October 2021 has been proclaimed as the Hindu Heritage Month by a number of States of the United States of America. This is to recognize the heritage and contributions of Hindu Americans to the life and society of the United States of America.
To quote the State of Ohio declaration of October 2021 as Hindu Heritage Month, “Whereas, during the month of October, the culture, history, traditions, achievements and contributions of Hindus are recognized and celebrated throughout the United States, and Whereas American Hindus have made numerous positive contributions in all aspects of society, from Science to business to politics to spirituality.”
The same sentiments have been expressed by many other States of the United States of America including Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia, Nevada, Delaware, and California and some counties also.
Hindus being anywhere in the world are completely rooted in their culture, traditions and values. That culture, tradition and values are commonly known as Hinduism.
Recently a controversy was created that Hindutva is different from Hinduism. A group of people in USA had gone to the extent of hosting a conference titled, ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’ in September 2021.
In response a global conference was hosted by the Hindu Heritage Foundation of America, USA. The global conference was titled, Hindutva for Global Good. It was held on Sept 30th to Oct 2, US time and Oct 1- 3, India time, and elsewhere as per respective time zones.
The Conference was aimed to be educational for all those carrying misconceptions about Hindutva and their supporters. The Hindutva for Global Good Conference had 18 speakers, from across the globe, from Japan in the east to USA in the west, and representing all walks of life including Science, culture, business, education and spirituality. Each speaker was a distinguished professional, highly acclaimed in their own field of study and work.
The conference was streamed live on more than a dozen channels. As a result, the conference received huge audience and participants.
From this conference on Hindutva for Global Good emerged some seminal thoughts that would have implications for centuries to come, both, for the Hindu community and the World at large. Here are six:
- Hindutva is the essence of Hinduism.
‘Tatva’ is a Sanskrit word, meaning core, innate, essence. Thus, Hindutva (the Tatva of Hinduism) is the heart and soul of Hinduism or say the innate, core of Hindu traditions, practices and values. Hindutva and Hinduism can’t be segregated. You can’t say I love Hindu traditions, culture and values or Hinduism, but not Hindutva. That is misnomer
2. Hindu is connected to the Universe
While in terms of nationality or religion, you may be connected to a geography or a group or sect of people, a Hindu by thought and practice is connected to the Universe.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (a Hindu, a highly distinguished politician and former Prime Minister of India) used to say, ‘When I say, I am Bhartiya (Indian), I am connected to the world; but when I say I am Hindus, I am connected to the Universe.’
We may readily see the context. Bharat or India as a nation that exits in relation to the league of nations and territories of this planet. But Universe is this planet and beyond. As a Bhartiya, he perceived himself connected with other nations, but as Hindu he perceived himself connected with the Universe.
Hindus are thus broad minded, seeing themselves as part of the Universe, planet and Humanity.
Result: Hindus live in peace with others, not only humans but all species.
3. What are the Core Values of Hindutva?
Dharma (ethical service),
Aarth (wealth and Money),
Kaam (Need fulfilment),
Ahinsa (Non- Violence),
Love and care,
Unity of Mansa, Vachsa, Karmana (thought, speech and action),
Don’t attack but retaliate with exemplary force.
Strength respects strength.
The world history of all ages have shown that winner, without exception, has been one who is better equipped and have better fire power.
Swami Chinmayananda, one of India’s great freedom fighters and a religious guru, gave a very resounding message:
Ahinsa parmo dharma; dharam hinsa tad ev che!
Non- violence is a great value, but greater is violence to save Dharma.
Dhramo rakshati Rakshtah.
Those who protect Dharma, Dharma protects them.
Also Remember what Acharya Chanakya said:
If you want to live in this world, live the world’s ways, else resign to the jungles.
4. Sanatan Dharma is The Mother of World’s Constitutions
A very thought provoking question was raised in this conference: What was there to guide framers of political Constitutions of the countries and territories of the world?
Where did come life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; equality and freedom of speech and freedom of religious practices?
Sanatan Dharma had it all much before any political constitution of the world incorporated it into. Sanatan Dharma always has equality and freedom of choice at its core.
5. Nature of the Challenge of Disinformation or False Propaganda against Hindutva, Hinduism and Hindustan
a. The false propaganda against Hindutva and Hinduism is going on for years.
b. The levers of false propaganda or disinformation to harm Hindutva and Hinduism are three: political, cultural and religious. And that makes the situation really grim.
c. False propaganda was Unleashed in a concerted manner by the British. Examples are Aryan Invasion Theory, labelling Varna-Jati system as caste system.
d. The most important challenge is that this disinformation or false propaganda is not ending or going to go away.
In countries like USA, disinformation begins from the school age.
6. How to Meet and Beat Disinformation Campaign against Hindutva, Hinduism and Hindustan?
i. Don’t look to the government. Do it yourselves.
ii. Create Hindu think tanks, NGOs, Hindu Gurukuls, freeing Hindu temple wealth from Govt control and also from their short-sighted management committees. Just ask one single question to the management committees , what per cent of your annual expense you have spent on Hindu youth development, their education and entrepreneurship.
iii.Build alternative media channels: A significant portion of the media has been bought or call it bribed. (Some mind blowing numbers involving China and many big media houses of the world were shared in a presentation at the Hindutva for Global Good Conference). As alternative media channels, you may support all those organization and media partners who supported Hindutva for Global Good Conference and similar others. The details in this respect can be picked up from Hindutvaforglobalgood.org
iv. Demand Stopping foreign funding of NGOs, media and others in India.
v. Counter academics/ journalists by rebuttals in same or alternative media.
vi. Don’t ignore false propagandists. Call them out, Call them out. Call them out. Speak out, Speak out, Speak out. Assert Yourself.
vii. Read Hindu Scriptures and Texts and adopt in life. At the minimum, every Hindu must read and adopt in life the message of Bhagvad Gita and Ramcharitmanas.
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