Are You Afraid of Hindu Nationalism?

Are You Afraid of Hindu Nationalism? May 11, 2019

I have been guilty of comparing Hindus in India to Christians in America. But it is only as far as being the majority. Hindus are a majority in India and at times I think they struggle with giving equal voice to others but they come by it honestly. After all, Muslims are not native to India. They came in as invaders and made Hindus second class citizens in their own nation (taxed for not being Muslim if not killed outright).

Hindus as a majority are different from other majorities because unlike just about any other group on the planet today they have zero history of organized violence. ZERO.

Every once in a while a single individual Hindu or a few do something crazy and hurt someone. That is often given as a comparison to terrorist organizations as though they are the same thing. (And there are often non-religious motives behind acts of violence that we hear about, see the linked article below).

There are no Hindu crusades. There is no Hindu Isis. There is no drive for expansionism.

Despite being a majority, Hindus in India are not like white people in America. They are the original people of India and they have been oppressed and ruled over by invaders twice over. Where is your respect for people rebuilding themselves after colonialism?

Hindus have been beaten down for a long time now and told that our problems don’t matter, that we have no place to complain, no place to ask for help. To draw attention to the places where Hindus are being converted with violence and threat is to be Islamophobic.

I’m feeling betrayed by my fellow liberals. I’m feeling abandoned.

Nationalism in Hinduism is not scary. Because Hinduism is fundamentally about pluralism.

Asking for safety and protection because we don’t fight those who have a philosophical desire to wipe out our existence is not nationalism. While others try to expand, Hindus only ask to remain. You know Hindus don’t convert. You know Hindus aren’t trying to make everyone else in the world Hindu (unlike those around them…). How is it scary to say, “Please stop using threats and disingenuous methods to lure Hindus from their faith and community”? That’s Hindu “nationalism.” (If you have issues with Modi, BJP or RSS I ask that you read the article linked below with care).

Hinduphobia is very real and while other phobias are taken seriously, this one is laughed at. I guess since Hindus are not a threat no one cares if they have allies, if they are protected or cared about. It’s only people that could hurt you that you make nice with so you stay on their good side, right?

I hate that I cannot talk about issues with Hindus being dishonestly converted or racism against them without eyerolls and people saying I’m being a conspiracy theorist or a radical. It’s happening, people. It is actually happening right now and the people I thought cared about everyone don’t care about this.

What words do I have to use for you to know that Hindus are in trouble? Every Hindu today– whether in India or America, Canada or the UK– was educated by a system severely biased against Hinduism. Our entire identity is in crisis but to take pride in the amazing contributions of Hindu thought and philosophy (and language and mathematics) is nationalism and bragging and to be shut down by the white American arbitrators of propriety.

This powerful article is a must-read. I pretty much want to quote the entire thing to you but I’ll leave it at these two brief moments and implore you to read through the whole thing:

“…my growing conviction that at least in my field of study, which is the media, there is evidence of bias, dishonesty, and good old fashioned racism at the rotten core directed at the people who still swear by the old gods and goddesses despite five centuries of European-Christian colonization and a few more of Islamic imperialism, despite being called, at sword-point and at gun-point, “Kafir” and “Heathen.”

Swati Goel Sharma, a data journalist, has investigated the claims made in this study with field visits to scenes of the actual violence between Hindus and Muslims supposedly over cows. What she has found presents a far more complex picture than the simplistic, Bad Hindu Bad Cow narrative being conjured up in this incredibly omniscient-sounding India Spend report. Muslim crimes against Hindus were simply ignored, or not counted as hate crimes. Conversely, Hindu crimes against Muslims for non-religious reasons were counted as hate-crimes.

Thank you for reading! I would love to discuss more Hindu philosophy with you in my Facebook Group: Hindus In Pursuit Of Truth

New to this blog? Check out these posts:

What Makes Me A Hindu?

Did I Start Out Christian?

Why Am I Called “The White Hindu”?

New to Hinduism? Learn more here:

Hinduism 101: What Do Hindus Believe?

Can I Convert To Hinduism?

Your First Visit To A Hindu Temple

Super Simple Daily Puja

(views expressed here are mine alone and do not reflect opinions of my supporters. Links within the text may be affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something I get a small commission for recommending it. I only recommend things I truly believe in)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sharon M Mercer
  • Priya Sareen

    I’m happy that you were able to reach this level of understanding of Indian and Hindu issues Amba. Very few people are willing to cross the line to understand such things even among indian Hindus. We sometimes struggle to explain or even to find an opportunity to explain to them. And it does take a long time to convince them. However, we have come a long way since 7-10 years. and the journey has been great with people joining in from all around the world. the more we talk, the faster we will be able to resolve issues and become true Hindus- living for human betterment and making others join the cause. For living our life’s purpose in the truest sense.

  • Ategnatos

    An excellent explanation! I think you’ve covered every major base, and I was looking for them. Sanatana-dharma needs people explaining these things.

  • SP

    The problem with Hindu nationalism is that it is northern and western Indian beliefs being foisted on everyone else. Hinduism is a lot more diverse than even Hindus realize. So, that scares me as a Hindu and scares my southern Indian minority friends even more. What we don’t need is someone telling us how to live in harmony. We have had more harmony in the South than anywhere else in India. Unfortunately, this is changing with the Hindu nationalists from the North and West setting the agenda through the Indian star apparatus. Politicized Hinduism, or any other religion, is weaponised religion. Politicized Hinduism has never ever led to one pan-Indian Hindu nation or state. The Gupta dynasty were the closest to being that, but were defeated and driven back by Southern Hindus. That should be a lesson to the nationalists. The threat is not only felt by minority religions, but by the southern Indian Hindus as well.

  • Garry Aum

    well noone needs to afraid of hindu nationalists as all hindus are nationalists by default.
    hindu is majority that is why peace is there in india.

  • Sri

    The sense of Hindu nationalism among Indians protects the existence Hinduism in India. Look at the amount of Violence against Hindus in some states of India in which Hindus become minority.

  • Agni Puthra

    Southern most states of India has the most number of Hindu scriptures and most number of Temple compared to entire India. South states have more conceptual inclination towards Hinduism unlike north which is more inclined towards castism.

  • paul nicholas

    I just got a message from a friend up in Kalimpong a few weeks ago. This is a woman with two PhD’s and a discerning intellect. She’d just had dinner with some Indian Christian friends who were waiting to see if they were going to put into a “re-education camp” to be “converted” to Hinduism or deported. That’s happening to Muslims too. The camps are being built in the Assam district right now. So while the initial commentary in regards to the challenges Hinduism has faced both as a religion and as a culture may be entirely true in regards to the gracelessness demonstrated by other cultures it doesn’t change the fact that the response to such is every bit as graceless and in such courses of action become exactly like those who once wounded us.

    Reactivity only results in epitomizing one’s own despite.