The Pioneer newspaper had recently an editorial titled “culture wars”. It considered ‘the Kashmir files’ movie as a “part of the culture wars” and that the ‘real purpose’ of the movie was to promote the BJP agenda. The BJP agenda, so is implied, is to create a Hindu rashtra
Yet not only an Indian newspaper disparaged the Kashmir Files. The Time Magazine had a headline: “The Kashmir Files: How a new Bollywood movie marks India’s further descent into bigotry.”
It made me wonder who are the players in the “culture wars” and why a dominant Hindu culture is usually projected as the worst possible scenario by the wrongly called ‘liberal’ media. The same media seems to endorse the Western/Christian culture. It also is friendly towards the numerous Muslim nations; even towards those which still have harsh blasphemy laws, and also towards communist China.
So why do media and leftists vehemently oppose the Hindu culture? The reason is, they claim, that minorities (read Muslims and Christians) will suffer in a Hindu nation.
This is strange reasoning, because India has an undoubtedly an excellent track record in treating minorities. In contrast, several Christian and Muslim countries have a poor track record. For example, in Muslim majority Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus are discriminated against. Yet in India, Muslims and Christians are even favoured by law compared to the indigenous Hindu community.
Genocide of Hindus in Kashmir by Muslims
However, even in India, in Muslim majority Kashmir, Hindus were killed and driven out in 1989/90. Three options were given: “convert, leave or get killed”. To show that they meant it, gruesome murders of Hindus were committed. The perpetrators probably didn’t feel any guilt because “cleansing” the land from Kafirs is a religious mandate, for example in Quran 8.39 (“…fight them till the Deen of Allah is established completely”).
Strangely, media played down what happened in Kashmir.
The rest of India and the world soon forgot those brutally killed and the 400,000 Hindu refugees who fled from Kashmir at that time. Instead, the world hears (and mostly believes) that the Indian army brutally oppresses the Muslims in Kashmir.
“The Kashmir Files” movie reminded India what happened in 1990.
But in March 2022, India was reminded of it. “The Kashmir Files” came out which truthfully depicted what had happened. Each scene was based on documents. Of course, violence needed to be shown, but the movie didn’t overly focus on the brutalities. It also talked about the history of Kashmir, that even 800 years ago, it was the intellectual capital of India. The profound philosophy of Kashmir Saivism flourished there, until some 700 years ago Muslim rule started.
The movie was a great success. For the first time, people in India and abroad realized what great injustice was done to Kashmiri Hindus…. by Muslims. Obviously, this made the usual narrative, that the Muslims of Kashmir are brutally oppressed by the Indian state and deserve the support of the UN and world, suspect. Pakistan may have been worried.
But then came the International Film Festival in India (IFFI and the Israeli head of the jury, Nadav Lapid, became a saviour for the leftist media. Lapid stubbornly insisted on his right to make unreasonable comments. He kept calling the movie ‘vulgar propaganda’. He could have criticized the movie on many parameters. But it’s definitely not “vulgar propaganda”.
Propaganda means that the reality is twisted to influence opinions. The reality was not twisted in the movie, on the contrary. It was exemplarily truthful to reality.
So why did the IFFI jury chair call it propaganda? He read out his statement, so he had planned it. And when Vivek Agnihotri challenged him to show any one scene, which is not true, and he will quit film-making, he still stuck to his comment. He felt it demeans Muslims in general.
Political correctness over truth
Does it mean that truth cannot be shown any longer? Incidentally, Hindus never get this velvet-glove treatment. After Nirbhaya was gangraped, the whole world condemned the ‘patriarchal Hindu culture which results in rapes’.
Or remember the rape of a nun in Kolkata? The Church immediately suspected “Hindu fundamentalists” – wrongly, as it turned out. Was there an apology?
Why this unequal treatment? The reason may be that it all is part of the culture wars. When the narrative of the oppressed Muslims in Kashmir got a dent due to the movie, a remedy popped up in the form of Nadav Lapid’s comment: When the Jury of the most prestigious Indian film festival considers the Kashmir Files as vulgar propaganda, the movie all of a sudden looks bad. People would feel, they were fooled. “Oh, it was only propaganda to defame Muslims. How bad of those mean Hindus,” would be the natural reaction of people who are not well informed, and the majority of people is not well informed.
