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Updated: July 23, 2013 11:08 IST

What Hindus can and should be proud of

Ramachandra Guha
Comment (178)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Those who care for the future of the religion should valorise the work of reformers who rid an ancient, ossified faith of its divisions, prejudices, and closed-mindedness

A bhadralok friend of mine is of the view that the Government of India should celebrate every December 16 as Vijay Diwas, Victory Day, to mark the surrender in 1971 of the Pakistani forces in Dhaka to the advancing Indian Army. My friend argues that such a celebration would take Indians in general, and Hindus in particular, out of the pacifist, defeatist mindset that he claims has so crippled them. The triumph in Dhaka represents for him the finest moment in a millenia otherwise characterised by Indian (and more specifically Hindu) humiliation at the hands of foreigners.

I was reminded of my friend’s fond fantasy when reading about the posters in Mumbai recently put up by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party. These carry portraits of a prominent BJP leader, with two accompanying slogans: ‘I AM A HINDU NATIONALIST,’ in English, and ‘Garv sé Kaho Ham Hindu Hain’, in Hindi. The latter slogan needs perhaps to be translated for south Indian readers, and set in context for younger ones. ‘Proudly Proclaim Our Hindu-Ness’, would be a faithful rendition. The slogan originates in the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign of the 1980s and 1990s, when it was used by the VHP, RSS, BJP, and Bajrang Dal cadres to mobilise men and materials in the drive to demolish a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya believed by many to be sited on the birthplace of the (mythical) God Ram.

Victory in Dhaka

Should Hindus be proud of the Indian Army’s victory in Dhaka in 1971? Perhaps as Indians, but not specifically as Hindus. The war had its basis in the savage repression of Bengalis in East Pakistan by the West Pakistan Army. The refugees who came to India were both Hindus and Muslims. The help rendered to them by the Government of India did not discriminate according to their faith. As for the Indian military campaign, the chief commander in the field was a Jew, his immediate superior a Sikh. A Parsi served as Chief of Army Staff. His own superior, the Prime Minister of India, had notoriously been disallowed from entering the Jagannath temple in Puri because she had not married a Hindu.

To be sure, many soldiers and officers in the Indian Army were of Hindu origin. Yet they never saw themselves in narrowly communal terms. In our armed forces, then and now, Hindu and Muslim, Christian and Sikh, Parsi and Jew, lived, laboured and struggled together.

Hindu in intent and content

Unlike the military campaign in East Pakistan in 1971, the campaign to build a temple in Ayodha was unquestionably Hindu in intent and content. No Muslims or Sikhs or Parsis or Jews or Christians participated in it. But should Hindus have been proud of it? I rather think not. In a society where so many are without access to adequate education, health care and housing, where malnutrition is rife and where safety and environmental standards are violated every minute, to invest so much political energy and human capital in the demolition of a mosque and its replacement with a brand-new temple seemed wildly foolish, if not downright Machiavellian. As it turned out, the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign led to two decades of strife across northern and western India, with thousands of people losing their lives and hundreds of thousands their homes and livelihoods.

The war of 1971 was not a Hindu war, and the destruction of the Babri Masjid was not something that could fill Hindus with pride. What then, should Hindus be proud of? The answer is that rather than seek for one defining moment, one heroic triumph, Hindus who care for the fate and future of Hinduism should instead valorise the quiet, persistent work of reformers down the centuries to rid an ancient, ossified faith of its divisions, its prejudices, and its closed-mindedness.

The story of Hindu pride that I wish to tell also begins with Bengal, not with the surrender of the Pakistani Army in 1971, but with the work in the early 19th century of Rammohun Roy, who was unarguably the first great Indian modernist. Rammohun campaigned for the abolition of sati, for greater rights for women more generally, for the embrace of modern scientific education and for a liberal spirit of free enquiry and intellectual debate. His example was carried forward by other Bengali reformers, among them Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Swami Vivekananda, who focussed on, among other things, education for women and the abolition of caste distinctions.

Epicentre of radical thinking

The torch first lit in Bengal was taken over, and made even brighter, in Maharashtra, which in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the epicentre of reformist and radical thinking in India. The pernicious practice of ‘untouchability’ was attacked from below by Jotirau Phule and from above by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Maharashtra also gave birth to India’s first home-grown feminists, such as Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ramabai, who wrote searing tracts against patriarchal practices and motivated young girls to emancipate themselves through modern education.

In 1915, Mohandas K. Gandhi came back to India after two decades in the diaspora. Living in South Africa, he had been seized of the need to build harmonious, mutually beneficial, relations between Hindus and Muslims. This commitment to religious pluralism he now renewed and reaffirmed. Meanwhile, he progressively became more critical of caste discrimination. To begin with, he attacked ‘untouchability’ while upholding the ancient ideal of varnashramadharma. Then he began advocating inter-mixing and inter-dining, and eventually, inter-marriage itself.

Gandhi was pushed to take more radical positions by B.R. Ambedkar, the outstanding lawyer-scholar who was of ‘Untouchable’ origins himself. A modernist and rationalist, Dr. Ambedkar believed that for Dalits to escape from oppression, they had to not look for favours from guilt-ridden reformers but themselves ‘educate, agitate and organise’ their way to emancipation. He remains an inspirational figure, whose work and legacy remain relevant for Dalit and Suvarna alike.

When India became independent in 1947, a central question the new nation faced was the relation of faith to state. There was a strong movement to create India as a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, a mirror-image of the Islamic nation that was Pakistan. The person who stood most firmly against this idea was the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. In a letter written to Chief Ministers on October 15, 1947, he reminded them that “we have a Muslim minority who are so large in numbers that they cannot, even if they want to, go anywhere else. They have got to live in India. This is a basic fact about which there can be no argument. Whatever the provocation from Pakistan and whatever the indignities and horrors inflicted on non-Muslims there, we have got to deal with this minority in a civilised manner. We must give them security and the rights of citizens in a democratic State.”

Gandhi was a heterodox Hindu, who was detested by the priestly orthodoxy; so much so that the Sankaracharyas once even organised a signature campaign that asked the British to declare Gandhi a non-Hindu. Nehru was a lapsed Hindu, who never entered a temple in adult life. He too was intensely disliked by the sants and shakha heads who arrogate to themselves the right to speak for Hindus. Ambedkar was a renegade Hindu, who was born into the faith yet decided in the end to leave it, through a dramatic conversion ceremony weeks before his death.

For all their lapses and departures from orthodoxy — or perhaps because of them — Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Nehru were the three 20th century figures who did most to rid Hinduism of its ills and excesses, who worked most heroically to nurture the spirit of equal citizenship that the Laws of Manu so explicitly deny. The work that they, and the equally remarkable reformers who preceded them, did, are what Hindus should be most proud of.

Entrenched prejudices

That said, Hindus still have much to be ashamed about. As the recent spate of attacks on Dalits and women shows, deep-rooted caste and patriarchal prejudices remain entrenched in many parts of India. Meanwhile, in countries that neighbour ours, Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise, giving ammunition to parties in India who represent the most sectarian and exclusive aspects of Hinduism themselves. The battles inaugurated by the likes of Rammohun Roy and Jotirau Phule, and carried forward by Ambedkar and Nehru and company, have now to be fought afresh. The abolition of caste prejudices; the elimination of gender hierarchies; the promotion of religious pluralism — these remain the elusive ideals of those who wish (proudly or otherwise) to call themselves Hindu and Indian.

(Ramachandra Guha’s books include Makers of Modern India. He can be reached at ramachandraguha@yahoo.in)

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I am still wondering, after reading many of these comments, that the people trying to proclaim themselves as tolerant ones are showing so much intolerance in their writing.
I dont know how many of them are actually aware of the actual believes,writings,and messages of the people they have enumerated here as savior and proclaim heroes of Hinduism.
First thing, I would like you all to know is, that we are all hindus whatsoever religion we are following. And our whole society as a whole needs to be more tolerant. And we have lost all our heros and as for now their is completly lacking in our leadership.
We are passing through our toughest of times. And we just can't afford to remain divided anymore because as everyone here is well aware that whenever we will get divided as we have got in our past, everytime we have paid a huge price.
What the author is trying to do here, is trying to show the very basic deficiency in our thinking. And is asking us to come over it.
This will actually help

from:  Dr Shahbaz Khan
Posted on: Jul 29, 2013 at 15:15 IST

Intolerance has so much grasped our thoughts that our vision has ceased to view each other as human beings. Humanity is struggling to keep itself alive due to venom spitted by evil souls who are ready to cause a bloodshed in matter of seconds if their views do not match. Minds of these evil souls have discarded their sense of rationality and their heart has stopped beating for other human beings. Their heart beats only for their beloved religious faith.
Which religion in this world teaches us to hate each other, which religion does not teach us the virtues of compassion and mutual respect and which religion does not believe in universal brotherhood?
Hinduism is acceptance. Hinduism is non violent approach. Hinduism is inter-faith appreciation. Hinduism is peaceful coexistence.
Followers of every faith want to reach to the beloved Almighty. Does any faith teach us to cause hindrance and blockades in the journey of our co-travellers?
It is high time to do serious introspection.

from:  Vikash Diwan
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 16:27 IST

Hi sir, ur article is really full of facts and every Hindu must read it.. as Nehru quoted in his letter to chief ministers that this country also belongs to minorities and we must behave in most civilized manner despite of Pakistan provocation... that's a great thought... but my simple question- you have guts to question ills of Hindu mythology but u don't have the same guts for other religions... please don't say others are free from ills..

from:  Shrishail
Posted on: Jul 28, 2013 at 02:40 IST

The article is fantastic one.as you said is very correctly about 1971 victory. But the ruling parties are saying that they are secular only but their behavior is actually not.its better to be of one sided or of single religious support.at lest they are taking front for one single religion.so they showed transparency in their agendas, that the party is base on single religious thought.

from:  Niranjan
Posted on: Jul 27, 2013 at 00:24 IST

Thank almighty that idea of writing only on Hindus struck your mind. As writing an article on similar lines on any other popular religion would have forced you to run around to save your life.... u can call Ram mythological .... but don't dare to do the same with any other religion.... enjoy the freedom of speech on Hindus!!

from:  Sachin
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 09:16 IST

Very apt

from:  Robin
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 09:09 IST

Your basic assumption that Hinduism is based on Manu Shastra is
incorrect. This is of the view of Evangelists and they use it as a
tool for conversion.

Manu Shastra is not considered a sacred text by any Hindu in the
world. The only people who read Manu Shastra are Christians and
Marxists. Maybe few Hindus read it to counter people like you.

You write an article on Hinduism in "The Hindu" newspaper without the
basic knowledge of Hinduism. This is baffling to me.

When people say there is a conspiracy to defame Hinduism I often did
not believe it, but lately listening to Congress politicians,
marxists, people like Guha I think there is some truth to it.

Unfortunately the problem with these people is that they equate
Hinduism with RSS/VHP/BJP. Because of their hatred for these
organizations they often spew venom against their own mother (Santhana
Dharma).

from:  Arun Sharma
Posted on: Jul 26, 2013 at 00:33 IST

@ Mohamed Yousuf: "That being the case, I assert that Modi is a racist
with a vision to transform "Indian democratic secular state" into a
“Hindutva state”.".
Well, if you brand Modi as a "racist", then what do you call people like
the Owaisi's, the Geelani's who have used far more inflammatory language
on Hindus. Atleast, Modi respects Islam and has not uttered disgraceful
remarks on Islamic religion, unlike some of our Muslims "politicians".

from:  Ramgopal das
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 22:28 IST

I personally feel, before writing an article about a subject, one must know the subject so that the person's misinterpreted analysis doesn't affect readers. Hinduism is misinterpreted today and lakhs & lakhs like the author are following a misinterpreted religion.
For kind information to the writer, Hinduism itself secular hence being a Hindu nation never discriminates others. By the name of Secularism please don't make us to FORGET OUR ANCIENT HISTORY & HERITAGE. I challenge the author on a few questions.
If India is non-religious, 1. Why are you encouraging a religion by funding its pilgrimage? 2.Why are spending on pilgrimage to foreign nation when my countrymen are suffering under poverty?
3.Why are you advocating for extremists by saying that they fight for rights even if you know they are extremists? If a Hindu asks for the same right you term him as "Communal"? Lastly, Is being a Hindu in Hindustan is Sin??
No one can destroy Hinduism till righteousness prevails in the world.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 19:31 IST

Beautiful write-up. Such an understanding Hinduism was awaited. Fundamentally, it presses upon the core of Hinduism, which mostly ignored or misunderstood by people. Hinduism has been traditionally claimed to be an Anadi-Anant religion. What this Sanskrit epithet describes is not a fact of some temporal account but, it rather describes the basic nature of this Dharma, which is that Hinduism is an every evolving way of life unattached to any single time. This character provides Hinduism the most dynamic & mature character.
To restrict Hinduism to a narrow construction of a rival religion to any other religion is loose its grip and thereby losing the ethos of Hinduism to a superficial notion of it. What the reformers have always done through their efforts is the uplifting of the spirit of Hinduism by removing such superficial notion of Hinduism. It is this pursuit to remove the superficial social evils to uplift the Hindu ethos, which should the matter of pride and inspiration.

from:  Mohit
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 12:04 IST

Hinduism is not a faith. Hinduism is not a religion. Neither is
Buddhism, or Jainism or Sikkhism. There is the concept of Dharma and
that of spiritual life. No where is ancient scriptures of India are the
words Hindu or Hinduism used.

