7.) Do Hinduism’s Non-Proselytizing and Non-Egalitarian Character Go Hand in Hand?

Some scholars seem to imply, if they do not say it in so many words – that Hinduism’s “non-proselytizing” and “non-egalitarian” characteristics go hand in hand. At least the two are mentioned together.[1] And perhaps a deeper connection is also implied – as in the following statement:

The Hindu has been a spiritual anarchist, his faith being intensely personal and individualistic. Inherently the trend of Brahmanical Hinduism has been to accept all worship and to reject none, to bridge the gap between popular fetichism and learned Vendantism, to ensure that the superstitious cults of the illiterate masses remain in at least oblique touch with the metaphysical speculation of the higher intellectual order, and thus to crystallize ascending hierarchy of religious faith corresponding to the socio-economic scale of caste-structure. This spiritually and materially hierarchical view of religion and society is diametrically opposed to the religio-social egalitarianism in Islam.[2]

It is the purpose of this note to demonstrate that it would be misleading to regard the two features as corollaries in at least two ways. First of all, while it is possible for these two dimensions to be connected this way, it need not be necessarily so. The two could also be brought into connection through the following argument: Hinduism is hierarchical and therefore non-egalitarian. It is also non-proselytizing for the same reason, for it regards the other religions as belonging to the impure foreigner, the mleccha, who is so low in rank that he or she does not deserve to be admitted within the Hindu hierarchical system. In this way also its non-proselytizing and non-egalitarian dimensions would hang together.[3]

However, the non-proselytizing character of Hinduism could also be related to its non-egalitarian character in a very different manner. It could be argued the Hinduism is non-egalitarian on account of its hierarchical social structure and that its non-egalitarian character, according to this view, would be the consequence of its sociology while its non-proselytizing character would reflect its soteriology. Since salvation is available as much to those who are outside of Hinduism as to those who are within it, proselytization makes no sense. This would also follow from the following statement of Alberuni:

Hindus differ among themselves as to which of these castes is capable of attaining to liberation; for, according to some, only the Brāhmana and Kshatriya are capable of it, since the others cannot learn the Veda, whilst according to the Hindu philosophers, liberation is common to all castes and to the whole human race, if their intention of obtaining it is perfect. This view is based in the saying of Vyāsa: ‘Learn to know the twenty-five things thoroughly. Then you may follow whatever religion you like; you will no doubt be liberated.’ This view is also based on the fact that Vāsudeva was a descendant of a Śūdra family, and also on the following saying of his, which he addressed to Arjuna: ‘God distributes recompense without injustice and without penalty. He reckons the good as bad if people in doing good forget him; he reckons the bad as good if people in doing bad remember him and do not forget him, whether those people be Vaiśya or Śūdra or women. How much more will this be the case when they are Brāhmana or Kshatriya.’[4]

An objection to proselytizing could also be raised at this point as follows: Hindus believe in the doctrine of karma and rebirth. If one believes in rebirth then one could as well have been born outside of the Hindu fold and this could also happen in the future. Since it is as possible to be born outside of Hinduism as in it, what is the point in proselytizing – for any such conversion is good for only one life!


[1] Aziz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964) p. 75.

[2] Ibid., p. 75-76.

[3] Ibid., p. 89-90; Ainslie T. Embree, ed., Alberuini’s India (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1971) p. 19-20; etc.

[4]Ibid., p. 104, emphasis added.

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2 Responses to “7.) Do Hinduism’s Non-Proselytizing and Non-Egalitarian Character Go Hand in Hand?”

  1. yogesh saxena Says:

    CURSES OF HINDU RELIGION
    1. Polytheism (33 crore Gods & Goddesses):
    The Hindus, who always brag of believing in the existence of one God, in fact, believe in the existence of crores of Gods and Goddesses. While propitiating (appeasing) any one of them, the Hindus claim that the remaining 33 crore Gods and Goddesses are subservient to Him/Her. This is self-contradictory and only indicates our lack of faith in one God. Dendrolatry in the form of worship of trees like peepal, banyan, banana, tulsi and jand etc. and zoolatry in the form of worship of animals as gods only exposes fickleness of our minds.
    As if and not satisfied with such a big army of Gods, the Hindus also throng to religious places of other faiths like gurudwaras and mazaars/peers, so much so that many of the mazaars/peers are maintained and looked after by the Hindus only. It is beyond doubt that most of the Muslim peers are flourishing because of Hindus only, and will be shut if Hindus stop visiting them. Hindus are always eager to appease the other communities (Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc.) by following their customs/rituals. We may justify it as secularism but actually it reflects our wavering faith in our own Gods and Goddesses. On the contrary, rarely is a follower of other faiths seen in our temples or practicing our rituals.
    Lack of faith in one deity has seriously affected unity among the Hindus and has lead to disorganization and weakening of the Hinduism. On thousands of occasions, Hindus have miserably failed to protect the respect of their Gods and Goddesses and religious places.

