Hindus are peace-loving people. The average Hindu that you meet in a million Indian villages, is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours.
In fact Hindus take it a little further: they hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it. Have you noticed how every time there is a possibility of a strike or trouble, Hindus stay home? Or how – forget about rioting – Hindus never speak-up, complain or protest in a united manner?
Not only that, but everywhere in the world, Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where an elected democratic government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book “Lalja”). There were one million Hindus in the valley of Kashmir in 1900 – but only a few hundred today, the rest having been made to flee though terror. In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorized by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over in many states like in Kerala or Karnataka, and the donations appropriated by the state governments.
Yet, in 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions. No, it has rather been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East, witness Angkor Vat, or in the West today, where the by-products of Hinduism, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, paranayama have been adopted by millions.
Hindus also gave refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world from the Parsis, to the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted) to the Armenians and the Tibetans today. The first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians, flourished in Kerala, thanks to Hindu tolerance; Arab merchants were welcomed by Hindu rulers to do trade and live in India, while freely practicing their religion, from very early times. It’s a pity that these two communities turned against their Hindus brothers and sisters, the former by way of lured conversions, and the latter with bloody invasions.
Thus Hindus, who accept everybody and welcome all religions, do not receive in return any gratitude and the same respect. On the contrary, they get mocked at, bombs are planted in their markets, their trains; their temples get attacked, they are chased out of their homelands; television an newspapers make fun of them, their own politicians ostracize them…
So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, those who cringe in their houses at the least sign of riot, erupt in fury – uncontrolled fury. And it hurts. It hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It is happening now in Jammu. It may happen again elsewhere, as Hindus are reaching a boiling point.
Yes, one should condemn the pogrom that happened in Gujarat, but one should look also in the causes. It is not only the 36 innocent Hindu women and children who were burnt savagely in a train by a mob of criminals, worse than animals. It is also how much silent frustration and anger must have built over the years, decades, or centuries even, amongst Gujarati Hindus, that in one moment, 125.000 Hindus, normal, peaceful people, many of them Dalits, tribals, or even upper middle class, came out on the streets of Ahmedabad with such fury. Yet, 25% of the people killed during the riots were Hindus; yet, according to police records, the 157 subsequent riots which happened in Gujurat were all started by Muslims.
The same thing is true of Jammu and the Amarnath issue. Hindus never complain about their government giving billion of rupees in subsidies to Indian Muslims so that they can visit their most Holy place, the Mecca. But when Hindus need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at height of 15.000 feet to worship at Amarnath, one of the holiest places of Hinduism, it is denied to them by the same government. So they erupt in fury against so much ignominy and pile-up injustice.
Instead of trying to put water overt the fire, instead of appealing for calm and communal harmony, instead of giving us all this eyewash about a 500 year old Dargah mostly patronized by Hindus (but do Muslims visit Hindu temples in return), political leaders, journalists, as well as spiritual leaders, should do well to look at the root cause of Hindu fury, and try to address their demands and frustrations.
Journalists should also do a little bit of introspection and try to think for themselves. It is unfair, as it has been done in Ayodhya and after the Gujarat riots, to put so much blame on Hindus as if they are the worst criminals in the world and the destroyers of Nehruvian secularism. Millions of temples were destroyed in India by Muslim invaders, some of them the most sacred to Hindus, like the Kashi Vishvanath, Krishna’s birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple and the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya, and Hindus hardly ever protested. When they dare to destroy one disused mosque, without any human casualties, what a hullabaloo has been created year after year by journalists, Muslims and secularists. When Islamic militants plant bomb, they kill scores of Hindus every time. Do Hindus plant bombs upon Muslims? Does one journalist dare to say that?
This country has 850 million Hindus, there are a billion Hindus worldwide, one person in six, one of the most peaceful, law-abiding, successful, tax paying communities on this planet. It is time that the Indian Government – and the world community (when is one of their leaders going to get the Nobel Prize?) take them seriously. Peace amongst all Indian religions. But not peace at the cost of Hindus.