The best ever explanation I have heard of a computer is from my friend, Mr Ambuj Oberai’s father. He used to sell Wipro PC's in the 80's. He used to explain a computer, to his customers, by comparing it to Human Beings. He used to say that a computer comprises of two parts, Hardware and the Software. This is comparable to the body and soul/thought of a Human Being respectively. Software resides in the hardware and controls it, similarly our soul/thought controls the actions of our body. Hinduism has been the soul/thought of Indians since time immemorial.
India has always been a prosperous land where nature itself supports development of Human Life. This is evident by the fact the sub-continent is home to about 22% of the world's population with only 2.2% of the world's land surface area. Thus, India has been a country which has attracted various softwares/thoughts from across the world, since time immemorial, and accommodated them. Indians always believed that accommodating these thoughts is a part of development of the society. But, Indians were deceived in 1947 when a part of their soul asked for its own land! A particular thought (Islam) that India had accommodated long ago wanted its own land. India was partitioned into two countries, one being for Muslims (remember that the remaining India still belongs to people of all faiths), while it was evolving into a modern nation state (I emphasize on the Modern Indian State Factor). India, then, paid the price for being liberal and accommodative and is still paying the price for the same.
This is evident by a number of practises which are still prevalent in independent modern Indian State. Majority of Indians including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists etc consider cow to be a sacred animal. It has been given the status of "Mother" in Hinduism. Thus, Hindus pray cows. But, it is ironical that "Cow Slaughter" is legal in India which has a Hindu majority. The argument in favour of cow slaughter being, banning cow slaughter infringes upon the eating habits of some communities and hence, banning cow slaughter, is a non-democratic and non-secular move. Democratic value of secularism is only expected out of Hindus. Others have been exempted from practising it. Still, ironically, Hindu is called communal and India, anti Islamic!
Another important observation that can be made is the absence of a common civil code. This means that Muslims in India have immunity to some of the laws which are applicable to the rest of the population. Muslim personal law board is the custodian is of these laws. If Pakistan was made for Muslims, then people who did not want to abide by "Common Law" should have moved to Pakistan. How can there be a separate set of rules for a Muslim and a separate set for the rest of the communities. Casteism and Sati Pratha can be banned by law but Polygamy, Triple Talaq etc cannot be banned by law because they are under the premise of the Muslim Personal Law. All this, despite the fact that India is a Hindu majority country. A Hindu is still advised to practise religious tolerance, Strange Indeed!
Some people make a hue and cry about the proposition by some political parties to make religious conversion illegal in India. They consider that religious freedom is the soul of India. Soul is very discretionary for Muslims, it is only used to their personal advantage. No one wants to look at the fact that conversion also promotes "Religious Comparison" which is a basic reason for communal discord. A person will convert to another religion only when he finds one religion either better or lucrative (most of the times there are financial benefits attached to conversion) than his existing one. Why allow conversion when present day law has the provision of banning discriminatory practises in religion (Only Muslims are immune to law by means of personal law board). Still I hear voices(from well educated people) which say that Muslims feel that they are unwanted in India, only problem for Hindus is that there are 20 crore Muslims and such a large number can neither be killed nor driven out of the country. Thus, have to somehow adjust. What a ridiculous thought?
There are many other discriminatory practises but, the final issue that I would like to take up in this blog is the biggest controversy that surrounds India for centuries, The Babri Masjid Issue. Can you imagine of a country in which there exists a mosque (which belongs to the minority community) at the birthplace of the most revered religious figure of the majority community? Leave apart the idea of having a place of worship. India had such a place! Babri Masjid was at a place where the most revered religious figure of Hindus, Sri Ram, was born. It was brought down after one of the biggest movement’s of independent India in 1992. Although, Hindus have not been able to make a temple at that spot till now, the issue has been blown out of proportion by Muslims. Many consider it to be the trigger for resentment of Muslims in India. Muslims still stake their claim on the site.
I do not want to get into any of the legal aspects of the dispute and just want Muslims to compromise their stand on only this issue for the sake of mutual brotherhood. Hindus, as narrated in the article, have compromised on all issues which were offensive to self but were in the favour of Muslims. If Muslims consider India to be their motherland and value the sentiments of Hindus, I expect them to compromise on this issue. Today, Babri Masjid is only an issue of compromise for the sake of peace.
Let us leave apart the history of creation of India. After taking into account all that is said above which takes place in present day independent India, it is high time that the so called educated and liberal Hindus take a stand on this and stop considering Babri Masjid, or any of the above mentioned issues, as religious issues. They should consider these issues as issues of understanding between two communities. Else, there will be a time when their liberal thought will cease to exist and Hindu will have no identity in the world. Identity of Hindu is completely dependent on India, if India exists Hindus exist and vice versa.
Now, this might have confused all people who have read my earlier blogs, they must be thinking how come a person who speaks about liberal and modern thought has suddenly developed a fundamentalist tone! This has a reason and I am going to discuss it now.
Almost, no Hindu will find a fault with my blog. Everyone will believe in what I have written because this blog has been written from their perspective. Many Muslims might contest the thought because they have been told about a different “Idea of India”. They will contest the fact about India being a single country since time immemorial. Many would say that India was always ruled by different rulers and was never a single country. In any case, it is only a matter of perspective on issues and the above arguments are enough to convince a Hindu that Hinduism is under threat. Thus, one has to agree to the importance of perspective and intent even while discussing facts.
All the above mentioned Hindu resentment can be very easily contested by the logic of liberal and modern thought which most of the Indians want to follow. But, when issues like the one in Kashmir come up and the scale in which they come up, it gives a very strong reason for Hindus to believe in the above mentioned logic. This also gives an opportunity to Hindu Fundamentalists to exploit the Hindu sentiment. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of every one of us who believes in modern thought to start creating a positive opinion with the intent of making a progressive nation and society as a whole.
This blog also intends to put forth the complexities that exist in the Kashmir issue from a larger Indian perspective. It is not as easy as autonomy or Plebiscite, there is a larger picture associated with it. I hope, as one of my senior says, good sense prevails after reading this piece of writing.