S.S. Apte, General secretary, V.H.P.
The only way for the Hindu Society to save itself from the foreign onslaught of Christianity, Islam and Communism are to organise itself. Hence the Vishva Hindu Parishad. Let not Hindu Society shun the right action because of the fear of reaction.
The VISHVA HINDU PARISHAD has defined its Aims and Objects to be:
1. To take steps to consolidate and strengthen the Hindu Society;
2. To protect, develop and spread the Hindu values – ethical and spiritual – in the context of modern times; and
3. To establish and strengthen contact and help all Hindus living abroad.
It has also defined the term ‘Hindu’ to denote all people who believe in, respect, or follow, the eternal values of life that have sprung up in Bharat.
Enquiries, mostly sympathetic, and a few ones critical were pouring in asking about the background, the special need, the prompting compulsions which have Inspired the founding of this organisation. They want to know more about the choice of this particular name and the propriety adding one more institution to the great number that already exists in the country. Someone goes to the length of questioning if it is proper to think of the Hindus as a world by themselves.
Begging to be pardoned for not answering all questions in such a small article I shall attempt to explain and present the thinking behind this organisation. The definition of the term Hindu and the aims and objects of the Parishad, are so clearly stated as not to need any commentary.
‘Yes, There Is A Hindu World!
Is it wrong to think of, and talk about the Hindu World and its problems? The Hindus no doubt considered the whole humanity as one family and evolved their philosophy on that premise. Even in the field of social contract and code of private and public conduct there is nothing in the, Laws of the Hindus like religious bias. The Code of Manu, which as the supreme law of personal and social life, has governed and regulated the Hindu world for over last two thousand years, prescribes an ideal behaviour for ‘Man’, and recommends it as worthy to be copied by the whole humanity.
It will not be challenged if I say that it was the Semitic religions, which first divided humanity as the Christian world and the Muhammedan world. These religions, intolerant of the existence of other religions, launched upon Wars of religions with the motive of conquest of all those who did not subscribe to their dogmas, or ‘only holy book’ or ‘only true prophet’. The declared object of Christianity is to turn the whole world into Christendom, as that of Islam is to make it ‘Pak’. Besides these two dogmatic and proselytising religions, there has arisen a third religion, communism. For all of these the major target of conquest is the vast Hindu society living in this land and scattered over the globe in small and big numbers. The world has been divided into Christian, Islamic and Communist, and all these three consider the Hindu Society as a very fine rich food on which to least and fatten themselves. It is therefore necessary in this age of competition and conflict to think of and organise the Hindu world to save itself from the evil eyes of all the three.
The Aggression of Foreign Religions
The Hindus devised the formula of tolerance and coexistence and all that the ‘Panch-sheela’™ implies, for the use of a mono-religious society far back in age when the prophets of such intolerant Semitic faiths like Christianity and Islam were not even born. The prescription of CO-existence was for the smooth adjustments of internal relations between states and kingdoms, which were governed by the same family of faiths and were bound by the same loyalties. This state of affairs lasted in this country even after the proselytising religions had invaded the Hindu people. In the last few centuries these invading faiths have devoured and digested a large chunk of our society, plunged us in the most agonising experience of having to suffer a Partition of the homeland and a standing threat of further vivisection. The third threat of Communism, which, according to its dogma, challenges the very existence of any religion and spiritual or ethical values, swears to liquidate all that. We have already lost about 14 crores to Islam and Christianity out of the 56 crores of the total population of undivided Bharat. ” Change of religion results in a change of nationhood” is a truism, which can be proved not only from our own history but from the annals of the Western nations also. Especially when conversion is to a religion whose epi-centre is beyond the borders of a nation, it is bound to create extra-territorial loyalties and affinities with foreign elements. And so Muslims in Bharat claimed to be a separate nation. They demanded a separate and Independent State. This is also happening at present in the Naga Hills which because a majority of its people have been converted to Christianity. Is there any doubt that the mischief has set afoot by the missionary activities in that area? Why else should the Nagas listen to, and insist on, a foreign missionary like Michael Scott to be the mediator between the Central Government and a bunch of people of this land? What locus Standi has this foreign missionary in purely Indian affairs? The Central Government long since has been bungling under the hypnotic influence of certain suicidal myths taught by wily foreigners. With the cunning and motivated applauding of our creed of co-existence, which neither Christianity nor Islam nor Communism admit as a true doctrine of behaviour the intolerant proselytising ‘Catholic action’ is fast spreading its tentacles under the excuse of taking the “‘laity to Christ”. Why not tell the Christian Church and Missions and the Islamic Mosques and Mullahs that they shall not indulge in the anti-national activities of conversions to their respective religions, sabotaging the unity and integrity of Bharat? The ‘Catholic Action’ is gathering such a terrific momentum that the Hindu society has to be forewarned before it gets foredoomed.
‘Catholic Action’ and ‘Islamic Jihad’
How does the Hindu society react to these threats and challenges? Is it wrong to react? Surrounded by such dangerous elements and forces whose only object is to prey upon the Hindu society-which was so far non-resisting or passive – under the false and suicidal doctrine of tolerance even of the intolerant, how shall it behave hereafter if it desires to succeed in the grim struggle for survival? Survival is indeed the most natural instinct of living species-survival in its own colour and class, form and shape, with its own spirit and content. All that becomes necessary for this most intimate instinct which accompanies sentiency the moment it manifests itself in some form of a species of life is, really speaking, action, and not reaction. It is wrong to imagine or accuse all efforts and struggles for survival as reactions. Is it not strange that ‘Catholic Action’ and ‘Islamic Jihad’ should always try to convert the Hindus to their respective herds, should get protection under the fascinating slogan of ‘freedom for religions propaganda’ and when the Hindus try to organise themselves to protect and preserve the identity and entity of their folds, from the aggressive designs of these proselytising faiths and isms, they should be dubbed as “communal reactionaries”? No, That is not reaction which is right and the most logical action. To fulfil the most primary motive and instinct of sentient life is action.
