Are Hindus dangerous – Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth“‘There is talk about this God and that God. Our country is not like that. Here we maintain Ishwar is one. The paths to attain him are different,’  Modi said in an interview on April 12th, 2014 (Aap Ki Adalat), when a woman asked him whether Christians and their churches will be safe under him. He assured his audience that the motto of his party, in tune with the Constitution of India, is to treat all different paths equally. Communal frenzy will not be allowed to retard the growth of India, he added.” – Maria Wirth

Modi quote on a billboard in MumbaiWhenever news about India make it to the local Nuremberg newspaper, my mother reads them out to me on phone. Usually, those news portray India in a poor light, like ‘people died from cold on the streets of Delhi’ or, especially in the past year ever so often, ‘another gang rape’, conveniently ignoring the gang rapes on home turf. During recent months, however, one term clearly dominates the western media, and going by the language used, it seems to be the most dangerous and heinous trait that any Indian could have, and that needs to be condemned by one and all. The term is “Hindu fundamentalist”. And the prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is considered the frontrunner in the elections, is said to be one.

“A racist is India’s hope – Hindu fundamentalist Modi could win the election” my mother read out to me on 4th of April. Another article in the same paper, sourced from the German Press Agency (DPA) read “A man splits India”. In it, too “Hindu fundamentalism” was stressed and the RSS even being compared to Nazi ideology. English newspapers, too, paint ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ Narendra Modi as highly dangerous for India and the world. And leading from the front, the Indian mainstream media freely label any Hindu organizations as ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘communal’ since years and leave no doubt that the secular fabric of Indian democracy will be endangered if this ‘Hindu fundamentalist’ comes to power.

The relentless media campaign shows already results worldwide. On my last visit to Germany, a woman sitting next to me in a bus asked, “What about the Hindu fundamentalists?” when she came to know that I live in India. I told her that the fear of Hindu fundamentalists is unfounded. In fact, I am in India precisely because I treasure the fundamentals of Hinduism.

I am sure that most left liberal ‘intellectuals’ in India and abroad will come down heavily on me if they hear me say that. There is so much shouting in TV debates and living rooms that one cannot get down to the basics and ask simple questions. To be fair to Hindus, The Economist April 2014such questions need to be answered by those who malign Hindus in general and Narendra Modi in particular.

One question for example is: what makes Narendra Modi a Hindu fundamentalist? Is it the fact that he acknowledges that he is a Hindu? Or is it the allegation that he did not do anything to stop the rioting in his state in 2002? This allegation has been proven wrong in spite of intense scrutiny and the explicit desire to find him guilty. Yet let’s for a moment suppose the allegation were true and he really would have encouraged killing of Muslims as revenge for the killing of Hindus in the train burning. In that case, he would indeed deserve severest punishment, but it would not make him a Hindu fundamentalist.

Let me explain: the basic philosophy of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, as it was originally called is in a nutshell: this visible universe, including our persons, is divine. Everything is permeated by the same divine essence which is called by many names. Hindus do not, unlike Christians and Muslims, divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindus are those rare human beings whose dharma requires them to regard all as brothers and sisters. Their dharma requires them further to respect nature and not to harm unnecessarily any living being. Hindu children are not taught to look down on those who are not Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God does not love those others unless they officially join their ‘true’ religions. Hindus are also comparatively kinder to animals. The great bulk of vegetarians worldwide are Hindus. Strangely, this fact is hardly ever acknowledged; nor is acknowledged that Hindus never fought crusades or jihads to establish their religion in foreign lands. On the contrary, since over thousand years Hindus were at the receiving end of such jihads and conversion campaigns and millions of Hindus were killed in cold blood because they were Hindus.

Now coming back to the media assault on Modi as a Hindu fundamentalist: Is he called a Hindu fundamentalist because he openly says that he is a Hindu? Well, this would not be wrong, as he indeed seems to follow the fundamentals of Hinduism. He seems to be a genuinely good human being who wants to give his best to develop India and has the welfare of all Indians in mind.

Missionaries at work in rural IndiaHowever, though it is factually not wrong, it is at the same time very unfair by the media to call Modi a Hindu fundamentalist, because the term ‘fundamentalist’ generally has a negative connotation when it comes to other religions, and especially westerners are not knowledgeable enough to distinguish Jihadi: Koran in one hand, AK-47 in the other!between a Christian or Muslim fundamentalist on one side and a Hindu fundamentalist on the other. If a Christian or Muslim follows the fundamentals of his religions too strictly, it is generally considered as bad for society as a whole. The reason is that such a person will stress his superiority, as his holy book claims that only his religion is true and therefore naturally superior to all other religions. Such a person would see nothing wrong and even might feel it is his duty to convert people of other religions by hook or crook, or, if they don’t comply, despise or even kill them. One only needs to look at history to see what havoc Christian and Muslim fundamentalists have wrought all over the world. So it is no surprise that no European or American politician is labeled as “Christian fundamentalist”, when he simply confesses to be a Christian. Muslim politicians, too, are not called “Muslim fundamentalists”, even if they head an Islamic state.

