India has been invaded numerous times in the past 1400 years by a host of Islamic rulers and then the British. But even during such a lengthy time span with constant threats to our existence, we’ve just a handful of warriors who stood up to unite Hindus against the invaders. The British rule was successful because it was able to create divide amongst Hindus, and as meek souls we happily obliged to their strategy never for once wondering what this surrender could eventually lead to.

Since Independence, Hindus have probably only helped in furthering this impression that they can be subdued, primarily because they’ve rarely stood up for their brethren and religion. We’ve become soft targets, not because others are strong, but because we’re weak.

The most glaring example of this is the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits when they were raped, murdered, and thrown out of their homes. But Hindus never stood up for them. They were a mute audience, as if it was all happening in some other country. A nation with almost a billion Hindus stays mum when their own brothers and sisters are tortured goes to show the level of apathy we harbour.Kashmiri Pandits are still reeling for shelter and a life where they possess basic necessities. Hindus have always placed blame on different governments for not rehabilitating them, but how many Hindus have come forward to help Kashmiri Pandits with money and other resources so that at least they can live a life of dignity even if that’s in temporary camps?

Another example of how Hindus have magnified their image of being feeble beings who’ll even disrespect their own religion just to appear secular is how many politicians today – most of whom are Hindus – never say ‘Islamic terror’ but have no qualms about saying ‘Hindu terror’ which is nothing but a myth.

A politician stands in Parliament and abuses Hindu gods. Did the Hindu leadership of the party or workers demand his ouster? Mamata Banerjee bans Durga Puja in certain villages in West Bengal. Do Hindus even care? Prasanth Poojary was hacked to death for being a gaurakshak. Where were Hindus? In fact, Hindus were more outraged over Dadri than the murder of Poojary!

We would love to continue cricket with Pakistan and invite their artists to India. We’d even pay to watch their matches and movies. Most of us are more than ready to do this while majority of the Pakistani populace harbours hatred for us as they’ve been brought up on an anti-India and anti-Hindu sentiment. We’d do all this while Pakistan keeps killing our soldiers and civilians. But Hindus are more fascinated with the prospect of exuding a secular impression, than risking it and standing with their brethren and the nation. This has been much evident in our foreign policy, until recently.

Temples are razed to the ground in Kashmir and other parts of the country, but Hindus are least bothered. They are converted by missionaries, but Hindus have more ‘important’ topics to discuss.

This topic has been reignited because of the Supreme Court’s recent ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi in an attempt to ‘control’ pollution.

Would the Supreme Court ban red meat because it has been found to impact the environment more than cars? Would it take similar measures against festivals of other religions too? The Supreme Court clearly seems to be tightening the leash only around Hindu festivals. But why so? Because Hindus don’t give a damn. Again, we’re an easy target. Stomp on our traditions and cultures, and we won’t peep. After this decision of the Supreme Court, how many Hindus took to the streets to oppose this ban? None, I guess. Because religion comes last for us, and this is what makes others think we’re cowards. And maybe they aren’t wrong either. Many manufactures of firecrackers and workers in factories, and retailers will lose their livelihood this festival season. Obviously, the Supreme Court doesn’t seem to care about this, but do Hindus care? Nothing to show that they do. They already seem to have accepted the decision without any opposition because Hindu traditions are least important to them.

This is not to say that all Hindus behave in such a way. But majority do. And there are ample examples to prove the apathy they have towards their religion that translates into a disturbing element of cowardice in the eyes of others which then is used to further suppress Hindus. Time to wake up and stand for your rights. Because being close to a billion doesn’t matter. If you show yourself to be meek, you’ll be treated worse than any minority.

Vinayak Jain

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