Tapan Ghosh's Speech at New York on the Occasion of Hindu Sangathan Divas
August 8th, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me first offer my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the organizers of this Hindu convention for offering me the opportunity of visiting this great country and to interact with a people who had always expressed their highest regard for Hindu Dharma.
As it is known and acknowledged, the Hindu civilization of India has made an immense contribution towards the advancement of humanity and human civilization across the world. From ancient times Hindus have made the most significant contributions in the fields of astronomy, astrology, mathematics, chemistry, medicine, art, music and last but most important, in the field of spirituality and divine cognition. The nectar of Hindu spiritual doctrines and practices was practically rediscoverd by the west in the 20th century and many a harried westerner, worn down by the hectic pace of a technology and money driven life has found solace in the transcendental path of yogic practices and the ancient Vedic spirituality.
But it pains me to mention that this effulgent fount of goodness and wisdom is now itself in jeopardy as the position and situation of the Hindus in India itself is becoming tenuous. It is not the Hindus but Hindu Dharma is under siege in India as anything remotely Hindu is labeled as reactionary, regressive and potentially dangerous by the government and the communist dominated media. As history is our witness, plurality of the Indian society is not a sudden development of the 20th century. The Hindus had always been a tolerant people who graciously offered shelter and freedom of conscience to many a persecuted race and faiths throughout history.
It is in the name of this same tolerance that the Hindus are being persecuted in their own land. The ruling classes appease a defiant and aggressive minority just to cling to power and the all powerful mandarins of the Indian media play the role of the three wise monkeys in subservience to a self inflicted slavery to a discredited ideology. In the India of today it is as if the Hindu can do no right. The government turns a deaf ear to his pleas for justice and the media just sweeps under the carpet all the atrocities committed against the Hindu, even rape and murder.
Today the world is waking up to the danger of a phenomenon that the Hindus of India has been suffering through for the past 1200 years. The phenomenon now known as Pan Islamic terrorism. A worldwide community of believers whose cohesiveness of consensus expedited by the blinding speed and extensive reach of modern information technology has, like a thundercloud, burst upon a world avidly tending its own material prosperity and intent upon practicing the more tender aspects of Human existence.
Wherever the Hindu resists, he has to resist alone. Atrocities are being committed against Hindus everywhere in India. Everywhere the Hindu hearth home and honour is under assault. But be it Assam, West Bengal, Kashmir or Kerala, the Hindu fights alone. The plight of the Hindu in Kerala doesn’t move much the Hindu in Assam. The distress of the Kashmiri Hindu doesn’t disturb the complacent slumber of the Tamil Hindu. While even at the slightest of provocation the shrill hue and cry of the Ummah across the globe practically rents the sky. The government scurry for cover and the media literally froths at the mouth.
At this juncture a sense of cohesiveness, a feeling that the community is an extension of one’s own self and an understanding that an attack upon any part of the community is an attack upon the whole Hindu world, has become not a necessity, but an imperative for Hindu society. The Hindu society now needs Hindu Solidarity.. We cannot survive without a cohesive body of opinion, if not of assistance, behind us. Throughout history the Hindu has fought against impossible odds, and that is the reason why we are the world’s oldest and still the third largest religion But if we do not wake up now, that may well become history.
This current tension in Indian society between its own Hindu cultural roots and values and loyalty and blind obeisance towards extra territorial ideals and ideologies, a legacy of colonial rule, has created a centrifugal force of such proportions that it has made us lose the moorings in three major guiding streams of modern society – polity, media and academia. India is trying to forge ahead without knowing where it is going and what it will become in the process of such endeavour. Today we have a government that does not want to admit that it governs a predominantly Hindu country, a media that wants the country to shed every vestige of its Hindu culture and literally to be ashamed of it and an academia that is bent on instructing rather than educating. Teaching of our cultural ethos and glorious Darshanas have largely been eschewed by the academia.
The mainstream academia is slowly pushing our ancient Sanskrit language over the edge and the teaching of Ramayan and Mahabharat, the two epics which are taken to be the fountainhead of our culture and traditions, have been stopped in schools long back. It must be remembered that when in the 19th century, thousands of Hindu indentured labourers came to the West Indies – in sailing ships- to work in the sugarcane plantations, it was only the Ramayan, especially the Ramcharitmanas of Goswami Tulsidas, which preserved the precious link between them and their distant Punyabhoomi. It was the study of Ramcharitmanas that moored these uprooted people to their Hindu faith. Today the sons and daughters of these indentured labourers rule nations, in theWest Indies. And it is by trying to sever this mooring to one’s own culture and faith that present India finds herself adrift in a sea of chaos.
It is not only that we are besieged from without but from within too. As we all know the general hindu has no dearth of faith. In his or her mind there is always a great devotion for the dharma. Unfortunately it is the popular interpretation of the dharma which has abandoned the devotee. The current practice of dharma has completely ignored the solidarity aspect of the faith and has emphasized solely on the individual. Likewise it has abandoned the social and concentrated on the ritual.
