Hindu power, often wielded in a (true) secular manner, by Chandragupta, King Harsha, or the great Shivaji Maharaj, was snatched away from Hindus for centuries, after the bloody sack of Vijaynagar. It came back 450 years later, with the election of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who bungled the chance, through sheer complacency. Then came Mr @NarendraModi…
Mr Modi, has done an outstanding job in the five years he was in power before being re-elected in2019: he has initiated economic reforms, such as pushing through the much needed GST bill, inaugurated a Clean India movement which is absolutely indispensable, given the present state, restored some of India’s international reputation by making a number of visits abroad and tried to streamline the bloated Indian bureaucracy. Yet, we now notice on the Social Media, specially after all the attacks on Hindus and their places of worships, a certain uneasiness on the part of some of those who voted for him, because they don’t recognize the outspoken, no-nonsense, tough Gujarat CM, in Modi the Prime Minister of India. They understand that as the leader of all Indians, Mr Modi has to rise above partisanship, but they also realize that there isn’t really at the moment a true re-establishing of Hindu power, as temples continue to be under government rule, Indians still cannot buy land or open businesses in Kashmir, while Muslim Kashmiris are selling everywhere in India their carpets and shawls, the Chinese continue to bully India, even blocking its access to the nuclear club (NSG) and Kashmir got out of control, after the unfortunate alliance with the PDP.
Now, why is it that some Hindus feel that Mr Modi may have lost touch with what they expected – rightly so, as they elected him ? They answer is simple: Delhi ! Delhi is a big bubble, plonked all the way up in the North, far from the South, even the Center of India where everything is decided, often in an a arbitrary manner, where journalists, politicians, diplomats, huddle together in seminars, parties and embassy cocktails, repeating the same clichés, which in turn are taken-up by foreign correspondents: secularism, ‘Hindu fundamentalism’ or the eternal obsession of all Indologists – for India’s caste problems (whereas since Independence, if there is one thing that the @IndianCongress did, it is to have worked hard on promoting lower castes, and that quite successfully). Furthermore, while in Gujarat Mr Modi, was in the Center of India, and made himself available to contacts, meeting many people from all walks of life, in Delhi, he is surrounded by a quadruple layer of security, innumerable PA’s, PS’s, high bureaucrats, ministers, which is all a Congress legacy, a straightjacket that he, and his ministers are trapped into, even if it is against their will.
Thus, he may not know anymore, what the common people, who brought him to power, really think and wish. He may also err into believing that hobnobbing with Trump, the Chinese president, or Angela Merkel, is rewarding to the millions of Hindus who have elected him. Neither will the economic progress that India will undoubtedly make in five years under his vigilant rule, as Mr Vajpayee has demonstrated before. Mr Modi, may also be making a mistake by thinking that sending his External Affairs minister to the canonisation of Mother Teresa will earn him the Christian votes in India or that meeting Amir Khan, who signed numerous petitions against him after Godhra, will win him Muslim votes. It is clear after the five years in power of Mr Vajpayee, who went all out to woo the Media, with his (nice) Friday man Suddeendhra Kulkarni, that neither the Indian intelligentsia, nor the Muslims, nor the Christians will ever vote for the BJP.
Right: some of us think that Mr Modi will take all the hard decisions, such as the removal of the article 370, during his second term, as has also now a majority in the Raja Sabha. But the question is: will he? This is doubtful – as the PM started his 2d term, speaking of ‘inclusiveness’ has kept quiet about murders of Hindus and has gone out of his way to woo Muslims, Christians and cricketers (in that order). Does it mean an end – at least for a long time – of (real) Hindu power. Whatever its faults, the Congress knows how to wield power. Though most of its members are Hindus, it does not have any Hindu goody-goodiness or feeling of guilt, about being ruthless, cynical, and using any means, however unethical, to reach its goals.
Many on Twitter or Facebook have expressed the view that Mr Narendra Modi is the best chance for Hindu power that has happened in centuries and that he cannot misuse it. In the next four and half years, that are remaining with him, the Prime Minister needs thus to please his Hindu electorate, in the same way the Congress has shown that it always pleases its own traditional Muslim and Christian voters. There has to be some hard decisions, that are mid-way to those he pledged before being elected, such as removing the perks, travel expenses and Z security for the Kashmiris separatist leaders. Hindus do not understand, especially after the Uri killings, why hundreds of crores of their tax money are spent on those men who advocate a violent separation from India. Mrs Sonia Gandhi had for ten years an Advisory Board, and in this way she was able to get some feel about what the people of India desired. Why did Mr Modi refuse the same proposal that was put up in front of him, so that every month he could listen to the opinions of a rotating board of twelve representatives of Indians from business, religious, societal, or cultural spheres? That would be one way that he gets opinions different to those he receives from his own cabinet, high bureaucrats and entourage who often give “yes ministers” opinions in true Bhakti tradition.
Morever, Mr Modi, while keeping a certain imperial aloofness, needs too to show a tougher image than the one he is projecting now – versus the Chinese for instance that are still claiming huge chunks of Indian territory, built a road between Sinkiang and Pakistan, and are surrounding India from all sides, from Nepal to Burma, from Sri Lanka to Pakistan. Hindus need to be protected: India is the only country in the world where Indians have become refugees in their own country – remember the 400.000 Hindus of the Valley of Kashmir, who where chased out of their ancestral lands and houses by violence. Hindus are also persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh, or even Fiji and require support. As one tweeter said: “we need a Putin of India not a second Vajpayee”.
Hindu power however will always be compassionate: Hindu men and women are still today the only people in the world who recognise that God may manifest Himself or Herself at different times, using different names, and different scriptures. This is why a Hindu is still capable of worshipping not only in his own temple, but also to enter in a Christian church or a Muslim mosque, and that with respect and devotion. The reverse is not true. This is the last Knowledge that can save the world from the self-destructing path it has embarked upon: what happens after you die, what is karma, what is dharma, what is an avatar and how the soul, which is God’s spark in you, reincarnates itself from life to life. Mr Narendra Modi was elected to protect this Knowledge and he cannot fail this task. In today’s world, it is necessary, to have not only economic, but also military and even nuclear power, otherwise, as China showed, a nation doesn’t earn any respect. And today India is not respected the way it should, considering that contrary to China, it remains a vibrant democracy, whatever its flaws. Mr Modi thus needs to flex his muscles, while retaining the qualities of all Hindus, which is compassion and love.
Otherwise, the mistake of Pritharivaj Chauhan will be repeated. Remember the battle of Tarain in 1191: Prithviraj’s cavalry charged and routed the Muslims and captured Muhammad Ghori. Ghori begged for his life & Prithviraj allowed him to go, despite his generals telling him not to do so. And sure enough, Ghori came back in 1192 and knowing that Rajputs did not fight in the night, attacked in the early morning hours when Prithviraj and his army were sleeping and thus was able to win this one battle. 40,00,000 Rajputs were taken prisoners and executed & 22,000 women and children were captured & enslaved. Prithviraj’s was also taken to Afghanistan where his eyes were burnt with red-hot iron rods and was ultimately put to death.
Finally a quote from the great avatar of the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo: “Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it… But thrice woe to them who are strong and ready, yet waste the force or misuse the moment – for them is irreparable loss or a great destruction”.
Francois is the South Asia correspondent of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (valeursactuelles.fr), as well as the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde, published by Harmattan.fr. He is also the author of “A History of India as it Happened” (Har Anand, Delhi). He is has built a museum in Pune, Lohegaon.