Analysis

Swami Vivekananda and Present Politicised Hindutva

Although it is claimed that Hindu religion is one of the oldest religions of the world, but the ‘Hindutva’ way of living is a very recent addition to it. This very word ‘Hindutva’ created much confusion and chaos in our socio-political life. Many a times the chaos has crossed all set limits of permissible decibel in our domain of simple humanity also. People across the boundaries of religion, geography, gender and ethnicity are unanimous in this regard that this Hindutva humbug has nothing to do with any religion — particularly with Hindu religion, but it is purely a devil effort to politically misuse the pure Hindu religious sentiments of the simple devoted religious Indian minds. Astonishingly, the team of script writer, director and playback singer of this ‘humbug play’ uses such names of great personalities of this motherland – who are generally respected by the people in India and abroad. One such great name is of Swami Vivekananda, who, the humbug team claims that was a forefront supporter and upholder of their political Hindutva philosophy! This has created much embarrassment among those who know Swami Vivekananda in his life and works. But the common people are put in uncommon confusion that whether their highly respected role model, like Swami Vivekananda was really a great proponent of this irreligious political humbug in the name of religion! Majority of Indians, due to their illiteracy and woeful backwardness, finding themselves unable to resolve this confusion - surrender unconditionally to the dictatorship of this purely political play cleverly packaged and marketed with the label of Hindu religion.

In this circumstances it becomes very much imperative to people like us, who know Swami Vivekananda in his life and works, philosophy and actions - to bring in light before all the real Swami Vivekananda in the perspective of present politicised Hindutva humbug. Hope, this article will be able to clear the confusion purposefully created in the arena of Hindu Religion, Hindutva politics and Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekananda (from12th January, 1863 to 4th July, 1902) is a well known name in the Hindu religion in the present form. The Hindu religion prior to Swamiji’s birth was completely different from what we observe today. He changed the notion and practice of this religion. He stressed on spirituality, i.e. believing in God than in religious rituals – the institutionalized actions /functions of a person in order to satisfy that God. Because, mere religiosity can be deceptive, if it is devoid of true believe in God (spirituality). According to him, spirituality is beneficial but religiosity without spirituality certainly is harmful to society and humanity. In thiscapitalist world of ‘globalization’ – everything is commodity, starting from a good /item to human weaknesses /feelings /sentiments – everything is being marketed, being commercialized – to the fullest extent possible! The capitalist forces have colonialized the whole world in the name of globalization for the sole purpose of money and market interest. Thus, every human weakness is put to business, put to market – only for deriving monetary profit out of it. Spirituality and Religion are such sensitive philosophies on which maximum number of people, and Indian people in particular show much weakness. Thus, in this capitalized world colony, Spirituality and Religion must be put in commerce and market! Thus, these must be institutionalized! And that has been done! Religion is institutionalized in a big way through encouraging, patronizing and sponsoring the religious rituals for the purpose of its glazing grand advertisement. As successful advertisement is the pre-condition for successful marketing – business and profit earning. So, here there is no exception in the business of ritualized religion. But alas! The market forces, till now, has been failed to institutionalize the individual belief itself (i.e. spirituality). So, spirituality is pure, has vital force to reform – but mere religion does not. That is the reason, Swami Vivekananda emphasising on spirituality over religiosity rightly said, “Social reform is not possible without spiritual reform.” [Ref.: Ali, M.A. (Dec.2015), Sikshachintan, V.9, p.26].

Swamiji on Modernity:

We are running, rather rushing for‘modernity’. The concept and symptoms of modernity are – covering as minimum part of one’s body in public as possible; throwing away the values, ethics, norms, etc. to the maximum extent as possible; emphasising on individual interest as much as possible compared to the collective or social interest, and finally negating on the existence of God or spirituality. – ‘Modernity’ is another created craze to be marketed and politicized! And the politico-capitalist forces have successfully done it. In doing so, they brand some religious philosophy as ‘modern’ while the others as ‘outdated’! In Indian context ‘Hindutva’ is being advertised and marketed as ‘modern’ – as this produces high politico-economic profit! But Swamiji’s conviction of modernity was completely different – fully antagonistic to interest of the market forces. That is why Swamiji’s definition of modernity is purposefully being put into the back-banner! By modernity Swamiji meant complete education, i.e., development of body, mind and soul. Thus, the philosophy which promotes, protects and sustains – better education among the masses in the form of development of body, mind and soul is modern. On this line, the concept of modernity as projected by the market forces crumbles down as the house of cards – completely shattering their carefully designed politico-economic sole goal. Thus, Swami Vivekananda’s true teaching is missing in the present politicized Hindutva humbug!

