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Reasons for Hinduphobia : What drives Hindu hatred ?

What do communists, evangelican Christians and Islamists have in common? Notwithstanding the irreconcilable differences between themselves, which group invokes hatred among all the three? Yes, as the title indicates, it is Hindu-hatred or Hinduphobia.

This is my attempt to understand the core ideas that inform the perspective of evangelican right and academic left and am thankful to Rajiv Malhotra whose work forms the basis that I build upon.

Abrahamic perception of Hinduism

To the more devout sections of Christians and Muslims the fact that India is still majorly populated by heathens despite their best "efforts" [a millennium of Islamic aggression and two centuries of Western imperialism ] is an eyesore.

The differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam is mostly about how the latest ideology supercedes the earlier ones, rendering the earlier belief obsolete because the newer one is more complete/ truthful.

  • Moses [the Lawgiver in Judaism] receives Ten Commandments from God and upon seeing pagans committing the sin of idoltry [the sin of golden calf] orders his men to slaughter the whole community without mercy. The arrival of messiah is prophesized.
  • Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the prophesized messiah and therefore Jews should abandon Judaism and convert to Christianity. But Jews don't accept Christ as the messiah, earning Christians' displeasure and resulting in their harassment across two milleniums.
  • Islam, although it accepts Jesus as a messenger of God, rejects his divinity. It sees Jesus as a precursor to Prophet Mohammed. Prophet propagated the latest & most complete version of truth. Therefore, Christians should now follow Islam as God has willed his final message to Prophet. Christians refuse to accept this and the crusade continues.

The point of crucial importance is : notwithstanding their differences, these three religions essentially believe in the same biblical God of Old Testament. The dispute is mainly over the more complete version, not about the core version itself. Commonly, all the three religions see idoltry and polytheism as a punishable sin. One-God, One-Book and One-Messenger : that underlines their understanding of what should constitute religion.

Also, these religions are history-centric. They owe their very existence and claim to exclusivity to a very specific incident in history and if the veracity of that incident isn't a given, their entire edifice collapses.

In the eyes of many devout Christians and Muslims worldwide,  Hinduism as the last surviving bastion of idoltry and polytheism represents the failure of their respective religions to show the one-true path to the sinful idolters. Despite the widening differences between Christians and Muslims today, the purists among both commonly consider Hinduism as devil-worship [as interpreted from their scriptures that contain harsh words for idolters.].

The [mis]conception that all religions are same is a Hindu projection of others' beliefs. But why superimpose your beliefs unto others, why don't you allow them to speak for themselves. If all religions are equal, why do Christians and Muslims make such tremendous efforts to convert heathens. Surely, beyond this facade of all religions being same should be exposed for it is : an unsubstantiated hollow claim which is infact vigorously opposed by the almost all serious practitioners of both Christianity and Islam who are convinced that only their religion is true and others are false or incomplete.

Left in the wilderness

The left ideology generally sees societal evolution as passing through stages of Pagan religion, Monotheistic religion and then Marxism as it happened in Europe. That other civilizations (like Eastern ones) followed a different trajectory doesn't appear to bother them. Rather,  it continues the doctrinal traditions of Abrahamic religions albiet in atheist trappings, with history-centrism intact.

Latest entrant is mere variant !
And by this token, Abrahamic religions although inferior to Communism are still an improvement over pagans. Philosopher Hegel, whose works inspired a host of western political philosophers including Karl Marx, believed that the West is the sole engine of progress/ development including scientific, technological and social aspects. The idea rationalizes the western conquest of the east and subsequent colonization which was done under the the mask of "civilizing" the natives (While Man's Burden). Marx by all means was a Eurocentric thinker who thought that Indians were better under British rule and didn't deserve to rule on their own. Theories of such a person are passed on as gospel truth of understanding history today.

Also, communism speaks the very language of the monotheist prophetic religions (to separate Judaism which has given no problem to India). Despite radical differences with religion, Communism is pretty much an atheist version of Abrahamic religions and is as doctrinal, uncompromising and intolerant as the latter.

A table to highlight few similarities.

