Date: 5/25/2004




What we need to do today is define "dharma" for the benefit of those among us who are deluded into thinking it is religiosity. Savarkar becomes relevant more than ever before!

I am afraid we haven't moved ahead one bit, since the time of the conquest of Sindh in 712-3 CE by Muhammad bin Qasim, in our awareness of what we only nebulously recognise as a threat to our pluralistic cultural ethos. We have never tired then as we don't now of evaluating Biblical doctrines (which include Islam) on a par with our own spiritual traditions, passing off the vividly evident belligerence of their followers as mere aberration occasioned by an 'incorrect interpretation' of the respective scriptures by their clergy! We refuse, even today, to understand the glaringly obvious truth that world-subjugation is the basic and only intention - indeed the raison d'etre - of both doctrines. They have no other agenda.

Zoroastrianism and Hinduism, when they first encountered Islam were (and are even now) incapable of assessing and countering that doctrine, and paid a heavy price for their ignorance. The Zoroastrian civilization was all but annihilated, with just a hundred thousand traces remaining worldwide. Hinduism fared better because of its diversity: there was never a single center of either spiritual or temporal power to be destroyed in order to subjugate the entire population.

The European experience of Islam was entirely different. Because one thief usually knows the inspiration, intention and methodology of another, Christianity realised at once what Islam really was - a competing imperialism that also was fabricated, survived and grew by exploiting the naiveté of the people and stifling free thought. So Christianity fought its rival tooth and nail to ultimately eradicate it from Europe. Reconversion to Christianity, expulsion to Muslim lands and death were the three choices laid before Muslim Europe. And, lo! The pestilence was quelled!

While Hindu India too had succeeded at one stage in the eighteenth century to effectively neutralize political Islam through military supremacy, it was unable to even contemplate emulating Christian Europe in dealing with it. The advantage was squandered away and the disease allowed to linger and fester. Suicidal notions of Hindu tolerance for all forms of piritualism - real or pretended - prevented our ancestors then from studying them or laying those three choices before the subjugated converted Muslim populations. Many of our present problems might have been averted had that been done.

A large number of us knows the beauteous Geeta and copiously quote from it in and out of season; some even know it by heart; public discourses are given by the a plethora of sadhus and assorted god-men; however, few have bothered to really appreciate the message of 'dharma' it conveys! To that extent we are no better than those ancestors of ours who had wrested the opportunity to stamp out an exclusivist ideology but did nothing about it because they were incapable of viewing it as a threat to Hindu and every other form of pluralism.

That this nonchalance is the greatest 'adharma', pure and simple, is what we need to understand and disseminate. In a situation when the most successful pluralism is besieged by two of the most successful perversions the world has seen, there is no time to lose. Dharma is not about whether or not you believe in divinity, how and the frequency with which you pray, when you fast or where you go on pilgrimage. It is about individual collective thoughts, words and actions that achieve the good of all - sumnum bonum. It is about respect for creation, for others and for yourself. It is about excellence and justice; it is about humanity!

An alien Soniabahu's political ascendancy is a symptom of our ignorance about the true meaning of 'dharma' and cannot be remedied unless we educate ourselves.

We don't have much time. We have already wasted 2 millennia!!!!


..................Bhalchandrarao C. Patvardhan