08 May 2008

Hindu Militancy

The case for Hindu militancy is simple. We have a glorious culture and way of life, yes. But that is not enough. We must also have the strength to defend it. Anything good and beautiful attracts unwanted attention. What is the use of having a refined civilisation if you don't have the strength to protect it? In its 5000 years of history, Indian/Hindu civilisation never attacked other countries. The mistake we did was to think that everybody is like us. And we paid the price for it. We are still continuing to make this mistake.

We are tolerant and peace loving, yes. But everybody is not like us. The sooner we realise this, the better. We Hindus are polite to a fault – we refuse to admit that somebody can be intolerant and aggressive.

Two notes of caution here. First, some people think the answer is to become intolerant and aggressive like the Semitic religions. Absolutely not. We are Hindus. We should remain Hindus. We must think, talk and act like Hindus. We must continue to be tolerant and universal in our outlook. Second, rule of law is supreme. The law must be respected at all costs. Nobody should break the law, or take the law into his own hands. Any effort has to be within the four corners of the law.

Will Durant said it best: "... the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilisation is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within. The Hindus ... had failed to organise their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India's boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600 – 1000 AD) India invited conquest; and at last it came. This is the secret of the political history of modern India ... The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilisation. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry."

No comments: