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They say Hindus are under threat
And they will protect Hindus
From onslaught and takeover of Muslims and Christians
By establishing the Hindu Rashtra

They say India is synonymous with Hindus
India should mean rule by Hindus for the Hindus
It is establishing a Hindu rule in the country
Where all religious identities assimilate into a larger Hindu identity

If being Indian is being Hindu
Being Hindu is being a ‘patriot’ and ‘nationalist’
Being ‘nationalist’ is being supportive of saffron beliefs
Where is the space for diversity and accommodation?

When the beauty of a country lies in diversity
Where diverse religions, languages and cultures co-exist and respect each other
The country defines its very identity based on diversity
And celebrates the rich religious, cultural and linguistic diversity

Where does redefining the country in name of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ take us into?
How will creating a country defined in terms of ‘Hindi, Hindu, and Hindustan’ take us?
What can a homogenous country a ‘hindu’ country really mean?
How can a false sense of pride based on association with religious identity take us into?

It’s true we belong to different religions
But beyond religion we form part of larger society
Beyond religious identity we have an identity as ‘citizens’ of the country
The larger society is a mix of diverse cultures, religions and practices
We form part of a contract which provides a space for everyone to co-exist harmoniously

Imposing and forcing an homogenous identity in the name of ‘Hindu Rashtra’
Can only mean an end to ‘diversity’ and reshaping of India
An India which will be ‘intolerant’ and unleash forces of ‘hatred’ in the name of ‘Hindu beliefs’
Where ‘Hindu beliefs’ too would be defined by saffron forces
And diversity within ‘Hinduism’ across regions will not be tolerated

Hinduism as defined by advocates of ‘Hindu Rashtra’
Goes against the principles of spirituality
And interpreted by Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Gandhi
In terms of love, kindness, harmony, ethics and morals

How can the powerful nation defined in terms of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and a religious identity
Put an end to the problem of joblessness among the youth
Put an end to farmer distress, farmer suicides and provide them decent price for their hard work
Ensure fair wages for the working classes in the country
Make the country safe for women and make them equal participants in governance
Provide every child with a decent education

End caste based violence in the country and also work towards annihilation of caste
Address the challenges faced by Adivasi
Address the challenge of poverty
Create a country which is hunger free
Protect the environment from takeover and destruction by commercial forces

Can the country become ‘proud’ without addressing these core challenges?
By establishing a ‘Hindu theocracy’
It is time to reject the madness
That is being unleashed by forces out to establish ‘Hindu Rashtra’

It is time to retain the beauty of India
And by shaping India which addresses the real problems
Which goes beyond religious identities
And builds respect, accommodation and equality by the spirit of human identity

TH Sreerama is a poet and retired from Central Warehousing Corporation

One Comment

  1. Dr. P. S. Sahni says:

    Right wing efforts for a Hindu rashtra in Nepal resulted in maoists and naxalites capturing state power in Nepal!!!