India as a Hindu Rashtra – A Feasibility Check

Ever since UP elected a pro-Hindu CM, I am seeing numerous posts about India turning into a Hindu Rashtra. A Hindu Rashtra is where everyone follows Hinduism and this would bring greater unity among the people of this country. This is what I can understand from the articles on my Facebook feed.

The argument is that ‘What’s wrong in a Hindu nation? Arab countries have forever been a Muslim nation so why can’t we have a Hindu nation?’. In case of the Arab countries, they have been following Islam for centuries. They didn’t recently become a Muslim nation. India on the other hand has seen numerous Kings rule the land and they include Hindus and of course the Mughals who followed Islam. We also had a significant influence of Christianity with the presence of the British.

The influence of Islam is seen in India through clothes (Salwar, Kurtas), music (guess how many Bollywood songs have an Islamic feel to it) and of course food (Mughlai cuisine). Our biggest actors are the Khans and one of the biggest music directors is AR Rehman.

My point is, even though you as a Hindu may not be following Islam, it directly or indirectly influences us. So how do you want to make India into a Hindu nation? Is there a 10-point plan where you wipe out every Islamic influence in this country? Are you going to ban Salwars because it has a Mughal origin? I highly recommend banning that salwar which makes women have puffy shoulders. How can you talk about making this country a Hindu Rashtra when there is no blueprint to go about doing it? This is as good as the business model of Flipkart or Snapdeal for making profit.

Merely electing a Hindu chief minister or a pro-Hindu political party in every state is not going to mean everyone is going to get converted to Hinduism. There are bigger problems at the grassroot level which needs to be addressed. Let me start with fractures in Hinduism. There is a Brahmin family that stays a couple of lanes away from my home where one of the daughters married a man who happened to be a Gowda. Gowdas are Hindus and I have seen some Gowda families so religious they can give Hindu priests an inferiority complex.

So, when this news reached her father, he was furious and he refused to attend his daughter’s wedding because she was marrying a member of a community that eats meat. You mean to tell me that making India a completely Hindu country will solve the problem when there are fractures like this in Hindus? Between Hindus we have problems with each other because one faction eats meat while the other does not. Inter-caste marriages have led to honour killings. I’m glad this family didn’t go to that extent.

Although I have given up my identity as a brahmin, I have seen Iyengars debate on how to put the forehead markings. Should the ‘naama’ be a U-shaped one or should it be a V-shaped one? To reach a win-win for both parties, they simply put the middle red-stump or red naama which is common for both the U-shaped and V-shaped styled naamas. Yes, people have disagreements on such trivial matters.

I had a friend who is a Madhava Brahmin, she married a person who is a GSB (Goud-Saraswat-Brahmin). GSBs are Mangalore brahmins and many are known to eat fish. Now the bride’s family was not okay with her marrying a GSB because they eat fish. Here is the irony… THEY ARE BOTH BRAHMINS! Can you see here the lack of unity among Hindus?

The other fracture is festivals. Krishna Jayanthi is one of the biggest Hindu festivals. This year it is happening on the 14th of August. Madhava Brahmins will celebrate it on 14th of Aug but there is a good chance that Iyengars will celebrate it several days later. Iyer brahmins on the other hand wont celebrate at all because they worship Shiva and his associates.

Even something like Durga Pooja is not so lavishly celebrated in South India as it is in East India. Will a Hindu Rashtra lead to festivals being uniformly celebrated throughout India? How are you going to convince non-Shiva worshippers to be as devoted to Durga Pooja as their counterparts in Bengal?

Hypothetically let us assume that all Muslims and Christians in this country agree to a Hindu Rashtra and are now going to convert into Hinduism. How are you going to handle the documentation aspect of this? Literally, millions of new identities need to be created by deleting the old ones. New Aadhar Cards must be issued and I’m sure the day is not far where they say you need to have an Aadhar Card to get an Aadhar Card. How are you going to consider the marriages done via Muslim law? Are they all now void because India is a Hindu Rashtra?

There are numerous problems in trying to make one country follow ONE religion. When you talk about Arab countries following Islam, no one wants to mention that there are segregations between the Shia and Sunni Muslims. Even in Christian countries like Ireland there are demands for segregation of Catholics and other Christian faiths.

The uninformed think, turning India into a Hindu Rashtra can be done with the flick of a switch. Nothing can be done as easily as flicking a switch except for of course literally flicking a switch.

Why do you want to unite India on the most controversial of things such as religion? Why can’t we unite this country via economic development? Start sharing posts on Facebook about the business world, about business news across the world, share something about science or art so that we aren’t polluted with hate.

 

  • Vipin MK

1 comment

  1. I would like to respectfully disagree with some of the points. It is true that we have had rule by Islamic rulers and the British and also that we have imbibed some of their traditions and cultures be it Cuisine or Hindustani Classical Music. Regarding India being a Hindu rashtra which I believe it already is because I feel Hinduism has acted as what we call the Operating system (platform) and the influences we have seen be it of Islam or British are the like the apps which have either become essential to us or some part of it can be changed from time to time if need arises. Till the medieval period we have seen many works relating to the interpretation of the Shrutis and some works which have negated some of the earlier practices. So as such Hinduism does not tell or order one to follow such and such belief,but is a collection of beliefs and faiths within itself which makes it unique from the Abrahamic religions. The best example is Indonesia where people still have Hindu names. They believe they have changed the way of worship but not forgotten their ancestors. As we have seen Hinduism being influenced by other religions, we have also seen Hinduism influencing other religions which makes India a Hindu Nation, not in terms of banning beef but it terms of common ancestry and shared values which can actually evoke strong feeling of oneness across different sections and across regions which is the need of the hour when there are “Breaking India” forces at play.

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