Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gurcharan Das and the Liberal Hindu at Seriously Sandeep

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    • A few weeks ago, I made a hurried list that broadly categorized contemporary Hindus based on certain general parameters. Gurcharan Das of India Unbound fame adds to this list by slotting himself into a new category: Liberal Hindu. Much of what he says in that post is along familiar, “safe Hindu” lines but he does offer some positive difference from the mundane grist that we have come to expect from self-proclaimed liberals. For the familiar stuff, this assertion is a fairly reflective sample.

      Hindu nationalists have appropriated my past and made it into a political statement of Hindutva.

    • Even if you grant the possibility that “Hindutva fanatics” have politicized Hinduism, there’s not a single instance where Hindu nationalists have prevented any Hindu from practising his/her own understanding/version/variant/tradition of Sanatana Dharma. Gurcharan Das’ assertion stems from incorrectly assuming a symmetry between Hindu “fanaticism” with the Islamic and/or Christian counterpart.
    • However, Das’s real failing is that he is trapped by the secularism-as-the-only-solution-to-all-our-problems mantra and is unable to see beyond it.