STANDING TALL – The Hindu Story

 

 

ROHAN. S. VERNEKAR

 

For years, or centuries should I say, have the Hindus been persecuted, be it for their religion, beliefs, thoughts or for that fact, their existence as a whole.

For one thing, we are no new comers to this world. Our existence (of about 5000 + years) goes way back to when this world wasn’t even civilized enough for any sort of culture to flourish. It is with this religion that everything from God, culture, love for nature, art, philosophy, literature and science had spread.

Ancient India is estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world’s wealth up to the 18th century.

The period of Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence during the reigns of the Mauryan kings , is known among its admirers as the “Golden Age of India” . During this period aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion spread to much of Asia.

We as Hindus have achieved so much all along, even today our population stands at 1 billion strong. Hinduism being the third largest religion in the world is at this point facing grave dangers from various quarters, one being the communists (self-proclaimed atheists) and the other being the two largest “anti-idol worship” and monotheist religions namely Islam and Christianity.

Why I say the communists is because these red flag waving “you know what” think that religion is an obstruction in the path of progress. Now people might say that it is true but tell me how many communists countries have actually seen progress, development and whatever their communist party leaders have promised them ……To be frank none, be it Cuba, former USSR, North Korea, even China (her having a mixed economy, which is the main reason for its 8%+ growth rate but if u see from the inside, BBC reports say that thousands of riots take place in china every year, though unheard off because after all, the state media is controlled by its leaders and to top it all, China has border issues with every single of its neighbours one of its biggest being Tibet) , most of these countries are in shambles, take an example in India itself, 60 years of communist rule in West Bengal has got them nowhere with all its promise of equality and prosperity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on to the most saddening part of Hindu history: The Muslim Invasion of  Hindustan.

The Muslim conquest of the Indian sub-continent  led to widespread carnage because Muslims regarded the Hindus as infidels and therefore slaughtered and converted millions of Hindus. Will Durant argued in his 1935 book “The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage” (page 459):

The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.

Prof. K.S. Lal, suggests a calculation in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India which estimates that between the years 1000 AD and 1500 AD the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million. Even those Hindus who converted to Islam were not immune from persecution, which was illustrated by the Muslim Caste System in India as established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari. where they were regarded as “Ajlaf” caste and subjected to severe discrimination by the “Ashraf” castes.

The Hindu minority in Kashmir has also been historically persecuted by Muslim rulers. While Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony for certain periods of time, several Muslim rulers of Kashmir were intolerant of other religions. Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413) is often considered the worst of these. Historians have recorded many of his atrocities. The Tarikh-i-Firishta records that Sikandar persecuted the Hindus and issued orders proscribing the residency of any other than Muslims in Kashmir. He also ordered the breaking of all “golden and silver images”. The Tarikh-i-Firishta further states: “Many of the Brahmins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Mohmedans. After the emigration of the Bramins, Sikundur ordered all the temples in Kashmir to be thrown down. Having broken all the images in Kashmir, (Sikandar) acquired the title of ‘Destroyer of Idols’”. The 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre was another incident where 30 Hindu pilgrims were killed on route to Amarnath temple.

These are only a few of the several thousand atrocities against the Hindus. It is estimated that in the last 10 centuries around 100 million Hindus have sacrificed their lives for the sake of their religion and it is only because of them that we Hindus stand here till today with our heads held high.

This whole “Atiti Devo Bhava” attitude of ours has backfired on us many a times (welcoming the Parsis has been an exception though) and we still haven’t learnt our lessons, this time it being the Christian Missionaries.

These missionaries have constantly targeted the downtrodden and backward class of the Hindu society, offering them money, education, housing and other such pleasantries in exchange of their faith. Proselytization, is one of the things  that these missionaries are very good at, so only they are to be blamed if their priests are lynched or burned alive (as in the Graham Staines case) .

Those days are gone, when Hindus used to keep quiet and bear being persecuted over and over again. We have evolved and grouped ourselves to protect what is ours. This is quite evident from the various Hindutva groups seen these days, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak  Sangh (RSS)  being the most powerful and influential of the lot. These groups now play an active role in issues ranging from health, education, sanitation and also politics.

Today’s Hindus have worked their way up, not waiting for a chance but grabbing them by the neck. Them being one of the richest (Mittals, Ambanis, Bansals, Tatas,   Adanis, Godrejs), the most beautiful (Nicole Faria, Sushmita Sen, Aishwaria Rai, Priyanka Chopra), the most inventive (Vinod Dham, Pranav Mistry, Sabeer Bhatia), the most respected (the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak) and the list goes on.

This shows that nothing can break us and we will keep growing and prospering even if the rest of the world pounds on us ……all of this to the envy of everyone else.

We are too big to bring down by a couple of  pseudo seculars, hindu bashers or any other power in this world, we’ve been standing tall even after so many years of foreign aggression ……That says it all…..