When Every Retelling Of Our Heroes' Stories Is Opposed, You Know The 'Rebels' Have Become The 'Empire'
The making of movies on Maratha warriors Bajirao and Tanhaji, on irrepressible Prithviraj Chauhan, the telling of Padmavat and their successes is the evidence of the resurgence of India.
However, as India rediscovers and celebrates its past, in jumps a gang which claims to be fighting for Hindu rights but really appears to be the same group it claims to fight against.
‘Battle not with the monsters, lest ye become the monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’ - Nietzsche, German Philosopher
India is in a churn. While the terms ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ do not fit precisely in the Indian context, and every day less so, militant communism is fast losing its relevance too. The idea of communism, which transcends national loyalties, is bound to corrode as national identities collide with one another in a globally connected world as people stick tighter to their national identities, lest they be drowned in a flood of internationalism.
As the world splits itself between the communist non-believers and Abrahamic believers, what is termed as ‘Hindu renaissance’ is nothing but a desperate attempt of the world’s oldest and increasingly marginalised faith to hold on to its earliest and last area of influence (what with the fall of Afghanistan). This Hindu resurgence has less to do with communal fanaticism and more with defending the historical and cultural identity of India at a time when national identities are colliding the world over.
Often, politicians confuse this with the emergence of Narendra Modi in Indian politics. In my opinion, it worked the other way round. As the worlds gets closer and intimately connected, an adherence to a common national identity or Indianness or bharateeyata is the only guarantee which holds our beings together, whether one is an Indian Muslim in the Saudi or a Tamil Indian in America.
Narendra Modi was the right man at the right time, with his heart in the right place. He understood Indian ethos, historical identity of India and was willing to pledge his political capital to perpetuate it and to defend it, as a leader and as a person. The left or the Islamo-Communist entity which ruled the intellectual sphere of Indian society, suddenly found that they had built their Indian Kremlin on quicksand. The ‘Mao-Maulana combine’, threatened and alarmed, woke up and latched on to the Congress, which was itself floating in darkness under a lost leadership. It was this ideological surrender by the principal opposition party which resulted in polarisation. The polarisation is not between different communities. The polarisation is between different nations; one which is embarrassed and ignorant of its history and heritage and another which is proud of it.
The leftist intellectuals do not understand this. Men fear what they do not understand. The world around them changes swiftly and they find their collective irrelevance growing with the times. Article 370 takes Kashmir, the land of Sage Kashyap nurtured by Ashoka, back into the fold of Bharat and they hate it. The Ram temple is being built after judicial intervention and they hate it. Madrassas are being modernised to raise citizens of modern India instead of creating sympathisers of the Middle-East and they hate it. This puts a spanner in the plans of the hammer-and-sickle gang. They need obedient fanatics. Education does not allow for it.
As bit by bit the images of ancient glory are being restored, dust is being wiped off from the memories sullied by the doctored shame forced on the Indian mind. The left lobby, which hates national identities, is in shock as it wakes up to a Joe Biden taking oath on the Bible, to an Emmanuel Macron pledging to fight against expansionist internationalism, to a Narendra Modi rebuilding the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.
Since the time the first forces of the Caliphate knocked on the gates of India, we held on to our resistance for centuries as against Europe which fell in 70 years. India, since the time of Vishnu Purana was not Delhi Sultanate, rather a federation of state nations. Falling of Delhi did not amount to capitulation of Bharat. We are beginning to understand and appreciate the valour of our ancestors, in the face of barbaric and fanatic forces which they could not understand.
As India explores its glorious past, there emerges a strange set of Sanatan warriors. They are the crusaders who fight for Dharma, one tweet at a time, and strangely, they end up fighting the very people who represent the best of their faith. They outrage over rebuilding of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and instead make the case for a dilapidated shrine, overwhelmed with symbols of aggression looming over its very existence, like a gaping wound. They, in a puritan zeal, will assign castes to the Heroes of Hinduism and if you oppose, they will call you ‘mlechcha’.
The making of movies on Maratha warriors Bajirao and Tanhaji, on irrepressible Prithviraj Chauhan, the telling of Padmavat and their successes is the evidence of the resurgence of Bharat. However, as India pauses to celebrate its glorious past, jumps in this gang which claims to be fighting for Hindu rights but in reflection appears to be the same group it claims to fight against. Dig deeper and you will find personal agendas and political games meant to derail an entire movement that is underway to reclaim our roots.
Western secularism is based on tolerance. Indian Hindu secularism is about acceptance. There is disdain towards alien ideology inherent in the idea of tolerance. There is respect and accommodative spirit stitched into the Hindu idea of acceptance. Western acceptance is about being a melting pot, in which every constituent loses character; Indian acceptance is about being a salad bowl, in which every constituent co-exists without compromising on its individual identity. The fanatics on the right do harm to Hinduism and the national idea that they claim to serve. Not only do they themselves attack those who work on the ground, like the Arya Samaj and RSS; they also give fodder to the leftists who are on a Quixotic adventure to show Hindus as perpetual aggressors.
Christopher Hitchens wrote- ‘Those who are determined to be offended, will discover provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading make the attempt.’ Much like the Islamists, these fanatics on this side too get hurt easily. Three is no point in trying to calm them down. This isn’t to say that Dr Dwivedi’s movie will be the final word on the history of Prithviraj Chauhan. It could well be a flawed telling of the tale. But then at least he is breaking the silence and that should be celebrated.
Best is the enemy of good. Accept the good and improve on it. Unlike the fanatics on the other side, we are born in a philosophical culture of debate and dialogue. We are men and women of many books. A Manu who was the greatest proponent of the Rigvedic ritualistic religion, had his own grandson as the founder of rational Sankhya Darshan.
Their version of fanatic Hinduism must be opposed at every step. When they showcase their lunacy, say by opposing women performing last rites or when they promote caste conflicts, they must be countered vehemently. They become the strawman, their stray tweets become the point on which entire Hindu society, ever-liberal and ever-evolving, is maligned. The Communists will ignore a shameful tweet by the authorised district unit handle of Congress but will pick a tweet by some nondescript handle one the death of a hero to attack entire India. Let us not allow those who hate India to create a fictional fanatic Hindu as some sort of justification or as a counterpoint to global extremism which celebrates the gruesome killing of CRPF soldiers. We are not them. We are better than that. Let us not allow them to turn us into the monsters we have been fighting for centuries. Not now, not when we are finally winning.
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