Gyaan Tuzhe Salaam, Vigyaan Tuzhe Salaam – Mr. A. R. Rehman can you sing my song?
I am Sudheer Birodkar, a product of a multi-religious ethos. I was born into a devout Hindu family. I did my schooling from a convent. My family Guru was a Muslim. As persons, most Gurus are nice individuals, who are generally benevolent. So was he. Like A.R. Rehman I also was a wide eyed follower of my family Guru. The only difference between me and Rehman was that I had (and still have) a rational mind. When my Guru used to extol on the qualities and omnipotent nature of god – the creator of all that we see, hear smell taste and feel. I was the impudent (or may be inquisitive) person who at the age of seven, asked my Muslim Guru, openly in front of an audience “Baba, you say that god created everything. Then who was the person who created god. That person must be indeed more powerful than god himself?”
If God created everything, then who created God?
This impudence, caught the attention (and also the ire) of my Guru and all the bhaktas (disciples) who were present. My Guru was nonplussed. He had no answer. He turned to my shocked parents and told them. “Keep a Strict Watch over your son. He will turn out to be a great sinner or a great saint.”
As of date I am not a sinner and have the humility to say that I am no saint either.
But imagine if Rehman, too had, had such an inquisitive, rational and reflective mind? Then what would have happened? He would have perhaps not remained a religious Hindu, the way I too am not a religious person. But “Hindu” and “Hindutva” to me are not even a declaration of cultural identity. It is an identity based on qualities. Qualities that are natural to human existence.
Hence I am not a Deshbhakta or a Rashtrabhakta, but I am a Gunabhakta (A worshipper of qualities that are natural to human consciousness) and those qualities are being inquisitive, rational, reflective among others like kind, sociable, genial, etc. But most important of all a human needs to be inquisitive and rational to be a member of the Sapient species – the Homo Sapiens.
For it is this faculty of being rational, this instinct of being inquisitive that has made the Human species different from all other species. For me the terms “Hindu” and “Hindutva” represent an identity that is based not on ethnicity or genealogy or inheritance or geographic origins; but on the qualities associated with the most natural aspects of Human consciousness. Sounds confusing to you Mr. A. R. Rehman?
Then Mr. A. R. Rehman please read on:
What is Hindutva? – Why is it called a Living Idea, guided by the sum total of human wisdom that is not considered to be embodied in one person, or one book, or one period of human history
For me the term “Hindutva” is derived from the two terms ‘Hindu Tattva”, which literally mean “Hindu Principles”. Now the question is, what are Hindu Principles and what comprises the “Hindutva” Outlook?
To answer this question we would have to begin with the history of the Hindus. The history of the Hindus is the history of a civilization which has developed in its natural state, without interruption, since antiquity. Its age is dated to be between five and nine thousand years – a surmise based on the nakshatras (star patterns) described in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and other ancient Indian treatises. Hence Hindu History is a prototype of how human civilization would have looked, if civilization all across the globe had been allowed to develop in its natural state. This is the relevance for us to study Hindu Civilization, Hindu History and Hindu Culture.
The evolution of Hindu Civilization can be considered to be natural and continuing as there is no last messiah in the Hindu world view. In fact this is what distinguishes Hindu Civilization from the rest. Once upon a time all of Human civilization was like this – be it the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Chinese, Greco-Roman, pre-Christian German, Scandinavian, Russian, pre-Islamic and pre-Christian African civilization and also pre-Islamic Arab civilization among other civilizations.
But today it is only Hindu civilization that continues uninterrupted till this day, the others having been supplanted by either Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. And this is why today only Hindu culture and Hindutva (Hindu Principles) alone among cultures can be called a Living Idea, guided by the sum total of human wisdom that is not considered to be embodied in one person, or one book, or one period of human history. As is all science too. Hence the term “Living” in the context of Science and of Hindu culture.
Hindutva is the articulation of this idea of continuity of freedom of thought from which emerge the multifarious Hindu Principles.
Two instances of Hindu Principles that symbolize the outcome of freedom of thought are the pronouncements made not today, but four thousand years back by unnamed rishis (Hindu ascetics) that, “This world is one family” (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam) and that “The Universal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names” (Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti). In these two proclamations made in ancient Hindu India, we see the seeds of globalism and freedom of thought, thousands of years before the world was to become the global village of today.
Thus in its true essence, Hindutva is a stridently assertive rational-humanist line of reasoning. And it is this essence of Hindutva that we have kept in mind, while penning this article. Hence it is in Hindu culture that there is no Papal Bull, no Fatwa, no one is declared a Tankhaiyya.
Yes Hindus were out-casted, and when this was done without proper reason of the person being immoral or criminal, out-casting was a unjust act that deserves condemnation. But even then they were only thrown out of the professional hierarchy of caste, but not out of culture as they could still become sanyasis (Ascetics, mendicants, hermits) and still remain a part of Hindu society. They were not beheaded, or stoned to death.
It is only among the Hindus no member of another culture is referred to as a pagan or an infidel. And again it is only among the Hindus that you have the freedom to pick and chose which god or goddess to believe in, from the millions of options given …or be an atheistic, agnostic, rationalist as I am.
On this point Veer Savarkar as written in his treatise Hindutva; “Some of us are Jains and some Jangamas; but Jains or Jangamas—we are all Hindus and own a common blood. Some of us are monists, some, pantheists; some theists and some atheists. But monotheists or atheists-we are all Hindus “.
Can any Pope or a Mullah write this?
