Since race, language, caste, religion, nationality and sex are nothing but mere “accidents of destiny” with one and only humanity being the supreme truth; never do I feel proud or ashamed of my demographic credentials.
But I indeed feel ashamed of my religion if the rabid communal intolerant violent philistine Hindutva gets systematically projected as the epitome of Hinduism. My head hangs down in shame if “Hinduism” means demolition of mosque to erect a temple commemorating an epic hero; robbing people of certain groups of their dietary right in the name of ‘Gomata’; cold-blooded murder of innocents on the accusation of possessing beef; barbaric attack on Churches-Christians-Christmas festival; medieval fatal assault on Graham Stewart Steines and his two angel-resembling children; character-assassination of the missionaries whose service to the downtrodden (left to rot in the dark nexus of hunger-malnutrition-illiteracy by the “moral guardians” of the Hindus and India) in matters of education and health is unfathomable.
If Hinduism means “discovering” the Saraswati river and building Ramayan museum at State’s cost and promoting all things Gita-Ganga-Ram; if Hinduism means distortion of history and claiming Rana Pratap as “victorious” at Haldighati; if Hinduism means non-recognition of religious identities of non-Hindus by claiming “All Indians are Hindus”(but by prohibiting those very “Hindus” from entering the shrines at Varanasi-Puri-Guruvayoor!) — then I hate to call myself a Hindu.
However the Hindus who are humanitarian believe in the Hinduism of Raja Rammohan Roy and Vidyasagar who had dedicated their lives for prohibition of the practice of Sati and emancipation of Hindu widows and girls respectively. True Hindus believe in the Hinduism of Mahatma Gandhi who never misused the name of Ram for communal gains and rendered a yeoman’s service for the upliftment of the tortured people lying “low” in “caste hierarchy”! True Hindus religiously follow the ideal of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekananda who had always professed and practically implemented equality of all religions.
Saving Hinduism from the deadly fangs of Hindutva remains an urgent call of the hour.