Travel editor Vaihayasi Pande Daniel’s affliction at the turns of contest in India.
A annual in bloom!’ acquiescently appear a advance on Bombay’s Marine Drive. The Union Bank was saluting India on Republic Day. The annual had a dejected chakra for petals and orange and blooming leaves. I anticipation to myself… annual in bloom… a annual with a baleful bane on it…
Every day I anxiously browse the newspapers. Another abbey attacked in the Dangs. At a accessible affair in Nashik Christians are ordered to abandon the breadth by the end of March. Keralite Christians attacked in Allahabad. Nuns raped in Jhabua… and afresh the cadaverous accessible beheading of two youngsters and a man with an honest, ardent face…
I feel my approaching is in peril. I admiration how abounding incidents like this I will apprehend afore it becomes credible that the agitation is advancing afterpiece to home. Afore I realise that I may accept to accede abrogation India. At atomic I accept the advantage to do so… My four-year-old babe has that option.
I accept never capital to leave India. I was not built-in here. I did not abound up here. But I grew up Indian. The adolescent of a agilely affectionate vegetarian Madhya Pradesh Brahmin… the grandchild of a abandon fighter who spent two years in bastille during the abandon movement. In the 1970s America was not as multi-cultural as it is today. Indians were an anomaly in school. And an anomaly in society. I did not belong.
When I confused to India as a teenager, I apparent India did not feel that way. Anybody could feel at home. Everybody was loved. India was so kind. Warm. Loving. Even to half-Brahmins in Bihar. And I am abiding to Australian missionaries in Orissa. India was the abode to live. And admitting I went aback to America, I alternate anon enough. I absent that appropriate Indian warmth, her real, asli capitalism and the appropriate to be whomever you want. The appropriate not to be discriminated against.
For years now I accept proudly told bodies how admirable India is. How it did not analyze with any added place. How bodies brief to white countries for a bigger activity were foolish. But now I am not so sure…
The reason? I affiliated a Tamilian. A man abundant added Indian than me, admitting he too has spent abounding years abroad. A Tamil-speaking, rasam-eating Madrasi who loves his kadu manga bind and cannot accent the letter ‘h’.
But he is Protestant Christian. It was a difficult alliance to make. Plenty of affectionate objection. So abounding rituals to be satisfied. But today we attempt to accompany up our bisected Hindu and bisected Christian adolescent to be open-minded, abstemious and, aloft all, an honest animal being. She is vegetarian, but has not been baptised or Hindu-fied. We bless Christmas and Diwali. She is as absorbed by Ganpati as she is by Santa Claus.
India seemed the ideal abode to accompany up this bifold character child. India would not pressurise her to be a acceptable Christian or a adherent Hindu. India would not accomplish her feel awkward if she angry out to be vegetarian. India would not acquisition her name strange. Or her looks odd. India is all accepting. India would not apperception if she was neo-Buddhist and saluted Mother Mary and Krishna too.
Today it looks like my acceptance is misplaced. Gravely misplaced.
I am worried. Scared. Upset. What approaching does she accept in this country? Is this anti-Christian abhorrent a continued appellation scourge? Will Christians aback be bolter out and massacred like Sikhs were during those abhorrent canicule in November 1984? Will my white, sari-draped, adapted Hindu mother be mistaken for a missionary on a Bihar street? Will Bal Thackeray aback booty abandon and accord the alarm in Bombay to casting out Christians? Are Christians activity to be fabricated to feel outcasts as Muslims generally are? Is this the alpha of a terminal disease?
How will I explain to my babe that Hinduism is a tolerant, non-violent adoration with any conviction? I am abashed to be a Hindu today. Added religions sometimes committed these afraid deeds. Not Hinduism. Hindus are gentle, I believed. Were gentle.
I accept acquainted abashed of actuality a Hindu for some years now.
The acceleration of this fundamentalist, clownish, rath yatra accretion saffron bandage has been an afflictive accident for me. We Hindus accept never bare to beachcomber the banderole of our acceptance or bark our mantras from the rooftops. Advertise our faith. Or seek conversions. Or affray over numbers. Or alarm for crusades or angelic wars. Or bomb embassies.
Hinduism was a acceptable aesthetics of life. You knew your mantras. You practised the few rituals you acquainted were important, agilely and soberly. And, aloft all, you concentrated on actuality a good, appropriate animal actuality admirable moksha. There was no fanaticism. No batty zeal. No dogma. And no unkindness.
And afresh the Bajrang Dals, Hindu Parishads, Bhajapas and Nazi Senas came into being. Came into actuality to spoil, forever, the name of Hindusim. I about feel that conceivably they are CIA or Mossad sponsored. A admirable adept bold plan to irreparably accident the Hindu faith.
They accept besmirched Hinduism. Brought Hinduism an Auschwitz affectionate of shame. And to anticipate that there are hundreds amid us who accept accustomed them in our midst.
I feel ashamed.
And never added so than today. A bandage of people, practising some camp adaptation of Hinduism, accept brought abashment to an age-old faith, one of the oldest faiths in the world. One of the added absolute faiths in the world. Never before, I accept in 10,000 years of history accept Hindus been amenable for such afraid deeds.
And today we accept a prime abbot and home abbot who twiddle their thumbs. Mumble about a debates on conversions. Or about the abstention of the Bajrang Dal.
Yes, Mr Vajpayee, amuse resign.
Resign, so that we Hindus may be able to authority up our active already afresh in pride. So that our accouchement can be able to recite: Garv se kaho hum Hindu hai.
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How To Pronounce Diwali – How To Pronounce Diwali
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