Friday, December 12, 2014

The Indignity of Homecoming


The lead story in today’s Times of India (Delhi edition) flashes the headline: RSS body seeks donations to fund Christmas ‘conversions’ in Aligargh.  ‘Rs 5 lakh to convert a Muslim, Rs 2 lakh for a Christian,’ says the subheading.  

RSS is collecting funds in order to buy adherents to Hinduism.  Ghar Vapsi (returning home) is the affectionate name of the project. The Muslims and Christians in Uttar Pradesh were allegedly converted from Hinduism and they are being brought back home by purchasing their religious loyalty. 

But why the disparity in the prices?  Why 5 lakhs for a Muslim and only less than half of that for a Christian?  Because the Christians were originally Valmikis, untouchables. 

This is precisely where the problems lies.  Even when the people return home their caste will be retained.  The erstwhile untouchable will continue to be an untouchable.  What the RSS and its affiliates fail to understand is that the people abandoned Hinduism precisely because of the indignity of its caste system.  When they switched their divine loyalties, they were in fact looking for a life of dignity, for a society which would place them on an equal footing with others.  Not too many people are willing to sell themselves for money. 

It is quite ironical that the RSS which boasts about its ideological foundations in the philosophical spirituality of the country has stooped so low as to put a price on human beings and their gods.  It is also a symptom of what the whole process means to the Parivar ideologues: bringing back the ancient caste-based system.

RSS hopes to convert 6000 people (“5000 Muslims and 1000 Christians”) on the coming Christmas Day.  The capital invested in the project is Rs 270 crore.  That’s just a fraction of the black money that Prime Minister Mr Modi had promised to get back from abroad for the welfare of the poor people in Hindustan.  RSS can get some kickbacks in the whole deal hopefully.  So the RSS gains, the poor people in Uttar Pradesh gain, Hindustan gains.  Why grumble then?

For many people, this could very well be the achche din promised by Mr Modi.  For a family of four persons, let’s say, the conversion would mean an income of Rs 20 lakh, an amount which they cannot even dream of in the normal course of their life.  A windfall.  Achche din!

What will be the price tag for a Brahmin if a Hindu Dalit wants to convert to that class?  Will the RSS eventually put price tags on various gods and goddesses in India?  On the godmen and godwomen who run numerous cults which don’t follow the tenets of Hinduism? 

When gods and religions have become commodities on sale and people’s dignity is bought for a few lakhs of rupees, what will be the next hot item in the Parivar market?

14 comments:

  1. True that lots of conversions have happened in India over the ages. But, why again now?
    I feel resources now can, should & must be put to better use to create a better India viz. #SwachhBharat rather than spend on #GharWapsi

    I have used your comment in my 'Banega Swachh India' post-
    http://www.anitaexplorer.com/2014/12/banega-swachh-india.html
    Do read :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita, economic development and cultural integration are intertwined in the Parivar agenda. These things are being done with the tacit consent of Mr Modi.

      Delete
  2. This goes to reiterate a collective human tendancy of not learning from the past- to progress backwards..lack of vision for a future for the man.By taking refuge in the past legacy, one easily falls into the trap of forgetting to do one;s duty of the present and thus do a disservice to the future generations- A colossal culture of laziness and intellectual poverty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laziness is an integral part of Indian culture, I think. Indians work hard when they go abroad. Indians were conquered time and again because they were not ready to shirk off their laziness.

      Intellectual poverty? Well, do you think our Prime Minister is an intellectual? Yet he reached that position! Does India encourage the intellect? This is a question raised by a student of mine.

      We, Indians, know how to get on without doing hard work and without possessing any brains. Those who have brains will move out of the county or will be forced to do so.

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  3. I don't understand why caste and religion still becomes an issue in India? Why can't Hindu be Hindu, Christian be Christian and Muslim be Muslim? How does this make any difference? In my city some poor Hindus are paid 50000 rupees to convert to Christianity. My ex-maid got converted just for the money. Just so horrible. All these need to be stopped and people need to be treated like humans. Just humans!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shruti, I fully agree with the first part of your comment. Let people be. Let sleeping dogs lie, as the proverb says, to put it blatantly.

      But I have a question to ask about the latter part of your comment. Did you ever try to find out why your maid switched her religious allegiance? Did you try to understand her situation? If you did, you would have learnt a great lesson of life. Try giving her Rs 5 lakh and bring her back to her previous religion. Ask the RSS to do it for you. And then observe again. That's the way to understand life.

      The whole thing called religion has become outdated. It is just a business.

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    2. I did sir.. there is a whole group of people here who were asked to convert...nobody forced but paid and as they were in need of money they had no qualms about it.. they have the photos of all Hindu gods in their house and every Sunday they go to church.. so they don't care which religion they r in.. at the end money talks

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  4. It is something like tit for tat or blow for a blow attitude that is ruining the society!

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    Replies
    1. Very true, Rekhaa. You put it in the most concise way possible.

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