Protecting Hindu Dharma in Intensely Hostile Geopolitical and Media Environment

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Major General G.D. Bakshi, a highly decorated former Indian Army officer and Sh. Pushpendra Kulshreshtha, a senior Indian journalist and expert in Civilizational history discuss the matrix of existential threat to Hindu Dharma and how to protect it.

General Bakshi began his talk with the observation that the Indian civilizational has never been under greater threat than it is today. Recounting India’s various geopolitical dangers, he noted that China and Pakistan’s quasi-alliance is creating a high-grade, high-profile threat to India. China has funded Pakistan’s nuclear program, tested its first bomb, and gave Pakistan the design of the atom bomb and the plutonium for the first four bombs. This China-Pakistan combination has overthrown the legitimately elected government of Afghanistan, replacing it with the Taliban – a drug mafia, crime syndicate, and terror mafia of the worst kind, General Bakshi said. Meanwhile, Turkey dreams of becoming a caliphate and is trying to send 3,000 Syrian fighters into Jammu and Kashmir. The Turks are also hoping to take over the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan to station their F-16s to intervene in India-Pakistan and India-China conflicts.

Internally, India has the Maoist insurgents but has not mustered the willpower to wipe them out. While Sri Lanka has wiped out the LTTE and the Chinese have wiped out the Tibetan combat guerrillas and crushed the Uzbek rebellion, India has not effectively dealt with the Maoist insurgency because of India’s fixation on the Gandhian principle of “live and let live”. Besides Maoists, India also has jihadis (homegrown or others) and many other non-state actors keen to dismantle India.

General Bakshi noted that the BJP government came in 2014 with the best of intentions to undo the damage done by years of the UPA government’s neglect of the modernization of India’s defense systems. They initially took some bold decisions, such as the Uri surgical strike and Balakot airstrike (to wipe out the Islamic terrorist camps in Pakistan), and the removal of Articles 370 and 35A. However, lately, they have adopted a much milder posture. For instance, by giving a ceasefire to Pakistan in February this year (2021), we allowed them to bring the Taliban back to Afghanistan. Now they have turned on India again. While in the last two years, they were resupplying arms across the Line of Control by drones, now they are trying to infiltrate arms and ammunition across the Line of Control in a major way.

On the American front, General Bakshi noted that with the power balance recently shifting to a more liberal-leaning party, the pressure on India to go easy on Pakistan has returned. Unfortunately, America continues to berate India with human rights accusations while turning a blind eye to the abysmal records of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and others in that department. America has hardly said anything about Pakistan’s use of tanks and aircraft jet fighters to destroy Pashtuns or the human rights violations in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Tibet. Nor have they said anything about Russian actions in Chechnya and America’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though America is aware that they need India as a counterweight to China, they continue to weaken her with unnecessary criticism.

Geopolitically, we are under concerted assault from many directions, including intellectual, information warfare, psychological pressure, and the battle of narratives. Meanwhile, the entire leftist ecosystem seems to be utterly hostile to India. For instance, George Soros is spending billions of dollars to counter anything the BJP government wants to implement. Meanwhile, American universities are having a heyday with India bashing, as shown by the recent “Dismantling Global Hindutva” conference, where forty-five universities in the United States banded together to hold this Hinduphobic conference.

General Bakshi feels that the situation is quite severe on the China front. They have already built the largest Navy globally, overtaking the United States. They are busily working on developing hypersonic technology while making significant advances in artificial intelligence and outer space technology to counter the American aircraft carrier fleet.

From the tenth century onwards, India has faced one invasion after another. During the six centuries from the tenth to the sixteenth, nearly a hundred million Hindus were slaughtered – a genocide far worse than any other in history – including the Jewish Holocaust. Hindu temples were destroyed by the thousands, cities razed to the ground, and women raped and carried off to be sold in the bazaars of Bukhara, Samarkand, and Kabul. India’s immense wealth was looted and carted off to Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, etc.

In the end, what lesson did we learn from our history? Pacifism? Turn the other cheek? From childhood, we have been taught that we are descendants of Buddha and that ‘Ahimsa Parmo Dharma’ is our central credo. Unfortunately, we were taught only the first half of this shloka; the second half of the shloka, ‘Dharma Hinsa Tathaivacha,” has never been articulated. The complete shloka informs us that while non-violence is our prime duty, the use of violence to protect our Dharma is wholly justified.

