafts, industries; it rose to the highest possible ideals of spiritual knowledge "...
"It is the British, asserts Dr Joshi, who attacked and ridiculed Hinduism, which they rightly perceived as the main obstacle to their complete hold over India". And he could have further said that they also created "Macaulay’s children", Indians in body, but British in mind, whose descendants can still be found amongst Indian Intelligentsia ! "Hinduism is very community-oriented religion, contends Dr Joshi, as apart from the concept of seva, look how collective is our temple worship, with its bhajans, or how the old Panchayat system was democratic from the village all the way to the top (and not like today, where everything is decided in Delhi, with the villages having absolutely no say in anything).
What about the environment, which is so degraded today : tigers are being killed at the rate of one day, says a recent report; every year an area the size of France is deforested in India; and the holy Ganges is so polluted that it is not even fit for bathing. Are not those who defecate in the Ganges, cut their own forests and kill tigers, mostly Hindus ? "But on the contrary, replies Dr Joshi, the Scriptures tell us never to urinate in the Ganges, they enjoin us to plant trees at the time of festivities and not to kill animals. It is again the impact of ten centuries of colonisation which has made us forget this very Hindu respect of Nature".
Finally, unless you educate Indian children about the greatness of their own civilisation, which taught the concept of seva, of collective discipline and respect for Nature’s bounties, there is no way that India is going to produce the leaps and bounds which she needs to become a superpower. You also have to rewrite Indian history, which basically has been crafted by British historians to further their claim of superiority on the "natives", using false evidence, such as the theory of the Aryan Invasion, which all recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries are proving as false. The history of the independence of India, which has been concocted by Congress historians to show the Congress in the best light, should be reviewed too and Indian children should be told about the untold horrors of ten centuries of Muslim invasions so that they can face their own history.
And this is the task that Dr Joshi has set for himself in the true spirit of seva. Of course, "secular" historians and journalists, who often have such a Marxist-inspired vision of their country, will scream every time Mr Joshi makes a move towards "Indianisation" of what is basically a very bland copy of Western culture. But just think how seven years ago Dr Joshi had the guts to go and raise the national flag in Kashmir on 15th of August. Remember how he was reviled and ridiculed by the Indian Press ? Today he would be hero… "We can do it"…
ARE HINDUS COWARDS ?
"Muslims are bullies and Hindus cowards", the Mahatma Gandhi once said. He was right – at least about Hindus: there has been in the past 1400 years, since the first invasions started, very few Shivaji’s and Rajput princes to fight the bloody rule of the Moghuls, or hardly any Rani of Jhansi’s to stand against the humiliating colonial yoke of the British. If a nation’s soul is measured by the courage of its children, then India is definitely doomed: without the Sikhs, whose bravery is unparalleled in the more recent history of India, Hindus would have even lost additional land to the Muslim invaders and there would have been infinitely more massacres of Hindus by Muslims during the first weeks of Partition.
Are Hindus more courageous since they have an independent nation (thanks - not to the non-violence of Gandhi – but to the true nationalists, such as Sri Aurobindo and Tilak, who prepared the ground for the Mahatma at the beginning of the century)? Not at all! Because of Nehru’s absurd and naïve "hindi-chini-bhai-bhai" policy, the Indian army was shamefully routed in 1962 by the Chinese, a humiliation which rankles even today. Beijing is still able to hoodwink Indian politicians, by pretending it has good intentions, through the interviews the Chinese leaders very generously give to the Hindu newspaper (which should rightly be called the "anti-Hindu") and Frontline ("the mouthpiece in India for the Chinese communist party"), while quietly keeping on giving nuclear know-how to Pakistan, as well as the missiles to carry their atomic warheads to Indian cities, arm separatists groups in the north-east and continuing to claim Arunachal Pradesh or Sikkim.
Everywhere in the world, Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where, once more, an elected democratic government was deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book "Lalja"). In Kashmir, the land of yogis, where Hindu sadhus and sages have meditated for 5000 years, Hindus have been chased out of their ancestral home by death, terror and intimidation: there were 25% of Hindus at the beginning of the century in the Kashmir valley… and hardly a handful today. And how did India start the new millennium? By surrendering as a lamb goes to the slaughterhouse to a handful of terrorists who took over flight IC 814 from Kathmandu to Delhi (Nepal is another small inconsequential country, which owes its culture to India, but keeps on indulging India’s enemies, whether Pakistan or China)! India had the opportunity to storm the plane when it landed in Amritsar, at a time when the militants had not been furnished with explosives and more guns by the Talibans, but it did nothing out of bureaucratic bungling and sheer incapability. And not only did this Hindu Government make an ass of itself by calling the Talibans "friendly", whereas all along the Talibans only helped the terrorists, but also by its weak "Gandhian" attitude, it lost any credibility in a world, where Might is the only criteria, as the US proves us every day.
