Hindu civilization is perhaps on the verge of returning back to the dark abyss of the old from which it had started regaining itself only a few decades ago when India finally gained political freedom after centuries of invasions and oppression under Islamic and British Colonial rule.
For most people of this generation, it is simply impossible to imagine the struggle, hardships, and the oppression faced by our ancestors under inimical and intolerant political regiments. Ironically, our current secular education which is nothing but whitewashing of our past has been the biggest obstacle that has prevented us from accessing our true past.
Surely, if this were not the case, then, we would be seeing the clear signs that are emerging in the social, political, and the civilizational front for what they are: a re-emergence of Islamic dominance. Consider this, our temples were destroyed then and they are being destroyed now; our women were raped then and they are being raped now; our folks were threatened, converted or made to run away then and they are undergoing the same now; And our ancestors paid Jiziya then to live as second-class citizens, and we are paying Jiziya 2.0 now in the form of minority specific government scheme’s funded by Hindu majority population. There is a sharp rise in random unceasing low-level Jihad against Hindus and the recent desecration and the destruction of Durga temple at New Delhi, the heart of India only goes to show how bolder and bolder it is getting by the day.
To this, add the issue of Christian evangelism, rapid Christianization of tribal areas, various attacks on Hindu traditions and practices by breaking India and dismantling Hinduism forces, and it will not take long before Hindu civilization would end up being dismantled and torn apart. Unless the civilizational threat to our Hindu civilization is recognized and proper counter-measures are taken.
I am often asked, what can individual Hindus do about it? All of us have our jobs, our business, and our families to look after and we have neither unity, nor wealth, nor do we have muscle or political power to do anything is the concern that many people raise.
While it is true that as individuals our means may be limited, and it is also true that it is the responsibility of the government to address these burning issues, which unfortunately the current government despite coming to power on a Hindu mandate is not doing and is instead announcing appeasement policies in the name of ‘Sabka Vishwas’!
However, just as it is true ‘Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja’, in a democracy the reverse is equally true: ‘Yatha Praja, Tatha Raja’ and thus, it becomes our responsibility as individual inheritors of this great Hindu civilization to take actions, at our levels, to ensure our survival and flourishing.
Identifying the Kauravas
The first step before making any effort lies in properly identifying the challenges that we are facing, which I would like to call ‘Identifying the Kauravas’.
The Hindu framework for understanding life and society is through the categories of Dharma and Adharma. And in the Mahabharata, we find an illuminating illustration of different ways in which the adharmic forces manifest.
The first is Duryodhana, the very embodiment of Adharma, the direct opponent to Yudhisthira. The second character is Karna, who acts as a collaborator of Adharma by actively assisting Duryodhana in all his evil designs. The third is Bhishma, who becomes an unwilling collaborator of Adharma by unwillingly fighting from the side of Duryodhana. Fourth is Dhritarashtra, who acts as the passive collaborator of Adharma by turning a blind eye towards Duryodhana and his antics.
We can see all these manifestations of Adharma today in our society. There are a number of inimical forces like Islamism and evangelism trying to break India and dismantle Hinduism. There is a deep nexus of the media, NGOs, bureaucracy, etc. working as active collaborators of these inimical and adharmic forces. Then, there are many unwilling collaborators, who are blackmailed into cooperating using force, fraud, and other means. Finally, we have the naïve majority that lives in dhimmitude and believes and propagate memes like Sarvadharma Samabhava and ends up as passive collaborators of Adharma.
In short, ‘doing nothing’ is no longer an option. Doing-nothing implies being passive collaborators of forces inimical to Hindu civilization.
The Three P’s for Hindu Survival
To understand the scope of activities that we Hindus can take up as individuals, I would like to make use of what I would like to call ‘Three P’s Model’. This is something I have learned from my mentor Sri. Hari Kiran Vadlamani. He has used this framework for envisioning the activities of Indic Academy and to understand Hindu issues in general. I would like to extend the same to burning Hindu civilizational issues and what we can do as individuals.
The Three P’s are: Preserve, Protect, and Promote.
