Being a Hindu, I was not taught to hate Islam; I didn’t grow up despising Muslims. If anything my parents taught me, it was tolerance. I was repeatedly inducted with the idea of universal acceptance and brotherhood, till it was running in my veins and became the basic idea, I had, of Hinduism.
I remember being told, the reason for the survival of Hinduism, lies in its concept of tolerance towards differing ideas. The reason why it stood against the mighty invaders and despotic Muslim rulers lies in the efficacy of its ideas that became the very foundation of Hinduism. It didn’t lay down any riot act as to what an ideal Hindu should do. Vedas and Puranas didn’t define our eating habits, didn’t determine our time of prayers, one thing that Hinduism gave its followers was Wisdom, Wisdom to choose. And it was the result of this tolerance that assimilation of different ideas under one banner of Hinduism became possible, it was the result of this tolerance, that people of various cultures and religions found in India, a home. It wouldn’t be wrong if I said, Nothing accepts the new cultures, the new religion, the new people like India does. Nothing accepts you like Hinduism.
And yet, here we stand accused of intolerance.
In the modern scenario, where politicization of religion has become the new trend, a devout Hindu attracts a few raised eyebrows by the self acclaimed Progressive members of society. Since when, has following traditions became “old fashioned” , since when, has standing up for your beliefs and religion came to be termed as intolerance.
I stand for my belief, my faith, my religion, just as you do. I support the party that politically empowers my religion just as you do, and I suppose we can live in the vicinity of each other until you start crying foul. Relax, Extremism isn’t Hinduism’s contribution to the world.