Even if it is wrongly and mischievously dubbed as reactionary activity, let us not be silenced into inaction by the criticism of the misguided -fools or the mischievous knaves. Know it well, that what does not react is as good as dead. If the Hindu society is alive, and aspires to live as Hindu with all its soul and spirit intact, in the glory of its most esteemed ethical and spiritual values of life, it must now act and resist all the multi-pronged attacks on it. Let the world react as it likes. Let not the Hindu society shun right action simply because of the fear of reactions. Let us not fear to act rightly and wisely. We must not fail in action out of fear.
Two Crore Hindus In Fifty Lands Abroad
The Hindu world is not confined merely to this one country, which indeed is a pre- dominantly Hindu land. Beyond the borders of this our great Republic there are over 20 million Hindus scattered over about forty countries and kingdoms including Nepal and Pakistan. Except in the only sovereign kingdom of Nepal, which is a declared Hindu State, and is proudly maintaining its Hindu heritage, in what precarious condition the Hindus are living is a sad reflection. Leaving aside the political predicament and problem which our Overseas Hindu brethren have to face-and are required to flee from-shall we not even think of their difficulties and needs as Hindus? These millions of our brethren who have migrated and settled in near and far countries, are losing their place, position and political rights on the one hand, in which matter none else except our Government can help them. They are losing also their links and moorings with the religious, cultural and spiritual heritage for which they have extreme love and loyalty and which they heartily want to reinforce. It is the duty of social organisations to supply their needs and satisfy their thirst with the spirit and content of our noble values of life.
Hindus in Hindustan and abroad need an awakening into their essential unity in philosophy, religion and culture. A central organisation to maintain contacts, to supply the pure spirit of the Hindu way of life and make it possible for all Hindus from all countries to draw inspiration from the fountain source of their spiritual heritage, is the most urgent need of our times. There have been a number of organisations, which were started some decades back with the selfsame or, similar objects. They have done indeed the most commendable work in their times. They did spread their network in some far-off countries overseas. But today their revolutionary urge has faded away and they have turned into mere institutions satisfying themselves with some reformatory work. Secondly they have not, or because of the rut and routine in which they have fallen, or may be, because of the fear of losing the patronage, which they have secured, they dare not chalk out a programme which the governments may not approve of but which the hard times demand of them. Almost an epoch has passed since these couple of organisations were founded.
It has therefore become necessary to supply the need of the times through an organisation, which will be capable of doing this. Let us not forget that every generation requires a re-orientation of impulses and inspirations. Old ideas do not thrive long and hay* to be presented in more acceptable terms though the spirit and essence need not be changed. Building up of Hindu solidarity, and encouraging the Hindus in all parts of the world to make their contribution to the environments in which they live, and enrich the culture of the countries of their adoption that is the dominant thought behind this new world organisation and the Centre which is proposed to he founded by it.
For Our Pluralistic Hindu Society
The urgency is great today because of the sorrowful condition to which our nation has fallen in spite of wishful endeavours on the political plane. To usher in a new order satisfying the demands and the exigencies of the modern scientific age, without of course sacrificing our eternal spirit and soul, a great concentrated endeavour on the part of our popular leaders and wise thinker is necessary. It is not that this is the first time ever that such an organisation has been started after a broad discussion between the leaders of all folds and fronts. This used to happen in our country since Vedic times. The grand Buddhist Councils, the Jain Parishads, and the Sanatan Yajna Satras were platforms on which the thought givers assembled and gave light to society. The need is greater today to discover the common principles and practices of our pluralistic Hindu society, and on their basis to reinforce our abiding unity by closing the gaps and chasms, which have been created by centuries of neglect.
The Word ‘HINDU’ Smells In Some Nostrils
The organisation has been named Hindu Parishad. To some people the word ‘ Hindu ‘ smells awful. There is indeed nothing foul or fearful about the word. If there is anything wrong it must be at the other end – the noses and ears. What better word can conveniently and efficiently suggest the whole content which it comprehends – namely the Jains, Buddhists, Lingayats, Sikhs, Shaivas, Vaishnavas, and so on and so forth – all those denominations and faiths which have sprung up in the soil of this sacred land? May be the word was coined by the foreigners and may not be found in our holy books. But is it not a fact that ages have passed since the ancient concepts and the terms, which denoted them – were conceived which have changed their meanings. Take for instance the word ‘Arya’. How noble it is, like the idea it conveys? But it has become taboo to a large section of our own people in the South. The word ‘Sanatan’ what a misunderstanding is found about this word, which, in fact, means ‘eternal’ and not conservative? The Sanatan Samaj should mean a society which is, and which aspires to be, eternal. It is sad that we cannot use a word, which has lost its pristine meaning. The word -Bharat has become more political in its implication in the present times. Hindus outside India-and especially the governments of the countries in which these Hindus are living today- would not look with favour on an organisation which bears Bharat in its name. They begin to see politics in it. Only the word Hindu would disarm all such doubts and fears abroad. Hence the choice.