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Resurrecting Hinduism- Without Embarrassment

I have been pondering about the sense of despondency, the sense of shame which has been imposed on the Hindu thoughts in Indian society. Every act of faith has to be explained, justified. When partition happened, Muslims fought and obtained an independent Nation, while the other large chunk of population, which, in spite of numerical supremacy, was subjugated for centuries, got India. In line with inherent openness and flexibility of Hinduism, India became a secular nation. This is a matter of pride, since it acknowledged the basic secular nature of Sanatan Dharm. However, as things would evolve, vested political interests considered India as unfinished agenda standing in the path of a religious empire being built world-wide. Through a well-calculated intellectual conspiracy of neglect and vilification, it came to a stage that modern Hindus where embarrassed of their religion and apologetic of their faith. This neglect also resulted in the religion being left to the guardianship of unworthy people, who gained power through rogue ritualistic society, which was totally inconsistent with Hinduism. We are not the people of the book, we are the people of intellect, who are to write new books for newer times. This fluidity, this ability to re-invent ourselves is a matter of our pride. Ours is a nation built on rational thought and intense intellect.We cannot allow ourselves to be either fanatic or apologetic. Let us be a proud scholar. That is what Hindutva is. When every matter of our faith is being questioned, every ritual being trampled for political reasons, we need to rise above mockery and regain the moral position which once belonged to us. As a religion to restrict itself to answering inner, existential question in stead of being a tool of polity, when we prayed environment, the water, the trees, the animals. We are the nation of Adi Yogi, the Pashupati, the ArdhNarishwar. Animal Rights, secularism and feminism is essence of Hinduism and are not foreign concepts. Let us once again be proud of it. Here is my poem. Hope you will like it. Faith is always internal, fanaticism is always external. Faith wins by being steadfast and unapologetic; fanaticism wins by defeating competing faiths. 

मैं हिन्द का हिन्दू बच्चा हूँ

मैं हिन्द का हिन्दू बच्चा हूँ 
मैं शांत हूँ किन्तु सच्चा हूँ 
ये देश मेरा, सब लोग मेरे 
पर संकोची सा रहता हूँ 
छुप छुप के मंदिर जाता हूँ 
'हे राम' भी मन में कहता हूँ। 

इस देश के बौद्धिक लोगों ने 
वो शर्म सिखाई हैं मुझको 
सदियों का गौरव मिटा दिया 
वो हार पढ़ायी है मुझको। 

जो घंटों की झंकार तले 
 हर शाम को दीप जलाता है,
जो लाल सिंदूरी पत्थर पर 
श्रध्दा से शीश नवाता है। 

मैं ज्ञान का प्यासा भिक्षुक हूँ 
मैं घाट भोर की कासी का ,
मैं बस्तर का गणपति-भक्त, मित्र 
मैं अक्षुण दर्प बनवासी का। 

मैं केरल से आया शंकर हूँ 
मैं अटल, अटूट, निरंतर हूँ। 
मैं महाकाल की मस्ती हूँ 
जो उजड़ बसी वह बस्ती हूँ। 

संस्कृत का स्मरण नहीं मुझको 
अंग्रेज़ी ने मुझे अपनाया नहीं। 
तुम शब्द-वीर, मैं सरल सत्य 
मैं सत्ता केंद्र में आया नहीं। 

संपादक का स्नेह नहीं मुझको 
साहित्य में मेरा स्थान नहीं। 
वह धर्म जो सदियों रहा अमर 
उस धर्म का मुझे ही ज्ञान नहीं। 

एक मूक बधिर कोलाहल हूँ 
एक लज्जित सा इतिहास हूँ मैं। 
केशव का गीता सार हूँ मैं 
या अनवरत राम - वनवास हूँ मैं। 

सिंह- मित्र बाल भरत  हूँ मैं 
या भूला हुआ दुष्यंत हूँ मैं। 
भारतवर्ष का नव-आरम्भ हूँ मैं 
या आर्यव्रत का अंत हूँ मैं। 

यह मौन कभी जो मुखर हुआ 
यह मलिन कभी जो प्रखर हुआ 
यह तुमसे मुझसे पूछेगा 
क्यों खुद पे तुम शर्मिंदा हो 
एक बार तो कह दो ज़िंदा हो। 

(c) Saket Suryesh


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