At the level of practice, the Hindutva outlook boils down to upholding righteousness (Sat-guna) and fighting ignoble attitudes (Dur-guna). Taking poetic license, we can describe the practitioners of this outlook as “Heenam Naashaayati iti Hinduhu” (Those who uphold righteousness and fight ignobleness are Hindus).
Savarkar writes on this aspect:
Hindus have “sounded the deepest secrets of thoughts and have soared to the highest altitudes of ecstasy,— given birth to a synthesis that sympathises with all aspirants towards truth from the monist to the atheist.”
Thus, far from being a narrow nationalistic doctrine, Hindutva is in its true essence, ‘a timeless and universal compilation of human wisdom’. Hence it is also called “Sanatana” which means, something that is “forever continuing.”
On this aspect Veer Savarkar writes “After all there is throughout this world so far as man is concerned but a single race—the human race kept alive by one common blood, the human blood. All other talk is at best provisional, a makeshift and only relatively true.”
Some disoriented minds call Savarkar a fascist! Can a sectarian fascist write like this? Check this passage out at the site: http://www.hindusarise.com
Hence although like Mr. A. R. Rehman I too had a Muslim Guru. But unlike Rehman I also had a rational and an inquisitive mind too, so I did not convert to the religion of my Guru, but struck off on my own off-beaten path of inquiry looking upon religion, specifically theism as the opium of the masses, a poison for the human mind, a venom preached by the clergy of all religions, a barrier to free-development of human knowledge, a medium for dividing humanity into violent sects – divisions that are maintained by hatred, violence and bloodshed in the name of holy wars. Wars which in reality are overtly violent attempts for proselytism to covert the world to one single monotheistic faith. Wars, which only those with a rational mind can fathom to be as such.
Alas if Mr. A. R. Rehman too had, had a rational and inquisitive mind, or may I put it also a critical, cynical and a skeptical mind towards all religious belief, then today we would have had a singer par excellence who would sing perhaps something like this:
Mein Insaan Hoon, Sirf Insaan hoon,
(I am a human, only a human)
Insano koh dhoondtey ghoomta hoon,
(I am in search of others who too are only human.)
Miltey hain Hindu, Farsi, Isahi, Yahudi, Sikh aur Musalmaan,
(I have met many Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs and Jews.)
Nahi Miltey sirf Insaan.
(But I rarely meet those who are none of these, but are only human)
Mera Khudha, Mera Parwardigaar, Mera Bhagwaan…,
(My God, My Lord… )
….Toh hai Insaan,
(…is only the Human Being)
Aur mera Mahzab hai pyaar aur Insaaniyat,
(And my religion is Love and Humanism )
Lekin Log shak kartey hai meri Neeyat.
(But people do not believe me.)
Kehtey hai – Woh toh nahi Hindu, nahi Sikh, nahi Farsi, nahi Isahi, nahi, Yehudi ya Musalmaan?
(They say what kind of a chap is this who is neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim, nor a Christian, nor a Sikh, nor a Parsi, nor a Jew? )
Woh kaisa Insaan joh hai sirf Insaan!
(What kind of a human is he who is only a human! )
Woh toh Pagala hai, Bawala hai,
(He must be crazy or out of his mind.)
Ya hoga Dhokhebaaz – Chupa Rustam, Dushman Kaum ka!!
(Or maybe he is a spy of the enemy community!!)
Ya agar apna hai, toh hai gaddar.
(Or if he belongs to our community, then he is certainly a traitor.)
Lekin mein toh keheta hoon ki, Ya Insaan – Merey Parwardigar, Merey Bhagwan,
(But I say that O My dear Human Being you are my My God my Lord)
Baksh dey Hum Insaano par Insaaniyat terey naam,
(Bestow upon us human beings, humanitarianism in your name.)
Mila dey sab key dil pyar aur mohabbat sey,
(And bring together our minds with love and compassion )
Karne dey sab koh sab sey Dosti ka Ikraar,
(Let everyone be bound up with everyone else in an understanding of friendship)
Aur Dushmani ka Tapish mita dey.
(And bring an end to the heat of enimity)
Bana dey ees Jahan koh Ek Khandaan.
(Make the entire world a single human family)
Aur uparvaale key hazarron naam se maat honey dey Khoon Kharaba,
(And let there be no more bloodshed due to different names we have given to the unknown.)
Ya insaan, joh hai mera bhagavan.
(O human who is my God)
Hamen nahin chahiye, Jehad, ya Crusade, ya Dharm Yuddh.
(We do not want a Jehad, nor a Crusade, nor a Dharma Yuddha)
Hame chahiye pyaar, mohabbat, Sukun aur Aman.
(We want love and peace)
Ley ja mazhabi dushmani ka tapish humse dur, kafi dur,
(Take away the heat of religious animosity far away from us, quite far away)
Aur lupt kar dey usey hamesha key liyey,
(And exterminate it once and for all)
Insaan hai hum, Insaaniyat hamara mazhab.
(We are Humans and Humanity alone is our religion.)
Soochta hoon, kab mar jayega, mazhab ka shaitaan insaano mein sey,
(I wonder when the demon of religion will die from human minds?)
Aur kab jaagega insaan, inssaniyat bahal karne,
(And when the human being within us will awaken to bestow humanness on us humans.)
Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?
(By eliminating all religions?)
Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?
(By eliminating all religions?)
Saare mazhabon koh hatakar?
(By eliminating all religions?)
This song by the way has been penned by me Sudheer Birodkar under the title Gyaan Tuzhe Salaam, Vigyaan Tuzhe Salaam (any similarities with any other song are unintentional).
Mr. A. R. Rehman can you sing this song?