Rational or Impotent ?

The Net is full of articles, each one more strident than the other, on how Hinduism is in danger in India. How a treatment of this sort meted out to a Muslim Cleric or the Pope, would have caused mayhem by now. How this can happen only in a nation that has a Muslim President, a Sikh PM , a Christian leader of the ruling party and millions of spineless Hindus .


One cannot deny that there is a grain of truth in all this. There is however , more truth in the fact that among the spineless Hindus, the Tamil Brahmins occupy pride of place.


For , what else can explain this insipid behaviour ? Despite all that has happened in our backyard, there is hardly a protest of note in the 4 southern states of the country. Almost none in Tamil Nadu and Chennai. The DMK & AIDMK for the first time in history have united to ensure that not a whimper is heard. If we are going to be cowed down by Karunannidhi and his mobs, why blame a Muslim President and a Sikh PM?


If we do not know how to burn busses or self immolate , we need to think of other forms of protest that will be just as effective. If we pride our selves on being the Chanakyas of this world , we need to have the courage to behave like one.


Sometimes being rational is being impotent – and I believe this is one of those times. It is all very well for an Iyer “mama ” to sit on his couch, after a sumptuous meal of “thair sadham ” and say that “law will take it’s own course”. Or for Geeks like us, to scan the Net and forward articles to one another (including this one) on Hinduism. Or for “ vadhyars” to conduct innumerable token “homams” for peace and purity. Or for the Kannadigas, the Telugus and the Malayalees, to quickly shun association with Kanchi Mutt and speak of their own pious Gods and Godmen. The fact is that we are incapable of anything more.


It must be our upbringing, our food, our culture and our biological-make up that prompts us to shoot off letters to “ The Hindu” on Nelson Mandela’s arrest but lulls us into watching Sun TV when our very own is in despair. We are programmed to push files in a Tahsildar’s office not to fight when the chips are down. Sometimes I wonder , if we secretly delight in the misery of our brethern


Is there a Bihari amongst us? hai koi jis ne maa ka dudh piya ho? Alas, there is none.


So, while we sip our filter coffees in the comfort of our homes, let’s refrain from talking of what the Muslims and Christians would have done in a similar situation. They have done their bit . It is we who have failed.


  1. Anonymous said November 25, 2004, 3:44 pm:

    Perhaps we are too rational and that is sometimes impotent as you correctly point out. But probably the answer lies in history – rabid religious fanaticism went out of fashion in Tamilnadu centuries ago after the Samanas (Jains) were vanquished by Hinduism. Add to that – Tamilnadu has been ruled by the zealously atheistic Kazhagams since 1967., which has forced us to treat religion more of a personal thing. Only in the past 3-4 years, the whole public display of religion thing (imported from Maharahstra) in the form of Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations has become popular. I think, its only a matter of time, before religious bigotry becomes as deep rooted as it is in North India. That, in my humble opinion, will be a much scarier and despicable place to be in, compared to the seeming impotence of today.