If one is talking about Hinduism, one has bought into the western idea
of religion.

from:  Anurag
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 09:48 IST

139 and plus, still writting in favour of sh guha. But, we all are mearly on paper, not at chaupals, baithaks, sarais, and other public communes. In my village there are 15 different hindu castes. Sinwer (my caste) are making their own temple, just by the side of the village temple, which has completed 30 years and played a vital obligation of announcements and a podium for truce between foes. Today, this sinwer mamdir has created scope of another 15. Where will be playgrounds for young athletes? Where will be other departments of social schemes? I tried to swimm upstream. Suggested for a common marriage palace, equipped with a generator, fortified wall, a hall for wearabouts. But, was advised to stay put and become a joke at every sitting and with evey being. Be it my mother, brothers, elders, youngesters. They have men, material and god. I am alone, alienated and unemployed graduate who even cannot prey. Because, after all it is a dialogue against god.

from:  Vikas sinwer
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 09:16 IST

Is Hindus still exisist in India ? As far as I know, only different castes only exists !!

from:  Sankaran
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 08:46 IST

By mr Guha's own definition in the last paragraph , mr Narendra Modi should actually qualify
as somebody we should all be proud of. His actions as well as his speeches have never
displayed caste or patriarchal prejudices. He has successfully kept religion away from his
governance and has thereby encouraged religious pluralism.
He may not be a heterodox Hindu , like Gandhiji, and is certainly not a lapsed Hindu , like
Nehru, but he is definitely a progressive Hindu .

from:  D KUMAR
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 01:51 IST

More than million people (Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs) died during partition of India. Nobody questioned and still not questioning the role and judgement of great Mahatama Gandhi and Nehru? If Modi is a culprit in Gujarat so is the Mahatma and Nehru under whom eye millions were massacred and lost their loved ones. The people like Guha should concentrate on history on India then write about Hindus and religions.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: Jul 25, 2013 at 01:03 IST

Among the great men mentioned by Mr Guha, Gandhi as well as and
Vivekananda were deeply committed to the ideas of all religions, and
also managed to transcend the limitations of their own religion to a
great extent. Theirs is a third (and arguably the most rational) way,
neither "bigoted religiosity" nor "symbol denying secularism" (terms
borrowed from Ranjit Hoskote's writings). Yet the author seems to
mention both Gandhi and Vivekananda for the sake of political
correctness, and they have no place in the final summing... I ask Mr
Guha, what is your honest opinion of these two men?

from:  Madhusudan
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 23:23 IST

i am wondering how you could write something like this. everyone has a freedom of thought but you should not tell the wrong thing and say hindus are proud of that. Hindus were proud for being as a hindu, you should spend time in understanding hinduism and hindus.

from:  mohanrah
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 22:43 IST

Now, is that a fact?...This is what happens when you have some half baked knowledge about the history of our country told to you by some westerners,what a stereotypical article based on what is being told in your school history books.

from:  Qualia
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 21:18 IST

139 and plus, still writting in favour of sh guha. But, we all are mearly on paper, not at chaupals, baithaks, sarais, and other public communes. In my village there are 15 different hindu castes. Sinwer (my caste) are making their own temple, just by the side of the village temple, which has completed 30 years and played a vital obligation of announcements and a podium for truce between foes. Today, this sinwer mamdir has created scope of another 15. Where will be playgrounds for young athletes? Where will be other departments of social schemes? I tried to swimm upstream. Suggested for a common marriage palace, equipped with a generator, fortified wall, a hall for wearabouts. But, was advised to stay put and become a joke at every sitting and with evey being. Be it my mother, brothers, elders, youngesters. They have men, material and god. I am alone, alienated and unemployed graduate who even cannot prey. Because, after all it is a dialogue against god.

from:  Vikas Sinwer
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 21:14 IST

What does Mr.Guha mean by "That said, Hindus still have much to be
ashamed about". Hindus are the most tolerant people in the world. That
is why you can publish such articles against Hindus and still get away
with it.

Mr. Guha's previous article was regarding Modi bashing, now Hindu
bashing is it? People in India will go to any extent to impress the
minorities. Truly secular!!

from:  Annu
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 20:50 IST

The article is very one-sided. It talks only about 3 statesmen
who have seen Indians above religious distinctions, and in the
process have given their strong views against superstitions,
customs and orthodox social practices of the Hindus they
encountered. The writer is totally silent or has side-tracked,
several social and spiritual reformers who rose above these caste
discriminations and saw all Hindus as one, like Sri Ramakrishna,
Swami Vivekananda,Sri Narayana Guru, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana
Maharshi, all of whom lived during the same period and taught and
guided the people to strive to realise and practise the vedantic
oneness of Hinduism.

from:  S. Mundayoor
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 19:42 IST

I wholeheartedly endorse the Idea of India by Dr. H. A. Shankaranarayana which is "the sharing of the way of life common to all, a spiritual and material culture so all-pervading as to be invisible to those within it like the air they breathe".

But whenever this very Idea of India is under attack by fanatic radicals, who forcefully advocates a strictly polar culture Imperialistic in nature having a diametrically opposite way of life, shouldn't it be defended?

Throughout the last millennia, it has been extremely unfortunate and devastating that the RECONCILING and HARMONIZING nature of the Indian Sanatan Cultures, were heavily exploited for the apocalyptic propagation of a Barbaric Culture in South and South East Asia.

But, the instance of 1971, as described by Mr. Guha, when soldiers of varied ethnicity, as avengers, rose against the Imperialistic Islamic aggressors and annihilated their propaganda of ARABIANIZING Bangladesh, exclusively showcases the victory of THE IDEA of INDIA.

from:  Samrat
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 17:57 IST

India is an ancient land where dharma flourished and still
flourishing. But what Indians got from its invaders and neighbours for
showing
tolerance, love and hospitality to those who came to India? Did these
people allow Indians to live peacefully? I think as a popular writer
you must have read the ancient Indian history and the invasions India
faced over 1000 years from moghuls and more than 200 years from the
British and other voyagers. Do you really mean what you write? Given
the plus and minus of India in which country the minority communities
like muslims and christians enjoy religious freedom, subsidies,
welfare measures etc. from the state/central govts? In which country
there are no controls from the State/Central govts over the minority
communities interests' other than India? You have think Mr Guha, it
is very easy to write but look back and understand what majority of
the people feel about the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the
country now.

from:  vancheeswaran gopal
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 16:48 IST

A coward race forgets its history of percecution of thousands of years.In UN about 60 muslim countries belonging to OIC fight for handful muslims of palestine.But for lakhs of kashmiri pandits driven out of their homes there is no one. Massacre of hindus under nizam just before it became part of india is a living history for many.Hindus in this world have no government to support,alas even the indian government.

from:  amit
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 15:55 IST

I don't identify myself with hindus or tamils or my caste though im a
hindu and tamil.

Why should I feel happy or proud or disappointed by the actions of
people who share my religion or language or caste?

I am responsible for my actions and my actions alone.

Stop grouping people along these lines.

Having group identity serves the purpose of getting votes by inflaming
ignorant people with passion and i am not interested in you telling me
what i should be proud about.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 14:53 IST

Poor article... Makes Hindu's feel apologetic (undeservedly so) by making the religion appear as a mix of horrors......Makes a saint out of Nehru too, wheareas, most know his selfish ends and even more importantly, the failure of the Nehru led Congress to really let Muslims into mainstream or enact strong laws against casteism and corruption or inculcate education early on after independence, - to avoid the big mess thereafter...all purposeful or course, never discerned by people still struggling for food till this day...

from:  alok mishra
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 14:30 IST

A very nice article. expect same more from THE HINDU

LOKAH SAMASTHAH SUKINO BHAVANTU

A relevent article in a nation where soo much religious hatred is injected in her citizen by the mean politicians. I love hindus and THE HINDU for publishing such good article. Doing and remembering the duties of a real national new paper.

An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.

from:  shan
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 14:28 IST

“The continued maltreatment of Muslims in Gujarat puts every Indian’s freedom at risk.
If the Modi led BJP government and the RSS disregard the rule of law and tramples
Muslims most basic human rights, how can a citizen of India expect that his/her own
freedoms will remain intact?” But freedom in RSS's perception is too often seen as a
strictly Hindutva-centric privilege. This is not to say there are not fair-minded and
humane Indians who know that there is something seriously wrong with the society that
RSS and the Pracharak Modi want to create. There are. They are not just a too small
minority, rather they form the vast majority of India.

Modi government as now constituted and operated is a state of active or passive bigots.
That conclusion is based on evidence (evidence backed up by most of the world’s
human rights organizations). That being the case, I assert that Modi is a racist with a
vision to transform "Indian democratic secular state" into a “Hindutva state”.

from:  Mohammad Yousuf
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 14:09 IST

Ms Sagarika

On a lighter vein, I feel compelled to correct you when you say that the British
divided India into north & south. In my view, that was done by the tasteless
chappathi as opposed to the tasty masala dosa ! I think the Hindi imposition
policies continued where the chappathi left off !

India has been an independent nation for more than 60 years. Cant we get out of
this syndrome of blaming the British for self inflicted wounds?

from:  V.Suresh
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 14:04 IST

Ancient Indian Wisdom revealed in the Uppanishads among others is in my opinion
India's greatest gift to the world.
In winter time Westerners flock to the ashrams of Rishikesh and
Tiruvanamalai, to attend satsang and sing Indian devotional songs to their own
musical composition.
Haridwar may be for religious Hindus, but Rishikesh is for
everyone, and the foreigners seek the wisdom that Indians once lived by, but have
not done so for centuries.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, "Religion, is the banana skin to
the spiritual banana" May the Guru tradition continue.

from:  John Baker
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 13:41 IST

To all Hindus out there, certain points to ponder and help in the understanding of Hinduism.

Sanatana dharma or Hinduism is not based on the authority of one individual but on the intuitive knowledge of many mystics who did not give us a finalized conventional creed that we must accept.
Vedantha, the Indian philosophy, has an unique feature in the intensity of emotion to the seeker of truth.
Vedantha emphasises on vigorous inward practises to establish a definite relationship with god.
One of the fundamental truths in the vedantha the harmony of religions.
Vedantha is concerned with the timeless truth and upholds the view that no race has a monopoly on truth.

from:  IYENGAR.
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 12:40 IST

Excellent article by Mr Guha !

His example of the end of the brutal Pakistani military rule in erstwhile E.Pakistan
shows that it is impossible to construct a national identity solely on the basis of
religion. Pakistan holds a number of sobering lessons on the pitfalls of nation
building, also for India. A Muslim or Hindu identity alone is insufficient to glue a
nation together. The disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 and its present fault lines
demonstrate that ever so clearly. Many Pakistanis I have interacted with in Europe-
mostly of Punjabi stock-regarded the dark skinned Bengalis of E. Pakistan as
inferior, non-martial races who had to be whipped into submission, a shared
religion notwithstanding.

