The Hindu Rate Of Wrath

 

 

 

Magazine| Nov 10, 2008 

opinion

The Hindu Rate Of Wrath 

When the Mahatma’s cowards erupt in fury, it hurts. It isn’t terror. 

FRANCOIS GAUTIER

 

 

Is there such a thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’, as the arrest  

of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for

 

the recent Malegaon blasts may tend to prove? Well,

I guess I was asked to write this column

because I am one of that rare breed of foreign

correspondents—a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman,

Catholic-educated and non-Hindu, I do hope I’ll be

given some credit for my opinions,

which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my

education or my atavism, but garnered

from 25 years of reporting in South Asia

(for Le Journal de Geneve andLe Figaro).

 

In the early 1980s, when I started freelancing in

south India, doing photo features on

kalaripayattu, the Ayyappa festival, or the Ayyanars,

I slowly realised that the genius

of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, in the true

spirituality behind Hinduism. The average

Hindu you meet in a million villages possesses this simple,

innate spirituality and accepts your

diversity, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Jain or Arab,

French or Chinese. It is this Hinduness

that makes the Indian Christian different from, say,

a French Christian, or the Indian Muslim unlike

a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only

believed that the divine could manifest itself at

different times, under different names, using different

scriptures (not to mention the wonderful avatar

concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife)

but that they had also given refuge to

persecuted minorities from across the world—Syrian Christians,

Parsis, Jews, Armenians, and today,

Tibetans. In 3,500 years of existence, Hindus have

never militarily invaded another country, never tried

to impose their religion on others by force or induced conversions.

You cannot find anybody less fundamentalist than a

Hindu in the world and it saddens me when I see

the Indian and western press equating terrorist groups

like SIMI, which blow up innocent civilians, with

ordinary, angry Hindus who burn churches without

killing anybody. We know also that most of these

communal incidents often involve persons from the

same groups—often Dalits and tribals—some of who

have converted to Christianity and others not.

However reprehensible the destruction of Babri Masjid,

no Muslim was killed in the process; compare

this to the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Bombay,

which wiped out hundreds of innocents, mostly

Hindus. Yet the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by

journalists as the more horrible act of

the two. We also remember how Sharad Pawar, when

he was chief minister of Maharashtra in 1993,

lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone

off in a Muslim locality of Bombay.

I have never been politically correct, but have always

written what I have discovered while

reporting. Let me then be straightforward about this

so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first

Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end

of terrorism, whether it was by Timur, who killed

1,00,000 Hindus in a single day in 1399, or by the

Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa.

Today, Hindus are still being targeted: there were one

million Hindus in the Kashmir valley in 1900; only

a few hundred remain, the rest having fled in terror.

Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent

Hindus all over India in the last four years. Hindus,

the overwhelming majority community of this country,

are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the

most basic facilities for one of their most sacred

pilgrimages in Amarnath while their government heavily

sponsors the Haj. They see their brothers and

sisters converted to Christianity through inducements and

financial traps, see a harmless 84-year-old swami

and a sadhvi brutally murdered. Their gods are blasphemed.

So sometimes, enough is enough.At some point,

after years or even centuries of submitting

like sheep to slaughter, Hindus—whom the

Mahatma once gently called cowards—erupt in

uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat.

It happened in Jammu, then in

Kandhamal, Mangalore, and Malegaon. It may happen again

elsewhere. What should be understood

is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground,

by ordinary Hindus, without any planning from

the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting

embarrassed, should not disown those

who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.

There are about a billion Hindus, one in every six

persons on this planet. They form one of the most

successful, law-abiding and integrated communities

in the world today. Can you call them terrorists?

  


 

(The writer is the editor-in-chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde.)  

 

1 Comment

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One response to “The Hindu Rate Of Wrath

  1. ab

    Finally, somebody is writing the truth about the hindus. It wont be long before the hindus will be second rate citizens in their own country, or fight like the jews because of the rise of islamic extremism…Islam has traditionally won all it’s fights through guns, children (increasing the population) and training children to take up guns. Islam has thrived on genocide.

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