"Self-Alienated Hindus"

Rajender Razdan razdan at ntd.comsat.com
Thu Nov 3 20:59:33 UTC 1994

On Thu, 3 Nov 1994, David Magier wrote:

> > There is a new breed of increasingly *Westernized* Hindus 
> > ...this breed of self-alienated Hindus ...But the truth is that Hindu
> > society is neither dead nor yet extinct; though many on this forum
> > seemingly would like it to be so...Westernized self-alienated Hindus..
> > And it is the educated, soft-spoken, Westernized Hindu who
> > has generally shown the greatest degree of vehemence against his own Hindu
> > society ...
> I know I'll probably regret this later, but I can't help noticing a 
> similarity here to another 'ethnic phenomenon': when moderate Jews spoke out 
> against the oppression of Palestinians by Israel, Zionist extremists 
> dismissed them as 'self-hating Jews' and even as 'anti-semitic Jews'. 
> Some even claimed that their political stance against the Israeli 
> treatment of Palestinians meant that they 'weren't really Jews at all'. 
> As if such educated, soft-spoken analysis of the wrongness of ethnic 
> intolerance were fundamentally incompatible with their own membership in 
> their ethnic group!
> David Magier
> Columbia University

Your point is well taken, David. And you may be quite right about such a
thing as a self-alienated Jew! But, aside from the use of the same term,
i.e. self-alienated, the similarity stretches thin. There is no oppression
of the kind you talk about (such as the case of Palestinians in Israel) in
India; nor does the VHP make any statements to the effect that all mosques
in India should be turned into temples; as its detractors would have you
believe.  The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), as its name suggests, is
primarily a party working for the upliftment of the Hindu people and Hindu
culture. The VHP is not a reaction to Islam or Christianity in India. If
so, there wouldn't be any reason for them to have overseas branches. There
is no doubt that the VHP is a political organization and that it reflects
the aspirations and causes of Hindus. As a Hindu political organization,
the VHP of India has taken up the Hindu cause in the Ram Janam Bhumi/Babri
Masjid controversy;  an issue of contention in India for over a century
now. The VHP has made no bones about its stance favoring the installation
of a Hindu temple in place of the Babri Masjid structure. One may, or may
not agree with them on this issue;  and one is free to exercise one's
judgment on this. But to turn around and term the organization as being
fundamentalist and what not, is sheer hypocrisy. What I term as the
self-alienated Hindus are the people who reject any political party which
dares to append the name *hindu* to itself, or dares to take up any cause
in favor of Hindus. For Hindus to stand up for their own rights is
absolutely anathema to this group of people.  Worse still is their vicious
attack on the VHP-A which is an organization having absolutely no
political agenda. The VHP-A is has dedicated itself to helping the needy
in India; and it has undertaken many wonderful social upliftment programs
that it has run over the years, programs that their detractors themselves
are loathe to do!! For these self-styled moralists to sully the good name
of a perfectly legal and honest organization; just because they dare add
Hindu to their name, is the height of moral bankruptcy-- the term "self-
alienated Hindus" fits them to a T. 

Rajender Razdan


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