HINDUS AND THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY

to know  the sheer scale of the success we as a nation is , you must read ramachandra guha’s ” India After Gandhi” . it is the riveting  story of a nation born out of chaos , which over the years slowly overcame obstacles , many of which life threatening , with ease and determination. we have had the various political scientists giving their take on why we as a country survives or is surviving , but most of them have given scant credit to the most important of the reasons – the majority community – ” hindus”.

i had always wanted to write a post on this pillar of indian democracy , but backtracked owing to the “communal” tag that comes with it.  the recent anti immigration laws by many European countries made me value the sense of openness that our community have shown over centuries and the level of tolerance it still foster. many had predicted at the time of independence that with the death of nehru , india will start taking baby steps towards being a hindu pakistan , which even after 65 years have not happened and to my knowledge is never going to. we have had the saffron party ruling the country for nearly eight years and still we remain more secular as ever before . the sheer force of the ram janmabhoomi movement that propelled BJP to power could have easily compelled it to build the temple at the site , but the secular section of the majority community , fought for it not to happen . many dooms day predictions are already out for the day when/if Mr Narendra modi will become the prime minister , but as we all know as far as the secular ones , which btw constitute 95% of the 1 billion hindus remain the majority , is never going to.

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hindus make up nearly 80% of our population , with their share in population varying from 3% in many northeastern states to 95% in himachal pradesh. the most interesting of the examples is my state of kerala were 45% percent of the people belong to the minority groups. the state could have easily gone the malaysian way , which have similar statistics and taken up their own bhumiputra movement  , what happened was just the opposite. now after 50 years of the states birth it is more egalitarian than malaysia will ever be.  kerala could not be compared with a north indian state , where generations have grown up hearing the folklore of shivaji and prithviraj chauhan and their fight against the invaders. even after this huge doses of victimhood they remain much at ease with their muslim neighbours , there is this misconception among the secular left wing observers that the north indian hindus could never accept secularism to the fullest , which is to an extent baseless , if it was the case , then how could you explain the success of the hindi soap on zee tv “qubool hai” ? .the story revolves around muslim characters with the lead actress invoking “allah” on every second breath. according to the rating charts it was once the second highest rated show in india. similarly  to me the khans of bollywood shows us  how the north indian masses have graduated with salman khan being revered as god by most of the lower class men from bihar and UP .

this brings us to the question of riots . if hindus were at ease with their other half how could they riot? . my answer would be the comparison with the white supremacist movements and neo nazis. these riots which mostly are politically motivated are the handiwork of these fringe groups , a phenomenon not confined to india alone . but unlike the countries of the west which have stabilised into  monolithic entities , we are in a state of flux like the europe of the 18th century , where outbursts could be magnified and old prejudices easily offended . as we progress towards a stable future these groups will certainly be pushed into obscurity .

i did my graduation at a MES (muslim education society) college whose president Dr Fazal Ghafoor once told us that he would always be thankful to the majority community of kerala for being secular as it is and helping the minorities prosper with them . which is a huge credit for the 95% of us . i conclude this post with the trajectory of BJP’s evolution , a party that began as the appendage of RSS is now a national party whose ideology is just called “right wing” , with more emphasis on free market than on hinduism.

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