Several readers here criticise Mr Guha and endorse the RSS/BJP/Modi idea of
turning India into a Hindu Pakistan. They would be wise to study the history of
Pakistan-a state that proves that cultural, linguistic, and ethnic identities often
overpower the religious identity.

from:  V.Suresh
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 12:39 IST

The writer remainded us the duties that enshrined in constitution,which like all same for Hindus. Political sympathy on basis of religion is utterly neglected.we should debar our hedonism on basis of religion,which is orthodox,backward looking and injurious to democracy.

from:  J. Gopal
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 11:35 IST

Mr Guha, while I agree with your comments on the positive role played
by Mr Gandhi and Mr Nehru on the reforms for Hindus, it is incorrect
and an exxageration to suggest that these three have done more for
reform of Hindu religious practices (as seperate from Hindu Religion)
than anyone else.

On the contrary, these two individuals have been guilty of extending a
lot of the wrong practices apart from destroying secularism in India
by discouraging Uniform Civil Code and encouraging the rise of
fundamentalist and conservative practices in the Indian Muslims.

The Credit for Reforms in Hinduism lies with reformers starting way
back with the likes of Sant Tukaram etc going all the way to the likes
of Rammohan Roy and ending with (and yes ENDING with) Ambedkar. it is
incorrect to ascribe the work done by lot of people over centuries to
two individuals who have destroyed the secular fabric of india (albeit
with good intentions of protecting minorities).

from:  Swapnil
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 11:21 IST

The author asks what Hindus can feel proud of. We should then expect him to tell us what he thinks are the positive elements of Hinduism. Instead, all we hear about are the unjust and repressive aspects of Hindu society, and reformers who have fought to erode them. We do not hear anything about what these same reformers thought was good and positive in their religion. Thus, so far as we can tell from the author’s words, Hinduism is nothing more than an evil social system, and Hindus should feel good about themselves to the extent that they set themselves in opposition to that system and work to erode it. If this is not what the author really believes, if he thinks that on the contrary Hinduism is more than this and includes positive elements of which Hindus can feel proud, he is evidently not interested in telling us this. But I’m sure that if he wanted to, he would. The article is, in the strictest and most unhysterical sense, anti-Hindu.

from:  Ashu
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 09:54 IST

I completely agree with Mr.Guha that the 1971 victory over West paskistan is a victory for the people of bangladesh and above all of the Indian armed forces.
I have never recognized India being a Hindu state although I am a Hindu and I think this line never become a cliché that " I am an Indian first and then a Hindu". I dont know if others believe in it or not but I am a strong believer in it.
Pride comes from the real truth and I think that if we need real hindu pride get back to the rich history textbooks and our religious scriptures. I find my strength in them and in seeking the true knowledge and not in some propoganda or in some Mud slinging competition. We have to show evolution in our age old thinking and get over the fact we were oppressed.Look at Israel(not a really good example in many ways but let me go ahead with it) that the Jews were oppressed for many centuries but look at them today.. they are one of the most progressive and stong minded people although not secular

from:  Dhanvi Murthy
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 08:02 IST

Guha's ignorance cannot be hidden how much ever he tries to hide behind stylistic language. "Reform" is itself a concept alien to Hinduism, which is inherently about *evolution* and self-regulation. Hinduism always saw change, an evolutionary change in that and reform is needed when you stiffle that evolutionary nature. This is what his Nehruvian governance has been doing for decades, which is exactly why the problems in Hindu society are multiplying instead of disappearing six decades after independence.

from:  Kumaran
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 07:39 IST

Mr Guha's writings indicate that he does not understand hindusim well in all its characteristics. Hinduism is far too deep for people like Guha to be able to slight. Gaudapada, Adi Shankara, Akka Maha Devi, Lalleswari, Agasthiya, Aurobindo, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharishi etc are all titans of hinduism which no other religion can boast of. Hindus are proud rightly because Hinduism(or Sanathana Dharma ) produced the most profound knowledge that is out there. Yoga and Meditation came from Hinduism. The ultimate nature of reality is described in Upanishads. To understand the Upanishads you do not need systematic education but you do need a mind with lesser sense of self importance. Could that be why Mr Guha is unable to fully comprehend why Hindus are proud? I hope The Hindu would play democratic and publish my comment when it has chosen to let a person write misinformed article about my religion.

from:  Shankar
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 04:14 IST

Dear Sir, as to conduct an experiment on religious tolerance, kindly write an equally scathing article about Muslims and Christians of India. I used the word scathing with total consciousnes. You can then measure the response received to your ideas and have a measure of which religion is more tolerant to criticism in this country. I am referring to you as Sir after the fact that you have debased my religion in this article. For you, that should be a certificate enough of my tolerance.

from:  Ganesh
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 02:51 IST

Mr. Guha, as a Hindu I'm proud of great Hindu heritage and the
contributions from my ancestors in all facets of life. I'm from a
village(Irinjalakuda) in Kerala where 14th century mathematician
Madhavacharya lived who calculated value of Pi for 10 decimal places
300 years before Isaac Newton did his calculation of Pi. We had a
golden age of scientific inventions before the foreign occupation. We
the Hindus in Kerala protected Christians and Muslims and Jews more
than 1000 years without any secular lessons from any westerner. Thats
is the greatness of Hindus!!

from:  Manilal
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 02:43 IST

As such a nice article but Mr.Guha should have seperated Religion from
Hindu as a race.
In any country racial feeling is always is there."Highlighting the
greatness of Hindu as a race must not be interpreted as criticizm for
other race.It is the mogul tradition that all races should prosper but
not at the cost of other races and the same is the state of affair to
day except politicians are misguiding people.VASUNDHAR EV KUTUMBAKUM IS
The basis of living in India if politicians keep away.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 02:35 IST

Another excellent article none other than THE HINDU. THE HINDU is only truly representative of fourth pillar of democracy. THE HINDU maintains itself as gold standard for unbiased news reporting, current affairs, discussion-counterdiscosion, comprehansive opinion & so education. I always wonder how you manage such a high standard in publishing important issues on daily basis (as news paper) which even weekly Magazine can't match. Salute to Hindu, and please must ensure it to remain so. Thanks to "The Hindu", pride of our Nation, never fell pray to sensationalism

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jul 24, 2013 at 02:29 IST

mr.guha -- why have you left out reformers like subrahmanya
bharathi and other southerners in your narrative?

from:  max walker
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 19:18 IST


I really don’t understand what their definition of Hindu is? Any personality/community who works for betterment of Hindu, they start treating them as Non Hindu, take example of Sikh , Gautam Budha , Ambedkar , Jain etc. They never miss any chance to proclaim Bhagat Singh as an Athiest. Even they try to portrait Swami Vivekananda as if he was representing some Alien version of Hindutva.

What he is actually trying to suggest is that you can’t do any thing good if you are a Staunch follower of Hindutva, what a Sick mentally is this !

from:  Hindu Nationalist
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:34 IST

The inclusion of the word "Mythical" before God Ram shows Ram Guha
with such a blessed name is not lucky enough like Gandhiji to
experience the reality of Lord Ram. Taking cue from the discovery of
Ram Sethu if the writer shreds his rationalism for a while, realize
his ancient roots and took to the complete study of Ramayana with at
least temporary reverence, his Good karmas might return him the fruit
of faithful devotion in Ram. Lord Ramachandra mercifully embraced the
illiterate hunter Guha, I pray to him to mercifully look upon this
learned agnostic Guha.

from:  N Guruprasad
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:28 IST

Good effort but still a very shallow article. I expect better stuff from "intellectuals" -
to equate the views of a civilization with Laws of Manu is too simplistic. In fact, one
reason why often Hindus have issues with taking pride in their culture is that the
only way "preached" by "reformers" is to hate on all customs and traditions and
adopt a "scientific, rational" outlook to life.

from:  Keshav
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:16 IST

Excellent article. I read all those bashing in comments and it clearly
illustrates that a mind with fundamentalist value can never accommodate
any newer ideas or values. The article clearly illustrates the evolution
of pluralism in Indian society after independence which we should really
feel proud. Politics mixed with religion and racial supremacy is bound
to fail and we have seen that experiment in many countries. It is time
to isolate religion from hatred and politics and work towards a more
inclusive society through reformation of every religion

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:10 IST

I am proud that home language is Tamil.I am proud that my religion is Hindu. I am proud that I am an Indian. I feel that any body born in this blessed land is blessed souls whether they are Indian Moslems, Indian Chrisitians and Indian Budhists and like.Every born Hindu is a secularist by birth,nationalist by adoption, universalist by practice.
As a Hindu,I feel that the whole humanity is my own kith and Kin.I have no borders, no frontiers, no barriers.Yathum Ure Yavarem Kellir! Para Matman is identified as Brahman by the Hindus, as Allah by the Moslems, as Lord by the Christians and all Avatars are holiest to all.Only politicians are keen to divide the people and develop them as vote banks to exploit them in the name of religion, and political party. Our National leader has always been Swami Vivekananda, all others great men are HIS manifestations.To every Hindu, temple is as sacred as Church and Mosque to name a few.
Let all Indians be an ideal Hindu,ideal Moslem and ideal Christians

from:  Balasundaram
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:05 IST

It is unfortunate for the author to have written and the readers to have read an article that tarnishes the image of Hindus in more ways than one and names Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar as the people that Hindus should be most proud of, which is comedy to put it plainly, under the name 'What Hindus can and should be proud of'. As many others have mentioned above, I kindly request the author to relate the content with his ideas in a more sensible manner in his next article and not to preach false and opinionated ideals and illusions.

from:  Keshav V
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 15:01 IST

Excellent article by Mr Guha !

His example of the end of the brutal Pakistani military rule in erstwhile E.Pakistan
proves that it is impossible to construct a national identity solely on the basis of
religion. Pakistan holds a number of sobering lessons on the pitfalls of nation
building, also for India. A Muslim or Hindu dentity alone is insufficient to glue a
nation together. The disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 and its present fault lines
demonstrate that ever so clearly. Many Pakistanis I have interacted with in Europe-
mostly of Punjabi stock-regarded the dark skinned Bengalis of E. Pakistan as
inferior, non-martial races who had to be whipped into submission, a shared
religion not withstanding.

Several readers here criticise Mr Guha and endorse the RSS/BJP/Modi idea of
turning India into a Hindu Pakistan. They would be wise to study the history of
Pakistan-a state that proves that cultural, linguistic, and ethnic identities often
overpower the religious identity.

from:  V.Suresh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 14:55 IST

Pride in being a Hindu, a connection to our glorious and ancient and 'racial' past should be celebrated. There are too many liberal and socialist authors out there who try to defame Hinduism and critcise it. Learn from our past and improve our future is my Motto. Hinduism has stood the test of time and India is forward-looking and modern bacause of our ancient philosophy. This should be celebrated before we are consumed by more radical and destructive ideologies.

from:  Vipul
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 14:44 IST

I acknowledge Guha is a learned person and has done some excellent
works.
I do not understand why to put blame completely on one side. The two
sides have made mistakes, the other side being more violent and anti-
social in its activities. You need to wrong the fundamentalists
whichever side they are.

" As it turned out, the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign led to two decades
of strife across northern and western India, with thousands of people
losing their lives and hundreds of thousands their homes and
livelihoods. "

It would have been more correct if the inference statement included
the main cause, fundamentalism and antagonistic anti-social elements.

from:  pavan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 14:43 IST

I suppose the author here is not having any clarity when he says that campaign to build the Ram temple was senseless and compares the same poverty, malnutrition , etc . This comparison is insane , he should not be playing with the sentiments of any religion .Poverty, malnutrition and other ills of today's society is because of the dynastic rule of the Congress with no progress made in the last 60 years on fundamental things . It is a democratic right for every Hindu to campaign for building a temple. It is the double standard of the gov especially congress towards religions giving soft corner to minorites for vote gains which has given rise to these problems.Deny the minortites a right and govt will be with them right or wrong. We need a free democracy irrespective of religions and not only preach but practise the same , Congress is a prisioner of its own divide and rule politics for which it pail the price in Punjab .More than religion it is dynastic rule of Cong which need to go

from:  VIJAY
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 14:22 IST

Mr Guha has to go through the works of Swami Vivekanandha to have a
better understanding of Hinduism. He equates Nehru with Gandhi, who
was a staunch believer of Hinduism. As for the castes, show us which
religion has no subsects in it. Eg. Muslims has Shia, Sunny,etc.,
Christians has Catholics and Protestents and they too have fights
between them. Hindu religion is not responsible for this. He has
quoted Manu smiriti out of context ignoring the fact that Varnasram is
not based on Birth but based on the chosen way of life of an
individual.

