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Influence Of Ideologies: Scared Of Hindutva – OpEd

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Pakistan media is abuzz with articles, statements that Modi and RSS are enforcing the Hindutva ideology on its minorities. Lately a Taliban video has gone viral regarding the threat of present India’s RSS and BJP combine towards the minorities and spreading that their long term agenda is “India for Hindus”. This author is not a follower of either the RSS or BJP. Hindutva is just a way of good living, not really a religion. All religions have flourished on this great soil of Bharat. Everyone wants a weak India so that it can be exploited.

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It makes some of the Indians feel inferior when the subject of their past history is broached upon. Thinking of the  Mughals  and the  British rule over the country but no invader could change India.

The Greeks came but ultimately had to retreat.  Alexander the Great won the Battle of Hydaspes (on River Jhelum) in 326 BC but it was quite a close battle with the great ruler of Punjab, Puru (Purushottam). Alexander’s troops got information about larger empires in India’s Gangetic plains and his troops started rebelling after the  battle and did not proceed further and returned. Alexander termed as a “world conqueror” had easy successes  primarily against inferior armies with  little battle experience. 

Then came Muhammad bin Qasim and the Rajputs fought with valour. Mohammad Ghazni and Mohammad Gauri came a number of times  and looted and returned. Alauddin Khilji, Mohammed Bin Tuglak and then there was Ibrahim Lodhi. Followed by the Mughal rule and the marathas did not allow them to spread their empire.They all came as  invaders but they really could not spread their influence permanently. Britishers came  and ruled for 200 years.

History proves that India has been a  land of fighters and not gone down like Mesopotamia or like Persia where the whole culture,  history and the civilization got completely wiped out. But in India due to its fighting spirit of  a fighting race  India has never gone down totally and instead  Hindus continued to flourish  in India that shows the vedic tradition which were there all across from thousands of years and still has been preserved. Hindutva is a way of life, one does not have to follow a religious book like the Christians or Muslims and have to pray at their places of worship to be a Hindu. It accepts all religions and does not seek conversions unlike the muslims with force. It is open minded and that is the reason it had its influence in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia for centuries.Even the invaders of all hues who came through Pakistan for centuries to plunder could not wipe Hindutva the simple way of life which continues to flourish in India and lately the influence of Yoga and meditation for peace of mind is becoming a global wave. It is the world’s most ancient religion part of the oldest civilisation.

Southeast Asia was hugely influenced by Indian culture and civilisation from around 200 BC until around the 15th century. Kingdoms located on the south east coast of the Indian Subcontinent established trade, cultural and political relations with Southeast Asian kingdoms in Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Malay Peninsula, Cambodia, and up to Vietnam. Tamil kings often ruled the earliest states in these regions. Hinduism and Buddhism both spread to these states from India and for many centuries co-existed there with mutual toleration. Eventually the states of the mainland became mainly Buddhist and even Buddhism travelled to mainland China and Sri Lanka.

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Afghan Taliban Ideology impact across Borders. 

The 21st Century has witnessed a paradigm shift.People need to worry about the changing ideology of the Taliban, Pashtunwali codes and Sharia laws especially in the country’s Pakhtun-majority areas and along the Afghan borders. Ever since the Taliban came into power in Afghanistan, an unwritten ban has been announced on activities like girl education, sports, dance, music and other similar activities.The effects of this ban culture are visible in Pakistan as well, especially in the country’s Pakhtun-majority areas.Women are the worst sufferers on both sides of the border.

When an ideology is in power or in a dominant position at any place, people who identify with the same ideology – regardless of where they live – feel empowered too. The same thing is happening with the pro-Taliban ideology some Pakhtuns people need to worry about the changing ideology of the Taliban, Pashtunwali codes and Sharia laws especially in the country’s Pakhtun-majority areas and along the Afghan borders. Ever since the Taliban came into power in Afghanistan, an unwritten ban has been announced on activities like sports, dance, music and other similar activities.

The effects of this ban culture are visible in Pakistan as well, especially in the country’s Pakhtun-majority areas on either side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. They urge people to identify with their extremist culture and leave their progressive modern culture as ‘vulgar’ and anti religion and use ‘religion’ as a tool to justify their action. When extremism spreads, co-curricular activities, the subjects of arts and humanities necessary for developing a person’s personality vanish. The effects of this ideology are more severe on women and girls.

The Taliban’s religious ideology is Deobandi Islam and its roots can be traced to 19th century colonial India. Deobandi Islam emerged in India in 1867. The first madrassa (Islamic school) was set up in Uttar Pradesh toward the end of the 19th century.

The aim was to indoctrinate Muslim youth and at its heart was an anti-colonial movement designed to revitalize Islam. The Deobandi brand of Islam adheres to orthodox Islamism insisting that the adherence to Sunni Islamic law, or sharia, is the path of salvation and is opposed to any non-Islamic ideas. The Deobandi tradition became the most popular school of Islamic thought among the Pashtuns.

Sadhguru : “Somewhere, at some point, all religions started as a spiritual process. Religion is just spirituality gone bad. Let us understand the distinction between religion and a spiritual process. The moment you say you belong to a religion, you call yourself a believer. The moment you say, “I am on a spiritual path,” you call yourself a seeker.The moment man became religious, it should have been the end of all conflict. Unfortunately, religion has become the main source of conflict everywhere in the world. It has taken the maximum number of lives and caused the maximum amount of pain on the planet for thousands of years. This is because a religion is essentially coming from a set of belief systems. Belief systems fire people up with a great sense of confidence and this confidence without the necessary clarity is a huge disaster on this planet. The conflict in the world has always been between one man’s belief versus another man’s belief.”

Compare to the tyranny of Muhammad bin Qasim, Mohammad Ghazni, Mohammad Gauri, Alauddin Khilji, Mohammed Bin Tuglak, Ibrahim Lodhi and the Mughals especially Aurangzeb.Communists have also carried out brutal repressions in the past and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) continues in Xinjiang on the Muslims and threatens Taiwan of merger to mainland China with force to fullfill their mission. On the other hand India liberated East Pakistan from Pakistan to create a new nation BanglaDesh. A point to prove Hindutva led India does not seek to capture additional territories or enforce their religion on anyone.

Wars and intra-country conflicts are primarily based on the thought “My God is better than yours” or my ideology is supreme. What a colossal wastage of manpower, resources, weaponry etc in defending the borders of each country, if all this was utilised for development purposes how happy would mother nature have  been with the world as one family.

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Earth is one family)-one of the core philosophies of Indian civilization since ancient times.

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