Swamiji on Religious Tolerance:

The present politicized dispensation by the Hindutva bandwagon is solely aimed to create as much hate and intolerance among the different religious communities as possible. Their main objective is to polarize or divide people in the line of hate and carefully nurtured vindictive attitude towards or among each other. Thus, disunity, hence weakness leading to degradation of the Indian nation is ensured. The interesting side of the episode is that all these are being done in the name of Swami Vivekananda and his philosophy! But Swami Vivekananda was a strong proponent of communal harmony and national integration. According to him, “At the same time my son may be a Buddhist, freely and completely, my wife a true Christian and myself a true Muslim – it is quite natural.” [Ref.: Vivekananda Rachana Samagra, p.306, cited inSikshachintan,Dec.2015, V.9, p.26]. He foiled any attempt to misuse his name for the political gain by the sectarian communal forces by unequivocally declaring, “At first it is to be cleared that I do not belong to any group or community. To me every community is great. I love all of them and tried to extract the truth and goodness from among them – throughout my life … Those who have grasped the real meaning of religion do not quarrel with its different manifestations.”[Ref.: Sikshachintan, ibid].

Swamiji on Communal Problems:

India is an unfortunate country where the maximum numbers of communal riot take place! On an average three numbers of such riots are killing, burning, raping, destroying everything of the poor Indians! The most unfortunate is the fact that almost all such riots are man-made, result of instigation and support of ruling dispensation for the sole purpose of getting political profit. Since the majority community, the Hindus, are in power since Independence, thanks to Hindu Spiritual Indian Democracy which has cleverly substituted the Social Democracy as assured by the Constitution – so, it is the Hindu dispensation who are mainly, with exceptions, are responsible for the communal riots in our country. In Swami Vivekananda’s words, “It is the blind Hindu followers who have made us to believe that the Muslims are foreigners. This very wrong perception has created barrier before the innocent Muslims in uniting with the Hindus.”[Ref.: ibid].This is corroborated by the fact that out of every four casualties in communal riot three are Muslims! So, rioting is definitely not the handiwork of Muslims. Swamiji nullified the foreign root of Indian Muslims as he said – the Muslims are generally poor because of the fact that they are the converted lot from the poor Sudra and Namo-sudra communities, the lowest stratum of the Hindu religion.

Swamiji on Communal Harmony:

Swamiji was a strong proponent of composite Indian nationalism. He respected all religious and refused to be identified with any particular religious community. He upheld the country, India instead of any particular religion. Swami made us cautious as, “… not to talk of superiority of one religion over another. Even toleration of other faiths was not right; it smacked of blasphemy. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems Hinduism and Islam – Vedanta brain and Islamic body – is the only hope ….. the future perfect India.”[Ref.: Sachar, R. (2015, 1-15 Oct), Minorities are integral part of India, TheMilli Gazette, 377, 16(19), p.11, New Delhi].

Swamiji on Ram Mandir:

Ram Mandir issue has been intensively politicized by the Hindutva humbug and has taken numerous innocent lives in our country. Swami Vivekananda being a Hindu monk and the architect of modern India his statement is very significant here. According to him, “Let us take the issue of idol-worship. Detailed verses are written there regarding God, wherefrom we know that He has created everything – from the water in the sky to the garden fruits. He is the Almighty, Lord - it is disgusting to confine Him in bricks, wood or stone!” [Ref.: Basu, S.P., (1974), Rohosyamoy Vivekananda, p.147].

Swamiji on Cow:

Time and again cow had has taken at the centre-stage of Indian politics. The violence and cruelty of Hindutvawadi cow political forces has convinced us beyond any doubt that the value of a human life is nothing in comparison to that of a cow. Presently the Hindutvawadi humbug on cow politics is at the unfortunate peak. Thus, it is worthwhile to cultivate Swamiji’s views on it. In order to make the audience aware, Swamiji said, “You will be astonished that according to previous norms all the true Hindus were beef eater. Eating cow-meat was a pre-condition to be a true Hindu. Slaughtering cow was a norm in some festivals.” [Ref.: Vivekananda Rachana Samagra, p.807].There are some Associations in our country meant for the protection of cows only and remain completely indifferent to the sufferings of the God’s most valuable creature, the human beings! Once some people from such a ‘Cow Protection Association’ visited Swamiji and pleaded him to provide them some money in order to materialize their set objectives. Shocked by the sufferings of the people in central India by devastating famine at that time, soft-heated humanitarian Swamiji enquired to them about their initiatives towards those famine affected people. They replied very casually that human beings suffer due to their own deeds – so no question to help them. But cows were their mothers – so, they were duty bound to save these. Hearing such insensitive and non-sense response Swamiji angrily replied that certainly cow is your mother, otherwise how could have such qualified children been born! He further added that he did not have money then and if in future money comes to him, he will first spend that for saving the needy human beings.

These are the relevant teachings and life-philosophy of Swami Vivekananda in the context of present politicised version of Hindutva religion. Here, almost all the teachings of Swamiji are either carefully neglected or distorted by the Hindutva political forces in favour of their political dividend by encashing the pure religious sentiment and unadulterated respect towards Swami Vivekananda of the illiterate and semiliterate majority Indians. But, if we truly love and respect Swamiji, then we must abide by his teachings – then only peace, happiness and prosperity will prevail.

The author is Associate Professor, Acharya Jagadish Ch. Bose College, Kolkata. He may be contacted at ali.mdafsar09(at)gmail.com

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