Let him tell us what was basis of partition in 1947. It is based on
religion, Muslims who cannot live with Indians, had Pakistan.
Naturally rest of the country belongs to Hindus who forms the
majority. Hinduism, by its nature, being secular accomodates all
people. Starting with Nehru and till date, appeasement of Minorities
is going on at the cost of Hindus. We need Hindu Majority for the
survival of Secularism, Ex. Plight of Kashmiri Panits.

from:  G Balamurugan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 14:08 IST

Another excellent article from Mr Guha. As the article mentions all
religions not just Hinduism needs its reformers and their radical
ideas to survive. Change is a part of life anything that is stagnant
will die eventually this includes religion.

After all the many religious texts were written thousands of years ago
when our knowledge of the universe was very limited. Much has changed
since then thanks partly to our trusted tool science and also our
innate sense of morality.

We should be proud of these rebels who struggled to change our society
for the better and yet we need many more. All modern religions still
have many ideas and practices that are based on a very primitive
understanding of the world. Religion has to adapt with the changing
times.

from:  Vamshi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:25 IST

I agree with Mr.Guha that Hinduism is liberal and that the work of the reformers is to be appreciated. However is it not the government's duty to work on the uplifting of the population and society as a whole and to bring down the barriers of communication existing between the various communities? The very same successors of the Prime Minister who advised non discrimination in helping people were also the ones responsible for the riots in Punjab on purely communal lines. Is the appeasement of minority community or for that matter any particular community the only duty of the government? Is it not the duty of the government to see the population without any sort of discrimination and provide justice only on a case by case basis instead of generalising it on the whole community? Currently political parties are in a scramble to say which minority community has been discriminated against and to claim them as their party irrespective of the fact whether they have been discriminated against.

from:  Manoj Warrier
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:24 IST

Mr. Guha:

You have missed the name of another important modernist thinker and more importantly, "doer", Mr. Dhondo Keshav Karve, from Maharashtra. His contribution to modernising the Hindus and more importantly in reforming the brahmin orthodoxy of western Maharashtra in Pune, by way of his forming the "Karve Stree Shikshan Mahila Sanstha" - for disadvantaged women - cannot be overlooked! More so, because he very uniquely strived to ensure that these women could stand on their own feet & become financially indepedent. He realized more than a hundred years ago that true empowerment of the Hindu woman was by giving her honorable options to financial freedom - all other freedoms would then automatically follow. Further, Mr. Karve's progeny was no less modernist - his son Mr. R D Karve and his wife (who chose to remain childless) were hands-on preachers of family planning & contraception, again nearly 80 years ago - and this at a time when the subject was taboo in most households!

from:  PrasadK
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:21 IST

This article has completely tarnished "HINDUS" as well as polarizing as the society on the basis of caste and religion, Even no Hindu extremist says that 1971 war and Dhaka victory were Hindus Victory.. this type of comments should have been avoided. Even Ghadhijis remarks on the subject of "HIND SWARAJ" same as HINDU NATIONALIST there is no such rift between HIND SWARAJ AND HINDU NATIONALIST. If Hindu Nationalists are wrong why don't we say that HindSWARAJ also is wrong ...

from:  Subeesh Kumar S
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:20 IST

Most of the people point out either congress or BJP view.Cann't we have our Independent view?

Again whether being Hindu is something to be ashmed of?

Except demonising RSS/BJP/Sangh Parivar what genuinely had the successive Govermments done for the Muslims for their education and economic upliftment.Whether the Muslim Leaders so rightly argue about religion ever thought of the progressive world and upliftment of their society ?

Hindu dharma is not about rigidity.It includes everthing into it which comes in its way.It is like flowing water.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:15 IST

Unfortunately, Guha always forget to define the meaning of "Hindu" as defined in RSS. Actually, the word "Hindu" include all Indians, who have India as his/her native. It includes all the converted Muslims, Christians, Sikh, Jain etc. Undoubtedly Guha understand this and intentionally confusing the country. He is accepting in his book
"Patriots and Partisans" that this kind of writing gives him popularity .

from:  Prabhakar Tiwari
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:15 IST

Mr. Guha you are a scholar, writer, pluralist and you may be many more
special character adorned with. But my friend your are not a victim of
atrocities of terrorist , you are not a victim of unwarranted system
of politico hegemony, under which we as a general public have to live
day by day increasing danger of being attecked by extreme groups,
every city state all are on the verge of impending danger of being
attacked.
if we organise in the name of Hindu what could wrong steps and hurdles
which would inflict on other communities, you simply paint entire
hindu society with one brush one colour, without taking other aspect
of its benefits. That can be drawn in the form of strong pivotal
central structure which would have power to hinge all communitties
with firm nuts and volts, and you this is India which has a history of
long co-existence of so many strata, that is not an easy to erode with
one or two unfortunate incidences.

from:  tarak
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:14 IST

Mr.Guha seems to be a product of the following -

In one of his letters to his Father dated 1836 October 12,Calcutta,
Lord Macaulay wrote:No Hindoo, who has received an English education,
ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. Some continue to
profess it as matter of policy; but many profess themselves pure
Deists, and some embrace Christianity. It is my firm belief that, if
our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single
idolater among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence.
And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise; without
the smallest interference with religious liberty; merely by the
natural operation of knowledge and reflection. I heartily rejoice in
the prospect.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:05 IST

could you please elaborate why Gandhi supported varnashrama dharma?
I doubt Gandhi's secularism as far as the practice of untouchability is concerned.

from:  hemanth
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:02 IST

why is it that every good work happened in indian society is one only by
nehru and gandhi ?? if nehru was that so good , why did he opposed his
daughter's marriage to a muslim ? and why gandhi himself involved in
this whole episode.

from:  ratan pandit
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 13:00 IST

Good narrative. Why should Hindu Nationalist has to proclaim and get resonance in the Indian Society unless the majority has felt some kind of alienation engineered by the rulers of present day soveriegn nation, The Republic of India. We as a part of the society, i.e India has to seek an answer is there a design in the rule of the ruler clan of modern Independent India by a family from basically from northern most part of the country which is couldron of inflated inflamed passions by few for generations, who got settled in UP has invented something to be so. If so this is nothing but a painful process of corection, we can disgard the pain if the power that are willing not to put India through all this.

from:  Martin Kurian
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:56 IST

Mentioning "Mythical God Rama" is inappropriate. As the mythical/actual existence of other religions isnt questioned, as a mark of repsect, even the believers of Rama deserve the same.

from:  manasa
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:52 IST

Another Hinduism-bashing article by the Hindu.
First of all, Hinduism is not a religion, so stop calling it so. The fact that the author does that invalidates all the rest of his weak arguments.
"an ancient, ossified faith of its divisions, its prejudices, and its closed-mindedness"
Really? If so then this author has no clue about Hinduism, which has accepted changes over the years much more easily than other "religions". Why does the author not talk about religions like Islam or Christianity which still follow their age old practices? Why are such articles being published only about Hindusim in a country which has a Hindu majority? writing such vitriol against a religion that is encompassing and has changed a lot over the years is unfair.

from:  Nitya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:51 IST

Normally i never comment on such propaganda-tic columns...but my heart
always cry when i read these type of columns from person with hindu
names..i know they are not hindu as they have already sell their
intellect and honor to bosses they are pleasing...People like Guha re
more dangerous than Owaisees and Shakil Ahmad..they are they main cause
of Islamic Fascism in India

from:  Dhananjay
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:46 IST

Mr.Guha, can you also please explain why great sanaysi Swami
Vivekananda constructed a large mutt(Belur Mutt) in 40 acres even
though majority of Indians were under poverty? When you understand
that you will understand the hearts of Hindus. When we were only
Hindus in India what was the status of India in the world? What is
status of India after Islamic and European invasions and looting? What
is the status of India after so called secular Congress rule of 60
years? Hindus are born secular respecting all religions. Thats what
out Hindu Gurus taught us.(Refer Vivekananda and Sree Narayana Guru)
We don't need Nehru or any atheist to teach us oneness of humanity.

from:  Manilal
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:41 IST

Interesting to see some southern folks succumb even today to the
British sanctified Aryan invasion/imposition theory. This was only Max
Mueller's theory, and he had strong Christian beliefs. There is NO
record of an Aryan invasion. The British hoped to create a partition
between the north and south as they did successfully when they divided
Bharat into India and Pakistan. They did this everywhere they ruled.

Hinduism had no particular name except dharma or sanatam dharma, the
eternal law. Dharma is what upholds society,from dhar: to hold.

from:  sagarika
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:39 IST

Typical jholawalla of the JNU type - what else can one expect from him than just berating anything Hindu?

from:  shyamraj n.g.
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:37 IST

For the pseudo secular, by the pseudo secular and off the pseudo
secular.....what better can be expected of pseudos like Mr.Guha who
think hinduism is dark and shameful. People like him with a colonial
mindset are wholly responsible for bringing this country to where it is
today...subservient and ready for the next round of conquerors !!!

from:  harish
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:37 IST

"That said, Hindus still have much to be ashamed about" This article
getting published in a Hindu majority nation too is a reason to be
ashamed about,Mr.Guha?
The writer and his type should enjoy their freedom while they can
especially as long as they target the rigid religion they despise so
much with aplomb.I dare them to write about the more liberal followers
of other religions.Or does funds for sociologists are provided solely
in their endeavour to "improve" Hinduism?
Come now,isn't that communalism??

from:  Kunal
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:35 IST

When opportunities are equal, and there is no discrimination before
the eyes of the law, why then should so called minorities be given
preferential treatment? If at all underprivileged need be lent a
helping hand, ethnicity and faith should not be parameters at all. In
such an environment, the majority undoubtedly feels imposed with a
guilt factor which rightfully they do not entertain. In my opinion,
the EC should ban the use of religion and ethnicity in election
campaigns. Undesirable elements of the society and opportunists make
merry under such liberties, and people are left with no choice.

from:  Harsh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:29 IST

Hindus always have been a victim of appeasement policy of Congress, the trend started by Mr. M.K. Gandhi and Nehru I believe. This article fits more to other religions over Hindus but those are not as tolerant as Hindus are to accept the criticism.

from:  shikha duggal
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:27 IST

The Father of the Nation preferred to be a SANATHANI than a HINDU. We were not aware that we were Hindus until we our told, nor our land was called India. Somewhere in the middle of the 19th Century the word Hindu entered the English language. It came from the Persians, whose Muslim descendants ruled India for close to 1000 years. For the people of this part of the world the word Bharat was familiar than India,since the time of the great emperor Bharat, whose life is recounted in their ancient histories. Regarding religion, it did not have name any more than existence itself. To live in Bharat meant to share a way of life common to all, a spiritual and material culture so all-pervading as to be invisible to those within it like the air they breathed. This Bharat was NOT the Bharat of Bhagvat but the India of Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Rammohan and Vivekanada. Mr. Guha's writeup is well timed. Congrats!

from:  Dr. H. A. Shankaranarayana
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:23 IST

Such grandiose false writings are killing the secularism of one of the
most secular religions ever known to us. Which religion is more
secular than hinduism. You think Nehru or Gandhi wrote Upanishads.
They wrote the puranic or panchtantra stories that show how to be
unbiased, ego-less and promote equality without caring for caste or
class. People like Guha know of Manu-Smriti only, they never got a
chance to read anything else that Germans, British, Americans all got
a chance to read. Hindus, those Brahmins or Priests taught world what
it means to be secular and religious at the same time from time
immemorial. These guys were teacher of Al-Kindi, they taught
humbleness to Alexander in Sindh and wrote the first philosophical
thoughts about nature. But Guha and his likes feel Nehru, Ambdekar,
Gandhi to be first secular among Hindus?? Such amazing biased thoughts
won't last long. Our masters who first asked us to hate hinduism, are
already in love with it. Focus on good now, don't cry.

from:  Pankaj Gupta
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:20 IST

The author has proved himself to be a thoroughbred Nehruvian secularist
by declaring God Ram to be "mythical". Wonder what is there to write
such a long article when the faith itself is pronounced as mythical.

