Hindus not only represent the overwhelming majority of the population of India, but they can also boast of one the oldest cultures of the world: Sanskrit is often thought as the mother of all languages; Hindu philosophy has played a very important role in both the fashioning of Greek mythology and Celtic lore (as demonstrated by French Indianist Guy Deleury) – and these two traditions represent the foundation of all European culture. We are all aware that the zero concept originated from India, but who knows that the Egyptians used Hindu arithmetic concepts to build their pyramids, that Hindus probably inspired Pythagorean mathematics, or that French astronomers of the 18th century, such as Jean-Claude Bailly, had remarked “that Hindu calculations of the position of the stars and of solar eclipses were so precise that we are still using them today”?
Thus, you have a people, the Hindus, inheritors of an immense, noble and age-old culture, who represent the massive physical (85%), social, religious and cultural majority of the Asian superpower of the 21st century, India. And yet, one sometimes finds that the voice of Hindus is rarely heard in India, that they are respected neither in their own country, nor abroad; and that Hindus generally lack self-confidence. Could it be that Hindus are a psychological minority in India, whereas minorities, such as the Christians, which constitute only 3% of the total population, wield an enormous moral power in this country, thanks to the quality of their schools and hospitals and because of the pride they have in their own religion and moral standards ?
Look also at Europe :all European children, be them Italian or German, are brought-up on the values of Christianity and the greatness of Greek philosophy. It would be impossible, in France for instance, for the Muslim minority – immigrants from France’s ex-colonies such as Algeria or Morocco – to impose their views and culture on the government. In fact, Muslim girls are not allowed to wear a veil when they go to French school: “you are in France, you have been given the French nationality, so behave like a French first and like a Muslim in second”, they are told bluntly. Would that be possible in India? Would any Indian, except the much-maligned RSS, have the courage to ask Muslims to be Indians first and Muslim second? Or tell Catholics and Protestants that they have to revert to a more Indianized Christianity, such as the one that existed in Kerala before the arrival of the Portuguese Jesuits ? And see how stridently Muslims and Christians – backed by most of the Media – react when the Human Resources Minister, Dr Joshi, wants to teach Indian children a little bit of the greatness of their culture !
Actually, it appears at times that there are two sets of standards used in India amongst journalists and intellectuals: one for the Christians or the Muslims; and one for the Hindus. If for example a Christian is killed, such as the ghastly murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, the Indian and foreign press will spend weeks – if not months – in eulogizing Graham and making nazis of all Hindus held responsible for his murder; but if a few days later twenty laborers, as innocent as Staines’ two sons, are savagely assassinated by Kashmir separatists, it will only warrant a few lines in Indian newspapers, without any of the outraged comments which followed Staines’ murder. When the Ayodhya mosque was brought down, it was as if eternal shame had descended upon India: “death of secularism, Hindu fundamentalists have taken over the country, a Black Day in the history of our democracy”, screamed the newspapers ad infinitum… However unfortunate the Ayodhya episode was, nobody was killed there; but the terrible Bombay blasts which followed, orchestrated by Indian Muslims, with the active help of Pakistan and the silent approval of Saudi Arabia, which took the lives of hundreds of innocent Hindus, never warranted the kind of moral indignation which followed Ayodhya.
Hindus in India are not only the object of contempt, but they are also chased from their own ancestral lands. There were one million of them in 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, like in Karnataka, where soon a bill will bring more than 43,000 Hindu shrines, maths, and religious groups under the control of a commissioner. Notice that this act does not apply to Christians and Muslims institutions and that the Indian Government is still sponsoring the Haj pilgrimage ! Hindus anyway take all this lying down, as they amply demonstrated during the hijack of the Kathmandu-Delhi Indian Airlines flight one year ago.
Is this normal ? Look again westwards: Europeans will battle tooth and nail to defend what they consider their rights and territories, whether it is the Spanish fighting the Basques, the British going all the way to the Falkland islands to wrest away what should geographically belong to the Argentineans, or the Americans going to war against Iraq because their oil interests are threatened. Hindus should maybe become a little prouder of themselves: there is today so much talent in India, so many brains (*), that they don’t have to copy from the West. Hindu children regularly top their schools and universities in the US, Hindus are now the best programmers of this planet and are in demand all over the world and Hindu expatiates are amongst the richest people in UK, the US or Canada… Why can’t the majority of this marvelous, diverse, ancient and extraordinary country which is India, stop behaving as if it was a moral minority ?
(*) Co-founder of Sun Microsystems A. Vinod Khosla
Creator of Pentium Chip (90% Of the today’s computers run on it) :A. Vinod Dahm
The third richest person on the world, according to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, is Aziz Premji, CEO, Wipro. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6th position now.
The current president of AT & T Bell Labs : Arun Netravalli
The founder and creator of Hotmail A. Sabeer Bhatia
The GM of Hewlett Packard A. Rajiv Gupta
The Testing Director of Windows 2000 A. Sanjay Tejwrika
The Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey, Stanchart, Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, Rana Talwar. .