This article, originally written and published immediately after the Gujarat riots of 2002 when Narendra Modi was chief minister, is being republished in the aftermath of Modi, as prime minister, laying the foundation stone for a Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5, 2020.
Though the term Hindu is not of indigenous origin, I am proud to consider myself a Hindu. That pride has been deeply hurt by what others using that label have done in Gujarat. What they did was typically un-Hindu, even anti-Hindu. What distinguishes the Hindu culture, philosophy and outlook on life, from all other religions, faiths and civilisational traditions? In Hinduism alone you are able to say ‘Brahmasmi (I am God) and to your neighbour, ‘Tattvamasi‘ (You are the truth).
How can people who stabbed, burnt and killed their neighbours call themselves Hindus? Alienated from the Hindu tradition, and rejecting its finest thoughts, harbouring a deep sense of inferiority towards the Semitic religions, attempting to imitate and organise themselves on dogmatic structures, giving up the free and inquiring ways of Hindu philosophy and thought, these detractors have launched a campaign to destroy the spirit of the Hindu way of life These anti-Hindus call themselves Hindus but in spirit and thought they belong to the dogmas of the dark ages….
This article was republished from the Times of India for a limited period.
The full article is available on the Internet Archive.
Source: © The Times of India
K. Subrahmanyam was a former head of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis and one of India’s pre-eminent strategic thinkers. He died in 2011. His son, S. Jaishankar, is external affairs minister in Narendra Modi’s government.
This article first appeared on the editorial page of the Times of India on April 4, 2002, under the headline, ‘Dharma was killed in Gujarat’, and has been licensed for republication by The Wire.