Is India’s importance in the World On the Rise or On the Wane?
Shrikant G. Talageri
“Does India include its Hindu Citizens or not?”
This is the question assailing my mind when I read absolutely diametrically opposite reports about whether India’s image or India’s importance in the world is on the rise or on the wane.
On the one hand, we have Modi-bhakts of every variety insisting that under Modi India has become one of the most important countries in the world, that Indophobic elements are now wary of attacking India because it is now too important a country economically, technologically and politically for the world to continue to treat it with the same contempt or disdain with which it used to treat India in the past, because of the strong personality now ruling India and the strong foreign policies being followed by the present government.
But wait, it is not only “Modi-bhakts” who say this. There are any number of experts and spokespersons all over the world who now emphasize the growing importance of India as an international force to be reckoned with. I need give no examples to substantiate this: BJP supporters on the social media regularly provide all the international testimonials to this effect. It only happened to be strongly brought to my notice today when I saw that even agenda-based media like Al-Jazeera concede this fact. In an article dated today, 21 September 2023, titled “Hardeep Singh Nijjar killing row live: India defends visa suspension move“, the writer concedes this fact:
The article, under the sub-heading, “Canada gets muted support from allies after alleging India may have been involved in killing of Nijjar”, tells us:
“Despite Canada’s explosive allegations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil, its closest allies have expressed muted reaction about what happened.
Most are calling for a full investigation, but none — neither the US, Britain, Australia nor New Zealand — has echoed the allegations of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
As experts pointed out, these days, India is just too important to alienate.
The Biden administration and governments of other allies want to maintain strong ties with India because of its economic might and as a counterweight to China’s rising assertiveness.“
Yes, it is indeed a fact that India has become too important to alienate. So, yes, India’s status or stock or importance in the world has risen sharply and is on an upward swing.
But strangely, on the other hand, when we see the status or stock or importance of Hindus and Hinduism in the world (in spite of the fact that not only are many deracinated Hindus on the rise in their political careers in western countries, including the USA and UK, but even some self-respecting and proud Hindus are also doing well − at this moment at least − in these same countries: the name of the present PM of the UK, Rishi Sunak holding pride of place in this list), we are seeing a completely downward trend. In fact, now Hindu–hatred (call it Hinduphobia or Hindumisia or whatever) has become the most acceptable and politically correct ideology all over the world.
A few − just three − poignant examples:
1. For the first example, I will simply quote from my recent article, “Dismantling Global Hindutva“:
“An International Virtual Conference on “Dismantling Global Hindutva” was held between 10-12 September 2021. It was cosponsored by the departments of over 53 Universities from all over the USA, including Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Cornwell and Northwestern, and over 1100 academicians from all over the world signed a statement of solidarity expressing their full support for the conference. Hindus who protested (not in the same manner or on the same scale as Muslims all over the world protested against Salman Rushdie for his book Satanic Verses) were highlighted by the media and academia all over the world as bigots carrying on a campaign of harassment and persecution of the participants in the conference:
The following article by aljazeera contains the incredible statement: “Hindutva refers to a century-old right-wing movement that aims to create an ethnic Hindu state out of a multicultural India, home to more than 200 million Muslims“. Apparently, everyone on this earth has just stepped on this planet yesterday and have no idea of exactly which ideology led to a “century-old right-wing foreign-inspired movement that aimed to create, and actually succeeded in creating, an ethnic Muslim state out of a multicultural India, only home to more than 1.6 billion Hindus or followers of the native religions of India“:
The topics of this conference, so totally supported by the international media and Universities of the world, included, as this same aljazeera article gleefully reported: “various panels on global Hindutva, caste oppression, Islamophobia, and the persecution of minorities in India“.
