Sadly for Bharat that is India, even as its ancient ethos was corrupted by inane interpolations in Bhagavad-Gita, its philosophical source, its post-colonial political course in its Constitution was shaped by thoughtless men that lacked hindsight, making it a double jeopardy for the Hindus, its ancient people. While the Hindu social order is beset by the caste-coloured interpolations in the Gita that exacerbate its divisiveness, its demographic matrix is upset by the thoughtless right granted by the Constitution for the propagation of an individual’s faith in India’s multi-religious setting.
So, we should set out to examine the fallacies of the interpolations in the divine discourse and the incongruities in the mundane exercise, tom-tommed as the Idea of India.
That brings us to the first of the caste-oriented precepts in the Gita - chatur varnyam maya srustam (ch4, s13). The plain reading of this sloka would have us believe that the Lord Himself created the four-caste system, of Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra, to suit the inclinations of a given soul towards certain earmarked calling of social and spiritual life in this world. And then, as a rider that is vague at the very best; Lord Krishna says that though He is the author of it all, He should not be deemed as the doer. These so-called caste characteristics and duties as well figure in ch18, s41-s48.
It is imperative that we try to see whether these slokas belong to the original text, or are mere later day insertions, meant to sanctify the Aryan caste credo with the underpinning of 'exclusivity of duties' through the venerated Gita. It should not be lost on one that s11’s return of favour by the Lord is juxtaposing to the stated detachment of His as espoused in s14 in this self-same chapter; also, s12 that is akin to s20 of ch.7, itself an interpolation, and s13 do not jell with the spirit of the philosophy.
Just the same, one school of thought tends to view chatur varnyam as a way of general differentiation amongst men. However, this would not cut much ice since common sense suggests that Lord Krishna would have been aware that this turn of phrase is likely to be viewed in caste colours rather than in general terms. That being the case, the Lord would have been circumspect in his word choices to convey his scheme of things governing man’s birth if they aren’t as narrow as the Aryan caste system propounds.
Or is the chatur varnyam His real will, whether one likes it or not? The answer could be found in the Lord's averments as one reads on. The four types of beings the Lord identifies by their nature and disposition are - the virtuous, the vile, the passionate, and the deluded. Isn’t the proposition that people of a given nature and disposition could be bracketed into one single caste so absurd? After all, even a given family provides many shades of human nature in its members, won’t it? That being the case, could Krishna be so naive as not to know about it! Above all, hasn't He declared in s 29, ch9, ‘None I favour, slight I none / Devout Mine all gain Me true’.
Needless to say, the caste-coated interpolations such as the above are the source of so much misunderstanding about the Gita in certain sections of the Hindu society and the cause of their alienation from Hinduism itself that came, and comes in handy for the proselytizing faiths of Islam and the Christianity to poach into the Hindu fold.
However, the author has methodically codified 110 inane interpolations and expunged those from his Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help that puts the true character of the egalitarian classic in proper perspective. He hopes that in the long run, his endeavour that is in the public domain as a free ebook is bound to bring in new readers for it from the hitherto skeptical quarters (on account of the interpolations) besides altering the misconceptions of the existing adherents towards this over two millennia old classic.
While the self-serving interpolations in the Bhagvad-Gita by the priestly class proved to be inimical to the Hindu social wellbeing, the poverty of thought even in hindsight of the political class that framed the Indian Constitution became the bane of the Hindu demographic good.
The article of the ‘Original’ Indian Constitution with regard to “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” exhorts thus:
- Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.
- Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law-
(a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice;
(b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.”
Agreed, the right of the citizen for the profession and practice of one’s religion is unexceptionable for it constitutes the birthright. But, why an ordinary Indian citizen should be concerned about the propagation of his faith for the constitution to grant it to him? Besides, where does the right of an Indian citizen for propagation of his faith leave his fellow citizen’s cultural need for preservation of his own order, sanatana dharma in case of the Hindus? After all, the right of propagation is but the right to spread one’s religion, and one cannot do that without coming into direct conflict with another’s religious faith or dharma, as the case may be, can any?
It’s thus, as one citizen’s right to propagate his faith vitiates the right of another to profess and practice his religion, India’s Constitution by granting the right for propagation of one’s religion per se, willy-nilly takes away another’s implied right for the preservation of his own faith. Besides, to what avail is the right to propagate one’s religion for the citizen rather than to fuel the zeal of the religious zealots for converting?
And what about the ‘FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation’ that the constitution provides for! What of the individual dignity of those Hindus whom the evangelists try to lure into the Christian fold, for them to embrace the Son of an alien God! Thus, is not the creed of the Church to propagate its faith that causes the poor of the land to lose their dignity is at odds with our constitutional spirit itself? Besides, as the raison d’être of religious propagation is conversion, wouldn’t that individual right prove inimical to the unity and integrity of the Nation?