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:17 IST

"An article by a Communist Historian who always stand against the Hindu
consciousness of India", is enough to sum up the article.

from:  deepak
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:16 IST

Thanks for the write.

from:  Shridevi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:15 IST

Agree with few comments in this coloumn which mentioned that does anyone dare say anything about other religions and get away - he would be labelled as communal and fanatic - Only in India where majority of people are Hindus tolerate other religions and allowed them to prosper - name a country which gives other religions so much freedom when compared to India - in the name of secular everyone shouts down a Hindu when he says something - sorry state of affairs.

from:  G Balu
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:14 IST

A very insightful article. But, i am more worried about the kind of opinions expressed by my fellow readers. Some of them (as expected) are too extreme. The writer is not comparing Islam or Christianity with Hinduism in this article. I don't know how many of you guys caught that. Many people have turned ignorant towards other religions and in turn to some of the beliefs in their own religion (beliefs both good and bad). Mr. Guha is trying to higlight some aspects which have called themselves as indispensable parts of Hinduism. These prejudices, parochial view points and half-baked knowledge which in turn lead to ignorance (as shown by most comments) is what makes this a self defeating exercise.

Lastly, if you want to know what is Hinduism, you dont have to go and read the scriptures, you dont have to go and compare your tradition with islam or christianity. All you have to do is be a human infused with moral values through rational thinking.

from:  bharath
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:13 IST

Rather I am proud of the fact that my religion is oldest chronologically but philosophically mordern, religion (better call it a way of life) and even now followed significantly. It welcomes numerous types of philosophies including atheism also!!. We are not supposed to just believe blindly rather self explore, unlike others. Many superstitions came during the due course of time due to various reasons (Ex: Child marriage become prevalant during islamic invasions etc). And i can claim it is least superstitious religion compared to others and attacked by many religions, both by violent and nonviolent ways including by mordern psuedo-secularists but gloriously living even now.
Lastly, you are no one to dictate us what to be proud of!!

from:  aditya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:11 IST

The eminent historian should search his soul and ponder over whether the
secularists do not indulge in anti-Hindu bashing.The historians in our
country can be classified into secular[anti Hindu],communal[the
hindu]and the sarkari[comfort seeking].Every author now days has an
agenda profitable to them.Honesty,accuracy,fairness? Boot to them.The
readers yearn for truth and not convenient talk.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:02 IST

A very good and timely article. Why do we have to constantly make
comparisons with other faiths - if they aren't open to criticism, for
a variety of reasons, why should we not be? Don't these reformist
discussions and debates make "our" religion more inclusive and plural?
The reform of the Hindu laws or the marriage codes have been positive
steps, and have gone a long way in ameliorating the social conditions
of women and backward castes. Other religions too shall follow suit,
once there is a strong constituency within them for change. That
shouldn't be an excuse for Hinduism to derail change within itself.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00 IST

Surly a nice article and agree with some of the point. Surly not agree
with some as well. I want to ask one question. Why there is appeasement
for some religious? Nehru and Ambedkar had proposed plan to empower
them? Ambedkar was against appeasement for mere a votebank. Today most
parties are doing appeasement, and I am against it, whether I am Hindu
or Muslim. We are secular country, all religious must be treated as same
by Govt. Why there is subsidies for Hajj?

from:  Brijesh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:59 IST

Good that Mr. Guha's criticism is aimed at Hindus. Otherwise he
would have been hiding, at the cost of the Government, from fatwas
for his head!
Our so called intellectuals are that way very clever. They will attack
only when they are sure that their skin is safe.
This is true of the fellow intellectual from Bangalore, Mr. Girish
Karnad, too

from:  Dilip
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:57 IST

What does Nehru mean by saying minority who are large in numbers?

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:56 IST

As a old man nearing 70, having spent last 40 years overseas, I have read many a
religious books in Tamil, Samskrita,and English. Read Bhagavat Gita, Tirukkural,
Adi Sankara, Subramaniya Bharathy, Tamil Azhwars, Nayanmars,Thayumanavars to
name a few, before the days of great men like Swami Vivekananda and Gandhiji,
one will find that all these sages have believed in oneness of all that lives and
certainly all of humanity. Vedantic precepts are woven into all their thoughts and
writings. If more Hindus in India would pay attention to these writings, they will
realize that their inheritance ie Hindu Dharma is worthy of practicing and
preserving. Mr. Guha is right. LOKAH SAMASTHAH SUKINO BHAVANTU.

from:  V.Mahadev
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:42 IST

A very enlightening article about Hinduism and radicalism. I think communalism is not a big problem in India now. I have seen Hindu's and Muslims mingling together everywhere be it a school, college or workplace. The fight between them is only political. The biggest problem of our society is Caste and Social and Economic status. We being Hindu can not denounce our religion and we must be proud of it being belonged to religion which tells us tolerance and compassion. Until and unless our government and media take the responsibility to make this nation prosperous by not inflicting the idea of Secularism and communlism but working for uplift of everyone taken together we can not take pride of either being a Hindu or Hindustani.

from:  Dr. Avinash Kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:40 IST

These kind of article only arrogate and consolidate Hindu urban votes.
They look like regular run of the mill bashing of Hindus by our erudite
Scholars who have nothing good to say about a Tolerant religion which
has peacfully co existed with all kinds of religions for centuries

from:  vijayk
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:35 IST

Hindus / Hinduism is being targeted for all the wrong reasons now-a-days. Does the author have any guts to write an article in same lines about Muslims?...a big NO...remember the assault on T. J. Joseph by Kerala Terrorists

from:  vinu
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:29 IST

Guha's views may appeal intellectually. But in reality our 'handling'
of secularism has been counter productive ; it is so tarnished it has
no respect now. Many Western countries have proclaimed Christianity as
their State religion which has not disadvaged other religionists
living there. Secularism is inbuilt in Hinduism as otherwise so many
religions would not have gained entry, leave alone its uniqueness in
considering that all religions reach the same goal unlike others. A
solution, after all, may lie in declaring Hinduism as India's State
religion, which will pose no threat to any other religion.

from:  S. Rajagopalan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:29 IST

The views expressed by the author in the article, citing anecdotes, events, and the works and beliefs of the Indian reformers and stalwart politicians are what mostly constitute, the founding societal all-inclusiveness in India, which the fundamentalist, and politicians of all hues aim to destroy and do away with, today, in pursuit of a non-realizable monolithic fabric of their respective presumptions. There is an urgent need by all concerned and informed people to prevent and reverse this trend.

from:  Murtuza
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:24 IST

No one needs to dictate us for what we need to be proud off.

As a Hindu we are proud of being tolerant, Accepting all regions and appreciating their deeds and beliefs.

India is a secular state, then why can’t we have an equal law.

The minorities don’t want to be treated different, then why they need special quota in all facets of life education, social and professional life. Those who talk of equality 1st be ready to give up all these quotas and ask for the secular/ equality will then be a fair contest.

from:  Durga
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:19 IST

Can Hindus get rid of their caste system of the four varnas, which divides the humanity,the Brahmins, or priests, the Kshatriyas, the warriors, and then the Vaishyas, the merchants, and the last the lowest the Shudras? If this is possible, then they can think of anything higher. I don't know, why they want to destroy India in the name of Hinduism.

from:  Ashfaq
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:13 IST

Mr. Ramachandra Guha is an apologist of Hindu faith, brain washed by
the marxist and other foreign philosophies. Condemn the caste feeling
all you want, Mr. Guha, after recognizing that it is introduced into
India by our western conquerors. Our faith is not ossified; on the
other hand, for thousands of years, it was the torch bearing Hindu
Dharma followers who showed the world the miracles of metal
production, astronomy, medicine, physics, etc. If only we can build on
that legacy, we would rid the society of many of those ills. The
British have done a great job telling us to be guilty of something or
other, and you are doing a fine job perpetuating the message, being a
brown 'sahib'. I live in USA, and I see the so called gender
inequalities all around me. Show me similar suppression in our Dharma.
Learn your Swadharm first, Mr. Guha, before you start preaching
others.

from:  Krishna Kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:08 IST

@Ramchandra Guha : Centuries of hardwork in social reform can be wiped out in a single foreign invasion by bands of barbarians who are medieval in mindset but ultra modern in warfare. Hence the need for strong & vigilant armed forces can never be ruled out. Social reforms should be carried out parallel to modernisation of armed forces & not at their cost. Many of the now extinct civilisations like Parsi's of Iran or Hindus/Buddhists of Afghanistan/Pakistan were very liberal before they were wiped out by invading hordes.

from:  Shaleen Mathur
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:07 IST

I pray Almighty to give the author courage and strength to continue this
series and come up with what (Indian) christian and muslims should be
proud of in his future work.

from:  suresh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 11:01 IST

Thanks Mr. Guha for such an enlightening piece. It is true that all the Hindu reformers must have thought themselves first as human beings, for humanity is the biggest religion. It is also true that politics failed even the tall figures like Gandhi and Nehru in their endeavor to correct the flaws of Hinduism. Ambedkar stood out, not much because of any intellectual weakness but because of his own politics against the abusive and humiliating caste system. Majority of Hindus, I believe, are still not ready to come out of this social "label" since it serves their vested interests. And this will eventually become the reason behind the fall of Hinduism. Not untouchability, but the whole cast system should have been abolished by our Constitution. That would have heralded a new India.

from:  Kaushal Mahaseth
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:53 IST

I can't understand the basic behind this article and what author is
trying to convey. The whole article is based upon the views of Author
friend so does that person represent the views of All Hindus? No one on
this earth will ever think of giving a religion color to 1971 Indian
army victory as Army represent the nation not any particular cast or
creed. The Hindu as a newspaper should leave this ghost of religion
behind and should utilize the space to put a point of view on more
burning and relevant issues.

from:  Jony
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:51 IST

I wonder if the writer could shed some light on such negative mindset
related to other religions. Mr. Guha can never write about why the
same country allows different set of rules (read Muslim Personal Law
Board) for different religions. You talk about the ancient, ossified
faith with divisions, prejudices, and closed-mindedness when you speak
about the Hindu people. can you publish something like this in
Pakistan. Mr. Guha, don't you think you are able to
do this because the Hindu religion has tolerance as its founding
principles? Don't have a myopic biased view on topics that directly
relate to emotions and lives of others.

If you show one side of the coin, please take care to highlight the
other side as well. That would be acceptable as responsible writing to
propogate balanced and progressive dialog. Current path trended by you
is nothing short of being devisive and counterproductive to the nation

from:  R Shankar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:51 IST

we always bring the question of low achievements on health and
education whenever it comes to constructing the temple
moreever the low achievment is not because of temple but of the so
called development model we accepted , greedy politician and lack of
political will
guha like respected historian and other intelligentia instead of
froming a consensus are just fuelling the communal fire by asking one
to sacrifice an issue so dear to heart
so to appear asimpartial we must stop preaching one community alone but
try to build a consensus
what would guha have to say of the crores of subsidy given for haj
pilgrimage or for displacement of kashmiri pandits who were burned
alive
also what sort of religious tolerance is that in a so called secular
society when people cannot accept other's community happiness of
constructing a temple when it has been so explicitly stated in history
that there was one

from:  nikhil
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:47 IST

Hindutva

from:  Sachi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:21 IST

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies...but the
silence of our friends.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Hindus will remember the LIES of 'lapsed'Hindus like Mr. Guha.

