Post On:December 29, 2020
By Avinash Kumar – 30th June, 2020, Toronto
Where does one start, on the subject of, the abject apathy and confusion of Hindus in the era of postmodernism?
Do you start with the blissfully oblivious or the other end of this extreme idiocy – the furious, hurting Hindu attacking wildly at anything that he or she perceives to be even slightly offensive to Hinduism?
One is utopian, the other a headless chicken. The one in the middle tries to balance both.I call this the Hindu scale of wokeness.Let us start with the first category – Hindu Utopianism.
Adherents of this category of Hindus, swear by “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” and “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” dogma as their moolaha mantraha.
Although they seem to have cast of the colonial baggage – they proudly expound on Hindu values, albeit in ignorance – the neediness and the longing for approval indicates otherwise.The result is, a Hindu who is content with small insignificant gestures of “respect” from the left elite, in exchange for the Hindu’s silence or ignorance of more pressing issues.As an example, the following is a conversation between a Hindu in the middle of the scale, and the another at the front end – the Utopian.
Utopian Hindu [UH]: Schools are not secular anymore. Why are they opening religious spaces in schools?
Balanced Hindu [BH]: What is un-secular about that? No one stopped Hindus from advocating for Hindu spaces.
[UH]: Religion is a very private matter. It should be confined to our homes and temples.
[BH]: It may be a private matter to you, but to non-Hindus it is not, and that is why when the school teaches about religion, non-Hindus are the first to claim this space. We should also demand the same. It is after all, our right as Canadian citizens!
[UH]: (horrified) Demand Space??? That sound very communal. It is not our values as Hindus to demand something. When we do not want others to impose their beliefs on us, why would I do the same? Maybe some religions are insecure, which is why they try to impose on others. But I go by the understanding that our values are great, and I do not need to demand anything from anyone. We are not in a competition.
[BH]: Maybe you don’t see it as a competition, but other groups do. And if you don’t claim the space, someone else will. It takes pride and identity away from your children. When you claim that space, your children are in a position to set the Hindu narrative for themselves, instead of the other way around. You surely have noticed how the school board sees a history of violence in Hinduism and propagates the same in their Hindu oriented functions?
[UH]: Of course, Mahabharata has violence and it is about war, but its war against evil. We need to educate them about our beliefs.
[BH]: Hindus have been educating the west about Hinduism for the past 100 years, from Vivekananda to ISCKON today. I think we have educated them enough; don’t you think? Even after tall this education if they see violence in Hinduism, do you think this thinking is borne out of their ignorance or deliberation? It would be very naïve on our part, to call this ignorance.
[UH]: That is not true. The school board is very respectful of Hinduism. I get invited to light the lamp and for Goranti at every Deepavali. Look I do not know what you are doing, but It doesn’t work for me. We have to show our greatness and values by being polite, not by being aggressive.
[BH]: I am in fact talking about being assertive, not aggressive.
[UH]: Sorry that can be seen as very communal. I cannot support this stand.
As seen from the above exchange, the Utopian Hindu has pride – no doubt – but it is misplaced. He/she is unaware of the effect this has on children and the trans-generational trauma we are passing on to them.In exchange for small concessions, the Utopian Hindu is more than happy to let non-Hindus dictate what their religion is all about.
(To be contd)