At some historical point, God/Historical-forces created a saviour/thinker having monopoly on truth & guiding humanity for eternity.
Jesus Christ , son of one-true God, will atone for human sins for eternity
Prophet Mohammed received only-true God's message ending period of darkness
The spirit of age, enabled Lenin to break capitalistic stronghold in Russia ending a period of exploitation.
Division of humankind into followers and non-followers. Uniting all believers & breaking their other affiliations
Believers and heathens
Believers and kaffirs
Production class and capitalists or [proletariat and bourgeoisie]
Divine Right to rule and predicting eventual victory of believers at some point of time in future.
Save heathens from  hellfire. Convert them . Christianity will sway the entire world eventually.
Save kaffirs from hell. Convert them Eventually rule of Sharia will be established worldwide.
Save society from capitalist exploitation.  Achieve Communist paradise which is a certainty in future.
Self-righteousness – lure, force and even violence justified for greater good of humanity. No compunction about killing people and brutalizing them.
All means justified to achieve the larger good of mankind i.e. Christianizing the world.
Any means, even deception, allowed for larger good of humanity viz. Islamizing
No regret for using violence to achieve one-party state.

Interaction between  Christianity, Islam and Communism

History is brushed with violence whenever any of these three ideologies' geographic area intersected with the other . Yet, at an intellectual level, they do not cause "difference anxiety" between themselves, because none of them offer a genuine alternative to the straitjacketed conception of society. All call for an absolute control of state where every sphere of socio-cultural life is guided by their theology.

The intra-party criticism is largely confined to the same set of categories and any debate can barely make  progress beyond the advocation of tolerance. The exclusivist claims of these ideologies make it impossible for them to genuinely respect others, because if its conceded that other paths can be  true too, they themselves are no a longer unique sect claiming monopoly on truth.

However adapting to modern times, since violent means to settle issues are no longer feasible, these religions advocate tolerance. But the use of word tolerance as Rajiv Malhotra explains, betrays their patronizing tone – you tolerate someone/something (mostly inferior) because you want to leave them to their fate, not because you respect or agree with them.

Abrahamic underpinnings of the Modern Hindu debate

It is very hard for the Western world, which has experienced variants of the same ideology, to understand what Hinduism stands for. With its emphasis on neatly classified, codified and orderly systems (One God, One Book, One Prophet), it finds chaos and disorder in Hinduism (instead of seeing them as freedom and creativity).

The early Turkish tribes in medieval India and European Christians who arrived India in modern era (like Portuguese in Goa) were clear about their plans in India : eradication of native heathen culture & religion and replace them with one-true religion. And little has changed with respect to their motives although the means have. The ongoing projects to Christianize India is in full swing in South India with Andhra Pradesh being the latest [successful] experiment. Muslims with highest fertility levels are fast changing demographic equations.

Even liberal Christians / Muslims, otherwise sympathetic to Hindus, cannot forego their principal tenets due to a lifetime of conditioning. Salvation, according to even them, is not possible outside their religion.  Hence a Hindu are ineligible for salvation, no matter how good a human he is. Period. And every effort to help or punish heathens finds rationalization in their respective scriptures.

Prominent Indologists were Eurocentric, convinced of Western supremacy and few even believed Biblical Genesis of the origin of world around 6000 years back in toto which shaped their perception of Indian civilization. Consider the hypocrisy of "rational" west when few Indologists appropriated time-periods to suit their Christian worldview per which no world existed before Genesis.

Likewise, the Left uses the western template of racial discriminations, feudal system, class divide, labor-production class of industrial society etc and imposes it India while mapping local factors with their "universal" theory.  That India witnessed modern industrialization after Britishers masterfully decimated its prosperous traditional industries is overlooked. 

To impose its theory of unidirectional progress across timeline (as true in West), it sees medieval India as more progressive compared to pre-medieval times.  But it requires special pleading to argue that medieval India wreaked and ravaged by Islamic aggression was better than the highly prosperous intellectual & liberal civilization it replaced. Yet, they persist with this perverted interpretation of history.

In Europe, the Left correctly identifies the religious conservative majority as responsible for all the ills of the society. But in India the majority community, the Hindus, were largely themselves subjugated throughout the medieval age and barely held the power to push their agendas. How can the blame for the ills of a society held hostage to waves of invasion, plunder, mass-massacres etc be fixed on the victim-community itself?

If Sanskrit was the language of elite and Brahmins received unfair patronage in pre-medieval India, why isn't the same logic applied to Persian (spoken by elites only) and  Muslim groups which gained undue advantage in Islamic India. If temples were a symbol of toil of masses, how does it miss to treat the construction of huge Churches at the expense of the taxpayer in British India in the same way. Today, Church is the second largest landowner in India next only to Government of India. Doesn't the leftist theory call for redistribution of such ill-acquired wealth?

