In my last 2 articles I tried explaining the Civilization conflict we are in. This time during my annual visit to India, I decided to take a round of the rural belt of Haryana to get a sense if the Hindu revival and civilizational conflict discussions are just limited to Twitter or is there really some action or change happening on ground as well.
The journey starts from Delhi to rural belt of Haryana around Bhiwani district roughly 100 Kms from Delhi. First thing I noticed was there are a few temples under construction next to the highway. I came across 4-5 such ongoing constructions with a board next to it saying “Neermanadheen”. I am not sure which agency is leading this activity but I am happy if I could see 5 on highway there should be many more in the hinterlands.
When I reached Bhiwani, also known as Chhoti Kashi, a pleasant surprise waited for me. The Maharaja Agrasen Chowk which is a major chowk in Bhiwani was totally saffronized. Proudly flaunting saffron flags with huge posters celebrating & congratulating everyone on Hindu Nav Varsh. I could not click a picture as I was driving. Below is just a representative image of the same chowk from internet. But trust me it was much more saffron that day.
I thought this was the major chowk in Bhiwani hence may be some passionate Hindus just to make it visible might have planned this. However, while crossing through the city I passed through 3 other chowks, all of them were saffronized. I could not control my smile.
I reached my cousin brother’s place who is elder than me, he handed over my car to our younger cousins and asked them to take it to our village and asked me to stay back for some small shopping for a family function. I will share the details of family function later, but before that let me share with you what I saw on Bhiwani roadside.
On first look this looks a random road side picture to feed the western audience about how poor India is. However, I would like you all to have a second look at the image, it is powerful enough to tear all western, leftist propaganda about Hindu being an oppressive religion. You will find Shri Krishna, Maa Sherawali & Shri Ganesh Bhagwan all in this small picture. These poor road side vendors who the western intellegentia will call oppressed Shudras or Dalits are more Hindu than many of us financially well off Hindus. I don’t even want to compare them to wokes who just hate their own culture and religion just to fit in the western idea. One thing can be surely said that despite all odds in life they have not fallen prey to conversion and the fire of Hinduism burns bright in them and obviously they don’t see Hinduism as any form of oppression.
Next, I reach my village late in the night, and at the turn of the street just 200 meters away from my new retirement home (My retirement is still a few decades away). There was an old bull almost in his last months of life sitting and blocking the street. My elder brother told me, we will park the car here and walk. I sensed he was not feeling good about making the old bull move. I purposefully asked him what happened. He responded by simply saying the bull is very old he has to make huge effort to stand and move, paap lagega. I was surprised, my cousin brother whom I had always considered as someone who doesn’t care about Paap Punya etc was telling me to get down and walk just because he doesn’t feel it right to disturb an old bull. Deep inside I was so happy, my day was made.
Next day we had planned a small Grah Pravesh for my new home, Pandit ji was invited and my entire kutumbh more than 50 people participated in the Pujan. It was very satisfying event, what made it special was my younger cousins from village asking me to mount Kul Devi Dhwaja at the top of my house. How could I disappoint them.
Next day we get ready for “Bhaat – भात” I am not sure if everyone know about Bhaat hence let me take a small deviation and explain a bit on this. Its the financial contribution a brother makes for his sisters kids marriage. As per traditional system the girls in the family never claimed the paternal land. As she would move to another village after marriage so having a land holding in your paternal village was not really useful or was so difficult to manage for any productive use that is was impractical. So the system evolved in a way that the sister would leave the land for her brothers. In turn Father & brothers will make their fair share of contribution in important stages of her sister’s life. First being her marriage, second birth of child & third marriage of her children. First is called Kanyadan, second is called Chhochak & third one is called Bhaat. Please don’t compare this to dowry where it is a demand from the boy’s side, this is more from the girl’s side based on their socio-economic status.
Modern western world order never understood this system and the Indian elite in its rush to imitate the west changed the system and has made it law to divide the land among both brother and sisters. It may be relevant in city life where land can be sold off easily or used for residential purpose. But from a rural agrarian society perspective the idea may sound fair but its impractical and has left many girls being harassed by husband side for getting some money against the land and has left many brothers and sisters ending up in courts. While our conventional system kept the brother and sisterly relationship alive and carried on the bhaichara till next generations. Off course there are some cases of injustice in our traditional system but it is definitely less than the number of cases going on in courts now due to this new law which is so alien to rural life.
Apologies for the diversion from the topic, let me come back to my experience in this Bhaat. So we all got ready and left for my Bhanje’s wedding for Bhaat. My cousin brother gave a cash contribution of 1 lakh & 11 thousand for Bhaat. This was a fairly decent amount given the socio-economic condition of my cousin brother in village. It was well praised by my Jijaji’s family. However during the event 2 people from their village aged around 35 were talking with each other without realizing that I am sitting beside them. They were not happy that while the contribution for Bhaat was big amount, the portion of contribution for the local temple and Gaushala was only 1K respectively. They expected that it should have been in line to the Bhaat. I did not tell my brother as function was almost at close. But, I was happy that the concern for Temples and Gaushala is still there. I decided that when we will do future Bhaat in our family we will take this into account.
It was late night and after dinner we set back for our village. I had 5 people from my village in my car, 2 from my kutumb and 3 from other Gotra. We started regular chit chat, but I was keen to know how people in villages look at this civilizational conflict that Hindus are in, so I started the topic with CAA topic. Soon they all opened up and some of the most powerful statements came from this discussion which have filled me with confidence that Hindus are not gonna roll over and die.
They mentioned how population of a Samudaya has increased in the nearby town and they have started blocking street on some days in the name of offering prayer while the core idea is just show of strength. Also gave an example how an abandoned Masjid of pre 1947 era in our village saw some visitors 1 man, 2 women and 4 kids (most likely Rohingya) came from nowhere and tried to occupy it. Jats & Gujjars of the village came together next morning and ensured that the Rohingya were made to leave the village. Also, after this incident there was a question raised on Baba Khan Peer mazar in village, that why are we as Hindus worshipping and maintaining this mazar. A middle aged man made a brilliant point that these Sufi saints were basically supports of Islamic armies who wanted us dead. However, since the village has been worshipping them from many decades, it is difficult to stop it now. But, lets make the next generation more inclined toward Baba Bajrang Bali who is the Isht Devta of most of the villagers.
In the same breath they mentioned that they foresee a 1947 like situation will emerge and they cannot depend on state for safety. These statements gave me huge confidence that not all is lost in the civilization battle. These men have not yet outsourced their Purusharth to the state. When push comes to shove these men from rural India will ensure our survival.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.