    2. Lack of centralised temporal authority:
    Unlike other religions, the Hindus have no centralised authority to control & regulate their religious affairs. The four Mathas established by the Shankracharya in 8th century have not proved to be really effective. This makes us unorganised and leads to lack of consensus on trivial issues like dates of Hindu festivals. Our religious scholars seldom agree on single date for festivals leading to celebration of festivals on different dates. This dilutes the devotion & enthusiasm and also impels a sense of ridicule for our religion in the minds of others. This is solely because of non-availability of a centralised religious command.

    3. Non-Violence:
    The philosophy of non-violence has made us cowards and the Hindus on the excuse of non-violence do not even protect their own person & property, what to talk of common interest. The Hindus are not ready to bear pain involved in fighting for their own rights and always look towards others to fight for them. This philosophy has made us cowards to such an extent that we did not retaliate even the invaders who attacked us in our homeland. Just a handful of Muslim invaders attacked us, captured us, slew us, converted many to Islam, outraged the modesty of our women, broke our temples and used every possible atrocity to destroy Hinduism but the philosophy of non-violence made the Hindus surrender everywhere.
    The submissive nature of the Hindus is evident even today. Even a single person of other faiths like Muslim, Sikh etc. would assert himself proudly and defend his religion whereas a large crowd of Hindus dare not do that even if it is a question of honour of the whole community.

    4. Idealism:
    The philosophy of idealism also proved a bane for the Hindus. On numerous occasions, brave Hindu rulers proved their superiority over the enemy but, out of idealism, instead of finishing him they showed compassion to the captured enemy and let him go scot-free, who later became a threat to them. On the contrary, the enemy never committed such foolishness. He did not miss any occasion to deceive and destroy the Hindus whenever got a chance. It was true not only in the medieval period when Muslims invaded India but in modern times as well. The delusion of slogan of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai in 1962, releasing of 90000 Pakistani POWs just for international acclaim while leaving our own POWs to languish in enemy captivity till today and returning the captured areas to Pakistan under the Shimla Agreement in 1971, Lahore Declaration consummating in Kargil episode in 1999 are some glaring examples of our hollow idealism, diplomatic immaturity and foolishness. Gained in the battlefield by our brave soldiers was always lost on the table by our myopic leaders.

