07 April, 2013


As a child, I grew up with lovely Hindu 'uncles' and 'aunts' who taught me the finest aspects of Hinduism. I came to respect its culture, its flexibility, the beauty of its original customs and festivals and the innocent naturalness of its belief system. In recent times Vivekananda's emphasis on sarva dharma.. and Gandhi's on ahimsa endeared it to the modern mind. Then came this man, using the same religion to sell hatred. He instilled fear in the mind of such a large community and encashed that fear projecting himself as their protector, by perpetrating / allowing perpetration of cruelties on a small minority. [I wonder what can be the mentality of his admirers who regard such a base act as an act of courage, of machismo. Actually, I think he projected Hindus as cowards frightened of a people numbering barely 12% their number. This alone is enough reason for really brave, truly dharmik Hindus to dislike him] Then his excesses poisoned a number of Hindus that used to call themselves my friend. As they distanced from me, after my lifetime's work for amity and national service, I boycotted them even more fiercely. Then came along another fine bunch of Hindus; excellent humans, the finest our humanity has to offer. One by one I met great humans who had taken upon themselves the trouble of undoing his wrongs - and suffering for it. Girls and boys plunged their careers to strengthen my hands. A girl came along from a distance to serve SPRAT [that we were running to promote rationality] largely to undo his crimes. An old man, octogenarian, took me out to see the mayhem, urging me to commit to social service. Hindus came from eldorado in UK and US to serve Muslims of Gujarat. All of them felt apologetic, ashamed, guilty.. as if it was THEY who wronged the Muslims. I who was planning to quit India tired of Ahmedabad's recurring communal riots, felt ashamed and took the plunge into full time social service. Hence I will NOT allow this man to speak in the name of Hindus, not for my friends, not my uncles and aunts. I will not let him speak for my country. He has shamed Hindus, he has shamed Hinduism and he has brought infamy to India. In another world, and in righteous times, Hindus should be hunting this man out. But how difficult it is to bare your chest and tell your truth! As you say, Itna mushkil hai apne dil ki kahani likhna. Jaise pani pe pani se pani likhna  

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