Wednesday, March 29th, 2023 11:34:41

War of Narrative : Why have Hindus failed to seek their legitimate position? The way forward!

By Rakesh kumar
Updated: January 31, 2023 10:09 am

In my childhood my grandpa encouraged me to  use Sanskrit shlokas as evidence. It helped me win debates  till my 10th standard. As a science student I had to take English as a medium, then It felt a bit embarrassing if one did not not  quote  some western thinker. It made me explore  the reasons behind it. I was surprised to see the powerful narrative set against Indian literature, Indian culture and Indian institutions.

It was claimed that Vasco da Gama found the sea route to India, while the fact is  India was already doing business with African countries through the sea route and he followed those traders only. On the eastern front Rajendra chola established Indian supremacy in the Far East through sea routes.

Angkor wat temples are still telling the great Indian story. Despite that, this narrative depicted India as a country of illiterates, while facts indicate that India was the most educated country where students from all parts of the world came to learn, untill invaders destroyed its temple as well as educational  institutions. India was depicted as a country of snake charmers and beggars etc, denying its  rich art,culture, trade and scientific achievements.

On Vedic literature Maxmuller had been made the final authority. Despite the fact that It is very difficult for a westerner to understand the nuances  of Indian culture without learning it from Indian scholars. Therefore many of their interpretations are not depicting the spirit of original authors who wrote Sanskrit literature.unlike English Sanskrit words have more than one  meaning. It requires a deep learning of Sanskrit grammar and the context to understand the true meaning. Ignorance of these issues became a bliss and they interpreted  the worst meaning as a result, Aryan became shepherds, Rama hurted  the pride of Sita. Krishna was playing flute to impress and so on.

A lot of time and energy is being wasted on, why is it being done? or  why it is happening with Hindus or India. The real question should have been,what are we doing to get rid of it?

Islamic countries, Japan and China have defeated it by building literature and instructions in their own languages. They challenged the derogatory narrative and could make a respectable space for counter narrative.

On the other hand, we Indians did nothing to question!  and we have no plan to challenge this narrative even now. Our greatest contribution to this mess is fighting amongst ourselves on the basis of region, language and caste.

We have given up the right to fight as a nation, by not following the advice of scriptures.

Dharma ( religion is close in meaning  yet it does not reflect the true meaning of the word dharma ) is protected by truth, knowledge is protected by practicing it, beauty is protected by cleansing and the culture is saved by imbibing it in character.

The real mistake is that  we embrace the world without understanding our own strengths. The west Is adapting our culture wherever  it suits. It has taken patents on Indian concepts,herbs and stories. Little bit of innovations and meditation  becomes mindfulness, smallpox vaccination is improvisation of Indian practice of doing the same using a thread.( Shitala – How India enabled vaccination, a  book by  Mitra Desai )

Researcher and author Rajiv Malhotra has written;

“It is high time that the Non-Left starts setting its own agenda. For that, we will have to use precise terms to express our point of view. We will have to define those terms in detail. “Accordingly he recommends

  • identify the doers
  • the thinkers,
  • bring them on a platform where they can share their achievements and reach out to the masses.

It makes sense that Instead of reacting to the narrative set by the left, we should start highlighting  our own point of view and challenge them to react. Let the 0the readers decide on its own terms.

he gives example of, #UrbanNaxal, according to him, The term is not a mere reaction. It is a well thought out analysis of a threatening ideology that is spreading like cancer across urban India.

Why India failed despite having a rich cultural as well as exceptional literary heritage.

  • To set a thriving narrative a well-defined and well-espoused ideology is required to back it. Our niti shastra like Chankya niti, Vidur niti, upanishad etc have it but we have to make it accessible  and understandable today’s context. Valmiki Ramayan has been made simple by Tulasi Das and as a result Rama and his teachings are still known and being practiced. On the other hand Geeta which is purely a scripture containing wisdom on dharma, management and the art of self actualisation is not being practiced. The Geeta has been explained to Arjun when he was feeling weak and dejected to fight. After listening to lord Krishna he was inspired to fight against injustice. This powerful narrative lost its way due to damages done by invaders.
  • The invaders imposed restrictions, like not allowing Hindus to build new temples, they forced conversion. Banned music in prayers, ringing of bells. Treated Hindus as a citizen of  lower category.
  • They levied derogatory taxes like jizya. Their narrative praises this tax, claiming it as a liberal way of allowing non Muslim to practice their religion.
  • The survival instinct of Hindus led to the Bhakti movement which started preaching a non aggressive message of love and peace.
  • If one examines the statues of deities then one finds that Vishnu and shiva and other gods holding weapons like Sudarshan chakra and Trishul and maze,bow etc had been missing post invasions. Scriptures setting a narrative of fighting injustice, destroying the oppressors were replaced. One can see a clear shift to a softer, non threatening and submissive culture.

