Sagarika Ghose, Deputy Editor at CNN-IBN, where her husband Rajdeep Sardesai is Editor-in-Chief, recently made an interesting remark on twitter.
Ms. Ghose’s tweet provides some food for thought. We won’t go into the politically loaded allusion to “minorities”. However we certainly need to consider a few other other important points.
- Does being a devout Hindu (self-proclaimed or otherwise) preclude one from performing actions detrimental to Hindu society and Hinduism?
- Does any public self-proclamation of supposed devout Hindu origins preclude one from any critical inquiry into whether and how their actions may be inimical to Hindu interests.
- Who defines the yardsticks for being a “true” Hindu? We can safely assume Ms. Ghose has taken upon herself to save Hinduism from the evil, ugly Hindus. Except perhaps those with devout origins such as herself and her political, ideological fellow travelers. So, no doubt, she in this case gets to define the yardstick and characteristics for being a “true” Hindu. This however, is somewhat tangential to the focus of this post, so we will put it aside for another time.
The answers to the first two questions can be found in a historical inquiry. An inquiry which unequivocally reveals the fact that some very critical, if not the biggest, blows to Hindus were delivered from within. In what can be described as a twist of delicious irony, Ms. Ghose unintentionally actually only adds to what we have long held. That the biggest enemies of Hindus are Hindus themselves. Indeed, Hindus did not lose to non-Hindu invaders and colonizers. Hindus lost to Hindus themselves. Peering into history reveals how at some very critical junctions Hindus were put on the back foot not due to Muslims or Christians, but due to traitors who were Hindus. There should be no doubt that traitors like Silhaditya, Veerbhadra Tiwari, Ambhi Kumar, Jaichand Rathore, who betrayed their country and community for petty personal reasons would have, just like you-know-who, most likely called themselves proud or devout (origin) Hindus. Then there were also another class of devouts who took employment from the marUnmatta-s. As Sarvesh Tiwari rightly notes,
such Hindus were joked about by mullAh-s, as kAfIrs spreading the reach of Islam.
The marUnmatta Badaoni proudly reports of one such traitor ,
through the generalship of Man Singh, the meaning of this line of mulla Shiri became known, “A Hindu wields the sword of Islam”
This situation hasn’t really changed much since the time of Badaoni. In more recent past, we had Subhash Chandra Bose, who spared no effort to ally with staunchly anti-Hindu elements, including rabid Jihadis.
Indeed, as Sarvesh Tiwari, in his stirring series on Bose, says
Bose is really an uncomforting case in point, that even deeply religious Hindus, of excellent intellectual gifts, untiring patriotism and great leadership acumen, can remain utterly gullible to the Islamic propaganda and keep causing self-injury to the nation.
Of course, we should not flatter those merely projecting their political and ideological drivel on sundry social media fora by comparing them with someone like Bose. But nonetheless, as we have seen, supposed devout (origin) Hindus have historically delivered critical blows to Hindu survival and revival. Discerning Hindus committed to dharma surely are already aware of this fact and will no doubt be specially wary of those who self-proclaim their devout origins in public fora.
Update (19 Aug 2012): Turns out, Ms. Sagarika Ghose is not only of self-proclaimed devout origin, but is also self-proclaimed attractive and intelligent.
 Badouni, Muntakhabut Tawarikh II pp 238-39 (cited by JL Mehta in Advanced study in the history of medieval India Vol 2)