    5. Secularism:
    Secularism (or pseudo-secularism?) has done immeasurable harm to Hinduism. The selfish Hindu leadership, both religious & political, is always eager to compromise the interest of Hindus for transient gains, in the name of secularism, without realizing the harm caused to the religion in the long run. Is this secularism not applicable to Muslims? Never does a Muslim ever talk of respect to the other faiths. The Muslim invaders exercised every atrocity to finish the Hindu race. They believed in dar-ul-Islam (converting the whole human race into Islamism). The only language they know is jehad and for them jehad denotes just killing qafirs i.e. everyone who does not follow Islam. The objective of dar-ul-Islam is very much alive even today. The whole world today is under the perpetual threat of Muslim fundamentalism.
    It is only and only the leaders belonging to Hindu race who are the thekedars of secularism at the cost of their own faith. If there were Jai Chands in medieval times, there are Laloos, Paswans, Mulayams, Arjuns and Advanis in this era, who, for their momentary selfish motives, are selling the interests of the Hindus in the name of secularism without realizing the irreparable loss being caused by them to their community. Gandhi’s secularism always aimed at destruction of Hindus at the hands of Muslims. Paswan’s secularism advocates a Muslim Chief-Minister in Bihar. Arjun’s secularism believes in distorting our history. Numerous such pseudo secularists have always been active to destroy the Hindus.
    Mulayam’s secularism impels him declare holiday in U.P. on last Friday of Ramjan. Mulayam, Pasvan and even Nitish Kumar throwing Iftaar parties to Muslims and wearing muslim caps on their heads shamelessly is the burning example of pseudo secularism.
    The irony is that their secularism erupts only when the interests of the non-Hindus are involved. Thousands of Hindus being murdered in Mopla and Naokhali riots before partition, lakhs of Hindus being butchered and crores suffering displacement during partition in 1947 did not make a dint on any of these secularists. Thousands of Hindus being slain in Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir and lakhs being rendered refugees in their own motherland did not shake the soul of the secularists. Conversion of Bangladesh from a secularist to an Islamic nation in 1979 did not perturb these secularists nor did the planned elimination of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan caused qualms of conscience to them. The kar-sewaks burnt alive in Godhra doesn’t make any difference to these secularists, but its reaction in the form of Gujarat riots is termed as a “blot” on humanity and the heads of Bajpais and Advanis are “lowered in shame”. Muslim invaders looted & demolished thousands of temples and erected mosques over them, but redeeming Ram Temple from underneath Babri mosque is the “blackest day” in the life of secularist Advani. Time and again Commissions have been constituted to convict, by hook or crook, the accused of the 1984 Delhi riots and 2002 Gujarat riots even after their acquittal by the courts of law. On the other hand, terrorists like Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Jagjit Singh Chouhan deserving severe punishment have gone scot-free for want of proof and it did not impel any secularist to deplore such acquittal and seek re-trial.
    Mushrooming madrasas in the country indulging in anti-India activities does not worry these secularists but they have the audacity to term the activities of RSS and VHP as anti-nation. For them, religion-based reservation for the Muslims in AMU is not an anti-national act, but the alleged discrimination in relief-distribution to the quake-hit in Bhuj surely perturbs these secularists. 5% reservation for Muslims in A.P. awaiting emulation by Bihar and many other State Governments is another burning example of their secularism. Pampering the Muslims at the cost of the Hindus is an unpardonable sin, which cannot be forgiven by any rational and nationalist Indian. It is nothing but a political gimmickry for appeasement of Muslims to garner their votes, which has rendered the Hindus orphans in their own land. The coming generations of ours are being recklessly thrown to a disadvantageous position. The virtual slavery is inevitable for us.

    6. Casteism
    The casteism, too, has proved a bane for the Hindus. The exploitation of the lower castes at the hands of the privileged ones fomented hatred amongst the denizens of the country and weakened the Hindu race. Further, the Hindus being divided on caste lines in the past, the responsibility to fight and protect the country from foreign invaders was solely put on the Kshatriyas. This gave the others an excuse to shy away from the duty to sacrifice for the country. Whenever there was any attack, it was the Kshatriyas who were to face the brunt. Many a time their short number or non-availability of fighter-Kshatriyas lead to their defeat in wars.

    7. Credulousness:
    The Hindus are credulous by nature. They simply believed what others said without suspecting the ulterior designs of the enemy. There were occasions when the idealist Hindu rulers sincerely honoured a treaty or ceasefire in war but the crook enemy took undue advantage of their credulousness and captured them.

    8. Liberalism/Indifferent Attitude:
    Liberalism, too, has played a destructive role in Hindu religion. The pictures and names of Hindu Gods & Goddesses are freely used as mean trademarks and trade names. Ganesh Bidi, Ganesh Chhaap Khaini, Durga Lottery etc. by the Hindus themselves certainly lowers the respect for Hindu Gods in the mind of others. Taking a cue, the foreign companies dare to print the pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses on such mean things as undergarments, shoes and commodes. Would they dare to do the same with the deities of other faiths?
    Making films on Hindu Gods & Goddesses causes irreparable harm to the faith. Human beings personifying Hindu Gods & Goddesses, picturization of vulgar scenes/songs in temples, showing Hindu Gods & Goddesses smoking in ad films only lowers their respect in the eyes of people.
    TV serials like Ramayana, Maha Bharata, Jai Hanuman, Sri Krishna etc., where human beings play the divine role for money, encourage commercialisation of the Hindu ecclesiastical domain. Even in Jagrans, the bhaints are based on film tunes that certainly spoils the sanctity. The pictures of Hindu Gods & Goddesses on calendars, in newspapers and magazines being trampled under feet in streets definitely lower the respect in the mind of others. On the contrary, ban on assuming the role of Sikh Gurus or Muslim Prophet maintains reverence. Inviting censure of Sikhs by films like “Sava Lakh Se Ek Ladaoon”, and “Jo Bole So Nihal” are live examples of the concern of the Sikh community for their gurus, which regretfully is missing in the attitude of the Hindus.The beggars wearing masks of Hindu Gods and posing as Gods for begging in bazaars & streets definitely reduces obeisance for the Gods.