It's not Hafeez Saeed who will kill my children. It will be you Mr.
Guha. Until then keep at it. Fantastic job you are doing. Love you.

from:  Twisto
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:20 IST

(1) I think views expressed here are of many citizens. But
unfortunately, the mindset of leaders of BJP and their RSS bosses is
of a group of individuals who have always dreamt of building a Hindu
nation. That this is not possible in 21st century is beyond their
understanding. Another bitter reality is that many BJP and RSS leaders
do not wish to accept that a vast majority of India’s middle class is
rapidly changing its lifestyles. (2) It is time BJP and RSS leaders
recognize problems of modern societies. Today’s youth is interested in
moving forward, and RSS leaders still talk of imparting education as
per their ideas of nationalism and cultural values. (3) In democratic
societies, politics has to be disassociated from religion. Many BJP
and RSS leaders are still not ready to accept this rule. As regards
the Congress, lit is an open secret that the Congress leaders’
commitment to secularism is more in theory than in practice. (5) Thus
we are far away from religious pluralism.

from:  Narendra M Apte
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:19 IST

Mr.Guha, even after 66 years, why Congress follow the policy of
"minority appeasement at the cost of majority" and do vote bank
politics? the Congress during all these years have not been able to
uplift the down trodden and minorities.Why don't we have universal law
for all Indian citizens? You can find fault with Hindu culture, but if
you touch any other religion, the will tear off your opinion.

from:  baby karumalloor
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:04 IST

"What then, should Hindus be proud of? The answer is that rather than
seek for one defining moment, one heroic triumph, Hindus who care for
the fate and future of Hinduism should instead valorise the quiet,
persistent work of reformers down the centuries to rid an ancient,
ossified faith of its divisions, its prejudices, and its closed-
mindedness."- well, true. But born a Tamil, from my childhood days,
when I was attuned to render devotional hymns like "kulla kullane,
kundu veyirane, vellikombane vinyakanai thozhu", and " paalum theli
thenum, paakum, paruppum ivai naalum kalandhu naan unakku tharuven.
thunga karimukaththu thoomaniye nee yenakku sangaththamizh moondrum
thaa", I find we Tamils have related our Hinduism to ethnic needs
too. is it not. Is there any hymn composed in any other language
that specifies to gift one with the three ancient divisions of his
language? I can not accepet vedic hinduism that imposed sanskrit
rituals.

from:  P.Padmnaabhan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:04 IST

There is no need to write or publish an article to define who or how or about what should Hindus should be proud.
India needs media activism to eradicate corruption, how to make people conscious of their rights. How to empower grass roots through smaller government and more freedom of speech.

The elitist, english speaking, ignorant journalists, media and pseudo intellectuals cannot accept opposing point of view. They are more interested in dissecting and spinning opposing views in their favor.

Guha is no exception.

from:  Ganapathi Iyer
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 10:00 IST

A well written article. Reading the first two paragraphs when even as a Hindu you did not mind mentioning Ayodhya revived a patriotism indirectly and a feeling of nationalism of our secular India. Its people like you sir, who considers the minorities who are ideal Hidus.
Communal and caste based politics is a dangerous rot in this nation and the people who propagate it commits treason in a way that could amount to a case sedition.

from:  Snitzky
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:53 IST

This article is an unconvincing sermon to the faithful by an atheist.
One should appreciate the contribution of several reformers but one
certainly could find several things to be proud of in the religion in
spite of various drawbacks in social customs practiced in its name.
People should be proud of what Dr Ambedkar did but Hindus should also
be proud of the fact that they as a group could easily accept and
respect him in spite of his condemning the religion and converting to
another faith. I wonder if any other major religious group would be
that tolerant and respectful to a 'dissenter'.

from:  Gemmi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:52 IST

Excellent article. Everybody should read this article and ponder over
it. We have to think where we have lost our way in the middle and
allowed the narrow, parochial thinking to take center stage. The message
from this article should be the guiding principle of every civilized
Indian.

from:  Feroz Ahamed
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:51 IST

India's 4000 year heritage, for which the Hindu culture formed the foundational bulwark as well as an umbrella of protection for people of all faiths and beliefs, is replete with many great accomplishments, so much so that India can be called one of the greatest mothers of the current human civilization. All Indians should be proud of that shared heritage, regardless of their present religious affiliation or non-religious disposition, and use that pride as inspiration towards building a better India, and thus a better world, in the decades to come.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:50 IST

Why is it more important to correct and purify the religion ? Why not
looking out to other religions - especially the 'Buddha religion', which
was really a new and cleansing religion ? If we comprehend the history
of these kind of studies, it becomes clear that if we follow the
religion, we are inside. We live in a closed compartment. The only
window is open to the so called ' Hindu Religion'.

from:  Girish Panicker
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:45 IST

Mr Guha has made a mess of his narrative trying to fit his
restricted opinions into random events. For example, he says a
faithful rendition of ‘Garv sé Kaho Ham Hindu Hain’ is ‘Proudly
Proclaim Our Hindu-Ness’, while publishing in a southren daily.
In olden days it would have gone unnoticed, but things are diff
now, there is a comments section. A faithful rendition would be
'Say with pride, we are Hindus'. If one belongs to a college say
Josephs is it bigotry to proudly say I am a Josephite. This is
where Guha is lost.

What is the need to equate the opinion of one friend to all
Hindus?? And about why a temple is important, if the un-
importance is Guha's opinion why cant he accept that the issue
being important is the opinion of many other intellectuals. Why
make a biryani out of unrelated issues.

What Hindus must be proud of is not only individuals,but of a
religion(wrong word) which allows for such great people to
exist.How many vivekanands have come from Islam or Cristianity?

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:38 IST

Ramachandra guha has no clue about what HInduism or Sanathan dharma stands for. Reformers like Dayanand saraswati, Aurobindo, Swami vivekananda illustrated the thougght of the vedas and upanishads. Time to go to school , Guha to learn true hinduism.

Does he know that 30 million Americans practise yoga ? October month has been recognized as Hindu awareness and appreciation month.

from:  Mani
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:30 IST

Great article, refreshing read.

If Indians today truly understand the meaning of origins of Hinduism
they would perhaps not be so proud to call themselves Hindus, at
least for the wrong reasons (That holds for all religions). On the
other hand the great things about Hinduism, ancient literature and
mythological stories and festivals do have value, and could be
preserved.

In this day and age when religions are becoming obsolete, the idea of
Hindu nationalism sounds very archaic and even dangerous for a
country like India, where there is rampant corruption, extreme
poverty and malnutrition, not to mention gang rapes of women!

India needs to be focusing on things that matter, and embrace
modernism (Ram Mohan said this more than a 100 years ago!) rather
than sticking to some mythical idea of past glory.


from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:27 IST

I fully agree with Mr. Guha in his opining that some wrong people have arrogated to themselves the right to speak about Hinduism. It is they who have obscured and tarnished the rational teachings of Hinduism for selfish ends. They don't read and understand the Upanishads and Gita in the due rational percepective inherent therein. They believe in and spread the dark mass of superstitions as true Hinduism. There is nothing to be proud of in that mass for true Hindus, what is there makes the Hindus disgusted and renders them to be despised upon by the world. These self-styled, self-anointed 'Brahmins' do not know even the Upanishadic meaning of 'Brahmin'. They are unable to see the unity behind all the diversities manifested therefrom. Not knowing that all are of the same origin, they despise and condemn people on the basis of birth. These racist people are actually the bane of Hinduism. It is high time that Hindus should save Hinduism from these pseudo Hindus.

from:  Karthikeyan. S
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:23 IST

Somehow not happy in reading this article. This is putting all hindus in bad light. Every hindu is not claiming that 1971 victory is a victory of hindus. That is stupid statement. Everyone recognize that our indian army which has all religious people are the heros. Don't put hindus in bad light by taking one opinion. One thing that Hindus should be proud is allowing others faiths live happily and practise their faiths. Where in other countries we have this freedom? This freedom was given before our independence itself. So making secular and non-secular country doesn't make any sense. Today just by making Secular we can't take hard rules in the society with the fear of religious conflicts. If your statement about Ghandhi , Nehru was true then I will blame them responsible for today's state of India. Sorry being so harsh..

from:  pavan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:21 IST

What about the contributions of
Kanchi Paramacharya and Ramana Maharishi?

from:  Siva Kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:20 IST

sir, people who believe in congress/gandhiji secularism should not
write about hindus-hinduism. In india secularism means anti-hindu.
congress secularism died the day india was divided on the basis of
religion. pakistan was created on the basis of muslim majority areas.
now many indians are worshipping a dead ideology of congress
secularism.
pro-hindu should not be taken as anti-muslim. if anybody disrespects
another religion he is not a hindu.
respected people like guha should write about islam and its virtues
and how it transformed the tribes of arabia into warriors. they should
write about the subject of their love akbar the great, the pious
aurangzeb, muslim art-culture, sufi tradition.
these indian secularists do not understand that hindu india is
shrinking for the last about 1600 years from the day bin qasim
attacked sindh. and hinduism is the only effective tradition in the
world which teaches respect for all other religions and faith and
needs conservation like rare specie.

from:  R. Pandya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:18 IST

There is a PROPAGANDA WHICH IS STILL THERE IN OUR MINDSET. For power; selfishness of some so called LEADER's try to break HINDU MUSLIM UNITY. We have to fight against them. Its like a WAR ZONE. LOTS OF CORRUPTION already come to light. I already take initiative to remove misunderstanding between WORLD;s two mighty; biggest; reformed community HINDU AND MUSLIM through FACEBOOK. We need to be UNITED AGAINST ALL ODDS. ALLAH SHOWS US THR PATH.

from:  Abdul Khalid
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:16 IST

A must-read for all Hindu fanatics.
Victorious over an oppressor is one thing but unnecessarily demeaning another on the basis of his/her faith is not only nonsensical but also a step towards the ensuing one-on-one mutual destruction.

The angle in this story is extremely valid. Pride should be in the works of those who help clean/purify the Hindu faith and not in those who only worked on maintaini the supremacy of the religion. While Nehru maintained plurality in the state post independence, I'm personally inspired by Pandita Ramabai who had laboured for the right of widows in an era (late 19th century) when they were gravely disregarded and neglected.

from:  Anushri Saxena
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:13 IST

Mr. Guha is known for his sympathies for the living Monarchy of India. Hindus should be proud of the unmatched tolerance and assimilation that their religion is capable of. Nobody questions the shameful practices of other religions. This duality will kill this nation.

from:  Asgar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 09:07 IST

Just being born a Hindu is blessing enough. I say this without saying
how it is superior to other religions.

from:  Veevip Sarathy
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:45 IST

Why does every 2nd so called intellectual seem to be lecturing Hindus?
I have found very few articles written on the similar lines for other
communities. In no way I consider myself a conservative but even I get
tired at times from all that hype of Hindu fundamentalism in India and
I bet, it is going to grow if media continue to make a hill out of
mole. You will not find any religion which is without faults and at
least, Hindus are open to reforms. So, there is no point in demeaning
a religion based on things which are no more part of culture anymore
e.g Sati. The way article has been written, it seems there is nothing
to be proud about being an Hindu. His story begins with Raja Rammohan
which is barely 200 years old and ends with Nehru, Gandhi and
Ambedkar. I have great respect for all of them but Hindus are not all
about bunch of people from modern era.Probably, author does not find
any glory in thousand years of old culture but I don't expect any
better from authors in Hindu.

from:  Astick Shukla
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:43 IST

I vehemently wish to see someday a similar article penned by a Muslim or a Christian critical of their own religious customs and practices. Unfortunately, in its all likelihood, that will never happen. It is this very autonomy of cognitive beliefs, exemption from follow-the-leader mindset and the inherent liberty to express individual thought-pattern which has provided equanimity to Hinduism down the ages. Can these so called intellectuals, of the cadre of Mr. Ramchandra Guha, who claim be abundantly knowledgeable about history and therefore emergence of religious identities, will ever dare to express similar contentions on other crippling issues inflicting hyper-Hinduism? I doubt that.

from:  Rajnish
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:38 IST

this is true that we,hindu can't feel proud in India there is nothing which we did,do and will do at that we can proud. Okey now you have tell about Hindu so If you have dare to tell about "Muslime" in India which thing is made them proud. After that article we will decide that you'r right and wrong and what is your mentality that you have a fair mind that can justify things.

from:  ankit kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:35 IST

The writer quotes freely above that "demolish a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya believed by many to be sited on the birthplace of the (mythical) God Ram" is in itself a manifestation of tolerance and liberal aspects of Hinduism.No matter weather it is verifiable or not one cannot speak or write any thing which goes against other religions.That is Hinduism ...its not only a religion but a tradition,faith and a way of life.the writer avows that the mosque is of 16th century but forgets that it was build on a temple by force.

from:  ravi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:24 IST

sir, i became a fan of yours the day i started reading INDIA AFTER GANDHI and i definitely know the context in which you wrote this article but the problem is that even Nehru and his successors could not make this land a prosperous country despite giving repeated chances with majority in parliament. The reason for the great debacle is inability of the leaders and their lack of vision. All of them might be scholars but the fact is scholars cant run a big diverse country like India.Whole debate is started by a NATIONALIST leader and what he is offering is a vision to take the country forward and all great intellectuals like you, know the truth about 120 crore people that this vision point is above their mind so he changed the marketing style. While voting, people of this country only read the full name of candidate and think about his religion and cast, what other choice NATIONALIST leader has other than playing the game everyone is playing.

from:  sharan kumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:21 IST

Ram Guha who has been known to pose a balanced view on every issue of
national importance, has often been observed to be non-eclectic and
rhetorical as far as dealing with a Hindu mind(This is often seen to
happen with western minded post colonial scholars). I would perhaps
not blame them for this entirely as most of the ills are are the
outcrop of the scions of anti-nationalistic "erudite" Marxist
historians, of the likes of Romila Thapar and Bipan Chandra.

