Stop this shocking discrimination against Hindus
By J.G. Arora
Author is a commentator on national issues.His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Literally, the word “secular” means worldly as against religious. Historically and politically, the term “secularism” implies separation of state and religion, and non-discrimination on grounds of religion; one nation and one law; same rights and duties for all citizens; justice to all, and appeasement of none; and no distinction of majority and minority.
But in India, anything which is anti-Hindu, pro-Muslim, divisive and even anti-national is “secularism”.
Though the Indian Constitution treats all citizens as equal before law, and does not define the terms ‘majority’ and ‘minority’, bogus ‘secularism’ practised in India gives special rights and privileges for non-Hindus (minorities); and ensures deprivation and dis-empowerment for Hindus.
Such atrocious discrimination does not exist in any other country. And it is demolishing Hindu civilization.
Bharat Varsha, comprising the present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and even a part of Iran was Hindu land with zero Muslim population till Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army attacked Sindh in 711. Despite defending their motherland heroically during repeated invasions over the centuries, Hindus lost Afghanistan in 987, and the lands now known as Pakistan and Bangladesh to Muslims in 1947.
Logically in 1947, on India’s partition on religious basis and creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by Muslims, truncated India should have been declared a Hindu republic to re-assert its Hindu identity. However, a scandalous ‘secularism’ as described above was imposed on it.
And as per this perverse secularism, the then Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh proclaimed that “Muslims must have the first claim on national resources” at National Development Council’s meeting on December 9, 2006.
Fed-up with Congress-led government’s divisive and appeasement policies from 2004 to 2014; and impressed by BJP’s slogan of “justice to all and appeasement of none”, countless nationalists worked for BJP’s victory in 2014’s parliamentary elections.
Shockingly, after winning 2014’s elections, BJP and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi have continued Congress-led UPA’s pseudo-secular policies; and have done nothing to remove discrimination against Hindus.
Important points of discrimination against Hindus; and how the same can be rectified to treat Hindus at par with other communities are discussed as follows:
1. Special rights under Articles 29 & 30
Articles 29 and 30 of Indian Constitution deal with cultural and educational rights of Minorities.
Article 30 entitles minorities, whether based on religion or language, to establish educational institutions of their choice. Apart from restricting the State’s power to acquire property of a minority educational institution, this Article also prohibits discrimination against it.
Though Articles 29 and 30 were meant to ensure equality between majority and minority communities, in actual practice, Hindus have been deprived of freedom to run their educational institutions while minorities have been given full freedom in this regard.
Just to illustrate Hindus’ helplessness in this respect, example of Ramakrishna Mission, a leading Hindu organization which apprehended the government’s takeover of its educational institutions is given here. Though its pioneers like Swami Vivekanand were glorious Hindus, to save its institutions under Article 30, Ramakrishna Mission claimed that it was a (non-Hindu) religious minority.
While Calcutta High Court allowed Ramakrishna Mission’s said claim, vide its judgement reported as Bramchari Sidheswar Shai & Others versus State of West Bengal (AIR 1995 SC 2089), Supreme Court reversed the High Court’s judgement, and held that Ramakrishna Mission was a Hindu institution, and therefore, could not get protection of Article 30.
Besides, vide the Supreme Court’s judgements reported as D.A.V. College, Bhatinda v. State of Punjab (AIR 1971 SC 1731) and D.A.V. College, Jullundur v. State of Punjab (AIR 1971 SC 1737), some Arya Samaj institutions also claimed minority status to get protection of Articles 29 and 30.
Thus, to get benefits of Articles 29 and 30, some Hindu sects proclaim that they are minorities, and are not Hindu. And this is fragmenting Hindu society.
Solution: Article 30 must be amended to extend the rights stipulated therein to every community, whether majority or minority. No one can oppose the said amendment since it would just extend the said right (to establish educational institutions of their choice) to Hindus without depriving minorities of the same.
Similarly, Article 29 dealing with “Protection of interests of minorities” should also be amended to give the Rights stipulated therein to every community, whether majority or minority.
2. Article 15(5) and Right to Education Act
Hindu educational institutions have been further stifled by discriminatory Article 15(5) of the Constitution, and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
Constitution (Ninety-third Amendment) Act, 2005 inserted Clause (5) in Article 15 empowering the State to make any law for advancement of backward classes or for Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes regarding admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than minority educational institutions.
And as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, and amended by Amendment Act, 2012, even the un-aided Hindu schools have to admit at least 25% students from weaker and backward sections; and face legal and financial problems and government’s interference at every step whereas even the government-aided minority schools are exempt from this Act.
This law has created a hostile playing field for Hindu schools; and is forcing their closure.