This may be the reason, why Nadav Lapid sticks to his unreasonable comments so fiercely, in spite of the Israeli ambassador telling him that he should be ashamed. He scored for the side of the dogmatic religions and communists, which are aligned against the Hindu tradition in the culture wars.
India is the last surviving ancient culture
The sides are uneven. India is the only surviving ancient culture. All others, like Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Greeks, Egypt, Mesopotamia or China, have been destroyed either by Christianity, Islam or Communism in relatively short time.
Yet Indian culture still stands and the fight against it is on since many centuries. Big parts of Greater India have fallen, and life is painful for the few remaining Hindus there.
But why is there so much effort to get rid of the Hindu culture? Moreover, it is a culture which has contributed immensely to world civilization in many fields, which however is hardly acknowledged. Even today, after all the loot and destruction, India has still some 40 million manuscripts according to Bibek Debroy. Further, the ancient temples hold incredible mysteries and secrets.
India’s wisdom shows how to gain true freedom
The reason may be that the Vedic insights about our true nature, are a danger for the powers-that-be. They would lose the power to control people by dictating what is the truth and demanding blind belief in unverifiable dogmas, if people came to know about their divine essence.
The Hindu tradition encourages a genuine enquiry into truth. Hints are given, for example in the Mahavakyas of the Upanishads. “Ayam Atma Brahma”, means the consciousness in you (Atman) is the same as in the one great Brahman, similarly as the water in a wave is the same as the water in the ocean. The wave is not the ocean, but the essence is the same in all waves and all are encompassed by the ocean, and when the wave loses its form, nothing of substance is lost.
What makes more sense? The Indian view of all being one with the all-pervading pure awareness, Brahman, which is, through sadhana, accessible? Or blind belief in what one person has said about God in heaven, who decides on the basis of only one life, whether we deserve eternal heaven or hell?
The Church got already some taste, what happens, when people know too much about Hindu Dharma:
When in the 18th century, German philosophers read translations of the Upanishads, they praised Vedic knowledge to the sky, and compared it negatively with their own religious tradition. Ever since, the Church lost power, even though it staunchly maligns Hinduism. I for example heard already in primary school about “untouchables” in Hinduism. Yet I came to know about the horrific Jewish holocaust by our own German people only in my teens.
The opposition to the Hindu side is fierce. Hindus are maliciously called all kinds of names – extremists, fascists, rapists, even terrorists, or cow-piss drinkers, often by persons who have no idea what Hindu Dharma is about.
Yet, Hindus have become meanwhile more awake and realized, that their Dharma, which was in a subtle way portrayed as inferior to the Abrahamic religions, is actually the better option for humanity and the world. And many Hindus have now become vocal and proud about it. This is not appreciated by those who want to eliminate the last surviving ancient tradition.
The dogmatic side has killed millions over the centuries in the process to eradicate ancient cultures and each other. Its foot soldiers don’t realise that they are only pawns in a bigger game about control of humanity, and that it is in their own interest, when Hindu Dharma not only survives, but flourishes. Hindu Dharma is truly inclusive and considers the whole world as one family, because we all come from the same divine Source: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
By Maria Wirth
PS: Since my book “Thank you India- a German woman’s journey to the wisdom of Yoga” got very good reviews, but hardly anyone knows about the book, I would like to let you know that it is available under the below link of the publisher for Rs 349. It’s also available on Amazon.in (they charge more). On amazon.com only the Kindle version is available.
(actually i was advised by someone who likes my book and wants more people to read it, to add this para to my articles)
Once again, Maria ji, your writeup seems to be the best explanation about the reason behind the international bias against Sanatan Dharma, which so inclusive and secular in the true sense. Hats off to your understanding of the whole thing, and an effective articulation!
Almost alll non-Hindus (and few ‘liberal’ [sic.] Hindus) want to delete Hinduism from face of earth as they are afraid of the superiority of its culture. Few years ago there was campaign against Sanskrit saying that it is a useless language. After heavy beating they got on social media, the subject has gone into oblivion.
‘But why is there so much effort to get rid of the Hindu culture?’
There is none in the West, it is simply ignored. It’s political adversaries are the anti-democratic, autocratic, one-party led regimes mainly in North-East Asia, of which India is partly friendly to one.
On the religious-ideological front, there is of course another main foe.