Unholy nexus of Christians, Islamists & Communists in India

Early missionaries actively supported the modern "rationalists" in South India like EV Ramasamy Periyar who took the Aryan Invasion Theory for granted and rained abuses on Hindu gods and systems.

Marxists provided the intellectual fodder for pro-Partition Islamists and even today desire to break India based on local grievances. To uphold their theory that religion is the opium of masses, it obfuscates truth and creates a non-existent, totally nonfactual and unfair symmetry between Islamic crimes and Hindu crimes. Islamic violence was systematic, pervasive even during peaceful times, and most importantly was ideologically-driven. Hindu crimes in all fairness was a knee-jerk reaction to Islamic atrocities and had no ideological basis for prolonged sustenance.

Despite differences between these three ideologies, they are united in their collective hate towards Hinduism in India. Thus, Christian Right organizations coordinate with left academians to undermine Hinduism and indulge in Hindu-bashing. A case in point is Meera Nanda a prominent Marxist earlier, later employed by  John Templeton, a Christian lobby organization which claims science as compatible with and even a product of Christianity. [as observed by Koenraad Elst]. So what attribute of a Marxist can a Christian lobby find useful? Hindu hatred or sheer Hinduphobia as amply indicated in her works.

The network is far more insidious that commonly understood and if you think I am exaggerating I direct you to Rajiv Malhotra's Breaking India that provides ample evidence that a determined effort is on to break India by the unholy nexus of these three forces.

Why Hindu survival is vital for World peace

Post 26/11, Islamists coined the term Islamophobia to successfully hijack even legitimate criticism of Islam, a classic instance of terminological terrorism. Ever since, critics of Islam are accused of suffering from insane, irrational hatred of Islam irrespective of sound logical reasoning or mountains of objective evidence they employ.

The success of this strategy has been remarkable only because Christians also understand that they cannot go overboard in their criticism of Islam, lest it invites scrutiny of its own belief systems. Historically, Islam hasn't been more cruel and inhuman than Christianity. Islam's core scriptures aren't immensely more bigoted than Christian ones. If Prophet's character is criticized, so can the existence of real Jesus be disputed. Commonly, their core theology is plain irrational and unscientific as nobody in the right mind would accept the stories of Jesus and Prophet as true & factual. But exactly belief in this historical event is central to every practicing Christian/ Muslim.

Present-day Christianity projects itself as a benign religion with genuine interest in uplifting the global poor through charity works, but  it hasn't abandoned its primary duty to convert. The changed strategy, although sophisticated, actually works better in this era. Church as a precursor to today's multinational companies knows how to manage media, generate positive publicity, dissociate quickly from any scandal, and use the politically correct jargon to make the right noises and influence public opinion. Thus, Church notwithstanding its reformation, isn't exactly respectful of other religions, it merely tolerates them. But its record in fomenting ethnic tensions through creating imaginary rifts among native populace as witnessed in Rwanda Genocide [the church's complicity is fairly established] or in creating a non-existent Aryan-Dravidian divide in South India is for all to see.

Communism which rose as a reaction to capitalist exploitation of workers, in all fairness offers a more humanistic agenda, but only in theory, not so in practice. They operate largely in paranoid zone, where they cast the net of guilt as wide as possible concoct conspiracies where there are none. Hidden motives are attributed to otherwise plainly visible ones. Justification of use of violence to achieve ideal state has resulted in the most gruesome genocides in modern history.

So three mutually irreconcilable global forces with imperialist ambitions – Church under US leadership, Islamic forces intent on establishing the rule of Sharia worldwide with its operational epicentre in the middle-east Asia, and Communists under Chinese leadership which sees itself as the successor of US in foreseeable future are competing with one-another to establish their supremacy worldwide.

None of these three forces are ideologically inclined to co-exist with the other, although physical constraints force them to maintain a diplomatic veneer. India on the contrary offers mutual respect and not just tolerance for the other. This attitude is imperative to the success of world peace  and will act as a buffer the three imperialist ideologies that have open ambitions of world conquest. India's cultural conquest of much of South Asia was a bloodless spiritual coup, inspired from within and not imposed from without.

India, as Sri Aurobindo wrote (and I hope), will rise from the ruins of the western civilization.


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