Weekly Update: Bhagwat’s Satya; British in Depression

The enigmatic leader of RSS has again reminded Indians that they are all Hindus. There are some twists to the word that the great leader may just be unaware of or may have a theory and needs to tell the world since it aims to be Vishwaguru.

Bhagwat is proud of Sanskrit and an ardent disciple of the Vedas according to some. Satyam is a key word in the Vedas, meaning truth. The Yajur Veda has a line that reveals divine wisdom, ‘Truth cannot be suppressed and always is the ultimate victor’. Bhagwat ji, no doubt, will want to ensure the truth prevails and may wish to explain the etymology of the word Hindu to those who have some doubts about his assertion.

According to many scholars, the word Hindu does not exist in any Vedas or even Upanishads. The smritis don’t have it. Although some say that a similar sounding word exists in one or two ancient texts, such as Indu or Sindhu.

However, the rest of the Sanskrit is still spoken and written in its original form, so why are the original words for Hindu undergone metamorphosis? Why is Sindhu now pronounced as Hindu and why are other words starting with S not H’ed, i.e Sanskrit to be Hanhkrit.

One theory that is usually propagated is that the word Hindu was first used and then promoted by Muslims from Middle East. They are unable to say the word ‘indu’ which apparently may have been introduced by other foreigners such as the Persian Zoarastrians or some say by Alexander the Great. Middle Eastern languages tend to use a slightly guttural accent, so started saying ‘Haendu’ instead of the Persian ‘indu’. Apparently the Mughals made it a word for anyone who wasn’t a Muslim, so they could tax them with Jaziya. It became a tax category.

Then it is said that the British institutionalised the word for people who did not follow Buddhism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Hindu became an official word for followers of what the British conveniently put together as Hinduism. Neither Hindu nor Hinduism existed before Muslim and British rule.

But this could also be a colonial myth as many others are claimed to be such as that Einstein wrote theory of relativity, NASA scientists discovered and invented the satellites to go to the moon from their own minds. Any desh-bhakt ‘Hindu’ who follows the Satya of RSS, knows that western scientists got their knowledge from ancient Hindu texts, stolen during colonialism.

Which brings us back to everyone in India being a Hindu. It seems the accepted academic genealogy of Hindu is that Middle Eastern Muslim traders introduced word Hindu, Mughals used it for tax purposes, British institutionalised it for followers of what they called ‘Hinduism’ and RSS now nationalised it into the Westphalian concept of the ethnic nation. It all sounds a bit foreign.

A better option might be to use the word Bharat. Now that word has history in ancient texts. And there can be no complexity with the word Bharatiya Muslim, Bharatiya Hindu, Bharatiya Buddhist etc.

Taliban Victory, British In Depression

On 11th September 2021, the Americans have held their sort of epitaph to the never ending war in Afghanistan with a grand memorial ceremony for 9/11. Most previous presidents, excluding Trump, spoke in terms of gains and moving on. USA has other threats to worry about.

9/11 wasn’t a British incident. So there wasn’t an equivalent ceremony. However, a lot of British seem to have internalised 9/11 more deeply than Americans and feel angry and depressed at Biden’s decision to cut and run. There are many experts, Generals and academics, even heads of intelligence services who keep on popping on BBC and other media warning of dark days to come, a revivalist Al Qaeda and threats to British values, whatever they are. They predict that London streets won’t be safe. That more people die from knife crimes in London streets than ever died from terrorist attacks since Guy Fawkes is, well only inconvenient statistics.

Leading this gloom mob is the co-father of the post 9/11 wars, Tony Blair. Like a person missing his high, his eyes pop, forehead furrows deepen and the fury expresses in his rants on ‘end of civilisation’ in his interviews. He is perhaps a modern British version of the French Crusader Raynald of Chatillon, no longer in the driving seat but continuing to extol war and prophesying the end of western civilisation if Americans don’t continue to occupy foreign lands. He is a crusader who also made a lot of money while calling leaders like Biden ‘imbecilic’.

