Nehru-brand secularism ran down Hinduism
There is a disconcerting pattern to what is happening all over the country when it comes to treating Hindus and issues held dear by them or those which, in a sense, define their religious and cultural identities. The most recent is that of preventing Hindus from expressing and exercising their religious freedom by blocking them from undertaking a circumambulation of a structure that continues to hold a position of deep veneration in their national psyche.
When it comes to Hindus and their causes, the predominant habit is to perceive conspiracies, fixed-matches and calculated political agendas. It can never be that the Hindu, activated by pure faith, undertakes to resist or challenge opposing forces. If the Hindu resists then it can only mean that there is a larger anti-national and destabilising design lurking behind. The general Left-Liberal and secular consensus is that the Hindu must give up and be non-resisting.
These expressions and perceptions are the manifestations of ‘Nehruism’, a worldview whose formula is that “Hindus should stand accused in every situation, no matter who is the real culprit.” It is essentially this Nehruism, which continues to animate the actions of the Left-Liberal and the general intelligentsia that continues to be beholden to the Left and to the Congress.
What has been the “whole-time” pre-occupation of this articulate, well-connected and well resourced section – which also includes the extreme Left and their sympathisers in the academia? It is, as put by one of the best articulators of the effects of a debilitating Nehruism, “to eliminate every expression of Hindu culture, to subvert every symbol of Hindu pride, and persecute every Hindu organisation, in the name of protecting the ‘minorities’. They have repeatedly presented Hindus as “monsters who will commit cultural genocide if allowed to come to power.”
In fact Nehru himself expressed a deep contempt for Hindu causes. He had a violent disdain for those who championed them. As for instance was seen sometime just after India had attained independence when a group of Sadhus had gathered on an “indefinite fast” near his residence in New Delhi and simply sought an assurance from him that cowslaughter would be stopped “now that the beef-eating British had departed.” An Indian journalist from abroad who had gone to cover the issue reported how the “great leader” suddenly “rushed out of his house accompanied by his sister, Mrs Pandit” gesticulating and shouting in Hindi. The “poor Sadhus were taken by surprise, and stood up.” The peoples’ leader “slapped the Sadhu who had moved forward with folded hands.” His sister followed suit and both kept saying harsh things and then turned back and “disappeared as fast as they had come.” The Sadhus, recounts the correspondent, “did not utter so much as a word in protest, not even after the duo had left.”
It was this period which saw the growth and consolidation of a class, the Hindu elite – whose progenitors continue today to be the most vocal media-academia types – which was “ashamed of being known” as a part of Hindu society. They proudly adorned any of the available labels, Socialist, Communist and Leftist but never wished to be known as and vehemently avoided being seen as Hindus.
The new cult and idol of Nehruism, ‘secularism’ as it was defined by its founder, made sure that whenever one identified oneself as a Hindu, one stood branded as a “narrow communalist, an obscurantist, a reactionary and enemy of national unity.” One could, under the framework of this new ism, comfortably proclaim oneself as a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh and gain legitimacy. But for Hindus, who wished to gain legitimacy among the ruling and opinion-making elite subscribing to secularism and declaring that one had undergone a thorough and ‘liberating’ process of deracination was mandatory. Such were and are the demands of Nehruism.
The other contribution of Nehruism to our national life, especially in the academia, was that it institutionalised Stalinism and now Maoism. A comfortable marriage de convenance is always seen among these sections. Universities were created to institutionalise and legitimise these Stalinist-Maoist thinkers who then began pontificating and creating frameworks on all issues concerning the nation. The results of such a successful marriage are there for all to see when a student from a leading national university who is caught carrying coded messages from “top academic circles” in the national capital to Maoists in the field is defended as an innocent cultural activist. The veneer of Nehruism has sustained and shielded both, the Maoists in the field and their sympathisers and intellectual supporters in the urban academia. Both these types have accepted the secularism and atheism that Nehruism insists upon and promotes.
The ongoing clampdown on those who want to undertake the parikrama at Ayodhya, is one of those expressions and manifestations of Nehruism, a mindset which has taken upon itself to “liberate” India from her essentially Hindu identity. It bulldozes any resistance to its efforts at de-Hinduising the country.
The only way ahead, if India is to truly live and preserve herself is for Nehruism to die. Perhaps the process has just about begun.