Bhakti movement.

  • Once invaders of Abrahamic religions started ruling India, idols of Radha Krishna with flute and Sita Ram became popular and the childhood play of Krishna with gopis was given a new dimension of Ras and Maharasa. Even though Ram still carried a bow but ‘Sita Ram’ never had the power of a war cry, same was ‘Jai Shri Krishna’ !
  • Out of so many great saint poets of Bhakti movement, only Tulasidas and guru Gobind singh Ji talked about fighting atrocities and opposing the oppressors while Nanak along  with other great saints like Surdas ,Mira, Tukaram, Eknath, Raidas, Kabir  focused on spirituality. On one hand it helped Hindus to come out of depression and survive the onslaught but it also killed the spirit to fight .This movement ensured that faith is retained and Hinduism survived while other civilisations got eliminated. An exception was made by guru Samarth Ramdas and Chhatrapati Shivaji who challenged this supremacy  on both counts, Jai Bhavani , Jai ekling were revived. The Maratha kingdom demolished the Mugal empire.However fighting spirit mellowed  down in general, as a result acceptance of the culture of ruler led to acceptance of its supremacy as well.

British onslaught

  • Britishers who ruled India for a much shorter time destroyed native educational system completely and it also built a sense of supremacy towards English as well as English rituals.
  • Rich and powerful Indians started learning it and sending children to England for higher studies became. On one hand it allowed them to see the fruits of democracy, Modern law and  science, on  the other hand every thing Indian became a stigma in their mind.  The   damage done was so deep that many good things were also discarded.

1947 gave political independence only.

  • The failure of governments of independent India to provide quality education aligned to local culture has added salt to the injury.  This trend kept on increasing as congress adopted socialism empowering the left to take over education as well as trade unions.
  • As no major change was made in administration and the judicial system. Independence neither led to empowerment of masses nor to easy delivery of justice.
  • Page three events started setting the standards, filmi heroes,rich and powerful became the role model and freedom fighters, social reformers, lost significance.
  • Our first prime minister who himself was a product of this culture did not attempt to create an Indianised administration or educational system, instead English, a language of the elite, continued to rule. This marginalized non-English speaking public and helped anti Indian culture gangs to hold their grounds. Most of the leading educational institutions as well as government organizations remained under their control.

Indian cinema.

The ecosystem discussed above  has created  literature which depicts Hindu as fundamentalist, biased and non progressive. Let’s take the example of partition of india. It was exclusively demanded by Muslim league and Hindus were never involved . To pressurize the cause of carving an exclusive state for Muslims,1  ‘Direct action day’  was called as a result  riots against Hindus took place, thousands were brutally killed.

Congress was not prepared to counter it and was  forced to accept partition of India ignoring the will of the people, as well as that of Mahatma Gandhi. As a result invaders who looted the wealth  and killed men raped women, destroyed temples and institutions like Nalanda and takshila could claim the rewards by projecting themselves as victims of Hindu majority.

The most painful part is that  stories written by Indian authors also support this narrative ignoring the fact that Hindus and Sikhs  were annihilated in Pakistan yet plays like ‘ Jis  Lahore  nahin dekhya’ novels like ‘pinjar’ are in plenty.

“relentless production of this literature provides fuel to Indian cinema . Film industry keeps on updating itself as per the changing socio-political climate of the country. Take the example of  the film ‘chak de india’ the film is taken from the life of Indian hockey player Meer Ranjan Negi, who was the goalkeeper of the Indian hockey team which lost to Pakistan. Charges of match fixing were made resulting  in character assignation. Negi fought back and coached the Indian women’s team to great success. The Yash raj film selected the story but changed the name to Kabeer khan, giving it a Hindu Muslim colour. Slogan like’ go to Pakistan’  were shown. Same is the fate of film dangal. The great pseudo reformist who anchored the programme ‘Satyamev jayate’ belittling Hindu ways of worship ,shamelessly provided a Taveej ( amulet) to a Hindu wrestler, a sincere coach is  shown as a conspirator.  This happens in every movie, as a result  when such narrative is served to the masses it takes a position of power and eminence across the world. Akbar and Shahjahan become epitome of love and harmony, the facts about their cruelties are dumped. Atrocities of centuries are equated with some stray incidents. If a young Indian child thinks Hindus as communal and hard liners, who is to be blamed?

