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India the Holy Grail of South Asian jihadists

Magazine interviewed member of Islamist militant fraternity who dubbed Hinduism as a ‘filthy, cow-worshiping religion’.

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Terrorists are not customarily rooting for a particular religion ( as they believe in a ‘civil uniform code’ of eliminating humans) as their current target, though this time they are. All this is mentioned with much pomp in Dabiq. So, you ask what does it stand for!

It is neither one of those lavish magazines which you can flip through while leisurely sipping your cosmopolitan nor among those which you tend to follow while sharpening the barrel of your AK-47 or Kalashnikov, well maybe. Dabiq, a magazine with its glossy pages and state-of-the-art printing may with some oblivion be presumed to be a replica of Forbes, but it aims for the Islamist religious fanatics and not for the industry bigwigs.

The magazine recently interviewed Shaykh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, one of the wings of the Islamist militant fraternity, whom they hail as ‘Khalifa’s (Caliphate) soldiers in Bengal’. The group operates on both the sides of Bengal (India and Bangladesh) and one of the members of the group has asserted on their antagonistic feelings for the Hindus whom they believe as having no respect for either the Islamic religion or for that matter toward the Muslims. The ‘soldier’ further adds that the Bengali Hindus has a more implicit way to show their animosity towards the Islamic community while the Hindus of India as a whole have relegated them openly.

Still, one cannot separate this one incident out as a single thing as back in 2015, the militants took the effort to release an e-book in which they have cited PM Modi as a ‘Hindu nationalist’ who is in the process of ‘preparing his people for a future war against their number one enemy – Muslims’. Above all, the Hinduism is described as a ‘filthy, cow-worshiping religion’.
To add more spice to the aggression that has been waging in, PTI came up with a document – ‘A Brief History of the Islamic State Caliphate, The Caliphate according to the Prophet’ last year, one that has been already translated by a Harvard scholar. And the translated version mentions in one place, rather prominently – “attacking in India is the Holy Grail of South Asian jihadists”.

Such instances will certainly instill fear in any rational mind and will expect their elective representatives to relieve the country from such atrocities. The solution to terrorism and religious extremism is rather complex – with the reasons being as varied and exhaustive as American Absolutism to unemployment and deeply entrenched social evils like Communalism and religious dogma.

Time can redeem the wounds and may as well subjugate such extremism, but ignorance and alienation of certain communities can very clearly stem the deep-rooted feelings of hostility once more. (Input from agencies)

 

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    We talk about Unity in Diversity but with Incidents of religious bigotry coming up such as the Dadri incident, we can easily assume that yet some things are not right

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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new -- when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

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Hinduism
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At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.

At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”

Hinduism
Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).

In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”

Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.

The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.

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Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.

The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.

These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”

Hinduism
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.

In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.

In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.

“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)