Hindu Assertiveness

Vincent Kundukulam

One factor that has changed in our country and which subsidises inter-caste and inter-religious violence in our day-to-day life is the Hindu entitlement. The neo-Hindu philosophers had interpreted Indian-ness in terms of a meek, humble and docile manhood. Lord Rama who gave up the kingship and disappeared into the forest to lead the life of a sannyasin was praised as a hero in Hindu catechesis. At present, this mental construct is thoroughly changing among the majority of Hindus. In the place of ideals like compassion and love new identity is being constructed around pride, arrogance, hatred, aggressiveness, revengefulness, retaliation and lust for power. The dormant feeling of majority consciousness is fast wakening up. With an over 80 percent of Hindu population, it is impossible to put into sleep the sense of majority consciousness.

We may accuse the Sang-Parivar associations for having stimulated in the Hindus the dormant feeling of assertiveness. But identifying the villain behind the curtain is not enough. Think, why does Modi remain as a hero for the ordinary Hindus even though the image he presents is that of a global statesman than the one who really cares for his people? Under him, BJP has been made one-man party and still why there is no strong opposition in the party against his politics? Modi keeps silence when Hindutva brigades talk nonsense and do treacherous acts against the minorities, Dalits, women, children, Adivasis, etc. Why then the secular minded Hindus, whom we consider as the majority, keep mum and thereby silently endorse his behaviour?

Think about the performance of BJP government during the last five-years. It has proved to be a failure in fulfilling the promises to the poor. What Mani Shankar Aiyar pointed out about India growing fast after the liberalization of economy is also true with regard to the situation of India under the BJP rule: India is prospering but Indians are not. The benefits of the development are disproportionately siphoned off by a small segment of the population that finds itself on the high growth trajectory while the bulk of the people experience little ‘trickle down’ benefits from the growth process. The benefits of the liberalization of the economy reaches only to the top 10 percent. The rest of the 90 percent gets the worst of the liberalization policies. Despite people dying on the queue on account of the wrongly implemented demonetization, destruction of small scale industries across the country, setback for the middle class businessmen and heavy loss for the farmers, why, still many of these sections of people remain attached to the politics of Hindutva? It confirms the hypothesis that there is the resurgence of Hindu identity in the country.

The question is, does our contemporary Hindus really want, in the present world scenario, India to remain as a secular, democratic and socialist nation? Since the Gujarat riots against Muslims in 2002 and the Khandamal attacks on Christians, day by day, the riots, terrorism, politically instigated sexual violence and lynching multiplied in the country. The Congress and the Leftist parties constantly remind people about the damage happening to the secular fabric of Indian identity. But the people apparently don’t take them seriously. The discourses that shun communalism does not decrease the attraction for majority assertiveness. The reason is the strong sense of Hindu entitlement among the non-Christian and non-Muslim population. In front of the mounting Hindu pride, the ordinary Hindu ignores the Indian legacy of diversity and universalness. They are happy, if under Modi the pride of the nation goes high in the world.

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