Indian Elections: Choice between Ram and Rakhshas?
The land of India has been a representation of diversity of cultures and civilizations where teachings of Hinduism professed compassion, peace and happiness for thousands of years. It is beyond logic, sensibility and my understanding that how Indians who idealize and worship the just King Rama can agree to be led to complete destruction by a Rakshas.
With a four thousand years old history, Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion with about 900 million devoted followers. One of the most popular deities in Hinduism is Ram or Rama, a just and kind ruler of the Kingdom of Kosala (in present-day Uttar Pradesh). Entire life of Rama sets standards and examples for the generations to follow. His biography tells us that how a just King relegated his personal comfort, choices and upheld the trust of people even by sacrificing his family. Rama practically preaches about duties, rights and responsibilities of an individual and sets a perfect model of character to be followed. Rama’s life is simple where kindness, compassion and goodness has priority. Beyond doubt, character of Rama is that of an ideal person Purushottama who has all the virtues that any individual would seek to aspire. He fulfils all his ethical and moral obligations thus becomes the best of upholders of virtue in Hinduism.
Ahimsa or Non-violence is Hinduisms main concept to follow. Holy scriptures of Hinduism emphasize that violence of any form for any reason is supposed to beget violence, as the law of nature Karma produces equal and similar reaction to any of the deed committed. This concept of Karma comes into play to deter persuasions for violence as elucidated in the Upanishads, the highly revered books of Hinduism. Although a divergent opinion also exists in Bhagvad Gita where violence or war is elucidated as a necessity for defense of justice and such violence doesn’t conflict with one’s spiritual life. I find this concept somewhat akin to Islamic concept of Jihad or Qitaal, since just like the rules of engagement laid down by Islam, Rig Vedas also set down similar rules of engagement ; such as that during battles a warrior should not poison the tip of his arrow, or warrior should spare the young, women, sick and old. It also restricts a warrior that he should not attack from behind and not to transgress the limits of violence etc.
Until the time I read about Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s repulsive past and his sordid present, I thought it would be quite difficult to find a comparison for Devil or Satan within Hinduism. Having read few books on Hinduism, I knew that unlike monotheist religions, there is not one specific character or persona which can be labeled as actual Devil in Hinduism. No persona reflects the attributes of Devil reflected in Holy Scriptures of monotheist religions e.g. Islam and Christianity. In Hinduism and other polytheist religions, there could be many beings with both good as well as evil sides embodied in their single persona. Since they are good and evil at same time, thus they do not disqualify to be labeled as Devil or Satan that we know. However, after observing Modi’s debauched past and conjecturing his wicked schemes for his political future, I can justly claim my success for finding him as the Devil personified. Unfortunately Modi claims to follow the exact essence of Hinduism, a religion that strongly denounces and discourages violence like other peaceful religions of the world.
It was on 27 February 2002 when a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire at Godhra Station in Gujarat. Fifty eight people lost their lives in the incident. Narendra Modi, the then sitting Chief Minister blamed the incident on Pakistan’s Intelligence agencies and unleashed a wave of terror against minority Muslims. What was witnessed on roads of Gujarat thereafter, cannot be written in a sober mood. While the indifferent State Police witnessed the carnage from the comfort of their stations, angry mobs of Hindu extremists attacked and killed Muslim populated areas, burning houses, dragging women out of their homes and raping them. When the dust and smoke settled over charred bodies and burnt houses in Ahmedabad, Naroda Patiya and Vadodara, State government shamelessly reported loss of over a thousand lives in this Modi sponsored carnage. Independent sources gave a figure which was double of the declared figures.
Narendra Modi has shown himself as Rakshas (a demon) who has complete disregard for the teachings of Ram, forgetting the concept of Ahimsa and Karma professed by Hindu religious scriptures. He follows not Ram but Rakshas. I find it quite convenient in labeling Modi a Rakshas of modern India for two reasons: firstly because Modi uses all his energy in a negative modus and secondly there is no danger from devil or Satan except due to his thoughts to harm others. Narendra Modi exhibits both the qualities of Satan very obviously.
Modi has been an active and ideological member of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for nearly forty years. He has a dishonorable and tarnished record for orchestrating massacres after raising religious tension in a country. Due his repute as Butcher of Gujarat, the US State Department denied Modi a visa to visit the US in 2005. But fortunately for Modi his communal hate and anti-Muslim posture benefits him politically.
The illiterate chauvinist workers of BJP and their supporters really like Modi’s concept of nationalism based on anti-Muslim rhetoric. This time the Rakshas of modern India intends to expand his popular support base many times by taking his country right to the brink of a nuclear war. He would worsen rather than improve relations with Pakistan and make sure to win elections over the coffins of Indian soldiers dying each day on Line of Control and Line of Actual Contact. If a war between India and Pakistan assures him his next tenure, then why should Modi should hesitate to revise India’s “no first use” policy against Pakistan, since his party has been supporting this decision since long? We can expect everything destructive from Modi but it is quite disheartening to see the true Indians following this mad man who hell bent upon destroying the peace of entire world.
These elections in India are not only important for the India and Indians but also for the entire region. Indians will have to find a Ram for themselves who could steer the country towards peace. With a hope in better and peaceful future, let’s cross of fingers at this side of border and wait to hear about the decision of choice between Ram and Rakhshas by Indians.
Unfortunately the Rakhshas has chosen by the ‘moderate’ democracy lovers.
Dear Aamer Hayat Bhandara,
Thank you for your feedback.