Preserving Hindu civilization implies preserving and enriching our knowledge systems, traditions, institutions, and practices. It involves a deeper commitment, investment, and immersion in a particular aspect of our knowledge traditions: be it Veda-adhyayana, music, dance, theatre, our religious traditions, temple practices, festivals, Katha tradition, language, to name a few. We as individuals can take up any of the aspects of our Hindu civilization and immerse ourselves completely in it in a mode of Sadhana, such that we become true inheritors of those knowledge-forms and we can then preserve, cherish, and pass-it-on to the future generation. Preservation of our civilization is perhaps the most fundamental element among the three, for without it we would lose our identity and self-hood. We would simply cease to exist as who we are.
Protecting Hindu civilization implies protecting all our traditions and practices from internal as well as external attacks. It involves the protection of our self-hood and prevention of distortion of our beliefs, knowledge, and practices. Attacks are happening at multiple levels: Physical, Social, Psychological, Intellectual, and Legal. We need to invest our time and resources to evolve responses and strategies to counter these attacks.
Promoting Hindu civilization implies promoting our knowledge, practices, and values to the external world. It is vital for us to involve in such promotion that provides access to authentic knowledge and practices for the good of humanity and at the same time ensure that dilution and digestion of those knowledge practices are prevented.
What Hindus can do as Individuals
While all the three P’s are vital for the survival, success, and flourishing of Hindu civilization, each person must choose for himself/herself based on his/her own temperament, inclination, competency, and resource availability about one or at best two P’s as their area of work. Not everybody can do everything. However, what is important is to have this comprehensive 360-degree vision even while working on only a smaller component, for the absence of such comprehensive vision could be disastrous.
For example, Indien Institut in Munich has organized a program on Bharatanatyam themed “Dancing body Dancing soul – Der tanzende Jesuit by Fr. Saju George” on 4th July 2019. Though purporting as a program of Bharatanatyam, what it is actually promoting is Christianization of Hindu sacred dance form. And the event flyer clearly notes that the event is being supported by Consulate General of India, Munich. So, in the name of preserving and promoting Indian culture and art forms, the Indian government has ended up being active collaborators of Adharmic forces by promoting Christian digestion of the Hindu art-form, which would ultimately lead to the dismantling of that Hindu art. Fortunately the event was cancelled at the last minute after protest on Social Media.
Thus, it is important for each Hindu individual while working and contributing to Hindu civilization in their area of work, they must never lose sight of the larger civilizational conflict. A person involved in preservation must be aware and vigilant about challenges involved in the protection and promotion of Hindu civilization. Likewise, a person involved in the protection of Hindu practices, must be rooted in those practices. Otherwise, we may end up dismantling our own practices in the name of ‘protecting’ them! (Example: the reformist tendency to dismantle Hindu practices in the name of reform. Distortion of Hindu wedding rituals is a good example.) Those involved in promotion must be ever vigilant so that our knowledge systems are not diluted and digested or commercialized to such a degree that the practice becomes unrecognizable.
With such caution and awareness, Hindus can do a wide array of things for the preservation, protection, and promotion of Hindu civilization. Here are some practical suggestions:
On preservation front:
- If one is of intellectual bent, he/she can take up study of the Shastras.
- Such study itself could be divided into various specialization: Veda-adhyayana, Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, Kamashastra, Itihasa-Puranas, Kavya, Vyakarana, Ayurveda, folk knowledge, etc.
- A deeper study of these knowledge systems, as well as adding newer research, newer insights, and making the teachings contextual and contemporary to our times is vital.
- One could also take up any art form- music, dance, theatre, painting, sculpting, folk, classical, to name a few. Such immersion in the art would include both an immersion in the theory and practice of it.
- One could take up Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, Jyotishya, Tantra, etc. all of which represent our Knowledge traditions. These must be studied as a part of Hindu traditional knowledge and not as isolated subjects divorced from traditions.
- Those of devotional bent must learn stotras, bhajans, take up Katha-vachans, etc.
- One could even take up Indian traditions of Maths and Science and work to revive them!
- Preservation of language and literature is another important field.
- More importantly, parents must educate themselves about Hindu culture and pass on that education to their children. Encourage the children to immersion in Hindu culture and tradition.
- It is also important for Hindus to donate to preservation of Hindu knowledge systems and practices through donating to various organizations including Veda pathashalas, theatre, art, music, etc. that would help preserve and pass on the knowledge to future generations.