The gloom in British circles around Afghanistan is driven by a different urge than USA. America has a large defence industrial complex that thrives financially on wars. It needs to develop bigger weapons to make bigger profits. Afghanistan was becoming a bit tight on shareholders. It was a commercial decision.

The British war industry on the other hand is addicted to wars. It just likes wars for the sake of wars. For 500 years it has been at war with someone or other. So Biden’s words, ‘end the never ending war’ just doesn’t make sense to the British war machine which hasn’t developed fatigue even after 500 years of never ending war. It needs another one soon to keep the streets of London safe.

From whom? Well some one will turn up as the next target. There are quite a number of people whose jobs and passions depend on it. To give them some interim hope, the British defence minister has said, ‘we reserve the right to send in drones in to Afghanistan’. The never ending war goes on.

Pranab preaches pluralism in heart of RSS

Secularism and inclusion are a matter of faith for us. It is our composite culture which makes us into one nation. As his visit to the RSS headquarters in Nagpur to address the new recruits of the organisation sparked criticism from some Congress leaders, including his daughter, Mukherjee, 82, cautioned that any attempt to define India through “religion, dogma or intolerance” will only dilute the country’s existence. Declaring that India’s soul resides in pluralism and tolerance, Mukherjee said he is convinced that nationalism can only come out of the ideological fusion of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and other groups in India. He also called for freeing public discourse from fear and violence. “Every time a woman and child is hurt, the soul of India is wounded.” Dressed in a tradtional dhoti, kurta and a black waistcoat, Mukherjee said people are at the centre of all activities of the State and that nothing should be done to divide them. “The aim of the State should be to galvanise them to fight a concerted war against poverty, disease and deprivation. Only then can we create a nation where nationalism flows automatically,” he said. Asserting that India’s identity has emerged through a long-drawn process of confluence, assimilation and co-existence, Mukherjee made a passionate speech on ‘nation, nationalism and patriotism’ in the context of Bharat that lasted nearly 30 minutes. “From our Constitution, flows our nationalism. The construct of Indian nationalism is constitutional patriotism, which consists of an appreciation of our inherited and shared diversity… Secularism and inclusion are a matter of faith for us. It is our composite culture which makes us into one nation.”

Mukherjee’s message to hundreds of ‘pracharaks’ and top-brass of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, usually described as a Hindu right-wing organisation, was described as a ‘mirror of truth to the RSS’ by the Congress, whose several leaders have so far been critical of his decision to attend the event at the Sangh headquarters. At the same time, the Hindutva leaders, including S Gurumurthy, said Mukherjee talked about nationalism not being limited to any religious identity, which was the same message delivered by the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. In an apparent reference to the ‘one-nation-one-culture ideology’ often identified with the RSS, Mukherjee said India’s nationhood is not “one language, one religion and one enemy”. “It is ‘perennial universalism’ of 1.3 billion people who use 122 languages and 1600 dialects…practice seven major religions… live under one system, one flag and one identity of being Bhartiya and have ‘no enemies’. That is what makes Bharat a diverse and united nation,” he said. Mukherjee, who was President of India between 2012 and 2017, said, “Every day, we see increased violence around us. At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust. We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal.” In remarks that come amid outrage over incidents of rapes including of minors, he talked about “soul of India” getting wounded, every time a child or woman is brutalised and “manifestations of rage are tearing our social fabric”. Mukherjee said only “a non-violent society” can ensure the participation of all sections of people in the democratic process, especially the marginalised and dispossessed. “We must move from anger, violence and conflict to peace, harmony and happiness,” he said. Earlier in the day, Mukherjee described Keshav Baliram Hedgewar as a “great son of Mother India’ as he visited the birthplace of the RSS founder Sarsanghachalak. “Today I came here to pay my respect and homage to a great son of Mother India,” Mukherjee wrote in a visitor’s book at Hedgewar’s birthplace ahead of his much-anticipated speech at the RSS headquarters here. Mukherjee also talked about thousands years of Indian history, including the rules of various dynasties, Muslim invaders, a mercantile company and then the British empire. He quoted from works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and others and praised Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for uniting India by bringing the princely states into the main fold. (PTI)]]>