And what happens when there is ONE man in India - whatever his faults, quirks, or excesses – who dares to call a spade a spade, is not afraid of words and is ready to stand-up for his opinions? Not only, of course, he is attacked by Christians and Muslims, but he is also hounded by his own brothers and sisters, the "secular" Hindus, the Human Rights activists, the journalists, the judges, the police, the (Congress) politicians! Are Hindus so intent to show the world that not only they are cowards, but also idiots? This man, of course, is Bal Thakeray. When Bal Thakeray said, already many years ago, that there was no point in playing cricket against Pakistan, as long as Islamabad was sending militants to kill and maim into Indian territory, he was ridiculed by the secular press as fanatic and un-sportive (and cricket is certainly not a gentleman’s game as the recent scandal has shown). But he was proved right, when during Kargil, India refused - for once - to play cricket with Pakistan. When he says too, that since fourteen centuries, Muslims always strike first against Hindus, he has another good point, for those who live in Indian cities which have important Muslim minorities, will tell you that every time there are Hindu-Muslims, it is the Muslims who start them, either by attacking the police, or by provoking the Hindus.
And this is exactly what took place in Bombay, after the Ayodya mosque was brought down by Hindu militants : Muslims, angry of the "terrible" affront done to Islam, started pelting the police with stones and burning shops; but unfortunately for the Muslims, who have made of riots an art (please read the passages of the Koran which deal with riots as part of jihad), they found that for once, the Hindus under the leadership of the Shiv Sena, retaliated blow for blow – an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – as the Israelis, who have been so long at the receiving end of Muslim bullying, say so well. It is not for us to condone violence: but how long can the Hindus be the butt of killings and persecution, be sacrificial lambs that meekly go to slaughter ? For Gandhi was absolutely right: Muslims are bullies, they have bullied India and they continue to bully Hindu India, as Pakistan has demonstrated by receiving a well-meaning, but naïve Vajpayee at Lahore, while its soldiers were quietly invading the heights above Kargil; or as Mushraraf shows, by giving gullible Indian journalists pep talk about how he wants peace with India, while Islamabad is still training and arming murderous jihadis for Kashmir.
And what monstrous murder is Bal Thakeray accused of ? What crime against humanity has he committed? He is guilty of having written two "inflammatory" editorials in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece. Editorials? Inflammatory? But did Bal Thakeray ever kill anyone ? Is the man going to be arrested for having "written" something ? Are not the leaders of the Muslim organization which spearheaded the recent bombing of churches in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, to sow disharmony between Christians and Hindus, still scot-free, by pretending that they believe in secularism ? Has Tiger Memom, who planted deadly bombs in Bombay in 1992, ever been caught and brought to court ? Are not the Muslim organizations, which organized the bomb attacks in Coimbatore a few years back, still functioning under different names ? Isn’t it true that in Kerala, every day a new mosque is built with money coming from the Gulf and that from these mosques and madrasas the mullahs preach openly violence and anti-Hinduism ? …
We have to say it again: there are two standards in India - one for the Hindus; and one for the Muslims. Did the "fanatic" Hindus who brought down Ayodhya (and brought shame onto secular India, according to the Indian media) kill or even injure anyone in the process? No. But Muslims do not have such qualms. When Gandhi said they were bullies, he was being very nice or very polite. For forget about the millions of Hindus killed during the ten centuries of Muslim invasions, probably the worst Holocaust in world history; forget about the hundreds of thousands of Hindu temples razed to the ground, whose destruction - whatever our "secular" Hindus of today say - was carefully recorded by the Muslims themselves, because they were proud of it (see Aurangzeb’s own chronicles); forget about the millions of Hindus forcibly converted to Islam, and who sadly are now rallying under a banner, a language, a scripture which have nothing to do with their own ethos and culture (*). Yesterday and also today, when the Muslim world feels it has been slighted, in even a small measure by Hindus, these Infidels, who submitted meekly to Muslim rule for ten centuries, it retaliates a hundred fold – this is the only way one intimidates cowards. After Ayodhya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (at least in a passive way by giving shelter for a while to Tiger Memon) with the help of Indian Muslims, planted bombs in the heart of Bombay and killed a thousand innocent human beings, most of them, once more, Hindus. Tomorrow, Pakistan might wage, with the blessing of the Muslim word, the ultimate jihad against India, which if necessary, will utilise the ultimate weapon, nuclear bombs. For has not the Koran said "'Choose not thy friends among the Infidels till they forsake their homes and the way of idolatry. If they return to paganism then take them whenever you find them and kill them" (Koran 98:51-9:5-4:89) ?
One would be tempted to say in conclusion : "Arise O Hindus, stop being cowards, remember that a nation requires Kshatriyas, warriors, to defend Knowledge, to protect one’s women and children, to guard one’s borders from the Enemy"….
Do Indians need a Bal Thakeray to remind them of that simple truth ?
(*) This is no to say that all Muslims are fanatics; on the contrary, many of India’s Muslims are extremely gentle and their sense of hospitality unsurpassed. The same thing can be said about Pakistan: Pakistani politicians, for instance, are much more accessible than in India and Pakistan has its own identity, which cannot be wished away. No, the problem is not with Muslims, whether they are Indians or Pakistanis, the problem is with Islam, which teaches Indian Muslims from an early age, to look beyond their national identity to a country - the Mecca, in Saudi Arabia - which is not their country, to read a Scripture, the Koran, which is not written in their own language, to espouse a way of thinking, Islam, which is inimical to their own roots and indigenous culture. Indian Muslims, have to think of themselves first as Indians and secondly only as Muslims. Muslim soldiers fighting against Pakistan in Kargil, have shown the way.