By Nithin Sridhar
First it was ‘Fascist Sanghi’, then it was ‘Hindu Taliban’ and ‘Saffron terror’, and now finally we have ‘Wahhabi Hinduism’. The left-liberal brigade appears to be getting bolder and bolder or maybe they are simply executing a pre-conceived agenda considering how well they are in setting agendas and creating narratives.
Whatever may be the intention, the recent statements made by Amit Chaudhuri, author and academician, is significant in many senses. While speaking at the Times LitFest, Delhi on Monday, Chaudhuri said: “The BJP with its slow development of Wahhabi Hinduism is decimating the pluralism of the religion”.
Whether BJP is developing any kind of Hinduism or not, the fact that the criticism of BJP ended up in branding Hinduism as Wahhabi is not only incorrect and objectionable but it also clearly exposes the liberal hypocrisy.
Let us first understand what ‘Wahhabism’ actually means. Wahhabism which is also sometimes equated with ‘Salafism’ was basically an Islamic movement within the Sunni Islam that started in the 18th century and whose central call was for Muslims to return to their original practices. In other words, the Wahhabism believes in the literal and historical understanding of its scriptures and intends to implement them.
It is this literal interpretation and a call for original practices that has led to Wahhabi movement sponsoring various activities of violence and terrorism, the latest example being the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamic Caliphate derives its legitimacy from the tenets of Islam and it strictly adheres to the Salafist or Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic texts. Thus, it justifies all its violence, mass murdering, practice of slavery, and other inhuman actions through Islamic texts itself.
The case is not very different from various Islamic terror organizations, including those that are active in India. Yet, the left-liberal propaganda wants people to believe that terrorism has no religion whenever the act of terror has been committed by an Islamist. They will find various reasons and explanations for the Islamists who inflicts violence ranging from poverty to brainwashing but turn a blind eye towards the fact that Islamic terrorism is rooted in Islamic theology.
But, the same liberals have created narratives of ‘Saffron terrorism’ just because a single act of bombing has been suspected to be committed by a group of Hindus. They sympathize with Yakub Menon, who was convicted by the courts for his acts of terror, but demonize Sadhvi Pragya whose trial is yet to reach any conclusion!
It appears that the liberal brigade has realized that they no longer can continue to whitewash the atrocities of Islamists the way they have whitewashed the atrocities committed by Islamic rulers in the past. So, now they are trying to superimpose the atrocities, religious fundamentalism, and intolerance that is inherent in Islam on Hinduism.
Though, this is not a new strategy, the strategy appears to have reached near its final form. From the usage of terms like Saffron terror, Hindu Taliban, Hindutva is the problem and not Hinduism, now finally they have made the declaration about the arrival of ‘Wahhabi Hinduism’.
The fact is, the term ‘Wahhabi’ makes no sense in the case of Hinduism. Hinduism is not a monolith structure. Though it exists on the firm foundation of Dharma (righteousness), it is not confined to a particular belief system or a scripture. True, Vedas are ultimate Pramana. But, Pramana means ‘valid means to Knowledge’. Vedas are indeed ultimate means to the highest knowledge and not set of monotheistic injunctions that cannot be crossed. True, Hinduism does have injunctions and prohibitions, but unlike monotheistic religions, Hinduism has no external authority calls for the implementation of those injunctions or face death. Instead, here each Individual is his own authority whether he wants to implement those injunctions and prohibitions.
But, most importantly, no Hindu scripture, howsoever one may interpret them, calls Hindus to kill or enslave people of other religions. There is no concept of dividing the world into believers and non-believers of a particular theology and calling for the execution of the non-believers. These tenets are present in the Wahhabi Islam, but not in Hinduism. Instead, India is the only country where Jews, Parsis, and even Muslims are not persecuted. So, what sense does it make to call Hinduism as Wahhabi?
A few stray acts of violence do not qualify as terrorism. More importantly, those stray acts of violence committed by a section of Hindu groups do not have scriptural justification, and hence no question of Hindu terrorism. Yet, the liberal brigade continues to claim ‘Islamic terrorism has no religion, but Hinduism is Wahhabism.’
The liberal strategy is becoming clearer by the day. By branding Hinduism as being Wahhabi and portraying themselves as ‘liberal Hindus’ who have abandoned what they consider as regressive aspects of Hinduism, the liberal brigade, it appears, wants to create confusion and hijack the Dharmic narrative of Hinduism. They hope that by hijacking the Dharmic narrative they will finally be able to dismantle the very foundation of Hinduism.
It is high time, the liberal hypocrisy and anti-Hinduism attitude that drives their agenda is realized and exposed.