Need of the hour : Pro-national narratives
By Deepak Kumar Rath
When the country is treading the path of becoming the Vishwaguru, some political leaders have denigrated Hinduism by criticising Sri Ramcharitmanas and, thus, have stunned the people. In essence, their statements are an endeavour to spread antagonism against Hindus so as to disturb the prevalent peace in the country for the political benefit of themselves and their party. In a diverse culture country like ours, one should strictly refrain from saying anything that promotes hatred against one religion. It is important for all religions to be imbued with a sense of amity and camaraderie, so that peace and harmony can prevail. Therefore, stern action should be taken against these leaders for making hate statements, targeting a particular community. In fact, their statements are pure poison and objectionable in the extreme. Against this backdrop, their statements are the work of ignorant and misdirected or motivated individuals and an attack on a religious text that defines the very soul of our great civilisation. Here it is worth mentioning that Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently announced at a public meeting in Tripura that on January 1, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the grand temple of Lord Rama in Ayodhya, and later, in the meeting of the BJP Working Committee, a resolution was passed regarding the construction of Ram temple and its inauguration date. These two things have increased the concern of the country’s so-called secular and leftist parties and their leaders and they are beginning to feel that after the completion of this important work of Sanatan Hindu Samaj under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they will have no place in the Hindu public. Because of this fear, they have activated their anti-Rama gang and attacks have started on beliefs, deities, scriptures and centers of faith, related to Hindu culture. It started with the attack on Sri Ramcharitmanas, the all-loved book of Hindus.
In fact, unlike any other religion the world Hinduism promoted pluralism in the forms of pluralities of Gods and Goddesses. There is no compulsion on Hindus to worship a particular God or Goddess, nor does it compel one to worship his or her God in a particular way or method. In fact, Hinduism even respects those who do not want to worship at all. As a faith, Hinduism is inclusive, and inner-directed. It does not impose itself on its own adherents. So no question of its imposing itself on others arises. This principle of life has been observed and unfailingly put into practice by the inhabitants of this land since time immemorial. That was why they could receive invading Sakas and Hunas and assimilate them and integrate them into their society. That was why they could receive the Jews, Parsis, Shia Muslims and the early Christians – all of whom came as refugees, with their thoughts and beliefs orphaned in their own lands – and treat them as equal members of this ancient society. There was no modern constitution that guaranteed rights to minorities then; there were no secularists to protect them from the majority. It was the majority inhabitants, seeped in their Hindu way of life or Dharma, who protected them. The non-conflicting nature of Hindu Dharma is not just a matter of theory, but an observed practice that has been followed and adhered to for ages. But the above-mentioned political leaders seem not to be convinced of all these great attributes of Hinduism.
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