The Background: When 2014 rolled around, people were frustrated and disgusted with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that had governed India for 10 years and had left the country in tatters, not to speak of corruption at unbearable levels. We are just now beginning to realize the extent to which corruption, within the UPA government, had infiltrated daily life in the South Bloc surroundings. In addition to China contributing to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, ministries within the government were “encouraged” to contribute to this nefarious foundation. Where does any ministry get the funds? That’s funds that are obtained from common people’s taxes. Basically, even tax money was not spared.
This is not the ONLY area that the UPA played with the nation. Where corruption was high, what was even higher was the level at which communalism was fostered, in the name of pluralism. Hindus were relegated to the background, shamed and made to feel like second class citizens in a country that, surprisingly, is called Hindustan. With no respite and future to speak off, people were despondent and were figuratively, grasping at straws. Given this situation, any wonder why the UPA was punished by the people?
When the BJP entered as people’s choice in 2014, it was a mix of hope and disgust that led to the entry of Narendra Modi. Yes, Mr Modi had been the Chief Minister of a state for over 12 years but that was a state, this was at the national level. This involved multiple states speaking multiple languages and had a multitude of issues & problems that needed to be addressed. Surprisingly, and this information can be verified, the UPA, instead of playing up it’s strengths, tried to show the negatives of the BJP and its allies (called the National Democratic Alliance, also known as The NDA). With 10 years behind it, the UPA should have had a body of work that they could boast of! Or did they? What transpired during the elections was not just surprising, it was revolting with the likes of Manishankar Aiyer making ridiculous statements and the high-handedness of the UPA all but ensuring their defeat.
I am not going to give you a blow by blow commentary of the events but at some point in the second edition of the Narendra Modi government, they have forgotten the voters that brought them to the center and the reasons why they were brought there. One of the main grouses that Hindus (Yes, Hindus were a major part of the reason for the NDA being elected and re-elected) had in previous governments was the control that the government had over the temples. The governments had made a mockery of a constitution they professed to follow. Article 26 of this constitution grants ALL religious groups, not just minorities, the right to manage their own affairs in regards to their religion. Yet, the governments decided to control the temples and the temples’ finances. And thus began the siphoning of over a trillion US dollars to the safes of many nefarious characters who had nothing to do with Hinduism. This list included ministers and party administrators among other such shady characters.
If all this money was being taken to benefit the defenses of the country, the hindus would PROBABLY have not complained as much. However, this money was being taken to subsidize the travel of Muslims to Mecca & Medina. It was also being used to pay the salaries of the Maulvis at the Masjids and the Padres of churches; all the while, the Hindu priests were left to fend for themselves!! I don’t fault the Maulvis nor the Padres! After all, which one of us is going to object to getting INR 15,000 or more per month from the government? I do fault the divisive governments that played one community against another, ensuring that there was never going to be unity within the country.
Whether there was some kind of an understanding between Bollywood and the governments, one will never know. However, Bollywood is wholly responsible for the image they have successfully created, of dacoits being Tilak-wearing Hindus, Brahmins being nefarious scheming people, Sikhs depicted as comic relief, while showing Muslims as being good, kind-hearted people; for some reason, Jains and Buddhists were spared, maybe because of the size of the population that exists within these communities.
Today’s Scenario: The voters, those that voted NaMo back to power for the second successive term, expect that temples will now be released from the control of governments, both state and central. They expect Hindus to be treated with a lot more respect than they have been afforded till date. The average Hindu, who earlier stood with the UPA, is now more than willing to stand with the NDA, provided the alliance do what is expected from it. That being said, people also need to temper their expectations. The same expectations that were not even verbalized during earlier governments are now being looked at with ULTRA URGENCY!!! We sit back, in the luxury of our homes, and pontificate on the inefficient NDA government. However, when reminded of the alternative solution, we get defensive and talk about “No elections in the horizon! We don’t subscribe to any other party but the NDA, just that we may need to replace Modi”! Really? It’s that simple? Just replace Modi and all will be well again? Let’s breathe and think again. It is NOT as simple as we think! Moreover, we have a situation in the world that needs the focus of every government around the world to eradicate this pandemic. While the government was busy battling this pandemic, the Chinese decided to infiltrate Indian territory. That situation, while not completely resolved, has taken a lot of the government’s focus away from current issues. To expect the government to focus on Hindus, in the middle of all this, is expecting a bit too much! We may need to back off for a bit and let the dust settle down before we make such demands. I am sure the government is aware of the mood of the people and will address this issue as soon as possible.
Let’s remember we are in a marathon and NOT a sprint. We need to ensure that Hindus and Hinduism, over the long run, don’t ever have to face a similar situation as we have till now. If that requires us to be a little patient with a government that has delivered on all it’s promises till now, so be it. Amit Shah is a DEVOUT Hindu, some would call him rabid, and would never do anything to hurt the Hindu sentiment. Let’s give this party a chance to prove it’s mettle. Given the alternative is not a very enticing one, we don’t have a choice but to be patient!
लोकतंत्र जीवित रहे। जय माँ भारती
God Bless the USA.