The judicial system should have punished the guilty without caring for religion or caste  but we failed to achieve this and divided the society further.

Judiciary is lenient to the narrative.

The narrative is so powerful that even the judiciary is not able to focus on justice exclusively. In Nupur Sharma case a modern society would have examined the facts judiciously and the spirit of natural justice would have ensured  that suitable opportunity was given. The roles of  the anchor, TV channel, and the instigating participants should have been investigated. But the narrative took the matter in their hands, a call for  ‘ sar tan se juda’ was issued, hefty booty was offered, as a result of this, two persons were beheaded. Image of India in the world was shattered.

On the contrary, the death sentence is awarded to a terrorist by the Supreme Court after following the full process of law, providing full opportunity to defend. The narrative in question repented saying slogans  as “ Afzal hum sharminda hain tere qatil zinda hain’ meaning that we are ashamed to see that your assassins are alive” here the narrative is labeling judges as murderers. The sad part is that neither  the  nation is hurt nor the judges. No cognisance is given.

When exodus of Kashmiri pandit was taking place it never occurred to courts to take suo moto action despite doing so in much lighter causes;

“46 Suo Moto Cases in the Supreme Court from 1990-2021”

(Supreme Court observer June 4 2021 a report by Mihir R.)

One can not understand how it escaped the attention. More hurting is declining the plea once again!

“SC rejects yet another plea for SIT probe into Kashmiri Pandit exodus.”

(Express News Service. September 20 2022)

The nationalist have to take charge and represent the cause of such victims well in time ! Again it is needed  to  identify the suitable advocates willing to take up the matter, and bring them together to be more effective . It may need crowdfunding as well therefore creating a suitable platform is a must.

The brutal power of this narrative.

This narrative is not only against Hindus but against the Indian state as well.For example, the extremist who were responsible for killing,raping and exodus of kashmiri pandits could secure government protection and the victim were left shattered. Indian para military forces fighting  these rouges were  accused of violating human rights. Stone pelting was justified. Fighting these forces become much more complicated due to this narrative.

It is rightly said, “In both law and politics, I think the real battle is the meta-battle of framing a narrative “ Ted Cruz.

All is not lost

Despite these handicaps, individual efforts were being made. The exceptional higher  quality of Indian scriptures, art and craft helped. Swami Dayanand and Vivekanand led to this  revival. Top  management institutes have started teaching courses based on Indian scriptures.  It is heartening to see that Indian students are also able to see merit and these  courses which were initially approved  reluctantly for a change, have become popular.

The way forward

a small number of nationalist were always fighting. Revival of Ganesh Puja by Lokmanya Tilak was a big transformation. Off late Hindus have started reacting, enmass boycott of films, filling of cases against such wrongful depiction has shown some response. Few OTT serials have shown the courage to counter this narrative. The making of Uri, Kashmir files by the brave directors  as well as box office success is a pleasant surprise. But the main issue is creating the right content.

Social media empowering the common man.

Social media has empowered the common man and some level playing field has been created. Presstitutes are on the run. TV channels like NDTV have lost relevance.Many youtubers are doing wonderful jobs having huge followings.

They are able to set trends on twitter.

Identifying and nurturing good content writers and bringing them together for a common cause is needed.

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

The above Hopi American Indian proverb leaves nothing to guess.

The left or anti india narrative has worked hard, they have influenced the young mind in educational institutions. As a result despite not being in power they are setting the agenda, taking hostage the nation is a routine. However Davids is challenging Goliath now. New educational policy with focus on

  • Mother tongue as medium of instruction
  • To redesign all curriculum and pedagogy to be strongly rooted in the Indian and local context and ethos in terms of culture, traditions, heritage, customs, language, philosophy, geography, ancient and contemporary knowledge.

Will help in eliminating this narrative in due course. To conclude one has to remember,

“Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.”

― Jean Luc Godard.

Great stories  of the fIndian renaissance are waiting to rise and shine! Are we ready to explore ?


By Rakesh kumar

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