Solution: In the interest of justice, equity and fair play, all schools, whether run by majority or by minority community, must either be covered by The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009; or should be free from this Act.
Accordingly, Article 15(5) and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 should be suitably amended or repealed to end the present discrimination against Hindu run schools.
3. Special benefits for minorities
Though Indian Constitution does not define the terms majority and minority, and though its Article 15(1) prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, vide the “National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992”, the nation has been divided into majority and minority; and Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians were notified as minority communities in October 1993, and Jains in January 2014.
Apart from the National Commission for Minorities at the Centre, Minority Commissions have been set up in various States to protect the interests of minorities. Minority Affairs Ministries at the Centre and States have been constituted which are bestowing numerous scholarships, free-ships and financial & educational incentives to minorities. And Hindus are excluded from said benefits.
Apart from being discriminatory, such divisive welfare schemes violate the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Preamble of Indian Constitution.
Solution: Since denial of above-mentioned benefits to Hindus makes mockery of Article 15(1) which prohibits discrimination on religious basis, welfare schemes should cover every citizen irrespective of his religion.
Besides, Human Rights Commission should safeguard the rights and welfare of every community, whether majority or minority. Accordingly, Minority Affairs Ministries and Minority Commissions at the Centre as also in States should be wound up.
4. Victims of Sachar Committee
Though India’s division in 1947 on religious basis and creation of Pakistan as demanded by Muslims was the permanent settlement of Hindu-Muslim problem, Congress-led governments kept on pursuing sectarian agenda. Congress-led UPA government constituted various committees for minorities including Sachar Committee; and also started the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2006.
Sachar Committee’s Report, 2006 has recommended scholarships, loans, financial incentives, benefits, concessions and special schemes only for non-Hindus; and has excluded crores and crores of poor Hindus living below poverty line (whose lot is worse than that of Muslims) from said benefits.
And though while in opposition, BJP had condemned the Sachar Committee’s recommendations as divisive and communal, the present BJP-led government is faithfully implementing the same.
Solution: The government must help all deserving people, whether belonging to majority or to minority community.
5. Pathetic plight of Kashmiri Hindus
During 1980s and 1990s, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists killed several Hindus in Kashmir forcing lakhs of terrorized Hindus to flee from Kashmir. Driven out from their ancestral homes, and deprived of their roots and rights, Kashmiri Hindus are living in cramped camps in Jammu, Delhi and other places. Feelings of hurt, humiliation and helplessness have wrecked them.
Solution: Since Article 370 negates the concept of one unified India; and is responsible for genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir, government must work for deletion of Article 370 to bring Jammu & Kashmir’s complete integration with the rest of India.
Besides, the government should ensure the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir whose eviction and pathetic life as refugees in their own country is a glaring disgrace.
6. Government’s control over Hindu temples
Another major issue tormenting Hindu society is the government’s control of prominent Hindu temples all over India though no Muslim mosque or Christian Church is controlled by government.
Government’s control of Hindu temples and their estates is depriving Hindus of their right to religious freedom guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of Indian Constitution; and is demolishing the self-supporting infrastructure of Hindu places of worship.
This is not to suggest that mosques and churches should also be controlled by government. This is just to stress that Hindu temples should have the same freedom as enjoyed by mosques and churches.
In contrast, Indian government gives subsidy to Muslims for “Haj” pilgrimage though none of 57 Muslim countries pays any such subsidy.
Solution: Hindu temples should be liberated from government’s control so that Hindus enjoy the same religious freedom as enjoyed by other communities. The Central and State governments should pass appropriate laws to restore Hindu temples to Hindu community.
Need for a mass movement
As discussed supra, Plight of Hindus is pathetic. But the situation will not change automatically. It is a political problem. And it can be solved only politically.
The answer lies in rejecting the sinister division of the nation into majority and minority; and in giving justice to every community, whether majority or minority.
Since fake-secularism has brought discrimination against Hindus, pseudo-secular parties like Indian National Congress and other similar outfits will do nothing to redeem the situation.
Unfortunately, BJP’s record in power from 1999-2004, and also from May, 2014 onwards shows that after getting power, it embraces pseudo-secularism. At present, BJP is faithfully implementing all the pseudo-secular policies (including Sachar committee’s recommendations) started by Congress-led governments; and is doing nothing to abolish discrimination against Hindus.
In this tragic scenario, the only solution is that selfless nationalists must launch a very strong movement to request the government to take the above-mentioned steps to abolish the nation’s division into majority and minority; to ensure justice for all and appeasement of none; to undo the discrimination against Hindus, and to treat Hindus at par with other communities.
As per Katha Upanishad, “Uttishthta jaagrta praapya varaan nibodhat” (Arise, awake, and do not stop till the goal is achieved).
I assure you it is an achievable goal.