I will never forget that cold, rainy day in New York in March 2011. I was part of an interreligious vigil to support the creation of a Muslim cultural center in southern Manhattan, near Zero Attack Zone 11 September 2001. From Just as I began to lament the lack of Hindus the day before (as is often the case), I heard a beautiful Hindu prayer over a megaphone.
But to my fear, I noticed that the prayer was sung by a man dressed in saffron on the other side of the police line, in protest because he believed that the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero was Luck that contaminated the hundreds who died at the hands of the Muslim terrorists on September 11.
Until then, my Hinduism was private and my activism was public. But that day, I promised never to allow anyone to use Hinduism preach hatred in my un-counter presence that says, “Not in my name.”
But even as I write this piece, I find the news of another lynching in India – this time a 15-year-old boy died Muslims after he and his brothers were attacked by a group of 10 to 12 Hindu men train.
In 2011, some of us created the Sadhana Group: Coalition for Progress of Hindus, based in New York, because we could not assume that there was no politically progressive Hindu vote against a growing Hindu and radically Islamophobe and casteist nationalist movement. The founders and members of Sadhana are Hindus who have been brought up to believe that the heart of our religion is plural.
We were taught to embrace the teachings of the unity of all (ekatva), compassion and non-violence to all beings and the universe (ahimsa). We have worked hard in recent years – writing, speaking, walking, organizing events and organizing Hindu children’s courses based on the teachings of social justice at the heart of Hindu texts – and we have been recognized for our efforts.
“Hindu liberalism, once so vigorous and upward, is increasingly under siege, while the leadership of the community passed to the intolerant and reactionary. Having (to quote Gandhi) once lived in a house with windows were Open to the breeze from outside come freely, having once (to invoke Tagore) glorified in the illumination of a lamp lit everywhere, the Hindu leaders now turn inward, looking back.
And a large part of the community follows suit. Therefore, a greater number of Hindus seem to have blocked their sensibility with a huge lock and threw the key. “In addition,” it has become difficult to open the lock. If he decides to open, he is considered as an enemy of Hinduism and the anti-Hindu person. ”
Ananya Vajpeyi in a room for Scroll.in, spoke about the erosion of public empathy and warned, “Vaishnav jan to Kahiye tene urinating paraai Jaane re. Soon, there will be no description in most Hindu Rashtra.”
Also in Scroll.in, Samar Halarnkar wrote in the context of the response to recent lynchings. “But it is not only Hindu conservative law is unclear in most Hindus, it is condemnation, sympathy for lynchistes or public expressions of unity with the minority.”