Most sane people voted for Narendra Modi and the BJP believing they were voting for development, economic growth and a less corrupt government. Sadly, right-wingers affiliated with the BJP seem to think it’s a return of the good ol’ days – when everyone was Hindu and proud! They have been going about this by rewriting history, rechristening holidays and pushing the boundaries of science and logic. Here are some of the craziest things we’ve been told about Hinduism in the past few days:
It’s just a Hindu world!
When they’re not busy converting Muslims and Christians (they call it re-converting) or trying to launch beauty products with cow dung and urine, they like to get together and discuss alternative history. In the VHP version of world events, Arabia, Africa and Europe were all Hindu areas. Also, the number of Hindus in the world stood at 7 billion (I guess everyone was Hindu seven times over or more), which had dwindled to 1 billion. Sadhvi Saraswati, a Babri Masjid veteran added that the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary must be celebrated with each Hindu cutting off the head of at least one traitor! Kamal Lochan Das (of ISKCON) escalated the issue by taking an ISIS-like oath and claiming it was the VHP’s job to make the entire world Hindu. He also added that Russia was a Hindu nation which derived its name from the penance of rishis!
Ramesh Pokhriyal – the man who loves Astrology and hates Maths
Former Uttarkahand CM Ramesh Pokhriyal had earlier claimed that instead of focussing too much on science, we should have an honest discussion about astrology – the topmost science in the world that dwarfed all other sciences. Of course he is the man who thinks a sage conducted nuclear tests in India centuries ago and the rupee increasing in value against the dollar from ’52 to 63’ is a good thing.
Rajnath’s Uncertainty Principle
Another one to chime up about all great things being Hindu was Home Minister Rajnath Singh who claimed that Heisenberg was inspired by the Vedas to formulate the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. He claimed that Heisenberg learned about the Vedas when he met Tagore in India in 1929. The logic would have made sense if it wasn’t for the fact that the principle which helped in the creation of quantum mechanics hadn’t been formulated in 1927!
The wonders of ancient India
While one can understand the comments by the likes of Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, the VHP and Ramesh Pokhriyal, but it was shocking to hear PM Modi speak in the same vein. At a function in Mumbai, he said: ‘We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time. We all read about Karna in Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.’
According to the text of the speech posted on the PMO website, he said, ‘We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.’ I sure hope he was using metaphors because the alternative is too scary to consider.
Gita as the National Book
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a moment of pure overwhelming Hindunes, demanded that the Bhagavad Gita be made the National Book or Rashtriya Granth. Now there’s no denying the impact the Gita’s sublime value or the influence it has had over millions. It’s perhaps the greatest philosophical treatise of all time but that doesn’t mean we need to nationalise it like it was a bank or a coal mine! And Mrs Swaraj is such a big fan; she would do well to remember one of the most powerful quotes from the book about duty and conduct: ‘It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.
Hindus – the new Master Race?
All of the aforementioned comments seem to be to try and prove the undeniable supremacy of Hindus which would make us Master Race of some sort. And if I know my history, that didn’t go down so well last time around. The entire concept of the Master Race comes from a misinterpretation of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the Ubermensch (Overman) which was the next goal in human evolution, spiritually, not biologically. This view was distorted by Nazis to prove that they were the Master Race who should rule over everyone. This long-term goal included the extermination or expulsion of all other religions and races and the horror that would be known as the Holocaust.
All the so-called extremist Hindus out there who believe we should go about pushing or saving our religion like extremist Islamists, would do well to remember the basic tenets of Hinduism, which the Supreme Court described as: ‘Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed. It is a way of life and nothing more.’
Hinduism is a way of life, something that goes beyond the cut-and-dried ‘do this or you are dammed to hell’ religions. It’s vibrant, it asks people to think and it certainly does not need to be asserted with violence. What the so-called right-wingers are doing is hurting not only the basic tenet of Hinduism, but also Modi’s pre-poll promise which was a developed and better India.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are personal opinion of the author and should not be construed as that of India Web Portal.