Whatever, what’s the rationale of religious propagation based on which the framers of the constitution granted that to its citizens? Though Hinduism and Judaism, the world’s oldest surviving religions, are content with their constituencies, it is the Christianity and Islam, the new brands in the religious marketplace that hanker for conversions, of course, having come into being through propagation. Indeed, their religious spread worldwide is owing to their creed as enshrined in their Scriptures per se. If not all, most Christian missionaries and every Musalman mullah entertain the dream of seeing the world turn all Christian or all Islamic as the case may be; after all, that’s what their scriptures ordain and their religious creed obliges them to do so, and in the Indian context one has to contend with the jihadi penchant to transform Hindustan into Ghazwa-e-Hind.
It thus defies logic as to how our constitution makers, who went about the exercise in the immediate wake of the country’s partition on religious lines, thought it fit to endorse the propagation of one’s faith, read the Christian and the Islamic, in the Hindu midst! Well, it’s the illusionism of Gandhi that became the idealism of the Congress which influenced the Constituent Assembly of the just-partitioned India. And that shows. How strange then, that the constitution exhibits a singular lack of application of mind of its framers to secure India’s integrity as a constituent country for all times to come. Sadly thus, the wise-heads of that time, not to speak of the foresight, lacked the hindsight even. God forbid, they seemed to have unwittingly laid the seeds of a future partition of the Hindustan, whose wings Jinnah had already truncated. But, would this religious ‘constitutional’ error ever be erased from our statute before history gets repeated! Doubtful though.
That is not all, the “Freedom as to attendance at religious instruction or religious worship in certain educational institutions” that the constitution stipulates.
- No religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds.
- Nothing in clause (1) shall apply to an educational institution which is administered by the State but has been established under any endowment or trust which requires that religious instruction shall be imparted in such institution.
- No person attending any educational institution recognized by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.”
Well, every community needs some amongst them to undergo religious education to meet its spiritual and social needs in accordance with the tenets of its faith and feelings. That should at once be the scope as well as the limitation of the religious education, isn’t it? So as to cater to these legitimate needs of a given religious group, the required religious education with or without the government funding forms a fundamental communal right of the members of that group. Right, but what if in the name of freedom of religious instruction, the dogmas of such faiths, given to deride the religious beliefs of fellow citizens, are sought to be inculcated in an unwieldy number of members of that community? Won’t such a move hamper the secular character of the country besides inculcating religious bigotry in the mind-set of any given community?
Obviously, the framers of the constitution, but for Ambedkar, arguably Islamic-naive, couldn’t delve deep enough into the vexatious subject of religious intolerance of the practicing faiths in the country. What is worse, this supposed constitutional religious goodness came in handy for the ugly politician to turn it into an exploitative mask for the minorities’ votes in the election seasons. It is one thing to espouse the cause of the minorities and another to abet the bigotry of the Musalmans and the prejudices of the Christians. Sadly, for the minorities, more so for the Musalmans our politicians tend to be on the right side of their wrong issues to the benefit of none, save themselves.
Whatever, owing to the vacuity of verbiage in the over the 100k word-long Indian Constitution, a rabid Islamic obscurantist and a dyed-in-the-wool Hindu nationalist have been able to pin their juxtaposing positions, with equal aplomb, and that’s ironical. However, while the Hindu secular habit of left-lib brainwash would like to equivocate the Jai Sriram chants with the Musalman rant of Allah Hu Akbar, one needs to understand the latter in the context of azan, the muezzins’ five-time a day call to the faithful for Islamic prayers, which reads thus:
“Allah is the Greatest, / I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, / I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, /Come to Prayer, / Come to success./ Allah is the Greatest, /There is none worthy of worship except Allah.”
It is thus, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs et al of India have to endure the azan, blaring from the loudspeakers of their neighborhood mosques five times day, which, besides offending their own belief-system is bound to hurt their religious sentiments. That is not all, wonder how the inimical quranic tirades of the Musalmans against kafirs in mosques, madrasas and mohallas reconcile with their FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES as Indian citizens that are stipulated in the Indian Constitution, as under, is anybody’s guess.
“PART IVA , 51A. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.”
Also, the Christian proselytizers as Indian citizenry fare no better in their constitutional compliance for besides branding Hindus as heathens, they label their deities as false.
Needless to say, the copy (from other constitutions) and paste (in the Indian Constitution) work of the so-called framers of our constitution, comprising of the Semitic-naïve caste Hindus and a well-informed, though embittered dalit Ambedkar, as argued above, needs a pragmatic overhaul, for which the level of Hindu awareness about the Abrahamic outrage against their sanatana dharma has to raise to self-respecting heights of Himalayan proportions, hopefully.
It is the fond hope of the author that the Hindus, sooner than later, would adopt his Bhagvad-Gita sans interpolations and that India adapts a pragmatic constitution for itself to thwart the demographic perils that the current tome underwrites.