On the protection front:
- Hindus need to organize themselves at Mohalla levels. Individuals must take initiatives to bring about such local-level organizing.
- To begin with, people with similar bent could meet up and draw up an agenda of activities at the local level. Friends, family, and office colleagues could be brought into whenever and wherever possible.
- Such Mohalla level meetings must focus on local level civilizational issues and then focus upon larger national level issues. Such discussions should not be mere theoretical but include a SWOT analysis and evolve action-oriented plans.
- They could then evolve various strategies to preserve, protect and promote Hindu civilization and Hindu interests.
- Awareness campaigns in the form of talks, presentations, etc. could be organized to not only sensitize people about the burning issue, but also for educating the people about Hindu philosophy and values.
- Programs designed to fulfil preserve, promote, protect goals could be undertaken at Mohalla or city-levels.
- Active Hindu community groups must be formed especially in demographically critical areas to cater to Hindu interests and counter inimical forces.
- Wherever possible, physical training, body-fitness regimens, and fighting skills should be imparted, especially to youth and children.
- Proper education and sensitization of youth to civilizational issues, Hindu history, Hindu philosophy is very much needed.
- Imparting strong civilizational values and facilitating physical training at combat & self-defense to the children-both boys and girls- is something that Hindu parents must pro-actively pursue.
- Protection is not only at a physical level, but also at the psychological and narrative level.
- Hindus should take up the study of deeper aspects of the civilization and counter distortions and negative narratives in the media and academia.
- Narrative building and on-the-ground activism are both needed.
- Talks, Workshops, Book-discussion events must be organized.
- Students must be taught the essentials of Hindu philosophy, practice, history, and civilizational values. Education and rootedness in the civilization must be taken up big away.
- Hindus must actively partake in social activities wherever possible. Hunger is one of the biggest issue and a social responsibility. Hindus should make a collective effort to ensure no Hindu in the community goes hungry. This would help in developing solidarity in society as well.
- Hindu families must keep a small portion of their income as ‘Dharmaansh’ and use that money to support organizations, people, and initiatives that pertain to the preservation, protection, and promotion of Hindu causes. Donations could be done to Gaushalas, Veda-Patashalas, Ashrams that are preserving our civilizational ethos or to groups such as Upword, People for Dharma, Indic Collective, India Pride Project, etc. who are working on countering anti-Hindu bias at narrative and legal level.
- Activism is another important area that Hindus must take up. Those in the legal profession must take up Legal activism in the interest of Hindu society and civilization. Those in the intellectual sphere (media and academia) must take up intellectual activism and counter anti-Hindu bias in media and academia. Those who are in the political sphere must take up Hindu activism at the political level. Lobbying for Hindu interests must be taken up big away at local, state, and national levels.
On the promotion front
- A lot of activities could be done to promote authentic knowledge without dilution or distortion: Courses, Workshops, Retreats, etc.
These are merely some of the suggestions that Hindus can implement as individuals. Not everyone can do everything. Every Hindu individual must choose what he/she is inclined to and he/she has competency for. While some may be more inclined to take up intellectual activities, others may be more of a devotion-bent; while some are good at organizing people, some others may be good at combat. We need a collective effort and such an effort if done broadly in the direction of three P’s, then it is definitely possible to not only ensure the survival of Hindu civilization but also its re-blossoming.
While preservation is a long-term agenda and a continuous process that cannot be ignored, what is immediate and a matter of our survival is the protection of our civilization by countering and nullifying the challenges being posed by inimical forces of Adharma. For this, there is no other way than organizing ourselves and preparing to fight the battle at the physical, intellectual, political and social level.
Denying the existence of the civilizational conflict is no longer a choice unless our goal is to vanish into oblivion. It is time to wake up and recognize the elephant in the room and take proper timely corrective action to address it.
The author would like to thank Sahana Singh for her inputs.
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With a degree in civil engineering, and having worked in construction field, Nithin Sridhar passionately writes about various issues from development, politics, and social issues, to religion, spirituality and ecology. He is based in Mysore, India. His first book “Musings On Hinduism” provided an overview of various aspects of Hindu philosophy and society. His latest book “Menstruation Across Cultures: A Historical Perspective” examines menstruation notions and practices prevalent in different cultures & religions from across the world. Tweets at @nkgrock