For getting out of this muddles state of cognition first of all he
should understand the uniqueness of Dharma Civilization mind which is
not frozen in some point of time but ever evolving. Untouchability,
Sati and other ill practices were not the product of Hinduism but it
was a social problem imposed by the foreign aggression on India. Now I
don't want to be rhetorical to blame every ill practice on foreign
depredations as we are equally to be blamed due to our ineffectiveness
to counter them, but so what we are ready to evolve.

from:  Anurag Basant
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:19 IST

I totally agree with the author, for a change, on the celebration of Vijay Divas by Indians at large. This victory has nothing to do with a specific religion, though I can understand why such a statement might have been made. This was the victory that smashed the 'Two-Nation Theory' and which came after nearly 800 years of foreign occupation. However, the author, like the the Betal in 'Vikram aur Betal', climbs the tree once again when it comes to the Ayodhya issue. Does he mean to say that religion is unimportant only for the Hindus ? He does not seem to denounce with equal vigour new churches and mosques that spring up all over the place. After all, the Hindus have a deep emotional issue with Ayodhya just as the Muslims have with Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Has he ever asked the Muslims to ignore that issue and move on with eradicating poverty, illiteracy, fanaticism etc rampant among Muslims communities? On pluralism, he is preaching to the most catholic of all, the Hindus.

from:  S.Sridharan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:12 IST

I think India has a potential to create an Eastern civilization. But, like others, it is totally westernized. One of Gandhi's greatness lay in his attempt in reviving and loving the original Indianness

from:  Asad
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:08 IST

Granted that Hinduism has many faults. Granted that much needs to be
done to reform it. But is it correct to say that all that Hindus are
to be proud of, is the era post Rammohun Roy? Aren't the Hindus
supposed to be the people who encouraged the largest degree of
pluralism ever known to mankind, what with atheists, agnostics,
materialists, satanists, as well as the teary-eyed "idols-worshippers"
and other philosophers, all existing in one land, side by side?

Also, have you ever seen such a scathing criticism written by an
Indian about any other religion? Islam? Christianity? Judaism? I think
not. So, let's not get carried away with our prejudices, shall we? Let
us be balanced. Let us not just quote the especially despicable parts
of Hindu scriptures like that of Manu's, and blithely write off the
whole of Hinduism as shameful.

I think it's high time the author actually reads some of Gandhi's or
Vivekananda's works to understand Hinduism better, before preaching to
Hindus.

from:  Sachin Shyam Phatak
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 08:02 IST

Firstly, the word 'Hindu' is coined by western and middle eastern people who could not pronounce name of river Sindhu, and wanted to refer to us as people living beyond this river.
We should ban this word, and change name of the religion to Bharatiya or Sanatan dharmi.

from:  Dr. Y.J.Vasavada
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:54 IST

What is wrong in claiming to be Hindus. This is being mis interpreted as
being communal. While the Christians, Muslims claim they are being so
and are not castigated as being communal. I feel proud to be a Hindu and
being a nationalist. it is one thing calling myself as a Hindu because
it is a fact and another being tolerant. Unfortunately if we look at the
causes of the turmoil it had largely been driven by islamic
fundamentalists a religion which preaches brotherhood.

from:  Mouli
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:50 IST

Not much according to the author.He is convinced it needs reformation and unlike Semitic religions .many have tried and succeeded because Hinduism will accept change and can adopt.

from:  Ramakrishna
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:45 IST

Read the article three times to find out what as a Hindu I should be
proud of, only saw the same old leftist garbage. If he is really a great
historian can he now find one thing? Really? Is it all really that bad?

from:  Naren
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:44 IST

Perfect!
This is exactly the voice that should be echoed!

from:  Ajita Deshmukh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:39 IST

Wonderful write up !Very informative. Pundit Nehru is the only misfit
here!!!



from:  ashoke bakshi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:17 IST

" A modernist and rationalist, Dr. Ambedkar believed that for Dalits to escape from oppression, they had to not look for favours from guilt-ridden reformers but themselves ‘educate, agitate and organise’ their way to emancipation."

This formed a basis for what was a necessary right then, which has now turned into an unnecessary wrong now..

IF you can read the meaning between the sentences you will know what I am talking about.

from:  Thiagaraj S
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:15 IST

As Indians we should be proud about our attitude of tolerance towards of people of all faiths. We do not have beat our chests proclaiming our successes in wars to tell the world about our supremacy in the sub continent. Humility alone would make our neighbours follow suit and emulate our examples. As a nation we need to develop a sense of belonging to the nation rather than think of only individual progress by any means hook or crook. Only such patriotic fervour can rid our great country of the social ills which are hampering speedy development. We do not need examples of success of other nations to catalyse ourselves into becoming a Super Power. We can become one in our right with our own efforts distinct from those of others based on the principles of democracy and pularalistic society of which we should always be proud of. We should not wait for victory on the field of Sports or Wars or Calamities to bring us all together. One Nation should be our motto despite diverse cultures.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:14 IST

Ram Guha seems to assume that Hindus are not proud of people like Gandhi
and Ambedkar, and only believe in a narrow interpretation of Hindu
dharma. This is a flawed assumption, even a little offensive.

Hinduism is full of reformist movements. Hinduism welcomes reform. The
transformation of the religion can be traced from the early rituals of
the Vedas to the high philosophy of the Vedanta, followed by the nuanced
commentary by Sankaracharya, Madavacharya, Ramanujacharya, and Buddhist
movement, etc.

There were some shameful practices also (like sati, caste supremacy
etc), but to just focus on these is unfair.

Also, Ram Guha says ‘Hindu Rashtra’ would have been a mirror-image of
Pakistan. This argument is flawed, since Hinduism by its very nature is
pluralistic, so if India was a Hindu Rashtra, it's secular fabric would
have been reinforced.

A Hindu India can never be an Islamic Pakistan. Tolerance and reform are
inbuilt into Hinduism, thankfully. I am proud of that.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:10 IST

It is very easy to involve Modi in every article about Hindus and then
bash him for no logical reason. Congress has been in power for more than
60 years. Shouldn't the 'secular' Congress have done something about
Education and other basic needs? Instead 'secular' Congress is busy
promoting the 'Gandhi' family.

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:07 IST

Ramachandra Guha does not consider himself a Hindu. If he did his line would have read 'That said, WE Hindus still have much to be ashamed about.'

Prejudices abound in every society. Even in the so called egglatarian Communist societies. Instead of feeling ashamed about it one has to tackle it headlong and let the charity begin at home.

Mr Guha open up your home for all and sundry instead of paying lip-service to the notion of prejudice.

It's easy sermonising from a pulpit.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:04 IST

The fundamental issue is the persistent gap between precept and practice. Is this due to the eternally "argumentative Indian" with millennia-old skills in debate and the traditions of Mimamsa and Samkhya and other schools of logic? How easily we compartmentalize ourselves as a physics professor and as a votary of destruction of holy places! How often we laud the deeds of Maryada Purushottam on one hand and turn the other way when it comes to our daily life! Possibly we had too cushy a life, protected for aeons by the Himalayas and with our Ganga-Yamuna-Narmada-Godavari-Krishna -Kaveri river system giving us enough to eat. We need some hard knocks to make us wake up. Then it will become "Dudh-ka dudh, Pani ka Pani".

from:  Prosenjit Das Gupta
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 07:02 IST

Ramachandra Guha as usual sees things in purely political rather than cultural terms. Inclusiveness as part of Hinduism was expressed most eloquently by Sri Aurobindo in his Uttarapara speech which the author does not mention. Neither Gandhi nor Nehru is relevant to Hindus today, but Sri Aurobindo still is.
Neither Gandhi nor Nehru practiced secularism (or even inclusiveness) though Nehru lectured a lot about it. Gandhi's first major movement was Non-Cooperation in support of the Khilafat with disastrous consequences. Nehru introduced subsidies to Haj pilgrims.
Guha's comments on Manu are laughable. It is a superficial missionary-Marxist charge repeated without regard to when and for whom the code was formulated. Were the Shariat and the Khilafat advances over Manu? Hindus have to reform but Guha is hardly the one to tell us how.
Having advised us, Guha should next advise the Muslims to give up Jihad, triple talaq and similar ideas. No, it is only Hindus who need reform.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 06:57 IST

I am sure Mr.Guha will be proud to assign weak economic growth to Hindus
as "Hindu rate of growth"

from:  vijay
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 06:45 IST

An inspiring article. Most Indians would love to identify themselves with this but their
ambitiond are coked by the dominant communal and often racist rhetoric of our
political class. Indian values and virtues have been politicised and hijacked.We all
need to engage in one more freedom fight to liberate the body and soule of India from
the clutches of communalism, casteism, ignorance and povrty. This will give me a
reason to be proud of my Hindu nationality even if I am a Muslim by religion.

from:  Saleem Ahmed
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 06:26 IST

Instead of asking Hindus to hang their heads in shame, the author will
be better off shaming the politicians who operate the vote bank
policies to hold on to power. The so-called intellectuals should be
shamed for continuing to narrate the false Indian history fabricated
by the British in the nineteenth century. The rabid Christian
establishment in India and West should be shamed for openly declaring
to "harvest" Hindu souls by unethical means. The government should be
shamed for not operating in a secular manner while claiming to do so.
The caste prejudice is not limited to Hindus, it prevails among all
religious groups in Indian society. Why blame the Hindus alone?

from:  V Lakshminarayanan
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 06:18 IST

Dear Sir
The article is very interesting and has a message. However the first reformer in the Hinduism history is Saint Ramanuja who lived in the 11th century. the services he rendered in sinking caste differences and treating al alike before God is unparalleled and unarguably the first.