What about the effort of the religions to increase social justice?
Whatever narrative may be set or propagated, the truth will prevail. Hinduism is a self cleansing evolutionary mechanism. It’s beliefs teachings and expositions are based on one bramah and bhamhand.
Yes there are confident proponents increasing day by day not because of any compulsion or inducements but the fragrance is very captivating.
World would be totally peaceful and joyful once all adhere to the tenets of Hinduism.
Hearty thanks Maria ji for keeping the flame alight
Others are just taking advantage of some so called SICKular Hindus who are BACK STABBING hindus. It’s History where some Jaichand politician Hindus are main destroyers of Hinduism fir Money and greed of power.
Well articulated, in deed.
Nadav Lapid would have watched Schindlers list a movie made by Spielberg which had won Oscar .
Does it mean that when jews are killed it is oscar and when hindus are killed it is bigotry?
What non-Indian friends of Hinduism (MW and F. Gautier and others) have to say carry much weight by the mere fact of their ethnicity. They are great proponents and defenders of the faith; kudos to them and they need our support. But we have to understand that while the western MSM seldom rise above their self-delusion but they still manage to control our mindset. US has never been a true friend of India (may be now?) and its history is based on a lie: its belief in Manifest Destiny, the New Israel and nation touched by hand of God are all based on baloney – one reason why it fails to see its own true self in the mirror. It got rich by committing genocide of American Indians and stealing their lands; it built is wealth of back of free slave labour then discarded them on the scrap heap history (couldn’t give them 40 acres and a mule!); of its first 12 Presidents all were slave owners (except Adams and his son) and so were others who drafted its Constitution ; its treatment of freed slaves were appalling and for much of its history since 1776 to late sixties, it was for intents and purposes, an apartheid state. One of its first laws – the Naturalisation Act of 1790 – declared only “free white men” can become citizens of US. Slavery was abolished in 1865 by the 13th Amendment; the 14th (1868) granted citizenship to all born or naturalised, including all former slaves and guaranteed them “equal protection of the laws” (except in 1890 US Supreme Court ruled it could not enforce 14th at an individual level, making it a Jim Crow law); and, the 15th (1869) gave only black men the right to vote. Black women had to wait for 19th (1920) for their rights but were stripped on their rights in the Southern States; remedied in 1965 with passage of the Voting Rights Act. Civil rights movement did not solve all their problems. In its short 246-year history – from Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 to date – US has been at war with itself or others. Its Constitution says ‘all men are created equal’ but doesn’t seem to believe in it! Its history of the mistreatment of blacks and others is appalling; it is hardly in a position to moralize Indians! Jews dominate MSM but ought to know better as the Indians never discriminated against them.
Maria ji, Your article is indeed excellent as always. And I am an admirer of your consistent logic and honesty. However, I wonder whether Hindu society itself is blameless in this matter. You correctly cite the example of the plight of Kashmiris and the total stonewalling of the Kashmir massacres, and the fact that the film Kashmir files exposed it for the first time. But then why did Bollywood continue to feed us with false stories on communal issues, and to ignore the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus, for so many decases till Vivek Agnihotri now brought out the truth, and why was Hindu society in general silent about it.
And it is not as if Hindu society is now really awake. After a hundred years, a film “1921: Nadi Se Nadi Tak” was written and directed by Rama Simhan (formerly Ali Akbar, now reconverted to Hinduism), which exposes the Moplah riots of 1921, very important in the present Kerala context. This film was scheduled to be released in May. I saw a preview of the film and wrote a review of it at one. The film is an outstandingly superb one. Yet the film has still to receive a censor certificate (without cuts) and has been hanging fire. The director meanwhile is receiving death threats and may not even live to see the film released. And both the “Hindu” central government and Hindu society are totally indifferent to his plight. I wrote an article on Ghar Wapasi, urging Muslim thinkers not to reconvert to Hinduism because they will be thrown under the bus by an ungrateful and indifferent Hindu society. How long can we keep blaming people who want their religion to win in the culture wars while exonerating Hindu society which clearly does not care whether it wins or not?
Well articulated article. Same was the response to Bhyrappa’s novel Aavaran. Dismissing it as a propaganda. Now is the time where they are exposed because if the long grass-root work and movements to unvail the propoganda of the hindu bashing before the masses.