Hindus Need Long Term Political Strategy And Dharmic Awakening
Lack of political strategy and vision results in the failure of Hindu unity and infighting. It has made them politically weak in spite of being in the majority.
It is necessary to develop a dharmic awakening in the overall society.
It surprises me that among certain Hindu groups there is still a lack of political strategy, including absence of a long-term political patience and vision.
We are starting to see some Hindus becoming upset with PM Narendra Modi for not doing enough for the Hindu cause in his first two years. A few seem ready to give up on Modi and take their revenge on him at the polls, while others are feeling disillusioned, disinclined to support the government or go forward with their own work, as they feel the forces are against them.
Removing anti-Hindu laws and attitudes, whether it is the State governments taking money from Hindu temples, or negative images of Hinduism in textbooks; requires changing long-standing institutions, and not simply making a decree. The pressure must come from grass roots levels, as reflected in the polls over a long period of time.
We must remember that the PM is not a king who can unilaterally project and enforce changes from above, regardless of the opposition or procedural necessities. The PM has to deal with the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, a hostile judiciary, a hostile media and academia, and an often hostile and resistant bureaucracy, including an overall culture of non-performance, nepotism and corruption. That opposition is getting more vociferous over time, as it feels threatened for its future.
In addition are resistant State governments, who have their own agendas, and the limitations arising from foreign affairs, where India does not always have strong partners.The great demand of people for economic development cannot be ignored either. And what looms over all this are the threat of terrorist attacks.
The Slow Dawning of a New Era
The previous Congress rule of ten years compromised every institution in the country, and intentionally so. Congress made sure that Modi would face a great deal of opposition from the institutions they had cultivated for so long.
While the government having changed, bureaucrats from the Congress era still have much power and can sabotage things from behind the scenes. Congress run ministries and departments, rewarded their followers with bungalows, vacations, family help, and outright bribes. As people lose these benefits, they will naturally resist. Of course, many bureaucrats do good work and should not be stigmatized as a whole, but a few non-compliant officials can slow down many projects.
Dealing with this government morass is complicated and requires patience and time. But one must be determined and persistent, which is what the Modi administration is doing.
The government has initiated many positive initiatives to raise India at all levels, as well as to dramatically improve its stature in the world. Significant progress has been made in many areas of infrastructure, ease in doing business, and development of the poor. Religious favoritism, however, cannot be made into a government agenda – but removing biases against Hindus is possible and is proceeding in a number of areas, though with stiff resistance.
Curiously the anti-Modi opposition accuses Modi of promoting Hindu causes in a quick, forceful and biased manner, having an opposite view of the situation as to what some Hindus see.
Lessons from the Vajpayee Era
One should carefully remember the lessons of the Vajpayee era. Hindus were also upset with Vajpayee, perhaps more rightly so as his administration was more compromising, often compelled by coalition politics.Nevertheless, Vajpayee’s administration was much better than the previous Congress administrations and took a number of positive initiatives on developmental and cultural levels.
In 2004, disgruntled Hindus refused to support of Vajayapee. The result was that Congress, by only a few seats, became the largest party in the country, and formed the government. Instead of Vajpayee, who barely lost, Hindus received ten years of Sonia Gandhi and perhaps the most anti-Hindu regime in the history of modern India and which turned out to be one of the most corrupt governments in the modern world. A stronger support for Vajpayee may have averted that disaster. It is hard to see what Hindus benefited from abandoning Vajpayee and letting Congress return.
Need for Constructive Criticism
I do not mean that Hindus should not criticize the Modi government or pressure the Modi administration to fulfill an agenda that removes discrimination against them. Such criticism is essential for balance, as the Left will be pressuring the government from the other side. The government has done things that certainly can be criticized and may prove to be mistakes in the long run. But constructive criticism is different from negative emotional reactions that lose the forward momentum.
Hindu groups should realize that the most important thing is to maintain and consolidate political power for a government that supports the deeper dharma of the country. It is the failure of Hindus to unite – often owing to fighting among themselves, that has made them politically weak, though they form a great majority.
Today the opposition, which has more internal differences, is slowly uniting. For Hindus to fragment in terms of their political will would only give the decimated opposition a space to regroup and reassert their biased agendas.
Need for Proactive and Support Measures
Hindus should become more proactive and not expect the government to do everything. They should promote a complementary pro-dharma movement in society. This means more Hindu activists including those Hindu voices challenging the media and academia,strive towards developing new non-governmental dharmic institutions and schools, and building new Hindu temples. A dharmic awakening must be encouraged in the society overall.
The most important goal is that this government should stay in power and then come back for a second term when it can do much more. Only if a good foundation is created first can more dramatic changes be made later.
If a non-BJP government comes back instead, one can expect the same oppression – if not worse – as the Sonia UPA, but with the return of the Marxists, anti-national and anti-Hindu forces with a vengeance. This would be an unprecedented disaster that might take longer than another ten years to recover.
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