What most people however don’t know: there is no claim of superiority in Hinduism. The reason is that it is not an unverifiable belief system that has to be indoctrinated as the one and only truth, but it is open to enquiry. Blind belief is not required. The fundamentals of Hinduism are sound and conducive for a good character. It is actually good to follow the fundamentals of Hinduism and see the one divine essence everywhere in this visible universe.

“There is talk about this God and that God. Our country is not like that. Here we maintain Ishwar (God) is one. The paths to attain him are different”, Modi said in an interview on April 12th, 2014 (Aap Ki Adalat), when a woman asked him whether Christians and their churches will be safe under him. He assured his audience that the motto of his party, in tune with the Constitution of India, is to treat all different paths equally. Communal frenzy will not be allowed to retard the growth of India, he added.

Modi’s words deserve to be taken seriously. He has governed Gujarat with a population of around 60 million for the last 12 years and no major communal clash took place there after the riots of 2002, whereas many riots happened elsewhere. Yet in those 12 years, Narendra Modi QuoteNarendra Modi managed to greatly develop Gujarat and make it the envy of other Indian states. He proved that he is not corrupt and highly capable.

So why is Narendra Modi relentlessly labeled as Hindu fundamentalist by the world media, which knows fully well that this label will make him look ‘bad’ in the eyes of the world? Could it be that the west is actually afraid of an economically strong India and uses the bogey of Hindu fundamentalism to beat Modi and India down?

Maybe it is time for Hindus to tell the world to have a close look at the fundamentals of Hinduism. They might actually want to adopt them. – Maria Wirth Blog, 18 April 2014

» Maria Wirth is German and came to India for a holiday after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. With the blessing of a number of saints, she continues to live in India,  sharing her insights with German readers through articles and books. However, when in recent years, she noticed that there seemed to be a concerted effort to prevent Indians—and the world—from knowing how valuable this ancient Indian heritage is, she started to point out the unique value of Indian traditions.

Narendra Modi in Aap Ki Adalat,  April 12, 2014

9 Responses

  1. Your figures are wrong and you do not mention the Hindu dead.

    Nor do you mention the Godhra train burning which was the initial act of terror carried out by Muslims on Hindu pilgrims.

    As per figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal, who belongs to the Congress Party, in Parliament on 11 May 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots, 2548 people were injured and 223 people were missing. This was in a written reply to a question asked by a Congress member on the religion-wise casualties in Gujarat after Godhra. The report placed the number of riot-affected widows at 919 and the number of children orphaned at 606. The UPA government gives these figures, and hence they may be inflated.

    Modi was investigated a number of times including by a SIT set up by the Supreme Court. He has been exonerated of any wrong doing. The SC’s findings should be accepted by all persons who believe in the rule of law.

    A study of communal riots over the last 60 years shows that Hindus have never initiated rioting. In many cases they has remained peaceful under severe provocation. But on occasion the provocation has been so great that Hindus have retaliated against their tormentors. The Godhra train burning was a provocation that could not be ignored.

    In the same year the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar was attacked but Hindus did nothing.

    RSS shakas are often attacked in Punjab and sometimes in Tamil Nadu. They do not respond. Yet they are always represented in the media as murderous fascists.

    Foreigners in India will be naturally sympathetic to those who identify themselves as secular liberals because this is who they would listen to at home in Europe and America. But those who identify themselves as secular and politically liberal in India are in fact Hindu civilization’s most deadly enemies. Foreigners in India should be very careful who they listen to and should always try to verify the stories they hear.

    Read the true story of the Godhra train burning and subsequent rioting here.

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  2. I’ll start by congratulating you on your excellent articles. I also live in India and I appreciate your European “insiders” viewpoint on these subjects – especially the story of rape! This being said, I would like you to give me your view on the subject of the Hindu riots of Feb 2002, when 100,000 Hindus stormed the Muslim settlement killing, raping and burning down the homes of between 1000 and 2000 (the figures vary) Muslim men, women and children. My understanding is that this happened under Mr. Modi’s governance.

