The Misunderstood Hindu
This can only happen when a nation's internal realities are not understood by a super-power, and its culture is equated with other cultures. It just cannot see beyond its own narrow conceptualisation of the nation, of the state. It confuses Hinduism with other religions, and also confuses Indian nationality and internal truths with its own biased perceptions, without serious engagement with, or attempt to understand the truth.
- does not provoke the spread of extermination;
- does not target minorities in the fashion of the others;
- does not spread armed extremism as in the Islamic world;
- does not advocate any set of oppressive laws;
- does not seek to build a political identity across political borders;
- does not seek to build a pan-Hindu identity;
- does not seek modern arms, or advocate militancy;
- does not exterminate populations;
- does not seek to spread outside India;
- and it does not differentiate between internal streams of thought in Hinduism - unlike the other major religions!
The sad part is that historically, it is the Hindu identity that has been the most viciously targeted by
- external violence,
- forced conversion,
- destruction of places of worship,
- denigration of and direct, targeted insults to the religion and its followers,
- innuendo and false impressions,
- torture and pain,
- Racist intolerant views, and
- biased, one-sided portrayal of its practices combined with derisive and insulting coverage of its proponents
You will not find a Hindu poking fun at other religions, or questioning them, or deriding them. At least, not as much as others, especially westerners. The Hindu will not intervene in other religions - at times, even when it impacts his or her own practices. This is a tribute to my religion and its openness that allows fundamental thoughts to coexist with moderate & even liberal thoughts, and compete with each other without dogmas and dictats of any kind. It is a further tribute to my land as well as my religion, which ensures peace for all religions.
Despite all this persecution, derision and misunderstandings, The Hindu remains resolute in his faith, non-violent, calm, difficult to arouse, and internally focused. Yes, we have problems - and big ones. Yes, there have been incidences of sectarian violence, which is sad especially considering our tolerance. But what is more important is that we are dealing with these issues on our own, within our own laws, without disturbing other nations. And the people- including The Hindus themselves - are probing, questioning and self-examining. We do not want trouble; there are forces active who are questioning the background, and taking- or trying to - take corrective action.
Be it Hindus, or Muslims, or Christians, Or Sikhs... we Indians are dealing with our own problems within our own land without disturbing anyone. This is a tribute to followers of all Religions of this Great Land. And this makes us more mature, developed and calm a people than any other nation on Earth. That is the key : without disturbing or involving anyone. If we are wrong, we will pay for it. If we are right, we Indians will reap the benefit. The message : Stay the hell out of our problems. We can deal with them!
It is crystal clear, and has been for some time now, that the USA as well as most of the West continues to map its own perceptions on our internal realities, and confuse right-wing politics and/or what they love to call Hindutva with Fundamentalism. It is a known fact that even the most aggressive Hinduism is not even a patch on other religions, as I observe above. My advice to all such ladies and gentlemen : make an effort to understand Hinduism, its history, its internal realities. You dont have even an iota's worth of concept of what we are, how advanced we are in our thoughts, and how positively ridiculous your suspicions are. Try and understand us- in place of deriding us - which, incidentally reveals more regarding your nature and exposes you more than us!