The present Hindu is immersed in bhajan kirtan and performing a hundred and one rituals but he is blissfully oblivious to the happenings of the Hindu society or to the plight of other sections of the Hindu society other than himself. One goes to the temple in an individual capacity, performs ones private puja, thinks about ones personal success or salvation and leaves. One rarely goes there to experience the elation of being a part of a community.
The priests and the myriad gurus of the Hindu faith have also surrendered their traditional roles for providing both spiritual and temporal guidance to the community. Millions visit the Hindu temples and millions more visit the ashrams of various Gurus. Great devotional congregations or satsangs are held nearly every day. But the priests only busy themselves in reciting the mantras and carrying out the rituals in the minutest detail and the Gurus are only interested in discussing spirituality.
The current state of events, the current tribulations and aggressions confronting the Hindu society or even a specific problem regarding a specific time or place is never discussed. What this aristocracy of faith forgets is that the temple or the ashram is the only place where people gather as Hindus – sublimating their all other identities as father, mother, husband, wife, professional, taxpayer, landholder, landless - everything. And the foremost requirement of spirituality is that the spirit needs a body to reside in. Otherwise it becomes it extremely difficult for the etheric constituent of the spirit to be anchored to this corporeal world. If the body disintegrates, the spirit along with spirituality evaporates. It was Shri Ramchandra who gave the first lesson of patriotism to the Hindu nation as he uttered the shloka “janani janmabhumishcha swargadapi gariyasi” – one’s mother and one’s motherland are more glorious than heaven itself.
It was the five Pandava brothers and Shri Krishna who staked their lives and honour in the battlefield of Kurukshetra and oversaw the destruction of their entire clans for upholding Dharma. When the gurus discuss Bhagwad Geeta, they concentrate upon the mores of salvation. The never discuss the scene where Arjun, utterly dejected at the thought of destroying his own kin who are arrayed against him, faces Krishna and the Lord says “hatova prapsasi swargam jeetwava bhokshashey mahim, tasmaduttishtha kaunteya yuddhaya kritanishchaya” – if you die in battle you shall achieve heaven, if you win you shall enjoy the earth, therefore O son of Kunti, stand up and fight resolutely.
Our current day Gurus rattle incessantly to love and devote oneself to the faith. But never once do they mention that if you love your dharma you must do whatever is necessary to protect that object of veneration. And that is exactly what our Rishis and Mahapurushes taught us.
Mark my words, if Hindu Dharma sees its demise from the Punya bhoomi of Bharat, the day wont be far when its vestiges from the rest of the world would be sniffed out for eternity.
A society or a community that cannot defend itself against any form of aggression does not survive. It is a law of nature. As aggression is natural in any natural organism so is the instinct to preserve oneself from extinction. Every community needs a sword arm, to protect itself against aggression overt or covert. This is what makes the role of a kshatriya or warrior important in a community and in periods of turmoil and conflict, paramount. Hindu society is under attack from every direction and in every manner. The need of the hour is to reignite our kshatriya spirit and stand resolutely. An eminent scholar Dr. David Frawley points out correctly that Hindu society needs intellectual kshatriyas to do battle with the nefarious and malignant assault of the communist dominated media and academia against the Hindu faith. With that we also affirm the need of a vocational kshatriya, who would not simply seethe with indignation or write books or pamphlets but resolutely take the necessary steps to resist aggression on the ground. And in todays world it is the so called lower classes who are fulfilling the role of this vocational kshatriya. This huge but silent section of the society has been utterly neglected by the upper echelons of Hindu society for ages. Nevertheless it is their faith and fortitude and readiness to action that has borne the brunt of aggression and kept Hindu society intact.
Through the nightmare periods of Islamic invasions the whole of Hindu society suffered regardless of rank or status. But the so called upper classes had at least their social prestiege to solace themselves the lower classes had none. Yet they suffered silently when inevitable and fought valiantly whenever opportunity presented itself. Even under the most soul crushing oppression never did they give up their faith.
This trend continues even today throughout India. In the rural and semi urban regions of West Bengal and Assam, where I have a first hand experience of the situation, when things becomes unbearable the upper classes sell or abandon their properties and leave. It is the so called lower classes who bites the bullet and stand firm in resistance. It is their strength, courage and fortitude that has kept the Hindu existence from being wiped out from these regions in the face of Jihadi aggression fuelled by petro dollars, Islamic mafia money and the willing or purchased connivance of the communist intelligentsia.
Ladies and gentlemen, the imperative need of the hour, the vocational kshatriya, shall come from these so called urban and rural lower classes, as they always have. They are the new sword arm of Hindu Dharma, Shri Ram’s bow and Shri Krishna’s Chakra .. It is the strength of their arms and the stoutness of their hearts that we depend upon for the protection of Dharma. In the midst of all our material success and social advancement let us not deny anyone of us the honour, respect and assistance we deserve. Let us Unite. From now and for Millenias to come.
We owe it to our past and to our future.
Hindu Samhati has embarked on this path and we hope that you stand with us in every step of the way.