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Convert or Perish

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The recent actions and utterances of our leaders have slowly brought forth the “hidden agenda” which people used to talk about not very long ago. The bare knuckles are now somewhat visible. The people and ideas once on the fringes are suddenly hogging the limelight. Vague, misty notions are grabbing centre stage.

To start with, the prime minister himself, an enigmatic figure despite his outward oratory and friendly disposition, suggests the existence of plastic surgery in ancient India. Well, not to demean the achievements of our ancient culture and advances in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy (not astrology, Mr. Khanduri), medicine, literature, poetry and governance, plastic surgery seems a little far-fetched. And then Mr. Khanduri goes on to rant about nuclear tests in ancient India and in all earnestness tries to flaunt astrology as the mother of all sciences. Well, as a practicing, God fearing Hindu, I have my beliefs in religious scriptures and even astrology, but one can’t mix faith and science. They are very different. And better to keep them separate. Such talks are best confined to the story telling sessions by grandparents.

Then the Sadhvi goes on to exhort the public to choose between Raamzades and Haraam…. at an election rally in Delhi, as if she was addressing a village gathering of illiterate housewives and truant youngsters. So much for a rural background! Then why make her a minister? I wonder what her religious discourses may be conveying to the gullible. What poison has she been spreading over the years?

Not to be left behind, the suave, articulate Sushma ji rakes a controversy by demanding the Bhagwad Gita to be declared as the “Rashtriya Granth”. For God’s sake, please follow the Gita rather than making it a tool of launching another Mahabharata. The controversies this demand will create in our multi religious, multi ethnic, pluralistic society are too obvious to be recounted here.

The recent conversion of some Muslims to Hinduism has been termed as “Ghar Wapasi” – homecoming. And the hawks tell us that as this is a return to their original faith, it cannot be termed as conversion. This, despite allegations of allurement and monetary inducements. Now, if their forefathers converted 2 or 3 generations or more ago, how can it be called homecoming for the progeny? If history has taken a particular course, howsoever tumultuous, it is all the more damaging trying to reverse or change it. If our (Hindu) forefathers were incapable of defending themselves then, involved in their internecine wars, succumbing to political defeats and religious conversions (whether forced or voluntary), what right does it give to Hindus today to try to reverse the happenings of centuries past? Is the BJP government in Delhi a Hindu government as the VHP likes to believe? Let us (Hindus) accept the situation as it is with grace and honour. This supposed homecoming is in no way going to help the converts or the country in any way.

The demand for Ram Temple at Ayodhya has been a religious movement in Ayodhya for many long years, politicized by the BJP in recent decades. Now a constitutional head of a state lends his voice to the demand. What a fall. Where is the dignity and honour of the post? Is he a spokesman of the BJP or the Governor of a state?

Nathuram Godse has always been considered a martyr and a patriot by a very obscure fringe minority in Maharashtra and by some other hardcore Hindu fanatics. But to hear this nonsense from the very mouth of an honourable MP? What are we trying to convey? Trying to slowly bring the minority right wing onto centre stage, and then assimilate them in the majoritarian scheme of things? And to hell with the reasoning, rational, thinking individuals. The minorities anyway, do not figure anywhere in their scheme of things. Only the conformists will be taken along. Others, either convert or perish.

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