³secular nationalism´ based on a ³composite culture´. The ruling class is prepared to preside over thebirth-pangs of such a nationalism. The exercise is eulogised as ³national integration´.
It is significant that harangues for ³national integration´ become hectic, almost hysterical, in the wakeof every street riot staged by Muslims. Our ruling class immediately starts hurling long-windedsermons on Hindus - stop being communal killers of a helpless minority; get rid of this big-brother behaviour; protect the lives and properties of your younger brethren; respect the religious and culturalrights of Muslims; and so on.
This ruling class never waits for the findings of enquiry commissions it has itself appointed to look intothe causes of earlier communal riots. It does not remember or manages to forget the findings of manyenquiry commissions which held that almost all riots were started by Muslims.
Hindus are expected to listen to these lectures from the ruling class with bowed heads, and with anorgy of moral self-reproach. Woe betide the irreverent Hindu who questions the legitimacy of theselectures, or who cites the evidence of enquiry commissions. He is not only a ³Hindu communalist´ anda ³Hindu chauvinist´ but also a ³reactionary´ and a ³revivalist´, putting the future of ³secular anddemocratic India´ in jeopardy. The ruling class is joined in this chorus by some pious people like theGandhians according to whom such an unrepentant Hindu is not a Hindu at all. There is a lot of tongue-clicking all around.
In plain and simple language, therefore, national integration has come to mean only one thing,namely, that a meek Hindu society should get integrated with a militant Muslim
. One waits invain for a voice which so much as whispers a why in the face of boisterous Muslim bigotry. Muslimshave a god-given right to go on raising accusing fingers at the Hindus for refusing to give them this or that. And the Hindus have a god-given duty to go on conceding every exclusive and imperialist claimof an incurable fanaticism.
The results of this ³national integration´ patronised by our ruling class over the past many years arethere for every one to see, except, of course, its authors who are under an ideological compulsion notto see them. Caste which was for ages the most cohesive factor and a sure source of strength for Hindu society, has been converted into a cancer which poisons the very springs of our politics.Regionalism fostered by local patriotism, missionary machinations, and sectarian separatism hasassumed alarming proportions such as imperil the very unity of the motherland. And Islamicimperialism has become many times more self-confident and self-righteous than on the eve of Partition.
THE CHARACTER OF HINDU UNITY
The only stumbling block which has so far stood in the way of this ³national integration´ promoted byour ruling class is the spirit of unity that still survives in Hindu society.
It is quite some time that Hindus lost the consciousness of their spiritual centre which unites their society, culture, and way of life. The only source of Hindu unity now is a consciousness of commonhistory, particularly the history of freedom struggles fought against Islamic and British imperialism.
Hindu society still takes pride in its great past when it made major contributions to the spiritual,cultural, philosophical, and scientific wealth of mankind. Hindu society still cherishes the memory of itsgreat sages, seers, saints, scientists, scholars, soldiers, and statesmen. Hindu society still remembersthe days of its distress when it had to struggle ceaselessly and very hard against horde after horde of Islamic invaders who not only slaughtered, burnt, pillaged, and enslaved but also tried too foist byforce its own brand of barbarism.
It is this common consciousness of its history which prevents Hindu society from accepting theMamluks, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs, the Bahmanis, the Sharqis, the Sayyids, the Lodis, and theMughals as native dynasties on par with the Mauryas, the Sungas, the Guptas, the Cholas, theMaukharis, the Pandyas, the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Yadavas, the Kaktiyas, the Hoysalas, the