December 02, 2004
(The author is a US based Banker and the views expressed are his own
and not of the organization he works for)
Millions of Hindus across the globe watched in disbelief the drama of the
Kanchi Sankaracharya being arrested and sent to jail on alleged murder
charges. However, the media, in India, has vaxed eloquent on "no one being
above the law". Most political parties in Tamil Nadu, save, the BJP have
maintained strange positions - vociferous in talking about the "honest"
work by the Tamil Nadu police. The public Prosecutor in Tamil Nadu called
the Sankaracharya an "undeserving criminal`. The DMK, comically, has
contradicted itself - in a supposedly clever articulation of its position.
But the reaction of the people at large was one of shocked disbelief.
However, this time around, I think the media-secularist cartel have gone
overboard and have made some serious miscalculations.
Many writers have already pointed out how specious the prosecution`s case
is. I am not arguing the case for the Seer. But like most educated
Indians, I am disgusted with the double standards the country is used to
witnessing. From the Nehruvian-Stalinist who masquerade as secularists to
the communist & regional parties who survive only on caste politics, they
have committed innumerable acts to destroy our collective heritage - the
Hindu civilization. With no developmental achievements to show, these
carpetbaggers and free boarders have been the root cause of "fissiparous
tendencies" in the country. There seems to be no "honest" policemen and
women or the cliché "no one is above the law" is not applicable when it
come to this brand of politicians. If a politician of this species is
arrested, he / she immediately gets admitted in a hospital and gets royal
treatment. But it is perfectly legitimate to put a Hindu divine figure,
worshipped by millions, in prison on mere suspicion. That is their brand
of "secularism". It is the considered view of millions of Indians that if
we apply the law on them, their breed would be extinct in quick time.
In post independence India, Hindu bashing is a favorite past time for
almost every one in public life - including some Hindus themselves. There
are too many instances to even recount. These pseudosecular politicians
base their moves on the following logic. Hindu society is extremely
selfish. Its innumerable subdivisions only make it easier to play the old
"divide and rule" game. Secondly, Hindu bashing pays handsome rewards -
from vote bank politics to media coverage and even "international
The politicians may have brilliantly schemed a theatrical event to divide
Hindus. But they certainly did not foresee the response to the arrest.
Conspicuously absent, however, were burning of public transport and
closing down of business establishments. Millions of Hindus all over the
world grieved in silence, praying for the ordeal to end. The arrest
rallied people from all walks of life. Former president R Venkataraman who
broke tradition, former prime Ministers Vajpayee and Chandrashekar, were
seen voicing their protest against the arrest. People who were not
directly associated with the Kanchi Mutt, former civil servants, students,
professionals in every walk of life, young and old, men and women, high
caste and low castes have expressed their disgust. Never before have the
Hindus risen silently to grieve a violation of their heritage.
Unwittingly, the arrest has catalysed the coming together of this
disparate and often incoherent body.
There is also another miscalculation. A very large portion of the
electorate is young - post 1970 generation. These youngsters have grown up
being influenced more by economics than "anti-Brahmin" rhetoric. With easy
access to the Internet there has been a high blogging of Kanchi Seer`s
arrest. Significantly, these bloggers have succeeded in setting up
worldwide prayers for the release of the Seer. This generation will have
their say at the elections.
In hindsight, the arrest of the Seer has made a very important
contribution to redefining Hindu identity. Never before has the silent
hurt of the Hindus found such unified expression.
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