Turning now to the good news side, let us remind ourselves that we are a nuclear power. We are a nation of 1.4 billion people, with the world’s youngest population, fifty percent, below the age of twenty-five. India has the second-largest army globally, potentially increasing it to one and a half times that of China with little effort. India has the fourth-largest air force and fifth-largest Navy in the world.

General Bakshi summarized his talk by noting that India continues to be under serious threat from a variety of external actors, among them China, Pakistan, the Taliban, Turkey, and others. Internally, the Maoists, the Jihadis, and many other actors are constantly working to see India split and splintered into small fragments. There are increasingly virulent threats from information warfare and cyber assaults on the psychological warfare front. We need to wake up and become vigilant against these existential threats before it’s too late.

While General Bakshi talked about external threats, Pushpendra Kulshreshtha focused on India’s many internal threats.

He began by pointing out the hypocrisy of the “Dismantle Global Hindutva” conference and noting that on the occasion of the tragic 9/11 anniversary, people should have been deliberating about dismantling Islamic barbarism. Instead, they are talking about dismantling global Hindutva with no purpose other than to divert attention away from the real problem, i.e., Islamic terrorism. Thankfully, a small group of dedicated Hindus, including General Bakshi, R.N. Singh, and Sushil Pandit, have come forward to counter their narrative and help the Hindus recover their civilizational history.

In India, the Hindus continue to suffer from an inferiority complex. They neither know their true civilization nor their real heroes. Against their long-held traditions, they have no compunction against going to dead people’s graves (Mazars) to pray, a practice that has been promoted by the film industry, politicians, and intellectuals to cover up the Islamic atrocities of the past.

Contrary to what we have been taught in schools, Dharma and Majhab, or its English equivalent ‘religion’, are not synonymous. Whereas Majhab requires adherence to a particular well-defined creed, Dharma requires one to fulfill one’s duty without being burdened with any dogma. It is, therefore, incumbent on the people of Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Faith – Hinduism) to know the difference between Dharma and ‘Majhab.’

Returning to the challenges, Sanatana Dharma faces a more significant threat from the inside than outside. It can be partially attributed to our fascination with the path of progress that prevails in the West, i.e., the growth of material wealth. Our civilizational reality is based on self-realization, i.e., growth from the inside. Our powers of discrimination deteriorated as we moved farther away from our true nature. To recover our true nature, we will have to reconnect with our scriptures and traditions.

Kulshreshtha asked, “Why are the Christian missionaries in Karnataka against the anti-conversion bill? Unlike Christianity and Islam, throughout our entire history, we have no tradition of attacking foreign lands to loot their material wealth or change their faith. If Christianity and Islam offered better solutions to people’s problems than other faiths, people would want to convert willingly, without coercion or bloodshed. Christianity is not strong enough to stand on its own feet, so the church is trying to convert Hindus by taking advantage of their illiteracy and poverty. Islam is doing the same thing through love Jihad and by force.”

On the positive front, a cadre of fifty-sixty people in India is trying to bring out the correct narrative through social media and lectures in schools, colleges, and universities. Suddenly, Hindus are beginning to realize that many facts were kept hidden from them. Kulshreshtha believes that this new narrative will make people understand that the ancient rishi Ved Vyasa is the true father of our nation. This prospect is scaring a lot of people who hold ill will toward India. “Based on my experience of 25 years in media, I found that most of the lies and misinformation come out from the English media,” said Kulshreshtha. In her 1922 book “Future of Indian Politics,” Annie Basant, president of the Indian National Congress, writes that the English told the Dalits of India not to ask for home rule because if approved, the Brahmins would rule over them. This was only one of the many lies that the British – the presumed paragons of truth – used to keep themselves in power in India.

Kulshreshtha pointed to the Waqf Property Act of 2013, passed by the Indian parliament, as an example of how vote-bank politics in India has discriminated against Hindu interests. This act makes it possible for the Islamic body, the Waqf Board, to take over any property they suspect belonged to Muslims at some time in history. The current owner would have little to no legal recourse against such heavy-handed property-grab tactics. Kulshreshtha noted that a Muslim organization had acquired control of the Taj Mahal under this act. Under this act, owners of thousands of houses in Delhi have been asked to vacate their properties. Similarly, using the Place of Worship act of 1991, thousands of Hindu mandirs have been converted to mosques and Mazars. Hindus have no way to challenge these conversions.

These are only some of the examples of internal threats the Hindus are facing in India today, according to Kulshreshtha. However, the dedicated team of volunteers is working hard to bring these issues to the forefront of public consciousness, and the masses are getting the message.