Saturday, January 21, 2012

Alignment versus Appeasement of Minorities in India

Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi went on a Sadhbhavana Fast in Godhra. The Times of India in its paper dated 21 January 2012, in page 15 of Mumbai edition published the comment by VHP Leader Pravin Togadia with the caption "All netas in race to appease minorities" within the news item on Modi's fast. It is reported that Pravin Togadia took on CM Narendra Modi and asked whether there was any sadbhavana for those killed in the Godhra train carnage. While what Pravin Togadia said in this connection is difficult to know, we know only the reporting of the Times of India reporter Sachin Sharma.

In India, there are people of more religions apart from the main stream Hindu religion and many variants of Hindu religion. There are organizations which are working for the cause of sustaining and promoting Hindu religion. What is their outlook regarding other religions in the country? Advani, a senior leader of BJP, a party considered to argue that Hinduism is not getting its due in the country and minority appeasement is being practised by the ruling governments, advocates cultural unity. He does not advocate one religion for the country. Hinduism itself does not advocate one religion or prayer of only God. It has the concept of crores of deities or divine beings and even the supreme God is different in different occasions or scriptures. Even though in principle one God is stated, who is this one God in form is subject to belief of each person or family or group of people. Hinduism accepts that salutation to any God ultimately reaches that single person who is the world when there is pralaya and every other form is destroyed.

So there is an attempt by certain people to create alignment within all the people in India towards protecting and growing India. Even Viswa Hindu Parishad needs to have a plan for creating this alignment and in this regard they are participating in multi-religious functions and discourses. So VHP leaders in principle will not criticize every relation that Hindus have with other religion people as appeasement.

The news paper reporters also have to be careful to understand the context and report the statements and replies of various persons appropriately. There is a need for more discussion on this topic of alignment versus appeasement issue.

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