Disunity in Hindu society remains the primary reason behind the country’s failure to fight the ‘Break India‘ forces comprising Islamic terrorists, Maoists, Urban Naxals, foreign–funded NGOs and the entire pseudo-secular ecosystem. This has been a harsh and bitter reality for decades. Repairing the deep damage wrought to Bharat’s soul by the so-called and utterly counterfeit Nehruvian consensus will take longer than imagined. The advent of the centre-right regime in 2014 under Narendra Modi had raised hopes, but Hindus, by and large, are still unable to muster courage when it comes to protecting their own interests, social or cultural, much less political. Plagued by diffidence, they continue to cower.
This was painfully evident from a seemingly minor incident at Pirava tehsil in Jhalawar in Rajasthan on 16 July (Guru Purnima) where a nascent non-political movement run by an NGO called the Hindutva Abhiyan has been working on the ground for the last three years to raise Hindu consciousness in the national interest. The motto: “Hum kareiyn rashtra aaradhan.”
The Abhiyan’s spiritual headquarters are located in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. Its 500 full-time workers have been active in parts of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh since 2010. The body works under the overall spiritual guidance of “Rashtra Rishi Guru Lahiri”, a descendant of the great 19th-century saint Lahiri Mahashay of Varanasi. The Ujjain born 37-year-old Guru, a Bengali, holds a civil engineering degree from IIT Varanasi and he has worked with ANZ Bank before getting anchored to IBM as a consultant. Though based in Mumbai he often travels to rural interiors to spread the message of Hindu unity among Adivasis and Dalits.
So what happened on 16 July inside a Durga temple at Pirawa? According to a senior functionary of the body, Shravan Singh Gojawat, they have still to reconcile themselves with the humiliation suffered when a peaceful gathering of Hindus on Guru Purnima was prevented from celebrating their festival. This, despite obtaining the permission of the district authorities. And the culprit was none other than a man who belonged to their own community: Ramlal Chauhan, a bahubali who is also the district Congress president. That his criminal antecedents and muscle power were a factor in his political appointment is evident.
Gojawat informed that the Abhiyan’s operational rules made it incumbent to form a samiti (committee) in each village where they are active. Forty-two have so far been formed within Jhalawar. The samitis have in the last three years of work inculcated in villagers the habit of meeting at least once a month at the local temple. Quite obviously those who come are all Hindus.
Trained spiritual guides of the Abhiyan ingrain in them the essentials of the sanatana dharma, an empirical understanding of Rama-Krishna tatva. Residents greet each other with the timeless salutation “Om Namah Shivaya”. Central to their training is the proper intonement of the Gayatri Mantra to build concentration and spiritual awareness. Local problems are discussed threadbare and counsel given on how best to stay united should casteist passions or any other rumbling threatens to rupture peace. Imparting “samagra Hindu darshan” is our aim, explains Gojawat, the key to which lies in placing societal needs above one’s narrow personal interests.
Since Chauhan was well-aware of the Abhiyan’s programme, he made it a point to reach the Durga temple well before the rest. The moment the villagers, numbering 100-150, entered the premises chanting “Jai Sri Ram” and “Jai Mata Di”, Chauhan descended on them like a ton of bricks. The cameraman was told to switch off his contraption, and the crowd commanded to stop the chanting. Gojawat himself was roughed up and abused when he tried to reason. Chauhan’s yelling and screaming scared the villagers into silence after which they timidly left the temple and performed the rituals at a gaushala instead.
To add to their mortification, the Abhiyan’s members were booked under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly) 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation). When told of the lie, and requested to file a counter FIR, it was turned down on political pressure. That then is what transpired.
An incident of this nature would normally not merit more than passing attention in the national media. But, if anything, it holds big lessons on the prospects of Hindu consolidation. Quite apart from the fact that the culprit behind the bust-up was a fellow Hindu, and single at that, what is troubling is how easily and readily the Hindus in the area gave up the ghost. There was no display of pent-up anger or a clamorous protest to compel the offender to beat it. Especially since the event had the police’s approval.
That both the MLA and MP of the area happen to be the mother-son duo of Vasundhara Raje Scindia (the ex-chief minister) and son Dushyant Singh belong to the BJP seemed not to make a shred of difference. The overwhelming support from the Sondhia samaj, the dominant caste in the Jhalawar region, was the single biggest reason behind Dushyant’s victory in the 2019 LS poll after the BJP’s defeat in the state poll. And yet help was not forthcoming from any quarter, all the more because it was not sought with any seriousness.
It may be argued that slapping a false FIR on the Abhiyan was possible only because the Congress had lately displaced the BJP dispensation in Rajasthan. This gave Chauhan the chance to pile on the pressure with the full awareness that Hindu interests under a Congress regime were secondary. But this cannot be an excuse for the abject surrender by the majority community to the whims of a goon. Had Muslims been at the receiving end, Chauhan may not have got away so easily. But then he would never have had the gall to do what he did.
Gojawat readily admits that the Abhiyan’s refusal seek help or affiliate their cause to that of any group within the Sangh Parivar offered no real advantage. It is difficult to remove the public perception that a body called the ‘Hindutva Abhiyan’ is a tributary to the Sangh’s larger cause of upholding the Hindu interest with or without being its adjunct.
Abhiyan has a long way to go. Its work is still largely unknown to the general public. But there can be no denying that it is, perhaps, the only NGO sincerely working to raise Hindu unity and consciousness at the grassroots. To that extent, the young Guru Lahiri cannot but be commended. Unlike popular spiritual masters like Sadhguru and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, he does not underplay his Hindu credentials or confine himself to propagating yoga.
The guru, on the contrary, openly states in his discourses that his mission is to promote the “Hindu tatva” or ethos regardless of its political implications. He stresses building character and selflessness. That Guru Govind Singh is among his exemplars is ample evidence that he wants Hindus to come out of their shell and vigorously assert their rights just as much as be conscious of their duties in the face of blatant minority appeasement practised for 70 years under the umbrella of a secular Constitution.
Featured image on top of the article: A discourse by Rashtra Rishi Guru Lahiri (not related to the incident the article deals with)