March 03, 2024

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Hindu: Am I?

This is the story of every Indian Hindu, I think, which I am trying to capture in my own words.

I am born in a Hindu. When I grew up, I saw my parents following the rituals of a Hindu. But no one told me I was a Hindu, just like no one told me, I was a homo sapien, a human being, a species which was supposed to be human. Being a Hindu was just understood as being a human being. The fact is, I was my caste first, and then a Hindu. I was a particular breed of Indian, whether northern, southern, eastern or western, before I was a Hindu. The case of my Muslim or my Christian friend was different. They realised earlier than me that they were Muslims or Christians. It is because they were a minority in this mammoth country of more than 1.5 billion people. They had to learn in fear. Already, they were ghettos in every city of their own choosing and creation which kept them safe from a Hindu. They had already learnt how to be a chameleon. They looked the same as Hindus, only internally, they had internalised their conditioning of the rules of being a minority as the majority that internalised their conditioning.

But as a Hindu, the fears of my minority friends was least of my concern as I could be superior than them because I was part of the 'majority.' But by virtue of that definition, every member of this majority would become superior to my minority friends. And so, how could I digest that? I would be equal to many, or should I say too many would be equal to me. So what was the fun of being a Hindu.
I had to be my caste. My caste is what separated me from the rest. My caste made me who I was, because that gave me a sense of community. Many villages were created on these very lines, and in other cases, parts of villages were cordoned off from the others based on caste.

Today I am an educated Hindu. And my likes have achieved distant goals in every field. I am educated, sophisticated and worldly wise. But my caste continues to linger on.
I am friends with people from foreign lands who eat and drink what my religion doesn't permit and live my life completely contradictory to mine. Yet, I love them, I am friends with them, I dine with and hell, I sleep with them. And yes, I will one of them too.
But I still find my fellow Hindus of my very own country threatening to me. Especially the ones from another caste. I still let the politicians divide my country based on caste. I continue to vote based on my caste and if I have to marry a Hindu, I will choose my caste before my religion. I have a problem with another Hindu who eats egg and if I don't. I have a problem with another Hindu who recites a different prayer than mine before a meal. And most definitely, I have a problem with another Hindu whose skin colour is different from mine.
I became a world citizen today, but becoming an Indian is still a distant dream from me, and worse still: I will never become a Hindu, because my caste come before my religion.

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Last modified on Monday, 16 December 2019 17:18

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Hindu: Am I?

Hindu: Am I?

Dec 15, 2019 Rate: 4.00