Since the Bharatiya Janata Party led government has come to the power, the preachers of Hindu nationalists have become emboldened. Their statements calling every Indian a Hindu is hitting the headlines. The BJP leaders like Manohar Parikkar, Najma Heptullah and Kalraj Mishra have vitiated the atmosphere with their pro Hindu statements.
An attempt is being made to polarize the voters in the country for narrow gains just ahead of the crucial assembly seat elections. There is a saffron game plan to communalize the issue for maximum political gains.
What has added to the fire is the statement from Heptullah saying there is nothing wrong with the term Hindu being applied equally to all citizens as a label of “national identity”, a stand similar to that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological mentor.
Her statement comes a month after the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat called India a Hindu nation.
Though, Najma has retracted her statement owing to pressure. The whole episode leaves a bad taste in the mouth of minorities of the country who are increasingly feeling alienated.
Historically, it remains a fact that the Arabs used to call everybody living beyond the Sindh as Hindus, but with time the connotation of the word has changed; now it is used to refer to the religious beliefs of a particular community.
Even the constitution has not used the word Hindu, but refers to it as Bharat. The opponents of Hindu term for addressing the minorities say that it is unjustifiable to refer minorities as Hindus.
Questions are being raised by tall leaders in opposition like Digvijaya Singh, who even calls the audacity of raising such issues by Hindu nationalists as a bluff. According to him, there is no word like Hindu in the religious scripture. He instead refers to India as Bharat.
“The name of our country is Bharat. Even when we do puja we say ‘Bharat Khande Jambu Dweepe’. The name Hindustan does not figure. This country is called Bharat. Constitutionally, our nation is called Bharat. We are the residents of Bharat and we are Bharatiya,” he said.
The term Hindu is outside interpolation and there is nothing indigenous about it. So, why the RSS is so keen on using the term Hindu for every Indian? With time, the term Hindu has entered our consciousness and the majority of the Indian population with a particular belief refers to it as its religion.
So, the party which so much believes in Swadeshi is so adamant on a term which is not even Indian. Certainly, it has to do with vote bank politics. The word Hindu does not figure in any of our Vedas, Upanishads or Puranas.
“From where did the word Hindu comes? When Islam came to India, all those living on the other side of Sindh were called Hindus. When Sangh and the BJP talk about history and culture, then why we are given an Arabic name. We are Sanatan Dharmis. Sanatan Dharm is the oldest religion in the world. Why are we ignoring that?” says Singh.
Historically, India is referred to as Bharat named after the Prince with the same name that was hailed to be very brave.
Interestingly, one of the landmark judgments of the Supreme Court on definition of Hidutva is often misused. Hindutva or Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life comprising of noble values said a bench of the Supreme Court while delivering the judgment on the meaning of the term Hinduism. But, nowhere in the judgment the term Hindu was used which refers to a particular community. Attempts are made to associate Hindu with Hinduism often citing the SC judgment.
Such statements are hurting the sentiments of the minorities in the country. It should come under the category of hate speech. Leaders after making statements which hurt the minorities’ sentiments in the country cannot get away. There must also be laws to tackle such issues and it cannot be brushed under the carpet.
source : Janpratinidhi.com