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It is unfashionable to be a Hindu
Why there are different yardsticks while dealing with religions? Why is Hinduism the favourite whipping boy of liberals and seculars?For how long a nationalist is supposed to bend backwards to be considered liberal and tolerant?
I WAS born in a Hindu family, but turned atheist a long time ago. First, it was disgust with the miseries that all religions cause and then God and his existence became less and less important to me.

Media made me believe that Hindus, due to their majority status should be more tolerant of minorities. Any terrorist act is a handiwork of a few rotten apples, not the whole community and I agree with it wholeheartedly. Then there is a constant stream of intellectuals, liberals and self-important celebrities who repeatedly bash Hinduism on points like casteism, lack of unity, superstition among others. I agree with them on these too.

After Gujarat riots, attacks on missionaries, Hindus were labelled as a violent blood thirsty mob that could go out of control at the least provocation. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal etc were villains and I still don’t like them.

Some missionaries were attacked and killed by Hindu extremists just because they were luring people into conversion with offers of money. It was the defeciencies of Hinduism in first place that people were tempted to convert.

So called backward categories now enjoy almost 40 per cent reservations. It’s the sins of their forefathers that upper caste Hindus of current generation have to pay for now.

But why are there double standards when our intelligentsia talks about Muslims? In spite of so much violence based on Islam (in India only) how come they are always poor, under-represented, righteous minority who deserve to be protected from Hindu majority?

Let me explain here in case of Jammu and Kashmir:

1) More than four lakh Kashmiri Pandits, living all over the Kashmir division, were driven out of their homeland of thousands of years after sustained violence that included rape, arson, killings and robberies at gun-point. A large number of them are still living in refugee camps in single room tin shacks or tents even after 20 years of their displacement.

Compare the news space that the sufferings of four lakh Hindu Pandits ges as compared to 3-4000 Muslims (more or less) of Gujarat.

2) During the recent protests in J&K over the Amarnath land issue, dozens of Hindu pilgrims were attacked and beaten up by Muslim mobs in Kashmir. Three Sikh truck drivers from Jammu region were critically injured in different places there. Thirty buildings belonging to Hindus were burnt down in Poonch. There were grenade attacks on Hindu processions in Kishtwar. Hindus were attacked in Rajouri too.

FYI, Rajouri, Poonch, Kistwar , all are Muslim majority ares.

Compared to this in Jammu city, where Muslims are in minority, there were no attacks on any Muslim. Many of my neighbours are Muslims. Even when protests were at their peak, they were freely visiting mosques wearing skull caps and no Hindu bothered any of them.

In Jourian (Akhnoor), local Hindus chased out a few miscreants who were trying to stone a mosque. News of a few burnt mud-huts of Muslims was made a national news, but intimidation and attacks on hundreds of Hindus was not.

3) How many Hindu temples are left in Kashmir now? Of a few temples buildings still intact, how many are still used as temples?

4) Why Kashmiris are whining about azadi when J&K is one of the richest states in India, receives more aid than many of states combined, has a separate constitution, flag and article 370?

Why don’t Kashmiris ask for azadi of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) too?

5) Kashmiris raised bogey of economic blockade by Hindu extremists. Rest of India was stupid enough to believe this. Everywhere on TV, newspapers etc there was this so-called economic blockade of Kashmir, which was just a false propaganda. I travelled on Jammu-Srinagar highway daily for work and the only day when there was complete blockade was on August 1. After that army was out everywhere blocking protesters from even reaching the highway. Figures from state, Centre and army proved this fact. Shortage of any commodities in Kashmir was due to strikes called by Hurriyat and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) goons, not protesters in Jammu.

Infact, it was Jammu which was under economic siege due to strikes. Not even a single truck was loaded or unloaded in Jammu for a whole month. But Jammu agitation was ignored.

5) Kashmiris say that it was a Muslim shepherd whofound the cave and are still taking care of pilgrims. So management of ’yatra’ should be in Muslim hands only. One thing not many people know is that this cave was known to Hindus for thousands of years. That shepherd only rediscovered it. Going by their logic, owing to their share in population, Hindus pay more than 75-80 per cent of taxes in India. So 70-80 per cent of posts in government’s Haj yatra management should be reserved for Hindus.

6)Kashmiris openly burnt Indian flags, hoisted Pakistani and black flags and raised anti-India and pro-Pakistan and militant slogans. Gilani openly said that he is a Pakistani. Comparatively, in Jammu, leaders of agitation blocked politicians from all parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from either participating or addressing any rally. The only flag they carried was national tricolour. But since Jammu was fighting for a ’Hindu’ cause, the agitation was communal and politically motivated and worth derision of secular Indians. While Kashmiri Muslims were fighting for their ’azadi’ from iron-hand of Indian Army, so they deserve our understanding and love

7) Hindu extremists like VHP, Bajrang Dal etc are a nuisance at worst. All they do is raise annoying protests against imaginary insults to Hinduism like Valentine’s Day, some art etc. Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and related organisations on the other hand are accused of treason and terrorist acts all over India. Still there is a talk of lifting ban on SIMI and banning the VHP, Bajrang Dal.

Every terrorist justifies his acts by saying, Islam is in danger and he is fighting to protect it. They bomb, maim, kill, rape and torture people regardless of nationality, age, gender or even religion.

In my humble opinion, the best Indian at present is a Muslim. Our top rocket scientist and former President APJ Abdul Kalam Azad. Minorities in India have achieved success in every field, politics, industry, sports, science, art. You name it. Still, minorities are unsafe here.

Shabana Azami said that she could not find a flat for herself because she is a Muslim. Has it ever occurred to her that her snobbish attitude could be one reason? Where was she living for so long in Mumbai all this time? If her religion was a factor, how come Khans are on top in Bollywood? How many Indians refuse to see a movie because it has a Muslim actor, director, singer in it?

You cannot talk about taking a strong stance against China and Pakistan, no matter what the provocation. Reason, we are peaceful Gandhian people, war is bad, it’s bad for economy, etc. I agree war is bad , but since when it’s acceptable to sell national self-respect and soul for money? It is acceptable to loose thousands of soldiers every year in proxy war but taking strong action against Pakistan is ’haraam’.

I don’t have anything against any religious group. They are free to practice their religion, as long as they are reasonable, don’t force their ideology on others and respect sovereignty of the nation. Is it too much to ask for? For how long a nationalist who by chance happens to be a Hindu is supposed to bend backwards to be considered liberal and tolerant?

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