Prince Charles on being proclaimed King Charles III said that he was head of the Commonwealth. He also proclaimed his allegiance to the Church of England, of which he is now head, and to being protestant. India is part of the Commonwealth, and so nominally under King Charles. King Charles is Christian, so has India become Christian now? Rahul Gandhi met a Tamil Nadu pastor on one of the first days of his Bharat Jodo Yatra. Rahul asked the pastor if Jesus Christ is a form of God, when he should have well known that Christians do not regard Jesus as a form of God.
They regard him as the one and only God. Rahul should know because his mother is Christian. Yet he pretended innocence. The Tamil Nadu pastor would have none of it. He told Rahul bluntly that Jesus is the real form of God, while dismissing Hindu gods abruptly. Rahul’s premise is that Modi is breaking up India and that is why he’s had to take it upon himself to join India through his yatra. But the pastor’s contention must have served as a rude awakening for Rahul. Evangelical religions like Christianity and Islam believe that there is no religion but theirs and no God but their God. Hindus, even those from its right wing, agree that there are many paths to God.
In their view, religion can be considered monotheistic as well as polytheistic. Rahul is setting out to reform the supremacy that has seemingly overtaken Hinduism.
This supremacy is of course over religions like Islam and Christianity. What Rahul will find though is that Islam and Christianity themselves consider themselves supreme over everyone else. Will Rahul change the mission of his yatra or will he keep bashing Modi as well as Hindu revivalism throughout it? This is precisely why the Congress is failing. It is preaching to the acquired, the Hindus, who already believe in the multiplicity of faiths, whereas giving a long rope to religions like Islam and Christianity, which do not. Upon this sword of hypocrisy has the Congress fallen. Rahul is on his way to Hyderabad. He can meet Asaduddin Owaisi there, or better still his brother Akbaruddin, who will tell him in no uncertain terms what they think of Hinduism.
When one is in the search for the truth, as Rahul evidently is, one should not accept a foregone conclusion as the truth. Rahul’s contention is that Hinduism has gone rabid. What he is learning from the outset of his journey is that there are religions and thought beliefs in India more rabid than rabid Hinduism. At the end of his journey, will Rahul revise his opinion that Hinduism has gone rabid, or even if it has, it has in the face of other rabidity? I doubt he will.
He will keep mouthing the mantra of secularism, which in essence is Hindu-bashing or which many Hindus see as Hindubashing. He will keep taking the side of Islam and Christianity no matter how exclusive they are in theory as well as in practice. Some three to four Hindus have been reportedly beheaded by the sar tan sey judaa brigade in the wake of the Nupur Sharma incident. Estimates put the loss of life at more, around 15. Sharma herself is running for her life. Yet, Hindus are by and large calm and not asking for reprisals. Maybe if things go on as they are, they will.
The Hindu way of rioting is to let things fester and then act. Such was the case with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had killed Hindus in the hundreds if not thousands in Punjab in the early eighties. Hindus sought revenge in 1984.
The same thing happened with Godhra in 2002. Muslims burnt to death 59 Hindu pilgrims on a train. Then Hindus exacted revenge. In either case, Hindus should not have gone on a rampage of reprisal, but the initial provocation came from the other side. Similarly, now the sar tan sey judaa brigade is mounting provocation upon provocation. Has Rahul said anything against the brigade? Will he address them during his yatra? I doubt it.
Apparently Rahul is still trying to figure out what Christians think of Hindus. Our leaders, including those of the BJP, have confused our people. India had raised objections to Charles becoming head of the commonwealth after Queen Elizabeth II but these objections were brushed aside.
Charles is now safely ensconced as head of the Commonwealth and as head of the Church of England. Christian supremacists can argue that India, as a member of the Commonwealth, is under Charles, who is a Christian king, so Christianity is the reigning religion of India. What precisely does the Commonwealth do anyway apart from organizing the Commonwealth Games? India chose to be a republic at the outset of its freedom from the clutches of the British.
It was Nehru’s woolliness that made India stay in the Commonwealth. Who is our true sovereign today? Is it Draupadi Murmu, the president of India, or is it King Charles III, the head of the Commonwealth? If it is Murmu, then what is her relationship to Charles, but if it is Charles, what is his relationship to Murmu? After all, we can only have one sovereign.