Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Communal Harmony

India represents the perfect example of a piece of land which has been invaded throughout the history whether its Aryans, Arabs, or Europeans, its just that they invaded at different times. All these people came and made India their home. India is like a cultural Melting pot where all these cultures intermingled and what came out is our composite culture. For instance, caste system (in positive terms its nothing but division of labour (lohar(blacksmith), Badai(carpenter), Sunar(Goldsmith) etc.) where the work for all these groups was predetermined and thus high level of sophistication was achieved) is essentially Indian. Although there is no caste system among muslims around the world but in India it is very much part of their society. Similarly Sikhism bans casteism but today there are jat sikh, ramgarhiya sikh and others. This composite culture is our biggest strength and the day this bond is broken, India will break into islands of different groups. I do not mean that there will be island of hindus, muslims, sikhs etc. Intially it may be so but later there will be fight inside a particular group and it will further break different strands like Hindus being divided into baniya, rajput, punjabi, bengali, marathi etc. Luckily we have an example out here, our most important neighbour Pakistan, which was created solely on the basis of religion and now see whats happening out there, there is constant fight among Baloochs, sindhis, punjabis and the tribes for north west frontier, although all of them belong to the same religion and they themselves accepted Pakistan. The goverment of Pakistan which comprises majorly of Punjabis donot have control over 40% of their area.
Lets talk about India, Hinduism, the religion of around 81% of its inhabitants. But most of us will be startled to know that the term Hindu does not appear in any of our epics. It is the term which was given by the Arab invaders especially from Persia (now Iran). Actually these people could not pronounce the name of river Sindhu (Indus) and called it as "Hindu". So the people living east of river Sindhu came to called as Hindus. Similarly Greeks (at the time Alexander invasion) pronounced Sindhu as Indu and we have name India, Indus.
People living in India was amalgation of different tribes which followed different practices and each tribe had their own God, the so called "Kul Devta & Kul Devi". You can have glimplse of this in the marriage ceremonies, where first "kul god" is worshipped and then turn of different god comes. Thats why its said that there are 80 crores devi-devta worshipped in India. The different god worhipping tribes were united for the first time by Chandra Gupta Maurya and in the modern period, the media and information revolution has made people aware about different other deities which there parents or grand never knew. And most importantly it has given them the formal name of their religion "Hinduism".
Now Lets come the most pressing issue of enimity which has been created between Hinduism and Islam. Islam as a religion was born in desert land of Saudi Arabia where virtually nothing grows. And it was adopted by the various tribes of the desert which kept moving. Islam as a religion prescribed several things which were diagramatically opposite to Hebrew (Jewish, Yahudi) religion. The tribal Arabs chased away these Yahudis from their homeland (present Israel and Palestine) and we have one the most pressing problem of modern world (Palestine Israel conflict).
These Arabs came to India also for spreading Islam. Indians (no India at that time) could not put up a united front and they kept on loosing. The Arabs converted all captured soldiers. Some people also joined Islam because they were impressed by its ideology. So this brings us to a point that the muslim people residing in India are nothing but the original inhabitant of India who changed their religion. India belongs to them as much it belongs to any other Indian. Then question arise Why this Enmity ?
This enmity has its roots in the policies of Britishers and then our own politicians. To achieve their petty, narrow electoral goals they have made us believe that the interests of Hindus and Muslims do not merge rather run parallel. And we poor citizens of India have always believed them and were ready to kill someone just because he belongs to a particular religion. These politicians have always made us to believe that we are still living in medieval time and its ok for us to kill one in the name of faith. Muslim Leaders preached this to muslims and Hindu Leaders to hindus.
But in this we forgot that the kill and hate attitude will never bring peace. People will keep dying on both sides and our so called leaders will use those charred bodies for seeking votes. We have to understand that one communal riot produces 2-3 generations of terrorists. Don't you think that terrorists attacks are a post-Babri masjid phenomenan and the intensity and brutality has increased after Gujrat riots. A child will certainly become terrorist if his mother and father are murdered in front of him. I remember one documentary, which was being shot in the relief camps of Gujrat and later banned, in this a small child of around 6-7 yrs was saying that he will buy gun and will kill all policemen because they killed his abbu and ammi.
As a majority community, Hindus have to understand that it is through love only that peace can be brought. They have to concede some space; have to make them feel that they are no stranger out here. I firmly believe thats the only way you can stem out terrorism and extremism. Extremism will continue to flourish if it has the support of the masses. The best example of this is Punjab insurgency. The goverment had no clue on how to tackle the insurgents. It was only after the people of Punjab came in support of the goverment that the insurgency could be controlled.
Its a well known fact that Muslims are the most unrepresented community, there is absence of national leaders, they live in the most pitiable conditions and is infested with high mortality rates. There is need of special packages by the goverment(as also pointed by Sachar commission) to bail these socities and bring them to the national mainstream. It has become utmost necessary to alieniate them from the clutches of extremist organisation. This is the only way we can assure that our future generations live in peace.


  1. very good writeup arjun...definitely communal harmony is the only way to peace..People have to work hard to bridge the communal divide.. Communalism is the biggest danger to Indian democracy and if it's not handled now then in future we might see the "war of religions" and samuel huntington's "clash of civilisations" happening in India which has been a nursery of world religions.

  2. Ahha..gud one... but the way u suggested is not easy one...I don't think that politicians are main culprits... it's easy to blame them....I think root of the prob is we people..we don't want to do anything for our country. ...
    Blaming on others is a common phenomena in our society.

  3. Bhadu there are two kind of people in this world, one who lead and others who wait for commands. Both of them are masters of their field. The first lot are so good that they can convince a person to even strap a bomb on their back and explode it, they can even persuade someone who has never killed a moth in his life, to hack a innocent child to death.
    The other lot is equally good. They will not even give a thought to what they are being asked to do.

    I agree that work needs to be done at both levels but why in the first instance let such type of people to take such a important position in life.