Capt (retd.) J.K. Sharma,
Recently we have come across political think tanks in Britain, airing the view that, “One million votes from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities helped put David Cameron back into Downing Street, according to a new survey research into attitudes among minority voters”.
It is understood that to solicit the support, Cameron visited Indian Temples and promise of giving first PM of Asian Origin and that in case he returns as PM , he would pay a visit to the Akshardham temple in Delhi. He is reported to have said, “When I look at the Ramayana and my understanding of the Hindu religion, there’s so much that you have to say about the importance of family, the importance of community, the importance of voluntary service-these are all the values that our country needs more of. So as you celebrate your values, let’s make them our values, and let us have more of then in Britain.”
If true, “Does it not mean that the voice of so called Minorities as defined in Britain as ‘BAME’ have assumed centre stage in Political Scene of British Democracy?” That only time will tell.
How is it that the Hindus are praised in Britain and getting exterminated in their own country of origin. We will have to see what transpired after 1947 in India.
The partition of Indian Sub-Continent was based on ‘Two-Nation Theory of Jinnah and reluctantly accepted by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Gandhi came to be known as a Mahatama and the father of Indian nation. He had also proclaimed that “A civilisation can be judged by the way it treats its minorities.”
India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru is reported to have said, “….By education, I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim, and I am a Hindu only by accident of Birth.” He certainly belittled the Hindu Community by making this statement. Though politically unsavoury, he still made this statement, in complete knowledge that Hindus were not a cohesive entity; they were a divided lot, having ’33’ million Gods and Goddesses and “tolerant” to the extent that they will be ready to put living guru’s also at a pedestal higher than their Gods.
Notwithstanding, the above statement, the Indian nation, which was predominantly a Hindu Majority state, made a demi-God of Nehru and the nation started an appeasement policy. In India, the Congress party toed the line of Nehru and Gandhi and it declared itself ‘Secular” by amending the preamble of Constitution of India.
On the other hand in Pakistan, ethnic cleaning/forced conversion of minorities took place, and it has declared itself to be an Islamic State. 67 years ago at the time of birth in 1947 in Pakistan, Hindus formed 34% of population and today they are less than 1%. Similarly erstwhile East Pakistan now Bangladesh, had 15% Hindus in 1947, which was reduced to 1.6% in 1998.
So much so for the ‘tolerance’ and ‘secularism’ and the price paid by the Hindus, on the land mass of their ancestors. On the other hand Muslim population today stands at 14.88% which in absolute terms is nearly equal to population of Pakistan. The growth of population in India shows, that the Muslims in India have thrived unlike the Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The extra-ordinary exhibition of ‘Tolerance’ among the followers of ‘Sanatana Dharma’, which is world over accepted not to be a religion but -‘A way of Life’, whom rest of the world relates as ‘Hindus’, is at the root of extermination of millions of them in the Indian Subcontinent.
The main line media, the communists and intellectuals are ever so eager to brow-beat the word “Hindu”. Any incidence involving Muslims is a news, worth debating on prime time. A recent news of a Muslim being denied a job because of religion has been hogging the lime light recently. It is a different matter, if any industry headed by a Muslim industrialist, does not employ any Hindus. That is not even an issue. There is enough evidence on this count, if only any one seeks to take note off.
In Indian political context, Bhartiya Janta Party has been blaming the Congress Party for following pseudo secular policies of ‘Appeasement of Minorities’, who were seen as ‘En-Block Vote Bank’. On the other hand, the Congress and other parties also do not let go of any opportunity to brow beat BJP as a party of ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Bhagva Brigade Party’ , which is not in the best interest of secular India.
Although the Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jains are defined as the minority communities under the Charter of Ministry of Minority Affairs, which was carved out of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment by the UPA Government on 29th January, 2006 to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to them, the Government of the day had not defined the criteria for designating these communities as ‘Minorities’.
It is of importance to note, the Sikhs, Parsis, Jainis, Buddhists have never agitated to be categorised as ‘Minority’. One look at their contribution to Indian society will reveal as to why these religious denominations were not interested in getting for themselves a label of ‘Minority’. Apparently, the Govt of the day, did not want to look partisan in their approach towards Christians’ and Muslims’, so it clubbed these communities also under the category of ‘Minority’.
It is widely believed that the word “Minority” has its origin in the Medieval Latin. The Government has used the term ‘Minority’ to designate Muslims, Christians, Budhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jainis a differentiated group based on their religious beliefs from the majority denomination ‘Hindus’ , which is in any case not a religion but a multiple fragmented splinter group practicing a ‘way of life’ .
However, it is of academic importance to revisit, what father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had to say, “It cannot be said that Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are separate religions. All these four faiths and their offshoots are one. Hinduism is an ocean into which all the rivers run. It can absorb Islam and Christianity and all other religions and only then can it become the ocean.” Even, Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, declares Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains to be Hindus.
The word “minority” is defined, the world over as:
a) A group of people who are different from the larger group in a country, area, etc., in some way , such as racial, religious, region, political, nationality, colour, sex, economic, financial, social, immigrants, refugees.
b) A group having little power or representation relative to other groups within a society.
c) A smaller party or group which is susceptible to oppression at the hands of a majority.
The Congress party has been at the helm of political affairs, ruling the country for most of 62 years. In 2014, for the first time the Congress Party, which has been projecting itself to be Champion for the interest of Muslims and Christians, lost political ground much against the wishes of western powers to Modi Wave of “Development for all- Ache Din”
Mr Narindra Modi, will do nation a yeoman service, if he can truly bring about that change, ‘Development & Quality Life for all”. Nothing is a bigger curse than poverty, be it any religion. And poor among any religion are subjected to exploitation
The humanity can be humane, only and if only people are educated and enjoy equal rights for all without any kind of prejudices for and against based on religious beliefs, caste, sect, region and where no one needs any kind of reservation.
On the basis of numbers, there cannot be any sect more miniscule than the Parsis who deserve to be called a ‘Minority’. They are less than 1% of Indian population. Through their sheer hard work, without seeking any kind of reservations, the community controls and contributes towards a major chunk of India’s GDP generation.
Moot question which seeks answer is, “If Hindus are a majority, then why Bhartiya Janata Party was not able to come to power earlier?”
In reality, Hindus do not have any bargaining power and the division among them in various sects, castes, creeds and regions has always been exploited. The Hindu has still not voted en-mass for the BJP in last election in 2014. It was the Indian Muslim who realised that they have been exploited by the Congress and thus they jettisoned the approach of casting votes en-mass to the Congress and a sizable majority of them did vote for Mr Modi’s call for “Development for all”.
All said and done, the minority of Hindus in UK have more bargaining power than the majority of Hindus in India. The concept of ‘Majority/Minority” must be seen and defined from the angle of bargaining power and not the sheer numbers.