Haresh Daswani: Hindu Extremists

Column by Haresh Daswani

I have watched several news reports about Hindus that have attacked Christian temples in South India. These acts were barbaric and despotic. This does, indeed, cause an international uproar that I do find unimaginable.

But they never did talk about the entire proper story. Here is a more complete situation in rural South India.

Rural villagers do not have centralized religion. They have community temples where they pray and there are village gurus who impart basic knowledge.

Due to their lack of knowledge, just like everywhere else in the world, their choice of action would not be considered civil and peaceful. They are emotionally charged and usually have a tendency to do things that we would all regret, even if we were not the ones who committed the action.

I could not find any way to justify their action, for it is not justifiable, but these traditional villagers might not have the right response if provoked or insulted. They never step back and analyze the situation. They were indeed provoked, and they were provoked by Christian mission groups who get too aggressive in conversion and blatantly attack Hindu beliefs.

I have once witnessed this in a Sikh temple in the Philippines. They were in a parking lot distributing booklets to Hindu Sikhs who were just coming out of service, inside Sikh temple grounds.

These books basically insulted Hinduism, and talked about how only Christianity could save them from going to hell, by also quoting lines from the Bible.

Every religion has a couple of lines that state if you believe in them, you get saved.

The very core of this problem is that this minor group entered another religious institution and starts defaming our beliefs. Imagine what would they feel if another religion does the same in their own property.

How would you feel if someone of another sect starts defaming your belief where you are at?

You will find it very offensive.

Normally, in more educated places, we tend to either ignore them, or tell them to get out. No one really takes nicely to such an act.

If you find the above quite offensive, imagine the following video – www.youtube.com/watch?v=71O8LzOWaWo.

Truth be told. Christianity is a very peaceful and tolerant religion who believes in living together with the entire community. Christians are not aggressive, and many of my friends are open and curious to learn about our culture, as I am curious to learn theirs.

But, like Muslim extremists, you will find Christian extremists, and Hindu extremists. In some situations, extremism is provoked. In others, they are brainwashed into doing things we all find to be unacceptable.

All I am asking for is a peaceful coexistence. While I find the actions of Hindu extremists unacceptable, the actions of these minor groups are also just the same. It is about time someone shows the complete and proper, unbiased view of the entire situation, rather than taking sides immediately as this is what they have wanted all along. If we no not listen to these minor groups immediately, but actually survey the situation, we might find that their intentions itself are not pure. And just like how every other Christian might view us. This minor group might become the stereotype impression that Hindus will have of Christianity.

This is the main cause of wars and discrimination, and this can stop.

Both sides have to stop fighting, and have to stop provoking each other. Perhaps, we can then better live in peace.

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