Understanding Contemporary Hindu Failures

If things have to change in favor of Hindus,state ideals should be pro-Hindu to incentivize pro-Hindu policies and decisions either by executive or other institutions.

It is commonly “understood” that Hindus are systematically disadvantaged in India, through constitution and state policy. It is usually conceded that the early anti-Hindu legislations after independence were done in “good faith” and that they did not get corrected while they got misused. But then over decades new policies and legislations kept happening, which were only increasingly anti-Hindu.

On one hand is the problem that out and out anti-Hindu legislations like anti-superstition bill, right to education etc. are getting passed in parliament with support (albeit under emotional/moral/votebank blackmail) of BJP and other such supposedly nationalist parties. On the other hand, there is a total absence, not just scarcity, of correctives to constitution, law or policy in the pro-Hindu direction.  From this, it is clear that the system is rigged against Hindus and it does not matter, who comes to power the net outcome will be against Hindus, only the degree matters. At times, a government that implements these laws sincerely does more damage than a corrupt and insincere government.

While there is no dearth of examples, here are the few important ones –

  1. There are only minority rights but no majority rights
  2. “Minorities” have special rights in many regions, if they are not Hindu
  3. Hindu temples can be controlled by state, but not places of worship of “minorities”
  4. There are no “majority” educational institutions with autonomy, but “minority” schools with privilege not just autonomy
  5. Government will decide what is a superstition and what is belief and what is scientific

We will therefore need to understand why this goes in one direction, why everyone is forced to play against Hindu interests. The source of problem definitely lies in the basic principles of constitution, but beyond that we need to understand that Hindus are way behind the inimical forces in both thought and homework. That shows in most of the emerging and proposed constitutional amendments, the level of articulation, and the case made for them.

Diagnoses  

There have been several attempts at categorizing the contemporary failures. One perception is that the BJP is implementing “development” or “economic” agenda and is not implementing “core” (many “right wing” Hindus refer to this as core). However, what we see is an “erring on the other side” by adopting a business-friendly policy. There is nothing institutionally Hindu that is attempted in “development” or “economic front”. There is no visible attempt at protecting the skill groups or social capital or areas of knowledge that can position Hindu society towards pioneering or path breaking changes in technology or economic philosophy. Part of the problem is that “Hindu right” does not look beyond the “organized economy” and jargon like free market, so the expectations are not really around what a Hindu economic philosophy, consequent policy would look like. So catering to “economic right” and not “cultural right” is inherently an admission of being anti-Hindu because the “economic right” does not have a Hindu vision to economy and is merely an attempted anti-dote to socialism.

The perception of non-implementation of “cultural agenda”, is also not entirely accurate, if we look at attention being paid to matters like demography which are not matters of “economic right”.

Another common categorizing is the lack of “intellectual” work by the Hindu organizations. Sad reality is that majority of Hindu intellectuals themselves work by methods of western subjects and hardly adopt Hindu view of many subjects. Thus, Hindu organizations can’t be blamed any more than intellectuals for the lack of fundamental work.

Our understanding is that our politicians and thinkers have been failures in handling anything that harms Hindu institutions, while they could raise threats easily around attacks on people.

There is an ecosystem that is breeding rogue elements in the guise of social reform, justice, rights, equality and what not. Narendra Dabholkar was but just one case, there was even a proposed bill that abets rioting by “minorities” and criminalizes Hindus that fortunately did not get through. The resistance for that kind of bill was not because it is any more anti-Hindu than the other bills. It is because such bill goes against Hindu people and not against Hindu institutions.

Few examples to make this clear –

  1. Infiltration in borders (Assam for example) is a matter where BJP raised voice and even started taking measures.
  2. Rioting and demographics are topics that RSS-BJP engage in, and see partial success.
  3. Caste discrimination matters where there is minor success in softening prejudices at people level.

On the contrary, consider a few examples of failure at institutional and systemic level –

  1. Not a single major pro-Hindu policy or a correction to an anti-Hindu policy is achieved so far. This is not just in terms of lack of success in convincing people about the merits of proposals, but a scarcity, in fact near absence of well-articulated proposals itself.
  2. No legislation has been proposed or policies suggested towards correcting institutionalized caste problems, be it caste as political capital (which is a result of caste politics in democracy) or feudalizing of caste (which is two centuries old).
  3. Systemic and systematic discrimination against Hindu institutions, be it a temple or an educational institution, is not unknown to people and it is not difficult to convince people, but systemic correction requires systemic and not people-level work.
  4. There has been a series of legislations that may result in destroying Hindu society. Right from the combination of legalized monogamy with divorce law, which is a recipe for disaster (as is already seen in the west, resulting in systematic de-incentivizing of all the ingredients of stability such as commitment, along with incentivizing randomness) to LGBT matters (Hindu orgs could protest against decriminalizing LGBT, which is not really necessary, but failed to prevent extension to institutions like marriage which is harmful).
  5. Legislations like RTE that encourage schools towards exorbitant fee structure and result in harassing schools that sincerely intend to cater to low economy groups through modest fee structure, have much deeper malaise in them than merely forcing close down of schools run by Hindu trusts. But the resistance of Hindu side is limited to the noise of “communal” nature of the law. There is neither a formulation of Hindu case of how a legislation around education should be (in a direction that education is catered to the eligible instead of just affording) nor a foresight on how this leads to increasing control of education by breaking India forces.
  6. There are attempts to address the indoctrination in education system with revision of curriculum and schools that involve additional good teaching, but no systemic changes to reform the pedagogy of indoctrination or design of a Hindu education system.

On the other hand, the lax nature of congress governments in implementing laws was a blessing in disguise for Hindus. A sincere enforcing of the insincere laws would be far more harmful. So, the need for understanding the causation for our failures in systemic corrections cannot be exaggerated.

What Needs to Change

Principles and institutions are permanent, not people. People while being the vehicles of realizing the principles, will not be able to resist for long the bad influence of a state forever, but only temporarily act against a non-incentivizing policy. Eventually people’s ultimate goals will be their own fulfillment and make choices in that direction. So, if a policy does not incentivize a certain choice, that choice cannot be made sustainable as a value. In most of the cases discussed above, individual choices are engineered through a policy of incentivizing, towards a destruction of Hindu institutions and thereby of Hindu society’s longevity, prosperity and survival.

A lot of policy matters are not happening in the favor of Hindus not because there might not be support from Hindu society, but because of lack of homework on alignment of incentivized individual choices with the design of traditions and permanent institutions. Working on “people’s mindsets”, “softening prejudices” etc. are all really secondary and serve as minor mitigations in handling crises, but they are not really solutions.

The real problem lies in the way incentive system is designed, whether individuals are encouraged towards a noble or an opportunist conduct, and whether individuals are sufficiently threatened and discouraged from malpractice. It is through the state’s incentive system that generations of anti-Hindu academics, judiciary and media grew, and not in spite of it. It is through the state’s incentive system that caste became a political instrument and caste conflict increased, temples became tourist centers, and Hindu traditions are destroyed. It is through state’s incentive system that corruption and malpractices increased, and not in spite of it.

If things have to change in favor of Hindus, this needs to reverse. State ideals should be pro-Hindu to incentivize pro-Hindu policies and decisions either by executive or other institutions. A good incentive system places premium on merit and results in an upward mobility in society, and a bad incentive system sets society in a downward spiral (as it is now happening with groups competing to be called backward). A good incentive system incentivizes integrity and quality while a bad incentive system renders integrity thankless and corruption rewarding. A good incentive system places premium on knowledge and results in a quality education system. A good incentive system allows unleashing and fulfilling the potential of people, and a bad incentive system stifles the collective abilities and productivity. A good policy incentivizes religious traditions that elevate humans, while a bad policy incentivizes intolerant and fraudulent cults. The list goes on.

