RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has taken religion, nationality and rationale to a whole new level, and served it up as a khichdi of logic. There was absolutely no need to create even a sliver of controversy, or to confuse the country you hail from with the religion you practice. Yet, he chose to do just this.
The one nice thing he did say during his eight-day tour of Madhya Pradesh will get lost in the din over all the other statements designed to tee off anyone who is not Hindu, and also a lot who are and who would rather not spread their spiritual blanket with such abandon.
Oh yes, the good part: He called on people to rise above caste, religion and language, which in itself is worthy of applause, but if only the rest of his speech wasn't all about Hinduism and antithetical to the first sentiment.
Why, for a start, do Hindus need the Bhagwats to bat for them and turn it all into a verbal circus? There is no call for this propping up, of adding cardboard dimensions to a faith. But Bhagwat clearly believes so in some fashion, since he says all Muslims are Hindus by nationality, though it makes no sense. But the Indian majority will somehow feel joyous about it and discover great happiness from this incandescent revelation.
But should they? Muslims are not Hindus, nor are Christians or Buddhists, and they can be as Indian as they are entitled to be, but why go poking a stick into this nest and causing outrage. Hinduism is not a weak and feeble religion that needs to have inductions from others as though it's short on protein.
Indeed, by making such statements, what you are doing is pandering to Hindus, which is unnecessary and annoying. For non-Hindus, it is a non-starter — like what on earth is he talking about, what has being Indian got to do with which tenet you believe in?
Bhagwat's argument starts floppily and then collapses into chaos when he says the English are from England, the Americans from America, Germans from Germany and so by that yardstick, Hindus are from Hindustan. Ergo, we are all Hindus. QED. Theorem of religious denomination solved. Everybody go home contented, we are one big, happy family.
Someone should inform Bhagwat that there are five large Christian denominations in the USA: The Catholic Church has 68,202,492 members; the Southern Baptist Convention has 16,136,044 members; the United Methodist Church has 7,679,850; and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 6,157,238 members make up the rest. Now, comes the kicker. The non-Christian bloc includes the unaffiliated, with atheists or agnostics (15.0 to 37.3 percent) Judaism (1.2 to 2.2 percent), Islam (0.6 to 0.9 percent), Buddhism (0.5 to 0.9 percent), Hinduism (0.4 to 0.7 percent), Unitarian Universalism (0.3 percent), and Wicca/Paganism/Druidry (0.1 percent).
And they are all Americans.
In England, the religions cover the Church of England, Roman Catholics, Presbyterian/Church of Scotland, Methodist, other Protestant Christians (no denomination), Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Judaism and over 20 other sundry religions. They are all English. Would the 0.4 percent Hindus be Christians if we go by the Bhagwat measure?
The desire to be selective and always make it about Muslims and Hindus to ruffle feathers is just going out of the way to foment trouble.
The way I see it, I don't want to force my religion on anyone. But I do my nationality, if you salute the same flag, so can we just leave well enough alone and not be provocative for the sake of being provocative? How do we rise above caste, colour and creed if we keep making such pointless statements?
Published Date: Feb 09, 2017 01:45 pm | Updated Date: Feb 09, 2017 01:45 pm