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Ayodhya waited for its beloved ‘Ram’ for 14 years to have a celebration! For a Hindu to celebrate Deepavali, Sri Ram must return victorious to Ayodhya!

When adharma is at its peak and dharma is disappearing, avataras take birth to uphold dharma. Thousands of years ago, Sri Rama, who was born on the ninth day of the month Chaitra, is believed to be dharma itself in a human form.

Avataras teach humankind through the example of their life. Therefore, they will have limitations; they may have to pass through tests and obstacles, just like other people.

Through this, they teach us not how to avoid problems, but how to safeguard our ideals and values when we find ourselves in the midst of problems. They show us how to face life’s tests with mental peace and equanimity. Through this, others find the inspiration to move forward along the path of dharma.

Like all humans, we can see joy, sorrow, hardships, problems and limitations in the lives of mahatmas. They behave like this so that others can come closer and establish relationships with them.

Than is the same reason why a Hindu must know, importance and real reason behind festivals. And those who say build hospital instead of temples, must know why a temple for ‘Rama’ is every Hindu would wish to be built!

To celebrate Diwali, Hindus must know that without rising as an assertive, awakened, virtuous Hindus the festival has no meaning. It is not a celebration of a few rituals for personal wealth.

Dipavali is a Hindu festival in memory of the day when Ram returned to Ayodhya as a victorious king.

For the last several centuries, Hindus have been fighting an endless battle with invaders, home-grown traitors, colonial rulers who became memory-erasers for an entire community so much so that the people who belonged to us stood up against everything that defined Hindu dharma. For example, they resisted building a Ram temple at Ayodhya more vociferously than the Muslims who supported the demolishing army of Babur. Look at our status as the followers of Ram, we are regressing fast in a black hole of becoming a minority like it has happened in our vicinity where Diwali has reduced as a quite, soundless, annual feature with lesser diyas and lesser sweets.

As history teaches us, there used to be a great show of light and sounds of crackers on Diwali in Kabul, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore, just a few years before.

Nothing is happening now. It is a small, boxed, soundless festival in suburbs of just Karachi, where there is a concentration of Hindus, under the cover of fewer fearful eyes.

People have forgotten if there used to be a large number of a community called Afghan Hindus.

There were huge Durga Puja and Diwali festivities in Chittagong, Khulna, Dhaka, Sylhet. They have been reduced to a very few.

There were huge Diwali celebrations in the Kashmir valley, like Shivratri and the sounds of crackers, lighting of diyas in Anantnag, Kishtwar, Srinagar, Bhadrawah.

Today, the Ram worshippers are forced to live in exile Rather, in order to tease them, cow slaughter is done in an open market.

Ram has been exiled from our Kashmir. And we don’t even feel the pain of that.

So, while we celebrate each of our festivals with newer restrictions, please remember Hindus exiled from Afghanistan are now living as UN supported refugees in Germany, USA and other parts of the globe.

Hindus have turned refugees from Pakistan, taking shelter in India continuously for the last 70 years.

Hindus have been turned refugees in Bangladesh, sheltered in India.

Hindu refugees from Myanmar, seeking help from India.

Hindus turned refugees (Nepalese origin) from Bhutan, sheltered in USA.

Hindu refugees from Srilanka, still living in shelter homes in Tamil Nadu.

Hindu refugees from Jammu and Kashmir, forced to live in Delhi, Jammu, Bangalore. Some of them helped organize a solidarity meet in Bangalore’s Kashmir Bhawan, for Myanmar’s Hindu refugees. Muslims not only forced them to leave their homeland in Kashmir, but stalled the building of Kashmir Bhawan in Bangalore for 10 years through litigations and creating many hurdles.

The worshippers of Ram continuously face harassment in many parts of the present India, at the hands of Naxalites in Chattisgarh, in Kerala and in West Bengal. They are banished from their homeland in Myanmar, live enveloped in fear in refugee camps in Bangladesh, watch helplessly their girls being abducted and forced to convert to Islam and the killings of their near and dear ones.

Often it is the foreign news agencies who report that to us and not Indian media agencies run mostly by Hindus. They feel embarrassed reporting the pain of Hindus lest they be labelled as communal.

One has to go through the meticulously prepared report on Hindu human rights by Hindu American Foundation – the advocacy group recognized at the Capitol Hill, Washington which says — “Hindu minorities living in countries throughout South Asia and other parts of the world are subject to varying degrees of legal and institutional discrimination, restrictions on their religious freedom, social prejudice and persecution, violence, and economic and political marginalization. Hindu women are especially vulnerable facing kidnappings and rape ultimately leading to forced conversions in countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.”

In India, our festivals are regulated by state’s secular law enforcing agencies, courts rule how Hindus should celebrate, our temples are taken over by government agencies and temple’s religious funds are used for non-Hindu, non- religious purposes.

This is Ram’s India and the condition of the worshippers of Ram.

Ram as an annihilator of all evil in our hearts and minds must return to Ayodhya as a victorious king, who must have vanquished evil forces intimidating them from outside too.

If we Hindus want to celebrate Deepavali, it must mean some relief for the Hindus.

It’s not a festival of purposeless revelers and secular celebrants. It is the victory march of the Hindus over monstrous assaulters of their faith and way of living, symbolized in Sita’s freedom from devilish and wickedness personified in Ravan.

Hence before even thinking to act like a ‘Liberal’ respect your roots and gods oh hindu! If we give in for the ‘liberal’ views soon we will be sheltered in a make shift shed, thrown out from our home, just like Ram Lalla.

So ‘Ram Mandir’ is our identity and we at any cost can not compromise on it.

 

Source: excerpts from Tarun Vijay’s India calling


Dr. Sindhu Prashanth

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