The Hinduvta Myth by Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

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I was recently invited by a TV channel to express my views on the rise of Hinduvta in India, especially in the context of the Kashmir crisis. I categorically denounced Hinduvta, and explained that no such thing is found in Hinduism.

Like all other religions, Hinduism also teaches us to serve humanity, help mankind, and support the vulnerable. It also urges to stand against brutality, cruelty and evil.

The Kashmir issue, despite the immense sacrifices of the Kashmiri people over 72 years, is still not resolved. The main reason, in my opinion, is the way it has been complicated on the basis of religious biases, ego and arrogance.

The entire history of the Subcontinent shows us that our society is traditionally based on interfaith harmony, tolerance, pluralism and diversity. However, the slogan of Hinduvta was first raised in British India after World War I. This was the era when the Ottomans were defeated and British imperialism was promoting nationalism everywhere in order to design a new world order. The term ‘Hindutva’ is used to show the promotion of religious extremism and nationalism following in the footsteps of Hitler-led Nazi Germany.

After Independence, the first victim of this extremist ideology was none but Mahatma Gandhi. He was a true follower of Ahimsa, one of most important values of Hinduism. Ahimsa is a word from the holy Sanskrit language, which means ‘to not kill and to not injure’. That’s why it is strongly recommended to be vegetarian rather than eating any animal or bird. According to Hindusim, violence and bloodshed must be avoided at any cost for the sake of mankind, and doors for dialogue must not be closed. Keeping this in view, I visited India for a meeting with their top leadership so as to impress upon them to refrain from war.

The basic teachings of our holy books, the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayan, focus on becoming good human beings to serve mankind. All the Hindu rulers had ensured religious harmony, societal tolerance and pluralism under their rule.

Helping the oppressed is another key virtue of Hindusim. It is said that during the Karbala tragedy, a Hindu named Rahib Dutt and his twelve sons also sacrificed their precious lives in support of Hazrat Imam Hussain. Even today there is a Hindu community called Hussaini Brahmin who mourn every year in the month of Muharram.

The current Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is known to follow the so-called Hinduvta agenda. The insane policies being adopted in Indian-held Kashmir show that the Modi government is violating the peaceful teachings of Hindusim. Kashmiri people were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. For the last one month, strict curfew has been implemented in the occupied valley. Such miserable conditions are alarming for every peace loving good human being; no true Hindu can justify Modi’s oppression of innocent Kashmiris. Today, a large number of peace-loving Indians are also raising a voice in favour of the Kashmiri people.

The Hindu community residing in Pakistan, firm believes in following the true teaching of Hindusim and rejecting all kinds of extremist ideologies. Therefore, the Pakistani Hindu community organized successful events in Sadiqabad, Punjab and Umerkot, Sindh to show solidarity with Kashmir. Preparations for another historic event at Sharda Peeth Temple, LoC are currently going on.

In the next stage, similar events will be organized in other provinces to show the true peace-loving face of Hinduism. I would like to invite every Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and follower of other faiths to join hands to support the oppressed without discrimination of religion and nationality.

The occupation of Kashmir and Palestine, the aggression against Bosnia, the barbarism against the Yazidi community by the Daesh, the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and the attacks against patriotic minorities even in Pakistan prove that such extremist ideologies are present in every society.

I would also like to ask the Pakistani government to abstain from defaming any religion while discussing the Kashmir conflict.

The writer is a member of the NationalAssembly and patron-in-chief of the

Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani

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