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Dr Shashi Tharoor's remark about India becoming 'Hindu Pakistan' as I understood!
Dr Shashi Tharoor is a learned scholar and there are 16 bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction since 1981 to his credit. He had covered a vast span of subjects like Indian history, culture, films, politics, society, foreign policy and more.

He is also the author of hundreds of columns and articles in national as well as international publications. He is also an Indian politician and a former career international diplomat who is currently serving as Member of Parliament from Kerala since 2009. In nutshell, he is an old swimmer of the Indian political pool who is much wiser, experienced and erudite than most of his critics. He is a language expert of colloquialism who plays with words and composition. Most of us with low intellect and poor command of language fail to synthesize what he often says. It's not his fault.

In an article he had once mentioned that for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), religion is not a matter of personal belief, but a key feature of traditional identity politics and crucial to maintaining social order, ensuring discipline and conformity, and preventing radical change. Science and rationality threaten all of the party's goals. According to India's Constitution, the development of "scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform" is the duty of every citizen – and, implicitly, the responsibility of the state. India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, argued that unlike religion – which tends to produce "intolerance, credulity and superstition, emotionalism and irrationalism" and "a temper of a dependent, un-free person" – a scientific temper "is the temper of a free man. Yet, for India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, such ideas are no longer fashionable. Its leaders and acolytes want to teach school children that evolutionary theory is just another hypothesis about the origin of life, equivalent to religious propositions. Their goal is to keep it out of school curricula entirely.

Here are few examples:

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had claimed that the internet and sophisticated satellite communication system existed in the days of Mahabharata, drawing sharp ridicule from his opponents, academicians and social media users alike who termed his contention as "unscientific", "illogical" and "retrogressive". Governor Tathagata Roy, however, came out in support of Deb saying his observations were topical.

Hindu nationalists have long propagated their belief that many discoveries of modern science and technology were known to the people of ancient India. But now for the first time an Indian prime minister has endorsed these claims, maintaining that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics were practiced thousands of years ago.

"We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time," the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told a gathering of doctors and other professionals at a hospital in Mumbai. "We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother's womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother's womb." Modi went on: "We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant's head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery."

Controversial Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide has said that a number of couples were blessed with sons after eating mangoes from his orchard, drawing sharp reactions from various quarters.

The RSS believes this holy land was desecrated by Christians and the Mughals (the invaders) over the last 1000 years and should be rightfully returned to its original state of Hindudom. It believes that this country will only regain its glory as a Hindu Rashtra when the practices of the Vedic age (the Golden Age of the Hindus) are brought back and the Hindu culture reigns supreme in this country.

As the Congress is at its weakest since Independence and the BJP at its strongest, it's the perfect time for the RSS to strike on the Hindutva agenda. However, there is one problem. The people of this country might not want its nationalism to be defined by religion. And that had happened when Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. The creation of Pakistan is a nemesis of the fundamentals of Islam. Islam believes in Universal Brotherhood which demands to keep your doors and windows open. Islam has no place for parochialism.

Similarly, the Real Hinduism is the proponent of Universal Brotherhood which is different from RSS Hindutva. If the strategies of RSS succeed, India would descent onto the crossroads where "narrow and supremacist" interpretations of history, culture, social studies and law would prevail. It would threaten and challenge the fundamentals of nationhood. RSS' interpretation of Hindutva / Hinduism has today led to "demands of homogenisation and assimilation of minority communities and SC/ST in the Hindutva way of life. Hindutva bigots have been trying to curtail faith in secularism and stifled India's academic pursuit and scientific temper through narrow interpretations of faith and mythology. And that is what Dr Tharoor means when he alerts the nation about India becoming Hindu Pakistan.

The 1995 Supreme Court judgment had defined Hindutva or Hinduism as a "way of life" and nothing to do with "narrow fundamentalist Hindu religious bigotry".

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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