The need for this cannot be exaggerated and sadly this has not been emphasized for decades.

Therefore investing on institutions and systemic work is indispensable in serving Hindu interests in the long run and the single biggest important unserved goal. The more that is delayed, the more crises Hindus will have to handle, and the hope that “long term” agenda will be pursued “after mitigating crises” is a mirage for crises will only increase until the fundamentals are addressed.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

  • Seel

    At least the State can treat Hindus par with others.

  • Audit Uscirf

    Good article but summary is all wrong. I agree that Indian state is very anti-Hindu but state does not need to become pro-Hindu. State should cease being anti-Hindu and treat everyone equally. Without equality,There is no freedom or vikas. Equality is a huge change which will upset establishment (BJP is part of that establishment);Thus, It will not happen until Hindus launch a mass movement demanding equality.

  • malavika

    This article is haphazardly written. Looks more like an apologist of Modi admin NOT an honest observer.Three major issues missed
    (i) Demographic change of Jammu abd Ladakh by settling Rohinyas. Why are Rohingyas India’s problem? BJP is in power both at center and state here.

    (ii) RTE is not just about ‘communal’ nature. Complaints about non applicability of RTE for minority institutions is NOT ‘noise’. It is basic fairness and ‘rule of law’ issue. This RTE will ensure that all Hindu schools will be shut down and Hindu parents will be forced to send their kids to minority schools. Then Author can complain about deracinated kids.read realitycheck.wordpress.com/ for his extensive work on RTE, NEET etc.

    (iii) Iron fist approach of Modi admin against Hindu interests is not right. Modi admin increased minority only scholarships, and is planning minority only education institutions. Hindus should be happy about this? It is unfortunate that Modi is kicking his core constituency for elusive ‘minority’ votes, who are not going to vote for him any way.

    Actually the list is long and, authors suggestion that “state has to be pro Hindu” is not right either. The state should be neutral, and apply laws equally for all individuals.

    • Jishnu

      State should be “neutral”? It can never be neutral, whether it recognizes minorities or does not. The rule of law if not rooted in christian ideals, then the state cannot be “pro-minority” and will be “anti-minority” by curtailing their aggressive nature. If the state is rooted in christian ideals (like secularism) then it will be anti-Hindu the way it is now. By policy state cannot be “neutral” because there is no reference frame on which it can ever be neutral. If state should be aligned to moral and national principles it will end
      up being pro-Hindu by virtue of this civilization being Hindu. It is the neutrality mirage in all good intentions that for decades resulted in anti-Hindu and immoral policies. So instead of being wishful we should understand what even makes sense to expect.

      • malavika

        Neutrality means, valuing individual rights over group rights. Groups shud have no rights at all.
        all rights are individual.

        • Jishnu

          How can a religious right be individual and not group? Your right is either defined by Christian worldview or according to Hindu worldview. If it is according to the Christian worldview, you are privileging the individual christian against the individual Hindu. If the right is defined according to Hindu worldview, then it is going against what the Christian thinks as his basic right to propagate. So there is no neutrality possible, there is a reference frame required to understand. I am afraid this “neutrality” you talk is all goody-goody talk that has no conceptual basis.

    • acrutiapps

      A comment that is far more informative and logical than original article. Honestly I am fed up of Modi apologists trying to be nice to Modi and point out failure at the same time.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    It is too late to get rid of the Vested Maggots in the system in a civil manner. Only VIOLENCE will

    The propaganda and persecution carried on by the Indian State since 1921 after eradicating the traditional hereditary law and education giving custodians of History, Traditions and Culture has been such that the British stooges who usurped the British mantle have been more successful than the Crown and have turned the British made “Hindu” lumpen into a confused and motley set of Western ideological cults ranging from Dalitism, Feminism, Animal Righs Activism, Xianity and Islam to Constitutionalism, Legalism, High Courtism and Supreme Courtism.