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  3. “the basic philosophy of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, as it was originally called is in a nutshell: ………………………………………………. and millions of Hindus were killed in cold blood because they were Hindus.” Excellent
    i. Christianity originated from Jerusalem, in Israel; what made the English Kings, the French, the Italians, many from the USA and the Germans to campaign for Christianity and keep the Bible in even the Starred Hotels? Are those people really Secular and Scientific? Are they not fundamentalists?
    ii. Likewise, Islam originated in SaudiArabia? What made the Iranians, the Afgans, the Mongols, the invaders from Samarkhand, the Turks, the Libyans, Nigerians, BanglaDeshis and many more from different parts of the world to assume that they should fight for the protection and propogation of Islam?
    iii. Similarly, Budhdhism originated in India. What made the SriLankans to own up Budhdhism as the State Religion and push the Tamils to a sort of second grade citizenship?
    iv. X belongs to a certain subsect in SriVaishnavism; friends from the other subsect in SriVaishnavism- supposed to be the cream- often comment that X is a fundamentalist! But in reality X notices that they become ‘good’ friends with people from their own subsect, even if they are absolutely strangers!! Not only that, they are very particular to put on or print any greeting etc. with symbols attributing to that subsect! they even go to the extent of replacing the original remnants of the subsect of X!!
    v. Until about 30 years ago, some defunct Jain Temples, were mere tourist spots; but ever since tourism picked up, these Temples have once again become active Jain Temples and tourists are discouraged!
    The above lead us to conclude that people have been using the term ‘Religion’ mostly for justifying their individual goals , for getting the obvious material comforts and recognition as a leader & and as a ‘noble person’. Compared to all other religions, in Hinduism, in its practice, this usage is minimal; thanks to the indiscriminate reference to ‘ सर्व धर्मान् परित्यज्य मां एकं चरणं व्रज, अहं त्वा सर्व पापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा सुचह and the reference to the unquestioned surrender to the Lord without any effort by the self to protect one self , ‘EVERY BODY’ has resorted the above and for justifying inaction!! This resulted in a vacuum, there being no leader to protect or take care of those, who were capable of giving the correct advices and in correct quantities; all the others in the name of one or the other religion have suppressed the Hindu religion, by offering the obvious material comforts and recognition as a leader & and as a ‘noble person’; in the story of VisvaaMithra, it is said that as Sage Vasishta sat with His Trident placed in front and went about doing His Meditation, none of the mighty Astras of Kaushika aimed at Vasishta could go beyond that Trident and hurt Him; Hinduism lost both-persons like Vasishta and the Kings, who could take care of such Sages- with the result that all invaders had run over Hinduism and in particular on India. The modern times are still worse for that Hinduism; in the name of democracy, secularism, communism and capitalism, some from within Hinduism, calling as aethists, are feeding the other religious converters with all wrong interpretations and practices of a few Hindu people, not for any humane approach, but for their own good only!! As usual, there are too many takers in the world for such cheap materials.
    Most of the media persons are youngsters, who can not fathom the richness of Hinduism developed over millenia for the benefit of posterity and are easily carried away by the obvious………person’ and the presentations made by the Biased Western Press, WHO HAVE NEVER LIVED AND TASTED HINDUISM and whom our media persons take as absolute AUTHENTIC MATERIAL!!
    The RSS and Mr. Modi are trying to protect the weak Hindus from those fifth columnists within and those hawks from outside.

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  4. In truer sense the words Hindu and fundamentalist are contradictory. In relative terms if the fundamentalism means “the term usually has a religious connotation indicating unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs” as wikipedia defines it, Modi and fundamentalism are clearly contradictory because Modi has publicly stated that he
    prefers building toilets to temples in India at this point. No fundamentalist of any religion would give such a priority. This proves how illiterates are wrong about Modi. If a further analysis of word fundamentalism is done wikipedia describes it as “this tendency is most often characterized by a markedly strict literalism as applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining in-group and out-group distinctions, which can lead to an obsession with purity and the desire to return to some previous ideal from which it is perceived that members have begun to stray. An intolerance of diversity of opinion as applied to these established “fundamentals” and their accepted interpretation within the group is often the result of this tendency” Now, as Ms Maria Worth has correctly understood Hinduism has no specific scriptures, dogmas or ideology which can bind spiritual Hinduism to any of these among beliefs in 33 crores divinities and paths to God. If there is any specificity to any fundamentals of Hinduism, it is all paths lead to same truth according to your pace and stage of development leaving your choice to your circumstances and your duties without domination.

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  5. Excellent explanation about Hindu Fundamentalism by a German lady. Hope Sonia and Rahul read this before making idiotic statements about RSS and BJP.

    Thanks Bharata Bharati for this post. I generally check your blog once a day.

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  6. It is not easy to understand Hinduism, let alone Hindu fundamentalism. The anti-Hindu stance arrived in India through nurturing narrow political vested interests, but also, to borrow words from Sri Aurobindo, “a sublime and confident ignorance”! Regards to Ms. Maria Wirth.

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  7. Excellent.

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  8. It is one thing to be a Hindu fundamentalist while it is quite another to be an Islamic fundamentalist or Christian fundamentalist. In the first case, the person who is a Hindu fundamentalist adheres or makes efforts to adhere to the lofty and virtuous teachings of Hinduism , the teachings that make a man of an animal and that make a Mahatma of a Man. On the contrary, the doctrines of Islam and Christianity make a brute or fiend of a man. So it is always desirable that ever body takes to Hinduism because that is the only way how mankind can saved and preserved.

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  9. Reblogged this on Voices and Visions and commented:
    A good explanation…

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