    10. Lack of discipline and non-availability of facilities in temples, inns and places of pilgrimage:
    Lack of discipline in Hindu temples and places of pilgrimage is also a serious stigma. The managing bodies of the Hindu religious places and the pandas are largely unscrupulous & selfish and are only interested in minting money. The ashrams and dharamshalas are used as enterprises of profit. On the contrary, the ample availability of food, shelter and services in gurudwaras certainly inspires a sense of security & respect in the mind of visitors. This has resulted in the taking over of the management of several Hindu shrines and places of pilgrimage by government. Could any government dare to do the same with a mosque or a gurudwara or a church?
    Males and females bathing together at places of Hindu pilgrimage or in sacred rivers/ponds become objects of sensuousness only. Lack of conveniences, defecating and defiling the surroundings by the visitors present a nauseating look. On the contrary, strict discipline is observed in gurudwaras, which certainly helps in maintaining reverence for these places.

    11. Glorification of invaders’ monuments:
    It is a well known historical fact that the Muslim invaders exercised every atrocity on the native Hindus. They attacked us. They looted wealth, slaughtered innocent people, converted Hindus to Islam at the point of sword. They kidnapped our women and raped them with pride. They broke temples and erected mosques over them. They even decked idols of those temples in the stairs to humiliate Hindus. Famous historian P.N. Oak claims that the so called Muslim monuments in India were originally the Hindu buildings. The Muslim invaders plundered them, captured them, broke them, sacrileged them and converted them into Muslim monuments. The Hindus, instead of considering them a stigma on the national honour take pride in calling them national monuments. Millions of rupees are spent on their maintenance. Some have been given the status of heritage buildings. A community of self honour would never accept such humiliation like this.

    12. Unhealthy custom of marriage:
    There are many unhealthy and despicable customs amongst the Hindus. For example, in almost all the southern states of the country and parts of some western states like Maharashtra, Gujrat and Rajsthan, there is permission of a person marrying his niece, like sister’s daughter (bhanji), cousin like maternal uncle’s (mama) or paternal aunt’s (bhooa) daughter. This is marriage within consanguinity. Though marriage within consanguinity is against Hindu marriage Act, but the custom overrides the statutory provisions. This weakens the uniformity of the custom at national level and makes us a subject of ridicule by others.
    13. Leaderless community:
    A common Hindu belongs to leaderless community, as their own (Hindu) leaders are not for them, they are for others. I have seen Sikh leadership fighting collectively on different issues like Delhi riots, turban issue in France, kirpaan issue in Sweden, Santa-Banta (ridiculing cartoons) issue in Mumbai, turban-scanning issue in America. All the Sikh leaders irrespective of their political affiliation fought it collective. Similarly, Prophet Mohammed’s picture (cartoon) in a Danish newspaper attracted protest from Muslims all over the world. Conversely, you can amply see Hindu leaders neutralising efforts of their own brothers doing something for Hindu welfare and blaming of violating secularism. It is nothing but a cheap effort to earn momentary & transient acclaim from others. On the contrary, the leaders of other faiths fighting collective, forgetting their political differences, definitely fetches them tangible results.

    The above mentioned points prove that the Hindus are dead race with impotent leaders. They are no better than sheep and goats. They take pride in being driven like cattle by others. The selfish Hindu leaders see nothing beyond their myopic ends. The meek & selfish Hindus are sure to extinct one day.
    Deploring earnestly,
    Yogesh Kumar Saxena
    Advocate High Court, Chamber No. 139, High court, Allahabad
    H.I.G.-203, Preetam Nagar, Sulem Sarai, Allahabad
    Phone No. 0532-2637720, 2436451
    Mobile-919415284843, 919935787120,
    919451181638, yogrekha@rediffmail.com, yogrekha@yahoo.co.in

  2. arya Says:

    well written i am impressed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hello

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