    We should understand that there is nobody to help those who are descendants of those who were People of Dharma prior to 1921 other than themselves and that we are at war with an enemy that comprises anthropomorphic beasts. The Constitution, the laws, the courts and the Government are your proven enemies.

    We need to create a band of highly trained and well equipped Dharmic Executioners who can rid the country of filth. Saffron Terror, so far, has remained in the fevered imaginings of the Nehru-Gandhi Parivar and the rest of their “Family that loots together to stay together” arising from their knowledge of all that they have done to persecute Hindus and the over due reprisal this should have brought.. It is now well past time to make it true.

    Prepare a list of those to be executed. Judges, Bureaucrats, Mullas, anybody who is an enemy of National Security and Prosperity. Study them. Choose the best, (easiest and simplest) method and the weapon to do so without endangering oneself. Prosecute.

    In India, where the People of Dharma were made into Third Class citizens in 1949, and whose Temples, Treasures, Educational Institutions, Lands, Water Bodies, other common wealth and religious freedoms were confiscated in 1959, and where the Judges, the Police, the Bureaucrats and the politicians are against us, there is only way to reclaim our heritage, properties, freedom and rights. Violence.

  • Arun

    I don’t think this is quite the correct perspective because I suspect the lifesprings of Hindu dharma and hindu ethos is something else and such a perspective does not seem to be alive to that. Hindus are not “Hindus” the way the so-called minority communities are “Muslim”, “Christian”, or now even “Sikh” and “Buddhist”. That sort of clannish consciousness Hindus display in their caste consciousness. Herein lies another dimension which I feel has not got sufficient attention. We demarcate secularism as separation of State and religion. In the Hindu case, you need a third axis which is to further differentiate between religion and social mores. in social mores, Hindus are rigid. In religion they are extremely flexible in the best sense of the word having explored the fullest depths and breadths which religion can offer. In the case of the so called minorities, the religious and social are merged. In the Hindu case they are not. THe Constitution is a document and a project which can very well be rightly described as Hindu project. FOr the list laundry list of anti-Hindu steps which have been taken and highlighted in this writeup, and in my opinion they are indeed anti-Hindu, the corrective measure is not a set up which works in favour of “Hindus” as a communal identity, which does not exist, but to correct the instincts of the Indian State. FOr eg. the Indian State needs to find the strength to de-recognize the “minority” categorization. The arguments in favour can be and are largely “secular”. The Indian state needs to examine the well springs of its own constitutionalism, and liberalism as well as secularism. All of these are indeed “Hindu” ethos, but not in the same sense as “Muslim” ethos or “CHristian” ethos. Do Hindus themselves realize this ?This article certainly does not seem to.
    For one doable agenda I would suggest to Hindus to revisit this Majority-Minority narrative. And reverse the adversarial relationship and pitting of the newly constituted Indian State against the Hindu ethos. Hindus need to realize that the Indian state which they have now set up is plugging of a long standing gap in their civilizational organization that they never had a strong centralized unity. The Indian state too needs to realize that it draws its strength from the enabling impulses of what may be called Hindu ethos. So the Constitutional mandate cannot be that Hindu majoritarianism needs to be countered.

  • Vijayendra Acharya

    I foresee an emerging conflict between “political and economic Right” in terms of the contemporary “Hindutva” politics (high on popular political symbolism, social formalism and cultural ritualism) on the one hand and an as yet nascent but radical socio-cultural and spiritual regeneration and movement on the other, that will eventually transform the Indian society though new approaches based on critical realism, innovative statesmanship and ineluctable intelligence, engendered by our historical experience and understanding.

  • Vichinthitha

    True, but investing and building institutions calls for deeper interactions, understanding and pooling of resources. If Hindus continue to spend on ostentatious marriages ( level of ostentation varies according to class but ostentation remains!), and meaningless offerings, the kind of resources needed can never be mobilized.

    Human Resources are most vital part. Organizers need to be sans ego to create synergy. People who come forward to work in charitable institutions need to be treated well; with decent working hours, and a living.