One wonders, would these same 53 American Universities and over 1100 academicians from all over the world have similarly cosponsored or expressed their solidarity with a conference on “Dismantling Global Islam” or “Dismantling Global Islamism” or “Dismantling Global Islamic Fundamentalism” or even “Dismantling Global Islamic Terrorism“, which included “various panels on global Islam, oppression of women in Islam, Kafirophobia, the bloody history of Islamic expansion, and the persecution of minorities in Muslim countries“, etc.?
Or even a conference on “Dismantling Global Christianity” or even “Dismantling Global Evangelism“, which included “various panels on global Evangelism, The Crusades, the Multinational Corporate Status and Activities of World Evangelism, the Inquisition, the Destruction of World population and cultures by Evangelical Forces, Heathenophobia, Paganophobia, The Role of International Media and Academia in World Evangelism“, etc.?
If anyone else, other than these various American Universities and worldwide network of academics, organized either one of these two conferences, it would ironically be the organizers and sponsors of, and participants in, the conferences who would be branded as bigots carrying on a campaign of harassment and persecution against the followers of the two religions!
Does no-one wonder why, even as we are nearing the end of the first quarter of the twenty-first century CE, when all discourse is supposed to be tightly controlled or dominated by extreme ideas of political correctness, where even the use of perfectly innocuous words can be shown to be reeking with all kinds of extreme shades of “discrimination” and “bias“, and can lead to “backlashes” of the most unsuspected kinds, it is only Hinduism (including certain other categories classified or classifiable as in some way representing some kind of Hindu category, such as “Brahminism” or Hindutva =Hinduness) which is tied up to a post in the world public square with the explicit purpose of allowing anyone and everyone, who chooses to do so, to feel fully free to throw mud, stones, spit, shit, abuse, and even more deadly missiles, at it, and feel or claim to be feeling fully righteous in doing so?”
2. For the second example, note the following articles about the recent activities and achievements of one of the most confirmed and most venomous anti-Hindu woke-leftist activists:
Read the three above articles to see how the image of India is portrayed in the west, see the incredible amount of lies blatantly propagated about India, and read for yourself how the entire western media and academia (in fact, read for yourself the India-related articles in all the major mouthpieces of the American and European media, and the “academic papers” and “theses” being churned out en masse by western universities) are united in attacking India and in rewarding such outpourings of venom and hatred. Best of all, read Rajiv Malhotra’s latest and best book (or rather, one of his two best books, the other being the “Part 1” of this book) “Snakes in the Ganga – Breaking India 2.0“
This avalanche of hatred was never there before to this extent as in the last decade or so.
3. Recently the Parliament of World Religions was held in Chicago in August 2023, where all religions, except one, were glorified, whitewashed, or treated with kid gloves: Hinduism alone was painted as the black sheep among world religions − the only religion which it was not just politically correct but politically compulsory to condemn and abuse in the strongest terms. As I wrote earlier (see above): “it is only Hinduism (including certain other categories classified or classifiable as in some way representing some kind of Hindu category, such as “Brahminism” or Hindutva =Hinduness) which is tied up to a post in the world public square with the explicit purpose of allowing anyone and everyone, who chooses to do so, to feel fully free to throw mud, stones, spit, shit, abuse, and even more deadly missiles, at it, and feel or claim to be feeling fully righteous in doing so“.
I repeat, is India’s image or India’s importance in the world on the rise or on the wane? Or, to put it in more exact terms: why is it India’s image in the world is on the rise, while the image of Hinduism (or of India’s ruling dispensation only whenever it is wrongly identified with Hinduism) is sharply on the wane? Are the enemies of Hinduism so sure, and why do they have so much reason to be so sure, that praising the India ruled by Modi and totally condemning the religion believed to be ideologically identifiable with the Modi-BJP regime are one and the same thing or two sides of the same coin, and that this dual treatment will in no way make them liable to any kind of action from India’s ruling dispensation (which, however, becomes a force to reckon with, and becomes extremely and dangerously proactive when its − though many will insist I should not say “its” but say “India’s” − economic interests are threatened or attacked)?
Is there an absolutely total disconnect between India and Hinduism today?