By Nihal Parashar:
I know this statement will hurt the sentiments of many Hindu friends. Let me try to convince them that I do not intend to hurt your sentiments but there are many supposed leaders of Hindutva who try to. Let us try to see Hinduism in a broader perspective rather than just as a tool with which politicians have been playing for quite some time.
I have been following the development of the events related to Chaurasi Kosi Yatra for almost a week now. I have closely seen all the interviews of VHP leaders and also of SP/ Congress/ BJP leaders for all this time. My only concern, is how is it related to an average Hindu like you and me? Why religion is given so much of priority at a time when our economy is falling like anything? The elections are round the corner and it is high time we should be debating and critically analyzing policies which have affected our lives, and can affect our lives in the near future. (We can have discussion regarding the same in the comment box here, to start with!)
Discussing a religious ceremony which otherwise was supposed to be a local activity, on a national level, shows the sad situation our country is in. It seriously questions the intellectual growth of the far Right groups. When the far Right VHP says that the ceremony was supposed to be an activity of saints only, then why was it taking care of the fights at every possible point, be it on a television show or on the streets? It is clear that this organization has only one agenda and that is of creating a polarized India.
I am also concerned as to why many of my friends have been taking this issue so seriously. A friend of mine, who is struggling to get a job, trying hard to cope-up with things in his personal life; is so emotionally attached with this entire episode that this is the only matter of discussion for him. It hurts to see a friend being emotionally exploited by a force which is driven to polarize the country only for short term goals.
It also hurts to know that the constituency which is in question, region of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, has not been able to match the pace of growth in other cities of the country because of the highly volatile political situation prevailing there. Certainly when Chaurasi Kosi Yatra is the major concern for the area, then who will talk about the condition of education, job opportunity and infrastructure in general. That area is a classic example of futility of politics of religion. It is so easy for Hindutva friends, with due respect, in other parts of the country and the world to comment about the temple and ceremony in the region of Ayodhya because they do not have to live there. It is the people, many belonging to the economically weaker class, who has to face the wrath of the time there.
I only hope that at least my friends, especially the younger generation, show some sincerity and respect for humans rather than things which remotely affect their lives.