Cost Accountant
Chennai

from:  A.N.RAMAN
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 06:17 IST

A lecture Hindus are familiar with. They have heard it from every one of the 'bhadralok' political families ruling India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, which families then went on to build their political power and immense wealth through the conversion of 'social caste' into 'political caste'.
It was not Manu who ordained that free India's political parties should be based on caste or that their electoral strategies should closely follow caste.
'Social Caste' is already eroded through urbanisation, but 'political caste' has taken root.
British and American historians of India, such as Professor Morris Jones had foreseen this sinister political misuse of caste, as early as the 1960s.
But, it is the easiest of tasks to continue lecturing Hindus, I am sure.

from:  Murthy
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:50 IST

I understand, acknowledge and appreciate the thesis. There could have just been one
sentence mentioning that there have been efforts at Hindu reformation even before there
was the political idea of India.

from:  Raghuram Ekambaram
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:49 IST

I am not from conservative hindu family. For me, I see Hindu as a culture to live in cleanliness, happy with peace our neighbors and accept and adopt to practices that appreciates the modern development of human kind-like second marraiges, small families... I don't see it as a religion. if somebody want to be boisterous of being hindu, then he can do so -when All Indians under the shelter of Hindutva can have food, shelter and education. That way we hindu's have failed greatly.

from:  marudah
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:41 IST

Majority are Hindu by being born into a Hindu family, not by practice or
ideology. Lately many are trying their very best to "shake-off" Hinduism
from their lives. The word has simply glorified, race, caste,
inequality, division, feudalism, corruption and confusion. True
nationalists, entrepreneurs, scientists or artists do not need religion
to further their containment and happiness.

from:  Partho Dhang
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:38 IST

Mr Guha is right.We being a secular country have not to stoop to the
level of Islamic pakistan where the minorities are not even safe.The
only point I want to make is that religious fundamentalism of any type
be it Hindu or of Muslims needs to be condemned equally.Appeasement
policy and treating a community as vote bank is equally bad and
responsible political parties need to excercise restraint.As action of
one produces competetive spirit in others which of course is not
justifiable .Media too needs to have restraint over highlighting some
controversial remarks by some politicians and even selectively quoting
in order to have noisy discussions on TV even when those remarks do
not deserve that much attention.

from:  Anil Girotra
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:29 IST

Mr.Guha needs to read Adi Sankara's Maneesha Panchakam and the advaita
philosophy. He then would not call Mr. Manmohan Roy the first reformer
of Hinduism. Every time he speaks of Hinduism, he shows his ignorance
of the great religion. Do not blame the bad practices of some or most
Hindus not sanctioned in core Hinduism on all Hindus or Hindu religion.

from:  V. Ramaswami
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:28 IST

Its really pleasure to read Ramachandra Guha again.He is a writer who can proudly say that i am an indian more than anything else.The sectarian views which we are witnessing in our present life will not make india a better nation.Although we have lived in a state where every religion is treated by government equally,still one cannot say that India is a secular state in its exact manner as the signs of communalism is visible in many areas especially in our minds.we must show that first i am an Indian ,then i am a...............!

from:  Shabeermon.M
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:10 IST

Ram,
No hindu, will disagree with you/what yu have wrote.
All the improvements/reforms brought in hinduism in 19th century are something that every Hindu should be proud of. And believe me Hindu's are proud of it. no other religion has embraced itself to reform better than hinduism.
What the "bhadralok" friend of yours was mentioning was "pacifist"/ appeasing attitude of todays ruling class, the silence with which Hindu's accept it (for the fear that opposing it would mean there friends and "media" will ridicule them for being othodox/Communal).
What the hindu's detest (and you media folks should detest as well) is that a prime minister of the country announces that Muslim's have first right over nation's resources and yet "secular" media stays silent.(they are eager to jump on trivial issues like "puppy" remark at the drop of a hat, is a different story).
And I bet you Ram, if you strike conversation with a cross section of Hindu's in private, they would echo the exact sentiment

from:  Aniket
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:09 IST

The title of the article is "What Hindus can & should be proud of" which then proceeds to tell us what Hindus should be ashamed of. When was the last time, he or anybody else in Hindu told people of other religions that they should be ashamed about what other followers of their religion did? This article is an exercise in bigotry and shows how the Macaulayism lives on after more than an century.

from:  gopal vaidya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 05:05 IST

The writer is one sided. The Manu smriti was an old constitution for Hindus which was not followed when it was translated for heinous purpose by British to denigrate Sanatana Dharma. Rather Paraswara Smriti was the most current one that time. The word 'Smriti' itself means which keeps on changing according to the need of hour. The 'Sati' custom was a product of Islamic aggression which butcher so many Hindus. Yes, we Hindus should fight against caste system. But the politician are using and invigorating it. The so-called pseudo-secular historians are ruining our country and culture. Dear Historians, please, justify the destruction caused during Islamic invasions in India!!! Please, don't use the minority-appeasement intellectualism and politics. IT IS ONLY HINDUS WHICH ACCEPT ALL RELIGIONS AS TRUE. Before criticizing the Hinduttwa, please debate on the issue of conversions by Christian missionaries and Muslims which has lead to lots of troubles for the security of our country.

from:  B Samanta
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:55 IST

While the author makes very pertinent points, I find it amusing that he
finds no issues in accusing "sants and shakha heads who arrogate to
themselves the right to speak for Hindus", he himself falls into the
same sermonizing as to what Hindus should be proud of! - a bit more
humility is called for when we see arrogance in others!

from:  Krish
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:55 IST

It is obvious that a prejudiced writer like R C Guha will hold Nehru,
who actually did nothing other than "not-going-to-temple-in-his-adult-
life" in high regards with the likes of Gandhi and Ambedkar, while
conveniently exclude facts about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who not
only supported, but also practiced women empowerment by having the
World's First Women Regiment in his army! Nehru centrality apart, Not
only did Guha impose his vicious and flawed understanding of Hinduism,
but he portrays in a grim light, forgetting the fact that its the
liberal mindset of Hinduism to produce so many reformers and to listen
to them, whereas no other religion listens to "reformers" per se! O
come on Mr. Guha, wake up to the times, young Indians are not Nehru
worshipers like you.

from:  DPSaha
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:51 IST

The author has tried to equate Nehru with Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the
Mahatma and Ambedkar -- many would disagree. These great people never
foisted their progeny on the nation. Why do historians like the author
hark on the Babri Masjid incident as a shame on the Indian nation?
Vast majority of Hindus would willingly condemn the destruction of a
mosque if it had been built by our Muslim brothers in a free India --
NOT by a hated invader (who loathed India so deeply that he willed to
be buried in Afghanistan, not in the land of Kafirs). By the same
token do the author and his ilk believe that the entire Muslim
community in India identifies with the Mogul invaders and their
"exploits"? This is the attitude that continues to perpetrate the
negative stereotyping of Indian Muslims. The author has correctly
pointed out the numerous negatives in the Hindu religion that need
reformation. He could have added that even the Abrahamic faiths also
have features that need reformation.

from:  Jay Ravi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:45 IST

I would like to thank the Editor and Staff of The Hindu for this article; Prof. Guha's articles are a source of education for me. I would like to read a scholarly work on how this tradition launched by Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru, and others did not carry forward, and how it resulted in the disgusting events described here. To claim that "politics" is the reason is trivial - an entire population is involved, or for that matter, not involved in the disgusting events. There is a lot more to it - will a scholar write about it, please.

from:  Roy M. Ramavarapu
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:33 IST

It was an enlightening article , more so because of the current political waves. However, I would like to point out that it was Swami Vivekananda who gave the slogan ' Garv sé Kaho Ham Hindu Hain '. His notion of Hinduism was positive and he stressed upon universal brotherhood and toleration.

from:  sandip pathak
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:30 IST

I don't need a secular WOG (western oriented gentleman) like Guha to
tell me what Hinduism should be. As a Hindu I will engage in my own
personal struggle to reform the faith. For I know that being Hindu
means being intellectually in favor of pluralism (read Shankar or
Ramanuja, et al) and I don't need to a convert myself into a votary of
western secularism to tell me that. I don't need modern feminism to
tell me that treating women equally is the right thing to do - I have
examples from my own Indian tradition to tell me that I should treat
woman like Shiva treated Parvati. I don't need subaltern studies to
understand the anguish felt by my brothers who are oppressed and that
oppression is wrong, I have the example of Lord Rama himself when he
supported the status quo and then almost went mad as he realized that
he was wrong in his actions to support that status quo.
I am a proud Hindu. My tradition is longer than the modern Indian
State and I am sorry Mr. Guha we not going away.

from:  Pico
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 04:09 IST

Inspite of all its imperfections, Hindusism has never been a
rigid religion. The above mentioned "abolition of caste
prejudices; the elimination of gender hierarchies etc" are in
progress,they have not been halted. So, do not show these as
reasons to be ashamed of. These are social issues and are semi-
independent of political process.

As much as we are proud of Gandhi,Rammohan roy and Dr.Ambedkar,
we are ashamed of minority appeasement the Nehruvian dynasty has
propagated in this nation which led to most violent riots in the
most tolerent of cultures.

Keep saying our youth we should be ashamed. Keep distorting the
history to suit your arguments, never teach them critical
thinking. Teach them Hinduism was all about castes and sati.

What is the argument Guha wants to make here? First we will solve
all the social issues in our society and then we will look at
governance as an issue. Both cannot run parallel?? Go...go and
reform yourself then come and fight elections??

from:  Yashwanth
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 03:59 IST

Why should anyone proud of any religion? The religion is mainly chosen by birth and people
can live peacefully without any religion

from:  S.R.Sivasubramaniam
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 03:56 IST

Can we now give this 'secular vs fundamentalist' debate a rest and focus
on the topics foremost on voters mind like damaged economy, inflation,
lack of jobs etc?

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 03:44 IST

I was just reading a story about a Japanese woman who was stuck in a gap at a train station. Several people got together and pushed a 32 ton train carriage to one side to release the woman unharmed. My country is in a similar situation and need similar remedy. The reasons for her to be stuck in this gap for 60 years or 6000000 years might not be rudimentary and it might happen more than often. But, I optimistically hope, it requires a push for help that all these hands that either close or open their palms in front of their divine.

from:  Chaitanya
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 03:16 IST

And adding to this spirit is the slogan "Justice to all
appeasement to none". Indians should also not let vote bank
politicians who in the name of modern ideas such as secularism
believe in appeasing only certain sections of society. Such
appeasement has proved detrimental to not only those who don't
get it but also to those who do get it. Hindus need to reform
because thats what we have been doing over thousands of years.
Even a devout Hindu has to realize that the society is not driven
by religion caste or culture. It should be based on nationalism.
Because unlike a few a hundred years ago the world is not divided
on the basis of religion but on the basis of nation states.

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 03:11 IST

I agree with the author, Unfortunately we do not have that kind of people. Our
leaders are appeasing the minorities. keeping caste and religion and gender alive
by proposing and then distributing goodies to them. Instead of allowing them to
grow by themselves, the politicians are making them more dependent on the
government and the politicians. Hindus have been vilified and laws passed that
affect Hindus only and not all the people. These politicians are following in line
with the British by divide and rule policies. We urgently need some of the caliber of
Raja Ram Mohan Roy , Swami Vivekananda , Ambedkar and Gandhi now. Modi by
his actions may turn out to be the savior. He has the qualities. Hope he develops
them further and acts decisively and bring back glories to the country.

from:  Sontu
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:58 IST

Mr. Guha,

Why do you associate patriarchial systems to Hinduism? Are they not prevalent across cultures all around the world?

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:57 IST

mr. guha , i am a great fan of you after reading "india after
gandhi". the article presented here reflects your noble thoughts of
religious pluralism. there are some politically motivated bigots
who feels a sense of false pride while harassing minority
especially muslims. they must be made to read your articles so that
they may atleast introspect and realize that they had to serve some
greater purposes in this country. kudos to your writings sir.

from:  wasim imam
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:49 IST

"Dr. Ambedkar believed that for Dalits to escape from oppression, they had to not look for favours from guilt-ridden reformers but themselves ?educate, agitate and organise? their way to emancipation."

I think most of the Dalits do not realise this fact. All the religions and castes have had to go under such transition periods.

from:  Jayant Verma
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:45 IST

Hinduism needs reform indeed. It needs pujaris who are not just rote-memory reciters of mantras,but who will sermonise the reason for religion to spread goodwill and harmony among the believers and the need to help those who are downtrodden.This could be thru recitation and explanation of the scriptures.There should be a great movement in Hinduism to move away from social ills like dowry,worship of gold,expensive extravagant weddings.Caste names should be abolished and instead new last names should be adopted.Hindus should develop funds for more educational institutions and get rid of never ending rituals and pilgrimages.The motto of Hindus should be "Helping Others.Progress may be slow,but one should not lose hope in Hindu reform.Mr.Guha's article forgot to mention Sree Narayana Guru.One hopes there are more of Ram Manohar Roy and Gokhale.I hope more Hindus think of reform rather than destination weddings.

from:  mohan vaidy
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:44 IST

I think this is only in certain rural areas Tamilnadu there are other states also and the other reason is politicians at grass root level village head man and the local zamindar's who divide and rule. I do not think that an educated city dweller has these thoughts.

from:  Anjaneyulu
Posted on: Jul 23, 2013 at 02:29 IST
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